Bang & Olufsen Celebrates 90 Years with BeoLab 90
Designed by the Frackenpohl Poulheim Agency and engineered by Bang & Olufsen, the new BeoLab 90 is the most innovate loudspeaker ever introduced by the Danish company. The surprising and powerful digital loudspeaker celebrates Bang & Olufsen's first 90 years with impressive new concepts. As they say "It will not be for everybody, but it will be for the right somebody."   Read More

Sappi's Symbio - Injection Moldable Cellulose Fiber Composite
Injection-molded plastics dominate audio consumer electronics products but are perceived as "cheap" and have mediocre acoustic characteristics compared to wood. New cellulose reinforced composites developed by Sappi's Symbio division combine the best of wood and plastic with higher stiffness, lower weight, and can be used for injection molding and extrusion processes in any color and finishing.  Read More

25 Years After the HD-1, Meyer Sound Unveils Amie Precision Studio Monitor 
Meyer Sound introduces Amie - the first studio monitor from the company in more than two decades. Developed to meet the demanding needs of Skywalker Sound, Meyer Sound says "Amie brings a level of clarity professionals can trust, making it ideal for critical production environments where accurate translation to larger systems is imperative." A new studio standard?.  Read More

2015 PLASA Awards for Innovation Winners Announced
The PLASA Awards for Innovation & Sustainability 2015 and the Gottelier Award were presented at the PLASA Show at London's ExCeL. This year, 31 products were nominated for the Awards for Innovation & Sustainability, with eight awards presented, including a final Gold Award for Innovation. In audio-related categories, Avid, d&b audiotechnik, Flare Audio, and Neutrik received recognition.  Read More

Audeze Introduces New Planar Magnetic Reference Headphones
The all-new Audeze LCD-4 planar magnetic technology reference headphones were introduced at Rocky Mountain Audio Fest (RMAF) CanJam 2015 and deliver breathtakingly fast high-resolution sound, imaging, and transparency with unmatched dynamics. The LCD-4 features Audeze's nano-grade diaphragms and unique Double Fluxor magnet arrays for the most powerful magnetic flux density in existence, an incredible 1.5 Tesla! At RMAF 2015, Audeze also unveiled its new The King Headphone Amplifier, designed by Bascom King.  Read More

Schiit Audio Upgrades Bifrost Desktop DACs As Promised
Schiit Audio introduced new Bifrost and Bifrost Multibit upgraded units with a USB input as standard. This upgradable DAC now offers optical, coaxial, and USB inputs and is available in the Bifrost Multibit configuration with proprietary closed-form DSP-based digital filter and Analog Devices' AD5547CRUZ D/A converter, or as the affordable Bifrost version, using an AKM AK4490 D/A.  Read More

Revo's New SuperSystem Home Entertainment Features Tectonic Elements BMR Speakers
Tectonic Elements BMR speakers are featured in Revo's new SuperSystem home entertainment system, available for purchase starting in November 2015. The Revo SuperSystem is a thoroughly modern music system, combining craftsmanship with next-generation all-digital technology, room-filling acoustic performance, and award-winning industrial design.  Read More

Keysight Helps Engineers Verify, Debug Devices that Use Type-C Connector Technology
Responding to an increasing market demand for fast development of USB 3.1, Gen 2 designs, and designs using other high-speed signal standards that support the Type-C connector, Keysight Technologies introduced its N7015A high-speed test fixture, which the company says is the industry's highest-signal-integrity Type-C test solution for high-speed differential bus probing.  Read More


Editor's Desk

Digital Audio Evolution: Flashback to 2003

Digidesign Pro Tools at the 114th AES Convention in Amsterdam
There are always great lessons to be learned when revisiting history. And this week we are going back just 12 years!
The year was 2003. The 114th Audio Engineering Society (AES) Convention in Amsterdam was one of the last AES European exhibitions to feature a large number of radio exhibitors and the talk of the show was SACD/DSD production. That same year, the 115th AES convention in New York was also one of the best ever.

Following the years of the Internet "meltdown," this was the year of the software "gold race." Apple acquired German company Emagic (makers of Logic) and Pinnacle Systems acquired Steinberg in 2002 (Pinnacle would be sold to Avid in 2005, Steinberg was previously sold to Yamaha in 2004 and Pinnacle's consumer division was later sold to Corel). Sony Pictures Digital acquired Sonic Foundry (Sound Forge, CD Architect, and Acid), and Adobe acquired Syntrillium Software, the creators of popular audio editor Cool Edit Pro, subsequently reintroduced as Adobe Audition.

Digidesign had recently introduced its Pro Tools HD system, generating a strong impact in the recording studio market and establishing 24-bit at up to 192 kHz DAW production. Yamaha was promoting its 01X mLAN Music Production System, creating an alternative to traditional MIDI systems in music production and creating the first serious hardware/software music production link. Digigram introduced the full range of EtherSound audio solutions that year, paving the way to bidirectional audio network distribution. Bruce Jackson and Lake Technology were showing the Lake Contour system, the most sophisticated EQ solution for live sound reinforcement, allowing for multiple independent "graphic layers" of digital processing using asymmetric filters and the Mesa Filter algorithm.
Multichannel audio was the topic at the show, with consumer audio focused on promotional efforts by Sony and Philips around Super Audio CD (SACD) while the discussion between pulse code modulation (PCM) and direct stream digital (DSD) production reached its pinnacle. At the 114th AES in Amsterdam, there were a total of 13 workshops focusing on multichannel recording and mixing, in anticipation of the promotional rollout of the SACD format and the introduction of the first DVD-Video/SACD compatible players. In a dedicated SACD press event, it was announced that until the end of 2003, there would be nearly 2,000 available SACD titles from 107 record labels and 2 million SACD players sold. 24% of the SACD editions included surround-sound material and half of the records released were Hybrid CD/SACD. For the first time, availability of new industrial replication equipment enabled providers to lower the cost of SACDs to less than $1 per disc.
Genex GX9000 8-channel DSD recording system

Manufacturers were racing to introduce better and less expensive DSD recording solutions. AMS Neve introduced its new MMC production console focusing on SACD production, in cooperation with Philips and Sony. British company SADiE introduced a full set of mastering tools for SACD, following the introduction in 2002 of the first multichannel DSD recorder, also featuring full Red-Book CD production support. DTS promoted its compression tools for multichannel SACD, while Merging Technologies introduced its Pyramix v4.1 DAW featuring a full set of mastering tools for CD and SACD (DSD), integrating tools from Sony, Sonic Solutions and Prosoniq. Merging was also cooperating with Genex Research to introduce a new dedicated DSD master recorder. Genex was a British company dedicated to DSD recording and offered 8- and 48-channel hard-disc recording systems for DSD audio or 24-bit/192 kHz PCM with bidirectional conversion.

Philips' Super Audio CD Creator software startup screen
At the AES show, we could also find Sony's range of 
DSD Modular Audio Processing Modules (D-Map), designed by Sony in Oxford UK, together with the Mytek Digital D-Master DSD stereo master recorder. There was also Sonic Studio (former Sonic Solutions) with a SACD/DSD option for the SonicStudioHD DAW. Finally, Prism Sound announced a new eight-channel DSD converter with optional interface for Pro Tools HD.

On Dolby's side, the focus continued to be the promotion of DVD-Audio's merits - the rival technology to Super Audio CD. Dolby promoted the merits of multichannel recording for DVD-Audio, using Meridian's MLP lossless compression to compete with Sony/Philips' Direct Stream Digital. Dolby joined Warner, Pioneer and Meridian in a demonstration of some of the nearly 400 DVD-Audio titles already available.
Fast-forward to 2015 and the upcoming 139th convention in New York. How many of these companies are still around? High Resolution Audio, Immersive Audio, and the upcoming Ultra-HD Blu-ray format (the last physical media format?) are the focus at many of the sessions. Meridian has introduced its Master Quality Authenticated (MQA) lossless compression technology to enable high-resolution audio streaming and Internet distribution.

From the Vault
The All-FET Line Amp
By Erno Borbely
Erno Borbely shares his all-FET audio amplifier design. As he explained following the original introductory articles - "JFETs the New Frontier" Part 1 and 2 - published in Audio Electronics, "I described the three basic circuits: common source, common drain, and the differential amplifiers. Using these circuits you can build up all low-level circuitry in phono preamps, line amps, crossovers, mike preamps, mixers, and so on." This follow-up article focuses on DC-coupled amps. This article was published in audioXpress, May 2002.  Read the Full Article Available Online

Voice Coil Spotlight
US Enclosure: A Revolution in Loudspeaker Cabinets 
By Brian "JB" O'Neill (US Enclosure Company)
Since 1990, US Enclosure Company has developed a series of purpose-engineered composite wall materials specifically for loudspeaker cabinets that meet or beat the acoustic qualities of MDF, plywood, plastics, or metals at the same wall thickness. An added benefit is OEM loudspeaker companies can visually stand out from their competition with custom-shaped complex curved cabinets with Class-A finishes in the same cost bracket as a basic wooden box cabinet. This article was originally published in Voice Coil, July 2015.

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