George de Sa

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Metaxas

Metaxas returns with their Solitaire and Soliloquy Mono-block amplifiers, almost 30 years after their original introduction. The Solitaire offers 150 Watts (RMS), while the Soliloquy provides a lower output of 100 Watts (RMS), whle providing higher precision in the discrete transistor voltage regulation of both input and high-current output stages.

New dual-printed circuit board construction separates signal from power by putting the small-signal circuitry on an upper board and high-current power delivery “wave-guide” on a lower circuit board. Custom designed driver and power transistors made to Metaxas specification are all individually computer batch selected, matched and load tested.

These latest amplifier iterations of the Solitaire and Soliloquy provide greater depth, transparency and realism than before.

The casework of these mono-block amplifiers is nothing less gorgeous – sensual, organic and striking – the casework is all machied from aluminum with all parts, including the circuit, topology, layout and casework deigned by Kostas Metaxas.

The Solitaire/Soliloquy amplifiers will be joined by a new Ikarus integrated amplifier, Tribute preamplifier & professional mixer and a Prince portable and Emperor electrostatic monitor loudspeakers.

Price and availability of the Metaxas Solitaire and Soliloquy Mono-block amplifiers are yet to be announced. Look for more information at: http://www.metaxas.com/

Denon Heos 1
Denon Electronics just recently announced their new HEOS 1 and HEOS 1 Go Pack products for their wireless multi-room sound system line. The portable HEOS 1 wireless speaker is the first product offered in the line and is designed for both indoor and outdoor use. The HEOS 1 Go Pack extends the usability and features of the HEOS 1.

The new HEOS 1 (MSRP $199 U.S.) is designed with audiophile grade synchronization to deliver great stereo imaging without echo and incorporates state-of-the-art audio DSP optimization. HEOS 1 is embedded with MaxxAudio by Waves – a suite of state-of-the-art sound technologies customized to provide top-of-the-line sound quality for an optimized listening experience. With the easy to use free HEOS app, setup is simple and fast for indoors or outdoors. The HEOS 1 has been designed with small spaces in mind but with the Go Pack, HEOS 1 expands into a speaker that takes multi-room listening outdoors – pool, patio or park.

The HEOS 1 Go Pack (MSRP $99 U.S.) is an accessory pack consisting of a rechargeable battery, a Splashguard, and a Bluetooth-USB adapter, providing up to 6 hours of playback and resistant to humidiy. With the addition of the Splashguard it becomes IPX4 splashproof for added protection at outdoor events that may occur in the rain or poolside. The Go Pack’s Bluetooth-USB adapter allows the user to stream Bluetooth audio directly to one HEOS 1 speaker or when Wi-Fi is available, the Bluetooth audio can be shared with other HEOS devices.

HEOS brings Denon-quality audio to any—or all—rooms in the home by easily connecting to an existing Wi-Fi network via the HEOS app, available for iOS, Android and Kindle Fire. The system delivers users’ favorite music from the world’s leading music services like Spotify, SiriusXM, Pandora, Rhapsody, TuneIn, iHeartRadio, as well as smart devices, PCs, Macs or NAS drives on any home network.

HEOS 1 Key Features:
» Best-in-Class Sound
» Humidity Resistant
» Play any source from any smart device via the HEOS app: streaming cloud music services, directly from phone and tablet, USB, network storage, aux in
» Dual-band Wi-Fi
» USB input directly to speaker
» Bi-Amped 2-way system with custom active EQ and crossover
» Custom woofer and high dispersion tweeter powered by a 2-channel Class D amplifier
» Easy setup
» Intuitive industrial design for portability
» Audiophile grade synchronization
» Great stereo imaging – use 2 HEOS 1 speakers as a stereo pair
» MaxxAudio® by Waves technology
» Easy-to-use app with three tabs- one-touch access to most-used features
» Optional HEOS 1 Go Pack available
» Available in black and white

HEOS 1 GO PACK – Key Features
» Optional accessory pack for use with HEOS 1 wireless speaker
» Bluetooth – play any audio from your phone or tablet when Wi-Fi is not available
» Rechargeable battery – 6 hrs of playback from the custom base-fitted battery
» Splashguard upgrades HEOS 1 from steam-resistant to full IPX4 protection
» 4 LED battery indicator
» Available in black and white

Besides the HEOS 1 and HEOS 1 Go Pack, the Denon HEOS series includes three other wireless multi-zone music players: HEOS 3 ($299 U.S.), HEOS 5 ($399 U.S.), and HEOS 7 ($599 U.S.). The HEOS Amp ($499 U.S.) and HEOS Link ($349 U.S.) allow you to integrate legacy systems into the HEOS eco-system. Also part of the series is a Wi-Fi range extender HEOS Extend ($99 U.S.).

The Denon HEOS series will expand with new products in the near future. Look for more information at: http://usa.denon.com/ca/heos.

Spatial Audio Hologram M3
Spatial Audio is set to introduce their next generation open-baffle technology Hologram M3 loudspeaker at the T.H.E. Show, Newport this May. The new passive, plug and play open-baffle speaker has been in devleopment since 2011 and is the company’s first major step forward in open-baffle design since the original Emerald Physics CS2 in 2007.

The new Hologram technology was developed to provide outstanding musical realism within a completely passive design; eliminating the need for bi-amping or DSP equalization. The Hologram’s full-range, open baffle design leverages twin 15 inch drivers with a system sensitivity of 95dB that allows the entire music dynamics to be recreated. Unlike most high-efficiency speaker designs, the Hologram M3 exhibits high accuracy via its linear frequency response and controlled directivity design.

Unqualified Specifications:
Type: 2-way, point source, dynamic open-baffle
Drivers: Two 15 inch mid/woofers, One 1 inch exit compression driver – coaxially mounted
Crossover: Hologram Circuit – 800 Hz symmetrical
Freq. Response: 32Hz – 20kHz +/- 3dB in room response
Impedance: 4Ω Nominal – low phase angle
Sensitivity: 95dB/2.83V @ 1M
Dimensions: 42T x 20W x 13 inches
Weight: 75 Lbs Net

The new Spatial Audio Hologram M3 loudspeaker will have a MSRP of: $1495 U.S./pair (Standard Version) and $1895 U.S./pair (Turbo Version with WBT Nextgen, premium caps). Look for more information at: http://www.spatialaudio.us/

Yamaha 79 Untitled
Yamaha has announced their 2015 RX-V Series network AV receivers, including their 7.2-channel RX-V679 and RX-V579, as well as the 5.1-channel RX-V479.

All three of these RX-V 79 Series models feature full 4K Ultra HD connectivity with HDMI 2.0 and support HDCP 2.2. In addition, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, AirPlay, Spotify Connect, and Internet radio via vTuner are built-in.

All models work with the Yamaha AV Controller App, allowing seamless and easy control via Apple and Android devices.

The RX-V679 supports 4K Ultra HD at 60p 4:4:4 for watching content in this super high-resolution format, while the RX-V579 and RX-V479 provide 4K Ultra HD at 60p 4:2:0. HDCP 2.2 compatibility is found in all models to enable them to work with copy protected 4K media streaming devices and future Blu-ray Disc players. The RX-V679 also incorporates a video upscaling processor that will take content from analog and HDMI inputs and convert them to 4K.

All models include Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio HD Audio format decoding.

Yamaha has further optimized its exclusive Compressed Music Enhancer to effectively reproduce vivid and lively sound from music streamed via Bluetooth from smartphones and other devices.

With the exclusive YPAO automatic calibration system, the RX-479 and RX-V579 optimizes speaker output to create the best possible listening experiences. The RX-V679 has YPAO – Reflected Sound Control that calibrates the listening area for superior sound at every seating position.

For more information on Yamaha’s new RX-V 79 Series network AV receivers, visit:
http://ca.yamaha.com/en/products/audio-visual/av-receivers-amps/rxv-series/

Pricing and Availability:
The new Yamaha RX-V 79 Series network AV receivers will be available starting this May with the following MSRPs:
RX-V679 ($749.95)
RX-V579 ($649.95)
RX-V479 ($549.95)

Nordost Purple Flare USBAt last week’s High End 2015 show in Munich, Nordost launched their Purple Flare USB 2.0 cable, which serves as the entry-level USB option in Nordost’s product line.

With computer audio and music streaming becoming increasingly popular, music servers and DACs are being incorporated into hi-fi systems. To enhance the performance of such systems, cabling must be a careful consideration. The new Purple Flare USB 2.0 Data Cable offers an affordable alternative to increase the performance of such systems.

The new Purple Flare USB 2.0 Data Cable combines OFC conductors with Nordost’s innovative precision FEP extrusion technology, greatly reducing dielectric properties in order to increase signal speeds and ensure both electrical and sonic integrity. This double-shielded cable provides the detailed and dynamic results that music servers and DACs are capable of.

Digital cables make a difference, and USBs are no exception. The Purple Flare USB 2.0 Data cable aims to deliver music data with maximum precision and in turn lift the performance of the system it is used in.

The new Purple Flare USB 2.0 cables is now available in standard, mini and micro terminations at a MSRP of: $199.99 / 0.6 meter. Look for more information to be provided at: http://www.nordost.com/

Meridian In-Wall In-Ceiling
Meridian systems aim to provide the closest possible recreation of the original musical performance for the listener. Keeping to this objective but aiming to please those who prefer unseen equipment, Meridian is launching their new compact in-wall/in-ceiling DSP320 loudspeaker.

The DSP320 in-wall/in-ceiling loudspeaker is designed for in-ceiling use while also being slim enough for an in-wall set-up. It is designed to deliver a similar tonal signature and performance to Meridian’s free-standing DSP loudspeakers, yet sit discreetly within a wall or ceiling, virtually unseen.

Like Meridian’s current DSP520, the DSP320 has been introduced specifically to deliver wide dispersion for maximum listening area, with minimum unwanted diffraction thanks to careful baffle and grille design. The on-board DSP provides thermal and dynamic bass protection with very accurate transients, ensuring that when the loudspeaker is played at high levels, even over prolonged periods of time, the loudspeakers always deliver a clean, detailed and accurate sound.

Key Features:
• Compact 300mm (12in) square design only 100mm (4in) deep* delivers full DSP loudspeaker performance in-wall (*approx.)
• Back-box and frame system allows simple and easy installation, with the flexibility to ensure precise positioning
• 2-channel, high power amplifier with linear power supply, DSP crossover, setup controls, IR sensor
• Fire-rated rough-in box with AC connection and mounting hardware
• Damped, high-rigidity aluminium acoustic enclosure with internal mineral-filled midrange enclosure
• High rigidity aluminium baffle with Bass/Wide Range drive units and high contact magnetic grille clamping
• White scrim under high precision plated steel, paintable, matt white grille.
• DSP-based design delivers superior performance to conventional designs – equivalent to an enclosure of eight times the physical volume.
• Features “Racetrack” oval bass driver, and the same 85mm wide-range driver as the DSP520, for full-frequency response
• All aspects of the design including baffle and grille have been developed for maximum dispersion and listening area plus minimum unwanted diffraction
• Ideal with DSP520 and stand-alone Meridian DSP loudspeakers, with complementary sound.

The new Meridian compact in-wall/in-ceiling DSP320 loudspeaker is currently available, though pricing is yet to be announced. Look for more details to be shared at: https://www.meridian-audio.com/

Astell&Kern AK380
Astell&Kern has announced its newest flagship portable hi-res audio player, the AK380. This latest player has been designed to please professionals and audiophiles who demand the very best.

The Astell&Kern AK380 was debuted at the The Hi-End Show in Munich 2015 in May and will also be demonstrated at T.H.E. Show, Newport Beach May 29 – 31, 2015.

The AK380 is the first portable hi-res audio player from Astell&Kern supporting native playback of 32-bit/384 kHz PCM high resolution audio files. The new AK380 features two AKM AK4490 DAC chipsets, creating a true Dual-Mono setup that gives clear channel separation, broader dynamic range and wider soundstage. The AK380 can playback up to 32-bit/384kHz PCM and single-rate and double-rate DSD high resolution audio natively, without conversion.

Utilizing the microUSB jack and new 4-pin balanced out jacks on the bottom of the player, the AK380 slots into the expansion docks, providing a high quality connection without adding additional bulk to the player. Some of the expansion docks and accessories are as follows:

•AK380 AMP – A portable amp that provides the AK380 with greater power output to drive a wide variety of inefficient headphones and IEMs without the need for added cables and another device to carry.
•AK380 Cradle – A docking cradle that provides a convenient and secure place to put your AK380 while charging via USB or using the player as a USB DAC. The new AK380 cradle also features balanced outs to use the AK380 as a high-res source for a 2-channel system.
•AK380 CD-ROM – An external CD-ROM drive that allows users to rip music from discs directly to the AK380, without the need for a computer.

The AK380 has built-in DLNA 1.0 support, allowing users to wirelessly stream music from any DLNA compatible NAS or device on your network. With the AK Connect app for iOS and Android-based smartphones and tablets (coming soon), you can control playback on the device and stream music located on your device directly to the AK380.

Other features include a 4-inch high-resolution TFT-LCD screen, 256GB of internal memory with one microSD card slot supporting up to 128GB microSD card for a total of 384GB of storage and Bluetooth 4.0 support. The AK380 offers finer EQ settings over previous Astell&Kern models using a Parametric EQ capable of 0.1dB increments over 20 bands. Previous models offered EQ settings of 0.5dB increments over 10 bands.

Like the Astell&Kern AK240, the new AK380 features a duralumin, aircraft grade aluminum body, unbalanced and balanced analog outputs that allows the user to use virtually any headphone or earbud on the market; Wi-Fi connectivity to download music wirelessly to the player from a computer or network storage device and provides the ability to wirelessly stream music to the player without downloading music to the player first and the ability to use the AK380 as a USB DAC, allowing the owner to connect the player to their computer to bypass their internal sound card and get high resolution sound from their PC or Mac desktop or laptop.

The Astell&Kern AK380 is expected to be available soon for $3,499 U.S. Look for more information at: http://www.astellnkern.com/

Aardvark Boutique

The Aardvark Boutique Audio store launch and vinyl music event is just a week away – happening on Tuesday May 26 at the Orangeville Opera House (87 Broadway, Orangeville, ON L9W 1K1). Doors open at 7 p.m. with the musical festitivites to begin at 8 p.m. The event is FREE and open to all.

Aardvark Boutique Audio will focus on a very select line of high value hi fi audio components all designed, in the words of Peter Wolter, boutique owner, “to introduce, or re-introduce the full emotional and visceral impact of recorded music – in other words – hi fidelity to the original recording.”

Join other music lovers and hi fi enthusiasts in what promises to be a truly unique and remarkable one of a kind musical event, which will include:

Two 40 – minute sets (and a special live performance) will feature:
• a world-class tube amplifier from Finale Audio – delivering 40 watts of glorious tube power
• turntables from Thorens (the classic 350) and Funk (Vector V) to spin the vinyl…
• and speakers (Spendor/Devore/Gemme) that will bring all the impact & emotion of the original recording.

To nominate Canadian artists you would like to hear on vinyl – please visit the Aardvark Boutique Audio Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/aardvarkaudio

If you enjoy music and are at all curious about the renewed interest in vinyl (and tube amplifiers!) this is the event to be at. Be sure to visit the Facebook site and announced your intention to attend: https://www.facebook.com/aardvarkaudio

Tidal Audio Assoluta Monoblock

Tidal Audio from Germany just debuted a number of their latest products at the Munich High End 2015, A system consisting of the new Camira D/A Converter, Presencio Reference Preamplifier, the new Assoluta Monoblock power amp, and the new Akira loudspeakers was demonstrated.

The new TIDAL Akira uses the exclusive driver-and-cabinet technology of the La Assoluta in a 1.40m tall speaker for smaller or medium sized living rooms. The Akira does offer full range performance, delivering upper bass / lower midrange with the a pure diamond diaphragm that is perfectly linear and time coherent.

The Camira, Tidal Audio’s new top-of-the-line digital-analog-converter uses a completely descrete NOS (non-over-sampling) ladder-DAC structure with an unique Iso-Recklock technology which makes it independent of digital sources. It has the option to add a UPLS level control linedeck to a complete 3-stack solution for the ultimate line level/digital input solution.

The Assoluta Monobloc is a true mono channel amplifier with an active regulated power supply for all the current parts and all the voltage parts. 3 huge silver hollow-conductor EMV transformers, complex 4-layer PCB boards and the complete absence if signal wires. A completely new way of “cold-welding” the transformer output cables directly into the in-house made PCB-boards is used to maximize performance. Specifications of the new Tidal Assoluta Monoblock are as follows:

•Tidal’s proprietary linear power supply that accurately regulates the voltage and current with 330,000uF capacity per channel.
•Three Tidal’s proprietary transformers with pure silver, surface polished hollow conductor winding. Each transformer is magnetically shielded and temperature controlled in a resonance damped cabinet.
•Cold welding on all termination for lowest resistance and stable contact area.
•No coupling capacitors in the signal path.
•Multi-layer PCB with 4 x 105 uF layers.
•Ultra-low impedance capacitors directly at the transistors
•Weight: 85kg
•Dimension: 60cm L x 44cm W x 32.5cm H
•Power: 360W/8ohm, 700W/4ohm, 1,200W/2ohm
•Power Supply: 3 x 800VA transformers
•Linear Power Supply: 1 x 2,000VA
•Bandwidth: More than 500,000Hz
•Distortions 25W/4Ohm: Below 0.01%
•Distortions -1dB below max power: below 0.08%

Pricing and availability for North America is yet to be announced. Look for more details at: http://www.tidal-audio.de/

Legacy Audio
Legacy Audio is set to debut their new Legacy V speaker system at T.H.E. Show Newport. The new system is a Legacy Audio first to include the Legacy Wavelet processor. The Wavelet is a preamplifier, four-way crossover with time alignment, complete speaker and room resonance correction, and a high-end DAC with apodizing ability all-in-one. The Wavelet allows for the preamp and DAC to be bypassed with one touch of a button. Legacy has incorporated the revolutionary Bohmer acoustic processing into the Wavelet, allowing for optimization of the loudspeaker/room acoustic transfer function in both the frequency and time domains. The process starts with a psychoacoustically based measurement method using the provided calibrated microphone. Alignments are individually optimized within a 40ms window either through an iPad, smart phone or computer. The optimized result has been designed to provide an audible improvement in transient response.

The Legacy V is the first system to use the new dual 4” long Legacy AMT neodymium tweeters, arranged in a specially optimized post convergent array that masterfully presents treble which extends up to 30kHz. Building upon the advances first developed for the award winning Aeris speaker system, V features open air dual 14” carbon/pulp drivers delivering detailed and spacious midrange and midbass.

Legacy Chief Designer, Bill Dudleston, integrated a 12” aluminum bass driver boasting a massive magnetic structure with another 12” aluminum very low frequency radiator which drives three 10” mass loaded pneumatic radiators. This provides the highest excursion at the longest wavelengths with superior dynamic response. The V speaker system even shapes low frequencies into a cardioid pattern to avoid room coloration. The low frequencies are amplified by integrated 1500 Watt ICEpower amplification.

An new V cabinet that features real wood veneer, a high-gloss baffle, and machined aluminum trim make a true statement. There is also elegant gentle illumination from within the center of each tower.

The Legacy V System will have a MSRP of: $49,500 U.S. Look for more information to be made available at: http://legacyaudio.com/products/view/v/