Product-related news items of general interest should be accompanied by a formal press release with basic descriptions, finish options, pricing, a photo 598px or wider and a valid web link. Event news should have venue, date, ticket and registration information plus a logo and website link. We only publish product news on items you can actually buy now. We won't publish product news about items a manufacturer promises to build if enough people pre-pay (crowd funding).

Aqwo II – It's Métronome's 2nd-gen CD/SACD player with built-in network streamer, defeatable tube path, ESS9038 Pro DAC, new touchscreen with higher resolution and zero electronics or housing parts in common with the predecessor. There are a variety of digital i/o to use the machine as a disc player, disc transport, DAC or streamer.

900 bridged watts – That's what Cen.Grand's new class AB 9i-958 monos deliver. Each includes two permanently bridged 250-watt circuits in fully balanced mode with 1.5kW transformers and 30'000µF of capacitance driving 12 pairs of high-power transistors. Voltage gain is a high 35dB, 4Ω power is 1.6kW. Each amp measures 47 x 36 x 45cm WxHxD and weighs 53kg. The matching 9i-938 preamp too is fully balanced and uses a combination of Muses72320 attenuator and Muses02 op-amp buffer. It can be operated in direct or buffer mode and includes a full-metal remote control.

I can fathom the Phantom – It's iFi Audio's new iCAN Phantom [~£3.7K], a drive-all headphone amp with 4.4mm/XLR4 and twin XLR3 balanced outputs for standard headphones plus two for e-stats. One of them features customizable bias voltage from 500 – 640V via six plug'n'play SD-style cards. The circuit itself is dual differential, features twin switchable tubes to change pure solid-state flavor, comes with a remote and 1:3 XLR:RCA inputs and outputs on XLR/RCA. The round top layers disguise air vents. What looks like two chassis is in fact one unit with silver and black halves here sitting atop iFi's best DAC.

Mini Avantgarde? – It's the Colibri C2, a 98dB 2-way with 1.5" mid/high driver loaded into a 35cm spherical horn working with a 700Hz filter into twinned 6½" woofers set inside dispersion blades for 65Hz-19kHz bandwidth. For lower bass there's the optional 70-litre Sub C18 with ±10mm of throw and 1.2kW of power which can be docked in the same stand as shown to then enter at 70Hz. DSP tuning can be set on the sub itself or via control software. The head module can also mount vertically, with the sub then placed separately. Toothed rings in the stand bracket allow for precise stable tilt and height adjustments. Three finish options apply. Dimensions are 35 x 39 x 66cm WxDxH, weight is 18.5kg.

ML1 MkII – It's the new McIntosh reboot of a 1970's model. It's a boxy 5-driver affair with a sealed 12" poly woofer; dual 4" lower mids, one 2" soft-dome upper mid and a ¾" titanium dome tweeter. The Synergy Audio Visual press release has pricing at $12'995; a piece. Mono lovers rejoice?

The half beast –  At half of the number 666, that's Gryphon's new Diablo 333 [€21.8K]. It shares new dress code with Apex and Commander, gets the latter's remote control, new socketry, new preamp transistors and 10% more output power than its predecessor. There's an optional ES9039Pro DAC card [€6.1K] and phono module [€4.8K] and of course the firm's unshakeable credo of high bandwidth DC-coupled zero feedback fully balanced circuitry.

R-rated Studio 54 – That's Enleum's brand-new AMP-54R [€25K], their 100wpc flagship amp with latest JET3 bias controller and two option cards of a current-input phono stage and streaming DAC with Toslink, coax and LAN inputs. Whilst transformer power increases 25% over the Bakoon AMP-51R precursor and power capacitance doubles in dual-mono configuration, case volume nearly halves to just 7cm height with a foot print of 40x40cm. And even that should really read foot shadow as the amplifier floats on a compact central transformer cowl while along each side of the belly run two rows of five exposed capacitor heads. Given lack of apparent manual controls, is access by remote exclusively? Not. Two hidden knob on the front of the belly control gain and inputs.

Showtime – It's today. That means our lengthy pre-show report of 145 entries just closed. It's complete now. Check it out.

Sign beside the 'x' – It's Chord Company's new SignatureX Tuned Aray interconnect [£1K/1m/pr] "upgraded with cross-linked polythene insulation following its earlier introduction in the SignatureXL speaker and power cables. The upgraded insulation complements the high-performance shielding architecture and proprietary conductor geometry technology carried forward from the previous generation."

Little audio engine – It's Audioengine's new D1, a 2nd-gen 32-bit portable DAC/headfi amp with USB-C and Toslink inputs. Inside works an ES9018 converter chip for full-scale 2Vrms output at 4.7Ω. Measuring just 9×7.4×2.2cm, it fits into a pocket. "One of the standout features is its SG2019 USB power filtering, which ensures a clean power supply and noise-free listening experience. It also has an S/R of over 105dB, THD+N of less than 0.0025% and crosstalk of -46dB."

Dirty weekend on stands? – It's Zu's new DWX monitor [$1.4K/pr up] scaling down the DW6 floorstander with identical drivers. Claimed to be 95dB efficient with bass reach to 38Hz and a 12Ω nominal impedance, new for the firm is a classic front port. The DWX is available in standard, Superfly or Supreme trim, the latter two adding the parallel B3 terminal then upgrading the 12kHz tweeter caps and internal wiring in two steps.

Mårten Design – The Swedish loudspeaker house have launched their Mingus Septet [from €108K/pr], a 4-way design with 1st-order slopes stitching together a 1" pure diamond tweeter, 3" beryllium high midrange, 7" ceramic mid/bass driver, dual 8" aluminium sandwich woofers and dual matching rear-firing 10" passive radiators. There's aluminium trim and solid lacquered wood end plates top and bottom. Mårten isolators from IsoAcoustics support the lot.

Kinki Earth – It's the new cable range from Kinki Studio resulting from a "one-year collaboration with a cable manufacturer to develop our own line of studio-grade audio cables". The Earth range encompasses power cords, RCA/XLR interconnects and speaker cables. Sheaths and dielectrics are DuPont PTFE, conductors mono-crystal copper plated "with 2.2 x the thickness of ordinary silver plate" then surface-polished. A central passive ring absorber "effectively reduces EMI above 100kHz". Connectors are copper with thick gold plating. Each terminated cable undergoes 3-stage -196C° cryogenic treatment. Speaker cable terminations are spade or banana. Intro pricing is RCA 1/1.5m/pr = $275/365; XLR 1/1.5m/pr = $295/385, speaker cable 2.5/3.5m/pr = $685/865, power cord 1.5/2m = $315/415.

Linn go 360° – The Scots have their new 360 flagship loudspeaker in fully active or active/passive guise, the latter only self-amplifying its bass system. This 5-driver 4-way combines a 19mm beryllium tweeter with a 64mm carbon-fibre midrange cone, 19cm upper bass and dual 22mm bass drivers, the latter three all with aluminium/magnesium alloy membranes. Fully engineered cabinet curvatures aim at optimized dispersion. Built-in gain is class AB and the Exact Integrated variant even builds in a D/A converter to interface directly with the company's DSM network music player. Pricing spans €55-87.5K/pr depending on trim. Numerous finish options stand by.

Grander Cen.Grand – This ambitious Chinese brand's portfolio just expanded with an analog preamp and matching 1'000-watt class AB monaural power amplifiers. A server/streamer based on a new 'synchronous' protocol previewed at this year's Guangzhou show is expected to ship by October. The separates are in production now to augment the initial DSD1'204 DACs and headphone amplifiers. EU buyers already have two sources for the brand – AudioNext in Germany, Willowtree Audio in the UK.

Round 3 – Grand Prix Audio's direct-drive turntable Monaco is now v3.0 with optional battery power. Living Voice will premiere it for Europe in their Munich HighEnd exhibit next month.

Granada news – Lorenzo Audio just announced their new LM3 aimed at cracking the usual sound barriers of 2-way designs. 41mm phenolic wood panels constitute the cab and stand and conceal dual down-firing ports. The horn-loaded tweeter is an AMT, the 12" mid/woofer an AlNiCo paper cone. Crossover components are from Mundorf and Janzen. The floor interface of the stand is Panzerholz. Sensitivity is a whopping 94dB, bandwidth a claimed 25Hz-23kHz, dimensions with stand are 117 x 51.5 x 16.5cm HxWxD, total weight per channel is 45kg.

The iPod is dead. Long live the GO pod – It's how iFi Audio turn wired IEM into wireless wonders [€799 – €1'399 depending on bundle]. To that end they collaborated with 64 audio, craft ears, Meze, Symphonium and Westone to sell bundles with select IEM of those brands. After the first 1'000 combos, raw GO pods will sell with "loops for MMCX and 2-pin IEM, Pentaconn, T2 and A2DC connectors" to mate with other IEM. There's a charging case with rechargeable 1'500mAH battery. A pair of GO pods is said to last for up to seven hours on a charge whilst the case will refill them multiple times for up to 35 hours of total go juice. Qualcomm's Snapdragon handles Bluetooth 5.2 with QCC144 processor. Supported codecs are LDAC/HDC up to 32-bit/96kHz. The Cirrus Logic MasterHifi DAC has five user-selectable digital interpolation filters. The volume control is analog, the built-in mic augmented by Qualcomm's cVC noise suppression tech. There's true wireless mirroring and the analog output stage is balanced and discrete. For more, visit the linked product page.

Chinese chocolate – It's CHoco Sound's 138wpc Emei [$1'699] integrated amplifier hot out of the oven so we only have a few details yet. One, the brand is a subsidiary of Mr Liu's Kinki Studio. Two, Emei runs single pairs of p/p Exicon lateral Mosfet outputs and offers 2 x RCA and 1 x XLR inputs. Three, a six-pin auxiliary port can drive an optional DAC/BT module. Four, Emei was in R&D for more than two years then delayed by supply-chain issues. Five, the circuit is DC-coupled and the power supply a 600-watt 'audio-grade' switch-mode type. Six, a basic plastic remote is standard, an FMJ version forthcoming but optional.

Forté 1, 2, 3 – It's the new 100wpc super integrated from Audio Group Denmark's fourth brand Axxess. Called Forté and coming in three grades of proprietary Tesla coil noise-reduction tech applied to the same core circuits [$5.5K, €8K, €11K], it offers RJ45, USB DAC, USB host, BNC and Toslink for digital plus RCA analog inputs, analog pre-outs and even a 6.3mm headphone socket. The amplifier is based on Pascal UMAC class D with the group's own resonant power supply. The DAC is an in-house developed 1-bit type. Here is a longer press release.


Classic, refreshed – In 2021, Nagra's Classic DAC discontinued. This year its replacement rises from the ashes as the Classic Dac II. "It is based on the same NADM module we use in the Tube DAC and HD DAC X. The Classic II can now do DSD 256 and has a new USB module, next-gen power supply, new digital engine and class A outputs. It is also compatible with our Classic PSU to still upgrade its internal power supply." More info in my preview.

Get your gotcha – It'll be Ancient Audio's forthcoming Lektor Joy, a nude Pro8-based top-loading CD player with digital volume and Fet-based outputs. For 16-bit CD, the ESS 9038Pro's 32-bit on-chip volume proved superior to an analog version; and the firm's usual vacuum-tube buffer saw itself outdone by field-effect transistors to become maintenance free. Vcap output capacitors remain in the picture as does the new machined-from-solid black aluminium slab.

Corporate takeover – Not exactly. Colquhoun Audio Laboratories Limited of Canada has acquired Magnum Dynalab to bring this Canadian brand of tuners into the umbrella of Axiom Audio and Bryston. "We're thrilled to add Magnum Dynalab's legendary FM tuners and tube electronics to our product mix all supported under one roof by our design, engineering and manufacturing capabilities as well as customer service," explained Ian Colquhoun. Founded in 1984, Magnum Dynalab constructed a legacy of refined FM tuner products. Jim Richards acquired the company in 2014 and served as president and COO until the recent acquisition by Colquhoun Audio Labs.  

Maple leaf – It's the exaSound s82 MkII [$7'599], a Roon-based server/streamer DAC with headFi. The conversion engine is the ESS9038Pro while power comes from two external thus upgradeable supplies to separate the server and converter sections beyond built-in galvanic isolation. Data support is 384PCM, DSD512 and MQA. Roon powers by Intel i5 processor with 16GB RAM and up to 6TB of SSD storage. There's also UPnP support, streaming with HQPlayer, AirPlay, Bluetooth, Tidal, Qobuz and YouTube. The clock is an 82fs quad affair. Finish options are black or silver. Socketry includes USB-B, 4 x USB host, 2 x HDMI, RJ45, coax, Toslink, 12V trigger and XLR/RCA analog outputs.

3G – It's the next generation of the Ansuz PowerSwitch catalogue which upgrades the prior X-TC, A2 and D2 network switch models for an even cleaner streamed signal. This begins with 3rd-gen analog dither tech where "active Tesla coils send pulsating anti-phase signals with precisely defined frequencies to significantly amplify the music signal but eliminate background noise. The same tech integrates in the Børresen M1 speaker and Aavik 880 amplifier." The next wrinkle are dual Tesla coils wound in counter directions. "The two coils carry voltage. When one encounters a spike, the counter coil activates to eliminate the noise. Since such noise spikes carry virtually no current, cancellation isn't perfect so connecting more Tesla coils in parallel enhances the effect." Then there's the active zirconium Tesla coil. "An impressive improvement of our anti-aerial resonance coil technology, incorporating a zirconium rod creates a higher level of resonance control." Composite enclosures reduce hysteresis over metal chassis. There's also a built-in PowerBox linestage section to interface with the most advanced Ansuz cables.