High-End Audio / Hi-Res
Audio (HRA) Audiophile Industry News
03 / 29 / 16
Montréal Salon Audio // Audio Fest 2016 Show Report
Montreal Audio Fest Show Report By Rick Becker
Issue Is Now Available Online
Enjoy the Music.com has just posted the
May 2016 issue of Hi-Fi World magazine! This issue features reviews of
the Spendor SP200 loudspeakers, Mass Fidelity Core Wireless speaker, B&W Zeppelin wireless loudspeaker, FiiO M3 digital audio portable player, Acoustic Research AR-UA1 USB DAC, Unison Research Preludio integrated amplifier, coverage of the Bristol Sound & Vision Show 2016, Hi-Fi World Awards ceremony and much more!
Within his editorial titled Great Features Reviews And Some Nostalgia, Noel
Keywood says, "No apologies for nostalgia, of a sort, in this issue, when we feature Spendor's new SP200 loudspeakers. Phil Swift, MD, knew we would take to these giants with not one but two 12in bass unit apiece. What you have to bear in mind here is that they produce prodigious bass as a result and need a big room to work properly, the assumption being that if you can afford their £15k price tag then you have a home large enough for them too. We have a massive 6000 cu ft listening room specifically for monsters like the new SP200s and loved every minute of having it re-arranged by them. See what Jon Myles felt on p10. As vinyl sales spin steadily upward Paul Rigby continues to steadily spin LPs round and round, playing them with an ever increasing number of quality pickup cartridges. This month he reviews the Transfiguration Proteus MC cartridge - and you can read about it on p103."
what's within this issue of
Hi-Fi World at this
03 / 26 / 16
CEntrance 32-bit/384kHz DACportable Indiegogo Campaign
CEntrance's DACportable Indiegogo campaign has already surpassed their goal in a matter of hours and is
reaching stretch goals! CEntrance's DACportable is a powerful, palm-sized device that turns the average audio of your smartphone, tablet or computer into a "concert-hall listening experience". DACportable builds upon the legacy of
other company's award-winning DACport Classic and adds the most requested features such as rechargeable battery and sonic shaping filters. It comes from the company's years of experience in audio research and development. Encased in anodized aluminum, DACportable comes packed with audiophile-grade components. Just plug it in and
go! Via a USB connection, CEntrance DACportable extracts clean digital audio from your portable device, converts it to analog using high-end D/A conversion technology, and delivers pristine audiophile fidelity right to your ear. With features like EQ filters, digital volume control, a quick charge battery and more, DACportable's
high-resolution sound is backed with 32-bit/384kHz digital audio processing to satisfy even the most discerning music buff. Due to it being self-powered, it won't drain your phone's battery. The DACportable will also work with future iPhones with or without headphone jacks, preserving your headphone investment! Stretch
goal features include a lightning cable ($39.95 value!) and a carry pouch ($49.95 value).
03 / 25 / 16
Audio Note UK Updates Concerning
Black Gate Capacitor Replacement
While many manufacturers use very high quality off-the-shelf internal components,
Audio Note UK seeks to redefine
the very best by producing their own line of parts. In September 2014 Audio Note UK started releasing their new range of exclusively designed and manufactured electrolytic capacitors. The first types were the standard Audio Note UK Electrolytic Audio Capacitor, which were closely followed in October 2014 by the Audio Note UK Kaisei Audio Capacitors. Seeking to produce a complete audio capacitor range for each quality level needed to make their own products primarily, Audio Note Standard, Audio Note Kaisei polar and Audio Note Kaisei bi-polar/non-polarized, will be followed by the outstanding Audio Note Black Gate replacement range, which should also be available in
polarized and bi-polar versions. Rubycon, the original manufacturer of the acclaimed
Blake Gate Capacitors, ceased production in 2006 and they are therefore not available. Over the years there have been a variety of fakes appearing in the marketplace. For the past six years Audio Note UK has been working with Rubycon to design and make Audio Note branded Black Gate replacements. Of note is that these will not be exact copies of Black Gates as such, but they will represent what Audio Note UK considers to be a further development of the Black Gate technology. This wil be done primarily through improved materials plus by employing combinations of materials with the main focus on sound quality rather than purely measured performance. Whilst Audio Note is said to consider the Black Gate the finest sounding electrolytic capacitor ever made, they are keen to reinstate, and hopefully improve, upon this level of quality before the company's internal stock of original Black Gates runs out. CEO of Audio Note UK, Peter Qvortrup and their designer Andy Grove recently came back from Japan and the progress update is not quite as good as they had hoped. Rubycon are struggling to find a supplier of the carbonized paper, who can imbed the graphite particles evenly into the paper. Thus there will be more time needed to have the ability to make replacements of the Black Gate capacitor. Enjoy the Music.com will keep our
readers posted about progress made in producing this outstanding part.
Industry News 15 Years Ago
According to the
American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
(ASHA), over half the high school students they surveyed reported suffering a
single symptom or more of hearing
loss. The survey centered around the use of earbud / earphone use like those that come with Apple's iPod and portable MP3 players. This stems from a target sample of 301 high school student interviews via the telephone and has a margin of error of +/- 5.8 percentage points. According to the press release "The polling found that high school students are more likely than adults to say they have experienced three of the four symptoms of hearing loss: turning up the volume on their TV or radio (28 percent students vs. 26 percent adults); saying "what" or "huh" during normal conversation (29 percent students, 21 percent adults); and, having tinnitus or ringing in the ears (17 percent students, 12 percent adults). More disturbing is that less than half of high students (49 percent) say they have experienced none of the symptoms, compared to 63 percent of adults who say this." What they also found is that two-fifths of students and adults set the volume at loud on their Apple iPods, with students twice as likely as adults to play it very loud (13 percent vs. 6 percent). ASHA President, Alex Johnson, said "Overall, we believe that public education is a big part of the solution. We intend to redouble our efforts with a focus on prevention. Many ASHA members are school-based. Through them and others, we plan to reach out to younger kids -- to their parents, significant adults, and educators. This is so important because even minimal hearing loss can significantly harm the social and educational development of children." While this is not the first time
Enjoy the Music.com has reported on possible hearing loss due to earbud use, we want to ensure the message comes through loud and clear.
03 / 24 / 16
Hum Pristine Reference Custom In-Ear Monitors
A very accurate two-driver custom in-ear monitor.
Review By Steven R. Rochlin
Save 25% Off The New
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03 / 23 / 16
RIAA 2015 Year-End Sales And Shipments Data Report
Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), the trade organization with members comprising of the record industry that represents 85% of all legitimate recorded music produced and sold within the United States of
America, has released their 2015 Year-End Sales & Shipments Data Report. The report says "The U.S. recorded music industry continued its transition to more digital and more diverse revenue streams in 2015. Overall revenues in 2015 were up 0.9% to $7.0 billion at estimated retail value. The continued growth of revenues from streaming services offset declines in sales of digital downloads and physical product. And at wholesale value, the market was up 0.8% to $4.95 billion – the fifth consecutive year that the market has grown at wholesale value. 2015 was a milestone year for streaming music. For the first time, streaming was the largest component of industry revenues, comprising 34.3% of the market, just slightly higher than digital downloads." Music lovers who prefer vinyl LPs can
rejoice as 2015 sales have reached $416,200,000, which is a 32.2% increase of 2014's $314,900,000
sales figure. DVD-Audio sold $5,400,000, which is an increase of 153.2% over 2014 and SACD titles sold $1,100,000 (40.5% increase). To put this in perspective, CD sales in 2015 were $1,520,800,000, which is a
decline of 17% as compared to 2014. We're not sure how the music industry is counting total sales as it may be hard to
properly balance accounting for streaming quantity, yet in total all sales reached 1,302,000,000 in units (-14%)
and the total value was $7,015,900,000, which is an increase of 0.9%. And now a few words from Cary Sherman, Chairman and CEO of the RIAA:
"Digital music subscription/streaming reached, the paid subscription version, reached sales of $1,218,900,000, which is an increase of 52.3%. Free (ad supported) on-demand music streaming achieved sales of $385,100,000 (30.6% increase over 2014).
Today we report 2015 music industry revenues. Our SVP of Strategic Data Analysis, Josh Friedlander, provides a deeper dive into the specific numbers here. Let me offer a few additional thoughts and visual ways to understand the data
First, the numbers and data reflect a business that continues to undergo considerable changes in consumer behavior and business models. The music labels we represent have embraced that change, working tirelessly to find and nurture great artists, bring their music to billions of fans, and work with
today's digital distribution platforms to offer music in new ways.
The music industry is now a digital business, deriving more than 70% of its revenues from a wide array of digital platforms and formats. The share of revenues from those digital formats surpasses that of any other creative industry.
Another headline? In 2015, digital music subscription services reached new all-time highs, generating more than $1 billion in revenues for the first time, and averaging nearly 11 million paid subscriptions for the year. Heading into 2016, the number of subscriptions swelled even higher — more than 13 million by the end of December — holding great promise for this year.
But at its core, music is about artists and their art.
While today's data is encouraging, the challenges facing us are significant. The consumption of music is skyrocketing, but revenues for creators have not kept pace. In 2015, fans listened to hundreds of billions of audio and video music streams through on-demand ad-supported digital services like YouTube, but revenues from such services have been meager — far less than other kinds of music services. And the problem is getting worse. Check out the alarming disparity between the growth in the number of ad-supported streams compared to the growth in revenues generated from those streams:
This is why we, and so many of our music community brethren, feel that some technology giants have been enriching themselves at the expense of the people who actually create the music. We call this the
"value grab" — because some companies take advantage of outdated, market-distorting government rules and regulations to either pay below fair-market rates, or avoid paying for that music altogether. These unjustifiable inequities (really, special-interest favors) include: the exemption AM/FM broadcasters enjoy from having to pay artists and labels for the music they play, satellite
radio's unfair and inexplicable below-market rate standard, and the hopelessly outdated
"notice and takedown" provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), which many services have distorted to rake in billions of dollars of revenue on the backs of artists, songwriters and labels.
Need further proof that some fundamental market distortions are at play? Last year, 17 million vinyl albums, a legacy format enjoying a bit of a resurgence, generated more revenues than billions and billions of on-demand free streams: $416 million compared to $385 million for on-demand free streams.
I'm confident that music's future is bright. The popularity of music is greater than ever. Like never before, it drives our culture and commerce. It is the throbbing heartbeat of social media and it is a must-have ingredient of any major technology platform. But reforms are necessary to level the playing field and ensure that the entire music community derives the full and fair value of our work." You can see the entire RIAA 2015 Year-End Sales & Shipments Data Report in PDF form
Industry News 15 Years Ago
Recording Industry's Very First Protected CD Is Released
As reported on the Enjoy the Music.com News Page on February
9th, 2001, many music labels are deeply concerned of pirating their music through the use of Napster and bit for bit copies on to CD-R media. With high speed broadband
Internet availability, sending a complete CD only takes a few minutes. Enter country music record label Fahrenheit Entertainment who announced their first copy-protected CD release. Specifically, the release of Charley Pride's
Tribute to Jim Reeves included a protection scheme that should appear in stores in May.
"'As I was negotiating with Charley, I learned that (protecting CDs) was important to
him,"' says Bob Heatherly, head of Music City Records. '"I've seen songwriters myself who have been close to homeless before they finally got the two or three hits that let them survive. And so when I realized how important this was to Charley, I said, 'Let's find a way to make this happen.'
'" While various tests have been made to insure the music will play on CD players, the problem is that the same protection scheme that
thwarts "ripping" the music also may stop the music CDs from playing on computer CD-Rom drivers including laptops and many car radios that use
CD-Roms for playing CDs. This will make many consumers very angry and
possibly cause the whole protected CD format back to the drawing board. While this reporter feels the industry can never fully make CDs
playable on all drives yet unrippable, the legal fair rights clause allowing
legal owners of software to make copies of music for personal use will be infringed.
Therefore we may see various consumer rights groups suing labels over the new protected CD
media scheme. In the end it seems the labels are in a futile fight to protect their material.
03 / 22 / 16
Venture Audio VP200D
Preamplifier With 384kHz / 512DSD DAC
Audio, established by Njoo Hoo Kong who is a dedicated scientist that envisions equipment
which can bring the essence of musical performances and events into a listener's home environment, is now shipping their VP200D preamplifier with built-in DAC ($60,000). Venture's VP200D is the result of the company's many years of studies and research
plus extensive experience in designing high performance audio systems. All components are carefully
chosen based on their best sound quality and hand selected during different stages of production with
extreme care. This attention ensures the quality during each stage is of the highest level. The care of its completion makes each VP200D not only a high-end device, but also permits it to reach true musical quality heights. Power bandwidth is an outstanding 1 Hz to 100 kHz with an extremely low harmonic distortion of less than 0.01%. Sound quality is ensures via a very high signal-to-noise ratio of >110dB. Venture's VP200D has three stereo sets of balanced XLR input and found unbalanced RCA stereo pairs. Digital inputs include two S/PDIF and USB 2.0 for up to 384khz and DSD512 playback. Dimensions are
483 x 170 x 440 (WxHxD in mm) and it weighs 35 lbs.
03 / 21 / 16
Enjoy the Music.com March 2016 Contest!
Win OPPO's Incredible PM-2 Planar Magnetic Headphones Valued At $699!
Wikitude Is Working With The
Latest Mosquito 3D Sound Engine
As audiophiles and music lovers, both home and portable enthusiasts, seeking a more immersive experience we have
Wikitude working with the latest Mosquito 3D
sound engine experience. One of the most important parts of creating an immersive experience may not be mind-blowing visuals on a massive screen – it's incredibly intricate, highly nuanced sound design. Hearing is the second-most important human sense, and indispensable to the way we move, communicate, and think. That's why Wikitude has introduced the first 3D audio enabled augmented reality experience that adds one more incredibly useful tool to its powerful Wikitude AR SDK. In partnership with Mosquito Engine, a leading developer of high quality 3D audio tools, the two companies have developed a 3D audio
plug-in that empowers AR experiences and concepts. This 3D audio engine automatically follows virtual objects, making it possible to play audio that indicates the position of the object(s) in the 3D augmented environment. The engine manages proper audio positioning, volume, and all other audio cues that make up for a true immersive experience. You can hear it now via Skeeto within the app store – a simple AR game with 3D audio integration. Gameplay is the modern, mobile equivalent of the arcade classic Whac-A-Mole – but in Skeeto, the bug lives on your phone, tablet or AR glasses, and you need to get it before it gets you. Also keep an eye out for the soon-to-be available template demo app called Wikiwings, designed specifically by Wikitude and Mosquito Engine for developers who are interested in building their own AR apps with 3D sound. "The Wikitude SDK is boundless in its versatility" said Daniel Talma, CEO of Mosquito Engine. "It was super easy for us to integrate our 3D audio engine, and the results are simply stunning." Philipp Nagele, Wikitude's CTO believes that
"3D audio in augmented reality highly enhances the sense of immersion since your eyes believe what your ears hear. We need partners to deliver powerful sound toolkits to accomplish this, and Mosquito delivers exactly
GmbH is the world's leading mobile augmented reality (AR) technology provider
for smartphones, tablets and digital eyewear. Its fully in-house developed AR
technology is available through its SDK,
Recognition and Studio
products enabling brands, agencies and developers to achieve their AR goals. Wikitude's latest product addition is
Tracking, allowing apps to see in rooms, spaces and environments.
03 / 18 / 16
Coming Soon: Pride And Joy: The Story Of Alligator Records
The upcoming Blu-ray
And Joy: The Story Of Alligator Records is Robert Mugge's dynamic portrait of Alligator Records, a label that showcased legendary Chicago blues founded by Bruce Iglauer in 1971. Bruce Iglauer, Founder and President of Alligator Records, has over the past two decades become the world's most successful purveyor of blues-related product. Iglauer's message to Mugge was simple: "We should know each other!" Mugge agreed, and from that initial phone call began a long-term friendship, as well as immediate collaboration on another feature-length blues film. That film, 1992's Pride And Joy: The Story Of Alligator Records, presents musical highlights from one of the four-plus-hour concerts (March 12th at Philadelphia's now-defunct Chestnut Cabaret) that made up the Alligator Records 20th Anniversary Tour, glimpses of Alligator's Chicago offices, and profiles of key performers and staff members. The "pride and joy" on display are not only that of fine musical artists plying their trades, but also that of a passionate and highly principled entrepreneur succeeding in a business mostly controlled by corporate giants and littered with the wreckage of countless small, independent labels. Songs in the film include "Pride and Joy" and "Ed's Boogie" (Lil' Ed), "Pussycat Moan" and "Lord, I Wonder" (Katie Webster), "El-Bo" and "Beer Drinking Woman" (Elvin Bishop), "I'd Rather Go Blind" (Koko Taylor), "Wife For Tonight" and "I Want All My Money Back" (Lonnie Brooks), "It's A Dirty Job" (Koko Taylor with Lonnie Brooks), and "Sweet Home Chicago" (final joint encore). MVD Entertainment Group is pleased to announce the first Blu-ray release of this exciting film which Jim Bessman of Billboard called "A fascinating look at the pivotal blues label... [with performances that are] uniformly dynamite." For this release, the film has been newly transferred to HD from the original 16mm film and stereo audio masters and lovingly restored by the director. Also included on the Blu-ray are ten bonus songs taken from Alligator's original 1992 tour and soundtrack CD, as well as the director's new "making of" video titled "Alligator Tales." Release date for the Blu-ray is set for April 22nd and pre-orders are being taken now.
03 / 17 / 16
High Definition Vinyl LPs Made
Possible Via Femto-Laser Cutting
As many new vinyl titles are sourced from digital audio files, the once all analog domain is now taking things one step further as it has been reported that
Rebeat has patented High Definition Vinyl (HD Vinyl). This new format
may be reaching stores in the coming years and has many benefits over the many
decades old process. It has been claimed that this new format is backward compatible with current turntables plus there can be 30% more capacity stored within this new vinyl LP format. To make a vinyl LP,
manufacturers must first start by cutting the metal lacquer, which is usually done by placing a lacquer blank on a record-cutting machine and using a master audio source in analog form to then physically cut the metal grooves. This process is time consuming and can be
fraught with cutting errors. By changing the way lacquers are produced via the High Definition Vinyl process, it reduces the overall costs and time to ensure a quality product. A pulsed high-energy Femto-laser is used to literally
burn the music on a stamper. Distance between the grooves and depth adjustments happen automatically, with a carefully calculated 90-degree burning angle eliminating possible distortions. By reducing the effort needed to make a
lacquer and other steps to finally produce a stamper, overall costs in this process is said to be reduced by 50%. "We adjust the distance of the grooves, we correct the radial/tangential errors, and we optimize the frequencies," said Rebeat CEO Guenter Loibl "You could say we 'master' the topographical data, which is a totally different approach." Another added benefit according to Rebeat is that this new process doubles the audio fidelity of most LPs currently sold within stores. This newly patented process of creating HD Vinyl begins by employing 3D-based topographical mapping and
then the Femto-laser inscription technology. This digital process allows for a more accurate cutting of the
lacquer and can easily be repeated time and again as new lacquers are needed. Furthermore, the original digital source file can be
seamlessly tweaked and tuned to ensure a top quality end result. HD Vinyl, which is said to be the working name of this new format, provides additional features that future turntable setups can take advantage of according to
Digital Music News.
PrimaLuna Dialogue Premium Preamplifier
One of the best things PrimaLuna has ever done.
Review By Dick Olsher
Industry News 15 Years Ago
XM Radio Becomes A Reality With Second Satellite Launch
As announced here at
Enjoy the Music.com on December 1st, XM Satellite Radio
will employ two Boeing 702 satellites (the world's most powerful commercial satellites built by
Boeing) to deliver digital radio to America. The first satellite, named "Rock" was successfully
launched on Sunday, March
18th from the Sea-Launch floating platform located on the equator in the Pacific Ocean. The second
satellite nicknamed ''Roll'' was set for launch in January yet was scrubbed due to what was eventually discovered to be a false alarm. Digital radio has been available in Europe for years while here in America, XM
Satellite Radio is on their way and has already signed on hardware partners such as Alpine, Pioneer Electronics
Corporation, Sony and others. Investors behind there system include Motient (formerly American Mobile), General Motors, DIRECTV, Clear Channel
Communications plus a group of various other financial investors.
03 / 16 / 16
Australian Hi-Fi's March/April 2016
Issue Is Now Available Online
Enjoy the Music.com has just posted the
March/April 2016 issue of Australian Hi-Fi
magazine! This issue features reviews of
the B&W 802 D3 loudspeakers, Bel Canto REF-600M power amplifier, Audio-Technica AT-LP5 turntable, Sennheiser HD-471i headphones, Legend Acoustics Kurre 8 speakers, Lindemann MusicBook:25 network music player, and Merging Technologies NADAC DAC.
Within his editorial titled Foam Inserts Destroy Editor's Compact Discs, Greg
Borrowman says "I had a frightening Christmas break. Since I live in Sydney, at least half my time off was spent listening to the rain beating down on the roof… and, in my case, coming in through the roof and windows, and also flooding the back of my house. But that
wasn't the frightening bit. The frightening bit was when I started ripping my CDs to a new NAS. I decided this would be a great project for a rainy week. I could insert CDs and read books during the rips, thereby multi-tasking and not feeling even a bit guilty about not being out in the great outdoors. My first fright came when I opened the cases of some of my older double and triple-CD sets, many of which came with thin squares of foam inserted behind the CDs to keep the CDs in place. The very first one I opened was Andreas
Vollenweider's 'The Trilogy' and when I tried to remove the foam insert I found it had stuck to the label side of the disc. Bad."
what's within this issue of Australian
Hi-Fi at this
AXPONA Adds 20 New Manufacturers
And Dealers To The Show's Roster
AXPONA (Audio Expo North
America), the defining high-end consumer audio show in the United States, returns to the Westin O'Hare Rosemont April 15th through 17th, with hundreds of brands and has just announced over 20 new manufacturers and dealers making their debut at the show. AXPONA is known for featuring world-renowned companies and manufacturers, showcasing the most innovative products and services in the high-end audio industry. It is the place where manufacturers and dealers unveil their latest offerings, in a wide variety of price points and mediums. New this year includes aqua - Acoustic Quality, Audio Video Showcase, Bryston, Ltd., Cambridge Audio, Cavalli Audio, Cleer Limited, Echobox, Empire Ears, Joseph Audio, MSB Technology Corporation, MUZO, PBN Audio, Pioneer Home Audio, PS Audio, Questyle Audio, Riva Audio, Shure Incorporated, SweetVinyl, Synergistic research, Tekfx, Theil Audio, Two Old Hippies Stringed Instruments, and Ultra Systems. Many manufacturer will gather at AXPONA 2016 to reveal their newest offerings in headphones, receivers, speakers, amplifiers,
network digital audio players, musical instruments, and much more.
Noble Audio Announces Five New
Universal In-Ear Monitors
has revealed five all-new universal-fit in-earn monitors (IEMs) with precision construction and
anodized aluminum end caps. They are built within the United States of America
and range from $399 to $1499 per set. These new universal-fit IEMS replace Noble's previous acrylic-body universal-fit series and introduce high-grade
aluminum end-caps with composite bodies across the range. Each model precision-made and hand-assembled in the USA. This new range has also been painstakingly re-voiced to give the optimum performance from the new two-part Classic chassis. The range comprises of the Trident (£275); Savanna (£350); Savant (£420); Dulce Bass (£485) and Django (£695). Most of the new universal-fit models will also be available as custom-fit versions for a supplement, using a range of alternative construction materials. Consumers choosing bespoke versions can select from the following: a custom-fit acrylic version (suffix C), a time-saving 3-D printed version (suffix SLA) and a silicone version (suffix S); see pricing for more. Noble's Trident is their new entry level universal-fit IEM and features three balanced armature drivers per side. Aimed primarily at beginners, Trident is also suitable for IEM aficionados looking for an affordable everyday use IEM. It is a wide bandwidth design with extended treble and bass output, for a refined output from an entry level design. Savanna has four balanced armature configuration with a linear output and acoustic music firmly in mind. Django (silent 'D') is the range-topping model in the new universal-fit line, nestling just behind Noble's existing flagship model, the Kaiser 10U. Django is a six balanced armature configuration IEM that maintains a well-balanced sonic signature throughout its operating range. All models are sensitive enough for use with smartphones, portable amps/DACs and DAPs. Each IEM comes with a detachable cable with an industry-standard two-pin
configuration. Enjoy the Music.com has reviewed the Noble 3
universal fit in-ear monitors and top-line Noble Kaiser 10
(K-10) custom IEM.
03 / 15 / 16
Richard Beers Of T.H.E. Show
Newport Has Passed Away
It is with a heavy heart that we report that Richard Beers, President of
T.H.E. Show Newport, has passed away. Richard was a shining star within the industry and
a great music lover. Over the years, Enjoy the Music.com has worked closely with many events, including T.H.E. Show Newport and
always looked forward to each event filled with great gear and an abundance of live music events. T.H.E. Show may have begun in Las Vegas with Mike Maloney at the helm, yet Richard took it to another level with great venues located in the
Southern California area. A welcoming and relaxed environment with great weather as
Southern California offers. This is combined with high-end audio gear and many live music events from quartets and jazz to blues and rock filled the warm SoCal nights. While we admit Richard was, at times, steadfast in his beliefs and ways of going about things, we always respected his vision and he was of course usually right. With great forethought and a view on how a show should be held, everyone enjoyed their time during one of his events. Richard Beers produced a show that was
far more than the gear or live music, it was the gestalt of being there for another great event filled with family and friends. T.H.E.
Show Newport is without a doubt the place to be. Our industry needs more visionaries like Richard.
While we agree Richard was great fun to be with, or perhaps a bit opinionated and gruff at times, yet you
always knew Richard was doing so with love and honor. Our industry will greatly miss Richard Beers.
The photo above is a pic of Richard, taken by Enjoy the Music.com Creative
Steven R. Rochlin, that Richard proudly has on his office desk. It captured one
of those magical moments during T.H.E. Show Newport that brought much joy into
his multi-faceted lifestyle. Fortunately the show will go on with Maurice Jung as Interim President and
Enjoy the Music.com looks forward to bringing you our T.H.E. Show Newport 2016
report. Below is the e-mail we received from Maurice.
Dear Industry Friends,
My name is Maurice Jung and I am the interim President for T.H.E. Show Newport. It is with heartfelt sorrow that I must inform you of the passing of Mr. Richard Beers. He fought a good fight against lung cancer and because of his eternal optimism, he believed he was going to win that battle.
This is why many of your phone calls and/or e-mails went unanswered and I am sure he is truly sorry for that. Unfortunately with the chemotherapy and radiation treatments he was undergoing, he was unable for some time to write or use the computer. He kept a lot of us in the dark as to his sickness always wanting to be the strong warrior. This probably came from his familial ancestry as we have just learned that not only was Richard a military man, but he was a son of the Revolution. It has been hard on the family members and immediate friends to comprehend his passing and only a few of us have barely even begun to realize that he is not coming back. The shock has been great.
Having known Richard and Beverley, his family and immediate friends for over 20 years, I became a part of his family and he became a part of mine. He had a very interesting life and he was very proud of T.H.E. Show and the support he received from the audio industry.
I'm sure that many of you have stories to share as well. We have set up a web page on T.H.E. Show's site as a memorial to Richard, please share your thoughts and accolades for all to see the impact he had on so many people.
Richard's main concern before his passing, outside of his family and friends, was T.H.E. Show and that it must still continue to move forward and thrive. This is why instead of canceling this year, we decided to honor his wish that it go on. Therefore, this year, T.H.E. Show Newport is dedicated to Mr. Richard Beers in Memoriam. Marine, Wess, Nick and I have worked steadfastly to make sure that T.H.E. Show Newport 2016 will be the best one yet, in honor of Richard and all he has done over the years to make it a success.
In closing, we thank you again for your support and friendship. Plans are underway for a memorial service to be held at T.H.E. Show Newport on Friday evening, June 3rd in T.H.E. Lounge, located in Hotel Irvine's Pavilion, previously the Headphonium... details to follow. We hope you will join us to honor
With heartfelt sorrow,
T.H.E. Show Newport
T.H.E. Show Newport 2016 VIP
And Press Preview Day Registration
T.H.E. Show Newport news, they are inviting special VIP and members of the press to their Preview Day open by invitation only. You will need to register to secure your free spot to T.H.E. Show Newport! Preview day is Thursday, June 2nd. This is T.H.E.
Show's 2nd annual Preview Day, dedicated to Press & VIP attendees. This is a great free opportunity for all those wishing to spend exclusive time with exhibitors before the crowds swarm the rooms on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Over 250+ companies have already signed up! Main event is open to the public June 3rd
through 5th, 2016. T.H.E. Show Newport will provide you with a preliminary list of participating exhibitors a couple weeks prior and also with a confirmed list of room #s upon your arrival. Whichever dates you plan to attend between June 2nd and 5tf, please be sure to Register for T.H.E.
Show Newport as soon as possible. This will secure your pre-registration as a VIP/Press member giving you access to T.H.E. Show Newport exhibit rooms and booths on all four days.
03 / 11 / 16
Sony Music Entertainment Is
Seeking A Master At Playlists And Analysis
Are you a modern music lover who's also a playlist and
analysis master? If so, then Sony Music Entertainment might want to hire
you! As we all know, Sony is a global recorded music company with a roster of current artists that includes a broad array of both local artists and international superstars. Sony also has a vast catalog that comprises some of the most important recordings in history. Sony Music Entertainment is a wholly owned subsidiary of Sony Corporation of America. With that said, there is no doubt the music landscape is quickly transitioning to streaming consumption and consumers are changing their listening habits and gravitating towards creating their own playlists or listening to playlists created by others. Sony Music is looking for an individual to drive a targeted and forward-thinking playlist strategy. The Director, Global Playlisting Strategy is a newly created role that will sit in the Global Digital Partner Development team. The role will be responsible for driving strategy for playlisting across key streaming partners. The role will lead a rigorous analytical process to better understand playlisting performance and will collaborate with label management and territory sales and digital teams in order to drive a unified playlisting strategy for Sony Music. The role will manage a dedicated analyst. Responsibilities include analyze and drive insight on playlisting behavior across key digital accounts. You need to establish metrics to measure performance of playlists and educate SME stakeholders on metrics in order to establish a more effective playlisting approach. It also helps if you can drive recommendations for approach to playlist resourcing in order to maximize revenue and return on investment. Present specific conclusions driven from playlist data to a wide range of SME stakeholders, including the executive team. So what are the qualifications? You should have 7 to 8 years experience in music or digital media with an emphasis on analytics and strategy. You also should be able to work in a cross-functional, fast-paced Global organization. Have an entrepreunial nature; ability to evangelize business opportunities around playlisting within Sony Music and with Sony Music's
digital partners. Be fluent in English, other languages are not a requirement but welcome. Have strong interpersonal skills – able to communicate with all levels of stakeholders within and outside our company. Ensure you have broad knowledge of the digital landscape plus an MBA is preferred, yet not required.
You may apply for this job at
Industry News 15 Years Ago
Hi-Res Music Was Available To Recording Studios 15 Years Ago
More and more professional recording studios are switching to
hard disc recording systems for their music projects, effective replacing
their legacy analog tape system. It has long been known that analog tape,
while robust if stored correctly, suffers from degrations due to age and also
from repeated playbacks. Enter modern, lower priced digital solutions... Medéa
Corperation's new lower-priced SCSI AudioRaid system for digital audio workstations
(DAWs) has reached a new low of $1999 (street prices lower) for their 120GB four drive unit.
The AudioRaid disc array employs Medéa's proprietary Audio Stripe Technology (AST) and integrated RAID hardware
that enables the AudioRaid and AudioRack SCSI to support up to 128 tracks of
24-bit/96kHz audio. Medéa's top range model is their 240GB 8/240 unit with a suggested list price of
$4899 (street prices lower).
03 / 10 / 16
Record Store Day 2016 On April
16th Will Bring Many New Releases
Enjoy the Music.com proudly supports and now presents to you the special releases planned for
Record Store Day 2016. Taking place on April 16th at your local record store are special event and releases on vinyl LP,
cassette tape and more! The list of titles being released will be available only at record stores (and later eBay and
Amazon via resellers). This year there is a very handy PDF that you can use as a shopping/wish list. The Record
Store Day website will be updated as things progress. There are a variety of categories on the Record Store Day list. They include:
RECORD STORE DAY EXCLUSIVE RELEASES. Exclusively available on Record Store Day at Record Store Day participating stores. Will not be available anywhere else in the same format.
RECORD STORE DAY LIMITED RUN/REGIONAL FOCUS RELEASES. Also exclusively available on Record Store Day at Record Store Day participating stores, but may not be distributed nationally, or the quantities of these titles are EXTREMELY limited. 1000 and under and WAY under 1000 in some cases. We felt it was only right to put them on a special sub-list, so that everyone is clear on the odds.
RECORD STORE DAY FIRST RELEASE. These are titles that you can find on Record Store Day at Record Store Day participating stores. So if you're a fan of the artist, you get first listen. At some point in the future, generally four to six weeks, these titles will be available at other retailers.
INTERNATIONAL LISTS. Please understand that the Record Store Days does not control what gets released in which countries. Someday, every release will be available everywhere without issues but that day is not today. Meanwhile, below are PDFs to the list of releases set for April 16th, 2016.
KR Audio Announces Their New
VA200 Monoblock With KR 842vdh
The new KR Audio
VA 200 vacuum tube monoblock amplifiers (€45,900 including 22% VAT) come with the company's KR 842vhd tube. The VA200 also uses Lundahl C-core output transformers for top-notch sound quality. The driver stage is equipped with a depletion mode MOSFET transistors whilst the amplifier's circuit is fully symmetrical with a differential input stage. There are eight KR 842vhd per chassis that are fully auto-biased, and thus there is no need for further adjustment by the user. The new KR Audio VA 200 take pride in having a hybrid circuit with solid-state first stage and eight KR 842vhd tubes in the second amplification stage. This follows the innovative design concept of the circlotron Class A circuit, or floating circuit, giving the listener 200 watts with the same KR dynamic and precise KR signature sound with very much more power output. There are loudspeaker taps for both 4 and 8 Ohms on the rear of the chassis. Each monoblock weighs 88 lbs and has dimensions of 38.5 x 28 x 55 cm (WxDxH).
03 / 09 / 16
SS07 Microphone And
24-bit/192kHz Recording Software For Android
Are you looking to record on-the-go in 24-bit/192kHz with your Android device? If so, then a new Kickstarter campaign by Optivelox
showcases their new SS07 high quality stereo microphone for Android
(€99). One of the bad things about smartphones is that they are generally not very good at recording high fidelity music. Their internal
microphones are tiny and have a limited bandwidth. Some external microphones may suffer from poor performance mainly due to the filters and noise gates placed in the signal path. With that in mind the geniuses at Optivelox decided to design and engineer an accessory that could allows a standard smartphone to operate as a high-quality audio recorder. After many months they have developed their SS07, which is an an easy-to-use USB adapter
capable of capturing analog sounds and convert them into a digital stream up to 24-bit/192kHz. In concert with the
microphone hardware, they also developed UARecorder, a lightweight app for Android devices that fully supports SS07. UARecorder takes care of receiving the digital data stream outputted by SS07 and saving it as a WAV file. The quality of the input analog circuitry of a smartphone is not longer an issue here because it deals with digital signals only. Although their software can operate with a wide range of input sources, it was specifically designed as a natural companion of SS07. Actually, Optivelox is planning to produce two different mic heads. Both heads are equipped with a couple of Hi-Fi, ultra low noise microphones. MIC2 is intended for general purpose applications, MIC3 allows for higher SPL values. You might need MIC3 for very loud sound recordings, for example if the mic is placed close to a hard-hitting rock band or high power loudspeakers. SS07, paired with its mic head, becomes a complete stereo-mic to USB converter. All the electronic parts are protected by a solid metal enclosure that acts as an electromagnetic shield and at the same time allows it to cope with extreme situations.
03 / 08 / 16
Astell&Kern AK380 Battery Powered Portable Media Player / DAC Review
With a bit of comparo using the AK240 and Sony NW-ZX2 thrown into the mix.
Review By Steven R. Rochlin
Industry News 10 Years Ago
Audioengine Introduces Their A5 Powered Monitor
Audioengine has designed
an audiophile quality self-powered monitor loudspeaker for the Apple iPod and other
devices called the Audioengine 5 ($349/pr). Said to provide "huge sound in a small space," the Audioengine 5's amplifier produces 45 Watts per
channel (70 peak), has a frequency response from 60Hz to 22kHz (+/-1.5dB) and a solid
enclosure made with 1-inch thick MDF. The tweeter is a 20mm silk dome with neodymium magnets while the midrange/woofer is a special 5-inch Kevlar cone unit. Audioengine's 5 includes a variety of inputs, outputs, and cables for use in a variety of
configurations. There is an included, matching iPod charging station and USB jack for other units that require USB facilities. An AC power jack in the rear panel allows for stream music from your laptop directly to the loudspeakers through Apple's Airport
Express. Enjoy the
Audioengine's A5 an outstanding review and recommendation, which can be seen at
03 / 07 / 16
ATC Loudspeaker's New SCM19AT
Two-Way Active Floorstander
of Britain is pleased to announce their new SCM19AT active loudspeaker ($9999 per pair) ATC, Acoustic Transducer Company, formed in 1974 is the renowned manufacturer of handcrafted precision loudspeakers that can be found in the most prominent music and film mastering studios worldwide. The new SCM19AT system is an active version of the company's SCM19 that unites proprietary optimized driver with amplification. ATC Loudspeaker
Technology's new SCM19 Active Tower speaker system will deliver the company's reference-quality audio from an elegantly curved floor-standing design, just 370mm wide and under a meter in height. Identical acoustically to ATC's passive SCM19 two-way system but utilizing the 19 liter volume in a slim tower format. ATC's SCM19AT is internally braced, sealed and curved multi-layer laminated cabinet, which is precision-finished in cherry or black ash real-wood veneer. ATC's acclaimed SH25-76 soft dome tweeter and 150mm Super-Linear mid/bass driver work together with a bi-amp pack comprising of discrete MOSFET Class A/B modules. Amplification includes 32 Watts of continuous power to the HF section and 150 Watts to the midrange/bass driver. ATC's the
19AT's tweeter employs a unique dual suspension system, designed to suppress rocking modes even at high power output levels. The ATC configuration of a short edge-wound voice coil in a long, narrow magnetic gap ensures exceptionally low distortion throughout the tweeter's operating band and removes the need for Ferro fluids, which can dry out over time, compromising performance. The SCM19AT's 150mm ATC SL midrange/bass driver utilizes a carefully weighted doped fabric cone with a 75mm soft dome. The combination is said to be exceptional for its broad and even dispersion of mid-band frequencies. The cone is driven by an 'under-hung' (short coil/long gap) motor using a huge 9kg 'Super Linear' magnet system, which is unique to ATC loudspeaker systems. The 75mm ribbon wire voice coil is meticulously milled and wound in-house by
ATC. ATC's familiar under-hung motor topology maintains linear coil force and inductance, even at high drive levels, keeping distortion low. Lastly,
their proprietary two-way on-board amp pack design has been revised to reduce noise and distortion (a further -10dB @ 10kHz), while achieving a lower operating temperature for improved reliability. The design includes protection circuits for both DC offset and thermal overload. ATC's Grounded Source output stage modules are fed by a newly developed two-way active crossover section featuring 2nd order modified Butterworth circuitry with phase compensation for each crossover point. The advantage of active crossovers is that their response remains unaffected by variable voice coil impedance, while the use of phase compensation enables phase coherency at the crossover points, improving the
SCM19AT's tonal balance and enhancing imaging for a pin-point stereo field. As usual system input is via balanced XLR. The SCM19AT active loudspeakers have a frequency response from 54Hz to 22kHz (-6dB) and a dispersion of±80°coherent horizontal with a ±10°coherent vertical. Cabinet dimensions are 980 x 370 x 344mm (HxWxD).
03 / 05 / 16
Reference 3a Reflector
3a's new Reflector stand-mounted monitor ($12,000) is the company's pinnacle of Reference 3A technology. New advanced
cabinetry construction is mated with a custom midrange/woofer driver built specifically for this model. Their proprietary woven carbon
fiber midrange/woofer driver is hyper-exponentially shaped to avoid cone break up modes. It operates in direct-coupled full range mode without the requirements of a crossover. This allows it to avoid signal interruption for the most immediate wave propagation and crossover
interference. High frequencies are served by a well-matched beryllium tweeter. The tweeter is carefully aligned and positioned in a precisely shaped wave guide. The high frequency bandwidth is controlled by a single, in-house customized capacitor resulting in a well-integrated and very coherent spatial sound. Reference 3a's Reflector
stand-mounted monitor has it's cabinet sides made from layers of thick glass. These layers are laminated with an absorbine material in constrained mode, and thus structurally integrated onto the main cabinet. Critically positioned and perforated cross and vertical spine braces prevent the inward movement of the cabinet walls. Tuneable brass tension rods are applied in both lateral directions to prevent outward movements. Sensitivity is 92dB/W/m and impedance is 8 Ohms. Overall frequency response is from 37Hz to 40KHz and the
Reflector can handle up to 120 Watts RMS. Dimensions are 16.5" x 11" x 17.5" (HxWxD) and it weighs 75 lbs.
Industry News 15 Years Ago
eTown Burns Through $32,000,000 And....
While it is always hard for us to report on the virtual
"death" of a consumer electronics website, etown.com
has run out on money after successfully burning through over 32 million
dollars in slightly over five years' time. While they helped sponsor many
wonderful events, as AudioCafé did in their short life cycle, it seems etown.com has also had to shut it's virtual
doors and has not been updated since the 12th of February, 2001. etown did
some very innovative work online and paid handsomely to their writing staff. For now, all assets of etown.com have been transferred to consumer
electronics retailer Best Buy who invested $10 million only fourteen months ago. All
employees of etown.com have been laid off with no severance pay nor payment
for their final two week's of work.
03 / 04 / 16
Hi-Fi+'s March 2016
Issue Now Available Online
Enjoy the Music.com has just posted the
March 2016 issue of
Hi-Fi+. This issue features reviews of
the Magico S7, Tannoy Revolution XT 8F, Heed Audio Enigma 5, German Physiks Unlimited D MK II, and Dali Epicon 8 floorstanding loudspeakers. Also reviewed are the Naim Audio Mu-So QB integrated digital system, Triangle Elara LN01 standmount loudspeaker, Kuzma 4Poins 14 tonearm, SST Son Of Ampzilla II stereo power amplifier, Henry Audio USB 128 MK II DAC digital converter, Musical
Fidelity Nu-Vista 800 integrated amplifier, Riva Turbo X Bluetooth loudspeaker and Questyle CMA800R headphone amplifier.
Within his editorial titled We're Busy Reviewing Many Great Products, Alan
Sircom says "A magazine like Hi-Fi+ doesn't have regular round table editorial meetings because our reviewers are scattered to the four winds, and seldom see one another except at the occasional audio show or press launch. So, the chances of some disease sweeping through the team is slim. This month, though, contagion spread through the writers like the magazine was a plague ship.
In the week running up to publication, planned reviews were thin on the ground. Frantic telephone calls and emails followed, often a cavalcade of coughing, sneezing, spluttering, and a comparison of symptoms. I spent a lot of February sounding like Hal Douglas (the late, great King of
"In a world..." movie voice overs), and I was one of the healthier ones!"
what's within this issue of Hi-Fi+ at this
03 / 03 / 16
Noble Audio Goes Rose Gold!
Will Other Manufacturers Follow?
Rose gold must be extremely popular as
Noble Audio, a leading high-performance in-ear monitor (IEM) specialist, has released and within days sold out of their limited edition rose gold K10U in-ear monitor ($1850). This very popular metal color was being offered with only 100 pairs being available. Hand-made within the USA, the exclusive K10U B&RG will be strictly limited to 100 pairs and available on a first-come, first-served basis directly from their website. The K10U B&RG uses Noble's award-winning 10-driver configuration, a technology which places an incredible ten drive units in each chassis. This is said to give an unrivalled sound performance amongst in-ear monitors. It is the same 10-driver configuration as deployed within Noble Audio's top-performing IEMs and custom in-ear monitors (CIEM). The highly advanced
aluminum chassis has been designed and manufactured in the USA in conjunction with a specialist whose clients include Louis Vuitton, Dior, Marc Newson and Holly Hunt. The beautifully engineered body comprises two finished parts: a
'flat black' ear section and a rose-gold-plated main body, featuring the Noble Audio logo. Noble Audio's K10U B&RG is estimated to ship before the end of March. One
can't help but wonder if Astell&Kern, Questyle and others will one day offer a rose gold version of their products.
The good news is that you may be able to buy a set of Noble K10U B&RG on the
03 / 02 / 16
Cary Audio Launches CaryDirect
For Direct To Consumer Sales
Cary Audio, a longstanding manufacturer of high-end audio and video electronics, has launched their
CaryDirect online e-commerce webstore. Encompassing the company's entire product catalog, Cary Audio feels that the changing landscape of brick and mortar showrooms is aided by this direct approach. CaryDirect will offer free shipping and a 30-day return guarantee allowing customers to experience risk-free in-home evaluations of Cary Audio products. While Cary Audio's model will be direct-to-consumer, CaryDirect is actually a hybrid model which takes great care to include our current dealer base into the direct to consumer model. Dealers will now be called Cary Retail Reps or Cary Brokers and will continue to play a key role, as much or as little as they choose. The model incentivizes Cary Retail Reps to continue to have demonstration product on display for sales and promotional purposes within their local markets. Their goal is to make the Cary Audio buying experience transparent and consistent for the end-user customer. This program not only supports our past dealers, but will also generate a much larger base of new Cary Retail Reps and Cary Brokers that can profit from our hybrid model, which is more in-line with how they prefer to do business in today's market. Cary Audio says that "This is a win, win, win for our customers, dealers, and Cary Audio". CaryDirect is only available in the U.S. and countries where there is no Cary Audio representation. Customers in countries where there is current distribution will be directed to the appropriate contact person for that country.
Industry News 15 Years Ago
Music Industry Finds Challenges With Free Internet Offerings
heated debates over the protection of copyright holders as it pertains to
digital downloads via the Internet continue, a recent survey by the Consumer
Electronics Association (CEA) concluded that people desire free content as 89%
of Internet users enjoy digitally downloaded multimedia content and information.
In fact CEA's "Digital Download" survey confirmed that "a good portion
of respondents oppose any kind of Internet government fees or restrictions.
Ninety-two percent oppose paying taxes for accessing the Internet, another 75
percent oppose paying sales tax for items purchased online and 61 percent oppose
laws that prevent the usage of file sharing software such as Napster." Gary
Shapiro, President and CEO of CEA said "This survey underscores that we are
on a collision course between intellectual property owners who want consumers to
pay by the bit for access and consumers who want free access, but will pay for
better or more complete content. Public policy debates must shift to reflect the
paradigm of the new economy as technology creates new ways for more consumers to
access information and entertainment. We must protect the ability of
technologies to evolve, especially those that allow personal, non-commercial
recording. These new technologies vastly expand our collective knowledge base
and ultimately benefit those most concerned-copyright owners."
03 / 01 / 16
Enjoy the Music.com March 2016 Contest!
Win OPPO's Incredible PM-2 Planar Magnetic Headphones Valued At $699!
March's Enjoy the Music.com
Review Magazine Is Now Available Online
Enjoy the Music.com's
latest edition of our Review Magazine
is now available online. We have a world premiere of Coincident's new Dynamo 34SE MK II
tube amplifier plus reviews of gear from Audioengine, Charisma Audio, flashbacks
of the VPI Classic 3 turntable and Audio Note Ongaku. We are also giving away a
great set $699 OPPO headphones, have two think pieces, two Musician Series
videos... Check out Enjoy the Music.com's March
issue of our Review Magazine at this link.
For previous high-end audio industry news click