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High-End Audio Industry News

08 / 30 / 07

  Burmester Audiosysteme B20, B25 and B30 LoudspeakersBurmester Audiosysteme B20, B25 and B30 LoudspeakersBurmester Audiosysteme, a Germany-based high-end audio manufacturer known for ultra-audio products, has announced their B20, B25 (pictured), and B30 loudspeakers ($6,995, $9,995 and $12,995 respectively). This new series of slimline units are three-way designs that produce full frequency sound featuring a ribbon tweeter and cone midrange and side mounted woofer. All drivers are played for two weeks before they are measured and carefully computer-matched in pairs. The new 'air motion transformer' tweeter has a frequency range from 2.7kHz to 40kHz and is mounted in a small horn enclosure. Burmester's B20 handles 150 watts, is 34.6 inches high and features a 4-inch midrange plus an 8.25 x 6.25 inch side-firing oval woofer. The B25 adds 50 more watts of power handling and uses a 5-inch midrange and the same woofer. The B30 handles a total of 250 watts and is 43.3 inches high with 6.75-inch midrange and 12 x 8.25 inch side-firing oval woofer. Burmester employs Danish craftsmanship to build their enclosures with composite of HDF and birch plywood. Each cabinet is available in a choice of Macassar ebony, Silver or Elsberry finishes.


08 / 29 / 07

  Tound T.05 LoudspeakerTound Loudspeakers produces three different designs that have been engineered for both beauty and sound quality. The Tound T.04, Tound T.05, Tound T0.6 were born to create and allow the most tangible perception of sound and maintain aural beauty. The attractive appearance of their T.05 Series (pictured) showcases this 2-way design with decoupled sides for resonance control. A 28mm ring radiator tweeter is mated with a 130mm mid/woofer cone that is magnetically shielded. Overall frequency response is from 57Hz to 25kHz with a 86dB/W/m sensitivity at 8 Ohms. The 2200Hz crossover has been carefully designed with optimized phase and time characteristics.


Thales Tangential Pivoted TonearmThales tangential pivoted tonearm (8000€) combines in an elegant way the advantages of the tried and tested pivoted tonearm with the absolutely tangential tracking as the pick-up cartridge is taken and aligned on the Thales' Circle. This design boasts no tracking error and no consequential resulting distortions. There is minimal friction because of pivot bearings while a short tonearm maintains very little resonance. There is also symmetric inertia at the tracking point in all axles while damping and compensation of the skating force is conducted via weights. A magnesium headshell mates with the magnesium arm, which rests on a jewel bearing. Compensation is adjustable for the vertical arm and VTA is adjustable.


08 / 28 / 07

PSB Speakers International Synchrony Loudspeaker Line  PSB Speakers International's new Synchrony loudspeaker line is an evolution of PSB's decades of technological development. A proprietary cabinet uses extruded aluminum corners and tapered rear panels all wrapped in veneered and laminated composite wood structure. It has been reported that this combination is perhaps the strongest and most non-resonant plus coloration-free enclosures in the industry. PSB's Synchrony line features improved titanium-dome tweeters that produce high output and neodymium magnet structure. Also of note is lighter, stiffer voice-coil components, and enhanced mechanical systems. The same type of technology is used within the new generation of 4, 5.25 and 6.5 inch drivers. All models take advantage of a fourth-order Linkwitz-Reilly type crossover with minimal errors in both the amplitude (frequency-response) and time (phase-response) domains. Their top-of-the-range Synchrony One floorstander is a five-driver "five-way transitional" array, in which three identical 6.5-inch woofers sum their outputs across the lowest octaves but roll off at different frequencies. The advantage is claimed to be an inherently smooth response both off and on-axis. An accuracy of within 1dB is measured from 70Hz to 10kHz. other models in the line include the Synchrony Two that is similar to the One yet employs 5.25-inch woofers, bookshelf/monitor Synchrony One B and Synchrony Two B for smaller rooms and surround sound use. Lastly, the Synchrony One C, Two C, and Synchrony S are also for smaller rooms and surround sound with smaller or fewer drivers than their larger counterpart. Pricing ranged from $4500/pr for the Synchrony One and $4,500/pair and $300 for the Synchrony Two, to $200 each for the Synchrony One C and $1300 each for the Synchrony Two C. Of note is that The Synchrony line is PSB's highest priced line manufactured in China while the company's Platinum series is assembled in Canada. Read our review of the PSB SubSonic 5i subwoofer by clicking here.


We have it on good word that Linn will be debuting their high performance Akurate Music Server, claimed by Linn to be the world's best sounding, highest performance music server offering 8 channels of stereo and full bandwidth CD quality playback at CEDIA. With music stored remotely on a standard networked hard drive array (NAS), music lovers can enjoy unlimited storage capacity and peace of mind from a secure, reliable, flexible and upgradeable solution. The Akurate Music Server allows concurrent access by up to 8 users, so is ideal for use in multi-room distributed audio systems. The compact, rack-mountable Akurate Music Server can be controlled by a third party device via RS232 or Ethernet (e.g. AMX or Creston). Linn will also be unveiling their new reference-standard source component the Klimax DS. The Klimax DS is the "first authentic hi-fi product to stream digital music over a standard home network" says Linn. In true Linn fashion with 'the source comes first', the Klimax DS sets an ultra-high performance standard by "retrieving more information from the network than any other Digital Music Player" claims Linn. These are indeed bold claims and if Linn's history is any indication, they may have a right to brag. Enjoy the Music.com has reviewed many Linn products including their Classic integrated amplifier (here), Kan monitors (here), Katan loudspeaker (here), Sizmik 10.25 subwoofer (here), Sizmik 12.45 subwoofer (here), and Adikt MM cartridge (here).


Sleek Audio SA6 In Ear MonitorsTired of the same old in ear monitor earphones for your audio, then check out Sleek Audio's innovative SA6 ($250)! Sleek Audio has developed the VQ (Variable Equalization) system, giving listeners the ability to maximize their audio experience with interchangeable bass and treble ports plus multi-sized dual flange tips and interchangeable cables. "With today's recording technology music lovers have the ability to hear music like never before. They spend hundreds of dollars on music... but miss out on the true audio experience by using basic earbuds or clunky headphones," said Mark Krywko, President of Sleek Audio. "Those who like getting the most out of their audio devices struggle to find the best balance of highs and lows. That's why we created an in-ear earphone that provides amazing sound quality and allows the listener to choose the level of treble and bass that matches their ears and choice of music."


08 / 27 / 07

Esoteric Sound Archival Elliptical Stylus Kit  Esoteric Sound has just released three new products for the audio enthusiast, record collector, and professional. Their Rek-O-Kut ($549) De-Hisser is said to fill a void long unfilled in the audio product line up. Gone are 'Scratch Filters' and 'Lo-Cut Filters' as this device removes noise from tapes, records, etc. Esoteric Sound's Rek-O-Kut Re-Equalizer ($349) is an update to their very successful previous version and allows for adjustable EQ settings for playback of vinyl records. An eleven page manual includes recommended compensation settings for any vintage record. This passive equalization design uses film capacitors to assure high sound quality and there are eight settings of Turnover and eight for Rolloff. Lastly, the company's Archival Elliptical Stylus Kit ($450, pictured here) is a complete stylus restoration kit for the playing of vintage records. With this kit you choose the one that sounds best as older records often require larger tips for normal playback. Using styli of various sizes, one can overcome noise in records caused by previous wear and abuse. The kit consists of five Stanton 500 compatible, elliptical diamond styli and one conical sapphire stylus. See Enjoy the Music.com's Turntable History page to better understand the need for these devices by clicking here.


Sunfire HRS Subwoofer SeriesSunfire Corporation announced an aggressive trio of 1000 watt compact subwoofer models. Sunfire invented the small subwoofer and the new HRS Series now takes that proud history and sets a higher level of performance and design at affordable price points. The HRS-12 ($899), HRS-10 ($799) and HRS-8 ($699) feature newly-designed High Back-EMF drive units and Sunfire's Tracking Downconverter amplifier technology, which provides reliable and efficient operation. All three subwoofers feature Frequency Filtration Design (FFD) originally developed for the world's first flat panel subwoofer, Sunfire's SubRosa. FFD provides a minimum of 20 percent improvement in overall bass detail while delivering a more balanced frequency spectrum relevant to both music and movies. As the model implies, the HRS-12 employs a 12-inch driver while the HRS-10 has a 10-inch driver. The smallest model, the HRS-8, has an 8-inch driver in an incredibly small cubed box size of only 10-inches. All three models are offered in a hand-rubbed 12 layer, high-gloss black lacquer finish with the HRS-8 also offered in a 12 layer high gloss white finish..


08 / 24 / 07

PrimaLuna ProLogue Eight CD Player  PrimaLuna's ProLogue Eight CD player ($2499) is said to be the world's first combined CD player with tube-based data clocking device. By incorporating a low-noise mini-triode vacuum tube into the digital clock, this boldly conceived design is claimed to "provide vastly superior resolution, detail retrieval, improved clarity, increased definition and detail from top to bottom." The ProLogue Eight is a true dual-mono design, right down to the dual vacuum tube rectification. Complete tube compliment includes a pair each of 12AX7, 12AU7, and 5AR4. The digital system employs Burr Brown SRC4192 upsampling circuit, Burr Brown PCM1792 DACs and PrimaLuna's own SuperTubeClock ultra-low jitter clocking device. Custom designed isolation transformers separate the analog and digital devices. While there are no inputs, there are a pair of RCA analog outputs plus coaxial and optical digital output. Frequency response is from 20Hz to 20kHz with a dynamic range of >120dB. See the Enjoy the Music.com review of the PrimaLuna ProLogue Seven monoblock amplifier and ProLogue Three preamplifier by clicking here.


SRS Mobile EQSRS Labs Inc., a leading provider of audio technologies, launched their SRS Mobile EQ, a graphic equalizer solution designed specifically for mobile phones and portable media devices. SRS Mobile EQ software-based graphic equalizer supports up to 10 frequency bands and can be applied to mobile phones, PDAs and portable media players. A proprietary filtering algorithm minimizes interband interference and is a marked improvement over EQ solutions currently in the market that use a series of bandpass filters, where the filters in one band often cause interference in the adjacent frequency band. SRS Mobile EQ provides +/-12dB per band, thus allowing consumers to craft and save their preferred sound styles for headphone and speaker listening. There are also tuned equalization presets for Classical, Jazz, Dance, Rap/Hip Hop, Rock, Live Concert and Normal (flat EQ).


SamsungIn related portable audio news, Samsung Electronics now offers a 1.8-inch hard drive that stores an impressive 160GB of data. Those of us with portable audio device(s) with a meager 60GB or less of storage may soon be able to store nearly three times the amount of music! "The 1.8inch HDD market will grow at a tremendous pace with annual sales expected to increase up to 65 percent by 2010 as consumers demand smaller, more compact technology devices," states Andrew Higginbotham, director of hard drive sales and marketing of Samsung Semiconductor Inc.


08 / 23 / 07

Final Sound Solutions FVSS 2.0.1 DVD Receiver  Final Sound Solutions, a developer and manufacturer of award winning high fidelity sound, now offers their FVSS 2.0.1 DVD receiver. This a compact system combines a 75 wpc stereo Class D receiver with DVD player and virtual surround sound DSP. The unit can play CD, DVD-Video, CD-DA, CVC Video, VCD 2.0, S-VCD, and CD-MP3. The unit also features a complete A/V switching module, HDMI in and out plus universal remote control. Final Sound Solution also offers several different floor standing or wall-mountable electrostatic loudspeakers to form a complete audiophile or home theater system. "The addition of our virtual surround sound system marks the natural progression in the ongoing evolution of Final Sound," said Gijsbert van den Brink, CEO at Final Sound Solutions. "Like our line of electrostatic speakers, we designed our FVSS 2.0.1. DVD Receiver to leverage our proven Inverter Technology in order to deliver superior sound reproduction. We are committed to delivering new high quality acoustic home entertainment solutions to the ever changing market." Final will also introduce a new matching S95 subwoofer, which is specially designed for use with the system.


Halcro EC800 Disc PlayerHalcro recently announced the availability the EC800 disc player ($3990). As the latest addition to the range of Halcro Logic products, the EC800 offers a host of features including HDMI, Video up-scaling, RS232 control, Ethernet connectivity and a multitude of audio and video formats. Playback modes include SACD, DVD-Video, CD, CD-R, CD-RW, MP3-CD, MP3-DVD, SVCD and WMA-CD. Surround sound formats include DTS, Dolby Digital (AC-3), Dolby Pro Logic II, and Dolby Pro Logic Surround Sound. "From day-one, our mission has always been aimed at developing and manufacturing the finest high-quality audio and video products available," says Halcro President Joe Bayer. "The EC800 is without a doubt the best sounding home theater disc player to hit the market — period. It's perfectly suited for the two-channel music enthusiast and for multi-channel home theatre applications."


Olive Media Products OPUS No307sIncreasing its product range around its award-winning OPUS pure audio systems, Olive Media Products today announced a new OPUS No307s featuring a 250GB hard drive ($1699). The new hard drive holds more than 700 CDs in lossless quality, and is the industry's largest capacity drive in a 2.5" form factor. Pushing the edge on long-term hard disk reliability, the OPUS 307S takes advantage of a special technology that parks the recording heads off the disk surface during spin up, spin down and when the drive is off. This ensures that the recording head never touches the disk surface, resulting in less head wear and an improved non- operational shock tolerance. Olive also announced new CD limits for its popular Preload CD importing service. Olive Preload rips existing CDs and converges them into a unified digital music library that is loaded "ready-to-enjoy" onto an Olive pure audio system. Customers can now send Olive up to 300 CDs to be preloaded for free onto their music center, a service valued at $250. Any size music library is accommodated, with extra CDs preloaded at competitive rates.


08 / 22 / 07

RealNetowrks Rhapsody  RealNetworks, MTV Networks, Verizon Wireless, and Vodafone have announced they are teaming to create a single, integrated digital music experience that consumers can access via their PC, portable music device or mobile phone. Promising to be ultra-rich in music culture, programming and discovery, Rhapsody will unite these services in hopes of creating the most successful mobile music service in the country. Real and MTV Networks, through their Rhapsody America venture, have formed a long-term, groundbreaking and exclusive relationship with Verizon Wireless, in which the companies will be partners in bringing consumers digital music to their PCs and over the air to their mobile phones. Through the relationship with Verizon Wireless, Rhapsody will be fully integrated with VCAST Music, delivering a superior music service across multiple consumer devices. "Today's announcements represent a sea-change in the digital music market," said Rob Glaser, chairman and CEO of RealNetworks. "By partnering with MTV Networks, home of the most storied brands in music history, and the market's leading wireless company, Verizon Wireless, we'll make Rhapsody the premier digital music service that delivers great music to millions of consumers whenever and wherever they want."


Audiophile Equipment Review MagazineIn related news, Walmart is now offering DRM-free music as is RealNetworks' Rhapsody online music service. Meanwhile watermarking techniques may soon be delivering advertising with your drm-free music file. Retailers and record labels hope to cash in from advertising revenue from your music files. Readers of the Enjoy the Music.com Industry news page get a sneak peek at September's Review Magazine editorial "More Music Watermarking Shenanigans. Haven't we been down this road before?" by clicking here.


08 / 21 / 07

Rocky Mountain Audio Fest (RMAF 2007)  The 2007 Rocky Mountain Audio Fest (RMAF 2007) is from October 12 through 14 at the Denver Marriott Tech Center Hotel in Colorado. Over 300 brand will fill RMAF 2007's 100+ rooms, with many audiophiles getting many great opportunities to see and hear some of their favorite gear and possibly a few surprises. Al Stiefel and Ron Welborne took it upon themselves to explore the possibility of creating an audio show in Denver. With Al's business acumen, Ron's knowledge of the infrastructure of local audio shows... the rest is now history. This year's show marks their fourth event and will have many educational seminars and other events to fill the day.

Where: Denver Marriott Tech Center Hotel, 4900 South Syracuse in Denver, Colorado
When: Friday October 12 from 12pm to 6pm, Saturday, October 13 from 9am to 6pm and Sunday, October 14 from 9am to 4pm.
Price: $10 per day or three day pass is $25.


Morel Encore MKII Satellite / Subwoofer SystemMorel, one of the world’s foremost sound driver manufacturers since 1975, new Encore MKII satellite/sub system combines excellent value and sound quality for audiophile and home theater use. The Encore MKII system includes the company's SoundSpot SI-1MKII coaxial speaker and SoundSub9 subwoofer plus SoundStands. The SoundSpot SI-1MKII houses a coaxially integrated semi-soft tweeter with powerful neodymium magnet and 4-inch mid/bass with 1-inch voice coil to produce frequencies up to 22kHz. The SoundSub 9, a 9-inch active reflex loaded subwoofer, supplies lower frequency support down to 30Hz. To add elegance and ease of floor placement, Morel's SoundStand is fabricated of solid metal and extremely rigid. The curved contour of the ST-95 and the flat shape of the ST-90 base complement the design of the SoundSpot speakers for a homogeneous, stylish appearance. The self-assembly construction is configured for concealed internal wiring. The Encore MKII system is available in sanded black, white, or silver finish.


08 / 20 / 07

British Library  The British Library, with over three million recordings, moved its sound archive technical services into a new premises earlier this year and chose Harbeth for their loudspeakers. The custom-designed studios and transfer channels are a core feature of the new building, with each of the studios is named after pioneers of audio engineering that include Alan Blumlein (inventor of stereo), Thomas Edison, and Alec Reeves (the man behind Pulse Code Modulation which led to the digital sound revolution). The full range of Harbeth's handmade professional series of loudspeakers has been deployed, from the diminutive Monitor 20s, the near-field Monitor 30s, and the top-of-the-range Monitor 40s. "We chose Harbeth", explains operations manager Nigel Bewley, "because we deliberately didn't want speakers which would 'flatter' the sound. It is vital, in the work we do, to hear the clicks, crackles and other artifacts of a recording." The new studio will be used for archiving of the nation's sound collections.


Audyssey Sound EqualizerAudyssey, a California-based company with such leading engineers as Professor Tomlinson Holman, will soon be introducing their Dynamic EQ. Spearheaded by Audyssey founders Tomlinson Holman and Chris Kyriakakis, Dynamic EQ is said to be the first viable solution to the loss of bass and surround impression at lower volumes. Dynamic EQ can be combined with Audyssey's MultEQ technology to achieve clean and balanced sound at any volume level. This has been a product 30 years in the making, from when Audyssey founder Tomlinson Holman wrote his first research paper on the subject in 1978. The Audyssey Sound Equalizer has 8 analog inputs, an analog input reference level, and 8 channel of analog output. Sound equalizer can be configured for up to 8 channels in a single room or in multiple rooms. For instance, if the main listening room has a 5.1 system, then another room with a 2.0 system can be calibrated separately. Four 2.0 channel rooms can be set up or any configuration up to 8 channels.


Boston Audio DesignBoston Audio Design is celebrating the company's 5th year in business with a new TuneBlock Challenge promotion. Audiophile and videophiles can try a set of TuneBlock Series 2 Standard with Tungsten Carbide Upgrade ($159) and compare them with any other manufacturer's footer or similar resonance tweak at any price. If you don't agree that TuneBlocks offer better performance regardless of price, you will receive a 110% refund of the purchase price. Consumers have a 30 day trial period and the offer is limited to one set per household. Boston Audio Design has reserved 100 sets of TuneBlocks for this challenge. 


08 / 17 / 07

Boston Audio Society The B A S Speaker  Enjoy the Music.com, the leading information Web site for audiophile equipment, music and show coverage since 1995 and The Boston Audio Society, with members who range from the novice enthusiast to the technically sophisticated since 1972, have teamed up to offer think pieces and technical articles. This new arrangement brings audio enthusiasts the ability to read articles covering important issues within the world of consumer electronics. With the vast amount of technical knowledge from Boston Audio Society's members, readers of Enjoy the Music.com's Review Magazine can now benefit from well over three decades of shared knowledge and experience. Over the years many important, and some now legendary, members of the Boston Audio Society include Roy F. Allison, Richard Burwen, Alvin M. Foster, Henry Kloss, E. Brad Meyer, Peter Mitchell, David Ranada, Michael Riggs, Steven R. Rochlin and David Weinberg.


Furutech Co., Ltd And Elite Audio Video Distribution Furutech Co., Ltd., manufacturer of analog and digital audio and video cable and accessories, has announced that Elite Audio Video Distribution is now the exclusive distributor for Furutech Home Audio Products in the United States. "Our relationship with Elite Audio Video is an extremely positive step forward for Furutech and its partners", enthused Frank Yoo, VP of Furutech. "We have great confidence in Elite's professionalism and expertise in the US market. Our new association puts us all in a stronger growth position." Furutech manufacturers a wide variety of high performance 15A and 20A A/V cable and power connectors and parts, as well as distribution/filtering products like the e-TP4+4, e-TP609 and e-TP60 Power Distributors, and e-TP80 Power Filters, deMag Disc and Cable Demagnetizer, and the Destat. See our Furutech Evolution cable review by clicking here.


ATC Loudspeaker Technology SCM16A Compact Active MonitorATC Loudspeaker Technology has launched their SCM16A compact active monitor ($5100 per pair). This rugged compact active monitor is designed for stereo and multi-channel sound applications in small to medium sized rooms. Featuring newly developed driver technology and improved amplifiers, the SCM16A active loudspeaker is a robust monitor's cabinet is made from curved, cast-aluminum. The compact 16+ litre design is finished in high loss silver-grey but can be custom colored by special order to any shade required. A neodymium 25mm soft dome tweeter for highs and Constrained Layer Damping (CLD) technology has been utilized for the 150mm mid-bass driver (incorporating with a 45mm integral soft dome). This exclusive driver cone technology brings the advantages of high damping without unacceptable cone mass increase. With CLD, two lightweight cones sandwich a constrained damping layer. The structure is significantly more effective than free damping because, as the cone flexes, the damping material is forced into a shape that shears adjacent material sections. On-board amplification provides 200 watts to the mid/bass driver and 50 watts to tweeter, operating in Class A up to 2/3rds of output. External controls include bass level EQ and high frequency attenuation. Overall frequency response is from 70Hz to 17kHz with dimension being 17.6 x 10.6 x 12.2 (HxWxD in inches. See Enjoy the Music.com's ATC Loudspeaker Technology white paper covering Active Versus Passive Loudspeakers by clicking here. We also have a review of ATC's SCM7 passive monitor loudspeaker available by clicking here.


08 / 16 / 07

Escalante Design The Pinyon and The Juniper Monitor Loudspeakers  Escalante Design now offers a new generation of The Pinyon and The Juniper reference monitor loudspeakers ($9990 and $6990 respectively). Both models now utilize a newly developed 6.5-inch mid-woofer that enables their patented Direct-Coupling group-phase loading to offer even more to the end listener. This new generation of The Pinyon and The Juniper are 1dB more efficient and lower frequencies are now extend to 32Hz. "Before this woofer technology was available, the listener was forced to choose between small monitors with either air & detail or low-end warmth" says Escalante chief designer Tierry Budge. "With this new driver loaded in our patented Direct Coupling configuration, the listener gets a complete and enormously dynamic package with hard-hitting bass and the imaging, detail, and air endemic to a monitor this size -- without being forced to choose his/her brand of compromises." See our exclusive review of Escalante Design's Pinyon Monitor and Uinta subwoofer by clicking here.


Axonix Corporation MediaMax HD Entertainment ServerAxonix Corporation announces the release of their eagerly anticipated MediaMax HD Entertainment Server capable of storing HD DVD and Blu-ray media ($4,995 for MediaDeck 4 HD DVD and $5,995 for MediaDeck 4 Blu-ray). With support for both HD DVD and Blu-ray movies, users can now enjoy the full potential of 7.1-channel high resolution audio and 1080p high definition video. MediaMax HD is the first Media Server to play via Cover Art or Metadata both HD DVD and Blu-ray movies. Other Media Servers including those based on variations of Linux and Media Center Edition (MCE) OS's are either unable to play HD movies or they require users to manually browse a textual list of HD movie folders using an unintuitive PC type interface. MediaMax HD DVD allows instant playback of media stored on its MediaServer including HD and SD DVD movies, CD, MP3 and WAV music, photos and downloaded movies and music via the new Axonix NetPlay service. Any media can be played simultaneously in any room. MediaMax HD DVD offers a very broad interoperability with virtually any control system, including wireless handheld remote controllers to advanced home automation Touch Panel controllers from companies such as Crestron, AMX, Elan, Nevo, HomeLogic, Control4, Universal Remote, plus many others. MediaServers with up to 13TBs of RAID 6 are available.


T+A Elektroakustik SACD 1250 RT+A Elektroakustik has four new disc players within their R-series that include the SACD 1250 R, SADV 1250 R HD, DVD 1240 R, and DVD 1240 R HD. They are based on the converter technology of the preceding series, which provides superior sound quality, but now feature high-end loaders, mechanisms and decoders that are completely new developments. These innovations have brought a significant improvement in sound quality, mechanical quality as well as enhanced disc reading and playback characteristics. All four models feature the latest and most compact disc mechanism / loader design available on the world market. The upgrades include heavy duty motors from Mabuchi, sub-chassis with excellent damping, aluminum / ABS laminate disc drawer, metal encapsulation, and a disc mechanism suspended in a solid and specially coated anti-resonance housing. The SADV 1250 R is a six-channel (multi-channel) disc player that reproduces top-quality two-channel and multi-channel audio from CD, SACD and DVD-Video. The SACD 1250 R is a pure-bred two-channel player which we have developed for the purpose of obtaining the highest-quality stereo reproduction from CD and SACD.


Sirius Satellite Radio and SonosSirius Satellite Radio and Sonos announced the release of Sonos System Software v 2.3 that will bring satellite radio to their multi-room digital home system. The companies have collaborated to provide Sirius subscribers a new way to wirelessly stream Sirius all over the house and control it all from the palm of their hand. By simply connecting Sonos to a broadband Internet connection, Sirius subscribers can instantly access more than 80 Sirius channels, including commercial-free music channels. This provides subscribers with their first broadband-delivered, PC-free solution designed specifically for home use. With the Sonos Controller in hand, Sirius radio users simply pick a room, pick a channel and hit play for upwards of 32 rooms of control. "We are committed to helping our customers enjoy the entire universe of music and audio entertainment in the home. With Sirius, we are thrilled to deliver 'the best radio on the Internet' all over the house," said John MacFarlane, Chief Executive Officer of Sonos. "Unlike most other consumer electronics, our software updates keep making the Sonos Digital Music System better and better over time." Sirius Satellite Radio subscribers can upgrade to premium Internet Radio for $2.99 per month to receive premium audio quality streams via Sonos. For those who are not current subscribers, but who want it in their home with Sonos, a premium Internet Radio subscription can be purchased for $12.95 per month. Sirius via Sonos is only available in the United States.


08 / 15 / 07

Audiophile Equipment Review Magazine  Enjoy the Music.com's midmonth edition of our Review Magazine features a battery powered system and a new special feature section in concert with the Boston Audio Society! In the article Living Off The Grid By Choice, journalist Jeff Rabin takes a careful look at Apple's iPod, NAD's PP1 phonostage and the amazing Sonic Impact Super T amplifier. A new feature for Enjoy the Music.com is our joint venture with The Boston Audio Society, America's oldest and well-respected audio societies, as we publish various articles from their archives each month. We launch this new feature with a 1972 article titled "McIntosh and Marantz Test-Clinics, What Do They Tell Us?" This must-read article also covers such legendary manufacturers as Marantz, Heathkit, Scott, Dynaco, Lafayette, Eico, Fisher, and Bogen.


Opera / Consonance Droplet LP3.3 Vinyl Playback SystemOpera Audio/Consonance's new Ping integrated amplifier and CD player is mainly designed to introduce real hi-fi into 3-in-1 system. Their linear concept hi-fi CD player, AM/FM tuner and 100 watt Class A solid-state amplifier are combined with a specially made USB input interface. With very low clock jitter input and 16-bit TDA1543 DAC users can connect their computer with any hard discs via USB to the Ping for high quality music playback. Another new product from Opera/Consonance is the new Droplet LP3.3 vinyl playback system (pictured) is a smaller, more affordable version of the company's award winning Droplet LP5.0 turntable. The Droplet LP3.3 is equipped with the company's ST100 tonearm. A cartridge and built-in phono stage is also part of the package for ease of use with virtually any amplifier. See Enjoy the Music.com's review of Opera Audio's Droplet LP5.0 turntable by clicking here.


Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA)Final sentencing for the largest United States CD/DVD piracy lawsuit ends in two defendants receiving 37 months of prison, a 3-year term of supervised release, a $125,000 fine, and a $500 mandatory special assessment. Three defendants used expensive replication equipment and fake FBI anti-piracy labels as part of a massive copyright and trademark infringement scheme. FBI agents seized nearly 500,000 CDs and 6,135 stampers capable of producing more than 300 million pirated and counterfeit CDs and DVDs. United States District Court Judge Ronald M. Whyte sentenced co-defendants Ye Teng Wen, a.k.a. Michael Wen, 31, and Hao He, a.k.a. Kevin He, 32, both of Union City, California to prison time and fines. Following an extensive undercover investigation, on October 6, 2005, the FBI and the Rapid Enforcement Allied Computer Team (REACT) Task Force, in the undercover investigation called Operation Remaster, executed federal search warrants at thirteen locations in California and Texas, including the offices of Media Art Technology, Inc., in Hayward and Union City, California, and Magic Media Inc., BDG Publishing Inc., and a storage unit rented in Hayward, California. From the three replicators, agents seized approximately 494,000 pirated music, software, and movie CDs, and DVDs, and more than 6,135 stampers. Stampers and masters are used to manufacture CDs and DVDs. "These indictments reflect the historic nature of this particular piracy operation. This case was the largest ever manufacturing case in U.S. history, involving massive quantities of commercially duplicated counterfeits that closely resemble authentic CDs" said Brad Buckles, Executive Vice President, Anti-Piracy, Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). "The level of sophistication and scale involved was unprecedented. It is precisely this kind of illegal product that has the greatest potential for deceiving the consumer and displacing legitimate sales. The illegal profits generated by this highly sophisticated operation comes at the expense of the artists, songwriters, retailers, record labels and many others whose creative energies make music possible. We congratulate the U.S. Attorney's Office and all numerous agents and officers who have worked this case along."


08 / 14 / 07

HSS Fidelity HT230  HSS Fidelity, with over a decade of experience of building high-end audio gear in Italy, announced their HT230 'Class A' stereo tube amplifier for car audio! Audiophiles seeking higher sound quality within their automobile can now enjoy the HSS Fidelity HT230, which produces 30 watts per channel to the standard 4 Ohm impedance demanded by most car audio loudspeakers. Completely dual-mono construction, pure Class A output and no overall feedback only hint at the quality of this unit. Using an ECC82/12AU7 for driver stage, a pair of KT88 tubes are chosen for output and operated in parallel single-ended configuration. Special care was dedicated to the design of the oriented granules output transformer, which represents an important component that characterizes the amplifier sound. Frequency response is from 24Hz to 44kHz and input sensitivity is 0.4 V to 5 V (adjustable).


Edvard Grieg Choral MusicNorwegian recording label 2L Music will soon release the company's new SACD titled "Edvard Grieg Choral Music" conducted by Carl Høgset. Rich vocal performances to Grieg's musical treasures include those by Magnus Staveland as soloist. This hybrid SACD title include stereo CD layer and five channel SACD surround sound. 2L music says, "What really fascinates in this polychromatic world of songs and choral settings is the total lack of formal consistency between works within the same opus number – Grieg obviously didn't mind at all putting together songs of the most opposite aesthetic contents. One might even suspect he fancied this kind of formal pluralism, or that he in some cases just organized his songs in categories more based on score settings than on chronology and texture."


Open Interface North AmericaOpen Interface North America (OINA), one of the largest silicon-independent Bluetooth software companies in the world, has released their SOUNDabout Lossless codec. This enables high quality Bluetooth wireless audio by delivering streaming audio over a Bluetooth radio link. The company has tackled the demands of such an interface that includes low latency, symmetric low complexity, and state of the art compression ratios. SOUNDabout Lossless uses a proprietary, patent-pending lossless compression technique that retains all of the audio information. A decompressed audio stream is bit-for-bit identical to the original. An encoding latency of under 10 milliseconds in all encoding modes is claimed, going as low as 2 milliseconds for accurate synchronization of sound and picture. Low complexity codecs use less computing power, so long battery life is maintained. Compression ratios for SOUNDabout Lossless are comparable with lossless codecs such as ALAC (Apple Lossless Audio Codec) and FLAC (Free Lossless Audio Codec). "With SOUNDabout Lossless we are essentially redefining the standard for streaming audio over Bluetooth. In terms of audio quality there is nothing that can beat lossless compression." says Greg Burns, OINA's Chief Technology Officer. "Wireless stereo headphones, for example, can now have exactly the same performance as a wired headphone."


08 / 13 / 07

Polk Audio VM30 Floorstanding Loudspeaker  Polk Audio now offers their all-new VM Series product line with three models in the range, the VM30 one floor-standing, VM20 and VM10 on-wall/stand/shelf LCR satellite models ($1150, $530, and $350 each respectively). All models are offered in hand-polished Satin-gloss Black or Satin-gloss Silver finishes. All VM models feature Polk's proprietary Dynamic Balance drivers and tweeters. The bass/midrange drivers used throughout the VM range use polymer/mineral composite cones while the 1-inch tweeter is an anodized Aluminum dome with neodymium magnet and low-viscosity ferro-magnetic fluid. Polk Audio's top-of-the-range VM30 (pictured here) has a 90dB/W/m sensitivity, frequency response from 50Hz to 26kHz, stands 49-inch tall and is supported by a smoked tempered glass base. Internally, the VM30 is separated into two acoustic chambers; the upper chamber houses dual 4-inch midrange drivers flanking the 1-inch aluminum tweeter. The the lower chamber houses four active 4-inch bass drivers on he front panel and four critically tuned 4-inch planar bass radiators on the rear of the enclosure. The VM20 is a smaller unit for front loudspeakers duties (or as a center channel for home theater). Its extruded aluminum enclosure houses dual four-inch mid/bass drivers, two 4-inch planar bass radiators and the same 1-inch tweeter as used in the VM30. The VM20 comes with wall mounting hardware and a shelf cradle while an optional TS20 table stands ($130 per pair) with smoked tempered glass base are available. Lastly, Polk Audio's little VM10 is a satellite loudspeaker containing two 3-inch mid/bass drivers and a 1-inch aluminum dome tweeter. It comes with a shelf cradle/wall mount bracket as well as a table stand with smoked tempered glass base. Optional floor stand FS10 is available ($329.9 per pair).


RealNetworks RhapsodyRealNetworks today announced that its Rhapsody digital music service will soon begin offering for sale thousands of DRM-free albums and tracks from artists on Universal Music Group (UMG) as part of a six-month test. As the world's leading music companies, UMG has been playing hard ball with Apple by not singing a long-term agreement to have their music on Apple's iTunes music service. Meanwhile DRM-free music from UMG will be available for the same price as protected files, at 89 cents per song for 256 kbps MP3 files. Keep in mind that UMG is the world's leading music company with wholly owned record operations or licensees in 77 countries. Its businesses also include Universal Music Publishing Group, the industry's largest global music publishing operation. So this is the giant telling iTubes no thanks while allowing iTunes competitor Rhapsody it can enjoy DRM-free titles from various recording labels that could include Decca Music Group, Deutsche Gramophone, Interscope Geffen A&M Records, Geffen Records, Island Def Jam Music Group, Lost Highway Records, MCA Nashville, Mercury Nashville, Mercury Records, Philips, Polydor Records, Universal Music Latino, Universal Motown Records Group, Universal South Records and Verve Music Group, as well as a multitude of record labels owned or distributed by its record company subsidiaries around the world. Of course Real (Networks) is happy about the deal in hopes of giving iTunes some competition while generating revenue for their own online music service. "Real is committed to giving consumers more control over where and how they enjoy the music they buy online," said Rob Glaser, chairman and chief executive officer of RealNetworks and owner of the Rhapsody music service. "We think online music is moving to a DRM-free model for music purchases, and commend UMG for launching this initiative." Of course this is really nothing new and you can read more about this within an editorial by Steven R. Rochlin titled 'DRM Wars Concern You! A format war that hurts billions of music lovers!' by clicking here. 


08 / 10 / 07

Dynaudio Sapphire Floorstanding Loudspeaker  Dynaudio will mark the company's 30th anniversary by releasing their Sapphire floorstanding loudspeaker ($16,500 per pair). There will be four finish options for the semi-gloss lacquered wood sections of the cabinet, including Bordeaux (Rosewood stained Bird’s Eye Maple), Amber (Cherry stained Bird's Eye Maple), Mocha (An Espresso stained Bird's Eye Maple), and Ivory (a Natural stained Bird's Eye Maple). The back section of the cabinet will be finished in a semi-gloss black lacquer. Fit and finish will naturally be of the highest level. Production is limited to 1,000 numbered pair worldwide. Dynaudio's Sapphire driver complement includes a conventional tweet/mid/woof/woof array of 28 mm tweeter, a 15 cm mid/woofer and two 20 cm woofers. The cabinet has perfectly formed wood surfaces, cut like a jewel into a shape revealing distinct gem-like profiles when viewed from different angles. Danish master craftsmen made a totally unique loudspeaker celebrating 30 years of Dynaudio. Featuring one of the most elaborate and distinctive loudspeaker cabinet designs ever, hand-built in the Dynaudio tradition of excellence, the Sapphire is finished in a satin-gloss lacquer that brings out the finest detail in the cabinet's alluring wood grain. The Sapphire will begin shipping this fall. See Enjoy the Music.com's review of the Dynaudio Confidence C2 floorstanding loudspeaker by clicking here.


Russ Andrews PH-1 MM & PH-1 MC Phono StageRuss Andrews, a Hi-Fi and Home Cinema company founded in 1986 and based in the UK, now offers two new new phono stages. The PH-1 MM and PH-1 MC phono stage (£399 and £599 respectively) are based on the Terry Bateman designed Rega Fono product. Russ Andrews has extensively upgraded the internal components and made modifications to the circuit. Power is provided by a new version of the Russ Andrews PowerPak. Both products come in a black extruded aluminum case, fitted with an oak fascia and measure 180mm wide, 50mm high and 145mm deep. A two year guarantee is included with each model.


Onkyo DV-HD805 HD DVD PlayerOnkyo released their DV-HD805 ($899) HD DVD player that includes high-bit-rate and lossless audio streaming via HDMI 1.3a. As one of the first HD DVD players to take advantage of high-bit-rate audio streaming via HDMI, the DV-HD805 also handles high-definition 1080p video. The unit can employ Onkyo's A/V receivers to stream lossless surround sound formats, Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio, as well as two "lossy" formats, Dolby Digital Plus and DTS-HD. HD DVD specifications allow for the inclusion of web-enabled network connectivity to develop new and unique content such as additional materials and bonus features. In addition to downloading content, HD DVD users also have the ability to upload content and interact with providers. The DV-HD805 includes an Ethernet port to allow users access to these capabilities, as well as enable the user to easily download any future firmware updates.


08 / 09 / 07

OPPO Digital DV-980H Universal Disc Player  OPPO Digital announced their DV-980H ($169) as the latest universal DVD player and world's first to offer 7.1-channel audio output and 1080p video up-conversion in a universal DVD player. On the video side it has HD up-conversion to 720p/1080i/1080p while for audio there is CD, DVD-Audio/Video, DivX, SACD, Windows Media Audio 9 (WMA9) Dolby Digital and DTS. Digital decoding is upwards of 24-bit/192kHz and individual analog 7.1-channel surround outputs with compatible 5.1-channel and down-mixed stereo. Optical and coaxial digital audio outputs support DTS, Dolby Digital, Dolby Pro-Logic II and Linear PCM support while a built-in equalizer, channel trim, channel delay and lip-sync (audio delay) functions are included. The DV-980H is among very few players available today with an HDMI 1.2a output for flat-panel and high-definition TVs (1080p/1080i/720p/480p/480i). Note this is universal DVD, and does not play Blu-ray nor HD-DVD discs. See our reviews of the Oppo DV971H, DV970HD and DV981HD digital disc players by clicking here.


Vincent SV-234 Stereo Integrated AmplifierVincent SV-234 stereo integrated amplifier (1799€) internal construction has been redesigned and more optimized than previous designs. The interconnections have been kept as short as possible while the front panel sports a large volume control and Alps push-buttons. A 'Main-In' feature enables the amplifier to be integrated into a surround system. Frequency response is from 20Hz to 20kHz (±0.5dB) with power output rated at 200 wpc @ 8 Ohms. There are five stereo inputs via RCA and stereo XLR while outputs include preamplification and four loudspeaker per channel for bi-amplifications. This 44 lbs unit is available is either black or silver finish.


Thiel Audio CS3.7 LoudspeakerThiel Audio is finally starting to deliver their long-awaited CS3.7 loudspeakers ($9900 per pair) Enjoy the Music.com first announced way back in October 2006 during our Rocky Mountain Audio Fest coverage. Thiel's award winning CS3.7 floorstanding loudspeaker was named as an International Consumer Electronics Show Innovations Design and Engineering Awards Honoree for 2007. This 3-way, floor standing loudspeaker utilizes all newly developed drivers. A very high output 1-inch tweeter is coincidently mounted in the center of a 5-inch midrange that incorporates a new ribbed diaphragm geometry. The 10-inch woofer diaphragm geometry increases strength while lowering overall mass for wider bandwidth and higher efficiency. The output of the active woofer is augmented by an auxiliary bass radiator. Complete phase and time coherence output, high sensitivity (90dB/W/m), and low diffraction cabinet design are just a few of the design highlights. See our review of the Thiel PCS monitor loudspeakers by clicking here.


08 / 08 / 07

The $ensible Sound  We have just posted the August / September edition of The $ensible Sound! Come see the table of contents and read David A. Rich's editorial where he says, "The ETF 5 measurement system has been instrumental in many of my TSS reviews on speakers and electronic equalizers. A reasonable starting point to use this inexpensive software package is as your computer’s internal sound card and the microphone in a Radio Shack sound level meter. Better results, like the ones I present in TSS, are obtained with an external sound card and calibration microphone." See what is within the August/September 2007 edition, read the entire editorial, and subscribe to The $ensible Sound by clicking here.


Bowers & Wilkins Zeppelin iPod Loudspeaker SystemBowers & Wilkins, manufacturer of high-performance loudspeakers for home audio and home theater systems, has debuted their Zeppelin audiophile grade powered loudspeaker system for the Apple iPod ($599). Dubbed the 'Zeppelin' due to the visuals, this a one-piece amplified loudspeaker system and docking station is nearly two feet wide with a dramatic tapered shape and beautifully finished in polished stainless steel. The tapered ends house the midrange and tweeter drivers in much the same way as the famous "pods" of Bowers & Wilkins' 800 Series. Each pair of midrange and tweeter drivers is spaced as far as possible to left and right to maximize stereo separation. Low frequencies are handled by a single five-inch subwoofer located in the center, its bass performance enhanced by the twin rear-firing ports. Three channels of amplification (50 watts for woofer, 25 each for the upper range drivers) each incorporate proprietary DSP (digital signal processing) tailored to fine-tune response of the five drivers. The Zeppelin design incorporates famous Bowers & Wilkins design elements such as its renowned aluminum-dome tweeter and Nautilus tapered-tube tweeter-loading technologies. The passive crossover circuits feeding the midrange and tweeter drivers employ such audiophile grade components as film capacitors and air-core inductors for dynamic, low-distortion reproduction, while Zeppelin's glass-fiber midrange cones are distinguished by critically positioned slots filled with resonance-absorbing compounds, developed using sophisticated laser-interferometry and computer-modeling techniques. Zeppelin is world-ready, automatically accepting any AC power standard from 100V to 240V and its smart 30-pin docking port accepts latest-generation iPods without requiring an adapter or interchangeable bases. Zeppelin comes complete with a pebble-like, mini remote handset to provide even more convenient control of volume, source select and mute, working seamlessly with the iPod to command its play/pause and track-selection functions. When docked, the iPod also accesses a special Zeppelin "Speaker" menu, with five-position bass EQ to tune response for system placement or individual preference. Zeppelin's rear S-video and composite-video outputs deliver iPod video to a big screen, and a combination analog/digital mini-jack input offers Zeppelin playback of virtually any non-iPod audio source. Also included is a dedicated tilt-base, to place the Zeppelin at the acoustically ideal angle for seated or standup listening. See the Enjoy the Music.com review Bowers & Wilkins 800D by clicking here.


08 / 07 / 07

The Absolute Sound (TAS)  We have the world premier sneak peek of September's edition of The Absolute Sound (TAS)! Come see the table of contents and read Robert Harley's editorial 'What's Next After The Compact Disc?' where he says, "This issue's feature article commemorating the 25th anniversary of the CD's launch chronicles the format's conception and development, and describes the high end's contribution to improving CD sound quality. What the feature doesn't address, however, is the important issue of what's next in digital audio. The CD's fundamental technology was devised in the late I 970s — a lifetime ago in today's rapidly changing world. Think back to the state of computer, data-storage, digital-processing, and digital-audio technologies nearly 30 years ago, and suddenly the CD begins to look primitive." See what is within the September 2007 edition and subscribe to The Absolute Sound by clicking here.


Harmonix Combak Corporation RFA-7800 and RFA-80iHarmonix Combak Corporation offers two room tuning devices, RFA-7800 and RFA-80i ($1950 and $790 respectively), that claim to eliminate boomy bass, separates/delineates the acoustic space of each recorded instrument and singer in space, and thus recreating the unique quality of the original performance. The RFA-7800 comes in a set of 18 white 25mm (diameter) by 4mm (thick) discs while the RFA-80i mini disk set of 18 are available in white, brown or gray in color and measure 10mm (diameter) by 2mm (thick). Harmonix Combak Corporation's RFA-7800 are to be attached to walls, floors and ceilings of your listening room. The company says, "The effect is almost like entering the concert hall where the recording was made! When used in conjunction with other Harmonix accessories, the listening experience can be elevated to unprecedented new levels of clarity and power." Various position suggestions are included within the box and for room already treated with absorbent material, Harmonix suggests placing their device over them to assist in recovery of original effects. Larger listening rooms may need more than one set for full results. See the Enjoy the Music.com review of Combak's Reimyo CDP-777 CD player/transport by clicking here.


TACETTACET has two now audiophile-quality recordings now available. The Welte-Mignon Mystery Vol. VII [TACET T146] by Arthur Schnabel includes his 1905 interpretations of selected works by Josef Strauß, Schubert, Lanner, Brahms, Chopin, Weber and J. S. Bach. The new Welte release of the month is dedicated to Arthur Schnabel. It would seem that, at least in his younger years, Arthur Schnabel particularly loved to play Viennese waltzes, and did so exceedingly well. The other new release is Johannes Brahms Piano Trios IV [TACET T151] featuring Violoncello in A Minor op. 114 Second Arrangement (1891), Trio for Piano, Violin and Violoncello in A op. posth., and Abegg Trio with Martin Spangenberg on clarinet. This release marks The Abegg Trio's fourth CD with works by Johannes Brahms. And once more, as with Volume III, Gerrit Zitterbart, Ulrich Beetz and Birgit Erichson played historical instruments, and gut strings were used. Martin Spangenberg plays a copy of a clarinet by Richard Mühlfeld, who inspired Brahms' later clarinet works. The recording was made in a small church near Vienna.


08 / 06 / 07

AV International, Ltd (AVI) AVI ADM9 Multimedia Loudspeaker  Overture Imports and and AV International, Ltd (AVI) now offer their new AVI ADM9 high performance multimedia loudspeakers (starting at $2499 per pair). This complete solution in today's world of computer-centered entertainment handles digital or analog signal from a computer, digital media server, MP3 player, HDTV, CD player, turntable or any other audio source. These active bi-amplified loudspeakers include high resolution digital to analogue converters (DAC) that support either USB or Toslink Optical digital input signals and low noise dual input preamplifier. This preamplifier allows you to select between the ADM9's digital and analogue inputs, adjust the volume and mute the system from the included infrared remote control. Phase correct fourth order Linkwitz-Riley active crossover networks supply the correct frequencies to the 1-inch tweeter and 6-inch woofer. The solid cabinet is available in a wide variety of finishes to complement any decor.


Audio Engineering Society (AES) 78 rpm Test Record SetThe Audio Engineering Society (AES), the only professional society devoted exclusively to audio technology whose membership include leading engineers, scientists and other authorities, now offers a calibration playback disc for coarse-groove 78 rpm records. The result is a boxed set of two identical 12-inch vinyl discs, catalogue number AES-S001-064 ($99 for members, $135 for non-members). The two discs set allow one to be used as a day-to-day working tool while the other may be stored as a master reference. This calibration disc set is important, according to the AES, "because it will confirm playback calibration according to International Standard IEC 98 Edition 1 (1958) and Edition 2 (1964) for coarse-groove records." According to the AES, "Many different recording characteristics were used historically on earlier 78 rpm discs. Also, many earlier coarse-groove discs were cut at nominal speeds different from 78 rpm. Unless the reproducer can be calibrated at a known speed, there can be no objective basis to decide what playback equalization characteristic will be appropriate or correct." The disc include a gliding tone from 20Hz to 20kHz, time constants 3180/450/0 ms, separate outer & inner bands 1kHz trigger tone and much more. See our AES 2003 show report by clicking here.


08 / 03 / 07

Naim Audio Supernait Integrated Amplifier  Naim Audio's new Supernait integrated amplifier with built-in DAC ($4,950) utilizes the company's analog design expertise as exhibited in the NAC282 preamplifier and NAP200 power amplifier, along with jitter-reducing digital reclocking circuitry as originally used in Naim's DVD5 player. Featuring five digital inputs (two coaxial, two optical, and one 1/8-inch mini-optical), these feed a Crystal CS8416 SPDIF receiver with selective VCXO re-clocking at 44.1, 48, 88.2, 96, and 192 kHz rate. A Burr-Brown 24-bit/192kHz multi-bit DAC is employed for conversion. The digital section powers down when not in use, to provide maximum fidelity for analogue sources. Six analogue inputs are provided on both Naim's preferred DIN and industry-standard RCA phono connectors, with a powered socket available for use with Naim's Stageline phono stages. The Supernait also provides independent source and record selection, with a buffered tape output suitable for second-zone use, in addition to an on-board headphone amplifier. Seven separate windings from a custom-designed 400VA toroidal transformer provide eleven discrete linear supplies for digital circuits, relay switching and individual channels of the power amplifier. The musical performance of the preamplifier section can be upgraded using a FLATCAP2x, HICAP2 or SUPERCAP2 supply, which provides power for the preamplifier input buffer and gain stages. The Supernait also provides bi-amplification output DIN-4 socket for use with an external power amplifier plus buffered subwoofer output on stereo RCA phono sockets. Enjoy the Music.com has reviewed many Naim products including the CDSII CD player (reviewed here), Nait 5 integrated amplifier (reviewed here), and Stageline phono stage with Flat-Cap 2 power supply (reviewed here).


Audioengine 2 Monitor LoudspeakerAudioengine USA, following on the success of their award-winning model 5 self-powered loudspeakers (reviewed here), has launched their new Audioengine 2 monitors ($199). These smaller desktop units have two audio inputs (RCA and 1/8-inch stereo), built-in 30 watt per channel peak amplification, 20mm silk dome tweeters for smooth highs and 2.75-inch Kevlar woofers for clean midrange and bass. Frequency response is from 65Hz to 22kHz (±2dB). The rear panel has high quality loudspeaker connectors plus volume control. An auto-sleep power saving mode provides long-life and helps round out some of the features within these hand-built cabinets with multi-coat high-gloss black or white finish. The Audioengine 2 monitor loudspeakers are video/magnetically shielded for ease of placement near video/TV monitors. Cables are included to audio input Apple's iPod and virtually all other portable audio devices plus the necessary loudspeaker cable.


GreeeeNFor those who doubt the selling power of music delivered to wireless mobile devices, today it was announced that the third single by an anonymous quartet of Japanese medical students from a university in Sendai city has become the first full-track mobile download to sell one million copies. Full track mobile download costs ¥300 per track in Japan excluding 5 percent consumption tax. The song "Aiuta" (Love Song) by GreeeeN, newly signed to Universal Music Japan, was released May 16 as a full-track download for mobile devices. Since then it has sold over a million copies, plus additional sales as a ringtone, ring video and ringback tone. Sales to date across all digital configurations exceeds 3 million to the delight of the music label. GreeeN is said to be this year's most successful new act in Japan. "Aiuta" has also earned physical form sales of more than 250,000 singles to date. GreeeeN's first album, A Domo Hajimemashite (Hi, How Do You Do?), has sold 550,000 copies since its release on June 27. Kazuhiko Koike, President and COO of Universal Music Japan, said "We were convinced that Aiuta would have universal appeal the moment we first heard it. We are very gratified that the song has become so popular through a very personal communication tool like the mobile phone."


8 / 02 / 07

Trends Audio  Trends Audio, a company made popular with their TA-10.1 Class-T amplifier (reviewed here), has announced the availability of the UD-10.1 USB audio converter. Surpassing the previous version, the UD-10.1 has upgraded the board to version 1.1 with new USB B type socket and provides a high-end type A to type B cable. New version applied audiophile grade materials and electronic components, including the high-quality Japanese/Korean precise SMD resistors and capacitors. Besides reducing the space, it also reduces the resident inductance (relative to DIP components). The power filtering and decoupling is using Sanyo OS-CON solid-state electrolyte capacitors. The analog signal decoupling and coupling are using ELNA Silmic electrolyte capacitors and WIMA MKP10 film capacitors. Trends UD-10.1 can link a PC/Mac with coaxial, optical and standard AES/EBU (110 Ohm via XLR) and S/PDIF (75 Ohm via RCA or BNC). This permits a PC/Mac to essentially impersonate a high-end digital-playback device, such as a high-end music DVD or CD player. The PC/Mac can also pass digitally encoded signals into a receiver or signal pre-processor/pre-amplifier for high-end audiophile applications. 


CEDIA Spring Expo 2008Custom Electronic Design & Installation Association (CEDIA) will reach significant milestones next year as industry revenues will top $10 billion. Therefore CEDIA will produce a second EXPO trade show in the spring of 2008. CEDIA EXPO is the largest trade show serving the residential electronic systems industry, and the event is ranked as the 70th largest trade show in North America by Tradeshow Week magazine. "Feedback from CEDIA members indicates that there is strong support for a second show that draws from a more regional electronic systems contractor base," said Ken Smith, president of CEDIA. "Our business changes and grows so quickly that focusing the industry's attention on key issues, such as new technologies and products, design trends, and education and certification more than once a year is not only a good idea, it's essential for the professional development of our members." Of note is that CEDIA's website seems to not show any other information, yet through our sources we found the planned time and date is April 8th through 11th in Las Vegas.


08 / 01 / 07

Audiophile Equipment Review Magazine  Enjoy the Music.com's August edition of our Review Magazine features well over 16 new articles including the Max Rochlin Memorial Cable, Lyngdorf's TDAI 2200 integrated amplifier + room correction, BostonAudio Design TunePlates & TuneBlock SE, the BursonAudio PI-100 plus Audio Buffer, Micropure's Kotaro (CZ302ES-XP) minimonitor, and Outlaw Audio's RR2150 receiver. Manufacturers chime in as Ralph Karsten Of Atma-Sphere Music Systems writes the Background Of Relatedness and Jim Goulding of DiffractionBeGone.com pens Notes From My Listening Chair.


Superior Audio showcases the extremely impressive Crystal Cable line and the new Audiomat Prelude Reference 20 integrated amplifier faces tough competition from flashbacks that include KR Audio's VA340 integrated amplifier and the stunning Silbatone Ji-300MKII integrated amplifier.


International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI)The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI), an organization that represents the recording industry worldwide with a membership comprising some 1400 record companies in 75 countries, have responded to UK government's decision on term extension. John Kennedy, Chairman and Chief Executive of IFPI, responds to the decision not to press the European Commission to extend the term of copyright protection and said, "The UK is a world-beating source of great music, so it is frustrating that on the issue of copyright term the Government has shown scant respect for British artists and the UK recording industry. Some of the greatest works of British music will soon be taken away from the artists who performed them and the companies that invested in them. Extending copyright term would promote vital investment in young talent and new music, all of which will help to secure the UK's future as an exciting music market." The Government has refused to accept the Culture, Media & Sport (CMS) select committee's recommendation on extending copyright for sound recordings, so the IFPI feels the UK government has failed in supporting British musicians, performers and music consumers. In May the CMS Select Committee recommended that the Government press the case with the European Commission for extending sound recording copyright term from 50 to 70 years. John F. Smith, General Secretary of the Musicians' Union said, "We are disappointed that the Government has not accepted the advice of the Select Committee, but will continue to press for an extension to the period of protection for performers' rights both domestically and in Europe." 


Summer Against Hunger FundraiserFor the 12th year, during The Cable Company's month-long Summer Against Hunger fundraiser, they set aside 5 percent of all customer purchases for donation to CARE. This amount is matched by their participating vendors and reaches upwards of 60 percent. Each year CARE helps The Cable Company to line up an additional matching grant of at least 5:1 (and as much as 10:1 in the past) from a large donor for our total contributions. What this means is that when The Cable Company contributes 5 percent of a sale (all sales) in August, and this is matched by one of our participating vendors, this 10 percent total donation also receives another five times this amount in matching funds. So as much as 60 percent (minimum 30 percent for products where the manufacturer is not participating in the matching funds program) of the amount the audiophile is spending on their audio passion in August can also end up helping some of the world's neediest people. CARE's poverty-fighting work reached 455 million people in 66 countries last year.

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