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High-End Audio Industry News

 

09 / 30 / 04

  NAD has introduced their new NetCap Network Receiver ($499) said to be a simple and inexpensive way to access music, movies, and pictures stored on any home networked PCs. NAD's NetCap Network Receiver handles a PC network as another AV source that can playback both music and movies plus handle various picture file formats. As an added benefit, Internet radio broadcasts can be streamed to the system via the NetCap Network Receiver. An assortment of I/O connections are provided on the NetCap including Ethernet hardwired connection, 802.11B/G wireless access on the rear, plus a USB port on the front.

 

09 / 29 / 04

  The Republik of Kalifornia's government has become ever more heavy-handed as Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has signed a new anti-piracy bill to strengthen copyright infringement laws. Beginning in January 2005, anyone within the state who shares a file to more than ten people must also include their legitimate e-mail address. Those found guilty of breaking this new law can suffer fines upwards of $2,500 and/or a year in jail, though minors would pay $250 for their first two offenses. Motion Picture Association of America's senior vice president Vans Stevenson said "We took that model and concept and translated it to the electronic and digital world. It's another tool to go after counterfeiters and thieves on the internet." Meanwhile opposition to this new bill included Sarah Deutsch, associate general counsel for Verizon Communications, who said "There are many ways to be anonymous on the internet that have nothing to do with copyright. I would not want my children putting (their e-mail) on every communication."

 

09 / 28 / 04

  With new high definition digital disc formats soon to make its way to consumer homes, formats capable of higher resolution audio and video versus current DVD formats, the standards are now being set. DTS (Digital Theater Systems) has announced their DTS Coherent Acoustics coding system has been selected as mandatory audio technology for both the Blu-ray Disc (BD) and High Definition Digital Versatile Disc (HD-DVD). DTS has stated that "audio tracks (can be) encoded at data rates greater than 1.5 Mbit/s, all the way to fully lossless operation -- meaning that the soundtrack is bit-for-bit identical to the master. Both the mandatory DTS core technology, as well as optional higher sampling rates such as DTS 96/24 and additional channels up to 7.1, enable both Blu-ray Disc and HD-DVD formats to offer DTS' premium audio quality to consumers while retaining compatibility with all existing DTS decoders."

 

09 / 27 / 04

Tubesville Noise Fate And Luck Monoblock Amplifiers  Tubesville Noise is now specializing in audio designs including their Fate and Luck that are a 25/50 watt per channel dual monoblock design. Giving homage to Junji Kimura of 47 Labs, this power opamp technology includes organic solid semiconductor filter capacitors, carbon film resistors, and hyperfret noiseless diodes. Internal wiring is solid silver while Sorbothane decoupling and damping techniques insures low resonances. Also of note is the units are housed in handmade aluminum cylinders while the power supply features huge 250VA toroidal transformers.

 

09 / 24 / 04

Snell SPA200 Subwoofer Amplifier  Snell has introduced their SPA200 ($600), a 19-inch rack mountable amplifier to match up with their passive subwoofers. Producing 200 watts at 4 ohms, the SPA200 features a variable low pass filter (40Hz to 160Hz @ 24dB/octave), variable level control, plus a 0/180 degree phase switch. It comes with switchable EQ specifically optimized to flatten and extend the response of Snell's in-wall subwoofers. The SPA200 also provides a 12-volt and music-sense turn on. A stereo line level input and an LFE line level with crossover bypass are included. The LFE input should be used with surround processors that provide their own internal and adjustable bass crossover.

 

09 / 16   to   09 / 20

Milan Italy Top Audio & Video Show  Enjoy the Music.com's premiere coverage of Milan's Top Audio & Video show will showcase new, state-of-the-art, and craftsmen high-end equipment. Our previous five Milan show reports give testimony to the amazing creations offered by Italy-based manufacturers plus other based all around the world. See our 2004 Milan Italy Top Audio & Video show coverage by clicking here. Exotic automobile enthusiasts may also enjoy Steven R. Rochlin's exclusive tour of the Ferrari facility in 2002 by clicking here.

 

09 / 13 / 04

Enjoy the Music.com Internet Website Browser  Brought to you from one of the oldest Internet websites for audiophiles, Enjoy the Music.com has once again updated their Internet website browser specifically customized for audiophiles! The Enjoy the Music.com browser includes links to online reviews of both equipment and music, many highly respected magazines, worldwide manufacturers of high performance electronics, discussion groups, and to keep it fun, "other cool stuff." With every link personally approved by editor Steven R. Rochlin, you can be assured each one will be filled with vital information ever audiophile should know. "As the world's only Internet browser specifically tailored for audiophile's needs, ease of installation and variety of information is key," said editor Steven R. Rochlin. "The Enjoy the Music.com Internet website browser is a customization of Microsoft's Internet Explorer. With so many websites available on the Internet, it is hard to know which ones offer accurate and high quality content. It brings me joy that we are the able to bring our browser to audiophiles worldwide." Click here to learn more and download.

 

 

The 5th Annual Latin Grammy awards celebrate the richness and diversity of music. This recent event's big winner was singer/songwriter Alejandro Sanz who has now won a grand total of eight Grammy Awards. Vocalist Soraya accepted her award for Best Singer/Songwriter Album, and acknowledged the late, great Celia Cruz, who won an award in the Best Salsa Album category in the pre-telecast portion of the show. Carlos Santana graced the Latin Grammy Award audience with his spiritual and spectacular music. To see a complete list of the 5th Annual Latin Grammy Away winners please click here (Adobe Acrobat file).

 

09 / 10 / 04

  Knoll Systems has introduced their model 21K Stereo amplifier. Using audiophile grade discrete output devices operating in "Class A/B", the 21K produces 110 watts per channel at 8 ohms (150 watts at 4 ohms). The high current output transistors are used with very low feedback while the unit is bridgeable for monophonic operation to produce 225 watt into 8 ohms. Input is via gold plated single ended (RCA) jacks, it also features single ended (RCA) output jacks, and loudspeaker connection is via 5-way binding posts.

 

09 / 09 / 04

Consumer Electronics Association (CEA)  Revised sales figures for 2003 by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) stated that sales exceeded $100 billion, a new record and fourfold increase over the 2002 growth rate. Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of CEA, said "Consumer demand for digital products continues to drive consumer electronics sales beyond our earlier projections. Consumer enthusiasm going into the fourth quarter of 2003 further catapulted overall sales. Across the board, consumer electronics sales exceeded projections as consumers saw the right prices at the right time. Even as we celebrate record sales in 2003, we expect that 2004 will be an even bigger year as our growth rate continues to climb." CEA forecasts 2004 sales to surpass $108 billion.

 

09 / 08 / 04

RealTraps MondoTraps  RealTraps new MondoTraps ($280) are said to be approximately six times more effective at low frequencies than typical corner foam. At 2 feet by 4 foot 9 inches and 4 inches thick, they are slightly larger than the company's MiniTraps. MondoTraps are made with rigid fiberglass and metal instead of foam, so they are Class A fire rated and can be installed with confidence in public venues. They can either be wall or stand mounted, plus a custom stand is also available from RealTraps for $60. According to RealTraps co-owner Ethan Winer, "The main problem in most studios and listening rooms is acoustic interference that causes severe variations in the low frequency response. Nulls of 30dB and even deeper are not only common, but typical. Just as important is taming modal ringing, which reduces the clarity and articulation of bass instruments. Many recording engineers and audiophiles cover their walls with foam, but that makes the room too dead sounding at mid and high frequencies while doing little for bass problems. MondoTraps are far more absorbent than foam at low frequencies, so they do a superior job overall and with fewer pieces to install."

 

09 / 07 / 04

Gryphon Audio Poseidon Loudspeaker  Gryphon Audio has announced their top range Poseidon loudspeaker ($130,000). According to Gryphon, the Poseidon has "Constant Phase and True Time Alignment to ensure sound quality." This four-piece, 34-driver Poseidon system consists of matching 6 foot 6.5 inch mid/high frequency towers and bass towers for each channel to reproduce frequencies from 16Hz to 40kHz. The mid/high system utilizes four 5-inch midbass drivers and four 5-inch midrange units plus the ScanSpeak ring radiator tweeter. Each bass column incorporates eight 8-inch drivers and a custom designed 1,000 Watt (4 Ohms) Gryphon amplifier. Weight of complete Poseidon system is a staggering 800 Kgs.! Available finish options are limited only by "the imagination of the buyer and the goodwill of his bank manager."

 

09 / 06 / 04

  Talk Electronics' new Thunder 2.2 CD player (1,200 including VAT at 17.5 percent) features the latest 24-bit/192kHz D/A converter and a new high-accuracy 50PPm (parts per million) master clock. The D/A converter is configured to read 16-bit/44.1kHz CD standard while the master clock operates at 16.9344MHz passed directly into a high quality buffer, which is fed from its own regulated and filtered supply. Talk Electronics' Thunder 2.2 also uses oversampling at 384 times (not upsampling). A low phase shift analog filter and RF (radio frequency) filtering technology developed directly from Talk Electronics' top of the range Thunder 3.1 for better RF noise suppression. Various power supply sections, a new custom-made 70VA transformer with separate secondary windings for various digital circuits, and a similarly special 100VA transformer feeding the analogue stages insures each stage receives an abundance of electricity. The Thunder 2.2 can be upgraded by an external Talk Electronics Whirlwind external power supply by the user and it can also be upgraded to the Thunder 3.1 B specification at the factory. Furthermore, it can easily be converted to a CD transport simply by fitting an additional digital output board in place of the standard DAC board. Both balanced (XLR) and single ended (RCA) analogue outputs are fitted as standard while optical and coaxial digital outputs are also provided. The enclosure is made from 3mm casework, a 10mm machined front panel, a wrap around cover fitted with sound-absorbing panels to reduce acoustic noise feedback, and is available in Millennium Silver or stylish black.

 

09 / 03 / 04

Meridian Audio Ltd Limited Edition 808 Signature Reference CDP  Meridian Audio Ltd is marking the 20th anniversary release of their very first CD player by offering a Limited Edition version 808 Signature Reference CDP ($12,995 or $14,850 for the 808i preamplifier version.). Each unit is hand-signed by Meridian designers and co-founders Allen Boothroyd and Bob Stuart. The 808 uses a multi-speed DVD-ROM drive to recover data from the disk and to play virtually any CD, CD-R, CD-RW and MP3. Three powerful on-board digital signal processing (DSP) chips handle the digital data at 150 MIPS (million instructions per second) and can upsample CD to 24-bit/176.4kHz. Meridian 808 Signature Reference employs a triple buffering system to minimize jitter. An optional 808i preamplifier version offers a built-in stereo preamplifier including the ability to handle six stereo analog inputs, three digital coaxial (S/PDIF) inputs and two Toslink optical digital inputs. Both 808 variants provide balanced and unbalanced fixed/variable stereo analog outputs, main digital coax S/PDIF outputs with MHR (Meridian High Resolution) capability and an auxiliary digital coax output.

 

09 / 02 / 04

  Microsoft will soon be going head to head with iTunes with their MSN Music service. Most song downloads will cost 99 cents and albums for averaging $9.99. Microsoft has teamed up with Billboard, BMG, EMI, Sony, Universal Music, and Warner Music Group to achieve over one million songs when the MSN Music service is launched. Downloads are encoded as 160kbps WMA files and allows users to play music on up to five Windows PCs, burn play lists to CD up to seven times, and transfer to an unlimited number of portable audio devices. Unlike Apple's iTunes, the MSN Music store does not require users to download a separate software program to access the music lineup as it will work seamlessly with the upcoming Windows Media Player 10. Microsoft is claiming this new service is not for music profits, but instead will help their search engine and Yahoo's Overture Services to push advertising.

 

09 / 01 / 04

Enjoy the Musuc.com Audiophile Review Magazine  Enjoy the Music.com's September issue of our Review Magazine heralds in five new equipment reviews including 47 Laboratory's Model 4718 phono stage, Ayre's K-1x pre/phono, Etalon's Musicante Examplissimo amplifier, Quantum's RT800, and the Usher X-708 entry level loudspeaker. This month we proudly launch our Joe Audiophile editorial while Bill Gaw celebrates five years of Audiolics Anonymous. As you would expect with Enjoy the Music.com, we feature a great variety of classical, jazz, and rock reviews including American works for organ and orchestra, Chopin, various LSO recordings, Stanislaw Skrowaczewski, and Leonard Norwitz surveys the many manifestations of Ilya Mourometz. We also highlight reviews of Joan Baez, Bill Berry, Johnny Cash, Heart, Modest Mouse, Nektar, and many more. See the September issue of our Review Magazine by clicking here.

 

 

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