Monthly Archives: December 2011

LG Electronics (LG) will unveil its new 84” 3D Ultra Definition (UD) TV at the CES (CES) in Las Vegas this January 2012.

The new 3D UD TV promises high picture quality with 8 million pixels (3840×2160), which is about four times the resolution of current 1080p HD TV panels. The 84” UD TV will also feature LG’s Slim and Narrow Bezel Design. 3D Depth Control allows users to customize their viewing experience by controlling the 3D effect, while 3D Sound Zooming is claimed to provide an immersive home theatre soundscape.

Users will be able to access LG’s Smart TV ecosystem, which comprises over 1,200 apps and gives users access to a growing range of premium content services such as the 3D Zone where viewers can select from a wealth of 3D movies. The new UD TV also provides 2D to 3D conversion, to expand 3D content. There will also be an included new ergonomically-designed Magic Remote that recognizes four different types of command input: Voice Recognition, Wheel, Magic Gesture and Point.

Pricing and availability of the new product is yet to be announced. Look for more details at: www.lg.com.

Audioengine has just announced their D1 Premium 24-bit DAC and D2 Premium 24-bit Wireless DACs.

Audioengine D1:
The D1 allows streaming of high-quality/resolution audio from your computer to headphones, powered speakers, or any music system. The D1 bypasses the computer headphone output or soundcard and sends audio through the USB port, which should improve result in improved audio quality.

The D1 is a computer DAC capable of receiving audio files up to 24-bit / 192 KHz but will output at a maximum of 24-bit / 96 KHz. The rounded D1 case reflects traditional Audioengine design. Using double-redundancy input power filtering, precision re-clocking of the digital stream, and the high-performance AK4396 DAC, the D1 promises to deliver high performance. The D1 is a true plug-and-play digital audio solution, with no required software / drivers. The D1 output connects to any audio system or powered speakers. A high-quality headphone output is also included for headphone enthusiasts.

D1 Features:

  • Desktop or portable digital-to-analog converter
  • Mac or PC plug-and-play, no drivers to install
  • High-performance headphone amp included
  • USB and optical inputs
  • USB-powered
  • Stream bit-perfect 24/96 HD audio with low jitter
  • Based on the high-performance AK4396 DAC

Audioengine D2:
The D2 builds on the features of the D1, adding wireless streaming capability.

The D2 Sender will accept USB or an optical input and the D2 Receiver will output optical or analog audio through audiophile-quality RCA connectors. The system can accept up to 24-bit / 192 KHz data but will stream over-the-air up to 24-bit / 96 KHz PCM stereo in a “closed-system” Wi-Fi configuration. Its proprietary RF technology ensures data integrity, with no impact on existing routers or networks. In addition, the D2 Sender can simultaneously transmit HD audio to up to 3 Receivers. The volume control is transmitted over an entirely separate channel, so there is no impact on the digital stream.

D2 Features:

  • Wireless 24/96 digital-to-analog converter
  • Mac or PC plug-n-play, no drivers to install or network setup
  • USB-to-S/PDIF converter
  • USB and optical inputs
  • Optical and analog outputs
  • Based on Burr-Brown PCM1792 DAC
  • Bit-perfect 24/96 PCM over-the-air transmission

The Audioengine D1 Premium 24-bit DAC has a MSRP of: $169 U.S. and the D2 Premium 24-bit Wireless DAC has a MSRP of $599 U.S. with a Sender/Receiver pair. Both products are currently available. Look for more information on these products at: www.audioengineusa.com

Bob Carver LLC, a company specializing in design and manufacture of audiophile products, will be showcasing its new vacuum tube amplifiers product line at CES, this January 2012.

The Cherry 180 (VTA 180M) monoblock amplifier is conservatively rated at 180 wpc rms into 8 ohms; the Black Beauty 305 (VTA 305M) monoblock amplifier is rated at 305 wpc rms in 8 ohms. Both amplifiers are designed to drive the even demanding speakers. Each amplifier features a high impedance input, an automatic DC restorer circuit, a “set and forget” bias adjustment, and low idle current which greatly increases output tube life. Ultra-wide bandwidth output transformers with interleaved windings capable of the most nuanced voice as well as huge peak output capacity are part of the feature set on these monoblocks. A selectable feedback control provides user adjustable sound between vintage classical to modern contemporary.

A special current feedback circuit allows the amplifier to “listen to the room” via feedback from the speakers acting as microphones (using the law of reciprocity). The room-speaker-amplifier interaction provides a sense of believable ambience and acoustic space. Additionally, the transformer output impedance allows the signal to follow the impedance curve of the speaker system, allowing more voltage to be delivered to the loudspeaker at very low frequencies.

Cherry 180 (VTA 180M) Specifications:
•Measured Power 200 w into 8 ohms, 230 w into 4 ohms, 215 w into 2 ohms
•Output Tubes: Six Shuguang KT88s
•Gain 30 dB
•Input impedance 100 k ohms
•Frequency response 2 Hz to 85 kHz @ -3 dB
•Full Power Bandwidth 24 Hz – 28 kHz, without filters
•Distortion Less than 0.5%
•Hum – 100 dB
•A weighted noise – 110 dB
•Speaker outputs 2, 4 and 8 ohms

Black Beauty (VTA 305M) Specifications:
•Rated Power 305 watts into 8 ohms, 420 watts into four ohms, 450 watts into one or two ohms
•Measured Power 305 w into 8 ohms, 330 w into 4 ohms, 290 w into 2 ohms
•Output Tubes: Six Tung-Sol KT120s
•Gain 30 dB
•Input impedance 100 k ohms
•Frequency response 5 Hz – 55 kHz @ -3 dB
•Full Power Bandwidth 24 Hz – 28 kHz, without filters
•Distortion Less than 0.5%
•Hum – 100 dB
•A weighted noise – 110 dB
•Speaker outputs 2, 4 and 8 ohms

The VTA180M has a MSRP of $3,700 U.S. and the VTA305M has a MSRP of $6,450 U.S. Both amplifiers are not shipping. Look for more details on these products at: www.BobCarver.com.

If you’re looking to get more than just the sound from your TV speakers in a small room, you might want to take a look at these new sound bars from ZVOX.

ZVOX has just expanded its lineup of Z-Base sound bars, designed to be placed under a flat-panel TV set. Three new models, priced at $199.99, $249.99 and $299.99 (US), are the most affordable Z-Base systems offered to date.  Each system uses high quality speakers and amplifiers, wood (MDF) cabinets and ZVOX’s proprietary PhaseCue II virtual surround sound system.

Z-Base 220

About the size of a DVD player, the Z-Base 220 can fill a room with 3D sound — including excellent bass — with no external speakers, subwoofers or speaker wires. Use it on a shelf below the TV, or under most TVs from 22″ to 32″ in size. Three full-range speakers, 5.25″ powered subwoofer, 35-watt amplifier and PhaseCue II virtual surround sound — all in a single cabinet. 17″ x 14.5″ x 3.4″.  $199.99 US

Z-Base 320

Only 24″ wide and 11.5″ deep, the Z-Base 320 fits just about anywhere — even a bookshelf. But it’s big and strong enough to support most TVs from 27″ to 46″ in size. Three full-range speakers, 5.25″ powered subwoofer, 40-watt amplifier and PhaseCue II virtual surround sound — all in one cabinet. $249.99 US

Z-Base 420

Big enough to support TVs up to 55″ in size, the Z-Base 420 is the perfect home theater system for many applications and room sizes. It produces high performance 3D sound from five full range speakers, a 45-watt amplifier and a 5.25″ powered subwoofer using PhaseCue II virtual surround sound. 28″ x 14.5″ x 3.4″  $299.99 US

Highlights of the ZVOX Z-Base Systems

  • Dialog Emphasis—Incredibly Clear Voices. ZVOX’s exclusive Dialog Emphasis feature uses hearing aid technology to make voices unbelievably clear. It’s amazing. Voices seem to just “jump into your head.”
  • Output Leveling—Tame Loud Commercials. Tired of commercials that blast you out of your chair? The ZVOX Output Leveling feature reacts instantly and turns down loud commercials…and also boosts quiet dialog.
  • PhaseCue II—The new systems use ZVOX’s proprietary PhaseCue II virtual surround processing to provide rich three-dimensional sound with movies or music — without external speakers and speaker wires.
  • Controlled Remotes—Uses Your Remote Control. The Z-Base systems can be programmed to respond to most remote controls, so a TV remote…or cable box remote…or satellite receiver remote…can control volume, mute, power and input functions.
  • Multiple Inputs—multiple inputs…including front-panel connection for iPod® and other portable devices. The new Z-Base sound bars offer two analog audio inputs, one optical (toslink) digital input, one coaxial digital input – plus a front panel 3.5mm analog stereo input for convenient connection of an iPod or other portable audio device. Just plug in your iPod and the system automatically switches to iPod sound. Unplug it and the Z-Base automatically switches back to TV sound. Any input can be selected using either the remote control or the controls below the speaker grille.

For more info, check out www.zvoxaudio.com 

Klipsch recently announced that its Apple AirPlay-enabled Klipsch Gallery G-17 Air is now available for purchase. With this new speaker, listeners can turn their iPhone, iPad or iPod touch into a remote control that streams music wirelessly from their iTunes to the Klipsch Gallery G-17 Air. The music system is available now from www.klipsch.com.

With the ability to utilize any wireless network and embedded AirPlay technology, the G-17 Air streams high-quality audio directly from any iPod, iPhone or iPad capable of running iOS 4.2– all without wires and the need to dock the relevant device. iTunes can also be streamed from a Mac or PC to one or multiple G-17 Air systems in the home or office, taking advantage of a simple and efficient new method of creating a whole-house audio system. The G-17 Air also contains a USB input for direct digital connection and charging of most 30-pin Apple devices and a 3.5 mm analog input to accept almost every music player available.

Measuring 17 inches in length and engineered for the ultimate sound experience, the G-17 Air captures the same distinct power, detail and emotion of Klipsch’s renowned horn-loaded speakers. Employing exclusive Tractrix Horn technology, the music system effortlessly delivers legendary Klipsch sound, complete with reduced distortion and constant directivity for a live soundstage experience. The elegant, injection molded polymer cabinet has a front baffle that curves on both sides to create both an attractive design and a solid, low-resonance structure. The unique, 12-step cabinet finishing process achieves a sleek, piano-black and high-gloss luster that emulates a fine musical instrument.

The Klipsch Gallery G-17 Air retails for $549.99 US.

For more info, please visit www.klipsch.com.

LG, has reportedly just announced that it will be launching a new 55” OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diodes) technology based panel. The new panel is set to be unveiled at CES in January 2012. Much smaller prototypes of OLED panels by other manufacturers have already demonstrated that OLED technology can provide brighter, more efficient, thinner, higher-contrast and faster images than current LCD or Plasma technologies.

OLED technology allows pixel colors to appear correct and undistorted to the viewer, even as the viewing angle approaches 90° away from direct viewing. Sony was the first company to develop an OLED television, back in 2007, the XEL-1 TV; however, high pricing and the small size prevented it being made available to typical consumers.

This new LG OLED product is reported to be a whopping 55” with a contrast ratio of 100,000: 1 and a thickness of only 5mm.

It is not expected that the new LG OLED product will become broadly available to the consumer market until at least 2013, at which time it will need to face improved versions of the current competing technologies.

Look for more information on this at: www.lg.com.

Magico is a company that has garnered much attention from the audiophile community for its formidable speaker designs.  Magico will soon be introducing a new state-of-the-art loudspeaker model, named simply as the Q7.  The Q7 will be Magico’s new top-of-the line reference speaker.

DRIVER TECHNOLOGY
In order to achieve the lofty goals of this project under all operating conditions, each and every driver of the four-way, five-driver Q7 has been designed from the ground up.  Effortless to drive, an astounding 94dB efficiency pushes the Q7 to unimaginable performance levels while maintaining every grain of resolution and nuance. To create such a highly efficient loudspeaker the entire complement required new motor systems backed with exceptionally powerful neodymium magnets, 10 times higher than industry norm. Dual 12-inch bass woofers and a 10-inch midbass bring Nano-Tec® cone technology into our largest Magico-designed drivers to date. Working together, they take resolution and extension through the lower octaves to a new level.

ENCLOSURE
Using Advanced Finite Elements Analysis to study ‘in-box’ driver behavior, the Q-Series construction techniques were redeployed in a configuration more finely tuned to the specific parameters of ‘driver to enclosure’ interaction. Comprised of over 100 parts of aluminum, copper, and stainless steel, all affixed with over 650 fasteners in a calculated labyrinth of internal bracing, the Q7 provides the ideal combination of mass, dampness and rigidity.  A new three-axis matrix frame, copper decoupling levels, and a ‘floating’ midrange cavity yield the most effective multi-faceted strategy of eliminating the cabinet as a secondary acoustic source.

CROSSOVER
Magico’s elliptical crossover techniques have been employed to create the Q7 4-way filters.  Custom ultra-high precision resistors, capacitors and coils were designed to comprise the crossover network.  Magico will be demonstrating the Q7 at CES 2012 in Las Vegas.

SPECIFICATIONS
1 x 1” MB7 Tweeter
1 x 6” MG70 Midrange
1 x 10” MG107 Midbass
2 x 12” MG1207 Bass
Sensitivity: 94dB
Impedance: 4 Ohms
Frequency Response: 20 Hz – 50 kHz
Recommended Power: 50 – 1200 Watts
Dimensions: 60”H x 32”D x 15”W (152cm x 81cm x 38cm)
Weight: 750 lbs. (340 kg)

The US Retail Price of the Magico Q7 is $165,000/pr. Delivery will begin in Q2 2012.  Look for more details to come at: www.magico.net.

Torus is a company that specializes in line power conditioning products.  Torus will be showing a number of new products at the upcoming CES 2012 in Las Vegas this January.  The products include the following:

IS Series:
Torus Power, a technological world leader in power isolation, conditioning and regulation for audio video, introduces the IS Series – a premium power conditioning product at entry level prices.

The 15 Amp model, IS15 has a MSRP of $1495 U.S., while the 5A and 10A models retail for $1095 U.S. and $1295 U.S. respectively.

A 20 Amp version, IS20, requires a dedicated 20Amp circuit, and retails for $$2395 U.S.

IS Series models provide isolation from the external power grid, noise filtration using toroidal isolation transformers featuring Plitron’s proprietary NBT technology and high levels instantaneous (peak) current on demand.

To achieve the lower price point, the IS Series does not include series mode surge suppression, which remains available in other Torus Power models.

Shipments begin in late January 2012.

Torus offering for Crestron and Nuage Nine:
Torus Power is taking its Automatic Voltage Regulation (AVR) Series of power conditioners to the next level in integration and control through agreements with Crestron Electronics and Nuage Nine, plus added features.

Crestron Electronics Inc specializes in automation and control systems, while Nuage Nine, Inc. is a developer and provider of digital solutions that automate the remote monitoring, configuration, and management of high-end home systems.

Plitron’s AVR series of power line conditioners combine toroidal isolation transformers to provide clean power and high instantaneous current capability, with automatic voltage regulaton, and Ethernet/RS232 control capability.

In 2012, Torus AVR units will interface with Crestron and Nuage 9 to provide integrators with powerful tools for control and monitoring.

E-mail notification of fault conditions is being added to all Torus Power AVR models. This feature expands AVR real-time control and monitoring capability for integrators and home owners. Torus AVR is already accessible by Ethernet and a built-in web browser allows user control of key system parameters.

High Power Wall Unit featuring Automatic Voltage Regulation
Torus Power introduces the WM 90 BAL AVR, the highest power version of its popular Wall Mount custom installation power conditioner series at a MSRP of $10,600 U.S. while other wall mount models are rated at 45A, 60A, and 75A, with prices starting at $5500 U.S.

Rack mount and standard components versions of AVR models rated at 45A, 60A, and 75A are also available at MSRPs from $7,700 U.S. to $10,600 U.S. All models in the range features 240V input.

Torus Power AVR models keep output voltage constant, in spite of variations, brownouts, sags in incoming voltage. This 90A wall mount power conditioner, provides true isolation from the power grid using Plitron toroidal transformers, high levels of instantaneous (peak) current on demand, noise filtration via Plitron’s proprietary NBT technology, Series Mode Surge Suppression, automatic voltage regulation and real-time monitoring and control via any local network web browser.

All AVR units support RS-232, include Ethernet access with built-in browser, and will integrate with Crestron, and NuageNine control systems during 2012.

New 25kVA and 35kVA Floor Mount Power Conditioners:
Torus Power adds Floor Standing models FM 35K and FM 25K to its expanding range of custom installation products designed by Art Kelm of Ground One in California.

These high power models join the All-in-One Series of power conditioners for the most discerning, large-scale installations.

The FM 35K provides an astounding 35,000 VA of power (145A @ 240V or 290A @ 120V) and weighs a shameless 730lbs. (329kg). The FM 25K provides 25,000VA of power capacity (100A @ 240V or 200A @ 120V) and weighs slightly less at 618lbs. (284kg).

Both the FM 35K and the FM 25K provide true isolation from the power grid, noise filtration using Plitron’s proprietary NBT technology high levels of instantaneous current (up to 10x the input current in instantaneous, peak, output current; 1,450A peak and 1,000A peak respectively) and an optional TVSS (Transient Voltage Spike & Surge suppression).

These models pair power capacity with refined fidelity to enable large scale quality power conditioning at the system and architectural level.

Look for more details on these new products at: www.toruspower.com.

BEHRINGER has long had a great reputation in t, he affordable professional audio and music equipment market.  And now the company is expanding its reach into the consumer market with the introduction of a new Eurosound consumer electronics brand.  To celebrate the launch, BEHRINGER will unveil the iNuke Boom – the loudest iPod and iPhone dock you’ve ever heard – at the upcoming 2012 CES. The $29,999 monster speaker system measures a whopping 8 feet wide by 4 feet tall, weighs over 700 pounds and pumps out over 10,000 Watts of power (these numbers are not a misprint!)  Notice how tiny the iPhone looks at the top of this dock.

The Eurosound line fully embraces a modern, European design while remaining true to BEHRINGER’s roots in professional audio engineering. Four distinct product lines will be marketed under the Eurosound name. The Home line brings a professional, live concert sound from the stage into the comfort of your home. Eurosound Live products amplify your sound. Eurosound Portable products deliver a mobile audio experience anytime, anywhere, while the Creation line proves you don’t have to be a professional musician to make great music.

The underlying quality in all Eurosound products is a commitment to delivering high performance audio at an incredible value, something BEHRINGER has been providing to musicians and audio professionals since the company’s inception more than twenty years ago. The BEHRINGER mantra “Double the Features at Half the Price” will also translate to the Eurosound products.

For more info, please visit www.behringer.com

The Harman Luxury Audio Group is expected to release some new products at the International CES in January 2012 under its Mark Levinson, Revel, JBL Synthesis and Lexicon brands.

The new products, under these brands, are expected to include the following:

Mark Levinson:
In celebration of its 40th anniversary, Mark Levinson will introduce four new products in 2012. The new products are the No. 52 reference stereo preamp, No. 585 integrated stereo amp, No. 519 CD/SACD player/DAC, and No. 560 DAC. Three products will be their first with USB ports for music playback, USB connections to Apple mobile devices, and HDMI ports.

The No. 52 two-chassis stereo preamp, targeted to retail for a suggested $25,000 U.S., will be the brand’s first reference- level stereo preamp in about a decade. It will join the $10,000 U.S. No. 326S single-chassis stereo preamp.

The No. 52, for use with the No. 53 reference mono amp, is a pure analog model with solid-state design. Analog inputs and outputs are incorporated in one chassis to keep noise from entering control circuitry in a separate chassis.

With the No. 585, Levinson is offering its first integrated stereo amp in several years, but the new model adds connectivity to almost all modern digital sources along with its predecessor’s balanced and unbalanced analog inputs.

The 585, targeted to retail for a suggested $10,000 U.S., is rated at 2×225 watts into 8 ohms. It comes with three USB ports, one of which streams music from a connected iPod, iPhone or iPad, and charges an iPod and iPhone. The USB ports also accept 96kHz/24-bit PCM audio from PCs.

The 585 also features HDMI 1.3 connector to take in two-channel PCM audio and native DSD SACD audio.

The third new product is the No. 519 CD/SACD player/ DAC with digital volume control, which enables direct connection to an amp to make a separate preamp unnecessary. It’s targeted to retail for a suggested $8,000 U.S.

For use as a DAC, the 519 features two S/P DIF digital inputs and two USB inputs capable of decoding multiple digital music-file formats. One USB input also streams music from a USB-connected iPod, iPhone or iPad.

The fourth product is the No. 560 DAC with a suggested retail price of $6000 U.S. The No. 560 DAC borrows the DAC technology of the 519 CD/SACD player/DAC, strips out the transport, expands the number of digital inputs to 10 from four, and the digital inputs include two two-channel PCM/DSD HDMI inputs and three USB.

Revel:
The brand will replace its entire Performa series of bookshelf and tower speakers with the Performa3 series. The new series is said to raise performance through advances in driver design. Prices will also drop slightly.

The first eight speakers will be priced from a targeted $1,200 U.S./pair to $4,500 U.S./pair. Two more speakers due in the fall will add a third tower at around $6,000 U.S. to $6,500 U.S. /pair.

The first eight speakers will consist of two bookshelf models, two floorstanding towers, two center channels, one bipolar surround and one subwoofer.

JBL Synthesis:
The brand is launching three high-end speakers, including a $20,000 U.S./pair S4700 tower positioned as a more affordable version of the $44,000 U.S./pair K2-S9900.

The S4700 is a three-way floorstanding speaker with 15- inch woofer, horn-loaded high-frequency compression driver, and horn-loaded ultra-high-frequency compression driver operating from 16kHz.

In its Array series, JBL is bringing back two models discontinued a few years ago. Like other Array models, both feature a three-way design with woofer, horn-loaded high-frequency compression driver, and horn-loaded ultra-high-frequency compression driver.

The Array 1000 is a floorstanding tower with a targeted suggested retail of about $9,000 U.S./pair. The Array 800 is a bookshelf speaker at a targeted $7,000 U.S./pair.

Lexicon:
The brand is adding a black finish option to its $2,500 U.S. DD-8 8×125-watt Class D multi-room amp.

Look for more details on these products at: www.harman.com.

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