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Vol. 7, No. 1 Fall/Winter, 2003

Hello, and welcome to the latest news in audio and home theater from Audio Nexus. As usual, we have a lot of news about exciting new products and brands that have arrived at Audio Nexus since the last newsletter. Furthermore, we have a special page for late-breaking news and important developments that crop up between newsletters, so check out IMPORTANT BULLETINS to find out the latest about what's happening at Audio Nexus. If you have any suggestions about items you'd like to see posted here, please call, write, or use the web page e-mail link to let us know. If you would like more information on any of the products mentioned here, please feel free to call and/or go to the BRAND NAMES & LINKS page for direct links to the relevant manufacturer's web site.


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TABLE OF CONTENTS


Quad Vandersteen Simaudio Runco
Rotel Rogue Richard Gray's
Power Company
PSB
NAD Kimber Kable JM Lab Conrad Johnson
Bryston Balanced
Audio
Technology
Audio Research Audio Physic
  ARCAM  



NEW BRANDS

Quad

Quad 11LImagine a compact, bookshelf speaker only 13 inches tall that comes in your choice of gorgeous piano black, rosewood, or birdseye maple. Imagine the finishes are so lustrous and beautiful because the manufacturer applies seven individual coats of lacquer, each of which is dried for a full day and polished before the next coat is applied. Now imagine that this speaker has a clear, open, and spacious sound that draws you into the music with an invitingly warm and detailed sonic balance. If you can, imagine further that this speaker was awarded the prize for "Speaker of the Year" in 2002 by What Hi-FI?, a prestigious British audio magazine. If you can imagine all of this, then you will realize, as we did when we first discovered this little beauty at the January Consumer Electronics Show, that what we've been asking you to visualize is a speaker that's as beautiful to look at as it is to listen to. Okay, here's the corker. The price is only $700 per pair. Yeah, we didn't believe it either, but it's a fact. That $700 gets you the most amazing combination of sound and aesthetics that we've ever encountered in the high end audio industry. And, as if all that weren't enough, there are three more models, a slightly larger bookshelf model, the 12L at $1,000 per pair and two compact tower models, the 21L at $1,300 per pair and the 22L at $1,600 per pair. All come in the same remarkable finishes and have the same sound quality. As you go up in the line, the bass gets more extended, while the rest of the wonderful sound remains the same.

For any newcomers who may not be familiar with this brand name, Quad is an old line British manufacturer that has been making quality electronics and the world's finest electrostatic speakers for many decades. They've used all their accumulated loudspeaker design knowledge to come up with these truly remarkable dynamic speakers, the first they've ever offered. When we recently asked two different customers what they thought the 11L and 21L models sell for, they guessed that the prices were $3,500 to $4,000! So if you think we're exaggerating how fantastic these speakers look and sound, come down and see for yourself. You won't be disappointed. And, speaking of electrostatics, Quad's two newest models are the 988 and 989, both of which have been receiving remarkable reviews in many recent publications. Many consider the Quad electrostatics to be the most neutral and natural speakers on the market, and we find that they live up to their reputation. As was stated in the “Follow-Up” section of the May 2003 issue of Stereophile, “The Quad ESL-989 is one of the finest loudspeakers you can buy at any price.” So while you're giving the L series a listen, ask us for an audition of their electrostatics to see just how impressive a speaker can be.

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NEW PRODUCTS FROM

CURRENT BRANDS

Vandersteen

Vandersteen Model 5AEver since its introduction in 1997, we've considered the Model 5 to be one of the finest loudspeakers ever created. This speaker's ability to reproduce music in a natural, spacious, and virtually uncolored presentation allows the music to flow to your ears in a way that is completely convincing and non-fatiguing. In fact, the conductor of a very fine symphony orchestra once told us that the Model 5 speakers sound just like the music he hears when he's conducting the orchestra. And if anyone should know what correct music reproduction should sound like, he should. Well, now the best has gotten better with the introduction of the Model 5A. The improvements in the 5A start with the built-in subwoofer amp where the standard transformer has been replaced with a switching, power-factor-corrected power supply. This gives the bass more drive and better definition. Both the midrange and tweeter have also been improved. The midrange has a new woven and coated composite cone which results in smoother and even less colored response both in and out of that driver's pass band. The tweeter has a much more advanced and aerodynamic magnet structure to prevent any rear-firing energy from being reflected back through the dome. Also, this new tweeter has a new geometry for its diffuser which allows Vandersteen to adjust critically the distance between the diffuser and the dome on every individual driver. Therefore, the sound of every tweeter will be identical. Finally, the crossover has been completely redone to take advantage of the improvements in the new midrange and tweeter. The result of all these changes is a new level of clarity, detail without brightness, and nimble tracking of the most complex nuances that is beyond prior experience. Since bass is also clearer and more powerful, the 5A is truly improved in all musical ranges. It's hard to imagine how a speaker could ever be better than this! There's also good news for current Model 5 owners. Upgrades are available for the price difference between the 5 and 5A. Contact us for more details.

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Simaudio

Simaudio Moon i-3We've long been impressed by the superb sonic quality of Simaudio's electronics, and it's a pleasure, at last, to see them getting the recognition they deserve in the U.S. market. They've brought out a plethora of exciting stereo and home theater products this year, but we want to concentrate on two of these because they offer such an incredible level of musicality and performance at very reasonable prices. These are the Moon i-3 integrated amp at $1,750 and the Equinox CD player at $2,000. The i-3 is a straightforward, remote-controllable, integrated amp with a sound quality that rivals any amp/preamp combination in the $3,000 to $4,000 price range. Its 100 watts per channel of power are dynamic, clear, and dimensional with a harmonic structure so natural that it just tells you that this is the way the music ought to sound. This is one of the rare products for those who are always wishing that those fabulous, audiophile products were more affordable. See the positive review in the “Listening” column of the October 2003 Stereophile. The Equinox is a 24 bit, 352.8 KHz up-sampling CD player that is based on the more expensive Nova and Eclipse models. It offers most of the sonic virtues of the Eclipse, but, at almost one-third the price, is a performance bargain that makes it a natural companion for the I3. Yes, we've finally figured out that they really do know what they're doing up in the frozen, Canadian north.

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Runco

Runco CW50MC plasmaThe world's leader in high end video has recently released several new products, and two DLP front projectors and two plasmas are among them. The DLP models are the CL-510 and CL-710 which take the already-excellent performance of their predecessors, the CL-500 and CL-700, to even higher levels. Both projectors utilize the new, Texas Instruments Gen 3 DMD video chip as their light engine, have a 16:9 aspect ratio, a brightness of 1000 ANSI lumens, and a 1500:1 contrast ratio. While many companies use this chip, it is the superior video processing circuitry included by Runco which makes the pictures displayed by their projectors superior to all others. Runco has implemented a host of advancements into this new engine to take full advantage of this HD-2, DMD chip. Among these is a sophisticated color balancing system that results in the industry's best gray scale tracking. This is vital to rich, deeply-saturated, true-to-life color reproduction. The integrated video processing includes 3:2 pulldown to eliminate motion artifacts, multiple aspect ratios, variable throw distance, and electronic keystone correction. The CL-510 at $5,995 has a resolution of 1024 by 576 while the CL-710 at $9,995 has a resolution of 1280 by 720. Both are HDTV ready and include a DVI input with HDCP. In the plasma area, both the 43 inch model (CW-43MC at $9,995) and the 50 inch model (CW-50MC at $13,995) incorporate Runco's acclaimed VIVIX video processing into a modular card that slides into the projector chassis. This card contains the fundamental processing that makes the industry's best picture performance possible and is light years ahead of the low-grade, chip solutions used by most of the competition. In addition, Runco has engineered several significant, new improvements into the Vivix processing circuitry. For example, orthogonal line processing algorithms and sophisticated de-interlacing result in a substantial refinement of processed images. Also, a new decoder produces deeply saturated colors, excellent contrast, high brightness, and low black levels, without the artifacts associated with ordinary processing. This video decoder also compensates for time-base errors commonly found in analog sources such as video tape. Dark scenes are further enhanced by Active Grayscale Rendering that provides for smoother transitions from dark to light, resulting in richly detailed textures. A newly-developed, full-screen filter that attenuates light reflections boosts Contrast in high ambient light conditions. Both models have DVI with HDCP, a 16:9 display, and multiple aspect ratios. They also accept all DTV formats. The CW-43MC has a resolution of 1024 by 768 while the CW-50MC comes in at 1280 by 768. And, for those who want the largest picture possible, don't forget that there's also a 61 inch CW-61 model available at $24,995 with a screen resolution of 1365 by 768. Come in and see why Runco is the leader in high end video displays.

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Rotel

Rotel RSP-1098 processorRotel has released several new products in both the stereo and home theater genres. Their tremendously-successful “Euro” series which was introduced a few months ago consists of several stereo pieces, the RA-02 integrated amp at $499, the RCD-02 CD player at $499, and the RT-02 tuner at $299. All are slim, elegantly-styled, and appealing to look at while providing excellent music playback. The three models share some very important design factors such as high efficiency, Rotel custom-made, toroidal transformers and low-ESR, British-made power supply capacitors specifically designed for enhanced resolution. The RA-02 has a 40 watt/channel power output that is more than enough power for all but the largest rooms. It is fully remote-controllable, but for those who don't need this feature, there's a brand new RA-01 at $349 that is identical to the RA-02 but has no remote. The RT-02 will bring in clear signals, even under demanding conditions. Finally, the RCD-02 boasts a sophisticated over-scanning disc mechanism and a remarkable Burr-Brown D/A converter that provide advanced digital filtration and HDCD decoding. This CD player achieves its excellent sound by utilizing circuits originally developed for much more expensive, reference class CD players. Also in the CD area, Rotel has upgraded their RCD-1070 with the release of the RCD-1072 at no increase in price ($699). There are several dozen individual improvements in the new model including an upgraded power supply, better Burr-Brown filter integrated circuits, an improved oscillator for lower jitter, and replacement of most of the parts in the analog circuit with higher quality components. In the home theater area, Rotel has introduced their statement A-V processor, the RSP-1098 at $2,999. This unit was designed both for top quality sound and maximum flexibility to accommodate any system configuration. There are far too many features and design parameters to list here, but some examples include the latest generation Crystal Semiconductor CS49400 32-bit digital signal processor and top-of-the-line 24 bit/192 KHz D/A converters, a TFT video display right on the front panel, eight assignable digital inputs, compatibility with virtually every audio format, excellent flexibility in bass management, transcoding of composite and S-video signals up to component video quality, and 2-zone capability for both audio and video. For a rave review of the RSP-1098, see the October 2003 issue of Sound and Vision. The RDV-1060 progressive scan DVD/DVD-A player is a fine companion to the RSP-1098 or any other A-V processor or receiver. We immediately noticed a significant improvement in sound and picture quality over Rotel's previous model. This unit combines advanced internal components with Rotel's time-proven, "Balanced Design" approach for truly superior sound. For example, a high capacity, fully isolated linear power supply provides stable voltage and current for each circuit while the high-rigidity disc platform means fewer data errors, less error correction, and better sound quality. The advanced optical transport system reads DVD-A, DVD-V, CD, CD-R, CD-RW, CD-V, and MP3-encoded discs. Audio is handled by advanced Cirrus Logic/Crystal Semiconductor 24-bit/192 kHz digital-to-analog converters in the digital domain and Analog Devices operational amplifiers in the analog domain. On the video side, the RDV-1060 provides crystal clear pictures with composite, S-, component and progressive component video outputs fed by a high-speed 12-bit video digital-to-analog converter. We just don't know of any other DVD player that offers this much sound and picture quality for only $899.

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Rogue

Rogue Audio Zeus ampNow you no longer have to choose between the delicacy and imaging of tubes and the high output power and dynamics of solid state. Rogue has brought both together in a statement amp they call Zeus. Incredibly powerful, yet fast and nimble, the Zeus amplifier sets a new standard in the "Superamp" category. The designers have utilized cutting edge technology to engineer an amplifier from the ground up with the single design goal of creating the finest tube amp available. Zeus achieves the highest levels of delicacy and transparency while also being capable of recreating true concert hall volumes and dynamics. This completely dual mono design achieves a power output of 225 watts/channel in ultralinear mode by utilizing a massive, high storage power supply that has two ultra-high performance transformers at its heart. Precision components in all parts of the circuit minimize every possible source of distortion. There is a switch that offers the choice between triode and ultralinear operation, and a standby switch allows the amplifier to remain warmed up and ready for immediate use. Built in meters and individual bias switches make tube biasing a snap even for the novice. The rear panel contains heavy duty, gold plated, balanced and single ended inputs and 4 and 8 ohm binding posts to accommodate all possible preamps and speakers. Nothing has been left to chance in this design, and, at $5,995, the price is more than fair. And, for those who don't need quite this much power or would prefer mono blocks, Rogue has just released the M-150 model which puts out 150 watts/channel using a circuit just like the Zeus but with fewer output tubes. You can grab these for $3995 per pair.

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Richard Gray's Power Company

Richard Gray's Power Company Sub Station isolation transformerRichard Gray's Power Company has released two new isolation transformers called the Sub Station ($2,995) and the Pole Pig ($1,495). Both of these models are designed to eliminate ground loops in your audio and video components by isolating the ground and neutral legs of your AC connections. Ground loops can cause nasty artifacts such as hum in your audio and hum bars that traverse the screen of your video display. They also cause subtle to gross degradations in sound and picture quality even if you don't actually hear or see such artifacts. Additionally, the surge protection in these new products helps protect your system from power line spikes. Combining one of these units with one of the Richard Gray's Power Company energy storage units (400S, 600S, or 1200S) results in what the company calls an “IsoGray” system, total control of your AC with ground loop isolation, noise rejection, energy storage, and triple surge protection. For great, recent reviews of RGPC products, see the July/August issue of DVD ETC. and the October/November 2003 issue of The Absolute Sound.

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PSB

PSB Subsonic 6I subwooferThe big news from PSB is better bass. They've updated all three of their most popular subwoofers with the release of the Alpha Subsonic 0i at $329, the Alpha Subsonic 5i at $499, and the Subsonic 6i at $699. Improvements in these subs include more powerful, better sounding amplifiers, upgraded woofers for deeper and clearer bass, video shielding, front-mounted volume and crossover controls, and classier cosmetics. There's a lot more value in these models for a very small increase in price.

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NAD

NAD C320BEE integrated ampNAD's newest integrated amp is the highly-refined 320BEE. This amp features many circuit improvements derived from its big brother, the award-winning C370 which was named European Amplifier of the Year for 2001/2002. For example, there are active current sources and common base current followers in the power amp section. These dramatically reduce dynamic intermodulation distortion between music signals of different frequencies as well as between the music signals and the power supply, reducing static and dynamic IM distortion by 10dB to 20dB. In audible terms this improves definition, purity, resolution, and imaging. NAD has also improved the accuracy of the tone controls and has utilized an even better quality volume control than before. While some of these are small improvements, there is an additive effect that results in a more refined and authoritative sound, building on the strengths of the already very good design of the original C320. For example, the topology and use of low noise FET class A preamp stages ensures a very high signal-to-noise ratio, even at low volume settings. The C320BEE also benefits from many other advanced design concepts used throughout much of the NAD product range. For excellent reviews of the C320BEE, please see the July 2003 issue of Stereophile, the July 2002 issue of What Hi-FI?, and the July 2002 issue of Hi-Fi Choice. NAD has also upgraded their most affordable CD player, the C521i, to the new C521BEE. As with the C320BEE, the designers added many refinements to make the C521BEE even more of a bargain. Separate power regulators for the digital and analog sections isolate them electrically, reducing interference effects. Careful layout of the circuit board traces around the digital-to-analog converter helps to contain RF radiation and interference. The 20-bit, high resolution Burr-Brown S-D digital-to-analog converter chip yields excellent low-level linearity and detail-retrieving capabilities. Metal film resistors and polypropylene capacitors in key areas ensure a highly accurate frequency response. High quality 5532 op amps are used instead of the much cheaper type normally found in other brands and result in much purer analog amplification. The only capacitor used in the signal path is a single, film output capacitor. Whereas most CD players in this price range have very poor digital outputs, careful attention has been paid to the digital output so that best use can be made of the ever-increasing number of products now available with digital inputs such as CD and MD recorders, computer sound cards, and outboard D to A converters. This coaxial output is buffered and isolated by a transformer, and its output impedance has been carefully tailored to produce a precise 75 ohms impedance to ensure a perfect match with digital inputs. This attention to detail reduces the timing errors (jitter) that could otherwise distort the digital data stream. Indeed, such attention to detail in all these areas is normally only found in much more expensive products. That's why NAD is so perfect for audiophiles on a budget. NAD has also announced a number of other home theater and stereo products for introduction later this fall, but no details were available at the time of this writing. Please contact us for further information later this year.

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Kimber Kable

Was it possible to take PBJ, the world's best, low-priced interconnect cable, and make it better? That was the goal, and a new product called Timbre is the result. Kimber Kable has long known that the dye used to color the insulation of a wire adversely affects the sound of the cable. It's hard to believe, but they have the lab data that correlate with the sonic affects. So they took out the dye, made some changes in the geometry of the cable, and came out with Timbre at $92 per pair. So it's better than its predecessor, it's still very affordable, and it will make a significant improvement in even the most modest system. At the other end of the price scale, the Palladian power cord at $1,040 has got to be one of the most shocking (no pun intended) products to come out recently. Say what? $1,040 for a power cord? What in the world could justify that? Kimber Kable has invented a special standing wave ratio (SWR) enhancement technology that dampens performance-robbing, electrical standing wave reflections. Standing waves cause high frequency reflections within the cable that cause noise and prevent smooth power transfer to the component. The resulting sonic degradation can't be eliminated with any type of line conditioner or other approach. If you're still skeptical, borrow one from us and try it at home. Nobody has returned one to us yet. For another opinion, see the rave review in the October/November 2002 issue of The Absolute Sound.

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JM Lab

JM Lab Chorus S speakersAudiophiles and music lovers with real world budgets continue to benefit from the advanced research that JM Lab does for its no-holds-barred Utopia line. The result is that their two most affordable speaker lines, Cobalt and Chorus, have been updated to Cobalt S and Chorus S. Individual model configurations and prices remain similar, but numerous improvements have been made. The Cobalt S line now uses a tweeter with the same diaphragm material as used in the Electra line, giving it a smoother, sweeter high frequency response. The Optimum Phase Characteristic (OPC) crossover design and the internal damping material are also the same as those of the Electras and Utopias. Finally, cabinet bracing has also been improved. The Chorus S line has a brand new tweeter which is a composite of aluminum and magnesium. This design uses the best characteristics of each material to create a diaphragm superior to what would be possible with either material by itself. The same OPC crossover and cabinet damping material as the other lines are also now used here. Furthermore, the cabinet is better braced and is 25% heavier than the previous Chorus line. Finally, the mid and bass drivers have 40% faster start and stop times that yield better air and ambience, tauter bass, and better microdynamics.

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Conrad Johnson

Conrad Johnson Premier 140 ampConrad Johnson has just released the best amplifier they've ever made, the Premier 140 vacuum tube, power amplifier ($6,795). It uses eight 6550 output tubes to produce 140 watts/channel and can drive nearly any speaker system with authority and ease. The Premier 140 audio circuit consists of three stages. The input signal is amplified by a single-ended triode amplifier designed for wide band-width. The signal is then direct coupled to a cathode coupled phase inverter. This high current, triode phase-inverter stage provides a balanced, low impedance drive to the output stage. The output tubes are operated in ultralinear configuration. This offers a desirable combination of high power and low distortion. Massive output transformers with intricately-interleaved windings afford extended band pass and high phase linearity. Power supply design is every bit as critical to the performance of an audio component as the audio circuit itself. In the Premier 140, separate, low impedance, discrete DC power supply regulators in the input and phase-inverter stages prevent modulation by the output stage. The main power supply reservoir uses a bank of massive custom polypropylene capacitors. No inferior-sounding, electrolytic capacitors are used in any of these power supplies. The Premier 140 is the proverbial iron hand in a velvet glove, capturing delicate textures and subtle nuances while demonstrating muscular power, authority and control. For some extremely positive comments, see the October 2003 issue of Stereophile. In other areas, the MV60 power amplifier is now available in two versions, the original MV60 (with EL34 output tubes) and the MV60SE configured for 6550 output tubes. By fitting 6550 output tubes, Conrad Johnson achieves increased weight and authority in the bass, greater extension in the highs, and improved dynamics. The MV60SE retails for $2,995, and there is an upgrade program available for owners of the original MV60. The excellent PV14L preamp is now available as the new, PV14L Series 2. Features include doubling of the capacitance in the main power supply, improved high-speed, soft-recovery diodes, upgraded resistors (Vishay bulk, metal foil resistors, as used in the Premier products) in critical audio circuit applications, and British Admiralty-grade Mullard 8080 tubes. The PV14L Series 2 goes for $2,395, and owners of the original PV14L can have their units upgraded, if desired.

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Bryston

Bryston 3B SST ampBryston's engineers have upgraded all of the power amps in their ST series (3B ST, 4B ST, 7B ST, etc.) to the SST series. Bryston has achieved a very significant, overall performance increase via a number of design advances. For example, use of new, better sounding output transistors has increased output power 20% and upgraded sound quality. Also, doubling the power supply capacitance and incorporating custom-designed, ultra-low-noise power transformers have reduced noise and distortion. Bryston has also improved usability by incorporating an electronic on/off switch that can be activated by a 12-volt trigger signal from your system, and the new cosmetics are much more sleek and elegant. For a rave review of the 3B SST, see the October 2003 issue of Hi-Fi News.

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Balanced Audio Technology

Balanced Audio Technology VK-250 ampOne of the things which originally convinced us to become a Balanced Audio Technology dealer was how great their solid state VK-200 and VK-500 amps sounded compared to their incredible tube models. Now BAT has significantly improved their solid state lineup even further with the introduction of the VK-250 at $4,995, VK-600 at $7,995, and VK-600SE at $11,500. Upgrades were made in all areas with improved transformer and power supply design, incorporation of better passive components into the gain stages, and very appealing cosmetics. As always, Balanced Audio Technology uses only two gain stages with no negative feedback, fully-balanced topology from input to output, and dual mono construction. The VK-250 has an output of 150 watts/channel while the VK-600 comes in at 300 watts/channel. Either model can be ordered as a mono block or can be equipped with an optional, improved BAT-Pak with giant oil caps for $995. The VK-600 can also be fitted with the Super Pak option at $3,000. If both options are added to a VK-600, the result is the VK-600SE. Sonically, the new models have a very airy, extended top end reminiscent of the SE tube amps. Bass is tight and powerful while subtle differences in bass instruments are easily discernable. The VK-250 and VK-600 BAT-PAK combination provide a top-to-bottom coherence that is the very essence of musicality. As Balanced Audio Technology says, “All you have to do is listen.”

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Audio Research

Audio Research 150M amp

Audio Research has just released an upgraded version of their highly-regarded CD3 CD player. The new CD3 Mk II retains the inherent musicality of the original but delivers even higher performance in several critical areas. Sonically, the Mk II simply refines the wonderful presentation of the CD3 in the areas of higher resolution, decreased distortion, lower noise floor, and increased micro and macro dynamics. Music simply breathes more freely and with greater authority. The CD3 Mk II is $5,495, and upgrades are available to CD3 owners at $995. There is also a new, 150 watt/channel, stereo, solid state amp called the 150.2. The design of this model is based on the 150M multi-channel amp released earlier this year. So, whereas the 150M is meant for home theater and can be purchased with up to seven channels, the 150.2 is a dedicated, 2-channel amp. Both models use a ground breaking, Class T, digital switching technology for their power supplies. Musically the 150.2 is very much like the remarkable 150M--very refined, open, and natural. The amps have virtually no colorations so that they present the source material with remarkable transparency and purity. The 150.2 is $2,495. The 150M chassis is $2,745, and each channel is $750.

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Audio Physic

Audio Physic Yara MonitorThe Padua is a completely new speaker from Audio Physic which marries the best sonic and performance properties of their entry level Yara products and their more expensive models. So, for example, while the Padua has a cabinet size and shape that strongly resembles the Virgo III, it uses the same soft dome tweeter and other drivers as the Yara. The result is a sweet and open sound reminiscent of the Yara but having dynamics and bass comparable to the larger models. The Padua is also somewhat more forgiving than the Virgo III and can be used with less exotic electronics. So, at its $4,995 price tag, the Padua represents an excellent price and performance bridge between the Tempo and Virgo III models. Speaking of the Yara, some companion models have been introduced such as the Yara Monitor at $995, the Yara center channel at $995, and the Yara subwoofer at $1,995. These allow the construction of a completely matched Yara home theater system. Also, because of the sonic similarities of the Yara models and the Padua, they can be easily mixed for a higher performance home theater system. The other important news from Audio Physic is that the Tempo III has been upgraded to the Tempo LE with no increase in its $3,995 price. The cabinet is the same but the drivers and crossover have been replaced with ones based on the superb Avanti III. This yields a significant improvement in performance for no extra cost.

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ARCAM

ARCAM DV78 DVD playerWhereas most high end companies create their CD and DVD players by buying stock units and then modifying/upgrading them with better parts, ARCAM takes the much rarer approach of engineering and building theirs from the ground up. This allows them to design every aspect of the player exactly as they wish and to select every single part to be optimal for its purpose. In fact, ARCAM doesn't just buy stock parts, they work with high end semiconductor designers such as Wolfson and Zoran to help these companies improve the chips supplied to ARCAM. The advantages of these approaches should be obvious. So, ARCAM has used the new Wolfson D/A converter chips to upgrade the performance of all of their CD players. The new CD73T ($699), CD82T ($1199), CD93T ($1,899), and flagship FMJ CD33T ($2,499) are the best-sounding units ARCAM has ever offered. The CD33T and CD93T also offer up sampling to 24 bit/192 KHz. As in the past, purchasers of all models can, whenever they wish, upgrade their player to one of the higher models for just the price difference between the models. The new DVD player lineup consists of the DV78 ($999), the DV88 Plus ($1,599), the DV89 ($1,999), and the flagship FMJ DV27A ($2,999). Since the vast majority of players simply derive an audio clock from the video clock using circuitry built into the MPEG decoder chip, the resulting sound is pretty bad, especially for CD playback. You've probably already figured out that ARCAM won't do this. In the top three models they use three totally-separate master clocks for DVD video and audio and for CD audio! The DV78, coming in at under $1,000, must use a slightly less costly approach. Here the audio clock is recovered via a separate ARCAM-designed Phase Lock Loop using high-quality components intended just for that job. These are the no-compromise approaches which make ARCAM DVD players sound great when used for CD playback. Thus, the DV-78 has video as good as the DV-88 Plus and DV-89 and audio similar to the CD73T, while the DV-88 Plus and DV-89 up the CD audio quality to be similar to the CD82T. This makes the DV78 the optimum player for those primarily interested in obtaining the best possible picture and very good audio from their movies at a real bargain price and for those who already have a good CD player. Both the DV-89 and DV-27A sport the same DVD Audio playback circuits. The DV-27A pulls out all the stops with totally independent audio and video power supplies (including a separate toroidal transformer for the audio supply), Silicon Image Progressive Scan, and ARCAM's AcouSteel vibration-damped chassis. There are also upgrades available for owners of older DVD models who want to add progressive scan or DVD Audio to their machines. Call us for more information. In other areas, ARCAM has also introduced the AV8 A-V processor ($4,999) and P7 multi-channel amplifier ($4,499). We just don't have any room left to describe the myriad features of these two new products, but suffice it to say that the AV8 was just named co-winner of The Perfect Vision “Surround Processor of the Year” award. For more information, please visit the BRAND NAMES & LINKS page , and click on ARCAM.

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Well, that's about it for this issue. Remember to check the IMPORTANT BULLETINS page on our web site regularly for timely updates and important announcements. See you next time.


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Store Hours Mon-Sat 10:30 AM to 6 PM, Thursday til 9PM

We are authorized dealers for
Anthony Gallo Acoustics * Arcam * Audeze * Audience AV * Audio Physic * Audio Research * Audioquest * Balanced Audio Technology * Benz-Micro * Chang Lightspeed * Clearaudio * Creek Audio * Epos Acoustics * Gingko Audio * Goldring * Grado * Kimber Kable * Lyra * Magnum Dynalab * Music Hall * NAD * Niles Audio * PrimaLuna * Pro-Ject * PS Audio * PSB * Quad * Revel * Richard Gray's Power Company * Rogue Audio * Rotel * Runco * Salamander Designs * Simaudio/MOON * Sonus faber * Stewart Screens * Sumiko * Totem Acoustic * Vandersteen * VPI * Wavelength Audio * Wharfedale


Our products include
Audio-Video Furniture, Cables, CD Players, Digital-to-Analog Converters (DACs) iPod Docks, DVD and Blu-ray Players, Headphones and Headphone Amplifiers, Integrated Amplifiers, Loudspeakers, Phono Cartridges, Power Amplifiers, Power Line Conditioners, Preamplifiers and Processors, Receivers, Tuners, Turntables, Tonearms, and Record Cleaning Machines, Video Displays and Screens, and more.

Reach the store quickly and easily with our directions from New Jersey, New York, & Pennsylvania.

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