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).

The Luck of the Irish. 6moons 2017 sale for the Irish. Email to inquire what's available: srajan @ 6moons.com
January 2017 - Exposed? - Exposure's new XM range starts with the XM5 integrated [£1'236] that combines a 24/192 DAC and phonostage, then a 200VA power toroid with bipolar Toshiba transistors for 60wpc into 8-ohm power. The matching XM3 phono stage [£660] offers 40dB MM and 60dB MC gain for claimed response of 30Hz - 20kHz ±0.25dB.
January 2017 - No limits - That's how Volya call their new speaker, an 88dB 11-inch 3-way with 5" ceramic midrange and 1" diamond tweeter measuring 120 x 120 x 70cm and weighing 190kg/ea. in its metal enclosure. Xover points are are 300Hz and 3kHz and the ceramic/kevlar sandwich woofer is loaded into a back-firing port.
January 2017 - Blumenhofer have fun - "After a long development and about one year from the last sale of the Fun 13, we introduce our new Fun 13 Mk2 [€2'700/pr]. The iterations during R&D were several and the main goal for the upgrade was a better mid/high range. Our goal was to keep the same friendly dimensions and design of the former Fun 13 for not a bigger but far better sounding speaker. The differences are a new 28mm silk dome tweeter and new Peek/carbon/peek membrane woofer loaded into a quarter-length bass horn."
January 2017 - Sir Andrew Jones the Third - After his two budget wonder ranges Debut and Uni-Fi, the celebrated designer now working for Kiel/Germany firm Elac bows their new Adante series which consists of the AS-61 monitor, AC-61 centre and AF-61 floorstanding model. They all benefit from new purpose-engineered drivers, a coaxial tweeter/midrange unit and a 6.5" woofer. Gloss finishes will include white, black and wood veneer and dedicated stands are available, too. Precise specs still remain forthcoming.
January 2017 - To the Furutech future - Their new FI-C15NFC slim-line IEC connectors support Linn, Devialet, McIntosh amp and other kit with difficult-to-reach power inlets whilst offering pure copper contacts with gold or Rhodium plating. The new 105-D NCF outlet cover combines carbon, NCF and a neo damper for "the final touch to a complete AC chain". Their new e-TP309 NCF power distributor too includes their NCF ultimate damping material based on a nano-crystal formula to convert thermal, mechanical and electrical energies; and outlets with axial locking screws for resonance control; and an aluminium top plate dressed in carbon fibre.

January 2017 - Sir Hugo the Second - Three years after the first, Chord's Hugo 2 [£1'800] "features a newly designed precision-machined aircraft-grade aluminium case with a sharper lower profile and four top-mounted spherical control buttons which illuminate with colour-coded information to control power, input, filtering and crossfeed functions. The top-mounted volume control sphere has been made larger for more intuitive operation. The new design and functionality anticipate greater indoor use within both desktop and conventional home audio systems, despite Hugo 2's obvious portability. The inclusion of a full-function remote control adds further flexibility as does the practical line-level output mode retained from the original. The latest FPGA and advanced WTA 49'195K tap filter bring a wide variety of performance improvements in timing accuracy, noise reduction, headphone amp power and dynamic range. Hugo 2's connections and switches now feature laser-ablated function lettering and include optical, coaxial, HD USB and extended-range Bluetooth with playback up to 768kHz and DSD512 via USB. Analogue outputs include 2 x RCA and 3.5mm/6.35mm headphone outputs."

Also new is the Blu MkII disc transport [£7'995] based on "the power of the new Xilinx XC7A200T FPGA with 740 DSP cores to develop sophisticated WTA filtering and upscaling algorithms which can output digital data at 705.6kHz (16 x CD's 44.1kHz native resolution). When partnered with the matching DAVE DAC/preamp with its 705.6kHz-capable digital inputs, the Blu MkII sets a new technical benchmark for CD performance."
January 2017 - Clean yer clock - SOtM's new sCLK-EX [$700-$850 depending on number of outputs] can supply up to four digital devices with discrete clocking at various frequencies like the system clock, LAN port clock and USB clock. The board can even be sync'd with an external Rubidium or similar clock via the Master clock option [$150 surcharge].

SOtM's second announcement is the addition of the Eunhasu music player to their sMS-10000SQ server. This builds in Roon-Ready/Server and MinimServer support, a DLNA audio renderer, OpenHome and Tidal/Qobuz support, Music Player Daemon, Logitech Media Server, Squeezelite, HQPlayer network audio adapater, Shairport and multi-zone network playback. The sMS-1000SQ Eunhasu starts at $3'000 and can be fitted from 64GB SSD memory up to 2TB SSD or 4TB HHD.
December 2016 - Tid for Tad - TAD's ME-1 [$12'495/pr] combines a coaxial 3.5" magnesium mid with 1" Beryllium tweeter and a 6.3" multi-layer composite Aramid woofer in a Birch Ply/MDF cabinet with 4mm steel side panels finished in piano gloss black. Claimed bandwidth is 36Hz-60kHz and 3-way xover hinges are at 420Hz and 2.5kHz. Sensitivity is 85dB, nominal impedance 4Ω, weight 44.09 pounds.
December 2016 - Déjà vu all over again - "Déjà vu Audio, one of the US's top high end retailers, is excited to announce the opening of the third store: Déjà vu Audio West at 7855 Herschel Ave, La Jolla, CA 92037. Phone 858-412-4023. Déjà vu Audio founded in 1995 has stores serving Miami Florida, McLean Virginia and now La Jolla. Déjà vu Audio West hours are Mon-Fri 10-7, Saturday 11-9, Sunday Noon-5. Special hours by appointment. The following brands will be offered: Aldo by Aldo D'Urso, Audience, Audio Note, Bel Canto, Cardas, Clearaudio, Conrad Johnson, Deja Vu Audio, Grado, Harbeth, Ortofon, Proac, Salamander Designs, Solidsteel amd Synthesis of Italy. We are also proud to offer expertly restored equipment from: Garrard, Otari, Thorens and Western Electric. Our web site dejuvuaudiowest.com will be operating shortly but feel free to visit our sister site in the meantime."
 
December 2016 - A Brystonian CD player - Bryston announce the introduction of their BCD-3 CD player [$3'495]. "The BCD-3 is engineered to play back Redbook CD and CDR discs using a premium transport/laser pickup assembly mated to two AKM 4490 384/32Bit DACs. The player utilizes a single master clock that syncs the transport to the DAC, eliminating one of the primary sources of an unwanted artifact called jitter. The DAC in the BCD-3 is based upon the BDA-3 platform and includes a fully discrete Bryston class A analog output stage and independent analog and digital power supplies. Users have the choice of balanced XLR or unbalanced RCA stereo outputs as well as transformer-coupled SPDIF/AES digital outputs. The BCD-3 is network connectable, enabling software upgrades via an Ethernet jack and there is a remote 12-volt trigger input as well. The front panel is available in black or silver aluminum."
December 2016 - A new order in sonic kaos - soundkaos of Switzerland announce an impending transition to direct sales. "Most of our sales over the last two years were direct because our dealer count was still low. Despite required very high margins, most dealers we approached invoked a weak market and permanent poverty. For smaller newer makers like us, it made little sense then to hold on to conventional high retail margins. So we decided to switch to a direct-sales model which retains a much reduced dealer margin for those sellers who wish to continue working with us. We think that the lower pricing which results from this change will be welcome by the buying public." A new website with revised pricing is due out soon.
December 2016 - YG racks it - The first rack series from this speaker house "was initially designed as a tool for internal use. The factory’s critical listening room needed a vibration free, solid platform to allow equipment to play under optimal conditions. In a challenging environment full of hostile vibration, other equipment racks couldn’t deliver the desired result. When designing Rack 1.3, 1.4 and 1.6, we adhered to our core values: straightforward, no nonsense precise science. Each shelf can be optimized in minutes for the weight of the specific component it supports. A video demonstrates the effectiveness of this rack." U.S. MSRP starts at $14'850.
December 2016 - A better Mæstro - Genesis Advanced Technologies announce their next generation 5-series loudspeaker. "Many of the greatly admired sonic characteristics and features of its Gen V, G500, G501 and G5.3 predecessors have been reincorporated into the new Mæstro updated with the latest technology. One of the features most requested were the quad woofers of the 1994 Genesis V. It's a bit overkill but we did it for the 2017 Mæstro." The Genesis Mæstro is a 5-way loudspeaker with two Genesis ring-radiator ribbon tweeters (front and back), a single 4.5" solid Titanium cone midrange, two 6.5" aluminum mid-bass couplers and four 8" woofers with an integrated 500-watt servo-controlled bass amplifier. The Mæstro features the Genesis acoustic suspension system so that it can be used on the many types of flooring encountered throughout the world – including uneven natural stone tiles, smooth granite, deep pile carpet and suspended wooden floors. Stainless steel spikes and a suspension frame hold the loudspeaker rigidly for best imaging and bass control. Neoprene decouplers act like shock absorbers, making sure that the cabinet is not affected by floor-borne vibrations. The three sections of the loudspeaker are housed in three separate cabinets with separate crossovers in each. The result is improved midrange clarity, a cleaner and tighter bass, more precise and pinpoint imaging and a holographic soundstage. "The original Genesis V was released at $14'500 in 1995. Time and inflation mean that the new Mæstro with 20 years of improvements and upgrades will retail at a recommended US$30'000 plus taxes."
December 2016 - On the lam - At $91'181, the new LessLoss Laminar Streamer won't have many in pursuit and on the most-wanted list even though its concept and execution promise absolutely state-of-the-art performance. What is it? A dedicated SD card reader with proprietary OS encased in a massive Panzerholz enclosure. It outputs digital data via S/PDIF on RCA, AES/EBU on XLR and I-squared-S via 5-pin connector. It's thus a digital transport which exploits the increased memory capacity of SD cards to become the 24/192 file carriers of choice.
December 2016 - Taga Harmony - Their new TAV-616F SE "is based on tech of the recently introduced TAV-616F and TAV-606 SE models with a few significant upgrades. The very rigid enclosure is built of 15mm walls with a 21mm baffle all of high-density MDF. The SE is available in 7-layer high gloss white lacquer. A 2nd-gen pure Titanium tweeter utilizes a differently shaped lighter dome with double-magnet structure for higher SPL, faster and more accurate movement, hence more detailed airy response. A 6.5" glass-fiber midrange driver delivers more information with even greater accuracy and definition. Dual 6.5" polypropylene woofers are very light and have high SPL which results in faster more accurate cone movement. Decorative pure aluminium trim rings and tweeter face plate enhance dispersion and appearance. The bass reflex port and terminal plate are rubber coated and a Special Edition badge adorns this model." Basic specs are a 4-driver 3-way configuration with frontal port, biwire terminals, 500/2'800Hz filter points, 36Hz - 25kHz bandwidth, 6-ohm nominal impedance and 91dB sensitivity. Dimensions are 98 x 23 x 28cm HxWxD and weight is 34.3kg/pr.
December 2016 - Burson "active" cable - The $149 Burson Cable+ comes in three versions: "3.5mm input/stereo RCA output perfect for connection between smartphone, tablet, laptop and stereo amplifier; stereo RCA input/output perfect for connection between sound card, CD player, DAC and stereo amplifier; 3.5mm input/output perfect for car audio between smartphone, tablet and car amplifier. There are two bottle necks preventing your smartphone, tablet and laptop from sounding high end. They are the low voltage output of these devices and the 1940 era audio cable connecting them to the audio amplifier. The Cable+ concept ensures perfect synergy by lowering the output impedance of the source signal and increasing its voltage."   
December 2016 - New magic - Magico's new S3MkII [starting at $28'000/pr] "nestles between the S1MkII and S5MkII and features all of their advanced tech. The tweeter is a 1" diamond-coated beryllium diaphragm with new aluminium housing for the magnet to minimize resonance and improve the isolation parameters for the dome. The long-throw voice coil enables lower distortion and optimal cutoff frequencies that enhance driver integration with the 6" midrange driver of multi-wall carbon fiber and a layer of XG Nanographene. Its purpose-built sub enclosure is made of a proprietary polymer. Twin 9-inch woofers with multi-wall carbon skins over a nanographene cone use a 5" Titanium voice coil for 0.5" of linear excursion. The monocoque enclosure is formed from a single piece of extruded aluminium 3/8" thick and 12 inches in diameter. The new aluminium top plate is machined into a 3D convex shape to minimize enclosure diffraction and break up vertical standing waves. A massive base plate incorporates a newly designed 4-point outrigger support system that lowers the speaker’s center of gravity. All four drivers are acoustically integrated using Magico’s exclusive Elliptical Symmetry Crossover topology with components from Mundorf of Germany."
December 2016 - More fulla schiit - The tireless team at Schiit season the Holiday season with their new $99 Fulla 2, "a complete desktop solution with analog and digital inputs as well as fixed DAC and variable preamp outputs and a power-only USB input that makes connecting to tablets, phones, and low-power USB ports a breeze. What’s more, Fulla 2 is significantly upgraded in terms of capability and quality. With up to 550mW output into 16 ohms and a full-sized headphone jack, it provides plenty of power for most headphones. A new top-line AKM AK4490 DAC offers improved performance and sound. And high-quality parts from Alps, TI, AMD, together with premium thin-film resistors and film capacitors, make for performance beyond Fulla 2's size and price."
December 2016 - Maestro's anniversary - Italian firm Audio Analogue now transfer last year's 20th anniversary makeover of the Puccini integrated to their prior Maestro flagship first sold in 2001 which then refined in the Maestro Settanta and its Rev 2.0 incarnation. "The basic design of the new Maestro Anniversary [£6,499] is very similar to that of the Puccini but with two important differences. First, the amplification chain is fully balanced from input to output, only becoming unbalanced to connect to the speakers. Second, whilst the Puccini uses feedback in the preamp stage, all Maestro stages are without global feedback. The dual-mono design include the power supply whose left and right channels not only have their own separate grounds but their own dedicated 600-watt mains transformers. The output stages rely on four pairs of power transistors per channel, enabling the amp to deliver 150 watts into 8 ohms, rising to 500 watts into 2 ohms. Immediately behind the input connectors' switching relays, the dual-mono internal preamplifier routes the signal to a discrete input buffer followed by a resistor ladder volume control and a 12dB gain stage."
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 Sweden'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."
 
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