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High-End Audio Industry News


10 / 31 / 07

Danish Audio ConnecT (DACT) CT2-10k-1 Attenuator  New from Danish Audio ConnecT (DACT) is their CT2-10k-1 ultra-fine 0.5dB stepped attenuator. This is excellent for individual channel control in multi-channel systems, active crossovers, etc. DACT's attenuators employ a resistor network using Surface Mount Device (SMD) for ultra-short signal path plus very low series inductance and stray capacitance. The CT2 series of audio volume controls are high quality stepped 24-position attenuators. They are designed for maximum sonic quality, accuracy and reliability. This makes them equally suited for audiophile applications and for professional applications. For many years DACT has been offering extremely high quality master volume controls with 60dB attenuation range (1, 2, 4, 6, 8 decks). Their series resistor networks consist of 23 non-inductive, low noise, SMD metal film resistors. The layout of the PC boards and the choice of SMD resistors reduce the signal path to a minimum length (typical five times shorter than conventional stepped attenuator designs with leaded resistors). The PCB design combined with the special resistors also account for the very low series inductance and the very low stray capacitance. The result is a bandwidth beyond even the most demanding audiophiles’ requirements. Special care taken to ensure the durability of CT2, therefore all contacts and PCB traces are gold plated to prevent any corrosion. Meanwhile the rotary switch itself is a gold plated high precision switch manufactured in Switzerland. Many high-end audio manufacturers and people in the DIY community enjoy the benefits of using these stepped attenuators in their designs. They are also used by those who tweak equipment to achieve higher quality music reproduction.

 

Anti-Vibration Magic (AVM)Anti-Vibration Magic (AVM) is a new product by Uniko Electronics, distributed by Accentus Audio, that dampens and absorb undesirable and harmful mechanical vibrations. Applications include reducing resonances in vacuum tubes, loudspeaker cabinets, component chassis, etc. Results of using AVM are said to be achieving higher musicality, less aggressive sound, better definition of details, and transient clarity. Users coat a thin layer of AVM, a non-toxic and flame retardant material, on to the component and allow it to dry. AVM can be washed off with water right after application or scraped off after drying.

 

10 / 30 / 07

Concert Fidelity 6B4G Fusion Monoblock Power Amplifier  High-end audio manufacturer Silicon Arts will soon have a dedicated website for the Concert Fidelity line of products. Until then, we can tell you that the Concert Fidelity 6B4G Fusion ($28,000) monoblock power amplifier produces 60 wpc using a matched quad of Sovtek 6B4G output tubes. Concert Fidelity describes their intentions as "Our characteristic simplified and optimized circuits are combined with extremely high-performance proprietary hand-wound driver and output transformers to deliver the highest quality output from pure direct-heated triodes. The delicacy of 2A3-like 6B4G output tubes is configured in a proprietary manner to deliver an amazing 60 watts, allowing these amplifiers to transcend the sonic limitations of tubes and solid state." The input impedance is an easy 100kOhms and loudspeaker output impedance is either 4 to 6 or 8 to 12 Ohms (selectable dual output taps for bi-wiring). This hefty 55 lbs monoblock measures in at 19 x 14 x 9.5 (WxDxH in inches).

 

AV123 X-Optima With 10 Inch SubwooferAV123 is giving a sneak peek into their upcoming X-Optima with 10-inch powered subwoofer. In other news from President and Founder Mark L. Schifter is that "I know I'm sworn to silence our the new Doug Goldberg "front end" (preamp) but this device we have eq and PROGRAMMABLE (256 points) limiting...". From the super secret X-Optima loudspeaker image one could surmise that the tweeter sandwiched between a pair of 6.5-inch midrange drivers is in the D'Appolito style, while midbass is handled by another pair of 6.5-inch woofer. Meanwhile deep bass is produced from the side-mounted 10-inch powered driver. Could say more, but a secret is a secret... and don't tell anyone you heard it here first or else my inside contact might disappear!

 

10 / 29 / 07

Canton Vento Reference 9 DC Loudspeaker  Canton has introduced the Vento Reference 9 DC ($4000/pr) two-way compact loudspeaker within the company's flagship Vento Reference series. Combining the line's signature elegant curved cabinet design with high-end driver advances and crossover construction, the Reference 9 DC is ideal for use as a monitor in a high-end audio system. The Canton Vento Reference 9 DC is a compact two-way design in an cabinet structure formed from six layers of acoustically inert fiberboard that are pressure-laminated together one at a time into an extremely inert monocoque structure. The cabinet is finely appointed in either silver or black hand-rubbed piano lacquer finish. Driver compliment includes a highly refined version of the company's acclaimed ADT-25 dome 1-inch dome tweeter made from an alloy of aluminum and manganese that results in an extremely light and rigid structure. The dome and voice coil former are fashioned from a single piece of aluminum-manganese alloy for reduced mass, significantly improved heat dispersion, and elimination of the problems associated with glued junctions in this critical area. The 7-inch aluminum cone midrange/woofer is a version of Canton's highly regarded aluminum cone design, which includes a concave dust cap for greater linearity and better dispersion characteristics. For the Reference 9 DC, the driver's motor structure has been enhanced through the use of improved magnet structure to provide greater linear excursion capabilities and increased power handling. Additionally, the driver includes the company's exclusive wave surround and an upgraded spider assembly to support this increased excursion, contributing to overall reduction in distortion, and improvements in low frequency response and output. Canton designed the Reference 9 DC crossover circuitry with stricter component tolerances, higher current carrying capability and improved overall signal purity. The Vento Reference 9 DC is the only compact speaker Canton offers that includes the company's exclusive DC (Displacement Control) Technology, which uses a proprietary high-pass filter to prevent signals below the audible frequency range from interfering with the bass driver. Overall frequency response is from 25Hz to 40kHz with an 87/dB/W/m sensitivity at 8 Ohms. Dimensions are 8.9 x 15.7 x 13.2 (WxHxD) and each unit weighs 24.9 lbs.

 

Musicians Hall of Fame and MuseumThe Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum, located in Nashville Tennessee, has announced their first annual Musicians Hall of Fame Awards Show at Schermerhorn Symphony Center, November 26 at 7:30 p.m. This inaugural event celebrates the induction of some of the most esteemed and influential musicians in recording history. The inaugural inductees include the Nashville A-Team, The Blue Moon Boys, The Funk Brothers, The Memphis Boys, The Tennessee Two, and The Wrecking Crew. "These are the musicians who played on so many records that have become such a part of our everyday lives," says Joe Chambers, CEO and founder, Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum. "There are so many more musicians to be recognized and every year we will add more names to those who will be honored. This will be such an historic evening with all these talented inductees being paid tribute on the stage of Nashville’s incredible new Schermerhorn Symphony Center." The event will showcase performances with some of the original members from the groups that being honored which include; The Nashville A-Team (Harold Bradley, Ray Edenton, Charlie McCoy, Bob Moore, Hargus "Pig" Robbins, and Jerry Kennedy), Funk Brothers (Uriel Jones, Joe Messina, Eddie Willis, and Bob Babbitt), Wrecking Crew (Billy Strange, Don Randi, Larry Knechtel, Joe Osborn, Hal Blaine, Lyle Ritz, James Burton, Jim Horn, and Mike Deasy), Memphis Boys (Bobby Emmons, Bobby Wood, Gene Chrisman, Mike Leech, and Reggie Young), Tennessee Two (Marshall Grant and Bob Wooten, who replaced the late Luther Perkins); Blue Moon Boys (Scotty Moore and D.J. Fontana). These musicians played on mega-hits for such legendary superstars as the Beach Boys, Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, George Harrison, Patsy Cline, Stevie Wonder, Bob Dylan, George Jones, the Supremes, and Frank Sinatra. Along with this talented roster of performers, special guest vocalists will also be announced soon.

 

10 / 26 / 07

  Enjoy the Music.com is about to launch another audiophile equipment contest! In the past two years, our Mailing List members have enjoyed the opportunity to win their share of over $100,000 in prizes. To date we have already secured over five figures (in dollars) of prizes for our upcoming giveaway. This contest will be talked about for years to come, so join in and claim your chance to win!

If you are not a member of our Mailing List then click here to join.

If you are a manufacturer/distributor and would like to enjoy the benefits of being part of our Equipment Contest please click here

 

10 / 25 / 07

Lipinski Sound L-302 stereo "digital DSD-like" Power Amplifier  The latest addition to Lipinski Sound is the company's L-302 stereo "digital DSD-like" power amplifier. While the company does want to keep the full details of this new technology secret, they can tell us that Direct Stream Digital can be applied to a signal and directly amplified, thereby yielding what they are referring to as a "digital DSD-like" amplifier. They appear to use a high power pulse driver and low pass filter to convert the pulse data into an analog signal. Output transistors act like an electronic on/off switch for the power supply voltage. This Low Pass Filter (LPF) converts the amplified pulse into a smooth, continuous analog waveform. The LPF also suppresses noise and not allow high frequencies to passes through. So basically Lipinski Sound, instead of using the DSD concept 100 percent, decided to employ conceptually the same idea of delivering high quality analog sound. They take advantage of fast semiconductor technologies and proprietary techniques to achieve "the same quality as described by Sony and its DSD approach."

 

 Audiovisual Creative Fair (ACF)From Wednesday 14th to Saturday 17th of November, Belgian and European audiovisual professionals will once again fill exhibition halls at Heysel for the Audiovisual Creative Fair (ACF). The 12th edition of this uniquely positioned ACF European trade fair continues its tradition in taking place every two years in Hungary and it met with considerable success with more than one hundred exhibitors from the four corners of Europe covering an area of 22,000 meter/squared. The ACF acts as a showcase for the sector and provides a platform for the presentation of innovations, as well as for Belgian, European and world premieres. The ACF trade fair also highlights the link between creativity and technology (hence its name - Audiovisual Creative Fair); the importance of human effort and its added value in the face of the ever-growing encroachment of technology. Finally, the ACF is the meeting point between two generations: the professionals of today and tomorrow. Students – with Wednesday 14th November dedicated to them – can come and dream of their careers, meet their future employers, obtain and exchange information!

 

10 / 24 / 07

  Online / downloadable music is experiencing many new developments as Led Zeppelin makes an announcement, iTunes reduces price, Napster gets more friendly and Canada begins the move to tax... everything. Legendary rock group Led Zeppelin has agreed to allow their music to be offered on various online music download sites. With some of the biggest recording artists finally allowing their songs to be distributed via the Internet, it appears that music on a hard format (vinyl, CD, etc) is losing ground to its virtual counterpart. One can only wonder when hard formats will finally become minimal releases, as vinyl is today, and virtually take over the marketplace.

And the marketplace is heating up as Apple is lowering the price of their DRM-free songs from $1.29 to 99 cents. There is no reports on whether Apple will be refunding the higher cost they have been charging customers in the past month or so for the same DRM-free content.

Having seen the light and becoming less strict is Napster, who with 770,000 users is now ditching their software for a web-based system. This will allow customers to access their music from any computer, anywhere, at any time. "The launch of Napster 4.0 reflects the spirit of online music innovation that is synonymous with Napster. We are committed to providing our subscribers with cutting-edge ways to find new music, enjoy old favorites, and actively participate in a community of music lovers," said Napster CEO Chris Gorog. The Napster 4.0 client user interface mirrors the web-based service. PC-based subscribers can use the client to manage their music collection, rip and burn CDs and transfer tracks to a compatible portable device.

And lastly, the beautiful people within the Great White North (that's Copyright Board Canada to you, eh), has decided to tax music downloads. The 3.1 percent per individual download, or 1.5 percent for a complete album download, will also extend to a higher rate for music subscriptions per the SOCAN Tariff 22.A (1996-2006). Canadians will be hit with a huge 5.7 to 6.8 percent tax that will be added to their normal monthly fee. Now we must keep in mind that Canadians are already taxed on various hardware music players and related items, said to help compensate recording artists. Want to see how badly Canadians are getting hosed, then click here.

It gets worse for Canadians as the Copyright Board Canada is also re-evaluating taxing private copying 2008-2009 with preliminary motions already in progress. These proposed taxes will be on the sale of blank audio recording media in respect to the reproduction for private use of musical works and performances. They want to expand the tax to include non-removable electronic memory and non-removable hard drives incorporated into an MP3 player or similar device intended for use primarily to record and play music.

 

10 / 23 / 07

Paradigm Signature  Paradigm Electronics Inc. had introduced three additions to its award-winning Reference Signature Series of loudspeakers ($1199 to $1699). The S1 bookshelf, C1 center channel and ADP1 surround speakers showcase the company's new P-Be pure-beryllium tweeter domes and CoIA Cobalt-infused pure-aluminum woofer cones. The Reference Signature Series' G-PAL gold-anodized pure-aluminum tweeter domes have been upgraded in this new generation to pure beryllium. As the premium dome material available, beryllium was chosen for its exceptional mechanical properties. Lighter than aluminum and possessing unmatched rigidity, beryllium is the ideal tweeter dome material, lacking the inherent brittleness of other exotic materials. The woofers have a performance-enhancing composite of cobalt-infused, anodized pure aluminum brings increased stiffness and improved damping to the inherently lightweight character of the pure-aluminum cones. Behind the cones, the support cast is also relatively unchanged, and come with massive FEA-optimized ceramic/ferrite magnets and sophisticated motor assemblies. Die-cast chassis and AVS cooling system work in tandem, cooling the drivers and dispersing heat. Cabinet design and implementation also play a critical role in the performance of the Signature C1, S1 and ADP1 speakers. The interior of the cabinets reveals heavy-wall construction and extensive internal bracing for advanced resonance control. Constrained Layer Dampening (CLD) is used in conjunction with Permacote Linacoustic to subdue stray residual vibrational energy within the cabinets. All models are available in a variety of high-polished Signature wood veneers or Piano Black. The S1 is a two-driver two-way bookshelf with 6-inch mid/bass and 1-inch P-Be ($1499/pr in Cherry and $1699/pr in Piano Black or Natural Birdseye Maple). The C1 four-driver three-way center has a pair of 5.5-inch woofers, a 5-inch mid/bass and 1-inch P-Be ($1199/ea in Cherry and $1,299/ea in Piano Black or Natural Birdseye Maple). Lastly, the ADP1 five-driver three-way surround features a 7-inch woofer, a pair of 3.5-inch midrange drivers, and a pair of 1-inch P-Be ($1,199/ea in Cherry and $1,299/ea in Piano Black or Natural Birdseye Maple).

 

Aurum Acoustics Integris CDP Aurum Acoustics has implemented analog circuit improvements for the Integris CDP using the latest in audio semiconductor technology plus added more options. This latest generation technology provides greater detail, warmth, and soundstaging capability. Existing owners should contact the company for an estimate on the cost to upgrade. Because the upgrades and options are 100 percent backward-compatible, Aurum Acoustics is not referring to this as MkII. Aurum Acoustics has also developed two new high-performance internally-mounted options for the Integris CDP that further expand its capabilities. One is a very flexible MC/MM phono input board option  that provides from 43 to 81 dB of gain and  50 to 47 kOhm of loading. Another new option is a headphone amplifier circuit with 7Vrms/1w+ output. These new options are fully compatible with existing Integris CDP units and utilize the same advanced analog circuit technology.

 

10 / 22 / 07

Enjoy the Music.com Review Magazine Sneak Peek!  Enjoy the Music.com is providing a Review Magazine sneak peek plus the same manufacturer has just released a related product! Dr. Bill Gaw's Audiolics Anonymous Chapter 97 takes a careful assessment of both Audience's adeptResponse aR6 and aR12 high resolution power conditioners. Add to that, Audience just announced their new Adept Response PDC (power distribution center) developed by Audience in conjunction with Naim's United States distributor Chris Koster ($2,000 or $1,500 without powerChord). The aR6 PDC has no filtration components; breaker and surge suppression are optional. At the same time the aR6 PDC is an excellent power distribution center, without any power conditioning, for most other brands as well. The unit is hand-wired with10 gauge power wire, features high connectivity welded buss bar harness design and the complete circuit cryogenically treated. Read Bill Gaw's review of both Audience's adeptResponse aR6 and aR12 by clicking here.

 

10 / 19 / 07

  The Gotham City Audio Society's annual Audio Flea Market will take place on Sunday, November 18th, from 2pm to 5:30pm at 202 East 77th Street (between 2nd & 3rd Aves.) in Manhattan (1 flight up). Buy, sell, trade, barter components and software - or just schmooze! The club sets up tables in a large indoor space so club members and other NY-area audiophiles can display, sell, and buy older (and sometimes new) components. They usually see a lot of accessories (cables, etc.) for sale, too. LP hunters will have plenty of albums to choose from. Prices are always much, much better than 'reasonable.' Cost is free to Gotham City members, only $3 to any dues-paid-up member of a participating audio club, $25 to any dues-paid-up member of a participating audio club, and $50 to non-members which includes a one year membership to the Gotham City Audio Society. All vendors must call (212) 629-1933 to reserve space.

 

SRS CS AutoAudiophile companies line Linn, Focal, Harmon Corporation's Mark Levinson and Infinity brands and others have been very active in the past few years penetrating the car audio market. It has been announced that SRS Labs has partnered with Subaru to bring about the very first vehicle in the United States to incorporate Circle Surround Auto (CS Auto) providing high-quality surround sound. CS Auto delivers surround sound from any audio source including surround encoded content, stereo and mono radio broadcasts, satellite radio, standard CDs and compressed music files. CS Auto also overcomes various challenges inherent in automobiles to present a realistic and immersive surround sound environment. The 2008 Subaru Impreza's SRS Labs enabled system is designed specifically for the unique challenges presented by automobile interiors. CS Auto employs a surround decoding solution that produces up to 6.1 channels of surround sound from any audio source and improves overall audio fidelity with patented sound enhancement and audio imaging technologies. CS Auto includes processing to elevate the sound image to ear level, even from speakers located in some car-doors and under the dashboard. Additionally, it creates a phantom center speaker to effectively pull out and clarify vocals in the audio track. CS Auto also includes a channel-mixing feature that enables passengers in the front and rear seats to clearly hear all vocals and be immersed in the audio experience. Finally, CS Auto incorporates SRS Labs' patented bass enhancement system to create a virtual subwoofer to complete the surround experience.

 

ChordSavers Protection Of All Your Cords & CablesChordSavers are a unique solution for protection of all your cords and cables. Specifically designed for protecting cables that carry a musical/electrical signal, ChordSavers come in 36-inch lengths and interlock to any length of run required. They eliminate the use of using duct tape and provide solid protection while also helping to prevent tripping over expensive audiophile cables that are exposed and simply laying on the ground. The 1.75-inch wide base easily fits up to four standard 5/16-inch cables. Pricing ranges from $14.95 each to a pack of five at $59.99 or ten at $99.95. They are available in a wide variety of colors including brown, steel grey and black.

 

10 / 18 / 07

UltraPower Powergrid  UltraPower, a division of Ultralink/XLO Products, announced their new line of AC power management and conditioning components called PowerGrid. The three PowerGrid models, PGX-300, PGX-400 and PGX-500 ($299, $399 and $499 respectively), each feature Ultralink's patented under/over-voltage auto shutoff circuitry with advanced microprocessor control, high-joule surge protection, and power cleaning noise filtration. The PowerGrid uses a dedicated microprocessor based Active Surge Processor (ASP) to monitor the incoming line voltage, board level power status, and outgoing power conditions to eliminate wide voltage fluctuations (i.e. brownouts, sags, over-voltages) as a source of A/V signal degradation. The front panel LCD readout actively monitors and displays line voltage in all models as well as amperage in the PGX 400 and PGX 500. When the UltraPower PowerGrid is turned on, it keeps connected components offline until the microprocessor does a thorough diagnostic to verify that all power conditions - voltage, polarity, and ground - are "in the green" before closing the circuit to allow power to the protected components. Each of the UltraPower PGX's AC banks is performance optimized and clearly labeled for its recommended usage: high current (i.e. amplifier, subwoofer), video, digital or analog sources. Banks are isolated to prevent noise from polluting other connected devices. Protection for incoming signals is also provided with gold plated coax connections for satellite, cable boxes and terrestrial antennas plus phone and Ethernet jacks. A 12-volt trigger is offered for use in custom installation applications requiring remote turn-on/off.

 

MableaudioMableaudio, based in China and offering parts and tube audio kits, has announced their complete 6V6 with 12AX7, 6V6 with 6SL7, EL84 with 12AX7 models plus a complete kit for 6P6P (pictured). All models come complete with tubes, which come with a 6 month warranty, and can be wired for 110 to 240 Volts / 50 or 60 Hz. The EL84 with 12AX7 unit has a 100K Ohm input impedance and output impedance of 4 or 8 Ohms. This stereo unit produces 12 wpc in ultralinear class AB P-P with a frequency response from 20Hz to 20KHz. Mableaudio also offers parts such as tube sockets, capacitors, tubes, resistors, switches, wire, meters, RCA jacks and boards.

 

10 / 17 / 07

  Consumer Electronics Association (CEA)The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), a trade association promoting the United States consumer electronics industry, has forecasted that sales within the CE industry are predicted to surpass $160 billion in 2007, with a staggering $48.1 billion within the upcoming holiday season. This is a 7 percent increase from $44.8 billion in 2006. Results from the 14th Annual CE Holiday Purchase Patterns study were presented today at CEA's Industry Forum, a four-day conference designed to inform, connect and educate CE professionals, industry analysts and the media on the latest CE trends and technologies. While CEA naturally touts their annual CES show, during the RMAF there was some doubt from various companies as to the situation with CES and have chosen T.H.E. Show or to simply not attend any Las Vegas event. Main reasons stated were the remoteness of CES' Venetian hotel and/or costs combined with the ease of conducting business via the Internet. Other factors include American manufacturers seeking more international sales, thereby taking advantage of the highly depressed value of the United States dollar, by attending the extremely popular High End Society show in Munich. Whatever the situation, CEA Economist Shawn DuBravac said, "Consumer electronics will be the shining star of holiday retail sales, accounting for 22 percent of all gifts given. Two of the top 5 items on adults' holiday wish lists are consumer electronics, and four of the top 5 items on the teen list are CE devices, so today's hottest technologies will be on every holiday shopper's mind. Holiday sales will be particularly jolly for the video game category (hardware and software), laptop computers and the endless array of accessories available for your favorite product." Enjoy the Music.com has well over a decade, more than 100 in total, of show reports including CES and the High End Society available by clicking here.

 

Bybee TechnologiesOnline retailer TweekGeek.com has tipped us off to the new Bybee Technologies SE Ultra power cord ($2999). Utilizing the same "Super Effect" Bybee Quantum Purifiers as the renowned Bybee SE Speaker Bullets, the SE Ultra power cord promises to do for AC what the Speaker Bullets did for audio signals. The cord itself is a double shielded, 11 awg continuous cast copper cable with Furutech FI-15E(G) IEC and FI-15ME(G) male plug standard, with other optional terminations available. AC runs through the high current Super Effect Bybees placed on the hot and neutral wires, while a standard high current Bybee is placed on the ground wire. Reviews of Bybee Technologies products within Enjoy the Music.com include their Quantum Purifier (here), Slipstream RCA Magic Bullets and Speaker Charger (here) and Bybee Golden Goddess 'Super Effect' Speaker Bullets (here).

 

10 / 11   to   10 / 16

Rocky Mountain Audio Fest 2007 (RMAF)  Lots of news has been pouring in concerning the now complete Rocky Mountain Audio Fest 2007 (RMAF) as our live daily update coverage is now online! Enjoy the Music.com will soon be adding more reports shortly. The show was an amazing event with many great sights and sounds. Without a doubt it was the best public show of the year and thanks to all our readers who stopped me in the hallway to express their gratitude. i really appreciate your kind words and look forward to meeting you at RMAF in 2008!

 

10 / 10 / 07

  The RMAF 2007 will be the launching point for V Speakers by Von Schweikert celebrating the 30th anniversary of Albert Von Schweikert's career as a scientist working in the field of audio reproduction. As such, V Speakers is releasing their VR-4 Anniversary Model ($6,000/pr for Standard version, $7,500/pr for Signature version). Due to the demand for extreme quality combined with small size to fit the newer life style, the VR-4 Anniversary has been designed on the small platform previously called the "JR" model. Various V Speakers distributors have asked the company to design an all-out version of the "JR" that could be directly compared to the highest quality speaker systems available, cost-no-object. To quote the company's RMAF 2007 press release, "...The VR-4 Anniversary Model will be their alternative to overpriced mini-monitors with no bass response. With dimensions similar to a mini-monitor mounted on a stand, the new VR-4 Anniversary Model can be used in rooms as small as 8 x 10 feet and will reproduce bass power below 30Hz. Transparency exceeds any planar available!" The VR-4 Anniversary Model are a mere 8.5 x 38 x 20 (WxHxD in inches) and produce frequencies from 20Hz to 20kHz with a 90dB/W/m sensitivity at 4 Ohms. Each unit weighs a hefty 100 lbs (300/pr crated). Driver compliment is a pair of 7-inch aluminum woofers, 5-inch Aerogel midrange, 1-inch silk dome tweeter for the front and a 1-inch rear-firing silk dome tweeter with Wave Guide for ambience retrieval. Finishes include Steinway Piano Black Hi-Gloss (Signature) or African Hazelwood. The Signature version features hand-wired premium crossover and Analysis Plus wire.

News from the RMAF 2007 also includes Blue Circle Audio showcasing their new DAR 100w hybrid integrated amp with 6SN7 input, BC99 analog interconnects, BC709 phonostage and to quote Gilbert of Blue Circle Audio, "Plus, if all thing go well, we are going to have our very own pair of speaker. Yes, Blue Circle speaker will be at the RMAF!!!"

The 2007 Rocky Mountain Audio Fest (RMAF 2007) is from October 12 through 14 at the Denver Marriott Tech Center Hotel in Colorado. Over 300 brand will fill RMAF 2007's 100+ rooms, with many audiophiles getting many great opportunities to see and hear some of their favorite gear and possibly a few surprises. This year's show marks the fourth annual event and will have many educational seminars and other events to fill the day.

Where: Denver Marriott Tech Center Hotel, 4900 South Syracuse in Denver, Colorado
When: Friday October 12 from 12pm to 6pm, Saturday, October 13 from 9am to 6pm and Sunday, October 14 from 9am to 4pm.
Price: $10 per day or three day pass is $25.

See our live daily broadcasts from the Rocky Mountain Audio Fest 2007 event by clicking here.

 

10 / 09 / 07

The Abso!ute Sound Issue 176, November 2007  Enjoy the Music.com now offers a world premiere of The Abso!ute Sound's Issue 176, November 2007 table of contents and editorial! This edition features eight loudspeakers reviews including Bowers & Wilkins 685,  REL T2 subwoofer, Quad's 11L, Vienna Acoustics' Haydn Grand, the Usher Be-718 and many more. Equipment reviews include the Quad LITE, SME 20/12 turntable, Simaudio MOON i-7 integrated amplifier, GamuT's DI 150 integrated amplifier plus the Nagra CDP and CDC compact disc player. Within Robert Harley's editorial, Your Long-Term Traveling Companions, he says "Loudspeaker designers are a special breed. They painstakingly meld paper, aluminum, wood, wire, glue, steel, and even more exotic materials in a process akin to alchemy. The wide range of variables in materials and design choices is why we see such diverse products in the marketplace, and why a loudspeaker reflects the designer's intent, skill, aesthetic, and musical tastes to a greater degree than, for example, an amplifier." You can see the table of contents and read the complete editorial by clicking here.

 

Canton Chrono Series LoudspeakersCanton has begun shipping their Chrono series of high-value, high-performance loudspeakers. Based on technology developed for the company's Ergo line, this new series delivers much of the same performance at reduced price points. The Chrono series consists of the Chrono 509 DC and Chrono 507 DC floorstanders, the Chrono 502 compact two-way, Chrono 505 2.5-way center channel, and a 150 Watt powered subwoofer ($2,000/pr, $1600/pr, $1,000/pr and $650 respectively). All of the full range models in the Chrono line employ an advanced evolution of the company's highly regarded ADT-25 aluminum-manganese dome tweeter. Thanks to Canton's recently developed flared "transmission" style front plate, the speakers deliver excellent high frequency dispersion and off-axis linearity, leading to overall improvements in real-world performance throughout the listening room. Additionally, the driver features an advanced surround design that leads to reduced distortion and less susceptibility to break-up modes, giving the tweeter an effective operating range to 40kHz. All of the bass and midrange drivers in the Canton Chrono line include aluminum cones entirely designed and manufactured by Canton. These extremely stiff and lightweight drivers deliver outstanding transient response and dynamic range. The wave systems (cone, dust cap, and surround) of the drivers are the same as those developed for the company's flagship lines, including a sinusoidal surround and improved spider that provide a 30 to 40 percent increase in excursion, and 3dB increase in output compared to previous designs. Lastly, the two floorstanding models in the Chrono line, the 509 DC and 507 DC, each employ Canton's exclusive Displacement Control (DC) technology, which uses a proprietary high-pass filter to prevent signals below the audible frequency range from interfering with the bass driver. All of the models in the Chrono line are available in a silver or beech cabinet finish combined with a stunning high-gloss silver front baffle, or in black finish with black high-gloss baffle. The top-of-the-range Chrono 509 DC floorstanding loudspeaker employs a three-way bass reflex design. It uses a 1-inch aluminum dome tweeter, two 7-inch aluminum cone woofers for bass and a third 7-inch cone for midrange duties. Frequency response is from 20Hz to 40kHz and impedance is from 4 to 8 Ohms.

 

Mythos Audio Aenaon Floorstander LoudspeakerMythos Audio began from the designer's love of music over two decades ago. Years of careful experimentation resulted in the creation of custom speakers that exhibited excellent music reproduction capabilities. Today, Mythos presents a complete line of loudspeakers that includes their top line Aenaon floorstander (65,000€). Standing at a staggering 205 CM high, the Mythos Audio Aenaon uses a pair of 10-inch woofer, two 6.5-inch Revelator midrange, and a 1-inch Ring radiator tweeter. This combination of drivers produce frequencies from 18Hz to 40kHz with an overall sensitivity of 88dB/W/m and 8 Ohm impedance. Overall weight is 140 kg (308 lbs). The plywood-finished cabinet is assembled and dyed by hand.

 

10 / 08 / 07

Studio Electric T3 Loudspeaker  Studio Electric is now shipping their visually stunning T3 loudspeaker ($7900/pr). This Utah based company first displayed a prototype at CES in January 2007 and is currently ready to ship full production units to their customers. The Studio Electric T3 features a 0.75-inch silk soft dome tweeter, 6.5-inch copolymer midrange and 8-inch gel coated composite woofer. The midrange unit is mounted on a stainless steel spherical enclosure said to yield excellent sound quality. Meanwhile, the woofer is side-mounted on the wood grain base unit. Frequency response is from 39Hz to 18KHz (+/-2dB) while impedance is 4 ohms and sensitivity is 87dB/W/m. The crossover network is a PC mounted asymmetrical design using custom inductors, Solen and Kimber capacitors and non-inductive resistors. Wood finishes include natural maple, golden maple, cordovan maple and black ash.

 

Mobius MK II Series LoudspeakerJust got a note from Morrie Serber, V.P. Sales & Marketing Mobius (Artistic Audio with CEO/chief designer/engineer John Larsen) who has said the Mobius MK II will soon be available. "Just to give a preview of what is coming, there will be a sub and satellites as well in the Mobius MK II Series, the retail is not established yet, however, these are reference loudspeaker systems, with front firing pin.... The frequency response is from 20Hz to 20kHz, they will also come in an array of colors including Black high gloss as shown, Ferrari Red, Deep Blue Metallic, Porsche Yellow, Titanium (Dark Grey Metallic), and the standard silver grey high gloss piano finishes." Mobius loudspeakers are noted for their sight as well as sound, as the company treats art as science. They derive their product's aesthetics through physics while full 360 degree technology dictates the product's visual styling. Mobius radiates sound from a central point source, producing its trademark 360 degree of balanced sound. Mobius is a study in form following function.

 

ATC SCM16A Powered MonitorATC's new SCM16A powered monitor ($4500) are rugged compact units for sound applications in small to medium sized rooms. Featuring newly developed driver technology and improved amplifiers, the SCM16A active loudspeaker shares a genuine professional heritage with ATC's Active 20 Pro loudspeaker. The ATC SCM16A's solid, curved, cast-aluminum enclosure is exceptionally rigid and acoustically inert with 16+ litre design finished in silver-grey but can be custom colored by special order to any shade required. The drivers are a neodymium 25mm soft dome tweeter and new 150mm mid-bass driver that incorporates a 45mm integral soft dome plus Constrained Layer Damping (CLD) technology. This exclusive driver cone technology brings the advantages of high damping without unacceptable cone mass increase. With CLD, two lightweight cones sandwich a constrained damping layer. The structure is significantly more effective than free damping because, as the cone flexes, the damping material is forced into a shape that shears adjacent material sections. The alternating shear strain dissipates the unwanted vibration energy as low grade frictional heat. The results are reduced harmonic distortion between 300Hz to 3kHz and an extended frequency range with improved off-axis response. An on-board amplifier provides 200 watts to the mid/bass driver and 50watts to HF driver. Operating in Class A up to 2/3rds of output, this ultra-low distortion design is capable of continuous sound pressure levels greater than 108db. The electronic crossover offers an exceptionally smooth and even frequency response. Controls include bass level EQ and high frequency attenuation. See Enjoy the Music.com's exclusive review of ATC's SCM7 passive monitor by clicking here.

 

10 / 05 / 07

Boston Audio Design TuneBase Reference Platform  Boston Audio Design's new TuneBase Reference Platform ($799) is designed from the ground up as a totally new approach to high performance component isolation and energy dissipation. Measuring just 1.5 inches high, the TuneBase Reference Platform integrates key carbon and tungsten carbide technologies – resulting in true reference-level performance. The heart of the system is a massive precision-machined plate of pure carbon graphite, into which is embedded a sheet of 14-guage stainless steel. The plate floats atop resin-impregnated foam that is over 95 percent air, and a single sculptured sheet of brushed, black anodized aluminum protects the bottom and sides. The standard TuneBase measures 19 inches wide by 14 inches deep and, when using the Classic TuneBlocks with tungsten carbide bearings, can accommodate components slightly larger in either direction. Introductory pricing includes a set of Classic TuneBlocks with tungsten carbide bearings. The TuneBase Reference can be seen within the PS Audio Room at the Rocky Mountain Audiofest 2007. Enjoy the Music.com has a reviews of the Boston Audio Design Mat 1 turntable mat and Extreme Phono Speed turntable mat (click here), TunePlates and TuneBlock SE (click here), plus a review of the TuneBlocks (click here).

 

Axiom A1400-8 Digital AmplifierAxiom A1400-8 ($3850) digital amplifier produces a staggering amount, upwards of over a kilowatt, of power! Increasing numbers of two-channel stereo enthusiasts either want to bi- or tri-amplify their loudspeaker or, perhaps, enjoy 4-to-7-channels of playback need amplification. Power output per channel, eight total, can reach 1200 watts at 2 Ohms (350 at 8 Ohms). This digital amplifier includes a hefty power supply capacitance of 140,000 microfarads to ensure there is plenty of electrical current when needed to drive all eight channels. Ian Colquhoun, president and chief designer of Axiom Audio, stated, "The A1400-8 digital amplifier is not only innovative, but also a real money-saver for quality home audio and home theater systems. Duplicating this kind of dynamic headroom with other amplifiers would require a stack of expensive monoblock amps. The A1400-8's output power can satisfy the needs of exceptionally large media or living rooms, yet still deliver live sound quality even at high volume." Enjoy the Music.com offers reviews of the Axiom Audio Millennia M80Ti line driver arrays (click here), EP500 subwoofer (click here), and Millennia M3Ti bookshelf loudspeakers (click here).

 

10 / 04 / 07

The Audiophile Voice Magazine  The Audiophile Voice volume XII issue IV is now online as we have the complete table  of contents and easy subscription link. This issue features many articles and reviews including A Primer On Interconnects by George Graves plus professional assessments of McIntosh's C220 tube preamplifier, the Magnepan MG1.6 loudspeaker, Monitor Audio's Bronze Reference BR6 loudspeakers and the amazing Nagra DAC D/A converter! Recordings review range from Jorma Kaukonen  and  Tom Petty's Highway Companion to Cadillac Sky Blind Man Walking and Ferde Grofé Grand Canyon & Mississippi Suites. See the latest edition of The Audiophile Voice by clicking here.

 

Spendor S3/5R Monitor LoudspeakerSpendor, a British manufacturers of loudspeakers for over three decades is now selling their S3/5R ($1,399/pair in light cherry, rosenut or black ash). As the old standard LS3/5a drive units were ceasing production, the Spendor team decided to develop their own 140mm bass-midrange drive unit using modern materials and technology and combine it with a new 20mm tweeter. Add to that, updated crossover engineering and a more modern look mark this evolution monitor. The S3/5R has traditional thin wall with heavy damping design of the cabinet, yet enhanced by the use of modern rubberized damping panels. Spendor's midrange/bass driver uses improved phase correction technology in the form of a focusing magnet motor pole extension while the 20mm soft dome tweeter closely matches the sound characteristics of the original S3/5 tweeter. The crossover circuit board has been redesigned to improve conductivity and single routing to eliminate magnetic interaction between inductors plus all tracks are gold plated and silver soldered. Crossover is of the single wire type to ensure consistent and optimum sound quality according to Spendor. This small two-way monitor has a frequency response from 90Hz to 20kHz (±3dB) and has an impedance of 8 Ohms. Sensitivity is a lowish 84dB/W/m and each unit can handle 100 watts. Loudspeaker terminals on the rear of the Spendor S3/5R are of the gold-plated 4-way binding posts variety. Enjoy the Music.com has reviews of the Spendor SP2/3E loudspeaker (click here), SP 3/5 (click here), Spendor Sub 3 subwoofer (click here) and Spendor SP 1/2 loudspeaker (click here).

 

 

 

10 / 03 / 07

JAS Audio Bravo 2.3 Integrated Stereo Amplifier  JAS Audio added three new stereo integrated amplifiers to their line up that consist of the Jas Bravo 2.1, Jas Bravo 2.2, and Jas Bravo 2.3 ($1495, 1795 and $1950 respectively). The Jas Bravo 2.1 is a 30 wpc 6N5P (6AS7) with remote volume control and designed with a unique driving circuit that enhances the current damping. The Jas Bravo 2.2 employs 300B triodes in single-ended Class A operation to produce 8 wpc. The unit is handcrafted with pure solid copper wires that are never bent and, if necessary, will only be in a smooth curvature. JAS Audio claims this helps eliminate signal deterrence or deterioration in transmission to a great extent, which is an assurance of obtaining clarity, transparency and rhythmical sound. Lastly, the new JAS Audio Bravo 2.3 (pictured) uses 6C33 in Class A single-ended operation to produce 18wpc. The circuitry is handcrafted with point-to-point wiring for minimizing signal loss in transmission. A pair of chokes regulate the alternating current at both high and low frequency to suppress background noise and ensure a quiet background. A step-less negative feedback control is equipped for adjusting signal feedback for meeting preference of the listener. All units feature hand finished solid wooden boards engraved with the Bravo logo while the thick aluminum alloy front panel adds to the visual elegance.

 

British Audio Visual Dealers Association (BADA)The British Audio Visual Dealers Association (BADA), formed in 1982 as a Hi-Fi and Home Cinema retailers' trade association with over 80 shops, 20 associate members made up of manufacturers, distributors and members of the press, has announced a long term agreement to invest in raising industry standards. At a meeting of the BADA board and the association's manufacturer (associate) members held in London, an agreement was reached to form a long term strategic alliance to develop a program of training for excellence. The manufacturers and BADA agreed to the formation of an industry training fund which will be used to develop ongoing training over the next five years, with the aim of continually improving standards within retail and educating dealers in new and emerging technologies. Initially aimed at BADA retail and associate members, the training will commence immediately with a concerted roll out of the existing Demcraft course. The agreed target will be to train 100% of customer facing staff within BADA retail shops and the manufacturers' representatives in Demcraft. This will ensure a minimum standard is set that both dealer and supplier will adhere to. It will also help forge closer understanding between retailers and manufacturers of the importance of correct product setup and demonstration. Future training courses will build on this minimum standard to further develop the skill set of both retailers' and manufacturers' staff. The target to complete the rollout of Demcraft is 2008 AGM in June where members will be asked to incorporate Demcraft into BADA's code of practice thereby increasing member entry requirements. The training fund will be established through contributions from BADA's own finances and those of the signed up associate members. Associate members present at the meeting included Arcam, B&W, The Chord Company, Dolby, Dynaudio, JVC, KEF, Marantz, Meridian, The Multi-Room Company, Naim, PMC, and Yamaha.

 

10 / 02 / 07

JPS Labs Superconductor Q  JPS Labs, manufacturer of high-end audio, digital, and power cables, has introduced their Superconductor Q line. Each cable is designed from scratch with a quad lay of JPS Labs' custom Alumiloy conductors, said to provide a balanced clarity and fast dynamic range. Using design components from the Aluminata Series, Superconductor Q was engineered using the finest shielding not only to reject noise at all offending frequencies, but to also dissipate it along it's length. Using a special blend of high quality materials and design criteria, the cable maintains clarity in practically any length without the worry of external noise mixing with signal. Pricing begins at $325 for an RCA interconnect pair or guitar/instrument cable and $700 per pair for loudspeaker cables. JPS Labs cables are made in the United States. Enjoy the Music.com has reviews of the JPS Labs Power AC in-wall cable (click here) and JPS Labs Dedicated Line Revisited (click here).

 

Tributaries Series 9 and Series 7 CablesThe Tributaries Series 9 and Series 7 families of interconnects are suited to the most demanding audio and home-theater systems and installations. Both new Tributaries ranges are offered in families dedicated to video, analog-audio, digital-audio, and digital-video formats. The Series 9 take pride of place as the company's new flagship cables while the Series 7 cables come close to equaling Series 9 performance at a lower price point due to judicious use of less costly materials in selected, less-critical positions. Every Series 9 and Series 7 cable (except HDMI and optical) is hand-soldered and hand-assembled at the Tributaries Florida facility. All analog models feature gold-plated, solid brass connectors with fully gold-plated contacts and connectors, solid-metal covers, and waterproof woven jacketing. Series 9 Tributaries features heavy 20AWG OFHC solid copper signal conductor and a 1.25% silver-plated 20AWG/46-strand OFHC copper return conductor. LDPE insulator for dielectric properties and flexibility plus OFHC copper braided shield provides 95% coverage and a double-sided copper foil secondary shield with 100%-coverage for optimum isolation from interference. Pricing ranges from $75 for Series 7 one meter optical cable on up.

 

Audience Teflon CapacitorAudience, an award-winning designer and manufacturer of high-resolution capacitors, audio cables and power conditioning products, today announced that release of a new Teflon audio grade capacitor. AuraTeflon capacitors are pre-cooked to minimize the multi-hundred hour break in period typically associated with Teflon capacitors. "Our legacy Auricap high resolution polypropylene capacitor has been an industry staple for many high end audio/video manufacturers and DIY enthusiasts over the past ten years. Like every product we sell, the new Aura-Teflon high-resolution capacitor is the result of our giving our engineers the time and resources to make a truly advanced product. After years of refinement, we feel that the new cost no object Aura-Teflon is simply the most resolute and transparent capacitor ever engineered." Enjoy the Music.com has a review of Audience's adeptResponse aR1p high resolution power conditioner (click here).

 

10 / 01 / 07

  Enjoy the Music.com has just posted the October editions of our Superior Audio and Review Magazine. With over ten pieces of new equipment reviewed this month, from the $199 Audioengine A2 powered minimonitor and $490 LS3/5a DIY loudspeaker kit to the amazing $5350 Ray Samuels Audio Emmeline II "B-52" headphone amp/pre and much in-between, our October issues have many great articles for your enjoyment.

Remember: We will be reporting live from the Rocky Mountain Audio Fest (RMAF 2007) in less than two weeks! This is the most enjoyable public show of the year. If you live anywhere near Denver come join in on the festivities! Of course flying or driving in would be a great choice as well, as there will be many rooms filled with stunning audiophile gear.

 


Many new articles are now online including...

Viewpoint Article
Audiolics Anonymous Chapter 96: Audience adeptResponse aR1p Power Conditioner
The Nearfield: Two Digital Pres... The Benchmark DAC1 USB and Bel Canto e.One Dac3
Plus Flashbacks:  AA Chapter 72: Bits is Bits (Or Are They)
The Nearfield: Speakers, Speakers, Speakers!

BAS Speaker
Shure SE530PTH In-Ear Monitors Review By The Boston Audio Society

Equipment Reviewed
Audioengine A2 Powered Minimonitor
Gini Systems LS3-5a Speaker Kit
HiFi-Tuning Noise Destroyer
Plus Flashbacks: muRata's Amazing ES103A Super Tweeter
Opera Audio Droplet LP5.0 Turntable

Manufacturer Article
Soft to Loud: The Nature of Power and Dynamic Headroom by Axiom Audio

Music Reviews
Telarc offers classic and modern Hollywood scores from seafaring films.
A definitive set of Carl Nielsen's symphonies on well priced concert DVDs
Plus over ten other reviews including Jazz, bluegrass and rock!

See the October Review Magazine by clicking here.

 


This month we have:
Bybee Golden Goddess 'Super Effect' Speaker Bullets
Grado Reference Series RS-1 Headphones
Ray Samuels Audio Emmeline II "B-52" Balanced Headphone Amplifier & Preamplifier
Plus Flashbacks: Oracle Delphi MK V Turntable With Oracle-SME 345 Tonearm
Wavelength Audio Cosecant USB DAC

See the October issue of Superior Audio by clicking here.


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