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High-End Audio Industry News


07 / 27 / 11

Reference 3a MM de Capo i  The extremely popular and award winning Reference 3a MM de Capo i is now available in five finishes. They include natural maple in both glass and satin, red cherry in gloss and satin plus of course piano black. The " i " designation in the new MM de Capo i simply means improved as it is further refined. As with the award winning original model, at the heart of MM de Capo i is the hand built 8.25-inch carbon fiber main driver. It is now even faster and better controlled. The new 27mm textile dome high frequency unit is sonically more transparent and detailed than the original. It now has no ferrofluid and a much lower resonant frequency so it integrates better with the main driver. The crossover for the high frequency driver is a mere 6dB slope and high quality audiophile parts are employed. The cabinet dimensions are unchanged. Critical bracing points have been optimized to achieve a more solid, anti-resonant cabinet. Overall frequency response is from 42 Hz to 20 kHz, sensitivity is a high 92dB/W/m at 8 Ohms and the phase variation is a mere +/- 10 degrees. Dimensions are 15 x 11 x 13 (HxWxD in inches) and each unit weighs 27 lbs. Enjoy the Music.com has reviewed the Reference 3A MM de Capo i, Reference 3A Veena floorstander, and Reference 3A Grand Veena large floorstander loudspeaker.

 

07 / 26 / 11

Ray Samuels Dark Star Headphone Amplifier  Ray Samuels Audio, an award earning company that specializes in phonostages and headphone amplifiers, has launched their Dark Star headphone amplifier (first 10 units will be sold at an introductory price of $2995). Have an outstanding output and the ability to drive even the toughest headphone loads, the Dark Star is a two chassis unit that employs a fully regulated power supply that delivers positive/negative 40VDC. This, in turn, feeds four high voltage buffers and the positive/negative 12VDC that feeds the phase splitter and the op-amps circuitry. The custom, Plitron toroidal transformer is designed to output 80 Volts at 6 Amperes of current to satisfy the four buffers that each is capable to deliver up to 9 Amperes of current. In SE output it can easily swing close to 80 Volts P-P, yet note that the Dark Star is a fully/true balanced from input to output with quad independent gain stages and buffers. In balanced mode the voltage swing is double of that in SE. The amplification section has two balanced inputs, XLRs, and two single ended inputs and RCAs. Because The Dark Star uses a state of the art PHASE splitter circuitry, this means when ever you select the SE inputs The Dark Star will direct the signal to the phase splitter with out you flipping a switch. The Ray Samuels Dark Star uses fully balanced four independent attenuators made by DACT, one for each channel. All the resistors in the four output stages are 3 watts 1% Vishay film while the power supply uses 1% Mil spec.

 

07 / 26 / 11

Esoteric D-02 DAC  Esoteric has announced their new D-02 35-bit DAC with ES-LINK3 that can handle 24-bit/352.8kHz digital signals. The toroidal power supply has eight separate systems to supply clean, stable power supply to each circuit. Modular in design, the clock circuitry, power supply unit from the other circuit blocks are independent as is the master clock operating at 22.5792MHz that ensures extremely low jitter. This master clock syncs with the P-02 SACD/CD transport to further guarantee signal timing purity. Esoteric's D-02 is constructed as a dual mono unit with 32-bit Asahi Kasei EMD AK4399 that has been adopted by combining eight circuits for each channel, thus the company claims to have achieved unparalleled linearity and low noise. In addition to the direct signal processing DSD, 35-bit resolution analog signals convert PCM uses a new algorithm. Four types of digital filters are enabled or the user may choose digital filter OFF mode. Analog amplification is via fully discrete Class A, four 4 per channel, and thus the signal is true balanced. Digital inputs include XLR i.LINK 4p/6p, USB, S/PDIF via RCA and TosLink optical. Analog audio output is via balanced XLR on unbalanced via RCA. Dimensions are 445 x 162 x 438 (WxHxD in mm) and unit weight is 60 lbs.

 

07 / 25 / 11

Esoteric P-02 Disc Transport  Esoteric, a high-end audio company based in Japan that is part of TEAC (Tokyo Electro Acoustic Company) that was founded in 1953, has announced their new P-02 SACD/CD transport (1,400,000 Yen). The Esoteric P-02 uses a patent pending 35-bit DAC that handles upwards of 24-bit/352.8kHz digital music. It features Esoteric's own ES-LINK3 and has dual AES 8Fs on BNC and S/PDIF via RCA. Dual digital AES/EBU outputs, one per channel, is via XLR. A toroidal power supply has eight separate systems to supply clean, stable power to each circuit. As is expected from Esoteric, a high-precision disc turntable is employed within the transport mechanism to improve the accuracy of disc reading while Ceramic ball bearings are used in pairs to the spindle bearings. In addition, coreless brushless three-phase motor-driven spindle uses a powerful neodymium magnet. The Esoteric P-02 includes a remote control made with aluminum for the main body with heavy leather highlights. Blue illumination around the display aids is easy of reading. This unit can read CD, CD-R, CD-RW and Super Audio CD (SACD). Dimensions are 445 x 162 x 438 (WxHxD in mm) and it weighs 68 lbs.

 

Music Industry News 10 Years Ago
B&W 800 SignatureB&W's new Signature 800 ($20,000/pr) employs a sturdy cast aluminum plinth that also contains the crossover components. The curved cabinet is wrapped with high-gloss Grey Tiger's Eye veneer while the top and front surfaces are covered in Connolly Leather. The loudspeaker includes two 10-inch bass drivers with a down-firing Flowport (a specially designed air port). A new and improved version of B&W's FST woven Kevlar 6" cone midrange midrange driver is mounted to a sphere/tube housing of its own as is a 1" metal dome tweeter. Specifications are as follows:

Frequency Response: 37Hz - 23kHz (± 2dB on reference axis) 
Sensitivity: 91dB/Wm 
Nominal Impedance: 8 Ohms (minimum 3 Ohms) 
Power Handling: 50 - 1000W into 8 ohms
Drive Units: one 25mm (1in) metal dome tweeter
                 one 150mm (6in) woven Kevlar midrange
                 two 250mm (10in) paper/Kevlar woofer 
Harmonic distortion: 2nd and 3rd harmonics (90dB, 1m)
                          <1.0% 45Hz - 20kHz
                          <0.5% 50Hz - 20kHz 
Crossover frequencies: 350Hz and 4kHz
Finish Cabinet: Real wood veneers Grey Tigers Eye
Dimensions: 47 x 17.7 x 25.4 (HxWxD in inches) 
Weight: 275 lbs.

 

07 / 22 / 11

Eat A Peach by The Allman Brothers & Captain And Me by The Doobie Brothers  HDtracks now offers two great rock albums in high resolution digital music download! Specifically, Captain And Me by The Doobie Brothers and Eat A Peach by The Allman Brothers. The Doobie Brothers’ legendary third album, Captain And Me, showed the band at the first true creative peak, absorbing country, rock, and folk influences into a seamless, unique blend that accented the groups instrumental virtuosity and soaring vocal harmonies. The album is certified 2X Platinum and featured the hits "Long Train Running," "China Grove" plus "Without You". The Allman Brothers Band album Eat A Peach is a mix of studio recordings, including the smash hit “Melissa,” and live jams from the band’s legendary Fillmore East shows in March and June of 1971. The album is the last to include guitarist Duane Allman who was killed in 1971 while the album was being recorded. You can download these and many other great albums in high resolution digital audio by clicking here.

 

Music Industry News 10 Years Ago
Linn EspekLinn has released three new high-end loudspeakers called the Espek (pictured right), Ekwal and Melodik. All the new units employs Linn's advanced driver and crossover technology within a sturdy, high-density cabinet to insure high quality music reproduction. The Espek is a dual-ported floor-standing loudspeaker for both passive and active playback. Features include a soft dome tweeter with neodymium magnet, polypropylene bass/midrange driver with "dual field shaping magnets" and a rear bass radiating driver. The crossover can be configured for single wire and amplification or bi-wire and bi-amplification.
Linn's new dual-ported Ekwal ($1150) is also designed for passive and active playback. Designed for vertical or horizontal operation due to slim cabinet design that holds two midrange/woofer drivers with a center mounted tweeter, the Ekwal is for multi-channel Home Theatre Systems that employ a subwoofer and can be used as a center channel within larger surround sound systems. The Linn Melodik twin 12" Isobarik subwoofer ($4195) features an omni-directional design to insure room filling deep bass reproduction. Linn claims "The versatile design of the Linn Melodik enables vertical, or horizontal operation for floor standing, rack or video-wall mounting. The Linn Melodik can stack for commercial multi-media applications and provides an invisibly large and clean sound with even the most compact of main loudspeakers."

 

07 / 21 / 11

Sonos Play:3 Powered Monitor  Sonos, a company that in 2003 set out with a goal to reinvent homewide audio for the digital age, now offers their new Play:3 small stereo (or mono when used in pairs) powered monitor. Class D digital amplifiers are individually coupled with three speakers, one soft dome tweeter, two midrange/woofers. A passive bass radiator is also included in this design to further extend the bass response. Users can enjoy wireless music streaming via SonosNet 2.0 (a secure AES encrypted peer-to-peer wireless mesh network) or is can be hardwired via Ethernet. To ensure high sound quality in such a small package, all filter settings, active equalization, and time-alignment are done in the digital domain through state-of-the-art DSP circuitry. Volume, treble, bass and loudness control can be adjusted via Sonos Apple OS (including iPhone/iPad/iTouch), Microsoft Windows, Android or Sonos' own stand alone controller. Users can stream their music library, use a wide variety of online music services plus tens of thousands of online radio stations. Dimensions are 5.2 x 10.6 x 6.3 (HxWxD in inches), weight is 5.7 lbs, and available finishes include white with light metallic grille or black with graphite grille. Sonos' Play:3 can be wall mounted via industry standard 0.25-inch threaded mounting socket. Sonos system software supports Dutch, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Simplified Chinese, Spanish, and Swedish. Enjoy the Music.com editor Steven R. Rochlin has reviewed the Sonos multi-room music system.

 

SpotifySpotify is now available and offers a new way to listen to music online at 320kbs. Users can enjoy millions of tracks any time they like, including rewind, fast forward and choose any track on an album. Think of Spotify as your new music collection residing online, with over 15 million tracks and counting to date! Spotify is available for PC, Mac, home audio systems such as Sonos and cell phones. Users are also free to share everything they listen to on Spotify with their friends - tracks, playlists, etc. Connect Spotify to Facebook and you'll be sharing your favorites with friends in seconds. Artist profiles, related artists and much more help you to find new musicians and music you may also enjoy. music you. With one click you can import the music files (mp3, m4v, m4r, mov, m4a, mp4, m4p, yet not FLAC or wav at this time) from your computer straight into Spotify and then sync the tracks over to your mobile phone.

 

07 / 20 / 11

YG Acoustic Kipod II Speaker  YG Acoustics, an ultra-high-end speaker manufacturer who incorporates in-house research to produce their own sophisticated CNC machined drivers, is now selling their Kipod II. As the second generation of the Kipod, the Kipod II follows YG Acoustics' cost-no-object criteria and is intended for "reasonable" volume levels in small to medium-sized rooms. Innovations include CNC drivers machined in-house and proprietary toroidal air-core crossover inductors. These enhancements are said to result in ultra-low distortion while preserving frequency and phase response. The bass and midrange units are made in-house using YG Acoustics' proprietary BilletCore technology: the drivers are precisely machined (slowly carved) out of massive slabs of aircraft-grade aluminum. The tweeter incorporates YG Acoustics' ForgeCore system: in-house CNC-cutting introduces sophisticated 3D geometries into the motor system to greatly reduced distortion and a produce a sense of ease to the sound. YG Acoustics crossover circuits are created using proprietary software while their DualCoherent technology provides industry-leading frequency response and relative phase. The powered bass-module (subwoofer) uses an amplifier custom-designed for the specific impedance curves of its driver. YG Acoustics' Kipod II cabinet is constructed of precision-machined aircraft-grade aluminum alloy plus uses vibration-free pressurized assembly. FocusedElimination anti-resonance technology virtually eliminates unwanted cabinet vibrations. The Kipod II is an expandable system and is now available in these configurations:

• Kipod II Main Module – a highly compact speaker available with or without a matching stand.

• Kipod II Studio – a compact floorstanding speaker consisting of Kipod II Main Module perched atop the matching Kipod II Studio Sub.

• Kipod II Signature – the culmination of the Kipod line consisting of Kipod II Studio with built-in Signature Package.

 

Music Industry News 10 Years Ago
Can babies in the womb recognize music they heard once out of the womb?
Seems the answer is yes as Alexandra Lamont, who is a lecturer at Britain's University of Leicester within the psychology department, was being showcased within a recent BBC television show called "Child of Our Time". This TV show features twelve expectant mothers who each chose music to play for their in-the-womb babies that were three months away from birth. As now one year old children, eleven of them were scientifically tested to see if they could recognize the same music as played for them while they were still in the mother's womb 15 month's earlier. The now one year old children seemed to show a distinct preference for the music that they heard while in the mother's womb over other music that was also played during this test. Maybe audiophiles are not born, they are formed within the womb.

 

07 / 19 / 11

Bottlehead Tube Phono  Bottlehead, a longstanding and highly respected manufacturer of vacuum tube kits for the DIY enthusiast, is now manufacturing their Tube Phono phonostage based on the same circuitry as their premium Tube Repro tape head preamplifier. The result, seen here, is a phono preamplifier that exceeded the company's expectations and offers very sophisticated multiple EQ switching arrangement to hold the very best sounding RIAA network components that Bottlehead could find. The Tube Phono's hand wired circuit is designed to keep the signal as pure and uncolored as possible, while avoiding the harsh and sterile sound that can come from some gear that claims "great detail and speed". The EF86 pentodes are used at the input, chosen for their high gain, low noise and sweet sound. The signal passes thru a direct coupled passive equalization network to a 6DJ8 type dual triode. From there the signal can be taken at the single ended RCA outputs. To achieve a studio level balanced output the signal passes through a 12BH7 gain stage to balanced transformer XLR outputs. The power supply utilizes two power transformers and a hybrid tube/solid state shunt regulator for each channel which tightly regulates the high voltage, giving a sense of bandwidth and separation unparalleled by other means of power supply regulation. Each signal tube is isolated from power supply noise by a Camille Cascode Constant Current Source. Premium quality components are utilized throughout, which includes Schottky diodes, premium Panasonic electrolytic capacitors, high quality V-Cap Teflon and polypropylene film capacitors and a range of premium resistors from tantalum to metal film to carbon composition. Left and right 1/4dB stepped attenuators are accessible from the top panel to allow for fine balance trim between channels to compensate for tube differences. Tubes are socket mounted on the recessed top panel to allow for quick and easy changes to suit the listener's taste. Input impedance is 47K ohms, output impedance at the single ended RCA outputs is 4K ohms, output impedance at the balanced transformer XLR outputs is 500 ohms. Gain at the single ended output is 50dB, gain at the balanced transformer output is 64dB. Channel balance trim is adjustable in 1/4dB steps to a maximum of 6dB. Signal polarity is not inverted. Moving magnet cartridges and high output moving coil cartridges of 2mV or higher output are recommended for direct connection to the Tube Phono. Low output moving coil cartridges should be used with a step up device between the cartridge and the Tube Phono input to maintain the lowest possible noise floor. The Tube Phono is available only by custom order through Marutani Consulting and The Audio Salon. Enjoy the Music.com is the exclusive Internet home of Bottleheads VALVE magazine and we have reviewed the Bottlehead Paramour 2A3 monoblock amplifier, the Single Ended eXperimenter's (S.E.X.), and Paraglow vacuum tube amplifier.

 

07 / 18 / 11

KR Audio Kronzilla SX-ECO Hybrid Tube Amplifier  KR Audio’s new Kronzilla SX-ECO hybrid tube amplifier offers the ability to switch between solid-state mode or pure Class A tube triode mode. The SX-ECO than provides a considerable saving in energy in solid-state mode, generates less heat and of course extends the already long life of the large T 1610 triode tubes. A pair, one per channel, of T1610 deliver 50 wpc with a THD of 3%. Frequency response if from 20 Hz to 20 kHz (-3dB), input sensitivity is 1VRMS. In ECO Mode the unit also produces 50 wpc yet with a THD of 0.004% and has a frequency response from 10 Hz to 100 kHz (-3dB). The unit weighs 110 lbs and dimensions are 38.5 x 41.5 x 55 (WxHxD in cm). Enjoy the Music.com has reviewed the KR Audio Kronzilla DX monoblock amplifier, KR Audio VA340 integrated amplifier, KR Enterprise Antares amplifier and KR Audio Kronzilla DM dual monoblock amplifier.

 

Music Industry News 10 Years Ago
Harvey "Gizmo" RosenbergHarvey "Gizmo" Rosenberg, born in 1941, died of an apparent massive heart attack on Monday, July 16th. Gizmo is best known for his colorful writings within his Triode Guild website and also his joy of working with various audio manufactures as a paid consultant to help them promote their audio products to reach music lovers worldwide. Enjoy the Music.com was one of the many homes of Gizmo's Triode Guild helping to spread his message of musical ecstasy. No date has been set for his funeral at this time which is planned to be held in New York. Gizmo's flamboyant style and enthusiasm will be missed by his readership.

 

07 / 15 / 11

  HDtracks now welcomes Warner Music Group into the fold of the many recording labels to now offer high resolution digital music downloads online. These recordings are some of the greatest albums of all time and some of the best loved audiophile classics and now they are available as high-resolution downloads. Warner Music Group has been archiving these state of the art albums in 24-bit/192kHz and 24-bit/96kHz. Music lovers are going to be astonished when they hear how clear these recordings sound as HDtracks downloads, exposing previously unheard space, depth and tonal purity. Now available is Hotel California by The Eagles, which is one of the most celebrated albums in rock history and was both the band's best selling and most critically acclaimed record. Another album now available on HDtracks is Chicago II by the band Chicago and was their classic breakthrough second album that put this band squarely on the map and delivered three Top 40 hits in 1979. These hits included "Make Me Smile," "Colour My World" and their masterpiece "25 or 6 to 4." Jazz lovers rejoice as Tutu by Miles Davis is one of his late career-defining masterworks and the winner of two Grammy Awards, Tutu found Davis again revolutionizing jazz by bringing it further into the realm of rock, funk, and R&B. The album features compositions by multiple Grammy winning bassist/songwriter Marcus Miller. This high-resolution release truly brings out the nuances of this legendary performance, making for a truly invigorating listen. HDtracks offers many more albums from the Warner Music Group for download including Buena Vista Social Club's self-titled album, Producer's Cut by Emmylou Harris, No Secrets by Carly Simon and much more. Audiophiles should see all the great new albums available right now for download by clicking here.

 

07 / 14 / 11

Onkyo TH-NR1009  As more and more audiophiles are moving to multi-channel systems, leading manufacturer Onkyo now includes cutting edge technology and bi-amplification options in their new Onkyo TH-NR1009 ($1399) with THX Select2 plus networking. The new Onkyo TH-NR1009 is also the world's first receiver with DTS Neo:X, can handle USB devices, iPods/iTouch/iPad, is fully DLNA compliant, and offers a full nine channel or seven if users choose to bi-amplify their main front speakers. This THX Select2 Plus certified, 9.2-channel, network-capable home theater receiver includes Marvell Qdeo and IDT's HQV Vida video upscaling and processing circuits, and Audyssey's MultEQ XT audio room correction. State-of-the-art 4K (3840 x 2160) video plus lower quality 1080p/i and 720p/i is provided for and easily chosen via the on-screen controls. Onkyo's TX-NR1009 also supports independent ISF calibration for optimum video performance. Brian Towne, executive vice president and chief operating officer of DTS, Inc., commented, "As the world’s first commercially available receiver to harness the power of Neo:X technology, the TX-NR1009 marks an integral milestone in our journey to take 3-D audio from concept to reality." DTS Neo:X is the industry’s first 2.0/5.1/6.1/7.1 to 9.1/11.1 conversion technology within a single algorithm. Like most new Onkyo receivers, the TX-NR1009 includes extensive networking capabilities with an Ethernet connection plus front and rear USB ports for digital storage devices and Onkyo's optional wireless USB LAN adaptor, the UWF-1. Direct digital connection for iPod/iPhone is available through the front panel USB. This receiver is certified for Windows 7 and DLNA, and can playback a wide variety digital audio file formats via a home network or USB devices, and it is capable of wireless connectivity via Onkyo's optional UFW-1 wireless USB adaptor. It supports MP3, WMA, WMA Lossless, FLAC, WAV, Ogg Vorbis, AAC, and LPCM files. Due to being Internet capable, it also handles Pandora, Last.FM, Napster, Rhapsody plus you can program you own custom online streaming radio stations. The TX-NR1009 has a bidirectional, preprogrammed, and customizable RI remote control. When connected to the Internet, it maintains up-to-date RC control codes for connected devices. With the receiver's Overlaid Graphical On-screen Display, users can speed through on-screen setups while still viewing their program. The remote also includes Macro presets for four activities. Additionally, the receiver has bi-directional Ethernet and RS232 ports for control, IR input and output, two 12-V triggers, firmware updates via Ethernet and USB, GUI Navigation via HDMI, powered Zone 2, and Zone 2/3 pre-outs. This unit produces 135 wpc @ 8 Ohms and uses the longstanding and highly rated in audiophile magazine WRAT amplification technology. Frequency response is from 5 Hz to 100 kHz (+1dB/-3 dB in Direct mode). Dimensions are 17.2 x 7.8 x x 17.2 (WxHxD in inches) and overall weight is a hefty 41 lbs. Onkyo's lower line new models have already been receiving high praise in European magazines and Enjoy the Music.com's editor Steven R. Rochlin is currently using the TX-NR609 in bi-amplification mode within his reference system with very positive results.

 

Music Industry News 10 Years Ago
Recording Industry Association of America’s (RIAA)While the Recording Industry Association of America’s (RIAA) has been denying sending a threatening letter to Professor Edward Felten from releasing his paper concerning how to defeat various music protection schemes, Felton has filed a lawsuit against the RIAA. Now the RIAA is asking for a dismissal of the lawsuit against them by Professor Felten. To quote the motion submitted to the District Court of New Jersey "Defendant Recording Industry Association of America, Inc. (RIAA), did everything it reasonably could to assure Plaintiffs there was no controversy between them and the RIAA with respect to matters identified in the original Complaint. Plaintiffs’ true agenda, however, is not to adjudicate a real dispute but to obtain favorable press attention and to secure an advisory opinion on the constitutionality of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Plaintiffs have therefore filed an Amended Complaint full of vaporous imaginings and chimerical fears. We respectfully submit that even the Amended Complaint fails to pass muster, and must be dismissed under Rule 12(b)(1) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure."
This court case is of great concern due to the implications it may cause for future scientists to publish research and how this concerns the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and First Amendment rights. The entire RIAA legal motion paper as handed to the District Court of New Jersey yesterday and can be seen by clicking here. Furthermore, while many in the audio industry seem to be removing themselves from this important news development that greatly concerns future findings, Enjoy the Music.com is the only audiophile website to publish the complete scientific papers that Professor Edward Felten was to present earlier this year. To see Professor Felten's paper click here. If you would like to see the letters Felten has received, click here.

 

07 / 13 / 11

Kimber Kable KS 6063 Loudspeaker Cable  Kimber Kable is now shipping their Select KS series of loudspeaker cables that includes the KS 6063, KS 6065 and KS 6068. The Kimber Kable KS 6063, pictured here, features VariStrand copper solid core conductors wrapped around a X38R central core. The dielectric is pigment-free while the wires themselves are wrapped in a multi-layered matrix geometry. Users have a choice of end connectors that includes the WBT nextgen of either the spade lug or banana plug variety. The Kimber Kable KS 6065 offers the same features yet uses VariStrand copper and silver Conductors in a 2:1 ratio. Top-of-the-range Kimber Kable KS 6068 uses VariStrand silver conductors and solid core silver conductors. The end connectors are WBT pure silver so that only silver is used throughout this entire cable for the ultimate of purity and signal transfer.

 

07 / 12 / 11

Playback Designs MPD-3 24-bit/384kHz S/PDIF And USB DAC  Playback Designs is finally shipping their 24-bit/384kHz PCM and 6.1 MHz DSD over USB DAC called the MPD-3 ($8500). This unit is basically the same as their 5-Series products except it does not have a transport mechanism. Playback Designs' MPD-3 can be used with computer based music servers, external transports and of course via direct USB. All popular sampling rate and easily decoded including those up to 24-bit/384kHz PCM and 6.1MHz DSD through USB off of either a PC or MAC. For standard 16-bit/44.1kHz or 48kHz the use of their newest apodizing upsampling filter compensate for some of the ringing effects caused by brickwall filters in the Analog to Digital Converters (A/D) used during recording. Depending on the recordings apodizing filters can provide audible improvements. This is not a new technology and is used mostly to improve reception signals from the edge of dish antennas (satellite). Since brickwalls in A/D converters are akin to edges on dish antennas the same principle holds for digital audio and similar filters can be used in DACs with noticeable improvements. Digital inputs include AES/EBU via XLR and S/PDIF via RCA are for PCM up to 24-bit/192kHz while USB is for PCM up to 24-bi/384kHz and DSD up to 6.1MHz.

 

07 / 11 / 11

Aries Cerat Pondera Reference Preamplifie  Aries Cerat, a Cypress-based company who believes that tube signal amplification is the way to go and uses transformer coupling throughout the signal chain, is selling their new Pondera Reference preamplifier (pictured) and Talos Reference phonostage. The Pondera Reference preamplifier was conceived after many tests with numerous designs, technologies and materials. The heart of the preamplifier is the company's latest achievement, called N.O.I.E.S (Negative Output Impedance Energy Supply). This proprietary design is a cost-no-object approach with signal attenuation being achieved by the multi-tap input transformer. This transformer is made with special quality mu-metal core and ultrawide bandwidth winding techniques. Preamplification power gain is maintained by a single-ended transformer coupled tube stage using one 814 DHP thoriated tungsten valve. Four 814 tubes are used throughout this design. Of special note is that the tube's energy supply has a negative internal resistance throughout the audible spectrum, without the use of feedback or feedforward techniques, so no sonic artifacts are present. Output to the terminals is provided by a special bifilar winded amorphous double C-core transformer, with an an exceptional wide bandwidth of over 110 kHz. Both balanced via XLR and unblanced via RCA are included. Aries Cerat's new Talos Reference phonostage employs both tube and discrete JFET plus OpAmp oriented approaches. The proprietary input stage topology uses nuvistor tubes. This miniscule thermionic devices, share the same principle of operation with all other tubes, but they lack the tubes microphonics and noise due to their internal construction. Input stage is a true balanced design using two matched nuvistor gain stages per channel and thus two nuvistor banks parallel-feed (parafeed) two mu-metal transformers for complete noise rejection. Aries Cerat's Talos phonostage uses a constant impendence transformer-coupled LRC RIAA equalization subsystem to adhere to 0.2dB within the audible range. The output stage is a transformer-coupled triode stage using the E280F tube. A step-down transformer provides low output impedance, galvanic isolation and ample voltage and current gain. Within the power supply resides four very high current tube rectifiers with double choke regulation and stabilization. A sealed battery pack is used for the sensitive tube filament supplies and four independent bias supplies for the LRC and output stages.

 

Music Industry News 10 Years Ago
Monsoon FPF-1600Monsoon, known for their inexpensive flat panel computer loudspeakers, is now offering a complete stereo/home theater loudspeaker line.
Employing flat panel technology, their top of the line FPF-1600 ($1,899) is a three-way flat panel home audio system that is said to provide high-quality imaging using their state-of-the-art PFT (Planar Focus Technology). These dipole-radiating transducers and a thin polymer diaphragm are mated to two 8" long throw polypropylene cone woofers. Monsoon also offers the lower line FPF-1000 ($1,199) that employs one Sonigistix PTW-500 tweeter, two Sonigistix PTR-700 midrange unit and two 6.5" long throw polypropylene cone woofers. Monsoon's basic model FPF-600 ($699) uses one Sonigistix PTW-500 tweeter, one Sonigistix PTR-2000 midrange and a 6.5" long throw woofer.

FPF-1600 Specifications:
System: 3-way 
Tweeters: two Sonigistix PTW-500 Planar Magnetic Transducer 
Mid-Range: four Sonigistix PTR-2000 Planar Magnetic Transducer 
Cone Woofers: two 8" long throw polypropylene cone,
                     magnetically shielded, injection molded, non-resonant
                     frame 
Sensitivity (2.83V/1m): 90 dB 
Frequency Range: 30Hz - 20kHz (-6dB) 
Nominal Impedance: 4 Ohms 
Crossover Frequencies: 300 Hz and 5 kHz 
Recommended Amp Power: 30 - 300 Watts 
Dimensions: 65"H x 12"W x 14"D 
Cabinet Configuration: Bass Reflex, low compression port 
Cabinet Volume: 30L 
Input Terminal: three-way binding post, bi-ampable/bi-wireable 
Cabinet Finish: Black 
Blade Finish: Walnut Veneer or Black 
Grill Finish: Matte black perforated metal

 

07 / 08 / 11

Consumer Electronics Association Tech Enthusiast (CEA TE)  The Consumer Electronics Association, the preeminent trade association promoting growth in the $165 billion consumer electronics industry by uniting over 2000 companies within the consumer technology industry, has just created a membership that pays consumers back for their dedication by offering a consumer membership program to individuals. As a CEA Tech Enthusiast (TE) member you'll have even more influence by joining forces with the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) to help influence the future of the consumer electronics industry. TE members receive exclusive benefits from CEA including free online industry subscriptions and podcasts, access to an exclusive member’s only website, and an opportunity to become a CEA blogger. Benefits provided by TE corporate partners, traditional CEA members, include online discounts, beta testing opportunities, details on the latest technologies and participation in contests. Other benefits include free entry into the yearly CES event in Las Vegas, partner discounts, pre-release product info, Beta testing opportunities and more. You can join the new CEA TE membership offering by clicking here.

 

THTST Drum and Percussion AlbumAudiophiles can now download a reference drum and percussion high resolution album by the editor of Enjoy the Music.com! Steven R. Rochlin, a classically trained musician since 1974 and editor of Enjoy the Music.com, has released his first album titled THTST. After nearly two decades of being away from the recording studio, Steven unleashed his musical expressiveness and captured his new solo album using only a pair of ultra-precise, hand matched laboratory-grade microphones. On THTST there are no overdubs, 'destructive' devices or techniques so as to deliver the true purity and absolute sound of a real drumset within your listening room. As one would expect, this recording provides a dynamic range from the soft sounds of studio wind chimes to woofer and amplifier testing deep bass of a large gong bass drum. Audiophiles should get THTST to hear if their system is capable of reproducing one of the most challenging instruments to reproduce accurately. The album is available for download in high definition 24-bit/96kHz FLAC, 16/44.1 AIFF and 320kbs MP3 format from HDtracks.

 

07 / 07 / 11

EAR Yoshino 192 DACute DAC  EAR Yoshino, headed by the world renown designer Tim de Paravicini, is now offering their EAR 192 DACute DAC (£4000). With the EAR DAC Tim de Paravicini has applied his many years of knowledge and attention to detail in the analog world to the digital domain. The DAC boasts a digital to analog converter with low jitter clock and enhanced operation. The DAC section employs the Cirrus S/PDIF receiver, enabling the DAC to interface to existing digital setup and accept up to 24-bit/192kHz digital input from USB, coaxial S/PDIF and TosLink optical S/PDIF inputs. Immediately upon returning to the analog domain, the audio signal is passed to analog filters of Tim de Paravicini's own design. The audio is output from a transformer-coupled ECC88/6DJ8 tube line output stage as in EAR pro audio equipment. This allows true floating balanced output as well as identical quality unbalanced line out by RCA connectors. The maximum output is 5 volt so that the unit can directly drive any power amplifier of any type, with a potentiometer that can be controlled by remote handset for volume adjustment.

 

Music Industry News 10 Years Ago
Linn 5125Linn's new 5125 "Class V" power amplifier provides five channels of amplification. Due to the efficiency of "Class V" power, the amplifier operates at cool temperatures to provide 125 watts per channel into 8 ohms, 250 watts per channel into 4 ohms or a maximum output of up to 500 watts are available with all five channels driven. According to Linn "Class V amplification combines three key Linn technologies - fast Switch Mode Power Supplies, high-density linear power amplifiers and digitally controlled signal processing. Class V operation modulates the Linn Switch Mode Power Supply output to deliver true audiophile performance while minimizing waste heat. The Linn 5125 is immune to mains power interference and irregularities." While the 5125 can be used to provide five channel of amplification within a standard surround sound system, the 5125 can also accept standard Linn stereo and mono active cards. Both black and silver finishes are available.

Specifications:
. 5-channel Class V modular power amplifier
. Voltage range 115 > 230 VAC
. Power consumption in standby 10W
. Maximum power output per channel 250W into
  4 Ohms and 125W into 8 Ohms
. Dimension H 3 inches x W 15 inches x D 14 inches
. Weight 13 lbs.

 

07 / 06 / 11

  Fine Sounds SpA, owner of Sonus Faber, Audio Research Corporation and Wadia Digital, announced today that it has acquired 100% of Sumiko (Vertical Cubed) the Berkeley, CA based distribution company serving the high-end audio trade. The current owners of Sumiko, Donald Brody and John Hunter, will take seats on the board of Fine Sounds SpA. Sumiko will remain the exclusive North America distributor for all its existing lines, which are an extremely complementary mix of prestigious brand names: Sonus Faber (loudspeakers), REL (sub-bass systems), Pro-Ject Audio Systems (turntables and electronics), SME (turntables and tonearms), Sumiko Phono Cartridges and Okki Nokki (record cleaning machines). The REL and Wolf Cinema brands are still owned by Messrs. Donald Brody and John Hunter. While REL enters into an agreement to be distributed by Fine Sounds globally, Wolf Cinema will remain independent. Fine Sounds fully supports Sumiko's commitment to its customers and will continue to operate to their benefit, providing increased training and marketing support to the entire portfolio of brands. Mauro Grange, the new Sumiko President remarked, "Fine Sounds views both the USA and China as top priority markets - direct distribution in China is currently managed through Sonus Faber Asia and with the Sumiko acquisition, we now realize direct distribution in North America. Fine Sounds very much appreciates the results that Sumiko has delivered in the past as Sonus Faber's distributor and look forward to working together to maximize the North American market potential. Our goal is to increase connection with, and responsiveness to, our largest markets." Donald Brody and John Hunter said, "We warmly welcome the alliance with Fine Sounds and look forward to the opportunities ahead. As a group we now have much more to offer the high-end specialty dealers who provide the finest in luxury audio to a discriminating clientele."

 

Urbanicity: Concerto for Electric Guitar and Orchestra / The New York VariationsHDtracks is offering David Chesky's new album Urbanicity: Concerto for Electric Guitar and Orchestra / The New York Variations in 24-bit/48kHz at 50% off! There have been ambitious attempts in the past at marrying the audacious power of electric guitar and the throbbing rhythms of rock music with a classically-trained, through-composed sensibility. Sixties rock guitar hero Frank Zappa, leader of the irreverent Mothers of Invention, composed large scale symphonic works like 1967's Lumpy Gravy, 1979's Orchestral Favorites and 1983's London Symphony Orchestra, Vol. 1, though none of those prominently featured the electric guitar. Now we have Grammy-nominated American composer David Chesky on his Concerto for Electric Guitar and Orchestra. "My feeling is, we live in a contemporary age and we need to treat the electric guitar just like a violin," says Chesky. "It is part of our vocabulary today. And for the orchestra world to survive, it needs to be contemporary and reflect the world around it." This is a great album and to get 50% off all you need to do is go to HDtracks, pick the album and click 'apply discount code' and enter EnjoyTheUrbanicity before checking out. Note that once a discount code is applied you cannot add more items to your cart. This code can only be used once per customer and only applies to any digital resolution file format of the Urbanicity albums.

 

Pass Labs XP-30 Preamplifier07 / 05 / 11

  Pass Labs has given a peek at their new XP-30 preamplifier ($16,500) that uses totally separate chassis for each channel plus a power supply chassis. There are five main inputs, which are augmented with a Tape loop, plus 'Master' and 'Slave' outputs. As this is truly a reference preamplifier, all inputs and outputs are both balanced via XLR or unbalanced via RCA. Production of the Pass Labs XP-30 will commence in August 2011. More information coming soon and we here at Enjoy the Music.com will add it here accordingly.

 

 

Schiit Bifrost USB DACSchiit is selling their upgradeable 24-bit/192kHz Bifrost USB 2.0 and S/PDIF DAC unit ($349, with USB option adding $100). The unit is available for pre-order right now, with shipping to commence around early September. The Bifrost is one of the most affordable fully upgradeable DAC, featuring 32-bit D/A conversion, a fully discrete analog section, and "bit-perfect clock management system", together with one of the most advanced asynchronous USB 2.0 input sections available, as well as S/PDIF coaxial and optical inputs, all with 24-bit/192kHz capability. Those seeking the ability to keep up with technology advances will like that the Bifrost's modular design uses separate, snap-in USB Input and DAC/Analog cards so that when USB technology changes, users can simply drop in a new USB Input Card. When meaningful upgrades to D/A converters come out, users can snap in a new DAC/analog Card. The Bifrost is covered by a limited warranty that covers parts and labor for five years and comes standard with the Crystal Semiconductor CS8416 input receiver, C-Media CM6631 D/A Conversion for USB and analog via AKM4399. Filtering is fully discrete and DC coupled. Output is via unbalanced RCA with an overall frequency response from 2 Hz to 100 kHz. Dimensions are 9 x 6.75 x 2.25 (inches) and weight is 5 lbs.

 

07 / 01 / 11

  Enjoy the Music.com's July issue is now online and features T.H.E. Show Newport Beach report, plus world premiere high-end audiophile equipment reviews and many music reviews. We also have cool videos on how vinyl records are made and two more videos about tube manufacturing! See the July issue by clicking here.

Review Magazine
Regular Reading
Daily News: Audiophile news updated each weekday!

The B A S Speaker
Lies, Damn Lies, And Specifications
Article By David J. Weinberg

Sound Practices
The Core Issues: Choosing A Power Transformer
Article By Michael S. LaFevre Of MagneQuest Transformer Company

VALVE Magazine
The Venerable Dynaco Stereo 70
Article By Dan Schmalle

Show Reports
T.H.E. Show Newport (The Home Entertainment Show) 2011
Southern California high-end audio event!
Report By Steven R. Rochlin

Viewpoint
In This Issue...
Of Codecs And Firmware Plus T.H.E. Show In Newport Beach
Article By Steven R. Rochlin

Audiolics Anonymous Chapter 140
My new home music server project and the M2Tech Young 384-32 D-A converter.
Article By Dr. Bill Gaw

Manufacturer
A Video Tutorial
How Vinyl Records Are Made.

Cool Vintage Video!
Electrons On Parade... RCA: How tubes are made and how they work

Superior Audio Equipment
World Premiere!
Von Schweikert VR-35 Export Deluxe Loudspeakers
Uniquely designed for exceptional sound.
Review By Anthony Nicosia

North American Premiere!
Naim Audio NDX Network Player
An astoundingly plausible and persuasive network audio player!
Review By Malcolm Steward

Coincident Statement Line Stage
Glorious music from this Statement Line Stage.
Review By Rick Becker

SQ Products SQ-H10 Loudspeaker
Transparency, life, dynamics and punch.
Review by Wayne Zufall

Audiophile Equipment Reviews
World Premiere!
Napa Acoustic Mistral MT-34 Integrated Tube Stereo Amplifier
A wonderful unit that the wife will love!
Review By Alfred Roy Fredel

Wharfedale Diamond 10.7 Loudspeakers
An incredible value at only $1299 per pair and earn my highest recommendation!
Review By Tom Lyle

Neko Audio D100 Digital To Analog Converter
The Cat Is Out Of The Bag
Review By Nels Ferre

Audiomods Rega RB250-251 Arm Conversions
Rega arm owners or wannabees take note...also available in DIY!
Review By Nels Ferre

D.I.Y. Audio
Choosing A Power Transformer
Article By Michael S. LaFevre Of MagneQuest Transformer Company

DIY Open Baffle With Widerange Drivers
A.K.A. The third ugliest amazing speaker you'll ever see.
Article By Jeff Poth

Modifying A Marantz CD-80 CD Player
A blow by blow account of taking a venerable CD player and giving it a new lease of life.
Article By Thorsten Loesch

The Xenover Part II
Article And Design By Grey Rollins

Music Reviews
Classical Music
MTT-SFS present a challenging but rewarding disc of Copland and Charles Ives.
Review By Joe Milicia

Django revisited in superb style.
Review By Phil Gold

Two formidable young virtuoso pianists tackle major romantic warhorses, with mixed results.
Review By Max Westler

Angela Hewitt plays Schumann.
Review By Phil Gold

Jazz, Folk, Bluegrass, Blues, Etc By Steven Stone
Scott Gibson Just Keep Drivin'

The Grascals The Grascals + Friends

Kentucky Thunder ‘Bout Damn Time

Tim Mahoney Live From The Sky

Various Bluegrass, Blues And Jazz Albums

Rock, Techno, House, etc.
The Don Howard Band Poet's Road
Review By Gigi Krop

KC And The Sunshine Band KC And The Sunshine Band
Mobile Fidelity 150 gram vinyl.
Review By Claude Lemaire

Pacifika Asunción and Supermagique
Review By Claude Lemaire

Jah Wobble & The Nippon Dub Ensemble Japanese Dub
Review By Claude Lemaire

 

See the July Review Magazine by clicking here.


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