Yamaha RX-V440 Wins Home Theater Receiver Category at EISA European Home Theater Awards 2003-2004

Yamaha‘s Yamaha’s RX-V440 A/V receiver has won the Home Theatre Receiver category of the European Imaging and Sound Association (EISA)’s European Home Theatre Awards 2003-2004.

The European Imaging and Sound Association (EISA)’s membership of 50 leading magazines specialize in audio-visual and related products and are based in 20 European countries. Each June, EISA panels examine all audio-visual-related products introduced during the preceding twelve months and choose the best equipment in each category. The EISA Awards are considered to be among the most prestigious consumer electronics accolades, not only in Europe but the whole world.

The RX-V440 AV receiver is a high-performance, high-sound-quality receiver that is completely compatible with the latest 6.1 channel surround features. The EISA European Home Theatre 2003-2004 award was given based on a comprehensive evaluation of the RX-V440’s all-around functionality, easy set-up process, high-quality sound, and high ratio of performance to cost.

Yamaha also took the award in the High-end AV Product category, for its DPX-1000 projector. The DPX-1000 employs the most up-to-date generation of full-digital DLP projector technology, featuring a newly-developed, high-performance optics engine. The EISA award was in recognition of the DPX-1000’s high-precision color fidelity as well as its incorporation of advanced technology that enables an “amazingly” high contrast ratio and film-like picture quality.

The RX-V440 ($299 US) is designed to provide excellent performance and an easy operation design at an affordable price. It features Yamaha’s Digital ToP-ART design concept, high current amplification, a 32-bit Cinema DSP LSI, full surround format compatibility, 24 surround programs with Yamaha’s exclusive Quad-field Cinema DSP, Silent Cinema, On Screen display, and 96kHz/24-bit DACs for all channels.

Key Features of the RX-V440

  • High power 6-channel discrete amplifier configuration (75W x 6) [20-20,000 Hz, FTC]
  • Digital ToP-ART (Total Purity Audio Reproduction Technology)
  • High Current Amplification for high sound quality
  • Compatibility with the latest movie sound formats including Dolby Digital EX, Dolby Pro Logic II, DTS-ES Discrete 6.1 and DTS Neo:6
  • Powerful 32-Bit Yamaha LSI (YSS-938) for Cinema DSP processing
  • 24 surround programs (44 variations) with Silent Cinema and Night Listening modes
  • Front panel Video Aux input terminals
  • Speaker A, B, or A+B selection
  • 2 component video input terminals

Yamaha USA Web Site

River Cable, A New High-End Audio Cable Brand Is Born – With Birth Certificates to Prove It!

A new brand of hand-crafted home theater, home hi-fi and car audio cable appears on the market today. River Cable (formerly Sound & Video) positions its product line as “sensibly priced, with a designer style the sophisticated audio and home theater consumer can’t pass up.”

The product line includes analog and digital audio interconnects, digital audio optical cables, speaker cables, composite video, S-Video, component video, RGB (HV) and VGA/breakout cables, as well as custom cables made to order. Prices range upwards from about $50 (US) for a 0.5-meter RCA-to-RCA interconnect pair, and $55 (US) for a 1-meter TOSLINK (digital audio optical) cable.

Each cable is individually tested and certified with its own River Cable Birth Certificate.

“River Cable is the only sensibly priced, premium cable to certify the performance of each cable”, says River Cable R&D head Paul Swedenburg.

“Each cable assembly is individually evaluated, and passes up to seven stringent measurement tests. Once tested and certified, each cable’s performance is warranted for life with its individually numbered River Cable Birth Certificate. The certificates provide the customers with the actual test measurements and performance graphs for their cables. Although it is labor intensive and time consuming, certification is a key phase of our work. We stand 100% behind our cables.”

Like all River Cable products, the Audiflex Gold RCA-pair interconnects come with a "Birth Certificate" warranting measured performance

In addition to a lifetime warranty, each cable is covered by a 30-day home trial. This no-hassle guarantee allows customers ample time to set up their systems and break in their new River Cables.

River Cable engineers are the brains behind innovations like the original Digiflex Gold digital audio interconnect. When it was first released, Corey Greenberg extolled its virtues in Stereophile as “…the best performance I’ve heard from a digital cable…any coax more expensive is a waste of money.”

River Cables are not only engineered and tested for extreme performance quality, but they are also styled to satisfy, with a unique, designer appeal. Each cable is identified by its striking jewel tone, dressed in RiverSlinx™ Gold FX as a protective safeguard. RiverSlinx Gold FX is a unique proprietary mesh, threaded with gold for added style.

River Cable Web Site

New Pro-Audio Software Developer Sonalksis Launches With SV-517 Stereo EQ Plug-In

Sonalksis Ltd., a new company specialising in the development of digital audio products for the pro-audio recording, post-production and broadcast markets, has opened its doors for business.

In conjunction with the launch, Sonalksis has also announced the release of the first in a series of ‘State-Space’ audio software plug-ins.

The SV-517 Stereo EQ plug-in is available immediately in VST format for PC and Macintosh computers, with support for other formats (DirectX, Apple AudioUnits, RTAS) to follow.

It is available as a download from the Sonalksis Web site, priced at $240 (US). A free, fully-functional 30-day trial/demo download is also available.

The new company, based in Liverpool, UK, has been founded by 4 former AMS-Neve R&D engineers. Sonalksis will initially focus on the development of a range of audio software plug-ins.

“We aim to set the highest standards in professional digital sound processing, and with the experience of our R&D team we are certainly capable of doing this,” said managing director Kieran Tyrrell.

“Our first product range will clearly illustrate the quality to be expected from all our future developments, and with very affordable prices we hope to bring supreme quality to all those who want it, not just those that can afford it.”

The SV-517 Stereo EQ provides 6 filter bands, with selectable classic and contemporary filter styles. it features internal 64-bit floating point processing, and supports sample rates up to 192kHz.

“Whether you need to give some air to a vocal, sweeten an entire mix, or equalise a dialogue track, the Sonalksis SV-517 EQ will be equally at home in each environment. The various styles of filter model many classic and contemporary analog responses, so it is simply a matter of selecting the appropriate style for your programme material.”

The EQ is implemented with Sonalksis ‘State-Space’ technology for unparalleled sonic clarity. R&D director Gus Miller explained the benefits of Sonalksis ‘State-Space’ modelling technology in digital audio processors:

“Most digital processors that perform routine functions such as EQ or compression emulate the ‘external’ characteristic of the process. This means the processor is designed according to mathematical equations that relate the output signal to the input. But factors that are very important in the design of high quality audio processors, such as the response to transients and dynamic parameters, are typically part of the ‘internal’ description of a processor. Sonalksis ‘State-Space’ technology superimposes an internal model onto the external characteristic, so it gives us ultimate control over the smallest subtleties in the design process.”

Sonalksis has also announced the upcoming release of its SV-315 Stereo Compressor plug-in, along with general support for DirectX and Apple AudioUnit plug-in formats. The SV-315 Compressor will use the same ‘State-Space’ modelling technology as the SV-517 EQ.

SV-517 Stereo EQ Features

  • 6 filter bands; 2 variable slope filters and 4 parametric bands, of which 2 are switchable shelves
  • Sonalksis ‘State-space’ system model for true analogue response
  • Multiple parametric equaliser types inclucing classic models
  • Multiple styles of resonant shelf
  • 64bit floating point precision internal processing throughout
  • Up to 192 kHz support
  • Ultra efficient processing, with specific optimisations for native processors
  • Glitchless transitions when switching bands in and out
  • Graphical feedback display
  • One control per function user-interface
  • Support for Mac & PC platforms

Sonalksis Web Site

Infinity’s New PS Series Subwoofers Use MMD Driver Technology to Achieve Affordable Low-Frequency Performance

Infinity Systems has introduced the PS Series, a new line of affordable powered subwoofers. The new subs use Infinity’s new Metal Matrix Diaphragm™ (MMD™) driver technology to produce exceptionally accurate and detailed low-frequency performance.

The subwoofers are available in three different sizes and power ratings, to accommodate every room size and listening requirement.

  • PS-8 subwoofer, with 8-inch MMD woofer, 100 watt built-in amplifier ($299 US)
  • PS-10 subwoofer, 10-inch MMD woofer, 250 watt built-in amplifier ($399 US)
  • PS-12 subwoofer, 12-inch MMD woofer, 300 watt built-in amplifier ($499 US)

The PS Series subs complement Infinity’s new Primus Series and Infinity Alpha Series loudspeakers, in complete 5.1-, 6.1- or 7.1-channel music and home theater systems. PS Series subwoofers are designed to match sonically with all Infinity Primus Series and Infinity Alpha Series models to create an expansive, full-range multichannel sonic environment.

All three models are available from Infinity dealers this month.

Speaking for Infinity, brand manager Eli Harary comments: “Outstanding bass reproduction has always been an Infinity hallmark, and our PS Series makes the low-frequency accuracy and musicality that Infinity is known for more affordable than ever before. PS Series subwoofers are ideal for adding the heightened sonic realism and impact of extended low-frequency response to a home entertainment system, and are the perfect match to our Primus Series and Infinity Alpha Series home theater and stereo loudspeakers.”

MMD Technology for Powerful, Refined Bass Performance

Infinity’s MMD drivers are derived from the company’s patented Ceramic Metal Matrix Diaphragm (CMMD™) technology. Infinity says the MMD drivers offer significantly improved performance compared to speakers made of conventional cone materials. MMD cones are manufactured by anodizing both sides of an aluminum core to a controlled thickness, producing low-mass highly rigid driver diaphragms that operate with greatly reduced distortion and cone breakup, along with outstanding transient response, resolution and smoothness throughout their frequency range. Each woofer is designed to shift its internal resonances beyond its operating frequency range to achieve maximum sonic clarity.

The innovative MMD woofers are complemented by powerful built-in amplifiers that combine high power output with high efficiency, optimized to each PS Series model’s woofer and enclosure. The PS-8, PS-10 and PS-12 all feature front-firing woofer designs and tuned, ported enclosures to achieve maximum volume output and deep bass from compact enclosures that can easily be placed in a wide range of room locations. The PS-12 delivers extended low-frequency response all the way down to 25Hz, while the PS-10 and PS-8 provide bass down to 27Hz and 35Hz (below the lowest note of an electric or acoustic bass), respectively.

All Infinity PS Series subwoofers include continuously variable crossover frequency and level controls, a phase switch, and LFE (low-frequency effects), line-level and speaker-level inputs to precisely optimize their performance in any multichannel home theater or music system and their placement within the room. PS Series enclosures are braced to minimize unwanted internal resonances.

PS Series subwoofers are finished in black ash, with complementing black grilles, and make an elegant visual statement even with their grilles off, thanks to their rich-silver front bezels and matching silver speaker cones.

Infinity Systems Web Site

VTL’s New Siegfried 800 Watt Reference Monoblock Amplifier Features ‘Tube-Smart’ Self-Adjusting Technology

The new all-tube monoblock reference amp from VTL (Vacuum Tube Logic), first shown last month at the Home Entertainment 2003 show in San Francisco, is designed to make high-end tube amplification easier to use, through self-adjusting technology that optimizes performance automatically.

The new Siegfried 800 Watt Reference Monoblock Amplifier incroporates “tube-smart” technology that VTL’s engineering team has been developing over the past five years. It provides continuous real-time feedback of important performance parameters and automatically self-adjusts to maintain optimum settings, using software control to dramatically extend tube life.

VTL says that sound quality has also been taken to a new level with increased dynamics, more realistic instrumental timbres, and a harmonic richness nearer to live music.

“With our new ‘smart’ amplifier, we have truly put technology in the service of music,” says VTL president Luke Manley. “With all of the guesswork removed from the amplifiers’ operation, the user can simply sit back, relax, and enjoy the music.”

The Siegfried has been under development since 1996, when VTL introduced its previous reference model, the 1250 Watt Wotan amplifier. At the time, VTL described the Wotan as “the culmination of all we know about amplifier building at VTL.” But even then, the company recognized that the growth of home theater meant that amplifiers were being called on to perform an array of new functions in the home, and that VTL’s tube equipment would need to change to fit into modern home entertainment systems.

VTL identified reliability and consistency of tubed components as key issues that had to be addressed.

Luke Manley and VTL set these design goals for the new reference model:

  • It should deliver a new sonic standard, unsurpassed sound quality as well as excellent measurements on the test bench
  • The amplifier must be able to drive a wide range of speaker types to their optimal performance, with consistent performance under all conditions
  • The amplifier must be self-optimizing and provide a full range of diagnostics for sustaining peak performance
  • The operation of the amplifier must be intuitive and user-friendly while providing flexibility in its control functions, for integration with modern home theater systems

“The R&D process ended up being an intensive cross-disciplinary collaboration between multiple teams of engineers in different parts of the country,” says Luke Manley. “Tube circuit designers, power supply experts, software engineers, control circuit experts, and industrial design specialists all had a hand in shaping Siegfried.”

The quest to make Siegfried “smart” was a major part of the design process. VTL was committed to eliminating the continual tweaking and guesswork that usually come with owning large tube amplifiers. Automatic self-regulation was understood to be the key to keeping Siegfried operating at peak performance.

To that end, engineers embedded a logic-controlled automatic tube biasing circuit inside the amplifier to ensure that Siegfried is running optimally at all times. A full range of diagnostic functions were also included to let users know which tubes need to be changed, amplifier operating time, tube life, real-time AC voltage and more.

Siegfried’s sound quality took a significant leap forward, due in part to the use of new precision-regulated power supplies. Benefits of the new design include increased dynamic headroom and a tighter, more tuneful bass. A balanced input stage keeps the noise floor vanishingly low.

Siegfried’s physical package has been given special attention in the design process. The thick and extremely rigid chassis (provided in a tower configuration) is clad in non-magnetic material and rests on large non-resonant feet to banish mechanical interference.

The sleek, modern appearance of Siegfried matches the cosmetics of VTL’s TL7.5 Reference Preamplifier. A curved fascia is inset with a digital readout and three buttons.

“I couldn’t be more pleased with the way our new ‘smart’ amplifier has turned out,” says Luke Manley. “Siegfried has surpassed everyone’s expectations with respect to sound quality and ease of use. This is an amplifier you can turn on and forget about. Just sit back, relax and enjoy the music.”

VTL Web Site