High-End Audio, High Fidelity Audiophile Industry News
07 / 31 / 14
Drobo has launched their Drobo Mini with Solid State Disk (SSD) drives delivering as much as 80% more performance compared to a Mini configured with traditional spinning hard drives. Available in 1TB, 2TB and 4TB configurations (starting at $1199 with four 256GB SSD drives), the Drobo Mini is the first portable, rugged and expandable SSD solution for those who need to have protected data while on location. The Drobo Mini connects via Thunderbolt or USB 3.0 and features four 2.5" SSD drive bays with an mSATA accelerator option in a package that is rugged, compact and portable, weighing less than three pounds. Like all Drobo products, Drobo Mini protects data without user intervention, even in the event of multiple SSD drive failures. If a drive does fail, Drobo Mini automatically repairs itself and returns to a protected state while providing full access to data without performance being affected. Additional security is provided with battery backup that protects against data loss in the event of a sudden power outage ensuring that all data in flight is protected until power is restored. Future scalability is ensured as smaller capacity SSDs can be increase with a larger capacity drive within the array.
07 / 30 / 14
DTS' Play-Fi has added McIntosh, Sonus Faber, and Wadia to their wireless audio ecosystem. Play-Fi technology brings Internet radio and music up to 192kHz/24-bit to Play-Fi's homewide wireless audio distribution system. Play-Fi technology works over standard Wi-Fi networks, which means you can stream music from your smartphone, tablet or home audio system wirelessly. You use the free Play-Fi app to set up, link and control speakers around the house. DTS' Play-Fi ecosystem handles multi-room, multi-zone, and multi-user listening experience synchronized with no lag. Exceptional sound quality upwards of 192kHz/24-bit ensures wireless transmissions of high-quality lossless audio with no impact on sound quality. There are Play-Fi apps for Android, iOS, and Kindle Fire that give you access to over 20,000 radio stations, podcasts, local music, media servers, and select cloud-based music services. Set-up, link and control all of the speakers on the network from the same streamlined interfaces. "With the Play-Fi platform's strong roster of integrated content services and flexibility to synchronize products from a wide range of leading audio brands all on one home network, Play-Fi delivers on our promise of offering the industry a platform that promotes a new competitive, yet cooperative landscape for creating connected audio products that seamlessly work together," said Dannie Lau, General Manager, Play-Fi Division, DTS.
TACET's new CD title Noume -- Pflaumenblüten in der Heide features Japanese Art Songs by Nihon Kakyoku, Teru Yoshihara on baritone and Felix Romankiewicz on piano. The press release asks, "What European can judge whether or not music is typically Japanese? Original Japanese music has been suppressed since the mid-19th century and almost completely disappeared. European, especially German music, was considered the ideal. Since the, Japanese music has almost always sounded like a variant of European music, not infrequently a bit kitschy. Now a Japanese singer, Teru Yoshihara, has come to Germany, surely also because he loves the German or European lied tradition. He has lived here for a while and began at some point to dig up Japanese art songs and make them known. He occupied himself with Japanese articulation and playing techniques, became acquainted with Japanese composers and disseminated their works. And miraculously, he has removed a bit of the European veil that had previously hung over Japanese music."
Industry News 10 Years Ago
07 / 29 / 14
Audio Note UK will begin releasing their new range of exclusively designed and manufactured electrolytic capacitors in September 2014. As discussed last month within our Enjoy the Music.TV interview, these new audio grade capacitors exceed those of the no longer available Black Gate models. The first model to be made available will be the standard Audio Note UK Electrolytic Audio Capacitor, closely followed in October by the Audio Note UK KAISEI Audio Capacitor. The Standard Audio Note UK Electrolytic Capacitors are said to "represent the starting level in our new range, we have found them to provide considerably better sound quality than any other currently available high voltage electrolytic capacitor, from any manufacturer. They achieve this excellent level of performance by combining a high quality electrolyte with the best available standard paper and a specially developed foil. The result is a 500 Volt capacitor of exceptional quality and price, suitable for use in any high voltage power supply application." The Standard Audio Note UK Electrolytic Capacitor Range starts with two values, consisting of a 22uF/500 volt (£2.50) and 100uF/500 volt (£6.50). Audio Note UK will release 50uF/500 volt and 5uF/500 volt versions in October 2014 and more values will follow later. The upper range Audio Note UK KAISEI Audio Quality Electrolytic Capacitors has been developed over the past four years in collaboration with the engineering team at Rubycon (of Black Gate fame). Audio Note UK says, "Whilst working on our top of the line Black Gate replacements (which should be released in the second half of 2015) we realised that it would be possible to put together a range of more affordable capacitors that use all of the same materials as these supreme components (the same special electrolyte, foil and construction quality) apart from the hyper expensive and extremely difficult to produce Graphite impregnated paper. So the only difference between the KAISEI capacitors and the forthcoming Black Gate replacements is that the paper is not Graphite impregnated in the KAISEI; otherwise they are the same." The Audio Note UK KAISEI range will be available around early October and will start with four values that include 5uF/500 volt (£8), 22uF/500 volt (£16), 50uF/500 volt (£30) and 100uF/500 volt (£40). Enjoy the Music.TV's interview with Peter Qvortrup of Audio Note UK last month is below.
07 / 28 / 14
Demand Better Audio (dba), based in Northamptonshire (UK) and led by 25 year audio veteran and chief Acoustician/Tonmeister Daniel A. Burns, offers their Envy 1, 2 and 3 carbon fiber speakers (£549, £2999 and £4999 respectively). The Envy 1, 2 and 3 speakers are engineered to the company's highest level. At the heart of the Envy range is the one-piece, carbon fiber sphere enclosure – a true departure from the traditional, boxy approach to speaker construction. The company feels that the results are stunning in terms of both function and appearance. Realistic sound reproduction can be heard regardless of the speaker's position in a room according to dba, since the design naturally minimizes audio anomalies such as diffraction and coloration often found in box-type speakers. For the Envy range, dba has partnered with MCT Ltd, one of the world's leading composite material specialists who provide components to many of today's leading F1 teams and car manufacturers. This gives dba access to precision-engineering expertise, and to the same type of carbon fiber, aluminum, Kevlar, adhesives and anti-vibration membranes found in F1 cars. For example, the Envy's carbon fiber spheres are produced in the same autoclaves used for making parts for Grand Prix cars. The midrange sounds is provided by an 80mm woven carbon super-wide driver. Bass comes from a 3" voice coil, which is specially-shaped for optimum response and dispersion (with the centre-section radiating the highest frequencies, and the outer portion producing lower tones). For models with a tweeter, dba uses the RT1C-A, which is a Hi-Vi planar-type driver.
AudioValve's new Verto (€690) serves as a specially designed amplifier for dynamic and electrostatic headphones. A high-end transformer in step-up mode aids in producing the high voltage for the STAX electrostatic headphones within the RKV models II and III. One transformer per channel drives low impedance headphones (< 100 Ohm), with the RKV III having transformers mounted inside the case, whereas the RKV II 'impedancer' can be bought as a separate box. Inductance and capacitance of the transformer can harm the sound and thus Pikatron output transformers they use have very little stray inductances and capacitances. To avoid distortion, AudioValve use only low step-up ratio of 1 to 5. Low output impedances are critical, says the company, to achieve high quality sound. The Verto supports the current Stax Pro plug with 580 V DC bias as well as the former bias of 300 V used by older Stax headphones. The higher PRO bias uses a 5 Pin connector, the 300 V DC bias can be identified by a 6 Pin headphone plug at the end of the headphone cable. To increase the versatility, AudioValve implemented a switch for 8 Ohm and 32 Ohm. This allows for high efficient loudspeakers as well as headphones with low impedance. There are two combi jackets phone plug and XLR for dynamic and planar headphones. Loudspeaker terminals allow users to connect speaker spades or bananas. Frequency response is up to 100 kHz and the unit's dimensions are 110 x 105 x 165 (WxHxD in cm). with a weight of 4.4 lbs and options include silver or black case and chrome or golden mode switch.
07 / 25 / 14
Win Kimber Kable's High-Precision Select Series KS2416 USB Cable!
Enjoy the Music.com and Kimber Kable have teamed up to give away their special Select series KS2416 USB cable! Kimber Kable's Select KS2416 USB cable can lift the veil that separates you from your music with this handcrafted USB audio cable. Kimber Kable's artisan approach to every single detail of the production of the KS2416 is said to deliver awesome improvements in sound quality that simply cannot be achieved by mass produced machine-built cables. Your music will come alive before you as the KS2416 lowers the noise floor and increases the dynamics across the entire tonal range. The KS2514 features a very unique braided geometry of their special VariStrand conductors. These are specially-designed solid core copper conductors to ensure the purity of signal quality transmission. Learn more and claim your chance to win by clicking here.
07 / 24 / 14
Legacy Audio handcrafts their new Silhouette ($3960 per pair) 4.5" deep on-wall/in-wall loudspeaker design. They specially engineered the Silhouette to produce high quality sound including the lower octaves, which can be missing in many on-wall/in-wall products. This three-way design features a newly engineered 10" low-profile long-excursion woofer and pneumatically coupled radiator that provides the foundation for the high acceleration 7" silver/graphite midrange driver. Treble is produced by the 4" Legacy AMT ribbon, which boasting a high-temperature pleated Kapton diaphragm and neodymium motor. The internal crossover divides the spectrum at 250 Hz and 2.5kHz, precisely where the wall boundary creates a strong dip in the response of conventional speakers. This compensation in the electrical network is said to allow for the appropriate response at the listening position. Legacy Audio says the result is a speaker that does not sound like an on-wall with staging beyond the wall. The loudspeaker's overall profile appears thinner due to the anti-diffractive contoured edges. French cleat-mounting brackets make for quick installation on the wall surface. System directivity is 60 degrees horizontally and 45 degrees vertically. Frequency response is from 48 Hz to 28 kHz, sensitivity is 92dB/W/m, and dimensions are 36.6" x 15.5" x 4.5" (HxWxD). Each speaker weighs 49 lbs and comes with a 10 year warranty.
Industry News 10 Years Ago
07 / 23 / 14
Enjoy the Music.com has just posted Hi-Fi World's September 2014 edition including the complete editorial and table of contents. This issue includes reviews of the Beatles Sessions, Graham Audio LS5/9 monitor, Sony SRS-X9 hi-res wireless speaker, Arcam FMJ AVR 750 AV receiver, Parasound Halo CD1 and more! The editorial by Noel Keywood says, "If you use headphones, you owe it to yourself to hear a valve headphone amplifier – and we review a great one on p22. It'll drive any phones, no matter how insensitive and exotic, and give that lovely big, spacious and liquid smooth sound only valves offer." See the complete September table of contents and editorial of Hi-Fi World by clicking here.
07 / 22 / 14
The RIAA's new paper called Labels At Work: The Music Business In The Digital Age focuses on how major record labels are still doing their best to find great artists and helping them reach their creative potential while also connecting them to fans. The difference is that the RIAA clams to embracing new digital tools to do a better job than ever before. In a sense, the RIAA says they are "essentially venture capitalists for music: investing in the great, unknown artists of today so they can become the superstars of tomorrow. We've built digital networks to wire the 21st Century music business, digitize recordings, and connect seamlessly to retailers and services selling and streaming digital and mobile music. The result is a new, leaner, more nimble music business – one that gives our artists broader reach, creates new ways for them to earn a living from the work they love, and empowers fans to find and enjoy more music in more ways than ever. We're still evolving, but a quick glance over the last decade or so proves that we're on the right track. Over 2500 digital services licensed and operational today. $13.4 billion has been spent by major labels to find new artists and help them reach an audience. $20 billion has been spent by major labels on artist and songwriting royalties. Artist royalties paid by major labels increased over 36% as a share of major labels' net sales and gross licensing revenue. Songwriting royalties paid by major labels increased 44%. You can read the entire paper in PDF form at this link.
Apple has just announced their Eighth Annual iTunes Festival in London. Scheduled to be held at the legendary Roundhouse for 30 days with today's biggest artists including Maroon 5, Pharrell Williams, Beck, Sam Smith, Blondie, Kylie, David Guetta, 5 Seconds of Summer, Calvin Harris, Chrissie Hynde and many more, the festival is returning to the UK for an eighth year. The iTunes Festival will feature over 60 acts throughout September at the legendary Roundhouse and iTunes performances can be watched live or on-demand by millions of iOS users around the world on their iPhone, iPad or iPod touch and iTunes on their computer or in stunning HD with Apple TVR. Tickets are free for competition winners only. "The iTunes Festival in London is back with another stunning line-up of world class performers and tremendous new acts," said Eddy Cue, Apple's senior vice president of Internet Software and Services. "These live shows capture the heart and soul of iTunes and we love bringing them to our customers in the Roundhouse, as well as to the millions of people watching all over the world for free."
Pioneer's new PLX-1000 DJ quality direct drive turntable ($699) has a user-friendly control layout, high-torque direct drive system and is designed for high sound quality. As a DJ style turntable, it also has tempo control with variable width levels. The DJ quality Pioneer PLX-1000 direct drive analog turntable is designed for those who enjoy the look, feel, and performance of vinyl for music playback. The PLX-1000 provides DJ styling with quick tempo control capability on the right side of the player, start/stop button on the left side, and a high-torque platter with a lighted speed guide The direct drive mechanism of the Pioneer PLX-1000 provides high-torque resulting in stable rotation and exceptional control. The turntable can achieve a torque of at least 4.5kg/cm and can reach its fixed rotation speed within 0.3 seconds (at 33.3 rpm). To create a stable player and prevent vibration, Pioneer utilized a heavy-mass zinc die-cast chassis for the top section of the player, reinforced with a bottom section made of 8mm thick resin. The base of the unit was further enforced with 9mm thick vibration-damping material that results in extremely stable playback. The tonearm also received great attention in build quality and design to maximize performance, using rubber insulation to minimize howling effects during audio playback. The RCA jacks feature gold-plated machine-cut parts for low impedance and excellent sound quality output. A range of tempo adjustments from ±8% and ±16% to ±50%, giving users a range of pitch speeds. A 'RESET' button for tempo sits next to the tempo slider for instant ±0% fixed rotation speed.
CBC/Radio-Canada has a Q exclusive interview with Tom Petty as they discuss his ongoing career, digitized music, and how things have changed within music and the industry over the years. This three-part interview provides a glimpse into "his creative process, reflects on how the forthcoming album by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers compares to those before it, and laments the rise of digital music." Tom Petty has earned 3 Grammy awards, 17 Grammy nominations and has been recognized within the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The article says, "In an era where a lot of popular music is either made by or listened to on computers, Petty says that he's 'annoyed' that most people don't get to hear the music at its best." Tom Petty says, "What I don't like is with the digitization is that people aren't hearing quality sound, you know. The consumer's not getting what I hear everyday, which is just miles above, say, an MP3 or what most people are hearing -- their music off their phone or their computer." Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers July 29th release of their latest album, Hypnotic Eye, will be available worldwide and the band will once again be touring to support the new album. You can see the video interview at this link.
07 / 21 / 14
Australian Hi-Fi's July / August issue is now online here at Enjoy the Music.com. This issue includes reviews of the Bryston 28B SST² 2000 watt per channel power amplifier, YBA Heritage CD100 CD player/DAC, Rotel RA-12 integrated amplifier, B&W CM10 loudspeakers, and Clearaudio Performance DC turntable. The editorial When Radio Isn't Radio by Noel Keywood says, "The other week I received a press release from Apple about its new 'iTunes Radio' in which the company claimed 'When you tune into iTunes Radio... you'll have access to stations inspired by the music you already listen to, featured stations curated by Apple and genre-focused stations that are personalised just for you.' Maybe it was a bit late in the day, or maybe it was just because it was Apple, but I suddenly found myself annoyed with Apple for its temerity in using the word 'radio' to describe its new iTunes service—even if it did include a trademark symbol." See the complete table of contents and editorial of Australian Hi-Fi by clicking here.
07 / 19 / 14
Why is the high-end audio industry still using low-fi, over half century old RCA connector?
Dear High-End Audio Manufacturers,
QUESTION: Why are high-end audio manufacturers and cable companies still using the low-fi, over half century old RCA connection system? The RCA was designed in the 1940's as a low-end, low cost system. One problem with the RCA connector is that during normal use when you connect the male into the female jack the inner 'hot' (signal) connection is made before the 'cold' (ground) connection. Another problem with the RCA connectors is that each signal requires its own plug. Is there a better way? What about S/PDIF and the precision 75 Ohms specification, which is not what the RCA connector was designed for impedance-wise. We look forward to high-end audio manufacturers defending their use for the RCA system, or your reasons for taking steps to eliminate it within your products. We look forward to your replies by sending us an e-mail and we may add your comments within our August Review Magazine. As always, in the end what really matters is that you...
Enjoy the Music,
Steven R. Rochlin
07 / 18 / 14
Marantz's new PM7005 integrated stereo amplifier ($999) delivers 80 Wpc into 4 Ohm and easily handles virtually all digital file formats plus there's a MM phonostage. The PM7005 includes high-grade audio components, current feedback HDAMs and a high-speed instantaneous current power supply. A DAC-mode features TosLink optical and S/PDIF coaxial digital inputs as well as a USB-B port. This allows users to directly connect a computer to the PM7005 and benefit from its high-quality DAC CS4398 and its HDAM-SA3 module-equipped audio output stage. Amplification operates as a soundcard for the computer and the USB-B port works in asynchronous mode and 'bit-perfect' to support 192kHz/24-bit and DSD 2.8/5.6 MHz high-resolution audio. Selected high quality audio components and used throughout this design including a strong power supply with high current type Schottky diode. Marantz gold-plated solid brass speaker terminals SPKT-1 ensure solid connection. An included system remote controls Amplifier, CD-Player and Network Player functions.
Pro Audio Technology (PRO) has announced their LFC-12v subwoofer that is built to fit inside the walls of your home or a business to deliver deep bass. This new architectural subwoofer is PRO's slimmest and most affordable model to date (no price given). It is designed to be ideal performer when space is an issue or multiple in-wall subs are desired. PRO's high-sensitivity 96dB/W/m architectural subwoofer is equipped with a 12-inch, 700 Watt driver and achieves a maximum output of 117dB from a 6" deep cabinet. The professional-grade 12-inch driver employed in PRO's LFC-12v includes a high-powered motor system designed with the most demanding music and movie soundtracks in mind. Its over-sized, four-inch voice coil aids with heat dissipation, improving the thermal stability of the driver, thus allowing the LFC-12v to handle long periods of high output playback without over-heating and with no threat of sonic compression or damage. The subwoofer's four front-firing free-flow ports enhance the LFC-12v's low-frequency extension and output, resulting in a highly dynamic listening experience. At 14" wide and 6" deep, the LFC-12v's enclosure is designed to fit into a standard stud bay. This subwoofer is designed for use with PRO's DSP driven amplifier / processors yet of course cab be driven by any number of gear with or without DSP and/or room correction. Frequency response is from 22 to 80 Hz and overall dimensions are 60" x 14" x 6" (HxWxD).
07 / 17 / 14
Wireworld Cable Technology has released their Platinum Starlight 7 and Silver Starlight 7 USB cable ($700 and $300 respectively for 1 meter length). The Silver Starlight 7 USB features the same DNA Helix design with six silver-clad OFC conductors and aluminum connectors. The addition of Composilex 2 insulation is claimed to make them "dramatically quieter" and their upgraded DNA Helix design increases their transmission speed to 10.2Gbps+. These advantages are said to minimize jitter, which maximizes the musical realism of high resolution PCM and DSD music files. Both the Platinum and Silver versions employ Wireworld's patented DNA Helix design with six signal conductors -- twice as many as other USB cables -- arranged in a newly expanded symmetrical geometry that channels more electromagnetic energy to exceed 10.2Gbps transmission speed. The Composilex 2 insulation reduces triboelectric noise in the signal conductors and it also triples the noise-absorption of the isolated power conductor to produce surprisingly lifelike tone color and imaging. Both cables also feature molded carbon fiber connectors and are available in lengths from 0.3 to 5 meters in A to B and A to mini B configurations.
KRK Systems' new ROKIT powered Generation 3 studio monitor series (ROKIT G3) draws on their experience in designing monitoring solutions for professional recording studios. Available with five-inch, six-inch, or eight-inch drivers, this line of two-way active monitors features multiple innovations including a custom designed lightweight yellow composite woofer. KRK ROKIT G3's unique tuning process treats the woofer, cabinet and port as a single, integrated whole that provides extreme vocal clarity with extended bass response. Furthermore, the ROKIT G3's enhanced class A/B bi-amplification system has been optimized to maximize headroom without increasing distortion. An upgraded one-inch soft-dome tweeter provides response up to 35 kHz, while KRK's optimized and proprietary waveguide technology helps to "deliver superior stereo imaging with a wider sweet spot." The top line ROKIT G8 has a frequency response from 35 Hz to 35 kHz and a maximum SPL of 109dB aided by the included 75 watt amp for bass and a 25 watt amp for the tweeter. High frequency adjustments include -2, -1, 0 and +1 dB. For input duties the user has a choice of unbalanced RCA, balanced 1/4" TRS and XLR connectors.
Industry News 10 Years Ago
07 / 16 / 14
It has finally been confirmed that Tom Hanks will be playing the role of Neil Peart in an upcoming Rush biography called Moving Pictures: The Rush Story. Touchstone Pictures is finally going to make this much-talked about project a reality that will span the band's multi-decade twists and turn. This will probably include the dark years when within about a year Neil's daughter and wife passed away. These events devastated Neil and he took time off and motorcycled around the world and contemplated life. "Of all the movies I have ever been in, this was by far the most challenging role I've ever accepted,” said Tom Hanks. "The hardest part of this role was doing all his own stunts. I actually had to play all the drums myself. Do you know how hard it was to play "La Villa Strangiato"? Well, that and having to sit through the guys who are auditioning to play Geddy Lee do 37 takes of "Finding My Way." The final release date is set for 2016 and word has it Touchstone Pictures are looking for an actor who looks like Geddy Lee.
07 / 15 / 14
Y B NRML? There's a new way to get custom made in-ear monitors (IEM) without needing to go to an audiologist or getting something squirted within your ear. Normal is a new manufacturer based in New York City and they have devised a way to get their customers custom IEMs by taking a photo of your ear via their app ($199). The outer housing features special UV coated ABS/PC inner cabinet and CNC anodized aluminum outer cabinet plus 3D printed ABS soft touch coated earform round out their design. This IEM has a bass tube, coaxial connector and lastly the CNC anodized aluminum cable housing. On the cable is a three button remote control and gold plated 3.5 mm jack. Their website says, "Your earholes are unique pieces of cartilage. Thus, your Normals work only for you. Get the app. The process is simple and quick. The end result is as complex as your listening caves. Without giving away secrets, we use nerdalicious software and 3D printing to sculpt each one-of-a-kind pair. In general, leakage is never good. Especially when it comes to sound. A proper fit helps every single note go directly into your sound craters. No noise left behind!" You can also choose a color such as red, green, yellow, blue, black, pink or gray. There is a three-button control that works with any smartphone to handle play, pause, answer a call, or turn up the tunes. Internally, Normal uses a 14 mm neodymium dynamic driver with a sensitivity of 109dB/mW with an impedance of 32 Ohms. Frequency response is from 20 Hz to 20 kHz.
07 / 14 / 14
The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) has opened registration for the International CES 2015 event. CES is open to members of the industry and is scheduled to be held from January 6th through 9th, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Like last year, attendees can pick up badges at more than 25 designated locations in Las Vegas. Key pickup locations include McCarran International Airport baggage claim areas, official show hotels and 2015 CES exhibit venues. Attendees will receive a confirmation code upon completing their registration form in its entirety that will help expedite their badge pick up. The International CES draws more than 150,000 people including industry executives, retail buyers, content providers, entertainment executives, venture capitalists, engineers, government officials and media from around the world. "The 2015 International CES is the proving ground of innovation and this January's event promises to be an amazing hands-on experience," said Karen Chupka, senior vice president, International CES and corporate business strategy, CEA. "We encourage attendees to register now and to start making travel plans to ensure the greatest choice of flights and hotel rooms." You can register at this link
07 / 11 / 14
Neil Young is the new Chief Operating Officer (CEO) of PonoMusic, replacing John Hamm who aided the company to reach over $6.2 million within their KickStarter campaign. The Pono Player is a battery powered portable unit that handles high resolution stereo music files up to 24-bit/192kHz. Rick Cohen becomes CEO of innovative music ecosystem dedicated to "reconnecting your soul to music" by delivering music from the best available sources – including the original studio masters. PonoMusic has hired recording engineer Bruce Botnick as Head of Content Acquisition. "I appreciated the opportunity to lead the company and support Neil's mission" said Mr. John Hamm. "I remain an investor in the company and look forward to the continued success of the movement". The companion to the PonoPlayer hardware is the company's PonoMusic website where music will be for sale in a variety of higher than CD's 16-bit/44.1kHz digital resolution, which is vastly superior to the highly lossy mp3 files sold on many sites today. The software and hardware teams within PonoMusic, led by Pedram Abrari and Phil Baker, respectively, will remain in place. Bruce Botnik, whose storied career includes producing work with the Rolling Stones, the Doors and Love – as well as a partnership with film composer Jerry Goldsmith for over 100 movies – will be spearheading PonoMusic's relationship with both large and independent labels. Content acquisition is core to the company's strategic vision.
Sonos multi-room wireless audio system has added SoundCloud music service for Beta testers. SoundCloud enables millions of listeners around the globe to discover original music, connect with each other and share their own sounds. SoundCloud is the world's leading social sound platform where anyone can create sounds and share them everywhere. Recording and uploading sounds to SoundCloud lets people easily share them privately with their friends or publicly to blogs, sites, social networks, and are all now available on Sonos too. Musical artists on SoundCloud include unknown artists putting their first demos into the world to bands debuting their latest singles, to podcasters, comedians, news outlets and more. With 12 hours of music and audio uploaded to SoundCloud's platform every minute, Sonos helps to expand your world of listening by freeing those sounds from computers and devices, giving millions of homes a direct way to stream to high fidelity audio system(s). Sonos users can use Universal Search on the new Sonos controller app to stumble upon music from your favorite artists on SoundCloud that they may never have heard before. SoundCloud's is a free service and now offered in Beta on Sonos by visiting 'Add Music Services' in the new Sonos app.
DEVO The Men Who Make The Music / Butch Devo & The Sundance Gig
will be available on DVD and digital formats August 12 for $14.95. The Men Who Make
The Music combines concert footage from Devo's 1978 tour with music videos and interstitials featuring a vague story about
Devo's rocky relationship with "Big Entertainment." As for the bonus program, Butch Devo and the Sundance Gig, Jerry Casale says, "In January of '96, we closed Sundance Film Festival. We wore 20s style prison suits and dished out classic
Devo songs to an unsuspecting audience of Hollywood elite." The video, in total, features 144 minutes of music, performances and talk with
Devo members and is mastered in 5.1 surround sound.
07 / 10 / 14
Enjoy the Music.com just posted Hi-Fi+'s July edition filled with many great equipment and music reviews plus think pieces. This issue includes equipment reviews of the Amgiella 12 turntable and 12" tonearm, Final Audio Design Pandora VI headphones, Constellation Audio Persus phono preamplifier, AURALiC MERAK monoblock amplifier, Revel Performa M105 speakers, HRT Music Streamer III USB DAC, Black Rhodium and Star USB cables and much more! In his editorial, Alan Sircom says "The Munich High-End Show is the most important audio event of the year now. It long since eclipsed CES for high-end audio, and sees big hitter distributors, dealers, and press the world over walk the halls of the M.O.C. for the Next Big Thing. As a result, the show is bigger and better than ever. It's become so big in fact that you need a large team to cover it all, if that's even possible." See the July issue of Hi-Fi+ by clicking here.
07 / 09 / 14
Reference Recordings is excited to offer their second release within the new "Pittsburgh Live!" Series with Manfred Honeck and the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. This is a hybrid Super Audio CD, with SACD 5.1 and Stereo CD. Dvořák • Janáček with Manfred Honeck and the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra features Antonin Dvořák's Symphony No. 8 in G Major, Op. 88 and Leoš Janáček with Symphonic Suite from "Jenůfa". This thrilling live performances from the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra is captured in incredible high fidelity with true high resolution sound quality. For more than 116 years, the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra has been known for its artistic excellence and has a rich history of the world's finest conductors and musicians. This release and the entire "Pittsburgh Live!" Series are recorded and mastered by the team at Soundmirror, whose outstanding orchestral, solo, opera, and chamber recordings have received over 70 Grammy nominations and awards! Soundmirror has recorded for every major classical record label, now including Reference Recordings. FRESH! is part of Reference Recordings' mission to encourage their artists and give them a strong platform for promotion/sales nationally and internationally.
Music Vault's YouTube channel now offers over 12,000 live concerts from classic performances. Music Vault presents one of the greatest selection of exclusive live performances from legendary artists and new favorite bands. Music Valut's YouTube channel now provides videos and playlists that are hand-curated and added daily from "the largest live music collection in the world". Now available are The Who I Can't Explain from their 07/07/70 performance at Tanglewood, Van Morrison Tupelo Honey from the band's 02/01/79 performance at Belfast, Santana Soul Sacrifice during their 12/10/76 performance at Ernst-Merck-Halle and many, many more. Music Vault has been busy during the last two years "restoring, transferring, mixing and mastering thousands of tapes from (their) enormous archive". You can enjoy over 2000 hours of live music now on their impressive YouTube channel. Enjoy the music!
Industry News 10 Years Ago
07 / 08 / 14
TAVES 2014 (Toronto Audio Video Entertainment Show) will be held from October 31st through November 2nd at the Sheraton Centre Hotel in Toronto, Canada. High-end home audio/video and CANPAX Headphone Show section will be available for all attendees. The CANPAX Headphone Show, Powered by Audio360.org, recognizing the incredible popularity of the headphone category. Designed to attract a larger, more diverse and younger audience to the show, CANPAX will take place inside a dedicated ballroom at TAVES and expects to feature products from a great variety of personal audio brands. Exhibitors can book their exhibit space before July 31 to receive a 15% discount. Doing so, will also enable exhibitors to choose from a greater selection and location of rooms. TAVES' marketing campaign plans include four radio stations, six major print/online magazines, Google ads, a network of nearly 20 enthusiast websites, and of course TAVES' social media network.
07 / 07 / 14
This weekend David Gilmour's wife, Polly Samson, gave the world some great news as after 20 years the truly legendary and world-famous band Pink Floyd will be releasing a new album! Originally formed in 1965, English rock band Pink Floyd gained fame for their progressive and psychedelic music including the groundbreaking albums Dark Side of the Moon and The Wall. Sid Barrett left the band in April 1968 due to his deteriorating mental health, keyboardist Rick Wright left in 1979 and Roger Waters left the band in 1985. Titled The Endless River and planned for release in October 2014, the new album is said to be based on the band's 1994 sessions with their original keyboardist Rick Wright. Rick passed away due to cancer in 2008 at the age of 65. Singer and guitarist David Gilmore, who still remains with the band, has released solo albums over the years. Worldwide fans are already clamoring to hear the upcoming album that will be released in a few month's time.
07 / 04 / 14
Nielsen, an internationally known company that
study consumers in over 100 countries to provide the most complete view of trends and habits, has released their
'Scanning The Audio Demand
Landscape' study. This new study is said to provide new insight into the different kinds of audio consumers and how different types of audio serve those listeners. The study says that "Audio is an integral part of the daily lives of most Americans. According to Nielsen's Audio Today report, more than 244 million of us (aged 12+) listen to radio each week; that's nearly 92 percent of the U.S. population." The study goes on to say that "First and foremost, the Audio Demand Landscape segments audio consumers into six different groups based on their habits and what they're listening for when they tune in. Ranking the groups based on population size (the percentage of all audio consumers they account for) they are:
Discriminating Audiophiles are highly engaged consumers who listen to and prefer a wide variety of audio, and are willing to pay for specific content.
Convenience Seeking Traditionalists prefer broadcast radio, listening to their favorite stations and hosts; and they routinely listen in the car.
Information Seeking Loyalists are heavy broadcast listeners who usually listen to their favorite talk programs for news, education and to stay informed of current events.
Background Driving Defaulters are less engaged and typically have the radio on in the car for background entertainment or occasionally news and information.
Techie Audio Enthusiasts are avid consumers of many types of audio. These listeners are early adopters of new platforms to satisfy their audio needs.
When you consider these groups based on the percent of all audio hours of listening they represent, we see that the Information Seeking Loyalists and the Music Loving Personalizers account for nearly half (47 percent) of all audio consumption.
Not all audio consumers are after the same thing, and their specific wants and desires motivate them to use many kinds of audio. For many years, the industry has focused on demographics as an important indicator of how (and why) listeners tune in, but those areas only cover part of the story. As the audio landscape continues to grow, it's important to consider more than just age and gender. And with an expanded knowledge landscape, everyone from broadcasters to musicians to advertisers will be able to tailor their content and marketing messaging based on the particular type of consumer they are trying to reach. From there, they can match the messaging to the most effective platform, or mix of platforms.
In the just-released Nielsen Entertainment and Billboard's 2014 mid-year music industry report they say overall music consumption -- sales and streaming activity -- are down 3.3% from last year while vinyl sales are up an impressive 40.4%! The 2014 mid-year U.S. music sales airplay and streaming data presented here is for the 6-month period of December 30, 2013 through June 29, 2014. They measures U.S. point-of-sale of recorded music product, tracks U.S. radio airplay and music streams, etc. The report says, "For the first six months of 2014, sales of albums are down 14.9% vs. the first six months of 2013. Vinyl Album Sales and On-Demand streaming continues to show strong gains -- Vinyl LP sales are up 40.4% and overall On-Demand streaming up 42% over last year, with on-demand audio up 50.1% and on-demand video up 35.2%." While the vinyl LP is experiencing double-digit growth, CD album sales are down 19.6%. David Bakula, SVP Nielsen Entertainment, said "With On-Demand streams surpassing 70 billion songs in the first six months of 2014, streaming continues to be an increasingly significant portion of the music industry. Streaming's 42% year over year growth and Vinyl LP's 40% increase over last year's record-setting pace shows interest in buying and consuming music continues to be robust, with two very distinct segments of the industry expanding substantially."
07 / 03 / 14
It was 35 years ago that Sony released the first Walkman, the TPS-L2 battery powered cassette player with headphones. To quote Wikipedia, "The original Walkman introduced a change in music listening habits by allowing people to carry music with them and listen to music through lightweight headphones. The prototype was built in 1978 by audio-division engineer Nobutoshi Kihara for Sony co-chairman Masaru Ibuka, who wanted to be able to listen to operas during his frequent trans-Pacific plane trips. The original Walkman was marketed in 1979 as the Walkman in Japan and, from 1980, the Soundabout in many other countries including the US, Freestyle in Sweden and the Stowaway in the UK. Advertising, despite all the foreign languages, still attracted thousands of buyers in the US specifically. Morita hated the name "Walkman" and asked that it be changed, but relented after being told by junior executives that a promotion campaign had already begun using the brand name and that it would be too expensive to change... The marketing of the Walkman introduced the idea of 'Japanese-ness' into global culture, synonymous with miniaturization and high-technology. The "Walk-men" and "Walk-women" in advertisements were created to be the ideal reflections of the subject watching. The advertising of the Sony Walkman served to portray it as a possession that was not only fashionable but culturally definitive, implicitly one necessary to prove the owner was up to date and financially able to buying newly marketed commercial products, rather than waiting for them to become established and prices to fall. A main component of Walkman advertising campaign was personalization of the device. Having the ability to customize a playlist was a new and exciting revolution in music technology. Potential buyers had the opportunity to choose their perfect match in terms of mobile listening technology. Despite "all this technological diversity, there must be one which is the perfect choice for you". This method of marketing to an extremely expansive user-base while maintaining the idea that the product was made for each individual "[got] the best of all possible worlds—mass marketing and personal differentiation". Sony accomplished the genius feat of mass individualized and targeted advertisement, enabling the Walkman to be recognized as an influential piece of technology." Many years later Steve Jobs, after returning back to Apple after being let go years earlier, once again joined Apple and took the old Walkman idea and applied it to making new devices that employed modern digital audio technology for the 2001 release of the iPod.
07 / 02 / 14
T-Mobile USA is 'setting music free' as they are now offering free data when you use a music streaming service. T-Mobile customers can stream all the music desired to their phone or tablet from top music services including Pandora, iHeartRadio, iTunes Radio, Rhapsody, Spotify, Slacker, and Milk Music. The data used to stream these music services will not go against their 4G LTE data plan. In addition, customers will not need to worry about data overages, data caps, etc. due to enjoying online music. Rhapsody unRadio is the the app from T-Mobile and Rhapsody that the companies hope "reinvent music". You may listen to your favorite songs as much as you want, online and offline. Music lovers also get Unlimited streaming of millions of songs with unlimited skips, and no advertisements. Rhapsody unRadio is included for T-Mobile customers with the company's newest Unlimited 4G LTE plans ($30 data feature), or is $4 a month for all other plans. T-Mobile is asking their customers to speak up and if their fave music service is not included within this new free music streaming plan, they should speak up and let the company know to add it.
Music Industry News 20 Years Ago
Geffen Records will make music history and mark a technological milestone on Monday, June 27, when it becomes the first major record label to enable users of an electronic information service to download for free, in broadcast quality, an entire, never-before-released song from a major artist. Beginning that day, Aerosmith's "Head First" will be available for a limited time via personal computer to the 2 million members of the CompuServe Information Service, the world's largest consumer on-line information service for personal computer users.
"If our fans are out there driving down that information superhighway," says Aerosmith's Steven Tyler, "then we want to be playing at the truck stop. This is the future -- so let's get it going." The rockin' "Head First" was recorded during sessions for the band's most recent album, "Get A Grip," which currently has sales of more than 8 million copies worldwide and reached No. 1 on the "Billboard" pop album charts upon its release last year. "Head First" was produced by Bruce Fairbairn and written by Steven Tyler, Joe Perry and Jim Vallance.
CompuServe members can type GO AEROSMITH to download "Head First." Downloading the 4.3 megabyte file will take approximately 60 to 90 minutes depending on the speed of the user's modem (14.4 or 9.6 kbs). Because of the groundbreaking nature of this event, Aerosmith will be waiving all their royalties for the song, and CompuServe will waive connect-time charges.
"This is an experiment," says Luke Wood of Geffen's marketing department. "We've been providing 30-second song samples for some time and said, 'Why not a whole song?' Now the technology's caught up with the idea."
The idea to make a full-length song available on-line came from Wood and Robert von Goeben of Geffen's graphic arts department, one of the managers of the Geffen section on CompuServe's Music Vendor Forum. "Many users online have been asking for longer and better sound samples," notes von Goeben. "Now we can offer them everything. When I first brought CompuServe to Geffen's attention, I knew it was just a matter of time before we would offer full length songs. It's really exciting." The three minutes and 14 seconds of "Head First" were digitized and then compressed by Jim Griffin, Geffen's head of information technology.
Geffen was one of the first labels to provide sound and graphics through an electronic information service. Since last October , CompuServe members have been able to directly access Geffen Records via its music vendor forum to receive tour schedules, facts about the label's artists and new releases, full-color logos and photographs and 30-second electronic sound samples. Members have been able to write to artists during on-line interviews and leave electronic mail for Geffen staff members.
"We're trying to push the boundaries," says Wood, "and we're committed to exploring this idea and others like it in the future."
07 / 01 / 14
Celebrate Independence Day within the United States of America with McIntosh Music online radio station. This uniquely American online radio stream plays an incredibly diverse selection of music that highlights the country's culture though music. Handcrafted in America since 1949, McIntosh is known for offering distinguished quality audio products, superior customer service and perhaps one of the ultimate experiences in music and film. McIntosh continues to define the ultimate home entertainment experience for discriminating consumers around the world, with the iconic 'McIntosh Blue' Watt Meters globally recognized as the company's trademarked looks. McIntosh has been powering some of the most important moments in music history and pop culture. From President Lyndon Johnson's inauguration speech to Woodstock to the infamous Grateful Dead "Wall of Sound," McIntosh has not only witnessed history, it has shaped it. To continue this renowned heritage, McIntosh is proud to offer the McIntosh Music stream, a 24/7 audio stream dedicated to bringing you the best music from across genres and spanning the decades. All songs and artists are hand selected by McIntosh music experts and presented in a classic McIntosh interface. Listeners can stream directly from their computer or download the dedicated app here. As for the stream's sound quality, "On average McIntosh Music operates at a much higher bitrate than the top streaming music services, optimizing the balance between streaming speed, sound quality and consumer usability," said McIntosh representative Dylon Walker. The stream is online at this link, with downloadable free apps for both Apple and Android devices also available.
Enjoy the Music.com's July Review Magazine features four new video interviews, three world premiere high fidelity audio equipment reviews, two new show reports and much more!
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Which Came First?
A Long Overdue Editorial
Enjoy the Music.TV Interview With
Enjoy the Music.TV Interview With
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T.H.E. Show Newport Beach 2014 Report
T.H.E. Show Newport Beach 2014 Report
Oxygen Free Copper Wire
North American Premiere!
Rega's Top Turntable, The RP10
Vittorio Grigòlo offers a fine recital of French operatic hits.
From Minnesota and noted Sibelian Osmo
Vanska, great-sounding performances
See Enjoy the Music.com's July Review Magazine by clicking here.
For previous high-end audio industry news click
For previous high-end audio industry news click here.