Monday, October 8, 2012

Fine Sounds SpA adds McIntosh Laboratory to its Portfolio of High-End Audio Brands

Fine Sounds SpA to Add McIntosh Laboratory to its Portfolio of High-End Audio Brands...



 MILAN, OCTOBER 8, 2012 --- Fine Sounds SpA of Milan, Italy, owner of Sonus Faber, Audio Research Corporation, Wadia Digital and Sumiko, has acquired 100% of McIntosh Laboratory, America’s most respected and formidable producer of hi-fi system solutions and a global leader
in prestige home entertainment and ultimate-quality audio for over 60 years. Fine Sounds is owned by Quadrivio, an Investment Management Company also based in Milan, Italy.

The acquisition of McIntosh, a Binghamton, NY based company which had been previously owned by D+M Group, represents a marquee investment for the group, whose strategic direction is to offer products that are the best in the world in their category.

Further info: here, here, here, and here.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Hi-End synergy: the beginning...

So, for those ones who have been reading some of our last posts where I was indicating the big mistakes in Hi-End Audio proposals (kind of DIY puzzle keeping all pieces together, joined by inexperienced people (how many dealers have a minimum knowledge about electronics, ...and end-users? ), see below the latest review about the Manger MSMs1... I have extracted some very interesting comments among many others in this 6Moons' review.
Get your own conclusions. Enjoy...

"Game over? End game? This speaker represents both. For the listener deeply entrenched in audiophile ritual, belief and habit, the S1 is game over for amps. Obviously. But preamps seem out as well. With units of Trafomatic Audio SM101D, ModWright LS-100 and Esoteric C-03 caliber on hand—single-stage direct-heated triode, 6SN7-based two-stage hybrid, solid-state respectively — none sounded remotely as good as no preamp. To leave surprisingly sleepy first gear as though one foot stayed glued to the brake meant any one of my three D/A converters with variable outputs. Be it the Weiss DAC2, Antelope Audio Zodiac Gold/Voltikus or April Music Eximus DP1 (sequence in ascending order of personal taste), they made far better sound direct over inserting any of my costly preamps behind them."
"End game! The end game reality is a function of engineering. At 13.200 €, the intrinsically bi-amped actively filtered and equalized MSMs1 can't be trumped by any equivalently priced combination of passive speaker and amps you might come up with. Period. That's a very hurtful thing to audiophile pride with its silly insistence on arbitrary mixing & (mis)matching without global impedance standards. But it's a perfect thing for those who want guaranteed turn-key success at a very high level."

"The most relevant difference isn't sound but coin. My amp/speaker combo above wants €30.000 to get there. The Manger is €13.300. For that achievement I'd credit the MSW and active concept equally."

"(...) the embrace of computer audio heralds a brave new world. It wants more cost-effective convenience, integration, performance and lifestyle cosmetics. Here active should have a real future. Unlike pro speakers still attempting to court consumers —Genelec comes to mind— the Manger MSMs1 is fully house-broken already. Its €13.200 sticker reads stiff only until you ask how to secure equivalent performance for the same money the traditional route. It's close to impossible. That doesn't minimize this sticker. It simply pushes returns to the max. And that's what makes it smart modern hifi at its finest."

Thursday, July 12, 2012

METRÓPOLIS (1927), Fritz Lang.

"We bring you the recently restored version of one of the most influential films of all time: Fritz Lang’s 1927 fable of good and evil fighting it out in a futuristic urban dystopia, Metropolis.

The story takes place in 2026. Metropolis is a beautiful high-tech city, but underneath the surface, masses of workers toil in slavery. To keep the machinery running efficiently, the workers have become virtual machines themselves. The city is ruled by a heartless mastermind named Johann Fredersen, whose idealistic son, Freder, rebels against him when he discovers the cruel conditions imposed on the workers. Freder falls in love with Maria, a messianic figure preaching love and reconciliation, but his father hatches an evil plot to turn the workers against Maria. He hires the mad scientist Rotwang to make a robotic version of Maria to wreak havoc among the workers, discrediting her and discouraging rebellion. An epic struggle ensues.

Lang said he got the idea for Metropolis while visiting New York in 1924. Standing on the deck of his ship in New York Harbor at night, the filmmaker was amazed at the spectacle:

I saw a street lit as if in full daylight by neon lights and, topping them, oversized luminous advertisements moving, turning, flashing on and off, spiraling…something that was completely new and nearly fairy tale-like for a European in those days….The buildings seemed to be a vertical veil, shimmering, almost weightless, a luxurious cloth hung from the sky to dazzle, distract, and hypnotize. At night the city did not give the impression of being alive; it lived as illusions lived. I knew then that I had to make a film about all of these sensations.

The story was written mostly by Lang’s wife, Thea Von Harbou. Despite the popularity of the film, Lang detested the story. He told Peter Bogdanovich that he thought Metropolis was “silly and stupid.” From a purely visual standpoint, though, the film has had an enormous influence on science fiction and popular culture.

The iconic image above is from an extremely rare program from the March 21, 1927 London premiere of Metropolis. You can look through the entire 32-page program at the Web site of bookseller Peter Harrington (the page will open in a new window) and then watch the restored 2010 version of the film below. The restoration, supervised by the F.W. Murnau Foundation, incorporates footage from an early print discovered in Buenos Aires, bringing the film much closer to Lang’s original vision. You can purchase your very own copy online here, or watch it in parts of YouTube."

Saturday, July 7, 2012

The Vinyl Train Is Starting to Slow... (Digital Music News)

No, you can't have your old industry back. Here are the latest, year-to-date sales figures for 2012, which show a 3.2 percent decline in year-over-year album sales in the US. That follows a relatively flat 2011, widely touted as a recovery but more realistically a result of insane Adele sales and heavily-discounted catalog releases.

The better news is that digital formats continue to grow, both in terms of digital albums and a-la-carte singles. Vinyl growth may be slowing, but is still showing double-digital percentage gains.

Here's the US-based breakdown for the first half of this year, shared by Nielsen Soundscan.

Is this a nostalgia bubble ready to go 'pop'? After posting breakneck, 39.3 percent gains in 2011, vinyl sales may simply be losing steam. Indications are coming from just-released, US-based stats from Nielsen Soundscan, which show marked decreases in both absolute and percentage sales gains.
These are first-half (January through June) comparisons. In 2011, first-half vinyl album sales topped 1.9 million, a gain of 600,000 (41 percent). In the current year, sales reached 2.2 million during the first half, a gain of 300,000 (14.2 percent).

Monday, June 25, 2012

Friday, June 22, 2012