STEREO Magazine Teams Up
With Enjoy the Music.com STEREO, Europe's most respected magazine,
partners with Enjoy the Music.com. Enjoy the Music.com, a significant provider in high-end luxury audio equipment reviews, news and show reports since 1995, is elated to announce our teaming up with
STEREO Magazine. As Europe's most respected magazine, STEREO has successfully reached millions of music lovers throughout the world spanning many decades. This new partnership continues the vision of both publications to share in the joys of music and how to best reproduce it within your home, office, and everywhere possible. For nearly 25 years,
Enjoy the Music.com is an essential resource for information about the high-end audio industry and high resolution / streaming music on the
HIGH END 2019 Exhibitors And Visitors Press Release
At HIGH END 2019, held last weekend in Munch,
was incredibly successful as they showcased 551 exhibitors from 42 countries (+3.8%
compared to 2018), had 21,180 visitors in total (+6.5%), and 8,208 trade visitors from 72 countries (+8.6%). According to HIGH END,
whose motto this year was 'Enjoy The Music':
Friday clearly turned out to be the strongest visitor day, drawing several thousand music enthusiasts to the many exhibition stands. Continuously increasing number of exhibitors 551 exhibitors, 67% of whom were international, presented a broad range of products at the HIGH END. Compared to the previous year, the number of companies exhibiting increased by some 3.8%. They came from 42 different countries and the following countries were most strongly represented: the United States, United Kingdom, Italy, France, Japan, Denmark, Switzerland and China.
For the trade experts, it was one of the world's most significant events in the audio industry, for the public it was a unique world of experience this year again, the HIGH END pivoted on these two areas of interest. Trade visitors In total, 8,208 trade visitors from 72 countries came to Munich. This represents nearly nine percent more visitors compared to the HIGH END 2018. The share of international trade visitors was in fact 75 percent. The lion's share of international visitors came from European countries other than Germany, with a major focus on the following countries: the UK, Italy, France and Switzerland.
We also received numerous trade visitors from Asia and America, however. It is the combination of music presentations, the showcase of the most exquisite lines of equipment, workshops and captivating lectures that have made up the HIGH END for decades, attracting dealers, consumers, as well as representatives from the audio and supplier industry, to the exhibition in Munich....
This year's brand ambassador and special guest of the HIGH END, Steven Wilson, precisely exemplifies this living, professional linkage of technology and music at the highest level. Like no other contemporary musician, Wilson is celebrating outstanding success both behind the microphone and in front of the mixing console. Exhibition visitors were able to experience the outstanding British musician live at an autograph session to acquire his personally-signed special-edition
Home Invasion: In Concert at the Royal Albert Hall as a five-LP box set. There was a huge turnout, and a seemingly endless line formed in front of the autograph signing table. Surrounded by his international fan community, Steven Wilson also took time out for a few selfies and a complete walking tour of the
HIGH END 2020 will take place from May 14 to 17 within the exhibition area of the MOC in Munich.
05 / 16 / 19
Ayon Audio, Lumen White,
Stromtank, And Sonitus HIGH END 2019 Show Report
By Steven R. Rochlin Just as during their debut at AXPONA 2019, Ayon Audio had their sweet looking pure Class A Epsilon Evo Mono vacuum tube amplifiers (20,000) here at HIGH END 2019. A nice set of KT150 tubes, with very high quality parts and small signal tubes, produce an
extraordinarily wide frequency response from 8Hz to 70kHz. Wide bandwidth, Class A power, super clean / transparency... you need to hear these in action to truly appreciate
their ability to drive speakers. --->
World Premiere Review!
Elly Audio Loudspeaker Kickstartin' a very capable and well-designed speaker both sonically and aesthetically.
Review By Rick LaFaver Hello again everyone, I have been away awhile both enjoying
and surviving the birth of my two daughters but things have settled down to a
point where I can have some time in the evenings to pour myself a glass of my
beverage of choice and not only put time in with my system, but write about it
even. I have missed this so much, but I needed the right thing to come back to
from my retirement... semi-retirement... or we'll call it a sabbatical? --->
Tencent Music Entertainment Group Q1 2019 Results Tencent Music Entertainment Group
(NYSE: TME), the leading online music entertainment platform in China, announced its unaudited financial results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2019. Revenues were RMB5.74 billion
($855 million), an increase of 39.4% year-over-year. Operating profit was RMB1.15 billion
($171 million), an increase of 22.9% year-over-year. Net profit attributable to equity holders of the Company increased by 17.4% year over year to RMB987 million
($147 million). This past quarter's results is nearly double the paying users as compared to the same quarter is 2017 (28.4M versus 15.3M). "We started 2019 with solid first quarter results and strong growth," stated Mr. Cussion Pang, Chief Executive Officer of Tencent Music.
"Our businesses recorded healthy growth rates driven by product innovation, content diversification, and technological advancement. During the past few quarters, we constantly expanded our online music subscriber base while steadily increasing our subscriber retention rate. As our users increasingly consume music content through streaming services, we are riding on this trend to gradually transition into a pay-for-streaming model over the coming years. We also strengthened our market leadership in music-centric social entertainment by focusing on product innovation and enhancing user experience through data analytics. We remain committed to investing in the provision of premium content as well as innovative product features. We believe that these investments will significantly enhance the level of user engagement for our services and sustain our long-term growth going forward."
05 / 15/ 19
Nordost Cable @ HIGH END 2019
By Steven R. Rochlin During HIGH END 2019 in Munich Nordost gave us a preview of three new products. Valhalla 2
Tonearm Cable +, QPOINT Resonance Synchronizer, and a special sneak peek of their QSOURCE Linear Power Supply.
Nordost's Valhalla 2 Tonearm Cable + is $4,999.99 for 1.25 meter length ($625 each additional 0.5 meter), QPOINT is $749.99, and Q source is $2,499.99 (accompanying QSOURCE DC Cable is $259.99 for 1 meter, add $50 for each additional 0.5 meter). In fact Nordost cables were within a variety of systems at HIGH
END. ---> Read
Audio Research REF160S Stereo Tube Amplifier Audio Research
has announced their Reference 160S (REF160S) stereo power amplifier ($20,000). This new amplifier is said to distill the astonishing resolution, dynamic impact, musical purity and finesse of the 160M into one beautiful and attainable chassis designed for the music lover in all of us. Following the
success of their internationally-acclaimed 160M monaural power amplifier introduced in 2018, the REF160S is a vacuum-tube design with dual transparent power meters that float in front of the eight KT150 output power tubes.
Feature set includes a proprietary auto-bias circuit, switchable Triode or Ultra linear modes of operation, balanced XLR and single ended RCA inputs, plus an output tube monitoring mode. Additionally, the 160S employs a four-layer circuit board, allowing music to emanate from a jet-black background. Power rating is 140
Wpc. Read Enjoy the Music.com's review of the Audio Research LS28 line stage and VT80 power amplifier at this
4-CHerry Amplifier By Digital Amplifier Company
The new 4-CHerry amplifier from Digital Amplifier Company
produces 400 Wpc of ultra clean power. With four channels of power, it can use used for bi-amplifying speakers or within a home theater system. This helps round out their 2-CHerry, 3-CHerry, 4-CHerry, and 5-CHerry configurations ($2390 to $2990), plus they also offer a KING version of each amplifier ($2890 to $3490). The KING version has gold WBT binding posts, and double rail capacitance on all channels. All models employs the same beautiful faceplate as the MEGAschino (red or black, you choose). Power output is 200 Wpc at 8 Ohms, and doubles to 400Wpc @ 4 Ohms. Read
Enjoy the Music.com's review of the MEGAschino stereo amplifier at this
Dan D'Agostino MAS Progression Integrated Amplifier Dan D'Agostino Master Audio Systems
Progression Integrated Amplifier is a versatile front-end solution for your home music system ($18,000, $20,000 with phono stage, and $25,000 with both phono stage and digital module). The Progression Integrated produces 200 Watts @ 8 Ohms and 400 @ 4 Ohms. A unique toroidal winding technology, first employed in the Momentum M400 amplifier, delivers greater power output from a similarly sized conventional transformer keeping the Progression Integrated surprisingly small for its capability.
Internal circuitry filters RF noise from the AC powerline and compensates for asymmetric power waveforms and DC on the mains. Two analog meters, inspired by Swiss watch faces, function as signal level meters during music playback. When volume is adjusted, the meter needles change to volume setting indicators. After adjustments are made, the meters revert back to signal level operation. The meters also function as balance, phase, and mute indicators. Housed in a chassis the exudes the
D'Agostino aesthetic, the unit is built on a modular platform. The Progression Integrated fills every need of
today's music listener and audiophile.
The analog platform provides two single ended RCA inputs and three XLR balanced inputs including a theater pass through. Balanced preamplifier outputs make for convenient inclusion of subwoofer(s) into your audio system. An optional moving coil (MC) phono module adds turntable playback to the list of features. The Bluetooth Remote control connectivity, first used in the Progression and Momentum HD Preamplifiers, is included as part of the base package. Bluetooth connectivity eliminates line of sight issues and extends the usable range 5x versus conventional IR remote controls. An optional digital module vaults the Progression Integrated into the cutting edge of
today's digital listening environment.
The digital enhancement adds connectivity for legacy sources, both source and host USB functionality, and premier streaming functionality. Field upgradeable, the digital module adds two S/PDIF coaxial, two TosLink optical, USB-A, USB-B, and RJ-45 inputs. Roon music management with Tidal, Qobuz, and MQA digital technologies are all available features. A fully differential DAC handles PCM signals up to 24-bit/192kHz and DSD signals up to 4xDSD (11.2 MHz).
Sonus Faber Launches Minima Amator II
The new Minima Amator II (4000 VAT included) give life to the Heritage collection from
Sonus faber. Minima Amator II is a two-way bookshelf loudspeaker system with a 28 mm silk dome tweeter implemented with the DAD (Damped Apex
Dome) technology. A 6" midwoofer, developed in the Vicenza-based laboratory, features the well-known cellulose pulp and natural fibers cone on a die-cast aluminum basket. Paying homage to the company's past through classic design, while strongly breaking through the barrier of time with an electro-acoustic point of view, the Heritage collection transmits the tradition of the brand and enhances its artistic relevance.
Minima Amator II is the restatement of a fundamental product first introduced in 1992 when the company was establishing key principles that would go on to guide future productions: accurate design and high-quality natural materials, combined together to obtain a sound reproduction as natural as possible. Solid walnut wood cabinet adds to the speaker's sound quality, resulting in a harmonious, smooth and consistent listening experience. The cabinet is embellished by a thin brass insert at the base, reminiscent of the elegant Electa Amator III design. The front baffle shows the iconic shape of the Voice of Sonus faber and is covered in leather. Meanwhile, the rear panel is also covered in leather, plus it houses the exit of the reflex duct and is embellished by the brass binding posts. Sonus faber's Minima Amator II was intended to be a bookshelf speaker, yet is also designed to be paired with the Carrara Stand or with the Unicum stand.
dCS Mosaic Music Streaming Platform Data Conversion Systems Ltd
(dCS) launched their new streaming audio platform. Named dCS Mosaic, this new product brings greatly enhanced streaming audio functionality and an elegantly simple user experience to all owners of current dCS products.
dCS Mosaic is a bespoke collection of hardware and software modules which, when combined, provide listeners easy and intuitive access to their digital music. Streaming audio has been a core technology of dCS products since the release of Vivaldi, but Mosaic represents a leap forward in terms of functionality, performance, and user experience. Both TIDAL and Qobuz streaming music services Hi-Res Music services are
supported as is legacy CD-quality by Deezer. The addition of a library of internet radio stations and podcasts from around the globe enhances the new service. Conceived from the ground-up as a truly cross-platform solution, dCS Mosaic Control app is a single, unified interface to any current dCS product using a mobile device running iOS or Android.
05 / 13 / 19
Enjoying The Music @ HIGH END 2019 Europe's #1 show is an epic success
Editorial By Steven R. Rochlin As the 19th time attending HIGH END Society's show in Germany, have been proudly smiling as this event has grown to epic proportions! As the only American reporter to have covered this event back then, HIGH END was at the Kempinski Hotel in Neu-Isenburg and product pricing was still in German Deutsche Marks (DM). Over the years, have observed this event grow to the point of needing a larger venue. The 2004 HIGH END show was the first within the now sold out
M.O.C. ---> Read More
Show Report Part 5 By Rick Becker This
first room is a bit of mystery to me. I suspect it was Room 544 which was
highlighted as an AXPONA room on the floor plan, but not identified on the page
listing the presenters. Room 544 was tucked down a short hall just as you come
off the stairway coming down from the 6th Floor, making it easy to
miss. I'm glad I didn't! ---> Read More
AXPONA 2019 Show Report --
Audio Expo North America AXPONA 2019 Show Coverage By David
Schwartz My first audio show was in 1957. It was a small one held in a New York office building consisting of showrooms. Lacking the bathrooms and closets of hotel rooms, there was no congestion at the showroom doors. That, combined with a horrible tweeter demonstration are the only real memories I have of that show. It was in the early days of high fidelity (mono), woofers and tweeters had to be explained as well as how to hook up a
system. ---> Read More
05 / 09 to 05 / 12
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. ---> See our HIGH END 2019 show report.
05 / 06 / 19
Rhapsody Adds MQA Powered By Napster
And the circle is now complete as Shawn Fanning and Sean Parker brought music format
MP3 to fame with their peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing service Napster
in 1999. While many major music labels, plus the RIAA, fought Napster legally,
we must remember that Sony said they would never offer an MP3 player at the
time. Times have indeed changed. Today, that going against the grain sprint continues as Napster's owner Rhapsody International Inc. just announced it has completed a global agreement with
MQA, the disruptive company that
produces a proprietary "Authenticated Master Quality" music file type versus longtime standard
lossless FLAC. According to the press release, "Rhapsody's Powered by Napster platform service now offers partners the option to choose high-resolution and studio-quality audio for those who select MQA (Master Quality Authenticated) as their format of choice. Powered by Napster will offer MQA music tracks across multiple platforms including mobile, automotive and home."
"Powered by Napster is a complete music and audio platform service," says the press release. "It offers companies a suite of technologies and solutions, including music and media streaming and download infrastructure, applications, rights management, customer billing, royalty administration, and business intelligence. The addition of MQA positions Powered by Napster as the leader in high-quality audio music services."
05 / 04 / 19
Merrill Audio GaN ELEMENT 114 Stereo Amplifier
Zero feedback, zero dead time and bottomless noise floor using
Merrill Audio's Gallium Nitride (GaN) transistors on the ELEMENT 114 stereo power amplifier ($15,000). Utilizing trickle down technology from the award winning ELEMENT 118 and ELEMENT 116 Monoblock Power Amplifiers released last year, Merrill Audio's ELEMENT 114 ZXOL proprietary design technology leaps ahead of all other Class D implementations and provides more detail and immediacy. According to the company, "The Musical detail, experience and immediacy along with the immediately noticeable ultra-low noise floor takes music reproduction to a whole new experience. It only takes an instant to realize your listening to something quite special."
Using advanced Gallium Nitride (GaN) transistors and advanced PCB design techniques, the dead time is reduced to zero, which removes any distortion. Dead time is the time the MOSFET transistor takes to discharge or charge when changing states. Since there is no dead time distortion, the ZXOL proprietary design also has Zero feedback. With Zero feedback, says the company, there is much more detail, more information and much greater immediacy all with a sense of ease and openness.
Vitus Audio World Premieres SIA 030 Integrated Amplifier
During HIGH END 2019 in Munich
Vitus Audio will be premiering their SIA030 integrated stereo amplifier (pricing not set). Weighing in at a healthy 110 lbs, the unit produces 30 Watts per channel output in pure Class A that can switch to Class AB for 200 Watts (both ratings @8 ohms). SIA 030 features a 2.2KVA vibration suspended custom design transformer, 400,000μF primary capacitor bank with an additional 216,000μF secondary capacitor bank. SIA 030 shares the DNA of the flagship four chassis mono blocks amp, MP-M 201 with a fully regulated PSU. Airflow has been optimized for maximum cooling with no fans.
There's an 'extra' transformer for all logic/CPU
etc. Standard inputs include two sereo pairs of RCA unbalanced and three XLR balanced. Speaker outputs are true balanced. There's also a pre-out un-balanced RCA for active subwoofers, etc. RJ45/USB logical inputs allows for easy firmware upgrades. Optional MM / MC Phono stage and DAC / Streamer are available. The digital board provides XLR AES input, RCA S/PDIF, Ethernet for streaming, USB, and optical TosLink.
AudioSolutions World Premieres Virtuoso M Speaker AudioSolutions Virtuoso M loudspeaker ($32,000 per pair) will make it's first global appearance at
HIGH END 2019 in Munich. The Virtuoso falls between the company's Figaro and Vantage Anniversary speaker series, completing their lineup. The Virtuoso shares DNA with their flagship Vantage Anniversary, yet with the visual
styling of the Figaro line. AudioSolutions' Virtuoso is a three-way loudspeaker with two 7.5" bass drivers, a 6.5" midrange driver and a mini horn loaded 1.2" tweeter.
There will be seven standard Xirallic high gloss finishes, five Metallic premium finishes and a never seen before
Chameleon version. Virtuoso's cabinet is a box in a box design which increases rigidity and stiffness up to 10 times of a regular cabinet according to the company. Virtuoso's midrange driver covers an extremely wide range between 500 to 7000 Hz, which is the signature for AudioSolutions speaker designs. Three crossovers in one speaker thanks to the unique crossover design. Users can choose between Balanced, Moderate or Enhanced modes for their listening preferences.
Hi-Fi+ May 2019 Issue Features Reviews & CanJam NYC Hi-Fi+'s
May 2019 issue features their CanJam NYC 2019 report from the Big Apple plus John Challenger, Salisbury Cathedral's Deputy Director of Music, talks about organ music. Equipment reviews within this issue include the Naim Audio NDX 2 / XPS DR streamer, Constellation Audio Pictor / Taurus stereo preamp/amp, Chord Electronics Huge TT 2 / M Scaler DAC, KEF LSX active bookshelf loudspeakers, Exposure XM CD
player, and Triangle AIO 3 active Bluetooth loudspeaker. Other home audio gear
reviews include the Node Audio Hylixa stand-mount loudspeaker, Spendor A4 floorstanding loudspeaker, Cambridge Audio Alva TT direct drive turntable system, Rega Aura phono stage, and VooDoo Cable Stradivarius Amati / Dynasty.
Within this issue's Ultimate Headphone Guide,
there are reviews of the Cayin N5iiS portable digital music player, Sony DMP-Z1 desktop digital music player / headamp / DAC, Meze Empyrean planar magnetic headphones, Campfire Audio Equinox custom-fit in-ear monitor, iFi Audio Gemini 3.0 dual-headed USB cable, and Nordost Purple Flare USB cable.
Within his editorial Designed, Built, And Made In The UK, Alan Sircom
says "At the moment, it's a little hard to be British. The country is divided by Brexit and wherever people stand on the Leave/Remain continuum the one thing that unites the kingdom is that politics has not covered itself in glory in recent years. If you travel abroad, you are often met with expressions of sympathy not necessarily about the event, but about the abject mishandling of the event as it draws to what (as we go to press) might be a close."
what's within this issue of Hi-Fi+ Magazine at this
Leema Acoustics Stream IV CD Player Leema Acoustics has announced their Stream IV (ฃ2295), which is a 'future-proof' CD player for the streaming age. Fully updated for the streaming age, Stream IV offers Tidal, Spotify and Qobuz integration plus vTuner Internet Radio, Deezer and the ability to read data from connected USB drives and
Dropbox / OneDrive accounts. Fully UPnP / DLNA compliant, the Stream IV can access and playback from networked music devices, and offers both wired and wireless operation with WPS Wi-Fi integrated for easy home set-up.
Leema Acoustics Stream IV includes an advanced high-resolution 24-bit/192kHz streaming module, a Stream Unlimited CD mechanism,
plus a high-quality ESS 9018 Sabre DAC that benefits from S/PDIF coaxial and TosLink optical digital outputs for connection to pre-existing high-performance external DACs. Further audiophile touches include a high-quality Noratel linear power supply. The unit is available in black and silver.
05 / 01 / 19
Netflix Now Streaming 'Studio Quality Sound'
According to Netflix, "Starting today, when you watch Netflix on your TV, it should sound even better. Some of the most iconic moments in TV and film are defined by their score. Without its beautiful theme music, would
The Crown be as majestic? Would the eeriness of Stranger Things come across in the same way? Often the subtlety of sound may go unnoticed, but it can have a profound impact on the atmosphere of a scene and fundamentally change how a viewer responds to it. The magical combination of sight and sound brings viewers closer to the story, and that's why we support creative technologies and features like 4K, HDR, Dolby Atmos and Netflix Calibrated Mode.
Today, we're excited to announce a new feature, high-quality audio, which takes our sound quality to another level. We gave it this straightforward name because it fits: high-quality audio delivers audio that sounds closer to what creators hear in the studio, so every little detail is captured for a richer, more intense experience.
Additionally, if you have bandwidth or device limitations, we've made the feature adaptive so that we will deliver the best possible audio to match your capabilities. This is similar to what we already do for video.... We expect these bitrates to evolve over time as we get more efficient with our encoding techniques."
And here's the rub for those who truly understand high sound quality, on Netflix website is says, "If you've ever been in a professional recording studio, you've probably noted the difference in how things sound. One reason for that is the files used in mastering sessions are 24-bit 48 kHz with a bitrate of around 1 Mbps per channel. Studio mixes are uncompressed, which is why we consider them to be the 'master' version."
a so-called "master version" is a mere
24-bit/48kHz.... You can see why the confusion sets in due to a sheer lack of education by the industry at
large as 24-bit/192kHz (stereo) and 24-bit/96kHz (5.1 surround sound) has been available via DVD over 20 years ago (March 31,
1997 to be exact).
Note that even at its
very best, Netflix has a new maximum 5.1 audio bitrate of 640 kbps, with Dolby
Atmos being up to 768 kbps. This is not quite something audiophiles might
desire at its current best, yet is a wonderful step in the right
direction and we look forward to Netflix delivering higher audio bitrates in the
For now, Netflix still is not delivering audio technology to equal 1997
standards. To help educate you, our loyal readers, true high resolution stereo audio is a bitrate of 9,216 kbps, while 1980's technology CD is 1,411 kbps, and the best MP3 is 320 kbps. As a point of interest to the ever-lower sound quality delivered by streaming
services, Apple Music streams at 256kbps.
Show Report Part 4 By Rick Becker In Buddhism there are the Four Noble Truths, the first of
which is "Life is suffering" (because everything changes). Today's
suffering began in the first room when I realized I had left my SD card back at
the hotel room in my computer. As I headed for the elevator, I remembered I had
tossed a new card into my briefcase, so it was now a matter of finding scissors
to cut open the plastic packaging. ---> Read More
Reports, Gear Reviews & More! Enjoy the
Music.com's May Review
Magazine features our ongoing AXPONA 2019 show coverage, the 25th annual Zagreb AV Show, and
soon our HIGH END Munich report! This month includes part 2 of Ethan Winer's
How To Do A Proper Listening Test. Editor Tom Lyle discusses many things
vinyl, while Roger Skoff writes about who you should rely on in putting together your
system. Industry veteran Bobby Owsinski asks, Will Amazon Beat Apple To The Hi-Res Music Streaming
Manufacturers chime in as KEF delivers a Comprehensive Guide To Digital Music
Formats, plus Joe Cohen of The Lotus Group asks What's Up With Noise Reduction In The MHz Range?
Gear reviews within this issue include Ron Nagle bringing the glow of vacuum
tubes with his World Premiere Review of Rogue Audio's new Cronus Magnum III integrated amplifier with phono stage.
Analog aficionados will surely enjoy reading Tom Lyle's extensive review of Etsuro Urushi's musically involving Bordeaux MC phono cartridge.
We also have reviews of Paradigm's 200B small two-way monitors, plus Quad's PA-One+ triode vacuum tube DAC / headamp
from Headphone.Guru and AURALiC's ARIES G1 wireless streamer thanks to our friends at Positive
Feedback. These are just a sampling of the many articles and reviews within
Is Back! Plus
what's within this issue and new partnership announced!
Article By Tom Lyle I'm puzzled. I realize that vinyl isn't "coming back",
it's back! Which means that not only serious crate-diggers are searching
for and purchasing older records made from before the great CD-scare of
the 1990s, but newly reissued vinyl, and new vinyl releases from current
artists. As a serious collector of vinyl, I have mixed feeling about many
of the records being made and sold these days. To put it bluntly, the
majority of records being made today are nothing more than CDs pressed
onto vinyl. --->
Amazon Beat Apple To
The Hi-Res Music Streaming Punch? Article By Bobby Owsinski I've been predicting for some time that one
of the major streaming services would begin to offer higher resolution
music, if for no other reason than for brand differentiation. Who would've
thought that the service to make the first move would be Amazon? A
recent post from Music Business Worldwide states that Amazon is in active
talks with record labels for license agreements for better-than-CD quality
music material, and that one (still unnamed) is onboard. --->
Urushi Bordeaux MC Phono Cartridge Getting
closer to the music etched into your LP's grooves.
Review By Tom Lyle It was about a year ago that I reviewed the cartridge that's one
step lower in Etsuro Urushi's line, their Cobalt Blue. In the review I
said that the Cobalt Blue is "a super-transparent window into the
recording that was etched into an LP's surface", praising this
cartridge to the point where one might be led to believe that there is no
better cartridge on the market. This is not the first time I've felt as
though I have painted myself into a corner when reviewing a piece of
high-end audio equipment, which happens more often than not when the
equipment performs as well as the Cobalt Blue. --->
200B Small Monitor Speaker Impressive
bottom end for a small loudspeaker.
Review By Dean Cacioppo Paradigm Speakers and I have a long, and personal history. Another
lifetime ago, I sold hi-end audio at the retail level. Mostly because it
was my dream job. Even after I left full time, I would work there on the
weekends. Our modus operandi back then was to get the guy who was looking
for a new "stereo" and bring them in our big room to let them
experience the sound of a real audio system. Then
the next step was to bring them into the "small room" where they
could experience some of that same magic in their price range. --->
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 Crystalฒ 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 ฃ299!
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 (24,800) 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.
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