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11 / 17 / 17
Sonus Faber's Aida Flagship Reference
has just showcased their latest generation Adia large floorstanding speaker
system (€84,000 plus VAT). After six years from the introduction of the first grandiose Aida, Sonus faber pushes the envelope and presents the new Aida as the brand's flagship speaker poised at the pinnacle of its product range. Sonus faber's new Aida has been completely overhauled utilizing the most advanced electroacoustic developments yet retains all its timeless Italian class and elegance. This new '3 and 2/3 way' design features Stealth Ultraflex, which allows better bass extension while minimizing distortion and eliminating spurious vibration coming from the air passage inside the reflex duct. The typical lyra shape enclosure, as in the previous edition, is complimented by sonus faber's special Anima Legata system, plus Tuned Mass Dampers and a revision of the special Bow Spring suspension. This suspension system with their Zero Vibration Transmission system are designed to keep both the loudspeaker and the musical environment free from unwanted resonance and vibration. The D.A.D. Arrow Point H28 XTR-04 tweeter was first used within sonus faber's Lilium and, most recently, Homage Tradition Collection. The midrange is also promoted to a M18 XTR-04 enhanced with the avional-gunmetal basket, the most advanced midrange driver in the entire sonus faber catalog. Completing the new driver arsenal are the new specifically designed woofers: W22 XTR-12 with all-new powerful neodymium magnet motors and SW32 XTR-08 infra-woofer. Sonus faber says it is "probably the craziest subwoofer ever designed in sonus faber, equipped with Nano Carbon sandwich cone and a long-throw 4" voice coils, powered by a neodymium magnet motor". Another interesting design element is their cost-no-object project patented Sound Field Shaper technology – a unique system of attenuated rear-facing drivers allowing precise control of the dimensionality and perceived size of the soundstage. On the sonus faber Aida, this system is upgraded further utilizing the latest tweeter and midrange drivers. Overall frequency
response is 18Hz to 35kHz, sensitivity is 92dB/W/m, and it presents a 4 Ohm load nominal. Power handling is up to 1000 Watts. Dimensions are 68" x 19" x 31" (HxWxD) and weight is 727
pounds per pair. You can read
Enjoy the Music.com's world premiere review of Sonus Faber's Amati Tradition floorstanding loudspeaker at this link.
Audio Research VT80SE Vacuum Tube Stereo Amplifier
Research's new VT80SE ($8900, tube cage adds $500) vacuum tube stereo amplifier seeks the widest appeal of music lovers worldwide. By combining world-class performance with flexibility and features like auto-bias, Audio Research's VT80 seeks to be an amplifier that is easy to take home and just forget as you enjoy your music collection again for the first time. According to the company, "The big change from the VT80 to the new VT80SE is upgrading the KT120 tubes to the higher performance KT150 output tubes. Everyone should know that we have been deeply enamored with the KT150 as we feature it in all of our other amplifiers, from the VSi75 to the REF 750SE. Its performance is unparalleled and its 3,000 hour average life allows years of uninterrupted listening. The VT80 was originally designed with the KT120, the predecessor to the KT150, but these two tubes are electrically interchangeable and the demand for delivering the VT80 with the KT150 could be ignored no longer. It is important to mention that the KT150 tubes supplied by Audio Research for all of our products are specially produced to our high standards, are tested and measured for quality control and assurance, and are burned in for 48 hours. Then using our 'Certified Matched' process, they are hand matched in sets with tolerances 10x tighter than standard off-the-shelf tubes, thus ensuring the finest audio quality
possible. With its auto-bias design, the VT80SE can also be used with KT120 or KT150 output tubes and the circuit will adjust immediately when a new tube is installed. Protective fuses are installed for each output tube and can be replaced if the need ever arises. What sonic improvements will you hear with the VT80SE? As our Warren Gehl said, 'More music!' Tonal color, detail, dynamic swing and purity are all improved, along with a bigger and more robust presentation. The music gets better, in every way. Aside from the beautiful curves of the KT150 tubes, the only other way to distinguish the SE from the original VT80 is by a small sticker on the rear panel. Nothing else needed to change. The existing (optional) ventilated tube cover can be used with the taller KT150 tube set, there is still sufficient space to breathe. Hear for yourself how good your system can sound with the new VT80SE, it will make a tube-lover out of anyone who loves
music." See Enjoy the
Music.com's review of the Audio Research L28 vacuum tube line stage and VT80
power amplifier at this link.
VPI Industries Cliffwood Moving Magnet Phono Stage
VPI Industries has just launched their new Cliffwood phono stage ($500) for moving magnet (MM) cartridges. This moving magnet design is based on the company's Player circuitry, which employs a low noise op-amp design with a regulated linear power supply. Per it's namesake, the VPI Cliffwood phono stage is meant to be a compliment to their Cliffwood turntable. This provides customers the
opportunity to purchase both units to easily start their vinyl LP listening experience. VPI
Industries is focused on completing their entry level story for music lovers to have all the tools they need to listen to their favorite albums. A total of 44dB of gain is provided, with the cartridge loading being industry standard 47 kOhm
@ 180pF. Maximum input level is 125mV, with an input sensitivity of 3mV for 500mV output. VPI's Cliffwood MM phono stage has a frequency response from 17Hz to 75kHz with an outstanding RIAA accuracy of +/-0.18dB (100Hz to 75kHz). The Cliffwood MM phono stage will be available in both a black and clear silver finish, with an expected launch date of
mid-2018. For those curious about other VPI accessories, you can read
Enjoy the Music.com's reviw of VPI's MW-1 Cyclone record cleaning machine at this link.
11 / 16 / 17
Quadral Aurum A10S Wireless Streaming Stereo Amplifier
is combing state-of-the-art streaming technology with the exemplary acoustic merits of the Aurum amplifier in its new stereo A10S amplifier
(€3200). Just like its 'sister' products, the A10S is hand finished in Germany. With an exceptionally sophisticated Class AB output stage for distortion-free sound on one hand and Wi-Fi module, Ethernet and USB-A connection on the other, the new A10S combines the best of both worlds. Network players and amplifiers capable of streaming often offer flexible applications. Quadral's A10S takes a completely new path with 100 Wpc stereo at 8 Ohm and 180 Watt at 4 Ohm, it achieves tremendous power. Decoupled sections, outstanding low distortion and selected components show the company's impressive improvements in audio competence. With the Aurum app for Apple iOS and android, the integration of TIDAL, airable radio, airable podcasts means the A10S wants for nothing in terms of modern streaming features. Enjoying streaming in first-class Hi-Fi quality is even easier with the optional RC3 remote control. Two independent low dispersion power supply units and the large-scale transformer ensure top performance. An ultra-precise volume control down to 1dB increments and balanced XLR connectors further proves that even the tiniest details have been considered. That also applies to the variety of formats that the A10S can take perfectly in its stride. WAV, FLAC, ALAC, LPCM, WMA, MP3 and AAC can all be played back.
Industry News 10 Years Ago
The Tape Project Produces Great Reel-To-Reel Recordings
The Tape Project, presented by
Paul Stubblebine Mastering (PSM) in concert with
Bottlehead Corporation, have launched their Audiophile Music Series on
reel-to-reel tape! PSM and valve electronics experts Bottlehead Corporation now offer a series of analog releases for discerning audiophiles an analog tape. Slated for ten releases per year and sold primarily on a subscription basis, the 15ips (inches per second) half-track stereo, reel-to-reel recordings encompass a wide range of musical styles, the first of which include Classical, Jazz, Blues, Americana and Roots music. The company is recommending tape machines and specifications for playback, as well as offering its own specially modified tape decks with custom valve components from Bottlehead Corp. "The only two requirements for the music that we release are that the master must exist on analog tape and that the music be great" stated Paul
Stubblebine. "That it be music that moves the listener. That it be music that can stand the test of time, and continue to bring satisfaction for years," The first ten titles are:
1) The Number White by jazz singer Jacqui Naylor
2) Dave Alvin's Blackjack David
3) Arnold Overtures original music by Malcolm Arnold with the London Philharmonic Orchestra recorded by Grammy-Winning engineer and audiophile equipment designer Keith Johnson
4) The album that established Robert Cray as a strong new voice in the blues False
5) Raphael Fruhbeck de Burgos with the New Philharmonia Orchestra performing Albeniz - Suite Espanola
6) David Oistrakh and the London Symphony Orchestra with music by Bruch and Hindemith
7) Eiji Oue and the Minnesota Orchestra performing Exotic Dances from the Opera
(Saint-Saëns, Strauss, Rabaud)
8) Bill Evans Waltz for Debby live at the Village Vanguard in 1961
9) Mose Allison in 1959's Creek Bank engineered by Rudy Van Gelder
10) The incomparable Sonny Rollins in Saxophone Colossus.
11 / 15 / 17
RMAF 2017 Show Report
ESS, Channel Islands, Exogal, Vehement Audio, And Core Power Technologies.
RMAF 2017 Report By Kemper Holt
Furutech NFC Booster: Ultimate Cable
/ Connector Damping System
NCF Booster ($350 each, with additional extension shafts in 10pcs sets for $33) employs specially developed sound enhancing material for superior connector and cable damping. According to Furutech, "Not only does the Furutech NCF Booster Connector and Cable Holder lift audio cables off the floor minimizing their points of contact, it also reduces electromagnetic interference and excels at providing NCF damping support for connectors and cables at points of connection. The NCF Booster Connector and Cable Holder allows for the optimum alignment between connectors and sockets and eliminates static – boosting performance by allowing a more pure and clear signal. Developed by Furutech, NCF features a special crystalline material that has two 'active' properties. First, it generates negative ions that eliminate static. Second, it converts thermal energy into far infrared. Furutech combines this remarkable material with nano-sized ceramic particles and carbon powder for their additional piezoelectric damping properties. The resulting Nano Crystal² Formula, exclusive to Furutech, is the ultimate electrical and mechanical damping material." The top clamp unit is made from stainless steel block and audio-grade NCF nylon resin. The base unit features an audio-grade ABS resin body with slip-proof, shock-absorbing plate with counterweight. Overall dimensions are 94 x 99.7 mm with a base level height of 80 mm that extends to 140 mm as
needed. You can read
Enjoy the Music.com's review of the Furutech DIY power cable and power outlet at this link.
11 / 14 / 17
RMAF 2017 Show Report
JWM Acoustics, Aries Cerat, Constellation, Raidho, Aavik, And
RMAF 2017 Report By Kemper Holt
11 / 13 / 17
Capital Audiofest (CAF) 2017 Show Report
Baby Has Grown Up...
CAF 2017 Report By Greg Weaver
Australian Hi-Fi Magazine's
November / December Issue
This issue of
Australian Hi-Fi features
reviews of the Sonus faber Chameleon B loudspeakers, GoldenEar Triton Two+ speakers, Pioneer A-70DA integrated amplifier, Lumin A1 network music player, AudioQuest DragonFly Red DAC / headphone amplifier, Focal Utopia & Elear headphones, EISA Awards 2017–2018 and much more.
Within his editorial Desperately Seeking Schematics, Greg Borrowman says "The recent closure of Canadian manufacturer Classé Audio, which had been owned by B&W since 2001, seems to have been the result of B&W being purchased in 2016 by EVA Automation, whose founder and CEO — Gideon Yu — is a finance specialist rather than a hi-fi specialist (he was once Chief Financial Officer at Facebook). I can't say I was particularly surprised at this turn of events, because I had always thought that Classé was a strange purchase for B&W, even as far back as 2001. At the time I thought that B&W was throwing a life-line to a struggling company partly because of the high quality of its products, but mostly because B&W's then-president, Joe Atkins (who was Canadian), was trying to help out a fellow Canadian."
See what's within this issue of Australian Hi-Fi at this
11 / 10 / 17
Warning: Audio Driver Has Been Caught Installing Root Certificate
Warning to audiophiles as the CERT Coordination Center lists products from Accuphase, AsusTek, Audio-Technica, Creek Audio, EMC, FiiO Electronics, HiFime, Intos, JDS Labs, McIntosh Laboratory, ShenZhen YuLong Audio, Stoner Acoustics, Sybasonic, and TeraDak Audio as
affected. According to Eduard Kovacs of Security Week, "Savitech drivers used by several companies that provide specialized audio products expose computers to hacker attacks by installing a new root certificate into the Trusted Root Certification Authorities store in Windows. The USB audio drivers from Savitech, a company that offers application-specific integrated circuits for audio and video solutions, are used by several vendors." The article goes on to say, "Savitech used the "SaviAudio" root certificate as part of its effort to support the outdated Windows XP operating system, but the certificate is no longer installed by the latest version of the drivers released by the company... Installing such a certificate allows hackers who are in possession of the Savitech private key to impersonate online services, sign malicious software, and decrypt network traffic via man-in-the-middle (MitM) attacks. While this worst case scenario sounds serious, in reality, the risk of an attack is low as, hopefully, Savitech has taken steps to ensure that the private key cannot be obtained easily by malicious actors." Learn more about this at
Industry News 15 Years Ago
CES High-End Audio Board's "It's All About Performance" Guide
The Consumer Electronics Association
(CEA) High End Audio Board, comprised of executives from specialty audio
companies including Thiel Audio, Audiophile Systems, Ltd., Martin-Logan, Ltd., Conrad-Johnson Design, Parasound Products and
Krell, has made available their "It's All About The Performance" guide. This publication offers eight "rules of performance based selling" and can be downloaded
online. According to press release "The guide reinforces the eight golden rules of performance-based selling: (1) Get right to the demo; (2) Set the stage, set the mood; (3) Script the demo; (4) Sweat the details; (5) Practice, practice, practice; (6) Simplify the demonstration; (7) If it doesn't perform better, it isn't better and (8) Performance is defined by the customer." Gary
Warzin, chairman of the CEA High End Audio Board and president and CEO of Audiophile Systems, Ltd. said "Specialty retailers who can effectively demonstrate performance have a distinct advantage. A convincing demonstration of great performance establishes credibility and authority, weakens the competition and builds the emotional excitement that is essential to closing sales. Our plan is to make this a living document that can be updated with relevant ideas on an ongoing basis."
11 / 09 / 17
TAVES 2017 Show Report Part 3
Toronto Audio Video Entertainment Show Report By Rick Becker
McIntosh Announces MC1.25KW Quad Balanced Power Amplifier
Labs is proud to announce their MC1.25KW Quad Balanced Power Amplifier. ($12,500)
as the company's newest, and one of their most advanced, amplifiers for audio. Redesigned from top to bottom, it replaces the venerable MC1.2KW as McIntosh's most powerful single chassis monoblock amplifier. A simple glance at the 158 pound MC1.25KW may be enough to convey its power and performance capabilities. McIntosh's new MC1.25KW outputs 1200 Watts of power into a single channel with a nearly imperceptible total harmonic distortion of 0.005%. Full power output is maintained through 2, 4 or 8 Ohm speakers via McIntosh Labs' Autoformer technology. Updates and enhancements abound in the MC1.25KW include a 50% increase in filter capacity, which is said to improve the performance of low end frequencies as well as increasing dynamic headroom. The top of the amp showcases an updated yet unmistakable McIntosh industrial design that will fit right in with current McIntosh products or those made decades ago. Towards the rear of the chassis are four McIntosh Monogrammed Heatsinks that are made from high quality materials with excellent thermal conductivity properties. A polished stainless steel chassis rests on four new redesigned feet that feature a chamfered edge. Other updates include heavier gauge internal wiring, upgraded circuit components, and the addition of our eco-friendly power management system that will turn the amp off after a set amount of time when no input signal has been detected. The AC receptacle has been repositioned to provide additional clearance so a wider assortment of power cords can more easily be used. With all the changes and improvements made in the MC1.25KW, one thing that hasn’t changed is the large, fast responding 11" McIntosh
signature blue Watt meter that accurately shows the amplifier's power output. Also unchanged is the signature black glass front panel with control knobs, illuminated logo, and aluminum end caps with handles. The front panel and meter have new direct LED backlighting for improved appearance and color accuracy. Other exclusive McIntosh features included in the MC1.25KW include Power Guard, Sentry Monitor, Quad Balanced design, Power Control and their patented Solid Cinch speaker binding posts. Both a balanced
XLR and unbalanced RCA output are included to make bi-amp'ing or tri-amp'ing speakers
easier. They may also be used to send the audio signal to a secondary system if the preamplifier does not have enough outputs or to connect a powered
subwoofer. Enjoy the Music.com has recently reviewed the McIntosh Labs McIntosh C2600
vacuum tube stereo preamplifier with DAC, phono stage and headphone
amplifier. We've also posted a review
of McIntosh Labs' MP100 Phono Stage With Analog And Hi-Res Audio Digital Output.
11 / 08 / 17
Gershman Acoustics New Reference Posh Floorstanding Loudspeaker
The new Posh floorstanding loudspeaker ($129,000 per pair) from
Gershman Acoustics has been designed to provide the very best sound and build quality. Using 1" thick HDF wood to build a massive enclosure, special designer styling cues bring a lovely rounding and tapering the back of the enclosure. In addition to that massive build,
specially engineered 0.25" stainless steel panels further strengthen and deaden the enclosure from unwanted resonances. Gershman Acoustics' Posh crossover is constructed with point-to-point silver soldering and features top-of-the-line Mundorf MCapR Supreme Classic Silver-Gold/Oil signal capacitors. Sonically, Gershman Acoustics says this version from Mundorf truly stands out due to its wonderful natural singing and exceptional micro dynamics. For driver duties, high frequencies are produced by top-of-the-line Morel dome tweeter. This special tweeter is mated with an Accuton Cell 5" ceramic midrange. There are a pair of 8" aluminum alloy double magnet woofers (Gershman's design) to produce
accurate and deep bass. These woofers feature an aluminum cone to produce bass and mid-bass very cleanly, with low distortion down to 19Hz. Furutech internal and exterior gold plated connectors ensure reliability. For best speaker cable connection, Gershman Acoustics' Posh design incorporates the best gold plated Mundorf binding posts. The Posh loudspeakers are constructed with a totally new approach incorporating two entirely separate enclosures placed one above the other in such a manner that they blend seamlessly into one. Each loudspeaker has a double woofer enclosure placed on a very impressively custom designed Tip Toes, and an A-shaped enclosure. suspended above it by two solid steel structures, one on each side to suspend and completely separate the midrange and tweeter enclosure. Each loudspeaker is finished on all sides in high-gloss lacquer — a piano finish — and can't be missed for its beauty and elegance even by a casual observers. Gershman Acoustics' Posh
reference floorstanding loudspeaker may also be ordered in any custom color to meet you needs and decor.
11 / 07 / 17
Hi-Fi World's December
Issue Is Now Available Online
World's December issue features reviews of the Spendor D9 loudspeakers, Rock Hi-Fi stands, Chord Hugo 2, Cowon Plenue 2 portable digital audio player, Leema Quasar amplifier, Exposure XM5 integrated amplifier, Teac X-2000m Open Reel, Audio Technica AT700 Series MM cartridges, plus coverage of the Indulgence Show 2017.
Keywood's editorial he says, "I suspect open-reel analogue tape recorders might be a future retro-revival niche though; Technics are about to launch a stunning looking SP-10R Direct Drive turntable and are getting right back behind analogue audio with serious product. Will they or others suddenly announce the introduction of a professional open-reel tape recorder aimed at music studios around the world – oh, and with a spin-off model for the home? I sense that open-reel is about to kick open its coffin lid and step out in new form. When it does we will be there taking pictures, applying a few measurements and telling you about how good high-resolution analogue can sound.
High-resolution analogue was expensive stuff confined to big studios and broadcasting organisations until digital took over. It is far less expensive now for everyday audiophiles – people who would just like to hear what is really on an analogue LP, rather than suffer a mangled version. Audio Technica recently introduced a range of hi-end pickup cartridges – the 700 Series – able to do just that, using sophisticated stylus tip shapes. Our review on p84 and following Feature explain how today's modern pickup cartridges bring you high-resolution from LP. I hope you enjoy what we bring you in another issue that combines the old with the new – and the old that is new!"
See what's within the December issue of Hi-Fi World and read the complete editorial at this link.
11 / 06 / 17
RMAF 2017 Show Report
Sanders Sound System Plus Bang & Olufsen
RMAF 2017 Report By Kemper Holt
Gryphon Audio Introduces Their New Atlas Spike For Audio Gear
Gryphon Audio Designs
of Denmark have earned universal praise for innovation in both electronics and loudspeakers and for their range of accessories, audio peripherals that go the extra mile in the refinement of any high-performance system. Early on, Gryphon dismissed the notion of vibration control via absorption/dispersion using soft materials to convert resonances to heat. Pads, springs, viscous damping, rubbery feet etc., typically provide a largely random mix of coupling and decoupling of the audio component to the underlying surface. And thus the all-new Gryphon Atlas Spikes employ effective mechanical earthing, to divert resonances away from vibration-sensitive components where they could do audible and visible harm. Extensive Gryphon research has shown that the size, shape and material of spikes can have significant influence on sound quality. Some materials actually store some of the energy that they are intended to transfer. But, because they are assembled from carefully selected parts made of Polyoxymethylene
(POM), aluminum and tempered steel, Gryphon Atlas Spikes create an evacuation path between the equipment and the outside world, acting as mechanical diodes, conducting energy in one direction only and blocking it the other way. These no-nonsense accessories, based on real science, include M4 screw threads for easy mounting under loudspeakers and adhesive pads for carefully balanced placement under audio components, regardless of total weight. The height of each Gryphon Atlas can be fine-tuned for perfect
leveling and experimentation with positioning directly under transformers or motors will reveal the optimum set-up, with across the board sonic improvements in such critical areas as bass firmness, soundstage focus and overall clarity and openness. Gryphon Audio Designs recommend Atlas spikes especially in conjunction with vibration-sensitive tube amplification, motor-driven components such as turntables and disc players and amplifiers with extensive internal wiring. Like every Gryphon product, Gryphon Atlas Spikes are designed by Gryphon founder and CEO Flemming E. Rasmussen and manufactured in
Enjoy the Music.com's award-winning Gryphon Diablo 300 integrated amplifier review
with 32-bit/384kHz & DSD DAC option at this link.
11 / 03 / 17
TAVES 2017 Show Report Part 2
Toronto Audio Video Entertainment Show Report By Rick Becker
11 / 02 / 17
RMAF 2017 Show Report
Von Schweikert Audio, Audionet, GTT Audio Video, Spatial Audio, Vinnie Rossi, And
RMAF 2017 Report By Kemper Holt
Hi-Fi+'s October Magazine
Features Many High-End Audio Reviews
Magazine's November 2017 issue features your views on all things audio plus Indulgence Show 2017 London
report. High-end audio equipment reviews include Naim Audio Uniti Core / Nova, Chord Electronics Hugo2, Kalista Dreamplay / DAC, VPI Industries Scout turntable and arm, Vitus Audio SS-103 stereo power amplifier, Gold Note PH-10 Phono stage, Devialet Expert 1000 Pro / Roon, Gutwire Perfect / Ultimate Ground, Ultrasone Naos portable headphone amp / DAC, and Ecosse Master Reference DCT interconnect cables.
Within his editorial A Ceasefire Between Analog And Digital Music Format Lovers, Alan Sircom says, "We have seen unprecedented change in the front-ends of our systems in recent years. CD waxed and waned, where LP had the opposite trajectory. As to 'non-physical media' we've moved from low quality MP3 to high-resolution PCM, DSD, and now MQA files, while even the way we acquire that music has shifted from 'own' to 'loan' as we moved to streaming services like TIDAL and Spotify. The usual narrative here implies massive shifts in the listening tastes of music lovers. It's like we all get an email every couple of months saying something like
"Hi! Music here. Stop listening to downloaded music and start streaming now." And we all obey. Seeing trends and patterns in the way we acquire and listen to music as concrete and universal change is extremely convenient for pundits and those of us with column inches to fill, but isn't a true reflection of the actions of the modern music lover."
See what's within this issue of H-Fi+ Magazine at this
11 / 01 / 17
Enjoy the Music.com's
November Review Magazine Is Now Available Online
Music.com's November Review
Magazine is packed with three, or perhaps we'll call
it four, show reports plus five high-end audio gear reviews! We naturally
have Dave Hanson's excellent CanJam
@ RMAF report wrapped up, yet there's quite a bit of hi-fi
gear from RMAF 2017 now online; with more coming your way from
Kemper Holt! We've also started posting Rick Becker's extensive TAVES
coverage, which right now features 50 photos spanning 4 web pages. This
coming weekend's Capital
Audiofest is so successful that all exhibition rooms are sold out!
Our coverage will be coming online soon afterwards of course.
As for gear reviews, we
have the all-singing and all-dancing AirPulse Model-1 active speaker by Phil Jones.
Powered speaker with... everything! Gold Note's DS-1000 Streamer DAC with USB, S/PDIF
and optical inputs is the company's latest edition to their high-end
family. Grado Labs audiophile-grade PS-2000e 'phones bring bliss to Editor
Tom Lyle's ears. NAD's C 388 digital hybrid streaming integrated amplifier
ensures the latest tech with MDC cards. Tweakers
take note as HiFi-Tuning's Supreme Harmonizer may bring a gloriously different
aspect to your audio system. See
what's within this month's edition of Enjoy
the Music.com's Review Magazine at this link.
Is There Too Much Music?
Roger Skoff wonders if by gaining so much, we've actually lost something.
Article By Roger Skoff
TAVES 2017 Show Report (Updated)
Toronto Audio Video Entertainment Show
RMAF 2017 Show Report (Updated)
Our Rocky Mountain International Audio Fest 2017 show report.
CanJam Denver 2017 Show Report
CanJam 2017 @ RMAF Head-Fi show report.
Coming Soon! Capital Audiofest (CAF) 2017
& CanMania Show Report
Our coverage is coming soon as show begins November 3rd!
AirPulse Model-1 Active Speaker By Phil Jones
Enjoy all your music from bi-amplified speakers with a 24-bit/192kHz DAC,
preamp, Bluetooth aptX streaming, professional balanced XLR and RCA analog
inputs, optical and coaxial digital inputs, remote control, EQ... for only
Review By Steven R. Rochlin
Gold Note DS-1000 Streamer DAC With USB, S/PDIF & Optical Inputs
Modern features joins today's best musicality.
Review By Tom Lyle
Grado Labs PS-2000e Headphones
Headphone bliss with the $2695 Grado PS-2000e open-air cans.
Review By Tom Lyle
HiFi-Tuning Supreme Harmonizer
Harmonizing the different aspects of an audio system.
Review By Jeremy R. Kipnis of Kipnis Studios (KSS)
NAD C 388 Digital Hybrid Streaming Integrated Amplifier With DAC,
Streamer, MM Phonostage, Bluetooth And BluOS
Quite a bargain on its own, plus you can customize with NAD's MDC cards
Review By Bret Rudolph
Sennheiser HDV 820 DAC / Headphone Amplifier
Analytical, schmanalytical. Who says your HD800 can't be fun?
Review By Dave Hanson
More Articles Available Online!
See all our show reports, articles, and gear reviews within
Enjoy the Music.com's November Review Magazine now available online.
10 / 30 / 17
TAVES 2017 Show Report
Toronto Audio Video Entertainment Show
Part 1 By Rick Becker
Capital Audiofest (CAF) 2017 & CanMania 2017 This Coming Weekend
(CAF) 2017, also featuring CanMania, is the premier East
coast audio show that you can count on to deliver great sound, enjoy thousands of dollars of high-end audio gear,
and audiophile music all within a truly fun
experience. CAF 2017 is scheduled for November 3rd through 5th at the Hilton Hotel at Twinbrook Metro.
They are expanding the show this year to build the premier East Coast Show
within the same great venue as last year. This venue received glowing reviews from the audio press,
plus the hotel has a major Metro line right out the back door that will take you
directly to the center of Washington D.C. Look for more listening rooms, more lectures, more live entertainment than in the past.
Head honcho Gary Gill and his team, including Christina Yuin as Festival Rep and
Paul Elliott for other major duties, are working to provide you with a
truly remarkable audio show experience. During 2017
the CAF there is the return of CanMania as an integral part of the overall event.
In coordination with Headphone.Guru, CanMania promises to be their biggest and best
one ever! They've committed to building the largest headphone and personal audio show on the East Coast. CanMania 2017 brings together manufacturers, vendors, headphone and personal audio enthusiasts along with the audio industry press.
CanMania will have 30 booths within the large Plaza ballroom. This spacious ballroom will give exhibitors plenty of room and separation with over 5400 square feet.
Furthermore, tables will be in the hallway in front of the Plaza.
New Vinyl LP Pressing Plant Furnace MFG Opening
In January 2018
MFG's record pressing has just announced their new 50,000 square-foot plant in Northern Virginia will open in January of 2018. The new plant will fill a desperate industry need for more vinyl record production capacity while creating 40-plus new jobs in Northern Virginia, all while the company seeks to minimize the environmental impact of the new manufacturing facility.
You love vinyl. Furnace Record Pressing loves vinyl. At their facility, vinyl record pressing is a passion. They handle every step of your pressing project from getting your records pressed and packaged to added touches like color or heavyweight vinyl, digital download cards and hosting. And yes, audiophiles are catered to as Furnace Record Pressing offers the largest vinyl pressing capacity in the world. They have over 50 active, fully automatic presses allowing them to offer some of the quickest lead times in the industry. Choices from normal black, to colored vinyl and picture discs
are also possible. If you desire laser etching, that can also be arranged.
10 / 27 / 17
Bob Carver, Joseph Audio, Doshi Audio, Von Schweikert Audio, Audionet, And GTT Audio Video.
RMAF 2017 Report By Kemper Holt
Elton John Announces Diamonds Ultimate Greatest Hits Compilation
Available on four physical formats; 1CD, 2CD, 3CD limited edition
box set and 2LP gatefold vinyl, plus digital formats, Elton John's upcoming release
Diamonds is now available for pre-order. The 2CD format contains 34 tracks, and 10 page illustrated booklet. Elton John's 3CD limited edition
box set contains 34 tracks over two discs, plus 17 bonus tracks of personal favorites curated by Elton himself. Also contains 72 page hardback book containing annotations for the stories from each song plus a set of 5 postcard illustrations of Elton. Vinyl LP enthusiasts can enjoy the 2LP gatefold containing 21 tracks, and pressed on 180 gram vinyl plus glorious gatefold artwork. Kicking off with the ever-stunning
'Your Song,' this definitive collection brings together all the landmark hits of one of the greatest song books of all time, including
'Tiny Dancer,' 'Rocket Man (I Think It's Going To Be A Long, Long Time),' 'Candle In The
Wind,' 'Don't Go Breaking My Heart,' 'Sacrifice,' 'Can You Feel The Love
Tonight.' Diamonds coincides with the 50th anniversary of Elton's phenomenal song writing partnership with Bernie Taupin. Meeting in 1967 through a music magazine advert seeking songwriters, Elton and Bernie went on to become one of the most enduring song writing duos of all time, achieving a sustained level of success that puts them head and shoulders above the competition. Catapulted into the limelight as a song writing force in 1971 with
'Your Song,' the duo never stood still creatively, defining an era with their run of back-to-back classic
1970's albums. While 'Candle In The Wind' topped the charts in three different decades and
2016's critically acclaimed 'Wonderful, Crazy, Night' was a top ten hit in the
USA, their legacy is one that is unrivalled in terms of longevity, creativity and commercial success.
You can pre-order
Elton John's Diamonds 2LP set, or any of the CD sets, at this link.
10 / 26 / 17
DOGE 7 384kHz/32-Bit Tube Preamp,
DAC, And Headphone Amplifier
Electronics Factory offers their new & tube DAC that handles 32 bits and DSD64 /DSD128 / DSD256. preamp mode ($1599, add $160 for optional Psvane TII for RCA use only or $230 for Psvane TII XLR and RCA use). The DOGE 7 is their most innovative product to date as it combines their best digital and analog circuitry that they're claiming is "close to turntable (sound), that we would challenge to recognize it in a blind test versus turntable". The unit offers 384kHz/32-bits chip that is DSD compliant and a full tube analog stage without solid-state components, where most of the other tube DACs on the market offer just a buffer tube stage except a few ones that can be counted with
fingers of one single-ended. DOGE 7 uses a 32-bit last generation ESS Sabre 9018 and a six-tube analog stage if you use unbalance output or eight-tube analog stage if you use balance output. Two S/PDIF coaxial inputs, two TosLink optical inputs, plus one native 384kHz USB input, one AES/EBU input. All inputs are DSD compliant and the XMOS chip gives full
32-bit/384kHz USB input. One important digital feature of their DOGE 7 is that this DAC is not DSD compliant only with USB input like most of DACs, but is DSD compliant also in coaxial, optical and AES/EBU inputs. The DOGE 7 comes with a quality headphone output with volume controller. Please note the headphone output is the only solid-state stage on the DOGE 7.
Industry News 15 Years Ago
Like Hi-Res Audio In 2017, DVD-Audio Can Be Heard At Store Locations
Music lovers are now able to enjoy listening to DVD-Audio discs in Virgin Entertainment Group's Megastores. Free standing DVD-Audio demonstration stations, along with DVD-Audio and Super Audio CD (SACD) products, will have their own small section in hopes of educating the consumer about the new higher resolution audio formats. Hundreds of music titles are available on DVD-Audio and SACD such as Aerosmith, The Doors, The Rolling Stones, and Sheryl Crow. At this time, DVD-Audio booths are available at Virgin
Megastores' in Burbank Los Angeles and San Francisco (California), Boston, Orlando (Florida), New York City, Chicago, New Orleans, Miami, and Salt Lake City. Virgin Megastores has also decided to lower many prices of these discs through
November 3rd. "With the quality of DVD-Audio higher than traditional CDs, along with the experience-factor in one of our demonstration booths, our customers will be able to sample songs with surround-sound quality as well as take advantage of video clips, artist commentaries, biographies and photo galleries that are also offered on the DVD-Audio discs," said Glen Ward, CEO, Virgin Entertainment Group, North America.
10 / 25 / 17
RMAF 2017 Intro, Acoustic Zen, Convergent Audio Technology, Sound Science, And Well Pleased
RMAF 2017 Show Report By Kemper Holt
Boston Audio Society Invites You To Visit
Their Legendary Symphony Hall
On Sunday November 5th at 1PM, the
Boston Audio Society invites you to join them in visiting the legendary Symphony Hall at 301 Massachusetts Avenue in Boston Massachusetts. Guests include Brian McCreath
(WGBH / WCRB producer for BSO broadcasts), Antonio Oliart (WGBH / WCRB audio engineer for BSO broadcasts), plus Nick Squire and Joel Watts, audio engineers for the Boston Symphony. The Boston Audio Society, an independent non-profit member supported organization promoting the highest quality of music reproduction and home theater, plus high standards in recording and transmission, is providing you a great opportunity to visit Symphony Hall and see its audio broadcast and recording facilities. The Boston Symphony Orchestra will be on tour in Japan at that time, so the hall is unusually available to BAS members and friends. They will have as hosts the members of the team that is responsible for the
BSO's radio broadcasts and archival recordings. The main mixing and monitoring studio in the basement of Symphony Hall can accommodate perhaps 10 or so guests at a time to look at the setup and listen to music playback over the fine B&W-based system. They will also use the Chorus Room to meet as a group and hear from our BSO and WGBH hosts, and small groups can be taken to see and hear the studio. We can also bring groups of guests up to the stage of Symphony Hall to see the space, how microphones are hung and placed, and how signals are transmitted to the basement studio. All BSO programs are recorded on computer in multi-channel form, and archived on hard drives. These recordings may be used for commercial release on the BSO Classics label. When Deutsche Grammophon or another record label is capturing concerts for planned release, they work in parallel with the
WGBH / WCRB broadcast team.
NOTE: Because of Symphony Hall security requirements, the Boston Audio Society needs to provide the
hall's security team with a list of attendees in advance, so they can be checked in at the stage door. If
you're not certain you can come, send your name in anyway and say that you're unsure. This will also enable us to get a rough idea of the number of people
who'll be there, so we can plan activities accordingly. IMPORTANT: You must pre-register for this event by
sending an e-mail to David Hadaway.
10 / 24 / 17
RMAF 2017: Tekton, Marantz, Parasound, Fidelis AV, AURALiC, Van Alstine, Mark Levinson and Alta Audio.
Muddy Waters Debut Album And Lionel Richie Solo LP Reissues
Few pieces of blues art have been as influential as Muddy
Waters' seminal debut album The Best of Muddy Waters, plus we ad in three historic albums on vinyl from one of the most successful solo artists in Pop/R&B crossover history, Lionel Richie. Vinyl LP reissues of legendary artists have increased dramatically and here we have two musical
artists' albums being available in high quality vinyl. Muddy Waters' original humble piece of vinyl was released by an upstart label in 1958 that served as The Big Bang for rock
'n' roll and the ensuing half century of modern popular culture. On November 10, Geffen/UMe will celebrate the forthcoming 60th anniversary of
Waters' first album by reissuing The Best of Muddy Waters on vinyl in original mono for the first time in 30 years while also making it available for download and streaming for the first time ever, giving new and familiar listeners a reminder of the
bluesman's truly incandescent music. An assemblage of Waters 78 RPM recording made between 1948 and 1954 for Chess Records, The Best of Muddy Waters captured
Waters' growth from acoustic artist to archetypical electrified band leader and charted the exciting evolution of blues. Getting as bit more modern, Lionel
Richie's mega-platinum album triple-play — 1982's Lionel Richie, 1983's Can't Slow Down, and
1985's Dancing On The Ceiling — sealed the recent Kennedy Center Honoree's legacy as one of the most popular singer/songwriters of the modern era, in the wake of his 1982 departure from the lineup of one of
Motown's biggest artists of the Seventies, the Commodores. Lionel Richie's singular blend of songwriting artistry and catchy,
sing-along hooks has long defied genre-labeling, propelling his mass appeal to fans of R&B, soul, pop and country alike, and leading to his amassing more than 100 million album sales to date. Over the course of these three albums, Richie garnered four No. 1 singles on the Billboard Hot 100 ("Truly," "All Night Long (All Night)," "Hello," "Say You, Say Me") and a dozen Top 10 singles overall on the Pop, R&B, and Adult Contemporary charts alike. International superstar Lionel Richie has a discography of albums and singles that are second to none. His music is part of the fabric of pop music; in fact, Richie is one of only two songwriters in history to achieve the honor of having #1 records for nine consecutive years. With more than 100 million albums sold worldwide, an Oscar, a Golden Globe, four Grammy Awards, the distinction of
MusiCares person of the year in 2016, and Kennedy Center Honoree in 2017, the Tuskegee, Alabama native is a true music
icon. You can purchase
these vinyl LPs and more at this link.
10 / 23 / 17
Aqua Acoustic Quality Formula xHD 768kHz PCM And DSD256 DAC
Aqua Acoustic Quality has introduced their new Formula xHD that redefines the sonic performance of their Formula DAC. The Formula xHD features the following upgrades and modifications as compared to the Formula DAC including new firmware release 3.0 for the main FPGA (DAC) with optimization of the code. Also new is the USB board with hybrid architecture. Proprietary hybrid two-stage XMOS xCore XE216 + FPGA is joined by a fully-floating (isolated) USB decoding and clock generation by FPGA with proprietary code. Internally there are high quality, long life, low noise parts and modular design. Sample rate in "Bit Perfect" up to 768kHz PCM and quad rate DSD (DSD256) is aided by the latest version of customized XMOS X Core Driver on Windows OS (W7, W10) and native X Core Audio on Mac OS (Bit Perfect). For Linux users, USB Audio 2.0 operation works for Bit Perfect. These updates required significant optimization of code for the main FPGA of R2R ladder DAC which has improved sound quality. The new hybrid USB XMOS xCore 200 (dual core) + FPGA circuitry enables the high-resolution audio file playback. Digital input is via Ethernet, coax S/PDIF (RCA and BNC) and XLR AES/EBU. Analog output is via stereo pair of balanced XLR and unbalanced RCA.
10 / 20 / 17
Frank Zappa Halloween NYC With 158
Tracks In 24-Bit Hi-Res Audio
Zappa's Halloween shows were already the stuff of legends. While the shows began in the late 1960s, around 1972, these monumental performances would become annual events. Initially held in Passaic, NJ and Chicago, IL before moving to New York City in 1974, this
concert event would remain there. NYC (and its audience) had become a special place for Zappa and the synchronization of Halloween in NYC proved to be the perfect match. From October 28-31, 1977, Zappa and his band played six historic shows at the 3000 capacity Palladium. All the performances were recorded with four being filmed, resulting in
Zappa's mammoth film project, "Baby Snakes." Following the news that Frank Zappa will be going back on tour, the Zappa Family Trust and Universal are proud to announce that
Zappa's legendary Halloween residency of 1977 will be released for the first time in its entirety on October 20 via Zappa Records/UMe
($99) just in time for the 40th Anniversary of these shows. The Halloween 77 box set will include all six concerts with 158 tracks (mixed in 2016 from original vault masters) loaded onto a
"Zappa's Oh Punky" fun size candy bar-shaped USB drive in 24-bit WAV audio. The package will also include a 28-page digital booklet featuring never-before-seen photos and liner notes from Vaultmeister Joe Travers, co-producer of the box alongside Ahmet Zappa, and personal firsthand accounts from many of
Zappa's bandmates, crew and fans who were there, including guitarist Adrian Belew, percussionist Ed Mann, keyboard tech Thomas Nordegg, tour manager Phil Kaufman, and fan Janet "The Planet" Walley. In the spirit of
Zappa's favorite season, the specially designed, limited run box will include a retro Halloween mask and costume of the maestro himself. In addition to the box set, a 3CD version will also be available featuring the entire Halloween night show plus select tracks from the October 30th gig. Fans looking for a specific show will be able to purchase the concert of their choice digitally on release
can order the new Zappa release at this link.
10 / 19 / 17
RMAF 2017: Burwell & Son, Rogers High Fidelity, Daedalus Audio, ModWright, VPI, Skogrand, Von Schweikert, Mojo Audio, PureAudioProject, Whammerdyne, And Furutech.
dCS Gear Now Supports MQA In All Current Product
announces the release of a software update that provides MQA
compatibility to all current product ranges. MQA, Master Quality Authenticated, provides a means to efficiently encode and transmit Hi-Res Audio and is based on the axiom that, in audio, high resolution "can be more accurately defined in the analog domain in terms of temporal fine structure and lack of modulation noise, than by any description in the digital domain, particularly one that relies on sample rate or bit depth numbers" says the company. MQA works by converting the analog music to digital and back to analog again.
According to dCS / MQA, "The conceptual framework models analog as an infinite sample rate representation, which can be approximated by a hierarchical chain of downward and upward splines. The MQA encoder takes account of and corrects aspects of the original analogue-to-digital and studio preparation chain. Although a listener can enjoy the encoded stream at CD quality without a decoder, the best result comes with an MQA Decoder, or a
combination of MQA Core Decoder and Renderer, which reconstructs exactly what was heard in the studio. The MQA Renderer performs sampling reconstruction under song-by-song instruction from the encoder, while at the same time matching and
optimizing the attached DAC to deliver an authenticated analogue output. MQA Decoders include a Renderer which is
customized for each built-in digital-to-analogue converter. Generally, the converter includes an integrated DAC which is not wholly configurable and may have some performance limitations. For this reason, most MQA decoders include pre-compensation for the built-in converter." Of note is that dCS does not use IC converters in its DACs; instead the process of reconstructing analog from the digital stream is entirely custom, using specific software and discrete hardware to make a DAC. However, unlike other non-integrated DACs, the dCS is still
modeled on reconstruction using oversampling, filtering and high-speed conversion.
Industry News 15 Years Ago
DVD Entertainment Group Celebrates Successful Format Launch
During the year 2002, DVD sales show promising gains
as compared to 2001, with the key three
months (including holiday season) forthcoming. The DVD industry experienced double digit growth in the third quarter, outpacing
2001's record sales. According to the DVD Entertainment Group (DEG), in the third quarter 2002, 153.3 million DVD software units shipped to retail, more than double what shipped in the same period last year. According to figures compiled by Ernst & Young on behalf of the DEG, more than 1.1 billion DVD movies and music videos have shipped since the
format's inception in 1997. "The record pace continues for DVD as we move into the all-important fourth quarter," said Bob
Chapek, President, DVD Entertainment Group and President, Buena Vista Home Entertainment. "Consumers have been craving entertainment for the whole family on DVD, from their favorite classics to the recent box office blockbusters. This holiday season, we are anticipating stellar sales for the industry as the adoption of the format continues its penetration into mainstream households." There are more than 18,000 titles currently available with approximately 100 new DVD movies and music videos released each week.
10 / 18 / 17
Burning Amp Festival 2017 -- DIY Audio Festival November 12th
Burning Amp Festival
(BAF) 2017 is coming to the Fort Mason Center in San Francisco on Sunday, November 12th from 8:30 a.m. to 8:00 PM. New this year is that
BAF's hours have been extended due to the increased interest and popularity of DIY audio amongst music-loving enthusiasts of all ages. Held in the fall since 2007, BAF has grown into a premier international event for do-it-yourself (DIY) audio enthusiasts and professionals. DIY audio is the original maker movement dating back to the
1940's and 1950's when Hi-Fi was in its infancy, and a lot of great-sounding equipment was assembled at home by enthusiastic amateurs. BAF celebrates audio technology both new and old, tube and solid state, analog and digital. The festival has been held in the fall since October of 2007. Come listen to hand-built audio amplifiers, speakers, and more. Bring your own gear: DIY amps, speakers, turntables, DACs, servers, etc. Share ideas and learn to design and build your own equipment. There will be displays, demos, auction and raffles items and freebies, plus well-attended lectures by prominent figures in audio engineering design like Nelson Pass, Siegfried Linkwitz, Damian Martin and Wayne Colburn. And, there are numerous DIY giveaways: Nelson Pass is, as always, generously contributing a big batch of Amp Camp amp circuit boards, parts and loudspeaker
Pop / Ska Band No Doubt Celebrates UMe 25th Anniversary With Vinyl LP
Doubt's eponymous 1992 debut album introduced the world to a one-of-a-kind band that would soon dominate the music world with their dynamic sound. With such early hits as "Trapped In A Box" exemplifying the
group's original ska-pop sound, No Doubt kicked off the band's career with a bang, laying the groundwork for the multi-platinum success that
they'd achieve over the next twenty-plus years. On November 10, UMe celebrates the 25th anniversary of No
Doubt's original release with a sparkling new vinyl edition of the album that originally put No Doubt on the map. In addition to marking the debut
disc's first-ever vinyl release, the new LP will be pressed on high-quality
180 gram vinyl. Additionally, exclusive limited-edition colored-vinyl versions will be available through No
Doubt's official website, as well as the online retail sites uDiscover and The Sound of Vinyl. In addition to the
album's original front cover art, the back cover of the new vinyl edition features a never-before-seen band photo from the original photo session by photographer Chris Cuffaro. No
Doubt — Gwen Stefani on vocals, her brother Eric Stefani on keyboards, guitarist Tom Dumont, bassist Tony Kanal and drummer Adrian
Young — originally became a local sensation on their Southern California home turf, before bursting onto the national and international scenes with an effervescent, new-wave infused sound that offered an upbeat alternative to the angst-driven grunge-rock that dominated the charts at the time. No
Doubt's early ska leanings are balanced on the album by a state-of-the-art pop sensibility that manifests itself on such tunes as
"Let's Get Back," "Move On" and "Get On The Ball." Although the debut album was not a major hit at the time of its original release, it emerged as a fan favorite as No Doubt subsequently became one of their
era's most popular bands. After releasing No Doubt, the band would score a series of smash singles and massively popular albums like Tragic Kingdom, Return of Saturn, Rock Steady and Push and Shove, helping to secure Gwen, Tony, Tom and Adrian their place in the American rock music pantheon. The
band's massive success can be traced back to No Doubt, whose definitive new vinyl edition cements its pivotal place in pop
can buy No Doubt's 180 gram vinyl LP at this link.
For previous high-end audio industry news