High-End Audio / Audiophile
& Music Industry News
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10 / 30 / 20
Gryphon Audio Designs StandArt Modular System
The Gryphon Audio Designs' StandArt hi-fi furniture (from 2900 on up) is the ideal basis for your Gryphon electronics with unrestricted potential for expansion in all directions. Due to its highly flexible and modular design, both width and height can be easily varied to suit your evolving needs. Dedicated amplifier stands are available with styling and dimensions to match your Gryphon Mephisto, Antileon EVO or Essence power amps. Each shelf is a triple, constrained layer damped sandwich consisting of a top plate of Kerrock and a bottom layer of compressed high-density MDF, joined by a thin, non-resonant layer of sticky, black, highly viscous bitumen for optimal resonance control and mechanical damping. Kerrock is a non-porous, homogeneous material, composed of one-third acrylic resin (also known as polymethyl methacrylate or PMMA), and two-thirds natural minerals.
The sandwich construction dissipates vibration by absorbing kinetic energy and converting it into low-grade frictional heat effectively and harmlessly. Because of its high molecular density, the Bitumen layer has energy-absorbing properties roughly equivalent to adding an MDF layer of three times its thickness. The differences in thickness and resonant characteristics of the three layers ensure audibly superior damping of vibration.
The Gryphon StandArt shelf is specifically designed as a dedicated isolation platform for the most vibration-sensitive components (turntables, tube electronics, CD players, etc.) to quash micro-vibrations from sensitive audio and video components, enhancing the performance of even the finest home entertainment systems in such crucial areas as image focus, spatial definition, bass clarity and dynamics. The Gryphon StandArt
aluminum columns, available in three different heights (548mm, 800mm, and 1124mm) are filled with a custom blend of oven-dried sand-particles to improve the overall performance of the Gryphon StandArt hi-fi furniture.
Futuresource's Audio Collaborative 2020
Futuresource Consulting is delighted to announce that their well-renowned Audio Collaborative event will be shifting to an all-virtual experience for the first time in six years. Streaming online from November 4th and 5th, Audio Collaborative 2020 will continue to be an event to share industry insights, engage with global brands and define the future of the audio industry within the 'new normal'. Thought-provoking panels and presentations have been designed to ensure audio brands emerge from the crisis as stronger, better positioned, more valuable businesses.
Wherever you are in the world, you can engage in fascinating talks and panels presented by the Futuresource analyst teams and world-class industry-leaders;
they'll be revealing the latest insights and developments set to impact the future of audio. Explore what the mix of brand
partners' have to offer through a range of personalized pages with product information and video demonstrations throughout the course of the two days.
10 / 29 / 20
Berning microZOTL Personal
An uncommonly good deal at under $700!
Review By Dick Olsher
What exactly is a
personal amplifier, you ask? Well, think compact and low power. The name says it
all. The microZOTL generates a "microscopic" amount of power: about one Watt
per channel into a 4-Ohm load, and even less power into higher-impedance loads.
According to designer David Berning, the amp was originally developed as a
high-quality amplifier for bedroom or office use where modest listening levels
are appropriate, though additional uses such as headphone driver, tweeter amp,
computer multimedia speaker, and high-efficiency horns are also possible.
---> Read our Berning microZOTL
Estelon Classic Series Mk II Loudspeakers
This year Estelon celebrates its 10th anniversary with new upgrades to their Estelon Mk II series of speakers. Featuring six Mk II models, the Classic line of Estelon speakers upgrades are said to be ideal for the true audiophiles and music lovers who appreciate absolute neutrality, tonal balance linearity, and a life-like 3D immersive presence. Technical upgrades consist of new crossover networks that blend improved components of resistors and capacitors for wider dynamic range and transparency. The new internal cabling provided by Kubala-Sosna offers an improved and exceptional tone, and a richer and more detailed sound, while the upgraded connectors are now stronger providing safer connectivity. Some of their models also feature new drivers.
The new X Diamond Mk II comes with a new type of Accuton 25mm diamond tweeter for absolute neutrality, reaching up to 60kHz. The new crossover network features Mundorf resistors and Silver Gold Oil capacitors plus Duelund Silver Graphite resistors in the mid-woofer and tweeter circuits for wider dynamic range and transparency. The new XB Diamond Mk II adopts a new crossover network in which the improved components such as the Copper Foil Coils provide clarity, precision and faster sound. It was time to upgrade Estelon's classic XB and the Mk II that also benefits from a new crossover with integrated resistors and Silver Gold Oil capacitors from Mundorf. Estelon's XC Diamond Mk II speaker has a new Accuton diamond tweeter plus Silver Gold Oil capacitors. All Mk II models have high-quality stainless steel black matte floor-spikes and swappable flat feet for carpeted or hard floors.
10 / 28 / 20
CrystalConnect Art Series Cabling System
CrystalConnect is very excited to announce the launch of its new flagship cable series: The Art Series. The series represents another leap forward for the brand, with significant improvements in materials, technology, construction, but above all, musical performance. The new flagship series offers three levels of performance Monet, van Gogh, and da Vinci each named after an artist who fathered a revolution and set new artistic expression standards. CrystalConnect's Art Series consists of a full range of interconnects, loudspeaker cables, power cords, and digital cables.
Every Art Series cable employs their new tenth generation, Infinite Crystal Silver (iCS) conductors. It is said that superior metallurgy of iCS eliminates many single transfer barriers altogether. In the Art Series cables, each conductor is a single continuous crystal structure. This provides increased conductivity and
reduced micro distortions, while also reducing the number of signal conductors, which in turn reduces total distortion and capacitance. A new Cross Balanced Construction for both our speaker cables and power cords brings increased, and even, signal flow.
10 / 27 / 20
The HiFi Summit Q4 2020 By Joe N
Tell Show Report
the second live streaming show by Joe N Tell this year, The
HiFi Summit Q4 2020 celebrates the audio community
in having an excellent high-quality online show
resource! The HiFi
Summit, produced by Joe N Tell (Joe Mariano), brings modern features that are expected when showcasing the best in high-fidelity audio and home theater gear. Excellent seminars and group chat are joined by questions from viewers within their Lobby Discussion and YouTube live
stream. Unlike Facebook, Instagram, and other types of live streaming, Joe N Tell's The HiFi Summit videos
are available worldwide on YouTube both for live viewing during their
event and for on-demand viewing too! See Enjoy the Music.com's The
HiFi Summit Q4 2020 show report at this link.
10 / 26 / 20
Orchard Audio Announces Their PecanPi Streamer Ultra
Orchard Audio is proud to announce the launch of their PecanPi Streamer Ultra ($799.95, yet use discount code 'preorder50' at checkout). The Ultra builds upon Orchard Audio's highly
regarded PecanPi Streamer by adding a 5" touchscreen, built-in RCA connectors, and moving all of the connections to the back of the device. The Ultra continues to use Orchard
Audio's PecanPi DAC which also has a built-in headphone amplifier. This DAC has Roon Tested certification and supports
Hi-Res Audio up to 24-bit/192kHz. The DAC delivers a high signal-to-noise ratios (SNR) of 130dB and a dynamic range
(DNR) of 125dB. Digital inputs include four USB and Ethernet, with analog outputs being
unbalanced RCA and balanced XLR.
10 / 23 / 20
McIntosh MX100 A/V Processor
McIntosh has just announced their MX100 A/V Processor and MI347 seven-channel amplifier ($5000 each). Both the MX100 and MI347 represent a streamlined approach to McIntosh's home theater product offerings. The MX100 A/V Processor is designed for today's home theaters that only need digital inputs and don't require any legacy analog inputs. There are four 4k HDMI inputs and a 4k HDMI output, with all being HDCP 2.2 compliant. Each HDMI port also has 18Gbps of bandwidth to support High Dynamic Range (HDR) formats Dolby Vision, HDR10 and HLG, 4K Ultra HD at 50/60Hz, 4:4:4 color spacing, Rec. 2020, and 3D video pass-through. Enhanced Audio Return Channel (eARC) functionality is included on the HDMI output.
For outputting audio, the MX100 has 11.2 (or 7.2.4) discrete audio channels and 13 balanced XLR connectors. Seven premium 32-bit DAC provide audiophile-grade processing for the best audio playback. The unit also handles the latest Dolby Atmos for immersive music and DTS:X. McIntosh's MX100 can be fine-tuned to each home
theater's unique acoustical properties via the built-in Audyssey MultEQ XT32 calibration software.
McIntosh's MI347 seven-channel digital amplifier "delivers an immersive sonic experience that provides a heart-stopping, edge-of-your-seat audio experience" says the company. It uses highly sophisticated closed loop digital switching amplifiers that are paired with extremely robust power supplies that produce high-quality audio performance. The MI347 will deliver 250 Watts at 8 Ohms or 300 Watts at 4 Ohms to three speakers. The MI347's other four channels are meant to drive the less power-hungry surround sound speakers, and produces 125 Watts at 8 Ohms or 200 Watts at 4 Ohms. This highly-efficient Class D amplifier features an abundance of cooling vents on the top and sides to assist with heat dissipation. On the front panel, multi-color LED indicators display the status of each
channel. On the back, both a balanced and unbalanced input is included for each channel.
Other features included with the MI347 are Power Guard signal overload technology that prevents overdriving and damaging the speakers and Sentry Monitor short-circuit protection circuit that disengages the output stage should current ever approach unsafe operating levels. There's also Power Control to automatically turn other connected McIntosh components on and off; and eco-friendly on/off signal sensing that turns the unit off if no input signal has been detected for a set amount of time and automatically turns the MI347 on when it senses a signal from the home theater processor.
Derek & The Dominos Layla And Other Assorted Love Songs
Scheduled for November 13th release, Derek & The Dominos Layla And Other Assorted Love Songs
celebrates the 50th Anniversary edition of this album. Available as a four LP vinyl box set via
UMe / Polydor, the 1970 double album has been given the Half-Speed Mastered treatment by Miles Showell at Abbey Road Studios and is completed with a certificate of authentication.
"Layla" is often regarded as Eric Clapton's greatest musical achievement. The album is notably known for its title track, an evergreen rock classic, which had top ten single chart success in the U.K. and features the dual wailing guitars of Clapton and Duane
Allman. Alongside this are a further two LPs of bonus material some of which has not previously been released on vinyl. All the bonus material across all of LP3 and LP4 is mastered normally (so is not half-speed mastered). The LP set also includes a 12"
x 12" book of sleeve notes taken from their 40th-Anniversary Edition.
Jazz Legend Grover Washington, Jr. Vinyl LP
Lightyear Entertainment's commemorative double vinyl of beloved artist Grover Washington, Jr marks 20 years since the passing of the immensely popular artist who was largely responsible for creating a bridge between jazz and R&B. He was a contemporary jazz artist whose music topped the Smooth Jazz charts, but his sound was funky, and his music was respected in all jazz and R&B circles. This superb live recording,
Grover Live, was cut in June 1997 at the Paramount Center for the Arts in
Peekskill that captures the essence of Grover's greatness. In addition to Grover himself on tenor, soprano, alto, and baritone sax, the album features Donald Robinson on keyboards, Gerald Veasley on bass, Richard Lee Steacker on guitars, Steven Wolf on drums, and Pablo Batista on congas and percussion. It was produced by Grammy winner Jason Miles, and Executive Produced by Christine Washington, Jason Miles and Tim Ryan.
The double vinyl release with download card is in a gatefold jacket with satin coating and metallic gold highlights. The vinyl itself is 180
grams audiophile-quality, with gold metallic opaque colored vinyl being utilized to match the gold on the cover of the album. The album will be released on November 27 to Record Store Day retailers on an exclusive basis for 90 days, after which it will be available
to all retail outlets.
10 / 22 / 20
The HiFi Summit Q4 2020 By Joe N
Tell Starts Today!
The journey continues with The
HiFi Summit Q4 from today through October 26th, as 2020 has been a true test for many of us personally and professionally. Companies who have adapted to our new reality are seeing unprecedented growth. While we would love to get together for a physical trade show to talk with colleagues and friends, that's not possible quite yet. So now what? The Hi-Fi Summit, produced by Joe N Tell (Joe Mariano), is a digital trade show and online conference. Excellent seminars and group chat are joined by questions from viewers within their Lobby Discussion and YouTube live stream. You can see parts of their previous
The HiFi Summit Q2 on Enjoy the Music.com at this
Audio-Technica AT-PEQ30 Value-Priced Phono Stage
Audio-Technica's value-priced AT-PEQ30 phono equalizer ($229) accommodates moving magnet (MM) and moving coil (MC) phono cartridges. It offers a selectable MM and MC input with a fixed gain of 35dB (MM) or 59dB (MC), with input impedance of 47 kOhm for MM and 120 Ohms for MC. The AT-PEQ30 delivers a low 250 mV line-level output for both MM and MC cartridges versus industry standard 2 Volts. The machined aluminum front panel is mated with gold-plated input and output unbalanced RCA connectors. Its FET inputs ain to produce low noise and precise RIAA equalization with a smooth, accurate tonal balance from 20 Hz to 20 kHz. The unit measures just 1.9" high by 7.8" wide by 4.9" deep for easy installation within any system.
World Premiere Review!
Cayin HA-300 Headphone Amplifier Review
Simply ravishing as Cayin dares to dream big with their new flagship amplifier and delivers!
Review By Dave Hanson
300B is a bit of a holy grail when it comes to tubes. Ask any fan of the tube
and they will likely gush about the 300B's ability to shine a warm spotlight
on the midrange, deliver huge bass impact and project a massive soundscape. So
when I heard Cayin was gearing up to release a 300B-driven headphone amp this
year, I was extremely excited. Cayin is one of those companies that has a reputation for
over-delivering on value with every product. Their iDAC-6, iHA-6 and HA-1A Mk2
are all very well-regarded desktop components when it comes to bang-for-buck
Read our Cayin HA-300 headphone amplifier review.
10 / 21 / 20
Audio's Opportunity And Who Will Capture It
We came across a wonderful article by Matthew Ball titled "Audio's Opportunity and Who Will Capture It". Within his
detailed article he says, "While the past 40 years tell a frustrating story in audio, the 100-year history is very different. Throughout the 20th and 21st century, audio has continually discovered new delivery mediums, formats and monetization models. This began with the launch of the radio broadcast in 1927, which blanketed the country in audio, extended with the transistor radio of the 1950s, which made audio truly portable and private, through to satellite, digital stores, and Spotify streams. Today, the audio category is 40 times bigger in real terms than it was exactly a century ago, two times as big as it was 50 years ago, and up 30% since 1994." You can read the entire article
at this link.
TIDAL Connect Hi-Fi Music Casting
TIDAL Connect is claming to be the first and only casting technology from a music streaming service, which allows users to stream music directly to connected devices. Through TIDAL Connect, the platform's lossless Dolby Atmos and lossy MQA audio quality are said to be a seamless experienced on members' favorite devices with the touch of a button. Users can enjoy uninterrupted playback of their favorite albums or tracks on TIDAL in their preferred quality on their preferred devices, with the TIDAL app functioning as a controller. Device launch partners include: Bluesound, Cambridge Audio, DALI, KEF, iFi audio, Lyngdorf, Monitor, NAD, and Naim Audio. TIDAL Connect supports lossy MQA and lossless Dolby Atmos. Dolby Atmos provides listeners with breakthrough immersive audio experiences through spatialized, object-based audio.
10 / 20 / 20
M2Tech Mitchell Analog Electronic Crossover
M2Tech is proud to introduce their new Mitchell three-way stereo (six-way mono) analog electronic
crossover (4200 plus VAT). The Mitchell is said to apply the peak of analog technology to active frequency dividing networks for loudspeakers. Its versatility and complete filters provision offers a plethora of features approaching those of the digital crossovers, yet without the latters' drawbacks according to M2Tech. The Mitchell has no A-to-D or D-to-A conversions,
which the company feels is very important when employed within an all-analog hi-fi system when it is multi-amplified. Each crossover frequency setting can be independently configured to be low-pass, high-pass or band-pass. An all-pass module in each filter allows for accurate phase alignment at crossover frequency.
Notch filters are available for drivers' breakup attenuation. Level matching is easily accomplished by independent level control. Each way is provided with a filter module, which can be cascaded to trade the filter complexity with available ways. The Mitchell can be set in mono to get up to six-ways for complex speakers systems. Both single-ended RCA and balanced XLR inputs and outputs are provided. The Mitchell is an analog device in which software-controlled integrated potentiometers and switches allow for configuration of the signal path, as well as the cutoff frequencies and damping factors. Configuration is done using a PC thanks to a USB connection. The PC sees the Mitchell as a serial device (UART), therefore a simple terminal program can be used to send configuration commands following the simple programming language developed by M2Tech. The configuration is stored in a non-volatile memory and it's applied at each power-up, therefore there's no need to keep the Mitchell connected to the PC all the time.
10 / 19 / 20
Digital Media Association's Streaming Forward Report
Digital Media Association (DiMA), an organization that represents the world's leading streaming companies, says that "the music industry is at a critical inflection point. After years of declining sales and waning fan enthusiasm, the rise of streaming has ushered in a new golden era for an industry that has benefited artists, songwriters, copyright owners, and fans alike. In 2019, streaming was the engine driving revenue growth in the USA music industry for the fifth consecutive year. Streaming has reinvigorated the recorded music industry and represents both the present and future of music; the time is now to ensure that progress is sustained and allowed to flourish."
Of note is that paid subscriptions in the USA alone are projected to reach $11.6 billion by 2026, and the recorded music market will be worth over $20 billion overall. In 2019, overall streaming revenues in the US increased by 21% over 2018 totals to $10.3 billion. By the end of 2019 there were 88 million paid-for streaming accounts in the USA, translating to 99 million subscribers. You can view the 2020 Streaming Forward Report in
10 / 17 / 20
New Research Into Suppressing Tinnitus Symptoms
According to American Association for the Advancement of Science magazine, "Over the 12 weeks of treatment, the
patients' tinnitus symptoms improved dramatically. More than 80% of those who complied with the prescribed regimen saw an improvement. And they saw an average drop of about 14 points on a tinnitus severity score of one to 100, the researchers report today in Science Translational Medicine. When the team followed up after 12 months, 80% of the participants still had lower tinnitus scores, with average drops of 12.7 and 14.5 points."
It goes on to say, "The results are "quite
impressive," Cederroth says. The reduction in symptoms is larger than other studies have found for bimodal stimulation, he says, and
it's the first evidence of such long-term effects. A 2018 paper that stimulated the skin on the neck and cheek over a shorter time improved
patients' tinnitus, but there was a smaller dip in severity scores, he notes, of only about seven points. And cognitive behavioral therapy, a kind of talk therapy that is currently the only clinically validated tinnitus therapy, improves severity scores by about 10 points on average." Read more
Enjoy Reading Your Fave Hi-Fi Magazines Online
Everyone here at Enjoy the Music.com sympathizes with those affected by the recent health issue. Our hobby is one that can be enjoyed within the privacy, and security, of your home. We'd like to take a moment to remind our readers that many of our partner magazines offer online subscriptions. As always, in the end what really matters is that
you... enjoy the music!
10 / 16 / 20
Beastie Boys Music Album Features 20 Songs
Next week UMe will release Beastie Boys Music, a 20-song collection covering the Grammy Award winning and multi-platinum selling Beastie
Boys' recording career. The collection is a companion piece to the critically acclaimed documentary
Beastie Boys Story, currently nominated for five Emmys, and the
group's best seller Beastie Boys Book, which ascended to number 1 on The New York Times Best Sellers
List topping both the Nonfiction Print Hardcover and Nonfiction Combined Print & E-Book Best Sellers charts. Beastie Boys
Music features 20 Beastie Boys classics spanning the
band's 30+ year career including "Fight For Your Right," "Brass Monkey," "Paul
Revere" and "No Sleep Till Brooklyn" from their Diamond-certified 1986 number 1 debut
Licensed To Ill,
"Shake Your Rump" and "Hey Ladies" from their 1989 reinvention Paul's Boutique and
"So What'Cha Want" and "Pass The Mic" from 1992's multi-platinum Check Your
Head, which hit top ten on the Billboard 200 chart.
Also included are "Sure Shot" and "Sabotage" from
1994's Ill Communication, which saw the band return to number 1 on the Billboard 200,
"Body Movin'" and the universal smash hit "Intergalactic" from their Grammy-winning 1998 No. 1 album
"Ch-Check It Out" from 2004's To The 5 Boroughs, which marked the band's third consecutive Billboard
number 1 debut, as well as
"Make Some Noise" and "Don't Play No Game That I Can't Win" from 2011's critically acclaimed
Hot Sauce Committee Part Two, which reached number 2 on the Billboard 200. Beastie Boys
Music will be available digitally, on CD and as a 180-gram two LP vinyl set.
10 / 15 / 20
World Premiere Review!
Monoprice Monolith Liquid Platinum Headphone Amplifier
The Legend Returns: Monoprice resurrects a Cavalli Design that captures the imagination.
Review By Dave Hanson
Liquid Crimson was one of Cavalli Audio's most legendary designs. Evolving from
a tube hybrid circuit that first spawned the DIY EHHA, then later the Liquid
Fire and finally the solid-state Liquid Carbon, the $2850 Crimson was an audio
show darling. The details absolutely floored people. The bass impact was
massive. The mids were full and glorious. The treble was sweet and intoxicating.
The stage was wide open. It was a piece people loved to talk about because
it didn't just do everything well, it did it in a way that was special.
Read our Monoprice Monolith Liquid Platinum headphone amplifier review.
Merging Technologies Ovation 9 And Pyramix
Looking at the future of immersive Hi-Res Music, leading creative tool providers such as
Merging Technologies' now offers their new Ovation 9 and Pyramix. Merging quickly established a reputation for its expertise in digital signal processing (DSP) and associated hardware, and with their Pyramix Virtual Studio you can produce
DXD 352.8kHz/24-bit audio and standard 384kHz/24-bit audio. Pyramix has reached its 25th Anniversary and the latest version of this award-winning software introduces Dolby Atmos workflow to add to the comprehensive immersive audio feature that has been introduced progressively over the
years. It now becomes very easy to natively work in Pyramix with a 7.1.4, 7.1.6, 9.1.6 bus, and more, and enjoy a streamlined workflow into the Dolby Atmos world.
Although Ovation started in a theme park for mega-channel use, it has now become an indispensable playout device for live broadcast applications and major sports arenas find the ability to mix live audio with recorded cues a feature many
feel they cannot live without. Merging Technologies says their Ovation is the most flexible immersive audio server available
today. Merging Technologies is now introducing AoIP technology to the consumer audio world and continues to develop products that find their place in environments as diverse as broadcast, recording, mastering, A/V, theme parks, museums, shopping malls and transport hubs. Think of it as
"Audio for the Networking Age" as we enter into multi-channel immersive music creation and
playback throughout your home, office space, etc. There are far too many features and benefits of both Ovation 9
and Pyramix, so check out their website for more info and don't miss out on learning about the future
possibilities of immersive Hi-Res Music creation and playback.
10 / 14 / 20
PSB Speakers Alpha AM3 And Alpha AM5 Speakers
PSB Speakers now offers two new powered speakers, the Alpha AM3 and Alpha AM5 ($399 per pair and $599 per pair respectively). PSB's Alpha AM3 and AM5 active monitors are easy to setup and can serve as the foundation of a compact home entertainment system. Neither model is advanced smart speakers, so there are no apps or advanced streaming technology. Inputs include lossy aptX Bluetooth, analog RCA
moving magnet (MM) phono input, 3.5mm analog, TosLink optical input, and USB DAC. PSB does include an IR remote control and both models have subwoofer output. Using amplification knowledge from PSB's other brands, DSP aids in producing better frequency response from these compact speakers.
The differences between the Alpha AM5 and AM3 can primarily be found in the size of the cabinet, the amount of amplifier power and the size of the woofer. The AM5 features a 5.25" woofer with textured polypropylene cone and two 50 Watt amplifiers. The AM3 utilizes a 4" woofer and two 35 Watt amplifiers. Both models use a 0.75" aluminum metal dome tweeter with neodymium magnet. Both models include a detachable magnetic grilles, with grill and cabinet colors being matte white or matte black.
10 / 13 / 20
audioXpress' November Issue
Is Now Available
November 2020 issue features What to Measure for Quality Control of Audio Devices by Dan Knighten, Testing and Optimizing Strategies for Conference Terminal Equipment by Hans W. Gierlich, Earthworks M23R Measurement Microphone by Stuart Yaniger, Getting Started with Automotive Audio Bus (Part 2 Understanding A2B Features) by Brewster LaMacchia, Ultra-Low Distortion Microphone Buffer Amplifier (Part 2
Simulations and Measurements) by Michel Nieuwenhuizen, plus Market Update DSP Products And Applications with 8 Real-Time DSP, Edge Processing, and Artificial Intelligence by J. Martins and Mike Klasco. Also within this issue is The Evolution of Audio DSPs by Youval Nachum, Electroacoustical Testing Time-Domain and Distortion by Richard Honeycutt, and Simple Improvements to Legacy Audio DAC Output Interfaces Using Op-Amps by Michael
Within his editorial, J. Martins says, "In a 2014 presentation at the 137th Audio Engineering Society (AES) convention, Paul Beckmann, the founder of DSP Concepts, revealed the results of a search within his LinkedIn network to determine how many people had "Audio Engineer," "Embedded Software," and "Audio DSP" listed in their profiles. He made a Venn diagram of the results, which showed that very few people included "Audio DSP" and even less (11 out of a universe of more than 100,000), actually claimed to do all of these three things. To illustrate the complexities and challenges of current audio product development and particularly in making an embedded audio product, Beckmann also identified skill sets in electrical, mechanical, acoustical, and user interface software development as basic requirements."
See what's within this issue of audioXpress
at this link.
The HiFi Summit Q4 2020 By Joe N Tell
The journey continues with The
HiFi Summit Q4, from October 22nd through 26th, as 2020 has been a true test for many of us personally and professionally. Companies who have adapted to our new reality are seeing unprecedented growth. While we would love to get together for a physical trade show to talk with colleagues and friends, that's not possible quite yet. So now what? The Hi-Fi Summit, produced by Joe N Tell (Joe Mariano), is a digital trade show and online conference. Excellent seminars and group chat are joined by questions from viewers within their Lobby Discussion and YouTube live stream. You can see parts of their previous
The HiFi Summit Q2 on Enjoy the Music.com at this
10 / 12 / 20
Cancelled: The Bristol Hi-Fi Show 2021
We've just learned that The Bristol Hi-Fi Show for 2021 has been cancelled. This is said to be the UK's largest and longest running hi-fi event with decades of being of
service to the audiophile community. According to our sources, "Due to the uncertainty surrounding the ongoing pandemic, we have made the difficult decision not to host the Bristol Show 2021. We are currently looking at options to host a virtual event, so watch this
Jean-Michel Jarre Headlines BIME
BIME PRO will bring together the main players in the music industry to discuss the future of the sector. The 8th edition will be held through an innovative platform that allows to combine digital and physical meetings. Part of the event will be held from their digital platform, which accredited professionals can access from now on, to facilitate networking. This space will have several rooms where conferences, workshops, and
speed-meetings will be held that can be tracked by streaming. In parallel, you can participate in face-to-face activities that will take place in the heart of Bilbao, adjusted to the measures set by the
authorities yet with the innovation and creativity that characterizes this
French music pioneer Jean-Michel Jarre, plus Mike Malak, Rafael Sardina,
and Alex Lioutikoff are slated for the 8th edition of this event to be held from
October 26th through 29th. Speakers and panelists for the 8th edition of the BIME PRO Convention have been confirmed in what will be a series of live and virtual conference sessions and presentations with the focus of bringing the global music industry together to discuss strategy and opportunity post COVID-19. Under the slogan 'Closer Than Ever', BIME PRO is launching a video in which it appeals to that spirit of closeness with a call to the industry to assemble once again and continue advancing together.
10 / 09 / 20
McIntosh Labs MA12000 Hybrid
Stereo Integrated Amplifier
is proud to introduce the MA12000 hybrid stereo integrated amplifier ($14,000). The
fully-loaded hybrid MA12000 is the company's most powerful stereo integrated amplifier ever at 350 Watts per channel. McIntosh's MA12000, according to the company, "gives you the best of all worlds with the warm nuances of a vacuum tube preamplifier combined with the speed and raw power of a solid-state amplifier, with state-of-the-art digital audio capabilities, and enough analog audio connections for virtually any home music system". The MA12000's preamplification section employs
four 12AX7A vacuum tubes, with amplification being solid-state using the
company's legendary output autoformer.
There are 10 analog inputs on McIntosh's MA12000 consisting of two XLR balanced and six RCA unbalanced inputs, plus a
moving coil (MC) and moving magnet (MM) input with adjustable loading. The stereo MA12000 has XLR balanced and RCA unbalanced outputs to connect to
additional amplification that's used within a different part of your home. For digital
music playback, the MA12000 comes with McIntosh's DA2 Digital Audio Module factory installed. Located
on the DA2 are seven digital audio inputs: two S/PDIF coaxial, two TosLink optical, a USB and MCT (for use with their MCT series of SACD/CD Transports), and audio-only HDMI Audio Return Channel (ARC) connection. The DA2 is powered by a next generation,
quad balanced, eight-channel 32-bit Hi-Res Audio DAC.
iFi Audio Micro iDSD Signature DAC / Headamp
iFi Audio micro iDSD Signature DAC / headamp ($649) sports a host of enhancements both inside and out. The new Signature edition builds on its
predecessor's reputation for exceptional sound quality and versatility with enhanced circuitry in critical areas and a new 4.4mm Pentaconn headphone output, among other upgrades. Powered by a built-in 6 to 12 hour operation time rechargeable battery, the micro iDSD Signature is more of a desktop-sized device than pocket-sized one, yet with the advantage of ultra-clean and stable DC power versus possibly contaminated AC mains electricity.
iFi Audio's micro iDSD Signature's digital engine is based around a dual-core Burr Brown chip selected for its natural-sounding musicality and True Native architecture. Two of these DAC chips are installed in a custom interleaved configuration. This enables four pairs of differential signals two pairs per channel which lowers the noise floor, improves channel separation and enhances the
DAC's ability to resolve fine musical detail and micro-dynamics. Hi-Res Audio support handles PCM data to 32-bit/768kHz, all levels of DSD up to DSD512, and single- and double-speed DXD. MQA streaming codec is also supported.
Mojo Audio Deja Vu EVO Media Server
Mojo Audio's new
Deja Vu EVO Media Server ($5999 on up depending on configuration) is the company's next level in computer-based digital source components. Built around a high-efficiency NUC board with an embedded quad-core AMD Ryzen processor, the EVO has the power to serve or stream any format or or resolution music file, play video files up to 4K, and run advanced digital signal processing software.
The unit is powered by their Illuminati
ultralow-noise ultrahigh-dynamic LC choke-input linear power supply with five independent Belleson SPX
ultralow-noise ultrahigh-dynamic regulators. Every board, card, drive, and clock can be independently powered. This allows you to run upsampling, real-time file format conversion, digital room correction, and digital cross-over software, yet without the excess heat and power supply noise associated with most high-powered servers and streamers.
Since the Mojo Audio Deja Vu EVO Media Server is designed for module changes, you have the ability to swap out components and boards, which allows the entry-level version to be upgraded to the company's most advanced version. Optional high-performance PCIe I/O cards, optional NAS/router configurations, and an optional Illuminati power supply output jack, eliminate the need for a "rat's nest" of components and cables says the company. Their unique menu driven media optimized RAM-root Linux operating system minimizes latency and eliminates the need for an additional software SSD by loading 100% of the operating system and player software into RAM. When the player software is changed the system automatically uninstalls the current player and installs the new player into RAM. Preinstalled Roon, HQ Player 3, 4, and 4 Pro, Roon + HQ Player 3, 4, or 4 Pro, JRiver 25 and 26, Qobuz direct, Spotify direct, and Rythmbox. All you need to do is install your license key(s). Please note that player software licenses are additional.
10 / 08 / 20
Marantz AV7706 8K Surround / Immersive Preamplifier
Marantz just announced their new AV7706 surround / immersive AV preamplifier ($2499) that handles 8K / 60Hz video. Featuring 11.2 channels of balanced XLR and unbalanced RCA pre-outs, 8K HDMI connectivity, and Hi-Res Audio digital, this new preamplifier brings modern features and
Marantz's signature musicality to immersive music and movie playback. The analog preamplifier section employs the company's proprietary HDAM circuitry, ensuring optimal channel separation, minimum crosstalk, and enhanced signal-to-noise ratio. Additionally, ELNA
capacitors within the analog section ensure exceptional power and dynamic ability for traditional physical sources such as vinyl LP record players and CDs. For full immersion in multi-dimensional audio, Marantz's AV7706 preamplifier supports the latest surround formats including Dolby Atmos, Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization Technology, DTS:X, DTS Virtual:X, IMAX Enhanced, and Auro-3D.
Room correction is handled by Audyssey MultEQ XT32.
For digital audio, both 24-bit/192kHz and DSD up to 5.6MHz is supported. Modern music streaming services natively supported include Amazon Music HD, Tidal, Deezer, iHeart Radio, Napster, Soundcloud, and Mood
Mix. The new Marantz AV7706 provides ample connectivity options with eight HDMI inputs and three
outputs plus eARC support. One dedicated 8K input supports 8K/60Hz or 4K/120Hz pass-through capability, 4:4:4 Pure Color sub-sampling, Dolby Vision, HLG, HDR10, 21:9 video, 3D, and BT.2020 pass-through while the latest HDCP 2.3 copy protection standard is supported on all HDMI inputs. The video processor can also upscale any native video source up to 8K quality. External RS232 and IP control capabilities makes the unit easily customizable for use with third-party integration solutions. It also offers IP control capability for major third-party control devices, as well as Control4 SDDP (Simple Device Detection Protocol) certification for seamless integration with Control4 home automation equipment.
LampizatOr Golden Gate 2 DAC
An accurate and unfettered music source for my system.
Review By Matthew Clott
Vacuum tubes versus solid-state are the
Audiophile's version of red versus white wine. Both are lovely and both
have die-hard fans and haters alike. I don't buy into either club
completely, and I don't want to start the next Vacuum Tube Versus
Solid-State war. I have enjoyed and currently own both tube and
solid-state gear, and use both for reviews. That said, years ago I
developed an aversion to tubes in my DAC's, partly due to experience and
partly due to unsubstantiated personal bias (hey, at least I'm honest!).
Read our LampizatOr Golden Gate 2 DAC review.
10 / 07 / 20
Dali Oberon C Wireless Hi-Fi System
Dali's Oberon C wireless hi-fi system is the company's most affordable smart speaker system within the reach of many more music lovers and audiophiles. This system consists of the Oberon 7 C floorstanding speaker ($2499 per pair), Oberon 1 C compact stand / shelf-mount speaker ($1499 per pair), the compact low profile wall-mount Oberon On-Wall C ($899), and the Sound Hub Compact ($449). Dali's Oberon C is the active counterpart of their Oberon series and shares the same drivers and cabinet construction, while providing a new Sound Hub Compact wireless transmission preamplifier. This system is configured for contemporary home media installations where Bluetooth devices and smart TVs are the primary audio source.
The system supports 24-bit/192kHz streaming music
services and transmits wirelessly to the speakers at 24-bit/96kHz. Bluetooth input features AAC and Qualcomm aptX HD audio high performance codecs. All three of the two-way Dali Oberon C speakers incorporate a wireless streaming interface, digital signal processing (DSP) and a pair of 50 Watt Class D power amplifiers, one for bass / midrange driver(s) and one for the tweeter. To fit into a wide range of d้cors, the speaker models are available in choice of four laminate cabinet finishes and supplied with a contrasting gray fabric: Matt White, Light Oak, Dark Walnut and Black Ash.
10 / 06 / 20
LampizatOr Hi-Res Audio Baltic-3 DAC
LampizatOr's new Baltic-3 DAC
(4900 plus VAT)
is a Hi-Res Audio DAC continues the company's efforts to research and design digital-to-analog convertors. Combining everything LampizatOr knows about DAC designing, they wanted to offer an unbeatable value with the Baltic-3. The goal was to get as close as their design team could to the company's Golden Gate sound, but at roughly 33% of the cost. The resulting DAC positions the Baltic-3 with technology and sound between the Amber3 and the Golden Gate 2. This DAC is a big leap in sound quality over the Baltic
1. Being proud of LampizatOr's 10th anniversary within this industry and showing the best qualities, the new Baltic-3 has both unbalanced RCA and balanced XLR output at the same time. This true balanced topology has four monophonic channels - one per each phase of stereo sound.
Engine #53 is their best selling engine that handles DSD512, plus of course 24-bit/384kHz digital audio files. The four digital inputs include USB, S/PDIF, TosLink, and AES/EBU. A new tube topology employs directly heated dual diode rectified, CLC filtered anode power supply. Overall vacuum tube compliment includes two 5963 JAN (or ECC802), two 6N8PA, CV181-T, 6H8C, 6SN7GT one rectifier DHD, and 5U4G, 274B, 5C3S, 5Y3, GZ37, or 5R4WGB. Front panel colors available include charcoal, silver, champagne, white, and red. For the top chassis, colors available are charcoal, silver, white, red, with extra cost adding real copper. Front button choices are blue, orange / amber, white, red, and green. For an additional cost you can add a custom fit flight case, copper top, and premium vacuum tubes.
Hi-Fi+ October 2020 High-End
October 2020 issue features reviews of the Farnco Serblin Accordo stand-mounted speaker, Raidho TD1.2 stand-mounted speaker, Gryphon Audio Design Essence preamplifier and power amplifier, Mellow Acoustics Fronto hybrid electrostatic speaker, Zanden Audio Systems Model 1200 Signature phono preamplifier, Michi P5/S5 preamplifier and power amplifier, APL DSD-SR Mk2 digital converter, Canor AI 1.20 integrated amplifier, Bricasti Designs M3 digital converter / streamer / headphone amplifier, Fidata HFAS1-XS20U music server, ATC Loudspeakers SCM7 stand-mounted loudspeaker, SVS SB-2000 PRO active subwoofer,
Westminsterlab Standard cable range, BetterCables Silver Serpent Air / Blue Truth Reference interconnect and loudspeaker cables, and 1More True Wireless ANC in-ear monitors. With music in mind,
Hi-Fi+ celebrates Matt James of Gene's 25th anniversary launch of the Gene retrospective as we spoke to Matt James of the band.
Within this month's Hi-Fi+ editorial, Alan Sircom says,
"Cabin Fever. COVID-Crazy. The Lockdown Lows. However you choose to describe it, the first half of 2020 took its toll on the psyche of practically an entire planet. It's possible those weeks of isolation will not be repeated to anything like the same extent in the coming months, but whether they do or not, there are lessons to be learned for all of us. We would be wise to learn from our experiences, so they don't continue to define us."
what's within this issue of Hi-Fi+
magazine at this
10 / 05 / 20
Amazon Music HD Partners With UMG And WMG
Amazon Music HD
today announced a partnership with Universal Music Group (UMG) and Warner Music Group
(WMG) to remaster thousands of songs and albums to lossless Ultra High Definition, upgrading the digital streaming audio quality of these songs to the highest available.
Music fans will be able to stream music from artists across a broad range of genres and eras, with all of the depth, vibrancy, and emotion from their original recordings,
some of which are launching exclusively on Amazon Music HD. In addition, music from artists including Eagles, Elton John, Linkin Park, Tom Petty, Ariana Grande, Jon Pardi, Shawn Mendes, Lady Gaga, Lil Tecca, Selena Gomez, Post Malone and more has been remixed in 3D Audio
formats including Dolby Atmos and Sony 360RA, offering a truly immersive listening experience for
customers. With Amazon Music HD, customers can already stream five million songs in
lossless Ultra HD (better than CD quality), with a bit depth of 24 bits and a sample rate up to 192 kHz. Customers can also stream more than 60 million lossless
CD quality songs at 16-bit/44,1kHz and a growing catalog of immersive 3D Audio. All titles resulting from this Ultra HD music partnership will be delivered in 24-bit/96kHz or 192kHz. Hundreds of albums
have already been remastered and will soon be available to stream in Ultra HD.
Strata-Gee's Ted Green Gives Details About CEDIA 2020
According to Ted Green's article on Strata-Gee, "Emerald Expo Says CEDIA Expo Virtual Registers 7,600; Claims Virtual Success". His articles goes on to say "Emerald Expositions announced today that CEDIA Expo Virtual drew 7,600 trade professional registrations for their three day run from September 15-17, 2020. Although this figure is less than half the attendance at the live, in-person version, Emerald considers it a great success as an all-virtual
event.... CEDIA Expo Virtual offered 110 virtual booths, 80 CEDIA education courses, 18 TechTalk panel discussions, and 4 keynote presentations a lot of content. Over the three days of CEDIA Expo Virtual, a total of 7,600 trade professionals registered for the event. I want to emphasize that these are
REGISTRATIONS... not ATTENDEES." Ted gives an excellent breakdown and
overview within his article Emerald Expo Says CEDIA Expo Virtual Registers 7,600; Claims Virtual Success.
10 / 01 / 20
Legendary Performance Awards,
Reviews, Videos, & More!
Enjoy the Music.com's October Review
Magazine highlights our special Legendary Performance Awards! This month
also features think pieces celebrating our site's 25th anniversary and our
high-end audio community too. Gear reviews, informative videos, and much more
are now online. See Enjoy the Music.com's
25th Anniversary special edition Review Magazine featuring our Legendary
Performance Awards at this link.
Legendary Performance Awards 2020
Enjoy the Music.com celebrates our 25th
Anniversary reviewing high-end audio gear.
Enjoy the Music.com's
Legendary Performance Awards 2020 celebrates the incredible achievements by
high-end audio manufacturers since we've been reviewing gear for over the past
two decades. Unlike our annual Blue Note
Awards, Enjoy the Music.com's Legendary Performance Awards is a
once every 25-year event, so you know it is something very special indeed! We
tasked our extensive staff in choosing products they felt earned an
extra-special mention, which in turn shows the greatness of these legendary pieces
of high-end audio equipment.
Enjoy the Music.com's Legendary Performance Awards 2020.
Looking Back At Enjoy the
Music.com's 25 Years Of Service
As we also celebrate today... and the future.
Editorial By Steven R. Rochlin
I initially realized 2020 would celebrate Enjoy the Music.com's past 25
years of being of service to the high-end audio / audiophile community, it
brought a huge smile to my face. As one of the very first web-based sites
online, there's quite a bit of history that was being made at the time. Back
then virtually no print publication had a website. Decades later, virtually
every manufacturer has a web presence (and social media too!). Today, many
enthusiasts within our hobby have their own web page, some of which are
producing excellent articles and reviews too!
Read Looking Back At Enjoy the Music.com's 25 Years Of
High-End Audio And Coronavirus
Music is life!
are (mostly) still on, mountains are on fire, millions are unemployed, and there
is a multitude of "m" words that could make one mad. But there's one "m" word
that makes people happy. And that word is MUSIC. Music has brought a myriad of
marvelous emotions magnificent memories of a better time, even motivating us
to keep vigil for better days ahead. Speaking for myself, I've seen a definite
increase in music consumption via social media networks, talking to friends, or
just hearing the murmurs when running errands.
Read High-End Audio And Coronavirus.
Make Your Listening Room A Listening Room
Roger Skoff writes about how to enjoy your music more without spending a lot more money.
By Roger Skoff
years ago, a wealthy friend asked me for advice on spending the US$100,000 he
had budgeted for a new stereo system. After going through all of the usual
questions with him, like "What kind of music do you like?"; "How loud do you
like to play it?"; "How big is your listening room?"; "When you're listening to
music, what do you listen for?"; and so on, I told him something like: "If I had a hundred thousand to spend on a
system, I'd spend thirty thousand on all of the component..."
---> Read Make Your Listening Room A Listening Room.
The Audio Couple
Husband and wife working together in musical
Article By Nimrod & Theresa Smit
Audio Couple what do you do? We (The Audio Couple) review audio equipment and
share impressions obtained from various auditions and listening sessions. We
interview local experts and members of the audio community. So please join us on
our journey to get you closer to your music!
more plus watch The Audio Couple videos.
Emiko And Lenny Discuss The High-End Audio Community
Plus how we can help with the effects of
Article By Lenny CoCo Mayeux Of
Video By Emiko Of Enjoy the Music.com
Hello out there! I am reaching out to ask for any assistance you may be willing or able to spare for my home state of Louisiana, and in particular for my hometown of Lake Charles, in SWLA (Southwest Louisiana). I know some may have heard about Hurricane Laura that hit the state in August, but the message is not being given the
"urgent need" that it should be afforded, and that is causing some of our most vulnerable citizens to suffer from avoidable circumstances, such as no access to food, water, or shelter from the
---> Watch Emiko and Lenny discuss the high-end audio
community and hurricane Laura.
Ken Forsythe, Director Of Market Development At MQA
Ken Forsythe looks back on five decades of musical memories, and the pivotal role music has played in his personal life and career.
Enjoy the Music.com's very special 25th Anniversary we're asking various
high-end audio manufacturers to give us a look into their life filled with music
and delight. Now working to promote MQA, Ken is helping with this breakthrough audio technology that enables music fans to stream the original master recording into their home, car or on their mobile. Working together with the music industry and global hi-fi brands, MQA audio powers the
world's best-sounding music services, videos and consumer devices.
---> Learn more about Ken
Forsythe of MQA.
Receiving the sound waves that are produced by the loudspeakers.
Article By Norman Varney Of A/V RoomService
often ask me how or why I got into acoustics. I got into acoustics before I was
a teenager because of my desire to get closer to the music. I loved music, but I
could hear my room interfering with it and I knew that this was undesirable. I
already understood the importance of set-up from reading books and articles on
the subject. More importantly, I had experienced high fidelity from an
audiophile friend-of-the-family and wanted to achieve some of that experience to
the best of my ability. There is no better influencer than experience.
---> Learn more about room
Bayz Audio Courante 2.0 Loudspeaker
A new and innovative design in speaker technology.
Dr. Matthew Clott
might have to stand on your head for this review because Zoltแn Bay turned the
concept of speaker production upside down and inside out when he created the Bay
Radial Speaker (BRS) Tweeter. And when you see the absolutely unique and
creative Bayz Audio Courante 2.0 speaker design ($60,000), you're not going to
be able to figure out how to stand, so just have a seat and enjoy the read.
Maybe have the computer or tablet read it to you while you listen to your
favorite composition in the background.... Be sure to grab your favorite
beverage and have that cute dog (or cat) of yours sit in your lap and snuggle
in; this is gonna be good!
Read our Bayz Audio Courante 2.0 speaker review!
Pass Labs XP-17 Phono Preamp &
Pass Labs X250.8 Power Amplifier
Impressive sound quality that we've come to expect from Pass Labs.
Review By Tom Lyle
For quite some time I've been using a Pass Laboratories power
amplifier, phono stage, and headphone amplifier as references in my listening
room. There were times I thought that some might think I was a spokesperson for
this brand of equipment! I could see how some might get that idea, because not
only do I use three Pass Labs components in my system, I also will tell anyone
who will listen that I consider Pass Laboratories' high-end audio components
the best in their respective price classes. Then again, those who have read my
reviews of other brands of audio equipment will be able to tell that I approach
each review with an open mind.
Read our Pass Labs XP-17 phono preamplifier and Pass Labs X250.8 power amplifier
Novafidelity / Cocktail Audio HA500H
Made by Novatron in Korea.
Review By HIFICRITIC
Best-known for its range of network audio products, the Korean manufacturer has now turned its attention to this valve/solid state DAC/headphone amplifier, with no less than spectacular
results. Made by Novatron in Korea, the Novafidelity line is sold in the rest of the world as Cocktail Audio. The company is known for its range of network audio products, but the HA500H is its first dedicated headphone amplifier / DAC /
preamp. And there is plenty of interest here. First off is the fact that it is a hybrid design and can be operated in either valve (ECC82) or solid-state modes.
---> Read the Novafidelity / Cocktail Audio HA500H
All Articles, Reviews, & Legendary Performance Awards
have wonderful reviews, think pieces, videos, etc within Enjoy
the Music.com's October issue featuring our Legendary Performance
Previous High-End Audio News
For previous high-end audio and music industry news