On Wednesday May 8th, 2013, B&O announced the release of the H6 over-ear headphone ($399) and H3 in-ear monitor ($249). Long known as a lifestyle brand that embraces both excellent sound and excellent design, B&O’s H6 and H3s promise no different.
Nicolaj Shabtai, Category Manager for B&O Play, explained the products’ three priorities: "outstanding sound, design for life & style, and quality materials."
In today’s previous entry, I mentioned that Standish/Carlyon’s Deleted Scenes reminded me of Peter Gabriel’s early solo work. Fans of FX’s outstanding TV series, “The Americans,” will have noted that the season’s finale made fine use of Gabriel’s hit single “Games Without Frontiers.” That is, if those fans were already familiar with the song. I was not.
Conrad Standish and Tom Carlyon are formerly of the Australian noir-rock trio Devastations. While that band’s thoughtful, honest work could bring a listener to tears, Deleted Scenes, Standish and Carlyon’s debut as a duo, is much more interested in physical pleasures.
Is there a country that, per capita, has produced more major loudspeaker brands than Great Britain? The British brands that immediately come to mind are Tannoy, KEF, Bowers & Wilkins, Quad, Rogers, Spendor, Harbeth, Castle, Acoustic Energy, ProAc, Monitor Audio, Epos, Celestion, Lowther, PMCand Wharfedale.
Simon Hewitt, Cambridge Audio’s Director of Marketing, visited Stereophile HQ to demonstrate the Cambridge Audio Minx Air one-box Bluetooth system. Hewitt says Cambridge Audio’s business is exploding thanks to the Minx Air. It makes up 15% of Cambridge’s current profits. Meanwhile, Cambridge is busy building more speaker lines as their fathering company, Audio Partnership, fades out mass distribution of Mourdant-Short.
Minx Air is currently available in two sizes, the Minx Air 100 ($449) and the larger Minx Air 200 ($599). It features Airplay, on-board Internet radio, and bass EQ that can be controlled via app. I played three synced Spotify playlist selections transmitted via Bluetooth from my iPhone. At the end, Hewitt asked, “What was that first track you demoed?”
After I read Brian Damkroger's rave review of the Audio Research Corporation's Reference 5 SE line stage in the November 2012 Stereophile, I was excited about getting the review sample into my system so that I could do a Follow-Up (February 2013). However, the sample had already been returned to the factory, so I called ARC to see if it could be rerouted eastward to me. Chief Listener Warren Gehl answered the phone.
"Sure, you can listen to the Ref 5 SE, but I'd assumed you were calling about the Reference 75 amplifier."
"Reference 75? What's that?"
"It's our newest amplifiera half-power version of the Reference 150."
You know what's fascinating? As digital audio technology matures, DAC design is not converging on a single most popular or overall best approach. Multiple design paths continue to thrive, new ones are still appearing, and each variation on the DAC theme has its adherents and side trails: bitstream, non-oversampling, upsampling, various filters, DSD playback options, and on and on.
Monday, January 14, was a difficult day for the abandoned amusement park that is my body. In the morning, I packed two Lamm ML2.2 amplifiers into their wooden crates and wrestled them outside for collection by some unlucky air-freight courier. After that, I backed up my car to the tiny front porch of our house so I could unload a pair of 1966 Altec Valencia loudspeakers I'd collected the day before: in excess of 100 pounds each, just like the crated Lamms, but considerably larger.
My hi-fi basked in morning sunshine. The sparkling white finish of the Usher 520s reflected angular glints of yellow light across plaster walls. Birds chirped as I hoped for the best. Would my bass bloat be gone? Would I have an evenly dispersed image?
On March 27, 2013, Stephen Mejias blogged about the single “Love and Respect” from Danish electro-pop group When Saints Go Machine, which “features Killer Mike offering strong and exciting contrast to Nikolaj Manuel Vonsild’s delicate falsetto.” Although the track left him “wanting more,” SM admitted the restraint from both Killer Mike and Vonsild made his yearning a good thing.
In UNKWON’s remix of this track, the Danish DJ leaves yearning at the door, and unleashes an onslaught of sonic manipulations, big bass, and layered tambourines, handclaps, snares, and bells transforming the track from one of self-discipline to groove indulgence.