McIntosh Announces the XRT2.1K Flagship Loudspeaker

The XRT2.1K Loudspeaker represents the next evolution of McIntosh home audio speakers. Borne from our 45+ years of designing speakers, the XRT2.1K is a full range system that provides spacious sound reproduction with an unusually deep soundstage. It features a 2000 Watt power rating with a sensitivity of 90dB. Standing 7 feet (2.1 meters) tall, a pair of them will grab the attention of every person in the room. But when the music starts, the only thing people will pay attention to is the enveloping sound they are experiencing.

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The XRT2.1K utilizes our renowned line array speaker principles to produce an even sound dispersion pattern. Listeners closer to the speaker will not be overwhelmed by extremely loud sound while those further away will notice hardly any drop off in sound level. The resulting sound is smooth and wide for all listeners, producing exceptional stereo imaging in nearly all listening positions. 

A 4-way speaker, the XRT2.1K produces excellent sound quality at all levels of the human audio spectrum. It uses a total of 81 drivers consisting of (6) 8” woofers, (2) 6.5” low frequency midranges, (28) 2” upper frequency midranges and (45) ¾” tweeters, to deliver a nearly unparalleled sound reproduction. The woofer and low frequency midrange drivers, housed in the large bass enclosure cabinet, are a combination of Nanocarbon Fiber/Nomex Honeycomb; they are brand new designs that were specifically created for the XRT2.1K. Their extremely stiff yet lightweight diaphragms combined with a very long throw design ensures amazing extension on low frequencies. Located on the line array are the Aluminum–Magnesium upper frequency midrange and tweeter metal drivers, which have been specially customized for the XRT2.1K and feature neodymium magnets.

The crossover network is engineered to ensure an even frequency response over the entire audible range. It utilizes capacitors and inductors with low loss and high current capacity. The type of inductor used in each section of the crossover network has been specially chosen for high linearity, even at high power levels. This prevents distortion of the music at any frequency.
Visually, the XRT2.1K is as striking as it sounds. The reinforced bass cabinet is a combination of brushed and black aluminum and is finished with 7 layers of high gloss piano black paint. The line array mimics the timeless McIntosh front panel appearance with a glossy black center section and 2 silver aluminum end caps. It is suspended from the front of the bass cabinet via steel spiders that are capped with covers that look like a McIntosh control knob. The removable speaker grilles are attached via magnets and feature black knit cloth with high gloss trim. 

Our patented, gold-plated Solid Cinch™ speaker binding posts easily but securely attach the speaker cables to prevent them from coming loose while also ensuring a quality signal is delivered to the loudspeaker. Separate pairs of binding posts are available for the mid/high, low and subwoofer frequencies to allow for tri-amping or tri-wiring. The McIntosh logo on the front of the base plate can be illuminated green with the use of our Power Control technology found in our amplifiers, preamplifiers, integrated amplifiers and other products.

Pricing and Availability Orders for the XRT2.1K can now be placed with Authorized McIntosh dealers with shipping expected to begin in December. Suggested retail price per pair (VAT, shipping and any customs duties related to current standards of individual countries are excluded): $130,000 USD (pr.).

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NAD Electronics announces the MDC HDM-2 Module

NAD Electronics announces the latest module in their Modular Design Construction portfolio, the MDC HDM-2. Available now with a U.S. MSRP of $299, the MDC HDM-2 affordably adds HDMI switching and audio capability to five of NAD’s most popular models -  M12 (shown), M32, C 368, C 388 and C 390DD.  

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With NAD’s Modular Design Construction (MDC), adding the latest cutting-edge technology can be as simple as a software upgrade and adding a new hardware module into your stereo amplifier. Based on the latest 6GHz HDMI chip, the MDC HDM-2 includes full support for UHD (4K) video pass through to a video monitor. While no substitute for a full-blown AVR in a Home Theater setting, adding video capability to a stereo system is often the better solution for customers who prefer simplicity, but demand high performance. With Consumer Electronic Control (CEC), Audio Return Channel (ARC) and High Dynamic Range (HDR10) support, the MDC HDM-2 and its host NAD Amplifier, can be controlled by the TV’s remote control for seamless integration and ease-of-use.       

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Performance-minded enthusiasts want to embrace the ever-changing world of AV technology while “future proofing” their original investment. So, NAD devised the most important innovation in a decade: Modular Design Construction - an uncommon answer to technology obsolescence. Digital audio and video circuits are on replaceable modules. With MDC, all major digital circuits can be upgraded and replaced to keep the unit forever young and capable. This NAD innovation is a unique architecture that keeps pace with the fast-changing world of technology. With MDC, the ability to easily upgrade a component to include future digital formats is totally unique and unprecedented.        

“The MDC HDM-2 joins the MDC BluOS-2 High Res Network Audio Module, making NAD’s stereo amplifier line the most versatile on the market today”.  explained Greg Stidsen, Director of Technology and Product Planning for NAD. From playing vinyl records to streaming high res MQA, to making games and TV shows sound their best, NAD amplifiers are the complete solution to modern entertainment at the highest level”. (source)

Key Features of the NAD MDC HDM-2:     

  • 3 HDMI In (stereo only, no surround decoding) 
  • 1 HDMI Out (Video pass through) 
  • UHD 4K Support with 4:4:4 @ 60Hz 
  • HDCP 2.2  
  • HDR10 Support 
  • CEC and ARC support 
  • Audio resolution up to 24/192
  • Compatible with Masters M12 and M32, C 368 and C 388, C390DD

Amazon Music is available on all BluOS Enabled devices

BluOS® music operating system, today announced that Amazon Music is available on all BluOS Enabled devices from Bluesound and NAD Electronics. BluOS customers in the US, UK, Germany, France, Italy and Spain can now enjoy millions of songs with simple hassle-free controls and instant access to Amazon’s exclusive library of curated playlists in any room of the house, from streaming services Amazon Music Unlimited and Prime Music. Streamed music from Amazon Music and Prime Music can also be streamed to multiple BluOS Enabled devices simultaneously in the home, making for an even richer multi- room audio experience.

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“We are very excited to integrate Amazon Music, a popular music streaming service that’s enjoyed by so many people around the world,” said Andrew Haines, BluOS Product Manager. “Amazon Music is a natural next step for our growing list of music services, as it’s one of the fastest growing music services in the world. We know some of our customers have been requesting this, so we can’t wait for them to be able to experience it at home.”

With Amazon Music, customers can now easily stream music through a home Wi-Fi network to any BluOS Enabled stereo component, speaker, or home theater, with the simple and intuitive controls of the BluOS Controller app for smartphone, tablet and desktop. Additionally, BluOS offers Amazon Music customers the option to build and create playlists in the BluOS app, which can be accessed at any time without having to switch or run multiple apps on their control device.

Customers can start streaming on BluOS today by upgrading their BluOS Enabled devices to software version 2.14.2 or higher and download the latest BluOS apps, version 2.14.0 or higher, for smartphone, tablet, and desktop.

To learn more about Amazon Music and its availability, visit www.amazon.com/amazonmusic.
 

Magico Announces "A" Revolution - A3 Loudspeaker

Magico is proud to launch the A series. At long last a Magico loudspeaker obtainable for a wider audience; the A3 brings together a bevy of technologies unheard-of at its price point. A fully braced and anodized aluminum enclosure, beryllium tweeter, carbon Nanographene cones, neodymium based motor systems and our renowned elliptical crossover, the A3 is the impossible made possible.

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High Frequency driver
Extended high frequencies are provided by a newly designed Magico pure beryllium-diaphragm tweeter with an optimized 28-mm dome surface based on the fundamental design platform and geometry of the M-Project tweeter. The customized neodymium motor system is encased in an improved back chamber with our latest generation damping materials that facilitate ultra-low distortion, higher power handling, massive dynamic capabilities and extended linear voice coil movement.

Midrange Frequency driver
The newly developed 6-inch midrange employs a Multi-Wall carbon fiber cone with a layer of XG Nanographene, providing optimal stiffness to weight ratios and an ideal damping factor. Overhung neodymium based motor systems incorporate extra-large magnets to ensure a stabilized magnetic field in the 75-mm pure titanium voice coils of both the midrange and bass drivers.

Low Frequency driver
Dual 7-inch woofers incorporate a version of the new Gen 8 Magico Nano-Tec cone. The same properties and materials that allow for the proper combination of stiffness, mass and damping are carried through to the lowest frequencies. The chassis has also been simulated and tested for the optimal combination of stiffness and damping. Minimum acoustical impact is achieved through reducing vibration modes while maximizing air flow. A new overhung neodymium (N48) based motor system anchors the low frequency reproducers to accomplish a super stabilized magnetic field. A pure Titanium, 75mm voice coils are consistent with the technology utilized through the midrange. 

The A3 Midrange and Low frequency drivers were optimized for minimal music related distortions in its band pass, in both the frequency and time domains using latest state of the art FEA simulation of acoustical, mechanical, electromagnetic and thermal behavior. All of this is now being done on a single platform, allowing Magico to take the next step in performance optimization.

Crossover
All four drivers in the A3 are acoustically integrated using Magico’s proprietary Elliptical Symmetry Crossover topology that utilizes state-of-the-art components from Mundorf of Germany. The 3-way network features a 24db per octave Linkwitz-Riley filter that maximizes frequency bandwidth while preserving phase linearity and minimizing intermodulation distortion.

Enclosure
The A3’s massive sealed-enclosure is, like all Magicos, a tour-de-force of engineering. The enclosure is made entirely from 6061 T6 aircraft grade aluminum, identical materially to the enclosure developed for the Q Series. This braced, complex internal structure is finished externally with an elegant brushed anodized “skin”. 

The A3 enclosure is best considered as a simplified Q Series design, with the same materials, the same craftsmanship, and the same attention to design and build detail. 

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Driver Complement

  • 1  1" MB7 Beryllium Dome (X1)
  • 1  6” Midrange Graphene Nano Tec (X1)
  • 3  7” Bass Graphene Nano Tec (X2)

Specifications

  • Sensitivity: 88dB
  • Impedance: 4 Ohms
  • Frequency Response: 22 Hz – 50 KHz
  • Minimum Recommended Power: 50 Watts
  • Dimensions: 44”H x 11”D x 9.25”W (112cm x 27cm x 23cm)
  • Weight: 110 lbs. (50Kg)

SRP US $ 9,800.00/pair - Black ONLY Brushed Aluminum Finish. Ship date: 1st Quarter 2018. (source)

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SVS Announces The 4000 Series Subwoofers

SVS announces the 4000 Series subwoofers, three new models loaded with advanced features and technology only available from SVS, at a price that redefines the cost of entry into reference quality bass for music and home theater fans. SVS 4000 Series subwoofers borrow heavily from the flagship SVS 16-Ultra Series, recipients of nearly every industry award in 2017, including the CES Innovations Best of Innovation for High Performance Audio and the European Imaging and Sound Association (EISA) “2017 Best Subwoofer.”

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Comprised of the SB-4000 sealed cabinet subwoofer, PB-4000 ported cabinet subwoofer and the PC-4000 ported cylinder cabinet subwoofer, each new SVS model features advancements to the driver, amplifier, cabinet and overall user experience that outpace anything available in the industry. The result is massive and effortless low frequency output below the threshold of human hearing, with accuracy in frequency response and pinpoint speed in transients, priced below lesser performing “reference” subwoofers. 

Powering the 4000 Series is a commanding and sophisticated Sledge STA-1200D amplifier that combines the high current output of discrete MOSFETs with Class D efficiency. The unique design unleashes nearly limitless on-demand power while maintaining precise driver control, so the 4000 Series can be pushed beyond reference playback levels without flinching, and still achieve accurate frequency response. 

Harnessing the fathomless power of the Sledge amplifier is a 50 MHz Analog Devices Audio DSP with 56bit filtering, the most sophisticated DSP engine ever used in a home audio subwoofer. The vast processing power enables pristine output and refinement that’s true to the source material. The ideal amount of acoustic energy is produced at just the right moment with no overhang, at the exact playback level and frequency the artist, director or sound engineer intended. The DSP also unlocks subwoofer intelligence through precise tuning features, optimized frequency response curves, sophisticated user controls and more. 

Drivers in the 4000 Series subwoofers are built for serious output and punishment. The proprietary SVS design features a dual ferrite magnet motor assembly weighing nearly 40 lbs. and delivering immense magnetic force to a 13.5-inch drive unit with long-throw parabolic surround for extreme excursion, SPLs and longevity. A lightweight and rigid composite cone with glass fiber dustcap moves massive amounts of air to create tactile sonic energy without ever flexing or losing control. The result is pinpoint accurate frequency response and speed in transients, even at the most intense listening levels.

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Launched originally with the flagship SVS 16-Ultra subwoofers, the 4000 Series also feature convenient control and custom presets via the SVS subwoofer DSP smartphone app for Apple® and Android® devices. The SVS app controls polarity, room gain, phase alignment, volume, parametric EQs and stores custom music, home theater and other presets for easy one-touch tuning. It’s the simplest way to optimize bass response below the limits of human hearing from any seat in the house. No more back and forth from the subwoofer to the listening position to calibrate. For added convenience, bi-directional feedback shows updates in real time on both the app and subwoofer interface and Bluetooth connectivity allows adjustments to be made when the subwoofer is not in sight. Control is also available via IR remote and a front panel display.

Active Power Factor Correction (PFC) within the 4000 Series serves as a line conditioner, surge suppressor and voltage regulator, letting the amplifier deal with wide voltage fluctuations and ensuring the subwoofers operate flawlessly on any household circuit no matter how unstable the incoming current. An isolated circuit within each subwoofer creates a vanishingly low noise floor by eliminating the potential for ground loop hums from outside components resulting in absolute sonic transparency.

Subwoofers capable of such extreme performance levels require equally formidable cabinet designs so the 4000 Series are built with double thick MDF and rigid internal bracing to support the drive unit and ensure an acoustically inert environment. The highly reinforced internal design eliminates any chance of coloration or resonance from the cabinet, even when the deepest low frequencies are played at reference sound pressure levels. 

“While the rest of the industry is chasing benchmarks SVS established with the 16-Ultra series, we raised the bar and redefined what is possible at even lower price points, taking the finest technology available and applying it in a way that lets more people than ever enjoy the breathtaking benefits of reference quality bass,” said Gary Yacoubian, SVS President and Managing Partner. “Audiophiles and home theater fans who understand high performance audio will recognize what a genuine accomplishment the 4000 Series is after the first bassline drops or action movie erupts to life. And for the price, there’s simply nothing in the same area code.” (source)

The three SVS 4000 Series subwoofer models include:

SVS SB-4000 Subwoofer:

Sealed Cabinet Chest-thumping slam and extreme low frequency extension with pinpoint accuracy and refined musicality. The SB-4000’s sophisticated DSP amplifier, innovative driver and a sealed box design master room gain and command a space with deeper bass and higher output levels than what is typically possible from a subwoofer of its size. Sets all performance benchmarks and leaves larger and more expensive subwoofers trembling in its wake.

Frequency Response: 

  • 19-310Hz +/-3 dB 
  • Max Low Frequency Output: 
  • 126.8dB @ 32Hz 1/8 space 1m 
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SVS PB-4000 Subwoofer:

Ported Cabinet Staggering low-frequency output and subterranean deep bass extension down to 13Hz with an amazing degree of subtlety and finesse to thrill both action movie buffs and ardent audiophiles. Includes three port tuning modes, each with individual response curves to achieve the most accurate in-room frequency response possible. It’s like having three subwoofers in one.

Frequency Response:

  • 16Hz to 200Hz +/-3dB (standard mode) 
  • 13Hz to 200Hz +/-3dB (extended mode) 
  • 18Hz to 200Hz +/-3dB (sealed mode)
  • Max Low Frequency Output:
  • 134.5dB @ 32Hz 1/8 space 1m
     
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SVS PC-4000 Subwoofer:

Ported Cylinder CabinetWith a footprint measuring just 16” in diameter, the iconic cylinder subwoofer design is only available from SVS and achieves matchless low frequency output and deep bass extension per inch of floor-space. The PC-4000 features three port tuning modes and comes standard with the SoundPath Subwoofer Isolation System for cleaner sounding bass with increased definition and more punch without room rattle and reduced bass bleed to the rest of the house.

Frequency Response:

  • 17Hz to 200Hz +/-3dB (standard mode) 
  • 15Hz to 200Hz +/-3dB (extended mode) 
  • 16Hz to 200Hz +/-3dB (sealed mode)
  • Max Low Frequency Output:
  • 133.1dB @ 32Hz 1/8 space 1m

The 4000 Series starts shipping in early December 2017. The SB-4000 and PB-4000 are available in a premium black ash or piano gloss black finishes and come standard with a protective, non-resonant steel mesh grille. The PC-4000 features a piano gloss black top cap.

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Pricing for the 4000 Series Subwoofers:

  • SB-4000: P remium Black Ash - $1,499.99, Piano Gloss Black -  $1599.99
  • PB-4000: Premium Black Ash - $1,899.99, Piano Gloss Black -  $1999.99
  • PC-4000: Piano Gloss Black - $1799.99

Audio Research Announces the VT80SE Amplifier

Audio Research introduces the VT80SE, the Audio Research amplifier with the widest appeal to the greatest number of music lovers worldwide. By combining world-class performance with flexibility and features like auto-bias, the VT80 has been an amp that is easy to take home and just forget as you enjoy your music collection again for the first time.

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The big change from the VT80 to the new VT80SE is upgrading the KT120 tubes to the higher performance KT150 output tubes. Everyone should know that we have been deeply enamored with the KT150 as we feature it in all of our other amplifiers, from the VSi75 to the REF 750SE. Its performance is unparalleled and its 3,000 hour average life allows years of uninterrupted listening. The VT80 was originally designed with the KT120, the predecessor to the KT150, but these two tubes are electrically interchangeable and the demand for delivering the VT80 with the KT150 could be ignored no longer.

It is important to mention that the KT150 tubes supplied by Audio Research for all of our products are specially produced to our high standards, are tested and measured for quality control and assurance, and are burned in for 48 hours. Then using our “Certified Matched” process, they are hand matched in sets with tolerances 10x tighter than standard off-the-shelf tubes, thus ensuring the finest audio quality possible.

With its auto-bias design, the VT80SE can also be used with KT120 or KT150 output tubes and the circuit will adjust immediately when a new tube is installed. Protective fuses are installed for each output tube and can be replaced if the need ever arises.

What sonic improvements will you hear with the VT80SE? As our Warren Gehl said, “More music!” Tonal color, detail, dynamic swing and purity are all improved, along with a bigger and more robust presentation. The music gets better, in every way.

Aside from the beautiful curves of the KT150 tubes, the only other way to distinguish the SE from the original VT80 is by a small sticker on the rear panel. Nothing else needed to change. The existing (optional) ventilated tube cover can be used with the taller KT150 tube set, there is still sufficient space to breathe.

Hear for yourself how good your system can sound with the new VT80SE, it will make a tube-lover out of anyone who loves music. The new VT80SE is now available worldwide with an MSRP of $9,400 USD in Europe where it will include a required ventilated tube cage; MSRP for the rest of the world is $8,900 USD with the tube cage available as an option for $500. (source)

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Bluesound Introduces Wireless Surround Sound System Experience With BluOS®software App

Bluesound Introduces Wireless Surround Sound System Experience the vivid, cinematic detail of Bluesound’s first-ever wireless surround sound system with Dolby Digital®. 

The ability to create a PULSE 4.1 wireless home theater system with support for Dolby Digital® surround sound using the new BluOS®software and app released today, version 2.14, the PULSE SOUNDBAR and SUB can be wirelessly connected with a pair of PULSE FLEX speakers to act as dedicated rear wireless surround speakers for an immersive high-fidelity listening experience.  

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Designed to bring rich, detailed sound to movies, TV shows and games, Bluesound’s first-ever wireless surround sound system can be seamlessly integrated into any TV room, placing the listener right in the heart of their entertainment with a wide, high-quality surround sound experience. In addition, the Bluesound surround sound system is a powerful high-resolution music system and a part of the BluOS wireless multi-room ecosystem, with on-demand access to popular music services and the ability to wirelessly stream different music to multiple rooms or listen to the same music simultaneously all around the house.  

“We‘re making wireless home theater simple by putting the latest surround sound codecs in a smart multi-channel system that delivers immersive high-fidelity sound,” said Matt Simmonds, Bluesound Product Manager. “Without compromising any of our design, acoustics or engineering, our customers can enjoy all their movies, TV shows, and video games—with theater-style sound and expand the listening experience to any room in the home.”

A smart surround sound speaker system that uses a unique balance of hardware and software, the PULSE surround sound system utilizes Bluesound’s most advanced audio technologies to deliver heart-pounding bass and crystal-clear mids/highs for movie and music soundtracks. With support for Dolby Digital®, the ever-popular surround sound codec that revolutionized home cinema, listeners will enjoy a definitive surround sound experience with 360-degrees of realism and excitement.  

Like all other Bluesound Players, it can easily be set up on a home WiFi following step-by-step instructions in the BluOS app, and controlled using a smartphone, tablet, desktop, or any programmable IR remote control. The BluOS app also allows listeners to select one of three listening modes for the PULSE SOUNDBAR (TV, Music, and Movie) and fine tune each of the modes with advanced audio settings that include Late Night, Enhanced Dialogue, Deep Bass, Lip Sync Delay, and more.  

The PULSE SOUNDBAR (Starting at $999 USD), PULSE SUB ($599 USD), and PULSE FLEX ($299 USD) are available today at local Bluesound retailers and online at bluesound.com. Existing owners of these products interested in wireless home theater can upgrade their PULSE products to software version 2.14 or higher and download the latest BluOS apps for smartphone, tablet, and desktop. (source)

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