Bluetooth Speakers Drive Growth in Home Audio
According to the latest Worldwide Home Audio Market report from Futuresource Consulting, the home audio market (wireless speakers, soundbars, Hi-Fi systems, A/V receivers and speaker docks) grew by 22% to ship 71 million units. Trade value also grew by 22%, generating just under $10 billion worth of revenue in 2014Read More


ZAOR and IsoAcoustics Collaborate on Speaker Stands

Premium studio furniture designer and manufacturer ZAOR Studio Furniture and IsoAcoustics are joining forces to create an attractive series of speaker stands, desktop speaker stands, and media production workstation desks that will effectively integrate IsoAcoustics' unique, patented speaker isolation and positioning technology Read More


Bowers & Wilkins New P5 Wireless Headphones Promises No Compromise in Audio Quality
Bowers & Wilkins brought its knowledge and experience in electro-acoustics to the headphone category for the first time with the highly regarded P5 headphones. Now the British loudspeaker company has launched the P5 Wireless, promising convenience without the compromise in audio quality.   Read More


Knowles Completes Acquisition of Audience
Knowles completed its acquisition of Audience, following an updated offer for a mix of cash and shares of Knowles common stock. The acquisition and merger of the two companies was already approved by Korean regulators and should enable the world leader in MEMS devices and transducers for mobile devices to access Audience's advanced voice and audio processing technologies.   Read More



High-Tech Nano-Coating Specialist SOTA Focuses on Audio and Consumer Electronics

Outdoor speakers, autosound, Bluetooth speakers... these days everything must meet IPXX environmental robustness standards. SOTA is a high-tech coating company that has treatments for paper cones and foam surrounds, to corrosion resistance for steel speaker frames, treatments for outdoor speakers, and more.  Read More

New Pascal T-PRO Series Amplifier Modules Now Feature Unique Asymmetrical Power Ratings 

Pascal has just announced the release of two new Pascal T-PRO Series amplifier modules: an asymmetrically rated 500 + 150 W RMS solution for self-powered two-way speakers and a 500 W RMS module ideal for subwoofer or low profile applications. Both feature universal mains power supply with PFC, integrated auto standby/wake-up on signal feature Read More

Plan Now for the Upcoming AES 139th International Convention in New York City 

This year's Audio Engineering Society's 139th AES International Convention will once again take over the professional audio landscape of New York City, from October 29 to November 1, 2015, at the Jacob Javits Center. From the Special Events and Exhibition Floor presentations offered by the free Exhibits-Plus badge, to the four days of in-depth Tech Programs available to holders of the premium All Access badge, the 139th AES Convention will offer a range of topics and technologies with points of interest for every aspect of the audio industry.  Read More


Jan Didden
Editor Linear Audio

Guest Editorial

The Pleasure of Playing Vinyl


I sold my trusted Philips record player and my records somewhere in the mid-1990s, if I remember correctly. Not because it didn't work well anymore, but I was buying all my music on CDs and my record collection just sat there taking up valuable space. Or so I thought.

A few years ago, audio designer Joachim Gerhard called me and said he would be passing through my town and offered to stop by to demo his latest phono preamp. When I told him that I didn't own a player or any records, he said, no problem, I'll bring those too! Long story short, we had a very pleasant evening listening to vinyl, having a few drinks and in general the sort of discussions audio geeks have when they have a chance.

I asked Joachim what he found so attractive in vinyl; I mean, it's a real hassle, first of all to get your arm and cartridge aligned and to maintain that alignment, then to clean the record every time before a play, and change the record every 10 to 20 minutes! How primitive compared to just queuing up your favorite playlist on the tablet and have music for the rest of the day. 

Boy, did I miss the point!

With records, listening to music that moves you is important, but (as I found out) at least as important is the ritual of all those things you need to do to get it to play and play well. Reading those liner notes, admiring the album cover art, and maybe even the soothing effect of the rotating record plateau. In other words, I was sold. I now have a nice mid-class record payer that I chose (I admit it) as much for its design appearance as for its hard technical specs. Listening to records means you have to make a conscious decision to take out time from what you are doing and go through the ritual, relax, and really let the music get into you. Yes, there's pops and ticks, and yes, sometimes a record is so eccentric that you can even hear the wow, but so what? Listening to music this way is very rewarding and pure enjoyment.


There is another perspective to this - ownership. When you listen to music from, say Spotify, you don't "own" the music in any sense. There's no downloading a "music piece" that you can put somewhere and take out when you feel like listening to it again. And that's a non-issue of course because when you want to listen to it again you just stream it from somewhere in the cloud. That is different from buying a physical medium such as a CD or a LP, and especially with vinyl, there is a largish "thing" that you can touch, turn over in your hands; in a sense an album is a piece of art containing another piece of art; not only that, it actually is a "possession." Just recently, several investigators have been finding out that these aspects are important factors in the revival of vinyl; and that there's more to it than just the music.


It turns out I am not the only one wondering what it is that attracts people to vinyl. Gary Galo, a contributor to both audioXpress and Linear Audio, is reviewing a book for me written by two philosophers cum music lovers, who studied the cultural aspects of music on vinyl - a worthwhile read.

Mike Uwins, whom I met at a recent AES convention, approached the question from the typical audio engineer's perspective. He developed a test where he could decouple the ritual of playing vinyl from the actual sound reproduced, which could be either the sound off the record or a digital rendition. He devised an ingenious procedure to keep the test double blind. His findings: even when the test subjects heard a digital rendition of the LP contents when playing it, they still commented, "No doubt in my mind [vinyl] sounded better... It seemed to be softer in the uppermids, so less harsh, just more pleasing in that area but certainly more warmth in the bottom end. The way things sit in the mix seems to be more preferable on that kind of record."


I can only conclude that vinyl as a music medium has a very special place, and plays an important role in many people's lives. And, as that place and role is not solely based on technical parameters as such, one can expect that vinyl is here to stay for a long time to come, independent of the technical progress and developments in things such as streaming music distribution and whatever else the Apples and Googles of this world will invent.


Maybe it is a bit like cars. Classic vintage cars are no technical match for the movers that roll off today's assembly lines, and very few people would even think of doing the daily commute in a 30-plus year old vehicle. Yet, for pleasure, nothing beats digging that old vehicle out from under the tarpaulin and leisurely taking a swing through some quiet country roads. For that enjoyment, people are willing to pay much more than the cost of a new car -just as people are willing to pay top dollar for a restored Thorens or Garrard player.


The Loudspeaker Industry Sourcebook 2015

is now available online


The Loudspeaker Industry Sourcebook, an annual publication that lists speaker-related companies and their products and services, provides a comprehensive guide throughout the year for your loudspeaker needs. You can also access the information online. Go to to see the 2015 edition or visit to view the most up-to-date vendor listings.


The user-friendly resource includes lists that identify products and services from approximately 250 companies. To contact a manufacturer, distributor, or consultant directly, refer to the extensive address list, which includes each company's information.


If you're curious about where the industry is headed in 2015 and beyond, the sourcebook also contains several interesting and informative articles. Go to 


Book Review

The Bottle Builder: A Compendium of Tube Amplifier Designs (Johan Basse Bergqvist)

Review By Peter Delos 


This review of The Bottle Builder, Volume 1: A Compendium of Tube Amplifier Designs discusses Johan Basse Bergqvist's hands-on collection of his amplifier designs. A book illustrated with more than 400 figures and photographs to help readers understand audio-no engineering degree necessary. Published on audioXpress July 2015.  Read the review online


Voice Coil Spotlight

Digmoda DSP Amplifier Line 

By Dean Rivera, KSC Industries


Digmoda is a series of modular OEM platforms consisting of digital amplifiers, DSPs, and power supplies designed specifically for audio applications. The Digital Power (DP) line consists of two new software programmable amplifiers, the DPSW300 and DPSW1000, along with newly developed DSP software for these units. This article was originally published in Voice Coil, January 2013.  Read the Full Article


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VC July 2015: Digital Login
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