Cuttin-Edge, On-the-Spot Reporting

Acoustic Revive’s New Audio Cables and Accessories Use Rare Mineral Found Only in Japan

Founded in 1997 by Ken Ishiguro, Acoustic Revive is a Japanese maker of audio cables and accessories that is headquartered in the city of Isesaki-shi, about 60 miles northwest of Tokyo. As a teenager growing up in Isesaki-shi during the 1970s, Ishiguro became swept up in the ten-year anniversary of the Beatles’ Japan invasion and frequently visited local audio shops to hear the band’s music.

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Meitner Audio's New MA3 DAC-Streamer and Collaborations with International DJs

Recently, John McGurk of AudioShield, distributor of EMM Labs and its lower-priced co-brand, Meitner Audio, told me that Meitner had released the new MA3 integrated digital-to-analog converter (DAC) with internal music streamer ($9500, all prices USD). The MA3’s introduction interested me—not because there’s a shortage of combo DAC-streamers out there, but because EMM Labs or Meitner Audio introducing an integrated (i.e., multifunction) component is a rare event.

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Details About Gryphon's New Vanta Cables That You Won't Find Elsewhere

Reasonable or not, we all have our biases. One of mine is that I am generally reluctant to buy an audio cable or power cord from a component manufacturer. Frankly, when someone mentions that they’ve done just that, I cringe a bit inside. But I always hold my tongue, especially if they have already completed the purchase.

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Parasound Presents via Zoom at the Audiophile Society

On August 21, 2020, Richard Schram, the founder, president, and CEO of Parasound, gave a Zoom presentation to over 50 members of the New York-based Audiophile Society.

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Linn Announces the Launch of Its Updated Majik DSM Single-Box Music Player

Linn recently held a press event via Zoom to announce the launch of the next-generation Majik DSM single-box network music player and integrated amplifier ($3835, all prices USD). A similar event for customers was held shortly after. Linn states that the Majik DSM is an entry-level network player aimed at both first-time hi-fi buyers and existing ones who want to bring audiophile sound to places in their homes that are outside of their main listening rooms.

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Alta Audio Brand and Product Relaunch Event

On July 30, 2020, speaker manufacturer Alta Audio held a brand and product relaunch event for retail dealers and the press. The event was a precursor to a similar event for customers, and it introduced several new and updated products scheduled for release this month. Attending the press event on behalf of the company was Michael Levy, the firm’s founder and chief executive officer, as well as Adam Sohmer, its public relations representative. Also present was Krell Industries’ chief operating officer, Walter Schofield, who spoke about his experiences with Alta’s speakers.

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A Visit to Bache Audio

Located in Brooklyn, New York, Bache Audio mostly manufactures audiophile speakers. On July 5, 2020, Greg Belman, Bache’s founder, invited me over for a listening session. It was my first face-to-face audio meeting since the global pandemic’s start.

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Krell Industries Presents at a Zoom Meeting Held by the Audiophile Society

The times have changed. If not for the global pandemic, I would have been reporting recently from audio events that were scheduled to be held in Germany and Switzerland, not the least of which was Munich’s High End 2020 show. Of course, those events were cancelled, and SoundStage! Global, which covers worldwide audio happenings, has had to at least temporarily scramble to find content. So on June 26, 2020, I attended an Audiophile Society Zoom meeting during which members of Krell Industries gave a presentation. Truth be told, since I am a Society member, I would have attended the meeting and reported on it anyway.

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An Audition of MC Audiotech's Forty-10 Loudspeaker

Doug Schneider, the SoundStage! Network’s founder, isn’t much into audio gimmickry. He’s seen a lot of products in his 26 years as a journalist, and he pretty quickly separates the wheat from the chaff. Products that are based on suspect or imaginary technologies don’t get much attention from him.

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Listening to the Gryphon Audio Designs Ethos CD Player and the Kronos Pro Turntable

On February 14, Andrew Singer, proprietor of Sound by Singer, an audio store in New York City’s Chelsea neighborhood, hosted Denmark’s Gryphon Audio Designs for a demonstration that asked a simple question: could Gryphon’s statement Ethos CD player/upsampling digital-to-analog converter ($39,000, all prices USD) compete with a high-end turntable?

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Howard’s January 2020 Trip to Japan: Technical Audio Devices Laboratories

Having only one unallocated day left to meet with audio manufacturers during my planned January 2020 trip to Japan, I called Andrew Jones, Elac’s vice president of engineering, for a manufacturer recommendation. Before joining Elac, Jones designed speakers for Japan’s Pioneer Corporation and its high-end subsidiary, Technical Audio Devices Laboratories, better known as TAD. Perhaps not surprisingly, Jones suggested that I contact TAD’s Tokyo headquarters, which I did. Shortly thereafter, January 16 was confirmed as the date of my visit.

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Howard’s January 2020 Trip to Japan: Asahi Kasei Microdevices Corporation (AKM)

I’m always on the lookout for interesting companies to tour when I visit Japan. On this last trip in January, I thought it would be informative to check out Asahi Kasei Microdevices (AKM), maker of, among other things, digital-to-analog converter (DAC) chips. AKM doesn’t sell directly to audiophiles, but rather to many audio manufacturers who incorporate the company’s products into their components. However, despite AKM’s industry-wide reach, it’s known only vaguely, if at all, to most audiophiles. As it turns out, I had no idea just how interesting my visit would be.

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Howard’s January 2020 Trip to Japan: Accuphase Laboratory

Thanks to an introduction made by Canadian distributor Audio Alliance, Accuphase Laboratory was the first stop on my January 2020 trip to Japan. Traveling from my hotel in Tokyo’s bustling Ueno area in the Taito district, I arrived at a local train station to meet Kohei Nishigawa, Accuphase’s international marketing supervisor. “I came to pick you up in the Accuphase car,” Nishigawa offered. Sure enough, he directed me to the station’s parking lot, where we got into a white Toyota SUV bearing orange Accuphase logos on its sides and rear.

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A Day at Synergistic Research

On December 16, 2019, I visited Synergistic Research’s headquarters and factory, located in Santa Ana, California. Glad to avoid the unwieldy Los Angeles International Airport for the smaller and virtually painless John Wayne Airport, which is located only about ten minutes from my destination, I was greeted curbside by Andy Wiederspahn, Synergistic Research’s general manager.

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First Look and Listen: Magico’s New A5 Loudspeaker

Shortly before the beginning of 2018, Soundstage! Network founder Doug Schneider visited Magico founder Alon Wolf at the company’s headquarters and factory in Hayward, California, to hear the then-new Magico A3 loudspeaker ($12,300/pair, all prices USD). On December 17, 2019, almost two years after Doug’s visit, I arrived at Magico to hear the company’s new A5 loudspeaker ($21,800/pr.).

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