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High-End Audio Industry News

5 / 28 / 99

  Linn now offers two new products.  The Ikemi ($3595) and Genki ($1,700) CD players (the Ikemi replaces the Linn Karik and the Genki replaces the Linn Mimik).  The Ikemi uses Linn's low jitter "2-D" digital signal processing with Delta-Sigma digital processing in the DAC stage and is also HDCD capable.  Some of the ultra-fi technologies from their critically acclaimed CD12 are used in this unit as well.  Other features of the Ikemi include precision-machined drawer and advanced disc transport, their proprietary Brilliant silent power supply technology and Remote-In / Remote-Out for connection to Linn Knekt Multi-Room System™.  Optional RS232 communications module can be used for software upgrades and connection to home entertainment and automation systems.   Balanced via XLR and single-ended via RCA connectors serve for analog audio outputs and standard SPDIF 75 ohm and TosLink digital audio connections for use with external D-A converters.

Linn GenkiThe new Genki is a cost-effective alternative which offers high-quality, value for the dollar music reproduction. The Genki offers a direct connection into many of Linn's component systems. A new multi-function display and in an LK-style case, the Genki is designed so it can be connected directly to a power amplifier and loudspeakers for a compact CD system or be connected in the conventional way to a preamplifier.  This versatile and flexible high quality source product has both fixed and variable volume control outputs that enable it to operate as part of a simple two room system.  Connected to a conventional hi-fi system in one room, yet it can also supply a second room via its direct independent local volume control to another system! Analog outputs are via two pairs of single-ended RCA jacks, SPDIF 75 ohm digital output is also included.  Digital to analog conversion is via Delta-Sigma at 24-bit resolution with HDCD® decoding.

DVD-RWDolby Digital has more than ten licensees working to implement Dolby Digital encoders for the consumer market!  The three approved implementations are Matsushita MN67735, Motorola DSP56362, and Pioneer DSP56303.  These encoders can be used for re-writeable DVD (DVD-RW) in which DVD recorder can used as a new type of "digital VCR".   Of course other uses for re-writeable DVD can range from computer data backup to a new line of digital camcorders!

 

NXT, known for their flat speaker technology, has shown their newest technology called SoundVu.  SoundVu is a complimentary technology to the NXT panels as it uses ultra-thin film technology which is claimed to be totally transparent and can be used on substrate polycarbonate plastics to laminated and toughened glass!  In normal human English this means the speaker can be part of a TV or computer screen and act as a speaker.

 

Death of analog in the recording studio?  Maybe not, though Studer has reportedly claimed to be ending their manufacturer of the A827 analog tape machine.  Joe Bean of Studer says they plan on making only 100 more A827 analog machines with 60 of them allotted to the USA.  Anyone who has entered a recording studio or two knows they will see an analog Studer of some vintage somewhere inside.  Alas, demand for new analog Studer machines is at an all time low as more studios are moving into digital recording and storage via hard disc, MO-Drive or other methods.

 

Analogue Devices now offers a new chip with enables 192kHz sampling rate!  Their AD1853 offers proprietary data conversion with multi-bit sigma-delta converter core.The AD1853 is fully backward compatible with current CD and DVD technology.

 

5 / 25 / 99

LYRA by RCA  Thompson has announced their new LYRA "Digital Handheld Jukebox".  Like the popular Rio by Diamond, the new LYRA branded under Thompson's RCA label will deliver digitally stored music from a solid-state compact flash card.  Unlike the Rio, the new LYRA features upgradability via internal software that can be changed to support future formats!  A built-in LCD panel can show file names while the unit itself plays the popular .mp3 and RealAudio files standard.

 

Speaking of RealAudio, their parent company RealNetworks has release their new RealJukebox!  Their new jukebox is combined with the CDDB Disc recognition Service which can identify over 350,000 CD titles.  When you put a CD into your system and use the new RealNetworks Jukebox, via the internet it can search the CDDB data base and load the disc name and track titles automatically!  CDDB's DRS claims to be the largest online CD information source in the world.  In adding value to the RealJukebox, RealNetworks has released over 60 artist's music including George Clinton & the P-Funk All Stars, Public Enemy and Julian Lennon.

 

Audio Note Zero SystemAs first seen world-wide on the Enjoy the Music Milan Show report, just hitting the American shores is their new Audio Note Zero system.  The Audio Note DAC Zero ($699) uses a 24-bit/96 kHz DAC-Zero processor. The analog uses a single 6111WA miniature valve which is claimed to last approximately 100,000 hours! The matching transport ($799) as seen on top includes a wireless remote control and offers a 75 ohm digital output.  Matching structure is the M-Zero line level pre-amp. The M Zero preamplifier ($599) as seen in the middle also uses the 6111 WA tube and offers four inputs plus a tape out.  Two sets of preamplifier output are included for bi-amplification.   The bottom pieces are the  P Zero monoblock power amplifiers ($1,199 pair) uses two ECL882 tubes per unit for a total output of 8 watts.

 

4 / 29 / 99

  Thomson,  the manufacturer of RCA, Proscan, and Thomson branded appliances, now have a 20% equity in MP3 software by MusicMatch Inc.  This obviously signals that a major electronics manufacturer is looking to fully support the MP3 format in their widely available products.  "We think that this whole industry is going to undergo a quick change that will shift the way we listen to music," said Dave Arland, spokesman for Thomson's U.S.-based subsidiary Thomson Consumer Electronics Inc. "MP3-playing car audio, stereos, and TV set-tops are all possibilities."  Dave Arland continues "Everyone, including Thomson, is working towards finding a way to let people pay for music.  We want a consumer-friendly approach.  The executive vice president of Thomson Audio and Communications SBU stated "We are confident this alliance between our companies will help maintain acceptance of MP3 as a popular standard."

 

4 / 27 / 99

Ashly Protea Digital Equalizer

  Designed for the professional audio market, Ashly now offers a four channel 24-bit digital equalizer.  At a pricing around $2,000, the Protea Digital Equalizer is a 28-band, 1/3 octave unit which can be controlled from the front panel, a wired remote, or from a Windows 95/98 computer via RS232!  A large 240 by 64 fluorescent backlit display gives visual confirmation of your settings.  Speaking of settings, there are 128 preset location to store your favorite curves.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

     
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