LAAS 2017 Report / Los Angeles Audio Show 2017 Report LAAS
2017 (Los Angeles Audio Show 2017) is a presentation of the Orion Group and is managed by Show Director Marine
Presson. She served as the Show Manager for the T.H.E. Show in Newport Beach for years and is proud to take this Southern California event to the next level. As both a high-end audio and home theater show, their June debut is presented in collaboration with the Los Angeles and
Orange County Audio Society at the Sheraton Gateway LA with complimentary shuttle service from the Los Angeles
International Airport. LAAS 2017 will be the definitive Los Angeles audio show experience allowing manufacturers and dealers of all technologies to mix freely with attendees in a spacious, comfortable venue with large, great-sounding listening rooms. Attendees will also be tempted by luxury super cars with high-end audio systems. Attendees can audition the best in headphones, find their favorite new or vintage vinyl, and discover new high-performance gear and accessories to improve your system. Drop into one of the show's many industry seminars featuring special guest appearances and enjoy live music after the show.
Ms. Presson cited an exhibitor list glowing with many of the luminous brands in the industry.
"The Show becomes a chance for audiophiles and those not yet there to see, hear and touch the excitement we already feel. Dolby Atmos, Harman Luxury Audio, Dan D'Agostino, McIntosh, Chord, Focal, Naim, Magico, Audio Research,
Vandersteen, ELAC and many others will be on-board with special events and demonstrations for our
attendees," she said. Enjoy the Music.com's
LAAS 2017 show report will be online shortly after the event.
05 / 30 / 17
July Issue Features Music Streamers, DACs, IEMs, Etc. Enjoy the Music.com has just posted the
July 2017 issue of Hi-Fi World
where you could win a pair of Quadral Chromium Style 8 loudspeakers worth £1750! This issue
features reviews of the Quadral Rubin loudspeakers, Polk signature s15 bookshelf speakers, Melco N1a MK2 network music storage drive system, iFi iOne Nano Bluetooth USB / DAC, Yamaha WXAD-10 streamer adapter, OPPO HA-2 SE headphone amplifier, Slate Solid Audio Slate Platter Mat / Airbourne Cork & Rubber Mat, Noble Audio Sage earbuds
editorial, Noel Keywood says "From 2003 and Martin Pipe's look at an early streamer – Yamaha's MCX-1000 on page 51 – we move on to streaming today in 2017 and – well – Yamaha again with the WXAD-10 reviewed on p63. We aren't trying to promote Yamaha over others here, so much as show how far and how fast this whole streaming thing has come in the last 14 years.
And as streaming gets ever more popular the competition for your pound heats up: I've just received a press release for the first hi-res streaming service: from French music provider
Qobuz. To date, Tidal has been the provider of choice for those who want to listen to full CD quality files over the internet. They run at a higher data rate (1.4Mbps) than those from most streaming services, who use lossy – as in loss of quality – compressed files, Tidal potentially offering better quality, if not by much. The reason is old 16-bit digital (CD) had limited resolution in the first place; distortion and noise lurk in the background."
See what's within this issue of Hi-Fi World at this
05 / 29 / 2017
LKV Research Launches Breakthrough Verito 1 Integrated
Amp @ LAAS LKV Research
will introduce at LAAS 2017 (Los Angeles Audio Show) their new Verito 1 stereo integrated amplifier ($2200 standard, $2700 with MM/MC phono stage). Seeking to raise the bar for high-end audio price/performance ratio, the Verito 1 includes a phono stage (optional), preamplifier and power amplifier all within a singe chassis. LKV Research's MC/MM phono stage is derived from the circuitry used within LKV's top-of-the-line phono amplifier, the Veros One. Like the Veros One, the Verito 1 is said to be so accurate and quiet that it comfortably amplifies not only the 5 mV signal from MM cartridges but also the 0.3 mV signal from low output MC cartridges. This performance is achieved using Class A differential amplifier circuitry built with discrete bipolar transistors and hand matched
JFETs without any loop feedback. For line level preamplification, the gain circuitry is virtually identical to that in LKV's Line One separate preamp, which also employs Class A differential amplifiers built from discrete parts. The preamp section offers selection among five stereo sources (one phono and four line level inputs)
plus volume control via an excellent ALPS potentiometer. For amplification to the loudspeakers, Class D was chosen to deliver 180 Watts or more into 2, 4 and 8 Ohm loads. The Class D module employs state-of-the-art Hypex NCore technology which provides not only the well-known benefits of Class D amplification – high power, low weight and heat dissipation, and compact size – but also is said to rival the sound quality of the best Class AB amplifiers. "The Verito 1 is a groundbreaking piece of gear", said LKV's Chief Designer Bill Hutchins. "We have taken the essential elements of our Veros One phono separate and Line One preamp and combined them with a state of the art Hypex designed power amp. The result is an incredibly musical, high end system in one box at an amazing price."
Sting: The Complete Studio
Collection 180 Gram Vinyl Box Set A&M / Interscope Records / Deutsche Grammophon are honored to announce the release of
The Complete Studio Collection
on June 9th. Encompassing the entirety of Sting's illustrious solo studio album catalogue on 180 gram heavyweight vinyl – from his 1985 debut album
The Dream Of The Blue Turtles through to the latest 57th & 9th – The Complete Studio Collection is the first ever complete anthology of Sting's unparalleled solo career. Following the release of the now sold out The Studio Collection box set via A&M / Interscope Records,
The Complete Studio Collection includes all of the A&M / Interscope Records catalogue plus his Deutsche Grammophon discography –
Songs From The Labyrinth (2006), If On A Winter's Night... (2009) and
Symphonicities (2010) – in addition to his new album 57th &
9th; bringing together all 12 solo studio albums for the very first time. For fans who purchased the original
The Studio Collection box set, a separate bundle has been specially created entitled
The Studio Collection: Volume II that contains the four newly added albums –
Songs From The Labyrinth, If On A Winter's Night..., Symphonicities and
57th & 9th – with space within the set for all of the remaining albums to create
The Complete Studio Collection. All of the included catalogue LPs are presented in meticulous reproductions of their original artwork with new vinyl masters cut at the world-renowned Abbey Road Studios to ensure the highest possible audio quality
can order Sting" The Complete Studio Collection vinyl LP box set at this
Industry News 15 Years Ago
DVD-Audio And SACD Formats Cause A Disturbance In The Force
As the fight for high-resolution digital audio rages on between Sony's proprietary SACD format and the industry
accepted standard of DVD-Audio, those who attended the May 16th premiere of George Lucas' Star Wars
Episode II Attack Of The Clones within the Century Cinema in Corte Madera, California also enjoyed music in the DVD-Audio format. Warner Music Group (WMG) in partnership with Century Theatres, 5.1
Entertainment, and Dolby Laboratories are looking to help promote the industry standard DVD-Audio
format. Music tracks by Barenaked Ladies, Buena Vista Social Club, Eric Clapton,
Dishwalla, and The Corrs are just some of the sounds enjoyed by the movie-going audience.
"This innovative effort to bring multi-channel music to pre-show programs is consistent with our goal of offering audiences the best and most advanced theatrical experience available from the moment they enter our theaters," stated Nancy
Klasky, Century's VP of marketing. Moviegoers at 25 Century multiplexes, totaling 400 screens, will be hearing the "big sound" of DVD-A surround music by the end of the year.
"You have to hear true, discrete surround sound music to get it," said John Kellogg, Dolby's general manager of
multi-channel audio and music. "So we said, let's have more people hear it. DVD-Audio can replicate the surround music experience that it delivers in theaters, and we think once movie audiences hear DVD-Audio, they'll want to bring it home."
Paul Vidich, executive Vice President, strategic planning and business development for
Warner Music Group said "DVD-A is the most significant audio format to have been introduced since the CD was launched 20 years
ago. We are pleased to be joining with Century Theatres, Dolby and 5.1 Entertainment, and are confident that exposure to DVD-A surround music in Century's movie theaters will boost demand for the format in homes."
See our interview with Jordan Rost, Senior Vice President of New Technology for the Warner Music
Group, by clicking here.
More HIGH END 2017 coverage coming soon, so check
05 / 23 / 17
The Recording Academy P&E Wing Hi-Res Music
Prod. Recommendation Coinciding with "Stream the Studio" panel featuring leading executives from the music and technology industries,
The Recording Academy Producers & Engineers Wing
has released their "Recommendations for Hi-Resolution Music Production" paper. As the result of three years of extensive research, this new set of technical guidelines joins other influential papers previously published by the P&E Wing promoting best practices in audio recording. The Recommendations were developed by a group of leading Recording Academy members, including numerous multiple Grammy Award-winning engineers and producers, and included input from a wide cross section of the recording industry. Covered in the document are a variety of topics including Hi-Res Audio definitions; hardware and software considerations; recording and mixing parameters; the pros and cons of upsampling; provenance; and other important issues.
"The release of this new set of recommendations is a milestone," states Maureen Droney, The Recording Academy Managing Director, P&E Wing. "We are extremely excited by the collaborative efforts and shared vision of our industry towards the goal of providing consumers with studio-quality music listening. We are proud to be a partner in this initiative and also very grateful to all of the recording professionals who contributed their thoughts and expertise to this important document." The debut of this new reference document coincides with "Stream the Studio – The Next Wave in Subscription Music," a panel sponsored by
The DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group, held at the Music Biz 2017 conference in Nashville. In addition to Droney, the panel featured leading music and technology executives including Richard Burgess, A2IM; Ty Roberts, Universal Music Group; Howie Singer, Warner Music Group; and Darren Stupak, Sony Music Entertainment. It was moderated by Marc Finer, Sr. Director, DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group. For more information on the
"Recommendations for Hi-Res Music Production" you can see the details within their PDF at this
Pro-Ject And Ortofon Team Up With Triangle
For Their LN01A Pack Triangle's special LN01A pack (€899) is a ready-to-listen to system featuring a
Pro-Ject turntable, Triangle tonearm,
Ortofon OM-10 E cartridge and LN01A powered speakers. The active LN01A two-way bass reflex speakers have a multitude of connectors enabling you to listen to your music from virtually any source including Bluetooth AptX, RCA, 3.5 jack, TosLink optical, phono, plus it has a subwoofer output. This pack brings vinyl records in the spotlight and is offered in black or white finish. The powered speakers are driven by 50 Wpc of internal amplification. Designed by Pro-Ject, the Triangle tonearm/turntable is compatible with 33 and 45 rpm records. It features a belt drive, an
aluminum tonearm with sapphire bearings and a low vibration motor. The tonearm and the cartridge are pre-mounted to allow a relatively simple setup. This turntable is specifically developed to pair with the LN01A speakers, thanks to its Ortofon OM-10 E cartridge and its high sensitivity (output voltage is 4 mV). The included Pro-Ject Connect It E phono cable to ensure excellent signal quality up to the dedicated phono jack of the LN01A speakers. A dust cover for the turntable is included.
05 / 22 / 17
Pass Labs New XP-12 Preamplifier And
Low Noise XP-17 Phono Stage Pass Labs
rarely makes changes to their lineup, and so they felt it was time due to "significant improvements over previous versions". Pass Labs XP-12 Preamplifier and XP-17 Phono Stage ($5800 and $4300 respectively) bring higher quality music within your home audio system. Pass Labs' XP-12 is a single chassis line level preamplifier that includes a great new power supply. It uses an efficient toroidal design with both an electrostatic and Mu metal shield, along with vacuum impregnating and epoxy fill. This gives us a very quiet transformer both electrically and mechanically. While this new power supply circuitry has lower noise over previous designs, the additional
filtering was a little more complicated yet worth it according to the company. Pass Labs' XP-12 uses the single stage volume control borrowed from the Xs line preamp. This gives us one hundred 1 dB steps with lower noise and distortion, while removing some signal path parts. The gain circuitry continues to use our favorite transistors from Toshiba, but has a larger, higher biased output stage like the Xs preamplifier’s auto bias. This makes longer and multiple cable runs easier to drive and provides the advantage of simplifying our single-ended output circuitry while increasing performance. Gain is 9.3dB in XLR balanced, with an overall frequency response of 10Hz to 20kHz. Dimensions are 17" x 12.5" x 4" (WxDxH).
Pass Labs has done great work with their new XP-17 single chassis Phono Preamplifier. A new-shielded low noise toroidal and input filter module, like the XP-12, is joined by an extra stage of RC filtering allowing for lower radiated and mechanical noise. The XP-17 Phono Stage has an all new input circuit that is symmetrical and lower in noise and distortion, with greater drive capability. Noise being the most prominent part of THD+N (0.004%) in the first section of a phono stage; by lowering noise we get better resolution and dynamics. It was designed with a split EQ network, like the XP-25 and XI Phono, that is more accurate and can handle greater signal levels. The secondary stage runs a higher bias output stage with auto bias. The numerous loading options from the XP-15 are all still available, plus three gain settings to accommodate both low output MC and MM cartridges. Gain settings are 76, 66, and 56 dB in XLR balanced and 70, 60, 50 dB RCA unbalanced. Input impedance is from 10 to 47 kOhms with more than 200 values to choose from. Capacitive loading is from 10 to 750 pF. Pass Labs' XP-17 Phono Stage has dimensions of 17" x 12.5" x 4" (WxDxH).
Outlaw Audio Introduces New Retro RR2160 Hi-Res Audio Stereo Receiver Outlaw
Audio's new RR2160 hi-res audio stereo receiver ($799) preserves the analog signal purity of its predecessor while adding DLNA and high-resolution capabilities via a multitude of digital audio inputs. The RR2160 also offers both HD Radio and internet radio, a new, more powerful 110-watt stereo amplifier, and an updated phono input. The Outlaw Audio RR2160 uses a high-end Burr Brown 24-bit/192kHz DAC for playing high-resolution music files. DNLA-capable servers can connect over a home network when the RR2160 is wired via Ethernet or a wireless bridge, while front- and rear-panel USB-A jacks support flash drives, and a rear-panel USB-B jack supports music stored on computers.
Vinyl enthusiasts will enjoy the low-noise switchable MC/MM phono input, while radio lovers benefit from a high-quality FM stereo/AM tuner that supports digital HD-Radio technology. In addition, the RR2160 also offers Internet Radio capabilities via the network connection. Outlaw Audio's Retro Receiver has four stereo RCA analog line level inputs, a record output, an external processor loop, and removable preamp-out/amp-in jumpers to allow use with an external power amplifier. A front-panel 3.5mm analog input accommodates the outputs of phones and tablets. Output power is rated at 110 Watts @ 8 Ohms per channel stereo and 165
Watts per channel @ 4 Ohms, both channels driven. There are separate A and B speaker terminals for main and second-room options. There is a front-panel 1/4" headphone jack with level control. Other useful features include two rear-panel
5V USB-A charging ports, two 12V triggers, plus IR input and output connections. Operating firmware is
upgradeable via the rear USB A jack. The aluminum bodied remote control is back-lighted and provides full access to all functions. Bass management is adjustable 60/80/100/Bypass with a high-pass slope of 12dB/octave (2nd order) and a low-pass slope of 12dB/octave (2nd order). Tone control include bass with a center frequency of 50Hz +/-10dB and treble with a center frequency of
10kHz +/-10dB. Dimensions are 5.75" x 17.1" x 15" (HxWxD) and it weighs 27 lbs.
Industry News 15 Years Ago
Napster Online Music Sharing Platform Goes From 'Hero' To Zero
From dot com to dot bomb, Napster seemingly had the world in their hands with millions of users, today it not only loses their CEO Konrad
Hilbers, but also founder Shawn Fanning in the midst of
bankruptcy talk. The peer to peer file exchange websites have been a hot ticket, yet legalities of freely posting copyrighted music received the attention of the RIAA and major music labels. With various lawsuits in 2001 costing Napster millions of dollars, their website was ordered by the United States judicial system to shut down until a proper, legal way of file exchange could be conducted. With Napster virtually dead for many months during this transitional period they have expended much of their resources to become a legal resource. Meanwhile websites such as
Gnutella, KaZaA, Morpheus and others have been thriving during the demise of Napster. With Napster's last hope of selling their services to German media giant
Bertelsmann Music Group (BMG) falling through, Napster may be on their last breath as they
owe BMG millions of dollars due to a previous financial bail out. "We regret that the Napster shareholders were unable to reach an agreement regarding the offer from Bertelsmann," the company said in a statement. "However, we continue to believe in the value of peer-to-peer technology. We are hopeful that Napster's brand and technology will be able to realize its potential as a compelling consumer proposition... We deeply regret that we have not yet been able to find a funding solution that would allow Napster to launch a service to benefit artists and consumers alike. We will be looking at additional steps in the coming week to further reduce expenses."
05 / 16 / 17
Australian Hi-Fi Magazine's May / June Issue Is Now
Available Online This issue of
Australian Hi-Fi features sound bites
of the Klipsch wireless audio, Cyrus One App, Sugden Grande, Densen Cast, IsoAcoustics Aperta, Audio Research DAC8
upgrade, KEF Space One, Pioneer XDP-300R, Benchmark DAC3, Amina Edge, NAD M50.2, and Marten Mingus Quintet. High-end gear reviews include the HiFiMAN Edition X V2 headphones, Harbeth Monitor 30.1 loudspeakers, Denon DCD-2500NE SACD player, Questyle Reference System Golden Edition, Torus AVR2 power conditioner, and Krix Epicentrix Mk2 center channel speaker. Within his editorial "Zen And The Art Of The Ear-Bud", Greg Borrowman says "As I was walking past a Coles supermarket at the time, I thought to myself: 'No problem, I'll just pick up a pair of cheap ear-buds and throw them away at the end of the day.' At the airport I unpacked the buds, which were branded 'Liquid Ears', and plugged them into my recorder to check everything was working. Doing so, I immediately discovered the plug was just a little under-sized, presumably to compensate for poor quality control during manufacture, so that the plugs would always fit, even if some were accidentally made bigger than usual... At the end of the day, after landing back in Sydney, I had to walk past the same Coles store, so I stopped by with my dead buds and my sales receipt to request a refund. 'No problems', said the manager, 'we also sell Sony ones, so maybe you should have bought one of those.' As I walked out, I looked down at my computerised refund docket and in the spot marked 'Reason for return', he'd written 'Quality'."
See what's within this issue of Australian Hi-Fi at this
05 / 15 / 17
Cool Cleveland Interviews Enjoy the
Music.com's Steven R. Rochlin "For a guy who's got all 10 fingers on the pulse of high-end audio, testing equipment is no laughing matter, " says
Cool Clevlands's Tom Mulready. "Wait, who are we kidding? With Steve Rochlin of Enjoy The Music, everything's a laughing matter. That's why we love him." Steven thanks Thomas for his wonderful interview during the recent
AXPONA show in Chicago. Keen-eyed viewers will note
Steven is wearing an original, now vintage, Rush Signals 1983 concert
t-shirt. Enjoy the video below and of course, as always, in the end what
really matters is that you... enjoy the music.
Fraunhofer Institute Has Officially 'Killed' Their MP3 Format Licensing Germany's
Fraunhofer Institute, early developers and licensers of the
mp3 format, has announced that it has has terminated Technicolor's mp3 licensing program for certain mp3 related patents and software. The Fraunhofer Institute thanks all of their licensees "for their great support in making mp3 the defacto audio codec in the world, during the past two decades. The development of mp3 started in the late 80s at Fraunhofer IIS, based on previous development results at the University Erlangen-Nuremberg. Although there are more efficient audio codecs with advanced features available today, mp3 is still very popular amongst consumers. However, most state-of-the-art media services such as streaming or TV and radio broadcasting use modern ISO-MPEG codecs such as the AAC family or in the future MPEG-H. Those can deliver more features and a higher audio quality at much lower bitrates compared to mp3." And so there we have it, the decades old lossy audio
compression tech called mp3 is now reaching it's commercial end-life. We hope that
the newly promoted lossless FLAC and the like will bring about Hi-Res Audio gear that handles Hi-Res Music files, which are 24-bit/48kHz or higher.
05 / 12 / 17
Dynaco ST-70 Series 3 Stereo
Int. Tube Amp Celebrates Both Old And New Dynaco (a division of
Radial Engineering Ltd.) presents the re-launch of a legendary tube amplifier, the ST-70 Series 3 tube amplifier, that was first shown worldwide during
Enjoy the Music.com's HIGH END Munich event last
year. Dynaco's ST-70 Series 3 stereo tube amplifier prodices 35 Watts per channel stereo and switchable between both 4 and 8 Ohm outputs. Using Class-A push-pull stereo topography, versions of this amplifier in the past have been characterized as a robust, with a reliable design of exceptional value. The ST-70 Series 3 builds upon the proven design philosophies of the original David Hafler-designed Stereo 70, with contemporary design techniques resulting in exceptional performance improvements that meet the requirements of modern audiophiles. Dynaco engineers have made extensive use of high-quality parts that were unavailable at the time of the original design including precision metal-film resistors, poly-composition capacitors and miniaturized high-capacity power supply electrolytic capacitors. In addition, many of the newer parts are also built to tighter specifications than the originals. For instance, the PCB is constructed of military-grade, double-sided epoxy fiberglass PC material. In compliance with modern practices, the speaker binding posts have been updated, and a heavy-duty three-pin detachable grounded power cord is provided. Signal ground is the same as electrical ground and chassis, and all signal connectors are gold-plated. The latest rendition has seen a substantially overhauled power supply from the original version, employing a larger dual-primary power transformer with improved line regulation, increased filter capacitance, and a solid-state rectifier that results in a much more articulate response. The resulting bottom end is a dramatic improvement over the original Stereo 70's low-end response. This is augmented with a three-position high-pass filter switch to allow listeners to tailor the low-end response of the amplifier to their personal tastes. Using a redesigned front end of the Series 3 amplifier, the company replaces the 'obsolete' 7199 pentode signal tubes from the original Stereo 70 with more commonly-used 12AU7 dual-triode tubes as part of a configuration that harkens back to the classic Williamson amplifier - this in itself has a long-storied history in the audiophile community. The output stage and EL34/6CA7 output tubes retain the same elements as the original Stereo 70 yet with the new design, the bias adjustment for the output tubes can be individually set using a front-panel recessed trimmer for each tube. After a warm up period (and with no input signal present), the bias is easily set by matching the brightness of the front-panel LEDs. Tremendous effort was applied to improving upon the original output transformers in an effort to increase damping and tighten up the low frequency response . A rear-panel switch allows the listener to select between 4 and
8 Ohm speaker loads. The feedback location is also configured by this switch, and the gain is adjusted accordingly. This results in an improved transient response when compared to older Stereo 70 implementations.
Learn more about the Dynaco ST-70 Series 3
stereo integrated tube amplifier within our HIGH END 2016 show report. Pricing is TBA and delivery is anticipated to begin summer 2017.
MQA Adds Hardware Partnerships To
Further Playback Hardware Options MQA (Master Quality Authenticated) once again boosts the availability of MQA-enabled products and software. MQA
seeks to improve the sound quality of physical format releases plus online music streams and downloads. A few months back MQA was debuted on TIDAL's global streaming service and is available to premium subscribers. The list of MQA-enabled hardware partners continues to grow, from boutique to big brands. The list includes AudioQuest, CanEVER Audio, dCS, Esoteric, IAG, Krell, Lumin, Mark Levinson, MOON by Simaudio, Pro-Ject Audio Systems, TEAC and Wadax. "We are proud to announce the addition of MQA playback support to our Mark Levinson No. 519 Audio Player," said Jim Garrett, Director, Marketing & Product Management at Harmon's Mark Levinson. "The ability to offer our customers the highest level of fidelity is paramount to our brand and MQA is a natural extension of that approach." Also in the news for MQA is that on May 17th AudioQuest will be releasing the long-awaited free firmware update for their DragonFly Black and DragonFly Red portable USB DACs. This
update will enable playback of all MQA files including TIDAL.
NOVO Magazine Is Free
For Download Featuring Reviews And More High-tech Canadian magazine
NOVO (was CANADA HIFI) new issue is available free for download and features a special article concerning wearable technology.
NOVO's May/June issue also includes the rise of robots, artificial intelligence and smart machines plus a beginner's guide to building a hi-fi system. Why Virtual Reality brings the latest realizations to this virtual world. High-end audio gear reviews include Unison Research Unico 90 integrated amplifier, Hafler PH50 solid-state moving coil phono stage, Mundorf MA30 custom made speaker kit, and SilverGold Series Focal Utopia headphones. Within his editorial titled Shows, VR Enjoyment, And Tech Tales, Suave Kajko says, "Spring is in full bloom and as the temperature continues to climb everyone is beginning to emerge from winter hibernation. And what better way to enjoy spring than by walking to a local record store and sifting for treasures through crates of vinyl or visiting a technology event. Check out ww.recordstoreday.com to learn about the top record stores in your city and hit up www.novo.press to see a list of upcoming technology events. One upcoming technology event I'm looking forward to is called Future World, an event focusing on robotics and artificial intelligence. Check out the preview of this show on page 16."
See what's in this issue of NOVO and
download the magazine for free at this link.
Magico's New $172,000 Per Pair M6 Floorstanding
M6 floorstanding three-way, five-driver loudspeaker establishes a new pinnacle of engineering and design vision at the company. Since the release of the M-Project in 2014, Alon Wolf and his engineering team have worked to expand upon the ground breaking designs that were first introduced in the critically acclaimed product which included the application of carbon side panels. The new M6 represents the culmination of such efforts and a major advance in loudspeaker design. The most compelling aspect is the six-sided, monocoque enclosure sculpted of 0.5" carbon fiber, leveraging the latest Aerospace materials and technologies. Similar to the external shell of an F-35 fighter jet, this method of construction increases the structural strength-to-weight ratio by a factor of 60, while reducing overall weight by 50% and yielding outer dimensions that are 30% smaller without compromising internal volume. The curved interior and exterior walls minimize internal standing waves and eliminate external diffractions. Magico's new M6 also incorporates a more efficient version of the revolutionary tweeter found in the M-Project. A 28mm diamond-coated beryllium diaphragm with optimized geometry, created using state-of-the-art Finite Element Analysis modeling tools, is said to bring the M6's high-frequency reproduction one step closer to perfection. Their new 6" midrange driver features Magico's Graphene-based cone material which is 30% lighter and 300% stiffer than that of its predecessors. This driver utilizes an underhung neodymium-based motor system that leverages an extra-large magnet and a top-stabilizing magnet to ensure a perfectly stabilized magnetic field of 1.7 Tesla in a 15mm air gap, culminating in a pure vented titanium voice coil. For lowermost frequency production, three newly designed 10.5" Magico bass drivers are produced with advanced manufacturing techniques using a new multi-wall carbon, Nanographene cone. A powerful magnet structure controls a 5" pure titanium voice coil that has 1" of linear excursion to produce clean, undistorted sound pressure levels up to 120dB @ 50Hz/meter. All five drivers in the M6 are acoustically integrated using Magico's exclusive Elliptical Symmetry Crossover topology that utilizes state-of-the-art components from Mundorf of Germany.
Magico's M6 sensitivity is 91dB/W/m, it presents a 4 Ohm load, and has an overall frequency response from 22Hz to 50kHz. Dimensions are 57" x 26" x 20" (HxDxW) and each unit weighs 390 lbs.
05 / 11 / 17
HelloEar Launches World's First Metal Custom In-Ear Monitor
(CIEM) HelloEar debuts its platinum and rose gold custom range for professional musicians and audiophiles. Every pair of HelloEar Wonderland PROs are unique to their wearer and provide the most comfortable and secure fit when listening to music. The sleek design and metal construction combine in an elegant platinum or rose gold shell guaranteed to make an impression whether on the stage or in the recording studio. HelloEar encourages
customization on the outside too. For all PRO ranges, which includes the resin shelled CIEMs, musicians can choose from 100 designs, which includes artwork and symbols. With
26dB of noise cancellation, the Wonderland range promises its wearer an enviable focus on audio quality. HelloEar pioneered a unique production process that uses 3D scanning, model rebuilding and laser sintering technology - usually used in
jewelry making - to print a perfect metal replica of each inner ear. Using this standard HelloEar professional earphones are crafted with pinpoint accuracy to sit firmly inside ears, without causing any discomfort, enabling non-stop immersive usage. Weighing 15 grams the HelloEar PRO Wonderland range is the most comfortable musical experience. Powered by two world leading miniature acoustics experts Knowles and Sonion, each set of PROs feature high-quality speakers tuned by a
"rockstar team of audio engineers and electro-acoustic doctors from Goertek, Horn Audio, Cosonic, and General Electric
Company". HelloEar PRO Wonderland collection comes in two versions: the Monet, with six balanced armature drivers, and the Gauguin with 12. Both have multiple moving-iron speakers and a strong frequency range for a clear and rich sound. HelloEar has also launched a PRO series using resin rather than metal. This range comes in three versions: Daisy, the primary monitoring version with three speakers, Kurt the musical version with four speakers or Vera, the supreme monitoring version with six speakers. Both the metal and resin shell CIEMs can be custom designed to a wearer’s personal design specification. Wonderland Monet (six drivers) $2499, Gauguin (12 drivers) $3699, resin body Daisy (three drivers) $599, Kurt (four drivers) $699 and Vera (six drivers) $1099 round out this series of IEMs. A wide variety of other custom in-ear monitors are also available.
Industry News 15 Years Ago
USA Federal Court Orders User Spying Within Consumer Electronics The following statement was issued by Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) President and CEO Gary Shapiro in response to a federal court order forcing consumer electronics manufacturer SonicBlue to develop and install new software in consumers' personal video recorders
(PVRs) that would collect all information about what shows the users
watch, record or send to a select and limited group. SonicBlue would then be forced to provide the information to the studios suing the company for allegedly contributing to copyright infringement:
"The court's order is highly troubling. It forces SonicBlue to violate the trust of its customers and commit an incredible invasion of privacy. By court order, SonicBlue would be forced to spy on consumers and record every 'click' of their remote control, noting how they watch and record television shows. The data collection would include monitoring if the user chooses to skip commercials, watch the same program more than once or delete a program.
While the order mandates the data be collected on an 'anonymous' basis, it does require SonicBlue to track individual users. Furthermore, it does not allow for users to 'opt out' of the data collection.
We also are concerned with the concept that a court can impose an order forcing consumer electronics manufacturers' to conduct surveillance activities on consumers. If the order stands, it will have a chilling effect on technological innovation and consumers' buying habits.
Through lawsuits, proposed legislation, and the power of their influence, the studios' agenda remains clear: to curtail home recording and fair use rights in the name of preserving intellectual property.
Our industry continues to seek and fight for an approach to copy protection that balances legitimate concerns about piracy and preserving intellectual property with established home recording and fair use rights."
05 / 10 / 17
HIGH END 2017 Show In Munich
Begins Next Week At The M.O.C. Approximately 500 exhibitors
will be showcasing their products during HIGH END's Munich 2017
show in Germany.
As one of high-end audio's most important European event, exhibitor space at
Munich's large M.O.C. is completely sold out. To be held from May 18th through
21st, HIGH END 2017 is Europe's most prominent and largest audio show of the year. The first day of the exhibition is exclusively reserved for trade visitors and media from all over the world.
There is no other place in Europe where the entire range of audio products is presented as impressively and emotionally as HIGH END. The diversity of services in the industry reflects both the big players as well as the many smaller, more specialized and niche providers. Visitors will be immersed in analog high-precision art as well as in the latest digital audio and visual soundscapes. Exquisite analog equipment blends in harmoniously with the latest multimedia equipment. Perfectly processed loudspeakers, traditional tube amplifiers and cult turntables stand side by side with networked audio systems, audio streaming solutions, digital wireless systems and multimedia stations. Visitors can find everything their music-loving heart's desire, regardless of age and
lifestyle. See this year's HIGH END show report and all of our previous reports
starting in 2000,
2001, 2002, 2003,
2004, 2005, 2006,
2009, 2011, 2012,
2013, 2014, 2015, 2016
05 / 09 / 17
Bob Marley & The Wailers 40th Anniversary Box Set On Vinyl
And CD Bob Marley & the Wailers'
classic Exodus album, the ninth studio album of the band, was released on June 3, 1977, featuring a new backing band including brothers Carlton and Aston "Family Man" Barrett on drums and bass, Tyrone Downie on keyboards, Alvin "Seeco" Patterson on percussion, and the I Threes, Judy Mowatt, Marcia Griffiths and Rita Marley on backing vocals, and newest member Julian "Junior Marvin" on guitar. The album was released on June 3, 1977, just six months after an assassination attempt was made on Bob Marley's life in Jamaica in December, forcing him to flee to London, where
Exodus was recorded. This June, The Marley Family, Island Records and UMe will mark the 40th anniversary of
Exodus – named the "Best Album of the 20th Century" by Time magazine in 1999 – with a series of four separate reissues, three of which will feature
Exodus 40 - The Movement Continues, son Ziggy Marley's newly curated "restatement" of the original album. As part of the celebration, Ziggy Marley has intimately revisited the original session recordings, uncovering unused and never-before-heard vocals, lyric phrasing and instrumentation, incorporating and transforming these various elements into brand-new session takes. On June 2, UMe will release a version of
Exodus 40 - The Movement Continues in a two-CD package that includes the original album and the Ziggy Marley "restatement"; a three-CD set (and digital equivalent) that includes the original
Exodus, Exodus 40 - The Movement Continues and Exodus Live. A limited edition gold vinyl version of the original 1977 album will also be available. The Super Deluxe, four-LP, two-7" single vinyl version includes the original LP, Ziggy Marley's restatement
Exodus 40 – The Movement Continues, an Exodus Live set recorded at London's Rainbow Theatre the week of the album's release, Punky Reggae Party LP which includes a previously unreleased extended mix of "Keep On Moving", and a pair of vinyl 7" singles, including "Waiting in Vain" b/w "Roots" and "Smile Jamaica (Part One)" b/w "Smile Jamaica (Part Two)." You can
Bob Marley & the Wailers Exodus 40 Super Deluxe Package Vinyl and/or CD set at this
KEF Announces Their New Q Series 2017
Loudspeaker Line KEF
has proudly announced the launch of their Q Series loudspeakers, which boast significant engineering milestones designed to enhance the Q Series' reputation even further while building on the award-winning qualities of its previous iteration. Q 2017 consists of two bookshelf speakers – Q150 and Q350 – three floorstanding speakers – Q550, Q750 and Q950 – and a center speaker – Q650c. Q 2017 boast a revamped Uni-Q driver array with a newly engineered damped tweeter loading tube design which significantly enhances performance of the lower treble. The lineup also features a new low-distortion inductor in the crossovers to provide cleaner and more accurate bass. The Q150 and Q350 benefit from a CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamic) port design, which has been moved to the rear of the speaker to improve clarity. Additionally, the Uni-Q driver array in the Q150 and Q350 has been relocated to the middle of the cabinet to reduce unwanted internal resonances. The Q550, Q750 and Q950 floorstanding speakers are equipped with larger roll surrounds and new spiders in their low-frequency drivers for immaculate bass no matter the volume, while a new paper cone provides robust midrange clarity. In addition, the floorstanders' ABR (Auxiliary Bass Radiator) is now supported by a new surround and rear suspension, aiding in delivering more controlled bass at high volumes. The Q 2017 floorstanding speakers greatly benefit from a new closed box midrange cabinet, which helps increase clarity and delivers a cleaner, punchier bass. The floorstanding speakers also feature an altered mid-bass driver, which improves midrange clarity and produces a more natural bass roll-off between drivers for a more natural sound. For home theater enthusiasts, KEF's Q650c center channel speaker also features the closed-box midrange cabinet, which reduces midrange excursion and eliminates bass distortion. Available in both black and white finishes, the design of KEF's Q 2017 is both elegant and modern, with its contemporary matte satin finishes (and match hardware) that give the speakers an elegant presence. Pricing is as follows:
Q150 Bookshelf: $550.00 / pair
Q350 Bookshelf: $650.00 / pair
Q550 Floorstander: $550.00 / each
Q750 Floorstander: $750.00 / each
Q950 Floorstander: $900.00 / each
The Absolute Sound's May
High-End Audio Review Magazine The
Absolute Sound's May 2017 issue features reviews of the Rotel A14 integrated
amplifier and CD14 CD player, Astell&Kern AK70 portable music player, Grace Design m9XX
portable DAC, MrSpeakers Ether C headphones, Pass Labs HPA-1 headphone
amplifier, Wyred 4 Sound SX-1000R power amplifier, Audio by Van Alstine DVA 850
hybrid power amplifier, Linear Tube Audio ZOTL40 Mk. II power amplifier, NuPrime STA-9
preamplifier, HPA-9 power amplifier, DAC-9 DAC, AVM Ovation SD 6.2
preamplifier/DAC, Schiit Audio Yggdrasil DAC, Audience ClairAudient 1+1 V2+
loudspeaker, Starke Sound IC-H3 Halo Elite loudspeaker, Stein Music Harmonizer,
plus Crystal Cable Minissimo loudspeaker and Submissimo subwoofers. Within his editorial,
Robert Harley says "It's no secret that my dear friend and esteemed colleague Jonathan Valin favors analog over digital music reproduction. But his screed in the previous issue's guest editorial excoriating digital audio in general, and music servers in particular, laid bare the depth of his disdain. Jonathan's objection to digital isn't only about sound quality; he thinks listeners will disengage from the hi-fi hobby if participation requires no more involvement than pressing buttons on a touchscreen. Without hands-on tactile experience playing LPs, setting up turntables, and caring for records and styli — and the expertise and connoisseurship those rituals develop — high-end audio as a hobby is doomed."
See what's within this issue of The Absolute Sound
magazine at this
05 / 04 / 17
Dolby AC-4 Hi-Res Audio
Streaming Via Widely Accepted Standard Today consumers want high fidelity audio and cinematic entertainment experiences — including the highest-quality audio—across a range of devices. Content providers want the opportunity to add additional services to their broadcasts plus a simplified workflow that eliminates the need to create different audio assets for mobile devices and living room delivery. The industry solution is
Dolby AC-4, which has been chosen as the audio standard for terrestrial broadcast in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. With Dolby AC-4, broadcasters can create a single stream of high-quality audio for all audiences and devices. Dolby AC-4 also uses less bandwidth to deliver more entertainment. Dolby AC-4, which is four times as efficient as Dolby Digital, lowers data transmission costs for broadcasters and creates bandwidth to add new channels and additional audio options consumers want. For consumers who watch video or listen to Hi-Res Audio on mobile devices, lower bandwidth rates matter both to data plans and to streaming over less-than-ideal Internet connections. The entertainment industry needs a complete, cost-effective, end-to-end audio solution that spans content creation, distribution, and playback. Dolby AC-4 meets those requirements. Because Dolby AC-4 works across platforms and devices, it no longer matters whether content is sent via satellite to a TV or streamed over the Internet to a mobile phone. This simplified workflow lowers production costs, reduces complexity, and assures consumers get a consistent audio experience. Dolby AC-4 not only improves sound quality, consistency, and ubiquity across devices, it also opens up new possibilities for broadcasters and consumers. Dolby AC-4 enables consumers to switch between different audio experiences, including announcers, languages, and even the ambient sound in the stands to make the living room feel like the stadium. Broadcasters have the opportunity to add these and other consumer options to drive revenue and brand loyalty. A powerful new audio format in the Dolby Audio family, Dolby AC-4 addresses the current and future needs of next-generation video and audio entertainment services including broadcast and Internet streaming. The core elements of Dolby AC-4 have been standardized with the European Telecommunications Standards Institute as TS 103 190 and adopted by DVB in TS 101 154, and they are ready for adoption for next-generation services and specifications. Rooted in generations of broadcast audio experience, Dolby AC-4 provides the content and device industries a strong foundation to collaboratively build leading-edge audio experiences that meet the needs of consumers.
Industry News 10 Years Ago
IFPI Brings Clarity To Fair Online Streaming Music Licensing Fees While the United
States is battling the heated debate concerning increased fees for streaming music online, as reported months ago on
Enjoy the Music.com's Industry News page, there is now a brief
reprieve while today a truly global organization may be taking the lead. Fees will slowly ramp upward for online radio
stations per United States law, yet with the Internet being truly worldwide one can only wonder how the
United States government plans to collect and account for the wide diversity of listeners. To the rescue, as it were, may not be the
United States government more than the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry
(IFPI), an organization that promotes the international recording industry worldwide with membership including over 1400 companies in more than 70 countries. This
international organization has claimed to make "major step forward in cross border music licensing regime." Online music services and broadcasting
organizations "should find it easier from today to gain licenses to stream music across several territories, thanks to an arrangement put in place between IFPI - which represents the recording industry worldwide - and record company collecting societies" says the press release. Basically, a pair of licensing agreements will create the framework licensing of producers' rights for various streaming and podcast services. This will make life easier for those who desire obtaining cross-border online rights licenses instead of obtaining
legal rights from each territory separately or approaching the right holders directly. The IFPI says, "It is expected that more than 40 collecting societies, covering most of the key music markets worldwide, will sign up to these two agreements." Frances Moore, IFPI's regional director for Europe, says, "The record industry's mantra is to license, license, license. We want consumers to be able to listen to our music anywhere, any time through any device as long as it is legal. These landmark agreements will further streamline the licensing process and help broadcasters and online music services deliver music across boundaries. We only hope that other music right holders will follow suit."
05 / 03 /17
Record Attendance At AXPONA 2017 High-End Audio Show In Chicago JD Events'
recent AXPONA (Audio Expo North America) 2017 show held in April welcomed 6,723 attendees and 400 exhibitors. Exhibitors and attendees alike were excited to hear about the plans to make the Renaissance Schaumburg Hotel and Convention Center AXPONA's new home starting April 13th through 15th, 2018. With this year's record attendance numbers and an increased interest from worldwide manufacturers to exhibit at AXPONA, the 2018 show will be able to meet the needs of the high-end audio industry. In addition to a series of special events, live concerts and educational seminars, attendees had the opportunity to experience the very best in sound in 140 listening rooms by top manufacturers and dealers in the industry. In all, more than 400 manufacturers and retailers gathered at AXPONA and boasted rave reviews. "The 2017 show was a huge success with 6,723 attendees from around the globe, world class exhibitors and big names in the audio industry including Magico, Dan D'Agostino Master Audio Systems, Wilson Audio Legacy Audio, Sennheiser Electronic Corporation, Acoustic Sounds Inc., and Nordost, among others," said Joel Davis, President and CEO of JD Events. "We look forward to welcoming audio enthusiasts, music lovers and all the manufacturers, distributors and dealers in this great industry to the Renaissance Schaumburg Hotel & Convention Center next year as we continue to build AXPONA into a premier international destination." AXPONA attendees enjoyed an all-star line-up for its weekend live concert series including the Frank Catalano Band on Friday night, and a benefit concert hosted by the Jazz Foundation of America featuring Ronnie Baker Brooks, Billy Branch and Mud Morganfield on Saturday
The Absolute Sound's Buyer's Guide To Audiophile Electronics The Absolute
Sound's Buyer's Guide To Electronics is an easy-to-navigate PDF chock-full of brand-new products and full-length hi-fi reviews from
TAS across all types of electronics — tube and solid-state amplifiers and preamplifiers and more across all price-points, from entry-level to reference-quality components. Their new 2017 guide is your essential one-stop resource for the scoop on the latest and greatest high-end electronics. Read about the latest new amplifiers, preamplifiers, and phonostages to enter the hi-fi market
A Brief Guide To Today's Preamplifiers — Robert Harley discusses the latest preamplifier technologies, how they impact your system, his recommendations, and more. In total, 28 preamplifier and amplifier reviews from
The Absolute Sound Top Picks — TAS editors select their favorites for all categories of electronics: amplifiers, linestages, phonostages, preamplifiers, and combinations of
these — both tube and solid-state designs. No matter what your budget or sonic preferences, this Guide is designed to help you explore the wide range of electronics across all design categories and
price-points. You can download
the PDF of The Absolute Sound's Buyer's Guide To Electronics by clikcing
05 / 02 / 17
Magazine Is Now Available Online Hi-Fi+
Magazine's May 2017 issue features Headroom Show 2017 in London plus reviews of the Gryphon Audio Diablo 120 integrated stereo amplifier and Mojo S speaker,
Linn Klimax DS digital controller and Klimax 350 speaker, Magico S1 MKII, 1More Quad-Driver, Leema Acoustics Tucana II Anniversary, MrSpeakers ÆON, Nordost Qkore1, Qkore3, and Qkore6, Audioplan Powerstar SIII, Finefilter S, And Powerplant 100S. Two systems are reviewed, one with the Mark Levinson No. 585, Vienna Acoustics Liszt, and Chord Sarum T. Another system features includes Hegel Mohican, Hegel H80, and Chartwell LS6.
Within his editorial, Alan Sircom says "A few years ago, some parts of the audio industry noticed a marked change in the way people were buying separate audio components. While the best components for use in systems don’t necessarily come from one brand, many today do take a more systemic approach to component selection. Paradoxically, whether that system is from one brand, or put together with care from different brands is unimportant.
What we mean by this is people are buying complete systems in one hit, and then not coming back for more. Where in the past, an audiophile might upgrade every component in their system over the course of a few years, and then go through the whole process again and again, there seems to be a return to buying a complete system and enjoying it for years without a single change."
See what's within this issue of H-Fi+ Magazine at this
Nordost Introduces Their New QKORE Series Of Power Products Nordost's newest addition to their line of QRT Power products, the QKORE series includes a comprehensive grounding device for the consumer electronics market (QKORE1 $2500, $3500, QKORE6 $5000,
and QKORE Wire $360 with $150 per additional meter). These products present a simple solution to rid hi-fi systems of the incessant hum and relentless electrical noise that are caused by high frequency interference, noise, and stray magnetic fields contaminating AC lines. Nordost's QKORE offers an effective ground point, which is said to provides a solid foundation for your entire sound system. Nordost says this system will lowering the noise floor, increasing harmonic accuracy and clarity, and improving the overall musicality in performances. Nordost's QKORE is a parallel grounding device, which provides an artificial,
"clean" earth for hifi audio systems using both an electrical and mechanical approach. This unique product combines Nordost's patented Mono-Filament technology with purpose-built, Low-Voltage Attractor Plates (LVAPs), constructed with a proprietary metal alloy and a passive electronic circuit, in order to draw stray high frequency noise and voltage-generated magnetic fields to a manufactured earth point, leaving a clean reference behind. This passive system is contained in a mechanically tuned housing, and outfitted with gold-plated, WBT binding posts, which easily connect each component to an artificial ground. The QKORE1 is specifically designed to serve as a parallel ground for use with Nordost's distribution block, the QBASE.
05 / 01 / 17
Enjoy the Music.com's
May Review Magazine Is Now Available Online Enjoy the
Music.com's May Review
Magazine features three high-end audio show reports, two
world premiere reviews, two preamps, and an IEM review. We got you
tubes-o-philes all happy with a world premiere review of the aurally ravishing VAC Renaissance Preamplifier Mk V with MM/MC phono stage. Reviewer Ron Nagle feels that it redefines the cutting edge of what is possible. Editor Tom Lyle goes solid-state with the Merrill Audio Christine Reference stereo preamplifier and says the sound of the
unit is addictive!
Am proud to say we have the world premiere review of Elly Audio's upcoming loudspeaker. Soon to be available on Kickstarter, we're the first ones in the world to try
'em out! Rick LaFaver gushes, "If this is what these guys can deliver, I am going to get in on the ground floor." We haven't forgotten personal audio
as Dave Hanson shares his thoughts on the Periodic Audio Beryllium in-ear monitors. So how good are these $299 IEMS you ask? i'll give you a
hint: Dave feels they are loads of fun! You'll have to read his review for more details and a blow-by-blow review.