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High-End Audio Industry News

11 / 30 / 10

AXPONA As Supported By Enjoy the Music.com  AXPONA (Audio Expo North America), as proudly supported by Enjoy the Music.com, is an audiophile show open to the public and scheduled to be held at the Sheraton Atlanta Hotel from April 14th through 17th. AXPONA brings together listeners and consumers, dealers and manufacturers, and marketers and distributors dedicated to the faithful reproduction of music. Goldmine joins Stereophile magazine as an AXPONA sponsor, whilst Enjoy the Music.com proudly supports this event. This event's mission is to further the faithful reproduction of music. Its outreach, by education and demonstration, is dedicated to the proposition that living with music is different and better than living without music. The organizers hope this exciting exhibition will demonstrate state-of-the-art audio equipment to many people from around the world. A series of seminars with subjects that include traditional reproduction technology and techniques plus emerging digital recording and playback methods will be held. Enjoy the Music.com's editor will be at this event reporting live plus holding a seminar to educate attendees on the many facets of music and high-end audio equipment. Our AXPONA 2011 show coverage will be appearing live during the event.


Music Industry News 10 Years Ago
Reaching a huge milestone in the high-end audio manufacture community, loudspeaker manufacture Acoustic Energy has successfully sold over 10,000 pairs of their critically acclaimed AE1 mini monitors since it was first released in 1988
. To celebrate this blessed event, Acoustic Energy has introduced two new cabinet finishes in Natural Cherry and Rosemar real wood veneers. At the same time UK retailers can buy a pair of the new finish AE1Series II at the original AE1's 1988 retail price! The new Series II is claimed to provide "greater clarity, transparency and harmonic timbre, coupled with a larger stereo sound stage and increased sensitivity". Critical matching of voice coils, the metal cone are said to improve the mid-range while a simpler, short path crossover network has been implemented to achieve a gentle first order acoustic slopes for a more seamless blend between the midrange/woofer and tweeter drivers.


11 / 29 / 10

Audio Research SP3C Preamplifier  Audio Research, founded over 30 years ago as a high-end audio company that specializes in tube amplification, now offers an upgrade path for their SP3 preamplifier that was first introduced in 1972. While several thousand were sold during the period of 1972 through 1976, Audio Research continues to provide product support and parts for the SP3 to this day. However, some of the electrolytic capacitors that have a 25 year lifespan with the originals being no longer available. The company has made significant advances and so the SP3C update ($1295) contains a completely new power supply circuit board to replace the obsolete power supply. Benefits of this new power supply include increased energy storage for improved dynamics, superior regulation of both B+ and tube heater operating voltages for rejection of AC power line interference, a lower noise floor for improved retrieval of micro-dynamic nuances, and it allows operation over AC line voltages from 100 to 130 VAC. They have also added an auto-mute circuit for turn-on, power interruption and turn-off to protect your power amplifier and speakers from transients. Along with the changes to the power supply, the input and output connectors are replaced with audiophile-grade gold plated RCAs. Also, coupling and bypass capacitors on the main Printed Wiring Board are changed to brand names such as Infinicap, REL-Cap and WIMA.


Music Industry News 10 Years Ago
Ogg VorbisAs Enjoy the Music.com first reported on June 21st of this year, a new contender to the open-source, royalty-free audio encoding format called Vorbis entered the marketplace to compete with the mp3 format
. On August 15 of this year they released version 1.0 beta 2 and are now claiming to have their music technology implemented into various future software players and portable devices. Vorbis is a digital music encode/decode method that was designed by programmers in the Silicon Valley. The .ogg compressed music file format faces stiff competition against the already entrenched formats such as mp3, Windows Media Audio (Microsoft), ATRAC-3 (Sony) and AAC (Fraunhofer and others). While a paid license is needed for the aforementioned encode/decode formats, Vorbis' .ogg is a "copyleft'' agreement just like the popular Unix-like operating system Linux. Vorbis claims it's format is currently equal to mp3 in its Beta format, yet hopes to supercede mp3 in future releases. Having their technology included in consumer products is a first step to better market saturation and bringing more awareness to its format.


11 / 26 / 10

The Koln Concert By Pianist Keith Jarrett  The Koln Concert by pianist Keith Jarrett is the best-selling solo jazz album in history, and now available in 24-bit/96kHz on HDtracks! As the most successful solo jazz album of all time, The Koln Concert is an awe-inspiring work of improvisation and invention. Consisting of four tracks that together comprise over an hour of music, the performance is an apt demonstration of Jarrett’s genius as a piano player and conceptualist. It features one of the greatest series of free improvisations ever caught on tape -- endlessly imaginative and absolutely mesmerizing. Released for the first time in breathtaking 24-bit/96kHz, the performance takes on an entirely new dimension—one that places you immediately before Jarrett's phenomenal keyboard displays of virtuosity and gives additional resonance to every struck note. This 1975 album is a must-have for audiophiles and die-hard jazz lovers alike!


The Cable Company's annual August "Summer Against Hunger" fundraiser for CARE, in concert with high-end audio vendors, customers, and an anonymous donation totaled $28,224.62. Once again this year CARE was able to identify 10:1 matching funds yielding total program donations of $310,470.81. The Cable Company wishes to thank all of you who participated by purchasing products in August. For every one dollar you spent with us in August, even on used products, at least $1.05 is being donated to CARE. For purchases of our sponsoring vendors' products, it is $2.10. Your buck gets a $2.10 contribution for humanitarian causes. Contributions this year are being earmarked by CARE to support a small-scale Irrigation project in Liberia, where yields are typically sub par, and over dependence on a single crop, rice, poses an economic risk and leaves families without adequate nutritional variety. Domestic vegetable production is meager; a staggering 80 percent of vegetables in Liberia come from abroad. To increase yields, some farmers resort to destructive slash-and-burn practices, ruining fragile forests.


11 / 23 / 10

  Enjoy the Music.com has a world premiere of Hi-Fi World's Volume 20 Number 11 (January 2011) including the compete editorial and table of contents. This issue includes reviews of the Audio Engine P4 speakers, Dartzel CTH-8550 and Advance Acoustic MAP-101 amplifiers, the Olympus LS5 portable high-rez digital recorder, the vintage Sony PS-8750 turntable and much more. The editorial titled Hi-Fi World Awards 2010  by David Price says, "Whilst this past year hasn't seen any fancy new formats or technologies launched, the trickle-down of network music continues apace. Played off computer hard drives often via a home Wi-Fi network, it's really catching on now, as more and more audiophiles view it as a serious music source option. Hats off of course to Linn for starting the specialist hi-fi computer audio ball rolling three years ago with their DS products, but now we see Naim in on the act and a number of other big names poised to take the plunge...". See the complete January table of contents and editorial of Hi-Fi World by clicking here.


Hi-Fi+ MagazineEnjoy the Music.com has just posted the world premiere of December's Hi-Fi+ (Issue 76)! This issue includes reviews of the Aesthetix Rhea, Calypso and Atlas Signature, Musical Fidelity M6CD, M6PRE and M6PRX, Neodio NR22 CD player/USB converter, Stax SR-007 Omega Reference headphones, Tannoy Definition DC10T speakers and much more. Within Alan Sircom's editorial he writes, "It went round the Internet like wild fire. A photo shoot of Russian President Dmitry Medvedev having an oh so humble breakfast with his colleague, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. Except that sitting behind the breakfast table was some exceptional pieces of audio equipment. It transpires Medvedev is a bit of an audiophile and something of a rocker, with a healthy collection of original vinyl pressings of Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Deep Purple and the rest. He and his son are also into Linkin Park. As we now know from the photo shoot, he owns an Avid Acutus turntable and the company's two-box phono stage, a Naim CD player (model thus far unknown) and Daniel Hertz amps and loudspeakers. That system's got some serious high-end mojo!" You can see the complete table of contents and editorial of Hi-Fi+ by clicking here.


Aperion Intimus 6T Rockin' The Holidays Speaker SystemAward winning loudspeaker company Aperion Audio is having an special holiday sale. Aperion's Intimus 6T Rockin' the Holidays speaker system is available from Tuesday Nov. 23rd through Tuesday, Nov. 30th at a savings of over $900 plus free shipping. One of Aperion's most popular Home Theater systems for medium and large sized rooms, this 5.1 Home Theater speaker system includes two Intimus 6T towers, an Intimus 6C Center channel, two Intimus 5B bookshelves and a Bravus 12D subwoofer. The Aperion 6T are floorstanding speakers that use a 1"silk dome tweeter that features a unique system of venting to a rear chamber that employs multiple rear vents outside the neodymium magnet. A pair of 6.5" woven fiberglass woofers provide midrange and bass support while they are also magnetically shielded and sport a solid cast aluminum frame, heavy rubber surround and extra-long excursion. See Aperion Audio's website for details of the other speakers in this package deal. The system price is $2499 in the Gloss Piano Black finish, and $2399 in the Real Wood Cherry finish, each at more than $900 savings from the standard price. Free shipping is included as with all Aperion Audio purchases, and if purchased during this promotion should arrive before Christmas Day. Enjoy the Music.com has reviewed the Aperion Audio 633T floorstander (click here), Intimus 632-LR bookshelf and 634-VAC center channel speaker (click here) and Aperion Audio 6T floorstanding speaker (click here).


Music Industry News 10 Years Ago
Linn Sizmik 10.25Longstanding high-end audio manufacture Linn has announced their new Sizmik 10.25 subwoofer
. Employing the Linn "Class V" 1000 watts amplifier with a 10" long-excursion drive unit, the Sizmik 10.25 is said to deliver "clean, pitch accurate extended low frequency performance with installation versatility and a discrete appearance." Aided by digital signal processing (DSP) and adjustable triple filters, Linn's new subwoofer provides a wide operating range to match preexisting main loudspeakers currently used in both music and home theater systems. The "Class V" amplification system consists of fast Switch Mode Power Supplies, high density linear power amplifiers and digitally controlled signal processing. Linn also offers the Sizmik 10.25 Kustom that is a fully-accessorized kit for recessed or hidden location in custom installations and marine applications. Available finishes include black ($1,700), American Cherry and new Maple ($1,750). Enjoy the Music.com has reviewed the Linn Katan monitors with Sizmik 10.25 subwoofer (click here) and the Linn Classik Radio/CD integrated amplifier with Kan monitors (click here).


11 / 22 / 10

KEF T Series Speakers  KEF's new T Series is a new line of very slim, low profile speaker that uses specialized thin drivers. As one of the world's thinnest high performance home systems, the new four product T Series combines several landmark innovations: a radical new ultra-low profile bass and midrange driver plus a large and fully vented new tweeter. By incorporating both in cabinets only 35mm (just over 1.25 inches) deep, three models of the T Series can be stand or on-wall mounted. Instead of a traditional cone, the radical new twin-layer bass and midrange unit has a flat diaphragm whose rigidity throughout the frequency range is maintained by very fine stiffening ribs, with the driver as a whole acting as a stressed member to help eliminate any unwanted resonance from the slim cabinet. The photo here shows the difference between a normal driver and the new slim driver. In addition to minimizing the height of the magnets, KEF placed the entire suspension outside the magnet system so that it adds nothing to its height. For the uppermost frequencies, the sophisticated new 25mm (1 inch) vented tweeter was specially developed for the T Series. KEF's unique 'tangerine' waveguide helps to disperse the sound image evenly throughout the room. The model T301 and T301c are 2.5-way closed box design with a pair of 4.5i inch dual layer woofer/midrange drivers and a 1 inch tweeter. Overall frequency response is from 80 Hz to 30 kHz, has a sensitivity of 91dB/W/m and physical measurements are 23.6 x 5.5 x 1.4 (HxWxD in inches). The KEF T-2 subwoofer uses a 10 inch driver that has a frequency response from 30 Hz to 250 Hz and includes a 250 Watt built-in Class-D amplifier. Dimensions are 15 x 14.6 x 7.0 (HxWxD in inches.


Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers Damn the TorpedoesHDtracks, an online high-resolution music download website, now offers Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers legendary classic Damn the Torpedoes in stunning 24-bit/96kHz! This online 'bonus disc' version includes the same songs as the normal CD/LP version plus demos, B-sides, and unreleased material, including an alternate take of the song "Refuge". Liner notes in PDF format are by legendary rock journalist David Fricke and includes rare photos and lyrics for each of the songs. As one of the most highly acclaimed albums of the 1970s, Damn the Torpedoes remains a steadfast on plenty of "all time greatest" lists. Widely regarded as the band's magnum opus, the album spent 7 weeks on the Billboard chart, yielded two massive singles, "Don't Do Me Like That" and "Refuge," and has sold over 10 million copies. At last, the album is given a much-deserved full reissue treatment, including 24-bit/96kHz remastering and a 'bonus disc' including previously unreleased studio material (including the gem "Nowhere"), two B-sides, demos, and three searing live tracks from a 1980 performance at London's Hammersmith Odeon.


11 / 19 / 10

The Absolute Sound  Enjoy the Music.com has just posted the December 2010 edition of The Absolute Sound (Issue 208)! This edition of The Absolute Sound features many equipment reviews including the Octave Audio Phono Module Phonostage, Ortofon MC A90 MC cartridge, Weiss DAC 202 192kHz/24-bit FireWire DAC, Boulder 1021 CD player, TAS assembles and recommends six complete stereo systems from $2000 to more than $40,000 ...and much more! Within Robert Harley's editorial he writes, "It has become axiomatic in high-end audio that truth and beauty in an audio component are mutually exclusive. That is, if a component is beautiful sounding, it must depart from the truth. Concomitantly, if a component is truthful it must sound something less than beautiful. This dichotomy is so pervasive that it goes under a wide range of names: "accuracy vs. musicality," "ease vs. resolution," and "romantic vs. incisive," to name a few." You can see the complete table of contents and editorial of TAS by clicking here.


Music Industry News 10 Years Ago
Pass Labs X250From the legendary Nelson Pass comes the new Pass Labs X250 stereo amplifier which is now reaching dealers worldwide
. This "X" series 250 wpc. stereo amplifier employs "ultra matched components" operating in a minimal parts balanced Class A circuitry. No signal capacitors are used within the signal path. There are only two gain stages. One balanced single-ended Class A voltage stage for driving a bank of high power, precisely matched MOSFETs used as followers with very little feedback around the output stage. The "X" series amplifiers use Pass Labs patented Supersymmetry circuit. This type of circuit is claimed by Pass Labs to "improve the performance of a balanced amplifier by precisely matching the characteristics of the two balanced halves. To the extent that distortion and noise can be made identical on the two output connections, they will not be seen at the balanced output. Ordinary matching techniques can achieve improvements by a factor of 10 or so under the best conditions, but the Supersymmetric technique lowers distortion and noise by another order of magnitude." Single-ended (RCA) and balanced (XLR) inputs are provided for while heavy-duty five-way binding posts are used for loudspeaker outputs. The X250 measures 19" x 9.5" x 22" (WxHxD) and weighs approximately 100 pounds. Enjoy the Music.com has reviewed many Pass Labs products within our manufacturer special focus, which can be seen by clicking here.


11 / 18 / 10

HiFi-Tuning El Supremo Fuses  HiFi-Tuning, an award winning German company by Bernd Ahne that specializes in audiophile tweaks and accessories, now offers their El Supremo black ceramic fuses. The new line of Supreme fuses is handmade, tip-to-tip of 99% silver combined with 1% 24 karat gold. This is similar to the material used in the highly desired Mundorf Supreme silver/gold capacitors. Mundorf developed for HiFi-Tuning a special silver/gold solder for use in the Supreme fuses. The fuses have also been resonance-optimized to control vibration. According to HiFi-Tuning, "The drawing process for silver (or copper) wire causes micro cracks in the surface of the wire. The cooling process also results in imperfect crystal grid structures. Both of these 'deformities', relative to the ideal of a perfect conductor, result in surface distortion when current flows through the wire. The addition of 24 karat gold fills the micro cracks and the empty spaces between the crystal boundaries to improve transmission properties, while also inhibiting the surface oxidation and tarnishing that will occur over time otherwise." These custom, precious metal fuses are also cryogenically treated using Europe's only cryo system from Cryogenics International USA. Finally, the Supreme fuses are treated with a proprietary quantum level process. Introductory pricing is $50 each for the 0.75" (5x20mm) small size and $75 each for the 1.25" (6.3x32mm) large size.


11 / 17 / 10

Roth Audio OLi Series Speakers  Roth Audio, founded in 2007 by James Roth and Tony Larking as an innovative and exciting brand, has announced their 2nd generation OLi series speakers. With five models to choose from, from bookshelf to floorstanding, they aim for audiophile performance at affordable pricing. The small OLi 10 bookshelf speaker (£109 each ) is a two-way design with 1" Black Diamond silk dome tweeter and 4" woven fiberglass hybrid midrange/woofer that overall has a sensitivity of 88dB/W/m and handles 100 watts. Frequency response of the Roth Audio OLi 10 bookshelf speaker is from 60 Hz to 20 kHz. The top-of-the-range OLi 50 three-way four driver floorstander (£799 each) is 128cm high and employs a 2-inch ribbon tweeter, 6.5-inch woven fiberglass hybrid midrange and dual 6.5-inch woven fiberglass hybrid woofers. The ribbon tweeter is flanked above and below by a midrange driver for point source like soundwave to the listener. This produces solid imaging across the soundscape and excellent sound image detail. On the lower part of the cabinet resides a pair of woofer drivers. Sensitivity is 92/dB/W/m and overall frequency range is from 32 Hz to 20 kHz.


Music Industry News 10 Years Ago
A huge amount of movement is happening in the online music delivery segment of the industry. Audiohighway has laid off 21 of its 30 employees
due to a lack of funding after losing $12 million dollars with sales of only $2 million from original seed money from Microsoft, Universal Music Group, Warner Music Group. A deal for additional funding fell through. Audiohighway not only offered music online, but also audio books, news, education and entertainment.
Meanwhile Napster-like file swapping website Scour is turning off the lights as they filed for bankruptcy protection because of legal battles with Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) and the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) due to alleged copyright law violations. In its death throws comes multimillion dollar buyouts of the Scour service from from Listen.com ($5 million and 527,918 shares) and also from CenterSpan Communications Corporation (a deal reportedly worth more than $5.25 million). With all this happening, the recent settlement between the final of the Big Five labels only days ago, Universal Music Group (UMG), MP3.com is hoping to re-launch their My.MP3.com service with both free and a subscription based service. The free service will have financial support through various advertisers whereas the subscription service is planned to be free from advertisements.


11 / 16 / 10

Masterpiece Vintage Audio Limited Edition Integrated 300B Amplifier  Masterpiece Vintage Audio specializes in the sound of classic audio gear and has released their flagship limited edition Integrated 300B Amplifier (Taiwan $550,000). An elegant reflective black front panel is highlighted by separate left and right channel large gold knobs, and below them are three smaller knobs power and input selection. The company's goal is to manufacturer high-end audio products as one would actual musical instruments. Using only the best parts, this true dual mono design employs DACT stepped attenuators, WBT speaker binding posts, Neutrik gold plated XLRs, CMC black bakelite tube sockets with gold plated contacts, plus capacitors and resistors from high-end manufacturers including WIMA, Jensen, MIT, Frako, Mcap, Sprague, etc. The 60mm volume knob and 21mm selection knobs are precision CNC machined. For vacuum tube duties, European and American 1950 to 1960's 12AX7 and 6SN7 are used. Masterpiece Vintage Audio's Limited Edition Integrated 300B Amplifier has one stereo XLR input and three via RCA, loudspeaker outs for 4/8/16 Ohm speakers, and input impedance of 100K ohm and produces a frequency response from 20 Hz to 20 kHz. Vacuum tube compliment is two 12AX7, two 6SN7, two 300B and one 5U4G. Dimensions are 51.5 x 28 x 36.5 (WxHxD in mm) and weights 95 lbs.


Music Industry News 10 Years Ago
Casablanca II Music and Cinema ControllerTheta Digital is now shipping their new Casablanca II Music and Cinema Controller
($6,000 to $17,000 depending on configuration). This new improved version offers "significant improvements in flexibility, performance, and ease of use, eliminating the need for customers to choose between audiophile music reproduction and video-based surround sound" according to Theta Digital. Being one of the wiser digital companies, Theta's "Open Architecture" design allows the Casablanca II Music and Cinema Controller easy hardware upgrade ability through various self-contained, field-replaceable, circuit card modules while DSP software upgrades are available for download over the internet. Two quality levels of DACs for digital to analog conversion, both of which processes 24-bit/96kHz. The Superior DACs are of the three-channel variety (balanced and single-ended) while the Standard offers yet another configuration choice (6-channel single-ended or 3-channel balanced). Consumers can choose either a 6- or 12-channel digital output configuration, all of which can send a 24-bit/96kHz signal to an outboard DAC. The Casablanca II base model includes Dolby Digital, Pro Logic, and DTS processing. Circle Surround provides a convincing multi-channel soundfield from any stereo source. Also included is the Theta proprietary "Jitter Jail" that is claimed to "virtually eliminate" jitter. For those who desire pure analog, the Casablanca II is also a high-quality fully analog preamplifier. Owners of the original Casablanca can upgrade their unit to full version II status. Digital inputs include upwards of 6 coax RCA, 3 TosLink, AES/EBU, coax BNC; 2 digital coax RCA digital tape outputs. Analog inputs are upwards of 6 stereo analog inputs plus 2 stereo analog tape outputs.


Music Industry News 10 Years Ago
MP3.comPopular internet audio company MP3.com, whose stock has plummeted from a 52-week high of over $64 to closing today of approximately $4, has settled yesterday with Seagram's Universal Music Group (UMG) to the tune of $53.4 million to resolve the copyright infringement suit
. This settlement was a last ditch effort that was made literally only minutes away from the federal judge's official ruling on the case. So what does MP3.com gain by paying UMG this huge sum of money? It helps MP3.com as now all of the Big Five record labels (Universal, Sony Music Group, Bertelsmann's BMG Entertainment, Warner Music Group and EMI Recorded Music) have agreed to allow them to include their music titles in MP3.com's "Storage Locker" service. This new service allows users to have their music available online and downloadable from their account to any computer the user may be on. "Universal Music pursued this case to send a strong message that copyrights will be protected and that copyright owners and artists need to be properly compensated for use of their work," said Zach Horowitz, Universal's chief operating officer. Zach continued "Although we believe our proof at trial would have led to a greater damage award, we are satisfied with the award." Nowadays, here in 2010, a few million dollars seems minimal when billions and trillions are being taken to prop up the financial industry fraud in the United States of America.


11 / 15 / 10

  Enjoy the Music.com just published our November midmonth audiophile Review Magazine update.

Review Magazine

Midmonth Update Includes:
Sound Practices
Measure Audio Harmonics The Easy Way
Article By Larry Lisle

VALVE Magazine
Triode Amplifier Operating Points
Article By Paul Joppa

See the November midmonth update of the Review Magazine by clicking here.


The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), the preeminent trade association promoting growth in the $165 billion Unite States consumer electronics industry from over 2,000 companies, has announced its 2011 CES Best of Innovations Design and Engineering Award Honorees. The International CES Innovations Awards honor outstanding advancements in design and engineering across 35 consumer electronics product categories. "This prestigious awards program gives consumer technology manufacturers and developers an opportunity to have their products judged by a distinguished panel of designers, engineers and press," said Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of CEA. "The strength of this year's submissions demonstrates the vitality and innovation within the CE industry. We congratulate all finalists for their engineering creativity and design acumen." The Best of Innovations Awards are earned by the products with the highest judges' scores and will be featured in the Innovations 2011 Design and Engineering Showcase in the Grand Lobby of the Las Vegas Convention Center at the 2011 International CES. The world's largest consumer technology tradeshow will run January 6-9, 2011. And the winners that concern the high-end audio industry are:

The Best of Innovations Honorees for 2011 are:
Audio Components
Classé Audio Inc.
Power Amplifier

Sleek Audio LLC
SA7 Wireless Hybrid Earphones

Health and Wellness
Etymotic Research, Inc.
Electronic BlastPLG Earplugs

High Performance Audio
Magico LLC
High Performance Loudspeaker


11 / 12 / 10

HDtracks Mahler Symphony No. 3  HDtracks is proud to welcome the Deutsche Gramophon label and their famous artists in stunning 24-bit/96kHz. Beethoven Symphony No. 9 with Claudio Abbado and the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra is a critically acclaimed recording of Beethoven's greatest masterpiece. Claudio Abbado leads the Berlin Philharmonic through a performance of such nuance, such tumultuous emotion, that it's difficult to imagine there's a better way to hear this massively influential piece of music. Abbado is widely considered to be one of the most virtuosic and important conductors of the 20th and 21st centuries. Another album is Mahler Symphony No. 3 with Pierre Boulez, Anne Sofie Von Otter and the Vienna Philharmonic. At over 90 minutes of music, Mahler's Symphony No. 3 epitomizes the composer's penchant for the epic and larger-than-life. Triumphant horn fanfares, choral interludes, and heroic marches are just a few of the elements of a piece which uses nearly every conceivable orchestral color. Pierre Boulez, one of the great luminaries of Classical composition and conducting, and the recipient of 26 Grammy awards, leads a jaw-dropping performance of Mahler's masterpiece, which won the 2003 Grammy for best classical album and nearly universal critical acclaim.


11 / 11 / 10

Jaton Operetta CD1000 CD Player  Jaton, a well-respected high-end audio company that is dedicated to delivering top quality sound, has planned to show their new Operetta CD1000 CD player series at the upcoming THE Show Las Vegas event. Jaton's CD1000 series has three different models ( CD1000A, CD1000B and CD1000C) to choose from and will be retailed from $1900 for the basic model to $3900 for a fully realized unit. In early 2010 Jaton began research and design, taking six months to finish the development and another three months to double verify all the major parts. The Operetta CD1000A is the top of line model which use Mundorf Gold supreme caps on all the major analog signal paths. It is the designer collective choice. And superior convert the digital and solid into the analog and tube world. The CD1000B is the best of value model which has almost the same design as CD1000A yet has gold caps; with silver supreme caps in many other circuit locations. Jaton's CD1000C is the fundamental model of CD1000 series and uses WIMA caps instead of Mundorf Supreme caps. The new CD1000 CD player is not just another new product from Jaton while it also marks the first time the company can show a complete Jaton branded system from source to speaker. A top line Jaton CD1000 will have both balanced 9via XLR and unbalanced RCA analog output, have a THD of 0.005% and linearity of -0.1 dBr.


House Ear InstituteThe House Ear Institute, a non-profit organization dedicated to advancing hearing science through research and education to improve quality of life, just returned for its 13th year to the Audio Engineering Society (AES) Convention to provide hearing conservation education and screenings to thousands of AES members. A total of 582 audio professionals received a pure-tone hearing test during the course of the show. The opening day set a record of 224 audio professionals receiving hearing tests and audiologist consultations. In addition, over 5000 pairs of ear plugs along with hearing health materials were distributed to convention attendees. "We had long lines for hearing screenings at our booth each day during the show," said Marilee Potthoff, director of community education and outreach, House Ear Institute. "It is great to see both old and new faces come to the booth for testing, particularly this year as we introduce our expanded outreach services to audio professionals, which help to address hearing loss and balance issues that are already widely prevalent in the sound industry."


11 / 10 / 10

Great-Line ENACOM Line Transmission Unit  Combak is celebrating the 20th Anniversary Special Edition of the Great-Line ENACOM line transmission unit. This freshly upgraded version is claimed to provide a big difference as the Great-Line ENACOM has been uniquely and effectively improved by all aspect including such as case, connecters and wire. As for the sound, according to Combak, "Definitely, greater sound of 20th Anniversary Special Edition can hardly be afforded to miss out!" Audio signals travel virtually without distortion through the electronic circuitry to the output terminals of this unit says the company. Combak continues by saying, "But once the signal starts traveling through the interconnect cables and speaker wires, it encounters load resistance, producing a ringing high-frequency distortion. This distortion brings you the harshness and grain in sound." The Great-Line ENACOM removes the harsh noise and grain as music while the sound will become musical, relaxed and comfortable to listen to.


High Emotion Audio Pyra Bella 5 SpeakerLoudspeaker specialist High Emotion Audio offers their Pyra Bella 5 ($4950 per pair) two-way bookshelf speaker system. Featuring their patented ratiometric Leading Edge Transducer tweeter for the upper frequencies, the 5.25-inch midrange and bass is handled by a proprietary ultra-low mass woofer with a high-force motor and a passive radiator. The cabinetry consists of an ultra-high density composite enclosure with signature interior treatments that optimize tonal neutrality while the unique design affords elegant presentation in almost any setting. Their goal in designing the Pyra Bella 5 was to achieve sonic realism and emotional impact in the smallest possible space; with the unit occupying less than a half a cubic foot. The Pyra Bella 5 provides bass extension to 60 Hz and can be paired with the company's Bella Basso 28 woofer for full frequency reproduction. Sensitivity is 88dB/W/m, @ 8 Ohms, impedance phase is ± less than 20 degrees from 200 Hz to 25 kHz and overall frequency range is from 60 Hz to 25 kHz. Overall dimensions are 11.75 x 9.25 x 9.5 (HxWxD in inches) and each unit weighs 22 lbs.


11 / 09 / 10

Olive  Olive, founded in 2005 by Dr. Oliver Bergmann and Robert Altmann who are both passionate about technology and music, will soon be fully unveiling their O6HD Music Server. Continuing Olive's strong reputation for marrying the highest quality digital audio, performance and high-end design aesthetics, the O6HD Music Server will be the most advanced offering to date. The Olive O6HHD will upsampling to 384 kHz using the latest TI SRC4194 asynchronous sample rate converter. Lower audio standards from 24-bit/192kHz will be upsampled to 384 kHz. Dedicated linear power supply for the analog output stage with custom built toroidal transformer is said to eliminate undesirable interference. The O6HD strictly separates the power supplies for its digital and analog sections. This separation ensures that the sensitive analog stages are isolated from all power supply artifacts, and that each stage within the O6HD is supplied independently with clean power. To ensure quiet operation, the fanless cooling guarantees silence. Olive's solid aluminum shell dramatically reduces resonances and operational noises as our patent-pending feet design eliminate vibrations. Other features of this unit include a wide-aspect 10.1" glass-on-glass color touch-screen, a distinctive angled front for optimal access to buttons and screen, and overall dimensions are 17.38 x 2.63 12.25 (WxHxD in inches). Chassis colors available are silver or black. The first 20 customers to pre-order the 06HD will be brought to Olive's headquarters in San Francisco for a VIP experience.


Music Industry News 10 Years Ago
LAMM L2 ReferenceLAMM Industries new L2 Reference preamplifier will be first shown at the CES 2001 yet is available now at LAMM dealers
. This is their top of the line preamplifier that employs both tubes and solid state for preamplification duties. LAMM claims it offers "extraordinary transparency of perceived sound and recreation of a three-dimensional soundstage in the home, recording studio, etc., without boundaries and limitations". The L2 Reference utilizes unique circuitry including specially selected superlinear high voltage MOS-FET transistors operated in "Class A" operation yet without the use of overall feedback. All stages are operated in single-ended while an electronic protection circuit enables manual muting of the outputs until the preamplifier has stabilized after a turn-on. The L2 Reference includes three inputs, one tape loop, output signal phase switch, balanced and single-ended outputs plus built-in remote on/off for LAMM power amplifiers. The power supply is housed separately from the sensitive preamplification circuitry. The power supply takes advantage of a choke contained filter, vacuum tube rectifier and voltage regulator. The high voltage (+350V) high speed vacuum tube voltage regulator used in conjunction with other specialized circuitry is claimed by LAMM to offer "reproduction of tiniest nuances and three-dimensional subtleties in the music palette". The use of both a high voltage vacuum tube power supply and superlinear high voltage MOS-FETs is said to attain an "enormously large output swing while retaining practically constant harmonic contents of the signal with an absolute dominance of the second harmonic". Meanwhile the preamplification section (seen left) includes military graded low noise DALE metal film resistors, TKD stepped potentiometers (41 position), PRC wire wound resistors, Electrocube and Roederstein film capacitors and high frequency switching grade Cornell Dubilier electrolytic capacitors. Enjoy the Music.com has reviewed the LAMM Industries LP2 phono preamplifier (click here) and Lamm Industries Model L2 Reference line-level preamplifier (click here).


11 / 08 / 10

HiDiamond Diamond 1 Cable  HiDiamond, a longstanding and award-winning Italian manufacturer of high-end audio cables, has revolutionized its catalog. After several years or careful research and development, the company has finally come out the new lines of cables at the forefront of their technical and design. The result is said to be extremely innovated and uses copper processing exclusive to HiDiamond. Their 4VRC machining (four times copper 'cooked') together with the mix of graphite, Xlpe ect. The new series includes XLR and RCA analog plus power cables. Also included are a new series of videophile cables. The signal cable Diamond 1 has an external jacket of 6mm that covers two 4VRC conductors and has a maximum capacitance of 126 Pf/meter and resistance of 12 Ohm/100 meter. Pricing is €41 for 1 meter pairs 1 meter. A matching loudspeaker cable would be HiDiamond's Diamond 1 with 6mm external jacket that houses two conductors of 4VRC copper and has a maximum capacitance of 80 Pf/meter and resistance of 7.4 Ohm/100 meter. Pricing is €430 for 3-meter stereo pair. Enjoy the Music.com reviewed the HiDiamond cable Reference Black Gold interconnect and Diamond Power at this link.


JBL SK2-3300 SpeakerJBL, owned by Harman International that also has such nameplates as AKG, Harman Kardon, Infinity, and Mark Levinson, has introduced its SK2-3300 LCR loudspeaker. Incorporating horn driver technologies directly derived from the company's flagship Project Everest DD66000 speaker, the three-way THX Ultra2-certified SK2-3300 utilizes JBL's most sophisticated driver technologies. Compression drivers are used for the ultra-high and high frequencies for their dynamic range, transient response and resolution. The ultra-high-frequency driver uses a 1-inch beryllium diaphragm to provide extended frequency response beyond 50 kHz. The driver is mated to a JBL Bi-Radial horn that delivers 60 x 30 degree coverage. The JBL SK2-3300 employs a 3-inch beryllium diaphragm midrange/high-frequency compression driver that operates in conjunction with a 100 x 60 Bi-Radial horn made from acoustically inert SonoGlass material to eliminate unwanted sonic colorations. Dual 10-inch come woofers are treated with proprietary JBL Aquaplas material, which damps the cone's internal resonances for more accurate low-frequency response with lower distortion. The woofers incorporate dual 3-inch heavy-duty edge-wound voice coils, neodymium motor structures and cast-aluminum frames to deliver articulate bass even at higher volume levels. A heavily-braced enclosure minimizes unwanted internal resonances while a curved front baffle eliminates the "smearing" and colorations that can be caused by diffraction. Loudspeaker wire hookup is supported via dual binding posts that allow bi-wiring or bi-amp'ing.


Music Industry News 10 Years Ago
Silbatone Acoustics  C-102Silbatone Acoustics' new C-102 preamplifier ($30,000) employs 100% battery powered operation
. Silbatone, "sil" for silver and "ba" for battery helps name this new statement tube preamplifier. Completely silver wired using all silver components and power supply circuits whose source is batteries assure that no detrimental AC noise artifacts contaminate the music's signal. Each unit is handmade while the casings are double chassis, anodized aluminum of highest quality. As this is Silbatone Acoustics' statement, no compromises have been made to assure the utmost in music reproduction capabilities. The C-102 preamplifier uses two 12AY7 (6072) tubes in the line stage. The MM phono stage uses the classic 12AX7 tube. An internal MC step-up transformer is available (optional). The volume control uses dual-mono attenuators to insure right and left channel purity and separation. Four line inputs, one phono input and tape output are provided. Enjoy the Music.com's editor Steven R. Rochlin reviewed this unit in 2003, which can be seen by clicking here.


11 / 05 / 10

T.H.E. Show  Enjoy the Music.com, an industry leader in consumer electronics information plus equipment and music reviews for approximately 15 years, is pleased to announce their Premier Sponsorship of T.H.E. Show's 2011 event. To be held from June 3rd through the 5th at Newport Beach, this open to the public high-end consumer electronics event may be the largest of its type in the industry. With 24 million people living in the Southern California area, there hasn't been a high-end audio gathering of this magnitude for many years The event will occur every year with hundreds of exhibitors displaying their finest high-end equipment from all over the globe. T.H.E. Show Newport Beach will take place across from the John Wayne/Orange County Airport at the Hilton Hotel and will include many rooms actively playing some of the best equipment in the world, plus feature live music and seminars from industry experts. Enjoy the Music.com's chief editor Steven R. Rochlin will be conducting a seminar on important issues concerning consumer's desire to further enhance their musical pleasures. "It brings me immense please to announce our Premiere Sponsorship with T.H.E. Show's event" said editor Steven R. Rochlin. "For over 15 years we have reached millions of consumers with a wide variety of consumer electronics information. With well over 1000 reviews from leading experts within the industry, plus manufacturer articles and over 130 show/event reports from around the world, our Premiere Sponsorship is a natural continuation of our efforts."


11 / 04 / 10

Goldmund Mimesis 22H Analog Preamplifier  Swiss high-end audio manufacturer Goldmund is celebrating the 10th Anniversary of the Goldmund Mimesis 22 analog preamplifier. For 2011 Goldmund announced a very-limited series of the Mimesis 22H (History), the most achieved analog preamplifier ever announced by Goldmund. The unit will have a combination of all the best circuits ever introduced in analog preamplifiers from the company. The main unit is mostly a Mimesis 22S, Goldmund's lowest noise preamplifier. The company claims the biggest difference is the new much-improved separate power supply. It is twice as large as the previous version and also makes the 22 operate at cooler temperatures. In addition, the new power supply uses double AC-Curator of the Eidos Reference and better capacitors. The preamplifier and its power supply are both built using the new Asymmetrical Mechanical Grounding construction so they can be stacked as seen in the sketch to the right.


Music Industry News 10 Years Ago
Kenwood Five DVD-Audio PlayerDVD-Audio players could be the hottest DVD product this holiday season as stores are expecting their first shipments of these new high bit and sampling rate audio units. 
Many units will be available by a variety of manufacturers as soon both hardware and software makes a big splash. While Toshiba has started shipment their SD-9200 to join the already available Technics and Panasonic units, the JVC XV-D723GD is already showing up at various stores. Kenwood will have a five DVD-Audio carousel (pictured above) while Onkyo is aiming for the high-end mass marketplace with their DV-S939 ($1800). The Onkyo is THX Ultra certified and also offers progressive scan and "Direct Digital Path" (sends raw digital data from the laser pickup circuitry to the digital output). Meanwhile Pioneer will also be targeting the upper end as well with their Elite line THX Ultra certified DV-38A ($1800). More new units by other manufacturers are expected to join in on the popularity of the DVD-Audio. As for software, Willie Nelson's Night and Day, Debussy Piano Préludes Book I & II with Joan Rowland, Bobby Short Piano, and Gordon Goodwin's Big Phat Band plus Devotion by Aaronn Neville will be some of the many new titles available during the holidays.


11 / 03 / 10

Merrill Williams Audio R.E.A.L. Turntable  The all-new Merrill Williams Audio R.E.A.L. turntable ($4000) claims to add a new dimension to vinyl replay with such items as their "R.ubber E.lastomer A.coustic L.aminate and Energy Isolation Valley". This turntable design also features inverted hemispherical damping feet to reduce unwanted vibrations and a suspended plinth. According to Merrill Williams Audio, this is "the most dramatic improvement in turntable design in 30 years! The patented R.ubber E.lastomer A.coustic L.aminate controls self generation and external energies to a degree never before accomplished." All of the active parts such as the motor, tonearm and spindle/bearing assembly are positioned on an acoustically neutral Isolation Damping Elastomer Plinth Core. The feet act as a damping suspension (hence suspended plinth) and a second layer of isolation is provided by the plinth elastomer. The R.E.A.L turntable has an elastomer suspended graphite impregnated oil well bearing, 0.75-inch polished stainless steel spindle and an elastomer suspended azimuth adjustable tonearm mounting platform. A specialized Bakelite resin composite platter and rubber cork compound mat provide a special surface for your vinyl record. A ground plane plinth, outboard power transformer plus optional crystal time base adjustable speed control ensure speed stability of your vinyl playback. An optional periphery clamping ring and center weight are available.


Texas Instruments C6A816x Integra DSP + ARM ProcessorTexas Instruments has released their C6A816x Integra DSP + ARM processors, which now stands as the industry's fastest single-core floating-point DSP. Combining 1.5 GHz TI DSP and 1.5 GHz ARM cores for precision, control, and system cost savings; the new C6A816x Integra DSP + ARM processor will soon be appearing in many consumer electronics devices. The processor also integrates a 1.5 GHz ARM Cortex-A8, high-bandwidth peripherals, 3D graphics and display engines. It is ideal for developing products requiring intensive signal processing, run applications on an advanced operating system, provide a rich, responsive GUI and drive multiple displays simultaneously. This product generation is ideal for applications such as machine vision, test and measurement, and tracking and control. This single chip solution also lowers system power requirements, improves performance and reduces board space and costs. High bandwidth peripheral integration adds seamless network connectivity while saving space and cost Multiple display interfaces and 3D graphics engine for up to two high-resolution displays and complex GUIs Key peripherals: two-lane PCIExpress (PCIe), two USB 2.0 ports, HDMI TX, two 32-bit DDR2/DDR3 external memory interfaces at up to 1.6 GHz, SATA interfaces for up to two external drives and two Gigabit Ethernet interfaces.


11 / 02 / 10

VAC Statement 450 Monoblock Amplifier  VAC, an American company founded in 1990 after several years of research and development by academic Kevin M. Hayes as aided by his aerospace father Channing W. Hayes, offers their top-line VAC Statement 450 monoblock amplifier ($72,000 per pair). Like all statement products, VAC removed cost limitations or constraints in design and chose a two-chassis unit to keep the power supply separate from the amplification circuitry. According to their Web site, "VAC's 'first principles' design approach led us to four critical factors in the design and voicing of the Statement 450: increased precision of control over the drive/output circuit; control over stray interactions within the amplifier; architectural control of mechanical resonances; and avoidance of electrically large, slow components. The result is, predictably, a design completely unique to VAC." The Very Low Impedance Driver (VLID) circuit gains much greater control over the transfer function achieved in the output stage. This improves linearity and increases headroom plus is said to produce a "palpably more control, greater subjective power per watt, and increased detail." Modularization of circuit assemblies, particularly the Modular Output Tube Assembly (MOTA), allows the mechanical properties of the stages to be independently controlled and optimized. Parasitic mechanical constraints of critical capacitors is essentially eliminated. The lengths of many critical leads and connections can be controlled and minimized. Between the two chassis, 105 pounds of custom magnetic transformers contribute to the corresponding optimal mass loading while custom machined feet provide a slight, controlled decoupling of the power supply from the external environment. Furthermore, the audio chassis connects via a tripod of custom designed stainless steel cups and balls, controlling of the flow of vertical energy inputs and dissipating lateral energy inputs. Each monoblock produces 450 watts of power at 8 Ohms with a frequency response from 20 Hz to 75 kHz. Inputs are via RCA or XLR, both non-inverting polarity, and tube compliment includes eight KT88 and five 6SN7.


Music Industry News 10 Years Ago
The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) is now offering an objective, comprehensive source of information for consumers called Switched On
. With consumers getting a bit soured by conflict of interest sites like eTown who claim to offer unbiased reviews/opinions yet also sell the reviewed products, Switched On neither sells nor reviews specific products. They simply educate consumers with an overview about a product category and what accessories you may need. The Switched On site covers a wide variety of information from audio to computers to video products and much more. True industry experts, audiophiles and technology gurus have helped to provide top quality information for consumers. "The incredible variety of new consumer electronics products has given shoppers more choices than ever," said Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of CEA. "Switched On helps consumers sort those choices out in a logical, practical way." As for where are they today, CEA ceased their Switched On initiative and of course eTown burned through tens of million of investors 'dumb money' dollars and is long bankrupt and no longer in existence (just as i predicted 10 years ago... and then came the Dot Com bomb).


Music Industry News 10 Years Ago
Microsoft Corporation has officially acquired Pacific Microsonics Inc
. (PMI). PMI is known by audiophiles as the company who has developed and delivered the popular HDCD digital audio technology. Microsoft is planning on using the HDCD technology into future offerings for the PC and other consumer devices. HDCD has been used in the recording of more than 5,000 CD titles that account for more than 300 million CDs sold. PMI's HDCD technology can be found in hardware from manufactures including A&R Cambridge (Arcam), Denon Nippon Columbia Co. Ltd., Harman Kardon Inc., Kenwood Corp., Linn Products Ltd., Madrigal Audio Laboratories Inc., Marantz Japan Inc., Rotel, Sansui Electric Co. Ltd. and Toshiba Corp. "PMI has done amazing work to improve the sound quality of audio CDs with HDCD, which has been embraced by the recording industry," said Will Poole, vice president of the Digital Media Division at Microsoft. "Its wealth of experience and innovative technology will be a tremendous addition to our industry-leading audio technology." Bennet Goldberg, CEO of PMI, said "Joining Microsoft means we can continue to innovate for our existing customers while expanding our efforts to include a whole new range of customers. We look forward to working with the great talent at Microsoft working on digital media technology and continuing to create exciting new innovations for the industry."


11 / 01 / 10

  Enjoy the Music.com's November Review Magazine plus the fall 2010 edition of the DIY Magazine are now available. The Review Magazine has two world premiere equipment reviews, our RMAF show report, music reviews and much more! The DIY Magazine has three new great projects plus two revisits for your enjoyment.

Review Magazine

In This Issue... Getting Less Bored
And other ranting.
Article By Steven R. Rochlin

Audiolics Anonymous Chapter 133
Caig DeoxIT GOLD, Kaleidoscape M-500 disc player and much more!
Article By Dr. Bill Gaw

Show Report
RMAF 2010 (Rocky Mountain Audio Fest)
Daily live RMAF 2010 show report updates!

Audiophile Equipment Reviews
World Premiere!
MK1 Boxed M2Tech hiFace Evo USB To S/PDIF Converter
Plus the Halide Design Bridge and John Kenny Mk1 boxed hiFace
Review By Mike Galusha

World Premiere!
Virtue Audio's Dodd Modified Sensation M451 Integrated Amplifier
Review By Ron Nagle

Revisit: Canal Earphones: Shure E4c Versus Ultimate Ears Super.fi 5pro
Review By Phil Gold

Revisit: LiTe DAC-Ah And Baddymod LiTe DAC-Ah
Review By Phil Gold

Revisit: Slim Devices Squeezebox 3 Network Music Player
Review By Scott Faller

Music Reviews
Classical Music
Beethoven works for Cello and Piano Vol 2.
Review By Phil Gold

A rare world premiere recording highlights a charming collection of Trios.
Review By Joe Milicia 

Jazz, Bluegrass, etc.
Dierks Bentley Up On The Ridge
Hamilton De Holanda Quintet Brasilianos 2
Peter Ostroushko When the Last Morning Glory Blooms
Yarn Come On In
Various Bluegrass, Blues And Jazz Albums

See the November Review Magazine by clicking here.


The Blue Velvet Line Preamplifier
An update to an already great design!
Article By Dick Olsher

Inigo Phono Stage 1.0
Article By Grey Rollins

Building Oblate Spheroid Waveguides
Far and away the most difficult project I've done to date.
Article By Jeff Poth

Revisit: Occam Audio MTM4 (Kit B option)
A fantastic small speaker!
Article by Jeff Poth

Revisit: Hawthorne Audio Sterling Silver Iris Duet Loudspeaker
A hand-crafted, one-of-a-kind easy DIY speaker project... or assembled!
Article By Clarke Robinson

See the fall 2010 DIY Magazine by clicking here.


Gato Audio AMP-150 Integrated Stereo Amplifier Gato Audio, a new Scandinavian manufacturer with a heritage in high-end audio products, was conceived to represent the absolute zenith of Danish High End audio technology, performance and design. Gato Audio brings together decades of experience in the purest imaginable statement of Scandinavian excellence. Gato Audio offers the AMP-150 integrated stereo amplifier (150 wpc, pictured here), the ergonomically designed universal RC-1 Remote Control and two loudspeaker models available in Black Satin, White Satin or Walnut, plus the stand-mounted FM-2 and the floor-standing FM-6. Gato Audio's forthcoming CDD-1 integrated CD transport/digital-analogue converter ia an ambitious work in progress and will complete the Gato Audio stereo music system with an intuitive user interface, exceptional sonic performance and distinctive contemporary Danish styling. Kresten Dinesen, Gato Audio designer and creative director, explains the thinking behind the brand's instantly recognizable exterior design, "We consciously infuse our products with a contemporary Scandinavian style sensibility in carefully considered ways that contribute to their technical and mechanical superiority and longevity. After all, music is art, so why shouldn't your hi-fi also be a work of art?"

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