LATEST ADDITIONS

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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Oct 15, 2013 0 comments
YFS was showcasing their $15,500 HD.Ref-3 Limited Edition (LE) music server transport. I neglected to ask how limited it is...
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Oct 15, 2013 0 comments
Another of my favorites from Munich (see report) making its first Atlantic crossing was the Grimm Audio LS1 Three-way System ($39,900). Imported and distributed by Bill Parish at GTT Audio & Video, the LS1s are another unique package offering high resolution AD/DAs, a CC1 clocking circuit, 6 NCore Amplifiers (3 for each channel) for a total of 180W/channel, DSP processing, USB input, preamp/switcher/controller, integrated bass modules, and cables. There's also an analog input that is converted to digital which accounts for the high resolution "AD" bit so all you need to do is add D and A music sources.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Oct 15, 2013 0 comments
the Bel Canto C1 Controller

I reported on the new and unique Bel Canto Black components in Munich (see report) and the version at RMAF 2013 have refined chassis design and will begin shipping in November. The Black components are necessarily a package deal consisting of the C1 Controller and the mono PMD1 Power DACs for a total cost of $50,000. The Controller is essentially a preamplifier and re-clocker taking your digital and analog inputs, the latter getting converted to 24/192 PCM, before sending off your digits to the PMD1 Power DACs via ST Fiber or AES/EBU for D/A conversion and amplification.

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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Oct 15, 2013 0 comments
exaSound Audio Design continually leads the charge for more and their e28 DAC ($3,299 pictured far right) is no exception. The e28 offers stereo and multi-channel playback support for PCM data from 44.1 to 384kHz and 2.8 to 12.2MHz DSD using the ES9018 Sabre32 reference DAC chip. Offering asynchronous USB and S/PDIF inputs (Coax and Toslink) and 4 pairs of RCA outputs, the e28 DAC is certainly designed with the forward-looking audiophile in mind.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Oct 15, 2013 0 comments
PSB now offers the perfect matching mate to their very impressive and Greatest Bits award winning Alpha PS1 Powered Speaker ($299/pair see review) with the SubSeries 100 Subwoofer ($249). Capable of extending your listening pleasure down to 39Hz (±3dB) with a 50W internal amp driving its 5 1/4" woofer in a sealed box design, for PS1 owners looking for more musical enjoyment the SubSeries 100 Sub represents the proverbial no-brainer, imo. The SubSeries 100 offers RCA L/R and LFE Input Options and rear-mounted volume and crossover frequency controls (50Hz - 150Hz) to blend the sub's output to taste.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Oct 15, 2013 0 comments
Newcomer Bluesound had their lineup on mostly silent display but their Vault music server ($999 pictured far right) was put into service along with gear from NAD and PSB. The Vault can handle MP3, AAC, WMA, OGG, WMA-L, FLAC, ALAC, WAV, AIFF files with up to 24/192 resolution and comes with 1TB of storage and a CD drive for ripping. The Vault also offers an Ethernet input for accessing Internet Radio, streaming services (WiMP, rdio), and network shares. There's also a USB Type A input for connecting to USB storage and a free iOS or Android app for remote control.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Oct 15, 2013 0 comments
Hegel also showed off their brand new Super Headphone Amplifier/DAC ($399) that promises "perfectly flat frequency response regardless of the load" according to Hegel. Capable of handling up to 24/96 via its USB input, the Super will be available just in time for Christmas.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Oct 15, 2013 0 comments
Oslo, Norway based Hegel unveiled their new H80 Integrated Amplifier/DAC ($2,000) which offers 5 digital inputs (2 coax, 2 optical offering up to 24/192 playback, and one 24/96-capable USB), a pair of analog RCA inputs, a single XLR input, and a 75W/channel integrated amplifier in one nice understated package. We were treated to several comparisons including a head-to-head with the H80's predecessor the H70 which showed the newer unit to have a "sweater and smoother" sound according to my notes. Coupled with a McBook Air running Audirvana, a pair of Magico S1's ($12,500), and Nordost Red Dawn cable, the H80/Magico combo proved to be engaging and well-matched partners.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Oct 15, 2013 0 comments
Sony unveiled their HAP-EZ1ES file player ($1,999) along with the TA-A1ES Integrated Stereo Amplifier ($1,999), Sony's first amp in 14 years, at RMAF. The EZ1 (I'm assuming the phonetic reference is intentional) can handle PCM files with resolutions up to 24/192 as well as 2x DSD and comes with a 1TB internal hard drive and a rear-mounted USB input so you can attach an external drive for additional storage. The file player upsamples all incoming data to 2x DSD and three's a firmware upgrade coming that will allow you to defeat this process if you so desire. Metadata is captured through Gracenote and control comes via the front-mounted controls or more realistically through an iOS or Android app. There are also Ethernet and Wi-Fi inputs to connect you to the rest of the world's music.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Oct 13, 2013 1 comments
Acoustic Sounds Founder and CEO Chad Kassem (standing stage right)

Along with my colleagues at Stereophile, I was invited to attend a little DSD listening party in the Acoustic Sounds room. Acoustic Sounds founder and CEO Chad Kassem walked us through their new DSD Download site, www.superhirez.com, and gave us an overview of their approach to running a DSD download business which is centered around providing high quality music downloads and ease of use. They are also working on including provenance information for their DSD downloads and the guys at Acoustic Sounds understand the importance of transparency and sharing this information when its available. If you haven't already visited, the SuperHiRez website offers a Computer Audio How To Guide by Dr. David W. Robinson the Editor-in-Chief at Positive Feedback Online, a Hi Rez glossary, a software and hardware guide, and a "What is DSD?" page. Oh and lots of delicious DSD downloads for sale.

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