Netflix and Sony to Team Up for Instant Movie Downloads Through PS3
October 26, 2009
Beginning sometime in November, Netflix customers will be able to download movies and television shows to their Sony PlayStation 3s using the PS3s Internet connection. For $8.99 a month, Netflix customers can have unlimited movies and shows streamed to their PS3s.
For the moment, access will require an instant-streaming Blu-ray Disc that Netflix is making available to all customers. The Blu-ray activates the BD-Live circuitry in the player whereupon the user can access lists of available titles. Customers can still use the Netflix queuing system to organize their requests. One can go to the link below for more information as soon as it becomes available.
Eagle Rock to Release Steve Morse Album in Domestic Edition
October 21, 2009
On November 17, Out Standing in Their Field, the new studio album by The Steve Morse Band, will be released domestically in the US by Eagle Rock. The critically acclaimed set was released abroad in September and has been available in the US only as an import. The entirely instrumental album is the 12th for the band and features guitarist Morse with bassist David LaRue and drummer Van Romaine.
Morse got his start in the 1970s with the Dixie Dregs and hes spent the last 16 years playing with Deep Purple, while fronting his own band. Press sources call the music on Out Standing in Their Field as "a diverse sound spectrum, twisting together elements of rock, country, jazz, funk and classical." The release is tied into a North American tour that began on October 15 in Annapolis, Maryland, and will end on Halloween in Atlanta.
Eagle Rock Entertainment to Release Roxy Music Retrospective DVD on October 20
October 19, 2009
On October 20, Eagle Rock Entertainment and Eagle Vision Entertainment USA will release on DVD More Than This: The Story of Roxy Music. The story of the popular band is told through interviews with band members Bryan Ferry, Phil Manzanera, Andy Mackay, Paul Thompson, Brian Eno, and Eddie Jobson plus many of their contemporaries. The over-90-minute DVD covers the whole history of the band, from its inception to its breakup to its reunion. Three previously unreleased live tracks from Dock Rock (filmed in London in 2006) are included: "Both Ends Burning," "Editions of You," and "Do The Strand," as is a lot of rare, previously unseen footage. The program was first released on BBC television in 2008. Its list price on DVD will be $14.98.
iPeng Releases its Version 1.2 App for Squeezebox and iTunes Users
October 12, 2009
iPeng has released a new version of its popular software app that can turn your iPhone or iTouch into a full-featured remote control for Squeezebox products. With iPeng, the user has full control over his or her music library. One can use it to control one Squeezebox or many devices in a network.
The app displays handsome screens, including full-color album covers, and since it works through the WI-FI network in your home, you can control the Squeezebox from any location that is within range of the network.
The designer claims the following for the new version:
Version 1.2 of iPeng is available at the Apple Apps Store for $9.95. Projecting the possible cost of a remote control that would have as many functions as iPeng, the price seems to constitute a real bargain.
Sony to Release Samuel Fuller Collection on DVD
October 9, 2009
Samuel Fuller is generally regarded as both legend and maverick in the history of American cinema. As a director, by using a combination of handheld camera and deep focus, he created a hard-hitting style that would dramatically enhance the action onscreen. He was also an in-demand screenwriter for other directors projects.
On October 27, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment will release The Collectors Choice: Samuel Fuller Collection, a DVD box set that contains seven films either directed or scripted by Fuller. As director, he is represented by The Crimson Kimono (1959) and Underworld U.S.A. (1961). Five movies that Fuller scripted will be available on DVD for the first time: It Happened in Hollywood (1937), Adventure in Sahara (1938), Power of the Press (1943), Shockproof (1949), and Scandal Sheet (1952). The box set is the result of a cooperative effort between Sony and The Film Foundation, an organization founded by Martin Scorsese to preserve and present important films in the history of cinema. Bonus features include interviews with Scorsese, and fellow directors Curtis Hanson, Tim Robbins, and Wim Wenders. List price for the set is $79.95.
Legendary Speaker Designer Jim Thiel Passes Away
September 17, 2009
It's with great sadness that we report that legendary speaker designer Jim Thiel has passed away. Along with Kathy Gornik, Jim Thiel founded Thiel Audio, a privately held company located in Lexington, Kentucky.
Jim Thiel was one of the few remaining loudspeaker designers who created speakers that are time and phase correct. It's this aspect of speaker design that Thiel Audio was best known for. Thiel's newest speaker, the CS3.7, is a highly innovative speaker with radical new drivers designed by Jim Thiel himself. His rigorous attention to detail and his excellent design work paid off. SoundStage! Network writers have reviewed numerous Thiel Audio speakers over the years and have consistently found them to offer outstanding performance and value. We have also spoken to Jim Thiel on many occasions and found him to be extremely knowledgeable about all aspects of speaker design.
Jim Thiel was a highly respected pioneer in the high-end-audio audio industry whose presence and contributions will certainly be missed.
Zu Audio Goes Factory Direct and Lowers Prices
September 2, 2009
Zu Audio is responding to customers' demands for lower pricing and is changing their business model back to being factory direct. According to the company's press release of August 31: "Effective September 1st, Zu Audio once again sells our acclaimed loudspeakers, cables and accessories directly to our U.S. customers, via ZuAudio.com or telephone. After nine months serving our market through authorized dealers in the U.S., youve collectively spoken loud and clear: Zu customers want to buy from Zu. We also believe the radically changed economy of the past 12 months has reset music lovers perception of value. So were using the more efficient economics of direct sales to give you more for less: Our new critically acclaimed Essence loudspeaker, formerly starting at $5,000 per pair now starts at $3,495 per pair -- its new everyday price!"
Zu Audio originally started only making cables and, at that time, was known as Zu Cable. Over time, the company expanded into loudspeakers and eventually changed to the current name. Zu Audio is based in Ogden, Utah, USA.
PMC Launches DB1S-A II and TB2S-A II Pro Compact Monitors
August 19, 2009
PMC of the UK has announced the release of the DB1S-A II and TB2S-A II compact loudspeakers which have been designed for small- to medium-sized control rooms. The DB1S-A II, which is the smaller of the two, features a 5.5" bass unit while TB2S-A II uses a 6.5" driver.
According to the company's August 18 press release: "The major area of upgrade to both models is inclusion of PMCs all new DS-001, a cutting-edge class-D power module. This unit ups the power from the previous modules output of 100W to 200W into 8 ohms and radically reduces distortion, producing a significantly cleaner, faster more neutral presentation across the full bandwidth. This innovative ultra-low-noise design is not load dependant and along with the highly accurate ATL (Advanced Transmission Line) bass-loading system, produces a supremely flat frequency response. A single feedback loop circuit senses the loudspeaker load and adjusts the response accordingly, making output impedance of this amplifier design extremely low and bettering many larger, audiophile class A analogue designs. Both power supply and amplifier are highly efficient with the amplifier delivering 92% efficiency. It also benefits from with extremely low radiated and conducted EMI, which is perfect for low-noise environments. The slim-line unit takes the identical form to the previous power module allowing for factory upgrades to existing TB2S-A and DB1S-A models." No pricing details were given.
Thiel Audio Introduces the DewPoint, a High-End Outdoor Loudspeaker
July 28, 2009
Thiel Audio of Lexington, KY, has introduced the new DewPoint, an outdoor loudspeakers that is based on the company's popular PowerPoint® model. According to Thiel's July 24 press release, "Many steps have been taken to provide the DewPoints with a high degree of resistance to environmental extremes. The enclosure is made of sturdy aluminum and is paintable to match any décor. The DewPoints anodized aluminum grille is impervious to rust and attached to the cabinet with a soft-set adhesive. All of the mounting hardware included with the speakers is made of top quality stainless steel."
The DewPoint features a coaxial driver in a wedge-shaped enclosure that is said to afford a "90-degree radiation pattern enables the sound to cover virtually any area far more completely than normal, more directional surface-mount or in-wall/in-ceiling speakers." The frequency response of the DewPoint is said to be 75Hz to 20kHz, +/-3dB, the impedance 4 ohms (minimum of 3 ohms), and the sensitivity 89dB (2.83V/1m).
The price for the DewPoint is to be announced at a later date and availability will be in the fall.
PSB's Redesigned Image Series
July 15, 2009
Trickle-down technology from PSB's highly praised Synchrony and Imagine speaker lines has made its way into the newly redesigned Image series that includes the T5 and T6 floorstanders ($899 USD and $1199 per pair), B5 and B6 monitors ($399 and $499 per pair), C4 and C5 center-channels ($275 and $375), and S5 surround ($799 per pair). A new addition to this line is the B4 Sub-Compact Monitor/Surround that uses a 4" woofer and a 1" titanium tweeter. The B4, which is intended for home-theater and multichannel use, is priced at $299 per pair and fits into a cabinet space that's 5.25"W x 9.2"H x 6.5"D.
All Image models feature cabinets made from MDF and have curved panels that are inspired by the more expensive Imagine series. According to Paul Barton, PSB's founder and chief designer, "The frequency response of the listening window over their operating range is within 1dB for every model in the new Image line. PSB's new Image series will be available in September 2009.
HDTracks.com Adds Harmonia Mundi
July 9, 2009
HDTracks.com has recently added Harmonia Mundi recordings to their growing list of download offerings, and are making these recordings available at 24-bit/88kHz resolution. HDTracks.com touts this as "DVD-Audio quality," far exceeding the 16-bit/44.1kHz resolution of standard CD.
According to the company's July 7 press release: "Harmonia Mundi recordings on HDtracks include, among many others, Beethovens String Quartets, opp. 74 and 95, performed by the world-renowned Tokyo String Quartet, as well as his Symphony No. 3, 'Eroica,' played by the Helsingborg Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of Andrew Manze. HDtracks will also feature the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Jeff Tyzik and featuring pianist Jon Nakamatsu, in an album of American legend George Gershwins Piano Concerto in F, Rhapsody in Blue, and Cuban Overture. Ultramodern British composer Tarik ORegans Threshold of Night: Music for Voices & Strings adds to the stellar Harmonia Mundi lineup."
Harmonia Mundi was originally founded in 1958 by Bernard Coutaz in Arles, France, and is currently based in Germany. HDTracks.com was founded by David and Norman Chesky of Chesky Records.
Naim Audio Ships the NaimUniti All-In-One Player
June 26, 2009
British high-end-audio manufacturer Naim Audio introduced the Uniti all-in-one audio player at Munichs High End 2009. We just got word that the NaimUniti is now shipping to North American dealers. Its impressive list of features makes it perhaps the most complete single-chassis audio component in all of high-end audio. The company's description of the NaimUniti leaves little to be desired:
"It combines a ten-input, 50Wpc integrated amplifier based on the award-winning NAIT 5i, a CD player based on the similarly acclaimed CD5i, and a digital-to-analog converter with an output filter derived from that developed for the stunning CD5x. To all that, NaimUniti adds a high-quality DAB/FM tuner, the ability to play streamed audio files wirelessly from UPnP servers or Internet radio stations, and separate interface inputs for USB memory sticks carrying audio files, iPods and MP3 players."
With all that going for it, the NaimUniti should find its way into office systems or into environments where functionality is key, but small size and convenience are paramount. Just add speakers and speaker cable youre up and running. The NaimUniti retails for $3750 USD.
Paradigm's New Hybrid Millenia 10 and 20 Mount In and On the Wall
June 16, 2009
Paradigm has introduced the Hybrid Millenia 10 and 20 speakers that mount in and on the wall in order to complement the depth of new flat-panel displays. According to the company's press release:
"Conventional on-wall speakers jut out four to five inches, dwarfing the depth of most wall-mounted flat-panel displays. Although great sound is paramount, floor space and visual appeal (or discretion) are important secondary factors in the purchase of speakers. Paradigms new models are slim enough to visually complement ever-slimming flat panels for years to come, even with the grilles on. By partially recessing a Millenia Hybrid into the wall, the speaker gains a deeper, more stable enclosure with inherent performance advantages over traditional on-wall mounting techniques.
"Each Paradigm hybrid speaker is engineered to incorporate the predictable effects of a wall on the speakers frequency response. The speakers pre-attached glass-reinforced injection-molded polymer (GRIP) bracket is optimized to exploit maximum wall area for a complete absence of vibration, even when performing at maximum output."
The Hybrid Millenia 10 is a three-driver, two-way design priced at $379 each. The Hybrid Millenia 20 is a five-driver, 2 ˝-way design that's $529. Both speakers can be mounted on the wall vertically or horizontally.
Aperion Audio's New 6-LCR In-Wall Speaker
June 11, 2009
Aperion Audio is best known for their high-value floorstanding and stand-mounted speakers that they sell factory direct. They've recently added to their lineup the 6-LCR in-wall speaker that features a 1" silk-dome tweeter that can be aimed toward the listening position. Flanking the tweeter are two 6.5 long-throw, woven-fiberglass, dual-voice-coil woofers. The 6-LCR can be mounted in the wall vertically or horizontally and has switches for bass and treble control.
The 6-LCR comes with a 10-year warranty, Aperion's "30-Day No-Risk In-Home Audition" and free shipping. The 6-LCR is priced at $225 USD and is available now.
MartinLogan's Encore TF
June 8, 2009
Well-known electrostatic-speaker manufactuer MartinLogan of Kansas, USA, has announced the release of the Encore TF center-channel speaker. The Encore TF has been designed to work with other MartinLogan speakers and is intended for on- or off-wall installation. According to the company's press release, the Encore has been "designed to serve as a high-performance center-channel for home theaters, the compact Encore TF delivers exceptional detail. An ATF (Advanced Thin Film) driver, long-excursion low-mass woofers, and sophisticated crossover engineering produce sound with lifelike clarity and openness. Encore TF delivers compelling center-channel reproduction whether discretely mounted beneath a high definition flat screen or used with the included tabletop stand. Additionally, the Encore TF is highly adaptable, working equally well mounted horizontally or vertically in front-channel and surround applications." The Encore TF is shipping right now and is priced at $499 USD.
2000 Watts of PurePower
May 18, 2009
PurePower's new Model 2000 ($2995) is billed as the most robust power regenerator on the market, providing up to two kilowatts of "perfect, isolated, battery-reference power." The Model 2000 converts AC from the wall socket to DC, removing all the noise and distortion before creating brand-new AC. The Model 2000's internal battery system provides complete isolation from the local power grid, eliminating the deleterious effects of voltage sags, surges, and transients. The Model 2000 has ten receptacles. Export models use one of a dozen different kinds of country-specific receptacles.
PurePower also makes lower-power, lower-cost units, including the Model 1050, which outputs 1500 watts ($2495), and the entry-level Model 700, which produces 1000 watts ($1795).
Potis Family Relief Fund Established
May 7, 2009
When former SoundStage!, Six Moons and Positive Feedback reviewer John Potis (fourth from the left in picture) died late last year at 49, he left behind his daughters and wife during especially trying economic times. A Family Relief Fund has been established to help alleviate financial burden for John's family. Cash contributions can be made by sending a check or a money order to:
Potis Family Relief Fund
Contributions can also be sent through PayPal to ID firstname.lastname@example.org. Donations in kind can be made by contacting:
Donations in kind will be auctioned on Audiogon and the entire proceeds will go to the Potis Family Relief Fund.
Two New Preamps from Lamm
May 4, 2009
Lamm Industries' all-new LL1 Signature (shown right, $42,690) is the company's top-of-the-line preamp. It comprises four separate chassis: a control unit and power supply per channel. It features single-ended class-A operation with no overall feedback and uses specially selected high-transconductance dual triode 6N30P-DR tubes in its signal path along with TKD stepped potentiometers for volume control. The LL1 Signature was created to be the natural mate to Lamm's ML3 Signature mono amplifiers.
On the other end of the price spectrum is the LL2.1, the upgraded version of a previously released preamp. Its power supply features full-wave tube rectification. There are two versions of the LL2.1: Regular ($5690) and Deluxe ($5990), which differ in their power-supply energy storage (the Deluxe has approximately twice that of the standard version) and the use of film capacitors in critical paths (in the Deluxe version; they are paralleled by polystyrene types).
Sasha W/P Debuts May 15
April 23, 2009
Wilson Audio's newest speaker is the Sasha W/P ($26,950 per pair), which builds on the two-cabinet platform of the venerable WATT/Puppy and ultimately replaces that speaker in the company's product lineup. The Sasha W/P's drivers and crossover are inspired by those of the MAXX 3, and the new speaker is an integrated system, with crossovers housed in the bass module, whereas the WATT monitor had always been a fully functional speaker with its own internal crossover. Another significant difference is the price between the Sasha W/P and the speaker it replaces, the WATT/Puppy 8, which costs $29,900 per pair. According to Wilson Audio, the lower price of the new speaker is due to "increased efficiencies resulting from our factory expansion."
Wilson Audio has posted a short movie about the Sasha W/P.
DAC, Headphone Amp and Preamp from Benchmark Media
April 17, 2009
Benchmark Media's DAC1 HDR ($1895) is the company's new flagship digital/analog preamp, incorporating the features of the AdvancedUSB computer audio interface, DAC1 digital-to-analog converter, and HPA2 headphone amplifier, along with full preamplifier functionality featuring a custom-built, motor-driven ALPS volume control. The remote controls on/off, input selection, volume, soft-mute, and adjustable dim level. The user can adjust the "dim" and "normal" volume settings independently, and the DAC1 HDR will remember them. The D-to-A section of the DAC1 HDR is similar to Benchmark's DAC1 PRE in form, function, and performance. You can connect to a digital cable box, HDTV, DVD/CD player, computer, music server, satellite radio, FM tuner, phono stage, or VCR. The DAC1 HDR is available in black or silver.
A Musical Titan
April 10, 2009
The Musical Fidelity Titan ($30,000) is a dual-mono, fully balanced stereo power amplifier that reportedly delivers a whopping 1000Wpc into 8 ohm, 2000Wpc into 4 ohms, and 4000Wpc into 2 ohms. It follows Musical Fidelitys convention of having an external power supply to ensure that no transformer interacts with the amplifier's signal circuitry. Thus, the Titan comprises two identically sized boxes, with the audio-signal unit having balanced and single-ended inputs along with two sets of speaker terminals with 30 microns gold plating. Billed as "one of the quietest amps in existence," the Titan is said to offer "huge dynamic range and low-level detail [that is] rendered with astonishing clarity and accuracy."
Mark Your Calendar: Record Store Day is April 18
April 2, 2009
Saturday April 18, 2009 marks the second-annual Record Store Day, when independently owned music stores around the world will celebrate "the culture and unique place that they occupy both in their local communities and nationally." Participating stores will feature special events, including live performances, and provide customers with a "goodie bag" of music and printed material promoting new releases. Sonic Youth, Beck, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, and Tom Waits will all release new music specifically to commemorate Record Store Day. A long list of participating stores is available on the Record Store Day website.
Among the bands directly promoting the event is Wilco, which plans to release its upcoming DVD exclusively to indie music stores and on the bands website on April 18. The groups Jeff Tweedy told Billboard Magazine in a recent interview, "Even if I wasn't in a band, I'd still support Record Store Day. It's a great thing and I'm glad we could do something special with them for our DVD."
"Digital Phono Preamp" from NAD
March 25, 2009
NAD's PP-3 ($199) is called a "digital phono preamplifier" because it combines a MM/MC phono stage with an analog-to-digital converter, a USB interface, and easy-to-use software. It allows LPs and other audio sources to be copied directly to a PC or Mac, an iPod, or another MP3 player. The phono stage provides 35dB of gain for moving-magnet cartridges and 60dB for moving-coil. The included CD-R VinylStudio Lite software lets users copy LPs directly to a PC in WAV or MP3 file formats. An additional line-level input allows other analog sources such as an FM tuner or CD player to be converted to digital, and it adds back the input used by the PP-3.
Hanss Acoustics Does Analog -- and More
March 19, 2009
Hanss Acoustics turntables are manufactured from of layers of machined anodized aluminum and acrylic, and they can accommodate multiple tonearms. Their thick platters are magnetically supported on high-precision bearings, and the company's speed controllers can be used with multiple motors for greater torque and speed stability. The T-60 (shown right, $6200 without tonearm) features magnetic-suspension feet and a built-in digital level meter. Surprisingly, the lower-priced T-30 ($4600) and T-20 ($3080) offer the same advanced features. Hanss also makes phono preamps that range in price from $380 to $5000, a CD player ($2200) and a record cleaner ($920).
All Hanss Acoustics products are distributed in the US by The Lotus Group, which also handles products from Oyaide, Acoustic Revive, Acrolink and other makers.
The SoundStage! Network Unveils "TWBAS 2009"
March 11, 2009
"The World's Best Audio System" has been a longstanding feature on Ultra Audio. In 2009, it became an event. On March 14, 2009, the SoundStage! Network team will arrive at Jeff Fritz's "Music Vault" to see and hear over $360,000 worth of equipment that makes up "TWBAS 2009." Companies that have taken part in "TWBAS 2009" include Behold, Blue Smoke Entertainment Systems, Crystal Cable, Harmonic Resolution Systems, Rockport Technologies and Shunyata Research. They have all supplied their top-of-the-line products that go to make up this once-a-year, state-of-the-art system.
"TWBAS is already being written about on Ultra Audio. Currently, you will find articles leading up to the event. Following this weekend's event, there will be more articles on Ultra Audio as well as SoundStage!, in addition to videos that will be featured on SoundStage! V.
"The World's Best Audio System" started solely as a feature that has become an event featuring six of the world's top high-end-audio brands. In 2010, the SoundStage! Network plans to hold TWBAS 2010 at a luxury mansion and feature more than 20 companies.
Ayre Introduces Custom Digital Filter, Updates for Existing Digital Players
March 4, 2009
Ayre Acoustics' new Minimum Phase digital filter was designed to provide minimum phase shift and slow frequency roll-off in order to eliminate pre-echo as well as pre- and post-ringing in the digital signal. According to Ayre president Charles Hansen, "The technological improvements [of the MP filter] translate into a more vivid and spatial soundstage, a richer and more complex tonal presentation and the sense of ease of a live acoustic event."
The Minimum Phase digital filter is incorporated into the new C-5xeMP universal player and CX-7eMP CD player and will also be used in Ayre's soon-to-be-released QB-9 USB DAC. In keeping with Ayre's commitment to updating its existing products, current owners of Ayre digital players can have their units upgraded. The C-5xe costs $200, while the CX-7 costs from $250 to $900 depending on the unit's age.
NHT "Going Quiet"
February 25, 2009
March 31, 2009 will be the last day of regular business, "at least for now," for speaker maker NHT. According to a press release from company president Chris Byrne, the company will be "rethinking" its future amidst a selloff, over the next 60 days, of its remaining professional and consumer inventory. "However, you should know that we are not bankrupt," the press release points out. "Everybody here is fine and no, the car didn't get hit by a train. In a way this difficult economy provided the right opportunity for the change in strategy we felt has been necessary for some time."
Best known for its large Model 3.3 loudspeaker as well as the Xd system with DSP-based crossovers, NHT has a rich history of producing innovative speakers whose technical proficiency has always been apparent. "Remember," Byrne offers, "this isn't goodbye; it's just 'see you on the other side.'"
Small, Inexpensive Phono Stage from Audio-Technica
February 16, 2009
The AT-PEQ3 ($119) is the matching phono stage for Audio-Technica's budget-priced moving-magnet cartridges. It provides 36dB of gain, and its impedance is a standard 47k ohms. Measuring just 2 3/4"W x 1 1/8"H x 3 1/2"D and weighing a mere 5 1/2 ounces, it is easy to place near a turntable or preamp. It utilizes high-quality integrated circuits, internal parts and connectors, providing low-noise operation. It derives its power from an included 18V DC adapter, and it also comes with a one-meter pair of interconnects.
A New Summit
February 4, 2009
MartinLogan's new Summit X speaker ($13,995 per pair) is a hybrid design that mates an electrostatic panel at approximately 160Hz to a dynamic-driver bass section for the lowest frequencies. It is the first MartinLogan speaker to benefit from the research done for the CLX, a full-range electrostatic loudspeaker that was released last year. The bass section uses Controlled Dispersion PoweredForce woofers that are said to shift smoothly the woofer phasing as it reaches the crossover point, better integrating the woofer with the electrostatic panel. According to the company, "This innovation brings with it all the requisite advantages of a controlled-dispersion radiation pattern and uniform wave launch while still retaining the efficiency and dynamics that cone woofers provide at the lowest frequencies."
HeadRoom Drops Prices
January 28, 2009
Perhaps in the spirit of traditional post-holiday sales, TEAC's Esoteric division reduced the list price of its speakers in the US by 50% as 2009 began. Now HeadRoom Corporation has reduced the prices of its Micro Amp and Micro DAC from $399 to $333, and the prices of its Ultra Micro Amp and Ultra Micro DAC from $699 to $599 -- about a 15% reduction in all cases. HeadRoom's rationale? "In these especially tough times, we've decided it's the perfect opportunity to take some strain off your pocketbook by offering all our popular Micro Line products at even lower prices -- without cutting any corners." Will other companies follow suit under these tough economic conditions? Time will tell.
Internet Radio Coming to Automobiles
January 27, 2009
Auto-sound specialist Blaupunkt and Internet radio innovator miRoamer will introduce the worlds first Internet car radio in the second half of 2009, giving drivers access to a large and diverse selection of online radio content in their automobiles. The first two models will be the Blaupunkt Hamburg 600i and New Jersey 600i (shown right), which will sell for $300-$400 each. With these units, users will be able to choose and arrange information on a large display. Via miRoamer.com, users will have the added ability to browse genres or stations and customize preferences, providers and search options. The website also allows users to add media that is not currently offered by simply providing the URL and adding it to their favorites.
"All-Out" Digital Separates from Esoteric
January 20, 2009
Esoteric's digital products are well known among audiophiles for their robust build quality and refined, detailed sound. The company has introduced upgraded versions of its very best products, the P-01 VU transport ($32,000) and D-01 VU mono digital-to-analog converter ($16,000 each), Esoteric's all-out attack on state-of-the-art CD and SACD playback. Enhancements include higher-grade wiring in the P-01 VU along with parts upgrades to the unit's power supply and optimization of the digital circuit. The D-01 VU boasts of higher-grade parts throughout as well as fine-tuning of the audio circuit.
Owners of the P-01 and D-01 can upgrade through the Esoteric factory in Japan. Upgrading the P-01 to the VU version costs $3000, while each D-01 mono DAC costs $1500. These prices do not include shipping to and from Japan.
The Best Gets Even Better
January 6, 2009
For more than a decade, we at the SoundStage! Network have been covering the CES in the most demanding way possible -- on the spot -- in order to bring readers around the globe the most important consumer-electronics information as quickly as possible. Starting on January 8, we will commence our coverage of CES 2009 and produce our largest and most comprehensive show report ever. Look for more -- and larger -- pictures, more information on new products, and more insightful commentary on what we see and hear in Las Vegas.
To see our coverage, visit the Las Vegas 2009 show site every day of the CES -- January 9-12.
Best of 2008
January 1, 2009
The SoundStage! Network has announced its award winners for 2008, and as usual staff will be making presentations in conjunction with the CES in Las Vegas.
The winners are:
Edge of the Art - Wilson Audio Specialties Alexandria X-2
Series 2 Loudspeakers
Products of the Year - Reference 3A Grand Veena Loudspeakers, Weiss Minerva Digital-to-Analog Converter
Product of the Year: Speakers - Hsu Research HB-1 Mk.2 /
HC-1 Mk.2 / VTF-3 Mk.3 Home-Theater Speaker System
Products of the Year - Audioengine A2 Powered Loudspeakers, Blue Circle Audio USB Thingee Digital Converter