Audio News for September 11, 2015

Classical News – The director of the 320-strong Tanglewood Festival Chorus has retired. John Oliver incorporated the chorus in 1970 to sing with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and retiring after 46 years. At first auditioning for the chorus was rudimentary: “Can you carry a tune? Have any free time?”   Roland Valliere is stepping down as CEO of the Memphis Symphony Orchestra in November. He is best known as the inventor of the precursor to program notes on smartphones. Also stepping down is artistic director of Toronto’s Luminato Festival, now having its tenth anniversary. Jörn Weisbrodt has been on the job for five years and is credited with widening the festival’s scope and raising its international profile.

Yamaha Promotes MusicCast Wireless Multizone Audio – 20 new products are part of the MusiocCast technolgoy, and all do hi-res decoding and playback. There are AVRs, a two-channel receiver, a pair of powered monitor speakers, two soundbars, an under-TV speaker base, an AV preamp-processor, and a single-chassic tabletop speaker. The first products are ten networked AVRs with RX- and Aventage and a home theater AVR/speaker packages, ranging in price from $499 to $2199. All received a firmware upgrade last month. The main target is customers who don’t want their music just for background listening, though all the products featured stereo Bluetooth and AAC to appeal to the secondary consumer target of those drawn to Bluetooth’s implicity. Each device incorporates Rhapsody, Pandora, SiriusXM, Spotify Connect and vTuner. Yamana reportd that of 116 million U.S. households, only 3 million use wireless multiroom systems.

Klipsch & Dolby Demo of Dolby Atmos in NYC – Feautre was a Klpsch 7.1.4 Amos spaker system with built-in Atmos elevation drivers, Klipsch RP-260F floorstanding speakers were used as surrounds, the Atmos elevation drivers. A new center channel speker and RP-250S side surrounds filled out the speaker complement. An A/B demo of object-based surround vs. traditional 5.1 floored some of the visitors.  When playing an Atmos soundtrack thru a 5.1 system, audio content will be upconverted in “a very tasteful way,” extracting ambience in the original soundtracks so as not to distort the content creator’s intentions. Over 40 Atmos-enabled Blu-ray discs have become globally available in less than a year, and more than 300 theatrical films have been released with Atmos soundtracks.

Russound Has New Music Sreamers and Stereo Amps – The firm’s expandable XStream series of wireless multiroom audio solutions, plus two new rack-mountable amps, are all engineered for custom processionals and clients. NEw streaming models are the XSource Streaming Audio Player and the XZone4 Four-stream four-zone audio system.

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