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High-End Audio / Hi-Res Audio (HRA) Audiophile Industry News


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08 / 31 / 17

Enjoy the Music.com Blue Note Awards 2017
Enjoy the Music.com
Blue Note Awards 2017
Our best high-end audio equipment awards for 2017!

 

08 / 30 / 17

Technics Has Announced Their Upscale SP-10R Turntable
Technics Has Announced Their Upscale SP-10R TurntableToday Technics announced their new SP-10R turntable, which is a relaunch of their pro SP-10 design, and hopes are to be selling this new model during the summer of 2018. Just as with their previous, and much-anticipated, SL-1200GR / GAE reboot of a DJ fave turntable, the professional-grade SP-10R is the next level of high-performance. Technics has been busy reissuing previously popular models, yet with modern twists to deliver performance to a higher level. Since the original SP-10 turntable was Technics' cost-no-object design for professionals, the new SP-10R has a higher benchmark to reach than the SL-1200GR. A new coreless direct-drive motor is mated with a two-sided rotor drive system so that there are stator coils on both sides of the rotor. For 15.4 lbs platter duties, there's a sandwich of die-cast aluminum, brass, and rubber. Naturally Technics turned their attention to keeping everything as quiet as possible, and thus they has developed an external ultra-low-noise switching power supply that is housed separately from the main turntable. This aids in keeping noise away from the crucial LP-to-cartridge interface. Of note is that the company will supply the SP-10R, just as with their original professional-grade SP-10 turntables, with no tonearm or plinth. However, they are available for separate purchase. No pricing has been set for the Technics SP-10R, the matching tonearm and plinth.

 

Goldman Sachs Says There's Tremendous Growth In Streaming
Goldman Sachs Says There's Tremendous Growth In StreamingLeading investment company and market analysis firm Goldman Sachs says that by 2030 streaming will have increased nine-fold. This would put the value at $28 billion, with major revenue benefits going to record labels, producers, song writers, musicians, etc. According to The Street, "The world is going to be increasingly wired for sound and the companies that own the music are going to be the big winners, according to Goldman Sachs, which this week tipped music streaming sales to hit $28 billion by 2030, up 16% on its previous forecasts. Much of those revenues will make their way back to France's Vivendi SA, owner of the world's biggest music label Universal Music Group, and its closest rival Sony Corp., which owns Sony Music Entertainment." It has been estimated that record labels will receive approximately 55% of royalties for monetized content. One of the keys to streaming media, according to Goldman Sachs, is that ~14% of all smartphone users will take advantage of such services. In-home streaming is already experiencing impressive growth over the past few years. It is expected to greatly increase as new technology brings ease-of-use and seamless lifestyle integration.

 

08 / 29 / 17

Stream The Studio Keynote Address At CEDIA 2017 September 7th
Stream The Studio Keynote Address At CEDIA 2017 September 7thCEDIA 2017 Stream The Studio keynote address will discuss the next wave in subscription music streaming and all things Hi-Res Audio and Hi-Res Music. Sponsored by The DEG (The Digital Entertainment Group), this session recognizes that despite the many advancements over the years, digital music delivery today is not the inspiring experience it could be. That may soon change as several high resolution download services have recently emerged that have been embraced by audiophiles and early adopters alike, and have the potential to engage millions of millennials. Stream The Studio, an initiative supported by major music and technology companies, delivers studio-quality, Hi-Res Audio with advanced user features. This keynote features executives from leading content and tech companies including Russ H. Crupnick (Managing Partner of MusicWatch), Marc Finer (Co-Founder The DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group), Mike Jbara (CEO MQA), Barak Moffitt (Executive VP Universal Music Group), Enno Vandermeer (CEO Roon Labs) and David Workman (CEO & President of ProSource). These thought leaders will provide an insider's look at the factors shaping the development and deployment of this premium listening tier, as well as the opportunities for technology integrators. Sponsored by DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group. This keynote conference takes place oat the San Diego Convention Center, Ballroom 20A on Thursday, September 7th from 12pm to 1pm and is free to all CEDIA attendees.

 

08 / 28 / 17

iFi Audio iGalvanic3.0 USB Galvanic Isolation Device For Digital Audio
iFi Audio iGalvanic3.0 USB Galvanic Isolation DeviceiFi Audio's iGalvanic3.0 ($349) is through and through an ultra audiophile-grade galvanic isolation device aimed purely at computer audiophile systems and nothing else. Features include advanced USB2.0 and USB3.0 galvanic isolation of the USB signal with 5GHz Super-Speed (beyond DSD512/768kHz), a special REgenerate2 / REclock2 / REbalance2 USB signal and power, plus Zero Delay advanced isolation technology that is without any added processing or timing uncertainties, delays etc. iFi Audio's special Groundlink adjusts for None / One / Multiple Grounds (Earths) that may cause hum and buzz. Stealth Converter ensures an ultra-low noise 0.5uV power supply. "Galvanic isolation is a design technique that separates electrical circuits completely to eliminate stray or noise currents. Signals can pass between galvanically isolated circuits, but stray or noise currents, such as differences in ground potential or currents induced in AC power, are blocked," says iFi Audio.

 

Industry News 10 Years Ago
RealNetworks, MTV, Verizon, And Vodafone Music Service
RealNetowrks RhapsodyRealNetworks, MTV Networks, Verizon Wireless, and Vodafone have announced they are teaming to create a single, integrated digital music experience that consumers can access via their PC, portable music device or mobile phone. Promising to be ultra-rich in music culture, programming and discovery, Rhapsody will unite these services in hopes of creating the most successful mobile music service in the country. Real and MTV Networks, through their Rhapsody America venture, have formed a long-term, groundbreaking and exclusive relationship with Verizon Wireless, in which the companies will be partners in bringing consumers digital music to their PCs and over the air to their mobile phones. Through the relationship with Verizon Wireless, Rhapsody will be fully integrated with VCAST Music, delivering a superior music service across multiple consumer devices. "Today's announcements represent a sea-change in the digital music market," said Rob Glaser, chairman and CEO of RealNetworks. "By partnering with MTV Networks, home of the most storied brands in music history, and the market's leading wireless company, Verizon Wireless, we'll make Rhapsody the premier digital music service that delivers great music to millions of consumers whenever and wherever they want."

 

08 / 25 / 17

Qualcomm's State Of Play Report 2017 Concerning Wireless Audio
Qualcomm's State Of Play Report 2017 Concerning Wireless AudioWithin Qualcomm's latest report you'll find new, valuable data around consumer expectations and product purchase drivers on a variety of topics related to wireless personal audio, including sound quality importance, new feature expectations, feelings about battery life and much more. With the number of people using wireless sound growing every day, taking consumer needs into account is crucial when creating personal audio products. Over the last 12 months, exciting changes in how consumers are listening to, interacting with and connecting their personal audio devices have emerged. What’s more, end users continue to demand ever better sound quality and new features, at all price points. This report looks at the current state of wireless personal audio, consumer attitudes and purchasing drivers in the USA and UK. Made possible by technology innovations, new wireless personal audio use cases have emerged that require both advanced product capabilities and greatly extended battery life. Audio OEMs that can meet these requirements stand to gain a wider, committed customer base, and the vital edge in this competitive space. You can read Qualcomm's State Of Play 2017 report in PDF form at this link.

 

08 / 24 / 17

Review: McIntosh MC75 Monoblock Tube Amplifier And C22 Tube Preamplifier    Review: McIntosh MC75 Monoblock Tube Amplifier And C22 Tube Preamplifier
TBT Review: McIntosh MC75 Monoblock Tube Amplifier And C22 Tube Preamplifier
McIntosh's latest re-introduction of their classic audio components.
Review By Anthony Nicosia

 

Analog Square Paper TUR08 High Power Balanced Headphone Amplifier
Analog Square Paper TUR08 High Power Balanced Headphone AmplifierAnalog Square Paper from Japan has announced their TUR08 high power balanced output tube x transistor stereo headphone amplifier. The TUR08 has the power to sufficiently drive low-efficiency headphones such as flat drive and open air types. Inheriting the clarity of Analog Square Paper's TUR series, it also produces the dynamic feeling via vacuum tube amplification. The internal circuitry is composed of a tube preamplifier section isolated from electromagnetic field noise and a powerful solid-state buffer amplifier section consisting of eight power transistors. Power output is 4 Watts per channel. According to the company, "This unit is designed to bring out the ideal characteristics of parts and headphones by adjusting the operating range of the tube checking the Level meter and continuously changing the gain level." Features of the TUR08 include a 1U4 direct heated tube for amplification, strong buffers support both unbalanced and balanced output, plus the unit employs zero global feedback. The left and right channels benefit from independent power supplies and capacitors. The front meter also doubles to check the battery. Overall frequency response is from 5Hz to 100kHz, with batter life being ~6 hours.

 

08 / 23 / 17

Jolida Foz SSX -- Sound Stage Expander Review
World Premiere Review!
Jolida Foz SSX -- Sound Stage Expander
Have fun experimenting with the sound!
Review By Ron Nagle

 

Conrad-Johnson Announces New ET7 With Enhanced Triode Line Stage
Conrad-Johnson Announces New ET7 With Enhanced Triode Line StageConrad-Johnson Design is pleased to announce the release of their latest line stage preamplifier, the ET7 ($9500). The ET7 incorporates the advances in regulated power supply design debuted in conrad-johnson's GAT Series 2 line stage while closely following the GAT audio circuit. The ET7 boasts the same extreme quality parts found in the GAT. The incredible CJD Teflon capacitors are used throughout the audio circuit and for the regulated plate voltage power supply filter and storage capacitors. In the interests of bringing GAT-like performance to a more affordable price, the ET7 reduces the total capacitance in power supplies and output coupling. Like the GAT Series 2, the ET7 uses all Vishay resistors in the audio circuit and in the associated power supplies. The ET7 features styling that distinguishes it as a new product yet clearly show its conrad-johnson heritage. conrad-johnson's ET7 line stage replaces the discontinued ET5. You can read Enjoy the Music.com's recent World Premiere review of their Classic 120SE vacuum tube stereo amplifier here.

 

08 / 22 / 17

Capital Audiofest / CanMania And TAVES Shows This Coming Fall Season
Capital Audiofest / CanMania And TAVES 2017The Capital Audiofest is the premier Rockville, MD East coast audio show from November 3rd through 5th while TAVES Consumer Electronic Show is Toronto's most important high-technology and audio show from August 25th through the 27th. Capital Audiofest is expanding their show this year using the same great venue as last year. The hotel has a major Metro line right out the back door that will take you to the center of Washington DC with no transfers. Also, Rockville has great restaurants and shopping. Attendees can look forward to more listening rooms, more lectures, and more live entertainment than in the past. TAVES in Toronto is a full-on event that showcases cutting-edge tech in the most exciting categories: virtual reality, robots, drones, wearables, hearables, health & fitness, gaming, audio, home theater, 3D printing, hoverboards, smart devices, autonomous and electric vehicles – TAVES attracts consumers, industry, mainstream and specialist media. TAVES is North America's fastest growing show with 55% growth in attendees in 2015, 42% growth in exhibitors in 2015, attendees are young and tech-savvy being that 40.5% are under 35. TAVES also attracts a lively cross-section of consumers, industry and media with an exceptionally high-ratio of female visitors for a technology show: 24% women to 76% men. See Enjoy the Music.com's Capital Audiofest 2016 show report here, and our TAVES Consumer Electronic Show report 2016 here.

 

08 / 21 / 17

Making Vinyl 2017 Conference In Detroit November 6th And 7th
Making Vinyl 2017 Conference In Detroit November 6th And 7thWith sales of vinyl picking up steam with double-digit growth, the first B2B conference dedicated to the re-birth of the global vinyl manufacturing business is coming to Detroit November 6th and 7th, 2017 at the Cadillac Book Westin. The entire vinyl value chain – including representatives world's leading pressing manufacturers, equipment suppliers, record labels, packagers and stereo makers – will compare notes on this astounding industry comeback. Presented by Colonial Purchasing Co-Op LLC, Record Store Day, and special hometown sponsor Third Man Pressing. Confirmed to appear so far includes Michael Kurtz (co-founder of Record Store Day), Larry Jaffee (Program Director Making Vinyl) and many others including Analog Planet's Michael Fremer. Those seeking to attend can reserve a sleeping room at the Westin Book Cadillac Detroit at 114 Washington Boulevard in Detroit (313) 442-1600. You can also book at room at this link.

 

08 / 18 / 17

Qualcomm Announces Multiple New Audio Platforms For Next Gen Audio
Qualcomm's CSRA68100Qualcomm's CSRA68100 is their next generation high performance audio SoC (system on a chip). Their next gen high performance single chip Bluetooth audio flash-programmable platform is designed for premium wireless speakers and headphones. The CSRA68100 is designed to offer up to four times the DSP processing power of its predecessor, along with a powerful 32-bit dedicated developer application processor. Qualcomm's QCC3XXX is their entry level flash-programmable audio platform. This new family of entry-level, flash-programmable audio SoC platforms is at competitive price points for Bluetooth headsets and speakers. It has technology that supports a rich set of features, use cases and customization. They are designed to help OEMs to develop unique products for market segments which have typically been restricted to fixed function ROM devices. Another chipset is the WHS94XX, which is specifically for audio SoCs for USB-C connected devices. A single chip USB audio SoC platform is designed specifically for USB-C connected audio devices and supports the USB-C connector, which is expected to become standard on next generation smartphones for charging, but can also be used to support high quality digital audio interfaces. In other developments to help manufacturers reduce development time and commercialization of smart and networked speakers, Qualcomm has a flexible solution in offering two SoC options based on APQ8009 and APQ8017, with a range of software configurations that are designed to allow OEMs to create truly optimized smart speakers across various product tiers and categories. Lastly, Qualcomm's next gen DDFA amplifier technology provides for high-resolution audio devices including wireless speakers, soundbars, networked audio and headphone amplifiers. This patented closed-loop architecture is designed to deliver much higher fidelity amplified audio and design flexibility while retaining the advantages of Class D amplification. "There are seismic shifts taking place in the audio industry as consumers rapidly adopt wireless audio devices, use streaming as their preferred method of listening to music, and demand smaller form factors as well as increased portability from their audio devices," said Anthony Murray, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Voice and Music for Qualcomm. "Our audio platforms have been widely proven for more than 15 years working with many of the world's leading audio brands and our broad range of audio technologies including Qualcomm aptX audio, Qualcomm cVc and Qualcomm TrueWireless Stereo have helped to redefine the wireless listening experience. With this expanded portfolio we are helping to meet future industry needs and bring next-generation speakers and headphones to commercialization by supporting crucial enhancements in sound quality, connectivity, processing performance and device size."

 

08 / 17 / 17

TBT Ten Years Ago: Blue Note Awards 2007
Best Audiohpile Products Of 2007 Blue Note AwardCelebrating our annual Blue Note Award during throwback Thursday, today we're bringing you our Blue Note Awards! We're very excited to publish our 2017 awards within the upcoming September issue of the Enjoy the Music.com's Review Magazine. Our Blue Note Awards for 2007 features Van den Hul, Emm Labs, Teac Esoteric, Lexicon Pro, Antique Sound Lab, conrad-johnson, Bella EXtreme, Silbatone, Naim Audio, Micropure, Bastanis, AV123, Role Audio, Furutech, Walker Audio, Jolida, and Aperion Audio. Check out our Blue Note Awards for 2007 at this link.

 

McIntosh Announces MCT80 DSD128 & 24-bit/192kHz SACD/CD Transport
McIntosh Announces MCT80 DSD128 & 24-bit/192kHz SACD/CD TransportMcIntosh is proud to announce their new MCT80 SACD/CD transport ($3500). Enjoy your CDs all over again with the MCT80 SACD/CD Transport. The MCT80 includes three digital-only outputs in the form of S/PDIF coax RCA and TosLink optical connector along with one of McIntosh Labs' proprietary MCT connectors. The MCT output offers a secure DSD connection for playback of the high definition audio on SACDs. To take advantage of the MCT80's unique SACD capabilities, it must be used with select McIntosh models that have an MCT input. The coax and optical outputs support CD audio formats up to 24-bit/192kHz. McIntosh's MCT80 features an improved transport with a die-cast aluminum tray in conjunction with an advanced digital servo for faster, quieter and accurate operation. All common disc types can be played including SACD, CD, CD-R, CD-RW (MP3 and WMA) and user generated DVD or CD Data Discs with music file formats including DSD (up to DSD128), WAV (up to 24-bit/192kHz), FLAC, MP3 and others. A disc's audio data is read at twice the normal rate insuring better disc tracking and error correction processing. A twin laser optical pickup assures optimal disc reading. Power control and data ports integrate the MCT80's operational state with other McIntosh system components. It's wrapped in classic McIntosh styling with a polished stainless steel chassis, black glass front panel, illuminated logo and aluminum end caps.

 

08 / 15 / 17

The Cable Company's Summer Against Hunger For CARE
The Cable Company's Summer Against Hunger For CAREEnjoy the Music.com is posting this again as a friendly reminder: What if your audio purchase could make a positive change in the world? For the month of August, up to 100% of every dollar you spend at The Cable Company will be donated to CARE. They've run this program every August for the last 22 years, generating more than $4,000,000 in donations. You might be understandably skeptical, how can all the money spent with us be donated, not just a percentage? Put simply, matching grants: The Cable Company's contribution is matched by sponsoring vendors. That combined contribution is then matched by an extremely generous anonymous donor and the total of the above is further matched by an institutional donor. Long story short, 100% of your purchase from any one of our over 70 sponsoring brands benefits CARE. For brands not sponsoring, or in the case of used products, CARE will receive at least 50% of the purchase price. As for why, the first CARE packages were delivered to WWII survivors in 1946. In 2016 CARE reached over 80 million people in 94 countries with over 1000 sustainable development projects as well as relief efforts. CARE is efficient, as more than 90% of their expenditures – among the highest of all philanthropic organizations – support its poverty-fighting projects around the world.

 

Industry News 15 Years Ago
Listener Magazine's Art Dudley Bids Us A Farewell
Listener MagazineThis news just in from Art Dudley, Editor of Listener magazine:
"Listener readers who hold onto their back issues will be happy to know that the September/October issue, which is in the mail now, may be destined for collectibility. Unfortunately, that status comes at a price: It will be our last issue.

Our owners at Englander Communications have followed the magazine's performance closely in recent months, and while subscription renewals are up slightly, it isn't enough: They have been unable to attract enough new subscribers to ensure profitability and sustain the publication over the long haul.

I would like to say that our three-year relationship with Englander was a good one, and that their circulation expertise in particular helped us to reach a bigger audience than would otherwise have been possible. This may not be an especially happy time for me or my family, but I understand Englander's reasons, and their actions have been honorable and in fact downright classy. I thank them for getting involved with this peculiar little magazine in the first place.

More to the point, I thank all our readers for buying Listener during the eight years we published it. And I'm especially grateful for the many kind letters and words of praise we received during that time. In the words of Renwick Hoeck: "Memories – eh, Stimpy?" We had a good run, it was a lot of fun, and now it's time to do something else.

Best wishes to all...

Art Dudley
Editor, Listener

 

08 / 14 / 17

Rocky Mountain Audio Fest 2017 October 6th Through 8th
RMAF 2017 Show Report -- Rocky Mountain International Audio Fest 2015Featuring a newly renovated venue, Enjoy the Music.com's RMAF 2017 show report celebrates 14 consecutive years of reporting on this highly popular event. During the 2017 event, once again we have the Rocky Mountain International Audio Fest teaming up with Head-Fi's CanJam Denver event! Audio gear from large reference speakers to the smallest in-ear monitors can be experienced at the show. RMAF 2017 is being held at the Denver Marriott Tech Center Hotel from October 6th through the 8th. Enjoy the Music.com will bring you exciting RMAF 2017 show coverage, with a special separate CanJam 2017 Denver report too! The 14th Annual Rocky Mountain International Audio Fest (RMAF) is the largest consumer audio and home entertainment show within the Mid-West United States. Denver's own audio wonderland will feature over 160 exhibit spaces representing more than 400 companies from North and South America, Europe, Australia and Asia. RMAF's special RIHPA are the high-end audio industry's world-wide press awards honoring high-end audio manufacturers -- the Oscars of the audio industry.

 

08 / 11 / 17

Live at Bernie's Direct-To-Disc Recording By The Anne Bisson Trio
Live at Bernie's Direct-To-Disc Recording By Anne Bisson TrioGenesis Advanced Technologies and Brilliance Music are pleased to announce the release of a new Live at Bernie's audiophile recording. The Anne Bisson Trio Four Seasons in Jazz is the product of an amazing collaboration of the finest musicians from Canada with the best engineers in Hollywood. The Anne Bisson Trio consists of Anne Bisson, vocalist and pianist, Jean-Bertrand Carbou on double bass, plus Pierre Tanguay on drums and percussion. As the brainchild of Gary L Koh of Genesis Advanced Loudspeakers and his long-time friend and Thai distributor Wuti Larnroongroj, the story of how the recording came to be was one of serendipity; of chance meetings and opportunities grasped, then one of hard work and perseverance to bring the album to fruition. Canadian jazz vocalist/pianist Anne Bisson and her musical collaborators were recorded direct-to-disc over two days by Bernie Grundman at his studio, Bernie Grundman Mastering in Hollywood, CA. Co-produced with Bisson, legendary sound engineer Michael C. Ross used a 100% analog recording chain directly to Grundman's all-analog record cutting system to realistically capture every glorious moment. Four Seasons in Jazz: Live at Bernie's is only the third direct-to-disc recording ever created at Bernie Grundman Mastering, and the second mixed in real-time by Ross and mastered by Grundman himself. The album will be released as a Limited Edition, hand-numbered 180 gram 45rpm double vinyl LP in super premium packaging with a 16 page book containing lyrics and an essay giving readers and music-lovers a never-before-seen insight into the background and the process involved in creating this direct-to-disc adventure.

 

08 / 10 / 17

T.H.E. Show Anaheim Will Feature Gear, Seminars, Live Music And More
T.H.E. Show Anaheim 2017 ReportT.H.E. Show in Anaheim is a weekend of fun, education and entertainment for consumer electronics and music enthusiasts. Scheduled from September 21st to September 24th at the Hilton Anaheim, this Southern California consumer electronics show will provide attendees an opportunity to see and hear the latest in loudspeakers, audio components, home theater, video, HDTV, digital music, vinyl recordings, headphones, virtual reality, and more. Promotional activity includes live performance by John Novello band featuring Tom Scott, Dr. Floyd Toole presenting The Science of Sound Master Class 1 and 2, Jaguar and Land Rover sponsorship previewing their 2018 models, artisanal spirits tasting, a high tech fashion show, sweepstakes, Disney discounts and more. RIVA Audio's Founder and Chairman Rikki Farr will be on hand to talk about his memorable career and answer questions from attendees. You can learn more about T.H.E. Show 2017 in Aaheim at this link.

 

08 / 09 / 17

Video: Why Is Modern Pop Music So Terrible?
Here's an interesting video with some facts, figures, and a breakdown of music over time and how the tonal, dynamic, etc variety has been reduced.

 

08 / 08 / 17

Bryston's New BP-173 Solid-State Stereo Preamplifier
Bryston's New BP-173 Solid-State Stereo PreamplifierBryston has announced the introduction of the new BP-173 ($3995) Cubed Series preamplifier, which utilizes patented technology fro their Cubed Series amplifiers. The BP-173 also features a new expanded input / output configuration for enhanced system flexibility. Bryston's linear, low noise input buffer is said to reduces noise and distortion. The BP-173 also has improved RF and audio frequency noise filtering to prevent unwanted anomalies on the power line from interfering even minutely with the audio signal. Bryston's BP-173 offers expanded input/output options, including two pairs of XLR outputs and two pairs of RCA outputs, making it possible to connect a wide variety of equipment and accommodate numerous system configurations. An RCA tape loop lets users connect a line-level processor or recording device and one of the XLR output pairs can be internally selected to have either variable (default) or fixed output enabling users to easily connect a balanced input headphone amplifier. The BP-173 also includes two pairs of balanced inputs and five pair RCA inputs, and can be ordered with a high-resolution internal DAC, a premium moving magnet (MM) phono stage, both DAC and phono modules or without either module installed. Users can select sources, adjust volume and more all from the optional BR-2 remote control or via RS232 connection to virtually any control ecosystem. The BP-173 is available in either black or silver, 17" or 19" wide faceplates. The DAC and MM phono stage options have an MSRP of $750 each, with the BR-2 remote being $375. Like all analog components from Bryston, the BP-173 preamplifier is covered by an industry best 20 year warranty.

 

Industry News 15 Years Ago
Digimarc And Verance Settle Digital Watermarking Lawsuit
There is much ado in the DVD world as Digimarc and Verance have settled their lawsuit. Digimarc and Verance have settled a dispute over the use of Digimarc's intellectual property concerning the use of watermarking on Verance DVD discs. According to reports, over $2 million to cover licensing fees will be paid by Verance to Digimarc. Verance's President and CEO Bob Cerasoli said, "We view this settlement as the first step in what we expect to be a long-term, constructive relationship between Verance and Digimarc that is sure to accelerate the growth of the significant market for digital watermarking technology and related services."

 

08 / 07 / 17

VANA Ltd. Announces Audio Physic Step Plus & Tempo Plus Speakers
VANA Ltd. Announces Audio Physic Step Plus & Tempo Plus SpeakersVANA, Ltd. has announced the availability of the Audio Physic Step plus and Tempo plus loudspeakers ($2595 per pair and $5995 per pair respectively). The Step plus is an ultra-high-performance bookshelf monitor and the Tempo plus is a floorstanding speaker utilizing the same midrange and tweeter technologies as the Step plus with low frequency drivers integrated within the enclosure. The Step plus and the Tempo plus share a brand new 1.75" tweeter (HHCT III) and 5.9" midrange (HHCM II) that have been engineered exclusively for Audio Physic. These unique ceramic coated aluminum drivers utilize proprietary hybrid cone construction that combine the dampening characteristics of modern polymers with the stability and stiffness of metal. Each driver's suspension system and basket chassis are mechanically decoupled from one another in a unique design that reduces unwanted resonances. Audio Physic refers to this technology as the Hyper-Holographic Cone chassis (HHC), which is said to "improve clarity and detail significantly verses conventional drivers". In addition to the elaborate HHC basket construction, the midrange driver is also equipped with a fixed metal phase plug designed to reduce heat. Each driver is housed within individual compartments in the cabinet, providing a smooth and homogeneous acoustic pattern. The entire inner cabinet has been updated to include extremely stiff open cell ceramic foam bracing elements that stabilize the enclosure and further reduce resonances. The Tempo plus incorporates two high-performance 7" aluminum bass drivers situated across from one another in the side walls of the enclosure. The push-push configuration of the woofers creates a symmetrical distribution of force on the loudspeaker cabinet, improving low frequency resolution and overall detail. Both the Step plus and the Tempo plus feature newly engineered crossover networks that incorporate painstakingly selected components. The interior wiring and the premium grade WBT binding posts, all mechanically decoupled from the cabinet, are also a critical part of these new designs. The Audio Physic Step plus and Tempo plus are both available now, with pricing being $2595 per pair for the Step plus and $5995 per pair for the Tempo plus in standard Cherry and Walnut Wood Veneer finishes. They are also available for $2795 and $6495 respectively for Black or White high gloss or Ebony wood veneer.

 

Hi-Fi World's September Issue Is Now Available
Hi-Fi World September 2017Enjoy the Music.com has just posted the September 2017 issue of Hi-Fi World. Gear reviewed includes the Q Acoustics Concept 500 loudspeakers, Quadral Breeze M portable Bluetooth speaker, McIntosh MB50 streamer, Onix DNA 50 amplifier, Naim Powerline-Lite power cable, a revisit to the old Rio PMP300 mp3 player and Sony TC377 reel-to-reel deck. Vinyl lovers will enjoy the review of Black Rhodium's Stylus cable and Rega Atlas tracking force gauge. Within his editorial, Noel Keywood says, "Karl-Heinz Fink is a German loudspeaker engineer I speak to often at shows. Karl well knows not only about the engineering of loudspeakers, he understands "the British sound" (a standard and an expectation set by the BBC long ago). You may find his consulting website interesting, it's at this link. There Karl talks about what he's been saying animatedly to me at the last few shows we met, namely cabinet vibrations. I like to keep away from such troublesome things so his concerns were not my concerns, but I realise I should have been concerned after listening to the new Q Acoustics Concept 500 loudspeakers Jon Myles reviews on page 11 – designed by Mr. Fink. Their cohesive smoothness was almost a shock to me because this is electrostatic territory – something that eludes most multi-driver loudspeakers in resonant boxes. The Concept 500s may look conventional, but appearances deceive here. I hope you enjoy reading Jon's review of them in this issue." See what's within this issue of Hi-Fi World at this link.

 

08 / 05 / 17

KL International AV Show 2017 Report
KL International AV Show 2017 Report
Kuala Lumpur International Audio And Video Show 2017 report.
KLAV 2017 Report By Christopher Tan

 

08 / 04 / 17

Celebrate Louis Armstrong's 116th Birthday With Music
Louis Armstrong The Complete Decca Singles 1935-1946In celebration of the late, great Louis Armstrong's 116th birthday today, Verve Records/UMe have released the digital collection, The Complete Decca Singles 1935-1946, bringing together every single and B-side Pops released during his first decade on Decca Records. Totaling 136 tracks – with many available digitally for the first time – the comprehensive collection is now on all digital retailers and streaming services just as the annual music extravaganza Satchmo SummerFest gets underway in New Orleans' historic French Quarter for three days and nights of contemporary and traditional jazz in honor of the legendary trumpet player and singer. A prequel to The Complete Decca Singles 1949-1958 issued at the end of 2016, the new collection is comprised of six digital volumes with the tracks (A-side/B-side) in chronological order by original release date. Representing an overview of Armstrong's highly prolific period recording for Decca Records, The Complete Decca Singles illuminates a time when Satchmo was developing a clear vocal and scatting style and and his trumpet playing was second to none. Of note, three-quarters of this collection has been properly pitch-corrected for the first time ever, a cause for joy for practicing trumpet players (and singers) all over the world. Songs range from early jazz, big band swing, ragtime and Dixieland, to the novelty Polynesian sounds of the day and even spoken word. Regardless of genre, it's Armstrong's remarkable trumpet playing and trademark gravelly tenor that are always front and center, making these songs unmistakably the work of the one and only, Louis Armstrong.

 

08 / 03 / 17

Hi-Fi+'s August Magazine Is Now Available Online
Hi-Fi+ Issue 149 July 2017Hi-Fi+ Magazine's August 2017 issue features coverage of the LA Audio show plus The Best Of The Last 50 where the finest audio gear from issue 100 to today is announced. Gear reviews include the HiFiMAN Shangri-La electrostatic headphone / amplifier, Fostex TH610/HPA4BL closed-back headphones / headphone amplifier/DAC, Weiss Engineering DAC501 DAC / streamer / headamp, iFi Audio Micro iDSD Black Label portable headamp / pre / DAC, Stax SRS-3100 electrostatic headphone system, Onkyo DP-S1 Digital audio player, Pathos Inpol headpamp / DAC, Sennheiser Momentum in-ear Bluetooth headset, JH Audio Layla custom fit in-ear monitors, TechDAS Air Force III/SAT Turntable and pick-up arm, Conrad-Johnson CAV-45 valve control amplifier, Roksan Audio Blak CD player and more. Within his editorial Hi-Fi+ Is Celebrating Our 150th Issue, Alan Sircom says, "It took Hi-Fi+ almost 13 years to reach its 100th edition, but it's taken us less than five to reach the 150th. Such is the pace of the audio and the online worlds now that the concept of making a bi-monthly magazine seems almost unthinkable today. And looking back to that 100th issue from 2012, it's patently obvious just how profound are the changes that have taken place to the audio industry, in almost every aspect of its intent, design, and outlook. By our 100th issue, the fall of CD was in full effect and many of us predicted the time where high-performance CD players was passing. However, while it's true CD player sales are far from buoyant at this time, the format has remained resilient. People are still buying CDs and CD players. Even SACD still clings to life, despite both very limited availability of hardware and discs, and the widespread uptake of DoP (DSD over PCM) playback." See what's within this issue of H-Fi+ Magazine at this link.

 

08 / 02 / 17

The Cable Company's Summer Against Hunger For CARE
The Cable Company's Summer Against Hunger For CAREWhat if your audio purchase could make a positive change in the world? For the month of August, up to 100% of every dollar you spend at The Cable Company will be donated to CARE. They've run this program every August for the last 22 years, generating more than $4,000,000 in donations. You might be understandably skeptical, how can all the money spent with us be donated, not just a percentage? Put simply, matching grants: The Cable Company's contribution is matched by sponsoring vendors. That combined contribution is then matched by an extremely generous anonymous donor and the total of the above is further matched by an institutional donor. Long story short, 100% of your purchase from any one of our over 70 sponsoring brands benefits CARE. For brands not sponsoring, or in the case of used products, CARE will receive at least 50% of the purchase price. As for why, the first CARE packages were delivered to WWII survivors in 1946. In 2016 CARE reached over 80 million people in 94 countries with over 1000 sustainable development projects as well as relief efforts. CARE is efficient, as more than 90% of their expenditures – among the highest of all philanthropic organizations – support its poverty-fighting projects around the world.

 

Industry News 10 Years Ago
First Full-Track Mobile Download To Sell One Million Copies
GreeeeNFor those who doubt the selling power of music delivered to wireless mobile devices, today it was announced that the third single by an anonymous quartet of Japanese medical students from a university in Sendai city has become the first full-track mobile download to sell one million copies. Full track mobile download costs ฅ300 per track in Japan excluding 5 percent consumption tax. The song "Aiuta" (Love Song) by GreeeeN, newly signed to Universal Music Japan, was released May 16 as a full-track download for mobile devices. Since then it has sold over a million copies, plus additional sales as a ringtone, ring video and ringback tone. Sales to date across all digital configurations exceeds 3 million to the delight of the music label. GreeeN is said to be this year's most successful new act in Japan. "Aiuta" has also earned physical form sales of more than 250,000 singles to date. GreeeeN's first album, A Domo Hajimemashite (Hi, How Do You Do?), has sold 550,000 copies since its release on June 27. Kazuhiko Koike, President and COO of Universal Music Japan, said "We were convinced that Aiuta would have universal appeal the moment we first heard it. We are very gratified that the song has become so popular through a very personal communication tool like the mobile phone."

 

08 / 01 / 17

Enjoy the Music.com's August Review Magazine Is Now Online
Enjoy the Music.com's August Review Magazine starts off with a wonderful remembrance of longtime high-end audio reviewer Alvin Gold, specially written by his brother Phil. Roger Skoff writes about audio formats and how it all changes, yet always seems to stay the same. Editor Tom Lyle gets his chance to hear the fabled, and long-loved by reviewers, Reference 3A monitor. Their latest iteration, called the Reflector, is something he could enjoy for a lifetime! Phil Gold reviews the Estelon YB floorstanding loudspeakers. He feels you should find an Estelon dealer, book an appointment and listen carefully.

 

Chord Hugo 2 Transportable DAC / Headphone Amplifier Review

Next up is Dave Hanson grooving to Chord's hugely successful Hugo DAC 2 transportable DAC / headamp. It delivers a spacious, detailed, and lively sound. Then there's Rotel's A12 integrated amp with companion CD14 CD player. Dwayne Carter says "Solid bass, clear mid-range, (very slightly) muted treble and plenty of power to achieve party-time volume levels. At this price range you are delivered one of the best sounding performances."

 

Tekton Design Brilliance Floorstanding Loudspeaker

Looking for something refreshingly different in speakers? Check out Tekton's Brilliance with proprietary driver array. It's a very fast, detailed, and engaging speaker states Rick Becker. Of note is Tekton's proprietary triple silk dome radiator high frequency array that is operating at nearly full range from 800 Hz to 30 kHz.

 

KL International AV Show 2017 Report

This past weekend there were many high-end audio shows throughout the world including Australia, Kuala Lumpur, Thailand, and San Francisco. We'll be posting our KL International AV Show 2017 report shortly. Held at the Sunway Putra Hotel from July 28th through 30th, this event featured refined and luxurious audio and video gear from all around the world.

See Enjoy the Music.com's August Review Magazine at this link.

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

Enjoy the Music,

Steven R. Rochlin
Creative Director
Enjoy the Music.com

 

In Remembrance Of The Great Man And Journalist Alvin Gold
In Remembrance Of The Great Man And Journalist Alvin Gold
Alvin Gold- May 13, 1948 to April 7, 2017
Article By Phil Gold

 

Audio Format Wars!
Audio Format Wars!
Roger Skoff writes about how it all changes, but always seems to stay the same.
Article By Roger Skoff

 

KL International AV Show 2017 Report
Coming Soon!  KL International AV Show 2017 Report
Kuala Lumpur International Audio And Video Show 2017 report.

 

Reference 3A Reflector Stand Mounted Monitor Review
Reference 3A Reflector Stand Mounted Monitor
A speaker to live with... for a lifetime.
Review By Tom Lyle

 

Estelon YB Floorstanding Loudspeaker Review
Estelon YB Floorstanding Loudspeaker
The baby of the Estelon family.
Review By Phil Gold

 

Chord Hugo 2 Transportable DAC / Headphone Amplifier Review
Chord Hugo 2 Transportable DAC / Headphone Amplifier
Attempting to turn your ones and zeros into perfect tens.
Review By Dave Hanson

 

Rotel A12 Integrated Amplifier And Rotel CD14 CD Player Review
Rotel A12 Integrated Amplifier And Rotel CD14 CD Player
Rotel's dynamic duo delivers outstanding performance for their price.
Review By Dwayne Carter

 

Tekton Design Brilliance Floorstanding Loudspeaker
Tekton Design Brilliance Floorstanding Loudspeaker
A very fast, detailed, and engaging speaker.
Review By Rick Becker

 

More Articles Available!
See all our show reports, articles, and gear reviews within Enjoy the Music.com's August Review Magazine now available online.

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