Monthly Archives: September 2011

PMC just celebrated its 20th anniversary and has launched a commemorative new and appropriately named loudspeaker series – the ‘twenty’ series.

The new series includes four models – two standmount models and two floorstanders and all have a ‘lean back’ cabinet design, angled at five degrees from vertical to reduce resonances and aid time alignment of the drivers.

A new 27mm soft dome Sonolex tweeter is used in all the models, with a resonance chamber allow for a 1.8kHz crossover. The mid/bass units – 14cm in the twenty.21 and twenty.23, 17cm in the larger models.

The bass unit utilizes the PMC Advanced Transmission Line in all models and the crossovers are hand-built and hand-matched. Cabinets are made from 18mm high-density fibreboard, with internal bracing.

The speakers are finished in a choice of oak, walnut or amarone real wood veneers or – at a premium – in high-gloss Diamond Black. Rare-earth magnets are used to create invisible fixings for the grilles, and while the floorstanding models come complete with matching plinths, decoupled from the cabinets using cork and rubber, optional stands are available for the standpoint models.

These use twin columns, with the same five degrees slant as the cabinets, and have metal/rubber/metal top-plates and baseplates for better damping. The front column of the stands can be filled with loading material, while the rear one provides a cable-management channel.

The four models in the range are:

twenty.21: 32.5cm tall, 87dB/W/m sensitivity, frequency response 50Hz-25kHz, £1375/pr

twenty.22: 41cm tall, 90dB/W/m sensitivity, frequency response 40Hz-25kHz, £1825/pr

twenty.23: 94.3cm tall (with spikes), 87dB/W/m sensitivity, frequency response 29Hz-25kHz, £2095/pr

twenty.24: 105.3cm tall (with spikes), 90dB/W/m sensitivity, 28Hz-25kHz frequency response, £3100/pr.

The optional stands are £295/pr, and the Diamond Black finish is an 8% premium on the smallest two models and 10% on the rest of the series.

All the twenty series speakers will be made available in the next couple weeks, with a 20-year warranty in tow.

Look for more details at: www.pmc-speakers.com.

There has been a constant flow of new affordable DAC products to the audio scene over the last couple years but it’s always interesting when one of the more upscale brands joins in. Quad, the well established and respected British audio company has just announced a new budget conscious DAC, their Link D-1 USB DAC. The Link D-1 takes its place in the Quad line-up within their Performance – Link Series.

The Link D-1 USB DAC allows consumers to enjoy their digital music sources from a computer (Windows or Mac) via USB connection. The product is USB 1.1 and 2.0 compliant. No custom USB drivers or software programs are required. The Link D-1 supports sampling frequencies ranging from 32kHz to 192kHz and incorporates a high quality digital-to-analogue converter (DAC). It can also serve as an USB interface simply to convert the data of music files from a computer to SPDIF signal for use with outboard DAC’s.

Specifications:

• DAC Crystal CS4398

• Sampling Frequency 44.1kHz – 192kHz

• Maximum Sampling Frequency 192kHz

• Digital input 1 x USB (asynchronous mode)

• Digital output 1 x coaxial, 1 x Toslink optical

• Output voltage 4V (unbalanced)

• Output impedance 100? (unbalanced)

• Frequency response 20Hz – 20kHz (+/-0.2dB)

• Dynamic range 110dB

• Height 130mm

• Width 108mm

• Depth 42mm

• Carton size 600 x 400 x 340mm

• Net weight 0.7kg

• Gross weight 1.39kg

Price and the final release date are yet to be announced. Look for more details at: www.quad-hifi.co.uk.

In the world of TV’s bigger is virtually always better. With this thought in mind, Sharp has just introduced their largest LED LCD TV ever. The 80-inch AQUOS LC-80LE632U is a a full HD 1080p (1920 x 1080) Smart TV with Wi-Fi and access to Netflix, CinemaNow and VUDU as well as Sharp’s exclusive AQUOS Advantage Live online support.

This new AQUOS 80-inch LED LCD TV incorporates a full array LED backlit system to maximize uniformity in both color and brightness edge to edge, with a dynamic contrast ratio of 6,000,000:1. The LC-80LE632U is also a 120Hz Fine Motion Enhanced set, reducing motion blur.

With AQUOS Advantage LIVE, Sharp AQUOS Advantage Advisors can remotely connect to the TV through the Internet to assist with TV setup, troubleshoot and optimize the picture quality.

The feature list includes:

80-inch screen – diagonally measured;

Smart TV, delivering Netflix, CinemaNow and VUDU streaming video, customized AQUOS Advantage LIVE – a suite of premium connected services featuring the ability for AQUOS Advantage Advisors to remotely assist customers with setup and settings management directly over the Internet, right in the comfort of their own home;

Full HD 1080p X-Gen LCD Panel – with 10-bit processing is designed with advanced pixel control to minimize light leakage and wider aperture to let more light through;

Vyper Drive – game mode eliminates perceptible lag between video game consoles and the TV display;

Dual USB Inputs – enable viewing high-resolution video, music and digital photos on the TV; 120Hz Fine Motion Enhanced – for improved fast motion picture quality

 

The Sharp AQUOS LC-80LE632U will be available in early October at a MSRP of: $5,499.99 U.S.

Look for more details at: www.sharp.ca.

We are just four days away from the start of TAVES!  Thank you to everyone who joined the CANADA HiFi magazine Facebook page in order to put their name in for the ticket giveaway.  The following names were drawn randomly as the winners of a free ticket to TAVES  When you arrive at the show, please tell the TAVES staff at the ticket booth that you are on the special admission list (you will be asked for photo ID).  Thank you to everyone who participated – we hope to see you all at the show.  Congratulations to all the winners!

Hector Gull
Amy Lee
Edmondo Lombardi
Frank Wong
Alexandre Vovan
Amy West
Jorge Gaspar
Yuri Zamazeev
Ed Jong
Niti Kitta

 
For complete details about TAVES, please visit www.taveshow.com.

Meridian Audio has just announced their new Media Drive 600. The Media Drive 600 is a dedicated system storage product for use as a modular element in a new system or to increase storage capacity of an existing Meridian Sooloos Digital Media System.

The Media Drive 600 can accommodate hard disk drives configured as RAID 1 and can be connected to the Sooloos extranet for access to it remotely for support and diagnostics services.

The Media Drive 600 incorporates a switch-mode power supply and efficient, automatically regulated cooling system to help ensure increase reliability in rack-mount applications.

Through its DHCP-enabled network connection Media Drive 600 connects easily to a host network allowing easy integration with the rest of a Meridian Sooloos system, and integrated control from any of the Meridian Sooloos control devices or Apps.

The Media Drive 600 has a simple front panel interface with six LEDs offering feedback on system status. The front-loading drive bays also ensure that any necessary service can be carried out without the requirement to access the rear of the rack or to remove the Media Drive 600.

Key Highlights:

? Extensive storage with automatic mirrored backup for Meridian Sooloos Digital Media Systems.

? Dual RAID-based hard drives offer enormous storage (up to 2TB) for many thousands of CD albums in pristine lossless quality.

? Full integration with Meridian and Meridian Sooloos audio systems.

? Can be networked to any other Meridian Sooloos product, automatically adding extra storage fully integrated with existing libraries.

The Meridian Media Drive 600 Sooloos Digital Media System Storage is expected to be available this month – September 2011, at a MSRP of: $5,000 U.S. (excluding HDDs).

Look for more details at: www.meridian-audio.com.

Epson has just announced its first 3D 1080p home theatre projectors with the new 3LCD PowerLite Pro Cinema 6010, and Home Cinema 5010/5010e and 3010/3010e series. With both home cinema enthusiasts and custom installers in mind, Epson utilizes new Bright 3D Drive technology which promises an exceptional 3D viewing experience at home on a big screen. Epson’s new projectors offer value-added features and performance at varying price levels, including an entry-level solution available for less than $1,700.

Epson utilizes full HD, active shutter 3D, with 1080p resolution and Bright 3D Drive Technology, which drives the panels at 480Hz, essentially doubling the image refresh rate of 240Hz panels, delivering ultra-bright images and reduced crosstalk for the ultimate in 3D viewing at home. These projectors offer high brightness – up to 2,400 lumens of colour and white light output – and enable viewing on larger screens and in a range of ambient light conditions. Combined with remarkable contrast and a number of value-added features, including wireless installation options and split screen mode for watching two pictures at once or watching TV and using the Internet at the same time, the Pro Cinema 6010, and Home Cinema 5010/5010e and 3010/3010e deliver top 3D and 2D performance and image quality in each of their respective categories.

Pro Cinema 6010 and Home Cinema 5010/5010e

The Pro Cinema 6010 and Home Cinema 5010 and 5010e (wireless) feature an outstanding contrast ratio of up to 200,000:1 and up to 2,400 lumens of colour and white light output for incredible black levels with a clear, clean picture. With Epson’s Super Resolution technology and FineFrame technology for smoother frame interpolation and sharper video quality (2D Mode), cinema filter feature for larger colour space and improved colour fidelity and a Fujinon OptiCinema lens (2.1 zoom ratio), these projectors deliver top-of-the-line performance and quality. And to further enhance the 3D experience, they also include 2D to 3D conversion. The flagship Pro Cinema 6010 also adds two anamorphic lens modes, two pairs of 3D glasses, ISF calibration, colour isolation, and a ceiling mount, cable cover and extra lamp for installation flexibility.

Home Cinema 3010/3010e

Offering big screen home 3D viewing, the Home Cinema 3010 and 3010e (wireless) deliver up to 2,200 lumens of colour and white light output along with a superb contrast ratio of up to 40,000:1 for outstanding black levels. In addition, both models feature two built-in 10W speakers for great home cinema sound. The Home Cinema 3010 also includes two pairs of 3D glasses. These affordably priced projectors offer outstanding 3D and 2D big screen image quality for a reasonable price and are ideal for home cinema enthusiasts who don’t require installation or professional-level colour tools.

Additional Features of Epson’s 2D and 3D Full HD 1080p Home Theatre Projector Line-up

  • Split screen capabilities in 2D mode for watching two pictures at once, or watching TV and using the Internet at the same time
  • Epson 3LCD technology for amazing colour and detail
  • Five colour modes in 2D and two colour modes in 3D to easily adapt to different viewing environments
  • Epson’s exclusive 230W E-TORL (Epson Twin Optics Reflection Lamp) offering high brightness and up to 6,000 hours of lamp life
  • HDMI (two), component video, composite video, VGA, RCA audio, and USB connections for flexibility
  • Wireless transmitter included with Home Cinema 3010e and 5010e for ultimate installation flexibility without wires, using the WirelessHD standard to send uncompressed high-definition video over short distances to the projector
  • Two pairs of 3D glasses included with Home Cinema 3010 and Pro Home Cinema 6010; 3D glasses sold separately for Home Cinema 3010e, 5010 and 5010e

The PowerLite Pro Cinema 6010 will be available for less than $4,000, while the Home Cinema 5010 and 5010e are listed at under $3,000 and $3,500, respectively; all will be available through authorized Epson projector dealers in November. The Home Cinema 3010 and 3010e will be available online and through dealers in October for $1,629.99 and $1,829.99.

For more info, please visit www.epson.ca.

Denon has just announced their new DNP-720AE Network Audio Player, which incorporates Apple AirPlay technology. Apple AirPlay allows wireless audio streaming from iDevice or iTunes. As well, with Wi-Fi or Ethernet, users can tap into internet radio and online content, as well as network music files.

The DNP-720AE is DLNA 1.5 certified allowing for swift and easy connection to compatible devides. It’s claimed that select components have been used throughout, including a high quality 24-bit/192kHz digital-to-analogue audio converter.

The Denon DNP-720AE has a flexible user interface – with browsing possible via the three line OLED display, the remote handset, or an ‘iDevice’ using the available Denon Remote App. Three quick-select buttons offer fast access to favourite internet radio stations. The front USB port offers further playback options, such as direct digital transmission from iDevices or other attached USB mass storage devices. The DNP- 720AE is also Windows 7 certified for ‘Play To, meaning you can easily stream music files from Windows Media Player 12 or higher to the stereo system.

Features

• Wi-Fi and Ethernet connectivity

• DLNA 1.5 certified for reliable audio streaming and wide compatibility

• Plays a variety of network contents by Denon’s high-quality sound technology

• AirPlay direct music streaming from iPad, iPhone, iPod touch and iTunes library

• Internet radio with over 14,000 stations

• Last.fm and Napster

• PC/NAS music files streaming

• Denon Remote App for iPhone and iPod touch

• Digitally transmitted play function for iPhone or iPod (via front USB)

• Listen to AM / FM radio with RDS / Radio Text

• High quality 24-bit/192kHz audio digital to analogue converters

• Windows 7 certified for “Play to” from Windows Media Player 12 or higher

• Supports WMA/MP3/WAV/AAC/FLAC/WMA lossless (Transcode) / FLAC 96/24

• 2-channel analog output plus digital optical output

The Denon DNP-720AE will be available this October at a MSRP of: $549.

Raysonic has just launched their new Supreme Series with the introduction of their new Red Maple monoblocks amplifiers. Priority in circuit design was given to achieving low noise and distortion with a wide band frequency response. KT88 power tubes were chosen in combination with a Class-AB1 ultra-linear push-pull power amplification stage.

In addition, five pairs of KT88 beam power tubes are leveraged to generate an output power of 220 watts. Five pairs of tubes provide five times the plate resistance for increased damping factor and slew rate, towards better overall performance.

The Raysonic Red Maple design is focused on direct and simple operation with minimal adjustment. All single paths are hand wired point to point circuitry with the simplest circuit designs chosen to help ensure consistency, reliability and high value.

Features:

Class AB1 Uitra-linear push pull design vacuum tube mono block power amplifier

Five pairs of KT88 or KT120 output tubes operate in push pull 220 watts x 2 channels.

Two 12AX7 cathode coupled phase splitter.

Two 6H30 used as signal and driver tube.

ON/OFF switch with built in blue LED.

Philip Hp audiophile capacitors.

Mundorf / Germany MCap Supreme Silver / Gold / Oil capacitors.

WBT / Germany RCA input jack.

Use Kimber / USA cable for hand wire point to point circuitry.

Extended frequency range C-core output transformer.

High power custom designed toroidal power transformer.

Individual transformer supply power to electron tubes heater.

Fully hand assembled to ensure the highest level of craftsmanship.

Crafted grade aluminum brushed and anodized chassis: black or silver.

Specifications:

Vacuum Tubes: KT88 or KT120x10,12AX7 x 2, 6H30 x 2.

Power Output: 220W per channel (RMS).

Total Harmonic Distortion @1Watt: < 0.03%.

S/N Ratio better than: 100dB.

Input: RCA & XLR.

Frequency Response: 8Hz – 56KHz – 1dB.

Input Sensitivity: 3.2V (Unbalance), 3.2V (Balance).

Input Impedance: 100K? (Unbalance input), 200K? (Balance input).

Speaker output impedance: 4 ohms, 6 ohms, 8 ohms.

Power Consumption: 540 watts.

Operating Voltage: 100-120VAC 50Hz/60Hz 220-240VAC 50Hz/60Hz.

Weight: 47 kg

The Raysonic Red Maple is currently available at a MSRP of $11,900 / pair.

More details can be found at: www.raysonicaudio.com.

With the TAVES less than 2 weeks away the anticipation for the show is nearing its peak!

The official 2011 TAVES Program has just been posted on the home page at www.taveshow.com.  The program contains exhibitor information, lists the room number in which each brand will be located and shows TAVES floor plans. It also contains information about our seminars and music performances. To jump directly to the TAVES Program click here to view the DIGITAL EDITION or here to view the PDF.

And don’t forget that we’re giving away a number of tickets to CANADA HiFi readers! To qualify simply ‘Like’ the CANADA HiFi Facebook page and leave us a comment saying what excites you the most about TAVES! The chances of winning a ticket are very high so please take a moment to do this – it’s worth registering for a free Facebook account even if you don’t have one!

Click here to ‘Like’ the CANADA HiFi page:
www.facebook.com/canadahifi

I sincerely hope that many CANADA HiFi readers will make it out to the show!

Regards,

Suave

Physically plugging your iPhone or iPod into a docking station is so yesterday – today is all about wireless connectivity!  Staying ahead of the competition, Pioneer has just expanded its family of Apple AirPlay-compatible products with the launch of two networked music systems called Music Tap. Available to Canadian consumers in October 2011 in Pioneer ($369) and Elite ($499) branded models, the Music Tap systems offer music lovers more ways to access and enjoy their music throughout their entire home regardless of where or how the music is stored. With AirPlay, enthusiasts have complete access, control and playback of their entire iTunes music library through their Music Tap system connected to the home network, wirelessly or using Ethernet. Both Music Taps feature built-in WiFi to enable wireless music connection using AirPlay, DLNA 1.5, vTuner Internet radio, Pioneer’s proprietary AirJam1 app for iPhone, iPod touch and iPad and a 2.5-inch full-colour LCD display.

Highlights of AirPlay Connectivity

* Music Tap systems enable users to quickly and easily enjoy all their music content with song information and album art simultaneously displayed on a connected monitor/TV. AirPlay requires iTunes 10.1 or later, or iPad, iPad 2, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPod touch (2nd, 3rd or 4th generation) with iOS 4.2 or later. Using Apple’s Remote app on iPad, iPhone or iPod touch also enables users to control, browse and access their iTunes music library on a Mac or PC and play it through Music Tap. Apple’s Remote App is available for free from the App Store on iPad, iPhone or iPod touch at www.iTunes.ca/appstore/.
* Connection to Music Streaming Services – In addition to the music saved in an iTunes library, the Music Tap systems support AirPlay-enabled apps like PANDORA Internet radio, iHeartRadio and other music streaming service apps, giving consumers access to a virtually endless playlist.
* Crystal Clear Sound – Music Tap’s Apple Lossless capability ensures that users will always enjoy high-quality audio with no degradation in sound quality when listening to music encoded with this high-resolution format.
* Music Throughout The Home – Music Tap is a great addition to an AirPlay-enabled Pioneer AV receiver for music in any room of the house. Using iTunes 10.1 or later on a Mac or PC, users can wirelessly stream their music to multiple Music Tap systems throughout the home.

Highlights of Additional Network Features

* DLNA 1.5 Certified – Music Tap’s DLNA 1.5 Certification allows consumers to stream their music wirelessly via a home network from any DLNA 1.5 Certified device. Users can conveniently enjoy high-resolution audio playback with support for FLAC and WAV files from DLNA certified networked device in the home.
* vTuner – Pioneer adds vTuner Internet radio to Music Tap for endless music entertainment. With vTuner, users have access to more than 16,000 Internet radio stations around the world. From the on-screen display, users can choose from different genres, station locations or simply search for specific stations.
* Air Jam – First introduced as a feature in its line of AV receivers, Pioneer’s free Air Jam app is also available in the Music Tap systems (optional AS-BT200 Bluetooth adapter required for the Pioneer model). The Air Jam App is available from the App Store on iPad, iPhone or iPod touch or at www.iTunes.ca/appstore/ and connects up to four Apple devices via Bluetooth to create a collective playlist for playback on Music Tap. Once linked, each user can cue songs from their own music libraries to create the shared playlist. Each connected device also displays the list of songs added by all users and which device a song plays from. The Air Jam App conveniently stores the lists of songs created for each session for future purchases at the iTunes Store.

Functionality and Design

* The Music Tap systems are “Made for iPhone and iPod” and come with an integrated pop-out dock for playback and charging.
* For a high quality listening experience, the music systems are equipped with a 2-channel digital amplifier to deliver clean and powerful audio to any room. Dual full range drivers in a passive radiator enclosure produce clear crisp high frequencies complemented by deep, accurate bass. The Pioneer Elite model has been tuned by Pioneer’s renowned TAD director of speaker engineering, Andrew Jones. In addition, the Elite model incorporates built-in Bluetooth and includes a two-year warranty.
* Both AirPlay music systems offer an auxiliary input for connecting other audio devices with a mini jack (headphone) output. For added convenience, both models also feature a USB port located in the front of the system. USB devices such as hard drives, thumb and flash drives with MP3, WAV, WMA, AAC LPCM, and FLAC files can all be accessed using the included remote control.

For added convenience, both systems feature a control app for iPod touch, iPhone and iPad, available on the App Store.

For more info, please visit www.pioneerelectronics.ca.

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