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High-End Audio / Hi-Res Audio (HRA) Audiophile Industry News


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07 / 27 / 18

Furutech Select Series ASB-1 Antistatic Brush For LPs And Optical Discs
Japanese high-end audio company Furutech now offers their ASB-1 ($155) is a static eliminating brush created for audio and video applications. Featuring 'COREBRID B' composite core fibers, a unique highly conductive material developed by Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation, this new brush works by lightly brushing the surface LPs and optical discs. The ASB-1 will remove static charge and at the same time remove any dust from the grooves of LPs. This revolutionary product solves in one simple sweep the problem of electro static noise and deteriorating sound and image quality. Use of revolutionary COREBRID B (core and sheath) hybrid fibers with their antistatic properties and durability has allowed Furutech to deliver the ASB-1, one of the most versatile and effective audio video antistatic accessories available. COREBRID B is a core-sheath composite conductive acrylic hybrid fiber. The core of the fiber is formed of high-density carbon-based super conductive particles that conduct the static charge away to ground. Conventional antistatic brushes attract static charge to cling to the fibers of the brush where they can easily be discharged back onto media surfaces. With the ASB-1, static charge is conducted away through the core of the fibers rather than on the surface for a more effective result – static is trapped and forced to ground. The surface of the COREBRID fibers is a tough abrasion resistant outer 30um sheath, making them extremely durable. This allows the ASB-1 fibers to be used time and again without wear or damage to the special conductive core. And the special enlarged ends of the hybrid fibers offer increased generation of corona discharge and the company's most effective static elimination results seen in an antistatic brush.

 

07 / 26 / 18



Audio Research Vacuum Tube LS28 Line Stage And VT80 Power Amplifier
Far more than a foundation for a highly musical sound system.
Review By Rufus Smith

 

07 / 25 / 18

Revolv Supreme Clean Vinyl LP Record Cleaning Solution
VANA, Ltd. introduces their Revolv Supreme Clean Record Cleaning Solution ($12 on up). The Revolv brand of analog audio accessory products was developed to fill the need for high-quality accessories geared toward the analog music enthusiast. Supreme Clean's alcohol-free formula is safe for all records and is sold in a ready-to-use formulation requiring no additional ingredients or messy dilution like many competitive cleaners. Supreme Clean is ideal for use with a vacuum or ultrasonic record cleaning machine. Revolv Supreme Clean is based upon a proprietary formula developed and tested by their in-house engineering team of experts with a goal to formulate a record cleaning fluid that specifically targets the causes of most vinyl LP record dirt and dust without causing any degradation to the vinyl even after extended exposure. Using laboratory-grade pure water and prepared under the strictest of industry standards, Supreme Clean Record is available in 4oz, 16oz, and 32oz containers ($12, $20, and $32 respectively). Supreme Clean pairs wonderfully with a Revolv Goat's Hair Record Cleaning Brush and your favorite record, with both products being available through select VANA, Ltd. dealers.

 

07 / 24 / 18

NOVO Magazine July / August 2018

NOVO's July / August Issue Features High-End Audio, VR, And More
Enjoy the Music.com has just posted the July / August 2018 issue of NOVO (was CANADA HiFi). Articles within this issue include searching for the ultimate social VR experience, how to build a great sounding stereo system for $5000, plus a special journey to higher quality audio with Nordost Leif Cables. Other articles and reviews include shifting cultural acceptance of privacy invasion, adventures in sound with Totem Tribe Tower speakers, Gold Note P-1000 solid-state amplifier, Roksan Audio K3 integrated amplifier, and lastly Audeze LCD2 classic headphones. Within his editorial, Suave Kajko says, "Summer is here in full swing and it's been so hot that I've been avoiding walking my dogs Shelby and Josie in direct sun fearing that they might spontaneously combust. This is the first time I recall breaking a sweat writing the letter from the editor, as I'm sitting on the patio of a coffee shop in the beautiful Junction neighborhood of Toronto. It feels like it's about 40 degrees and I'm hiding under the shade of an umbrella. But I'm not complaining, I love the summer in Toronto and try to enjoy myself outside as much as possible -- whether it's sitting on coffee shop and bar patios, taking my dogs for hikes in different parks, or shopping on Queen Street West. Summers are of course the perfect time to catch live music outdoors and I've already managed to take in a few great shows. Perhaps you're reading this copy of NOVO on a patio - if you are, good on you!" You can see what's within this issue, read the editorial and download your free issue of NOVO in PDF at this link.

 

07 / 23 / 18

Thomas Dolby Live In Roland Cloud

Historic First-Ever Concert: Thomas Dolby Live In Roland Cloud
Roland is pleased to announce "Thomas Dolby Live in Roland Cloud," a historic first-ever concert streamed live in Roland Cloud. Free and open to all, the performance by electronic music icon and Roland Lifetime Achievement Award winner Thomas Dolby will take place on Thursday, July 26 @ 4 pm PDT within Roland Cloud. During the 1980s, electronic music innovator Thomas Dolby became renowned for his technical prowess and a new sound that blended his love for technology and passion for music — a sound that launched his career and helped him rise to international fame during the heyday of MTV. Dolby can also lay claim to being a music technology and software maven, a published author and filmmaker, and a Professor of the Arts at Johns Hopkins University. Featuring just a few keyboards, a drum pad, and a MacBook running synthesizers from Roland Cloud, Dolby's rig for this live event is simple, but the output will be projected onscreen during the performance to give the audience a unique "under the hood" perspective. As part of an enhanced experience, all online audience members will have the opportunity to try the same synthesizers and sounds used by Thomas Dolby in concert by signing up for a 30-day Free Trial to Roland Cloud. This performance is also part of a rare summer tour for Dolby, which starts with a sold-out Hollywood, CA show on July 25 and wraps up in Baltimore, MD, on August 8. To pre-register for "Thomas Dolby Live in Roland Cloud," please RSVP to the event on Roland's Facebook page.

 

Audio Collaborative 2018: Uniting The Converging Worlds Of Pro & Consumer Audio
Futuresource Consulting Ltd. are delighted to announce Amazon's Theunis Scheepers, UK Country Manager - Alexa Voice Services, as this year's keynote speaker on November 8th. Joining Amazon so far will be Microsoft, AI Music and Lewis Silkin, more speakers to be announced over the coming weeks. As the professional audio industry continues to evolve and the consumer audio industry continues to search for new opportunities, we are now beginning to see a convergence of two once divided markets. On this, the 5th anniversary of the Audio Collaborative event, Futuresource is delighted to bring together industry heavyweights from the two colliding worlds of professional and consumer audio for the first time, to discuss the technology and market drivers that are blurring the lines between these sectors. The doors are now open for event sponsors who wish to promote their brand to the most recognized companies and future leaders across professional audio and consumer audio. Hosted at the stylish Ham Yard Hotel, attendees will see first class presentations and panels from industry titans and Futuresource experts on the growth and the crossover of business opportunities for the entire audio ecosystem.

 

07 / 20 / 18

Australian Hi-Fi Magazine July / August 2018

Australian Hi-Fi Magazine's July / August Issue Features Gear Reviews
This issue of Australian Hi-Fi features an very special David Wilson remembrance as he was the first person to build a 'high-end' loudspeaker, paving the way for a whole new category in loudspeaker design. Jason Kennedy manage the madness of reporting on the world's biggest high-end hi-fi event in Munich. Reviews within this issue include Sennheiser HD 660 S headphones, Rega Planar 6 turntable, Dynaudio Sub 3 subwoofer, Revel F-208 loudspeakers, Nagra Classic Preamp & Classic Amp, and Yamaha HPH-W200 headphones. Within his editorial Greg Borrowman says "'Trust your ears' is a popular catchphrase in audio, particularly amongst subjectivists, who don't think that frequency response, power output, signal-to-noise ratios and other scientific measurements can tell them anything they need to know about sound quality. However, even objectivist audiophiles — those who do think that power output, signal-to-noise ratios and other electronic measurements — can tell them things they need to know about sound quality also say 'trust your ears' because they know that measurements can't tell them everything they need to know. But can you really trust your ears? I'm sorry, but the answer is no. You can't trust your ears. You can't even trust your eyes." See what's within this issue of Australian Hi-Fi at this link.

 

Audirvana Plus For Windows 10 Now Comes To PC Users
Audirvana, high-end music library management and Hi-Res Music playback software, announces the release of the highly anticipated Windows 10 version. This new version features a totally redesigned user interface to change the way PC users enjoy and organize their music. Created by Damien Plisson and acclaimed by users and audio specialists around the world, Audirvana Plus has quickly been recognized as the reference player, enabling music lovers who have a Mac to replace iTunes and dramatically improve the sound quality of their music library. How does Audirvana Plus improve sound quality? Audirvana Plus acts on two levels to turn the computer into a high-end hi-fi player. It significantly shortens the audio signal path, and removes all noise and other electromagnetic interferences to deliver pure sound. Also, by employing very high-quality algorithms far superior to those used in digital-to-analog converter (DAC) chips, it performs the necessary digital processing before conversion to analog, to deliver perfect audio fidelity. Features of Audirvana Plus for Windows 10 provides the same benefits as Audirvana Plus 3.2 for Mac, while offering PC users a new, and wonderfully intuitive and fluid interface. A special 15-day free trial version is now available and is $74 to purchase.

 

07 / 19 / 18

conrad-johnson Classic 120SE Review
World Premiere Review!
conrad-johnson Classic 120SE Vacuum Tube Stereo Amplifier
conrad-johnson's CL120SE is a truly spectacular and emotionally engaging amplifier.
Review By Rick LaFaver

 

China's Tencent Seeks To Separate Their Music Entertainment Group
Tencent (NASDAQOTH: TCEHY), a $500 billion publicly traded leading provider of Internet value added services in China, is seeking to spin-off their Tencent Music Entertainment (TME) business. This new action could raise upwards of $1 billion in new funding (for a ~$30 billion music service valuation). TME wholly owns China's top three music streaming platforms including QQ Music, Kugou, and Kuwo. This is an outstanding 78% of the music industry's market revenues in 2017 and accounts for 700 million monthly active users (15 million paying). For comparison, Spotify has 170 million users, 75 million of which are paying for subscription. According to Tencent's press release, "This announcement is made pursuant to Practice Note 15 ("PN15") to the Rules Governing the Listing of Securities on The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited (the "Listing Rules"). The board of directors (the "Board") of Tencent Holdings Limited (the "Company") is pleased to announce that the Company has submitted a proposal to The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited (the "Stock Exchange") pursuant to PN15 in relation to the proposed spin-off by way of a separate listing of its online music entertainment business operated by its majority-owned subsidiary, Tencent Music Entertainment Group ("Tencent Music"), a leading online music entertainment platform in China, on a recognized stock exchange in the United States through a registered public offering (the "Proposed Spin-off"), and that the Stock Exchange has confirmed that the Company may proceed with the Proposed Spin-off. The terms of the Proposed Spin-off, including offering size, price range and assured entitlement of Tencent Music securities for shareholders of the Company, have not yet been finalized. Further announcement(s) will be made by the Company in relation to the Proposed Spin-off as and when appropriate. The Proposed Spin-off is subject to, among other things, the obtaining of approval(s) from the relevant authorities in respect of the listing of, and permission to deal in, securities of Tencent Music, and the final decisions of the Board of the Company and the board of directors of Tencent Music. Shareholders and potential investors of the Company should be aware that there is no assurance that the Proposed Spin-off will take place or as to when it may take place. Shareholders and potential investors of the Company should therefore exercise caution when dealing in or investing in the securities of the Company. By Order of the Board... Ma Huateng, Chairman"

 

07 / 18 / 18

Linear Tube Audio Launches Their MicroZOTL Vacuum Tube Preamplifier
Linear Tube Audio (LTA) is excited to launch the new MicroZOTL Preamplifier ($3850) this week and today is the last day for pre-sale. LTA's fully realized MicroZOTL Preamplifier has been upgraded from 64 volume steps to 100 steps – with the smallest step 1/4 the size to ensure precise control at low levels. Additionally, the company has upgraded the volume control to ceramic printed circuit boards and are now using OHNO wire to the output to further improve the sonics. According to Linear Tube Audio, "After three years of developing the MicroZOTL circuit in our MZ2 and identifying the most significant points for performance upgrades, we've consolidated this knowledge in the MicroZOTL Preamplifier. Fulfilling the needs of any reference two-channel speaker system, the MicroZOTL Preamplifier also brings its abilities as a headphone amplifier to a new level. Improved soundstage, improved clarity, blacker background and smoother dynamics characterize the sonic improvements. Elimination of turn on and turn off thumps, more inputs, and a new case designed by design firm Fern & Roby, featuring brass touch buttons, LED array volume display, input LEDs, and front and back plates machined from slabs of aluminum, are combined with the improved sonics into a full size preamplifier package." New features include four single-ended RCA inputs using Cardas connectors plus an XLR input pair using Neutrik connectors. The volume is controlled by stepped attenuator with Dale precision resistors and remote control (now with ceramic PCB). There are two preamplifier outputs, a headphone output, tape in/out and tape monitor. An improved power supply features 4X storage, choke isolated Belleson regulator, and super low ESR poly-organic capacitors. Balance control uses software to control channel volume level - audio doesn't go through additional balance pot while a remote control with Apple remote for volume and menus. Read Enjoy the Music.com's recent review of the Linear Tube Audio ZOTL10 MK II stereo vacuum tube amplifier at this link.

 

07 / 17 / 18

CAS 2018

California Audio Show In Oakland From July 27th Through 29th
Produced by Dagogo, the California Audio Show is entering its eighth year serving the high-end audio and headphone community. Response of the 2017 CAS from exhibitors and attendees have been overwhelmingly positive. Exhibitors reported unprecedented attendance in each room and attendees reported extended listening time in exhibits. According to Dagogog, "It is now apparent what only small shows like the CAS can contribute to the health of the audio industry." California Audio Show dates are from July 27th through 29th, 2018 at the Hilton Oakland Airport located at 1 Hegenberger, Oakland, CA 94621. This year's event will feature over 70 brands of hi-fi and personal audio gear from many leading manufacturers. There's a Headmasters section for personal audio plus a Viva Vinyl section for analog enthusiasts.

 

International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI), "Global sales of pirate CDs have more than doubled in the last three years and now generate an illegal international business more than US$4.5 billion.

Industry News 15 Years Ago
Pirate Music CDs Have More Than Doubled During The Past Three Years

According to the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI), "Global sales of pirate CDs have more than doubled in the last three years and now generate an illegal international business more than $4.5 billion..." While they claim sales of pirate CDs are estimated to have risen by 14 percent (exceeding 1 billion units), the total value of the pirate music market including cassettes is estimated at $4.6 billion. This would be an increase of approximately 7 percent over the previous year. A report has been released by the IFPI called Commercial Music Piracy 2003 offers details concerning global piracy and lists the top ten offending countries. According to the IFPI, "The priority countries are: Brazil, China, Mexico, Paraguay, Poland, Russia, Spain, Taiwan, Thailand and Ukraine. Top of the list in terms of its piracy rate is China, where more than 90 percent of all recordings are pirate, worth over $530 million, despite the country's accession to the World Trade Organization." IFPI Chairman and CEO Jay Berman said "Commercial piracy proliferated in many countries in 2002, and we have named ten priority countries where action is most needed. Our industry invests substantial resources in fighting piracy, but our self-help strategies critically depend on help from Governments. First, we need modern copyright laws and proper enforcement; second, the huge overcapacity of CD plants needs to be reined in by Optical Disc plant regulations; and third, we need deterrence -- music piracy is serious organized crime that can only be tackled when courts deliver serious deterrent penalties".

 

07 / 16 / 18

Records Collecting Dust II Film

Records Collecting Dust II Film About East Coast Music Scene
Records Collecting Dust II focuses on the East Coast cities of Boston, New York and Washington DC. This film includes in depth interviews with twenty eight highly influential people from the 1980s hardcore punk, post-punk, and other music scenes. This film features Ian MacKaye of Minor Threat, John Joseph of Cro-Mags, Dave Smalley of DYS, Roger Miret of Agnostic Front and Clif Croce of The Freeze. This film also features Enjoy the Music.com's very own Editor Tom Lyle who played with the popular band Government Issue. Each musician discusses the music, the bands, and the records that forever changed their lives. The film is produced, written and directed by San Diego based musician and filmmaker Jason Blackmore. Records Collecting Dust II is the follow-up to Creator and Director Jason Blackmore's 2015 debut film, which was his documentary about the West coast music and record scene. Records Collecting Dust (original film) played at over 50 theaters and venues throughout the United States, as well as two film festivals in Ireland and Berlin. Now available online and on DVD, the first film focused on the West Coast cities of San Diego, Los Angeles, and San Francisco, and featured interviews with iconic people who have played a pivotal roll in the underground music scene. This list of musical icons includes Jello Biafra (Dead Kennedys), Keith Morris (Black Flag / Circle Jerks), Lisa Fancher (Frontier Records), Mike Watt (Minutemen), Chuck Dukowski (Black Flag / SST Records), and John Reis (Drive Like Jehu / Rocket From the Crypt). The plan was to find out what bands, records, and songs made them who they are today.

 

07 / 13 / 18

Pangea Premier SE Phono Cable

Pangea Premier SE Phono Cable Improves Entry Level Turntable Performance
Pangea Audio will soon deliver a new step-up phono cable that is said to offer a demonstrable difference in sonic output when used with the majority of currently available turntables. The Pangea Premier SE Phono Cable ($79.95) is a 1.25-meter step-up cable manufactured with audiophile-grade components, yet it is priced for easy accessibility to the growing numbers of vinyl enthusiasts who are investing in new systems. With design and engineering by Jay Victor, a product designer specializing in high-end audio, the Premier SE cable consists of a clever integrated ground cable, with the entire cable being covered in nylon TPR (thermoplastic rubber) rugged insulation. Cardas Grade One Copper conductors, famous for their consistent performance, set the stage for exceptional sound quality. Left and Right cables feature three different gauges for balanced response. "The Premier SE is the perfect example of how an inexpensive upgrade will make a big difference in performance and, ultimately, the listener's enjoyment," said Director of Global Sales Mr. Niemi. "It’s an easy and affordable upgrade for vinyl enthusiasts of every stripe."

 

07 / 12 / 18

Nielsen's USA Music Sales / Stream Mid-2018 Report: Vinyl LPs Up 19%
According to Nielsen, a global company that provides data on consumers and markets worldwide, "the music industry is in the midst of a growth spurt that has led to 15-year record revenues for the major label groups and continues to break new consumption records for the first half of 2018." They also say that "Record Store Day helped independent music retailers sell 733,000 LPs during the week of celebration (April 20-26), an all-time high. Across all formats, 799,000 albums were sold at independent retailers, marking the highest non-holiday sales total since 2005. Throughout Record Store Day week, total albums sales at independent record stores rose by 200% over the prior week, and total album sales were up 23% over the week of April 20-26 in 2017. Of note is that the best selling vinyl LP, Jack White's Boarding House Reach only sold 37,000 albums. The Beatles Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts sold 23,000 copies. By comparison, the top on-demand music stream was Drake's "God's Plan" with 1,121,025,000 listens. LP lovers may rejoice to know that album sales were up over 19% (as compared to the same time period the previous year) to reach 7,600,000. Nielsen says that "Total album equivalent consumption, which includes physical and digital album sales, song sales and on-demand audio and video song streams are up 18%. On-demand song streaming activity is reaching new milestones, with volume surpassing 400,000,000,000, which is offsetting declines in album and track sales. On-demand audio streaming volume is up 45%, having already exceeded 268,000,000,000 so far in 2018, and on-demand video streaming volume is up 35% year-over-year."

 

Ampsandsound Agartha Review
Ampsandsound Agartha Vacuum Tube Stereo Amplifier And Headamp
Master Of Two: Making sweet music for headphones and speakers.
Review By Dave Hanson

 

07 / 11 / 18

TeachRock Project

Rock and Roll Forever Foundation's TeachRock Project In Europe
In an effort to show appreciation for school teachers and promote the integration of music into classroom studies, Steven Van Zandt (of Little Steven and The Disciples and Bruce Springsteen and E Street Band) is hosting free workshops and concerts for school teachers across Europe on behalf of The Rock and Roll Forever Foundation's TeachRock Project. The program provides professional development workshops where teachers are trained to integrate music into a variety of classroom studies including math, science, reading and history. The Teacher Appreciation Tour experience includes a one-hour workshop in the concert venue, an hour of networking which includes food, and a two-hour live concert by Little Steven and The Disciples of Soul. Van Zandt, who is known for his phenomenal talents as a musician, producer, writer and actor on the hit TV show "The Sopranos" and "Lilyhammer," began his educational focus about 10 years ago. "Research shows that students who receive music instruction do better in math and science and students who like at least one class or teacher are less likely to drop out... Music has proven to be the most consistent and dependable common ground between teachers and students," said Van Zandt. "The Rock and Roll Forever Foundation's TeachRock Project provides professional development workshops where we train teachers to use interdisciplinary lesson plans that integrate art and music history across the curriculum." The Foundation's staff of educators and ethnomusicologists have created more than 100 lesson plans that can be included in social studies and language arts curricula as single plans or can be taught as unit plans.

 

07 / 10 / 18

Clarus Cable Video Series

Clarus Offers An Informative Video Series On Cable Design
High-end audio company Clarus, a sister company to Tributaries A/V cables, is introducing a nine part series of consumer-informational videos: "Interviews with Jay Victor Cable engineer" that explain, in a straight-forward manner, the intricate processes that are behind the development of their Clarus Crimson and more-affordable Aqua cable lines. In each video, Jay Victor, renowned life-long audiophile, cable engineer musician, holder of 55 patents and the man behind the design of Clarus cables (and Tributaries cables since 2003), describes the application of both scientific principles and "Golden Ear"-based processes that were involved in the patented design of Clarus cables. As an example, it required three years of arduous development work before the first Clarus high-end cable was introduced on 2011. "To my knowledge, this is the first time that a manufacturer of high quality cables has clearly explained to the consumer, in understandable terminology, how the application of scientific principles and 'Golden Ear' listening sessions have been applied to the development of a high-end audio cable line," said Clarus President Joe Perfito. "I believe the technology that Jay has developed makes Clarus Crimson and Clarus Aqua cable products unique in the high-end audio industry. And, the resulting performance is the major reason why Clarus dealers proudly stand behind the brand." The special nine video series can be watched on YouTube at this link.

 

Shinola Bookshelf Speaker With Bluetooth

Shinola Partners With Barefoot Sound For Two-Way Bluetooth Loudspeaker
Niche company Shinola has partnered with established audio manufacturer Barefoot Sound to create their first bookshelf speaker system with Bluetooth ($1500 per pair). Thomas Barefoot designs speaker systems that are embraced by recording artists and producers who demand the very best. Barefoot and the Shinola Audio team have completely reengineered the Shinola Bookshelf Speakers from the ground up, creating an exciting new product that is as comfortable in a professional recording studio as it is in your home. Assembled and tested in Oregon at the Barefoot Sound factory, the bookshelf speakers are equipped with Bluetooth functionality for streaming audio sources, versatile connectivity, including RCA, Aux, S/PDIF or USB, and a removable magnetic grille. Alas, we have no information about power output, if these are bi-amplified as other high-end monitors are, the exact driver configuration, and if these speaker are equipped with latest Bluetooth 5 technologies. Shinola's Bluetooth speakers are available in black and a natural oak finish.

 

07 / 09 / 18

RMAF 2018 Show Report

Rocky Mountain Audio Fest 2018 In Denver On October 5 - 7, 2018
Featuring a glorious and tasteful renovated venue, our Rocky Mountain Audio Fest (RMAF) 2018 show report will celebrate 15 years of this spectacular event. With continued and steady growth, RMAF has become the leading high-end audio fall event in Western America. Once again we have the Rocky Mountain International Audio Fest teaming up with Head-Fi's CanJam event! Audio gear from large reference speakers to the smallest in-ear monitors could be experienced at the show. RMAF 2018 is being held at the Denver Marriott Tech Center Hotel from October 5th through the 7th. Enjoy the Music.com brings you exciting RMAF 2018 show coverage, with a special separate CanJam 2018 Denver report too! This very special 15th Annual Rocky Mountain International Audio Fest (RMAF) is the largest consumer audio and home entertainment show within the Mid-West United States. Denver's own audio wonderland featured over 160 exhibit spaces representing more than 400 companies from North and South America, Europe, Australia and Asia. RMAF is proud to announce that 2018 marks their fourth year of their Entry Level Room series. RMAF donates these rooms free of charge to a host of exhibitors who offer new innovative products at a reasonable price for people looking to enter the high-end market. There were five rooms again this year. Each room featured a loudspeaker and headphone system. The price point for these are rooms are: $500, $1000, $1500, $2500 and $5000.

 

07 / 06 / 18

Multi-Room Wireless Music / Movie Specialist Sonos Files S-1 For $100M IPO

Multi-Room Wireless Music / Movie Specialist Sonos Files S-1 For $100M IPO
According to Sonos' Form S-1 under the Securities Act of 1933 for their just-announced IPO filing, "Sonos was founded with a clear mission — to fill every home with music. This mission led us to invent wireless multi-room home audio. Sonos transforms the way people live and interact by restoring the shared experience of music throughout the home. Our home sound system provides an immersive listening experience created by our thoughtfully designed speakers and components, our proprietary software platform and the ability to wirelessly stream the content our customers love from the services they prefer. Sonos sits at the intersection of emerging trends driving the future of home entertainment. The proliferation of streaming services and the rapid adoption of voice assistants are significantly changing audio consumption habits and how consumers interact with the internet. As the leading home sound system for consumers, content partners and developers, Sonos is poised to capitalize on the large market opportunity created by these dynamics. We debuted the world's first wireless multi-room home sound system in 2005, and have since been a leading innovator in wireless home audio. Today, our products include wireless speakers, home theater speakers and components to address consumers' evolving home audio needs. We launched our first voice-enabled wireless speaker, Sonos One, in October 2017, and our first voice-enabled home theater speaker, Sonos Beam, in July 2018. In addition to new product launches, we frequently introduce new features through software upgrades, providing our customers with enhanced functionality and improved sound in the home. We are committed to continuous technological innovation, as evidenced by our growing global patent portfolio of over 630 issued patents and 570 applications. We believe our patents comprise the foundational intellectual property for wireless multi-room audio technology...." See the complete S-1 at this link.

 

Merrill Audio Element 118 Monoblock

Merrill Audio's Most Advanced Power Amplifier; Element 118 Monoblock
Merrill Audio Advanced Technology Labs now offers their most advanced power amplifiers as a crowning achievement that took over four years of research and development. Merrill Audio's new Element 118 power amplifier ($36,000) makes use of the very latest technology, is meticulous engineered, and employs the finest materials available. Using Merrill Audio's proprietary ZXOL design, the new Element series of power amplifiers are said by the company to be an order of magnitude better in every sonic character than their previous amplifiers. Using a zero feedback, open loop proprietary design, code named ZXOL from Merrill Audio, the power amplifiers get the most details available and the fastest response. The open loop design takes advantage of the very latest exotic transistor technology using Gallium Nitride. They say that, "Extracting and keep this accurate speed and huge amount of detail in the musical reproduction required a circuit board that has almost all its parasitic inductance and capacitance reduced to near zero". Extra special Circuit boards were designed and a unique pure copper onboard heatsink for very fast thermal transfer and stability. The pure copper heatsink the power supply and amplifier weighs a hefty 16 pounds. Only the finest 0.1% tolerance components were used. Even the wire was specially selected silver plated OFC Teflon sleeved wire. Merrill Audio's new Element 118 monoblock amplifier has a huge reserve of power for extended transients while delivering 400 Watts into 8 Ohms, 800 Watts into 4 Ohms, and 1600 Watts into 2 Ohms. Dual pure copper WBT speaker binding posts provide easy bi-wiring. Analog input is via balanced XLR. A 20 Ampere IEC AC inlet is used for a tight, excellent connection with heavy power cords.

 

07 / 05 / 18

Pro-Ject Debut Carbon RecordMaster HiRes Turntable Review
World Premiere Review!
Pro-Ject Debut Carbon RecordMaster HiRes Turntable
A feature packed, high quality design for all your vinyl ripping needs.
Review By Paul Rigby

 

Scansonic HD M-10 And M-20

Scansonic HD Introduced The Evolution Of Their M-Series Speakers
With the introduction of the new M-Series from Danish company Scansonic HD, new materials and designs has been incorporated in the well-known M-Series. A new and different driver design, to reassure an even lower level of distortion, has been developed for this new series that includes three different speaker models. This is the next and natural step in the evolution of the M-Series and includes the new M-10 and M-20 (pictured above), plus the larger M-40 ($800, $1800, and $2400 respectively). All models take advantage of the same ribbon tweeter that Scansonic HD introduced in the exclusive MB-series a few years ago. A high-resolution ribbon tweeter which is chosen for its musicality and extreme frequency response and not at least for blending seamlessly with the 4" honeycomb enforced glass-fiber bass/midrange drivers. Scansonic HD's M-10, M-20 and M-40 are all using a single or multiple 4" bass/midrange drivers, with a honeycomb enforced glass-fiber design of the actual membrane. This technology in combination with a powerful magnet-system is said to "deliver an open and extremely detailed sound". The M-Series speakers are available in satin black or satin white. Each model is supplied with a removable protective front-grill and adjustable feet. The M-10 is a compact two-way mini-monitor, while the M-20 is an elegant 2.5-way floorstanding speaker. Their top model M-40 is also a 2.5-way floorstanding speaker, yet has additional 4" drivers.

 

07 / 03 / 18

Hi-Fi+ Issue 161 July 2018

Hi-Fi+'s July Magazine Features Many High-End Audio Reviews
Hi-Fi+ Magazine's July 2018 issue features show coverage of HIGH END 2018 in Munich, Meet Your Maker with Crystal Cable and Siltech, plus Dave Wilson 1944-2018 as TAS remembers the founder of Wilson Audio Specialties. High-end audio equipment reviews within this issue include Burmester Audiosysteme 175 turntable / arm / cartridge, and phono stage, Raidho Acoustucs TD-4.8 floorstanding loudspeaker, Triology Audio 903/993 preamplifier and stereo power amplifier, Zanden Audio Systems Model 9600Mk2 monophonic power amplifier, Continuum Audio Labs Obsidian and Viper turntable / tonearm, Wilson-Benesch Discovery II standmount loudspeaker, Cayin HA-300 valve headphone amplifier / integrated amplifier, Rotel T14 combination tuner / streamer, Vocoistics Multifuser DC2 acoustic diffusor panels, and lastly Naim Audio Super Lumina interconnect and loudspeaker cables. Within his editorial titled High-End Audio Is A Very Broad Church, Alan Sircom says "The ultimate in high-end audio is a very broad church, and it depends on how you define 'ultimate'. You can just go for the ultimate in purse-string management, or you can go for the products that cost more than the average gold mine. Or, you can go with those products that deliver the ultimate sound quality irrespective of price. Some of those will be super-expensive too, but this year, we went for quality and quantity. It's interesting to track the changes in the audio world of recent years. Yes there have been the two obsessions of streaming and headphones and these are far from falling into the background. And yet, recent trends in high-end still point to the vitalness of vinyl and the robustness of the record industry. Some might be keen to chart the end of the vinyl revival and declare that the bubble has burst. But, while the days of 100% growth in vinyl sales are gone, vinyl is still proving to be an important music format and shows no sign of falling away yet. This applies across the board, but the new trend in high-end turnkey turntables (as evidenced by the Burmester 175 reviewed on page 17 of this issue) looks to be a fine addition to the roll-call." See what's within this issue of Hi-Fi+ Magazine at this link.

 

07 / 02 / 18

Enjoy the Music.com's July Review Magazine Is Now Available Online
Enjoy the Music.com's July Review Magazine features our extensive HIGH END 2018 Munich show report, three video features, and of course many reviews we know you'll enjoy. While there are more articles than you see below, we've delivered some nice highlights here. Be sure to visit our Review Magazine's homepage to see all reviews and articles within this month's edition.

We have a must-read by industry veteran Roger Skoff as he writes about high-end audio's never-ending debate. Video features include The History Of Stereo that is quite educations and fun to watch. Next video is "A New Way To Visualize Rhythm" with great entry by none other than pro audio guru Bobby Owsinski. Rhythm is indicated on a musical bar line, but there are other ways to visualize it too. Our third video brings back modern history as we see how today's McIntosh Labs vacuum tube amplifier is manufactured.

We're happy to feature a great manufacturer article within this month's issue. Enjoy the Music.com has asked all high-end manufacturers if they want to share their knowledge and expertise with our worldwide audience, and here we have Benchmark Media bringing light to balanced versus unbalanced interfaces.

It's gear review time! Within this month's issue of Enjoy the Music.com's Review Magazine Editor Tom Lyle assesses McIntosh's MC611 quad balanced solid-state monoblock amplifiers. Tom comes away mightily impressed! Clive Meakins delves into the world of Allo's USBridge as an alternative to the Raspberry Pi. Come read why he feels that choosing between Pi / DigiOne and USBridge is best dictated by the capability of your DAC.

From our friends at HIFICRITIC we have Audeze iSINE10 + Cipher as Rafael Todes discovers the perfect headphone solution for music-on-the-move. There's also a review of The Hart Loudspeaker, which Paul Messenger finds out if this hybrid can really deliver deep bass from a compact box?

Our very own Jeremy R. Kipnis checks out the McGary Audio SA 1 stereo vacuum tube amplifier in pursuit of music! Can point-to-point wiring, hand selected parts and assembly bring great results? Read Jeremy's review to find out. Next we have Parasound with their A52+ five channel solid-state amplifier reviewed Dwayne Carter. He says the A52+ seemed to enjoy reproducing more of the analog sounds (tom-tom drums, folk guitar, etc). Connecting it all together is Paul Schumann with his Siltech Classic Anniversary Cables review. Neutrality is the hallmark of a well-designed product, and here Siltech does not disappoint.

 

WARNING: Due to our ongoing growth and to keep this industry news post relatively short in length, below are just a sampling of the many articles and reviews within the July issue. You can see everything within this month's edition of Enjoy the Music.com's Review Magazine at this link. As always, in the end what really matters is that you...

 

Enjoy the Music,

Steven R. Rochlin
Creative Director

 

High-End Audio Industry News
Daily News: Essential high-end audio news you need to know.
Enjoy the Music.com posts audiophile news virtually every day.

 

Can That Possibly Be Real?
Can That Possibly Be Real?
Roger Skoff writes about High End Audio's never-ending debate.
Article By Roger Skoff

 

Balanced Versus Unbalanced Interfaces Article By John Siau Of Benchmark Media Systems
Balanced Versus Unbalanced Interfaces
Article By John Siau Of Benchmark Media Systems

 

McIntosh MC611 Quad Balanced Solid-State Monoblock Amplifier Review
McIntosh MC611 Quad Balanced Solid-State Monoblock Amplifier
McIntosh delivers 600 Watts of beauty and transparency.
Review By Tom Lyle

 


Allo USBridge
An alternative to the Raspberry Pi.
Review By Clive Meakins

 

Audeze iSINE10 + Cipher Review
Audeze iSINE10 + Cipher
Rafael Todes finds the perfect headphone solution for music-on-the-move.
Review By Rafael Todes Of HIFICRITIC

 

The Hart Loudspeaker Review
The Hart Loudspeaker
Can this hybrid really deliver deep bass from a compact box? Paul Messenger finds out.
Review By Paul Messenger Of HIFICRITIC

 

McGary Audio SA 1 Stereo Vacuum Tube Amplifier Review
McGary Audio SA 1 Stereo Vacuum Tube Amplifier
In pursuit of the music!
Review By Jeremy R. Kipnis At Kipnis Studios (KSS)

 

Parasound A52+ Five Channel Solid-State Amplifier
Parasound A52+ Five Channel Solid-State Amplifier
Parasound's impressive A52+ is truly faithful to music.
Review By Dwayne Carter

 

Siltech Classic Anniversary Cables Review
Siltech Classic Anniversary Cables
Neutrality is the hallmark of a well-designed product.
Review By Paul Schumann

 

More Articles Available Online!
See all our show reports, articles, and gear reviews within the July 2018 edition of Enjoy the Music.com's Review Magazine now available online.

Also visit us online at:         

 

McIntosh Announces MC462 Quad Balanced Stereo Power Amplifier

McIntosh Announces MC462 Quad Balanced Stereo Power Amplifier

McIntosh is proud to announce their MC462 Quad Balanced Power Amplifier ($9000), which replaces the highly regarded MC452 as our most powerful stereo amplifier from the company. Like the MC452, the MC462 features a robust output of 450 Watts per channel. With a dedicated McIntosh Autoformer connected to each audio channel, the full 450 Watts is available to any speaker regardless if it has 2, 4 or 8 Ohm impedance. This new generation MC462 has received numerous updates including filter capacity, which has been increased by nearly 50%. Results include a remarkable 66% increase in dynamic headroom from 1.8dB to 3.0dB. This allows the MC462 to easily handle drastic swings in dynamics and effortlessly reproduce music with virtually no distortion. Bass performance is also improved as a result of the filter capacity increase says the company. Aesthetically, the MC462 retains all the hallmarks of a McIntosh amplifier with a few key modern enhancements. The front panel now utilizes direct LED backlighting that improves color accuracy and appearance. The two audio Autoformers and single power transformer are housed in new enclosures topped by a single machined cover with glass inserts. The back half of the amplifier is home to four of our Monogrammed Heatsinks which connect to advanced high current output transistors that help eliminate thermal equilibrium lag time. The MC462 is packed full of other exclusive McIntosh technologies to bring music to life including: Power Guard, Sentry Monitor, Quad Balanced design, Power Control, and McIntosh's patented Solid Cinch speaker binding posts. Balanced and unbalanced outputs make bi-amp'ing or tri-amp'ing speakers easier; they can also be used to send the audio signal to a secondary system or to connect a powered subwoofer.

 

 


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