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High-End Audio Industry News


12 / 31 / 10

HDtracks  This just in from HDtracks: We want to thank you for your continued support of HDtracks and the quest for better sound. We have recently added a digital accessory page to HDtracks, located on our side navigation bar. This page will feature software players that can drastically improve the sound quality of your computer playback systems. Also, for those interested in converting files, we have provided links to audio conversion programs. We at HDtracks strive to provide the latest information regarding innovations that can improve the sound quality of our files and your audio systems. We have amazing surprises planned for next year, and thank you for joining us on this exciting journey to hear music. It will only get better in 2011.

Have a great New Year,
David & Norman Chesky and the HDtracks Team

 

12 / 30 / 10

High End 2011  Germany's High End Society will be celebrating 30 years of their HIGH END show in 2011! As Europe's largest and most famous trade fair for high-quality consumer electronics, connoisseurs of high-quality consumer electronics have the opportunity to admire the industry's latest developments at the High End show in Munich. The Munich Operation Center (M.O.C.) in the North of Munich has played host to the show since 2004 and this year will take place from May 19th through the 22nd. This once exclusive yet limited show for sound enthusiasts, which took place in a hotel within Frankfurt, has greatly expanded and developed into a large multimedia event. While the High End show is an important platform for manufacturers and distributors to meet, visitors can experience first-hand the finest and most spectacular equipment on the market. Approximately 800 brands will be on display in Munich, represented from more than 250 exhibitors from all over the world.

 

Dr. Billy TaylorDr. Billy Taylor, a jazz pianist, composer, educator and broadcaster who encompassed that rare combination of creativity, intelligence, vision, commitment and leadership, qualities that made him one of our most cherished national treasures, died in New York due to heart failure according to his daughter. Billy Taylor (July 24, 1921 to December 28, 2010) was the Robert L. Jones Distinguished Professor of Music at East Carolina University in Greenville. Since 1994, Taylor was the artistic director for jazz at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. He also sat on the Honorary Founders Board of The Jazz Foundation of America. In 1989 Billy Taylor, Ann Ruckert, Herb Storfer and Phoebe Jacobs started The Jazz Foundation to save the homes and the lives of America's elderly jazz and blues musicians including musicians that survived Hurricane Katrina. Among his most notable works is "I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to Be Free", achieving great popularity with Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s. Playing the piano professionally since 1944, he got his start with Ben Webster's Quartet on New York's famed 52nd Street. He then served as the house pianist at Birdland, the legendary jazz club where he performed with such celebrated masters as Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie and Miles Davis. Starting in the 1950s, Billy Taylor ked his own Trio, as well as performed with the most influential jazz musicians of the twentieth century. With over twenty three honorary doctoral degrees, Dr. Billy Taylor was also the recipient of two Peabody Awards, an Emmy, a Grammy and a host of prestigious and highly coveted prizes, such as the National Medal of Arts, the Tiffany Award, a Lifetime achievement Award from Downbeat Magazine, and, election to the Hall of Fame for the International Association for Jazz Education. Dr. Taylor's survivors include his wife Theodora and his daughter Kim Taylor-Thompson.

 

12 / 29 / 10

CES 2011  Enjoy the Music.com's CES Preview 2011 and T.H.E. Show audiophile event preview report has just been updated! Check back multiple times a week as Enjoy the Music.com is updating their CES Preview show and T.H.E. Show preview often right up until the first day of these events. Stay ahead and be the first to learn of all the new gear to appear at the show before others. If you are an exhibitor of either event and want to have your product featured within the preview, click here for details.

 

12 / 28 / 10

The Union by Elton John and Leon Russell  HDtracks, the Internet's leading online site for high resolution digital music downloads,  is proud to welcome one of the most critically acclaimed albums of 2010: The Union by Elton John and Leon Russell and is now available for the first time ever in 24-bit/96kHz. This title was picked as the #3 album of 2010 by Rolling Stone, debuted at #3 on Billboard’s Top 200 chart and was produced by Oscar and Grammy winner T Bone Burnett. This stunning album pairs multiple Grammy winner Elton John (one of the top-selling solo artists of all time, with over 250 million records sold) and legendary Grammy winning pianist Leon Russell (who will be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2011). Featuring guests Neil Young, Brian Wilson, Booker T. Jones, Robert Randolph, and a 10-piece gospel choir, it's no wonder that The Union is one of the most critically acclaimed albums of 2010.

 

Schiit Audio LyrThe new Schiit Audio Lyr ($449) headphone amplifier high-power 6 wpc hybrid design has ample power for even the toughest to drive units. "The popularity of orthodynamic headphones such as the Audeze LCD-2 and HiFiMan HE-4, HE-5, and HE-6 has created a need for very high-power headphone amps," said Jason Stoddard, Co-Founder of Schiit. The Lyr hybrid (tube-MOSFET) fully discrete, no-feedback, non-inverting headphone amplifier has a unique Dynamically Adaptive output stage. The Dynamically Adaptive output stage allows Lyr to operate essentially like a single-ended Class A amplifier into high impedance loads or at low volumes, then seamlessly transition to push-pull Class A and Class AB at higher output levels. Lyr's hybrid design uses a JJ ECC88 tubes for voltage gain and are exchangeable for any 6DJ8, 6922, or ECC88 type, up to and including 6N1Ps. This unit's topology includes a single voltage gain stage, and DC-coupling at the input and output that is said to aid in exceptional transparency and enhanced dynamics. The Lyr is available for pre-order now, with a targeted ship date of March 2011.

 

12 / 27 / 10

  According to the Wall Street Journal's MarketWatch, "Consumers spent $36.4 billion in the 2010 holiday-shopping season, a 15.4% increase from the prior year, according to a new survey. The survey from MasterCard Advisors SpendingPulse, released on Wednesday, tracks national retail and services sales. It measured the period between Oct. 31 and Dec. 24. Today, e-commerce accounts for a much larger share of overall retail sales compared to a few years ago. And during this holiday season, it registered double-digit growth for 6 out of 7 weeks," noted Michael McNamara, vice president at MasterCard Advisors SpendingPulse... There were six days during the 2010 shopping season during which sales topped $1 billion against 3 days in 2009".

 

Cypher Labs AlgoRhythm SoloCypher Labs has proudly announced their release of the AlgoRhythm Solo ($579) high performance audio processor for mobile and home-based systems designed to generate true CD-quality sound from Apple portable devices. The AlgoRhythm Solo is completely portable, and is powered by Lithium-ion batteries for extra clean playback and long operation times. The Solo's main processor and reference grade Wolfson Microelectronics digital-to-analog converter is said to "unlock audiophile-quality music from the convenience of their iPad, iPhone or iPod." The USB interface feeds the DSP via Wolfson Microelectronics DAC to line level analog headphone output. It also simultaneous outputs via S/PDIF for home use with a desktop or portable DAC. It uses asynchronous processing and two lithium-ion batteries provide long play times and clean power. There are 10 configurable timers and 3 clock chips to allow for maximum flexibility in controlling digital timing, which means the device produces extremely low jitter. Dimensions are 2.8" x 4.3" x 0.75".

 

Music Industry News 10 Years Ago
Beatles 1Proving the Beatles are still alive and well in the hearts and souls of music lovers, Capitol Records release of the Beatles 1 album has sold 3.36 million albums since it was release on November 21st according to Soundscan
. This compilation of 30 year old recordings shows that in the old days there were bands that were truly capable of writing quality music having long-lasting love affairs with listeners. Beatles 1 has flown past the sales of the old Anthology release Volumes 2 and 3 series. Beatles 1 will soon to pass Volume 1 whose sales are at 3.58 million to date. The new Backstreet Boys album is over a quarter million albums behind the Beatles 1 release. Fourth quarter sales of music in general is very close to last year's totals showing that the likes of Napster might not be having as great an affect as the major labels would like us to think. Still, major labels are having a serious problem finding bands that can come close to the phenom of the Beatles, Led Zeppelin and the likes. One hit wonders and short-lived bands seem to fill the airwaves of popular music radio stations today.

 

12 / 24 / 10

  Tis the season for holiday music streaming online! Free holiday music on your Internet radio:

Sonos users can go to Radio > Search > Stations > Holiday or Christmas or Hanukah.

Holiday Music from iHeartRadio as they are featuring a "Holiday Mix".

Last.fm you can search their Christmas stream.

At Napster you'll find more than 30 different playlists for the holidays.

Pandora has everything from Classical Christmas to Hanukkah.

Rhapsody of course has a Holiday channel.

SIRIUS/XM Channel 810, Channel 4 and Channel 79 are your choices.

 

Diana Krall Christmas SongsDiana Krall's holiday favorite Christmas Songs is now available on HDtracks in 24-bit/96kHz! Co-produced by Krall, with Grammy award winning Tommy LiPuma, the album features the talents of renowned arranger and bassist John Clayton (Count Basie, Duke Ellington), guitarist Anthony Wilson (Chris Botti, Michael Buble), drummer Jeff Hamilton (Rosemary Clooney, Natalie Cole) and bassist Bob Hurst (The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Saturday Night Live). The Clayton/Hamilton Orchestra accompanies Krall for seasonal standards, "Let It Snow," "I'll Be Home For Christmas," "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town" and "Jingle Bells." Legendary composer Johnny Mandel contributes a string arrangement to "Count Your Blessings Instead of Sheep." Rounding out the album are previously released versions of "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas" and "Christmas Time Is Here" with a band that includes guitarist Russell Malone.

HDtracks has many other Christmas titles to choose from. Visit their website and buy high-resolution music online.

 

12 / 23 / 10

Lamm Industries ML2.2 Monoblock Tube AmplifierLamm Industries new ML2.2 monoblock tube amplifier ($37,190 per pair) is the successor to the company's ML2.1 and represents a new generation of single-ended power units. The 2.2 has a regulated power supply employing a unique high current low impedance power vacuum tube triodes 6C33C in both output stage and power supply. Implementation of these triodes allowed to create an output transformer with a very low turns ratio and, as a consequence, extended frequency decade factor as well as dramatically reduced leakage inductance. Each ML2.2 is handcrafted and incl;udes high-end parts including military-grade Dale metal-film resistors, PRC wire-wound resistors, Caddock power-film resistors, Bourns multi-turn potentiometers, Cornell Dubilier and United Chemi-Com electrolytic capacitors. Lamm Industries' ML2.2 features the following upgrades and modifications as compared to the ML2.1:

• New power transformer
• Input stage totally redesigned and based on the ML3 Signature amplifier.
• Five filter chokes (compared to two in the ML2.1)
• Plate fuse holder located on top for greater customer convenience
• Utilization of a much higher quality pc-board, and parts and materials
• Introduction of an option to turn the amp on/off remotely

 

12 / 22 / 10

Magico Q3 Speaker  Magico, a leader in high-performance loudspeaker design and manufacture, has unveiled the Magico Q3 ($34,000 per pair). This five driver three-way floorstander is housed in a fully-braced, fully-damped, aluminum and brass hard-anodized enclosure. Featuring a complete set of Magico-designed drivers, including three new 7" Nano-Tec woofers, delivers overall system efficiency of 90dB/W/m. The Q3 builds upon the proven concept of the Q platform first developed for the award-winning Q5, which was the first Magico product to take advantage of complete in-house control of all design and build variables. Magico's three new woofers are complemented by a 6" Nano-Tec midrange and the MBe-1 Beryllium dome tweeter. Together, these drivers represent Magico's continued pursuit of developing and implementing some of the finest loudspeaker drivers. The Q3's continuous curve of the front baffle minimizes diffraction. Substantial collar-locking isolation feet are also a highlight in the pursuit of ultimate performance. Overall sensitivity is 90dB/W/m, impedance is 5 Ohms and frequency response is from 26 Hz to 50 kHz. Cabinet dimensions are 47 x 16 x 10.5 (HxDxW in inches) and each unit eights 250 lbs.

 

Gato Audio P-6 SpeakerGato Audio, a Danish based company with a wide range of audiophile products, has launched the Performance Monitor range. Following the breakthrough performance and styling of the cost-no-object Gato Audio FM loudspeaker range, their engineers immediately applied their considerable skills and newfound insight to the even more daunting task of preserving as much as possible of that exalted performance in a significantly more affordable loudspeaker series. Gato Audio's PM speakers are constructed from high-density fiberboard with sleek, curved side panels laminated with up to five layers to ensure maximum strength, rigidity and resonance control. The elegant curvature of the enclosure is more than a design affectation, as the specific geometry of the cabinet eliminates internal standing waves. Danish developed 38 mm ring radiator high frequency transducer with a powerful ferrite motor and optimized rear chamber cavity is used for the tweeter. Highly customized Danish designed bass/midrange driver featuring a 170 mm paper cone with ultra low-loss suspension and a powerful motor system with optimized voice coil and shorting rings at both ends of the pole piece for reduced inductance and distortion fill the lower frequencies. The Gato Audio PM-2 compact monitor is a two-way design and has a frequency response from 50 Hz to 25kHz (-6dB) and 89dB/W/m sensitivity. The top-of-the-range PM-6 three-way has a 38mm ring radiator, 170mm paper cone midrange driver and 170mm paper cone woofer. Frequency response is from 34 Hz to 25kHz (-6dB) and sensitivity is 90dB/W/m.

 

12 / 21 / 10

Westone 4  Westone Laboratories has introduced the Westone 4 ($449), the world's first four driver balanced armature universal fit in-ear headphone designed specifically for the serious audiophile and music enthusiast. Claiming to push the limits of both technology and ergonomics, the Westone 4 uses a four driver balanced armature design with 3-way crossover to achieve breathtaking clarity and realism. The EPIC Cable (Earphone Precision Interconnect Cable) is both durable and guards against microphonics. Westone's exclusive True-Fit technology, based on over 50 years of experience with in-ear applications, results in an earphone that is extremely comfortable, lightweight and compact. Specifications include 4 balanced armature drivers, a cable length of 50", weight of 0.445 ounces, the connector is 1/8 inch, frequency response is from 10 Hz to 18 kHz, input sensitivity is 118 dB SPL and it presents a 31ohm load @ 1kHz.

 

  Enjoy the Music.com has a world premiere of Hi-Fi World's Volume 20 Number 12 (February 2011) including the compete editorial and table of contents. This issue includes their CD player Supertest and reviews of the dCS Debussy, the Electrocompaniet EMP-1/S SACD player, Triangle Antal Anniversary speaker, B&W 804D, Amphion Argon 3L and much more. The editorial titled Art And Science by David Price says, "Where does science stop and art begin? Because there's no denying the two are inextricably intertwined, at least as far as certain select hi-fi designs go... Take the EAR Yoshino V12 valve amplifier for example. There's nothing special about valve amplifiers per se; until the nineteen sixties they were utterly run-of-the-mill things. The circuits aren't especially complex, and countless hobbyists have knocked them up on their kitchen tables. So how can the EAR be worth it's £6,500 price, as we feel it to be?...". See the complete February table of contents and editorial of Hi-Fi World by clicking here.

 

12 / 20 / 10

Metronome Technologie Kalista Ultimate SE CD Transport  Metronome Technologie, a French company founded in 1987 to develop high-end audio products, has just launched their Kalista Ultimate SE CD transport (approximately £50,000). This new top loading CD transport is made around material selected for their ability to deliver the best sound and is the company's ultimate version with a new design to increase quality for the digital signal extraction from CD media. The pickup mechanism is the Philips CDM12 PRO 2 with custom modifications and new clamp. The power supply employs specialized filtering designed in five levels. There are three toroidal transformers to provide voltage to the six independent regulators coupled to more than 1.2 Farad of capacitors. Each critical part of the transport is provided by separate regulator (display, servo mechanism, micro-processor and digital output stage). Digital outputs include S/PDIF, AT&T ST, and AES/EBU. The main units weights 49 lbs, power supply is 44 lbs, the base is 22 lbs and the stand is 66 lbs. Also new from Metronome Technologie is their AMT 140 Signature Class A amplifier. This monoblock design has two independent R-Core transformers for separated negative and positive wave implication. Producing 140 watts, analog input is via balanced XLR with a 10 kOhm impedance. Frequency response is from 1 Hz to 100 kHz, sensitivity for full output is 0.8 V and SNR is >100 dB with less than 0.0045% distortion. Each monoblock weights in at 59 lbs.

 

The Audiophile VoiceEnjoy the Music.com has just posted a world premiere of The Audiophile Voice (TAV) Volume 14 Number 2 table of contents. Equipment reviews include the Sanders 10b hybrid electrostatic-dynamic speaker system, Sumiko Blue Point No. 2 phono cartridge, Tannoy DC8T loudspeaker and Myine ira WiFi Internet radio. TAV has taken over the subscriptions of the Sensible Sound, so many new subscribers will be able to enjoy this new issue. See the new issue of TAV by clicking here.

 

12 / 17 / 10

MBL Corona Series  MBL new Corona series is an alluring entry to the world of high end audio and is offered in a variety of colors and highlights. The Corona line features minimalist design is a new byword for restrained understatement combined with classical elegance which makes it the perfect match for almost any type of room. The Corona Line takes its name from the 40mm button shaped like the MBL logo and mounted on the upper side in a corona of light. This signature button serves to regulate the brightness of the display. The outer solid aluminum casing contains a second casing of reinforced steel which screens off the electronics in magnetically shielded slots with full electrical isolation of the power supplies units and transformers. The CD player features a state of the art high quality Slot drive and digital S/PDIF via RCA and optical TosLink inputs as well as a native USB dock for CD audio data. A novel intelligent MBL SmartLink network enables the devices to talk to one another. This means that all associated input signals are controlled by the Preamplifier or Integrated Amplifier and a simple touch of the button on a device or the remote control is all that you need to put the whole Corona system on standby. All electronic units plus matching speakers are available in White/Palinux, White/Gold and Black/Palinux color combinations. Availability is expected in June 2011, with a new Tuner and Monoblock amplifiers to follow around October 2011.

 

PS Audio is offering a $10 app on iTunes called tagNplay. This Universal Plug and Play (UPnP) media controller application that lets users stream any resolution music to any network UPnP media player. Whether accessing from an iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad, the tagNplay app automatically discovers devices on a network and controls entire music collections without the need for manual configuration. Selecting between multiple music libraries and players is done with the touch of a finger, and once selected, there's no need to keep the iPhone, iPad or other device running since the entire playlist is saved with cover art and artist's bio available on demand. PS Audio's tagNplay app supports streaming of all audio formats up to 32-bit/192kHz to compatible network players throughout a home.

 

12 / 16 / 10

cabasse Pacific 3SA Floorstanders  Cabasse, founded in 1950 by Georges Cabasse with the goal of producing finely crafted loudspeakers, offers their Pacific 3SA floorstanders ( $9,990 each in powered form or $7,710 for passive version). The statuesque 51" tower loudspeaker, a new reference model within the company's Artis range, is the first tower fitted with the company's innovative BC17 17cm (6.7") BC17 coaxial driver unit. Based on the SCS (Spatially Coherent System) principles developed by the Cabasse laboratory in Brest, France, this unit consists of a dome midrange-tweeter and ring-shaped low midrange-woofer membrane, providing constant control of the sound directivity all along its 175 Hz to 20 kHz bandwidth. Twin 8.3" honeycomb dome woofers flank the BC17 drivers and are powered with a 450 Watt Cabasse built-in amplifier that together produce controlled bass response down to 37 Hz. The required cabinet depth has been reduced by 20% through the use of an innovative technical solution, which enables fine tuning of the LF for easy positioning and amplifier matching. Sensitivity is 91.5dB?W/m, overall frequency response is from 38 Hz to 20 kHz and has a nominal impedance of 8 Ohms (4 Ohm minimum). Dimensions are 50.8 x 11.4 x 19.3 inch and weight of each unit is 92 lbs.

 

Fatman by TL AudioFatman by TL Audio announced their iTube ValveDock MkII iPod/iPhone-compatible amplifier dock (£300 for integrated amplifier and iPod Dock package). The iTube ValveDock MkII builds on its award-winning Fatman forebear, yet adds a USB input for further flexibility. The two-piece design comprises the amplifier and matching iPod dock plus all needed accessories including high-quality speaker cables and a full-function remote control. Featuring a trio of carefully selected valves that include a pair of 6N1 and one 6E2, the hybrid-tube amplifier produces up to 25 watts. Inputs include line-level and USB, output via loudspeaker binding posts. Frequency response is from 20 Hz to 20 kHz, it has a SNR of 86dB and distortion of 0.5%. Fatman by TL Audio also announced the Carbon Trinity iPod/iPhone-compatible amplifier and iPod dock package (£400).

 

12 / 15 / 10

  Enjoy the Music.com just published our November midmonth audiophile Review Magazine update.

Review Magazine

Midmonth Update Includes:
VALVE Magazine
Dinkin' Around
Tech tips and other unsolicited advice.
Article By Doug Grove

Sound Practices
Fi "X" Direct Coupled 2A3 SE Amplifier
Review of a great SET amplifier.

See the December midmonth update of the Review Magazine by clicking here.

 

CES 2011Enjoy the Music.com's CES 2011 and T.H.E. Show audiophile event preview report has just been updated! Check back multiple times a week as Enjoy the Music.com will be updating their CES show and T.H.E. Show preview often right up until the first day of these events. Stay ahead and be the first to learn of all the new gear to appear at the show before others. If you are an exhibitor of either event and want to have your product featured within the preview, click here for details.

 

Music Industry News 10 Years Ago
ScourWith popular file sharing website Scour heading towards bankruptcy, Listen.com and Liquid audio were both bidding millions of dollars to own the service. In the end neither company won as CenterSpan Communications of Oregon with a bid of $5.5 million in cash plus another $3.5 million worth of stock made them the new owners of Scour. Like Napster and mp3.com, the new owners of Scour hopes to build a legal peer-to-peer file sharing/music service. The trump card was in CenterSpan Communication's backing by popular chip maker Intel. ''We are happy and satisfied our creditors will be paid and that the process has allowed Scour to maximize its assets,'' said Dan Rodrigues, president and CEO of Scour, in a statement issued after the hearing. ''As CenterSpan integrates Scour's assets, we look forward to working with them and other peer-to-peer companies to use our syndication services and tools to build a music delivery system and interface that leads to a more compelling and worthwhile consumer experience,'' Listen CEO Rob Reid said in a statement after the hearing. Fast-forward to today (2011) and of course Scour is gone, Listen/com is now a blog and Liquid Audio is now Liquid Media and helps Wal*Mart sell digital media online.

 

12 / 14 / 10

Bravura Records  Just got an e-mail from Bravura Records and a personal invitation to visit their newly launched web site. There you will find free downloads of live studio performances of some joyous music of the holiday season from five of their artists. These are AIF files to put under the tree! Their future album releases will be available as 24-bit/192kHz of the original master recordings. Currently available downloads are 24-bit/44.1kHz. Because of Bravura Records' commitment to the highest quality audio, there is no digital limiting used in the mastering of these songs, or any of their releases for that matter. Bravura Records produces live performances of extraordinary virtuosity recorded within the controlled environment of the studio in all genres of music and in the highest resolution technically possible. Even the final mixes are created live as the musicians perform. This spontaneous integration of creative energy from talented professionals of the highest caliber results in a listening experience that is unrivaled in its emotional impact on the listener.

 

Evan ShinnersEnjoy the Music.com's classical music writer Evan Shinners will be performing within an exhibition at New York's Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) and will be playing there almost daily until January 10th. According to the New York Times, "During the next month "Stop, Repair, Prepare" will be performed daily, every hour on the half-hour, by one of five rotating musicians... Evan Shinners attacked the score with a bravura that might have pleased Liszt (who originally transcribed it for two pianos, not two-thirds of one), while moving in a crab-walking spiral... The concentrated embrace of musician and instrument is more intense and exclusive than in normal performance. This allows the viewer-listener the liberty to examine the performance as the sculpture that it also is, but not passively. On the move, the piece herds and rearranges its audience as it goes, a spontaneous choreography that is most visible from upper levels. And as the instrument changes position, so does the sound, which is most intense if you follow closely in the piano’s wake, as you might a hearse. An especially arresting detail: the pianist’s hands are completely exposed and available for viewing; they flit about the keyboard like dancers on a stage." Also of note is that Evan Shinners latest project of classical music can be found at this link, which is a new album to be released shortly after the holidays. Bravo Evan and wishing you all the greatest of success!

 

12 / 13 / 10

AXPONA Supported By Enjoy the Music.com  Enjoy the Music.com, an industry leader in consumer electronics information plus equipment and music reviews for approximately 15 years, is pleased to announce their support for the Audio Expo North America (AXPONA) event. The 2011 AXPONA will be held at the Sheraton Atlanta Hotel from April 14th through 17th and will bring together listeners and consumers, dealers and manufacturers, and marketers and distributors dedicated to the faithful reproduction of music. Goldmine joins Stereophile magazine as an AXPONA sponsor. "After many years of friendship and experiences we are delighted to announce Steven R. Rochlin and his Enjoy the Music.com webzine as a key supporter," said Stephen Davis, Managing Partner AXPONA. "Enjoy the Music.com will offer up to date show news on AXPONA as well as coverage and seminars from the live event. I have known Mr. Rochlin for over 14 years and we have always shared a passion for music. He is a very unbiased source for everything audio and we are honored to affiliate our show with his organization."

"As a key supporter for AXPONA, the high-end audio/video consumer electronics premiere east coast event, virtually live reports will be offered online daily" said Steven R. Rochlin, editor of Enjoy the Music.com. "With an abundance of high-end audio and video gear plus many seminars to be experienced, those who can not attend will have the ability to learn about new products and information from AXPONA on Enjoy the Music.com. Steven Davis' longstanding experience within the industry brings an authoritative leading voice that manages AXPONA."

 

Enjoy the Music.com's CES 2011 and T.H.E. Show audiophile event preview report has just begun online! This year marks our 16th annual CES (Consumer Electronics Show) show coverage plus 12th annual T.H.E. (The Home Entertainment) Show reporting and will feature many photos and detailed information. Held from January 6th through the 9th, 2011 in Las Vegas, we naturally focus on high-end audiophile consumer electronics gear. Check back multiple times a week as Enjoy the Music.com will be updating their show preview often right up until the first day of these events. If you are an exhibitor of either show and want to have your product featured within the preview, click here for details.

 

12 / 10 / 10

Diana Krall Christmas Songs  Diana Krall's holiday favorite Christmas Songs is now available on HDtracks in 24-bit/96kHz! Co-produced by Krall, with Grammy award winning Tommy LiPuma, the album features the talents of renowned arranger and bassist John Clayton (Count Basie, Duke Ellington), guitarist Anthony Wilson (Chris Botti, Michael Buble), drummer Jeff Hamilton (Rosemary Clooney, Natalie Cole) and bassist Bob Hurst (The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Saturday Night Live). The Clayton/Hamilton Orchestra accompanies Krall for seasonal standards, "Let It Snow," "I'll Be Home For Christmas," "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town" and "Jingle Bells." Legendary composer Johnny Mandel contributes a string arrangement to "Count Your Blessings Instead of Sheep." Rounding out the album are previously released versions of "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas" and "Christmas Time Is Here" with a band that includes guitarist Russell Malone. This album is the perfect stocking stuffer for the holiday season for you and all your friends! Enjoy the Music.com has reviewed the CD version, with you can read and also buy the CD from this link.

 

Enjoy the Music.com On my.MSN.comEnjoy the Music.com's daily Industry News updates are now available on my.MSN.com. Users of the highly popular MSN page can add Enjoy the Music.com's daily high-end audio Industry News to their content preferences. Reaching tens of millions of viewers each month, my.MSN.com provides a variety for information to consumers on a daily basis. With well over a decade of developing innovations, Enjoy the Music.com has a longstanding history of enabling our content to reach the widest possible audience. These innovations over the years include, but are not limited to, push-pull content to the desktop, Wireless Application Protocol (WAP), custom bookmark graphic for browsers and iPhone users, plus the world's only customized Internet high-end audiophile browser. Users of my.MSN.com will be updated each day with important high-end consumer audio industry news and events. In addition, they can easily click on the appropriate link to ascertain additional information on each topic featured. "As the only audiophile magazine to offer such diverse availability of content, today marks an important achievement in furthering the accessibility of high-end consumer electronics information to consumers all around the world," said Steven R. Rochlin, editor of Enjoy the Music.com. "Once again the internationally critically acclaimed Web site Enjoy the Music.com is here to assist our readership in choosing the best product that fits their needs. We are continually expanding our information-based Web site and now provide over 130 show reports from around the world plus hundreds of equipment and music reviews combined within our Superior Audio, DIY, and Review Magazine. Enjoy the Music.com is the Internet's largest Web site for independent high-performance audio information, news, and worldwide show reports." You can easily learn how to add Enjoy the Music.com to your my.MSN.com page by clicking here.

 

12 / 09 / 10

Parasound Halo JC 3 Phono Preamplifier  Parasound has announced they are now shipping the first production samples of its much-anticipated John Curl designed Halo JC 3 phono preamplifier ($2350). The new Parasound Halo JC 3 is a high-performance dual-mono phono preamplifier built with high quality parts, solid construction, and a very clean design. Like all phono preamplifiers, the JC 3 must multiply the tiny audio signal generated by a high-end low-output moving coil (MC) or moving magnet (MM) phonograph cartridge and make it strong enough to deliver to the input of a line level preamplifier. Parasound's Halo JC 3 is a dual mono design with unbalanced inputs and outputs using Vampire RCA jacks, plus balanced outputs using Neutrik XLR jacks. A custom-made three-position input impedance switch provides for 47 kOhm MM cartridges, 100 Ohm MC cartridges, and 47 kOhm MC. The latter is an ideal load for some MC cartridges and high-end moving iron cartridges. The direct-coupled amplification circuits use DC servos rather than coupling caps. FET followers on each channel's board are used to further isolate the circuits from the voltage regulators in the power supplies. Signal to noise ratio is 83 dB with the MM input and 73 dB for MC, and the RIAA curve is accurate to within 0.2 dB. Other features include manual or auto turn-on via a 12V trigger input, an AC line polarity reverse switch to eliminate hum in many systems, and a switchable 115V-60Hz/240V-50Hz AC power input for use around the world. Enjoy the Music.com has reviewed the Parasound Halo JC 1 monoblock amplifier (click here) and Parasound's NewClassic Model 2100 preamplifier and Model 2125 amplifier (click here).

 

Music Industry News 10 Years Ago
Recording Industry Association of AmericaA recent decision was handed down that concerns nearly 4,000 of approximately 14,000 radio stations in America.
Those who rebroadcast their programs over the internet will need to pay yet again for using the same music when they broadcast via the airwaves and the internet. The U.S. Copyright Office handed down its decision that radio stations will need to pay the appropriate royalties to stream music online. Though they already pay a fee to play the same music over radio frequencies, they will also now need to pay for streaming over the web. ''We are gratified the U.S. Copyright Office agreed with our position,'' said Hilary Rosen, president and CEO of the Recording Industry Association of America. ''This is an important right for artists and record companies.'" In other news, proving that turnabout is fair play as song publishers are suing Universal Music Group (UMG) for copyright infringement. The National Music Publishers Association (NMPA), who represents 600 of the nation's largest music publishers, is suing UMG over their Jimmy and Doug's Farmclub.com online service. NMPA was never asked by UMG for permissions and proper licensing of content before they began offering their streaming media subscription service. As is the norm, NMPA is claiming damages of $150,000 per song. Since there are approximately 25,000 songs on UMG's new service, the ruling could add up to many hundreds of millions of dollars.

 

12 / 08 / 10

MSB Technology USB DAC  MSB Technology now offers an upgrade to their DACs, thus providing their Signature USB 2 upgrade with a 384 kHz input. This special advancement can be installed in any DAC III that contains the 384 upsampler option. For DAC IIIs that contained the USB 1 input, the upsampler board can be removed and upgraded with USB 2 by MSB and easily installed by you. For older DACs, including the MSB Platinum DAC, Platinum plus, DAC II and all DAC IIIs without the USB 1, the upgrade can be installed along with the 384 upsampling upgrade. Though note that a hole will have to be made in the back panel, requiring the return of the DAC to MSB. The USB Power DAC can be upgraded with the USB 2, 192 kHz upgrade only and must be returned to MSB. This upgrade works seamlessly with both Windows and Apple OS, thus providing sampling rates up to 384kHz. 

 

12 / 07 / 10

Eddie Current Balancing Act  Eddie Current, a high-end audio company specializing in hand-crafted gear, has introduced the production run of their Balancing Act ($3950) line/headphone vacuum tube amplifier. Featuring line level balanced and unbalanced input plus balanced and unbalanced output, headphone users can also enjoy balanced or unbalanced headphone drive. The Balancing Act brings a new level of listening luxury to high-end audio and drives all headphones including the new planar headphones. The chassis' lustrous polished top and laser-etched nomenclature is augmented by retro Davies control knob. The output transformers use copper and silver wire, the 300B/PX-4 tube sockets are by Yamamoto, and the external second chassis power supply operates quietly. There is high frequency AC with isolation transformers for the directly heated triode filaments and a meter with voltage adjustment for output tube heater biasing. Every Eddie Current Balancing Act includes EH platinum matched 300B output tubes, Russian made Tung Sol 6SN7 and JAN 6X4 rectifier tubes. Inputs include one pair balanced via XLR and three pairs via RCA. Rear outputs include one pair balanced and one pair tape out while front outputs include a four pin balanced, a pair of three pin balanced plus 1/4-inch unbalanced headphone jack. Overall frequency response is from 15 Hz to 35 kHz.

 

Music Industry News 10 Years Ago
Mixing "independent" reviews from employees and selling the same products to customers, online retailer eTown has been said to be in a conflict of interest for their readership
. Now feeling the pressure from their investors for higher profits, their parent company Collaborative Media has laid off 28 workers (22 percent of its workforce) due to "restructuring". Looking to increase their efforts into their relatively new business to business (B2B) initiative, the President and chief operating officer of eTown, Lew Brown, said "We need to sharpen our focus on our core businesses of creating and licensing consumer electronics content and scale down our costly consumer operations."
This all comes at the heels of eTown's customer service representatives looking to unionize due to what they feel are not appropriate work conditions. Lew Brown responded by saying in a press release "So the obvious question here is if eTown is such a great place to work, why all the allegations? Our best estimation is that a few of our former employees, who feel they have been wronged for whatever reason, are instigating current employees, misrepresenting the issues at hand and providing the media with misinformation.

Despite the activities of a few former disgruntled employees, eTown will continue to stand tall and run our business - and treat our employees - in the best fashion possible." 13 of the 28 positions that were eliminated come from the customer service department. "The events of the past two days regarding our customer service operations have made the timing of this workforce reduction an unfortunate coincidence, but this action is unrelated and was, in fact, decided upon more than two weeks ago with board approval," said Lew. Fast-forward 10 years (to 2010) and $30,000,000 later eTown has long gone the way of other Dot Bombs, with investor's money also having played a disappearing act.

 

12 / 06 / 10

Playback Designs MPS-5  Playback Designs, founded by Jonathan Tinn and Andreas Koch with the goal to represent the finest audio playback, has uprated the power supply in their MPS-5 ($15,000). The MPS-5 (a.k.a. Playback Designs Music Playback System 5) is really two products in one single box: a world class CD/SACD transport combined with a DAC that can also receive a variety of external digital sources including PC based music servers. The Playback Designs MPS-5 starts with a modified Esoteric transport mechanism. While the MPS-5 is an extremely high-end CD/SACD player, its internal DAC can also be used with external digital sources through a multitude of digital inputs. In particular it can be connected directly to a PC via the USB interface, whereby the MPS-5 becomes the soundcard of the PC and converts all the digital audio from the PC to analog via the same processes used for the transport. Digital inputs include AES/EBU via XLR and S/PDIF via RCA for up to 24-bit/192kHz playback. Other digital inputs include TOSLINK, USB and PLAYLINK (a proprietary links to future Playback Designs equipment). Digital outputs include AES/EBU via XLR. Analog outputs include balanced via XLR, unbalanced via RCA and BNC. There is a Data / Clock jack for future expansion and an included wireless remote and remote control via RS-232.

 

Wisdom Audio LS4Wisdom Audio has just launched their innovative modular approach to loudspeaker design, the Wisdom Series LS4 and LS3 ($40,000 and $30,000 respectively) wideband planar magnetic line source systems. Designed by a team directed by David Graebener of Wisdom Audio, these reference level products feature extremely high efficiency, tremendous dynamic range and high sound quality. Featuring Wisdom's proprietary wideband planar magnetic line source technologies, the Wisdom Series LS4 and LS3 are comprised of newly designed individual modules, 20" in height, each incorporating two planar magnetic midrange drivers flanking a planar magnetic high frequency driver in a vertical line source configuration. The LS4 combination features four modules, with a total vertical line source height of 80". The LS3 includes three modules with a combined vertical line source height of 60". A two-way system, each module features dual high efficiency and ultra-high output upper bass/lower midrange planar magnetic drivers that handle frequencies from 80 Hz to 750 Hz. From there, the high efficiency and ultra-high output upper midrange/tweeter planar magnetic driver covers the remainder of the entire audible range, with flat response extending to beyond 20 kHz. As the systems are bi-amplified, there are no conventional passive crossovers employed, and the systems present a purely resistive load to the amplifiers, assuring power amplifier stability. Wisdom's Audio LS4 features ultra-high efficiency (100 dB at 1 watt/2.83V), along with ultra-high power handling with output capability of producing 130dB.

 

12 / 03 / 10

Sam Cooke At the Copa  Popular online music website HDtracks, founded by David and Norman Chesky and to provide a high-quality music download service, is now offering R&B legend Sam Cooke's At the Copa. This definitive performance by the legendary Sam Cooke is available for the first time in 24-bit/88.2kHz. Recorded July 7th and 8th, 1964, this is quite simply one of the finest soul performances ever captured on tape. Cooke’s golden croon is as versatile and nuanced an instrument as any saxophone or guitar, careening through rapid scalar passages, mournful cries and delicate vibrato. The recording, available for the first time in high resolution 24-bit/88.2kHz, is absolutely astounding! Every horn is audible and every drum hit startlingly crisp. This is less a record than it is a supremely recorded all-encompassing experience. An absolutely essential addition to any audiophile collection (or music collection in general), Live at the Copa is a document of one of the greatest soul vocalists of all time delivering a once-in-a-lifetime performance.

 

12 / 02 / 10

KingRex UC192 USB And IIS To S/PDIF Converter  In October Enjoy the Music.com was the first to show the new KingRex UC192 USB and IIS to S/PDIF converter in nearly finalized prototype form n October Enjoy the Music.com was the first to show the new KingRex UC192 USB and IIS to S/PDIF converter in nearly finalized prototype form ($189).

 

12 / 01 / 10

  Enjoy the Music.com's December edition of our Review Magazine includes our Top 10 Great Audiophile Gifts for 2010 plus various holiday articles and music reviews. Within Superior Audio we have two World Premiere equipment reviews!

 

Superior Audio
World Premiere!
deHavilland Audio KE-50A Monoblock Power Amplifier
The sonic equivalent of a vintage Port wine.
Reviewed By Dick Olsher

World Premiere!
PrimaLuna ProLogue Premium Series Monoblock Amplifiers
If you have been hesitating about tube amplification, wait no longer.
Review By Anthony Nicosia

Electrocompaniet AW180 Monoblock Power Amplifier
No ordinary muscle amplifier.
Reviewed By Dick Olsher 

Coincident Speaker Technology
Frankenstein Mk II Monoblock Amplifier
Coincident's amplifiers are two building blocks for a world-class listening experience.
Review By Rick Becker 

Rogue Audio M-150 Mono Tube Power Amplifiers
An intelligent and reliable design.
Review By Dick Olsher 

Podium Sound 0.5 Loudspeakers
The limitations may very well be your own room.
Review By Ron Nagle

See the December Superior Audio magazine by clicking here.

 

Review Magazine
Viewpoint

In This Issue... Give Your Audiophile That Special Gift.
Article By Steven R. Rochlin

Audiolics Anonymous Chapter 134
Bah humbug!
Article By Dr. Bill Gaw

Audiophile Equipment Reviews
Enjoy the Music.com's Top 10 Great Audiophile Gifts For 2010
Gift ideas to give your audiophile for the 2010 holiday season!
Article By Steven R. Rochlin

Tonian Laboratories TL-R1 Tweeter
Review By Jeff Rabin

MartinLogan Summit Loudspeaker
Review By Alvin Gold

Music Reviews
Classical Music

Subtle Ravel from Philadelphia Orchestra's newly appointed music director.
Review By Max Westler

Tenor Mark Padmore and pianist Paul Lewis offer an atypical approach to Franz Schubert's Winterreise.
Review by Evan Shinners

From the Mariinsky Theater, superb versions of two important Stravinsky scores from the 1920s.
Review By Joe Milicia

Another dazzling recording by young pianist Yuja Wang.
Review By Max Westler 

Jazz, Bluegrass, etc.
Toulouse Engelhardt Perpendicular Worlds
Review By Steven Stone

Grant Gordy Grant Gordy
Review By Steven Stone 

Shel Silverstein Twistable Turnable Man
Review By Steven Stone 

Various Bluegrass, Blues And Jazz Albums
Reviews By Steven Stone 

Special Holiday Music
Diana Krall Christmas Songs
Review By A. Colin Flood

King's Singers Christmas
Review By Karl Lozier 

Spyro Gyra A Night Before Christmas
Review By Victoria Collins

See the December Review Magazine by clicking here.


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