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


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09 / 29 / 17

Nagra Audio's HDPREAMP Features SuperCapacitor Power Supply
Nagra Audio's HDPREAMP Features SuperCapacitor Power SupplyAlmost 20 years after the release of the mythical preamplifier PL-P in 1998, Nagra Audio will introduce at the RMAF 2017 one of the most ambitious projects of its history, the HD PREAMP ($59,500). The Nagra R&D Department, served by ten skilled and specialized audio engineers, worked on this project for the past three years with the goal of creating the most revealing and engaging preamplifier in the world. The Audio engineers spared no expense or limitation developing electronics, mechanics, power supply and addressing thermal and vibration issues. Each stage of the design also included extensive listening sessions. The result is a striking product in terms of appearance, specification and performance. The volume control is a patent pending technology that allows perfect level matching with a much more transparent sound compared to pots and switch resistor technology, because there is no attenuation of the input signal, just an automatic selection of a tap on the Nagra custom output transformer. Newly developed SuperCapacitor power supply is the latest technology that combines the very low noise of a battery with the high current capability of the best linear power supplies. Nagra Audio created a super vibration free stand to lower the microphonic resonances to a new level. Nagra's HDPREAMP has the company's best specifications ever achieved by any tube preamplifier, 160dB of signal to noise and 8 Hz to 200 kHz frequency response with perfect phase integrity. The impedance input is 50 kOhm and the output impedance is 0.2 Ohm so you can drive any amplifier on the market.

 

Peachtree Audio Decco125 Sky Integrated Amp With DAC & Phonostage
Peachtree Audio Decco125 SkyPeachtree Audio's new decco125 SKY ($1199) features many versatile options mated with a powerful 120 Watt per channel stereo amplifier. With an on-board DAC for your computer, CD player, TV or other digital devices, you can bring Hi-Res Audio music into your home. Digital inputs include optical TosLink and USB-B. The unbalanced RCA phono section and auxiliary inputs have separate power supplies, and operate via full analog circuitry. There is also unbalanced RCA outputs for adding a subwoofer, or perhaps a stereo pair of self-powered speakers. For personal listening, Peachtree Audio's decco125 SKY headphone amplifier will take your 'phones to the next level. "SKY" is Peachtree's new wireless ecosystem - allowing direct streaming from TIDAL, Spotify and your other favorite streaming services. Peachtree's SKY Direct mode even lets you play music right from your phone when no Wi-Fi is available. Separate bass and treble controls are available via the included remote. Loudspeaker output is via five-way gold-plated binding posts.

 

Industry News 17 Years Ago
Fully Connected IoT Home Environment Includes Music Streaming
Cisco Systems, Inc.Looking for a way to fully monitor and control the home environment, while also having complete internet implementation, leading internet technology leader Cisco Systems, Inc., has unveiled its "Internet Home". Their 1700 square foot Internet Home demonstrates the benefits of having a high-speed always-on Internet connection. Joined by developer Playa Vista, this technology is being developed for use in not just homes, but also for the commercial community development. Other developers such as Digital Interiors, The Great Indoors, Hewlett-Packard Company, Sears, Roebuck and Co, and Whirlpool helped to demonstrates the power of the Internet in enhancing daily living for consumers and business'. Since the Internet offers everything from shopping for groceries to listening to music or sending family photos to grandparents, it makes since that one day we will have fully web enabled homes. "The Internet Home drives home the message that always on, high speed Internet connections are available in today's home, whether it's an older home or brand-new development. It also demonstrates how an always on, high-speed Internet connection is as easy to use as turning on a light or a water faucet," said Mike Moone, group vice president and general manager, Cisco's Consumer Line of Business. "We are pleased to be working with leading consumer companies and community developers to help make Internet Homes a reality for consumers."

 

09 / 28 / 17

Legacy Audio Valor Speaker Features New Stereo Unfold Technology
Legacy Audio Valor SpeakerLegacy Audio will premiere their new Valor loudspeaker system at RMAF 2017 that features a new direction for the company. Powered by 2750 Watts per side, the Valor is first to employ Stereo Unfold technology licensed from Bohmer Audio of Sweden. By combining a controlled-directivity front array for the initial wave-launch and a side/rear-firing ambient array, Valor is claimed to be able to "reconstruct the natural sequence of sound arrival of the performance space". Legacy Audio's Valor features strategically shaped, dual radiation patterns generated by the system to reduce early reflection in the direct field, thus unmasking critical spatial cues while Wavelet's Stereo Unfold algorithm identifies ambient information and restores it to proper time and level in the diffuse field. Legacy's sophisticated Wavelet Preamp/DAC/Processor provides time alignment and crossover functions for the four-way system while hosting S/PDIF, optical TosLink and USB digital inputs and two pair each of balanced and unbalanced inputs. A pair of Wavelet inputs, eight output, 56-bit DSP, Room Correction plus Stereo Unfold algorithm bring digital to the forefront. Overall, Legacy Audio's Valor has eight drivers within a four-way system with specialized three driver ambient array. Dual 4" AMT bridge-mounted in post convergent array are joined by 1.5" coaxial, titanium/polyester diaphragm with precision waveguide. Midwoofer is a 14" carbon/pulp curvilinear cone with neodymium motor. Meanwhile, bass is produced by dual 14" carbon/pulp curvilinear cone drivers with neodymium motor in a super cardioid array. For subwoofer duties, dual 12" aluminum diaphragms aided by 480 oz motors on a cast frame are deployed. Overall frequency response is from 12Hz to 30kHz with a sensitivity of 100.5dB/W/m. Cabinet dimensions are 67" x 16.25" x 18" (HxWxD) and weighs 288 lbs. each.

 

09 / 27 / 17

McIntosh MHA50 Portable Decoding (DAC) Headphone Amplifier
McIntosh MHA50 Portable Decoding (DAC) Headphone AmplifierMcIntosh Labs has just announced their MHA50 ($700) portable battery powered DAC with headphone amplifier. The handheld MHA50 Portable Decoding Amplifier can make your music sound its best through your headphones. McIntosh's MHA50 includes wired inputs for Apple iOS devices as well as Android devices that are compatible with USB On-The-Go technology plus Mac and Windows computers. It can also wirelessly connect to these devices via Bluetooth 4.1 with aptX technology. It features a high-performance 32-bit digital-to-analog converter (DAC) and supports 32-bit/192kHz Hi-Res Audio, DSD256 and DXD384 files as well as asynchronous USB audio. With an internal 3000 mAh rechargeable battery, McIntosh Lab's MHA50 provides up to six hours of playback on a single charge when connected via Bluetooth; and much longer via a wired connection. Its sleek design features a glass front panel with a touch sensitive volume control knob inspired by the classic knobs found on countless McIntosh products. It's built primarily from durable extruded aluminum which also has some inherent noise shielding properties to help block undesirable external interference. Two gain settings allow the MHA50 to work with all types of personal audio monitors from custom in-ear monitors to over-the-ear headphones. It can drive headphones with impedances ranging from 8 to 600 Ohms. A special Headphone Crossfeed Director (HXD) brings added dimension to your music in a natural sounding way and can be easily turned on and off depending on your preferences. All audio is output via a gold plated 3.5mm jack. This jack can also connect to a pair of powered desktop speakers, allowing the McIntosh MHA50 to serve as a desktop DAC. The MHA50 comes complete with three USB adapter cables to connect various devices, a leather carrying case, and a wall mount charger. Frequency response is rated from 20Hz to 50kHz with a low SNR of 105dB. The preamplifier outputs 1.8 Volts, dimensions are 2.7" x 6.1" x 0.6" (WxHxD), and it weighs 0.5 lbs.

 

IFPI Releases Their 2017 Connecting With Music Report
IFPI Releases Their 2017 Connecting With Music ReportIFPI has released Connecting With Music, the 2017 Music Consumer Insight Report. Based on research conducted by Ipsos Connect, the report examines the ways in which fans are engaging with recorded music across 13 of the world's leading music markets. Report highlights include that fans worldwide are increasingly engaged with audio streaming: Globally, 45% are listening through a licensed audio streaming service (up from 37% in 2016). 90% of paid audio streamers listen to music using a smartphone. Young fans remain highly engaged with music despite an abundance of competing media: 13 to 15 year-olds are highly engaged with music, with 85% using streaming services. The 'Value Gap' persists: User upload video services, such as YouTube, account for the majority of on-demand streaming time yet do not return fair value to the music community. An impressive 85% of YouTube visitors use the site for music each month and 76% of YouTube visitors use it for music already known to them. Copyright infringement remains a significant issue, with stream ripping the top source: 40% of consumers access unlicensed music, including 35% who stream rip music 53% among 16 to 24 year-olds. "This report shows some amazing trends defining this new era, how fans around the world are enjoying recorded music and connecting with the artists they love in so many ways," said Frances Moore, CEO of IFPI. "The increasingly digital global music environment did not just happen. It requires an enormous amount of work from record companies and their partners to license over 40 million tracks to hundreds of digital services around the world. The report also highlights the ongoing challenges for the industry. It provides further evidence of the Value Gap the mismatch between the value that user upload services, such as YouTube, extract from music and the revenue returned to those who invest in and create it. The global music community is united in urging policy makers to act to address this." You can read IFPI's Connecting With Music 2017 report (PDF) at this link.

 

09 / 26 / 17

Astell&Kern AK70 MK II Dual DAC DAP And AK CD-Ripper MK II
Astell&Kern AK70 MK II Dual DAC DAP And AK CD-Ripper MK IIAstell&Kern's new AK70 MK II ($699) features two major upgrades from its sibling, the AK70. The new AK70 MK II is a dual DAC player that features two Cirrus Logic CS4398 DAC chipsets, one each for the left and right channels. The separate DAC for each independent left and right audio channel produces a wider soundstage and better stereo separation. The new AK70 MK II features almost twice the power output from the 2.5mm, four-pole unbalanced output than the AK70. With 4.0 Vrms of balanced power output, the AK70 MK II can drive any headphone on the market today with ease, even the most inefficient headphones being used today. Digital out via USB is also possible. Astell&Kern's AK70 MK II supports native DSD output via USB through DoP (DSD over PCM) and converts DSD to PCM for output to external USB Audio devices that do not support DoP. This allows users a range of options to connect their own favorite external DAC. Internal memory storage is 64GB, with a single microSD card slot for additional storage memory. The unit is Wi-Fi enabled and fully supports OTA firmware updates and streaming music from other devices on the same network. Naturally the company's AK Connect app for iOS and Android devices is supported. The USB DAC function can be connected to a Mac/PC to bypass internal sound card and output Hi-Res Audio. Astell&Kern's AK70 MK II is auto CD-Ripper compatible, allowing the user to rip music directly to the player without the need for a computer. And yes, TIDAL streaming music service is supported. Also in the news is Astell&Kern's new AK CD-Ripper MK II ($400). Copying a CD to your Astell&Kern player could not be simpler. Connect the AK CD-Ripper MK II to your player and touch the CD ripping icon to begin. Musical tracks can be saved as FLAC or Wave formats and can be ripped at various speeds. The Wi-Fi connected Astell&Kern player will access Gracenote's extensive music database and will automatically add all of the metadata such as album title, artist, genre and album art.

 

09 / 25 / 17

Airwave 3200 Cables Available In Unbalanced RCA And Balanced XLR
Airwave 3200 Cables Available In Unbalanced RCA And Balanced XLRChris Sommovigo and Black Cat Cable is releasing a new series of cable in mid-November at an introductory price of $499.95 for one-meter pair (going up to $599.95 in 2018). Called Airwave 3200 Series, these cables are being billed as ground shifting designs that deliver a giant-slaying level of transparency. The combination of Sommovigo's legendary "Matrix-32" 4-pole/32-element braid of individually-insulated pure copper conductors and his 'name'-processed Airwave twisted pair inside a thin-walled pure PTFE air-filled tube is simultaneously very complex and yet elegantly simple. "All is not as it seems with this build," remarked Chris Sommovigo. "This is hardly an intuitive termination, and it's fairly time consuming - but the results tell the tale. After 25 years of playing and experimenting with wires and cables, the 3202 was probably the most surprising in terms of outcome - and I was determined to share this with as many audiophiles as possible, so I've done my best to keep prices reasonably low and performance exceptionally high." High Fidelity Partners Co. LTD. is the parent company for Chris Sommovigo's various brands of cables and connectors, including Black Cat Cable, Ghostwire, Airwave, Indigo, Airwave 3200 Series, Lovecraft, and XOX. All of their cables are bespoke designs manufactured using a variety of customized machinery and expert handcraft, and made within the confines of their small, seaside workshop in the Yoshihama neighborhood of Yugawara.

 

09 / 22 / 17

Zesto Audio Andros Allasso Step Up Transformer For MC Cartridges
Zesto Audio Andros Allasso Step Up Transformer For MC CartridgesZesto Audio is pleased to announce their first audio accessory, the Andros Allasso Step Up Transformer ($2995). With an easy to use 10 position loading, there is also a 4 ratio-gain settings plus Mono and Stereo switch. Unlike most step up transformers (SUT) which are customized to a specific phono cartridge with few adjustments, Zesto Audio's Allasso is a versatile SUT with 40 adjustments in Mono and 40 adjustments for your stereo MC cartridge. Cloned from the same gene pool with all the very best characteristics, components and knowledge that went into other Zesto Audio products, the company felt that the biggest problem with phonostages is there are never enough inputs. Thus the Allasso was created. All adjustments are easily accessible on the front and can be done "on the fly" without clicks or pops. Zesto Audio feels that the most prized Allasso features are the 4 gain settings of 17dB, 21dB, 23dB and 26dB and the step up ratios of 1:4, 1:6, 1:8 and 1:12 with 10 load positions for each setting allowing for 40 adjustments in Stereo and 40 in Mono. An extensive grounding scheme is designed into the circuitry, binding posts and enclosure. The input ground lift switches helps to eliminate ground loops, especially within mono cartridges. The RCA connectors are high quality, gold plated with an isolated ground. A set of balanced XLR inputs is also provided for, with stereo output being unbalanced RCA. Frequency response is -3dB at 0.4Hz to 100kHz, weight is 5 lbs and dimensions are 4" x 6" x 8" (HxWxD).

 

Industry News 10 Years Ago
SE2 Labs Revolutionary ITC One (Integrated Theater Console)
SE2 Labs ITCSE2 Labs now offers their revolutionary ITC One (Integrated Theater Console) as the world's first personalized, fully-integrated, one-box home entertainment solution ($19,900 on up depending on configuration). Custom installers or end users can design a personalized system from the SE2 website, which is then shipped within days of receiving the order. The following components can be included: Microsoft X-Box 360, X-Box 360 HD DVD Player, Nintendo Wii, DirecTV, High-Def TiVo, Dish Network DVR, national cable providers DVR, including Comcast, Time Warner, Cox Cable, AMX Netlinx Control System, High-End Digital Surround Processor, Bryston Pre-Amp Processor with full digital outputs, IcePower High-End D-Class Amplifiers, High-End Video Processor, Front Touchpanel Screen, Apple Video iPod with Dock, proprietary Remote Control, Power Conditioning, Transparent Cabling and Cable Harness and an Anti-Noise and Vibration System - all integrated through a revolutionary design, working together from an elegant, compact box. It's like a house full of electronics slimmed down to a small console only 18 x 21 x 20 (WxHxD in inches). Upgrades and maintenance are easy, since every part of the ITC One is modular. All parts can be swapped or repaired with little effort. The ITC One can be configured for both residential and commercial applications, including corporate and education environments. A patented cooling system maximizes the effects of induction to keep circuitry cool, while four silent, high-powered fans keep internal temperatures low. An advanced mechanical isolation system protects the ITC One's circuitry from airborne and mechanical vibration and keeps internal noises from escaping (such as a hard drive or transport). A sophisticated power conditioning system is preinstalled. Cable connections are recessed into the chassis, so you can push the unit against a wall without straining cable connections. The rear panel has lacing straps for wire management and stress relief. The remote control for the ITC One includes innovations like color volume feedback, remote locator beeper and RF communication. It is ergonomically designed and easy to operate. Buttons light up automatically in the dark when the unit senses movement. With 11 patents, the ITC One is claimed by the company to be the only high-end, all-in-one home entertainment system of its kind on the market today.

 

09 / 21 / 17

Mid-Year 2017 RIAA Revenue Statistics Music Subscription Growth
Mid-Year 2017 RIAA Revenue Statistics -- Music Subscription GrowthAccording to the RIAA, during the first half of 2017 growth in revenues from music subscription streaming services continued to offset declines in traditional (physical, etc) unit based sales. Estimated retail revenues from recorded music in the United States grew 17% in the first half of 2017 to $4 billion. At wholesale value, the industry was up 14.6% to $2.7 billion. This growth reflects a continuation of the trends from 2016, but overall market revenues are still significantly below the levels they were in 1999. Revenues from streaming music services accounted for 62% of the total market for the first half of 2017. Total revenues from streaming platforms were up 48% to $2.5 billion. The streaming category includes revenues from subscription services (such as paid versions of Spotify, TIDAL, and Apple Music, among others), digital and customized radio services including those revenues distributed by SoundExchange (like Pandora, SiriusXM, and other Internet radio), and ad-supported on-demand streaming services (such as YouTube, Vevo, and ad-supported Spotify). Paid subscriptions were the biggest driver of growth in the first half of 2017. Revenues from paid subscription services grew 61% to $1.7 billion at estimated retail value, and were the largest format in the United States accounting for 43% of total revenue. This growth was driven by continued strong user increases. The number of paid subscriptions reached a record high 30 million averaged for the first half of the year. This represents growth of nearly 1 million new subscriptions per month as compared to the prior year. Revenues from sales of digital tracks and albums continued to decline in the first half of 2017. Overall digital download revenues were $757 million, down 24% versus 1H 2016. Individual track sales revenue was down 23%, and digital album revenue was down 26% compared with the previous year. Digital downloads only accounted for 19% of total industry revenues. They had been the largest format until as recently as 2015. The total value of shipments of physical products decreased just 1% to $632 million, a much lower rate of decrease than recent historical trends. The rate of returns of physical goods to record labels decreased in the first half of the year, helping bolster the revenue figures. Revenues from shipments of CDs were down 3% to $431 million, while vinyl albums were up 3% to $182 million. Vinyl albums comprised 29% of total physical shipments at retail value their highest share since the mid 1980's.

 

09 / 20 / 17

Schiit Magni 3 Solid-State Stereo Headphone Amplifier And Loki Mini EQ
Schiit Magni 3 Solid-State Stereo Headphone AmplifierSchiit's new Magni 3 headphone amplifier ($99) features twice the output power of the original Magni, together with greater flexibility and significantly enhanced measured performance. Magni 3 is rated at a full 2 Watt RMS per channel, two channels into 32 Ohms due to an all-new fully discrete, fully-complementary current-feedback gain stage, together with a linear power supply with over 6000uF of filter capacitance and a 21VA transformer. Schiit's Magni 3 headphone amplifier features virtually all of the flexibility and cosmetic touches of the previous Magni 2 Uber from Magni 2 at a price that's $50 lower. Magni 3 is ready to be a complete desktop control center, with included gain switching, preamplifier outputs, and automatic preamplifier output disconnect when headphones are inserted. Magni 3 also features an anodized, brushed aluminum top panel. Magni is covered by a limited warranty that covers parts and labor for two years. During audition if you don't like the unit, you can send it back for a refund minus 15% restocking fee within 15 days of receiving the unit.

Also new from Schiit's is their Loki Mini equalizer ($149) features gentle control and rational ranges to allow for precise and subtle tonal alterations. Potentiometers are progressive, so that a full 30 degrees is needed for the first dB of boost or cut. Loki Mini offers adjustment center frequencies of 20 Hz, 400 Hz, 2kHz, and 8kHz. 20Hz and 8kHz offer +/-12dB of adjustment, while 400Hz and 2kHz offer +/-6dB. Schiit's Loki Mini also offers a true bypass switch one that simply connects the input to the output, with no intervening circuitry. The front-mounted switch allows users to compare the processed output to the 'flat' output instantaneously.

 

09 / 19 / 17

TAVES 2017 Consumer Electronics Show Features Hi-Fi & More
TAVES 2017 Consumer Electronics Show Report Enjoy the Music.com's seventh annual TAVES Consumer Electronics Show (Toronto Audio Video Entertainment Show) report features Canada's ultimate high-technology showcase. TAVES 2017 takes place at the Toronto Congress Centre from October 13th through 15th and connects trade professionals, media and consumers to the many facets of consumer electronics. This world-class exposition attracts companies from around the globe and showcases cutting edge technology and innovation spanning a broad range of categories, including audio, video, robotics, wearables, smart devices, 3D printing, drones, electronic gadgets and more. You can easily slip into a demonstration suite and savor the latest immersive audio and vision technology. TAVES boasts North America's largest selection of hi-fi & home entertainment systems including speakers, turntables, amplifiers, and portable audio. Learn more about TAVES' 2017 show at this link.

 

09 / 18 / 17

Tech Meets Classic Design In Bowers & Wilkins 700 Series Speakers
Tech Meets Classic Design In Bowers & Wilkins 700 Series SpeakersThe new Bowers & Wilkins 700 Series delivers exceptional performance from a wide-ranging, comprehensive collection of loudspeakers. The series sees the implementation of technology first seen in the high-end 800 Series Diamond, a range of class-leading speakers that are regarding by many as the best loudspeakers in the world, alongside bespoke technology seen here for the first time. Technologies that have 'trickled down' from the 800 Series Diamond include the revolutionary Continuum midrange driver, which is the cleanest and most transparent midrange cone material Bowers & Wilkins has ever used. It reveals details in your music conventional cone materials simply can't uncover, and it now features on every model in this new range. The new 700 Series also benefits from a bespoke version of the Aerofoil profile bass driver plus improved tweeter-on-top housings on the two flagship models that are crafted from solid billets of aluminum. Both were first seen on the 800 Series Diamond. New technologies come first and foremost in the shape of carbon braced tweeters. This new technology delivers sweeter, cleaner high-frequency performance even further up the audible bandwidth than the previous aluminum double dome tweeters, and is the best-performing 'non-Diamond' tweeter that Bowers & Wilkins has ever produced. The new 700 Series comprises eight models, two with Tweeter-on-Top technology including the flagship 702 S2. The range includes three floorstanding models, three standmount speakers and two dedicated centre channels for surround sound and home theatre use. All models are available in a choice of Gloss Black, Satin White and Rosenut finishes. This launch also sees the announcement of a new subwoofer. The fourth model in the new DB Series, the DB4S is a single-driver subwoofer that shares drive unit technology, amplification and preamp section with the dual-driver DB2D, but in a single driver format. It has a single 10" Carbon Aerofoil drive unit in a forward-firing configuration plus 1000 Watts of amplification and a digital preamp section with Dynamic EQ, Room EQ and an App-based configuration system. It is available in colors to match the 700 Series.

 

09 / 15 / 17

Australian Hi-Fi Magazine's September / October Issue Is Now Available
Australian Hi-Fi Magazine July / August 2017This issue of Australian Hi-Fi features reviews of the Marantz NA6005 network player, Audio Flight FL Three S integrated amplifier, PSB SubSeries200 subwoofer, Lundahl moving coil transformer, Dynaudio Contour 60 loudspeakers, Sound Blaster E5 DAC / headphone amplifier, Beyerdynamic DT 1770PRO & DT 1990PRO headphones and more. Within his editorial "Another Audio Crowd-Funding Fail...", Greg Borrowman says "What made Kanoa unusual was that it actually shipped some product to backers and also exhibited  at CES 2016, but unfortunately for it, it also asked Cody Crouch, who makes YouTube unboxing  videos under the name iTw4kz, to review a pair. He wasn't happy with the quality or performance or the manual! of the earphones Kanoa loaned him for review, and told them so. Crouch says on his  video that rather than fi x the product: 'Kanoa offered me $US500 to post a good review on YouTube.' Crouch ended up posting the worst review of a product I have ever seen and four days after the review went live, the company posted a 'position outline' on its website, as detailed above. Needless to say, with internet exposure like this, the likelihood of Kanoa getting any new backers is now zero. If you don't want to watch the entire 27 minute 35 seconds of Crouch's scathing review, try starting at 23:38, which is about the point he says: 'This is trash. You don't want to have these. This is not a company that you want to deal with.' See what's within this issue of Australian Hi-Fi at this link.

 

09 / 14 / 17

Gold Note IS-1000 All-In-One Preamp, Amp, DAC And Streamer
Gold Note IS-1000 All-In-One Preamp, Amp, DAC And StreamerGold Note's IS-1000 is an advanced fully integrated amplifier that seamlessly merges a preamplifier, power amplifier, phono stage, DAC and streamer into a unique and complete source. Gold Note IS-1000 is a Roon Ready device, fully compatible with multi-room systems and with a quick plug & play installation: simply plug IS-1000 to the main A/C, connect it to the network (Wi-Fi or Ethernet) and to the speakers. Then you may explore the nearly endless possibilities of music, streaming from Tidal, Qobuz Spotify and Deezer with Roon or the Gold Note's dedicated App available for iOS and Android. You can also browsing your collection of digital music stored on NAS, HDD and USB sticks. Gold Note's IS-1000 comes with a Class A/B stereo amplifier with 120 Watt per channel to power a wide range of digital and analog inputs. The IS-1000 features six digital inputs up to PCM up to 24-bit/192kHz via three optical TosLink, S/PDIF RCA coaxial, USB and LAN / Wi-Fi. Three analog inputs consist of balanced XLR and two stereo sets of unbalanced RCA, which including MM/MC phono stage. Outputs include two stereo RCA, one variable volume and the other fixed. Gold Note's IS-1000 is designed and made in Italy with finish options being brushed aluminum in black or silver.

 

09 / 13 / 17

McIntosh Labs New MA7200 Integrated Amplifier And MAC7200 Receiver
McIntosh Labs New MA7200 Integrated Amplifier And MAC7200 ReceiverWith 65 outstanding years of expertise, McIntosh Labs has proudly announced their MA7200  integrated amplifier that is available exclusively for countries outside the USA and Canada (pricing different per country) and MAC7200 receiver ($7000) that is available worldwide. Offering 200 Watts per channel stereo and 14 total inputs, the space-saving MA7200 integrated amplifier can easily become the core of a home audio stereo system. Making up its 14 inputs are 8 analog connections (5 unbalanced RCA, 1 balanced XLR and 1 each of Moving Coil and Moving Magnet) along with 6 digital (2 each of coaxial and optical plus 1 USB and 1 proprietary MCT for use with our series of SACD/CD Transports). The digital inputs are housed in our DA1 Digital Audio Module, which can easily be replaced by future modules to keep the MA7200 current with the latest digital audio technologies. The DA1 comes with an 8-channel, 32-bit Digital-to-Analog Converter (DAC) used in Quad Balanced mode. The USB input accepts PCM signals up to 32-bit/384kHz and supports up to DSD256 and DXD 384kHz for high resolution audio playback. McIntosh Labs' MA7200 is part of the company's line of next generation integrated amplifiers and features many design improvements including new, more powerful control microprocessors; some of the latest audio-grade circuit components; and the addition of our Headphone Crossfeed Director (HXD) technology. The MA7200 is full of other McIntosh technologies including Autoformers to deliver the full 200 Watts to each of your speakers regardless of their impedance, Power Guard, Sentry Monitor, Home Theater PassThru, Monogrammed Heatsinks, bass and treble tone controls, High Drive headphone amplifier and gold-plated speaker binding posts. The MA7200 is available exclusively for countries outside the US and Canada.

McIntosh Labs' MAC7200 receiver is available worldwide and builds upon the MA7200 integrated amplifier by adding a built-in AM/FM tuner. McIntosh has been making tuners since the 1950s and they are one of our hallmarks, with the groundbreaking MR78 model from 1972 considered an all-time classic in the audio industry. The built-in AM/FM tuner in the MAC7200 Receiver comes from that same illustrious line of McIntosh tuners and will pick up radio stations with unparalleled clarity and a realism that is free from noise and distortion. Its advanced signal quality monitor can display the multipath and noise levels of the incoming RF signal to help fine tune antenna placement for optimal reception. Dedicated PRESET and TUNING knobs enable easy radio operation. The FM tuner includes Radio Data System (RDS) support, allowing it to display optional information sent by radio stations such as the station's name and call letters as well as the name of the artist and song being played. It features 20 presets for each radio band as well as a remote AM antenna.

 

Rocky Mountain Audio Fest 2017 October 6th Through 8th
RMAF 2017 Show Report -- Rocky Mountain International Audio Fest 2015Featuring a newly renovated venue, Enjoy the Music.com's RMAF 2017 show report celebrates 14 consecutive years of reporting on this highly popular event. During the 2017 event, once again we have the Rocky Mountain International Audio Fest teaming up with Head-Fi's CanJam Denver event! Audio gear from large reference speakers to the smallest in-ear monitors can be experienced at the show. RMAF 2017 is being held at the Denver Marriott Tech Center Hotel from October 6th through the 8th. Enjoy the Music.com will bring you exciting RMAF 2017 show coverage, with a special separate CanJam 2017 Denver report too! The 14th Annual Rocky Mountain International Audio Fest (RMAF) is the largest consumer audio and home entertainment show within the Mid-West United States. Denver's own audio wonderland will feature over 160 exhibit spaces representing more than 400 companies from North and South America, Europe, Australia and Asia. RMAF's special RIHPA are the high-end audio industry's world-wide press awards honoring high-end audio manufacturers -- the Oscars of the audio industry.

 

09 / 12 / 17

RCA Living Stereo Vinyl LP Reissue Of Other Worlds, Others Sounds
RCA Living Stereo Vinyl Lp Reissue Of Other Worlds Others SoundsMarshall Blonstein's Audio Fidelity is releasing the "King of Space Age Pop" Esquivel's Other Worlds Others Sounds album on high quality 180 gram vinyl LP. Esquivel was a Mexican band leader, pianist, and composer for television and films and widely considered the king of a style of late 1950s-early 1960s quirky instrumental pop known today as lounge music. RCA contracted with Esquivel in late 1957 and brought him to record in Hollywood in early 1958. He was given five hours of studio time to record the album Other Worlds, Other Sounds. His orchestration tended toward the very lush, employing novel instrumental combinations, such as Chinese bells, mariachi bands, whistling, and numerous percussion instruments, blended with orchestra, mixed chorus, and his own heavily-ornamented piano style. The chorus was often called upon to sing only nonsense syllables, most famously "zu-zu" and "pow!". The cover of Other Worlds, Other Sounds says it all... like the woman in red dancing on a moonscape, this 1958 LP was all about fantasy. And Esquivel, wasn't afraid to fantasize about his instrumentation nor the new audio sound known as "stereophonic" or "Hi Fi." At the time Esquivel was using this new tech to its fullest by arranging the music in a unique manner as well as considering right channel-left channel. Voices ring back and forth between speakers, horns explode out of nowhere, and piano sounds cascade out of the stereo. This is what hi-fi was all about. It is seamless, quite enjoyable and rather magical.

 

Industry News 15 Years Ago
Microsoft Media 9 Hi-Res Audio & Peter Gabriel 5.1 Digital Surround
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.

Peter Gabriel's Real World Recording Studio And Remastering Done Right Plus Album Review Of UpIn related news during September 2002, 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." You can read about Peter Gabriel's Real World Recording Studio And Remastering Done Right Plus Album Review Of Up" by Enjoy the Music.com's Creative Director Steven R. Rochlin at this link.

 

09 / 11 / 17

AVM Ovation CS 8.2 All-In-One System With Tube Line Stage
AVM Ovation CS 8.2 All-In-One System With Tube Line StageAVM has just introduced their Ovation CS 8.2 ($12,995), which is a new all-in-one system that encompasses every element of AVM's three decades of award-winning engineering experience in one massive aluminum case. AVM's CS 8.2 is part of their flagship Ovation series. The new 8.2 features a staggering 2 x 500 Watt integrated power amplifier, a pure CD drive exclusively provided by TEAC, a Hi-Res Audio DAC (384kHz and DSD128), plus has streaming capabilities with access to Tidal and Qobuz services. The included and custom-designed Ovation 803 T tube line stage gives the CS 8.2 its highly distinctive sound character and is made visible through a tinted glass window in the engraved top cover. This colossal beauty travels within a rugged flight case to it's new owner. The pure solid-state sister model CS 6.2 arrives for $10,995. Both models are available in silver or black finish.

 

09 / 08 / 17

Drum Legend Bill Bruford Releases Definitive 8-Disc Box Set
Bruford 1977-1980: Seems Like A Lifetime Ago Bruford 1977-1980: Seems Like A Lifetime Ago is now available for pre-order. This Limited Edition 8-disc Box Set features unreleased, remixed or remastered material plus a signed certificate. Drum legend and Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee Bill Bruford, best known for his work with YES, King Crimson, Genesis and his prolific solo career, is releasing the definitive boxed set Bruford 1977-1980: Seems Like A Lifetime Ago. Scheduled for release on Winterfold Records on October 28th, pre-orders are now being taken. Bill Bruford reflects on embarking on a solo career and forming Bruford and said, "I wanted to play drums in a certain way and if you want to hear them played in that way you've got to write the song. You've got to control the audio environment in which your drums are going to be heard and once you're doing that you're into a solo career. Looking back, the band dispatched these tricky little compositions with a smile on its face; with brio, vigor and only a handful of wrong notes. The band was over-caffeinated - short on subtlety but long on the sort of majestic stately themes with antecedents in progressive rock that set it apart from contemporaneous American outfits. We were a rock group with a jazz sensibility, rather than a jazz group with rock leanings." Bruford's new 8-disc limited edition set is presented in a 12" box complete with 16-page color booklet and a signed, numbered certificate of authentication. There are four gatefold sleeves containing two discs each. Seems Like A Lifetime Ago is a magnificent testament to one of the UK's most inventive and important Progressive Fusion bands.

 

Buddy Rich Centennial Celebration Digital And Vinyl Albums
Buddy Rich The Channel One Suite and The Lost TapesLightyear Entertainment and Lobitos Creek Ranch, in association with Scabeba Entertainment and the Buddy Rich Estate, have announced the release of two new live albums featuring Buddy Rich and his Big Band, both recorded in 1985 on two nights at the King Street Studios in San Francisco. The digital albums are being released on September 15, 2017, as part of the Buddy Rich Centennial Celebration. Buddy was born on September 30, 1917. The albums are the soundtracks from two concert films, The Channel One Suite and The Lost Tapes, which have been available from Lightyear on DVD since 2003 and 2005, respectively. The sound recordings from these concerts have never before been available as audio albums or as digital films for rental, sale, or streaming. Gary Reber, subsequently the founder of Widescreen Review was the Producer of the concerts. One Pass Video was the Production company. Scott Ross of One Pass was the Director. A complete jazz club was built in the soundstage for the production to a live audience. The recordings were originally made in SQ Tate Matrix Quad Surround Sound. The soundtracks have been re-mastered for digital release by Chad Hailey and Jeff Pinn at Broken Arrow Sound, Redwood City, CA. The Channel One Suite has been retiled The Channel One Set, referring to the set list that Buddy and his Big Band performed the night it was recorded. The two films have been remastered for digital release by Sergio Hernandez at Bitmax Hollywood. These two audio albums will be released on September 15, 2017 through Caroline Distribution, the independent distribution arm of Universal Music Group, on the Lightyear / Lobitos Creek label. The digital films are scheduled for November. A vinyl LP of The Lost Tapes will be released as well, tentatively scheduled for January 2018.

 

09 / 07 / 17

T.H.E. Show 2017 In Anaheim Has Been Cancelled
T.H.E. Show Anaheim 2017 ReportHello Exhibitors,

  It is with deep regret that I must report to you that I have decided to postpone T.H.E. Show @ Anaheim for 2017 and move it to a new date in 2018. This was not an easy decision for me and the great team of T.H.E. Show to make but several reasons have come into play that have made this decision necessary.

I hope you will understand why as you are entitled to know:

1. The limited participation from high-end exhibitors-too many shows and a lack of budgets.

2. Hotel room sales compared to last year are smaller and a six-figure payment due just recently asked by the Hotel (Hotel attrition requirements), in addition to what has been already paid to the Hotel. This would be financially unattainable with a 3 week notice before this Show!!

3. Our concern is also for the attendee/ customer experience as well as yours. In our history, T.H.E. Show has never put on a mediocre event, not ever. Richard Beers would never have done it and neither will I. Many of you have already experienced a mediocre show recently, in some cases financially devastating to many businesses. Without a good Return of Investment ( ROI), its not good for you, T.H.E. Show or our customers. The word of mouth and print on a mediocre show goes far and wide.

4. This one is the most heartbreaking of all. The second owner of T.H.E. Show, Beverly Harber, Richards life long partner, has been diagnosed with Stage 4 Small cell non-squamous Terminal cancer. Some of you may have met Beverly who was the talent behind the throne so to speak. She created some of the first source books and also financed the show for many years in the belief that T.H.E. Show would help an industry always under pressure to succeed. Beverly has recently moved from Salt lake to Las Vegas with me for better care in the company of family and friends. Cancer is truly a cruel and unforgiving disease.

All attendees and exhibitors will receive full refunds over the next 30 to 45 days. Kyle Robertson from T.H.E. Show office will oversee the details to ensure a proper refund to all.

I do want to thank all of those who have supported T.H.E. Show in the past and hope you will join us in 2018 when we announce a new date.

Sincerely,
Maurice R. Jung, President
T.H.E. Show

 

09 / 06 / 17

Hi-Fi World's October Issue Features CAS And Audiophile Reviews
Hi-Fi World September 2017Enjoy the Music.com has just posted the October 2017 issue of Hi-Fi World. This issue features show coverage of the California Audio Show plus reviews of the Martin Logan Classic ESL 9, Dynaudio Excite X38, Quadral Merin, ATC HAD-DP20 DMP player, NAD C368 DAC / amplifier, Devialet Expert 220 Pro, Lehmann Drachenfels headamp, Black Rhodium Stream power cable, Philips N7150 reel-to-reel, Goldring E1/E2/E3 phono cartridges, and Nu-Force BE6i wireless headphones. Within his editorial, Noel Keywood says, "When I first heard an electrostatic loudspeaker, a Quad ESL-57 re-dressed by Braun, I found its sound puzzling. It was only when I returned it to a friend after a few months and went back to my Goodman's Magnum Ks (yes!) that I suddenly heard its box colour and accompanying 'box sound'. It was an unsettling experience. It was also one that lead me back to electrostatics Quad ESL-63s. In this issue my love of electrostatic loudspeakers continues, moving forward yet another notch with the awesome new Martin Logan Classic ESL 9s see p11. You should hear this loudspeaker (book a dealer demo) and if you do please write to say what you think about its sound. I believe it is too good (revealing) for most modern hi-fi what a bizarre situation!" See what's within this issue of Hi-Fi World at this link.

 

09 / 05 / 17

Hi-Fi+'s September Magazine Is Now Available Online
Hi-Fi+ Issue 151 September 2017Hi-Fi+ Magazine's September 2017 issue features show coverage of CanJam London plus reviews of the Spendor Audio D9, Sonus Faber Guarneri Tradition, Estelon YB, GoldenEar Technology Triton Reference, PMC Twenty5.26, Neat Acoustics Iots Alpha, Riva Audio Arena, Thorens TD-907 turntable with TP-92 tonearm, Elac Discovery DS-S101-G, Final E3000, and QED Supremus. Within his editorial titled The Lines Between 'Audio System' And 'Loudspeaker' Are Blurring, Alan Sircom says, "It's easy to get the whole loudspeaker market dead wrong. Wooden boxes with dynamic drive units built in 2017 ostensibly look the same as wooden boxes with dynamic drive units built 50 years ago. However, under the surface there are so many subtle changes and developments over the years, they have almost nothing in common. OK, there are always exceptions (Klipshorns and Tannoy designs remain unchanged over the generations), but most speakers are very different today. The combination of more sophisticated measuring instruments and more modern materials has raised the bar of all loudspeakers, and the never-ending game raising of the top end of the market allows brands to explore what would have been sci-fi performance a few decades ago." See what's within this issue of H-Fi+ Magazine at this link.

 

09 / 04 / 17

MQA Via Deezer Plus iFi Audio, Sony And LG Hardware Playback
MQA Via Deezer Plus iFi Audio, Sony And LG Hardware PlaybackMQA announces LG's V30 phone, Sony's WM-ZX300 and WM-A40 Walkman models, and now Deezer are all supporting MQA encoded music. Deezer has agreed to stream MQA encoded music to join TIDAL, who has been streaming MQA for many months. iFi Audio's nano iDSD Black Label will be able to decode MQA when iFi Audio's hardware it plans to release in October. Deezer will further expand MQA's music offering and audience reach. The deal will enable MQA's technology to be integrated into Deezer's platform, as well as across the service's ecosystem of hardware partners and connected devices. While MQA's commercial roll-out is still in its early stages, both companies already share several partners, including leading audio brands such as Bluesound, LG, Onkyo, iFi Audio, MOON by Simaudio and Sony. "This partnership has great synergy as we already work closely with several of Deezer's hardware partners," said Mike Jbara, CEO of MQA. "We're looking forward to a close collaboration."

In Other MQA News: Korean-based Groovers has confirmed their new agreement with MQA as well. Also just added are two new hardware partnerships: Norwegian audio manufacturer Electrocompaniet and 55 year-old family-owned hi-fi electronics company Rotel. Electrocompaniet plans to integrate MQA into its high-end and custom installation lines, with several products slated to be MQA-ready by end of 2017.

 

09 / 01 / 17

Blue Note Awards 2017 Plus Our September Review Magazine
Enjoy the Music.com's September Review Magazine celebrates the much-anticipated 17th annual Blue Note Awards! Our staff brings you our picks of the very best gear reviewed during the past year. In addition to our annual awards, we have five outstanding world premiere reviews too including Sonus Faber, Goldmund and Oracle Audio! We look forward to seeing everyone at T.H.E. Show in Anaheim and RMAF in Denver. Come see what's within this month's edition of Enjoy the Music.com's Review Magazine at this link.

As always, in the end what really matters is that you... enjoy the music! 

Enjoy the Music,

Steven R. Rochlin
Creative Director
Enjoy the Music.com

 

Enjoy the Music.com Blue Note Awards 2017
Enjoy the Music.com
Blue Note Awards 2017
Our best high-end audio equipment awards for 2017!

  

Price Is No Object Roger Skoff writes about hi-fi and high prices.
Price Is No Object!
Roger Skoff writes about hi-fi and high prices.
Article By Roger Skoff

 


World Premiere Review!
Goldmund Mimesis 11 Digital Hub / Preamplifier And Logos Tower Speakers
Magnificent products that are worthy of the Goldmund name.
Review By Tom Lyle

 


World Premiere Review!
Raven Audio Silhouette MK 2 Reference Preamplifier With MM Phono Stage
A wonderful vacuum tube stereo preamplifier with the joys of tube swapping too!
Review By Ron Nagle

 


World Premiere Review!
Sonus Faber Amati Tradition Floorstanding Loudspeaker
A musically strong coherent performance with realistic imaging plus gorgeous Italian craftsmanship!
Review By Phil Gold

  


World Premiere Review!
Oracle Audio Origine Turntable
My first foray into high-end turntables, with some assembly required.
Review By Dwayne Carter

 


Rogue Audio RH-5 Headphone Amplifier and Stereo Preamplifier
A venerable two-channel company's maiden voyage into headphone audio.
Review By Dave Hanson

 

Jolida Foz SSX -- Sound Stage Expander Review
World Premiere Review!
Jolida Foz SSX -- Sound Stage Expander
Have fun experimenting with the sound!
Review By Ron Nagle

 

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

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