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05 / 17 / 19

STEREO Magazine

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 Internet.
---> Read More

 

 

HIGH END 2019 Show Report

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 exhibition.

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

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.
---> Read More

 

 

Elly Audio Loudspeaker Review

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?
---> Read More

 

 

Tencent Music Entertainment Group Q1 2019 Results

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

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 More

 

 

Audio Research Ref160S Stereo Tube Amplifier

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 link.

 

 

4-CHerry Amplifier By Digital Amplifier Company

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 link.

 

 

05 / 14 / 19

HIGH END 2019 Show Report: Kharma, David Chesky, Purist Audio Design, Zesto Audio, Tri-Planar And Merrill Williams

Kharma, David Chesky, Purist Audio Design, Zesto Audio, Tri-Planar And Merrill Williams
HIGH END 2019 Show Report By Steven R. Rochlin
HIGH END 2019 in Munich success was far beyond even my wildest expectations. Not only were many people wearing lanyards with ' Enjoy The Music' on them, every single business meeting (and there were many) resulted in major success for all involved. It felt like the stars within this galaxy aligned and were smiling gleefully. Of course with so many business meetings beckoning, it also meant there was no time to visit many of my friends.
---> Read More

 

 

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 Speaker

Sonus Faber Launches Minima Amator II Speaker
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

Enjoying The Music @ HIGH END 2019
Europe's #1 show is an epic success story!
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

 

 

AXPONA 2019 Show Report Part 5 By Rick Becker

AXPONA 2019 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 Coverage By David Schwartz

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 2019 Munich Show Report

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 M.O.C. 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

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

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.

Merrill Audio's ELEMENT 114 delivers power across complex loads that doubles 200 Watts into 8 Ohms, 400 Watts into 4 Ohms and 800 Watts into 2 Ohms. Speaker binding posts are pure copper, input is via gold plated balanced XLR, with a gain upwards of 26dB (400 Watts into 4 Ohms at 0.08% distortion). Read Enjoy the Music.com's World Premiere Review of Merrill Audio's Element 118 monoblock amplifier at this link.

 

 

05 / 03 / 19

Vitus Audio World Premieres SIA 030 Integrated Amplifier

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 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.

 

 

05 / 02 / 19

Bob Carver Cherry 180 Vacuum Tube Monoblock Amplifier

World Premiere Review!
Bob Carver Cherry 180 Tube Monoblock Amplifier

One of the most significant tube amplifiers of the past 60 years!
Review By Dick Olsher
Everyone, I'm sure, has by now heard that the innovative and dare I say legend in his own time, Bob Carver, is back! Carver LLC is about tube amplifiers, and soon loudspeakers. It is really the tale of two Bobs: Bob Carver the designer, and Bob Farinelli the business and marketing hub. Two tube monoblock amps are currently shipping: the Cherry 180 and Black Beauty 305. Both share the same chassis, but the 180 is optimized for a KT88 output stage while the 305 is designed specifically for the KT120. Although promoted as a nominal 180 Watt amp, Carver tells me that the Cherry 180 will deliver about 270 Watts.
---> Read More

 

 

Hi-Fi+ Issue 171 May 2019

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." See what's within this issue of Hi-Fi+ Magazine at this link.

 

 

Leema Acoustics Stream IV CD Player

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'

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."

If 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 future.

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. 

 

 

AXPONA 2019 Show Report Part 4 By Rick Becker

AXPONA 2019 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

 

 

High-End Audiophile Review Magazine

Show 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 Punch?

 

Manufacturer Articles
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?

 

Etsuro Urushi Bordeaux Moving Coil Phono Cartridge Review

 

Equipment Reviews
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 this issue.

 

Below are just a few highlights. See all reviews and articles within this month's edition of Enjoy the Music.com's Review Magazine at this link.

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

Enjoy the Music,

Steven R. Rochlin
Creative Director

 

AXPONA 2019 Show Report -- High-End Audio / Audiophile Event

AXPONA 2019 Show Report
AXPONA 2019 show coverage by Enjoy the Music.com Staff

Enjoy the Music.com's extensive AXPONA (Audio Expo North America) 2019 show report now features over 200 photos! There's more to come, so check back often!
---> See our AXPONA 2019 show report.

 

Vinyl Is Back!

Vinyl 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.
---> Read More

 

Will Amazon Beat Apple To The Hi-Res Music Streaming Punch?

Will 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.
---> Read More

 

Etsuro Urushi Bordeaux Moving Coil Phono Cartridge Review

Etsuro 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.
---> Read More

 

Rogue Audio Cronus Magnum III Integrated Amplifier With MM / MC Phono Stage Review

World Premiere Review!
Rogue Audio Cronus Magnum III
Int. Amp. With MM / MC Phono Stage
Excellent build quality combined with the sonic performance of vacuum tubes.
Review By Ron Nagle
The name Cronus is past down to us from an ancient Greek myth. Kr๓nos was the leader and youngest of the first generation of Titans. I did my usual on line peeking and sleuthing and found images of the Cronus, a very retro looking open frame amplifier. But while all of those pictures looked like the subject of this evaluation they were actually photos of an earlier version of the Magnum II amplifier. So these photos were taken before I ever got my hands on this review sample. This story is about the new extensively upgraded Cronus Magnum III.
---> Read More

 

Paradigm 200B Small Monitor Speaker Review

Paradigm 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.
---> Read More

 

The Core Issues: Choosing A Power Transformer

The Core Issues: Choosing A Power Transformer
Article By MagneQuest Transformer Company
The Core Issues examines the function, construction, design, and operation of magnetics for audio applications. This is practical advice in the form of useful "rules of thumb" with enough pure theory to give us some concept of how these magnificent devices work. This column is not an academic engineering tutorial but rather a guide to becoming an informed consumer.
---> Read More

 

 

High-End Audiophile Review Magazine

Read All Articles, Reviews, And Show Reports
We have many more reviews, show reports and think pieces than shown above, so be sure to read this month's edition of Enjoy the Music.com's Review Magazine at this link.

 

 

04 / 30 / 19

Furutech NCF Booster-Signal-L And Power Connectors

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.
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.
---> Read More

 

 

Hi-Fi World June 2019

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.

 

 

AXPONA Ear Gear Expo 2019 Show Report

AXPONA Ear Gear Expo 2019 Show Report
Hi-Fi headgear blows through the Windy City.
AXPONA 2019 Show Report By Dave Hanson
The 2019 AXPONA Ear Gear Expo brought a lot of familiar faces for the high-end personal audio community in a quieter listening environment than recent years. After years in the marketplace area, the Ear Gear Expo was moved one room over with a divider wall splitting it off from the market.
---> Read More

 

 

04 / 26 / 19

FiiO's 12th Anniversary Celebrates With Updated Music App

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 here.

 

 

AXPONA 2019 Show Report Part 3 By Rick Becker

AXPONA 2019 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

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 line. 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.

 

 

AXPONA 2019 Show Report By Greg Weaver

AXPONA 2019: Monstrous Fun in the Windy City
All I can say is, we enjoyed the music!
AXPONA 2019 Show Report By Greg Weaver

What an AMAZING show! GAWD, how can I even begin to describe or define it! This was one of, if not the, best sounding show I've had the pleasure of attending in years. And don't ask me why; they are the same rooms with the same dimensions and furnishings as last year, but, almost universally good sounding results were the norm this year. Let's look at some numbers. According to AXPONA Vice President and Event Director, Liz Miller, who always manages to have time for the members of the press, this show is still growing!
---> Read More

 

 

Dan D'Agostino Master Audio Systems Momentum Phono Stage Preamplifier Review

Dan D'Agostino Master Audio Systems
Momentum Phono Stage Preamplifier

A championship phono stage from living legend Dan D'Agostino.
Review By Tom Lyle
When I heard that I would be reviewing the $28,000 Dan D'Agostino Master Audio Momentum phono preamplifier for this issue of Enjoy The Music, I was a very happy audiophile -- on account of the time I spent with the $50,000 D'Agostino Momentum Lifestyle integrated amplifier that I reviewed earlier this year. If this phono preamplifier had any of the sonic characteristics of the MLife, I suspected I was going to hear my records through a state-of-the-art phono preamp, or at the very least one that was very close to state-of-the-art.
---> Read More

 

 

04 / 24 / 19

Coincident 25th Anniversary Turbo 845SE Mono

Coincident 25th Anniversary Turbo 845SE Mono
Coincident 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

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 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

AXPONA 2019 Report Part 2 By Rick Becker
After

 

 

04 / 19 / 19

M2Tech Nash Phono Pre And Joplin MKIII ADC/Phono

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

AXPONA 2019 Report Part 1 By Rick Becker
Unlike 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 Show Report By Enjoy the Music.com

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 report.

 

 

Originally Released 60 Years Ago This Week
A Dream Of Audio Perfection
Stereo: Three dimensional sound.
The biggest contribution to music since Barnum & Bailey
Throughout the years, even from the very beginning, there was audio gear... and critics soon thereafter. Audio gear evolved, just as audiophiles carefully adjusted our listening space to accommodate it all. Finding the best recordings can be a challenge, too!
---> See BBC's historic video at this link.

 

 

04 / 17 / 19

Ron Nagle Photofest! Over 140 Photos From AXPONA!

Ron Nagle Photofest! Over 140 Photos From AXPONA!
Photo-phreaks 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 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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