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

October 2015 - Seriously stacked - Gold Note from Italy introduce a modular shelving system using solid Walnut planks over 3mm steel inners stacked with solid aluminium "hour-glass" risers and brass inserts. Called Galileo Rack, each shelf is 45mm thick, weighs 25kg and can support up to 100kg across its 70x65cm area. Being modular, the number of shelves is variable and double or triple-wide assemblies are possible.
October 2015 - Bifrost gets frostier - The four-year old Schiit steams up with two all-new makeovers leveraging the platform's fully modular nature: the $399 delta-sigma option; and the $599 multi-bit. The first gets AKM's AK4490 Veritas chip to improve over the Bifrost Uber for less money. The Multibit "extends Schiit’s proprietary, time- and frequency-domain closed-form DSP digital filter and medical/military grade multibit DAC architecture down to even more affordable price points. Now, Bifrost Multibit is part of a complete family of multibit DACs that include Bifrost Multibit, Gungnir Multibit, and Yggdrasil. Bifrost Multibit is available now for $599."
October 2015 - Core Power Tech - The Equi=Core power cords feature 50, 100 and 300-watt transformer modules to supply attached equipment with true balanced power. Prices start at $499 for a 2.5' cord with the 50-watt module and cap at $799 for an 8.5' length with the 300-watt module. The linked web page is part of the Underwood Hifi site which also owns the Emerald Physics brand of open-baffle speakers; and the designer of this product is Mark Schifter who has worked for Walter Liederman of Emerald Physics for the last 4+ years.
October 2015 - Noblesse oblige - Noble Audio are launching a new aluminium-chassis 10-driver 4-way 35-ohm IEM: the Kaiser 10U aluminium universal fit [£999]. This replaces the existing K10U but sees no price increase over its acrylic predecessor. "Featuring ten drivers assigned to bass, midrange, mid/high, high and super-high frequencies", further features include a detachable two-pin cable and supplied accessories of a Pelican 1010 case; a black velvet soft pouch; 12 pairs of ear tips (four kinds in three sizes); two Noble Audio bands or amp bands; a cleaning tool; a Noble cable and an ownership card.
October 2015 - The amp who would be king - Audeze team up with Bascom King who previously contributed contract design work to Infinity, Marantz, Constellation Audio, PS Audio and others. The new Audeze King [$3'995] "is a two-stage hybrid headphone amplifier featuring a pair of twin triode inputs (E88CCs), a differential P-Mosfet driver and NPN Mosfet output devices delivering perfect device matching for faster response times, far better than typical PNP/NPN output designs. The King’s symmetrical circuits won’t ring at high frequencies, keeping it very stable. It’s DC-servo coupled, has low impedance, low distortion and wide frequency response."
October 2015 - Pure have triplets - Channel D have released a major update to their Pure Music® software. "The new Pure Music 3 software includes nearly 50 new features with extensive optimizations, user interface and performance enhancements, including noticeably faster start-up and greatly improved smoothness and responsiveness with improved integration of its Streamthrough feature to seamlessly and automatically transition between streamed audio and disk-based file playback. This is the culmination of a year of intensive and painstaking re-examination of the application code, hand in hand with careful ongoing testing. Rather than making this a feature-laden update, we focused on improving performance and usability. This is, by far, the best Pure Music ever."
September 2015 - MIT on headfi - MIT Cables continue to move into the popular personal audio and headphone market with their HC/AB-29 headphone amplifier billed as "the worlds first high-current battery-powered class AB headphone amp with MIT’s MultipoleTechnology featuring twenty-nine poles of articulation." Until now, that tech has only been housed within the little boxes found in MIT cables. For the first time ever, MIT is now putting it inside an amp designed with the help of Aaron Reiff, former Chief Engineer at Lucasfilm’s Skywalker Sound and former audio engineer at Capitol Studios in the Hollywood Capitol Records building."
September 2015 - New high-power Pass integrated - The INT-250 [$12'000] "ups the wattage from the INT-150's 150 watts to 250wpc. The INT-250 is optimized for greater versatility with speaker loads of 86dB efficiency or less. Like the INT-60, the INT-250 features the same power supply and output stages, along with the iconic glowing meter as found on Pass Labs' Point 8 amplifiers. It too features four line-level inputs, a line-level output, and two pairs of Furutech speaker binding posts. As with the INT-60, there are direct access buttons for the four inputs on the faceplate and a digital level display in addition to a volume control knob and a mute button. Dimensions are 19" x 21" x 9" WxDxH.
September 2015 - Surrender with Aurender - Got USB source but non-USB DAC? Aurender's new UC100 [$499] bridge connects the two. USB in turns coaxial 75-ohm S/PDIF out. Sample rate support is up to 192kHz PCM or DSD6t4 via DoP. Size is 5.7” L x 1.18” H x 2.12 W, weight is 280g.
September 2015 - PS Audio postscript - "Hot on the heels of the BHK Signature 250 and 300 amplifiers introduced earlier this year, the BHK Signature Preamplifier is a full function linestage featuring five single-ended and balanced inputs, a discrete class A Mosfet headphone amp, classic through-hole construction, PRP resistors, assignable home theater bypass and a fully balanced design. Based on a pair of zero feedback 12AU7 current-sourced tubes feeding a class A Mosfet output stage, there is also a multi-stage stepped attenuator. High voltage analog switches and gold contact relays are incorporated in a two-stage process of linear attenuation. The first stage uses a classic single-element variable shunt attenuator feeding the vacuum tube input. Finer adjustments are made through varying the actual gain of the vacuum tube and together, form a sonically invisible attenuator."
September 2015 - 4 is the new 3 - Audeze announce the LCD-4 [$3'995 by special order] which "features our nano-scale Uniforce™ diaphragms and unique Double Fluxor™ magnet arrays for 1.5 Tesla of flux density. It also features a new comfortable suspension-type carbon fiber headband and carries on the Audeze tradition of extra-large transducer size at a full 106mm. Frequency response is 5Hz to 50kH and its impedance is 100 ohms. You’ll need a quality headphone amplifier to drive it. The LCD-4 is equipped with standard 4-pin mini-XLR jacks and ships with a 1/4" to dual 4-pin mini-XLR premium LCD headphone cable and professional travel case."
September 2015 - Triple-decker Big Mac - American audio icon McIntosh have taken the wraps off three new preamplifiers, the C1100, C52 and C47, all hand-built in the brand's Binghamton/NY factory and priced at $6'500, $7'000 and $4'000 respectively. A sign that McIntosh are finally onto the surge in headphone sales is each model's headphone jack working with "our headphone crossfeed director (HXD)", a circuit said to breath greater depth and spatiality into your music. The new preamps all have a Home Theatre pass-thru. Styling is typically McIntosh with classic black glass fronts, blue meters, stainless steel chassis, illuminated logos and custom machined brushed aluminium end caps.

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


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



August 2015 - Sustain it, bro! - The new Cypherlabs Sustain84 [$1'200] is billed as a desktop headfi amp running EL84 bottles and Japanese Z11 output transformers with Nichicon electrolytic capacitors and Cardas RCA sockets. Max output swing is given as 14V peak to peak, response as 30Hz-30kHz +/-1dB, power consumption as 20 watts. Actual drive power is 0.08W into 600 ohms, 0.16W into 300 ohms, 0.36W into 100 ohms and 1W into 32 ohms. Selectable voltage gain is 2dB in the low setting, 17dB in the high setting. The tube shields are removable.
August 2015 - B by - Bassocontinuo the whole thing is called. It's a range of Italian hifi racks which, via a configurator page, can be turned out "in the finest leather, limited edition veneers, technological materials like carbon fiber or alutex and complete with four different kind of legs included real solid copper. More than 4'000 different combinations are available to create your personal rack. What will be your choice?"
July 2015 - A walker for less - No, not a moving help but turntable. The Procession [$38K with manual VTA, $45K with remote-controlled VTA] is billed as "the world’s first turntable with wireless remote control over vertical tracking and stylus rake angles". There also are "a 12-inch low-friction tri-bearing pivoting arm, a 30-pound balanced-checked platter, four-inch aircraft-grade aluminium plinth, solid brass spindle with zirconia bearing and a rock-steady motor with push button speed change. Adjustments for all critical parameters include overhang, azimuth, tracking force and VTA/SRA. At about one-third the cost of  our air-bearing turntable, the Procession is super-easy to use and a joy to play". The intended mate is the Procession Phono Amp [$12'500] "with dual mono continuously-adjustable cartridge loading which selects the perfect loading for each channel instead of choosing between limited pre-determined settings."
July 2015 - Dutchie goes French - Cees Ruijtenberg of Metrum Acoustics bows their newest DAC. "We are proud to finally present the newest member in the Metrum line-up: the Musette. To improve upon the Octave, we stopped looking at our secret industrial chip and instead implemented our new Transient technology as used in our flagship Pavane. The Musette is designed for the same basic frame as the Octave but to add flexibility, front and back panels are changed for one more coaxial input. Like her predecessor, the Musette is available in silver or black. The Musette runs  two Transient R2R ladder DAC modules. These handle extremely high sampling rates but are limited to current industry standards at 384kHz max on USB. The result of our Transient process is extremely fast accurate behavior. Despite the fact that both DAC modules are built on the same board, we have extremely high channel separation of 100dB. This contributes to flawless positioning of instruments in the soundstage.

Working principle
Average power consumption
Digital inputs

Analog outputs
Channel separation
Total harmonic distortion
Dimensions & weight
5 watts, standby below 1 watt
2x S/PDIF coaxial 192kHz
1x Optical Toslink 96kHz
1x USB (option) 384kHz
Single-ended 2Volts RMS
100dB  (20-20kHz)
WxHxD 190 x 60 x 245 mm, 1'900 grams

The Musette will have the same price tag as its predecessor and be available by the end of September.
July 2015 - Fostex IEMs - Fostex are expanding their product offering for the earphone and headphone user "with a range fast approaching over 30 models across professional studio and hifi by the end of the year. The latest models in the TE series are the £49 TE-03, £119 TE-05 and £219 TE-07 earphones. The TE-03 are an all-round earphone to upgrade the standard offering supplied with a smartphone or DAP. The red or black TE03 features a tangle-free flat cable with integrated microphone and smart phone control. The TE-05 is an upgraded dynamic IEM with deep bass, crystal clear highs and ear pieces with 'MMX' sockets so the high-purity 6N copper cable can be upgraded or replaced easily. The TE-07 is the first ever balanced armature earphone from Fostex. Highly recommended for all vocal and acoustic music. As with the TE-05, it too uses 'MMX' sockets."
July 2015 - An MBA for MBA - Not a masters of business admin degree, MBA Co. are Modern British Audio and their €6'500/pr Progression 2-way tower speaker shown exploits an extruded aluminium enclosure à la Magico S range. Founded by Darren Hollands, MBA Co. currently have the Progression, the €4'275/pr Pulse monitor and the dual-mono 180wpc configurable Status integrated in their catalogue [from €7'300 to €8'400 depending on MM/MC and DAC modules]. Still coming are the small sealed Spur monitor and coaxial Centrice centre channel. “Everything we manufacture is built right here in the UK". This statement distinguishes our newcomer from those established British brands whose manufacture or assembly has long since been moved offshore to Asia. MBA Co. take pride in doing it at home. With a name like that, they better.
July 2015 - enCore the 2nd - Bel Canto Design follow up their very expensive NC1200-based Black system with the REF600 monos [$4'500/pr] which combine an nCore NC500 module with an NC1200/700 switch-mode power supply, 27/33dB gain switch, XLR/RCA inputs and 300/600W into 8/4 ohms. There is a high input impedance of 200K, peak output current of 27A and John Stronczer's custom fully balanced input/driver stage that provides very low output impedance to the class D Hypex power module.
July 2015 - Enter the dragon - "The Genesis 2.3 is the result of nearly 25 years of development of the line-source loudspeaker by Genesis Advanced Technologies. The new Genesis ring radiator ribbon tweeter (R3T) has lower distortion and wider dispersion up to 40kHz. The structure of the 48-inch ribbon midrange unit has been strengthened and improved to further reduce distortion. As most rooms are acoustically asymmetric, separate left and right servo-controlled bass amplifiers (SCAmps) are provided with two channels per woofer tower. Improved power supplies from the development of the Genesis Reference Amplifier Series II have been incorporated in the SCAmp resulting in more impactful bass. Structurally, the constrained-layer-damped composite sandwich that was designed during the development of the G-Force loudspeaker now reduces resonance in the cabinets. The Genesis 2.3 loudspeaker system comprises a pair of midrange/tweeter 'wings', a pair of woofer towers, a pair of servo-controlled bass amplifiers, and connecting cables and accessories. It is custom built in any finish including carbon-fiber, rosewood and high-gloss black. Price on application."
July 2015 - Qualia Physic - The s922 sdr is a serial data reclocker with one XLR/BNC i/o each. It will reclock up to 24/192 digital signal with a specified jitter of less than 0.005UI/pp. It comes in an aluminium alloy enclosure with a 2-pin Lemo power umbilical for the external s521 power supply. Impedance/format adaptors (XLR to BNC) are available separately.
July 2015 - Roll it up - As some might know, Metrum Acoustics supply their Transient products to other manufacturers. "To give them a kind of exclusivity, all modules are available only to them not DIY but we now have made an exception for the EVA module. DIYers can order this module for €395 ex VAT including the DAC One modules as used in the Pavane. The EVA was made for OEMs to evaluate the DAC One modules. After supplying several EVA boards to the Dutch DIY community, we got a lot of enthusiastic responses as the sound of this board is far beyond the old Philips TDA 1541 and 1543 NOS designs. Despite the lack of flexibility, this board can be used as an upgrade for old CD players but also as an add-on for affordable or DIY streamers to upgrade their sound. The board can handle 192kHz sampling using the S/PDIF input but can also be used (by removing three jumpers) for IsquaredS which can handle 384kHz. Just connecting the board to a transformer having two 10–12 VAC output windings makes it ready for use (or a DC power supply having at least 2 x 10 Volts). In the past this board was delivered with soldered connectors but these will be supplied now separately so the owner can choose their own type of connectors."
July 2015 - Souped-up Venere - The new all Italian-built Venere S [€4'100 - €4'300/pr] tops out the Sonus faber Venere range as a 5-driver three-way with triple 18cm aluminium woofers, a thermoformed 15cm poly midrange and 29mm soft-dome tweeter. These drivers tie together with a "progressive slope" elliptical crossover with 250 and 2'500Hz hinges for a 40Hz to 25'000Hz bandwidth at 90dB sensitivity. The S measures 1'236 x 391 x 477mm HxWxD, weighs 39kg, comes in white/black gloss or wood veneer and sports a new metal plinth. The 'S' stands for 'signature' and the model is intended to bridge the Venere and Olympica ranges.
July 2015 - 7th moon? - At $1'500, Moon by Simaudio's new Neo 230HAD clearly is no 5th wheel, combining 3-in-1 headfi, DAC and linestage functionality in a black casing. "Based heavily on the reference 430HA headphone amp, the 230 offers an internal DSD256 32/384 PCM DAC, a transconductance gain stage, RCA and 3.5mm stereo inputs, fixed/variable RCA outputs, a 6.3mm TRS combo headfi jack, 2 x S/PDIF, 1 x Toslink and 1 x USB digital inputs." A full-function CRM-2 remote control is included.
July 2015 - Go wood - Response Audio NY's Musica Bella tube product line "has now gone full custom with handcrafted hardwood enclosures. All LeAnna preamplifiers, Segue tube buffers and RH Design Custom tube amplifiers are available in custom designed and built wood enclosures with the consumer choosing what options and features they want. All Musica Bella products are 100% designed and built in Upstate New York and sold direct to the consumer."
July 2015 - Twilight magic - As digital media's penetration and popularity shrink, their format enjoys final glory moments. Take Soulution's new 746+ SACD player. "The 746+ unites a top quality optical drive, a super-precise master clock generator, an intelligent digital signal processor with oversampling, analogue output stages of the utmost quality and a new highly precise and ultra-powerful power supply. Together they ensure nothing in the music is lost on its way from disc to output connection. Apart from the top class Esoteric drive, the 746+ provides four digital inputs (AES/EBU, coax, BNC and optical). All digital sources get synchronised to the ultra-precise internal master clock which ensures optimal read-out of discs as well as perfect reception of all digital music formats up to 24/192 PCM and 2.82MHz DSD. The polynom-based upsampling algorithm which converts all digital formats to DXD, digital filters with apodizing characteristics combined with our innovative Zero-Phase technology ensure perfect treatment of the digital data."
July 2015 - Not ubiquitous - The Ubiq Audio Model One from Slovenia [ca. €12'000/pr depending on VAT] looks back at classic acoustic suspension 12-inch three-ways from the likes of Acoustic Research and Altec to combine a sealed 12" paper-cone woofer with 76mm voice coil, an aperiodically loaded 8-inch midrange with 54mm voice coil and waveguide-loaded soft dome tweeter with 38mm voice coil. Claimed in-room response is 30-30'000Hz +/-3dB, efficiency is 88dB. Dimensions are 42 x 37 x 118cm WxDxH, weight is 42kg and the enclosure is made of Okoume wood. Standard colors are white, black and black with veneered or red cheeks.
July 2015 - Chord up - The Chord Company have launched their "most advanced analogue interconnect, Sarum Super Aray using micro-polished silver-plated conductors with a gas-foamed PTFE dielectric and unusually high-density foil and braid combination shielding. The key improvements however include the move from Tuned Aray to Super Aray technology and with it the introduction of a second Aray. The tuning process is very different and the end result a big step forward in performance." These RCA, XLR and DIN interconnects are available in standard 1 metre lengths. Custom lengths can be made to order.
July 2015 - Europe gets its MITs on - "Need a MIT Cable? Don't make do with a used one! Check our offers and find out the incredible ex-demo and discounted prices we offer. You will receive your cables directly from MIT with the official warranty. MITcables Europe  is our brand-new website for European customers! Buy the MIT Cable of your choice with a discount that ranges from 30% to 50%. Subscribe to our mailing list and receive all the new offers of the legendary MIT Cables."
July 2015 - The new Clones Asher - At €2'050, Funjoe's Asher DAC from Hong Kong is their first component to herald the arrival of a higher-performance range in this catalogue. Going beyond the existing Sheva DAC despite using the same ESS9018 engine in quad-paralleled mode per channel are new regulator and output stages plus a new Femto clock with its own regulator. A new remote selects between fixed/variable output, phase and display brightness. Analog outputs are exclusively on RCA.
July 2015 - Focal enter the inner ear - Focal's new Sphear [€129] is their first in-ear headphone based on 2 years of development. "With its innovative concept of shape, Sphear redefines the approach towards the ear canal which has dominated the in-ear market: memory foam tips on the front adapt naturally to the ear; an extended housing at the back shifts weight to the inferior auricle of the ear. This relieves the ear canal from excessive volume and weight which generally resulted in temporary discomfort. Sphear’s rounded shape makes it possible to have a larger driver than usual which measures 10.8mm in diameter." Supplied accessories include 3 pairs of silicone tips (sizes S/M/L); 3 pairs of memory foam tips (sizes S/M/L); an airplane adapter; and a carrying case.
July 2015 - ReNaim - "From today on the Naim ND5 XS, NDX and NAC-N 172 XS network players will be shipped with Bluetooth aptX compatibility. Naim also release firmware version 4.3, enabling DSD playback for existing owners of Naim streaming products equipped with their highest spec SHARC DSP hardware (ND5 XS, NDX, NDS, SuperUniti, NAC-N 272). The flagship NDS network player gets multi-room capability for the first time and all players now support the higher resolution BBC Radio HLS format, can use Spotify Connect in multi-room mode and benefit from a host of minor bug fixes. The new firmware is free to download from the Naim website here."
June 2015 - NuWave DSD - PS Audio announce the $1'299 NuWave DSD DAC offering 24/192 PCM and DSD128. Operating in native mode without upsampling, it uses a CPLD complex programmable logic device which identifies the incoming sample rate and format, reclocks, applies jitter reduction and wave shaping before handing over to the 32-bit ESS Sabre chip. The power supply runs seven regulators and 15'000mF of filter capacitance. The output stage operates in fully balanced direct-coupled class A using both discrete and integrated parts.
June 2015 - ZMF go open-backed - The ZMF Omni inserts five small slot ports per side into the sealed headphone recipe of the Blackwood and X vibro models to become an open/sealed hybrid still utilizing this planar Fostex modifier's wooden cups available in Cherry, Walnut or African Blackwood with either a rustic or elegant ZMF pewter emblem inlay. By using 37 times the open air space of the companion models, the Omni is claimed to combine the soundstaging and air of open designs with the weight and impact of sealed variants.
June 2015 - QuadFest 2015 - "In September music friends from all over Europe will meet in the German highlands of Eifel. On the 19th and 20th the next QuadFest will take place at Quad Musikwiedergabe in Gering. Visitors can listen to the classical Quad electrostatics powered by the electronic they also produce here. As they did with the electrostatics, Quad Musikwiedergabe remembers an old concept for a tube amplifier as a perfect solution to drive both the electrostatics and the Jecklin headphone. Vinyl lovers can expect a good collection of perfectly restored Garrard turntables. Just in case your living room is not prepared to make a home for a pair of Quads, you should consider the Jecklin Float QA electrostatic headphones. Float QA means small electrostatics close to your ears without any of the cons of usual headphones. Enjoy your day in the German highlands listening to good music reproduction; or watch Mr. Jürgen Jecklin when he lectures about concert halls. And we will have experts around to answer your questions about room acoustics. Learn about easy ways to better the acoustics of your living room. Feel free to bring us a drawing of your room when you visit the QuadFest."
June 2015 - Power in a cord - Akiko Audio replace their previous best power cable with the new Aerostar FI50. "The importance of a good power supply cannot be stressed enough. That’s why we took another critical look at and where possible improved the top range of our power cables: the Aerostar," said Marc van Berlo, co-owner of this Dutch company. According to him, the quality of the silver plating has been improved together with a filament system, which is used, amongst others, by Nordost, to achieve maximum isolation. In this process each conductor is hung up in a tube to reach as much as 90% air isolation. The biggest improvement are the Furutech FI-50 connectors which minimize interfering micro vibrations through their construction. This cable is available with a 14-day money-back guarantee.
June 2015 - Less exclusive Audio Exklusiv - "The E12 [€1'999] is the first product of the new Eco Line which enables a less expensive entry into the world of High End than our previous models of the Classic Line did. In addition to a fancy new design, for the first time we decided on completely solid-state technology. Nevertheless we almost realised the typical sound of the Audio Exklusiv family. The E12 produces 140wpc into 4 ohms from a 500W transformer. For tonal reasons we have chosen just weak negative feedback. In the basic version the E12 has 4 high-level inputs. Optional are either the phono plate of the P 0.2 or the DAC plate of the new DAC P 0.8. Source switching is by relays. The volume control is a high-end potentiometer from Alps. The standard design will use a front plate in acrylic black with silver printing and control elements in a matt-black anodized aluminium casing. Other special options on demand."
June 2015 - Joint Goldmund/NuForce project - The 80wpc Nuforce STA200 was jointly developed with luxury Swiss brand Goldmund. Its class A/B dual-mono circuitry is encased in a resonance-optimized enclosure. Basic specs are 51K input impedance, <0.03% THD, 30m Ohm output impedance, 34.8dB gain, 0.6V input sensitivity, 100dB S/N and 20Hz-80kHz bandwidth. Weight is 6kg, dimensions are 355 x 224 x 87mm, finish is silver as shown. Whilst some specs suggest a less powerful Goldmund Job 225 circuit, others do not.
June 2015 - Bongiorno rises again - "Spread Spectrum Technologies (SST for short), pioneered by the late visionary James Bongiorno, officially launches anew with passion and vigor. The renewed SST has new leadership, a new website, social media presence and a comprehensive high-end product lineup designed and produced in the USA. Over decades in the audio business, Jim Bongiorno became legendary for his innovative designs like the Ampzilla amplifier and his engineering contributions to well-known audio companies like Marantz, Dynaco, SAE, Sumo Electric, The GAS (Great American Sound) Company and Spread Spectrum Technologies (the latter three founded by him). Due to mutual colleagues, proximity and respect, the early 2000s saw Jim and like-minded audio trailblazer EJ Sarmento of Wyred4Sound fame collaborating extensively. During this time, SST products were made more stable, further refined and ultimately produced at Wyred4Sound’s state-of-the-art facilities in California. As Jim’s health began to wane, this would also be a period of passing the torch to the talented EJ. Today’s SST retains the same spirit of bold thinking and innovation as it did when it first began. "Jim was a real pioneer in the industry and we’re committed to not only continue his vision but to expand on it," said Mr. Sarmento. With a product lineup that includes the famous (but improved) Ampzilla amplifier and all-new products like the Son of Ampzilla II amplifier and Thoebe II preamplifier shown, today’s SST is committed to producing the best made American audio products that money can buy."
June 2015 - Resonate with Schumann, not Schubert - From Clones Audio comes the SG1 [ca. $181], a Schumann resonator which generates a 7.83Hz Schumann frequency pulse to shield electronics and your listening room from radio frequency interference. "It improves the S/N ratio to let the electronics perform better. The SG1 is not in electrical contact with any audio/video equipment. Simply place it anywhere in the listening area at 5ft or higher."
June 2015 - Anatta - The new Goldmund Anatta active speaker revisits a a 25-year old industrial design concept first introduced by Italian artist Claudio Rotta Loria in the Goldmund Apologue Anniversary Limited Edition. As the press release puts it, "modern and cubic, we wanted the Anatta to stand out as being different, special yet timeless. Its design is adapted to contemporary styles and creates an interesting contrast in classical decors. Its traditional Goldmund aluminium finish and black frames make it easy to use in interiors of any color. The Logos Anatta is quite a sophisticated construction and photos may not transmit that its 1.6 metres (5'6") height make it quite impressive and majestic. We use the best quality steel, ultra-rigid brass, aluminium, rhodium and gold."

The Logos Anatta is a wireless-ready speaker that can be used with the provided USB dongle to establish a direct wireless uplink to a computer. To accommodate several sources including TV, there is the wireless Mimesis 11 hub or the Talisman node. There's also a coaxial digital input adjacent to the AC power connector. Part of each purchase is installation by trained Goldmund professionals who customize the internal digital configurator based on a mathematical model of the customer's room to account for individual acoustics and how the speaker interfaces with them.
June 2015 - Apple Music - The just-announced 9.99/month streaming service from Apple, according to TechCrunch, will deliver just 256kbps quality. That's below the 320kbps Spotify+ have and far below what Qobuz and Tidal/WiMP do at true (lossless) 1'411kbps CD resolution. Unless you care about sound quality, you'll view this news item as entirely ho-hum. Hence no accompanying graphic.
June 2015 - Romulus lands on Pandora - This isn't James Cameron going Roman on us. It's Aesthetix throwing a minor kitchen sink at their DAC/transport and DAC in "enhanced Signature editions. The Pandora is a valve-based DAC with 1 x USB and 3 x S/PDIF inputs plus another optional USB. The Romulus includes the same features and construction but adds a CD transport. Whilst many DACs use the same off-the-shelf filters and DAC chips, Aesthetix use proprietary DSP running on a Motorola DSP56362 chip. The filter’s outputs are converted to analogue by a Burr-Brown PCM 1792A running in pure differential mode with custom-manufactured crystal oscillators to deliver radically lower jitter and noise than any standard part."

The new additions are "native DSD64/128 compatibility via a Xilinx gate array which routes DSD data directly into the DAC, bypassing Burr-Brown's DSP section for pure DSD operation. Critical coupling capacitors are replaced with Dynamicaps from Peter Moncrief for increased resolution, less grain, greater HF extension and improved bass definition, drive and dynamics. In addition to the new DSP section, a new analogue board is fitted with extremely low-noise high-linearity Vishay Z-Foil resistors in the critical current-to-voltage conversion. The four standard rubber feet are replaced with Harmonic Resolutions Systems Nimbus couplers specially made for Aesthetix."

These upgrades raise the Pandora base price of £5'600 to £8'300; and the Romulus from £6'500 to £9'300. An optional high-resolution volume control is £950.