Thursday, October 29, 2015

Playback Designs Sonoma series Merlot Dac & Syrah Music Server

Playback Designs is launching a new series of components under the Sonoma name—in reference to the eponymous pro audio DSD workstations—and the first two introductions are the Merlot DAC and the Syrah Music Server. Naturally, they borrow their names from wine grapes—a nod to the wonderful (if somewhat counterintuitive) symmetry linking the enjoyment of good wines with the joy and awareness derived from profound musical experiences. Driving this audiophile/oenophile point home further, each product is shipped with a bottle of wine from a high-quality private winery.

The Merlot DAC is a state-of-the-art D/A converter with AES/SPDIF/USB/PLink digital inputs that support any sample rate and format up to quad DSD. Its discrete architecture is software upgradeable for future Playback Designs updates. In addition to balanced and unbalanced line-level analog outputs, there’s also a headphone output on the front panel with discrete volume control. An easy-to-use recording software application allows the creation of wave or DFF/DSF files on a computer from digital sources connected to Merlot.

The Syrah Music Server is the companion product to the Merlot DAC. It provides internal storage, but can be connected to external storage and networks. The Syrah supports DLNA streaming, rips CDs automatically from an external drive, and offers extensive metadata capabilities. Able to be controlled via iPad/Android tablets, it supports any file format and native sample rate, and connects to Merlot via USB for native file playback. Also on offer is the “OpBox” modification kit for Oppo players, which allows a direct connection to the Merlot DAC via ST optical cable. This permits digital audio data sourced from any disc (CD, SACD, DVD or Blu-ray) to be transmitted natively via the Oppo’s optical output to Merlot for direct conversion to analog. The conversion is an easy install and can be performed either by a dealer or end user directly.

Price: Merlot, $6500; Syrah, $6500; OpBox, $1850

Monday, October 26, 2015

Alto Magnum

Alto is from Denmark.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Equinox Audio Galaxy


Frequency response
10Hz-30kHz +/-2.5dB @ 3.5M

Harmonic Distortion
< 1% 10Hz-45Hz - < 0.3% above 45Hz

92dB @ 1W/1M

Maximum SPL
>120dB @ 3.5m - Varies with room

Nominal Impedance
4 Ohms

Phase response
+/- 20 Degrees - 100Hz to 20kHz

Recommended Amplification
50-500 wpc (4000w onboard for LF)

Crossover Frequency
80Hz - 350Hz - 3kHz

Bass Alignment
Sealed 0.6 Q

4 x 320mm / 2 x 220mm / 2 x 135mm / 1 x 25mm

H 1845mm x W 450mm x D 1000mm

300Kg each

60mm - 32mm MDF

Friday, October 23, 2015

Dan D’Agostino Momentum Phonostage

Locked inside the grooves of every vinyl record is the most realistic, most natural, most moving sound one could ever experience. The trick is getting that sound off the record and into your speakers. Dan D’Agostino always found this task challenging … yet irresistible. He knew that no matter how much care he took in the design of his phono preamps, there was always more soul lurking within those grooves. With the Momentum Phonostage, he has finally extracted every last bit of music hidden in even the most microscopic fluctuations in the finest vinyl records.

How did Dan do it? By combining the finest possible analog circuitry with the precision of digital control. Every adjustment is right there on the front panel of the Momentum Phonostage, with its own LED readout. You can reach them easily, without opening up the component, without having to go into onscreen menus, and without having to fuss with DIP switches or analog controls. They practically beg you to experiment! Pushbuttons on the front precisely control gain, resistive loading for the two MC inputs, resistive and capacitive loading for the MM input, and record EQ curve.

Knowing that even the best circuitry is no better than the electricity that powers it, Dan gave the Momentum Phonostage what may well be the cleanest AC power supply ever created for a phono preamp. The Phonostage uses not one, but two separate power supply components: a transformer that sits on the floor, and power rectification and regulation circuits built into the base on which the Phonostage sits. Thus, the sensitive phono preamp circuits are double-isolated from the transformer electrically, and also separated by a safe physical distance.

As an audiophile, Dan likes to follow his muse, changing and expanding his system in whatever way the music demands. He can’t stand it when an audio component imposes limitations on his ideas, and that’s why he gave the Momentum Phonostage enough inputs to handle multiple tonearms and even turntables. It has two moving-coil inputs and two moving-magnet inputs, each with XLR and RCA jacks, plus XLR and RCA outputs.

The Momentum Phonostage uses the best parts available (and Dan’s tried most of them), and employs through-hole construction for maximum possible sound quality and reliability. And as with all the other products from Dan D’Agostino Master Audio Systems, each Momentum Phonostage is built by hand in Dan’s Arizona factory, literally within a dozen footsteps of Dan’s desk.

Inputs 4 pr inputs via XLR and RCA
Inputs are selectable from the front panel
Outputs 1 pr Balanced outputs via XLR
Gain 70 dB for MOVING COIL
Input Clipping 1Khz typical for 70cM/sec recorded velocity, gain trim at "0"
MC 6mV
MM 6mV
Equivalent input noise, 20 to 20 kHz < 60nV
Equivalent input noise current None

Gain adjustment is +/- 6dB and is selectable from the front panel.

Equalization Curves There are five selectable equalization curves available from the front panel. These include the Standard RIAA equalization curves and 4 alternatives used by various record labels. The available curves are:

RCA orthophonic

Frequency response
Represents the above curves +/- .2 dB from 20 Hz to 20 kHz.
Loads 16 selectable resistive loads for MOVING COIL and MOVINg

16 selectable capacitive loads for MOVING MAGNET inputs
Power Supply The base of the phono stage houses critical power supply rectificaition circuitry while a third chassis houses the power transformer for maximum isolation from AC-generated electromagnetic fields.

Dimensions Separate:
Main: 15.5 x 12.75 x 3 1/2
Power Supply: 13.5 x 11 x 2.5
Total Height: 7
Transformer Box: 4 x 10.5 x 2

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Tron Convergence Phono Stage

The Convergence is available in MM configuration at £900 and in MC configuration at £1000.

This phono stage sets a new bench mark for performance at this price point as well as delivering Tron's extremely high levels of finish and component selection.

Inside are 3 valves/tubes giving 48dB of gain (MM) and 68dB of gain for MC, delivering Tron's notable high-end performance at a more affordable price.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Audio Research Reference 6


Frequency Response: +0-3dB, 0.5Hz to 200kHz at rated output (Balanced, 200k ohms load).

Distortion: Less than .01% at 2V RMS BAL output.

Gain: Main output: 12dB Balanced output, 6dB SE output. Record out: 0dB (Processor input: 0dB SE output).

Input Impedance:  120K ohms Balanced, 60K ohms SE. Inputs 4 balanced, 4 single-ended. Assignable processor passthrough.

Output Impedance: 600 ohms Balanced, 300 ohms SE Main (2). 20K ohms minimum load and 2000pF maximum capacitance. Outputs (3): 2 main, 1 record out (XLR and RCA connectors).

Output Polarity: Non-inverting.

Maximum Input: 20V RMS BAL, 10V RMS SE.

Rated Outputs:  2V RMS (1V RMS SE) into 200K ohm balanced load (maximum balanced output capability is 30V RMS at less than 0.5% THD at 1kHz).

Crosstalk:  -80dB or better at 1kHz and 10 kHz.

Controls: Rotary encoders: Volume (103 steps), Select Input.  Push Buttons: Power, Proc, Menu, Enter, Mono, Invert, Mute.

Power Supplies: Electronically regulated  low and high voltage supplies. Automatic 45 sec. warm-up/brown-out mute.  Line regulation better than .01%.

Noise:  1.7uV RMS residual IHF weighted balanced equivalent input noise with volume at 1 (109dB below 2V RMS output.)

Tube Complement: (6)-6H30P dual triodes, plus (1 each) 6550C and 6H30P in power supply.

Power Requirements:  100-135VAC 60Hz (200-270 VAC 50/60Hz) 130 watts. Standby: 2 watts.


19” (48 cm)

7.8” (19.8 cm)

16.5” (41.9 cm)

Handles extend 1.6” (4 cm) forward of the front panel.

Weight: 36.5 lbs. (16.6 kg) Net; 53 lbs. (24 kg) Shipping.

Shipping begins November 2015

Finishes Available  in natural anodized aluminum with clear acrylic cover

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Swogersch & Broh Thesis

World premiere for Norwegian high end loudspeaker at Horten Audio Show.

Little Fwend - Automatic Tonearm Lifter

Lifting Mechanism: Safe. Smooth. Silent. Those were the most important aspects of the design. We experimented a lot finding the right relationship between spring compression force, travel, dampening and friction. Little Fwend lifts the tonearm smooth and controlled with minimum use of force (and a little help from Newtons fwends). Little Fwend can lift tonearms with cartridges set up to 5 grams VTF.

Trigger Antenna: High carbon steel Roslau piano wire. Very low lateral force is required to release the mechanism. The cantilever will love to meet such low resistance.

Lifter Beam. Neoprene rubber. The high friction rubber padding lets the tonearm rest safely and stable even with the level a few degrees off both horizontally and vertically. If you´ve read this far, you´re probably the level type of audiophile.

Height Ranges. Little Fwend comes in two different sizes, Low and High. The Low model can be used under tonearms with clearance between the underside of the arm wand and the mounting surface as low as 30mm, up to 47mm. the High model from 47mm, up to 80mm. Height is adjusted by a set screw in the base. The appropriate hex key is enclosed. Please measure the distance from mounting/plinth surface up to the underside of tonearm wand. Take the measurement when the tonearm has correct VTA and the needle is in the groove. Add 1-2mm to this distance, to make sure there will be safe clearance between the lifter beam and the moving tonearm.

Mounting Platform. 0.3mm mild steel disc with adhesive backing. Little Fwend is fastened to the platform through magnetic force. The axially magnetized N52-magnet in the base is strong enough to keep Little Fwend in place, but weak enough to easily reorient the trigger antenna for the various run-out groove areas. Little Fwend is readjusted in seconds. The diametrical magnetic field is very low and will not affect magnetic metals in the radius of the base.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Amare Musica Tube DAC DSD

Premiere on AUDIOSHOW 2015 in Warsaw.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

JAS Audio Kon-Tiki

At Horten audio show in Norway

Friday, October 9, 2015

Vinnie Rossi VR120 Power Amp


Operation – Class A JFET input stage, Class AB output stage

Power (stereo): 120 WPC @ 8 Ohms, 225 WPC @ 4 Ohms, 2-Ohm stable
Power (bridged mono): 250 Watts @ 8 Ohms, 400 Watts @ 4 Ohms

Power supply: “PURE DC-4-EVR” ultracapacitor with external universal voltage power adapter

Inputs: Cardas RCA and balanced XLR inputs

Outputs: Cardas speaker binding posts

Protection: Thermal, short-circuit, and DC-offset

Dimensions:  17.5″ W x 12″ D x 4″ H  (44.5cm x 30.5cm x 10.2cm) – same size as LIO for a neat stack

Color Options: Black or Silver-White Corian front/side panels, Black or Silver anodized aluminum top cover

Package Weight: Approx. 30 lbs.

Warranty: 10 years – parts and labor

Origin: Proudly made in the USA

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

FM Acoustics of Switzerland Appoints Audioarts NYC as Exclusive US Distributor

Audioarts NYC and FM Acoustics of Switzerland are proud to launch the exclusive FM Acoustics flagship 5th Avenue showroom. For the first time in North America, a dedicated listening room including Inspiration Series speakers and electronics will be on permanent display.

For 40 years, FM Acoustics has consistently maintained its standing as the most preeminent and inimitable brand in high-end audio - and Audioarts is proud to preserve this venerable tradition in its luxury 5th Avenue showrooms.

FM Acoustics joins with the world's elite at Audioarts, sharing excellent company with Audio Consulting, CH Precision, Fuuga, Malvalve, Nagra, Schnerzinger, Sperling Analog, Stenheim, Thoress and Zellaton.

Both Gideon Schwartz of Audioarts and Manuel Huber of FM Acoustics invite you to explore a level of fidelity stemming from 40 years of passion and integrity in Swiss audio craftsmanship and heritage.

Audioarts is naturally by appointment only.

Robb Report Top Shop

210 5th Avenue
New York, NY 10010

Monday, October 5, 2015

Perpetuum Ebner PE 4040


The PE 4040 is the top product from the house of PE.

Unmistakably its technical relationship to the legendary PE models. Technically innovative, exciting design, sonically highest requirements becoming, a player has been carefully finished using the highest quality materials created for eternity. Today already a legend.

Technical specifications

Manual subchassis turntable with 2 speeds (33/45 rpm / min.)

Massive, two-part chassis in precious wood and piano lacquer

Drive concept: belt drive over massive aluminum subplatter and precision-flat belts

Motor: Brushless Motor PLCC VarioDrive the local company ebmpapst, with self-developed, intelligent motor control through PID (Proportional Integral Differential calculation) and feedback of the actual speed via Hall sensors

Flexible on shock absorbers mounted and thus freely suspended decoupled motor

Massive, generously dimensioned motor pulley brass, specially stained to minimize slipping action of the belt

10mm steel axle (specially hardened and polished) continuously in engtoleriertem maintenance-free sintered bronze bearings, supported on steel ball, supplemented with magnetic ring of 1 third of the plate carries weight.

Relation Storage on steel ball or storage on magnetic ring on adjusting possible through adjustment on opening in base pan

Integrated power supply with toroidal transformer, device connection via IEC socket with voltage filter

Dust cover fitted with threaded bushings

Subchassis from lasercutted aluminum, acoustically damped additionally, with 3 conical coil springs

3 Kg platter, rear acoustic damped and with a special vinyl edition

Optically clear separation of high gloss lacquered Tonarmboard (always in black piano lacquer, high-gloss)

Damped feet (3 pieces)

Dimensions: Width: 470 / Depth: 340 / Height: 175mm

Weight: 15 kg

Sunday, October 4, 2015