Furutech NCF Booster-Signal-L And Power Connectors Furutech will be unveiling their new NCF Booster-Signal-L
(€149) and a variety of power connectors including IEC and figure-8 power
connectors at HIGH END 2019 show in Munich. NCF Booster-Signal-L is a connector damping solution featuring
Furutech's revolutionary NCF sound enhancing material. Developed by Furutech, NCF features a special crystalline material that has two
'active' properties. First, it generates negative ions that eliminate static. Second, it converts thermal energy into far infrared. Furutech combines this remarkable material with nano-sized ceramic particles and carbon powder for their additional piezoelectric damping properties. The resulting Nano Crystal² Formula, exclusive to Furutech, is the ultimate electrical and mechanical damping material. Their NCF Booster-Signal-L has been designed to supplement the original NCF Booster and NCF Booster-Signal offering NCF damping for signal connectors (XLR, RCA, HDMI, LAN, USB, etc.) at system components and as an effective cable lifter and connector support. During HIGH END 2019 Furutech will also unveil new NCF Power Connector Series. Three new connector series features
Furutech's NCF anti-static and resonance damping material to the FI-48 series, which is available with Rhodium, Silver and Gold
plating (€69, €57, and €47 respectively). Furutech will also be introducing their three new figure-8 connectors including a two
slim line versions (starting at €47).
04 / 29 / 19
Positive Feedback Partners With Enjoy the Music.com
Content sharing will expand fan base of both CE audio publications. Enjoy the Music.com, a significant provider in CE audio equipment reviews, news and show reports since 1995, is excited to announce a partnership with highly-respected
Positive Feedback magazine. Both magazines deliver on their vision of content
sharing, so that both benefit with enhanced visibility to their perspective
worldwide audience. --->
Hi-Fi World June Features Reviews & Think Pieces Hi-Fi
World's June 2019 issue features your chance to win a Pro-Ject Phono Box S2 Ultra worth £299!
Audiophile gear reviews include PSB Alpha Series P5 loudspeakers, NAD D 3020 V2 hybrid digital amplifier, Cowon Plenue PD2 Hi-Res player, Leema Elements Streamer, Quad Vena II amplifier, Audiolab 8300 CDQ CD player, a balanced cables feature, Technics SL-1200/10 turntable, SME Synergy turntable, ibasso IT01s headphones, plus a special article about Turntable Tweaking and another about the book
The Art Of Sound. Within his editorial, Noel Keywood says, "The LP and the CD after it assembled music tracks onto a disc in pre-packaged form. You might only end up wanting or enjoying half of the content – but too bad. You paid for the lot. It all seemed logical at the time, since the alternative to the LP was the bulky single and changing these every
five minutes to hear tracks rather than albums would have been an evening's marathon.
Prepackaged music went out of the window when MP3 players arrived, epitomized by
Apple's once-dominant iPod. Now, we had individual tracks rather than albums – and track listings. The difficulty here is sorting and accessing thousands of tracks. We could all remember album names like Hotel California, Abbey Road and such like, since albums not only carried songs but also an underlying message of the time: a story, a view, their own rhetoric even. They were easy to remember. But individual tracks?
It's like remembering the names of ants. "
See what's within this issue of Hi-Fi World
at this link.
FiiO's 12th Anniversary
Celebrates With Updated Music App
As one of the best portable audio players in he market today,
FiiO is now celebrating their 12th Anniversary by offering their new Android App Version 1.1.0. With more than 70 product releases, hundreds of firmware updates, FiiO's ongoing developments include an exclusive HiFi music app. This updated version of the FiiO Music app includes new functions such as the Equalizer, as well as the support for DST ISO files, M3U, and DSD CUE splitting. FiiO also added various sorting methods (can be switched by tapping the "more functions" button on the upper-right of a list), plus new function of remembering the folder display locations when browsing files. There's an improved FiiO Link function and display of the search results. Now they will be grouped by Single tracks, Artists, Albums and Genres. Display menu layout for various features has been improved as well. You can
download FiiO's Android Music app V1.1.0 apk file by clicking
Show Report Part
3 By Rick Becker
The afternoon was wearing on, as the first day started to wind down at about 5pm. Still, I pressed on to the last of the "high floors" at AXPONA. Gated HiFi
Distribution was in 1206 at the end of the hall with a relatively straight
forward, but expensive system. The Ansuz Acoustics Mainz8 dtc
eight-outlet power distribution center goes for $23,000, for example. ---> Read More
04 / 25 / 19
Amazon Music Going Hi-Res In Q4 2019
It has been reported by Music Business Worldwide (MBW) that
Amazon Music is preparing to launch a Hi-Res Music streaming music service (~$15 per month) by the end of 2019. While little else is known, including if they'll go lossless FLAC / other lossless format or the ongoing controversial
proprietary MQA format. Deezer's HiFi tier ($19.99) only offers at most CD quality of 16-bit/44.1kHz, whereas Qobuz
($24.99 a month) is up to 24-bit/192kHz and considered the highest sound quality streaming music service available to date. Will Apple Music be
joining the Hi-Res Music streaming scene, perhaps so yet at Apple's 'revolutionary' time
A senior US-based music industry source
said, "Think about it: Amazon will have every tier of recorded music covered, from free streaming through to limited catalog via Prime, a full 'Spotify rival' in Music Unlimited and a hi-definition service – in addition to vinyl, CD, merch and more. We haven't seen anything near what they're capable of in music yet." Considering the scale of Amazon Prime members worldwide, this could indeed be very good news for music lovers
worldwide as the competition to deliver true Hi-Res Music begins to heat up.
Imagine the possibilities as if you love the song you're hearing, Amazon offers
1-click next day delivery of the album on 180 gram vinyl.
Coincident 25th Anniversary Turbo 845SE
Speaker Technology is offering a limited edition 25th Anniversary Turbo 845SE Mono vacuum tube amplifiers ($14,999/pair), with only 25 stereo pairs being offered for sale. Years ago the Turbo 845 Stereo Integrated was introduced, which was a groundbreaking stereo remote control integrated but there were restrictions based upon price, size and incorporating a line stage. Coincident's 25th Anniversary version employs a similar circuit topology with one each single-ended triode 845 output, 6EM7 input and 300B driver tube. With an output power rating of 28 Watts RMS and 100 Watts peak in Class A @ 8 Ohms, these hefty 98 pounds each monoblocks employ dual massive, high current power transformers. There is one for low filament, with the other for high voltage. Each is carefully hand wound using OHNO copper windings. Other power supply parts include all polypropylene power supply operating at 1100 Volts with a Joule rating of 925. Frequency response is from 20 Hz to
35kHz. You can read Enjoy the
Music.com's World Premiere Review of Coincident's Turbo 845 SE Integrated Amplifier at this link.
04 / 23 / 19
Gryphon Audio Designs Ethos CD Player / DAC
With a sleek styling and low profile combined with stylish blend of metalwork and high-gloss acrylic, the exterior design of the
Gryphon Audio Designs' Ethos CD player (€28,800) can only begin to hint at the sophisticated technology concealed within. Gryphon's Ethos is designed unapologetically with single-minded dedication to the compact disc, because this focused approach enables the company to devote all their resources and expertise to releasing the full, unfettered musical potential of the compact disc. In addition to handling standard 16-bit/44.1 kHz Redbook CD, the Ethos offers convenient playback and can be connected to external sources up to 32-bit/384kHz PCM and up to DSD512. Taking the company's cornerstone philosophies of dual mono and fully symmetrical balanced operation, Gryphon's Ethos is fully balanced throughout the digital DAC domain by implementing eight DACs in full dual differential mode. This configuration drastically lowers the digital noise floor and contributes to the expansive soundstage and sharply focused stereo image of the Gryphon Ethos. Timing issues (jitter) are effectively addressed with two independent, specially designed, temperature-compensated crystal oscillators accurate to better than five parts per million. Gryphon Audio Designs upsampling allows the use of a simpler, lower-order analog output filter, for dramatically increased resolution, detail, spaciousness, focus, transient accuracy and harmonic integrity. The heavily regulated, fully discrete, fully balanced Class A analog output stage employs zero negative feedback and offers both balanced XLR and unbalanced RCA outputs. The analog section is supplied with +23 Volts and careful attention has been paid to power supplies with separate transformers and comprehensive regulation. A CD-Pro8 transport with all-metal chassis, dedicated ESS SABRE ES9038PRO 32-bit D/A converter for each channel, and ES9038Pro incorporating eight individual D/A converters are a hint at the many finer details of this design. User-selectable seven different PCM and three DSD digital roll-off filters are provided.
04 / 22 / 19
Milan Network Protocol For Professional Media
Milan will enable a streamlined specification and certification process through
Avnu Alliance that guarantees interoperability amongst Milan devices. Two key requirements for networked audio platforms are delivery of high-quality audio and reliability. Market leaders in Pro AV support AVB as technically superior for guaranteeing deterministic delivery, ensuring that the network supporting their media can scale today, and in the future. Milan was created to support interoperability at the application layer to provide reliable installation and configuration of products. Created over the course of 18 months by Pro AV market leaders in the Avnu Alliance, Milan is the first tangible solution for promising deterministic, reliable, and future-proof delivery of networked media. Milan combines the technical benefits of the AVB standard with Pro AV market-defined device requirements at both the network and the application layer for media streams, formats, clocking and redundancy. Deterministic network assures on-time delivery co-exists with other Ethernet traffic without risk of drop-outs or degradation of media.
AXPONA 2019 Report Part 2 By Rick Becker
04 / 19 / 19
M2Tech Nash Phono Pre And Joplin MKIII ADC/Phono M2Tech is well-known for its
digital-to-analog converters, but this doesn't mean that vinyl is not important for them as their new MM/MC Nash
Phono Preamplifier was just announced (€1545). Nash is for those who desire enjoying their beloved vinyl records in the old way, but with a little touch of modernity. M2Tech has developed the Nash MC/MM Phono Preamplifier. It's a phono preamplifier with everything a user needs
to perfectly handle a cartridge, be it an affordable MM or a top-notch MC. It is remote controlled and also has a Bluetooth low-energy interface, which connects to smartphones for advanced control and configuration by the free app available for Android and iOS. The app includes a complete pick-ups database to automatically configure the Nash by simply choosing the pick-up owned by the user. There's upwards of 95dB of gain in MC mode, with incredibly low noise to ensure your music is portrayed with the finest of details from the LP's groove. M2Tech has also announced their Joplin MkIII analog-to-digital converter
with phono stage. The Joplin MkIII (€2560) is a versatile unit that allows you to directly interface a turntable with either MM or MC pick-up. It amplifies the tiny pick-up signal through a low-noise analog front-end, converts it into digital, equalize it according to any phono
EQ curve you may think of and delivers it in digital form on several outputs, including a 2.0 USB port and an
I2S port with DSD capability. Using the Joplin MkIII with a computer turns the latter into a high quality audio recorder. This way, you can record your
vinyl records, store them on a hard disk, an SD card, USB pen or even on your smartphone!
04 / 18 / 19
AXPONA 2019 Report Part 1 By Rick Becker
the Montreal show a month prior, the trip from Rochester to Chicago was
uneventful. I simply got up in the morning and drove to Chicago, cutting through
Ontario, Canada, to save some miles and tolls. Detouring through downtown
Chicago in hopes of getting a glimpse of The Bean in the dark, I ended up
winding my way through the west side out to Wheaton where I stayed with the kids
and grandkids, a half-hour south of Schaumburg. ---> Read More
Zagreb AV Show 2019 Report
This year marks the 24th annual Zagreb AV Show, which in 2019 gathered at the Sheraton Zagreb Hotel.
There were 24 exhibitors from Slovenia, Slovakia, Serbia and Croatia showcasing more than 60 brands
of the high-end audio industry's latest hi-fi and audiophile components, plus home theater systems
too. ---> Read our Zagreb AV Show 2019
Ron Nagle Photofest! Over 140 Photos From AXPONA!
seeking visual delights will be very pleased. Let's all thank Enjoy the
Music.com's always-enthusiastic Ron Nagle for these wonderful photos from
AXPONA 2019. As always, enjoy the music! ---> Read More
Audiozen Announces Mono Si-C MOSFET Power Amp Audiozen
says their Mono Si-C MOSFET monoblock power amplifier (€5200 per pair) are the first in the world equipped with silicon carbide MOSFETS. Silicon carbide is a material composed of carbon and silicon, and features remarkable speed qualities (about three times faster than a silicon MOSFET). High thermal conductivity is claimed to be three times greater than silicon, and so has enhanced reliability with lower cooling requirements. Audiozen's Mono, the first monophonic class AB amplifier that adopts these devices, produces 200 Watts @ 8 Ohms (400 Watts @ 4 Ohms) and is powered by a hefty 625 VA toroidal transformer, two rectifying bridges, and by more than 25000 mF of capacitors. Mono is completed by the excellent rhodium-plated binding posts, a refined RCA connector, and power socket made in Germany by Schurter. Frequency response is from 5 Hz to 150 kHz (+/- 3dB), input sensitivity is 1.1
Volt @ 12kOhm, and a signal-to-noise ratio of 127dB. Available finishes are standard silver, with black being available on special request. Dimensions are 340 x 135 x 315 mm (WxHxD) and each
monoblock weighs 27.25 lbs.
04 / 16 / 19
Great Plains Audio At AXPONA 2019
Vintage audio buffs take note as Great Plains Audio was at AXPONA 2019 featuring vintage products and new parts, including an
homage to Altec Lansing speakers. Great Plains Audio is a premier repair center for Altec Lansing loudspeakers manufactured before 2005. ---> Read More
Cool Cleveland At AXPONA 2019
always enthusiastic Thomas Mulready of Cool Cleveland was at AXPONA 2019 doing
his brief video interviews of cool people at AXPONA 2019. Since last time he
interested me i was smoking a glorious cigarillo, guess he had enough of my personal
antics and so ensured there'd be no smoking this time around. ---> Read More
McIntosh Labs At AXPONA 2019
sure many of you reading this already are familiar with legendary USA
manufacturer McIntosh Labs. Their backlit blue meters are a thing of beauty!
In fact my Muse / Wife Heather loves the look of our MC611 monoblock amps
(reviewed here) we
have within our living room. --->
HIGH END In Munich Wants You To
Enjoy The Music
HIGH END 2019 show
will open their doors and welcome exhibitors and visitors from all over the
world from May 9th through 12th in Munich, Germany. With exhibitor space already fully
booked months in advance, this year's HIGH END show marks it's 38th time and 16th at
As during the past 19 years, longer than any other North American magazine, Enjoy
the Music.com will once again report on HIGH END in Munich. This internationally renowned exhibition has firmly established itself as a global event over nearly four
decades. Outstanding British singer Steven Wilson is HIGH
END's official brand ambassador for this year's event. Steven Wilson is a musical all-round talent par excellence and first became known especially as the founder and creative force behind the progressive rock
band Porcupine Tree. In the meantime, he has been pursuing a solo career under his own name and has enjoyed vast success as a solo artist, both in the charts and in concert. Most recently, Wilson delighted his audience in London, selling out three consecutive concerts at the legendary Royal Albert
Hall. Learn more about HIGH END 2019 and see our
show report at this link.
04 / 15 / 19
Astounding Attendance And Steampunk Satisfaction AXPONA 2019 Show Report By Creative Director Steven R. Rochlin For those who missed attending this weekend's show in Schaumburg (Chicago), am sure many voyeurs will enjoy reading AXPONA 2019 show reports online
and within a variety of print publications. With many members of the press in attendance from all over the globe, IMHO this will be
the most reported on audiophile show in the history of the USA. ---> Read More
Pro-Ject Announces Their New Generation T1 Turntable Pro-Ject T1
T1 turntable is the company's first model line-up aimed at delivering true high-fidelity sound on a limited budget. The base T1 foregoes any additional features for a pure phono output and best possible price/performance ratio (€275 including VAT). On top of the base model, the T1 BT features a built-in phono stage and a Bluetooth transmitter for wireless music streaming to your
favorite Bluetooth enabled speakers (€325 including VAT). Compared to the base T1-model, the Phono SB version includes a built-in Pro-Ject designed high-quality phono MM stage and an electronic speed switch between 33 and 45 RPM (€325 including VAT). According to Pro-Ject, "Boasting premium materials, stylish aesthetics and a rich, lively sound, the extensive development process has ensured that there has been no compromise in the sound performance when achieving such an affordable price. The stylish CNC-machined plinth features no plastic parts and is carefully manufactured to ensure there are no hollow spaces inside, therefore avoiding unwanted vibrations within the chassis. Carrying this philosophy through the design, the glass platter is also a heavy, zero-resonance design – again avoiding the flaws of plastic or lightweight steel alternatives. Finally, the purpose-chosen turntable feet also do a good job of isolating the T1 from ambient vibrations around your hi-fi system. In the T1, the motor drives a belt-system, attached to a newly designed sub-platter, which is mounted into an ultra-precise 0.001 mm main bearing with a hardened steel axle and brass bushing – just like Pro-Ject's coveted Essential III turntables. The tonearm on the T1 is a new model, based on previous Pro-Ject designs. With its straight, 8.6” effective length and stiff
aluminum construction, this one-piece tonearm also features low-friction bearings for absolute accuracy in use. Pro-Ject's T1 turntables are available in three different color options: Matt Walnut, High-Gloss Black, and Matt White."
Clarus Cable Introduces Four New Power Filter Devices Clarus Cables, the high-end audio cable brand that is a 'sister' company to Tributaries A/V cables, is introducing its first-ever line of AC Power Conditioners: Duet, Sextet, Octet and the flagship Bel Canto (beautiful voice, $1000, $1400, $1800, and $3,000 respectively). These models represent an entirely new approach to the implementation of filtering systems that are designed primarily for audio systems. According to the company, "It is widely accepted that filtering noise from the AC line keeps that noise from contaminating the audio signal. It is also common knowledge that some filter designs will choke input current thus limiting peak performance of power amps. Clarus however, has discovered that some types of filters used for supplying power specifically to analog components while measurably remove noise from the AC signal, audibly degrade the signal and restrict the sound from blooming. The Clarus solution is the implementation of three separate and unique AC filter ensembles for its new line of Power Conditioners; one for Analog components, one for Digital components and one for High Current amplifiers. These components are available in four models; three Power Blocks and one stand-alone component 2U rack-mountable unit. The Power Blocks are: Duet, a two-outlet model designed specifically for mono-block power amplifiers; Sextet, a six-outlet model and Octet, an eight-outlet model both designed for a mix of analog, digital and high current components. The Bel Canto component model has 8 outlets. As is the case with all four models, every Hospital Grade Duplex Outlet has its own dedicated and isolated AC filter circuit labeled Analog, Digital or High Current, respectively.
04 / 09 / 19
Audio Research Special Edition CD6
And Reference CD9 Audio Research
announced a special Edition update to the CD6 and Reference CD9 transport / DAC featuring a variety of updates ($10,000 and $15,000 respectively). The new CD6SE and Reference CD9SE feature beautiful faceplate updates that closely match
ARC's Foundation and Reference-series components. The redesigned faceplates, with matching buttons, illumination, and black
Plexiglas display allow an integrated and uniform look across the latest model platforms. Both SE units boast the latest V3.0 USB audio card, providing compatibility with macOS, Windows 10, and any Linux-based system that supports ALSA devices. This feature allows full streaming capability from products like Aurender and
Roon's Nucleus. This USB audio card offers a state-of-the-art FPGA design that re-clocks data and formats appropriately; firmware updates are not required. Digital inputs on the original CD6 included two TosLink inputs, in addition to S/PDIF RCA and USB. The CD6SE will have one TosLink input and one AES/EBU input, in addition to S/PDIF RCA and USB. Digital inputs on the REF CD9SE are the same as the CD6SE. PCM sample rates up to 192kHz with up to 32-bit depth.
What To Expect At AXPONA 2019
Excitement is building for the upcoming AXPONA 2019 event in Chicago this
weekend. Here are many of the highlights we expect to see, with more details appearing within the many upcoming AXPONA 2019 show reports on
Enjoy the Music.com. ---> Read More
Qobuz Streaming For Bryston BDP Music Players Bryston has introduced native support for
Qobuz streaming Hi-Res Music service as an available firmware update for the
company's award-winning BDP Music Players. Qobuz, the world's first certified high-resolution (24-bit/up to 192kHz) streaming service, enables users to stream uncompressed content from a library of well over 40 million tracks representing every imaginable style including jazz and classical music. Qobuz first became available to European consumers in 2007. Since the conception of the BDP series music players nearly ten years ago,
Bryston's primary goal has been to reproduce high-resolution digital content as faithfully as possible. Until now, users needed to have their personal high-resolution libraries connected to the BDP. Qobuz makes 40-plus million tracks, including millions in high-resolution 24-bit, available to BDP users without the use of lossy compression schemes that impair the listening experience. Qobuz offers exclusive editorial content along with deep metadata, complete digital booklets, interactive articles, reviews and playlists all available to Bryston BDP users. After a thorough evaluation, Qobuz was notably impressed by the BDP-3 and bestowed upon it the
company's Qobuzissime Award. Owners of Bryston BDP products — from the first BDP-1 to the current BDP-3
player — can take advantage of Qobuz compatibility by updating their firmware to the latest version and registering for Qobuz on their website.
04 / 08 / 19
Salon Audio Montreal / Audio Fest 2019 Show Report
Part 3 Show Report By Rick Becker In the Montreal 1 room at the back of the hall was DR Acoustics where I found their Antigone 2.0 power filter ($6995) using quartz crystals along with 4 AWG wire to provide clean power without restriction of dynamics. To emphasize the importance of the last
6' of cable, they ran a power cord into a long orange extension cord. Daniel Robidoux (DR) president of the Montreal based company went into great detail about their extensive cable line which he said is most popular in the Far East. ---> Read More
Record Store Day Is This Saturday, April 13th Record Store Day, conceived in 2007 at a gathering of independent record store owners, has their
twelfth annual event taking place worldwide on April 13, 2019. This event celebrates and spread the word about the unique culture surrounding nearly 1400 independently owned record stores in the USA and thousands of similar stores internationally. The first Record Store Day took place on April 19, 2008. Today there are Record Store Day participating stores on every continent except Antarctica. Special vinyl and other music releases plus various promotional products are made exclusively for the day. Festivities include performances, cook-outs, body painting, meet & greets with artists, parades, DJs spinning records, and on and on. For several years, 60% or more of the Record Store Day Official Release List came from independent labels and distributors. The list continues to include a wide range of artists, covering the diverse taste of record stores and their customers. Throughout its nine years, cities across the United States, including New York City, Los Angeles, Boise, Charleston and Las Vegas have declared Record Store Day an official holiday. While there's only one Record Store Day a year, the organization works with both independent and and major labels throughout the year to create contests, special releases and promotions in order to spotlight the benefits of supporting these independent, locally owned stores with music purchases throughout the year. Record Store Day is currently managed by Michael Kurtz and Carrie Colliton, in coordination with Michael Bunnell and Eric Levin. You can see
the entire list of special Record Store Day releases in PDF at this
04 / 05 / 19
New 5G UWB Phone Speed Delivers Over
Verizon's 5G Ultra Wideband (UWB) network is now "live and fast" according to Engadget. Now
available in Chicago just in time for AXPONA 2019, and coming soon just as we went from slow 3G LTE to
far faster 4G LTE, in only a year or three there will be no need for lossy compressed music streaming over the Internet. Within
Enjoy the Music.com's article titled 'Please Tell Me Why Bother With Lossy Compressed
Music?', Creative Director Steven R. Rochlin says, "With bandwidth now solved and making its way into your home, cell phone, car, etc this year, obviously even the current Wi-Fi 5 and 4G LTE works just fine for streaming true lossless 24-bit/192kHz music. We may want to thank 4k video streaming for making this happen, plus the many IoT devices. We all know 4k video eats up far more bandwidth than whatever spec the music
industry's BUSINESS SIDE has decided is Hi-Res Audio /
Music. The real question is, why design a proprietary audio format solving
yesterday's problems that costs manufacturers, music labels, etc more to use than FLAC, etc?" You can
read the entire article, featuring educational videos about 5G LTE and Wi-Fi 6, at this link.
Mastering For Vinyl: Tips For Digital Mastering Engineers
A new article by Jett Galindo (iZotope contributor), titled Mastering For Vinyl: Tips for Digital Mastering Engineers, is a great read for both engineers and
music lovers about the challenges of producing vinyl LPs. Within the article, it says, "Since the resurgence of vinyl in the mid-2000s, vinyl sales have shown no signs of slowing down. But with its return comes a new set of challenges for the aging medium—new genres with increasingly complex production styles, the major paradigm shift from analog to digital production, and evolving audio mastering standards (just to name a few). How does the old medium fare in a brave new world? Has mastering for vinyl evolved since its recent resurgence?" You can
the entire article at this link.
04 / 04 / 19
Zagreb AV Show 2019 Show Report
For the 24th time, the traditional Zagreb Audio & Video
will be held under the organization of Enjoy the Music.com's partner magazine
HiFi Media. Zagreb is the capital and the largest city of Croatia, with the Zagreb AV Show taking place on April 6th and 7th, 2019. All the news and attractions will be available through
HiFi Media's news channels including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Attendees have the joyous opportunity to witness more than 60 brands with their latest hi-fi and high-end components, plus home theater systems in Sheraton
Zagreb's Hotel. Leading distributors of AV products from Croatia and Slovenia will present with their portfolios.
HiFi Media magazine was founded in 1996 and has since enjoyed a reputation as a highly professional specialized media that follows the consumer electronics industry (CE) in the Republic of Croatia and neighboring countries. HiFi Media reviews and reports on the latest products in the field of audio, video and
multimedia. You can read Enjoy the
Music.com's Zagreb AV Show 2019 Show report by Andrija Ćurković a few days
after this weekend's event.
Hi-Fi+ April 2019
Celebrates Their 20th Anniversary Hi-Fi+ magazine's
April 2019 issue celebrates the magazine's very special 20th
anniversary! Hi-Fi+ picks their Top 100 with 20 years of the finest in hi-fi products under review. With 20 years of
experience, Hi-Fi+ asks "What is the future of audio?" There's also a Meet The Editors article where Roy Gregory, Chris Martens, and Alan Sircom discuss 20 years of
Hi-Fi+. Manufacturer's Perspective showcases Naim Audio on the past, present, and future of audio. Of course
there's Bristol Show coverage, which is the most important show on the UK hi-fi calendar. The Ultimate System Set-Up Disc, which is included free with this issue of
Hi-Fi+, is a CD from Opus 3 and IsoTek with 20 tracks to help set-up, test, and tune your audio system. Gear reviews in this issue include Technics SL-1200GEG-S, SU-G700E, and SB-G90E, Soulution 325 and 311, Bowers & Wilkins 603 speaker, EAT Prelude turntable package, Leema Sirius digital music streamer/server, Monitor Audio Gold 200 floorstander, Marantz PM-KI Ruby integrated amplifier, NAD D3045 hybrid digital DAC / integrated amplifier, Stirling Broadcast LS3/5a V3 stand-mount speaker, Goldring Ethos MC phono cartridge, Gutwire SV-12, SV-16, and SV-22 power cords, plus Qaudraspire Qplus Reference Acoustic interface feet. Headphone and portable audio enthusiasts can enjoy
reading reviews of MrSpeakers Voce electrostatic headphones, HiFiMAN Ananda planar magnetic headphones, Beyerdynamic Aventho Wireless headphones, Ultrasone PRO 900i headphones, and FiiO M7 digital audio player.
Within his editorial Alan Sircom says
"A lot has happened in the last 20 years. Skimming through the pages of the last 169 issues of
Hi-Fi+ may not give you a map of the geopolitical landscape of the world (except in the broadest possible terms), but it does give you a very strong idea of just how much – and how little – high-end audio has changed since the end of the last millennium. While not all of those changes are good,
we're possibly in a better place today.
At the end of the 1990s, the hi-fi industry was in a state of flux, and not in a good way. Home cinema was coming to dominate the market so drastically, it was wondered if there would even be a hi-fi industry by the middle of the 2000s! The state of music replay was at a difficult tipping point, too; LP and cassette were dismissed as irrelevancies by the music business, who focused on CD and CD alone. SACD was still a year or so away, high-resolution
didn't exist, and the combination of Napster and the first MP3 players all pointed away from high-quality being a function of future formats." See
what's within this issue of Hi-Fi+ Magazine at this
04 / 03 / 19
McIntosh MPC500 Power Controller / Spike Protection McIntosh is proud to announce the MPC500 Power Controller ($2500) that features cascaded surge protection in a multi-outlet package. Inconsistency in power quality can cause costly damage to electronic devices.
McIntosh's MPC500 delivers full-mode AC power line surge protection, such as from a lightning strike, as well as protecting low voltage devices against secondary surges and spikes that can occur after the initial event. AC power line protection is accomplished with the use of three thermally protected metal-oxide varistors (TPMOVs) – which are far safer than traditional MOVs – that provide Line to Neutral, Line to Ground and Neutral to Ground protection. For secondary surge events, the MPC500 provides protection for
Ethernet, coaxial, and other low voltage devices via Gas Discharge Tubes (GDT), Positive Temperature Coefficient (PTC) thermistors and Transient Voltage Suppression (TVS) components. Also included in the MPC500 is electromagnetic interference (EMI) filtering of the AC line and over/under voltage protection, which will switch off the rear receptacles to keep connected devices safe from trying to operate at undesired voltage levels.
McIntosh's MPC500 includes either eight Type B1 (a.k.a. NEMA 5-15R) or four Type F1 (a.k.a. CEE 7/3 or Schuko) receptacles. Note that
McIntosh says that only the appropriate version is available in each individual country to ensure compatibility with local power systems. Control of each receptacle can be configured via the rear panel Power Control ports or through the setup menus on the front panel. The front panel display can list input voltage, the amount of current being drawn through the receptacles, or total (apparent) power. Regardless of receptacle type, all versions of the MPC500 feature the timeless McIntosh black glass front panel, illuminated logo, control knobs, and aluminum end caps.
IFPI Global Music Report 2019 -- Revenues +9.7% IFPI, self-proclaimed to be "the voice of the recording industry worldwide representing the interests of 1300 record companies across the globe", has released their Global Music Report 2019. According to their report, "Total streaming revenues grew 34% to nearly half of all revenue, driven by paid streaming. Latin America shows highest regional growth for fourth consecutive year. Asia and Australasia second-largest region for physical and digital formats combined. The global recorded music market grew by 9.7% in 2018, the fourth consecutive year of growth. Figures released today in
IFPI's Global Music Report 2019 show total revenues for 2018 were $19,100,000,000 (19.1 billion). Streaming revenue grew by 34% and accounted for almost half (47%) of global revenue, driven by a 32.9% increase in paid subscription streaming. There were 255 million users of paid streaming services at the end of 2018 accounting for 37% of total recorded music revenue. Growth in streaming more than offset a 10.1% decline in physical revenue and a 21.2% decline in download
revenue.... For the fourth consecutive year, Latin America was the fastest-growing region (+16.8%) with Brazil (+15.4%) and Mexico (+14.7%) growing strongly. The Asia and Australasia region (+11.7%) grew to become the second-largest region for combined physical and digital revenue, with especially strong growth in South Korea (+17.9%)." Revenue from physical media is -10.1% while paid download revenue is -21.2%. So as you can see, streaming is up as are subscriptions while sales of physical media is showing double-digit declines. Worse still, buying music has never been a worse investment proposition for consumers as they can not sell legally purchased digitally downloaded music. So there is little to no
incentive for music lovers to purchase digital music titles, whereas vinyl LP can be
bought and sold freely. You can see
IFPI's Global Music Report 2019 in PDF at this link.
Major Publishers Request 5x The
Cost To Start MLC
With big business converging with government to form quasi-public/private entities,
which have a long and illustrious history of cost overruns, corruption, and
political/financial 'complications', it has been reported that last week there are two competing groups that seek to operate the Mechanical Licensing Collective (MLC). MLC is yet another possible over reach of quasi-governmental agencies, this one instance is being created by the Music Modernization Act (MMA) signed into law by President Trump last year. MLC tracks, collecting, and distributes mechanical streaming licenses for music. According to
"The legislation establishes a 'mechanical licensing collective' (MLC) to administer the blanket license, and a
'digital licensee coordinator' (DLC) to coordinate the activities of the licensees and designate a representative to serve as a non-voting member on the board of the MLC." Last week, two competing groups filed paperwork to run the Mechanical Licensing
Collective (MLC). Naturally there's the music BUSINESS side where the likes of Sony/ATV, Warner/Chappell, and Universal Music Publishing Group, are saying that start-up costs alone could reach
upwards of $48 million. And that's just their claimed start-up costs, with what could be virtually no limit to the overall fees and costs to the music industry, and thus musicians and performing
artists suffering with lower payouts accordingly. Think of it in the same light as
to how 'non-profit' CEOs get paid $2,000,000 a year or more. This group or major music labels did claim that their estimated budget of between $25 million and $40 million
per year will support a staff of approximately 60 people. We'll call the above group the Black Hats. Fortunately,
the White Hats are the American Mechanical Licensing Collective
(AMLC), who have musicians such as Stewart Copeland aboard. AMLC estimates their start-up budget is
around $7 million, with annual operational costs approaching $9 million. Another interesting point of note is that AMLC indicates that publisher and songwriter royalties
will not be used for operational costs. So it's the big music BUSINESS
labels versus musicians like Stewart Copland and others. If you trust United States of
America's government cost numbers,
the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) roughly estimated an annual budget of $30 million. Also, according to an article in
Digital Music News, "AMLC has indicated their plan to use
SOCAN's DataClef to help match unclaimed royalties. The presence of an estimated $1.5 billion in unclaimed mechanical royalties has been a focal point of the
AMLC's proposal, and arguably, a driving reason for the group's formation. The AMLC argues that major publishers have direct payment deals with platforms like Spotify, which means that the MLC
won't be benefiting them directly. Further, the AMLC contends that the estimated $1.5 billion tranche largely belongs to smaller songwriters and indie publishers, but will be divided by the largest publishers if they take control of MLC function."
Legendary Brand KLH Has Been Reborn and Revitalized
Under the ownership and leadership of former Klipsch Global Sales President David P. Kelley,
KLH offers music enthusiasts an all-new line of high-performance, value-oriented stereo, home theater and personal audio products. Marking
KLH's first consumer exhibition, AXPONA 2019
show attendees can experience the award-winning Kendall towers, Albany bookshelves, Ultimate One headphones and talk in-depth with the team about the exciting rebirth of this legendary brand. KLH has launched a deep line of in-room, architectural and personal audio solutions.
KLH's in-room loudspeaker line-up consists of 12 models. As a nod to the brand's history, originally founded in 1957 as KLH Research and Development Corporation was founded in Cambridge, Massachusetts by now legendary audio designers and members of the Boston Audio Society Henry Kloss, Malcolm S. Low, and Josef Anton Hofmann. Each loudspeaker model is named after a street in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the birthplace of KLH. Models are the three-way Kendall, Quincy and Cambridge (two-way) floorstanders; Ames and Albany two-way bookshelves; Story center channel, and Beacon and Broadway surrounds. Powered subwoofers include each a 10" and 12" model within both the Stratton and Windsor series. This summer, the company will release a 1000-Watt Class AB amplified dual
12" side-firing subwoofer, the Stratton MH212. All the speakers boast luxurious real-wood veneer finishes with MDF cabinetry featuring internal components and dampening, plus powerful performance-rich Kevlar drivers and anodized aluminum dome tweeters. To maximize
floorstanders' bass performance, incorporated are low resonance driver chambers with hand-tunable baffle ports. KLH warranty is unprecedented at 10-years on passive speakers, with 5 years on powered subwoofers. KLH headphones, Ultimate One, are classic open-air/over-ear headphones. Their fit-and-finish is exquisite, boasting real ebony wood finished earcups complemented by hand-stitched headbands and ear pads made of premium-grade cow leather and sheepskin and filled with high-density microfiber fill. Inside are 50mm pure beryllium drivers that deliver frequency responses of 18Hz to 22kHz.
There's also a Bluetooth model as well as various universal fit in-ear monitors. Virtually all KLH products will be shown at
the upcoming AXPONA 2019 even in Chicago.
04 / 02 / 19
Schiit Aegir Constant-Transconductance Topology Amplifier Schiit Audio just announced the immediate availability of Aegir ($799), a compact
'Class-A-like' stereo or monoblock amplifier with a unique constant-transconductance topology (Continuity). This topology is said to extend the benefits of Class A operation outside of Class A. Aegir is rated at 20W RMS per channel stereo @ 8 Ohms (40W @ 2 into 4 Ohms and 80W @ 8 Ohms as a monoblock). Aegir employs no-compromise design—100% discrete, fully complementary, current-feedback, linear power supply, intelligent microprocessor management. Aegir is said to be the first speaker amplifier with a constant transconductance output stage that is designed to operate outside of the Class A region. Unlike Class A designs,
Schiit's Continuity output stage enables Class-A-like performance beyond Class A operation. Additional efficiency allows Schiit to produce a more compact and affordable amplifier than traditional Class A designs. Frequency response is from 20Hz to 20kHz (-0.1dB, 3Hz to 500KHz at -3dB). THD: and IMD are a low <0.01%, with SNR being >114dB. Damping Factor is >100, input impedance is 22kOhms SE (44kOhms balanced), and crosstalk is >105dB. Inputs include L/R RCA unbalanced jacks for stereo input, single balanced XLR for mono input. Dimensions are 9" x 13" x 3.875" (WxDxH).
Professional mp3PRO2 Format Brings Music To Your Ears
A new Professional music format, cost-free with a clear goal of complete transparency and high sound quality, has been announced. This new Professional format is backward-compatible to billions of devices on the market today to revitalize, modernize, and revolutionize the incredibly popular mp3 format. As the music
industry's fastest accepted by consumers format in history, mp3 grew due to
consumer's choice first and foremost despite lawsuits from RIAA, IFPI and others. Today, a Professional version of the longtime familiar mp3 file format, called
mp3PRO2, will make its way to billions of devices worldwide. As open source freeware,
mp3PRO2 is a no-cost format for both music industry studios and consumers devices alike. With music
lovers' insatiable demand for enjoying their favorite tunes via mp3 for decades, a newly-updated Professional version, originally released by Thomson (Technicolor SA) and Coding Technologies (Dolby Laboratories), converts high resolution Waveform Audio File Format (WAV) files to
mp3PRO2. By combining mp3 audio format with Spectral Band Replication (SBR) compression method,
mp3PRO2 was developed to reduce high quality audio WAV or FLAC file size by as much as 50% while maintaining full spectrum sound quality. SBR is a technology that enhances audio / speech codecs to optimize streaming music bandwidth, and thus reducing high resolution digital music file size. This enables a very special codec to transmit the lower and midrange frequencies of the spectrum, while SBR mathematically replicates, or unfurls, higher frequency content by transposing upper harmonics at the decoder level.
mp3PRO2 builds on previous developments by allowing two unfurls, as this ensures your favorite music sounds as great as the artist intended via high resolution audio. A distinct
mp3PRO2 indicator, such as an LED light or display signifier, will appear when an authenticated
mp3PRO2 file is being enjoyed. Free software encoding software enables consumers to create
mp3PRO2 files from their current music library. If in the rare circumstance a consumer device does not play
mp3PRO2, only the SBR data is simply ignored as is experienced with other formats available today. Metadata is also maintained and extensive, so music services may offers liner notes, artist credits, source file type, etc. This not only ensures musical artists gets paid for their efforts, it also reassures consumers the provenance of its source file and allows them to explore more music from the same artists. The free encoding software supports batch file processing to ease workloads for both record labels and consumer with large digital music libraries. Soon to be widely available and license-free,
mp3PRO2 encoders and decoders are completely cost-free to use for record labels, hardware / software manufacturers, and consumers.
Gear reviews within this issue include
Ron Nagle's World Premiere of Audio Mirror's reasonably-priced $1500 32-bit/384kHz Tubadour III DAC.
Continuing the bargain theme this month is an analog fave with Schiit's Mani MM / MC
phono stage that delivers a thrilling performance for only $129 as
reviewed by Rick Becker! For head-fi aficionados, Editor Tom Lyle uses
top-line PS-2000e headphones as he evaluates Woo Audio's WA33 balanced
headamp/preamplifier and is transported into another audio realm.
Providing a solid one-two
punch for cost-no-object performance is Karan Acoustics' KA L Mk3
preamplifier and KA S 400 amplifier with over 400 Watts of power (660W @ 4
Ohms!) reviewed by percussionist Professor Michael R. Bump. Of course you need something to hold your gear, and so
Rick Becker examines Codia Acoustic Design's lovely Stage 3000 Diagon
customizable equipment rack.
As always, in the end what really
matters is that you...
Enjoy the Music,
Steven R. Rochlin
the Music.com Sponsors
AXPONA 2019 Industry Mixer
And All Seminars Enjoy the Music.com, a
leader in CE audio equipment reviews, news and show reports, are joining
AXPONA in celebrating their ten years of providing high-end audio events
within North America by sponsoring their Industry Welcome Mixer and
Seminar Room. AXPONA's three-day experience features multiple hotel floors
featuring fascinating listening rooms, The Expo Hall's Record Fair, a
dedicated Ear Gear Expo, seminars, and live musical performances. --->
Audio Montreal Audio Fest 2019 Show Report Salon Audio Montreal Show Report
By Rick Becker
Montréal audiofest was celebrating 32 years of
producing a wonderful consumer audio event. The Montreal Audio Fest will
also be celebrating the 50th anniversary of the iconic Woodstock Fest
during its 2019 edition from March 22nd to 24th at the Bonaventure Hotel,
which has just received a refreshing facelift to celebrate its very own
Do A Proper Listening Test Part
1 Article By Ethan
Winer There are two ways to assess the quality of audio devices: measuring
and listening. Measuring is usually the better choice because the results
are absolute, and repeatable because they avoid the vagaries of human
hearing perception. But when measuring isn't practical or possible, a
listening test using a music source is perfectly fine. For example,
listening is needed to compare CD quality at a 44.1 kHz sample rate to
"high definition" audio at 96 kHz. --->
Stage 3000 Diagon Equipment Rack A world-class modular design
manufactured to the highest standard.
Review By Rick Becker Before the emergence of minimalism as a
lifestyle and decluttering as an admirable hobby, there were audio
equipment racks. In fact, there was an entire genre of mid-fi and low-fi
audio systems neatly packaged in vinyl clad chipboard. --->
Mani MM / MC Phono Stage A thrill for any newcomer and
satisfy most too.
Review By Rick Becker The word went out on Facebook that my son-in-law Justin wanted a
turntable for Christmas to try out the LP craze. Apparently the fine Sony
noise cancelling headphones I gave him for Christmas last year planted a
seed and the seed has sprouted. The $90 turntable on his list was a
turnkey unit with cartridge and built in phono stage. --->