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


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04 / 19 / 18

AXPONA 2018 Show Coverage

GoldenEar Technology, McIntosh Labs, VAC, Von Schweikert, Scaena, Avantgarde Acoustic, Kimber Kable, And MrSpeakers AXPONA 2018 Show Report
GoldenEar Technology, McIntosh Labs, VAC, Von Schweikert, Scaena, Avantgarde Acoustic, Kimber Kable, And MrSpeakers
AXPONA 2018 Show Coverage By Steven R. Rochlin

 


Gryphon Diablo 300 Integrated Amp With 32-bit / 384kHz & DSD DAC Option
Proven power, magnificent majesty and very versatile too!
Review By Steven R. Rochlin

 

A Personal Note From Marine de Rogez-Presson, Show President Of LAAS
A Personal Note From Marine de Rogez-Presson, Show President Of LAASDear Industry Friends,
I am writing to you with a delicate but necessary, and more importantly, optimistic update on the LA Audio Show, taking place June 7-10, 2018. As Robert Evans stated, "There are 3 sides to every story: Your side, my side, and the truth. And no one is lying. Memories shared serve each differently," but he also said that "any man who thinks he knows the mind of a woman is a man who knows nothing," so please allow me to share.

There seems to be a great deal of confusion resulting from uninformed gossip about the players involved in the LA Audio Show and its direction. While I cannot deny or confirm what others have stated because it is their business and not mine, I can confirm that today, the LA Audio Show is mine and mine alone to steer towards collective success.

I can also confirm that The Los Angeles & Orange County Audio Society, led by President Bob Levi, has been a vital protector for the LA Audio Show and has kept its heart beating strong — this society of exemplary board members and its following of 2400+ active members are no doubt at the helm of our Southern California community of audio enthusiasts and its supporting dealers and manufacturers; AND its continued growth and success with shows over the last 8+ years.

I think that Richard Beers's unexpected and unplanned passing in 2016 without question left us with a beautiful chaos and we all have done what we respectively believed to be best at the time. I won't deny that I made a personal decision to leave his legacy because I did not agree with the direction and lack of deliberation. I won't deny all of the challenges and confusion has been difficult for everyone but on the flip side, I think it's challenged us all to seek a collective understanding and agreement on the best direction for the future. In other words, it has been immeasurably inspiring and all that we needed at this exact moment.

I am also writing to you because if the LA Audio Show truly is what we all want, and I believe based on participation it is, we need everyone's help putting the chatter aside so we can collectively get back to what matters: moving in a productive and forward direction. At this point, the calls and emails to discuss the whys and whats of other people's actions and statements is counter-productive. I realize there have also been discussions about my 'lack of presence,' and want to assure you that today I am back in the driver seat as I was for the Society and I's most successful 2016 event. I have complete confidence in the direction we are taking today because 1) I have taken my time to seriously and carefully reflect on all the successes and lessons, 2) I've put in the work to learn how it best comes together, and not, and 3) I've done my due diligence of seeking to understand what it is the industry wishes to manifest at this turn of the century.

It is undeniable that times are changing, that we seek a refreshing outlook and a more 'attainable' approach for the hobby to draw in 'new blood'. It's further undeniable that not everyone shares the same visions. So — in order to do that successfully, I genuinely believe we must both honor the old and embrace the new, and we must do it one step at a time; and furthermore — I firmly believe that we are most successful doing it together.

Please give me a chance to outline what my understanding is, how I intend to get there, and how you can be a part of it — should you echo my sentiments.

Enjoy the Music.com's LAAS 2018 show report can be seen at this link.

 

04 / 18 / 18

AXPONA 2018 Show Coverage

Rupert Neve, JH Audio, AIS Audio, GiK Acoustics, AURALiC, YG Acoustics, Kubala-Sosna, Pass Labs, Fist Watt, Dana Cables, Benchmark, Aurum Cantus And Synergistic Research At AXPONA 2018
Rupert Neve, JH Audio, AIS Audio, GiK Acoustics, AURALiC, YG Acoustics, Kubala-Sosna, Pass Labs, First Watt, Dana Cables, Benchmark, Aurum Cantus And Synergistic Research
AXPONA 2018 Show Coverage By Steven R. Rochlin

 

Sumiko Announces Two New MC And Four MM Phono Cartridges
Sumiko Announces Two New MC And Four New MM Phono CartridgesSumiko is proud to announce six new phono cartridges, the outcome of a three-year development effort. There are four new moving magnet cartridges, the Rainier, Olympia, Moonstone and Amethyst which join the existing Oyster product lineup; and two new moving coil cartridges, the Songbird and Starling which will be part of the Reference Series product line. The four new additions to the acclaimed Oyster series are the most ambitious Moving Magnet (MM) cartridges we have released to date. The Rainier, Olympia, and Moonstone all utilize a common housing and generator assembly, so the stylus assemblies are interchangeable. You can purchase the Rainier and upgrade to the Olympia or Moonstone without replacing the entire cartridge. They set a new performance standard for the audiophile on a budget. The Amethyst is our flagship Moving Magnet (MM) design and requires its own unique cartridge body to maximize the performance of the excellent Nude Line Contact stylus. This exceptional cartridge even surpasses some moving coil cartridges in resolution and detail, setting a new benchmark for moving magnet cartridges with replaceable stylus assemblies. Joining the Reference Series line are two new Moving Coil (MC) designs including the new Songbird, which features exceptional tracking capability and the flexibility to mate well with a wide variety of tonearms and turntables. The Songbird’s high output voltage ensures noise free musical reproduction compatible with not only moving coil phono inputs but also moving magnet inputs. The Starling is our new reference open architecture design featuring a MicroRidge stylus on a boron cantilever in a low output/low mass configuration. This is a powerful, dynamic cartridge with a very refined coherent presentation. The Starling is the latest manifestation of Sumiko’s forty years of refinement of phono cartridge design. Both cartridges feature a new CNC-precision milled high grade aluminum body with optimized resonance properties. Suggested retail price is Songbird $899, Starling $1899, MM: Rainier $149, Olympia $199, Moonstone $299, and the Amethyst $599.

 

04 / 17 / 18

AXPONA 2018 Show Coverage

Nordost, Newvelle Records, Mytek, Morrow Audio, And Pro-ject At AXPONA 2018 Show Report
Nordost, Newvelle Records, Mytek, Morrow Audio, McIntosh Labs and Pro-ject
AXPONA 2018 Show Coverage By Steven R. Rochlin

 

Audio Research Reference 160M Monoblock Power Amplifier
Audio Research Reference 160M Monoblock Power AmplifierAfter two years in development, the new Audio Research Reference 160M (REF160M, $30,000 per pair) monoblock power amplifier is said by the company to be "built like no other, looks like no other, and sounds like no other amplifier that you have ever heard, but it is unmistakably Audio Research." The REF160M will provide a conservatively rated 150 Watts in ultralinear mode and 75 Watts in triode mode. This amplifier features a refined audio topology with fewer parts, yet each part is extremely high quality as the signal path has been minimized to ensure signal purity. Features include switchable Ultralinear/Triode operation, proprietary auto-bias, output tube monitoring and protection, plus an advanced power meter. Designers at Audio Research wanted to create a new style that would complement the look of the REF6 preamplifier while also featuring a transparent faceplate that allows a view of the glowing KT150 vacuum tubes. This window incorporates an innovative dual-layer construction with distinctively etched markings that create an integrated power meter. The power meter's output-level markings illuminate via hidden LEDs, and the illumination brightness is adjustable. The REF160M includes a sculpted cover with an integrated fan to cool the heat generated by the four KT150 output tubes and two 6H30 driver tubes. Solid-state power regulation was chosen to provide increased efficiency, stability, and reliability. The power supply stage uses a newly developed High Energy Capacity Transformer and a hefty bulk storage-capacity network to provide extremely high current on demand for transient peaks and intense dynamics, as well as for prodigious bass depth and authority. Dimensions are 17.25" x 10" x 18.5" (WxHxD) and it weighs 56 lbs.

 

Using 3D Printed Metamaterials For Both Vibrations And Sound Control
Using 3D Printed Metamaterials For Both Vibrations And Sound ControlResearchers at the University Of Southern California are using specially developed magnetoactive metamaterials in a set structure to control vibrations and sound. "Acoustic metamaterials with negative constitutive parameters (modulus and/or mass density) have shown great potential in diverse applications ranging from sonic cloaking, abnormal refraction and superlensing, to noise canceling. In conventional acoustic metamaterials, the negative constitutive parameters are engineered via tailored structures with fixed geometries; therefore, the relationships between constitutive parameters and acoustic frequencies are typically fixed to form a 2D phase space once the structures are fabricated. Here, by means of a model system of magnetoactive lattice structures, stimuli-responsive acoustic metamaterials are demonstrated to be able to extend the 2D phase space to 3D through rapidly and repeatedly switching signs of constitutive parameters with remote magnetic fields. It is shown for the first time that effective modulus can be reversibly switched between positive and negative within controlled frequency regimes through lattice buckling modulated by theoretically predicted magnetic fields. The magnetically triggered negative-modulus and cavity-induced negative density are integrated to achieve flexible switching between single-negative and double-negative. This strategy opens promising avenues for remote, rapid, and reversible modulation of acoustic transportation, refraction, imaging, and focusing in sub-wavelength regimes."

 

04 / 16 / 18

AXPONA 2018 Show Coverage

AXPONA 2018 High-End Audio Show Report

AXPONA 2018 = EPIC Sound! EPIC Venue! EPIC Weather?
AXPONA 2018 = EPIC Sound! EPIC Venue! EPIC Weather?
AXPONA 2018 Show Coverage By Steven R. Rochlin

 

Rebeat Innovation's High Definition Vinyl LPs Scheduled For 2019
Rebeat Innovation's High Definition Vinyl LPs Scheduled For 2019As reported on Enjoy the Music.com's Industry New on March 17, 2016, "many new vinyl titles are sourced from digital audio files, the once all analog domain is now taking things one step further as it has been reported that Rebeat Innovation has patented High Definition Vinyl (HD Vinyl). This new format may be reaching stores in the coming years and has many benefits over the many decades old process. It has been claimed that this new format is backward compatible with current turntables plus there can be 30% more capacity stored within this new vinyl LP format." Rebeat has recently received $4.8 million in investor backing so they can purchase the laser machine needed to make HD Vinyl a reality. "We adjust the distance of the grooves, we correct the radial/tangential errors, and we optimize the frequencies," said Rebeat Innovation CEO Güenter Loibl "You could say we 'master' the topographical data, which is a totally different approach." Another added benefit according to Rebeat Innovation is that this new process doubles the audio fidelity of most LPs currently sold within stores. This newly patented process of creating HD Vinyl begins by employing 3D-based topographical mapping and then the Femto-laser inscription technology. This digital process allows for a more accurate cutting of the lacquer and can easily be repeated time and again as new lacquers are needed. Furthermore, the original digital source file can be seamlessly tweaked and tuned to ensure a top quality end result. Rebeat Innovation hopes to have new vinyl LP titles available in 2019.

 

04 / 11 / 18

AXPONA 2018 Pre-Show Coverage

AXPONA 2018 High-End Audio Show Report


AXPONA 2018 Pre-Show Report
Pass Labs Debuts XP-22 Preamplifier & XP-27 Phono Stage At AXPONA 2018

 


AXPONA 2018 Pre-Show Report
Experience ATC's Latest Loudspeakers At AXPONA 2018

 


AXPONA 2018 Pre-Show Report
Gayle Sanders Returns With Eikon DSP-Based Speaker System

 


AXPONA 2018 Pre-Show Report
Fidelis AV To Showcase Harbeth 40.2 Reference Speakers

 


AXPONA 2018 Pre-Show Report
Ayon Audio's New Orthos II XS Monoblock Tube Amplifiers

 


AXPONA 2018 Pre-Show Report
AURALiC To Feature Aries G1, Aries G2 Streamer And LEO GX

 


AXPONA 2018 Pre-Show Report
Experience Luxman Sound With Triangle Speakers At AXPONA 2018

 


AXPONA 2018 Pre-Show Report
Sohmer Associates: Acoustic Research, Emotiva, And HiFiMAN At AXPONA 2018

 


AXPONA 2018 Pre-Show Report
Parasound Debuts Halo JC 5 Stereo Amplifier At AXPONA 2018

 

04 / 10 / 18

AXPONA 2018 Pre-Show Coverage

AXPONA 2018 High-End Audio Show Report


AXPONA 2018 Pre-Show Report
Magico Is Excited To Unveil A3 Floorstander At AXPONA 2018

 


AXPONA 2018 Pre-Show Report
Doshi Audio Debuts New Models At AXPONA 2018

 


AXPONA 2018 Pre-Show Report
Gold Note: The Italian Music Experience At AXPONA 2018

 


AXPONA 2018 Pre-Show Report
Bryston's 24B3 Six Channel Bridgeable Solid-State Amplifier

 


AXPONA 2018 Pre-Show Report
SotM's First Network Switch Unveiling At AXPONA 2018

 


AXPONA 2018 Pre-Show Report
Benchmark Introduces Their HPA4 Line Stage And Headphone Amplifier

 


AXPONA 2018 Pre-Show Report
Gauder Akustik Will Team Up With Western Electric At AXPONA 2018

 

04 / 09 / 18

AXPONA 2018 Pre-Show Coverage

AXPONA 2018 High-End Audio Show Report


AXPONA 2018 Pre-Show Report
An Evening With(out) David Bowie Presented By Thomas Mulready

 


AXPONA 2018 Pre-Show Report
Be In The Moment With Cleer's Next And Flow Headphones

 


AXPONA 2018 Pre-Show Report
Egglestonworks Shows Viginti, Debuts Kiva, At AXPONA 2018

 


AXPONA 2018 Pre-Show Report
Legacy Valor System In Utopia A At AXPONA 2018

 


AXPONA 2018 Pre-Show Report
MartinLogan to Demonstrate Three Masterpiece Series Electrostatic Speakers At AXPONA 2018

 


AXPONA 2018 Pre-Show Report
Paradigm to Demonstrate Persona, Prestige, and Décor Speakers and Anthem STR and MRX Electronics at AXPONA 2018

 


AXPONA 2018 Pre-Show Report
Prism Sound's Callia DAC Brings Recording Studio Quality To AXPONA 2018 Room #366

 


AXPONA 2018 Pre-Show Report
Zesto Audio Brings Top Audio Gear To AXPONA 2018

More AXPONA pre-show report coming soon!

 

RIAA Revenue Statistics For 2017 -- Streaming Music Dominance
RIAA Revenue Statistics For 2017"In 2017 revenues from recorded music in the United States increased 16.5% at estimated retail value to $8.7 billion," says the RIAA, "continuing the growth from the previous year. At wholesale, revenues grew 12.6% to $5.9 billion. Similar to 2016, these increases came primarily from growth in paid music subscriptions to services like Spotify, Amazon, Tidal, Apple Music, Pandora and others, which grew by more than 50%. This is the first time since 1999 that U.S. music revenues grew materially for two years in a row. At $8.7 billion, the industry has taken a decade to return to the same overall revenue level as 2008, and is still 40% below peak levels as the growth from streaming has been offset by continued declines in revenues from both physical and digital unit based sales. Streaming music platforms accounted for almost 2/3rd of total U.S. music industry revenues in 2017, and contributed nearly all of the growth. The streaming category includes revenues from premium subscription services, streaming radio services including those revenues distributed by Sound Exchange (like Pandora, Sirius XM, and other Internet radio), and ad-supported on-demand streaming services (such as YouTube, Vevo, and ad-supported Spotify). Total revenues from streaming platforms were up 43% to $5.7 billion, and in 2017 made up 65% of total industry revenues." While there's no doubt streaming is a main source for music lovers, according to the RIAA "Shipments of physical products decreased just 4% to $1.5 billion in 2017, a lower rate of decline than in recent years. In the first half of the year, the rate of return of physical goods declined, leading to better results. In the second half, those rates returned to more typical levels. Vinyl continues to be a bright spot among physical formats, with revenues up 10% to $395 million. Shipments of CDs continued to decline, falling 6% in 2017 to $1.1 billion. Revenues from shipments of physical products made up 17% of the industry total in 2017." You can read the entire News and Notes on 2017 RIAA Revenue Statistics PDF press release at this link.

 

Erzetich Audio's New Mania And Phobos Stereo Headphones
Erzetich Audio's New Mania And Phobos Stereo HeadphonesErzetich Audio is taking pre-orders for the Mania semi-open and Phobos open over the ear headphones (€1019 and €1699 respectively). The company says they are making waves in the headphone sector thanks to their unique approach to design and manufacture. These two new limited series headphones seek to provide premium sound quality using wooden cups and a deep understanding of acoustics to craft headphones that stand out in the competitive music industry. Dutch singer Anneke van Giersbergen has also been unveiled as the brand's first ambassador to coincide with this latest release. The first pair of headphones, named Phobos, offer a detailed, firm, and dynamic sound resulting in a rich experience whether wearers are listening to classical or jazz music according to the company. Style and design are an essential part of Phobos too, with the bold octagonal shape creating a statement as well as supporting sound quality with the addition of planar magnetic drivers positioned in the cups. The second pair of versatile headphones, dubbed Mania, are ideal for music fans that have a diverse collection of tunes they flick through. The internal geometry of the cups has been expertly crafted for maximum harmony, making them perfectly suited for shifts in musical mood and tempo.

 

04 / 06 / 18

AXPONA 2018: America's Largest Spring High-End Show Is Next Week
AXPONA 2018 Show ReportAXPONA 2018 is set for April 13th through 15th at the Renaissance Schaumburg Hotel & Convention Center and will be our eighth annual coverage by Enjoy the Music.com. All audiophiles, music lovers, vinyl collectors, audio engineers and musicians can attend three jam-packed days of incredible sounds, technology, presentations, design, and the very latest products in the industry. Now in its ninth year, AXPONA is one of the defining high-end audio show within the United States. This event caters to dealers, distributors and manufacturers, as well as music lovers and audiophiles. AXPONA's new state-of-the-art venue will feature an expanded Exhibit Hall plus a new Record Shop and Master Class Theater. AXPONA will once again offer something for everyone – from the novice music lover to the seasoned audio expert looking to enhance their sound with the latest technology. As their largest show to date, AXPONA Seeks to meet the increasing demand from attendees looking for the very best brands within the music world under one roof. The expanded Exhibit Hall, which is home to the Marketplace and Ear Gear Expo, is an outstanding 30,000 square feet and will showcase a vast array of turntables, cables, accessories, racks and stands, tonearms, cartridges and the latest headphones and associated equipment in the growing world of mobile and high-end personal listening. Enjoy the Music.com's AXPONA 2018 show coverage will begin the first day of the event. To learn more, plus read our previous reports, see our special AXPONA 2018 show report page at this link.

 

Industry News 10 Years Ago
Apple's iTunes Is Now The #1 United States Music Retailer
Apple Computers Incorporated iTunes Music StoreOnline music is now king as Apple's iTunes is ranked as the number one United States retailer, as based on the latest data from the NPD Group. This data is based on the amount of music sold during January and February 2008. How big is iTunes you ask? How does a staggering 50 million customers in total paying up for over four billion songs. Of course with your local brick and mortar store's ever-dwindling physical media stock, iTunes has over six million songs available 24/7 for your shopping pleasure. "We launched iTunes less than five years ago, and it has now become the number one music retailer in the world," said Eddy Cue, Apple's vice president of iTunes. Of course audiophiles demand something less lossy compressed, and so MusicGiants may be their choice for high-resolution music. As a disclaimer, Enjoy the Music.com is partners in offering MusicGiants downloads and while some downloads have DRM, hopes are to make the entire catalog DRM free in the coming months. In other online music news, MySpace will soon launch their music service. Participating labels include Sony BMG, Universal Music Group and Warner Music Group, while EMI Music Group may join in shortly. As for physical media, no crystal ball needed as Q1 2008 sales within the United States have fallen 10.7 percent. Selling 104.5 million units, according to Nielsen SoundScan. The decades old compressed audio CD format, as most engineers record music well over the 16-bit/44kHz standard, saw sales reduced by 16 percent during the same period. Of course music downloads experienced double-digital growth, reaching a 28.7 percent climb. Is it time to kill the CD format in exchange for high-resolution digital download, only you can decide.

 

04 / 05 / 18

Abyss AB-1266 Planar Magnetic Headphones By JPS Labs Review
Abyss AB-1266 Planar Magnetic Headphones By JPS Labs
The journey is the destination.
Review By Dave Hanson

 

Hi-Fi+'s April Magazine Features Bristol Show And Reviews
Hi-Fi+ Issue 158 April 2018Hi-Fi+ Magazine's April 2018 issue features the Bristol Sound & Vision 2018 show plus Meet Your Maker with Karl-Heinz Fink. Audio gear reviews include the Chord Electronics Dave / SPM 1050 MKII DAC/preamp and stereo power amplifier, Dan D'Agostino Master Audio Systems Progression preamplifier / power amplifier, Exopsure XM5 integrated amplifier, Bel Canto Black EX integrated amplifier, Sugden Sapphire DAP-800/FBA-800 DAC / preamp and stereo power amp, Aavik U-150 Unity integrated amplifier, Mobile Fidelity Studiophono phono stage, Linn Products Urika II digital phono stage, Dynaudio Contour 30 floorstanding loudspeakers, Elac Adante AS-61 standmount loudspeakers, Pioneer SE-Monitor 5 closed-back headphones, Campfire Audio Polaris / Andromeda earphones, plus Black Rhodium Overture / Polka / Stream analogue interconnects, loudspeaker cables, and power cords. Within his editorial, Hi-Fi+'s Alan Sircom says "Every year the amplifier gets that little bit more complex! The amplifier used to have just two jobs to do – select the right source, and then make those small signals large enough to be played by a pair of loudspeakers. Increasingly, however, the humble amplifier is more of a complete digital nexus, having to cope with new formats and streaming standards and a whole lot more. Fortunately, there are some clever audio designers who are very good at combinations. It's a mark of resilience that the amplifier hasn't changed quite as dramatically as it could. Notionally at least, a modern amplifier could be almost entirely digital, operating in Class D, and about the size of a roll of sticky tape. And although such things do exist, many chose not to go there and still prefer their amplifiers a little more traditional. Sometimes very traditional, but most of us meet somewhere in the middle, with amplifier systems that feature inputs new and old." See what's within this issue of Hi-Fi+ Magazine at this link.

 

04 / 04 / 18

Campfire Audio Has Introduced Their Comet And Atlas In-Ear Monitor
Campfire Audio Has Introduced Their Comet And Atlas In-Ear MonitorCampfire Audio has just announced their new audiophile-grade in-ear monitors Comet and Atlas ($199 and $1299 respectively). Campfire Audio's new stainless steel earphone bodies are drop forged and then CNC machined before being hand polished to a mirror finish. The durability of stainless steel provides peace of mind in daily use. Each earphone is assembled by hand in our workshop by their team of highly skilled craftspeople. Custom design driver technologies ensure a unique sonic signature. Each earphone is painstakingly tuned to meet specific sonic characteristics. Both Atlas and Comet feature all new custom driver designs. Campfire Audio's Tuned Acoustic Expansion Chamber (TAEC) discards a traditional tube and damper tuning systems for acoustic tuning without compression. As a result, high frequencies are extended and open, providing an excellent sonic quality unique to Campfire Audio earphones. Of note is that recently Campfire Audio introduced new technology for use with dynamic driver designs; Polarity Tuned Chamber. 3D modeled tuned chambers encapsulate the driver allows for optimal performance and precise tuning. Comet features TAEC technology while Atlas incorporates our Polarity Tuned Chamber. The ergonomic shape of both Comet and Atlas offer an easy to wear and comfortable fit. Additionally, the bilateral design allows for two fitting options. The hand polished Stainless Steel finish makes for a great looking earphone. It is durable and ready to stand up to demanding daily use.

 

04 / 03 / 18

OPPO Digital Will Gradually Stop Manufacturing New Products
OPPO Digital Will Gradually Stop Manufacturing New ProductsWhat has come as a big shock to many people within the audio / video industry, the highly popular and award-earning company OPPO Digital will stop producing new products. According to OPPO Digital, "It has been 14 years since we established OPPO Digital in the United States, and with the support of our customers, technical partners, and movie/music studios, we produced many award-winning Hi-Fi audio products and universal disc players, spanning three generations from DVD, Blu-ray, to 4K UHD. As our latest 4K UHD players reach the pinnacle of their performance, it is time to say goodbye. We are proud to have made such well-regarded products and to have served the enthusiast community. Without our customers' suggestions, encouragement, and support, we could not have accomplished these achievements. Though OPPO Digital will gradually stop manufacturing new products, existing products will continue to be supported, warranties will still be valid, and both in-warranty and out-of-warranty repair services will continue to be available. Firmware will continue to be maintained and updates released from time to time. Customers can rest assured that they will continue to receive the high quality service and support that they have come to expect from OPPO Digital. We greatly appreciate the opportunity to have developed such exciting products for our customers. It has been an honor.

Best regards,

All of us at OPPO Digital"

 

Industry News 15 Years Ago
Universal Music Makes Commitment In Producing DVD-Audio
Universal Music Group (UMG) has announced their commitment to make music available on DVD-Audio. Beginning with twenty United States releases slated for the second half of 2003, UMG plans an ongoing program to make a combination of best-selling artists and core catalog titles available on DVD-Audio in major markets worldwide. "Universal has always played a leading role in the development and implementation of new technologies and formats," states Larry Kenswil, President, eLabs, Universal Music Group. "Over the past five years DVD has established itself as one of the fastest growing formats. The huge penetration of DVD makes DVD-Audio a natural progression for music lovers who are already owners of DVD players, taking them from the familiar world of stereo to the 21st Century world of multi-channel surround sound."

 

04 / 02 / 18

Enjoy the Music.com's April Review Magazine Is One Of Our Largest!
Enjoy the Music.com's April Review Magazine features over 20 reviews and articles! We're also preparing for the upcoming AXPONA event in Chicago and look fwd to seeing you there! We're very happy to bring you four special articles from manufacturers, who share their wisdom and experience to both educate and entertain. With so many new articles and reviews, we're keeping this brief. Look forward to seeing everyone at AXPONA 2018 in April as it looks to be another truly epic show!

WARNING: Below is just a sampling of the over 20 articles and reviews within the April issue, so be sure to see what's within this month's edition of Enjoy the Music.com's Review Magazine at this link. As always, in the end what really matters is that you...

Enjoy the Music,

Steven R. Rochlin
Creative Director
Enjoy the Music.com

 

Scientific Study Shows Lossy Compression Has Major Negative Affects
Scientific Study Shows Lossy Compression Has Major Negative Affects
Lossy music compression may have caused many undesirable social issues.
Article By Dr. Aud I. Ologist Esq. III PhD MD

 

 
A Silent Renaissance?
Roger Skoff writes surprising news about our hobby and industry.
Article By Roger Skoff

  

AXPONA 2018 High-End Audio Show Report
AXPONA 2018 High-End Audio Show Report
Audio Expo North America Coverage by Enjoy the Music.com

  

Sound Practices Fear Of Frying
Fear Of Frying
Or how I learned to stop worrying and love my home audio system.
Article By Joyce Of Sound Practices Magazine

 

Bi-Amp'ing Basics By KEF
Bi-Amp'ing Basics
Article By Jack Sharkey KEF Direct

  


The World Beyond 20kHz
Article By Earthworks Audio Founder David E. Blackmer

  


World Premiere Review!
McIntosh MC611 Review Preview
3223 words that hope to deliver an entertaining, and informative, story.
Review By Steven R. Rochlin

 

Etsuro Urushi Cobalt Blue Moving Coil Phono Cartridge Review
Etsuro Urushi Cobalt Blue Moving Coil Phono Cartridge
A super-transparent window into the sounds that have been etched into an LP's surface.
Review By Tom Lyle

 

1MORE Triple Driver Over-Ear Headphones Review
1MORE Triple Driver Over-Ear Headphones
Can 1MORE deliver another classic bang-for-the-buck beauty?
Review By Dave Hanson

 

Ciúnas ISO-DAC, ISO-HUB, ISO-S/PDIF, ISO-PS, Plus Raspberry Pi 3 S/PDIF And Allo DigiOne Review
Ciúnas ISO-DAC, ISO-HUB, ISO-S/PDIF, ISO-PS, Plus Raspberry Pi 3 S/PDIF And Allo DigiOne
Digital done right!
Review By Clive Meakins

 

Reference 3A MM de Capo BE Monitor Review
Reference 3A MM de Capo BE Monitor
A musician's delight with this updated classic... and a bargain too!
Review By Phil Gold

 

Vermouth Audio Little Luccas MkII Limited Edition Speakers Plus Red Velvet And Black Pearl Cables ReviewVermouth Audio Little Luccas MkII Limited Edition Speakers Plus Red Velvet And Black Pearl Cables Review
Vermouth Audio Little Luccas MkII Limited Edition Speakers Plus Red Velvet And Black Pearl Cables
Good things come in small packages?
Review By Dwayne Carter

 

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

Also visit us online at:      

 

04 / 01 / 18

Aple's New ALP Hi-Res Music Strategy Brings The Best In Audio Fidelity
Aple's New ALP Hi-Res Music Strategy Brings The Best In Audio FidelityEveryone knows that for many years Aple has demanded music providers to send lossless Hi-Res Audio files, and it took hiring someone with great future outlook, plus the retirement gift by Jim-Bob Io, to make this possible. Their new ALP (Apple Lossless Player) will bring the company's uncompressed 24-bit files to all current and future products. Mit Kooc, CEO of Aple said, "Our founder Steve Boj's deep passion for music brought us the MyPed, a truly revolutionary portable music player of its time and only capable from a company as innovative as Aple. Our new ALP Music continues our legacy and is now available to 75 countries across the world. Naturally Aple is forward-thinking, with bringing change to hardware, software, and most important of all, streamlining the payment system to musical artists while ensuring our customers experiences the very best music experience. ALP in now available for both your iToones library and our revolutionary music streaming service. For those who want to own their music, you can easily upgrade your current music library for only 50 cents per song ($3 for each album, including double albums) to upgrade from lossy AAC to our incredible-sounding lossless 24-bit format. Now let's turn our attention to our extremely popular, and fast-growing, Aple Music streaming service. For only $20 per month for single-user, and $27.50 for family plan, you have full access to hundreds of thousands of the very best sounding music on Earth as only Aple can bring. By using the same core ALP Music technology within both iToones and Aple Music streaming, we've efficiently unified the user experience and ease of use. Our Aple family of users are passionate, and for the first time we're bringing an authentic experience to music lovers worldwide. There's no other company with the ability to bring this experience from the original music file to the hardware that will make it sound its best."

"In addition to the new ALP Music," says CEO of Aple Mit Kooc, "the company has acquired one of audio industry's most innovative companies. Aple is proud to announce that they have acquired Deviant, a gorgeous self-contained music system with an abundance of power you may have already heard at one of our beautiful retail stores. From 1000 Watts or more, not only is potent power a given, the Museum of Modern Art has celebrated its design. Furthermore, end-to-end system integration, as only Aple can provide, ensures you enjoy a truly authentic experience. Furthermore, if your connection is not fast enough for 24-bit, it seamlessly downsamples as your data connection allows to give you the best sound possible. Unlike other proprietary music scheme, there is no additional licensing or fees for music labels. Aple only desires to bring the very best products to our users, and with Aple's new ALP Music we're sure you'll agree it is the best your music has sounded."

"Music creators, and passionate music enthusiasts, will also rejoice as for the very first time a streaming music service will also provide the most in-depth meta data, album artwork (including exclusives) and Aple exclusive interactive features including special featurettes" continued Mit Kooc, "We here at Aple want to ensure that music creators are paid fairly, as so with proper meta data we fairly support musicians, who have been suffering for decades due to an extremely complicated music industry system, to our new Aple Music Meta payout system. More will be revealed concerning exactly what song writers, engineers, and musicians will be paid, yet this is a major industry-leading step in the right direction for the music business. It takes the payment system away from a myriad of inefficient organizations to a single, efficient modern system as only Aple can do. This maximizes what music creators receive for payment and removes the many fees associated with other collection companies. So as you can see, Aple's new ALP Music values the creative force of music, plus is the industry's first true re-think about both the business side and delivery of the highest quality music to our customers." We here at Enjoy the Music.com know you'll enjoy the music this April first.

 

03 / 30 / 18

Hi-Fi World's May 2018 Magazine Features Great Articles And Reviews
Hi-Fi World May 2018Hi-Fi World's May 2018 issue features their Annual Awards Ceremony plus Bristol show report. Noel Keywood reports on all the latest products from Bristol's Sound & Vision show 2018. Equipment reviews include the Klipsch R-28f loudspeakers, Arcaydis EB1s loudspeakers, FiiO Q5 headphone amplifier / DAC, McIntosh MCD350 SACD / CD player, Pioneer SX-N30 stereo network receiver, T+A Cala CDR, Unison Research Unico 90 amplifier, Pioneer F91 Tuner, NAD C558 Turntable, and Tellurium Q Silver Diamond USB cable. Within his editorial Using Modern Tech And Measurement Increase The Quality Of High-End Audio Equipment, Hi-Fi World's Noel Keywood says "When I listen to loudspeakers we loved in yesteryear, I cringe. Goodmans Magum Ks impressed me at the time and Leak 2060s were even better, with their superb white plastic mid-range cone perforated with wave breaks and rear coated with a damping layer. How do I know this? As a young man I attended a press conference explaining these new technologies held, in Leak's case, by an impressive young engineer called Alex Garner who subsequently rescued then ran Tannoy. I was so impressed! Wharfedale, Leak and KEF went on to use technology and measurement to produce increasingly refined loudspeakers and today we benefit from their knowledge and example. But there's a problem: today's loudspeakers are less boxy, boomy and sloppy as a result but also less characterful." See what's within this issue of Hi-Fi World and read the complete editorial at this link.

 

03 / 29 / 18

HIFICRITIC's Latest Issue Features Audio Reviews And Think Pieces
HIFICRITIC Volume 12 Number 1 January / February / March 2018HIFICRITIC's latest issue feature the HIFICRITIC Annual Awards 2017 retrospective awards come in three forms: Audio Excellence, Recommended and Best Buys. Stan Curtis examines the pluses and minuses of line source loudspeakers, Keith Howard explores loudspeaker distortion at higher than usual test levels, and Julian Musgrave's diary examines looks, watches someone else work, and finally fettles his widget. Gear reviews include Silver Solids RCA analog interconnects, AKG N90Q luxury headphone, Russell K RED 150 floorstanders, Bowers & Wilkins 707 S2 speakers, Brainwavz Delta in-ear monitors, and Pioneer N-70AE network player. Harry Harrison checks out six phono stages, including models from iFi, Timestep, Graham Slee, Rothwell, Naim Audio and Audio Research. There's an excellent affordable active stand-mounts comparo including the PreSonus Eris5 and the Yamaha MusicCast NX-N500, assessed by Martin Colloms. Meanwhile Robert Harris explores the world of triode amplifiers with 'useful' power outputs. Jazz, classical and rock/pop music reviews too round out this issue of HIFICRITIC. Within Julian Ashbourn's article about his book Audio: The Sound Of Our World, he says, "The development of any technology involves various stages in the timeline, from early gestation through to periods of stability and then advancing senility, as the original concept appears to become lost among seemingly frivolous and pointless developments. Somewhere along that timeline is a peak, where everything seems to come together and the results are as good as they will ever be. So where was the peak for the recording and reproduction of audio in the home? Some would say from the late 1950s to the mid-1960s. Certainly, good quality recordings from this era have an immediacy, realism and a touch of magic about them which seems lacking from many modern recordings. But how can this be, given the significant advances in electronics and audio technology made since that time? The answer lies tangled up with a number of factors, some of which are more to do with culture, understanding and attitude, than technology per se. For time does not just affect technological development, but society itself. Moments pass, and are forgotten, but capturing those moments was what drove much early audio development. But that original reasoning was overtaken by commercial interest and, some would say, greed and manipulation." See what's within this issue of HIFICRITIC at this link.

 

03 / 28 / 18

Mercury Records To Release Barry White Singles LPs And CDs
Mercury Records To Release Barry White Singles LPs And CDsFrom his hitmaking 1970s heyday until his untimely passing in 2003, Barry White set an unmatched standard for sexy, seductive, soulful R&B. As a vocalist, songwriter, producer and multi-instrumentalist, White created music that was unmatched in its sonic and romantic intensity, highlighted by lush, widescreen arrangements and the artist's deep, dark baritone voice. Over the course of his remarkable career, two-time Grammy Award–winner Barry White scored 106 gold albums worldwide, with 41 of those attaining platinum status, along with 20 gold and 10 platinum singles, with worldwide record sales of over 100 million records. He remains one of the best-selling recording artists of all time. On April 13, Mercury Records/UMe will release the first of a series of catalog releases of Barry White's classic work, in a yearlong celebration of the 45th anniversary of White's first release on 20th Century Records. New collections feature such White solo hits as "Can't Get Enough Of Your Love, Babe" and "You're The First, The Last, My Everything," along with hits by female trio Love Unlimited ("Walkin' In The Rain With The One I Love," "I Belong To You") and the 40-piece Love Unlimited Orchestra ("Love's Theme," "Satin Soul"), both of which benefited from White's distinctive songwriting and production skills. The White reissue series launches with a pair of remastered White hits collections: Love's Theme: The Best Of The 20th Century Records Singles, a single-CD compilation incorporating 21 classic White hits, which will also be available as a double vinyl LP including the bonus track "Satin Soul" by Love Unlimited Orchestra; and the three-CD, 46-track The Complete 20th Century Records Singles (1973-1979), which will be presented in a specially-designed box with the three discs packaged in individual wallets. Both albums will feature expansive liner notes and track details. On April 20, Mercury/UMe will release The 20th Century Records Singles (1973-1975), a box set of 10 seven-inch vinyl singles that replicates White's original hit single releases. The ten singles will be housed in a two-piece rigid box, with each disc in a 20th Century Records sleeve and 7" labels that duplicate the originals, along with a four-page illustrated book. The vinyl set features newly remastered audio from the 20th Century Records master tapes, cut at Abbey Road Studios for the highest possible sound quality.

 

Industry News 10 Years Ago
Hi-Res Music Site MusicGiants Teams Up With Enjoy the Music.com
MusicGiantsInternet website Enjoy the Music.com and celebrated United States online media provider MusicGiants have teamed up to offer audiophiles high resolution lossless music downloads and high quality video. Over the years, Enjoy the Music.com has reviewed hundreds of digital music titles available on CD, DVD-Audio and SACD hard media formats. With media industries and consumers moving away from such formats and more towards digital downloads, Enjoy the Music.com's continual goal is to employ and partner with companies that provide technical assistance in delivering up to date media. Therefore, partnering with MusicGiants to deliver HD music to our critical readership is only natural because they also seek out the very best in high quality hardware and software. "MusicGiants is very excited to partner with Enjoy the Music.com and we look forward to being part of their audio excellence with our high definition downloads," says Scott Bahneman, CEO of MusicGiants. "Their readers understand how important high quality sound is and they want the best music content to maximize their audio systems. We aim to deliver that ultimate entertainment experience." Steven R. Rochlin, editor of Enjoy the Music.com, says "As the Internet's largest Web site for high-performance consumer audio information and news, while also being online partners with print magazines The Absolute Sound, The Audiophile Voice and The $ensible Sound, this new venture into offering online lossless music heralds in a new direction towards our continual expansion plans. With each passing year, millions of additional people access the Internet and can easily find information concerning high-end audio within Enjoy the Music.com. Today, our extensive readership can easily download lossless music via our partnership with MusicGiants instead of settling for other services that sell highly compressed lossy music files. Together, we are able to reach tens of millions of consumers who purchase music online each year."

 

03 / 27 / 18

Join Enjoy the Music.com On Instagram For A Sneak Peek Review
Join Enjoy the Music.com On InstagramOur fans on Instagram are getting an advanced look at the April review of Etsuro Urushi's Cobalt Blue moving coil phono cartridge. Editor Tom Lyle says, "Let's face it, despite some audiophiles consider the Etsuro Urushi Cobalt Blue MC phono cartridge mid-priced, it isn't inexpensive. Still, one gets what they pay for with this cartridge, and I only mean that in the best of ways. The Cobalt Blue is a super-transparent window into the sounds that have been etched into an LP's surface." Visit us on Instagram and see the link to our sneak peek review!

 

Malcolm Hawksford To Give Insightful Lecture At AES Milan
Malcolm Hawksford To Give Insightful Lecture At AES MilanThe Audio Engineering Society (AES) in Milan, held from May 23rd through 26th at the NH Hotel Milano Congress Centre, is going to feature Malcolm Hawksford – Emeritus Professor within the School of Computing Science and Electronic Engineering at Essex University, Colchester. Malcolm is also a recent AES Gold Medal Winner, as presenter of the 38th Richard C. Heyser Memorial Lecture, speaking on the topic "Understanding High Quality Audio – A Personal Journey." According to the AES, "Taking place on Thursday, 24 May at 6:30pm, The Heyser Lecture is part of the 144th Audio Engineering Society International Convention Special Events schedule, open to all convention attendees. Register now for best pricing on All Access badges through 1 May, or opt for a complimentary Exhibits-Plus badge by using the code AES144NOW at checkout. Established in 1999 by the AES Technical Council and the Board of Governors in conjunction with the Richard Heyser Scholarship fund, the Heyser Lecture series, featured at each AES Convention, brings eminent individuals in audio engineering and related fields to speak on a relevant topic of choice. Hawksford's presentation at the AES Milan Convention will offer insight on his longstanding career of research and innovation. The abstract for his lecture, 'Understanding High Quality Audio – A Personal Journey.'"

 

Audio For Augmented / Virtual Reality @ AES International Conference
Malcolm Hawksford To Give Insightful Lecture At AES MilanThis just in, "The Audio Engineering Society is pleased to announce the second International Conference on Audio for Virtual and Augmented Reality, taking place August 20-22, 2018, at the DigiPen Institute of Technology, Redmond, WA. The conference and exhibition will bring together a community of influential research scientists, engineers, VR and AR developers, and content creators to explore such topics as: 
• Spatial audio capture, rendering, and synthesis over headphones and speakers
• Binaural, ambisonics, and wave field synthesis techniques 
• 3D sound field navigation
• HRTF modeling and derivation from optical and/or acoustic measurements
• Reverb and room acoustics synthesis
• 3D audio mixing and content production
• Sound design for VR/AR 
The conference's esteemed keynote presenters – Jean-Marc Jot, Ivan Tashev and Ravish Mehra – are at the forefront of innovation for VR and AR. According to Tashev, "Audio and video are integral components of AR/VR devices. Spatial audio is an area still under development – we need better capture, representation and rendering technologies. To make it mainstream, we have to catch up with authoring and editing tools as well." The three-day conference and expo will focus on the dissemination of top-level research in the field of spatial audio for virtual and augmented reality, with demonstrations and discussions focused on technical solutions and recommended practices. Leading researchers, practitioners and industry leaders will offer panel discussions, tutorials and workshops on new and forthcoming technologies."

 

03 / 26 / 18

Intel, Google, And ALSA Support New Sound Open  Firmware
Intel, Google, And ALSA Support New Sound Open  FirmwareSound Open Firmware project is an open source audio DSP firmware and includes valuable (yet free) development tools. AN SDK (service development kit, or devkit) provides audio firmware infrastructure and development tools for programmers/coders and manufacturers who are interested in modern high quality audio or signal processing using the latest high quality DSPs. Due to it's modular programming nature, there is a configurable topology allowing for flexible customization and is easily to port with other DSP architectures or host platforms. Being platform agnostic brings the ability to for the platform/DSP architecture to be completely independent of operating system, yet also support external third party audio hardware. With support from leading tech companies including Intel, Google, and ALSA, there are clearly laid out tool chain, debugger, emulator and firmware image creation tools. Proprietary compilers and emulators are also available. This completely free firmware software development kit is available today. Written in C, with some architecture specific assembler, there are no external dependencies to ensure ease of use. ASOC Linux kernel drivers registers the DSP and firmware as a kernel audio device and exposes various hardware capabilities, and loads any topology data. According to Wiki, "Sound Open Firmware is an open source audio DSP firmware and SDK intended to provide a generic audio firmware infrastructure and development tools to the community. The firmware is BSD licensed and is platform and architecture independent. The SDK is also open source and provides a toolchain, debugger, emulator and firmware image creation tools. The firmware and SDK are intended for developers who are interested in audio or signal processing on modern DSPs or for developers who are interested in micro kernels running on small but powerful processors. SOF currently targets the Cadence xtensa architecture DSPs found on some Intel based devices like the Minnowboard MAX. SOF is modular and generic so can be ported to other DSP architectures or host platforms. The Sound Open Firmware SDK comprises of five source components:

1) Sound Open Firmware source code. The firmware is written in C with some architecture specific assembler and does not link to any external dependencies.

2) Sound Open Firmware tools. These are bespoke tools required to convert firmware from the ELF file format to formats understood by the kernel drivers and tools to assist with debugging running firmware images.

3) ASoC Linux kernel drivers. An ASoC kernel driver is required to register the DSP and firmware as a kernel audio device and expose PCMs, kcontrols etc. This driver will also load any topology data.

4) Crosstool-NG tool chain. Crosstool-NG is used to build a GNU cross tool chain (gcc, gdb, binutils, etc.) that is used to build the firmware binaries. Other compilers and tool chains can also be used to build the firmware.

5) Qemu DSP and host emulator. Qemu is used to provide a functional emulator to trace and debug driver and DSP firmware code simultaneously."

Check out the Wiki page for more information at this link. You can also join the developer mailing where new development features and patches are discussed at this link. Open to all developers, OS agnostic, and completely free to use; that is what Sound Open Firmware brings to the table with support from industry leaders Intel and Google.

 

Industry News 15 Years Ago
Dolby Laboratories And Texas Instruments Bring 1394 To S/PDIF
Dolby Laboratories and Texas Instruments (TI) have collaborated to developed an all new PC integration to allow 1394 connectors to seamlessly work with S/PDIF. This new FireWire-S/PDIF converter provides Dolby Digital and PCM audio to be digitally sent from an IEEE 1394 device to S/PDIF connection. According to the press release "The converter, created by Island Digital Media Group, consists of an IEEE 1394 connector at one end and a coaxial S/PDIF connector at the other. It requires no additional wires if power is available from the 1394 cable, though a DC connector is available on the device for an external power supply, if needed. The device runs on a Texas Instruments iceLynx-micro (TSB43CB43A) chip." This new product also allows music and gaming enthusiasts to play back popular stereo and multi-channel 5.1 computer music files, such as MP3, AAC and WMA, through their home theater systems from their PCs.

 

03 / 23 / 18

10th Annual Record Store Day Celebration Is April 21, 2018
10th Annual Record Store Day Celebration Is April 21, 2018Record Store Day, with participating stores being defined as a brick and mortar retailers whose main primary business focuses on a major commitment to music retail, is scheduled for April 21, 2018. Very special limited edition vinyl LPs, cassettes and other promotion materials will be made available during Record Store Day celebration, which will be at physical indie record stores – not online retailers or corporate behemoths. Record Store Day was conceived in 2007 at a gathering of independent record store owners and employees as a way to celebrate and spread the word about the unique culture surrounding nearly 1400 independently owned record stores within the United States of America and thousands of similar stores internationally. The first Record Store Day took place on April 19, 2008. This year marks the 10th anniversary and there are many limited edition release to be available. "This is a day for the people who make up the world of the record store – the staff, the customers and the artists – to come together and celebrate the unique culture of a record store and the special role these independently owned stores play in their communities" says their website. Special vinyl and CD releases and various promotional products are made exclusively for the day. Festivities include performances, cook-outs, body painting, meet & greets with artists, parades, DJs spinning records, and on and on. In 2008 a small list of titles was released on Record Store Day and that list has grown to include artists and labels both large and small, in every genre and price point. For several years, 60% or more of the Record Store Day Official Release List came from independent labels and distributors. The list continues to include a wide range of artists, covering the diverse taste of record stores and their customers. Record Store Day is currently managed by Michael Kurtz and Carrie Colliton, in coordination with Michael Bunnell and Eric Levin.

 

03 / 22 / 18

PureAudioProject Quintet15 Horn1 Modular Open Baffle Loudspeakers Review
PureAudioProject Quintet15 Horn1 Modular Open Baffle Loudspeakers
The pure essence of music at Kipnis Studios (KSS).
Review By Jeremy Kipnis

 

Too Big To Fail iHeartMedia Is Bankrupt Owing Artists $16,400,000
Too Big To Fail iHeartMedia Is Bankrupt Owing Artists $16,400,000While iHeartMedia is the music industry's answer to TBTF (too big to fail) banks, Digital Music News has reported that iHeartMedia's top executives are receiving $15,500,000 in bonuses during 2018 yet owing artists $16,400,000. According to Digital Music News, "Late last week, iHeartMedia, the nation's largest US radio station owner, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Just hours before creditors would have shut down the company, iHeartMedia announced that it had reached a deal with holders of over $11 billion of the company's debt. As part of its balance-sheet restructuring agreement, iHeart will transfer 94% of stock in the reorganized company's radio business to its senior creditors. Those creditors will also receive all of the company's stake in Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings. Current stockholders will only get 1% of the equity in the reorganized company. The bankruptcy filing shows that the other 99% will belong to 2,021 noteholders and junior noteholders." The Wall Street Journal says that, "iHeartMedia Inc., the nation's biggest radio broadcaster, is building support for its balance-sheet restructuring, garnering signatures from investors holding $11 billion worth of its debt—a gain of $1 billion since it filed for chapter 11 on Wednesday. Lawyers for iHeart unveiled the company's turnaround strategy at a hearing in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Houston Thursday, claiming support from 74% of its senior creditors, who are slated to gain control of the company once it exits bankruptcy." As for what iHeartMedia has released, they say, "iHeartMedia, Inc. today announced that it has reached an agreement in principle with holders of more than $10,000,000,000 ($10 billion) of its outstanding debt and its financial sponsors." While it begs the question about the music business's role in allowing this to happen, there's little doubt that radio and online streaming are losing money per user, yet seems this is ok according to them because they'll make it up in volume. Wait, what? You can read more about this legal case and see a long list of creditors iHeartMedia owes at this link. Because if I owe you $10,000 it is my problem, yet if I owe you $100,000,000... or 100x that at $10,000,000,000 as is the case with iHeartMedia, it is your problem. Perhaps no one within the music business has a grasp on third grade mathematics? It might also show how little musical artists and content providers get paid, since $10,000,000,000 owed seems to equal a mere $16,400,000 to artists (who provide the music business a 'product' to sell).

 

03 / 21 / 18

Schiit Multibit DAC For Jotunheim And Lyr 3 Headamp/Preamp
Schiit Multibit DAC For Jotunheim And Lyr 3 Headamp/PreampSchiit Audio announced a Multibit DAC card for the Jotunheim and introduced their third-generation Lyr headphone amp/preamp. The Jotunheim is the company's first all-in-one Multibit DAC/ balanced headamp + preamp. New production Jotunheims with the Multibit DAC card are available now at $599, and the Multibit DAC card is available as an upgrade for all current Jotunheims from $200. Schiit's Multibit DAC card combines the Analog Devices AD5547 multibit D/A converter with Schiit's unique, Analog Devices Sharc DSP-based time- and frequency- optimized digital filter. The modular Jotunheim can also accept two other modules, with one being a second-generation delta-sigma DAC module based on the popular AK4490 D/A converter, and the other being a phono preamplifier, both at $100. Schiit Audio also announced the introduction of its third-generation Lyr headphone amp/preamp. Using Schiit's new Coherence hybrid single-tube/solid-state architecture, new Continuity constant-transconductance output stage, the same modular design as Jotunheim, Lyr 3 is a significant advance in technology, versatility, and convenience. Lyr 3 is available now at $499. In addition to being a technology showcase, Lyr 3 is a versatile, powerful, and convenient solution for desktop listening via headphones and powered monitors. Lyr 3 can be configured with a Multibit DAC, a AK4490 DAC, a phono preamp module, or with no module at all, so it can be tailored to the customers' specific needs. In addition, Lyr 3 can be converted from a hybrid design to an all-solid-state amp by using Schiit's Octal LISST (a solid-state tube product.) Powerful as Lyr 3 delivers its full 6 Watt RMS of power at 32 Ohms via the single-ended headphone jack, so there's no need for balanced connections for high power. Convenient: Lyr 3 uses only a single tube, which means lower tube costs and no need for matched tube pairs. The Lyr 3, the Multibit DAC, the 4490 DAC, and the phono preamp module are all available now at Schiit.com, together with tube and solid state gain options. Lyr 3 is $499, with AK4490 DAC or Phono Preamp is $599, and Lyr 3 with Multibit is $699. Upgrade to new-production Tung-Sol Tubes adds $25, or LISST (solid-state tube) is $45.

 

03  / 20 / 18

MQA Live Audio Only Format Launches With Jake Issac Performance
MQA Live Audio Only Format Launches With Jake Issac PerformanceThose seeking audio-only streaming could have enjoyed an invite-only audience in Austin TX to experienced the debut of MQA Live, a new way to live stream audio over the Internet. Jake Isaac and his band performed from London's Rocket Studios – the first time a live performance has been streamed in real time using MQA's technology. While DSD lossless audio-only live streaming has already been proven years ago, nothing has come forth in a major way for DSD live streaming. MQA is launching their lossy streaming Live audio-only product to enable music fans to connect in studio quality to their favorite artists, wherever and whenever the artists are performing. Fans can listen to a live concert in MQA audio quality, plus MQA Live hopes to offer access to gigs across different countries and time zones for loyal fans, as well as opening up concerts to new audiences. MQA Live is an audio-streaming tool and has no video content. Streaming MQA audio-only may reduce the expenses associated with video production and broadcasting, though many companies are offering free, or reasonably-priced audio/video streaming options. MQA has applied its lossy audio technology to make a real time encoder (no pricing as of this time), which connects easily to the stereo audio output system of the location and, according to MQA, can "then can be sent into the chosen delivery platform of promoters and venue owners". We're not sure if by "chosen delivery platform" they are including YouTube, Twitch, Ustream, Livestream and and other popular live streaming providers. MQA is also claiming their music will stream and play back on "any device", although for optimum results and the full MQA unfold, use devices or software from MQA partners. There's no mention of cost for the MQA encoder box and if it is a one-time cost or addition fees, such a licensing per stream. To date no other provider (YouTube, UStream, Twitch, Livestream, etc.) asks for any licensing fees or per stream fee so it'll be interesting to see the pricing and fees associated with MQA as compared to other free services now available online. Also of note is that Enjoy the Music.com is the only high-end audio magazine to have live streamed a professional concert using pro gear; specifically, the Acoustic Sounds / Quality Vinyl Pressing's Blues Masters At The Crossroads concert in 2014.

 


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