Australian Hi-Fi May
/ June 2022 Issue
Is Now Available Australian Hi-Fi's May / June 2022 issue features:
Editorial: Greg Borrowman Is Stepping Out As Editor
Audio News From Around The World
Jeff Rowland Continuum S2 Amplifier
JBL Synthesis HDI 5.1 Surround System
ELAC Vela FS 407 Loudspeakers
Rode NTH-100 Wired Headphones
Silent Angel Munich M1 Streamer
Interview With Chord Electronics' Consultant Rob Watts
New Music / Music Album Re-Issues / Top Music Picks
And much more!
Within his editorial, Greg Borrowman says
"Dear reader, this will be my last
Editor's Lead-in, as I have retired from full-time employment and therefore stepped down from my position as being editor of
Australian Hi-Fi Magazine, one that I have held for almost 45 years. I am enormously pleased to be able to say that the magazine will be in very capable hands, as the new editor is none other than Becky Roberts, a long-time audiophile and a very experienced hi-fi journalist who has been writing news stories, articles and equipment reviews for the
UK's What Hi-Fi Magazine for almost nine years, during which time she attained the position of Hi-Fi and Audio editor. Her recent move from the UK to take up residence in Australia was an example of her perfect timing, as well as an extraordinary demonstration of the principle of serendipity. I wish her all the very best!" ---> Australian Hi-Fi's
May / June 2022
05 / 20 / 22
Rick Becker's AXPONA 2022 Chronicles Sensational Premium Audio On The 6th
Floor At AXPONA 2022.
AXPONA 2022 Show Report By Rick Becker Taking
the stairs, I dropped down to the 6th Floor. Fidelity Imports brings
in a lot of brands but in 602 & 694 I spotted a stack of Cyrus
electronics on their signature stand designed specifically for their half-rack
width components. I had just seen a Cyrus rig in Montreal and commented that it
looked refreshingly compact when doubled up on a full-width rack. Oh well. But
what was new here was a tube amp anchoring the stand to the floor. Painted in a
luscious red finish, the 41c model ($10k) comes from English, a young
British company. It delivers 25 Watts per channel from 506 power tubes in pentode mode, which
I prefer to the starker-sounding ultra-linear configuration, but not as much as
SET designs. Again, oh well. We all have our preferences. I
thought the Q speakers were very attractive looking here. The larger
floorstander is their flagship Concept 500 model ($6500) and the shorter is
their Concept 50 ($3000). ---> Sensational Premium Audio On The 6th Floor At AXPONA 2022.
Sennheiser HD 660 S Over-Ear Headphone Review If it ain't broke, fix it anyway. Review By Dave Hanson Updating
a much-loved product like the Sennheiser HD 650 is a tricky task. But having
spent nearly 75 years in the audio business, Sennheiser understands the
importance of reading the tealeaves. The personal audio industry is in a period
of tremendous growth and no single segment is growing faster than the portable
devices category. So with that, Sennheiser made a bold move. While many
companies would have left well enough alone, Sennheiser took one of their most
popular products, the somewhat hard-to-drive HD 650, and updated it with and
easier to drive design. The result is the new Sennheiser HD 660 S ($499). While the original could be a bit fussy with amplification –
holding back some of its potential until you plugged it into the perfect tube
amp – the HD 660 S skips all the fuss and sounds good with just about
anything. ---> Sennheiser HD 660 S Over-Ear Headphone Review.
05 / 18 / 22
CEPro Deep Dive 2022 Home Entertainment Report
With younger music, movie, and video gamer lovers combining their luxury audio and home theater system, CEPro's recent report shows that an impressive 67% of them will be using it for immersive audio. Due to the recent laboratory virus leak that has greatly affected humans on Earth, CEPro's Deep Dive 2022 says, "The most difficult equipment to obtain are pre-amps, processors, AVRs, media servers, controls/interfaces, Blu-ray disc players, mounts/screens/seating and other associated gear. Those unfinished theaters represent real lost money, as dealers struck gold in terms of being able to elevate their home entertainment installation price points. For dedicated theaters, which can include basements in some cases, the average enduser price charged in 2021 was a healthy $50,357. That is an incredible 77% increase compared with 2020, when the average price point for a dedicated theater was $28,227. The same trend appears in multipurpose room theaters, such as dens/family rooms, living rooms, great rooms and in some cases basements. The average price point for a multipurpose room setup rose to $27,500, up from $17,312 the previous year. That is a solid 59% increase."
"Multipurpose rooms continue to be the primary room location for home theaters. In 2021, 30% of home cinemas were stationed in a den, family room, living room or great room. One in four cinema installations was in a dedicated room, while just under one out of every five projects (18%) was in a basement. Master bedrooms (11%), outdoor areas (9%) and other locations such as garages and secondary bedrooms (7%) round out the rest. The median number of seats per home theater is five. About 6% of theaters have 11 or more seats, which is triple the percentage from last year when only 2% of cinemas had that large level of seating capacity. Similar to last year's data, about one in five home theaters (19%) is an AV zone extension of a distributed AV system, which is not surprising since many home theaters these days are in multipurpose rooms."
05 / 17 / 22
Rick Becker's AXPONA 2022 Chronicles Rick's 7th Floor Exploration At AXPONA 2022.
AXPONA 2022 Show Report By Rick Becker The
first Upscale Distribution room piqued my interest with an inside look at
the Sbooster, a "linear toroidal power supply with heavy shielding and
noise filtration." These typically replace OEM wall warts and they come with a
variety of connectors for the DC end going into your component. My DIY
replacement of just the DC power cord coming from the upgraded power supply to
my Calyx 24/192 DAC proved to me how critically important an external power
supply can be. My new Charisma Audio Musiko turntable comes with a small
switch-mode power supply so a review sample of a Sbooster seems like a golden
opportunity. They are available in a variety of voltages for almost any
component and range in price from $399 to $514. ---> Rick's 7th Floor Exploration At AXPONA 2022.
05 / 16 / 22
audioXpress' June 2022 Issue
Is Now Available audioXpress' June 2022 issue features:
Editorial: Driving Audio Innovations Sound Systems
Røde NTH-100 Headphones
How Signal Processing And Filter Bank Design Impacts Sound
ANC Headset Testing
Building a Guitar-Controlled Synthesizer
The Acoustical Effects Of Room Shapes
Audio For All-Electric Vehicles
Upmixing And The Future Of In-Car Audio
Evaluation Of Automotive Audio Energy Efficiency
And much more!
Within his editorial, J. Martins says
"This issue of audioXpress focuses on the vibrant segment of automotive audio, which is where a lot of exciting technologies are being explored. Automotive cabin acoustics are not an easy environment but when we combine the latest transducers, amplifiers, and DSP, with careful design and tuning by system experts that now have access to the most sophisticated computer simulation and measurement tools, it's easy to understand why cars are currently at the cutting edge of applications in audio. The transition to electric engines has completely changed the possibilities for car sound, as our annual Market Update details." ---> audioXpress' June 2022
05 / 13 / 22
HIGH END 2022 Show Is Next Week!
From May 19th to 22nd, 2022, the 39th HIGH END trade show in Munich will yet again shine the spotlight on excellent music reproduction, inspiring listening enjoyment and exquisite audio technology. For many years, the HIGH END has been providing both the big players in the industry and smaller owner-managed companies with their ideal presentation platform as the
world's leading audio trade show. It is the perfect place to establish business relationships, expand networks and exchange ideas and experiences with other industry experts.
The organizer of the event, the HIGH END SOCIETY Service GmbH, is pleased to announce that the HIGH END
2022 is now fully booked, even before the registration deadline at the end of March! After more than a year without events, this is sure to be music to the ears of exhibitors, trade visitors, consumers, media representatives and, of course, everyone involved in the success of the trade show during both the planning and implementation stages. The constant high demand for the sought-after exhibitor areas in the halls and atriums of the MOC Event Center in Munich clearly shows how keen the industry is to finally showcase its high-quality products to a live audience. ---> Learn more about HIGH END 2022 in
StereoNET Melbourne 2022 Hi-Fi Show
The StereoNET Hi-Fi Show, from June 3rd through 5th at the Pullman Convention and Events Centre (Albert Park), is the largest show of its type held in
Australa showcasing a broad range of
consumer electronics. From the largest screens to the smallest accessories, smart and connected products,
hi-fi, home cinema, and smart home and entertainment products - the 2022 show will be no exception promising something for all. This
year's Show will also incorporate Australia's only three-day record fair which attracts vendors and attendees from all across Australia for the latest in rare, collectible, and new vinyl
records. Come along and experience both the excitement and an immersive treat for the senses, from leading brands from across the world running across all three days. Members of the trade, along with Press are welcomed on the Friday morning between
9am to 12pm for a dedicated preview of the latest products and trends in the
T.H.E Show 2022 Long Beach Home
For decades, T.H.E.
Show has been the even to attend for music lovers, audiophiles, and hi-fi
enthusiasts alike. When first launched, T.H.E. Show was primarily a Las Vegas
event an alternative to a non-industry operated CES. Featuring finely-crafted
luxury audio products, T.H.E. Show from June 10th through 12th is an upscale event for those who truly value
music within their homes and on the go too. Operated in part by award-earning musicians
and those who are enthusiasts, T.H.E. Show 2022 is the place to be in June to
enjoy the very best high-end audio / video products. There are many events
planned during their 2022 California event. With many leading brands exhibited,
plus educational seminars and special features planned, this show is not to be
Why just talk only about vinyl when you can talk about vinyl
and booze from a leading expert who has written multiple books about it! André Darlington, author of
Booze & Vinyl and Booze & Vinyl Vol. 2 will be appearing at T.H.E. Show Long Beach for two very special Happy Hour sessions of mixology, listening, and
discussion. The launch of their brand new initiative, T.H.E. Headphonium, a dedicated space within T.H.E. Show featuring headphones and personal / portable audio. The inaugural Headphonium, presented by audio and home theater publication eCoustics. The brand new T.H.E. Headphonium will offer show attendees a more engaging and unique experience including the opportunity to listen to a wide cross section of the world's best headphones and portable audio equipment. Attendees will have access to a lifestyle lounge, bespoke professional photo shoots, live social media events, and
more. ---> Learn more about T.H.E. Show 2022 in
Long Beach (California).
Schiit Mani MM
/ MC Phono Stage Review A thrill for any newcomer and satisfy most too.
Review By Rick Becker The
word went out on Facebook that my son-in-law Justin wanted a turntable for
Christmas to try out the LP craze. Apparently the fine Sony noise cancelling
headphones I gave him for Christmas last year planted a seed and the seed has
sprouted. The $90 turntable on his list was a turnkey unit with cartridge and
built in phono stage. All he would have to do is connect it to his mid-fi
surround sound receiver. But you and I both know I couldn't let him go down that
dead-end road. He's now 40 and steeped in debt from earning his MBA at
Northwestern. He commutes to work by train almost an hour each way and puts in
long hours of hard mental work. Then he comes home each day to put on his "World's
Greatest Dad" hat. He deserves a better turntable. --->
Schiit Mani Stereo MM / MC Phono Stage review.
Rick Becker's AXPONA 2022 Chronicles Rick Gives
The 14th Floor A Good
Listen At AXPONA 2022
AXPONA 2022 Show Report By Rick Becker The
16th and 15th floors typically host some of the best and most expensive rooms at
the show. Dropping down to the 14th floor, the rooms get smaller and more
affordable. I lowered my expectations here but was completely blown away by the
first room I entered. Speaker
Physics was an unknown brand to me so
I wasn't sure what to expect. The floor of the room was covered with scattered
cardboard boxes and the chairs were still stacked. An elderly man of Asian
descent was on his knees unboxing literature. Clearly, he was alone and way
behind schedule in setting up his room. At the far end of the room was a flimsy
table with what looked like might be a couple of mid-fi components and a couple
of bright orange and grey cylinders that could easily be mistaken for air
conditioning units at Home Depot. It looked even worse than the photo above. ---> Rick Becker Gives The 14th Floor A Good Listen At
05 / 11 / 22
Time To Bid Farewell To Apple's iPod
According to Apple, "Since its introduction over 20 years ago, iPod has captivated users all over the world who love the ability to take their music with them on the go. Today, the experience of taking
one's music library out into the world has been integrated across Apple's product line — from iPhone and Apple Watch to iPad and Mac — along with access to more than 90 million songs and over 30,000 playlists available via Apple Music."
"Music has always been part of our core at Apple, and bringing it to hundreds of millions of users in the way iPod did impacted more than just the music industry — it also redefined how music is discovered, listened to, and
shared," said Greg Joswiak, Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing.
"Today, the spirit of iPod lives on. We've integrated an incredible music experience across all of our products, from the iPhone to the Apple Watch to HomePod mini, and across Mac, iPad, and Apple TV. And Apple Music delivers industry-leading sound quality with support for spatial audio —
there's no better way to enjoy, discover, and experience music." If you want an iPod, and not sure why anyone would considering the many
far better alternatives, you should get one now while supply lasts.
NASA Is (Finally) In The Sound Recording Business
A recent article from NASA brings us the sound of a Black Hole. According to NASA, "Since 2003, the black hole at the center of the Perseus galaxy cluster has been associated with sound. This is because astronomers discovered that pressure waves sent out by the black hole caused ripples in the cluster's hot gas that could be translated into a note – one that humans cannot hear some 57 octaves below middle C. Now a new sonification brings more notes to this black hole sound machine. This new sonification – that is, the translation of astronomical data into sound – is being released for NASA's Black Hole Week this year."
"In this new sonification of Perseus, the sound waves astronomers previously identified were extracted and made audible for the first time. The sound waves were extracted in radial directions, that is, outwards from the center. The signals were then resynthesized into the range of human hearing by scaling them upward by 57 and 58 octaves above their true pitch. Another way to put this is that they are being heard 144 quadrillion and 288 quadrillion times higher than their original frequency. (A quadrillion is 1,000,000,000,000,000.) The radar-like scan around the image allows you to hear waves emitted in different directions. In the visual image of these data, blue and purple both show X-ray data captured by Chandra..... More sonifications of astronomical data, as well as additional information on the process, can be found at the
A Universe of Sound website.
05 / 10 / 22
Alan Walker Joins Web3 With Corite
With youthful musicians realizing the current mainstream recording label scheme is broken, Alan Walker is a 23-year old Norwegian DJ and Producer with over 115 million followers across his social platforms, 8.7 billion YouTube views, and a staggering 50 billion(!) audio and video streams. This young artist from Bergen, Norway announced that he is partnering with Corite - the fan powered platform bringing fans and artists closer together. Walker is working with Corite to deliver new experiences to his passionate fanbase through
Web3 and blockchain technology.
"Corite enables artists at any stage of their career to eschew the traditional record label model while still releasing their music across all major streaming platforms - including Spotify, Apple Music, TikTok, and
YouTube," says their press release. "The Corite platform empowers artists to engage their fans in new, mutually beneficial ways. By launching fan-funding campaigns on Corite, artists can generate additional revenue streams, secure funding and organic promotional support from their followers, and reward their active backers with a portion of the royalties."
05 / 09 / 22
Rick Becker's AXPONA 2022 Chronicles Floors 15 And 16 Of AXPONA 2022
AXPONA 2022 Show Report By Rick Becker In
mid-November, 2021, I covered Capital AudioFest and virtually everyone wore a
mask. In late March 2022, I covered the Montreal AudioFest and everyone there
wore a mask. A month later I covered AXPONA, fully vaxed and double boosted, and
at most, 5% of people wore a mask, including myself. I came home with Covid. As usual,
I started at the top floor where I once
again met Zoltan Bay of Bayz Audio with his C-tube omni-directional
speakers. Clean line Pilium electronics were connected with Nordost cables. On the left is the Pilium Divine Alexander preamp with power supply and on the
right is the Achilles power amp. Bayz is from Hungary and Pilium is from Athens,
Greece. ---> Rick Becker's AXPONA 2022 Chronicles Floors 15 And 16.
Hi-Fi World's June 2022 Reviews & Think Pieces Hi-Fi
World's June 2022 issue features the following:
Editorial: Many Music Lovers Still Want A Decent CD Player
Competition: Your Chance To Win £1600 JBL HDI-1600 Speakers
Klipsch Heresy IV Loudspeakers Review
Teac UD-505-x DAC / Headphone Amplifier
Rega Saturn MK3 CD Player
Helm Bolt DAC Amplifier
Synthesis Roma 14dc+ CD Player
Hitachi FT-5500 MK2 Tuner
Roksan Attessa Turntable
Grado RS1x Reference Series Headphones
...and much more!
Within his editorial, Noel Keywood says "Buses come along in threes, they say – and CD players come along in pairs these days it seems. We have two for you in this issue. People still want to buy a decent CD player – like the now unavailable OPPO BDP-205D we use as a reference, with ESS ES9038 Pro DAC chip inside. Top analogue-to-digital convertor chips like this give superb results with CD but for them steam-punk digital delivered by lasers on sleds is a side
issue. That was yesterday; such chips are capable of so much more today – but that means they must be connected to outside sources, not an old silver disc, in order to play high resolution 24-bit digital."See what's within
this issue of Hi-Fi World
at this link.
05 / 07 / 22
Professor's Guide To AXPONA 2022 Audio Expo North America 2022
Show Report By Dr. Michael Bump How
sweet it was to experience the return of audiophile heaven! The high art of
musical re-creation never had it so good where, for three days, audiophiles and
newcomers alike were able to forget their troubles, immersed in and celebrating
some of the finest home audio designs in the world. As a professional musician & university
professor, 99% of my weekends are spoken for, thus the luxury of jetting off to
an audio conference for even a day is pretty much impossible. Add to this the
two-year hiatus due to the Pandemic... well, it's been a while. For some years
prior and as a consequence of proximity, I've done my best to at least carve
out the annual weekend road trip to Chicago for AXPONA 2022. A 6.5-hour drive
from our home in the cornfields of Missouri and I'm re-energized and inspired
by friends and audio artisans the world over. This year's vibe from attendees
and manufacturers was very enthusiastic and positive, with attendance seeming to
be at least as strong, if not stronger, than any AXPONA show I've experienced. ---> A Music Professor's Guide To AXPONA 2022.
05 / 06 / 22
Musical Universe: Take The Test
Here's something we felt was interesting to Enjoy the Music.com readers, plus you can take part
too and let your voice be heard! Here's their objective, "How it works: Our test will measure your reactions to a selection of musical excerpts and ask questions about your character traits. Our cutting-edge algorithm then goes to work to map your unique musical and psychological profile. Three easy steps and it's all online and takes about 20 minutes to complete. Oh, they strongly suggest headphones. Choose from their basic or amplified version. Your profile will become available instantly, and you will be able to download a PDF of it as well.
They say it's all backed by science. This test is based on over 15+ years of theory and research in cognitive neuroscience, social psychology, and personality science. The algorithms used are based on recent findings from teams of scientists at leading universities. All tests have been developed, validated, and published previously in scientific literature. Percentages and population comparisons in the report are derived from averages based on over 200,000 individuals from over 100 countries worldwide. Privacy
concerns? They say that you are in control of your data and you decide how your individual data is used and shared. Musical Universe will not share your data without your explicit consent.
Hi-Fi+ May 2022 High-End
Audio Magazine Hi-Fi+'s May 2022 issue
features the following:
Editorial: Magazines Are A Collaborative Effort
How To Buy The Right Amplifier
KEF Reference 5 Meta Floorstanding Speaker
Copland CSA 100 Hybrid Integrated Amplifier
Radialstrahler MBL 101 X-Treme Speaker
Melody AN300B MAX Valve Integrated Amplifier
Allnic L-6500 Valve Line Preamplifier
Triangle Borea BR09 Floorstanding Speaker
Titanic Audio Model S Moving Coil Cartridge
Chord Company GroundARAY Noise Reduction System
Within this month's editorial, Alan Sircom says
"I hope that you are enjoying our new look magazine. The feedback we have received (see Incoming from page 7 of this issue) has been almost universally positive, which is a reassuring sign. Which is why no one wants to kick off the second of these issues with an apology of sorts. This is my second run-in with COVID-19; one of the perils of living in a densely-populated capital city like London, I guess. Fortunately, now fully vaccinated and boosted, such a brush with the disease is far less physically damaging than the first time, but I have been hit with the frequently-described symptom of 'Brain Fog'."
what's within this issue of Hi-Fi+
magazine at this
AXPONA 2022 Show Report Part 2 Professional Audio Design, Inc., was presenting their TAD
(Technical Audio Devices Laboratories and division of Pioneer)
professional-grade reference line loudspeakers and electronics. This had to be
one of the most engaging demonstrations of the show. They featured three
models of loudspeakers, a solid-state power amp, and a Streamer Preamp DAC.
Dedicated lab/factories in Japan provided top-level performance to this
listener. In this case, the Compact Reference One, a three-way stand mount
unit offered at $15,000+ (dedicated stands extra) and a larger stand-mount the
TAD CRITX offered at $85,000. The quality of design/construction is without peer in my
opinion. All of the loudspeakers performed with astonishing clarity, speed,
dynamics, uncolored transparency with solid bass down to 32 Hz. Again, likely
some of the finest music reproduction heard at the show all while supported by
the TAD handcrafted, small-batch electronics and Synergistic cabling. ---> AXPONA 2022 Show Report Part 2 By Chuck Bruce.
Spotify Island Brings Fans And Artists To Roblox
Roblox fans and Spotify users can come together within their own world. Spotify Island aims to be a paradise of sound "where fans and artists from all over the world can hang out and explore a wonderland of sounds, quests, and exclusive merch. Spotify is the first music-streaming brand to have a presence on Roblox, a virtual universe where users can create and play games and share experiences with friends. Through this interactive world,
we're creating a place where fans can link up and create new sounds together, hang out in digital spaces, and gain access to exclusive virtual merch. Spotify Island is an audio oasis that has it all."
"Roblox users can mingle with artists, complete interactive quests, and unlock exclusive content. Players can also enjoy an immersive audio experience by creating music and exploring sounds at the virtual beat-maker stations powered by Soundtrap. The island will have other musical Easter eggs at every turn for eagle-eyed users to discover. Spotify listeners will also notice some familiar shapes, colors, and icons on Spotify
Island." We expect immersive sound and innovation to take center stage as
modern music plays on.
05 / 03 / 22
AXPONA 2022: Back To Business Audio Expo North America 2022
Show Report By Greg Weaver For
such incorrigible audio junkies as yours truly, to see this nearly
three-year-long dearth of audio shows finally abating is not just exciting,
I'm being dealt a renewed lease on my audio life. This lockdown has been so
unnatural and so difficult. We are first and foremost a community, and we
need to be together to celebrate our passion for, and love of, music. I've
been SO ready for this unhealthy situation to loosen up and get social again,
especially after attending Gray Gill's outrageously successful Capital
Audiofest 2021 this past November, that the yearning has only been building. ---> AXPONA 2022 Show Photos By Greg Waver.
05 / 02 / 22
Enjoy the Music.com's May 2022
Premium Audio Review Magazine With the world's largest luxury audio show only weeks away, we'll have the most-ever writers covering HIGH END's annual event. This month's Review Magazine features World Premiere reviews, show reports (CanJam SG, Montréal Audiofest, and AXPONA), plus enlightening editorials and a manufacturer article
too! Note To HIGH END Exhibitors: Steven R. Rochlin, who has enthusiastically reported on the Germany show for over two decades, is taking this year off and looks forward to seeing you at the 2023 event. ---> See this month's Enjoy the Music.comReview Magazine.
World Premiere Review!
Charisma Audio Musiko Turntable Review I strongly suspected when listening to the first song with the Musiko that I would buy it. Review By Rick Becker The Charisma
Audio Musiko tonearm had already become part of my reference system back
in May 2021. when it was incorporated into my Linn Project — a complete re-make of the fabled Linn LP12 using off-the-shelf, re-engineered parts from several after-market companies. These parts were sourced from Great Britain, Canada, Switzerland, Hong Kong, and Colorado. By the time I finished, the only original OEM parts were the suspension springs and
grommets, the belt, the sub-chassis nuts and bolts, and the wood plinth. While there were lots of lovely alternatives, I kept the original wood plinth out of sentimentality. I was quite proud of the results, having greatly improved on the original vintage table — not unlike the way Carroll Shelby made over the British AC Ace into the Cobra sports car, except I did it on a kitchen countertop and never got around to racing it. I nicknamed it the Bard for reasons
I'll let you figure out. ---> Charisma Audio Musiko Turntable Review.