Archives for June 2003

Pioneer Taps Professional TAD Studio Monitor Technology for High-End Home Audio Reference Loudspeakers

Pioneer Corporation has announced that it will introduce a TAD brand speaker system for the first time to the consumer market later this year.

Described as “a new reference speaker system of the 21st century for consumers in the high-end audio market,” the new TAD-M1 loudpseaker will go on sale in Japan, with a projected price of 3,000,000 Yen (approx. $25,000 US), in October 2003.

Pioneer’s TAD (Technical Audio Devices) professional speakers are recognized as a leading brand of studio monitors. Since they first appeared in the US in 1978 (1981 in Japan), TAD speakers have been used in many of the world’s major recording studios. And over these past 25 years they have earned respect and rave reviews from many top artists and engineers, who appreciate their reliability and quality as monitor speakers for recording and digital remastering.

Pioneer says the TAD-M1 will be optimized for performance with advanced high-resolution audio sources, such as DVD-Audio and Super Audio CD (SACD). The TAD-M1 speaker system is the first TAD brand product aimed at the consumer market.

Main Features of the TAD-M1

CST Coaxial Unit
CST (Coherent Source Transducer) is a coaxial speaker technology that controls the phase and directivity of the drive unit across a broad frequency spectrum. By employing a tweeter that is mounted concentrically within a shallow midrange cone, the phasing and off-axis response problems of conventional drivers are eliminated.

16cm Beryllium Diaphragm
Beryllium has been used for both the mid-range and tweeter diaphragms. A light yet rigid metal, Beryllium performs with strength and damping characteristics unmatched by any of the materials currently used in high-end audio speakers. This produces near-perfect piston behavior in the speaker, resulting in cleaner sound and greater accuracy of reproduction.

OFGMS Magnetic Circuit for the Woofer and Mid-range Bass
A short-voice-type OFGMS (Optimized Field Geometry Magnet Structure) magnetic circuit has been newly developed for these speaker units. The density of the magnetic flux in the long gap of 37 mm (in the woofer) has been made uniform, and a voice coil has been placed inside the consistently uniform magnetic gap (patent pending) to ensure stable operation, even during large amplitude, and to reproduce the waveform correctly without limitations imposed by the amplitude. A tri-laminate composite cone diaphragm has been newly developed to obtain ideal physicality, including structural strength, for the woofer and mid-range bass. This enables clear, rich bass and a gentle mid-range bass reproduction, with free of coloration.

SILENT Enclosure for Beautiful Sound as well as Beautiful Style
The enclosure is a vital element in shaping the sound image and sound space. TAD’s structurally inert, laminated enclosure technology (SILENT) refers to a bass enclosure uniquely constructed from more that 50 individually machined layers of high-quality laminated Birch. This complex design and integrally cross-braced construction eliminates flexing and is immune to the high forces and pressures exerted by the bass drivers.

ISO (Isolation) Drive, to bring out accurate, precise strength in sound
TAD’s proprietary ISO Drive technology enables the vibration energy produced by the midrange driver to be isolated from the cabinet. This results in significantly decreased contribution to the sound field from the undesirable vibration of the cabinet, and improves the resolution of fine detail.


Design: 4-way Vented Box System
Drive Units: 2 X 250mm Tri-laminate composite cone bass driver
1 X 200mm Tri-Laminate composite cone mid-bass driver
1 X 160mm Beryllium CST mid-range / HF driver (35mm)
Frequency Range: 25Hz to 100kHz
Frequency Response: 30Hz – 20kHz +/–3dB
Crossover Frequencies: 100Hz, 350Hz, 2.2kHz
Amplifier Requirement: 50W – 300W
Sensitivity: 90dB/2.83v/1m
Nominal Impedance: 4 ohms (minimum 3.2 ohms)
Weight: 130kg
Dimensions: Height: 1380 mm, Width: 580 mm, Depth: 568mm

TAD Loudspeakers Web Site

dbx Ships AFS 224 Feedback Suppression Processor for Live Reinforcement and Installation Applications

dbx Professional is now shipping the new AFS 224 Advanced Feedback Suppression processor. The AFS 224 is designed to provide state-of-the-art feedback elimination processing, while maintaining a simple and intuitive control interface. It has an estimated street price of $299.95.

From the powerful DSP module to the no-nonsense user interface, the AFS 224 provides all the processing and control necessary for both installation and live use.

The accepted industry standard is a 10- or 12-filter feedback elimination processor, but the engineering staff at dbx have never been content to accept the status quo. So, to raise the bar once again, they have developed a dedicated feedback suppression processor that offers up to 24 filters per channel, with widths as narrow as 1/80 of an octave.

To achieve this amount of control, which takes all of the guesswork out of feedback removal, dbx employs their patent-pending AFS technology. AFS has previously only been available in the upper echelon line of dbx products.

In addition to the large number of feedback suppression filters available, the AFS 224 also offers selectable modes, live filter lift, and various application-specific types of filtration, which are all readily available via an intuitive user interface front panel.

Key Features:

  • dbx’s Patent-pedning (Advanced Feedback Suppression) AFS™ technology
  • 24 Programmable Filters per Channel
  • Stereo or Dual Independent Channel Processing
  • Live and Fixed Filter Modes
  • Selectable Filter Lift Times
  • Application-specific filter types include: Speech and Music Low, Med and High
  • Input channel Metering
  • 24 LED per Channel Filter Metering
  • XLR and TRS Inputs and Outputs

dbx Professional Web Site

New Loudspeakers From Cadence Audio, Revolver and Aliante Make North American Debuts at HE2003

Several new loudspeaker designs from Europe made their first North American appearances earlier this month at the Home Entertainment Show (HE2003) in San Francisco.

Randy Bankert of O.S. Services, the California-based distributor of several quality hi-fi lines from the U.K., Italy and Germany, was on hand to demo new models from Cadence Audio, Revolver, and Aliante.

Cadence Audio Arista

The Arista is Cadence Audio‘s newest addition to their line of electrostatic hybrid loudspeakers. It is based on several technologies derived from Cadence’s flagship Arca speaker, and it comes priced at $5,495 (US) per pair.

Key features of the Arista include:

  • a proprietary electrostatic panel which is impervious to humidity and which is designed to prevent arcing, thereby extending the useful life of the panels well beyond that of conventional electrostatic panels
  • improved Linkwitz filters for smooth impedance curve and coherent wave propagation
  • Eton Hexacomb mid-woofers with dual membranes stiffened with intra-laminar honeycomb elements, so that the cones are light and stiff to respond quickly to transients and peaks to provide better compliance with the extremely fast response of the electrostatic panel
  • cabinets made of a proprietary composite material that reduces cabinet resonances
  • solid front baffles formed from solid billets of certified plantation grown cherry, teak, mahagony, and other quality hardwoods

According to Randy Bankert, the Aristas are versatile in terms of associated equipment and listening environment, and capable of reproducing any genre of music faithfully, with a grace and ease that belies their potential for weight and authority when required. At the HE2003 demo, they were powered by a pair of Audion Golden Dreams 22W parallel single-ended 300B Level 6 monoblocks ($15,000 US per pair).

Aliante Stile SW

Italian manufacturer Aliante‘s new Stile SW was designed as an evolution of their Stile PF. It offers similar high-style aesthetics, and an improved level of accuracy and performance. The retail price is $1,495 (US) per pair.

The Stile SW uses a new 5″ mid-woofer driver, derived from the Linea PF model, replacing the 4″ woofer used in the Stile PF. It is fabricated in Italy according to Aliante’s proprietary design specifications, featuring an internal phase plug that optimizes dispersion of midrange frequencies. The new driver is said to improve the already commendable bass response and extension.

Aliante takes great care with cabinet fabrication and finish, aiming for maximum strength and rigidity. As with the best examples of modern design, form follows function, so stylish details such as the tilted front panel serve as essential parts of the functional design – in this case, providing a coherent phase between the drivers, increasing high frequencies dispersion and reducing internal standing waves. Similarly, the side bass reflex ports avoid spurious emissions without creating positioning problems associated with rear bass port designs.

The SW’s cabinet has been improved in several ways:

  • the internal volume of the cabinet has been increased to produce a more accurate and deeper bass response with a higher extension in dynamics and sound stage than the Stile PF
  • the cabinet is formed from solid wood staves hand-crafted by Aliante’s master woodworkers to provide an enhanced level of quality and workmanship

As with previous Aliante designs, the crossover is a first-order type, using high-grade components such as Aliante’s own AUDIOCAP polypropylene capacitors in an extended first order design with only nine elements.

Four speaker terminals and complete ground separation are provided, allowing for either single- or bi-wiring connections.

Revolver R33 Monitors and R45 Floor-Standing Loudspeakers

Also new to North America are the latest models from UK-based Revolver Loudspeakers. Both the R33 monitors ($895 US per pair) and the R45 floorstanders ($1,595 US per pair) are magnetically shielded to permit use in home theater applications, as well as standard 2-channel hi-fi.

Both new models feature advanced design and construction to improve performance and value, such as substantial MDF cabinets with circumferential bracing and laminated (2 part) top, bottom and baffle; custom-specified 6.5″ mid/bass driver (R33) and midrange and bass drivers (R45), with vented metal chassis and glass fibre diaphragm; anodized aluminium dome tweeter with powerful ring magnet for smooth and natural high frequency extension; bi-wirable inputs with gold plated terminals; and an easy 8 Ohm load with 90 dB/Watt sensitivity.

The hard-wired crossovers – 2-way for the R33, 3-way for the R45 – utilize air core and Ferrite inductors, metal film resistors and ICW polypropylene capacitors.

The Revolver R33 and R45 are each available in pearlized maple and cloth finishes: pale grey, burgundy, or black.

O.S. Services Web Site

Aliante Web Site

Cadence Audio Web Site

Paul J. Cox Systems Jumps Into Equipment Manufacture With Multi-Channel Active DI Units

Paul J. Cox Systems, long known for its custom recording studio construction, installation and consulting services, has entered the equipment manufacture arena with the launch of a range of electronically balanced active Direct Inject systems.

Previously manufactured as integrated components of custom studio build or retrofit projects over the last five years, the DI systems are now being made generally available.

“We began building and installing these units into our studio systems many years ago,” explains owner and chief design engineer Paul J. Cox. “The demand from numerous artists, producers and engineers who had used our studios and loved the sound of the DI units prompted us to make them available as user equipment.”

Paul J. Cox Active DI Systems are installed at Westlake Audio, Mike Post Productions, Frontpage Recorders, the Mix Room, Firehouse and many other prestigious recording and post production facilities.

Active DIs are used to transform low-level, noisy, unbalanced audio signals such as keyboard, MIDI module, drum machine or sequencer outputs, into clean, balanced +4dB signals, resulting in major improvements to the recorded audio quality.

The Paul J. Cox Active DIs offer frequency response that is flat from 10Hz to 60kHz (+/-0.1dB), with an average -85dBu noise floor. They also provide 12dB of additional gain (optionally specified with up to 20dB), and offer 28dB of headroom.

The DI systems are available in a variety of configurations to suit all applications, from standalone 8-channel to customized rack-mounting multi-channel units with integrated patching capabilities, front or rear panel connectors, ground lift switching and custom pinout wiring. Units can be supplied with balanced inputs and outputs for integration with balanced buffer or distribution systems.

The standard 24-channel DI unit occupies a single rack space and is 8 inches deep. Front panel 1/4-inch unbalanced inputs, ground lift switches and rear panel 90-pin Elco balanced outputs wired to European/Amek, Harp or custom pinout requirements are included.

For permanent installation with consoles intolerant to unbalanced inputs, rear panel unbalanced inputs and balanced outputs on Tascam standard D-sub or 56- or 90-pin Elco connectors can be supplied. That allows the direct connection of unbalanced external equipment with balanced outputs to console user patchpoints, line or mic level inputs. All rack-mount DI systems are supplied with an outboard ± 18.65v linear power supply module that can run up to five 24-channel DI units.

Eight-channel systems are available either as standalone floor or counter-top units with top-mounted 1/4-inch inputs, ground lift switches and multipin outputs, or as a wall-mount or permanently installed unit incorporating multipin connectors for inputs and outputs. Standalone 8-channel DI units include an integral power supply.

Paul J. Cox Systems Web Site

Integra Launches 2 New Multichannel, Multizone Home Theater Receivers

Integra has introduced a pair of new home theater audio/video control receivers, featuring A-Bus multi-room capability and built-in 2-zone control. Both will be available from Integra dealers this month.

The higher-end model is the DTR-6.4 ($1,000 US), a 6 x 100 Watt THX Select certified receiver that features selectable bass management for the DVD-A/SACD 5.1 analog inputs. The mid-price model is the DTR-5.4 ($600 US), offering most of the same features as the DTR-6.4 in a 6 x 85 Watt package, without the multichannel-in bass management.

The Integra DTR-6.4 provides advanced bass management features for multichannel 5.1 analog inputs (DVD-Audio and SACD)

The Integra DTR-6.4 features powerful 32-bit Dual-DSP audio processing for THX Surround EX, Dolby Digital EX and ProLogic II, DTS-ES, Neo:6, and the new DTS-96/24 format. The high quality 192 kHz/24-bit DAC found on each channel is combined with Integra’s VLSC (Vector Linear Shaping Circuitry), previously found on the company’s high-end DVD players, to smooth the analog output, generating cleaner and more detailed audio reproduction.

The DTR-6.4’s 5.1-channel analog input includes optional bass management, a feature that is critical when listening to high resolution DVD-A and SACDs with most multichannel speaker systems. The incoming signals are digitized and then processed by the receiver’s DSP to route low frequency information to a subwoofer while excluding it from small satellite speakers that are ill equipped to handle deep bass. The subwoofer crossover is selectable at 40, 60, 80, 100, 120, or 150 Hz for optimal integration with any speaker arrangement. This feature can also be bypassed with Integra’s exclusive Pure Audio Mode for the ultimate in analog signal fidelity with full-range speakers.

Designed to offer maximum flexibility and integration options for whole-house audio distribution and control, the DTR-6.4 multizone receiver is capable of processing two sources simultaneously, or sending the same signal to both the main zone and systems in other rooms. It includes a built-in port for the flexible A-Bus audio distribution system favored by many installers, and also features both fixed and variable line level zone 2 outputs to feed second zone receivers or amplifiers. There is even Integra’s Powered Zone 2 feature, which dedicates two of the receiver’s internal amplifier channels to directly power speakers in a second room.

For integration with video equipment, the Integra DTR-6.4 features five A/V inputs and three outputs, each with both Composite and S-Video connections, and two assignable Component Video inputs. The receiver features Composite to S-Video conversion using a 3-line digital comb filter for superior reproduction, and all video inputs are upconverted to 480i Component video to simplify connection to displays. For HDTV and DVD video fidelity, component video switching boasts a 50 MHz bandwidth to prevent signal degradation.

The DTR-5.4 features the same 32-bit dual DSP processing, broad support for the full range of multichannel decoding formats, and the Vector Linear Shaping Circuitry (VLSC) of its more-expensive sibling. It provides inputs for five A/V sources and two audio-only sources, including four assignable digital inputs, and one digital output. One A/V input, including optical digital jack and S-Video, is located on the front panel for easy connection of a camcorder or portable MP3 player. There are two assignable component video inputs and one output, with a component video switching bandwidth of 50 MHz to prevent degradation of HDTV and progressive scan DVD signals.

The Integra DTR-5.4 shares the sophisticated DSP audio processing circuitry of the more expensive DTR-6.4

The DTR-5.4’s six internal power amplifier channels deliver a continuous power output of 85 Watts per channel into 8-ohm loads, and 110 Watts into 6 ohms. It boasts a linear frequency response range of 10 Hz – 100 Hz, thanks to Integra’s Wide Range Amplifier Technology (WRAT). The inclusion of a new, more massive High Current Power Supply (HCPS) transformer, combined with high-capacity filter capacitors, gives the receiver tremendous current reserves for audio transients and instantaneous power on demand.

As a versatile two source multizone receiver, the DTR-5.4 includes a built-in port for the flexible A-Bus audio distribution system favored by many installers, and also features both fixed and variable line level Zone 2 outputs to feed second zone receivers or amplifiers. In addition, with Integra’s Powered Zone 2 feature, two of the receiver’s internal amplifier channels can be dedicated to powering a second room, eliminating the need for any additional electronics components.

The DTR-5.4 also features two programmable 12-Volt trigger outputs for the main zone, an additional 12V trigger output for the second zone, IR control input and output jacks, and an RS-232 port to integrate the receiver with whole-home control systems and touchscreens.

Both new Integra receivers include a high quality AM/FM tuner section with 30 random presets, including direct access tuning via IR and RS-232 control ports. The included backlit preprogrammed/learning remote control makes system integration and control simple and convenient.

Integra Web Site