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High-End Audio Industry News

 

11 / 15 / 01

Granite Audio Model #657 CD player  Claiming to offer SACD sound quality from CD, Granite Audio's new Model #657 tubed CD player ($2,900) uses a 6X4 for rectification and two 6DJ8 dial triodes in the analog stage. Due to high-quality tube output and separate volume control, the Model #657 can power virtually any power amplifier directly without the need for a pre-amplification. Within the digital section, a 20-bit Burr-Brown PCM1710 provides 8X oversampling with a 98dB dynamic range and 110dB signal-to-noise ratio. Other features include:

Full Function Remote with batteries.
Single CD front loading tray.
32 track memory.
Repeat disc or repeat single track.
Four different time displays.
Will read CDR and DTS discs.
Random track play or ten second track introductions.
Gold plated RCA vacuum tube analog output.
Manual volume control for tube analog output.
Separate torroid transformer & power supply for tube section.
Gold plated RCA jacks for analog and digital output
Optical digital output.
Six fully regulated power rails.
120 volt operation.
Ultra-low noise toroidal transformers.
Acrylic-Granite faceplate available in six colors

 

 

Nova Applause SNova Audio's new Nova Applause S active loudspeakers are powered by Threshold Pro electronics and employ dual 7-inch carbon-fiber composite woofers and a 1-inch soft dome tweeter with dual rear chamber pressure release in a D'Appolito configuration. Back Stage Studio recently installed six Nova Applause S monitors in its multi-million dollar mixing and tracking facility. Back Stage Studio, a division of Sound Stage Studio, has produced many award winning albums that include releases by Peter Frampton, George Strait, Mark Knopfler, Trisha Yearwood, Richard Marx and Wynonna. By supporting the professional recording industry with specialty product, Nova Audio continues to enhance its former claim that many of its loudspeaker products are used in recording and mastering facilities.

 

 

Silverline AudioSilverline Audio's Alan Yun, known for his comprehensive line of loudspeakers, has introduced the Silverline Audio Conductor cable ($15 per linear foot) that's available for both low- and high-level applications as well as power distribution. The cable consists of seven small twisted groups in a "perfect lay" configuration, with one group made of flexible PVC that acts as both spacer and damper to diffuse excess energy and resonance. The other six groups employ 18 AWG stranded single-crystal copper wire each. The internal electrical parameters of resistance, inductance and capacitance are said to have been optimized for the intended applications.

 

11 / 14 / 01

  Analysis Plus is entering the state-of-the-art arena with its new Golden Oval interconnect ($1,999/1m/pr). It employs the firm's patented hollow oval geometry but uses pure gold-over-OFC-copper conductors. This creates a true Litz design with 100% shield coverage to eliminate EMI/EMC pollution. A structural dielectric uses computer-matched materials to maintain proper impedance while preserving the hollow oval shape. Every golden Litz braid is woven so that each one is statistically as close to the return current as every other. This optimizes current density distribution. An internal conductive sheath eliminates microphonic movement noise. Manufactured in the USA, Analysis Plus calls the Golden Oval a heirloom-quality design.

Analysis Plus SoloThe new Analysis Plus Solo Crystal Oval interconnect ($299/0.5m/pr) shown right uses premium Continuous Cast Copper braids and a proprietary Teflon dielectric and is terminated with locking WBT-0144 RCA or Neutrik XLR connectors. Even the single-ended version utilizes a balanced configuration to optimize the noisefloor. Both designs will be introduced at the CES 2002.

 

 

Stan Kelly, the man responsible for the Kelly Ribbon Tweeter and who appeared on the masthead of every issue of Hi-Fi News magazine, died in his sleep yesterday morning after suffering a stroke last week. Stan would have been 89 next month and is survived by his wife Betty and four sons. Stan leaves an impressive audio legacy.

 

 

As first reported on our Toronto Canada show report, Gershman Acoustics new Caméléon loudspeaker ($1699) is a four foot tall two-way tower with a "Regulation Line" that loads an eight-inch long-throw woofer for bass response to 25Hz. A one-inch dome tweeter is employed to extend the upper frequency to 20kHz. Sensitivity is 89dB and the Caméléon is said to be a "very easy" load.

 

11 / 13 / 01

DIYCable  DIYCable now offers Enjoy the Music.com™'s critically acclaimed Max Rochlin Memorial Cable! Praised by many reviewers within the high-end industry, the Max Rochlin Memorial Cable is a high precision 75 ohm cable that delivers smooth yet detailed sound as a digital cable for use between a digital disc transport and DAC. Because it is a 75 ohm design, it also makes a excellent video cable as well. DIYCable has been chosen as the only official retailer to sell the Max Rochlin Memorial Cable in both kit and assembled form. Kit prices begin at only $20 while a fully assembled version starts at $40. To quote DIYCable "There is one important way that this product is going to differ from the rest of our cable line. DIYCable is going to donate $10 from the sale of every built cable and $5 from the sale of every kit, to a yet to be named AIDS research fund. The reason for doing so has to do with the origin of the cable's name." Max Rochlin was Enjoy the Music.com™ editor Steven R. Rochlin's brother who passed away due to the HIV/AIDS virus. This digital cable was named after Max as he truly enjoyed music.

 

 

VivaThe Viva Audio Devices Sintesi ($9,500) is a twelve watt per channel, pure Class A, direct heated single-ended triode integrated stereo amplifier. Finished in automotive lacquer custom colors, the Sintesi sports 572 output tubes, a 5U4G rectifier tube, 6SN7 driver tubes and 6SL7 preamp tubes. Mil-spec paper and oil capacitors, resin impregnated paper coupling capacitors, pure copper with silk insulation signal and power wiring are examples of internal parts quality. A direct input bypasses the volume control, four-input selector switch and input tubes should a direct connection to a separate preamplifier be desired. The Sintesi weighs 75 lbs and measures 1.8" x 9.5" x 20.5" (WxHxD). A feature review on Enjoy the Music.com™'s Review Magazine is forthcoming shortly.

 

 

The ExactPower 2000 ($2,495) power regenerator recreates low-distortion AC via an advanced "feed forward" error correction technique that monitors incoming line voltage, instantaneously compares it to an internal amplitude-stabilized AC reference source, and corrects any imperfections in the incoming AC signal. That signal serves as the source for a 90% efficient power amplifier to provide a stable 120 volt output with up to 40 amps of peak current capability and 2000 watts of available power. The ExactPower 2000 measures 17" x 5.25" x 13.2" (WxHxD), weighs 40 lbs and offers eight hospital-grade outlets.

 

 

The Recordable DVD Council (RDVDC) held a press conference yesterday to help further the public's education on what seems to be three competing Recordable DVD formats. Approximately 75 leading DVD technology developers and manufacturers are now competing in hopes of cornering the lucrative DVD-RAM, DVD-R, DVD-RW format that is to comply with the established DVD Forum. The DVD Form itself comprises of over 230 members and includes all major DVD manufacturers, leading DVD software developers, and DVD media producers. It is predicted that soon recordable DVD devices will be as prevalent as recordable CD devices are in today's market. Audio recording on the higher resolution DVD format may also make or break the DVD-Audio or the SACD format. Having the ability to record audio in higher resolutions may allow consumers to realize that MP3 and other lossy formats are simply not as satisfying as uncompressed formats. Like recordable CD, recordable DVD formats include write once and re-writeable discs.

 

11 / 12 / 01

Quantum Products Inc. has upgraded their Symphony Pro EMF AC line stabilizer product for even greater audio/video signal and system enhancement. The ElectroClear AC Line Filters are passive, parallel, wall-mounted devices featuring QRT (Quantum Resonance Technology). They claim to neutralize EM and RF noise and interference and lower ambient background noise, while clarifying system signals. Features one AC receptacle. The Symphony Pro operates on both 110 or 220V AC as well as grounded or ungrounded models. The Symphony comes in two colors; black or bone.

 

 

OnixOnline retailer www.av123.com has added the British-designed Onix line of electronics to its offerings. The Onix A-60 ($399) is a 6-input integrated amplifier with headphone jack and dual sets of speaker outputs, a detachable power cord and 60 watts of output power. It weighs 27 lbs and measures 17" x 4.25" x 12.5" (WxHxD). The Onix A-120 ($599) offers the same features as the A-60 but doubles output power to 120wpc. The Onix P-3000 preamplifier ($299) with MM/MC phono stage, separate listen/record selector, headphone output and bypassable tone controls also sports a built-in adjustable electronic crossover with speaker high-pass and subwoofer outputs and two unswitched AC outlets. The P-3000 weighs 7.9 lbs and measures 16.5" x 3.1" x 14.2" (WxHxD). The matching A2150 power amplifier ($599) sports calibrated VU meters and 120/180 watts into 8/4 ohms. It weighs 30.8 lbs and measures 16.5" x 4.75" x 14.3" (WxHxD). The P-3000/A2150 combo is available for $799.

 

 

Canadian cable manufacturer GutWire has entered the power line conditioner market with the Maxcon (ca. $1000), a four-outlet unit encased in a solid aluminum chassis that features Hubbell terminals, an IEC connector and proprietary circuitry said to be non-current-limiting.

 

11 / 09 / 01

Audio Aero TransTrac  Audio Aero's new TransTrac (ca. $4,600 to $5,100) is a 40-watt Class A amplifier that uses E34L triodes and D-MOSFET transistors in a novel hybrid output circuit, with 6SN7GTs for preamp tubes. The TransTrac is also available as an integrated version. Frequency response is given as 10Hz to 40 kHz (-1dB), with 0.8V input sensitivity, a S/N ratio of 80dB and less than 0.3% THD. The chassis and bottom plate use 15/10 steel while the upper plate uses 20/10 polished stainless steel. The TransTrac weighs 46 lbs. and measures 16" x 12" x 8.5" (WxDxH).

 

 


Blue Circle's AG series introduces two new BC products, the AG8000 hybrid monoblock amplifiers ($14,500) and forthcoming AG3000 pre-amplifier. The AG8000 is a four chassis, 150 watts per channel true balanced affair with outboard power supplies. Two 6922s drive Blue Circle's new solid state output stage and are contained in a stainless steel chassis with purple heart/walnut laminated face plate. The power supplies feature 2,500 watt power transformers and over 300,000uF of energy storage. Each amplifier weighs in at 30 lbs., while the power supplies tip the scale at 40 lbs. Dimensions are 10.5" x 9.5" x 22" HxWxD for each chassis.

 

 

Swans M1Sold exclusively online via web retailer www.av123.com, the magnetically shielded Swans M1 ($799) monitors are two-way, fourth order vented designs that use a leather-wrapped front baffle and hand-rubbed oak veneers. They combine an advanced wide-dispersion isodynamic Kapton ribbon tweeter with a paper/Kevlar mid/woofer for a claimed frequency response of 55Hz to 40kHz. Matching stand sells for $249 per pair.

Description: ..............two-way, fourth order vented system 
Driver complement: ....paper/Kevlar mid-woofer, planar ribbon tweeter
Enclosure type: ..........acoustic suspension 
Frequency response ....55Hz - 40kHz 
Sensitivity .................(2.83V/m) 85dB 
Nominal Impedance.......8 ohms 
Power handling ...........20-150 watts
Finish .......................hand rubbed oak veneers 
Dimensions ............... 8 1/2" x 13" x 12" (WxHxD) 
Net weight ................20 lbs (each) 
Shipping weight: ........46 lbs. (pair)

 

11 / 08 / 01

 The Soliloquy Loudspeaker Company is expanding and has thus hired Dave Berman, formerly with Sensory Science Corporation, Mitsubishi, Polk Audio and Monster Cable, has assumed the position of VP and General Manager. He has also become the VP for the US branch of American Acoustic Development (AAD). AAD manufactures a complete line of loudspeakers designed and manufactured by Phil Jones (formerly of Platinum Audio and Acoustic Energy). AAD products are now being marketed in the US and Canada under the Soliloquy umbrella. David Berman announced today that they have also secured the exclusive distribution rights for Marsh Sound Design for North America.

David Berman said "In today's business climate, strategic alliances between companies have become vital mechanisms that help insure long-term growth. Sharing technological resources also creates the basis to develop novel, cutting-edge products. By first securing the AAD distribution contract for North America, Soliloquy's depth of loudspeaker products increased to 60+ models and five distinct product lines. We can now serve most segments of the consumer loudspeaker market... CES 2002 will see the introduction of more Soliloquy, Marsh and AAD products designed to offer the greatest flexibility of choice, value and performance for our dealers and customers."

 

 

pARTicular Contemporary Design's Volkmar Druebbisch will introduce the latest entry of his suspended sound platform designs at CES 2002. Called Summit, the equipment rack features built-in conversion options to increase shelf width from 19" (standard) to 23" (for extra-wide components) and materials and finishes can be customized. Dimensions are 40" x 23" x 22" (HxDxW) or 47" x 23" x 26" (HxDxW).

 

 

Naim AllaeNaim Audio's new Allae loudspeaker continues the firm's tradition of physically separate subwoofer enclosures for individual drive units, as well as controlling the critical interface with the floor via a leaf-spring, cast aluminum spiked stand fitted to the speaker's base. Precision interface pins define the air gap between the two cabinets to act as a controlled distributed reflex port said to be free of the usual turbulence problems. The 19mm Scanspeak tweeter is mounted on a sprung plate that acts as a mechanical filter between cabinet and transducer. Mass aluminum dampers are used on all Allae drive units and internal cabinet panels to reduce resonance. A 200mm cast aluminum chassis bass driver with split-mass aluminum phase plug is said to be optimized for heat dissipation and power handling. Frequency response is given as 30Hz to 20kHz (+/- 3dB), with 89dB/w/m sensitivity and 6-ohm minimum impedance. Available finishes includes American Cherry, Maple, Black Ash and Santos Rosewood. The speaker measures 94cm x 24 cm x 28cm (HxWxD).

 

11 / 07 / 01

Lam LP2  Lamm Industries' Vladimir Lamm has announced the imminent release of his new LP2 ($6290) all-tube, zero feedback dual-mono phono preamplifier with MM and MC inputs. The tube-rectified LP2 utilizes a single-ended, pure class A high current topology claimed to drive any length of cable. It employs choke-filtered power supplies, solid-state regulation for the heater supply and what is described as "a very accurate passive RIAA EQ network and specially selected low noise, high transconductance Western Electric 417A/5842 vacuum tubes". Integral RFI power line filtration is also included. Parts include military-grade pc-board materials; military-grade low noise DALE metal film resistors; 1% tolerance PRC wirewound resistors; Electrocube and Roederstein film capacitors; high frequency switching grade Cornell Dublier electrolytic capacitors; specially selected long life vacuum tubes; Hammond chokes; Fischer 'Camac' connectors; and Jensen step-up moving coil transformers. A deluxe version of the LP2 ($6690) increases power supply capacitance, bypasses all signal path film capacitor with polystyrene capacitors and utilizes a custom-designed damping panel to reduce mechanical vibrations.

 

 

Canadian distribution firm Jonic International Inc. is reviving the Dahlquist brand name with the launch of a new speaker line under the tag line "Passion through Technology". Jonic acquired worldwide rights to the Dahlquist brand in October 2000 to "continue Dahlquist’s 27-year history of product excellence and strong reputation for audiophile quality sound reproduction at competitive prices."

 

 

Phil Jones' American Acoustic Development, distributed in the US by the Soliloquy Loudspeaker Company, has introduced the E-48 ($700/pr) model, the latest entry in the firm's E-series of LifeStyle speakers. Finished in Maple wood grain vinyl with silver grills, the floorstanding E-48 tower employs two of the series' 4-inch metalized polypropylene midrange drivers with a 1-inch metal tweeter in a D'Appolito array, while a new side-firing woofer extends frequency response to a claimed 38Hz. Please see Enjoy the Music.com™'s exclusive interview of Phil Jones by clicking here.

 

11 / 01 / 01

  Enjoy the Music.com's November 2001 issue of their Review Magazine is now available online. Equipment reviews include: Battle of the Noise Reducing Headphones, Manley Labs Neo-Classic 300B amplifier, Nordost Valhalla cables, Rega Planet 2000 CD player, and loudspeakers by Loth-X, Galante Audio, and Diva by Swans. A special review of the new Pioneer DV-AX10 DVD-Audio/SACD player is also available. Over thirty new music reviews are also included within our November edition of the Enjoy the Music.com Review Magazine. Srajan Ebaen's new section, Ear Wax, has been launched this month as well. See the November 2001 Review Magazine by clicking here.

 

 

Chrysalis/Capitol Records to release Live at the Fillmore East by 60s British blues-rock band Ten Years After, a Les Brown Commemorative CD, and reissue three classic Jethro Tull albums; This Was, Stand Up, and Benefit.

Formed in Nottingham as the Jaybirds in 1965, the four piece played a mixture of rock 'n' roll and blues that set them apart from the mainstream blues of the likes of Fleetwood Mac. It was without a doubt that their live shows and relentless touring aided in their success -- they performed on more U.S. tours than any other U.K. band. The band's first performance at the Fillmore East, a cozy Manhattan theatre with a 3,564 capacity, came five months after the venue opened in August 1968 during their first tour of America. The recordings that appear on this double album were recorded one year after their performance at Woodstock in 1969 and just before the release of Cricklewood Green. The mastermind behind the recording was engineer Edwin H. Kramer -- best known for recording all of Hendrix's hits and building Jimi's New York Studio, Electric Ladyland. All tracks on Live at the Fillmore East have been digitally remastered. All tracks on the album are previously unreleased with the exception of the U.K. Top 10 single "Love Like A Man."

Les Brown's career began in the mid-1930's with his college band, The Duke Blue Devils. In 1938 he formed the group that would become his "Band Of Renown." (They're listed in The Guinness Book of World Records as the longest-performing pop band in history, together over sixty years.) Their big break came in 1945 when, along with a young singer named Doris Day, they produced the number-one song in the country, "Sentimental Journey." It would remain Les Brown's signature tune throughout the rest of his career.

Jethro Tull's music is a mix of hard rock, folk melodies, blues licks and complicated lyrics. This combination made the British band an international success, winning the love of fans the world over. Since forming in 1967, Jethro Tull has released more than thirty albums, earning twelve gold and five platinum albums in the U.S. alone. These reissues are Jethro Tull's first three albums that have been 24-bit digitally remastered with bonus tracks.


 

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