Audio News

Audio News for November 20, 2012

Rubicon Preamp With Atomic Clock; Hitachi Hi-Value 32-Inch LCD TV; Boston Acoustics Wants to Balance Soundbars and Component Speakers; Speakers at January 2013 International CES

Published on November 20, 2012

Audio News for November 20, 2012

Rubicon Preamp With Atomic Clock – Hey, we couldn’t resist running a shot of this most gorgeous piece of audio gear even though we usually don’t do that in our Audio News. It takes hi-res audio to a place perhaps only a few audiophiles have ever even dreamt of. It is the world’s first 384K converter (both A/D & D/A), phono stage preamp and headphone amp that has an integrated atomic clock in its ADAC. The Rubidium atomic clock provides 100,000 times more accurate reference than the usual quartz clock technology everybody else uses. DACs need a clock to keep all those 1s and 0s in proper order—without a proper one, there can be jitter. The Rubicon clock makes all those little discrete voltages occur at precisely the correct time, without jitter. It has ultra low noise phono inputs and a discrete JFET preamp design, a gold-plated stepped relay volume attenuator, dual stage headphone amps and two headphone ports, two de-jittered S/PDIF outputs, a custom USB 2.0 chip input, and DLNA streaming capabilities via an Ethernet interface. Other analog inputs include three RCAs, one HiZ RCA input, and one balanced input, plus other digital inputs: two TosLink and one AES/EBU. According to first reports, the difference between non-atomic clocks and this one can be heard. The manufacturer who has gone atomic is Antelope Audio, and the price is just “under $40,000.” (And you’ll still need: a turntable system, headphones, a regular preamp, amps and of course speakers.)

Hitachi Hi-Value 32-Inch LCD TV – Hitache has introduced its 32-inch LCD HDTV with full HD resolution, 60Hz refresh rate and long-term energy savings. It’s slim cosmetic design has a 5000:1 contrast ratio, 3D comb filter, multiple HDMI inputs and a USB port. It is claimed to have an estimated energy cost of only $11 a year. Many of Hitachi’s smart TVs are Wi-Fi-ready models that are also “Roku-ready” to accept the new Roku USB stream stick. Their Ultravision models offer 120Hz refresh rates for 3D content, built-in Wi-Fi and IPTV connectivity. Hitachi also offers both 32-inch and 40-inch soundbars using CONEQ 3D sound technology. They use four full-range speakers and two high-frequency tweeters, and may also be used to stream music wirelessly from compatible mobile phones or other Bluetooth devices.

Boston Acoustics Wants to Balance Soundbars and Component Speakers – Boston Acoustics has had such strong growth in its active soundbars (about 75% of their U.S. business) that they say “we have lost our way and are coming back;” planning to stress their full gamut of speakers, including for components, sub/sat systems, indoor architectural speakers and outdoor speakers.  They said they focus on three key elements: quality sound, ease of use, and good value for the dollar. Last month they shipped their first AirPlay speaker ($399), to wirelessly stream music via home Wi-Fi networks from Apple mobile devices and iTunes-equipped computers. The speaker system also incorporates embedded Wi-Fi, DLNA networking, and an Apple-certified iPod/iPhone/iPad USB port to charge Apple devices and play their music when connected.

Speakers at January 2013 International CES – The Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas will feature several high-profile speakers at its SuperSession programs: Arianna Huffington will moderate “The Human Body: The Next Digital Revolution,” Tim Bajarin, of Creative Strategies, will moderate a panel on “Disruptive Technologies Impacting Games and Video;” other industry topics will include “CNET’s Next Big Thing,” “Mega Trends,” and “Argue the Future 2: Return of the Future.”




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