Sonic Studio Announce A Fresh Update For Amarra 4 Luxe and Amarra 4.

Sonic Studio is excited to announce a fresh, new update for both Amarra 4 Luxe and Amarra 4! If you already own a copy of Amarra 4 Luxe, update to version 4.1 now to add MQA playback for TIDAL Masters and local MQA tracks to your toolkit.

Amarra 4 owners, this update is for you too! Download the free update to take advantage of performance improvements, superior sound, bug fixes and a better user experience. Better yet, check out MQA, TIDAL, a more powerful EQ and other additional options and upgrade now to Amarra 4 Luxe. (source)


What can MQA do for You?

With an MQA Enabled DAC

  • Full MQA Decoding or Rendering capabilities
  • Platform-specific DAC compensation and management
  • Results in up to 4x sample rates (176kHz/192kHz), 24 bit

What can you Expect from Amarra 4 Luxe?

Without an MQA Enabled DAC

  • TIDAL Streaming MQA Support
  • Local file MQA playback
  • Amarra 4 Luxe performs MQA Core Decoding unfolding MQA files to deliver the sound of the original master recording
  • Results in up to 2x sample rates (88.2kHz/96kHz), 24 bit

Enjoy the best of all worlds in one package

  • Integrated TIDAL support with MQA Masters!
  • Scan your local music collection including DSD, MQA*, FLAC, ALAC*, AAC*, AIFF, WAV, AAC*, MP3 and more
  • Import your iTunes music and playlists

* Pending support for Windows (See the Amarra 4 Luxe User Manual for details)


Easily Navigate the clean and intuitive User Interface

  • Your local and TIDAL music in one place
  • View your library by Songs, Albums, Artists, Playlists, or Now Playing Queue
  • Utilize the powerful search function and embedded links to keep every track at your fingertips
  • Browse your library and quickly navigate back to your current track with the new Now Playing List
  • Select the best sound for your system with our powerful Sonic Mastering EQ

Experience the best DSP processing

  • Mastering Equalization with a personal touch
  • DSD/PCM 1X/2X, and MQA core decoding
  • Up-sampling brings an extraordinary sound to your music
  • Included Amarra iOS Remote lets you surf, select and operate remotely

McIntosh Announces
 MC1.25KW Quad Balanced Power Amplifier

McIntosh is proud to announce the MC1.25KW Quad Balanced Power Amplifier.

The MC1.25KW is our newest and one of our most advanced amplifiers. Redesigned from top to bottom, it replaces the venerable MC1.2KW as our most powerful single chassis monoblock amplifier. A simple glance at the 158 pound (71.7 kg) MC1.25KW is enough to convey its power and performance capabilities, but when you hear it – then you’ll truly understand what it can do.
The MC1.25KW outputs 1,200 Watts of pure power into a single channel with a nearly imperceptible total harmonic distortion of 0.005%. This astonishing amount of power is fully available to 2, 4 or 8 Ohm speakers via our Autoformer™ technology. A pair of these amps can anchor a home audio system that can rival nearly any stereo system in the world. 

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Updates and enhancements abound in the MC1.25KW. A 50% increase in filter capacity improves the performance of low end frequencies as well as increasing dynamic headroom. The top of the amp showcases an updated yet unmistakable McIntosh industrial design that will fit right in with current McIntosh products or those made decades ago. The audio Autoformer and power transformer remain located just behind the front panel but are now contained in new glass topped enclosures. In between them is new circular glasswork housing the amplifier’s name badge that is adorned with a decorative trim ring.

Towards the rear of the unit are 4 of our McIntosh Monogrammed Heatsinks™. Made from high quality materials with excellent thermal conductivity properties, these heatsinks are so efficient at dissipating heat that they warrant bearing the McIntosh “Mc” logo. They connect to advanced high current output transistors that eliminate thermal equilibrium lag time so that the first musical note played sounds just as good as songs played later in the listening session. The heatsinks are capped with handsome ventilation trim plates. These trim plates and the circular trim ring are made from aluminum and are finished to match the front panel handles. 

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All of this sits atop a polished stainless steel chassis which rests on 4 new redesigned feet that feature a chamfered edge. Other updates include an updated power transformer, heavier gauge internal wiring, upgraded circuit components, and the addition of our eco-friendly power management system that will turn the amp off after a set amount of time when no input signal has been detected. The AC receptacle has been repositioned to provide additional clearance so a wider assortment of power cords can more easily be used.

With all the changes and improvements made in the MC1.25KW, one thing that hasn’t changed is the large, fast responding 11” (27.9 cm) blue Watt meter that accurately shows the amp’s power output. Also unchanged is the signature black glass front panel with control knobs, illuminated logo, and aluminum end caps with handles. The front panel and meter have new direct LED backlighting for improved appearance and color accuracy. 

Other exclusive McIntosh features included in the MC1.25KW include Power Guard®, Sentry Monitor™, Quad Balanced design, Power Control and our patented Solid Cinch™ speaker binding posts. 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 if the preamplifier does not have enough outputs or to connect a powered subwoofer.

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Pricing and AvailabilityOrders for the MC1.25KW can now be placed with Authorized McIntosh dealers with shipping expected to begin in November. Suggested retail price (VAT, shipping and any customs duties related to current standards of individual countries are excluded): $12,500 USD. (source)

iFi Audio introduces nano iDSD Black Label DAC/Amplifier

iFi Audio introduces the nano iDSD Black Label DAC/Amplifier. Following a tradition of designing compact desktop audio products with remarkable performance, iFi has raised the bar with their latest entry. Despite its lightweight and compact size, the nano iDSD Black Label is not only powerful but smart as well. It includes iEMatch, a clever feature that lets the user choose how much power to apply to their headphones, so it matches sensitive IEMs as well as larger headphones. For added convenience, the nano iDSD Black Label is battery powered so it can go everywhere without draining the battery of the phone or player. Outputting 10 times more power than a typical laptop or phone and with a built-in iEMatch, the compact nano iDSD Black Label can drive virtually any set of headphones or in-ear monitors (IEMs) with audiophile quality sound.   

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High-Res Certified- As for its sound credentials, the nano iDSD Black Label is one of the most high-resolution DACs on the market. It supports PCM up to 32/384 kHz and DSD up to 256 times the sample rate of a CD. It is also certified as ‘High-Res Audio’ by the Japan Electronics and Information Technology Industries Association (JEITA) and Japan Audio Society (JAS). 

Master Quality Authenticated- MQA is typically found in high-end audio components yet it is on board in the nano iDSD BL. MQA technology offers studio-quality sound exactly as the artist intended. Using pioneering scientific research into how people hear, MQA technology captures the full magic of the original studio performance. MQA is a revolutionary end-to-end technology that delivers master quality audio in a file that’s small enough to stream or download and because it’s fully authenticated, listeners can be sure they are hearing exactly what the artist recorded and approved in the studio. MQA is the first technology to capture this crucial timing information – to transport the listener to the original performance. And it is built in with the nano iDSD Black Label. 

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Other features new with the nano iDSD Black Label are: 

  • The integrated iPurifier adds noise isolation for USB Input
  • The new OTG ‘A-Type’ USB input links seamlessly with iPhone/smartphones and tablets
  • The analog stage features dual-mono design and a dedicated fixed level line out.
  • S-Balanced wiring system for the headphone outputs. This gives the full benefit of balanced outputs when used with headphones/IEMs fitted with balanced wiring with low noise and distortion. Even cuts crosstalk in half for unbalanced headphones.

“The micro iDSD has been a really popular product for iFi and the Black Label simply takes it to another level.”, commented Victoria Pickles, Head of Global Marketing for iFi audio. “iFi set out to design an affordable, great sounding DAC/Amp and we believe the nano iDSD Black Label will quickly be viewed as best in class in both performance and value.” 

The nano iDSD Black Label is available for immediate delivery with an MSRP of $199 U.S.(source)

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iFi Audio Introduces Gemini3.0 & Mercury3.0 USB Cables

With generic USB cables, the data and the power cables are normally compacted and do not conduct anywhere near as well as they should. They are not sufficiently shielded from each other. This has a negative impact on the USB signal and, therefore, on sound quality. Not so, our new and improved dynamic duo.

The Gemini3.0 dual-headed cable carries audio and power in two separate cables. This separates the USB data signal from the USB power and limits interference. Furthermore, signal and ground have their own respective geometry for optimal conductivity.

The retail price of the Gemini3.0 is:

  • 0.7 metres - US$379 (ex tax) or €419 / £379 (incl tax)
  • 1.5 metres - US$529 (ex tax) or €599 / £259 (incl tax)

The Mercury3.0 single run cable has quadruple shielding to fully separate and protect the delicate USB data signal from the USB power and reduce noise contamination. It comes with the newest version of our custom-made RF noise silencers


The USB3.0 platform mandates better connectors and higher quality cables and both Gemini3.0 and Mercury3.0 meet these needs with ease.

This much higher standard transmission platform means USB audio passes with the least disturbance. It enables faster, smoother and less-jittery audio and power transfer.

As audio transmission standards improve, the Gemini3.0 with its USB ultra-speed bandwidth of 5.0Gbps, is also future-proofed. (source)

The retail price of the Mercury3.0  is:

  • 0.5 metres – US$209 (ex tax) or €239 / £209 (incl tax)
  • 1.0 metres – US$269 (ex tax) or €299 / £269 (incl tax)

McIntosh Announces MA252 Hybrid Integrated Amplifier

The McIntosh MA252 Integrated Amplifier is the first hybrid integrated amplifier from McIntosh. Taking retro design cues from the legendary McIntosh MC275 Vacuum Tube Amplifier, the MA252 combines the best of vacuum tube and solid-state circuit design to create an amplifier that’s both visually and sonically stunning.

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The preamplifier stage uses two 12AX7a and two 12AT7 vacuum tubes housed inside stylish protective cages; the output stage is a direct coupled solid-state amplifier that delivers 100 Watts per channel into 8 Ohm speakers or 160 Watts per channel into 4 Ohm speakers. An all analog design, it comes with 2 unbalanced, 1 balanced and 1 Moving Magnet phono input. All 4 inputs can be given user-friendly names in order to simplify user control. Bass and treble tone controls help fine tune the music to one’s personal preferences. A full range subwoofer output is included for use with a powered subwoofer to further enhance low frequencies. 

The MA252 features our McIntosh Monogrammed Heatsinks™ which are connected to advanced high current output transistors. These transistors eliminate the typical amplifier warm-up time so that the MA252 is in peak operating condition from the moment it’s turned on. A powerful control microprocessor is used for smooth system operation, along with some of the latest audio-grade circuit components that deliver the best possible sound. 

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Thanks to its solid-state output, the MA252 is our first product containing vacuum tubes to include our patented Power Guard® technology. Power Guard monitors the output signal for signs of overdriving and makes real-time micro adjustments to the input signal to prevent harsh sounding clipping that could potentially damage the speakers. If Power Guard is activated, the 2 vacuum tubes connected to the affected audio channel(s) will flash an amber color; they will return to their normal green color when the clipping has stopped. 

Other McIntosh technologies found in the MA252 include Sentry Monitor™, High Drive headphone amplifier and gold-plated speaker binding posts. Input selection, bass, treble, tone bypass, balance and input offset levels can be adjusted using the front panel knobs or the included remote control; all settings and input selection will be shown on the OLED display. The entire unit sits atop a beautiful polished stainless steel chassis with a classic McIntosh-styled die-cast aluminum name badge attached to each side.

Pricing and AvailabilityOrders for the MA252 can now be placed with Authorized McIntosh dealers with shipping expected to begin in November. (source)

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Klipsch Announces Reference™ Theater Pack Speakers

Klipsch announces the debut of its Reference™ Theater Pack. The compact 5.1 surround sound system is the only horn-loaded pre-packaged surround sound system available today. It incorporates the same legendary acoustics, premium materials, and advanced technology as the revered Klipsch Reference series of speakers.


Bridging the gap between convenient sound bars and complex home theaters, the Klipsch Reference Theater Pack is a seven-piece 5.1 surround sound system that delivers a full cinematic experience. Each system is comprised of four satellite speakers for full cinematic surround sound, a dedicated center channel that provides clear dialogue, a wireless subwoofer for room-filling bass, and a wireless transmitter that allows for versatile subwoofer placement in any room.
“This is the easiest way to get award-winning, powerful Klipsch Reference home theater sound. It’s the complete system in one compact package ­— just add an AV receiver,” said Kerry Geist, product manager at Klipsch Group. 


The Klipsch Reference Theater Pack delivers superior acoustic performance by leveraging premium materials and advanced technology. The satellite speakers and center channel feature 3.5” copper Injection Molded Graphite woofers and ¾” aluminum Linear Travel Suspension tweeters for minimal distortion and enhanced detailed performance. Exclusive Tractrix® horn technology delivers impressive high-end response and powerful dynamics. The all-digital subwoofer features a down-firing 8” woofer and port, plus a 150W high-efficiency digital amplifier for deep, clean bass.
Not only is the wireless subwoofer easy to place in any room, each satellite speaker has a keyhole mount and a ¼” x 20 threaded insert for additional mounting options. The Klipsch Reference Theater Pack (U.S. MSRP $999) is available in a black brushed polymer finish. It is available now at select retailers and at (source)

Klipsch Announces R-28PF and R-14PM Reference™ Powered Speakers

Klipsch announces the debut of its expanded Reference™ Powered speaker series. The plug-and-play lineup now includes two-channel towers and additional monitor speakers with groundbreaking technology.
“We’ve taken the complication and guesswork out of premium home audio. These powered speakers combine the bold sound Klipsch is legendary for with the easiest set-up and use on the planet,” said Andre LaRouce, director of product development, integrated systems for Klipsch Group, Inc.
Klipsch Reference R-28PF powered floorstanding speakers and R-14PM powered monitors deliver powerful, detailed sound while eliminating the need for expensive, complicated external electronics and speaker wire. The speakers can be set up easily in minutes to any audio source utilizing a wide range of digital, analog and wireless inputs. The powered speakers come turntable-, computer-, and TV-ready, featuring a 24-bit/192kHz digital-to-analog converter (DAC) and RIAA-equalized phono pre-amplifier. They also include Bluetooth® wireless technology to play music directly from any device. A subwoofer output perfectly blends the speakers with any powered subwoofer.


The Klipsch Reference R-28PF floorstanding speakers deliver powerful sound in a 2-channel audio configuration. Dual 8” copper spun magnetically shielded IMG woofers, 1” linear travel suspension (LTS) in Tractrix® horns, and bi-amplified ultra low-noise 260W amplifier are custom-designed to maximize system performance. A digital crossover, equalizer, and limiters deliver high performance without distortion.  


The Klipsch Reference R-14PM powered monitor speakers feature one 4” copper spun magnetically shielded IMG woofer and ¾” LTS tweeters in Tractrix horns. They also incorporate an individual ultra low-noise 80W amplifier custom-designed to maximize system performance.


The Klipsch Reference R-28PF (US MSRP $1,199 pr.) and R-14PM (US MSRP $399 pr.) are available in a black brushed polymer finish. They are now available at select retailers and at (source)