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High-End Audio, High Fidelity Audiophile Industry News


 
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Upcoming Show Coverage

Chester Group's New York Audio Show 2014 The Chester Group's New York Audio Show 2014 will be held at the New York Marriott at the Brooklyn Bridge from September 26th through 28th. This show will feature millions of dollars in high fidelity audio (high-end audio) equipment and state-of-the-art hi-res music. Attendees can compare hundreds of audio brands before they buy in one show location, ranging from high quality headphones to the latest in loudspeaker technology. You can also learn about modern in-home audio technology plus find out how to best stream music around your home. The Chester Group's New York Audio Show 2014 will also have a wide variety of vinyl LPs, vacuum tube amplification, and much more! A variety of very informative seminars and new products launches will also highlight this Northeast event.

RMAF 2014 Show Report (Rocky Mountain Audio FestColorado'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! Enjoy the Music.com will be live streaming at the upcoming RMAF 2014. We will be visiting a variety of rooms / exhibition spaces and streaming it all live to our worldwide audience. Soon after the RMAF event, we will be providing true 1080 high resolution videos of our live streams. We look forward to reporting on exhibitors in Denver during this event. Companies showcasing their products who want to appear within Enjoy the Music.TV's live stream should contact us. You can see our RMAF / Enjoy the Music.TV press release here.

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. Enjoy the Music.com will be at TAVES 2014 with hi-res video gear plus cover the show live via daily photos; with hi-res videos soon afterwards being available online. We may also provide live streaming video during TAVES, yet at lower than our industry-leading 1080i resolution due to the complications of bringing a true broadcast-grade TV studio across International boarders. We look forward to seeing everyone in Toronto and, wait for it, there is some very exciting news we will soon be announcing about TAVES in the coming weeks so stay tuned!

 

09 / 23 / 14

Enjoy the Music.com's New York Audio Show 2014 Coverage
Chester Group's 2014 New York Audio Show ReportEnjoy the Music.com's 2014 New York Audio Show report will have our very own Editor and Creative Director Steven R. Rochlin plus our longstanding in-depth photojournalist Rick Becker covering this exhibition. The New York Audio Show 2014 will be held at the New York Marriott at the Brooklyn Bridge from September 26th through 28th. This show will feature millions of dollars in high fidelity audio (high-end audio) equipment and state-of-the-art hi-res music. Attendees can compare hundreds of audio brands before they buy in one show location, ranging from high quality headphones to the latest in loudspeaker technology. You can also learn about modern in-home audio technology plus find out how to best stream music around your home. As with all events we attend, Enjoy the Music.com’s extensive virtually live show coverage will appear online during the New York Audio Show 2014. We will also be recording hi-res video, free of charge to exhibitors, which will be available within our sister site Enjoy the Music.TV. We look forward to reporting on this event and hope to see you there! Remember to tell the world you'll be there for all the fun in Brooklyn and Facebook members can join the Chester Group's New York Audio Show 2014 event here.

 

09 / 22 / 14

16th Annual Blues Masters At The Crossroads
Blues Masters at the Crossroads at Blue Heaven StudiosChad Kassem of Acoustic Sounds is holding their yearly Blues concert at their Blue Heaven Studios in Salina, Kansas. This incredible event, Blues Masters at the Crossroads, is now in their 16th year and going strong. "It's gonna be a hollerin', shakin' good time at Blue Heaven Studios for the 16th Blues Masters at the Crossroads. Where, in our converted church sanctuary, the gospel to some, the devil's music to others — the blues — has its due. This is your year to experience it all. Your seat is waiting!" says their site. This two night event will be held on Friday, October 17th, and Saturday the 18th ($60 per day). Doors open at 6:45pm and the shows begins at 7:15pm. Scheduled to perform includes:

Joe Beard
Rip Lee Pryor
Lazy Lester
Mighty Sam McClain
Moreland & Arbuckle
Kim Wilson
Big George Brock
Sonny Green
Bernard Allison
Marquise Knox
Kim Wilson with Billy Flynn

 

Mola Mola Phonostage Is APP Controlled
Mola Mola Preamplifier With PhonostageHigh-end audio finally wakes up to the modern world of APPs, as Bruno Putzey's Mola-Mola hits another milestone! The optional Mola Mola phonostage ($2500 as an optional add-on to the Makua preamplifier $13,450) allows you to make adjustments via an Android tablet from the comfort of your listening chair. These adjustments are implemented using relays, keeping the fragile phono signal in the analog domain. According to the company, it also "preserves the soul, warmth and musicality of your music". As many may remember, the use of APPs was repeatedly harped upon by Editor and Creative Director of Enjoy the Music.com Steven R. Rochlin two years ago at RMAF 2012, since high-end audio was already years behind the curve at the time. The APP allows you to adjusting the EQ and you will be able to hear what those adjustments sound like immediately for ease of comparison without the need to constantly leave the sweet spot. The phonostage provides the ability to hook up to five turntables and adjust each cartridge independently. Specifications are below:

Performance
• Input noise (MC): 0.35 nV/rtHz
• Input noise (MM): 5 fA/rtHz
• Sensitivity: Variable from 30 uV to 5 mV
• THD, IMD: Not measurable
• RIAA Conformance: +/-0.1 dB

Available Time Constants
• T1: 200, 250, 318, 400, and 450 us
• T2: 50, 64, 75, and 100 us
• Bass Shelf: 14, 18, and 20 dB

 

09 / 19 / 14

Mark Waldrep of AIX Records, iTrax , and Real HD Audio on Enjoy the Music.TV
NEW: Enjoy the Music.TV's interview with Mark Waldrep
of AIX Records, iTrax, and Real HD-Audio discusses his impressive engineering background, in providing top quality hi-res music, and today's circumstances concerning the ongoing situation with the DEG and music downloads as offered by various companies. We also learn from Mark that "Pono should focus on being straightforward, transparent, and honest about what's being offered to customers of Pono. They have a great piece of hardware and I’m confident that the website will be wonderful. However, I felt let down when I discovered that virtually ALL of the tracks on the Ponomusic website will be ripped CDs at 44.1kHz/16-bit FLAC. That’s not what I expected from Neil and his organization. It runs counter to his pronouncements and evangelizing all these years. He was all about 192kHz/24-bit FLAC as the minimum standard for 'rediscovering the soul of music'."

 

Milano hi-fidelity 2014
Milano hi-fidelity 2014Milano hi-fidelity 2014 show autumn 2014 show will take place on the 4th and 5th of October 2014 at the prestigious four star AtaHotel Quark in Milan city. This two channel (stereo) only high-end audio event enjoyed over 4000 visitors during their 2013 event and they expect this year's event to be bigger. "If your heart beats loud for two-channel hi-fi systems, you can't miss the one and only solely-audio (no video or home theater) show in Italy" says the event promoter. The Milano Hi-Fidelity organizers are proud to announce this 16th edition of their hi-fi only show. As an established tradition, the organizers have paid attention to the quality of the sound into the rooms. They are using room acoustic correction devices so exhibitors can achieve the best results out of their high fidelity audio systems.

 

TACET Johann Sebastian Bach Six Brandenburg Concertos BWV 1046-1051 Blu-ray
TACET's Johann Sebastian Bach Six Brandenburg Concertos BWV 1046-1051 Blu-rayTACET's Johann Sebastian Bach Six Brandenburg Concertos BWV 1046-1051 Blu-ray audio disc features the Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra in TACET's Real Surround Sound and stereo. This multi-channel recording in TACET Real Surround Sound was recorded in the year 2000. Shortly prior to the construction of the microphones, the idea arose of selecting a special arrangement for each one of the six Brandenburg Concertos in accordance with the respective score. This principle became the cornerstone of Real Surround Sound. The primitive 8-track card (from today's perspective) in the PC forced TACET to acoustically realize the six different, novel mixes with a stereo mixing console right when the recording was made. Today, however, a recording can easily captured and carefully processed afterwards. Thus began TACET's exciting journey of discovery into a new, so far unknown world. The recording was immediately convincing. The music is said to be fantastic, and features Benjamin Hudson and the solos by Reinhold Friedrich (trumpet). Alongside SACD and DVD audio, TACET has offered this recording in stereo CD and LP. This recording is now also available on Blu-ray disc with both multi-channel and stereo tracks."

 

Zesto Audio Andros 1.2 Phonostage
Zesto Audio Andros 1.2 PhonostageZesto Audio's newly updated to Andros 1.2 phonostage ($4700, or $1500 to update units over one year old) has the same classic look as when it was first launched in 2011, yet now features many enhancements. The new Andros 1.2 phonostage upgrade includes a 10 position MC load, from 20 to 1000 Ohm and more positions in the 'sweet zone' between 200 to 1000 Ohms. There is a two position MM loading of 47 kOhm and 15 kOhm to accommodate a wider range of cartridges and the unit now provides a total of 67dB of gain. Improvements have been made to the circuitry design and component value upgrades including an enhanced grounding scheme and the unit's binding post have been moved to accommodate shorter ground wires. Zesto Audio is also offering upgrades to any current Andros owner and it comes with a new 2 year warranty, completely new back panel assembly with new components and new front logo with Andros 1.2.

 

Marantz HD-DAC1 Headphone Amplifier
Marantz HD-DAC1 Headphone AmplifierMarantz's HD-DAC1 ($799) is the company's first headphone amplifier featuring an integrated DAC. This high quality dedicated headphone amplifier employs technologies from Marantz's high-end Premium 11 series. The HD-DAC1 can drive high-impedance headphones of up to 600 Ohm and has a three-level gain control, Marantz HDAM-SA2 high current modules and a high quality audiophile DAC (CS4398). Both fixed and variable RCA outputs also provided for so that users can also directly connect it to their high fidelity integrated amplifier, to a pair of active speakers, or power amps. Two TosLink optical and a S/PDIF coaxial digital input as well as a USB-B port enable users to stream music directly from a PC or MAC. iDevices can also be connected via the USB port on the front. For even more connectivity, there is an analog input. The USB-B works in asynchronous mode to support 192kHz/24-bit hi-res audio and DSD 2.8MHz / 5.6MHz. To safeguard quality when connected to a computer, Marantz built extended isolation around the USB-B input to eliminate the chance of high frequency noise generated by the computer entering the HD-DAC1. They included a jitter remover and Dual Clock for extreme accuracy. Information on volume, input, resolution, etc. is shown on the stylish Marantz Porthole Display. The solid aluminum front is supported by a double layer bottom plate and side panels with a retro-style wooden look.

 

09 / 18 / 14


NEW: World Premiere Review!
LKV Research Line One Preamplifier
The Line One sounds more like music than a piece of audio equipment.
Review By Tom Lyle

 


NEW: PrimaLuna Dialogue Premium Preamplifier
One of the best things PrimaLuna has ever done.
Review By Dick Olsher

 

Reference Recordings Organ Polychrome: The French SchoolReference Recordings' new Organ Polychrome: The French School features organist Jan Kraybill and the Julia Irene Kauffman Organ. On this recordings they play for us Casavant Frères, Op. 3875. This is the premier solo recording of this new instrument and it should have very strong appeal for organ aficionados and audiophiles! This program of French masterworks was designed to showcase all the colors and nuances of this outstanding new instrument. It includes the world premiere recording of an important piece by beloved composer Florent Schmitt: Prière (Prelude in G minor), Op.11 (1899). Reference Recordings is proud to offer these brilliant performances by the organist who knows this instrument best, Jan Kraybill. She regularly plays and oversees the care of the three largest pipe organs in the Kansas City metro area: the Community of Christ Auditorium’s 113-rank Aeolian-Skinner (installed in 1959) and Temple’s 102-rank Casavant (1993), and the 102-rank Julia Irene Kauffman Casavant (2011) at the Kauffman Center's Helzberg Hall. Organ Polychrome: The French School is available on the hybrid surround sound SACD format, which is playable on SAD and CD players. This disc contains both 5.1 surround and stereo SACD layers, as well as a stereo compact disc layer made with the HDCD process for higher fidelity.

 

09 / 17 / 14

Opera Loudspeakers Callas and Grand Callas Speakers
Opera Loudspeakers CallasOpera Loudspeakers has just introduced their newest version of the Callas monitor and Grand Callas floorstanding speakers ($5495 and $11,995 respectively). The company's design team decided to update their legendary Callas and Grand Callas speakers year ago, and thus began work in achieving their lofty goals to produce the best speakers they knew how. "Known for their warm, deep and hypnotic sound, these lovely Italian transducers were initially targeted for a modest facelift after many years of success. The design team took it a step further by completely reworking the design from top to bottom, resulting in a Callas line that sets new standards when it comes to lifelike reproduction of your favorite music," says the press release. Opera Loudspeakers newest version of their Callas and Grand Callas feature a much sexier yet angled shaped cabinet, which is enhanced by a unique reflective top plate. The ensure a rigid cabinet and improved internal bracing structure, the Grand Callas itself has gone from 110 pounds to 165 pounds. A new rear radiation system on the Grand Callas uses two tweeters acting as a natural dipole. The Callas monitor eschews the rear-firing tweeters altogether and uses a simple two-way design. The Grand Callas has a total of three 1" soft dome ScanSpeak 9700 tweeters sans ferrofluid, a 7" SEAS woven polypropylene cone midrange and two 8" long-throw woofers, whereas the Callas has one each 1" tweeter and 7" midrange/woofer driver. Both speakers are rated at 89dB/W/m and present a 4 Ohms load. Frequency response for the Grand Callas is from 32 Hz to 25 kHz and for the Callas it is from 40 Hz to 25 kHz.

 

09 / 16 / 14

Enjoy the Music.com's Mid-September Review Magazine Update


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

 

NEW: What Is, And Is Not, High-Resolution Audio
Article By John Siau Of Benchmark Media Systems

 

Industry News 10 Years Ago
Milan Italy Top Audio & Video ShowEnjoy the Music.com's world premiere virtually live coverage of Milan's Top Audio & Video Show will showcase new, state-of-the-art, and craftsmen high-end equipment. Our previous five Milan show reports give testimony to the amazing creations offered by Italy-based manufacturers plus other companies based all around the world. See our 2004 Milan Italy Top Audio & Video show coverage by clicking here. Exotic automobile enthusiasts may also enjoy Editor and Creative Director Steven R. Rochlin's exclusive visit to the Ferrari facility plus a Pininfarina factory tour! Fast forward to 2014 and it saddens us to report within this update that the Top Audio & Video Show is no longer in operation for the time being.

 

09 / 15 / 14

Chord Electronics' Luxurious Leather Case For Their Hugo PMP
Chord Electronics' Luxurious Leather CaseChord Electronics now offers a luxurious leather case (£99) for their Hugo portable digital music player. The leather case offers both protection and provision for partnering digital audio players and cell phones. Chord Electronics' Hugo is a high quality DAC/headphone amplifier for both home and mobile use. Following a lengthy consultation process with Hugo owners, retailers and distributors, the final design was carefully finessed over many months at Chord Electronics' headquarters in Kent, England. Available in an exquisite black leather or natural tan color, the Hugo Leather Case is a wonderful accessory for any Hugo owner and offers protection both in the home and on the move. The Hugo Leather Case is made from very high-quality durable leather and has been designed to allow full access to Hugo's controls, inputs/outputs and LED indicators. A quad system of durable elasticized webbing straps with tough Velcro terminations to securely hold phones and digital audio players to the case. The clever design allows direct access to the touchscreen and controls, and offers several fastening options. This gives users real flexibility over how partnering equipment is secured. A tough thumb-loop at the top of the case provides a secondary element of security when the Hugo is handheld, and Velcro-tipped leather latches at each end of the case provide both protection and (at the input end), a useful cavity to store small connection leads.

 

HDtracks Is Now Available In Germany And The United Kingdom
HDtracksHDtracks has launched their Germany and United Kingdom (UK) online stores. With this announcement, German and UK music fans who want to experience music the way it was meant to be heard will now be able to enjoy the most extensive catalog of their favorite music in hi-res audio quality. HDtracks' audio downloads provide listeners with sonic precision, clarity and depth that far exceeds lossy MP3 music files. To celebrate the launch of HDtracks in both Germany and the UK, the company plans to offer media outlets and their readers' special discount and promotional codes, in addition to offering contests and other promotions to stimulate consumer interest. "The tremendous success of HDtracks since our launch in 2007 and continued growth is a real indication that consumers all over the world are hungry for better quality music sound," said HDtracks Co-Founder David Chesky. "As pioneers in the fast-growing new category of high-resolution music downloads, we're very excited to expand our business into the German market, where consumers have long demonstrated their strong interest in the best possible quality audio performance."

 

09 / 12 / 14

Tortuga Audio LDRx Passive Preamplifier
Tortuga Audio LDRx Passive PreamplifierTortuga Audio's LDRx passive preamplifier ($1495 unbalanced, $2395 balanced) features software driven digitally controlled passive resistive analog attenuation. The attenuation control utilizes audio grade light dependent resistors (LDRs) in a series/shunt topology. The LDRx offers the simplicity of passive attenuation for signal purity. The LDRx utilizes Tortuga Audio's 3rd generation LDR technology that includes an input impedance floor and fully self-contained auto-calibration of the analog LDRs over the full 60 dB attenuation range. The LDRx accommodates three single-ended inputs and two outputs via rhodium over silver plated copper Cardas jacks, with optional Neotech 26AWG UP-OCC solid silver point-to-point wiring ($100 upcharge) in the signal path. Input switching is done via LDRs with no relays in the signal path. Control power utilizes two-stage 12 and 5 Volt switch mode DC-DC regulators operating from a linear front-end with toroidal transformer and EMI/RFI filtering on the AC mains. Control is from the elegant and simple Apple Remote as well as an multi-function encoder on the front panel. The front panel has status information displayed in dual numerical readout. The internal software can be updated at the Tortuga Audio LDRx's USB port on the rear panel. The LDRx is housed in a robust black anodized aluminum enclosure with distinctive bamboo side panels. Each LDRx is handmade in the USA by Tortuga Audio. Attenuation range is from -60 to 0 dB in 70 steps. The unit is said by the manufacturer to works best with tube or solid-state amplifiers having an input impedance of 20kOhms or higher. Nominal input impedance is 20kOhms and the LDRx's control system is software based and uses an 8-bit digital microcontroller driving the 12-bit digital-to-analog volume control. Auto calibration ensures the LDRs will correct due to drift and aging.

 

Industry News 10 Years Ago
Enjoy the Music.com Internet Website BrowserBrought to you from one of the most longstanding Internet websites for audiophiles, Enjoy the Music.com has once again updated the world's only Internet website browser specifically customized for audiophiles! The Enjoy the Music.com browser includes links to online reviews of both equipment and music, many highly respected magazines, worldwide manufacturers of high performance electronics, discussion groups, and to keep it fun, "other cool stuff." With every link personally approved by Editor and Creative Director Steven R. Rochlin, you can be assured each one will be filled with vital information ever audiophile should know. "As the world's only Internet browser specifically tailored for audiophile's needs, ease of installation and variety of information is key," said Enjoy the Music.com's Editor and Creative Director Steven R. Rochlin. "The Enjoy the Music.com Internet website browser is a customization of Microsoft's popular Internet Explorer. With so many websites available on the Internet, it is hard to know which ones offer accurate and high quality content. It brings me joy that we are the able to bring our browser to audiophiles worldwide."

 

09 / 11 / 14

CEDIA EXPO 2014 Report
Enjoy the Music.com's CEDIA EXPO 2014 Show ReportEnjoy the Music.com's CEDIA EXPO 2014 show report has begun, with daily updates throughout this Denver event. The CEDIA EXPO features manufacturers, home technology professionals, media, industry partners, and more. it is being held at the Hyatt Regency from September 10th through 13th in Denver, Colorado. Attendees have access to new buyers, consumer and trade media, new product launches, manufacturer product training plus of course CEDIA's Electronic Lifestyles Awards Competition with Best New Product, Best Sustainable Product Innovation, and Product Hall of Fame. CEDIA was founded in 1989 and is an international trade association of companies which specialize in designing and installing electronic systems for the home—typically media rooms, single or multi-room entertainment systems, home automation and communication systems, home networking and integrated whole-house subsystems. Therefore this is not a pure high-end only audio show, yet there are many new innovations that do concern audio within the home so we gladly inform our readers about all the cutting-edge technology reaching other consumer electronic sectors.

 

Erzetich Audio Deimos Dual Mono Class A Headphone Amplifier
Erzetich Audio Deimos Dual Mono Class A Headphone AmplifierErzetich Audio will soon be taking pre-orders for the Deimos dual mono Class A headphone amplifier (€4000, with a 25% discount until December 31st), with delivery expected in early 2015. The designers of this hand-crafted headphone amplifier desired doing something artistic and unique as compared to what is within the marketplace today. Features include three separate power supplies (two for analog, one for digital), 43000 uF of smoothing capacitors per channel and a special digitally controlled 64-steps relay-based volume attenuator. There is a gain boost switch to ensure proper output levels power the headphones / IEM of your choosing. Inputs include both unbalanced RCA and balanced XLR, both being of very high quality and gold plated. The very artistic chassis is crafted from a combination of materials including steel, aluminum, wood and acrylic. "We wanted to go beyond and make something that really stands out from the point of electronics, sound, design and prestige," says the company. "This project has been developed under the name POS (Perfidus on Steroids). The analogue core part is based on Perfidus' design with plenty of improvements, tweaks and pimps. Plus it has been added a digital volume control and linear display. Some new strategies in the development have been taken. The most important was the one related to space – we wanted to have a bit more 'air' inside the box for various technical reasons. The design had to be catchy and different to emphasize what's hiding inside. Merging the digital and analogue parts together was more tricky than we had thought, but it worked out fine at the end. And of course what can be more evil than Perfidus? Of course, Deimos." The Erzetich Audio Deimos can handle headphones from 8 to 600 Ohms and has a frequency response from 4 Hz to 40 kHz. Dimensions are 320 mm x 125 mm x 330 mm (W x H x D) and it weighs 6400 grams.

 

WiMp TIDAL And Sonos Deezer Elite 16-bit/44.1kHz Streaming Music
DeezerWiMP's TIDAL has been reported by others to be the first lossless, CD quality music service that is finally coming to the USA... or is it? Sonos just announced that Deezer Elite, a new high definition audio streaming service, will be available on Sonos via their Beta program. With a shared passion for high quality sound and a mission to make listening to the music you love easy, Sonos and Deezer have joined forces to give you access to millions of tracks in CD quality (16-bit/44.1kHz). Sonos users today can instantly stream their your favorite music, custom radio stations based on your favorite artists, and new music discovery features so you're always hearing new music that’s perfect for you. The launch of Deezer Elite marks the streaming service's debut in the United States, joining more than 50 music and audio services available on Sonos worldwide. Sonos customers within the United States can try Deezer Elite in beta beginning September 15th with a 30-day free trial.

 

Gibson's Les Paul Reference Series Speakers
Gobson Les Paul LP4, LP6 and LP8 SpeakerGibson has just announced their new Les Paul Reference Series speakers to be available later this year! The three different models in this series includes the Les Paul LP4 and Les Paul LP6 ($599 and $799 respectively), which both feature a 1" dome tweeter, yet having a 4" or 6" midrange woofer respectively. The series top model is the Les Paul LP8 that sports an 8" woofer ($999). All models have an internal Class D amplifier power the speakers and high, mid and low EQ knobs. Inputs include both balanced XLR and unbalanced RCA inputs. All models in the Gibson Les Paul series are finished with a stunning wood veneer front, which is modeled from the famous sunburst styling that has been Les Paul's signature look for many decades. Preproduction models were just showcased at the IFA 2014 event.

 

Hegel Music Systems HD12 DAC
Hegel Music Systems HD12 DACHegel Music Systems HD12 DAC ($1400) is a true DSD64 and 192kHz/24-bit DAC with an on-board digital preamplifier and high quality headphone amplifier. Key features of their new DAC are an exceptionally low noise floor of -145dB and equally low jitter levels. In these respects, it represents Hegel Music Systems' best DAC they have developed to date. On the input side, the HD12 has a USB, two TosLink optical and one S/PDIF RCA input. There are both unbalanced RCA and true XLR balanced analog outputs, which can be used together to enable it to also drive a subwoofer for example. A remote control is included and it handles all functions of the DAC as well as other Hegel Music Systems' components. Specifications include an output level of 2.5V RMS, frequency response from 0 Hz to 50 kHz and linear phase analog filter. Distortion is typically less than 0.0005% and the power supply features toroidal transformer and 20,000uF capacitors. Dimensions are 2.35" x 8.3" x 10.24" (HxWxD) and the unit weighs 6.6 lbs.

 

Philips Fidelio M2L Headphone With Apple Lightening ConnectorPhilips Fidelio M2L Headphone With Apple Lightening Connector
And so it has begun... Philips is the first manufacturer to announce a headphone with an Apple Lightening connector and internal 24-bit DAC and amplifier. This over-the-ear-style headphone has breathable leather and memory foam ear pads, 40mm neodymium magnetic and are said to produce dynamic bass output. "We're excited to launch the Philips Fidelio M2L (€250), our first headphone that has a direct digital connection to your iOS device," proclaims Pascal van Laer, headphones business leader at Gibson's WOOX Innovations division. "This means we can deliver an incredible audio experience today, and also opens up exciting opportunities for innovation for the future." We here at Enjoy the Music.com expect to see many more headphones with 24-bit DAC and internal amplifier with Apple's Lightening connector coming into the marketplace over the next few months.

 

09 / 10 / 14

Audience Conductor In-Wall Power Cable
Audience Conductor In-Wall Power CableAudience's Conductor in-wall power cable ($20 per foot) is designed to provide the highest level of AC power delivery in custom-installation home theater, multi-room audio, architectural and other in-wall applications. The Conductor cable features three 10 AWG multi-conductor wires plus a ground wire and can be used in 120-Volt and 220-Volt applications. The wire is cryogenically treated, which relieves built-in stresses and re-forms the microstructure in the copper for improved conductivity. The insulation is made from XLPE cross-linked polyethylene insulation, which provides extreme durability and long-term use yet is flexible and easy to work with. XLPE is used in plumbing and radiant heat applications and even in human artificial joint replacement. Conductor is UL-approved, is OSHA-acceptable and meets ICEA S-95-658/NEMA WC 70, IEEE 383, IEEE 1202 and other standards. "Our new Conductor power cable combines optimized AC power delivery with exceptional durability and ease of installation," said John McDonald, president of Audience. "Conductor enables in-wall systems to perform at their best. Why build a custom-installation home entertainment system and wire it up with run-of-the mill power cable?"

 

Hart of Gold HD Sound & Vision System
Hart of Gold HD Sound & Vision SystemWe here at Enjoy the Music.com have received some over-the-top press releases over the past two decades, yet this one from Hart Audio ranks amongst the most embarrassing to date! We're going to publish their press release unedited for you to see. And it goes a little something like this... "FROM THE MAKERS OF THE WORLDS MOST EXPENSIVE LOUDSPEAKER COMES THE FIRST ALL IN ONE HIGH END HD ENTERTAINMENT SYSTEM" [all caps theirs]. It goes on to say "Make a move to Hart of Gold's HD Sound & Vision System (WiFi), the most successful stand alone high-end entertainment system in the world, the most critically acclaimed, long awaited, and thanks to its unique bass technology, the finest measured performance. Watch and Listen to HD wirelessly. The entire high end system is built into the speakers. Anything on the net or your computer up on your HDTV. Listen in Lossless HD or compressed files, anything! Hook up wirelessly with your mobile, tablet, laptop or computer in an instant and play. Be there, festival, concert and stadium volumes in your home. Super clear and the finest realism. Total sound emersion. Movies have never sounded better! 4 or 6x 20cm x 25cm x 40cm cabinets in any RAL colour. A revolution in High End HiFi and home entertainment." If we may, first, whilst your most expensive speaker is due to the enclosure being made from 24 karat gold, might we suggest investing a bit into your website design and the photos? Since Hart Audio's D&W AP monitors are 24 karat gold and priced at £5,000,000 ($8,059,575 at today's exchange rate), we should hope some of that money will one day find its way into your website's design. As for wireless, WiSA already has a hi-res wireless audio solution that is not just for stereo, it now can handle multi-channel surround sound too. Is your system £9995 or £4995, as you have both prices listed. Also, in the future you may want to list what digital resolution your system can handle via Wi-Fi, the system's frequency response, maximum output SPL, amplifier power, etc. You claim to have measured this system, thus we'd love to see the graphs / results on your web page and tell us what laboratory you used. Did you accomplish this via an included DSP / room analyzer within your system? Am sure your company may provide excellent products, yet please properly present them on the world wide 'stage' since you do indeed seem to sell "the most expensive loudspeaker" on planet Earth. Oh, and please use a proper professional lighting system when taking studio photos as surely your company can afford them. Thank you.

 

09 / 09 / 14

Chick Corea Trilogy
Chick Corea TrilogyToday the Concord Music Group is releasing Trilogy, which is said to be a recording to rank with the landmarks of Chick Corea's career. Trilogy is a triple-CD set recorded live around the world with his spectacularly virtuosic trio featuring bassist Christian McBride and drummer Brian Blade. The legendary Chick Corea being joined by both of these other star leaders in their own right also played with him as the rhythmic backbone in Corea's Five Peace Band. Chick Corea is an NEA Jazz Master and winner of 20 Grammy Awards. He has been a prime mover in jazz ever since the late 1960s, when the keyboardist was a youngblood in the electrifying jazz-rock ensembles of Miles Davis. Track listings are CD1: You're My Everything; Recorda Me; The Song is You; Work; My Foolish Heart; Fingerprints; Spain. CD2: This is Now; Alice in Wonderland; It Could Happen to You; Blue Monk; Armando's Rhumba; Op. 11, no. 9; How Deep is the Ocean?. CD3: Homage; Piano Sonata: The Moon; Someday My Prince Will Come. Musicians on this album include Chick Corea piano, Christian McBride bass, Brian Blade drums, Jorge Pardo flute, Niño Josele guitar and Gayle Moran vocals.

 

Bryston BDP-1USB Digital Music Player
Bryston BDP-1USB Digital Music PlayerBryston's BDP-1USB digital music player ($1795) is the company's most affordable high-performance music player designed specifically for those customers using a USB external DAC. The BDP-1USB can easily manage large music libraries of up to 30,000 tracks, ranging from low quality MP3 to high resolution FLAC files stored on external USB or NAS drives. The BDP-1USB joins Bryston's flagship BDP-2 in the company's music player lineup. Because the BDP-1USB does not require a premium-grade internal sound card, as featured in the Bryston BDP-2, the BDP-1USB is available at an affordable price. Bryston's BDP-1USB is powered by a noiseless linear power supply that is carefully isolated from the digital audio path and AC power circuits. A vast array of features such as UPnP compatibility, Squeezebox emulation, DoP (DSD over PCM), gapless playback, and more are all built in to Bryston's intuitive and attractive firmware that is easily accessible from most web browsers. Users can also control the BDP-1USB using Apple or Android phones and tablets using Bryston's built-in interface or a selection of several third-party apps. There are four USB inputs/outputs to ensure users can use a wide variety of devices. Bryston's BDP-1USB is compatible with Asynchronous USB DAC handles DSD over PCM (DoP) playback with compatible DACs. There is a 100Mbps Ethernet port to connectivity to a network. An intuitive GUI (Graphical User Interface) provides ease of access by virtually all web browsers including on mobile devices. There is support for FLAC, Apple Lossless, AIFF, WAV, MP3, and a huge variety of other audio formats. The Bryston BDP-1USB comes with a five year parts and labor warranty.

 

09 / 08 / 14

Australian Hi-Fi Magazine
Australian Hi-Fi MagazineEnjoy the Music.com just posted Australian Hi-Fi's September / October magazine that includes many exciting equipment reviews and an editorial that concerns trying to improve MP3 music files. This issue's equipment reviews include the Whatmough Progeny Signature loudspeakers, NAD D3020 integrated solid-state stereo amplifier, Q Acoustics Concept 20 loudspeakers, and the REL Series S/5 subwoofer. A special esoterica section has Edgar Kramer visiting an audiophile whose close circle of audio acquaintances has had a profound influence on his hi-fi journey. In his editorial, Greg Borrowman says, "If there's one thing in audio that enrages me more than any other, it would have to be the so-called 'Compressed Music Enhancers' that manufacturers are building into their products. The first reason it enrages me is because when MP3 was introduced, virtually every press function I attended at the time turned nasty whenever the presenter claimed that MP3 was 'CD-quality' because I'd be forced to put my hand up and state the obvious: namely that what the presenter was claiming was not true. This would naturally upset the presenter, not least because it alerted the other journalists present (many of whom lacked even a rudimentary knowledge of audio signal processing) that perhaps there was something wrong with MP3 and that whatever it was, there could be a story in it. Then, after each of these events, I would find myself in an argument with the presenter, and/or the product manager about MP3 vs. CD. Such arguments were always a total waste of time, because there was no way any of them would ever concede that MP3 was inferior to CD. About the only concession I ever got was that it was (and I quote!)... 'so close to CD that it's OK to call it CD-quality.'"

 

Piega Classic 80.2, Classic 60.2 and Classic 40.2 Speakers
Piega Classic 80.2, Classic 60.2 and Classic 40.2 SpeakersPiega's Classic Series is a homage to this Swiss company's roots in loudspeaker manufacturing. It was nearly 30 years ago that the first Piega loudspeakers came into existence at Horgen on the shores of Lake Zurich. The new Piega loudspeaker family forges a link to the company's beginnings. Three differently sized floorstanding speakers, Classic 80.2, Classic 60.2 and Classic 40.2, refer in style and materials to its history and allow lovers of music to hear the unique Piega ribbon technology. The distinguishing features of the new loudspeaker trio are the refined wooden cabinets which can be selected in piano white, black or high-gloss, and polished Makassar veneer. The elegantly rounded bodies facing toward the back are pressed in a C-shape. The baffle and the forward-leaning top section are covered with Napalette, which gives the Classic models a very unique visual note. Piega's top-line 80.2 comes with the large C1 coaxial ribbon system in which the tweeter and midrange are on exactly the same plane and have exactly the same center on the X, Y and Z axes. For bass, there are two 26cm cone drivers. Recommended amplifier output is 20 to 250 watts with bi-wire capability and the speaker has a sensitivity of 93 dB/W/m at 4 Ohms. Frequency response is from 22 Hz to 50 kHz, dimensions are 142 x 39 x 51 (HxWxD in cm) and it weighs 158 lbs. The Piega Classic 60.2 comes with two 22cm bass drivers and the C2 coaxial ribbon. The small floorstander Piega Classic 40.2 has two 18 cm cone woofers and LDR 2642 MKII ribbon.

 

Industry News 15 Years Ago
In an all new venture, BootlegTV.com is being launched by Discipline Global, Inc (DGI). DGI is home to such great bands as King Crimson, California Guitar trio, and Bill Bruford's Earthworks. To help launch this new venture you can hear King Crimson's concert as it was recorded during live concerts held in Mexico City from August 2nd through the 4th in 1996. This includes the band members Robert Fripp, Bill Bruford, Adrian Belew, Tony Levin, Trey Gunn and Pat Mastelotto. As an Enjoy the Music.com added feature, we have preview audio clips and even the entire concert for you! BootlegTV.com will have many concerts from bands such as King Crimson available for streaming within 24 hours of the actual live event! The concerts will be available for a fee. Various fees will be available for a viewing the music for a specific time period of viewing or unlimited viewing. Enjoy the Music.com proudly gives you a free song from King Crimson's 1996 tour too!

 

09 / 05 / 14

KEF R50 Dolby Atmos Speakers
KEF R50 Dolby Atmos Speakers
Since CEDIA is just around the corner and the new Dolby Atmos systems are going to be all the rage... the new KEF R50 speaker is designed to sit above freestanding or wall-mounted home theater satellite speakers. The new KEF R50 adds the Dolby Atmos all-important vertical sound dimension that allows you to enjoy at home the realistic 3D sound image that Dolby Atmos creates in cinemas. It is built around KEF's latest, and most sophisticated, 'sit anywhere' Uni-Q driver array. The driver features a 1" vented aluminum tweeter at the center of a wide-band 5.25" midrange/bass driver. The speaker will sit atop a speaker and beams the sound upwards to "envelope you in a breathtakingly precise multi-dimensional soundscape where each sound source moves as it does in real life". KEF's R50 has a frequency range from 96 Hz to 19.5 kHz (-6dB) with a crossover frequency at 2.5kHz for the drivers. Amplifier requirements are from 25 to 100 watts and sensitivity is 85dB/W/m. KEF's R50 achieves a maximum output of 106dB, presents an 8 Ohm impedance, and weighs 9.9 lbs. Overall dimensions are 6.9" x 7.1" x 10.2" (HxWxD).

 

Sennheiser Urbanita & Urbanite XL Headphones
Sennheiser Urbanite and Urbanite XL HeadphonesSennheiser's Urbanite on-ear and Urbanite XL over-ear headphones ($250) are the company's new "sound of urban style", bringing the bass for an intense club experience on the move. The Urbanite XL "delivers massive bass but with Sennheiser's uncompromising audio expertise ensuring excellent clarity throughout the entire frequency range" says the press release. Sennheiser's Urbanite range is designed for staying connected on the move, with integrated in line remote control and microphone for taking calls and controlling music on smartphones and tablets. There are dedicated versions of the headphones for either Apple iOS devices, Windows, and Android. A range of color choices includes black and denim across all models (both Apple and Samsung), with the iOS Urbanite additionally available in sand, nation and plum. iOS Urbanite XL are available in sand, nation and olive. The stainless-steel hinges add a rugged urban style, with color-coordinated fabric-wrapped headband. The durable sliders and hinges also work with the soft ear pads to ensure that the listener is insulated from external noise plus ensures great comfort for extended listening sessions. Sennheiser's Urbanite headphones are supplied with a soft pouch for safe storage and come with a two-year international warranty.

 

LH Lab's Offers Free Music From 2L
2L MagnificayLH Labs is now offering a free hi-res music download provided by 2L. This download is being offered a full month before the album's official release. LH Labs is a high fidelity audio manufacturer specializing in digital audio products. The album Magnificay was recorded by 2L, which is a 17-time Grammy Award-nominated record label. The free track comes from Kim André Arnesen's Magnificat, which is a traditional canticle that is sung or spoken in many Christian church services. It was recorded direct to DXD in Norway's historic Nidaros Cathedral and can be downloaded in four different formats including DXD 24-bit/352.8 kHz FLAC, which is the original format of the recording. You can also download it in DSD 64 (2.822 MHz), DSD 128 (5.644 MHz), and DSD 256 (11.288 MHz). Users will need to register on LH Labs' website to download this song. "As a company whose passion is to make the best high-resolution audio playback devices in the world, we want more people to experience what high resolution audio sounds like," said Larry Ho, Founder and President of Light Harmonic. "We're grateful to Morten and 2L for helping us accomplish our goal."

 

Sonos 5.1 Software
SonosThrough new, frees downloadable software, users of the popular Sonos homewide multi-room sound system are now able to do away with the Ethernet connection and go completely Internet wireless via your home's Wi-Fi. Sonos' 5.1 software is a major update that allows you to set up and run Sonos on your existing Wi-Fi network and thus there is no longer a need for hardwired Ethernet connection or using the Sonos Bridge unit. With Sonos, you can stream music to any room within your home without dropouts, echoes, or delays. The Sonos system handles stereo, 3.1 and 5.1 home theater setups. For those with extremely large home or challenging wireless signal environments, Sonos is working on their Sonos Boost ($99) that outperforms their currently available Bridge unit. The Boost applies over a decade of Sonos' learning about the varying needs of our customers and offers enterprise-grade wireless capabilities to serve even the most challenging home Wi-Fi environments.

 

09 / 04 / 14

Technics R1 And C700 System
Technics R1 Reference-Class SystemTechnics is once again entering the high fidelity audio sector with their R1 reference-class system and the C700 premium-class system. The Reference Class R1 Series consists of hi-fi audio components including the SL-C700 CD player, SE-R1 stereo power amplifier, SU-R1 network audio player plus the SB-R1 speaker system. Technics SE-R1 stereo power amplifier is a digital amplifier using "state-of-the-art components and innovative technologies" says the press release. It has JENO (Jitter Elimination and Noise-shaping Optimization) Digital Engine that consists of high-precision jitter reduction and PWM conversion circuits that enable fully-digitized processing. The SE-RI stereo amplifier also has GaN-MOSFET Driver, which enables high-speed switching and less signal loss with sufficient speaker-driving capacity. LAPC (Load Adaptive Phase Calibration) for speakers achieves flat amplitude-phase frequency characteristics. The unit has Technics Digital Link input, analog XLR and RCA input, with output being bi-wiring speaker terminals. Technics SU-R1 network audio control player handles 384kHz/32-bit and DSD 2.8MHz / 5.6MHz with asynchronous transfer mode. The Technics Digital Link, which is a newly developed digital interface, realizes signal transmission with less signal degradation between the integrated preamplifier and the separate power amplifier. Digital Noise Isolation Architecture effectively deals with jitter in individual interfaces and isolates noise. Within the power supply, low-noise R-core transformers provide stable performance even under load changes are adopted for both analog and digital circuits respectively. Digital inputs include AES/EBU XLR, three S/PDIF coaxial, TosLink optical, USB-A, USB-B, and there are two analog inputs via RCA. Outputs include Technics Digital Link AES/EBU XLR, S/PDIF coaxial, TosLink optical plus analog XLR and RCA line out. A headphone output is also provided.

Technics SB-R1 speaker system builds on the company's linear-phase, point-sound-source concept. It features a Phase Precision Driver (flat coaxial two-way speaker unit) that achieves optimum point-source and linear-phase reproduction. Furthermore, woofers are placed above and below it to create a virtual coaxial alignment. Low-distortion, long-stroke woofers and a stiff and light carbon graphite diaphragm dome tweeter enable ultra wide-range frequency reproduction. The SB-R1 speaker's cabinet is finished in high-quality piano color while, internally, it is constructed in such a way as to virtually eliminates undesirable resonances. The shape of the cabinet reduces diffraction reflection and removes standing waves. The drivers within the Technics SB-R1 are a 25mm carbon graphite dome tweeter centrally-mounted within their 160mm flat type midrange (pictured above), and four 160mm long stroke cone type woofers. These Technics products will go on sale December 2014.


Technics C700 SeriesTechnics C700 Series features many new components for the budget-minded, or those with space constraints. The Technics C700 stereo integrated amplifier employs innovative fully-digitized processing that delivers "a pure and accurate signal to the speakers". It can handle PCM up to 192kHz/32bit and DSD 2.8MHz / 5.6MHz with asynchronous transfer mode. The JENO (Jitter Elimination and Noise-shaping Optimization) Digital Engine consists of high-precision jitter reduction and PWM conversion circuits that enable fully-digitized processing. LAPC (Load Adaptive Phase Calibration) for speakers achieves flat amplitude-phase frequency characteristics. A high-speed, low-noise high-capacity linear power supply provides optimum current. Inputs include three S/PDIF coax, TosLink optical, USB-B, and analog RCA plus RIAA MM phono. Outputs are loudspeaker posts and headphone jack. Technics ST-C700 network audio player ST-C700 handles PCM up to 192kHz/32-bit and DSD 2.8MHz / 5.6MHz with asynchronous transfer mode. A special Digital Noise Isolation Architecture effectively deals with jitter in individual interfaces and isolates noise. Virtual Battery Operation reduces the inflow of noise from the power supply. High-precision oversampling processing improves the quality of sound sources and reproduces high-quality sound by effectively removing distortion. Inputs include USB-A and USB-B whilst outs include S/PDIF coaxial, TosLink optical , analog RCA, DAB, DAB+, FM Tuner /and it handles Bluetooth. Technics SL-C700 CD player "realizes accurate and high-quality music reproduction, drawing out the full potential inherent in a music CD" says the press release. There is a High Res Re-Master function, which enables high-precision expansion of bandwidth and bit depth for high-quality sound reproduction from music CDs. A High-precision master clock drives all the digital circuits. The Technics SL-C700 CD platter is equipped with high precision L/R independent Parallel DACs (Burr-Brown PCM1795). Outputs include S/PDIF coaxial, TosLink optical and analog RCA. Playback ability includes Audio CD, CD-R, CD-RW, MP3 (CD-R, CD-RW) and WMA (CD-R, CD-RW). Technics SB-C700 speaker system features Phase Precision Driver (flat coaxial two-way speaker unit) that realizes optimum point-source and linear-phase sound production. The stiff and light aluminum diaphragm dome tweeter achieves ultra wide-range reproduction up to 100kHz. The cabinet is finished in high-quality piano black and is designed to eliminate unnecessary resonance, reduces diffraction reflection, and remove internal standing waves. Driver compliment is a 19mm aluminum dome tweeter and 160mm flat-type woofer. These Technics products will go on sale December 2014.

 

Western Digital My Passport Wireless Hard Drive
Western Digital My Passport Wireless Hard Drive With Wi-Fi NetworkPortable audio enthusiasts will love enjoying a full 2TB of storage via the new Western Digital My Passport Wireless hard drive with Wi-Fi network. This is a wireless hard drive system available in 500GB, 1TB and 2TB configurations, which can free up space on your tablet, smartphone, etc, and operates up to 6 hours of continuous streaming and 20 hours of standby time. My Passport Wireless lets you connect with up to 8 devices at the same time. There is a built-in SD card slot to transfer, back up and share files. You can wirelessly connect your mobile devices with WD's My Cloud mobile app and save/access files securely from anywhere on any iOS or Android device. It can stream videos, photos and music to connected TV's, media players, gaming consoles and other DLNA/UPnP devices. My Passport Wireless acts as a Wi-Fi hub to share an Internet connection with multiple devices. Users can configure, manage and diagnose their drive using the intuitive dashboard. Run drive diagnostics, format your drive, register your drive and more. A fast USB 3.0 port allows for quickly transferring large amounts of data to the drive. The Western Digital My Passport Wireless hard drive with Wi-Fi network comes with a two year limited warranty.

 

Sony Walkman NWZ-A17 And MDR-1A Headphones
Sony Walkman NWZ-A17 Hi-Res Music PlayerSony's new high fidelity audio Walkman NWZ-A17 music player ($299) handles hi-res music files and marks the company's continued newfound entry into their longstanding history of innovative products. It is joined by the all-new MDR-1A hi-res headphones that "wrap you in a sumptuous, unparalleled listening experience" according to the press release. Named the world's smallest and lightest hi-res audio digital music player, the all-new exquisitely styled 64GB Walkman NWZ-A17 supports FLAC, Apple Lossless (ALAC), MP3, AAC, HE-AAC, WMA, Linear PCM (WAV) and AIFF. The Walkman NWZ-A17 showcases "master quality sound" via a number of different digital formats. It supports digital music files up to 192kHz/24-bit, yet strangely no DSD playback is mentioned, and thus we are speculating the unit is based on the Android OS. The S-Master HX digital amplifier, uniquely developed for hi-res audio playback, reduces distortion and noise while reproducing wide frequency response for a clearer acoustic experience. DSEE HX technology is used to upscale the quality of compressed digital files (MP3, AAC, and WMA) to enhance the sound quality. The device's sleek and compact design features a spun brushed aluminum chassis in front and a simple color user interface for ease-of-use. On the inside, the Sony Walkman NWZ-A17 borrows a few tricks from some of Sony's flagship audio products. Sony jumps the shark a bit within their press release and says, "First up is the high-purity lead-free solder from the ES audio line, used for thousands of component connections. The first time being adopted in a Sony portable device, this high-purity lead-free solder allows for reproduction of finely-detailed sounds with well-balanced low, mid and high frequency ranges." The power supply line is strengthened by thickened wires, which offers reduced impedance, reduces distortion and eis claimed to ensure "deep, sonorous bass". The extremely rigid aluminum die-cast chassis further reduces electronic noise and stabilizes sound reproduction. Finally, instead of conventional ceramic capacitors, a high-grade POSCAP capacitor is used as the charge pump for the S-Master HX digital amplifier to minimize noise and distortion even further. With 64GB of internal memory and a microSDXC slot that we assume handles 128GB memory cards, there is a good amount of total storage. The built-in lithium ion battery provides up to 50 hours of MP3 audio playback or up to 30 hours of hi-res audio playback per charge. Users can also enjoy high quality Bluetooth audio streaming convenience and simplified connectivity with Near Field Communications (NFC) technology. With built in SBC and aptX codec support, users of the Sony Walkman NWZ-A17 will benefit from high-quality audio when streaming music wirelessly.

Sony MDR-1A HeadphonesSony's MDR-1A hi-res headphones ($299) are said by the company to be the perfect match for today's finest high resolution audio sources. These all-new headphones utilize 40mm HD driver units, which produces wide bandwidth audio performance from 3 Hz to 100 kHz. The aluminum coated Liquid Crystal Polymer Film diaphragms provide the necessary rigidity and internal loss for a wide, balanced sound reproduction. The headphones' four-wire oxygen free audio cable structure uses separated ground cables to minimize crosstalk between the left and right channels. The silver-coated OFC (Oxygen Free Copper) cable provides each driver with a separate ground and signal connection for heightened separation that yields expanded soundscape and tighter bass. With less inherent electrical resistance as found in some standard copper cabling, silver coated OFC can minimize signal transmission loss, thus enabling less sound degradation and "mellifluous treble sounds" says Sony. Sony's Beat Response Control vents airflow via acoustic ports to optimize diaphragm movement. As for the headband and cushioning, he design and pressure relieving urethane cushions of the all-new MDR-1A headphones allow for wrap around comfort and an acoustic seal for deep bass response. Through the placement of silicon rings around every moving axis, these headphones allow for an immersive music experience devoid of mechanical rattling. The MDR-1A melds sound quality, ergonomic design and long-term comfort to create headphones that you will be proud to listen to, and proud to wear. "As digital audio emerged and allowed consumers to more easily and accessibly enjoy music, audio quality was inadvertently sacrificed," said Michael Woulfe, Vice President of Sound Division at Sony Electronics. "Sony's commitment to hi-res audio continues with the new hi-res Walkman and MDR-1A hi-res headphones. Music lovers no longer have to choose between audio quality and portability – they can finally listen to their music library on-the-go, with the quality that the artist intended."

 

Pono Player Update
PonoPlayerFor those still waiting on their PonoPlayer ($399) that handles hi-res music, we here at Enjoy the Music.com have some updated information. PonoPlayer handles a variety of audio format including FLAC, ALAC, WAV, AIFF, AAC (unprotected), and MP3. The Kickstarter player rewards were promised to be delivered in two batches: The first batch of about 10,000 units will ship at the end of October 2014, with the second batch of 5000 units being delivered by end of December 2014. Pono's pre-order store PonoPlayers will be made available in Q1 of 2015. Pono's music library is scheduled to launch in October with about 2,500,000 tracks. They are actively engaging with all indie aggregators to extend Pono's catalog beyond the majors record labels. Pono's music files will be FLAC format. Their partner Omnifone already has 90% of their 30,000,000+ catalog in FLAC. Pono is planning a major launch at the Dreamforce conference (October 13th through 16th), which has an attendance of 125,000. CEO Neil Young's keynote speech is expected to be viewed live via online streaming by 3,000,000 people and an additional 1,000,000 will watch the recorded version. You can read more about Pono and see a video featuring CEO Neil Young at this link.

 

Important Announcement
Rocky Mountain Audio Fest 2014 (RMAF)As an Enjoy the Music.com industry news side note, we have an update concerning the devices shown during the IFA conference and related notes concerning the upcoming Rocky Mountain Audio Fest in Denver. At yesterday's IFA conference, HTC, LG, Samsung, and Sony have announced new models of cell phones that easily handle FLAC music files. High resolution audio playback will soon be in the hands of many million of consumers (see industry memo) via widespread sales of portable devices. In addition, just a few weeks ago it was reported that Internet bandwidth is now being used by more apps / portable devices than home computers for the first time in the history of the Internet. Please allow me to reiterate this, worldwide Internet bandwidth is now serving more bandwidth to portable devices than home computers for the first time in the history of the Internet. Keynote speakers/demonstrations during the IFA were streamed live online and concurrently streamed by many online consumer electronics sites / magazines. In fact yesterday's Samsung IFA conference alone has racked up, in total, well over 2,000,000 views and growing. As mentioned within the above Pono news article, Neil Young's upcoming speech at Dreamfore is also expected to reach well over 3,000,000 views via live online streaming.

Enjoy the Music.com will be live streaming to a worldwide audience our exclusive high resolution video at the upcoming RMAF 2014. During the show we will be visiting a variety of rooms / exhibition spaces and already have over 20 requests from RMAF exhibitors within the past 24 hours. Soon after the RMAF event, we will be providing true 1080 high resolution videos of our live streams. Companies showcasing their products at RMAF 2014 who want to appear within Enjoy the Music.TV's live stream should contact us. Please help us help you, our readers, and the industry in general, reach a worldwide audience as every other major consumer electronics, high fashion, high-end automobile, sports event, and luxury goods show / company does today. Enjoy the Music.com's sister site Enjoy the Music.TV will be also live streaming in high resolution at the 2015 AXPONA event in Chicago, California Audio Show in San Francisco, and T.H.E. Show Newport Beach. Odds are we'll be doing it again at RMAF in 2015 too.

Added: Apple just announced they will be live video streaming their new products event online. We expect millions of viewers will be watching as new Apple products are announced. You can see all the great new Apple products as they are shown live, online, on September 9th at this link.

 

09 / 03 / 14

Hi-Fi+ Magazine
Hi-Fi+ MagazineEnjoy the Music.com just posted Hi-Fi+'s September edition filled with many great equipment and music reviews. This issue includes reviews of the BMC BDCD1.1/DAC1 Pre HR CD player/DAC/Preamp, Magnepan 3.7i/DWM panel loudspeaker/woofer system, Computer Audio Design CAT computer audio transport, Chord Company Sarum/Sarum TA cable system, OPPO PM-1 planar magnetic headphones, Townsend Allegri autotransformer preamplifier, Usher Audio N-6300 standmount loudspeaker and many more! In his editorial, Alan Sircom says "Show season has come round fast this year. It seems like only a few weeks ago that we were packing ourselves off to Munich, with the promise of a long summer before the events calendar kicks off again in September. Now we are already gearing up for the National Audio Show, which will run on the 20th and 21st September 2014 at Whittlebury Hall, near Silverstone racetrack." See the September issue of Hi-Fi+ by clicking here.

 

George Harrison's The Apple Years 1968-75 Box Set
George Harrison The Apple Years 1968-75 Box SetUniversal Music Group and the George Harrison family are proud to announce their upcoming The Apple Years 1968-75 box set, which will be released September 22nd. George Harrison's first six solo albums have been digitally remastered from the original analogue masters for 16-bit/44.1kHz CD and digital release. Wonderwall Music, Electronic Sound, All Things Must Pass, Living In The Material World, Dark Horse, and Extra Texture (Read All About It) are available now for pre-order on Amazon, both individually in digipaks and together within the deluxe, eight-disc boxed edition. Designed to complement Harrison’s 2004 collection, The Dark Horse Years 1976-92, the new box features an exclusive DVD with several video pieces, including a new seven-minute film with previously unreleased footage. The Apple Years box set also includes an exclusive perfect-bound book with an introduction by Dhani Harrison, new essays by award-winning radio producer and author Kevin Howlett, and rare and previously unpublished images. This project was overseen by George's son, Dhani Harrison, who said "I am so happy that what we started a decade ago by releasing The Dark Horse Years is now complete with the release of his first six albums as The Apple Years. Some of these records have long been out of print, and so I cannot wait for music lovers to get their hands on these newly remastered versions. It's a very proud moment for us, and I would like to thank everyone who has helped us in any way to achieve this." The six albums have been digitally restored and remastered at Lurssen Mastering in Los Angeles by a Grammy Award-winning team of engineers including Paul Hicks, Gavin Lurssen, and Reuben Cohen. Wonderwall Music, Living In The Material World, Dark Horse, and Extra Texture (Read All About It) are all newly expanded with previously unreleased or rare additional tracks. All Things Must Pass includes the five extra tracks first released in 2001.

 

09 / 02 / 14

September's Enjoy the Music.com Review Magazine
Enjoy the Music.com Review MagazineEnjoy 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! We offer a new contests where you can enter for your chance to win a $399 Wyred 4 Sound Reclocker! Remember to friend us on Facebook and enter our contest for your chance to win the Wyred 4 Sound Remedy Reclocker! See the September Review Magazine by clicking here.

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.

 

 

 
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