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High-End Audio Industry News


Teresonic Magus Silver Loudspeaker10 / 30 / 08

  Teresonic's new Magus Silver ($4,485, add $295 for stands) is a compact loudspeaker said to combine unique acoustic design and ultra-high efficiency with pure silver coils for lifelike sound quality and environmentally friendly audio. Silver, while being more expensive than copper, is a superior at conducting electricity and aid in bringing this new design to achieve an ultrahigh 98dB/W/m sensitivity. The 5-inch Lowther DX55 full-range driver is operated without a crossover. Frequency response is from 55Hz to 22kHz (±3dB) and the Teresonic Magnum Silver can handle from 2 to 100 watts. Dimensions are 15 x 12 x 9 (HxWxD in inches) and weighs 25 lbs.

 

DaVinci Audio Labs MC PhonoStage and LCR RIAA DriverDaVinci Audio Labs have a new MC PhonoStage and own LCR RIAA Driver (CHF 34,300 and CHF 31,975 respectively). The basic version of the MC-Phono Stage consists of two stage single-ended triode design with continuous interstage transformer coupling and a passive RC-RIAA. By adding the company's Phono Module within the LCR-RIAA, users receive a tree-stage single ended triode design with continuous interstage transformer coupling. The LCR-RIAA circuit consists essentially of DaVinci Audio's highest precision handmade coil. An external regulated power supply completes the system. The top cover is milled from full aluminum block and each unit weighs over 110 lbs. Specification are as follows:

MM-Input: Impedance 47 kOhm, 45dB Gain
MC-Input low: Impedance 3 to 40 Ohm, 71dB Gain
MC-Input high: Impedance 40 to 400 Ohm, 65dB Gain
Impedance with RX Plug adjustable
Output specification:
RCA Output: Impedance 6 kOhm 
XLR Concept Output for LCR-RIAA-Driver
Input specification LCR-RIAA-Driver:
XLR Concept Input
Output specification LCR-RIAA-Driver:
One RCA output 600 Ohm 
One XLR Output 600 Ohm

 

10 / 29 / 08

Sonos  Sonos, specialists and creators of the first wireless multi-room music system with remote control, now offers their Sonos Controller for iPhone plus has updated the software to version 2.7 that includes free access to more than 15,000 radio stations from around the world; plus Sonos now includes free Last.fm and Pandora subscriptions. A Sonos system allows upwards of 32 zones to wireless connect for homewide music distribution and can be controlled via the company's CR100 ($399), free desktop software, and now via their free iPhone software. With the iPhone, users can easily scroll and choose the music they desire, change the volume level, which zone(s) they choose to have the music play and much more. Sonos' new Software 2.7 update encompasses a total of 1500 free 'preset' online music radio stations, with the ability for users to find and add Internet radio stations as they desire. Also included with this new update is free premium subscriptions to Pandora (a $36/yr value) and Last.fm. Of note is that Last.fm's 'Scrobbling' is supported, which is a technology that reads the music on your computer and allows Last.fm to better understand your musical desires to, in turn, provide music that may be more to your liking.

 

JBL LS SeriesJBL, a unit of Harman that designs, manufactures and markets a wide range of audio and infotainment products for the automotive, consumer and professional markets, has introduced their LS Series of high-end loudspeakers. This new line utilizes state-of-the-art engineering and materials to deliver audiophile sound quality. The LS Series includes their LS40 bookshelf loudspeaker, the LS60 and LS80 floorstanding speakers plus the LS Center center channel speaker (from $999 to $1,999 each). LS Series loudspeakers combine advanced-technology compression drivers with dynamic drivers to achieve what the company feels is the best sonic qualities of both. The 176ND high-frequency compression driver operates in conjunction with a Bi-Radial horn that provides optimum dispersion and a smooth frequency response both on- and off-axis. The 015M ring-radiator ultra high-frequency driver delivers frequency extension to beyond 40kHz. It is mounted in an exclusive Elliptical Oblate Spheroidal (EOS) waveguide to deliver accurate imaging in an immersive sound field. LS Series woofers utilize proprietary PolyPlas polymer-coated-cellulose-fiber cone material for articulate, powerful bass.

 

10 / 28 / 08

RMAF 2008 Show  Enjoy the Music.com has just posted photojournalist Ron Nagle's RMAF 2008 show coverage. His two page report includes over 20 photos featuring many items that were to be seen during the event. Within the report he writes, "This fifth annual RMAF provides an affordable venue that even a garage based audio start up might use to get the word out. And that is exactly what this beleaguered business of audio needs. Hear are some statistics from the RMAF show co-directors Allan Stiefel and Marjorie Baumert. There were nearly 3500 people at this year’s 2008 show that’s an increase of 7 percent over last year. Sunday the last day of the show things usually taper off but this year they had 406 last minute attendees, a significant increase over the previous year. This year there were audiophiles from 21 foreign countries in attendance." To see his report please click here.

 

Cirrus Logic DS868PP1Cirrus Logic, a recognized worldwide for their expertise in developing high-precision analog and mixed-signal integrated circuits (ICs), now offers their DS868PP1 (pictured) 32-bit audio decoder with dual DSP engine. This 32-bit DSP chip supports the Dolby Volume audio format and up to 12 channels of 32-bit serial audio. The input is configurable for all input/output digital audio types (I2S/LJ/RJ) and the chip is 192 kHz capable with integrated S/PDIF transmitter for both stereo and multi-channel Direct Stream Digital (DSD/SACD) input support. Also new from Cirrus Logic is their CS47048, the company's highest-performance audio system-on-a-chip (SOC) that is for audio amplification. By combining an advanced 32-bit audio DSP, high performance multi-channel audio codec and a digital audio receiver/transmitter into a single IC, the CS47048 dramatically reduces overall board space requirements and system cost. The CS47048 features an advanced, 32-bit single core audio processor with powerful customer programming tools and multi-bit Delta-Sigma audio converter technology. Audiophile pundits who are fans of the shortest possible signal path will like the fact that this chip can allows audio amplifier designers to greatly simplify designs by reducing the number of ICs required to implement an amplifier by a factor of 10 (depending on channel count and signal processing requirements). This chip includes A/D converters, D/A converters, DSP, memory and SPDIF I/O. "With the CS47048, we've packed a high performance audio DSP and audio converters onto the same piece of silicon and supported it with our easy to use DSP Composer programming environment," said Jason Rhode, president and chief executive officer, Cirrus Logic. "It's a strong technological achievement, and it allows designers to reduce component count and more easily achieve their system requirements without sacrificing audio quality." The Cirrus Logic CS47048 chip is available in both four and eight channel configuration and can handle any sample rate up to 192 kHz. Customer programming is simplified through DSP Composer software, a powerful graphical programming tool that offers a wide array of audio drag-and-drop building blocks in which customers can easily adjust filters, delay, bass boost, graphic/parametric EQ and many other audio parameters. Cirrus Logic also provides numerous standard third-party audio algorithms from leading companies such as Dolby, DTS, SRS Labs and THX. The CS47048 is also software upgradeable, ensuring readiness for future audio features.

 

10 / 27 / 08

Raysonic Audio SP-100MKII Stereo Integrated Tube Amplifier  On the heels of their new SP-88, Raysonic Audio offers their new SP-100MKII ($2199) stereo integrated tube amplifier. The unit produces 45 wpc operating in Class AB using a pair of EL-34 tubes per channel. There is minimal use of negative feedback via a precision RC circuitry said to yield a "more linear performance". Frequency response is from 10Hz to 100kHz with a SNR of 96dB. A total of four stereo inputs are provided for as are both 4 and 8 Ohm loudspeaker taps. Tube compliment is four EL-34, a pair of 12AU7 and one 6922EH. A wireless remote control is included and the unit is available in either black or silver. Dimension are 43 x 30 x 20.5 (LxWxH in cm) and it weights over 50 lbs. Enjoy the Music.com has reviewed the Raysonic CD-168 CD player (click here) and the Raysonic SP-100 stereo integrated tube amplifier (click here).

 

Sound PracticesEnjoy the Music.com has updated the Sound Practices section of our website with an article titled "Casual Reactions" by Herb Reichert. In it he says, "Reckon me this Sound Practices readers. "Who in world of audio fringe persons am I writing for?" The editor is not deep into market research and Joyce just says they get letters from a "broad spectrum". So who in audio hell is reading this and what are they really interested in? My best guess is that you guys are really smart (or at least hard working), really love music and are probably more than a little eccentric. In any event, let me start by thanking you and SP for giving me the opportunity to learn to write and practice my shaving on someone else’s beard." You can read the entire article by clicking here.

 

10 / 24 / 08

TJ Fullmusic 300B/SE Triode Vacuum Tube  Grant Fidelity just informed us that the new TJ Fullmusic 300B/SE triode vacuum tube ($750/pr) is now available. TJ Fullmusic was established in 1990s by one of the pioneers of Chinese vacuum tube industry. In the past decade, TJ Fullmusic 300B tubes has earned solid reputation in the international hi-fi market over the years. TJ Fullmusic has expanded, and now has a second manufacturing facility in Tianjin City, China. Besides 300B and other output tubes, TJ Fullmusic also offers gold pin, box plate 12AX7 and 12AU7 tubes (to name a few). The 300B/SE is a special edition of the 300B/C carbon plate tubes. Visually, they appear to be nearly to the normal carbon offering yet the factory will not disclose the details of the technical difference of the 300B/SE version to the 300B/C version other than claiming to use higher grade components. Grant Fidelity includes a 12 months warranty on the tube. Enjoy the Music.com has reviewed many 300B tubes, including one from TJ Fullmusic (click here).

 

Mussorgsky: Pictures at an Exhibition, Night on Bald Mountain, Prelude to Khovanshchina Audiophiles seeking Halloween music may want to buy Telarc's organist Cameron Carpenter SACD/DVD titled Revolutionary [SACD-60711]. The rotary woofers, invented by Bruce Thigpen, enabled the Marshall & Ogletree organ true acoustic reproduction of 32' and 64' stops at realistic sound levels. In addition, sine waves were provided at 32', 64', and 128' pitches to give low-frequency energy (LFE) for use with other pedal stops. Cameron used all these stops in his interpretations during the recording sessions. Telarc placed a LFE microphone in a position where the rotary woofers' response was flat from below 7Hz up to 27Hz! Also available is Paavo Järvi and the CSO with Mussorgsky's "Night on Bald Mountain" (pictured) and "Pictures at an Exhibition" [SACD-60705]. These works are brought to a whole new life in surround sound and are sure to bring seasonal flavoring in your musical pleasure... and perhaps scare the neighborhood children during Halloween.

 

10 / 23 / 08

Pass Laboratories XP-10 Preamplifier  Pass Laboratories, founded in 1991 by legendary audio designer Nelson Pass, has introduced the XP-10 (pictured) and XP-20 preamplifiers ($5,250 and $8,600, respectively). The XP-10 and XP-20 were created by gifted audio designer Wayne Colburn with the convenience of remote control and, in the XP-20, an external power supply isolated from the analog circuits in a matching second chassis. Like all Pass Labs designs, the XP-10 and XP-20 deliver exemplary, highly reliable performance while minimizing the number of components and stages in the signal path. The XP-10 and XP-20 are said to "more accurately reproduce state-of-the-art recordings, lend more weight to highly dynamic passages, delineate bass lines more clearly, cleanly and accurately, and present instruments and voices in a more refined spatial envelope with better spectral balance. Nuances and fine details become apparent even in loud and highly complex musical passages. The preamps also provide listeners with a wider choice of listening levels, employing 64 volume steps in small increments." The XP-20's isolated power supply further enhances its performance by keeping the power supply away from critical low-level analog audio stages. Both the XP-10 and XP-20 are housed in sleek chassis of brushed aluminum, measuring 17 inches wide by 12 inches deep by 4 inches high. Enjoy the Music.com has reviewed the Pass Laboratories Aleph X2.5 stereo preamplifier (click here), their Supersymmetry balanced X250 stereo amplifier (click here) and published an article by Nelson Pass titled "Leaving Class A" (click here).

 

Get Better SoundGet Better Sound ($44.50 for soft cover and $64.50 for hard cover plus shipping) is a new "Reference Set-up Manual" that guarantees better sound from any home audio system. New set-up manual enables audiophile music lovers to unlock sound previously unattained from their audio systems. Eight years after introducing his 31 Secrets to Better Sound-received by over 15,000 audiophiles around the world, Jim Smith has written a reference manual for setting up home audio systems. During the period from January 2000 CES through January 2004 CES, Jim's set-ups at shows garnered over seven "Best Sound of Show" audio press comments. The voicing techniques (and more) that Jim employed to win those "Best Sound of Show" awards are now available to audiophiles in Get Better Sound. "An unexpected discovery became the basic motivation for this set-up manual," says writer Jim Smith. "The thing that became the driving force for me arose from the incredible number of systems that I heard in audiophiles' homes in the past eight years."

 

Raysonic Audio SP-88 Stereo Integrated Tube AmplifierRaysonic Audio SP-88 ($1,990) stereo integrated tube amplifier includes a unique MM phono input and produces 35 watts per channel. Employing two pairs of 7591A output tubes operated in class AB1, the Raysonic SP-88 has double C-core audio output transformers fitted atop the sculpted aluminum chassis, which is available in either black or silver. Total harmonic distortion is a low 0.5 percent with a frequency response of 20 Hz to 20 kHz (@1 watt). Input sensitivity and impedance for the MM phonostage is 0.5mv / 47 kOhms and there are four other high level inputs for CD players and other equipment. The units weights in at a hefty 55 lbs. Enjoy the Music.com has reviewed the Raysonic CD-168 CD player (click here) and the Raysonic SP-100 stereo integrated tube amplifier (click here).

 

Etymotic Research hf2 iPhone10 / 22 / 08

  Etymotic Research, the inventor of in-ear high-fidelity earphones, announced that a new ruby version of their award-winning hf2 iPhone premium headset for audiophiles ($179). The hf2 headset features a 3.5 mm stereo jack with a premium in-line microphone for mobile phone (iPhone, etc) users. These high-fidelity units feature a frequency response from 20Hz to 16kHz, noise-isolating of 32 to 42dB, comes with a 4 ft. cable and assorted eartips to accommodate different side ear canals. The transducer type is a balanced armature that have a sensitivity of 105 dB SPL for a 0.1 VRMS input with 16 Ohm impedance. Enjoy the Music.com has reviewed the Etymotic Research ER-4P (click here), another ER-4P review (click here) and their ER4S (click here).

 

LalaLala is unveiling the first and only free fully licensed service to instantly provide anywhere Web access to an existing music library. EMI Music, Sony BMG Music Entertainment, Universal Music Group, Warner Music Group and over 170,000 independent labels are onboard with over 6 million songs. Replacing the outdated approach of uploading MP3 files from a PC, Lala introduces a licensed technology to instantly match songs from consumers' personal music libraries with the Web-based catalog. Users can add new music to their licensed collection easily and at reasonable cost. Users can sample any full song or complete album for free, while adding songs to a Web collection is 10 cents or you can buy DRM-free MP3 downloads for as low as an additional 79 cents. Lala's web-application-in-a-browser with speedy look-ahead search, drag and drop playlist creation, and instant, continuous music streaming. Lala supports popular Web browsers including Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Safari, plus both Microsoft Windows and Apple Mac OS.

 

Bryston BR2 RemoteBryston has announced the introduction of the BR2 ($500) multifunction remote control, designed to give consumers total control of the Bryston BCD-1 CD player, the Bryston BDA-1 outboard DAC, as well as Bryston's integrated amplifiers and preamplifiers. The BR2 is made from milled aluminum, is available in either black or silver, and is backed by Bryston's legendary 20 year warranty. "We had been in the process of designing an elegant remote just for the BDA-1 outboard DAC, when we realized that many consumers who purchase the DAC are likely to own other Bryston components," reported Bryston Sales VP James Tanner. "It was our goal to embed control functions of our other products into the BR2, creating one elegant solution that provides both control and convenience from a single device." Bryston product applications follow: 

• BCD-1 CD Player – all functions 
• BDA-1 External DAC – all functions 
• BP-6 Preamplifier – volume/mute only 
• BP-16 Preamplifier – all functions 
• BP-26/25 Preamplifier – volume/mute/phase only 
• SP-2 Preamplifier – volume/mute only 
• B-60R Integrated Amplifier – volume/mute only 
• B-100 Integrated Amplifier – all functions

Enjoy the Music.com has reviewed the Bryston 7B ST amplifier (click here) and their sister company Torus Power Isolation units (click here).

 

10 / 21 / 08

Sonic Studio Amarra  Sonic Studio, a premier manufacturer of ultra-fidelity PCM and DSD content creation systems, in conjunction with their representative VRS Audio Solutions now offers their new ultra-fidelity music server called the Amarra. Based on Sonic Studio's line of professional linear PCM products, Amarra is an integrated software and hardware solution drawn from the exclusive FireWire-attached, Series 300 line of DSP I/O Processors. The software derives from soundBlade, Sonic Studio's high-end production application. Amarra runs on the stable and secure Macintosh operating system. To ease user interaction, Amarra also coordinates with iTunes and is able to play uncompressed audio files up to 192 kHz. Other features include

• The convenience of iTunes
• Pristine audio quality of Sonic Studio’s proprietary SSE engine
• Plays all high resolution PCM formats up to 192 kHz sample rates
• Based on the safe & secure Macintosh–based architecture
• Uses iTunes for compressed and rights managed music
• Supports Apple Remote and iTouch Remote
• Choose either AES/EBU or +4 dBu Analog output
• Employs proven isochronous FireWire data transport 
• Hardware based Analog volume control
• Automatic hardware sample rate adjustment
• Advanced Software-Hardware based Sonic Equalization
• NoNOISE II sound repair for archive and vinyl recordings
• Highest quality bit-perfect CD ripping and burning
• Native DSD playback
• Six channel surround support
• Surround ready for simple integration into home theatre settings.

 

Elan Home Systems TouchpanelElan Home Systems, a manufacturer of award-winning Multi-Room audio/video and home control systems, now sells their Whole Home Touch Panel line. The XP-8.4 Wireless Controller ($3350) is a sleek 8.4-inch touchscreen controller with web browsing, extended Wi-Fi range, long battery life and dependable embedded Windows XP operation. Lightweight and durable, the XP-8.4 features a combination of color graphics display and long-range 802.11g wireless control technology. The panel serves as a premium Whole House and Home Theater controller. A deluxe tabletop docking/recharging cradle with Ethernet and USB ports and extra-long-life battery pack is included at no additional charge. Additionally, the XP-8.4's extended-life battery provides up to six hours of operation away from the charging cradle and its wide Wi-Fi range helps maintain faster communication speeds. This unit was designed for out-of-the box seamless integration with Elan's Multi-Room A/V Controllers and Entertainment Source products and provides instant "Now Playing" information as well as real-time status display of compatible lighting, temperature, pool, spa and security systems. Additionally, the XP-8.4 features a built-in web browser, streaming Internet audio/video and Flash Player support. A USB port on the docking cradle makes for easy connection of a USB keyboard or mouse, thereby enhancing the web browsing experience.

 

Issue 61 (October 2008) of our hi-fi+ preview is now available on Enjoy the Music.com! This issue features many equipment reviews, including hi-fi+'s Product Of The Year Awards where they choose seventeen of the best from the last twelve months, a review of the new MartinLogan CLX full-range electrostatic loudspeakers, Wilson Audio Duette, Wadia's 581 CD/SACD player the Cairn Tornado 192 CD player, Copland's CTA 405 integrated amplifier, the Abingdon Music Research AMR CD 77 CD player and much more! In this issue's editorial, Roy Gregory states "Well, if the London show proved anything, it was to vindicate our decision to run our demonstrations across the road at the Renaissance. One of the prime considerations, every time we select the venue for one of the magazine's presentations, is sound quality — and the Park Inn isn't blessed with a large number of good sounding rooms that will accommodate a reasonable number of listeners. By going with the tried and trusted rooms in what used to be the Penta, the result was a worthwhile experience for all those who made the short trip across the Bath Road..." To see the entire table of contents and read the complete editorial click here.

 

10 / 20 / 08

  Enjoy the Music.com now offers an online world premier of the November edition of The Absolute Sound (Issue 186) that features many loudspeaker reviews, as we offer the complete table of contents and editorial! This edition's special focus on loudspeakers including the Triangle Titus EX, Chario's Premium 1000 Tower, the Gershman Acoustics amazing Sonogram, ProAc's Response D Two, the legendary Quad esl-2905, Hyperion Sound's excellent value for the dollar Design HPS-968, Thiel CS3.7's and more! The November editorial titled Bonus Points by Robert Harley says, "The Buyer's Guide is chock-full of buying advice, set-up tips, how-to articles, best-sounding-disc recommendations, system-matching insights, and a compendium of our top picks in each product category complete with mini-reviews. Although the Buyer's Guide is aimed largely at newcomers to high-end audio, we think experienced audiophiles will also find much of value. The issue includes a code that enables you to download, for free, a special booklet entitled "System Set-Up Secrets." The booklet, excerpted and adapted from my book The Complete Guide to High-End Audio, is packed with insider tips for getting the best performance from your system." You can see the table of contents and read the complete editorial by clicking here.

 

10 / 17 / 08

Triode Corporation TRV-EQ3SE Phono/Preamplifier   Triode Corporation in Japan has released their TRV-88SE stereo integrated amplifier, TRV-CD4SE tubed CD player and TRV-EQ3SE tubed stereo phono/preamplifier ($2200, $2200 and $2850 respectively). The TRV-88SE integrated amplifier can be used as a fully integrated unit or simply as a dedicated amplifier via a source selector knob that can be switched to preamplification input only. It has also a wide frequency response from 10Hz to 100KHz and operates in Class AB push-pull, thereby producing 50 wpc. with 0.1 percent THD. There are loudspeaker binding posts on the rear for both 6 and 8 Ohm plus an output for headphones. A total of one front and three rear stereo inputs are provided. The tube compliment is four KT-88 for output plus a 12AX7 and two 12AU7. Triode Corporation's new TRV-CD4SE CD player has a very low 0.002 percent THD with a signal-to-noise ratio of 100dB. Frequency response is from 20Hz to 20kHz, DAC chipset being Burr Brown's PCM1792u 24-bit units, and the main disc reading mechanism is by Sony. For amplification, the 6DJ8 is employed to serve the analog stereo output while digital outputs includes an RCA (SPDIF) and optical (Toslink). Triode Corporation's TRV-EQ3SE tubed phono/preamplifier (pictured) features a low noise design with tube rectified power supply with IC regulator circuit. The point to point circuit design helps to maintain a pure signal path. Both MM and MC cartridges can be amplification, with an MC transformer of high efficiency being included that is 77 percent super permalloy EI core. The winding structure, precisely divided into layers, for wide bandwidth response and high rise time. Triode claims that, this provides "Good rise characteristics minimize a phase distortion in audible bandwidth and clarify great sound images. Reproduce realistic music with good S/N images." The front panel controls include switches for MM, MC1, MC2, MC low, MC high and Low cut filter. Frequency response is from 10Hz to 70kHz with a low 0.1 percent THD. Other features include:

Input Level: MM 2.5mV, MC Low 0.23mV, MC High 0.19mV
Input Impedance: MM 47K Ohms and MC 2-47 ohms
Gain: MM 42.5dB, MC Low 58.7dB, MC High 64.4dB
S/N Ration in Input: MM 90dB, MC 87dB
Maximum Input Capability: 250mV (1kHz) 11mV
Output Voltage: 200mV (1kHz)
RIAA Curve Deviation: +/-0.25dB (20Hz to 20kHz)
Channel Separation: More than 90dB
Low Cut Filter: 15Hz @ 18dB oct
Input Terminals: Three Lines (MM / MC1 / MC2)
Output terminals: Two Lines (RCA / XLR)
Capacitors: Mundorf Capacitor
Resistors: Kiwame Resistors
Tubes: Four ECC803 and one 5AR4
Weight: 10kg

 

10 / 16 / 08

AudioValve Assistent 100 Integrated Stereo Tube Amplifier   AudioValve's new Assistent 100 integrated stereo tube amplifier (5350€) has five stereo inputs and produces 110 wpc with a mere 0.15 percent THD at 50 watt output. Frequency response is a very wide 5Hz to 45kHz (-3dB) using a quartet of Russian 6C33 valves, the same tube used in Russian MIG fighters for communication in the event of a nuclear holocaust. According to AudioValve "The 6C33 is unique in its musical “color”, but it obstinately defies reliable use in audio applications. Only in a sophisticated technological environment can the almost inexhaustible musical wealth of this valve be exploited." One of the 'keys' to making this valve perform well, says Audio Valve, is in using the company's (Interactive Servo Bias Regulator (ISBR). Through a complex system, AudioValve applies sensible control of the standby currents in the output valves relative to the required power delivery – a completely atypical design for "normal" valve applications. As a bonus, it extends considerably the lifetime of the output tubes and helps to save energy. The Assistent includes full function wireless remote control.

 

Opera / Consonance Cyber-880 Stereo Tubed Power AmplifierOpera / Consonance has released their Cyber-880 stereo tubed power amplifier that uses an octet of 6550 tubes for output, a pair of 5687 and three 12AU7 valves. The company says this unit is "an extremely potent amplifier with power, superb definition, and great control. Using eight beam power output tubes and a low-mu octal driver, this amplifier possesses an uncanny ability to reveal every nuance in a recording, while preserve the emotion and feel necessary for a truly musical performance." The aluminum front panel and top cover are finished in hand rubbed silver metallic lacquer, with bias meter and tube adjustors that make it easy to maintain and optimize. Output matching taps are provided for 4, and 8 ohm speakers. The Consonance Cyber-880 produces 100 wpc with less than 1 percent distortion at 50 watts. Input sensitivity is 750mV with a 100kOhm impedance. Enjoy the Music.com has reviewed the Consonance Cyber 211 monoblock tube amplifier (click here), Cyber 10 Multifunctional tube amplifier (click here) and Opera Audio Droplet LP5.0 turntable (click here).

 

10 / 15 / 08

Review Magazine  Enjoy the Music.com's October midmonth update of the Review Magazine is now available! This update features both the RMAF 2008 show report (Rocky Mountain Audio Fest) and the Hong Kong AV Show coverage part II. Well over 100 photos are now online! See the October midmonth update by clicking here.

 

Issue 60 (September 2008) of our hi-fi+ preview is now available on Enjoy the Music.com! This issue features many equipment reviews, including the Arcam C31 pro-amplifier and P38 power amplifier, Magico's V3 loudspeaker, the Eben Ayra Cl loudspeaker, David Berning's Quadrature Z amplifiers, the Wadia 581se CD/SACD player and much more! In this issue's editorial, Roy Gregory states "60 issues down and id like to say it seems like only yesterday — but actually it has taken a huge amount of very hard work by a lot of people to bring Hi-Fi+ this far. A few have been ever present — writers like CT. JMH and PM and not forgetting the designers at Creative Byte. But one person more than any other single individual has given the magazine its distinctive and instantly recognizable identity — our photographer Simon Marsh..." To see the entire table of contents and read the complete editorial click here.

 

10 / 14 / 08

Fraunhofer Institute HD-AAC  The Fraunhofer Institute, specialists in Integrated Circuits IIS and codecs, has announced their MPEG-4 SLS high definition scalable lossless audio coding. Lossless audio coding schemes offer audio data compression, with the decoded audio data being bit by bit identical to the original audio data. Lossless codecs can save considerable amounts of disk space without running into any risk of generating coding artifacts during later processing of the audio data. The new Fraunhofer IIS offers a fully scalable to lossless audio coding solution with a scalable extension layer that increases the signal-to-noise-ratio. Average compression ratios of about 50 percent are obtainable. The technologies behind HD-AAC are MPEG-4 Advanced Audio Coding (AAC) and MPEG-4 Scalable Lossless Coding (SLS) are subparts of the MPEG-4 Audio standard ISO/IEC 14496-3. HD-AAC features include scalable audio coding, 48kHz lossless representation at 96kHz(?) and is backward compatible with MPEG-4 AAC core codec. In the professional music sector, HD-AAC enables lossless storage and editing of music data at sampling rates up to 192kHz. This open standard guarantees interoperability, reliability, and fair and reasonable licensing terms. 

 

10 / 13 / 08

Hong Kong AV Show 2008  Enjoy the Music.com has just posted Part 2 of our Hong Kong AV Show 2008 report by Wong Kok Chieat! This event is Hong Kong's premier audio / visual exhibition and was the largest one the reporter has attended. Now finalized, this report spans ten pages a well over 100 photos! See the Hong Kong AV Show 2008 report by clicking here.

 

10 / 10   to  10 / 12

RMAF 2008  Rocky Mountain Audio Fest 2008  Come see out virtually live Rocky Mountain Audio Fest (RMAF 2008) show coverage by clicking here. Of note is that Enjoy the Music.com's  editor, Steven R. Rochlin, has been chosen to moderate the seminar titled "Music Everywhere". This seminar will be held on Saturday October 11 @ 11am within the Digital Pavilion at The Highlands, Hyatt Regency Tech Center. See you there!

 

10 / 08 / 08

dCS Scarlatti Upsampler  dCS, a British company that for over two decades has redefined what is possible with digital audio, has announced the launch of their patent pending Scarlatti Upsampler ($12,999). This new digital-to-digital converter brings true high-end performance to PC and server-based music. While the increasing array of music formats and storage mediums are available to music lovers worldwide, this new unit makes it easy to listen to music with audiophile quality. After a full year of research and development, dCS' Scarlatti Upsampler digital to digital converter converts digital audio data at one sample rate to a higher sample rate. Using Scarlatti Upsampler, listeners can upsample music data on CD or hard drive to progressively higher sample rates. Upsampling the music data can make progressive improvements to fine detail, soundstage depth and image separation. Combining Scarlatti Upsampler with the unique and patented dCS Ring DAC further improves performance.

 

10 / 07 / 08

Virtue Audio  After more than two years of intense research and development, Philadelphia based Virtue Audio will launch this weekend at the Rocky Mountain Audio Festival (RMAF) in Denver, Colorado. Virtue will be displaying its Audiophile.ONE and Sensation (from $249 and $519 respectively) amplifiers at RMAF. Both units are capable of more than 90 watts into 4 ohms and feature high-quality aluminum construction with chrome and textured powder-paint accents. The ONE (and hopped-up TWO) comes in five different colors. The Sensation models, which include two additional inputs and a remote control, are built-to-order in thousands of custom combinations. On the Virtue website, customers can choose sides and buttons in six colors and eight species of top including Zebrawood and absolute black granite. The technician behind Virtue is Roger Sheker, designer-in-chief at Audience, LLC.

 

10 / 06 / 08

 Empirical Audio Overdrive USB DAC/Preamplifier  Empirical Audio's new Overdrive USB DAC/Pre digital to analog converter incorporates the company's low-jitter USB interface technology and breaks new ground for D/A converter technology. The Overdrive philosophy is "less is more", as a non-upsampling DAC (no ASRC) with ultra-simple analog signal path is a key feature within the design. A preamplification function is also included so that the unit can stand alone within systems that only have the appropriate digital sources. Selectable digital filters allow users to tailor the sound to personal taste, or can be effectively eliminated. The Empirical Audio Overdrive can be powered from the included AC supply or from a Battery Supply that will be offered in 2009. The DAC has a high-current DC input connector only, so it requires a separate supply chassis. The unit has three digital inputs, USB, SPDIF Coax and I2S. The analog stage is fully balanced, with outputs being XLR or RCA. Enjoy the Music.com has reviewed the Empirical Audio Spoiler USB DAC, which can be seen by clicking here.

 

10 / 03 / 08

Usher Audio Beryllium Tweeter  Usher Audio's new SW-520 bass module is in prototype form and, once finalized, will bring a new level of lowermost frequency production to the company's S-520. The bass module connects directly to the amplifier and bypasses the mids and highs. This arrangement greatly enhances the S-520's power handling capacity. Also new is Usher Audio's Be-616 center channel ($1999) designed to match the Usher Dancer line. This model includes a beryllium tweeter along with matched paper cone woofers in a front slot ported enclosure. Slated for 2009 release is two new models to the Dancer lineup. The first is a two-way floorstander with beryllium tweeter and one woofer. The second is a 2.5-way floorstander with beryllium tweeter and two woofers. Both speaker models will have Dancer style cabinets in a much smaller footprint. Estimated retail prices will be around $3700 for the two-way and $5200 for the 2.5-way. Both models will be introduced at CES 2009.

 

10 / 02 / 08

HDtracks HDtracks is offering 24-bit/96kHz digital music downloads available as FLAC files. The price for a full album is $15.98, with single tracks being $2.49. Right now they are offering 20% off if you use the code experience9624now at check out. Unlike online music offered elsewhere, HDtracks is the only online site where every music file is DRM-free and comes with complete album liner notes. Music files are available in both AIFF and FLAC true CD quality files plus compressed 320kbps mp3 files for those who want pre-compressed music for reduced file size for their portable music personal player. HDtracks' first offerings are from some of the best audiophile labels in the world such as 2L, Chesky, Dorian, and Reference Recordings. Now audiophiles will be able to hear, for the first time ever in high-resolution, the brilliant work of legendary Reference Recordings team, Tam Henderson and Keith Johnson. To download audiophile music and receive your discount see www.hdtracks.com.

 

10 / 01 / 08

   Enjoy the Music.com's October editions of Superior Audio and the Review Magazine are now available! Within this month's Superior Audio we feature a world premiere not to be missed!

Superior Audio
World Premiere!
Antique Sound Labs Monsoon DT MKII
I could listen to this amplifier for days on end...
Review By Ron Nagle

Aaron No.1.a Integrated Amplifier
Handcrafted for the friends of fine Music.
Review By Rick Becker

Manley Labs The Wave
Like A Stradivarius...
Review By Ron Nagle

Revisiting The conrad-johnson CT6 Preamplifier
Review By Rick Becker

Revisiting The Kharma CE2.3c Loudspeaker
Follow Up- Retrofitting Ceramic Tweeters
Review By Rick Becker

See the October 2008 edition of Superior Audio by clicking here.

 

Review Magazine
Regulars
Letters: You write 'em and we reply.

BAS Speaker: Does MP4 = CD Quality?
Article By Barry Fox (England)

Sound Practices: Alien Influences
Editorial By Joe Roberts

Manufacturer Article: The Four Classes Of AC Power Conditioning Products
Article By Roger Sheker of Audience LLC 

Viewpoint
New Listening Room!
Welcome to my new awesome humble abode.
Article By Steven R. Rochlin 

Audiolics Anonymous Chapter 108
Miscellaneous And Tel-Wire AC Cable
Article By Dr. Bill Gaw 

Audiophile Equipment Reviews
Aperion Audio 6T Floorstanding Loudspeakers
The New Version of the 633T
Review By Scott Faller

Balanced Audio Technology (BAT) VK-3iX Preamplifier
Astonishing good phonostage!
Review By Tom Lyle 

North Star Design Model 192 Transport And DAC
The Agony or the Ecstasy?
Review By Todd Warnke 

Ultrasone HFI-2200 Natural Surround Sound Headphones
Entertaining and engaging.
Review By Nels Ferre 

KECES DA-151 Digital To Analog Converter (DAC)
I Would Not Change A Thing
Review By Nels Ferre

Teresonic Ingenium
A True, Full Range, Single Driver Speaker
Article By Scott Faller

Aperion Audio 633T Floorstanding Loudspeakers
Review by Scott Faller

Music Reviews
Royal Mezzo Barber Andromache's Farewell
Crooked Still Still Crooked
Eliza Gilkyson Beautiful World
Laurie Lewis and the Right Hands Live
Tuck & Patti I Remember You
Various Bluegrass, Blues And Jazz Albums
Susannah Blinkoff Let's Pretend
Circle Syndicate String Theory
Sick of Sarah Sick of Sarah

See the October 2008 Review Magazine by clicking here.


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