The first product of this new manufacturer from Greece is an interesting and ambitious attempt to enter into one of the most active market segments in a quite sensitive price level. But if the value of a venture lies -at least to some extent- in the size of the challenge faced, this could be a giant first step, since Ideon Audio seems to have made the right decisions, skillfully balancing between some difficult choices and offering their Ayazi USB DAC the chance to emerge amid some competition which is much more than significant!
The numbers rarely lie and in this case are in agreement with the overall feel: The organizers have every reason to be satisfied with this year's IFA, which appeared to be greater in volume terms and more complete in market coverage than ever, although its significance for the audiovisual systems sector, in particular, could raise some serious debate… In any case, take a look at the photos they are quite interesting!
SCM19, ATC's entry level "Hi-Fi" series top stand-mount model, proved to be one of the best compact loudspeakers you can buy in this price range, especially if what you are looking for is some real high fidelity behavior. How did they manage this? Read the review to find out…
Based on a very interesting set of ideas, with a long history but few examples of a practical application, the Benchmark AHB2 could serve as a convincing example of what the future of power amplifiers can be. Combine it with a renowned D/A Converter like the DAC2 HGC, and what you have is a top quality system from which only the loudspeakers are missing!
News & Industry Update
Recently, Rotel announced the introduction of the 14 Series which represents the very essence of Rotel’s world renowned Balanced Design Concept and it is the stunning embodiment of audio performance, sleek industrial design and the exceptional value the company is renowned for.
Sonja XV is an extreme, four tower version of Sonja, created to celebrate YG Acoustics’ upcoming 15 year anniversary. It combines everything that YG Acoustics knows about speaker design, and incorporates several next generation technologies that cannot be found elsewhere, the company says.
Arcam has always been known for producing class-leading integrated amplifiers, all of which featured excellent headphone stages. The rHead continues that tradition, but in the highly specialized area of discrete analogue headphone amplification in a small, solidly and beautifully built unit designed to complement the audio system of any headphone lover.
Combining superior transmission quality, a reference screening factor and a significant flexibility along with high durability, low weight, very low capacitance and stable operation temperature level, mamalos says that their “elite” balanced interconnect system is a high technology beauty that push forward all those slight yet quite important aspects of music.
Optoma has unveiled the small and mighty NuForce uDAC5 mobile DAC and headphone amp. Crafted from aircraft-grade aluminum, and featuring DSD support and coveted Hi-Res Audio certification, it will improve the sound quality of any Mac, PC and headphone to deliver stellar sound for music, movies and gaming.
Pro-Ject Audio announced an exclusive cooperation with The Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra and Universal Music (Decca) to issue a series of vinyl records that include important performances of the VPO, remastered from the original analogue master tapes and pressed with highest care on premium 180gr virgin vinyl. All records will be of limited production
Marantz announced the HD-CD1, a Premium-class CD Player with elegant, classic looks and a mid-size design. While small in its dimensions, it makes use of state-of-the-art Marantz technology, including the famous Marantz HDAM-SA2 amplifier modules.
miniDSP announced the immediate availability of the DDRC-24, the world’s smallest Dirac Live processor. Dirac Live, the world’s premier room correction solution, corrects both the room and the loudspeaker with a unique proprietary mixed-phase algorithm doing both impulse and frequency response correction.
To offer to a listener the privilege to adjust various system parameters, using only his ears and his subjective criterion for correctness, is something open to a feasibility discussion, but Reinhard Thoeress' phono preamplifier encourages this behavior anyway: It is a very versatile device, for the demanding vinyl listener who is willing to deal with each of his records individually and to improve the overall result one click at a time…
To say the least, with such an elegant appearance and a sufficiently reasonable price, the 99 Classics can hardly go unnoticed. Antonio Meze's company effort is more than impressive and worthy of any audiophile's attention. We had the opportunity to live for some time with Meze's top headphones model and this is our verdict.