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High-End Audio Industry News

10 / 31 / 05

Original CD-2008 CD Player  AAA-Audio.com has been watching the American marketplace and feels that China's best products needed to be represented. As such, the company's lineup presently includes Dussun, a brand headed by the former chief designer for Korsun famous for his OEM work for a high-profile American brand. Another brand is called Original that specializes in digital front-end components and also manufacturers a headphone amplifier. The Original CD-2008 is claimed to be "the best-selling high-performance CD player in China." Rounding out AAA Audio's product line includes XLH horn loudspeaker and an ambitious pre/power combo. XLH is said to be China's top and most expensive high-end brand. The three electronics manufacturers have agreed to not engage in any OEM or rebadging work for other brands. This insures that their products are original and exclusive.


10 / 28 / 05

  Enjoy the Music.com's Equipment Contest prizes have been growing as we now announce a new total being well over $75,000 in audiophile gear! We wish to thank the following companies for their participation: Aperion Audio, Art Audio, Audience, Audio Note UK, AV123, Axiom Audio, Cardas, Crystal Cable, DEQX Calibrated, Edge Electronics, GINI Systems, Green Mountain Audio, Hagerman Technology, HeadRoom, Jadis, JPS Labs, KEF, Kimber Kable, Landes Audio, LAT International, Lehmann Audio, Locus Design Group, the Lotus Group, McCormack Audio Corporation, ModWright Instruments, My Audio Cables (MAC), NAT Distribution, Penaudio, Pierre Gabriel Acoustics Incorporated, Redgum Audio, Reference Recordings, Single Power, Sota, Stereovox, Teresonic, Von Schweikert Audio, and Welborne Labs. Click here to learn more and claim your chance to win your fair share of the prizes.



The Sound Of The Valve will be holding their Milan Hi-End 2006 show February 12 and 13 at the prestigious 4 star Jolly Hotel Milanofiori (Assago-Milan). The show is strictly for two channel (stereo) and organizers are proud to announce this 7th edition of their strictly stereo equipment show with no home theater rooms allowed. As an established tradition, the organizers have paid attention to the quality of the sound into the rooms, using acoustic corrections so to get the best results.


10 / 27 / 05

Classical Music Archives  The Classical Music Archives offers the largest collection of classical music files on the Internet and is the premiere source for online classical music. The site offers over 34,000 files in MP3, WMA, and MIDI formats, from 1,900 composers and has continuously added to the catalog of licensed performances since 1994. As a subscription-based service with an annual subscription fee of $25, members can enjoy up to 1,000 media files per month, but limited to 100 per day. These files include HiFi MP3 files, Zipped MIDI-Collections, and One-Click Concerts. The Classical Archives supports the rights of composers and performers, and features recordings of works that are in the public domain where the artist has consented to the recording being included on its website.


10 / 26 / 05

Tonian Laboratories TL-D1 and TL-D2 Loudspeakers  Tonian Laboratories new TL-D1 and TL-D2 loudspeakers allow music lovers to share the joy of kit building, while also being available as a finished products. The TL-D1 ($1,300 kit or $1,500 assembled pictured right) uses an 8-inch Fostex full-range driver mated with a ribbon tweeter. With a wide frequency response from 42Hz to 40kHz, Tonian Laboratories' TL-D1 is easy to drive with an 8 ohm load and 95dB/W/m sensitivity. The TL-D2 ($1,100 kit or $1,300 assembled) uses a 6-inch Fostex full-range driver and ribbon tweeter with a frequency response from 52Hz to 40kHz and a sensitivity of 94dB/W/m. The cabinet is made of Baltic birch and is ready to be finished by the customer.


10 / 25 / 05

Aster Ultima 4 Loudspeaker  Aster s.r.o, a Slovak company that represents Acon Professional, has introduced the Ultima 4 loudspeaker ($60,000). This three-way active loudspeaker system combines tube and solid-state power amplification built in, with the tubes proudly on display on the lower section of the cabinet. Aster says JJ Electronics has constructed a specialized output tube specifically for this unit. The two channel 24 watt tube amplifier drives the tweeter and also midrange unit while both bass drivers each have 300 watts of solid-state power. All drivers are supplied by JMlabs. The cabinetry uses 30mm thick MDF and natural veneer in high gloss.


10 / 24 / 05

Axiom Audio Architectural series on-wall/in-wall hybrid loudspeakers model W2, W3, and W22  Axiom Audio's new "W" Architectural series on-wall/in-wall hybrid loudspeakers model W2 ($440/pr), W3 ($490/pr), and W22 ($650/pr) allows for multiple mounting options. The advantage of this new line is that installers do not need to rely on the unpredictability of the cavity behind the wall for loudspeaker loading as is experienced with open back designs. All models has their own specially tuned enclosures that recess into the wall, or a separate metal frame with self-compressing screws locks the unit firmly to the wall. The W2 includes a 1-inch tweeter and 5.25-inch midrange/woofer while the W3 opts for a 6.5-inch midrange/woofer. For those looking for more, the W22 has a single 1-inch tweeter and a pair of 5.25-inch drivers.


10 / 21 / 05

Cirlinca DVD-Audio Solo  Audiophiles looking to make their own DVD-Audio discs without undo complications may want to try Cirlinca's new DVD-Audio Solo program ($34.95). The program allows users to easily import audio tracks from files, CDs, or record from audio sources. Importing of .wav and .aif audio files up to 24-bit/192kHz/6 channels and video stills are simply a few clicks of a mouse. An intuitive graphical user interface allows for drag and drop for both music and images. Cirlinca's DVD-Audio Solo includes built-in recording up to 24-bit/192kHz and CD ripping with professional quality upsampling. The software can write to DVD-R/W and DVD+R/W discs. The user interface has various skins, visual motifs, for the user to choose from.


10 / 20 / 05

Enjoy the Music.com RSS  Enjoy the Music.com now offers an RSS feed to instantly keep music lovers informed with news, information, and reviews! An RSS feed allows easy syndication of top news events and information to Web sites all around the globe without any cost to information providers plus audiophiles with RSS readers can easily keep informed of news as it happens. Steven R. Rochlin, editor of Enjoy the Music.com said "Our new RSS feed will be updated many times each week to ensure the latest headlines are available to information providers. New technology has always been embraced by Enjoy the Music.com as years ago we were the only Web site to provide a Channel that was fully supported by Microsoft for desktop delivery of data. Today we offer the audiophile industry's only customized Web site browser for home computer users so they can find information concerning audio equipment and music. We also have a WAP site, used by millions of portable devices, that is updated on a regular basis. It brings me joy in announcing Enjoy the Music.com's RSS feed to further our reach to millions of people worldwide. As an added benefit for the RSS users, today we offer a sneak peek at an upcoming review via our RSS feed 10 days earlier than will be released to the public within our Review Magazine on November 1."


10 / 19 / 05

Danley Sound Labs DTS-20 Subwoofer System  The newly formed company, Danley Sound Labs, has announced their DTS-20 subwoofer system ($2,998). This high-output, low-frequency response subwoofer system is dubbed by the manufacturer as the "Tower of Power." A large enclosure measuring 18 x 18 x 84 (WxDxH in inches) houses a single long excursion 12-inch driver in a patent applied enclosure. TEF measured frequency response is from 18Hz to 150Hz (-3dB) and produces a maximum output of 122dB with a power handling of 500 Watt continuous. This is 122dB output all the way down to 20Hz, very impressive indeed!


10 / 18 / 05

Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA)  According to PricewaterhouseCoopers, physical formats of music in the first half of 2005 have declined by 5.8% within the United States. This figure includes shipments from record companies to retail outlets, and all music shipments from record companies (including retail shipments and direct-to-consumer sales and special markets). Of course this declines does not take into account the tremendous growth in the online music sales sector. The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) has long held onto the fact of pirated music sales, but is now having to admit that online sales are indeed very strong as the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI), a world organization that tracks music sales from all around the world, recently reported digital sales have tripled to an outstanding 6 percent of industry retail revenues as global music market falls 1.9 percent. So declining global sales of physical formats fell 1.9 percent to a retail value of $13.2 billion in the first half of 2005 yet the estimated retail value of digital music amounted to approximately $790 million, up from $220 million in the first half of 2004 according to the IFPI.

International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI)According to the IFPI press release, "The surge in digital music sales is being driven by the growing uptake of broadband, increasing penetration of 3G mobile phones and portable music players, and a series of successful launches of new music services in different countries over the past year. The digital music market has now overtaken the value of the global singles market." IFPI Chairman and CEO John Kennedy said, "The digital music boom is continuing and it is growing at an exciting pace for the music industry, for online retailers and for consumers. More and more people in a growing number of countries are turning to the new legal ways of downloading music on the internet or via mobile phones."

The drop in physical format sales all around the globe could be attributed to lower retail prices, which most affected CD revenues. A few markets did post growth in CD sales value, namely France, Russia, India and Mexico. In the UK physical sales fell by 4 percent in value (1.7 percent in units) in the first half of 2005 yet digital sales' outstanding growth showed that single track downloads alone in the UK increasing tenfold to 10 million units. Germany also saw physical media drop yet enjoyed single track downloads growing to 8.5 million in the first half of 2005 compared to only 1 million a year ago. Within the United States, legal digital sales of singles grew 154 percent in the first six months of 2005 as compared to the same period in 2004. In the first half of 2005, 148.7 million digital singles were downloaded as compared to 58.6 million in the first half of 2004. Full length online album sales in the United States reached 5.1 million legal downloads in the first half of 2005 as compared to 1.5 million during the same period of 2004 according to PricewaterhouseCoopers.

To see the full RIAA sales figures click here.


Recorded Music Interim Physical Retail Sales 2005 According To The IFPI*
Figures in millions

Singles CD DVD Total Units $US Local Currency Units Value
1 USA 3.3 300.5 11.6 326.8 4783.2 4783.2 -5.70% -5.30%
2 Japan 28.5 93.7 8.5 113.5 2258.2 239759 -6.90% -9.20%
3 UK 13.3 66.8 2.9 74.8 1248.5 666.7 -1.70% -4.00%
4 Germany 8.5 58.7 4.4 71 887.7 689.7 -7.70% -5.80%
5 France 11.5 47.3 4.5 56.9 861.1 669.1 7.50% -2.70%
6 Italy 0.5 14.7 0.7 17 278 216 -8.40% -12.30%
7 Canada 0.1 20.8 1.5 22.3 262.9 325 0.70% -4.60%
8 Australia 3.6 14.5 1.5 17.2 259.6 335.9 -22.90% -11.80%
9 Spain 1 17.5 1.1 19.1 231.6 180 -13.40% -15.70%
10 Netherlands 1.2 8.7 1.9 11.1 190.3 147.9 -31.30% -19.80%
11 Russia - 25.5 0.1 42.7 187.9 5234.7 -9.40% 21.20%
12 Mexico 0.1 33.4 0.8 34.6 187.9 2082.3 44.00% 21.50%
13 Brazil 0.01 17.6 2.4 24 151.7 390.3 -20.40% -16.50%
14 Austria 0.6 4.5 0.2 5 120.5 93.6 -1.50% -9.60%
15 Switzerland ** 0.8 7.1 0.2 7.8 115.8 139.2 n/a n/a
16 Belgium 1.4 6.7 0.5 7.7 115.4 89.7 -13.80% -8.90%
17 Norway 0.3 4.5 0.1 4.8 103.4 655.6 -19.70% -10.40%
18 Sweden 0.6 6.6 0.2 7.2 98.5 701.1 -29.00% -20.30%
19 India - 10.9 - 55.3 79.2 3456.6 -19.20% -2.40%
20 Denmark 0.1 4 0.1 4.2 73.1 423.5 3.70% -4.20%
Top 20 74.5 757.1 42.8 915.2 12378.7 -6.60% -6.30%


* Although the above includes a global figure for digital music sales, digital sales are not yet included in the individual market data shown in the table.
** Switzerland € no 2004 interim figures available. Switzerland is excluded from the physical market growth given there is no comparative figure for 2004.

Total units include other formats not listed in the table and are counted as the album equivalent (3 singles = 1 album).


10 / 17 / 05

Ancient Audio Holography Monitor Loudspeaker  Ancient Audio 's new Holography €6,000 is a small monitor to insure a close to point source design yet one that also produces dynamic lower frequency support. A Raven R-1 tweeter for their highs has an ultra-thin aluminum ribbon to insure a light, fast response. For midrange and bass Ancient Audio chose the Eton 7-inch Hexacone that features two layers of Kevlar connected by honeycomb Nomex structure. Nomex is a very light and stiff composite also used in aerospace projects and professional automobile driving suits for its flame resistance. The internal structures of the MDF wrapped cabinet, available in 30 wood finishes, is reinforced by marble and ceramic plates fixed to the inside for exceptional rigidity. Other bits include pure silver ribbon wiring, foil polypropylene capacitors, copper foil air coils, a frequency response from 42Hz to 40kHz with an 88dB/W/m sensitivity.


10 / 14 / 05

Carolina Audio JLM/2 Loudspeaker  Carolina Audio has a new entry level model, the JLM/2 ($995 per pair). The Jordan Lean Monitor (JLM) /2 is a small floorstanding 1/4 wave transmission line loudspeaker, vented at the base, and features a single Jordan JX92s full range driver. Because of the single driver there is no crossover necessary and each pair of completed loudspeakers are done individually and take a week to complete. Available finishes include satin black or satin white Apollocoat, a waterborne paint very similar to lacquer in appearance and resistance to water and most chemicals. Dimensions are 36 x 6.5 x 6 (HxWxD in inches) and weights 22 lbs. each.


10 / 13 / 05

Proud Supporters Of The Enjoy the Music.com Equipment Contest  Enjoy the Music.com's  Equipment Contest, announced only six days ago within our Industry News page, has nearly doubled the prize value! On October 7th we announced the $40,000 giveaway, yet in only 6 days we bring joy in reaching well over $70,000 in prizes... and new awards adding to the value are coming in! Steven R. Rochlin, editor of Enjoy the Music.com™, said, "We appreciate everyone's support in the high-end audio community. Our Equipment Contest will reach longtime audiophiles and also those who may not be familiar with the many superior products available in today's marketplace. With so much mass-market advertising concerning average products, this contest will allow the high-end community a venue to reach their nation's attention. While we must admit the current $70,000 in prizes is eye catching, the main point is to grab the interest of music lovers from all around the world so they can learn about the many high-end products offered from so many outstanding companies. The Internet is truly a World Wide Web and, as such, we have the ability to reach consumers from around the globe." Active Mailing List members are already eligible to win and newcomers can click here to learn more and claim your chance to win your fair share of the prizes.


10 / 12 / 05

Welborne Labs Ultrapath BP  Welborne Labs Ultrapath BP vacuum tube linestage ($1,200 kit or $1,700 fully assembled) provides switching between five inputs all via remote control. Sporting a new look over the previous version, the Ultrapath BP s now has solid hardwood panels, a remote controlled stepped attenuator for volume control, plus a new smart charging system for prolonged battery life. A mix of point-to-point wiring and circuit board can be found inside and tubes are low voltage 6GM8 car audio devices. The unit is completely controlled via wireless remote including input and volume adjustment.


10 / 11 / 05

GTE-Audio Trinity Mono DAC  GTE-Audio has developed their Trinity Mono DAC that includes an integrated user interface and LIANOTEC circuit. According to GTE-Audio, "compared with conventional digital filtering, the ideal impulse response of the LIANOTEC circuit design has no ringing. This is a global innovation and the heart of an ingenious new technology in the field of digital to analog converters." The Trinity Mono DAC has zero channel crosstalk and noise is at the limit of measurement instruments. They do not use a DSP for the linear analog oversampling technique. For CD GTE-Audio uses different digital filters from TI and NPC and for DVD-Ausio the unit feeds the data stream direct to the 16 DA converters/channel without any digital signal processing. Volume control is in the analog domain with a rotary switch and a 110 Ohm transmission line impedance.


10 / 10 / 05

  During the recent Rocky Mountain Audio Fest  Enjoy the Music.com became aware of a call towards forming the American Association for the Advancement of the Audio Arts (A5). The idea is excellent and naturally we came aboard and will do all we can to assist in furthering the A5's goal. Below is their letter and hope other magazines, manufacturers, and distributors come aboard. We have been told that Lew Johnson of conrad-johnson will act as a liaison between the A5 and the CES.

A call to action for the High End Community

So ... are the doomsayers right?

Is high-end audio headed for extinction? Is it true that people no longer respond to high-quality music reproduction?

Not at all.

But it's up to us to prove the doomsayers wrong. And we can. This is an invitation to join "The A5" -- The American Association for the Advancement of the Audio Arts. We're setting up as an LLC run by a board of directors.

On our own, as individual companies, we can do little to improve public awareness of high-end audio. Working together -- manufacturers, distributors, reps, retailers, reviewers -- we can turn on the public to one of life's great pleasures (and our passion): great music combined with stunning sound.

Things are not so bleak.

-- People are still buying music and listening. Look at the iPod phenomenon and the growth of satellite radio. These listeners are excited about music in their lives. It's up to us to turn more of them on to high-quality music reproduction. It's less of a hard sell than it looks. People are already sold on music! To put it another way, Apple Computer, XM, Sirius and the like are creating potential customers ... for us!

-- Despite a lack of growth in high-end sales, our industry is more innovative than ever before. Take any product category, any price point in specialty audio: the performance of products today is at an all-time high. The Golden Age of Hi-Fi… This is it!

What will the A5 do besides collect your dues?

Well, one thing we won't do is hold an annual awards dinner. The A5 is not about self-congratulatory hype. What we propose to do is real. We aim to act and here are some of the ways:

-- Set up a website that directs visitors to the messages, products, and services of our members.

-- Set up a user group for our members so we can communicate more freely and share ideas.

-- Create the conditions for freer communication among all of us ... and this includes the end user.

Forget unproductive controversies, like the objectivist versus the subjectivist camps. There's room for both. And the truth is, one does not have to exclude the other.

-- Make the buying public aware of the benefits of value-added service. We can prevent high-end from turning into a commodity. Look at the job that luxury car makers do or Swiss watchmakers!

-- Focus our message and get it to the public through whatever means we can muster and ways we can think of.

Ads for our industry in upscale magazines like Forbes, Wine Spectator and Architectural Digest, just to name a few. We will advertise in new venues outside of our industry.

Run a weekly program on high-end audio for cable television, PBS or a program for public radio.

Demonstrations at concert halls, museums, music schools.

Regional shows or events at music educator societies, Mercedes & BMW clubs, jazz or folk festivals.

Events at fine restaurants. Have a good meal, meet some interesting people. Hear some great sound. (There are people who never go to shows, who don't like crowds. Let's reach them!)

Create a public relations campaign for our industry as a whole -- including articles that we could send to newspapers looking for free content. If we are not blatantly trying to promote certain brands (not the goal) this will work!

Training programs for sales people. How to do a good two-channel demo. How to demo both home theater and great music, creating more excitement for both!

The initial response to A5 has been gratifying, and we are just getting started. We need YOU in at the start. There's strength in numbers. Power, too.

There's something else in numbers: confidence.

The A5 will give members the confidence that we are (finally) taking matters into our own hands and doing something about the vitality and future of our industry.

We need your support and ideas. If not you, who? If not now, when?

Please email your thoughts to: Ted@highendaudio.com


10 / 07 / 05

  Over the years Enjoy the Music.com has awarded many prizes to our strictly opt-in Mailing List Members. Such prizes include an autographed photo of legendary vocalist Tom Jones, B.B. King memorabilia/signed photo giveaway, Grammy Award items, rare Western Electric WE300B bags, over $1,400 in WattGate 380 electrical receptacles, an Incognito tonearm cable kit, and over 100 music discs in total from such labels as Acoustic Sounds, Chesky Records, and Mobile Fidelity Sound Labs. It brings us great joy to announce we have procured well over $40,000 in equipment to parcel out to many Enjoy the Music.com Mailing List members! This amount far exceeds every audiophile contest we have ever seen! Active Mailing List members are already eligible to win. Click here to learn more and claim your chance to win your fair share of the prizes.


10 / 06 / 05

Black Gate Capacitor  It appears the proverbial fat lady has sung as Black Gate, regarded by many as the world's best capacitor, may no longer be available. Enjoy the Music.com has been keeping a very close eye on this event over the past year and reporting on the Black Gate availability. We have just been informed that H. Komeiji of Black Gate sent an e-mail to a manufacturer stating "We do not know the future, but we think Rubycon never produce again in the future." It appears orders for new capacitors are being refused and anyone desiring Black Gate capacitors need to find existing stocks.


10 / 05 / 05

Lehmann Audio Black Cube Stamp Stereo Amplifier  Lehmann Audio new Black Cube Stamp stereo amplifier is a mere 11 x 4.5 x 2 (DxWxH in inches) and produces 20 watts per channel at 4 Ohms. Switching amplification devices are employed on a printed circuit board that sports a double sided 105µm copper plating. Internal audio cabling is solid core that us directly soldered directly to the board and the connectors, thereby avoiding additional contacts. T Lehmann Audio Black Cube Stamp can be switched from stereo to bi-amplification mode underneath the unit. An optional mounting kit allows for attaching the unit beneath desktop tables, in or under cabinets or on walls. The Black Cube Stamp will be in the stores beginning in October 2005.


10 / 04 / 05

  Dakar is having their first SITIS home electronics show taking place from March 30th through April 3rd, 2006. The show is expected to fill 4600 square meters, provide Africa an event to showcase innovating technologies, and will be open to both professionals and the public. The SITIS event will gather commentators in various fields of expertise including audio, video, photo, lighting, and communication. SITIS 2006 will have approximately 20 countries participating, 3000 professional visitors, and 300 exhibitors showcasing 500 brands. Their website is under construction yet they can be e-mailed at siade@sentoo.sn.


10 / 03 / 05

Enjoy the Music.com High-End Audiophile Review Magazine   We have indeed been quite busy during September posting three new exhibition reports that include CEDIA and Italy's Top Audio & Video show. Add to that Enjoy the Music.com™ just completed our live coverage of the Rocky Mountain Audio Fest! Adding to that, we have just posted the October edition of our worldwide Review Magazine. Of special note, each month we will be highlighting a member of our reviewing staff within the Reviewer Spotlight. Not as some self-serving prose, but so you can better understand the qualifications of our journalists. All told, our staff has earned well over 100 years of combined expertise including two members being editors for various print journals and another one of our journalists earned a Peabody Award for his documentary on the music and life of Miles Davis. This is only three examples of the over thirty experienced members that make up Enjoy the Music.com™'s staff. Learn more by seeing the October issue of our Review Magazine by clicking here.



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