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TC – It could stand for taut control. But Joe Skubinksi of Abyss Headphones has it as total conciousness. With this suffix to their AB-1266 Phi, we get a "newly designed 66mm planarmagnetic driver of the absolute highest resolution of any headphone ever made". The aluminium frame and lambskin ear pads have been revised as well and the finishing is a two-tone black polymer ceramic.

A2+ – It's clearly better than A1, in this case Audioengine's new wireless speaker [$269/pr] with Bluetooth aptX, micro USB, stereo RCA i/o plus a stereo mini input. The works load into the left 'master' speaker inside a 18mm HDF cab with 60-watt class A/B power, a CSR8670 DAC for 16/48 processing plus auto-switching 110-240V mains. The driver complement is a ¾" silk dome tweeter and 2.75" aramid fiber mid/woofer.

Satie – Ivo Linnenberg's new fully balanced flagship DAC Satie [€8'790] continues the new form factor of his Widor amp and positions itself above the Telemann DAC with two coax and one each Toslink, AES/EBU and USB digital inputs, 1 x XLR analog input and RCA/XLR outputs fronted by an ESS ES9038Pro chip with 140dB S/NR. Three femto clocks with 80ps clock jitter handle the 44.1/48kHz sample rate families and the chip's data buffer. There are six selectable digital filters and remote volume control via a passive relay-switched resistor ladder with output buffer for constant low output impedance. Finish options are black or silver.

Not vodka but Voxativ – The Berlin firm's new Absolut system [from $7'900] combines their smallest Hagen widebander monitor with single-box electronics for WiFi, Blutooth AptX, Toslink and analog, also packing 20wpc class A/B amplification, Comcast to access TIdal and Qobuz via WiFi, custom DSP to augment the bandwidth of the compact speaker to 40Hz, remote volume and a switching power supply with automatic global voltage selection. Coming up next will be a DSP option for the Zeth floorstander when driven from the Absolut Box.

Pre-Brexit plug for the UK – That'll be Furutech's new FI-UK (S) power connector [£100/ea.] which adds to the prior 'R' for rhodium and 'G' for 24k gold-plated versions a new silver option. It's a 13A fused 250V type in a fireproof ABS housing which accommodates incoming cables of 6-20mm diameter and uses copper-alloy blades plated with silver.

Get intimate … with íntimo, Wyred4Sound's new class A headphone amp with integral ESS Sabre DAC [$1'499]. There are balance, phase and 3-stage gain controls, a 3-band EQ, large alphanumeric display, capacitive touch buttons, a custom-milled anodized aluminium chassis and five digital inputs of 2 x coax, 2 x Toslink and 1 x USB (384 PCM, 128 DSD).

Pioneering clone – With the demise of Oppo Digital, hence no more ongoing steady supply of their popular Bluray universal machines, mod men have been looking for alternatives. Funjoy of Clones Audio has picked the Pioneer UDP-LX500/800 machines and has built for them a drop-in linear power supply called PSPLX which includes a 'digital direct' mode to power off the analog circuitry. Go ahead, mod your Pioneer.

Exquisite or requisite? – With Raal's SR1a [$3'499] from Serbia's ribbon tweeter experts, it doesn't matter. Under the Raal Requisite brand, it's a true dipole ribbon headphone of 425 grams which floats on your head to deliver 33Hz-30kHz bandwidth. There are hi-tech carbon-fibre baffles, a head band of stainless spring steel, lambskin leather padding and memory foam bars. An interface box with all the necessary cabling is included in the Pelican hardcare delivery to connect to a speaker amp of the customer's choice. Warranty is five years.

Rescan your sonics –  A year ago, Danish audio brand Gamut joined Raidho and Scansonic as part of the Dantax group. Now the high-performance product ranges of all three brands are benefiting from the resulting influx of collaborative design and engineering expertise. Scansonic's MB series was originally created by Michael Børresen, the initial designer of the Raidho range. In 2018 Gamut's Benno Baun Meldgaard was appointed chief designer with a brief to work collaboratively across all three companies. In the twelve months since, Meldgaard brought his vision and expertise into a number of key product ranges. One such range is Scansonic's MB range now renamed MB-B ('MB' is for Michael Børresen, 'B' is for Benno). The new MB-B editions have been upgraded and optimized in almost all areas.

The top end still features Raidho's ultra-light ribbon tweeter in which the membrane is formed by a Kapton-aluminum sandwich just 20 microns thick. The midrange drivers and woofer are now fitted with a new low-loss spider which greatly improves the dynamic capabilities as well as expands the bass response. A nice side effect is that break-in has been reduced greatly. The crossovers have been completely redesigned, resulting in a much more even and natural sound. All drive units are time-aligned at the listening distance. New ported cabinets are tuned for optimal impulse response, giving a more coherent, dynamic and detailed low end while making in-room placement more versatile. The cabinets' internal construction has been changed to optimize airflow which, combined with minimal use of damping material, further enhances coherence, dynamics and detail of the low frequencies. The Scansonic MB-B models are available in either a black or white finish.

Chorded   Chord Company extend their XLPE or cross-linked polyethylene insulation material to their Odyssey and Epic cables, considered to be an upgrade over using Teflon aka PTFE as dielectric. "With material technology developing and improving, alternatives to PTFE such as XLPE have allowed us to make performance improvements where the prohibitive cost of our flagship Taylon insulation prevents its use." Pricing is £30/m for off-the-spool OdysseyX and £600/pr/1.5m for terminated/dressed EpicXL.

Exposé – Exposure from the UK add the new XM CD player [£1'200] to their compact range. With a PCM 1716-based DAC and top-loading disc mechanism that can be accessed directly via coaxial and Toslink outputs, there's remote control, an aluminium chassis with extruded front panel, 2Vrms analog outputs and a S/NR of better than 100dB A-weighted. With compact dimensions of 94 x 218 x 348mm HxWxD and weighing just 4kg, this machine is a natural companion for the comapny's XM5 integrated or XM7 preamplifier. Finish options are black or Titanium and warranty is 3 years.

Redefine – Australia's Henry Kristanto of Redefy Audio Pty Ltd introduces his "most ambitious project ever, an active stand mount with 4 subwoofers. All drivers are custom-built by us for this particular model." The driver complement is a 29mm Beryllium tweeter in a 16cm wave guide for directivity control. The midrange is a 17cm curvi-cone carbon/paper Neodymium-powered affair whilst the same-sized woofers are long-stroke woven Carbon cones "especially developed for a smaller sealed enclosure". Onboard power splits into 3 channels for a total of 600 watts. There are RCA and XLR analog inputs and one digital input. There are also 3 presets for boundary and response compensation. When asked about his layout's similarity to the Kii Three, Henry replied, "yes, it's my take on something similar, albeit with what I believe are far superior drivers." A review is already planned once this model goes into full production. Whilst pricing for various markets will fluctuate as always, an estimated target is $7'500/pr US.

SAG P3 – Simon Lee's new company Simon Audio Lab offers the discrete fully balanced P3 linestage as part of their expanding portfolio of electronics and loudspeakers.

Taga Harmony – Their new flagship hybrid integrated amplifier HTA-2500B is a dual-mono 200wpc affair between two Psvane Treasure MkII 12AX7-T and six complimentary pairs of Sanken 2SC4468 and 2SA1695 transistors powered from twin 600W/ea. toroidal transformers with 10'000μF of capacitance per channel. An Alps pot handles volume. A  24/192 Cirrus Logic CS4344 DAC with Wolfson WM8805 digital receiver for optical and coax plus Bluetooth handles digital inputs. There's also a headphone amplifier and pre-out.

Pure silver – in-akustik's flagship Reference LS-2404 and 4004 AIR Pure Silver speaker cables revisit their unique air-dielectric construction with flexible spacers which also build in a lazy twist of the suspended wires. The difference here are pure silver conductors. Pricing starts at €17'600/3m/pr for the LS-2404; and €29'700/pr/3m for the LS-4004 – i.e. not for the faint of wallet or ambition.

Inductive phono – Gold Note introduce their PST-10 [€950], a "super-inductive power supply for all our low-voltage powered turntables to increase their sound quality significantly. PST-10 is a linear power supply inspired by our PSU-10 for the awarded PH-10 phono stage. It inherits the chassis and proprietary dual choke design powered by a double inductor driving the negative and positive high current stages and an inductive filter on the analogue stage. The power supply includes 4 transformers, 3 of which are strictly dedicated to power while 1 transformer handles the inductive filter and two chokes. The PST-10 shields the turntables from electro-magnetic interferences. The large ultra-clean power enhances super low noise, greater dynamics, better resolution and finer details."

Artemis – After the recent announcement of the new Denafrips Hestia and Hyperion preamp and amp already previewed here, the reclusive designer Zhao now teases a new flagship model called Artemis which becomes a dedicated headphone amp, consolidating two earlier purely domestic HA-10 versions into one global flagship model. As we learn more, we'll update this post. For now, just a spy photo.

NOS – Jay's Audio's first standalone DAC [$3'598 Singaporean] combines an XU208 XMOS USB transceiver with an AK4118 digital receiver, dual AK4497EQ DACs and large-scale FPGA to support PCM up to 384kHz and DSD up to 512. There are four low-jitter crystal oscillators from Crystek, twin EU-sourced power toroids, Schottky diodes, Walt Jung super regulators, Audio Note UK and Amtrans capacitors and Hoclo resistors. For analog, there are 2/4Vrms RCA/XLR outputs, for digital BNC, AES/EBU, RCA, USB, Toslink and I²S over HDMI inputs, the latter compatible with Denafrips and PS Audio. There's also selectable non-oversampling and oversampling.

Prana – Goldmund's new active vented 3-way speaker called Prana [CHF 70'000/pr in Switzerland, other territories vary with VAT and exchange rates] combines a 1" soft-dome tweeter with a 7" midrange and 9" woofer plus 600 watts of Telos power per channel of which 175w/ea. go to the tweeter and midrange, 250w to the woofer. Inputs are 1 x S/PDIF, 1 x WiFi. Weight is 80kg each, dimensions are 48 x 99 x 47.6cm WxHxD. The stacked cabinets are assembled of solid aluminium panels and joined by the included frame. Onboard DSP controls time alignment, filters and gain. Bandwidth is published as 35Hz – 25kHz -6dB.

Plus sizes — Parasound announces more powerful 'plus' versions of their A 21 and A 23 power amplifiers in continuous production since 2003. The new Halo A 21+ [$3'149] and A 23+ [$1'495] employ higher-capacity power supplies to increase output power. This targeted power supply transformers and filter capacitors as the foundation for power output increases. Further refined also is audio quality in the signal-path and related circuitry with upgraded gold-on-gold internal connections to improve resolution and increase transparency. With its larger 1.3kVA power transformer and 108'000µF power supply capacitance, the Halo A 21+ jumped from 250 to 300 watts into 8Ω, 400 to 500 watts into 4Ω and from 750 to 1000 watts in bridged mode. Further improvements increased signal-to-noise ratio from 112dB to 115dB, crosstalk from 63dB to 70dB while THD at full rated power output has decreased from 0.2% to 0.1%. These improvements pushed net weight over 18% from 60 to 71 pounds. Like the original A 21, the new A 21+ amplifier gives users a choice of balanced and unbalanced inputs with loop outputs and variable gain controls. The most visible rear-panel difference on the A 21+ are new CHK Infinium heavy duty speaker terminals originally developed for the top-of-the-line 400wpc Halo JC 5.

The new Parasound Halo A 23+ is similarly improved with a larger 1.1kVA power transformer and 54'400µF power supply capacitance. This supports increasing power output from 125 to 160 watts into 8Ω, 225 to 240 watts into 4Ω and from 400 to 500 watts in mono bridged mode. The A 23+ has balanced and unbalanced inputs with adjustable gain controls, loop outputs and new higher-performance speaker terminals adapted from the popular Parasound HINT 6 integrated amplifier. Both new amplifier models feature more-refined Halo styling including solid aluminum end caps with gold highlights. Both models include 12-volt DC triggers with loop outputs plus more sensitive audio auto turn-on.

Tweeter advantages – From Franck Tchang come two add-on super tweeters in magnesium-alloy and pure (not plated) diamond membrane options. There are selectable 15kHz and 18kHz high-pass filters and sensitivity is 90dB/91dB respectively. In either case, omnipolar response goes out to 35kHz/75kHz and finishing is Maple or Walnut as shown. Pricing is €980/pr for the magnesium-alloy version and €5'800/pr for the luxury diamond. Both models are part of Franck's new Avantages Audio brand which also includes the César loudspeaker.

Emperors – Speaker house German Physiks have added an electronics line to their roster dubbed Emperor. This range includes an integrated amp, preamp, stereo amp, mono amps and an electronic crossover. With already the integrated delivering 600Wrms into 4Ω, power won't be an issue. Given the 5-model deep launch, you'd best visit their website to learn the full details on each.

NewClassic – Not an oldie but newbie, Parasound's NewClassic 200 Pre [$895] "is a moderately priced analog preamplifier plus DAC with outstanding sound quality, excellent connectivity and versatility." Connectivity comprises MM/MC, two line inputs, home-theatre bypass for L/R and two subs, digital coax and Toslink plus a front-panel auxiliary input with automatic 12dB gain increase "to improve sound quality for portable devices."

Mmm – Melcro. To appoint their digital music storage solutions with snazzier functionality, Melcro have launched their Melcro music HD, "a free iOS control point app available from the Apple App Store, designed to offer intuitive control and simple navigation when a Melco digital music library is connected to a USB DAC."

ABC…ZXRM – Parasound's new Zphono XRM phono preamplifier [$599] "bridges the price gap between our entry-level $200 Zphono and $1'495 Halo JC 3 Jr. The new model includes balanced XLR outputs, a switchable rumble filter, a mono/stereo switch plus continuously variable load adjustment for moving coil cartridges. Separate input jacks and independent circuitry for MC/MM cartridges accommodate two turntables. Each of these jacks has its own circuitry optimized for the cartridge type. This improves the signal-to-noise ratio and overall performance."