McIntosh has now introduced its CES-launched MB50 network music player to the UK, bringing high-resolution wireless music streaming using DTS Play-Fi® technology to a range of connected devices in the home. More »
Audeze announced the launch of its new planar magnetic headphones, the SINE recently. The company are showcasing its lightest headphone to date at Pepcom’s Digital Experience! on Jan. 5 and throughout the duration of CES 2016,Jan. 6-9, in Las Vegas.
SINE Headphones are the first of the new generation of on-ear planar magnetic headphones on the market. The lightest Audeze headphones to date, the SINE headphones are said to offer exceptional sound quality and comfort. They fold flat for portability.
The SINE headphones feature Audeze’s Fluxor® planar magnetic technology with Fazor® Elements and Uniforce® Diaphragms to provide a highly efficient yet lightweight headphone, with “very low distortion, good bass, a seductive midrange, crisp extended high frequencies, and excellent imaging”.
Audeze’s fully integrated Apple Lightning cable is also an option for the SINE headphones. The exclusive Lightning cable streams a complete 24-bit digital signal through a high quality DSP and DAC to offer better sound quality directly from the iPhone. The built in microphone can be used for phone calls or Skype and is SIRI compatible.
Keeping with the Audeze aesthetic, the SINE headphones’ transducer technology is coupled with BMW DesignWorks USA’s craftsmanship.
The SINE headphones ($499) will be available for purchase in late January at Audeze.com and select retailers and will begin shipping in February.
Audeze are in LVCC, South Hall 1 Booth 20312
Audeze products will also be featured with the following partners:
- Prism Sound, Venetian Room 29223
- Aurender, Venetian Tower Suite 29-337
- Roli, LVCC, Central Hall-Booth 14844
- Questyle, Venetian Tower Suite 28-317
- Chord Electronics, Venetian Suite 35-207
- MQA, Venetian Bassano Room 2604 / Suite 30-335
For over 3 years, Arcam’s irDAC has been regarded a great performer but now replacing the irDAC is the new irDAC-II adding advanced Bluetooth connectivity, headphone output, DSD128 support and a host of internal upgrades.
Briefed to up the ante in a competitive market, Arcam’s engineering team have blended ingredients from across Arcam’s intensive R&D programme, to deliver a major performance and function upgrade. The irDAC-II comes packed with cutting edge technology and features that will benefit the most demanding user.
– New internal circuits and a major DAC upgrade
– New audiophile headphone amplifier stage
– New Bluetooth aptX LL input
– New DSD128 support
– New ESS ES9016 Sabre DAC
£495 UK inc VAT – $799 USA + tax
Sony Electronics unveiled a new turntable which has been strategically designed to expand the company’s range of premium Hi-Res Audio products at CES 2016. The PS-HX500 is targeted for music enthusiasts who collect and enjoy LP recordings.
The HX500 has a built-in A/D converter supporting hi-res digital transfers in either native DSD (up to 5.6 MHz) or WAV files (up to 192 KHz/24-bit resolution).
“Sony is dedicated to providing audiophiles and music enthusiasts alike with a wide range of hi-res audio solutions that can meet virtually every lifestyle need”, said Yamato (Tank) Tanikawa, Director, Home Entertainment & Sound, Sony Electronics. “Our new PS-HX500 turntable serves as an important bridge that connects the growing number of vinyl record collectors to the convenience and sound quality afforded by hi-res audio”.
The HX500 comes with a newly developed app with exclusive software that allows simple and intuitive editing on either PCs or Macs. Users can conveniently combine tracks from both sides of an album or multiple tracks can be split and saved. A special driver is also provided for recording compatible DSD streams.
A new Sony developed straight tone arm that has an integrated lightweight, low resonance integrated head shell and comes complete with moving magnet cartridge is included.
A two speed belt drive system is also used which includes an aluminium die cast platter and thick (5mm) rubber mat to help stabilize disc rotation and minimize vibration. There is also a built in phonostage.
In 2014 Nagra introduced their HD DAC and at CES 2016 they have now launched their Classic DAC, a digital to analogue converter that uses the same input and conversion modules as the older DAC and allows for DSD2x and DXD (384kHz/32-bits).
The Classic DAC comes with its own onboard power supply with 25 internal power supplies and with the option of adding the off-board MPS power supply should users prefer.
You get two SPDIF inputs, AES/EBU, TOSLINK, and Nagra digital inputs plus a USB input whilst both XLR and RCA outputs are provided.
The Class DAC from Nagra continues the l known aesthetic of their Classic line of products.
The microLight is the smallest ever Keith Monks RCM and is the smallest precision record cleaning machine ever.
The cliché of a picture is worth a thousand words is so apt for the microLight, and in fact pictures don’t really capture its interesting and innovative design. Is it modern, post modern or classic?
Keith Monks is working with a growing number of fine artists and photographersfrom their Isle of Wight UK and US bases, together with a specialist print company, to develop a unique layered acrylic printing process and create exclusive limited editions and one-off custom print options.
Keith Monks machines bring the original record cleaning technique developed with and so prized by the BBC, the US Library of Congress and the British Library National Sound Archive in a modern, easier and more affordable package. Jonathan Monks – The Record Doctor and son of Keith – will be demonstrating the new microLight at CES 2015 in Suite 29-139 of the Venetian Hotel.
- Now a stunning illuminated art display for your home.
- The world’s smallest ever precision Record Cleaning Machine – just 15” (39cm) wide.
- It’s quiet enough to enjoy listening to your records while cleaning another.
- Backlit acrylic art panels – unique hi res printing process – exclusive limited editions and one-off custom print options.
- Zero recontamination for safe, consistent results
- Original point suction vacuum system with SuperSilent medical grade suction pump imported from Germany
- NEW forward-reverse turntable rotation for wash cycle
- NEW “Used fluid jar full” warning light
- NEW transparent acrylic casing and back lighting strip with diffuser displays your art
- Automatic reel-out of nozzle buffer thread
- Automatic shut off at end of side
- Supplied with Keith Monks discOvery precision 12” LP wash brush and Pyr/\Mat stay-clean mat
Today Naim launched Mu-so Qb at CES 2016 (Suite 30-233 Venetian Hotel Las Vegas) a more compact wireless loudspeaker system. Naim’s origina Mu-so wireless music system combined Naim’s normal priorities of sound quality with dramatic but understated design and ease of use. Mu-so Qb takes these attributes and delivers them in a compact structure that is easy to accommodate in most rooms.
“With Mu-so Qb, we use the same principles that helped form the original Mu-so: no compromise on materials, sound quality or features.” says Naim Audio’s Technical Director, Roy George.
One of the biggest design challenges with the Mu-so Qb wireless loudspeaker system was to configure the individual speakers within the smaller cabinet. It presents an arrangement of five drivers, offset and angled perfectly to create an ideal left-right dispersion. Mu-so Qb uses tweeters with microfibre domes, while its mid-range drivers have rare earth magnets and copper capped poles for even greater linearity. And when it comes to low frequencies, Mu-so Qb has another surprising design feature. Unlike the original Mu-so, there isn’t the space for a long bass port. Instead, two tuned pistonic bass-radiators work alongside a custom-made woofer that’s driven by a 100W amplifier. The touchscreen interface on the top of Mu-so Qb is a solid aluminium ring, illuminated to float above the core structure and compliment the seamless volume dial movement.
Connect the Naim Mu-so Qb to a home Wi-Fi network to open up a world of music. Wirelessly stream downloaded music in high-resolution via UPnP™ or browse and play millions of songs through Spotify Connect, TIDAL, Internet Radio or Airplay.
Mu-so Qb also features high quality Bluetooth (aptX) connectivity, a USB input for playback from USB sticks or connection of smartphones, tablets or MP3 players enabling charging and playback, in addition a rear 3.5mm analogue input and a digital input can be used for TVs, CD players, turntables set-top boxes and games consoles.
Mu-so Qb can be used between five rooms in the home, creating a system that is truly integrated and offers synchonised music in each room or individual music in each room, all controlled by a dedicated Naim app for iOS and Android. Mu-so Qb is also fully compatible with Naim streaming products, including Naim Uniti Series.
At the heart of Mu-so Qb is a 32-bit digital signal processor – the same component used in the original Mu-so system. The DSP controls the flow of music information to each individual drive unit and, with intricate computer analytics, was finely tuned to perform perfectly within the smaller cabinet space.
The material chosen for the main cabinet is a 20% glass-reinforced polymer chosen for its extra stiffness and dampening properties. Elsewhere, an anodised aluminium structural top and heatsink is used, as well as the acrylic base, all of which dampen unwanted vibration, stiffen and strengthen the structure of Mu-so Qb even further.
|Streaming||UPnP hi-res streaming, AirPlay, Spotify Connect, TIDAL, Bluetooth aptX|
|Digital||Optical S/PDIF (up to 96kHz) on rear panel|
|Multiroom||Sync up to five Naim Mu-so, Mu-so Qb or any Naim Uniti or Naim Streaming product. Control via Naim App.|
|Analogue||3.5mm jack on rear panel|
|Other||Internet radioUSB Type-A on rear panel|
|Amplification||300W (4 x 50W + 1 x 100W)|
|Drivers||1 x woofer2 x mid-range
2 x tweeter
2 x tuned pistonic bass-radiators
|Audio formats supported||WAV, FLAC and AIFF – up to 24bit/192kHz
ALAC (Apple Lossless) – up to 24bit/96kHz
MP3 – up to 48kHz, 320kbit (16 bit)
AAC – up to 48kHz, 320kbit (16bit)
OGG and WMA – up to 48kHz (16bit)
When product is wireless:
up to 48kHz on all file formats.
|Gapless formats supported||WAV, FLAC and AIFF – up to 24bit/192kHz
ALAC (Apple Lossless) – up to 24bit/96kHzInternet radio service provider: vTuner premium
Bluetooth: SBC, AAC and aptX
|Inputs||Wired Ethernet (10/100Mbps) or Wi-Fi (802.11b/g)|
|Dimensions (HxWxD)||210mm x 218mm x 212mm|
Edifier got in touch with Hifi Pig to tell us they are proud to announce their partnership with THX. Founded by George Lucas 30 years ago and recognized by audiences around the globe, THX is synonymous with the certification of world-class cinemas and recording studios, premium audio systems for home and automotive applications along with high definition and 4K displays. Edifier’s first THX Certified product is to be unveiled to the public for the first time at CES.
“It’s interesting to note that there isn’t any one body or authority on audio that holds the music or audio industry accountable for quality of output against an industry qualified standard. Working with THX is a real privilege for Edifier and a credible partnership between two brands that care very much about the nth degree of audio output and performance when delivered to an audience. It Is our intention to continue to work with THX to produce speakers for home entertainment accredited by THX.” – Philip Liu, VP of Edifier North America.
High-end electrostatic headphone brand, STAX will also be showcased on the stand for the first time at CES. Since acquiring the brand in 2012 Edifier has continued to enhance the STAX product and brand awareness at every level.
Products on display include the SR Lambda Series – SR-L700 and SR-L500, the Top-of-the-Line electrostatic earspeaker SR-009 the flagship model SR-007 and the advanced in-the-earspeaker system SRS-002. Each headphone features a top quality sound element for rich deep bass-response, delicate high-frequency and soothing mid-range realized in a balanced manner.
STAX amplifiers will also be on display at the Edifier stand. These include the Driver units SRM-007tII and SRM-727II. When the amplifiers are used with STAX electrostatic earspeakers they deliver a high level of sound purity and quality. The amplifiers open up new vistas for sense of mass and textural expression supported by a virtually unparalleled degree of resolution, natural sense of openness and a powerful power section.
New Edifier Products
Two new wireless Edifier speakers will unveiled to the public for the first time at CES. The speakers represent a new direction that Edifier is taking away from traditional multimedia speakers towards new technologies.
“Wireless is the natural progression to which we have developed our product lines. Everybody is connected, wants ease of use in the simplest format with the latest capabilities. The time is now where we have to move away from traditional multimedia product developments and look toward creating new categories for Edifier including wireless and maybe multiroom systems. We have begun to move towards that with our Bluetooth range of speakers and at CES, our showcase of wireless speakers will mark a new chapter for us.” – Wendong Zhang, CEO, Edifier International Ltd
Edifier Ambassador Platform
2016 will see the launch of the Edifier Ambassador platform. This platform will enable popular musicians, bloggers, TV personalities, gamers and sports people to share their experiences of Edifier with their fans. They’ll be able to engage with their audiences through product giveaways, discounts, product exclusives and money can’t buy experiences.
McIntosh has introduced three new products at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES 2016): the MX122 A/V Processor, MB50 Streaming Audio Player and RS100 Wireless Loudspeaker.
MX122 A/V Processor
The MX122 A/V Processor can serve as the brain centre for an advanced home theater system for years to come. It features many of the latest breakthroughs in surround sound and object-based 3D audio such as Dolby® Atmos, and will be upgradeable to support DTS:X™ and Auro-3D®. Besides 3D audio, existing formats like Dolby
TrueHD, DTS-HD Master Audio™ and others are still supported. The MX122 is fully compatible with modern 4K Ultra HD video sources and can upscale lower resolutions to 4K Ultra HD. A wide assortment of inputs and outputs are included to connect current and future entertainment sources. All HDMI inputs and outputs are HDCP 2.2 and support High Dynamic Range (HDR), 4K Ultra HD at 50/60Hz, 4:4:4 color, Rec. 2020 and 3D video pass-through. The MX122 can send select audio and/or video to 2 additional zones within in the house. Users can connect to their online digital music with either the wired or wireless network connections. DSD64 files can be played from flash drives or over the network. Bluetooth and AirPlay® connectivity allows for easy streaming from mobile devices. Interfaces to popular streaming services including Pandora®, SiriusXM® and Spotify® are included while vTuner connects to 1,000s of internet radio stations. Audyssey MultEQ® XT32 will calibrate the MX122 to each home theater’s unique acoustical properties.
MB50 Streaming Audio Player
A home audio system can be transformed into a wireless audio system with the MB50 Streaming Audio Player. The MB50 features DTS Play-Fi® technology to give the freedom and flexibility to wirelessly play music at home over an existing Wi-Fi network. While utilizing DTS Play-Fi streaming capabilities, the MB50 delivers the legendary McIntosh sound quality and performance found in our other home audio products. Simply connect the MB50 to a Wi-Fi network and audio system via the analog or digital outputs and then stream music to it from the Apple or Android mobile app or Windows desktop app. Besides accessing a personal music library on a mobile device, the apps have built-in support for many leading online streaming services including Deezer, KKBox, Pandora®, QQMusic, Rhapsody, SiriusXM®, Songza, Spotify® and TIDAL (list subject to change). If there’s more than one audio system to stream to, just add an MB50 to each and then stream the same music to all systems. Or if there are multiple mobile devices with the app, different music can simultaneously be streamed to each system.
Analog and digital inputs allow for connecting audio components such as CD players, letting the MB50 to act as a mini-preamp.
RS100 Wireless Loudspeaker
The RS100 wireless speaker allows streaming music capabilities to be added to any room. It features DTS Play-Fi® technology that gives the freedom and flexibility to wirelessly play the music on mobile devices over an existing Wi-Fi network. Simply connect it to a Wi-Fi network, install the free Play-Fi Apple or Android mobile app or Windows desktop app and then begin streaming. A single RS100 is all that is needed to start building a wireless speaker system; more can be added over time to expand the system. Up to 16 speakers can be connected to a single Wi-Fi network – enough for stereo playback in 8 separate rooms. With the Play-Fi app installed on multiple devices, each device can stream different music to each room, giving all family members or guests control over what they want to hear in their room. Besides accessing a personal music library, the apps have built-in support for many leading online streaming services including Deezer, KKBox, Pandora®, QQMusic, Rhapsody, SiriusXM®, Songza, Spotify® and TIDAL (list subject to change). Not limited to just streaming, the RS100 is flexible thanks to its auxiliary input which allows it to be used in non-streaming setups; it can quickly be switched back and forth between the two inputs to accommodate listening preferences. A subwoofer output is also included.
All three products are available to order now from authorized McIntosh dealers with shipping anticipated in January for MX122 and in March for MB50 and RS100. Suggested retail price for each (VAT, shipping and any customs duties related to current standards of individual countries are excluded):
MX122: $7,000 USD
RS100: $1,000 USD per speaker
Bryston has announced today the introduction of the Cubed Series of amplifiers, replacing the Squared Series that made its debut at the 2009 CES. The SST3 amplifiers will anchor the CES 2016 demo at The Venetian Suite 29-308.
The SST3 series is a statement design platform for music enthusiasts, home theatre installations and professional audio applications. The new lineup will roll out in phases, with the 2.5B SST3, the 3B SST3, the 4BSST3, the 7BSST3, and the 14BSST3 being first to market. The flagship 28B SST3 is in the final design stages currently.
Engineering achievements are at the forefront of the new designs, featuring a patented super-linear, low noise input buffer jointly developed by Bryston and the late Ph.D. engineer Dr. Ioan Alexandru Salomie. The Cubed Series also has a more robust RF and audio frequency noise filtering circuit before the power supplies to prevent unwanted anomalies on the power line from interfering even minutely with the audio signal. And finally the new amplifiers will feature a redesigned milled aluminum front panel.
“Due to the lasting success of the Squared Series amplifiers, our engineers were afforded the luxury of being able to spend lots of time precisely developing this new line of amplifiers,” explained Bryston CEO Chris Russell. “The innovative circuitry designed with Dr. Salomie is brilliant and we plan to use more of it in future products. Some of the audible improvements we have noted during our initial testing consist of expanded spaciousness and depth of focus, better overall dimensionality, improved mid-bass clarity, and more air and openness in the high-frequencies.”
All Bryston SST3 Series amplifiers will feature Bryston’s 20-year warranty.
Leema Acoustics is demonstrating its Libra DAC/preamp at CES 2016, featuring 24-bit/384kHz playback over USB, upgradeable DAC modules, Bluetooth and more! (£5,995).
Leema’s new flagship DAC, which was launched in the autumn of 2015, will head-up an all- British system including Leema’s Hydra power amps with loudspeakers from Spendor.
Leema’s Lee Talyor, the ‘Lee’ in Leema Acoustics, will be in attendance throughout CES to introduce the Libra and Leema’s innovative product range. Leema Acoustics can be found in the Bluebird Music room (Venetian Tower 29-211), which will also be home to Spendor and van den Hul for the event.
The Libra is the latest addition to Leema Acoustics’ flagship Constellation series and has the same precision-machined casework as the award-winning Tucana amp and Antila CD player. Designed and built by Lee Taylor and Mallory Nicholls (Leema), Libra’s simple-yet-elegant looks conceal class-leading technologies.
The Libra DAC/preamp is priced at £5,995 and is available now.
“The Zodiac is basically my dream loudspeaker,” says Benno Baun Meldgaard, Gamut’s designer, whose passion and skills are such that in Europe he has earned the nickname ‘the best ears in the business’. In fact, if you’ve ever seen Meldgaard set up and fine-tune a system, you’ll know why he’s also known affectionately as ‘the speaker whisperer’.
In 2016 Meldgaard’s dance card has been reserved for the Zodiac, into which he has poured all of his expertise built on decades of psychoacoustics research and development, including experiencing countless classical live concerts.
“This is my Mona Lisa,” he explains. “It’s me taking loudspeaker design and engineering to the ultimate, removing any and all constraints – including cost – to create a genuine masterpiece of musicality. As an audio designer and passionate lover of live music, this is the kind of project you live for”.
A true masterpiece doesn’t typically go into mass production and the Zodiac is no exception. Just 12 pairs will be handcrafted each year, one per month, and each will bear the relevant sign of the astrological zodiac. No serial numbers here, just a star sign.
The Gamut Zodiac: highlights in brief
- A true ‘cost no object’ handcrafted loudspeaker.
- Only 12 pairs to be built each year (one per month/sign of the zodiac).
- Extended frequency response of 16Hz to 60kHz.
- Phase-aligned drive units from 400Hz to 12kHz.
- All drive units have been newly custom-designed and individually matched by Meldgaard.
- Highly complex cabinet showcases a new system of internal spacing, semi-separated by bespoke acoustic filters.
- The crossover is a new innovative design featuring superlative quality components sourced from Danish experts Janzen Audio.
- Zodiac’s designer Benno Baun Meldgaard will visit each owner within 12 months of purchase to fine-tune the Zodiac set-up in the owner’s listening room.
Gamut will be demonstrating the new Zodiac in suite 29-324 at the Venetian Hotel at CES 2016, along with a number of other ‘stars’ from the Gamut range.
Gamut at CES 2016: system on display/demonstration at CES 2016
The new top-of-range Zodiac loudspeaker
M250i mono power amplifiers
D3i dual mono preamplifier
Gamut’s new Reference cables: speaker, interconnect and power
The American makers of valve-based audio technology have redesigned the company’s Reference Series power amps to ’SE’ status, replacing the KT120 valve with the newly introduced KT150 to deliver significant performance upgrades. The Reference 75 SE, Reference 150 SE and Reference 250 SE are on show, along with the forthcoming Reference Phono 3 phono preamplifier and the recently launched G-Series integrated amp for both digital and analogue sources, the GSi75.
Dutch company Crystal Cable promises a host of surprises at CES 2016. It’s all hush-hush, but the company’s latest speaker, the Minissimo Diamond with its proprietary diamond tweeter, is sure to be present, as is the company’s latest range of cables for hi-res portable audio devices.
Krell’s legendary founder launches the latest addition to his Momentum range, the Momentum Phonostage, whilst unveiling the all-new Progession line with the Progression Mono. D’Agostino’s first amp with wireless streaming via AirPlay and Bluetooth, the amazing Momentum Lifestyle Amplifier, will also be present as full production finally draws near.
Maker of turntables for vinyl records, European Audio Team is showcasing its entire range including its new entry-level model, the C-Major. This is essentially a lightly stripped back version of EAT’s C-Sharp turntable, featuring a similar suspended carbon fibre sub-chassis with a new aluminium platter to create EAT’s most affordable deck yet.
America’s preeminent high-end audio brand shows its range of top-notch audio electronics, including the Digital Vanguard, which takes Krell’s Vanguard integrated amp and adds a host of digital connectivity options including streaming via USB and Ethernet, plus Bluetooth with aptX support.
When it comes to ultra-high-end speakers, no manufacturer has made a bigger splash in the last 10 years than California’s Magico. The company’s latest is the S7, the new flagship of Magico’s more ‘affordable’ S Series.
Kansas-based MartinLogan makes hybrid electrostatic loudspeakers, and its new flagship, the Neolith, is its best design yet. Three years in the making, Neolith combines a huge electrostatic radiating surface with front- and rear-firing subwoofers to deliver a deep, broad soundstage with stunning speed and clarity – we’ve heard it here at Hifi Pig and loved it!
Italian loudspeaker maker shows the latest addition to its flagship Homage range:Il Cremonese, a floorstander named after one of Antonio Stradivario’s most famous violins and featuring technology derived from the Lilium loudspeaker. Other highlights include the company’s award-winning, entry-level Chameleon collection, clad in leather with interchangeable coloured side panels.
US-based Theta Digital is showcasing the latest versions of its Casablanca Music and Cinema Controller – a multichannel preamp/processor. The Casablanca IVa adds decoding for the new 3D audio formats Dolby Atmos and Auro-3D, whilst also being ready for DTS:X, and maintains the innovations of the standard Casablanca IV, like Dirac Live 96K digital room correction and Theta’s proprietary Jitter Jail II anti-jitter technology. The Casablanca V, meanwhile, doubles the number of available channels to 24, and there’s also a new modular power amplifier called the Dreadnaught IV.
US-based cable specialist Transparent will show off its latest Generation 5 cable designs, from the entry-level High Performance series to the top-end Magnum Opus range complete with the company’s most advanced noise-reducing Transparent network.
As previously mentioned in Hifi Pig News, Constellation Audio and Wilson Audio will be making significant launches at CES 2016
MQA (Master Quality Authenticated) launches major partnerships at CES 2016, including agreements with music download store 2L and playback partners Bluesound and AURALiC, plus reveals a smartphone first from HTC.
CES Unveiled on January 4th and the MQA Suite within the Venetian (30-335) are the places to experience a world first: the MQA demonstration on the HTC One A9. HTC has equipped its latest smartphone with MQA technology in a ‘proof of concept’ exclusive for CES 2016.
2L claims the honour of first label to offer fans the chance to buy their music in MQA. Founded by Morten Lindberg – a highly respected figure in the world of digital music recording and a GRAMMY multi-nominee, including three selections in the 2016 list – the Scandinavian music label is revered for its pristine-quality recordings. Morten commented on MQA and said: “Meeting Bob Stuart and discovering MQA has been a total revelation. I have spent many hours with Bob listening to original recordings and being constantly amazed by the incredible sense of space and clarity brought by MQA. The end-to-end process allows us to more accurately capture the original sound and to deliver it perfectly all the way through to music lovers.”
The library of MQA music is set to expand further during 2016 with 7digital, Onkyo Music, HQM (Japan) and Jay Z-led TIDAL all aiming to bring MQA music to the masses.
CES 2016 will also see the announcement of new playback partners including AURALiC, Bluesound and Aurender. The award-winning Bluesound range of MQA-compatible products will compromise the Node 2, Powervault 2, Pulse 2, Pulse Flex, Pulse Mini, Vault 2, and all legacy Bluesound components. MQA demonstrations will take place in Bluesound’s CES Venetian suite 34-204. AURALiC and Aurender will also be demonstrating new MQA-enabled products. MQA will be available on all three of AURALiC’s streamer models: ARIES, ARIES LE and ARIES MINI, with MQA demonstrations taking place in AURALiC’s suite within the Venetian (29-122).
MQA support grows further with Berkeley Audio, dCS, Kripton and Ixion joining the official MQA supplier list. All of these brands are actively planning MQA-enabled product lines, adding to previously announced MQA-ready product announcements from Meridian Audio, Mytek, Onkyo, and Pioneer
Commenting on these announcements Bob Stuart, MQA creator, said: “It’s truly gratifying to see such widespread levels of industry support for MQA. We are especially delighted to partner with 2L, MQA’s debut content retailer, and we look forward to welcoming aboard many more partners during 2016. We are also honoured to work with HTC at CES 2016, enabling the opportunity for the show visitors to hear MQA on today’s portable music device of choice, the smartphone.”
MQA CES Locations
CES Unveiled, 4th January 2016, 4:00pm – 7:30pm (PST)
Mandalay Bay, Level 0, South Pacific Ballroom, Stand 119
The Venetian, 30-335, MQA Suite
MQA (Master Quality Authenticated) now offers decoder implementations for an expanding range of platforms, allowing content and playback partners to quickly and easily incorporate MQA into both existing and new products.
The XMOS X200-based reference decoder board (pictured) is available from MQA making evaluation straightforward. Manufacturers can effortlessly experience the benefits of MQA on a bench, or as part of hardwiring an ‘outboard dongle’ for additional testing. The board can also help drive product design ideas for future MQA implementations.
In addition, the decoder has been ported to a growing range of platforms, and pre- compiled libraries are available directly from MQA for Microchip’s PIC32, ARM A7 and A9 processors, and Imagination’s MIPS processors. MQA is also supported by Imagination’s Caskeid wireless audio platform.
X86 and Linux implementations are also available, while FPGA, Analog Devices’ SHARC+, Microchip’s CY920 and Synopsys ARC (AS221BD) development is under way and is expected to be available Q1 2016. Additional platforms will be announced shortly.
MQA offers full professional support from its expert team of software and hardware engineers for manufacturers wishing to incorporate a decoder into existing or projected products with minimum delay.
Please contact MQA at firstname.lastname@example.org for full details of the range of development and support options available. CES International visitors can see MQA at CES Unveiled or visit the MQA team in the Venetian for a wide range of MQA partner demonstrations including Meridian, Mytek, Bluesound, AURALiC, TIDAL, Pioneer, Onkyo and HTC.
MQA CES Locations
CES Unveiled, 4th January 2016, 4:00pm – 7:30pm (PST)
Mandalay Bay, Level 0, South Pacific Ballroom, Stand 119
The Venetian, 30-335, MQA Suite
Bret D’Agostino at Bully Sound Company, LLC (BSC Audio) got in touch to tell Hifi Pig what that they will be taking part in CES 2016 with a host of manufacturers to accompany their products including Magico, Playback Designs, Kubal Sosna Research and Critical Mass Systems which will be in the Venetian, Suite 29-117. BSC will have the North American debut of their Audio’s L5 Reference Multi-Chassis Remote Controlled Class A Line Level Preamplifier.
This is the company’s first reference level, full function preamplifier which is now shipping world-wide at MSRP USD 15,900.00 per unit.
L5 Preamplifier – features:
- Fully discrete, differential, and complimentary Class A circuitry from input to output.
- 255 step, discrete, differential, motorized, linear volume control.
- 3-chassis all isolated and individually mounted on a single base containing, (i) Power Supply module, (ii) Main Audio module, and (iii) Control & Processing module.
- Separate, ultra-stable, and discrete power supplies.
- The digital power supply is based on a 75 VA toroidal transformer. The analog supply is based on a massive 150 VA toroidal transformer.
Future additions to the preamplifier functionality will include dealer installable internal plug-in boards for (i) active 3- band differential tone controls and (ii) phono preamplifier.
There will also be the North American debut of Playback Designs’ Syrah Server, Integrated Music Server and OpBox D/D Converter modification kit for the OPPO BDP-103 Universal Network 3D Blu-Ray Disc Player.
The above two products are part of the newly introduced Sonoma Series that will also include the Merlot DAC, D/A Converter/Headphone Amplifier and the Pinot A/DC to be launched in 2016.
Syrah Server – features:
- Connects directly to the Merlot DAC via USB.
- Easy and intuitive remote control via iPad or Android devices.
- Plays any audio file from internal, external or NAS storage.
- Streaming via DLNA.
- Automatic ripping from external drive.
- Automatic retrieving of cover art and metadata from database.
OpBox – features:
Adds PLink output to the OPPO BDP-103 for direct digital link to the Merlot DAC.
Captures all native audio data from any source supported by the OPPO BDP-103 and sends it to the Merlot DAC for conversion to analogue.
Supports very long distances while providing galvanic separation (via ST Optical) between the OPPO BDP-103 and the Merlot DAC.
Coming Q2 2016, BSC Audio will be introducing the i3, its first Integrated Music System.
In collaboration with Andreas Koch (Playback Designs) and Bret D’Agostino (BSC Audio), the BSC Audio i3 will integrate a high bias class A/B 175 Watt amplifier with discrete ladder volume control and hi-resolution, DSD capable DAC.
i3 – features:
Plays any audio file from external analogue or digital source.
Features a full Android based operating system allowing easy access to a wide variety of Android Apps.
A complete all-in-one audio solution for analogue, digital and streaming sources that provides true high fidelity performance.
Auralic North America Inc. and its parent company, Auralic Limited, announce it is to be the first developer of a complete line of high-resolution audio streamers to offer fully implemented capability for two of the industry’s significant new technologies: MQA® decoding and the RoonReady® integration.
Both these technologies will be demonstrated at the 2016 CES, and will be available soon afterwards via firmware update from AURALiC’s Lightning DS software platform. MQA decoding will be available for all three Auralic’s streamer models: Aries, Aries LE and Aries Mini. The RoonReady capability will initially be available for the Aries and AriesLE model streamers, with support for the Aries Mini in progress.
As TIDAL streaming is already integrated into the Lightning DS software platform, all three of Auralic’s streamer models will be ready to handle TIDAL’s launch of MQA-encoded music.
During the CES, Auralic will stream TIDAL and MQA exclusively, and will also be demonstrating the RoonReady capability.
Xuanqian Wang, AURALiC’s president & CEO, pointed out that “with Aries and Aries LE streamers fully decoding MQA music, they bring the MQA technology to any existing DAC on the market. (The Aries Mini has its own built-in DAC.)
“After more than two years developing and refining the Lightning DS streaming platform, we are building our own eco system, achieving our goal of repositioning Lightning DS from being a hardware control software to a complete music management system, helping people explore their music.
“Considering that we first demonstrated a prototype of the Lightning DS at the 2014 CES, we have grown tremendously as THE streaming solution for high-resolution music, making the impossible possible.”
In other news, AUralic will make available an iPhone version of its Lighting DS app, with full functionality, soon after CES.
Auralic are in Venetian Suite 29-122 during the 2016 CES, January 6-9.
Constellation Audio, manufacturer of solid-state electronics, announces that at CES 2016 they will be demonstrating their Reference Series Altair II preamplifier and Hercules II monobloc amplifiers.
The recent press release from the company states that “The Constellation Audio dream team has applied their rigorous design and engineering research to create the Altair II and Hercules II as worthy successors to their original namesakes, products which by every parameter significantly raise the performance bar from their previous benchmark standards. The new Reference Series products redefine transparency and resolution on the preamplifier side while combining these virtues with the ultimate in both finesse and control on the amplifier side. The net result is a system that delivers uncompromised performance and musicality.”
The Altair II has separate triple-transformer power supply which is itself shielded by a machined aluminum chassis. Construction of the completely dual-mono control centre is highlighted by the use of a machined solid aluminum enclosure (called a raft) which is constructed with 8.2mm-thick walls. The raft is secured to a platform incorporating an isolating polymer sheet between sheets of stainless steel, and this platform is in turn mounted on an elastomeric suspension. The net result is complete mechanical and electromagnetic isolation. There’s the inclusion of a home-theater bypass mode and the addition of a DB-9 connector for.
Hercules II monoblocs use two 3,000-Watt transformers housed in their own shielded, suspended enclosure. The shielding and suspension prevents electromagnetic noise or mechanical vibration from entering into the system. Using the 125-Watt fully balanced building block modules that have become a signature of Constellation Audio amplifier designs; the Hercules is configured using multiple modules in a single chassis to deliver 1,000 Watts into each mono chassis. Connection between the Altair II and Hercules II is via the Constellation Direct interface which eliminates an extra gain stage in the signal path. However, for those users of other preamplifiers, Hercules II is also equipped with balanced and single-ended inputs.
Source components at CES 2016 will include the Constellation Audio Cygnus Media Server/DAC and a turntable paired with a Constellation Audio phono stage with Martin-Logan Neoliths.
The Constellation Audio Reference System will be on display in The Venetian, Suite 34-210.
Last month Ansuz Acoustics announced their new ultra high-end series, d·tc. Now, Ansuz Acoustics is ready with their new addition to the d·tc series: the d·tc cables.
The Ansuz Acoustics d·tc series will cover a full cable loom containing mains and loudspeaker cables and a complete selection of interconnect cables. Ansuz Acoustics will be introducing the new d·tc series at the 2016 CES in Las Vegas.
“Ansuz Acoustics has incorporated all their unique technologies in the de- velopment of the d·tc cables: DGC (Direct Ground Connector technology), DIHC (Double Inverted Helix Coil technology) and NSC (Noise Suppressing Coil technology) together with new groundbreaking technologies such as dynamically charged dielectric material and active tesla coil” says the Danish company’s latest press release.
Last year, Aavik Acoustics released their very first amplifier, the integrated amplifier Aavik U-300 and now the Danish company is to introduce two new amplifiers to the 300 series: the Aavik P-300 power amplifier and the Aavik C-300 preamplifier.
The two new Aavik Acoustics amplifiers will be introduced at the 2016 CES in Las Vegas.
The Aavik P-300 has an ultra short and simple signal circuit design, where all gain and feedback is performed by a single transistor pair. This short signal path gives the Aavik P-300 a gain structure with extremely low distortion and a more than 90-degree phase margin for amplifier stability.
The Aavik P-300 has four 600 W power factor corrected resonant mode power supplies. The in total 2400 W power supply combined with the extremely large electrolytic power banks allow the Aavik P-300 to deliver peak currents in excess of 80 A.
The Aavik C-300 preamplifier
Aavik Acoustics’ inspiration from Scandinavian design traditions is easily found in the Aavik P-300 and C-300 amplifiers with their simplistic functionality and their beautiful minimalistic design. All chassis in the 300 series are made of anodized aluminium.
Thiel Audio will be showcasing the latest generation SmartSub™ 1.12 at CES 2016 in Venetian suite 30-110
The latest generation SmartSub from Thiel will feature sophisticated app-based control and advanced room correction, paired with a Thiel long excursion 12-inch driver and DSP-controlled 1250 watt amplifier.
- Connects to your Wi-Fi network for phone/tablet app-based control
- Six User-accessible Sound Mode Presets
- SmartSub XT Processing, a sophisticated acoustic correction algorithm to precisely adjust onboard parametric equalization to help the SmartSub overcome complex acoustic challenges defined by the dimensions of the room
- A long-excursion 12-inch woofer featuring a rigid cast frame and an aluminium cone
- An energy efficient DSP-controlled switching amplifier, capable of delivering 1250 watts of continuous power.
- PC control software, enabling access to control of advanced settings such as low and high-pass filter adjustments, phase adjustments, 5-Band Parametric EQ and SmartSub™ XT Auto EQ parameters in the SmartSub app.
- The most commonly used features of the subwoofer are available to all users via a basic infrared (IR) remote control (included). The IR remote provides control of system power, volume, muting, input source, and sound mode
Cary Audio will show several new products at the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show in the Venetian Towers Suite 30-308 on January 6-9, 2016. “This year’s CES will prove to be a game changer for Cary Audio as we expand into new segments of the consumer electronics industry” says the company’s latest press release.
AiOS (All-in-One System) will be the first product in Cary Audio’s Lifestyle series with the company saying that “AiOS is designed for a new age of music listening and enjoyment. One where simplicity, compactness, and aesthetics take precedent. One where enjoying music isn’t an end-all be-all serious critiquing matter, but rather something to sing and dance to, sway your head or tap your foot as you listen or go about other activities”.
AiOS is designed to blend into your lifestyle and décor with five colours of switchable illumination and switchable matching colour side panels plus a small curved aesthetic and affordable price point.
AiOS features include network audio streaming, internet music streaming, direct playback from USB hard drives, thumb drives, SD Cards, aptX® transmit and receive Bluetooth (transmit for listening with wireless BT headphones or speakers), Class AB 50 watts x 2 amplifier, analogue and digital inputs, subwoofer output and more!
SI-300.2d Integrated Amplifier
Cary Audio will introduce a new powerhouse integrated amplifier, the NEW SI-300.2d, a Class AB 300 x2 integrated amplifier with XLR and RCA analogue inputs, cinema bypass, as well as Cary’s own digital section. The digital section includes XMOS USB inputs, Coaxial (x2), optical, AES/EBU, and aptX® Bluetooth combined with their 128 Bit DSP Engine for their TruBit© selectable upsampling technology, AKM 4490EQ DACs and premium digital circuitry top off the digital section. The front panel includes a VFD display, centre mounted volume control and a pair of blue VU meters.
DMS-500 Network Audio Player
The DMS-500 is both a wired or wireless (Wi-Fi) network client and renderer usable with their custom iOS or Android app or any third-party UPnP/DLNA app, or computer media player. If you prefers “computer-less” direct playback, the DMS-500 includes three USB Type-A inputs for USB hard drives or thumb drives, as well as SD Card inputs. From any network, USB or SD source, the DMS-500 can natively stream PCM 32 bit /384 kHz, and DSD 64, 128, 256, and 512. DAC inputs include coaxial (x2), Optical, AES/EBU, and aptX© Bluetooth. The DMS-500 can convert any PCM signal to DSD, as well as selectively upsample any PCM or DSD signal up to 768 kHz in PCM or up to DSD 256. In addition to aptX© Bluetooth, it also includes AirPlay, and phoneshare making Wi-Fi playback from any iOS or Android device simple. Other features include internet music streaming services, a five inch full colour HD display, IR remote, IR triggers and seamless internet updates for new features and firmware, as they become available.
Chord Electronics will be showing several of its latest products at CES 2016, including its new reference-level DAC/preamp/headphone amp, DAVE (£7,995). Chord’s main demonstration system will comprise its Reference Series components, plus DAVE (which is the company’s flagship DAC and sits in the Choral range). The system will be complemented by Vienna Acoustics’ flagship loudspeaker, The Magic, all wired with Kubala-Sosna Elation cables.
Chord Electronics will join its US distributor, Bluebird Music, in room 35-207 (Venetian Tower) which will also be home to Audeze and Vienna Acoustics for the event. Attendees can meet Rob Watts, Chord’s digital design guru, Maria Gansterer, CEO of Vienna Acoustics, plus most of the UK Chord Electronics team. Chord will also have a full range of DAC/headphone amps including the award-winning Hugo TT, Hugo and Mojo for show visitors to experience.
The latest generation SmartSub from THIEL will feature app-based control and advanced room correction, paired with a THIEL long excursion 12-inch driver and DSP-controlled 1250 watt amplifier.
- Connects to your Wi-Fi network for phone/tablet app-based control
- Six User-accessible Sound Mode Presets
- SmartSub XT Processing—the THIEL SmartSub 1.12 employs a sophisticated acoustic correction algorithm to precisely adjust onboard parametric equalization to help the SmartSub overcome acoustic challenges defined by the dimensions of the room
- The THIEL SmartSub 1.12 employs a proprietary long-excursion 12-inch woofer featuring a rigid cast frame and an aluminium cone
- THIEL employed an energy efficient DSP-controlled switching amplifier, capable of delivering 1250 watts of continuous power. This amplifier has been engineered for performance and reliability, utilizing an onboard digital signal processor (DSP) to monitor the signal and keep the amplifier and 12-inch driver running optimally during playback while preventing either from being overdriven
- The THIEL SmartSub offers the flexibility of either wired or wireless connectivity to the audio system
- THIEL’s SmartSub technology delivers advanced PC control software, enabling access to control of advanced settings such as low and high-pass filter adjustments, phase adjustments, 5-Band Parametric EQ and SmartSub™ XT Auto EQ parameters in the SmartSub app.
- The most commonly used features of the subwoofer are available to all users via a basic yet elegant infrared (IR) remote control (included). The IR remote provides control of system power, volume, muting, input source, and sound mode
CES will arrive in 3 weeks and Jean Marie at Metronome got in touch with Hifi Pig to tell us what they would be up to.
Products the company will have on demonstration will include:
The Music Center 1, the first music server from Métronome. The internal CD player/burner allows CD ripping, and you can store all your downloads on the internal memory disks (from 1 terabyte to optional 8 terabytes).
Numeric inputs : ethernet, 2 USB
Numeric outputs : USB, S/PDIF, AES/EBU, Toslink
The CD8 S, DSD DAC and top-range CD player CD8 S is the latest generation of integrated devices assuring a double function of DAC and CD player.
“The converter part is completely new on this device, which makes a deep change in the electronic design of our machines” says Metronome. The DAC can now also be used with S/P DIF input as well as with asynchronous USB input.
The CD player is based on the Philips CD Pro transport. The new DAC range from Métronome laboratories was unveiled at CES in January 2015, and includes the latest numeric technologies (DSD 64 to 512). DSD is read in their native form.
The Kalista® CD transport (model Calypso) will also be there.
Bryston say they have BIG NEWS for CES 2016 but they are keeping decidedly “cagey” about it, saying only that they will be unveiling a new series of products unlike anything the company has introduced in many years.
These products will be used in an active demo along with the new BDA-3 DAC. And there are more new products that they are hopeful to showcase in Venetian 29-308.