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).

Add a zero – That's the latest LessLoss Firewall 640X, a plug-in passive inline filter/conditioner for power cords. The new zero in the nomenclature reflects "coming ever closer to zero loss" whilst the price [$654 standard, $1'272 in C-MARC form] remains unchanged despite the extra zero. Inside the wooden box are potted modules for hot, return and ground which present as 20mm² of specialty copper each to cause zero current limitations. One ideal use for a single unit would be at the far end of the power cord feeding a power distributor to benefit all components at once.

Hugabunny? – If you're a tube amp, Penaudio's Alba Lumi [€8'495/pr] might just be your pet. This rear-ported 8" two-way was designed with tubes in mind thus features an impedance which never drops below 8Ω. 88dB sensitivity isn't earthshaking but with sufficient voltage gain in your chain, a 300B should get plenty loud. The drive units are Seas Excel issue, the port is an aluminium tube, the cabinet a Finnish Ply/MDF affair finished in the firm's trademark Ply veneer. Claimed bandwidth is 25 – 30'000Hz, dimensions are 24x90x43cm and weight is 24kg/ea.

KC62 – KEF's new black or white subwoofer [€1'500] combines two 6.5" force-canceling woofers on either side with 1kW of class D power inside an extruded 14kg aluminium chassis of ultra-compact 246 x 256 x 248mm proportions. There are 5 DSP presets called room, wall, corner, cabinet and apartment to input automatic boundary gain compensation. This DSP also includes a smart limiter to avoid overdrive. Next come max 105dB SPL and a shocking -3dB/11Hz claimed reach. The RCA-based 4th-order low-pass filter is variable from 40-140Hz, bypassable for LFE signal and matched by a high-pass filter on RCA outputs. Alternatively, the latter can be used to daisy-chain a second subwoofer. The KC62 is the company's first model to exploit their new patent-pending Uni-Core array below which nests the voice coil of one woofer inside the other to allow them placed in closer proximity. These drive units also use the company's unique P-Flex surround which exploits pleats to better resist the acoustic pressure in the cabinet. Finally there's patent-pending motion feedback without sensor for real-time distortion reduction; and a wireless adapter input for tablet control.

Unicorn sighting? – Only if you misspell it. This is KEF's new Uni-Core array, a patented solution to get two force-cancelling woofers into closer proximity by sharing one motor system with concentrically arranged overlapping voice coils. The first model incorporating this solution is coming soon.

Hungary plays footsies – Pillartech from Hungary offer a variety of resonance-attenuating solutions, among them these Isopoint cable lifts with ball-bearing isolation. But the portfolio also includes  component footers, multiple audio racks and speaker stands

Faze nation? – Not quite. This is about Phasemation and three new products. First is the PP-200-MC shown, a new €1'000 cartridge which now presents the entry into the company's pickup catalogue. There's also the new T-550 MC stepup transformer [€1'150] with new face plate, new winding tech for higher flux density and superior mechanical damping. Finally there's the DG-100 [€290], a demagnetizer for pickups and iron-core SUT.

3D – That'll be Vermeer's new entry-level model Three D, "a DAC/digital preamp/network player with all the digital inputs common today. There's volume control by Leedh Processing, even a headphone output." No photo accompanied this basic press release so we're showing the standard Model Three.

Oh my tech – Shifting production to a new larger factory, Mytek announce a major refresh of their catalogue to discontinue most existing models. "A selection of nine new products will release this year beginning with the flagship $20K Empire Streamer. In addition, Mytek’s new EU branch Mytek Europe Corporation in Warsaw became the European distributor for Mytek products effective November 1, 2020. HEM Electronics no longer represent or build Mytek whose new factory will manufacture all new models except for the Empire Streamer which is currently assembled at Mytek's Brooklyn facility. Mytek's vision for new models by series is as follows:

Liberty Series is a selection of very compact, high performance single-function products:  February 28th, Liberty THX AAA™ headphone amplifier, $/€1'495 / March 15th  Liberty DAC II PCM/DSD/MQA/HPA  $/€995 / April 15th, Liberty Phono with built-in SU transformer, $/€1'495.
Brooklyn Series models are compact, very high performance feature-packed products: shipping now, Brooklyn Power Amp+, dual-mono, 250wpc fast class D, $/€2'495 / April 30th Brooklyn Bridge II with Roon Core, DAC, preamp, HPA & phono, $/€3'495
Manhattan Series models are full size, ultra high performance products for demanding audiophiles: summer 2021, Manhattan dual-mono power amp, GanFET module, 200wpc, $/€ 6'995 / summer 2021, Manhattan Bridge w/Roon Core, DAC, preamp, HPA & phono, $/€6'995
Empire Series represents extreme uncompromising cost-no-object flagship products: February, Empire Streamer Bridge w/Roon Core, DAC, preamp, HPA & phono, $/€19'995 / summer, Empire mono power amplifier, GanFET module, 1kW,  $/€9'995/ea.

Shown is the new Libery THX AAA headfi model with THX's Achromatic Audio Amplifier feed-forward tech. "It can output max 1A and peak-to-peak voltages up to 25V to drive any headphone available. Extensive circuit protection in the THX-888 module ensures that output relays disable until all power supplies reach full voltage and proper stability; and during fault conditions like overloads and short circuits." Basic specs include a 60W power toroid, max power of 6wpc, output impedance below 0.1Ω and S/NR of 140dB. For connectivity there are 2 x RCA and 1 x XLR inputs and for outputs, XLR4, 4.4mm balanced, ¼" TRS and 3.5mm stereo. There's also an RCA pre-out. Attenuation is by Alps pot, gain is adjustable in four steps and there's user-selectable cross feed and mono. The device is sized 1/3rd rack and weighs 2kg.

Cross dresser – In hifi it's when a known firm brands certain models for a luxury brand in another industry. Today's it's the Radiance headphone by Focal but for Bentley [€1'299]. Cosmetics play on the diamond pattern of the trademark Bentley grille and seat pattern as well as the use of copper and full-grain leather. The flying wings logo naturally made the transition. Focal's chosen driver is a 40mm unit, an inverted dome of magnesium/aluminium alloy with copper voice coil which loads into a diffuser panel inside the sealed cup. There's also a 3.5mm copper cable and custom carrying case. Basic specs are circumaural closed back, 35Ω, 101dB/1mW, 0.1% THD and 435g.

 

Yippee ki yay – Not another Bruce Willis movie but a new range of cartridges from Axiss Europe, the distribution house for Air Tight and Koetsu. Called Mustang, this new brand kicks off with a €295 MM pickup for arms with up to 14g of mass. The diamond uses an elliptical profile and the cartridge is recommended for 2.5-3.5g loading. It weighs 4.3g, needle compliance is considered medium to high, load impedance is 47kΩ/200pF and output voltage 1.7mV – 3.4mV.

IE 300 – That's not the latest version of Internet Explorer but Sennheiser's new IEM [€299] built around a 7mm dynamic driver using a polymer membrane for claimed distortion of just 0.08% THD. An internal chamber is tuned to cancel airflow disturbances. The MMCX- detachable para-aramid reinforced cable loom terminates in 3.5mm but a symmetrical cable with 2.5mm or 4.4mm plug is available for a surcharge. Claimed bandwidth is 6Hz – 20'000Hz with a 16Ω impedance.

Coola Kula – Not a new beverage from the folks who brought you Coca Cola but the integrated from Mola Mola, Kula [$13'800-$25'000] combines 3 x XLR/RCA inputs, a new 150/300wpc 8/4Ω nCore amp plus optional phono stage and DAC. The curvy chassis is borrowed from the Makua preamp, the DAC is identical to the standalone Tambaqui including Roon endpoint and Bluetooth functionality. Z-out measured at the Furutech terminals is a low 2-7mΩ, -3dB bandwidth is 50kHz, S/NR 113dB and input impedance 100kΩ. An IR remote control is standard and there's also a Mola Mola remote app.

Garden of Edis – The Silent Switch OCXO from Ediscreation of Hong Kong is an "audiophile" network switch with linear power supply and low-noise low-drop-out regulators for its temperature-controlled ±10ppb crystal oscillator. Switches on each of the eight 1000M RJ45 ports allow for selective ground lift and the chassis of the box is 6061 machined aluminium. The standard version sells for ~€660, the extreme is €1'170.

Roger that – Say hello to the new Rogers E20a/ii, a re-imagined classic valve integrated with a quartet of output 6L6GT driven by a 12AX7 and two 6SN7 phase splitters. There's also a pair of 12AX7 in the optional MM phono stage. Add three RCA inputs, a basic cathode-follower self-biasing push/pull circuit with 18 watts into 8Ω and a sloping tube cover and Rogers are your uncle.

Haydn but not Joseph – That'll be Soundgil's 16" bass-reflex Haydn two-way speaker [€18'000/pr ex VAT] with 75mm horn-loaded beryllium tweeter. The cabinet is multi-lam Birch Ply with internal frame structure and the horn has 90° and 30° horizontal and vertical directivity respectively. Finish is piano gloss black for the cabinet, sensitivity 99dB, weight 80kg/ea. and bandwidth 20Hz-20kHz ±3dB. Dimensions are 55 x 125 x 74cm WxHxD.

Potpourri – Coming from Hungary, Popori Acoustic's WR1 [€36'000/pr] is a full-range electrostat with Corian/Kerrock frame and stainless steel base. Claimed bandwidth is 25-30'000Hz and sensitivity a standard 90dB. DImensions are 180 x 54 x 44cm HXWxD and weight is 49kg.

2 more – That's Furutech's new GTO-D3 NCF passive power distributor because it adds two outlets over the GTO-D2 NCF version we recently reviewed. Otherwise it's the same chassis just elongated, the same NanoCrystal Formula² duplexes with rhodium-plated contacts and UHF-absorbent mat inside the casing.

À la electro mode – Hello MS HD Power, the high-end trading name of Winbo Industries, a Hong Kong-based company with more than 45 years of designing and manufacturing high-performance safe power accessories for home audio/video systems. Key product ranges include mains power plugs, sockets, distribution blocks and cables. Previously imported by Air Audio for the UK market, the brand has now signed an agreement to transfer distribution to Electromod.

isolation – It's the name of a new Tonian Labs CD by Jasper & Brad Dutz on woodwinds and percussion. There's also the new Not Together by Brad Dutz and Chris Wabich, this one pure percussion. Like all of Tony Minassian's releases, these are purist recordings without any compression limiters. Dynamic range on CD thus far outstrips 99.9999% of all so-called hi-rez material. "I do realize that this is generally not the flavor of music you usually listen to. I am in the same camp. However, at the moment there aren't many musicians available to record given the current climate. I would like to mention that tracks 16 and 17 of Not Together have tons of bass. Please adjust the volume accordingly as to not damage any speakers."

Mach 3 – That's the new Jay's Audio CDT2-Mk3 [$2'398] with now dimmable blue display, oven-controlled crystal oscillator, 44.1/176.4kHz switchable sample rate and configurable HDMI pin assignment for I²S via dip switches. Aside from that, it's still the same Philips CDM4-based top loader without built-in DAC we awarded.

Linlai – As Grant Fidelity report who have imported Psvane tubes into the West for years, in 2019 the Shuguang tube factory shut down due to a land sale and relocated. This had the Psvane factory add manufacture of guitar-amp type tubes to their portfolio whilst some of Psvane's design team split off to form Linlai. That brand continue to specialize in just audiophile valve types. At present Grant Fidelity offer from Linlai their E-B300 permalloy metal plate and WE300B Western Electric replica, E-845 molybdenum plate and WE845 Western Electric replica, E-101D mesh plate, E-2A3 permalloy plate, 845-DG overhung filament and 805A-DG overhung filament power triodes. Grant Fidelity's pre-testing and proven warranty support provide peace of mind. With Western Electric filling no current orders for their 300B reissue, one looks to China instead to get current-production WE-style 300B.

Cardeas revisited – Audio Physic's Cardeas III gains additional internal ceramic foam struts, then puts a 39mm floating tweeter, spiderless 150mm midrange with grid-lined sub chamber and two spiderless 180mm double-surround mid-bass couplers on the front which hand over to horizontally opposed 10" long-throw aluminium woofers on the lower cheeks. This 6-driver 4-way promises 25Hz-40kHz bandwidth and 89dB sensitivity and weighs in at a solid 72.5kg per side.

Short me out, please! – Chord Company's Bridge [£500] "is a high-quality British designed and engineered shorting plug to reduce HF noise in high-performance equipment. Offering protection from noise for devices with unused power supply upgrade ports such as Naim’s NDX and NDX 2 network players, the Bridge works by reducing HF noise on the critical signal ground. Built from heavy-gauge machined aluminium, the Bridge also uses the company's Taylon® dielectric throughout the internal resin-damped wiring."

Ah, Vic! – No, it's not Auntie Victoria today but Danish brand Aavik who have released their 180, 280 and 580 ranges of DAC, phonostage, integrated amp and streamer. "Regardless of series, we use Tesla coils, dither circuitry and anti-aerial resonance coils from sister company Ansuz to drive down the noise level and secure unconstrained signal flow." The amplifiers exploit Pascal's patented 300wpc UMAC™ class D tech. The DACs provide four different settings to accommodate individual preferences. The streamers use six separate low-noise regulated power supplies. The phonostages have completely quiet input sections to unmask even the finest musical detail of vinyl. The chassis are now made of a wood-based composite not aluminium and the same enclosure shape is shared by all models though the 580 versions upgrade to internal casings of solid copper whose outer casing gains titanium struts. While the basic performance specs between each model version remain unchanged, the 280 variants use more noise-suppression coils and dither modules, the 580 types even more. This becomes a good/better/best scheme where the basic 180 platforms get tweaked to become 280 and tweaked to the hilt to become 580. It's a black eye on those who insist that things which spec the same sound the same and that anyone who hears otherwise is delusional.

Playing solitaire – T+A's Solitaire P-SE [€2'800] invites it with a more affordable follow-up to their P version. Its new synthetic enclosures reduce weight and production costs and its planarmagnetic dirvers are new as well. Load impedance is 45Ω, bandwidth 8Hz – 45kHz and availability begins in late January.