McIntosh Announces MCT500 SACD/CD Transport

McIntosh is proud to announce the MCT500 SACD/CD Transport.

The MCT500 is a digital only unit and features 4 digital outputs: industry standard balanced, coax and optical outputs plus our exclusive MCT connector. To enjoy CDs, it can be paired with any product that has standard digital inputs and a digital-to-analog convertor (DAC). 

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For SACD playback, the MCT500’s proprietary MCT output needs to be connected (via the included cable) to a McIntosh product with an MCT input. This includes select McIntosh preamplifiers and integrated amplifiers. When an MCT connection is made, a secure digital connection is created, allowing for the playback of the high definition audio found on SACDs. Regular CDs can also be played over the MCT connection.

All common disc types can be played on the MCT500, including SACD, CD, CD-R/RW and DVD-R. A USB input is conveniently located on the front panel for easy access. In addition to store bought CDs and SACDs, popular file formats such as AAC, AIFF, ALAC, DSD (up to DSD128), FLAC, MP3, WAV (up to 24-bit/192kHz) and WMA can be played from user generated CD or DVD Data Discs and USB flash drives. 

Disc handling is smooth and quiet thanks to an advanced disc transport with a precision die-cast aluminum tray. An advanced digital servo provides fast, quiet and accurate operation. A disc’s audio data is read at twice the normal rate insuring better disc tracking and error correction processing. 

Integration with other McIntosh system components is achieved via the Power Control and data ports. The MCT500 is wrapped in classic McIntosh styling with a polished stainless steel chassis, black glass front panel, illuminated logo and aluminum end caps.  

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Pricing and Availability
Orders for the MCT500 can now be placed with Authorized McIntosh dealers with shipping expected to begin in February.

Suggested retail price (VAT, shipping and any customs duties related to current standards of individual countries are excluded): $4,500 USD

Nordost Announces High-end USB-C Cable and Adapter

Nordost is proud to introduce the new Frey 2 USB Cable and Frey 2 USB C Adapter. The Frey 2 USB Cable is the first of Nordost’s USB offerings to provide both USB C and 3.0 compatibility. The Frey 2 USB C Adapter pairs with cables using Standard-A USB connectors (both 2.0 and 3.0 compatible), allowing them to be used with components that require a USB C termination. Both of these exciting products allow customers to continue to enjoy the benefits of Nordost as they upgrade their components. Nordost’s Frey 2 USB Cable and C Adapter are the perfect solutions for hifi audio enthusiasts integrating computer audio into their sound systems when using components that require USB C connectors, whether they are interested in a new, upgraded USB cable, or would rather extend the life of a previous investment.

The Frey 2 USB Cable uses solid core, silver-plated 99.99999% OFC signal conductors. Implementing a solid core design is essential when working with a cable of this caliber, completely eliminating the negative effects of strand interaction and skin effect. Each conductor is precision wound to correspond accurately with USB’s unique, hybrid twisted pair/non twisted pair geometry. The new Frey 2 cable utilizes Nordost’s proprietary FEP Micro Mono-Filament technology, which lowers the capacitance of the cable, both increasing signal speed and bandwidth. The conductors are shielded with a dual layer of braid and foil shielding in order to eliminate EMI and RFI and even comply with 3.0 standards. Finally, before being terminated with C to Standard B (2.0), Standard B (3.0), or Micro B (3.0) plugs, the Frey 2 USB is cut to mechanically tuned lengths, which reduce internal microphonics and high-frequency impedance resonance.

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The Frey 2 USB C Adapter utilizes the exact same cable construction as the Frey 2 USB Cable. From conductors to Micro Mono-Filament technology, shielding to mechanically tuned lengths, the Frey 2 USB C Adapter has all the makings of a high quality, hifi USB cable, creating an extension of your existing USB cable to ensure an identical sonic signature and performance level throughout your system. Terminated with a male USB C connector on one end, and a female Standard-A connector (both 2.0 and 3.0 compatible) on the other, the Frey 2 USB C Adapter will extend the life of your current USB cables while maintaining the hi-fidelity performance of your home sound system.

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Designed, manufactured, and hand-terminated entirely in the USA, both the Frey 2 USB Cable and Frey 2 USB C Adapter guarantee the accurate construction required to produce the best possible performance from computer audio equipment.

The Frey 2 USB Cable is available in lengths from 0.6 Meters to 2 Meters while the Frey 2 USB C Adapter is 17cm. Suggested retail price for the Frey 2 USB Cable starts at $599.99 and is set at $274.99 for a the Adapter.

Both the Frey 2 USB Cable and C Adapter will be available for purchase at select Nordost dealers, worldwide. To find the Nordost dealer nearest you, visit the “Where to Buy” page on www.nordost.com

McIntosh Introduces MC611 Quad Balanced Monoblock Power Amplifier

McIntosh is proud to announce the MC611 Quad Balanced Power Amplifier. The monoblock MC611 Quad Balanced Power Amplifier produces 600 Watts of power – enough to satisfy nearly any loudspeaker. A pair of MC611s can easily drive an impressive home stereo system, or add additional units to power each speaker of a home theater. Utilizing our unique output Autoformer™ technology, the full 600 Watts will be delivered to the speaker regardless if it has 2, 4 or 8 Ohm impedance, allowing the MC611 to be used to its full potential. 

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The MC611 has received numerous updates and improvements compared to the previous MC601 model. Chief among them is that filter capacity has been doubled which has resulted in a dramatic 55% increase in dynamic headroom from 1.8dB to 2.8dB. This twofold increase in filter capacity also helps improve the performance of low end bass frequencies. 

The front panel features new direct LED backlighting for improved appearance and color accuracy. On top, the audio Autoformer and power transformer are now contained in new glass topped enclosures. Behind them are 2 of our Monogrammed Heatsinks™ which connect to advanced high current output transistors that help eliminate thermal equilibrium lag time. 
On the back, there continues to be 3 sets of our Solid Cinch™ speaker binding posts (1 set for each speaker impedance), but space has been added between each set to allow for easier speaker cable connectivity. Other enhancements include heavier gauge internal wiring, upgraded circuit components and the addition of our eco-friendly power management system.
In addition to all these improvements, the MC611 remains full of other exclusive McIntosh technologies including Power Guard®, Sentry Monitor™, a Quad Balanced design and Power Control. Both a balanced and unbalanced output are included to make bi-amping or tri-amping speakers easier; they can also be used to send the audio signal to a secondary system or to connect a powered subwoofer. 

The MC611 sits on a beautiful polished stainless steel chassis and features the timeless McIntosh aesthetic of a black glass front panel, illuminated logo, control knobs, aluminum handles and a large 8” (20.3 cm) fast responding blue Watt meter.

Pricing and Availability

Orders for the MC611 can now be placed with Authorized McIntosh dealers with shipping expected to begin in February. Suggested retail price (VAT, shipping and any customs duties related to current standards of individual countries are excluded): $7,500 USD (source)

Nordost Introduces the Red Dawn USB-C Cable

Nordost is excited to announce that we will be extending our lineup of USB cables to include the new Red Dawn USB. The Red Dawn USB Cable is the first of Nordost's USB options to offer USB-C  plug compatibility, which is quickly becoming an industry standard due to its adoption by Apple in its newest line of laptops. Nordost’s Red Dawn USB Cable is the perfect solution for hifi audio enthusiasts integrating computer audio into their sound systems when using components that require USB C connectors.

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The Red Dawn USB Cable uses silver-plated 99.9999%, OFC signal conductors, optimally designed for digital signal transfer. Each conductor is precision wound to correspond accurately with USB’s unique, hybrid twisted pair/ non twisted pair geometry. The new Red Dawn cable also utilizes Nordost’s proprietary FEP Micro Mono-Filament technology, which allows it to transcend the speed and precision necessary for higher bandwidth and high speed, digital signal transmission. The conductors are then shielded with a dual layer of braid and foil shielding, in order to eliminate EMI and RFI and surpass USB 2.0 standards.

This cable is available terminated with C to Standard B (2.0), Mini B (2.0), or Micro B (2.0) plugs. The Red Dawn USB ensures that all the necessary information will be delivered with the efficiency and diligence needed to maintain the correct impedance to dramatically lift your hifi system to a new level of performance.

Designed, manufactured, and hand-terminated entirely in the USA, the Red Dawn USB Cable guarantees the accurate construction required to produce the best possible performance from computer audio equipment.

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Insulation: Fluorinated Ethylene Propylene (FEP)
  • Construction: Micro Mono-Filament, hybrid twisted pair/non twisted pair geometry
  • Material: Stranded silver-plated 99.9999% OFC
  • Overall Shield Coverage: 100% Total Coverage
  • Termination: Type C to Standard B 2.0, Micro B 2.0, or Mini B 2.0

The Red Dawn USB Cable is available in lengths from 0.3 meters to 2 meters. Suggested retail price for this product starts at $274.99 for a 0.3meter length.

The Red Dawn USB Cable is now available for purchase at select Nordost dealers, worldwide. To find the Nordost dealer nearest you, visit the “Where to Buy” page on www.nordost.com. (source)

MrSpeakers Introduces VOCE Electrostatic Headphones

VOCE is Italian for voice, which seemed an appropriate name for an electrostatic that was designed from day 1 to bring a unique sound signature to the electrostatic headphone market. VOCE was designed with comfort in mind, and delivers electrostatic clarity and resolution with bass that's nearly flat to 10Hz in a design that lets you comfortably enjoy hours of continuous listening. 

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VOCE is a ground-up design and features numerous unique features:

  • All-new 88mm 2.4 micron thick electrostatic driver, able to reach the deepest lows and the highest highs
  • Compatible with Stax Pro-bias (580V) amplifiers and energizers
  • MrSpeakers' signature headband using NiTinol memory metal with our unique hinge-free assembly for improved reliability, lighter weight and greater comfort
  • User replaceable 2m (6ft) custom designed silver-plated copper headphone round cable that is supple, non-microphonic, very low capacitance and lightweight
  • Custom made amplifier plug (Stax Pro Bias Compatible) with machined Teflon body, gold plated solid OFC pins, and machined housing for optimum sound and reliability
  • Storage and shipping box that doubles as a beautiful display case and headphone stand. The case even has a cable slot so you can leave your headphone plugged in while stored
  • Tuning kit supports three unique voicings so you can tune your VOCE to your preferences

Our goal with VOCE is to deliver all the excitement and clarity of electrostatics, but with dynamics and lower end impact more typical of the best planar or dynamic headphones. With several tuning options, VOCE can range from a slightly brighter tone similar to some higher end electrostatics, to a very neutral or even slightly dark voicing, though the latter loses a bit of resolving power, for people more concerned with tone (or EDM fans) this can be a very enjoyable voicing. In short, VOCE delivers electrostatic resolution with a full and powerful bottom end, a very large soundstage, a nuanced and full midrange, and smooth, non-fatiguing highs.

Box features include:

  • Real walnut hardwood
  • Hinged clear acrylic front doors with magnetic fasteners
  • A built-in integrated headphone stand
  • A convenient front-slot for the cable so the headphones may be left plugged-in while stored
  • Price: MSRP $2999.99

VOCE is available for order today at MrSpeakers online store and authorized dealers. VOCE shipments will begin in Feb, 2018 and we are now taking orders. (source)

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Audeze Announces iSINE LX In-ear Headphones

Audeze announces the newest addition to their critically acclaimed iSINE series of in-ear headphones.

The iSINE series of in-ear headphones, the choice for artists and audiophiles worldwide, combines innovative technology and avant-garde design to deliver an immersive, dynamic music experience unlike any other in-ear. The iSINE LX shares the same engineering DNA as the rave iSINE10 and iSINE20, but features a bold new, modern look and the amazing price of $199 with standard audio cable and $259 with Cipher Lightning & standard audio cable.

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"The iSINE LX is the first Audeze headphone to utilize our newly developed automated driver-manufacturing process at our California facility. The launch of the iSINE LX demonstrates our ongoing commitment for continued product and manufacturing process innovation allowing us to manufacture our headphones in the United States," said CEO Sankar Thiagasamudram.

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Miniaturizing Planar drivers is no small feat

The new iSINE LX contains all of Audeze’s exclusive patented technology including power enhancing Fluxor™ Magnets and ultra-thin diaphragms with patented Uniforce™ voice-coil technology. The iSINE LX delivers astonishingly clear, accurate, and spacious sound with spectacular bass. The distortion (THD) is less than 0.1% overall even at high volumes, an amazing achievement for in-ear headphone designs. Near zero distortion sound means you’ll feel closer to your music.

Additionally, the iSINE LX are the latest Audeze headphones that work with REVEAL, a set of free plug-ins (available for free download at Audeze.com) that can be used for mixing and mastering on the go. REVEAL is compatible with most popular digital audio workstations (DAWs) and is now available in VST/AU/AAX formats for PC and Mac.

The $199 iSINE LX, sold exclusively in USA, comes with a standard 1.5m audio cable. For an additional $60, customers can add the optional CIPHER™ Lightning cable that connects the headphone to an iPhone via the Lightning port. This award-winning cable takes digital audio directly from the Apple device and uses its own built-in DAC and amplifier for superior audio quality -- even voice call quality is improved.

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The company's most affordable headphone is now available to purchase online at Audeze.com. It will also be available at Amazon.com. (source)

Sennheiser Introduces CX 6.00BT Bluetooth In-ear Headphones

Sennheiser introduces the CX 6.00BT, new Bluetooth in-ear headphones that let you enjoy brilliant sound on the go. The CX 6.00BT features ear-canal earbuds joined by a cable around the neck – a lightweight design that is compact yet robust and provides superior fit and comfort.

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Powered by Sennheiser’s high-quality proprietary speaker system, the CX 6.00BT delivers clear, detailed sound with an enhanced bass response. Thanks to Bluetooth 4.2 and Qualcomm® apt-X™, it is possible to enjoy this uncompromised wireless audio performance to the full. Qualcomm® apt-X™ Low Latency compatibility also enhances gaming or video viewing by keeping the audio transmission perfectly in sync with the visuals.

“We have created the CX 6.00BT to deliver everything you need to enjoy excellent sound on the go,” said Nan Chen, Product Manager at Sennheiser. “Thanks to the latest wireless technologies you can enjoy this unspoilt audio experience with the flexibility of supremely compact, lightweight and comfortable Bluetooth headphones.” 

Technical Data

  • Color: black
  • Frequency response: 17-21,000 Hz
  • Sound pressure level (SPL): 112 dB (1kHz/0 dBFS)
  • Battery Specification: Lithium-ion polymer
  • Bluetooth Version: 4.2
  • THD + N, total harmonic distortion and noise: <0.5% (1kHz, 100dB)
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A lightweight design with heavyweight features

The headphones’ features include convenient multi-connection capability that enables pairing with up to two devices simultaneously, for example when switching between one’s phone and computer. The CX 6.00BT has an integrated microphone with cVc noise cancellation technology for crystal clear calls on the go and supports 3-way calling. Alongside a three-button remote for controlling music and calls, the headphones provide convenient voice prompts notifying the user of battery status.

The CX 6.00BT also delivers superior comfort and security: Sennheiser has created an around-the-neck cable design that balances and minimizes the weight of the angled ergonomic earpieces to ensure that they stay in place. For an optimized fit, it features a cable divider for better adjustment and comes provided with a choice of four sizes of ear adapters to ensure excellent attenuation of ambient noise. Despite its feather-light 14g weight, it is tough enough to take anywhere, thanks to its robust build quality and durable materials.

With a six-hour battery life, the CX 6.00BT has been designed to complement busy lifestyles, with convenient fast charging via USB that can add two hours of battery time in just ten minutes and can be fully charged in only 1.5 hours.

What's in the box?

  • CX 6.00BT In-Ear Wireless headphones
  • USB charching cable
  • Ear adapter set (XS/S/M/L)
  • Carry case

The new CX 6.00BT will be available from January 2018 for 99 EUR/99.95 USD (MSRP).

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