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).

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'."
June 2016 - New wideband driver - From Tony Minasian comes this new drive unit with pleated surround, paper cone, 'flower power' motor and minimum basket. Supplied as a raw photo without any specs or pricing, interested parties will have to contact the manufacturer directly for more details. As former US importer of AER and PHY drivers, Tonian Labs certainly know their competition. We did learn that it is 100dB efficient and available in 16Ω or 8Ω versions.
June 2016 - Utopia gets ears - Focal bow three new headphones called Listen [€200], Elear [€1'000] and Utopia [€4'000]. The latter two are built on their own new production line at Focal's Saint-Etienne factory in France. The open-backed Utopia's driver is a 40mm Beryllium dome, its yokes are made of carbon fibre and its cushions of New Zealand lambskin. The 4m OFC cable terminates in a 6.3mm Neutrik plug and two shielded Lemco connector with self-locking bayonets. The Elear model is "in essence the same when it comes to design and mechanics". It's the materials which differ. The yokes become aluminium, the ear cushions microfibre and the driver an aluminium/magnesium alloy dome. That sports the same 'M' geometry with NBR surround and monolayer 25mm diameter 4.4mm high voice coil without former as the Beryllium unit. Listen is a mobile design with "excellent noise isolation" and toughness for wear and tear built around a 40mmm Mylar driver. On specs, the open Utopia and Elear are 80-ohm loads with 104dB sensitivity that weigh 490g and 450g respectively. The closed Listen is a 32-ohm load of 122dB sensitivity and 273g weight.
June 2016 - Share in the shaar - The new Clones Audio Shaar [€162] "is an audiophile PCIe-to-USB audio gateway with ultra low-noise regulators for digital chips, clock and USB power; power input noise filters; and an extreme low-noise master clock module with precision 1ppm TCXO." A USB 3.0 port controller supports super-speed transmissions with over-current protection.
June 2016 - Kroma Audio - This new company out of Granada/Spain just launched two speaker models, the Julieta monitor shown [€30'000/pr] and the matching d'Appolito Carmen floorstander [€45'000/pr]. Both use chemically welded solid Krion enclosures without screws, potted crossovers in their own hermetically sealed sub enclosures, internal wooden reflectors and resonators, Luthier-turned tonewood ports, Hiquphone 3/4" gold-infused fabric dome tweeters with shallow waveguide and custom 6.5" ScanSpeak Revelator mid/woofers which are attached with thermoplastic Reny screws, not common metal screws. Basic specs for the Julieta are Duelund, Mundorf and NOS filter parts, 6Ω nominal impedance, 90dB sensitivity, 50kg weight for each box/stand assembly and dimensions of 100 x 29.5 x 41.5cm HxWxD. The Carmen doubles up on the mid/woofer, increases efficiency by 1dB, doubles the weight and measures 128.5 x 29.5 x 42.5cm HxWxD. A recent industry feature reported on the launch.
June 2016 - SOtM - The sMS-200 [$450] is an ultra-compact mini network player with built-in media player board developed by the South Koreans, with a dedicated ARM processor developed purely for audio. "For player software, Roon, MPD, DLNA, SqueezeLite and others are available. So is playback of music files from external USB storage, network shared folders and streaming services. Smartphone apps handle the GUI."
June 2016 - Get intimate - Wyred4Sound's forthcoming íntimo headfi amp/DAC is on $995 pre-order now and as such, $200 below its eventual $1'195 MSRP. A $250 deposit gets one on the pre-order list, with the balance collected upon shipment. The íntimo is a class A device with 384kHz PCM and 2 x DSD support, two each coax/Toslink plus 1 x USB inputs, a 3-band EQ, balance, phase and L/M/H gain, a large alphanumeric display and capacitive buttons all encased in an aluminium shell with exposed heat sink.
June 2016 - Raidho go topless - Actually, it's Raidho sister brand Scansonic and they go wireless. "Scansonic are owned by Dantax, parent company of Raidho. The brand’s speakers are designed by Raidho's Michael Børresen to have much of the same DNA and pedigree at a fraction of the cost. The new active M BTL range comprises a standmount and two floorstanders with wired analogue, digital and wireless aptX Bluetooth connections. One of each speaker pair houses a built-in class A/B amplifier, 50W in the 2-way M-5 BTL standmount, 60W in the 2.5-way M-6 BTL floorstander and 80W in the 3-way M-9 BTL. All three are designed around the same ultra-light ribbon tweeter as used in the Raidho-inspired MB range. Its membrane is formed by a kapton-aluminum sandwich just 20μm thick. The tweeter is partnered with a paper-polypropylene 4.5" mid/bass driver (one in the M-5 BTL, two in the floorstanders) with underhung magnet system. The M-9 BTL adds an 8" side-mount woofer. The cabinets feature a heavily braced vented box design with front-loaded port and each system comes with a learning remote." Bandwidth specs are 55/50/40Hz to 30kHz respectively. Finish options are gloss black or white. Pricing per pair is £599, £1'199 and £1'799.
June 2016 - Get capped - Akiko Audio introduce their RCA Tuning Plugs. "To prevent invasion of electro smog and dust, many music lovers use well-known RCA caps. Akiko Audio now make the passive cap a part of active tuning. Every RCA tuning cap comes with a mineral-filled cell that reduces HF noise, making details more audible. Every RCA cap undergoes lengthy cryogenic treatment and comes with a 10mm Akiko audio chip. A Teflon inlay provides extra absorption. The new tuning caps come in gold or rhodium. These metals have a subtle influence on the rendering: gold sounds warmer, rhodium slightly more neutral."
June 2016 - Improved cheaper USB - Sablon Audio have upgraded their Panatela USB cable to full Reserva specification, "using enhanced shielding and a better sounding outer cover. These changes have reduced the noise floor considerably to the benefit of detail and dynamics, with greater tonal texture. The price has now been reduced to $700 inclusive of worldwide shipping."
June 2016 - Dual DAC - The RTAudio Hybrid Dac Orpheus EX [€6'000] from their new Exclusive range uses a wooden fascia and two separate battery power supplies. "The converter section consists of Analogue Device and Wolfson Microelectronics chips working in the I-squared-S format and true differential output mode. Output transformers act as analog filters. The USB XMOS transceiver is powered by a separate ultra low-noise power supply. The second converter provides not only DSD and 32/192 PCM via USB but also 24/192 PCM via AES/EBU. From the front panel one selects the DAC type and mode. Both converters are loaded by two 1:1 transformers each in anti-static metal casings. This creates perfect impedance equalization with <2° phase shift, flat amplitude and low THD. The transformers are from Lundahl and Sowter. The power supply includes two batteries, two low-noise battery chargers and two high-quality toroidal transformers. The rectifiers are SIC Shottky diodes. The power supplies are fully independent and one can switch off one of the DACs whilst the other works. There are adjustable brass feet and African wood for the face plate. The digital section is silver wired, the power supply is OCC copper."
June 2016 - Arcturus Audio - George Lenz reports that their debut amp with VT191/316a transmitter tube is ready. "It has provisions for two types of headphone jacks as well as switchable 8 or 16-ohm speaker taps. Speakers can be switched off in headphone mode. There are 4 high level inputs as well as a preamp out. The amplifier employs adjustable bias which can be confirmed via its own Yamamoto meter. Transformers are custom wound by Mike LeFevre of Magnequest based on compiled data from Roger Modjeski who assisted us with this circuit design. Power output is 5-6 watts per channel (class A2). I along with Raymond Koonce wanted a smaller footprint for this amplifier so that users didn't have to strain themselves looking for a place to put it. Its lower profile and simplistic layout also achieves our desired goal for no-nonsense functionality. Price is $6'995."
June 2016 - 300B integrated - Japan's Concert Fidelity bow the CF-i300B integrated amplifier "featuring a pair of 300B output tubes driven by a pair of 6SJ7/6SJ7GT/5693. Rectification is handled by a 5AR4. The directly heated triode amp outputs 9 watts per channel. The circuit topology is extremely simple and signal paths are short. The CF-i300B has four sets of single-ended inputs and one of them can be switched to XLR. Users can select the output impedance as 4 or 8 ohms. As a bonus, it has a solid-state headphone amp which can drive either pair of a single-ended or balanced headphones." Price is to be determined.
June 2016 - Thinner, tighter and lighter - Audeze announce "the updated open and closed-back EL-8s as well as an improved LCD-XC." The details are reduced diaphragm thickness for greater response; higher compliance to lower resonance for improved LF extension and definition; more uniform magnetic flux distribution and driving force which smoothes frequency response and lowers distortion; improved diaphragm tensioning for better consistency between units; and improved internal damping for better more controlled bass and a smoother overall response. The revised LCD-XC gets all of the same except that its internal damping remains unchanged.
June 2016 - Meridian flagship - The Ultra [$23'000] is the company's new reference DAC "with considerable connectivity options, 24/384 PCM, DSD128 and MQA support, dual mono DAC cards, DSP filter options, upsampling and apodizing." For socketry there's USB 2.0, S/PDIF, TosLink, BNC, AES/EBU and Meridian’s Speakerlink. There's also the Sooloos music-management platform. Analog outputs are on XLR and RCA. User features include LipSync, PC setup and RS232 for integration with third-party systems such as Control4 or Crestron. A dedicated clock card promises lowest possible jitter. "The Ultra DAC is the first to include MQA Ltd.’s Hierarchical Converter Technology which employs multiple converters to increase temporal resolution while reducing noise and quantization errors. Another first for a Meridian product is the construction of the DAC cards with multiple regulated power supplies and eight-layer circuit boards with low-impedance ground planes. A fully linear power supply provides isolation from the AC supply and DC-coupled outputs prevent degradation from AC coupling capacitors." The Ultra will bow at T.H.E. Show in Newport Beach in room # 1203.
June 2016 - New Fostex 'phone - The TH610 replaces the TH600 in the company's premium TH range which also includes the TH900 and TH900mk2. The TH610 " features a detachable cable connection and matte-finished black walnut housings with our bio-dynamic 50mm diaphragm and powerful 1'000 gauss motor." This is a closed design with 25-ohm impedance, 98dB sensitivity and claimed bandwidth of 5Hz - 45kHz. Weight is ca. 375g without 3-metre detachable 2-pin cable terminated with a 1/4" plug. A leatherette carrying case is included.
May 2016 - Fly your arial - Aerial Acoustics bow the Model 5T, "a complete reevaluation of the possibilities of the small speaker". Replacing the  5B, the 5T "offers significant improvements in system sensitivity, dynamics, treble delicacy, midrange transparency and bass extension without coloration". The driver complement is a 1" dual-magnet ring fome tweeter and a 6.7" long-stroke papyrus-blend mid/woofer for bandwidth of 48Hz - 23kHz. Available finishes are metallic black, gloss rosenut and gloss ebony.
May 2016 - New omni driver - Ferenc Koscso reports that "the demo was an unexpected success. We were really surprised by all the positive comments we got. The official launch is expected in Asia in the fall, then at CES. We will introduce a smaller model a bit later using the same radial speaker technology." To learn more about it, peruse this PDF.
May 2016 - OZtentatious audio - The pull of the popular T.H.E. Show Newport has attracted strong support from Australian and New Zealand manufacturers ready to make waves in this most beautiful of coastal locations. Colleen Cardas Imports (CCI) has partnered with several entities to provide an Antipodean taste of electronics and loudspeaker design in two neighbouring rooms: 1011 and 1012. On display in 1011 will be the highly touted well-reviewed $2500/pair Axis VoiceBox (see Edgar Kramer’s review here) partnered with Redgum Electronics, makers of high-quality uniquely styled electronics (featuring their Black Series integrated amplifiers), cables and new equipment support systems. In room 1012 acclaimed Australian designer Brad Serhan will host the US debut of the Brigadiers Audio Group's (BAG) new high-end BA-2 constrained layer speaker design (pictured and slated for pricing between US$11-12K). Garry Morrison who heads New Zealand’s Pure Audio (see review here) will provide their distinctive electronics based on class A amplification and include the Vinyl phono pre [$4'500], the Control preamplifier [$9'500] and the Duo stereo power amplifier (revised Version 2 at $9'500). Aussie Mark Döhmann’s Audio Union Helix 1 turntable [$40'000] has been causing a stir since its soft launch at Munich High-End in 2015. The turntable is a tour de force of vinyl playback tech and will mate to NZ’s Simon Brown’s The Wand ’tonearm with a cartridge to be announced. Cabling and ancillaries will be Furutech, including Lineflux interconnects, Speakerflux speaker cables and Alpha PS-950-18 power cords. Also debuting will be Australian Les Davis Audio's range of damping and isolation materials based on the constrained layer formula developed by 3D². The material can be shaped and adhered to surfaces or used underneath any component in the system and packs of 3D² will be available for $125. As CCI's Marc Phillips states, "the entire Down Under Audio theme stems from one idea; that I think audio products in Australia and New Zealand are absolutely wonderful and do not receive the attention in the US that they should. I believe Axis, Redgum Audio, Brigadiers Audio, PureAudio, The Wand, Audio Union and Les Davis Audio are not only good but t so good that I can seriously say this is the gear I personally aspire to own one day."     
May 2016 - New Taga models - "Taga Harmony, a European manufacturer of speakers and audio electronics, today announced the launch of three new models in their A/V range: the TAV-616F floorstanders, the TAV-616C center channel and the TAV-616S surrounds. Their new enclosures are more rigid and neutral to vibrations and colorization than those of the precursors.  MDF walls thickness compared to the TAV-606 increased from 12mm to 15mm in the tower with its 18mm front panel; and from 9mm to 12mm in the other models with 15mm fronts. Increased cabinet volume creates higher dynamics and lower bass. Revised lighter woofer and mid/woofer cones create higher SPL and faster more accurate response. New decorative pure aluminium trim rings enhance dispersion."
May 2016 - Can you handle the truth? - Attendees of the upcoming Newport show can test their truth serum when Wireworld Cable Technology founder David Salz brings his Audio Cable Polygraph to demonstrate the usual sonic losses of cables versus a direct bypass connection. Attendees will even have the opportunity to download the test tracks used in the interconnect portion of the demonstration for further evaluation. Visitors to room 1016, throughout the show, can also test Wireworld's Nano Series headphone cables and others against a direct connection between a DAP and headphones.
May 2016 - Salk Song3 - Salk Signature Sound introduce their vented 3-way Song3 [$2'895/pr] with a Raal 64-10 ribbon tweeter on a 4th-order filter. This is followed by a bamboo-fibre 4" midrange, then a papyrus-cone 7.5" woofer. 88dB sensitivity and 8-ohm behaviour are said to make for an easy load. Bandwidth is 33Hz - 40kHz ±3dB from compact dimensions of 9.5" W and 42" height with 14.5" depth. Each speaker weighs 70lbs.
May 2016 - New Furutech range toppers - A new conductor called Alpha Nano-Au-Ag-OCC adds to their usual cryo'd then demagnetized wire a nano liquid which "features a precise ratio of tiny gold and silver particles to finely coat the conductor, filling up and smoothing out any microscopic concave-convex surface areas left during the production process." These nano-sized particles are suspended in a Squalene solution. The new NanoFlux NCF power cord [£3'795/1.8m] gets "advanced double-layer insulation with a complex outer shield, damping layer and EMI-absorbing modules plus Furutech’s NCF piezo ceramic connectors." The NanoFlux speaker cable [£4'995/pr/2.5m] is built around the same "ultra-high performance Alpha Nano-Au-Ag OCC conductor, sports Furutech’s CF-201(R) rhodium-plated nonmagnetic pure copper spades along with CF-202(R) non-magnetic rhodium-plated banana connectors." Regular readers have already encountered a similar nano-particle wire app with Japan's Nanotec Systems cables in prior reviews. They taught us how effective this tech can be.

May 2016 - Wyred drops bombshell - After years of optimizing B&O ICEpower for their own products and as OEM for other companies, Wyred4Sound now will use the upcoming Newport show in Irvine as launch pad for the new Statement amplifier based on their very own class D design. "This revolutionary technology produces a massive 750 watts into 8 ohms in fully differential bridge mode (250/500wpc into 8/4Ω stereo). Contributing to this level of power are a transformer-coupled input stage and huge power transformer. On the outside, the Statement looks like no other amplifier, with a machined copper or brass top cover and 5" color touchscreen display." We've obviously signed on already for a review sample.
May 2016 - Phonaudio – From Berkshire in the UK, this new company's first product comes in over-the-ear and on-ear versions called PHN100 and PHN200 respectively. Each is available in black, silver or gold. An inline controller starts/pauses a track, skips forward or back, answers/ends a call, controls volume and handles voice commands. The necessary microphone is built into the left ear cup not cable. iPhone/Android functionality is built into the same cable. The headphones themselves sport a 40mm driver, plastic titanium build aka TR90 material, bandwidth of 20Hz-20kHz and sensitivity of 108dB. Pricing is £229/£209 for the 100/200.
May 2016 - Christine - The Merrill Audio Christine reference preamplifier [$12'400] sports "hand-routed PCB layout of each trace, placement and length of the trace, external multistage power supplies, fully balanced configuration, power isolation, hand-soldered connections and silver-plated pure copper wire." Specs include bandwidth to 800kHz at 0.1dB and to 1.5MHz at -3dB. S/NR is 110dB, THD 0.003%. The volume covers -84dB to +26dB in 0.5dB steps with 26dB of gain. Allowable input voltage is ±10V, max output voltage is ±12V. There are 4 x XLR inputs and 2 x XLR outputs. There's also a 1.25" wide white LED display and 0°/180° polarity selection.
May 2016bernola.ch – "dafraud present their debut fullrange speaker Bernola L17 [CHF 6'280/pr] and their D/A converter Purson DAC1 [CHF 4'260]. More than six years ago, Daniel Frauchiger began to intensively investigate high-resolution digital technology and full-range driver systems. Today this R&D has netted the first products from new Swiss firm dafraud."
May 2016 - 3rd Franco Serblin model - Finalized by his son Massimiliano, the rear-ported two-way Lignea is the latest model in this catalogue after the bigger Ktêma flagship and stand-mounted Accordo. This one really does look like a long-necked string instrument set on end, including the oud-like curved rear of the actual body. In very obvious fashion, it epitomizes the late Franco Serblin's love of these instruments and his efforts to transpose some of their sonic qualities and build principles into his loudspeakers.
May 2016 - Burson's IC - Transcending their own religion about shunning integrated circuits, Burson now "have worked with a leading integrated circuitry foundry to implement most of our V5 FET circuitry into an IC chip. We then use a discrete circuit to push this IC chip beyond its limitations. The result is our V5i audio opamp. The V5i shares the same sonic characteristics as our V5, namely, fast and dynamic, transparent and accurate. Key features include wide dynamic range, low power consumption, metal cap to improve heat regulation, similar size to DIP8 opamps, 30-day satisfaction refund guarantee and a life-time replacement warranty. Starting from just $39, we are even offering free postage to anywhere in the world for the first 100 customers."  
May 2016 - Direkter Dreiklang - That would be German for direct sound in triplicate - or Heco's take on a three-way version of their popular Direkt two-way model. For the Direkt 38 that means a 3cm tweeter with paper-based 20cm midrange and 38cm woofer in a broad-shouldered quite shallow box. In US currency, that's a 15-inch bass driver. Pricing is expected to be €7'000/pr when production launches in the fourth quarter. Photo by Sempre Audio.
May 2016 - Elysium - Making true on his 2014 threat of bringing the biggest baddest tube amps to Munich one day, this year saw Trafomatic's Sasa Cokic unveil the Eimac 250TL Elysium monos for 70 watts of direct-heated class A1 SET power. The power triodes are preceded by 2 x interstage-transformer coupled Emission Labs 20B-V4 and one EML 5Z3 rectifier. Inputs are on RCA and XLR, input sensitivity is a very low 3.5Vrms, bandwidth is 10Hz to 60kHz (-2dB and -3dB respectively), dimensions are 62x52x80cm and weight is a colossal 85kg per channel.
May 2016 - Albedo towers - Albedo Audio add their Alecta flagship model [€64'000/pr], a 4-driver 3-way tower with purely ceramic drivers, transmission bass loading and "a sophisticated time-coherent xover".
May 2016 - New Hafler amp - "The P3100 stereo amp is designed for both studio recording and audiophile listening. It employs Hafler's legendary trans*nova™ lateral Mosfet topology which reduces the length of the signal path whilst providing exceptional stability. The P3100 produces 150wpc into 8 ohms, 200 into 4 and may be bridged to 400 watts into 8. Front panel features include individual trim controls along with an LED display for precise monitoring of signal presence and overload. The rear panel sports XLR and ¼" TRS inputs for professional use and gold-plated unbalanced RCA for the audiophile."
May 2016 - Tangent cleared - ClearAudio's TT5 [ £1'750, optional swing base £250] is billed as "a more affordable entry point into tangential tonearm tech". The TT5 adopts a new fully rigid design. For those who still want the convenience of their bigger arms' ability to swing out of the way when loading records, Clearaudio have created the optional swing base. Tracking force and azimuth are finely adjustable. The ball bearing is of the dry-running sort and total weight of the assembly is 560g (add 60g for base). Dimensions are 20 x 15 x 14cm WxHxD.
May 2016 - Sonus faber grow wood - A new Walnut finish for the replaceable side panels of the Chameleon range models has just become available.
May 2016 - ARC build out their foundation - Audio Research introduce the Foundation Series of vacuum tube components, the first three of which include the LS28 linestage, PH9 phono preamp and DAC9 D/A converter all priced at $7'500/ea. "A new amplifier will follow, with other products to complete the series. All models will be available in both black and natural anodized aluminium finishes. Each unit comes with its own custom metal remote. The LS28 offers four balanced and four single-ended inputs and two sets each of balanced and single-ended outputs. The straightforward menu allows control of input naming, tube-hour tracking, auto shutdown and HT passthrough. Phase invert and mono are standard functions. At the heart of the LS28 are four 6H30. The PH9 too runs 6H30 in a trio configuration and offers five different impedance settings which can be changed on the fly. The DAC9 sports USB, RCA, BNC, AES/EBU and Toslink and a quad converter architecture for a balanced digital signal, wide dynamic range and decoding up to 384kHz and native DSD. A pair of 6H30 vacuum tubes are the heart of the analog circuit. Both balanced and single-ended connectors are provided.. Native mode, upsampling and selectable digital filters allow customization of the digital signal."
May 2016 - Credo flagship - From Switzerland's Michael Kraske comes the Cinema Reference designed "for large high-performance home theatres and music rooms. Unlike simple straight line arrays, we address their well-known issues of extreme lobes from 200Hz - 2kHz; decreasing high-frequencies on axis; rippled non-linear off-axis response; and extreme horizontal directivity at high frequencies (+/-5° above 5kHz). Thanks to a proprietary crossover, Mundorf AMT and outstanding 6.5" ScanSpeak mid/woofer, our speaker performs with extreme dynamics at very low and high SPL. This modular passive two-way design is completed with active subwoofers. The mid/woofers are high-pass filtered, allowing them to perform down to 35Hz with very low distortion. For the sealed subwoofer we use a 9" ScanSpeak aluminium woofer."
May 2016 - Eh, look - It's neither a KEF Blade nor a Vivid oval model but Elac's new flagship called Concentro, a 1.7m tall lacquer-finished affair atop a 25kg machined-from-solid aluminium plinth. Horizontally opposed pairs of 10-inch woofers join a Jet5 ATM tweeter working inside a coaxial midrange, an expected choice since Andrew Jones joined the firm though this project's leader was Rolf Janke. Pricing is estimated to come in between €50'000 - €60'000/pr once production commences. Customization options enter with the finish of the sides which can be carbon fibre, veneer or leather. The full reveal happens in Munich.
May 2016 - On the bends - That would be a new full-range bending-wave transducer from Oliver Mertineit and Tibor Palatinus with optional dipole subwoofer. Nothing else but an invite without website was forwarded to us so for now, just these teaser pictures.
May 2016 - Dig this bit - Digibit bow the new aria2 [€4'170], "the only music server to support extended metadata fields for any music genre. This allows users to sort and view their collection as albums from the romantic (period) for piano (instrument) played by Maurizio Pollini (soloist). aria2 sports 18 predefined fields to automatically match the tag structure of our proprietary classical music database, SonataDB. You can delete or add missing fields at will. For any other music genre, all fields can be manually created and tagged. Software features include a fully automatic (insert & rip) error-free CD ripper; best-in-class metadata retrieval results from five databases; bit-perfect playback up to 24bit/352.8KHz and DSD256; multizone support; multichannel PCM and DSD support; remote access over the internet; and Airplay, Googlecast and DLNA support. The latest app for iOS and Android adds selection of ripping format and path for external HDD or NAS; incremental backup; and Googlecast Audio support. On the hardware side, there's a new fanless 6mm aluminum chassis milled from solid; a new Intel semi-custom computer board with Celeron CPU and 4GB RAM with extremely low-power consumption; 4TB SSHD hybrid disk standard, 2TB SSD optional. aria2 alsocomes with a new optional external ultra-low-noise linear power supply with universal voltage support.The basic aria2 ships without internal DAC and offers USB, coax and AES/EBU outputs. An optional DAC comes with balanced and unbalanced analog audio outputs. A new HDMI output can be used as multichannel output to an external power amp and for service purposes.

Wamp is a powerful new 150-watt class D mono amp [€1'660/pr], wireless media streamer and 24/192 DAC. "Wamp converts your preferred passive loudspeakers into active and wireless using an elegant non-intrusive industrial design. You need just 2 power cords to get a complete double mono hifi system. Each mono amp is styled as an elegant plinth for your loudspeakers. A convenient remote allow users to avoid the iOS and Android devices for the most common features."
May 2016 - Power chord - Chord Electronics will show two new proprietary-tech amps at High End Munich 2016. The TToby [£2'995] is "a desktop stereo amplifier designed to complement the Hugo TT DAC and take advantage of its high-quality digital preamp functionality using the same form factor offering 130 watts into four ohms. TToby offers balanced and unbalanced inputs and uses switch-mode power supplies." The new 200wpc SPM1050MkII [£4'995] "introduces internal upgrades plus aesthetic improvements" for "reduced output distortion and improvements to capacitance for a bigger, cleaner power delivery via four proprietary lateral-structure dual-die Mosfets."
May 2016 - Stereokonzept - Johannes Rickert bows their new Model 2 which marries a "cost-no-object Beryllium tweeter to a rapidly responding 5.25" midwoofer using a powerful underhung Neodym motor design and sandwich paper cone for a two-way loudspeaker taken to an entirely new level."

May 2016 - Grim news - Grimm Audio add three new products to their catalog. "The most prominent novelty is the LS1be. This loudspeaker features a new Beryllium tweeter with a CNC-milled aluminium waveguide jointly developed by Grimm Audio and Seas. To match the performance of this tweeter, the amplifier and converter electronics received careful tweaking. The new enclosures are Hi-Macs, a modern and very rigid material. A new LS1s-dmf subwoofer augments the low end. Rob Munnig Schmidt developed a digital motional feedback system with a cone accelerometer to reduce distortion by 30 times." To offer the LS1 quality to a broader audience, Grimm Audio also introduce the more cost-effective LS1a.
May 2016 - Mingus Quintet - That's Marten Design's newest 3-way floorstander "using the same diamond tweeters and midrange as the €390'000 Coltrane Supreme 2. Accuton created a new 7" cell technology woofer especially for the Mingus Quintet. The enclosure is tapered, with the slimmer front reducing reflections and adding to the speaker’s compact look. A super high-quality Walnut and piano black finish completes the high-end feel. The crossover is a 1st-order three-way filter."
May 2016 - Herkules from Russia - Alexey Syomin of S.A.Lab bows the Herkules mono amps at 250 watts into 4 ohms by using four EL509/6п45с tetrodes in a push/pull output stage. Input and drivers are 6072 and 6п6 respectively. All valves are carefully selected and tested Russian military spec from 1970-80. An 800-watt power transformer with Russian steel core handles anodes and heaters, separate transformers power the auxiliary circuits and meter. The steel/aluminium casing is coated in an anti-resonant compound. The face plate is Corian and available in a number of colours. Dual pairs of binding posts support biwiring. S/NR is 96dB, THD 0.1%, weight 55kg and dimensions are 46x13x45cm.
May 2016 - EBTB box up - The BoXXer HM 0.4 from Everything But The Box uses solid front/back aluminium baffles, vegetable-tanned full-grain leather on the other surfaces, aluminium footers with a spring suspension, a copper port and a 4.5" Seas Excel mid/woofer with a ring radiator tweeter. Bandwidth is 58Hz-35kHz, sensitivity is 85dB, weight is 6kg and dimensions are 20x27.5x28cm WxHxD.
May 2016 - Stenheim addition - The Alumine Five is called "the little brother to the Reference Ultime. Made exclusively in Switzerland, our new full aluminium floorstander uses the same midrange driver and tweeter and its extreme high efficiency allows pairing with the finest low-powered amplifiers."
May 2016 - New Magico - The M3 [$75'000/pr] combines a 1" diamond-coated beryllium tweeter with a 6" graphene Nano-Tec midrange and triple 7" matching bass units. It also gets new carbon-fibre side panels. "The newly designed midrange and woofer cones use multi-wall carbon XG nano graphene and a new proprietary ultra-stiff carbon weave 20% lighter and 300% stiffer than the cone material used in previous Magico speakers. The underhung neodymium motor creates an ultra-stabilized magnetic field for a pure titanium voice coil. The midrange operates inside a purpose-built sub enclosure made of a proprietary polymer to enhance control and articulation." Specs are 91dB sensitivity, 4-ohm nominal impedance, 24Hz-50kHz bandwidth, weight of 145kg/ea. and dimensions of 120x49x34cm.
May 2016 - Vox Olympian offspring - "Following the success of the Vox Olympian, Living Voice  introduce the Vox Palladian hornspeaker system at Munich 2916. Sharing much of the Vox Olympian's DNA, the Vox Palladian is aimed at a broader audience with simple clean lines yet still retains artisanal construction techniques and traditional materials. Its super tweeter is made for the project by Vitavox in a joint collaboration with Living Voice. On display though not being played will be a matching Vox Basso subwoofer available later this year. We also have a new 300B made to our specification by KR Audio that will be used in the Kondo Gakuoh."
May 2016 - Aerostar - Akiko Audio's best power cable now comes with Furutech FI-50 NCF plugs. "This new part from Japan features nano ceramics with piezoelectric properties to lower noise and absorb unwanted vibrations. The Aerostar cable has been upgraded with a new configuration for the nine conductors, a new Teflon inner sleeve and improvements to the 90% air-insulating 'dual tube' technique."
May 2016 - 511 - Two down from 711, Soulution's new stereo amp is claimed to be "just a razor-thin fraction behind our reference designs of the Series 7. This was the design goal we set for the 511 stereo amplifier." Key features are a 4 600VA switch-mode power supply, more than 500'000uF of capacitance, 60A+ peak current and power of 150wpc into 8 ohms (600 into 2) or 600 watts mono into 8 ohms (2KW into 2).
May 2016 - Breaking badder - Audionet announce five new components in their new Scientist range: Heisenberg and Stern, two "über amps" designed by Hartmut Esslinger of Apple fame; and Planck, Watt and Ampere. The full reveal remains for the Munich show.