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).

YouTube music link of Aliosha Generala's Orkestra Tangra Folk; link to Mohamad Aly's cover of 'Nehaya Wada'; link to the Rouh Trio's 'Mahla Alfusha'; link to Indialucia's 'Nagpur'; link to Pitingo's 'A puro dolor';
link to Rahat Fateh Ali Khan & Amjad Sabri; link to Vicente Amigo; link to Florin Nicolesu & Stochelo Rosenberg; link to New York All Stars 'Balkan Bollywood'; link to Juan Carmona's 'Perla de Oriente'; link to Borko's 'Bomba'; link to Nedim Nalbantoglu's 'Malaguena'; link to Lila Downs, Niña Pastori & Soledad; link to Taksim Trio's 'Lotus Feet'; link to Diego El Cigala's tango; link to Neshko Neshev's 'Ali Baba'; link to Rahat Fateh Ali Khan; link for Salif Keita & Cesaria Evora; link to El Lebrijano; and a link to Joscho's Stefan's 'After you've gone'. Enjoy!

August 2017 - Flip yer lid - Returning to London Friday 29th September to Sunday 1st October is headroom@indulgence at the Novotel/Hammersmith. £15 tickets open the doors and key players like Sony, Pioneer, Astell&Kern, Focal and Chord Electronics will display their latest and greatest; or smallest if it's IEMs.
August 2017 - Moscow show - This year's MHES will be held in the capital's Holiday Inn Tagansky hotel from November 10-12.
August 2017 - Tell it, man - The Telemann [€4'400] is Ivo Linnenberg's latest DAC/pre. With Amanero USB, AES/EBU, 2 x coax and Toslink digital inputs and RCA/XLR outputs, there's even the option to convert the RCA output into an analog input via internal jumper. By keeping volume control in the analog domain, no A/D is involved. The user may select from one of seven digital filter options. Volume spans 76dB in 1.2dB increments. Max output voltage is 4/8V on RCA/XLR respectively. The red 14-segment display operates in noise-free DC mode and extinguishes 10 seconds after remote commands and 20 seconds after initial turn-on. Specs are 32/192 PCM, DSD128 DoP, DSD512 native via Asio, 82fs master-clock jitter, <0.0003% THD/N, 138dB dynamic range, 120db cross talk and output impedance of 300 ohms per phase. Dimensions are 12x17x26cm HxWxD and power consumption is 8W in operation, 0.5W in standby. A metal remote is standard.
August 2017 - Polarising - Campfire Audio's new Polaris IEM [$599] combines an 8.5mm dynamic driver loaded into 3D-printed chambers fore and aft with an auxiliary balanced armature inside a 3D-printed waveguide. This hybrid driver array sits inside a machined aluminium housing finished in blue Ceracote.
August 2017 - Superphile - No, that's not a new breed of listener. It's the release of a new Live at Bernie's audiophile recording featuring the Anne Bisson Trio's Four Seasons in Jazz in a collaboration between Gary Koh of Genesis Advanced Technologies and mastering legend Bernie Grundman. "Canadian jazz vocalist/pianist Anne Bisson and her musical collaborators were recorded direct to disk over two days by Bernie Grundman at his studio. Co-produced with Bisson, legendary sound engineer Michael C. Ross used a 100% analog recording chain directly to Grundman’s all-analog record cutting system to realistically capture every glorious moment."
August 2017 - Bryston pre - In their Cubed Series, the Canadians launch the BP-173 [$3'995] with $700/ea. optional DAC and phono boards and $375 BR-2 remote. "Our patented super-linear low noise input buffer jointly developed with the late Ph.D. engineer Dr. Ioan Alexandru Salomie significantly reduces noise and distortion. The machine also has improved RF and audio frequency noise filtering and expanded i/o including two pairs of XLR and RCA outputs, an RCA tape loop and one of the XLR outputs can be set for variable or fixed. There are two pairs of balanced inputs and five pair RCA inputs. The BP-173 is available in either black or silver, 17" or 19" wide face plates."
August 2017 - Monrio - Giovanni Gazzola informs us that the new MC207 is their "largest and most powerful integrated amplifier featuring the latest circuit topology and top-notch materials. The circuit now relies on a single big printed circuit board capable of receiving all the necessary updates, carrying the output stage and the power supply whilst the sub board carries the low-level audio stage. The power transistors are designed for audio applications with good current and HF characteristics. By connecting these NPN devices in a quasi-complementary configuration, the MC 207 delivers 140 watts into 8 ohms even for very low-impedance loads. It features one 500 VA power transformers and four large electrolytic capacitors rated for 10'000uF each, four line high level inputs, a dedicated unity gain A/V direct input, a tape output and pre-out. An optional USB module allows connection to an Internet network."
August 2017 - Schiit - Say hello to $199 Jil, the firm's first analog-to-digital converter aimed at "enthusiasts for an affordable way to digitize vinyl, tape, mixing board outputs, or most any other line-level input. It provides convenient front-panel gain control and clipping/overload indication and interfaces via USB to virtually any popular audio editor."
July 2017 - New Solaja amp - Serbia's Solaja Audio launch their latest SAA Mirada integrated amplifier, a four-input 15kg machine with 6N6P input tubes and two EL84 driving two pairs of EL84 outputs for a 12wpc class AB push/pull tube circuit with 10dB of NFB.
July 2017 - Zürich do - Audio Vinyl GmbH invite us to an in-store demo on Friday, September 29th from 12:00-20:00; and Saturday the 30th from 10:00-18:00. On active duty will be the PS Audio BKH mono amps fronted by the matching tube preamp driving Magico's new S5 MkII. A second system will showcase Magico's new S1 MkII speakers with PS Audio Stellar components. There'll also be a focus on Roon to describe, demo and explain how it works.

July 2017 - Name that note - Got absolute pitch? Then this survey isn't for you. Got a cool name? Then chime right in. Francesco Matera of Innovation In Audio srls is baking up a new Italian audio brand. "We are currently developing a balanced modular amp for headphone and/or loudspeakers. Its heart is a differential gain stage that accepts a wide range of tubes (ECC88, E88CC, E288CC, E182CC, 7044, 5687, 6H30, 6H23, 6n6p, 6900, E80CC etc). This modular platform could be configured as a balanced preamplifier with incredible sound despite the price. We can complete the amp with a balanced hybrid phono amplifier based on a cascode of 2SK170 Fet and E88CC tube with passive RIAA; USB DAC board based on a Wolfson chip that uses the line stage as output; one or two class A power boards with different output for headphones or loudspeakers. Our policy is based on the sharing of knowledge and performance so we pay a lot of attention to the opinions of potential owners. We pay attention also to the design to have engaged a famous Italian designer. We expect to launch in October or November on a crowdfunding platform. For now we're deciding on the brand name and have kicked off a survey to collect feedback. "
July 2017 - Dutch show - September 30 and October 1 are the dates when the annual X-Fi audio show opens its doors to the public. The 2017 edition features over 60 listening rooms presenting hundreds of brands to an audience of music lovers living in Holland, Belgium, Luxemburg and Germany. With a venue like the Koningshof in Veldhoven strategically located in the south eastern part of Holland near Eindhoven, the show is easily accessible not just to a strictly Dutch public.

New this year is the use of the auditorium that seats 260. Here are scheduled various workshops and presentations plus live performances. Recording engineer Bert van der Wolf will speak on the important role a producer/engineer fulfills as extension of the recording artist. Guru designer Ingvar Öhman will tell the audience all about the Physics behind speaker design. Ever wanted to attend a live performance of Eric Vloeimans & string quartet? The Dutch trumpet master will play four concerts during the show. More live music is booked from the Harbour Jazz Band on Sunday. That session will be recorded by STS Digital's Fritz de With and later this year issued on CD and vinyl. 6moons will attend and write a full show report.
July 2017 - M2Tech x 2 - The new Young MkIII DAC/preamplifier "retains the basic hardware structure of the Young DSD, with a Xilinx FPGA handling input signals and feeding the PCM1795 DAC IC as well as the proprietary output buffer with passive anti-alias filter and the servos to remove the I/V offset, directly driving the CS3318 volume control/buffer. A new XMOS USB interface implements MQA decoding while native DSD is now accepted up to 256 x. The input set includes a Bluetooth receiver with aptX. To complete the input set, there is a single-ended analog input. An output voltage doubler allows the Young MkIII to deliver up to 10Vrms balanced and 5Vrms(single ended. The human interface has been improved with a new high-contrast OLED display and new IR remote. The unit can also be controlled via Bluetooth thanks to the Android app."

The Van Der Graaf MkII low-noise power supply is "the perfect companion which impacts positively on clock jitter reduction, signal-to-noise ratio etc. It can remember the order the user followed while enabling the outputs so that the same order is used in subsequent Van Der Graaf activations. Thanks to its IR receiver, the Van Der Graaf MkII can track the on/off IR command from the Young MkIII remote to activate/disable its outputs without the need to operate the front panel buttons. Or the Young MkIII can be programmed to ignore the remote's on/off commands. It is provided with four outputs: two single voltage outputs with 9V or 15V and two three-voltage outputs to drive units like the old Marley headphones amplifier or future units in the new Rockstars Series."
July 2017 - Cure for the phono break-in Blues - ... from Blue Horizons no less. "All products benefit from burn-in. Phono stages are no exception. Blue Horizon have launched an RIAA filter integrated with IsoTek's high-resolution full system enhancer CD. The compact RIAA filter allows you to directly connect your CD player to your phono stage and put CDs on repeat. Historically to optimise a phono stage, new owners would need to play records for at least 72+ hours. This required LPs to be played on a turntable causing record wear, cartridge wear and the need to turn the record over approximately every 15 minutes. No more. Also, now each channel can be conditioned independently giving great control and an easy performance boost. Easy selection between Moving Coil and Moving Magnet cartridge designs. Simply plug the Blue Horizon RIAA filter into the input sockets of your phono stage and connect your CD player using standard RCA connectors and interconnect cable."
July 2017 - V6 opamps - Burson bow their 6th-gen replacement opamps for rollers and manufacturers in two flavours: Vidid and Classic. "V6 Vivid is an improvement on the V5.  Dynamic, transparent and exciting, it has the same sonic characteristics as the V5 but betters it on all aspects." The V6 Classic "deviates further from its V5 foundation.  With an entirely different output stage design, it is intimate, exquisite and very engaging." Key features for both are a higher voltage supply up to ±16.5V; unity gain and I/V stage stable; improved enclosure to accommodate a higher working voltage and temperature; reverse voltage protection (these are the only opamps in the world that don't die when plugged in reverse); lifetime warranty."

July 2017 - La Vidar loco - Schiit bow their 100wpc Vidar amp [$699], a DC-coupled class AB affair with 600VA linear power supply, 200 watts into 4 ohms and bridge-to-mono mode for quadruple the 8-ohm power delivery. There's microprocessor controlled DC offset and comprehensive protection.

For an aftershock, Schiit also bow their new Gen 5 USB input with transformer-based galvanic isolation and precision clocking. $150 upgrades exiting Gen 2 machines including installation with the new card. For non-Schiit users, there's the standalone Eitr [$179] which outputs via S/PDIF to act as a "USB decrappifier" or USB bridge.
July 2017 - Muso for breakfast - If you think muesli so passé, Arcam suggest a look at their Muso speaker. The front-ported 2-way Solo Muso [£398/pr] and matching 300-watt 10" downfiring Solo Sub [£499/ea.] are all-metal affairs in black or white styled like the Solo system. There are also matching wall brackets and stands. If you never thought of Arcam as a speaker maker... well, think again.
July 2017 - LIO DAC the Second - Vinnie Rossi's super integrated LIO gets a new DAC option. Called the DAC 2, it features 16-32bit 768kHz PCM and native DSD512 compatibility with sample-rate display. As a dual-mono design, one AKM AK4497EQ DAC works in each channel. The output stage is fully discrete pure class A Jfet with a cascode constant-current source bias to avoid opamps. The FPGA buffer and femto-clock circuity negate the effects of jitter and the digital inputs are isolated. Different modes of operation include non-oversampling, digital filter-less mode and minimum-phase filter mode. Ultra-low noise linear regulators work in both the digital and analog section. A silent muting relay works between sample-rate changes. Inputs include USB 2.0, BNC and Toslink (BNC/RCA adaptor inlcuded). A $300 pre-order discount applies for early birds.
July 2017 - Studio goes electric - Studio Electric role out their new M4 monitor [$2'750/pr with grilles, $2'400 without] which "features our proprietary highX™ 6.5" co-polymeric woofer coupled to a modified version of a classic high-performance 1" soft dome tweeter. The asymmetrical crossover network uses custom value capacitors by ClarityCap™ as well as tight tolerance air-core inductors and non-inductive resistors. The cabinet features graded MDF and HDF with a recycled Wenge veneer, a newly developed sustainable wood product that looks and feels like exotic hardwood." Specs are 44Hz-22kHz response, 88dB sensitivity, 6-ohm nominal impedance, 3kHz filter frequency. Dimensions are 12 x 8.6 x 15", weight is 19lbs.
July 2017 - Rotel's sweet 15 - Rotel bow three 15-series components in the RA-1572 integrated [$1'699], RC-1572 preamp [$1'099] and RCD 1572 CD player [$899]. The 120wpc class A/B integrated incorporates a 32/768 AKM DAC with DSD capability; a front-panel USB port for iDevices; aptX Bluetooth; coax/Toslink digital and XLR, RCA and MM analog inputs. The preamp gets the same DAC but expands the RCA inputs to four. The CD player uses the Wolfson WM8740 DAC.
July 2017 - Virgin pre? - Not exactly. The P-1000 is simply billed as Gold Note's first-ever preamplifier; "an innovative class A design with completely new proprietary six gain stages and a volume control with relays and optical encoder. It is powered by a triple linear supply and features 5/ea. RCA and XLR inputs." Features also include remote control, mono/stereo, left/right channel swap, absolute phase invert, balance and over-boost. A large display confirms all selection parameters. Outputs are on XLR and RCA. Finishes are silver or black with a choice of three different strip inserts.
July 2017 - Polish power - Amare Musica bow the parallel single-ended Octogenus Diamond mono amps where a 6DJ8 drives a 300B which drives a pair of GM70 for 80 watts of pure class A triode power. Volume control is via a precision relay-switched resistor matrix. Parts include PTFE tube sockets, WBT speaker terminals, Jensen PIO coupling caps, Mundorf power-supply caps and resistors, an aluminium chassis and Franc Audio Accessories footers.
July 2017 - Korean power - The sPS-500 is a 50-watt fan-less linear power supply with output voltage selectable between 7Vdc, 9Vdc, 12Vdc and 19Vdc to replace the 'wall wart' switching power supplies of small components. It includes a DC cable and AC cord. The 30cm standard copper umbilical has ID:5.5 and ID:2.1 jacks but the cable length, conductor choice and terminations can be adjusted upon request. The standard configuration of power supply and cables sells for $500. $600 upgrades to a 30cm copper Y cable to power two components. $900 bundles a silver Y wire.
July 2017 - UK power - IsoTek's new Evo3 Titan One [£1'795] in their Mosaic Series is "a highly compact high-current low-impedance power cleaner for high-amperage equipment such as power amplifiers, subwoofers and active loudspeakers.  It features the Direct-Coupled© Design network from IsoTek's Ultimate Series Super Titan reconfigured in a more practical form factor though sit remains capable of delivering 3'680W continuous to a single rear outlet."
June 2017 - Rolling Boulders - Boulder Amplifiers are shipping their new 1160 stereo amp [$28'000] which succeeds the 1060 and augurs in the new 1100 range as the firm's "mid-level line combining new technology and exceptional performance with reduced size, power and cost. The 1100 Series offers a substantial advancement over the previous 1000 Series by way of better thermal management, ground paths, noise floor and circuit layout. The increased use of surface-mount technology manufactured on Boulder's own surface-mount manufacturing machines and ovens, has yielded improvements in noise radiation, propagation delay, parasitic capacitance and the elimination of lead inductance in affected circuits. It also offers improvements in unit-to-unit quality and consistency and long-term reliability. New for the 1160 is the use of a 64-bit multi-core ARM processor for all supervisory functions, including management of protection circuits, AC line monitoring, power, thermal detection, error notification and HTML- or IP-based external control. This ARM processor also supports Boulder Net, an IP-based unit-to-unit detection, system layout and communication architecture available to external control systems such as Savant or Crestron and application-based system controls. For units that are network connected, an HTML setup and control page is available by simply logging into the amplifier's IP address via a browser. Gain stages within the 1160 are Boulder's 983, with board-mounted heat sinking which provide the initial 20dB of gain in a multi-stage design for exceptionally wide bandwidth. They combine discrete and monolithic design with a high-current output. The 1160 utilizes 56 bipolar output devices (28 per channel), 48 filter capacitors and 2 toroidal power transformers to generate power output of up to 300 watts per channel into any load."
June 2017 - Exposed - Exposure Electronics add the XM7 preamp [£1'236] and 80-watt XM9 mono amps [£1'388/pr] to their XM range, "the first Exposure series to pack a full quota of high-quality features into narrow half-width designs. Kicking off the series had been the XM3 phonostage and XM5 integrated amplifier. Now the XM7 includes a built-in MM phonostage and DAC with five digital inputs plus there's a fixed gain home theatre input and two headphone outputs. Two preamp outputs allow for bi-amping. Like the mono amps with Toshiba bipolar outputs, the preamp features a linear power supply with a 200VA toroidal power transformer."

June 2017 - Jcat - "Setting up a media server on a PC or using a computer as network audio renderer (endpoint) is easy today. But the problem with computers is that they were never designed with audio in mind. While there are improvements for USB-based playback, the network controller of a PC remains noisy." Jcat claim to put an end to that with Net Card Femto [€422], "the ultimate network interface designed specifically for transferring high-quality audio via LAN by using ultra-low noise linear power supplies (no switching power supplies!) and an ultra low-jitter Crystek CCHF-957 clock with an enterprise level Intel i350 Ethernet controller." For socketry there here are gold-plated high durability EMI shielded RJ-45 connectors and two 1GB LAN ports.
June 2017 - New Goldmund store in the US - Goldmund are proud to announce the opening of their new retail store in Wellington, West Palm Beach, Florida. World famous for equestrian and polo events, it has already welcomed its first VIP customers during a three-day private inauguration and is now open to the public. The store presents audio and video products in a home environment, as an echo to the Los Angeles Goldmund House in which each room is equipped with a different Goldmund system. It welcomes customers by appointment only. "In the living room, they can enjoy several models of Goldmund standalone speakers and listen to their favorite tracks or discover new video solutions such as the Goldmund MetisLife ultra short throw projector. In the home cinema, their emotions are under the control of a powerful and ultra realistic Logos system installed in a beige fabric-covered room that suffers no acoustic flaw. The fine leather home cinema sofas are motorized with incline mechanism allowing customers to adjust the footrest and headrest position to their preferred comfort. A conference area provides the ideal workspace with a large screen television for the presentation of Goldmund AV project proposals to end users but also to their interior designers and architects with whom our team collaborates.

"With the new Goldmund West Palm Beach Team, our brand offers additional competence to perfectly build a home theater (walls, ceilings, décor) avoiding the common traps that affect the sound quality. This is a very important step that secures the high performance of our systems and strengthens the unique 'one supplier”'advantage already proposed by Goldmund complete AV systems. Instead of dealing with multiple companies, customers, if they wish, can now rely on the know-how of one team in charge of the whole project. For more information or to request an appointment, please contact the Goldmund West Palm Beach Store manager, Mr. Jakub Paszynin, by phone at 6106338166 or by e-mail at jakub @
June 2017 - Quad heads unite - This year's Quadfest will take place on the 2nd and 3rd of September at the head office of Quad Musikwiedergabe, Germany. The embedded link has more details.
June 2017 - Short but sweet - From Alan Kafton, "new site, new logo, new models....17 years and counting. Not bad!"
June 2017 - Silver yer USB - Artisan Silver Cables introduce their new pure silver USB cable Ultimate Silver Stream 2, replacing the previous single and double versions. "This is a ground-up redesign featuring improved quality connectors and enhanced shielding to more completely reject external sources of interference. It is designed to be compatible with almost any computer/DAC arrangement including those running very high bit rates. Prices start from £249 for 0.6 metres, with free worldwide shipping and a 30-day no quibble trial period."
June 2017 - Piano forte - The Pianosa is Goldnote's newest turntable. It "features a curved plinth in Italian Walnut coupled to a 20mm thick MDF plinth reinforced with a 3mm stainless steel plate. A 12V synchronous motor exploits PWM tech for high torque with minimal vibration. The platter spindle and bearing are hardened steel and bronze, the platter is 23mm Sustarin, a PTE derivative. Speed stability for 33.3 and 45rpm is ±0.1%, speed changes are electronic with pitch control, power consumption is 20W max."


June 2017 - Kaos is koming - Soundkaos Audio of Switzerland will exhibit at the North West Audio Show in Carnage/Cheshire on June 24/25th by featuring their reference 3-way open baffle model Libération in a walnut/bronze mesh finish comprising two 8" full range Enviée drivers (mid/bass and mid/high), a Raal dipole 14cm ribbon super tweeter and a massive 18" woofer for a powerful low end.

"We will feature Bakoon International Corp.'s AMP-51R, their flagship no-compromise 100wpc Satri-based solid-state amplifier. Also in the line up will be their brand new DAC-21, a battery-powered D/A converter which includes the Satri-link current signal transfer protocol. Both will make their UK debut."
June 2017 - Pimp your Oppo - From Clones Audio comes the drop-in PSUPD linear power supply for the Oppo UPD-203 universal player (UPD-205 to follow). Installation is said to take just a screw driver and maximally 15 minutes. Replacing the stock switch-mode power supply is claimed to benefit both audio and video.
June 2017 - Akiko serves DIY - "This week we introduced four models in the new DIY Black Box series. By popular request we introduced built-in units that reduce the high frequency noise in the most effective places: the central fuse box and the component housing, close to the electrical parts and power supply of your gear and power distribution. The four DIY products are based on the Harmonizer unit from our Akiko Audio Corelli conditioner. While we developed the Corelli, we noticed that it also was an effective weapon against high-frequency noise in other places. The isolated housing of these new units is made from anti-static impact-resistant ABS. Placing and connecting them is a simple job: the connection cable is meant to be joined to the central earthing or IEC earthing connection. As always, this Akiko Audio product comes with a 14 day money back guarantee."
June 2017 - 15 = 15 - To commemorate their 15th anniversary in business. S.A.Lab of Russia launch a limited edition special anniversary model "of extremely high quality not lower than our Hercules SE for the sensational price of €1'000". Orders for these 15 tube amp units will be accepted in August.
June 2017 - Grande poobah? - Serbia's Dayens launch the 2-way Grande Mikra with a small 10cm woofer. "Our focus was not on the size of the sound (after all, this model is not intended to cover 50m² rooms) but on natural, naturally warm and emotionally involving sound with details and subtle nuances." This ported design sports an 8-ohm nominal impedance, 84dB sensitivity, claimed bandwidth of 50-20'000Hz, weighs 40kg/pr, measures 100x15x25cm HxWxD and sells for €4'500/pr.
June 2017 - Blue Horizon rack - Blue Horizon launch the Professional Rack System, a modular rack using a triple layer bamboo laminate with grain running in opposing directions. The PRS can be configured to accommodate any shape or size system. One can upgrade performance by adding component shelves and spike isolation between tiers as well as add the Sanctum isolation platform as shown. Available in single and double shelf widths. Available finish options are bamboo, piano black and piano white. Pricing starts at £1'925.
June 2017 - Octavius SE - Germany's Octave launched their first-ever single-ended tube amp called the V16 whose 10Hz - 100kHz bandwidth combines with 2 x RCA and 1 x XLR inputs, 8-watt speaker outputs, 3V/8V headphone outputs and KT120 output tubes. KT150, KT88, 6550 and EL34 may be used instead. There's remote volume, an optional pre-out, an umbilical connection for the surcharge Black Box capacitor bank and three finishes - metallic black, ocean blue and ice grey. The UK retail price has been set at £7'495.
June 2017 - SOtM upgrade - US importer Crux Audio announced that for a limited time, there is a new option for those who already own an sMS-200 and are considering an upgrade to an sMS-200ultra. This includes free shipping to and from Korea and a free master clock connector for a $990 introductory price. Additional features are available and listed on the website. The first 10 orders will receive an additional 10% discount. Use code UPGRADE10 at checkout to take advantage of the offer. This will expire July 7, 2017.
May 2017 - Dock it - Questyle just bowed a remote-controlled dock for their QP1R/2R portable player models. This adds a full-size coaxial S/PDIF output, USB charging power, RCA analog outputs and a multi-pin Q-Link port.
May 2017 - Esprit - Celebrating 20 years in business, Richard Cesari of this French cable house wants Munich show attendees to earmark room A4.2 F205 for a visit.
May 2017 - HifiMan - Called the spiritual successor to the notoriously inefficient HE6, the new Susvara headphones [$6'000] with EF1000 amplifier are the firm's new statement on planarmagnetic excellence. The dedicated amp runs 6 x 6922 and 6 x transistors in parallel to get the most from the headphone's 83dB rating. Other Susvara specs are 6Hz - 75kHz response, 60-ohm impedance and 450g of weight.
May 2017 - Wired - "Marking a decade of producing audio products, Wyred4Sound announce the 10th Anniversary Limited Edition DAC2v2SE [$4'499]. Based on the newly released flagship DAC2v2SE, the limited edition offers exclusive features like upgraded hand matched parts, commemorative casework, a redesigned digital board and the latest ESS Sabre 9038PRO DAC chip. A more comprehensive feature list includes coaxial, Toslink, AES/EBU and I²S inputs, galvanically isolated asynchronous USB, up to 384kHz PCM and DSD 256 file support, hand matched custom Vishay ZFoil resistors, ultra low-noise discrete regulators, ultra-fast recovery Schottkey diodes, premium inductors, upgraded fuse, champagne silver chassis and commemorative graphics, red display and lathed aluminium footers."
May 2017 - AURALiC - With NextGen so last century, AURALiC hits hard with a quad of G2 models: revamps of the Aries streamer and Vega DAC; and newcomers Leo and Sirius, an outboard master clock and upsampler respectively. Over the original Aries, G2 introduces "original engineering focused on isolation, separation and protection against interference". The firm's Lightning streaming tech uses "existing WiFi to deliver up to DSD512/PCM32/384 with gapless playback, memory caching, bit-perfect multi-room and upsampling. There's also a browser interface for configuration and universal access from any smart phone, tablet or computer. There's AirPlay compatibility and Roon Ready endpoint." The HDMI ports are configured as "low-jitter bi-directional 18Gbps couplers different from other HDMI-based I²S connections and with the Lightning OS, carry system control data like volume control and processor setup to appear in a single unified interface." The internal Tesla G2 engine is 50% faster than its predecessor with twice the memory (2GB) and data storage (8GB).

Vega G2 gets new 72fs clocks "with extremely low -169dBc/Hz phase noise and 100Hz offset noise level of only -118dBc/Hz thanks in part to its low-noise 3µV dedicated power supply. A configurable buffer can be set from from 0.1s to 1s." A new passive volume control is executed with eight coil-latch relays driving an R2R resistor ladder which draws no current once set, hence creates zero noise. The class A Orfeo output stage with 600Ω drive potential remains but the original low-noise linear power supply has been doubled up whereby the first power supply now drives the processor, display and network interface, the second the DAC, clock and output stage. Galvanic isolation separates both supplies from each other. New selectable filter modes "use a combination of objective data models and subjective testing, with each mode assembling a unique array of filters. Precise Mode maximizes in-band ripple and out-band attenuation while Smooth Mode eliminates pre-ringing. Dynamic and Balance Modes round out the available options.
May 2017 - The anti MDI rebellion continues - New French brand Electron Research promise defeat of 'micro discharge interference' distortion, a phenomenon first measured by a French researcher and subsequently incorporated by the late Bernard Salabert of PHY. Today his work is continued in the cables, electronics and speakers of Ocellia. One key concern of the anti MDI design philosophy is avoidance of synthetic dielectrics aka plastics. Now Electron Research's first proof of the ongoing MDI resistance is the AI70 integrated.
May 2017 - Identical triplets - SOtM's Munich baby bump will pop out seemingly identical triplets called the sMS-200ultra, tX -USBultra and sPS-500. In sequence, these are a mini server, a USB reclocker/rebalancer and a linear power supply, the latter presumably for both stablemates to replace their stock SMPS wall warts.
May 2017 - Carbon is the new aluminium - With the M6 [$172'000/pr], Magico go to an edge-less six-sided 0.5" thick monocoque carbon-fibre enclosure. "This increases structural strength-to-weight ratio by a factor of 60, reduces overall weight by 50% and yields outer dimensions 30% smaller without compromising internal volume." Aluminium remains part of the recipe for the inner baffle, tension rods and 3-point plinth. The midrange driver loads into a sealed 'reverse horn' shaped carbon-fibre chamber. Transducer compliment is 28mm diamond-coated beryllium tweeter, 6" graphene mid and three 10.5" carbon/nanographene woofers. Specs are 22Hz - 50kHz bandwidth, 91dB sensitivity, 177kg weight and dimensions of 143 x 66 x 51cm HxDxW.
May 2017 - Italifi - The 10wpc Riviera Audio AIC-10 from Silvio Delfino is "100% made in Italy with the absolutely best materials and craftmanship. For example, the front and back panel are machined from 6.5cm solid aluminum. More importantly, this represents the first evolution in analog amplifiers since the last 40 years. This is also the first commercial amplifier mixing a hybrid topology of triode, BJT and Mosfet with pure class operation of all stages and zero feedback." Strong words. This model features 3 x RCA and 2 x XLR inputs.
May 2017 - Revised Apertura flagship - The Engima two-way has become the Enigma MkII 2.5-way with "modified drivers based on our work on the Adamante; with completely new filters with new high-end capacitors; and new hybrid bass loading of acoustic line and reflex port to lower the tuning frequency for even better bass extension." The 94dB sensitivity remains.
May 2017 - Avaton - Manolis Proestakis of Tune Audio launched the Avaton named after the ancient Greek word άβατον as a place for which entrance is allowed only to believers. This fully hornloaded speaker is a passive 3-way with 18" woofer, 5" custom midrange and 1" compression tweeter for 105dB sensitivity. "This is the realisation of a five-year long R&D project aiming at delivering a no-compromise hornspeaker for large listening rooms. Long work was required to create a layout pleasing to both the ear and eye. Avaton features our unique virtual mouth technology for bass horn loading, which delivers flat response down to 32Hz. The bass driver is a super-linear 18-inch woofer weighing a massive 27kg. The mid/bass horn has a mouth of 10'000cm² featuring a triple-layer construction with damping materials and finally the throat and beginning of the horn are coated with a epoxy/CNT compound for high rigidity. The high horn is a further development of the cast compound used in our Anima and the horn is mounted to an upgraded compression driver. 1st order filters connect all 3 ways and the internal cabling is waxed cotton insulated pure copper. The footers are graphite coated and as with all our models, we offer custom colours or natural wood veneer in virtually any choice and combination."
May 2017 - Metrum go semi-precious - The new Amethyst [€1'070 ex VAT] "is a follow up of our Musette DAC.  We improved the data flow over the board and implemented an I²S breakout point for future options. Next we used the new Dac Two modules like in the Adagio to ll run 384kHz sampling rates. Further we implemented a headphone amplifier which can drive 16Ω possible only with our strong power supply of 30VA transformer and two 22'000µF capacitors. By using the converter's output only, noise floor and hum are extremely low. When connecting a headphone, the outputs on the back mute automatically and the volume knob will adjust headphone gain only. The output on the back panel has a fixed Redbook standard level."
May 2017 - Vega the Second - AURALiC will unveil two next-gen components in Munich, a new Vega DAC and a new companion Altair. Specifics remains for the show reveal but this teaser photo shows a new look with a central display and stylish flat controls...
May 2017 - Auris news — Serbia's valve audio house Auris Audio are introducing the Fortissimo KT120 stereo amplifier which in future iterations will become available also with EL34, 6550 and KT88; and the Headonia headfi SET powerful enough to drive two headphones at once.
May 2017 - MusiKraft - Something is making noise in Canada's Cold White North - Guy Pelletier's MusiKraft customizable phono cartridge and online boutique. "The MusiKraft shells specifically designed for the Denon DL-103 and DL-103R phono cartridges are available in three different metals along with a selection of twenty-four different wood species [pricing from $229). To adapt the shell, a modification to the original cartridge is required as the shell system replaces the standard plastic casing." Features include precise machining to ± 0.001" tolerance, straightforward quick installation, lightweight magnesium shell model, three fine-tuning micro screws for voicing, five different geometric positions for overhang adjustment, simplified front and lateral reference alignment, reusable and interchangeable shell."
May 2017 - Goldmund's NextGen - The famous Swiss hifi house from Geneva had recently tasked themselves with updating their most powerful amplifier ever: the hulking limited-edition 651lbs 1-metre Telos 5000. As the press release explains, the resultant Telos 5500 exceeded their own expectations. Now the decision was made to migrate the same tech over to their best-selling other models both in their preamp and power amp portfolios. Thus the Telos 1000 power amplifier became the Telos 1000 NextGen, the Telos 2500 shown and Mimesis 22 the equivalent NextGen models featuring new power supplies, new motherboards and improved mechanical grounding. There's even a new NextGen integrated, the 210/280wpc into 8/4-ohm Telos 590 with five analog inputs on RCA, 32/384 USB with DSD, coax and Toslink digital, analog volume and remote control. [A preview of the Telos 590 NextGen is live already.]
May 2017 - M.A. on vinyl - M.A. Recordings are premiering their high-quality vinyl collection at the Munich HighEnd teaming up with Acoustical Systems in Hall 3 booth M11. After a long search, label owner Todd Garfinkle identified the ultimate pressing plant in Holland to produce pristine vinyl that finally matched the quality of the music on his recordings. The new vinyl series is stamped to 180-gram virgin vinyl and most issues are cut at 45rpm. To match the high sonic standards, the artwork too got full attention.
May 2017 - Dansk-fi - The new Densen B-250CAST reference preamp [£3'990, class A 6-watt zero NFB output stage, dual mono] sports "an extremely low-noise PSU" which allows the component "to provide the best working conditions for Google's Cast software to perform". The upgraded volume control uses Vishay metal-film resistors for 0.5dB accuracy. There's support for NAS storage via BubbleUPnP or similar software. Socketry is 4 x line inputs, 1 x tape loop and 2 x preouts for biamping. Finish options are black with gold/chrome buttons or "albino silver" as shown.  
May 2017 - Q's core - Not the Q of 007 but Nordost, with their new QKore ground stations in three models offering a "parallel grounding device for an artificial clean earth using both an electrical and mechanical approach. This combines Nordost's patented mono-filament technology with purpose-built low-voltage attractor plates constructed with a proprietary metal alloy and a passive electronic circuit to draw stray high-frequency noise and voltage-generated magnetic fields to a manufactured earth point, leaving a clean reference behind. This passive system is contained in a mechanically tuned housing and outfitted with gold-plated WBT binding posts. The QKore 1 [$2'500] serves as a parallel ground for Nordost's own QBase power distributor. The QKore 3 [$3'500] can ground three components whilst the QKore6 [$5'000] expands the approach to six. Connecting wire (RCA to banana) is €360 with $150 per additional metre.
April 2017 - New Wilson - Benesch that is. The British firm bows their 30Hz - 30kHz Resolution floorstander in the Geometry Series [£35'0007pr], setting its drive units into a "high-tech enclosure formed from a carbon fibre composite monocoque and precision machined metal-alloy components modeled using advanced Dassault 3D CAD/CAM systems." The tweeter is a silk-carbon 'Semisphere' unit, the twin midranges bracketing it are isotactic polypropylene versions. Four matching Tactic-II woofers in a clamshell isobaric arrangement handle the bass. Specs are 90dB sensitivity, load is 3-ohm min./6-ohm nominal, dimensions are 159x52x54.7cm HxWxD, weight is 90kg.
April 2017 - A microphone in reverse... - ... is a Macrophone according to Metaxas. Their new scaleable monitor with optional bass module can be stacked as shown; or even be inverted upon itself to become the centre of a tall tower.

Also new from Metaxas is the Siren. It's "CNC carved from a block of solid aluminium or titanium. Using ideas borrowed from Neumann TLM 50 and M150 microphones, it embeds its Accuton drivers into spheres mounted onto an organic "time-aligned" sculpture." Premiere in Munich next month.
April 2017 - Wave in the air - Chris Sommovigo's new Airwave cable happened when he broke down a core ingredient of his forthcoming Indigo super cable, scaled it down, simplified it and turned it into a high-performance budget cable. As the name implies, a clever way of suspending the central conductor in its outer sleeve creates minimal contact with the Teflon dielectric to remain primary surrounded in pure air. The introductory price is $249/1m/pr + $65/0.5m/pr for incremental length additions. After the first run is sold out, the price will increase to $299.95 + $75. Available with RCA or XLR. Speaker cable and power cord in the same range are likely to come.


April 2017 - Openly baffled Greeks - Aristoteles Sdravopoulos of Rois Acoustics announces their new Minoas [starting at €8'900/pr], an 8-inch TangBang widebander mated open-backed to two 15" woofers via pure 1st-order filters. "We use extra stiff Russian birch ply with special viscoelastic glue to damp vibrations. The full-range driver mounts on its own baffle which sits atop the woofer baffle with elastic sorbothane feet for maximum mechanical isolation. The cabinet can be ordered in a limitless variety of colours and finishes, ranging from low-grain matte finish to high-gloss piano laquer and even metallic car paints."
April 2017 - Done and undusted - Though old news I just discovered, Living Voice from the UK collaborated with Kron Audio of the Czech Republic last year to release a specially branded 300B. Its R&D used as the starting point original Western Electric samples from Living Voice's personal stash. After 10 years of experiments with different vendors, "we finally have a 300B we prefer over the WE."
April 2017 - Diablo 120 - Gryphon's smaller devil is a dual-mono integrated with 46-step microprocessor-controlled relay volume and 120/240/440wpc @ 8/4/2Ω power with 0.1Hz-250kHz bandwidth from 2 pairs of Sanken transistors, 0.03Ω output impedance, 2 x 60'000µF of power supply capacitance and a 1'200VA Holmgren transformer. Aside from the stock analog i/o, the option module based on the Kalliope DAC can add USB, BNC, AES/EBU and Toslink digital inputs for 32/384PCM and DSD512 (Windows). Like the Diablo 300, there is remote control and a green-on-black display.
April 2017 - iOS nobility - "Priced at just £60, Noble Audio's new Lightning-to-2-pin IEM cable of 1.2m length allows consumers to instantly connect any Noble product ever produced, to the latest iOS devices. The dedicated cable was designed to optimise sound quality from the latest Lightning iOS devices when used with Noble's IEMs. Its industry-standard two-pin configuration enables a wide range of other compatible two-pin IEMs, too."
April 2017 - Traforack - More news from Trafomatic explore the display and resonance suppression of hifi gear with a new range of racks to be shown for the first time at next month's Munich show.
April 2017 - Get (two) toned - Trafomatic Audio's line revamp includes a new look for the Experience range as shown here with the Experience One Mk2 300B power amp in two-tone finish.
April 2017 - Get ribbed - not in the gym but in front of the new Alsyvox ribbon speakers from designer Daniele Coen. "They are available in 4 models of different size all with the same technology, top quality components and stylish Italian design: Tintoretto, 144cm high; Botticelli, 177cm high, Caravaggio, double panel 203cm high and Michelangelo, triple panel 203cm high." [Website not live yet at time of publication.]
April 2017 - New cj - Celebrating their 40th anniversary this year, conrad-johnson bow the ART150 [$18'500] and ART300 [$36'000/pr] amplifiers which replace the ARTSA and ART models. "These amplifiers employ the recently developed KT150 of which a single pair produces 150wpc in the stereo ART150 while two pairs produce 300 watts in the ART300 mono. In addition, both feature new input and inverter stages using 6922 for voltage gain, main power supply reservoirs boasting a more than ten-fold increase in total capacitance and a new regulator circuit for the input stage power supply."
April 2017 - New EU central for XLO - Polpak Poland, parent company of the brand Taga Harmony, has acquired the exclusive master distributorship for XLO in all of Europe. "The new agreement expands XLO's reach across Europe by delivering to its existing and new partners the best products and services with local inventory of XLO's full product portfolio so partners can enjoy considerably faster deliveries."
April 2017 - YBA amps - From Yves-Bernard André come the new 95lbs $33'000/pr Signature monos with 200 watts into 8Ω and so-called αlpha Class-A operation which translates to a 1000VA UI-core transformer per amp. The 200wpc $19'900 stereo version, via XLR, can be bridged to go 600-watt mono.
April 2017 - U Can, forEver - Venice-based CanEVER follow up their ZeroUno DAC with the Plus version to add linestage functionality with remote control over volume, balance, mute, input and phase. Aside from the digital coax, Toslink, AES/EBU and USB inputs, there are now also two pairs of RCA analog inputs. Outputs are on RCA/XLR. Conversion is via ES9018S, voltage gain by interstage stepup transformers. Volume control is via CS3308 chip which is followed by a CV181 dual-triode tube buffer with 110dB S/NR.
April 2017 - Ref X for Gen X - To be called Reference X, Gallo Acoustics' long awaited Ref 3.5 replacement is rumoured to be... well, imminent. From this mockup, we see that the old plinth is replaced by outriggers and that the colour scheme has gone all black. One presumes that the dual voice-coil woofer might have become a higher-impedance single coil unit but that—and the rest of it—remains pure speculation until first production hits. Cheers to that happening sooner than later.
April 2017 - Voxativ Z-Bass - The Berlin firm's latest model is a compact active subwoofer [€3'630] based on their own high-efficiency AC-Z driver. Dimensions are 33 x 30 x 32.5cm, weight is 16kg, finish is Voxativ's typical piano gloss black lacquer. The Z-Bass is intended to match their Hagen and Zeth models as well as augment any competing speaker.


April 2017 - txUSBUltra - SOtM continue their small/big alphabet soup with their latest, an externally powered USB hub/reclocker with master-clock input on BNC. The unit's improvements of timing and noise filtering can treat two USB ports at 480Mbps at the same time.

April 2017 - New Weiss - Daniel Weiss of Swiss firm Weiss Engineering introduces his new D/A converters called DAC 501 and DAC 502 which include exploded functionality like room equalizer, creative equalizer, de-essing, constant volume, vinyl emulation, out-of-head location algorithm, with Roon, MQA and Airplay still under consideration. File format acceptance goes to 384kHz PCM and DSD128. Both models have a touch-screen colour LCD display and include a 6.3mm headphone output. The remote controls inputs, outputs, volume, mute, absolute polarity, power and DSP presets. A web browser interface allows control over volume, balance, input, output, DSP algorithms and DSP snapshot configuration. The internal power supplies are linear, not switching. Output devices are Weiss' proprietary discrete opamps.
April 2017 - Go McIntosh on the desktop - McIntosh introduce the 50wpc MXA80 Integrated Audio System [$6'000], the next generation of the MXA70 with the same compact footprint and functionality while adding support for DSD and DXD thanks to a new DAC. "A dedicated headphone amplifier takes advantage of unique McIntosh technologies. Headphone Crossfeed Director (HXD®) brings added dimension to the music while Power Guard® prevents clipping. A 5-step bass boost allows for further customization.The amplifier is housed in a polished stainless steel chassis that compliments the classic glass front panel, knobs and brushed aluminium end caps; the speakers come with a luxurious, high gloss piano black finish."
April 2017 - More AB-1266 - Joe Skubinski of JPS Labs announces that "we have news concerning the Abyss AB-1266 headphone. In working toward creating the world's thinnest boutique headphone Diana, new high-tech magnetics were created which also allowed us to renew the AB-1266 transducer. We are now producing new planar drivers for it, with the updated model named the AB-1266 Phi for much improved transparency to the source, crazy low frequency impact and resolution, scary vocals, a clear window to the source."