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High-End Audio / Hi-Res Audio (HRA) Audiophile Industry News


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03 / 29 / 17

Sneak Peek! Two Reviews From Enjoy the Music.com's April Issue

MQA: Is the Tide Turning?
MQA: Is the Tide Turning?
A recent TIDAL announcement suggests that MQA may finally be coming of age – or is it just irrelevance?
Article By Andrew Everard

 

McIntosh MP100 Phono Stage And Hi-Res Audio DAC Review
McIntosh MP100 Phono Stage And Hi-Res Audio DAC
Andrew Harrison reviews McIntosh's first ever phono stage, complete with D-to-A conversion.
Review By Andrew Harrison

 

03 / 28 / 17

Pink Floyd / Abbey Roads EMI TG12345 MK IV Sells For $1.8 Million
Pink Floyd / Abbey Roads EMI TG12345 MK IV Sells For $1.8 MillionAn Abbey Road Studios EMI TG12345 MK IV recording console used between 1971-1983, housed in Studio 2, the console which Pink Floyd used to record their landmark album, The Dark Side of the Moon sold for $1,807,500 including buyers premium. Also used by many other artists including: Paul McCartney and Wings, George Harrison, Ringo Starr, Kate Bush and in later years The Cure, the desk comprising: 40 channels with limiter/compressor on each, 4 echo returns and 16 monitors, MK3 feature cassettes, track monitor cassettes, dual channel 16 track sync mixer, two banks of 12 pairs of microphone channels, 8 pairs of main channels to centre section, monitor level controls for tracks 1-8 on left and 9-16 on right side, Ernest Turner manufactured VU meters comprising 16 full size VU meters and approximately 50 channel VUs, quadrant radial faders by Painton, with approximately 1600 capacitors (many original), housed in the original semi-wrap-around frame made of block board with teak and mahogany veneer, which disassembles into three parts, together with a patchboy of steel encased in industrial standard flight case and made-to-measure freight crates for the console parts. The mixing board was accompanied by letters concerning the provenance, including one from Ken Townsend, the Abbey Road Studio Manager at the time and future Chairman; a documented history from Brian Gibson, the renowned Studio Technician for Abbey Road and TG console world authority; a current technical appraisal stating the console is in working order; PDF manuals for the equipment; and a copy of the album The Dark Side of the Moon (1973) Harvest pressing.

 

Industry News 15 Years Ago
Led Zeppelin Files Lawsuit Against Atlantic Records
In  March 2002 members of the legendary rock group Led Zeppelin have filed a lawsuit in the Southern District of New York against Atlantic Records claiming royalties from the band's music have been withheld. James P. Page, Robert Plant, John Baldwin, Superhype Tapes, Patricia Bonham, Zoe Bonham and Jason Bonham have filed this legal action against Atlantic Records who will need to defend their activities. Popular songs by rock group Led Zeppelin include "Stairway to Heaven". This lawsuit covers the bands first five albums where Atlantic Records license has expired, yet Atlantic has allegedly refused to pay increased royalty fees that undoubtedly reaches into the many millions of dollars.

 

03 / 27 / 17

Australian Hi-Fi Magazine's March / April Issue Is Now Available Online
Australian Hi-Fi Magazine March / April 2017Enjoy the Music.com has just posted the March / April 2017 issue of Australian Hi-Fi magazine. This issue features a very special CES 2017 report plus reviews of the Yamaha NS-5000 loudspeakers, Musical Fidelity M5si integrated amplifier, Questyle CMA600i headphone amplifier/DAC, Audio Research Reference 9 preamplifier, B&W P9 Signature headphones, Gold Note PH-10 phono preamplifier, and Sony UDA-1 USB DAC amplifier. Within his editorial, Greg Borrowman says, "Is it just my imagination, or are warranty periods for hi-fi components getting longer? If you're new to the audio world, you'll probably be horrified to learn that back in the 70s, the maximum warranty period on any hi-fi component was one year, and for many items, it was just three months. These days, the only hi-fi product I can think of where you're offered only a three month warranty is one where valves are involved and frankly, this puzzles me the most out of all hi-fi warranties because valves are — bless their warm little thermionic hearts — inherently reliable devices." See what's within this issue of Australian Hi-Fi at this link.

 

03 / 24 / 17

Music Industry: Why Protecting Your Hearing Really Does Matter
Music Industry: Why Protecting Your Hearing Really Does MatterFor many years Enjoy the Music.com has posted articles about protecting your hearing and featured blurbs within our Industry News page as well. Finally, the The Recording Academy Producers & Engineers Wing in combination with their MusiCares have presented "Listen Up: Why Protecting Your Hearing Really Does Matter". A recent SXSW panel was moderated by Maureen Droney, former audio engineer and currently The Recording Academy Managing Director, P&E Wing and Recording Technology. Speakers at their recent panel discussion included a variety of music industry professionals. With their new "Listen Up: Why Protecting Your Hearing Really Does Matter", the Academy continues to focus on its mission of recognizing musical excellence, advocating for the well-being of music makers and ensuring music remains an indelible part of our culture. The House Ear Institute (HEI), a non-profit organization dedicated to advancing hearing science through research and education to improve quality of life, wants to be sure that teens (a particularly high risk group) avoids hearing damage from noise and long exposure to loud music. "With hearing loss on the rise, the House Ear Institute feels it is imperative to educate teens and young adults on the importance of smart listening habits so they know how to protect their hearing from damage over the long term," says Marilee Potthoff of the House Ear Institute. Their longstanding initiative is focused on strategically reaching everyone, including at-risk teens. The House Ear Institute has an excellent article about hearing on Enjoy the Music.com at this link. Also of note is Enjoy the Music.com's Industry News page on February 24th, it has been reported by Live Science that "Scientists have coaxed sound-sensing cells in the ear, called 'hair cells,' to grow from stem cells. This technique, if perfected with human cells, could help halt or reverse the most common form of hearing loss, according to a new study." See our February 24th article at this link for more about growing sound-sensing cells.

 

03 / 23 / 17

AXPONA Has An Exciting Music Lineup For Their Upcoming Show
AXPONA Has An Exciting Music Lineup For Their Upcoming ShowHigh-end audio show AXPONA (Audio Expo North America) is excited to announce an all-star line-up for its weekend live concert series including Jazz and Blues artists. Frank Catalano Band, Ronnie Baker Brooks, Billy Branch and Mud Morganfield will be featured. AXPONA ticket holders are treated to entertainment on Friday and Saturday evenings and offer music lovers the enviable opportunity to experience top performers in an intimate venue. On Friday, April 21, WDCB, Chicago's home for jazz, has organized an electric evening with the Frank Catalano Band. New this year, AXPONA will feature a Chicago blues concert, Saturday, April 22, presented by the Jazz Foundation of America. The JFA provides housing assistance, pro bono medical care, and emergency financial support to musicians in crisis. There will also be Frank Catalano Band, sponsored by WDCB, on Friday, April 21, from 6:30pm to 8:30pm. Catalano is the only known saxman to have performed with Miles Davis, Randy Brecker, Charles Earland, Elvin Jones, Stan Getz, Betty Carter, Von Freeman, Tito Puente, Tony Bennett, Les Claypool and Louis Bellson while still in high school! This led to his signing to Delmark Records at age 18 and a string of critically acclaimed recordings. Catalano has been heard by millions of people all over the world thanks in part to 3 Grammy-winning and 11 Grammy-nominated recordings with artists such as Jennifer Lopez, Destiny's Child, and John Legend. There's also a special Blues Revue & Benefit Concert presented by the Jazz Foundation of America (JFA) on Saturday, April 22, from 6:30pm to 8:30pm. Ronnie Baker Brooks, son of Chicago blues master Lonnie Brooks, is an accomplished blues guitarist who has headlined at the 2013 Chicago Blues Festival and performed internationally at the Notodden Blues Festival in Norway. Billy Branch is a three-time Grammy Award nominee and played harmonica in Willie Dixon's Chicago Blues All-Stars band. Mud Morganfield is the eldest son of Muddy Waters and has been taking the world's blues festivals by storm of late and recently released a Blues Music Award-winning album with Fabulous Thunderbirds frontman Kim Wilson. AXPONA will be open Friday and Saturday 10am to 6pm and Sunday from 10am to 4pm at the Westin O'Hare located at 6100 North River Road in Chicago.

 

Industry News 15 Years Ago
Canadians Could Get Hosed By New Tax For Recordable Media
Canada is considering increasing the taxes on many forms of recordable media. The Copyright Board of Canada will vote in September on legally raising the taxes on audiocassettes, CDs, DVDs, hard drives, MiniDiscs and memory cards that will take effect beginning January 1, 2003. Canada is justifying this new action by claiming they have decided to be judge and jury in helping the music industry recover lost revenue due to the possibility of using said blank media to record music. So what will this new action cost manufactures of media? A total of 60 cents Canadian for each audiocassette, 59 cents for each computer CD-R/-RW disc and a staggering $2.27 for each recordable or re-writeable DVD. Meanwhile digital audio players with built-in memory will be subject to 2.1 cents for each megabyte, while non-removable memory and hard drives will suffer a $21 each Gigabyte tariff. Of course not everyone who buys memory cards and blank media uses them for music. This new tax effort will hurt not just manufactures due to possible decreased sales and spur illegal importation of media into Canada, it may also cause a backlash from those who need digital storage for system backup, digital cameras and other non-music related storage needs. Brings a new meaning to being hosed in Canada, eh?

 

03 / 22 / 17

Own A Piece Of Headphone History: Audeze LCD-3 Steampunk Edition
Own A Piece Of Headphone History: Audeze LCD-3 Steampunk EditionEnjoy the Music.com's Creative Director Steven R. Rochlin is offering a very rare opportunity to one lucky music enthusiast! Audeze LCD-3 Steampunk Edition headphones are the exact same ones you've seen at shows throughout the world and are the one (and only) factory-made official Audeze LCD-3 Steampunk Edition headphones within the world. They are in mint, fully working condition and come with specially-made custom case by Audeze. This may be your only opportunity to own them. Click image on the right to see a larger photo. Steven R. Rochlin is taking offers, so e-mail him at this link. A free Enjoy the Music.com t-shirt is also included. These headphones have appeared in many magazines over the years and are part of high-end audio headphone history. Now they can be yours.

 

03 / 21 / 17

MarkAudio-SOTA Announces Their Formal Intro Into The U.S. Market
Markaudio-Sota Viotti One, Cesti B, and Cesti Tower loudspeakersLoudspeaker manufacturer Markaudio-SOTA is a relatively new audio company that combines design and engineering prowess with high quality manufacturing. MarkAudio-SOTA started their dream team of designers when they recruited engineer Mark Fenlon of MarkAudio, Ltd., a renowned manufacturer of loudspeaker drivers for the custom-build and OEM markets. They then integrated Dr. Scott Lindgren's technical box alignment and elegant crossover design to work seamlessly with Mark's custom dual drivers. These were all built into the elegant styling of Italian designer Andrea Ponti's cabinet concept for the Viotti One, and Ball Chan's designs for the Cesti B and Cesti Tower. "This combination creates a truly unique and authentic high-fidelity loudspeakers that efficiently reproduce music as it was recorded." says the company. MarkAudio-SOTA is launching their new website with three unique new loudspeaker products that employ all-range drivers. Loudspeaker models include the new Viotti One, Cesti B, and Cesti Tower. They are said to help create an acoustically accurate, symmetrical sound field. The wide dispersion and shallow-profile cone drivers replace conventional cone-woofer and dome-tweeter combinations. With matched dispersion and output characteristics, along with a low order crossover slope, the two custom-made SOTA drivers aim to provide a seamless integration between high and low frequencies. This integration results in a smooth, natural output and soundstage that affords a wider range of seating positions, allowing several people to hear a top quality performance simultaneously. MarkAudio-SOTA's new Viotti One, Cesti B, and Cesti Tower loudspeakers are now available exclusively from the company's new website with a 30-Day money back guarantee. You can see our video with designer Mark Fenlon below and learn more about their products at this link.

 

Intel Optane SSD DC P4800X Series Offers World's Most Responsive SSD
Intel Optane SSD DC P4800X Series Offers World's Most Responsive SSDUpdated: Intel has unveiled their Optane SSD DC P4800X Series and Optane SSD DC P4800X Series with Intel Memory Drive Technology, enabling new possibilities to transform storage and memory architectures. Deployed as blazing fast storage or caching tier, Intel Optane SSD DC P4800X breaks the confines of traditional storage to significantly increase scale per server and accelerate applications, including high-end audio digital music players. The SSD has a sequential transfer rate of 2400MB/s for read and 2000MB/s for write. Overall, it is said that 99.999% of operations have a read latency below 60 and a write latency below 100 microseconds. An industry-leading combination of high throughput, low latency, high quality of service and high endurance enable the creation of solutions that remove data bottlenecks, unleash CPU utilization and deliver unprecedented data transfer speeds. Intel Optane SSDs offer unrivaled performance at low queue depth, where the vast majority of applications generate storage workloads, which means CPUs are more active and more fully utilized. Intel Optane SSD is extremely responsive under any load, it is highly predictable and delivers ultra-fast service, consistently. Manufacturers can easily and transparently integrate the drive into the memory subsystem and presents the SSD as DRAM to the OS and applications. Intel Optane SSD DC P4800X Series (375GB, add in card) and Intel Optane SSD DC P4800X with Intel Memory Drive technology is available now to customers in an early ship program. Additional capacities and form factors will be available in the second half of 2017.

 

03 / 20 / 17

Audio by Van Alstine Announces High-End Multi-Format DAC MK 5
Audio by Van Alstine DAC MK 5Audio by Van Alstine. has released their next chapter in the pursuit of uncompromised digital audio, the DAC MK 5 ($1899). The AVA DAC MK 5 is a multi-format digital to analog converter designed for unprecedented accuracy and musicality. Based on the renowned AKM AK4490EQ D/A converter device, AVA's implementation uses optimized, independent, active voltage references for the company's highest conversion accuracy. Analog processing is handled by discrete solid-state Class A circuits. According to the company, "These incredibly linear and musical circuits present the kind of transparent highs and liquid mids you've come to expect from the best tube circuits combined with the solid bottom that you've come to expect from the best solid-state". Company President Frank Van Alstine states, "With the DAC MK 5, we have significantly raised the bar regarding what you can expect from digital audio playback. What's also notable with the DAC MK 5 is the absence of clicks, pops and other drama when switching between formats, even to and from DSD. It's an absolute pleasure to listen to and to use." Audio by Van Alstine's new DAC MK 5 seamlessly supports PCM data streams up to and including 192kHz as well as DSD64 and DSD128 formats. Sample rate and format information are displayed using elegant front panel indicators. It has a total of five inputs: two coax S/PDIF, two TosLink optical S/PDIF, and one USB input.

 

03 / 16 / 17

Audirvana Plus 3 Desktop Music Software Includes MQA Integration
Audirvana Plus 3 Desktop Music Software Includes MQA IntegrationAudirvana Plus 3 desktop music player for macOS is the company's latest software, which now includes integrated for all popular music formats and adds MQA audio technology. The MQA Core decoder, contained within the new Audirvana Plus 3 player, enables only the first 'origami unfold'. In addition to optimizing sound quality and authenticating the file's provenance, Audirvana Plus 3 also handles your complete library via their management software system. This includes full metadata and cover art display for files stored both locally or streamed. There is integration with premium streaming online music streaming services such as Tidal and Qobuz. Audirvana Plus 3 makes available both analog and digital output at 88.2kHz or 96kHz fpor MQA. Major file formats decoded include WAV, AIFF, Apple Lossless, M4A, MP3, DSF, DSDIFF (including DST compressed), SACD ISO, FLAC, WavPack, APE, Cue Sheets and more. With the company's It-Perfect playback, the DAC sample rate is automatically switched to the audio file original one to ensure unaltered signal is played. All internal processing is done using 64-bit precision to eliminate information loss due to rounding errors. In addition, optional processing can be configured for upsampling, volume control, and Audio Unit plug-ins. Full memory play ensures the file loading, processing, and converting to DAC in it's native format are all done before playback to minimize any possible interference. Their SysOptimizer can be configured to stop the OS X background services that can potentially interfere with sound quality, and give to Audirvana Plus the extreme priority during playback to ensure the maximum signal streaming precision. A free 15-day trial version of Audirvana Plus 3 is available now, or you may purchase it for $74 ($39 for upgrading previous Audirvana Plus software). There is a free upgrade for customers who have purchased Audirvana Plus 2 after December 25, 2016.

 

Aries Cerat Incito Stereo Preamplifier Review
Flashback: Aries Cerat Incito Stereo Preamplifier
Aries Cerat’s achievement in preamplifier design is awe-inspiring!
Review by Tom Lyle

 

03 / 15 / 17

April's The Absolute Sound Magazine Is Now Available Online
The Absolute Sound Issue 272 April 2017Enjoy the Music.com has posted the April issue of The Absolute Sound. Reviews within this edition include UltraAnalogue Recordings reel-to-reel tape, Brahms Symphonies on Direct-to-Disc vinyl, an affordable speaker focus, Air Tight AL-05 Bonsai, Audioengine HDP6, Aerial Acoustics Model 5T, ATC SCM19A, exaSound PlayPoint Network Player and e32 DAC, Shunyata Research Denali AC conditioning, Accuphase C-3850, and Soulution 755 phonostage. Within his guest editorial, Jonathan Valin says, "Ah, convenience. I sometimes think of it as the altar upon which the past is perpetually sacrificed. In our little world of high-end audio, convenience nearly killed reel-to-reel tapes; it is still (unsuccessfully) trying to kill the LP; ironically, it may now be killing the CD and SACD; and sooner or later it will kill computer audio and replace it with something even more convenient. Our hobby, which started off being so hands-on that earlier generations of hi-fi devotees built their own gear from kits or from blueprints printed in magazines, now seems to be fashioned for and dedicated to virtual paraplegics, people who can't even be bothered to hunt up a record on a shelf much less lower a cartridge onto an LP." See what within the April 2017 issue of The Absolute Sound at this link.

 

TACET Auryn Series Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Quintet Feat. Nobuko Imai
As part of TACET's Auryn Series, their newly released Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Quintet in G TACET Auryn Series Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Quintet Feat. Nobuko Imai minor KV 516 and Quintet in B flat major KV 174 featuring Nobuko Imai on viola SACD provides inspiring sound in both stereo and surround sound. TACET says, "Compared with other formats, CDs are by far the bestsellers at TACET. Even the LP boom years of 2012-2014 didn't alter that. Currently, our high-quality multi-channel recordings in TACET Real Surround Sound are gaining in popularity. Sales in this format had already exceeded those of LPs by 2015, and by 2016 they had surpassed them. With TACET's multichannel sound, TRSS, it's not about image: it's entirely about sound. Every day, more and more people experience how, in a multi-channel recording from TACET, they needn't be positioned in one place as though they are nailed to their seat. It's comparable to the difference between stereo and mono: from any point in the room, not just from the optimum listening position, a good stereo recording will sound better than the same recording in mono. This is even more true of TACET Real Surround Sound. Even from the room next door it probably sounds better than the stereo version! No wonder the number of curious and open-minded listeners is steadily increasing. Unfortunately, too many listeners still shy away from multichannel systems, whether due to lack of space, for financial reasons, the worry of buying the wrong components or of not being able to manage them. We can help on the last point: we have provided a free guide at TACET's download page."

 

03 / 14 / 17

Pandora Premium Could Change The Way Of Listening To Your Music
Pandora Premium Streaming Music ServicePandora has announced their new $9.99/month Premium service. Taking advantage of the company's two core strengths, their Music Genome Project and massive amount of data collection from 81 million listeners, Pandora is going to use their data to benefit music lovers worldwide. New features that Premium offers includes the long-awaited on-demand song listening as Spotify users have enjoyed for years, plus Premium will have you making custom playlists with ease. The press release from Pandora says, "The result is Pandora Premium: a combination of the Pandora radio you already love, the ability to search and play any track or album and a set of playlist features tailored to your preferences. It's totally unique to you, easy to use and loaded with amazing features for $9.99 per month.... In Pandora Premium, start a playlist with one or two songs of your choice, tap "Add Similar Songs" and put the power of our Music Genome Project to work to quickly and effortlessly create the perfect playlist for any activity, mood or party. No other service makes playlist creation so fun and easy." Also of note is that "Everything in Browse — your home for new music — is tailored to you every week. In Pandora Premium, this now includes a set of album recommendations. But unlike other services that just surface the most obvious popular content, if you listen to a specific genre like hip hop or jazz, you are going to see the latest releases in those specific genres here." Pandora will do some common sense with your search by filtering out karaoke tracks, knock-off covers and animal pet sounds." So is Pandora going to offer Hi-Res Audio? So far there's not even a small mention of improved sound quality, unfortunately. According to the company "Very soon, we'll add a bunch more to Pandora Premium. This includes AutoPlay, which picks up right where your song, album or playlist ends to ensure the music never ends unless you hit pause. We'll also make Pandora Premium available on more devices and offer a desktop web experience that builds on the stunning update we just made available our ad-supported and Pandora Plus desktop listeners."

 

03 / 13 / 17

U2 Special 30th Anniversary The Joshua Tree Vinyl LP / CD Box Set
U2 Special 30th Anniversary The Joshua Tree Vinyl LP / CD Box SetTo mark 30 years since the release of U2's fifth studio album The Joshua Tree, an anniversary edition of the iconic record will be released by Interscope Records in June 2017 (seven LP Super Deluxe Box Set, four CD box set, etc available). Alongside the 11-track album, the super deluxe collector's edition includes a live recording of The Joshua Tree Tour 1987 Madison Square Garden concert; rarities and B-sides from the album's original recording sessions; as well as 2017 remixes from Daniel Lanois, St Francis Hotel, Jacknife Lee, Steve Lillywhite and Flood; plus an 84-page hardback book of unseen personal photography shot by The Edge during the original Mojave Desert photo session in 1986. Released in March 1987, this album featured hit singles "With Or Without You", "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" and "Where The Streets Have No Name". U2's The Joshua Tree went to #1 in the U.K, U.S., Ireland and around the world, selling in excess of 25 million albums. The Joshua Tree was produced by Brian Eno and Daniel Lanois. Recording took place in Dublin at Windmill Lane Studios and Danesmoate, the house which subsequently became bassist Adam Clayton's home. Their special vinyl LP bespoke box set cover features a textured embossed gold foiled Joshua tree icon. Inside is seven pieces of original, live and unreleased recordings on 12" 180 gram vinyl. There is 3.5 hours of audio content / 49 tracks (25 unreleased tracks: 17 live, 7 new mixes, and 1 archive track). The Joshua Tree double album (gatefold), The Joshua Tree Live at Madison Square Garden double album 1987 (gatefold) plus The Joshua Tree Remixes is included. The Joshua Tree Outtakes, The Joshua Tree B-Sides and the wonderful photographs by The Edge is also part of this box set. An 84-page hardback book of personal never-before seen photography by The Edge, taken during the original Mojave Desert Joshua Tree shoot, in 1986. But wait, there's more! You also get a folio of eight rare 12" Anton Corbijn color prints! You can pre-order The Joshua Tree 30th Anniversary seven vinyl LP box set at this link. You can pre-order The Joshua Tree 30th Anniversary four CD box set here.

 

Industry News 10 Years Ago
World's First Wireless Router With HDMI / Hi-Res Audio Capability
Netgear EVA8000 Digital Entertainer HDNetgear now offers their EVA8000 Digital Entertainer HD ($349), which is the world's first wireless receiver with HDMI for streaming high resolution music, movies, iTunes music, etc. A highly intuitive user interface and powerful search capability provides ease of use for both Windows and Mac computers, network storage devices and USB media devices. Controlling the EVA8000 from the Internet is easy to use via included software, so users can visualize the status of the unit via, control it, etc. Using the included wireless remote, consumers can search their entire media library by multiple criteria including title, actor, date, genre or thumbnail images (from photos, album art or DVD covers). A High-Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) port displays video resolution up to 1080p on big-screen TVs and optical TosLink digital audio output transmits full digital surround sound to your digital audio receiver. Windows Media DRM (WMDRM10) support allows playback of protected downloaded content from major online services. USB flash drives, digital cameras, iPods, or other like-device plug directly into the Digital Entertainer HD and instantly access stored digital media. Multiple Netgear EVA8000 Digital Entertainer HD receivers can work in concert throughout a house. Using "Follow Me," consumers can pause a song in one room and resume it in another. While in "Party Mode," music can by synchronized for whole home listening. The digital media receiver decodes many leading audio formats including MP3, WAV, WMA, FLAC, M4A, AAC, and AC3, purchased music from iTunes on Windows M4P, video formats MPEG1/2/4, WMV, XviD, H.264 and image formats JPEG, BMP, PNG, and TIFF. Playlist Formats supported include WPL, ASX, WAX, WVX, PLS, M3U, and RMP. The unit integrates a 10/100Base-T Ethernet controller, support for 802.11g wireless networking, and two USB 2.0 ports (front and rear) for additional connectivity with flash memory, iPods or other portable music and video players. It also supports multiple interoperability standards, including Universal Plug-and-Play (UPnP AV), Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA) and emerging digital rights management technologies such as Microsoft Windows Media DRM 10 for Network Devices. It also supports several security standards including WEP, WPA-PSK and WPA2-PSK.

 

03 / 10 / 17

Linn Klimax 350 Loudspeaker & Exaktbox With Katalyst DAC Architecture
Linn Klimax 350 Loudspeaker And Exaktbox With Katalyst DAC ArchitectureLinn just launched their all-new Klimax 350 loudspeaker and Klimax Exaktbox with enhanced performance thanks to the company's latest 4th generation in-house digital-to-analog conversion (DAC) technology called Katalyst. Linn's Katalyst DAC architecture was first seen within their Klimax DS and Klimax DSM network music players. It has now been integrated into the full Klimax system. Five key aspects have been improved in the Klimax 350 Loudspeaker and Klimax Exaktbox by utilizing Linn's deep understanding of the entire digital-to-analog process. With what is said to be a complete isolation from noise, both the Klimax 350 loudspeaker and Klimax Exaktbox have the ability to produce a high-stability input Reference Level that generates the signal's amplitude without variation. Lower distortion is achieved with isolated power supplies tailored for each process, so feedback from one process cannot influence the performance of another. A Linn-designed data optimization stage prepares the digital signal for conversion with greater accuracy, which minimizes errors right at the start of the process. The analog signal is made less susceptible to noise and degradation thanks to a new ultra-low distortion analog output driver, which prepares it for transmission out of the device. A single high precision clock with its own independent power supply ensures greater timing accuracy throughout. Linn's Klimax 350 loudspeaker features the new Katalyst DAC architecture. The top model has Linn's latest in-house technologies with a digital crossover capable of delivering six independent channels. This is one for every speaker drive unit so it may be tailored to the signal to match the capability of each specific drive unit. Each channel has its own volume control, improved DAC with Katalyst and on-board power amplifier. The Exakt digital crossover on-board delivers a completely linear phase performance by perfectly synchronizing all the frequencies produced by every note. Now featuring Linn's highest performing digital-to-analog conversion (DAC) technology, Katalyst, it also includes a transformer-isolated balanced output stage derived from Linn's reference Klimax DS player. Pricing is as follows:

Klimax System $83,100
Klimax 350 $69,500
Klimax Exaktbox $16,800
Upgrade Prices:
Klimax Exaktbox Upgrade* $4500
Klimax 350 Upgrade* $9250
Klimax 350 Exakt and Katalyst upgrade $39,000
*Requires return of old product boards to Linn.
 Non-return of old boards will result in an increased price.

 

03 / 09 / 17

Montréal Audio Fest From March 24 To 26 At Hotel Bonaventure In Canada
Montréal Audio Fest From March 24 to 26 At Hotel Bonaventure In CanadaMontréal's Salon Son & Image high-end audio show, now the Montréal Audio Fest, is celebrating its 30th anniversary. Now reconstituted as a non-profit organization, it continues to cater to an ever-growing community. The Montréal Audio Fest 2017 show is not only the oldest specialty audio salon in North America, but also the only one that, for the second year, offers free admission to all. Promoters of Montréal's Audio Fest want you to get involved by sending them your ideas, help promote it, plus encourage your favorite dealers and distributors to exhibit. They're also asking for volunteers to give them a hand. The Montréal Audio Fest hopes to bring in more than 5000 visitors who want to hear, see and touch over 300 brands of audio products under one roof. You can meet many exhibitors, all eager to share their passion for music with you. There will also be a 'Personal Audio Fest; with the latest models of headphones, portable audio players, DACs and mobile amplifiers. This year's Montréal Audio Fest brings a new vinyl marketplace with several dealers. They'll be bringing you scores of gently used LPs in excellent condition, and at good prices too. Enjoy the Music.com will have our Montreal Salon Audio / Montreal Audio Fest 2017 show report online shortly after the event.

 

03 / 08 / 17

Tidal Force Wave 5 Value-Priced $299 Planar Magnetic Headphones
Tidal Force Wave 5 Value-Priced $299 Planar Magnetic HeadphonesTidal Force is excited to announce their worldwide debut into the high performance audio market with the introduction of their Wave 5 high-fidelity planar magnetic headphones ($299). As the growth of portable digital music continues to explode, high quality headphones are becoming increasingly popular. Tidal Force is proud to introduce the exciting Wave 5 open-backed planar magnetic headphone, which utilizes one of the most sought-after technologies by headphone enthusiast. Tidal Force's Wave 5's planar magnetic drivers are like a crossbreed between dynamic diaphragms and electrostatic drivers. Combining the power of a dynamic driver's magnetic field with the efficiency of an electrostatic driver's thin sheet of flexible transparent film, the Wave 5's are claimed to offer an exceptionally high-end sound. Thanks to the immense control over the large but light radiating surface, planar magnetic headphones can reproduce the incredibly detailed music, yet still produce full range, balanced and dynamic sound. These open back headphones use a powerful neodymium magnet with a 56mm driver. Maximum SPL is 100dB/1mW at 1 kHz, with a frequency response from 16Hz to 50kHz. Impedance is 42 Ohms and the headphones weight 480 grams. Tidal Force's Wave 5 planar magnetic headphones come with a 6' high-end braided headphone cord, 6.5mm connector adapter, travel case and headphone stand.

 

03 / 07 / 17

Wheel Turntable By Miniot Turns Linear Tracking Upside Down
Wheel Turntable By Miniot Turns Linear Tracking Upside DownWheel by Miniot (€568) is an minimal record player. It may look like a simple wheel from above, yet the magic is hidden underneath the vinyl LP. Simply place a record on Wheel and it will play the underneath side of your analog record. All functions are controlled by the center stick on the side. In the center there's a stick that controls all functions. On/off, play/pause, volume, even next or previous track. Turning the stick controls the volume of the headphone port. The stick uses real switches, so you feel a solid click with every action. The heavy aluminum platter is driven by an electronically stabilized belt drive at 33.3 or 45 rpm. The outer ring of the platter supports and secures the record while also eliminating resonance. A vibration isolated block inside of the cavity of the platter contains the linear tonearm, belt drive, amplifiers and electronics. A newly developed bearing systems for both the platter and the tonearm are said to deliver imperceptible noise levels. The construction of Wheel allows it to be used horizontally or vertically. You can put it flat on a table, place it upright on a stand, or hang it on the wall. Wheel's linear tonearm is built around the AudioTechnica AT95E phono cartridge. Wheel turntable by Miniot has it's entire arm micro machined out of a single piece of laminated mahogany. By using a single type of cartridge, the company can fine-tune each tonearm for damping, resonance and weight distribution. Of interesting note is that the modified AT95E cartridge is adjusted for each Wheel and thus can't be user replaced. The stylus itself is user replaceable. Miniot's Wheel turntable is available in cherry, walnut, or mahogany wood.

 

03 / 06 / 17

AXPONA 2017 Show In Chicago From April 21st Through April 23rd
AXPONA 2017 Show Report By Enjoy the Music.comAXPONA (Audio Expo North America) once again returns to the Westin O'Hare in Rosemont, IL, for their 2017 event to be held from April 21st through 23rd. Enjoy the Music.com's AXPONA 2017 show report marks our eighth annual coverage of this prestigious high-end audio event. Music lovers, audiophiles, and musicians can enjoy three days of  jam-packed events including live music, seminars, and discover the latest in audio technology. Many exhibitors will be actively demonstrating their products with Hi-Res Audio gear, Hi-Res Music, plus tweaks, gadgets and more. Enjoy the Music.com will once again brings you our exclusive AXPONA show report. Now in its eighth year, AXPONA offers something for everyone – from the novice music lover to the seasoned audio expert looking to enhance their sound with the latest technology. In addition to a series of special events, live performances and educational presentations, music lovers have the opportunity to experience the very best in sound in more than 125 listening rooms with well over 400 manufacturers, retailers and brands being represented. New this year, an expanded concert series featuring exceptional bands performing jazz, blues, and more, will take place on both Friday and Saturday evenings. And, a series of educational programming will now be incorporated all three days of AXPONA 2017, allowing attendees to hear from the industry's foremost experts. "We are thrilled with the increased number of new exhibitors this year, which clearly shows that AXPONA is the place to be if you’re in the audio industry," said Liz Miller, Event Director, AXPONA. "Each year we draw more and more attendees looking for the very best in audio equipment and this year is no exception." In addition to incredible new products debuting at AXPONA, the show also features three jam-packed days of incredible sounds, technology, and presentations. A series of live performances and educational presentations will be showcased throughout AXPONA, and music lovers will have the opportunity to experience the very best in sound in over 140 separate listening rooms.

 

03 / 04 / 17

Enjoy the Music.com Has Updated Our Partner Magazine Sites
Enjoy the Music.com has just updated all of our partner magazine sites. There are an abundance of new reviews, show reports and think pieces. You can see what's within the latest issue of each one by clicking their magazine cover below.

The Absolute Sound Magazine            Australian Hi-Fi Magazine            Hi-Fi+ Magazine            HIFICRITIC Magazine

HiFi Media Magazine            Hi-Fi World Magazine            NOVO Magazine (Was CANADA HiFi)

 

03 / 03 / 17

iFi Audio nano iOne 'Hub' Hi-Res Audio DAC For Your Music System
iFi Audio nano iOne 'Hub' Hi-Res Audio DAC For Your Audio SystemiFi Audio's nano iOne (€235 / £199 including VAT) is the company's versatile audio solution for the modern home. It allows the use of many different digital audio devices and input options within one complete unit. Via Bluetooth, S/PDIF or USB inputs, the nano iOne upgrades your listening experience with smartphones, tablets, computers, TVs, gaming consoles, media streamers, etc. iFi Audio's nano iOne "improves on the inbuilt digital-to-analog converter (DAC) and delivers high-resolution, audiophile grade sound" says the company. With the latest wireless connectivity, it allows high quality streaming across Apple iOS, Android, Mac and Windows PC. An AAC codec allows native quality Bluetooth wireless audio streaming from iTunes and Apple Music. Industry standard aptX codec allows CD quality Bluetooth wireless audio streaming from suitably equipped Android devices, PCs and Mac computers. Galvanically-isolated S/PDIF output with dedicated re-clocker/line driver help ensure signal integrity. There's also an ANC noise suppression system for the power supply drawn from USB. To virtually eliminate jitter, GMT Femto precision clock system is put to good use. Asynchronous USB audio is supported with 'Zero Jitter Memory Buffer' technology for S/PDIF and Bluetooth digital inputs. Decoding virtually all formats, the iFi Audio nano iOne handles bit-perfect DSD and DXD (Burr Brown, 1-DAC Chip; 2-Channel; 4-Signals) and 44.1 to 192kHz PCM. Unbalanced analog gold-plated stereo RCA outputs are direct-coupled. Dimensions are 106x 67 x 28 (LxWxH in mm) and it weighs a mere 141 grams.

 

Music Revenue Grew An Impressive $1,100,000,000 In 2016
Music Revenue Grew An Impressive $1,100,000,000 In 2016According to MIDiA Research, a a boutique media and technology analysis company, "...there was a growing awareness that 2016 was going to be a landmark year for the recorded music business. It finally looked like streaming was going to push the industry into growth. Now with full year numbers in, the picture is even more positive than it first appeared. The recorded music market grew by 7% in 2016, adding $1.1 billion, reaching $16.1 billion, by far the largest growth the recorded music business has experienced since Napster and co pushed revenues into free fall. While it is too early to state that the corner has been turned, this is clearly a turning point of some form for the business. Underpinning the growth was streaming which grew by 57% in 2016 to reach $5.4 billion, up from $3.5 billion in 2015. Spotify has been key to this growth, accounting for 43% of the 106.3 million subscribers at the end of 2016. 2017 should see further strong streaming growth with another 40.3 million subscribers added, more than the 38.8 added in 2016. Apple Music and Deezer also both contributed strongly to growth and market share. Additionally, Amazon upped its game in 2016 and the introduction of the $3.99 Amazon Prime Music Unlimited Echo bundle could open up swathes of new, more mainstream users. Based strictly upon the recorded music revenue that is reported in financial accounts by the major record labels and / or their parent companies combined with trade association and collection society data, the three majors labels collectively generated $11 billion of gross revenue in 2016. Universal Music generated the most with $4.6 billion representing 28.9% of the market total. Sony followed with $3.6 billion (22.4%) and Warner with $2.8 billion (17.4%). These numbers do not include any corrections for any independent revenues that are recognized by major labels because they are distributed by majors or major owned distributors. Thus the ‘actual' independent share will be higher but can only be accurately measured with a separate survey, so watch out for WIN's forthcoming indie market share study that will do exactly this."

 

AES Forms New Group Aimed At Advancing Audio For New Realities
AES Forms New Group Aimed At Advancing Audio For New RealitiesThe Audio Engineering Society's Technical Council (AESTC) has formed a new group to advance the science and application of Audio for New Realities. The group will serve the needs of the audio community working in Virtual, Augmented and Mixed Reality environments. "New realities" covers a whole gamut of application areas including film, games, music, communications, medicine, forensics, simulations, education and virtual tourism. The technical requirements for new realities cover obvious areas such as spatial audio and synthesis but extend beyond into audio networking, semantic audio, perception, broadcast and online delivery. There will therefore be a need for good cooperation with existing AESTC Technical Committees providing leadership in related disciplines. The group will initially operate under the Audio for Games Technical Committee. "This is an exciting and new area for the AES as an organization," says Technical Council Vice-Chair Michael Kelly. "A large number of our society's members already have strong expertise in this emerging area." Group leader Dr. Gavin Kearney, a researcher and lecturer at the University of York, said "A core responsibility of the group will be to define a roadmap for the AES to address emergent applications in new realities. The group will consist of industry professionals working at the forefront of commercial technologies for virtual, augmented and mixed realities as well as key academics in the field whose audio research crosses new multidisciplinary boundaries. Our initial objectives will include collating the state-of-the-art in audio for new realities across recording, composition, sound design, spatial audio, environmental analysis and auditory scene synthesis, in order to develop technical workflows that are practical and relevant to the industry and creative practitioners in the field."

 

Industry News 15 Years Ago
Denon And Marantz Merge To Form D+M Holdings

As big companies are looking to streamline operations to enhance profitability, Denon and Marantz will soon merge their operations, thus forming the new D+M Holdings company. Each company will still offer and maintain their own branded products, yet share some resources to reduce overall costs due to overlapping business practices. Fast-forward to March 2017 as Sound United just acquired D+M Group (Boston Acoustics, Denon, & Marantz).

 

03 / 02 / 17

Legacy Audio Foundation Subwoofer With 12" Drivers & 1000W ICEpower
Legacy Audio Foundation Subwoofer With 12" Drivers & 1000W ICEpowerLegacy Audio's new Foundation subwoofer ($3850) is said to deliver incredible attack with ultra-low distortion within 1.5 square feet of floor space. Using patented compound passive radiator technology and a pair of Legacy's renowned long throw 12" woofers, Foundation offers an excellent musical performance. Supercharged with the latest ICEpower Class D amplifier technology, Foundation benefits from 30 Amperes of peak current. Legacy Audio feels that this is ultimately necessary to provide tight control to the 3" voice-coil within the massive 30 pound magnetic structure of each woofer. Mutually coupled subwoofers are pneumatically loaded. There are two 12" spun aluminum diaphragm, 480 ounce motor structure subwoofer drivers. These have cast frame, 3" dual four-layer voice coil and 2" peak-to-peak travel. A pair of 12" passive radiators are in a patented symmetrically loaded passive system. These passive drivers have a 4" peak-to-peak travel. Low frequency alignment is electrically assisted and is a 6th order design. Inputs include sub (LFE), L/R RCA, and balanced XLR. Overall frequency response is from 16Hz to 120Hz (+/-2dB). There is a phase adjustment to ensure mating of the subwoofer to your room / main speakers. Cabinet dimensions are 29" x 14.5" x 15" (HxWxD) and the unit weighs a substantial 113 lbs.

 

Could Spotify Be Next To Offer Lossless Music Streaming Online?
Could Spotify Be Next To Offer Lossless Music Streaming Online?It has been reported that Spotify is testing the option of offering lossless music streaming for their subscribers. We're not sure if this will simply be part of Spotify Premium, or a new as-of-yet named additional premium service. Pricing seems to be in the range from $5 to $10 in addition to a current subscription. So far we do not know if this will include MQA, or some other file type for lossless streaming online. So far it appears Spotify will be calling it their "Hi-Fi" tier (perhaps). Click on the image to the right to see a larger graphic of what appears to be two screen captures. This story is developing....

 

Sound United Acquires D+M Group (Boston Acoustics, Denon, & Marantz)
Sound United Acquires D+M Group (Boston Acoustics, Denon, & Marantz)In today's press release, we have "Sound United LLC, parent company to Polk Audio, Definitive Technology, and Polk BOOM, today announced it has completed the acquisition of the D+M Group, owner of the Denon, HEOS by Denon, Marantz, and Boston Acoustics brands. The D+M Group is the largest supplier of audio/video receivers worldwide and a leader in wireless multi-room audio. Sound United is the largest supplier of loudspeakers in North America and a leading supplier of sound bars and wireless music systems. The combined company will be known as Sound United, which will own and operate some of the most prestigious brands in the consumer audio space, providing synergy opportunities for the existing core businesses, while also unlocking the potential to expand the product portfolio and market reach. The sale was finalized on February 28, 2017 and the terms of the sale were not disclosed. Kevin Duffy, CEO of Sound United, will serve as CEO of the combined company moving forward.... Sound United is a division of DEI Holdings, a portfolio company of Boston-based private equity firm Charlesbank Capital Partners, LLC. Charlesbank acquired DEI Holdings in 2011."

 

03 / 01 / 17

Enjoy the Music.com's March Review Magazine Is Now Available Online
Enjoy the Music.com's March Review Magazine features a video documentary, CanJam NYC show report plus reviews of the Lindemann musicbook:15 DSD audio music player, MrSpeakers ÆON stereo headphones plus a world premiere review of Van den Hul's impressive Crimson Stradivarius MC phono cartridge. Editor Tom Lyle discusses MQA, TIDAL, and Hi-Res Audio while Roger Skoff give us food for thought about high-end audio literature collecting. Read Enjoy the Music.com's March Review Magazine at this link. As always, in the end what really matters is that you... enjoy the music!

 

Let's Talk About MQA And TIDAL Shall We? Plus CanJam NYC show report and reviews within this issue. Article By Tom Lyle
Let's Talk About MQA And TIDAL Shall We?
Plus CanJam NYC show report and reviews within this issue.
Article By Tom Lyle

 


On Literature Collecting
Roger Skoff writes about the importance of hi-fi "spec sheets".
Article By Roger Skoff

 


The Art Of Listening – A Music Documentary

 

CanJam NYC 2017 Show Report
CanJam NYC 2017 Show Report
A victory for audiophiles!
Show Report By Dave Hanson

 

 

Einstein The Tube Mk. 2 Line Preamplifier A championship contender. Review By Wayne Donnelly
Flashback: Einstein The Tube Mk. 2 Line Preamplifier
A championship contender.
Review By Wayne Donnelly

 

Dynamic Sounds Associates Pre I Linestage Review
World Premiere Review!
Dynamic Sounds Associates Pre I Linestage
Articulate, smooth and magically engaging.
Review By Greg Weaver

 

McIntosh C2600 Vacuum Tube Stereo Preamplifier With DAC And Phono Stage Review
McIntosh C2600 Vacuum Tube Stereo Preamplifier With DAC And Phono Stage
A newfound family heirloom. For a lifetime... and longer.
Review By Tom Lyle

 

Lindemann musicbook-15 DSD Audio Music Player A wolf in sheep's clothing. Review By Phil Gold
Lindemann musicbook:15 DSD Audio Music Player
A wolf in sheep's clothing.
Review By Phil Gold

 

MrSpeakers ÆON Over-The-Ear Stereo Headphones The ÆON is very possibly MrSpeakers' headphone masterpiece. Review By Dave Hanson
MrSpeakers ÆON Over-The-Ear Stereo Headphones
The ÆON is very possibly MrSpeakers' headphone masterpiece.
Review By Dave Hanson

 


World Premiere Review!
Van den Hul Crimson Stradivarius MC Phono Cartridge
A truly fantastic high-precision phono cartridge.
Review By Tom Lyle

 


Flashback: The Complete Guide to High-End Audio
Fifth Edition by Robert Harley
An excellent reference book for a newbie and seasoned reviewer.
Review By Heather Baird And Steven R. Rochlin

 

More Articles Available Online!
See all our show reports, articles, and gear reviews within the March 2017 edition of Enjoy the Music.com's Review Magazine now available online.

 

 

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