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High-End Audio, High Fidelity Audiophile Industry News


06 / 27 / 15

RIAA Releases Logo For Retailers To Designate Hi-Res MUSIC
RIAA Releases Logo For Retailers To Designate Hi-Res MusicThe Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) has unveiled a new logo designed to identify today's highest-quality digital music. RIAA's Hi-Res MUSIC logo will be appearing at retailers to designate that these products meet the official definition for "High Resolution Music", which was agreed upon last year. The press release by the RIAA says, "High Resolution Music is officially defined as “lossless audio capable of reproducing the full spectrum of sound from recordings which have been mastered from better than CD quality (48kHz/20-bit or higher) music sources which represent what the artists, producers and engineers originally intended." This definition ensures consumers receive music that is delivered in a digital format that retains the highest quality captured during the creative process." The new logo was developed by 2B Communications Inc. and may be used by retailers within Canada, Europe and the USA for commercial downloads or streaming. The Hi-Res MUSIC logo will be joined by the name and resolution of the digital file format. "Music fans have lots of options today about where to get their favorite music," said David Hughes, Chief Technology Officer, RIAA. "Digital enthusiasts also want the highest quality version of their favorite recording that’s available, and the Hi-Res MUSIC definition and logo mark are useful tools to ensure that they have as much information as possible so that they can enjoy an optimal listening experience."


Industry News 10 Years Ago
Steve Jobs annoucning iTunesApple Computers Incorporated has been taking heat from many sides concerning their proprietary iTunes interface. From other online companies asking for FairPlay to the recent alleged use of a previously patented interface, Apple has been taking heat from many industries. Vermont based Contois Music & Technology claims that Apple has done "irreparable" damage to the company's patented interface technology and filed a lawsuit is the state's U.S. District Court. Since Apple was fully aware of the patent in 2003, and David Contois claims to have showed the interface at the November 1995 Comdex to individuals that then worked for Apple or now are employed by the company, the computer maker willfully ignored Contois' patent. Then we have RealAudio, a competing online music store to Apple's iTunes, claiming Apple refuses to allow other companies access to Apple's FairPlay digital rights technology. The result is that RealAudio found a workaround by releasing their new "Harmony" software that works with the iTunes hardware. Rounding up Apple's troubles (for this news article), is that media company Virgin has complained to European regulators that Apple's refusal to license its FairPlay digital-rights management technology is unfair.


06 / 26 / 15

Korg iAudioGate For iOS Handles DSD And 24-bit/192kHz Audio
Korg iAudioGate For iOS Handles DSD and 24-bit/192kHz AudioKorg has released their iAudioGate ($9.99) app for iOS devices, which allows you to enjoy Hi-Res Audio on your Apple device. Since KORG was among the first to embrace high-resolution DSD audio, which includes USB DACs and player/converter software, they naturally want everyone to enjoy music to the highest degree possible. Korg's iAudioGate software app for iPhone is loaded with the AudioGate player engine and customized to perform as an iPhone app. The company says that their premium-resolution sound player engine performance equal to their full-featured AudioGate software and handles nearly all file types—including high-resolution audio, DSD, FLAC, plus lossy MP3, etc. iAudioGate includes a high-definition graphic equalizer with multiple presets / memory and upsampling feature to provide enhanced audio reproduction of your favorite music. Another feature is wireless smart-forwarding of tunes from Mac / Win (via AirDrop, iCloud Drive, Dropbox etc.) and a flexible remote control via the Apple Watch app. The app handles sampling rates up to 11.2 MHz DSD and upward of 24-bit/192kHz PCM. Of note is that the equalizer does not support DSD native playback or up-sampling to DSD playback. You can use an Apple Watch to remotely control iAudioGate's Play, stop, fast-forward, and volume changes. Artwork and other song information for the currently-playing song are visible at a glance.


Serene Innovations ReNew IEM Dryer
Drying and fighting bacteria growth within your IEMs the right way.
Review By Steven R. Rochlin


Hi-Fi World's August Audiophile Magazine Is Now Available
Hi-Fi World August 2015 Issue Is Now AvailableEnjoy the Music.com just posted Hi-Fi World's August 2015 issue with many high-end audio equipment reviews. This issue features reviews of the KEF Reference 1 standmount loudspeakers, Neo2go/Cowon SP2 budget Bluetooth loudspeakers, Rega DAC-R, Onkyo C-N7050 networked CD player, Mitchell & Johnson DR-201v DAB / VHF tuner, OPPO HA-2 DAC with headphone amplifier, Quad PA-One headphone amplifier, Exposure 3010S2-D amplifier, and Black Rhodium Sonata VS-1 interconnects. Within his editorial, Noel Keywood says, "A network attached CD player? That was quite a peculiar concept not so long ago. Indeed, when I was first confronted with one I scratched my head and wondered why would anyone want to send CD over a network? Or is it the other way around? And then the penny dropped. It’s both. A CD player which also lets you stream from your computer or an outside network making the unit a go-to, one stop source device. Many have appeared since I first unsuccessfully cogitated on this idea, of varying quality, price and ability. I think we all liked Onkyo’s take on this concept, however, the imaginatively named C-N7050 (!) you can find reviewed on p21 this month. Onkyo just do it well – at a very affordable price. This is a great introduction to “computer” audio, right down to its control app. OK, you don’t get an ESS Sabre32 DAC on-board, but you do get a set of good modern parts in a thoroughly decent CD player. So for all of you wishing to upgrade their CD player – just buy this CD player!" You can see what's within the August issue of Hi-Fi World at this link.


Industry News 15 Years Ago
Apple QuicktimeAs first announced worldwide on the Enjoy the Music.com's Streaming Media East 2000 coverage, we include the appearance of none other than Steve Jobs of Apple now licensing their streaming digital audio and video over the Internet in the QuickTime format technology to RealNetworks, Inc. This means that RealNetwork's streaming media server and RealServer 8 will now support the delivery of Apple's QuickTime-based content to QuickTime players "We heartily welcome RealNetworks to the QuickTime Streaming Server community" said Steve Jobs, Apple's CEO. "Apple's open-source QuickTime Streaming Server has already been licensed by IBM, Sun, SGI, Akamai and many others, helping to provide great content to the more than 50 million QuickTime players that have been distributed worldwide." Rob Glaser, chairman and CEO of RealNetworks, Inc. said "RealServer is already the media delivery server of choice for tens of thousands of content providers worldwide. RealServer 8's support for Apple's QuickTime now provides content creators and infrastructure providers a unified way to deliver the widest array of content to the largest possible audience."


06 / 25 / 15

HIFICRITIC's April / May / June Issue Is Now Available
HIFICRITIC April / May / June 2015 Issue Is Now AvailableEnjoy the Music.com just posted HIFICRITIC's April / May / June 2015 issue. This issue features Chris Frankland talking with Linn founder Ivor Tiefenbrun plus reviews of the Aurorasound Preda, Brodmann's VC7 floorstanders, Naim Statement system, Vertex AQ'S Aletheia DAC-1.5, Naim's Super Lumina cables, Focal + Naim Aria 905 + UnitiLite, and three cartridges including the Audio-Technica ART9, the Lyra Delos and the Ortofon Cadenza Bronze. Within his editorial, Paul Messenger says, "Today's hi-fi 'press' consists of a modest number of paper mags alongside a substantially larger quantity of web-mags. The traditional paper-based mags (including HIFICRITIC) all have their websites of course, often with associated forums and the like, but considerably lower start-up costs have meant that numerous web-mags have emerged that are owned and operated by individual journalists, including some of our regular writers." You can see what's within the April / May / June issue of HIFICRITIC at this link.


Brodmann VC7 Floorstanding Loudspeaker Review
Brodmann VC7 Floorstanding Loudspeaker
Brodmann VC 7's vibrating 'sound boards' might fly in the face of accepted loudspeaker design wisdom.
Review By Paul Messenger Of HIFICRITIC


Gramovox Floating Record Vertical Turntable
Gramovox Floating Record Vertical TurntableGramovox's upcoming Floating Record ($350) is a vertical turntable now available on Kickstarter. This high-performance turntable plays records vertically through built-in full-range stereo speakers or via RCA line out. Gramovox's design philosophy "is to re-imagine vintage audio design with modern technology". Their Floating Record provides the illusion that your vinyl record is floating. "We designed the Floating Record for everyone from the first-time record listener to the seasoned vinyl enthusiast," says the company. "You'll be spinning tunes out of the box in a matter of minutes. You don't need to set up your cartridge or purchase additional outboard gear such as phono pre-amps, amplifiers and speakers (although you have the option to). All of these are included in our integrated design." You can easily switch between 33 or 45 rpm vinyl records by moving the silicon belt over the inner or outer groove of the middle gear. Gramovox also includes clamps for both types of records. You have the option of bypassing the internal RIAA stage, 15 watt amplifier and speakers and simply output an RIAA equalized line level signal from the built in phono-preamp via the Line Out RCA jacks. There is a 1/8" stereo headphone jack for those who desire private listening. A fully-adjustable, carbon-fiber tone-arm in included, whilst tracking force is dynamically applied by a spring as opposed to the usual counterweights found in horizontal record players. The tonearm is factory-set at ~2 grams for the included Audio Technica AT95E MM cartridge. For real wood highlights, premium American dark walnut and maple woods are used for the base. The Floating Record vertical turntable is completely universal for AC to DC power including 50/60 Hz from 120 to 240 Volts. Dimensions are 17" x 10" x 16" (WxDxH) and it weighs 13 lbs.


06 / 24 / 15

Hi-Res Audio Specifications Discussion To Aid Content Creators
Hi-Res Audio Specifications Discussion To Aid Content CreatorsThe Recording Academy Producers & Engineers Wing, established for producers, engineers, re-mixers, manufacturers, technologists, and other related creative and technical professionals in the recording field, today have announced that during CE Week they will embarked upon the creation of a series of Hi-Res Audio Production Guidelines. Their goal is to further "clarify the technology and techniques essential to producing great high-resolution music". While many major record labels, The DEG, and The Recording Academy agreed upon a common definition for Hi-Res Audio, there appears to have been some "misperceptions still remaining when it comes to the correct methods for recording, mixing and mastering these titles resulting in the creation of Production Guidelines". According to the press release we just received, topics to be addressed within these guidelines include:

• The importance of providing masters that have either been digitally recorded or re-mastered from analog sources at the highest resolution possible. 
• The value of establishing workflow protocols and procedures for recording new projects at 96kHz/24-bit and higher. 
• The need for utilizing best practices when transferring analog masters to hi-res digital formats.
• The importance of packaging Hi-Res Audio files with high quality digital liner notes, credits, and other descriptive metadata that complements these recordings. 
• The use of best efforts when documenting the origin format ("provenance") of these recordings, in order to provide as much transparency to consumers as possible.
• A list of recommendations that support the minimum production requirements necessary to enable music labels to deliver Hi-Res Audio content.


Enjoy the Music.com Show Report Schedule
Enjoy the Music.com And Enjoy the Music.TV 2015 Show Report Schedule
Seen below is a listing of Enjoy the Music.com's planned 2015 show coverage for the remainder of 2015. We have already reported on CES 2015 in Las Vegas, AXPONA in Chicago, HIGH END in Munich, and T.H.E. Show Newport. Whilst we may be adding more shows during 2015, we feel the below is a good basic starting point. Enjoy the Music.com is the Internet's largest site for audiophile show coverage, as we have over 190 shows high-end audio and event reports online at this link.


August 14th to 16th, 2015
California Audio Show 2015 Report
Westin Hotel
Millbrae, California
Add this event to your calendar.


August 28th to 30th, 2015
Capitol Audiofest Show 2015 Report
Hilton Hotel at Twinbrook Metro
Rockville, MD 20852
Add this event to your calendar


October 2nd to 4th, 2015
Rocky Mountain Audio Fest 2015 (RMAF 2015 Show Report)
Marriott Tech Center Hotel
Denver, Colorado
Add this event to your calendar.


October 30th to November 1st, 2015
TAVES 2015 Show Report
Sheraton Parkway Toronto North Hotel & Suites
Toronto, Canada
Add this event to your calendar.



06 / 23 / 15

B.B. King & Eric Clapton Riding With The King On Hybrid SACD
B.B. King & Eric Clapton "Riding With The King" On Hybrid SACDIn honor of the recent passing of blues guitar legend B.B. King, Marshall Blonstein's Audio Fidelity will be releasing B.B. King & Eric Clapton Riding With The King on limited edition hybrid SACD ($30). This SACD should satisfy fans of B.B. King, Eric Clapton and blues purists alike. Riding With The King was both musicians first collaborative recording and it went on to win the 2000 Grammy Award for Best Traditional Blues Album. The album reached #1 on Billboard's Top Blues Albums. They first performed together in 1967 when Clapton was 22 and a member of Cream. Clapton looked up to King and had always wanted to make an album with him. At the time of recording Clapton was 55 and King 74. Clapton arranged the session using many of his regular musicians, picked the songs, and co-produced with his partner Simon Climie. While this would appear to be a Clapton album recorded with King, Clapton gave King center-stage. The set list includes lots of vintage King specialties, "Ten Long Years," "Three O'Clock Blues," "Days of Old," "When My Heart Beats Like a Hammer," as well as standards like "Hold On I'm Coming" and "Come Rain or Come Shine," with some specially written and appropriate new material. King takes Clapton deeper into blues territory than he has ever gone alone and these two artists play the blues with conviction. There may never be another album that links the Delta Blues to modern rock with such style, grace, enthusiasm, and honesty. The album is produced by Eric Clapton and Simon Climie, with mastering done by Steve Hoffman at Stephen Marsh Mastering.


06 / 22 / 15

Pro-Ject MaiA DS Integrated Amplifier With DAC And Phonostage
Pro-Ject MaiA DS Integrated Amplifier With DAC And PhonostagePro-Ject's new MaiA DS solid-state stereo integrated amplifier (€799) produces 55 wpc and can be  controlled in a normal fashion or via the company's phone and tablet app. To ensure modern high fidelity performance, the new Pro-Ject MaiA DS includes three stereo analog line inputs, three digital inputs, a 24-bit/192kHz DAC based on the TI 1796, plus it has DSD playback capability too! There is also asynchronous USB with Aptx plus an MM/MC phonostage. Outputs include headphone, a fixed output for recording or second zone and variable preamplifier output for a subwoofer. To make the app simple to use, users will only see the control screen of the product selected. Selected screens are used to specify which units are within your system and only these will be displayed on your smartphone or tablet. The unit can produce 80 wpc via an optional linear supply Power Box MaiA DS. Pro-Ject's MaiA DS is available in silver or black faceplate. Dimensions are 206 x 72 x 150 (WxHxD in mm) and the unit weighs 3.4 lbs. without power supply.


Skoffin' Up Food For Thought
The High-End Audio Show Paradox
How can our hobby be declining when high-end show attendance keeps going up?
Article By Roger Skoff


Kiseki Purple Heart NS Moving Coil Phono Cartridge Review
Kiseki Purple Heart NS Moving Coil Phono Cartridge
The sound of sonic art.
Review By Tom Lyle


Updated! Is Apple Rotten To The Core With Their Streaming Music Service
Would you work for three months without getting paid?
Article By Steven R. Rochlin


06 / 21 / 15

Theta Digital Dreadnaught D Modular Amplifier
Theta Digital Dreadnaught D Modular AmplifierFor those seeking to multi-amplify their loudspeakers, Theta Digital is now shipping their Dreadnaught D modular power amplifier. Designed to accommodate up to 8 channels of amplification, the Dreadnaught D has a built-in power supply using dual power cords, power switches and toroidal transformers plus 4 slots designed to receive proprietary Theta Digital amplifier modules. There are three modules available for the Dreadnaught D, all of which are based on the Hypex N-Core class D amplifier circuitry. The stereo amplifier module is rated at 225 wpc at 8 Ohms and 400 at 4 Ohms from 20 Hz to 20 kHz. Another available module bridges the two of them together to produce over 500 wpc at 8 Ohms with over 800 at 4 Ohms. Pricing for popular configurations is as follows: 225 wpc x 7 channels is $9995, 400 wpc x 3 plus 225W x 2 is $10,695 and stereo amplifiers are available with 225 wpc at $6150 and 500 wpc at $7445. The Theta Digital Dreadnaught D is available in platinum or black chassis and with standard or rack-mount chassis. Inputs include both unbalanced RCA and balanced XLR. Signal to noise ratio is 120dB with a crosstalk of 85dB. For home integration, there is a 12V trigger input for turning the unit on/off. Dimensions are 17.675" x 7.85" x 19.75" (WxHxD) with weight being 98.5 lbs when fully optioned.


06 / 19 / 15

ACA Seraphim Skogrand Edition Floorstanding Loudspeaker
ACA Seraphim Skogrand Edition Floorstanding LoudspeakerSkogrand Cables' new ACA Seraphim Skogrand Edition floorstanding loudspeaker ($45,000) is the company's first true reference model with internal wiring by the company. Exclusively offered in a 14-layer painted Piano Rosewood finish, this three-way passive floorstander is designed and manufactured within the United States of America and Norway. Internal wiring is the Skogrand Cables SC Beethoven, whilst the custom crossover is point to point wired using components of Grand performance. The tweeter is a Seas Excel E0040-06 T29CF002 Crescendo 1.14" soft dome, which uses Hexdym magnet system based on six radially magnetized NdFeB magnet blocks to provide efficient ventilation and damping of cavities behind the dome, surround and voice coil. For midrange duties the a custom ACA 7" driver is employed and mated with two Custom ACA 7" drivers for bass in a transmission line setup. Overall frequency response is from 28 Hz to 25 kHz, sensitivity is 92.5dB and the speaker presents a 4 Ohm load nominal. The cabinet is extremely well-braced and damped 800 kg/m³ medium-density fiberboard and is 14" x 47.5" x 21.5 (WxDxH) and weighs a hefty 260 lbs. per pair.


Is Apple Rotten To The Core With Their Streaming Music Service
Would you work for three months without getting paid?
Article By Steven R. Rochlin


06 / 18 / 15

Astell&Kern Offers New Firmware For AK100 And AK120
Astell&Kern Offers New Firmware For AK100 And AK120Astell&Kern continues to innovate and improve their previous models, including the AK100, AK100 MKII and AK120 / AK120 Titan with new firmware updates. Astell&Kern's improvements with this new firmware include time display of MP3 file encoded with VBR is improved plus when users pressed the rewind button after 3 seconds with gapless on they have corrected the information displayed. Furthermore, bitrate size issue is improved and freezing issue while playing a long title has now been revised. Lastly, certain types of DSD files are now stabilized to playback correctly. Firmware version 2.42 for the Astell&Kern AK100 can be downloaded at this link. Those with the Astell&Kern AK120 can update to firmware version 1.42 at this link. You can ready Enjoy the Music.com's review of the AK120 at this link, the AK240 at this link, and our world premiere review of the Astell&Kern AK380 at this link.


Devialet, Designer Of The Phantom Speaker, Receives Series B Financing
Devialet, Designer Of The Phantom Speaker, Receives Series B FinancingIt comes as no surprise that Devialet has announced Series B funding as they blend cutting-edge design, advanced physics and musicality into a new class of audio components that employ DSP (Digital Signal Processing). The $20,000,000 Series B round is being financed by LVMH CEO Bernard Arnault, Jacques-Antoine Granjon, Xaviel Niel, and Marc Simoncini. Devialet's Series A funding was in 2012 and was for $19,100,000, which helped the company expand, hire new personnel, acquire design and manufacturing equipment to produce the Phantom loudspeaker. Devialet's 3000-watt Phantom speaker system is a compact spherical component incorporating 10 years of research and development combined with a $30,000,000 budget. They company has 88 patents and a team of product designers. From sub-bass at 16 Hz to treble at 25 kHz, the Phantom creates sound with advanced state-of-the-art DSP combined with mechanical engineering. Priced at under $2000, the Wi-Fi and stereo Bluetooth enabled device can replace all other audio components plus can be easily operated via app. At the heart of the Phantom technology platform is Devialet's ADH Intelligence, which combines "the refinement of analog (or Class A) amplification with the power of Digital (or Class D) amplification. The company’s SAM Processing technology is then used to control the speakers to perfection, reproducing the exact acoustic pressure recorded by the microphone".


Ambisonic Sound Technologies STX Series Loudspeakers
Ambisonic Sound Technologies STX Series LoudspeakersAmbisonic Sound Technologies, a manufacturer specializing in audiophile-quality loudspeakers (formerly known as Stix & Drums), now offers their STX Series of loudspeakers. The series consists of Column Line Array Loudspeakers that use True Coaxially-aligned midrange and PMRD tweeters. It also includes several high-impact, high-efficiency subwoofers designed to match with the Column Line Array loudspeakers, producing a full-range solution for audiophiles, professionals and live events. The Single-Box Column Line Array Loudspeakers utilize the company's advanced Planar Magnetic Ribbon Drivers (PMRD) and a high-power 6.5-inch custom, neodymium magnet driven, Kevlar/paper mid-woofer. The True Coaxial configuration of these drivers along with their unique waveguide creates a wide, 110-degree horizontal coverage, while the Line Array affords improved front-to-back sound dispersion to within +/- 2dB. The companion subwoofers are available with 12", 15" and 18" drivers. They use massive motor structures and dual-layered voice coils to provide complementary high-impact low frequencies down to 34Hz. Ambisonic Sound Technologies' ribbon drivers feature the lowest mass-moving system in the industry for fast transient response and faithful signal reproduction. Thanks to an increased RMS to PEAK ratio that greatly improves dynamics, and a proprietary manufacturing process that utilizes a molecular bond between the aluminum and Kapton substrate for superior reliability, the driver is still able to belt out the high-output levels necessary for larger venues, while retaining audiophile accuracy. Ambisonic Sound Technologies' proprietary mid-woofer design featuring a powerful, yet lightweight neodymium-magnet motor structure. The strength and lightness of the motor yields extremely low distortion in the critical midrange frequencies. Weather-resistant Kevlar/paper cone material generates stiffness and durability with less coloration, while the entire low-mass, extremely balanced and stable moving system provides a linear performance and high sensitivity. By integrating the ribbon tweeter and mid-woofer in a True Coaxial design, this produces a symmetrical horizontal coverage pattern. Lower distortion is achieved due to the acoustic filter effect of having the tweeter placed in front of the woofer. Adding the company's unique waveguide design delivers 110-degrees of horizontal coverage. Finally, the line array configuration, aligned with Ambisonic Sound Technologies' own Array Optimization Software (AOS) allows the listener far off to hear the same sound level as the person close up with +/- 2dB. Product list and pricing is as follows:

STX6600 - Straight, single column, 6 coaxial driver pair $5,390
STX6620 - Curved (20 degree), single column, 6 coaxial driver pair $5,790
STX4625 - Curved (25 degree), single column, 4 coaxial driver pair $3,990
PS115/4625P - Portable, single column 4 coaxial driver pair with sub $5,590
DRM212 - Subwoofer, 2x 12-inch drivers $2,590
DRM115 - Subwoofer, 1x 15-inch driver, (black only) $1,990
DRM215 - Subwoofer, 2x 15inch drivers $3,190 
DRM215C - Compact Subwoofer, 2x 15-inch drivers coming soon
DRM118 - Subwoofer, 1x 18-inch driver $2,190


06 / 17 / 15

Gospel Vocalist Might Sam McClain Passes Away
Gospel Vocalist Might Sam McClain Passes AwayThis just in from Acoustic Sounds, "We're saddened to report the passing of Mighty Sam McClain. The 72-year-old Grammy-nominated blues and soul singer suffered a stroke in April and died Monday night. Many followers here likely saw Mighty Sam perform at Blue Heaven Studios in October as part of the 17th Annual Blues Masters at the Crossroads. He captured the audience with a stirring solo set and a duet with grade school pal Sonny Green. Sam started out his music career at the tender age of 5 singing gospel in church in his hometown of Monroe, Louisiana. He would leave home at 13 following what was known as the Chitlin' Circuit and working first as an assistant to the R&B guitarist Little Melvin Underwood before taking the stage as a vocalist at 15. In 1966 Sam would record a version of Patsy Cline's "Sweet Dreams," before recording singles for the Muscle Shoals recording studio like "Fannie-May" and "In the Same Old Way." He would shuffle from the streets of Nashville, Tennessee and New Orleans, Louisiana, many times finding only low-wage and menial work before hooking a tour of Japan in 1989 that would result in the recording Live in Japan with Wayne Bennett. Sam would eventually settle in New England where he collaborated on the "Hubert Sumlin Blues Party" project. He later signed with Telarc Blues after a stint with AudioQuest Music and Sledgehammer Blues. Throughout his career he would record 17 albums that include Your Perfect Companion, Give It Up to Love, Soul Survivor: The Best of Mighty Sam McClain, Sweet Dreams, One More Bridge to Cross and the recordings Scent of Reunion: Love Duets Across Civilizations and A Deeper Tone of Longing: Love Duets Across Civilizations with the Iranian singer Mahsa Vahdat on the Kirkelig Kulturverksted label. Having struggled with homelessness and substance abuse, Sam was a performer for the homeless project Give Us Your Poor, co-wrote "Show Me The Way" with musician Scott Shelter and performed for the project at Lincoln Center and The Kennedy Center, as well as performed on Songs from a Stolen Spring that paired western musicians with artists from the Arab Spring. Sam was paired with Egyptian musician Ramy Essam and the pair created a track melding "If I Can Dream" and Mr. Essam’s "Bread, Freedom." Read more about Sam's career at this link. His family has requested that condolences be sent to P.O. Box 322, Newmarket, NH 03857." As a special thanks to Mighty Sam McClain, we present to you our exclusive Blues Masters at the Crossroads video from his 2014 performance. The video was mixed and mastered by Steven R. Rochlin, Editor and Creative Director of Enjoy the Music.com and Enjoy the Music.TV.


doubleTwist CloudPlayer App Supports FLAC, ALAC And More
doubleTwist CloudPlayer App Supports FLAC, ALAC And MoredoubleTwist has just launched their CloudPlayer app that enables a variety of cloud service to become a giant personal audio jukebox. For now, this app is available for the Android platform and supports Dropbox, OneDrive and Google Drive. CloudPlayer is doubleTwist's next-generation music player that can manage and stream your personal music collection no matter where it is stored. It supports hi-fidelity lossless audio, and universal casting to Chromecast and AirPlay devices. For example, you can stream a song from your OneDrive or Dropbox to your Apple TV or Chromecast. You can even link multiple cloud services, which comes in handy for those with a large music library or wish to listen to music uploaded by another family member. CloudPlayer features a snappy material design GUI, premium sound, lossless audio, bass boost, 10-band EQ, ability to select songs and playlists for offline playback, and built-in AirPlay and Chromecast support. doubleTwist's CloudPlayer also handles high resolution artist and album images, has advanced sorting options for albums, artists, composers, genres and more. The advanced 10 band equalizer has 17 presets and preamp, plus SuperSound that provides users the ability to customize their sound with headphone enhancement, bass boost and stereo widening effects. Support for lossless file formats such as FLAC and ALAC plus lossy formats including MP3, AAC, OGG, m4a, wav and more come standard. Additional features coming soon include metadata/tag and album art editing, crossfade and gapless playback, and an option for uploading music from your device to the cloud.


Audio Exklusiv E 12 Solid-State Stereo Integrated Amplifier
Audio Exklusiv E 12 Solid-State Stereo Integrated AmplifierGerman audio manufacturer Audio Exklusiv will be making available their E 12 solid-state stereo integrated amplifier (€1999) as the first product of the company's ECO-Line, which is priced lower than previous models in their CLASSIC-Line. The E 12 has an output power of 85 wpc @ 8 Ohms (140 wpc at 4 Ohms) and starts out with a 500 W transformer within the power supply. In the basic version the E 12 you receive four high level RCA inputs. Optional for extra charge is either a Phonoplate of the P 0.2 or the DACplate of the new DAC P 0.8, which will be available late this summer. The switch of the sources is by Relais whilst the volume control is regulated with a high end potentiometer from Alps. Audio Exklusiv's standard design of the E 12 stereo integrated amplifier will feature a front plate in acrylic black with silver printing and control elements in aluminum matt black anodized. Other special options such as knobs in aluminum matt silver anodized, volume remote control or rather the tuning set 'S' (power supply, wiring and mechanical optimizing) are obtainable on demand and for extra charge. Frequency response is from 5 Hz to 100 kHz and each unit weighs 29 lbs.


Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy Sämtliche Lieder für
Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy Sämtliche Lieder fürTacet's new Blu-ray audio release of Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy Sämtliche Lieder für (€21.47) features gemischten Chor acappella, Sächsisches Vocalensemble as conducted by Matthias Jung. This release includes TACET Real Surround Sound and stereo 24-bit/96kHz mix. Matthias Jung is a fairly unassuming person (as are other TACET musicians such as Evgeni Koroliov or the Auryn Quartet). He places his musicality and his ability completely in the service of music. He understands how to transfer the traditional and yet timelessly modern characteristics of the German language into music and how to blend the melody of the language with musical melody in a way that is reminiscent of the high culture of the 19th century, stemming from Mendelssohn and in which Mendelssohn himself felt at home. Matthias Jung's recording of the complete songs for mixed acappella choir by Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, with the Sächsisches Vocalensemble, has already received numerous awards on CD, such as "5 tuning forks" (5 stars) from the French magazine Diapason or the recommendation from Klassik Heute with 10 points. The new Blu-ray disc takes the sound quality even further. As ever, the TACET "Real Surround Sound" continues to fascinate. It places the listener right in the middle of the music, this time in a quite special way. Mendelssohn several times expressed a wish, including in writing, to perform these songs in a suitable place in a wood, more precisely in a wood of tall beech trees. He even painted a picture of this, which can be found within the Blu-ray's supplementary booklet. Allow yourself to be surprised by the sound of this on the Blue-ray disc in stereo and in multi-channel sound. And so these simple, expressive and yet so refined texts and songs have even more appeal.


06 / 16 / 15

Acoustic Sounds Purchases Doug Sax's The Mastering Lab
Acoustic Sounds Purchases Doug Sax's The Mastering LabJust three months after buying 13 vintage record presses to meet the surging demand for vinyl LPs, Acoustic Sounds' CEO Chad Kassem has purchased The Mastering Lab (TML) from the estate of legendary mastering engineer Doug Sax. The sale pairs Quality Record Pressings (QRP), a division of Acoustic Sounds and an industry-recognized audiophile LP manufacturer, with the Grammy Award-winning sound engineering and LP lacquer cutting business started four decades ago by Sax, who passed away in April. Sax worked throughout his career with the music elite, including Pink Floyd, The Rolling Stones, The Who, Bob Dylan, Paul McCartney, Neil Young, Barbra Streisand, and dozens more. Chad Kassem said his strategy behind the purchase was to create the country’s only vertically integrated vinyl LP production facility. From mastering and record pressing to graphic design and printing to direct-to-consumer sales, QRP now has all the capabilities needed to bring LPs to market. "Expanding and rounding out our capabilities to meet the growing demand for vinyl was the key to this acquisition," said Chad Kassem. "That, coupled with the history of The Mastering Lab and Doug's reputation, makes this purchase very gratifying." Plans call for relocating and incorporating TML business, now based in California, to Acoustic Sounds' headquarters in Kansas.


Sony Announces New Media Player For PlayStation 4
Sony Announces New Media Player For PlayStation 4Filed in the 'makes no sense' folder of the music industry, recording label giant Sony is a big part of the Hi-Res Audio initiative and inventors of the proprietary SACD and DSD format, yet they have released a new Media Player for the PS4 that does not support any high resolution audio file type(!). Sony just announced at their E3 press conference a new Media Player that is set to be available on the company's PS4 system. Media Player for the PS4 was just made available to download from PlayStation Store last night, yet only handles MP3 and AAC (M4A) formats according to the press release. A Media Player icon will appear in the PS4 content area, with users simply selecting the icon to be taken to the PS Store for download. "Sony's Media Player works with both your home server and when plugging a USB stick with media into one of the available ports on the PS4. Your home server will appear as a media option in the player automatically and finding your media is simple and quick. You may also simply enjoy music as background music on your PS4!" says the press release. As for video, the new Player handles H.264/MPEG-4 AVC High Profile Level 4.2 with audio being MP3, AAC LC, AC-3 (Dolby Digital). AVI MPEG4 ASP, H.264/MPEG-4 AVC High Profile Level 4.2 with MP3, AAC LC, and AC-3 (Dolby Digital) is also playable as is MP4 H.264/MPEG-4 AVC High Profile Level 4.2 with AAC LC, and AC-3 (Dolby Digital). We here at Enjoy the Music.com find it curious that earlier PlayStation models could play back SACD discs yet their new PS4 and Media Player seem a bit lacking in features for music enthusiasts.


Wax Stacks Wooden Vinyl LP Record Crates
Wax Stacks Wooden Vinyl LP Record CratesWax Stacks is a new Kickstarter campaign where you can buy new vinyl LP record storage for as little as $60. These highly stylish wooden crates can be assembled without the need for any tools, is easily shipped collapsed and they go together as quickly as a five year old's puzzle. Simply snap, snap, snap, snap and you're done. Built from sturdy hardwood plywood, Wax Stacks is said to last a lifetime. Of course they can also be used as a book case, toy box, audio accessory storage, etc. Wax Stacks crates consist of five panels made entirely in the USA with sustainable (i.e. conservatively harvested and sensibly produced) birch plywood. Of course you can easily stack them up on top of one another to make a large and efficient storage wall or stand. The crates are portable and have handles so you may toss it into your car, truck or van and head out to a party with your vinyl stash. Wax Stacks Kickstarter campaign has a minimum of $35,000, even though they plan to make them anyway to help keep costs down. At the $50,000 level they can invest in custom tooling that will pay for a nested jig to improve quality and efficiency of manufacturing. 


06 / 15 / 15

More coverage from T.H.E. Show Newport 2015 Report
More coverage from T.H.E. Show Newport 2015

Astell&Kern AK380, AK500N And Maria Callas Box Set
Astell&Kern AK380, AK500N And Maria Callas Box Set

Daedalus Audio, Zesto Audio, WyWires, ModWright And VPI
Daedalus Audio, Zesto Audio, WyWires, ModWright And VPI

MrSpeakers Ether Headphones

ELAC Speakers Designed By Andrew Jones
ELAC Speakers Designed By Andrew Jones


Spread Spectrum Technologies' Son Of Ampzilla II And Thoebe II
Spread Spectrum Technologies' Son Of Ampzilla II And Thoebe IISpread Spectrum Technologies (SST) , pioneered by the late James Bongiorno, has officially renewed with new leadership and product lineup designed and produced in the USA. The late Jim Bongiorno was an innovative designer wit the likes of his Ampzilla amplifier. His engineering contributions to well-known audio companies included Marantz, Dynaco, SAE, SUMO Electric, The GAS (Great American Sound) Company and Spread Spectrum Technologies. As Jim's health began to wane, this would also be a period of 'passing the torch' to the talented EJ. Today, SST retains the same spirit of bold thinking and innovation as it did when it first began. The company's new product lineup includes Son Of Ampzilla II amplifier and Thoebe II preamplifier. Son Of Ampzilla II feature is a unique grounding procedure that insures absolutely no ground loops. The measured power output of the new Son of Ampzilla II ($3000) is a potent 220 watts/channel into 8 Ohms and features both balanced XLR and unbalanced RCA inputs. The Thoebe II comes in three different versions as standard, with DAC and/or with phonostage ($3000 standard or ass $500 for DAC or $750 for phonostage, or both for a total of $4000). There is a built-in Class A headphone amplifier as standard for those who enjoy private listening sessions. Digitally-controlled, channel independent, highly-advanced tone controls are mated with a resistive-ladder type volume control that is said to be unique to the Thoebe II. There are high/low gain settings, phase and balance controls plus a large (dimmable) LED front display. An internal USB connection provides the ability for any future software updates. The optional DAC features the Sabre 9018 32-bit DAC chip that is asynchronous, galvanically isolated USB input supports up to 32-bit/384kHz PCM and DSD64 / DSD128. An optional phonostage is for moving magnet (MM) and is made with a discrete Class A design.


Industry News 15 Years Ago
Microsoft Media PlayerMicrosoft announces its achievement of one million secure Internet transactions using their Windows Media Rights Manager. Most of these secure transactions were of music media downloaded from the internet. Both Microsoft and Reciprocal have secured deals with major labels such as EMI Recorded Music, BMG Entertainment, Sony Music and Warner Music. This allows the public to buy music over the internet in Microsoft's Windows Media format. "As the industry's leading DRM clearing service to support multiple DRM technologies, this one million benchmark with Windows Media is an important milestone for the company and validation for the digital distribution industry and its market potential," said John Schwarz, president and CEO of Reciprocal. Will Poole, vice president of the Digital Media Division at Microsoft said "Digital rights management is the fundamental enabler for digital media e-commerce... Today's milestone punctuates how mature and widely adopted Windows Media Rights Manager is today, and how important Reciprocal is as an industry partner in offering the industry a proven infrastructure for handling massive DRM transactions."


06 / 12 / 15

More coverage from T.H.E. Show Newport 2015 Report
More coverage from T.H.E. Show Newport 2015

Audio Precision G.R.A.S. KEMAR And APx515

Salk Sound, Wells Audio, LampizatOr Plus Danacables And Ginko Audio

Emerald Physics, DSPeakers And Exogal


Powerhouse's Album In An Ambient Way In True Hi-Res Audio
Powerhouse's Album In An Ambient Way in True High Resolution AudioChesky Records has announced the first collaboration featuring the legendary Lenny White, Bob Belden, Wallace Roney, Oz Noy, Kevin Hays and Daryl Johns in their upcoming album In An Ambient Way. Available at HDtracks on June 23rd in true high resolution 192kHz/24-bit AIFF, Chesky Records does note they are deeply saddened by the recent loss of an industry icon, incredible musician, and beautiful person Bob Belden. He passed away this May at the age of 58 and will be dearly missed. With Bob Belden (soprano sax, flute), Wallace Roney (trumpet), Oz Noy (guitar), Kevin Hays (Fender Rhodes), Daryl Johns (bass) and Lenny White (drums), Powerhouse's album In An Ambient Way is an awesome jazz super group that sets its sights on interpreting Miles Davis' groundbreaking album In a Silent Way using modern recording technology and sonic textures as a contribution to the improvisation. Not only is the texture of the room taken into consideration for the choice of music, but also the prime placement of each instrument within the matrix of the captured sound, all of which added to the input of inspiration that makes the music more alive and interactive. This recording embraces many elements of the jazz world: the perpetual idea of using technology to improve the world around you that Miles Davis made so clear; the continuation of the generational passing of knowledge through actual living situations; the spontaneous nature of improvised music; and, above all, the desire to discover new things, to improve, develop and add a new dimension to the listening experience for all lovers of music. As part of the Chesky Binaural + Series, all recorded with a single microphone, the group appears right before you with this spacious, lush and multi-dimensional recording. Now headphone users will hear the same three-dimensional sound and imaging as audiophiles have for the past 25 years with Chesky Recordings. Also these new Binaural+ Series albums capture even more spatial realism for the home audiophile market, bringing you one step closer to the actual event. You will hear some of the most natural and pure cool jazz ever recorded. 


06 / 11 / 15

Merging NADAC Recording Studio Quality DAC Unit
Merging NADAC Recording Studio Quality DAC UnitMerging's new audiophile-grade DAC processes PCM formats up to 24-bit/384kHz plus DXD and DSD up to DSD256. NADAC stands for Network Attached DAC, and will be delivered in two different versions, stereo (~$10,000) and 8-channels (~$11,000). Both variants have 1/4" and mini-jack headphone outputs and the monitoring-grade headphone outputs can be configured to carry a different signal to the main output. Merging is forming a dynamic partnership with a growing number of content providers to jointly promote the benefits of the listening to the music as the artists intended. The new Merging DAC has AES/EBU and S/PDIF digital inputs for use with CD players, CD transports or other devices up to 192kHz. An Ethernet interface is provided for use with computer based digital audio systems for carrying through ASIO on Windows and CoreAudio with DoP on MacOS any resolution up to 384kHz, DXD and DSD256. This uses the RAVENNA protocol that Merging Technologies helped to develop for high sampling rate applications and allows very robust and accurate transfer of the digital audio data from the computer to NADAC. The data is stored in a large buffer memory in the NADAC and then clocked out by the unit's precision internal clock. RAVENNA protocol's ultra-stable Precision Time Protocol (IEEE 1588) eliminates the cable and jitter related problems associated with conventional digital audio interfaces. The NADAC's line outputs are driven by an ESS9008S SABRE Reference Audio D/A IC. This IC has 8 separate D/A converters and in the stereo version of the NADAC, each channel uses 4 D/A converters with the outputs summed in order to provide improved linearity, greater dynamic range and a lower noise floor. The 8-channel version of the NADAC may also be switched to work as a stereo unit, with the converters configured in the same way. The headphone output uses the same type of converter IC configured similarly. NADAC has balanced and unbalanced line outputs; two headphone outputs; a digital volume control and any smart device with a web browser can serve as a remote control.


Gibson Trainer Headphones For Sport-Minded Music Enthusiasts
Gibson Trainer Headphones For Sport-Minded Music EnthusiastsGibson brands new Trainer headphones are now available ($249.99). Trainer by Gibson marks the company's entry into the headphone market with the debut product of their innovative new health-focused brand. Developed in partnership with Usain Bolt, the fastest man alive and six-time Track & Field Olympic Gold medalist, Trainer by Gibson incorporates a diverse range of features specifically designed for fitness enthusiasts. Available in black or white with a streamlined design, Trainer by Gibson includes several features including a switch between an active mode and a lifestyle mode. With just a push of a button, the Aeroflex design transforms them into sport headphones providing the right fit, comfort and stability for a proper workout. NightNav strategically placed LED light offers safety and visibility; perfect for nighttime runs. By activating the SafeSound function you turn down the volume and reduce the bass so that you can stay alert to your surroundings. CoolTouch keeps workouts comfortable through climate regulating cushions with cutting-edge NASA space technology fabric. The Outlast technology uses Phase Change Materials that absorb, store and release heat for optimal thermal comfort. Weather and sweat resistance is achieved through WeatherSeal as drivers are protected by a hydroscopic mesh and the internals are sealed with silicon gaskets. After extra vigorous workouts, the cushions can be removed and cleaned. Bluetooth support provides 10 hours of battery life during wireless movement.


06 / 10 / 15

More coverage from T.H.E. Show Newport 2015 Report
More coverage from T.H.E. Show Newport 2015

Robyatt Audio

Woo Audio WA-8 Battery Powered Vacuum Tube Headphone Amplifier

Dan D'Agostino Master Audio Systems


OpenLIVE To Offer High Resolution Music Downloads
OpenLIVE To Offer High Resolution Music DownloadsOpenLIVE has partnered with 7digital to offer high quality digital music downloads. Built by artists and music fans, OpenLIVE aims to deliver a better quality product in lossless audio versus lower quality lossy compressed MP3. OpenLIVE's a-la-carte music download store and live performance recording platform has chosen to partner with 7digital, a leading digital music platform and content management service, to power the Australian start-up's new music store. Launching this winter, OpenLIVE will focus on providing music fans with unique recordings of live performances from participating artists and venues as well as a catalog of high-resolution albums and tracks. OpenLIVE has developed an innovative and unique patent-pending technology that allows any artist, signed or independent, to collect high-quality recordings of their live performances. The live performance recordings will then be available to consumers on the OpenLIVE store and other music services as chosen by the artist or label, thereby creating a seamless new revenue stream for the artist. By combining high quality audio components, miniaturized computing, proprietary processing techniques and network security with a wealth of user-friendly web tools, OpenLIVE says they have "unlocked a new and reliable recording and distribution process for unique live music performances that brings Artists and Fans closer together". OpenLIVE's CTO Simon Tait says, "Music is at the very heart of OpenLIVE. It is our life and it permeates everything we do. Every single pursuit of OpenLIVE is devoted to servicing the best possible listening experiences for Music Fans; and High-Res Audio is paramount to that experience. 7digital has been fundamental in helping us put this passion into a viable product, ready for launch and imminent expansion. They understand our vision and provide us with a flexible and reliable infrastructure that caters exactly to our needs."


Linear Tube Audio ZOTL Stereo Power Amplifier And Integrated Amplifier
Linear Tube Audio ZOTL Stereo Power Amplifier And Integrated AmplifierLinear Tube Audio's upcoming 10 watt ZOTL stereo power amplifier and integrated amplifier is the first of a new series of affordable David Berning designed amplifiers. The ZOTL10 will be introduced this summer and is expected to be priced within the $200 to $3000 range. The ZOTL10 is an amplifier designed for medium to high efficiency speakers and uses EL-84 tubes. It will be offered in both power amplifier and integrated amplifier configurations. The ZOTL10 is expected to have hum that is much lower than typical tube amplifiers, which can be much more pronounced when connected to high efficiency speakers. Operating in push-pull, Class AB, the Linear Tube Audio ZOTL stereo amplifier will produce 10 watts per channel and use four EL-84, two 12AT7, and two 12AX7 premium Russian Tung Sol vacuum tubes. Low impedance output should easily matches a wide range of speakers. Each unit will be hand built with hand-wound coils and impedance converters in Washington, DC. A universal voltage power supply will allow the Linear Tube Audio ZOTL to work in any country automatically. Another feature is a 'Straight wire' volume control, which is processor controlled resistors and gold contact plus hermetically sealed relays as found in very high-end preamplifiers. Input section uses processor controlled gold contact sealed relays and silver Teflon insulated wire to the gold plated RCA jacks. An OLED color display is easily readable from across the room. An included remote control is thin and light. Enjoy the Music.com has reviews of the The Berning microZOTL personal amplifier and the David Berning Company ZH270 amplifier.


06 / 09 / 15

CANADA HiFi June/July Issue Is Now Available Online For Free
CANADA HiFi Magazine June / July 2015Enjoy the Music.com just posted CANADA HiFi's June / July 2015 issue. This issue features review of the Jeff Rowland Continuum 52 integrated amplifier, Skogrand Cables SC Beethoven speaker cables, Yamaha A-5801 integrated amplifier, Bryston Model A2 loudspeakers and the Sony SS-NA2ES loudspeakers. Within his editorial, Suave Kajko says, "With spring cleaning behind you and the first day of summer just around the corner you might be contemplating a home renovation project or simply rearranging one of your living spaces. Perhaps you plan to tackle the living room, family room or the home theatre. And if so, you might as well consider upgrading the AV system inside the room - I know that I certainly would. Frank Labonte, who recently began contributing to CANADA HiFi, offers our most-complete AV Receiver Shopping Guide in this issue. AV receivers have become incredibly complex machines and there are many factors to consider when choosing a unit that's best suited to your listening tastes and space. New surround codecs like Dolby Atmos, Aura-3D and DTS-X promise a more immersive audio experience than ever before but in order to take advantage of them you will need to install in-ceiling speakers or upgrade your existing speakers to height-enabled models. And surround codecs are just one of the many decisions you'll have to make when choosing a new AV receiver." You can see what's within the June / July issue of CANADA HiFi and download this issue for free online at this link.


06 / 08 / 15

Apple Music Streaming Service Information
Apple's Streaming Music Service
Taking a bite (yet again) with Apple's iTunes music service.
Article By Steven R. Rochlin


More coverage from T.H.E. Show Newport 2015 Report
More coverage from T.H.E. Show Newport 2015

Angle City Audio, VPI, Skogrand And Melody

Audioengine A5+ Powered Speaker, B2 Bluetooth Speaker And W3

Music Streaming: Today & Tomorrow Seminar

Kimber Kable And Emm Labs Plus IsoMike Recordings


Magico S-SUB Includes 2500 Watt Amplifier
Magico S-SUB Includes 2500 Watt AmplifierAlon Wolf and his team of engineers at Magico have announced the company's new S-SUB ($15,000). The new S-SUB expands the sound dimension capabilities of any Magico S-Series loudspeaker with low bass frequency reinforcement from 15 Hz to 150 Hz. Standing vertically, the acoustic suspension enclosure of the S-SUB features curved aluminum side panels that are machined in-house from 0.5" thick aluminum extrusions which are 16" in diameter. Internal bracing is carefully positioned throughout the enclosure to minimize resonances and eliminate any chance of enclosure warping from sound pressure build up. Dual 12-inch Magico bass drivers are mounted to the front baffle in a vertical array and provide front firing momentum. Each driver has an ultra-stiff aluminum cone, with an excursion rate of the voice coil measured at 15mm linear movement to produces sound pressure levels up to 120dB with less than 1% total harmonic distortion at 20 Hz. Magico's S-SUB is powered internally by a digital amplifier that has a 3000VA power supply (240V, fully regulated output stage and produces 2500 Watts. There is an onboard digitally-controlled active crossover to integrate the Magico S-SUB with the user's main upper frequency speaker system. Dimensions are 32" x 15" x 19.2" (HxDxW) and each Magico S-SUB weighs 250 lbs.


Wilson Benesch A.C.T. One Evolution Speaker
Wilson Benesch A.C.T. One Evolution SpeakerBritish high-end audio manufacturer Wilson Benesch has added their A.C.T. One Evolution loudspeaker to their product lineup ($36,950 per pair). The Wilson Benesch A.C.T. One Evolution is a 4-way (acoustical), 2.5-way (electrical) floor standing loudspeaker that incorporates the company's latest drive unit and cabinet construction technology. Standing at 47" high, 9" wide and 16" deep, the A.C.T. One Evolution has a precision-machined alloy baffle, alloy side panels and the Advanced Composite Technology A.C.T. Monocoque. The A.C.T. Monocoque is a geometrically optimized carbon fiber composite structure that exhibits industry leading resonance damping and signal-to-noise characteristics. The inherent stiffness of the A.C.T. Monocoque, according to Wilson Benesch, allows the removal of complex internal bracing commonly used to control cabinet resonance. Each A.C.T. One Evolution is fitted with three Wilson Benesch Tactic II drive units and a Wilson Benesch Hybrid Dome Technology Semisphere Tweeter. Every element of the drive technologies and the cabinet in the A.C.T. One Evolution has been designed and developed using Wilson Benesch's 3D Dassault CAD/CAM systems. The degree of control over the design of every component allows ground up optimization of the A.C.T. One Evolution loudspeaker and has led to the development of unique drive unit topology and cabinet construction. A single 7" upper midrange Tactic II drive unit and Semisphere Tweeter operate in a volume-optimized enclosure, allowing acoustical roll off of the drive unit. Directly below the Semisphere Tweeter in the main enclosure is a 7" lower midrange Tactic II drive unit. The reduction in complex crossover elements, says the company, translates directly into a highly articulate and natural midrange sound and marks a significant advance in the performance of the midrange to Wilson Benesch. Wilson Benesch's A.C.T. One Evolution bass frequencies are delivered by a 7" Tactic II Bass Drive Unit. Like the midrange drive units, it features a powerful Neodymium rare earth magnet encased in a motor assembly developed with the Sheffield University to optimize flux across its geometry. The magnet design is combined with a streamline basket and a light stiff Isotactic Polypropylene cone to create bass. Wilson Benesch's A.C.T. One Evolution has a sensitivity of 89dB/W/m, 6 Ohm impedance (4 Ohms minimum), and weighs 101 lbs.


Industry News 10 Years Ago
According to Pew Internet and American Life Project, approximately 14 percent of all Internet users 18 or older have downloaded pirated music. Of this group, 51 percent said they were 30 years or older. Meanwhile around 16 percent of Internet users said they had sampled songs via streaming or Web radio. In contrast to this, only 2 percent of Internet users said they had paid to download music. To make matters more interesting, 62 percent of Internet users have never listened to music online! With the youth prevailing, the report found that almost one in every four Internet users under 30 has copied music online. That figure rises to almost one in every three for college students under 30. In another surveys of 4294 college students from ten New England institutions by Webnoize Research, they found that 57% of students use Napster on a weekly basis. Yet another study by the digital-rights management company Reciprocal found that record sales in stores near colleges dropped 4 percent in the past two years, though the study was criticized for omitting large record-selling chains like Wal-Mart as well as online retailers such as Amazon or CDNow.


06 / 05 / 15

Streaming Music Is Fundamentally Changing The Way We Listen
CEO'S Corner
Streaming Music Is Fundamentally Changing The Way We Listen
Article By John MacFarlane, Co-Founder And CEO Of Sonos


More coverage from T.H.E. Show Newport 2015 Report
More coverage from T.H.E. Show Newport 2015

Merrill Audio And Alta Audio

SMc Audio and Wadax

On A Higher Note With Luxman, Vivid, Eclipse And Shunyata

Nordost And Jeff Rowland Design Group

The Money Shot Part 3 @ T.H.E. Show Newport 2015 Report


Tisbury Audio Mini Passive Preamplifier
Tisbury Audio Mini Passive PreamplifierTisbury Audio has released a new version of their Mini Passive Preamplifier for £129 ($200). It features a laser engraved walnut and aluminum enclosure, stepped attenuator volume control, 3 inputs, 2 configurable outputs, and selectable fixed attenuation; providing a highly adaptable control center for any audio system. Handmade in London from primarily British sourced parts, it comes with a 1 year warranty and 14 day trial period. This simple line controller is used to switch between multiple sources, connect multiple amplifiers, control active speakers or add outputs for a subwoofer, headphone amplifier or just about any line-level device. Part of the key to the excellent sound quality of the Mini Passive Preamplifier, according to Tisbury Audio, is the stepped attenuator that utilizes an array of thin film SMD resistors to provide precise, stepped volume control and excellent channel balance at all levels. As the second generation of this preamplifier design, it now has 3 inputs, 2 configurable outputs plus a laser engraved walnut and aluminum enclosure. The chassis is longer, more substantial and remains stable with heavy cables. A new feature is the selectable attenuation, which allows you to reduce the signal by a fixed -10 dB or -20 dB. If your system has too much gain and you can't turn the volume dial past 12 o'clock without hearing damage, this setting will help. Output 1 is the primary output and its level is set by the volume control. Output 2 can be configured (by switches on the base) as either an additional primary output, or as a 'loop' out, to bypass the volume control and loop out to another device.


06 / 04 / 15

Microdia's New 512GB microSDXC Memory Card
Microdia's New 512GB microSD Memory CardBreaking News: It appears that Microdia has just showed a massive 512GB microSD memory card ($1000) during a trade show within Taiwan. Set to be available in July, the Xtra Elite card will take advantage of version 4.0 of the SD standard, which adds another row of pins for faster upload and download speeds. It is backward compatible with current microSD card readers, yet the speed is reduced from 300MBs to 150MBs during reading. Write speed is 100MBs. Microdia's 512GB microSDXC card is within the company's Xtra Elite line and feature an Ultra High Speed (UHS) bus to achieve these speeds. i can hear all portable media player lovers right now wringing their hands at the opportunity to have 512GB of memory within their audio player... and asking manufacturers if their unit can handle this 512GB memory card. A photo of the outer packaging from C/NET is below. Please note there are differences from the photo above and we suspect the one below is a proper representation as it has '3' and 'II' on it.


H-Fi+ June 2015 Issue Is Now Available
Hi-Fi+ June 2015Enjoy the Music.com just posted Hi-Fi+'s June 2015 issue. This issue features reviews of the VPI prime turntable with 3D printed arm, TechDAS Airforce Two turntable, Klaudio KD-CLN-LP200 record cleaning machine, Clearaudio Absolute Phono inside phonostage, Avid Diva II turntable, Van Den Hul Grail SB phonostage, Linn Majik LP, Booplinth Bamboo Plinth for the Linn LP12, Ultrasone Edition 5 headphones, Kuzma XL DC turntable power supply upgrade and much more. Within his editorial, Alan Sircom write, "No one would have believed, in the first years of the 21st Century, that vinyl was long for this world. No one could have dreamed their records would be worth more than a pittance. Few men even gave a thought to the LP. And yet, across the gulf of time, minds immeasurably younger than ours regarded old vinyl with envious eyes, and slowly, and surely, they drew their plans for its return. " You can see what's within the June issue of Hi-Fi+ at this link.


More coverage from T.H.E. Show Newport 2015 Report
More coverage from T.H.E. Show Newport 2015

Ayon Audio, Oracle, Accustic Arts And Gauder Akustik

Concert Fidelity Electronics And DIASOUL Corporation Speakers

MBL Reference Line

Questyle QP1R Portable Media Player And 150i Integrated Amplifier

The Money Shot Part 1 @ T.H.E. Show Newport 2015 Report

The Money Shot Part 2 @ T.H.E. Show Newport 2015 Report


Microsoft Edge Will Have Native Support For Dolby Digital Audio
Microsoft Edge Will Have Native Support For Dolby Digital AudioDolby Laboratories and Microsoft announced today that Dolby Audio will be part of the Microsoft Windows 10 operating system and will be natively supported by the new Microsoft Edge browser for the playback of web-based content as well as accessible by third-party Windows Store apps. Dolby Audio, including Dolby Digital Plus, will be available in x86 Windows 10 PCs and tablets for playback of movies, TV shows, and videos via headphones, built-in PC and tablet speakers, or connected home theater systems. Microsoft Edge will be the first browser to leverage the Dolby Digital Plus decoder on the Windows 10 operating system, enabling online content providers to enrich the entertainment experiences of millions of Internet users globally with Dolby Audio. "We are excited about the collaboration and partnership with Microsoft and share in the commitment to providing the best entertainment experiences possible to consumers across a wide range of devices in the Windows 10 ecosystem," said John Couling, Senior Vice President of the E-Media Business Group at Dolby Laboratories. "With the launch of Windows 10 and Microsoft Edge in nearly 200 countries, Dolby and Microsoft will enable better user experiences with high-quality audio that is robust, consistent, and at a scale necessary for the large Windows ecosystem."


audiodharma Ground Breaker Power Cable Adaptor
audiodharma Ground Breaker Power Cable AdaptorAudio Excellence AZ has introduced their audiodharma Ground Breaker power cable adaptor set for the company's Cable Cooker ($399 per set). This cable is claimed to fully condition the ground conductors plus contacts, along with the Hot and Neutral. The company says that their Ground Breaker "offers an expanded soundstage, greater clarity, increased dynamics, and creates an even more organic presentation." It features double-cryogenic treatment of all parts and wiring, non-magnetic screws plus advanced damping materials (from fo.Q Japan) on key vibration nodes. There are high-mass Deltron gold-plated banana plugs, Deltron silver-plated banana jacks and Stabilant 22 contact enhancer on all contact surfaces. A universal female wall plug fits Oyaide US-style connectors. The new Ground Breaker is fully compatible with all Cable Cooker models, from version 2.0 through 3.5.


06 / 03 / 15

More coverage from T.H.E. Show Newport 2015 Report
More coverage from T.H.E. Show Newport 2015

Preview: Enjoy the Music.com's T.H.E. Show Newport 2015 preview report.

Preview 2 Of Our T.H.E. Show Newport 2015 Report

Acoustic Sounds Vinyl LPs And Reissues

Doc Bottlehead And The Tape Project

Elusive Disc's Three Blind Mice Limited Edition Vinyl Box Set

Evolution Acoustics MMTwo And Wave Kinetics NVS Reference Turntable

The Audio Nerd

Astell&Kern AK380 And AK Jr.

Merryl Jaye Studios Features Paintings Of Famous Musicians

Reference Recording 200 Gram Vinyl LP Records


G9 Audio NERO MK II Tube Amplifiers
G9 Audio NERO MK II KT88 Vacuum Tube AmplifierHigh-end audio company G9 Audio has just introduced their new NERO MK II line of monoblock tube amplifiers including the KT88 (14,200 each, pictured) and KT120 (15,600 EURO each). G9 is a manufacturer focusing on tube amplification for domestic reproduction of music in high fidelity. Their new NERO MkII series is the result of G9's original work in tube schematics and its practical implementation, which complement their holistic concept of tube amplification. One of the immediate achievements here is their unique chassis material being light, rigid, yet nonmagnetic. Dehonit is a compressed laminated wood material made of selected rotary cut beech veneers, pressure and temperature stabilized and impregnated with a synthetic resin. Since a tube circuit is fairly immune to external magnetic and RF fields, the shielding effect of a metallic (steel or aluminum) case is not critical at all, allowing one to reap the benefits of a nonmagnetic chassis in full. Their КТ88 pentode monoblock uses powerful, push-pull output stage, and is compatible with many high end loudspeakers due to producing 60 watts. Internally, there is point-to-point wiring. Driver tube is the 6SN7/6Н8С double triode and there are KT88 beam pentodes for the output. Signal-to-noise ratio is 90 dBA, with the amplifier having an input sensitivity of 0.5 Volts. Dimensions are 470 х 320 х 200 mm (WxDxH) and the unit weighs 64 lbs. G9's NERO 2 КТ120 MK II monoblock is also a powerful push-pull tube amplifier yet produces 85 watts. It also features point-to-point wiring and the 6SN7/6Н8С double triode. Output tubes are the KT120 beam pentode, with an overall signal-to-noise ratio of 90 dBA. Dimensions are 470 х 320 х 200 mm (WxDxH) and it also weights 64 lbs.


06 / 01 / 15

T.H.E. Show Newport 2015 Report
T.H.E. Show Newport Beach 2015 Report By Enjoy the Music.comEnjoy the Music.com's coverage of The Home Entertainment Show Newport (T.H.E Show) 2015 marks the fifth year of this informative, fun, and relaxing southern California event. T.H.E. Show Newport will be held at The Hotel Irvine in Irvine, California, Friday through Sunday, May 29th through the 31st, 2015. Visitors to T.H.E. Show Newport can visit the Headphonium exhibitors, the Marketplace, Vinyl, CD, and Accessories vendors all in one location-a giant 15,000 sq. ft. Grand Ballroom in the center of the Hotel Irvine. Returning to the event in 2015 will be the gourmet food trucks, a giant high-end auto show, live entertainment day and night, wine tasting, and many more popular educational seminars orchestrated by the Los Angeles and Orange County Audio Society (LAOCAS). New this year will be a very impressive home theater demo featuring Focal, Sony, and The Source AV, in Hotel Irvine's elegant amphitheater. Joining T.H.E. Show for the first time, Crestron will present the latest in AV and home automation. Ford Motor Company will display its line of cars while demonstrating the latest advancements in automotive electronics in the Hotel Irvine's 8,000 sq. ft. pavilion adjacent to the hotel. Enjoy the Music.com's T.H.E. Show Newport 2015 report will be online soon!


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