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High-End Audio Industry News


09 / 30 / 09

Bruce Brisson's Giant Killer  Bruce Brisson's new Giant Killer line of DIY audio kits will be demonstrated at the upcoming 2009 RMAF show in Denver. Bruce Brisson's kits include speaker cables, interconnects and an AC power conditioner designed for those whose passion and hobby is related to DIY electronics. Giant Killer kits are said to provide "improved tonality, timbre, imaging quality, and soundstage reproduction, all based on the value of MIT Cable's unique and patented Multipole Technology used in their networked cables." Users may enjoy all of the hallmarks of MIT's products with the benefit of cost savings and the satisfaction of doing it yourself with simple everyday tools! The Giant Killer Speaker Cable Kit with MMSTM (Multi Module System) features up to 28 poles of articulation and is comparable to other MIT Cables speaker interfaces. It is constructed with 28 strands of OFC copper with high-quality polyethylene dielectric and a PVC outer jacket. You assemble your own network and customize the cable to the amount of articulation poles of your choosing. Audio demonstrations of Giant Killer products will be held every 15 minutes throughout the show in Room 2012.

 

RealTraps new MegaTraps ($500 per pair) are claimed to absorb more than any other commercial bass traps in the world, regardless of price. MegaTraps are meant for corner placement only, and boast a front face nearly three feet wide. When stacked from floor to ceiling, they fill the corner completely for maximum absorption. MegaTraps are built similarly to other RealTraps bass traps, using the company's proprietary limp mass membrane behind the front fabric for maximum absorption at bass frequencies. MegaTraps are sold in pairs only for shipping efficiency. An optional rigid top made of 0.25-inch thick Masonite is available for $25 extra. Enjoy the Music.com has reviewed the RealTraps corner room reflection devices, which can be seen by clicking here.

 

09 / 29 / 09

Bybee Golden Goddess 'Super Effect' RCA Bullets  Bybee Technologies now offers two new accessories: the entry-level RCA Magic Bullet II and the perfectionist-oriented Golden Goddess 'Super Effect' XLR Bullets, which incorporate Jack Bybee's latest breakthrough technology. Like all Bybee products, these new accessories are said to eliminate 1/f noise, a form of quantum mechanical noise caused by the passage of electrons through conductors. This noise is not itself audible to the human ear, but it negatively affects the beauty and musicality of program material. Eliminating 1/f noise allows music to play back with natural immediacy, without the subtly degrading electronic "haze" that otherwise overlays even the most capable audio recording and playback systems. The new RCA Magic Bullet II ($395 per pair, pictured) brings Bybee signal purification to a broader range of listeners at an affordable cost. This simple, compact device significantly outperforms the original Bybee RCA Magic Bullets, and at lower cost. Each RCA Magic Bullet II is a rigid piece, 2.5 inches in length and 0.5 inch in diameter. The compact size facilitates connections to even closely spaced jacks. The RCA plug is a gold-plated Neutrik; the gold-plated RCA jack is from Cardas. A Bybee Slipstream Quantum Purifier connects the two terminations. Golden Goddess SE XLR Bullets ($2495 pr pair) are also available and are intended not only for those enthusiasts, but also to improve significantly the fidelity of the recording process itself, from basic signal capture through mixing, mastering and manufacturing. All three Bybee Golden Goddess SE products incorporate a 21-picosecond dispersive delay that realigns those high and low frequencies for a more coherent musical presentation. Enjoy the Music.com has reviewed the Bybee Golden Goddess 'Super Effect' Speaker Bullets (click here) and Bybee Wire Power Purifier (click here).

 

Acoustic Zen Allegro SubwooferAcoustic Zen's Allegro subwoofer ($3700) features a 1000 watt mono Class T amplifier that provides the power to a pair of down ported 10-inch subwoofers with under hung ultra linear motor system. The 150 lb. subwoofer is rated from 20 Hz to 150 Hz (+/-3dB). Inputs include both stereo RCA and loudspeaker wire, the gain and phase is adjustable as is high frequency cutoff so the unit can better integrate with existing systems within a room. Dimensions are 25 x 25 x 22 (HxWxD in inches). Company owner Robert Less personally designed these units to produce tight, accurate and clean lower frequency support for high-end audiophiles.

 

09 / 28 / 09

Veloce Audio Platino Series LS1-P Phonostage Module  Veloce Audio has proudly announced their Platino Series LS1-P phonostage module designed as an addition to the company's LS1 battery powered linestage. After two and a half years of intensive development, their Platino Series products feature DC battery power with extended play times of up to 100 hours. The new SmartSupply technology extends battery life while also shortening charge time. In addition to pure DC power, "In this age of ultra resolving audio systems and dirty AC power, we believe the best approach is to get the key audio components off the grid" said Mark Conti, managing director of Veloce Audio. "An added benefit is that DC powered equipment reduces or eliminates the need for expensive powerline conditioning and power cords." All products carry a five year transferable warranty. Enjoy the Music.com may be covering the new Platino Series LS1-P phonostage module within our RMAF 2009 show report.

 

Jaton REAL A3 Floorstanding SpeakerJaton invites audiophiles to visit them at the RMAF 2009 where they will be showing their new REAL A3 floorstanding three-way speaker. The REAL A3 speaker ($12,000 per pair) is the company's newest version of "REAL" designs. After receiving many comments and reviews from both dealers and users, Jaton decided to not just change the tweeter and woofer drivers, they also took one more step forward by changing the crossover network and keeping the same wood finish cabinet. The new A3 speaker will achieve the same speed and direction of the A&V-803, yet will have more accuracy and a more balanced frequency response. Other benefits of this new design includes a larger soundscape and tighter imaging. Also to appear at the RMAF 2009 will be the company's Operetta AP2300AX stereo amplifier ($5500) that produces 300 wpc and RC2000 stereo preamplifiers (RC2000P and RC2000S, $1200 and $1500 respectively). The RC2000P is a pure analog design and it has the most soft and warmth output for your vinyl and CD. Jaton added in the digital input for the RC2000S with a controllable LFE subwoofer signal output.

 

09 / 25 / 09

KingRex Technology Headquarters HQ-1 Headphone Preamplifier/Amplifier  KingRex Technology now offers their Headquarters HQ-1 headphone preamplifier/amplifier and Qunitessence QS-01 Class-T 80 wpc stereo power amplifier ($890 and $799 respectively). The KingRex HQ-1 features Class-A MOSFET headphone amplifier, one input and two outputs which are selectable via a front panel push button (one is line output and another is headphone output). A high quality gold-plated Neutrik headphone jack and gold-plated RCA terminals provide excellent contact quality. The interior circuitry consists of a transistor Toshiba A970/C2240 for first stage amplification while the output stage is the Hitachi MOSFET 2SK214. Audio grade Panasonic FM capacitor is the main filter, input capacitor is by WIMA while the output capacitor is by Vishay. For volume control, the ALPS potentiometer was chosen. To supply power to the circuitry, a high current toroidal transformer (LMS1585) provides with constant voltage regulator with eight audio grade Nippon Chemi-Con electrolytic capacitor that in total supply 25100uF (five 2,200 uF at AC input stage and three 4,700uF at DC output stage). This two box design ensures the power supply noise is kept away from the critical analog stage. The KingRex Qunitessence QS-01 stereo amplifier is based on Tripath's TA-2022 DPP chip Class-T technology and produces 80 wpc. The same care has been taken to ensure top-notch sound quality as found within the company's headphone/preamplifier, though of note is that internal wiring is by Furukawa and there is speaker protection and soft-start design to avoid damage to the speakers in case if user error or other circumstances.

 

MAGIX Rescue your Vinyl and TapesMAGIX Rescue your Vinyl and Tapes ($100) allows easy recording of vinyl to lossless Flac or the usual wav, OGG, WMA and MP3 formats. The LP has experienced a renaissance in the past year or so and many audiophiles may want to also have the music on their vinyl available in digital format. As such, MAGIX Rescue your Vinyl and Tapes makes it easier to do so. It also includes specific vinyl-oriented tools such as dehiss, declick, ID3 tag editor, etc. This digitizing package includes a USB preamplifier as a connection between the PC and the turntable or cassette recorder while the Audio Cleaning Lab program for recording, editing, and burning the analog material handles the signal processing. "Even if this is normally a niche market, this is proof: Vinyl lives," states Dr. Ulrich Hepp, MAGIX Senior PR Manager. "For many people, the audio advantage is important, and this can be attributed to the dynamic character of analog audio media. The compression of recordings that play on modern devices often leads to a blurring of different volumes and more quieter passages. Vinyl recordings feature more dynamics, and this can be detected more easily, which in turn makes the recording sound more interesting." Users can import WAV, MP3, WMA, AIFF, OGG Vorbis, M3U, CUE, CD-A; video import: AVI, WMV, MXV. Files can be exported to WAV, MP31, MP3 Surround1, WMA, OGG Vorbis, AAC (optional upgrade), AVI, CD-A, MP3 DVD, data DVD, DVD-Video (soundtrack) and DVD-Audio.

 

hi-fi+Issue 67 (September 2009) of our hi-fi+ preview is now available on Enjoy the Music.com! This issue features many equipment reviews, including the Crystal Cable Arabesque loudspeaker, conrad-johnson The GAT preamplifier, Wilson Audio Sasha W/P loudspeaker, SRM Arezzo Reference turntable and much more! Within this issue editor Alan Sircom chimes in and says, "Now that we've revamped the magazine, it's now the turn of our website to be brought out of cryogenic storage and given a new lick of e-paint. We've more or less kept the good old home page for now - that too will change as the new site is 'populated' with blogs, features and more..." To see the entire table of contents and read the complete editorial click here.

 

09 / 24 / 09

KEF HTB2SE-W Wireless Subwoofer  KEF's new HTB2SE-W wireless subwoofer ($1200 offers the freedom and convenience of no speaker signal wires. Using the acoustic design from the company's multi-award winning HTB2SE, the subwoofer's reliable and highly efficient 250 watt Class-D amplifier powers a 10 inch driver which, together with a matching auxiliary bass radiator, produces deep bass. The HFADPCM wireless system is said to be of "CD quality" and ensures real-time audio with no loss or dropouts. KEF's HTB2SE-W wireless subwoofer's elegant design allows subwoofer to be placed vertically or horizontally. "Finally, discriminating music and movie lovers can have a great sounding subwoofer without having to fuss with wires and complicated setup", commented Alec Chanin, President of KEF America. "With our new HTB2SE-W, the end-user can be up and running in minutes without wires running across their floor. Better yet, its unique design with vertical or horizontal placement options, it can be placed almost anywhere in the listening area. This sub is finally what the market has been waiting for."

 

Classe CT SeriesClassé CT series custom installation components consists of four completely new amplifiers and a surround sound preamplifier/processor. Each model features an efficiently designed cabinet that can operate within hot and noisy environments. The four new CT amplifiers include a 600 and 300 watt monaural models (CT-M600 at $6500 and CT-M300 at $5000), a 300 watt stereo version (CT-2300 at $6500) and a 5 x 300 watt model (CT-5300 at $9000). They are all new class AB designs featuring innovations such as adjustable rack rails, a detachable faceplate and intelligent circuit design. The CTunnel exploits the principle of low thermal mass, so it heats quickly but also cools just as quickly. Fins providing nearly 31 square feet of surface area are hidden inside. The key to its operation is how they are spaced--as close as possible to maximize surface area but not so close as to heat each other. CT amplifiers automatically adjust airflow through the tunnel to keep the output devices at their target temperature. Classe's CT amplifiers are complimented by a matching surround sound preamp/processor, the CT-SSP ($9000). Having already established itself as the preeminent surround preamp/processor, the Delta series' SSP-800 is the inspiration for its CT series counterpart. The CT-SSP uses exactly the same circuitry that has made the SSP-800 such a success and the two models are identical in features, performance and price. In fact, they differ only in appearance and chassis design, with the CT-SSP tailored especially for professional equipment racks. As a state-of-the-art ten-channel preamp/processor, the CT-SSP is fully able to decode the latest HD bitstreams, such as Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio. The CT-SSP features two Texas Instruments DSPs, each capable of performing a whopping 2800 million instructions per second. The processors operate in 64-bit double precision mode and use floating point arithmetic for all audio signal calculations to ensure the most accurate results possible. All bass management filters, level adjustments and parametric EQ filters benefit from this incredible precision.

 

09 / 23 / 09

Canton Chrono SL Speakers  Canton, a loudspeaker manufacturer that was established in 1972 by four hi-fi enthusiasts with the goal of producing the best speakers within their class, has announced their new the addition of five new Chrono SL models with high-gloss white or black lacquer finishes. The new models include the SL 590 DC and SL 580 DC floorstanding, SL 555 center channel plus the SL 530 and SL 520 monitors ($3500/pair, $3000/pair, $1000 each, $1500/pair and $1250/pair respectively). While four of the new SL speakers are derivatives of continuing Chrono models, the second-in-line Chrono SL 580 DC floor-standing speaker is a brand new, narrow-footprint design that looks similar to the company's Karat product family. The new Canton Chrono SL 580 DC uses a tall, narrow enclosure and front baffle with a three-way bass reflex configuration. Outstanding bass reproduction is provided by a pair of 6-inch aluminum woofers that employ Canton's signature high-excursion Wave Surrounds. A third identical 6-inch aluminum driver operates across the midrange frequencies and is mounted above the tweeter at the top of the baffle. The tweeter is Canton's classic 1-inch aluminum-manganese model used throughout the Chrono line and many other higher-end Canton speaker lines. Enjoy the Music.com has reviewed the Canton Chrono 502 bookshelf loudspeaker, which can be seen by clicking here.

 

Silicon Arts Design and Concert FidelitySilicon Arts Design and Concert Fidelity will be introducing two new products at the upcoming RMAF 2009 (Rocky Mountain Audio Festival). The Concert Fidelity CF-080LSX hybrid line stage preamplifier ($20,000) is the latest (and possibly the final) iteration of acclaimed CF-080LS preamplifier. Since the designer Masataka Tsuda feels that he has done everything he can think of in this latest design update, the overall basic design philosophy and execution is always to keep circuit and signal paths short and simple remain the same. Solid-state input selector and analog volume control devices provide accurate and reliable control of signal, while in combination with single 12AU7 vacuum tube based gain stage provides 12dB gain (6dB optional). This new version marks further fine-tuning of circuit design and parts selection to achieve increased level of signal purity plus an additional 6dB of gain can be added, the output is muted in Standby mode and an input overload limiter is added. These upgrades are be available for a small fee to owners of previous versions of CF-080LS. The other new model is the Silicon Arts Design ZL-200 solid-state monoblock power amplifier ($40,000 per pair). Producing 200 watt @ 8 Ohm, these units were developed with load driving capability as a priority. The overall circuit topology remains the same as ZL-120, with no overall NFB, while the output stage now has four pairs of MOSFETs per each half of BTL configured monoblock as opposed to ZL-120's two pairs. The dimensions of ZL-200 are 18 inches by 7 inches by 19 inches and weights approximately 65 lbs. The ZL-200fs are painstaking manufactured with closely selected matched output MOSFETs in order to achieve purity and transparency in sound. Enjoy the Music.com has reviewed the Silicon Arts ZL-120 monoblock power amplifier with Concert Fidelity's CF-080 preamplifier (click here) and the Concert Fidelity's DAC-040 digital to analog converter (click here).

 

09 / 19 / 09

Jim Thiel  Jim Thiel, co-founder of THIEL Audio Products of Kentucky in 1976, has passed away. Jim's passion for music and his interest in electronics can both be traced back to childhood, when he began a lifelong love affair with the piano and also began to build and repair radios and other electronic gear. His academic background in physics and mathematics along with his naturally creative and inquisitive nature led him to pioneer the principle of time and phase accuracy in loudspeaker design. Over the last three decades, Jim Thiel's speakers have received countless awards from the most prestigious audio publications worldwide including Enjoy the Music.com. Jim was known to listen thoughtfully and challenge gracefully, and he garnered a deep level of respect and affection from those who worked at his company. His employees remarked that he was so genuine-he was always fair, kind and reasonable. Jim was a man of science, possessing a profound respect for individuality and personal freedoms. Jim would like to thank Dr. Mark Rosenberg who extended the length and quality of his life. Jim felt strongly that Dr. Rosenberg's alternative approach to cancer treatment was viable and would like to encourage anyone challenged by the disease to learn more about Dr. Rosenberg's work at New Hope For Cancer. Donations in honor of Jim Thiel can be made to the Rosenberg Integrative Cancer Treatment and Research Institute.

 

Meridian AudioMeridian Audio, a leading high quality audio and video equipment manufacturer, is now offering the ultimate bespoke color service. The new Meridian Select service assists today's interior designers in choosing from the huge array of furniture finishes that are available. As a result, consumers have a very specific idea of what themes they want to complement their living environment. The Meridian Select program not only meets the requirements of the market but also responds to customers' wishes for a broader range of product color options to co-ordinate with their interiors. Meridian Select uses the K5 selection of RAL system, the most popular European color reference standard in use today. Using this system the Meridian Select customer can choose from a vast choice of colors, and in doing so achieve their ideal surroundings. In addition to bespoke color lacquering, Meridian Select includes further personalization in the form of a small plaque, featuring the customer's name alongside the signatures of Meridian's founders, Bob Stuart and Allen Boothroyd. The K5 selection of the RAL System offers 210 metallic and non-metallic colors for a full range of options for customers. Meridian Select products are sold at a premium of 20 percent above the MSRP.

 

Waterfall Audio Hurricane EvoThe new Waterfall Audio Hurricane Evo ($750 each) ultra flat range of loudspeakers feature the company's renown glass. The ultra compact Ultra Flat Line Hurricane Evo is designed to be part of an audio or home-theater system loudspeaker array, whether as freestanding speakers or placed on walls, or on optional stands. The Hurricane Evo features striking glass baffles that are less than three inches in depth that create a unique, "floating" appearance. Waterfall Audio's Hurricane Evo is a two-driver, two-way design. The proprietary transducers are created for Waterfall by Atohm, a French manufacturer of high-end drivers. The Atohm LD100 Absolute Series bass/midrange driver features an FEA optimized motor that incorporates a powerful 60mm neodymium ring and a copper eddy-current ring both to reduce for distortion. This driver extends the speaker's bass response to 95Hz which allows the Hurricane Evo to be used without a subwoofer in most multi-room installations. The new Atohm SD20 tweeter offers an extended frequency response to 28kHz and has a neodymium magnet and a treated silk dome that uses Anamorphic Dispersion Pattern (ADP) technology to provide better off-axis dispersion and limit reflections of the high frequencies. Its die cast aluminum cabinet eliminates internal reflections and provides an exceptionally rigid, non-resonant enclosure that is available in white, black, or silver. Matching magnetic grilles that attach to the front of the speaker are available in white, black, silver, and two optional fashion colors, green and orange. For easy mounting, each speaker is shipped with two wall brackets, one flat, one angled. Waterfall offers optional shelf or floor stands in three colors to match the speaker's body.

 

09 / 18 / 09

HDtracks  HDtracks, an online music site founded by David and Norman Chesky that offering high-resolution digital music downloads, is now featuring The Academy of St Martin in the Fields. Formed in 1958 as a small, conductor-less chamber ensemble and led by Neville Marriner and attracting some of the finest players in London, the orchestra at first concentrated on repertoire from the Baroque era, developing a style of performance that launched the 1960's Baroque revival. The Academy was so named after the various concert-giving societies or 'Academies' that had flourished in 18th century London and the famous church in which it gave its first concert on 13 November 1959. Since that time, the Academy has amassed a record-breaking discography that now boasts well over 500 entries, making them the most recorded chamber orchestra in the world. The Academy is particularly well-known for its Mozart recordings with Sir Neville Marriner including the multi-award winning soundtrack to the film Amadeus. More recently the orchestra has won critical acclaim for its recordings of Bach pianist Murray Perahia, concerti by Kurt Weill and Peteris Vasks with British violinist Anthony Marwood, and Soprano Kate Royal's debut recording.

 

Unipheye MusicUnipheye Music has announced the release of a new album that should appeal to the devoted cello enthusiast and collector. Recorded Direct-to-PCM in July and September, Camden Shaw, an outstanding young cellist from the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, USA, conveys some of the darkest and most wonderful cello literature of Johann Sebastian Bach, Zoltán Kodály and György Ligeti, with nuance, passion, delicacy and expression that simply must be witnessed. This is an astounding player who embraces the literature and has something to say with it that transforms and transports the listener. "I was speechless" said Ira Norman Segall, owner and recording engineer. "Camden took me to another planet with his Kodály. It simply transcends. There is no other word for it. Only the greats have ever played this work. I have been a deep aficionado of the cello and its associated literature all my life and I was hypnotized by this and still am when I listen back to it. This will be a must-have for the collector of cello music."

 

09 / 17 / 09

Rotel RDG-1520  Rotel, a company with nearly fifty years of manufacturing home electronics that deliver top-notch audio performance at affordable prices, just released two new components with Internet radio and streaming media support. The RDG-1520 Digital Internet Tuner ($999), RDG stands for Rotel Digital Gateway, opens the gate wide for all that streaming media can offer plus it includes FM radio and USB input for direct digital connection of an iPod or other USB class 2 devices. Direct digital sources bypass the analog output stage in favor of a Wolfson DAC and high-end analog stage. The receiver's tuner section includes both terrestrial FM and Internet radio so listening options are virtually limitless. In order to help keep favorite stations handy, the RCX-1500 includes 30 possible presets for instantaneous access to both FM and Internet broadcasts. A computer can also be connected directly to the RDG-1520. Owners can stream from a PC using Windows Media Player 11 over a wireless or wired Ethernet connection while a USB to Wi-Fi Ethernet dongle is included. This unit supports RealAudio, WMA, MP3, AAC and AAC+ (non DRM), AU, WAV and AIFF. The RDG-1520 can be controlled via bi-directional RS-232 as well as discrete IR.

Rotel RCX-1500Rotel's RCX-1500 streaming media/CD/FM stereo receiver ($1500) is an all-in-one model that adds a CD player and the same high-performance Wolfson DAC as used in the acclaimed RCD-1520 CD player with 24-bit/192kHz decoding plus 100 wpc stereo amplification. The amplifier uses Rotel's innovative Class D design that is highly efficient, runs cooler than older A/B designs and provides plenty of voltage and current to easily drive lower impedance speakers down to 4 Ohms. With 100 watts per channel available, even those with large power hungry speakers can expect the bility to enjoy high volume output when connected to the RCX-1500. This model also includes all the features of the RDG-1520 Digital Internet Tuner. Enjoy the Music.com has recently released our North American world premiere reviews of the Rotel RC-1550 preamplifier and RB-1552 power amplifier, which can be seen by clicking here.

 

Bowers & Wilkins New Media DivisionBowers & Wilkins, with over 40 years of audio engineering experience, has established a New Media Division that was created to build on the success of Zeppelin. The New Media Division is headed up by Jan McNair, ex Netcom/Jabra, who will oversee the rollout of an exciting collection of new products over the next six months. With the launch of the B&W Zeppelin two years ago, Bowers & Wilkins goal was to use its engineering and design competence to deliver best in class audio products to the new digital consumer. The creation of the New Media division will enable Bowers & Wilkins to successfully capitalize on this opportunity and introduce the Bowers & Wilkins experience to a new and growing consumer segment. "Over the next 6 months Bowers & Wilkins will launch a series of New Media products that extends the Zeppelin family and enters the PC speaker and headphone space" said Jan McNair. "All products offer the digital consumer the same premium listening experience and best -in- class product design Bowers & Wilkins has delivered to millions of customers since 1966." Bowers & Wilkins now has three divisions: Bowers & Wilkins Loudspeakers, Bowers & Wilkins New Media, and Bowers & Wilkins Automotive. Each has its own personality and goals, but all draw technology and inspiration from Bowers & Wilkins' heritage and audio engineering experience. Enjoy the Music.com has reviewed the Bowers & Wilkins 800D reference large floorstanding loudspeaker, which can be seen by clicking here.

 

SoundsmithSoundsmith will soon launch three high-end phono products at the 2009 Rocky Mountain Audio Fest. Soundsmith continues to build on the success of its highly innovative Mark II Strain Gauge phono cartridge systems by introducing a new model, the SG-200 ($5500). The SG-200 system comprises the Strain Gauge cartridge -- with user replaceable styli, power supplies and a gain stage which deliver a line level signal to the user's pre-amplifier. Sonically, the unit is identical to other models in our Strain Gauge line up. Also new is a low output moving iron cartridge optimized for use with conventional MC phono preamplifiers. Named Sussurro ('whisper' in Italian, $4500), the cartridge was developed at the suggestion of Frank Schröder, who advised on the cartridge's development. Everyone who has heard Sussurro has been transfixed by its detail retrieval, timbral palpability and precise soundstaging. Soundsmith's third new product is the MCP-2 phono pre-amplifier ($700), designed to partner Sussurro and a wide range of MC cartridges. This solid-state design incorporates built-in step up transformers and infinitely variable impedance matching, ensuring compatibility with any low output phono cartridge.

 

09 / 16 / 09

QQripper V1.2.0.1  Acronova Technology, a leading provider of multi-functional auto-loading equipments for CD/DVD/BD ripping/burning, just announced the release of QQripper V1.2.0.1 audio ripping automation software that provides more convenient audio ripping features for iTunes. This new version of the QQripper automation software for audio ripping works with the company's Nimbie NB11 ($595) 100-disc autoloader designed for in-house duplication, disc labeling, data back up, audio ripping and other customized burning functions. QQripper, developed by Broadex Systems, is compatible with Windows XP/Vista and works with iTunes or Windows Media Player to enable automated disc loading for unattended music ripping. The added features to QQripper V1.2.0.1 offers users the option to rip unidentified discs, unload unidentified CDs to a different output and replace existing songs to eliminate multiple identical music files stored in the HDD. These three added features make disc ripping in large volume more convenient and organized. Nimbie NB11's other features include LightScribe disc labeling, data duplication, back up, data reading and now audio ripping.

 

apt-X LosslessAudio compression developer APTX reveals performance of apt-X Lossless, the adaptive, lossless audio codec architecture for high-efficiency transmission of multi-channel audio over wireless channels is better than FLAC. The company's new adaptive, lossless audio coding scheme is said to significantly out perform other lossless audio coding schemes, including FLAC, in a number of emerging application scenarios that depend upon the efficient transmission of high-quality audio over wireless channels and networks. This conclusion is based on performance data obtained from rigorous and intensive laboratory testing of apt-X Lossless against other types of lossless audio codecs using a set of industry-standard reference audio samples. The improvements in performance demonstrated by apt-X Lossless relative to FLAC, for example, include a significant gain in compression ratio - up to 10 per cent more data reduction, with time delays under 2 milliseconds. This extremely low degree of latency (sub 2 ms) is of critical importance in applications involving video, interactive games, and 2-way communications. The results of the performance testing of apt-X Lossless, together with a technical description of the architecture itself, are to be formally presented to members of the Audio Engineering Society in a paper session at the 127th AES Convention in New York City this October.

 

The Lotus Group Granada Loudspeaker The Lotus Group's new Granada loudspeaker combines the Feastrex field coil drivers with a pair of cone woofers within an open baffle design. The Feastrex field coil drivers use fines handmade washi paper cones, lambskin leather surrounds and a variety of powerful electro-magnets. The Lotus Group's press release says, "We have chosen an open baffle design as, with no "box" to contend with, there are no "box colorations". The speaker drivers breathe naturally and present their pristine innate qualities. No box means bass that is clear yet powerful and much less susceptible to room excitations." As for why they chose to add woofers to a full-range driver, the company says that while the Feastrex field coil drivers are a force to contend with on their own, a normal closed box enclosure aided in lower frequency performance. As such, a single 5-inch driver with limited cone excursion can only produce so much bass. Therefore a paid of woofers were chosen to add lower frequency support in this open baffle design.

 

09 / 15 / 09

Enjoy the Music.com Audiophile Review Magazine Enjoy the Music.com's September midmonth edition of our Review Magazine is now online! New articles include:

Sound Practices
MONOphono Preamplifier
Article By Diego Nardi of Audio Note Italia

VALVE Magazine
Home Theater, 50% Style
Article By Dan Schmalle

Boston Audio Society's BAS Speaker
Data: Believe It Or Not???
Article By Frederick J. Ampel of Technology Visions

Show Report
Taiwan International Hi-End Audio Show 2009
Coverage By Wong Kok Chieat

 

See the September 2009 midmonth Review Magazine by clicking here.

 

Genelec 6010A PC Speakers Genelec, an award-winning professional audio speaker company founded in 1978, has just launched their 6010A bi-amplified PC speakers and 5040A subwoofer ($375 and $750 each respectively). For both stereo and surround sound applications in compact listening areas or on desktops, the 6010A measures 7.2 x 4.75 x 4.4 and is designed for computer sound systems and other close proximity listening applications. Each Genelec 6101A monitor features a 3-inch bass driver along with a 0.75-inch high frequency driver loaded into a new Genelec advanced Directivity Control Waveguide. The free field frequency response is 74 Hz to 18 kHz (±2.5dB). Maximum peak SPL output per pair with music material is 102dB as each driver is powered by its own 12 watt amplifier for a total of 24 watts. Other highlights include active crossover filters and protection circuitry while the magnetically shielded cabinet is made with a die-cast all-aluminum Minimum Diffraction Enclosure (MDE). The new Genelec 5040A subwoofer provides a perfect partner to the 6010A for both stereo and surround applications. Featuring a visually arresting design, the 5040A extends the LF response down to 35 Hz with bass articulation. The playback level for the whole system is conveniently controlled by remote volume control provided with the 5040A subwoofer. With five main input/output channels and a dedicated LFE channel with 35/120 Hz reproduction bandwidth selection, the 6010A/5040A system fulfills the needs of 5.1 productions. The subwoofer features a single 6.5-inch proprietary driver with a 40 watt power amplifier and has an overall frequency response from 35 Hz to 85 Hz (±3dB). In addition to the RCA connectors, a 3.5-mm stereo jack input connector is provided for convenient connection to portable audio players or computers.

 

09 / 14 / 09

JVC Professional SR-HD150  JVC Professional Products, division of JVC USA., is showing their new SR-HD1500 (pictured) and SR-HD1250 Blu-ray disc and HDD recorders at CEDIA ($2550 and $1995 respectively). As the latest in JVC's series of high performance professional combo decks, the units feature a built-in Blu-ray recorder and an internal hard disk drive for easy duplication and disc authoring without a PC. With the SR-HD1500 and SR-HD1250, users can record and author professional BDMV (with menu) or BDAV discs. Advanced MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 (H.264) encoding provides support for HD and SD sources, and a built-in format converter can downconvert HD content for recording to a standard DVD. The units support BD-R or BD-RE (erasable) Blu-ray discs. The decks offer a variety of digital inputs, including USB and i.Link (IEEE-1394) ports and an SDHC card slot, for wide compatibility with today's digital SD and HD camcorders. Composite and S-Video inputs provide interfaces for legacy analog devices as well. Both models include component and HDMI outputs for flexible monitoring options. The SR-HD1500 features a 500 GB hard drive, plus an RS-232C terminal and support for .MOV files (for Apple Final Cut Pro), which makes it compatible with footage recorded with JVC GY-HM100 and GY-HM700 ProHD camcorders in the SP (19/25 Mbps) mode. The SR-HD1250 has a 250 GB hard drive, but does not include RS-232C connectivity of .MOV support. Of course both also offer very high-resolution audio inputs and outputs for audiophiles. Longtime audiophiles know that JVC has been very accomplished in digital audio for decades with such items as their award-winning CD players and K2 technology.

 

Vinyl LivesSince October of 2007, J.P. Goss has been putting together Vinyl Lives, a book about independently owned record stores. Over the last year or so, his efforts to find an interested book publisher resulted in some interest from university presses. But, due to these uncertain economic times, no editor wanted to take a chance on a book about record stores. So, as of today, he is pleased to announce that his new website is up and running! Each month it will feature an interview with a different independent record store owner, many with stores in some of the most musically rich cities in the United States. Currently open stores will be the primary focus and several notable stores now closed will also be included. Additional site features include a History of Record Stores page, a FAQ and a Store page. Also, the site will promote the record album as art which is 'lost' to some extent on the smaller format digital discs.

 

Keith Minks RubyForty years after hi-fi pioneer Keith Monks defined modern record care, the company has launched their limited edition 40th anniversary Ruby. Limited to 40 units, the Ruby is a special limited edition version of the Keith Monks OMNI with special key features including the new VacuGauge suction monitoring system. A chrome-rim dial-gauge sits alongside the traditional Mini Cooper windscreen washer pump, giving the control panel a pleasingly retro 1960s 'performance car' look. A unique Keith Monks DewDrop splashguard innovation solves an age-old dilemma while the simple and ergonomic handheld device keeps surfaces clean by catching excess fluid flung out by the revolving turntable. There is also a new fully adjustable on-deck fluid application system for 7, 10 and 12 inch records. The set of three Keith Monks Pyr/\Mat 'stay-clean' record cleaning mats solve several problems that may be common with record cleaners as the LP rests on the tips of a profiled array of miniature 'pyramids' spread across the mat. These effectively let the dust and dirt from an unclean record side fall into the wells in between, preventing recontamination of the just-cleaned side when you flip over. The Pyr/\Mats also help stop excess fluid spreading underneath the disc rim. Exclusive to the RUBY, a reproduction Keith Monks signature on the control panel and on the accompanying signed & numbered certificate. Also exclusive is the premium cabinet with matching lid cover finished in rich Ruby Red very smart with the eggshell black deck and hand polished deck components. Enjoy the Music.com has reviewed the Loricraft / Garrard PRC3 record cleaner (click here) and have a DIY record cleaning machine with bonus DIY cleaning fluid formulas (seen here).

 

09 / 11 / 09

NAD Modular  NAD Electronics now offers their Automation Module with Control4 IQ (no price set) for their AV receivers with Modular Design Construction (MDC) plus their new M56 Blu-ray player ($1999). The new CM 200 Automation Module embeds the Control4 Operating System into the MDC product family enabling each component to function as the core of a Control4 smart home, controlling not only AV but lighting, climate control, security systems and much more. NAD will become a Control4 Licensee, and the CM 200 is its first product with Control4 IQ. Developed exclusively by NAD, MDC greatly improves product performance, functionality and ease of use, while protecting products against premature obsolescence. It also simplifies product servicing, and enables NAD to more quickly bring to market new "advanced technology" features like the Control4 Operating System. MDC is featured on NAD's T 785, T 775, T 765 AV Receivers, its T 175 Preamp-Tuner-Processor, and on its Masters Series M15HD Preamplifier. NAD Electronics Masters Series M56 Blu-ray player is the company's flagship that offers true high definition source for digital high-end audio and home theater systems. Built for performance, the M56 supports the latest HD audio and video formats, plus compatibility with existing CD and DVD collections while also delivering BD Live Network connectivity. Native resolution of 1080p with pure digital transmission via HDMI outputs, an upscaling engine and avoids the so-called "3:2 Pull Down" motion artifacts commonly seen using DVD players. In keeping with Blu-ray's audio capabilities, the M56 provides a true high definition 7.1 Linear PCM soundtrack, uncompressed, with 24-bit resolution via HDMI, plus of course Dolby and DTS. In addition, the M56 supports audio CDs and CD-Rs and CD-RWs with mp3 or wma decoding. A USB 2.0 port on the rear panel allows playback of music and image files stored on a memory stick or portable mp3 player. Enjoy the Music.com has reviewed the NAD's PP1 phonostage (click here) and L53 DVD receiver (click here).

 

Trends Audio TA-10.2 Special Edition AmplifierTrends Audio, part of ITOK Media Limited in Hong Kong, has announced the introduction of the third generation of the highly acclaimed Class T-amp. The Trends TA-10.2 and Trends TA-10.2 Special Edition ($189 and $225 respectively) builds on the success of the Trends TA-10 Series and includes Tripath's Class-T technology, Trends TA-10.2 also put much effort and applied much proprietary techniques into the circuit design, components matching, sound tuning and even Re-organized the sockets layout of the back panel that provides a more convenient audio cable and speaker cable connections. Additionally, they used audiophile-grade 'Trends' MKP capacitors as audio input decoupling capacitor and low LSR / high ripple current Rubycon MCZ series capacitors for power filtering. Enjoy the Music.com has a world premiere review of the Trend Audio PA-10 headphone amplifier (click here) and a review of the TA-10.1 Class-T amplifier (click here).

 

Apple iPod TouchApple has released their new iTunes 9, iPhone OS 3.1 and Apple iPod touch 64GB mp3 audio/video player (free, free and iPod touch is $199 for 8GB model, $299 for 32GB and $399 for 64GB). As for iTunes and iPhone OS 3.1, users can now organize their iPhone apps right in iTunes and they will automatically appear on your iPhone with the same layout. Syncing music, photos, movies and TV shows is easier than ever with the added ability to sync music by artist and genre and sync photos by Events and Faces. The iTunes Store 9 has 11 million songs, over 50,000 TV episodes and over 7,500 films including over 2,000 in high definition video. The new iPod touch features up to 30 hours of music playback or six hours of video playback on a single charge. The 8GB model holds up to 1,750 lossy compressed songs, 10,000 photos and 10 hours of lossy compressed video; the 32GB model holds up to 7,000 songs, 40,000 photos or 40 hours of video; and the 64GB model holds up to 14,000 songs, 90,000 photos or 80 hours of video. The 32GB and 64GB models also include up to 50 percent faster performance and support for better graphics with Open GL ES 2.0.

 

09 / 10 / 09

Atlantic Technology H-PAS  Atlantic Technology and Solus/Clements, two respected United States loudspeaker manufacturers, have joined forces to develop, market, and license a new loudspeaker design protocol that is said to be capable of delivering deep, low-distortion bass response at output levels unobtainable through conventional bass-alignment techniques. In particular, this technology will allow speakers with smaller cabinets and drivers to achieve levels of performance normally associated with much larger speaker systems. H-PAS (Hybrid Pressure Acceleration System) technology allows speaker designers to achieve targeted bass performance with 50 percent smaller cabinets, smaller drivers and at lower costs. Atlantic Technology will be licensing H-PAS to other manufacturers. H-PAS combines elements of several speaker technologies: bass reflex, inverse horn, and transmission line. Using a unique cabinet design, these technologies are cascaded one to another to pressurize and accelerate low frequencies. In addition, the signals travel through a passive resonance/harmonic distortion line filter. The final result is the ability of an H-PAS design to deliver extended deep bass with exceptionally low distortion. H-PAS does not require the use of special drivers, any kind of on-board electronics or outboard equalization -- it is a purely passive system, completely compatible with all amplifiers and AV receivers.

 

NonameHifi LiftersNonameHifi  Lifters come in a set of six ($109) and are designed to keep the interconnect, loudspeaker, power and other cables off of floored surfaces. According to the company, materials get resonated by sound energy, particularly the floors, and thus may also come in contact with a wide variety of flooring surfaces. They may pick up floor resonance and vibrate as well. Vibration of a cable, says NonameHifi, has the same constraints as the electronic component 'Distorted Signal'. Another fact of contacting floor is the static energy accumulation of the floors, particularly the carpeted floors. Portion of such static charge is transferred to shielding of cable and then transferred to electronic unit and distorts the original signal. NonameHifi Cable Lifters are designed to lift up the cables off the floor safely and are made of porcelain (not ceramic) and colored in black.

 

09 / 09 / 09

Ultralink MatrixMini Cables  Ultralink, a California-based industry-leading manufacturer of high-performance cables and UltraPower AC power products, has announced their new MatrixMini audio and video cables for portable audio devices. The MatrixMini cables are the result of and a showcase for all that Ultralink/XLO has learned over the years manufacturing cables. They are available in hip, attractive colors, small in size yet a good in value and performance. The manufacturer claims they deliver "dynamic, colorful, vivid and exciting sound with tight bass and smoothly musical highs that won't shear your ears off!" As always Ultralink/XLO makes their cables with the same engineering and attention to build quality that we lavish on our Argentum and XLO brands, using unique, carefully-constructed connectors, high-purity laboratory-grade copper conductors, low-capacitance dielectrics, and advanced shielding. The line consists of interconnects, a powered subwoofer cable, precision 14 AWG twisted-pair speaker cable, precision 16 AWG twisted-pair speaker cable, RCA male and female audio Y-adapters, digital coax, fiber optic, and HDMI cables, an audio/video kit, a camcorder to stereo audio/video cable, stereo 3.5mm mini plug to stereo RCA "Y" cable, stereo 3.5mm mini plug cable, stereo mini headphone "Y" splitter cable, stereo mini headphone "Y" splitter cable, stereo mini headphone extension cable, component video, s-video, composite video, and F-pin RF video connectors.

 

Just released today is the long-awaited The Beatles stereo box set that features all their albums remastered, includes a bonus DVD and comes beautifully housed within a 12 x 6 x 3 inch decorative box with a black glossy lift top. The CDs come packaged in three panel digi-pak with digital mini documentaries. Remastered was by Guy Massey, Steve Rooke, Sam Okell with Paul Hicks and Sean Magee at the Abbey Roads Studio. A total of 13 documentaries are on the DVD with never before seen pics and videos. Albums included:

Please Please Me
With The Beatles
A Hard Day's Night
Beatles For Sale
Help!
Rubber Soul
Revolver
Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
Magical Mystery Tour
The Beatles
Yellow Submarine
Abbey Road
Let It Be
Past Masters

 

09 / 08 / 09

AKFest 2010  The 2010 AKFest is set to be held at the Sheraton Detroit Novi in Michigan on May 1st and 2nd. Attendee ticket are $25 can only be purchased at the show from the registration booth. The AKFest started in 2003 when David Goldstein of Audiokarma.org invited a few discussion board members to his house for a few beers and to listen to his stereo system. Before he knew it, 75-plus members wanted to come to his home. Obviously his very small abode was not going to accommodate this get together and so he got on the phone and located space in a nearby hotel. From there, the show has grown into what it is today. Exhibitors will be showcasing tube and solid-state amplification devices, loudspeaker, cables, source components and more. Attendees are asked to not be be shy and ask the room host about his or her system as much of it can be purchased.

 

Torus PowerTorus Power, a specialist in power filtration, has announced that 17-inch non rack-mountable versions of all Torus Power models up to 20 Amperes will become available with new cosmetics in both silver and black faceplates. Additionally, the popular RM-15 (2000) will be reduced to a 2u rack size and at a lower suggested retail price than previously offered. Torus Power has also announced that their AVR Series (Automatic Voltage Regulation) will be available with the new consumer cosmetic treatment in 120 Volt units up to the 20 Amperes version (RM-15, RM-20, RM-20 BAL). International AVR models (230/240 Volt) will be available in 4, 8 and 16 Ampere configurations. The AVR line provides all the advantages of the original Torus Power designs, such as ultra-clean AC power, complete isolation from the outside power grid and series-mode surge suppression, plus the added benefit of stabilized voltage to connected equipment. The new Torus Power consumer models range from the 2.5 Ampere version at $995 to a 20 Ampere model available for $3000. The Torus Power AVR series with the new cosmetic treatment is $3000 for the 15 Ampere version and $4000 for the 20 Ampere models, balanced or unbalanced. All Torus Power products are backed by a 5-year limited warranty and these new models will ship Q4 in 2009.

 

09 / 07 / 09

DaVinciAudio AAS Gabriel Turntable In Aston Martin Onyx Black  DaVinciAudio Labs, a company that began in the 1980s as music lovers and engineer Hans-Peter Gabriel was in search of a suitable turntable, has just released a special edition AAS Gabriel turntable in Aston Martin onyx black with two tone arm bases in a limited production run of 77 units. The AAS Gabriel turntable uses the same design drive unit and physical principles of mastering cutting lathe machines and stylus. This brings a highly stable drive chassis and acoustically "dead" turntable with silent bearings. Meanwhile the pick-up is decoupled from the chassis while a separate drive and control unit with external power supply ensure stable platter rotational speed. The advantage of the magnetic platter bearing is that the 57 lbs platter of the vertical bearing will 'float' and, thus, the noise transmission is largely avoided. The base and tonearm pillar are built of specially-filled plywood board while the motor is milled from aluminum block. The entire system rests on carefully developed vertical damping feet. The entire system weighs in at over 200 lbs!

 

Logitech Squeezebox Touch Wi-Fi Music PlayerThe highly popular with audiophiles Logitech Squeezebox is now available in a Touch Wi-Fi ($299) version. The Logitech Squeezebox Touch Wi-Fi music player has a 4.3-inch color touch screen that lets users easily select and play music -- and even view album art. Plus, to provide a better listening experience, the Squeezebox Touch supports sampling rates of up to 24-bit/96kHz that audiophiles use for lossless FLAC and other file formats. An included USB port and SD card slot on the back of the Squeezebox Touch allows easy access to music and photos stored on flash drives and memory cards. A wall-mount bracket (sold separately) provides easy mounting of the unit with the power cord and speaker wires run inside the wall so cords or cables aren't dangling from the Squeezebox. If you're a Facebook fan, you can share music recommendations, as well as check out your friends' statuses, recommendations, and full-color photos right on your new Squeezebox. Photo slide shows from the popular photo-sharing site Flickr are also supported on both new Squeezebox Wi-Fi music players.

 

AMR LS-77 Professional MonitorAMR's (Abbingdon Music Research) LS-77 Professional Monitor (10,999€ per pair) are a understated two-way stand mount monitor that achieves a frequency response from 26 Hz all the way up to 40 kHz. The carefully-crafted cabinet is made with aerospace-grade aluminum alloy. The crossover was "derived from polynomial calculations, the atypically precise, steep slopes of the advanced crossover network ensures complete coherency." The unit uses a 10-inch low-frequency driver and a 5-inch high-frequency driver able to produce sound up to 40kHz. The aerospace-grade magnesium-aluminum alloy enclosure is 10 times the cost of most cabinetry yet possesses a level of stiffness that is 8 times that of MDF. The surround is 10mm thick except for an extreme 1-inch thickness for the all-important front baffle. In conjunction with advanced sound dampening material from Japan to line the interior, the acoustical performance is extended into the realm of cost-no-object constructions. The AMR LS-77's OptiAdjust allows for both the tweeter and bass drivers to be adjusted to ensure the listener is able to precisely lock-in their desired tonal characteristic. Each pair of AMR LS-77 Professional Monitors is shipped in its own flight case along with a set of power resistors to adjust the treble and acoustic bungs to adjust the bass response.

 

09 / 04 / 09

Paradigm Electronics  Paradigm Electronics, a Canada-based speaker design and manufacturing specialist, is now on their third version of its flagship Reference Signature Series. Thousands of hours of research and engineering went into developing the Signature Series v.3 and benefits include the line now offering the highest-output and most dynamic line to date. Contributing to v.3's 50 percent increase in output are extensive modifications to the bass/midrange drive units. Signature v.3 bass/midrange drivers are fitted with extreme low-density NLC (Non-Limiting Corrugated) TPE surrounds, finite element analysis optimized and overmolded onto the cone. The new surround material is said to be ten times more effective than standard thermoplastic elastomers in damping vibrations and resonances and the new corrugated design has increased peak-to-peak cone excursion from 20mm in earlier versions to a full 30mm. A new long-stroke split-coil motor system takes advantage of the extreme excursion by doubling the linear portion of the stroke without requiring a larger magnet. The redesigned motor also keeps mass and inductance of the voice coil low for breathtaking midrange clarity. Bass cones on Signature v.3 speakers were re-engineered for increased stiffness and better equipped for higher output with new NLC Santoprene surrounds. To support the extended excursion, the motor structure was also redesigned, increasing the linear portion of the stroke through voice coils almost double the original in length. New core parts including a yoke and pole piece were retooled. They were also finite element analysis optimized and the magnets were thickened to accommodate double-distance cone travel. For value-conscious audiophile, there is an option of Paradigm Reference G-PAL (gold-plated pure-aluminum) dome tweeters on the compact S1, C1 and ADP1 models. A full list of upgrades to Signature v.3 is listed below.

Upgrades to Signature v.3 Bass/Midrange and Bass Drive Units
Overmolded NLC non-limiting corrugated TPE surrounds
Redesigned Nomex Spiders
Redesigned die-cast aluminum heatsink chassis with AVS cooling
Advanced split-coil motor system (bass/midrange drivers)
Cutting-edge long-stroke motor system (bass drivers)
Thickened permanent ceramic (hard ferrite) magnets with focused-field geometry
Retooled magnetic pole piece and metal top plate (bass drivers)
Metalized high-integrity dust caps (bass/midrange drivers)
Injection-molded mineral-filled polypropylene bass cones boast a 30% increase in mineral content

The Signature v.3 lineup (prices shown are cherry finish):
S1 G-PAL - Two-driver 2-way compact bookshelf, G-PAL domes - $599/ea
S1 P-Be - Two-driver 2-way compact bookshelf, P-Be domes - $799/ea
S2 - Two driver 2-way bookshelf - $1,299/ea
S6 - Four-driver 3-way floorstanding - $2,599/ea
S8 - Six-driver 3-way floorstanding - $3,499/ea
C1 G-PAL - Four-driver 3-way center, G-PAL domes - $1,099/ea
C1 P-Be - Four-driver 3-way center, P-Be domes - $1,299/ea
C3 - Four-driver 3-way center - $1,999/ea
C5 - Six-driver 3.5-way center - $3,499/ea
ADP1 G-PAL - Five-driver 3-way surround, G-PAL domes - $999/ea
ADP1 P-Be - Five-driver 3-way surround, P-Be domes - $1,299/ea
ADP3 - Five driver 3-way surround - $1,599/ea

 

Rocky Mountain Audio Fest 2009The Rocky Mountain Audio Fest (RMAF), a high-end audio show open to the public and now in their sixth year, will be held at the Denver Marriott Tech Center Hotel in Colorado on October 2nd through 4th. Many manufacturers and distributors will set up complete stereo systems for attendees to audition and are encouraged to go from room to room, have a seat and casually listen to music. An added bonus is that most exhibitors will be more than happy to play one or two songs of your favorite music from your CDs, iPod, etc. There is expected to be over 300 brands represented in over 160 rooms plus live music and various seminars all weekend. Last year Enjoy the Music.com's editor, Steven R. Rochlin, was asked to hold a Music Everywhere seminar that discussed enjoying music wherever one may desire (see video of the seminar by clicking here) and this year he will hold a seminar called Audio 101 / Tweaks. See our most recent RMAF show coverage by clicking here.

 

T.H.E. SHOW 2010T.H.E. SHOW, a leading high-end audio for members of the trade and public that is held in Las Vegas for the past 12 consecutive years, will be held at the famous Flamingo Hotel from January 7th through the 12th. This places it extremely close to the Consumer Electronics Association's high-end audio exhibits at the Venetian hotel so members of the trade and press can easily visit both events. "We actually tried to get into the Flamingo several years ago but they were tied up" said Richard Beers, President of T.H.E. Show. "They have the absolutely perfect lay-out for our high-end audio and home theater convention. The Main Convention floor will be the entire Executive Conference Center, a quick escalator down from the Main Hall and Registration in the Hotel. There is no need to cross the endless miles of Casino. Then, a very quick elevator ride to the 4th floor, and attendees can easily navigate the long, long hallway of approximately 100 exhibit rooms on that level." See our most recent T.H.E. SHOW and CES event coverage by clicking here.

 

09 / 03 / 09

Ultrasone Edition 8 Headphones  Ultrasone, a German company that specializes in the design and manufacturer of headphones, is now shipping their Edition 8 ($1499) throughout the world. The Edition 8 is an elegant black and silver closed-back headphone that employs Ultrasone's latest S-Logic Plus technology that results in an impartial acoustic feeling that allows the listener even more of a spacious tonal perception. Designed with the audio connoisseur in mind, the interior ear cups are covered in fine Ethiopian sheepskin, which provides the most isolation of any leather. The outer ear cups are covered in Ruthenium, which is known for its brilliant metallic sheen and durable properties. These special edition headphones contain MU-Metal shielding (ULE technology) that reduce the amount of radiation directed to the listener by up to 98 percent, as compared to conventional headphones. Each Edition 8 headphone is individually stamped with its own serial number and comes in a leather bag for storage and transportation.

 

Anthony Gallo Acoustics StradaAnthony Gallo Acoustics has taken their signature spherical loudspeakers to the next level with their Strada, which features a brand new proprietary impulse correction system called OPT. The new speaker also utilizes the latest version of the company's patented tweeter: the CDT 3. Along with the Strada Center, the versatile Strada loudspeakers are the latest additions to AGA's Reference Series and are designed for high performance regardless of mounting options or room conditions. Physically, the diminutive Strada measures 6.5 x 12.5 x 5.5 (DxHxW in inches) and, as with all AGA speakers, the Strada features the company's patented S2 Technology that improves low-frequency extension and eliminates the standing wave that is inherent in any spherical enclosure. In addition, the loudspeaker's new CDT 3 tweeter boasts a new grill topology that improves vertical dispersion that sports 180° horizontal dispersion from 3 kHz to above 20 kHz. A pair of f4-inch dynamic hyperbolic carbon fiber drivers are optimized to integrate seamlessly with the CDT tweeter without the need for a cross-over. Because of the wide and accurate vertical dispersion of the new tweeter, the speakers can be used as dedicated surround channels as well. In-room frequency response is from 45 Hz to 20 kHz (+/-3dB), impedance is 8 Ohms and sensitivity is 87dB/W/m.

 

09 / 02 / 09

The Absolute Sound  Enjoy the Music.com now offers a world premiere sneak peek at the October 2009 edition of The Absolute Sound (Issue 196) featuring the complete table of contents and editorial! This edition includes Harry Pearson's writing on the passing of Stereophile founder J. Gordon Holt and his assessment of the Graham Phantom II pickup arm. Loudspeakers are in focus within this issue and some of the products reviewed include Dick Olsher's 50-year perspective on speaker technology, the Epos ELS8, B&W CM7, Rega RS5, Acoustic Energy Radiance 1, Sonics Amerigo and much more. Within this issue's editorial by Robert Harley titled Demo Or Downfall he writes "There's simply no substitute for hearing your favorite music recreated with an involvement and intensity you never thought possible. The demo allows you to instantly 'get' what high-end audio is all about -- a phenomenon I've written about previously ("Ten Minutes in the Sweet Spot"). Hearing descriptions of high-end audio, reading magazines, or looking at pictures of great gear will never begin to convey that electrifying experience of connecting with music at a deeper level." You can see the table of contents and read the complete editorial by clicking here.

 

Audience aR2pAudience, formed in November of 1997 as a design and production company focused on building the best possible audio and video equipment, now offers their aR2p ($695 for USA and $1125 for the European model) power conditioner replaces the company's aR1p and spots a high-current Hubbell hospital-grade dual outlet, 15A magnetic circuit breaker and inside is Aura-T Teflon capacitors. This power filter is said to be exceedingly unique and versatile; designed for applications like monoblock amplifiers, receivers, video projectors and video displays. It plugs directly into a power outlet and may provide power conditioning for an entire audio or video system. It also provides surge suppression up to 20,000 Amperes plus wide bandwidth RF filtration. Enjoy the Music.com has a World Premiere review of the Ar2t unit, which can be seen by clicking here.

 

09 / 01 / 09

Review Magazine  Enjoy the Music.com's September edition of our Review Magazine is now available! This month we deliver three World Premieres plus a North America World Premiere.

Viewpoint
Daily News: Audiophile news updated each weekday! 

Audiolics Anonymous Chapter 119
Home Theater Computers

The Nearfield
Devilsound USB DAC And Channel Islands Audio VDC 9.0

 

Manufacturer Article 
Fidelity Potential Index
iPod, MP3, CD, LP, SACD What Sounds Better and Why.
Article By John Meyer Of Newform Research

 

Audiophile Equipment Reviews
World Premieres!

Sound Quest SQ-84 V-2 Integrated Amplifier
Not just the little integrated that could; it is the little integrated that did.

SoundTradition's Live! MC-10 Moving Coil Step-Up Transformer
An astounding sonic bargain.

Trend Standard Edition PA-10 Headphone Amplifier
With Chinese 6N11 Tube Side by side comparison of two versions.

North American Premiere!
Rotel RC-1550 Preamplifier And RB-1552 Power Amplifier
A winning combination at a reasonable price.

 

Music Reviews
Classical Music

The definitive New World Symphony? Phil Gold thinks so.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Piano Concertos No 20 in D Minor, K.466 No 27 in B Flat Major, K.595 Sir Clifford Curzon, piano; Benjamin Britten conducting the English Chamber Orchestra

Two superb -- and very different -- recordings of Ravel's Daphnis et Chloe, both in great sound.

The Romantic Violin Concerto: Volume 7
Arensky: Violin Concerto in A minor, Op. 54
Taneyev: Suite de concert, Op. 28.
Ilya Gringoets, violin; BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra
Conducted by Ilan Volkov

Telarc presents four important American composers' works of "honor and remembrance."

Jazz, Folk, Bluegrass, Blues, Etc.
Wyatt Easterling Where This River Goes

Enter The Haggis Gutter Anthems

New Found Road Same Old Place

David Wilcox Open Hand

Various Bluegrass, Blues And Jazz Albums

 

See the September 2009 Review Magazine by clicking here.

 

 

Harmon Kardon BDP 1Harman Kardon, a company with over 50 years of experience and part of the Harman International Industries conglomerate, now offers their BDP 1 ($499) Blu-ray disc player. Naturally it handles 1080p video and BD-Live interactivity. Audio formats from disc include Dolby TrueHD, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby Digital, DTS-HD Master Audio (pass-through only), LPCM, MPEG-1 and 2, layer 2 and through the front panel USB port it can play mp3, WMA and JPEG files. Frequency response is 2 Hz to 88 kHz via 24-bit/192kHz source material.


 

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