Product-related news items of general interest should be accompanied by a formal press release with basic descriptions, finish options, pricing, a photo 604px 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).

Jay not fat cat – JCAT's new flagship USB cable [€900] and USB+LAN ground conditioner [€500] are "a big improvement for any digital USB and/or network source. We improve sound and image quality by reducing computer-induced noise. For the ground conditioner, simply connect the USB Type A lead of the cable to a USB port, the RJ45 lead to an Ethernet port on your music server, the AC plug to a wall socket and experience immediate improvements in background noise, dynamics and resolution. The cable is handcrafted using the best high-purity OCC copper multi-strand wire with advanced shielding. Available with EU, US & UK plugs. The Signature USB Cable is handcrafted using a mix of purest silver/gold alloy with silver/copper conductors in a special geometry for extremely high bandwidth."

Merason – Daniel Frauchiger of dafraud GmbH in Switzerland announces a name change for his Purson-branded DAC which now is the first product of new brand Merason. There are no changes to the actual hardware.

 

nCore NC1200 price break – Nord Acoustics in the UK launch their new Hypex NC1200 based power amplifiers. "Previously available only from £10K upwards, we launch at £3'795 with our discrete input buffers packed full of high-end components plus WBT solid silver 0705 Signature binding posts, Neotech output wire, Furutech rhodium XLR, Furutech copper IEC with Furutech SO22 mains wire and Synergistic Research Blue SR fuse." Available in stereo or mono versions in black or silver.

Tada -The TD4.2 [€100'000/pr in gloss black, €125'000/pr for Walnut burl and custom colours] is Raidho's new trickle-down of their TD4.8 flagship where tada is for tantalum/diamond drivers mated to the company's signature ribbon tweeter. "By adding a tantalum coating to the already excellent diamond, we have achieved an even stiffer 5-layer cone with yet higher levels of inner damping. In combination with the upgraded magnet system with new SD cap, stronger magnets and better voice coil, the TD4.2 will give you the qualities of the TD4.8 in a size a little more room friendly. The tweeter is upgraded with a more powerful magnet system, making it more sensitive. The internals of the cabinet are improved too, resulting in lower bass, a more natural sound and a huge soundstage."

Extract more exa – Exasound bow "an upgraded version of our e38 DAC for sonic refinements and new features. The new ESS flagship ES9038Pro DAC chip increases by 4 times the internal paralleled DAC channels to bring more presence to the midrange. Redesigned reference voltage sources and master clock power circuits deliver more precise 3D imaging and more natural transients. Refined analogue output stages built with components with superb linearity and enhanced power lines offer lower noise and distortion levels, improving micro dynamics and bass reproduction. Redesigned main board topology offers reduced electromagnetic interference and reduced channel crosstalk resulting in better detail and resolution."

Stellar Power Plant – Ps Audio bow their P3 [$2'199] as the lowest-priced most compact power regenerator they've yet offered. This one delivers 300VA of continuous output from three classic AC receptacles for all of your sources. That's built into the sleek chassis of the company's Stellar line. Remote control and MultiWave functionality are included.

Orpheus – Ratzov Tsenkov Audio release their new hi-resolution USB converter with "Burr-Brown's flagship DAC with differential current output, passive I/V conversion with precision resistor and 1:4 step-up transformer and a Li-Ion battery power supply."

Acme – The latest subsidiary of Chris Sommovigo's Stereolab LLC with his Black Cat Cable brand, "Acme is the name for the compartment in which I’ll be producing unterminated 'bulk' cable for hobbyists and colleagues. My first product is an elegant little hookup wire called A19 for Acme and the summed gauge of 32 fine tin-plated copper conductors braided around a 3mm Japanese cotton cord. The overall jacket is a black nylon mult-ifilament yarn though I can run various colors for custom orders. A19 can be used as internal hookup wire for loudspeakers and electronics, as a system-ground cable with existing grounding components, as loudspeaker cables in twisted pairs or multiple parallel lines to sum to higher gauges and even as interconnect cables in twisted pairs. Overall OD is 5mm. Retail price is slated at $10 per running foot and this product is available for immediate shipment by request."

Vermouth is couth – Hendry Ramli's Vermouth Audio from Bali/Indonesia introduce their Reference cables with RCA/XLR interconnects and power cords, speaker cables still to come. The Reference XLR shown uses OCC copper conductors in a double PTFE tape and mylar wrap with a braided OCC copper shield and air-tube spacer in a flexible jacket. The carbon-fiber shell plugs use rhodium-plated tellurium copper pins.

Bolder Boulder – The 2018 phono preamplifier [$52'000] "features several substantial advancements in technology and performance over the previous generation 2000-level phono preamplifier through the use of better ground paths and planes, revised circuit topology and lowering of the static noise floor. Increased use of surface-mount PCB technology, manufactured on Boulder’s own SMD machines and ovens, has also yielded improvements in noise radiation, propagation delay, parasitic capacitance and the elimination of lead inductance in selected circuits. It also offers improvements in unit-to-unit quality and consistency with the added benefit of improved long-term reliability." For an itemized list of features, visit their website.

Music | art | passionMusical Artisans are about to host their annual open house on Saturday, March 9th, from 6:30 – 8:00PM. It celebrates the return of CH Precision and the introduction of Rockport Technologies to Chicago. Private sessions are available on March 8th and 9th. Ralph Sorrentino from CH Precision will be on hand to answer questions about their full stack including the new M1.1 amplifier driving Rockport Cygnus speakers with a DeBaer Sapphire turntable with Onyx arm and Argento Audio cabling. RSVP.

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.