Monthly Archives: September 2012

DEQX (pronounced as DEX), has just introduced the HDP-Express II stereo two-channel processor. DEQX processors are designed to correct the distortion that all speakers make and provide room compensation. DEQX processors are unique in that they are designed to correct frequency-response errors as well as timing errors by adjusting thousands of frequency groups to arrive on time, with the result being improved dynamics, timing and realism.

The new HDP-Express II incorporates technology form DEQX’s flagship HDP-4 Preamp Processor in a cost-effective design. Like its predecessor the HDP-Express II provides DEQX Inline correction for your existing speakers, room and media. Plus it facilitates precise integration of one or a pair of subwoofers. The Express II also supports 2- or 3-way active speakers for those opting for DEQX XO Active configurations now or in the future.

The Express II uses professional-grade components and power supplies while the HDP-4 is outfitted with audiophile-grade parts throughout adding a linear mains power supply. DEQX also kept the price of the Express II down by moving all front-panel controls to the Remote and deleting the HDP-4’s balanced analog and digital outputs for a simpler chassis.

Measuring the speakers first, DEQX-Cal software generates correction filters for proper phase, group-delay and frequency-response all of which varies with frequency. The HDP-4 and HDP-Express II works to correct timing errors that speakers always produce and returns frequency-response accuracy to that of the original recording. Only then does DEQX-Cal measure from the listening area for room correction.

DEQX XO Active speaker architecture features linear-phase crossovers driving separate amplifiers that drive individual speaker drivers. The steep and truly linear-phase crossovers improve resolution at normal and higher volume by limiting crossover and compression distortion without the usual phase errors introduced by traditional crossover filters.

The DEQX Remote features Standby, Profile Select, Volume, Mute and Input Select, and what must be the world’s most powerful tone controls. Its three bands include Lo, Mid and Hi with up/down buttons for +/- 1dB adjustments (-9dB to +9dB).

The MSRP for the new Express II is $2,950 USD while the HDP-4 remains $4,950 USD, both available now. Look for more details at: www.deqx.com.

Onkyo, has just introduced their new DS-A5 iPod/iPhone/iPad Dock, which provides AirPlay wireless streaming capabilities to connected Onkyo A/V receivers, as well as many other products.

The Onkyo DS-A5 allows owners of recent Onkyo A/V receivers – as well as older models lacking a USB port or an Ethernet connection – to enjoy all the benefits of AirPlay wireless streaming for iOS devices, including the new iPhone 5. The DS-A5 includes a secure digital-to-digital docking and charging connection for most iPod, iPad, and for iPhone up to model 4S. The DS-A5 is Wi-Fi certified and also has an Ethernet port for connection to a home network. In addition to streaming from portable iOS devices, AirPlay also enables high fidelity wireless audio streaming of audio files from iTunes-equipped personal computers.

When the device is docked, a digital audio output can be employed to deliver signals directly to a receiver’s DACs for clearer, more expansive sound. Analog stereo audio outputs are also provided to provide compatibility with virtually any component that has analog stereo inputs. A composite video output on the DS-A5 makes it easier than ever to view photos and video on the big screen with room-filling cinema sound. Furthermore, the user can control playback with the supplied remote as their iOS device is recharged.

When the DS-A5 is linked to an Onkyo A/V or stereo receiver via the supplied RI (Remote Interactive) cable, the user may power up the system simply by selecting content on their iOS device, and tapping the AirPlay icon. RI has the added advantage of incorporating DS-A5 functionality into the main system remote controller.

The DS-A5 can also be used to add AirPlay capability to non-Onkyo hi-fi and AV systems, standalone DACs, etc., minus, of course, the above stated benefits of RI connectivity.

The Onkyo DS-A5 iPod/iPhone/iPad Dock will be available in October with a suggested retail price of $199 U.S.  Look for more details at: www.onkyo.ca.

Michael Fremer of Analog Planet and Stereophile Magazine fame has just reported that a remastered Beatles catalog is going to be reissued on vinyl in November 2012.  This is welcome new to all Beatles fans and vinyl enthusiasts.  Below is the blog post from Analog Planet’s website:

“After a delay of a few years, due to the meticulousness of all involved, The Beatles catalog will finally be reissued in the format in which it’s meant to be heard and has always sounded best: vinyl.

The first hold-ups were due to finding a pressing plant that could consistently produce the level of quiet demanded by the producers. Then came issues related to the full-sized book that will be included in the box.

While many of us had hoped for an AAA release, that was simply not possible. My contact at EMI in the UK told me how difficult it was getting the estates of John (Yoko) and George (Olivia) plus Paul and Ringo to sign off on the 192/24 bit masters produced for the CD reissues.

Issuing the vinyl from the original tapes would require them to audition test pressings and sign off again, which would have been even more difficult that okaying CDs. Besides, I was told, everyone felt important consistency within the catalog.

So the box was mastered to lacquers at Abbey Road using the original 192k/24 bit files. Clearly these will sound far superior to the CD versions, just as the 44.1K/24 bit Apple USB “dongle” version sounded better than the CD.

No doubt the set will eventually be issued on Blu-ray at 192/24 bit and perhaps it will also be available as a full rez Internet download but nothing can replace the vinyl experience, physically and sonically given that Abbey Road’s D/A converters are probably far superior to what most of us have at home—if we even have D/A converters in our systems (some vinyl purists do not).”

You can find this post at: http://www.analogplanet.com/content/beatles-vinyl-remastered-finally-coming-shipping-mid-november

Update as of Oct. 2012: Looks like it’s now out, earlier than expected, retailing for: $349 (box-set of 14 albums / 16 LP) on amazon.ca.

The digital edition of the October/November 2012 issue is now available in the Digital Editions section.

Features inside this issue include:

  • The New Role of Smartphones and Tablets In Home Entertainment
  • How Is Music Stored In the Digital Format and What Do Higher Resolutions Mean?
  • Bits & Bytes – Digital Music Demystified Part II: An Introduction to Digital Music Playback

Reviewed inside:

  • ModWright Instruments KWA 100 Amplifier and LS 100 Tube Preamplifier
  • Totem Element Ember Compact Speakers
  • Monitor Audio Gold GX 5.1 Speaker System
  • B&W C5 In-ear Headphones

Click HERE to jump to the Digital Editions page

iPad/iPhone/iPod touch users – please open the CANADA HiFi App on your Apple device and you will now see this new issue on the home page of the App (pull the home page down with your finger to update if the latest issue doesn’t appear automatically). If you haven’t downloaded the free CANADA HiFi App just yet, please do so from the App Store on your device. 

 

Electrocompaniet, a Norwegian based high-end audio product company, has just announced a new all-in-one amplifier, DAC and network music player, the ECI 6DS.

The ECI 6DS streams music from your network, wired or wireless (WiFi). With analog and digital connections, including USB, Blu-ray players, CD players, satellite television tuners as well as computers can also be connected.

The ECI 6DS has an on-board high-end DAC as well as a powerful 2 x 125

Watt into 8 ohms integrated amplifier.

The ECI 6DS also feature balanced (XLR) and phono (RCA) inputs.

An ECT-4 remote handset is included that features a display panel showing the music being played, album artwork and other information, as well as offering conventional adjustments such as input selection, volume control and track/album selection.

Key details:
• Music streaming from W iFi/LAN
• Internet Radio
• 192kHz/24-bit DAC with Asynchronous USB, 2 x Coax and 2 x Toslink inputs
• Powerful 2 x 125 Watts integrated amplifier
• 1 balanced(XLR) and 3 phono(RCA) inputs
• Balanced(XLR) and phono(RCA) outputs
• Graphical remote control
• RS-232 connection
• 12V trigger in/out
• Weight of 21 kgs.

The ECI 6DS will be available in October, 2012 at an expected MSRP of: € 5.320 / £4.315 / $5995 U.S. Look for more details at: www.electrocompaniet.no.

Toronto-based exaSound Audio Design has just introduced its new e20 DXD/DSD DAC - a stereo asynchronous USB interface supporting 384kHz/32bit PCM, and 2822.4/5644.8 MHz DSD, priced at $2,499.

The e20 DAC is said to take performance of the company’s e18 DAC to the next level.  It is refined for the perfect stereo experience, has even lower distortion and noise levels, improved headphone amplifier, balanced outputs and DSD support. The e20 DAC enables the leading edge audiophile to play DXD and DSD master files in their native format, without any conversion or down-sampling, offering a perfect reproduction of the recorded material. e20 delivers recording-studio precision and realism – nothing added, nothing taken away.

Noteworthy features of the exaSound e20 DAC include:

  • Based on the ES9018 Sabre32 reference DAC chip.
  • e20 operates in asynchronous USB transfer mode.
  • Galvanic isolation between the USB and the DAC eliminates ground loops noise, and blocks computer-originated interferences.
  • Jitter minimization is achieved by using three precision quartz oscillators (0.13ps master clock).
  • Seventeen internal power cleaning stages.
  • Second generation high-fidelity headphone amplifier, capable of driving the most demanding headphones.
  • Simultaneously driven, gold-plated unbalanced (XLR) and balanced (RCA) outputs.
  • Two S/PDIF inputs provide jitter reduction and superb D/A conversion when used with CD transports.
  • Automatic sampling rate switching, up to 384 kHz software up-sampling.
  • 30 days risk-free in-house trial.

For more info, please visit www.exasound.com

OPPO Digital has just annouced two new universal Blu-ray Disc players – the BDP-103 and BDP-105.  Both new players are universal Blu-ray Disc players supporting: Blu-ray, Blu-ray 3D, DVD-Video, DVD-Audio, Super Audio CD (SACD), HDCD, and CD formats. 

The new players both offer a number of connectivity options with three USB ports as well as wired and wireless networking to support popular video and audio file formats including AVCHD, MKV video, high-resolution WAV and FLAC music, and digital photos.  The BDP-103 and BDP-105 also provide access to popular entertainment network services including Netflix, VUDU, Film Fresh, Pandora and YouTube, with more to come.

OPPO products are known for their excellent picture quality, and the BDP-103 and BDP-105 continue in this tradition. Using a two-step video processing approach that utilizes a custom dual-core SoC and the latest generation of Marvell’s Qdeo video processor, the players deliver a stunning theatrical experience with true-to-life picture. Additional video processing features include 4K up-scaling, 2D-to-3D conversion, 1080p24Hz output, HDMI 1.4 with Deep Color, Source Direct output, and extensive picture control and enhancement options. Two HDMI outputs are provided, adding to the players’ versatility by allowing one output to be used for video and the other for audio, and even enabling the player to drive two displays at the same time.

On the audio side, both players support all of the high-resolution audio formats with bit-stream output and onboard decoding of Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio. For SACD playback, users can choose between sending native DSD or converted PCM through the HDMI and analog outputs depending on their preference and equipment compatibility. The BDP-103 provides a configurable 7.1ch analog output that can be used in stereo, 5.1ch or 7.1ch mode. The BDP-105 adds audiophile-grade components including an analog output section sporting two ESS Sabre32 Reference DACs, a newly designed Toroidal linear power supply, dedicated stereo outputs with both RCA and XLR balanced connections, and a headphone amplifier connected directly to the DAC.

Last but not least, customers have always asked for ways to take further advantage of the excellent audio and video processing functions provided by the OPPO players, and the new players answer this request by adding two HDMI input ports, one on the front and one on the back, with the front HDMI input doubling as a Mobile High-definition Link (MHL) input. Users can connect external devices such as set-top boxes, network streaming devices, and even mobile phones to take advantage of the players’ video processing power. The BDP-105 takes this a step further by adding an asynchronous USB DAC input that supports the USB Audio 2.0 standard, along with additional coaxial and optical digital inputs. Users can stream bit-perfect audio from their computer to the BDP-105 without worrying about the jitter performance of their computer’s master clock thanks to the USB DAC’s asynchronous clock mode.

The BDP-103 and BDP-105 are designed for user convenience and installation flexibility. Beyond the included back-lit remote control, the players can be controlled via its IR IN, RS-232 control ports, and mobile phone control apps. Users will appreciate the quick startup and fast disc loading performance of these players. Accented with a heavy gauge brushed aluminum front panel, dimmable display and a sturdy chassis, the players fit well with any home theater environment or sound system.

A specific release date has not yet been announced; however, OPPO expects to release both players this October, 2012.  The current MSRP will be as follows: $499 U.S. for the BDP-103 and $1199 U.S. for the BDP-105. Look for more details on these players at: www.oppodigital.com.

Boston Acoustics, a D+M Group company, has just launched their new M Series loudspeaker line. The M Series is comprised of seven models that accommodate home theatre, surround and stereo applications.

The M Series lineup includes the following models:
M350: 3-way floorstander with four 5 ¼” woofers and a 4” midrange;
M340: 3-way floorstander with four 4 ½” woofers
M250: 2.5 way floorstander with one 5 ¼” midrange/woofer combination and dedicated 5 ¼” woofer.
M25: 2-way bookshelf with one 5 ¼” woofer
MCenter: with dual 4 ½ woofers
MSurround
MSubwoofer 

Boston Acoustics M Series loudspeakers are distinguished visually by their elegant rounded cabinet designs, high-gloss finish and premium quality, leatherette covered baffles. All speakers are available in gloss black with black faux leather trim. The look of the M series brings together classic and modern design cues to allow them to blend into home décor. 

The M Series was created to deliver exceptionally accurate and natural sound reproduction from an aesthetically pleasing design, with each speaker specifically engineered to provide superior acoustic results for the intended application. There are several key innovations that provide the framework for their astoundingly accurate, powerful and immersive sound. The bookshelf and floorstanding models utilize Boston’s innovative Extended Wide Bandwidth (EWB) tweeter in its second generation. Engineered after an extensive research and development effort, the EWB design combines a lightweight high tensile strength fabric diaphragm with a Coupled Dual Concentric Diaphragm (CDCD) design, and an aerodynamically tuned central vent. Notably, the EWB tweeter is different than most tweeters, with a large radiating surface that extends from the center through the crease out to outside perimeter of the diaphragm (which doubles as the surround). This unique design significantly lowers the moving mass of the tweeter diaphragm which makes it better able to track subtle treble details. The result is more stable linear motion, extended high-frequency response, lower distortion and improved clarity in the high registers.

One of the keys to the enhanced performance and wide sonic dispersion of the M Series MCenter and MSurround is the innovative Balanced Mode Radiator (BMR). The BMR is a piston radiator and a bending mode radiator, covering the range normally handled by both tweeter AND a midrange, without a crossover.

Additionally, the polypropylene midrange drivers with mass loading (in Models M350 and M340) provide smooth overall response with minimal coloration in the critical midrange frequencies, which must reproduce the most important part of vocals or the fundamental frequencies and first harmonics of acoustic instruments. For even improved accuracy, the midrange drivers live in their own separate chamber. The polypropylene woofers in M Series speakers are lightweight and rigid with large motor structures for maximum low frequency output and heat dissipation. Notably, a specially engineered “Quad-Woofer Array” in the M350 and M340 loudspeakers further enhances performance by creating multiple floor reflection points, which helps to smooth out the bass response at the listening position, and allows the speakers to generate their powerful soundfield with a significantly slimmer form factor.

M Series speakers also feature Boston Acoustics’ breakthrough Lo-Q™ cabinet construction for pure sound reproduction and the absolute minimal interference from the cabinet. This specially designed speaker enclosure (included in all models except the MSub and MSurround (where it is not necessary) ensures the absolute minimum of potentially sound-degrading cabinet vibration.

Key to the effectiveness of the Lo-Q cabinet is a double layer of Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF), joined with a layer of acoustic damping adhesive in the middle. This new construction significantly outperforms conventional cabinet designs, with exceptionally low resonance and ideal acoustic response.

The M Series MSub is a consummate expression of Boston Acoustics’ expertise in loudspeaker design. It features an internal power amplifier rated at 500 watts (1,000 watts of peak output). The amplifier is mated to a specially designed 10” woofer capable of handling this much power. The woofer features high excursion capabilities, a heavy duty surround and a large voice coil. There are also two 8” passive radiators – one on each side of the cabinet – that allow the subwoofer to play the lowest notes and to reproduce the loudest peaks with low distortion in a relatively small enclosure. Finally, the internal power supply includes a large toroidal transformer to keep plenty of power on reserve so the subwoofer can handle even the most demanding music or film soundtrack with absolute ease and authority.

Pricing in U.S. dollars is as follows:
M350: $2,499/pr; M340 $1,999/pr; M250:$1,499/pr; M25: $799/pr; MCenter: $599; MSurround: $748/pr; MSubwoofer: $1,199. 

For more details, please visit: www.BostonAcoustics.com.

TAVES is proud to announce that Wireless Xplosion Ltd., a leading wholesales distributor of mobile phone and tablet accessory brands, will be showcasing its wide selection of products at the upcoming 2012 TAVES (September 28-30, King Edward Hotel, downtown Toronto).  Consumers will have to opportunity to purchase mobile phone and tablet cases, Bluetooth accessories, as well as car and travel cases.  Trade visitors should take a look at the Wireless Xplosion portfolio of products and consider how these products could help to expand their existing business.  Some of the brands you’ll find at the Wireless Xplosion display include Agent 18, Seidio, Coveroo, DriSuit, LifeProof, Rokform, UAG, Be A Headcase, Gear 4, Screensurance, Mimoco, Joy Factory, Kate Spade, Juicy Couture, Contour Design and Lucky Brand.  We invite you to accessorize your mobile device to the max at the 2012 TAVES!

For more info, please visit www.wirelessxplosion.ca 

For more info about TAVES, please visit www.taveshow.com

Denon Electronics, has just released a premium compact Desktop Music System, the D-M39S. This new all-in-one D-M39S music system is claimed to provides a rich and immersive listening experience with a host of connectivity options.

The D-M39S has an integrated high-performance CD player that allows playback of popular music file types including MP3 and WMA as well as an extensive array of connectivity options that includes a stereo line input, as well as an optical digital input for an audio source such as HDTV, Blu-ray, cable or satellite tuner. The front panel also features a USB port for direct connection to portable digital devices and thumb drives, and is compatible for connection to an iPhone or iPad. When an iPod, iPod touch, iPhone or iPad is connected during use, the system charges the device. Notably, even during standby mode, the unit continues to charge the device until it’s fully charged, then returns to normal energy-saving standby mode of lowest power consumption (less than 1/3 watt).

The D-M39S system was designed for total user flexibility and ease-of-use. Its built-in FM stereo tuner features 40 station presets, with an automatic timer play function that can be set to activate daily or one time, along with a sleep timer function. The dimmable front panel display features a high resolution two-line alpha-numeric readout of music track titles as well as radio station information, and the remote control provides easy control of all major functions, with direct source selection buttons along with an intuitive keypad design.

Despite its compact and unassuming size, the elegant D-M39S Desktop Music System boasts a powerful audio amplifier section that delivers 30W + 30W of power. The digital audio section features the latest 192 kHz/32 bit D/A conversion technology for crystal clear reproduction of high resolution audio formats. The matching speakers feature high power woofers paired with high resolution wide dispersion soft dome tweeters. The woofers feature die cast alloy frames with massive magnetic motor structures that help deliver deep powerful bass response, and the wide range tweeters feature response extending to 40 kHz for optimum reproduction of high resolution music file formats.

The main system unit includes adjustable bass and treble controls, and features Denon’s exclusive Super Dynamic Bass technology for improved deep bass definition, allowing a full range sound quality even at reduced volume levels. For listeners who want to add an extra layer of low-frequency punch, there’s a subwoofer output as well, and all speaker connections feature heavy duty multi-way binding posts.

The D-M39S Desktop Music System is currently available at a MSRP of $449.95, in Canada. For more information, visit: www.ca.denon.com.

JOIN US & WIN GREAT PRIZES!

1,971FansLike
458FollowersFollow