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High-End Audio Industry News


12 / 31 / 08

VMAX  Get ready for high resolution streaming music to your mobile device as Taiwan's VMAX system could deliver 2.5GHz speed to users. In concert with investment from various sources including that from from Intel Capital, the global investment organization of Intel Corporation, Taiwan's wireless network operator VMAX Telecom will help deploy Taiwan's first mobile Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access (WiMAX) network. WiMAX is a data telecommunications standard for notebook computers, mobile phones and other portable devices that can transmit data five times faster than current technology. The wireless transmission technology uses a variety of transmission modes from point-to-point links to full mobile access. The technology, which enables broadband speeds without the need for cables, is based on the IEEE 802.16 standard. As one of the world's leading technology manufacturers, Taiwan has been a key innovator of WiMAX devices. "The deployment of WiMAX networks and the integration of WiMAX into mobile devices will create a truly mobile and personalized Internet experience," VMAX Chairman Dr. C. K. Liu said. Over 260 operators currently deployed WiMAX services, with expectation of that number rising to 538 in the coming year or so. "As the Internet evolves, the industry has an opportunity to deliver what consumers are seeking - a fast, seamless and personal mobile Internet experience, regardless of device or location," Intel President and CEO Paul Otellini said at an event in Taiwan. Intel is the world's biggest chipmaker. "Intel and Taiwan will continue to collaborate to create growth opportunities for the industry." Hmm, looks like this Internet thing so many people mocked and laughed at me over a decade ago seems to be catching on  :)

 

Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA)The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), the trade group that represents the United States recording industry with members consisting of members that create, manufacture and/or distribute approximately 90 percent of all legitimate sound recordings produced and sold in the country, has finally decided to wake up and stop suing people who download/share music online. Since 2003, the RIAA has been on the rampage seeking to possibly sue approximately 35,000 Internet users under the accusation of music piracy. While their new strategy to combat music sharing is not 100 percent sorted out, we can hope they stop their strong-arm tactics in 2009. "We think this is going to be a different form of stick, but we absolutely think this will be a meaningful alternative approach that will have a significant impact," said Cara Duckworth, who is a spokesperson for the RIAA. So far the RIAA has fostered agreements with Internet Service Providers (ISP), who will send notices to their users if they find illegal activities from their user base. "I'd give them credit for stopping what they've already been doing because it's been so destructive," said Brian Toder, who represents a Minnesota mother that is involved in a high-profile file-sharing case. In the meantime, the RIAA is heralding that Tennessee state Governor Phil Bredesen signed into law a bill aimed at curbing the disproportionate amount of music theft occurring on state campus networks via peer-to-peer (P2P) services. RIAA Chairman and CEO Mitch Bainwol, along with several other members of the music community, participated in the signing ceremony and welcomed the enactment of the legislation, SB 3794, which passed the state legislature earlier this year. This new bill requires that Tennessee public and private colleges and universities exercise appropriate means to ensure that computers connected to their campus network are not being abused for the purpose of illegally downloading and distributing copyrighted material through P2P file-sharing programs. Upon a proper analysis of the network, those institutions are required to implement technological support and develop and enforce a computer network usage policy to effectively limit the number of unauthorized transmissions of copyrighted works.

 

12 / 30 / 08

Accustic Arts new Drive II Transport  Accustic Arts new Drive II is the culmination of over a decade of experience in research and development. The Drive II is a CD transport and works according to the top-loader principle. The unit is designed exclusively to play CD, CD-R and CD-RWs in uncompromising quality. The core of the DRIVE II is the internationally renowned high-end CD module CDPro2LF. Contrary to most other conventional designs, this module is equipped with a very solid diecast chassis in metal and not – as is otherwise the case – with a simpler chassis made from sheet metal and plastic. The diecast chassis has excellent damping characteristics and simultaneously offers high stability and rigidity. The CD module with its 3-beam laser is fitted in the DRIVE II using an elaborate construction with mechanical decoupling (subchassis design principle) and is integrated in its own solid aluminum housing. Accustic Art's Drive II has a pair of generously dimensioned and magnetically shielded transformers of the highest quality to provide voltage feed. These transformers are produced especially for the Drive II and are made in Germany. To ensure the correct function of the individual power units, a high reservoir capacity (in total approximately 61,000 uF) was selected. The Drive II has polarity selection, a switchable mains filter, and three digital outputs (XLR, RCA and BNC).

 

Consumer Electronics Show 2009 Report & Coverage   The Home Enteetainment Show
Enjoy the Music.com has once again updated our Consumer Electronics Show & THE Show 2009 preview report! Every few days we have been busy updating our pre-show coverage, which will continue up to the day of the event. To see the Enjoy the Music.com CES & THE Show 2009 preview click here.

 

12 / 29 / 08

Tweek Geek Bybee Supercord   Tweek Geek now manufactures a custom version Bybee Supercord ($2,999). This audiophile-quality power cord improves upon the Bybee SE Ultra Power Cord in several ways, with the end result claiming to be "an even more organic, extended, layered, and relaxed presentation that is simply more like real music." Tweek Geek has licensed the use of some very special wire through Kaplan Cables, which employ 10 awg conductors. After careful experimentation, Tweek Geek chose to use a solid, unplated copper plug and IEC from China. Finally, custom made Acme Ebony AC clamps appear on the round plug shells ends as well as a custom shell to house the SE Bybee Purifiers. Each unit is handcrafted and made to order. Enjoy the Music.com has reviewed the Bybee Technologies Quantum Purifier (click here), their Slipstream RCA Magic Bullets and Speaker Charger (click here) and the Bybee Golden Goddess 'Super Effect' Speaker Bullets (click here).

 

Pragmatic Communications HideAway Series Stereo Audio AmplifierPragmatic Communications has announced their HideAway Series stereo audio digital amplifier that is said to produce "big luxurious sound, yet fits inside a very small box." This unit is actually two separate monoblock amplifiers in a single chassis and produces 48 wpc. Pragmatic Communications also offers a 24 and 36 wpc version for those desiring less power. This new unit accepts any volume controlled line level stereo input and uses a super quiet 15 VDC power supply. Advanced protection circuitry guards against system damage from overload, over temperature, or short circuits. Users can choose options including a rotary volume control, multiple amplifiers in a standard rack mount unit, and even an in-wall version that fits nicely in a single junction box. The unit's dynamic range is over 100dB with a SNR of greater than 100dB with an overall frequency response from 20 Hz to 20 kHz. This tiny unit measures a mere 2 x 3.5 x 3 (WxHxD in inches) and weights 12 ounces.

 

12 / 26 / 08

HDTracks  HDtracks is offering 20 percent off their high resolution digital music downloads! Many titles are 24-bit/96kHz, so this is truly high-resolution music and not your basic CD quality or less as found on other sites. The music they sell is from many popular recording labels and includes liner notes and other goodies not normally found from music download sites, plus many titles are available in lossless AIFF and FLAC plus lossy 320kbps MP3 file. Simply enter the promotional code hdtHD08 during check out. This special promotion ends December 31, 2008 so hurry and get some great music from many audiophile labels by clicking here.

 

12 / 24 / 08

Consumer Electronics Show 2009 Report & Coverage   The Home Enteetainment Show
Enjoy the Music.com has updated our Consumer Electronics Show & THE Show 2009 preview report! Every few days we have been busy updating our pre-show coverage, which will continue up to the day of the event. If we judge from past previews, our report will be larger than most magazines full show coverage! Check back ever few days to see what will be appear in Las Vegas. To see the Enjoy the Music.com CES & THE Show 2009 preview click here.

 

12 / 22 / 08

Audia Flight PHONO  After two years in development, Audia Flight now offers their two chassis PHONO preamplifier ($6,100). A separate power supply module on the right keeps the noise away from the larger left side chassis that holds the analog stage, which has upwards of 74dB of gain. Within the power supply is a very low noise MOSFET power supply for the second gain stage and another power supply for the first gain stage. In fact there are a total of six power supplies! The Audia Flight PHONO can be configured with moving magnet (MM) and a moving coil (MC) stage, or both stages can be MM or MC. On both input boards, the impedance selectors are very close to the input stage as changes are made by professional gold jumpers from the rear panel. Custom resistors can also be used for precise cartridge matching.

 

The Grammy Foundation announced that 30 talented high school students from across the United States have been selected for positions in the 2009 Grammy Jazz Ensembles. Their selection launches them into the spotlight surrounding the 51st Annual Grammy Awards, and will provide them with unparalleled opportunities to perform in front of some of music's biggest names. The students, representing 23 cities and 13 states, will travel to Los Angeles for a weeklong musical adventure under the direction of Justin DiCioccio of the Manhattan School of Music and Dr. Ron McCurdy of the University of Southern California Thornton School of Music. The Ensembles will perform at various events and public performances. The program was launched in 1993 by the Grammy Foundation and selectees are eligible for more than $2 million in college scholarships made possible through college partners. The students selected to the 2009 Grammy Jazz Ensembles are:

2009 Grammy Jazz Choir
Andre Brown (tenor), Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh CAPA High School Taylor Daniel (tenor), Germantown, Tenn., Germantown High School Olivia Harris (soprano), Dallas, Booker T. Washington HSPVA Jazzmeia Horn (alto), Dallas, Booker T. Washington HSPVA Amanda Kunz (alto), Renton, Wash., homeschooled Ben Lusher (bass), Dobbs Ferry, N.Y., the Masters School Michael Mayo (bass), Van Nuys, Calif., Los Angeles County High School for the Arts McKenna Whisler (soprano), Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh CAPA High School

2009 Grammy Jazz Combo
Kate Davis (bass), West Linn, Ore., West Linn High School Armand Hirsch (guitar), New York, Trevor Day School Noah Kellman (piano), Fayetteville, N.Y., Manlius Pebble Hill High School Alex Nash (drums), San Francisco, San Francisco School of the Arts

2009 Grammy Jazz Band
William Aukstik (trumpet), Lombard, Ill., Benet Academy Benny Benack (trumpet), Pittsburgh, Upper St. Clair High School Luke Celenza (piano), Bedford, N.Y., Fox Lane High School Braxton Cook (alto sax), Silver Spring, Md., Springbrook High School Natalie Cressman (trombone), San Francisco, San Francisco School of the Arts Sam Crowe (tenor sax 1), Denver, Denver School of the Arts Nick Frenay (trumpet), Syracuse, N.Y., Manlius Pebble Hill High School Joshua Gawel (trumpet), Douglassville, Pa., Daniel Boone Area High School Tyler Ginsberg (trombone 2), Metairie, La., New Orleans Center for Creative Arts Alden Harris-McCoy (guitar), Portland, Ore., Lincoln High School Josh Holcomb (trombone 1), Woodhaven, N.Y., Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts Aaron Johnson (alto sax), Portland, Ore., homeschooled Matt Knoegel(tenor sax 2), Southington, Conn., Southington High School Ethan Kogan (drums), Wilmette, Ill., New Trier Township High School Jacob Kraft (bass trombone), Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., Los Osos High School Raviv Markowitz (bass), Lexington, Mass., Lexington High School Leonardo Pellegrino (baritone sax), Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh CAPA High School Ivan Rosenberg (trumpet), New York, Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts

 

12 / 19 / 08

Trends Audio  Trends Audio now offers their PA-10 tubed headphone/preamplifier ($225) with innovative low-voltage hybrid (tube/transistor) circuit design that provides audiophile-quality sound in a compact size. The amplification stage is pure Class A and supports both 6DJ8/6922 and 12AU7 series of tubes. There is a single 6DJ8/6922 or 12AU7 tube as voltage amplification and a pair of MOSfets act as output drivers. There are two sets of switching audio inputs that include CD input plus a higher gain phono input. Tube biasing has been made easy plus a specially designed outboard AC to 24VAC adapter with extra low ripple & noise ensure clean power and minimizes power supply noise from affecting the critical analog stage. For those looking for something extra, they can employ the SLA battery power unit. Like all Trends Audio products, high-end parts are used throughout and the main unit is encased in non-magnetic aluminum that provides shielding and grounding capability. Enjoy the Music.com has reviewed the Trend Audio TA-10.1 Class-T amplifier, which can be seen by clicking here.

 

Russ Andrews Crystal-24 Loudspeaker CableRuss Andrews' Crystal-24 loudspeaker cable (£525 on up depending on configuration) uses the latest high specification banana plugs from leading connections manufacturer WBT. The Crystal-24 cable is manufactured with the same hyper pure copper and Teflon insulation as the respected Kimber Kable 8TC product, but with a total of 24 individual wires rather than the 16 used in 8TC. Each woven conductor contains seven strands of copper, with each one a different diameter. This VariStrand technology is designed to spread the skin effect more easily, resulting in a cable that doesn't favor any particular frequency. The weave that is characteristic of Kimber's 8TC speaker cable is enhanced in Crystal-24 thanks to the additional conductors effecting a steeper weave angle and the extra mass of conductors result in a cable with lower resistance. The WBT-0610 banana plugs employs the nextgen principle of low mass and an insulation of Makrolon. Utilizing an expanding inner spike the plug provides a very secure connection to the speakers for optimum signal transfer. Both pure copper (WBT-0610Cu) and pure silver (WBT-0610Ag) versions are available on the Crystal-24, giving the user choice of their preferred connection material.

 

12 / 18 / 08

Plinius Audio Hiato Stereo Integrated Amplifier  The new Plinius Audio Hiato stereo integrated amplifier is now available and comes in standard and optional phonostage versions (£5900 and £6,700 respectively). Hiato means "to gather together" and implies "harmony" in the native Maori language of Te Reo. It also explains the philosophy behind the creation of the 300 wpc Hiato, which brings together elements of the Plinius design principles used in some of the company's most prestigious products. The power supply, preamplifier stage and power amplifiers are carefully designed to integrate with each other to deliver a synergy of high-end audio performance. There are four stereo inputs plus an optional user adjustable phonostage input. On the rear of the unit are high quality WBT RCA connectors and balanced XLR inputs for Line 1 and CD. Home cinema integration is possible via the HT bypass input, remote IR and 12v trigger function. Users of portable media products can connect these via an unobtrusive 3.5mm jack on the front panel of the amplifier. Plinius Audio's Hiato is built into a solid aluminum wrap enclosure and available in black or silver.

 

The iPod may be finding itself settling in as Apple will no longer be exhibiting at the prestigious Macworld Expo, with this year being the last time an Apple executive being there to deliver the opening keynote address. On another interesting note is that Governor David Paterson of New York State, hoping to find some way to add revenue to the state's dwindling tax money, may be launching a new iPod tax. With a staggering $121 billion budget for New York, with $15.4 billion of it being unfulfilled, Paterson called for 88 new fees and a host of other taxes that include an iPod tax plus a tax on downloaded music and other "digitally delivered entertainment services." If New York can somehow pull this off, Americans might expect many other states to follow as they are in need of enhancing their revenue stream to make up for a shortfall in revenue.

 

12 / 17 / 08

Bryston SST2 (SST Squared)   Canadian electronics manufacturer Bryston has announced the introduction of the SST² (SST Squared) series amplifiers that incorporate several upgrades to all eight models of the hand-built award-winning Bryston SST² amplifier topology. Bryston's SST² amplifier line begins with the 2B SST², which produces 100 watts per channel into 8-ohms (180 per channel 4-ohms, priced at $2650). The new 28B SST ($8000) can drive virtually any loudspeaker with its 1000 watts mono into 8-ohms. The balanced input stage has been redesigned, thereby providing superior electromagnetic interference (EMI) and radio frequency (RF) noise rejection. This results in an improved signal with lower noise performance. The SST²'s power supply circuit board incorporates zero point-to-point wiring, as all components plug directly into the circuit board. Each SST² model employs output chokes specifically designed for these new models, with Bryston claiming it extends the high frequency bandwidth. Bryston amplifiers require an enormous supply of AC power when activated, so the new soft-start circuitry in the SST² amplifiers ramp up power demand gradually to present less strain on the AC supply utilizing a micro-controller. Enjoy the Music.com has reviewed the Bryston 7B ST, which can be seen by clicking here.

 

Denon DVD-A1UDCI Universal Blu-ray and DVD PlayerDenon Electronics now offers their DVD-A1UDCI ($3800) universal Blu-ray and DVD player. Audio/Video player. The DVD-A1UDCI joins Denon's AVP-A1HDCI A/V preamplifier and the POA-A1HDCI 10-channel power amplifier ($7,500 each unit) in the company's flagship HD home entertainment system. This is the first Blu-ray player to feature both DVD-Audio and SACD playback with native digital audio output via the HDMI/DENON LINK or PCM conversion with full bass management. With the combination of the proprietary DENON LINK 4th and HDMI transmission technology, digital signals from optical discs can now be transmitted virtually "jitter-free" to produce high-end images and sound quality. Of note is that this is the world's first fully-balanced stereo transmission in a Blu-ray player for analog signals. Denon re-engineered its original Advanced S.V.H. Mechanism to acive higher performance. Denon's DVD-A1UDCI features the acclaimed 10-bit Silicon Optix Realta chipset for the highest resolution high-definition video available today via HDMI connection, with upconversion and IP scaling to 1080p. For audio performance, the DVD-A1UDCI features all-new Advanced AL32 Processing, allowing digital upsampling of 16- and 24-bit digital signals to 32-bits. The player offers full on-board HD Audio decoding from Denon's DDSC-HD branded circuitry, as well as allowing for Bit Stream Bypass to HDMI for Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD High Resolution and DTS-HD Master Audio digital transmission to an AVR/AVP for decoding. Enjoy the Music.com has reviewed the Denon 2900 combination player (click here), the DVD-9000 DVD Audio/Video player (click here), the DVD-5900 universal player with Underwood/Parts ConneXion Level 2 mods (click here) and Denon's Professional DN-C640 network CD player (click here).

 

12 / 16 / 08

The Absolute Sound  Enjoy the Music.com now offers a world premiere of the January 2009 edition of The Absolute Sound (Issue 189) featuring the complete table of contents and complete editorial! This edition features Product of the Year Awards as TAS honors the very best high-end products of 2008, Berkeley Audio Design Alpha DAC, the PSB Imagine T and Imagine B loudspeakers, Mystère's IA21 integrated amplifier, the Sonus Faber Cremona loudspeaker, MBL's 101 X-Treme loudspeaker plus much more. Within this issue's editorial titled The Future Is Now, Robert Harley says "I'm pleased to report that our Web site, theabsolutesound.com, has been completely redesigned from the ground up and is now live. I recently took a preview tour of the new site and am thrilled by what our Web development team has created. The Absolute Sound's new site is not only much more visually appealing, it's vastly easier to find exactly what you're looking for on it. While we continue to add content daily, there are already more than 700 product reviews from the past ten years available free (with information on several thousand more), along with major features such as show reports, Editors' Choice, Golden Ear, and Product of the Year Awards. The site also includes content from our sister magazines, Playback and Hi-Fi+." You can see the table of contents and read the complete editorial by clicking here.

 

JMR Rejoice!John Marks Records (JMR) is giving away free music! Editor of Enjoy the Music.com, Steven R. Rochlin, has personally met John at a wonderful classical music concert plus has heard quite a few of JMR's recordings. They are very highly recommend for music to enjoy during this festive holiday season! "Of the three Christmas string-quartet volumes, the second is my favorite, and of all the tracks I have produced, this little gem is among my top favorites" said John Marks. "Over and above the usual hi-fi stuff about imaging and soundstage and ambience, the players play so wonderfully together and with such open-hearted expression. Special credit goes to violinists Arturo Delmoni and Nina Bodnar, who play like twins separated at birth." You can buy the albums in hard copy form directly from JMR records or in mp3 form from Arkiv Music. For now, feel free to download the free mp3 song titled "Ave Maria" by clicking here.

 

12 / 15 / 08

 CES / THE Show 2009 Preview Report  Enjoy the Music.com 's Review Magazine midmonth update includes the announcement of our CES / THE Show 2009 preview report, an updated letters page plus a new manufacturer article! The manufacturer article titled Content Insider - Visions for 2009: A Year of Realignment, Reassessment, Repositioning is by Andy Marken of Marken Communications and discusses content and delivery in the upcoming marketplace. We also now offer many equipment previews to what will be seen at the upcoming Las Vegas shows. Check back every few days as we will continually be adding to the report until the first day of the show in January. Enjoy the Music.com will have many writers at both events and will be reporting back extensively. Again, check back every few days as we add more to our CES / THE Show 2009 preview report.

 

Ultrasone Edition 9 Headphones Ultrasone announces the very last of their Edition 9 headphones ($1799) are available in the United States. The Edition 9 headphones utilize Ultrasone's finest 40 mm titanium-plated Mylar drivers said to "deliver astounding sonic clarity and transparency". The Edition 9 headphones aesthetic is due in large part to the use of the black chrome in both the ear cups and nameplates. The attention to detail in the design of the headphones is partially due to use of Ethiopian sheep leather in ear pads and headband pad, ensuring the listener maximum listening comfort. The headphones come in a sleek, metal attaché case for safe storage and transportation. These closed-back headphones feature S-Logic Natural Surround Sound and have a frequency range from 8 Hz to 35 kHz. Impedance is 30 Ohms and the headphones can reach a sound pressure level of 96 dB. Weight is just over a pound and the headphones come with a five year warranty.

 

12 / 12 / 08

AVI And Speaker Techniques  ADM9.1 System  The new ADM9.1 system by AVI And Speaker Techniques (£1899) features a pair of monitors and subwoofer that powers the entire system. These new fully active, two-way monitors comprise of 9 liter enclosures each with high performance Wolfson 24-bit/192kHz DAC (via optical Toslink digital input), a remote controlled two input preamplifier (one USB DAC and one analog) and 4th order electronic crossovers. For amplification, a pair of high speed, linear, bipolar power amplifiers (250 and 75 watts respectively) are located within the subwoofer enclosure. The subwoofer features a 10-inch driver with 3-inch voice coil and total discursion of 2-inches. An included low-pass filter can be set for 20, 30, 40, 60, 80 or 100 Hz while the gain is also adjustable to suit room acoustics. The minimonitors have a 6.5-inch paper cone drive unit and the tweeter is of the 1-inch silk dome variety. Inputs include low-level stereo via RCA jacks on optical Toslink. According to the company's website, "We're very much a purist audiophile company (albeit one coated liberally with BS repellent!) and we're anxious to be amongst the first to get the very best sound quality that these new Studio Master Downloads and Reference Recordings will allow and to that end, we've completely redesigned almost every part of the original ADM9."

 

12 / 11 / 08

Tivoli Audio NetWorks  Tivoli Audio just released their NetWorks radio available as a basic unit or one with AM/FM radio ($599.99 and $649.99 respectively, with a paired unit being upwards of $749). This Wi-Fi NetWorks unit can tune in Internet radio stations from around the world, plus allows music stored on a linked PC to be played back from any room in a home. NetWorks can be expanded with a stereo speaker, CD player, or subwoofer. Accessing AM and FM stations via a Wi-Fi or Ethernet broadband connection can be made without a computer on radio models, while the NetWorks connects to thousands of free Internet radio stations worldwide. Users can enter the company's Global Portal to add any radio station, chat with a NetWorks community, get the latest NetWorks news, and receive technical help electronically or from live audio experts.

 

12 / 10 / 08

Naim Classical  Naim Classical label launches with high-resolution audio and CD releases. The first two releases: Mozart Wind Serenades with the Chamber Soloists of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and Hands on Heart, a live concert in memory of the brother of cellist Tim Hugh, were both recorded in hi-res digital (24-bit/88.2kHz) by Grammy award-winning Tony Faulkner. Enthusiasts with Naim HDX hard disc players, NaimNet Music Servers and many other brands of Internet audio enabled devices will be able to hear these performances as Tony Faulkner recorded them. The pack includes a CD for compatibility with traditional CD players and a DVD Data disc containing the hi-res audio files in the highest quality wav format. Naim and the Naim Label do not consider the compromise of compression of audio files to be worthwhile, considering the ever decreasing price of hard disc space.

 

Paradigm Electronics Signature SUB 25Paradigm Electronics is now shipping their most powerful and intelligent subwoofer ever: the Signature SUB 25 ($3999). Paradigm has designed the SUB 25 to effectively harness and optimize AC line current for optimal performance, with all AC line voltages operating intuitively on a 120 V or 230 V circuit. This unit's high-efficiency Ultra-Class D amplifier, rated at 3,000 watts sustained RMS, drives a 15-inch driver with three-inch peak-to-peak cone travel. The driver has an improved high-efficiency motor assembly, massive shorting ring and all new FEA-optimized elliptical surround offer high linearity. An optional add-on for the Signature SUB 25 is Paradigm's Perfect Bass Kit (PBK-1 priced at $299) interface, which is a state-of-the-art room correction system derived from sister company Anthem Electronics' acclaimed ARC-1. Additional Features of the Paradigm Reference Signature SUB 25 include:

— L/R RCA Audio inputs
— Subwoofer Input
— Balanced XLR input
— Independently adjustable output level, bandwidth and phase
— Power modes: Off, Trigger and Auto
— External Trigger input
— Reconfigurable via USB port

Newform Research

 

Newform Research claims to have taken loudspeaker design a step forward with their new line of Ribbon tweeters to complement the existing "R" series. The New Oval series is built around a powerful neodymium magnet structure housed in an Oval shaped oak sheathing. Why Oval? Besides a very attractive look, the Oval profile is claimed to "allows the new Ribbons to be used in one of the most significant loudspeaker design advances in many years - Newform Research's Coaxial Ribbon LineSource design (patent applied for)." The Newform Research Ribbon LineSource loudspeakers provide a larger sweetspot and reduce degrading room interference better than the company's previous loudspeaker configuration.

 

12 / 09 / 08

EntreQ Cables  EntreQ claims to have the best wire for those who use Class D amplifiers. Their press release says, "Tube amplifiers and conventional transistor amplifiers work in class A or AB that deliver a pleasant sound but also is a very energy demanding equipment where most of the energy consumption is turned into heat. Also, the production is usually not very environmentally friendly. Probably everyone agree that Class D will be the future's amplifier technology and every major manufacturer is working on some kind of development in the area. Great steps forward have been accomplished but the technology is totally different from the conventional amplifier technology. It is also still a problem to achieve quality of sound like the Hi Fi sound that is produced with conventional amplifier technology." As such, Entreq specially designed cables for Class D with their EEDS technology. Their copper cables are totally asymmetric, with different lengths for the positive and negative signal. EEDS does not employ a shield. Instead, the cable has a drain wire which should be connected to an external ground. Pricing is from 550€ to 2250€.

 

EMIJust like the United States investment firms being overly leveraged, then defaulting and causing a financial holocaust, it has been reported that some of EMI's top executives ran for the exits as the label is about to default on a major loan from, you guessed it, an American financial institution who itself is being taken to task! Of note is that quite a few top Terra Firma executives, the ones who oversee EMI's operations, ran for the door including the President and COO Chris Roling. Also on the reported run-for-the-hills list are Ashley Unwin (EMI UK and North America), Francois van der Spuy (director at EMI). Meanwhile EMI needed a $14.8 million cash infusion to give to failing firm Citigroup to cover part of a $200,000,000,000 ($200 billion) loan. Sales from EMI has declined 9.2 percent during the first three quarters within America. As for the overall health of the industry, Pali Research claims that overall music sales for both digital downloads and physical CD from all recording labels combined are down 15.6 percent so far this quarter (Q4).

 

On the hardware side of things Sony Corporation is cutting approximately four percent of its workers and close down sectors that are not profitable in hopes of reducing $1.1 billion in costs. This nearly 16,000 job cuts and closing 10 percent of Sony's 57 manufacturing sites worldwide is the largest downtrend to date by any Asian company. It may prove that Sony's continual development into proprietary formats and hardline tactics in protectionism may not be the way to conduct business. One of the problems Sony and many other Asian firms are facing is the very weak Federal Reserve Dollar used within America, which is continually losing its value against the stronger Asian currency. This makes importing Asian goods to the United States more expensive, per se, when valued in Dollars. Sony sells nearly 80 percent of their products overseas and the Dollar has sunk to around 93 Yen (¥ to $) from 117 a year earlier. That means Sony has lost nearly 20 percent of their Yen as the Dollar buys fewer Yen today than it did a year ago. As for the Euro (€), the Yen is 38 percent up in value versus the waning Euro this year. Sony is preparing to offer bonds to help finance their ingoing debit. This is the first time in three years that Sony has made such an offering. It has been reported by Bloomberg that, "The Tokyo-based company will use proceeds from the planned sale to help cover the costs of redeeming ¥250 billion ($2.7 billion) in convertible bonds coming due December 18, the official said."

 

On an upbeat note, India's CE market value to reach $16 billion by 2012 according to Futuresource Consulting. This market grew by more than 30 percent last year to reach $3.8 billion and will continue to grow. "This rapid growth is being driven by the country's rising levels of disposable income," says Kanti Thota, Research Analyst at Futuresource Consulting. "Its economy is riding a phenomenal growth curve, and with current penetration rates low for most CE products the market opportunities are huge. In a country inhabited by over one billion people, expanding by 18 million every year plus a swelling middle class population, India is said to be expected to overtake China to become the world's most populated nation by 2030.

 

12 / 08 / 08

Studio Electric EA4 Hybrid Tube Amplifier  The new Studio Electric EA4 ($7350) is a dual mono design stereo amplifier that employs three discrete power supplies, including a "Mil Spec" regulated supply for the unit's tube electronics. As one of the highest power hybrids available, the EA4 is rated at 275 watts/ch into 8 Ohms (405 watts into 4 ohms) with a design based on a classic tube front-end mated to premium English MOSFET power transistors. An optional cost stepped attenuator allows for direct connection to source components. The heavy aluminum chassis and massive heat sinks are machined by Josh Stippich at ElectronLuv. Included in the price is a set of NOS Siemens E88CC from the 1960's tubes and each Studio Electric EA4 is hand built to order.

 

Boston Audio SocietyThe Boston Audio Society will be having their yearly 'White Elephant Sale' on Saturday, December 20. It operates from 2pm to 5pm at the Boston University, Life Science & Engineering Bldg, 24 Cummington St, 1st Floor Conference Room (Room 103), Boston, MA. Bring all you want to sell including amplifiers, preamplifiers, tuners, tape decks, turntables, CD/DVD/SACD players, loudspeakers, headphones, cartridges, converters, etc. Vendor tables are a low $1 each and attending it to buy items is free. For large items consider bringing in pictures and manuals/specification sheets. For those needing table(s), please pre-register with Alvin Foster at amfmail@gis.net or call (617) 271-6588. Enjoy the Music.com is web partners with the Boston Audio Society, and you can read their very educational articles by clicking here.

 

Audioengine W2 Premium Wireless AdapterAudioengine now offers their W2 Premium Wireless Adapter ($169) for Apple's iPod. The Audioengine W2 turns an iPod into a wireless audio server, sending the signal digital to the Audioengine mating Receiver unit. Think of the Audioengine W2 as the "dockless dock". With a wireless connection that beats Bluetooth, FM, and most other 2.4MHz systems. The AW2 is pre-configured out of the box so there are no buttons to push and no software to configure. Extra Receivers can also be added to other music systems around the house allowing you to "hop" between each. The AW2 Receiver is unobtrusive and is easily placed on the back of any stereo system to either stereo headphone or RCA analog inputs. The AW2 uses uncompressed CD-quality transmission technology and sends its Wi-Fi-based all-digital PCM encoded stream over a self-contained network. This system includes error correction and low latency while the Sender works via the iPods power. Enjoy the Music.com has reviewed the Audioengine A2 powered minimonitor (click here),  the Audioengine 5 larger powered monitors (click here),  and their W1 wireless audio adapter (click here).

Specifications
• Wi-Fi frequency band: 2.4 GHz to 2.4835 GHz
• THD+N: <0.03%
• Latency: <20mSec
• Range: 30 feet
• Frequency Response: 20Hz to 22Khz (+/-1.5dB)
• Output voltage: 830mV
• Channel Separation: 65dB

 

12 / 04 / 08

Waterfall Audio Niagara Floorstanding Loudspeaker  Waterfall Audio has unveiled their unique, horn-loaded Niagara ($53,000 per pair) floorstanding loudspeakers. This leading French loudspeaker specialist, with more than ten years of experience, took three years of research and development in making the new Niagara. The Niagara stands just over 42-inches high and uses 0.75-inch Diamond Glass for the cabinetry. Different in color from regular glass, Diamond Glass is a very expensive material which is treated at a much higher temperature giving it extra light capturing qualities and greater transparency; a transparency which gives the visual effect of making the drivers float on air. Custom built midrange/bass Atohm drivers equipped with the patented ADT (Acoustic- Damping Tube) and a unique Glass Horn tweeter round out the driver compliment. The midrange/bass drivers and the Niagara's base plinth are housed separately from the horn-loaded tweeter to ensure there is no undesirable driver interaction. In fact the horn tweeter takes over ten hours of intense machining and hand finishing to complete. This three-way, four driver design has a frequency response from 36 Hz to 28 kHz and is 89dB/W/m sensitive at 8 Ohms. Overall dimensions are 12.60 x 42.25 x 11.81 (WxHxD) and weight is 130 lbs.

 

Online music is easily gaining ground on many fronts! Atlantic Records has said that their digital sales have eclipsed their hard format sales for the first time in the company's history. Over half the money they earn comes from digital downloading of their licensed music. Meanwhile EMusic has sold over 250 million downloads to date from their catalog currently at 4.5 million tracks. This number includes downloads sold in the United States, Canada and 26 European countries. Sales have been accelerating as the most recent 100 million downloads were within the past year alone. Lastly, HDtracks.com has added two new labels to their high-resolution music offerings. Cantaloupe Music was created by the three founders of New York's legendary Bang on a Can Festival: composers Michael Gordon, David Lang, and Julia Wolfe. Cantaloupe Music has made a massive impact in the new music community and has been recognized by critics and fans around the globe for its adventurous sounds. Cantaloupe features cutting edge downtown artists such as Terry Riley, Phil Kline, Bang on a Can All-Stars, David Lang, Brian Eno, Ethel, and Dominic Frasca. The other label to join HDtracks is Epiphany Recordings Ltd., which is a label dedicated to recording the very finest performers in the most acoustically attractive settings. The label was founded by recording engineer Jeremy Kipnis, son of the legendary keyboardist, Igor Kipnis and grandson of the singer, Alexander Kipnis. Jeremy's goal was to create the finest sounding early-music, classical audiophile recordings, done with his own proprietary microphones and recording system. The initial productions, as well as the concerts themselves, were recorded in the Benedictine Grange in West Redding, Connecticut, a 150-year-old post-and-beam barn. Epiphany's goal is to provide the musical experience of a live concert to the remote listener.

 

12 / 04 / 08

Audiomangus Audiomagus PowerCleaner12  New from Audiomagus is an easy and cost-effective performance boost for any 12VDC-powered audio component, including T-amps and DACs. The Audiomagus PowerCleaner12 ($90 is part of the growing PowerCenter line of products use top quality components (Panasonic capacitors, OFC wire). High-quality Switchcraft 2.1mm Panel Mount Jacks are used for power input and output. The parts are housed within a black anodized aluminum case measuring 2.24 x 1.75 x 4 (WxHxL in inches). Each PowerCleaner includes 12VDC 15-inch PowerCable12 handcrafted by Audiomagus within the USA. Design features include:

— Reduction of high frequency noise (particularly effective with switching noise from Switch Mode Power Supplies (SMPS)
— Lower AC mains noise that makes it through the power supply
— Keep high frequency noise from your T-amp from feeding back into the mains power and affecting other components.
— Silver plated OFC (Oxygen Free Copper) 18 AWG 0.96 mm², 0.0015 in², 19 x 30 AWG stranded
— Cross-linked ETFE Polymer insulation
— 2.5mm locking Switchcraft plug for connection to PowerCleaner
— 2.1mm non-locking Switchcraft plug for connection to Component

 

12 / 03 / 08

Teresonic Clarison Gold Interconnect Cable  Teresonic's new Clarison Gold interconnect cable ($2985 for 1m length) features 99.999 percent pure 24-carat solid gold conductors that enable the ultimate in sound quality. Advanced shielding ensures triple signal protection from electric, magnetic, and mechanical interference. Capacitance is 53 pf/m/1kHz and propagation delay is 93 percent speed of light. The Teresonic Clarison interconnect employs 24kt gold plated WBT Nextgen RCA type connectors. Gold has long been used for its high conductivity, non-corrosiveness, and unique sonic characteristics. The cables also provides protection from EMI, RFI and cross talk by using carbon-enriched ferromagnetic material, a high technology shielding developed for special applications requiring "zero interference." The shielding allows protection to work both ways: preventing external interference from getting in, and keeping the energy of the music signal from "escaping" the cable. Enjoy the Music.com has reviewed the Teresonic Ingenium full range single driver loudspeaker (click here).

 

Glow Audio Voice One LoudspeakerGlow Audio Voice One and Sub One loudspeakers ($348 per pair and $348 each respectively) are now available, with the Voice One being made of recycled wood to minimize environmental impact and a unique faceted interior surface (patent pending) acts to break up standing waves. The specially-designed enclosure minimizes both standing waves within the cabinet structure and enclosure resonance, resulting in a fast, open sound devoid of the congestion and strain so often evident in small bookshelf speakers. The crossoverless Voice One driver utilizes a specially designed phase plug to provide excellent dispersion characteristics. The Glow Audio Sub One is approximately 9-inches square and is said to deliver deeply accurate bass with a 6.5-inch woofer plus a downward firing passive radiator. A 60 watt amplifier is included and frequency response of the Sub One if from 30 Hz to 160 Hz. All speakers are available in natural wood finish and a variety of high gloss piano grade finishes in colors to match Glow Audio amplifiers. Enjoy the Music.com has reviewed the Glow Audio Amp One that can be seen by clicking here.

 

12 / 02 / 08

Consumer Electronics Show 2009 Report & Coverage   The Home Enteetainment Show
Enjoy the Music.com has begun our Consumer Electronics Show & THE Show 2009 preview report! Each few days we plan to update our pre-show coverage up to the day of the event. If we judge from past previews, our report will be larger than most magazines full show coverage! Check back ever few days to see what will be appear in Las Vegas. To see the Enjoy the Music.com CES & THE Show 2009 preview click here.

 

Intact Audio Autoformer Volume Control Modules Intact Audio has introduced their new Autoformer Volume Control Modules ($350/pair). These modules utilize two switches to obtain +1.25dB to -41.25dB of magnetic attenuation in 1.25 dB steps. The dual mono design in addition to the small 1.25dB step size provide users to precisely tune the output level plus give an effective balance control without the addition of additional circuitry. The modules use autoformers designed and built by Dave Slagle and the switching design is from John Chapman of Bent Audio . The compact design and use of a PCB allows for a very short and clean signal path. The autoformers use high quality 80 percent nickel cores and non-magnetic hardware. The switches are made in the UK and have silver plated contacts.

 

12 / 01 / 08

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

Superior Audio
World Premiere!
Coincident Speaker Technology Total Victory IV
So good that I'm really going to miss this one.
Review By Rick Becker

World Premiere!
Harmonic Resolution Systems SXR Equipment Rack With M3 Isolation Bases
Applying extraordinary engineering and design to equipment racks.
Article By Jules Coleman

World Premiere!
The New Moscode 402 Au Stereo Amplifier
This is what I love about tubed components.
Review By Ron Nagle

Flashback: Silbatone Ji-300MKII Integrated Tube Amplifier
Perhaps the best integrated tube amplifier in the world!
Review By Steven R. Rochlin

Flashback: EAR / Yoshino 834T Integrated Amplifier 
Casting solid-state in the mold of tube amplification.
Review By Dick Olsher

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


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

Boston Audio Society
More About Absolute Polarity
Article By Dan Shanefield

Manufacturer Article
Music Playback From A Computer – The Audiophile's Concerns
Article Submitted By Daniel Weiss Of Weiss Engineering Ltd. 

Sound Practices: Casual Reactions
Article By Herb Reichert, Audio Note NYC

Sound Practices: I Never Met A 2A3 Amp That I Didn't Like
Article By Editor Joe Roberts

 

Viewpoint
Thank You 2008. Enter 2009 As We Grow Strong!
Fourteen years... and over 100 shows with 40 writers and counting.
Article By Steven R. Rochlin

Audiolics Anonymous Chapter 110
Christmas Presents and Electraprint EP-SEA2 Amplifier
Article By Dr. Bill Gaw

The Nearfield: PSB Imagine B Speakers And
The The Headroom Bi-Amped Audiophile Desktop Package
Article By Steven Stone

On The Road (In San Francisco)
Article By Jules Coleman

Audiolics Anonymous Chapter 97
My Audience Part Deux
Audience adeptResponse aR6 & aR12 High Resolution Power Conditioner.
Article By Bill Gaw

Subs Versus Obs... ABX And Other Ramblings
Article By Steven R. Rochlin

 

Audiophile Equipment Reviews
Enjoy the Music.com Great Audiophile Gift 2008
Gift ideas to give your audiophile for the 2008 holiday season!
Article By Steven R. Rochlin, Rick Becker and the Staff

Dynaudio Focus 110 Monitor Loudspeaker
Good for a small listening room or a second system.
Review By Tom Lyle

MHDT Labs Havana Non-Oversampling DAC With USB Input
CD players are absolutely dead!
Review By Scott Faller

Scheu Analog Cello Turntable With Classic Mk II 10-Inch Tonearm
Article By Phil Gold

Yamamoto Sound Craft YDA-01 DA Converter
Digital at its finest!
Review By Anthony Nicosia

Flashback: Furutech Evolution Cable
Musical ease and excellent control.
Review By Brett Rudolph

Flashback: Promitheus Audio TVC SE
Less Really Is More
Review By Nels Ferre

 

Music Reviews
Classical Music
Three symphonic works from American composer Aaron Jay Kernis,
well presented by Chicago's "summer orchestra."
Joe Milicia

Jazz, Folk, Bluegrass, Blues, Etc.
Nels Andrews Off Track Betting
The Grascals Keep on Walkin
New Guitar Summit Shivers
Junior Sisk & Ramblers Choice Blue Side of the Blue Ridge
Reviews By Steven Stone

Spyro Gyra A Night Before Christmas
Review By Victoria Collins

Rock, Pop, Funk, Techno, Punk, Metal, Etc.
Smashing Pumpkins If All Goes Wrong
Review By Kevin Liedel

 

See the December 2008 Review Magazine by clicking here.


 

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