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High-End Audio, High Fidelity Audiophile Industry News


 
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CES 2015: Live Stream Announcement
CES 2015 Show Report and Live Streaming Coverage by Enjoy the Music.comWe just sent out an e-mail to members of Enjoy the Music.com's Manufacturer / Distributor / Product Representative eNewsletter list. Our eNewsletter gave detailed plans for our live CES 2015 coverage and what your company should do to reserve your time slot. This is 100% free of charge and our CES 2015 live stream schedule is filling up rapidly! We make it easy for you to appear within our worldwide broadcast and have easy to follow details to ensure your company is prepared for your live CES 2015 appearance. To receive information on how to reserve a time slot, please join our industry eNewsletter at this link. If you are a member of our eNewsletter yet did not receive the notice, please e-mail us by clicking here.

 

12 / 22 / 14

The Grammy Award Organization Wants To Give Fans The Credit
The Grammy Folks Want To Give Fans The CreditThe Recording Academy an organization who gives out their annual Grammy Awards, wants to give fans proper writer, musician, engineering, etc credit within digital music files. By visiting their Give Fans The Credit page, their goal is to provide music fans who wrote, produced, played, engineered, etc on their favorite tracks as all music creators deserve to be credited for their hard work. "Credits in the hands of fans will lead to more music discovery, as fans will want to know what other songs a songwriter wrote or a producer produced" says The Recording Academy's Grammy website. "Help us convince digital music services to tell fans who made the music they enjoy." You can get involved right now by signing the Grammy's petition. We here at Enjoy the Music.com also feel these credits should naturally include the history of the music file itself and the audio's source, mastering and of course the final product being purchased by consumers. You can read more about this at this link, which includes license-free graphics for recording labels to help educate their customers on precisely what they are purchasing as part of proper consumer truth in advertising and consumer protection in ensuring they know the quality of product they are buying. The Recording Academy's Give Fans The Credit site says "Ever listen to music on your player and wonder who wrote, produced and played on the tracks? Well we have! We love our digital players and online music services, but we want to know more than just the song title and artist name. With CDs, we had liner notes and we could discover more about who created the music we enjoy. The digital world should give us more, not less, information. True music fans want to be able to access all of the information about our favorite music online, and we believe digital music services should include credits for the songwriters, musicians, producers and engineers on the screen, just as they do for the artist and song. Let's give both music fans and creators the credit they deserve." So go sign the petition right now at this link and Give Fans the Credit!

 

ATC SCM40A Active Loudspeaker System
ATC SCM40A Active Loudspeaker SystemLoudspeaker Technology Ltd's ATC brand is soon going to be selling their SCM40A active loudspeaker system ($11,999 per pair). As the active version of their SCM40 three-way floorstander launched in late 2013, ATC's SCM40A utilizes their soft dome dual-suspension SH25-76 tweeter together with their signature 75mm soft dome midrange plus 164mm short coil/long gap (under-hung) bass driver. The drivers are powered individually by a proprietary ATC tri-amplifier pack, upgraded from the version employed by ATC's Pro SCMA 25 monitor. Housed in a modern curved, laminated cabinet, the SCM40A is the first of the multi-award-winning 'Passive Series' speakers to be made active. As for the tweeter, it shares technology with the renowned ATC soft-dome midrange driver. This new tweeter employs a unique dual suspension system that is said to suppress rocking modes even at high power output levels. The ATC configuration of a short edge-wound voice coil in a long, narrow magnetic gap ensures low distortion throughout its operating band and removes the need for assisted heat dissipation Ferro fluids, which can dry out over time and thus compromise performance. The tweeter's 15,000 gauss (1.5 Telsa) neodymium magnet has a black heat-treated top plate, which dissipates heat away from the voice coil to maintain high power handling and low power compression. A precision-machined 5.5mm rigid alloy waveguide provides optimum dispersion, a flat on-axis frequency response and resonance-free operation. ATC's iconic 75mm midrange dome is the company's latest version of the SM 75-150 and uses a hand-doped acrylic diaphragm and dual suspension system. ATC's SCM40A 164mm bass driver utilizes a hand-coated carbon-paper diaphragm driven by an under-hung (short coil/long gap) motor and optimized magnet assembly. ATC's SCM40A has an on-board discrete MOSFET Class AB three-channel amplifier utilizing ATC's Grounded Source output stage that delivers 25W to the HF driver, 60W to mid and 150W to the bass driver for a total of 235 Watts continuous power. The crossovers are all active, 4th order modified Butterworth with phase compensation circuitry for each crossover point. Active crossovers have the advantage that their response is not modified by a loudspeaker's variable voice coil impedance and the phase compensation enables phase coherency at the crossover points. The SCM40A benefits acoustically and aesthetically from a curved cabinet construction, which is internally braced and outside laminated for high rigidity/damping and finished in real cherry or black ash veneer. Of note is that the ATC SCM40A is designed for optimum performance with the anthracite grey metal grille – although the difference in performance without the grill is minimal according to the company. Each pair of ATC SCM40A are matched to within 0.5dB and have a frequency response from 48Hz to 22kHz with a dispersion of ±80° coherent horizontal and ±10° coherent vertical. Connection is via balanced XLR that has an input sensitivity of 1V. Cabinet dimensions are 980 x 370 x 344mm (HxWxD).

 

Industry News 15 Years Ago
DualDiscSony and Pioneer, who have given stern warning to playing the new DualDisc format within their electronics (see 11/8/04 news), Meridian Audio has released a statement saying the new format works within many of their digital disc units and will not damage customer's units. DualDisc is a new two-sided music disc with one or more DVD layers on one side and a CD-compatible layer on the other. While the disc itself may be slightly thicker than a normal CD or DVD disc, the DVD side is consistent with the industry standard DVD specification. The CD side, on the other hand, is not compliant with the industry standard Red Book CD at (typically) 0.9mm rather than 1.1mm thick. Sony's proprietary SACD encoding is not part of the DualDisc format. Some DualDiscs feature DVD-Audio with Meridian Lossless Packet (MLP) encoding. The DVD side may also include DVD-Video, stereo PCM and/or lossy-compressed stereo or surround formats. Meridian has released a statement claiming their DVD players (586, 596, 598, 800, G98, G91) "play the DVD side perfectly. If you own a Meridian DVD player you should use this side of the disc. Our DVD players, in general, do not always play the CD-compatible side because the player optics are not designed for such thin CD layers. We do not propose to make any modifications to our DVD player designs because these components are highly optimized for playability of Red Book CD and DVD. Please play the DVD side and enjoy the highest sound quality offered by DualDisc." As for Meridian's CD-only players, their MCD, Pro-MCD; all 200 Series players; all 600 Series players; 500, 506, 507, 508 and G07 will play the CD side of the DualDisc format. Meridian's ROM-based CD players (588 and G08) need an inexpensive modification that allows these players to play the DualDisc format. Looking to further educate the public, Meridian states "Meridian is also aware of another 2-sided DVD-based disc format called DVD-Plus or OneDisc, which is thicker than DualDisc (typically 1.55mm). In the few cases we have tested, both CD-compatible and DVD-compatible layers appear to function in all our players, and no harm can come to our players by trying them. Meridian does not make any claims as to the suitability of either type of disc for other manufacturer’s equipment, and Meridian does not warrant that our CD players are 100% compatible with DualDisc."

 

12 / 21 / 14

CEA And JAS Collaborate On Hi-Res Audio Promotion Article By Mark Waldrep Of Real HD-Audio
CEA And JAS Collaborate On Hi-Res Audio Promotion Article By Mark Waldrep Of Real HD-AudioThe JAS organization is collaborating with the CEA to bring the logo and "the guidelines and performance requirements". However, the CEA's definition of HRA doesn't meet them... by a long shot! The press release continues with a reiteration of the "formal definition for HRA", which was hammered out by The DEG, CEA, The Recording Academy in partnership with Sony Music Entertainment, Universal Music Group, and Warner Music Group. Read the complete article by Mark Waldrep by clicking here.

 

12 / 20 / 14

7digital To Provide High Resolution MQA Music Streams And Downloads
7digital, a digital music and radio services company, announced a global strategic partnership with Meridian Audio to offer streaming MQA (Master Quality Authenticated) music online. The partnership means that 7digital will adopt MQA to become the first digital music platform provider to offer this high quality audio format for both downloads and streaming. This news comes during the announcements of 7digital being included with Panasonic for its Technics Tracks and Onkyo Corporation. "MQA is a revolutionary new development in the journey towards serving consumers the purest high resolution digital files," says Simon Cole, CEO of 7digital. "MQA, which will be available in early 2015, delivers the quality of original studio recordings so cleverly and efficiently that it can be conveniently streamed or downloaded. For decades Meridian Audio has been at the forefront of audio innovation. We feel extremely privileged to have been involved so closely with the Meridian team right through the R&D stage, lending our own considerable and longstanding experience in high quality digital music services to the process. I truly believe MQA will become the standard for high quality streaming in the years to come." Meridian Audio co-founder, Bob Stuart, said "MQA is an important development that transforms music listening. MQA brings the listener every nuance and detail and the excitement of the live performance sound. Authenticity is not compromised for convenience. 7digital's commitment to excellence and to sound quality makes them a natural partner for MQA. Their team have been untiring supporters of this revolution and we are excited about the launch of this platform."

 

Please Help Get Mark Waldrep Of AIX Records And iTrax To CES 2015
AIX RecordsMany of you know Mark Waldrep and his excellent recordings on AIX Records and iTrax. His recordings have earned prestige from high-end audio magazines. These are true high resolution recordings. Thus we here at Enjoy the Music.com are reaching out to our readers to help him get to CES 2015, as it is a very expensive endeavor to get a booth, etc in the High Resolution Audio (HRA) TechZone and he can't sell products to help offset costs. If you help contribute to get Mark to CES, Mark will made available a 50% off coupon on anything you want to purchase from AIX Records or download from iTrax.com. Mark Waldrep is also reaching out to his readers, customers, and supporters for help in crowdsourcing his way to the second annual TechZone on HRA at the upcoming CES Show. Mark would appreciate any amount you can kindly donate. You can donate via PayPal @ mwaldrep@aixmediagroup.com, call him at (800) 668-4249 or send a check to 2050 Granville Ave, LA 90025. As a premium to those that contribute, Mark will make available a 50% off coupon on anything you want to purchase from AIX Records or download from iTrax.com. Mark also has a great site at RealHD-Audio where he writes about many topics including true high resolution audio. Below is a video interview we did with Mark in September.

If you can't see the video above, click here.

 

CSR Study: Consumers Want Better Sound Quality
CSRWe received an e-mail from CSR, a technology company that develops silicon, software and services for the consumer electronics market with a focus on connectivity, audio, etc. CSR did a study concerning music quality and here is what their study said: "The average consumer doesn't care about audio quality, right? Look at how rapidly music has been downgraded to the MP3 – and no one seems to be fighting for CDs to come back. Well, it turns out that sound quality isn't just important for audiophiles. According to the recent State of Play global audio research by CSR, maker of audio codec aptX found in over 200 wireless sound devices, 7-in-10 listeners are willing to actually shell out more cash to get excellent sound quality from their audio equipment, particularly in the home. This is surprising, considering much of audio news is surrounding the death of the CD – which is arguably the best way to get supreme sound quality. The survey, which was conducted amongst 2000 music lovers across China, Germany, the USA, Japan and the UK, points to most (54%) listeners agreeing that better sound quality would improve their home audio experience. More than three-quarters (79%) say that audio quality is becoming more important than the look of their audio equipment, as well as communicating the importance for home audio technology to be easy to use, set up and upgrade."

 

My Memo To The Industry
In this age, optimism like that is a revolutionary act... I just want to be inspired.
Article By Steven R. Rochlin
We need to form an audio standard that represents True Music, so the public easily know the difference between mp3 and low-fi products from true quality. Loosely think of THX as an example where consumers saw a logo and this said to them it passed a certain criteria. The kicker here just to tease you before I break down the details and various revenue streams, major record labels always love reselling the same music over and over again. And with mp3 being so, like, you know, 'yesterday's hardware n' stuff', and so this new True Music™ re-branding with logo will be gladly grabbed by them accordingly. It allows them to resell the same music for some marketable reason, and it helps if some highly respected industry is endorsing it too. Be honest, the CD beat out the LP in the eyes of consumers. Why? You know what format is better. But it was the marketing combined with convenience that won. Yet now we are at the very cusp of high rez audio file playback ability for the masses in all their devices. Now is the time! Read the complete article here.

 

12 / 19 / 14

Fuuga MC Phono Cartridge
Fuuga MC Phono CartridgeSakura Systems has just let us in on the new Fuuga MC phono cartridge ($8950) that is said to be the fabled Miyabi reborn. Shortly after the Miyabi MC phono cartridge designer Haruo Takeda, retired, a good friend of Takeda and Miyabi distributor in Japan joined forces with Osamu Nagao. Osamu Nagao and Tetsuya Sukehiro, a young cartridge designer with over 10 years of OEM carrier for several well-known brands, started a project to create a cartridge to revive the Miyabi sound. After three years of painstaking research and development they finally came up with a breakthrough! Shortly before the summer of 2014 the Fuuga was born. Miyabi (雅) means 'elegance' in Japanese and to honor the legacy of the Miyabi, they named their new MC phono cartridge the Fuuga (風雅), which means 'elegance with flair'. Fuuga not only incorporate some unique design features Sukehiro found in Miyabi cartridges, it also inherit a very unique musicality. The manufacturer says it will redefine the boundary of LP reproduction. Output is 0.35mVrms and impedance is 2.5 Ohms @ 1kHz. Channel separation is >27dB while the Fuuga has a compliance of 7x10 -6. The cantilever is made with a special A2017 aluminum alloy whilst the needle/stylus is a parabolic hybrid measuring 8μm x 40μm pure diamond. The Fuuga MC phono cartridge weighs 15 grams and has a recommended tracking force of 2 to 2.2 grams.

 

High-End Audio Review Magazine

ZMF x Vibro Headphones Review
World Premiere Review
ZMF x Vibro Headphones
A bargain for music lovers who desire beautifully finished headphones.
Review By Brett Rudolph

 

Densen B-130XS Modular Integrated Stereo Amplifier
Densen B-130XS Modular Integrated Stereo AmplifierThe new Densen B-130XS modular integrated stereo amplifier (€3000) produces 80 Wpc and is prepared for the forthcoming top of the line Densen internal DAC that will offer USB, optical TosLink and S/PDIF coax inputs. The large power supply uses an encapsulated custom made Toroidal transformer and 90,000 uF of power capacitors. The Densen B-130XS may also use an upgrade via their external power supply. As a modular design, users can add a MM phono stage, surround board (5.1/7.1 line in and pre out), internal DAC that can be controlled both by remote and front panel push-buttons and Fabel DAC that provides two S/PDIF coax inputs controlled by switches on the back. The B-130XS can control this DAC directly, by either the Gizmo remote, or by the push-buttons on the front panel of the B-130XS. When the super DAC is installed, the front panel display of the B-130XS will inform of which input is selected, including the DACs digital inputs will be mentioned in the display. Densen's B-130XS comes in the company's traditional sleek fascia, showing only eight small pushbuttons on the front. These buttons allows for the control of the standby function, input selection, volume, status and processor loop. The preamplifier stage of the B-130XS has a power supply of 30,000uF and three separate supplies. For volume adjustment, Densen uses their own microprocessor-controlled relay attenuator, which has a very short signal path and has 200 steps where each step accounts for 0.5 dB. Densen's B-130XS delivers two channels of amplification at 80 Watts each @ 8 Ohm and 160 Watts @ 4 Ohms. Internal circuits have been designed with no feedback (neither global or local) and it delivers the first few watts in pure Class A. All resistors are Vishay 1% metalfilm resistors. VIMA capacitors, and Densen's own high speed capacitors are installed within the power supply. The printed circuit board is a double sided Teflon board to ensure an effective separation between the ground plane and the signal path. The B-130XS is prepared for intelligent communication with other Densen products through the DenLink system. Furthermore, users may upgrade the sound quality with the DNRG external power supply that will add extra power to the preamplification stage. Optional surround sound boards are a 5.1/7.1 line in and a 5.1/7.1 pre out. There is no processing capability so you will have to add a SACD or DVD-Audio / DVD-Video player with 5.1 analogue output. Levels and so on and can be adjusted via the Gizmo remote control. Finally the B-130XS has the option of mounting an internal DAC, which will be released around June 2015. The B-130XS is hand assembled at Densen's factory in Esbjerg, Denmark and is available in both Albino silver and black with either gold or chrome buttons.

 

Marantz AV8802 Multi-Channel Preamplifier With 32-bit/192kHz DAC And Balanced XLR Output
Marantz AV8802 Multi-Channel Preamplifier With 32-bit/192kHz DAC And Balanced XLR OutputMarantz continues offering high-end AV products and have just announced their AV8802 flagship A/V preamplifier ($3999) which combines balanced audio output plus exclusive Marantz sound innovations with the latest video technologies and connectivity options. The AV8802 features a complex build-quality with a toroidal transformer, a three piece top cover layout, all packed in a heavy copper plated chassis for the best in shielding to keep the signal pure and clean. Marantz's AV8802 is an 11.2 channel A/V preamplifier that has high-end audio balanced circuitry and 3D-sound options, including Dolby Atmos and Auro-3D (paid upgrade required). The AV8802 further enhances audio quality by delicately handling all signals via Marantz's HDAM (Hyper Dynamic Amplifier Module) in Current Feedback topology before being passed to the XLR outputs and separate power amplification. Marantz HDAM technology can also be found within their Reference Series components and provides superior low noise wideband performance in an all-discrete configuration as compared to conventional OpAmp ICs. HDAM technology provides an ultra-fast slew rate for true wideband response and high dynamic range to deliver optimum sound quality with today's high resolution audio formats. High-grade audio components include 32-bit/192kHz DAC and a high performance power supply with four hefty 10,000µF capacitors. Thanks to its four DSP (Digital Sound Processing) engines, the AV8802 is capable of playfully handling up to 11.2 channels to fully support Audyssey DSX, DTS Neo:X 11.1, or the new immersive 3D sound formats. For videophiles, the Marantz AV8802 fully supports next generation 4K Ultra HD high resolution video, along with the latest generation HDMI specification including 4K 50/60Hz pass-through and 4:4:4 Pure Color full color resolution sub-sampling. The AV8802 can upscale 1080p content to 4K and also upscale and transcode HD and SD analog video sources. There are eight HDMI inputs including one conveniently located on the front panel, and three HDMI outputs that can drive two different displays in the main room and another HDMI display in the second zone. Built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth capabilities provide users with additional music sources, such as Internet Radio, Spotify Connect, Pandora, SiriusXM, and AirPlay. It can play music files stored on a PC or external storage unit via DLNA network streaming standard. Almost any file is possible including MP3, WMA, FLAC HD, ALAC, WAV 192kHz/24-bit and AAC. Gapless, DSD, and AIFF are also supported. Marantz's AV8802 comes with an iPod digital-compatible USB input and a Phono MM input for vinyl fans. The advanced Audyssey MultEQ XT32 (Pro ready) room correction suite adds to the accurate calibration of the speakers whilst Audyssey LFC reduces the transmission of low frequency sound through walls to other rooms. For controlling the preamplifier, a supplied ergonomically-designed remote control in included and the Marantz Remote App (available in iOS and Android versions) lets you operate the AV8802 from your favorite device, such as a smartphone and tablet. Enjoy the Music.com has reviewed the Marantz SA8003 SACD player, Marantz CD5001 CD player and Marantz SR7008 networked multi-channel receiver.

 

12 / 18 / 14

Voxtok Audio Capsule Multi-Room High Resolution Audio Player
Voxtok Audio Capsule Multi-Room High Resolution Audio PlayerEven after a failed Kickstarter campaign, French company Voxtok is set to launch their multi-room Audio Capsule at the CES 2015 in Las Vegas. In fact it earned CES' coveted Innovation Awards Honoree for High Performance Home Audio/Video. So what does it do? The Voxtok Audio Capsule is a high-resolution media player and handles files up to 24-bit/192kHz and DSD files. Furthermore, the Voxtok unit is an end-to-end solution that consists of a device, Cloud services and a tablet / mobile APP. Their Kickstarter page says the unit supports most of the lossless and compressed file formats. It's a local player (from the local storage) and a network player (from DLNA-UPnP servers/devices) and based on dual Wolfson WM8741 DAC chipsets. The multi-room server is able to adjust the quality and content format that is playing on the device in real time. It can also rip CDs and provides multiple encoding CD ripping feature and automatically adds the relevant metadata and album artwork. The unit plays back FLAC, Apple Lossless (ALAC), WAV, AIFF, APE, DSD128 (5.6MHz), DSF, DIFF and Dop (DSD over PCM). And yes, it will also play back compressed audio files such as MP3, OGG, and AAC (in M4A container). It is also Airplay-compatible up to 48kHz per Airplay specification. It has Wi-Fi (802.11 b/g/n) and Bluetooth too. The analog stage features audiophile-grade capacitors mated with a very robust power supply. Outputs for analog include both unbalanced RCA and balanced XLR. There is also an HDMI connector for video.

 

Rogue Audio RP-5 Vacuum Tube Stereo Preamplifier With Adjustable MM/MC Phonostage
Rogue Audio RP-5 Vacuum Tube Stereo Preamplifier With Adjustable MM/MC PhonostageRogue Audio just announced their all new RP-5 stereo vacuum tube preamplifier with adjustable MM/MC phonostage ($3500). This strictly pure tube is said to be filled with "extraordinarily high tech as the RP-5 is our first preamplifier based on the groundbreaking new RP-X platform". Utilizing four 12AU7 tubes in a mu-follower configuration, the computer optimized circuitry "boasts outstanding sonics as well as industry leading technical specs". The feature rich design includes both a tube based headphone amp and an MM/MC phonostage with user adjustable gain and loading. The Rogue Audio RP-5 also features a VFD display that provides input, volume and left/right balance information. A high quality ten button remote can control volume, channel balance, power on/off, input selection, a processor loop for equalizers/home theater/etc, mute and mono functions. Enjoy the Music.com has reviewed the Rogue Audio Sphinx tube hybrid integrated amplifier and the Rogue Audio M-150 monoblock tube power amplifier.

 

HIFICRITIC Magazine
HIFICRITIC MagazineEnjoy the Music.com just posted HIFICRITIC's Volume 8 No. 4, which includes reviews of the Graham LS5/9 speaker, Dali Zensor 1, Henry DAC from Norway, Thrax Spartacus power amplifier, Valve Audio Devices DAC-12 DSD (full review here), Sonus Faber Olympica II, Neat Motive SX2 speaker, VAC Signature MK IIa preamplifier and much more. Within his editorial TAS' HP Passing And Meridian's MQA Compression Technology, Paul Messenger says "Two crucial hi-fi events have happened in the three months since my last Editorial. First we should note and mourn the passing of Harry Pearson (a.k.a. HP), who as the founder and editor of the 'underground' magazine The Absolute Sound (a.k.a. TAS) was for four decades one of the most influential figures in hi-fi, from its foundation in the early 1970s until he formally retired in 2012. Arguably more than any other individual, his subjective approach and 'absolute' idealism was responsible for the growth of 'High End' hi-fi (a term he allegedly invented)". See this issue of HIFICRITIC by cliking here.

 

YG Acoustics Carmel 2 SpeakerYG Acoustics Carmel 2 Speaker
YG Acoustics new Carmel 2 speaker ($24,300) employs the same reference quality tweeter as used in their highly-regarded Sonja. For midrange/bass sound production, the company's BilletCore 7.25" midbass driver come to the forefront and produces bass down to an impressive 32Hz. Brining a new crossover network was not an easy feat, and they completely redesigned the network to highly optimize the electricals to the drivers and how they interact with the cabinet structure. YG Acoustic's DualCoherent crossover is said to minimizes non-linearity in the frequency, time, and phase domains. YG Acoustics builds every cabinet of the new Carmel 2 in-house using carefully milled, aircraft-grade aluminum billet to ensure a solid, sturdy, non-resonant cabinet design. Internal fasteners aid in eliminating any need for external bolts on a majority of other panels, which gives the YG Acoustic Carmel 2 a sleek, elegant visual style. YG Acoustics have provided the Carmel 2 with a thicker front panel that other designs and delicately curved the front baffle to ensure sound is properly dispersed in a controlled way to the listener. Owners of the Carmel 1 model can contact YG Acoustics to have their drivers and crossover network upgraded to the new 2 status. Enjoy the Music.com reviewed the original YG Acoustic Carmel speaker.

 

12 / 17 / 14

Cypher Labs C6iem Balanced Armature IEMs
Cypher Labs C6iem Balanced Armature IEMsCypher Labs new C6iem balanced armature in-ear monitors ($599) is said to be "all about that bass!" For over four years the company has created high-tech amplifiers, cables and accessories. Now they have applied their years of audio expertise to create universal fit IEMs (in-ear monitors). Using transducer drivers ,instead of the traditional dynamic driver, Cypher Labs carefully tuned the output for "high highs and deep bass". The C6iem's smoothly contoured ergonomics allow long-term comfortable wear and excellent insulation from background noise. The 3D printed shell and real carbon fiber backplate provide exacting audio characteristics. Memory wire on the cable ensures that the C6iem stays in place. Included with the Cypher Labs' C6iem balanced armature is a both a hard and soft case, a detachable behind-the-ear cable, a 1/4" adapter and three pairs each of S / M / L silicone, soft foam, and dense foam tips. They come with a one year parts and labor warranty on earphones and three months on the cables.

 

Enjoy the Music.com Enhances Our Worldwide Expansion With Video Ads On TWiT.tv
Enjoy the Music.com Enhances Our Worldwide Expansion With Video Ads On TWiT.tvEnjoy the Music.com is expanding our worldwide audience with video advertisements on the Internet's highly popular TWiT.tv (This Week in Tech) network. TWiT.tv, founded by Leo Laporte, provides live netcasts / podcasts and is ranked #1 in technology podcast along with over 20 other top-ranked online shows. Since 2005, TWiT.tv has provided news, commentary, help, how-to and perspective on the latest trends in digital tech from seasoned experts and journalists. To reach a broader, yet highly targeted audience, Enjoy the Music.com will be advertising on TWiT'tv's Home Theater Geeks hosted by the Editor of AVS Forums Scott Wilkinson. Home Theater Geeks is broadcast live online every Thursday at 5:30pm ET and is available later as a pre-recorded video or podcast. See our complete press release here.

 

12 / 16 / 14

DEVO Hardcore Live! On DVD, Blu-ray, CD, And Vinyl LP
DEVO Hardcore Live!DEVO Hardcore Live! will be available February 10th on DVD, Blu-ray, CD, and vinyl LP. DEVO was among the most thought-provoking bands to emerge in the aftermath of punk, but before hits like "Whip It," they worked in the basements and garages of Akron, Ohio to make raw, unfiltered music that the group called "Hardcore DEVO". In the summer of 2014, DEVO did ten shows performing these seminal pre-fame songs, created between 1974 and 1977 and rarely played since then. Shot at the Fox Theater in Oakland, California, this exciting concert film captures these groundbreaking artists performing the songs that started it all, interwoven with interviews revealing the history of the band. In total, these 21 oddities serve as a tribute to departed, original DEVO bandmate, Robert "Bob 2" Casale. A special screening event will be held on Saturday, January 17th at 7:30 PM at the Egyptian Theatre (6712 Hollywood Boulevard, Hollywood, CA 90028). A discussion with director Keirda Bahruth, co-producer Rick Ballard, and DEVO members Mark Mothersbaugh, Gerald V. Casale, and Bob Mothersbaugh will follow. Track listing is as follows:

Mechanical Man   Auto Mo-down   Space Girl Blues   Baby Talkin Bitches   Fraulein
I Been Refused   Bamboo Bimbo   Beehave   Midget   Satisfaction   Timing Excercise/Soo Bawls
Stop Look and Listen   O NO   Be Stiff   Uncontrollable Urge   Social Fools   Jocko Homo
Fountain Of Filth   Gut Feeling   U Got Me Bugged (Booji Boy)   Clock Out

 

Phorus PS5 Speakers With Play-Fi Wireless 24-bit/192kHz
Phorus PS5 speakerPhorus, a subsidiary of DTS, has announced that its next-generation Phorus PS5 speaker ($229) with DTS Play-Fi technology is now available online. While the low-end speakers seem to be, well... the interesting backend technology supports high-resolution audio of up to 24-bit/192kHz. The PS5 speaker features a new design and DTS sound, in addition to best-in-class wireless capabilities for seamlessly streaming music from every mobile device and PC within your home. In addition to DTS Play-Fi whole-home connectivity features, the PS5 speaker is the only speaker in its class that includes both dual band Wi-Fi streaming and premium Bluetooth options including aptX and AAC. The unit also supports AirPlay streams. From iOS, Android, Kindle Fire, and Windows PCs, the Phorus Play-Fi works with OSX, iTunes and iOS too. Other devices can connect using Bluetooth of course. There is multi-room synchronization with the Phorus PS5 and you can send different songs to different rooms. Wi-Fi streaming is handled by the latest 802.11a/b/g/n radio, which supports both 2.4GHz and 5GHz frequency bands. This avoids interference in high-traffic networks to ensure a clean signal. Dual-core DSP and Class-D digital amplifiers deliver the sound to the speaker's internal drivers. The Phorus Play-Fi App supports streaming files with resolutions of up to 24-bit/192kHz, either directly from your mobile device or from a connected DLNA server. Built-in global music options with the Phorus Play-Fi app include Pandora, Songza, Sirius, Deezer, KKBox and QQMusic, as well as thousands of AM/FM/Internet radio stations and podcasts from the BBC, NPR, Radio Disney and ESPN, yet no mention of Tidal. Listeners can also stream music via a Windows PC including Google Music, Spotify, and Xbox Music Live. In addition, any application or service with Bluetooth or AirPlay can stream directly to a single PS5 speaker, yet at lower quality than 24-bit/192kHz of course at this time. The great news is that Phorus also offers their PR5 receiver ($179), which does all the technical tricks of the PS5 minus the amplification and drivers/speaker section.

 

Intel Corporation Sets New Internet of Things (IoT) Platform
Intel Corporation Sets New Internet of Things (IoT) PlatformHigh-end audio manufacturers could unify their communication standards between products via the Intel Corporation's IoT Platform. This new platform provides an end-to-end reference model designed to unify and simplify connectivity and security for the Internet of Things (IoT). Intel also introduced integrated hardware and software products based on the new platform and new relationships with an expanded ecosystem of system integrators that promise to move IoT from infancy to mass deployment. The new offerings and relationships will make it easier for solution providers to move IoT from pockets of pilots to mainstream deployments with a repeatable foundation of building blocks that can be customized for limitless solutions. Data will be unlocked faster to extract meaningful information and value for consumers and businesses. Intel is also delivering a roadmap of integrated hardware and software products to support the Intel IoT Platform. Spanning from edge devices out to the cloud, the roadmap includes API management and service creation software, edge-to-cloud connectivity and analytics, intelligent gateways, and a full line of scalable IA processors. Security is fundamental to the roadmap with both dedicated security products and security features embedded into hardware and software products. Intel is evolving and optimizing this product roadmap to work seamlessly together with building blocks from the ecosystem to address the key challenges solution providers are facing when implementing IoT, including interoperability, security and connectivity.

The new products from Intel include:
•Wind River Edge Management System provides cloud connectivity to facilitate device configuration, file transfers, data capture and rules-based data analysis and response. This pre-integrated technology stack enables customers to quickly build industry-specific IoT solutions and integrate disparate enterprise IT systems, utilizing API management. The cloud-based middleware runs from the embedded device up through the cloud to reduce time to market and total cost of ownership.
•The latest Intel IoT Gateway will integrate the Wind River Edge Management System via an available agent so gateways can be rapidly deployed, provisioned and managed throughout the life cycle of a system to reduce costs and time to market. In addition, the gateway includes performance improvements, support for lower cost memory options and a broader selection of available communication options. Intel IoT Gateways are currently available from seven ODMs with 13 more releasing systems in early 2015.
•To get value out of the data generated in deployments using the Intel IoT Platform, developers need a powerful yet easy-to-use approach to big data analytics. Intel is expanding its cloud analytics support for IoT Developer Kits to include the Intel IoT Gateway series, in addition to Intel Galileo boards and Intel Edison Modules. Cloud analytics enables IoT application developers to detect trends and anomalies in time series at big data scale.
•McAfee, a part of Intel Security, announced Enhanced Security for Intel IoT Gateways in support of the Intel IoT Platform. This pre-validated solution adds advanced security management for gateway devices.
•Intel Security also announced that its Enhanced Privacy Identity (EPID) technology will be promoted to other silicon vendors. EPID has anonymity properties, in addition to hardware-enforced integrity, and is included in ISO and TCG standards. The EPID technology provides an on-ramp for other devices to securely connect to the Intel IoT Platform.
•The Intel API and Traffic Management solution utilizes Intel Mashery solutions to enable creation of building blocks that make it easy to build new software applications.

Customers of the Intel IoT Platform today have access to the Intel Mashery API management tools to create data APIs that can be shared internally, externally with partners or monetized as revenue-generating data services for customers. Whilst IoT has enormous potential to drive economic value and social change, Intel has wisely partnered with a variety of other companies. To that end, Intel announced new solutions and relationships to boost the IoT ecosystem. Accenture, Booz Allen Hamilton, Capgemini, Dell, HCL, NTT DATA, SAP, Tata Consultancy Services Ltd., Wipro and others are joining together with Intel to develop and deploy solutions using their building blocks on the Intel IoT Platform. These solutions will help provide a repeatable foundation for IoT and free up developers' time to focus on building solutions. "With this platform we are continuing to expand our IoT product family beyond silicon with enhancements to our pre-integrated solutions that make IoT more accessible to solution providers," said Doug Davis, vice president and general manager, Internet of Things Group, Intel. "IoT is a rapidly growing market but faces scalability hurdles. By simplifying the development process and making it easier to deploy new solutions that address market needs, we can help accelerate innovation."

 

Industry News 15 Years Ago
RCA LyraAlthough DVD has been hacked, Enjoy the Music.com just got word that Pioneer Japan announced it would continue with their plans of releasing their two models of DVD-Audio players in Japan later this month as it had announced Oct.4. Their models DV-S10A  (approx. $1,940) and DV-AX10 (approx. $4,854) universal players will be available in Japan late December as scheduled. The  DV-S10A offer Super Audio CD (SACD) read capability whereas the DV-S10A plays DVD-Audio only and normal DVD-Video. Also newsworthy is that, as first reported by Enjoy the Music.com, the RCA Lyra portable MP3 player offers versatility due to it's upgrade ability. The RCA Lyra's versatility will soon offer support for the MusicMatch Jukebox software, play Microsoft Windows Media music and also offer USB connections for faster loading of music files. Two models are available now through Thomson Direct on the LyraZone Web site. The Lyra RD2201 (32MB memory card) which has a suggested retail price of $199.99 and the Lyra RD2204 (64MB memory card) which has a suggested retail price of $249.99.

 

12 / 15 / 14

Audison World's First 24-bit/96kHz bit Play HD Unit For Automotive Audio
Audison World's First 24-bit/96kHz bit Play HD Unit For Automotive AudioAudison, a longstanding manufacturer of true high fidelity audio components for car audio, just moments ago introduced the very first high-resolution digital music player for the automotive aftermarket. Audison's bit Play HD ($649 as standard or $799 with 240GB SSD) delivers digital music playback vastly superior to CD and compressed MP3. The Audison bit Play HD is a hideaway component that can be used as part of a complete aftermarket package or added to most factory car audio systems as an enhancement. Control of the bit Play HD can be managed from any Apple or Android phone or tablet. High-resolution digital music, available from specialty online retailers such as HDtracks, is often compared sonically to the studio masters that artists hear when making their recordings and is championed as the finest entertainment solution available by noteworthy artists such as Neil Young, David Crosby, Norah Jones and others. Audison is proud to be the first to bring this format to aftermarket car audio. The Audison bit Play HD will play FLAC audio files up to 24-bit/96kHz as well as CD's Red Book standard 16-bit/44.1 files and lossy compressed MP3 files. For storing music and video files, the Audison bit Play HD comes with a 240GB SSD 2.5" SATA 3.0 solid state drive that is vibration-damped. Users can also select the bit Play HD without the internal hard drive if they prefer to supply their own SSD storage. Audison bit Play HD can be used with two drives connected simultaneously (one internal, one external) for expanded storage capacity. In order to afford users easy access to their music collection, Audison has developed apps for Apple and Android devices that enables complete control of the bit Play HD from the phone or tablet millions of consumers already use every day. The bit Play HD generates a Wi-Fi signal within the vehicle for reliable wireless connectivity. For head units equipped with a video input, the bit Play HD can be connected via HDMI or composite, enabling users to view the interface and directly control file navigation functions and all internal settings of the bit Play HD via supplied remote control. For video enthusiast, it also handles MPEG-1/2/4 encoded with resolutions up to 1080p. It is also compatible with AVI, ASF, BD-ISO, DVD-ISO, DivX 3/4/5, FLV, MKV, RM/RMVB, and Xvid SD/HD. "The Audison bit Play HD has enabled me to enjoy the growing library of high-resolution music in my automobile," said David Rideau, three-time Grammy nominated engineer. "As a recording studio engineer, I can appreciate the extra detail and dynamics that this format has to offer." The unit also has 24-bit/96kHz TosLink optical output for connection to a processor or Audison amplifier with digital input. The bit Play HD plays videos in full 1080p resolution and is easily firmware upgradeable via USB port. Audio formats supported include FLAC encoded with up to 24-bit/96kHz plus AAC, MP3, OGG, and WAV. Outputs are analog RCA, NTSC/PAL composite video, and HDMI. Data connections include two USB 2.0 ports to connect an external Hard Drive or Pen Drive. There is also a USB 2.0 port to update the product's firmware and for the USB Wi-Fi dongle. The unit measures 9.80 x 3.85 x 1.61 (WxHxD).

 

Falcon Acoustics Limited 15 Ohm LS3/5a Monitor Loudspeaker
Falcon Acoustics Limited LS3/5a SpeakerFalcon Acoustics Limited and Big Ear Consulting LLC will be offering the United States and Canada the first LS3/5a ($2495 for walnut and cherry wood finish, $2595 for rosewood) to adhere to the original specifications by the original designer since the 1980's. Big Ear Consulting LLC will distribute the first classic 15 Ohm LS3/5a available since the 1980's. This product contains only components equal to or exceeding the original version. The new Falcon Classic BBC LS3/5a continues the legacy of that benchmark product rated as the third most important speaker design of all time by the prominent US publication The Absolute Sound. The company has taken great effort to ensure the new Falcon LS3/5a loudspeaker adheres to the original and thus distinguish it from other iterations. Falcon Electronics was founded in 1972 by Malcolm Jones, who was the first employee at KEF Electronics Ltd. in 1961. As Senior Development Engineer, he performed most of the design and development of the B139s, B200s, B110s, T15, T27 and the systems in which they were incorporated. Malcolm left KEF in 1974, having just completed the Reference Series 104 system and began work on an active professional monitor, the LS5/1AC, to begin his own company Falcon Acoustics Ltd. The new British built Falcon BBC LS3/5a is the classic 15 Ohm version. It features the British made Falcon F B110 and the Falcon F T27 drive units. Hand-built British crossover for this unit is the BBC-designed FL6/23 transformer version that uses transformer inductors made by British manufacturers and hand selected close tolerance pair matched components throughout. Cabinets are made from carefully selected grade Baltic Birch Ply with beech battens. The Falcon LS3/5a comes with a 5 year warranty and are hand assembled, quality controlled, and packaged in the UK. "Past owners of the original 15 Ohm LS3/5a loudspeakers will be able to qualify this product as authentic in production and sonics", said owner of Big Ear, Steve Davis. "It easily maintains the standards set by the original. With the resurgence of analog playback both through vinyl records and magnetic tape it is easy to see, and hear, the evolution of equipment that supported the digital revolution. The disappearance of the original components for this product parallels exactly the introduction of compact disc and digital recording. It is a revelation to once again have the perfect loudspeaker to follow the analog revolution as it recaptures its rightful place with music lovers everywhere."

 

DIY: Thar She Blows! A glimpse into my current system. Article By Jeff Poth
Thar She Blows!
A glimpse into my current system.
Article By Jeff Poth

Wireworld Platinum Starlight 7.0, DH Labs Silver Sonic and Cardas Clear.
Exclusive: USB Cable Shootout!
Wireworld Platinum Starlight 7.0, DH Labs Silver Sonic and Cardas Clear.
Reviewed By Jonathan Lo

 

12 / 14 / 14

Apple Still In Court Over Alleged Illegal iTunes Music Operation
Apple Still In Court Over Alleged Illegal iTunes Music OperationAccording to The Wall Street Journal, "A former iTunes engineer testified in a federal antitrust case against Apple Friday (December 12th) that he worked on a project 'intended to block 100% of non-iTunes clients' and 'keep out third-party players' that competed with Apple's iPod". Many consider that Apple's highly anticompetitive actions caused the retail price of their iPod to increase from 2006 to 2009 and the legal counterparties are seeking only $350 million in damages. Today, $350 million is small change, perhaps far less than how much Apple's stock goes up and down in the matter of minutes. Perhaps it is more about the principle of DRM (Digital Right Management) and how it was being used to cause problems to consumers who wanted to, rightly, enjoy music on the hardware they purchased. Former Apple engineer Rod Schultz went before the court as an unwilling witness and said, "I did not want to be talking about" the Apple DRM situation. Enjoy the Music.com has posted online a paper by Robert Shultz titled "The Many Facades of DRM". One of the major, are possibly illegal, problems thwarting consumers was that, according to those involved in the lawsuit, that "Apple was locking the majority of music downloads to its devices". Of note is that the judge in the case against Apple, Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers, refused to allow the paper Enjoy the Music.com posted above as a part of the evidence within the case. Apple eventually did modify their software to allow non-iTunes music on their devices, yet the timing of doing so is very questionable. Why did Apple lock down their devices to begin with? Why didn't Apple allow those who purchased their devices to use them freely and openly, which Microsoft with their Zune and Diamond Multimedia with their Rio music players to name two of many devices, allowed free use of their digital audio players. To date, virtually none of the watermarking or DRM schemes have worked, and this includes the recent Krups coffee makers who are trying to force consumers to use only approved K cups. While you may be thinking that it seems strange to include coffee to this news posting, it is basically the same possibly illegal tactics by a manufacture to force consumers to use only what said manufacturer approves instead of giving consumers freedom of choice in how to use a device they have purchased. When will the music industry, and coffee maker industry, realize that there are legal solutions to the illegal actions they choose to force upon their customers? Of course these companies can also suffer the backlash that such activates may be highly publicized worldwide and people may no longer desire purchasing products from such controversial companies. We must also remember that years ago the IFPI felt that the CD format was a mistake and back in the day word on the street is that Steve Jobs had no intention to license their DRM, and thus stranglehold the marketplace. Enjoy the Music.com's Editor and Creative Director, Steven R. Rochlin, wrote about the problems concerning DRM within his editorial in February 2007 and of course Wikipedia has a page about it here.

 

Parasound ZoneMaster 1250 12-Channel Bridgeable Amplifier
Parasound ZoneMaster 1250 12-Channel Bridgeable AmplifierFor those seeking to use a digital crossover and bi-, quad-, etc amplify their speakers, or perhaps feed music to multiple zones within their home or business, the new Parasound ZoneMaster 1250 ($1995) is a powerful, high quality 12-channel amplifier that is ideal for custom installers, multi-room audio, modular home theater systems, and those who seek to use multiple amplification sections to drive their speakers. This versatile, efficient and bridgeable power amplifier uses a Class AB input stage and premium Class D power stage with Parasound's known quality and dependability. With six independent oversized power supplies, the Parasound ZoneMaster 1250 is stabile into 2 Ohm loads enabling total output power in excess of 1200 watts RMS with all channels driven. Each channel is rated at 50 watts into 8 Ohms, or 90 watts into 4 Ohms, and channel pairs can be bridged to provide 6 x 160 watts or 6 x 200 watts with 8- or 4-Ohm speakers. It has the potential to bi-amp speakers for up to 400 watts per speaker. The combination of high power and low impedance stability allows for A and B speaker outputs for each channel providing easy connection of up to 24 speakers, and its 2U chassis saves precious rack space and the cost of additional amplifiers. "In terms of sound quality, build quality, and configuration options, the ZoneMaster Model 1250 is a game-changer in a category populated by cheaply built IC chip amplifiers," said company President Richard Schram. "It is as useful for distributed audio as it is for home theater, where it could augment an AV receiver with 3 x 200 watts plus 4 x 90 watts or as a terrific single-chassis amplifier solution for Dolby Atmos." There are independent line inputs and level controls for each channel plus two Bus inputs with looping outputs and a speaker-level input that can be routed to any zone. There are independent 12-Volt and audio triggers with looping 12-Volt trigger outputs for each zone, and a global 12-Volt trigger. Detachable Phoenix-style speaker connectors accept up to 12-gauge wire. Rack mounting hardware is included within the box and the Parasound Model 1250 offers exceptionally "green" power consumption with 0.5 watt standby power consumption to meet Energy Star and European Union specifications. Frequency response is a wide 10 Hz to 60 kHz (+0/-3dB), THD is < 0.05% at typical listening levels, and input sensitivity is 700mv for full output. Signal to noise ration is >112dB and overall physical dimensions of the Parasound ZoneMaster 1250 is 17.25" x 14.5" x 4.25" (WxDxH with feet). Enjoy the Music.com has reviewed the Parasound JC 3 phono preamplifier and the Parasound Zphono USB.

 

12 / 13 / 14

Save 15% Off On Grammy Nominated Titles At HDtracks
Save 15% Off On Grammy Nominated Titles At HDTracksHDtracks, founded by David and Norman Chesky of Chesky Records who produced some of the finest analog audiophile recordings of the last 25 years, congratulates this year's Grammy nominees and is offering 15% off high resolution music downloads! From Robert Schumann: Symphonien 1-4 at 192kHz/24-bit to Cheek To Cheek with Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett at 96kHz/24-bit... you have many outstanding music titles to choose from. Paramore's self-titled album, Jeff Beck's Morning Phase, the incredibly popular Katy Perry's Prism, and the classic Pink Floyd's Division Bell are just a few more examples of great music you can download right now from HDtracks and save 15% too. Buy all the Grammy nominated titles you want, then at checkout enter in the promotional code GRAMMYHD15 and save 15% off your order.

 

12 / 12 / 14

Enjoy the Music.com Update And Now Taking CES Live Stream Appointments
Enjoy the Music.com Review MagazineEnjoy the Music.com has just hired two new writers and are in negotiations with two more. They are highly influential with immense knowledge and decades of experience. While I'm not at liberty to name them at this time, you'll see their contributions within Enjoy the Music.com's January Review Magazine. As with our industry-leading live streaming of consumer electronics, luxury goods and music shows, including our upcoming CES 2015 netcast, we're continuing our ongoing growth and expansion. A most humble thanks to our fans and longtime readers. We truly do appreciate your supporting our efforts over the past nearly two decades. Also of note is that manufacturers, distributors and product representatives should know we have just started reserving time slots for our live CES 2015 stream coverage. If you'd like to appear within our live CES 2015 broadcast please contact us immediately as slots are rapidly being filed.

 

Industry News 10 Years Ago
DTS (Digital Theater Systems, Inc.) has announced DTS-HD, a new name for their lossless compression technology previously called DTS++. DTS-HD is an audio codec that can support a virtually unlimited number of discrete surround sound channels, can downmix to 5.1-channel and stereo, plus delivers audio quality at bit rates extending from DTS Digital Surround to lossless. Unlike lossy compression schemes that lose data and strip away part of the audio signal, lossless compression technology is claimed to have the ability to reduce an audio file size while not losing any of the data. This allows for more audio data to fit within an optical disc. Upcoming formats such as Blu-ray disc and High Definition DVD (HD-DVD) will support DTS-HD.

 

Schiit Magni 2 & Magni 2 Uber Headphone Amp Plus Modi 2 & Modi 2 Uber DAC
Schiit Magni 2 & Magni 2 Uber Headphone Amp Plus Modi 2 & Modi 2 Uber DACTwo years after Schiit announced the original Magni headphone amplifier and Modi USB DAC, they juts moments ago introduced Magni 2, Magni 2 Uber (top), Modi 2 and Modi 2 Uber ($99, $149, $99 and $149 respectively). Shiit's Magni 2 is an all-new discrete stereo headphone amplifier with 1.2 Watt RMS per channel output and switchable high/low gain. They have used a refined constant-feedback gain stage within the Magni 2. Schiit's Magni 2 Uber is also an all-new discrete headphone amplifier with 1.5 Watt RMS per channel, switchable high/low gain, yet also has preamplifier outputs and even more sophisticated constant-feedback gain stage. It also includes a new 24VA wall transformer, which is three times larger than Magni, and aluminum top chassis and knob. Schiit's Modi 2 is their new USB asynchronous stereo DAC with switchable USB Class 1 and Class 2 modes. USB Class 1 remains driverless for all supported computers, whilst USB Class 2 adds 24-bit/192kHz capability yet requires drivers for Windows. Taking it a step further, the Modi 2 Uber is also a new USB DAC yet with TosLink optical and S/PDIF coaxial that can also operate in USB Class 2 for 24-bit/192kHz through all inputs. Essentially, says Schiit, it is a mini Bifrost. An AC linear power supply with included 8VA wall transformer comes with the Modi 2 Uber. An aluminum pushbutton and top chassis round out the design. All Schiit products comes with a limited warranty that covers parts and labor for two years. If you don't like your Schiit product, you can send it back for a refund, minus 15% restocking fee, within 15 days of receiving your unit.

 

Dared Audio Mars Int. Amp., Saturn Signature Int. Amp., And LP-100 MM/MC Phonostage
Dared Audio Mars Vacuum Tube Integrated AmplifierDared Audio will be at CES 2015 showing their new hybrid vacuum tube amplifier Mars (pictured), Dared Saturn Signature Class A integrated amplifier (KT-150), and Dared LP-100 MM/MC phonostage ($498, $2999 and $1500 respectively). Mars is the company's refreshing audio product designed for a new generation. This hybrid amplifier consists of a 6N3 (5670) tube for its preamplifier stage combined with a Class AB solid-state amplifier stage that produces 25 Wpc stereo. This bridge-tied load (BTL) transformerless output design handles impedance loads down to 2 Ohms. The Mars also enables the use of wireless streaming with a built-in 2.4GHz wireless audio module for connection plus has USB for connection. A headphone output is also provided for those who enjoy headphones, IEM and the like. Next up is Dared Audio's new Saturn Signature KT-150-based SET stereo integrated amplifier that produces 25 Wpc. A single-ended triode (SET) amplifier is highly regarded by audiophiles and the Saturn Signature uses a single KT-150 tube. The new KT-150 tube is encased with an egg shaped balloon design to improves thermal dissipation and maintain a superior vacuum for the best sound. Lastly, the Dared Audio LP-100 phonostage works with a multitude of phono cartridges as there are a wide variety of input variances for both MM and MC cartridges. The company developed a user adjustable front panel accessible phono preamplifier for MM and MC cartridges, with MC gain being adjustable to upwards of 63dB. MC resistive loading is 20 and 50 Ohms. MM capacitive loading adjustments include 10, 20, 47, 100, 220, 330, 470, and 670 pF with a fixed resistive loading is 47k.

 

Jeff Beck A Man For All Seasons Documentary On DVD
Jeff Beck "A Man For All Seasons"MVD Entertainment Group is going to release Jeff Beck A Man For All Seasons on February 10th. This in-depth documentary on DVD examines Beck's music and career throughout the 1960s. At the end of 1964, celebrated guitar maestro Eric Clapton left the Yardbirds, a band still searching for their first hit. His replacement was a player of very different capabilities -- a technical and sonic pioneer who helped propel the group from their former status as a blues covers act to become one of the most innovative and daring musical collectives working in the UK. This film traces Jeff Beck's music and career throughout the 1960s, and what many consider to be his formative influences and early groups with The Yardbirds. It also covers his brief reinvention by producer Mickie Most as a solo pop star, and the first, radical incarnation of the Jeff Beck Group; during which he played alongside vocalist Rod Stewart and second guitarist Ron Wood. Featuring a plethora of rare performance and studio footage, exclusive interviews, and contributions from those who worked with. This legitimate tribute spans the enthralling history of this often underrated musician, writer and performer. Jeff Beck A Man For All Seasons DVD includes new interviews with Yardbirds first manager, Giorgio Gomelsky; the man who took over from Gomelsky, colorful music biz impresario, Simon Napier Bell; Jeff's fellow Yardbirds, Jim McCarty & Chris Dreja; musical conspirators from the early 1970s, Tim Bogert & Max Middleton; the ever shocking Pamela Des Barres (a.k.a. Miss Pamela of The GTOs); legendary music press scribes, Charles Shaar Murray & Chris Welch; Beck's official biographer Martin Power and Uncut Magazine editor, Nigel Williamson.

 

12 / 11 / 14

Astell&Kern Battery Powered AK500N NAS And Audio Player With Disc Ripper
Astell&Kerns AK500N Networked NAS And Audio Player / Disc RipperAstell&Kern's AK500N was first shown in prototype within Enjoy the Music.com's T.H.E. Show Newport 2014 report and they are now ready with a final production version to be released shortly. As the company's Ultimate MQS network audio player, the Astell&Kern AK500N handles everything from lossy compressed MP3 to 32-bit/384kHz and DSD 2.8 MHz and 5.6 MHz. The AK500N includes a handy four-bay SSD (solid-state drive) NAS unit to store TBs of audio files. The AK500N is the first desktop network audio product from Astell&Kern that truly combines advanced digital technology with analog sound, thus embracing and implementing the culmination of their experience and know-how. One-click CD-ripping and perfect noise isolation through battery-only operation is assured. PCM to DSD conversion is said to be "faithful to the original sound and excellent compatibility with a wide range of devices." The NAS section employs standard DLNA networking and is combined with high-reliability SSD storage. By using a highly-optimized ripping engine, the AK500N provides users with flawless CD rips through enhanced jitter and error correction support. The highest sound quality is captured with enhanced jitter correction and excellent CD track error detection and correction. There are two speeds for ripping (Normal / Fast) and the audio tracks can be saved in either WAV or FLAC. In addition, Album art and music data are automatically imported from Gracenote's latest music database. Another consideration within the Astell&Kern AK500N is that AC power can be problematic, and thus the AC power supply is a point of entry for unwanted external noise and exit for device noise. Thus the unit is designed to use a built-in battery for noise isolation. The AK500N physically blocks noise generated in the AC power supply to prevent sound degradation at all levels. Music playback on the AK500N is achieved with a 10,400mAh 7.4V Li-Ion battery-only operation. The SMPS (Switched Mode Power Supply) employed within the AK500N is claimed to be "an outstanding device with a Level 5 efficiency rating. The noise-sensitive power ripple noise is below 50mVp-p at full load (5A)".Plyaback time via battery is rated at about 7 hours. The AK500N features a dedicated DSD chipset for DSD playback and converts PCM file to DSD64 data through audio engine of Astell&Kern. Of note is that the AK500N converts high-resolution 32-bit/384kHz WAV PCM and 24-bit/352kHz FLAC PCM file to DSD64. In addition, real time PCM file to DSD64 data playback available. For storage, the Astell&Kern AK500N features multi-level cell (MLC) SSD rather than a triple-level cell (TLC) SSD for increased durability and reliability. The vibration noise generated by conventional HDDs has said to be completely eliminated. Storage options include 1TB, 2TB and 4TB SSD units within the four-bay structure. For data security assurance, RAID 0 and 5 capabilities have been optimized for each drive capacity. The AK500N supports a wide range of inputs and outputs including digital inputs and outputs being XLR-based AES/EBU, RCA-based S/PDIF coaxial, TosLink optical and S/PDIF via BNC. Analog outputs include a 1/4" stereo headphone jack with dedicated amplifier and both Fixed stereo set and Variable stereo set of balanced XLR and unbalanced RCA at 10V and 7.5V respectively. The AK500N has a 7" WXGA (1280 x 800) touchscreen for control, and handles WAV, FLAC, WMA, MP3, OGG, APE (Normal, High, Fast), AAC, ALAC, AIFF, DFF, DSD and DSF. Internal DAC is a pair of Cirrus Logic CS4398. For USB, there are two Type A and a single Type B. Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n (2.4GHz) and Ethernet 10/100/1000 is included. Dimensions are 214 x 243 x 238 (WxHxD in mm) and the unit weighs 25 lbs. Enjoy the Music.com has reviewed the Blue Note Award earning Astell&Kern AK120 and reviewed the Blue Note awarded AK240.

 

Beyerdynamic Custom One Pro Plus And Custom Street Headphones
Beyerdynamic Custom One Pro Plus And Custom Street HeadphonesBeyerdynamic announced their Custom One Pro Plus and Custom Street headphones ($299 as pictured, and $169 respectively). The premium Custom One Pro Plus headphones come with two connection cables and users can effortlessly replace the standard plug-in supply line, including a 6.3 mm (1/4") jack adapter, with the series' standard headset cable for convenient hands-free phone calls or online gaming. The single-button remote control in the cable allows users to accept or end calls or pause the music they're listening to. The control works with all current Apple devices and most Android devices. Those who want even better voice quality can hook up the optional Custom Headset gear ($60) and turn the headphones into a professional headset. Purchasers may also choose from 16 stylish cover designs for an individual look. The headband, ear cushions, rings and covers of the earcups can be replaced and adapted to their personal taste. Beyerdynamic includes 16 rugged plastic covers with the product so you can change the look of your headphones day to day or moment to moment as desired. Also new from Beyerdynamic are their Custom Street headphones. Wearers can decide how much bass they hear using the Custom sound sliders. Located on the earcups, they gradually adjust the acoustic tuning of the headphones – from an analytical sound to fat beats. The Custom Street headphones are available in black or white and have been designed specifically for mobile use. They conveniently fold away into a compact size for easy transportation. The earcups turn by 90 degrees, so that the headphones can also be worn comfortably around your neck. They are supplied with an EVA case, made from the same hard-wearing nylon used for laptop bags, to protect the headphones on the go. The detachable headset cable is also compatible with most Android smartphones and tablets, as well as Apple devices. It is coated with Kevlar, a synthetic fiber that is five times stronger than steel on an equal weight basis.

 

Sonic Studio Version 2.0 Of Amarra sQ
Sonic Studio Version 2.0 Of Amarra sQSonic Studio has released version 2.0 of Amarra sQ ($29.99). Amarra sQ is an in–line DSP (Digital Signal Processing) utility that provides real time equalization for any and all audio sources on Mac OS. Making use of two proprietary Sonic Studio technologies, Sonic EQ and SonicStream, Amarra sQ gives the user access to powerful "equalization" tools to custom tailor the sound of any audio source, from a CD or music file, to streaming movies and songs. Fourteen factory Sonic EQ presets correct the response of popular headphone models from Apple, Audeze, Grado, Mr. Speaker and others, while additional presets fine tune playback for popular music genres, from acoustic and classical to jazz and rock. An infinite number of user presets can also be saved and recalled at any time. Installed along with Amarra sQ, SonicStream is a highly optimized, high-fidelity 32 bit software driver that routes the Mac's output to the input of Amarra sQ as its input 'device'. Amarra sQ takes that input, runs it through four bands of Sonic EQ equalization, adjusts overall gain and re-dithers the signal. The final output is then routed directly to the output device, bypassing Mac OS' Core Audio. Four re-dithering algorithms are available, including Sonic Studio's proprietary noise–shaped form, along with adjustment of resonant frequency for noised shaping as well as turn–off delay. With it's 32 bit driver, plus Sonic EQ and re-dithering technologies, Amarra sQ is ready for new listening experiences in the home or at work. "Everyone streams movies from YouTube and Netflix, or listens to music via iTunes, Pandora or Spotify,” says Founder and company President Jonathan Reichbach. "Sonic Studio provides affordable, pro quality tools to make everything you listen to better."

 

CANADA HiFi  December 2014 / January 2015 Issue Is Now Online For Free
CANADA HiFi December 2014 / January 2015Enjoy the Music.com has just posted CANADA Hi-Fi's December 2014 / January 2015 edition plus you can download this entire issue for free! Articles in this issue include TV Buyer Guide: Is the Time Right to Buy a 4K UltraHD TV?, The History and Future of Music Delivery, and Holiday Gift Guide For the Tech Lover on Your List! Equipment reviews include the Neat Acoustics' IOTA loudspeakers, Thorens' MM-008 analog to digital converter, Vizio E-Series E600i-B3 60-inch 1080p LCD TV and exaSound Audio Design e22 digital to analog converter. Within this issue's editorial by Suave Kajko, he says "The holidays are just around the bend and I'll take a guess that you probably haven't started your holiday shopping just yet. But fret not because we've got a complete Gift Guide for you in this issue, at least for the tech-loving individual on your gift list (such as yourself). Even if you don't find that perfect gift on our list, it is sure to generate some ideas and point you in the right direction. George and I had a lot of fun writing it, and we hope you enjoy reading it just as much." See what's in this issue and download the complete December 2014 / January 2015 edition of CANADA HiFi by clicking here.

 

Denon PMA-50 Stereo Amplifier With Headphone Amplifier And 24-bit/192kHz Plus DSD DAC
Denon PMA-50 Stereo Amplifier With Headphone Amplifier And 24-bit/192kHz Plus DSD DACDenon's upcoming PMA-50 stereo amplifier ($599) produces 50 Wpc @ 4 Ohms and has been created for serious hi-fi listeners looking for a compact and high quality design that meets their lifestyle. The Denon PMA-50 features next generation music playback options by offering a unique range of digital inputs, including two TosLink optical, S/PDIF coaxial, USB-B, and wireless aptX-capable Bluetooth plus NFC technology. The PMA-50 features Denon's original sound technologies such as Advanced AL32 Processing and DAC Master Clock, which were designed and developed for the company's premium high fidelity audio components. DDFA technology is part of the amplification section as supplied from CSR. The output stage circuit has a discrete construction, which realizes higher signal-to-noise-ratio and lower distortion compared to conventional Class D amplifiers. Denon's PMA-50 stereo amplifier produces 50 Watts per channel @ 4 Ohms. A subwoofer preamplifier output enables the use of an external, self-powered subwoofer. Multiple digital inputs, both TosLink optical and S/PDIF coaxial provide compatibility with a wide variety of digital audio sources. There is also an analog stereo input for legacy analog sources. USB-B connection to a PC or Mac provides the ability to play high-resolution PCM and DSD audio tracks. PCM tracks up to 24-bit/192kHz and 2.8MHz and 5.6MHz DSD tracks are supported. To eliminate PC-induced digital noise via the USB input, the PMA-50 features a dedicated noise isolation block prior to the digital amplifier. Denon's PMA-50 also has Bluetooth connectivity, which features quick and easy pairing via the Bluetooth button on the front panel. For faster pairing, the PMA-50 features NFC (Near Field Communication). By activating an NFC-enabled Bluetooth device and placing it next to the N mark on the PMA-50, it is then instantly paired with no need for manual passcode entry. For CD-quality audio playback, the PMA-50 features the latest generation CSR aptX Low Latency decoding. The PMA-50 is equipped with a dedicated headphone amplifier circuit that features a high speed ultra-low distortion wideband OpAmp that's paired with a fully discrete final output stage. In order to accommodate the widest range of headphone types, the PMA-50 features an adjustable headphone impedance control, with three settings for low, medium, and high impedance headphones. These provide proper matching of headphone impedance and amplifier gain. The stylish and elegant compact chassis features deluxe finishes including soft aluminum matte with bright silver tone accents and glossy and matte black surfaces. It is sized to fit just about anywhere, including home and office desktops, home studios, and it can be positioned horizontally as well as vertically. Removable feet and screw caps make re-configuring a breeze. For total convenience, the supplied remote control features an ergonomically-designed layout that includes a cursor keypad, source select and volume controls, setup menu and back buttons, a Bluetooth button and a display dimmer button.

 

12 / 10 / 14

Mo-Fi GAIN HD With 4X DSD And New Vinyl LPs
Mo-Fi GAIN HD With 4X DSD And New Vinyl LPsMobile Fidelity Sound Lab (a.k.a. Mo-Fi and MFSL) will be debuting their GAIN HD with 4X DSD digital mastering technology at CES 2015 yet also will be releasing new vinyl LPs too. Mo-Fi's GAIN HD mastering process utilizes 4X DSD direct-to-1X DSD conversion for the SACD layer and 4X DSD direct-to-CD conversion for the CD layer. This newly implemented mastering chain is said to achieve a higher level of musical accuracy, resolution and fidelity from MFSL's ULTRADISC UHR Hybrid SACD series. Mo-Fi says the "GAIN HD 4X DSD process delivers a subtle but significant improvement in low-level detail, ambient information and 'air', and perhaps most importantly, a relaxed ease in the musical presentation that simply sounds less 'reproduced' and more natural and involving". Mobile Fidelity's GAIN HD mastering technology will make its debut with three upcoming titles. Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab will also have major news for vinyl aficionados too!

 

After Hours Audio Silverheart Speaker Cable
After Hours Audio Silverheart Speaker CableAfter Hours Audio's new Silverheart cable ($350 for 8 foot pair, with other lengths being available upon request), by longstanding and highly respected cable designer Chris Sommovigo, is a concept he has wanted to play with for quite some time. His new Silverheart is a simplification of an architecture that he has been employing for years within both his Black Cat Cable and Stereolab analog cables. In this instance, a group of 128 silver-plated copper conductors, each at 36 AWG, are braided together over an EPDM rubber core. The EPDM is there to lend structure to the shape of the cable (round), and is also said to be very effective at dampening undesirable vibrations. The 128 conductors @ 36 AWG sum to the equivalent of 15 AWG. Thus there is sufficient conductor mass to pass fairly high amperages no matter how powerful the amplifier. The overall conductor resembles a thin-walled tube, which means that it will have the skin-effect profile of a much smaller wire. In this case, because 36 AWG wires are laid over each other in counter-rotating, interlocking helices, the sum wall thickness is about the equivalent of 33 AWG. Chris says this means that above 700 kHz the AC resistance of the wire would begin to start increasing relative to the DC resistance, as higher frequencies would begin to migrate away from the interior and toward the "skin" of the conductors. The next layer to the cable is braided multifilament Nylon. The next layer is similar to the first layer, however in this case I'm braiding 128 x 36 AWG pure copper over the Nylon insulator. Chris says this has the same electrical properties as the inner layer, same ampacity, and same skin effect profile. This coaxial arrangement of thin-walled tubes lends an advantage when considering how these conductors will be affected by Proximity Effect, which teaches that If the conductors were laid side-by-side instead of co-located coaxially, there would be a tendency for AC current to concentrate in the areas of each conductor that are closer to the other conductor says Chris. Skin Effect causes higher frequencies to migrate toward the outside of the conductors, while Proximity Effect (considering opposing AC current flows) causes current to concentrate towards the area of greatest proximity. Thus After Hours Audio's Silverheart conductors are co-located and coaxially arranged so the electromagnetic interaction of the two conductors remains consistent for their entire circumferences.

 

Burson Audio Conductor Virtuoso Preamplifier, Headphone Amplifier And 192kHz/24-bit DAC
Burson Audio Conductor Virtuoso Preamplifier, Headphone Amplifier And 192kHz/24-bit DACBurson Audio is now shipping their Conductor Virtuoso preamplifier with headphone amplifier and 192kHz/24-bit DAC ($1495 with Burr Brown PCM1793 and $1995 with ESS9018 Sabre DAC). The Conductor Virtuoso fulfils the needs of today's music lover with an outboard DAC and headphone amplifier all within a beautiful case, plus it may be used as a preamplifier within a high-end home audio system. Burson Audio's Conductor Virtuoso produces an ample 4 Watts of power to drive virtually any headphone with ease. The Conductor Virtuoso includes a 100-step volume control with an easy-to-read front display. When the Virtuoso is turned on, the volume indicators appear on the face of the thick, anti-resonant aluminum front plate. To give customers choice, there are two interchangeable DAC boards with different sonic characteristics. This modern modular design makes for no-fuss upgrades. Another important consideration is Burson doesn't use densely-packed OpAmps, but instead employs all discrete circuitry for superior tonality, clarity and a lower noise floor. A solid and stunning remote control is worthy of the Burson badge, as it is carved from solid aluminum with no visible screws. The Burson Audio Conductor Virtuoso has a frequency response from 0 Hz to 50 kHz and a signal to noise ratio of 96dB. Digital inputs include USB, RCA coax S/PDIF and optical TosLink, plus there is an analog stereo via RCA pair. Analog outputs include a 1/4" headphone jack, and stereo pair each for preamplifier and DAC.

 

12 / 09 / 14

Thiel Audio TT1 Floorstanding Loudspeaker
Thiel Audio TT1 Floorstanding LoudspeakerThiel Audio has just moments ago announced the introduction of the TT1 floorstanding loudspeaker ($5798 per pair). To be unveiled at the CES 2015 show in Las Vegas, the TT1 is part of the company's new 3rd Avenue Collection. This Collection was named after the iconic thoroughfare in Nashville where Thiel Audio is now located. The 3rd Avenue Collection will feature speakers ideally suited for both traditional two-channel music systems as well as home cinema. The TT1 is technically quite sophisticated, leveraging a forward-thinking approach to acoustical design and highly advanced manufacturing techniques all wrapped within an elegant form factor that signifies the revitalization of the Thiel brand. The design objective of the TT1 is to deliver neutrality, whilst it also faithfully reproduces music or movie soundtracks without unwanted colorations. The Thiel TT1 utilizes a four-driver array and multi-order crossover network in a heavily braced, vented MDF enclosure. The sculpted elliptical side panels of the TT1 are created using proprietary tooling to achieve a visually refined presentation. The rigid baffle construction and midrange mounting architecture have been engineered with a focus on back-wave optimization, resulting in a flat response and enhancing overall sound clarity. Another critical aspect of the TT1 is the sophisticated manufacturing process, as the design ensures that each production loudspeaker meets the exacting performance specifications of the reference model. "Of course we are very excited to bring the TT1 to market—the first loudspeakers to be assembled in Thiel's new Nashville Operations Center," explained Thiel CEO John Wittman. "The TT1 represents the highest level of performance that enthusiasts have come to expect from Thiel, as well as an innovative approach to design and manufacturing that is in line with our long term vision for this iconic brand. The TT1 is available in premium Rosewood and Walnut veneers as well as White and Black gloss finishes. Thiel loudspeakers come with a 10 year warranty.

 

Lincoln Motor Company Signs Exclusive 10-Year Collaboration With Revel By Harmon
Lincoln Motor Company Signs Exclusive 10-Year Collaboration With Revel By HarmonThe Lincoln Motor Company has signed an exclusive 10-year collaboration with Revel by Harmon that will add the premium loudspeaker brand to Lincoln vehicles. The pairing will make Lincoln the only automotive brand to offer Revel audio systems. Since 1996, Revel has served its audiophile customer base with premium home audio equipment. Emphasizing science-based speaker architecture and acoustic precision, Revel systems are designed to recreate a musical performance as precisely and purely as it was recorded. Revel, Harman International's premium loudspeaker brand, designs both a premium Revel audio system and a Revel Ultima system for Lincoln that may appeal to audiophile car buyers. Revel's automotive audio systems will be within the next-generation Lincoln MKX midsize utility. Offering high quality acoustics and intuitive technologies, Revel audio will give Lincoln a differentiator for in-car sound within the luxury market. To replicate the Revel home audio experience in Lincoln vehicles, engineers from Revel worked closely with Lincoln engineers and designers. Fusing form, function and innovation, the teams employed what Revel refers to as the Science of Sound in the vehicle design process. Placement, tuning, calibration and number of speakers are unique to each Lincoln model to ensure superior audio quality and accuracy. "The Revel system for Lincoln was created for the unique interior environment of each Lincoln model," said Phil Eyler, Senior vice President and General Manager, Harman global car audio. "The system is tuned to create an immersive audio experience unlike any other on the road." All Revel home loudspeakers are designed with the tweeter and midrange speakers positioned close together – known as point-source architecture. The Revel system for Lincoln maintains that standard by carefully integrating the architecture into the vehicle design, improving the accuracy of phase, midrange and high-frequency reproduction, an essential element to a true high-fidelity system. Tweeters are positioned within custom Revel Waveguides to optimize high-frequency dispersion, allowing a seamless blend between the tweeters and midrange speakers. This uncompromising design approach ensures that every detail of a song reaches a Lincoln passenger's ears at the exact same time and magnitude, for the purest, most authentic listening experience. Revel's proprietary hybrid amplifier strategy employs Class A/B and Class D amplification to produce high fidelity sound at virtually any volume. Revel audio systems for Lincoln feature QuantumLogic Surround. This next-generation surround-sound technology delivers an authentic, multi-dimensional experience while eliminating the smearing effects that often hamper typical surround-sound systems. Lincoln owners will use the MyLincoln Touch screen to select from three distinct listening modes – Traditional Stereo; Audience, for an intimate concert experience. Revel Ultima includes Clari-Fi, a patented Harman technology that works in real-time to rebuild audio details lost in digitally compressed music. Many audio details originally recorded in a music track can be lost in the compression process of audio files types such as MP3. Clari-Fi reconstructs the digitally compressed music for an enhanced listening experience regardless of the source.

 

Broadband Forum's G.fast Delivers 1Gbps Bandwidth Speed
Broadband Forum's G.fast Delivers 1Gbps Bandwidth Speed The Broadband Forum (BBF), the leading global association of broadband service providers and technology vendors, announced support for the new ITU-T ultra broadband access standard G.fast. As a new way to deliver bandwidth intensive consumer applications such as 4K video and high resolution audio, G.fast solves the current bandwidth bottleneck. G.fast uses a novel mix of technology and architecture, which dramatically increases the performance of digital transmission over telephone wires. The new ITU-T standard (G.9701), approved last week, enables up to 1Gbps by using next-generation, high bandwidth communications technologies and by placing them closer to the home into the distribution point (where phone lines get bundled near the residence) – often within 300 meters from the customer premises. The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), the trade association representing the consumer technology industry, also applauded the new ITU-T standard. The Broadband Forum has many programs designed to speed up the release of G.fast-based services including an enhanced architecture called Fiber to the Distribution Point (FTTdp), a series of G.fast plugfests starting in January to ensure chip interoperability, a G.fast Certification Program launching in 2015 and a series of standards to define management of G.fast related equipment. "Consumers should have confidence that the leading broadband service providers globally are working hard to deliver 1Gbps, ultra broadband access," said Robin Mersh, CEO of Broadband Forum. "The new G.fast standard makes it possible for telcos to deploy 4K UHD services faster and more affordably than they could with Fiber to the Home (FTTH)." Gary Shapiro, CEA President and CEO, said "The hot new product this holiday season and beyond is 4K UHD TVs. But consumers need confidence that 4K UHD TV online content distribution services, which are often limited by bandwidth rates, are feasible. G.fast offers a promising way to overcome this challenge." Multiple G.fast chipsets have been announced, equipment has been publicly demonstrated, the standard is fully approved and service providers have begun lab and field evaluations of the technology. Further, BBF member companies have been contributing significant work to both the Certification and Plugfest test plan, in an industry wide effort to move the work forward as quickly as possible. "Music lovers and audiophiles worldwide will greatly benefit from the high bandwidth 1Gbps data transmission rates that G.fast provides," says Steven R. Rochlin, Editor and Creative Director of Enjoy the Music.com. "Consumers will be able to stream true high resolution DSD/DXD, 32-bit/384kHz, MQA and virtually all other digitized audio files from cloud-based servers and look forward to future online music services that bring true lossless sound for those who desire enjoying their tunes as the artist intended. The music will be at the same resolution, or perhaps better(!), than what the original musical artist heard within the recording studio."

 

12 / 08 / 14

Press Release: Enjoy the Music.com / Enjoy the Music.TV To Live Stream CES 2015 Coverage
CES 2015 Show Report and Live Streaming Coverage by Enjoy the Music.comEnjoy the Music.com, in partnership with Enjoy the Music.TV, will be live streaming coverage of the International CES 2015. As with our pre-show and live broadcast of CES 2014, we plan to present well over 100 advanced technology high fidelity audio products within our CES 2015 report. Enjoy the Music.com is a leading authority of high-end audio products and reviews for consumer electronics online. We provide the industry's only continuous live streaming coverage at audiophile events; with our 19 years of experience leading the Internet both in content and ability to reach a worldwide audience. Enjoy the Music.com's efforts continue to be critically acclaimed by a variety of print magazines, websites, plus with music lovers and audiophiles globally including high praise and recognition by the President of the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA). We will also have interactive live chat and Twitter integration so our viewers can participate and ask questions to those we are featuring within the live broadcast. See the full press release and learn how your company can be featured within our live stream at this link.

 

Oyaide 102 SSC Copper Cable
Oyaide just introduced their new 102 SSC Copper cable, with wire that is is annealed twice to remove all induced stresses and strains. This is the highest quality copper ever offered from Oyaide and uses new advanced techniques never before applied to audio cable says the company. This proprietary design includes a wire drawing process to increase conductivity "to an incredible level of 102.3% IACS". Oyaide is using only pure virgin copper base material and then adds a special mechanical peeling, which is a very precisely controlled process and removes 100% of impurities. The wire is annealed twice to remove all induced stresses and strains whilst 'in-line' electric annealing avoids residue of soot left by the commonly used bell type annealing process. Their new technique includes a fine drawing process with natural diamond dies that yield a more uniform volume reduction with reduced stress and improved lubricity compared with synthetic diamond dies says Oyaide. A superior surface structure, with an outer diameter accuracy of +/-1μm, far exceeds the +/-8μm Japanese standard for conventional copper wires. The wire strands to eventually manufacture a finished cable is formed in 3E (3 Element) stranding, developed and patented by Sanshu Electric Wire, and have been adopted for audio to achieve a new, higher-spec. 3E stranding combines strands of three different diameters to increase the density of the wire by decreasing the spaces between strands. This results in a smaller outer diameter than the same gauge wire made with identical individual strands, plus a more accurate, stable and perfectly circular cross section. V2 (Version 2) 102 SSC cables of most previous Oyaide PCOCC-A cable designs are also now available.
Oyaide 102 SSC Copper Cable   Oyaide 102 SSC Copper Cable

 

YouTube And Their Music Key Service Revisited Plus CES 2015 Live Stream
YouTube Music Key ServiceWithin November 13th's Enjoy the Music.com Industry News we posted how music fans will soon be able to subscribe to YouTube's new Music Key service ($7.99/month launch promo, with normal pricing being $9.99). With so many major, and minor, recording labels and musicians relying on YouTube to reach their targeted audience, Music Key is going to be an interesting business venture for an online music service. In addition to the incredible depth of music available on YouTube, Music Key is also offering access to Google Play Music's entire library. There will be ad-free music videos, background playback, plus offline caching so you can watch videos without the need for an Internet connection. For now, YouTube's Music Key is available in Beta. We want to add some of the latest stats for our readership to understand the immense reach YouTube has. The site has over 1 billion unique visitors each month and serves up more than 6 billion hours of video. Just to give you an idea, that is nearly a full hour for every man, woman and child on planet Earth. While 80% of visitors are from countries not including the United States of America, for uploads there are 100 hours of new content to YouTube each minute. We must also remember this is the World Wide Web (WWW) and thus YouTube is accessible from 61 countries and available in 61 different languages. What is also impressive is the sheer growth of YouTube, as daily subscribers are up threefold year over year. Legacy broadcast/cable television does not stand a chance for those within the critical 18 to 34 age group as Nielsen says YouTube has far better penetration than legacy TV media within this segment of consumers. We shall see how YouTube's Music Key works CES 2015 Show Report and Live Streaming Coverage by Enjoy the Music.com what is your company doing to reach this massive worldwide audience? Enjoy the Music.com, in concert with sister site Enjoy the Music.TV, will be live streaming CES 2015, which is the world's largest international consumer electronics show. Please make sure you are a member of Enjoy the Music.com's Manufacturer / Distributor eNewsletter list. We will be announcing our plans for live CES 2015 coverage shortly within our upcoming eNewsletter. This includes details to ensure your company is better prepared for your live CES 2015 appearance within our live broadcast. Manufacturers, distributors and product representatives attending CES 2015 can receive information on how to reserve a time slot within our live stream by joining our industry eNewsletter at this link. Enjoy the Music.com / Enjoy the Music.TV has a YouTube channel filled with videos from high-end audio shows and music concerts.

 

Abyss Headphones AB-1266 Lite
Abyss Headphones AB-1266 LiteAbyss Headphones has created a basic version of their AB-1266, a proprietary planar magnetic transducer design headphone package, called the AB-1266 Lite ($4495). Included with the AB-1266 Lite version is the same AB-1266 headphone with lambskin ear pads, a balanced 4 pin XLR cable and 1/4" (6.3 mm) adaptor, all in a very nice two-tone wood case. Made in the USA, the Abyss Headphones AB-1266 Lite have a rigid chassis consisting of left/right side frames and structural adjustable two piece headband. All components are machined from solid aluminum for exceptional strength. There is an integrated resonance control designed in the unit to ensure minimal added unwanted coloration. The headphones are finished in a high quality anodized technique with bare aluminum accents. The proprietary planar magnetic transducer design (Patent Pending) utilizes the company's very thin, very low mass diaphragm. This design produces wide bandwidth (frequency response) and low level detail retrieval in the bass, midrange, and high frequencies. There is no rear magnet structure typical of planar designs and this is said to eliminate annoying reflections from behind the driver. Unique custom made high power neodymium magnets with optimized slot pattern and low carbon steel front baffle with integrated resonance control is also part of the AB-1266 Lite design. The unique breathable aluminum sides are acoustically tuned to their planar diaphragm to achieve a completely open sound. High quality soft lambskin ear pads provide comfort and finely tuned acoustics. Unique adjustability allows for varying head shapes to fit comfortably. The headband is padded with leather for head movement isolation and is embroidered with the Abyss logo. Included cabling are a balanced 8 foot 4 pin XLR cable and an adaptor to single 1/4" stereo jack. All cables are custom made by JPS Labs for Abyss and internal wiring is also by JPS Labs. The Abyss Headphones AB-1266 Lite come delivered with a hand-crafted two-tone felt lined wooden box touting the Abyss Headphones logo. Please note that this 'Lite' version is the exact same headphone as in the full AB-1266 package, minus the heavy leather man bag style carry case, minus the JPS Labs dual balanced 3 pin XLR cables and matching Y-adaptors, and minus the Abyss headphone stand. You need to purchase the full AB-1266 Headphone set as a complete package ($1000 upcharge) if you seek any of these cool accessories as they are not sold separately. Frequency response is from 5 Hz to 28 kHz, impedance is 46 Ohms, the phase is flat and sensitivity is 85 dB. The Abyss AB-1266 Lite headphones weight 660 grams.

 

12 / 07 / 14

Audio Fidelity And ETrain Records To Produce Multichannel Recordings
Audio Fidelity And ETRain Records To Produce Multichannel RecordingsAudio Fidelity, the audiophile record label known worldwide for their exceptional sound quality, has taken another step forward in that endeavor to produce a series of multichannel releases with ETrain Records. Marshall Blonstein, the President of Audio Fidelity and his business partner and chairman, John Paul DeJoria, have reached an agreement to produce a series of multichannel releases with ETrain Records helmed by multi-Grammy winner Elliot Scheiner. Scheiner is considered to be among the most accomplished sound engineers and producers within his field and has worked with a long list of superstar artists including the Eagles, Sting, Steely Dan, R.E.M., Fleetwood Mac, Jackson Browne and many more. In addition to Elliot Scheiner's Grammy Awards, Scheiner has received two Emmy Awards for his work with the Eagles on the Eagles Farewell 1 Tour – Live From Melbourne show and the documentary film History of the Eagles. He is also a proud member of the TEC Hall of Fame with three TEC Awards to his name. Scheiner is also a recipient of the very first Surround Pioneer Award. Elliot holds an honorary Doctor of Music degree from the Berklee College of Music and is one of the only Americans to be awarded the Master of Sound honor from the Japan Audio Society. The first release coming this month is New York Voices' Let It Snow, a brilliant collection of beloved Christmas classics. This debut release will be available on Hybrid 5.1 Discreet Surround and High Def Stereo Multichannel SACD as will all of the product developed under this new association along with many classic titles that will be released on Quad and 5.1. Audio Fidelity and ETrain Records will explore the multichannel arena through traditional channels as well as opportunities for multichannel in the auto industry. Marshall Blonstein stated, "We were looking for a strategic partner to move back to the future for multichannel audio and Elliot is by far the perfect match for this challenge." In the past Elliot paved the way for multichannel sound in cars when he developed the highly acclaimed ELS Sound System for Acura, the luxury vehicle division of Japanese automaker Honda Motor Company. Audio Fidelity's multichannel SACDs will be Limited Numbered Editions packaged in a deluxe variation of the company's patented see-through slip cases.

 

12 / 06 / 14

Meridian Audio Announces MQA (Master Quality Authenticated)
Meridian Audio MQA (Master Quality Authenticated)Meridian Audio has launched their MQA (Master Quality Authenticated), which is a way to reduce the size of digital audio files via lossless compression and will be available in 2015. As you may remember, back in 1998 Meridian invented Meridian Lossless Packing. According to Meridian Audio, "MQA is a breakthrough technology to reverse the trend, in which sound quality has been continually sacrificed for convenience. Vital elements of our music have been thrown away to fit thousands of songs into a pocket or millions in a cloud. With MQA there is no sacrifice; it brings us right back to the enthralling sound of live music. MQA captures and preserves nuances and vital information that current music files obscure or discard, but in a file that is small and convenient to download or stream." Sifting through the verbose overstatements such as "For the first time in history, music fans will be able to hear at home what the artist created and approved in the recording studio, and MQA confirms its exact delivery", which other than perhaps the 'confirmation', we already have this in other compression technologies for many years and is simply being applied to audio files in a specific way. Still, one must enjoy being a press release writer for Meridian Audio to use such boastful language for technology that appears to be (fundamentally) used for many, many years. Nevertheless, lossless compression is an efficient way to pack and deliver data via encoding and decoding (akin to .zip, .rar, FLAC, etc), which anyone who watches the HBO show "Silicon Valley" should enjoy the trials and tribulations for finding a more efficient way to compress data to achieve a smaller file size. "Music lovers need no longer be shortchanged; finally we can all hear exactly what the musicians recorded," said Meridian Audio co-founder Bob Stuart. "MQA gives a clear, accurate and authentic path from the recording studio all the way to any listening environment – at home, in the car or on the go. And we didn't sacrifice convenience. The announcement of MQA is really about the future of recorded music." Advantages of compressing data aids in lower Internet bandwidth usage for digitally downloaded /streamed files. Higher efficiency lossless compression, in general, can also benefit those still using 'limited' storage optical discs to achieve higher storage. If you are not familiar with compression, we suggest watching the first season of HBO's "Silicon Valley" (Pied Piper) for the educational experience. There is much truth within the show's humour and watch for hidden 'tells' about the history of the Internet and startups, which makes it well worth watching for us über geeks. What we do find interesting is perhaps a sub-signal within the main file that instructs the decoding DAC exactly what to do (like a codec of sorts in the way it is instructed on how to process a file). From what information is out there, it seems MQA digital audio files will play normally on standard equipment, yet there is embedded data that can further instruct the decoding unit to process other (embedded) data within the file. For those technically curious, the diagram of how MQA works is here and the technical information is here. According to Scott Wilkinson of AVS Forum, "MQA starts with the original master recording that has been approved by the artist and producer. A new sampling method Meridian calls Encapsulation can resolve the finest time divisions we can hear to capture every subtlety of the recording. The process is informed by the latest research in neuroscience and psychoacoustics that reveals how we identify and locate sounds, and that timing details of a few microseconds are important. Next, MQA uses innovative lossless processing to create a file that encodes and delivers the details of the recording and instructions for the decoder and DAC (digital-to-analog converter) about how to re-create an authenticated, exact reconstruction of the original signal. This highly efficient encoding results in smaller file sizes than super-high sampling-rate systems, allowing easy downloading and streaming while preserving all the sound of the original. And MQA can be delivered in any lossless container, such as WAV, FLAC, or ALAC. The decoder—which can be implemented as an app, a software player, or in hardware—is said to be quite simple, and it reconstructs the exact sound approved in the studio along with an indicator to authenticate that what you're hearing is a true rendition of the original master recording. And the system works with all masters at sampling rates from 44.1 to 768 kHz. If you don't have a decoder available, an MQA file will play on conventional equipment at CD quality."

 

AXPONA Tickets Are Now On Sale
AXPONA 2015 Show Report Live StreamingAXPONA (Audio Expo North America) tickets are now available for purchase online. The 2015 event takes place April 24th through 26th at the Westin O'Hare in Chicago. At AXPONA 2015 you'll be able to experience displays from first-time exhibitors such as Muraudio, Existence Loudspeakers, Telefield NA Inc, Parts Express, Resonessence Labs, Vinnie Rossi, Wyred 4 Sound and many others during this seventh edition of North America's premier Spring event for audiophiles and music lovers! This year AXPONA will have more floors full of listening rooms and the Ear Gear Expo (EGX) plus the AXPONA Marketplace is doubling in size! AXPONA attendees can enjoyed direct contact with designers and manufacturer-trained personnel of high fidelity audio equipment and music engineers while listening to the latest equipment available in the marketplace. A variety of educational seminars will be conducted by leading authorities within the high-end audio field. Active displays means attendee may bring their own music and listen to it through top quality audio systems! Enjoy the Music.com's, with sister site Enjoy the Music.TV, will be live streaming AXPONA 2015. Last year we made history as the industry's first, and still only to date, site to live video broadcast 24 hours/day during the entire AXPONA 2014 high-end audio event! Just like last year's live stream, we want you to be involved even if you can't make it to the event. Enjoy the Music.com will have live interactive chat and Twitter integration so you can ask us questions in real time to those we are featuring during our live broadcast. Of course to fully experience all the great gear at AXPONA 2015, and hear your music though millions of dollars of high-end audio equipment, you need to be there in person. AXPONA tickets make a great holiday gift for your music loving friend so buy one for a fellow audiophile and plan your trip to Chicago today! You can see our live streaming videos from AXPONA 2014 by clicking here.

 

12 / 05 / 14

Hi-Fi World January 2015 Issue Is Now Online
Hi-Fi World Magazine January 2015 EditionEnjoy the Music.com has just posted Hi-Fi World's January 2015 edition including the complete editorial and table of contents. This issue includes reviews of the Focal Aria 926 speakers, JBL Authentics L16 wireless speakers, Benchmark Media DAC2 HGC, VAC Signature Mk IIa preamp, Roksan K3 integrated amplifier, Cambridge Audio Stream Magic 6 V2 network player, Noble in-ear monitors, and a special feature with the Hi-Fi World 2014 Awards! The editorial by Noel Keywood says "Our 2014 Awards Issue brings together an intriguing collection of products. Nothing is quite what it seems; all of them have an unusual or distinctive feature that, set in a background of good engineering, lifts them out of the ordinary." See the complete January 2015 table of contents and editorial of Hi-Fi World by clicking here.

 

Meridian Explorer2 USB DAC With Preamp And Headphone Amplifier Output
Meridian Explorer2 USB DAC With Preamp And Headphone Amplifier OutoutMeridian Explorer2 USB DAC ($299) upsamples all input signal to 176.4/192 kHz and includes Meridian's proprietary apodizing filter. Meridian Audio's compact Explorer2 portable and rugged USB DAC with headphone amplifier is capable of delivering high quality audio performance, including compatibility with MQA 'Master Quality Authenticated' lossless audio files. Building on the company's original, award-winning Explorer, the new model features a significantly more powerful DSP capability than it predecessor. Designed and handmade in the United Kingdom, Meridian's Explorer2 employs audiophile–grade components throughout. The elegant all-metal enclosure houses a six-layer circuit board and weighs just 50 grams. Upsampling all input signal to 176.4/192 kHz, then included apodizing filter aid in delivering a clearer, more transparent sound says the company. The Explorer2 is simple to use and install as it connects to virtually any computer with a USB port and drivers are provided Linux, Macintosh, and Windows OS. A trio of LED indicators show the status of the unit, confirming the current sample rate. The unit employs Asynchronous USB Audio Class 2.0 and handles high resolution 24-bit/192kHz files. There are advanced headphone controls that are ideal for sensitive headphones. The cable connection was chosen to avoid motherboard stress on USB ports. Outputs include a 3.5mm analog line out fixed at 2V RMS plus another 3.5mm headphone jack with variable-level output at an impedance of 0.47 Ohms. Dimensions are 4" x 1.25" x 0.7" and the Meridian Explorer2 is firmware upgrade via USB.

 

Schiit Audio Fulla USB 24-bit/96kHz DAC And Headphone Amplifier
Schiit Audio Fulla USB 24-bit/96kHz DAC And Headphone AmplifierSchiit Audio just announced their Fulla ($79) new micro-sized DAC and headphone amplifier for use with virtually any computer. The USB-powered Fulla delivers up to 24-bit/96kHz audio performance with a headphone amplification section with up to 10x the power of a typical computer headphone output port. Fulla uses many of the same quality parts as other Schiit products, from the CM6631A asynchronous USB input receiver, to the AK4396 digital to analog converter. Combined with high-quality thin-film resistors, and precision Analog Devices ADA4610 and AD8397 output devices, Schiit Audio's Fulla is said to provides excellent sound quality beyond its modest price according to the company. The unit is plug and play via a CM6631 USB 2.0 receiver. Like other Schiit products, the tiny Fulla features a custom steel and aluminum chassis rather than inexpensive plastic or inefficient, wasteful milled aluminum, like other products in its class. Like all Schiit products, Fulla is made in the USA, with the vast majority of its total production cost going to companies manufacturing in the USA, and local assembly, testing, and support through Schiit's Valencia, CA offices. Frequency response is from 20 Hz to 20 kHz and maximum amplifier power output is 400mW @ 16 Ohms, 300mW @ 32 Ohms, 220mW @ 50 Ohms and 40mW @ 300 Ohms. Output impedance is less than 0.4 Ohms from the 1/8" stereo headphone jack. Dimensions are 2.5" x 1.2" x 0.45" and the unit weighs 3 ounces.

 

Cary Audio DMC-600 And DMC-600SE Digital Music Center
Cary Audio DMC-600 And DMC-600SE Digital Music CenterCary Audio's new DMC-600 and DMC-600SE digital music center ($5995 and $7995 respectively) combine the past with the future and are designed for traditionalists as well as new-age music lovers. With these units you can enjoy your CD collection while exploring the virtues of high resolution digital audio files via Asynchronous USB. Both the DMC-600 and DMC-600SE support PCM up to 32-bit/384kHz native audio as well as native DSD 64, 128, and 256 audio. Additionally, they both also includes CSR aptX lossless Bluetooth, S/PDIF coaxial, TosLink optical, and AES/EBU inputs and both fully balanced XLR and unbalanced RCA analog outputs. To further enhance your listening enjoyment, they also includes Cary Audio's TruBit Upsampling technology and DiO vacuum tube and solid-state analog outputs. The DMC-600SE utilizes premium reference-grade components within the analog output sections to further enhance the performance as well as a clock input for use with an external master clock for recording studios and professional or semi-professional use. The Cary Audio DMC-600 and DMC-600SE digital music centers utilize three DACS consisting of six channels (three per side) to create a fully balanced parallel circuit. DSP with upsampling and clocking duties are done by a separate 128 bit DSP engine, thus allowing the DACs to focus on straight digital to analog conversion. Cary Audio's TruBit upsampling is a sophisticated and powerful process utilizing a 128 bit DSP engine (separate from the DACs) which allows for up to seven different selectable upsampling rates all the way up to 768kHz. OSO Reclocking can double reclocking of all signals yet again once onboard, including even XMOS USB, to ensure all jitter is virtually eliminated to a minute degree. The result is a signal so virtually free of digital artifacts as if it was generated within the unit itself says Cary Audio. The company's DiO Analog Stage is actually two separate analog output stages that are completely independent of one another. One is all solid-state and the other is vacuum tube. Each unit weighs 35 lbs. and measures 5.25" x 17.25" x 16.25" (HxWxD).

 

Sonos 5.2 Software Update
Sonos 5.2 Software UpdateSonos 5.2 software, free download for Sonos users, add many new features to the already extensive Sonos platform. The new Sonos 5.2 software download makes it easier than ever to transform your holiday parties and family traditions with music too. You can expand your world of music with new services including Deezer Elite in the United Sates and SoundCloud globally. Since Sonos is used by the entire family, you can now add separate Spotify and Pandora accounts so that multi-user support is now enabled within the Sonos ecosystem. Sonos has also enhanced the usability of their PLAYBAR for both music and movie use. Another new features with Sonos 5.1 software is the ability to handle new Bring Your Own Music (BYOM feature). Your personal playlists and music preferences don't have to stay behind. With today's 5.2 release, multi-account support allows you to add up to 32 different streaming accounts to the system. The tracks stored on your mobile device are also fair game, too. Sonos is available on iOS and Android mobile platforms plus Apple and Windows based computer OS.

 

Audio-Technica SonicPro ATH-CKR10, ATH-CKR9, ATH-CKR7, ATH-CKR5iS And ATH-CKR3iS
Audio-Technica SonicPro ATH-CKR10, ATH-CKR9, ATH-CKR7, ATH-CKR5iS and ATH-CKR3iSAudio-Technica just introduced their SonicPro in-ear headphones, which are five models for those who appreciate good, to very high sound quality. The new SonicPro ATH-CKR10, ATH-CKR9, ATH-CKR7, ATH-CKR5iS and ATH-CKR3iS bring more than 50 years of pro audio engineering expertise to consumers with a lineup of headphones that can deliver sound from high-resolution audio sources. The ATH-CKR10 and ATH-CKR9 ($389.98 and $269.95 respectively) are the world's first headphones to incorporate a Push-Pull Driver System to deliver sound clarity and accuracy, particularly in the midrange and treble. This innovation is an exclusive Audio-Technica design that utilizes two 13mm drivers that face each other but are wired out of phase, so that harmonic distortion is reduced and response time is improved while power is doubled and output sensitivity is increased. The result, says Audio-Technica, is a spacious, expansive but detailed sound across a wide frequency range, suiting all styles of music. The ATH-CKR10 provides frequency response to 40 kHz, allowing listeners to fully appreciate the high-resolution digital formats with better than lossy compressed CD sound quality audio source material. The ATH-CKR10 features metal-coated titanium housings for a rigidity that greatly reduces unwanted vibration. A stainless steel acoustic resistor improves high-frequency response, while a bass acoustic resistor provides accurate low-frequency response. It's star-quad cable helps to reduce noise and provides superior electrical signal transfer of the audio signal. The ATH-CKR9 also incorporates Audio-Technica's Push-Pull Driver System and machined aluminum driver housings. A stainless steel acoustic resistor and bass acoustic resistor provide accurate high-frequency and low-frequency response. Audio-Technica's ATH-CKR7 ($134.95) features large, proprietary 14mm drivers plus hybrid stainless steel and aluminum driver housings. Dual acoustic high-frequency and low-frequency resistors are said to provide extended frequency response and detailed, natural sound. Audio-Technica's ATH-CKR5iS and ATH-CKR3iS ($64.95 and $39.95 respectively) combine smartphone compatibility and good audio quality at a value price. Their integrated controller with volume control and microphone lets the wearer answer phone calls and control music/video playback from compatible smartphones and other devices, including Android, iPhone, iPad and iPod. Both headphones incorporate newly developed 13mm and 9.8mm drivers with machined brass stabilizers. The ATH-CKR5iS is available in black, white and red, and the ATH-CKR3iS comes in black, white, red and blue. All SonicPro CKR in-ear models come with four sizes of silicone eartips for a comfortable fit and have a four-foot cord.

 

12 / 04 / 14

Gold Note Bellagio Conquest Black King Turntable
Gold Note Bellagio Conquest Black King TurntableGold Note has just introduced their Bellagio Conquest Black King (no pricing set) as the company's new best turntable to date. The Bellagio Conquest Black King is the limited edition, ultimate evolution of their Bellagio Conquest that was first introduced in 2013. Key features include a high mass structure, as the 260 lbs super high mass structure ensures a solid and stable platform. The upper part of the structure is leveled on triple multiple plinths with integrated adjustable engraved aluminum semi-rigid spring covers. This provides fine adjustments by the user. The main structure is leveled on adjustable acrylic feet to enable a precise rocker arm axis set up. In total, there are 13 different curved plinths on the Gold Note Bellagio Conquest Black King turntable to enable maximum stiffness and reduce and resonance feedback from negatively affecting the critical vinyl to needle contact. The plinths are interfaced with different thickness titanium spacers that are joined together with specially curved machined solid block aluminum extra large feet. The long platter spindle rests on a ceramic high precision 4.7mm reinforced ball bearing. The Gold Note Bellagio Conquest Black King features a 270mm long spindle, said by the company to be the longest platter ever made for a turntable. The spindle is made of the hardest carbon steel C40 alloy hardened with a boiling oil process, rectified and polished to guarantee the smoothest rotation. The bearing is made of bronze that has been polished to get a 1/100mm matching tolerance with the long spindle. This assembly, says the company, "guarantees the smoothest platter rotation available and force distribution control along the spindle axis to enhance unsurpassed audio performance". Gold Note's The Bellagio Conquest Black Pearl features two tonearms installed on a shaped high mass structure with 20mm dedicated 6082 aluminum alloy engraved arm board. The tonearms themselves can be 12" and/or 9" long. The Conquest's power control generator is based on PWM (Pulse Width Modulation) technology. The PWM power drive generates the AC-DC-AC and couples the two AC semi-wave for annulling any motor resistance or vibration and allowing high motor torque at the same time. The Bellagio Conquest Black King features a massive three transformers power supply to control the energy to achieve the high performance. The Black King also features a new anti-resonating dampened hourglass-shaped motor pulley to stop transmission belt vibration. The new pulley is precisely machined and polished to achieve smooth walls, thus guaranteeing low rotational noise and durability of the belt. The Conquest also includes a remote control to handle all the main functions: ON/OFF, speed change, speed control and power control.

 

12 / 03 / 14

The Absolute Sound's January 2015 Issue Is Now Available Online
The Absolute SoundEnjoy the Music.com just posted The Absolute Sound's January 2015 edition filled with many great equipment and music reviews plus think pieces. This issue includes two special features; one titled In Memoriam: Harry Pearson written by Jonathan Valin and The Absolute Sound's 2014 Product of The Year Awards! Equipment reviews include Rega RP10 record player, Esoteric E-03 phonostage, Constellation Inspiration Preamp / Stereo / Mono 1.0, Accustic Arts Reference hybrid tube Preamp II Mk II linestage / Mono II amps, Magnepan 20.7 speaker, Audience Au24 interconnects and loudspeaker cables plus much more. In his HP remembrance article, Jonathan Valin says, "I've been dreading this day for some time, even though I knew it was coming. And now it has. On November 4, 2014, Harry Pearson, the founder of this magazine and the finest and most influential writer in our field, passed away in his home at Sea Cliff -- and with him goes the very last of a thrilling, now-distant era when the high end was young, and so were we... To be frank, he was frustrated about the way things had gone at the magazine, which he'd created and for many decades single-handedly run, and was now set on recovering his glory days by starting anew. Nothing I could say about how quixotic such an enterprise might prove to be at his age, when his health, stamina, and concentration weren't what they once had been, could dissuade him." See the January 2015 issue of TAS by clicking here.

 

12 / 02 / 14

Enjoy the Music.com's December 2014 Contest
Get The Gift Of Music This Holiday Season
Win Four Albums From Audio Fidelity!
Enjoy the Music.com High-End Audio Contests

Get The Gift Of Music This Holiday Season Win Four Albums From Audio FidelityEnjoy the Music.com and Audio Fidelity are giving away four music titles to one lucky contest winner! Audio Fidelity is an online store that offers their own 24K+ digital music discs and vinyl records. Their 24K+ compact discs are carefully produced to offer high fidelity sound quality. The discs are offered in deluxe packaging with see-through slip cases. They only use the original vintage mixes played back on a specially constructed mastering deck. World renown mastering engineers Steve Hoffman and Kevin Gray use their 30 years of expertise to create the best sounding versions of the music ever released. When they are satisfied with the end result, the final digital master is shipped directly to the manufacturing plant for etching in "real time" onto the glass surface by laser. The end result of this unique mastering process is a compact disc with the warm sound of the original analog master tape combined with a genuine 24 karat gold surface free of any type of physical defect making our 24K Gold CD series truly one of a kind. To learn more and enter for your chance to win click here.

 

Hi-Fi+ Magazine's December Issue
Hi-Fi+ Magazine December 2014 IssueEnjoy the Music.com just posted Hi-Fi+'s December edition filled with many great equipment and music reviews. This issue includes reviews of the AVM Inspiration CS 2.2 CD/DAC/streaming integrated amp, Kuzma Stabi M/4 Point/Car-50 turntable/arm/cartridge, GoldenEar Triton One speaker, B.M.C. Audio CS2 integrated amp, Roksan Audo K3 CD player, iFi Audio Micro iDSD, Transfiguration Audio Phoenix-S MC cartridge and much more! In his editorial, Alan Sircom says "However, as I said at first, we are at the end of 2014, and about to welcome in 2015. The audio world has (as ever) gone through some change, and even some changes back. Are we beginning to see a resurgence in CD as we did with LP? Who knows? It's too early to call it either way, but the general switch-over to downloading hasn't happened quite yet, despite the launch of TIDAL high-resolution streaming and HDTracks final arrival to the UK market. We'll explore these new formats, and more, in 2015." See the December issue of Hi-Fi+ by clicking here.

 

12 / 01 / 14

Please Join The BAS Today. Enjoy the Music.com And The BAS Gives You A Free Issue Too!
Boston Audio Society Please join the BAS today. Enjoy the Music.com gives you a free issue too!THE BAS SPEAKER
Journal of the Boston Audio Society
Publisher: Robert L. Miller   Editor: David J. Weinberg   Associate Editor: David R. Moran

Contents In This Issue
From the Editor
Correction
Obituaries
Ray Dolby: A Personal Retrospective, by Loan Allen
Open Forum
Commentary and News, by David J. Weinberg
The Darbee Darblet: Does It Improve or Damage an Image, by David J. Weinberg
Impressive Audio Quality in Les Miserables, by Kenneth P. Wacks
Custom Earmolds, by Nicolas Noiseux
September 2002 Meeting, by John S. Allen
Feature: C. Victor Campos
September/October 2011 Meeting, by Alvin M. Foster
Feature: Richard Burwen's Bobcat
November 2013 Meeting, by John S. Allen
Feature: John S. Allen: Recording and Editing Video of an Illustrated Lecture
December 2013 Meeting, by David B. Hadaway
Feature: Flea Market and Favorite Recordings
Classifieds
Download your free issue of BAS Speaker by clicking here.

 

TAVES 2014 Show Report Part 6 By Rick Becker
TAVES 2014 Show Report Part 1 By Rick BeckerRick Becker has his final roundup of the incredible and industry-leading TAVES 2014 report! Enjoy the Music.com added more great photos and information within Rick's incredible and in-depth TAVES 2014 show report. Within part 6, Rick Becker covers the ground floor and more. You can see, and learn about, a wide variety of high-end audio components plus artwork too! In total, Rick's TAVES 2014 report spans 12 web pages and has more than 100 photos! See Rick Becker's complete TAVES 2014 show report here.

 

December Review Magazine Features World Premiere High-End Audio Reviews
Review MagazineEnjoy the Music.com's December Review Magazine has five world premiere reviews, four additional high-end audio equipment reviews, a video tour of Acoustic Sounds, video tour showing you how a vinyl LP is manufactured, more Blues Festival videos, music reviews... and our Great Audiophile Gift Awards for 2014. Enjoy the Music.com, and sister site Enjoy the Music.TV, have been very busy this past month adding a staggering amount of information, equipment reviews, daily news updates, and videos. If you have been following us on Facebook or Twitter, then you have been enjoying these updates in a timely manner. Our sincerest thanks to those who have been e-mailing us with compliments concerning our enhanced daily Industry News updates. Our December Review Magazine features world premieres of the LampizatOr Generation 5 Level 4 DAC, Line Magnetic Audio LM210IA 300B integrated amplifier, Soundfield Audio Monitor 2 active speakers and Aaron Let's Rock! stereo integrated amplifier.

Aaron Let's Rock! Stereo Integrated Amplifier Review

We also have new reviews of the Quad PA-One tubed headphone amp, Benchmark Media AHB2 stereo amp, Chord Electronics Hugo battery powered DAC/headphone amp, Ortofon 2M Mono SE MM phono cartridge, and a Head-To-Head Shootout of the Sony NWZ-ZX1, Sony NWZ-A17 and Pono Music Player. Furthermore, we have updated our TAVES 2014 coverage too!

Sony NWZ-ZX1 And NWZ-A17 Versus The Pono Music Player

Think pieces include Spending More And More, Yet Getting Less And Less by Mr. Flood plus our monthly Skoffin' Up Food For Thought has Roger Skoff considering The Whole Experience. We have added more videos from the Blues Masters at the Crossroads concert, a video tour of Acoustic Sounds and another video showing you, step-by-step, how a vinyl record in manufactured at Quality Record Pressings!

Enjoy the Music.com's Great Audiophile Holiday Gifts For 2014

Lastly, don't miss our Great Audiophile Gift 2014 awards! We give you many great gift ideas ranging from only $8 to $499, with most being under $300. High-end audio does not always mean high priced. Check out Enjoy the Music.com's choices for both giving, and receiving, this holiday season.

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

Enjoy the Music,

Steven R. Rochlin
Editor and Creative Director
Enjoy the Music.com

 

11 / 29 / 14

Industry News 10 Years Ago
The audience is listening... and the music industry may finally be "getting it" by making the soon to be release DVD-Audio format backward compatible while keeping within the WG-4 specification. Working on ways to make the upcoming new DVD-Audio fully compatible with current models of DVD-Video players, Warner Music and Universal Music are making inroads to placing uncompressed 24-bit/96kHz music within their future DVD-Audio releases. Warner's technology VP Jordan Rost said his company's first DVD-Audio discs will include a compressed Dolby Digital 5.1 mix playable on current DVD-Video players. Meanwhile Universal Music's production director Jim Belcher said his company is "looking at" uncompressed 96kHz/24-bit stereo PCM tracks on its future DVD-Audio discs.

 

11 / 28 / 14

Are Audio Dark Roasts Two-Way Monitors
Are Audio Dark Roasts Two-Way MonitorsAre Audio's Dark Roasts monitors ($1440 CAD) mate precision craftsmanship with high-quality drivers and crossover parts. The Dark Roasts are the big brother of Are Audio's successful Light Roasts. The Dark Roasts use the same top quality designed cabinet, yet built around a larger 6" midrange/woofer cone driver, which gives greater efficiency and bass extension. Paired with a 26mm silk dome tweeter, the overall frequency response is from 40 Hz to 20 kHz with a 4 Ohm load presented to the amplification. A point-to-point wired first order crossover network, designed around 3 kHz, provides minimal interference and thus allows the electrical signal to flow nearly unimpeded to the tweeter and woofer drivers. Customers can have the Are Audio Dark Roast monitors customized in any color and hardwood of their choosing. The craftsmanship is met with using premium Scandinavian components, which the company feels brings acoustic precision and balance, compelling realism, extended treble, a 'larger than they look' deep bass performance, and an elegant seamless appearance. This two-way reflex enclosure has a top firing port to aid in extending the output of the lowermost frequencies. Dimensions are 33 x 16.5 x 26 (HxWxD in cm) and weight is 15.4 lbs. Are Audio believes that environmental ethics and thus use environmentally friendly manufacturing. They strive to minimize their environmental impact by sourcing local Canadian lumber, as well as other materials, adhesives, and paints that are free from harmful VOCs (volatile organic compounds).

 

11 / 26 / 14

TACET's Koroliov Series Vol. XVI Now Available On CD
TACET's Koroliov Series Vol. XVI Now Available On CDTACET's new Koroliov Series Vol. XVI (€17.60) CD features Ludwig van Beethoven Sonatas op. 109, 110 and 111 with pianist Evgeni Koroliov. Evgeni Koroliov, said to be the master of nuance, announces himself again with another recording of the Late Piano Sonatas of Beethoven, this time with op.109, 110 and 111. A heavy, powerful touch is not his thing. Of course he plays loudly where it should be loud, yet he captures the listener in a different way. He seduces him with the beautiful sound of his touch and with an almost all-absorbing intensity, to engage in small and even minuscule agogic phrasing, slurs or accentuation, in the flow and tumble of the subtle beauty of the score, which often simultaneously develops its powerful undercurrent and yet urges us to grant it our awareness. Thus out of many endless, small treasures emerges an unimaginably beautiful and great whole. The pianists feels that Beethoven was not the powerful antagonist, which he is often portrayed, as in loud but superficial interpretations. His creative force erupted in hieroglyphic ink blots on the paper; only in this way was he different to you and I. A mystery.

 

Audio-Technica SonicPro ATH-MSR7 Headphones
Audio-Technica SonicPro ATH-MSR7 HeadphonesAudio-Technica , who feel that Hi-Res Audio as set by The DEG should be over the decades old sampling rate of 16-bit/44.1kHz Red Book CD standard, today announced the introduction of its SonicPro ATH-MSR7 over-ear Hi-Res audio headphones ($249.95). Designed to deliver the highest level of accuracy and musical realism from high-resolution audio and other top-quality source material, the smartphone-compatible Audio-Technica SonicPro ATH-MSR7 incorporates a host of newly developed design innovations including exclusive True Motion Drivers "to deliver extraordinary detail, clarity and imaging with a natural tonal balance and extended dynamic range". True Motion Drivers employ an exclusive 45 mm driver with a lightweight, highly responsive voice coil and diaphragm. The ATH-MSR7's Multi-Layer Air Damping Technology utilizes a two-layer aluminum/magnesium housing that provides a lightweight yet rigid structure for the drivers to reduce unwanted internal vibrations that could color the sound. Within the multi-layer structure are three precisely placed air vents that control the airflow to provide greater dynamics and sonic impact. The housing is specially shaped to "mirror" the physical structure of the ear to enhance low-frequency sounds. In addition, the ATH-MSR7 incorporates a mesh acoustic resistor that is said to improve high-frequency response, and a low-frequency acoustic resistor for extended, accurate bass. The sonic result, says Audio-Technica, is a smooth, richly detailed, powerful and spacious sonic presentation that completely immerses listeners in the high-resolution audio experience. Audio-Technica's SonicPro ATH-MSR7 is designed for total comfort with cushioned, soft, memory foam earpads that fit securely yet comfortably around the ears and its flexible swivel design and padded headband facilitate an excellent fit for any wearer. The headphones are supplied with a detachable four-foot smartphone-compatible cable with an integrated controller and microphone that let the wearer answer phone calls and control music/video playback from compatible smartphones and other devices, including Android-based systems, iPhone, iPad and iPod. The SonicPro ATH-MSR7 also comes with a standard 4-foot and 10-foot cable and a carrying pouch and will be available in March 2015 in black (ATH-MSR7BK) and gun metal (ATH-MSR7GM).

Audio-Technica also added the below to their press release describing what they feel is Hi-Res Audio:
While many listeners may believe that high-resolution audio came along with the introduction of the Compact Disc in 1982, constraints on the disc's storage space always prevented CD audio (standardized at 44.1 kHz/16-bit) from fully and completely reproducing the original recorded sound. The advent and subsequent popularity of MP3s only made this problem more pronounced - the necessary compression of these files causes audio information to be lost, thus greatly reducing the audio quality. But with lossless audio file formats, faster Internet speeds, and storage space increasingly easy to come by (and in ever-smaller packages), the push is on to create audio equipment capable of capturing and reproducing true Hi-Res Audio, generally considered to be 96kHz/24-bit or better. The Hi-Res Audio logo certifies that a product meets the Hi-Res Audio standards. Per these standards, headphones must have transducer frequency performance to at least 40 kHz.

 

11 / 25 / 14

The Cable Company's Summer Against Hunger Fundraiser For CARE Raised Over $339,000
The Cable Company's Summer Against HungerThe Cable Company's annual August Summer Against Hunger fundraiser for CARE raised over $339,000 this year. Contributions from The Cable Company, their vendors, customers, and two anonymous donors totaled $48,428. CARE has arranged 6:1 matching funds yielding total program donations of just over $339,000. The Cable Company wants to thank everyone who participated in this year's fundraiser by making a purchase in August. For every one dollar you spent with us in August, even on used products, at least $0.70 was donated to CARE. For purchases of their sponsoring vendors' products, it was actually $1.40 in total contributions for each $1.00 in purchases. Contributions this year are being earmarked by CARE to support the implementation of a cost-effective model of post-primary education in the rural Swat district in Pakistan by using existing primary schools to hold evening classes for girls in grades 6 through 8. Swat is the area of Pakistan where school girl Malala Yousafazai, winner of this year's Nobel Peace Prize, advocated for girls' education. As part of this overall project, schools damaged by flooding and insurgent attacks are being repaired and improved with water and sanitation facilities. The girls are being equipped with textbooks and school supplies for core subjects as well as age-appropriate life skill topics such as health and hygiene, communication and language skills, and personal and home safety. The overall project will reach 4000 direct beneficiaries and an estimated 100,000 indirect beneficiaries. The Cable Company, and of course Enjoy the Music.com, sincerely thanks everyone for helping The Cable Company to assist in CARE's funding for this project.

 

Enjoy the Music.com's Great Audiophile Holiday Gifts For 2014
NEW: Enjoy the Music.com's Great Audiophile Holiday Gifts For 2014
Awesome gift ideas to give your audiophile this holiday season.

 

Sony NWZ-ZX1 And NWZ-A17 Versus The Pono Music Player
NEW: Head-To-Head Shootout
Sony NWZ-ZX1 And NWZ-A17 Versus The Pono Music Player
Review By Steven R. Rochlin

 

Linn 24-bit Studio Master Track For Free
Linn 24-bit Studio Master Track For FreeWhile we here at Enjoy the Music.com are being inundated with Black Friday sales, to post them all would take many hours in and of itself! So instead, if your company is giving something away for free, then we'll post it. Not free with purchase, we're talking 100% free. And to start this off right, you can enjoy this holiday season with free high-resolution music courtesy of Linn! As a special gift, Linn is giving away a different, free 24-bit Studio Master track every day in December until December 25th. Explore and expand your musical tastes with a host of award-winning recordings from a variety of genres and musicians, including well-known favorites! Each day Linn will post an exciting new video letting you discover the story behind every song. But they know that no-one likes waiting, so in the spirit of the holidays, here's a taste of what's to come – enjoy Dougie MacLean's classic 'Caledonia' performed with the award-winning Royal Scottish National Orchestra. Don't forget to check Linn each day to download a new track for free starting December 1!

 

11 / 24 / 14

TAVES Consumer Electronics Show 2014 Report
NEW: TAVES Consumer Electronics Show 2014 Report
Rick Becker's part 5; with one more update coming soon!

 

NEW: Skoffin' Up Food For Thought
The Whole Experience
Roger Skoff writes about music.
Article By Roger Skoff

 

Ortofon 2M Mono SE MM Phono Cartridge Review
NEW: Ortofon 2M Mono SE MM Phono Cartridge
The future is mono!
Review By Clive Meakins

 

 

 
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