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Music


— Music

The US$10,000 WA-234 headphone amplifier

Actually it's two US$5,000 amps because these rather spectacular looking beasts are mono-blocks. They are two completely separate, but matched, mono amplifiers. Now it's no secret that the world of audiophile hi-fi sound systems can be a place of strange voodoo and esoterica - where the Law of Diminishing Returns becomes a way of life for deluded males of a certain age (never women it seems) but let's check our cynicism at the door for the moment. There is something interesting going on here and it may just turn out that at $10,000 for the pair, these amps are a (relative) bargain. Read More
— Music

Guitar and iPad join forces as the iTar

The phenomenal success of music-related mobile apps has forced many of us old timers to have a good rethink about the way we make music in the 21st Century. For many musicians - including The Gorillaz and Bjork - Apple's iPad is taking center stage in the production of modern music. Digital instrument innovator Harvey Starr is also looking at the iconic tablet as a way of giving more people the chance to experience the power of Starr Labs' custom-built electronic guitars at a fraction of the cost. Pairing the iPad with his company's button-based electronic guitar fingerboard, Starr is developing a new hybrid monster called the iTar. Read More
— Music

Onedof turntable spins your vinyl for a cool $150,000

Colorado aerospace engineer Aleks Bakman has created a vinyl-loving-audiophile-pleasing precision turntable that benefits from virtually resonance-free operation. The utterly gorgeous One Degree of Freedom (Onedof) system features a massive sound-dampening platter that is suspended on a specially-developed self-centering bearing in a non-resonant liquid suspension, that's claimed to eliminate the kind of shift or wobble common to all cylindrical bearings. There is, however, a very high price to pay for keeping the signal free of pleasure-spoiling audio distortions - the Onedof turntable is priced at an eye-popping US$150,000. Read More
— Music

Madrona Labs launches computer music controller with touch-sensitive walnut playing surface

Even though touch-sensitive digital music interfaces like Roger Linn's LinnStrument offer users access to whole new worlds of sonic expression, there's still something very appealing about the feel of real wood beneath the fingers. The Soundplane Model A throws cold plastic playing surfaces out the window and presents players with 150 walnut keys incorporating patent-pending continuous capacitive sensing technology, for a computer music controller with the feel of an acoustic instrument. Read More
— Music

String Stretcha breaks in new guitar strings in just five minutes

Stretching guitar strings using finger and thumb can be a very fiddly pain in the behind. String Stretcha makes the process a lot less random and a whole lot easier. Made from a crush-resistant epoxy material, the ergonomically-shaped tool features a grooved hook and heel which grip the string between them and allow the player/tech to give the strings a proper and consistent stretch in about five minutes. Read More
— Music

Soundmatters upgrades foxLv2 portable Bluetooth speaker

Those not willing to compromise on sound quality when out and about have been enjoying the impressive sound and compact form factor of Soundmatters' foxLv2 and foxLv2 Bluetooth portable speakers for over a year. Now the company founded by physicist and former NASA engineer Dr Godehard Guenther has updated foxLv2 line with the upcoming release of the foxLv2 PLATIMUM unit. Along with a new platinum-look finish, the PLATINUM model boasts improved battery life, new audiophile cabling and the inclusion of apt-X audio coding to provide CD quality audio over Bluetooth. Read More
— Music

9-string Kelstone guitar plays like a piano

It has the look of a lap steel and can certainly be used for playing slide guitar compositions but the relatively low action on the Kelstone 9-string guitar opens up many more opportunities over its 26 frets. Developed by Belgium's Jan Van Kelst, players can strum, pick, hammer-on and pull-off, slide, bend, use both hands like a piano player - or combinations of all such techniques. Read More
— Music

One-of-a-kind Gravity Harp features robotic pendulums

This half-pendulum half-harp musical instrument is the creation of New York based interactive design company, Pattern Studio. Dubbed "The Gravity Harp," it was commissioned by Icelandic musician Bjork for her recent Biophilia tour. The innovative device features four robotic pendulums, each housing an eleven string harp. Hanging 20 feet above ground, the pendulums slowly swing back and forth whilst communicating with a control computer using an RS485 network. In order to maintain an even sequence of notes, each pendulum swings 90 degrees out of phase with its neighbor and is controlled by a motor attached at the top. Read More
— Music

Bose outs Bluetooth-enabled SoundLink Wireless Mobile speaker

Bose has updated its wireless speaker lineup with a new Bluetooth-enabled portable unit. Featuring an integrated cover which doubles as a stand, the Bose SoundLink Wireless Mobile Speaker is tailored for outdoor use with a built-in lithium-ion battery delivering up to eight hours of playback (make that three hours if you crank it to 11) and a shock-resistant shell/stand that's designed to withstand salt-fog, sand, or moisture. Read More
— Music

Sennheiser releases RS 220 wireless headphones

How many people out there like headphone cords? Probably not a great number, but audiophiles will tell you that hard-wired headphones offer far superior sound quality than their wireless counterparts. Sennheiser, however, would have us believe otherwise. The company states that thanks to its Direct Sequence Spread Spectrum (DSSS) technique, its new RS 220 wireless headphones sound like they’ve got a cord coming out of ‘em. Read More
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