This is our bulletin-style news room on product releases; new companies and websites; industry events and the like. To be included submit a press release with photos or logos attached. The delivery format can be a word doc, PDF or email. Please send your news items to srajan @

August 2014 - Tabula Rasa - German hifi furniture brand Tabula Rasa is now available for direct purchase in the UK as well as across the EU. "Every item is constructed from solid oak and maple sourced from sustainable forests. Designs are contemporary and elegant with clean lines and exquisite finishes. The Tabula Rasa range includes four core designs: the Notrebo, Lowboard, Basis 600 and the Deepspace shown. Each comes with a range of customisable options such as a choice of wood colours and finishes, varying width, overall height and/or individual shelf heights and the addition of bespoke storage units for the Lowboard."
August 2014 - Orpheus - RT Audio Designs bow the Ultra DAC Orpheus "around the AD1852 in differential mode with voltage output. USB is based on an async XMOS chip realized on a separate PCB with 5VDC power supply. The DAC can work with S/PDIF using a CS8416 receiver powered by two separate LT1086-5 stabilizers. The digital section of the converter is powered by a separate power supply. The filter capacitors are Nichicon True gold grade. There are Sowter 3575 output transformers in differential mode to reduce noise from signal ground. The main PSU is battery based with a separate SMPS charger. The 12V/2.2Ah battery is good for 12 hours before automated recharge."
August 2014 - musicbooks - In Lindemann Audio's musicbook range, the models 10 and 15 are two 32/384 PCM, DSD128 USB converters with asynchronous femto-clock USB interface fully isolated from computer power. These models are said to be the first to run the brand-new AKM AK4490 converters ready for 768kHz and DSD256. There are analog inputs, an analog linestage with analog volume control, a class A headfi amp and (for the musicbook:15 only) a CD drive. The IR remote allows easy navigating through playlists and albums. Pricing starts at €3'200.
August 2014 - Syncro - "Launched in 2010, the Syncro is IsoTek’s most advanced power cord. It incorporates unique performance-enhancing electronics housed in an anti-resonant aluminium cylinder positioned on the cable. This is essentially a pre-filter to synchronise the mains supply to promote a perfectly symmetrical sine wave. The Syncro effectively knocks the ‘DC on the mains’ problem on the head by rebalancing the AC. The cable in the new EVO3 Syncro is IsoTek’s EVO3 Optimum of 3 x 3sqmm silver-plated ultra-pure Ohno continuous cast copper conductors in a square-shaped configuration of 40 strands, each strand also being of square cross-section. A high-quality Teflon FEP dielectric is extruded over each conductor for a very low dielectric constant. The three conductors are given a slight rotational twist to aid RFI and EMI rejection and are then surrounded by cotton filler which as well as adding internal strength and reducing microphony also possesses superb dielectric properties. The whole construction is then double shielded by first enclosing it in a Mylar wrap to provide an additional dielectric buffer before applying an active OFC copper shield for maximum rejection of HF interference. A durable heat-resistant PVC outer jacket gives a high degree of flexibility and mechanical strength. The EVO3 Syncro is available now for £1,195 including VAT."
August 2014 - Clones go phono - The Clones Audio PA1 [$629] offers internal DIP switches to adjust for MM and MC cartridge values whilst the external power supply means to eliminate cross-talk effects. Loading options are 33, 100, 1K and 47K ohms. MC/MM capacitance figures are 1'100 and 100pf respectively. Gain is selectable at 48, 52, 63, 70 and 74dB. Output impedance is 68 ohms. Warranty is 5 years, dimensions are 124 x 45 x 128mm WxHxD, weight is 1.5kg.
August 2014 - More Melody - The new 212 Everest mono amps combine, on one deck, one each Western Electric 373A and 429A, then a 274B and 212 for 50 watts of class A SET power with a claimed response of 18Hz - 30kHz ±0.5dB, an input sensitivity of 1.3V, an SNR of >86dB, dimensions of 34 x 41.5 x 88mm WxHxD and a massive weight of 75kg/ea. First photos can be seen on Melody's Chinese website.
August 2014 - Bespoke Tektron - The TK211S-I REF from Sicily's Tektron Audio is a custom-made stereo tube integrated featuring matched 211 x 2, 6SN7 x 2, 6X5 x 1, 5R4GY x 2, OC3 x 1, OD3 x 1 and ZM1040 x 1. There are 3 line inputs with an NOS red Nixie tube. Input sensitivity is 1.5V. 8-ohm power is 16wpc. Bias is manual via precision potentiometers and a high-quality milliamp meter. Response is given as 25 - 36'000Hz. The power supply is 230VAC 50/60Hz 260W. Dimensions and weight are 49x35x25cm and 35kg. Finish is solid wood in several selectable species. The top plate is brass; or copper by request. NOS tubes are available by demand.
August 2014 - Nasotec terminals - Dong-Chan Son, president of Nasotec, introduces his Namoo NS-101B binding posts which combine pure copper and wood with 24K gold plating on a diamagnetic undercoat. Matching banana and spade lugs will follow in 2015. Countries without distributors can obtain these parts directly from highendcity.
August 2014 - Dark Pro 88 - As distributed by Pacetech for Europe, Melody is launching the new Pro 88 integrated amplifier [€2'000] for the Western markets in their revised Dark Series. At 26kg, this integrated combines 4 x KT88 with 2 x XF184 and 4 x 6BA11 to produce 50wpc of class AB1 power. Response is given as 20Hz- 30kHz ±0.5dB, input impedance is 100Kohm, input sensitivity is 420mV and SNR is better than 90dB.
August 2014 - Roll yer (op) amp - Burson have always championed discrete and their latest 4th-gen opamps continue this tradition. Compared to their previous generation, they're down to 21 parts for the new single and 42 parts for the dual opamp (generation 3 had 32/64 components respectively). "The Supreme Sound plug'n'play opamp has low open-loop distortion, low noise, low drift, low offset and wider bandwidth. It works in a wide range of power supply environments from ±5V to ±20V, i.e. from a studio mixer to a CD player, preamp, headphone amp, power amp to higher-quality PC sound cards." Burson's new opamp sells for €60/pr for the single and €100/pr for the dual part. It also comes with a 30-day satisfaction guarantee and lifetime warranty.
August 2014 - Meitner news - "More than a year in R&D, EMM Labs and Meitner Audio announce the MDAT2 DSP update to take all their current DAC platforms (DAC2X, XDS1 V2, MA-1, MA-2) to the next level. MDAT takes PCM and DSD and applies real-time transient filtering and up-conversion to 5.6/6.1MHz before being converted to analog. With MDAT processing, there is no pre and post ringing. With  MDAT2's new DSP engine there is increased sonic detail from PCM and DSD using new high-resolution algorithms; greatly optimized time and frequency response filters; a new signal processing engine and a  more accurate 2xDSD upsampling algorithm."
August 2014 - HE-560 spawns HE-400i - After HifiMan had redesigned their planarmagnetic platform with the HE-560, the new HE-400i [$499] is the second model to incorporate many of the changes introduced by the HE-560. Being 30% lighter than its HE-400 predecessor, with 93dB efficiency, single-ended drive units, an oxygen-free silver/copper cable and the firm's new FocusPad Pleather/Velour ear pads, the new 400i is said to improve upon the company's most popular model.
July 2014 - Aussie wires - PSC Audio Cable have announced the new Pristine Signal Transfer 8 trio of cables. The PST 8 cables have been designed with a view to "system tuning" and are a mix of materials with their own sound signatures. The new cables come in three models which all share dual 1.3mm single-core conductors in an air dielectric. The AG is a twisted silver-plated copper cable in a black cloth sleeve which is followed by the blue-sleeved AG/AU gold-plated copper cable. The third red cotton-sleeved model is a dual twisted conductor cable where one is silver-plated, the other gold-plated. Marco Mosgawa, proprietor at PSC Audio: "While the sound engineer can shamelessly use graphic, parametric and studio desk equalizers, the high-end purist will not reach for such options. We came up with a cable tuning system to adjust a system’s performance by employing the three best audio conductors of copper, silver and gold and still maintain purity." The Pristine 8 cables are said to have been tested in nearly 40 different high-end systems in Australia and around the world. PSC Audio claims significant system tuning capabilities by mixing the different cables to arrive at a desired system tonal balance. All three Pristine Signal Transfer 8 cables are priced at US$1'500. PSC Audio will soon announce matching AC and speaker cables with the same configurations.
July 2014 - Maestro - The Linnenberg Audio Maestro [€1'370 excl. VAT] "is a direct descendant of the spa1 headphone amplifier. Serving the demands of discerning headphone aficionados, the unit was designed for an outstanding listening experience with any type of dynamic and planar-magnetic headphone (5Wrms into 32 ohms). Furthermore the Maestro is the heart of any high-end stereo system by providing a state-of-the-art line-level preamp function. The volume control is a 16-bit R2R ladder network with 0.7dB steps over an 80dB range with <0.05dB channel offset, tight-tolerance metal film resistors and 128 fast-switching low on-resistance analog switches. Front-panel controls select between XLR/RCA inputs and XLR/RCA main or XLR and TRS headfi outputs. The DC-coupled fully balanced wireless circuit eliminates all signal-path capacitors and the volume control is sync'd to the Apple remote."
July 2014 - Opportunities - Louis Timmers of Eltim audio BV in Holland is discontinuing their support of Morel drivers by liquidating their inventory stock and selling off five domain names associated with Morel Europe.  
July 2014 - Exogal Audio - The Comet shown is a 24/192 USB DAC with 32-bit digital volume, analog inputs, RCA/XLR and 6.3mm headfi outputs, an optional RF remote and a smartphone app. The company also has a matching Audio Rendering Platform or ARP model. Wadia's former chief engineer Jim Kinne is the main digital designer behind Exogal.
July 2014 - Vibex - Cliff Orman's new Vibex Alhambra is the companion advanced AC filter to the double DC filter called Granada. In this version, the Alhambra simply docks atop the Granada without any umbilical, plugging instead straight into the Granada's power inlet while furnishing its own replacement for your connection to the wall. A freestanding version of the Alhambra is also available. This add-on double-decker solution allows current users of the Granada to experiment with added AC filtering to determine whether in their system, the sonics undergo further improvements; or whether DC filtering is sufficient. The obvious upshot is not having to buy a function one doesn't need; and to enclose and seal specialized filters in their very own discrete casings for maximal effectiveness.
July 2014 - EquaRack news - EquaRack "introduces the new MultiMount isolation and damping mount which replaces the former Footer. The new MultiMount retains its predecessor’s unique adjustable weight-optimization design and offers enhanced performance while eliminating the difficulty of setup and handling inherent in the former Footer. The new much larger viscoelastic pellets are made of an improved highly damped proprietary elastomer and come in 1lb. and 3lb. versions. The 1lb.pellets can effectively isolate components as light as 3lbs! The much larger pellets and deep counter bores in both halves of the device insure that the MultiMount will remain intact during handling and setup."
July 2014 - Thiel news - "Thiel Audio have announced today that as part of a complete brand revitalization, the company’s headquarters have relocated to the Nashville/TN area and new ownership has appointed John Wittman as CEO who joins with a successful track record in consumer products, manufacturing, distribution and most recently the publishing industry. Wittman is assembling a diverse team to advance the brand. In the new Nashville HQ, the team is growing with the appointment of Paul Fisher as Senior VP of Sales and Marketing along with new hires in engineering, marketing, purchasing and operations, with more staffing to follow. Retained are longtime company veterans Lana Ruth and Rob Gillum to run the customer service and repair departments from a new facility in Lexington, KY."  
July 2014 - Goldmund headfi - From Switzerland's famous ultra-fi brand comes preliminary data on their forthcoming Telos Headphone Amplifier. With auto-adaptive output impedance, power delivery is 5 watts into 50 ohms. The onboard DAC (coax/Toslink or USB) handles up to 32/384 PCM and DSD via DoP. The analog input undergoes A/D conversion for DSP correction. There are two paralleled 6.3mm headphone ports and a frontal 3-position toggle selects between S/PDIF, USB and analog inputs.
July 2014 - Acuhorn OTL - Acuhorn's Polish stereo/mono 6C33C Triode amps with Vicor DC-to-DC converter module and sub-miniature driver tubes cost from €2'600 to €7'800 depending on one or two tubes per channel. They propose that you direct-connect those hot-running tubes to your speakers without a transformer. Acuhorn claim that "the high bias has each tube work like 8 traditional tubes", hence the M4 mono with four output tubes is "the equivalent of 16 tubes". Each 6C33C is individually regulated, the mains voltage from 90-264VAC is ready for global operation and the included 21-step attenuator allows operation without a preamp. Power ratings are 5 watts per tube, hence 20 watts per side is the top rating for the 4-tube mono version.
July 2014 - Contest - To promote the personal listening culture, Burson are running a visual art contest.  The winner will go home with a Burson Conductor SL9018 valued at $1'550. The theme? Your personal audio space (show us your listening space). The contest is open to participants worldwide and entry closes on the 6th of August. 
July 2014 - USB - Wireworld Cable Technology's new reference USB Audio cables, the Platinum Starlight® 7 [$700] and Silver Starlight® 7 USB [$300], add "Composilex® 2 insulation to make them dramatically quieter. Their upgraded DNA Helix® design increases their transmission speed to a class-leading 10.2Gbps+." Both cables employ six signal conductors in a newly expanded symmetrical geometry that "channels more electromagnetic energy" whilst the Composilex 2 insulation "reduces triboelectric noise in the signal conductors and triples the noise-absorption of the isolated power conductor." The Platinum sports solid-silver conductors and molded carbon-fiber connectors, the Silver silver-clad OFC conductors and aluminium connectors. Both can be had from 0.3 - 5m lengths and with standard or mini connectors.
July 2014 - Site updates - Joe Cohen of The Lotus Group announces "the unveiling of our new website featuring cleaner looks, greater ease of navigation and a great deal more user friendly information."  
July 2014 - Care Orchestra SRL - This Italian brand "launched its first three products previewed at Munich HighEnd. With the Spiritual Wave 'Titanium Edition' we introduce a new titanium transducer and 'multicurve' system which lets the user choose between pure, light and deep voicings of this 4-liter monitor model."
July 2014 - New ESL - Soltanus Acoustics "proudly present the world’s first crossover-less multi-panel electrostatic loudspeaker. Brooklyn Audio are proud to represent this new company in North America. In searching for the most natural sound, we determined that one of the most critical points in the entire signal path is the crossover. Even the most carefully designed crossovers distort. It took years of R&D to design a panel-frame transformer which gives excellent frequency and phase response. The result is very clear, detailed, fast and natural sound with low distortion for the new $8'995/pr ESL Virtuoso."
July 2014 - More costly Ethernet wire - "Fono Acustica introduce new Ethernet and USB cables for their Allegro cable range. Both models are based on high-quality pure silver and copper alloy conductors. Thermo-treated conductors are blended in proprietary ratios and insulated in Teflon dielectrics with ultra-effective shielding. 1-meter prices are €1'550 for Ethernet, €1'450 for USB."
July 2014 - Japanese IEMs - "The Alpha Design Labs EH-008 [£175] use twin dynamic drivers treated with Furutech’s Alpha process. An 8mm low-to-mid driver is positioned in a special bass chamber behind a high-frequency titanium film driver for phase-correct high resolution. The inner and outer housings are designed for driver stabilisation and superior damping. From the beautiful diamond-cut aluminium end plates to the deep lustrous finish on the carbon fibre enclosures, the EH-008 invites pride of ownership. The outer ring seals improve isolation and increase comfort while the half ounce design completes the sensation that nothing stands between you and your music." Basic specs are 100dB ±3dB sensitivity (130mW input at 1KHz), 19-ohm impedance and 20Hz - 20kHz response.
July 2014 - Jensen + Radial - "Jensen Transformers is pleased to announce that the firm was acquired by long-time customer Peter Janis as owner and president of Radial Engineering Ltd. Jensen joins the Radial group of companies along with Reamp, Tonebone, Primacoustic and Hafler. According to Bill Whitlock, former owner and president: "After 25 years and my recent turning 70, the time had come for Jensen to be passed along to a younger generation. Peter's company Radial has been tied at the hip with Jensen since 1992 and has been the biggest user of Jensen transformers for years. It only made sense that he take the reins."

Deane Jensen started the company 40 years ago in 1974. Bill Whitlock acquired it upon Deane's untimely death in 1989. Dave Hill, general manager at Jensen: "Over the past months we have begun to understand Peter's way of doing business and it is very exciting!  We just extended our lease keeping the company in Chatsworth, purchased two more high precision Meteor numerical winders, increased our raw part inventory, added more computer power to streamline our processes and are currently hiring more staff to increase production. Peter is absolutely committed to upholding the Jensen brand and quality that we strove to build. These are very exciting times!"
July 2014 - Audio Esoterica Issue #3 - With our contributor Edgar Kramer also the editor-in-chief of Australia's annual Audio Esoterica issue of top-class hifi kit published by AVhub of NextMedia, it's our pleasure to announce availability of its third issue on Zinio via the above link. It features showcase articles on the Kyron Audio Kronos speakers on the cover; the Wilson Audio Sasha W/P Series 2; the Sonus faber Extreme; the Dynaudio Evidence Platinum; the Audio Physic Virgo 250Plus+; the JBL Project K2S9900; the Brinkmann, Jelco, Acoustical Systems analog playback system; the Trinity DAC; the Sony HAP-Z1ES; the Ypsilon CDT-100M; the Accustic Arts Streamer.ES and Tube DACII; the Devialet 200; the Krell S-550i; the Yamaha A-S3000; the Naim Statement; and interviews with Anthony Michaelson of Musical Fidelity and Len Wallis; and two hifi installations by Audio Solutions' Sydney store.  
June 2014 - British tracks - Track Audio's Caroline Rieger informs us of updates to their new 600 Reference SE stand "which includes improvements to the anodising of the stand and redesigned legs which have been filtered down to the other products in our range. Each stand is hand-assembled from 125 parts, CNC machined from high-grade aluminium with diamond-turned legs and capable of supporting 175kg speakers with a 23 x 30cm top plate that can be rotated 90°."
June 2014 - Greek racks - Nick Kostadimas introduces his Chameleon racks "based on several graphite varieties and exotic woods which I selected for their unique properties. Our products are isolation feet, cable isolators, a turntable clamp and Graphite mat, turntable plinth and racks."
June 2014 - O mni good - Eric Cross of Vintage Audio World announces his Omuni omnidirectional loudspeaker as "the culmination of years of fascination with omni designs and three years of development. These are hand-built by our fine-furniture maker craftsman." The Omuni is a 2-way with 8-inch downfiring woofer in an aperiodic labyrinth and upfiring 3" mid/high driver. Claimed response is 28Hz - 25kHz -3dB with 89dB sensitivity, power requirements of 20 watts and dimensions of 75 x 39 x 33.5cm HxWxD.
June 2014 - AES/EBU - Sablon Audio "are delighted to announce their Panatela AES/EBU digital cable. This design is an evolution of the earlier 75ohm S/PDIF cable modified to achieve the 110-ohm balanced specification. It's quite possibly unique in being both unshielded and non-coaxial. This hand-built approach from bare wire up benefits from a wider choice of conductors and natural insulation materials to give an open and naturally musical yet extremely high-resolution performance.  The superlative Xhadow XLR connectors have once again been selected and this cable is now available for $750 inclusive of worldwide shipping.
June 2014 - DIYers unite - Vitavox HiFi announce the launch of their Constructor Series bass enclosures. "For home builders constructing their own multi-way horn systems, the bass enclosure is often the most daunting prospect. The cost and complexity of the build, coupled with an often uncertain result, can deter even the most resolute, but commercially available hi-fi solutions are few, and where they do exist, often very highly priced. Our Constructor Series cabinets are aimed at bridging this gap. Designed to get the best out of the famous Vitavox K and AK series 15" drivers, these proven Vitavox designs share the same legendary build quality and performance as our full commercial systems but come without the costly aesthetic refinements. In their most basic form they are offered in unlacquered birch plywood although higher levels of finish are available upon request. To further reduce costs, all units are supplied to customers direct from the factory."
June 2014 - Job Pre2 - Goldmund's budget division which packages their core circuits in basic threads and scaled-down features have released the matching preamp to their popular Job 225 stereo amp. With 3 RCA inputs, 1 RCA output and basic volume control, the Job Pre2 built in Goldmund's Geneva factory is available now for $1'695 delivered to nearly anywhere in the world, all customs and shipping fees included (Spain and Portugal excepted due to shipper restrictions and Australians must add a small import tax upon delivery).
June 2014 - NuPrime IDA-16 - Nuforce's new high-end line welcomes the IDA-16 200wpc integrated digital amp [$2'350] with 384kHz PCM + DSD data acceptance. There are five digital and one analog input, theater bypass mode, a Jfet input stage, 99 x 0.5dB volume steps via a thin-film switched resistor ladder, XMOS USB and ESS9018 silicon, a variable pre-out and the company's established cross-matrix capacitor array.
June 2014 - Zu Modern - Zu Audio's new sound console [$7'800] combines a reshaped Zu Submission subwoofer in its lower half; and by magnetic levitation floats above it the second half with built-in Zu 10.3" Nano-treated wideband cube speakers in the corners and slots for four hifi components (not included) in between. The concept is obvious: revisit the past of fully integrated sound furniture but modernize it for the 21st century on performance.
June 2014 - FirstWatt F6 - Initially promoted only as a DIY project, 1.5 years later the Nelson Pass F6 push/pull stereo amp with Jensen transformers as phase splitter, feedback loop and passive voltage gain device plus power Mosfet outputs has gone into formal production with a retail of $3'500. With a 25/50wpc power rating into 8/4 ohms, it is the highest-power model in the special-application FirstWatt stable and as such the most likely successor to the discontinued F5.
June 2014 - Cary transistors - The new SL-100 preamp [$1'995] "combines the desirable attributes of low noise, low distortion and ease of use with carefree maintenance yet delivers a very smooth tonal balance not unlike tubes. It offers XLR balanced i/o as well as multiple RCA inputs and outputs whilst the remote powers on/off, switches sources, controls volume, balance and mute. The display shows current settings and volume levels during use."
June 2014 - Gamut scales up - Building upon the 2007 S range of S3 to S9 models, the new RS range again consists of four models now called RS3, RS5, RS7 and RS9. "The RS cabinets look like their predecessors. The enhancements are all in the construction. The curved cabinets are still based on an inner structure of laminated Finnish Birch Ply but now the outer skin consists of five layers of 2mm-thick Ash veneers. This delivers an even more pleasing harmonic structure by taking the last remnants of resonance to a lower level of audibility. The new hookup wiring is now our own Wormhole Signatures in two twisted pairs." UK pricing is set at £11'850 + £3'550 for the monitor RS3 with stand; £23'100 for the RS5 2½-way compact tower; £29'050 for the RS7 3-way tower; and £74'000 for the RS9 flagship shown.
June 2014 - M Project - Magico's limited edition speaker to celebrate their 10th anniversary will sell for €129'000/pr when it begins shipping in October. The M Project combines a 1" MBD28 tweeter, 6" Nano-Tec MP6004 midrange and three 10" MP1005 Nano-Tec woofers. Basic specs include 91dB sensitivity, 4-ohm impedance, 20H–50kHz response, weight of 400lbs and dimensions of 56 x 23 x 15" HxDxW.
June 2014 - Kharma Butterfly - A combination of small satellites with a compact down-firing sub containing enough DSP and output power for up to 4 satellite speakers (120wpc for the satellites, 180 watts for the sub) claims response of 30Hz to 20kHz and maximal SPL of 109dB. Diverse stand options include ceiling, wall, floor and table-top applications. A second subwoofer can be slaved to the first. The drivers in the small monitors are an AMT tweeter and 3" composite midrange cone proprietary to Kharma. The enclosures are aluminium and available in a choice of three luxury lacquers.    
June 2014 - Red King - This €3'700 Eryk S. Concept integrated "sports the same premium finish as the Superioro set, i.e. white + piano-gloss ebony. We have optimised a dual power supply to work on all world's AC voltages. The new BT 4.0 Bluetooth standard adds lossless streaming and sounds as good as your best CD without needing a pin code. The power transformers are twice shielded in cooper and steel to minimize hum. The main wood panels are 2cm thick and covered in high gloss paint on both sides. The circuit is executed point to point and on PCB via SMD depending on thermal ratio and power draw of each sub module. We use premium parts from Wima, Nichicon, Dale and more. For this version we also minimized THD for 12wpc in parallel single-ended ultralinear mode with new output transformers. Power, source selection, volume and mute are controlled by remote."
May 2014 - The schiit fits the shan - "Valhalla 2 and Lyr 2 are here! And our new Wyrd USB descrewifier and Mani phono preamp as well as production Ragnarok. Let's talk Wyrd and Mani. These two new entrants to our affordable line look a lot like Modi but are very different in purpose. Wyrd cleans up USB power with an ultra-low-noise linear power supply (no switchers) and repeats it with a precision crystal oscillator-controlled interface. We're not going to make any claims about sonics but it'll definitely stop USB noise and power problems in their tracks. Some people say Wyrd makes everything sound better. We don't know how it possibly could so so we're going to stay Swiss on the subject. Wyrd will ship in June for $99.

"Mani is our first phono preamp, with two gain stages, each with switchable gain, a fully passive RIAA network and selectable cartridge loading. It also features a linear ultra-low-noise power supply. It'll be shipping in August for $129. Now let's talk amps. Like Asgard 2, both Valhalla 2 and Lyr 2 look a lot like their predecessors but are significantly different inside. Valhalla 2 is now fully ready for efficient low-impedance headphone, with switchable gain and only 3.5 ohms output impedance in low gain mode (14 ohms in high). Valhalla 2's performance into high-impedance headphones is better than ever. It's also ready for your powered monitors with pre-outs. It's much more versatile than you'd expect an OTL tube amp to be.

"Lyr 2 is also ready for a much wider range of headphones. Five separate regulated power supplies including the 180V tube rail and DC heaters now make Lyr much quieter than before. And the addition of a gain switch allows you to use low gain for an even blacker background. Now if you want to run orthos and say Grados, Lyr 2 is great for both."
May 2014 - April Music Stello DA100MkII - This PCM384 DSD128 deck uses an FPGA processor called AMAP3 for USB, offers user-selectable upsampling including none, has AES/EBU, coax and dual Toslink inputs plus USB 2.0, RCA/XLR outputs for 2.6/5.2Vrms respectively, an ES9018K2M chip for D/A conversion and a 14-segment alphanumeric LED. The unit measures 219 x 54 x 296mm WxHxD and weighs 3kg.
May 2014 - Avantgarde-specific cables - Fono Acustica's recent Munich HighEnd 2014 showing with Avantgarde hornspeakers generated customer requests for their show cables which are "thermo-treated precious-metal conductors blended in proprietary ratios and a special geometry that must be formed by hand. Teflon- and air-insulated dielectrics with ultra-effective shielding combine with separate cables for each signal phase."
May 2014 - CEntrance mate sires matey - The Mini-M8 is a portable headphone amp/DAC and "a slimmer version of the HiFi-M8 with several enhancements including compatibilty with in-ear monitors (IEM). It also has longer battery life, two additional inputs and it's 30% slimmer than the original."
May 2014 - Digibit aria - Digibit introduce the DSD DAC and linear power supply options for their full-size aria music server with bit-perfect error-free automatic ripper, 32/884PCM and 128DSD file compatibility, 4TB of HDD or 2TB of SSD storage, multi-room, Airplay and DLNA capabilities. The new optional 32/192 DSD128 DAC adds XLR and RCA analog outputs and an async USB 2.0 input for those not interested in an external DAC. The new aria mini shown at right is a compact fanless streamer dock version which recharges an iPad via USB, includes 1TB of onboard storage scalable by NAS and a 32/384PCM DSD128 built-in DAC.
May 2014 - Ironic - "The OMA Ironic is a unique open baffle speaker cast from a special hypo-eutectic grey iron with high graphite content chosen for its non-resonant vibration damping qualities. Weighing approximately 400lbs per channel, the Ironic is cast from 3D-printed sand molds and han- finished and lacquered to prevent oxidation. Size, shape and weight of the cast iron baffle were computer modeled and designed for optimal acoustic performance, with the unique relief pattern of concave discs of varying diameter and height diffracting sound waves emanating from the baffle. The Ironic uses a restored 1930's 15" wide-range field-coil woofer and a custom ribbon driver of exceptional characteristics. The overall system efficiency is 104dB/1w/1m, allowing use of very low-powered triode tube amplification. Limited edition of ten pairs."
May 2014 - 7th moon? - simaudio call their Neo 430HA [$3'500] "a genuine tour de force loaded with numerous state-of-the-art features". This fully balanced pure analog headfi amp includes a discrete transconductance output stage, 14/20dB selectable gain, an oversized power supply and a defeatable analog crossfeed circuit. Rated at 667mW into 600 ohms and 8W into 50, the Neo 430HA will drive any headphone to its full potential. For $700 there's an optional 32-bit PCM/DSD256 digital card.
May 2014 - CP Audio Projects - The Nida Mk1 from Ceslovas Paplauskas "is a two-way active hornspeaker system designed for high sensitivity and accurate sound. By mixing the best attributes of studio monitors and audiophile speakers, we deliver low coloration, unlimited dynamics and richly saturated tone colours.  We use the finest TAD Alnico Beryllium drivers in a unique horn design along with a precision outboard electronic crossover. At 97dB/watt the system is suitable for use in spaces from 20m² to 200-300m². Each system is calibrated in the customer's room by the designer."
May 2014 - Vibex - Cliff Orman's new Granada is the very best DC filter he's ever offered. "It really is a large step forward. As you can see there are no screws to hold the sockets in place. Every socket has an individually damped pocket filled with elastomer. The only screws are to hold the base and these are thermo-plastic not metal. The Granada has no mains filter. The massive difference is the double DC filter. I think this is the first time anyone has done this. Filtering both live and neutral is a major advance. The retail price is 2'000 euros."
May 2014 - PureMusic 2 - Channel D, developers of Pure Vinyl™ and Pure Music® computer audio software for Macintosh computers, have released a major update to their Pure Music® software "with more than 50 new features, interface and performance enhancements. Pure Music 2 still retails for its original 2010 price of $129. Upgrades to Pure Music 2 are free for users who purchased a license in the last 15 months. Previous users may upgrade for the special price of $44.95 until May 28, 2014; $74.95 thereafter. These upgrades include a simplified streamlined user interface with resizable sound level metering display automatically linked with the iTunes library window; mastering quality DSD to PCM conversion; revised dithering and tighter I/O processing for improved sound; expanded audio plugin support including various room correction and EQ plug-ins; a Quick Playlist feature for creating ad-hoc playlists sans iTunes; volume and balance controls with 0.1 dB resolution; and front panel polarity inversion and mono buttons."
May 2014 - Dynamikks - For full-range widebandering on the cheap, Ulf Moning proposes his new €1'490/pr K1 which combines a 6-inch whizzer-fitted widebander on top with dual 8-inch isobarically configured paper-cone woofers driven by 150-watts of onboard power and communicating with the outside world via a bandpass pressure chamber. The filter frequency is 150Hz. Dubbed F.A.S.T. concept, it's about fullrange and subwoofer tech in one box. Efficiency is 91dB, bandwidth 40Hz - 20kHz. Dimensions are 96 x 28.5 x 35cm HxWxD, weight is 19.5kg.
May 2014 - Lab12 - The Mighty is a 10wpc stereo amp switchable between triode/UL for its EL34 power pentodes driven by 6n1p dual triodes. Power and output transformer are by Giatras and there is no feedback. Input impedance is 100K, weight is 8.5kg and available colors are black, white and custom.
May 2014 - New Cypriot horn - The Aries Cerat Symphonia is a 3-way hornspeaker combining a Raal aluminum-foil ribbon tweeter loaded into a "zero-diffraction 360° continuous flare horn" made of solid wood. The equivalent midrange horn loads a 4" Titanium driver with 11kg motor whose output can be altered via a multi-tap transformer.

The midbass/bass horn is a 3m long rear horn with large mouth area and "true Tractrix flare formed by stacked sheets of Plywood without any internal sharp angles or geometric deviations from the flare".

The external crossover "consists of three constant group delay filters which in combination with physical time alignment create near-perfect time response and ±0.5dB amplitude linearity from 250Hz-20kHz".

Sensitivity is 101dB, claimed response (-3dB) is 35Hz to 100kHz, weight is 150kg/ea. and dimensions are 93 x 130 x 88cm WxHxD.
May 2014 - Constellation Inspiration - Constellation Audio debut their new Inspiration Series preamplifier and amplifiers "derived from the Reference and Performance Series components. Because we do everything in-house, we can utilize many of the same circuit topologies found in our more sophisticated designs." Inspiration power amplifiers are available in both 200wpc stereo and 400-watt monaural configurations called Amp 1.0 and Mono 1.0 whilst the preamplifier is called Preamp 1.0. The amplifiers use a balanced bridged topology "which combines multiple single-ended amplifier modules and servo circuits in the gain stage for perfect symmetry". Pricing is $10'000 for the stereo amp, $20'000/pr for the mono and $9'000 for the preamp.
May 2014 - 211/845 OTL - The David Berning Company announces the debut of their 60wpc 211/ 845 OTL amplifier [$73'500/pr] which automatically biases itself for either tube. The circuit is differentially balanced with zero global feedback and proprietary advanced switch mode power supplies with full power factor correction for global plug and play operation. Constant output impedance over the entire audio spectrum utilizing the patented Berning ZOTL circuit. Stillpoints Ultra 5, Ultra Bases and circuit board isolators are integrated for vibration control. Stillpoints cryogenic treatment is selectively utilized throughout the amplifier.
May 2014 - SD card player - Whilst the long-announced LessLoss Laminar Streamer hasn't yet bowed, the Dutch EC Designs SD1 is commercial reality. It includes remote control software, a web app for smart phone/pad remote functionality, passive volume control, WAV-based file playback and a 2.5Vpp I2S output using on-chip hardware.
May 2014 - Fine Sounds changes - Mauro Grange, CEO of Fine Sounds SpA and Charlie Randall, longtime president of McIntosh Laboratory, Inc., have announced their plans for a management buyout of Fine Sounds Group in partnership with LBO France and Yarpa. "The acquisition will facilitate greater opportunities for global collaborations amongst the product development, marketing, distribution and finance teams of the group portfolio's brands of Sonus faber, Audio Research Corporation, Wadia Digital, Sumiko and McIntosh. Grange, Randall, LBO France and Yarpa are purchasing Fine Sounds from Milan-based investment firm Quadrivio which have owned the group since 2008. The company headquarters will subsequently relocate to New York City, with Grange serving as group CEO, Randall as group COO and president of McIntosh concurrently."
May 2014 - Furutech additions - Besides promising "the highest-spec iDock and Lightning cables", this Japanese brand previews next week's Munich 2014 unveilings with their revised ADL Stratos, A1 [shown], H128 and EH008. The Stratos is a 24/192 DAC/ADC with MM/MC phono, DSD and headfi amp. The A1 is a DSD128 portable Android DAC with optical i/o, USB and 3.5mm headphone and line-out sockets. The H128 is a 40mm-driver 98dB efficient full-size headphone whilst the EH008 is an 8mm-driver IEM.
May 2014 - New Ascendo range - Jürgen Scheuring's catalogue adds the D-Series with its D7 and D9 4-way models based on a front-firing point-source coax, rear-firing ambient tweeter/s and two port-loaded internal woofers. Finished in piano lacquer and with a massive steel plinth integrating Finite Elemente Cerabase Slimline dampers, dimensions of the larger D9 model are 24 x 112.5 x 45cm WxHxD. Its basic specs are 6-ohm impedance, 89dB sensitivity and 380-watt power handling. No frequency response has been published yet.
May 2014 - HPA-21 spawns HPA-01 - Bakoon's new current-mode headphone amplifier trickled down from their flagship continues to combine their discrete Satri op-amp module with battery power. Bandwidth is 10Hz to 1MHz, output power is 1 watts into 50 ohms, run time is up to 10 hours and recharge time to full capacity is 6 hours. The headphone output is selectable current or voltage mode. Price in Europe is SKR16'995 (ca. €1'875).
May 2014 - Virtuoso Audio Israel - Moshe Peretz owns Creative Technologies and for 20 years was a sound engineer whose last 14 years also saw him engaged in manufacturing cables for professional audio. Under the SigmaAcoustics brand he makes cables for high-end audio marketed primarily through small distributors as well as selling direct to customers in over 30 countries through his website and eBay store. Now he launched Virtuoso Audio to produce various phono stages and step-up units. Follow the link for details.
May 2014 - From maker to brick'n'mortar shop - Joel Scilley of Audiowood opens the doors to his New Orleans shop. Whilst he's been around for six years, this is his first bona fide retail space. "Located less than a mile from the historic French Quarter in New Orleans, Analog Living offers sustainably produced moderately-priced stereo gear, fine art and home decor with a heavy emphasis on products made in the US and Europe.  Aside from Audiowood products we are authorized retailers for Rega, Music Hall turntables, Grado, Red Dragon Audio, Bellari and SME S2 tonearms with more to come."
May 2014 - Subwaves - Soundkaos are launching their unique face-firing dual 12" subwoofer at next week's Munich show with Trafomatic Audio and Lumin's network player. The compact 44x38x45cm design has DSP-adjustable filtering and SubEQ and is powered by a 400W ICEpower module.  The enclosures are in solid turned wood with aniline leather ends and intended application is infrasonic fill from 25Hz-55Hz.


May 2014 - Pure silver - Artisan Silver Cables' Nth Degree [£774/1m/pr] is a shielded analog interconnect with eight individually Teflon-sleeved then interbraided pure silver conductors, deep cryo treatment and top-line Furutech CF-102 connectors.
May 2014 - Finnish Voxativ - Marko Reinikainen's Existence Speakers add themselves to the speaker houses who dedicate a model to the advanced wideband driver from Berlin. This forthcoming model with the attractively shaped wave guide is to be called Earth.
May 2014 - The new force x 4 - That's the Primo 8 IEM [€499] whose four miniaturized drivers per channel add up to a 3-way desgin with double 'woofers'. There's a patent-pending linear-phase 1st-order Butterworth filter, response of 18Hz to 22kHz, 38-ohm impedance, 118dB efficiency and included accessories like a 3.5-to-6.3mm adaptor, a cable clip, an airline adaptor and a leather pouch.
May 2014 - Courbé from Korea - This brand takes the physical separation of drive units housed in cylindrical stacked-Ply enclosures to their perhaps ultimate conclusion by suspending them in low-mass frames which look to be made out of Lexan, acrylic or glass. With the website currently only in Korean, foreign visitors have only the photos to enjoy - but that's a good start for visually interesting designs.
May 2014 - Stenheim Reference - This Swiss speaker house which was started by four Goldmund engineers who have since migrated to Devialet is readying their new Reference line under new CEO Jean-Pascal Panchard. The world premiere is scheduled during Munich HighEnd 2014, albeit not at the main conference center venue but in the Hotel Kempinski on Friday the 16th of May after regular show hours. Like the existing Alumine monitor and matching subwoofer stand, the Stenheim Reference speakers will adopt full aluminium enclosures to add themselves to the Magico and YG Acoustics lineage.
May 2014 - Dared - The new Mars model from this Hong Kong company is an integrated hybrid amp with Bluetooth/USB DAC offering 20wpc, Bluetooth 4.0, USB 2.0 and RCA line-level inputs and a headphone output. A single 6N3/5670 handles voltage gain.

The matching LP-1 is an MM/MC phono stage with six each adjustable gain levels for MC and MC. The tube is a 12AX7.