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High-End Audio Industry News


11 / 26 / 08

  Issue 62 (November 2008) of our hi-fi+ preview is now available on Enjoy the Music.com! This issue features many equipment reviews, including the Avantgarde Uno Nano loudspeaker, the Adam HM2 loudspeaker, Ayre's KX-R pre-amplifier, the conrad-johnson Classic pre-amplifier, Nordost's Odin power cords and much more.! In this issue's editorial, Roy Gregory states "For many years it was an article of faith with many listeners that each and every record had a precisely correct listening level. With the benefit of 20/20 hindsight you can see that this might have more to do with the high-powered! low-efficiency systems prevalent at the time, as well as the quality of the vinyl. The best current speaker systems, with their much more even spectral balance and lower levels of stored energy, are far less volume dependent as well as much more satisfying at lower levels..." To see the entire table of contents and read the complete editorial click here.

 

11 / 25 / 08

  From The Desk Of Robert Stein Of The Cable Company:

As this most challenging year winds down, we would like to take the opportunity to share a piece of good news - the results of our August Summer Against Hunger fundraiser for CARE. The contributions from The Cable Company, and our vendors, customers, and one large anonymous donation totaled $38,762.34. CARE was able to identify 20:1 matching funds yielding total program donations of $814,009.14. For every one dollar our customers spent on our sponsoring vendors' products last August, $4.20 is being donated to CARE. The most important element of this program is the show of support from a broad group of audiophile companies - manufacturers and the press. I mean just having a good, long list of sponsors. It helps us all for you to be there.

Good things happen when we work together!

THANK YOU!
Best regards, Robert Stein

 

Channel Island Audio VDC9.0Channel Island Audio (CI Audio) is now shipping their new VDC9.0 ($279) upgrade power supply for the Wadia 170 iTransport and Slim Devices/Logitech Squeezebox Duet. When used with either device, the upgrade is said to eliminate noise caused by the standard switching supply, which can contaminate the internal digital and analog circuits. The design utilizes a low noise/high current transformer, with discrete Schottky diode bridge rectifier, AC line filter, precision voltage regulator circuit, and 13,600uF of filter capacitance. Available in 120 or 240v input. AC input and DC output cables included. Specify cable type when ordering.

 

11 / 24 / 08

Thiel Audio Signature Edition CS2.4SE Loudspeaker   Thiel Audio has announced the introduction of the Signature Edition CS2.4SE loudspeaker ($8000 per pair), which are a limited production version of the company's CS2.4 floorstanders. While the standard CS2.4 crossover network employs high quality polypropylene and custom-made polystyrene capacitors, the Signature Edition has hand selected ultra-fine grade boutique capacitors with a cost-no-object approach to crossover design. Thiel claims this "reproduces the musical spectrum with stratospheric precision, balance, and detail that can only be summarized as an exquisite degree of refinement." Master craftsmen worked with the finest hand-selected Birdseye Maple using a deep red stain formulated specifically for the CS2.4SE cabinet. Thiel calls this their Vermilion Maple finish. A beveled groove between the sculpted satin black baffle and the cabinet walls further denote the Signature Edition. Other adornments include stainless steel hardware securing the drivers to the baffle, as well as a high contrast Thiel logo in bright chrome relief at the base of each enclosure. For maximum stability, burly milled aluminum Outriggers and highly polished stabilizer spikes are included with each pair of CS2.4SE.

 

11 / 21 / 08

DaVinci Audio Luxury Edition  Just in time for the winter holidays is the DaVinci Audio special Luxury Edition turntable In UniSon / DaVinciAudio (CHF 40,123). This turntable includes the company's Grand Reference tonearm Grandezza. As is well known, master discs are produced on a cutting machine using a cutting stylus. The design of this turntable uses the same physical principles of the cutting machine and stylus. The requirements are:

- A highly stable basis, milled on a full aluminum block
with special resonance damping system platter on special aluminum alloy.

- As a noble finish the platter is coated with 24k gold
- Completely silent magnetic bearings
- In-house developed motor and motor control unit 
- An absolutely stable power supply 
- Adjustable feet developed by DaVinci Audio
- Optional second armboard is available

 

Anthony Gallo Acoustics TR-3 Subwoofer Anthony Gallo Acoustics TR-3 subwoofer features an upgraded amplifier and new aluminum cone. Based on its high-output, high-performance TR-2 predecessor, the TR-3 expands upon an already powerful and dynamic subwoofer by recalibrating the amplifier and adding an aluminum cone woofer, which will improve linearity. An integral bass equalizer goes up to 6dB of low bass boost, with the amplifier capable of producing 300 watts. The cylindrical steel enclosure mirrors AGA's spherical technology for bass from 22Hz to 180Hz. The TR-3 has a continuously variable low pass filter from 50Hz to 180Hz, with a fixed 80Hz high-pass filter on high-level output. The new sub is available in black and silver, weighs 36 lb. and is 10.75 x 12 x 13.5 (WxHxD in inches).

 

11 / 20 / 08

The Absolute Sound  Enjoy the Music.com now offers the December 2008 edition of The Absolute Sound (Issue 188) featuring the complete table of contents and complete editorial! This edition features Stocking Stuffers: The Absolute Sound's 2008 Holiday Gift Guide and equipment reviews of the Vienna Acoustics Mahler V1.5 loudspeaker, Vincent Audio SA-T8 preamplifier & SP-T800 amplifier, Lamm M1.2 power amplifier, the Boulder 1010 preamplifier & 1050 amplifier plus much more. Within this issue's editorial Robert Harley says, "I'll discuss high-resolution digital in a minute, but I must first recount the reader's argument justifying his call for TAS to repudiate vinyl. He cited a litany of technical flaws inherent in LP playback that, in his view, warranted the immediate death of vinyl (the subject line of his e-mail was "Vinyl Records RIP"). These flaws included tracing error, skating, rumble, dirty records, and poor pressing quality of new vinyl. He also asserted, based on something he'd once read, that the playback stylus shaves off high-frequency information from the groove walls during the first play. This reader, incidentally, had stopped listening to records when the CD was introduced." You can see the table of contents and read the complete editorial by clicking here.

 

11 / 19 / 08

AllenSound Technology FR1201  AllenSound Technology, a designer, developer and manufacturer of professional loudspeakers, now offers their FR1201 full range loudspeaker. Each driver goes through a three-stage QC testing to ensure build quality and accuracy and includes a one-year warranty. The FR1201 has a nominal impedance of 8 Ohms and can handle over 100 watts, yet can easily be driven by low power single-ended tube amplification. Sensitivity is a high 99 dB/W/m. Other specification include:

Thile-Small Parameter
Resonance frequency (Fs): 50 Hz
Mechanical Q factor (Qms): 1.75
Electrical Q factor (Qes): 0.60
Total Quality factor (Qts): 0.45
Equivalent volume (Vas): 201.60 liters
Moving mass (Mms): 25.17 grams
BL factor (BL): 9.23 T-m
Efficiency (No): 4.55 % 
Mounting Information
Overall diameter: 315 mm 
Mounting holes diameter: 6.5 mm 
Bolt circle diameter: 297 mm 
Cut-Out diameter: 285 mm 
Overall depth: 128 mm 

 

11 / 18 / 08

NAD Electronics PP-3 Digital Phonostage  NAD Electronics, a highly regarded manufacturer of high-performance audio/video components, offers their PP-3 digital phono preamplifier ($179.) As a compact and cost-effective solution, the PP-3 measures a mere 5.3 inches long by 1.38 inches high by 2.75 inches deep. It combines NAD's award-winning PP-2 MM/MC phonostage with a high-quality analog-to-digital converter, a USB interface, and CD-R VinylStudio Lite software. The program, supplied on a disc, lets users copy LPs directly to a PC in wav or mp3 file formats. Once in a PC, the digitized music can be burned onto disc, transferred to portable music players or other such music file services. Specifications include:

Input Impedance: MM 47kohms + 200pF 
                         MC 47kohms + 180pF 
Input Sensitivity: MM 0.35mV 
                         MC 5mV 
Input Overload: MM 0.65/6.5/60 mV 
                       MC 10/100/900mV 
Signal/Noise Ratio: MM 78dB A wtd. 
                             MC 76 dB A wtd. 
RIAA Response: 50 Hz to 20 kHz (+-0.3dB)

 

Grammy AwardsFive-time Grammy winner Celine Dion, six-time Grammy winners the Foo Fighters, 14-time winner B.B. King, five-time winner John Mayer, and 50th Grammy nominee Taylor Swift are the first performers announced for the live Dec. 3 TV special "The Grammy Nominations Concert Live!! - Countdown To Music's Biggest Night." The one-hour special, which also will celebrate the grand opening of the Grammy Museum at L.A. Live, will take place at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live, and will be broadcast in HDTV and 5.1 Surround Sound on the CBS Television Network from 9-10 p.m. ET/PT. Additional performers and presenters will be announced shortly. "The Grammy Nominations Concert Live!! - Countdown To Music's Biggest Night" will announce nominations in at least six categories, feature performances by past winners and nominees, and will set the stage for the 51st Annual Grammy Awards on Feb. 8, 2009. The special marks the first time nominations for the annual Grammy Awards will be announced live on prime-time television. Following the live telecast, guests will experience a one-hour exclusive concert by one of the evening's performers in celebration of the grand opening of the Grammy Museum. Tickets will go on sale to the public on Oct. 27 and benefit the museum.

 

Unipheye MusicUnipheye Music, artisan recordings made by engineer Ira Norman Segall, blends audiophile techniques with outstanding musical artists. This newly formed recording label will sell music that follows audiophile techniques of minimal microphones and advanced acoustics design. Their first three titles feature a classical string quartet and alternative semi-acoustic jazz. Each album is downloadable with various sampling rates all the way up to 24-bit/192kHz. Their hard format Studio Master Reference Discs (SMDR), corresponding with each title, will be coming soon. Live web-casts with members of the Unipheye Music family of artists are also planned.

 

11 / 17 / 08

  Enjoy the Music.com's November midmonth edition of our Review Magazine is now available online! Within this update we feature an article by Joe Roberts titled "I Never Met A 2A3 Amp That I Didn't Like." Within his article, Joe says "Nothing in audio is a sure deal but if I were forced to come up with a foolproof recommendation to stake my name on, I would have to go with the classic no-brainer: It's hard to build a bad 2A3 amplifier. There might be some bad ones somewhere but I have to say that every 2A3 amp I ever had the pleasure to hear was at least pretty good and some were downright amazing." We also now offer show coverage of the Audio Engineering Society's (AES) 125th Convention written by Clarke Robinson. The Audio Engineering Society (AES), now in its sixth decade, is the only professional society devoted exclusively to audio technology. Its membership of leading engineers, scientists and other authorities within the field. See the November midmonth Review Magazine by clicking here.

 

11 / 14 / 08

Canton Reference 3.2 DC LoudspeakerThe Canton flagship Reference 3.2 DC ($16,000 per pair) floorstanding loudspeaker includes the first use of the company's new ceramic dome tweeter plus Triple Curve Cone (TCC) midrange and bass drivers. The new Canton Reference 3.2 DC is a large floor-standing three-way bass reflex system with deep bass response and an smooth high frequency response that is linear to 38.5 kHz. The enclosure is a two-chamber monocoque structure with curved side panels formed of five pressure-laminated layers of acoustically inert fiber-board and a high quality veneer finished in black, white or silver piano lacquer, or a cherry wood veneer with a rich piano finish. Due to engineering advances at Canton, the driver suspensions, motor systems, and the newly designed TCC diaphragms provide a 6 to 9 dB increase in deep bass output. Canton's new ceramic dome tweeter replaces the company's aluminum-manganese dome model. The tweeter is complemented by a 7-inch aluminum midrange driver and a pair of 8.5-inch aluminum woofers.

 

Slot MusicTalk about providing a 'solution' to something that does not need to be solved, Slot Music offers memory cards with music already on them. This begs the question, why not just buy a memory card, if you do not have about five of them all over your home as i do, and simply download the music you want from various online vendors. Anyway, Slot Music provides 320kbs non-DRM music on SanDisk 1GB microSD cards. Artists available include Coldplay, Katy Perry, Daughtry, Leona Lewis, Rihanna, Robin Thicke, Elvis, Abba and more. The cost of these cards with preloaded music is $14.99 and will be available at Best Buy and Wal-Mart. A small USB adapter is included, so perhaps a 1GB card and the adapter plus the music is looking like a fairly good deal... if you do not mind lossy compressed music for the price of a higher resolution CD.

 

11 / 13 / 08

Channel Island Audio (CI Audio) D500 Monoblock Amplifier  Channel Island Audio (CI Audio) D500 is the first of the company's new MKII line of products. This second generation amplifier builds on the heritage of their award winning D100 and D200 models. More than two years of development have gone into this project to produce what the company feels is the best Class D audio amplifier available. This compact and energy efficient monoblock amplifier produces over 500 watts and is housed in a machined aluminum chassis with heavy steel frame plate to support the massive power transformer. Non-magnetic stainless steel hardware and highest quality parts round out the cabinetry. CI Audio's SmoothStart and XDC2 circuits control AC power, while our DC board supplies the various output voltages required by the audio circuit. Signal input is handled by panel-mounted jacks for both single-ended RCA and balanced XLR connections. Turn-on is accomplished by the front-panel mute/play button, or remote 12v trigger (when used with PLC1 MKII or other makes with this function). Adjustable 5-way binding posts are used for loudspeaker connection and can be configured for horizontal or vertical cable entry. The audio circuit consists of an advanced full bridge UcD design for performance, reliability and efficiency.

 

Gibson GuitarA free high-definition music album is now offered by Gibson Guitar and HDtracks.com! Gibson Guitar, the world's premier musical instrument manufacturer and leader in music technology, has partnered with HDtracks.com to offer free, downloadable, high-definition music. This exclusive offering to fans of Gibson Guitar, titled Gibson Presents: Hot Tones in High-Definition, is a diverse collection of music performed by the world's best guitarists and will be available as a free download at Gibson.com for a limited time. This album features exclusive tracks from legendary performers Johnny A, Michael Burks, Billy Burnette, Chris Cain, Nick Colionne, Tinsley Ellis, Eric Johnson, Peter Karp, Big Bill Morganfield, Kenny Neal, Arlen Roth with Sonny Landreth, Neal Schon and Johnny Winter plus a never-before-heard instrumental track featuring father and son team Abraham Laboriel Sr. and Jr. performing with Slash. The resolution of audio does matter! They will also have the option of choosing the format in which to download it. Fans who download the album are automatically entered to win an exclusive Gibson Robot Les Paul guitar and other prizes from Creative Labs. "Gibson is committed to providing its customers with the most innovative and exciting musical experiences in the world," said Henry Juszkiewicz, Chairman and CEO of Gibson Guitar. "Gibson Presents: Hot Tones in High Definition will afford our customers the opportunity to download something in the highest of quality and is the first offering of its kind from any music company. This will be one of many such opportunities as we continue to partner with HDtracks on this pioneering effort."

"I've never been a fan of MP3s and I wanted to have a website that delivered the same quality music as you'd get in a record store. When Henry and I met we discussed nine million things. He thinks outside the box, and we decided that giving the public an opportunity to download something truly different and in such high quality was not only an offer of convenience but the genesis of Gibson Guitar's next step into technology," said David Chesky, co-founder of HDtracks.com, the partner on this project with Gibson.

 

11 / 12 / 08

Teresonic Ingenium Silver Loudspeakers  Teresonic's new Ingenium Silver loudspeakers ($11,980 per pair with a DX3 driver and $14,480 with DX4), plus silver versions of their other designs, combine unique acoustic design and ultra-high efficiency with pure silver coils. Ingenium Silver also includes an adjustable driver system to accommodate a wide choice of famous Lowther 8-inch drivers for a variety of tuning possibilities. On-site driver replacement makes it possible for users to easily fine-tune their system to match different electronic components and room acoustics, plus change drivers just as tube amplifier aficionados change output tubes. The Teresonic Ingenium's unique architecture and geometry enables them to produce a very natural sound as the driver radiates sound waves from a single point. Sculpted like the finest musical instruments and individually handcrafted, Ingenium Silver speakers come with a 30-day Total Satisfaction Guarantee and a full three-year warranty. Specifications include 101.5dB/W/m, for DX3 and 103dB/W/m for DX4 driver, bandwidth of 30 Hz to 22 kHz (3dB), and power handling of 2 to 100 Watts into 8 Ohms. "The Silver edition provides all of the traditional Ingenium advantages -- sonic clarity, coherence, and dynamics -- while pushing the sonic qualities even further with pure silver coil drivers," says Mike Zivkovic, president of Teresonic. "This combination of lifelike sound quality, extreme efficiency, and on-site tuning ability makes Ingenium Silver a truly unique offering for high-end audio systems." Enjoy the Music.com has reviewed the Teresonic Ingenium full range, single driver loudspeaker (click here).

 

Audio Physics Hyper-Holographic Cone Midrange Driver (HHCM)Soundquest USA has announced the Audio Physics new Hyper-Holographic Cone Midrange Driver (HHCM). An aluminum diecast frame with integrated heat sink mates with a highly efficient and potent dual neodymium magnet system. A plastic inner basket is optimized for high internal damping while the 1.25-inch voice coil on black glass fiber bobbin controls the conex spider and ceramic coated aluminum cone. The cone itself is said to have "Active Cone Damping II" and in the center appears an anodized aluminum phase plug. According to the press release, "It has been commonplace for many years to manufacture driver baskets consisting either of plastic or metal. However there is a well-known German proverb saying that double stitching lasts longer. We took this to heart, doubled our efforts and designed the Hyper-Holographic Cone Midrange driver, HHCM in short, a novel basket construction using a combination of aluminum and plastic. Aluminum is stiff and conducts heat better than plastic material which, in turn, allows for a much higher internal damping. Both characteristics are important in loudspeaker manufacturing. Provided that the two materials are efficiently combined, their properties complement each other in such a way that damping of resonances is perfectly coupled with mechanical and thermal stability." Enjoy the Music.com has reviewed the Audio Physic Scorpio loudspeaker (click here).

 

11 / 11 / 08

Linn Majik 109 Bookshelf Loudspeaker  Linn's new Majik 109 bookshelf loudspeaker ($1590) uses technology derived from Linn's reference products, including Linn's 2K driver array which houses two high-frequency drive units (tweeter and super-tweeter). With more upgrade options than any other compact loudspeaker, from bi-wiring through to fully active configuration, this three-way loudspeaker can be further enhanced over time for an investment in genuine specialist performance. The real-wood veneer cabinets crafted by some of the most respected bespoke furniture makers. Linn developed a new stand for the Majik 109, available in black or silver finish, that complements the loudspeaker design and maximizes performance. Frequency response is from 65 Hz to 20 kHz and sensitivity is 88dB/W/m, with dimensions being 23.373 x 9.875 x 12.625 (HxWxD in inches).

 

DigitalGrace RecordsDirectGrace Records is a new and unique music recording company that weds a passion for high-end vinyl recording to charitable giving. Dedicated to the world's most at-risk children, part of the proceeds from the sale of each unique, high-definition record goes to organizations helping children in extreme poverty. This is a project from the Peter Ledermann, whose company Soundsmith is said to produce superb phono cartridges, and in a former life, he was head of engineering at Bozak. DirectGrace produces LPs of talented acoustic musicians, recorded on a cutting-edge direct-to-disc set-up. Artists include Mark Cosgrove, Bill Frisell and Jon Pousette-Dart. Proceeds from the sale of DirectGrace recordings are distributed by a 501 (c) (3) foundation to child-advocacy organizations worldwide. With the re-emergence of vinyl records within the audiophile community, the demand for very high quality records is robust. One of the highest forms of these prized releases involves the creation of a master recording directly from the live performance. This direct path from the microphone to the cutting head offers superb and the most pure signal. No recording to tape, no editing of the music stream; nothing but the purity and exuberance of the performance gets on the master recording. DirectGrace couples this pinnacle of the recording process with the finest of heavy weight vinyl and exemplary musical and audio artists to produce highly desirable, limited edition, reference recordings for audiophiles around the world.

 

11 / 10 / 08

Infinity Systems Prelude Forty Loudspeaker  Infinity Systems, a unit of Harman International Industries, has introduced their Prelude Forty ($6000 each) flagship loudspeaker. Combining striking design and innovative drivers, this new model commemorates the company's 40th anniversary. The Prelude Forty features unique slim-profile styling and incorporates the most advanced Infinity engineering innovations available today. To achieve sonic accuracy and musicality, the Prelude Forty employs multiple proprietary Maximum Radiating Surface (MRS) flat-panel drivers utilizing exclusive Ceramic Metal Matrix Diaphragm (CMMD) material. This model also has an improved CMMD tweeter with frequency response that extends beyond 40kHz. Dual side-firing CMMD woofers and premium-grade internal components round out this design. In addition to numerous sonic benefits, the MRS driver's tall, narrow shape allows the Prelude Forty to have a much narrower width and slimmer profile than do conventional loudspeakers. The Prelude Forty will be available in three attractive finishes: high-gloss black, real-wood cherry and rosewood. Frequency response is from 42Hz to 40kHz (3dB), sensitivity is a very low 85dB/W/m, and nominal impedance is 8 Ohms. For lower frequencies, the woofers are a pair of 8-inch CMMD cast-frame magnetically shielded drivers with midbass units being a pair of MRS 7.75-inch CMMD magnetically shielded drivers. For midrange, a pair of MRS 7.75 x 3.375-inch CMMD magnetically shielded drivers and for highs a single 1-inch CMMD cast-frame magnetically shielded driver is employed.

 

Groove TubesGroove Tubes, started back in the late 1970's when founder Aspen Pittman hired some technical folks to explore why tubes performed and sounded so different, is closing after nearly 30 years. Groove Tubes manufacturers products for musicians and music lovers including tubes, loudspeakers, microphones and tubes, is set to shut down operation. While many audiophiles have used their tubes, musicians such as Eddie Van Halen, Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones and Billy Gibbons from ZZ Top have relied on Groove Tubes. During the recent closure event, Groove Tubes' Aspen Pittman was signing copies of his tome "The Tube Amp Book.' "Lots of people think I'm retiring, that I sold out and am taking a hike, " said Aspen Pittman. "But not me. Tubes are more popular now than ever before, and Groove Tubes is ready to go to the next level. I just don't know that I'm ready."

 

MusiCaresEnjoy the Music.com, the only audiophile publication that have been proud members of The Recording Academy organization and are also supporters of MusiCares Foundation, an origination that provides critical assistance for music people in times of need -- including financial, medical and personal emergencies, is happy to announce a dental clinic. MusiCares, in conjunction with Dr. Robert Mantoni, will be offering comprehensive dental exams and consultations to low-income music professionals who lack insurance in the Washington, D.C. area. Exams will include complete dental X-rays and cleaning and will be provided free of charge to pre-screened, pre-approved music professionals upon establishing eligibility. A minimum of five years of documented music career history or credit on at least five recorded tracks/videos is required to be eligible for the clinic. Space is limited and appointments will be assigned in one-hour increments. To RSVP, contact MusiCares toll-free at (877) 303-6962. Upon establishing eligibility and confirming an appointment, clinic address information will be provided.

 

11 / 05 / 08

Audio Engineering Society (AES)  Enjoy the Music.com's coverage of the 125th Audio Engineering Society (AES) show is now online! Now in its sixth decade, the AES is the only professional society devoted exclusively to audio technology. Its membership of leading engineers, scientists and other authorities has increased dramatically throughout the world, greatly boosting the society's stature and that of its members in a truly symbiotic relationship. Unlike more consumer-oriented trade shows, the meat & potatoes of AES conferences are in the presentations rather than the exhibits. Still, there are many audiophile companies that produce equipment for audio engineers and we felt covering this show would provide a few audiophile examples plus show what recording and mastering engineers have within their reach. See our 125th AES show report by clicking here.

 

The Absolute SoundEnjoy the Music.com now offers the fall 2008 / Spring 2009 Buyer's Guide edition of The Absolute Sound (Issue 187) featuring the complete table of contents and complete editorial! This edition's special focus on a special Buyer's Guide with many excellent products suggested to music lovers and the audiophile in you. Within this special editorial, Wayne Garcia  says, "What the phrase doesn't say is that there's really no issue like this from any other English language audio magazine one that attempts to be as comprehensive as this one does. Not only will you find our highly selective recommendations for the best components in virtually every product category, and a list of must-have recordings in every genre of music, but we'll also carefully guide you through thickets of information that might prove daunting to all but the most seasoned hobbyists." You can see the table of contents and read the complete editorial by clicking here.

 

11 / 04 / 08

NAD Electronics T 587 Blu-ray Player  NAD Electronics, a manufacturer of high-performance audio/video components, introduces the T 587 Blu-ray disc player ($1499). The T 587 is an advanced, state-of-the art Profile 2.0 player that features BD Live and BD Java for a new level of interactivity with home entertainment media plus supports Audio CDs and CD-Rs with MP3 or WMA decoding, Dolby Digital Plus and the legacy formats of Dolby Digital and DTS. It also transmits bitstreams via HDMI, coax or optical connections. Dolby Digital Plus is a new backward-compatible Dolby format that significantly increases the bit rate for improved fidelity, and support up to 10.2 channels. BD Live enables Internet-connected users to access additional content, such as movie previews, alternate movie endings, and special features for Blu-ray viewers, from the studio that produced the movie being screened. BD Java is the interactive platform supporting advanced content for Blu-ray Discs. The unit can play Blu-ray discs in BD-ROM, BD-R and BD-RE formats, conventional DVDs in NTSC and PAL, and several other popular disc formats including DVD-R/RW, DVD+R/RW, CD-R/RW, and Audio CDs. The T 587 is reported to loads discs very quickly, unlike many other Blu-ray players that take more than a minute to do so. Anyone who has ever pressed Play only to stare at a dark screen as the seconds ticked away will appreciate this feature. For videophiles, the T 587 supports 1080p at 24 frames per second for the most fluid motion available from film-based material. Enjoy the Music.com has reviewed the NAD's PP1 phonostage (click here), the L53 DVD receiver (click here) and NAD's T763 surround sound receiver (click here).

 

Opera / Consonance Reference 50 MKII PreamplifierOpera / Consonance, an award-winning manufacturer of high-end audiophile products, has announced their Reference 50 MKII stereo tube line stage preamplifier that includes a remote control. The R50MKII provides a 20dB gain using improved SRPP circuit with no global negative feedback. The main circuit consists of a pair of 12AU7 tubes, plus a EZ80 as support. The capacitors used for signal coupling is the exotic AuriCap. All connections are point to point wiring using high purity copper hook up wire, while a circuit board acts as a support frame for the tubes and other components. The power transformer and choke are shielded from the circuit board, thus greatly reducing the power supply effecting the critical analog stage. A special silicon steel EI type power transformer and choke with good high frequency response is used together with large Solen MKP metalized polypropylene filtering capacitor. The Opera Reference 50 MKII has four stereo inputs and two pairs of outputs for single or bi-amplification duties. Signal to noise is 90dB and dimensions are 440 x 320 x 210 (LxWxH in mm). 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).

 

MartinLogan Feature LoudspeakerMartinLogan's new Feature ($1695 each) loudspeaker is a fully-powered electrostatic and normal dynamic driver design for use either on or off the wall in center, front, or surround channel applications. Internally powered by a 150-watt switching amplifier, the Feature can also act for those who use iPods or the like and seeking a stand-alone loudspeaker solution. Note that two are needed for stereo ($3390 total). A standard RCA line-level input is provided for. Additionally, standard speaker-level connections allow the fully powered Feature to integrate with audio systems where RCA connection is not possible. A Vojtko crossover blends the Feature's electrostatic transducer with a normal neodymium soft-dome tweeter and dual 5.25-inch woofers. Enjoy the Music.com has reviewed the MartinLogan Summit loudspeaker (click here) and Clarity electrostatic hybrid loudspeaker (click here).

 

Artkustik Quartz Audio AnimatorsHiFi-Tuning , specialist in audio tweaks and tuning devices, alerted me to the new Artkustik Quartz Audio Animators. They claim the device uses "completely new technology -- but it must be kept secret at this time in order to protect our business. Anybody seriously interested is invited to test this invention for one week and I am sure you will detect the difference." The device is said to enhance the performance of audiophile components. The cable animator is operated to release certain mechanical stresses and improve the precision and liveliness of the musical reproduction. Uses employs these by placing them "35 cm from the back of the gear with mains cables and in the middle of speaker cables and interconnects. Musical reproduction will be enhanced by proper use of the animator."

 

Bergmann Audio Sindre Air Bearing Turntable Bergmann Audio, a new Danish manufacturer specializing in air bearing turntables and linear tracking tonearms, now offers their Sindre air bearing turntable (13,000 including linear tracking air bearing tonearm). Air bearing technology is a virtually frictionless and noiseless bearing system and Bergmann Audios' philosophy and ambition is to optimize the air bearing principle. The turntable consists of as few parts as possible, with each part being optimized for the task at hand. The Sindre platter floats on a thin airfilm centered by a spindle, and mounted with a linear tracking air bearing tonearm. The quite air supply can be placed in the listening room. The company's reference model, the Sleipner, will be released in the beginning of 2009. The goal was, to develop the ultimate turntable, with a simple and pure design.

 

MTV Games plus Rock Band game developer Harmonix have successfully partnered with Apple Corps Ltd., with the outcome being a new video game based around the Beatles and their popular music catalog. This exclusive partnership will bring the Beatles' extraordinary music and phenomenal legacy to game players worldwide. This partnership marks the first time that Apple Corps, along with EMI Music, Harrisongs Ltd, and Sony/ATV Music Publishing, has agreed to present The Beatles music in an interactive video game format. Published by MTV Games and developed by Harmonix, the world's premier music video game company and creators of the best-selling Rock Band, the game will be an unprecedented, experiential progression through and celebration of the music and artistry of The Beatles. The game was creatively conceived with input from Sir Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, along with Yoko Ono Lennon and Olivia Harrison, and enjoys their full blessing. In addition, Giles Martin, co-producer of The Beatles innovative LOVE project, will provide his expertise and serve as Music Producer for this groundbreaking Beatles project.

The Beatles"The project is a fun idea which broadens the appeal of The Beatles and their music. I like people having the opportunity to get to know the music from the inside out," Sir Paul McCartney said. "It gives me great pleasure to be part of The Beatles / Apple and Harmonix / Rock Band partnership," said Beatles band member Ringo Starr. "The Beatles continue to evolve with the passing of time and how wonderful that The Beatles' legacy will find its natural progression into the 21st century through the computerized world we live in. Let the games commence." The game is scheduled for a fourth-quarter 2009 release.

 

11 / 03 / 08

  Enjoy the Music.com's November edition of our Review Magazine is now available online! Within this month's Review Magazine we feature many new articles!


Letters: You write 'em and we reply.
BAS Speaker: Levinson JC-1 Versus Fidelity Research FRT-3
Sound Practices: Casual Reactions
Manufacturer Article: Comparing Eight Tubes For Low Power Amplifiers

Viewpoint
New Listening Room!
Welcome to my new awesome humble abode (Part 2).

Audiolics Anonymous Chapter 109: Audiophile

The Nearfield: Two Digital Preamps...
The Benchmark DAC1 USB and Bel Canto e.One Dac3

Audiophile Show Coverage
RMAF 2008 Show Report (Rocky Mountain Audio Fest)
Hong Kong AV Show 2008 Coverage Part II

Audiophile Equipment Reviews
Cables Galore: Part 2
Atlas Cables Mavros XLR vs. The Music Cable Truly Balanced XLR
Vs. Dynamic Design New Generation Lotus XLR
Vs. Crystal Cables Dreamline XLR vs.EMM Cables Isopath RCA
Vs. Dynamic Design New Generation Heritage RCA vs. MIT Oracle V3

Denon Professional DN-C640 Network CD Player
Has some limitations, yet deserves serious consideration.

XTZ Room Analyzer
A great way to upgrade your subwoofers.

JuicyMusic Merlin Preamplifier

Lowther America Alerion Loudspeaker
A Mini Horn Designed for Small Rooms

Aperion Audio Intimus 632-LR Bookshelf and 634-VAC Center Channel Loudspeakers

Music Reviews
Gustave Dudamel Fiesta
The Duhks Fast Paced World
Sierra Hull Secrets
The Stryker/Slagle Band The Scene
Dan Tyminski Wheels
Various Bluegrass, Blues And Jazz Albums
Elvin Bishop The Blues Rolls On
Creedence Clearwater Revival 40th Anniversary Remasters

See the November 2008 Review Magazine by clicking here.

 

 

DIY Audio Hi-fi MagazineEnjoy the Music.com now offers our Fall 2008 edition of the DIY Magazine that features many new audiophile projects. This edition features the Dayton WT3 Woofer Tester software, Hawthorne Audio's Sterling Silver Iris Duet loudspeaker, the Occam Audio MTM4 (Kit B option) speaker, the SSTART preamplifier, and Erno Borbely writes a manufacturer article covering his hybrid tube/MOSFET headphone amplifier. In the Fall 2008 editorial by Eli Rochlin, titled My Brief History And Why D.I.Y?, he says, "Do It Yourself (DIY) has never really gone away... it was not even resting! A newer, younger group just moved into town to claim the process as their own. Not so fast, you guys! It was we older guys who adopted it and nurtured it as our own. The main drivers were lack of money, desire and inquisitiveness, coupled with the love of music."' See the Fall 2008 DIY Magazine by clicking here.


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