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03 / 30 / 18

Hi-Fi World's May 2018 Magazine Features Great Articles And Reviews
Hi-Fi World May 2018Hi-Fi World's May 2018 issue features their Annual Awards Ceremony plus Bristol show report. Noel Keywood reports on all the latest products from Bristol's Sound & Vision show 2018. Equipment reviews include the Klipsch R-28f loudspeakers, Arcaydis EB1s loudspeakers, FiiO Q5 headphone amplifier / DAC, McIntosh MCD350 SACD / CD player, Pioneer SX-N30 stereo network receiver, T+A Cala CDR, Unison Research Unico 90 amplifier, Pioneer F91 Tuner, NAD C558 Turntable, and Tellurium Q Silver Diamond USB cable. Within his editorial Using Modern Tech And Measurement Increase The Quality Of High-End Audio Equipment, Hi-Fi World's Noel Keywood says "When I listen to loudspeakers we loved in yesteryear, I cringe. Goodmans Magum Ks impressed me at the time and Leak 2060s were even better, with their superb white plastic mid-range cone perforated with wave breaks and rear coated with a damping layer. How do I know this? As a young man I attended a press conference explaining these new technologies held, in Leak's case, by an impressive young engineer called Alex Garner who subsequently rescued then ran Tannoy. I was so impressed! Wharfedale, Leak and KEF went on to use technology and measurement to produce increasingly refined loudspeakers and today we benefit from their knowledge and example. But there's a problem: today's loudspeakers are less boxy, boomy and sloppy as a result but also less characterful." See what's within this issue of Hi-Fi World and read the complete editorial at this link.


03 / 29 / 18

HIFICRITIC's Latest Issue Features Audio Reviews And Think Pieces
HIFICRITIC Volume 12 Number 1 January / February / March 2018HIFICRITIC's latest issue feature the HIFICRITIC Annual Awards 2017 retrospective awards come in three forms: Audio Excellence, Recommended and Best Buys. Stan Curtis examines the pluses and minuses of line source loudspeakers, Keith Howard explores loudspeaker distortion at higher than usual test levels, and Julian Musgrave's diary examines looks, watches someone else work, and finally fettles his widget. Gear reviews include Silver Solids RCA analog interconnects, AKG N90Q luxury headphone, Russell K RED 150 floorstanders, Bowers & Wilkins 707 S2 speakers, Brainwavz Delta in-ear monitors, and Pioneer N-70AE network player. Harry Harrison checks out six phono stages, including models from iFi, Timestep, Graham Slee, Rothwell, Naim Audio and Audio Research. There's an excellent affordable active stand-mounts comparo including the PreSonus Eris5 and the Yamaha MusicCast NX-N500, assessed by Martin Colloms. Meanwhile Robert Harris explores the world of triode amplifiers with 'useful' power outputs. Jazz, classical and rock/pop music reviews too round out this issue of HIFICRITIC. Within Julian Ashbourn's article about his book Audio: The Sound Of Our World, he says, "The development of any technology involves various stages in the timeline, from early gestation through to periods of stability and then advancing senility, as the original concept appears to become lost among seemingly frivolous and pointless developments. Somewhere along that timeline is a peak, where everything seems to come together and the results are as good as they will ever be. So where was the peak for the recording and reproduction of audio in the home? Some would say from the late 1950s to the mid-1960s. Certainly, good quality recordings from this era have an immediacy, realism and a touch of magic about them which seems lacking from many modern recordings. But how can this be, given the significant advances in electronics and audio technology made since that time? The answer lies tangled up with a number of factors, some of which are more to do with culture, understanding and attitude, than technology per se. For time does not just affect technological development, but society itself. Moments pass, and are forgotten, but capturing those moments was what drove much early audio development. But that original reasoning was overtaken by commercial interest and, some would say, greed and manipulation." See what's within this issue of HIFICRITIC at this link.


03 / 28 / 18

Mercury Records To Release Barry White Singles LPs And CDs
Mercury Records To Release Barry White Singles LPs And CDsFrom his hitmaking 1970s heyday until his untimely passing in 2003, Barry White set an unmatched standard for sexy, seductive, soulful R&B. As a vocalist, songwriter, producer and multi-instrumentalist, White created music that was unmatched in its sonic and romantic intensity, highlighted by lush, widescreen arrangements and the artist's deep, dark baritone voice. Over the course of his remarkable career, two-time Grammy Award–winner Barry White scored 106 gold albums worldwide, with 41 of those attaining platinum status, along with 20 gold and 10 platinum singles, with worldwide record sales of over 100 million records. He remains one of the best-selling recording artists of all time. On April 13, Mercury Records/UMe will release the first of a series of catalog releases of Barry White's classic work, in a yearlong celebration of the 45th anniversary of White's first release on 20th Century Records. New collections feature such White solo hits as "Can't Get Enough Of Your Love, Babe" and "You're The First, The Last, My Everything," along with hits by female trio Love Unlimited ("Walkin' In The Rain With The One I Love," "I Belong To You") and the 40-piece Love Unlimited Orchestra ("Love's Theme," "Satin Soul"), both of which benefited from White's distinctive songwriting and production skills. The White reissue series launches with a pair of remastered White hits collections: Love's Theme: The Best Of The 20th Century Records Singles, a single-CD compilation incorporating 21 classic White hits, which will also be available as a double vinyl LP including the bonus track "Satin Soul" by Love Unlimited Orchestra; and the three-CD, 46-track The Complete 20th Century Records Singles (1973-1979), which will be presented in a specially-designed box with the three discs packaged in individual wallets. Both albums will feature expansive liner notes and track details. On April 20, Mercury/UMe will release The 20th Century Records Singles (1973-1975), a box set of 10 seven-inch vinyl singles that replicates White's original hit single releases. The ten singles will be housed in a two-piece rigid box, with each disc in a 20th Century Records sleeve and 7" labels that duplicate the originals, along with a four-page illustrated book. The vinyl set features newly remastered audio from the 20th Century Records master tapes, cut at Abbey Road Studios for the highest possible sound quality.


Industry News 10 Years Ago
Hi-Res Music Site MusicGiants Teams Up With Enjoy the Music.com
MusicGiantsInternet website Enjoy the Music.com and celebrated United States online media provider MusicGiants have teamed up to offer audiophiles high resolution lossless music downloads and high quality video. Over the years, Enjoy the Music.com has reviewed hundreds of digital music titles available on CD, DVD-Audio and SACD hard media formats. With media industries and consumers moving away from such formats and more towards digital downloads, Enjoy the Music.com's continual goal is to employ and partner with companies that provide technical assistance in delivering up to date media. Therefore, partnering with MusicGiants to deliver HD music to our critical readership is only natural because they also seek out the very best in high quality hardware and software. "MusicGiants is very excited to partner with Enjoy the Music.com and we look forward to being part of their audio excellence with our high definition downloads," says Scott Bahneman, CEO of MusicGiants. "Their readers understand how important high quality sound is and they want the best music content to maximize their audio systems. We aim to deliver that ultimate entertainment experience." Steven R. Rochlin, editor of Enjoy the Music.com, says "As the Internet's largest Web site for high-performance consumer audio information and news, while also being online partners with print magazines The Absolute Sound, The Audiophile Voice and The $ensible Sound, this new venture into offering online lossless music heralds in a new direction towards our continual expansion plans. With each passing year, millions of additional people access the Internet and can easily find information concerning high-end audio within Enjoy the Music.com. Today, our extensive readership can easily download lossless music via our partnership with MusicGiants instead of settling for other services that sell highly compressed lossy music files. Together, we are able to reach tens of millions of consumers who purchase music online each year."


03 / 27 / 18

Join Enjoy the Music.com On Instagram For A Sneak Peek Review
Join Enjoy the Music.com On InstagramOur fans on Instagram are getting an advanced look at the April review of Etsuro Urushi's Cobalt Blue moving coil phono cartridge. Editor Tom Lyle says, "Let's face it, despite some audiophiles consider the Etsuro Urushi Cobalt Blue MC phono cartridge mid-priced, it isn't inexpensive. Still, one gets what they pay for with this cartridge, and I only mean that in the best of ways. The Cobalt Blue is a super-transparent window into the sounds that have been etched into an LP's surface." Visit us on Instagram and see the link to our sneak peek review!


Malcolm Hawksford To Give Insightful Lecture At AES Milan
Malcolm Hawksford To Give Insightful Lecture At AES MilanThe Audio Engineering Society (AES) in Milan, held from May 23rd through 26th at the NH Hotel Milano Congress Centre, is going to feature Malcolm Hawksford – Emeritus Professor within the School of Computing Science and Electronic Engineering at Essex University, Colchester. Malcolm is also a recent AES Gold Medal Winner, as presenter of the 38th Richard C. Heyser Memorial Lecture, speaking on the topic "Understanding High Quality Audio – A Personal Journey." According to the AES, "Taking place on Thursday, 24 May at 6:30pm, The Heyser Lecture is part of the 144th Audio Engineering Society International Convention Special Events schedule, open to all convention attendees. Register now for best pricing on All Access badges through 1 May, or opt for a complimentary Exhibits-Plus badge by using the code AES144NOW at checkout. Established in 1999 by the AES Technical Council and the Board of Governors in conjunction with the Richard Heyser Scholarship fund, the Heyser Lecture series, featured at each AES Convention, brings eminent individuals in audio engineering and related fields to speak on a relevant topic of choice. Hawksford's presentation at the AES Milan Convention will offer insight on his longstanding career of research and innovation. The abstract for his lecture, 'Understanding High Quality Audio – A Personal Journey.'"


Audio For Augmented / Virtual Reality @ AES International Conference
Malcolm Hawksford To Give Insightful Lecture At AES MilanThis just in, "The Audio Engineering Society is pleased to announce the second International Conference on Audio for Virtual and Augmented Reality, taking place August 20-22, 2018, at the DigiPen Institute of Technology, Redmond, WA. The conference and exhibition will bring together a community of influential research scientists, engineers, VR and AR developers, and content creators to explore such topics as: 
• Spatial audio capture, rendering, and synthesis over headphones and speakers
• Binaural, ambisonics, and wave field synthesis techniques 
• 3D sound field navigation
• HRTF modeling and derivation from optical and/or acoustic measurements
• Reverb and room acoustics synthesis
• 3D audio mixing and content production
• Sound design for VR/AR 
The conference's esteemed keynote presenters – Jean-Marc Jot, Ivan Tashev and Ravish Mehra – are at the forefront of innovation for VR and AR. According to Tashev, "Audio and video are integral components of AR/VR devices. Spatial audio is an area still under development – we need better capture, representation and rendering technologies. To make it mainstream, we have to catch up with authoring and editing tools as well." The three-day conference and expo will focus on the dissemination of top-level research in the field of spatial audio for virtual and augmented reality, with demonstrations and discussions focused on technical solutions and recommended practices. Leading researchers, practitioners and industry leaders will offer panel discussions, tutorials and workshops on new and forthcoming technologies."


03 / 26 / 18

Intel, Google, And ALSA Support New Sound Open  Firmware
Intel, Google, And ALSA Support New Sound Open  FirmwareSound Open Firmware project is an open source audio DSP firmware and includes valuable (yet free) development tools. AN SDK (service development kit, or devkit) provides audio firmware infrastructure and development tools for programmers/coders and manufacturers who are interested in modern high quality audio or signal processing using the latest high quality DSPs. Due to it's modular programming nature, there is a configurable topology allowing for flexible customization and is easily to port with other DSP architectures or host platforms. Being platform agnostic brings the ability to for the platform/DSP architecture to be completely independent of operating system, yet also support external third party audio hardware. With support from leading tech companies including Intel, Google, and ALSA, there are clearly laid out tool chain, debugger, emulator and firmware image creation tools. Proprietary compilers and emulators are also available. This completely free firmware software development kit is available today. Written in C, with some architecture specific assembler, there are no external dependencies to ensure ease of use. ASOC Linux kernel drivers registers the DSP and firmware as a kernel audio device and exposes various hardware capabilities, and loads any topology data. According to Wiki, "Sound Open Firmware is an open source audio DSP firmware and SDK intended to provide a generic audio firmware infrastructure and development tools to the community. The firmware is BSD licensed and is platform and architecture independent. The SDK is also open source and provides a toolchain, debugger, emulator and firmware image creation tools. The firmware and SDK are intended for developers who are interested in audio or signal processing on modern DSPs or for developers who are interested in micro kernels running on small but powerful processors. SOF currently targets the Cadence xtensa architecture DSPs found on some Intel based devices like the Minnowboard MAX. SOF is modular and generic so can be ported to other DSP architectures or host platforms. The Sound Open Firmware SDK comprises of five source components:

1) Sound Open Firmware source code. The firmware is written in C with some architecture specific assembler and does not link to any external dependencies.

2) Sound Open Firmware tools. These are bespoke tools required to convert firmware from the ELF file format to formats understood by the kernel drivers and tools to assist with debugging running firmware images.

3) ASoC Linux kernel drivers. An ASoC kernel driver is required to register the DSP and firmware as a kernel audio device and expose PCMs, kcontrols etc. This driver will also load any topology data.

4) Crosstool-NG tool chain. Crosstool-NG is used to build a GNU cross tool chain (gcc, gdb, binutils, etc.) that is used to build the firmware binaries. Other compilers and tool chains can also be used to build the firmware.

5) Qemu DSP and host emulator. Qemu is used to provide a functional emulator to trace and debug driver and DSP firmware code simultaneously."

Check out the Wiki page for more information at this link. You can also join the developer mailing where new development features and patches are discussed at this link. Open to all developers, OS agnostic, and completely free to use; that is what Sound Open Firmware brings to the table with support from industry leaders Intel and Google.


Industry News 15 Years Ago
Dolby Laboratories And Texas Instruments Bring 1394 To S/PDIF
Dolby Laboratories and Texas Instruments (TI) have collaborated to developed an all new PC integration to allow 1394 connectors to seamlessly work with S/PDIF. This new FireWire-S/PDIF converter provides Dolby Digital and PCM audio to be digitally sent from an IEEE 1394 device to S/PDIF connection. According to the press release "The converter, created by Island Digital Media Group, consists of an IEEE 1394 connector at one end and a coaxial S/PDIF connector at the other. It requires no additional wires if power is available from the 1394 cable, though a DC connector is available on the device for an external power supply, if needed. The device runs on a Texas Instruments iceLynx-micro (TSB43CB43A) chip." This new product also allows music and gaming enthusiasts to play back popular stereo and multi-channel 5.1 computer music files, such as MP3, AAC and WMA, through their home theater systems from their PCs.


03 / 23 / 18

10th Annual Record Store Day Celebration Is April 21, 2018
10th Annual Record Store Day Celebration Is April 21, 2018Record Store Day, with participating stores being defined as a brick and mortar retailers whose main primary business focuses on a major commitment to music retail, is scheduled for April 21, 2018. Very special limited edition vinyl LPs, cassettes and other promotion materials will be made available during Record Store Day celebration, which will be at physical indie record stores – not online retailers or corporate behemoths. Record Store Day was conceived in 2007 at a gathering of independent record store owners and employees as a way to celebrate and spread the word about the unique culture surrounding nearly 1400 independently owned record stores within the United States of America and thousands of similar stores internationally. The first Record Store Day took place on April 19, 2008. This year marks the 10th anniversary and there are many limited edition release to be available. "This is a day for the people who make up the world of the record store – the staff, the customers and the artists – to come together and celebrate the unique culture of a record store and the special role these independently owned stores play in their communities" says their website. Special vinyl and CD releases and various promotional products are made exclusively for the day. Festivities include performances, cook-outs, body painting, meet & greets with artists, parades, DJs spinning records, and on and on. In 2008 a small list of titles was released on Record Store Day and that list has grown to include artists and labels both large and small, in every genre and price point. For several years, 60% or more of the Record Store Day Official Release List came from independent labels and distributors. The list continues to include a wide range of artists, covering the diverse taste of record stores and their customers. Record Store Day is currently managed by Michael Kurtz and Carrie Colliton, in coordination with Michael Bunnell and Eric Levin.


03 / 22 / 18

PureAudioProject Quintet15 Horn1 Modular Open Baffle Loudspeakers Review
PureAudioProject Quintet15 Horn1 Modular Open Baffle Loudspeakers
The pure essence of music at Kipnis Studios (KSS).
Review By Jeremy Kipnis


Too Big To Fail iHeartMedia Is Bankrupt Owing Artists $16,400,000
Too Big To Fail iHeartMedia Is Bankrupt Owing Artists $16,400,000While iHeartMedia is the music industry's answer to TBTF (too big to fail) banks, Digital Music News has reported that iHeartMedia's top executives are receiving $15,500,000 in bonuses during 2018 yet owing artists $16,400,000. According to Digital Music News, "Late last week, iHeartMedia, the nation's largest US radio station owner, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Just hours before creditors would have shut down the company, iHeartMedia announced that it had reached a deal with holders of over $11 billion of the company's debt. As part of its balance-sheet restructuring agreement, iHeart will transfer 94% of stock in the reorganized company's radio business to its senior creditors. Those creditors will also receive all of the company's stake in Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings. Current stockholders will only get 1% of the equity in the reorganized company. The bankruptcy filing shows that the other 99% will belong to 2,021 noteholders and junior noteholders." The Wall Street Journal says that, "iHeartMedia Inc., the nation's biggest radio broadcaster, is building support for its balance-sheet restructuring, garnering signatures from investors holding $11 billion worth of its debt—a gain of $1 billion since it filed for chapter 11 on Wednesday. Lawyers for iHeart unveiled the company's turnaround strategy at a hearing in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Houston Thursday, claiming support from 74% of its senior creditors, who are slated to gain control of the company once it exits bankruptcy." As for what iHeartMedia has released, they say, "iHeartMedia, Inc. today announced that it has reached an agreement in principle with holders of more than $10,000,000,000 ($10 billion) of its outstanding debt and its financial sponsors." While it begs the question about the music business's role in allowing this to happen, there's little doubt that radio and online streaming are losing money per user, yet seems this is ok according to them because they'll make it up in volume. Wait, what? You can read more about this legal case and see a long list of creditors iHeartMedia owes at this link. Because if I owe you $10,000 it is my problem, yet if I owe you $100,000,000... or 100x that at $10,000,000,000 as is the case with iHeartMedia, it is your problem. Perhaps no one within the music business has a grasp on third grade mathematics? It might also show how little musical artists and content providers get paid, since $10,000,000,000 owed seems to equal a mere $16,400,000 to artists (who provide the music business a 'product' to sell).


03 / 21 / 18

Schiit Multibit DAC For Jotunheim And Lyr 3 Headamp/Preamp
Schiit Multibit DAC For Jotunheim And Lyr 3 Headamp/PreampSchiit Audio announced a Multibit DAC card for the Jotunheim and introduced their third-generation Lyr headphone amp/preamp. The Jotunheim is the company's first all-in-one Multibit DAC/ balanced headamp + preamp. New production Jotunheims with the Multibit DAC card are available now at $599, and the Multibit DAC card is available as an upgrade for all current Jotunheims from $200. Schiit's Multibit DAC card combines the Analog Devices AD5547 multibit D/A converter with Schiit's unique, Analog Devices Sharc DSP-based time- and frequency- optimized digital filter. The modular Jotunheim can also accept two other modules, with one being a second-generation delta-sigma DAC module based on the popular AK4490 D/A converter, and the other being a phono preamplifier, both at $100. Schiit Audio also announced the introduction of its third-generation Lyr headphone amp/preamp. Using Schiit's new Coherence hybrid single-tube/solid-state architecture, new Continuity constant-transconductance output stage, the same modular design as Jotunheim, Lyr 3 is a significant advance in technology, versatility, and convenience. Lyr 3 is available now at $499. In addition to being a technology showcase, Lyr 3 is a versatile, powerful, and convenient solution for desktop listening via headphones and powered monitors. Lyr 3 can be configured with a Multibit DAC, a AK4490 DAC, a phono preamp module, or with no module at all, so it can be tailored to the customers' specific needs. In addition, Lyr 3 can be converted from a hybrid design to an all-solid-state amp by using Schiit's Octal LISST (a solid-state tube product.) Powerful as Lyr 3 delivers its full 6 Watt RMS of power at 32 Ohms via the single-ended headphone jack, so there's no need for balanced connections for high power. Convenient: Lyr 3 uses only a single tube, which means lower tube costs and no need for matched tube pairs. The Lyr 3, the Multibit DAC, the 4490 DAC, and the phono preamp module are all available now at Schiit.com, together with tube and solid state gain options. Lyr 3 is $499, with AK4490 DAC or Phono Preamp is $599, and Lyr 3 with Multibit is $699. Upgrade to new-production Tung-Sol Tubes adds $25, or LISST (solid-state tube) is $45.


03  / 20 / 18

MQA Live Audio Only Format Launches With Jake Issac Performance
MQA Live Audio Only Format Launches With Jake Issac PerformanceThose seeking audio-only streaming could have enjoyed an invite-only audience in Austin TX to experienced the debut of MQA Live, a new way to live stream audio over the Internet. Jake Isaac and his band performed from London's Rocket Studios – the first time a live performance has been streamed in real time using MQA's technology. While DSD lossless audio-only live streaming has already been proven years ago, nothing has come forth in a major way for DSD live streaming. MQA is launching their lossy streaming Live audio-only product to enable music fans to connect in studio quality to their favorite artists, wherever and whenever the artists are performing. Fans can listen to a live concert in MQA audio quality, plus MQA Live hopes to offer access to gigs across different countries and time zones for loyal fans, as well as opening up concerts to new audiences. MQA Live is an audio-streaming tool and has no video content. Streaming MQA audio-only may reduce the expenses associated with video production and broadcasting, though many companies are offering free, or reasonably-priced audio/video streaming options. MQA has applied its lossy audio technology to make a real time encoder (no pricing as of this time), which connects easily to the stereo audio output system of the location and, according to MQA, can "then can be sent into the chosen delivery platform of promoters and venue owners". We're not sure if by "chosen delivery platform" they are including YouTube, Twitch, Ustream, Livestream and and other popular live streaming providers. MQA is also claiming their music will stream and play back on "any device", although for optimum results and the full MQA unfold, use devices or software from MQA partners. There's no mention of cost for the MQA encoder box and if it is a one-time cost or addition fees, such a licensing per stream. To date no other provider (YouTube, UStream, Twitch, Livestream, etc.) asks for any licensing fees or per stream fee so it'll be interesting to see the pricing and fees associated with MQA as compared to other free services now available online. Also of note is that Enjoy the Music.com is the only high-end audio magazine to have live streamed a professional concert using pro gear; specifically, the Acoustic Sounds / Quality Vinyl Pressing's Blues Masters At The Crossroads concert in 2014.


03 / 19 / 18

AXPONA 2018: New Larger Location, Concerts, Seminars, And More
AXPONA 2018 Show ReportAXPONA 2018 is set for April 13th through 15th at the Renaissance Schaumburg Hotel & Convention Center and will be our eighth annual coverage by Enjoy the Music.com. All audiophiles, music lovers, vinyl collectors, audio engineers and musicians can attend three jam-packed days of incredible sounds, technology, presentations, design, and the very latest products in the industry. Now in its ninth year, AXPONA is one of the defining high-end audio show within the United States. This event caters to dealers, distributors and manufacturers, as well as music lovers and audiophiles. AXPONA's new state-of-the-art venue will feature an expanded Exhibit Hall plus a new Record Shop and Master Class Theater. AXPONA will once again offer something for everyone – from the novice music lover to the seasoned audio expert looking to enhance their sound with the latest technology. As their largest show to date, AXPONA Seeks to meet the increasing demand from attendees looking for the very best brands within the music world under one roof. The expanded Exhibit Hall, which is home to the Marketplace and Ear Gear Expo, is an outstanding 30,000 square feet and will showcase a vast array of turntables, cables, accessories, racks and stands, tonearms, cartridges and the latest headphones and associated equipment in the growing world of mobile and high-end personal listening. Enjoy the Music.com's AXPONA 2018 show coverage will begin the first day of the event. To learn more, plus read our previous reports, see our special AXPONA 2018 show report page at this link.


03 / 16 / 18

Audeze And Waves Audio Team Up For 3D Headphone Experience
Audeze And Waves Audio Team Up For 3D Headphone Experience Waves Audio, a leading provider of audio processing solutions, has announced that its Waves Nx technology has been implemented to power Audeze Mobius headphones, which are now available on Indiegogo and has already reached over 900% of their goal with a month remaining! Audeze is claiming that they are "the first 3D audio headphone to provide an unsurpassed level of detail, clarity and 3D positional accuracy". Designed with pro audio users in mind, Audeze Mobius is especially suited for audio professionals working in the VR / 360 creator market. Engineered for durability and comfort, this headphone is designed to replicate true, real-world listening experiences. Manufactured by Audeze, a leading manufacturer of planar magnetic headphones, the Mobius is equipped with Audeze planar magnetic drivers in a feature-rich package. It is the first headphone to truly deliver on the promise of 3D audio, creating that elusive "you are there" listening and mixing experience. The Mobius's built-in Nx technology equips the headphones with full 360-degree head tracking, enabling complete immersion in the 3D audio field. Nx also allows Audeze Mobius headphones to communicate with the Waves Nx Virtual Mix Room and Waves B360 Ambisonics Encoder plugi-ns, designed specifically for VR / 360 / 3D mixing and monitoring in Ambisonics formats, as well as for immersive 3D headphone monitoring of any stereo or surround content. Audeze Mobius headphones with built-in Nx technology will be offered in a standalone package, and also as part of a "Creators Edition" that also includes the Waves Nx Virtual Mix Room and Waves B360 Ambisonics Encoder plug-ins. Key features of Audeze Mobius with built-in Waves Nx technology include an extremely powerful, fully-customizable Planar Magnetic Headphone (100mm Planar Transducer). Conection types include USB-C, USB-A, analog 3.5mm and Bluetooth. Integrated NX technology with head-tracking, Virtual room emulation, and 3D sound localization is included. These headphones Support 2.0, 5.1,and 7.1 3D Audio in real time, plus ambisonics for VR/AR content creation with the B360 ambisonics encoder & the Nx Virtual Mix Room plug-ins. Anatomy calibration aids in fine-tuning them to your personal needs. The internal battery lasts 10+ hours before needing a recharge. The price of Audeze's new Mobius headphones starts at $249 (regular retail is $399). The Creators Edition, which includes Audeze Mobius headphones plus the Waves Nx Virtual Mix Room and Waves B360 Ambisonics Encoder plug-ins, is offered on Indiegogo at a special early-bird price of $599 (regular retail price $797). Shipping begins in June 2018.


April's The Absolute Sound Magazine Is Now Available Online
The Absolute Sound Issue 282 April 2018Enjoy the Music.com has posted the April issue of The Absolute Sound. Features include Las Vegas 2018 Consumer Electronics Show, a special loudspeaker designer roundtable plus reviews of the Wharfedale Diamond 225, Monitor Audio Silver 300, Totem Acoustic Signature One, JWM Acoustics Alyson AML II, and Magico M3 loudspeakers. Other reviews include the AVM CS 8.2 and CS 2.2 system plus many music reviews. Within his editorial titled New Blood, Editor Robert Harley writes, "These and the many other differences of opinion and sensibility among our writers are the lifeblood of the magazine. Can you imagine a TAS in which the writers hewed to a Soviet-style party line on every technology or viewpoint? It would be a pretty boring read, not to mention narrow-minded and insular. As an editor, I find this colorful diversity broadens the magazine's appeal. As a reader, the wide spectrum of thought challenges me and makes me reevaluate my preconceptions and biases. Speaking of our editorial team, I'm proud and delighted that we have an astonishingly deep "bench" that has been contributing to TAS for a very long time. TAS writers with more than 25 years of experience include Anthony H. Cordesman, Neil Gader, Wayne Garcia, Robert E. Greene, myself, Dick Olsher, Paul Seydor, Steven Stone, and Jonathan Valin. Some of those writers have more than 30 years with the magazine (AHC, NG, SS). That's quite a lineup of heavy hitters. The benefit of such an experienced and stable group of contributors, to the magazine and to readers, cannot be overstated." See what's within this issue of The Absolute Sound at this link.


03 / 15 / 18

The World Beyond 20kHz
Article By Earthworks Audio Founder David E. Blackmer


Nahimic LifeSound 3D Sound Technology Software For Audiophiles
Nahimic LifeSoundWhile the PC versus Mac versus Linux rivalry might last forever, yet the folks at Nahimic say they "know there's at least one thing all users can agree on: wanting the best audio experience. A-Volute, a French audio software company, is delivering their 3D audio solution to the mainstream market for an unique surround sound listening experience. The company says, "To create Nahimic LifeSound, sound depth and spatiality are combined from Nahimic's eponymously-named flagship product to produce virtually treated sound designed to generate a virtual acoustic field with 5.1 channel audio quality, even with headphones. Nahimic's patented 3D surround sound technology also gets a strong audio boost, surpassing the maximum audio volume, without any sound distortion, producing louder and clearer sound quality. Nahimic LifeSound also adds a simulated bass sound effect, enhancing audio quality when listening to hit music or watching a movie.... Mac users that like to turn things up when listening through external speakers can enable Nahimic's Bass Boost feature, linking the software to the speakers for an enhanced listening experience. And when the party gets too loud, users get the option to switch their Nahimic LifeSound to Night Mode, preserving the audio quality of their movie or music, without disturbing the neighbors. Audiophiles will discover and enjoy new audible dimensions and clear resonance with Nahimic LifeSound, experiencing music and video like they never did before."


03 / 14 / 18

HIGH END Show In Munich Is Now Sold Out Of Exhibition Space
HIGH END 2018 Show ReportThe world's leading audio exhibition has attracted huge interest among exhibitors. Interest in the HIGH END 2018 show is still as strong as ever. According to the exhibition promoter, "The hi-fi show is well ahead of the rest as the most important showcase event for the entire industry worldwide and has been a fixed date in the diaries of audio connoisseurs for many years. In fact, the event is so popular that its atrium rooms were immediately fully booked after the registration deadline at the beginning of January 2018. Shortly after the deadline, the areas and stands in the halls were also all reserved and the waiting lists for an exhibition area are now very long. This year, the HIGH END is therefore yet again bringing together exhibitors all over the world to meet global demand. As always, the event will feature all of the industry's top companies in 2018. "The main strength of the HIGH END is the fact that it combines a wide variety of different exhibitors and exhibits with the presentation of all of the latest trends and innovations for the entire audio industry. In order to continue to meet the high standards expected from a leading exhibition year after year, we examine the event on a regular basis and implement new ideas and formats. The multitude of early registrations received from exhibitors confirm that we are on the right path", states Stefan Dreischไrf, the Managing Director of the HIGH END SOCIETY. The continuous growth of the HIGH END and the positive response among exhibitors, trade visitors and the press underline the successful concept behind the hi-fi show as the largest marketplace of the audio industry. The huge interest in the event also shows just how much potential the market offers for the field of consumer electronics. The industry is currently entering a new era, with network technology in particular offering a huge amount of potential for development that companies need to grasp. The HIGH END has given the industry a breath of fresh air and a contemporary highlight that appeals to all classes of society and age groups. Many exhibitors even specifically focus on this exhibition when developing their new products. The organisers of the event are delighted to have attracted such a huge amount of interest among the companies in the industry."


03 / 13 / 18

ATC Is Now Shipping Their CDA2 Mk2 CD / DAC / Preamplifier
ATC CDA2 Mk2 CD / DAC / PreamplifierATC Loudspeaker Technology from England is extremely proud to announce the arrival of the CDA 2 Mk2 CD/DAC Preamp ($4299). Representing a re-engineering of ATC's predecessor in all the key performance areas and developed as the ideal partner for the company's P2 power amplifier and active speaker designs, the Mk2 combines convenient USB access to Hi-Res Music streaming with an upgraded CD transport and DAC board. There's also dedicated headphone amplification, expanded input choices, and analog circuits redesigned to deliver an extremely wide and flat frequency response with very low distortion. Joining rear panel S/PDIF coaxial and TosLink optical 192kHz inputs, the Mk2's new high-resolution USB input is capable of handling PCM data up to 384kHz and also DSD64, DSD128 and DSD256 natively. Excellent jitter rejection ensures that signal integrity is maintained even with poorer quality sources and over long cable runs. Completing ATC's Mk2's wider digital interface a new TEAC-supplied CD transport delivers faster play and seek times, much lower mechanical noise and improved error correction. The meticulously re-engineered analog circuits optimize ATC's implementation of a new premium 32-bit AKM DAC selected for exceptional low noise and distortion. Supporting the DAC, the Mk2's power supply architecture employs no fewer than nine additional high-performance voltage regulators, and local power supply decoupling has been improved from the Mk1, yielding further performance gains. In another refinement, both input and output gain stages have been improved by an arrangement of discrete Op Amps comprising six common gain blocks: two for left and right input buffering, and four to provide a "true" differential output for the left and right channels. The positive and negative drivers are arranged in parallel to ensure that the signal delays and phase shifts are identical on both sides. The output stages are configured as unity gain complementary compound (Sziklai) pairs, biased in class A. Also benefiting are twin rear-mounted analogue phono/RCA inputs and an additional aux analogue input via 3.5mm mini jack, which is equipped with high input sensitivity for improved compatibility with phones, tablets and other low output portable devices. Additionally, the Mk2 benefits from a revised high-performance headphone amplifier capable of driving headphones from 30 - 600 Ohms, delivering exceptional results from the vast array of modern headphone designs. Output is via a rear panel mounted 6.35mm jack. The CDA2's chassis is constructed from a combination of steel and aluminum and uses constrained layer damping to control panel resonances. The front panel is machined from an extruded section of 13mm/0.5" aluminum alloy with a brushed and anodized silver finish. ATC's wholly upgraded preamp /player is supplied with IR remote control and is covered by a six-year warranty (2 years CD mechanism).


Industry News 15 Years Ago
New CoDrive Speaker Design Increases Effective Surface Area
CoDriveFrom CoDrive comes US Patent 6,466,676 (Compound Driver for Acoustical Applications) that shows a way to increase the effective surface area of a loudspeaker driver. The clever design couples a rear cone to the front air mass through a vent in the center of a front cone. This makes a subwoofer with a much higher air load than any conventional unit of equal diameter. A "drive link" moves the two cones in phase and creates the central "throat" for the rear cone to fire forward through. The compression loaded rear cone lowers the "Q" of the speaker, which prevents system Q from rising sharply even in small sealed systems. The smaller face profile of a 12-inch CoDriver is claimed to have the cone area of a 15-inch subwoofer.


03 / 12 / 18

KirmussAudio Ultimate Ultrasonic Vinyl Record Restoration System
KirmussAudio Ultimate Ultrasonic Vinyl Record Restoration SystemThe KirmussAudio division of Kirmuss & Associates is pleased to announce the arrival of its very affordable Ultimate Ultrasonic Vinyl Record Restoration System ($795). Set to premiere at AXPONA 2018, this professional design allows one to clean two 33.3, one 78 and one 45 vinyl record in five minutes using no chemicals, the latter of which claims the company that it can cause further damage (at times) to very valuable record collections. According to the company's press release, "Most systems only clean one size of record and do not clean all grooves. Anyone promoting cleaners or additives to an ultrasonic bath for a vinyl record should beware of the long-term consequences. Indeed, the benefits of ultrasonic cleaning is a known fact, yet current day product offerings in the majority utilize commercial sonic cleaners that are sold with many home-made adaptations added to these machines. They are just that. Overpriced and using 3D printed plastic and metal assemblies, most see exposed external motors and line cords and the like, some even pose electrical hazards to the User. Missing in most offerings are electrical or safety certifications". With both Patents Pending and Issued, records of varying sizes are slipped in easily inside the cleaner. No homemade or damaging skewers. With safety and electrical approvals in place, the cleaner is professionally constructed for both commercial and audiophile use. The machine cleans all recording grooves safely. Included with the system is a combination carbon brush and parastatic felt cleaner, anti-static spray, microfiber cloth, and record mat. Comes with a two-year warranty.


03 / 09 / 18

LA Audio Show Offers Romantic Dinner To 12 Special Couples
LA Audio Show Offers Romantic Dinner To 12 Special CouplesThe LA Audio Show has announced a bold plan in support of today's celebration of "International Women's Day." According to Marine Presson, Show President, the moves not only support women but are intended to, as in the words of the U.S. Constitution, "ensure domestic tranquility." "As of today," President Presson noted, "we have added a button to our Registration Page called, 'A Pinch of Romance.'" The $50 add-on package includes a rose for the guest of honor and a champagne toast under the stars at a table set for two with front row seats to the live entertainment Friday or Saturday. What makes this package more special is its exclusivity. There will be only 12 "Pinch of Romance" add-ons offered; 6 per night. So, it is limited to the first dozen couples who "Punch-the-Pinch" button. "By adding 'A Pinch of Romance,' we are trying to encourage couples to attend the Show," Ms. Presson said. "It is no secret that most audio enthusiasts are men and that the pursuit of that happiness has disturbed the domestic bliss of some families. We believe that more women will attend if we offer a pleasant getaway rendezvous. Our new package, combined with our sleeping room rates at both the Hilton ($159/night) and Hampton ($129/night Coming Soon!) hotels, provides a nice and satisfying 'couples' event," Ms. Presson said. Friday's entertainment theme is Night of the Bands featuring Monette Marino and others to be announced. Saturday will be Ladies' Night, featuring Audra Lee, and more to be announced. The LA Audio Show (LAAS) 2018 edition will be held in Orange County, at the Hilton Irvine Hotel, June 8-10, with a Preview Evening, Thursday, June 7.


03 / 08 / 18

McIntosh Announces MT2 Precision Turntable With MC Cartridge
McIntosh Announces MT2 Precision Turntable With MC CartridgeMcIntosh Labs is proud to announce their MT2 Precision Turntable ($4000) that combines the latest in turntable technology and design to deliver both superb performance and accurate playback. A full complement of features allows for all recordings to be reproduced with flawless realism. Its advanced electronic and mechanical design will give many years of smooth, trouble-free operation. A subtle green glow emanates from under the platter and the outside edges of the plinth for a touch of refined ambiance and connection to the McIntosh design aesthetic. McIntosh's MT2 Precision Turntable plays both 33.3 and 45 rpm records, plus is virtually ready to use right out of the box as tracking force, anti-skate force, cartridge overhang and arm height are all preset from the factory for maximum performance. The remaining setup steps are simple, allowing the user to be enjoying their vinyl in no time. The MT2 comes with a Sumiko Blue Point No. 2 moving coil cartridge that has a high enough output to make it compatible with not only moving coil phono inputs but also moving magnet inputs. The cartridge's high impedance and high output voltage ensures noise free musical reproduction. This unique cartridge design features an alloy cantilever and an elliptical diamond stylus with exceptional tracking capability. The tonearm is constructed from dural-aluminum with special damping materials and is light weight yet highly rigid. The noise free vertical bearings feature two precision ceramic surfaces with damping fluid; the horizontal bearing is a gimballed sapphire design. The belt driven, solid black outer platter is made from a special dynamically balanced polyoxymethylene (POM) and is over 1" thick. This heftiness helps to both resist and absorb external vibrations that can cause noise during playback; its large mass also provides the perfect flywheel action for stable playback speed. The inner platter is made of CNC-precision milled aluminum. The platters rotate on a polished and tempered steel shaft in a sintered bronze bushing. McIntosh Labs' MT2 DC motor is driven by an external voltage-stabilized power supply and is completely decoupled from the chassis, isolating the record from any mechanical interference. Its sturdy plinth has a resonance optimized and highly compressed wood base with black lacquer finish, while the top and middle acrylic plates help absorb unwanted vibrations. A clear, contoured dust cover is included. The MT2 turntable is compatible with a variety of McIntosh phono preamplifiers, stereo preamplifiers, integrated amplifiers and home theater processors with phono inputs. Sumiko's Blue Point No. 2 has a channel separation of 35dB at 1kHz and overall frequency response from 20Hz to 50kHz. Dimensions for the MT2 turntable with dust cover are 17.875" x 6" x 17" (WxHxD) and it weighs 29 lbs.


Throwback Thursday: International Women's Day Edition

Manley Labs Stingray iTube Integrated Amplifier
Manley Labs Stingray iTube Integrated Amplifier
Possibly the perfect integrated amplifier for the whole family.
Review By Nels Ferre


Grand Art Acoustique Celebrates French Craftsmanship In Loudspeakers
Grand Art Acoustique Celebrates French Craftsmanship In LoudspeakersGrand Art Acoustique is a new website that will both fascinate high-end sound passionate and made in France lovers. France still counts among its ranks luxury craftsmen, whose creations are particularly appreciated abroad. Fashion or gastronomy are obviously among the sectors for which Paris sounds like a reference. But there is another field where French craftsmanship excels: high-end sound. For more than 70 years, engineers and acousticians in France have been refining their techniques and sharing their knowledge of sound reproduction. Their goal: To design the best acoustic speakers in the world. Innovation after innovation, patent after patent, these geniuses have constantly pushed the limits of the possible in terms of acoustic quality. Until reaching a result that far exceeds anything imaginable. This result can appreciated today, thanks to the different brands of high-end speakers. "Made in France" selected by the website Grand Art Acoustique includes such manufacturers as ASA, Audionec, Audio Diptyqe, Everest, Kelinac, Moca, Ocellia, Ova Acoustic, and Recital-Audio. Transform any listening moment into an incredible sensory experience is the precise goal of these French sound designers. For this, their achievements are not content to reproduce music as their passion is to bring music to life. The listener can choose to be in the front row of an opera house, on the stage of a concert, or in the middle of a recording studio, yet without leaving your living room. A total immersion made possible by an unusual design. Of course these speakers use some of the best electro-acoustic technologies of our time. But it is in the French cabinetmaking work that lie the biggest manufacturing secrets. A know-how unique in the world is only partly revealed on the pages of the website. An online shop allows to order these exceptional speakers and have them delivered all over the world. The site also proposes the organization of a stay in France, to visit the workshops of the various craftsmen, and to attend demonstrations.


03 / 07 / 18

MoFi Electronics Super HeavyWeight Is For Keeping Vinyl LPs Stable
MoFi Electronics Super HeavyWeightMoFi Electronics proudly announces the addition of the Super HeavyWeight record weight ($199) to their product lineup. The company best describes this as a "super noise killer" and is intended for use with all makes of turntables. The Super HeavyWeight was conceived with the assistance of MoFi Electronics' good friend, Mike Latvis, of Harmonic Resolution Systems (HRS). The device uses a proprietary HRS polymer material, reknowned for its exceptional noise absorption characteristics and an internal decoupled mass damping system all enclosed a non magnetic aluminum housing. In addition to coupling the record to the platter, the Super HeavyWeight significantly reduces noise – specifically, record groove noise, platter, and bearing noise. Listeners will hear more music due to resultant blacker backgrounds, increased inner detail, improved clarity, enhanced microdynamics, and greater bass impact. Super HeavyWeight technical highlights include dimensions of 3" diameter and 1.355" in height. It weighs a hefty 367 grams, so is excellent for a wide range of turntable models, though sprung chassis might need a bit of re-tuning for optimization. The outer shell is comprised of billet-machined 6061 aluminum for an easy grip. Mo-Fi's Super HeavyWeight underside features a proprietary HRS polymer that ensures excellent performance and damage-free operation with LPs.


03 / 06 / 18

THX Spatial Audio Platform End-To-End Positional Audio Solution
THX Spatial Audio Platform End-To-End Positional Audio SolutionTHX Ltd. announced the THX Spatial Audio Platform, a new end-to-end positional audio solution built with the flexibility to support emerging immersive content formats (object-based and ambisonics) and open standards, as well as legacy content, across mobile, PC and consumer electronic devices. Their THX Spatial Audio Platform is comprised of components for content creation and a robust set of features to optimize audio playback experiences over a wide range of consumer devices, all of which can be seamlessly integrated into existing content creation and distribution workflows. To ensure maximum flexibility and accessibility, THX is making components that make up the THX Spatial Audio Platform available independently, or as a complete end-to-end audio solution. Components of the THX Spatial Audio Platform and their capabilities include content creation plug-ins that produce immersive audio in ambisonics and object-based formats and seamlessly integrate into industry standard audio design tools, eliminating the need to learn new tools and master new proprietary audio formats. MPEG-H Encoding and Decoding support and transport of audio technology for next generation television broadcasts and streaming video. Rendering Engine that spatializes ambisonic, object-based as well as legacy channel content through headphones and speakers across all consumer devices. Tuning and device optimization that measures and calibrates the audio playback to deliver the highest quality audio experience over both headphones and speakers. This new system also delivers personalized audio profiles using Head-Related Transfer Functions (HRTF) that are optimized for a listener's unique hearing physics.


03 / 05 / 18

Hi-Fi World's April 2018 Issue Features Great Articles And Reviews
Hi-Fi World April 2018Hi-Fi World's April 2018 issue features reviews of the Quadral Aurum Rodan 9 speakers, Jamo DS4 Bluetooth wireless bookshelf speakers, Lyric speaker, iFi Nano iDSD Black Label headphone amplifier/DAC, Electrocompaniet ECI 6DX amp/DAC/streamer, SoTM sMS-200 Ultra Mini network player, PrimaLuna Dialogue Premium amplifiers, Longdog P6 monoblocks, Roth VA4 Active Monitor speakers, and Atlas Element Superior cable. Within Noel Keywood's editorial he says, "Complexity meets simplicity in this issue – and what a stark contrast there is between them. Yet at the same time I heard similarities. Electrocompaniet's ECI 6dx that Jon Myles reviews on p26 has a very well developed amplifier with a surprisingly easy going sound considering its wide bandwidth – and I think we all took to it as a sophisticated modern Streamer that avoids the 'Class D fed by switch-mode power supply' solution. Instead, its use of conventional but well-honed modern circuitry reminded me more of Naim's successful approach to amplifier design, which is perhaps why reviewer Jon Myles – a Naim fan – liked it so much. In similar fashion I heard a sound familiar to me from PrimaLuna's Premium DiaLogue Preamplifier and Premium DiaLogue HP power amplifier – and loved it. There's nothing quite like a tuned up valve amplifier, sporting audiophile components that transistor amplifiers are denied in real life. Why? My experience is that inserting ultra-high quality special audio components into a transistor amplifier affects the sound less than doing the same in a valve amplifier. Manufacturers of transistor amplifiers would rather not bust their design budget for parts that make little difference." See what's within this issue of Hi-Fi World and read the complete editorial at this link.


Industry News 10 Years Ago
The End Of CD? Wal*Mart Moves To A Tired CD Pricing System

Wal-MartIs it time to kill the physical CD format? Perhaps not quite yet, though Wal-Mart feels it is time to drastically cut prices or else.... The world's largest retailer may be moving to a five-tiered pricing form where top new titles are priced at $10 while the recently popular CDs sell for $12. Those will be followed by the $9, the $7 middle range and $5 bargain discs. This would replace the current $13.88 to $9.88 format Wal-Mart generally offers at stores throughout the United States. "When you look at sales declines with physical product, and you have a category declining like it is, you have to make decisions about what the future looks like" said Wal-Mart's divisional merchandise manager for home entertainment Jeff Maas. "If you have a business that is declining and you want to turn it around, it really takes looking at it from all angles." It has been reported that top music label representatives are not happy about this lower pricing scheme, with quotes from various major record label employees saying, "I don't think this is a Wal-Mart discussion. I think this is a future-of-the-business discussion. Right now everyone is paralyzed." Other music label executives were quoted as saying "The decision might come down to: Do we give up 20 percent of our business (i.e., Wal-Mart) in order to not lose the entire business?... This sounds like the Hail Mary pass, and if it doesn't work, they could be out of the music business; or maybe they reduce music down to a couple of racks" Perhaps it is time to virtually kill the physical format in favor of uncompressed and/or lossless music downloads without DRM or other limitations.


03 / 04 / 18

Hi-Fi+'s March Magazine Features Many High-End Audio Reviews
Hi-Fi+ Issue 157 March 2018Hi-Fi+ Magazine's March 2018 issue features a special Talking Terms: An audio glossary for personal audio plus an interview with musical polymath Dave Stewart. High-end portable audio gear reviews include the Final D8000 planar magnetic headphone with air film damping system, Sennheiser HD 800 S/HDV 820 open dynamic headphones and headphone amp/DAC, Audeze LCD-MX4 planar magnetic headphones, Stax SR-L700/SRM-006tS KIMIK 2 electrostatic earspeakers and energiser, Echobox Explorer streaming digital audio player, Astell & Kern Kann streaming digital audio player, MrSpeakers Aeon Flow Open planar magnetic headphones, Feliks Audio Euforia output transformerless valve headphone amplifier and Cardas Audio A8 30th Anniversary Earphones. For home audiophiles, Hi-Fi+ has review of the Linn Lingo 4 turntable power supply, Magnepan 30.7 dipolar planar loudspeaker, Graham Audio Votu floorstanding loudspeaker, Chord ChordMusic digital / analogue / speaker cables, plus Townshend Audio F1 Fractal loudspeaker cables. Within his editorial, Hi-Fi+'s Alan Sircom says "Eagle-eyed readers of our masthead to the left might have noticed some changes in our team this month. Our esteemed Associate Publisher, Pete Collingwood-Trewin, steps up to the role of Publisher, while our former Publisher, Chris Martens, takes on the role of Editorial Director, while also taking on the task of editing the latest venture in our publishing stable, The Ultimate Headphone Guide. It seems that sleep is an optional extra for our Mr. Martens. The change to the 'flannel panel' (as it's known in the trade) means the Publisher is now based in the UK. This should not be seen as the end of our international aspirations; we are, and remain, a magazine focused and dedicated to finding the best in audio, from wherever it comes, and our team could be based in the UK, the US, Upper Silesia, or the Klingon homeworld, and we would still hold to that goal. Of course, shipping costs to the Klingon homeworld are dramatic, and it's so hard to get any music apart from Klingon opera there." See what's within this issue of Hi-Fi+ Magazine at this link.


03 / 02 / 18

ELAC Announces Debut 2.0 Line Of Home / Theater Speakers
ELAC Announces Debut 2.0 Line of Home / Theater SpeakersELAC has announced their new Debut 2.0 line of home speakers and subwoofers. This new line builds upon the success of the first-generation Debut Family incorporating a variety of new features and technologies. Some of the notable new features of the Debut 2.0 line-up include.... New Tweeter with Wide-Dispersion Waveguide - A new silk-dome tweeter featuring a wide-roll surround takes response up to 35 kHz for even more lifelike high frequencies. The waveguide improves directivity control and reduces the diffraction modes inherent in traditional box enclosures. Along with an extended low frequency response the new design gives improved integration with the woofer. New Woven Aramid-Fiber Woofer – The revised design of the Aramid cone offers improved stiffness and damping, which when combined with the new dust-cap results in a smoother response and greater transparency. New Cabinets for Easier Placement - Thick MDF cabinets with a black ash vinyl finish are internally braced for greater stiffness, reducing cabinet vibrations that cause unwanted coloration. Moving the bass port to the front of the cabinet improves placement flexibility, allowing the speakers to be positioned closer to the wall or in bookshelves. Optimized Center Speakers – Recognizing that in a multi-channel system the majority of the sound comes through the center speaker, we have optimized sensitivity and impedance to minimize the power requirement from the AV receiver, maximizing dynamic impact from lower cost receivers. App Controlled AutoEQ Subwoofer with Multi-Subwoofer Control – The new SUB3010 addresses one of the most often requested features from consumers; the ability to control multiple subwoofers at the same time from the phone app. Included is the ability to control each subwoofer individually, or for certain features, as a group. Models and pricing is as follows:
B5.2 Debut 2.0 5.25" Two-Way Bookshelf Speakers $249.98 Pair
B6.2 Debut 2.0 6.5" Two- Way Bookshelf Speakers $299.98 Pair
C5.2 Debut 2.0 5.25" Two-Way Center Speaker $199.98 Each
C6.2 Debut 2.0 6.5" Two-Way Center Speaker $279.98 Each
F5.2 Debut 2.0 3 x 5.25" Three-Way Floorstanding Speaker $299.98 Each
F6.2 Debut 2.0 3 x 6.5" Three-Way Floorstanding Speaker $399.98 Each
A4.2 Debut 2.0 4" Concentric Dolby Atmos Add-on Speaker $249.98 Pair
OW4.2 Debut 2.0 4" Two-Way On-Wall Speakers $249.98 Pair
SUB3010 Debut 2.0 10" 400 Watt Powered Subwoofer with AutoEQ $449.98 Each


Audioengine Unveils Their New A5+ Premium Wireless Speaker
Audioengine Unveils Their New A5+ Premium Wireless SpeakerAudioengine announces their A5+ Bluetooth Wireless Music System ($499 on up), which is an exciting evolution of the award-winning A5 speakers. These speakers seek to complete your smart music system as they work with Alexa, Siri, and all other voice activated apps, speakers, and devices - as well as every music app on the planet. Audioengine says that "Life is complicated. Listening to your music shouldn't be." That's why the new A5+ Wireless is easy to setup with wireless and simply works. The A5+ Wireless eliminates the need for a stereo receiver or separate power amp as built-in amplification ensures there an abundance of power for your relaxing mornings or party nights. And setup takes just a few seconds with no apps to download and no W-Fi hassles. Tidal, Spotify, Pandora, and all your favorite streaming apps play instantly from your phone, tablet, and computer via Bluetooth aptX HD. The A5+ Wireless includes 150W peak of amplification, a 5" custom Kevlar midrange/woofer and 0.75: silk dome tweeter. Joining Bluetooth is a 3.5mm stereo analog input plus L/R unbalanced RCA jacks. Overall frequency response is from 50Hz to 22kHz. A built-in aptX-HD 24-bit upsampling DAC is joined by a extended wireless range Bluetooth. Available in satin black, gloss white, and solid bamboo.


Nordost's New High-End Blue Heaven Subwoofer Cable
Nordost's New High-End Blue Heaven Subwoofer CableNordost is happy to announce the expansion of their acclaimed Blue Heaven Range with the introduction of the Blue Heaven Subwoofer Cable ($349.99 for a two-meter length, additional meter increments are $75). The Blue Heaven Subwoofer Cable makes it possible for music lovers to completely integrate subwoofers with their loudspeakers, creating a truly well-rounded experience, highlighting even the lowest frequency extensions on the spectrum. The Blue Heaven Subwoofer Cable consists of four, 22 AWG, solid core, silver-plated, 99.9999% OFC signal conductors. Its dielectric strength is improved by an innovative precision FEP extrusion process, which further increases signal speeds and accuracy in signal transfer. The conductors are then covered in a braided shield, addressing any EMI and RFI. Additionally, the Blue Heaven Subwoofer Cable utilizes a unique flat, parallel construction. In order to accommodate all its possible uses, the Blue Heaven Subwoofer Cable is offered in three configurations: Straight, Y, and Y-to-Y. All three configurations are available terminated with specially designed, gold-plated MoonGlo RCA or XLR connectors. Designed, manufactured, and hand-terminated entirely in the USA, Nordost's Blue Heaven Subwoofer Cable is said to "guarantees the accurate construction required to produce integrated low level frequencies, while preserving the precision and speed necessary to enjoy well rounded, seamless, and all-encompassing sound from music, movies, and television."


03 / 01 / 18

Enjoy the Music.com's March Review Magazine Is Now Available
Enjoy the Music.com's March Review Magazine features three think pieces plus our world premiere review of McIntosh Labs' MA5300 integrated amp, the Mojo Audio Mystique V3 DAC, Acoustic Research's AR-H1 over-ear headphones, and Benchmark's DAC3 HGC DAC / headamp / preamplifier.

Within industry veteran Roger Skoff's article, he writes about music lovers, Hi-Fi, and says "In my experience, the first thing new audiophiles do upon getting their first decent sounding system is to listen to all of their old recordings and marvel at how much better they sound 'now' than ever before." Enjoy the Music.com's Creative Director Steven R. Rochlin write a Senseless Rambling where he freely admits his article is "a curious ordering of words in English". We also bring back vintage magazine Sound Practices as Editor and Publisher Joe Roberts discusses the sonic explorations of Audio Note Japan's Kondo-san.

Show season has officially begun as Dave Hanson reported on Head-Fi's recent CanJam NYC event! Dave brings his wonderful show experience to our readers. His coverage spans four pages filled with many photos. Dave says that "CanJam NYC 2018 was absolutely jam packed... From old-school stalwarts like Sennheiser to exciting upstarts like Meze and Periodic Audio, there were waves being made across the industry at any and every price point. We've got a ton to cover....".

We look forward to seeing everyone at AXPONA 2018 in April as it looks to be another truly epic show! See what's within this month's edition of Enjoy the Music.com's Review Magazine at this link. As always, in the end what really matters is that you...

Enjoy the Music,

Steven R. Rochlin
Creative Director
Enjoy the Music.com


Senseless Ramblings
Once a new technology rolls over you...
A Curious Ordering Of Words In English Written By Steven R. Rochlin


Coming At It From Both Directions
Coming At It From Both Directions
Roger Skoff writes about music lovers and Hi-Fi.
Article By Roger Skoff


CanJam 2018 Show Report
CanJam NYC 2018 Show Report -- Head-Fi's CanJam NYC 2018
So many toys, so little time: a whirlwind weekend of high-end headphones.
Show Report by Dave Hanson


At The Edge Of Science: The sonic explorations of Kondo-san.
At The Edge Of Science
The sonic explorations of Kondo-san.
Article By Joe Roberts


Mojo Audio Mystique V3 Non-Oversampling R-2R Hi-Res Audio DAC  Review
Mojo Audio Mystique V3 Non-Oversampling R-2R Hi-Res Audio DAC
The art and science of high resolution digital audio today.
Review By Jeremy R. Kipnis, At Kipnis Studios (KSS)


World Premiere Review!
McIntosh Labs MA5300 Integrated Amplifier
McIntosh Labs reputation shines through with excellent build quality and exemplary performance.
Review By Ron Nagle


Acoustic Research AR-H1 Over-Ear Headphones
A venerable audio brand shows great potential in its first foray into over-ear headphones.
Review By Dave Hanson


Benchmark DAC3 HGC Hi-Res Audio DAC, Headphone Amp, And Preamplifier
Benchmark's DAC3 HGC includes a killer DAC, headamp and preamp functions too!
Review By Tom Lyle


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


For previous high-end audio industry news click here.


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