Audio/Video News

Bryston, based in Peterborough, ON, Canada, has announced the release of the BDP-1USB digital music player, which is priced $1795 in the United States. The BDP-1USB looks almost identical to and borrows most of its technology from the company’s flagship BDP-2 player, but is designed to work exclusively with USB DACs and lacks the pricier unit’s internal sound card, which their September 3 press release says, “reduces the cost of the new player without any penalty in sound quality and opens the world of high-resolution audio playback to a broader audience.”

Features of the BDP-1USB include: compatibility with an array of low- and high-resolution music formats, including FLAC, Apple Lossless, AIFF, WAV, and MP3; gapless, bit-perfect playback; a linear power supply; asynchronous-USB-DAC compatibility; DSD over PCM (DoP) playback (with compatible DACs); four USB inputs; Ethernet connectivity; and library support for up to 30,000 tracks. According to Bryston’s CEO, Chris Russell, “Our digital music players have been tremendously successful for us globally, and with the increased prevalence of USB DACs available in a wide range of prices, the BDP-1USB opens the door for music lovers seeking Bryston performance and build quality in an affordable package. Of course we suggest that consumers consider the Bryston BDA-2 DAC -- audio writers and reviewers agree that the Bryston BDA-2 is one of the very finest DACs available on the market today -- but the BDP-1USB can also be the foundation of an amazing multifaceted sound system.”

The BDP-1USB comes with a five-year warranty and will be available through Bryston’s dealers in October.

Bryston website

Deutsche Grammophon has announced the launch of DG Discovery, the world’s first classical music label-streaming app. Initially there will be 450 albums. According to Deutsche Grammophon reps: "DG Discovery features essential works by the 30 most popular composers, performed by 80 star artists from Deutsche Grammophon’s roster."

Full and unlimited access to the service is available at a monthly fee of $3.99 in the US, or a 12-month discounted subscription fee of $35.99 ($2.99 per month). A free version of DG Discovery, complete with 30-second streamed samples of all tracks in the app’s catalog, allows users to sample before they subscribe.

The app will update with over 20 new albums each month, according to the company. The August 25th press release also gave details on how the website will be updated: "The homepage will refresh with 12 new playlists every week, organized by artist, composer, and timely themes, such as Christmas. Thanks to the app’s user-friendly design, subscribers can create multiple personal playlists and, with the aid of a single-tap Facebook button, engage in social media conversations about favorite works and their interpretations. A tap-and-buy button gives those wishing to buy downloads of favorite tracks and albums from the DG Discovery catalog instant access to the iTunes store."

Mark Wilkinson, president of Deutsche Grammophon, commented: “DG Discovery marks an exciting step forward in taking the joys of classical music to as wide an audience as possible. The digital audience is our audience, and Discovery can do exactly that -- take listeners on a journey, open doors, and enlighten and enrich their understanding of this great, timeless music.”

DG Discovery website

The SoundStage! InSight video series gives an in-depth look at audio companies, the products they produce, and the people behind them. The first episode, which debuted in March, featured Muraudio, while the second episode, which was released in May, focused on Axiom Audio. The third episode, which debuted today, showcases speaker-maker Totem Acoustic, which was established in 1987 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, where they still remain. The video features Vince Bruzzese, the company’s founder and president, who discusses the design philosophy behind Totem’s products, as well as the company’s Torrent technology, which is featured in their top-of-the-line products. All SoundStage! InSight videos are available online through SoundStage!’s YouTube channel.

SoundStage! InSight -- Totem Acoustic

NAD Electronics has announced the newest member of their digital-electronics family, the C 510 Direct Digital preamp/DAC. This new model uses the same "high-precision digital processing" as NAD’s more expensive M2 integrated amplifier and M51 digital-to-analog converter, which are part of the company's Masters series, but in a more affordable package. The C 510's DAC section is said to have "extremely low noise, low distortion, wide dynamic range, superb linearity and extremely low digital jitter." It accepts PCM audio at resolutions up to 24-bit/192kHz. The C 510 is purely digital and therefore contains no analog inputs, but does include a wide array of connectivity options such as USB Type B for direct connection to a PC or Mac, two HDMI inputs, and three SPDIF inputs in optical, coaxial, and AES/EBU formats that are all 24/192 capable.

The analog output operates in true balanced fashion and is specified as being "driven by a class-A-biased operational amplifier." Both balanced XLR and single-ended RCA outputs are available to be compatible with virtually any amplifier. For further flexibility, a 12V trigger and RS-232 port allow for system-automation connectivity.

In NAD's press release on August 5, 2014, Greg Stidsen, NAD’s Director of Technology and Product Planning, stated, “Like our legacy NAD digital products, we wanted to create a bridge product between the new world of high-definition 24/96 digital and the existing world of analog amplifiers. The C 510 allows audiophiles to conveniently add digital audio to their high-end system while enjoying the superb performance of NAD Direct Digital technology. It is truly the best of both worlds.” The NAD C 510 will begin shipping this month at a retail price of $1299 USD.

NAD website

MartinLogan, based in Kansas, MO, USA, has announced the introduction of three new models to their Motion-series loudspeaker line: the Motion 60XT floorstander, Motion 35XT monitor, and Motion 50XT center-channel. This brings the total number of Motion-series speakers to eight.

Motion 50XT

According to the company’s press release today: “XT stands for extreme, and for good reason. The new Motion XT speakers play louder, lower, and with unflinching accuracy. Larger woofers and cabinets, paired with our most accurate Folded Motion™ XT driver, deliver an engaging and encompassing experience that cuts straight to the emotion locked inside your favorite recordings.

“Motion XT speakers feature a ferocious combination of high-performance components: high-excursion, black aluminum cone woofers with low-turbulence, rear-firing, bass ports provide extended, powerful bass; larger, more accurate Folded Motion XT tweeters boasts a radiating surface 40% larger than other Motion series speakers for ultra-low distortion; and a dedicated mid-woofer on the Motion 60XT promotes an even more open, revealing and authentic sound in the critical midrange. The result is acoustic alchemy across the frequency spectrum, creating an unbelievably realistic musical experience.”

Motion 35XT

The 60XT and 35XT sell in the United States for $2999.95 and 1199.96 per pair, respectively. The 50XT sells for $899.95. Finishes for each model include: High-Gloss Piano Black and High-Gloss Black Cherrywood. All three models will be available at the end of this month.

MartinLogan website

UK-based electronics manufacturer Musical Fidelity has announced three new products, all of which are integrated amplifiers: the M6si, which is scheduled to begin shipping next week; the M3si, shipping July 20; and the NuVista 800, shipping in September.

The M3si replaces the M3i and comes with a built-in digital-to-analog convertor accessible through a USB input, along with a host of analog inputs including a phono stage for connecting a turntable. Power output is now 90Wpc and the price is $1499 USD. The larger M6si is similar in terms of connectivity, but the unit is configured as two independent mono amplifiers and a separate preamplifier. The chassis is larger than the M3si and the power output is 200Wpc. The cost of the M6si is $2999.

Rounding out the new Musical Fidelity trio is the flagship Nu-Vista 800. The June 18 press release explains the genesis of the new model: "Fifteen years ago, Musical Fidelity was the first company in the world to use nuvistor tubes for their high-end Nu-Vista series. The original Nu-Vista series (Nu-Vista preamp, Nu-Vista M3 integrated, Nu-Vista 300 power amp, and Nu-Vista 3D CD player) created a sensation when they were launched in 1999. They gave an almost perfect balance between state-of-the-art transistor and tube design." Musical Fidelity reported that they recently found new supplies of nuvistor tubes, so the new model was born. The press release explains some of the differences in design approach this time around: "For the first time in the history of hi-fi, Musical Fidelity has combined nuvistor technology with Surface Mount Design and CAD/CAM PCB concepts. The aim of this large undertaking was to create an ultimate super integrated amplifier. The result is extraordinary technical and sonic performance." The cost of the Nu-Vista 800 is $12,999.

Musical Fidelity website

To commemorate their 10th anniversary, Magico, based in Hayward, California, has announced the release of the M Project loudspeaker, a limited-edition model that they say incorporates elements from past Magico loudspeakers with some new technologies the company has just developed.

The M Project is a five-driver, three-way design comprised of a 1” beryllium-dome tweeter with a diamond coating; one 6” midrange driver, which they say was spawned from the midrange driver in the company’s top-of-the-line Q7; and three 10” woofers. The woofer, which has been developed specifically for this speaker, is said to have a motor system that allows for up to ½” of excursion. The midrange and woofers all have Nano-Tec cones. Magico claims that the M Project can reach output levels of 120dB in the bass and midrange regions (measured at 1 meter). Magico also states that the M Project’s sensitivity is 91dB and that its frequency response extends from 20Hz to 50kHz.

Unlike the company’s current-generation Q- and S-series designs, which feature cabinets crafted entirely from aluminum, the M Project speaker features carbon-fiber-based side panels. Each M Project speaker weighs 400 pounds and is 56”H x 23”D x 15”W. The company says that they will make 50 pairs of M Project speakers. Each pair will carry a retail price of $129,000 in the United States.

Magico website

PSB Speakers, which was founded by Paul Barton in 1972 and is based in Pickering, Ontario, Canada, has added to their Imagine series of loudspeakers with four new entry-level models called Imagine X. The Imagine X models are comprised of the floorstanding X2T and X1T speakers, priced in the United States at $649 and $449 each (double for per-pair price), respectively; the XB stand-mounted monitor, priced at $499 per pair; and the XC center-channel, priced at $399.

The Image X2T is a three-way design with two 6.5” woofers, one 5.25” midrange driver, and one 1” tweeter. The X1T is a two-and-a-half-way design with two 5.5” woofers and one 1” tweeter. The two-way XB has a 5.25” woofer and one 1” tweeter, while the XC center-channel, also a two-way, has two 5.25” woofers and one 1” tweeter. The tweeters in all models have titanium domes and neodymium magnets. The woofers in all models have clay/ceramic-reinforced injection-molded polypropylene cones. According to the company’s press release on May 26: “All four models feature a slim design and are offered exclusively in simulated Black Ash finish. Imagine X models are carefully matched in timbre, providing the system designer or end-user flexibility to combine any of the models to work seamlessly together in a variety of applications, venues or system setups.” The Imagine X speakers are available now.

PSB Speakers website

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