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High-End Audio Industry News


09 / 28 / 12

FUTUREnews
CEntrance HiFi M8CEntrance allowed us an advanced look at their upcoming HiFi-M8 USB DAC with headphone output! There are two digital inputs, with one being a USB B jack for connecting laptops, home computers, etc. and yes it handles asynchronous 24-bit/192kHz digital audio. There is a USB A jack for connecting iDevices. Since all products connecting to iPhones and iPads need to be approved by Apple, CEntrance of course supports this policy yet are still waiting for formal approval. No worries as the CEntrance HiFi-M8 will support Apple's iPhone, iPad and iPod. As this is still an advanced look, the company says that due to feedback they are thinking that their choice of Combo XLR connectors may not be ideal for some customers. They do stick out a bit and for now overall dimensions are roughly 125 x 80 x 30. The company is seriously considering a separate version of this unit that would contain a 4-pin XLR jack for balanced headphones and a 1/4" jack for unbalanced headphones. "In this new version, we will likely keep the XLR jack location on the right, swap the Combo with 4-pin and replace the XLR on the left with the 1/4" jack. Not sure if there is space for the 3.5mm jack" says the company. Seen below is the rear panel with various settings and user adjustments..

 

AV OptionsFor those living within the States can now rely on AVOptions as they are the official and only authorized Naim Audio service center in the USA. AV Options is dedicated to helping customers in the United States of America get the maximum musical enjoyment from their Naim Audio equipment. The company's founding members include Chris West, David L'Heureux and Nick Despotopoulos. Each one brings their decades of Naim specific experience and AV, Music & Computer industry background. Chris West brings his unmatched (in North America) knowledge as Service Manager. AV Options can bring your Naim gear back to factory optimum performance. Everything from normal maintenance to re-cap'ing gear and more, AV Options provides a wide variety of services for Naim gear.

 

09 / 27 / 12

DEQX HDP-Express II  DEQX, manufacturers of leading-edge preamp processors providing speaker correction, crossover and room compensation, has just introduced their HDP-Express II stereo unit ($2950). Like its predecessor, the HDP-Express II provides DEQX Inline correction for your existing speakers, room and media. It also facilitates precise integration of one or a pair of subwoofers. The Express II also supports 2- or 3-way active speakers for those opting for DEQX XO Active configurations now or in the future. The DEQX processor claims to "correct the distortion that all speakers make – electro-mechanical devices that they are – with room compensation an added extra." DEQX processors not only correct frequency-response errors, they also correct the crucial timing errors by adjusting thousands of frequency groups to arrive on time. DEXQ's HDP-Express II has much of the new technology within their flagship HDP-4 Preamp Processor yet in a cost-effective design.

 

FUTUREnews
Cheap ThrillsSteve Hoffman is currently remastering Cheap Thrills, which was the second album from Big Brother and the Holding Company and their last album with Janis Joplin as primary lead vocalist. The album was to be called Sex, Dope and Cheap Thrills, but the title was not received well by Columbia Records. The cover was drawn by Robert Crumb after the band's original cover idea, a picture of the group naked in bed together, was dropped by the record company. Joplin demanded Columbia Records place Crumb's work on the front cover. In fact the album is rated number nine on Rolling Stone's list of greatest album covers. This classic 1968 album is being remastered for audiophile Gold CD to be released by Audio Fidelity. Mastering engineer Steve Hoffman is joined by Steven Marsh of Marsh Mastering. This project is from the original analog stereo masters all the way! To quote Steve Hoffman, "Full, rich, fat sound like no other version... The Janis Joplin album everyone had (and most still do) but you've never heard it sound so wonderful. Really excited about this one."

 

09 / 26 / 12

  Sneak peek! Facebook and Twitter users who have friended Enjoy the Music.com get an advanced look at our review of the Atlantic Technology AT-2 H-Pas speakers days before October edition of the Review Magazine! The AT-2 H-Pas speakers are very impressive sounding monitors yet at a very affordable price. In his review Ron Nagle says, "What I noticed almost immediately was the AT-2 was capable of imaging far off on either side of the center position. Another way to say it is, lateral sound dispersion and therefore center stage imaging was unusually solid. A closer look at the tweeter provides part of the answer...". Join us now to see the complete review by clicking the links below.

Twitter.com/EnjoyTheMusic             Facebook.com/EnjoyTheMusic5

 

09 / 25 / 12

ries Cerat Contremo SE Amplifier  Aries Cerat delivers more power with their new Contremo SE amplifier. With an outstanding 32 of the 6c19p Svetlana tubes and a pair of E280F Siemens, the Contremo SE amplifier produces 250 watts and can easily drive even the most current hungry speakers. The Contremo operates in true Class A for the entire power range. Each channel is consisted of two separate and balanced connected single ended OTL Para feed amplifiers under a single stainless steel chassis. Internally, a low ratio toroidal output transformer feeds the speaker outputs. This output transformer greatly contributes to the amplifier's sonic virtues. The outputs are AC coupled to the wideband output transformer that has a mere 4:1 ratio (as opposed the the usual 25:1 in many push pull designs). The parasitic capacitance and inductance is about 36 times less than even the best push pull transformers due to the extreme low step down ratio and the winding techniques used. Each monoblock amplifier uses two banks of 16 high current, low resistance 6C19p Svetlana tubes. A hybrid driver stage design and careful design ensures ultra wide bandwidth and current capabilities. Power supplies within the Contremo include double choke regulation, a massive high speed capacitor banks plus there are four driver stages. A total of 32 chokes and 10 toroidal transformers are used in each monoblock pair. Frequency response is from 20 Hz to 90 kHz, dimensions of each monoblock is 470mm X 570mm X 470mm and weight is 250 lbs.

 

The Absolute SoundThe Absolute Sound has launched their new website! This new design allowed the company to start with a clean slate approach and present a high quality, easy to navigate experience to users. Now it is easy to read a carefully selected variety of reviews, find and purchase back issues plus of course subscribe to the print or digital version of the magazine. As one the leading print publication within the American audiophile community for decades, The Absolute Sound continues to both entertain and educate their readers. Check out The Absolute Sound's new website by clicking here.

 

09 / 24 / 12

Hi-Fi World  Enjoy the Music.com has just posted Hi-Fi World's Volume 22 Number 9 (November 2012) edition including the complete editorial and table of contents. This issue includes reviews of the Wharfedale Denton 80th Anniversary speaker, Usher Dancer Mini Two, Kondo Super 10 speaker, NAD M51 DAC, Sony BDP-S790 Blu-ray player, Chord Index Streamer, Rega Brio-R amplifier and more! The editorial by Noel Keywood says, "Loudspeakers are never far from the headlines in this magazine and in this issue they illustrate the decline of British audio in the 1970s, as well as the rise of Far East manufacturing today. As countries industrialised around the world in the late twentieth century it was inevitable that competition from what were once low wage economies would rise. But Wharfedale as a brand has value and continues on today much as in the past, creating great new loudspeakers like the Denton 80th Anniversary Edition -- see page 50. These days, however, Dentons roll out of a factory in China, rather than one in Bradford. But they remain designed by Brits." See the complete November table of contents and editorial of Hi-Fi World by clicking here.

 

Music Industry News 12 Years Ago
Furman SoundComing from the folks who helped begin the use of balanced power worldwide now gives audiophiles, custom home installers and, of course, recording studios their all new IT-Reference line of balanced power filters. Enter Furman Sound's next generation of balanced power products. Using Discrete Symmetrical Power technology that works with all analog, digital, and video components to typically provide more than 24 dB reduction of AC line induced noise. There are four individually isolated, electrostatically shielded, Symmetrical Power banks for equipment consuming low or intermediate power (eliminating digital noise and performance-degrading power supply "backwash" from neighboring components). For high power components such as power amplifiers and powered subwoofers, a separate High Current bank gives ultra-low impedance, filtered, non-symmetrical (balanced) AC. Top quality toroidal transformer is employed, yielding extremely low magnetic field leakage. For electrical outlets, industrial quality "super-spec" isolated-ground outlets used throughout. The new IT-Series currently includes 120-volt models in 10-, 20- and 30-Ampere configurations. See Enjoy the Music.com's review of the Furman Sound IT-Reference discrete symmetrical AC power source by clicking here.

 

09 / 21 / 12

  TGIF! How about some music to start your weekend? After over a decade of posting Enjoy the Music.com's daily Industry News, today i'm taking the day off. Must have lost my mind!

And now here is Diana Krall to take us all into the weekend...

 

09 / 20 / 12

Skullcandy Edit Headphones  Skullcandy's newest initiative is their Edit headphone ($200), which can be easily be customized before purchase online. Providing a unique opportunity for customers to become designers, Edit enables its users to personalize Aviator headphones directly from the comfort of their own home via the Skullcandy website. With a variety of color choices, thousands of unique combinations may be chosen to achieve the visual styling desired. Additional interchangeable caps may be purchased to mix and match the look for $20/pair. For users that prefer to roll the dice, the option to "randomize" their Skullcandy Edit selection is also a feature. The Skullcandy Edit uses 40mm drivers and presents a 33 Ohm impedance to amplifiers. Sound pressure level is 102 dB with a THD less than 0.05% (1 mW @  500 Hz). The Edit headphones come with a generous cord that includes a microphone plus controls for volume level, play/pause and track control.

 

Toronto Audio Video Entertainment Show 2012 (TAVES 2012)reMinder
The Toronto Audio Video Entertainment Show (TAVES) will take place between September 28 and 30 at Le Meridien King Edward hotel
. Nearly 70 exhibitors will be showcasing in total over 280 brands with the hottest new products in the industry. In 2012, TAVES will offer more audio video seminars and demonstrations, while offering double the seating space. There will be a number of exciting new show features too! The 2012 TAVES will showcase the latest consumer electronics products and technologies from both mainstream and enthusiast brands. Products on display will range from entry-level components to the high-end and everything in between. A number of exhibitors will present the visitors with the opportunity to purchase accessories, music discs, vinyl albums and Blu-ray discs. You can see Enjoy the Music.com's first edition (2011) of TAVES at this link. Naturally our show coverage of TAVES 2012 will be online accordingly.

2012 TAVES Schedule:
Friday, September 28th 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Saturday, September 29th 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Sunday, September 30th 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Location:
King Edward Hotel 
37 King Street, East, Toronto, ON

 

09 / 19 / 12

Wharfedale Ultra Power Cube (UPC) Subwoofer  Wharfedale just launched Ultra Power Cube (UPC) subwoofer provide Versatile remote-control setup options and elegant finishes. The new UPC subwoofers each feature dual drivers and offer a full range of adjustments via their remote controls to achieve optimum performance. Models in the Ultra Power Cube range include the UPC-10 with dual 10-inch woofers and built-in 500-watt amplifier ($1599) and the UPC-8 with dual 8-inch woofers and built-in 350-watt amplifier ($1199). Wharfedale choose to have the dual-woofer arrangement with each driver mounted opposite the other in the enclosure. This configuration complements each other and mechanically reinforce each other’s movement for maximum bass output and efficiency. The woofer drivers feature a high-excursion, long-throw design and are matched to the built-in amplifier to produce a frequency response down to 30 Hz. Both models feature controls for volume, variable low-pass crossover, crossover slope and phase adjustment, and provide connections for stereo and mono (LFE) line in and speaker-level inputs. All adjustments can be easily made via the supplied remote control and convenient front-panel LED display screen, which can be dimmed if desired. Wharfedale's UPC-10 and UPC-8 also have a selection of sound-effect modes that enable users to tailor the sound of the subwoofer. Both models are offered in a choice of wood and high-gloss finishes including Rosewood Cherry veneer, Vintage Cherry veneer and Black Oak veneer. Enjoy the Music.com has reviewed the  Wharfedale Diamond 10.7 loudspeakers and we have the HIFICRITIC review of the Wharfedale Diamond Monitor.

 

LexarLexar's new 32GB microSDHC and 64GB microSDXC memory cards ($70 and $140 respectively) are joined by the company's new multi-card 25-in-1 USB 3.0 adapter ($40). As audiophiles need more memory on the go to store their music (and video) files, the advantage of fast and high capacity memory cards has become important. Designed for use in smartphones, tablets, portable audio devices, etc, the Lexar 32GB microSDHC UHS-I and 64GB microSDXC deliver read transfer speeds up to 45MB per second (300x). The UHS-I cards carry a Class 10 speed classification and can store up to 14,200 songs (compressed). The design of Lexar's new 64GB microSDXC card was made possible by utilizing 20nm process technology NAND flash memory. Lexar's new 25-in-1 USB 3.0 unit provides read speed of up to 500MB/s, which is up to five times faster than USB 2.0. Designed with five slots to support a wide selection of popular card formats, the unit can read multiple cards simultaneously to allow easy file transfer to your computer or from one card to another for enhanced versatility.

 

exaSound Audio Design e20 DXD/DSD Stereo DACexaSound Audio Design e20 DXD/DSD stereo DAC ($2499) uses asynchronous USB interface supporting 384 kHz/32-bit PCM and 2822.4/5644.8 MHz DSD. exaSound has refined their previous designs for lower distortion and noise levels, improved headphone amplifier, balanced outputs and DSD support. The e20 DAC enables audiophile to play DXD and DSD master files in their native format. Other features include the ES9018 Sabre32 reference DAC chip, galvanic isolation between the USB and the DAC to eliminate ground loops noise, and jitter minimization via the use of three precision quartz oscillators (0.13ps master clock). Other internal design highlights are seventeen internal power cleaning stages, the company's second generation high-fidelity headphone amplifier, simultaneous output of both unbalanced (XLR) and balanced (RCA) outputs.

 

09 / 18 / 12

The Welte Mignon Mystery Vol. XIX  Tacet has released the nineteenth Welte CD from TACET. Titled The Welte Mignon Mystery Vol. XIX with Alexander Glazunov (€17.60 + VAT), this join the other 19 projects that have already been recorded, which means that the series will soon comprise 30 publications. What is it all about? The Welte firm in Freiburg filed a patent application in 1904 for a procedure that recorded the refinements of piano-playing on paper rolls. Until now, these historical documents from the period around 1905 to 1930 were only available at a reduced level of quality. Insufficient playback settings of the piano rolls, especially as regards tempo but also concerning volume proportions and attack, often made it difficult to gain an accurate perception of the interpretation of the given period. This situation has greatly improved thanks to many years of research on the part of the restorer and collector Hans W. Schmitz. This recording of pieces by Alexander Glazunov from the year 1910, most of them played by the composer, impressively demonstrates this once again.

 

ITI RecordsAfter Thirty Years since its inception, ITI Records via Warrant Music is returning to re-release its catalog as well as new titles in the future. Original owner Mike Dion, who had been recalled to Active Duty in 1998 by the Navy, has since returned to the Music Industry. Dion stated that "ITI was one of the avenues for known and unknown jazz artists to get their music to the public". The label is committed to that same principle and features some of today's well known Smooth Jazz artists. Artists initially having their start-ups with ITI include Richard Elliot, Windows, Wayne Johnson, Kenny Pore, and Daryle Chinn. Dion states that he will continue to look for the young and experienced talent that exist in the market and that ITI will expand itself to include most formats. With the new digital age, all titles will be available via the e-commerce outlets. ITI plans to include the back catalog of Heard Ranier Ferguson, Ruth Price, Red Mitchell, Tom Garvin and Bill Mays. ITI Records will be re-released through Warrant Music. Music lovers can expect two titles monthly through the remainder of 2012.

 

09 / 17 / 12

Boston Acoustics M Series  Boston Acoustics' new M series hallmarks a price/performance milestone for the company's loudspeakers. The M series flagship three-way M350 ($2499 per pair) has four 5.25" woofers and a 4" midrange, the slightly smaller three-way M340 ($1999 per pair) has four 4.25" woofers and the smaller yet 2.5-way M250 ($1499 per pair) uses a 5.25" midrange/woofer combination and dedicated 5.25" woofer. Also included in the M series is a two-way bookshelf model M25 ($799 per pair) with one 5.25" woofer while the compact center channel MCenter ($599) employs dual 4.25"woofers. Lastly, Boston Acoustics MSurround ($748 per pair) and the 500 watt MSubwoofer ($1199) round out the company's lineup. The bookshelf and floorstanding models utilize Boston Acoustic's Extended Wide Bandwidth (EWB) tweeter in its second generation. Engineered after an extensive research and development effort, the EWB design combines a lightweight high tensile strength fabric diaphragm with a Coupled Dual Concentric Diaphragm (CDCD) design, and an aerodynamically tuned central vent. The MCenter and MSurround uses Balanced Mode Radiator (BMR), which is a piston radiator and a bending mode radiator, thus covering the range normally handled by both tweeter and a midrange yet without a crossover.  Boston Acoustics M Series loudspeakers are distinguished visually by their elegant rounded cabinet designs, high-gloss finish and premium quality, leatherette covered baffles. All speakers are available in gloss black with black faux leather trim.

 

09 / 14 / 12

Marantz America 7.2 Channel AV7701 Preamplifier  Marantz America debut of their 7.2 channel AV7701 preamplifier ($1699) showcases the company's technology advances. Designed to function seamlessly, the AV7701 is a premium component with advanced system-building flexibility for custom integrators. The AV7701 features the latest video processing technologies including the ability to upconvert SD and HD content to 4K high resolution video (3840 x 2160). Users may control the AV7701 using the newly designed Marantz Remote App. Marantz's AV7701 takes advantage of the latest digital audio decoders including Dolby TrueHD and Dolby Pro Logic IIx along with DTS-HD Master Audio. Marantz's AV7701 can also be configured for bi-amplification mode for the front main (L/R) speakers. The AV7701 also features Marantz HDAM discrete pre-amplifier modules along with a current feedback design. Built-in Audyssey technologies enhance the listening experience via MultEQ XT automatic room acoustic correction system. Like all Marantz premium separates, the AV7701 has an aluminum front panel, the traditional Marantz star and the illuminated Marantz front porthole display. A broad range of network and streaming functions in the AV7701 allows users to listen to portable devices via Bluetooth (optional add on) or when connected to a home network. Internet radio, Pandora, SiriusXM, etc is also provided for as is Spotify. The AV7701 is DLNA 1.5 certified for compatibility with multimedia PCs and other devices. A front panel USB port allows for direct connection to portable devices, and two sets of main audio outputs are provided, including 7.2 channel unbalanced (RCA) jacks as well as 7.2 channel balanced (XLR) outputs.

 

09 / 13 / 12

Naim Audio UnitiLite   Naim Audio's UnitiLite (£1650 as standard or £1895 with optional FM/DAB tuner) is their just released all-in-one player and takes all of the features of the original award-winning Naim Uniti and "distils them into a single elegant enclosure that puts true all-in-one functionality and Naim performance within reach of a wider audience" says the company. Naim's UnitiLite comprises a CD player, a high-resolution 32-bit/192kHz digital streamer, Internet radio (DAB/FM comes as an optional extra), a front panel USB port for playback of iPhone/MP3 players and several digital inputs plus 50 wpc stereo amplification. Along with the conventional remote handset and front panel control, the Naim n-Stream app can provide comprehensive hand-held control of the UnitiLite from your iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch. As well as providing intuitive control functions like playlist creation, album browsing and input selection, n-Stream lets you fully explore your music with expanded music information powered by Rovi's online music database. Naim Audio's UnitiLite is UPnP-enabled to stream audio files from any hard disk server such as a UnitiServe, network attached storage (NAS) or laptop via the home network. A built-in CD player for legacy digital disc playback and can handle WAV, FLAC, Apple Lossless, AIFF, AAC, Windows-Media-formatted content, Ogg Vorbis and MP3 files. Gapless playback is available on all lossless file formats and most lossy formats. For ease of user implemented software upgrades, a USB mini-b connector is provided. The internal DAC chip is the popular Burr-Brown PCM 1793 and there are five 24-bit/192kHz-capable S/PDIF digital inputs (two RCA, two optical and one TosLink). There is also three analog inputs (two via RCA and a front panel 3.5mm front panel socket) and three analog outputs via speaker output, preamplifier/subwoofer output (4-pin DIN) and headphone jack. The stereo amplifier produces 50 watts per channel into 8 Ohms (75 watt @ 4 Ohm) . Enjoy the Music.com has reviewed the Naim Audio ND5 XS network audio player and the Naim Audio NDX network player.

 

Music Industry News 10 Years Ago
We here at Enjoy the Music.com will have extensive live coverage of London's Hi-Fi News show beginning on September 13th while our Milan's Top Audio & Video report commences on September 19th. As a very special segment to our Milan show report, Enjoy the Music.com's very own editor and creative director Steven R. Rochlin has been granted a very rare and extensive tour of the Ferrari facility in Maranello Italy! Naturally we here at Enjoy the Music.com are very proud to be the exclusive official Website for Hi-Fi News magazine until they can form their own version and in also providing information concerning many other print publications. As a side note, look for Steven R. Rochlin's contributions within JAZZIZ magazine, the world's premiere publication concerning jazz music for over 20 years. Steven's writings commence within JAZZIZ's November 2002 edition.

 

09 / 12 / 12

M2Tech Joplin 384/32 ADC  M2Tech is now shipping their Joplin 384/32 ADC. Joplin's high performance A/D converter is capable of handling up to 384kHz sampling rates and 32 bits resolution (USB output). The unit uses high-speed asynchronous USB connection to achieve 32-bit/384kHz processing. For digital output the new M2Tech Joplin includes S/PDIF, AES/EBU and TosLink. There is an Auxiliary S/PDIF input for bridging. Users have a wide selectable input gain from 0 to 65 dB. There is also a wide choice of equalization curves, which are occur purely within the in digital domain. For vinyl enthusiasts, there is also various filter options such as anti-rumble, anti-hiss and MPX. For you tekkies, an FPGA is used to connect between the ADC IC and the USB port (both operating in master mode for low jitter reasons), as well as for a large number of important clock and data routing tasks, not to mention the VU-meter drive. The analog stage is based on the best PGA (Programmable Gain Amplifier) available and allows for gain as high as 65dB (equivalent to 0.95mVrms for 0dBFS). A variety of equalization curves can be selected to accommodate all phono formats (RIAA curve, etc) from 1925 to the present day. There is also EQ curves for reel-to-reel tapes with straight output from the playback head. Analog output frequency response is from 10 Hz to 150 kHz (+0.1/-0.1dB via fs=384kHz) and SNR is 122dB. Enjoy the Music.com has reviewed the M2Tech hiFace 24-bit/192kHz USB digital audio interface and M2Tech hiFace Evo USB To S/PDIF converter.

 

dCS Vivaldi Digital Playback SystemdCS just announced their Vivaldi digital playback system that represents the company's pinnacle of 'no compromise' approach to product design. This new system includes separate Digital to Digital Upsampler, CD/SACD Transport, DAC and Master Clock units. Designed for maximum flexibility with an array of input and output configurations, the new Vivaldi features "next generation" versions of the dCS Ring DAC, Digital Processing Platform and Clocking System. The dCS Vivaldi Upsampler allows accesses to music from any digital source and converts the audio from its native sample rate to either high resolution DXD (24 bit data at 352.8 or 384 kS/s), DSD (1 bit data at 2.822 MS/s) or standard high resolution PCM (24 bit data up to 192 kS/s). Network connectivity lets users stream high resolution audio files stored on a computer or on network storage via UPnP. Asynchronous USB input is used for direct connection of a PC, supporting high resolution audio up to and including 192kS/s and DSD over USB. dCS' Vivaldi is Apple authenticated and supports playback of iPod/iPhone stored digital media, bypassing the internal DAC to ensure optimal performance. The enhanced digital volume control allows direct connection to a power amplifier so that in the majority of systems there is no need for a separate preamplifier. Maximum output can be set at either two or six volts to suit different amplifier and speaker combinations.

dCS' new Vivaldi Master Clock has a powerful Grade 1 master clock plus features two banks of clock outputs capable of outputting different frequencies. The new auto clocking mode in Vivaldi improves ease of use and minimizes jitter. It also has dual AES output that supports dCS-encrypted DSD to a dCS DAC from CD or SACD plus the option of upsampling CD data to DXD.

dCS' new Digital Processing Platform is one of the company's biggest change, as technology demanded a complete redesign of their powerful digital processing platform. This new platform is based around Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) chips, Digital Signal Processing (DSP) chips and a microcontroller system. All of these run code developed and maintained by dCS. The two FPGAs used in previous generation of processing platform have been replaced in Vivaldi by a single Spartan-6 device with more than twice their capacity combined. The FPGA features 100,000 Configurable Logic Blocks (CLBs), higher operating speed and a more flexible infrastructure. Other major enhancements are increased flash memory size, FPGA RAM and additional parallel interfaces to the DSPs all of which improve the capacity, flexibility, speed of data transfer and performance of the platform. The latest version of dCS' Digital Processing Platform features an enhanced PLL system for improved linearity of the Phase detector circuit better jitter performance.

 

AudioApps SpeakerAngleAudioApps now offers their SpeakerAngle app for iOS devices. As the first-ever digital tool which allows anyone to correctly set and match the angling (toe-in) of both stereo and surround sound speakers, this app can ensure optimum audio fidelity via precise setup. Developed in conjunction with Genelec, manufacturer of professional studio monitors, SpeakerAngle is compatible with iPhone 4 and later, iPad 2 and later, and iPhone Touch 4th Generation and later. Within the app there are dedicated onscreen speaker icons that move as the actual speaker is rotated, while number boxes below each speaker icon continuously display the angle of the speaker. The number boxes also change color to let users know when their speaker is angled within industry recommendations, and when it is angled to the same degree as the other one in the pair (i.e. left and right in stereo systems; front left / front right, rear left / rear right and side left / side right in 5.1 or 7.1 surround systems). Detailed information screens provide a tutorial on speaker angling, as well as step-by-step instructions for using SpeakerAngle.

 

09 / 11 / 12

Crestron  Crestron, with over 40 years in business and 90+ offices worldwide as the leading provider of control and automation systems, is bringing "personal space" to users with the airConnect technology. Based on Near Field Communication (NFC) technology, airConnect enables Crestron customers to trigger personal settings on a room-by-room basis for lighting, temperature, shades, entertainment systems or any other devices connected to the control system. This system relies on the normal proximity of a programmed NFC tag, which is normal as NFC becomes more and more prevalent in cell phones. Crestron can place paper-thin tags approximately one square-inch in size that can easily be embedded in convenient and multiple locations, such as behind wall keypads and faceplates. For audiophiles unfamiliar with this new technological advance, Near Field Communication is a form of contactless communication between devices like smartphones or tablets. Contactless communication allows a user to use their smart device in close proximity of a NFC tag to send information without needing to touch the devices together or go through multiple steps setting up a connection. Crestron airConnect makes it possible to instantaneously know who a user is, where they are, the device they are interacting with, and take automatic action accordingly, opening up a wide array of options in personalized control that were not previously feasible. Homeowners can trigger personalized control settings, including music presets, lighting levels, room temperature, shade positions, and more, when their smart device is within proximity of the NFC tag. Millions of Android smart devices are NFC-enabled and Apple with their upcoming iPhone and iPad should eventually get NFC to keep up with technological advances.

 

Music Industry News 10 Years Ago
Microsoft Windows MediaLossless high-resolution audio is making its way to an Internet website near you. As Bill Gates has unveiled the new Microsoft Windows Media 9 Series, over 60 companies will be supporting this new format while audiophile may also support it and finally rejoice in the ability to enjoy true audiophile sound quality over the Internet. Videophiles are also considered as high-definition video at six times the resolution of DVD, the first 5.1-channel surround sound streaming audio, and a faster, more-television-like experience with media on the Web is also part of the Windows Media 9 Series format. A new Smart Jukebox features allows for ease of organizing one's media collection while stronger digital rights management insure those who sell media over the Internet have a secure way of delivering their product. Built-in enhanced CD-burning features and support on more than 170 devices, including DVD players, portable music devices, car stereos, Pocket PCs, next-generation wireless handsets and digital audio receivers. As a side note, Microsoft owns the Pacific Microsonics HDCD format. International recording artist Peter Gabriel's upcoming album, UP, will be the first album to be made available on the Web offering a 5.1 channel digital surround sound audio experience. The album will be released September 25th using the new Windows Media Audio Professional (WMA Pro). "I remember very well the day when I first put on a pair of headphones and got a great sense of stereo for the first time, and I'm getting the same sense of excitement from 5.1," Peter Gabriel said. "With a lot of my work, which uses many textures to create pictures in sound, it's often hard to hear all the information; at last with 5.1 it's possible to put people right inside my music. Through this new technology, artists can deliver this experience directly and instantly anywhere around the world."

 

09 / 10 / 12

Custom Electronic Design & Installation Association (CEDIA)   The Custom Electronic Design & Installation Association (CEDIA) key findings from its 2012 Benchmarking Survey, which evaluates the state of the CEDIA member electronic systems contractor businesses for calendar year 2011 and reports on 2012 expectations. Results find electronic systems contractor companies are stable, growing again, and willing to take risks on new strategies to keep growing. The survey report was compiled by Profit Planning Group and provides benchmarks, best practices, and trend analysis based on data collected from CEDIA member electronic systems contractor (ESC) companies. In addition to receiving the full general report, this year's participants were provided with a customized report that compares their company against companies of similar size, the industry median, and the most profitable industry companies. "The CEDIA Benchmarking Survey provides members with a clear understanding of how they can improve and strengthen their business in areas such as strategic and business planning, financial performance and management, operations, and staffing and compensation," said Erica Shonkwiler, CEDIA Market Research Manager. "The survey also helps members of the industry assess opportunities for growth and development." The survey shows that:

•Participants reported an expected increase in revenue from 2011 to 2012 of 12%.

•Median number of employees stayed flat from 2010 to 2011 at 6 employees per company (full and part-time). However, ESCs indicate that they will increase their staff by 10% in 2012.

•82% of ESCs expanded service or technology offerings in 2011 to increase profitability.

•The percentage of companies offering remote network monitoring and diagnostic services has doubled in a year (16% in 2011 to 32% in 2012).

•Of the 87% of ESCs utilizing some type of space as a showroom, 63% report that their space is focused on demonstrating the "integrated home" instead of only a dedicated home theater.

 

09 / 07 / 12

UltraLink/XLO  UltraLink/XLO has streamlined their product offerings, thus focusing on the company's top-performing and most popular products along with a Renaissance of their premium brand XLO. Rack-mountable version of HDC-150 power conditioner – the HDC-150RM – will be available later in September or early October. The HDC-150RM "forms an energy-absorbing shield around connected components preventing performance-robbing and potentially dangerous events like surges, sags, spikes, ground and radiated noise, low- or high-voltage conditions with unprecedented levels of filtering and can be easily integrated into every system offering reliable long-term service." As for cables, the new XLO UltraPLUS cables are updated replacements for the original and popular Ultra Series. They’re modeled on the previous and very popular Reference series using XLO's hum-bucking Field Balanced "exoskeleton" winding geometry with all-PTFE dielectrics, core structures and jacketing. Rather than six-nines copper UltraPLUS is composed of single-filament, solid-core PC-OCC wrapped in an sleek black and purple jacket. XLO also improved the self-inductance of the hand-terminated 24k direct gold-plated RCA and proprietary XLR connectors.

 

Clarus CrimsonGordon J. Gow Technologies will soon be showcasing their Clarus Audiophile Collection of high-end audio video, digital, speaker and power cables designed for discriminating audiophiles. Developed by Jay Victor, the Clarus Collection features the Crimson Series (pictured, starting at $1000) and Aqua Series (starting at $500). Each share the same unique performance features, the main difference being the slightly smaller wire gauges used in the Aqua cables. Clarus audiophile-quality cables incorporate a host of patented and patent-pending technologies. Constructed from the finest metallurgy and material — CNC-machined gold-plated connectors, individually insulated interconnect and speaker cable strands, new multi-gauge innovations and precision impedances, the Clarus Collection is complemented by painstakingly meticulous hand craftsmanship. Made from oxygen-free Pure Copper by Ohno Continuous Casting (PCOCC), Clarus audio cables are engineered to provide low electrical resistance and single-crystal, impurity-free construction. Clarus cables are made with precision-formulated polyethylene (PE) insulation providing low loss, superior imaging and maximum sound definition.

 

Tributaries Series 6Tributaries Cable new Series 6 line of interconnect cables are claimed to have a level of performance far above the company's Series 5 and previous models of Series 7 and 9. Developed by celebrated cable designer, Jay Victor, the Series 6 incorporate the same unique performance features of the Series 8 cables, with main difference being the use of a slightly reduced grade of cooper. Digital and Video cables made with solid 20AWG conductors that are 1.25% silver plated to create a low resistance path for high frequency signals. Audio cables made of individually insulated, dual-gauge conductors, designed to maximize the balance between the bass and midrange/high frequency signals, while improving sonic resolution. The cables of the new Series 6 are balanced audio pair model 6AB (pictured, two meter is $250), RCA pair 6A (two meter is $150) and digital audio 6AD ($100). Other cables include subwoofer 6S ($90), speaker bi-wire with spade 6BW and bi-wire with banana 6BW (no pricing given).

 

09 / 06 / 12

Hi-Fi+ Magazine  Enjoy the Music.com has just posted the September edition of Hi-Fi+ (Issue 91)! This issue includes KEF Blade large floorstanding loudspeaker, Abbingdon Music Research DP-777 digital processor, Raidho C1.1 standmount speaker, David Berning ZH-230 Mono valve power amplifier, Artemis Labs SA-1/TA-1 turntable and tonearm, REL Acoustics Gibraltar G2 active subwoofer, HiFiman HE-400 planar magnetic headphones and much more. Within Alan Sircom's editorial titled The Audio Season he says, "It is that time again. It is the audio 'season'. In the past, when nights drew in and people stopped enjoying the Summer sun, they used to think of nothing better to do than to curl up in front of a nice warm valve amp and listen to some fine sounds on their fine hi-fi. From September to March, the stores were full of people buying audio equipment and seemingly every week another manufacturer or six would pitch up at a hotel and run a mini-show." You can see the complete table of contents and editorial of Hi-Fi+ by clicking here.

 

Marantz UD7007Marantz America will soon debut two new universal media players, the UD7007 with true balanced XLR output and UD5007. Both Blu-ray players offer true universal compatibility, full Internet connectivity and handles advanced video and audio formats. When connected to a compatible Marantz A/V receiver or surround sound processor, both players may be controlled with a Smartphone via the newly designed Marantz Remote App. Both units also feature a newly designed on screen graphical user interface for total ease of use and simplicity. The contoured front panel features both aluminum and reinforced resin for a smooth, distinguished appearance while solid, custom engineered feet further dampen any potential vibration and the disc tray is positioned at the center of the chassis so it remains protected on all sides from external influences. Inside, both units feature Marantz's fully shielded disc drive mechanism that provides quicker (20%) disc loading and playback compared with earlier models, along with a steel sub-chassis that prevents interference from adjacent circuitry and provides a solid foundation to suppress vibrations. The main chassis also features a dual layer bottom for maximum rigidity. Users can stream videos from online services such as Netflix, VUDU, Hulu, and YouTube. Due to having dual HDMI outputs, the UD7007 allows users to connect to a 3D TV and non-3D capable AVR separately. Additionally, both units feature front-panel USB ports along with an HDMI output, an Ethernet port, a left/right analog audio output for multi-zone distribution, and remote control in/out ports. Both models accept Blu-ray discs, DVDs, standard and recordable CDs, DVD-Audio, SACD, as well as DivXHD files in addition to AVCHD (high definition video format for camcorder) contained on discs or solid-state memory devices, and WMA, MP3, and JPEG files from either discs or USB devices. The UD7007's fully balanced HDAM-SA2 output stage includes XLR Output jacks. For optimum audio fidelity, the UD7007 is also equipped with 192kHz/32-bit D/A converters operating in differential mode, and the analog output sections feature multiple Marantz HDAM-SA2 discrete amplifier modules for the widest bandwidth and lowest noise.

 

Onkyo A-9050Onkyo's new A-9050 ($499) stereo integrated amplifier is an affordable yet entry level audiophile 75-watts per channel unit featuring WRAT technology. Boosted by three-stage inverted Darlington circuitry with premium DIDRC dynamic noise reduction technology, Onkyo's WRAT can power some of the most challenging speaker loads. The A-9050 has a 1.6 mm anti-resonant metal chassis with aluminum faceplates to ensure reduction of unwanted chassis resonances. There are two large capacitors and a high-output EI transformer drive current through the amplifying circuit plus the new Onkyo A-9050 uses a discrete triple-transistor output stage. Solid copper bus bars provide each individual circuit with a unique link to the power supply, thus significantly reducing circuit noise compared to conventional circuit designs. As an integrated amplifier, the A-9050 uses the Wolfson 192kHz/24-bit DAC module and DIDRC technology to cleanse signals of super-high-frequency noise and pulse interference that otherwise affects audio purity. The A-9050 has five analog inputs and one output each and three digital inputs for lossless PC audio (one optical, two coaxial). A quality internal MM phonostage for turntable input and a subwoofer output are also included. Gold-plated RCA inputs and beefed up banana plug-compatible speaker posts ensure high quality cable connection.

 

09 / 05 / 12

Wireless Speaker and Audio (WiSA) Association  The Wireless Speaker and Audio (WiSA) Association has announced the release of the industry’s first Compliance Test Specification (CTS) for interoperability testing of the wireless link between WiSA-compliant speakers and a variety of home theater and consumer electronics devices. Consumers will be able to outfit their home entertainment system with WiSA-certified speakers that scale from 2.0 stereo to 7.4 surround sound and components from any WiSA-compliant manufacturer, with the assurance that the devices will interoperate with each other. They are also seeking to provide the highest standard in wireless HD audio. The CTS specifies all the required interoperability and certification testing aimed at products that offer interference-free, uncompressed HD audio by taking advantage of the unique 5GHz Unlicensed National Information Infrastructure (U-NII) frequency band and avoiding the congested 2.4GHz Wi-Fi frequency spectrum. Audiophiles should take note of the uncompressed specifications and the eventual potential for our use. So why should audiophiles care? Key WiSA compliance attributes include 24-bit uncompressed audio with sample rate that matches the content (32, 44.1, 48, and 96 kHz). Also parts of the specs are rapid error detection and recovery for smooth uninterrupted sound plus a 5 ms fixed latency and under 160ns speaker-to-speaker delay. The next generation specification may include 192 and 384 kHz at 24-bit rates.

 

Bel Canto mLinkBel Canto Design has three new asynchronous USB link converters that consist of the entry-level mLink (pictured), mid-level uLink and top-of-the-line REFLink ($375, $675 and $1495 respectively). These new USB Link Converters isolate the music signal – and clocks – from the harsh, noisy electrical environments of computers and music servers. The new Bel Canto Link Converters take the USB output of a computer and delivers ultra-low jitter S/PDIF for an external DAC. All three USB Link Converters feature native MAC USB 2.0 compatibility, a custom Windows USB 2.0 driver, and operate at 16- or 24-bits at 44.1, 48, 88.2, 96, 176.4 and 192 kHz on a proprietary 500MHz DSP Core. Bel Canto’s music products are made in Minnesota and subscribe to low-impact production methods that put little waste back into the system. Reduced packaging volume and lower transport weight reduces environmental impact while steel, aluminum, and other metal waste products are recycled and returned to the production stream.

 

Music Industry News 10 Years Ago
Home Recording Rights Coalition (HRRC)The Home Recording Rights Coalition (HRRC) has sent a clear message to the Department of Justice (DOJ), "hands off consumers". Founded in 1981 as an advocacy group for consumers' rights to use home electronics products for private, non-commercial purposes, the HRCC are very concerned about possible "criminal cases against ordinary consumers who engage in file "swapping" over the Internet. In a recent public statement a DOJ official indicated that such criminal copyright infringement cases may be filed against individual consumers under the "NET Act" (17 U.S.C. §§ 101, 506, 507; 18 U.S.C. § 2319), a law passed in 1997 to make "hacking" by individuals a criminal act, even when not done for profit." HRRC Chairman Gary Shapiro said, "Ever since the Betamax case was filed, it has been vital to maintain the distinction between consumers engaging in private, noncommercial use of copyrighted material, and large-scale pirates. Sharing over the Internet has encouraged some content owners to try to obliterate this distinction. But every time the entertainment industry or the government has accused average consumers of being copyright criminals, the accusers have had to back off, and with good reason." While the HRRC opposes piracy, there should be legal and fair use by consumers who legally acquire copyrighted audio/video material. According to the HRRC website:

"...Shapiro emphasized key points that should discourage any consideration of applying the NET Act to ordinary, non-hacker, consumers:

(1) Fair use rights are guaranteed to consumers by statute, and applied judicially on a case by case basis. This means that, while some consumer practices ultimately could be adjudicated as either fair use or infringement, there is scant basis for challenging them as criminal.

(2) Time after time, practices of individuals that were initially equated with "piracy" or "theft" have been shown to be neutral or beneficial to copyright owners, and have either been tolerated or accepted as fair use.

(3) The NET Act's requirement of a total retail value of $1,000 per infringement should be taken seriously as a barrier to bringing cases against ordinary consumers. This law should not be re-interpreted, after the fact, as a criminal enforcement vehicle against consumer-to-consumer recording and "swapping" practices."

 

09 / 04 / 12

Horns for the Holidays [RR-126]  Reference Recordings is about to release their special Horns for the Holidays [RR-126] by the Dallas Wind Symphony! As a bonus from Reference Recordings, if you order two or more items you will receive a 20% discount! This sales ends Monday September 24th at 12pm PST. Horns for the Holidays showcases an exciting 12-track lineup including brilliant original arrangements of festive favorites with many first recordings. This sonic spectacular also features the huge Fisk pipe organ at the Meyerson Symphony Center in Dallas. Conductor Kerry Junkin is Artistic Director and Conductor of the Dallas Wind Symphony, as well as Director of Bands at the University of Texas at Austin where he also holds the title of University Distinguished Teaching Professor. America's premier professional wind band, The Dallas Wind Symphony was founded in 1985 and has made over 15 recordings. Engineering was done by the legendary "Prof." Keith O. Johnson (Grammy award-winning engineer, inventor and entertainment technologist).

 

Kenny Burrell's Midnight Blue and Lee Morgan's The Sidewinder Blue Note/EMI and HDtracks are pleased to announce the high definition, master-quality digital audio release of two classic albums from the label's legendary catalog. Kenny Burrell's Midnight Blue and Lee Morgan's The Sidewinder have been digitally remastered for the first time in 24-bit/96kHz and 24-bit/192kHz from their original analog multi-track masters. Both albums are accompanied by their original sleeve notes plus additional photos and newly-written package essays. From dwelling in the depths of despairing obscurity to being the celebrated champion of a new style of jazz, trumpeter Lee Morgan paved the way for the popularity of the ‘60s soul-jazz phenomenon with his catchy 10-minute gem "The Sidewinder." While all sorts of innovations in jazz being distilled at the time-from Miles Davis’s new-styled quintet to John Coltrane’s classic quartet-the brewing of boogaloo came of age through the trumpeter’s distinctive voice and upbeat, funky original compositions. track listing of the two newly remastered in high resolution titles are as follows:

Kenny Burrell Midnight Blue
1. Chitlins con Carne
2. Mule
3. Soul Lament
4. Midnight Blue
5. Wavy Gravy
6. Gee Baby, Ain’t I Good To You
7. Saturday Night Blues

Lee Morgan The Sidewinder
1. The Sidewinder
2. Totem Pole 
3. Gary’s Notebook 
4. Boy, What a Night 
5. Hocus Pocus

 

09 / 03 / 12

  Enjoy the Music.com, in concert with over 35 prominent manufacturers of high-end audio equipment, is holding an important high-end gear giveaway that will see over $89,750 in total prizes in the hands of sound enthusiasts everywhere. This exciting contest is aimed squarely at the growing number of music enthusiasts who realize that popular MP3 music files simply can't deliver the full sonic potential of today's best artists. The contest isn't just about prizes, either, as it is equally aimed at educating consumers about the real benefits of high-end audio products. This comparatively small and performance-driven market segment benefits from the talents of passionate engineers and designers who concentrate on delivering the most accurate and enjoyable sound quality possible. Make sure you enter our contest at this link and also join us on  Facebook and Twitter.

 

RMAF 2012Enjoy the Music.com's ninth annual RMAF 2012 (Rocky Mountain Audio Fest) show report in only a few months away! The RMAF 2012 will be held at the Denver Marriott Tech Center Hotel from October 12th through the 14th. The RMAF 2012 highlights the continued grow in popularity of this show with each passing year. This year will feature around 175 exhibitor rooms, 3 vendor areas, and people attending from many countries from around the world! While two-channel high-end audio (audiophile) gear takes center stage, various conferences, seminars and live music entertainment will be enjoyed by many attendees. Enjoy the Music.com's live show coverage will began the first day of the RMAF 2012 show. Those of you on Facebook can sign in now and let us know you are attending at this link.

 

09 / 01 / 12

  Enjoy the Music.com's September Review Magazine is now available and features our Best Of 2012 Blue Note Awards! Equipment reviews include two World Premieres plus the First Watt SIT-1 solid-state amplifier, Copland CTA 506 vacuum tube amplifier, an Enjoy the Music.com first year celebration with a review of the Krell KAV-400xi Integrated Amplifier and much more! Enjoy the Music.com's September Review Magazine can be seen by clicking here.

Review Magazine 

Daily News: Audiophile news updated each weekday! 

The BAS Speaker Magazine: The Art Of Listening.
Article By Frederick J. Ampel

Sound Practices: Casual Reactions...
Article By Herb Reichert

VALVE Magazine: Editor's Thing.
Article By DanS

California Audio Show 2012 (CAS) By daGoGo
Report By Anthony Nicosia

In This Issue.... Best Of 2012 Blue Note Awards
Plus special mentions of the CA Electronics Ceramic Cones, the Enacom Audio
Noise Eliminators and Rotel's The Ultimate Guide To High Performance Home Theater book.
Article By Steven R. Rochlin

Audiolics Anonymous Chapter 154
Audiophile computers, BSO recordings and Perfect Path Technologies Silver Paste.
Article By Dr. Bill Gaw

Are You On The Road To... Audio Hell?
Article By Leonard Norwitz and Peter Qvortrup Of Audio Note UK

High Resolution Symposium: The Future of Digital Audio
Lecture by Igor Levin (Antelope Audio), Morten Lindberg (2L), Lothar Kerestedjian
(HighResAudio) and Daniela Manger (Manger).

How It's Made... Vacuum Tube Amplifiers and Turntables!

  First Watt Model SIT-1 Monoblock Power Amplifier
The power of the First Watt digs deeply into the fabric of music to
communicate soul, drama, and passion.
Review By Dick Olsher

  Copland CTA 506 Vacuum Tube Power Amplifier
Combining classic design with the latest developments in vacuum tubes.
Review By Phil Gold

From Our First Year...
Krell KAV-400xi Integrated Amplifier
Review By Alvin Gold


Best Audiophile Equipment Of The Year Awards 2012

As Chosen By The Enjoy the Music.com Staff

World Premiere!
Audio By Van Alstine (AVA) Synergy 450 Power Amplifier
Blockbuster performance for only $1999!
Review By Anthony Nicosia

World Premiere
Pylon Audio Sapphire Floorstanding Speakers
Dynamic and large sound with expansive soundscape.
Review By Wojciech Pacula

Audio Electronics Nighthawk Headphone Amplifier
A stunning headphone amplifier that easily resolves instruments in great detail.
Review By Tom Lyle

From Our First Year...
Bryston 7B ST Solid-State Amplifier
Review By Dwayne Carter

From Our First Year...
Kondo Amplification and Marshall -- the Dynamic Duo?
Review By Thorsten Loesch

On Loudspeaker Directivity Part 1
Article By Jeff Poth


Best Audiophile Music Of The Year Awards 2012

As Chosen By The Enjoy the Music.com Music Review Staff

Classical Music
Johan Sebastian Bach Six Brandenburg Concertos John Eliot Gardiner
conducting the English Baroque Soloists.
Review By Wayne Donnelly

Richard Strauss Don Juan, Op. 20; Burleske in D Minor for Piano and Orchestra;
Sinfonia Domnestica, Op. 53; and Til Eulenspiegels Merry Pranks, Op. 28
Review By Max Westler

From Cedille, a treat for lovers of the cello.
Review By Joe Milicia

Jazz / Bluegrass / Etc.
Hot Club Of Cowtown Wishful Thinking
Review By Steven Stone

Sara Watkins Sara Watkins
Review By Steven Stone

Various Bluegrass, Blues And Jazz Albums
Reviews By Steven Stone

See the September Review Magazine by clicking here.

 

 

HDtracks is featuring many music titles from Geffen Records, now offered in high resolution digital music download. Geffen Records was founded in 1980 by music industry businessman David Geffen who, in the early 1970s, had founded Asylum Records. Geffen stepped away for a period due to medical condition and then returned to work and struck a deal with Warner Bros. Records to create Geffen Records. Warner provided 100 percent of the funding for the label's operations, while Geffen retained 50 percent of the profits, and distributed its records. The many bands featured on Geffen include Tom Petty, Nirvana, The Who and Steely Dan. Most titles are available in 24-bit/96kHz and include album art and liner noted via Adobe PDF. You can get these and many more great music titles in high resolution audio by visiting HDtracks.


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