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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.

XL – Aurelia's new Graphica from Finland carries the suffix XL for obvious reasons. As a 2-way line source with six 6.5" mid/woofers bracketing a 1.5kHz+ triple-tweeter center, it's a tall construct of 175cm with a foot print of 42 x 17.5cm. Paralleling that many drivers pushes sensitivity up to 94dB and bandwidth to 26Hz – 20kHz.

Thalia – Erzetich Audio bow their new Thalia headphone [€449 until December 15th]  "tuned to provide superior quality sound for portable devices including DAP, phone, portable DAC and tablet." These dynamic cans weigh just 270g to remain comfy on the go, present a 32Ω impedance and use a 40mm titanium driver in an open-backed wooden cup with metal frame and detachable silver-plated OFC cable.

Get your ions – Japanese optical cartridge pioneer DS Audio launch their Ion-001 vinyl ionizer [£1'500]. "Vinyl records are known to build up static electric charge. Friction from stylus drag during playback is the reason. The degree of friction hence strength of charge varies according to stylus tip shape, the record’s specific component materials and room temperature and humidity. The Ion-001 emits a combination of positive and negative ions in a controlled process from its dual outlets to effectively neutralize and remove static electricity from a record’s surface. The tower design allows for placement next to your turntable. Fanless means silent operation for continuous use while playing records. The specialized power supply suppresses excess ozone, preventing unwanted oxidation. All you need do is switch it on at the beginning of a listening session and off at the end. The device can also be used to remove the static electric charge from CD and DVD."

Allegri allegretto – Townshend bow their new purely single-ended Allegri Rerence [£6'667 ex VAT], an autoformer passive with RCA/XLR i/o, Apple remote, seismic isolation, 129 x 0.5dB volume steps and programmable menu options for input-specific levels, home-theater bypass, display off and numerical step or attenuation-in-dB readout. A linear 12V/0.5W external supply powers the display and remote functions. "This is a microprocessor-controlled AVC preamp with clear LED display and easy interface, five RCA inputs and two XLR. The XLR are in parallel with inputs 1 and 2 and not true balanced. There is a 3.5mm stereo input on the front parallel to input five. Outputs are on two RCA and one XLR. The case and isolating feet are anodised aluminium in either natural silver or black anodize." Published bandwidth is 8Hz-80kHz ± 0.1dB.

Stick-up – Akiko have revised their popular Tuning Sticks. "Six years after introducing the originals, the series has been redesigned. The surprising improvements to your audio system still remain but the special mineral mix used inside the sticks has been enriched with materials also found in our top models. The carbon outer shell has been updated to a silky smooth anodized aluminium housing. This makes the Tuning Sticks a little bit heavier but the price of the MkIII series remains the same. ‘Especially when combined, these tuning sticks prove that tweaking a beautiful music system doesn't have to be expensive!' says Sander van Berlo. 'Reducing background noise is always our goal and these tuning sticks definitely help to achieve that.'"

Bouldering – The new 866 integrated from Boulder Amplifiers is available all analog [$12'250] or analog+digital [$14'450]. Either way it's a 200wpc machine with 3 x XLR inputs and a customizable 7" touch-screen display. Digital adds USB, RJ45, Toslink, S/PDIF and Airplay.

3 x as conductive? – Burson's new Conductor 3X could suggest as much. At $2'200 but currently on a $1'649 limited pre-order special, it's a fully balanced DAC/headfi/preamp affair with dual-mono ESS9038 DACs, XMOS transceiver, 32/786 PCM, DSD512, Bluetooth 5.0 and 7.5/3.75wpc XLR/RCA power to drive any headphone made. There are 2 XLR inputs, DAC-direct and pre-out on XLR plus headfi on XLR, 6.3mm and 3.5mm. The display will even switch orientation when the unit is used upright.

Consolidated – Swiss cable brand Vovox announce that "with effect from October 1st 2019, the company presents a revised product portfolio. The most important change includes the consolidation of the previously separated home audio and professional audio divisions with the accompanying streamlining of the current product lineup. At the same time, we announce the market launch of our new reference line Vovox excelsus."

Super Valentine's – JansZen have developed their next generation of compact floorstanding electrostat. The passive Valentina Reference P8 had its prior 7" woofers updated to "improved 8" woofers to substantially extend bass response, naturalness and impulses. Improvements to the crossovers work together with the upgraded woofers to sharpen the already impressive imaging detail and soundstage width. The nuance and subtlety remain but now these speakers also rock."

2 meters of gloss – That's the upcoming 8mm audiolab Linga, a narrow but tall 5-driver 3-way from Lithuania. It combines a vertical wave-guide 1" compression tweeter with two 6.5" midranges and dual 12" woofers for true 96dB sensitivity with two rear ports. Mundorf filter parts at 180 and 3'000Hz, net weight of 250kg/pr, dimensions of 2m tall by 23cm wide and 58cm deep and an ultra-flexible tweeter contour knob complete the basic specs. Finish is a mirror-black coat with silver, bronze or black accents. The public reveal will be at the November hifi show in Warsaw.

Maple leaf network player – From Canada's Eden Acoustique comes the $995 Lyra music player to "access and organize all of your music in one versatile central library. Lyra can stream from subscription-based services like Tidal/Qobuz, from its large internet radio library or connect to any local network-attached storage or read from an attached USB 2.0 drive/SSD. Lyra’s UI is a slick responsive web app for easy and intuitive control through your smartphone, tablet or any PC." The Lyra sports a small 7" IPS display and internal 24/384 DAC. Alternately, it can output digital audio via USB. There's Bluetooth 4.2, UPnP, parametric and graphic EQ, Apple Siri voice control and auto-discovery NAS mounting.

Network envy – That's what Melco's new S100 data switch counts on [£1'999]. It's been developed in collaboration with parent company Buffalo Technoloy. "It features advanced architecture unlike any other data switch with an audio-specific main board, 1.5MB packet buffer, powerful processor plus audio-grade capacitor bank. Its low-noise design coupled with highly precise data handling gives the S100 uncompromising sound quality when used with Ethernet audio devices. The internal packet-traffic settings have been optimized for use with IT NAS drives, IT routers for streaming services, Roon Core processor devices, Roon Bridges and of course Melco's N1, N10, N100 digital music libraries. The S100 features the same vibration-isolating aluminium chassis n and form factor as seen in Melco's N10 series." The device has 4 x 100MbE RJ45 ports, 4 x 1GbE RJ45 and 2 x SFP fiber optic.