Loudspeaker Industry Sourcebook 2016 - Now Online!
For 2016, our annual Loudspeaker Industry Sourcebook (LIS 2016) has gained an entirely new dimension. The online directory was updated and contains complete listings and the already familiar category indexes, which make this annual publication such an invaluable resource for the industry. This edition also contains a complete series of must-read articles for anyone in the audio industry: features, industry reports, and company profiles, as well as our annual query about the state of the industry, with contributions from distinguished market executives and professionals.  Read More

Funktion-One Explores New Horizons in Bass Frequencies Thanks to Powersoft's M-Force System
If there is an audio company known for earth-shattering levels of bass frequencies, it certainly is Tony Andrews's Funktion-One. The news that the British manufacturer, one of the leading companies in professional audio systems for dance clubs, has joined forces with Powersoft to explore the possibilities of it's M-Force solution to generate new levels of bass performance, is not surprising. The result of this cooperation, implemented in the new F132 subwoofer, should lead to plenty more surprises.  Read More

QSC Staff Engineer Luis Esparza Named to Board of Directors of ALMA International
QSC Staff Engineer Luis Esparza was appointed to the Board of Directors of the Association of Loudspeaker Manufacturing & Acoustics (ALMA) International. ALMA International is the global source of standards, networking, and education for the acoustics, audio, and loudspeaker industry. A key member of the QSC engineering team for more than 11 years, Esparza has been a leader in transducer development for the company's acclaimed loudspeaker products and solutions.  Read More

EvertzAV Adopts Dante Audio over IP Networking and Introduces Industry's First Dante-Enabled AV Switch 
EvertzAV announced support for Dante audio networking as an option for the company's MMA10G-HUB In-Room AV Switch. The MMA10G-HUB is an in-room audio and video switcher that leverages Evertz MMA-10G Network-Based AV Distribution capability. The HUB makes connecting a single room to a facility easy and opens up a world of possibilities for collaboration, resource sharing and connectivity.  Read More

Radial Catapult's New 4-Channel Audio Snake Now Shipping
Radial Engineering announced the Radial Catapult is now shipping. Part of a series of new audio distribution products designed by the Canadian company to address new wireless and wired applications, announced at the end of 2015, the Catapult is a four-channel audio snake that enables users to send analog and AES digital audio signals over standard Cat 5 shielded twisted pair cable.  Read More

Focusrite Announces Second Generation of Scarlett USB Audio Recording Interfaces with Pro Tools First Bundle
Focusrite announced its second generation of Scarlett USB audio interfaces, which the British company says is its most popular range of products and one of the most sold range of audio interfaces in the world. The second generation Scarlett is now "better, faster, and easier," as Focusrite explains. While the I/O count of every interface remains the same, the new Scarlett audio interfaces deliver Focusrite's fastest USB performance yet, with roundtrip latency measuring as low as 2.74 ms at 96 kHz.  Read More

Silicon Labs Complete USB Type-C Reference Design Now Available for Developers
Silicon Labs has introduced a comprehensive reference design that reduces the cost and the complexity of developing cables and cable adapters based on the USB Type-C specification. Silicon Labs' new USB Type-C reference design features cost-effective, ultra-low-power EFM8 microcontrollers (MCUs), USB Power Delivery (PD) protocol stacks certified by the USB Implementation Forum (USB-IF), and USB Billboard Device source code.  Read More

Bose Introduces Wireless New QC Noise Cancelling Headphones And Wireless Sport Headphones
Bose announced four new headphones, expanding its range with the all new QuietComfort 35 and QuietControl 30 noise cancellation wireless models. Also new are the SoundSport and SoundSport Pulse for sport and fitness. The new generation of Bose headphones is a significant technology update, allowing for up to 20 hours of battery life and controllable noise cancellation with personalization features.  Read More


Editor's Desk

Extremely Enthusiastic Subjective Impressions!

This year was the biggest and best run of T.H.E. Show yet.
It was an extremely entertaining and educational week at T.H.E. Show Newport in California - which was in Newport before it moved to Irvine. So now it needs to be called T.H.E. Show Irvine, or simply T.H.E. Show. The show was a great gathering of people and companies, completely different, because US shows in California are different from everything else in the Midwest or the East Coast - and because US shows are different from European shows, always more trade-oriented.
The weather in Orange County was simply beautiful, contributing to excellent visitor levels and making the entire external area, even more pleasing. The Focal/Naim demo room (Focal Sopra 3), in The Cabana, close to the pool, managed to combine one of the best demos with the best possible location.
In the entrance of The Irvine hotel, following registration, visitors were greeted with complementary print copies of The Absolute Sound (TAS), Stereophile, and audioXpress magazines. All the magazine issues had references to Master Quality Authenticated (MQA) on the cover - each in its own way.
On the cover of TAS, the title "BETTER THAN HI-RES, MQA Revolutionizes Digital Audio" made me cringe. Inside, Robert Harley dedicates a two-page editorial and a 10-page article reviewing MQA, with five extra pages reviewing MQA-enabled Meridian equipment. Inside, Hartley writes: "MQA is the most significant audio technology of my lifetime."
His review is thorough and detailed, and one can see he had the chance to work with the MQA team to review every angle of the technology, including sending one of his own PCM recordings to MQA for encoding, so he was able to compare A/B something he knows extremely well. His conclusion: every single MQA-encoded file he heard sounded better than anything else and added "significant sonic improvements," no matter if the original was an analog master, a 16-bit early PCM master, a recent 24-bit/96 kHz recording, or even a TIDAL MQA stream. In all situations, Hartley says that MQA-encoded materials sounds "better." Even when the 24-bit/48 kHz MQA file is truncated to 16-bit to work with Bluetooth, or the bitrate is restricted by a slow Internet connection, he notes the result is better than CD-quality audio, because it is an entire encoding and decoding chain, as our own article in audioXpress also explains in detail.
In our July audioXpress issue, I wrote that we should focus on the main benefit of MQA, which is offering a single universal "container" format that delivers the better possible quality audio to everyone, with the convenience of a digital file or stream in a convenient size and bandwidth that works with today's infrastructures. Also, MQA eliminates the need for highly compressed audio distribution methods - the main problem MQA solves. There are a few other very important benefits, specific to the concerns of the music industry, which probably could also be the main reason for MQA to actually become mainstream - but which are irrelevant to consumers.
As I wrote, MQA is a very important technology, which solves multiples problems and presents several benefits. Saying that MQA is "Better than Hi-Res" is not something I would ever consider fighting for. But I cannot help to admire Robert Harley for the bold statement and coherence of his work and what he believes to be more important - the quality of the audio experience.
The problem is that, like in many previous battles where Bob Stuart participated, there is a key defining moment when the naysayers, the groaners, and the grumblers come out of their caves. And T.H.E. Show was a defining moment in that regard. After all, for companies making a decent living helping to solve the wonderful complications of uncompressed and totally inconvenient high resolution audio formats, MQA sounds like a threat. Their life is wonderful now. Why change?
Robert Hartley's caption "BETTER THAN HI-RES" is exactly the type of provocation they couldn't handle. So now, we need to brace for the inevitable torrent of criticism, technicalities, and even insults that MQA doesn't need. Because it truly is a good technology that might benefit everyone. Even if, as I wrote, those who already invested in a complete uncompressed high-resolution 384 kHz and DSD256 audio chain may find it irrelevant.
If you have "The Bugatti of Audio" does MQA matter to you?
The problem we have so far is that we still don't know how MQA truly works because it's not been revealed. We don't know if those same files that we have heard so far will be typical of what the record companies will start to push out using the format (I truly doubt it). We can also guess that 
90% of consumers will be playing those MQA files in audio systems that don't actually reveal much difference from a standard iTunes AAC file. And doing an A/B comparison with a standard AAC file and MQA is probably the most important comparison for the generic consumer.
It clearly is time to bring the MQA promotion to professional audio forums such as the Audio Engineering Society (AES) where it was introduced originally, elevating the discussion towards the real advantages for content creation and distribution. But unfortunately, as we reinforced in our own article published in June 2016 ("Redefining the Source for Music") we still don't have the details on the technology itself and all the implications for content origination. Until that's revealed, we only have positive subjective impressions - or in Robert Harley's case, the extremely enthusiastic subjective impressions - to defend MQA's case


You Can DIY!
Extending the Arduino-Based Tube Power Amplifier Controller
By Mark Driedger
In the February 2015 issue of audioXpress, Mark Driedger discussed a tube power amplifier controller based on the Arduino open-source microcontroller. In an earlier issue, the author also discussed how to build an accurate bias meter, making it simpler to set bias in push-pull tube output stages. In this follow-up article, Driedger explains how to use some of the Arduino's untapped capabilities to incorporate the bias meter into the amplifier controller with virtually no additional hardware. A temperature sensor and over-temperature shut-down capability are also included. This article was originally published in audioXpress, May 2015 Read the Full Article Available Here

Voice Coil Test Bench
B&C Speakers DE1085TN 2" Titanium Diaphragm Compression Driver and ME60 Horn 
By Vance Dickason
This Test Bench characterizes the DE1085TN driver, a new high power handling titanium diaphragm DE1085TN compression driver from Italian OEM pro sound manufacturer, B&C Speakers. The compression driver is coupled with B&C Speakers' ME60 60 H × 40 V constant directivity cast-aluminum horn with a 0.8-kHz cutoff frequency. The DE1085TN joins B&C Speakers' series of 2" throat compression drivers, numbering seven models at the time of this test (three ferrite motor compression drivers and four neodymium motor compression drivers). The DE1085TN has a 50 mm (2") throat diameter and is driven by a titanium diaphragm with a 100 mm (4") diameter voice coil wound with copper-clad aluminum wire (CCAW). Other features include a neodymium ring magnet motor structure; nominal 140-W rated power handling (240 W continuous), an injection-molded aluminum black heatsink, and color-coded chrome push terminals. This article was originally published in Voice Coil, September 2015Read The Full Article Online

AX June 2016: Digital Login
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VC June 2016: Digital Login
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