Munich High End

*MUNICH NEWS* Tonearm Diet - Kuzma Analogue Introduces 4 Point 9 Inch Tonearm by Rom Beyerle

Kuzma 4point 9"

Last years introduction of the 4 Point 14 inch was very exciting, and made sense for those turntables with the ability to accomodate such an arm. The reduced tracking error of a longer tonearm, and whatever other magic Franc Kuzma injected into it, has seen many update their existing 4 Point tonearm.

Munich High End 2017 - Kuzma Analogue have now come forward with a revisited 4 Point design comprising all the terrific bearing innovation, and many of the design features of the original 4 Point tonearm; but in a slimmed down build and 9 inch(229mm) effective length.

The removal of the seperate VTA tower has allowed Kuzma to keep weight to a minimum and in turn, opens up more installation options, that were previously not possible for the original 11" 4point. Some non-Kuzma suspended turntables could not bare the >2kg mass of the original 4point, this new tonearm fixes all that; whilst keeping the bearing design, performance and ease of adjustability of the 4 Point! The new Kuzma 4 Point 9 Inch, weighs in at less than half the total mass of the original, and an effective mass of 13g.

4 Point 9" Product Page

Kuzma 4point 9" Tonearm

*Munich News* Playback Dreaming - Playback Designs Announces "Dream Series" by Rom Beyerle

Playback Designs MPD-8 DAC

A quick re-cap of the latest Uber DAC and Transport announcement from digital aficionado's Playback Designs. Delivery is planned before the end of the year.

Playback Designs has announced their new Dream Series Audio DAC and Transport - SACD/CD/Server system incorporating the latest Ultra High Performance technology. Early prototypes were shown at the Axpona show in Chicago and the High End show in Munich.

According to Andreas Koch, president and designer of Playback Designs, this system could have been called "Reference" system, but the design goal was actually much higher than that: the lofty and seemingly unattainable performance level that hardly anybody even dares dreaming about. It is the culmination of more than 30 years of experience in audio design. The Dream Series consists of the MPD-8 standalone DAC and MPT-8 transport with CD/SACD drive and optional music server built in.

Design philosophy: The from-ground-up new architecture is the result of multiple prototype generations over the last 2 years where the experience of digital and analog algorithms and circuit designs from Andreas Koch's and Bert Gerlach's expertise refined over many decades has been combined and perfected to create a truly no-compromise, flexible and programmable product platform that can deliver ultimate performance and can grow for many years as technology keeps evolving.

Playback Designs MPD-8 DAC

The Dream Series DAC

MPD-8 DAC is a new DAC architecture and is based on Playback Designs' well proven discrete converter design but incorporates significant improvements and new technologies. Its digital inputs, AES/SPDIF/USB/ST-fiber-optic, TOS support any sample rate and format up to QUAD DSD. In addition to balanced and unbalanced line level analog outputs, an analog volume control is provided that can be bypassed. Included will be recording software, allowing the creation of PCM or DSD music files on a computer from all digital sources connected to the MPD-8. Target price $22,000.

The digital side is fully programmable, as always at Playback Designs, but they have added significantly more computing power to be able to extend the digital algorithms for audio processing and clock control. The analog side is double differential for each channel and uniquely separated and isolated from the digital side. In fact, Playback Designs products were always designed to rigorously separate digital from analog circuits in order to preserve the analog nature of the music signal, but the new MPD-8 pushes this purist concept even further.

For this, completely separate linear power supplies are provided for the analog circuitry for each channel that are mounted on ceramic circuit boards. A third separate power supply is for the digital section.

The same purist concept was applied to the choice of display. While many other manufacturers use fancy graphic displays, all of which use asynchronous clocks and therefore influence the audio performance, our choice of display was less for visual impact, but for ultimate audio performance.


Playback Designs MPD-8 DAC

Users have a choice if they want the USB interface inside the same chassis or keep it outside in a separate box (optional USB-XIII interface) for better isolation via optical connection (PLink).

This keeps the MPD-8 free from any direct connection to computers or any asynchronous clock that is not synchronised with the audio sample rate.

MPT-8 Digital Music Transport is a no-compromise companion product for the MPD-8 DAC. It incorporates a newly developed CD/SACD drive mechanism that is not based on any mass produced components, but was rather designed from ground up for audiophile applications.

Optionally, the Syrah music server can be added into the same chassis making the MPT-8 a unique and complete digital source center. The music server can be controlled via iPad/Android tablets and provides internal storage (SSD) as well as external storage and networks, DLNA and NAS. CDs are automatically ripped from an external optical drive providing extensive meta-data capabilities.

A future option for the MPT-8 that is already in development is a streaming interface for the currently most popular streaming services.

The MPT-8 connects to the MPD-8 via the proprietary optical interface PLink for native playback of any file format and sample rate including quad DSD. This interface is designed to provide a galvanic separation between all digital sources with its many asynchronous clocks from the very sensitive DAC components in the MPD-8.


MPD-8 Product Page

MPT-8 Product Page


*MUNICH NEWS* EMT JSD VM (Varia Mass) Cartridge by Rom Beyerle


EMT continue to refine and fill out their renowned cartridge range, this time adding another amazing cartridge to the top of their HiFi line. The JSD VM will sit alongside the JSD P6.0 (Platinum), and JSD S75 (Lady in Black) as EMT's premium offerings. The JSD VM (Varia Mass) is an interesting concept, as it allows the user to adjust the cartridge mass to best suit the tonearm; by way of inserting various weights into the cartridge body. The user can easily adjust the Cartridge mass from 10g to 13g.


*MUNICH NEWS* Slim V2 - Thales Tonarm Introduces the TTT-Slim II by Rom Beyerle

Another huge weekend for the audio world at Munich High End trade show 2017 has come to a close. We are busily updating our website to reflect the many new additions to product lines, and excitedly fielding enquiries from those already in the know.

Thales Tonarm's innovative minimalist battery powered turntable designs have been a favourite of ours for quite some time. The updated TTT-Compact II released last year was widely applauded for its next level performance, in our demonstration system at the Melbourne International HiFi Show 2016. Together with their highly popular Tonearms "Simplicity" and "Easy", Thales turntables have found homes with many Australian music lovers, who appreciate the very dynamic, detailed performance and minimal design. By compressing every element of the turntable construction, Thales are able to create extraordinary mechanical stability, unobtainable by many larger more elaborate designs; all within a compact footprint.

This year Thales have shown their brand new TTT-Slim II Turntable. The smaller sibling to the TTT-Compact II has received a comprehensive facelift and is stunning in both visual appeal, performance and ergonomics. New transport spacers, high density platter inlay and updated motor decoupling dampening system are just a few of the latest improvements over the original TTT-Slim.

Updated TTT-S II Product Page, and downloads HERE