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

From December 1st to 12th, there won't be any site updates or email replies due to our publisher going on a closed meditation retreat.
The Luck of the Irish. 6moons Xmas season sale for the Irish. Email to inquire what's available: srajan @
December 2016 - A lift for cables - "Having sold our CanCans headphone stand to AURALiC, we have launched a new even more niche product in the Elevated Cable Riser which sells in packs of 4, 6 8 or 10." That was Michael Hollesen of Swden's Klutz Design alerting us to what's coming in Q1 of next year.
December 2016 - Spirit season - From Sweden's XTZ comes the new Spirit range which includes the €850 Spirit 11 floorstander, Spirit 8C and 6C centres [€345 and €285 respectively], the Spirit 2 monitor [€390/pr] and the Sub 12 [€520].
December 2016 - XA25 - Soon coming to a theatre near you seems to be the Pass Labs XA25, a 25/50/100wpc into 8/4/2-ohm stereo amplifier that combines a NOS Fet front end with a pair of 700w/40A output transistors per channel. Basic specs are 200kHz bandwidth, 20dB of voltage gain, slew rate of 100V/uS, output noise of 100uV unweighted and class A idle power draw of 200 watts. Weight is 55lbs. Whilst not yet on the Pass website, it's previewed already by the linked Dutch dealer site.
December 2016 - Ghostwire - Chris Sommovigo's latest website dedicated to DIY and car audio enthusiasts bows with the intro of a $55/m [intro price €40/m] off-the-spool unterminated speaker cable called Silverheart which consists of a coax with cotton core using twin hollow tubes of braided silver-plated copper and bare copper respectively which are separated by a multi-filament nylon braid then sleeved in another outer nylon braid. There also will be a limited supply of terminated speaker cables for turnkey users.
November 2016 - Acoustic Preference - Sold at €11'490/pr direct in the EU, the Gracioso 2.0 ST from Slovenia is a 3-driver 2-way with downfiring port. Claimed response is 37Hz-35kHz with 89dB sensitivity and 150w power handling. An LE Limited Edition version of 99 pairs ups the efficiency rating by 2dB, pursues pricier Mundorf xover parts, goes silver for its hookup wiring, ceramic for its footers and includes a maintenance wax kit. Add €3'000 for the difference.
November 2016 - Not Tag Heuer but Taga - Their new HTA-2000B v2 is a 150wpc hybrid integrated with a 12AX line stage, 12AU7 SRPP buffer and zero-gain transistor current outputs which couple to the preceding tubes via MKP caps. Also on board is a 32/384 DAC, MM/MC phono stage, headphone jack and Bluetooth. Aside from the three analog inputs, there's also a pre-out for a subwoofer, powered speakers or additional amp.
November 2016 - Indigo not gogo - Black Cat Cable's Chris Sommovigo releases his new super cable. "This project runs counter to just about everything folks seem to think when it comes to what makes audiophile cable better, given that they are accustomed to big and heavy cables; as if sheer quantity or heft or girth somehow equated to increases in performance. That way is and always has been a recipe for madness." At ¥800'000 per 1.0m pair (+ ¥250'000 per 0.5mpr), Sommovigo knows that these won't be flying off the shelves. And that's just as well as far as he's concerned. "The final version of the Silverwave conductor is very difficult to make as I've got to process it in-house using strange tools that I've adapted for the purpose. Making a pair of these takes a tremendous amount of time, skill, and patience." The Indigo Silverwave interconnect uses RCA connectors designed by Mr. Sommovigo especially for this project developed under his sub-brand, XOX. It is not available on any other cable he makes.
November 2016 - Cary go Devialet - Sort of. Their new AiOS [$2'295] is a 21st century class AB "receiver" which replaces the vintage tuner with a full-featured digital section. That connects it "to your home network (WiFi or Ethernet) and streams digital music from networked computer(s) or NAS via UPnP, DLNA or SMB plus integrated internet streaming services like Spotify and Tidal. There's also a frontal SD card slot or a USB flash or hard drive may be connected to any of the three USB-A inputs. There's also the latest Qualcomm aptX© Bluetooth technology which can even send music to Bluetooth headphones or speakers. AiOS can change its backlit keys/buttons and center LCD display (together or individually) to six different preset colors including one custom color preset, or adjust any color as you see fit within the entire color spectrum. The aluminium gunmetal gray chassis' side panels are available in 5 optional colours."
November 2016: Singa Show - While the big shows in the US and Europe get the largest media coverage, a number of Asian shows are growing in popularity and overall importance. Many consider Hong Kong's High-End Audio-Visual Show the Asian flagship event but the International Sight & Sound Exhibition (ISSE for short) in Singapore is getting real traction in the global audio show calendar. Axis Loudspeakers have chosen this event to further their Asian brand profile with Singapore distributor AudioRev run by University of Singapore Physics professor Benjamin, an extremely knowledgeable, passionate audiophile and music lover. At the exhibit's room 734, Axis Loudspeakers will launch their new EBS (Extended Bass System) for the highly-acclaimed Axis VoiceBox S reviewed here.

The sealed box EBS adds full-range bandwidth to the VoiceBox where an embedded magnet system couples monitor to bass bin. The EBS's 10" high-excursion aluminium woofer is driven via a 150 watts Class-D plate amp with left/right RCA inputs, level control, constantly variable crossover from 40Hz to 200Hz, switchable phase (0 or 180°) and signal-sensing auto on/off. Axis Loudspeakers' John Reilly designed the EBS to perfectly compliment the VoiceBox S with a seamless blend while extending the small monitor's dynamic capabilities and low-end response down to 20Hz (the EBS's upper limit is 150Hz). The EBS is styled to match the high-quality piano finishes (black and white) of the VoiceBox S while presenting an elegantly curved cabinet that belies its large internal volume.

Also launching at the Singapore ISSE is the new Axis FLS, a speaker which mimics the VoiceBox S and EBS combination by placing the same tweeter and midrange drivers at seating height in a slim-line floorstander and adding an 8-inch powered bass driver on the lower third of the enclosure. The FLS's bass driver is also driven via a powerful in-built Class-D amplifier while the same high standards of finish apply. 

The Singapore International Sight & Sound Exhibition runs from November 25th to 27th 2016 at the Park Royal Hotel 181 Kitchener Road, Singapore.
November 2016 - Bench makes new marks - Benchmark Media Systems bow their new DAC3 "implementing the latest ESS Technologies ES9028PRO DAC chip. The DAC3 retains the form factor of the DAC2 including HGC, L and DX versions in silver or black but achieves some considerable performance improvements." RRP prices incl. VAT in the UK will be £2'099 without headphone amp; £2'199 without preamp but with pro features; £2'349 with headphone amp and preamp as shown.
November 2016 - Ennoble your ears - Noble Audio launched two new IEMs which both feature the company's new proprietary drive units. The newcomers, Kaiser Encore and Sage, join the recently launched Katana to provide three Noble-driver IEM options. "The new Sage [£520] is the most affordable way to experience Noble's new drivers whilst the Kaiser Encore [£1,699] with its 10 drivers becomes a co-flagship with the nine-driver Katana, each having their own individual sonic characteristics. Kaiser Encore and Sage directly replace their predecessors, the K10U and Savant."
November 2016 - Terra reborn - EBTB of Bulgaria release a Special Edition of their new Terra MkIV speaker with a solid wood baffle, brushed cast aluminium enclosure and tooled leather appliqué. This styled monitor combines a 4.5" Neodymium-powered Morel mid/woofer with 2.5" voice coil with a 25mm Neodymium ring radiator tweeter. A passive EQ on the tweeter is controlled with a rear-mounted dial. The front-firing horn is CNC-machined aluminium as is the tweeter waveguide, the footers and the spike protectors. The logo is cut from stainless steel. Specs are 59Hz - 25kHz bandwidth and 88dB sensitivity.
November 2016 - ex(a)ploration - Toronto-based exaSound Audio Design unveil their new flagship e32 DAC and multi channel e38 DAC.  "exaSound are amongst the first to release DACs based on the new enhanced ES9028PRO monolithic DAC chip from ESS Technologies. The new e32 and e38 D feature a unique asynchronous USB interface with error correction, galvanic isolation for ultimate external noise reduction, and quad-clock architecture with an 82 femto second master clock. exaSound devices offer zero-configuration comprehensive sample rate support up to native DSD 256 (quad DSD) and 32-bit PCM at 384kHz/DXD. With a truly balanced internal design, a high power high performance headphone amplifier and ultimate resolution volume control, the new exaSound DACs are designed and manufactured entirely in Canada."
November 2016 - Audio Engine(ers) - Audioengine® bow the HD3 [$399/pr], a pair of class A/B-powered desktop/console speakers with USB/S-PDIF DAC, headfi, Bluetooth with aptX, magnetized grills and Walnut, Cherry or satin black finishes. Wireless means streaming via Tidal, Spotify, Pandora and YouTube and there's even an analog input and a subwoofer output.
November 2016 - Bastanis split in twain - Kinda. As per Robert Bastani, "I changed our business policy to fully assembled-only models and the speakers received a lift in quality and price in turn.  To continue serving those customers who have an interest in low-priced exceptional sounding high-efficiency speakers, Mr. Bos in the Netherlands and I founded a new B.V. company named Club-27. Those new speakers are based on simpler drivers and parts than the Bastanis equivalents but they maintain the essential sound quality and will satisfy even experienced audiophiles who appreciate the general sonic aesthetics of my designs. The Club-27 speakers are available as kits and fully assembled, both at much lower prices than Bastanis."
November 2016 - Latvian EL84 - The DIMD PP10 [€3'250] is a class AB push/pull tube integrated whose quartet of EL84 is driven by a pair of ECC83 for 10wpc. There are four RCA input pairs. Input impedance is 100K, input sensitivity is 420mV. Dynamic range is rated at 90dB, output impedance is 2.8 ohms and global negative feedback is 6dB. The amp measures 43 x 16 x 28cm and weighs 9kg. Its circuitry is hand-wired point to point with polypropylene coupling caps, 1% tolerance metal film resistors, an Alps pot, silver-plated connectors and a solid oak casing.
November 2016 - Niagara - Announced as a collaborative project between Triode Lab and Arteluthe of Canada as was their joint Vivace Mini speaker, the 10wpc Niagara tube integrated under the Finalé brand [€4'500] is a push/pull 6BM8/ECL82 design with an "automatic differential feedback system" and an optional phono stage encased in a chromed case with Hammonds transformers and acrylic faceplate.
November 2016 - LS50 activates - KEF bow their long-awaited LS50 Wireless [€2'299/pr], a 30/200wpc fully active version of their popular dual-concentric UniQ 2-way monitor which adds a DSP xover with time correction, a 2.4/5GHz dual-band WLAN card, Bluetooth aptX, 24/96 Toslink, 24/192 USB, Ethernet and one analog input plus a subwoofer output. Available in three cab/driver trim options (Titanium grey + red as shown, black + blue, gloss white + copper), there's even an iOS/Android app to expand upon the touch-sensitive control bar on the right speaker's top; and an IR remote. Both speakers are powered, connection between them is via CAT5. The slave comes with a balance control to set relative signal level between the speakers.


October 2016 - Italian phono - Gold Note's PH-10 [€1'250] is a new phono stage with a single knob controller "to browse, select and change gain/load settings instantly for your MM and MC cartridges and select between RIAA, Decca-London and American-CBS-Columbia curves as well as enhanced versions of each. Two separate independent RCA inputs support two different tonearms (or even turntables) and the settings adjust independently for each cartridge."
October 2016 - Not alpaca but Ono Paka - Inspired by decades of R&D performed and documented by Siegfried Linkwitz but not associated with him, this unconventional speaker [$2'995/pr] from Washington State in the US combines an open-baffle 4" Fostex Sigma driver mounted to an open-backed tube which doubles as strategic diffusor for a sealed upfiring 6" woofer and tweeter which subtly augment the bandwidth of the main driver in omni dispersion from a teardrop-shaped enclosure available in many colours. With response of 65Hz - 24kHz and 86dB efficiency, the company recommend a companion 10-15" sealed subwoofer with a 4th-order low-pass for complete bandwidth in a large room.
October 2016 - NYC made over - Actually, it's Mytek's Manhattan now in MkII guise with MQA. It's a 384PCM/DSD256 USB/network DAC/preamp with phono and headfi and optional Roon-ready network card. It runs on a 32-bit Sabre ESS9038 chip and gets a new femto clock. "Two separate, oversized, isolated power supplies, one each for the analog and digital stages, lower noise and impedance. There is a greatly improved, low distortion 1dB analog attenuator circuit for main out and headphones, with a choice of 1dB step digital 32bit attenuator or purist relay bypass. An enhanced front panel menu structure offers easier operation over its predecessor. Mytek's Control Panel App allows full control from computer, the included Apple IR remote and future control via an iPad App (TBA in 2017)."
October 2016 - Triple whammy from Campfire Audio - The Portlanders introduce three new IEM models. "The new Vega [$1'299] contains an 8.5mm ADLC-coated non-crystalline diamond dome dynamic driver in a unique liquid metal alloy housing to deliver stunning natural clarity, ultimate micro detail and dynamics. Campfire Audio is proud to be the first company to use this diamond driver technology in an in-ear-monitor. The Vega sports 102dB sensitivity, 17.5-ohm impedance and bandwidth of 5Hz-22kHz.

"The Dorado [$999] combines a single 8.5mm Beryllium PVD dynamic driver with dual balanced armature drivers in a unique liquid alloy metal housing. Campfire Audio was proud to be the first company to use a beryllium PVD dynamic driver in an earphone with the introduction of the original Lyra. The new Dorado goes a step beyond and is the first earphone with the addition of dedicated dual BA drivers to be housed in a liquid metal enclosure.  With the accuracy and clarity of dual BA drivers and the warmth and smoothness of a dynamic driver, this model packs a engaging and fun experience in a incredibly small package. The liquid alloy enclosure is dent resistant and harder than titanium.  The Dorado's sensitivity is 107dB, its impedance is 15 ohms and its bandwidth 5Hz-27kHz."
October 2016 - Hubby the hybrid - From Italy comes the Lector ZXT-70 hybrid valve Mosfet integrated with automatic bias control, a twin 6922/ECC88 class A preamp stage, 5 line inputs, one fixed out, remote volume and 70/100wpc into 8/4-ohm output power.
October 2016 - DSD transport - PS Audio's new DirectStream Memory Player [$5'999] can play SACD and output raw DSD to its companion DACs. "At the heart of the DMP is a refinement of the Digital Lens which ensures that bits emerge in a perfectly -timed stream unaffected by the electrical or mechanical properties of the transport. After eight years of research and two years of development, we were able to decrease the considerable memory requirements of our original Memory Player and improve the timing of digital audio data. The new Lens takes advantage of advances in semiconductor architecture found in a single large scale integrated FPGA with a segmented structure including intelligent RAM, two-way isolated communication with the drive, and near-field output latches controlled by an ultra-low-jitter fixed clock."
October 2016 - Opto cart - "In 2013 DS Audio pioneered the world's only optical phono cartridge, the DS-W1. Now the company is proud to announce its new flagship, the Master 1. It features a number of significant advances. The Master 1 uses a micro-ridge stylus in place of Shibata and a sapphire cantilever rather than boron. A duralumin body provides exceptional rigidity while an enhanced optical/mechanical system enables the redesigned micro-optic sensor to be placed closer to the stylus, resulting in a much shorter optical path length. In addition, the use of a wire-suspended cantilever considerably lowers the compliance, making the Master 1 perform effortlessly at its best with a much wider range of tonearms (whereas the DS-W1 should be paired with a low-mass tonearm for peak performance). The Master 1's matching phono stage/equalizer features fully discrete dual-mono analogue circuits. To achieve flagship-level performance, each channel has its own dedicated power supply, while a third supply is dedicated to the cartridge's LED drive system. Both single-ended RCA and balanced XLR outputs are provided, with a choice of three subsonic filter settings. The unit's robust 24kg weight is the result of the twelve 120Kμf electrolytic capacitors and three transformers housed within. To achieve the lowest possible impedance, a pure copper bus-bar provides the optimal connection between them."
October 2016 - Akiko - After a 2-year R&D cycle, Akiko launch "a unique power conditioner that doesn't rely on conventional power filtering techniques." Four internal units are responsible for active reduction of high-frequency noise. 'Power filtering is undesirable and should be avoided',says designer Marc van Berlo. 'The Corelli exclusively reduces noise without any negative side effects such as a loss of dynamics or an unnatural sound. This makes our product unique.' The Akiko Audio Corelli connects to the power strip or wall socket your equipment is connected to.
October 2016 - Polaris - AURALiC bow their wireless streaming amp. It has "seventeen input channels for streaming, digital and analog sources. The internal DAC loads our flexible filters and femto master clock and supports quad DSD and PCM up to 32/384. The internal stereo amplifier delivers 120/180wpc into 8/4 ohms continuous." Polaris includes the Lightning Streaming platform through a wifi network with gapless play, on-device playlist, memory cache and bit-perfect multi-room functions. There's also a hybrid volume control combining digital and analog whereby the analog attenuator reduces level in 12dB steps whilst the on-chip digital volume fine-tunes values in-between. Two pairs of RCA connectors can be configured as a phono input, line stage input or pre-out in software. Digital inputs include AES/EBU, coaxial, Toslink and USB. For a surcharge, a 1TB SSD drive can be installed to store music.
October 2016 - Omni - Muraudio will launch their Domain Omni PX2 at the 2016 TAVES Consumer Electronics Show October 28-30. Based on their point source omni-directional electrostatic technology, "the PX2 combines contemporary design with deeper bass extension and even more transparent mids and highs. It features an attractive height adjustable plinth along with soft acoustically treated fabric covers for the ESL and bass drivers. The all-new Muraudio Speaker Bus (MSB) provides regulated ESL power and active speaker status monitoring to further enhance performance. The MSB is a bi-directional electrical interface that provides stable DC power to the ESL while displaying the operational state of each loudspeaker with the Condition Monitor Module.  We add our  latest in Mylar Diaphragm Technology. This  provides enhanced dynamics with improved distribution of acoustic energy across the continuous multi-directional curves of the ESL."
October 2016 - This Schiit is bananas - "It seems that everyone likes to talk about the latest car-priced DAC, $20'000 preamp, 5-figure power amp and such. Call us crazy but we think it's time for some stuff—some great schtuff—for the rest of us. At RMAF, Schiit will preview the first components in its 2-channel product line: specifically, two remote-control preamps and a versatile power amp that can be run in stereo or mono. What's more, these components offer true high-end designs at entry-level prices, with relay-switched stepped attenuators, tube gain stages and selectable passive or active operation in the preamps; and an exotic current-feedback gain stage, dual-mono-back-to-the-transformer design plus 100% linear supply and Class AB operation in the power amp." These new models are called Saga [$349], a passive or 6SN7 tube buffer remote control preamp with 64-position relay stepped attenuator and remote control; Freya [$699], a passive JFET buffer or 4-tube differential 6SN7 tube gain remote control balanced preamp with 128-position stepped attenuator; and Vidar [$699], a 100W/8 ohms, 200W/4 ohms stereo or 400W/8 ohm monoblock amp with current feedback."
October 2016 - Power up your clean - From Germany's Audio Exklusiv comes the PCD 1 power conditioner [€399] and Powercord [from €179]. "The PCD 1 renounces the traditional filter networks to suit every application. Not only are contaminations in power supplies reduced, interferences caused by electric smog are, thanks to the ci2p technology by Creaktiv/Gabriel Tech, considerably diminished. Our mains cable runs three high-quality copper cores of 2.5mm cross section each. The coating of the conductor as well as the external coating are made of rubber to avoid electrostatic and sound modifying changes The cable is assembled with high-quality strong Rhodium-contact plugs/sockets."
October 2016 - Aëdle ODS-1 - A new micro headphone is available for preorder from this French website.
October 2016 - Leema Sirius - "The new Sirius [£3,955.] is a hifi-grade streaming server developed in partnership with Innuos. Leema's ex-BBC engineers have combined audiophile performance with the convenience of a UPNP/DNLA-compatible music server. Sirius is the latest edition to Leema's flagship Constellation range. It features audiophile components centred on a powerful server-grade main circuit board with a high-speed quad-core processor with up to eight GB of system memory. The app-controlled server is available with huge storage reserves in two GB increments up to an impressive eight TB. Sirius incorporates a high-performance TEAC optical drive for the one-time bit-perfect transfer of CD data to its hard drive. Sirius offers backup for CD audio right up to lossless FLAC files and supports WAV, AIFF, ALAC, OGG Vorbis, AAC and MP3; USB 3.0 is available for audio backups. The integrated asynchronous USB DAC based on an ESS Sabre chip and Xmos USB supports 16, 24 and 32 bit depths from 44.1kHz to 384kHz with DSD 64, 128 and 256. Analog outputs are on XLR/RCA. A dual Ethernet connection supports routers and a dedicated streamer connections. The device is compatible with Sonus multi room; Naim Mu-so/Uniti; Denon HEOS; Squeezebox; Linn DS; Pioneer N-50A; Cambridge Audio CXN and Denon 720AE. Further features include editable metadata and album art, support for Tidal, Spotify, BBC iPlayer and internet radio plus simple importation from computers, USB and NAS drives. There's also a three-way linear power with a dedicated supply for the DAC."
September 2016 - Zesty phono - Zesto Audio bow their Andros Téssera flagship phono stage [$12'000] with offboard power supply and support for four different tonearms or turntables by remembering settings for each whilst switching. Some of the features include true transformer-balanced outputs driven by dedicated output tubes. The Téssera is designed with two independent true dual-mono channels that can accommodate 1 MM and 1 MC each. It is easily adjustable on the fly with a 12 position MC load per channel without clicks or pops. A unique features are the 4 MC ground switches which help eliminate noisy ground loops. Refer to the webpage for detailed specs.
September 2016 - Cubic EL84 - The Cube from Polish brand My sound is available in two flavours - with 48-step Khozmo attenuator or without. In either case the Cube remains a fixed bias class A push/pull EL84 monaural amplifier that does a solid 12 watts with a 1V input sensitivity and claimed bandwidth of 16Hz-65kHz. Weight is from 10.5 - 12.5kg depending on trim level and dimensions are a compact 20.5 x 28 x 32cm WxDxH. Colour options include wine red, the gold/bubinga shown and black/white. The translucent cover is Perspex in the standard version and glass in the premium version with upgraded parts and the company's own anti-resonance footers.
September 2016 - Korean April novelties - As a company headquartered out of Seoul, Simon Lee's April Music often launches new models in their domestic market well before they become available elsewhere. So it is with the Eximus Model 3 reference speaker, a 2-way bass reflex monitor combining a 7" Accuton mid/woofer with a horn-loaded 1" dome tweeter of 33Hz to 30kHz bandwidth with a 3kHz crossover. Available finishes are Santos Palisander or piano lacquer. Dimensions are 22 x 44 x 29.5cm WxHxD. There's also the 150/300wpc into 8/4-ohm Eximus S3 power amplifier with selectable RCA/XLR inputs and global voltage input.
September 2016 - Moscow show - Celebrating its 5th annivesrary, like for the past four years the MHES focused on high-end audio holds its November hifi show in the Moscow Holiday Inn Simonovsky hotel. The dates are November 18th - 20th.
September 2016 - Fab collab - Join together Westone Audio and ALO Audio and what do you get? "Westone is excited to partner with ALO Audio to make the new Signature W the best sounding earphone available", said Blake Gaiser, director of product and marketing of Westone concerning the partnership. The ALO Reference Super 8 IEM cable will accompany their in-ear monitors and is constructed of 8 conductors of silver-plated copper and OCC metallurgy jacketed in high-grade FEP and fabricated using individual fiber cores in a round weave to create a supple, soft and flexible IEM cable with superior sound quality.
September 2016 - TAGA amp - TAGA Harmony announce the class AB TA-400MIC, "an efficient cost-effective integrated amplifier choice for hifi systems and commercial installations in restaurants, pubs, shops, conferencing rooms and fitness clubs for background music, voice playback or karaoke." There's a headphone jack, microphone input with mixing and echo controls, USB input, 3.5mm stereo input, two line-level RCA inputs and A+B speaker outputs. The power rating is 60/90Wrms into 8/4 ohms. Dimensions are 9.1 x 42 x 31.7cm and weight is 6.3kg.
September 2016 - LaLa Land's new show - "The LAAS is a new high-end audio and home-theatre show debuting June 2017, presented in collaboration with the Los Angeles and Orange County Audio Society at the Sheraton Gateway LA and with complimentary shuttle service from the Los Angeles International Airport. The LAAS is funded and managed by The Orion Group, a private investment firm. The hotel recently went through a $35'000'000 renovation to guest rooms, lobby and their Club Lounge. They spent an additional 3.5 million dollars enhancing the 38 meeting and function rooms with 50'000 square feet of event space, 13 floors of rooms and over 800 guest rooms. The event will take place Friday through Sunday, June 2nd to the 4th, 2017 at the Sheraton Gateway LA just minutes from the Los Angeles International Airport via complimentary shuttle. The Los Angeles Audio Show is open to the public from 10am to 6pm, Friday, Saturday and Sunday."
September 2016 - More perfect air - The in-akustik Referenz LS-2404 Air speaker cable incorporates the company's spacer clips and flexible links to maintain their internal geometry and spacing across the entire length of the air-dielectric cable including the eight conductors' built-in twist ratio. The outer mesh is a PE network jacket whilst termination is by Rhodium-plated plugs. "Each conductor contains 24 high-purity copper wires braided around a PE core. A very thin lacquer coating on the wires prevents the formation of eddy currents inside this 'Cross Link Super Speed' waveguide. The strong magnetic fields created by high-current speaker-level signal are partly compensated within the eight conductors. This is ensured by the braided wire design, which produces neutralizing effects. The wires are additionally insulated by their razor-thin lacquer coating." Pricing starts at €3'520/pr.
September 2016 - boXXer - EBTB's boXXer SM 0.5W is a 5" two-way monitor with genuine leather-clad sides and solid-wood front and rear baffles plus spring-suspension footers and a cable management bag on the back.
September 2016 - M2Tech phono - The Evo PhonoDAC Two "can be used as a phono preamp, DAC, ADC or preamplifier. Its analog stereo input drives a high performance ES9102S analog-to-digital converter through a front-end which can be set for gain and input impedance. The digital signal obtained by digitizing the analog input may be equalized then sent to a computer by means of the Evo PhonoDAC Two's USB port (ripping) as well as to the internal ES9018K2M DAC which drives the Evo PhonoDAC Two's analog output. The DAC can also be driven by the computer via the USB port or by another digital source via the provided coaxial input. The same coaxial input can also be used as external clock input to maximize performance. The remote controls volume, balance and mute as well as input selection, gain and equalization curve."
September 2016 - Bug spray - "Three of the Erzetich headphone amps from Slovenia (Bacillus, Bacillus Tilia and Perfidus) have gone under the knife. While their entrails are mostly untouched, the most obvious difference is now their appearance. Acrylic front panels have been replaced by 7mm thick aluminum along with some other tweaks and upgrades on their exterior. While Bacillus has only a new dress, the other two models have also some technical upgrades, especially Perfidus."
September 2016 - Rike roll out hardware - Georg Arsin of Germany's Rike Audio in Fürth announces multiple MM and MM/MC phono stages, linestages, a €3'500 push/pull integrated with GU50 pentodes for 25/50wpc in triode/ultralinear, a €4'990 EL34/KT88 push/pull integrated of 35wpc ultralinear power and this 16-watt 6C33C integrated shown. No longer just content to offer capacitors, Rike enter the valve-audio component category.
September 2016 - Italian phono - Gold Note release the low-output Donatello Gold [€950] and high-output Donatello Red [€650] MC cartridges featuring Duraluminum bodies, aluminium cantilevers and micro elliptical diamonds, copper coil wires and samarium cobalt magnets.
September 2016 - Don't space out, get grounded! - "The purpose of CAD's GC1 Ground Control is to reduce high frequency noise on the signal ground plane." That's how the firm's Scott Berry explains its raison d'être. Whilst audio engineers typically focus on low noise and ripple on the positive rails of their DC power supplies, less thought goes into the negative rail and signal ground plane. The fully passive GC1 creates a low-impedance path for HF noise and converts it to heat. "The GC1 can be connected to any audio component's unused i/o. Each GC1 sports two connectors to hook up two components; to use both connectors for a single component; or to daisy chain more than one GC1 to a single component. A choice of cables with various connectors is available; one cable is included whilst additional cables are available for trial and for purchase.The GC1 can also be attached to earth. If you have any type of ground connection on your system or power distribution, CAD can supply a cable with an appropriate connector." A GC1 measures 32 x 8.8 x 11.1cm WxHxD, weighs 4.65kg and retails for £1'650 incl. VAT.
September 2016 - McIntosh headphone amp - The MHA150 [$4'500] exceeds its precursor with a next-gen DAC for quad DSD and 384kHz PCM support and uses autoformers to generate settings for 8-40, 40-150 and 150-600 ohm loads. An MCT input for pairing with the company's MCT 450 SACD/CD transport creates a secure DSD connection. Besides USB, there are also optical and coax digital inputs plus two analog inputs, a defeatable crossfeed circuit and 5-step bass boost. Top output power into headphones is 1 watt.
September 2016 - W13 - Boenicke Audio's new flagship speaker in their solid-wood range combines a custom 3" wideband tweeter with a 6" wood-cone mid/woofer, horizontally opposed 13" woofers with injection-moulded diaphragms in a sealed enclosure and rear-firing ambient tweeter. Dual 350-watt PowerSoft Class D amps run the V-twin woofers whilst adding programmable DSP and 4 user-selectable presets for optimal room integration. A plethora of built-in tuning tweaks is available in SE and SE+ versions.
September 2016 - Aries goes quad - Not DSD but version 4.0. With it, AURALiC's Aries, Aries LE and Aries Mini get a free firmware update to incorporate the company's latest Lightning Playback Engine V2. "Amongst the added features are:
• Memory Cache which allows streaming device to pre-load music tracks to system memory to achieve better sound quality; and helps streaming stability under less ideal network environment. 4.0 caches on-play data into system memory not internal storage (SSD) for maximum sound quality since the device will disable most of its idle hardware and software during playback. Cache size is 512MB except for the Aries Mini which gets 64MB. Music files with bigger size will be cached in several segments based on playback progress. This function enables automatically when the Lightning device plays music through Lightning DS and any other UPnP based control software. This feature won't work under Internet Radio, AirPlay, Songcast, Bluetooth and RoonReady input circumstances. Instead, the music file will be played as a live stream from host device or computer.
• Bit-Perfect Group Play aka ‘Party Mode' allows users to create a playback zone and play the same music tracks on selected devices simultaneously with highest sampling rate support up to 32/384kHz PCM and DSD256 without down-sampling. This guarantees much higher synchronization precision, with 10 times less error than existing wireless multi-room solutions.
• High Quality Resampler which can upsample 1Bit/2.8224MHz DSD to 24Bit/2.8224MHz then to 24Bit/88.2KHz. In future versions, the user will be able to fully utilize the resampler by converting between any PCM sampling rate."

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

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


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

The PC100USB-HR2 is a small £85 24/96 USB-powered desktop DAC with 3.5mm headphone socket. The £375 HP-A4BL builds on the HP-A4 by adding a 4-pin XLR output and external power supply where the HP-A4 was USB powered only. The HP-A4BL has over 3 x more power with a +10dB high/low gain switch for better matching. It also implements the Burr-Brown PCM1792A DAC, increasing file support to 24/192 PCM and DSD256. The £569 TH610 headphones give a subtle nod to the Fostex-made Denon D5000 with their matte walnut cups. The TH610 feature a detachable cable allowing easy upgrade to a balanced 4-pin XLR cable (ET-H3.0N7BL). The company's bio-dynamic 50mm diaphragm with 1 tesla magnetic circuit "offers wide dynamic range, low distortion and high levels of detail".
July 2016 - Goldmund expand ... by launching a support centre in Taiwan and restructuring their Chinese distribution. "Swiss company Goldmund have been present in Asia for more than three decades. The high demand for Goldmund products and the brand's excellent reputation there are easily explained by the first strategic plan of the company. Issued in 1982 at a time when most audio brands were trying to conquer the USA, the clear objective was to serve Asian customers first. Since then, Asia has continuously been Goldmund's preferred market and first in sales. It is not surprising then that Goldmund are opening this summer a new sales and technical support center in Taipei to provide quicker technical services to its regional distributors and customers. It is also a demonstration center where the latest products of the brand can be experienced in a private home environment that includes a dedicated room with Logos home cinema. The showroom will be at the disposal of Goldmund's professional partners and welcomes end users for private listening sessions by appointment. The grand opening of the Goldmund Asia Center will take place on August 9th with a first event reserved for the media. The company will let journalists report their impressions to the public and do not wish to spoil the surprise by disclosing more on the new facility at this time. Dr. T.I. Lin, Goldmund Asia General Manager, will also take advantage of the opening to announce how the company will restructure its distribution in China. In an effort to fight the grey market that is wide-spread there, it is foreseen that Goldmund Asia will be the sole distributor of Goldmund lifestyle and home theater products for China and will directly take care of all retailers who wish to continue or start working seriously with the brand."
July 2016 - Budding meze platter - Meze Headphones announce the Meze 11 Neo earbuds in gun metal or iridium finish to "elegantly stand out from the crowd. Besides the looks, the 11 Neo's ergonomic shape makes it easy to handle and comfortable to wear. Sturdily built, the aluminium housings hold the titanium-coated dynamic neodymium drivers that deliver the crisp and fun Meze signature sound."
July 2016 - Flexi compliance - Dong-Chan Son of Korea's Nasotec announces their upgraded Swing head shell [$360 - 390] which, whilst previously only using the elasticity of the lead wire, now "uses springs to improve elasticity and be easier to install. The new Swing head shell has more stable accurate tracking and the strength of the spring suppresses the vibration of the swing head for better sound."
July 2016 - Doing the multikulti for $249 - Actually it's multibit in Schiit's Modi Multibit, "the lowest-cost advanced multibit DAC by any manufacturer, from any country on the planet. It comes with our proprietary closed-form digital filter and definitely not with a modern (not NOS or 'pull') DAC. It runs a version of our own filter on a powerful Analog Devices SHARC DSP and couples it with an Analog Devices AD5547 D/A converter that's spec'd down to 1/2 LSB. Together with three inputs—asynchronous USB 2.0, optical, and coax—it's an extremely versatile DAC and an extremely affordable way to try this whole multibit thing for yourself."
July 2016 - Seven x F - First Watt's 25wpc F7 [$3'000] is "a very unique power amplifier, a two-stage push-pull Jfet input/Mosfet output with fewer parts than any other First Watt amp to date. The F7 has been created as an updated version of the earlier F5. Conceived in 2007, the F5 was a push-pull Class A amplifier employing eight semiconductors and 23 resistors to achieve 25 watts with good specifications and good sound.  According to Nelson Pass: "The F7 bests the earlier F5, comprising even better sound and even simpler circuitry." Like all First Watt designs, it is a relatively low power simple Class A circuit designed with an unusually low parts count. It is the 19th product from First Watt since its founding in 1998 as Nelson Pass' "personal laboratory"." With Nelson Pass retiring from assembly to focus solely on design, First Watt products are now being manufactured by Pass Labs.
July 2016 - Convert to the LAN - PS Audio's forthcoming LANRover [$599] is a two-box USB-to-Ethernet-to-USB converter to not only break the 5-metre limit of USB audio transmission but to improve sonics because LAN packets are fundamentally different to USB packets; and because the Ethernet standard includes galvanic isolation as part of the protocol. PS Audio claim that with this approach, costly USB cables are a thing of the past as they no longer make a sonic difference. Their send box is powered by the computer USB line whilst the receive box gets a wall wart. Allowable data density is PCM up to 352.8kHz and DSD up to 256.
July 2016 - Nine drivers per ear - That's Noble's new Katana IEM inside the firm's now trademark aluminium housing. The Katana configuration is also available as a custom fit using alternative materials from the Noble range including acrylics and exotic solid woods (Prestige range). A 3D-printed option à la SLA range is also available. "The new Katana follows the success of Noble's 10-driver model, the Kaiser 10(which remains in the portfolio. It features a top half in gun-metal grey anodize and a bottom half in satin-black anodize. Further features include a detachable two-pin cable and supplied accessories include a Pelican 1010 case (crush-proof carrying case); a black velvet soft pouch; 12 pairs of ear tips (four kinds in three sizes); two Noble Audio bands or amp bands; a cleaning tool; a Noble cable and an ownership card." Pricing for universal/custom-fit is $1'850 and $2'850 for a Prestige-level custom fit. The 3-D printed SLA version is $1'650.
July 2016 - Cary integrated - The SI-300.2d integrated [$5'995] packs 300wpc of class A/B power and a class A preamp stage. Digital inputs include 32/384PCM 256DSD USB, 2 x coax, Toslink, AES/EBU and aptX® Bluetooth. "All S/PDIF and Bluetooth sources offer 10 selectable upsampling or PCM-to-DSD conversion options. On the analog side, there are 4 analog inputs (2 x XLR, 2 x RCA), with one each offering true Cinema Bypass. Additional features include a pre/subwoofer output, coaxial and optical digital outputs, IR remote, trigger out, IR sensor input and Ethernet and WiFi for controlling the SI-300.2d with free iOS and Android apps." The machine weighs 52lbs and measures 6 x 17.25 x 18" HxWxD.
July 2016 - Alien walk-ins? - Not. The new Clones Audio Host is a digital music server with the company's Shaar USB gateway and USB class 3.0 output; a Gigabit Ethernet port; SSD for music storage; and linear power supply with super-low-noise regulators. The operating system is a customized Linux platform with Roon server but Daphile is an option. Twin PSU of the company's Power Station type power the SSD/USB and main processor boards. SSD options range from 256GB - 2TB for internal storage. The enclosure is repurposed from the company's Asher DAC. Pricing starts at €1'377. SSD and Roon license are extra.
July 2016 - Flow on the go - The MrSpeaker Ether and Ether C planarmagnetic headphones in open and closed models have become available in new Flow iterations which incorporate changes to their motor structures which were instigated by Dan Clark's development of his first electrostatic design whilst comparing sonic performance between orthos and stats. Visit the website for more details on the TrueFlow Technology.
July 2016 - EBTB - The Bulgarians' second entry into their boXXer range is the SM 0.5 which promises 50Hz - 20kHz response at 88dB sensitivity from an Italian 1" silk-dome tweeter and 5" Italian pro mid/woofer with paper cone, rubber surround, die-cast aluminium basket and 1.5" voice coil. Dimensions of the box are 27 x 16.4 x 28cm HxWxD, weight is 5.7kg. The enclosure combines leather-wrapped Birch Ply for the top, bottom and sides, 1cm aluminium alloy for the front and rear baffles. The basic version eliminates the outrigger footers and cable management bag on the back
July 2016 - Andromeda - Camp Fire Audio's lineup of IEMs grows with this in-ear general fit design [$1'099] that places five balanced armature drivers and a tubeless resonator inside a green-anodized aluminium enclosure. Specs are 10Hz-28kHz bandwidth, 115dB sensitivity, 12.8-ohm impedance and the 3.5mm terminated cable is a detachable kind with MMCX connectors. Accessories include a dark leather case, replaceable ear tips in foam, Comply or silicon and a cleaning brush.
July 2016 - Stenheim at Montreux Jazz - To celebrate the annual festival, Stenheim are "producing a limited edition of our Alumine Two speakers in 25 pairs delivered with a certificate of authenticity as well as a numbered identification plate stating 'Montreux Jazz Festival 50th Anniversary Special Edition'."