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 products 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).

April 2015 - Swingin' racks - Based on Sven Boenicke's SwingBase which decouples speakers from the floor with wire-suspended footers, the new Swing Rack exploits the same concept for your hifi equipment, using 3cm thick solid hardwood shelves isolated from the ground by the same wire suspensions. Each rack system is made to order to accommodate a client's precise needs relative to shelf size, number of shelves and overall rack height.
April 2015 - Amped-up JansZen - The zA2.1A-HP active is a 34" tall monopole hybrid electrostat with a -3dB point of 20Hz. It looks the same as the plain version but "has long-throw woofers that use spare power and EQ from the built-in amplification system to push the bass to 20Hz. Due to the sealed enclosure, even at 10Hz output is only down ca. 8dB. The experience is like running subs placed coincidentally with the mains, which is basically what this is." Pricing ranges from $14'365 - $15'345/pair depending on finish.

April 2015 - Yggy - Schiit Audio's new Yggdrasil statement DAC [$2'299] is a 24/192 true multi-bit converter working at 21-bit precision. It is built on proprietary DSP-based digital filtering which samples at 352.8/384kHz; and four AD5791 ladder DACs run differential into a discrete Jfet output buffer. Analog outputs are on XLR and RCA. Inputs are on USB, AES/EBU, BNC, coax and Toslink.

April 2015 - Swiss castle in its 10th hifi edition - On May 2 & 3, Klangschloss Greifensee opens its doors to the public again for "a good mix of modern and vintage hifi plus nice specials like the Sonic Chair." Tickets are CHF 10,- including one free drink.

April 2015 - Dan Clark does a Dan Wright - Mrspeakers® have gone from mod men and rebuilders to from-scratch makers with their latest Ether [$1'499], a planar-magnetic headphone not based on Fostex drivers but their very own. Those are based on a collaborate adaptation of Bruce Thigpen's knurling tech for Eminent Technology. This is said to create more linear and bigger driver excursions. The end result is a 2.75" x 1.75" single-ended planar-magnetic membrane with V-Planar™ surface processing, a precision-machined aluminium baffle with pivots and gimbals, a Nitinol 'memory metal' head band with micro suede cover, lamb-leather pads, 370g weight, 96dB efficiency and 23-ohm impedance. Different wiring harnesses both standard and balanced are available.

April 2015 - Revised concept - That'll be the Clearaudio Concept turntable. "In 2012, one Concept became two as Clearaudio added an MC version featuring the Concept moving coil cartridge in addition to the existing moving magnet package. The Concept’s frictionless magnetic bearing arm ensured optimal performance of either cartridge. Now the new Concept ‘Wood’ option takes the range further. Its fine wood construction in multi-layered Baltic birch is not only visually attractive, it provides more harmonious resonance control resulting in a more natural timbre and improved transparency. At the same time, all versions of the Concept have received a number of upgrades including a brand new tone arm and one or two enhancements to the turntable itself. The arm is now Clearaudio’s Verify Direct Wire Plus, a new edition of the earlier Verify. The ‘Direct Wire’ in question is a higher quality pure oxygen-free copper in a pseudo-balanced cable with perfectly symmetrical construction, running in an unbroken length from cartridge tags to phono plugs. The arm cables have been re-routed to pass through a redesigned arm bearing assembly and arm pillar, giving a cleaner and sleeker external finish. The turntable also now sports new adjustable and lockable rubber-tipped feet, providing superior stability and grip over the earlier brass feet."

April 2015 - Air out your amp stand - Artesania Audio's new Aire stand migrates the dual-decoupled technology from their flagship Exoteryc racks to the amplifier domain. As a shelf-less concept, the amplifier rests on inverted Nylon footers with upfacing Neoprene pads. The position of these footers is adjustable to accommodate any amp footprint that fits between the side rails.
April 2015 - German Physiks at Munich - The first of the annual show announcements kicks of. "German Physiks will demonstrate their new HRS-130 loudspeaker in room F210. This sports their proprietary omnidirectional wide-band DDD driver in an octagonal cross-section cabinet with a 10" downfiring woofer in the base. The standard finish is black or white high-polish polyester.  The HRS-130’s crossover has been developed from the new design in their Borderland MkIV. HRS 130 prices start at €13'500. Also on demonstration will be a luxury version of their Unlimited Mk II called the Unlimited Mk II Ultimate where the acoustic vinyl finish has been replaced with a luxurious all-over high-polish polyester available in black, white, yellow and red. Unlimited Mk II prices start at €9'450. Renowned German pianist and composer Martin Vatter will be giving his popular presentations again in the German Physiks room this year.  Electronics will be provided by Esoteric and cabling by Audioquest.

April 2015 - More exa sonics - In the wake of an announcement 2 weeks ago, exaSound now push their e22 [$3'499] and e28 [$3'299] in gen 2 versions with "firmware and hardware improvements". Both Sabre-based converters are DSD256/PCM384 capable. The improvements are "auto–power up after sleep and adjustable power down after inactivity, a maximum volume limiter when the output of either DAC is used to directly drive a power amplifier, and MP3Safe™ software protection against clipping caused by faulty or erroneous signal processing and data manipulation. For new hardware there is a more substantial and deeply sculpted front escutcheon, the ability to extinguish the display light via the included IR remote and a 12V trigger output for the e28."

April 2015 - TheVinylPress.com - Bill Hart describes himself as a former "NYC copyright lawyer for 34 years who was outside counsel on a considerable number of high-profile music business matters over the years, including a number of large publishing catalog transactions. I decided to retire early and now spend time in Austin and teach part-time at the law school and do other things to keep myself amused. One of those is TheVinylPress launched in February 2015 with a visit to the U.S. Library of Congress' audio-visual restoration facilities. In March I featured an interview with Olav Wyper, the creator of the legendary Vertigo Swirl label in the UK. He cleared up some misconceptions about the label and gave some insight into why the records sound so good. The site is music-centric. I'm avoiding gear altogether because though I love it, I don't want to write or argue about it. Nor am I addressing reissues for the most part. My focus is on older forgotten records that deserve renewed attention. In addition, I'm writing a little about the history of the labels, producers and am devoting attention to record cleaning, buying and other subjects that may appeal to those just wading into the vinyl waters as well as more seasoned vinyl collectors."

April 2015 - Raise 'em - Arteluthe introduce their new Stabilo custom loudspeaker and equipment stands which were expressively designed for "classic box-style loudspeakers such as JBL, Altec, Harbeth, Spendor, Westlake, Exclusive and others which sit too low for proper imaging yet are too large for regular speaker stands. Made in Canada, each Stabilo is made from four 5 x 5" pillars and 5" connecting braces. Ships assembled with no visible screws or fasteners. Made to measure and offered in a variety of veneers and solid hardwood. Prices start at $300 each."

April 2015 - Geneva erects new Goldmund Towers - As the press release puts it, Goldmund "are known for building ultimate speakers like the huge Apologue Anniversary, extremely powerful amplifiers such as the Telos 5000, or impressively refined and luxurious players like the Eidos Reference Blue. But not everybody is an audiophile wishing to have a dedicated listening room for heavy audio equipment. For most of us, music is part of our lives, but we are not willing to organize our lives around our audio system." The company's new anodized aluminium Logos and Metis Towers with gold-plated tops pay homage to that statement. Both models are active and wireless, the 86.5dB efficient Metis exclusively so whilst the 100dB Logos adds a coaxial S/PDIF input. Internal amplification is based on the company's proven Telos circuitry whilst advanced DSP performs time/phase correction and response tailoring.

 

 

April 2015 - Cary DAC - The DAC-200ts [$3'995] is "packed with features like TruBit™ upsampling and a 128-bit engine that expands native bit depths to 32 bits and upsamples with one of seven selectable sample rates up to 768kHz.. Whether upsampled or native, the signal is clocked several times with our OSO™ reclocking, then sent to 4 independent DACs for 8 channels of processing. Our analog topology utilizes a separate solid-state and vacuum-tube output stage which are switchable on the fly. Not only is the DAC-200ts a reference digital source, it can also be used as a digital preamplifier using its 3V variable output. A clock input allows for the use of an external master clock whilst the clock output allows the DAC-200ts to function as a master clock for other digital sources. Via USB, the DAC-200ts supports PCM up to 32/384 as well as native DSD256. Additionally there is CSR aptX® lossless Bluetooth, SPDIF coaxial and Toslink, AES/EBU and fully balanced XLR and RCA outputs, a large VFD display, remote control and Ethernet and W-Fi for control systems."

April 2015 - Rack it in Krion - Cliff Orman of Vibex teases us with early photos of their new Krion equipment rack with optional Alhambra/Granada AC/DC filters built into the bottom shelf. "Each shelf has internal damping and the resonant frequency is tuned by ear using a pure Titanium tube. This allows me to remove any unwanted resonances and fine-tune the sound of the whole rack."

Krion is a synthetic stone similar to Corian and Avonite trademarked by the Spanish Porcelanosa company. Its main constituent is aluminium trihydrate suspended in polymer resin. All of the current Vibex powerline filters are housed in Krion enclosures for resonance control. "I think the idea of incorporating the power block and filtering is a logical way to go and avoids additional pieces of equipment on the floor or taking up space in the rack. The power block/filter is removable in the unlikely case that it needs repair or an upgrade. I will also make made-to-order power cables so that you don’t have to cables longer than necessary, making the typical rat’s nest we are used to. The rack is totally modular and additional shelves can be added or removed as and when necessary. The carbon fibre tubes are available in 50, 100, 200 and 350mm lengths as standard separations between shelves. Custom lengths will also be catered to. The rack will be delivered to the customer completely set up and will only need the titanium feet adjusted to be level."

March 2015 - EVO3 the sequel - Isotek's EVO3 Sequel power cord [£199.95] "offers increased performance over the entry-level EVO3 Premier by featuring optimised conductor strand geometry and active shielding." The Sequel comes in a standard length of 2m, uses silver-plated 6N oxygen-free copper conductors twisted together to aid EMI/RFI rejection but with optimised thickness of the individual strands. The Sequel also incorporates more advanced active shielding under its outer PVC sheath, similar to that used in IsoTek’s more costly cables."

March 2015 - Take your meds - ALO Audio launch their new Rx [$349, $299 intro price]. It wais "optimized for IEMs with a wideband integrated amplifier and push/pull power supply. Improved power filtering provides an extremely quiet supply and ultra low noise floor. Huge dynamics are the result of our new 15-volt amplifier design which give plenty of headroom for the loudest passages to be reproduced wide open and without distortion The new Rx  has super low output impedance to deliver superb audio performance to earphones and more specifically, low impedance In Ear Monitors. Convenience is king when it comes to charging. That is why the new Rx is rechargeable from any normal USB charger. It will automatically vary its charging current to match the charger used." The housing is a limited-edition nickel-plated aluminium, the volume control a conductive plastic type. I/o are 3.5mm stereo. The USB input is of the micro sort.

March 2015 - Colour your own Sonus faber - "With the Chameleon speaker collection, Sonus faber bring their iconic elements to a wider contemporary audience whilst offering a level of customization previously unattainable in this market segment. The entire cabinet is covered in leather; driver flanges are embellished with aluminum trim; the side walls house exchangeable panels via a system of pins to allow for their simple removal and replacement. For the Chameleon collection, our designers have developed cabinet shapes and proportions that guarantee exceptional control of internal resonance, perfect acoustics, excellent driver stability and easy integration into rooms. All the driver components are built exclusively for Sonus faber by the foremost manufacturers in the field. Other special treatments during assembly put the finishing touches on the drivers before being sent to the production line. The three speakers that make up the Sonus faber Chameleon collection offer optimal solutions for both stereo music lovers as well as for those who want to create a multichannel home theater system. A floorstanding model, a bookshelf speaker and a center channel provide a range of combinations that are well-suited to any environment, from the largest living room to the most intimate listening room."

Sonus faber Chameleon side panels are available in 6 different finishes: white, black, metallic blue, metallic gray, orange and red. The Chameleon B is a 2-way ported monitor with 29mm soft-dome tweeter and 150mm PP-cone woofer (87dB, F3 at 50Hz). The Chameleon T adds two 180mm PP-cone woofers to become a 3-way vented box (90dB, F3 at 38Hz). The Chameleon C is a sealed B with 150mm passive radiator. Pricing is €750/pr, €1'750/pr and €450/ea. respectively. Replacement side panels in sets of four are €150 and €350 for the B and T and, for the C in a set of two, €45.

March 2015 - Noblesse obliges - From Noble Audio come a number of product announcements. "The Noble One is the first of a series of special projects and serves as a case study for the field of studio monitors. It measures 10¾ inches wide, 22 inches tall and 17 inches deep. Photographed in a signature Noble deep metallic blue, the cabinet  is long in the face and the front baffle has been anodized gunmetal grey to further accent the front. Its screws are user removable and the baffle can be rotated 90° in either direction so that the speaker may be laid on its side. This allows it to be more readily used in a tight working environment whilst keeping the tweeter and midrange drivers appropriately aligned. Around back, the crossover network is neatly displayed behind half-inch plexiglass with a large three-inch port and mounting posts located immediately above.

"Slightly larger than most studio monitors, the additional interior volume in combination with the 8" Scanspeak Revelator woofer results in superior low end uncharacteristic of monitors in this category. The casing of the 1" Scanspeak Illuminator Beryllium tweeter has been redesigned, allowing the tweeter to be recessed and mounted onto the custom-machined aluminium baffle. By recessing the tweeter, physical time alignment is achieved and with a redesigned casing, we are able to position it significantly closer to the 4½" Illuminator midrange driver. This results in a coherency characteristic of the Noble name. In line with our aesthetic sensibilities, the Noble One is available in both standard ($16'995) and bespoke ($17'995) options. The possibilities are truly endless with countless colors, veneers and anodizing options to choose from."

The speaker ships in a 1630 Pelican case with custom fittings. It weighs 67lbs, sports 90dB efficiency and a 3-way filter with 4th-order 24dB/octave slopes at 200/2'200Hz. Response is given as 35Hz -40kHz, impedance is 3.2 ohms min, 10.4 ohms max.

There is also the BTS Noble Bluetooth System which "instantly enables our entire product line. Weighing in at only 10 grams, the BTS offers at least seven hours of continuous use. It features the latest Bluetooth 4.0 and aptX technologies and an omnidirectional microphone with push button controls plus a detachable cable. The BTS will be priced at $99."

Finally, "we have focused on enhancing our customer experience. This week we'll debut a digital lookbook on our website where customers can view and sort though hundreds of Noble custom in-ear monitor designs." Shazam!

 

 



March 2015 - A fresh spin on the Greek economy - Think vinyl! George Daras operates the Delta Audio Company and introduces us to their Titan 1 turntable. "We started in 2001 with premises of 200sqm. Our main object of manufacturing then were machines for packaging and automation. Since 2008 we extended work into audio. By mid 2014 and after having secured the highest standards of manufacturing, production quality and reliability, we launched the 30kg aluminium Titan 1 with a 3-layer chassis, aluminium platter, external AC to DC power supply, power control board with automatic or manual speed adjustment for 33 and 45RPM, magnetic bearing with ceramic ball, heavy clamp with built-in spirit level,  adjustable feet with locking cylinder, belt drive with sound trap for the motor and acceptance of any up to 10.5" arm but delivered with the Jelco SA-250 arm and Nagaoka MP 150 cartridge."

March 2015 - Better app - Chord Electronics’ DSX 1000 streamer (£7,500) and the Choral Series CodeX (£4,500) have been given a new free control app called Chord 2 HD. Available for both the iPad and iPhone, it will initially be available on iOS 8.0 and above, with an Android version to follow. Chord 2HD brings a number of improvements over Chord’s debut control app which remains available for older devices. "The new Chord 2 HD is a slicker more ergonomic control app designed with a strong graphical focus and album art featured throughout. A wide range of functionality was added, including a comprehensive search function plus improved internet radio and media browsing. Further features include volume control, playlist composition, editing and a cue-in function. The app also allows users to ‘push’ local content stored on devices to Chord’s streamers over a network, enabling the playback of visitors’ audio content for example."
March 2015 - Greenless - "Look ma, no meters!" The new McIntosh Labs C22 stereophonic preamplifier picks up where the 1960's original left off. There are 10 inputs total, 6 x RCA, 2 x XLR plus MM/MC phono with selectable impedance and capacitance; plus 1 x XLR and 3 x RCA outputs. There are also bypassable treble and bass controls and remote control. Not visible are the 6 x 12AX7a small-signal triodes inside. The C22 weighs 12.25kg and measures 44.45 x 15.24 x 45.72cm WxHxD.

March 2015 - Not that tonsil - 70-year old Polish Tonsil are a company producing hifi and home-theatre speakers. But they also manufacture raw drive units. Andrzej Zalega points us in particular at their APT compression driver range which "is globally known under the brand names Eminence or Adam Hall but produced by us on an OEM basis. These drivers are amongst the most popular semi-professional units in the world. We offer them in 50,80 and 150-watt versions as shown."

March 2015 - exact your sound - exaSound Audio Design announce the model e12 stereo DAC [$1'999] as the fifth in their family of converter products. Based on ESS Technology’s premium ES9018S SABRE32 Reference chip configured to stereo with four internal DAC channels per side, the e12 supports DSD256 and 32/384 PCM. "Custom ASIO drivers developed in–house for highest performance offer complete control from Windows and Mac. New driver features include auto–power down and a maximum volume limiter to allow amp-direct drive whilst protecting loudspeakers from damaging overloads." A total of seven linear power conditioning stages, tightly controlled 0.13ps master clock and triple oscillators "minimize time–smearing jitter artifacts."

March 2015 - CanCan goes woodie - The popular headphone support from Klutz Design previously available only in gloss lacquers or limited edition leather wrap now is available in stained wood. "This is a regular addition to our lineup and the result of customers wanting a wooden version (once they learn that the body of the CanCans is wood already) but also the wish for a slightly cheaper option. As always with our meticulously crafted products, price is relative. Within Europe the stained wood is priced at €345 and €275 for export outside Europe, so about €125 less than the lacquer. The actual stain treatment of the wooden body is done by hand in a semi-matt lacquer to give the CanCans a subdued 'gloss'. This version is available only with the chromed knobs to complement the aluminium base."

March 2015 - Tidal + 5 - Tidal/WiMP full-resolution streaming at 1411kbps Redbook density has just been made available in these five new countries: Austria, France, Hungary, Switzerland and Turkey. If forerunner Qobuz remained elusive in your own country; and if Spotify+ at 320kbps hasn't fulfilled your requirements... perhaps now you can begin streaming off an enormous library cached elsewhere for the monthly fee of about two hard-copy CDs.

March 2015 - ARC goes SE - The current Audio Research reference amplifiers have undergone upgrades. "After announcing that the GS150 amplifier would feature the new KT150 output tube, we were asked whether we would incorporate them in our Reference amplifiers. Not satisfied with merely changing output tubes, we decided to also include substantial performance upgrades in the Reference amplifiers to coincide with the changeover to the KT150. In addition to changing from the KT120 to the KT150 output tube, there are a number of active and passive parts changes in the SE amplifiers that result in dramatic sonic improvements. Simply put, they are better in every way: purity and lack of grain, resolution, micro- and macro-dynamics, separation and instrumental focus, phase and time coherence, and greatly improved bass weight, authority and control Reference 75, 150 and 250 amplifiers can be fully upgraded to include all SE enhancements. Upgrades for the U.S. and Canada will be performed as a factory service. Customers abroad will contact their regional distributors."

March 2015 - Ready for your coronation? - "Sablon Audio are delighted to announce an update to their award-winning Gran Corona power cord, with no increase to $1050 price shipped worldwide. These upgrades see the cryo-treated Oyaide P-004 platinum/beryllium AC plug and shielded grounding line trickle down from the Quantum model together with the addition of an exotic new Japanese noise reduction treatment. These enhancements help release an even more intensely musical experience with lower noise, greater definition and more extended frequency response. As the changes are retrofittable, an update service with concessionary pricing is available for older Gran Corona cords."

March 2015 - DAC it with tubes - Sang-Woo Lee aka Colbern, CEO of Fore Audio from South Korea, pointed us at their new DAISy1 DAC which combines dual Sabre chips with 6922/E88C tube buffers. File happiness extends to native DSD256 and 32/384 PCM. Drivers for OSX and Windows perform automatic sample-rate switching. Digital inputs are on USB, AES/EBU, coax and Toslink, analogue outputs are on 2.3Vrms RCA and 4.6Vrms XLR as shown.

 

 

March 2015 - Cadenza - Arteluthe introduce the Cadenza which is "entirely built by hand in Canada with select exotic veneers, solid and engineered woods. Loaded with TAD Pro components (TL1601a and TD2001), the two-way hornloaded system has an efficiency rating of 96dB@2.83V, a 36Hz to 24-000Hz (24Hz@-6dB) response, 90° horizontal and vertical dispersion and 8 ohms nominal impedance. Each diffraction horn is made from 15 individual parts hand-finished prior to assembly. The system comes complete with matching base, bass cabinet, horn assembly, high quality 4th-order crossover and pure silver wiring. Retail price starts at $24'000CDN and the speaker is available on special order in a variety of exotic veneers."

March 2015 - Drink up - Even though Pure Vinyl is also a trademark of Channel D, there now is this 500ml Pure Vinyl record-cleaning solution from Robert Gaboury. He describes it as "a soap formulated to aggressively dissolve and trap oil and water soluble contaminants from audio record surfaces". The fluid is non ionic to protect against static build-up. It can be used with record cleaners from SpinClean, Nitty Gritty and others and must be rinsed off with distilled water afterwards. One bottle with spray dispenser is $19.95.
March 2015 - Whammerdyne, not dine on a whammy - From Portland/Oregon comes this 4.5wpc 2A3 single-ended stereo power amplifier with single 6DJ8 driver called Truth. There are dual-mono autoformer volume controls in coarse and fine adjustments. There's a multi-purpose system status meter and dual power meters. Specs include -3dB response points of 6Hz and 140kHz, noise of <25uV, 1.7Vrms input sensitivity, 30K input impedance, 22dB voltage gain, dimensions of 11.8 x 18 x 18" WxHxD and 69lbs of weight.

March 2015 - Hello Halo - Parasound are shipping their 2.1-channel integrated amplifier and digital audio converter. "The Halo [$2'495] combines a 160wpc John Curl designed amp with a sophisticated analog preamp and DAC. These capabilities are further enhanced with a home-theater bypass, 2.1-channel analog bass management, a dedicated high-current headfi amplifier and state-of-the-art integration technologies. The latest ESS Sabre32 Reference DAC decodes a wide range of digital music files via optical, coaxial and USB inputs. The asynchronous USB 2.0 input supports PCM up to 384 kHz/32-bit, native DSD256 and DoP DSD bit streams. The coax and optical inputs accept PCM up to 192 kHz/24-bit. The Halo is available in black or silver finish."

March 2015 - Not anorexia but KingRexia - Known for its petite components which we've referred to as Bonsai Audio in the past, KingRex's FaceBook page now teases a standard-size component which could be a preamp or integrated. Our bet is on the latter as that would streamline more with the company's focus on high value.
February 2015 - Compact Bryston 3-way - The new Mini A [$1'200/pr] is billed as "a high-performance bookshelf engineered for superb resolution and balanced off-axis response. At just over 15 inches tall, the Mini A made from ¾-inch MDF utilizes a premium 6.5-inch aluminium woofer, 3-inch aluminium midrange and 1-inch Titanium dome tweeter all purpose-built for it. The Mini A is available in Natural Cherry, Boston Cherry and Black Ash. Custom finishes are available for an upcharge. The Mini A features premium binding posts along with padded feet, spikes and a black fabric grille. Like all Bryston loudspeakers, the warranty is 20 years. Basic specs include response of 60Hz to 20Khz (+/-3dB), impedance of 8 ohms nominal, sensitivity of 87dB, dimensions of 15.5" H x 8.5" W x 8.25" D and a weight of 11Ibs."

February 2015 - Not nada - Swiss company Merging Technologies of Pyramix audio workstation fame are readying their NADAC consumer DAC in 2/8/16-channel versions. One of the inputs will be Ethernet and based on the 1ns-precise Ravenna protocol to support up to DSD256 at 11.2MHz and 384kHZ PCM. For socketry there's also dual AES/EBU, coax, optical and a word clock input whilst analog outputs are on RCA and XLR plus 6.3mm headfi. Expected pricing is ~$7'500 for the 2-channel version.

With companies like Antelope Audio, Benchmark Media, dCS, Lavry, Mytek and Weiss having bridged the digital pro-to-consumer gap already, Merging Technologies will be merely the latest to add to this embarassment of riches which today's audiophile has when it comes to selecting a DAC from the professional mastering arena.

February 2015 - A classic returns - WLM's original coaxial Diva monitor has launched in MkIV guise which adds a second 8-inch mid/woofer for a claimed 95dB sensitivity and 30Hz reach without the original optional Diva Control analog EQ box.

February 2015 - Bespoke - Reading like a more customizable Music First Audio TVC linestage also coming out of the UK, The Bespoke Audio Company's first product can be detailed in gold, chrome or black nickel plate, with the source selector knob's engraving reflecting your sources. The lid can match the casing's aluminium, go clear perspex or a range of burr veneers. Inside attenuation transformers perform 46 x 1.5dB steps over a 67.5dB range. Remote control is standard as are WBT Nextgen RCA and Neutrik XLR sockets, Jupiter caps and cotton-insulated 4N copper hookup wiring. But socket options include CMC, Cardas, Eichmann, Furutech and Switchcraft whilst the transformer winding wire, even the range and increments of the transformer taps can be specified. Ditto for the 6:2 inputs/outputs. They may be any combination of XLR and RCA including HT bypass. In short, make this passive linestage anything you want.

February 2015 - Take an integrated flight - Audia Flight's Three S integrated [€2'600] combines a 24/192 USB converter and MM/MC stage (both optional) with a headphone jack, 4:1 RCA:XLR inputs, home-theatre bypass, fixed/variable outputs, dual-mono topology, current feedback, a 600VA power toroid, eight stabilized power supplies, 72'000µF storage capacitance for the output stage, 132'000µF filter banks for the power supply, an Alps Blue pot and 100Wrms power per channel.

February 2015 - Two big woofers - HifiAkademie's DiPol 2x15-8 [starting at €6'000/pr] combines a 93dB efficient 8-inch whizzer-cone widebander with two long-throw 15-inch woofers in an open baffle with active DSP bass filtering.

 

 

February 2015 - MoonTails split off - Belgium's Jade Audio announce a website change. "The MoonTails interconnects with Furutech gold-plated RCA connectors and BNC connectors (several options available) have received lots of praises but Jade Audio wanted to raise the bar by introducing the Ultimate MoonTails with Bocchino Tech B-11 RCA connectors. We now have created a sub website entirely dedicated to the MoonTails range of interconnects."

February 2015 - New home for Jensen - The Chatsworth/CA company launched a new web presence. "The new website has been a long time coming and represents a phenomenal resource for our customers. Jensen Transformers has a profile on the world stage and our new website will greatly support our brand in the future. About 25% of our web traffic is from mobile phone users. It was important to ensure the user interface served those clients well. For instance, it allows the system tech to go onto the site to get solutions using his or her mobile device."

February 2015 - Alpha not omega - Alpha Design Lab, a subsidiary brand of Furutech, release their H128 headphone [£295], " a dynamic closed-back circumaural design whose new tailor-made diaphragms offer both high noise attenuation and low distortion and feature a high-quality Peek film with a specially designed surface. Furutech technologies abound: 40mm high-resolution extra-large high-flux neodymium drivers magnets; an aligning ring engineered to ensure phase coherence in ultra-high frequencies; rhodium-plated mini XLR sockets; all-OCC internal wiring; and excellent transient response from extremely lightweight coils made with copper-coated special aluminium alloy wire. Basic specs are 98dB sensitivity, 68Ω impedance and 280/320g weight without/with cable. Available colour schemes are silver/black, silver/brown and dark blue.

February 2015 - 100 Celsius degrees? - Celsus Sound is the new mobile arm of NuPrime which itself is the high-end spin-off from NuForce after that brand focused more on entry-level products. As Jason Lim explains, "each Celsus Sound device is to be cherished for its build quality, unique features and exemplary performance. For example, solely in terms of build, the $595 Companion One, a high-performance DAC, is milled from a single ingot of aluminium, with top and bottom covers of Corning Gorilla glass. The Companion One is a portable USB DAC (PCM384, DSD128) & headphone amp with 24/192 Wifii audio streaming which supports Windows, Mac, Android and iOS devices."

February 2015 - More kudos - Kudos Audio ready the Titan 808 to replace their current Titan 88 flagship. "The Titan 88 was the embodiment of all our design ideals combined into one package but for the 808, only the two isobaric woofers remain unchanged. The mid-bass driver, tweeter and crossover have all been advanced and refined whilst the all-new even more complex cabinet features a stunningly avant-garde design." The Titan 808 can be fitted with the Linn Exactbox to bypass the original analog crossover for a digital variant with software configurations to enhance in-room performance.

February 2015 - Czech show - This annual event takes place again March 27th and 28th from 10:00 - 18:00 at the Dorint hotel Don Giovanni in Prague. Visit the link for more details.

February 2015 - Danish cats channel more - Gato Audio add channels, i.e. 6x250w for their new DPA-2506 and 4x400w for the DPA-4004. Like the DIA-250/400 stereo integrateds, these multi-channel amplifiers run on modified Pascal class D power modules. There are XLR and RCA inputs and each pair of channels is bridgeable via simple rear switches.

February 2015 - Oppo amp goes portable - The leather-wrapped HA-2 DAC/headfi deck [$299] includes micro USB and USB type A sockets, a switchable 3.5mm stereo i/o plus Toslink in and does its number crunching with an ESS Sabre 9018-K2M chip for 32/384PCM and DSD256. There's also hi/lo gain, switchable bass boost, battery status and a 5A rapid charger that claims to top off 75% of the 3000mAh rechargeable battery in half an hour. Playtime is given as 7 hours. Power delivery is 220mW into 32 ohms and 30mW into 300 ohms.

February 2015 - HRS-120 gets ten more - The German Physiks HRS-130 replaces the predecessor's 8-inch downfiring woofer with a 10" variant and adds a bit of height to install a larger Helmholtz resonator. The model also gains biwire WBT NextGen terminals, a restyled DDD driver mount and a high-polish polyester coat in black or white which now includes the top and transition plates. The carbon-fibre omnipolar widebander remains unchanged. Pricing starts at £11'900/pr.

 

February 2015 - Chord integrate Hugo - Chord Electronics’ 120wpc CPM 2800 MkII [£6'690] updates this integrated amplifier with Hugo/2Qute FPGA-based converter tech for 32/384PCM and DSD128 file support. There's also Bluetooth for 30 meters of wireless reception. Connectivity includes 5:2 RCA:XLR analog inputs; BNC, Toslink and USB digital inputs; wireless Bluetooth aptX and A2DP; and one line-level AV bypass.

February 2015 - Wadia server - Wadia Digital bow the m330 media server [$6'000] with Autonomic-based OS, a small 1TB internal drive and USB/eSata expansion ports. Plug-ins for Pandora, Sirius, Spotify, Rhapsody, Tidal and Tuneln are integrated. File compatibility is PCM up to 24/192. DSD isn't mentioned. The GUI is on an iPhone/iPad or Android app and web browser via HDMI but a standard remote control is included. Analog outputs on RCA and XLR deliver up to 4.2Vrms.

 

 

February 2015 - Leema'd out to the max - Run by two ex-BBC sound engineers, Leema Acoustics now launch the Libra DAC/preamp [£5'995] as the latest member of their flagship Constellation range. The Libra 3-in-1 handles DSD128 and PCM384 via USB and I²S over RJ45; and DSD64/PCM192 via its coax, Toslink and AES/EBU inputs. The fully balanced dual-mono DAC modules are field-replaceable for future proofiness. Analog preamplitude is handled via 3 line-level inputs configurable as RCA or XLR. Volume control is in the analog domain. There's also Bluetooth and headfi for comprehensive utility.

 

 

February 2015 - Bryston LF brawn - Bryston introduce the Model A subwoofer [$2'000] with two opposing long-throw 10" woofers driven from a 400-watt internal amplifier. The control panel offers access to crossover, phase and level adjustments. The ¾" MDF cabinet with internal bracing features dual rear-facing ports that "deliver extended low frequencies without unwanted chuff even under high-output conditions". The Model A is available in Boston Cherry, Natural Cherry and Black Ash. Special order finishes are available for an upcharge. Rubberized aluminium leveling feet and a heavy gauge AC line cord are included.

February 2015 - ALOha - ALO Audio bow the International+ Optical Edition [$599], a super-compact portable DAC/headfi amp with new optical input option, single-ended and balanced headphone drive and a high-resolution Sabre Reference DAC. The amp can deliver 10Vp-p with an output impedance below 1Ω. This translates as 70mW into 32Ω and 80mW into 600Ω balanced. A Sanyo 3400mAh Lithium-Ion battery is good for 7-15 hours of playtime before needing 3 hours for a full recharge.

 

 

 

 

February 2015 - Good headfi cause - COS Engineering ready their H1, a 3-in-1 DAC, headfi amp and preamp with their proprietary algorithm with linear-phase delay FIR filter, buffer and reclocking, a line output, USB 1.0/2.0, Toslink, Coax and two headphone outputs to enable balanced drive. An external SMPS is standard but an optional linear power supply is available too.

February 2015 - Enhanced PureMusic - Channel D have released a significant update to their Pure Music® software. "Pure Music 2.0.3 available for download now brings enhancements to its Streamthrough technology which permits conveniently playing and enhancing other computer audio sources with full access to Pure Music's dithered volume control, 64-bit crossover, audio EQ plug-ins, NetSend streaming, metering etc., all without needing to quit Pure Music. Streamthrough was included with Pure Music for the last 4 years. However, Streamthrough has been enhanced even further in Pure Music 2.0.3. It is fully integrated and there is no need to purchase or launch a separate application. Even better, switching to Streamthrough is automatic. If you play an Internet radio station in iTunes, TIDAL, Qobuz, Spotify, YouTube etc., the audio is 'automagically' detected and switches Pure Music from file play to Streamthrough mode. In addition, Pure Music 2.0.3 includes improvements to address performance issues with iTunes 12.1, which was released by Apple last week. Pure Music 2.0.3 still retails for its original 2010 price of $129. Upgrades are free for Pure Music 2 users."

February 2015 - Magico face lifter - "The Q7 MkII incorporates a more efficient version of the M-Project tweeter as a 28mm diamond-coated beryllium diaphragm. The Mark II also gets a new 6" midrange with a new Graphene-based cone material to be 30% lighter and 300% stiffer than its predecessor. It also includes the latest parts from Mundorf including the new MCap Supreme Evo capacitors in a revised crossover. The face plate of the speaker required re-machining to accommodate the new larger tweeter." The suggested retail price of the Magico Q7 Mk II is $229'000 and $44'000 for the upgrade kit to convert an original Q7 to MkII status.