Audio News for August 25, 2015

Wild Classical Violinist Nigel Kennedy Going on Road With Music of Jimi Hendrix – He says “When I heard Jimi Hendrix, he made me want to play the violin like a guitar.” The 58-year-old star has been captiated by Hendrix since he was seven, and was marked for classical greatness from age ten, but says he felt stifled by the purist environment. Kennedy has had comparisons to Hendrix, but says he has mellowed with the years. His “Kennedy Plays Hendrix” tour will be in the UK next month.

Bach on the Moog – Again – For the tenth anniversary of the death of Dr. Robert Moog, the original large format cable-sprouting modular synthesizer has been rebuilt and can be purchased for the first time in 30 years. Composer/producer Craig Leon has released a Sony Classical CD called Bach to Moog. He also uses violinist Jennifer Pike and the Sinfonietta Cravovia to supplement the tracks he laid down using the imposing ‘System 55’ hardware. It is also the 50 anniversary of the synthsizer itself, which brought about a decisive textural shift in musical history, and usered in a new genre known as electronica. It changed rock n’ roll, film soundtracks, and don’t forget the popular Switched-On Bach series by Wendy Carlos.

New Bone Conduction Headphones – NYC-based AfterShokz has a new sport headphone, the Trekz Titanium, which are said to offer the ultimate wareness and confort without comprising sound. They are wireless, open-ear sport headphones made to ensure safety for runers, cyclists, hikers and others. The proprietary Premium Pitch+ technology delivers decent sound quality, wide dynamic range and powerful bass using just bone conduction. The drivers are placed on the user’s cheekbones in front of the ears. The audio waves are transmitted to the inner ears thru the skull, totally bypassing the eardrums. Since the ear canals are open, users remain alert and aware of ambient sounds while enjoying the music. Bluetooth connectivity gives the ability to make andreceive phone calls. Precisely-placed dual noise-cancelling mics exclude surrounding noise and enhance speech. The bone conduction technology was initially developed for military special operations and law enforcement.

Russound Adds to XStream Line – The XSource is a tiny audio player that has a variety of streaming services, supports hi-res audio playback, and has analog, digital and Ethernet connections. The XZone4 is a compact audio system featuring the same streaming services and allowing you to send four independent audio streams to up to four rooms. Prices have not been announced, but will be lower than previous Russound offerings. (But I’ll bet not as low as the multi-tape-inputs box I still have from them.)

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