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


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12 / 12 / 17

NOVO's Latest Issue Features Their 2017 Holiday Gift Guide
NOVO Magazine November / December 2017Enjoy the Music.com has just posted the November / December 2017 issue of NOVO (was CANADA HiFi). Articles within this issue include a very special tribute to Gord Downie and The Tragically Hip, plus a focus on virtual reality (VR) being here and where it may be going. NOVO's 2017 Holiday Gift Guide suggests many great gift ideas from record players to home robots! Within his editorial, Noel Keywood says, "It was with a great sadness that I learned about the passing of The Tragically Hip front man Gord Downie this past October. I've been listening to The Tragically Hip since a young age and own every one of their albums in various formats, including vinyl. I've strummed many of their songs on my guitar and sang their lyrics in my living room, at camp fires and cottages all over Ontario. I also had the pleasure of seeing them perform live in both small and big venues -- the most memorable of these was a performance in a park in Niagaraon-the-Lake. What an unforgettable summer night that was! The Tragically Hip is truly my favorite Canadian band and will continue to be a part of my playlist forever. Your music has greatly influenced my life and I will miss you dearly Gordie. Of course, I'm not the only big fan at NOVO - I invite you to check out Kevin Rak's "Tribute to Gord Downie and The Tragically Hip" on page 8. On a more upbeat note, this issue also contains our annual Holiday Gift Guide, which is perhaps the funniest writing assignment of the year for George and I. This year we present to you our biggest, most diverse gift guide to date. You'll find everything in this guide, from outstanding hi-fi products to home robots and the latest tech toys. I'm certain that you'll find something cool on our list, whether you plan to gift it to a loved one or decide to treat yourself." You can download your free issue of NOVO in PDF at this link.

 

12 / 11 / 17

Capital Audiofest (CAF) 2017 Show Report

Well Pleased A/V, Rethm, Linnenberg, Inuous, And Anticables @ CAF 2017
Well Pleased A/V, Rethm, Linnenberg, Inuous, And Anticables
CAF 2017 Show Report By Kemper Holt Of Enjoy the Music.com

 

Odyssey And VPI -- Capital Audiofest (CAF) 2017 Show Report
Odyssey And VPI
CAF 2017 Show Report By Kemper Holt

 

Magico Announces Their New Three-Way A3 Floorstanding Loudspeaker
Magico A3 Floorstanding LoudspeakerMachined into the metal of every Magico loudspeaker is a subtle, yet permanent, 'M' symbol. Magico's new A3 floorstanding loudspeaker brings together a bevy of technologies at its price point of $9800. A fully braced and anodized aluminum enclosure, beryllium tweeter, carbon Nanographene cones, neodymium based motor systems and Magico's renowned elliptical crossover. Extended high frequencies are provided by a newly designed Magico pure beryllium-diaphragm tweeter with an optimized 28mm dome surface based on the fundamental design platform and geometry of the M-Project tweeter. The customized neodymium motor system is encased in an improved back chamber with our latest generation damping materials that facilitate ultra-low distortion, higher power handling, massive dynamic capabilities and extended linear voice coil movement. Magico's A3 has a newly developed 6" midrange that employs a Multi-Wall carbon fiber cone with a layer of XG Nanographene. This is to provide optimal stiffness to weight ratios and what Magico feels is an ideal damping factor. Overhung neodymium based motor systems incorporate extra-large magnets to ensure a stabilized magnetic field in the 75mm pure titanium voice coils of both the midrange and bass drivers. For bass, dual 7" woofers incorporate a version of the new Generation 8 Magico Nano-Tec cone. The same properties and materials that allow for the proper combination of stiffness, mass and damping are carried through to the lowest frequencies. The chassis has also been simulated and tested for the optimal combination of stiffness and damping. Minimum acoustical impact is achieved through reducing vibration modes while maximizing air flow. A new overhung neodymium (N48) based motor system anchors the low frequency reproducers to accomplish a super stabilized magnetic field. A pure Titanium, 75mm voice coils are consistent with the technology utilized through the midrange. All four drivers within the Magico A3 are acoustically integrated using their proprietary Elliptical Symmetry Crossover topology that utilizes state-of-the-art components from Mundorf of Germany. The three-way network features a 24dB/octave Linkwitz-Riley filter that maximizes frequency bandwidth while preserving phase linearity and minimizing intermodulation distortion. Magico's A3 massive sealed-enclosure is, like all Magico speakers, a tour-de-force of engineering. The enclosure is made entirely from 6061 T6 aircraft grade aluminum, identical materially to the enclosure developed for the Q Series. This braced, complex internal structure is finished externally with an elegant brushed anodized. Sensitivity is 88dB/W/m and it presents a 4 Ohm load. Frequency response is from 22Hz to 50kHz, dimensions are 44" x 11" x 9.25 " (HxDxW) and each one weighs 110 lbs.

 

12 / 08 / 17

Pro-Ject Audio Juke Box E PnP Active Turntable With MM Cartridge
Pro-Ject Audio Juke Box E PnP Active Turntable With MM CartridgePro-Ject Audio Systems sought to provide a true, and simple, plug-and-play solution for modern vinyl lovers. The active turntable Juke Box E offers built-in pre and power amplifier, which allows you to place the speakers far away from each other to minimize the possibility of acoustic feedback and to create a real analog stereo experience. A built-in high contrast display always tells you what volume setting you are listening at and what input currently is in use. So you always know what's happening. The 32-step digital potentiometer provides perfect feedback and allows you to fine-tune to your desired volume. Pressing the volume knob switches between the available inputs. For further convenience an infrared remote control is included! With a full range of analog and digital inputs, Juke Box E becomes one of the most versatile offerings on the market. A turntable, a preamplifier, a power amplifier and a Bluetooth receiver as a good looking and audiophile one-box-solution. The Line output even lets you relay the signal to a further amplifier, such as Pro-Ject's Head Box S2, to become a complete setup. Pricing for Pro-Ject Audio Systems' Juke Box E with OM 5e cartridge in high gloss red, black, or white is €449. Juke Box E system with color-matched two-way bookshelf speakers is €699. See our World Premiere review of the Pro-Ject Debut Carbon RecordMaster HiRes turntable at this link.

 

12 / 07 / 17

Parasound ZoneMaster 2350 Class D Stereo Amplifier Inc. Sub Xover
Parasound ZoneMaster 2350 Class D Stereo Amplifier Inc. Sub XoverParasound has introduced the ZoneMaster 2350 ($1295), a powerful 350 Watt per channel Class D stereo power amplifier with a crossover for subwoofers. The Parasound ZoneMaster 2350 draws on the company's heritage of low-noise class AB input stages and analog bass management, combined with high quality Class D amplification to drive 8 Ohm speakers to 350 Watts per channel, and deliver up to 600 Watts per channel into 4 Ohms. Parasound's 2350 high current design and extensive heat-sinking enable it to easily drive 2 Ohm loads in demanding applications. The Parasound ZoneMaster 2350 includes a package of unique installer-friendly features that have proven popular on several of Parasound's other ZoneMaster amplifiers. These include a two-channel analog 80Hz, 24dB/octave low-pass crossover for driving one or more in-wall passive subwoofers without the need for external crossovers, separate line-level and speaker-level inputs, A & B speakers, a mono/stereo mode switch, a 30Hz/80-Hz high-pass filter to improve performance with small speakers, stereo loop outputs, a dedicated mono line output, and audio-sensing or 12 Volt trigger auto turn-on options. Frequency response is from 10Hz to 70kHz with a SNR of >100dB. Dimensions are 17.25" x 14.5" 4.25" (WxDxH) and it weighs 15 lbs.

 

Industry News 10 Years Ago
House Ear Institute "It's How You Listen That Counts"
House Ear Institute (HEI)House Ear Institute (HEI), a non-profit organization dedicated to advancing hearing science through research and education to improve quality of life, is helping to educate teens and young adults with an awareness campaign titled "It's How You Listen That Counts". With prominent placement of Ear Bud, the campaign's mascot, the key is to get the message across concerning hearing conservation. To build on the success of its initial run on MTV, the campaign's educational video spot featuring Ear Bud and teens is posted on YouTube.com, and a profile of Ear Bud has attracted a network of friends on MySpace.com. It is estimated that children and teens represent roughly half of those suffering from noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) in the United States, with 5.2 million 6 to 19 year olds showing a hearing loss directly related to noise exposure. "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, program director, House Ear Institute. "The early success of our initiative shows that impacting this younger audience is possible with the right message strategically delivered through the media they favor."

 

12 / 06 / 17

Hi-Fi+'s December Magazine Features Many High-End Audio Reviews
Hi-Fi+ Issue 154 December 2017Hi-Fi+ Magazine's December 2017 issue features their very special annual Awards! Meet Your Maker features high-end audio company Wilson Benesch. This issue also features show reports of RMAF and CanJam in Colorado. Hardware reviews within this issue include Gamut Audio Zodiac floorstanding loudspeaker, Questyle Audio QP2R digital audio player, plus CAAS Audio Elysium preamplifier and mono power amplifiers. Within his editorial Hi-Fi+ Awards 2017 Celebrates Audio's Best, Alan Sircom says "Our annual Awards issue not only is the perfect showcase for the best products we have seen over the last 12 months, but gives us a moment of reflection over the wider audio market. If we are being truly honest, the last 12 months or so have been difficult, especially in the UK as uncertainty over our post-European future has caused consumer confidence to rise and fall chaotically until relatively recently. And it may still fluctuate. This is not a period of recession, so the average person in the street is not in constant fear of losing their jobs in the way we were a decade ago. But that fractured consumer confidence does have an effect on buying habits. We are all guilty of forgetting how to enjoy spending our money, even those with disposable income to spend." See what's within this issue of H-Fi+ Magazine at this link.

 

12 / 05 / 17

Analogue Productions Ultra High Quality Record (UHQR) Vinyl LPs
Analogue Productions Ultra High Quality Record (UHQR) Vinyl LPsTo coincide with the 50th Anniversary of Axis: Bold As Love, Analogue Productions plans to release a definitive, handmade, limited-run reissue edition of Jimi Hendrix's 1967 masterpiece in both stereo and mono versions. The title is the debut effort of Analogue Productions' and Quality Record Pressings' reintroduction of the revered Ultra High Quality Record (UHQR), originally introduced by JVC Japan in the 1980s. "Reintroducing the UHQR is one of the biggest things we've done," said Acoustic Sounds and Analogue Productions CEO Chad Kassem. "These are going to be the best records ever made. To announce the series properly we wanted to hit a home run with a huge title, and I don't know that we could have done much better than this." This UHQR is newly remastered by Bernie Grundman from the original analog master tapes. Each UHQR will be pressed at Acoustic Sounds' industry-leading pressing plant Quality Record Pressings (QRP) using Clarity Vinyl (free of any contaminants or pigments) on a manual Finebilt press with attention paid to every single detail of every single record. The 200-gram records will feature the same flat profile that helped to make the original UHQR so desirable. From the lead-in groove to the run-out groove, there is no pitch to the profile, allowing the customer's stylus to play truly perpendicular to the grooves from edge to center. Clarity Vinyl is said to allow for the purest possible pressing and the most visually stunning presentation. Every UHQR will be hand inspected upon pressing completion, and only the truly flawless will be allowed to go to market. Each UHQR will be packaged in a deluxe box and will include a booklet detailing the entire process of making a UHQR along with a hand-signed certificate of inspection. This will be a truly deluxe, collectible product. The Axis: Bold As Love UHQR will include a 16-page booklet featuring recording information from the sessions at Olympic Studios in London and an essay written by Brad Tolinski, former Editor of Guitar World Magazine. Each Axis UHQR will be available as two versions: Mono and Stereo. The Stereo release will be limited to 5000 copies, while the mono release will be limited to 1500 copies. The deluxe box will be gold foil numbered. Each copy will retail for $100.

 

Industry News Bonus Video Features

Acoustic Sounds Office Tour With Chad Kassem
Acoustic Sounds Office Tour With Chad Kassem

 

Quality Record Pressings / Acoustic Sounds Vinyl LP Pressing Plant Tour
Quality Record Pressings / Acoustic Sounds Vinyl LP Pressing Plant Tour

 

12 / 04 / 17

Capital Audiofest (CAF) 2017 Show Report

Capital Audiofest (CAF) 2017 Show Report By Greg Weaver
Capital Audiofest (CAF) 2017 Show Report
Baby Has Grown Up...
CAF 2017 Show Report By Greg Weaver

 

Capital Audiofest (CAF) 2017 Show Report Intro By Kemper Holt
Capital Audiofest (CAF) 2017 Show Report Intro
CAF 2017 Show Report By Kemper Holt

 

The Audio Company, Von Schweikert, VAC, Esoteric, MasterBuilt Audio, And ASC
The Audio Company, Von Schweikert, VAC, Esoteric, MasterBuilt Audio, And ASC
CAF 2017 Show Report By Kemper Holt

 

GT Audio Works, Sound Insight, Pass Labs, And Triode Wire Labs
GT Audio Works, Sound Insight, Pass Labs, And Triode Wire Labs
CAF 2017 Show Report By Kemper Holt

More Capital Audiofest 2017 coverage coming, so check back daily.

 

Hi-Fi World's January 2018 Issue Features Their Annual Awards
Hi-Fi World January 2018Hi-Fi World's January 2018 issue features their very special 2017 Awards! Inside this issue you'll find products of 2017 that really stood out. All receive Hi-Fi World's prestigious globe award. There's also an Xmas Quiz to find out how much do you know about the world of audio and music. Reviews in this issue include MarkAudio-SOTA Cesti B loudspeakers, Wharfedale Diamond 11.3 loudspeakers, Naim Uniti & Uniti Atom Core, Questyle CMA400i headphone amplifier, Isotek Evo3 Coros Powerbar, Aphex Aural Exciter, Art USB Phono Plus, and Final E2000 / E3000 in-ear headphones. Within Noel Keywood's editorial he says, "Outstanding products still exist. The way Technics recently re-engineered the motor of their SL-1200G Direct Drive turntable is one shining example. Nowadays, Direct Drive motors are used everywhere and Technics could have bought one in. Or they could have asked Hanpin of Taiwan or a Chinese supplier to do 'em a cheap deal on a big order. Instead they have designed entirely their own dedicated turntable motor, platter and all else using the latest materials and technologies, all built in Japan. We had to be impressed at Hi-Fi World. Our measurements revealed a performance unmatched elsewhere. What more could you ask for than one of the world's top CE companies to apply this much investment and dedication to a hi-fi turntable. Unsurprising then that the Timestep Technics SL-1200GR should receive one of our World Awards for 2017. Simply outstanding." See what's within the January 2018 issue of Hi-Fi World and read the complete editorial at this link.

 

12 / 01 / 17

Enjoy the Music.com's December Review Magazine Is Now Available Online
Enjoy the Music.com's December Review Magazine features our 12th annual Great Audiophile Gift suggestions, gear reviews, and many show reports. We've wrapped up Dave Hanson's in-depth CanJam @ RMAF coverage and hi-fi gear reports from RMAF 2017 by Kemper Holt and Steven R. Rochlin. There's no doubt Rick Becker's TAVES 2017 coverage is the industry's most extensive, and not to be missed! Our Capital Audiofest coverage by Kemper Holt has begun, with more to post in the coming days. See what's within this month's edition of Enjoy the Music.com's Review Magazine at this link.

Everyone at Enjoy the Music.com wishes you and yours a wonderful holiday season and prosperous 2018. As always, in the end what really matters is that you...

Enjoy the Music,

Steven R. Rochlin
Creative Director
Enjoy the Music.com

 

We Say Goodbye To 2017 And Hello To 1999
We Say Goodbye To 2017 And Hello To 1999
Yes, welcome to 1999 music lovers, and here's why...
Article By Steven R. Rochlin

 

The Man Who Didn't Like Music
The Man Who Didn't Like Music
Roger Skoff writes about our hobby and some of the people who share it.
Article By Roger Skoff

 

Capital Audiofest (CAF) 2017 & CanMania Show Report
Capital Audiofest (CAF) 2017 & CanMania Show Report
Our extensive show coverage of CAF & CanMania 2017 is now online!

 

TAVES 2017 Show Report
TAVES 2017 Show Report
Toronto Audio Video Entertainment Show

 

Great Audiophile Holiday Gift 2017 By Enjoy the Music.com
Enjoy the Music.com's Great Audiophile Gift 2017
Our list of great gifts to give your audiophile this holiday season.
Article By Enjoy the Music.com Staff

 

PureAudioProject Trio15 Horn1 Open Baffle Design Speaker Review
PureAudioProject Trio15 Horn1 Open Baffle Design Speaker
A trip down the rabbit hole.
Review By Paul L. Schumann

 

Rogue Audio RP-7 Tube Preamplifier Review
World Premiere Review!
Rogue Audio RP-7 Tube Preamplifier
A very flexible and fantastic high-end vacuum tube preamplifier.
Review By Tom Lyle

 

ZMF Auteur Over-Ear Headphone Review
ZMF Auteur Over-Ear Headphone
Pure Bliss: ZMF crafts a worthy flagship and a musical masterpiece!
Review By Dave Hanson

 

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

 

11 / 29 / 17

Klipsch Heritage Headphone Amplifier Features A Hi-Res Audio DAC
Klipsch Heritage Headphone AmplifierKlipsch has debuted their new stereo Heritage Headphone Amplifier ($499). Klipsch seeks to produce a true audiophile solution with mid-century design characteristics that drives headphones to deliver music in the cleanest, most efficient manner, for higher energy and dynamics. Klipsch's Heritage Headphone Amplifier is encased in formed aluminum with a genuine walnut veneer, giving it a nostalgic, vintage feel. Inputs and gain settings are controlled by weighted anodized aluminum switches and knobs for a quality and satisfying tactile response. Its analog switches operate through relays, delivering the lowest distortion in its class and advanced sound staging abilities. Klipsch's Heritage Headphone Amplifier is driven by a Hi-Res Audio high-performance ES9018K2M ESS Sabre32 Reference DAC capable of 192kHz/24-bit sample rates. For amplification, dual Class-AB TI TPA6120A2 amplifiers plus a minimal signal path minimizes crosstalk. In addition to its primary use as a discrete balanced stereo headphone amplifier, the Heritage Headphone Amplifier doubles as a digital analog processor for USB audio, optical, and coaxial inputs, making it an ideal desktop companion.

 

11 / 28 / 17

Johnny Cash Greatest Hits On 180 Gram High Fidelity Audiophile Vinyl
Johnny Cash Greatest Hits On 180 Gram High Fidelity Audiophile VinylThe very best of Johnny Cash's pop and country hits released on Sun Records during 1955 through 1961 is now available on vinyl LP! As part of the 60th anniversary of the release of Johnny Cash's first LP in 1957, Sun Records and Charly Records are proud to present the very best of the iconic singer's 7-inch hit singles on Sun including: "I Walk The Line," "Cry! Cry! Cry!," "Folsom Prison Blues," "Ballad Of A Teenage Queen", "Home Of The Blues" and many, many more. The album is the perfect entry in to The Man in Black's music from the essential blues and country music label. Greatest Hits features 20 classic Johnny Cash hit songs newly remastered from the Original Sun Master tapes, mastered at half-speed for unrivalled sound quality. It is released as an LP pressed on 180g heavyweight audiophile vinyl complete with Sleeve Notes by Sun Entertainment Corporation President John A. Singleton. You can buy Johnny Cash's Greatest Hits on vinyl LP from Amazon at this link.

 

11 / 27 / 17

Perreaux 255i Integrated Amplifier With Optional DAC And Phono Stage
Perreaux 255i Integrated Amplifier With Optional DAC And Phono StagePerreaux's new 255i stereo integrated amplifier is the best integrated amp the company has ever produced. The 255i is designed to handle difficult speaker loads with ease via high powered MOSFETs that deliver 360 Watts rms into an 8 Ohm load (530 Watts rms into 4 Ohm). At the heart of this amplifier is a great power supply with three separate transformers feeding four independent power supplies. Perreuax's 255i's performance features a high damping factor. Their third generation microprocessor controlled balanced analog volume control to ensure a pure, unaltered analog signal path. AN internal headphone amplifier gives the user all the benefits of the 255i's engineering and design advances, with the convenience of headphones. For ease of bi-wiring loudspeakers and enhanced sound quality there are two sets of loudspeaker binding posts. For use with balanced sources there is XLR inputs that enable you to take full advantage of the benefits of balanced audio. A Home Theater pass-through allows integration into a home theater/external system as a two channel power amp, then back to full a stereo integrated for music listening. You can also plug your iPod directly into the front panel for convenient connectivity. An RS232 serial port (RJ45) allows for other control/uses. Optional modules include USB DAC with 32-bit/384kHz upsampling and inputs include two coax, two optical and USB audio. Another optional module is an MM/MC phono stage that provides for either moving magnet (MM) and moving coil (MC) cartridge connection.

 

11 / 22 / 17

Legendary High-End Audio Engineer / Designer Arnold Nudell Passes
Legendary High-End Audio Engineer / Designer Arnold Nudell PassesArnold Nudell (1937 to 2017) has passed away from complications of pneumonia as his loving family laid him to rest on November 20th. As an aerospace engineer and one of the early founders within the high-end audio industry, Arnie was first know for his Infinity Systems brand of products. In July 1989 Arnold Nudell resigned as President of Infinity Systems, which he originally co-founded with another great high-end audio personality Cary Christie. In 2002 Arnie Nudell began designing loudspeakers for Genesis Advanced Technologies, which have received multiple awards over the years. A website is currently under construction to properly memorialize his accomplishments as well as provide a platform for friends and devotees of Infinity Systems to post their remembrances. Below is an early video with Arnold explaining the Infinity IRS Beta Kappa speakers plus their special EMIT driver technology.

 

Industry News 15 Years Ago
Arnie Nudell Designs Loudspeakers For Genesis Advanced Technologies
Genesis Advanced TechnologiesWhat is old is new again as a new company headed by longtime and highly respected loudspeaker designer Arnie Nudell, Genesis Advanced Technologies, will soon be launched! Continuing the Genesis line of products, this new venture will soon be releasing new products that should reach stores worldwide. Many people remember Mr. Nudell from decades ago as the founder of Infinity (now owned by Harmon). In those days Infinity was one of the best, and some considered the best, loudspeaker of its time. While he will be the chief designer of new products, CEO and Managing Director Gary Leonard Koh will take care of the business side of things. Mr. Nudell says "We have assembled an awesome team! You will see some of the old stalwarts; and will also see Genesis bringing new blood into the industry. I've always designed the best loudspeakers I could. With this team now, we will be able to make performance improvements to existing designs and come up with completely new ones, knowing all these efforts will be supported by a rock-solid business base." Mr. Koh has said in a prepared statement "We have a number of investors who will ensure that the new Genesis has the financial muscle to regain its position as the makers of the best loudspeakers in the world. Everyone involved has a passion for the product, and yet have the ability to bring real-world business skills to the table to run this as a long-term business." The Genesis 501 full range floorstanding loudspeaker and 928 subwoofer are being prepared for launch by Genesis Advanced Technologies. Meanwhile the APM-1 will be updated and is to be released within the next six months.

 

11 / 21  / 17

Capitol Records A Capitol Christmas Volume 2 On CD & Vinyl LP
Capitol Records A Capitol Christmas Volume 2 On CD & Vinyl LPCapitol Records' celebration of its 75th anniversary continues with the CD and vinyl LP ($14 and $25 respectively) release of A Capitol Christmas Volume 2, a collection of 24 timeless holiday and seasonal classics sung by the label's unmatched list of legends. Available now digitally and on two CD, and December 1 as a double vinyl LP in gatefold cover, the album brings together some of pop music's most iconic holiday songs with extremely rare recordings originally issued in very limited release. Volume 2's list of singers includes Glen Campbell, The Beach Boys, Wayne Newton, Lena Horne, Dinah Shore, Nancy Wilson, Johnny Mercer, The Louvin Brothers and many more, with each contribution lovingly chronicled in liner notes provided by compilation producer Jay Landers. As a fitting companion to last year's timeless collection, A Capitol Christmas Volume 2 continues to mine Capitol's deep reservoir of holiday and seasonal standards sung by millions of celebrants each winter. The album features Wayne Newton's jubilant takes on the rockabilly Christmas classic "Jingle Bell Rock" and perennial favorite "Rudolph, The Red-Nosed Reindeer," both originally released in 1966 on his first holiday album, Songs For A Merry Christmas, three years after his debut record on Capitol. The album is showcased here with Campbell's exquisite rendition of the Elvis Presley-immortalized "Blue Christmas" and the lesser known "Old Toy Trains," which was written by his good friend Roger Miller and shows off a different side of the singer. Second only to the Beatles, The Beach Boys were Capitol's most popular recording act from the 1960s until the end of the decade. For their fifth Capitol release, Brian Wilson turned his attention to the holidays, asking Four Freshmen's arranger, Dick Reynolds, to write the charts for a 40-piece orchestra. The result was 1964's The Beach Boys' Christmas Album that featured their sunny take on "Frosty the Snowman" and Wilson's original "Christmas Day," which marked rhythm guitarist Al Jardine's debut as a lead singer, both included here. This album spotlights some of the best of Capitol's Christmas recordings from the 1940s, 1950 and 1960s and transports listeners to a simpler time. You can buy A Capitol Christmas Volume 2 on CD and vinyl LP at this link.

 

11 / 20 / 17

RMAF 2017 Show Report

Daedalus Audio, ModWright, VPI, Skogrand, And Core Power Technologies. RMAF 2017 Report By Kemper Holt
Daedalus Audio, ModWright, VPI, Skogrand, And Core Power Technologies.
RMAF 2017 Report By Kemper Holt

 

Tekton, Parasound, The Audio Alternative, Vandersteen, VTL, And AudioQuest. RMAF 2017 Report By Kemper Holt
Tekton, Parasound, The Audio Alternative, Vandersteen, VTL, And AudioQuest.
RMAF 2017 Report By Kemper Holt

 

Aries Cerat Genus SET High Performance Integrated Amplifier
Aries Cerat Genus SET High Performance Integrated AmplifierAries Cerat's new Genus single-ended triode stereo integrated amplifier (€15,000) is their answer to the challenge of making a small one-box unit that would carry the company's design philosophy. In development for quite a few years, with a footprint of 520mm x 530mm it is their most compact design to date! Aries Cerat's Genus integrated amplifier produces 25 Watts per channel, two channels, in Class A1 and can peak to 40 Watts during transients in Class A2. Genus takes key design ideas from Aries Cerat's Concero 25 monoblock circuit. It is effectively a small stereo SET amplifier driving a bigger stereo SET within one chassis. The input / driver stage is a small 0.7 Watt SE amplifier built around the Siemens E280F super triode and is loaded with a double c-core bifilar wound interstage transformer. This single tube stage is said to offer maximum linearity and bandwidth for transparency. There are no coupling capacitors present anywhere within the circuit. Aries Cerat has employed their special proprietary AC link coupling technology that takes advantage of the secondary winding of the first SE amplifier to modulate the biasing circuits of the bigger 813 power output tube stage. AC link coupling technology is used inside all of Aries Cerat's bigger amplifier models. The four tubes have independent power supply units (PSUs) which are fed from a large 800VA toroidal transformer. The PSUs carry their own choke filtered capacitor bank. The output stage power supply units use super capacitor technology. The two 813 directly heated triode (DHT) tubes benefit from triple passively filtered filament PSUs. Bias of both the driver and output tubes can be adjusted on the fly using a built-in bias meter, so you can tailor the sound to your taste. A self resetting soft start is used to slowly build up the high voltages present and protect the tubes from any current surges at start up. Frequency response is from 11Hz to 60kHz and speaker impedance is user selectable from 1 to 16 Ohms. Inputs include four RCA unbalanced pairs and one set of XLR balanced pair, with outputs for loudspeakers plus a special headphone amp output.

 

11 / 17 / 17

Sonus Faber's Aida Flagship Reference Floorstanding Loudspeaker
Sonus Faber's Aida Flagship Reference Floorstanding LoudspeakerSonus faber has just showcased their latest generation Adia large floorstanding speaker system (€84,000 plus VAT). After six years from the introduction of the first grandiose Aida, Sonus faber pushes the envelope and presents the new Aida as the brand's flagship speaker poised at the pinnacle of its product range. Sonus faber's new Aida has been completely overhauled utilizing the most advanced electroacoustic developments yet retains all its timeless Italian class and elegance. This new '3 and 2/3 way' design features Stealth Ultraflex, which allows better bass extension while minimizing distortion and eliminating spurious vibration coming from the air passage inside the reflex duct. The typical lyra shape enclosure, as in the previous edition, is complimented by sonus faber's special Anima Legata system, plus Tuned Mass Dampers and a revision of the special Bow Spring suspension. This suspension system with their Zero Vibration Transmission system are designed to keep both the loudspeaker and the musical environment free from unwanted resonance and vibration. The D.A.D. Arrow Point H28 XTR-04 tweeter was first used within sonus faber's Lilium and, most recently, Homage Tradition Collection. The midrange is also promoted to a M18 XTR-04 enhanced with the avional-gunmetal basket, the most advanced midrange driver in the entire sonus faber catalog. Completing the new driver arsenal are the new specifically designed woofers: W22 XTR-12 with all-new powerful neodymium magnet motors and SW32 XTR-08 infra-woofer. Sonus faber says it is "probably the craziest subwoofer ever designed in sonus faber, equipped with Nano Carbon sandwich cone and a long-throw 4" voice coils, powered by a neodymium magnet motor". Another interesting design element is their cost-no-object project patented Sound Field Shaper technology – a unique system of attenuated rear-facing drivers allowing precise control of the dimensionality and perceived size of the soundstage. On the sonus faber Aida, this system is upgraded further utilizing the latest tweeter and midrange drivers. Overall frequency response is 18Hz to 35kHz, sensitivity is 92dB/W/m, and it presents a 4 Ohm load nominal. Power handling is up to 1000 Watts. Dimensions are 68" x 19" x 31" (HxWxD) and weight is 727 pounds per pair. You can read Enjoy the Music.com's world premiere review of Sonus Faber's Amati Tradition floorstanding loudspeaker at this link.

 

Audio Research VT80SE Vacuum Tube Stereo Amplifier
Audio Research VT80SE Vacuum Tube Stereo AmplifierAudio Research's new VT80SE ($8900, tube cage adds $500) vacuum tube stereo amplifier seeks the widest appeal of music lovers worldwide. By combining world-class performance with flexibility and features like auto-bias, Audio Research's VT80 seeks to be an amplifier that is easy to take home and just forget as you enjoy your music collection again for the first time. According to the company, "The big change from the VT80 to the new VT80SE is upgrading the KT120 tubes to the higher performance KT150 output tubes. Everyone should know that we have been deeply enamored with the KT150 as we feature it in all of our other amplifiers, from the VSi75 to the REF 750SE. Its performance is unparalleled and its 3,000 hour average life allows years of uninterrupted listening. The VT80 was originally designed with the KT120, the predecessor to the KT150, but these two tubes are electrically interchangeable and the demand for delivering the VT80 with the KT150 could be ignored no longer. It is important to mention that the KT150 tubes supplied by Audio Research for all of our products are specially produced to our high standards, are tested and measured for quality control and assurance, and are burned in for 48 hours. Then using our 'Certified Matched' process, they are hand matched in sets with tolerances 10x tighter than standard off-the-shelf tubes, thus ensuring the finest audio quality possible. With its auto-bias design, the VT80SE can also be used with KT120 or KT150 output tubes and the circuit will adjust immediately when a new tube is installed. Protective fuses are installed for each output tube and can be replaced if the need ever arises. What sonic improvements will you hear with the VT80SE? As our Warren Gehl said, 'More music!' Tonal color, detail, dynamic swing and purity are all improved, along with a bigger and more robust presentation. The music gets better, in every way. Aside from the beautiful curves of the KT150 tubes, the only other way to distinguish the SE from the original VT80 is by a small sticker on the rear panel. Nothing else needed to change. The existing (optional) ventilated tube cover can be used with the taller KT150 tube set, there is still sufficient space to breathe. Hear for yourself how good your system can sound with the new VT80SE, it will make a tube-lover out of anyone who loves music." See Enjoy the Music.com's review of the Audio Research L28 vacuum tube line stage and VT80 power amplifier at this link.

 

VPI Industries Cliffwood Moving Magnet Phono Stage
VPI Industries Cliffwood Moving Magnet Phono StageVPI Industries has just launched their new Cliffwood phono stage ($500) for moving magnet (MM) cartridges. This moving magnet design is based on the company's Player circuitry, which employs a low noise op-amp design with a regulated linear power supply. Per it's namesake, the VPI Cliffwood phono stage is meant to be a compliment to their Cliffwood turntable. This provides customers the opportunity to purchase both units to easily start their vinyl LP listening experience. VPI Industries is focused on completing their entry level story for music lovers to have all the tools they need to listen to their favorite albums. A total of 44dB of gain is provided, with the cartridge loading being industry standard 47 kOhm @ 180pF. Maximum input level is 125mV, with an input sensitivity of 3mV for 500mV output. VPI's Cliffwood MM phono stage has a frequency response from 17Hz to 75kHz with an outstanding RIAA accuracy of +/-0.18dB (100Hz to 75kHz). The Cliffwood MM phono stage will be available in both a black and clear silver finish, with an expected launch date of mid-2018. For those curious about other VPI accessories, you can read Enjoy the Music.com's reviw of VPI's MW-1 Cyclone record cleaning machine at this link.

 

11 / 16 / 17

Quadral Aurum A10S Wireless Streaming Stereo Amplifier
Quadral Aurum A10S Wireless Streaming Stereo AmplifierQuadral is combing state-of-the-art streaming technology with the exemplary acoustic merits of the Aurum amplifier in its new stereo A10S amplifier (€3200). Just like its 'sister' products, the A10S is hand finished in Germany. With an exceptionally sophisticated Class AB output stage for distortion-free sound on one hand and Wi-Fi module, Ethernet and USB-A connection on the other, the new A10S combines the best of both worlds. Network players and amplifiers capable of streaming often offer flexible applications. Quadral's A10S takes a completely new path with 100 Wpc stereo at 8 Ohm and 180 Watt at 4 Ohm, it achieves tremendous power. Decoupled sections, outstanding low distortion and selected components show the company's impressive improvements in audio competence. With the Aurum app for Apple iOS and android, the integration of TIDAL, airable radio, airable podcasts means the A10S wants for nothing in terms of modern streaming features. Enjoying streaming in first-class Hi-Fi quality is even easier with the optional RC3 remote control. Two independent low dispersion power supply units and the large-scale transformer ensure top performance. An ultra-precise volume control down to 1dB increments and balanced XLR connectors further proves that even the tiniest details have been considered. That also applies to the variety of formats that the A10S can take perfectly in its stride. WAV, FLAC, ALAC, LPCM, WMA, MP3 and AAC can all be played back.

 

Industry News 10 Years Ago
The Tape Project Produces Great Reel-To-Reel Recordings

The Tape ProjectThe Tape Project, presented by Paul Stubblebine Mastering (PSM) in concert with Bottlehead Corporation, have launched their Audiophile Music Series on reel-to-reel tape! PSM and valve electronics experts Bottlehead Corporation now offer a series of analog releases for discerning audiophiles an analog tape. Slated for ten releases per year and sold primarily on a subscription basis, the 15ips (inches per second) half-track stereo, reel-to-reel recordings encompass a wide range of musical styles, the first of which include Classical, Jazz, Blues, Americana and Roots music. The company is recommending tape machines and specifications for playback, as well as offering its own specially modified tape decks with custom valve components from Bottlehead Corp. "The only two requirements for the music that we release are that the master must exist on analog tape and that the music be great" stated Paul Stubblebine. "That it be music that moves the listener. That it be music that can stand the test of time, and continue to bring satisfaction for years," The first ten titles are:

1) The Number White by jazz singer Jacqui Naylor
2) Dave Alvin's Blackjack David
3) Arnold Overtures original music by Malcolm Arnold with the London Philharmonic Orchestra recorded by Grammy-Winning engineer and audiophile equipment designer Keith Johnson
4) The album that established Robert Cray as a strong new voice in the blues False Accusations
5) Raphael Fruhbeck de Burgos with the New Philharmonia Orchestra performing Albeniz - Suite Espanola
6) David Oistrakh and the London Symphony Orchestra with music by Bruch and Hindemith
7) Eiji Oue and the Minnesota Orchestra performing Exotic Dances from the Opera (Saint-Saëns, Strauss, Rabaud)
8) Bill Evans Waltz for Debby live at the Village Vanguard in 1961
9) Mose Allison in 1959's Creek Bank engineered by Rudy Van Gelder
10) The incomparable Sonny Rollins in Saxophone Colossus.

 

11 / 15 / 17

ESS, Channel Islands, Exogal, Vehement Audio, And Core Power Technologies. RMAF 2017 Report By Kemper Holt
RMAF 2017 Show Report
ESS, Channel Islands, Exogal, Vehement Audio, And Core Power Technologies.
RMAF 2017 Report By Kemper Holt

 

Furutech NFC Booster: Ultimate Cable / Connector Damping System
Furutech NFC Booster: Ultimate Cable / Connector Damping SystemFurutech's NCF Booster ($350 each, with additional extension shafts in 10pcs sets for $33) employs specially developed sound enhancing material for superior connector and cable damping. According to Furutech, "Not only does the Furutech NCF Booster Connector and Cable Holder lift audio cables off the floor minimizing their points of contact, it also reduces electromagnetic interference and excels at providing NCF damping support for connectors and cables at points of connection. The NCF Booster Connector and Cable Holder allows for the optimum alignment between connectors and sockets and eliminates static – boosting performance by allowing a more pure and clear signal. Developed by Furutech, NCF features a special crystalline material that has two 'active' properties. First, it generates negative ions that eliminate static. Second, it converts thermal energy into far infrared. Furutech combines this remarkable material with nano-sized ceramic particles and carbon powder for their additional piezoelectric damping properties. The resulting Nano Crystal² Formula, exclusive to Furutech, is the ultimate electrical and mechanical damping material." The top clamp unit is made from stainless steel block and audio-grade NCF nylon resin. The base unit features an audio-grade ABS resin body with slip-proof, shock-absorbing plate with counterweight. Overall dimensions are 94 x 99.7 mm with a base level height of 80 mm that extends to 140 mm as needed. You can read Enjoy the Music.com's review of the Furutech DIY power cable and power outlet at this link.

 

11 / 14 / 17

JWM Acoustics, Aries Cerat, Constellation, Raidho, Aavik, And Ansuz. RMAF 2017 Report By Kemper Holt
RMAF 2017 Show Report
JWM Acoustics, Aries Cerat, Constellation, Raidho, Aavik, And Ansuz.
RMAF 2017 Report By Kemper Holt

 

 


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