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).

Early Irish Xmas.

Exclusively for our Irish readership, our publisher is giving away a pair of Zu Druid V in ivory white, a pair of Zu Druid VI in ivory white and a pair of Rethm Aarka monitors as shown here.

Pick up in person only. Wear a face mask.

Contact srajan @ 6moons.com to arrange details. The earliest birds get the worms. Bold items still available.

Due to the current travel restrictions, hiring a commercial van that's allowed to traverse different counties will be a convenient solution if you're not living in Mayo County to pick up yourself. It's how the Dublin recipients of the Druid VI did it.

CrystalConnect Art – The forthcoming Art series by CrystalConnect (formerly Crystal Cable) takes advantage of a 10th-gen silver/gold conductor that's uni-crystal to feature no molecular boundaries at all. Thin Kapton/Peek dielectrics, coaxial or triaxial geometries and silver/gold shields are common to all cable types whilst the amount of ground legs for ultra-low impedance scales up across three complete ranges each containing analog, digital and power cables. In ascending order, those ranges are called Monet, van Gogh and da Vinci.

Exacting – Canada's exaSound bow their new e62 and e68 DACs with native DSD512, true balanced circuity, high-power headfi and volume. Both are Roon tested. The e62 includes an MQA decoder/renderer for full 24/384 unfolding. The e68 is a stereo/multi-channel DAC which can play up to 8 channels in DSD256. "An asynchronous USB interface with error correction assures accurate data streaming, our exclusive volume control has three–way volume synchronization, complete galvanic isolation affords external noise reduction and a quad-clock architecture with 82fs master clock minimizes jitter for max timing accuracy."

Airier power? – In-Akustik add the AC-4004 AIR [€2'400] and AC-1204 AIR [€550] power cords whose "multi-core construction leads to overlapping thus compensation of the magnetic fields. Depending on the number of cores, line inductance is extremely minimized, skin effect from steep current flanks at HF significantly reduced. In addition, the usable conductor cross section is expanded without the negative effects of thick cables. A dense shielding braid of tinned copper protects nearby cables and audio components from external interference and prevents oxidation."

 

Dali but not Salvador – The latest model in Dali's entry range is the 90.5dB Oberon 9 [€1'598/pr]. It's a 4-driver twin-ported floorstander with 29mm fabric-dome tweeter, 17.5cm midrange and 23cm paralleled woofers. The crossover separates at 3'400Hz and 780Hz and at 37kg/ea., the box suggests rather solid construction for this price class. Finish options are black ash or dark walnut.

Ceramic not from Accuton – Hello Campfire Vega 2020 and Dorado 2020 IEM where ceramic shows up not as membrane but enclosure material. What differentiates the newbies other than color is a single 10mm dynamic driver and stainless steel spout for the $899 Vega; and an additional balanced armature then brass not steel nozzle for the $1'099 Dorado. Zippered cases from upcycled marine plastic in green or orange plus silver-plated Litz wiring in smoky jacketing complete delivery of each.

Serblin & Son Raptor – This 250wpc integrated with 2/ea. RCA/XLR inputs also adds twin AES/EBU and one each coax and Toslink with a universal 100-240V 50/60Hz power supply. The converter engine is a TI PCM1794, the volume control a passive 127-step switched resistor affair whilst the industrial design incorporates a VU-style meter showing the active input, sample rate, power amp temperature and mains voltage.

€27.50 – €2'099 – That's the gamut covered by Audioquest's updated range of HDMI cables, from the BlueBerry entry-level model to the Dragon 48 range topper. All models with 48 suffix are rated for 48GB/s bandwidth so are ideal for HDMI 2.1 connections. Obviously I²S over HDMI is another worthwhile application such as Denafrips and Métronome support.

There's a new marshall in town – It's the Major IV, a Bluetooth headphone from Sweden's Marshall which offers more than 80 hours of battery life for wireless play and which can even be quick-charged wirelessly to reach 15 hours of charge within 15 minutes with the included charge station. €149 nabs a pair. Ink and nail polish optional.

More moo for your tech – With Mutec's new 10MHz REF10 SE120 master clock [€5'498 in black or silver], phase noise drops down to a claimed sub 15fs. With 50/75Ω outputs and an "elaborately selected and manufactured temperature-controlled crystal oscillator", the new model purportedly outperforms the original by quite some margin.

Melco go gold – To celebrate 45 years in business, Maki Engineering Laboratory Company aka Melco have launched a limited 50-piece version of their N10 two-box server in an exclusive champagne gold finish. "The N10 45th Anniversary Limited Edition [£7'495] benefits from the recently introduced EX Series upgrades including Roon compatibility, Melco Intelligent Music Library software, vTuner Internet radio, web control plus capacity upgrade from a 3 to 5TB HDD." The 215mm half-wide N10 was designed to "offer even better audio performance than the full-width N1Z series. The head unit contains all the processing electronics and data connectivity, the power unit a low-noise linear power supply and power management circuitry."

 

Rebrand – Crystal Cable become CrystalConnect to reflect a catalogue that's expanded well beyond original cables to include electronics and multiple loudspeakers. The new logo combines a stylized tuning fork with a tulip. After all, Holland is home to intense tulip farming, a tuning fork symbolizes music making. The new name also ends the double trouble of saying that one owns Crystal Cable cables. Streamlining name/product happened likewise for Dan Clark Audio a while back when this headphone maker gave up on their original MrSpeakers name. Today say hello to CrystalConnect. To celebrate the switch December 1st, we're also promised an entirely new series of products soon.

The return of the big-boy box – Hello Magnat's Transpuls 1000, a surprisingly compact classic 3-way with compression horn tweeter, 13.5cm midrange, 26cm/10" woofer, twin front ports and 92.5dB sensitivity. Claimed bandwidth is 22Hz – 32kHz. For all that, the box stands just 79cm tall, 38cm wide and 28cm deep. Price is €798/pr. For €998/pr, there's the Transpuls 1500. That scales up to a mighty 38cm/15" woofer and dual 25mm compression tweeters per side. Or in Magnat's own words, "the speaker your parents always warned you about."

Prime rib power? – NuPrime's LPS-205 and LPS-212 (LPS is short for linear power supply) mean to upgrade your greasy hamburger. Using epoxy-potted EI-core transformers regulated by Mosfets, the 205 has 2 x 5V/2A power feeds and USB-A sockets each, the 212 eliminates USB but scales up to 2 x 12VDC. Each unit offers 28 watts max and its filter capacitance is 35'000uF. Included is protection for over voltage, over current, over temperature and spikes. Each device costs €399 and is meant to upgrade switching wall warts on small phonostages, USB cleaners, reclockers, DACs, DAPs and the like.

Cylindrically yours, faster – That's Audiophile Fast's curved line-source speaker in modular active guise. Priced from €12'000/pr to €19'500/pr for 3+1 to 6+1 modules, the speaker grows from 122cm tall and 30kg heavy to maximally 205cm and 73kg. Standard finish is stave-bonded solid Birch in clear matte. Options include gloss or matte/gloss black or custom colors over MDF. The standard filter is active but there are passive options for either transistor or valve amps. Standard inputs are on RCA, options add XLR and/or digital AES/EBU. Equally standard is room correction. On further details their web page is currently quiet but the photos make clear that each module features a dipole mid/woofer fronted by a narrow vertical array of five very small drivers. The active module with the power IEC and inputs connects to the plinth.

Funk'n hey – From Arthur Khoubesserian of The Funk Firm comes a patented new cartridge decoupler. Called the Houdini [£300], it isolates a cartridge from its arm's resonant behavior. Not unlike speakers being decoupled from the floor they sit on; or a turntable being isolated from a rack; Houdini inserts between cartridge and arm. That adds a suspension system plus 'torsion tether' to the cart/arm interface and is claimed to cut out the transfer of mechanical vibrations to minimize sonic differences between arms. It obviously also adds some weight and 6mm of height to require arms with the necessary range of counter adjustments.

Brian Russell's preamplifier  Bryston's new BR-20 analog preamp [$5'995] includes their 384PCM/DSD256 DAC/streaming platform to become a complete hub with the optional 4xHDMI [$1'200] and MM phono cards [$1'000]. DSD can be output via HDMI. A powerful headphone amp with low output impedance is part of the package as is the BR-4 remote wand and Bryston's legendary warranty.

Q enlarges Bond's weapons arsenal –  Q Acoustics go active with their 200 and 400 models. They also go twinned 2.25" BMR each, short for balanced mode radiator, a flat-membrane driver tech with exceptional off-axis response which widens the usual sweet spot. Around back are one or two 4.5" woofers loaded into dispersion lenses to work with predefined radiation resistance and close to the front wall. There's a plethora of 24/96 5.8GHz wireless functionality including the optional Q Active Control Hub. That adds Ethernet, HDMI, Toslink, line-level or MM phono plus subwoofer inputs to then broadcast all these sources wireless. Even voice control is supported. So is legacy infrared remote control. The Q Active 200 gets three amps per channel (one per driver), the Q Active 400 four for a total of 280/440wpc respectively. Finishing is black or white and for the monitor, there's the optional Tensegrity stand shown.

New Elac – Coming in November, the FS408 [€5'180/pr] in a high-gloss cab of trapezoid cross section augments the existing models in the company's Vela range. The firm's Jet5 AMT tweeter combines with 2 x 180mm faceted mid/woofers and Van den Hul internal wiring. Available lacquer finishes are black or white.

Balanced tube DAC – LampizatOr's new Baltic 3 [€4'900] attempts to chase their Golden Gate flagship for 1/3rd the budget. It does USB, coax, Toslink and AES/EBU with RCA/XLR outputs. It processes up to 384kHz PCM and DSD 512 fully balanced. Low gain is 2Vpp out, high gain 6Vpp. The tube complement is 2 x 5963/ECC802, 2 x 6N8PA/CV181T/6SN7GT and one rectifier in the 5U4G/GZ37 family. Fascia colors other than black are available.

Wahnfried – Silvercore's premium preamplifier is named after Klaus Schulze's pseudonym and Wagner. It is a purist auto-biased push/pull circuit with 2 x 6922 and 2 x 5687. The remote-controlled 96-step volume controller inserts after the nano-crystalline Finemet pure silver input transformers for galvanic isolation and impedance stabilization. There are equivalent output transformers, an external power supply and custom parts like zinc-foil capacitors. There are 5 x XLR inputs, an XLR tape loop and 2 x XLR outputs. Output impedance is 150Ω and the chassis combines Delrin with stainless steel or, optionally, macassar wood. Wahnfried sells for €18'600. Photo by Image Hifi.

Buchardt amp up – The I150 [€2'500] is the Danes' first piece of external electronics. It does 300wpc/4Ω from nCore class D, ESS 9028Pro conversion, analog volume to not digitize the analog input,  four digital inputs, subwoofer and line-level outputs and comprehensive measuring abilities for expert on-board room correction. Owners of Buchardt speakers can download a free app to tell the I150 which model they have and engage automatic DSP optimization. If they own a passive model, they're also eligible for a €700 discount on this integrated. New customers book a €200 savings if they pre-order for a planned April 2021 delivery.

Le Player 2 ways – If you're Métronome, you double dip. Le Player 3 [€4'600] is a CD transport with onboard upsampler that can even output DSD128 via I²S over HDMI. You could use any DAC you please but the French would prefer if it was their own Le DAC [€5'700] with AKM4493 chip and no tubes. If integration not apartheid is your game, the new Le Player 3+ [€6'000] merges the two machines into one chassis. Separates or one-box CD/DAC? Métronome have you covered.

Winter is coming – If you need some white-out in your rack, Electrocompaniet's limited edition white version of their €2'500 80wpc ECI-80D integrated will deliver the desired effect. It includes MM phono, Bluetooth HD, 2 x coax, 3 x Toslink and 2 x RCA inputs, 3.5/6.35mm headphone sockets and trigger ports. Make it snow?

301 – From Italy's Todi comes New Horizon Audio's new 301 turntable at the top of their six-deep range. "The 301 is a belt-driven rigid plinth design that incorporates the best features of New Horizon turntables then introduces new solutions. There are three major designs and construction innovations: a plinth of great thickness and weight which opposes the transmission of vibrations and resonances thanks to high mass and amorphous composition; a CNC'd methacrylate platter weighing over 2kg; and new high-damping footers made of Delrin, soft natural rubber and HQR compound." The 9" straight aluminium arm is supplied and calibrated with an entry-level cartridge. The dust cover eliminates hinges or holes on the plinth. The table is available in black or white.

Brown is the new black – Or rather, black (even white) is the new Braun LE01, the famous company's new flagship smart speaker bowing in November. A landscape ⇔ portrait mode EQ switch allows either placement and there's Google Assistant hands-free control, privacy mode to disconnect the four built-in microphones, an in-app bass and treble control, 24/96 WiFi streaming, multi-room, Apple AirPlay and Chromecast. Inside the aluminium enclosure with laser-cut aluminium grill sit 2 x 5.25" aluminium neodymium-powered woofers, 3 x 2.5" active flat-membrane BMR units and two passive oval radiators. Three class D power modules are steered by 32-bit DSP for claimend 62-21'500Hz response -6dB.