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High-End Audio Industry News


08 / 30 / 06

Audiophile Equipment Contest  Enjoy the Music.com is awarding over $23,000 in audiophile products to music enthusiasts worldwide! The company's very first Audiophile Equipment Contest ended in May 2006 and reached in excess of $80,000 in prizes. Naturally this produced a huge buzz throughout the audiophile community. In conjunction with many high-end audio manufacturers from around the world, we are once again awarding prizes to members of our opt-in Mailing List. While many manufacturers are in discussions with providing prizes, as of this date leading high-end companies are participating and include Aperion Audio, Audience, Environmental Potentials, Green Mountain Audio, Hagerman, LAT International, The Lotus Group, ModWright, Reference Recordings and Ultimate Ears. To learn more about the contest please click here.

 

08 / 29 / 06

Tributaries Silver Series AC Power Cable  Tributaries Cable has introduced their Silver Series AC Power Cables ($160 for 6 foot length, other lengths available) that combine very high current carrying capability plus shielding. An aluminum/Mylar shielding wrap as well as a 95 percent braided shield of ultra-low-resistance reject both high frequency RFI and lower-frequency EMI noise sources. Inside these barriers are three stranded 10-gauge twisted conductors of OFHC copper. The Silver Series cable are housed in a flexible and rugged UL-listed PVC jacketing while hospital-grade gold-plated 3-prong male and female plug are molded-in for strength and strain-relief.

 

08 / 28 / 06

Canton Vento Reference 1 DC Loudspeaker  Canton's new Vento Reference 1 DC ($30,000 per pair) is said to be the company's largest, most accurate, and best performing loudspeaker to date. The Canton Vento Reference 1 DC is designed to showcase the company's ability in engineering, modeling, and testing. This 3.5-way floorstanding model stands 56.3 x 15 x 22.2 (HxDxW in inches) and weighs 194 pounds. The cabinet walls are over an inch thick and are constructed from seven layers of fiberboard, pressure laminated one at a time into a sturdy monocoque structure. Internally, the cabinet is separated into four isolated chambers, allowing for optimal matching of internal volume to each individual driver. Driver compliment consists of a pair of 12-inch aluminum cone woofers, two 7-inch aluminum midrange drivers, and a ADT-25 aluminum-manganese tweeter. The Canton Vento Reference 1 DC loudspeaker is available in real wood veneer finishes of cherry or maple, or with a hand rubbed silver piano lacquer finish.

 

08 / 25 / 06

Klipsch Audio Technologies RT-12d Subwoofer  Klipsch Group, the parent company of Klipsch Audio Technologies, announced the acquisition of Audio Products International (API) as Klipsch Audio has announced a new line of digitally controlled subwoofers. API, said to be one of the largest loudspeaker manufacturers in the world, are makers of the Athena Technologies, Energy, and Mirage. Product design and engineering of the API brands will remain separate for the time being.

Klipsch Audio's new line of subwoofers include the RT-12d (pictured), RT-10d, RSW-10d, RW-12d and RW-10d (priced from $2000 to $499 respectively). These five new powered subwoofers include proprietary Digitally Controlled Subwoofer (DCS) Technology and are part of the company's Reference Series. Top-of-the-line RT-12d features a small footprint, 800-watt amplification, and front-firing 12-inch Cerametallic woofers plus two 12-inch rear-firing passive radiators. The special shape allows for easy corner loading that can impart a 6dB increase in output. A top-side digital control panel holds adjustments for all functions including three equalization modes (flat, depth and punch) and five user-adjustable presets (music, movie, night and two name-your-own settings). Cabinet finishes include either cherry or black veneer.

 

08 / 24 / 06

Onkyo D-TK10 loudspeaker  Onkyo has teamed up with Takamine Guitars to create their limited production D-TK10 loudspeakers ($2000 per pair). Designed jointly with guitar manufacturer Takamine, Onkyo claims their D-TK10 is revolutionary because its designers consciously rejected the inert-box acoustics of conventional speaker cabinetry in favor of a freely-vibrating thin-wall enclosure based on high-end guitar construction. Through strategic placement of struts, stringers, and thickness variations, the speaker harnesses the sounds that would normally be absorbed within the enclosure to stimulate carefully controlled cabinet resonances for a much fuller and richer sonic character. The D-TK10's bass-reflex cabinet is constructed of mahogany, and features a sophisticated system of internal bracing that contributes to the precisely tuned cabinet vibration which gives the speaker its warm sound quality. The 4-inch cone woofer features Onkyo's new lightweight and rigid A-OMF (Advanced Onkyo Micro Fiber) monocoque diaphragm, which helps prevent driver breakup even at high excursions. Upper frequency reproduction is handled by a one-inch ring-drive tweeter that is capable of flat frequency response all the way up to 100 kHz. Due to the extensive handcrafting and labor involved, only 50 pairs will be available each month.

 

08 / 23 / 06

Thiel Audio SCS4 Loudspeaker  Thiel Audio's new SCS4 ($1000 each) multi-channel bookshelf loudspeaker features coherent source technology. At 17.5 tall and 8.5 (inches) wide, this two-way bookshelf-sized loudspeaker system is 90dB/W/m efficient and can be used for both audio and movie systems. Driver compliment is a metal diaphragm 6.5-inch woofer that is coaxially mounted with a 1-inch, high output metal dome tweeter. The Thiel-designed woofer's short coil/long gap, copper stabilized motor system is claimed to greatly reduce distortion while the woofer's neodymium magnet improves efficiency. The SCS4 utilizes a phase correct crossover system to eliminate phase distortion while the coaxial midrange/tweeter mounting provides time coherent sound.

 

08 / 22 / 06

Hagerman Technology The Ripper  Hagerman Technology introduces a standalone solution for ripping vinyl to hard drive with "The Ripper" ($399). This compact box combines the circuitry from the popular Bugle phonostage with an AC power supply, super regulators, a headphone amp, and a USB interface. No software drivers required, it is plug-and-play with both Windows XP and OS-X. Just connect "The Ripper" between a turntable and computer to rip your LP collection to hard drive. Or make CDs, convert to MP3, or download the songs to your iPod. This versatile little product also contains a DAC for digital audio playback.

 

08 / 21 / 06

Relco Audio Da Vinci Loudspeaker  Relco Audio has announced their new cost-no-object Da Vinci statement loudspeaker. Measuring 200cm and weighing in at a staggering 100kg, the Da Vinci is a true line source in dipole mode. A long 150cm; ribbon produces sound from 350Hz on up while eight 16cm double coil Focal woofers produce the lower frequencies. Together, this system's frequency response is from 16Hz to 20kHz and has a 90dB/W/m sensitivity. The loudspeakers will be driven by Nagra electronics and SAP Audio Tempo turntable and phonostage. These loudspeakers will be launched at the prestigious Top Audio Show in Milano that operates from September 14th through the 17th and Enjoy the Music.com will be there providing live coverage. See our previous Top Audio coverage by clicking here.

 

08 / 18 / 06

BursonAudio Melbourne (Hyper Dynamic Amplification Module (HDAM) Buffer  BursonAudio Melbourne, established in 1996 by a small group of audio enthusiasts with the purpose of pooling their talents, has introduced their (Hyper Dynamic Amplification Module (HDAM) Buffer. This unit is to tweak the output stage of existing high-end audio products such as those from Marantz, Greek, Musical Fidelity, Aqvox, Sphix, etc. Each module takes hours to solder by hand and are thoroughly tested/adjusted. BursonAudio Melbourne claims their HDAM module is constructed from 13 of the world's best transistors and employs a very sophisticated Voltage Differential Amplification network that is designed to minimize distortion and provide maximum dynamics.

 

08 / 17 / 06

International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI)he International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI), an organization that promotes the interests of the international recording industry worldwide with membership of over 1,400 major and independent companies in more than 70 countries, has announced a recent raid and shut down in Indonesia of a factory producing pirated discs. This recent crack down on illegal disc production netted a factory capable of producing a minimum of 40,000 finished discs per day. According to the IFPI, "Police seized 27,000 finished pirate VCDs and 500,000 unfinished discs as well as six stampers. In addition, half a million DVD substrates were recovered and there was enough stored polycarbonate present to produce an additional 700,000 discs." Bob Youill, IFPI's regional anti-piracy coordinator for Asia, says: "This is a major blow to those who seek to make Indonesia a base for the production and distribution of pirate optical disc products. It is also a good day for local artists, whose repertoire was found on more than 20,000 pirate discs which, if sold, would have hit their legitimate sales."

 

08 / 16 / 06

Sonist Concerto 2 Standmount Loudspeaker  Sonist, after more than three years of prototyping and development, has introduced the Concerto 2 standmount loudspeaker ($2,495). They are designed to work well with single-ended triode tube amplifiers and feature an integral waveguides for the ribbon tweeter. Midrange and bass is via an 8-inch treated paper cone driver. Sonist claims early sidewall reflections are reduced with their loudspeaker design, thereby preventing early reflection notch filter effects which smear the wavefront and cause phase anomalies at the listening position. The tweeter waveguide provides approximately 4dB of gain between 2500H and 8000Hz, which reduces tweeter diaphragm excursion and thereby lowers distortion for a given SPL level.

 

08 / 15 / 06

  Enjoy the Music.com's midmonth update features Scott Faller's New Adventures In High Efficiency: Audio Space 6M-300Bpp 300B Push-Pull Monoblocks. Scott makes good use of his fave Lowther PM2A in full range and 15-inch Goodman's to fill in the lower frequency regions. See the midmonth update of our Review Magazine by clicking here. We also have the September issue of The Absolute Sound table of contents and full editorial now online!

 

08 / 14 / 06

  Tributaries has introduced their line of high-end Silver Series AC Power Cables ($105 for 1.5 feet length, other lengths available). These cables combine very high current capability and shielding that provide protection from external noise sources. Tributaries Silver Series AC Power Cables incorporate an aluminum/Mylar shielding wrap as well as a 95 percent braided shield of low resistance oxygen-free high-conductivity (OFHC) copper. This combination results in rejection of both high frequency RFI and lower-frequency EMI noise sources. The shielding protects three stranded 10-gauge (AWG) twisted conductors of OFHC copper. The Silver Series cable is housed in a flexible, rugged, UL-listed PVC jacketing, with an attractive finishing cover of black-and-gold-striped woven nylon. Hospital-grade gold-plated 3- prong male plug and a gold-plated three-connector IEC-standard female round out this design.

 

08 / 11 / 06

Vinyl Record Day (VRD)  Saturday August 12th is Vinyl Record Day (VRD), which is also the first nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation of the cultural influence, recordings and cover art of vinyl records. Retail stores are asked to promote this event by having a one week sales from August 16th to August 23rd. Stores are asked to exhibit album cover art and play vinyl on their sound system. Individuals are asked to invite family and friends to enjoy vinyl on August 16th. Play some vinyl albums, recall and share memories, and simply have a fun time.

 

08 / 10 / 06

Boston Audio Design TuneBloack Series 2  Boston Audio Design has announced their new "Series 2" line of TuneBlocks (price varies), VPI Scout Upgrade Kit ($229) and CD Stabilizer ($149). The TuneBlock line, winner of an Enjoy the Music.com Best of 2005 Blue Note Award, now sports a sleek round appearance and offers more price and performance options, including a specially-designed footer for use with spiked components. TuneBlock Mini ($79/set of 3) is the entry-level TuneBlock measuring 1.25" in diameter and 0.75" tall. Top of the line is their TuneBlock SE ($299/set of 3) that measure 2.5" in diameter and 1.5" tall with "Special Edition" TuneBlock that more than doubles the mass of the standard TuneBlock. It also includes a larger, cryogenically treated tungsten carbide bearing, and incorporates a recessed base for improved performance. Many other versions are available. Boston Audio's VPI Scout Upgrade Kit is to satisfy the many people who desired a carbon upgrade solution for the popular VPI Scout line of turntables. Consisting of four standard Series 2 TuneBlocks and a solid graphite platform for the motor enclosure, this kit offers a quick and easy way to get the most out of these popular tables. Lastly, the company's CD Stabilizer is made from a specialized form of super-fine graphite and CNC machined to tolerances within 0.0005" and may be used with top loading or drawer loading with puck CD transports. Measuring just 1.2mm thick, the mat absorbs mechanical vibration and enhances speed stability. The stabilizer has a 35mm recess around the spindle to accommodate many popular clamping mechanisms.

 

08 / 09 / 06

muRata ESTD01 and ESTD02  Breathing Dome Drivers  muRata , established in 1944 and today is a global leader in the design and manufacture and sale of electronic components, has announced the world's first domed "breathing mode" drivers. Super tweeter drivers ESTD01 and ESTD02, available only to loudspeaker manufacturers, features a proprietary design that does away with an ordinary magnetic base drive system and utilizes a new active piezoelectric dome where the drive system and dome material are one in the same. Both units employ a "breathing mode" vibration system that allows the entire surface of the dome to react acoustically. As the entire surface of the dome expands and contracts, like a balloon, sound radiates in all directions and thus eliminating the narrow beaming effect typically associated with high frequency drivers. muRata claims this ultra wide sound dispersion at higher frequencies creates a wider sound stage image and increases the ability to locate individual sound sources across the sound stage. The horn loaded ESTD01 has a frequency range of 15kHz to 100kHz and an average sound pressure level of 90dB/W/m. The non-horn loaded ESTD02's frequency range is 30kHz to 100khz with a 90dB/W/m average sound pressure level.

 

08 / 08 / 06

  Online peer-to-peer (P2P) lawsuits, Europe demands iTunes standardize, and sales of music albums take a dive are in the news today. Popular online file exchange site KaZaA has settled two major lawsuits, paying out more than $100 million. Meanwhile, four major record labels have just filed a lawsuit seeking $150,000 in damages for every song sent via online file-sharing site LimeWire. The lawsuit claims LimeWire is allowing copyrighted material to be "willfully infringed." In Europe, Apple Computer is being called upon to make their popular iTunes online music store and iPod hardware to be compatible with industry standard mp3 format. France's parliament has already passed such legislation and similar legal motions have been filed in Britain, Denmark, Norway, Poland and Sweden. iTunes has sold well over 200 million tracks within Europe, so Apple Computers is probably keeping a careful eye on how to keep their revenue flowing. Nielsen Soundscan, a company that tracks sales of music and music videos in the United States and Canada, has reported album sales for the week ending July 23 were the lowest in a decade to reach 8.91 million. These figures include both hardcopy and online music sales.

 

08 / 07 / 06

RealTraps Corner MondoTrap and RFZ  RealTraps, longtime specialists in room acoustic tuning devices, has introduced three new acoustic panels. The Corner MondoTrap ($350) is similar to the company's standard MondoTrap at four inches deep, though has beveled sides for corner mounting and appears slim. RealTraps' new Tri-Corner ($250) is a triangle shaped bass trap, also four inches thick, that is to be mounted in corners where two walls meet the ceiling or floor. The new RFZ panel ($250) is specifically for first reflections and measures 32 x 42 x 2 (WxHxD in inches). With a beveled front surface, the RFZ is said to appear more like a picture frame than an acoustic panel.

 

08 / 04 / 06

NorStone Cable By Invadis  NorStone Cable, a new division of Inovadis, includes four lines of loudspeakers and gold-plated banana plugs. Wire lines are the Classic, Classic White, Flat Wideband, and Silver as each one offers different performance and usage characteristics. The Classic line uses 99.99 percent ultra pure copper in a transparent outer jacket with an overall size of 3mm x 6mm. NorStone Cable's Classic White line combines the same performance and specifications as the Classic line in a white jacket. The company's Flat Wideband line allows unobtrusive runs along baseboards and under carpet due to conductors consisting of flat braiding technique with an overall size of 2mm x 2.5mm. Silver is a better conductor than copper, so the Silver line provides ultra low resistance due to silver-plating copper. The white pearl outer jacket and wire winding measures combined measure 3mm x 6mm. NorStone Cable banana plugs are both mechanically and electrically designed to ensure the best possible connection with a screw-fixing system.

 

08 / 03 / 06

Shure E500 Earphones  Shure Incorporated announced the availability of the E500PTH Sound Isolating Earphones ($549). As the flagship model of the E series, the E500 is precision-engineered with 3 Hi-Definition miniature drivers (one tweeter and two woofers) and the E500 includes an innovative 'Push-to-Hear' option that lets users alternate between complete isolation and allowing outside sounds through. Included with the Shure E500 Premium Kit are sound isolating sleeves in three sizes (S, M, L) of the Flex and Clear Flex Sleeves as well as one universal-fit pair of Foam and Triple Flange Sleeves. Sensitivity is 119dB SPL/mW with an impedance of 36 Ohms. Frequency response is from 18Hz to 19 kHz and input connector is standard 3.5 mm (1/8-inch) gold-plated stereo plug.

 

08 / 02 / 06

Genesis Series 5.3 Loudspeaker  Genesis' new 5-Series version 3 ($16,000) loudspeaker system is claimed to improve on the previous generation by raising the impedance of the crossover in the frequency ranges most affected on the previous model. The higher impedance and new crossover makes it easier for real-world amplifiers to drive. With the built-in 500W servo-bass amplifier powering the woofer section, Genesis claims that "a decent $2,000 integrated amp will be able to drive this latest version!" The newly designed 8-inch woofers use a stronger motor structure, stiffer frame, and larger suspension to achieve higher volume levels with reduced distortion over the previous version. Recessing the front tweeter is said to improve imaging and off axis response while increasing the slope of the rear baffle enhances the overall effect of the rear tweeter. The Genesis 5.3 is available in High Gloss Black, Titanium, and Arctic Silver.

 

08 / 01 / 06

Audiophile Equipment Reviews, High-End Audio Reviews   Enjoy the Music.com's August edition of our Review Magazine features well over 10 new articles and announces our growth as three new journalists join our magazine! Equipment reviews include the APC S15 Power Conditioner, ASL MG-Head OTL 32 DT, Ray Samuels Audio Emmeline Stealth, Bastanis Prometheus mkII kit speakers, Cary Concept Series CAI 1 & CDP 1, Ultimate Ears UE-10 in-ear monitors, Michael Yee Audio PA-3 and Musical Surroundings Super Nova phonostage. Superior Audio showcases the extremely impressive Atma-Sphere Music Preamplifier 3 (MP-3).



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