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Audio News May 19, 2017

Onkyo is boosting its product line with new 7-channel receivers — Next month, Onkyo — the creator of the premier RZ series receivers— will be adding three new network AV Receivers to its product lineup:  TX-RZ820, TX-RZ720, and TX-RXZ620.  Of note is support for a 5Hz to 100 kHz spectral range, six Dolby Vision HDMI input ports, 5GHz/2.4GHz Wi-Fi, along with many other features. There is also an Onkyo Controller app for Apple and Android devices, which can be used with Spotify and other streaming services.  For more information of these exceptional receivers, see www.onkyousa.com.

More portable players are going Hi-Res — Pioneer has come out with a new compact audio player (XDP-30$) which supports a full gamut of formats, from MP3 through AAC, up to 192 kHz at 32-bit resolution.  A handheld portable, down to pocket size, it is lightweight, and also has Wi-Fi input and Bluetooth output capabilities, suitable for the new SE-CH5BL-K ear headphones.

Hi-Res Smartphone — In addition to Pioneer offering, there is the new Sony Xperia XZ Premium 4K smartphone.  With this, Sony touts a range of hi-res formats, along with automatic detection of headphone type (for optimization), their Digital Noise Canceling option, as well as support for wireless headphones.

Net Neutrality? — After a very long and challenging campaign during the Obama administration, “‘Net Neutrality” was established by the FCC and embraced throughout the Internet community, whilst Tom Wheeler was the FCC chair.  This is now in the process of changing, with the new chair Ajit Pai starting the process of changing the rules for neutrality, to be replaced with policies which favor major broadband providers, and in so doing eroding egalitarian access to this vital public resource.

Summer Music — There is a wealth music festivals this spring and summer around the world, running from early June through the beginning of September.  For classical music, in the States alone there are nearly a dozen— Aspen, Vail, Santa Fe, Spoleto, Tanglewood, and Grand Teton, for openers, hosting a wide range of operas and symphonic literature.

Classical/Contemporary — This past week in the UK, the premier Manchester Camerata was recognized by the Royal Philharmonic Society with its top award in the Ensemble category.  Of note — hybrid programming, adopting more contemporary/popular (yes, including Rave!) musical context as well as more traditional literature.  The result?  Attendance grew from 50,000 per year to 150,000 — three-fold improvement!  And yes, they still do play the classics — this season includes Haydn Mozart, Vivaldi, Phillip Glass, Bizet, Piazolla…

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