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High-End Audio Industry News

05 / 31 / 11

KEF Blade  KEF, a British company founded in 1961 by ex-BBC Electrical Engineer Raymond Cooke who employed new materials and technologies in order to create products with superior acoustic quality, now offers their KEF Blade floorstanding loudspeaker ($29,999 per pair). As the result of five years of intensive research and development efforts, the Blade marks KEF's first product for their 50th anniversary. Naturally KEF chose to use the newest generation of their Uni-Q, which places the 1-inch aluminum dome tweeter within the center of the 5-inch Li-Mg-Al/LCP hybrid cone midrange driver to achieve a point source for sound. Four 9-inch LF drivers are mounted symmetrically equidistant from it so that their acoustic centers occupy exactly the same point in space. To avoid dissipating the energy of such potent bass drivers in exciting the cabinet (and thereby generating resonance, especially at high volume), the large kinetic forces involved are cancelled out by mounting the LF drivers rigidly together, back-to-back. The KEF Blade is available in a standard Gloss White and Gloss Black plus an array of custom colors including Garnet, Sapphire, Grigio, Racing Red, Racing Blue, Pale Gold, Orange Sorbet, Graphite, Stardust, Lemon Sorbet, Lime Sorbet and Snow White.


CasaTunesCasaTunes, a specialist in multi-room music solutions, today announced new native Apps for iPad and Android Tablets enabling complete control of music from anywhere in the home. Through one touch functions, users can select a different room, source or song to play using an iPad or Android Tablet. The Apps support all CasaTunes XL Music Servers as well as CasaTunes Music Servers for Channel Vision, NuVo and Russound. The App leverages the larger screen space and provides different views depending on whether the device is rotated into landscape or portrait mode. In landscape mode, the App displays the list of songs in the queue alongside information of the current track being played. Additional new features include using "drag and drop" to re-organize the rooms in a home based on homeowner preferences. Users can intelligently search for artists, songs, and albums across multiple music services or tune to stations on supported tuners by searching for frequencies, call sign or station description. The CasaTunes App for the iPad works with both the iPad and iPad2. It is immediately available and is a free upgrade for existing CasaTunes customers.


Music Industry News 10 Years Ago
Cirrus Logic has announced their new CS44210 digital PWM controller/DAC with built-in TrueDigital "Class D" amplification
. The CS44210 is a complete stereo digital-to-PWM Class D audio amplifier system controller including interpolation, volume control, half bridge PWM driver outputs, and an integrated CS44L10 headphone amplifier in a 24-pin TSSOP package. This new chip also employs a direct-to-digital approach that maintains digital signal integrity to the final output filter to minimizes analog interference effects that can negatively affect the audio signal. This new chip also includes the ability for on-chip digital bass and treble boost, peak signal limiting, and de-emphasis. The real surprise is that an integrated 24-bit/96kHz DAC and output volume control are also included within this chip. Consider this a single chip solution for digital input to complete amplification output. Furthermore, the ship provides for three serial audio ports (such as I2S) with multiplexer (mux) and host interface. Pricing is $3.95 in quantities of 10,000 or more. Specifications are as follows:

Up to 100 dB Dynamic Range 
2.4 V to 5.0 V supply 
Sample rates up to 96 kHz 
Digital Tone Control 
3 selectable HPF and LPF corner frequencies 
12 dB boost for bass and treble - 1 dB step size
Programmable Digital volume control 
+18 to -96 dB in 1 dB steps
Peak signal soft limiting 
De-emphasis for 32 kHz, 44.1 kHz, and 48 kHz 
Selectable outputs for each channel including 
Channel A: R, L, mono (L + R) / 2, mute 
Channel B: R, L, mono (L + R) / 2, mute
PWM PopGuard


05 / 27 / 11

THTST Drum and Percussion Album  Audiophiles can now save 10% on all their HDtracks purchased including the only truly high-resolution drum and percussion album THTST to test the abilities of their high-end audio system. Steven R. Rochlin, a classically trained musician since 1974 and editor of Enjoy the Music.com, has released his first album titled THTST. After nearly two decades of being away from the recording studio, Steven unleashed his musical expressiveness and captured his new solo album using only a pair of ultra-precise, hand matched laboratory-grade microphones. On THTST there are no overdubs, 'destructive' devices or techniques so as to deliver the true purity and absolute sound of a real drumset within your listening room. As one would expect, this recording provides a dynamic range from the soft sounds of studio wind chimes to woofer and amplifier testing deep bass of a large gong bass drum. Audiophiles should get THTST to hear if their system is capable of reproducing one of the most challenging instruments to reproduce accurately. The album is available for download in high definition 24-bit/96kHz FLAC, 16/44.1 AIFF and 320kbs MP3 format from HDtracks. Save 10% now with HDtracks Memorial Day sale through May 31st! Use code MAY10 upon checkout. This code expires on May 31, 2011 at midnight PST. Please remember to click 'apply discount code' before checking out. Note that once a discount code is applied you cannot add more items to your cart. This code can only be used once per customer.


Channel D Pure MusicChannel D, developers of innovative audio software solutions for Apple Macintosh computers, have announced a major update to their acclaimed Pure Music high-resolution digital audio playback software. The new Pure Music 1.8, scheduled to be released on June 1, represents a significant update including two dozen new features and usability enhancements. Three of the new features in Pure Music 1.8 are major-league heavy hitters. The first new feature is the unprecedented ability (for Mac OS audio file player software) to directly play DSD format (dsf / dff) audio files, at a user designated PCM sample rate. DSD to PCM conversion is performed in real-time, during playback. A second new and extremely innovative feature, called 'Playthrough', permits conveniently playing other computer audio sources (Internet radio, movies, etc.) through Pure Music, with full access to Pure Music's dithered volume control, 64 bit crossover, audio EQ plug-ins, NetSend streaming, metering, etc. Third, Pure Music 1.8 will include nonmixable native integer stream format support, streamlining and bypassing all internal floating point operations on DACs which support nonmixable audio streams. Also included are overall usability improvements and correcting all known issues involving Gapless playback, including those involving FLAC files. Pure Music simply and automatically docks with Apple's free iTunes digital jukebox software. Pure Music leverages the user’s familiarity of iTunes functions such as track selection, playlist management and music library navigation, while handling the audio playback via its own high-resolution 64-bit playback engine. The Pure Music 1.8 update will be free for all users. Other new features include:

• Menu options to disable all DSP options, or disable DSP options except upsampling, mono and invert
• One-click feature to assist in configuring multiway crossover filters
• Option to set the range of the signal level meter (100, 60, 30 dB)
• File format or sample rate conversion and adding FLAC tracks now operate on contents of folders
• gaplessbreak and monophonic tag options in iTunes to denote preferred gapless album track breaks under
low memory conditions or to automatically play tagged tracks in mono
• 33% more efficient memory usage with gapless albums
• Now observes Repeat One in iTunes for selected track in any playlist
• Improved operation of NetSend connect on launch and disconnect options

Features of Pure Music also include:
• Automatic sample rate switching (44.1 to 384 kHz)
• Gapless track playback and Memory Play
• Dithered Volume Control
• Adjustable 4-way Crossover
• Native FLAC file playback
• CoreAudio Device Hog Mode
• Audio processing plug-in support
• Optional real-time 64-bit upsampling
• Uncompressed audio streaming support up to 192 kHz
• Low CPU Footprint


05 / 26 / 11

T.H.E. Show Newport Beach  T.H.E. Show Newport will bring the excitement of high performance music and home theater to the Hilton Hotel in Irvine California from June 3rd through 5th. Conveniently located across from the John Wayne/Orange County (SNA) Airport, over 100 listening rooms will be open for the trade and public alike. Attendees can experience high quality music and video on some of the finest equipment in the world. The event will also include a classic car show, in conjunction with Crevier BMW Auto Museum; a Wine-Tasting area courtesy of Southern Wine and Spirits; Cigars courtesy of Vintage Cigars. Many live music events will also be part of this event and includes:

Saturday. June 4th and Sunday, June 5th from 1pm to 3 pm will feature the sounds of Dean Peer, internationally recognized for his use of bass harmonics. Dean will play selections from latest CD Airborne produced in association with Cardas Audio.

The late afternoon program (Sat. & Sun.) goes nostalgic with "Remembering the Righteous Brothers" with Barry Rillera and his 5-piece band. Barry spent 30 years as the lead guitarist, bandleader and tour manager with the famed duo: Bill Medley and Bobby Hatfield, The Righteous Brothers. Barry's CD From Where I Stand will be available at T.H.E. Show Newport.

The evening performances on June 4 and 5 are presented by the BluePort International Jazz Concerts:
Friday starting at 6:00 p.m.
A Night of "Jobim & Brazil" opening with Mike Garson on Piano with Lori Bell on flute: Legendary pianist Mike Garson , a dazzling and iconoclastic tour de force teams up Friday and Saturday evening alongside the deep, hip chops of flutist Lori Bell-a twosome not to be missed for its gentle and truly intelligent musical grandeur. From Bach to Bowie, east to west, Mike is a multi-faceted entertainer, having appeared with a multitude of "greats" including David Bowie, the Smashing Pumpkins and Alisha Keys.

Roni Ben-Hur, based in New York has made his made his mark on the jazz scene with many vibrant albums that reveal his delicate touch and enormous good taste. His new release Movjave is a quartet recording that brings forward his co-leader, Nilson Matta, who is merging as one of the central bassists today with his rock sold time and artistic command as a member of the much-heralded Trio Da Paz.

Anthony Smith on vibes, and Enzo Todesco on percussion/drums, joins the group with Gary Foster, playing alto sax/flute, is a renowned jazz artist who has played for nearly 200 movie soundtracks; numerous TV scores and has performed "in the studio" with the likes of Frank Sinatra, Natalie Cole, and Barbara Streisand.

The evening also features Shunzo Ohno, from Tokyo, trumpeter extraordinaire, he has optimistically overcome personal adversity to reach new exhilarating heights, sharing the stage with jazz legend Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shortner, Larry Coryell, David Byrne, Dave Matthews and more.

Saturday starting at 6:00 p.m.
Mike Garson and Lori Bell team up again for a different set to open the evening for the feature act, "Gilbert Castellanos' Bolero Romance Sextet." Recognized as a new American master by Downbeat Magazine, Castellanos has established himself as one of nation's most inventive improvisers in stirring live performances with such notables as: Clayton Hamton, Dizzy Gillespie, Wynton Marasalis, Diana Krall, Michael Buble, and Natalie Cole.

The Trumpet Master Castellanos, leads a sextet dedicated to Bolero Romance: With Kamau Kenyatta who adds his remarkable cord voice to legendary drummer Carlos Vasquez's inimitable percussion nuances, while vocalist Lorraine Castellanos embodies the beauty and graceful loveliness of this Latin American tradition.


Concert FIdelity ZL-120V2 AmplifierJapanese manufacturer Silicon Arts Design and Concert Fidelity, both being designed and built by Masataka Tsuda, will be unified under the single brand Concert Fidelity. Also news is that Concert Fidelity will be premiering their improved monoblock amplifier, ZL-120V2 ($28,000 per pair), at the inaugural T.H.E. Show Newport Beach. The ZL-120V2, which outputs 100 watts per channel, is an improved version of the company’s existing ZL-120. It incorporates a new driver stage developed for the ZL-200, its bigger brother. This new driver stage incorporates a very high quality Japanese-made DC-DC converter in its power supply section. Existing customers who own the ZL-120s can have them upgraded to the V2 version for a fee as the company values their customers who have invested in their products. Current owners of the ZL-120s may contact their dealers about this significant upgrade. Enjoy the Music.com has reviewed the Silicon Arts ZL-120 amplifier, the Silicon Arts Si2 Micro integrated line preamplifier, and Concert Fidelity DAC-040 digital to analog converter.


05 / 25 / 11

Best High End 2011 Munich Event Awards  Enjoy the Music.com, an industry leader in consumer electronics information plus equipment and music reviews for approximately 15 years, is pleased to announce our Best High End 2011 Munich event awards! With thousands of products showcased at the Munich High End Society event, only a small handful have been chosen as truly outstanding products. Each product was carefully chosen by editor Steven R. Rochlin, who has decades of experience within the industry and has attended over 100 high-end audio events. It took quite some time to carefully consider all the products that were showcased at the High End Society's 2011 Munich event. Many products came very close to receiving an award and our next award offering will be at T.H.E. Show's Newport Beach event. Enjoy the Music.com wishes to congratulate the companies that earned this award, which can be seen at this link.


Hi-Fi WorldEnjoy the Music.com has just posted Hi-Fi World's Volume 21 Number 5 (July) edition including the complete editorial and table of contents. This issue includes reviews of the Furutech Lineflux, Pro-Ject Leather IT/Avid Level, QAT MS-5 HDD player, Musical Fidelity M1 CDT/M1 CLIC CD transport/network music player combination, Triangle Comete LE limited edition standmounters, Quad IIL Classic compact standmounted speaker, Onkyo TX-NR609 affordable network-equipped AV receiver... and more! The editorial titled Changes by David Price says, "Had I been writing this twenty years ago when Hi-Fi World was born, the audio landscape would look so different to now. These were the glory days of mid-price separates hi-fi, when every major Japanese manufacturer had a CD player, integrated amplifier and speakers for you, from £399 upwards. Bucketloads of kit was sold - providing it was a mainstream Compact Disc player, integrated solid-state amplifier and bookshelf speakers, invariably housed in a black painted box!....". See the complete July table of contents and editorial of Hi-Fi World by clicking here.


Music Industry News 10 Years Ago
Linn  ClassikLinn's all in one CD/FM/AM wireless remote control stereo amplifier called the Classik has received rave reviews from many magazines worldwide including Enjoy the Music.com's own Review Magazine (see review here).
The Classik has recently been further enhanced with the addition of two new on-board distributed audio features designed to provide more versatility to one of the high-end industry's already most versatile unit. The two standard options provide simple multiple-room connectivity or Linn Knekt multi-room solutions. Options for the Classik include simple multiple room audio with plug and play DIY installation. A single Linn Classik can connect up to four additional Knekt Classiks, for installation without any programming. Each secondary room Classik can select, access and control the main room Classik system in addition to controlling its own local sources. Other additional features include a Digital Output Socket for recording to MiniDisc or DAT. The Classik is available in five colors including the new Baltik Green and Koral Blue shades.
Linn's new Komri loudspeaker is a no-compromise designed for both professional monitoring and hi-end home audio systems. The Komri is a five-way, full range design with an Active Servo Bass System that also includes a 4K acoustic mid-treble array. One very high frequency driver capable of reproducing frequencies upwards of 40 kHz is mated with one midrange driver, one upper bass driver and two long-throw active bass drivers. The unique 4K acoustic driver array developed for this loudspeaker system is claimed to produce a single-point and highly defined acoustic center with a uniform horizontal and vertical dispersion from 100Hz - 40kz. For the lowermost frequencies, each bass driver is coupled to independent on-board active Linn Silent Power Amplification (with Servo Bass Management). Because each room has unique lower frequency support needs, the roll-off characteristics of the bass system can be adjusted via a soft-key control panel on the back of the Komri.


05 / 19   Through   05 / 22

Munich High End 2011 Show Report  Enjoy the Music.com will have our eleventh year covering Germany's Munich High End Show by the High End Society. This year marks the High End Society's 30th anniversary of their Germany show! This is the most important European show of the season with hundreds of the industry's leading manufacturers plus distributors and many members of the press in attendance from all around the world. Enjoy the Music.com's live coverage will begin the first day of the event.

Location: M,O,C, Munich, Lilienthalallee 40
Duration: May 19th through 22nd 2011
Trade Day: Thursday, May 19th (only by pre-registration)
Open: From 10am through 6pm

Click here to see our Munich 2011 High End Show coverage.


05 / 16 / 11

Magico Q1 Speaker  Magico, a California based design, engineering and production of high-end audio loudspeakers, has added their Q1 stand-mounted monitor loudspeaker ($24,950 per pair) to the company's lineup. This compact design is only 44 x 10 x 15.2 (HxWxD in inches) yet weighs a substantial 60 lbs. All new Magico in-house designed drivers include their 1-inch tweeter and 7-inch Nano-Tec woofer to achieve an 86dB/W/m efficiency and impedance of 5 Ohms. A minimum of 50 watts is recommended to drive the speakers. Frequency response is from 32Hz to 50 kHz (+/-3dB). A purpose-built stand is also included that indirectly couples to the speaker to make better use of handling unwanted resonances. The cabinet is flat black while the stand is extremely hefty and solidly built. This follows the other Magico products where they design and engineer their product to high-end audio standards.


Enjoy the Music.com Android ApplicationAs a friendly reminder, Enjoy the Music.com is pleased to announce our new Android application for mobile phone devices and our Windows Phone 7 application. With nearly 8,500,000 users, Android phones have been sold worldwide since October 2008 and is quickly becoming a major player in the mobile market. The new Android application provides easy access to our daily industry news, high-end audio consumer electronics equipment reviews, show report and much more. "It brings me joy to announce Enjoy the Music.com's new Android and Windows Phone 7 applications" said editor Steven R. Rochlin. "The fast growing popularity of the Android operating system on a wide variety of mobile devices proves that enthusiastic and tech savvy consumers want devices they can use to get the information they desire right now. The Windows Phone 7 application marks our entry into one of the fastest growing mobile phone devices. Our new applications make the information audiophiles seek only a few taps away.... Enjoy the Music.com already has iPhone app developed and are awaiting final approval. When all three applications are online, Enjoy the Music.com can appear on the homescreen of every popular mobile device worldwide." Android users can download the Enjoy the Music.com Android application is available by clicking here. The Enjoy the Music.com Windows Phone 7 app can be downloaded by clicking here.


SWSpeakers FigaroSWSpeakers, a Sweden based company founded in 2006 that specializes in the development of a new unique way of building a loudspeakers, has announced their Figaro. The driver is a Seas coaxial mounted to the company's carbon fiber enclosure while the wooden stand is made with Mahogany. Internal cabling is made be XO. To quote the press release, "Every product development from S W Speakers is a symbiosis between perfect sound quality and extraordinary design -- from the first draft to the manufactured speaker. With Figaro, SWSpeakers want to bring the combination between future and classic by using special carbon fiber material combined with traditional mahogany wood, fantastic combination! SWSpeakers made all needed efforts to keep our sound quality at its best. And the results are Figaro, small speaker with very big sound, roomy, soft and clear! These are the bases for SWSpeakers philosophy and we make sure to take care of them."


Electrocompaniet ECT 3Electrocompaniet has introduced their ECT 3 (€ 350) wireless remote control that supports both IR and RF communication. One of the benefits of the RF link is the two-way communication with Electrocompaniet's other RF supported models. Temperature and other information from selected amplifiers are displayed on the ECT 3 while other functions include volume adjustment, function, menu display and more.


05 / 14 / 11

  HDtracks and ABKCO Records announce the latest installment of the super high definition digital downloads of the Rolling Stones original catalog of ground-breaking studio, compilation and live albums in sparkling fidelity FLAC formats. These Rolling Stones gems are offered in both 24-bit/176.4kHz and 24-bit/88.2kHz. Four additional ABKCO Rolling Stones albums on HDtracks have been released and made available exclusively from HDtracks online store, while fourteen more ABKCO Rolling Stones titles will subsequently be released online. This campaign follows in the footsteps of the release earlier this year by ABKCO Records/HDtracks of four classic Sam Cooke albums from ABKCO's catalog. "This ABKCO Rolling Stones collection in high resolution is a combination of the utmost care in re-mastering, the best technology in A/D conversion and the highest resolution files available on the web. Our goal is to bring out every musical nuance that occurred at the original recording session and deliver it to your home for your musical enjoyment," says David Chesky, HDtracks co-founder.


Raysonic Reference 26 Tube Monoblock Power AmplifierRaysonic, a Canadian company founded in 2000 dedicated to the development and marketing of products in the audiophile electronics, now offers their Reference 26 tube monoblock power amplifier and Reference 2 tubed stereo preamplifier ($16,500 per pair and $11,500 respectively). The Raysonic Reference 26 monoblock provide a true balanced operation with the ability to deliver more than 180 watts per unit. It uses twelve Russia 7591AEH, two 12AX7 Gold and one Russia 6H30, with the output tubes operating in Class AB1 push-pull. WBT gold-plated RCA input jacks and WBT binding posts ensure top quality connection. Internal parts include the use of Mundorf MCap Supreme Silver and Gold oil capacitors, Kimber Kable for hand wire point-to-point circuitry, and is all housed within high grade thick aluminum brushed and anodized chassis in either black or silver. For connections using a circuit board, the copper traces are kept to a minimum length. To aid in tube lifespan, a logical sequenced soft -start power up is employed while an electronic protection circuit system protects the unit in case of tube fault. The refined power supply features AC line noise filtration and separate power transformers, chokes and filters provide total isolation between the input and output stages. Raysonic's Reference 26 tube monoblock has a frequency response from 7Hz to 90 kHz (-1dB) and weighs 100 lbs.

Raysonic Reference 2 PreamplifierRaysonic Reference 2 ($11.500) is one of their supreme tube preamplifiers. This two-chassis design preamplifier comes with a separate power supply chassis and main analog section chassis. Inside the power supply chassis are two tube regulators for left and right channel. The critical analog stage is 100% hand wired and tube compliment includes four Russian 12AX7 GOLD, four Russia 12AU7 GOLD and two each of the 12BH7 GOLD and Russian EF86. Frequency response is from 10 Hz to 80 kHz (+/-1dB), distortion is 0.003% and overall gain capability is 20dB. Inputs include three stereo unbalanced via RCA and one stereo balanced via XLR. Output is via two pairs of RCA and one set of XLR. Enjoy the Music.com has reviewed the Raysonic SP-200 integrated stereo tube amplifier, Raysonic CD-168 CD player and Raysonic SP-100 integrated stereo tube amplifier.


05 / 13 / 11

Balanced Music Concept (B.M.C.) Audio AMP C1  Balanced Music Concept (B.M.C.) Audio new AMP C1 ($7990) stereo solid-state integrated amplifier produces 200 wpc @ 8 Ohm (350 wpc @ 4 Ohm) and features front-mounted analog power meters. A large power and volume control knobs appear to the left and right (respectively) of the large meter that dominates the AMP C1's front panel. The Amp C1 is balanced from input to output plus has no feedback in the signal path and no compression at any volume level on the theory that it's better to avoid distortion from the start than try to correct it later. B.M.C. Audio's AMP C1 rear panel has two sets of balanced XLR connections and three sets of stereo gold-plated RCA jacks for a total of five stereo inputs. Output is via gold-plated loudspeaker binding posts. The large power supply uses a 2-kilowatt toroid transformer while large banks of capacitors ensure plenty of smooth power for the internal amplification circuitry. Digital Intelligent Gain Management (DIGM), a volume and amplification control that recalibrates gain without dividing and downgrading the input signal. DIGM enables the adjustment of left/right output balances in 66 1dB increments, avoids unnecessary high gain and additional amplifier stages, and eliminates the need for a preamplification circuit. B.M.C. Audio's AMP C1 is operated by the front panel or included aluminum remote control.


Music Industry News 10 Years Ago
DVP-NS900VSony, hoping to reach out to the home theater and multi-channel minded consumer, has shown their new single-disc SCD-XA777ES SACD player at the New York City Emap show (click here to see our exclusive show report). This new unit is said to be only one of the eleven new multi-channel SACD/CD players to be released this year. Features inside the new SCD-XA777ES include multi-channel capability, tri-powered Super Audio Digital-to-Analog Converter system with six independent converters (one for each channel). A new optical reading system employs a dual discrete laser pick-up mechanism. The power is supplied by twin R-Core power transformers. Two separate transformers are included (one for audio, the other for digital). Other features include multi-channel analog outputs, a Direct Digital Synch D/A clock system, and for CD playback an optical and a coaxial digital output are provided for. While the SCD-XA777ES retail price is $3,000, other models of SACD players include the SCD-C555ES five-disc multi-channel SACD/CD changer ($1,700), SCD-C222ES five-disc multi-channel SACD/CD changer (available this  September for about $800), SCD-CE775 five-disc multi-channel SACD/CD changer (available in July for about $400) and the SCD-XE670 single-disc multi-channel SACD/CD player (available in September for about $300). For those looking for DVD-Video (Dolby Digital and dts)  and SACD playback with the ability to read CD-R/RW, the DVP-NS900V ($1,000 as seen above in black), the DVP-NC650V ($400), and the DVP-NS500V ($300) are soon to be released as well.
Sony also announced the first ten new multi-channel/stereo SACD music software titles. The new music titles are as follows:

Jeff Beck Blow by Blow
Joshua Bell West Side Story
Miles Davis Kind of Blue 
Celine Dion A Decade of Hits
Billy Joel 52nd Street
Bill Joel The Stranger
Earth, Wind & Fire Gratitude
Midori Mozart Sinfonia Concertante
James Taylor Hourglass
Titanic Soundtrack


05 / 12 / 11

M2TECH E-Young 32-bit/384kHz DAC  M2TECH is now shipping their E-Young 32-bit/384kHz DAC ($1799) as the company's top-of-the-range digital to analog converter. This unit features high-speed asynchronous USB connection, oversampling digital filters with minimum pre-echo and phase linearity, and S/PDIF on RCA jack, AES/EBU via XLR plus TosLink optical digital inputs. Output is via line level single ended RCA output connectors. The stylish aluminum case houses the ability to decode 384 kHz sampling rates and a full 32 bits of resolution via USB input. A high performance oversampling filter has been custom made on a programmable logic device (FPGA) implements minimum-phase filters optimized for sound quality providing a very low noise floor. A 32-bit D/A integrated circuit is used in a non-conventional mode allowing 768 kHz internal operation. The output buffer uses a special operational amplifier with very low noise and THD thanks to its Class A biased output stage. The front display alerts users of the sampling rate. Overall frequency response is from 10 Hz to 90 kHz with a SNR of 121dB and ultra low THD+N of 0.0003%. Enjoy the Music.com has reviewed the M2Tech hiFace 24-bit/192kHz USB digital audio interface and the MK1 Boxed M2Tech hiFace Evo USB to S/PDIF converter.


Furutech Alpha Design Labs (ADL) CruiseFurutech's new product lineup includes their Alpha Design Labs (ADL) Cruise DAC with portable headphone amplifier and ADL iDevice iD355P 3.5mm companion audio cable. The Alpha Design Labs Cruise features 24-bit/96kHz USB input to feed a 3.5mm headphone output. The chassis is mirror-polished stainless steel with Carbon fiber body accents. The unit operates via USB power, an AC/DC adaptor or the internal rechargeable battery for many hours of musical pleasures. The Cruise easily handles many digital music file types including iTunes, mp3, WMA and more. The ADL iDevice iD35SP 3.5mm companion audio cable has been designed with the same care, engineering, materials processing and top-notch build quality as Furutech's top-tier Flux series cables. The iD35SP features silver-plated Alpha OCC conductor for minimal transmission loss and 24k gold-plated connectors. The cable achieves superior noise isolation with two-layer shielding -- aluminum foil and tinned copper -- in a RoHS-compliant sheath. Conductors are treated with Furutech's Alpha process, which is a deep cryogenic and demagnetizing treatment. Enjoy the Music.com has reviewed the Furutech Evolution cable and Furutech's Piezo Powerflux.


05 / 10 / 11

Audio Research Reference 150 Stereo Power Amplifier  Audio Research's new Reference 150 vacuum tube stereo power amplifier ($12,995) produces 150 wpc, replaces their Reference 110 and is said to "offer more power, greater dynamic thrust, a more vivid and resolved presentation, greater finesse, and quieter operation." A refined front-panel cosmetics reflects the updated look of current-generation Audio Research models, with silver units having silver handles and silver top covers, while black units have black handles and black cover. The Reference F150 is a fully-balanced design, so its inputs are balanced XLR only while the output has 4, 8 and 16 Ohm output taps. Those with modern system can use the 12V trigger arrayed on the rear panel. As for the internal circuitry, the power-supply energy storage has been doubled over the previous model and now has 1040 joules. New interstage coupling capacitors using technology and materials first incorporated in their Anniversary Edition preamplifier have been deployed, while the output stage features two matched quads of Russian KT120 output tubes driven by 6H30 twin triodes. To keep the unit from melting down, each channel has a three speed fan for cooling using new low turbulence intakes. Overall frequency response is from 5 Hz to 80 kHz (-3dB), input sensitivity is 2.0V and overall negative feedback is 14dB. Dimensions are 19 x8.75 x19.5 (WxHxD in inches) and the unit weighs 75 lbs.

Audio Research DS450M Monaural Power Amplifier Audio Research has also released their DS450M hybrid Class D solid-state monaural power amplifier ($4995) that produces 450 wpc and is part of the company's Definition Series. A large power supply inside the chassis ensures ample power to the circuitry. Due to using Class D amplification, this compact unit has the same chassis size as Audio Research's DSi200 and DS225. The proprietary hybrid Class D all-discrete analog switching-MOSFET output technology is combined with a large linear analog power supply that is said to "yield tremendous speed and power delivery in a compact, cool-running chassis". Each DS450M idles at only 55 watts. The DS450M is a fully balanced design with both XLR balanced inputs and RCA single ended inputs. The rear panel features a dual Cardas patented speaker binding post and two 12V triggers. In addition to the standard all-silver version, the DS450M is also available with a black front panel, black handles, and black top cover. Frequency response is from 5 Hz to 45 kHz (-3dB), input sensitivity is 2.9V, dimensions are 19 x 5.25 x 14.25 (WxHxD in inches) and the unit weighs 37.2 lbs.


05 / 09 / 11

Reimyo KAP-777 Stereo Amplifier  The award earning Combak Corporation's Reimyo series has just announced their new KAP-777 stereo solid-state power amplifier. This unique single MOSFET driven power stereo amplifier produces 200 watt @ 8 Ohms (400 @ 4 Ohms) per channel and is designed and manufactured through "High Tech Fusion", which is a technology cooperative program by four major audio and recording studio technology leaders. The "High Tech Fusion" includes accumulated knowledge of K2 technology, Recording Studio technology, their own traditional and Harmonix Resonance conditioning technologies. The Reimyo KAP-777 heat sink is made from a 7mm thick aluminum block, while the rear panel unbalanced RCA input jacks are of the company's in-house design. Balanced inputs via balanced XLR is also included. Custom designed high speed and neutral sound internal wires, custom-made RIFA capacitors, custom-order toroidal transformers, special designed Harmonix tuning feel are also part of the Reimyo KAP-777 design. Frequency response is from 5 Hz to 100 kHz, SNR is better than 100dB and THD is better than 0.05%. Dimensions are 200 x 430 x 460 (HxWxD in mm) and weight is 72 lbs. Enjoy the Music.com has reviewed the Reimyo DAP-999EX DAC and Reimyo CDP-777 CD transport /player.


Meridian Audio Sooloos Media Core 600 Digital Media SystemMeridian Audio Sooloos media Core 600 digital media system ($12,000) is a multi-zone digital media system for computer/NAS digital audio music files. The Meridian Media Core 600 handles up to six zones with integrated System Core plus storage and playback that can form the heart of sn intuitive digital media system. It can be controlled from any of the network-based control systems available, including the iPad or iPhone App, computers running the Control PC or Control Mac application, and Meridian Sooloos controllers such as the Control 15, and features DHCP-enabled network connection for easy discovery by other units in the system. A pair of hard drive bays are each fitted with 2TB drives configured as a RAID 1 array with automatic mirrored backup. These allow the unit to store approximately 5,000 CD albums in FLAC format, which is a popular lossless file type. Of course a wide array of lossy formats like MP3 can also be stored and played back. In addition to its extensive on-board storage, Media Core 600 supports Internet Radio streaming as well as the Rhapsody subscription service. Media Core 600 provides six built-in, individually configurable audio zones, each of which is available digitally via Meridian SpeakerLink and S/PDIF, and also via analogue outputs. The analog outputs are driven by very high quality DAC and can deliver variable or 2 Volt peak-to-peak fixed levels. The digital outputs can deliver standard or high sample rates as desired, upsampling using Meridian's famous Apodising filter for maximum audio quality, and/or downsampling when required. Additional Media Core 600 units can be linked together to form an extremely large-scale integrated system consisting of several tens of zones (the number being limited primarily by available network bandwidth). Where multiple Media Core 600 units are installed in the same system, standard RJ45 Ethernet cables can be used to daisy-chain them and synchronise them using the "Meridian House Sync" ports. This ensures that whenever zones are linked to play identical content, their clocks are perfectly synchronised, giving zero playback timing drift between linked zones.


05 / 06 / 11

HDtracks Eric Clapton  HDtracks, founded by David and Norman Chesky of the audiophile-record label Chesky Records in an effort to provide a high resolution digital music download service, is now offering Eric Clapton's album 461 Ocean Boulevard and Elton John's album Madman Across The Water in 24-bit/96kHz! Eric Clapton's 461 Ocean Boulevard is an amazing classic rock album that was released in 1996 and is touted as one of Rolling Stone magazine's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. Clapton’s second solo album featured a number of his most powerful singles, including "Let It Grow," "Willie and the Hand Jive" and "I Shot the Sheriff". Elton John's Madman Across The Water features such the hits as "Tiny Dancer", "Levon" and the title track "Madman Across the Water". The album reached #8 on the Billboard 200 chart in 1972. The intricacies of the string arrangements and brilliant recording quality can be heard more clearly than ever before with this high resolution release.


DaVinciAudio Master's Reference VIRTU preamplifierDaVinciAudio Master's Reference VIRTU preamplifier is strictly limited to seven pieces per year (CHF 45,950) is the company's top-of-the-line unit for preamplification. The design criteria was to choose particular components for the amplification section so it would be a single-ended solid-state design. The unit operates in Class A and is completely transformer coupled including the use of output transformer potentiometer. For each stage, a custom handmade transformer developed in their factory in Bern Switzerland is carefully crafted. The new DaVinciAudio Master's Reference VIRTU preamplifier includes an external power supply to ensure the critical preamplification stage is not corrupted by the power supply circuitry.


05 / 05 / 11

T.H.E. Show (The Home Entertainment Show in Newport Beach California  If you haven't heard, T.H.E. Show Newport Beach is the hottest ticket West coast audiophile event in the industry. While they have ran out of all exhibit spaces last week, the Hilton hotel has given T.H.E. Show one more floor to have exhibitors. Availability for these rooms will close tomorrow, so if you want to show your products you need to act now by e-mailing info@theshownewport.com or calling (702) 242-4545. T.H.E. Show (The Home Entertainment Show) in Newport Beach California will bring new advancements and technologies in high-end audio and video to a population of over 24 million consumers. T.H.E. Show, which has a notable reputation for an exclusively high-end audio industry-related convention every January, is bringing a whole new concept to Newport Beach, California that is open to consumers and industry insiders alike. The Show Newport will be held at the Newport Beach Hilton hotel (Irvine) on June 3rd through 5th and is conveniently located across the street from John Wayne/Orange County (SNA) Airport near Freeways 405 & 55. Expanding on several common "interests" of this high-end crowd, T.H.E. Show will also include a classic car show in conjunction with Crevier BMW Auto Museum; a Wine-Tasting area courtesy of Southern Wine and Spirits and Jazz Concerts every evening produced by BluePort Jazz Festival International. Several other local quality Jazz groups will be featured. An all weekend pass including all events is $35, or a daily pass is only $15.

What: T.H.E. Show in Newport Beach California
Where: Newport Beach Hilton hotel (Irvine)
When: June 3rd through 5th, 2011


Music Industry News 10 Years Ago
Mobile FidelityThe well respected and critically acclaimed remastered recordings by Mobile Fidelity have recently been commanding collector pricing as the company went out of business on November 19, 1999 (see that News article here). With various assets sold over time, it has now been announced that Music Direct, a mail-order software company based in Chicago, has acquired all rights to the Mobile Fidelity name. Furthermore, the original facility and equipment is also owned by Music Direct. In fact this mail order company claims it was one of Mobile Fidelity’s most successful vendors. Future releases on the new Mobile Fidelity name will appear on both compact disc and vinyl LP. As for the weight of the LP releases, no solid decision has been made to choose either 180 (retailing at approximately $30) or 100 gram (retailing at approximately $20). 120 gram vinyl releases are also being considered. Much of the mastering hardware is said to be in the process of considerable upgrading to insure Mobile Fidelity remains one the most advanced and highest sound quality audiophile remastering labels in the world. DVD-Audio and/or SACD releases are not in Mobile Fidelity's immediate future.


05 / 04 / 11

  Enjoy the Music.com has just posted Hi-Fi World's Volume 21 Number 4 (June) edition including the complete editorial and table of contents. This issue includes reviews of the Pearl Evo Ballerina 40 Italian loudspeakers, German Physiks Limited 11 high tech omnidirectionals, Mission MX2 monitors, Onkyo's P-3000R/M-5000R pre-power amplification combo, Olive 4HD high end hard disk music machine, Whest Audio PS.30 RDT SE phonostage, Ortofon Vivo Blue budget moving coil cartridge... and more! The editorial titled Budget Audiophile by David Price says, "was fun. There’s a curious ‘iron curtain’ amongst audiophiles; many would never countenance buying secondhand whereas others have nothing else but. Personally, I've long since run a mixture of old and new in my system (a Marantz TT-1000 turntable from 1980, a Musical Fidelity AMS35i from 2010, and a 1986 vintage pair of Yamaha NS1000M loudspeakers are my current staple), so I know that clever planning and matching can get a great sound that you couldn’t necessarily have by buying all old or all new. See p17 for the results; I think you'll agree that we came up with some weird and wonderful stuff....". See the complete June table of contents and editorial of Hi-Fi World by clicking here.


Cary Audio Cinema 12 Surround PreamplifierHigh-end audio continues its march towards multi-channel and home theater as Cary Audio's new Cinema 12 surround preamplifier makes its debut ($4999). This full-featured preamplifier and processor shares many of the same features as its predecessor (Cinema 11a) while increasing the performance and flexibility. The Cinema 12 increases its video connections to include four HDMI v1.4a inputs, supporting most 3D formats, 48-bit Deep Color, audio return channel, Ethernet channel, and CEC power on/off features. It also maintains a full suite of audio connections in all formats, as well as discrete RS-232 and IR command codes for simple operation and a 12VDC trigger to control on/off switching of a power amp or other component. Cary Audio chose to use the Burr Brown 32-bit/192kHz surround DAC chipsets, all circuitry in the processor is fully differential-balanced, and all of the latest HD surround formats are supported. The Cinema 12 is available with either a black or silver brushed aluminum faceplate.


05 / 03 / 11

  Enjoy the Music.com, an industry leader in consumer electronics information plus equipment and music reviews for approximately 15 years, is pleased to announce our new Windows Phone 7 audiophile application for mobile devices. As the fastest growing mobile application device in the world, the new Microsoft Windows Phone 7 is the next generation unit from the industry's leading OS software company. Since many major mobile phone service providers offer a variety of Windows Phone 7 devices, Enjoy the Music.com is naturally now a part of this growing platform. Many years ago Enjoy the Music.com was the world's first and only audiophile magazine with a WAP site during the wireless Internet infancy. Today, the move to go mobile and be available everywhere has once again brought Enjoy the Music.com to expand our reach to audiophiles worldwide. The new Windows Phone 7 application is the world's first such application for this device and provides easy access to our daily industry news, high-end audio consumer electronics equipment reviews, show report and much more.

"Right on the heels of releasing our Android application, it once again brings me joy to announce Enjoy the Music.com's new Windows Phone 7 application for audiophiles" said editor Steven R. Rochlin. "Since Windows Phone 7 is the world's fastest growing portable OS, a wide variety of mobile electronics manufacturers offer devices to consumers. Enthusiastic and tech savvy consumers want devices they can use to get the information they desire right now. Our new application makes the information they seek for high-end audio electronics only a few taps away. Naturally our daily industry news and monthly equipment reviews plus show reports will keep them coming back often. The Enjoy the Music.com app now appears within the Android and Windows Phone 7 marketplace, with our iPhone app awaiting approval. When all three apps are online, Enjoy the Music.com can appear on the home screen of every popular mobile device worldwide." 

The new Enjoy the Music.com Windows Phone 7 app can be download by clicking here.


Music Industry News 10 Years Ago
Coming this summer is Stereovox's new line of reference-grade audio cables designed by Chris Sommovigo who creator of the legendary Illuminati digital and video cables
. The Stereovox line is specifically for use in analog circuits and loudspeaker applications. Two flagship products will make their debut this summer, a line-level interconnect and a loudspeaker cable. Both products are terminated with very unique XHADOW connectors designed by Chris Sommovigo. The SEI-600 single-ended interconnect will retail for $2100 per meter pair while their LSP-600 loudspeaker cable retails for $6950 per 2.5 meter pair. Both are covered by a limited lifetime, fully transferable warranty.


05 / 02 / 11

Review Magazine  Enjoy the Music.com's May Review Magazine is now online! We have the AXPONA Atlanta event and Montreal's Salon Son Image 2011 plus many new equipment and music reviews for you to enjoy. See the May issue by clicking here.

Regular Reading
Dai Daily News: Audiophile news updated each weekday!

Show Reports
AXPONA 2011 Show Report
Atlanta's premiere audiophile event!

Salon Son & Image 2011 Montreal High-End Audio Show Report
Two reports for you to enjoy!

Mobile Device Apps
Get our new Windows Phone 7 App!

Get the Enjoy the Music.com Android App!

In This Issue... AXPONA, T.H.E. Show and My New System
Great seminars, great gear and finalizing my new reference system.
Article By Steven R. Rochlin

Audiolics Anonymous Chapter 138
Pure Power PP 2000 Regenerators and music.
Article By Dr. Bill Gaw

Superior Audio Equipment
Nightingale Concentus CTR 2
Of love found and love lost.
Review By Steven R. Rochlin

Shelter Harmony MC Cartridge And 411 Type 2 Step-Up
It is indeed all about balance.
Review By Dick Olsher

Klipsch Palladium P-39F Speaker
Klipsch's flagship puts horns on top.
Review By A. Colin Flood

Kuzma Stogi Reference 313 VTA Tonearm
Low arm noise-floor and dynamic VTA adjustment!
Review By Dick Olsher

Audiophile Equipment Reviews
World Premiere!
Shengya A-206MK Integrated Amplifier
An extraordinary bargain!
Review By Tom Lyle

Magnepan MG 1.7 Speaker
Its greatest strength is its lack of personality, excellent coherence and low coloration.
Review By Ron Nagle

Oppo BDP-95 Universal Disc Player
First-class audio playback and surround.
Review By Leonard Norwitz

PSB Synchrony One Loudspeakers
A must audition for your next speaker purchase.
Review By Anthony Nicosia

Budget Monitor Loudspeaker Shootout!
The Aperion Audio Intimus 5B, Axiom Audio M2v2 and Paradigm Mini Monitor v.6 go head to head.
Review By Clarke Robinson

Coincident Speaker Technology Triumph Extreme Signature Loudspeakers
A versatile, transparent sound for the best high-end systems.
Review By Tom Lyle

D.I.Y. Audio
Going the Extra Mile With Coupling Capacitors
Article By Clive Meakins

The Feral Eye 2A3 Amplifier
Article By Herb Reichert Schematic By New York Triode Mafia

Flesh And Blood The Reichert 300B
Article By Herb Reichert

P-amp Ver. 1.0 Headphone Amplifier
Article By Grey Rollins

Music Reviews
Classical Music

Zuill Bailey plays Bach's Cello Suites as they've never been played before.
Review By Phil Gold

Ludwig van Beethoven The Five Piano Concertos
Review By Wayne Donnelly

The virtuoso violin of Ray Chen.
Review By Joe Milicia

Robert Silverman's Mozart Piano Sonata Cycle in superb sound!
Review By Phil Gold

Jazz, Bluegrass, etc.
Stacie Collins Sometimes Ya Gotta
Review By Steven Stone

Jeffrey Foucault & Lisa Olstein Cold Satellite
Review By Steven Stone

John McCutcheon Passage
Review By Steven Stone

Don Stiernberg With Rusty Holloway And Jeff Jenkins Swing 220
Review By Steven Stone

Various Bluegrass, Blues And Jazz Albums
Reviews By Steven Stone

Rock, Techno, House, etc.
Arcade Fire The Suburbs
Review By Claude Lemaire

Jimi Hendrix Valleys Of Neptune
Review By Claude Lemaire

Radiohead King of Limbs
Review By Claude Lemaire

Roxy(s) Music Lives On
Article By Birney K. Brown


See the May Review Magazine by clicking here.

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