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).

November 2018 - Esprit - With the Warsaw show just around the corner, Richard Cesari of French cable house Esprit wants you to know that his cables will be on active display in the Arkadia IV and V systems with APL Hifi electronics and Stellar Audio speakers.
November 2018 - Rapid wings - A.J. van den Hul releases the Colibri XGW Signature Stradivarius 1.1mV MC cartridge [£7'450] crafted from cross-grained lacquered Brazilian Pau wood. "The harder outer coating destroys the standing waves inside the softer wood body, reducing unwanted resonance." A coil assembly with matched six-layer 24-karat gold coils generates three times the output of standard two-layer coils. The cantilever is solid boron and uses the van den Hul type 1s, 2x85μm stylus.
November 2018 - Snowed in - Snowmass is the sixth free OS upgrade for the PS Audio DirectStream DAC. "We rewrote the FPGA code that upsampled lower rates of PCM to 352.8/384kHz to get better control of the times at which things happen and thus, more control over FPGA-generated noise and jitter. In the old upsampler, we achieved about 144dB of S/NR. The new code gives us 156dB." Simultaneous with the launch of Snowmass, PS Audio also releases new code for the network Bridge II to "improve connectivity and stability of Spotify Connect and add a dimmer feature for the display."
November 2018 - Galling nitride - Merrill Audio's new Element 116 monos [$22'000/pr] follow in the footsteps of the Element 118 models which pioneered the use of gallium nitride transistors for the company. These faster-switching devices allow for a zero feedback class D power stage with "zero dead time. A highly advanced custom PCB removes almost all parasitic inductance and capacitance for a superbly fast response. Unique pure copper heat sinks make for ultra-fast thermal transfer and stability, giving large power handling with very low parasitic impedances." The Element 116 deliver 300 watts into 8 ohms and keep doubling into 2. There are WBT biwire terminals, a 20A power inlet and Isoacoustics Gaia III footers.
November 2018 - Hail César - From the pen of Frank Tchang, acoustic resonator auteur, comes new brand Avantages Audio and the speaker model César. Like Duevel, it's an omni with a mirror-imaged dispersion lens on top and a refracting lens at the bottom. The upper array creates 360° radiation for two 5-inch Alnico widebanders whilst the lower one reflects a downfire 10" magnesium/alu alloy woofer in all directions. Together it nets 25Hz-20kHz response. Optional super tweeters adds output to 35kHz. Sensitivity for César is 90dB/4ohm. Dimensions are 126x57x35cm and weight is 40kg/ea. Pricing is €13'000/pr. Add €900/pr for the super tweeters.
November 2018 - Wawa whoa - Admirers of Anna-Marie Jopek will be pleased to learn that the popular songstress will attend the upcoming Warsaw Hifi Show on show Friday to introduce her new album Ulotne recorded with Branford Marsalis.
November 2018 - Cary carry two - Cary Audio bow their DMS-550/600 digital hubs, the former with AK4493EQ DAC and discrete headphone amp, the latter with AK4497EQ DAC. There are aptX Bluetooth, MQA, 768kHz PCM, 5GHz WiFi, USB, SD card slots, S/PDIF i/o, true balanced architectures with RCA and XLR analog outputs, iOS/Android apps, Roon Ready and Qobuz streaming. The DMS-550 retails for $5'495, the DMS-600 for $6'995.
November 2018 - The other Wilson - Wilson Benesch launch their P3.0 floorstander in the Precision Series in conjunction with their 30th anniversary. The 25mm Leonardo silk dome tweeter features an "additive carbon fibre composite Fibonacci Element" for improved response. 3rd-gen 7" Tactic II mid/woofers use "isotactic polypropylene cones". The enclosure is described as a "hybridised multi-material construction deployed via two U-section aluminium elements used as anchor points, enabling high compressive forces to be applied to the members sandwiched between". Pricing for the P3 is £14'995/pr. Specs include 89dB sensitivity, 32Hz-24kHz bandwidth, weight of 65kg and dimensions of 128 x 27 x 47cm HxWxD.
November 2018 - Jplay Femto - This €49 upgrade to existing customers is "a complete Windows-only network music software player featuring our femtoServer, ultra-light and ultra-optimized UPnP media server to reproduce digital files with higher transparency. Our UPnP renderer can extract the best performance from virtually all audio formats and resolutions including native DSD256 and DoP up to DSD128. Not only do local files sound better but Tidal and Qobuz benefit as well." A new license for 2 PC is €149.
November 2018 - SOtM's switch - The sNH-10G network switch consists of eight RJ45 ports and two glass-fibre ports and supports 10, 100 and 1G Ethernet. The firm's sCLK-EX clock module with 10MHz master clock input may be installed optionally. The power input can handle from 6.5-12V and the unit includes quality Ethernet noise filtration to optimize networked audio which must interface with cheap consumer-grade routers. The sPS-500 linear power supply is another upgrade option.
November 2018 - Stealth - In the new Stealth finish, Basso Continuo's Reference 2.0 racks combine Valchromat with Teak wood because the pre-pigmented waterproof HDF material enjoys 35% higher rigidity than standard high-density fibre board. "HDR resonators contribute to reducing vibrations generated by turntables and CD players. A 2nd-gen elastomer decouples the shelves form the stainles Inox structure. Additionally, the model XL4 with Stealth finishing can host new accessories like a cable manager, remote control holder and headphone stand."
November 2018 - New Kalista DAC - Métronome bow the Dreamplay DAC in their top Kalista range whose double DAC "delivers radically different sound profiles, allowing the user to adapt to his music and personal preferences. This also is the only top high-end DAC to feature both solid-state and tube outputs." Key specs are coax, AES/EBU, Toslink and USB inputs (no I²S); 32/384 and DSD512 compliance; RCA/XLR outputs; an outboard power supply with 11 discrete regulated lines; and dual-mono AK4395 and AK4493 chips.
October 2018 - Erlkönig at Audio Concierge - The German Vision Ears Erlkönig [£4'199] is now available at Phil Wannel's UK boutique. "Our clients have the means to be perfectly discerning, to recognise the very best and to enjoy it. That’s exactly what the Erlkönig delivers in performance and in style. It’s the perfect addition to our portfolio." A custom-engineered five-way crossover serves the Erlkönig’s thirteen drivers of four bass, four midrange, four treble and a super tweeter. "All that technology rests in a beautifully designed silver shell graced by one of four interchangeable faceplates. A bespoke cable made of pure OCC silver wires connects the monitors to your choice of source, an elegant wooden case keeps the Erlkönig safe at home while a stylish leather case does the same on the road."
October 2018 - Solaris lands in Portland - Campfire Audio's new $1'499 IEM "is a hybrid design, blending the best of balanced armature performance with the physicality of dynamic drivers. It features two custom balanced armature drivers paired with our T.A.E.C for extended treble. A larger single rear-ported balanced armature provides rich delivery of mid frequencies. A specially tuned version of our 10mm A.D.L.C. dynamic driver optimized with our polarity tuned chamber anchors the sonic performance with deeply engaging mid-frequency tonality and visceral bass response. Our new Super Litz cable made from four large conductors of silver-plated copper Litz wire is terminated with our custom beryllium/copper MMCX connectors and over-molded 3.5mm plug." Solaris specs are 5Hz-20kHz bandwidth, 115dB sensitibvity, 10-ohm impedance and <1% THD.<
October 2018 - Golden notes - The Gold Note CD-1000 underwent an update with redesigned mechanics "to improve the overall stability of the system. In addition you will notice the remake of the chassis with its iconic air vents derived from our PH-10 phono stage which will adorn the entire Gold Note 1000 series in the near future. We also launched our new PSU-1000 external power supply desiged to power all 1000 series models except for the amplifiers. The PSU-1000 sports a super inductive dual choke hybrid design with an inductive filter on the analogue stage and a dual choke powered by a double inductor driving both the negative and positive high-current stages."
October 2018 - Zum Wohl - The ZUM-H from Lector Audio is a hybrid headphone amp with 12BH7A triode input and lateral Mosfet output buffer all run in class A. There are 2 gain settings, optical bias, 5 inputs, one each fixed/variable line output, cherry or black plexi side panels and optionally, remote control and ECC-802S driver tubes.
October 2018 - Molto Melto - The Melto2 phono preamp from Lab12 in Athens "fuses past and present into a fully accomplished 21st century tech high-end audio product. Melto2 is a full tube, remote-controlled phono stage with high-quality OLED display where all important functions are clearly visible and easily selectable in real time. Adjustments include MM/MC, gain, impedance, capacitance, curve (RIAA, Decca, Columbia) and mono/stereo modes." There's no feedback and step-up gain is by Lundahl transformers. Tube complement is 2 x E88CC and 2 x 6n2p. I/o are 3 pairs of RCA in and 1 x RCA+XLR out. Price is €3'750.
October 2018 - 160-watt tubes - 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 - German reference speakers - 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 - Electa Amator III - 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 - Sablon go Bocchino - 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 $1'800 for the RCA interconnect to $3'950 for the power cord, inclusive of worldwide shipping. Programs for both auditions and upgrades have been put in place."
October 2018 - Serbian headfi - 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 - Vox 3 - RMAF 2018 will premiere the soundkaos Vox 3 speakers with Bakoon's brand-new AMP-13R. 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 - Jet Satri circuit - 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 - Deeper into the abyss - 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 - Voxativ tube power - 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 - Dragonfire - 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 - Blackbird goes MkII - 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 - Minor kudos - 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 - Bronzed sounds? - Black Cat Cable announce the launch of their entry-level Coppertone range. "The Coppertone Interconnect ($199.95/1m/pr + $50 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 ($299.95/2.5m/pr +/- $50 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($149.95/1m + $50 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 - SAG's all-in-one - Simon Lee's new AIO [$4'995] 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 - Rack it up - 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 - TIAS '18 - 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 - Graphene bass? - 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 - RMAF cable destination - 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 - Métronome spiff - 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 - Liza Minelli sings again? - Akiko Audio introduce their fully passive Minelli power conditioner which simply plugs into a spare outlet of your current power strip 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 - X-rated Fi? - 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 - From Russia with love - 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 - Art & Hifi - 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 - John Watkinson - 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 dealer but ‘negotiations are underway' in France, Germany, The Netherlands and Luxemburg. And John's list of published books is surprising." Check out the first weblink to learn more about his speaker.
August 2018 - AQWO - 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 - Rumblings Down Under - 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 [$1'500/pr Australian, $1'115/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 - Blow up yer amp! - 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 diyAudio. 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 - Kinky - 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 Vinshine Audio, these class A/B designs seem like an attractive alternative to class D amps of similar power.
August 2018 - PowerStation - 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 - Aray, not array - "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 - Germanium - 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 - Feeling posh? - If you've got $129'000 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 - TM - 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 - Cloned Cisco - 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 - L2 - Vinnie Rossi's two new components are a preamp [starting at $14'995] and set of mono amps [$14'995/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 - What's in a name? - 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 - Exposed - 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 - TotalDAC driver - 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 - Scaling the M - 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 - Samurai - 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 - Not Magico's M range ... 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 - Node - 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 - Cary relaunch iconic amp - 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 third voice - 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.
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