6 drawing room colours 2018


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).

October 2018 - - Sound Carrier present a new KT150 stereo amplifier which delivers 160wpc. "This 48cm wide, 34kg amp ships in a luxury wood box with our new slogan which in the best way describes our products and philosophy: It takes art to play art." 

October 2018 - - That's what Gruensch believe they have in their Grand Reference. Considered an open baffle with integral guides to create a "naturally diffuse sound field", the upper driver array centres on a planar 8" widebander covering in excess of four octaves up to 15kHz above which a ribbon super tweeter takes over. Two 10" planars bracket the widebander to be themselves bracketed by 8.5" woofers. The 15" active sub-bass driver meanwhile loads into a sealed enclosure. Crossovers are 1st order. Bandwidth is 15Hz - 100'000Hz, sensitivity 91dB and nominal impedance 7.1 ohms. Each speakers weighs 200kg and measures 155.5 x 34.7 x 65cm HxWxD.

October 2018 - - A signature Sonus faber model bows in its third incarnation to celebrate the company's 35th anniversary. This two-way combines solid Walnut with aluminium, Carrara marble in the base and brass detailing. A 28mm tweeter mates to a 6.5" mid/woofer via a crossover using Clarify Cap ESA capacitors. The retail price is €10'000/pr.

October 2018 - - Mark Coles of Sablon Audio now offers a Bocchino termination option for his "top model power and interconnect cable, together with enhanced wire gauge and geometries. These reduce the noise floor even further whilst strengthening dynamics and tonality. Prices range from '800 for the RCA interconnect to '950 for the power cord, inclusive of worldwide shipping. Programs for both auditions and upgrades have been put in place."

October 2018 - - The Auris Audio Nirvana uses one ECC82 driver for a pair of EL34 output tubes to deliver 6.5 watts max into your headphones. There are impedance taps for 32, 80, 150, 300 and 600 ohms, three line-level inputs, dual-mono VU meters and an outboard power supply plus the firm's signature leather and wood aesthetics.

October 2018 - - RMAF 2018 will premiere the soundkaos Vox 3 speakers with Bakoon's brand-new. The Swiss monitor is a compact 4-driver 3-way which combines a 10cm widebander on the front with two 13cm woofers on the sides for 35Hz ported extension plus a top-firing Raal super tweeter. The widebander sports a wood-fibre membrane, bronze basket and Alnico motor, the custom ribbon tweeter a bronze face plate. DImensions for the Vox 3 are 16.8 x 27.5 x 34.5cm WxDxH, weight is 8.2kg. Sensitivity is 89dB and amps of 25-150wpc are recommended. An optional custom floor stand is available.
Showgoers to Denver who are keen on hearing Martin Gateley's open-baffle Libération can hear it teamed up with Bakoon's AMP-41.

October 2018 - - With their new AMP-13R, Bakoon have added a new precision bias circuit which controls/adjusts temperature in real time to instantaneously get their Exicon lateral Mosfets in the output stage perfectly biased. No more warm-up period, no more performance drift with temperature. Due to this innovation, Bakoon's core circuit will henceforth be known as Jet Satri. Performance specs for the AMP-13R are 10Hz-0.5MHz bandwidth, 28dB max gain for speakers and headphones (high) or 8db for headphones (low) and 25wpc into 8 ohms. A 50-step microprocessor-controlled attenuator directly sets the circuit gain via remote or with the Urushi-lacquered knob. Bakoon's prior emitter resistors in the output stage have been eliminated to lower impedance and raise the circuit's speed. Connectivity is 1 x current mode BNC input and 2 x voltage mode RCA. The amp's foot print is a compact 23cm, height of the front baffle just 2.7cm.

October 2018 - - The new Abyss Diana Phi [€4'395] in Titanium gray "is bigger on the inside by incorporating the Phi planar membranes from our flagship AB-1266 Phi CC model. A new ear pad better matches the acoustics of the new Phi drivers and further expands on soundscape and comfort."

October 2018 - - At the Rocky Mountain Audiofest in Denver, Voxativ will debut the new T805 SET integrated amplifier, a 30wpc heavyweight using ECC83 into KT66 drivers to power a pair of 805 output tubes in a DC-coupled circuit without interstage chokes. All coupling capacitors are by Mundorf and power transformers are custom-designed by Voxativ.

October 2018 - - The Mini Dragon system of DAC, amp and DSP bills itself as "a technological breakthrough in full-range two-channel nearfield listening. The sophisticated DSP-controlled planarmagnetic speakers deliver an astonishingly vivid, dynamic, full-range sound with one of the available subwoofer options."
"Built into an anodized aluminum enclosure, the DFA MD-4 is a class-D engine with high-quality A/D conversion for its balanced analog XLRs plus S/PDIF and USB inputs. Advanced speaker correction DSP runs a total of 120 parametric filters, crossovers, delays and compression-limiting circuits. Free of high-frequency damping networks, the MD-4 delivers full power up to 100kHz while the extremely high 250wpc power rating at over 93% efficiency ensures minimal cooling requirements and maximum long-term reliability.
"The 180-watt SB-8P subwoofer seamlessly matches the Mini Dragons and extends response down to 30Hz, cutting off at 200Hz for the handover. It features a long-excursion high-speed low-distortion woofer plus custom long-excursion 8" passive radiator. The premium Dragonfire system includes Dirac's Live Room Correction Suite with calibrated microphone.
"The planar panels use a push-pull neodymium motor for 1.8 Tesla of magnetic field strength driving a less than 2 micron thick polyamide film cryogenically tempered and electroconductively traced." The Dragonfire Acoustics system stems from Orange, California and is designed by Dr. Dragoslav Colich, one of the founders of Audeze.

 

September 2018 - - S.A.Lab's next-gen Blackbird integrated wrings 25wpc into 6 ohms from 12AX7 input/driver tubes and push/pull 6L6 output glass. The first two stages use Fet-regulated power supplies. Finish is in Ferrari lacquers and there are three line inputs.

September 2018 - - Like the 707 and 606 floorstanders, the Kudos Titan 505 is a two-way design. Its twin mid-bass drivers feature high quality double-coated hard paper cones for superior stiffness and damping. In common with the three Titan floorstanders, the 505 sports an isobaric arrangement in which the second mid-bass driver is positioned internally back-to-back with the first. The result is significantly improved midrange clarity and bass response as well as a reduction of bass distortion. Kudos' trademark minimalist low-order crossover remains a key feature. The cabinet uses complex constrained-layer damping in the side panels and the reflex port into the base panel is an adaptation of the firm's fixed boundary design. All four models in the Titan series can be run either passively or actively. The crossovers are engineered to be optionally bypassed for active operation with select systems including the Linn Exakt and Devialet Expert. An optional stand allows six of the seven pillars to be filled with the listener's choice of material to damp resonance.The top plate of the stand incorporates constrained layer damping and the stand bolts directly to the base of the Titan 505.
Specs include 87dB sensitivity, 6-ohm nominal impedance, 40Hz-30kHz bandwidth. The drivers are a Seas K3 29mm soft dome and two SEas 180mm mid/woofers with copper shorting rings and aluminium phase plugs. The 505 measures 45 x 25.6 x 32cm HxWxD and weighs 18kg. Pricing incl. VAT starts at £7'000/pr or £7'750 with stands.

September 2018 - - Black Cat Cable announce the launch of their entry-level Coppertone range. "The Coppertone Interconnect (9.95/1m/pr + per additional 0.5m)) is an air-dielectric coaxial design employing a helically disposed shield around a thin-walled Teflon tube. Inside the tube is our unique Nami-processed bare 24-gauge solid-core copper conductor. Nami is our process which forms a sinusoidal wave shape into the conductor, allowing it to remain substantially suspended in air for exceedingly low capacitance and high velocity. Terminated with Rean RCA connectors.
"The Coppertone speaker cable (9.95/2.5m/pr +/- per each additional 0.5m) is a tube-within-a-tube coaxial arrangement of tin-plated copper disposed in helically laid thin tubes separated by a multi filament nylon-braid insulator. Each pole consists of 144 strands @ 36AWG/ea., resulting in a summed conductor area of ca. 1.83mm² or 14.5 gauge. This arrangement allows the Coppertone speaker cable to exhibit low inductance, low skin effect, low proximity effect and low series resistance. Terminated with banana plugs.
"The Coppertone USB cable(9.95/1m + per additional 0.5m) is a traditional USB cable consisting of a twisted pair of data lines, a power line and a ground line all within a multi-layered complex of shields to limit leakage and reduce noise. Terminated with USB A + B connectors."

September 2018 - - Simon Lee's new AIO ['995] makes a finalized appearance on his FaceBook page. "It combines a top-loading CD transport, FM tuner, 384kHz PCM/DSD256 USB DAC with ESS Sabre 9038Pro and 1 x coax, 2 x Toslink inputs, a 100wpc class A/B amplifier, Bluetooth, headfi, 2 x RCA inputs and1 x XLR all in a machined aluminium body." That's a lot of functionality for a single chassis and with FM and CD a slightly different take on the typical concept of today's super integrateds.

September 2018 - - Basso Continuo release their modular Lyra XL4 2.0 rack which supports up to 70kg per 25mm shelf finished in dark metallic gray. Elastomeric washers between legs and shelves plus SBR rubber spike discs build in some decoupling from the floor.

September 2018 - - The Tokyo International Audio Show is set to take place from November 16th - 18th, 10:00-19:00 on Fri/Sat, 10:00-17:00 on the closing Sunday.

September 2018 - - Karma-AV's Falcon GC6500R speaker says yes. "It incorporates a number of proprietary technical advances including the Sonaweave™ graphene enhanced nano-platelet cone which allows the diaphragm to be 60% lighter and thinner than conventional driver, with significantly improved rigidity, improved damping and a natural well-controlled roll-off. Computer modelling led Falcon to an inverse hypocycloid profile for the waveguide on their 2" dome horn-loaded midrange. The ribbon tweeter was modified to give an outstandingly smooth response."
The Italian-made cabinet uses 25mm MDF laminated with an extra 9mm of damping throughout. The 38mm Alcantara covered baffle is profiled for minimal diffraction while the 18mm reinforced rear panel features heatsinks within a precision tooled back plate. Finishes include Walnut and Mahogany veneers and, at a premium, exotic wood veneers or any high gloss RAL colour. The GC6500’s smoked glass top is complemented by metal work made from precision-ground MIC6 cast aluminium. Claimed bandwidth ±3dV is 20Hz-40kHz, sensitivity 91dB. Weight is 62kg/ea., dimensions are 120 x 25.5 x 40cm Preicing starts at £18'995/pr.

September 2018 - - French cable experts Esprit Audio announce that they'll be in tower room 7030 to present their range. Show dates are October 5-7.

September 2018 - - Their DSC1 gets upgrades free to all owners of the 1st-gen machine. This digital streamer with dual-mono AK4497 converter just added Deezer and Spotify streaming, Roon Ready and MQA.

 

September 2018 - - Akiko Audio introduce their fully passive Minelli power conditioner which simply plugs into a spare outlet of your current power strip 6 drawing room colours 2018 or AC filter. "Named after the 17th century Italian baroque composer, the Minelli is nevertheless a product of its time. It’s compact but uses much the same technology as its high-end Corelli brother. Even in a less expensive system, the right power supply creates a more beautiful listening experience by lowering the noise floor." Inside the Minelli are three filter units of woven carbon so neutral, phase and ground are treated separately. Moreover, the device is stabilised with black resin to repress unwanted microphonic effects and the aluminium front panel has been energetically treated."  

September 2018 - - September 22 and 23 are the dates when the Dutch XFI premium audio show opens its doors to the public. The Koningshof in Veldhoven near Eindhoven is conveniently located not just for Dutch visitors but also audio enthusiasts from nearby Germany and Belgium. More than 60 rooms will showcase hundreds of brands from big names to innovative newcomers, among those many originating from The Netherlands. That XFI in its 8 years of existence has become the show in the low lands is due to the amount of product premieres. Examples this year will be Metrum’s new baby DAC, a brand-new speaker by B&W and one by Klipsch. The latter is still covered by veils like "something" Linn will introduce. Next to speakers very big and small there is ample room reserved for the other way of listening: the headphone. A dedicated Headspace will showcase a plethora of brands. Also this year the tradition of listening to live music continues and on every show day there will be two concerts. For those who still are or just recently got into vinyl, there will be plenty on offer too. A so-called Vinyl Route will lead the followers along the many exhibits of turntables and associated gear. Of course there will also be various options to acquire music on vinyl. 6moons senior contributors Marja & Henk will tour the event to provide a report for those who could not attend.   

September 2018 - - The annual Moscow show called MHES® will take place again from November 9th - 11th in the usual Holiday Inn Tagansky hotel venue. "Or show focuses on HighEnd audio equipment including portable audio and vinyl."

September 2018 - - This French event in Lyon takes place October 13th and 14th. "This show will have a lot of rooms and high-end systems with components by Wilson Audio, Wilson Benesch, Audio Research, Mcintosh, Esprit Audio, APL Hifi, Franco Serblin, Ayon Audio, Esoteric, Lumin, Avantgarde, YBA and more. Around 30 brands will participate with a lot of new product. Esprit Cables will cable every single room beginning with their Beta range all the way up to the top Eureka series in the Wilson Audio exhibit with APL electronics. Stellar Audio will launch a very high-end French speaker with top-quality parts, there will be Fine Arts with numbered editions of musician photos and workshops on loudspeakers, acoustics, DSD and more. There is no entrance fee and parking is available for just €6."

August 2018 - - Reader Russell Dawkins hips us to this speaker designer. As he put it, "my curiosity was piqued when I saw the strong endorsements by Jean Hiraga and Siegfried Linkwitz who said 'I think in future all loudspeakers will be like this'. I see they are available for audition so far only in Belgium at one but ‘negotiations are underway' in France, Germany, The Netherlands and Luxemburg. And John's list of published is surprising." Check out the first weblink to learn more about his speaker.

August 2018 - - Celebrating 30 years in business and 15 months of R&D, Métronome Technologie bow their new SACD/CD player with DAC [€12'800]. "The read mechanism is a top loader with proprietary improvements, stainless steel shaft and Delrin clamp. The converter section uses dual-mono AK4497 chips which decode native DSD at x 8 or 512. Multiple digital i/o give versatile opportunities to use it as a transport with an external DAC; or as a pure converter." Available finishes are silver or black.

August 2018 - - Mark Thomsen, founder of M8audio in Australia, announces immediate nation-wide availability of German cable company ViaBlue's product range which "consists of nearly every cable imaginable for the hifi enthusiast like analogue interconnects, digital interconnects, speaker cable, USB, HDMI, network, antenna, coax, connectors and many accessories such as spikes and feet."
Also new is a custom stand for the firm's own Sweet Maxwell monitor ['500/pr Australian, '115/pr US]. "With its slightly tilted profile and strongly curved column, this purpose designed stand offers a modern dynamic shape to suit any decor."

August 2018 - - Not. The annual Burning Amp Festival is a DIY Audio event hosted in San Francisco's Fort Mason Centre. This year's do happens on September 30th from 8:30 to 20:00. "BAF celebrates audio technology both new and old, tube and solid state, analog and digital. Come listen to hand-built audio amplifiers, speakers and more. Bring your own DIY amps, speakers, turntables, DACs, servers etc. Share ideas and learn to design and build your own gear. By way of encouraging people to bring their own projects for show or demonstration, there will be free admission to anyone bringing a DIY project. There will be displays, demos, auction and raffles items plus freebies plus well-attended lectures at the Fire House by prominent figures in audio design. Nelson Pass will devote most of his talk to the newer Sony VFET amplifier kits he is developing for the store at. These will be using up Nelson’s remaining Sony VFET transistors, about 400 channels worth. Roger Modjeski, founder/director of the Berkeley HiFi School, will be speaking on tube amp design. Wayne Colburn from Pass Labs who has been with Nelson Pass since the Threshold days, will talk about "Simulation vs. Reality: A line level amplifier stage with 3¢ transistors and 15¢ Fets". By fire code, the presentation room cannot accommodate more than about 110 people so it may very well be that some may have to stand outside or will not be able to attend the talk they want to hear."

August 2018 - - Kinki Studio's new EX-B7 monos drop 200 watts on the power scale with an octet of lateral Exicon Mosfets per channel, dual Amplimo power toroids and boutique Vishay BC range rail capacitance. Priced at €2'500/pr direct from Singapore's, these class A/B designs seem like an attractive alternative to class D amps of similar power.

August 2018 - - Clones Audio's new heavily regulated linear power supply has two slots so it can be fitted with modules for different voltages to power two components like network-attached storage devices, Ethernet switches and such. Available modules cover 3-ampere applications at 5/9/12/15V which will support twin modules; and high-current applications at 9V/7A, 12V/7A, 15V/6A and 19V/5A which are limited to one module which now hogs the entire heatsink. Umbilicals by Black Cat Cable are included.

August 2018 - - "20 years after the original Signature line was first introduced, The Chord Company have launched new and improved versions of two of their popular digital cables. The new UK-built Signature Super Aray Digital [£800/m] and Signature Super Aray USB [£500/m] interconnects feature the latest version of the unique tuned aray conductor geometry plus a number of design and construction improvements. At the heart of the new digital cable are two 75-ohm silver-plated oxygen-free-copper conductors with PTFE insulation. The conductors benefit from a high-density combination silver-plated braid and foil with effective HF shielding. Connectors are the company’s ultra-low-mass silver-plated RCA with precision-machined PTFE plug surrounds. The new USB cable employs high-precision silver-plated oxygen-free-copper twisted bi-data conductors with separate shielding for the data and power conductors. Tri-layer composite insulation (polyethylene, low-density polyethylene, polyethylene) protects the signal from detrimental RF noise."

August 2018 - - Moscow's Alexey Syomin expands his S.A.Lab Black Knight range with a 25/50wpc integrated amplifier which uses Russian Germanium transistors in all stages, "with great attention paid to thermal behaviour and current stabilization in full dual-mono architecture giving an exquisite tube-like sound." Bandwidth is 20Hz-20kHz -0.1dB, S/NR is 124dB, THD at full power is 0.1%, dimensions are 48x31x50.5cm and weight is 29kg.

August 2018 - - If you've got 9'000 to spare for a pair, the Gershman Acoustics Posh speaker has your numbers. "Using 1" HDF for its massive enclosure which rounds and tapers in the back, ¼" stainless steel panels further strengthen and deaden the enclosure. The silver-soldered point-to-point xover uses Mundorf Supreme oil-filled silver/gold capacitors and MResist Supreme resistors. The driver complement is a Morel soft-dome tweeter, an Accuton 5" Cell midrange and two 8" aluminium-alloy double-magnet woofers of our own design. Gold-plated Mundorf binding posts round out the parts selection." The press release included no specs. Perhaps people shopping these leagues don't care about those.

August 2018 - - Not trademark or Transcendental Meditation but Twittering Machines, this is the new home of Michael Lavorgna, former 6moons contributor, then helm's man at AudioStream until new management gave his position to Rafe Arnott. It didn't take Michael long to come back. Take a look.

August 2018 - - The SG112-24 Mod is Clones Audio's take on an audio-optimized network switch. "Our mod to the fast and reliable Cisco switch adds an ultra low-noise OCXO master clock for better jitter reduction. It's also key to sync the clock to all the chips in the switch. A DC input readies it for our forthcoming high-performance regulated linear power supply. Everything is about minimizing noise."
Features are 24 x Gigabit Ethernet ports, 2 x mini-GBIC combo slots, 48Gbps switching, a 35.7mpps forwarding capacity and 128MB of RAM. The matching Power Station PSU will be available in a few weeks.

August 2018 - - Vinnie Rossi's two new components are a preamp [starting at '995] and set of mono amps ['995/pr]. The L2 preamp is a class A DHT unit compatible with 2A3, 45, 300B, PX4, 101D, 205D and SV811 via one-switch filament voltage selection. The linear power supply features dual 100VA toroidal transformers, over 100'000uF of very low ESR power supply rail capacitance and multiple patented Belleson super regulators for ultra-quiet voltage regulation of the L&R triode B+, L&R triode filaments and power to the optional DAC and phonostage modules. A discrete 64-step resistor ladder volume control uses Pickering relays. There are true active balanced and single-ended i/o. A bypass switch circumvents the DHT with a class A JFet stage. Tube sockets are Yamamoto.
The matching L2 monos use 500VA toroidal power transformers, over 100'000uF of rail capacitance and "ultra-wide bandwidth, class AB Mosfet outputs". Power is 75Wrms into 8Ω, 140Wrms into 4Ω and stable into 2Ω. Output impedance is 0.1Ω, input impedance 100KΩ. Bandwidth is 2Hz-250kHz ±0.5dB, 0.5Hz-900kHz ±3dB. Voltage gain is 27dB, S/NR 100dB for full output.

July 2018 - - Gold Note decided to go literal and presto, all their electronics are now available in gold anodize, a hue elsewhere called champagne. Either way, these Italian components can now be had in black, silver or gold. Choice rules!

July 2018 - - Exposure's new range-topping 5010 series replaces the prior MCX range with a preamplifier and pair of mono amps. At 200 watts, the latter offer twice the power of the 3010 equivalents with an 800W transformer, two 10'000uF filter caps and eight power transistors per channel. The preamplifier sports six line inputs switched by relays. One input can be reconfigured as either MM or MC phono or a 24/192 DAC with a plug-in board. The preamplifier has a balanced output, is DC coupled using output servos and one input capacitor and features a 200W transformer, fast rectifiers and 24 high-quality smoothing capacitors. The 5010 preamplifier sells for £2'000 (£370/£265 extra for DAC/phono module respectively), the pair of 5010 mono amps get £4'550. Finish options are black or silver.

July 2018 - - A quasi preamp without volume, this machine is meant to insert between a volume-controlled DAC and amplifier to improve the drive current of the connection particularly for converters without built-in output stage. The d-1 driver comes standard with zero voltage gain but can be ordered with 10dB of gain should the DAC to be used have unusually low output voltage. The driver has RCA i/o. For a balanced connection, one uses two mono-strapped units.

July 2018 - - Chord Electronics' Hugo M Scaler [£3,495] is an FPGA- based external upsampler which presents the DAC following with a 44.1kHz CD signal resampled up to 705.6kHz. "Although optimized for Chord DACs for the maximum 768kHz upscaling/decoding benefit, the M Scaler can be used with other DACs with suitable inputs subject to their sample-rate capability. Hugo M Scaler features 2 x BNC, 2 x Toslink plus 1 x galvanically isolated USB Type-B inputs", the latter compatible with DSD256 which is resampled to PCM. "The upscaler benefits from an adjustable sample rate output with pass-thru mode enabling user-defined control subject to the technical limitations of the output type."

July 2018 - - Natural Sound's Samurai "is a 94dB efficient three-way loudspeaker capable of producing explosive dynamics, lifelike timbres and life-sized holographic images. The minimum recommended power is 8 watts and benign mainly resistive 6-ohm impedance ensures amplifiers won't struggle. The driver compliment is a 23cm tall air-motion transformer working in a proprietary horn; a 12" midrange with a lightweight paper cone; and an 18" woofer working in a bass-reflex arrangement tuned to 25Hz. Crossover points are at 200 and 2'500Hz, bandwidth is 25 to 20'000Hz."

July 2018 -... but Scansonic HD's. "With the introduction of the new M-Series, new materials, drivers and designs assure an even lower level of distortion. The M-10 [€649 without stand], M-20 [€1'499] and M-40 [€1'999] all use the same ribbon tweeter of the exclusive MB-series. This blends seamlessly with the 4” honeycomb glass-fiber mid/woofers. This technology in combination with a powerful magnet system delivers an open and extremely detailed sound. The M-Series models are available in satin black or white and are delivered with grills."

July 2018 - - Far from another Ellipse, Node's Hylixa is an egg-shaped 3-way with very compact frontal 2-way of soft-dome tweeter and flat-coned wide-dispersion BMR widebander which is augmented by an internal rear-firing woofer vented out the front through a circular gap whilst traversing a helical internal transmission line. This array guarantees point-source behaviour and the very complex glass/nylon enclosure is 3D printed one 0.2mm layer at a time in a process called selective laser sintering. For all the details on this complex hi-tech creation, reference the company's PDF on their website.

June 2018 - - The 50-watt class A2 CAD-805RS single-ended mono amps have been in continuous production since 1993. They've now been updated for 2018 in new livery and with under-the-hood refinements but remain 211/845 circuits with a 6SN7 gain stage direct-coupled to a second 6SN7 gain stage which, capacitor-coupled, meets a 300B driver stage which couples to the output triode via an interstage transformer.

June 2018 - - The new soundkaos Vox 3 monitor made its first appearance at the NorthWest Audio show in the UK, indicating it is a very compact proper three-way with frontal widebander augmented by a Raal ribbon tweeter and dual opposing sidefiring woofers in an all-wood cabinet.

June 2018 - - Their 150wpc I35 networked integrated [£4'000] and CD35 networked player [£2'900] are now shipping. "Each of them features Prisma, Primare’s new whole-home high-fidelity control and connectivity solution. The platform offers network playback from stored and streamed media, WiFi and Bluetooth® connection as well as multi-room/multi-zone connectivity and control all managed through the Prisma application from any mobile device."
The I35 Prisma integrated amplifier is the first to use the new UFPD 2 power system, a "radical reworking of Primare’s UFPD Class-D technology. In addition to fully balanced analogue input options, the I35 includes a full-featured DAC enabling PCM 768kHz and DSD 256 conversion. For the CD35, a "state-of-the-art TEAC CD drive and Prisma connectivity and control technology combine to create a complete digital music source. The all-new DAC stage utilises an ESS Sabre chipset for files up to PCM 384kHz and DSD 256."

June 2018 - - Falcon Acoustics' new R.A.M. range has three models "all with pristine 25mm MDF cabinets in European or burl Walnut real-wood veneers or high gloss black with man-made leather baffles and interchangeable side panels to match new surroundings. The 2mm stainless steel terminal plates sport heavy-duty Falcon-designed terminals. For the floorstanding Studio 30, a heavy plinth comes with CNC'd stainless steel spikes.
"The Studio 10 [£1'395/pr] is a 2-way ported stand-mount speaker utilising a 5" polypropylene mid/woofer and 1" soft dome tweeter. The Studio 20 ]£1'995/pr] is a larger ported 2-way with a 6" polypropylene mid/woofer. The Studio 30 [£3'495/pr] is a 3-way with twin 6" polypropylene mid/woofers and a proprietary Falcon 2" dome midrange which hands over to a custom 1" soft dome tweeter."

June 2018 - - Called [9], there is a 2wpc/32-ohm headphone amp in class A with an added microphone input whose plug-in opamps allow for easy swaps to tailor the sound to personal preference. The same rolling fun applies to the [9], a 20wpc/8-ohm class A/B stereo amp which doubles power into 4 ohms.

June 2018 - - The SLI-100 ['995] is a dual-mono KT150 tube integrated with 4 line inputs, one headphone jack and 100wpc of power. A removable tube cover is standard.

June 2018 - - The French luxury house launch their new 100wpc Prelude power amp which is available also as an integrated version. The housing can be had in five different paint colours including matt, gloss and metallic finishing and acrylic glass too appears as a trim element. The stereo amp has XLR/RCA inputs and WBT outputs whilst the integrated gets 2 x RCA and 3 x XLR inputs. Output power doubles to 200wpc into 4 ohms.

June 2018 - - iStereos.co.uk have secured the rights as the exclusive distributor of Chario loudspeakers, the luxury Italian loudspeaker brand, in the UK. "Chario have trimmed their ranges to four. These comprise three solid-wood ranges, a Good, Better, Best if you will, these being the Constellation Mk3 (soon to be released), the brand-new Aviator and the Academy respectively. The forth range is the, a new patent-pending loudspeaker using a single pre-cast Corian™ (DuPont man-made marble) sleeve with real wood top and bottom inserts. All these luxury loudspeakers will be available ex-factory direct via the iStereos Audiophile Buyers Club. Please feel free to contact John at istereos @ hotmail.com for more information.

June 2018 - - "The PSU-10 is the super-inductive power supply designed for the Gold Note PH-10 phono stage engineered with the best quality audio-grade components to enhance performance. It's based on a dual-choke linear design and features an inductive filter on the analogue stage. The large, ultra-clean power enhances super low noise, greater dynamics, better resolution and finer details for a more realistic high-end performance and pure audio pleasure. The PSU-10 delivers high-quality power using four transformers, three of which are dedicated exclusively to the pure power supply and one to the inductive filter and two chokes."

May 2018 - - Across 10Hz-150kHz, Octave's new Filter 3 claims to reduce the impact of EMI/RF distortion by more than 80dB or 10'000 times. The passive device is magnetically optimized and potted in resin. Its recommended use is between DAC and preamp or amp. I/o can be RCA or XLR.

May 2018 - - "Over the past years, Akiko Audio have become very experienced at lowering the noise floor in the playback chain. Noise pollution is an unwanted signal which affects all connected devices in your audio and video systems. The ground in the power supply has a more complicated task than generally assumed. It is often viewed as a mere safety precaution and receives little further attention. Whilst developing our Castello Ground Conditioner, we noticed that a correctly applied ground has a major influence on playback quality. 'We see it as technical improvement for all connected devices!' says designer Marc van Berlo.
"The heavy ground conditioner forms a zero reference for your system. High frequency surface electricity seeks a low energy point and will therefore use the ground conditioner as a ground. Three devices can be connected."

May 2018 - - At 100 watts of monaural push/pull class A with 6 x Saratov 6550 driven by 6V6 with 6n6c pres, the Muse Whisper triple stack is an exclusive project. The matching 6-input preamp (3 x RCA, 3 x XLR) uses two EL84 for gain. Front panels are Corian, the top and sides are black glass and the tube rings are polished bronze. S/NR is 100dB, THD at 50% power is 0.06%. The combined weight is 200kg.
Also new from Moscow's Alexey Syomin is the new dual-mono White Knight integrated, a hybrid with 6э5п tetrodes in triode mode driving a transistor output stage for 250wpc into four ohms. A 150w power transformer supplies the valve stage, a 500w unit the output buffer and volume control. The company offers four different versions with either Fet, bipolar, Germanium or SIT output stages.

May 2018 - - Their PlayPoint DM is a "next-generation flagship music server and DAC combining a reference-grade 32-bit digital-to-analog converter, balanced headphone amplifier and Roon-enabled music server in one component. With refinements like dual-mono fully balanced design, two ES9028PRO DACs in octo-mono configuration with four autonomous I/V stages and exaSound’s four-way galvanic isolation, PlayPoint DM brings the best of every high-resolution audio format. Zero-configuration comprehensive sampling rate support extends all the way up to native DSD256 (Quad DSD) and 32-bit PCM/384kHz.PlayPoint DM is a Roon server and Roon Ready player. PlayPoint DM is a multi-level device offering easy-to-use and advanced configurations. In addition to Roon, it hosts a UPnP server. PlayPoint DM supports all major audio streaming technologies, including UPnP, Open Home, Airplay and Sygnalist NAA, and streaming services like Tidal, Spotify and Qobuz."

May 2018 - - If 20Hz extension in smaller rooms wasn't sufficient, the Kii 3 just gained the BXT extension module "which turns the monitor into a floorstander with 16 additional drivers and total power of 7KW". The photos alone demonstrate just how hard-earned 20Hz extension for bigger rooms and at higher SPL really is. It requires a lot more power and cone surface over the already very capable 6-driver monitor...

May 2018 - - Richard Cesari invites Munich showgoers to his joint exhibit with Davis Acoustics loudspeakers to show off the new 2018 Esprit cable assortment with "proprietary connectors in pure copper plated with 40 micron silver and Eti in sterling silver." Bookmark Atrium 4.2 room F215.

May 2018 - - Leema Acoustics' Sirius [£3,995/2TB] is a streaming music server co-developed with Innuos "centred on a powerful server-grade main circuit board with a high-speed quad-core processor with up to 8 gigabytes of system memory. The app-controlled server is available with huge storage reserves in two-terabyte increments up to eight terabytes. Sirius incorporates a high-performance TEAC optical drive for the one-time bit-perfect transfer of CD data to the hard drive. Sirius offers backup for CD audio and supports WAV, AIFF, ALAC, OGG Vorbis, AAC and MP3; a USB 3.0 connection is available for audio backups. An ESS ES9038Pro Sabre DAC mates to an Xmos USB interface for 32/384 PCM and DSD256 support. Analog outputs are on RCA and XLR."

May 2018 - - For this year's installment of the Munich HighEnd show, Living Voice will have two big systems. "Not wishing to make life too easy we have decided to show both Vox Olympian & Vox Elysian and Vox Palladian & Palladian Basso systems this year. Two rooms, two systems, in E220 and F219. In E220 we have the Vox Olympian & Vox Elysian partnered with vintage Kondo electronics with both digital and analogue sources. For analogue we have the delightful and understated Grand Prix Audio Monaco 2.0 turntable with a Kuzma 4-point tonearm, and either a Fuuga or an Io-M cartridge, and SJS model 3 phono stage. The digital source will be our high octane LV CD300 player based on the Canary machine and we will also be playing our classic Living Voice OBX-RW3 throughout the show.

"In F219 we have the Vox Palladian & Palladian Basso partnered with an Engstrom Monica line preamp and Lars mono power amps. The new Engstrom Arne integrated amplifier will make its first public outing with a pair of Living Voice OBX-RW3 loudspeakers. For analogue we have the Kuzma-M turntable with a Stogi S VTA tonearm, Fuuga cartridge and an SJS model 3 phono stage in a matching walnut livery. The digital source is our trusted giant killer LV CD300 player. No frills, just pure performance. Munich 2018 will also see the first outing of the new Living Voice G2 equipment supports in both rooms. The G2 is a performance focused design that combines clean simple lines with innovative resonance control. Once again the power supply duties will be delivered by the Living Voice Pure Music battery power supply system, allowing us to cruise off-grid all day in both rooms."

May 2018 - - Wilson Benesch bow their new 10-driver Eminence flagship. This becomes a showcase for the latest advances in composite tech, starting with the Fibonacci tweeter whose faceplate is "formed from a carbon-fibre composite, creating a geometrically optimized waveguide tailored exactly to the output of the silk/carbon hybrid driver." The 7" mates are latest-gen Tactic 3.0 units which "retain the isotactic polypropylene cone for the optimal balance of stiffness and damping" and have response to 4kHz. It's in the monocoque enclosure where most the composite advances are found, increasing stiffness over prior Wilson Benesch cabinets by a claimed 30%. "An internal matrix of high-tensile 14mm steel ties actively compress all vertical structures to reduce any resonant artifacts." The plinth adds 38kg of machined aluminium.
The complete driver array is 1 x 25mm tweeter, 1 x 7" midrange, 2 x 7" high bass, 2 x 7" low bass and 4 x dedicated 7" woofers. Sensitivity is 89dB, nominal impedance 4.5 ohms, weight 145kg/ea. and dimensions are 188x28x68cm HxWxD. Pricing will be £140'000/pr when formal availability commences Q3 2018.

May 2018 - - Stratos Vichos of Greek Lab12 hifi boutique shares first pix of their almost-ready new facility. "Visitors are always welcome for a presentation." Should you find yourself in Athens, look them up at K. Varnali 57A, 14452 Metamorfosi.


April 2018 - - Kit Hit's ST-2 8Ω super tweeter with selectable hi-pass settings of 16/18/20kHz uses a " newly developed polymer film" formed into a cylinder to disperse in omnipolar fashion like Elac's circular ribbon. Low 86dB sensitivity should limit optimal matches when many speakers are far more efficient.

April 2018 - - Æquo Audio's new 4-driver 3-way Stilla [€18'000/pr] is actually a 5" 2-way with an integral 2 x 7" active subwoofer since the midrange driver's low end is allowed to run wide open without a filter. Thermo-formed synthetic stone wraps the sides and spine and, layered with aluminium, appears again in the plinth. The purely analog controls for boundary compensation and room size hide in a recess atop the speaker for easy access. Power to the internal 500-watt nCore amps connects via SpeakOn. Cabinet rake is fine-tuned with an adjustable wheel between plinth and cabinet. As shown, the standard colour is white with a non-removable black grill. Other cosmetic options are available by surcharge.
Stilla will premiere at the upcoming Munich show. Already on the drawing board are the passive Gladium [€10'000/pr, lower left]] and redesigned Diluvium flagship [lower right].

April 2018 - - Vinnie Rossi is about to up the ante with two new Signature products, the LS Signature preamplifier ['995] and the matching LS2 mono amps ['995/pr]. The former will be "a Class A direct-heated triode design where one switch on the rear panel sets the filament voltage for 2A3/45, 300B, PX4, 101-D/205-D and 811 as well as internal switches to bypass the tubestage and use a Class A Jfet stage instead plus change gain settings. It will have true balanced i/o as well as single-ended i/o and dual 12V trigger outputs for the amps. The tubes will have attractive mesh covers to keep hum to a minimum no matter what accepted tube is used. The power supply will be all linear with numerous Belleson super regulators for each stage as well as have dual internal toroidal transformers."
"The 75/140W into 8/4-ohm class AB Mosfet monos will have bandwidth beyond 250kHz, 500VA toroidal transformers and over 100'000uF of rail capacitance." ETA is summer 2018.

April 2018 - - Black Cat Cable's Silver! 75 leash gets a MkII upgrade to "incorporate a 'lite' variant of the RF rejection materials I employed in both the Digit-75 and, to a greater degree, the Trøn Super-Reference SPDIF cable. With an additional pure-copper shield all braided under a multifilament nylon yarn jacket, these updates elevate the Silverstar! 75 without breaking the 0/m threshold."

April 2018 - - Continuing with their lineup of well-dressed speakers, Davone's Twist [€3'300-€3'700/pr] is the latest rear-ported 7" 2-way with 4th-order filter to join this Danish party. "Let's twist again like we did last summer?"

April 2018 - - Soeren Hartvig announces his new flagship turntable with battery power supply which will have its formal premiere at the upcoming Munich show.

April 2018 - - Matija Krklec announces his new 140W EL34 monos which weigh 24kg/ea. and come in at 44 x 33 x 21cm.

April 2018 - - S.A.Lab's Hercules range grows with this latest 75wpc integrated which packs 6072, 6V6 and 6N36C tubes plus 800W transformers into 60kg of chassis measuring 48 x 31 x 50.5cm WxHxD. There are 4 x RCA and 1 x XLR intputs, 4/8-ohm terminals and a front panel of polished Corian available in almost any colour of the client's choosing.

April 2018 - - CanEVER's new power amp combines class A, a symmetrical circuit and and an outboard power supply with zero NFB and zero signal-path coupling capacitors. A push/pull 6N6P tubed voltage gain stage couples to a push/pull Mosfet current buffer with output transformers via 75% nickel double C-core interstage transformer. Power output is 50/90wpc depending on a rear-panel setting. The LaScala is described as a "current source amplifier" with micro-processor driven bias control circuits. Two 900VA power transformers, a CLC filter with 40mH inductor, a shunt filter and 470'000uF of filter capacitance make for a 25kg power supply. To avoid unsightly lateral heat sinks, the LaSCala uses four heat pipes with temperature-controlled fans on the underside to leave only the small top-mounted chimney heat sinks visible.

April 2018 - - exaSound introduce their Mark II PlayPoint network player/server with a "major hardware performance boost. Two-fold sample rate increase brings support for DSD512 and 764kHz PCM whilst doubled CPU power improves performance of the Roon Core. Doubled RAM supports up to 8TB Roon libraries. SSD storage delivers a two-time increase of access speed and capacity. Two upgraded USB 3.0 ports enhance connectivity. PlayPoint also embraces AirPlay, HQplayer, UPnP, OpenHome and TIdal."

April 2018 - - The Audio Research Ref160M monos ['000/pr] combine a quad of pentodes switchable between triode and ultralinar with auto bias mode and a white-lit adjustable power meter that's superimposed on a transparent window. The cover incorporates a cooling fan for the 4 x KT150 and 2 x 6H30 and the power supply sports a "high-energy capacity" transformer and a "bulky storage-capacity network". The motherboard is a four-layer affair previously reserved for the firm's preamps. The auto bias circuitry also accommodates 6550, KT88 and KT120. Status indicators on the front panel show if a particular power tube blew a fuse. Power output is 75/150w in triode/ultralinear mode. Inputs are on both RCA and XLR. Available finishes are black or silver.


April 2018 - - That would be the ZENith Statement by Innuos, a two-enclosure streamer "with new power supply architecture designed in partnership with Dr. Sean Jacobs; separately enclosed AC/DC conversion stage to isolate transformer vibration and EMI emissions; regulation stage within main system enclosure to shorten the clean DC power path; eight independent power rails; an individual dedicated power supply for each critical component; custom designed components; an Innuos-designed USB board with dedicated 5V power line; independently powered 3ppb  OCXO clock for higher precision and lower phase noise; custom motherboard exclusively designed for Innuos."

April 2018 - - Clarus, sister brand of Tributaries A/V cables, introduce their power conditioners Duet, Sextet, Octet and Clarus Power. These models "result in part from development and application of advanced filtering circuits to include proprietary common- and differential-mode filters and ferrite beads." Pricing will range from ca. 0 - '500.

April 2018 - - Parasound's new DC-coupled Halo JC5 stereo power amplifier ['995] packs 400 watts into 8 ohms and can be bridged to thrice that. "Its output stage employs 24 beta-matched 15 ampere 60MHz bipolar transistors to deliver peak current of 90A. The 1.7kVA shielded toroid power transformer sports premium H18 grade steel for its core. It has independent secondary windings for a dual-mono power supply. The input stage B+/B- rails run 10V above the output stage rails to eliminate any distortion caused by voltage sagging when the amp is under load. Independent power supplies for the left and right channel's input stages employ filter caps totaling 8'880µF. Driver and output stages employ massive Rubycon filter caps totaling 132'000µFt." This model is Parasound's attempt to deliver JC1-type mono-block performance in a single chassis.

April 2018 - - Timestep's T-609, T-610 and T-612 tonearms in 9, 10, and 12" lengths [£1'450] counter the trend of mating moving-coil cartridges to low-to-medium mass tonearms. "Many of the high quality low compliance moving coil models need to be partnered with a high mass tonearm to perform best. So we created a modern cutting edge high mass tonearm specifically to excel with moving coil cartridges by taking some essential DNA from the legendary Japanese Fidelity Research FR64S tonearm. The armtube is crafted from titanium and a low resonance design. Bearing friction is lowered thanks to a combination of a stainless steel bearing block fitted with ultra-fine tolerance ABEC7 ceramic bearings which are washed and retreated with a high quality lubricant. Internal wiring is pure silver while the tonearm connector is a bespoke PTFE and gold design. Frictionless magnetic anti skating allows effortless fine-tuning and the headshell (not supplied) is fully detachable and interchangeable, with many possible options."

April 2018 - - Chord Electronics launch Gofigure, a free Apple/iOS app which adds features to their Poly streamer. "Gofigure is a configuration companion complementing existing third-party control point apps like Glider and 8 Player commonly used to control music playback through Poly and Mojo. Gofigure simplifies many of Poly’s advanced processes and adds intuitive navigation through the various setup options, all with smartphone/device control. Gofigure also supports QuickPlay, enabling playback of MPD-generated playlists on micro SD cards via Poly’s built-in card reader. Any number of playlists can be created, including the entire card, with all lists visible within the app. A General Settings page offers system data including SD card capacity, available space and song number plus software version and model number information. WiFi and Bluetooth MAC address is visible along with the number of configured networks and available MPD playlists. A DLNA database refresh button allows simple indexing/re-indexing of the SD card when new music is added to the card. Further app features include manually viewing/removing of saved networks, country-specific WiFi config, BitPerfect playback for DSD and Bluetooth/Hotspot password management."

April 2018 - - Muraudio's new SP1 ['700/pr] follows their Domain Omni range of curved electrostatic speakers and incorporates "many of the same components in a smaller lighter contemporary design with luxurious finishing. Each SP1 integrates our continuous curve ESL panel with four custom-designed 6" aluminium cone drivers to create an immersive panoramic soundstage. With a full-fidelity 120° horizontal listening window and projected point-source imaging, the SP1 delivers our signature 'Sound is Everywhere®' listening experience."

April 2018 - - Whammerdyne's Pat Hickman announces that their Truth 2A3 amplifier has spawned three offspring now featured on their site. Take a look.

April 2018 - - Benchmark Media System's new HPA4 ['995] uses the same THX Achromatic Audio Amplifier technology as their AHB2 amplifier because "it reduces harmonic, intermodulation and crossover distortion by 20 to 40dB." As a headfi + preamp device, there is a quad of 256 x 0.5dB-step attenuators, two each for the line outputs and the paralleled 6.3mm TRS/4-pin XLR headfi ports. The HPA4 delivers 11.9Vrms into 300 ohms and 6 watts into 16 ohms. Bandwidth is 0.01Hz to over 500kHz. There are two each RCA and XLR inputs and XLR and RCA stereo outputs plus one mono-summed XLR output. The optional remote may be used which then also controls a matching Benchmark DAC. The touch screen provides access to balance control, input level offsets, input names, screen dimming, remote control and function locking. Help screens explain the special functions. The HPA1 is available in black or silver.

April 2018 - - In 2016, Audio Analogue celebrated their 20th with Anniversary editions of the Puccini and Maestro integrateds. Now they have launched the PureAA line of products, "drawing key ideas from the Anniversary amps and adding further features. Following the AAcento amplifier is the new AAphono [£1'599 incl. VAT] fully configurable for MM and MC including gain and loading for MC cartridges but also the less common MM input capacitance and resistance. Three separate toroidal transformers service each channel monaurally plus the control circuitry. Amplification is split between two separate gain stages with a subsonic filter between them. Following the second gain stage is a special DC blocker. Technical specifications are 40/65dB gain and 89/72dB S/NR for MM/MC and weight of 5.8kg." Available finishes are black or silver.

April 2018 - Cozy up around the campfire - Campfire Audio announce their 9 Comet [left] and '299 Atlas [right] earphones with stainless steel bodies. Those are "drop forged then CNC machined, then hand polished to a mirror finish". For drivers, the Comet gets a "custom-designed vented full-range balanced armature." the Atlas "expands our ADLC driver to 10mm." Both models also get Campfire's 3D-modeled acoustic tuning which discards "a traditional tube+damper tuning system for acoustic tuning without compression." For the Atlas model, this tuning expands to what the firm call their polarity-tuned chamber. Its amorphous diamond-like carbon driver is a hybrid of diamond and graphite carbon, hence a non-crystalline diamond with low density but high rigidity. This driver scales up the 8.5mm unit used in the Vega model.

April 2018 - - That's what Italian firm New Horizon promise with their domestically manufactured range of turntables. From the press release: "New Horizon is a new Italian brand born in 2016. The first products appeared in October 2017 and now we offer a full line of turntables and accessories in the entry-level (model GD 1 at €399) to mid-priced range. All turntables take advantage of an exclusive spring suspension system which isolates motor from plinth. Even our original inverted bearing is designed from scratch, composed of four elements and a massive central spindle of 16mm diameter. The top model GD 3 uses 3 plinths whereby motor, bearing and tonearm stand each on their own plinth for optimal decoupling."

April 2018 - - At the May Munich show, that's where you'll find the LittleZoe integrated amp which, "apart from its ultra-modern design, stands out thanks to an unconventional chassis architecture for ultimate performance and a solid body made from a new-age resin that uses revolutionary tech."
For specs, this class AB1 ultralinear push/pull circuit with a modified Williamson topology produces 45wpc from 4 x EL34 or 6550 with 2 x ECC82 input and 2 x ECC81 driver tubes. There are four RCA inputs and a stepped attenuator. Tube bias is manual.

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