September 2014 - JCAT battery supply - "The JCAT battery PSU [€389] is a very effective upgrade for computer audiophiles. Just connect it to the LP4 power input on the JCAT USB card or to a SSD via the included high-quality DC cable and enjoy better sound. The JCAT battery PSU features patent-pending SATRI analogue automated charging circuit from Bakoon of South Korea. This design allows the connected device to continually operate by utilising two embedded batteries which automatically switch between charging and discharging states. It works completely in the analogue domain free from all the noises of the AC, ground loops and RFI/EMI. Using the JCAT battery PSU with any USB card, SSD or CompactFlash drive that needs 5V DC power will greatly enhance the sound and performance compared to a standard power supply."
Specifications:
battery type: Li-ion
battery recharge:Patent Pending Automatic Control
output voltage: +5V DC
output current: 1A (nominal) 1.5A (peak)
60cm output DC cable with LP4 and SATA power connectors

September 2014 - Relaunched Cary Direct - Cary Audio are pleased to announce the relaunch of their Cary Direct Online Store. The online store is now split into three different sections: B-stock, DIY parts and vacuum tubes and accessories. The B-stock section is made up of current and past production models. It could be returned or open box products, previously repaired products, demonstration products used at industry shows or in dealer showrooms, cosmetic flaws such as scratches or dings in chassis, faceplate, paint surfaces or other visible areas. All B-stock products will only be sold and shipped within the United States.

The DIY parts section is made up of stock of different parts such as capacitors, speaker binding posts, switches etc. This caters from those looking to build their dream project to those who are looking for parts to upgrade their current equipment.

The vacuum tubes and accessories section is made up of different vacuum tubes and accessories available at Cary Audio. For the vacuum tubes, we have anything from new production tubes to new old stock (NOS) tubes. Some of the NOS tubes are available in limited quantities. For accessories, we supply anything from bias meters to Cary Audio T-shirts.
September 2014 - nCore for the masses - NAD's M22 power amplifier is the first nCore-based model from a mass-market company. Unlike competition from Acoustic Imagery, Merrill Audio, Jeff Rowland and Mola-Mola which get $10'000/pr and more for equivalent monos, the NAD stereo amp sells for $3'000. "We have our own nCore module developed in close cooperation with Hypex. It is based on the NC400 not the 1200 but this is not a qualitative difference. It only affects power output.  We can do this because we will build and sell a lot of units. The 1200 was developed primarily for the pro market where huge power is required. In the Hypex 400 module continuous power is 200W@8 and 400W@4. In our implementation it is 250W@8/4 controlled by Erik Edvardsen’s precision clipper circuit. The benefit of this approach is the ability to offer much more short term or dynamic power where we have 350 @8 and 600W@4. This makes the power in actual use seem greater than the spec – in typical NAD tradition!" Inputs are selectable on RCA or XLR.

September 2014 - MB81 - Icon Audio's limited edition push/pull monos exploit a cache of NOS Russian GU81 transmitter valves which David Shaw stumbled upon. The upshot are 200 watts of triode power per side. "At 260mm tall, 100mm in diameter and weighing 1kg each, the GU81 is a truly majestic valve. Although the GU81 still in production, we used ‘new old stock’ valves in the MB81 that are hand-picked for their combination of resolution, musicality and power.  These massive amps are around 50% bigger than the current Icon flagship MB845MkIIm and weigh ca. 100kg/pr. Complex quaternary output transformers minimize distortion whilst allowing unbeatable bass power and authority. Even though the MB81 was developed as a personal gift for Shaw himself, he plans to produce a limited number for sale, with an estimated price of £12'500 per pair."

September 2014 - Legacy - After selling out the silver/black Legacy edition of their VK-1 headphone model whilst getting more orders than they could fill, Aëdle have decided to incorporate the €390 Legacy variant formally into their standard lineup. Now customers have a choice between black or camel-coloured leather with clear-anodized aluminium covers; or all black.

 

September 2014 - Moon tails - Named as though issued by us, the Ultimate MoonTails from Belgian company Jade Audio are Carine Michiels'. About them we're told that "the Ultimate MoonTails are building on the strengths of the original MoonTails. With an already perfect recipe, some extra ingredients were thrown into the mix and a whole different dish is being presented. The icing on the cake are the fabulous Majestic RCA connectors from Bocchino Audio Technologies of Australia. They give the MoonTails an aesthetic boost while the sound approaches that of Jade Audio's top of the range cables."

September 2014 - Minor Duetto Edition - Care Orchestra SRL's Divina Line welcomes a small rear-ported 4-liter monitor whose standard features include opaque, high-gloss or metallic lacquer finish with cuoietto or leather sides; magnetic leather covers; silver biwire terminals; a ScanSpeak Illuminator soft dome tweeter with neodymium ring magnets; a Seas Excel 12cm paper-cone mid/woofer; Van den Hul SCS12 hookup wiring; and Jantzen silver components for the electrical 2nd-order filter network. The crossover frequency is set at 2'100Hz.

September 2014 - Job monos - With Goldmund's team just having departed our publisher's digs to pick up various review loaners, we've learnt that the anticipated 300-watt Job monos are now in prototype form at the Geneva factory. They are expected to go into production for December. Width will copy the existing Job 225 and Job Pre2, height will be somewhat less than double. Pricing is still to be determined but expected to come in at roughly twice of the stereo amp and preamp, i.e. below $2'000 per mono amp.
September 2014 - Grow wood - Be it American or Burmese Walnut, Bog Oak, Northern Ash, Karelish Birch, Teac, Cherry, Amaranth, Beech, Iroko or Zebrawood, Kennerton's Magister headphones [$799] let you order the ear cups of your choice replete with sonic descriptions of their influence. Assembled in Russia, the sealed Magister relies on a 42mm Titanium-coated Mylar diaphragm with lambskin ear pads and head band.
September 2014 - Nagra relaunch website - Audio Technology Switzerland has overhauled their web presence with a new site that combines their high-end, pro and security products, covers company history, product time lines, indepth specs, brochures and reviews.
September 2014 - You've been served! - The Amare Musica Diamond Music Server from Poland offers multiple control options including iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android OS and PC and includes an aluminium remote. Streaming services supported are music libraries on Samba, Dina, NFS, USB flash drive or hard drive (FAT32, NTFS and EXT2/3). Inputs are RJ45 and 4 x USB 2.0. Supported audio format with gapless playback are WAV, FLAC, ALAC, AIFF, AIF, DSD, DFF, MP3 and OGG. Digital outputs are on BNC, coax and AES&EBU. File density support is up to 32/384 PCM and DSD128. The mother board was custom designed for Amare Musica. The power supply is an "ultra low-noise" type and the display consists of dual OLED sections. USB reception is via 500mips XMOS processor and the gold-plated PCB features 4-layer construction with oversized copper traces. The casing is 10mm aluminium.

September 2014 - LDR go upscale - Tortuga Audio's LDRx [$1'495] is a 3/2 i/o single-ended passive preamp based on light-dependent resistors for attenuation. Two additional inputs are optionally available. The LDRx combines bamboo and black-anodized aluminium panels for its casing and a rotary encoder with push button with an Apple remote.

September 2014 - Hugo le pooch - Not quite. Chord release a pouch to dress up their portable DAC/headfi amp Hugo. The £99 leather case protects the device and can house a digital audio player or cell phone as a matching source. Available in black or tan, the case "allows full access to Hugo’s controls, in/outputs and LED indicators. Full provision has been made for source components, too. The Hugo leather case uses a quad system of durable elasticated webbing straps with tough Velcro terminations, to securely hold phones and digital audio players to the case. The clever design allows direct access to touchscreens and controls, and offers several fastening options, giving users real flexibility over how partnering equipment is secured. A tough thumb-loop at the top of the case provides a secondary element of security when the Hugo is hand-held, and Velcro-tipped leather latches at each end of the case provide both protection and (at the input end), a useful cavity to store small connection leads."

September 2014 - Kudos - The new X3 from Kudos [£2'145/pr incl. VAT] uses the same 25mm soft-dome tweeter as its X2 stable mate but a new 18cm main driver with a mixed cone of paper and reed fibres. A copper-clad aluminium voice coil and copper shorting ring enhance transients and dynamics and reduce distortion. A cast chassis gives the main driver optimal stability. Both transducers are Seas issue "specifically designed for the Kudos loudspeaker range. All internal wiring is The Chord Company’s Sarsen loudspeaker cable. The X3 cabinet is constructed from 18mm high-density MDF and the reflex port is situated on the bottom to load into a fixed boundary gap with the plinth." Core specs are 88dB sensitivity, 8-ohm impedance, 30Hz-25kHz bandwidth and dimensions of 845 x 190 x 250mm HxWxD.

September 2014 - Deimos - The new Erzetich Audio Deimos headphone amplifier from Slovania is a 6.5kg affair finished in thick milled aluminium with a distressed wooden fascia. It's planned to release as a very limited handcrafted edition for early 2015 at ca. €4'000 each. Preorders are accepted with a special discount until late September. About the circuitry, there's a dual-mono layout with three separate power supplies, one for each channel plus one for digital; class A bias; 43'000µF filter capacitance per channel; digitally actuated relay-based 64-step resistor-array volume; and RCA/XLR inputs.

September 2014 - Göbel site revamp - Oliver Göbel reports that "after extensive work, we finally launched our completely redesigned website. Our main focus was to show all our new products, give more information about our worldwide unique and patented technologies, perfectly visualize our products with nice photos and accomplish all this with a clean and noble layout."

September 2014 - DSD is in the air - Hegel are readying their HD12 DSD DAC [€1'200] described as a true native DSD64 DAC with onboard digital preamp and high-quality headfi output. "Key features of this new DAC are an exceptionally low noise floor of -145dB and equally low jitter levels. In these respects it represents the best DAC we have developed to date. Jitter wise, the largest improvement is reducing the level of 'skirting' to result in a very much more precise sound. The HD12 supports all common files up to 24/192kHz on all inputs plus true DSD64. A brand new USB interface makes this possible. On the input side, the HD12 has 1 x USB, 2 x optical and 1 x coax. There are RCA and true balanced analog outputs which can be used together if one wanted to add a subwoofer. The remote control can be used to control all functions of the DAC as well as control other Hegel components."

September 2014 - Classy Classé - Classé have announced availability of a new series called Sigma comprising the $5'000 7.1-channel Sigma SSP processor and two amplifiers, the $5'000 2x200wpc AMP2 and the $3'500 5x200wpc AMP5. “High-end is about passion, discovery, experience and technical exploration. It’s not just who can make the most expensive things,” said Dave Nauber, Classé president. “Making more affordable products that are truly high-end is a greater challenge, hence the market gap between offerings from the mass-market CE companies and the high-end brands. We chose to exploit our cost advantage as part of the B&W Group to fill this void with some exceptional new products.”

The Sigma SSP is a preamp/processor with video switching, multi-channel processing and bass management, connections for USB and Ethernet plus basic HDMI, coax and optical digital inputs, balanced and single-ended analog inputs and an optional phono stage. According to Classé, the amplifier models are derived from their Delta series CA-D200, a Class D topology that achieves 3 nanosecond dead-band time to "dramatically lower distortion and enable numerous other design advantages."

September 2014 - Linnenberg's 20th Anniversary offer - "Linnenberg Elektronik have now been in the audio business for 20 years. That's good reason to celebrate and remember. In September 1994, we introduced our first product in the PowerDAC. A review in the German stereoplay magazine attested to its outstanding performance and top ranking. It seems that time has flown by.

"Until now, each and every product we released had only one goal in mind: meeting the actual needs of discerning customers. Although the tech focus of music lovers changed over time, it is nice to see that gear from our early years is still in use all over the world. Today we would like to announce that ordering the bundle of Vivace and Maestro models will result in a 10% price reduction. The total amount for both is now €2'511 (excl. VAT). Customers who already bought the Vivace but are looking for the Maestro will get their discount retroactive. The offer is valid for end users only."

September 2014 - Golden notes - Gold Note's "luxury boxed Fiorino TSC turntable speed control is directly derived from the exotic Gold Note Bellagio Conquest motor power supply. It features a 12-volt motor with a power width modulator to enable great torque at outstanding low noise because the computer-developed design allows the AC 12V synchronous motor to work with its three phases perfectly aligned to null out all vibrations. The Fiorino TSC has 33 and 45rpm electronically controlled changeable speed settings which can be finely adjusted. This pitch is permanently stored in the micro controller's memory. The Fiorino TSC enhances the performance and can fit all Gold Note turntables ever made but will also fit any other turntable."

September 2014 - Bring home the bakoon - Bakoon's new's HPA-01M is "exactly the same circuit as our stationary HPA-01 amplifier" packed into a portable 140x95x17.5mm casing and fitted with a Li-ion battery bank to deliver Bakoon's trademark current and voltage outputs for up to 10 hours of on-the-go headphone power.

September 2014 - G Lab Design Fidelity - From Poland comes the €4'100 Block single-ended EL34 tube integrated amplifier whose industrial design was contributed by an Academy of Fine Arts graduate. Delivering 5.5wpc for a response of 30Hz to 30kHz ±2dB with 98 watts of power consumption, the Block features two line-level and one phono input, weighs 18kg and measures 339 x 288 x 208mm WxDxH without tubes. The driver and input tubes are 2 x E88C and 2 x 6N6P.

September 2014 - Wiener Wunderkind - From Martin Schützenauer, ex designer for WLM Loudspeakers and now leading his own brand WIM Wiener Lautsprecher Manufaktur, comes a high-end take on the vintage boom box. The Wiener Wunderkind combines a pair of 16cm Kevlar two-way speakers with vintage-sized 5cm paper tweeters whose analog-compensated bandwidth claims serious 30Hz-25kHz reach; 250wpc of built-in power; wireless streaming and Bluetooth 3.0 + EDR for 30-meter reception; a built-in 24/192 DAC; and analog inputs. Delivered in a sturdy portable flight case like shown, this powered wireless stereo speaker is meant to go where others won't: on the porch, to a vacation cabin or to friends to throw an impromptu party before returning to the owner's own crib. Measuring just 26.5 x 44 x 19cm HxWxD and weighing 10.3kg to remain convenient to move about, the standard finish is a white acrylpolymer and linoleum. Veneer finishes are available by request.

The remainder of the WIM catalogue includes traditional passive speakers as well as partial or fully active variants including vertically opposed powered subwoofers.

 

September 2014 - B&W revamp - Trickle-down tech from its Reference and Studio 800 Diamond ranges has led to the upgraded CM10 S2 and CM6 S2 models. Primary improvements include a new twin-membrane dome tweeter whose aluminium front is augmented by a second open-center dome behind it to move the first break-up mode from 30 to 38kHz. For these two models, the tweeter has also been moved into a separate bullet housing while the other models in the range now use a synthetic gel for decoupling their tweeter from the enclosure. The mid/woofers use a Kevlar cone with anti-resonance plugs, the woofers use a Kevlar/paper membrane. Internal wiring has gone to quality van den Hul conductors and even the speaker terminals have been revisited.

The revised CM Series includes 3 monitors, 3 towers, two center channels and one subwoofer. Pricing ranges from €900 to €3'600/pr, with €650 and €1'000 respectively for the center channels and €1'350 for the subwoofer.
September 2014: Trafomatic to the next level - Proudly designed in Serbia, Sasa Cokic's Experience Two MkII "is the upgraded version of the previous Experience Two 300B integrated. The circuit, chassis and components have all been redesigned and upgraded. Most the changes are in the power supply which now uses CLCLC filtration of the anode voltage. The output transformers are still dual C-core types but raised to a higher level. There is just 2dB of negative feedback which we found necessary during critical listening. The electrolytic cathode capacitors in the input stage have been upgraded to premium-quality metalized polypropylene units." Key specifications are:
Output power: 8wpc
Class of operation: Single-ended class A)
Tubes complement: 2 x 300B EH gold grid , 2 x 6SN7, 1x 5U4G
Inputs: 4 x RCA inputs
Outputs: 4 & 8 ohms
Input sensitivity: 0.5Vrms
THD: 0.5% 1W, 5% 8W
Bandwidth: 10Hz-65KHz( -3dB)
S/N ratio: 83dB
Input impedance: 100K
Power consumption: 200VA
Input voltage: 120V/230V/50-60HzHz
Weight: 24kg

September 2014 - Bakoon scales up - Soo-In Chae provided us with these sneak peek photos of their AMP-51 prototype which currently is en route to Sweden's Klutz Design to participate in their upcoming audio show with soundkaos speakers..

"I’m blown away by its performance already and we’ve decided to improve upon it even further. The initial power output was set at 35 watts but will be increased to 50 watts for production. We’ll also be adding a precision attenuator circuit with a remote controller and still improve various circuits throughout. Due to these changes, the new design will employ a display on the front panel and may get slightly bigger and heavier than the prototype's dimensions of 425 x 475 x 67mm (excl. foot height)."

September 2014 - Big words - "Make a move to Hart of Gold's HD Sound & Vision System, the most successful stand-alone high-end WiFi entertainment system in the world, the most critically acclaimed, long awaited, and thanks to its unique bass technology, with the finest measured performance. Watch and listen to HD wirelessly. The entire high-end system is built into the speakers. Anything on the net or on your computer on HDTV. Listen in lossless HD or to compressed files - anything! Hook up wirelessly with your mobile, tablet, laptop or computer in an instant and play. 4 or 6 x 20cm x 25cm x 40cm cabinets in any RAL colour."
September 2014 - Let's Rock - In best Sons of Anarchy fashion, Aaron have released a 'bolt-on chrome' version of their integrated amp which in the €5'000 Let's Rock sports a custom-cast fascia and massive top sculpture in a skulls and fleur-de-lys motif.
September 2014 - B&W news - Bowers & Wilkins launch the P5 Series 2 [$299] with new drive units adapted from their P7 headphones. "Like P7, the new P5 Series 2 uses drivers with a suspended diaphragm more like a traditional speaker. Designed for music on the move, the new series is as light, comfortable and luxurious as its predecessor."

Also new is the C5 Series 2 in-ear model [$179.99] to "improve on its predecessor in just about every way. Most importantly, sound quality has been significantly boosted by improvements in small-scale drive unit design, including the introduction of new drivers and other internal components."
September 2014 - Bryston BDP-1USB - "The BDP-1USB is Bryston’s most affordable high-performance music player designed specifically for customers using one of many popular USB DACs. This $1'795 model can comfortably manage large music libraries of up to 30'000 track from MP3 to high resolution files stored on external USB or NAS drives." Features includes a linear power supply; 4 USB i/o; DoP support for DSD; gapless playback; PnP/DLNA client, server and renderer availability; and seamless control with iOS, Android, or other mobile devices.
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 - 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 - 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 - 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.