High-End Audio Industry News
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03 / 28 / 13
Enjoy the Music.com's 15th annual Salon Son & Image 2013 show report is now online! Salon Son & Image 2013 was held at the Montreal Hilton Bonaventure in the heart of downtown Montreal from March 22nd through the 24th. March 21st was a special day reserved for the industry trade only. Exhibitors included manufacturers, distributors, retailers and craftsmen from the electronics industry. Nearly 6000 visitors to this event come from Canada and the USA every yea. Attendees had access to a wide range of high-end products plus expert information. During the three days of the Salon event were a variety of seminars and discussions. See part 1 of Rick Becker's Salon Son & Image 2013 report at this link.
03 / 27 / 13
Enjoy the Music.com just posted ALMA Winter Symposium 2013 event coverage. The ALMA (Association of Loudspeaker Manufacturing & Acoustics International) is a 51-year-old not-for-profit trade association dedicated to the design, test and manufacture of speakers. ALMA's annual Winter Symposium, held in Las Vegas, comprises seminars, papers, tutorials and a small exhibit area where finished speakers, speaker parts and materials, design and test tools were on display. ALMA offers high-quality program material and access to leading engineers in the audio business. See our ALMA Winter Symposium 2013 report by clicking here.
M2Tech has introduces their new32-bit/384kHz hiFace DAC. This USB unit handles decoding digital files on your computer and outputs them via analog headphone jack on the opposite end of the unit. The hiFace DAC is virtually future-proof thanks to its wide range of allowable sampling rates and resolutions. Its USB interface is asynchronous USB 2.0 Audio Class compatible, so it can be coupled to Windows, Mac OS and Linux computers. Our windows driver allows for using the hiFace DAC with XP, Vista, W7 and W8 machines, while no driver is required to use it with 10.6.4, 10.7 and 10.8 machines, as well as recent Linux machines. M2Tech's hiFace 32/384 analog output is based on 3.5mm stereo jack socket and delivers 2Vrms to be coupled to preamplifiers and integrated amps line inputs, yet is also capable of driving a wide range of headphones. This unit is compatible with DS, KS, WASAPI, ASIO (Windows), Standard, Direct, Integer (Mac), and ALSA (Linux). Enjoy the Music.com has reviewed the MK1 M2Tech hiFace Evo USB To S/PDIF converter and the M2Tech hiFace 24-bit/192kHz USB DAC.
03 / 26 / 13
Coincident Speaker Technology, a multi-award earning company from Canada, has announced their new Turbo 845SE and Dynamo 34SE ($5499 and $999 respectively). The company feels there is a great need for a state-of-the-art stereo integrated single-ended triode amplifier, and thus the Turbo 845SE was born. It is constructed as true dual mono in every way as the only shared component between the two channels is the chassis. The Turbo has the convenience of remote control and having the linestage and stereo amplifier all in one chassis. Coincidence's Turbo has an enormous power supply and generates 28 watts per channel via 6EM7 tube for input and a 300B driver per channel. There are three stereo analog inputs, the unit has an SNR of 90dB, a frequency response from 20 Hz to 20 kHz and weighs in at a very substantial 100 lbs. The new Dynamo 34SE ($999, pictured) is for those on a budget yet still demand top flight sonics and build quality. This single-ended triode tube unit belies its 8 watt power rating. The design features EL34 output tubes, 6SL7 input/driver tube and 5U4 GB rectifier tube. The Coincident Dynamo 34SE is completely hard wired internally whilst the chassis is stainless steel mirror finish. Frequency response is from 20 Hz to 20 kHz with an SNR of 88dB. The unit weighs in at 22 lbs. See these new Coincident products at the upcoming New York Audio Show from April 12th through the 14th at room 905.
03 / 25 / 13
Morel's Octave line has been their class leader in the high performance mini monitor speaker category. Today, they have announced the new Octave 6 that takes this series to the next level. Following Morel's latest design principles, the Octave 6 has been transformed completely both visually and technically, thus elevating the status of the company's integrated floor-standing and bookshelf speakers. The new aesthetic for the Octave 6 is the embodiment of Morel's attention to detail and creativity as the new gently curved MDF cabinet architecture maintains key existing attributes but with an up-to-date modern look. It is painted and hand-polished with six layers of lacquer, to a high-gloss piano finish, and complemented by the near acoustically transparent and stylish Lotus grilles. The Octave 6 is void of internal damping materials. Through the course of exacting research, Morel found the solution to avoid a boxy sound: a new vertical baffle with acoustic apertures placed within the enclosure to break up standing waves. This allows the cabinet to vibrate along with the drivers output in a highly controlled manner, resulting in "a remarkably transparent speaker performance and natural open sound" says Morel. "The special transducers engineered for the Octave 6 are the heart and soul of the new series. Based on Morel's most advanced technology, the new mid-bass unit employs an oversized 3" aluminum voice coil over a titanium base, encapsulating our powerful Hybrid motor, while the tweeter features the company's renowned 1.1" Acuflex soft dome. Borrowed from our reference loudspeaker, the fat lady, the innovative crossover topology preserves the life and dynamics of the original sound like in a live performance" said Morel's Executive Vice President Oren Mordechai.
03 / 22 / 13
03 / 21 / 13
Enjoy the Music.com has just posted Hi-Fi World's May 2013 edition including the complete editorial and table of contents. This issue includes coverage of the Bristol show report with hot new products from the floor of the 2013 Sound & Vision event plus reviews of the Spendor SP100 R2 and Wharfedale Diamond 122 loudspeakers, Yamaha CD-N500 network CD player, Qed uPlay plus stereo Bluetooth, Tellurium Q Atom power amplifiers, Arcam A19 FMJ amplifier, Renaissance RA-01 amplifier... See the complete May table of contents and editorial of Hi-Fi World by clicking here.
Birch Acoustics is a new audio company hailing from the Heartland of the United States and was formed two years ago out of the desire for true state-of-the-art full range single driver speakers. After an intensive period of honing the acoustics and aesthetics, Birch Acoustics now offering their debut lineup. Birch speakers pair single cone drivers with hand made birch wood enclosures. Each enclosure's acoustical shape is designed through computer modeling and analysis to perfectly mate with its driver. This means no corrective crossover network is needed, allowing a direct connection from the amplifier to the voicecoil. Birch speakers are also unique in their ability to reproduce the entire frequency range in perfect time and phase. The effects from this are said to be a clear, natural tone with propulsive timing and a solid visual soundstage. The debut lineup from Birch Acoustics includes four new models. These models are built to accommodate a wide range of customers with varying levels of price, sensitivity, size, and technical acumen. Birch offers their products directly to customers online.
Music Industry News 10 Years Ago
03 / 20 / 13
German high-end company Audio Exklusiv new P 6.1 (16,990) is the successor of their P 6 S electrostatic loudspeaker. Due to a new coating procedure for the foils and modified construction, these new models have considerably tighter tolerances and greater reliability. In fact the transformer has been optimized as well for better sound quality. The results are smaller phase shifts and a frequency range that is extended for an additional octave downwards. Standard version for the loudspeaker is black acoustic tissue and black aluminum side elements. Of course other colors for the side elements are available on demand at extra charge. Also new from Audio Exklusiv is their P4 (7999) hybrid monoblock amplifier. The P4's Class A circuit produces a stable 90 wpc @ 4 Ohms. In the scope of the hybrid circuit they chose selected gold pin E88CC and as driver 6N6 tubes. The source-follower is built up by special transistors that are said to show tube-similar sound characteristics. Because of tonal reasons, according to the company, they abstained from overall negative feedback as well as from negative feedback in the transistor section. In addition to a complex power supply with a 500 watt transformer, there is an RC-filter as well as special hand-selected components. Standard design is a front panel in Granite Star Galaxy and knobs in gold. Other special designs are available on demand for an extra charge.
03 / 19 / 13
has announced a complete line of high performance loudspeakers engineered for both music and home theater
applications. The line will consist of eight models including the floorstanding Model T, Middle T and mini t along with a powered subwoofer called the T sub, two center channel offerings, an in-wall and an on-wall loudspeaker. Bryston's James Tanner has led the design initiative for the loudspeaker project, developing proprietary drivers, crossovers and enclosures while spearheading a rigorous testing regimen. The engineering team at Bryston has devoted countless hours to innovative driver design, enclosure vibration analysis, crossover refinement, anechoic chamber measurements, and blind listening tests. The first model to reach completion, the Bryston Model T, was subjected to over 200 separate anechoic measurements during the design phase to ensure the highest level of accuracy and refinement. Bryston's 52.5-inch tall three-way floorstanding Model T is available in three formats the standard speaker with an internal passive crossover network, the Signature model with an external passive network that utilizes custom-made components including air-core chokes and Bryston-proprietary film capacitors, and a flagship Active version that comes with a Bryston 24-bit digital electronic crossover (instead of a passive network) enabling tri-amplification of the system. All three versions of the Model T utilize three 8-inch woofers, two 5.25-inch midranges and two 1-inch titanium dome tweeters. Bryston's Middle T is a smaller floorstanding three-way loudspeaker utilizing two bass drivers, a midrange and a tweeter. The mini t is a smaller version of the Middle T using a single bass driver also in a three-way configuration. Both the TC1 and TC1 mini are three-way speakers providing center channel options of different sizes. The T Sub utilizes three 8-inch woofers powered by an internal 600-watt amplifier. Both architectural
models the T IW and the T OW are three-way sealed enclosure designs. Bryston loudspeakers come in three high-tech vinyl-wrapped standard
finishes including Black Ash, Natural Cherry, and Boston Cherry. Optional hardwood veneers and high gloss painted finishes available at additional cost.
03 / 18 / 13
The Milano Hi-Fidelity 2013 event by The Sound Of The Valve featured high-end audio equipment including tube amplification, reference speakers, LP/CD, streaming media and more. This event is organized by Mr. Stefano Zaini who also kindly found a way to provide Enjoy the Music.com with show coverage. This event took place March 2nd and 3rd at the Centro Congressi NH Hotels Milanofiori. Click here to see our Milano Hi-Fidelity by The Sound Of The Valve show coverage.
03 / 15 / 13
03 / 14 / 13
The Adam Audio is now shipping their new monitors named F5 and F7, and the subwoofer SubF. These high-quality studio monitors have a wide frequency range (52Hz to 50kHz on the F5, 44Hz to 50kHz on the F7) and comprehensive setting options. Both monitors are equipped with room EQs adjusting high frequencies (above 5kHz) and low frequencies (below 300Hz) plus a volume control. A highpass filter used together with a subwoofer, XLR, TRS and RCA input connectors complete the professional kit. Each monitor is driven by two amplifiers with 50W total power for the F5 and 100W for the F7, which allow both models to provide bass together with a high SPL performance with a maximum of 106dB for the F5 and 109dB for the F7 per pair. Both models use the Adam Audio X-ART 3" tweeter, with the F5 having a 5" mid/woofer and the F7 using a 7" mid/woofer driver. Enjoy the Music.com has reviewed the Adam Audio A7X powered monitor at this link.
AXPONA has send us a notice saying... "Reports are starting to flow on line and it's unanimous -- AXPONA Chicago was a Smashing Success. It was extremely gratifying to have exhibitors, writers and most of all attendees, approach us and declare that they were extremely grateful and pleased we brought AXPONA to Chicago. With what appears to be over 4000 attendees, and over 400 manufactures, it would seem like a very large show - but wait until 2014. We have a large waiting list of companies who came to check us out and I don't think one of them failed to sign up for next year. Of course those participating this year will be given priority placement and the survey we took on Sunday showed over 99% plan to return.
Thank You can't really express our feelings so please know we are truly indebted to everyone for their support of all the AXPONA shows. We will be contacting you in few months to arrange your room locations for next year. We will also have some important announcements about our 2014 partners and some exciting plans for future events to share with attendees and exhibitors alike.
Be Well, AXPONA"
03 / 13 / 13
The Chester Group's New York Audio Show 2013 will take place from April 12th through the 14th at The New York Palace hotel. Open to the public, this two-and-a-half-day event is organized by The Chester Group, an organizations known for producing successful high-end audio events worldwide. This event will feature more than 100 brands and 70 exhibitors, plus live musical performances and lively educational seminars with editors and publishers from several popular consumer electronics publications, along with industry luminaries. Classic Album Sundays will be hosting a room at this year's New York Audio Show plus respected recording engineers Darcy Proper and Jim Anderson will be in attendance. Enjoy the Music.com is official media partners with The Chester Group and our daily live coverage of The Chester Group's New York Audio Show 2013 will begin the first day of this event!
With only three months to go until Enjoy the Music.com's live report on T.H.E. Show Newport Beach, they are predicting another successful event and expecting to sell out of exhibit space early. Current booking is exceeding their 2012 figures, and exhibit space in the Hilton is already official sold out. Exhibit space is still available at the Atrium hotel, adjacent to the Hilton, but is filling up fast. More new and exciting events are planned for 2013 including two enormous ballrooms being added, with one dedicated to vinyl and the other to the burgeoning headphones industry. The vinyl exhibit booths will be coordinated with the help of Jim Kaplan of Record Collector magazine, which will bring in record dealers from all over Southern California. Michael Mercer of Enjoy The Music.com is helping to put together exhibits of the best in high-end headphones. Mercer joins Nicoll Public Relations to provide the industry's absolute epitomes of social networking, advertising, and promotions. Many live concerts are included with the entry fee and include Mike Garson, jazz legend and pianist for David Bowie, Tierney Sutton and six-time Grammy nominee Nnenna Freelon. T.H.E. Show Newport will be held at the Hilton Irvine and Atrium Hotels in Orange County, California, May 31st through June 2nd, 2013. Enjoy the Music.com is official media partners with T.H.E. Show Newport Beach 2013.
03 / 08 to 03 / 10
Enjoy the Music.com's live reporting on AXPONA 2013 is now online! The show is being held at the beautiful four Diamond rated Doubletree by Hilton at Chicago O'Hare from March 8th through 10th. AXPONA Audio Expo, now in their fifth year, offers demonstrations of home audio playback equipment and software replicating live music as accurately as possible to the public. Attendees have direct contact with designers and manufacturer-trained personnel while listening to the latest equipment available demonstrated throughout the venue. A variety of educational seminars will be conducted by leading authorities within the high-end audio field to greatly benefit attendees. Active displays means attendees can bring their own music and listen to it on top quality audio systems. Come see Enjoy the Music.com's current and past three years of AXPONA show coverage by clicking here.
03 / 07 / 13
Boulder Amplifiers is now shipping their new 3060 ($115,000) Class A ultra-reference stereo amplifier. Weighing in at a hefty 450 lbs. and producing 900 wpc, the 3060 is the largest and most powerful stereo amplifier ever released by Boulder. All audio circuitry within the 3060 is linear Class A, primarily derived from Boulder's 3050 monoblock amplifier. Bias current is actively monitored and adjusted in order to increase efficiency and reduce wasted radiated heat energy. The 3060 utilizes 120 output devices to generate power output of 900 watts per channel into any load. The Boulder 3060 is capable of immense current swings, enabling the amplifier to drive any loudspeaker. Note that units will only be shipped operating at 240V AC mains feed (no 100V or 120V units will be produced) in order to guarantee full-rated power output. A complete array of protection and status monitoring circuits are continuously active. All metalwork is cut on Boulder's own CNC machining centers and features the distinctly modern, angled appearance unique to all 3000 Series products. A black granite and stainless steel platform is cut and polished to match the angled surfaces of the amplifier and is shipped with each 3060.
03 / 06 / 13
David Chesky's new album The New York Rags harks back to Scott Joplin's "The Entertainer," popularized by the 1973 Grammy-winning Paul Newman and Robert Redford film. Ragtime composers and pianists who followed in Joplin's wake Joseph Lamb and James Scott in the 1910s, Zez Confrey and Jelly Roll Morton in the 1920s built on Joplin's pianistic vocabulary while the Harlem stride pianists of the Roaring Twenties and 1930s like James P. Johnson, Fats Waller and Luckey Roberts introduced a new strain of ragtime that emphasized strong rhythms with the left hand rather than intricate melodies in the right hand. The 18 rags on this new album are suitably frantic and mostly uptempo, revealing David Chesky's considerable facility in the service of these New York themed tunes. The song cascading "Grand Central Morning" and "Times Square" both conjure up images those bustling public spaces in the heart of Midtown Manhattan while "Fifth Avenue" suggests a leisurely stroll down that famous strip. "Seventh Avenue" is more relaxed, harkening back, perhaps, to a more elegant time. (The title of each of the numbered rags "Fourth Street," "Third Avenue," "Fifth Avenue," and "Seventh Avenue" cleverly refers to the corresponding interval employed by Chesky. Recorded in Binaural+ with the B & K 4100 Head and Torso simulator, The New York Rags was recorded at the Hirsch Center, November 27th 2012, in Brooklyn, NY.
Award earning manufacturer Trends Audio has release their CQ-107 RCA splitter audiophile cable ($99 for 0.47 meter length). With the ability to take a normal stereo output and split it for bi-amp or other dual output uses, this new cable can aid in a variety of user configurations. Using Japan made analog interconnect cable and Trends 24K RCA plug, Trends CQ-107 RCA Splitter Audiophile Cable applied four solid core, silver plated, OFC conductors insulated with extruded FEP insulation. Each cable has a dual layer of shielding for RFI rejection and it is hand built and terminated with professional grade gold plated connectors. This cable is said to offer a very wide frequency response and superb bass response. The cable itself also has a Ferrite Ring Noise Filter to further ensure high quality signal pass-through.
03 / 05 / 13
Now available at Acoustic Sounds is the newly released Jimi Hendrix album People, Hell & Angels on 200 gram vinyl ($29.98). Jimi Hendrix's People, Hell & Angels features 12 previously unreleased Hendrix tracks recorded from 1968 through 1970. "To me, it's everything I want a recording to sound like" said Chad Kassem, Acoustic Sounds CEO. "I want to be able to play it loud and to feel it. And with headroom no noise. You don't want to turn it down. With this recording you can crank it up and not hurt your ears. You talk about a treat for the world! A newly-released Hendrix album 42 years after he died. These are not outtakes, demos or amateur concert recordings. This is a great recording of great music and will blow you away!" This album showcases Hendrix working outside of the original Hendrix Experience trio. These 12 recordings encompass a variety of unique sounds and styles using many of the elements Hendrix toys with horns, keyboards, percussion and second guitar that Jimi wanted to incorporate within his new music. People, Hell & Angels presents some of the finest Jimi Hendrix guitar work ever issued and provides a compelling window into his growth as a songwriter, musician and producer.
CA Electronics has just introduced their TS-1 Design Tablet Stand (99). This new stand provides a luxurious design and stable mounting for tablets and other such devices. The CA Electronics TS-1 Tablet stand is handmade in the Netherlands using the finest Bentley spec leather combined with ceramic material. This tablet stand is very well suited for every tablet on the market as it will rest in fine Nappa leather, thus enabling the users to adjust the viewing angle easily whilst it provides a stable base.
03 / 04 / 13
exaSound Audio Design just launched the e20 Mk II ($2499), which is their first high-end DAC capable of achieving DSD playback at a sampling rate of 11.2896 MHz (DSD 256). exaSound's DACs have the latest DSD 256 capability to stay ahead of current recording technology. This ensures that audiophiles will be enjoying studio master files the way they were recorded without down-sampling or down-conversion well into the future without equipment upgrades. In addition to offering the highest digital audio resolution, the e20 DAC has jitter, distortion and noise levels that are vanishing low, thus said to "create an astonishingly clean and analog-like sound". The unit also handles 384kHz/32-bit maximum PCM sampling rate and uses the ES9018 Sabre32 jitter-canceling reference DAC chip. There are 11 power filtering stages to minimize noise, jitter and channel crosstalk. Galvanic isolation between the USB subsystem and the DAC circuits eliminates noise caused by ground loops and blocks computer-originated interferences. The e20 MKII has a second generation headphone amplifier that is capable of driving virtually all headphones. The analog output of both unbalanced RCA and balanced XLR can be driven at the same time. There are Two S/PDIF inputs plus USB for digital input. Lastly, the e20 DAC can be programmed to work with most IR remote controls.
According to a recent study by Futuresource Consulting, home audio shipments are expected to exceed 56.2 million units worldwide. Shipments of home audio products remained stable throughout 2012, according to research from Futuresource Consulting. Although end-of-year numbers have yet to be finalized, shipments are expected to exceed 56.2 million units, with trade value expected to rise by 2% to exceed $6.7 billion, and continuing to increase throughout the forecast period to reach $7.2 billion in 2016. "As consumers continue to shift their audio behavior from physical media to digital files ripped from CDs, downloaded from services such as iTunes and increasingly access streamed music services, the market witnessed a step change in 2012," says Jack Wetherill, Senior Market Analyst at Futuresource Consulting. "As a result, consumer expenditure on subscription music services is forecast to grow by 36.9% from 2011 to 2016. In addition, such changes are driving demand for speaker systems that offer connectivity to portable devices and cloud-based services, rather than simple speaker dock solutions." While integrated audio system (IAS) shipments are expected to have fallen by 1% in 2012, AV receiver shipments will grow by 2% to over 4.1 million units. It is anticipated that North America will remain the largest market for home audio products in volume and value terms through 2016, accounting for 39% of worldwide demand in 2012, down by two percentage points on 2011.
Music Industry News 10 Years Ago
03 / 01 / 13
Enjoy the Music.com's March high-end audio Review Magazine is now online! We have three world premiere equipment reviews plus more gear covered, think pieces, special focus on David Chesky of HDtracks/Chesky Records and of course music reviews Go see our March Review Magazine right now by clicking here.
Audiolics Anonymous Chapter 161
Audiolics Anonymous Chapter 162
From Our First Year
See all the above and much more in the March Review Magazine by clicking here.
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For previous high-end audio industry news click here.