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High-End Audio, High Fidelity Audiophile Industry News


 
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Upcoming Show Coverage
Rocky Mountain Audio Fest 2014Colorado's Rocky Mountain Audio Fest will feature high-end, high fidelity audio equipment at the Denver Marriott Tech Center Hotel from October 11th through the 13th. Attendees will enjoyed 8 floors and over 170 exhibit rooms, totaling many millions of dollars in gear to hear, see, and experience. While two-channel high fidelity audio gear takes center stage, there is a special CanJam headphone/portable media players (PMP) section plus various conferences, seminars and live music entertainment too!

TAVES 2014 (Toronto Audio Video Entertainment Show)TAVES 2014 (Toronto Audio Video Entertainment Show) will be held from October 31st through November 2nd at the Sheraton Centre Hotel in Toronto, Canada. High-end home audio/video and CANPAX Headphone Show section will be available for all attendees. The CANPAX Headphone Show, powered by Audio360.org, recognizes the incredible popularity of the headphone category.

 

Industry News

09 / 02 / 14

  Enjoy the Music.com's September Review Magazine features our exciting annual Blue Note Awards, two world premiere high fidelity audio equipment reviews, the California Audio Show report and much more!

CONTEST: Remember to friend us on Facebook and enter our contest for your chance to win a Wyred 4 Sound Remedy Reclocker!

See the September Review Magazine by clicking here.

Review Magazine  
Regular Reading
Daily News: Audiophile news updated each weekday!

Viewpoint
In This Issue.... Enjoy the Music.com's Best Of 2014 Blue Note Awards
We celebrate our annual Blue Note Awards, provide industry leading coverage of the California Audio Show plus our new Internet servers.
Article By Steven R. Rochlin

Audio Perfection
Musings on hi-fi since the "good old days".
Article By Roger Skoff

Getting Realistic About Hi-Res Audio
Article By Craig Allison

Is Vinyl The New Heroin For Dyed-In-The-Wool Hard-Core Audiophiles?
IRL: I've seen the needle and the damage done.
Article By Steven R. Rochlin

Contest

Win A Wyred 4 Sound Remedy Reclocker!

Show Reports
California Audio Show 2014 High-End Audio Event
California Audio Show 2014 High-End Audio Event
Our report spans over 45 web pages filled with over 210 photos(!) in total.
Report By Steven R. Rochlin

DIY Audio Reviews
Hypex NCore 400 Amplifier
Enter a great Class D amplifier from the Netherlands.
Review By Jeff Poth

Equipment Reviews

Enjoy the Music.com Blue Note Awards 2014
Best High-End Audio Equipment Of 2014 Awards

Bowers & Wilkins (B&W) 683 S2 Floorstanding Speakers
For present and future audiophiles.
Review By Rick Jensen

iFi audio Micro iDSD Battery Powered DAC / Headphone Amplifier
Holy &%$&! the Micro iDSD DAC with headphone amp rocks!
Review By Steven R. Rochlin

World Premiere!
Marigo Audio Lab RHX Mystery Feet
Pushing the envelope with high-end audio footers.
Review By Wayne Donnelly

World Premiere!
Marigo Ultima Signature Mat
Making every digital disc sound great!
Review By Wayne Donnelly

Matrix Audio Mini-i Pro 24-bit/384kHz DSD DXD DAC & Headphone Amplifier
A slick design with a wide array of features, and most importantly, at the right price.
Review By Matej Isak

Third Annual Lansing Heritage Awards
Celebrating one of the earliest high fidelity audio companies.
Article By Jeff Poth

Music Reviews
Classical Music
From San Francisco, the definitive recording of Bernstein's West Side Story.
Review By Max Westler

Vivid contrasts in American music from Morlot and the Seattle Symphony.
Review By Joe Milicia

Great Sibelius in fine sound from Paavo Berglund.
Review By Max Westler

 

See the September Review Magazine by clicking here.

 

Industry News 10 Years Ago
Microsoft will soon be going head to head with Apple's iTunes as they launch their MSN Music service. Most song downloads will cost 99 cents and albums for averaging $9.99. Microsoft has teamed up with Billboard, BMG, EMI, Sony, Universal Music, and Warner Music Group to achieve over one million songs when the MSN Music service is launched. Downloads are encoded as 160kbps WMA files and will allow users to play music on up to five Windows PCs, burn play lists to CD up to seven times, and transfer to an unlimited number of portable audio devices. Access the music lineup will work seamlessly with the upcoming Windows Media Player 10. Microsoft is claiming this new service is not for music profits, but instead will help their search engine and Yahoo's Overture Services to push advertising.

 

08 / 29 / 14

Vertere Acoustics SG-1 Turntable With SG-1 Tonearm  Vertere Acoustics SG-1 turntable with SG-1 tonearm ($27,500) are precision, hand-built units that are the companies top models. The press release says little in specifics on the turntable other than "Vertere was born out of a deep desire to pursue audio perfection and a belief that innovation will both drive us forward and define who we are...." We will add more details as they rol in. The SG-1 tonearm has a unique Tri Point Articulated (TPA) bearing comprised of three precision silicone nitride balls and stainless pivot. The pivot point centered between the balls provides flawless support and articulation. TPA eliminates bearing point 'skating' and allows the stylus to track the most delicate pieces of information that are typically lost with uni-pivot designs. This ensures accurate play back due to the strict adherence of the stylus to the record groove.

 

Procella Audio P5 Speaker And P12 Active SubwooferProcella Audio's P5 speaker and P12 active subwoofer provide high-definition audio performance in a compact design ($899 and $2699 respectively). The P5 is a compact, high-output two-way design that brings Procella performance to a new price level. The speaker features a professional audio 5.25" midrange/woofer and 1" compression driver mounted on a constant directivity waveguide. The P12 powered subwoofer has a 12" high output subwoofer driver mounted within a shallow depth cabinet. An integral 350 watt power amplifier is included. Procella Identical Voice crossover provides a flat phase response and ultra-low group delay within the P5. Their new constant directivity waveguide for the P5 produces a circular radiation pattern of 80 degrees above 2.2 kHz, thus enabling the unit to achieve excellent performance with the speaker mounted in either a vertical or horizontal orientation. The high-output 5.25" midrange/woofer driver has a 25mm voice coil and is capable of very high output levels. Recommended amplifier power is 100 to 250 watts. Procella's P12 is built around a 12" long-throw professional audio subwoofer driver with a 65mm voice coil. An integrated class-D power amplifier delivers a total of 350 watts to produce a maximum output of 116 dB at 50 Hz, with extension to well below 25 Hz. Single balanced XLR and unbalanced RCA inputs are provided, with an unbalanced RCA connector for linking multiple subwoofers. Switchable room settings optimize the subwoofer's response for room boundary conditions, with positions for placement against a wall and for corner placement. A polarity switch optimizes integration of the subwoofer with the room and main speakers. An advanced Procella-designed auto power mode calibrates to the system preamp or processor, ensuring activation from sleep mode without truncating the initial program signal. The P12's cabinet is 22.8" x 17.3" x 7.9" (WxHxD).

 

08 / 28 / 14

Reference 3A Sema Zen Speaker  Reference 3A has just introduced their new Sema Zen large floorstanding loudspeaker ($21,900.00 CAD). They use two specifically designed and hand built within their factory 8.25" hyper exponentially shaped woven carbon full range drivers. The main drivers cover a wide range of frequencies and are directly coupled to the amplifiers without the need for a crossover network. Each driver is housed individually in precisely sized, non-resonant semi-spherical bamboo resin enclosures. A dense front baffle supports the main drivers and is acoustically isolated from the main cabinet to virtually eliminate cabinet resonance noise. For high frequencies, a Beryllium dome tweeter is mounted in an acoustic wave guide and is perfectly aligned between the main drivers. It, too, is acoustically isolated from the main driver baffle to produce stable sound propagation. A simple high pass filter (one high quality capacitor) is utilized to protect the Beryllium dome tweeter from low frequencies. A simple low-pass filter (one high quality coil) is used to gently roll off high frequencies from the woofers. There are several perforated braces specially angled and installed internally across the cabinets at critical points to reduce cabinet wall vibrations and to diffuse long vertical standing waves. A long and formed spine brace (separate from the cross braces) is installed asymmetrically for the entire length of the cabinet to brace the rear, front, top and base panels of the cabinet. It also supports the rear sides of bass drivers. All inner cabinet corners are filled with gussets to further add density to the cabinet structure as well as reducing corner nodes. Four matched bass drivers are mounted in a line array and are mechanically grounded to the vertical spine brace to stabilize the drivers' operation and drain potentially harmful mechanical vibrations. For the base of the unit, solid metal stabilizer pods have large adjustable brass coupling spikes. Lastly, patented Surreal Acoustic Lenses are used to reduce noise caused by air turbulence in cone drivers and a patented Magnetic Conduction Wave Guides in bi-wire configuration are used for faster and more dynamic signal transfer. Frequency response is from 27 Hz to ~40 kHz, sensitivity is 93dB/W/m, and the impedance is a virtually stable 8 Ohms. Dimensions are 67" x 13.5 x 29 (HxWxD) and the speaker weighs a hefty 220 lbs.

 

Bowers & Wilkins CM SeriesBowers & Wilkins new CM Series of loudspeakers is said to dramatically improve upon the audiophile-quality performance and luxurious design, for which the series is renowned, by combining the company's latest technologies. Such technology includes their Decoupled Double Dome tweeters plus refined new styling. The introduction of Bowers & Wilkins Decoupled Double Dome tweeter to their 2013's CM10 led to "massively improved audio performance". Bowers & Wilkins Double Dome tweeters use a thin aluminum dome surrounded by a thicker aluminum ring for the perfect combination of lightness and rigidity, helping prevent audible distortion. The result is claimed to be "stunning clarity and tonal purity". Within the new CM Series, this advanced tweeter is also decoupled – using a ring of gel cushioning to physically separate the assembly from the cabinet – to improve dispersion and imaging for an even more natural, spacious treble. Tweeter advances are just the first of many improvements; the new CM Series has been redesigned to deliver vastly improved audiophile-standard performance across the board. New crossovers use respected Mundorf capacitors throughout while Anti-Resonance dustcaps are employed across all bass/midrange drive units for smoother response and lower coloration. These improvements augment existing CM Series technologies such as FST midrange drive units in the CM8 S2, CM9 S2 and CM Centre 2 S2 plus, in the flagship CM10 S2, the additional clarity of a decoupled FST assembly. Each speaker has a real wood cabinet and visible fixings have been removed for a cleaner, more subtle look. The new, acoustically optimized design also has a protective circular tweeter grilles to further enhance the look of the new CM Series while also protecting the tweeter. The CM10 S2 remains the flagship floorstanding speaker in the range, and has been brought visually into line with the rest of the new models. It features three powerful 165mm bass drivers and a decoupled FST midrange driver. The new CM6 S2 features a 165mm bass/midrange driver and tweeter-on-top technology. The CM9 S2 and CM8 S2 floorstanding speakers both feature Decoupled Double Dome tweeters, FST midrange drivers and two bass drivers. The new CM8 is designed with a slimmer profile to fit a wider range of room sizes and configurations. Bowers & Wilkins' CM5 S2 and CM1 S2 are the range's two other standmount speakers, with both models employing new Decoupled Double Dome tweeter technology plus a host of other engineering advances. Bowers & Wilkins' CM Centre S2 and CM Centre 2 S2 also use Decoupled Double Dome tweeters while the CM Centre 2 S2 benefits from an FST midrange driver plus a pair of symmetrically arranged bass drivers. The ASW10CM S2 subwoofer features a 10" drive unit paper/Kevlar cone driven by a highly efficient 500 watt Class D amplifier with switch mode power supply. Completing the range is the new FS-CM S2 stand, with improved finish and design detailing to not only provide a supremely stable platform for the CM1 S2, CM5 S2 or CM6 S2 but also a perfect visual counterpart for the new models' visual design. All new CM Series speakers are available in Gloss Black, Rosenut and Satin White finishes, except the ASW10CM S2, which is available in Gloss Black and Satin White. The FS-CM stand is available in Black and Silver finishes. Prices per pair are as follows, CM1 is $1100, CM5 is $1600, CM6 is $2000, CM8 is $2400, CM9 is $3200, CM10 is $4000, and FS-CM stand is $500. Other models are priced each and include the CM Centre is $700, CM Centre 2 is $1250, and ASW10CM S2 is $1500.

 

08 / 27 / 14

Blue Microphones Mo-Fi Headphones  Blue Microphones new Mo-Fi headphones are the first powered models with audiophile aspirations. The Mo-Fi may improve the sound of your iPhone, iPad, or other lower-powered mobile device due to having a 240mW amplifier built right in. Charging the internal amplifier is via standard USB port and the battery will last approximately 12 hours of use. Drivers within the ear cups are large 50mm, fiber-reinforced dynamic types. Sealed over-ear design provides isolation and feedback prevention. User-adjustable tension and suspension adapts to virtually any head shape and size for a comfortable fit. Racecar-inspired multi-jointed headband design keeps ear cups parallel at all times. An all-analog amplifier has multiple modes including passive, active and enhanced bass. The 240mW amplifier has a THD+N of 0.004% and frequency response from 15 Hz to 20 kHz. Headphone impedance is 42 Ohms while the sealed enclosure has special tuned damping materials to ensure high sound quality. The Blue Microphones Mo-Fi weight 16.44 ounces and come with a soft case with cable storage pocket. Also included are a 1.2-meter audio cable with Apple iPhone/iPad controls, 3-meter audio cable and 1-meter USB charging cable. For mating to virtually any source, the Mo-Fi comes with a 3.5mm to 1/4" TRS adaptor and two-prong airplane connector.

 

USB Type-C (USB 3.1)USB Promoter Group has announced their USB Type-C (USB 3.1) connector is now ready for production. As the next generation USB, their Type-C connector enables thinner and sleeker product designs and provides speeds up to 10 Gbps. The USB Type-C specification establishes a new cable and connector scheme tailored to fit mobile device product designs, yet robust enough for laptops and tablets. The new USB Type-C (USB 3.1) specification defines the physical USB Type-C cable and connector form factor along with the functional requirements for detecting and managing USB connections over an extensible wiring architecture. This new cable and connector supports USB performance at SuperSpeed USB 10 Gbps (USB 3.1) and USB Power delivery up to 100W. Usability enhancements include a reversible plug orientation and cable direction. It also supports scalable power charging and a durability of 10,000 cycles. There are Improved EMI and RFI mitigation features and power delivery capacity of 3A for standard cables and 5A for connectors.

 

08 / 26 / 14

Telefunken THP-29 Extreme Isolation Headphones  Telefunken's ($135) THP-29 Extreme Isolation headphones are designed for both the recording studio and live sound applications. They use high-output 40mm drivers featuring TruSound Tonal Accuracy and are integrated with 29dB of eco-friendly natural passive isolation. Telefunken says that the result is a headphone designed to protect the eardrums from high SPL damage while also improving the recording, performing and listening experience. They are ideal for use by live mixers who need to block out monitor speakers, or by drummers who need to be able to hear the mix without setting their volume at an unreasonably high level. The closed back design, lightweight construction, adjustable head strap and padded ear cushions provide optimum comfort during lengthy recording or listening sessions. Developed in partnership with Direct Sound, the Telefunken THP-29 Extreme Isolation headphones come with padded adjustable headband, storage pouch, and jack adaptor, and provide passive isolation. Red is Right enables the user to have easy channel identification and they come with a 1 year warranty. Overall passive attenuation is 36.7 dB @ 8 kHz (NRR 29dB), frequency response is from 20 Hz to 20 kHz, and sensitivity is 114 dB at 1 kHz/ 1 mW. The headphone cord is 9 ft long and is terminated with a 1/8" gold-plated jack with screw-on 1/4" gold-plated adapter included. The Telefunken THP-29 Isolation Headphones weigh 11.5 oz including cable and plug.

 

Wireless Speaker and Audio (WiSA) AssociationThe Wireless Speaker and Audio (WiSA) Association, an industry group dedicated to bringing high resolution, wireless, multi-channel audio products to the home theater market, continues its fast growth with the addition of six new members. Joining the Association to advance its mission is Claridy Audio, Elytone Electronic, Enclave Wireless Audio, Fostex, Innovo Concepts, and Monitor Audio. The Association has grown more than 50 percent since January of 2014 and now has 30 member companies. Additional member announcements are expected in the coming days. To date, wireless audio solutions have been limited to only a stereo experience, the key advantage of WiSA-compliant components is that it is the first solution to offer high-resolution audio from 2.0 to 7.4 channels. WiSA-compliant systems are fully interoperable, allowing the consumer the convenience and freedom-of-choice to mix and match components from different manufacturers. "The surge in membership and the adoption of WiSA-compliant products is a reflection of the Association's category leading wireless audio solution," said Tom Lee, president of the WiSA Association. "WiSA members are able to deliver what consumers want, a full multi-channel, wireless home theater experience. The interference-free, wireless high-resolution audio products are easy to set up and interoperate with other compliant CE devices like HDTVs, set-top-boxes, gaming devices and more."

 

Industry News 15 Years Ago
President of Hachette Filipacchi Magazine's new media division, Jim Doucherty, has quit his position with the company over disagreement on strategy with Hachette's new CEO, Jack Kliger. Doucherty has been at Hachette for almost eleven years. Doucherty said "He's got perhaps a different vision for new media than what we've been running under for the last three years. I don't know that he values new media as a stand-alone property. Instead of a stand-alone profit center, Jack is going to want to use it to leverage the magazines... Jack has a very powerful initiative now for Hachette that has to do with circulation. I think that some of what happens with those sites now will also be to use this division as support for the magazines." A source undisclosed told even more details and said "It's the inevitable result of having two power centers at these companies. The publishers have a lot of jealousy and resentment. They look at the online group and say, 'These guys are taking my brand and making money off of it.' Even though they don't know anything about new media, they think it's something that's part of their brand." So it seems that online magazines are again becoming a very hot topic as print media looks for their place on the web. Hachette Filipacchi magazines include Audio, Car and Driver, Car Stereo Review, Road and Track, Stereo Review's Sound & Vision and Woman's Day to name a few. Hearst Magazines acquired Hachette Filipacchi Media's United States-based magazines along with most of Hachette Filipacchi's international magazines in May 2011.

 

08 / 25 / 14

The Cable Company's Summer Against Hunger The Cable Company's 19th Annual Summer Against Hunger event is now in full swing as 50 to 100 percent of the money you spend on your stereo in August can be put to work for humanitarian relief efforts. Once again this August, when you purchase their sponsors' products, the Cable Company, it's sponsoring vendors, and other CARE donors will send an amount equal to your purchase to CARE. Purchase all other products from The Cable Company (and UsedCable.com) and an amount equal to half of your purchase goes to CARE. Here's the math: The Cable Company donates 5% of each purchase to CARE. This amount is matched by participating vendors for sales of their products. Two anonymous donors will match this combined contribution from The Cable Company and it's participating vendors. When this total amount is donated to a CARE project, CARE will secure other donations for the entire amount of Cable Company purchases. For purchases of brands not on the Sponsors list below, and for all purchases of used products from The Cable Company and UsedCable.com, there is no vendor match, but all of the other matching funds outlined above will apply. This will result in a minimum of 1/2 of the actual purchase amount benefiting CARE.

 

08 / 22 / 14

EMMESpeakers COPERNICUS Loudspeaker  The upcoming EMMESpeakers COPERNICUS loudspeaker will complete the company's trilogy tribute to the human genius, which begun with their DA VINCI and continued with The GALILEO. The COPERNICUS expands their interpretation with other models and includes a common technical solutions adopted, the BSSE system (Box Shaping for Sound Enhancement). There are three drivers in an unconventional two-way configuration. The Low frequency configuration employs two 10" aluminum woofers that work in parallel, in bipole and asynchronous mode, thanks to a "time shifting" network that continuously changes the phase of one woofer to sync with the other one. EMMESpeakers has paid great attention within the 100 to 150 Hz range, which can be key room resonances modes according to the company. Mid-high frequencies are managed by a ceramic (diamond in option) 2" mid-tweeter, housed into a 1" thick BSSE panel that is machined from a solid aluminum sheet. Machine tolerances are under 0.10mm. The BSSE System, common in all EMMESpeakers' loudspeakers, syncs off-axis emission with the on-axis one. It is placed within a baffle profile of variable ratios that works in combination with the crossover layout. The EMMESpeakers COPERNICUS loudspeaker crossover uses their approach with a drastic cut off of 4th order in mid-high frequencies, with relative phase kept at around 45 degrees to produce a very constant radiation lobe all over the crossing frequencies. This is to achieve a flat response in the midrange frequencies, where the human ear is most sensitive. The cabinet is available in a variety of real wood finishes and eight different metal leaf including gold.

 

08 / 21 / 14

Hi-Fi World Magazine  Enjoy the Music.com has just posted Hi-Fi World's October 2014 edition including the complete editorial and table of contents. This issue includes reviews of the Beatles mono LP box set, JBL Studio 290 speakers, Canor CD1.10 CD player, Arcam IrDAC, Ekco EV55se amplifier, Mcru cone feet/valve damping rings and more! The editorial by Noel Keywood says, "We received the much anticipated The Beatles in Mono box set, cabbed over to Hi-Fi World by Guy Hayden, Vice President of Apple Corps. Paul Rigby reviews it in this issue - see p83. Paul wasn't the only person to hear it, this box set has brought every Beatles fan out of the woodwork and I never realised how many there are. And it's been interesting to hear the various opinions on it. But a consistent thread has been that sound quality has been so much improved it brings their performance alive in the home." See the complete October table of contents and editorial of Hi-Fi World by clicking here.

 

Enjoy the Music.com And OPPO BDP-103 ContestEnjoy the Music.com and OPPO are giving away their BDP-103 ($499) universal network, 3D Blu-ray, and high resolution audio multi-channel player. The unit features excellent video quality via specialized circuitry armed with Qdeo processing. The OPPO BDP-103 can upscale 4k video, handle 3D playback and 2D to 3D conversion. For audiophiles, the BDP-103 plays Super Audio CD (SACD) and supports both stereo and multi-channel high resolution audio programs. Learn more and enter for your chance to win our OPPO BDP-103 contest by clicking here.

 

08 / 20 / 14

Aaron LET'S ROCK! Integrated Amplifier  The new Aaron LET'S ROCK! solid-state stereo integrated amplifier (€5000) brings the bold look of skulls to the front faceplate in celebration of their 25th anniversary. Mr. Thomas Hoehne and Mrs. Marita Hoehne from Elze in Germany are really rocking it with the bold look of their new integrated amplifier. Aaron's LET'S ROCK! high fidelity audio integrated amplifier is said to be for rock music fans and concert lovers. "Powerful, dynamic, rocking - suited and always ready for the reproduction of big concerts and great rock events in your own living room. And, just that is the way it looks: rocking!" says the press release. The front panel as well as the top panel is cast by hand in one piece of aluminum. Decorated by a composition of elements of the Rock Music: skulls, stars and fleur-de-lis. The unique look of this unit is born of fire and flame within a foundry at Hildesheim (the renown KSM Castings Group). They developed a completely new preamplifier section for the Aaron LET'S ROCK!. The discrete setup with high quality, selected and matched components ensure a variety of tonal details and best possible dynamic performance from the company's creations. Aaron's LET'S ROCK! is build in a complex modular structure, with two mono power amplifiers within a single chassis. A separate main-board and controller ensure signal purity is delivered from the preamplification and amplification stage. The unit produces 100 wpc @ 8 Ohms (180 @ 4 Ohms) and can reach 440 watts @ 1 Ohm(!). For volume adjustment, there is a 64 step Log digital controlled ladder switch. There are six stereo inputs via gold-plated RCA and each input channel has programmable input gain. There are two stereo outputs, one for preamp and one for processor. Loudspeaker hookup is via very high quality and durable gold-plated binding posts. Enjoy the Music.com has reviewed the Aaron No.1.a integrated amplifier and No. 3 Millennium power amplifier.

 

Tributaries 4AB Balanced Audio XLR CableTributaries Series 2 and 4 interconnect cables, which utilize technology derived from the Clarus Series, surpasses the performance of its predecessors (Series 3 and 5) according to the company. Tributaries has made major changes in the construction of the audio cables by changing the coaxial design to a perfect twisted pair geometry with solid conductors. The result is a more accurate signal transfer. Tributaries digital and video cables employ a 75-Ohm coaxial design with an upgraded solid conductor for a higher level of performance. The cosmetics of the cable and connectors of the have been designed to elevate these cables to a new level of elegance. "We are excited with the performance of the Series 4 cables," said Joe Perfito, President of Tributaries Cable. "We're also proud to say these products are made in the USA, allowing us to offer a superior level of quality control." In addition to the Series 4 standard cable models of analog RCA audio, subwoofer mono / Y cables, TosLink optical, digital audio and analog video, Tributaries is now offering a lower-cost solution for XLR balanced audio. The Series 4AB is a true balanced audio cable terminated with high quality XLR connectors. For 2-meter lengths, the Tributaries 4AB cable in XLR balanced configuration is $125, 4A unbalanced is $58, and 4AD is $38. For subwoofer duties, Tributaries 4S is $43 while the TosLink optical 4AO is $52. Composite video model 4V is $38. Enjoy the Music.com's world premiere review of the Clarus Crimson bi-wire loudspeaker cable is at this link. Our Enjoy the Music.TV interview with Joe Perfito of Clarus is below.


Click here if you can't see the above video.

 

Industry News 10 Years Ago
In an unprecedented turn of events, a California federal appeals court has ruled that the makers of file sharing software Grokster and KaZaA are not liable for those who use said software to share copyrighted materials. Naturally the MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America) and RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) are already claiming this new ruling will drastically hurt their industry. This is a very important ruling as companies that make viable software for legitimate intent should not be held accountable for those who use it for illegal purposes. Mitch Bainwol, RIAA Chairman and CEO, said "This decision does nothing to absolve these businesses from their responsibility as corporate citizens to address the rampant illegal use of their networks. We will continue to pursue legislative solutions and legal actions to address the ongoing illegal activity facilitated by Grokster and other P2P services." While the RIAA is holding steadfast in reporting on piracy and file sharing and proclaiming how it hurts their interests, they have not reported on the recent Nielsen SoundScan report showing that music sales are up 7 percent year to date for the first half of 2004.

 

08 / 19 / 14

Futuresource Consulting  Futuresource Consulting reports that streaming music subscriptions will exceed $3 billion within USA and Western Europe in 2014. They says that paid-for streaming music subscription services have experienced significant growth in both the USA and key markets in Western Europe. Paid-for subscribers in these areas are expected to double to over $20 million in 2014 compared to 2012 according to Futuresource Consulting's research. "Global consumer spend on streaming services in the US and Western Europe - excluding personalized radio services - reached almost $1.9 billion in 2013, with 59% growth expected this year to reach an estimated $3 billion, with most users using service provider apps on smartphones or tablets to access and play out music," says David Sidebottom, Senior Market Analyst at Futuresource Consulting. "Packaged music declines have eased in some countries, but continue to show signs of weakness," says Sidebottom. "Japan and Germany continue to have a strong affiliation to packaged media compared to other countries, combined they accounting for over 50% of total global spend on packaged music." They also say that wireless audio hardware is in the "driving seat" as devices like wireless speakers are key to the development of streaming music subscription services. They provide an additional layer to the user experience beyond a personal listening experience via headphones or a standard docking station according to the company. The press release goes on to say, "While the coming of age of paid-for streaming subscriptions in a number of countries has helped stabilize overall consumer spend, it has also stifled growth in PPD albums and singles from services such as iTunes."

 

Calyx Audio MCalyx Audio debuted their M ($999) within the USA, which is a DSD capable and asynchronous 32-bit/384kHz high-resolution handheld portable music player. The M also does double duty as a DAC converter, and the custom-designed software allows users browse and create playlists on the go. The Calyx M offers users the ability to store up to 448 GB worth of music with one SD and one Micro SD card slot. Digital conversion is handled by the ESS Labs ES9018S-2M chip then sent to a discrete Class A analog output stage. The micro USB input allows the M to be used as a stand alone, asynchronous digital-to-analog converter with the ability to play back virtually any file type, including DSD, 128DSD, DXD and 32-bit/384KHz. It has a 4.65" Gorilla glass HD OLED screen that is responsive, rugged and reliable. Analog controlled digital volume mechanism provides precise channel balance. There is a 3.5mm stereo headphone output jack and the unit is precision-milled from highly durable aluminum. Their M:USE proprietary user interface is intuitive, attractive and feature packed. Selectable output impedance matching provides for low, medium, and high sensitivity headphones or IEMs. Frequency response is from 20 Hz to 32 kHz, THD+N is 0.0008% and channel separation is 130dB with a dynamic range of 114dB. Analog output is up to 1.25 Volts RMS at 16 Ohms. Physically, the unit is 5.3" x 2.75" x 0.58" and it weighs 8.1 ounces.

 

08 / 15 / 14

California Audio Show 2014  Enjoy the Music.com's live coverage of the California Audio Show has begun! CAS celebrates music, life and audio at the iconic San Francisco Bay Area's Westin Hotel. With San Francisco being home to the ever-present Silicon Valley crowd, you can come experience the vibrant energy put forth by avid and enthusiastic music lovers who demand the very best. Attendees can enjoy top quality home audio products and there is a Headmasters section dedicated to headphones for high-end audio. You can see Enjoy the Music.com's live daily CAS 2014 show coverage right now at this link.

 

08 / 13 / 14

Emm Labs_TSDX and DAC2X  EMM Labs and Meitner Audio MDAT2 DSP update is now available. More than a year in development and testing, EMM Labs and Meitner Audio's MDAT2 DSP update takes all their current DAC platforms (DAC2X, XDS1 V2, MA-1, and MA-2) to that next level in audio performance. MDAT is their high performance multi-award winning DSP engine. It takes all digital audio (PCM and DSD) and does real-time transient filtering and up-conversion to 2xDSD (5.6/6.1 MHz) before being sent to Ed Meitner's proprietary custom made 2xDSD (5.6/6.1 MHz) DACs (MDAC modules) for conversion to analog. With MDAT processing, there is said to be no pre and post ringing, which is why the company feels their MDAT is unlike any other processing technology. This is the company's unique ability to preserve the phase, frequency and dynamic integrity of the waveform. Within the MDAT2 they have built an improved new DSP engine with increased sonic detail from all digital audio streams (PCM and DSD) using new high-resolution algorithms. EMM Labs and Meitner Audio have time and frequency response filters that are greatly optimized plus a new signal processing engine that is built for very high-precision audio up-sampling (2xDSD up-conversion). They feel it is akin to supercharging the DAC. Audible improvements include higher accuracy, transparency, soundstage, and low level detail. Current EMM Labs DAC2X and XDS1 V2 or Meitner Audio MA-1 and MA-2 product owners should contact their dealer or distributor to schedule the update.

 

Industry News 10 Years Ago
Jazz lovers are celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Newport Jazz Festival. Scheduled for August 14th and 15th (2004), this Festival has achieved world acclaim with truly outstanding musicians having performed over the years. To try to list them all would take pages upon pages. For 2004 attendees may enjoy performances by pianists George Shearing and Marian McPartland; trumpeters Clark Terry and Jon Faddis; saxophonists Michael Brecker, Ravi Coltrane, and Branford Marsalis; as well as violinist Regina Carter and the Mingus Big Band. Dave Brubeck will lead a tribute to Martin Luther King while Harry Connick Jr. will perform at the Newport Casino.

 

08 / 12 / 14

Astell&Kern PEM11  Astell&Kern have just released their PEM11 cradle/docking station ($249.99) for their popular AK100 II & AK120 II portable media player. Made from high-quality aluminum, the PEM11 docking stand is a great desktop accessory for AK100 II & AK120 II as it charged the battery and provides easy hookup to your USB port. Full battery charging and USB DAC functions are accessible via the Micro USB cable. PEM11 uses an upgraded USB cable from ALO Audio with a double ground structure - the USB cable is composed of five lines: two data lines, two power lines and one ground. Built from solid machined aluminum, the same material as the body of their players, the dock is embossed with the Astell&Kern logo on front and rear. The dock has five different angles of adjustable with a non-slip rubber base. Dimensions are 2.8" x 4.9" x 2.4" (WxHxD) and it weighs 11.9 ounces. The data section of the cable uses 28awg silver plated OFC copper, whilst the cable power conductors are 20awg silver plated OFC copper. You can see Enjoy the Music.com's review of the award-winning AK120 at this link and our review of their AK240 at this link.

 

Enjoy the Music.com's upcoming September Review Magazine issue will feature our annual Blue Note Awards plus we are offering manufacturers another chance to chine in within an article. Our August Review Magazine featured your comments concerning the RCA connector. Within the September issue, we are asking you to chime in concerning the importance of the power supply within your products. Please keep your notes to under 400 words and you may send us an image or two as well. We welcome your experience and wisdom on the importance of the power supply and what your company is doing to ensure clean power is feeding your product(s). Simply e-mail us with your remarks for possible publication within Enjoy the Music.com's September Review Magazine.

 

HiDiamond HDX2 Power Distributor And FilterHiDiamond's new HDX1 and HDX2 power distribution networks represent the company's no compromise solution for your high fidelity audio system. The HDX2 (pictured here) uses a powerful filter network and a display to check the actual voltage and the amperage. Special star wiring and cables that use HiDiamond's 4VRC technology are included within this design. The HDX2 sheet steel enclosure is made with a black oven-painted textured finish. Internally, a network filter suppresses RFI within a double shielded 'cell'. The 10 ampere unipolar circuit breaker switch is resetable and the front power switch handles upwards of 16 amperes. There is a surge suppressor for over-voltage via a gas discharger by Siemens. on the rear of the unit are five high quality Schuko or six USA sockets depending on 120V or 240V power configuration.

 

According to the New York Times article, a Brazilian bus magnate is buying a massive amount of vinyl records from all around the world. "In an office near the back of his 25,000-square-foot warehouse in São Paulo, Zero Freitas, 62, slipped into a chair, grabbed one of the LPs stacked on a table and examined its track list. He wore wire-rimmed glasses, khaki shorts and a Hard Rock Cafe T-shirt; his gray hair was thin on top but curled along his collar in the back. Studying the song list, he appeared vaguely professorial. In truth, Freitas is a wealthy businessman who, since he was a child, has been unable to stop buying records. "I've gone to therapy for 40 years to try to explain this to myself," he said. The articles goes on to say, "Freitas's desire to own all the music in the world is clearly tangled up in something that, even after all these years, remains tender and raw. Maybe it's the nostalgia triggered by the songs on that first Roberto Carlos album he bought, or perhaps it stretches back to the 200 albums his parents kept when he was small — a microcollection that was damaged in a flood long ago but that, as an adult, he painstakingly recreated, album by album."

 

08 / 08 / 14

California Audio Show 2014 The California Audio Show starts next Friday as it celebrates music, life and audio at the iconic San Francisco Bay Area's Westin Hotel. With San Francisco being home to the ever-present Silicon Valley crowd, you can come experience the vibrant energy put forth by avid and enthusiastic music lovers who demand the very best. Attendees can enjoy top quality home audio products and there is a Headmasters section dedicated to headphones for high-end audio. Enjoy the Music.com's daily live show coverage begins the very first day of the California Audio Show.

 

08 / 07 / 14

David Bowie Is  A new film titled David Bowie Is presents the blockbuster exhibition that is coming to the United States of America movie theaters for exclusive screenings on Tuesday, September 23, 2014. A documentary film of the groundbreaking exhibition David Bowie Is, created by the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) in London, will be screened in movie theaters across the USA on September 23 to coincide with the exhibition opening at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago (MCA). A select 100 theaters across the US will exclusively screen the film. Described by The Times as "stylish & outrageous" and The Guardian as "a triumph", the exhibition features a remarkable collection of photographs, stage costumes, and other rare possessions from the David Bowie Archive. The exhibition was the fastest selling in the V&A's history and is now on a global tour that has already traveled to Toronto, Sao Paulo, and Berlin to universal acclaim, opening next at the MCA in Chicago until January 4, 2015. The film takes the audience on an extraordinary journey through the David Bowie is exhibition with special guests including legendary Japanese fashion designer Kansai Yamamoto, Pulp front-man Jarvis Cocker, and other collaborators, to explore the stories behind some of the key objects that document Bowie's artistic career. The exhibition curators, Victoria Broackes and Geoffrey Marsh, provide fascinating insight into the most memorable music videos and original costumes, as well as more personal items such as never-before-seen handwritten lyrics, album cover artwork, set designs and diary entries, which reveal the creativity and evolution of Bowie's ideas.

 

08 / 06 / 14

Audioengine B1 Bluetooth Music Receiver  Audioengine's new B1 premium Bluetooth music receiver ($189) is a high-fidelity audio component that easily integrates into your music system and plays music directly from your library or streams from any app. The B1 streams high-quality audio from your Bluetooth-enabled smartphone, computer, or tablet to any music system or powered speakers. The B1 is a simple way to get great-sounding wireless music from your device out to any music system. The Audioengine B1 Bluetooth Receiver including aptX, 24-bit upsampling DAC, and extended range. "No longer is Bluetooth a one-room wireless solution with mediocre audio quality" says Audioengine Director, Dave Evans. "The simplified setup of the B1, longer-range wireless and incredible sound all make B1 a game-changer. Our goal was to take Bluetooth to the next level and we feel the B1 exceeds our expectations - and we hope our customers agree." We've provided front and rear photos here so you can see " Audioengine's B1 uses Bluetooth 4.0 with aptX codec and supports A2DP and AVRCP too. Outputs include stereo analog via RCA, digital TosLink optical (S/PDIF), and operation range is up to 100ft. For internal DAC, the 24-bit AKM AK4396 chipset ensures top-quality sound. To further sound quality, there are three-stages of redundant power regulation. Signal to noise is >100dB with a very low THD+N of <0.02%. Overall frequency response is from 10 Hz to 20 kHz and channel crosstalk is >-86dB. Dimensions are 3.5" x 4.0" x 1" and the unit weighs 1 lb.

 

The Cable Company's Summer Against HungerThe Cable Company's 19th Annual Summer Against Hunger event is now in full swing as 50 to 100 percent of the money you spend on your stereo in August can be put to work for humanitarian relief efforts. Once again this August, when you purchase their sponsors' products, the Cable Company, it's sponsoring vendors, and other CARE donors will send an amount equal to your purchase to CARE. Purchase all other products from The Cable Company (and UsedCable.com) and an amount equal to half of your purchase goes to CARE. Here's the math: The Cable Company donates 5% of each purchase to CARE. This amount is matched by participating vendors for sales of their products. Two anonymous donors will match this combined contribution from The Cable Company and it's participating vendors. When this total amount is donated to a CARE project, CARE will secure other donations for the entire amount of Cable Company purchases. For purchases of brands not on the Sponsors list below, and for all purchases of used products from The Cable Company and UsedCable.com, there is no vendor match, but all of the other matching funds outlined above will apply. This will result in a minimum of 1/2 of the actual purchase amount benefiting CARE.

 

Industry News 10 Years Ago
Nielsen SoundScanThe Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) should be overjoyed as Nielsen SoundScan, who tracks sales of music throughout the United States and Canada each week from over 14,000 retailers, is proclaiming that music album sales are up 7 percent year to date. Music sales for the first half of 2004 reached 305.7 million units as compared to 285.9 million during the first half of 2003. Audiophiles take note as one of the top sellers for 2004, reaching 3.1 million units, is Norah Jones' Feels Like Home.

 

 

 
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