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03 / 31 / 21
Audio Research's Making The Music Glow
Book By Ken Kessler
is honored to partner with author Ken Kessler in releasing a book timed to the
company's 50th anniversary. Audio Research: Making the Music Glow ($150) describes the people behind the company, designing, manufacturing, fine-tuning, and marketing the audio amplification and source components that have been regarded perpetually as among the best in the industry. Celebrating their first half-century, Audio Research's book tells the story of a manufacturer that helped define high-end audio, with the sole purpose of elevating the sound quality of music in the home.
William Zane "Bill" Johnson established Audio Research in 1970, basing its products on what was then considered by many to be obsolete technology: vacuum tubes. Guided by his passion for music and quality listening with a refusal to fall victim to fashion and design trends of the times, Johnson was revolutionary in sound reproduction. With open access to the
company's archives, the participation of employees, and the support and insights of
Bill's wife, Nancy, Audio Research: Making the Music Glow is filled with rare images, curated reprints of period interviews, the definitive product listing, and a study of what the experts have determined to be the
company's 25 greatest achievements, augmented by fresh photography of each model. Within the pages are the stories of the
company's roots, its development, its evolution, and its tenacious hold on delivering industry standard in music
playback. You can buy
Making The Music Glow book by Ken Kessler from Audio Research's website.
Hi-Fi World's May 2021 Reviews & Think Pieces Hi-Fi
World's May 2021 issue features your chance to win Esprit Beta loudspeaker cables worth £580.. Reviews within this
issue include the Hart Vinyl Brush / Russ Andrews Stasis Super Clean Brush, ED A270 integrated amplifier, Ortofon Per Windfeld Ti MC cartridge, Soundeck Platter Mat, Focal Chora 806 loudspeakers, B&W 607 S2 Anniversary Edition bookshelf speakers, Topping e30 DAC, Moonriver Audio Model 404 integrated amplifier, Black Rhodium Quickstep S loudspeaker cables, L'Acoustics Creations Contour XO earbuds, and Focal Clear MG headphones.
Within his editorial, Noel Keywood says "Everyone, it seems, has the sound of an ideal loudspeaker in their head. That’s why there are so many loudspeaker manufacturers on this planet, each founded to deliver that elusive perfect sound. Ah – what simple
romance! It's easy enough to achieve. Buy some drive units, put them in a box of specified volume, knock up a crossover and get twiddling!
I've done it all in the past, with circular saw, sheets of MDF and a lot of necessary enthusiasm.
There's no end of design software available to match bass unit to cabinet and design a suitable crossover."
See what's within this issue of Hi-Fi World
at this link.
Hi-Fi+ April 2021 High-End
Audio Magazine Hi-Fi+'s April 2021 issue
features reviews of the CH Precision L10/M10 line-level preamplifier & stereo power amplifier, Copland CSA-150 hybrid integrated amplifier, Monitor Audio Bronze 200 floorstanding loudspeaker, Melco S100 audiophile network switch, Accuphase DP-570 CD/SACD player, Leben CS 300F integrated amplifier, Innuos Phoenixnet audiophile network switch, Norma Audio Revo IPA-140 integrated amplifier, Audel Milika MK2 floorstanding loudspeaker, Network Acoustics Eno Ag / Streaming Cable Ag audiophile network filter and Ethernet cable, CrystalConnect By Crystal Cable MonetT audio cable system, RSX Technologies Prime
power cord, Shunyata Research Omega QR-S/DF-SS power cord & cable isolation system, and Espirit Audio GAIA interconnects and loudspeaker cables.
Within this month's editorial, Alan Sircom says,
"It was 30 years ago today that I walked into the Bristol Sound and Vision show, wearing for the first time a badge proclaiming that I was a reviewer. I had recently moved from working for a London audio retailer to writing for a then-new magazine. I've only missed two Bristol Shows since that day in 1991; one a few years ago due to illness, and this one that 'The Illness' cancelled. Hopefully, by the time we go back to the Bristol Show once again in 2022, the Marriott team will have cleaned the damn building and fixed the damn elevators!"
what's within this issue of Hi-Fi+
magazine at this
03 / 30 / 21
Deezer Follows Spotify With 1980's CD Quality Music Streaming
Deezer announced that 1980's compact disc (CD) quality is a bigger part of their Family package for just $19.99. According to Deezer, "Your whole family deserves the supreme music experience. Today
Deezer's new dedicated Family HiFi tier launches worldwide. If you're one of
Deezer's HiFi users, you can instantly upgrade to 'Family HiFi' and get up to six profiles for just $19.99. The new offering costs just $5 more than a regular HiFi subscription, which means that you pay only $1 for each additional profile. Deezer will also open Family
HiFi to new subscribers for the same price later this year."
While music streaming services Qobuz and others have
embraced modern 2000s technology with 24-bit/88.1kHz or higher true lossless music streaming, Spotify and Deezer and still stuck maxing out at 1980's
technology with lower quality CD 16-bit/44.1kHz music. The good news with Deezer is there are no
annoying ads and you get access to access to 70 million tracks plus a way to filer
kids' access with parental controls. Another plus is unlimited skips and offline listening / downloads in CD quality using the widely-accepted, and playable on virtually all devices sold today worldwide, FLAC
file format. There's also curated recommendations, smart mixes and editorial playlists, including your own Family Mix. Of note is you'll also get access to '360 by Deezer' app with tracks in Sony's
new 360 Reality Audio format.
03 / 29 / 21
Tacet Real Surround Sound Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Symphonies
Recording label Tacet, with their innovative 'Real Surround Sound', has released their
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Symphonies KV 551 and 543 by the Netherlands Chamber Orchestra (0259-4 SACD, €21.47 plus VAT). Featuring Gordan Nikolić on violin, this album has two devilishly good performances, which "centuries after their creation they still knock people who have an antenna for it off their feet," says Tacet. "The way he quasi throws down the last movement of the Jupiter symphony like a gauntlet at the feet of his contemporaries is inimitable. Unfortunately, you can't see it on this SACD when the bassoons and cellos laugh up their sleeves, but you can hear it all the better. What contrasts!"
Tacet continues by saying, "After the bright beginning with timpani and trumpets, the second movement comes from a completely different world. "Con sordino", seductively and gently Gordan Nikolic and the girls and guys of the Netherlands Chamber Orchestra caress the ears. And so it goes on and on. Same with the E flat major symphony. Yes, but aren't there already many wonderful recordings of these works? Yes there are. But as is the case with Mozart, the most famous interpreters can fail and the least known can hit the mark. Decide yourself. Also with sound there is always headroom upwards just as on the Richter scale, upwardly open. Speaking of sound, during the recording the orchestra sat in a circle around Mozart, similar to the other symphonies in this series. Native TACET Real Surround Sound. Sit down with him, right in the middle!"
03 / 26 / 21
Celebrate The Wonderful ~17 Years
Of The RMAF Enjoy the Music.com invites you to celebrate the
truly wonderful ~17 years of reporting on the RMAF (Rocky Mountain International
Audio Fest) event in Denver. Their upcoming 17th annual show is the most innovative consumer audio and home entertainment
industry-operated show within the United States of America. Attendees are encouraged to go from room-to-room, interact with salespeople and engineers, have a seat and casually listen. Many bring their own iPods, discs or vinyl records, as most exhibitors are happy to play one or two favorite songs as a demonstration of sound quality. A variety of equipment is demonstrated, ranging from affordable audio systems to ultra-expensive high-end gear. RMAF also features live entertainment, informative seminars, equipment show specials, and prize drawings throughout the weekend.
RMAF also records their seminars filled with valuable info not to be missed,
which you can watch right now within our show reports. We look forward to seeing you at RMAF 2021 at the Gaylord Rockies Resort & Convention Center from
October 8th through 10th.
You Can Meet Grammy Winner Niles Rogers
Imagine music lovers being able to meet their idols, or ask them questions and interact freely when you have time. The Forever Project creates one-to-one digital encounters between A-List people and the people who love them. These are in-depth question and answer sessions, using digital projections of real public figures. The Forever Project integrates a range of new technologies, enabling major public figures to answer questions put directly to them by their fans, in real time, from a rich set of pre-filmed
replies. Here In The Room is offering multi-Grammy winning musician Niles Rogers for a one-on-one
This is a voice driven experience, designed to enable you to ask questions directly to music legend Nile Rodgers. Once you have entered the experience, you can press the speak button and ask Nile a question. If the answer was recorded from the five hours of content we filmed with him, the system will play that answer or will get as close as it can. If an answer wasn't recorded, Nile will let you know and suggest you ask a different question. If you can't think of what to ask, just open up the suggestion questions option and you'll have a selection of three to choose from - invaluable for those harder to find
gems! You can access the experience on your computer or mobile devices as they
have also developed a virtual reality 3D experience too!
03 / 25 / 21
Schiit Hel 2 PC/Console/Gaming DAC And Headamp
Schiit's new Hel 2 ($199) is an excellent value-oriented Hi-Res DAC and headphone amplifier for your PC, gaming console, etc. Simply plug the Hel 2 in to any PC, Mac, PS4, PS5, or Switch, and
you'll get excellent sound quality that Schiit is known for. The high-quality headphone audio amplifier is combined with a podcast-quality microphone input, which means you're listeners can hear every detail
plus you sound great too! Hel 2 ups the sound quality of your typical office computer system with the aid of 24-bit AKM analog-to-digital conversion, and
you'll enjoy headphone audio with much higher power and lower distortion than virtually any PC.
Hel 2 is also an amazing DAC/amplifier, with incredible flexibility. The high-end AK4490 digital-to-analog converter delivers exceptional sound. Connect to your computer via USB, your TV via optical, and create an entire system with powerful headphone output and versatile preamp output for powered monitors or external speaker amplifiers. The AKM AK4490 D/A converter is coupled with an Alps RK09 potentiometer, high-quality filter and amplification stages from Texas Instruments, a sophisticated bipolar +/-12V supply, and precision thin-film resistors and film capacitors. This unit is designed and built in California and includes a two-year warranty.
Qobuz Lossless 24-bit Streaming Available On Sonos
One of the most long-awaited features for Sonos has become a reality as Qobuz, the music lovers' true lossless Hi-Res Music streaming and download provider, is the first provider to deliver lossless 24-bit/48kHz
higher-res music streaming on Sonos. Qobuz customers will be able to listen to
slightly better than the 19080's 'lossless' CD music on their newer Sonos
speakers. We agree it is better than lossy mp3 as you'll enjoy more details and color of original recordings
with the ease of simply pressing play within the Sonos app. Available with the Sonos S2 app, this new integration is one of Qobuz's broadest expansions of Hi-Res streaming support to date.
In 2013, Qobuz became the first music service to offer 16-bit FLAC streaming on Sonos.
They are continuing to expand access to higher-resolution streaming on Sonos by introducing 24-bit
music via the longstanding industry standard lossless FLAC file type, so there's
no need to deal with any lossy proprietary codec(s). Qobuz' 24-bit files are compatible with most products
within Sonos' S2 platform. This new integration builds on Qobuz's continued expansion of hardware partnerships, including the addition of Hi-Res compatible hardware on the Android platform several years ago. Qobuz 24-bit Hi-Res
FLAC streaming is available on Sonos in Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland, United Kingdom, and the United
States of America.
03 / 23 / 21
64 Audio Launches U18s 18-Driver In-Ear Monitor (IEM)
64 Audio is proud to announce the launch of their U18s ($2,999) audiophile-grade universal fit 18-driver in-ear monitor (IEM). The U18s includes 18 precision-balanced armature drivers per earpiece, and is handcrafted in the USA from aerospace-grade aluminum billet. CNC milled, hand blasted, fly cut, and twice anodized... the result is "a striking fractal design that is inspired by nature itself" says the company. Driver configuration is one
TIA high, one high-mid, eight midrange, and eight low-frequency units. Frequency response is from 10Hz to 20kHz with a sensitivity of 106dB/mW @ 1mW. Impedance is 8 Ohms nominal and isolation is a good -10dB with mX module, better -15dB with m15 module, and excellent -20dB with m20 module.
03 / 22 / 21
Zylia Streaming Application For MacOS
Zylia has announced their new streaming application for MacOS that empowers musicians and recordists a solution for easily setting-up live streaming of your music performance in the Ambisonics format. The core of this application is Zylia Ambisonics Converter that converts the ZM-1 multi-channel recordings into Higher Order Ambisonics (HOA). With this tool, you can stream your audio content directly in HOA format (1st, 2nd, and 3rd order) or Binaural format by using an additional binauralization
plug-in. This new plug-in is easily configured with streaming software like OBS (Open Broadcaster Software) that allows combining your audio stream with a video stream and transmitting directly to most of the well-known multimedia platforms (e.g. YouTube, Facebook, Twitch, etc.). In addition to this application, Zylia provides the beta OBS plug-in, which is able to get direct output from Zylia streaming application without using any virtual sound card. With its' software-based adjustment of Zylia ZM-1 microphone position, you can take advantage of multi-channel immersive HOA or two-channel binaural output mode.
03 / 19 / 21
Celebrate Nearly 20 Years Of The
HIGH END Show
We invite you to celebrate Enjoy the Music.com's nearly
20 years of reporting on the High End Society's event in Germany. As perhaps
high-end audio's very first dedicated online web site to report on HIGH END,
which years ago was in Frankfurt at the beautiful Kempinski Hotel, this event
now takes place at the MOC within Munich. Their success shines through as during
HIGH END 2021 the High End Society have
added an International Parts + Supply Event. Furthermore, the High End Society
just announced they're adding a very special ALTI Automotive Audio Conference.
This brings home audio, personal audio, mobile sound, and the parts that make it
all happen within a must-see event! Once again, let's celebrate HIGH END as you
can see their industry-leading events for the past two decades! Come re-live the
immense history of the most important annual audiophile event in the world. Enjoy the Music.com
looks forward to seeing you at HIGH END 2021 in Munich at the MOC.
SVS Announces 3000 Micro Active /
SVS' just launched their 3000 Micro reference subwoofer ($799.99),
which is said to produce "chest-pounding, musical bass with accuracy and depth from a shockingly compact
10-inch cabinet that fits anywhere." Benefiting from SVS' many years of innovation
in producing award-winning active subwoofers, this compact 10-inch cabinet features dual opposing 8-inch SVS drivers that output in opposite directions. As for the 8-inch drivers, a progressive inverted surround allows for maximum excursion and is critical to moving massive amounts of air and generating sound pressure levels you can feel at the deepest frequencies down to 23Hz.
SVS' Sledge STA-800D2 amplifier with discrete MOSFET output combines the high-current output of MOSFET transistors with Class D efficiency to produce 800 Watts
(2500+ Watts peak power).
Specialized 50 MHz Analog Devices Audio DSP with 56-bit filtering ensures ample processing
power for the many features available via app control. Many convenient controls and custom presets
are easy to use via SVS' Subwoofer DSP smartphone app available for Apple, Android, and Amazon devices. The SVS subwoofer app is the most convenient way to control volume, access multiple DSP functions and program custom presets for one-touch tuning optimized for music, movies, gaming, and more. You can also adjust crossover frequencies, a three-band parametric EQ, polarity, room gain and more. Frequency response
for the SVS 3000 Micro subwoofer is from 23Hz to 240Hz (+/-3dB) and the cabinet's overall
dimensions are 10.9" x 11.7" x 10.7" (HxWxD). Enjoy the Music.com has reviewed
the SB-2000 active subwoofer and we reviewed the SVS SB16-Ultra subwoofer.
03 / 18 / 21
HIGH END 2021 Exhibitor Space Sold Out
This just in from the HIGH END Society: "The organizer of the event, the HIGH END SOCIETY Service GmbH, is pleased to announce that the
HIGH END 2021 is now fully booked, even before the registration deadline at the end of March! After more than a year without events, this is sure to be music to the ears of exhibitors, trade visitors, consumers, media representatives and, of course, everyone involved in the success of the trade show during both the planning and implementation stages. The constant high demand for the sought-after exhibitor areas in the halls and atriums of the MOC Event Center in Munich clearly shows how keen the industry is to finally showcase its high-quality products to a live audience again after being starved of the opportunity for months due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
From September 9 to 12, 2021, the 39th HIGH END trade show in Munich will yet again shine the spotlight on excellent music reproduction, inspiring listening enjoyment and exquisite audio technology. For many years, the HIGH END has been providing both the big players in the industry and smaller owner-managed companies with their ideal presentation platform as the
world's leading audio trade show. It is the perfect place to establish business relationships, expand networks and exchange ideas and experiences with other industry experts. After trade shows all over the world were brought to a standstill by the pandemic, the international audio show now wants to further develop its high significance for the B2B area.
"The second trade visitor day has attracted a consistently positive response", reports Stefan
Dreischärf, Managing Director of HIGH END SOCIETY Service GmbH. You can read
more within Enjoy the Music.com's HIGH
END 2021 show report page.
Oracle Delphi MK V Turntable
With Van den Hul's Grasshopper MC Phono Cartridge Fun with analog audio! Review
By Steven R. Rochlin The Led Zeppelin phrase
"Does anyone remember laughter" comes to mind, as have been through
what may be the normal evolution within high-end audio. For me, first came the revelation of
how great music can sound within the home. Blame it on my dad, as he
loved the stuff! This was when your local camera shop had a small audio store in the
back. Call it the early 1960s, or so he tells me, and between loving Leica
cameras and tube audio dad was a early day photography geek. He also loved
music. Fast forward to my personal explorations in my late
teens, where mixing and
matching brought about gains in my enjoyment of music. Sure there were
setbacks, equipment would sometimes break, and my dwindling bank account
would suffer accordingly. Discoveries in tweaks, room tuning devices, and
help from my local dealer further improved my music reproduction system.
Alas, after about a decade came burn out. ---> Oracle Delphi MK V
turntable review with Van den Hul's Grasshopper MC Phono cartridge.
03 / 17 / 21
HiBy Crystal 6 Flagship Multi-BA In-Ear Monitor (IEM)
HiBy's Crystal 6 ($399 introductory price) has a four-way crossover feeding four independent acoustic tubes. Both the electrical and acoustic crossovers are customized to each driver unit to presents ultra-low multi-driver distortion in the output along with accurate imaging and tonality. Premium 6BA configuration on each side help produce a frequency response from 5Hz to 60kHz with a sensitivity of 107dB/mW as it presents a 14 Ohm impedance. The shell material is epoxy interior with German Nice-Fit UV cured enamel exterior. Dyed wooden faceplates with a unique texture appear on each and every unit for visual beauty.
HiBy has equipped the audio circuitry inside the Crystal 6 earpieces with imported Panasonic thin-film capacitors and dual-layered immersive gold-plated PCB. "These highly-technical components allow the pair to achieve smooth sound clarity with reduced transmission signal loss" says the company. Six balanced armature drivers features Knowles 22955 low-frequency driver, two custom-tuned 1006 BA units for mid-frequencies, one custom-tuned 30098, and two custom-tuned 31735 BA units for treble frequencies.
03 / 16 / 21
HIFICRITIC's Latest Issue Features
Reviews & More HIFICRITIC's
latest issue features Linn's MD, Stan pays tribute to his contemporary Tim de Paravicini, Finkteam's KIM Borg floorstander, Norma Audio SC-2 LN/PA 150 pre/amp combo, plus a tale of two phono stages. Other reviews include Avalon Saga
hand-built speakers, Chord Company takes on Naim at its own game with replacement Burndy power
cables, Sennheiser HD820 closed back stereo
headphones, Neat Acoustics Orkestra speakers, iFi Audio Neo iDSD, Argento Audio Flow cables, Fyne Audio F703 floorstanders, plus a special vibration shakedown with Keith Howard taking an
in-depth look experimenting and dispelling the odd myth of isolation devices. There's also
a CH Precision postscript
review, Meitner's impressive MA1 v2 DAC, Graham Audio LS5/9f speakers, plus the latest classical, vinyl, jazz, etc music releases.
Within his editorial, Martin Colloms says, "It may seem unreal – even irrelevant – to carry on writing about an expensive hobby in these still-troubled times, but we maintain our commitment to subscribers: to inform, question entertain and to analyse developments in high quality sound
reproduction. Manufacturers and suppliers have again stepped up with review samples, and audio dealers are finding ways to answer requests from customers, including sale or return home demonstration deals. Product is left on the doorstep avoiding contact, and similarly collected by appointment. In the case of a recent delivery of loudspeakers, once in the hallway they were left for a day or two before unpacking. Another family member helped get them up to the listening studio.
See what's within this issue of HIFICRITIC at this
03 / 15 / 21
Acoustic Preference Virtuoso LE Loudspeaker
Acoustic Preference has announced their very special Virtuoso
LE 20th (€16,990 plus shipping and VAT / customs) anniversary Limited Edition floorstanding loudspeaker for 2021. With only 20 pairs being offered, they feature double-cabinet design, which is given a timeless final look by selected types of wood veneers of greater thickness and their highest quality workmanship. Achieving a practically non-resonant cabinet was separated in two frequency depended housings. The bass section is additionally decoupled from the upper housing by anti-vibration spacers from the upper housing. Each section has its own crossover, integrated at the back via loudspeaker terminals.
Acoustic Preference's Virtuoso LE has a diffused bass reflex opening vertically towards the ground (down firing), so there are less problems with the placement of the speakers within your listening room. For the 180mm bass and 150mm midrange driver / section, they used custom-made units from the manufacturer Audio Technology, and
ScanSpeak 26mm Beryllium for tweeters. Their crossover is tuned to the company's custom-made speaker drivers created from Mundorf highest grade audio parts that benefit from point-to-point construction with pure OFC Jantzen internal wiring. This three-way speaker has a frequency response from 35Hz to 40kHz, has a sensitivity of 92dB/W/m at 6 Ohms, and weighs
approximately 120 lbs each.
03 / 12 / 21
audioXpress' April 2021 Issue
Is Now Available audioXpress' April 2021 issue features measuring vibration with piezoelectric sensors (part 1), the science and physics of high-end mic-preamp design (part 3), an old-fashioned tube amp and multilevel Class-D hybrid DIY bass guitar amplifier project, one traditional way to increase loudspeaker directionality, and improving the input noise model for a high output current dual headphone driver.
Focusing on wireless earbuds there's true wireless earbuds evolving toward hearables plus an article about the evolution of true wireless stereo.
Within his editorial, J. Martins says,
"This edition of audioXpress offers a glimpse into an extremely important transition that
is currently pushing the entire audio industry forward. In two complementary Market Update
articles, we've tried to cover the technology and development platforms for true wireless
stereo (TWS) earbuds and hearables, as well as exploring examples in voice recognition and
transcription (voice-to-text) and voice communication. There are multiple product and market segments for these emerging technologies and that is why we devoted two Market Update features, even if the underlying technologies are
converging. We are extremely honored to have two exceptional contributed articles from two relatively new technology companies in the voice and DSP space, addressing these emerging technologies and diversity of applications."
See what's within this issue of audioXpress.
RMAF Show 2021 From October 8th Through 10th
This just in from Marjorie Baumert and Marcie Miller: "RMAF will open
exhibitor registration on Monday, March 15 (2021) and begin assigning proprietary rooms. As you may remember, those exhibitors who participated in RMAF 2019 will have the first opportunity to claim their same rooms or request a change. Beginning on Monday, April
12, exhibitors who are new to RMAF and those who are returning after a hiatus will be able to reserve any rooms not yet claimed by 2019 exhibitors."
"Because of the uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 information and mandates, we are not accepting payments for exhibit space until May
17. This will give us all time to feel confident in moving forward. Your signed contract will hold your space in the absence of cold hard cash. You know us
– if we are forced to cancel, our policy is to refund money collected so you can get on with life. It's not quite the same as "putting the fun back in refund," but it's the best we can do under the circumstances! Thanks for your friendship and support! We look forward to seeing you in October! Meanwhile, stay safe!"
The UK Audio Show 2021 On October 9th And 10th
The Chester Group has announced that their UK Audio Show, to be held on October 9th and 10th, has sold 75% of
available exhibition space. This event will feature the latest high-end audio gear with over 60 exhibition suites and syndicates. There are two consecutive levels, no long tedious walks as attendees enjoy wide corridors, lounge and Coffee areas, plus more. Fast 1 GB Wi-Fi is available throughout the hotel venue. held at the De Vere Staverton Estate in Northants, there's 150 acres of countryside and a PGA Golf course, plus indoor pool and gymnasium. All visitors receive complimentary admission via online registration. Complimentary tea / coffee will be available for all
The New York Audio Show 2021 In December
Chester Group's The New York Audio Show 2021 has a new venue and a date late enough to ensure the greatest chance of success for everyone. Rescheduled to December 3rd and 4th, this event is open to the public and dealers alike. The AMA New York Conference Center is the biggest of its kind in the City and is located within Times Square (adjacent to the Crowne Plaza Hotel). Complimentary beverages for exhibitors and there's executive seating for visitors in each room. Planned are a mixture of over 40 exhibition suites / syndicates and booths.
03 / 10 / 21
Hi-Fi World's April 2021 Reviews & Think Pieces Hi-Fi
World's April 2021 issue features your chance to win a iPhono3 Black Label phonostage worth
£999! Reviews within this
issue include the Wharfedale Diamond 12.1 loudspeakers, Audiovector QR1 loudspeakers, Earmen TR-Amp DAC / headamp, KJF Audio SA-01 stereo power amplifier, Russ Andrews Tiptonic Stylus Cleaner / Record Groove Cleaner Brush, Black Rhodium Stream A Mains Cable, Chord Company Shawline Streaming / & USB Cable, Atlas Element Achromatic RCA cables, Technics SL-7 linear-tracking turntable, Ortofon 2m Black LVB 250 MM cartridge, Pro-Ject RPM 9 Carbon turntable, and Grado Hemp stereo headphones.
Within his editorial, Noel Keywood says "It's super green and super clean. A massively powerful amplifier that you can lift with one hand, consumes little power, does not run hot and represents cutting edge audio technology. The SA-01 reviewed on p22 is difficult to believe, it is so far away from the norm and so apparently the future of audio amplification. At a cost of just £588 in the form we reviewed. If the UK was part of the EU and they got serious about trying to curb inefficient audio then valve amplifiers would be legislated against and we would all be left using amplifiers like the SA-01."
See what's within this issue of Hi-Fi World
at this link.
03 / 09 / 21
Nordost Valhalla 2 High-End Ethernet Cable
Nordost's new Valhalla 2 Ethernet cable answers the major transformation over the past decade as streaming true lossless high-resolution music is becoming the norm for many music lovers globally. Systems that were once driven exclusively by legacy vinyl and 1980's technology CDs are now largely run by content stored on modern NAS drives and music servers. Nordost says, "it is necessary to employ an Ethernet cable worthy of facilitating that transfer. Nordost's Valhalla 2 Ethernet Cable allows music lovers to fully incorporate digital music storage and streaming into their reference audio systems, while maintaining, and even improving upon, their musical performance."
In order to meet the increasing demand for high speed data and increased bandwidth, Nordost's Valhalla 2 Ethernet cable has the advantage of eight 23 AWG solid-core conductors wrapped within a high density polymer insulation. These annealed conductors are arranged into four twisted pairs before being triple-shielded. Each of these design aspects minimizes skin effect, eliminates crosstalk and EMI (electromagnetic interference), and ensures a high performance network cable, offering far more bandwidth than is needed for the typical data demands of today. By meticulously cutting each conductor at calculated and equal lengths, Nordost reduces internal microphony and high frequency resonance. To complete this reference design, the Valhalla 2 Cable is terminated with a completely specialized, gold-plated 8P8C / RJ45 connector, designed to resist ESD (electrostatic discharge) and optimized for mechanical reliability.
Hi-Fi+ March 2021 High-End
Audio Magazine Hi-Fi+'s March
2021 issue has a special competition where you win Kuzma's Damping Feet worth £600.
Meet your maker introduces you to Mads Kilfoth of Audiovector and meet your dealer
features Greg Chapman of VAL Hi-Fi. Reviews within this issue include the AURALiC Aries G2.1
network streamer, VPI Avenger turntable, Audio Analogue AAdrive / AAdac CD transport / DAC, Acoustic Energy AE520 floorstanding loudspeaker, RCM Audio theRIAA MKII phono stage, Neat Acoustics Orkestra floorstanding loudspeaker, Novafidelity N25 network streamer, Gryphon Audio Designs Standart equipment support system, T+A Solitaire P-SE open-back headphones, Degritter Ultrasonic record cleaning machine, Gutwire
Chime3 Absolute Edition loudspeaker cable, Atlas Element Achromatic interconnect cable, and Tellurium Q Silver / Silver Diamond power cords.
Within this month's editorial, Alan Sircom says,
"Hi-Fi+ was saddened to learn of the passing of Tim de
Paravicini, who died on December 17, 2020 following a months-long battle with liver cancer.
'The Baron' as he was known, was an electronics designer of great note; his EAR / Yoshino product line was commonly considered to be among the finest truly modern valve audio electronics made, his rebuilds of classic tape machines were internationally respected by studio and enthusiast alike, and he was also the brains behind masterpieces like the Musical Fidelity
A1. An engineer's engineer, Tim seemed to have an innate understanding of – and an opinion on – how things work, irrespective of whether it was an aircraft aileron, a F1 engine, a suspension bridge or a preamplifier. Tim was also one of that all-too-rapidly disappearing breed of polymath eccentrics who settled on – and in no small part enriched – the wider world of
what's within this issue of Hi-Fi+
magazine at this
03 / 05 / 21
Qualcomm Snapdragon Sound Premium
Experience / Aqstic Technology
Qualcomm Technologies has just announced their Snapdragon Sound premium experience, as this
technology seeks to bring together the very best audio, connectivity, and mobile innovations. This new efforts will deliver high-resolution music, crystal-clear voice calls, and lag-free gaming with superior connectivity and extended battery life. Their end-to-end audio system supports premium sound every step of the way, from the mobile device to the wireless earbuds and headphones. Snapdragon Sound is designed to deliver true lossless high-resolution studio master quality 24-bit/96kHz via Bluetooth music that streams straight from your phone. Their Aqstic technology means you can play your music "extra loud without damaging the speaker on your phone" says the
company. Snapdragon Sound is designed to deliver super wideband 32kHz voice quality for richer, clearer calls with greater intelligibility than standard Bluetooth. Snapdragon Sound utilizes aptX Voice to help significantly improve the sound quality when using Bluetooth accessories to make voice calls.
Get virtually glitch-free, premium audio even in the most congested RF environments. Snapdragon Sound is optimized to work across your devices and is designed to deliver a robust connection with minimal drop-outs or audio glitching, whether
you're at home, at work, or on the go, in environments where there could be interference from many other devices.
(TM by Steven R. Rochlin), gamers, and legacy stereo / mono music
lovers can experience a fully synchronized audio experience with the action you see on the screen. Snapdragon Sound delivers ultra-low latency of just 89 milliseconds so
there's very little lag time between the source and output device. With music lovers
benefiting from Qualcomm Aqstic technology, this can support reproduction of the original audio that is designed to support true audiophile formats up to 32-bit/384kHz.
03 / 04 / 21
Square, Inc. Buys Majority Of Tidal For
The Tidal streaming music platform that seemed to need extra
oomph power to gain traction years ago has sold a majority stake to Square, Inc. for only $297M. Years ago what appeared to be a struggling music streaming service decided to take a play right out of Jimmy Iovine's Beats $3.2 billion sale to Apple
playbook by giving part ownership to artists. For Tidal, they gave a stake to Alicia Keys, Arcade Fire's Win Butler / Regine Chassagne, Beyoncé, Calvin Harris, Coldplay's Chris Martin,
Daft Punk, Damian Marley, deadmau5, Indochine, J. Cole, Jack White, Jason Aldean, Kanye West, Lil Wayne, Madonna, Nicki Minaj, Rihanna,
T.I., and Usher. Of course Shawn 'Jay-Z' Carter was a major stakeholder in Tidal
before this sale and he will have a position on the board with Square, Inc. We look forward to Square's
refreshingly new and innovative ideas while also working with artists to deliver
far pay for play. San Francisco-based Square, Inc's CEO Jack Dorsey said, "It comes down to one simple idea: finding new ways for artists to support their work."
Update About The Pacific Audio
This just in from PAF's Lou Hinkley: Covid has obviously thrown more wrenches into the audio show schedule. Considering the constantly changing dates of some shows this year we want to assure everyone that if we cannot safely hold the Pacific Audio Fest on our scheduled dates (July
30 -- Aug. 1 2021) then we will simply refund all deposits and plan on similar dates for 2022. We will not change our dates in 2021 because doing so would intrude on the long established show dates of RMAF and Capitol Audio Fest, and our belief and policy is that we are all in this together.
Our firm policy is 100% refunds in case of a Covid
cancellation and vendors will have first right of refusal in 2022 on the rooms they reserved. We strongly feel this is the only way to deal responsibly with everybody in the audio community.
At this time it looks like we will have a good shot at holding the show as planned, we will make an announcement around May 1 to confirm the situation. That should give everyone enough time to adjust their plans if need be. Lets hope that the progress of the last month continues and we can get close to normal, or the new normal, by the end of July. Thanks to everyone who has been so supportive, the Pacific Audio Fest will be a great and fun show for everybody.
Update About AXPONA 2021 Date
This just in from Liz Miller with AXPONA: We miss seeing you in person and are optimistic we can all gather again this year. Our team is closely monitoring the vaccine rollout, international travel rules, and state and local government regulations for holding indoor events in 2021. Based on this holistic perspective, and given that the summer months remain unpredictable, we have decided to take advantage of an opportunity to move AXPONA two months later from August 27 – 29 to October 29 – 31, 2021.
Our sole priority is to hold AXPONA safely in 2021. There is an increasing concern among event organizers that large indoor events may not be safely held until the fall months of 2021. Based on this concern, the August dates are on the cusp of when many people may feel safe attending large shows. So, when late October dates were recently offered to us, we chose to increase our likelihood of holding AXPONA for you in a safe environment this year. The two extra months should prove crucial, allowing for more of the general public to be vaccinated and better rapid testing for consumers, industry and press to feel more confident to attend. This also allows us the opportunity to observe tradeshows in other industries that open prior to us, so we can learn which safety measures work best and implement the most effective and accepted practices at AXPONA.
We hope the fall this year will be busy with many eager to travel and get back out to events. You have our sincerest appreciation for your support and understanding as we adapt to the changing landscape. We look forward to bringing the audio community together again and doing what we do best – celebrating and enjoying high-fidelity music, in-person at AXPONA!
Exhibiting companies and attendees do not need to take any action regarding the new dates. Your participation will automatically transfer to October. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to us at any time or visit www.axpona.com for event updates.
Audience aR6-T4 Power
Conditioner Review With upgraded frontRow powerChords and standard powerChord
SE-i. Review By Dr. Matthew Clott The opportunity to review new models of
familiar equipment is similar to catching up with an old friend. I have
enjoyed, owned and respected Audience cables and conditioners since the
original Adept Response was released and the "Original" powerChord
first hit the proverbial scene. The Au24 power cables were the epitome of
neutrality and their speaker wire and interconnects magically conveyed the
full auditory picture in an inconceivably thin cable that defied logic and
belied current trends of bigger must be better cable etiologies. Even then,
the Adept Response conditioner was something special and established itself as
a premier product with few equals. Over time, the "Original"
powerChord grew into the Au24, which then matured into the Au24s, Au24se,
Au24se-i and now the Au24sx series of power cables and audio cables; not to
mention their new reference level frontRow series. --->
Audience aR6-T4 power conditioner review.
03 / 03 / 21
Schiit Loki Mini+ Four Band Tone
Control / Equalizer
Schiit's new Loki Mini+ ($149) is a expertly-designed four-band equalizer with super-quiet two-stage regulated power supply and high-quality inductors. With the Loki Mini+, Schiit boosted the performance boundaries of high-fidelity, low noise, single-discrete-gain-stage, LC-filtered, affordable equalizers. We all know not all recordings are made equal, so a high quality equalizer / tone control could bring them to high-end standards within your listening room. In addition, you can make your system sound the way you want it. Schiit asks the question, "Pounding bass? Sure. Crystalline highs? Absolutely."
Loki Mini+ uses a single, discrete, current-feedback gain stage, coupled to passive LC filters for three bands, plus a gyrator for the bass. It also uses sealed Alps potentiometers with rational adjustment ranges to allow for fine control. Coupled with a 100% passive bypass setting, Schiit's Loki Mini+ offers the transparency and flexibility you may need. Adjustment are +/-12dB at 20Hz and 8kHz, plus +/-6dB at 400Hz and 2kHz. Designed and built in California, the vast majority of the total production cost of Loki Mini+—chassis, boards, transformers, assembly, etc—goes to USA companies manufacturing in the USA. The unit comes with a two-year Warranty and 15-day return policy (minus shipping and a 15% restocking fee).
03 / 02 / 21
Music Streaming Remains The
Leader In RIAA's 2020 Report
While LP sales were up 29.2% in value during 2020, they have exceeded that of legacy compact disc (CD) sales, which were down 23.4%. There's no doubt streaming music is the big revenue generator for the music industry during 2020 ($10,074M).RIAA's USA recorded music revenues grew 9.2% in 2020 to $12.2 billion at estimated retail value. "This is the fifth consecutive year of growth for the industry, as paid subscription services continued to be the primary driver of revenue increases, and reached a record number of subscriptions", says RIAA's year end 2020 report. "Covid-19 affected the industry significantly through tour cancellations, retail store closures, and other disruptions. Revenues from recorded music measured at wholesale value grew 8.9% to $8.0 billion. Encompassing a wide range of services, streaming music revenues grew 13.4% to $10.1 billion in 2020. This category includes paid subscription services like Spotify, Apple Music, and Amazon Music Unlimited, ad-supported on-demand services such as Vevo, YouTube and the free version of Spotify, and digital and customized digital radio like Pandora, SiriusXM, and other Internet radio services."
The RIAA report continues by saying, "Paid subscriptions to on-demand streaming services have contributed the majority of recorded music revenues each year since 2018. In 2020, full service paid subscriptions grew 14.6% to $7.0 billion.... For the first time since 1986, revenues from vinyl records were larger than from CDs. Total revenues from physical products were virtually flat at $1.1 billion (down 0.5%). Despite the challenges to retail sales from Covid-19 restrictions, vinyl grew 28.7% by value year-over-year to $626 million, though still only account for 5.2% of total revenues by value. Revenues from CDs declined 23% to $483 million, continuing a long-term decline." You can read the full report in PDF at
Audio Aesthetics Articulating the many aspects of beauty in hi-fi audio.
By Dr. Jules L. Coleman We
audiophiles are a diverse and peculiar lot. So much so that some might think
that self-identification is the only thing we share. If there is something
distinctive about being an audiophile, what is it? Sometime last year, I found myself contemplating this question
when reflecting on the untimely death of Art Dudley. I did not know Art
particularly well, but I had a kinship with him dating back to his days at the
helm of Listener
magazine. No one could read anything Art had a hand in
without coming away impressed not just by his love of music but also by the fact
that he had given a great deal of thought to what he wanted from an audio system
and why. Others on the Listener staff were similarly inclined. For me,
this ongoing iterative reflection about the nature and value of audio made Listener
the most interesting read in audio when they were in business. ---> Articulating the many aspects of beauty in hi-fi audio.
Things That Audiophiles Do, But Shouldn't Roger Skoff seeks to foil some 'philes' feckless foibles. Article
By Roger Skoff Many
a long year ago, when I was probably about sixteen, my father went over to the
home of his friend, Ozzie Palermo, to hear his new Hi-Fi set. (Yeah, Hi-Fi
set; that was back when the hot set–up for everybody other than us early
Hi-Fi Crazies, was a one-piece "console" radio-phonograph with built-in
speakers.) Ozzie had just bought it, and was showing it off to anyone who would
listen. (Judging by when this probably happened, it might even have been "a
stereo", which, in itself, would have been both an oddity and a bragging-point
in those days). After my father got there, listened, and dutifully said "ooh"
and "aah" at appropriate intervals, Ozzie apparently asked him something like "Say,
isn't your son a Hi-Fi Fan, too?" ---> Things
that audiophiles do, but shouldn't.
Gryphon Audio Essence Preamplifier
And Essence Stereo Power Amplifier Review Blown away by an amazing musical performance!
Review By Tom Lyle The
Gryphon Essence preamplifier and Gryphon Stereo power amplifier are gorgeous
looking and beautiful sounding Danish high-end audio components. Those who can
afford either or both of these components will not only enjoy stellar sound
quality but most likely will also be able to enjoy the fact that they are the
epitome of audio equipment that has a look and "feel" of luxury goods. Gryphon
founder Flemming E. Rasmussen was responsible for the stunningly beautiful
exterior of the rather large (and heavy!) Gryphon Essence preamplifier and
Stereo Essence power amplifier. Good looks and operational refinement are
especially true of the Gryphon Essence preamplifier. Its weighty
infrared metal remote was only one indication of this Danish audio manufacturer's
recognition of many audiophile's appreciation of the intangibles that are
available on many preamps. --->
Gryphon Audio Essence preamplifier & Essence amplifier review.
World Premiere Review!
Aric Audio Unlimited II Vacuum Tube Stereo
Preamplifier Review Igor never sounded so good! Review By Paul Schumann Let's face
it, the year 2020 with the coronavirus pandemic has sucked. In addition to the
tragic loss of life, health, and financial security for many people, most of us
have been unable to easily connect with loved ones. Now, what we always
considered normal activities have been completely shut down. For the past few
years, my dad and I have been season ticket holders for the Austin Symphony
Orchestra. That meant, for nine wonderful Saturday evenings a year, we would
meet up, have a meal together, then go to the Symphony. It was a great way to
reconnect and enjoy our shared passion for music. With the advent of the
pandemic, all that was shut down. So instead of that, I have been trying other
ways to stay connected with my dad. The Aric Audio Unlimited II Preamplifier has
helped me in that effort. ---> Aric Audio Unlimited II vacuum tube stereo
SOTA Nova VI Vinyl LP Turntable Review The new Sota sound allows music to become tactile. Review By Ron Nagle There was a
time when my school shoes wore out; my mom would take them to the shoe
repairman. He would fix them like new with Cats-paw rubber heels. At about that
same time I remember when our Zenith console television died. My father
would go down to the local hardware store to use their tube tester. For three or
four dollars he would buy a new vacuum tube. Very soon we would be back to our
black and white TV bliss. I guess since then a few things have changed. But let
us now carry that forward to the present. Understand that for 20 years I spun
vinyl disks on my reliable reference, a Sota Sapphire 2, but alas time takes a
toll. So what can you do if you have something you can't part with? ---> SOTA Nova VI
vinyl LP turntable review.