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


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08 / 21 / 17

Making Vinyl 2017 Conference In Detroit November 6th And 7th
Making Vinyl 2017 Conference In Detroit November 6th And 7thWith sales of vinyl picking up steam with double-digit growth, the first B2B conference dedicated to the re-birth of the global vinyl manufacturing business is coming to Detroit November 6th and 7th, 2017 at the Cadillac Book Westin. The entire vinyl value chain including representatives world's leading pressing manufacturers, equipment suppliers, record labels, packagers and stereo makers will compare notes on this astounding industry comeback. Presented by Colonial Purchasing co-op LLC, Record Store Day, and special hometown sponsor Third Man Pressing. Confirmed to appear so far includes Michael Kurtz (co-founder of Record Store Day), Larry Jaffee (Program Director Making Vinyl) and many others including Analog Planet's Michael Fremer. Those seeking to attend can reserve a sleeping room at the Westin Book Cadillac Detroit at 114 Washington Boulevard in Detroit (313) 442-1600. You can also book at room at this link.

 

08 / 18 / 17

Qualcomm Announces Multiple New Audio Platforms For Next Gen Audio
Qualcomm's CSRA68100Qualcomm's CSRA68100 is their next generation high performance audio SoC (system on a chip). Their next gen high performance single chip Bluetooth audio flash-programmable platform is designed for premium wireless speakers and headphones. The CSRA68100 is designed to offer up to four times the DSP processing power of its predecessor, along with a powerful 32-bit dedicated developer application processor. Qualcomm's QCC3XXX is their entry level flash-programmable audio platform. This new family of entry-level, flash-programmable audio SoC platforms is at competitive price points for Bluetooth headsets and speakers. It has technology that supports a rich set of features, use cases and customization. They are designed to help OEMs to develop unique products for market segments which have typically been restricted to fixed function ROM devices. Another chipset is the WHS94XX, which is specifically for audio SoCs for USB-C connected devices. A single chip USB audio SoC platform is designed specifically for USB-C connected audio devices and supports the USB-C connector, which is expected to become standard on next generation smartphones for charging, but can also be used to support high quality digital audio interfaces. In other developments to help manufacturers reduce development time and commercialization of smart and networked speakers, Qualcomm has a flexible solution in offering two SoC options based on APQ8009 and APQ8017, with a range of software configurations that are designed to allow OEMs to create truly optimized smart speakers across various product tiers and categories. Lastly, Qualcomm's next gen DDFA amplifier technology provides for high-resolution audio devices including wireless speakers, soundbars, networked audio and headphone amplifiers. This patented closed-loop architecture is designed to deliver much higher fidelity amplified audio and design flexibility while retaining the advantages of Class D amplification. "There are seismic shifts taking place in the audio industry as consumers rapidly adopt wireless audio devices, use streaming as their preferred method of listening to music, and demand smaller form factors as well as increased portability from their audio devices," said Anthony Murray, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Voice and Music for Qualcomm. "Our audio platforms have been widely proven for more than 15 years working with many of the world's leading audio brands and our broad range of audio technologies including Qualcomm aptX audio, Qualcomm cVc and Qualcomm TrueWireless Stereo have helped to redefine the wireless listening experience. With this expanded portfolio we are helping to meet future industry needs and bring next-generation speakers and headphones to commercialization by supporting crucial enhancements in sound quality, connectivity, processing performance and device size."

 

08 / 17 / 17

TBT Ten Years Ago: Blue Note Awards 2007
Best Audiohpile Products Of 2007 Blue Note AwardCelebrating our annual Blue Note Award during throwback Thursday, today we're bringing you our Blue Note Awards! We're very excited to publish our 2017 awards within the upcoming September issue of the Enjoy the Music.com's Review Magazine. Our Blue Note Awards for 2007 features Van den Hul, Emm Labs, Teac Esoteric, Lexicon Pro, Antique Sound Lab, conrad-johnson, Bella EXtreme, Silbatone, Naim Audio, Micropure, Bastanis, AV123, Role Audio, Furutech, Walker Audio, Jolida, and Aperion Audio. Check out our Blue Note Awards for 2007 at this link.

 

McIntosh Announces MCT80 DSD128 & 24-bit/192kHz SACD/CD Transport
McIntosh Announces MCT80 DSD128 & 24-bit/192kHz SACD/CD TransportMcIntosh is proud to announce their new MCT80 SACD/CD transport ($3500). Enjoy your CDs all over again with the MCT80 SACD/CD Transport. The MCT80 includes three digital-only outputs in the form of S/PDIF coax RCA and TosLink optical connector along with one of McIntosh Labs' proprietary MCT connectors. The MCT output offers a secure DSD connection for playback of the high definition audio on SACDs. To take advantage of the MCT80's unique SACD capabilities, it must be used with select McIntosh models that have an MCT input. The coax and optical outputs support CD audio formats up to 24-bit/192kHz. McIntosh's MCT80 features an improved transport with a die-cast aluminum tray in conjunction with an advanced digital servo for faster, quieter and accurate operation. All common disc types can be played including SACD, CD, CD-R, CD-RW (MP3 and WMA) and user generated DVD or CD Data Discs with music file formats including DSD (up to DSD128), WAV (up to 24-bit/192kHz), FLAC, MP3 and others. A disc's audio data is read at twice the normal rate insuring better disc tracking and error correction processing. A twin laser optical pickup assures optimal disc reading. Power control and data ports integrate the MCT80's operational state with other McIntosh system components. It's wrapped in classic McIntosh styling with a polished stainless steel chassis, black glass front panel, illuminated logo and aluminum end caps.

 

08 / 15 / 17

The Cable Company's Summer Against Hunger For CARE
The Cable Company's Summer Against Hunger For CAREEnjoy the Music.com is posting this again as a friendly reminder: What if your audio purchase could make a positive change in the world? For the month of August, up to 100% of every dollar you spend at The Cable Company will be donated to CARE. They've run this program every August for the last 22 years, generating more than $4,000,000 in donations. You might be understandably skeptical, how can all the money spent with us be donated, not just a percentage? Put simply, matching grants: The Cable Company's contribution is matched by sponsoring vendors. That combined contribution is then matched by an extremely generous anonymous donor and the total of the above is further matched by an institutional donor. Long story short, 100% of your purchase from any one of our over 70 sponsoring brands benefits CARE. For brands not sponsoring, or in the case of used products, CARE will receive at least 50% of the purchase price. As for why, the first CARE packages were delivered to WWII survivors in 1946. In 2016 CARE reached over 80 million people in 94 countries with over 1000 sustainable development projects as well as relief efforts. CARE is efficient, as more than 90% of their expenditures among the highest of all philanthropic organizations support its poverty-fighting projects around the world.

 

Industry News 15 Years Ago
Listener Magazine's Art Dudley Bids Us A Farewell
Listener MagazineThis news just in from Art Dudley, Editor of Listener magazine:
"Listener readers who hold onto their back issues will be happy to know that the September/October issue, which is in the mail now, may be destined for collectibility. Unfortunately, that status comes at a price: It will be our last issue.

Our owners at Englander Communications have followed the magazine's performance closely in recent months, and while subscription renewals are up slightly, it isn't enough: They have been unable to attract enough new subscribers to ensure profitability and sustain the publication over the long haul.

I would like to say that our three-year relationship with Englander was a good one, and that their circulation expertise in particular helped us to reach a bigger audience than would otherwise have been possible. This may not be an especially happy time for me or my family, but I understand Englander's reasons, and their actions have been honorable and in fact downright classy. I thank them for getting involved with this peculiar little magazine in the first place.

More to the point, I thank all our readers for buying Listener during the eight years we published it. And I'm especially grateful for the many kind letters and words of praise we received during that time. In the words of Renwick Hoeck: "Memories eh, Stimpy?" We had a good run, it was a lot of fun, and now it's time to do something else.

Best wishes to all...

Art Dudley
Editor, Listener

 

08 / 14 / 17

Rocky Mountain Audio Fest 2017 October 6th Through 8th
RMAF 2017 Show Report -- Rocky Mountain International Audio Fest 2015Featuring a newly renovated venue, Enjoy the Music.com's RMAF 2017 show report celebrates 14 consecutive years of reporting on this highly popular event. During the 2017 event, once again we have the Rocky Mountain International Audio Fest teaming up with Head-Fi's CanJam Denver event! Audio gear from large reference speakers to the smallest in-ear monitors can be experienced at the show. RMAF 2017 is being held at the Denver Marriott Tech Center Hotel from October 6th through the 8th. Enjoy the Music.com will bring you exciting RMAF 2017 show coverage, with a special separate CanJam 2017 Denver report too! The 14th Annual Rocky Mountain International Audio Fest (RMAF) is the largest consumer audio and home entertainment show within the Mid-West United States. Denver's own audio wonderland will feature over 160 exhibit spaces representing more than 400 companies from North and South America, Europe, Australia and Asia. RMAF's special RIHPA are the high-end audio industry's world-wide press awards honoring high-end audio manufacturers -- the Oscars of the audio industry.

 

08 / 11 / 17

Live at Bernie's Direct-To-Disc Recording By The Anne Bisson Trio
Live at Bernie's Direct-To-Disc Recording By Anne Bisson TrioGenesis Advanced Technologies and Brilliance Music are pleased to announce the release of a new Live at Bernie's audiophile recording. The Anne Bisson Trio Four Seasons in Jazz is the product of an amazing collaboration of the finest musicians from Canada with the best engineers in Hollywood. The Anne Bisson Trio consists of Anne Bisson, vocalist and pianist, Jean-Bertrand Carbou on double bass, plus Pierre Tanguay on drums and percussion. As the brainchild of Gary L Koh of Genesis Advanced Loudspeakers and his long-time friend and Thai distributor Wuti Larnroongroj, the story of how the recording came to be was one of serendipity; of chance meetings and opportunities grasped, then one of hard work and perseverance to bring the album to fruition. Canadian jazz vocalist/pianist Anne Bisson and her musical collaborators were recorded direct-to-disc over two days by Bernie Grundman at his studio, Bernie Grundman Mastering in Hollywood, CA. Co-produced with Bisson, legendary sound engineer Michael C. Ross used a 100% analog recording chain directly to Grundman's all-analog record cutting system to realistically capture every glorious moment. Four Seasons in Jazz: Live at Bernie's is only the third direct-to-disc recording ever created at Bernie Grundman Mastering, and the second mixed in real-time by Ross and mastered by Grundman himself. The album will be released as a Limited Edition, hand-numbered 180 gram 45rpm double vinyl LP in super premium packaging with a 16 page book containing lyrics and an essay giving readers and music-lovers a never-before-seen insight into the background and the process involved in creating this direct-to-disc adventure.

 

08 / 10 / 17

T.H.E. Show Anaheim Will Feature Gear, Seminars, Live Music And More
T.H.E. Show Anaheim 2017 ReportT.H.E. Show in Anaheim is a weekend of fun, education and entertainment for consumer electronics and music enthusiasts. Scheduled from September 21st to September 24th at the Hilton Anaheim, this Southern California consumer electronics show will provide attendees an opportunity to see and hear the latest in loudspeakers, audio components, home theater, video, HDTV, digital music, vinyl recordings, headphones, virtual reality, and more. Promotional activity includes live performance by John Novello band featuring Tom Scott, Dr. Floyd Toole presenting The Science of Sound Master Class 1 and 2, Jaguar and Land Rover sponsorship previewing their 2018 models, artisanal spirits tasting, a high tech fashion show, sweepstakes, Disney discounts and more. RIVA Audio's Founder and Chairman Rikki Farr will be on hand to talk about his memorable career and answer questions from attendees. You can learn more about T.H.E. Show 2017 in Aaheim at this link.

 

08 / 09 / 17

Video: Why Is Modern Pop Music So Terrible?
Here's an interesting video with some facts, figures, and a breakdown of music over time and how the tonal, dynamic, etc variety has been reduced.

 

08 / 08 / 17

Bryston's New BP-173 Solid-State Stereo Preamplifier
Bryston's New BP-173 Solid-State Stereo PreamplifierBryston has announced the introduction of the new BP-173 ($3995) Cubed Series preamplifier, which utilizes patented technology fro their Cubed Series amplifiers. The BP-173 also features a new expanded input / output configuration for enhanced system flexibility. Bryston's linear, low noise input buffer is said to reduces noise and distortion. The BP-173 also has improved RF and audio frequency noise filtering to prevent unwanted anomalies on the power line from interfering even minutely with the audio signal. Bryston's BP-173 offers expanded input/output options, including two pairs of XLR outputs and two pairs of RCA outputs, making it possible to connect a wide variety of equipment and accommodate numerous system configurations. An RCA tape loop lets users connect a line-level processor or recording device and one of the XLR output pairs can be internally selected to have either variable (default) or fixed output enabling users to easily connect a balanced input headphone amplifier. The BP-173 also includes two pairs of balanced inputs and five pair RCA inputs, and can be ordered with a high-resolution internal DAC, a premium moving magnet (MM) phono stage, both DAC and phono modules or without either module installed. Users can select sources, adjust volume and more all from the optional BR-2 remote control or via RS232 connection to virtually any control ecosystem. The BP-173 is available in either black or silver, 17" or 19" wide faceplates. The DAC and MM phono stage options have an MSRP of $750 each, with the BR-2 remote being $375. Like all analog components from Bryston, the BP-173 preamplifier is covered by an industry best 20 year warranty.

 

Industry News 15 Years Ago
Digimarc And Verance Settle Digital Watermarking Lawsuit
There is much ado in the DVD world as Digimarc and Verance have settled their lawsuit. Digimarc and Verance have settled a dispute over the use of Digimarc's intellectual property concerning the use of watermarking on Verance DVD discs. According to reports, over $2 million to cover licensing fees will be paid by Verance to Digimarc. Verance's President and CEO Bob Cerasoli said, "We view this settlement as the first step in what we expect to be a long-term, constructive relationship between Verance and Digimarc that is sure to accelerate the growth of the significant market for digital watermarking technology and related services."

 

08 / 07 / 17

VANA Ltd. Announces Audio Physic Step Plus & Tempo Plus Speakers
VANA Ltd. Announces Audio Physic Step Plus & Tempo Plus SpeakersVANA, Ltd. has announced the availability of the Audio Physic Step plus and Tempo plus loudspeakers ($2595 per pair and $5995 per pair respectively). The Step plus is an ultra-high-performance bookshelf monitor and the Tempo plus is a floorstanding speaker utilizing the same midrange and tweeter technologies as the Step plus with low frequency drivers integrated within the enclosure. The Step plus and the Tempo plus share a brand new 1.75" tweeter (HHCT III) and 5.9" midrange (HHCM II) that have been engineered exclusively for Audio Physic. These unique ceramic coated aluminum drivers utilize proprietary hybrid cone construction that combine the dampening characteristics of modern polymers with the stability and stiffness of metal. Each driver's suspension system and basket chassis are mechanically decoupled from one another in a unique design that reduces unwanted resonances. Audio Physic refers to this technology as the Hyper-Holographic Cone chassis (HHC), which is said to "improve clarity and detail significantly verses conventional drivers". In addition to the elaborate HHC basket construction, the midrange driver is also equipped with a fixed metal phase plug designed to reduce heat. Each driver is housed within individual compartments in the cabinet, providing a smooth and homogeneous acoustic pattern. The entire inner cabinet has been updated to include extremely stiff open cell ceramic foam bracing elements that stabilize the enclosure and further reduce resonances. The Tempo plus incorporates two high-performance 7" aluminum bass drivers situated across from one another in the side walls of the enclosure. The push-push configuration of the woofers creates a symmetrical distribution of force on the loudspeaker cabinet, improving low frequency resolution and overall detail. Both the Step plus and the Tempo plus feature newly engineered crossover networks that incorporate painstakingly selected components. The interior wiring and the premium grade WBT binding posts, all mechanically decoupled from the cabinet, are also a critical part of these new designs. The Audio Physic Step plus and Tempo plus are both available now, with pricing being $2595 per pair for the Step plus and $5995 per pair for the Tempo plus in standard Cherry and Walnut Wood Veneer finishes. They are also available for $2795 and $6495 respectively for Black or White high gloss or Ebony wood veneer.

 

Hi-Fi World's September Issue Is Now Available
Hi-Fi World September 2017Enjoy the Music.com has just posted the September 2017 issue of Hi-Fi World. Gear reviewed includes the Q Acoustics Concept 500 loudspeakers, Quadral Breeze M portable Bluetooth speaker, McIntosh MB50 streamer, Onix DNA 50 amplifier, Naim Powerline-Lite power cable, a revisit to the old Rio PMP300 mp3 player and Sony TC377 reel-to-reel deck. Vinyl lovers will enjoy the review of Black Rhodium's Stylus cable and Rega Atlas tracking force gauge. Within his editorial, Noel Keywood says, "Karl-Heinz Fink is a German loudspeaker engineer I speak to often at shows. Karl well knows not only about the engineering of loudspeakers, he understands "the British sound" (a standard and an expectation set by the BBC long ago). You may find his consulting website interesting, it's at this link. There Karl talks about what he's been saying animatedly to me at the last few shows we met, namely cabinet vibrations. I like to keep away from such troublesome things so his concerns were not my concerns, but I realise I should have been concerned after listening to the new Q Acoustics Concept 500 loudspeakers Jon Myles reviews on page 11 designed by Mr. Fink. Their cohesive smoothness was almost a shock to me because this is electrostatic territory something that eludes most multi-driver loudspeakers in resonant boxes. The Concept 500s may look conventional, but appearances deceive here. I hope you enjoy reading Jon's review of them in this issue." See what's within this issue of Hi-Fi World at this link.

 

08 / 05 / 17

KL International AV Show 2017 Report
KL International AV Show 2017 Report
Kuala Lumpur International Audio And Video Show 2017 report.
KLAV 2017 Report By Christopher Tan

 

08 / 04 / 17

Celebrate Louis Armstrong's 116th Birthday With Music
Louis Armstrong The Complete Decca Singles 1935-1946In celebration of the late, great Louis Armstrong's 116th birthday today, Verve Records/UMe have released the digital collection, The Complete Decca Singles 1935-1946, bringing together every single and B-side Pops released during his first decade on Decca Records. Totaling 136 tracks with many available digitally for the first time the comprehensive collection is now on all digital retailers and streaming services just as the annual music extravaganza Satchmo SummerFest gets underway in New Orleans' historic French Quarter for three days and nights of contemporary and traditional jazz in honor of the legendary trumpet player and singer. A prequel to The Complete Decca Singles 1949-1958 issued at the end of 2016, the new collection is comprised of six digital volumes with the tracks (A-side/B-side) in chronological order by original release date. Representing an overview of Armstrong's highly prolific period recording for Decca Records, The Complete Decca Singles illuminates a time when Satchmo was developing a clear vocal and scatting style and and his trumpet playing was second to none. Of note, three-quarters of this collection has been properly pitch-corrected for the first time ever, a cause for joy for practicing trumpet players (and singers) all over the world. Songs range from early jazz, big band swing, ragtime and Dixieland, to the novelty Polynesian sounds of the day and even spoken word. Regardless of genre, it's Armstrong's remarkable trumpet playing and trademark gravelly tenor that are always front and center, making these songs unmistakably the work of the one and only, Louis Armstrong.

 

08 / 03 / 17

Hi-Fi+'s August Magazine Is Now Available Online
Hi-Fi+ Issue 149 July 2017Hi-Fi+ Magazine's August 2017 issue features coverage of the LA Audio show plus The Best Of The Last 50 where the finest audio gear from issue 100 to today is announced. Gear reviews include the HiFiMAN Shangri-La electrostatic headphone / amplifier, Fostex TH610/HPA4BL closed-back headphones / headphone amplifier/DAC, Weiss Engineering DAC501 DAC / streamer / headamp, iFi Audio Micro iDSD Black Label portable headamp / pre / DAC, Stax SRS-3100 electrostatic headphone system, Onkyo DP-S1 Digital audio player, Pathos Inpol headpamp / DAC, Sennheiser Momentum in-ear Bluetooth headset, JH Audio Layla custom fit in-ear monitors, TechDAS Air Force III/SAT Turntable and pick-up arm, Conrad-Johnson CAV-45 valve control amplifier, Roksan Audio Blak CD player and more. Within his editorial Hi-Fi+ Is Celebrating Our 150th Issue, Alan Sircom says, "It took Hi-Fi+ almost 13 years to reach its 100th edition, but it's taken us less than five to reach the 150th. Such is the pace of the audio and the online worlds now that the concept of making a bi-monthly magazine seems almost unthinkable today. And looking back to that 100th issue from 2012, it's patently obvious just how profound are the changes that have taken place to the audio industry, in almost every aspect of its intent, design, and outlook. By our 100th issue, the fall of CD was in full effect and many of us predicted the time where high-performance CD players was passing. However, while it's true CD player sales are far from buoyant at this time, the format has remained resilient. People are still buying CDs and CD players. Even SACD still clings to life, despite both very limited availability of hardware and discs, and the widespread uptake of DoP (DSD over PCM) playback." See what's within this issue of H-Fi+ Magazine at this link.

 

08 / 02 / 17

The Cable Company's Summer Against Hunger For CARE
The Cable Company's Summer Against Hunger For CAREWhat if your audio purchase could make a positive change in the world? For the month of August, up to 100% of every dollar you spend at The Cable Company will be donated to CARE. They've run this program every August for the last 22 years, generating more than $4,000,000 in donations. You might be understandably skeptical, how can all the money spent with us be donated, not just a percentage? Put simply, matching grants: The Cable Company's contribution is matched by sponsoring vendors. That combined contribution is then matched by an extremely generous anonymous donor and the total of the above is further matched by an institutional donor. Long story short, 100% of your purchase from any one of our over 70 sponsoring brands benefits CARE. For brands not sponsoring, or in the case of used products, CARE will receive at least 50% of the purchase price. As for why, the first CARE packages were delivered to WWII survivors in 1946. In 2016 CARE reached over 80 million people in 94 countries with over 1000 sustainable development projects as well as relief efforts. CARE is efficient, as more than 90% of their expenditures among the highest of all philanthropic organizations support its poverty-fighting projects around the world.

 

Industry News 10 Years Ago
First Full-Track Mobile Download To Sell One Million Copies
GreeeeNFor those who doubt the selling power of music delivered to wireless mobile devices, today it was announced that the third single by an anonymous quartet of Japanese medical students from a university in Sendai city has become the first full-track mobile download to sell one million copies. Full track mobile download costs 300 per track in Japan excluding 5 percent consumption tax. The song "Aiuta" (Love Song) by GreeeeN, newly signed to Universal Music Japan, was released May 16 as a full-track download for mobile devices. Since then it has sold over a million copies, plus additional sales as a ringtone, ring video and ringback tone. Sales to date across all digital configurations exceeds 3 million to the delight of the music label. GreeeN is said to be this year's most successful new act in Japan. "Aiuta" has also earned physical form sales of more than 250,000 singles to date. GreeeeN's first album, A Domo Hajimemashite (Hi, How Do You Do?), has sold 550,000 copies since its release on June 27. Kazuhiko Koike, President and COO of Universal Music Japan, said "We were convinced that Aiuta would have universal appeal the moment we first heard it. We are very gratified that the song has become so popular through a very personal communication tool like the mobile phone."

 

08 / 01 / 17

Enjoy the Music.com's August Review Magazine Is Now Online
Enjoy the Music.com's August Review Magazine starts off with a wonderful remembrance of longtime high-end audio reviewer Alvin Gold, specially written by his brother Phil. Roger Skoff writes about audio formats and how it all changes, yet always seems to stay the same. Editor Tom Lyle gets his chance to hear the fabled, and long-loved by reviewers, Reference 3A monitor. Their latest iteration, called the Reflector, is something he could enjoy for a lifetime! Phil Gold reviews the Estelon YB floorstanding loudspeakers. He feels you should find an Estelon dealer, book an appointment and listen carefully.

 

Chord Hugo 2 Transportable DAC / Headphone Amplifier Review

Next up is Dave Hanson grooving to Chord's hugely successful Hugo DAC 2 transportable DAC / headamp. It delivers a spacious, detailed, and lively sound. Then there's Rotel's A12 integrated amp with companion CD14 CD player. Dwayne Carter says "Solid bass, clear mid-range, (very slightly) muted treble and plenty of power to achieve party-time volume levels. At this price range you are delivered one of the best sounding performances."

 

Tekton Design Brilliance Floorstanding Loudspeaker

Looking for something refreshingly different in speakers? Check out Tekton's Brilliance with proprietary driver array. It's a very fast, detailed, and engaging speaker states Rick Becker. Of note is Tekton's proprietary triple silk dome radiator high frequency array that is operating at nearly full range from 800 Hz to 30 kHz.

 

KL International AV Show 2017 Report

This past weekend there were many high-end audio shows throughout the world including Australia, Kuala Lumpur, Thailand, and San Francisco. We'll be posting our KL International AV Show 2017 report shortly. Held at the Sunway Putra Hotel from July 28th through 30th, this event featured refined and luxurious audio and video gear from all around the world.

See Enjoy the Music.com's August Review Magazine at this link.

As always, in the end what really matters is that you... enjoy the music! 

Enjoy the Music,

Steven R. Rochlin
Creative Director
Enjoy the Music.com

 

In Remembrance Of The Great Man And Journalist Alvin Gold
In Remembrance Of The Great Man And Journalist Alvin Gold
Alvin Gold- May 13, 1948 to April 7, 2017
Article By Phil Gold

 

Audio Format Wars!
Audio Format Wars!
Roger Skoff writes about how it all changes, but always seems to stay the same.
Article By Roger Skoff

 

KL International AV Show 2017 Report
Coming Soon!  KL International AV Show 2017 Report
Kuala Lumpur International Audio And Video Show 2017 report.

 

Reference 3A Reflector Stand Mounted Monitor Review
Reference 3A Reflector Stand Mounted Monitor
A speaker to live with... for a lifetime.
Review By Tom Lyle

 

Estelon YB Floorstanding Loudspeaker Review
Estelon YB Floorstanding Loudspeaker
The baby of the Estelon family.
Review By Phil Gold

 

Chord Hugo 2 Transportable DAC / Headphone Amplifier Review
Chord Hugo 2 Transportable DAC / Headphone Amplifier
Attempting to turn your ones and zeros into perfect tens.
Review By Dave Hanson

 

Rotel A12 Integrated Amplifier And Rotel CD14 CD Player Review
Rotel A12 Integrated Amplifier And Rotel CD14 CD Player
Rotel's dynamic duo delivers outstanding performance for their price.
Review By Dwayne Carter

 

Tekton Design Brilliance Floorstanding Loudspeaker
Tekton Design Brilliance Floorstanding Loudspeaker
A very fast, detailed, and engaging speaker.
Review By Rick Becker

 

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

Also visit us online at:     

 

07 / 31 / 17

Monrio MC 207-NC Solid-State Stereo Integrated Amplifier
Monrio MC 207-NC Solid-State Stereo Integrated AmplifierMonrio's largest and most powerful integrated amplifier, the MC 207-NC, sits squarely within the company's core product ranges. The model line-up so far consisted of the MC 202, MC 200, MC 205 and MC 207. With the MC 207-NC, Monrio are introducing a further refined version of the MC 207. Monrio's new MC 207-NC features the latest circuit topology and top-notch materials. MC 207-NC feel they have a "Sound quality that has reached an even higher level than before, presenting a superbly matched blend of performance, features and musicality". The circuitry of the MC 207-NC remains essentially unchanged, relying on a single big printed circuit board capable of receiving all the necessary updates in order to keep the amplifier current within market demands. Their main circuit board carries the output stage and power supply, whilst a sub-board carries the low-level audio stage. Power transistors used in the output stage are designed for audio application. By connecting these devices in a quasi-complementary configuration (all transistors used are of NPN type), Monrio's MC 207-NC delivers a high-quality power output capabilities rated for 140 Watts into 8 Ohms (280 Wpc @ 4 Ohms). Frequency response is from 10Hz to 100 kHz with a vanishingly low THD of 0.03%. This unit take advantage of a 500 VA power transformers plus four large electrolytic capacitors rated for 10,000 uF each. This assures ample power reserves for reproduction of demanding bass passages. The MC 207-NC offers four stereo line high level inputs via unbalanced RCA, a dedicated unity gain A/V Direct input for use with a home theater processor, plus a tape loop. An optional USB Type B module allows the MC 207-NC to be connected to an Internet network.

 

07 / 28 / 17

Australian Hi-Fi Magazine's July / August Issue Is Now Available
Australian Hi-Fi Magazine July / August 2017This issue of Australian Hi-Fi features HIGH END Munich show report plus sound bites of the Dali Wireless, Audeze Sine DX, E.A.T. B-Sharp, AM Relaunch, Sonos Playbase, Sennheiser HDV820, Pioneer XDP-30R, Inakustik, Sonic Purity, Audio-Tech DSR7BT, Boulder 3010, Melco 2nd Gen DML, Leica Headphones, Revox, Nagra HD Pre, Rega in Red, Wharfedale Diamond 11, Billie Jorgen Series 5 and more. High-end audio equipment reviews include the Mitchell & Johnson SAP201V integrated AmpliDAC, Castle Avon 4 loudspeakers, Pioneer PD-30AE CD player, Pryma 01 headphones, Boenicke W8 loudspeakers, JL Audio Fathom F112v2 subwoofer, and JPLAY software for music. Within his editorial "DSD And Dynamic Range", Greg Borrowman says "I am always disappointed when I read misinformation on the internet. Firstly because it is misinformation, and the more of it there is on the internet, the less useful the internet becomes. Secondly because of the number of people who will be deceived by this information and make poor decisions (and/or purchases) as a result. And thirdly because of the number of people who will not only be deceived by the misinformation, but will also promulgate it, which in turn will lead to more of my first-identified disappointment. The spread of misinformation on the internet is so virus-like that it would seem to be immaterial where it first appears, or re-appears, but in fact this is important, because most people reading any information will base their opinion of whether it's true or not on the source itself. So if I read something about beauty products having been proved to work on a website that sells those self-same beauty products, I am going to take that information with a grain of salt." See what's within this issue of Australian Hi-Fi at this link.

 

07 / 27 / 17

Pro-Ject Head Box DS Review
Throwback Thursday! Pro-Ject Head Box DS Review
A headphone amp with 24-bit-192kHz DAC that can be the centerpiece of your high-end desktop system.
Review By Tom Lyle

 

UK Music Enjoys 11.2% Gain In First Half Of 2017
UK Music Enjoys 11.2% Gain In First Half Of 2017According to the Entertainment Retailers Association (ERA), a trade group representing UK digital services plus digital and physical retailers, says in their recent report that music sales are up 11.2% in the first half of 2017 as compared to 2016. Music sales in 2017 climbed to reach 564.7 million in sales. Ed Sheeran trumps Star Wars and Fantastic Beasts to deliver 2017's biggest seller so far. ERA says that a key factor in the soaring growth was increasing take-up of streaming music services. Even with ERA considering videos and video games, music is by far the star performer of the three sectors. With growth of 11.2% in the first half of 2017 compared with the same period of 2016. Music also delivered the biggest-selling title in ERA's Entertainment Chart combining sales of music, video and games, with Ed Sheeran's Divide selling 2.065m units, well ahead of Rogue One A Star Wars Story with sales of 1.18m and Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them on 1.032m. As a point of interest, overall entertainment sales increased 6.4% to 2.997 million in the first six months of 2017 compared with 2.817 million in the same period of 2016. And thus yes my friends, music grew fastest at 11.2%, followed by games at 8.4% and video at 1.2%.

 

07 / 26 / 17

Home Audio Revenues On Target To Grow 17% In 2017
Home Audio Revenues On Target To Grow 17% In 2017A new report from Futuresource Consulting shows the home audio market continues to outpace the wider home electronics market. Home audio revenues grew by 20% in 2016 to $11.7 billion (at trade) and are on course to grow a further 17% in 2017, benefiting from the success of smart speakers coupled with the continued growth of soundbars as well as Bluetooth speakers in emerging markets. Meanwhile, the rest of the home electronics market fell 2% in 2016. Wireless speakers alone grew 32% and generated revenues of $6.2 billion in 2016, while soundbar revenues grew 18% to generate $2.7 billion. However, the story is not so good for many legacy categories such as hi-fi's and loudspeakers and home-theatre-in-a-box systems. "While soundbars are becoming the default TV-centric audio solution, wireless speakers in various shapes and sizes are replacing hi-fi's, radios and speaker-docks throughout the home," says Zlata Jelisejeva, Research Analyst at Futuresource Consulting. "As a recent example, we are seeing the emergence of the party wireless speaker category starting to cannibalize sales of the corresponding hi-fi systems market. Also of note is that, "Despite fuelling market growth, we expect voice assistants to disrupt the audio hardware market moving forward, affecting prices, competition and of course usage. Amazon launched Echo and its derivatives at competitive price points and continue to command over 90% of smart speaker's sales. Meanwhile, this category is expected to become a platform battleground for the likes of Apple, Google, Microsoft and Amazon," adds Rasika D'Souza, Senior Market Analyst at Futuresource Consulting. By 2021, Futuresource estimates that 27% of home audio devices will feature multi-room support. The demand for 3D audio (or object-oriented sound), such as Dolby Atmos, is set to increase, although content availability remains limited and the percentage of home audio devices including 3D audio playback stood at around 5% at end of 2016.

 

Industry News 10 Years Ago
7" Vinyl LP Sales Are White Hot Within The UK
It is a good day to be 7 inches! Forget CD, DVD-Audio, and SACD, the hot product is that quirky-sized 7-inch vinyl record within the UK! While the RIAA, IFPI and others cry about declining digital disc sales, in the UK we find that 7-inch vinyl record sales are experiencing tremendous growth as annual sales increase from just over 200,000 units in 2000 to more than 1 million units in 2006. During the first half of 2007 there has been a further increase in sales of 12.9 percent compared to the same time period in 2006, with the White Stripes' Icky Thump as the best seller. This report comes from the British Phonographic Industry (BPI), an organization that represents the UK recorded music industry, with membership comprising of hundreds of music companies including all four major record companies, associate members such as manufacturers and distributors, and hundreds of independent music companies representing literally thousands of labels.

 

07 / 25 / 17

James Loudspeaker Ultra High-Performance Q-Series Speakers
James Loudspeaker Ultra High-Performance Q-Series SpeakersJames Loudspeaker has announced the introduction of their Q-Series floorstanding loudspeakers, which are a built-to-suit array of three models offering the company's unmatched resolution, detail and dynamic realism. In addition to three standard models, James Loudspeaker's Q-Series can be custom sized and finished to meet the exact needs of any environment. Leveraging the technology in James' highly successful flagship BE-Series in-wall speakers, all three Q-Series models employ a rigid, reinforced MDF enclosure, a stylish grille made from elegantly coated aluminum bar stock and the signature James Loudspeaker 1" Beryllium quad tweeter array. Each model is capable of handling enormous amounts of amplifier power, delivering "undistorted, crystal clear audio even at massively high output levels". Aesthetically inspired by the majestic shape of beautiful Quartz crystals as found in nature, the Q-Series can be produced for both stereo and home theater. The Q60 ($15,000 each) has been engineered to use two amplifiers (bi-amplification), one for the full-range portion of the speaker and another for the internal 12" down-firing aluminum cone subwoofer. Above the 12" subwoofer, which features a 3" voice coil capable of handling 1000+ watts of power, the Q60 utilizes a three-way system comprised of two 8" woofers, two 6.5" midranges and the Beryllium quad tweeter array. James Loudspeaker's new Q48 ($10,000 each) implements the same bi-amp'ed system and 12" subwoofer as the Q60, utilizing a pair of 8" woofers, two 5.25" midrange drivers and the Beryllium quad tweeter array. Lastly, the Q30 ($6000 each) has been meticulously tuned to deliver a highly refined listening experience from a small floor-standing form factor. Like the Q60 and Q48, the Q30 features the Beryllium quad tweeter array. It is mated with an 8" midrange and 8" long-excursion woofer that both feature aluminum cones with Santoprene rubber surrounds.

 

07 / 24 / 17

M2Tech Young MkIII DAC/Pre And Van Der Graaf MkII Power Supply
M2Tech Young MkIII DAC/Pre And Van Der Graaf MkII Power SupplyM2Tech is proud to introduce the Young MkIII 32-bit/384kHz DAC/preamplifier and Van Der Graaf MkII low noise power supply. Their new Young MkIII improves the sonic qualities of the company's previous offerings while adding useful features that allow users to more fully enjoy their favorite music. The Young MkIII retains the basic hardware structure of the Young DSD, with the Xilinx FPGA handling the input signals and feeding the PCM1795 DAC IC, as well as the proprietary output buffer structure with passive anti-alias filter and the servos to remove the I/V offset, directly driving the CS3318 volume control/buffer. A new XMOS USB interface implements MQA decoding, while native DSD is now accepted up to 256x. The input set includes a Bluetooth receiver with aptX. To complete the input set, a single-ended analog inputs is provided, so that the Young MkIII may be used as a preamplifier to drive a power amp or powered speakers, also thanks to the output voltage doubling feature which allows the Young MkIII to deliver up to 10Vrms (balanced) and 5Vrms (single ended). This unit can be controlled via Bluetooth thanks to an Android app. M2Tech's Van Der Graaf MkII low noise power supply is a perfect companion to the Young MkIII DAC/preamplifier. Thanks to this high-end power supply, it is said to provide a "crystal clear supply current... which impacts positively on several areas: clock jitter reduction, signal-to-noise ratio improvement, etc." M2Tech's new power supply is able to remember the order the user followed while enabling the outputs, so that the same order is used in subsequent Van Der Graaf activations. This allow for eliminating unwanted "bumps" at power on and power off, at the same time using a single button to power the whole system on and off. Van Der Graaf MkII is provided with four outputs: two single voltage outputs with 9V or 15V output and two three-voltage outputs to drive units like the old Marley headphones amplifier or future units within M2Tech's new Rockstars Series.

 


 

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