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04 / 30 / 09

Salon Son & Image 2009  Enjoy the Music.com now offers photojournalist Rick Becker's Part 3 of his Salon Son & Image 2009 show coverage. As his final installment, there are three pages filled with more of his great commentary and photos from this Montréal event. In total, there were five levels of large rooms plus three other levels of smaller suites and hotel rooms converted into isolated listening rooms. See Part 3 of Rick's show coverage by clicking here.


04 / 29 / 09

Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA)  The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), a trade group that represents the United States recording industry to foster a business and legal climate that supports and promotes our members' that create, manufacture and/or distribute approximately 85 percent of all legitimate sound recordings produced and sold in the United States, has released their 2008 sales figures. Audiophiles can rejoice as the single format that experienced the most growth is vinyl, reaching an increase in sales of an impressive 147.7 percent in dollar value and 124.1 percent in volume as compared to 2007 figures! Naturally the ragged and low resolution compact disc is (rightly) suffering greatly, with a loss of 26.6 percent in dollar value as compared to 2007. Both physical media of music videos and DVD videos have also seen declines of over 50 percent. Then again music videos via digital download have experienced an increase of over 46 percent. Digital download of single track music has increased over 27 percent while digital; album downloads have increased over 33 percent. "Sales of digital music continued growing at a rapid pace in 2008, and now constitute 32 percent of the total market by value, and $2.7 billion in total shipments," said Joshua P. Friedlander, RIAA Vice President, Research and Strategic Analysis. "The market for physical recorded music goods fell 28 percent to $5.8 billion. Both CDs and music videos experienced significant declines. Vinyl continued to stage a comeback as the format more than doubled year-over-year to $57 million, the highest level since 1990."


Finally, Neil Young's long-awaited Volume I will be released on June 2 after nearly a year of delays and will be available on CD, DVD and Blu-ray formats (no vinyl release has been reported). This is the first volume of the Neil Young Archives series of box sets, produced by Neil Young himself. This series is the definitive, comprehensive, chronological survey of his entire body of work. Volume I covers the period from his earliest recordings with the Squires in Winnipeg, 1963, through to his classic 1972 album, Harvest and beyond, including studio and live tracks with the legendary Buffalo Springfield, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, and Neil Young with Crazy Horse. The Blu-ray disc edition contains 10 discs, each in its own custom sleeve. Nine of these discs hold a total of 128 tracks (12 hidden), all presented in ultra high resolution 24-bit/192kHz stereo PCM state-of-the-art master quality sound, and featuring nearly 60 previously unreleased songs, versions, mixes, or rare tracks. The CD edition contains 8 discs, each in its own custom sleeve, with a total of 116 tracks, all presented in HDCD quality sound and featuring over 40 previously unreleased songs, versions, mixes, or rare tracks. This edition is housed in a custom disc keeper holding the 8 sleeved discs, a descriptive booklet, and a foldout archives poster. Get great music while helping support Enjoy the Music.com by ordering from the links below. The CD version is regularly $99.98 yet on sale for $71.99, the DVD version is $249.99 yet on sale for $199.99 and the Blu-ray version is $349.99 and on sale now for $281.99.


04 / 28 / 09

Linn Urika Phonostage  Linn now offers improvements to their legendary LP12, called SE Upgrades, that are said to deliver enhanced vinyl performance via two new upgrades. The new Radikal DC motor control and Urika phonostage upgrade (pictured) elevate the performance of Linn's flagship LP12 turntable. These upgrades deliver "the biggest performance improvement from an LP12 ever. The new designs offer a completely new way of powering and amplifying your turntable to retrieve and protect the source signal to a far greater degree than ever before." Linn's new Radikal DC motor, control unit and power supply offers a new level of speed accuracy plus reduces electrical and mechanical noise. With an on-board speed management system which auto-calibrates the turntable for accurate motor speed control (using technology from Klimax DS), manual speed adjustment is no longer required. The new brushed DC motor has a very low magnetic field as well as very low electrical noise, and is housed in a machined casing designed to reduce vibration and resonance. Linn's Radikal motor control unit and power supply is encased in an elegant and timeless Linn chassis, available in black or silver. As for the Urika, this new phono stage is located inside the deck itself for the shortest signal path. Enhancements to the phonostage include a new screened and balanced T-Kable and a dual mono phono design. The new T-Kable is directly soldered to the phono stage and delivers an improved signal-to-noise ratio, whilst increased flexibility enables the suspension to work more effectively without interference. The dual mono phono design provides dedicated circuitry for each channel to minimize cross-talk. Enjoy the Music.com has reviewed the Linn Classik CD/Radio integrated amplifier plus and Kan loudspeakers (click here) and the Linn Katan monitor loudspeakers with Sizmik 10.25 powered subwoofer (click here).

Suggested UK Retail Pricing is as follows: 
Linn Radikal (standard chassis): £2,500 inc VAT 
Linn Radikal (machined-from-solid chassis): £4,500 inc VAT 
Linn Urika: £2,250 inc VAT 
Customers can also maximize performance and save money by upgrading both products together: 
Linn Radikal (standard chassis) plus Linn Urika package: £4,200 inc VAT 
Linn Radikal (machined from solid chassis) plus Linn Urika package: £6,200 inc VAT



Marshall PhotoMarshall Photo goes live online and features many photos of legendary musicians. Working extensively over the past year with the team at Groovy Collectibles LLC, Jim's goal was to build a high quality online home for the sale of his prints. These photos are both well known and some being more obscure, plus there is memorabilia and other related items for sale. The collection includes a superb array of Jim's beautifully printed Silver Gelatin black and white images (think Jimi at Monterey Pop, or Cash flipping the bird); a stunning selection of black and white limited-edition Platinum prints (like Monk at his kitchen piano), and highly prized limited-edition Dye Transfer color prints (such as The Who rocking SF Civic Auditorium). Marshall Photo also offers a range of collectibles, ranging from one-of-a-kind signed magazines from Jim's personal collection (how about Rolling Stone issues 68 & 69!) to a variety of other music-related ephemera. In addition, signed copies of Jim's in-print books are for sale.


04 / 27 / 09

Gruensch Phono Stage MCS+  Gruensch announced their two-chassis Reference Phono Stage MCS+ that allows for a wide selection of gain, load and resistance to ensure proper playback of various phono cartridges. One chassis houses the power supply while the other holds the highly sensitive analog stage. This strategy ensures that power supply noise is kept away from the extremely small signal outputted from phono cartridges. New J-FET current amplification circuitry plus constant current power technology provide the highest of playback fidelity. Being a high-end product it is natural that the amplification is operated in pure single-ended pure Class A and with zero negative feedback (NFB). Overall frequency response is an impressively wide 1 Hz to 100 kHz. The vast array of adjustable settings for MM and MC plus those for shellac plates (78 rpm discs). Both cabinets are made with up to 20 mm strong CNC milled full aluminum. The extremely substantial, resonance-free execution protects electronics effectively against vibration caused distortion. A few more hints of this feature-packed design includes a variable subsonic filter and monophonic switch (SUM).


HeFei XiangSheng Electronic Music Curve D-2020-FU50 Vacuum Tube Stereo Integrated AmplifierHeFei XiangSheng Electronic, established in 2003 as a manufacturer of audio products sold worldwide, now sells their Music Curve D-2020-FU50 vacuum tube stereo integrated amplifier. With a chassis made of brushed 1.2mm stainless steel, there are two source inputs and both 4 and 8 Ohm loudspeaker outputs. The front input and volume knobs are made from metal while in the rear are gold plated high-grade RCA and loudspeaker terminals. The side panels feature lovely shaped and stained cherry wood. Frequency response is from 20 Hz to 30 kHz (±1dB), a THD of 1 percent @ 1 kHz and the unit weighs in at 44 lbs. While the tube compliment is not stated, it looks to be four El34 and a pair of 300B are some of the valves used within this design.


04 / 24 / 09

Lamm Industries LL2.1 Preamplifier  Lamm Industries' LL2.1 preamplifier ($5690 for standard or $5,990 for uprated version) is a direct replacement for their LL2 preamplifier and features upgrades and modifications to the previous design. Differences include a remote on/off for Lamm amplifiers, attenuation for gain reduction by 15dB, various parts and circuitry changes plus new knobs. The Lamm Industries LL2.1 employs a pure Class A operation from input to output; all stages are single-ended. The preamplifier's power supply features a full-wave vacuum rectifier. This rectifier, together with a choke-containing filter, allows to practically eliminate hum and buzz plus is said to ensure a wide dynamic range without coloration. Other features include three inputs, one tape loop, two sets of outputs and a front panel muting switch. The LL2.1 is available in two versions: standard and deluxe, both of which utilize identical chassis, PC-board and parts. In deluxe version, the power supply energy storage is approximately twice that of the standard version (four identical light-blue capacitors next the choke; only two of these are installed in regular version). Also, in the deluxe version all film capacitors in critical paths are paralleled by polystyrene capacitors of the highest available quality. Enjoy the Music.com has reviewed the Lamm Industries LL2 Deluxe preamplifier (click here), LP2 phono preamplifier (click here) and their L2 Reference preamplifier (click here).


Russ Andrews Zapperator FilterRuss Andrews has introduced the Zapperator filter (£161 per pair) that is said to aid with RFI rejection. Developed in conjunction with power experts Ben Duncan and Paul Houlden, the Zapperator is designed to reduce the effects of radio frequency interference (RFI) and audibly improve sound quality. The Zapperator uses a selection of carefully chosen components in a tuned Zobel network to absorb RFI and reduce noise in the amplifier/loudspeaker interface. Fitted to the loudspeaker's binding posts using stackable 'piggy-back' banana plugs, the user can still use their loudspeaker cable and connectors of choice. Alternatively, 6mm or 8mm spades can be fitted. The company says, "The effect on the audio signal is one of reducing the noise floor, increasing the detail reproduction and presenting more natural sounding music." The units are Available direct from Russ Andrews Accessories Ltd. with the company's usual 60 day money back guarantee.


04 / 23 / 09

Speakal iPig, iPanda And iBoo iPod Docks  While not being for audiophiles, i could not help to post here that Speakal offers their iPig, iPanda and iBoo iPod docks ($129, $129 and $89 respectively). These cute docking stations are a five driver 2.1 bi-amplified stereo loudspeaker system with "Humanized Touch Volume Control" and include wireless remotes. Features include adjustable bass and treble, five speakers positioned for maximum sound separation and distribution with tweeter and midrange drivers. The tweeters and midrange drivers feed off a 10 watt amplifier while the bass reflex subwoofer has 15 watts of dedicated power. There is a built-in iPod dock plus a 3.5mm Aux input jack to connect to other music sources. These are for sale direct and come with a 30 day money back guaranty and 1 year limited warranty.


Jaguar XKRTata Motors, India's largest automobile company with revenues of $8.8 billion in 2007-08 and now owners of Jaguar and Land Rover nameplates, has joined Bowers & Wilkins to include an audiophile-quality sound system within the 2010 Jaguar XKR and XFR automobiles. The Bowers & Wilkins automotive development team continues to build its program upon the same rigorous component specification and selection that the company has utilized for its long lineage of unexcelled home audio and home theater audio systems. Turning this expertise to the unique challenges of in-car system engineering and tuning ensures a consistent, and compelling musically engrossing entertainment experience for the driver and passengers alike. The Jaguar audio systems features core Bowers & Wilkins elements, in particular its hallmark Kevlar midrange loudspeaker units, and famed low-distortion, high-performance aluminum tweeters. The Kevlar speaker diaphragms for the Jaguar systems were specially refined to preserve the trademark Bowers & Wilkins musical purity and detail, bringing listeners as close to the music in the challenging mobile environment. Aluminum tweeter domes were chosen because of their natural, distortion-free performance even under enormous dynamic demands giving the listener a more detailed and revealing listening experience regardless of moving speed and overall volume setting. The XFR and XKR are two cars that are true to Jaguar's legendary heritage performance, delivering a superb balance of automotive high performance, dynamic response and refinement. Both vehicles feature the all-new AJ-V8 Gen III direct-injection engines which promises to deliver more power and more performance with no loss in fuel efficiencies and a decrease in emissions. Enjoy the Music.com has reviewed the Bowers & Wilkins Nautilus 800 loudspeaker (click here) and 800D loudspeaker (click here).


04 / 22 / 09

Pass Labs XP-15  Pass Laboratories, founded in 1991 by legendary audio designer Nelson Pass, is now shipping their XP-15 phonostage ($3800) for use with moving magnet and moving coil cartridges. The Pass Labs' XP-15 is the successor to Pass Labs’s award-winning Xono phono-stage. It features lower noise levels, greater resolution, better base control and an attractive single-chassis design. The XP-15 is easy to set up and has a very accurate RIAA equalization curve within 1/10th of a decibel over 10 octaves that does not vary with a change of gain or cartridge loading. The XP-15's gain is adjustable from 46dB to 76dB, a range that allows the operation of high-output moving magnet cartridges and the lowest output moving coil cartridges without the need for an auxiliary step-up transformer. An extremely low noise and high gain structure of the XP-15 means it is capable of delivering more than 0.5 Volt of line-level signal output with a cartridge input of 80 micro-volts (0.08 mv). Pass Labs  XP-15’s connections includes both MM and MC inputs for Moving Magnet and Moving Coil-type phono cartridges, RCA and XLR outputs, and a single five-way binding post for turntable grounding. Two pairs of DIP switches aid cartridge selection and cartridge loading. Enjoy the Music.com has reviewed the Pass Laboratories Supersymmetry balanced single-ended Class A X250 stereo amplifier (click here), Aleph X2.5 stereo preamplifier (click here), the First Watt B1 buffer preamplifier (click here) plus articles by designer Nelson Pass including the First Watt DIY audio kits (click here) and an article titled Leaving Class A (click here).


04 / 21 / 09

KR Audio Electronics Kronzilla DXL Monoblock Amplifier  As a sneak peek to the Enjoy the Music.com Munich's High End 2009 show report, Czech Republic high-end amplifier and tube manufacturer KR Audio Electronics will be announcing their new luxurious Kronzilla DXL monoblocks (27,000,00€ per pair). Using four T 1610 in a push-pull configuration, each monoblock unit produces at least 150 watts. Frequency response is from 20 Hz to 20 kHz and there are outputs for both 4 and 8 Ohm loudspeakers. KR Audio felt there was a need for high-powered amplification due to customers desiring more drive for those 'difficult speakers'. This year KR Audio Electronics is celebrating their 15 year's anniversary, and so the company decided to launch a new line of amplifiers using push-pull circuitry. Chief Engineer Marek Gencev has developed a complete new electronic circuit based on the often awarded single ended Kronzilla Riccardo Kron and Marek designed together. The new circuit uses also MOSfets and micro processing to drive and control the T 1610 tubes. KR Audio's new push-pull design is also available as 'the VA 880', an integrated version, using a KR KT 88 quad at 70 watts pc. A limited anniversary edition is available (6900€). You can see Enjoy the Music.com's upcoming and past High End 2009 show reports by clicking here. Enjoy the Music.com has reviewed the KR Audio 300B Balloon triode tube (click here), the KR Audio VA340 Integrated Amplifier (click here), Kronzilla DM dual monoblock power amplifier (click here) and the KR Audio Kronzilla DX monoblock amplifiers (click here).


Ultimate Ears 700Ultimate Ears new model 700 noise-isolating earphones in-ear monitors ($229.99) have dual armature layout that provide drivers for bass and treble frequencies. The professional-grade dual drivers are said to enable the 700 to provide a "cleaner, more precise audio experience" via custom-tuned dual-armature layout that separates the broad frequency response, from 10 Hz to 16.5 kHz. Sensitivity is rated at 113dB/mW and they provide 26dB of noise isolation. The Ultimate Ears 700 comfortably fit within the ear and each unit includes three various sized silicone inserts plus two sets of Comply foam ear cushions for optimum fit. Also included is a case for safe travels. The 3.5mm stereo jack is compatible with various high-end audio devices plus the iPod, Zune, laptop computers and various cell phones. Enjoy the Music.com has reviewed the Ultimate Ears UE-10 Pro (click here) and did a comparison review of the Shure E4c versus Ultimate Ears Super.fi 5pro (click here).


04 / 20 / 09

Blu_ray Disc  With audiophiles seeking high-resolution music and online music to enjoy, some music labels may be better to focus their efforts on the Blu-ray format as 9 million Blu-ray discs were sold within the United States during the first three months of 2009 while an expected 12 million Blu-ray players will ship in 2009. Adams Media Research claims that sales have nearly doubled for the high-resolution format to reach sales of 4.8 million discs during the first quarter. They also say that as of today there are 10.5 million players within American homes. Futuresource's quarterly analysis shows that 12 million new Blu-ray players will ship in 2009. Since Blu-ray players are going down (on average) in price, it is easier for consumers to afford this relative new digital disc format. On the other side of the coin, audiophiles are buying more high-resolution music online with each passing month. With the advent of homewide music servers and supporting DAC hardware, there may come a time when there will be no need for hard format disc formats. As Enjoy the Msuic.om has recently announced, music via HDtacks and Chesky Records 192 kHz/24-bit WAV 1-to-1 Masters series are but two of many choices now available online.


Livo RadioLivo Radio, founded in 2008 to make Internet audio streams accessible to more people, now offers their dedicated Pandora  radio. With audiophiles tiring of low quality normal commercial radio and seeking something more customizable, online services such as Pandora are thriving. The Livio Radio, through Pandora and the Music Genome Project, gives its users the power to be their own personal DJ, one that actually pays attention to what listeners like and dislike. Livo Radio is the first and only dedicated device to offer Pandora's signature 'thumbs up, thumbs down' controls on both the front panel and a remote control. All users need is an Internet connection anywhere in the world to access Pandor's nearly limitless customizable radio stations across any genre without a required monthly fee.

SonosIn related news, homewide audio distribution system manufacturer Sonos now offers v2.8 upgrade free of charge. This new upgrade further refines the iPhone and iPod Touch controller plus adds the free Deezer music service for customers in Europe. With the ability to have 32 music zones within an audiophile's home, plus analog input to ADC not offered in Logitech's Slim Devices units, Sonos units have both stereo analog and digital (via Toslink or S/PDIF) output. Sonos also works with Pandora, Last.fm and other online music services plus handles DRM-free WMA, iTunes and other music files without the need to have an external home computer. Enjoy the Music.com has reviewed the multi-room Sonos system, which can be seen by clicking here.


04 / 17 / 09

Marantz Ken Ishiwata  At Munich Germany's High End 2009 event Marantz will reveals their world premiere of "The Pearl" designed by developer Ken Ishiwata to celebrate his 30th anniversary with the company. This is a gift not only for audio fans, but also for Ken himself and the whole Marantz team. Ken Ishiwata is a man with extremely high standards who is always striving for the ideal solutions for perfect music playback. He works tirelessly to perfect the listening experience and is well known to Marantz customers and enthusiasts as the creator of the KI signature series. At a world premiere at the High End show in Munich, Ken Ishiwata will be presenting "The Pearls," named because the 30th anniversary gift is traditionally Pearls. Marantz will also be devoting an exhibition room for a Blu-ray system and showcasing their high-end projector and MA-9, SC-7 and SA-7 stereo components. Marantz will also be presenting its entire range of audio and video components with new products including the SA-15S2 Super Audio player and the latest speakers from Mordaunt Short. Enjoy the Music.com has reviewed the Marantz CD5001 CD player (click here) and Marantz's SA8003 SACD player (click here). Enjoy the Music.com is celebrating a decade of continuously covering the High End event this year by providing daily live updates from the show. See our 2008 and previous show reports by clicking here.


Enjoy the Music.com On my.MSN.comEnjoy the Music.com's daily Industry News updates are now available on my.MSN.com. Users of the highly popular MSN page can add Enjoy the Music.com's daily high-end audio Industry News to their content preferences. Reaching tens of millions of viewers each month, my.MSN.com provides a variety for information to consumers on a daily basis. With well over a decade of developing innovations, Enjoy the Music.com has a longstanding history of enabling our content to reach the widest possible audience. These innovations over the years include, but are not limited to, push-pull content to the desktop, Wireless Application Protocol (WAP), custom bookmark graphic for browsers and iPhone users, plus the recently released V10 of our longstanding Internet high-end audiophile browser. Users of my.MSN.com will be updated each day with important high-end consumer audio industry news and events. In addition, they can easily click on the appropriate link to ascertain additional information on each topic featured. "As the only audiophile magazine to offer such diverse availability of content, today marks an important achievement in furthering the accessibility of high-end consumer electronics information to consumers all around the world," said Steven R. Rochlin, editor of Enjoy the Music.com. "Once again the internationally critically acclaimed Web site Enjoy the Music.com is here to assist our readership in choosing the best product that fits their needs. We are continually expanding our information-based Web site and now provide over 120 show reports from around the world plus hundreds of equipment and music reviews combined within our Superior Audio, DIY, and Review Magazine. Enjoy the Music.com is the Internet's largest Web site for independent high-performance audio information, news, and worldwide show reports." You can easily learn how to add Enjoy the Music.com to your my.MSN.com page by clicking here.


04 / 16 / 09

HDtracks  HDtracks, an online music site founded by David and Norman Chesky that offering high-resolution digital music downloads, today announced its exclusive release of an audiophile-quality DRM-free 24-bit/96kHz FLAC remaster of Led Zeppelin vocalist Robert Plant and bluegrass and country icon Allison Krauss' Raising Sand album. Raising Sand won five Grammy Awards, including Album of the Year and Record of the Year for "Please Read The Letter." The other wins were for best pop collaboration with vocals "Rich Woman," Best Country Collaboration with Vocals for "Killing the Blues" and Best Contemporary Folk/Americana Album. Lauded by audiophiles for its superior sound quality, Raising Sand was produced by T Bone Burnett who also, along with the Coen Brothers, scored the O Brother, Where Art Thou soundtrack, winner of three Grammy Awards in 2002. Raising Sand was a collaborative effort between Plant, Krauss and Burnett, aided by a stellar band with guitarists Norman Blake, T Bone Burnett, Marc Ribot and Norman Black, multi-instrumentalist Mike Seeger, drummer Jay Bellerose and bassist Dennis Crouch. Sessions were recorded in Nashville and Los Angeles. The complete audiophile 24-bit/96kHz album retails for $15.98, with individual tracks being $2.49 each. HDtracks also exclusively offers Raising Sand as a CD quality 16-bit/44.1kHz DRM-Free FLAC file in AIFF or 320 kbps MP3 files for $11.98 for the complete album, $1.49 for individual tracks.


Chesky RecordsIn related news, Chesky Records has just introduced 192 kHz/24-bit WAV 1-to-1 Masters series. These are not limited editions but one-to-one copies of the company's master 192 kHz/24-bit tapes. These are standard 24-bit/192 kHz WAV files that you can burn onto your computer's hard drive and then play back on any device that will support 24-bit/192 kHz music files. These discs will not play on DVD-Audio or SACD players unless you use software that produces such discs from audio files. These new music discs from Chesky Records contain up to 4.7 GB of music each on a Gold DVD-R. "This is a major breakthrough for us in sound quality" says David Chesky of Chesky Records. "The one-to-one masters off a good computer system sound more like analog than any other digital source we have used. You will hear more air, tonal purity, resolution, and a much richer, deeper, and wider soundstage."


Audia Flight Three Integrated Stereo AmplifierItalian manufacturer Audia Flight now offers their Flight Three integrated stereo amplifier ($3900) that can also be fitted internally with an optional MM/MC phonostage. This unit produces 75 wpc @ 8 Ohm (130 @ 4 0hm) and includes four unbalanced inputs via RCA, one balance input via XLR plus a monitor input and record output. The input selector features sealed relays in inert atmosphere and gold terminations. There is also a headphone output for those who wish to enjoy a more private listening experience. The optional Phono board is said to provide "infinite adjustment possibilities." Internal components are of very high quality and include a 400VA toroidal transformer and ALPS blue potentiometer. In addition, eight stabilized power supplies give energy to all stages and four high-current power capacitors (72,000µF) are for the output stages. The internal dual mono layout includes separate power supply for left and right channels. The Audio Flight Three comes with a fully functional aluminum remote control, the display is blue in color, and the 15mm front panel is available is either silver or black.


04 / 15 / 09

Review Magazine 's April midmonth edition of the Review Magazine is now available! Updates include more show coverage of the Montreal event, a manufacturer submission plus two more articles!

Daily News: Audiophile news updated each weekday! 

Audiophile Show Coverage              
Salon Son & Image 2009 Show Report
Electronics And Entertainment Canada

BAS Speaker
Ultrasone Pro 750 Cans' Velvet Sound
Review By Richard Freed

Sound Practices
Fashion Is The Devil
Article By Joe Roberts

Manufacturer Article         
iPod, MP3, CD, LP, SACD
What Sounds Better And Why
Article Submitted By John Meyer At Newform Research


See the April 2009 midmonth Review Magazine by clicking here.



Benchmark Media Systems  DAC1 HDR  PreamplifierBenchmark Media Systems, the designers of the award-winning DAC1 family, has announced the release of their flagship DAC1 HDR stereo preamplifier ($1895). The DAC1 HDR incorporates several of Benchmark's proprietary designs: the AdvancedUSB computer audio interface, the DAC1 digital-to-analog converter, and the HPA2 headphone amplifier. Unlike many USB-equipped D/A converters, Benchmark's AdvancedUSB technology supports 24-bit audio at sample rates up to 96 kHz without the installation of any drivers or other special software. Benchmark's proprietary UltraLock clock system achieves a virtual immunity to jitter. Many modern (and expensive) converters suffer from significant jitter-induced distortion, generating non-musical sideband tones and digital distortion. Benchmark's highly-regarded UltraLock™ clock system ensures that jitter is never a problem, even under extreme conditions. The Benchmark DAC1 HDR builds on Benchmark's DAC1 PRE with the addition of a unique remote control solution and motorized volume potentiometer. The remote control of the DAC1 HDR controls on/off, input selection, volume, soft-mute, and adjustable dim level. The user can adjust the "dim" volume setting and the "normal" volume settings independently, and the DAC1 HDR will remember those volume settings. The DAC1 HDR main unit is similar to Benchmark's DAC1 PRE in form, function, and performance. It can connect to a digital cable box, HDTV, DVD/CD player, computer, music server, satellite radio, FM tuner, phono stage, VCR, etc. The DAC1 HDR will be available with both black and silver faceplates.


04 / 14 / 09

Enjoy the Music.com Internet Browser V10  Enjoy the Music.com, a leader in consumer electronics audio equipment and music reviews for approximately 15 years, has released version 10 of our free Web browser. The Internet has revolutionized the way consumers receive the most up-to-date information concerning electronics and in their ability to purchase music. Enjoy the Music.com continues to play a key role in reaching enthusiasts worldwide that desire learning about the latest in high-end audio products. Since consumers need a browser to view the Internet, Enjoy the Music.com continues to be the industry's only site in giving its readership a customized version to suit their needs. As a longtime and highly respected site for audiophiles, Enjoy the Music.com began offering the world's first Web browser back in May of 1999. With over ten years of experience in development and research, Version 10 further refines and streamlines our previous efforts with links to online consumer electronic equipment reviews, audiophile music reviews and many respected magazines. We also offer links to hundreds of equipment manufacturers from all around the world. An additional feature to aid audiophiles includes a Search box customized to deliver query results specifically geared towards high-end audio topics. Optional components for multimedia enjoyment such as the Microsoft Media Player, iTunes, YouTube, Rhapsody, Pandora, Last.fm and others works seamlessly in concert with the browser to deliver Internet-based audio and video entertainment.

"This year marks the 10th anniversary of us offering the only browser customization specifically designed for audiophiles," said Steven R. Rochlin, editor of Enjoy the Music.com. "In addition to continually tweaking this free browser, we also were the first to offer a free turntable cartridge alignment tool and free Excel spreadsheet so our readers can save money by making their own version plus stroboscopes to ensure the rotational speed of their LP setup. As a leader and well-established site within the consumer electronics industry, Enjoy the Music.com continues to flourish and is the only company to maintain important strategic partnerships with other magazines within the industry including The Absolute Sound, The Audiophile Voice and hi-hi+. I want to thank our longstanding readership and those within the industry as we all work together to promote high-end audio. Over the years, millions of people have chosen Enjoy the Music.com as their resource for consumer electronics information."


04 / 13 / 09

2L  Munich Germany's High End 2009 show will present the potential recording media of the future! Specifically, music tracks via the Blu-ray Disc that may replace the ailing SACD and DVD-Audio formats. Munich's msm-studios will show how their Pure Audio Blu-ray discs are made. Stefan Bock from msm-studios will be giving a talk about Blu-ray audio and on the development of a menu-free Blu-ray audio (without the screen usually required) and will feature some music samples. Hans-Jörg Maucksch from Pauler Acoustic will reports on producing the first three Stockfisch Blu-ray discs and show some excerpts from a music film. Lastly, the English singer/songwriter Allan Taylor will be giving a small concert during the show. The Pure Audio Blu-ray may be set to become the recording media format of the future for audiophiles as this is now the standard high-resolution disc format in millions of homes worldwide. This digital silver disc combines the memory capacity for surround and high-bit sound with the ease of the long-standard CD. Enjoy the Music.com's own Dr. Bill Gaw has reported on 2L's newly released technology within his Audiolics Anonymous article in March 2009 (as seen here). Enjoy the Music.com will be celebrating a decade of continual live reporting from the High End Society show in 2009 and invites you to see our 2008 coverage by clicking here.


The Stanley Clarke TrioRelated to Enjoy the Music.com's recent news concerning the Musicians Institute (MI) awarding Stanley Clarke an Honorary Doctor Of Music degree, The Stanley Clarke Trio just released a new album on the Heads Up label titled Jazz In The Garden [HUCD3155]. With a career that spans four decades and includes gigs with Chick Corea's Return to Forever, Rite of Strings and a variety of other projects along the way, bassist Stanley Clarke had seemingly covered every possible corner of the jazz landscape. But there was one avenue Stanel feels he had yet to explore. "I had never done an acoustic bass record, ever," Stanley says. "There's a long list of people on whose records I've played acoustic bass - Art Blakey, Dexter Gordon, Stan Getz, Joe Henderson and many others - but I'd never done an acoustic jazz trio record of my own." For his first straight-ahead acoustic jazz trio recording, Clarke assembles two brilliant collaborators at the top of their respective games: pianist Hiromi Uehara and drummer Lenny White. Each represents a distinctly different generational and cultural perspective, but given the range and versatility of both, the net effect is superb.


04 / 10 / 09

Salon Son & Image 2009  Enjoy the Music.com now offers Part 1 of our Salon Son & Image 2009 show coverage. Previously named Le Festival Son et Image de Montreal (FSI), this show took place from April 3rd to 5th for the consumer, with April 2nd being reserved for members of the trade. Salon Son & Image took place at Centre Sheraton, a luxury hotel located in downtown Montréal. There were five levels of large rooms plus three other levels of smaller suites and hotel rooms converted into isolated listening rooms. See Part 1 of our show coverage by clicking here.


Audience Adept Response High Resolution Power Conditioners aR2-TAudience is now shipping their Adept Response High Resolution Power Conditioners aR2 and aR2-T ($2100 and $4200 respectively). The aR2 (Auricap filter capacitors) and aR2-T (Aura-T filter capacitors) are extra heavy duty power conditioners designed to handle the highest demanding of power amplifiers. The aR2 sports a 32A PowerCon AC connector and new extra heavy ground plane technology. The performance of the aR2 is exemplary and contains approximately the same aggregate capacitance filtering as the larger aR6 (six outlet) power conditioner. Bopt units are available in plain or black grained satin anodized aluminum in 120v and 220v for all countries. A six foot Audience powerChord is included. There is an option for an upgrade to the new Audience Au24 powerChord (add $1525). The Au24 cables are constructed of OHNO continuous cast single crystal copper conductors with polypropylene insulation and cross-linked polyethylene jacket material.


04 / 09 / 09

French Flag  While the United States of America is considering passing a law that essentially legalizes spying on your computer to find allegedly illegally shared music files, in France lawmakers are on the verge of passing the same type of law. While some have touted the French initiative as the first such time a surveillance system that runs against Internet piracy, the United States government has been spying on computer usage for years. The French are about to pass a proposal called the "Création et Internet", also called the "three strikes" rule in which if someone is caught with illegal music files they could face stiff penalties and/or jail time. First and second offences would be noted by e-mail, while the third such offence would require the Internet provider to stop servicing the customer. A preliminary vote by France's Parliament is expected to pass and also is supported by President Nicolas Sarkozy. A document from this initiative states that "Over and above the consequences this has on the traditional physical media, the culture of pirated works is, today, the main obstacle to the development of legal downloads in our country." The memorandum also states that "However, penalties against illegal downloading exist, on the basis of the criminal offence of infringement of copyright: a maximum fine of €300,000 and up to three years imprisonment. They appear inappropriate however, as does the legal procedure in the event of ordinary pirating." You can read more at this link. In the United States of America, President Barack Hussein Obama may be considering the "Cybersecurity Act of 2009" that is reported to then give the government warrentless spying and dictatorial power over Internet usage.


Hephaestus Audio HMA-1000 Monoblock AmplifierHephaestus Audio's HMA-1000 monoblock amplifier ($4,900/pair) is now available and produces 600 watts into an 8 Ohms load (1000 into 4 Ohms). The unit features an extremely low noise floor and compact design for ease of use within multi-amplification systems. Neutrik's PowerCon or IEC ac power inlet and Neutrik Speakon or gold-plated binding posts are provided as is Neutrik XLR or gold-plated RCA input. The amplifier claims to be 85 percent efficient from ac input to speaker output and has a frequency response from 20Hz to 20kHz (+0.0dB/-0.5dB). Overall dimensions are 9.0 x 6.75 x 2.25 (DxExH in inches). Joey White of Hephaestus Audio said, "The most important theme for my designs is simplicity. A fact that surfaces time and again, regardless of old or new technology, is that simple designs sound better! Also, they tend to be far more robust with respect to abuse, aging, and environmental changes."


04 / 08 / 09

Musicians Institute  Hollywood based Musicians Institute (MI) has awarded legendary Grammy winning bassist Stanley Clarke an Honorary Doctor Of Music degree. After making an early name in jazz circles performing with such renowned artists as Horace Silver, Art Blakey, Dexter Gordon, Gil Evans and Stan Getz, Stanley Clarke rose to international fame in the 1970s with jazz-fusion innovators Return to Forever. Clarke's wide-ranging career has included collaborations with diverse artists including George Duke (The Clarke/Duke Project), Stewart Copeland, Jeff Beck, Ron Wood, Larry Carlton, Billy Cobham and Bela Fleck. Along the way, he literally redefined the sound of the instrument with his invention of both piccolo and tenor basses. In 2003, he initiated MI's Stanley Clarke Scholarship, which continues to provide generous financial assistance to outstanding student performers. The infectious riff from Stanley Clarke's classic 1976 track "School Days" must have been going through the legendary bassist, composer and producer's mind when he received an honorary Doctor of Music degree from Musicians Institute during MI's spring commencement ceremony at Los Angeles' Wiltern Theatre. MI's Vice President of Education Beth Marlis awarded the degree, the first ever granted by the school, noting, "Stanley Clarke embodies the true value of education and the duty of an artist to mentor and give back to the next generation. He has selflessly and generously created opportunities for talented, emerging musicians to further their education and realize their own creative vision. By his actions, Stanley has demonstrated that geography, politics, and privilege must not be allowed to act as the natural enemies of creative energy, education and possibility." In his remarks accepting the award, Clarke singled out his mother, an opera singer and artist, as a major driving force in his stellar career. To the hundreds of graduating students in the audience, he urged, "All I can say to you guys is, whatever gift you have, wherever you got it from, really respect it. Take it and run with it, because it's yours."


Artisan Silver Cables "Silver Dream"Artisan Silver Cables launch an XLR balanced version of their popular affordable pure silver "Silver Dream" interconnects (£139 for 0.5-meter, full meter is £159). Artisan's pure silver "Silver Dream" leads are terminated with very high quality plugs from the industry standard and world leader Neutrik. These are in the standard 3-pin arrangement, with a male plug one end and a female on the other. They are suitable for connecting the increasing number high-end hi-fi components that use balanced connection technology. Pure silver audiophile interconnect cables have traditionally been the preserve of the ultra high-end, but Artisan Silver Cables is on a mission to make the outstanding sonic benefits of pure silver cables available to a much wider range of hi-fi enthusiasts, by selling direct and keeping the prices much lower.


04 / 07 / 09

Boston Pops  The legendary and critically acclaimed Boston Symphony Orchestra (BSO) is now offering high resolution digital music downloads. In the late 1800's BSO founder Henry Lee Higginson had proposed this new series in the hope of re-creating the ambiance of summer evenings in Viennese concert gardens, while also providing summer employment for the members of the Boston Symphony. In 1900 these performances officially became Pops (short for 'Popular') concerts, and thus notes them being called the Boston Pops. For the next 45 years, Boston Pops concerts were led by conductors of European background. In 1930, however, that trend came to an end. Arthur Fiedler, a BSO viola player, led the Pops as a replacement during the 1926 season. Eventually came John Williams being appointed as conductor in January 1980 and today the BSO is lead by Keith Lockhart. The perennially popular July Fourth concert is now telecast nationally on CBS. New programs such as Jazzfest and Edgefest showcase artists from different musical worlds and attract an even wider audience to Boston Pops concerts in the 21st century. Taking advantage of the Internet, the BSO now offers digital music downloads and subscriptions so their music can reach a worldwide audience with ease. Digitally downloaded albums are around $9 and subscriptions are available for two time durations: 3-month for $30 and 12-month for $50. This is the most cost-effective way to access the complete BSO Digital Music catalog, with new music continually being released.


04 / 06 / 09

Aperion Audio Bravus 8A Subwoofer   Aperion Audio, a direct-to-consumer manufacturer of award-winning home audio and home theater loudspeakers, has added their newest Bravus 8A subwoofer ($319) to their lineup. The Bravus 8A Subwoofer combines the build quality of the Bravus "D" series subwoofers with a price point that brings audiophile quality within reach of a broader range of speaker buyers. With both performance and value in mind, the new Bravus 8A features an bottom-firing 8-inch high-excursion custom aluminum driver, the same award-winning driver as the Bravus "D" series, a 100 watt class A/B amplifier. Frequency response is from 40 to 160Hz and includes a customizable crossover setting. Other features include internally braced 0.75-inch ported HDF enclosure and ten year warranty (three years on the amplifier). Like all Aperion Audio loudspeakers, the Bravus 8A is offered in either real cherry wood or high gloss piano black lacquer cabinet finish. Enjoy the Music.com has reviewed the Aperion Audio Intimus 4B with mention of the Bravus 8D subwoofer (click here), the 632-LR bookshelf loudspeaker (click here) and Aperion Audio 6T floorstanders (click here).


JBL Professional LSR2300 Series Studio Monitor SystemJBL Professional has introduced their new LSR2300 series studio monitor system that consists of the LSR2325P and LSR2328P monitors plus LSR2310SP subwoofer. The LR2325P is bi-amplified with a 5-inch midrange driver and 90 watts of amplification while the LSR2328P is a bi-amplified 8-inch midrange-equipped monitor with 165 watts of amplification. Both models use a 1-inch tweeter to produce the uppermost frequencies. The LSR2310SP powered subwoofer has a 10-inch driver and 180 watt power amplifier. In developing the LSR2300 Series, JBL applied the same stringent Linear Spatial Reference criteria used in the design of the acclaimed LSR6300 and LSR4300 Series. While most manufacturers take only a single on-axis measurement of the speaker's performance, JBL's Linear Spatial Reference criteria requires 70 measurements, yielding more than 1,200 times more data. The data enables JBL to engineer a system that produces greater accuracy at the mix position. A trademark of LSR2300 design is the large waveguide and the elliptical tweeter aperture that work in conjunction with a 1-inch silk-substrate high-frequency transducer to deliver superior imaging and smoother frequency response.


04 / 03 / 09

DALI LEKTOR 3 Monitor Loudspeaker  DALI now introduces the last models in the series: LEKTOR 2, 3 and SUB (€199, €249 and €699 respectively). The LEKTOR 2 and 3 (pictured) are compact loudspeakers developed to suit a wide variety of needs, ranging from compact audio (stereo or 2.1) setups to more elaborate home cinema installations. They can be wall mounted and feature integrated wall brackets for easy mounting without the need for extra accessories. As an extra positioning option, LEKTOR 3 can be mounted on a stand. The LEKTOR SUB is a compact bass reflex design. The powerful subwoofer cabinet houses a 10-inch long stroke woofer and a 300 watt amplifier. For deep and optimal bass response, the bass reflex tube is positioned under the bottom of the subwoofer making the bass port virtually longer than the tube itself. This is possible because the subwoofer has 1-inch high rubber feet, which will create a space between the subwoofer and the floor. In keeping with DALI tradition and philosophy, the development of the drivers for the LEKTOR Series has been the critical milestone to achieve an extraordinary final result. The woofers incorporate wood fiber cones, low-loss suspensions and powerful magnet systems - all prerequisites for clear, accurate, undistorted sound. The soft dome tweeters are based on the same technology platform developed for the IKON Series 1.1-inch lightweight soft domes, powerful magnet systems and a geometrical design optimized for wide dispersion. As a result, the tweeter system is able to render the subtlest musical details with great precision. All LEKTOR cabinets feature furniture grade laminated Medium Density Fiber (MDF) and are available in light walnut or black ash finish. Enjoy the Music.com has reviewed the Dali Royal Menuet II, which can be seen by clicking here.


Gemme Audio Cap-Chat LoudspeakerInformation on Gemme Audio's new Bowie line has just been released, with prices starting below $1500 and seen here is their prototype Cap-Chat mini tower. The Bowie series offers fours models to suite various audiophile needs. The Mont-Joli profits from Gemme Audio's experience designing the Ania mini monitor an uses the same ribbon tweeter, but with a larger 5.25-inch midrange/bass unit within a 12 x 7 x 6 inch cabinet. The Cap-Chat is a small tower cabinet using the same drivers as the Mont-Joli in a 30 x 7 x 6 inch cabinet. The Kenogami offers two midrange/bass drivers and exceptional performances in its 33 x 7 x 6 inch cabinet. A center channel is also offered in a closed box design, using the same drivers. Thee beautiful finish are offered that include satin walnut, piano black and optionally a magnificent high gloss burl wood finish. Effective supports are included as front panel covers. Enjoy the Music.com has reviewed the Gemme Audio Tanto and System Audio Ranger loudspeakers (click here) and offers a world premiere of their new Green Gem loudspeaker system (click here). Preliminary specifications for these new models are:

Mont-Joli Monitor: 50 Hz to 40 kHz
Cap-Chat Small Tower: 40 Hz to 40 kHz
Kenogami Large Tower: 30 Hz to 40 kHz
Impedance: 8 Ohms (min. 4.5 Ohms)
Sensitivity: Approximately 88dB/W/m
Bass loading: Bass-reflex


04 / 02 / 09

McIntosh Laboratory Classic System  McIntosh Laboratory, renowned as a leading manufacturer of the world's ultra-luxury home entertainment solutions, today announced that its highly anticipated 60th anniversary limited-edition reissues of legendary amplifiers are now available at select retailers. The reissued components dubbed the "Classic System.", includes a pair of the MC75 monoblock tube amplifier (modeled after the original 1961 version) and the C22 preamplifier (originally introduced in 1962) for $15,000. The components will be packaged along with a special numbered version of the beautiful McIntosh tabletop book, for the love of music, signed by author and audiophile reviewer Ken Kessler. The McIntosh MC75 75-watt per channel stereo amplifier was introduced in 1961, just three years after the BBC began its first regular broadcasts in stereo sound. The debut of this ultimate-quality monoblock amp reflected McIntosh's early and continuing commitment to pushing the limits of performance and providing customers with the very best solutions in audio. Largely true to the original design, the new Limited Edition MC75 offers many circuit updates that improve reliability while retaining the alluring sonic character of the original. Among the updates is a custom application of the patented Sentry Monitor short circuit protection. Balanced inputs and outputs are added to make the amplifier ready for today's digital sources. First introduced in 1962, the McIntosh C22 Tube Preamplifier ushered in the era of the audio preamplifier as the "control center". Designed to function as a superb line stage, phono preamplifier, equalizer and input switch, the C22 raised the bar for competing preamplifiers at the time. The 60th anniversary C22 recreates the look and feel of the original with its backlit glass and brushed anodized aluminum front panel, and sees the addition of a number of circuit enhancements that bring the design current with recent McIntosh preamplifier specifications. Balanced inputs and outputs are provided to ensure optimum performance with fine quality source components, while the addition of a moving coil and moving magnet phono amplifier guarantees compatibility with the widest range of phono cartridges. Created with modern materials and manufacturing methods, all signal switching in the C22 is done with electromagnetic switches driven by Digital Logic. Lastly, in what is perhaps the most striking nod to contemporary technology, the Limited Edition C22 comes complete with an IR remote control. Enjoy the Music.com has reviewed the McIntosh MS300 Music Server (click here)

MC75 Monoblock Amplifier
Mc Patented Unity Coupled Circuit 
75W into 2, 4, 8 ohms 
Sentry Monitor 
Balanced & Unbalanced Inputs 
Gold Plated 5-way Binding posts 
Stainless Steel chassis with Titanium Gold Super Mirror Finish

C22 Vacuum Tube Preamplifier
Active MC and MM phono stages 
Electromagnetic Input Switching 
7 inputs 2 Balanced & 5 Unbalanced 
IR Remote Control



Eddie Current ZDT (Zana Deux Transformer)Eddie Current now offers their ZDT (Zana Deux Transformer, $2500) integrated tube amplifier to its boutique audio line. The ZDT is a vacuum tube headphone/loudspeaker amplifier, delivering headphone listening for those who desire the natural and lively sound of transformers and balanced listening. The ZDT produces 8 wpc so will also drive loudspeakers. Styled after the popular Zana Deux headphone amplifier, the ZDT was created for listeners who request the same superb musicality with the additional special features. There are tree inputs available while the volume is adjustable via a 100kOhms Alps unit. External low noise toroidal power power transformer are powered with 4-foot detachable umbilical cord. Dual regulated power supplies ensure clean power reaches critical electronic stages. The unit's signal circuit is hand wired point-to-point. For headphone use, power into 300 Ohms 300mW and 32 Ohm units receive upwards of 3 Watts. Power bandwidth driving Sennheiser 600 is 10Hz to 40kHz (-0.5dB). Tube compliment is one 12AX7 for driver and two 6C33C-B power triodes.


04 / 01 / 09

  Enjoy the Music.com's April editions of Superior Audio and the Review Magazine are now available! In the past we promised World Premieres and we have delivered. April's Superior Audio has eight new reviews, with seven being World Premieres!

Superior Audio
World Premiere!
CD-Player I - MK3 And Power AMP I - MK2
I have never heard the Martin Logan speakers sound quite so good.

Aspara HL Reference Horn Loudspeaker
Easily a truly world-class speaker.

World Premiere
Ayon Audio Triton Integrated Tube Amplifier
The Triton most certainly knows how to sing in my system.

World Premiere
Bryston 7B SST2 C-Series Monoblock Power Amplifiers
Redesigned and ready to go.

World Premiere
Gemme Audio's Green Gem Loudspeaker System
A huge leap into the stratosphere of high-end audio.

World Premiere
Musical Laboratory* Paeonia Rev. 2.3 Passive Preamplifier
Bosangwha Rev.2.3 Monoblock Amplifiers
And Bosangwha "Dual" Power Supply

Reimyo DAP-999EX Digital-To-Analog Converter
You owe it to yourself to listen... I already miss it.

World Premiere
THIEL CS2.4SE Floorstanding Loudspeakers
With only 150 sets made, those who buy a pair are very lucky.


See the April / May 2009 edition of Superior Audio by clicking here.


Review Magazine
Daily News: Audiophile news updated each weekday! 

The April Fool... Is It Me?
At what point does the editor become the fool?

Audiolics Anonymous Chapter 114: Letters

Flashback: AA Chapter 77: N'est Pas

Flashback: Audiophile Evolution


Audiophile Equipment Reviews -- Special April Fools Edition!
Yin Yang Labs Graphametric Paralyzer

The Ultimate Tweak

Audiophile Sound Solution - Home Overall Liquid Energizer

Ultimate Soundophile's Diffusers
Better Sound -- Even Better Aesthetics!

Subatomic String Tuning Device
The Ultimate In Resonance Tuning!

Instant Natural Solution Adding Nuclear Energy
Review By Steven R. Rochlin


Music Reviews
Classical Music
Joseph Haydn 10 Piano Sonatas Marc-André Hamelin (2 CD Set)
Piano Music of Salonen, Stucky, and Lutoslawski
Gloria Cheng, piano Witold Lutoslawski
Sonata for Piano Steven Stucky - Three Little Variations for David;
Four Album Leaves

Esa-Pekka Salonen Yta II; Dichotomie; Three Preludes

Jazz, Folk, Bluegrass, Blues, Etc.
Tony Furtado Deep Water
Joey + Rory The Life of A Song
Lonesome River Band No Turning Back
Undone A MusicFest Tribute to Robert Earl Keen
Various Bluegrass, Blues And Jazz Albums


See the April 2009 Review Magazine by clicking here.


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