Archives for July 2003

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

Ray Dolby to Receive Lifetime Achievement Emmy Engineering Award

The Academy of Television Arts and Sciences will honor Dolby Labs founder Ray Dolby with the Charles F. Jenkins Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2003 Primetime Emmy Engineering Awards on September 13.

The award will be given to Mr. Dolby in recognition of his career achievements, including practical noise reduction systems for improving sound quality in a variety of professional and consumer environments.

The Academy’s Engineering awards are overseen by the Technology and Convergence Awards Committee Co-Chairs Cristy Trembly and Brian Seth Hurst. The Emmy Award is given to an individual, company, or an organization for developments in engineering that are either so extensive an improvement on existing methods or so innovative in nature that they materially affect the transmission, recording, or reception of television.

Dolby Laboratories, founded in 1965 by Ray Dolby to explore noise reduction systems for recording, continues to make strides in improving audio quality. In the television broadcast industry, Dolby® multichannel audio has become a regular enhancement to high-quality programming, allowing viewers to enjoy their favorite content in Dolby Surround, Dolby Digital, and most recently, Dolby Surround Pro Logic II technologies.

Broadcasters such as ABC, CBS, Fox, Discovery HD Theater, HBO, HDNet, Showtime, Starz!, and various pay-per-view channels broadcast in Dolby Digital 5.1 audio. In Europe, commercial broadcasters BSkyB, Premiere, ProSieben, and Teleclub also include this popular feature.

Dolby Labs 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

Denon and Dolby Laboratories Announce World’s First Audio Product with Dolby Virtual Speaker Surround Sound Technology

Denon Electronics has announced the D-M71DVXP, a DVD receiver system that is the world’s first audio/video product to incorporate Dolby Virtual Speaker surround sound technology.

The new system consists of an integrated DVD/receiver unit, two satellite speakers, and a subwoofer. The Dolby Virtual Speaker technology, which uses core algorithms developed by Australian OEM developer Lake Technology, will produce a realistic 5.1-channel surround listening experience from the 2-speaker-plus-sub set-up that Denon and Dolby Labs representatives say is far superior to any previously available virtual surround process.

The Denon D-M71DVXP DVD Receiver System will be available in September 2003, with a suggested retail price of $999 (US). In addition, a two-channel version without the subwoofer will be available for $699 (US).

“Denon’s philosophy has always been to utilize the most advanced audio and video technologies to deliver the best home entertainment experience to our customers,” says Stephen Baker, Denon senior VP of sales and marketing. “Thanks to Dolby Virtual Speaker, our D-M71DVXP delivers a level of sonic performance that would simply not be possible otherwise.”

The D-M71DVXP uses the same advanced Analog Devices Hammerhead SHARC 32-bit DSP audio processors used in Denon’s acclaimed AVR-5803 and AVR-3803 audio/video receivers.

Speaking for Dolby Laboratories, the company’s director of consumer technology marketing Craig Eggers comments: “The Denon D-M71DVXP is the perfect component to showcase the benefits of Dolby Virtual Speaker – it’s exactly the type of compact, performance-oriented system that the technology was designed to enhance. The technology gives a significant number of consumers whose lifestyles simply cannot accommodate a 5.1-channel speaker system the ability to enjoy true high-quality surround sound home theater. The D-M71DVXP is the perfect solution for smaller home listening rooms, apartments, dorm rooms, or anywhere great multichannel home entertainment is desired from a compact system.”

Denon has also recently announced a similar integrated DVD/Receiver component for the Japanese consumer market only. Like the D-M71DVXP, the Japanese Denon ADV-M71 “Lapisia” system also offers Dolby Virtual Speaker, Dolby Headphone and Dolby Pro Logic II capabilities.

A Breakthrough in Virtualized Surround Sound

Dolby Virtual Speaker technology is a practical alternative to multispeaker systems. It uses proprietary digital audio processing technology to simulate a realistic 5.1-channel surround sound experience using just two stereo speakers.

In the Denon D-M71DVXP system, the inclusion of Dolby Pro Logic II decoding alongside Dolby Virtual Speaker processing allows listeners to play back any program material, from stereo music CDs and MP3 files to 5.1-channel DVDs and broadcast content encoded in Dolby Digital, with rich, enveloping surround sound.

Dolby Virtual Speaker utilizes a proprietary technique that re-creates, in their entirety, the multiple, complex sonic signatures that the listener would ordinarily hear from a properly positioned 5.1-channel speaker setup.

According to Dolby Labs, most virtualizers on the market today limit their processing to the direct sound, which means they overlook a significant portion of the sonic signature essential for producing a convincing 5.1-channel virtualized surround sound field. The result is often an “enhanced stereo” listening environment.

Dolby Virtual Speaker ensures the integrity of the virtual 5.1 sound field by reproducing the entire sonic signature, and its multiple reflection tails, which can often vary significantly in level and spectral balance from the direct sound. The further addition of crosstalk cancellation maintains the integrity of each processed signal, thereby insuring a highly realistic and natural sounding 360-degree sonic environment.

Stylish Design, Exceptional Performance

The Denon D-M71DVXP combines true component-quality audio and video performance with stylish, space-saving design. The single-chassis DVD player/receiver unit provides a progressive scan DVD player that can play back DVD-Video, CD, CD-R/RW, VCD and CD-DA discs, as well as MP3-encoded CDs. The leading edge Analog Devices Hammerhead SHARC DSP audio processors ensure the ultimate in refined audio performance, while advanced video D/A converters and digital video processing provide sharp, high-resolution images.

In addition to Dolby Virtual Speaker, the D-M71DVXP also incorporates Dolby Headphone signal processing, also developed for Dolby by Lake Technology. Dolby Headphone delivers a natural-sounding surround sound listening experience through any set of connected stereo headphones. It is an ideal technology for late-night movie viewing, video game playing, or private listening to audio- or video-based entertainment.

The D-M71DVXP includes a 20-watt per channel stereo amplifier to deliver clear, room-filling sound, along with an FM/AM tuner with 40-station preset memory tuning. It also comes with a host of additional performance and convenience features, such as a clock with sleep timer, bass and treble tone controls, a full complement of digital and analog video and audio inputs and outputs, plus progressive-scan component video outputs.

The included two-way speakers each feature dual 2-inch mid-bass drivers and a half-inch dome tweeter for rich, dynamic sound quality with detailed midrange and extended, open highs. The system’s 100-watt powered subwoofer rounds out the sonic spectrum with deep, articulate low-frequency performance.

The Denon D-M71DVXP DVD/receiver unit features a metallic silver chassis with an aluminum faceplate. The satellite speakers are housed in real aluminum with wood-finish end caps and light gray grille cloths, while the subwoofer has a wood finish.

Denon Home Audio (US) Web Site

Dolby Laboratories Web Site

Lake Technology Web Site