High-End Audio Industry News
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11 / 27 / 13
HDtracks, the leader and pioneer in high resolution audio downloads, has launched a newly refreshed website and now offers Miles Davis' Kind of Blue and Muddy Waters' Folk Singer. HDtracks gives the growing number of audio-conscious consumers an easy way to enjoy the very best possible listening experience in 24-bit high resolution audio quality. With music from both iconic bands as well as many of today's Grammy and Award earning hottest new artists, HDTracks is perhaps the place to go for the most diverse and highest quality music online. Shoppers at HDtracks.com have instant access to music downloads in upwards of 192kHz/24-bit for rich and dynamic sound that harkens back to the era when music lovers cherished the experience of great-sounding vinyl record albums. The new website features a refreshed interface with expanded download options, a streamlined check-out process, and greater customer engagement through online reviews. HDTracks now offers two of the most iconic albums in history in both 96kHz/24-bit and 192kHz/24-bit; with the new release of Miles Davis' Kind of Blue which is being offered for the first time sourced from the original studio tapes and Muddy Waters' best-selling blues classic Folk Singer.
Linn Records has a special gift for music lovers this holiday season by giving away free high resolution music! A different free Studio Master track every day in December until Christmas Day, available to download from Sunday 1 December. A Studio Master, or 24-bit download, is the highest quality music file available from Linn Records. It allows the listener to hear music exactly as it was recorded, before it was altered to fit on a CD or squashed down to MP3 size. Linn are very proud of their eclectic music library and this Christmas gift will allow listeners the chance to explore and expand their musical tastes, introducing up-coming musicians, new genres and a few well-known favorites. There’ll be something for virtually everyone to enjoy including the award-winning Sir Charles Mackerras and Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Britain’s First Lady of Jazz Claire Martin, electronica legend Jean-Michel Jarre, popular Scottish indie-rock band Admiral Fallow and much more.
11 / 26 / 13
Enjoy the Music.com, high fidelity audio's leading online information site for more than 18 years and now in concert with major print media plus Internet partners, is pleased to announce a historic alliance. Armed with a new state-of-the-art audio/video studio facility, Enjoy the Music.TV will stream key information to help educate consumers about great high fidelity audio gear while also showcasing multi-Grammy award winning recording studio engineers and musicians, EDM DJs plus home, car and portable audio gear. It is not just how music is created in the studio or reproduced with an electronic device, what matters most is that the musical artists' creation is experienced as intended in true high fidelity audio sound quality. With so many new technologies reaching the marketplace, it can get confusing to exactly what the inherent sound quality of music people are purchasing. Consumers can rely on Enjoy the Music.TV's experts, with many hundreds of years of experience in the field of music and audio, to educate as well as entertain our audience. See the complete press release at this link.
Enjoy the Music.com and Napa Acoustic are offering their NA-208A ($399) vacuum tube stereo integrated amplifier to one lucky contest winner! "Amazing" is the word the company hears most often when people discover the NA-208A hybrid vacuum tube amplifier for the first time. Its small size and understated elegance in chrome and stainless steel are admired almost as much as the sound it produces. With a vacuum tube front end and solid-state output power section, the NA-208A offers a very sophisticated stereo design that produces 25 wpc. You can learn more and enter to win at this link.
11 / 25 / 13
Bryston, LTD BUC-1 ($799) is a special purpose digital to digital converter that enables music enthusiasts to use their computer as a high resolution music source even though their existing Digital to Analog Converter (DAC) does not feature asynchronous USB capability. The Bryston BUC-1 converter allows for native 24 bit resolution at sampling rates up to 192 kHz. The Bryston BUC-1 takes a standard USB output from the computer and is said to deliver bit-perfect data via either an 110 Ohm AES/EBU or 70 Ohm S/PDIF output to any DAC. The BUC-1 including a robust linear power supply design and in order to supply clean power to the on-board circuitry, the BUC-1 uses a combination of power supply filtering and a newly engineered power down-regulator. Like other Bryston electronics, the power supply features ultra stable voltage regulation, extremely low noise/low distortion circuitry throughout and a steel chassis to reject any radiated noise from a computer or other device in close proximity. The goal of any quality USB converter is to convey the exact bits in the audio signal with the least amount of jitter possible. Most crucially, the Bryston BUC-1 takes control of the master timing of the audio system — so rather than the computer running the master clock with questionable results, the BUC-1 becomes the main system clock delivering ultra low jitter, high resolution audio to any outboard DAC. All outputs are transformer coupled and on the front panel are input sample rate indicators. Dimensions are 8" x 5.625" x 2.25" (DxWxH) and the Bryston BUC-1 will be available January 1st, 2014.
Randall K Designer HiFi has a mission "to make audio cool again and get people passionate about wanting to share music and audio the very same way it was infused in us". To do this, the company is building limited edition functional audio art that at the very least are conversation pieces and are said to perform at state-of-the-art levels. To quote their press release, "We feel that for too long, people would purchase a piece of equipment to hide it in their audio cave. The only way the audio business will drive groups of music lovers towards finer equipment and enjoy listening is to make audio an inclusive sport and not an exclusive one, as well as offering unique, high performance products. Each hand made pair of Randall K speakers are limited editions to insure exclusivity and value. Randall K speakers can be custom tailored in both color and material utilized to add another level of personalization. We want our clients to be an integral part of the process and to take pride in owning a Randall K loudspeaker." Randall K designs combine wide band drivers with a midbass/bass driver to achieve the coherency of a single driver loudspeaker, yet with the output and dynamics of a multi-way design. Resonance and internal timing errors are addressed using their AIR technology (Asynchronous Internal Randomization) for ultimate musical reproduction. The shapes and contours of Randall K cabinets are chosen to minimize internal reflections and minimize all of the non-desirable restrictions that putting a speaker into a box causes.
11 / 23 / 13
Enjoy the Music.com just added two new reviews within our Review Magazine.
Audience Au24 SE Cables
Mat Weisfeld of VPI
Industries Inc. announced on Bloomberg
their new 'The Nomad' turntable ($995). This new, easy to use package
includes the turntable, tonearm, Ortofon 2M Red moving magnet (MM) cartridge, phonostage, headphone amplifier and iGrado headphones. The turntable comes ready to
go so there are no worries about dealing with tweaking things just to get it
setup correctly. Mat said The Nomad is great for college dorm rooms, while we
here at Enjoy the Music.com agree and feel it is also a great way to
get new vinyl enthusiasts involved too. You simply plug it in and enjoy the music.
See Mat's interview below for more information about The Nomad and other
products from VPI Industries Inc.
Mat Weisfeld of VPI Industries Inc. announced on Bloomberg TV their new 'The Nomad' turntable ($995). This new, easy to use package includes the turntable, tonearm, Ortofon 2M Red moving magnet (MM) cartridge, phonostage, headphone amplifier and iGrado headphones. The turntable comes ready to go so there are no worries about dealing with tweaking things just to get it setup correctly. Mat said The Nomad is great for college dorm rooms, while we here at Enjoy the Music.com agree and feel it is also a great way to get new vinyl enthusiasts involved too. You simply plug it in and enjoy the music. See Mat's interview below for more information about The Nomad and other products from VPI Industries Inc.
11 / 22 / 13
Enjoy the Music.com has just posted Hi-Fi World's January 2014 edition including the complete editorial and table of contents. This issue includes reviews of the Quad Platinum DMP player/amp, Fiio X3 digital audio player, Audiolab Q-DAC & M-pwr Tellurium Q Claymore amp, Usher Dancer Mini-x Diamond speaker, VTL TP-2.5 MKII phonostage and more! The editorial Great Gear Ahead As We Welcome 2014 by Noel Keywood says, "It's the time of the year when the days grow short, frosts set in and Christmas approaches. Which means it's also time for us to sit down and look at all the products we've reviewed over the last 12 months to nominate the conspicuous greats, those that stand out as exceptional. And as always, there were plenty of them." See the complete January table of contents and editorial of Hi-Fi World by clicking here.
Acoustic Research, a brand owned by VOXX International Corporation (NASDAQ: VOXX), introduces their new line of attractive and functional tech accessories designed with the modern woman in mind. Leading the collection is the wireless Bluetooth speaker that combines trends from the fashion runway. The design rethinks traditional speaker shape and surface, adding a feminine touch with soft, rounded corners, leather detailing and a tactile face that calls upon the tufted fabric trend. The AR for her speaker's svelte tufted look comes in black and white to compliment a classic look or city chic style. The line also includes a white and pink polka-dot speaker for a fun and flirty touch, while a leopard print version brings out a fashionista's wild side. The collection will receive an updated look each season to capture the latest runway styles. The Bluetooth speaker wirelessly connects to all compatible devices to stream your favorite music, has a built in microphone for hands-free calling and features a rechargeable battery for 8 hours of musical bliss. There is a 3.5mm aux input that works with virtually every portable music player on the market. Buttons for play, pause, track and volume controls are easily accessible. These features, along with a lightweight size and an optional carrying strap make it easy to transport the speaker from room to room while getting ready, or out on the town for exceptional sound day or night. "Technology has become an integral part of our life, our accessories go everywhere we do," said David Geise, President of VOXX Accessories Corporation. "We created AR for her so that women looking to express their tech savvy style can go beyond the fashionable smartphone case, and opt for attractive yet functional items made especially for her." The collection will be available for purchase spring 2014. Retailers will have the option to choose customized colors, designs and patterns to best meet their clientele’s style. Additional functional tech accessories will be reimagined for women to round out the collection.
11 / 21 / 13
High fidelity audio is reaching high finance as VPI Industries' own Mat Weisfeld will be appear on Bloomberg TV! Tune in to Bloomberg's live online stream or cable TV channel on Friday between 5pm and 6pm NYC time to see Mat Weisfeld of VPI Industries discuss their 3D printed tonearm and perhaps announce one of their new designs. During the RMAF 2013 we here at Enjoy the Music.com interviewed Mat Weisfeld and he gave us some hints about their upcoming products. So come check out our YouTube video for a sneak peek at what may be announced on Friday! In the past few months Enjoy the Music.com provided a world premiere review of VPI's Scout 1.1 turntable and a review of their new Classic 3 turntable.
Jim Smith's new episode of Breaking Through The Sound Barrier -- now syndicated and available via iTunes along with the previous two episodes -- sees host Jim and sidekick Randall tackling various questions. He lets us all know when to expect delivery of the TTSB Kickstarter and what it takes to keep your sanity when building a proper listening room. Then Jim goes on to your e-mail, and this time he kicks that segment off with a great contribution from listener and TTSB backer Alón Sagee. You can enjoy Jim Smith's newest episode in mp3 at this link or visit iTunes to get all three. Jim's Kickstarter campaign says "Through the Sound Barrier is a book, a DVD, and a special CD. It includes the Quarter Notes newsletters, and Breaking-Through podcasts. It's really an audiophile’s toolkit. With it, we are going to realize another level of musical enjoyment, one that you most likely have not experienced much – except maybe at live concerts."
Looking to sell you high fidelity audio gear or perhaps buy something used? If so, then Stereo Fair may be just the place for you! Creating an account is simple and free. To post as ad, all you need to do is click POST AN AD and fill in the details about your item for sale. You may add up to six images. Once you've checked out, your ad will appear in your MY ADS LIST and in the NEW TODAY section of the Web site. You can always return to edit your ad later, or to change your item's status to SOLD or SALE PENDING. A single ad is just $3.50 for a 30 day listing. Special package deals are also available including five ads for $16, ten ads for $31 and 20 ads for just $60. Ad packages never expire and there is never a transaction fee. You may pay for single ads or ad packages by VISA, MasterCard, or American Express.
11 / 20 / 13
Bob Dylan is harnessing the power of current Internet technology while taking us back to his 1965 classic hit "Like a Rolling Stone". When the song first came out there was no music video, yet today's technology provides longtime and now legendary singers, songwriters and musicians a chance to relive and modernize their craft. So almost a half-century later Bob Dylan has unleashed a groundbreaking interactive project that has been created for the song "Like a Rolling Stone," allowing fans to experience this classic recording in unprecedented ways. Bob Dylan's "Like a Rolling Stone" interactive video coincided with The Complete Album Collection Volume 1, which was just released on Columbia/Legacy Recordings. Wit this new video, viewers can play an active role in the story of the music video. The experience begins when users press play and have the ability to surf 16 different "TV channels" within the video in real-time. These channels are comprised of American TV formats in which, no matter what channel you are on, the hosts and actors are all lip-syncing the lyrics to "Like a Rolling Stone" as the song continues to play seamlessly. No two people will engage with the video in the same way twice. The full interactive video can also be experienced on iPhones and iPads and is easily shared across social media platforms. "We're forever looking for compelling, creative ways to distinguish our artists and their music from the din" said Adam Block, President of Sony Music/Legacy Recordings. "The Interlude treatment of "Like a Rolling Stone" provides us with a unique, playful, highly engaging platform from which we can reach — and ideally attract — Dylan fans from across the spectrum." Yoni Bloch, founder and CEO of Interlude, said "As a musician myself, I can't imagine a more thrilling project to be a part of than helping create the first video for "Like a Rolling Stone," which is widely regarded as one of the greatest songs of all time. The song has repeatedly been voted the No. 1 Greatest Song of All Time by Rolling Stone, and is generally regarded as revolutionary, influencing both artists and popular music around the world. Like the song, we hope Interlude will inspire creative professionals everywhere to develop new and unique ways to tell stories through video."
On a related note to the Bob Dylan announcement above, Enjoy the Music.com is planning to offer a press release soon yet word is already sneaking out with great excitement within the high fidelity audio and music industry about our next project. Specifically, visit EnjoyTheMusic.TV for a small hint of what is to come. Again, an official press release from Enjoy the Music.com and Enjoy the Music.TV will be coming in the next few days.
TACET's new Maurice Ravel Ma mère l'Oye, Pavane, Le Tzigane (€25.78) as performed by the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra and conducted by Carlo Rizzi is now available on 180 gram vinyl. One year ago, the first LP in Tacet's "play backwards" procedure astounded the specialist world and customers alike. Playing an LP backwards - is that actually possible? It is indeed possible, as the thoroughly successful vinyl production "oreloB" (TACET L207) has proven. And it offers considerable advantages under certain circumstances. The question raised by "oreloB" - namely why LPs were not originally made from the inside to the outside - has remained unanswered to the present day. Admittedly, the first LP has offered an ideal program with the Bolero and La Valse of Maurice Ravel. The present LP is less spectacular in this respect. Nonetheless, the volume progression is also unmistakably clear here, as can be seen in the curve representation. The graph shows the dynamic development of both sides; both begin quite calmly and end rather powerfully. There was no reason, therefore, not to do the same with the other works of Maurice Ravel as had been done with Bolero, all of which, incidentally, were recorded during the same sessions with the fabulous Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra. Gordan Nikolic really gets the dance floor vibrating with his interpretation of "Le Tzigane", and Carlo Rizzi carries us off into the wonderful dream world of Maurice Ravel with the fairytales of Mother Goose. Depending on how well a program is suited to this procedure, some LPs by TACET will, in the future, be issued "normally" and others "backwards".
11 / 19 / 13
Enjoy the Music.com just added two reviews within our Review Magazine.
Merrill Audio VERITAS Monoblock Power Amplifiers
11 / 18 / 13
Sony's just released PlayStation 4 (PS4) is the first unit on the market to include DTS' new DTS-HD Master Audio|7.1 decoder. This is DTS' top-line surround experience, which is available from both physical disc and digitally delivered media. Launched in North America and selling over 1 million units during the first 24 hours of sales this weekend, Sony's PS4 brings the new DTS-HD Master Audio|7.1 decoder to a wide audience. PlayStation 4 features Wi-Fi and Ethernet connectivity, Bluetooth, and two USB 3.0 ports. An auxiliary port is for connection to the PlayStation Camera, which is a motion detection digital camera device first introduced on the PS3. Strangely, there is an included mono (not stereo) headset that can be plugged into the DualShock 4 controller. Audio/video output options include HDMI and TosLink optical S/PDIF audio. DTS-HD Master Audio|7.1 is the latest delivery profile under the DTS-HD technology portfolio of advanced audio solutions for next-generation content. Designed to deliver the highest quality surround sound experience possible from both physical and digital media, this new decoder supports streamed and downloaded content featuring DTS-HD-encoded audio tracks, as well as optical disc media with soundtracks produced in all DTS formats including DTS-HD Master Audio. The DTS-HD Master Audio format supports variable bit rates up to 24.5 Mbit/s on a Blu-ray disc and up to 18.0 Mbit/s for HD DVD. The format supports a maximum of 192kHz/24-bit from 2 to 5.1 channels, and 96kHz/24-bit resolution up to 7.1 channels. "Today, there are more than a couple of ways for consumers to access and enjoy entertainment content," said Brian Towne, executive vice president and chief operating officer at DTS. "Millions of consumers rely on their gaming consoles to serve as their hub for accessing digital content services, holding the expectation that these devices will deliver the same quality video and audio experience that they receive when gaming or watching Blu-ray discs. By featuring DTS' new DTS-HD Master Audio|7.1 technology, PS4 owners will be able to enjoy the same high-definition 7.1 surround sound experience received on Blu-ray from streaming and VOD services."
Edifier's newest speaker set, called Luna Eclipse ($199), includes 74 watts of amplification and quality drivers plus passive radiators. Inputs include 3.5mm stereo audio and Bluetooth for wireless connection. Ideal for compact desktops and various home environments, the Luna Eclipse connects to any Bluetooth enabled device or via 3.5mm stereo jack from smartphones, tablets, computers, etc. A touch sensitive panel controls volume, power and track changes is located on the side of Luna Eclipse’s active speaker. When in Bluetooth mode, the user can use a swiping motion to change tracks or volume. In addition, an included wireless remote allows control of volume and power. Edifier's Luna Eclipse incorporates DSP and DRC technology to minimize distortion even at the highest volumes. Each speaker cabinet contains a 0.75" tweeter and a 3" full range speaker. In addition, each speaker cabinet contains two 3" passive bass radiators to aid in maximizing the bass performance and audio quality. The built-in power amplification is 15W for each 0.75" tweeter and 22W for each front full range 3" driver. A remote control is also included and available colors for the speakers are red, black and white.
Music Industry News 10 Years Ago
11 / 16 / 13
11 / 15 / 13
Ultrasone has unveiled their Edition 5 headphones ($5000) that include S-Logic EX to add a new dimension to spatial listening. Strictly limited to 555 pieces, the closed-back Edition 5 incorporates the newly patented S-Logic EX technology that is said to delivers music like a top-quality hi-fi system. Visually, the new Ultrasone Edition 5 employs exclusive materials such as ancient bog oak, high-grade metal and luxury leather. With its most elaborate fabrication ever, Ultrasone is reaching a new standard for the company's crafted headphones. According to the company, "Although the Edition 5 headphones are dynamic, with a closed-back construction, the treble range is uniquely smooth and transparent. However, the closed design is equally good for the lower frequencies: the bass frequency range comes across with absolute precision." The two titanium-coated 40 mm sound transducers are specially designed to be used with S-Logic EX. Before they are installed, they are tested by hand and precisely matched. This ensures that the two miniature speakers in an Edition 5 model sound absolutely identical. With a frequency range of 5 Hz to 46 kHz, these sound transducers are capable of reproducing every nuance of the music in a way that is absolutely true to the original. The main purpose of S-Logic EX technology is to further optimize the already very impressive S-Logic effect. Intensive research and many years of testing have resulted in this special arrangement of the sound transducers. Special wood grain makes each model unique and are handmade at Ultrasone's factory in Bavaria. The ear cups are decorated with a wafer-thin, laser-etched Edition 5 aluminum logo. As the finishing touch, an elaborate seven-layer varnishing process brings out the natural beauty of the wood and protects it against dust and moisture. The headphones come with a high-quality case for storing the headphones themselves as well as headphone pouch. The headphones also include two high-quality OFC cables with gold-plated Neutrik connectors: a 4 meter cable with 6.3 mm stereo jack and 1.8 m mini jack cable. The Ultrasone Edition 5 are guaranteed for five years and are limited to 555 pieces.
HDtracks now offers Tommy by The Who and London Calling by The Clash in 96kHz/24-bit high resolution audio. The Who's album Tommy peaked at #2 on the 1969 UK albums chart and reached #4 on Billboard's Pop Albums chart. Certified double Platinum by the RIAA, Tommy is The Who's defining, breakthrough concept album. This is a full-blown rock opera about a deaf, dumb, and blind boy that launched the band to international superstardom. At the time the album was created in the late 60's, The Who were at a career crossroads; they were known mainly as a singles band but this project launched them as a serious 'albums band' and has now sold over 20 million copies as well as regularly turning up in lists of the most influential albums of all time. This newly-remastered album features the original 24 tracks remastered in high definition sound quality! You can use code HDALLNEW15 to save 15% on Tommy too! The Clash's album London Calling is the third album by these London punk rockers. Originally released in 1979, many of the songs on the double album are explicitly political — particularly "London Calling," "Spanish Bombs," and "The Guns of Brixton." Musically, the Clash experimented with a wide variety of styles on the record, including punk, reggae, rockabilly, ska, New Orleans R&B, pop, lounge jazz, and hard rock. London Calling is a stunning album for any time, and is an absolute classic record that no rock & roll fan should be without. The record established the Clash as more than just a punk band, but a band with a strong message that is still vibrant and relevant today. You can download these and many other albums from HDtracks at this link.
11 / 14 / 13
Experience Hendrix LLC has announced the Jimi Hendrix Guitar Competition, a celebration the music and heritage of one of the greatest guitarist of all time. Together with Sony Music's Legacy Recordings, IK Multimedia, and Talenthouse, Experience Hendrix have launched a competition that offers entrants a chance to win a performing slot on the annual Experience Hendrix tribute tour set to roll in March 2014. Contestants are invited to submit a video that shows them performing a Jimi Hendrix track. One winner will be selected by a team of judges, consisting of Janie Hendrix, Jimi's sister and Experience Hendrix CEO; and legendary engineer/producer Eddie Kramer who worked with Jimi Hendrix at the very start of his recording career in London, and, later at Woodstock and subsequently worked on the authorized series of posthumous Hendrix album releases. Judges also include Brad Tolinski, Guitar World Magazine Editor-in-Chief and author of Light & Shade: Conversations with Jimmy Page; and Dave Stewart, the musician and producer known for his role in the Eurhythmics and work with Mick Jagger, Orianthi, Bryan Ferry, Ringo Starr, Stevie Nicks and No Doubt, among others. The winner will be invited to perform a song as part of the Experience Hendrix 2014 Tour. Travel and accommodations will be provided for the winner and a guest. The Experience Hendrix Tour is an annual event featuring the greatest guitarists of our generation including Jonny Lang, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Eric Johnson, and many others. The 2014 tour line up will be announced shortly.
Swedish headphone manufacturer JAYS AB has signed an agreement for distribution with Al Fahim Avenue Group, which is one of the Middle East's most powerful players in distribution and sales of prestigious brands. Based in Dubai and established in 2009, Al Fahim Avenue Group intend to expand in the rapidly growing segment for premium audio. The agreement includes several important regions of the Middle East such as the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Kuwait and Bahrain. The market for mobile accessories in the Middle East is estimated to be worth about $200 million, an increase of 42 % over the previous year. Jays products will initially be available in Virgin Megastores and iStyle outlets in the UAE, but the presence will over time expand across more channels and regions. "We are pleased that we now with our quality brand, are able to enter such a dynamic and consumer driven market", says Rune Torbjörnsen, CEO Jays AB. "Al Fahim Avenue Group has many years of experience in establishing prestigious brands, and we welcome the fact that they have chosen to exclusively represent JAYS in their market."
11 / 13 / 13
Now you can enjoy the many facets of music via Google Glass ($1500). Simply cue up songs from Google Play Music and users have access to many millions of tracks by saying a few words. If a new song comes on the radio or while you are at a party, simply say "OK Glass. What song is this?" and it will identify the song for you. Google Glass's Internet access allows it to do many things as we explore a different ways to integrate technology into our everyday life. "We are dipping our toe into musical waters," said head of marketing for Google Glass Ed Sanders. "The ability to find and listen to music on the go is important to have as a feature for Glass." He went on to say "We'll also be adding a new voice command to Glass... that lets you access your tunes from Google Play Music or All Access." Another planned rollout for Google Glass is the ability to play songs at your command. "Ok Glass... listen to" and your music will play through your headphones of Goggle's own earbuds. Google Glass also allows you to record video, take photos send text messages and more. Gimel Androus Keaton, better known as Young Guru, was nominated for a Grammy Award in 2011 for his work on "Empire State of Mind" by Jay-Z & Alicia Keys also uses Google Glass. He has been testing the new Google Glass and said "It lets me show and explain what I'm doing to another musician when we are collaborating. Through Glass, they are looking at my digital audio work station and can see me manipulating things on the screen and also hear what I am producing. They can sign up to stream this on my Web site or through other Web sites that are run by partners. Music used to be just about selling albums, but now we have to give more to fans."
AXPONA 2014 is now open for members of the press to register for the event. As we are just under 160 days until the doors open on the 2014 Show at The Westin O'Hare, April 25 through 27, AXPONA is very pleased to open their 2014 Press Registration. A few of the newest highlights will include dedicated Press Rooms, including the Lower Convention Level and the 12th floor. Expanded exhibits for both active and booth displays. The EGX, (Ear Gear Expo) will occupy the entire second floor meeting room spaces. They are also very pleased to announce The Analog Ballroom and The Audiophile Marketplace. Covering over 7000 square feet of exhibit space these enhanced areas will make it a cinch for attendees to easily navigate and shop in an open and friendly environment. AXPONA invites everyone to experience the latest and greatest in high fidelity audio gear. Members of the press can register for AXPONA 204 by clicking here.
"AXPONA is having a really exciting year" said Stephen Davis of AXPONA. "With JD Events adding AXPONA to its impressive line up the show is growing exponentially, no pun intended. Next years event once again will break new ground in terms of what to expect from a High End Audio and Music Show. There are plans in the works for an after hours Silent Disco sponsored by one of our well know exhibitors. There will be expanded conferences and seminars and include actually training programs presented by the industry leader in acoustics, as well as audio and video calibration. A complete floor, the second, dedicated to all things headphone (EGX) Ear Gear Expo and off course hundreds of active demonstrations of the worlds best audio equipment. There will also be The Analog Ballroom and The Audiophile Marketplace covering over 7000 square feet of convention floor." Live music continues with some real surprises for everyone in attendance. AXPONA will take place April 23 through 27, 2014, at The Westin O'Hare, Rosemont IL. April 23rd will be dedicated to industry with the rolling out of the Dealer / Manufacturer Meeting and Banquet. This is an optional event that will allow Dealers and Manufacturers the time to meet and discuss products and marketing strategies away from the hustle and bustle of the show floor. It includes dinner and a special presentation to complete the evening. Setup day is April 24th and the show for public attendance is from 25th through 27th.
11 / 12 / 13
Enjoy the Music.com's third annual coverage of the Toronto Audio Video Entertainment Show (TAVES) show report is now online! TAVES 2013 returned to the King Edward Hotel in Toronto, Ontario and was an event for music enthusiasts interested in discovering and experiencing new brands and products. The TAVES event also presented a great opportunity for industry professionals to connect with manufacturers, distributors and retailers. With some 60 different exhibitors and more than 280 brands under one roof – TAVES 2013 had an abundance of fascinating gear. TAVES was presented by The New Classical 96.3 FM and Import HiFi. Of course there was plenty of CDs, DVDs, Blu-ray discs, tweaks, headphones and more to purchase at the show. See Enjoy the Music.com's TAVES 2013 show report this link.
Would you like to hear some music recorded live in high resolution from Enjoy the the recent RMAF 2013 show report? Enjoy the Music.com is offering a free download of 192kHz/24-bit music! Here are two songs recorded live, minimal mic'ing, etc. Both links have the exact same file consisting of two songs in one .wav, so please only download once from either link. Enjoy the music :)
Note: DropBox allows only 20GB per day per link, with both links having the exact same file. Therefore if both links are 'spent', just wait a day and try again :)
11 / 11 / 13
Cambridge Audio's new DacMagic XS ($189) is a matchbook-sized 192kHz/24-bit USB DAC for those who enjoy computer audio. Listening to music on your computer is very convenient – instant, easy access to all your digital files and a world of streaming services, Internet radio and video sites. Alas, generally the audio board in laptops computers leave something to be desired in sound quality and so many music lovers are choosing to upgrade the sound. Cambridge Audio's DacMagic XS connects to your computer's USB port and is claimed to "deliver the bass, clarity and power you've been missing from your digital audio, anywhere and everywhere" says the company. The DacMagic XS is smaller than a matchbox and is a mere 1.2" x 0.4" x 2.1" (HxWxD). A built-in headphone amplifier delivers 10 times more power than most laptop soundcards can manage. A volume control allows you to easily adjusted the level at the tap of a finger plus a convenient LED shows current sample rate of the music file. Internally, the DAC chip is the ESS9023 and on the outside of the unit are a 1/8" for headphone output and micro USB for your computer. The sleek, sturdy black aluminum case minimizes interference and ensures the DacMagic XS is built to last.
11 / 08 / 13
T.H.E. Show Las Vegas, held from January 7th through 10th @ the Flamingo, is only 60 days away and will feature a staggering amount of high fidelity audio gear plus the will launch The Absolute Sound's newest publication! Join the movers, shakers and innovators of tomorrow in Las Vegas at T.H.E. Show with live demo rooms representing companies brought together from across the globe. Exclusively at T.H.E. Show Las Vegas you can pick up an autographed copy of this must-have The Absolute Sound publication, Volume One, and meet the contributors plus special guests! T.H.E. Marketplace booths return with the best in personal listening, vinyl recordings, digital audio discs and more. You can also experience Acoustic Sounds' new DSD music too!
IK Multimedia announces iLoud ($299), the company's first wireless portable speaker designed for musicians for "studio monitor quality on the go". The iLoud battery-operated speakers combine high output power, wide frequency response and low end frequency production in an ultra-portable design. Blasting 40W RMS of power, the onboard DSP processor and a bi-amplified four-driver array of high efficient neodymium loudspeakers aim to provide accurate, even response across the entire frequency spectrum. For deep bass response, iLoud's bass-reflex design aids at providing bass down to 50 Hz. IK Multimedia's iLoud supports Bluetooth operation for wireless audio streaming plus has a stereo 1/8" mini-jack analog input for connecting line-level devices and 1/4" jack for guitar/microphone/etc. The unit is small enough so that it can be easily carried anywhere in a laptop bag or a backpack. It has the overall dimensions of an iPad, is only 2.3" deep plus features a tilted shape for optimal listening on a desktop.
Music Industry News 10 Years Ago
11 / 07 / 13
XTZ is now offering their new Master M2 and 95.22 monitor speakers. The Master M2, pictured here, is a two-way unit that employs a special high density cabinet made of a polymeryzation of epoxy and polyurethane. The cabinet of XTZ's M2 is non-resonant and 40% higher in density as compared to MDF. Cross bracing is added to further reduce cabinet resonance. The cabinet is built using a narrow front so that the acoustic performance is enhanced. The XTZ M2 Master has a SEAS new 6.5" Curv midrange/woofer developed in cooperation between SEAS and XTZ. This new Curv cone is made with woven polypropylene with excellent internal damping together with perfectly matched moving parts to deliver smooth, extended frequency response. The magnet systems are equipped with heavy copper rings and a solid copper phase plug, which reduce flux modulation and eddy current distortion. A very high quality 30mm dome tweeter with dual neodymium magnets handle the upper frequencies. On the rear of the unit are gold plated terminals. The crossover is an advanced Linkwitz/Riley type, with 12 and 18 dB/octave slope for midrange and tweeter. The crossover uses MOX resistors, air wound coils and top notch capacitors from Mundorf. Internal cabling is 99.99% pure copper. Dimensions are 424 x 231 x 374 (HxWxD in mm) and each unit weighs 18kg.
XTZ also has released their 95.22 two-way speaker that features a special super light ribbon driver for the uppermost frequencies. XTZ's own ribbon driver is mounted in a die-cast aluminum horn. Their Ribbon tweeter is constructed in a three-layered sandwich of aluminum covered with rosin on either side. Very string Neodymium magnets ensure proper performance. For the midrange and lowermost frequencies, a 5.25" high-grade long excursion driver with electroplated titanium color on polypropylene cone is put to good use. The durable rubber surround is said to eliminate edge resonances. Holding this driver is a molded aluminum basket , which is extremely light yet very stiff while effectively reducing structural resonances. A front grill with invisible magnetic mounting keeps this design very clean with or without the grill mounted. Gold plated connection terminals accepts bare cable, cable shoe or banana plug. Sturdy cabinet constructed with 18 mm MDF is designed for on-wall mounting with only a single screw, yet the unit includes two keyhole brackets if you prefer more sturdy mounting. Dimensions are 375 x 220 x 130 (HxWxD in mm) and each unit weighs 5.2 kg. Available cabinet colors include White matte painting and black high gloss painting.
11 / 06 /13
The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) predicts consumer electronics spending will rise 2.6% this holiday season -- down from 4% growth in 2012, according to CEA's 2013 holiday outlook. They predict that 74% of consumers planning to purchase gifts this holiday season intend to buy consumer electronics as gifts, allocating 33% of their overall holiday gift budgets to CE. The study found that 68% of consumers indicate they will spend the same or more this holiday season compared to last year. However, the amount consumers report they actually plan to spend will reach an average of $1431, which is a 12% decrease from 2012. Additionally, 86% of U.S. adults say they plan to buy gifts this holiday season, with 53% of their overall holiday budgets devoted to gifts. Those consumers who plan to spend less this year, 68% according to CEA, commonly cite concerns about the economy, already having what they need or want and not having the money to spend on gifts. "Negative economic sentiment and slipping momentum have consumers cautious about overall spending this holiday, but recent agreements, albeit temporary, should improve consumer confidence toward spending for the duration of the year," said Shawn DuBravac, CEA's chief economist and senior director of research. "Moreover, holiday tech spending will remain somewhat impervious with recent and forthcoming product announcements to buoy excitement within the tech categories driving growth this holiday season." Headphones/earbuds achieved a 40% desire and will be the most popular CE device given this holiday season. A case for an electronic device (27%) will also be popular this year. A staggering 87% of U.S. adults indicated they were likely to use a mobile device to help them shop for consumer electronics this holiday season. The most common mobile shopping activities consumers will engage in is looking up retailer information (66%), comparing prices (62%) and getting information about products before store visits (62%). "Mobile has become a major stepping stone on the consumer's path to purchase and we can expect to see retailers increase app driven promotions this season," said Steve Koenig, director of industry analysis, CEA.
Music Industry News 10 Years Ago
11 / 05 / 13
While this is no surprise to Enjoy the Music.com readers, as our October contest gave the world a first look at their now shipping Audioengine A2+ powered small monitor speakers. Audioengine's 2+ premium powered desktop speakers ($249/pair) follow their other award-winning designs. The A2+ includes a USB DAC so you can bypass the computer's headphone output and send music directly through USB for improved sound. Power output is 60 Watt peak and the drivers are a 0.75" silk soft dome tweeter and 2.75" Kevlar midrange/woofer. "We designed the A2+ with the same philosophy as our other products - great sound and simple setup and operation," says Audioengine Director, Dave Evans. "The A2+ upgrades are based on customer and dealer feedback and I feel we've achieved our goal without altering the fundamental design and sound of the original A2." An output to connect a subwoofer is included and you can even go wireless with Audioengine's W3 adapter ($149). Using a similar analog design as the Audioengine 5+, the A2+ power amplifiers are built inside the left speaker providing a very efficient system. Setup is easy, as you simply plug the left speaker into a power outlet and connect the included speaker wire from left to right. They have included multiple inputs for easy connection to your computer or iDevice. All cables needed are included, there's no software to install, and A2+ works with any computer or music player. You can get a set for free as we have extended our October contest until November 10th, so enter to claim your chance to win a set of Audioengine A2+ at this link!
Magico's newest S-Series loudspeaker, the S3 ($22,600/pair) is a full range, floorstanding loudspeaker that offers cutting edge technology and high fidelity performance. Naturally the S3 shares the same engineering heritage of its two siblings, the S1 and S5, and sits squarely between them. As with all Magico loudspeakers, the S3 uses an acoustic suspension enclosure, one whose further refinements include a new uniquely designed sub-enclosure for its midrange driver. The polycarbonate enclosure utilizes a combination of advanced materials as well as a specially developed shape. Both of these features when combined create what the company feels is an ideal acoustic property and control for a sub-enclosure in a loudspeaker cabinet. Its contoured extruded aluminum cabinet -- the world's largest monocoque enclosure at 16" in diameter with 0.5" aluminum walls -- minimizes diffraction effects, internal resonance, and damping requirements. Magico's S3 utilizes the same advanced 1" MB30 Beryllium tweeter and 6" MB390 mid-woofer as in their S5. This is coupled with two newly-developed 8" Hybrid Nano-Tec/aluminum woofer. Impedance is 4 Ohms and frequency response is from 26 Hz to 50 kHz. Dimensions are 48” x 14” x 12” (HxDxW) and each speaker weighs 150 lbs.
11 / 04 / 13
MTV Artists is a new app exclusively for iPhone that enables you to discover and connecting with artists and hear music, plus of course see rarely shown on the network music videos. The app provides three primary functions to serve the music fan. First, fans discover new music and artists drafting off the way fans already experience music today (through sound ID, lyrics and search). Next, as a hub to learn and establish a connection with artists. Finally, as a destination for exclusive content and access directly from artists and MTV. With music search, it including only a 90-second scan of the artist's top songs. Of course users will be able to buy products from MTV and their partners. MTV Artists allows artists to populate and control their own pages so they can communicate as frequently and in whatever which way they want with their fans. Of course more popular bands will have far more information on their own website with more in-depth information to satisfy their fans' needs, though MTV hopes for some exclusive content. MTV Artists also hopes to streamline artist's social feed as many other apps do today. MTV, a company that gained fame by playing music videos most of the time, has since shied away from such things and now locks out the highly popular Android device users from enjoying their app.
Thirty years ago it was "I want my MTV", yet with so few videos on that channel it is time for Revolt TV. Now a new generation of music fans has its own cable network, minus the feathered bangs and mullets, with the launch of Revolt TV for Time Warner Cable customers. Revolt TV is now available in both standard def and high def as part of the Digital tier in Time Warner Cable markets. Founded by P. Diddy, Revolt TV is a new multi-genre network is targeted towards artists and fans using the power of social media to spark conversations around music, artists, and their creations. "Our distribution through Time Warner Cable gives us comprehensive access to an audience with a demonstrated passion for music news and programming," said Keith Clinkscales, CEO of Revolt Media & TV. "We not only look forward to an innovative relationship with Time Warner Cable, but also a great relationship with their customers who are craving more of the music they love and can't live without." The Revolt platform will exist as an authority in dynamic music content and a destination for conversations around music, artists, and their creations backed by the innovative leadership of Combs. It will be the first music network to truly leverage the power of social media communication tools to fuel the live music dialog and influence music culture and content in real time for the video-centric generation.
11 / 02 / 13
Linn's Exakt ($80,000) is a revolution in their hi-fi systems, which has turned the loudspeaker into an intelligent, connected, software-upgradeable product. Exakt builds on Linn DS to extend the lossless digital path all the way to the speaker, thus keeping the signal digital and only converting to analogue at the last possible stage to ensure accuracy of data, low latency and low jitter. The Klimax Exakt System comprises their Klimax Exakt DSM and Klimax Exakt 350 speakers. The main unit sends digital data to an Exakt speaker losslessly to eliminate sources of noise, distortion and interference inherent in the traditional analogue hi-fi chain. Inside the Exakt Speaker is a digital platform that enables audio performance enhancing capabilities. The Linn Exakt ensures phase correction of every signal, thus eliminating the phase and magnitude distortion introduced by analogue crossovers. During manufacture, any physical variation between parts is inherent in even the most accurate processes, however Exakt measures and corrects for these problems between drive units. Thus every system that leaves the factory is guaranteed to perform exactly to its specification. Linn's Exakt system is optimized to the room using new Linn software. For vinyl enthusiasts, a new analog to digital converter (ADC) converts the signal to digital and sends it losslessly to the speaker.
In time for Richard Strauss' 150th birthday in 2014, Reference Recordings has released the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and Music Director Manfred Honeck presenting a new SACD with three of Strauss' "Tondichtungen": "Don Juan", "Death and Transfiguration" and "Till Eulenspiegel's Merry Pranks". As the first release in a new series, this thrilling live performances from the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra is recorded in brilliant audiophile sound! This release is planned as the first in a series of multi-channel hybrid SACD recordings on FRESH! from Reference Recordings. Several additional recordings for the PITTSBURGH LIVE! series are already completed and they expect to release two per year. The next title planned is Bruckner's Fourth Symphony, for spring 2014. Reference Recordings says they are truly honored to offer music from this great American orchestra and their renowned conductor, Manfred Honeck.
Last Chance To Enter!
11 / 01 / 13
Audiolics Anonymous Chapter 167
Skoff'ing Up Food For Thought
Robokind's ZENO R25 Interactive Robot
Kudos Audio Super 20 Speaker
Vacuum Tubes Part 4
Mundi, great performances of well-known and less known
Rock, Techno, House, etc.
See the November Review Magazine by clicking here.
In a move that could revolutionize how iOS users enjoy the music on headphones and other compatible hi-fi systems, Onkyo recently released their HF Player app that enables playback of high-resolution 192kHz/24-bit and DSD audio files for iApple devices. The new app also enables user-friendly control over how music sounds via a staggering 16,384 band phase-linear FIR equalizer. This full-featured audio player app has an intuitive interface that includes album artwork display, playback controls, and an organizational structure that will be familiar to any iOS user. Once the app has been pointed to the device's music library via a synch with an iTunes-equipped computer (an auto synch function is included), the user can start exploring the benefits of sound customization. The user simply shapes their desired frequency curve with a finger on the touchscreen to manipulate bass, mid-bass, mid-range, and treble response. Presets may be created to suit a particular musical genre, artist, album, or pair of headphones and can be saved, swapped, and loaded in moments. Onkyo's design team enlisted respected musicians to personally design EQ presets optimized specifically for Onkyo in-ear and on-ear headphones. Additional functionality includes an automatic upsampling function (from 44.1 to 48 kHz) and selectable track crossfading. Onkyo hopes the friendly interface and audio flexibility will turn casual listeners, who may have only just begun to rediscover their favorite music with a pair of quality headphones, into budding hi-fi enthusiasts. Users seeking the ultimate in high-resolution audio performance can make an in-app HF Player Pack purchase ($9.99) to enable FLAC, DSD, WAV, and AIFF playback of up to 192 kHz with 24-bit sampling and DSD (these files are loaded via a simple drag-and-drop operation on an iTunes-equipped PC prior to synchronization). This in-app purchase also enables selectable upsampling from 44.1 to 192 kHz, and an HD phase-linear equalizer with an incredible 20,000 bands of adjustment in 64-bit mode. Please note that DSD-IFF and DSF formats are converted to PCM before playback.
Sony Canada just announced at TAVES 2013 their new PHA-2 portable headphones amplifier ($600, March 2014 availability) plus their HAP-Z1ES hi-rez music player ($2000), HAP-S1 compact hi-rez HDD audio player ($1000) and UDA-1 USB DAC with internal amplifier ($700) that will all be available January 2014. All products offer superior sound reproduction and have been specifically designed to support the latest high-resolution music sources. The new PHA-2 portable headphone amplifier was conceived to deliver superior sound reproduction from a variety of audio sources and is the first portable DAC/amplifier to be compatible with virtually every high-resolution digital file format, including up to 192 kHz/24-bit PCM and both DSD (2.8MHz) and Double DSD (5.6MHz). Listeners can also enjoy upgraded sound quality with MP3 files and other music sources. It features a variety of advanced technologies, including such refinements as an Asynchronous Transport Mode which utilizes a dedicated signal generator to reduce timing errors for more accurate, jitter-free converter performance. It also incorporates a high precision D/A converter, along with such devices as a custom headphone amplifier IC with high slew rate, ultra-low distortion operation; OCL (output capacitor-less) current feedback architecture; plus a dual power supply operation for more stable and accurate reproduction. All components are enclosed in a durable aluminum chassis which is protected from external interference. The PHA-2 headphone amplifier also has a variable gain headphone input that supports a wide range of impedances; as well as Zinc die-cast bumpers to protect the volume control and headphone connector from external shock and vibration.
Sony's PHA-2 can be easily connected to both PC and Mac computers via its USB 2.0 interface, and also includes a dedicated digital input for iPod, iPhone and iPad products. Other portable audio sources such as Android smartphones and digital music players can be connected via the analog audio input. The PHA-2 comes with a built-in Lithium-ion battery which runs up to 6.5 hours with a digital connection and up to 17 hours with an analog connection on a single charge.
Sony's new HAP-Z1ES hi-rez music player (RMAF 2013 video is available here) is compatible with DSD 5.6MHz and 192kHz/24-bit and converts all audio data into DSD with the DSD Re-Mastering Engine. Offering newly developed high-quality audio technologies including analog FIR filter for ideal D/A conversion, low phase noise master clock, independent analog/digital large-volume twin transformer and high-precision/rigidity FB chassis, the HAP-Z1ES comes with built-in Wi-Fi (IEEE802.11b/g/n compatible), internal 1TB HDD (expandable via USB HDD) and 4.3-inch color LCD display.
Sony's new HAP-S1 HDD audio player is compact and compatible with DSD 5.6MHz and 192kHz/24 bit music files. Compressed audio files benefit from DSEE technology. Boasting 40W per channel, this stereo unit has newly developed high-quality audio technology with analog FIR filter for D/A conversion. A 3mm-thick aluminum panel gives the Sony HAP-S1 an elegant and solid feel yet is compact at only 265mm x 80mm x 265mm(WxHxD). The unit includes built-in Wi-Fi (IEEE802.11b/g/n compatible), internal 500GB HDD (expandable via USB HDD) and 4.3-inch color LCD display.
The new Sony UDA-1 USB DAC amplifier is compatible with DSD 5.6MHz and 192kHz/32-bit music files and for compressed audio files uses DSEE. Equipped with 20W per channel, this stereo unit has an analog FIR filter for ideal D/A conversion. The internal headphone amplifier allows for music playback via smartphones through USB A input.
Lastly, the new SS-HA1 and SS-HA3 bookshelf speaker systems both come with the Double Super Tweeter to reproduce a wide sound field. Both models include the 25mm soft-dome tweeter (HA1), 130mm MRC woofer, ideal diffraction-suppression baffle shape, banana plug compatible binding post, and high-rigidity aluminum cabinet casing.
AudioValve's RKV MARK III headphone amplifier is based on the legendary RKV MARK II and developed this new headphone amplifier with unique new and interesting features. The company claims is has "the ability to render fully believable, 3D images, replete with harmonic richness is unparalleled". AudioValve's RKV MARK 3 employs reference-level OTL vacuum tube design and has a low noise floor, low distortions, high frequency range and high damping. On the left side of the front panel are two jacks for headphones and three rotary switches. The headphone jacks are connected in parallel when using the 6.3 mm connectors. For the use of XLR connectors , take the lower bushing for the right ear and the top of the left ear. Below the two headphone jacks is the Mode switch to select your connected sources. Use the OTL mode if you have a high-impedance headphones (>100 Ohms). Simply turn on the Impedance switch for best results with your chosen devices. A total of five stereo RCA inputs and two XLR and provided. Input 5 is occupied by the built-in phono module for those with turntables. In the middle of the front panel you find the Alps volume pot, balance control and power switch. There is a clipping indicator to show faulty tube or overload with one of the eight PCL805 tubes. Available options include case color of standard, black or silver and another option is a special limited edition in ivory white colored case. Overall power output is 5.8 Watt into a 220 Ohm load and frequency response is from 10 Hz 150 kHz.
For previous high-end audio industry news click here.