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


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09 / 28 / 16

OPPO HA-2SE Headphone Amp, 384kHz/32-bit DAC & Phone Charger
OPPO HA-2SE Headphone Amp, 384kHz/32-bit DAC & Phone ChargerContinuing the pursuit of innovation and value for customers, OPPO Digital has just introduced an updated version of the award-winning HA-2 portable headphone amplifier and DAC, HA-2SE. Aesthetically, the HA-2SE continues the HA-2's elegant style and design - genuine leather casing with contrast stitching and beveled aluminum edges. Inside, the digital-to-analog converter (DAC) chip is upgraded to the ES9028Q2M, the top-of-the-line from ESS Technology's SABRE32 Reference series for portable designs. The headphone amplifier is further optimized for very sensitive In-Ear Monitors, with a lower noise floor and higher signal-to-noise ratio over the HA-2. OPPO's HA-2SE headphone amplifier and DAC is engineered to enhance music playback from mobile phones and portable music players. Featuring hybrid Class AB amplification and a USB DAC, the HA-2SE offers high performance digital-to-analog conversion for Apple's iPhone/iPod products, a wide range of Android devices, PC and Mac computers. Equipped with a 3000mAh internal battery and OPPO's patented safe rapid charging technology, the HA-2SE may be conveniently used to charge mobile devices on-the-go and can itself be efficiently charged in 30 minutes. High-Res Audio is easily handled at PCM audio up to 384kHz/32-bit and DSD audio up to 12MHz (DSD256 or DSD4x). No Camera Connection Kit required for high-resolution playback from iOS devices. Those of you with the new Apple iPhone can rejoice as this unit is an ideal companion and provides improved sound quality over the adapter that comes with the iPhone 7, and its ability to charge the phone while you listen to music resolves the issues arising from Apple's removal of the 3.5 mm headphone jack. Enjoy the Music.com has reviewed the OPPO PM-3 planar magnetic headphones and HA-2 amp/DAC at this link.

 

09 / 27 / 16

Zesto Audio Andros Téssera Phonostage Has Four Phono Inputs
Zesto Audio Andros Téssera Phonostage Has Four Phono InputsZesto Audio's new Andros Téssera Phonostage ($12,000 ) is aptly named as it is designed to work with up to four different tonearms or turntables. The Andros Téssera is built with a passion for analog, designed with 100% tube circuitry and no solid-state devices anywhere in the signal path, as well as all switching is done with reed relays. New features include true transformer balance outputs driven by dedicated output tubes. The Andros Téssera has a new circuit design that is partnered with significantly upgraded for Zesto Audio larger MC step-up transformers to capture the most delicate signals in the vinyl LP's grooves. The Téssera is designed with two completely independent dual mono channels that can accommodate one MM and one MC per channel. It is easily adjustable "on the fly" 12 position MC load per channel without clicks or pops, so you can hear the changes, as well as save the settings when you switch between tonearms. One of the unique features is the four MC ground switches which helps to eliminate those noisy ground loops. The dual chassis design includes linear regulated power supplies with an extra-long three meter umbilical cable incorporating special RFI suppression for lower black levels.

 

09 / 26 / 16

Dealer Visit: YG Acoustics XV Loudspeaker
Review & Dealer Visit: YG Acoustics $266,000 XV Loudspeaker
Cutting-edge loudspeakers for the very wealthy music lover.
Review By Rick Becker

 

John Foxx's Cathedral Oceans Limited Edition Vinyl LP Box Set
John Foxx's Cathedral Oceans Limited Edition Vinyl LP Box SetJohn Foxx, the original frontman of Ultravox and subsequently as a feted solo artist, is said to be one of the most eminent exponents of electronic and ambient music. His new release titled Cathedral Oceans is his epic trilogy, released as a deluxe five vinyl LP box set. This very special deluxe 12 X 12 book set is to be released on September 30th and marks the first time this trilogy of Cathedral Oceans (1997), Cathedral Oceans II (2003) and Cathedral Oceans III (2005) are offered together on vinyl. The music is spread over five 12" LPs and is accompanied by 12" x 12" art print and a book containing Foxx's stunning images and passages from his novel The Quiet Man, all of which is encased in a deluxe hardback book set. Every copy of this limited edition run of 750 is hand numbered. Aphex Twin, Gary Numan, Juan Atkins, The Orb, Junior Boys, Vincent Gallo, Simple Minds, Clint Mansell, Duran Duran, LoneLady and Gazelle Twin have all cited Foxx as a big influence. The avant-garde pianist Harold Budd attended a performance of Cathedral Oceans several years ago and was so moved by it that he collaborated with Foxx on two albums (Translucence and Drift Music). Cathedral Oceans is a project whose recording began in 1983, but the gestation period was even longer. "Cathedral Oceans started when I was kid, when I sang in a choir briefly," said John Foxx. "During that time I became very interested in the way that sound worked in big spaces, churches particularly. I learned a lot of things there but I didn't understand a lot of what I'd actually learned until later. And when I started recording I'd almost forgotten about all that until I started using echoes and reverberations, and then I realized that I could use some of that to simulate things that happened when I was singing in churches back then, and use that old knowledge of how a single voice in a massive space behaves. It really inspired the juxtaposition of old style church music with modern technology and synthesizers creating notional space, rather than real space." You can reserve your copy of John Foxx's Cathedral Oceans limited edition vinyl LP set via Amazon at this link.

 

09 / 23 / 16

Is Facebook Going To Offer Hi-Res Music Streaming?
Is Facebook Going To Offer Hi-Res Music Streaming?Popular social media website Facebook may be ready to enter the online music sector as they are seeking to hire a Director of Global Music Licensing Partnerships. With over 1,700,000,000 monthly active users to date, Facebook was built to help people connect and share. To date Facebook has already licensed Warner Music's Slideshow that adds soundtracked photo albums and videos with music. Facebook has already acquired other entities including music video app Eyegroove. Since no major mainstream player has offered high-resolution streaming music, could Facebook be the first to bring music lovers from decades old lossy MP3 streaming into a subscription based modern Hi-Res Audio consumer? To quote the job listing, "...over the last decade our tools have played a critical part in changing how people around the world communicate with one another. With over a billion people using the service and more than fifty offices around the globe, a career at Facebook offers countless ways to make an impact in a fast growing organization. Facebook is seeking a Director of Global Music Licensing who is passionate about the changing music ecosystem, technology and supporting our goal of connecting people through social media, the mobile eco-system and business strategy. This role will lead Facebook's strategy and negotiations with music labels and publishing / performing rights organizations, as well as collaborate with our product and media partnerships teams to ensure a coordinated and best-in-class licensing structure. The position is full-time and based in our main office in Menlo Park. Lead music licensing strategy and negotiations with rights holders throughout the world Work with Facebook product and partnerships teams to ensure a comprehensive music strategy that supports our efforts to make the world more connected on Facebook Represent Facebook in meetings with music industry executives from other companies globally Be a source of deep insights about the music ecosystem and partners to our executives Execute in an intense, fast-paced, and highly iterative environment."

 

09 / 22 / 16

Linn Klimax DS Upgrade Is Their Best DAC Architecture To Date
Linn Klimax DS UpgradeLinn has just introduced their fourth generation DAC architecture to deliver the company's best performance to date. The all-new Klimax DS substantially enhances the performance of Linn's previous offerings with this new in-house digital-to-analogue conversion technology: Katalyst DAC Architecture. According to Linn, "Katalyst takes an unprecedented level of control over the critical elements that lie at the heart of the analogue signal's creation, to deliver the most accurate reproduction ever from a digital source." Five key aspects have been improved utilizing Linn's deep understanding of the entire digital-to-analog process and these include that this architecture is completely isolated from noise to produce a high-stability input Reference Level that generates the signal's amplitude without variation. Independent power supplies are isolated and tailored for each process, so feedback from one process cannot influence the performance of another. This is said to produce far lower distortion. A data optimization stage prepares the digital signal for conversion with greater accuracy than previous Linn offerings, thus minimizing errors right at the start of the process. A single master clock with high precision plus its own independent power supply ensures greater timing accuracy throughout. Linn's new ultra-low distortion analog output driver prepares the delicate analog signal for transmission out of the device, making it less susceptible to noise and degradation. Also of note is that all Linn DSMs from the Majik, Akurate and Klimax ranges, including Exakt DSMs, will now ship with the latest HDMI 2.0 support. This enables UHD 4K and HDR video pass-through, as well as compatibility with HDCP 2.2 encryption, ARC (audio return channel) and CEC (consumer electronics control). HDMI 2.0 is also available as an upgrade for existing owners. Linn's new Klimax DS and Klimax DSM featuring Katalyst DAC Architecture are available today in silver or black anodized finishes, with upgrades available for current owners. Pricing is as follows: Klimax DS $23,375, Klimax DSM $27,500, Klimax DS upgrade $5720, and Klimax DSM upgrade $6160.

 

M2Tech Evo PhonoDAC Two Includes ADC, DAC And Preamplifier
M2Tech Evo PhonoDAC Two M2Tech's new Evo PhonoDAC Two (€1525) makes the analog and digital audio worlds meet. The Evo PhonoDAC Two is extremely versatile and can be used as a phono stage, DAC, ADC, and preamplifier. It's analog stereo input driver is via a high-performance ES9102S analog-to-digital converter through a front-end which can be set for gain and input impedance. The digital signal obtained by digitizing the analog input may be equalized, after user's needs, and then sent to a computer by means of the Evo PhonoDAC Two's USB port (ripping), as well as to the internal ES9018K2M DAC that drives the M2Tech Evo PhonoDAC Two's analog output. The DAC can also be driver by the computer, again by the USB port, and by another digital source such as a CD player via the provided S/PDIF coaxial input. The same coaxial input can also be used as external clock input to maximize performance. A remote control allows for operating DAC volume, balance and mute, as well as input selection analog, USB, and coax. It also allows for accessing the menu to set various parameters (e.g. the front-end gain and the equalization curve). Thanks to its versatility, the M2Tech Evo PhonoDAC Two may also be used as preamplifier, connecting the computer, a digital source and an analog one, to drive a power amplifier or a pair of powered speakers. ADC sampling frequencies are from 44.1 to 384 kHz @ 16 to 32 bits whilst the DAC sampling frequencies are from 44.1 to 384 kHz @ 16 to 32 bit, DSD64, DSD128, and DSD256. Input gain is from 0 to 63 dB.

 

09 / 21 / 16

RIAA: Music Streaming Up 57% YoY, Vinyl Sales Down 6% By Value
RIAA: Music Streaming Up 57% YoY, Vinyl Sales Down 6% By ValueAccording to the RIAA, the trade organization that supports and promotes the creative and financial vitality of the major music companies that accounts for nearly 85% of all legitimate recorded music produced and sold in the United States, "For the first half of 2016, strong growth in revenues from subscription streaming services more than offset declines in unit based sales of physical and digital music download products. Overall revenues at retail increased 8.1% on a year-over-year basis to $3.4 billion, the strongest industry growth since the late 1990's. At wholesale, value increased 5.7% to $2.4 billion. Revenues from streaming services continued to grow strongly both in dollars and share of total revenues. First half (1H) 2016 streaming music revenues totaled $1.6 billion, up 57% year-over-year, and accounted for 47% of industry revenues compared with 32% in 1H 2015. This category includes revenues from subscription services (such as Apple Music, TIDAL and paid versions of Spotify, among others), streaming radio service revenues that are distributed by SoundExchange (like Pandora, SiriusXM, and other Internet radio), and other non-subscription on-demand streaming services (such as YouTube, Vevo, and ad-supported Spotify).

Paid subscriptions experienced massive growth in the first half of 2016. The entrance of new services like Apple Music and TIDAL, and growth from services like Spotify Premium, helped both revenues and the number of paid subscriptions more than double versus the prior year. First half revenues from subscription music streaming services surpassed $1 billion for the first time, growing 112% to $1.01 billion. Subscriptions alone accounted for 30% of industry revenues for the first half of 2016, and the number of paid subscriptions grew 101% to average 18.3 million for the same period. The revenue growth from subscriptions alone more than offset the declines from physical sales and permanent digital downloads.

All three formats of streaming music had revenue growth in the first half of 2016. SoundExchange distributions grew 4% to $403 million, an all-time high for the first half of the year. On-demand ad-supported streaming grew 24% y-o-y to $195 million. The total value of digitally distributed formats was $2.7 billion – up 16% compared to the 1H of 2015. Digital accounted for 80% of the overall market by value, compared with 74% for 1H 2015 (note Synchronization excluded from this figure). Revenues from permanent digital downloads (including albums, single tracks, videos, and kiosk sales) declined 17% to $1.0 billion for the first half of 2016. Digital albums continued the trend of outperforming individual tracks. The total value of digital albums was $500 million, down 11% versus the same period the prior year, and digital album units were down 15% to 48.2 million. Digital track sales declined by value 22% to $520 million, with sales volume down 22% to 432 million units. The total value of shipments in physical formats was $672 million, down 14% versus 1H 2015. CDs made up 66% of total physical shipments by value. Vinyl albums were down 6% by value for the first half of the year, and accounted for 31% of physical shipments by value. Synchronization royalties were $100 million for the first half of the year, virtually flat versus 1H 2015. These first half 2016 results illustrate the emergence of paid subscriptions as a primary revenue driver for the United States music industry. For the first time, paid subscriptions were virtually on-par with paid downloads as the biggest single format revenue source. Streaming became the overall largest revenue contributor by a wide margin."

 

09 / 20 / 16

CanJam Europe At The Congress Center West of Messe Essen, Germany
CanJam Europe At The Congress Center West of Messe Essen, GermanyThis weekend is CanJam Europe is where more than 100 brands will present their new and highlight products in Essen, Germany. CanJam Europe offers the unique opportunity to try more than 1000 products including headphones, amplifiers, sources and accessories. Visitors can sit at a table with exhibitors and can try every device on display. CanJam Europe is aimed at hi-fi and headphone enthusiasts, professional users as well as interested novices looking for portable audio bliss. German powerhouse Sennheiser presents their HE1/Orpheus – the world's most expensive headphone – as well as brand-new models of the HD 500 range or the PXC noise-cancelling headphones. Local competitors Beyerdynamic are bringing their new monitor and hi-fi headphones DT 1770 and DT 1990 as well as the new range of Byron earphones. American company Shure has its new electro-static earphone KSE1500 and their portable DAC/headphone combo SHA900 at the show. Audeze will have the world's first full-range planar magnetic earphone range iSine. In addition to commercial exhibitors, private headphone enthusiast will show their lovingly curated, often modified setups and invite like-minded hobbyists to talk shop. The CanJam Europe is hosted at Congress Center West of Messe Essen, Germany.

 

09 / 19 / 16

Rocky Mountain International Audio Fest 2016 Show Is Coming Soon
Rocky Mountain International Audio Fest 2016 Show ReportThe Rocky Mountain International Audio Fest (RMAF) takes place at the Denver Marriott Tech Center Hotel from October 7th through the 9. Enjoy the Music.com is proud to celebrate our 13 years of reporting on the highly popular RMAF show. Rocky Mountain International Audio Fest 2016 and CanJam Denver 2016 have once again teamed up to feature high-end, high fidelity audio equipment and portable audio. The RMAF and CanJam 2015 show will feature an abundance of products sure to resonated with everyone. The 13th Annual Rocky Mountain International Audio Fest (RMAF 2016) is the largest consumer audio and home entertainment show within the Mid-West United States. Denver's own audio wonderland will feature over 160 exhibit spaces representing more than 400 companies from North and South America, Europe, Australia and Asia. "RMAF has a full slate of booked exhibitors for both the two-channel and CanJam features of the show, alongside a host of industry vendors. The show is packed to the gills! We can't thank the audio community enough for coming together to generously support us. We are also grateful to the Marriott DTC for their dedication to housing an exemplary show, despite challenges due to the ongoing renovations. Thanks to the Marriott and our exhibitors, the annual Audio Fest is slated for another enormously successful show October 7th through 9th, 2016."

 

09 / 18 / 16

Hong Kong Audio Visual Expo 2016 Report: 18 Pages With 180 Photos
Hong Kong Audio Visual Expo Report 2016Enjoy the Music.com has just completed posted our Hong Kong Audio Visual Expo 2016 show report with over 180 photos spanning 18 pages! As one of Asia's most representative annual high-end consumer electronics events organized by Hong Kong Audio Technique magazine, the 2016 show was held at Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (Wan Chai, Hong Kong) and spanned three floors totaling 80,000 square feet of display area. Naturally source material included CD, DVD, and other digital formats plus vinyl LP and a few reel-to-reel units too! Check out what was at the Hong Kong Audio Visual Expo 2016 show at this link.

 

09 / 17 / 16

Hegel Röst Stereo Integrated Amplifier With DAC And IP Control
Hegel Röst Stereo Integrated Amplifier With DAC And IP ControlHegel's Röst (~$3000) is the worlds first high-end integrated stereo amplifier with built-in Control4 software. This brings new possibilities to people with home automation solutions and provides a fully open IP-controllable device. Hegel says the "Röst is one of the best amplifiers we have ever made. In short, it is an H360 with less output transistors and a DAC borrowed from the H160. But it also has a better memory, a headphone output and certain tweaks to further improve the sonics. It also incorporates the new SoundEngine modules, allowing even less distortion and a damping factor of over 2000." Design-wise, the Röst retains Hegel's classic curves with a chassis that has a smooth white lacquered finish. There is also a new OLED display (also white) that shows off more information compared to other Hegel products. The display's white OLED panel is slightly dimmed so it does not interfere in a dark room. It can also be switched off as well. The display shows the current status of the amplifier as well as network status and sampling rate (on digital inputs only). Producing 75 Watt per channel at 8 Ohms, this stereo unit has inputs including balanced XLR, unbalanced RCA, and home theater. Analog outputs include variable line level RCA. Digital inputs feature S/PDIF coaxial, three TosLink optical, USB, and Ethernet. For IP control, there is Ethernet for combined control and audio streaming. Frequency response is from 5Hz to 180kHz with a signal-to-noise ratio of more than 100dB. Dimensions are 3.94" x 16.93" x 12.20" (HxWxD) and weight is 26 lbs.

 

09 / 16 / 16

Reference Recordings' Professin' The Blues By Fiona Boyes
Reference Recordings' Professin' The Blues By Fiona BoyesReference Recordings' Professin' The Blues by Fiona Boyes (RR-140) expresses passion for the Blues as she celebrates the unique contribution of recording and mastering engineer 'Professor' Keith O. Johnson. In her self-penned and illustrated liner notes Fiona makes the declaration, "'Professor' Keith's amazing approach to capturing sounds, mostly with his own hand built equipment, is nothing short of sonic alchemy". Australian Blues guitarist, vocalist, and songwriter Fiona Boyes has been recording and performing for more than 25 years, building a career that has taken her to major festivals and stages around the world. A veteran recording artist with 13 releases, she has received five Blues Music Award nominations in four different categories from the Blues Foundation in Memphis, more than 30 Australian music awards, worldwide accolades and legions of supporters. Fiona's immersion in the rich musical and historical traditions that make up the Blues lend conviction and authenticity to both her guitar work and songwriting. Her abundant talent, artistic sincerity and musical integrity are a beacon. Professin' The Blues by Fiona Boyes will be available October 14, 2016 in HDCD, 176.4kHz/24-bit high resolution download, HRx optical disc (176.4kHz/24-bit WAV) and premium vinyl LP.

 

09 / 15 / 16

Contest! Your Chance To Win Over $700 In Kimber Kable Products!
Contest! Your Chance To Win Over $700 In Kimber Kable Products!Enjoy the Music.com is honored to join with Kimber Kable for our September contest. Their very first products were the braided 8 wire and 16 wire speaker cables. Recently Kimber Kable has warmly embraced bringing great sound to the headphone community with their new AXIOS series of cables. Kimber Kable employs very pure copper and silver wire in hand assembling each cable in Utah, USA. This month's contest gives away over $700 in hand-crafted products especially designed for the avid music lover within us all. The winner of Enjoy the Music.com's Kimber Kable contest will receive a Timbre 1-meter pair with Ultraplate connectors, 8VS 8' pair with SBANs connectors and PK10 Base 6' cable with WattGate evo connectors! To learn more and enter for your chance to win click here.

 

Amazon.com Now Offers Selected Brands Of High-End Audio Gear
Amazon.com High-End Audio GearBuying high-end audio gear online may not be new, yet longtime e-commerce site Amazon now offers a special section featuring prestigious high-end audio brands. With Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) recently announcing second quarter financial results that increased operating cash flow by 42% to $12.7 billion, they have set they cyber eyes on a new Amazon.com Premium Audio Store. A special selections of home entertainment brands is available, including Devialet, KEF, PS Audio, Marantz, Emotiva, Bang & Olufsen, ELAC, Definitive Technology, Bowers & Wilkins, Peachtree, MartinLogan, Beyerdynamic, HiFiMAN Electronics, B&O Play, and more. Amazon says "These brands have become trusted over time because of their expertise in a wide variety of home entertainment products. Within this long list of brands, you'll be able to find home entertainment products for all your needs, starting with the essential speakers for any home. Our store carries pre-amplifiers, amplifiers, wireless products, CD players, 7.1 theater systems, 5.1 theater systems, in-home installation solutions, DACs, integrated amplifiers, electrostatic speakers, premium headphones, and audiophile gear of all kinds. We also carry a variety of other products that complete your home entertainment system such as receivers, turntables, and more." Due to the nature and care of luxury good items such as high-end audio, Amazon offers pre-sale consultation plus post-sale installation and support. Check out what Amazon has to offer at this link.

 

09 / 14 / 16

Procella Audio Flagship V18 Bass Engine With Dual 18" Drivers
Procella Audio Flagship V18 Bass Engine With Dual 18" DriversIf you love an abundance of deep, tight and tuneful bass, then Procella Audio's new flagship V18 Bass Engine ($7499) features dual 18" subwoofer drivers. Procella's special V-Loaded driver configuration increases output, lowers distortion and improves transient response, with a maximum output of a room shaking 137dB of continuous output (143dB peak!). The Procella Audio V18 easily produces low frequencies down to 18Hz (-3dB). Its sealed-box design utilizes Procella's unique V-Loaded driver configuration, with amplification provided by Procella's DA06-DSP power amplifier. This companion amplifier for the V18, Procella's DA06-DSP, is a two-channel Class D power amplifier that provides 1200 Watts continuous to each driver. Factory-programmed amplifier DSP presets are used to optimize the subwoofer's response and provide compensation for room placement. User-selectable options include subwoofer location against a wall, in a corner, or located in a baffle wall. With 1W/1m sensitivity of 105dB, and power handling of 2 x 1400W continuous and 2 x 2800W peak, the V18 has an extremely high output capability. The 18" hand-made Neodymium subwoofer drivers has 4" voice coils and are produced for Procella by one of Italy's top professional audio driver manufacturers. Each 8 Ohm driver is fed directly from an amplifier channel through gold-plated binding post inputs. Procella Audio's flagship V18 Bass Engine measures 41.3" x 20.5" x 26.375" (WxHxD) and weighs 178.5 lbs.

 

Industry News 15 Years Ago
EMI's Authenticated Music Playback With Protection Features
EMI Recorded Music has teamed up with BayView Systems, a company that develops technology for digital audio/video security, to use their Duolizer technology to protect advance releases of new music. EMI will use the Duolizer system for Garth Brooks upcoming single to thwart pirating while other future releases by many artists will also be protected by the same technology. "Protecting pre-release tracks from music pirates is very important to EMI and our artists," said EMI Recorded Music senior vice president of new media Jay Samit. "BayView Systems technology makes it easy for journalists and radio programmers to access new music without the risk of unwanted leaks." Duolizer only allows authenticated users to hear the full-fidelity of the music by splitting files into two parts -- a large, main file and a much smaller file called the subStream. According to the press release "The subStream is stored on the content owner's server; the large file can be published through any channel (download, streaming, CD, email, peer-to-peer networks) and made available for unrestricted access, copying and sharing. After downloading the large file, the user can listen to it using any player that can handle its native format (e.g., MP3, Windows Media, Real, etc.). Free playback of the large piece under these conditions produces a recognizable, yet altered, version of the original track. Full-fidelity occurs only during authenticated playback when the subStream is streamed from the content owner's server to temporarily combine with the large file -- a complete and pristine audio file exists only during play. Following playback only the large file remains on the listener's computer or device. Because end-users never have a complete copy of the music, the owner's rights are preserved over the life of the file, regardless of the number of times the file is shared or copied."

 

09 / 13 / 16

Von Schweikert Audio UniField 2 MkIII Compact High-End Audio Monitor
Von Schweikert Audio UniField 2 MkIII Compact High-End Audio MonitorVon Schweikert Audio is pleased  to announce their newest loudspeaker, the UniField 2 MkIII ($10,000 per pair). First introduced in 2006, the stand-mount designed UniField 2 has proven extremely popular. So much so, it's earned the distinction of being the highest selling model of any Von Schweikert Audio design since its introduction. The design concept for Von Schweikert Audio's UniField Line is about delivering the highest level of sonic performance and build quality in the smallest footprint for music lovers with limited space. This, in turn, makes it ideal for metropolitan audiophiles or those seeking a second music system within their home. Not only does it enjoy a new cosmetic style, the UnField 2 MkIII is said to offer "a dramatic improvement over its predecessors". "Incorporating trickle down proprietary low-distortion network technology from our latest engineering breakthroughs with the new VSA flagship designs, this three-way loudspeaker offers far superior clarity and tonality while delivering the full-range performance fans have come to expect from this line," says Von Schweikert Audio. To achieve superior bass response, the UniField 2 MkIII uses the transmission line principle tuned to 32Hz (the lowest note on the tympani drum). The concentric tweeter provides thrilling three-dimensional sound staging, while the crossover allows for a seamless transition between the woofer and tweeter. As the "big brother" to the highly reviewed UniField One, the UniField Two MkIII is identical with the exception of the addition of a 7" aluminum-coned Super-Duty subwoofer operating below 80Hz. For the cabinet design, specially engineered 2.75" thick walls consist of 20mm resin impregnated fiberboard, 20mm artificial stone, 20mm rubberized felt, and 5mm vibration-proof adhesive layers. This cabinet wall design is superior to aluminum, plywood, or MDF, based on measurements of panel ringing. Overall frequency response is from 32Hz to 25kHz, sensitivity is 88dB/W/m and impedance is 4 Ohms. Dimensions are 17" x 10" x 14" (HxWxD) and each unit weights 51 lbs. The VSA UniField 2 MkIII is now shipping to stores and is available through VSA's dealers throughout the world.

 

09 / 12 / 16

Save 25% On Macy Gray's New Album Stripped Available At HDtracks
Save 25% On Macy Gray's New Album  Stripped Available At HDtracksYou can save 25% off Macy Gray's new album Stripped, which is now available at HDtracks in Hi-Res Music 192kHz/24-bit, 96kHz/24-bit and CD quality 44.1kHz/16-bit. Simply use the code ENJOYMACY during checkout to receive 25% off. One of the most iconic and instantly recognizable voices in music history is back in a way you've never heard before. Macy Gray makes her Chesky Records debut with her new jazz infused album, Stripped. Paired with an awe inspiring jazz ensemble that includes Ari Hoenig, Daryl Johns, Russell Malone, and Wallace Roney, Macy's voice is given the space and freedom to truly shine. Featuring new original songs, intriguing covers, and stunning new arrangements of her classic hits like "I Try," there's something for everyone on this timeless recording. Macy Gray was born and raised in Ohio, and moved to California for college. She began singing in her 20s and released her multi-platinum debut album, On How Life Is, in 1999, winning a Grammy for her single, "I Try." As part of the Chesky Binaural + Series, all recorded with a single microphone, the band appears right before you with this spacious, lush and multi-dimensional recording. Now headphone users will hear the same three-dimensional sound and imaging as audiophiles have for the past 25 years with Chesky Recordings. Also these new Binaural+ Series albums capture even more spatial realism for the home audiophile market, bringing you one step closer to the actual event. You will hear some of the most natural and pure cool music ever recorded. Simply use the code ENJOYMACY during checkout to receive 25% off.

 

AURALiC Version 4.0 Firmware For ARIES, ARIES LE And ARIES MINI
AURALiC Version 4.0 Firmware For ARIES, ARIES LE And ARIES MINIAURALiC has released version 4.0 of Lightning device firmware for ARIES, ARIES LE and ARIES MINI. The new firmware, which utilizes AURALiC's latest Lightning Playback Engine V2, brings user several new features and massive sound quality improvement. Memory Cache allows streaming device to pre-load music track into system memory to achieve better sound quality. It also helps to improve streaming stability under less ideal network environment. AURALiC streaming products with this new firmware 4.0 will cache the on-playing file data into system memory rather than internal storage (SSD) for maximum sound quality. The AURALiC unit will disable most of idle hardware and software during playback to reduce EMI noise generated by digital circuit. The size of Memory Cache for ARIES and ARIES LE is 512MB, enough to cache most High-Res Music files in regular length at one time. The ARIES MINI has a reduced Memory Cache size of 64MB due to smaller hardware memory. Music files with bigger size will be cached in several segments based on playback progress. Bit-Perfect Group Play, aka 'Party Mode' allows user to create playback zone and play same music tracks on selected devices simultaneously. AURALiC, for the first time in the industry, brings user this function with highest sampling rate support up to DXD (PCM in 32-bit/384kHz) and DSD256 in bit-perfect way without a down-sampling process. AURALiC says that "Bit-Perfect Group Play guaranteed a much higher synchronization precision, with 10 times less error than any of existing wireless multi-room solution." Firmware 4.0 also comes with the High Quality Re-sampler. With current version (3.1) of Lightning DS, ARIES can convert DSD64 music to 24-bit/88.2kHz on the fly by disable 'DSD over PCM' option in the Lightning DS App. The re-sampler will firstly up-sample 1-bit/2.8224MHz DSD signal to 24-bit/2.8224MHz then convert to 24-bit/88.2kHz, minimizing sound quality loss during the conversion. In future version of Lightning DS, user will be able to fully utilize the Resampler by converting between any PCM sampling rate. Firmware 4.0 is available for update free of charge for all existing ARIES, ARIES LE and ARIES MINI customer through AURALiC's automatic online update.

 

09 / 10 / 16

Jadis Adds Five New Vacuum Tube Amplifiers To Their Lineup
JA80 MkII Vacuum Tube AmplifierThere has been a major revision to the Jadis line of amplifiers with five new models now available. New models include the JA500 KT150 Edition 370-Watt Class AB KT150, I-88 90-Watt Class A KT150 integrated, plus monoblocks being their JA30 MkII 45-Watt Class A KT150, JA80 MkII 90-Watt Class A KT150 (pictured) and JA200 MkII 200-Watt Class A KT150. Jadis feels the KT150 is a more powerful tube and its shape allows for better heat dissipation, a better vacuum and reduces problems of microphonics. "Sonically, the KT150 offers better balance and clarity throughout the audio frequency spectrum, improved transparency, outstanding dynamics and powerful, tight, fast bass performance" says a representative if Jadis. The JA30 MkII is an all-new design that delivers 45 Watts in pure Class A with a tube complement of four KT150, and two each ECC82 and ECC83. Jadis' JA80 MkII produces 90 Watts of pure Class A power that may drive all but the most difficult loudspeaker loads with ease and grace while still "delivering the magical Jadis sound". Their special JA200 MkII monoblocks are a four chassis set with both XLR balanced or RCA unbalanced input. Autobias makes operation easy for the user as many KT150 tubes produce 200 Watts in Class A. Jadis' new JA500 is their boldest statement piece that operated in Class AB to deliver 370 Watts and also features both XLR balanced and RCA unbalanced inputs. Biasing of the output tubes is manual yet quite easy to do.

 

Industry News 10 Years Ago
The Who's World Tour: Each Show Available On DVD From The Music
The Music.comLegendary rock band The Who, whose last world tour was decades ago, had their opening night in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (USA). This multi-hour concert launched their new world tour to a sold out crowd. The concert was a huge success with both legendary hits and many new songs from their upcoming album release. Audiophile equipment and music retailer The Music will be the exclusive merchant offering official bootleg DVD copies of this concert, with proceeds going to various charities. Enjoy the Music.com editor Steven R. Rochlin attended this historic event and will be reporting on it within his October editorial within the Review Magazine.

 

09 / 09 / 16

Audioengine Introduces Their HDP6 Premium Passive Speakers
Audioengine Introduces Their HDP6 Premium Passive SpeakersAudioengine introduces their HDP6 premium passive speakers ($499 per pair) that are based on the same look and style as the award-winning HD6 powered speakers. Featuring a proprietary Audioengine 5.5" midrange/woofers built with solid aluminum frames, this advanced Kevlar cone with butyl rubber surrounds are designed to dissipate unwanted resonances. The Ferrofluid-cooled silk dome tweeter takes advantage of powerful neodymium magnet structure to hold up well under high power and produce a smooth response. Audioengine's HDP6 premium passive speakers use a specially engineered 20mm thick MDF cabinet that includes rigid bracing to ensure proper stiffness and mass to clearly and accurately reproduce sound without creating parasitic resonances. Beautiful furniture-grade hardwood veneer finishes with sleek aluminum trim accents are available in Walnut and Cherry. And for a look that blends more deeply into the background, there are custom Satin Black automotive finishes too. Stylish grills are magnetically attach to protect the drivers without affecting the sound. Slotted rear bass ports eliminate wave turbulence and easily transitions low frequency energy from the speaker cabinets into your room. Frequency response is from 50Hz to 22kHz, impedance is 4 Ohms and sensitivity is 88dB/W/m. Of note is that the active version has earned our prestigious annual Blue Note Award in 2016. Enjoy the Music.com has reviewed the Audioengine HD6 Premium Powered Speaker at this link.

 

09 / 08 / 16

Amplifier Technologies, Inc. New AT5XXNC Series Of Amplifiers
Amplifier Technologies, Inc. New AT5XXNC Series Of AmplifiersAmplifier Technologies, Inc. has added a new AT5XXNC series of amplifiers (starting at $1895) that employs the Hypex N-Core Class D output modules with ATI designed input buffers and linear power supplies. This new line is available with two power configurations. The AT52XNC amps are rated at 200W RMS per channel at 8 Ohms with 300W RMS at 4 Ohms and are available with 2 to 8 channels. The AT54XNC amplifiers use two N-Core modules per channel in a differential bridged output configuration delivering 500W RMS per channel at 8 Ohms and 900W RMS at 4 Ohms. The AT54XNC amplifiers are available with 2, 3 or 4 channels. Of note is that these are the first ATI amplifiers to use micro-processor control for turn-on delay and feature automatic AC power recognition and configuration. The amplifiers not only recognize whether they are hooked up to 117V or 230V nominal power, they automatically self-configure. The amplifiers also incorporate a new and novel "sleep" circuit when no input signal is detected for a period of 10 minutes. With a rated distortion level below 0.05% and signal-to-noise ratio of 123dB, each amplifier in the series is capable of playing back the full dynamic range available on today's Hi-Res Music lossless recordings.

 

Industry News 15 Years Ago
The World's First High-End Audio WAP Site In 2001
Enjoy the Music.com WAP SiteAudiophile Internet website Enjoy the Music.com has launched the world's first high-end audio Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) site. Since cell phones do not have web browsers (in 2001), a different type of information technology was deployed to deliver information to cell phone users. "This is the very first time audiophiles with WAP enabled cellular phones and PDA devices have access to an audiophile specialty site," said Steven R. Rochlin, Editor of Enjoy the Music.com. "As we are pioneers employing worldwide information delivery technologies, Enjoy the Music.com will provide news, reviews and other information to our worldwide readership."

 

09 / 07 / 16

Apple W1 Chip, AirPods, Beats Solo3 & Powerbeats3 Wireless Plus BeatsX
Apple W1 Chip, AirPods, Beats Solo3 & Powerbeats3 Wireless Plus BeatsXToday Apple announced the new W1 wireless chip and their upcoming AirPods wireless in-ear monitor ($159), Beats Solo3 Wireless, Powerbeats3 Wireless and BeatsX headphones. While there were no specifics on if this new interface is higher bandwidth than the current Bluetooth or upcoming Bluetooth 5 specifications, Apple does plan to offer a variety of headphones. The new Apple iPhone 7 and 7 Plus will include a Lightning to 3.5mm stereo headphone adapter for those with wired headphones and in-ear monitors. The upcoming AirPods are wireless and rechargeable, providing upwards of five hours on a single charge. The included carrying case provides a total of 24 hours of charge. With only 15 minutes of charging time you can enjoy 3 hours of audio playback. According to Apple, "AirPods provide rich, high-quality AAC audio". We have the complete presentation about the W1 wireless chip for audio offered within their new Apple iPhone 7 and 7 Plus below.

 

Hi-Fi+'s September Magazine Is Now Online
Hi-Fi+ Magazine139 September 2016Hi-Fi+ Magazine's September 2016 issue features Meet Your Maker where they give you a look into Alon Wolf's magic with Magico and Meet Your Dealer where they focus on high-end audio dealerDB HiFi. Equipment reviews include the Aavik Acoustics U-300 Unity integrated amplifier, Analog Domains ISIS 75D integrated amplifier, Cyrus Audio Phono Reference phono stage, T+A Elekroacoustik AMP 8 stereo power amplifier, D'Agostino Momentum integrated amplifier, Prism Sound Callia headphone amplifier / DAC / preamplifier, Echobox Finder X1 earphones, Hegel Audio Systems Mohican CD player, Innuos Zenith Mk II music server, Westone ES-60 custom-fit in-ear monitor, APL DSD-S DAC, Purist Audio Design 30th Anniversary USB cable, and Clearer Audio Silver-Line Optimus Reference interconnect cables. Within his editorial, Alan Sircom says "Amplifiers get something of a bum steer in audio. They are the part that pulls the audio system together, they are complex and diverse components that could just as easily feature a 100 year old tube as a state-of-the-art amplifier module, and they need to cover everything from phono equalisers and built-in DACs to headphone outputs and home theatre bypasses. Yet they are the most prone to 'it all sounds the same' criticisms. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth. With an increasing power supply burden from a range of digital and analogue inputs and outputs being included on an amplifier, the onus is on amp designers not to impose a sonic penalty on the audio system. We are also seeing a remarkable state of flux in amplifier design, both in terms of output device choice, and in terms of what a product might conceivably be connected to today." See what's within this issue of H-Fi+ Magazine at this link.

 

Australian Hi-Fi's September Issue Is Now Available
Australian Hi-Fi Magazine September / October 2016Australian Hi-Fi's September 2016 issue features a very special 32-page advertising lift-out from Advance Audio Australia that highlights all the latest products from such brands as Arcam, Ayre, D'Agostino, dCS, Hegel, KEF, Linn, Wilson Audio and more. Equipment reviews include the Dynaudio Emit M30 loudspeakers, Bel Canto eOne DAC2.7 DAC/Preamplifier, Parasound Halo integrated amplifier, Lavardin IT integrated amplifier, ELAC Debut B6 loudspeakers, Audio-Technica ATH-SR5BT headphones, plus the Mitchell & Johnson HP1 headphones. Within his editorial, Greg Borrowman says "Listening sessions. What are they really for? Contrary to a belief that's unfortunately gaining traction, a listening session is not so you can 'discover new music', listen to whatever's trending at the time, or even to hear your favourite music played to its best advantage. The sole purpose of any listening session, either at a hi-fi show or in a dealer's showroom — when the purpose of the session is solely to evaluate a component, presumably with a view to purchase — is to enable you to hear how accurately a component reproduces the true, unamplified, unprocessed sound of acoustic musical instruments and human voices. In these days of amplified voices and instruments, that's becoming harder to do, but it's not impossible. The reason for using only acoustic instruments and voices is that in order to judge if any hi-fi component is adding or detracting from sound quality, you need to know what that instrument or voice sounds like 'in the flesh'. Instruments that require amplification — electric guitars, synthesisers, and so on — are useless for product evaluation because their 'sound' will vary from musician to musician, and even the same musician will 'tweak' the sound for each performance, so you don't know how they 'should' sound." See what's within this issue of Australian H-Fi at this link.

 

19th Annual Blues Masters At The Crossroads Concert In Kansas
 19th Annual Blues Masters At The Crossroads Concert In KansasThe 19th Annual Blues Masters At The Crossroads takes place October 21st and 22nd in Salina, Kansas. Enjoy the relaxed, Midwestern hospitality of Blue Heaven Studios, a world-class recording studio created in a gothic-style church for Friday's festivities, while on Saturday it takes place at the Stiefel Theatre. Musicians lined up for this year's event at the Blue Heaven Studios includes Cedric Watson and Desiree Champagne, Albert King Tribute with Noah Wotherspoon, Nick Schnebelen and John Del Toro Richardson, A Mississippi Miracle, Bilbo Walker and Sherrod, Terry Harmonica Bean, Leo Bud Welch, RL Boyce, Lightnin' Malcolm, and Sunpie Barnes. On Saturday night at the Stiefel Theatre you can enjoy blues music by King Clarentz, Marquise Knox and Big George Brock, Elvin Bishop and Charlie Musselwhite, Elvin Bishop and Charlie Musselwhite, and Diunna Greenleaf. Purchase tickets to the the Friday night, October 21 show held at Blue Heaven Studios online at AcousticSounds.com or by calling (800) 716-3553. This show is General Admission. To purchase tickets to the Saturday night, October 22 Show (or both nights), visit Stiefel Theatre online at StiefelTheatre.org or by calling (785) 827-1998 as this show is Reserved Seating. As an added bonus, Saturday from 10am to 2pm you can see records pressed at Quality Record Pressings and shop the world's largest selection of audiophile recordings at the Acoustic Sounds warehouse. Curious what the Blues Masters At The Crossroads is all about, then see Enjoy the Music.com / Enjoy the Music.TV live video from the 2014 show below.

 

09 / 06 / 16

Amphion Argon3LS Two-Way Floorstanding Speaker
Amphion Argon3LS Two-Way Floorstanding SpeakerAmphion's Argon3LS floorstanding speaker ($3790 per pair) integrates recording studio technology such as precise 3D imaging, extreme detail, wide sweet spot and musicality. The Argon3LS loudspeakers includes the company's 1" high-resolution tweeter that blends seamlessly with their 6.5" aluminum woofer. This two-way design has a low-crossover point of 1600Hz to aid in "creating a point-source in the most critical range of human hearing, while the waveguide creates a wide and even room-filling, so that the sweet spot is not selfishly limited to the center, but instead provides the same level of music enjoyment across the entire room" says Amphion. In addition to the active drivers, passive radiators are said to eliminate the problems associated with vented enclosures, allowing loudspeakers to be placed close to walls or windows while still providing tight, tuneful bass. Impedance is 8 Ohms, sensitivity is 85dB/Wm and overall frequency response is from 22Hz to 25kHz. Available cabinet colors are standard white, full white, and black, with wood veneers of walnut. Custom orders in nine different colors (RAL) is also available.

 

Leema Acoustics Tucana II Anniversary Edition Integrated Amplifier
Leema Acoustics Tucana II Anniversary Edition Integrated AmplifierLeema Acoustics, celebrating 10 years since the launch of its first electronics product, has launched their Tucana II Anniversary Edition integrated amplifier (Ł4,995). As a significantly upgraded version of a much-loved original version, this new model has been improved and updated by Leema's Lee Taylor. The Tucana II Anniversary Edition benefits from a number of aesthetic enhancements to include a new front panel with a machined and chrome-plated solid billet Leema Delta logo and 'ANNIVERSARY EDITION' badge. Internally, the new amplifier features upgraded printed circuit boards with twice the amount of copper to further reduce the resistance of PCB traces and improve power delivery. All relevant capacitors have been upgraded to Nichicon's high-quality audio-grade MUSE Series and the PCB-to-speaker-terminal wiring is now Leema's new Reference 2 cable which features 16 woven cores plus multi-strand high-purity copper with individual strand silver-plate. As with the previous Tucana II, all transistors are hand-selected and precision-matched in amplifier sets for optimal performance and the lowest distortion. The power amplifier transformers are Noratel 'xtra quiet' units, ensuring perfect power delivery without undesirable hum or excessive heat-generation. As with its Constellation Series stablemates, the amplifier is supplied with Leema's new Focus remote. Like its predecessor, the Tucana II Anniversary Edition features a 3.5mm front-panel input, fixed gain input for A/V connections, balanced XLR inputs as standard, plus a dedicated high-quality headphone output. The user interface offers balance control and individually adjustable input gains, both of which were originally developed for the Reference Series Pyxis preamplifier. Full LIPS implementation (Leema's proprietary communication system) allows for easy system integration with other Leema products and home automation systems. Finishes include black and silver. Output power is 150 Watts per channel @ 8 Ohms and frequency response is from 5Hz to 100kHz (+0/-3dB). Overall inputs include one stereo balanced XLR pair and six unbalanced RCA pairs. Tape input/output is also provided for.

 

09 / 05 / 16

RHA Dacamp L1 Balanced DAC Plus CL750 And CL1 In-Ear Monitors
RHA Dacamp L1 Balanced DAC Plus CL750 And CL1 In-Ear MonitorsRHA has announced three new products consisting of their Dacamp L1 ($549.95) fully balanced headphone amplifier and DAC plus CL750 and CL1 Ceramic in-ear monitors ($139.95 and $449.95 respectively). RHA's Dacamp L1 is a fully balanced headphone amplifier and DAC with dedicated channel processors. Dacamp L1 uses a ES9018K2M DAC chip and Class AB amplifier for each stereo channel; thus making it a balanced audio design to achieve excellent sound quality. The unit supports high-resolution audio formats up to 32-bit/384kHz PCM and 5.6MHz DSD. Headphone outputs are a 4-pin Mini XLR (balanced) and 3.5mm unbalanced. Digital inputs are USB A, USB B Micro, and mini TosLink optical. A 4000mAh li-ion battery provides 10-hours of battery life with power pack function. To ensure volume output matching for a wide variety of headphones and in-ear monitors, there are three levels of gain plus EQ dials for bass/treble attenuation. RHA's CL1 Ceramic IEM combines two unique transducers to achieve excellent frequency range. The headphone's CL Dynamic transducer has been engineered for bass and midrange accuracy, while the ceramic plate driver generates precise upper frequency and harmonic tones. RHA's CL750 IEM makes use of ultra-wideband CL Dynamic transducers for authentic sound reproduction up to 45kHz. Drawing design inspiration from the critically-acclaimed MA750, it features stainless steel housings in RHA's Aerophonic design, in addition to a new braided OFC cable. With an impedance of 150 Ohms, the CL750 is optimized for use with amplifiers and is certified as high-resolution audio capable by the Japan Audio Society.

 

09 / 03 / 16

Elly Monitor Delivers Style And Sound To Your Home Decor
Elly Monitor Delivers Style And Sound To Your Home DecorElly Audio, brought to you by the same award-winning team at Ars Aures, will be offering their elegantly styled Elly two-way speaker and Sinuous stand via an upcoming Kickstarter campaign. Elly Audio strongly believes that balance and natural tonal character brings you the most enjoyable music experiences. The Elly loudspeaker recreates a superb sound through hand-selected components and crossover, which are entirely hand-assembled by artisans who appreciate aural and visual elements. In order to achieve an astonishing natural sound, Elly loudspeakers stylish shape captures your desire for visual beauty. Thus their Elly, and optional Sinuous stand, easily fits within any style or interior design. This special two-way bass reflex design works with your audio system and delivers your music from deep bass down to 58Hz to singing highs at 20kHz. After much experimentation, the crossover features N.A.P.C. (Natural Alignment Phase Crossover) and mates with the 1" fabric dome tweeter and 5" hand-coated paper cone midrange/woofer. The 30mm thick cabinet is available in Piano Black, Opaque Black, Pure White, Royal Blue, Elly Red, and Ithaca Green! Dimensions are 420mm x 183mm x 255mm (HxWxD) and the Elly includes complimentary spikes to round out their elegant loudspeaker design.

 

09 / 02 / 16

Nordost Sort Lift For Cables Employs Patented Floating Spring Design
Nordost Sort Lift For Cables Employs Patented Floating Spring DesignNordost has launched their newest product, the Sort Lift. The Sort Lift is their preeminent cable support for the consumer electronics industry, and the company feels it is the perfect addition to Nordost's line of Resonance Control Devices within their Sort System. Nordost's Sort System is designed to allow components to resonate at their natural frequency, both without the burden of extraneous, damaging vibrations or the constraint of damping materials. The Sort Lift is a unique and extremely effective cable support designed to enhance the sonic performance of loudspeaker cables, power cords, and interconnects. Nordost's Sort Lift not only elevates audio cables from the ground, they take advantage of a patent pending Floating Spring Design. This design minimizes the contact that cables have with the apparatus while reducing boundary effects without negatively affecting the resonant properties of the cables themselves. The Sort Lift is composed of two integral components: the base and the springs. The base is a stable, anodized aluminum disk, designed to inhibit any transference of electrical charge from the floor to the cable and eliminate static build-up on the dielectric itself. The Floating Spring System uses a flexible, titanium alloy spring-wire, which makes up both the support wings and tension wire supports. In both elements, the alloy wire is coated in FEP, mirroring the design of Nordost cables and making the supports an extension of the cable jacket. These specially treated wires eliminate any electrical interference, while allowing the cables to maintain their natural resonance properties. Nordost says, "This revolutionary design elicits several improvements to the sound quality, including an elevated soundstage, improved dynamic range, increased detail in low frequency reproductions, and more natural timbre to the music." Sort Lift is provided in packs of two for $600.

 

Bowers & Wilkins P7 Wireless Headphones Include aptX Technology
Bowers & Wilkins P7 Wireless Headphones Include aptX TechnologyBowers & Wilkins new P7 Wireless headphones ($399) delivering professional quality sound on the move with the added convenience of wireless streaming. The P7 Wireless headphones builds on the dual success of the original P7 and the award-winning P5 Wireless. Thanks to the acoustic advances made with the original P7 drive units, sound performance is enhanced as "bass is tighter, vocals are more defined, and there's a wonderful sense of space, balance and clarity across the whole frequency range" says the company. P7 Wireless combines this with aptX Bluetooth connectivity to deliver a truly enjoyable music experience. Within seconds a set of P7 Wireless headphones can be paired with any of the most popular Bluetooth-enabled devices such as a phone, tablet or computer. Playback is elegantly managed via intuitive on-board controls, and a rechargeable battery via standard USB offers a healthy 17-hours of wireless playback. Bowers & Wilkins' P7 Wireless is crafted from the finest materials including aluminum and sheep leather to ensure many years of luxurious performance and durability. The headphones are foldable for ease of travel and include a special carrying case to keeps them safe when not in use.

Bowers & Wilkins P3 Series 2 HeadphonesBowers & Wilkins also announced their P3 Series 2 ($149.99), a new and improved version of the award-winning P3 headphones. Its lightweight frame and innovative folding mechanism are both deceptively strong and comfortable. Plus, P3 Series 2 is easy to stash away in a coat pocket or purse and comes with its own hard shell carry case to protect it when not in use. In order to deliver P3 Series 2's natural-sounding acoustics and clarity, Bowers & Wilkins engineers have developed a small drive unit that uses a unique damping system to control diaphragm movement. The result is said to be "incredibly precise sound, with big, extended bass that packs a remarkable punch for a headphone of its size". Bowers & Wilkins' P3 Series 2 comes with a remote/microphone attachment that works seamlessly with an iPhone and another 'universal' cable that ensures compatibility with all other mobile phones and MP3 players. Swapping cables is easy, and simply involves popping off the replaceable ear pads.

 

RIVA Wand Series Arena And Festival Potable Speakers
RIVA Wand Series Arena And Festival Potable SpeakersRIVA Audio's  latest lifestyle WAND Series of speakers are customizable, easy-to-use, and is said to provide stereophonic sound from a single speaker enclosure. RIVA's WAND Series will include the ARENA and FESTIVAL speakers (up to $499 depending on model) and is expected to be available for purchase late November. You can enjoy high-resolution music, podcasts, YouTube channels, or music services through multiple connectivity options including Wi-Fi, DDMS, Spotify Connect, AirPlay, DLNA and Bluetooth. The WAND series is even Google Cast ready. They can handle a single direct connection to a whole-environment wireless networked audio system that can simultaneously stream to up to 32 speakers without acoustic latency. If you take the speakers outdoors, they can easily create their own ad hoc network. The ARENA model is splash resistant and, with the optional connected battery pack (16+ hours), can be used anywhere. The ARENA and FESTIVAL include analog and USB inputs with charge out for phones and tablets, and the FESTIVAL will also include an optical input. Both models feature RIVA Audio's patented Trillium audio technology, which is ADX's proprietary three-channel audio technology that enlarges the audio image while allowing the power of the audio to be reproduced. The ARENA uses three full-range custom ADX drivers with three passive radiators to create up to 101dB of enveloping sound. ARENA can be configured for single or stereo pair use and will have an optional 16+ hour battery pack for use as a portable speaker. The RIVA FESTIVAL drives six custom ADX tweeters/woofers that are coupled with four passive radiators to produce up to 106dB. Both models have support for FLAC, FLAC HD, PCM/WAV, HLS protocol (HTTP Live Streaming), HTTP/1.1 Audio Transport, WMA Streaming (both MMS and WMS), RTSP, MP3, ALAC and APE audio formats RIVA Audio's ARENA will be available in Black/Titanium and White/Silver while the FESTIVAL will be available in Black/Titanium.

 

09 / 01 / 16

Enjoy the Music.com's Annual Blue Note Awards Featured This Month

Enjoy the Music.com Blue Note Awards 2016

Enjoy the Music.com's September Review Magazine features our prestigious annual Blue Note Awards plus a special Kimber Kable contest valued at over $700! With our coverage of the Capital Audiofest now complete, we're busy adding more info and photos within the Hong Kong Audio Visual Expo report. Bringing you the best show coverage festivities, we'll be posting our CanJam London 2016 coverage online soon!

 


Editorial pieces within this issue include "Future-Fi 'n' Feeling Fine where Creative Director Steven R. Rochlin discusses audio past, present and future. Roger Skoff writes about his latest adventures in listening to music. Speaking of listening to music, we also have a research paper by Daniel J. Levitin and Scott T. Grafton titled 'Measuring The Representational Space Of Music With fMRI: A case study with Sting" where we scientifically delve into how the human brain responds to music. Perhaps this is the reason why apocalyptic zombies like to eat brains?

 

A Q&A Discussion with Owen Kwon, President, Astell&Kern and Marc Finer, Senior Director, DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group, About High Resolution Audio
Got questions about MQA, Hi-Res Audio, and Hi-Res Music? We have a great Q&A discussion with Owen Kwon, President of Astell&Kern, and Marc Finer, Senior Director of The DEG (The Digital Entertainment Group), about high resolution audio. They answer the many questions you may have about this exciting and emerging technology.

 

Audience ClairAudient 1+1 V2+ Personal Reference Monitor Review
Of course we know you love reviews. Enjoy the Music.com's September Review Magazine has World Premieres of the remarkable Raven Audio Reflection Mk 2 integrated amplifier and amazing Audience ClairAudient 1+1 V2+ personal reference monitor. Other reviews include the luscious Luxman C-700u control amplifier & D-06u CD-SACD player and Campfire Audio's Andromeda impressive in-ear monitor. See our September issue Review Magazine to find out who won our annual Blue Note Awards plus read all our great articles and reviews.

 

Sony Signature Series NW-WM1Z And  NW-WM1A Walkman
Sony Signature Series NW-WM1Z And  NW-WM1A WalkmanSony is upping their top-line NW-ZX2 Hi-Res Audio portable media player today with their just-announced Signature Series NW-WM1Z ($3200), plus their new NW-WM1A ($1200) that is said to move forward on the original ZX2 released in February 2015 and World Premiere reviewed by us. There was also a follow-up by Enjoy the Music.com with an interview of Sony's engineer Mr. Yoshioka. Sony's Signature Series NW-WM1Z is fully encased in a high-grade gold-plated oxygen-free copper chassis to shield it from EMI/RFI, for example, to ensure the finest music playback. Internal wiring is Kimber Kable's advanced braided four-wire cable. Sony is using specially-developed FT CAP (high polymer capacitor) to regulate power flow plus optimizing it for instantaneous clean power. Sony's years of research in sound, including their own recording studio and music label, is combined with many years in digital amplification technology to deliver the best sounding unit to date. Sony's NW-WM1Z handles digital audio files from MP3, AAC and WMA to the latest Hi-Res Music upwards of 192kHz/24-bit and Quad DSD. The company's S-Master HX digital amp technology, independently developed for Sony's Walkman series, has evolved to be compatible with Native DSD, balanced and high output headphone power output. Sony says, "It reduces distortion and noise across a wide range of frequencies for rich, full-bodied sound." Sony's NW-WM1Z, like the NW-ZX2 and other digital Walkman digital audio players in recent years, offers user control of Sony's DSEE HX upscaling technology. A special algorithm analyzes your music and is said to "replace any lost information, so that the quality is almost high-resolution level". There are five modes to choose to ensure you enjoy music that fits your mood and lifestyle. Customize the sound further with a 10-band equalizer, plus Sony's Direct Source, and dynamic normalizer. A generous playback of 33 hours for MP3, 26 hours for 24-bit/192kHz FLAC and 11 for DSD 11.2 gives you time to enjoy the 256GB of internal memory. On the bottom of the unit is a microSD card slot to further expand storage for your music collection. Simple to use side controls handle volume, track forward/back and power while the 4" touchscreen provides an intuitive user-experience. Bluetooth with LDAC is allows you to enjoy high quality wireless audio via Bluetooth. Sony delivers 3x the data transmitted of current Bluetooth technology, though we're note sure if the Signature Series NW-WM1Z will be upgradeable via firmware to the upcoming higher data rate Bluetooth 5.0. Alas, a slower USB 2.0 port via Sony's proprietary jack is standard instead of using the far faster USB 3.0 spec is a bit of a letdown.

 

Sony MDR-Z1R Headphones And TA-ZH1ES Headphone Amplifier
Sony ES Series TA-ZH1ES Headphone Amplifier New from Sony is their NW-WM1A Walkman as a lower-end model with an aluminum housing (versus copper of the top-line NW-WM1Z) and 128GB of internal memory and both balanced and unbalanced headphone output. Sony's upcoming MDR-Z1R stereo headphones with 70mm driver is joined by ES Series TA-ZH1ES headphone amplifier with portable payer docking and 32-bit/768kHz / DSD 22.4MHz capability. Power output of the TA-ZH1ES is 1200 mW per channel balanced @ 32 Ohms and 300 mW per channel @ 32 Ohms. Sony's TA-ZH1ES headphone amplifier has both hi- and low-output (switchable) plus offers a wide variety of balanced and unbalanced headphone output. There is a balance volume control for the right and left channels. Digital inputs include USB Type-B, Xperiatm port, coax and optical. On the rear of the unit are RCA stereo input and preamplifier output. Audiophiles and music lovers alike take note as there is a DSD remastering engine and 8x oversampling to deliver the highest sound quality. Sony's new D.A. Hybrid Amplifier Circuit employs an advanced FPGA (Field Programmable Gate Array) processor. Reaching for the highest highs and deepest bass, Sony's TA-ZH1ES has a frequency response from 4Hz to 80kHz (-3dB).

 

08 / 31 / 16

Hong Kong Audio Visual Expo 2016 Report: 10 Pages With 100 Photos
Hong Kong Audio Visual Expo Report 2016Enjoy the Music.com has just posted over 100 photos spanning 10 pages from the 2016 Hong Kong Audio Visual Expo! As one of Asia's most representative annual high-end consumer electronics events organized by Hong Kong Audio Technique magazine, the 2016 show was held at Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (Wan Chai, Hong Kong) and spanned three floors totaling 80,000 square feet of display area. Naturally source material included CD, DVD, and other digital formats plus vinyl LP and a few reel-to-reel units too! Come check out what was at the Hong Kong Audio Visual Expo at this link.

 

08 / 30 / 16

Hi-Fi World's October Issue Is Now Available
Hi-Fi World October 2016Hi-Fi World's October 2016 issue features reviews of the Rock MKII active loudspeakers, Gear4 Streamer for those on a budget, Focal Sopra No1 loudspeakers, Luxman DA-250 DAC with headphone amplifier, Entotem Class A Plato music system, Chord Shawline cables, Ferguson 3361 Stereogram, McIntosh MT5 turntable, Audio Technica AT-LP5 turntable, Pioneer SE-MHR5 headphones, a great contest giveaway and more. Within his editorial, Noel Keywood says "What a glorious sight the McIntosh MT5 turntable was – and what a glorious sound it gave. It had a deep, dark and spacious soundstage, that impressed all who heard it. These qualities put it up amongst the best vinyl spinners, whilst the green glow from its acrylic platter was intriguing in low light. You'll not be missing this player in the dark after the first bottle of Champagne in a late night listening session! To see how well it fared in detail see our review on p13. At the other end of the price scale in this issue we also bring you the Audio Technica AT-LP5 Direct Drive turntable. We're talking beer budget prices here – forget the Champers. But whilst you don't get a bright green glow to lead you to LP, as it were, you do a great budget starter package. I was happy to be reminded that the dear old analogue turntable is so easily upgraded, so what you get is by no means what you are stuck with. Audio Technica do a great job in providing a product that'll work out of the box, not damage your precious record collection yet can easily be improved as funds permit. Read more about this fine budget vinyl spinner on p83." See what's within this issue of H-Fi World at this link.

 

The Absolute Sound Celebrates Their 2016 Golden Ear Awards
The Absolute Sound Issue 265 September 2016Within the August issue of The Absolute Sound they are celebrating the welcome return of Technics to high-end audio plus celebrates their 2016 Golden Ear Awards. Reviews within this issue include KEF's Muo wireless speaker, Astell&Kern AKT8iE in-ear monitors, Technics R1 Reference System, Mytek Brooklyn DAC with MQA decoding, Rogers EHF-100 Mk2 integrated amplifier, Nordost Frey 2 cable, Stillpoints Ultra 5 and Ultra 6 isolation devices, REL T7i subwoofer, Aavik Acoustics U-300 integrated amplifier, and The David Berning Company 211 / 845 power amplifier. Within his editorial titled Standing on Their Own Shoulders, Robert Harley says "The idea that technological or intellectual advances are built on the previous work of others has been with us for a long time. Although Isaac Newton is generally credited with coining the phrase "standing on the shoulders of giants" ("If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants") that metaphor had been widely invoked since the 12th century. Throughout history contemporary innovators and thinkers have recognized that their achievements would not have been possible without the foundations created by their predecessors. This phenomenon, of course, applies as much to designing audio products as to any other field of endeavor. The classic tube amplifiers from the late 50s and early 60s (Marantz Model 9, McIntosh MC275, Harman Kardon Citation II, Dyna Mk III) would not have been possible without the breakthrough Williamson amplifier of 1947. In turn, virtually all of today's tube amplifiers are derived from one of those four amplifiers." See what's within this issue of The Absolute Sound at this link.

 

08 / 29 / 16

Rotel Announces 14 Series Components And A12 Integrated Amp
Rotel Announces 14 Series Components And A12 Integrated AmpRotel has announced the introduction of their 14 Series components that represent the very essence of Rotel's world renowned Balanced Design Concept. The 14 Series is expected to arrive in North America in early October and includes the A14 Integrated Amplifier ($1299) and CD14 CD Player ($599). Rotel's A12 Integrated Amplifier ($899) will also be released at the same time as the new 14 series components. Built with critically selected electronic components used throughout the audio path, the 14 Series features a sleek design with simple and intuitive controls. Rotel's A14 Integrated Amplifier has a high power output and advanced set of features. It is rated at 80 Watts per channel RMS into 8 Ohms, both channels driven. The A14 features a substantial power supply comprising a Rotel manufactured toroidal transformer plus slit-foil capacitors to effortlessly handle difficult speaker loads and dynamic signal peaks. It has been designed to accommodate both classic analog and the latest digital source components supported by the on-board AKM 32-bit/768kHz DAC. Rotel's A14 also supports Bluetooth with aptX, iOS/Android control App and PC USB with DSD support. Rotel's A12 Integrated Amplifier displays the same clean lines and intuitive operation as the flagship A14, yet with output power rated at 60 Watts per channel RMS into 8 Ohms. The A12 supports Bluetooth with aptX and has a Wolfson high performance 24-bit/192kHz DAC plus USB input. Rotel's CD14 CD player begins with a carefully engineered power supply to ensure separate, ripple-free voltage and current to both digital and analog circuits. A high-precision CD mechanism feeds a Wolfson high performance 24-bit/192kHz DAC. Both iOS and Android control APP (requires connection to A14) is supported and there is both a S/PDIF coaxial digital and stereo analog output.

 

08 / 26 / 16

Pro-Ject Offers Mozart's Symphonies No. 25, 35 And 39 On Vinyl LP
Pro-Ject Offers Mozart's Symphonies No. 25, 35 and 39 On Vinyl LPPro-Ject Audio Systems is very proud to announce an exclusive cooperation between The Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra and Universal Music (Decca) to issue a series of vinyl records that include important performances of the VPO. These are beautifully remastered from the original analog master tapes and pressed with highest care on premium 180 gram virgin vinyl. All records are limited to total number of not more than 2000 pieces and consecutively numbered. This first issue consists of two records and includes three of the most successful Mozart symphonies, No.25, 35, 39, recorded live at the Wiener Musikverein. But this recording not only offers terrific sound quality, but externalizes the mastery of composition, orchestra and conductor! Riccardo Muti conducts Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's Symphonies No. 25, 35 and 39 to create a true masterpiece of Mozart's symphonies. Both are within the most respected artists of classical music of the modern era and this vinyl record combines outstanding interpretation and unrivalled sound experience that preserves the soft warm ambience of Wiener Musikverein. This very rare audiophile recording has been remastered with care and love by none other than Georg Burdicek, the heart and soul behind Tonzauber. This audiophile 180 gram LP pressing pressing is made by Pallas /Germany and each of the 2000 copies are numbered by hand.

 

Chord Electronics Is Now Shipping Their SPM 1050 MkII Stereo Amplifier
Chord Electronics Is Now Shipping Their SPM 1050 MkII Stereo AmplifierChord Electronics is now shipping their significantly upgraded SPM 1050 power amplifier to now reach MkII status (Ł4950). The latest-spec MkII model offers reduced output distortion for greater transparency and fidelity, plus improvements to capacitance for cleaner power delivery. The second-generation version also includes enhanced isolation on the mains transformer to reduce interference and enhance sonic performance. In keeping with the original, the SPM 1050 MkII uses Chord's low-distortion amplifier circuitry and features four proprietary lateral-structure dual-die MOSFETs per channel (eight in total), enabling even the most demanding loudspeakers to be driven with clarity and precision. Chord's SPM 1050 MkII offers both balanced XLR and RCA phono inputs, plus two pairs of loudspeaker outputs with gold-plated connections for bi-wiring. A single power button offers operational simplicity from stand-by mode and the amplifier's status is indicated on the faceplate by a simple two-LED sequence showing power and relay functions. The luxuriously casework is machined from solid aircraft-grade aluminum and offers a stunning aesthetic plus rigidity that dampens unwanted vibration.

 

 

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