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11 / 27 / 06

Tentlabs DIY CD Player With USB Input  While it is hard to imagine anyone spending €2100 on a strictly CD-only player with all the higher resolution formats being around for quite some time, yet TentLabs has felt the need to offer a DIY kit based on a modular architecture. All components are mounted on modules that come fully assembled and tested, so DIYers only need to do mechanical mounting and provide a cabinet (a DIY cabinet is included in the price). The player is based on the Philips CD-pro2M drive, which is connected to TentLabs' DAC via the low jitter I2S interface protocol. The drive operates is slave mode and driven by the company's XO module as a master clock, which in turn sits at the DAC module and close to the PCM1704 DACs. Twelve stabilized power units are employed for stability and low crosstalk. Of interest is the output stage, which is a novel hybrid design based upon the E88CC triode. One of the redeeming factors, besides the joy of DIY, is that the unit can be upgraded to provide an optional USB input that requires a front-end module (available Q1- 2007). The USB interface allows a user's computer to be the source for digital audio files. So perhaps a €2100 CD player is not such a bad idea after all.

 

11 / 24 / 06

Tributaries Silver Series  Tributaries has introduced their Silver Series ($120 for 3 feet, other lengths available) high-end AC power cords. Tributaries Silver Series incorporates an aluminum/Mylar shielding wrap as well as a 95 percent braided shield of ultra-low-resistance, oxygen-free high-conductivity (OFHC) copper. This is said to provide nearly complete rejection of both high frequency RFI and lower-frequency EMI noise sources. Inside these barriers are three stranded 10-gauge (AWG) twisted conductors of OFHC copper, which can carry high current, even over longer cable lengths. The Silver Series cable-shield assemblies are housed in a flexible, rugged, UL-listed PVC jacketing, with an attractive finishing cover of black-and-gold-striped woven nylon. Rounding out this design is Tributaries' hospital-grade, UL-listed gold-plated 3-prong male plug and a gold-plated UL-listed three-connector IEC-standard female; both terminators are molded-in for strength and strain-relief.

 

11  / 22 / 06

Russ Andrews HP-1  Russ Andrews now offers their HP-1 (£499.) headphone amplifier that is based on the company's successful Stello. As a reference quality product, the HP-1 also includes a separate preamplifier circuit with inputs for two sources. Inputs are via two pairs of RCA jacks while output is a pair of RCA. The preamplification section can be connected to existing power amplification. The diminutive sized enclosure, 212 x 55 x 290 (WxHxD in mm), provides ease of desktop placement.

 

11 / 21 / 06

Peak Consult InCognito X Loudspeaker  Peak Consult's new InCognito X loudspeaker is the culmination of a decade is the company's award winning line. An extremely linear frequency response, both on and off axis, provides accurate sound throughout the listening environment. The 91dB/W/m sensitivity and 4 Ohm load should work well with both tube and solid-state amplification. This 2-way ported design, a 1-inch Scan-Speak tweeter and 7-inch Audiotechnology midrange/woofer, has an overall frequency response from 30Hz to 30kHz (-3dB). All internal wiring has been made with special elliptical tube silver wire from Stereovox and loudspeaker binding posts are premium WBT. The multifaceted enclosure is handcrafted in Peak Consult's facilities by Danish artisans with a 1.5-inch HDF sandwich material covered by 1-inch selected solid hard woods, with Ash or Rosewood as standard and Walnut as a premium upgrade. Dimensions are 42.5 x 11.5 x 15 (H xW xD in inches) and weights a very hefty 159 lbs.

 

11 / 20 / 06

Festival Son & Image (FSI) 2007  Festival Son & Image (FSI), Canada's the largest home entertainment and electronics show in Montreal, will be taking place from April 12th until April 15th, 2007 at the downtown Sheraton Centre. To celebrate its 20th anniversary, the Festival continues to evolve with numerous innovations, including a day and a half reserved exclusively for members of the industry. This year the show has reserved additional rooms as many exhibitors have reserved their space. The 2007 Festival Son & Image will be more diversified than in the past with home automation, architectural lighting, photography, video games, and much more. See our 2006 FSI show report by clicking here.

 

11 / 17 / 06

AV123 Strata Mini  AV123's Strata Mini ($1595 per pair) hybrid design mates planar technology with dynamic driver plus an internal class A/B 350 watt amplifier. This limited edition, with only 50 pairs per month being allocated, also features South American Rosewood veneer wrapped around a well-braced MDF frame. The four-way driver compliment consists of a planar magnetic 1-inch tweeter, planar magnetic 8-inch midrange, 5.25-inch mid-bass coupler, and an 8-inch mass-loaded woofer. The 350 watt amplifier includes adjustments for crossover, gain, variable phase and high level/low level inputs and outputs. Overall frequency response is from 27Hz to 35kHz (±3dB), impedance is 8 Ohms nominal, and efficiency is 86dB/W/m. These 47 x 13.5 x 11.5 (HxDxW in inches) weight in at 94 lbs each (280lbs per pair shipped/crated) and include a 3 year warranty and 30-day in home trial.

 

11 / 16 / 06

HiFi-Tuning IEC Connector  HiFi-Tuning, manufacturers of many very high-end parts including fuses and resellers of the M-Cap Supreme from Mundorf, Musicap from Hovland, etc, has announced their showing a prototype of their next generation IEC-Connector (€60). This plug easily handles AWG-7 (10mm²) wires with contacts out of phosphorbronce and 1.5mm clamp-material thickness. This parts joins the many other bits specifically aimed towards those who seek the very best in music reproduction.

 

11 / 15 / 06

Enjoy the Musiuc.com Audiophile Review Magazine  Enjoy the Music.com's midmonth updates to the Review Magazine include adding another Rocky Mountain Audio Fest (RMAF) show report plus a follow-up of editor Steven R. Rochlin's viewpoint article titled Digital Music On Hard Formats Is Almost Dead!. Ron Nagle's new RMAF 2006 report adds nearly 30 photos spanning four pages of information to our already extensive show coverage by Todd Warnke. As for the viewpoint article, Steven further expands on his very controversial statements, answers reader e-mail, and sets one reader straight about lossy compression. Please see the mid-November issue of our Review Magazine by clicking here.

 

11 / 14 / 06

  They say history repeats itself, and this is true for high-end audio as Western Electric Corporation once again tries its hand at amplification by licensing with an audiophile company. While their previous attempt with Wavelength Audio never achieved fruition, the design would have been made to along the same lines as a vintage Western Electric models. It appears Western Electric has now agreed to license David Berning Company's output-transformerless (OTL) type amplification. Western Electric is planning to market both single-ended and push-pull 300B amplifiers as prototypes, which are built and tested by David Berning himself. Production of these amplifiers are expected in the near future.

 

11 / 13 / 06

acuhorn TSR200 full range driver  acuhorn has introduced their TSR200 pure paper light membrane full range driver. The basket is made from cut aluminum anodized to provide a heavy and sturdy foundation while a custom profile is employed for the magnetic gap to minimize losses and improve electric efficiency. Following this idea, a powerful neodymium magnet keeps the electrical specifications in check. A 150 micron voice coil wire and silver-gold Siltech G6 round out this design.

 

11 / 10 / 06

Broadcom BCM7440 Blu-ray /  HD DVD Chip  Broadcom (Nasdaq: BRCM), one of the world's largest fabless semiconductor companies with 2005 revenue of more than $2.67 billion and a global leader in semiconductors for data and multimedia, has announces the world's first complete Blu-ray/HD DVD System-on-a-Chip solution (SoC). Broadcom claims to have developed a next-generation universal solution, the BCM7440, that "significantly surpasses current chip technology in integration and performance, but will further the advancement of high definition media players." Blu-ray and HD DVD formats have caused confusion with consumers, who have to make an either/or choice for their media players. This confusion may lose revenue to both hardware and media companies as the entertainment and electronics industry once again releases competing formats that appear incompatible. Both formats offer higher resolution entertainment possibilities than the current DVD format, which is one of the fastest growing and adopted media delivery format in the history of consumer electronics. If the industry can produce a single player that handles both formats, this could ease consumer concerns of investing in a format that may fail as past formats such as Beta did during the video tape revolution. The BCM7440 Blu-ray/HD DVD SoC integrates a multiple-core MIPS architecture, a multi-stream HD video decoder, dedicated graphics engines, DSP-based audio processors, a security processor, DDR2 interfaces, integrated video and audio outputs and a complete array of system and network connectivity interfaces. "Broadcom is simplifying the development of next-generation Blu-ray and HD DVD products with a proven, complete single-chip solution that offers OEMs both a time-to-market advantage and cost-effective design," said Peter Besen, Vice President, Consumer Electronics, Broadband Communications Group, of Broadcom. The BCM7440 supports a wide variety of mandatory audio and video compression standards required for Blu-ray and HD DVD optical disc formats, including H.264/AVC, VC-1 , MPEG-2, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby Tru-HD and DTS-HD. The BCM7440 also provides full backwards compatibility for current DVD video titles as well as DVD-R, DVD-VR and audio CDs.

 

11 / 09 / 06

  Acoustic Reality, a decade old Danish firm that sells direct to consumers via the Internet, offers many new models. The eAR 1001-REF reference mono-block power amplifier produces 500 Watt RMS @ 8 ohm (1000 @ 4 ohm). Included are next-gen WBT connectors from the Top Line series. Acoustic Reality's eAR 502-REF is a 250 Watt per channel stereo unit. Internally, its dual mono design ensures high level of channel separation. Lastly, their eAR 202-REF stereo amplifier produces 100 Watt RMS per channel and is also a dual mono design. New preamplification models include the eAR Master One - SE that allows consumers to "Rip your CD's in lossless quality" to a computer hard drive using 400 MegaBit digital FireWire (IEEE1394) interface. It has 8 outputs that can be used for stereo and up to 7.1 for surround sound. The outputs can also be used for multi-amplification when running digital crossovers in software on the PC. SE is the Single Ended version. Acoustic Reality's top-line digital piece is the eYe Media, which is a very advanced computer audio/video media unit with state-of-the-art GUI (Graphic User Interface). The eYe Media comes with NVIDIA graphics and FireWire interface.

 

11 / 08 / 06

Bowers & Wilkins (B&W) CM7 Floorstanding Loudspeaker  Bowers & Wilkins (B&W), one of Britain's leading exporters of loudspeakers, has launched their CM7 ($1,800/pair) floorstanding design. The CM7 includes a 1-inch aluminum tube-loaded Nautilus style tweeter, 5-inch FST Kevlar midrange driver, and a 6.5-inch paper/Kevlar bass unit. The cabinet employs Flowport technology while the minimalist crossover uses first-order design for better integration between drivers. Available finishes include maple, rosenut and dark wood wenge color.

 

11 / 07 / 06

  Music mergers and sales are heating up as two of the top major labels seek to merge as another is bought out by media company. Universal Music, the 3rd largest music company, has requested the European Commission to allow it to purchase BMG Music Publishing, the 4th largest music company, for an estimated $2 billion. Combined, these two companies hold a 22 percent stake in the music world and would become the industry leader over number 1 ranked EMI. Meanwhile, International Creative Management sold their classical music unit to ICM executives and Newsweb Corporation for $2.5 million. Artists under the label include Emanuel Ax and Yo-Yo Ma.

 

11 / 06 / 06

Vintage Audio World Ancient Kauri  There is vintage audio, then there is Vintage Audio World who has just announced the availability of their Ancient Kauri (pronounce cowree) equipment footers and bases. These units are made from wood that is between 30,000 and 50,000 years old, verified by radio carbon dating by University of Sydney Australia, University of Waikato New Zealand, and the New Zealand Department of Nuclear Science. Said to be an exceptional 'tonewood,' and used by many fine musical instrument makers, they are also available as high-end audio equipment bases and footers. The Ancient Kauri has a very tight grain with growth rings of 50 to 60 per inch, unlike the often used cherry with only 4 to 6 per inch. As the trees are said to have fallen before the last ice age, so no live trees have been felled for the timber used. The supply Ancient Kauri is finite as this is said to be the oldest workable timber in the world. A Certificate of Authenticity will be supplied with each item.

 

11 / 03 / 06

Quest For Sound R601 Vacuum Tube Table Radio  Quest For Sound is now offering a variety of vacuum tube AM/FM table radios ($299 on up depending on model). Seen here is their model R601 that features all wood construction and uses a pair of 6P1, one 6F2, and the 'Magic Eye' 6E2 tube. Output power is 7 watts and frequency response is from 30Hz to 20kHz. There is an external antenna input, auxiliary input, and earphone output. The built-in loudspeaker is said to provide a wonderful and rich sound. Volume control and power switch are located on front panel.

 

11 / 02 / 06

  Toshiba' second generation HD DVD players, the HD-A2 ($500) entry level model and top line HD-XA2 ($1000), feature superior video and audio capabilities of the first generation models. Video-wise, the HD-XA2 HD outputs 1920 x 1080p via HDMIT 1.3 plus it incorporates a 297MHz/12-bit video DAC with 4x oversampling. On the audio side, both models include both lossy and lossless formats from Dolby Labs and DTSR including the Dolby Digital Plus and Dolby TrueHD. The Dolby TrueHD format supports audio tracks that are bit-for-bit identical to the high-resolution studio masters and supports up to 5.1 channels of 24-bit/96kHz audio. Both new models feature built-in multi-channel decoders for Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby TrueHD (5.1 channel), DTS and DTS-HD (core only).

 

11 / 01 / 06

Audiophile Reviews  Enjoy the Music.com®'s November edition of our Review Magazine and Superior Audio are now online! The Review Magazine features coverage of the 2006 Rocky Mountain Audio Fest 2006; widely considered the best American show for the public to attend. Also featured are reviews of a factory modified JoLida JD 102B integrated amplifier and a variety of Role Audio's highly respected loudspeakers. Of note is the editorial by Steven R. Rochlin that proclaims digital music on hard formats are dying! Steven has facts and sales figures to prove it! Superior Audio showcases the AKG K701 reference quality headphones and Emille Sound's gorgeous KM-300SE SET integrated amplifier. See the November issue of our Review Magazine by clicking here and Superior Audio by clicking here.



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