Archival Disc Proposed by Sony & Panasonic – Their new long-term Archival Disc format for professional use will store between 300GB and 1TB of data per disc. The system is said to be more resistant to dust, shock, extreme temperatures, and moisture than typical hard disk drives, and will offer “inter-generational compatibility” between different formats. The first 300GB Archive Discs are to arrive by summer of 2015, with increasing storage upgrades to follow. The companies said the format was proposed to accommodate much larger volumes of storage, especially for the needs of the film/video industry.
Neil Young’s Pono Actually Happening – Neil Young has launched his hi-res PonoMusic digital audio service and digital audio player at the South By Southwest Festival in Austin TX. Young feels the compression formats of popular audio files such as MP3 downgrade music quality so his player plays back uncompressed 24/192 PCM audio, as well as also handling 24/96 and 24/176.4 audio files. Young said “It’s about the music, real music. We want to move digital music into the 21st century and PonoMusic does that.” The triangular player, engineered by Ayre Acoustic of Boulder, CO has 128GB of memory and can store from 100 to 500 hi0res digital music albums in its internal memory, as well as playing back audio from external memory cards. It has an LCD touchscreen and physical control buttons. It will be sold for $399 at a pre-order discount on kickstarter.com starting March 15. Headphone and ear bud products will also be available at the site. PonoMusic says they will offer “the finest quality, hi-res digital music from both major labels and prominent independent labels, curated and archived for discriminating PonoMusic customers.” Users can download, manage and sync music to their PonoPlayer and other hi-res digital music devices. Its components include a custom-designed minimum-phase digital filter from Ayre, proprietary “zero-feedback” ultra linear circuitry with wide bandwidth and low output impedance, an ESS ES9018 DAC chip, and a fully discrete output buffer for headphones designed to deliver full frequency response to any headphone made.
Krell Offers Two Preamps – The Phantom III is Krell’s latest stereo preamp, and the first to include either an optional digital input module or a headphone input. It has 700kHz bandwidth in a zero feedback design with a balanced resistor ladder volume control and headphone circuitry to match the main circuitry. The digital module supports up to 24/192 PCM and has AES/EBU, coax and optical digital inputs, fed to an ESS Sabre DAC. With the digital module it runs $7,000. Then there is the latest model of the Illusion preamp, which extends Krell’s tradition of separation of the power supply from the audio circuitry. It is designed to be the centerpiece of a world-class audio system and even has an optional crossover function with the ability to use a subwoofer-satellite speaker setup and still maintain highest quality sonic performance. This unit is $15,000.