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KlanghornSound horn in German, it's SoundSpace System's new solid-wood tweeter wave guide for their active floorstanding model previously reviewed in these pages. "As a small manufacturer, we can make the special possible. Our latest coup is the Klanghorn milled from a solid block of resonant wood. The result is not only a beautiful look and feel but sound optimization that speaks for itself."

JC +1 – This is the other JC aka John Curl who revisits his Halo JC1 mono amplifier design for Parasound with a new iteration. At 450 watt into 8Ω, 850 into 4 and 1'300 into 2 plus 180 amperes of peak current, the JC1+ [$17K/pr]  is a beast which works its first 25 watts in class A. Over the predecessor, it increases by 30% in weight, ups capacitance from 132'000μF to 198'000μF and increases output devices from 18 Sanken transistors to 24. "The JC 1+ is the first commercially built product to employ active high-frequency noise filtering with Bybee Music Rails. Curl’s newly designed driver stage employs a cascode circuit with greater open-loop bandwidth and increased linearity. In another first for the JC1+, the input and driver stages reside on FR-408 printed circuit board material. Until now FR408 was only used in super-computer and aerospace applications."

Schiit storm – As our review clarified, the Raal Requisite SR1a ribbon earspeakers require a 100wpc/8Ω speaker amplifier to dispatch the requisite current whilst an impedance interface box raises the near dead short of the ribbon's load impedance to a happy 6Ω. There'd been talk that Schiit were working on a direct-drive amp that would do away with Raal's impedance converter whilst building in the necessary baffle-step compensation into their circuit. Reader Russell Dawkins: "I talked to Requisite's Danny McKinney yesterday. Apparently the Schiit amp for the Raal SR1a ribbon ear monitors is coming in two versions: one with Schiit branding in their own case, the other in a case designed by Requisite with Requisite branding. The model name will be FOS for 'full of schiit' because the internals are identical. Pricing will be minus $300 for eliminating the Raal interface box and +$800 or $1'000 for the amp with and without USB inputs so $4'000 and $4200 for the two headphone/amp packages." Now Schiit have released the $799 Jotunheim R which dispatches 14 amperes into the SR1a's impedance, which has defeatable baffle-step correction should a circumaural Raal ribbon bow in the future which won't need it and which adds selectable passive RCA/XLR pre-outs. Analog inputs are on both RCA and XLR. The optional $200 True MultiBit card can add a USB DAC with Schiit's own DSP filter. That makes Jotunheim R the ideal compact driver for the SR1a which can be taken on the road or placed on a desktop driven USB direct from a computer.

Advantages – From Franck Tchang's Parisian Avantages Audio workshop come two new monitors called N°56 [€3'200/pr] and N°68 [€3'800/pr]. "Amazing frequency response for monitors with aluminium mid/woofers in front and paper cone passive radiators in the back. Their 25mm tweeter plates diamond atop a magnesium substrate to act as super tweeter. The smaller model uses a 15cm widebander with a 18cm passive radiator. It has a 3kHz high-pass, 85dB sensitivity, dimensions of 18.5 x 30.5 x 16cm WxHxD and weighs just 6kg. The bigger model scales up to an 18cm widebander and 22cm passive radiator, gains 1dB of sensitivity and slightly lowers the filter hinge to 2.8kHz. It weighs 9kg and measures 24x40x20cm WxHxD." The N°56 promises bandwidth of 40Hz – 45kHz, the N°68 plumbs to 30Hz.

 

 

Denafrips go D/D – When a reader dropped a hint that Denafrips were readying a USB reclocker, I checked in with their global marketing manager Alvin Chee of Vinshine Audio. "News spreads fast. Yes, it's coming. No, they are coming. Three models, entry, premium and flagship. They are all pure digital-to-digital converters. The entry-level model converts USB to AES/EBU, coax, Toslink and I²S. The premium model adds a fifo buffer and femto clock. The flagship model adds mil-spec temperature-stabilized crystal oscillators for the very best reclocking. It will be an exciting year for Denafrips."

Telos 7 – Goldmund's latest class AB integrated amp [£9'500] does 190wpc into 8Ω and revisits the feature set of the discontinued Job INT with one analog input, 32/384 USB, Toslink, coax and a digital volume control. It also upgrades the enclosure, connectors and footers and contains the latest NextGen circuit updates.

2180i – Like he did with James Bongiorno's IP under the Spread Spectrum Technologies brand, EJ Sarmento of Wyred4Sound now did for Bob Carver Design – bring it in-house by acquiring the rights to the designs. "We're working on many new things but the 2180i integrated amp is first. Bob Carver remains involved and together we're working to build new designs. Some of the non-amplifier products for the brand will be more me but still with his insights." In short, Wyred4Sound just branched out into building vacuum tube electronics…

Silent Angel – Network specialists Thunder Data now have their Silent Angel Bonn N8 network switch available in Germany [€399]. As per model name, there are eight Gigabit RJ45 sockets to route network traffic. The temperature-compensated crystal oscillator is said to work with 0.1pmm clock precision. The power supply is an external medical-grade switcher. Our colleagues at fairaudio.de have a short review on it.

 

 

 

Z40i – Linear Tube Audio convert their existing Zotl 40 power amplifier into an integrated amplifier [$7'650] to deliver 51wpc into 8Ω from a quartet of KT77 output tubes. There are 4:1 RCA:XLR inputs, hi/lo Ω 6.3mm headphone ports, a tape loop on RCA, a 100-step precision attenuator and a pre-paired Apple remote. The industrial design and case work are by Fern & Roby, the patented circuitry with RF-transformer impedance conversion is by David Berning.

Simon sez – Simon Audio's 3 Series separates include the P3 line stage and S3 power amp. The preamp combines a 1MΩ input impedance with sub 100Ω output impedance for optimal signal transfer. Socketry combines 2 x RCA inputs, 1 x RCA thru-put, 2 x XLR inputs and one each RCA and XLR out. The analog attenuator is digitally actuated via relays. The matching stereo amplifier generates 150/300wpc into 8/4Ω using push/pull Sanken power transistors and a Jfet input stage. Ex April Music's Simon Lee fronting SAG also has half-sized components, a full-featured All-in-one and two pairs of loudspeakers

DSS – That's not a new format but Métronome's new streamer. The DSS, short for digital sharing streamer, is a compact deck with a 25cm² footprint and just 7cm height. There's up to PCM 384 and DSD64 support, MQA, Roon, Airplay 1 and 2, UPnP and DLNA. Output socketry is on coax, AES/EBU, Toslink and I²S over HDMI, inputs are on USB and RJ45.

Nordost phono phrenzy – Following the company's Valhalla 2 tonearm cable introduced at High End Munich 2019, there are the Blue Heaven [$599/1.25m], Heimdall 2 [$799], Frey 2 [$1'399] and Tyr 2 [$2'749/1.25m] to flesh out their dedicated phono cable models. "Each new tonearm cable + uses four silver-plated solid core OFC conductors arranged as twisted pair to create a left and right channel, then wrapped in micro or dual mono filament then a braided silver shield. A separately shielded silver-plated bond ground wire wrapped in micro mono filament minimizes noise. To further reduce noise, two detachable ground wires can connect to the shield of the cable, serving as additional ground loop prevention when needed."

A5 – Magico's new 5-driver 3-way [$21'800/pr] introduces a new carbon/graphite 5" midrange bracketed by the firm's familiar 28mm Beryllium dome tweeter and three 9" graphene-based woofers in a 6061 aluminium heavily braced 180lbs enclosure. 4th-order slopes with just introduced Mundorf M-Resist foil resistors in Magico's 'elliptical' filter configuration handle the signal routing.

Cherry blossoms – From Canada's Eden Acoustics comes the open-baffle Sakura [€15'000/pr] to add a bigger model to the company's prior Tômei monitor. "Sakura is a 3-way using three or four drivers: a sliced cone 6" mid/bass driver featuring 0.5" excursion, a dome tweeter and one long-throw 1" excursion 13" woofer. The central control unit comes with first-class components from Hypex, Analog Devices, XMOS and AKM. DSP optimizes each driver's amplitude, impulse, time and phase response. It sports eight 32-bit/768kHz AKM4495 DACs. Hypex Ncore amplifiers for 1'700 watts total connect directly to the drivers' voice coils. The CCU accepts connections through balanced/unbalanced analog, S/PDIF coax i/o, USB Class 2 and with the optional Network Music Server [€1'200], streaming through Airplay, UPnP/DLNA, Bluetooth and Roon. Sakura will be available in two formats. The base version includes a pair of 3-way towers with a remote control-based central control unit. Sakura2 [€16'200/pr] sports two mid drivers per side. Both systems can come Roon ready with network streaming."

Bulgaria's DHT preamp – From Thrax comes Lybra [€50'000], a two-box balanced 300B preamplifier with independently gain-adjustable outputs like Supratek's Dual Cabernet to accommodate bi-amping with different amplifiers. There's also a fully balanced tape loop to support ambitious reel-to-reel machines, an outboard dual-mono power supply, auto bias and full microprocessor control with an LCD display. As to whether the 300B couple via transformers or capacitors, they use "chokes and capacitors" as Boyan Donchev replied via short note from his engineers.

10 series amplifier – Gold Note have dropped their new PA-10 power amplifier [€1'390] as the companion to the recent 4-in-1 DS-10 DAC/pre. It's a fully balanced Mosfet design of 75wpc into 8Ω which can bridge to 600W/4Ω. It also gets the adjustable damping factor feature of the big Gold Note PA-1175 MkII stereo amp; and remote triggers. There are selectable XLR and RCA inputs and finish options of black, silver and champagne gold.

R2R + DHT = ? – If you're Wojciech Underschütz of Acuhorn from Poland's Gdansk, its the recipe for a Soekris-based R2R DAC with global-voltage Vicor switching power supply and 2.5/4/5V direct-heated triodes like the 45, PX4, 2A3 or 300B. For €6'900, it's a fully balanced affair, for €5'700 it's single-ended. For €4'000, big DHT turn Sylvania sub-miniature 5987 triodes. In either case, there's USB, coax and Toslink, 28-bit resistor precision and data compatibility of 384kHz PCM and DSD256.

Hydra grows more heads – Audiobyte's new Hydra Vox DAC with Hub streamer/reclocker and Zap PSU [$3'998 for the combo] is the latest from Rockna Audio's chief engineer. Vox is a 1-bit DAC executed 100% in FPGA software which can upsample to DSD512 if engaged. There's also a headphone amp onboard. Hub is a streamer with Roon and HQ Player which also plays digital reclocker including Ethernet whilst HQ Player converts all PCM to DSD. Zap is a twin-bay power supply with a low-noise linear half and a 300F ultra-cap half to power the analog and digital circuits of Vox separately.

 

Heady master – Merrill's new Master Tape Head preamplifier [$15'000] is for reel-to-reel decks and upgrades the previous unit with new VU meters for calibration, HF level adjustments, output level control, channel balance, VU meter level adjustment and a new "studio-quality tape head gain circuit. It's an ideal addition to the Ampex ATR 100, 102 and 104 models or Otari MTR desks. We can provide the plug-in card to access the tape head directly on the Ampex ATR 100 series machines, replacing their on-board preamp cards for an order increase in performance. We set our max gain to 71dB. There are six speed and equalization settings for 3.75ips/NAB, 7.5 IPS/NAB, 7.5 IPS/IEC, 15IPS/NAB, 15IPS/IEC and 30IPS/AES. These are accessed from the capacitive 5" color touch screen. Your configuration is saved to memory and restored upon power up. The machine accepts tape outputs from 0.3mV-6mV and has a maximum peak-to-peak output range of 24 volts. The Kratos II external power supply gives this an ultra-low noise floor with great immediacy."

C1 Sub Mk2 – ATC's new sub [$3'499] is the native companion for their C1C/C3C center channels, HTS on-walls and "all but the largest satellite speaker systems". It sports a 12" ATC woofer with 3" voice coil and discrete 200-watt class A/B Mosfet amplifier. Controls include a continuously variable low pass filter, a continuously variable all-pass filter and polarity switch, speaker level L/R inputs, independent L/R RCA line inputs and a summed line output RCA connector to facilitate the daisy-chaining of multiple subwoofers. The C1 Sub is available now in four real wood finishes: cherry, black ash, satin black and satin white.

Winter solstice – It's here with Campfire's new custom-fit in-ear Solstice monitors of 5 balanced armature drivers in a tuned acoustic expansion chamber made from 3D-printed solid then encased in a stainless steel enclosure [$1'499]. Two different builds called artist and audiophile are available. "Our audiophile fit offers a shallow seal depth without the unnecessary added length of traditional in-ear monitors for the stage. This fit is comfortable and easy to enjoy wearing in a wide variety of conditions and locations. From a daily work commute to a studio mix-down, this is a great fit style for everyday use. Our artist fit offers a more traditional seal depth to ensure the necessary sonic isolation and added security you need for demanding on-stage performances. Extending into the ear canal, this fit style is excellent for the professional musician."

Campfire also bow the new Solaris Special Edition [$1'899] whose acoustic chamber is made from 3D printed ceramic and whose front plate is polished abalone. Only 750 of these will be made.

£350/mono meter – Furutech's new off-the-spool DSS-4.1 speaker cable uses "a combination of the company's Alpha-treated Ohno cast copper conductors with ultra-crystallized high-purity copper developed by the Materials division of Mitsubishi, a leading manufacturer of the highest-purity oxygen-free copper in the world. The Mitsubishi DUCC conductor begins with an extremely pure oxygen-free copper then processed to optimally align the conductor's crystals while reducing crystal-grain boundaries. Furutech's OCC conductor offers the benefit of larger more 'fibrous' crystals in which one dimension is longer than the other two to create as few crystal junctions as possible. All metal parts are treated with Furutech's trademark two-stage cryogenic and demagnetization process to render the metal stress-free, stable and highly electrically conductive." The DSS-4.1's mixed conductors aggregate to 11 gauge or 4.08mm² of two twisted cores with polyester filler, fluoropoylmer dielectric and a copper-foil shield. The final overall diameter of this cable is 19mm.

S class D – That's SOtM's new sPA-1000, a 100wpc fully balanced class D power amp [$3'500] based on their own BTL circuit, thus not an OEM module. Available in silver or black, SOtM claim proprietary advances in power-supply design which mitigate the influence of speaker back EMF on their voltage stability.

Smarten up your hubby – That would be your USB/Ethernet hub for which Waversa from South Korea suggest their WSmartHub [€1'850]. It offers 4 x Ethernet, 2 x USB A and 1 x USB B. A 9V/2A  DC inlet feeds the power-cycling 4Ah batteries.

Swedish tributary – The Moonriver Audio 404 integrated is a remote-controlled 50wpc machine with 5 x RCA inputs and one RCA tape loop. Optional are an MM/MC phono stage with 40/50dB of gain and a USB DAC with XMOS/AKM 4490 parts which may be installed at any time. Standard is a balance control, stereo/mono switch and dual pre-outs.