Audio News for March 6, 2012

by | Mar 6, 2012 | Audio News

Latest Consumer Audio Show – is Audio Expo North America (AXPONA), running March 9 thru March 11 at the Omni Hotel in downtown Jacksonville, FL. It across the street from Jacoby Hall – the home of the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra – with highly-regarded acoustics. So in a different tie-in from the usual live rock and jazz at audiophile shows, the Symphony is offering special $35 tickets for the concert program they are giving March 8 thru 10. It includes Beethoven’s Seventh and Corigliano’s Oboe Concerto. The show will have 40 exhibit rooms plus open displays, including Bob Carver’s Amazing Line Source speaker and KEF’s Blade speaker. Mark Waldrep of AIX will show some 3D music videos and give the keynote address, and Channel D/Pure will speak about computer audio and ripping vinyl.
New Inexpensive Audiophile Turntable – The well-regarded Czech turntable maker Pro-Ject has just brought out a reasonably-priced high end turntable which should appeal to many budget-conscious audiophiles. Their various Debut turntables have become popular as entry-level ‘tables, and the platform has been re-thought to set a new standard in the Debut Carbon Turntable at a SRP of $399.  It has a carbon fibre arm with an Ortofon 2M Red MM cartridge installed, a 300mm metal platter, a felt record mat, and the plinth-mounted motor is isolated with a new Sorbothane suspension to keep unwanted noise and vibration to a minimum. A full size dustcover is included and there are seven high-gloss fashion colors available.
New Parasound Three-Channel Amp and Compact Units – The Parasound Halo A31 is THX Ultra2-certified and due out next month. It features Class A operation up to 7 watts a channel and delivers 250 watts in 8 ohms, and turns on automatically when it senses a signal. It would be ideal for the front three speakers of a home theater system. Four new models will be added this spring in the firm’s Z series of half-rack-width audio components: the Zamp v.3, Zcd CD Player, Zpre2 two-channel preamp, and Zdac D-to-A converter.
Cambridge Audio New Network Music Player & DACs – Covering both old and new media, the Cambridge Audio Stream Magic 6 network music player features built-in Wi-Fi, Internet radio, and USB connection to computers. It adds multiple new features to their NP30 network music player, including 384K/24-bit upsampling, digital audio/USB input connection, balanced plus unbalanced inputs, and 96K/24-bit streaming resolution. The Stream Magic 6 uses Ethernet and 802.11 b/g/n to stream 96K/24-bit music from networked computers or storage devices, and thru a broadband modem has access to over 20,000 Internet radio stations and streaming services. Apple Macintoshes will support native 192K/24-bit USB transfers. Twin 24-bit digital inputs and the DAC improve the sound quality of products such as TVs, Blu-ray players and iPod docks. Audio buffering, upsampling to 384K and re-clocking eliminate jitter and enhance the playback of data-compressed music files. For streaming 24-bit files Cambridge recommends a wired, not wireless, connection. The firm also has a new $399 DacMagic 100 entry-level DAC which connects to USB ports and can play back 192K/24-bit music files with a free driver, as well the Azur 851C, which combines a DAC, CD player and preamp in one unit.

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