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).


From September 29th - October 15th, our publisher will be out of the country and away from the Internet so no site updates during that period.

September 2016 - Zesty phono - Zesto Audio bow their Andros Téssera flagship phono stage [$12'000] with offboard power supply and support for four different tonearms or turntables by remembering settings for each whilst switching. Some of the features include true transformer-balanced outputs driven by dedicated output tubes. The Téssera is designed with two independent true dual-mono channels that can accommodate 1 MM and 1 MC each. It is easily adjustable on the fly with a 12 position MC load per channel without clicks or pops. A unique features are the 4 MC ground switches which help eliminate noisy ground loops. Refer to the webpage for detailed specs.
September 2016 - Cubic EL84 - The Cube from Polish brand My sound is available in two flavours - with 48-step Khozmo attenuator or without. In either case the Cube remains a fixed bias class A push/pull EL84 monaural amplifier that does a solid 12 watts with a 1V input sensitivity and claimed bandwidth of 16Hz-65kHz. Weight is from 10.5 - 12.5kg depending on trim level and dimensions are a compact 20.5 x 28 x 32cm WxDxH. Colour options include wine red, the gold/bubinga shown and black/white. The translucent cover is Perspex in the standard version and glass in the premium version with upgraded parts and the company's own anti-resonance footers.
September 2016 - Korean April novelties - As a company headquartered out of Seoul, Simon Lee's April Music often launches new models in their domestic market well before they become available elsewhere. So it is with the Eximus Model 3 reference speaker, a 2-way bass reflex monitor combining a 7" Accuton mid/woofer with a horn-loaded 1" dome tweeter of 33Hz to 30kHz bandwidth with a 3kHz crossover. Available finishes are Santos Palisander or piano lacquer. Dimensions are 22 x 44 x 29.5cm WxHxD. There's also the 150/300wpc into 8/4-ohm Eximus S3 power amplifier with selectable RCA/XLR inputs and global voltage input.
September 2016 - Moscow show - Celebrating its 5th annivesrary, like for the past four years the MHES focused on high-end audio holds its November hifi show in the Moscow Holiday Inn Simonovsky hotel. The dates are November 18th - 20th.
September 2016 - Fab collab - Join together Westone Audio and ALO Audio and what do you get? "Westone is excited to partner with ALO Audio to make the new Signature W the best sounding earphone available", said Blake Gaiser, director of product and marketing of Westone concerning the partnership. The ALO Reference Super 8 IEM cable will accompany their in-ear monitors and is constructed of 8 conductors of silver-plated copper and OCC metallurgy jacketed in high-grade FEP and fabricated using individual fiber cores in a round weave to create a supple, soft and flexible IEM cable with superior sound quality.
September 2016 - TAGA amp - TAGA Harmony announce the class AB TA-400MIC, "an efficient cost-effective integrated amplifier choice for hifi systems and commercial installations in restaurants, pubs, shops, conferencing rooms and fitness clubs for background music, voice playback or karaoke." There's a headphone jack, microphone input with mixing and echo controls, USB input, 3.5mm stereo input, two line-level RCA inputs and A+B speaker outputs. The power rating is 60/90Wrms into 8/4 ohms. Dimensions are 9.1 x 42 x 31.7cm and weight is 6.3kg.
September 2016 - LaLa Land's new show - "The LAAS is a new high-end audio and home-theatre show debuting June 2017, presented in collaboration with the Los Angeles and Orange County Audio Society at the Sheraton Gateway LA and with complimentary shuttle service from the Los Angeles International Airport. The LAAS is funded and managed by The Orion Group, a private investment firm. The hotel recently went through a $35'000'000 renovation to guest rooms, lobby and their Club Lounge. They spent an additional 3.5 million dollars enhancing the 38 meeting and function rooms with 50'000 square feet of event space, 13 floors of rooms and over 800 guest rooms. The event will take place Friday through Sunday, June 2nd to the 4th, 2017 at the Sheraton Gateway LA just minutes from the Los Angeles International Airport via complimentary shuttle. The Los Angeles Audio Show is open to the public from 10am to 6pm, Friday, Saturday and Sunday."
September 2016 - More perfect air - The in-akustik Referenz LS-2404 Air speaker cable incorporates the company's spacer clips and flexible links to maintain their internal geometry and spacing across the entire length of the air-dielectric cable including the eight conductors' built-in twist ratio. The outer mesh is a PE network jacket whilst termination is by Rhodium-plated plugs. "Each conductor contains 24 high-purity copper wires braided around a PE core. A very thin lacquer coating on the wires prevents the formation of eddy currents inside this 'Cross Link Super Speed' waveguide. The strong magnetic fields created by high-current speaker-level signal are partly compensated within the eight conductors. This is ensured by the braided wire design, which produces neutralizing effects. The wires are additionally insulated by their razor-thin lacquer coating." Pricing starts at €3'520/pr.
September 2016 - boXXer - EBTB's boXXer SM 0.5W is a 5" two-way monitor with genuine leather-clad sides and solid-wood front and rear baffles plus spring-suspension footers and a cable management bag on the back.
September 2016 - M2Tech phono - The Evo PhonoDAC Two "can be used as a phono preamp, DAC, ADC or preamplifier. Its analog stereo input drives a high performance ES9102S analog-to-digital converter through a front-end which can be set for gain and input impedance. The digital signal obtained by digitizing the analog input may be equalized then sent to a computer by means of the Evo PhonoDAC Two’s USB port (ripping) as well as to the internal ES9018K2M DAC which drives the Evo PhonoDAC Two’s analog output. The DAC can also be driven by the computer via the USB port or by another digital source via the provided coaxial input. The same coaxial input can also be used as external clock input to maximize performance. The remote controls volume, balance and mute as well as input selection, gain and equalization curve."
September 2016 - Bug spray - "Three of the Erzetich headphone amps from Slovenia (Bacillus, Bacillus Tilia and Perfidus) have gone under the knife. While their entrails are mostly untouched, the most obvious difference is now their appearance. Acrylic front panels have been replaced by 7mm thick aluminum along with some other tweaks and upgrades on their exterior. While Bacillus has only a new dress, the other two models have also some technical upgrades, especially Perfidus."
September 2016 - Rike roll out hardware - Georg Arsin of Germany's Rike Audio in Fürth announces multiple MM and MM/MC phono stages, linestages, a €3'500 push/pull integrated with GU50 pentodes for 25/50wpc in triode/ultralinear, a €4'990 EL34/KT88 push/pull integrated of 35wpc ultralinear power and this 16-watt 6C33C integrated shown. No longer just content to offer capacitors, Rike enter the valve-audio component category.
September 2016 - Italian phono - Gold Note release the low-output Donatello Gold [€950] and high-output Donatello Red [€650] MC cartridges featuring Duraluminum bodies, aluminium cantilevers and micro elliptical diamonds, copper coil wires and samarium cobalt magnets.
September 2016 - Don't space out, get grounded! - "The purpose of CAD’s GC1 Ground Control is to reduce high frequency noise on the signal ground plane." That's how the firm's Scott Berry explains its raison d'être. Whilst audio engineers typically focus on low noise and ripple on the positive rails of their DC power supplies, less thought goes into the negative rail and signal ground plane. The fully passive GC1 creates a low-impedance path for HF noise and converts it to heat. "The GC1 can be connected to any audio component's unused i/o. Each GC1 sports two connectors to hook up two components; to use both connectors for a single component; or to daisy chain more than one GC1 to a single component. A choice of cables with various connectors is available; one cable is included whilst additional cables are available for trial and for purchase.The GC1 can also be attached to earth. If you have any type of ground connection on your system or power distribution, CAD can supply a cable with an appropriate connector." A GC1 measures 32 x 8.8 x 11.1cm WxHxD, weighs 4.65kg and retails for £1'650 incl. VAT.
September 2016 - McIntosh headphone amp - The MHA150 [$4'500] exceeds its precursor with a next-gen DAC for quad DSD and 384kHz PCM support and uses autoformers to generate settings for 8-40, 40-150 and 150-600 ohm loads. An MCT input for pairing with the company's MCT 450 SACD/CD transport creates a secure DSD connection. Besides USB, there are also optical and coax digital inputs plus two analog inputs, a defeatable crossfeed circuit and 5-step bass boost. Top output power into headphones is 1 watt.
September 2016 - W13 - Boenicke Audio's new flagship speaker in their solid-wood range combines a custom 3" wideband tweeter with a 6" wood-cone mid/woofer, horizontally opposed 13" woofers with injection-moulded diaphragms in a sealed enclosure and rear-firing ambient tweeter. Dual 350-watt PowerSoft Class D amps run the V-twin woofers whilst adding programmable DSP and 4 user-selectable presets for optimal room integration. A plethora of built-in tuning tweaks is available in SE and SE+ versions.
September 2016 - Aries goes quad - Not DSD but version 4.0. With it, AURALiC's Aries, Aries LE and Aries Mini get a free firmware update to incorporate the company's latest Lightning Playback Engine V2. "Amongst the added features are:
• Memory Cache which allows streaming device to pre-load music tracks to system memory to achieve better sound quality; and helps streaming stability under less ideal network environment. 4.0 caches on-play data into system memory not internal storage (SSD) for maximum sound quality since the device will disable most of its idle hardware and software during playback. Cache size is 512MB except for the Aries Mini which gets 64MB. Music files with bigger size will be cached in several segments based on playback progress. This function enables automatically when the Lightning device plays music through Lightning DS and any other UPnP based control software. This feature won't work under Internet Radio, AirPlay, Songcast, Bluetooth and RoonReady input circumstances. Instead, the music file will be played as a live stream from host device or computer.
• Bit-Perfect Group Play aka ‘Party Mode’ allows users to create a playback zone and play the same music tracks on selected devices simultaneously with highest sampling rate support up to 32/384kHz PCM and DSD256 without down-sampling. This guarantees much higher synchronization precision, with 10 times less error than existing wireless multi-room solutions.
• High Quality Resampler which can upsample 1Bit/2.8224MHz DSD to 24Bit/2.8224MHz then to 24Bit/88.2KHz. In future versions, the user will be able to fully utilize the resampler by converting between any PCM sampling rate."

Aries firmware 4.0 is available free of charge for all existing Aries, Aries LE and Aries Mini customers. Click here for the complete update notice which goes into effect Sunday, September 11th.
September 2016 - Japanese violet - That's what Sumile means, a new 1.2Ω MC cartridge from Murasakino Ltd., hence its colour of the stainless steel housing with gold-plated base and characters. Output voltage is 0.35mV/1kHz, tracking force 1.9-2.1g and weight is 14.5g. The Sumile sells for €8'000.
September 2016 - Another lost port - Finland's Amphion apply the passive radiator solution from their non-ported pro range to another previousy ported home-audio model, this time the Argon 3LS [€3'000/pr]. This floorstanding 6.5" two-way now sports a rear-firing ABR driver to claim 22 - 25'000Hz bandwidth at 85dB.
September 2016 - hALO - The Continental v5 [$799, pre-order at $699] is ALO Audio's newest member in their Continental amplifier lineup. To increase on-the-go battery last, there's only one 6111 pencil tube and no on-board DAC for a claimed 8 hours of use. There's no wall wart but mico USB charging. Output impedance sits below 1 ohm, with enough drive for HifiMan's HE-1000, Sennheiser's HD800 and the Audeze LCD models. Yet word is that the low-gain switch and low noise floor also welcome the most sensitive of IEM. With the rollable NOS 6111 tube for voltage gain, the output buffer is op-amp based, making the v5 a hybrid design for presumably the best of both worlds. Finish options are black or silver and the elephant glass display of the bigger dual-tube Continental Dual Mono has been replaced by perforated holes. As already was the case for the bigger Dual Mono, circuit design is once again by Vinnie Rossi.
September 2016 - Gallo under new ownership - From David Baxter, CEO: "Nearly 15 years ago while attending the annual CES show in Las Vegas, I was somewhat half-heartedly walking the floor at the Alexis Park Resort, home to the show's audio exhibits, when I stumbled across a little hotel suite that was doubling as a demo room. Inside, a small crowd of people were talking excitedly about a small 4" loudspeaker, available in a bunch of eye-catching colors and finishes - it was the Nucleus Micro... Six months later we became the UK distributor for Anthony Gallo Acoustics. Within 12 months we were distributing the brand across most of Europe, an association that has spanned the years. At no point however did I ever consider that one day my company would be the custodian of this unique and innovative speaker brand. When Anthony, Don, Mena and Bill decided that they had taken the company as far as they could and were looking for someone who might be interested in taking over, they came to us. Despite interest from other parties, on the 6th of July a deal was struck and the Anthony Gallo Acoustics brand was under new ownership. I'm pleased to say that our purchase is with the full ongoing support and goodwill of the founders, including Anthony, who has indicated a desire to collaborate on future projects. The new venture will operate from two locations, with U.S. sales and service operating from a new base in San Antonio/Texas headed-up by Dan Sawyers, a veteran of the audio business. Fittingly, the official relaunch of the new Anthony Gallo Acoustics will take place where our association began, at the CES show in Las Vegas, running from the 5th - 8th January 2017. Crucially, pre-production is under way and we anticipate that the full AGA line-up will be back in stock by late November.".
September 2016 - Audeze earworm - The iSine Series and LCD i3 take Audeze into planar IEM turf. "They incorporate all the technology of the LCD collection including patented Fluxor™ magnets, ultra-thin diaphragms and patented Uniforce™ voice-coil tech. T All models include Audeze's Lightning cable for Apple's iPhone/iPod/iPad. As one of the first in-ear planar magnetic headphones, the iSINE Series offers lower distortion, superior bass response (flat to 10Hz) and a wider soundstage than other in-ears in its price category. Perfect for all portable devices, the $399 iSINE 10 is easy to drive with an impedance of 16 ohms. It includes both a Lightning cable and premium analog audio cable with 3.5mm stereo plug. The $599 iSINE 20 features a longer voice coil and a 24 ohms impedance along with other improvements to deliver higher resolution and more detail. The $2'495 LCD i3 features the same nano-grade film as our $4'000 LCD-4 headphone along with other premium materials."
September 2016 - Pure gold cartridge? - Not exactly but these are from Gold Note, Italian hifi maker from Florence."Our new MM cartridge Vasari will launch in two models, Red [€195] and Gold [€350], both featuring a body machined from solid blocks to achieve high damping, with a rigid aluminum cantilever and custom diamond tips." The Gold gets a duraluminium body with elliptical diamond, the Red a Delrin body with conical diamond. Both share 0.2g tracking weight, 4mV output level and 1Kohm impedance.
September 2016 - Beastie boy - Wyred4Sound announce their new SX-1000R, "the evolution of our most powerful SX-1000 monaural amplifier which can produce peaks in excess of 625W for 8Ω loads and 1'225W into 4Ω. The new R version distinguishes itself with an improved input board, WBT nextgen™ binding posts and new anthracite gray custom case color but black is also available. We're proud of the updated input board and how it elevates the amp's refinement and involvement. Additionally, the input impedance was raised to 91kΩ (vs 60.4kΩ on the original) to ensure a synergistic match with both solid-state and tubed components." The fully-balanced SX-1000R is available from the website and soon from dealers. Retail price is $1'499 each but for a limited time it is being offered for $1'199/ea., the price of the original SX-1000.
August 2016 - H1 - The COS Engineering H1 [€2'500] is a 3-in-1 DAC, headphone amp and preamp with paired 6.3mm/XLR combo jacks, 384PCM/DSD128 USB 2.0 and 192/DSD64 Toslink, coax and AES/EBU digital inputs plus one single-ended line output. Digital processing is based on a proprietary algorithm which upsamples all data to either 176.4kHz or 129kHz, applies a 1s buffer, a sub 1ps crystal oscillator with reclocker circuitry and a 4'096-tap 32-bit filter array with a linear-phase FIR delay embedded on a 3'648 MMAC/sec capable DSP. The onboard switch-mode power supply accepts universal power input from 100-240VAC. Analog volume spans 96dB in 0.5dB steps and is executed with a resistor ladder and solid-state switches. The combo jacks can either drive two unbalanced headphones simultaneously or one balanced headphone. Max voltage swing is 12Vrms balanced, 6Vrms unbalanced. The line-out is defeatable as is the buffer and USB 2.0 may be switched to USB 1.0 to eliminate the need for drivers on Windows. The white Oled display has 128x64 pixel resolution. Weight for the machine is 3.5kg, dimensions are 26 x 25 x 6cm WxDxH (feet excluded).
August 2016 - Do schiit where you work - "Our new Jotunheim [$399] is the first modular headphone amplifier and preamp. Add the DAC module [$100] and it's a DAC/amp. Or, add the phono [$100] and it's a phono preamp/amp. Or, use it as just an amp. Jotunheim offers balanced and single-ended inputs and outputs for both preamp and headphone amp. The amp is our unique, fully discrete, differential current-feedback “Pivot Point” topology, delivering up to 5W into 32 ohms with vanishingly low noise floor. The DAC uses two top-tier AK4490 chips in a hardware-balanced passively filtered configuration. The phono card uses precision film capacitors and resistors in a passive RIAA section that is entirely DC-coupled."
August 2016 - Multi-channel DAC? Jawohl! - Parasound introduce the ZoneMaster® 4 DAX [$995], "the first four-zone DAC with crossovers for the custom installation industry. In a single chassis unit it uses four premium 192kHz ESS Sabre DACs, four Parasound-designed analog crossovers with multiple configuration options and four 12V outputs each triggered when analog audio is present in that zone."
August 2016 - dot za - We obviously knew of Vivid Audio speakers in South Africa but not yet Furniture Design Lab of Johannisburg. "We are in the business of designing and producing luxury quality audiophile support furniture with high decorator approval since 1982 and offer a wide variety of concepts which we then customize to suit exact requirements." The Omega stand shown for example can be made with shelves of Perspex, glass, solid wood, MDF or concrete.
August 2016 - The BDP of Pi - Bryston intro the Roon-ready BDP-π digital music player [$1295] which is built upon the Raspberry Pi and HifiBerry platforms in a chassis a third the width of Bryston's full-sized player. It plays from MP3 to lossless 24/192 high-resolution files and connects to a DAC via S/PDIF, Toslink, USB or HDMI. Inputs are on 4 x USB 2.0 and 1 x 10/100Mbps Ethernet. Control is via infrared or TCP/IP including iOS, Android and Desktop. There's support of Tidal, Internet radio and custom URL and the unit comes with a silver or black face plate.
August 2016 - Fortschritt - It's German for progress—literally stepping forwardand Joachim Gerhard's newest member in the Suesskind catalogue. "It's a miniature tower just 12cm wide, 33cm deep and less than a meter high. It has a push-push bass system which I pioneered in 1989 with the Audio Physic Avanti. The woofers are very shallow domes to allow such a slim shape. The speakers are 8 ohms nominal and can stand 120 watts of power. They have a sensitivity of 88dB so don't need a big amplifier. A pair costs €3'600 in rubberized paint or €4'000 in high-gloss piano lacquer."
August 2016 - Not Tatiana Maslany - This news is about the other clones club, in Hong Kong and about hifi. In short, Clones Audio just revamped their website and want you to go for an extended look see.
August 2016 - The tanks roll in - Panzerholz that is. "Borrowing technology from the three members of the Innovation family—the Innovation, Innovation Compact and Master Innovation—the new Clearaudio Basic [starting at £3,400] packs a raft of features into its bijou form and delivers top performance at a more accessible price. The resonance-optimised chassis features Clearaudio's iconic three-point design with its sandwich construction of Panzerholz (a solid bullet-proof wood) and aluminium, a combination known to deliver an enviable balance of transparency and natural tonality.

"Like all models in the Innovation range, the Innovation Basic delivers exceptional speed stability thanks to a combination of Clearaudio's decoupled custom-built high-torque DC motor with their patented ceramic magnetic bearing and optical speed control. CMB allows the dynamically balanced platter to magnetically levitate on an inverted and polished ceramic bearing shaft with polished sintered bronze insert. Meanwhile an infrared sensor reads a microscopically etched strobe ring and sends signals to the OSC mechanism which auto-corrects in real time, consistently maintaining perfect speed. Two tonearm mounting bases make the Innovation Basic dual tonearm capable while fine height adjustment allows for precise leveling of the turntable on any surface. The Innovation Basic is available with a choice of finish options. The chassis' Panzerholz wood layer can be natural or black-lacquered, while its aluminium layer can be silver or black. The platter is available in either clear acrylic or black high-density POM."

 

August 2016 - Groovy - Furutech's new SK-Filter [£350] is said to remove build-up of unwanted static from the surface of spinning records. "It's an unfortunate fact that as vinyl spins on turntables, air friction causes it to gain a static charge. A record's level of frictional static electricity can reach from 3'000V to 20'000V, causing electrostatic noise. The SK-Filter uses the patented Thunderon® material which consists of a very fine acrylic fibre chemically bonded with copper sulfide. This conductive filament discharges static electricity into the air whenever a static-charged material approaches so the SK-Filter's fibres do not need to touch the record. Rather, they are positioned a millimetre or two above."
August 2016 - rHead - Arcam's new $600 class A headphone amplifier sports an "ultra-linear resistive-ladder analogue volume control taken from Arcam's $6000+ flagship A49 amplifier" and direct-coupled circuitry thereafter. Power delivery into 16Ω is 2 watts. Input socketry is on RCA and XLR, <0.5Ω outputs are on 3.5mm and 6.25mm. Frequency response is 10Hz - 20kHz  +/- 0.1dB, THD+N 0.001% for a 2V/32Ω load output, allowable input levels may be up to 4/8V for RCA/XLR. Dimensions are 194x44x135mm WxHxD and weight is 0.71kg. The 12V/1.5A power supply is external.
August 2016 - Not formulaic - Aqua Hifi's new statement DAC Formula is in production. This 32/384kHz deck goes beyond the firm's established filter-less R2R conversion scheme demonstrated in their LaScala MkII and Voce MkII decks by no longer executing it with NOS chips but by discrete resistor ladders instead. The front-to-back balanced Formula also adds optocoupler isolation for perfect symmetry between its signal's phase halves. A plethora of inputs (one user-configurable) are standard as is the choice of silver or black face plate with Nextel-grey cover.
July 2016 - 101D preamplifier - George Lenz of Arcturus Audio announces their new 2-chassis preamp with WE 101D DHT. There are 4 line-level inputs. The power supply has its own separate chassis. "The preamp section uses left/right milliamperes meters for measuring the compatibility of tubes and the power supply meter measures the voltage. All transformers and parts are of the highest quality and real vintage hardwood that has been painstakingly crafted to complete the look. The line amplifier uses a unique damping and isolation system to help the signal tube perform without microphony. Tubes from that period are known for their noise issues. The line amplifier uses a 10k primary and 600-ohm secondary output transformer. The plate chokes are massive 600 henry units. This provides an extremely quiet signal transfer. The power supply is bulletproof. It uses one 6AX4 half wave rectifier and two 816 half wave mercury vapor rectifier tubes. A VR-150 regulator tube completes the the circuit, The power supply is a slow start device allowing the mercury tubes to slowly dissipate their 'mercury cloud' before switching to operating mode. This results in an efficient and safe start up for the unit."
July 2016 - Acronymia and a new high - YG Acoustics's new Sonja XV, a 20-driver 4-way 4-tower affair, introduces a very fat price ($265'900/pr in the US) and even more acronyms of which the company is so fond. "The bass, midbass and midrange units are made in house using our proprietary BilletCore technology where drivers are machined from slabs of aircraft-grade aluminium. A pair of Sonja XV utilizes a total of 18 BilletCore drivers. The new BilletDome tweeter is a resonance-free soft dome supported by a stiff, light air frame machined from aluminium billet. The air frame weighs a mere 30 milligrams (a thousandth of an ounce) but its critical sections are up to 14 times thicker than a typical hard dome so its structural strength is vastly superior even to domes made of the most exotic hard materials. The tweeter's motor is our new ForgeCore where in-house CNC cutting introduces 3D geometries to the magnet system. The DualCoherent crossover at 65Hz, 337Hz and 1.75kHz provides the best frequency response and relative phase and the bass filter uses the new ViseCoil inductors which are CNC wound in house, then encased in a milled structure to eliminate vibration and tighten tolerances. Residual loss is reduced by 24% and linearity is improved by 60%. The mid and tweeter crossovers use ToroAir in-house CNC-wound toroidal aircore inductors. The cabinet of precision-machined aluminium creates a pressurized assembly free of vibrations. Further so-called FocusedElimination anti-resonance technology keeps mechanical losses to a minimum." Specifications promise deviation of just ±1dB in the audible band with ±5° relative phase throughout the entire overlap. Usable output extends from below 20Hz to above 40kHz. Dimensions for each towers is 179 x 43 x 72cm HxWxD and combined ship weight is 1.3 tons.
July 2016 - Fostex upstage Massdrop - This summer sees the arrival of the TH610 alongside the HP-A4BL and entry-level PC100USB2-HR. "We are especially excited about the TH610 as it is our closest model yet to the Fostex-made Denon D5000. Since its discontinuation, the D5000 has remained popular and sought after on the second hand market. The TH610 also comes against the backdrop of success for the lower spec TH-X00 created exclusively for US-based group-buying site Massdrop. Over 4000 TH-X00 will have been sold by the end of the latest 'drop', proof that whilst perhaps not so well known on the high street yet, Fostex have been quietly developing a huge following within the enthusiast headphone community."

The PC100USB-HR2 is a small £85 24/96 USB-powered desktop DAC with 3.5mm headphone socket. The £375 HP-A4BL builds on the HP-A4 by adding a 4-pin XLR output and external power supply where the HP-A4 was USB powered only. The HP-A4BL has over 3 x more power with a +10dB high/low gain switch for better matching. It also implements the Burr-Brown PCM1792A DAC, increasing file support to 24/192 PCM and DSD256. The £569 TH610 headphones give a subtle nod to the Fostex-made Denon D5000 with their matte walnut cups. The TH610 feature a detachable cable allowing easy upgrade to a balanced 4-pin XLR cable (ET-H3.0N7BL). The company's bio-dynamic 50mm diaphragm with 1 tesla magnetic circuit "offers wide dynamic range, low distortion and high levels of detail".
July 2016 - Goldmund expand ... by launching a support centre in Taiwan and restructuring their Chinese distribution. "Swiss company Goldmund have been present in Asia for more than three decades. The high demand for Goldmund products and the brand's excellent reputation there are easily explained by the first strategic plan of the company. Issued in 1982 at a time when most audio brands were trying to conquer the USA, the clear objective was to serve Asian customers first. Since then, Asia has continuously been Goldmund's preferred market and first in sales. It is not surprising then that Goldmund are opening this summer a new sales and technical support center in Taipei to provide quicker technical services to its regional distributors and customers. It is also a demonstration center where the latest products of the brand can be experienced in a private home environment that includes a dedicated room with Logos home cinema. The showroom will be at the disposal of Goldmund's professional partners and welcomes end users for private listening sessions by appointment. The grand opening of the Goldmund Asia Center will take place on August 9th with a first event reserved for the media. The company will let journalists report their impressions to the public and do not wish to spoil the surprise by disclosing more on the new facility at this time. Dr. T.I. Lin, Goldmund Asia General Manager, will also take advantage of the opening to announce how the company will restructure its distribution in China. In an effort to fight the grey market that is wide-spread there, it is foreseen that Goldmund Asia will be the sole distributor of Goldmund lifestyle and home theater products for China and will directly take care of all retailers who wish to continue or start working seriously with the brand."
July 2016 - Budding meze platter - Meze Headphones announce the Meze 11 Neo earbuds in gun metal or iridium finish to "elegantly stand out from the crowd. Besides the looks, the 11 Neo's ergonomic shape makes it easy to handle and comfortable to wear. Sturdily built, the aluminium housings hold the titanium-coated dynamic neodymium drivers that deliver the crisp and fun Meze signature sound."
July 2016 - Flexi compliance - Dong-Chan Son of Korea's Nasotec announces their upgraded Swing head shell [$360 - 390] which, whilst previously only using the elasticity of the lead wire, now "uses springs to improve elasticity and be easier to install. The new Swing head shell has more stable accurate tracking and the strength of the spring suppresses the vibration of the swing head for better sound."
July 2016 - Doing the multikulti for $249 - Actually it's multibit in Schiit's Modi Multibit, "the lowest-cost advanced multibit DAC by any manufacturer, from any country on the planet. It comes with our proprietary closed-form digital filter and definitely not with a modern (not NOS or 'pull') DAC. It runs a version of our own filter on a powerful Analog Devices SHARC DSP and couples it with an Analog Devices AD5547 D/A converter that's spec'd down to 1/2 LSB. Together with three inputs—asynchronous USB 2.0, optical, and coax—it's an extremely versatile DAC and an extremely affordable way to try this whole multibit thing for yourself."
July 2016 - Seven x F - First Watt's 25wpc F7 [$3'000] is "a very unique power amplifier, a two-stage push-pull Jfet input/Mosfet output with fewer parts than any other First Watt amp to date. The F7 has been created as an updated version of the earlier F5. Conceived in 2007, the F5 was a push-pull Class A amplifier employing eight semiconductors and 23 resistors to achieve 25 watts with good specifications and good sound.  According to Nelson Pass: "The F7 bests the earlier F5, comprising even better sound and even simpler circuitry." Like all First Watt designs, it is a relatively low power simple Class A circuit designed with an unusually low parts count. It is the 19th product from First Watt since its founding in 1998 as Nelson Pass' "personal laboratory"." With Nelson Pass retiring from assembly to focus solely on design, First Watt products are now being manufactured by Pass Labs.
July 2016 - Convert to the LAN - PS Audio's forthcoming LANRover [$599] is a two-box USB-to-Ethernet-to-USB converter to not only break the 5-metre limit of USB audio transmission but to improve sonics because LAN packets are fundamentally different to USB packets; and because the Ethernet standard includes galvanic isolation as part of the protocol. PS Audio claim that with this approach, costly USB cables are a thing of the past as they no longer make a sonic difference. Their send box is powered by the computer USB line whilst the receive box gets a wall wart. Allowable data density is PCM up to 352.8kHz and DSD up to 256.
July 2016 - Nine drivers per ear - That's Noble's new Katana IEM inside the firm's now trademark aluminium housing. The Katana configuration is also available as a custom fit using alternative materials from the Noble range including acrylics and exotic solid woods (Prestige range). A 3D-printed option à la SLA range is also available. "The new Katana follows the success of Noble's 10-driver model, the Kaiser 10(which remains in the portfolio. It features a top half in gun-metal grey anodize and a bottom half in satin-black anodize. Further features include a detachable two-pin cable and supplied accessories include a Pelican 1010 case (crush-proof carrying 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." Pricing for universal/custom-fit is $1'850 and $2'850 for a Prestige-level custom fit. The 3-D printed SLA version is $1'650.
July 2016 - Cary integrated - The SI-300.2d integrated [$5'995] packs 300wpc of class A/B power and a class A preamp stage. Digital inputs include 32/384PCM 256DSD USB, 2 x coax, Toslink, AES/EBU and aptX® Bluetooth. "All S/PDIF and Bluetooth sources offer 10 selectable upsampling or PCM-to-DSD conversion options. On the analog side, there are 4 analog inputs (2 x XLR, 2 x RCA), with one each offering true Cinema Bypass. Additional features include a pre/subwoofer output, coaxial and optical digital outputs, IR remote, trigger out, IR sensor input and Ethernet and WiFi for controlling the SI-300.2d with free iOS and Android apps." The machine weighs 52lbs and measures 6 x 17.25 x 18" HxWxD.
July 2016 - Alien walk-ins? - Not. The new Clones Audio Host is a digital music server with the company's Shaar USB gateway and USB class 3.0 output; a Gigabit Ethernet port; SSD for music storage; and linear power supply with super-low-noise regulators. The operating system is a customized Linux platform with Roon server but Daphile is an option. Twin PSU of the company's Power Station type power the SSD/USB and main processor boards. SSD options range from 256GB - 2TB for internal storage. The enclosure is repurposed from the company's Asher DAC. Pricing starts at €1'377. SSD and Roon license are extra.
July 2016 - Flow on the go - The MrSpeaker Ether and Ether C planarmagnetic headphones in open and closed models have become available in new Flow iterations which incorporate changes to their motor structures which were instigated by Dan Clark's development of his first electrostatic design whilst comparing sonic performance between orthos and stats. Visit the website for more details on the TrueFlow Technology.
July 2016 - EBTB - The Bulgarians' second entry into their boXXer range is the SM 0.5 which promises 50Hz - 20kHz response at 88dB sensitivity from an Italian 1" silk-dome tweeter and 5" Italian pro mid/woofer with paper cone, rubber surround, die-cast aluminium basket and 1.5" voice coil. Dimensions of the box are 27 x 16.4 x 28cm HxWxD, weight is 5.7kg. The enclosure combines leather-wrapped Birch Ply for the top, bottom and sides, 1cm aluminium alloy for the front and rear baffles. The basic version eliminates the outrigger footers and cable management bag on the back
July 2016 - Andromeda - Camp Fire Audio's lineup of IEMs grows with this in-ear general fit design [$1'099] that places five balanced armature drivers and a tubeless resonator inside a green-anodized aluminium enclosure. Specs are 10Hz-28kHz bandwidth, 115dB sensitivity, 12.8-ohm impedance and the 3.5mm terminated cable is a detachable kind with MMCX connectors. Accessories include a dark leather case, replaceable ear tips in foam, Comply or silicon and a cleaning brush.
July 2016 - Stenheim at Montreux Jazz - To celebrate the annual festival, Stenheim are "producing a limited edition of our Alumine Two speakers in 25 pairs delivered with a certificate of authenticity as well as a numbered identification plate stating 'Montreux Jazz Festival 50th Anniversary Special Edition'."