Monthly Archives: August 2012

Just moments ago, we received sneak peak photos of Bryston’s very first speaker – called the Bryston Model T Bookshelf Speaker.  This is essentially a “mini me” version of the floor-standing speaker prototype that Bryston first showed at the Montreal show earlier this year (in a passive display, as the speaker was not ready for demonstration just yet).

At this time all we know is that it should retail somewhere under $3,000 US and it’s going to have a Black Bryston Logo instead of the Silver shown in the pics.

Will Bryston officially launch this speaker at the 2012 TAVES?  We sure hope so!  Stay tuned for more details!

Sony has just introduced its new premium headband-type MDR-1 headphones, the result of a unique collaboration between Sony and Sony Music Entertainment.

Tthe new MDR-1 premium series delivers an enhanced acoustic design allowing listeners to hear the music the way artists intended it to sound in the studio. Sony engineers and music artists identified the critical 30-40Hz sub-bass region that is signature of today’s music styles and developed an enhanced Beat Response Control design for the new MDR-1 headphones, featuring a closed back design for maximum isolation and exceptional bass response.  Employing enlarged air vents at the back of each driver, the MDR-1 is designed to provide quicker and more rhythmic low-frequency response with improved transient characteristics.

Featuring a newly developed 40mm Liquid Crystal Polymer (LCP) film diaphragm, the MDR-1R delivers high rigidity, lightness and higher internal loss that is essential for a balanced, highly accurate reproduction of today’s up-front vocals, mid/high range details, as well as rich, powerful lows and extended highs. The HD driver assures ultra-wideband audio performance extending from 4Hz to 80 kHz matching today’s high-resolution music sources.

The MDR-1R headphones are designed for long-term wearing comfort with pressure-relieving ear cushions, providing a supportive, wrap-around feel, as well as highly effective acoustic seal, further reinforcing the headphones’ powerful sub-bass reproduction. There’s also a unique hanger structure that moves the headphones’ housing axis inward for the ultimate in stable fit and comfort. The silicone rings between the ear cups and headband ensure rattle-free enjoyment of the most detailed musical passages.

Featuring grooved serrations on its surface, the MDR-1R headphones provide an innovative design that eliminates friction between cable surfaces and reduces the source of frustrating tangles.

The MDR-1RBT Bluetooth headset brings the same innovative sound processing technologies to music lovers who demand the ultimate in sound quality without wires. It’s the first Bluetooth model to feature One Touch by Sony incorporating Near Field Communication (NFC) technology, eliminating the cumbersome process of pairing and connecting; just touch to instantly establish a wireless connection with NFC-enabled devices, without the need for any Bluetooth or Wi-Fi set-up. The headphones also offer 30 hours battery stamina between charges.

Because there are different types of noise, Sony’s Artificial Intelligence Noise Canceling technology automatically selects the appropriate noise-cancelling response based on intuitive analysis of ambient noise. Sony’s digital signal processing technology effectively reduces up to 99.7% of ambient noise whether on an airplane, on a train, or in an office.

The MDR-1RNC digital noise-cancelling headphones include digital noise sensors inside and outside the headphones housing as well as digital noise-cancelling software engine. The MDR-1RNC digital noise cancelling headphone features extra-long battery life of up to 22 hours.

The MDR-1R standard headphones, MDR-1RBT Bluetooth wireless headphones and MDR-1RNC digital noise-cancelling headphones will be available in November 2012 at the following pricing: MDR-1R, $299, MDR-1RBT, $399 and MDR-1RNC, $499.  Look for more details at: www.store.sony.ca.

Sony has announced their new Xperia Tablet S. This new device joins Sony’s smartphones under the Xperia sub-brand and shares a similar and consistent user experience.

Building on the popularity of the universal remote control feature in the previous model, the Xperia Tablet S has enhanced this feature by adding macro functionality, allowing the ability to turn on multiple devices of most brands, including TV, Blu-ray Disc player and audio system, with the touch of one button. Consumers can easily program sequenced commands such as “Watch TV” or Play Music” and perform the sequences with one tap on the screen.

Not only will Xperia Tablet S owners be able to control their living room, but they can also control content on the device for various other people using Sony’s new exclusive Guest Mode feature. Guest Mode allows for personalized configurations for different users by displaying different wallpaper, applications and widgets. The tablet owner can manage access for any friend of family member by regulating which apps and widgets are accessible by others. Guest Mode can provide parents with a strong parental control tool by offering more supervision over what content their children can consume.

With an IPX-4 splashproof rating, the Xperia Tablet S can withstand splashing water at all angles when the multi-port cover is in place. Even with wet hands the LCD screen will still recognize touch gestures, making the device a perfect companion in the kitchen and beyond.

Preloaded onto the device are the Sony Entertainment Network Services, giving consumers access to their favorite songs, movies and TV shows with a single sign on:

•Purchase or rent on-demand hit movies and TV shows anytime you want with Video Unlimited.

•Discover and listen to millions of songs from all your favorite artists with a Music Unlimited subscription, now with the ability to cache playlists for offline listening.

•Store your photos and videos in the cloud and share on any device at any time with friends through PlayMemories Online service.

Book lovers can also purchase and read their favorite eBooks with the pre-loaded Reader application and manage their bookshelf across multiple devices, including Sony Reader and Xperia Smartphones. Later this year, Xperia Tablet S owners will also be able to enjoy touch screen optimized games through PlayStation Mobile, a new platform for compelling gaming experiences.

Small Apps allow tablet owners to truly multi-task by using a minimized version of the browser, calculator, remote control, recorder, timer, memo or clip simultaneously while using another application. Any widgets downloaded to the device can also be added to the Small Apps.

Clip Note, a new app available at launch, allows users to clip from websites, services or apps to create their own scrapbooks. Users can then share clips or scrapbooks as images across multiple apps.

Preloaded onto the device is Socialife, a fun, stylish viewer to manage your social networking sites and news feeds in one place. Lastly, Sony offers three media applications, WALKMAN, Album and Movies, allowing users to consume their content in feature rich and easy-to-use apps.

The Xperia Tablet S has a thin and light aluminum body while still maintaining a unique design for a comfortable grip and feel. It is fast and powerful with a NVIDIA Tegra 3 quad-core processor. The screen maintains a crisp display and fingerprint and glare reducing coatings. The device includes an SD card slot for expanded storage and HDMI® connectivity with optional HDMI adapter cable. With built-in Wi-Fi compatibility, users can browse the internet, check e-mail and access digital content anywhere there is a Wi-Fi connection. It runs on Android 4.0.

Sound quality is enhanced with ClearAudio+ mode. ClearAudio+ mode, developed with Sony’s own signal processing technologies, allows users to effortlessly enjoy audio quality that is distinctly Sony. ClearAudio+ mode incorporates a variety of Sony’s technologies, but with one simple operation, users can easily enjoy Sony recommended sound in ultimate clarity and presence, across the entire spectrum of sound.

Users can personalize their Xperia Tablet S with a new line of optimized accessories (sold separately). The Cover with Keyboard features a thin keyboard that connects via the device’s multi-port, so no pairing is needed. The Docking Stand is sleek, stylish and adds functionality with three USB ports and one HDMI port. Other accessories include a Simple Stand, Carrying Cover in seven stylish colors, a Charging Cradle and a Dock Speaker.

The Xperia Tablet S is available in 16 GB and 32 GB versions and will be sold at Sony Stores, including online, and other authorized dealers nationwide for about $399 and $499 respectively starting September 7, with preorders accepted now.

Optional Accessories Include: 
Cover with Keyboard – $100
Docking Stand – $100
Simple Stand – $25
Carrying Cover –$60 – $80
Charging Cradle – $40
Dock Speaker – $130, available by November

For more information please visit www.store.sony.ca.

 Sony Canada has just announced its first 4K TV.  The new 84-inch TV, model XBR-84X900, has a 4K (3840 x 2160) LCD panel, giving it four times the resolution of 1080p HD.

Incorporating proprietary upscaling technology including the 4K X-Reality PRO picture engine, the new TV is designed to ensure that every frame looks clear and crisp, with 4K resolution regardless of the source – Blu-ray disc, TV broadcasts or web videos. Viewers can now watch video on the large screen of this XBR TV and not see any degradation of image quality traditionally associated larger screen sizes. High-resolution processing powers a 3D viewing experience that exceeds Full HD resolution. The accompanying 3D glasses use a light and comfortable, passive design, allowing viewers to enjoy 3D footage on a large screen, like a movie theatre.

The Sony’s XBR-84X900 4K TV incorporates a 10 Unit Live Speaker system, which is optimized for this large-sized screen. Drawing on Sony’s storied sound signal-processing technology, these speakers envelop the viewer in virtual 5.1 surround sound. The side speakers are also detachable, allowing consumers to connect to an existing home theatre system.

The XBR-84X900 4K TV not only delivers a great viewing experience; it also offers consumers a new way to enjoy digital photographs. By simply connecting a digital camera, digital photos can be displayed on the large screen at 4K resolution, allowing viewers to browse scenic pictures that are reminiscent of colorful, large posters, or enable viewing of life-sized pictures of their family and friends. PlayStation3 software such as PlayMemories Studio can be used to easily manage and playback photographs at 4K resolution.

The XBR 4K TV also has full network connectivity, allowing consumers control of their viewing experience via a tablet or smartphone with the downloadable Media Remote App. With built-in WiFi they can access movies, TV shows, and online video and music through the Sony Entertainment Network suite of services including Music Unlimited, Video Unlimited, Netflix, Pandora, Yahoo! Broadcast Interactivity and more than 50 other popular internet entertainment providers.

Sony leads the way in all aspects of the 4K workflow, from both the professional and consumer perspective. More than 12,500 of the company’s 4K digital cinema projectors are in use at movie theatres throughout the world, and Sony is also leading the way in true 4K content creation with its flagship F65 CineAlta 4K camera. With several 4K movies in production, the first broadcast TV shows beginning to shoot in 4K.  Part of Sony’s 4K line-up in the home is the VPL-VW1000ES, the first 4K home theatre projector, which was announced last year and is available through custom installers.

The new XBR 4KTV will arrive in Sony Stores and select retail locations in North America later this year.  Prices and exact date of availability are yet to be announced.  Look for more details at: www.sony.com.

Trinnov Audio, a France based company, is set to unveil its first home theatre processor at CEDIA 2012, this September.  The new Trinnov Audio Magnitude32 features the Trinnov Optimizer technology providing advanced digital room correction and unique Image Remapping that adapts the original media soundscape to the actual loudspeaker placements. Magnitude32 handles any home theater project from “classic” 7.1 to the most sophisticated installations with multiple subwoofers, individually driven surrounds and multi-amplified speakers,controlling up to 32 channels.

Trinnov Magnitude32 key features:

Analog output: 8 channels (XLR) expendable to 12, 16, 24 or 32 channels (Sub-D25)
Analog inputs: 8 channels (XLR) expendable to 12 or 16 channels (Sub-D25)
High performance audio: 64-bit floating point processing and 119dBA AD/DA converters
Powerful Trinnov Optimizer Algorithm with:
     multi-point measurement of all loudspeakers
    time-frequency analysis: the loudspeakers and the room are separately equalized
Automatic optimization of the amplitude and phase response according to Target Curves
Intelligent active crossovers: automatic alignment of delays and gains for every driver
Image Remapping to adapt the original media soundscape to the actual loudspeaker layout.
Easy and accurate setup with comprehensive graphs and fine tuning tools.
Control via Ethernet network, RS-232, KVM, smartphone/tablet or optional IR module.

The new Trinnov Audio Magnitude32 will be available in October 2012, in 8, 12 and 16 channels configurations and by December 2012 in 24 and 32 channels.  Pricing is yet to be announced.  Look for more details at: www.trinnov.com.

With the upcoming CEDIA 2012 show in September, Tannoy has revealed details on their new Definition Subwoofer.  The Definition Subwoofer joins the flanks of Tannoy’s existing Definition series of loudspeakers.  Following in the footsteps of its fellow series models, the new Tannoy Definition Subwoofer caries design simplicity. 

In keeping with the Definition range, the substantial subwoofer cabinet is finely constructed from Tannoy’s signature birch-ply laminate. Tannoy specifies that this timber is sourced from cooler, slowing growing regions to further improve the natural acoustic properties of the enclosure. Constructed of 25mm thick laminate, the cabinet uses a mix of flat and curved panels to improve rigidity as well as disperse internal reflections and standing waves. Panel joints and internal bracing follow the same techniques and craftsmanship used in Tannoy’s flagship loudspeakers, creating the perfect enclosure for low frequency reproduction.

At the heart of the Definition Subwoofer is a cutting edge 1000 Watt Class D amplifier with high speed switch mode power supply. Boasting exceptionally low Total Harmonic Distortion (less than 0.05%), this amplifier delivers massive dynamic power to control the twin metal-cone LF drivers. The amplifier module is mated to a powerful Digital Signal Processing (DSP) engine that offers user controls entirely in the digital domain for the most accurate set-up and LF response. A multifunction rotary control device and LCD display is mounted on the front panel offering convenient access for adjustment to volume and all other settings.

To handle the extreme power, the Definition Subwoofer uses two 12 inch aluminium cone drivers arranged as an opposing pair and mounted either side of the ply-wood cabinet. The drivers’ die cast aluminium chassis has been designed to provide optimum venting and maximum excursion

 Two phono RCA and two balanced XLR inputs are provided to feed the DSP engine and on-board amplifier, with stereo inputs combined into a single LF feed. Twin RCA and XLR outputs pass through the source input to feed to further subwoofers in the room.

Each Definition Subwoofer is hand finished in a choice of high gloss black or high gloss lacquered, real walnut or cherry wood veneers to match the finishes within the rest of the Definition loudspeaker range. The deep gloss finish is polished mirror-smooth and the subtle aluminium trims reflect the contemporary style across the entire Definition range. Heavy duty CNC machined aluminium feet provide optimum stability.

The Definition Subwoofer joins the Definition DC6LCR, DC8, DC8T, DC10T and the new DC10A to augment Tannoy’s flagship contemporary loudspeaker range.  Pricing and availability are yet to be announced but look for more details to come this September.  More information will be made available at: www.tannoy.com.

If you’re looking to achieve the cleanest looking, but great sounding, speaker system in your home then you’ll want to check these new Trimless speakers from Monitor Audio.  The new Monitor Audio line-up of in-wall and in-ceiling speaker models offers a wealth of choice, technology and performance to the installer. Seventeen models ranged across four audio quality standards incorporate innovative features to take the complexity out of speaker selection and installation.

In-wall and in-ceiling designs are available in 6.5-inch and 8-inch versions, all with stealthy trimless grilles for low-profile installation. Their performance is classified as ‘good’, ‘better’, ‘best’ and ‘flagship’ according to the Monitor Audio technologies available. For instance, at one end of the performance spectrum, the 100 series CT or WT, 165 or 180 models combine MMPII bass drivers, with a pivoting version of Monitor Audio’s trademark C-CAM gold dome tweeter. At the flagship end, the 300 Series CT/WT 380-IDC 3-way models marry C-CAM bass drivers with Rigid Surface Technology (RST) cone profiles to a pivoting IDC mid/tweeter module housing a 4-inch C-CAM midrange and 1-inch C-CAM gold dome tweeter. In between ‘good’ and ‘flagship’ models are the ‘better’ 200 series of 2-way designs and the ‘best’ 200 series 3-way models.

Also in the range are specialized FX in-ceiling surround speakers with switchable bi-pole/dipole modes and T2 stereo loudspeakers, featuring dual, independently pivoting 1-inch C-CAM tweeters, and 6.5/8-inch MMPII dual wound voice coil bass drivers.

Highlights of the new models include: 

  • Trimless Grilles - The grilles attach magnetically to the speaker frame, allowing easy removal and re-fixing in seconds. Their stealthy appearance favours discreet, décor friendly installation.
  • Patented Tri-Grip Fixing Clamps - These mounting clamps feature three clamping points per dogleg, providing three times the clamping surface area of conventional single-point clamping speakers.
  • Easy Handling during Installation – All models feature protective crossover covers designed to prevent the ingress of loose building materials and dust into the drivers and crossover. The protective covers also make handling easy, and protect the crossover components from damage during installation.
  • Adjustable Response Controls – Optimum imaging and set-up are established via pivoting tweeters, pivoting IDC driver modules, high-frequency, midrange-frequency, and/or boundary compensation controls (depending on model). The boundary compensation control provides a gentle midrange roll-off response while preserving extreme low frequency output when the speaker is placed close to ceiling and wall boundaries.
  • Weather Resistant - All models will resist high humidity and ultraviolet light and can be placed in bathrooms and pool areas.
  • IDC (Inverted Dual Concentric) - 3-way designs in certain 200-300 series models. Minimizes diffraction and improves clarity and directionality.
  • C-CAM (Ceramic Coated Aluminum Magnesium) – In 200-300 series models. Higher power handling, better bass response and control at higher SPL’s.

Prices Range from $219 – $849.  Available: September 2012.

For more info, please visit www.monitoraudio.ca

Channel Islands Audio (CIAudio) has released a USB to S/PDIF converter named the Transient MkII Asynchronous USB Converter.

The Transient MkII offers 24bit/192kHz data rates via an asynchronous USB link to source device – Mac or PC. The new Transient MkII is built around an XMOS based circuit that is claimed to have extremely low-jitter clocks.

Interestingly, the Transient MkII is also a DAC, with Wolfson DAC chips. A stereo RCA variable / fixed switchable output is provided, allowing the Transient to be used as a preamplifier to drive a power amplifier or powered speakers or more traditionally, as a DAC between a source component such as a computer and an integrated amplifier or preamplifier in a larger audio system.

For increased performance, the Transient MkII can be used with an optional separate power supply, the VDC-5 MkII, rather than via its USB hook-up.

Specifications:
Digital Outputs:
• S/PDIF via 75 ohm BNC Connector (Galvanic Isolated)
• I2S via Mini DIN Connector (Audio Alchemy/Perpetual Tech/Camelot)
• Differential I2S via HDMI Connector (PS Audio/Wyred4Sound)
Sample Rates Supported 44.1k, 48k, 88.2k, 96k, 176.4k, 192k up to 24bits
Master Clock Jitter: < 1.0psec
Analog Output Level 2V RMS Maximum (Single-ended RCA)
Frequency Response 20hz to 96kHz
THD + Noise: -89db @ -1dBFS
Dimensions 4.45″W x 2.9″H (including feet) x 5.25″ D
Shipping Weight 5 lbs
Warranty 5 Year Parts & Labor

The Transient MkII is currently available at a MSRP of $699 U.S. Look for more details at: www.ciaudio.com.

Klipsch has just announced the launch of newly engineered Quintet surround speaker system.  This fifth generation model offers significant technological refinements which promise to raise the bar in the all-in-one home theater category.  Complete with four satellite speakers and a dedicated center channel speaker, the Quintet is a complete 5.1 home theater system that utilizes decades of Klipsch’s research and development experience.

Each Quintet speaker employs a new 90-degree by 90-degree Tractrix horn, designed to expand both placement flexibility and the main listening area without reducing overall sound clarity. Combined with the Tractrix horn, a lightweight aluminum tweeter creates a highly efficient driver with excellent transient response and lack of distortion. The new Linear Travel Suspension reduces distortion and enhances dynamics. Complete with an all-new long-throw injection molded graphite (IMG) woofers, the Quintet enables maximum impact and powerful output.

To further enhance the product’s build quality, its cabinets are made of professional AcoustaComp, a material that is naturally dense, rigid and acoustically insert. This specialized material, formed into the Quintet’s speaker cabinets with non-parallel walls to diminish internal standing waves, is truly the next generation in compact home speaker technology.

Offering listeners significant placement flexibility, each Quintet satellite speaker offers a keyhole mount and a ¼-inch 20-threaded inserts for maximum mounting flexibility. The center channel features dual keyhole inserts.

Available in a satin and brushed black finish, the Quintet retails for $549.99 (U.S. MSRP) and will be available for purchase at authorized retailers and http://www.klipsch.com in September 2012.

Chord Electronics is set to release their all new DSX 1000 range-topping network music streamer / player this autumn 2012. The DSX 1000 has a full-color screen with front panel and remote control operation as well as operation via a number of uPnP apps for iPhone/iPad or Android devices. This new music streamer can decode MP3, WMA, WAV, AAC, ALAC and FLAC with up to 24-bit/192kHz resolution. There is also a custom version of the SongBook app to provide full control and setup. The analog volume control circuit is the same as in Chord’s Reference preamplifiers and is said to accurately track adjustments without low-level distortion, which is common to streaming products. The DSX 1000 offers both volume controlled and line-level analog outputs via XLR and RCSA connections. The DSX 100′s streaming engine is coupled to DAC technology based on the QBD76 design as it reclocks all the data and removes unwanted jitter issues.

Pricing and a specific availability dates are yet to be announced. Look for more details to come at: www.chordelectronics.co.uk.

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