Product-related news items of general interest should be accompanied by a formal press release with basic descriptions, finish options, pricing, a photo 598px or wider and a valid web link. Event news should have venue, date, ticket and registration information plus a logo and website link. We only publish product news on items you can actually buy now. We won't publish product news about items a manufacturer promises to build if enough people pre-pay (crowd funding).

November 2015 - Belussimo? - Trafomatic Audio's first hybrid amplifier in gestation since May is nearing completion. Christened Belus for a demi god of antiquity denoting mixed DNA, it combines triode-strapped Siemens C3m pentodes with Exicon Mosfets. It offers RCA and XLR inputs and hi/med/lo gain selectable by rear toggle. Power output is 100wpc into 8 ohms. Finish is black or silver. Retail pricing is €3'900.
November 2015 - Exposed - British brand Exposure Electronics bow their new 3010S2-D preamplifier [£1'060 in titanium or black] with six line level inputs. One of these is now a direct AV input to enable integration within a surround sound system. An optional MM or MC phonostage [£240] or plug-in DAC board [£325] may be fitted. The latter is capable of up to 192/24 PCM and DSD 64 and comes with auto-switching USB and BNC inputs. A tape output is included as well as two main outputs. "There are no integrated circuits as the signal path uses all discrete components including special high-quality capacitors. The new power supply includes a large custom-made torodial power transformer and adds extra stages of regulation for improved performance."
November 2015 - Pass phone it in - The new Pass Labs HPA-1 headphone amp [$3'500] doesn't - just phone it in. That'd be for phonies. Hence it's been designed as a pure class A power amp. "The foundation of the HPA-1 is a custom low-noise shielded toroidal power transformer feeding a discreet low-noise regulated power supply for the audio circuits. The importance of the power supply is often overlooked and plays a large part in the overall performance of an amplifier. The HPA-1’s amplifier circuits are low-feedback wide-bandwidth discreet designs employing J-Fet input stages and class A-biased direct-coupled Mosfet output stages. The HPA-1 easily drives loads from 15 to 600 ohms, particularly excelling on planar designs." There are "a single high-quality headphone jack on the front panel, two sets of RCA inputs and one set of switchable pre-outs on the rear. There are no compromises when using the HPA-1 as a stereo preamp to compete against contemporary preamplifiers. The rear panel holds the power switch and fuse. Volume control is via a hefty rotary knob connected to an ALPS potentiometer. The other front-panel controls are three push buttons, to select inputs or to engage the preamp output. Dimensions are 4.5 x 11 x 13" HxWxD, weight is 14 lbs."
November 2015 - 5th-gen op (amp) - Burson introduce their V5 SS, "improved and refined from the V4. The new V5 opamp takes our discrete opamp performance to a new high yet in a much smaller package. It not only sounds better but also requires a lot less power, only 7ma per module which means it will work even better in most applications compare to the V4."
November 2015 - Abzolute HiEnd - From Thailand comes the Skalia rack under the Abzolute HiEnd brand whose misspelling secured the URL but whose associated website is still under construction. This all-aluminium modular rack system combines X-shaped cross members with tension-rod uprights of different lengths to configure individual tiers. Brass couplers become the contact points with component bottoms and their position can be adjusted with four threaded receivers per footer. This also doubles as secondary leveling adjustment above and beyond the main floor footers. An optional aluminium shelf is available for the top tier. Weight support is 160kg for the bottom tier and 120kg for each of the higher ones.
November 2015 - Save Qobuz? - As the French firm's financial troubles continue, here is an online petition meant to raise awareness about the importance of their continuance; and to create a show of support by the numbers. Long before Tidal promoted 1'411kbps subscriptions, Qobuz were pioneering CD-quality streaming, albeit only in select markets. Unlike iTunes, they also made available CD-quality download purchases and worked hard to build up an impressively mixed library. Qobuz have been this publisher's default source for music purchases and CD-quality streaming. Here's to hoping they can secure the necessary funding. See this company update.
November 2015 - Unleash your audio engine - Audioengine bow their HD6 [$749/pr] which is billed as a premium powered speaker system that leverages a full ten years in business this month. Drive comes from built-in class A/B 50-watt mono amps. Socketry includes one RCA input, one 3.5mm input, a 24-bit Toslink input with AKM AK4396 DAC and a variable RCA output for a subwoofer. There's advanced wireless aptX Bluetooth streaming from Tidal, Spotify, Pandora, YouTube, iTunes "or any music service or media player via smartphone, tablet or computer. Also connects to your TV, Sonos Connect, network music player or any other device with an optical output." Finishes are Cherry or Walnut as shown. A metal remote is included. The drivers are a 1" silk-dome tweeter with neodymium motor and ferro-fluid cooled voice coil; and a 5.5" Kevlar mid/woofer with die-cast aluminium basket. Dimensions are 11.75 x 7.25 x 10", weight is 17.5lbs for the active master and 12.5lbs for the passive slave.
November 2015 - Not moo tek - Berlin's Mutec launch their MC-3+USB [€889.92] which is described as a Smart Clock USB aka audiophile USB interface with reclocker. "This bi-directional asynchronous interface acts as USB isolator where a transformer isolates the reclocking circuit from noise interference caused by music servers and audio computers. The MC-3+USB is also a flexible bi-directional format converter including the USB path of the interface. In addition to ordinary PCM streams, the interface will receive native DSD and DoP streams and convert them to PCM audio in real time. PCM audio can be sent to a total of five audio formats at different selectable clock rates simultaneously. The most significant features are noise suppression and jitter-free audio performance, particularly when selecting the USB interface as source. Using cutting-edge parts, lowest-noise audio oscillators and power supply as well as high-speed IT-tech isolators, the USB interface is close to immune to interference from PCs, laptops or music servers. Finally, our proprietary 1G-Clock technology has been significantly optimized for the MC-3+USB."
November 2015 - Lithuanian overture - Gediminas Gaidelis introduces a new 5-model range under his AudioSolutions brand called Overture. There's the 0201C center, the 0202B monitor and three towers, the 0203F d'Appolito 2-way, the 0204F 3-way and the 0205F 2.5-way. All tweeters are loaded into a waveguide to raise their sensitivity and reduce TDH. Finish options include different gloss colours, textured gloss finishes and classic wood veneers, all protected by scratch-resistant coating. Bandwidth is out to 26'000Hz for all models, with the F3 for the monitor 48Hz, 34Hz for the flagship and 36Hz for the other three models. Sensitivity figures occupy 89.5dB to 92dB.
November 2015 - WOM - The Fine Sounds Group opens World of McIntosh, a "multi-million dollar townhouse in NYC's trendy Soho" to become a flagship experience center for the company's family of brands, i.e. Audio Research, McIntosh, Pryma, Sonus faber, Sumiko, Sumiko Subwoofers and Wadia."
November 2015 - Chord Compay digital cable - "The Clearway Digital [£100] is a high-performance digital coaxial audio cable designed and built to deliver the full potential of today’s high-quality digital music. It's an all-new Tuned ARAY cable available in a wide range of terminations including a 3.5mm mono jack for today’s high-performance portable devices."
November 2015 - Soft in the head - South Korea's Nasotec introduce the Swing head shell [$295] "with a very soft and flexible joint designed to make a cartridge always align with the tangent of the groove circle. The sound is unstrained but dynamic, with high resolution, firm bass and very low groove noise regardless of tracking force. A special version for SPU cartridges will be released soon." Weight is 10.7g, the material is aluminium and the finish colour is black or wine red.
November 2015 - Ancient news - Celebrating their 20th anniversary, the tube smiths at Poland's Ancient Audio remember their first-ever product, the Hybrid amplifier, by introducing a 40/70wpc into 8/4-ohm all transistor amplifier [€5'000]. "Solid state doesn't mean cheap transistor sound. Our new A-3 operates in single-ended class A at low signal voltages which are so critical for audio. When signals get big, the amplifier transitions smoothly into push-pull operation. This is the best compromise between tube-like warmth, push-pull energy and solid-state trouble-free maintenance."
November 2015 - Vivace the second - Linnenberg's revamped all-new Vivace2 [€2'690] "offers several additional features. Whilst the majority of commercially available DACs use some kind of digital attenuation, we unite the precision of digital processing with the lossless approach of analog volume control. As a result, we have fully balanced remote-controlled volume spanning over 85dB in small 0.5dB increments. A bar graph display centered around the volume knob gives easy readout of the actual volume setting. This machine is designed to work exclusively with our outboard linear Legato or Unisono power supplies. THD and noise figures are further improved, now reaching the measurement limits of the very best test equipment."
November 2015 - French do - Manager Gilles Rapp reports that Les Artisans du Son in Mulhouse are now "the biggest independent shop in France. We have been offering high fidelity, video and multi room audio for already 37 years, all across 16 rooms on 6 floors presented as living rooms with beautiful decors. From the 13th to the 15th of November, we again organize our traditional open doors events with demonstrations, concerts, a home buffet and a raffle. Over this weekend, we expect to welcome 1'300 visitors who will appreciate prestigious hifi gear from the likes of Avantgarde, B&W 800 Series, Focal, Mcintosh, Devialet, EAR Yoshino and more. "
October 2015 - Grim reapings - Grimm Audio announce a major update for the PC and Mac control software for their LS1 speaker system. "The update focusses on improving the user experience but also adds functionality. An equalizer with user presets offers delicate response adjustment to taste. Its low-frequency EQ can be set separately for left and right so both speakers can be tuned individually to the environment. With the new user interface and EQ, an LS1 playback system becomes even easier to set up in a living room or studio. To complement the new LS1 remote software, the LS1 manual was completely rewritten."
October 2015 - Philharmonic - French pro-audio manufacturer Amadeus introduce their active Philharmonia speakers with "a curved structure of 547 veneers machined and assembled, plus a unique hybrid laminar port using progressive termination. The 2-way design features a 28-mm soft-dome tweeter and a custom 8-inch woofer, analog and digital inputs with a customized integrated DAC and amplitude linearity (±2dB) from 43Hz to 22kHz. The cabinets use layered Birch and stand 1.6 meters tall. The lower casing contains the electronics. Philharmonia is bi-amplified with two dedicated very high-resonance 700-watt digital amplifiers with switch-mode power supply. Each speaker channel is controlled by 64-bit DSP capable of 118dB dynamic range. Each on-board DSP unit includes a module dedicated to managing core parameters including system EQ, time alignment, limiting and thermal protection. With its line-level XLR analog input, Philharmonia lets users choose their own DAC. The speaker also features an RJ-45 network input to allow remote control over its DSP processor for optimal adjustment via dedicated software. The software app runs on Apple Macintosh, iPad and Microsoft Windows computers."
October 2015 - French Voxativ - Vincent Brient of TotalDAC reports that "Dechalvaux are a new high-end speaker manufacturer from France. They use a Voxativ field-coil widebander mounted in a superb piece of massive wood."
Efficiency: 100dB/1W/1m
Power: 50W
Height: 2.15m
Width: 750mm
Weight: 75kg
There currently is no dedicated website but this €80'000 speaker system is available for audition in the TotalDAC showroom.
October 2015 - Goldmund petite - Their Talisman system combines the 140wpc active metal-chassis Nanometis 4" two-way monitors and matching wireless Metis Talisman Hub with headphone socket for a compact lifestyle system measuring 13.8 x 20.4 x 18.5cm WxDxH for the speaker; and 18 x 11.6 x 5.9cm WxDxH for the hub. Possible input connections are USB, Toslink, coax and one digitized analog. Goldmund's Leonardo 2 and Proteus correction technologies are built in and the speakers can also be operated via a wireless USB dongle to eliminate the hub. A variety of finishes are available and delivery is in a full aluminium vanity case.
October 2015 - Zu go etheric - Zu's new Event Ethernet is not a rebrand. "Not even close. This silver cable is from-the-ground made by us in our little shop in Ogden. We designed and built our own planetary cabling equipment as the first thing we did when Zu launched. Not sure if we had the servo-controlled aluminium 80/20 cable machine when you visited but for sure we had at least the wood version. Whilst I was super skeptical of the Ethernet cable influence on audio, it seems to be just as important as the patch cable of, say USB, S/PDIF or AES3. It's different of course since the targeting protocols in 100BaseT and TX (the common I/O technology for audio over Ethernet) are different. I actually found Ethernet cable design pretty easy as specs are given and you have to hit them closely. As is, we already work up to and through the Gigahertz for our other designs which thus enforce the use of specific conductor choices and high precision of cable assembly. As for specifications, functionally and in the E&M domains, our Ethernet cable meets the Cat 7 spec and likely the incomplete Cat 8 Class 1 and 2 specs as well. Bandwidth is not our bottleneck but we can't currently measure beyond 1GHz. We should be able to get access to the Air Force base or Weber State University this winter for testing. Also, our new USB cables are done and being marketed, ditto for the S/PDIF cables." In short, Zu are open for digital cable business.
October 2015 - New Sonus - Il Cremonese [€31'250/pr] is an 84kg 3.5-way floorstander in a 5-sided cabinet of 25Hz - 35kHz response, 92dB efficiency and 4-ohm nominal impedance measuring 145 x 39.9 x 62.2cm. The drivers are a 28mm tweeter, 18cm Neodymium-powered midrange, a pair of 18cm cellulose woofers with syntactic foam core and two matching 22cm 'infra' woofers. Materials are "lacquered walnut, tempered glass, leather and brushed black aluminum like in the Aida and Lilium and also the new Homage Collection. Il Cremonese is available in the classical Sonus faber finishes of red and walnut."
October 2015 - Big cats - Gato Audio's new PWR-222 are 250-watt mono amplifiers exploiting just two matched npn 500A Mosfets to avoid paralleling output devices in a mininalist push/pull array. There's a 700-watt toroidal power transformer with 44'000uF of premium Rifa capacitors and WBT NextGen terminals.
October 2015 - Stick it to ya - Akiko Audio from Holland overhaul their line of tuning sticks with "improved wiring and high-quality connectors. The contents of the Tuning Stick, mostly a mix of natural minerals, has also been updated". The renewed models are already available and come with an international 14 days money-back guarantee.
October 2015 - Spinning Bryston ... the phono way. Bryston "announce the introduction of three new phono stage preamplifiers and a matching outboard power supply. These new small devices join the BUC-1 (a digital to digital converter outputting asynchronous USB) and BOT-1 (CD ripper and player for the Bryston digital music players) also constructed in the same compact chassis. The new phono preamplifiers all feature Bryston’s 20-year warranty and are expected to become available in December. They include the $800 BP-2 MM, $1'750 BP-2 MM/MC and $1'500TF-2 step-up trafo for low-output moving coil cartridges. Both MM and MM/MC units require the $1'000 outboard PS-3. Bryston customers with a BP-26 preamplifier and MPS-2 power supply can use the MPS-2 instead of PS- with either compact phono stage. The TF-2 requires no outboard power supply. The BP-2 MM has four settings (100-400pF) to match the output of any moving magnet cartridge,and the TF-2 can be ordered with either 20dB of gain (for cartridges less than 45Ω) or 31dB of gain (for cartridges less than 5Ω)."
October 2015 - Bakoon DAC - The long-awaited DAC-21 [$3'500] allows non-vinyl owners of Bakoon's amps a first chance to exploit the firm's current-mode transmission protocol between components said to be impervious to cable lengths. The DAC-21 runs off three Li-ion rechargeable batteries for a claimed 12 hours on a single charge. The internal circuitry is fully discrete and zero negative feedback and handles up to 32/384PCM and DSD256. Also new is the companion AMP-51 [$12,495], Bakoon's new flagship product. It puts out 70wpc in stereo or 150 watts in mono, controls gain with a stepped attenuator and sports 10Hz - 1MHz bandwidth with less than 50uV of noise.
October 2015 - Meitner does DSD 1024 - Someone had to do it and the new EMM Labs DA2 [$25'000] does - DSD x 16 = 1024. "This is our next generation flagship DAC. Re-designed from the ground up, Ed Meitner has once again created a DAC that significantly moves the bar in terms of transparency, accuracy and overall sound quality. New are improved analog stages; the world’s first true fully discrete 16xDSD converter completely built in-house at our Canadian plant; refined new DSP; real-time transient detection, processing and up-conversion of all incoming audio, PCM and DSD, before sending it to the new converter engine; and proprietary hardware galvanic isolation for the USB Audio."
October 2015 - LIO splits off - ... into the Vinnie Rossi VR 120 [$4'995], a standalone still bridgeable 120wpc stereo amp with RCA/XLR inputs and namesake power into 8 ohms which grows to 225wpc into 4, remains stable into 2 and scales to 250/400 mono watts. To play nice with the internal power-cycling banks of ultracapacitors which replace a conventional power supply and batteries, the output stage runs in class AB whilst the input stage is a class A Jfet affair. Dimensions copy the LIO for a matched stack and colors options are black or white Corian front/side panels with a black or silver anodized aluminium cover. Input impedance is ~100, output impedance is < 0.1 ohm. Bandwidth is 10Hz to >50kHz.
October 2015 - Seriously stacked - Gold Note from Italy introduce a modular shelving system using solid Walnut planks over 3mm steel inners stacked with solid aluminium "hour-glass" risers and brass inserts. Called Galileo Rack, each shelf is 45mm thick, weighs 25kg and can support up to 100kg across its 70x65cm area. Being modular, the number of shelves is variable and double or triple-wide assemblies are possible.
October 2015 - Bifrost gets frostier - The four-year old Schiit steams up with two all-new makeovers leveraging the platform's fully modular nature: the $399 delta-sigma option; and the $599 multi-bit. The first gets AKM's AK4490 Veritas chip to improve over the Bifrost Uber for less money. The Multibit "extends Schiit’s proprietary, time- and frequency-domain closed-form DSP digital filter and medical/military grade multibit DAC architecture down to even more affordable price points. Now, Bifrost Multibit is part of a complete family of multibit DACs that include Bifrost Multibit, Gungnir Multibit, and Yggdrasil. Bifrost Multibit is available now for $599."
October 2015 - Core Power Tech - The Equi=Core power cords feature 50, 100 and 300-watt transformer modules to supply attached equipment with true balanced power. Prices start at $499 for a 2.5' cord with the 50-watt module and cap at $799 for an 8.5' length with the 300-watt module. The linked web page is part of the Underwood Hifi site which also owns the Emerald Physics brand of open-baffle speakers; and the designer of this product is Mark Schifter who has worked for Walter Liederman of Emerald Physics for the last 4+ years.
October 2015 - Noblesse oblige - Noble Audio are launching a new aluminium-chassis 10-driver 4-way 35-ohm IEM: the Kaiser 10U aluminium universal fit [£999]. This replaces the existing K10U but sees no price increase over its acrylic predecessor. "Featuring ten drivers assigned to bass, midrange, mid/high, high and super-high frequencies", further features include a detachable two-pin cable and supplied accessories of a Pelican 1010 case; a black velvet soft pouch; 12 pairs of ear tips (four kinds in three sizes); two Noble Audio bands or amp bands; a cleaning tool; a Noble cable and an ownership card.
October 2015 - The amp who would be king - Audeze team up with Bascom King who previously contributed contract design work to Infinity, Marantz, Constellation Audio, PS Audio and others. The new Audeze King [$3'995] "is a two-stage hybrid headphone amplifier featuring a pair of twin triode inputs (E88CCs), a differential P-Mosfet driver and NPN Mosfet output devices delivering perfect device matching for faster response times, far better than typical PNP/NPN output designs. The King’s symmetrical circuits won’t ring at high frequencies, keeping it very stable. It’s DC-servo coupled, has low impedance, low distortion and wide frequency response."
October 2015 - Pure have triplets - Channel D have released a major update to their Pure Music® software. "The new Pure Music 3 software includes nearly 50 new features with extensive optimizations, user interface and performance enhancements, including noticeably faster start-up and greatly improved smoothness and responsiveness with improved integration of its Streamthrough feature to seamlessly and automatically transition between streamed audio and disk-based file playback. This is the culmination of a year of intensive and painstaking re-examination of the application code, hand in hand with careful ongoing testing. Rather than making this a feature-laden update, we focused on improving performance and usability. This is, by far, the best Pure Music ever."
September 2015 - MIT on headfi - MIT Cables continue to move into the popular personal audio and headphone market with their HC/AB-29 headphone amplifier billed as "the worlds first high-current battery-powered class AB headphone amp with MIT’s MultipoleTechnology featuring twenty-nine poles of articulation." Until now, that tech has only been housed within the little boxes found in MIT cables. For the first time ever, MIT is now putting it inside an amp designed with the help of Aaron Reiff, former Chief Engineer at Lucasfilm’s Skywalker Sound and former audio engineer at Capitol Studios in the Hollywood Capitol Records building."
September 2015 - New high-power Pass integrated - The INT-250 [$12'000] "ups the wattage from the INT-150's 150 watts to 250wpc. The INT-250 is optimized for greater versatility with speaker loads of 86dB efficiency or less. Like the INT-60, the INT-250 features the same power supply and output stages, along with the iconic glowing meter as found on Pass Labs' Point 8 amplifiers. It too features four line-level inputs, a line-level output, and two pairs of Furutech speaker binding posts. As with the INT-60, there are direct access buttons for the four inputs on the faceplate and a digital level display in addition to a volume control knob and a mute button. Dimensions are 19" x 21" x 9" WxDxH.
September 2015 - Surrender with Aurender - Got USB source but non-USB DAC? Aurender's new UC100 [$499] bridge connects the two. USB in turns coaxial 75-ohm S/PDIF out. Sample rate support is up to 192kHz PCM or DSD6t4 via DoP. Size is 5.7” L x 1.18” H x 2.12 W, weight is 280g.
September 2015 - PS Audio postscript - "Hot on the heels of the BHK Signature 250 and 300 amplifiers introduced earlier this year, the BHK Signature Preamplifier is a full function linestage featuring five single-ended and balanced inputs, a discrete class A Mosfet headphone amp, classic through-hole construction, PRP resistors, assignable home theater bypass and a fully balanced design. Based on a pair of zero feedback 12AU7 current-sourced tubes feeding a class A Mosfet output stage, there is also a multi-stage stepped attenuator. High voltage analog switches and gold contact relays are incorporated in a two-stage process of linear attenuation. The first stage uses a classic single-element variable shunt attenuator feeding the vacuum tube input. Finer adjustments are made through varying the actual gain of the vacuum tube and together, form a sonically invisible attenuator."
September 2015 - 4 is the new 3 - Audeze announce the LCD-4 [$3'995 by special order] which "features our nano-scale Uniforce™ diaphragms and unique Double Fluxor™ magnet arrays for 1.5 Tesla of flux density. It also features a new comfortable suspension-type carbon fiber headband and carries on the Audeze tradition of extra-large transducer size at a full 106mm. Frequency response is 5Hz to 50kH and its impedance is 100 ohms. You’ll need a quality headphone amplifier to drive it. The LCD-4 is equipped with standard 4-pin mini-XLR jacks and ships with a 1/4" to dual 4-pin mini-XLR premium LCD headphone cable and professional travel case."
September 2015 - Triple-decker Big Mac - American audio icon McIntosh have taken the wraps off three new preamplifiers, the C1100, C52 and C47, all hand-built in the brand's Binghamton/NY factory and priced at $6'500, $7'000 and $4'000 respectively. A sign that McIntosh are finally onto the surge in headphone sales is each model's headphone jack working with "our headphone crossfeed director (HXD)", a circuit said to breath greater depth and spatiality into your music. The new preamps all have a Home Theatre pass-thru. Styling is typically McIntosh with classic black glass fronts, blue meters, stainless steel chassis, illuminated logos and custom machined brushed aluminium end caps.

The dual-chassis C1100 splits into controller and tube preamplifier for lower noise. Inside are 12 tubes, six each 12AX7 and 12AT7. There are 6 x XLR, 4 x RCA and MM/MC inputs plus 2 x XLR and 2 x RCA outputs. The C52 gets 16 inputs, the C47 12, with both supporting 32/384 PCM and DSD256. The former gets an 8-band analog EQ, the latter bass and treble controls. Both include MC/MM phono.
September 2015 - Wadda Wadia - The di322 digital audio decoder [$3'500] supports DSD256 and 32/384PCM over USB, 2 each coax and optical 24/192 inputs and analog outputs on RCA, XLR and 6.3mm headfi. Variable output levels hit 4/8Vrms max on RCA and XLR respectively, output impedance is 600 ohms either way, SNR is 110dB, dynamic range is 100dB.
September 2015 - Call for British supremacy - "Plans have been made for the UK launch of Harbeth's 'best ever' monitor loudspeaker. The prestigious London audiophile venue KJ West One will see the unveiling of the new model by designer Alan Shaw on Saturday 24th October at a free-entry event. Harbeth say that the design has produced the biggest leap forward in sonic supremacy since the brand was started in 1977. "With improved efficiency, a more transparent and engaging sound, the M40.2 take the Harbeth experience to new levels in a wider range of listening environments", promises marketing manager Trevor Butler. Located behind Selfridge's, KJ invite customers old and new to bring their favourite recordings and hear them like they've never heard them before."
September 2015 - Classic Classé - The Canadians announce a Sigma series mono amp [$4'000] delivering 350/700w into 8/4 ohms. "Critical portions of the amplifier’s circuitry surpass what is available in the two- and five-channel Sigma models. A new analog input stage, modifications to the operation of the output stage and new output filters are employed to optimize the performance of this high-powered monaural amplifier. A special pass-thru feature allows the input signal to be forwarded to a second amplifier for bi-amplifying or driving a subwoofer amplifier." The amp has a global 100-240V, 50/60 Hz power input, RCA/XLR i/o and its power stage runs in class D.
September 2015 - Zesty erotica - The new Zesto Audio Eros 300 monos [$19'900/pr] generate 150 watts of pure class A push/pull ultralinear power from a sextet of KT88 driven by a pair of 12AU7. There are RCA/XLR inputs, the latter with switchable ground lift; and auto bias.
September 2015 - Clones uprising - The Clones Audio boutique from Hong Kong have released their new Power Station [ca. €791 depending on the exchange rate against 6'900 HKD]. This linear power supply can be set from 5 to 18V out and from 2 to 8A to replace various SMPS wall warts or laptop-style bricks. A special version was developed for the popular Mac Mini. Installation of the Mac mod takes 10 minutes and is documented with special instructions. The brick-like device weighs 4.5kg, measures 10 x 10 x 15cm WxDxH and comes with a 3-year warranty.
September 2015 - Maggie index slides - Magneplanar's 1.7 model begets the smaller 0.7, a 2-way quasi ribbon with 45Hz - 22kHz response, 4Ω impedance, 86dB sensitivity and dimensions of 38.7 x 137.8 x 3.2cm. Pricing is £1'690/pr, with the optional DWM bass panel for larger rooms £990.
September 2015 - Sprout gets whacked - PS Audio announce a permanent price reduction for their $799 Sprout integrated which will henceforth sell for $499 without any hardware changes.
September 2015 - Oregon's new open baffle - Icono Audio's IAQ-1 [$18'500/pr] is an actively driven tri-amped DSP-controlled 3-way open-baffle speaker in a domestically sourced Ply-laminate frame. Two front-to-back dome tweeters mate to an open-backed midrange and four paralleled 8-inch woofers for 50Hz lower bandwidth. The outboard DSP controller has provisions for two subwoofer feeds. Magnetically fixed grills for the woofer sections are standard. The customer must supply 6-channel amplification.
September 2015 - MiniSub Chroma - ISOL-8 from the UK introduce a new £995 power conditioner. "Quality mains conditioning can bring the same performance benefits to pictures as well as sound. The MiniSub Chroma is a single box solution for conditioning an entire AV system. It incorporates many of the technologies featured in our SubStation range, with help from the VMC1080 video conditioner, at a much more affordable price. There are six outlets with a total combined continuous capacity of 10 Amps. One is for video displays of all types. Three are for source components, each have individual Transmodal filters to combat noise cross contamination within your system. These attenuate both common and differential mode noise without dumping it to ground. Two high power outlets are cleaned by a low dynamic impedance, high current filter optimised for amplifiers. Built to last with premium components including Evox capacitors, OFC Mundorf inductors, silver plated PTFE insulated wiring and custom ISOL-8 chokes, the MiniSub Chroma is the ideal AV enthusiast’s upgrade to reclaim performance lost to the negative effects of noise on the mains supply."
September 2015 - Genuinely Genuin - Blumenhofer's Genuin FS 3 model gets its Mk2 work over. Based on "harmonic construction" (for controlled cabinet resonance), the former 8-inch driver has been upgraded to a 25cm/10" unit developed in-house; and the port now exits toward the floor rather than front. TIme alignment of the HDF tweeter horn remains adjustable, the impedance curve is claimed to be flat and tube friendly and there is additional impedance linearization that can be switched in and out of the circuit. Price per per is €9'750.
September 2015 - Europe's #2 show - Gearing up for his biggest ever installment of the annual Warsaw hifi show yet, Adam Mokrzycki this year has replaced the Bristol hotel with the National Stadium's 55-room conference center. The Sobieski and Golden Tulip remain in play and he's expecting to book 130-140 rooms (up from 104 in 2014). A special visitor's treat will be the first Polish showing of the mighty Living Voice Vox Olympian system in a 90sqm conference room in the Golden Tulip. The show will take place November 6-8 (Fri-Sun), with 16:00 - 20:00 hours on the first day, 10:00 - 20:00 on the second and 10:00 - 18:00 on the last.


September 2015 - Playing flashy footsies - KAT Audio's email to us introduced their global distribution agent from Taiwan, called them a British brand, then signed off with an email belonging to Key Application Technology Co. Ltd of Taiwan. "KAT Audio have developed new isolator feet in three types using a number of innovative and unprecedented structural details to become a world's first." Their website dubs the Terminator T1 the world's most complicated isolator composed of 125 components per unit. These parts include a sleeve of small ball bearings inside a carbon-fibre column, an inner sleeve of graphite dampers, a centrally decoupled shaft with an O-ring detached top and a base floating on three ceramic ball bearings. Pricing is $700/ea. for the T1, $400/ea. for the T2 and $250/ea. for the T3. If one were cavalier, one might call this the maximum balls-out attempt at an ultimate footer.
August 2015 - Dream team - Markaudio Sota is a new brand of Sota Acoustics Ltd. of Hong Kong. It combines the engineering talents of Mark Fenlon (Alpair drivers), Italian designer Andrea Ponti, system tuner Dr. Scott Lindgren (Woden Design) and Steve Cheng (CEO, electronics engineering). Their first product is called Viotti One, a two-way monitor combining the Sota 5 and Sota 11 high-frequency and mid/bass drivers with a 2nd-order filter located in the base of the stand. System efficiency is 88.5dB. Dimensions of the speaker/stand assemblage are 1006mm high, 268mm deep and 153mm wide.
August 2015 - Tara 30A - From Trafomatic Audio's custom division comes this new remote-controlled DHT linestage exploiting Emission Labs' high-gain 30A triode. It sports an output power supply, a 47-step Bent Audio attenuator and full-metal wand, 18dB of voltage gain, a 600-ohm output impedance and one RCA and three XLR inputs to suit the needs of the client writing this commission.
August 2015 - Ultrafi? - "Ultra Fi are pleased to announce the availability of the new Continuous Contact Damping cable line. Endorsed by industry professionals and music mavens alike, Continuous Contact Damping cables quickly become the missing component in any audio system, leading to the utmost in musical enjoyment. Visit  today and delve into what makes each and every one of these cables unique and take advantage of one of the special introductory offers in making the necessary selections for your system."
August 2015 - Chorded - Billing themselves "the UK’s leading high-performance A/V cable manufacturer, The Chord Company have launched Clearway, a high-performance, low-cost speaker cable that replaces their critically acclaimed Carnival SilverScreen and introduces a raft of advanced features. Clearway speaker cable borrows key ideas from recent development projects at The Chord Company’s Wiltshire headquarters.  Clearway refines 30 years of Chord know-how into a ground-breaking, highly affordable new speaker cable."
August 2015 - Ingratiate integration -  Lindemann Audiotechnik announced that their Musicbook 20 and 25 network music players will now support the popular music streaming services Tidal and Deezer. As of November 2015, existing Lindemann customers will be able to download a free firmware update and then use Tidal and Deezer, both of which offer FLAC 44.1/16 (CD quality) service. Additional services are expected to be added shortly thereafter. Customers and interested parties are also invited to suggest additional services.
August 2015 - Whaddya wand? - "The Wand 10.3in tone arm is explicitly designed to be the longest arm which one may fit on a Linn Sondek LP12 or Technics SL1200 family turntable without major modifications. After a positive response to the 12" version of The Wand Unipivot tone arm, Design Build Listen Ltd. are releasing a 10.3" version which promises 2/3rds of the benefits of a 12" arm in a format that fits many existing turntables. While 12" arms may improve tracing distortion performance by around 30% compared to standard 9" arms, a 10.3" arm achieves close to 20% i in a format achievable for many users." Designer Simon Brown of Design Build Listen described himself as a 12" arm convert "but has found that many people are unable to fit 12" arms to their treasured turntables. The Wand 10.3in remains a medium-mass 14g arm to be used with a wide range of cartridges. Dedicated mounting kits are available for both Linn LP12 and Technics SL1200 family turntables. The Wand 10.3in is available as the full-spec 'Plus' model for £845. At the same time Design Build Listen have made improvements to The Wand Tonearm culminating in Series 2 status. This includes a new Tungsten Carbide cup bearing, laser-sintered 3D-printedTitanium head shell and a change to brass as the base material for most of the arm parts. These combine to improve both sound quality and finish."
August 2015 - Omni it - Eric Cross of Vintage Audio World is leaking the first photo of their new Omuni Mini before it goes to the paint shop. "These 10-inch cubes will fill a room with full range sound using our unique bass loading design. Drivers are SB Acoustics 5.5" mid/woofer with a Fountek 3" fullrange. As usual with our designs, two crossover components only. No matching resistors."
August 2015 - Burson divide to conquer - "Burson Audio, manufacturer of fine USB DAC/headphone amplifier/preamplifiers, headphone amplifiers and stereo amplifiers, is pleased to announce a new division, Supreme Sound Audio. While built to the same exacting standards as all Burson Audio products, Supreme Sound Audio focuses on providing components for DIYers and OEMs. Burson’s all-discrete op-amps are the first products shifted to the SSA site. Marking the launch of SSA, we’re offering for sale the Lycan. As a headphone amp it delivers over 2wpc @16ohm driving any headphone with ease. It is also the perfect preamp for any power amplifier and active speakers. Furthermore, the Lycan Test Bench includes an input section allowing you to roll op-amps! Try our SSA op-amps as well as other brands. The Lycan is a stethoscope into the actual sound of op-amps and discrete circuits that are easily auditioned right in your own components.  SSA will continue development of the Lycan and add-ons will be released in the future. The Lycan op-amp headphone amp and preamp is shipping early September at $249USD with a basic dual IC op-amp and $299USD with SSA op-amps.  If you preorder and place a deposit, Supreme Sound Audio will take $50USD off when the unit is ready to ship. The offer ends the 1st of September, 2015."
August 2015 - TAVC - In our strange hifi lingo, an AVC is an autoformer volume control and it's been available as an option in the Vinnie Rossi LIO. Alternately, one could configure it with a resistor/relay matrix volume control and add a separate tube stage. What one couldn't do was combine the AVC and the tubes. Until now. The new $2'195 combo board combines dual-mono Slageformers with their 1dB x 64 attenuation steps from -54dB to +7dB (with passive step-up gain) which are controllable via remote and double as balance control; and an E88CC-based tube follower. All tubes in the 6922 family are rollable including 7308, 7DJ8, 6N23, 6N11 and 6GM8. Output impedance of this module is <200 ohms and bandwidth at +/- 0.5dB is 10Hz - 110kHz. Current AVC module owners get a $1'395 trade-in credit, $890 for the RVC/tube combo and $295 for the RVC.
August 2015 - Beryllium + ceramic = ? - That'd be Campfire's Lyra IEM [$749] which mates a custom 8.5mm Neodymium-powered Beryllium driver to a "tuned high-density ceramic" enclosure and "high-grade Japanese copper-clad aluminium voice coil". The 0.0004" thin Lyra driver has its Beryllium vapor-deposited onto a 9 micrometre PET substrate in a copper basket. It comes with three differently tuned ear tips and 4-conductor silver-plated copper wiring.



August 2015 - Sustain it, bro! - The new Cypherlabs Sustain84 [$1'200] is billed as a desktop headfi amp running EL84 bottles and Japanese Z11 output transformers with Nichicon electrolytic capacitors and Cardas RCA sockets. Max output swing is given as 14V peak to peak, response as 30Hz-30kHz +/-1dB, power consumption as 20 watts. Actual drive power is 0.08W into 600 ohms, 0.16W into 300 ohms, 0.36W into 100 ohms and 1W into 32 ohms. Selectable voltage gain is 2dB in the low setting, 17dB in the high setting. The tube shields are removable.
August 2015 - B by - Bassocontinuo the whole thing is called. It's a range of Italian hifi racks which, via a configurator page, can be turned out "in the finest leather, limited edition veneers, technological materials like carbon fiber or alutex and complete with four different kind of legs included real solid copper. More than 4'000 different combinations are available to create your personal rack. What will be your choice?"