About Sigma Professional Public Addressing Hi-Fi Sales


NEWS

21.08.2009
Swedish manufacturer Easyrig have released a new version of there unique camera support system – the Easyrig 4 Vario.


The Easyrig 4 Vario incorporates all the features of Easyrig Cinema 3 with the introduction of a variable gas absorber to allow variable tension adjustment. This provides the versatility to handle a wider range of camcorder weights by simply turning a nob at the back of the support arm.

The Easyrig 4 Vario will be available in two different models to cover a range of different weights: 4 to 12 kg and 10 kg to 16 kg.

Easyrig versions 2.5 and Cinema 3 will still be available and inventor Johan Hellsten sees a future for all Easyrig models. ”We now have three different Easyrig systems to accomodate all scenarios and fit within different budgets.

The concept of Easyrig remains the same on all models – to relieve your back when filming, transferring most of the camera weight from your shoulders to your hips. This reduces the static load on the neck and shoulder muscles, and distributes it to other parts of the body which are more capable of handling it.

The Easyrig gives you the speed and mobility of a handheld camera, while still achieving steady shots from the shoulder, the hip or even at knee level. The powerful suspension lines will easily accept the new lightweight digital cameras and the heavier professional Camcorders, as well as 35 mm film cameras up to 18 kg (40 lbs).

Prior to it’s release Easyrig 4 Vario has been tested in the field for over 6 months in New Zealand and Norway.

Easyrig 4 Vario will be launched at IBC 2009, Booth 11.C76. Exhibition 11th to 15th September. RAI Amsterdam.

For more information wisit: www.easyrig.com.

STATEMENT ( from the man on the picture) : "The Vario 4 handled the Arri 435 with absolute ease. It did not even really challenge the Vario. I could add many more accessories and still be comfortable with the Easyrig Vario. It was amazing to hand hold a 35mm camera so steadily and with such ease. The Vario tension adjustment was about half. It was so easy to adjust. I determined roughly what the tension needed to be before putting on the camera and Easyrig. Then once mounted it needed to be adjusted. While still wearing Easyrig I took the weight of camera and had assistant adjust the tension knob. It took about 20 seconds to set the correct tension and I was ready to shoot. Fantastic." David Paul Director of Photography New Zealand



26.06.2009
Creek Audio's attack at Munich 2009 HiEnd..


From their latest newsletter:

“Two very exciting products were previewed by Creek in Munich, both scheduled for release in the Autumn.

The first is a more powerful Evolution amplifier – the Evolution 5350. As the 5350 was such a popular product for Creek, we elected to retain the name to highlight the fact that even though the Evolution range is entirely manufactured in China, this newest amplifier remains a truly 100% Creek design.

In designing the Evolution 5350 we have developed a completely new high current bi-polar power amplifier to enable it to drive low impedance loudspeakers with modern dynamic music from high resolution sources. This has required a radical approach to enable it to be fitted into a slim-line case.

Each power amp is now built as a module, using a high proportion of surface mount components, on a double sided PCB, bolted to a massive 18 fin heat-sink. This means both channels are identical and can be fitted and removed easily for servicing if required. The power amp topology includes a cascaded differential voltage amplifier and MOSFET current drive stage feeding a double Darlington output stage with four high-current bi-polar transistors to produce a very powerful amplifier capable of driving the most demanding of loads, with high resolution and accuracy. DC stability is maintained by a servo amplifier that rejects DC and allows the amplifier to be coupled directly without capacitors.

In a further development of the Evolution 2 integrated amplifier’s pre-amplifier section, 5 inputs are selectable by high current gold plated relays and switchable access to the power amp allows the Evolution 5350 to be driven directly by the front channels of a 5.1 AV receiver. The standard Creek plug-in Phono pre-amp is also featured.

To enable 2 x 200 Watts into 4 Ohms to be produced from a small case, Creek has developed a high frequency switching power supply that can produce more than 400W, to power left and right power amp channels separately, plus pre-amp and digital circuits. The power supply is housed inside an electrically shielded case within the amplifier.

To keep the power amps operating safely, they are monitored by discrete transistor circuitry to protect against over-current demand, short circuits, over-temperature and DC offsets. Relays mute the input and separate the loudspeaker outputs in case of faults.

The Evolution 5350 is operated from the front panel by rotary digital controls for input selection and volume control plus push buttons for Tape and Speaker selection, Mute and Power On/Off. A new Evolution system remote handset has been developed, which uses a microcontroller similar to that used in the Destiny remote and can operate different products in the Evolution and Destiny range. "


"Gold plated input and output sockets have been chosen to provide a good connection and appearance for a product at its price point. Loudspeakers are connected by up to 2 sets of high current gold plated binding posts, with plastic touch-proof covers. The amplifier also has a headphone socket; something which is becoming an increasingly rare feature of modern amplifiers.

It is taller than the Evolution 2 amp – the 5350 is 90mm high.

A large vacuum fluorescent display (VFD) on the front panel indicates the state of the amplifier. Input selection, volume position and loudspeaker connection is displayed though a blue filter. The brightness can be altered from the remote control handset.

The target price for this amplifier is U.K. retail £1,000."


"The second new product showcased in Munich was the Wyndsor Phono preamplifier.

Creek Audio has a long history of making fine sounding Phono pre-amplifiers. Dating back to its first product, the 4040, in 1982 and more recently the fine sounding OBH range of stand-alone Phono pre-amps, Creek has always applied extra attention to this part of the amplifier’s circuit to obtain the best performance and price. The complexity and accuracy of previous Creek in-built and external OBH Phono amps have always been balanced to suit the total cost of the product and to match the grade of performance verses price.

We have developed the Wyndsor Phono Pre-amp as a no compromise stand-alone product. It is built into the same stylish case as the Wyndsor LP1 Speed Controller, which is used to power Creek’s high-end turntable.

The features of this product created quite a stir throughout the show.

To provide the best performance, left and right channels are built on separate PCB’s.

Each channel has dedicated power supply regulation to completely isolate it from the other channel. "


"Un-balanced input and outputs are connected via high grade gold plated RCA sockets.

Balanced input is possible via dedicated 3 pin mini DIN sockets.

Input selection, cartridge loading and gain are all fully adjustable from the front panel.

High quality gold contact relays are used to switch all the functions and are driven from a dedicated power supply to isolate them from the analogue pre-amp circuitry.

To indicate what functions are selected and to guide the user, a microcontroller based control interface is accessed through a rotary input selector and push buttons, together with a graphical display on the front panel.

Several types of cartridge with different parameters can be programmed to work with the Wyndsor and the user can name them and store them as pre-set numbers in the unit’s memory.

The user can write up to 16 characters on the display for each selection. For each entry the display will show the cartridge name and type, plus a full description of loading, gain and input type.

It was this specific user control feature which drew the most attention and accolades.

Mute will short the output of the preamp, while the user is changing a record. The anticipated UK retail price on this product is £885 and it is expected to be available by September. "



26.06.2009
Epos, introduced the flagship expected at Munich 2009 High End Show!..


The From their last newsletter :

"High End Show in Munich proved to a successful one for Epos. Munich provided the showcase for the pre-production introduction of the Epos Encore loudspeaker.

For many years now we have been asked for a much large Epos speaker, and after years of development we were delighted to have a working prototype of the Encore 50 available for all visitors to listen to.

There are still some minor changes to be made and the input from visiting people proved invaluable.

Standing 1.2 metres high, it is deeper rather than wide and will be supplied with a strong stylish painted MDF plinth to support its 50 kg weight. This is designed to also spread its footprint for improved stability and mechanical decoupling.

The image taken at the show indicates the size of the speaker alongside the M12i.

The cabinet itself is made from a composite of birch-plywood and MDF which has been extensively strengthened internally using plywood bracing within the mid range and bass enclosures.

Hand selected and book-matched real wood veneers have been specified to give the most luxurious finish on an Epos speaker to date. W will initially supply the speaker in a cherry finish.

Separate bass, midrange and crossover sections of the cabinet are hermetically sealed and allow the Crossover to be located in a convenient section at the bottom of the cabinet, accessed via the large, ventilated terminal panel on the bottom rear and a letter box opening in the plinth. All drive units are separately wired, using custom solid core wire, to the crossover section.

The 2 x 220 mm woofers and 158 mm mid?range cones are made from a Kevlar/carbon fibre/pulp mixture to combine high rigidity, with good inherent damping and feature concave dust caps coupled tightly to the cone. Frequency responses of both woofer and mid-range are inherently very smooth. They each incorporate a copper shorting ring in the magnetic circuit to reduce and linearise inductance. This will reduce harmonic and inter-modulation distortions at high sound pressure levels. The two woofer cones couple acoustically at low frequencies and are port loaded for extremely high power handling.

The 25 mm tweeter is a specially developed version of the Epos Mi tweeter, with anodized, aluminium dome, Kapton voice coil former, braided lead?out wires and Ferro-Fluid damping. The centre pole is damped under the dome and vented into a contoured feltfilled rear chamber to damp the fundamental resonance frequency.

The crossover design of the Epos Encore 50 is revolutionary. It allows the user unparalleled flexibility to compensate for individual room acoustics, without compromising sound quality in any way. The tonal balance may be increased or decreased in 1dB steps by means of hardwire links on the crossover PCB, accessed from the outside, via an aperture on the bottom of the speaker and plinth. The passive crossovers use a mixture of polypropylene and bypassed, nonpolarised electrolytic capacitors, air-core inductors, laminated steel-core inductors and metal-oxide resistors. The high sensitivity mid-range is attenuated by a tapped auto transformer, which doubles as the high?pass crossover inductor. The tweeter network also has variable attenuation via metal-oxide resistors. The maximum sensitivity treble position bypasses all attenuation. Passive components are mounted on a high quality, dual layer PCB, mechanically isolated from the cabinet. The crossover PCB’s are designed to be completely, or partially, by-passed, to enable the user to configure the speaker in passive or active mode. Creek Audio, the sister company of Epos, will offer custom active crossover modules to suit any make of amplification system. Ongoing development of this type for a future user upgrade to the Epos Encore 50 will represent yet another great leap forward in Epos speaker design and will have music lovers giving it a ‘standing ovation’.

Anticipated release is October 2009 and the RRP in the U.K. is estimated to be £5,000."



21.05.2009
Thorens, introduces the new attractive models in Munich HiEnd 2009!..


TD309:

A new take on sub-chassis technology: No one can deny that Thorens has made a major contribution to turntable engineering in the form of sub-chassis technology. Now the next chapter opens. The novel sub-chassis system of the TD 309 allowed us to optimally distribute the weight of the turntable, achieving perfect balance in both mechanical and aesthetic terms. Form and function work in harmony to make the TD 309 a turntable that is guaranteed to reveal the magic of analogue replay.

Tri-Balance: Because the three-point suspension system is housed in the turntable’s feet, the plinth is considerably slimmer than that of conventional sub-chassis decks. It is manufactured from a single piece of MDF, a material that offers excellent acoustic properties and can be machined to very tight tolerances. This enabled us to adopt a no-compromise approach to designing and positioning crucial components such as the tonearm and the motor. The result is a perfectly balanced turntable.

The heart of the turntable: Driven by a decoupled low-noise low-voltage DC motor via a fl at belt, the precision-machined sub-platter supports the main platter, which is made from fused silica. A special contact ring reduces resonance in the main platter.

Turntable and tonearm – a perfect match: The TP 92 tonearm, which was specially designed for the TD 309, uses an ultra-lowfriction bearing and an innovative magnetic anti-bias system with zero stiction. The arm tube is made from rolled aluminium that is damped using random-mass-reducing technology. The brass counterweight at the end of the arm tube is double-decoupled, and the tonearm is so designed that its centre of gravity is level with the stylus.


TD235:

The TD 235 is the manual counterpart of the TD 240-2. It has been equipped with the TP 19-1 tonearm and an extremely silent running precision belt drive beneath the platter, so that the other technical qualities are also most evident.



28.02.2009
Creek Destiny Power Amp - Highest Recommandation!


Please read the review of TNT Audio's Maarten van Casteren :
TNT Audio UK



17.02.2009
Thorens TD550 : Product of the Year 2009


German readers of the hifi press have again selected a Thorens product as their product of the year, for turntables.
In both magazines where this readers' selection has taken part, the Thorens TD 550 won first place, readers of the Audio and the Stereoplay both decided to put the TD 550 on first place.



03.02.2009
Council of Europe Selects Marantz PMD Solidstate Recorders for Digital Archive Applications


The Technical Management Department of the Council of Europe has selected Marantz Professional PMD570 and PMD580 solidstate recorders to fulfil its recording and archive requirements throughout its Strasbourg headquarters.

The Technical Management Department of the Council of Europe has selected Marantz Professional PMD570 and PMD580 solidstate recorders to fulfil its recording and archive requirements throughout its Strasbourg headquarters.

Following an extensive evaluation period, the department decided to replace all of its analogue systems with the Marantz solidstate solution and has purchased 10 PMD570 and 30 PMD580 units. The PMD recorders supersede an architecture based on professional compact cassette systems. The new systems were supplied and installed by IEC Strasbourg, supported by Alain Mielle, Head of IT and Multimedia at the Council of Europe.

“When IEC’s Strasbourg office first contacted me, the PMD580 was not yet commercially available,” explains Pascal Papin, Sales and Marketing Director of DMi France. “But we shared the advance product information we had with Eric Hezarifend, Business Sales Engineer, IEC, and agreed that the PMD580 specifications fitted the Council of Europe’s requirements perfectly. We had to work really fast to supply IEC within very short deadlines, but due to the fantastic responsiveness of both our IEC’s and own teams, we were able to deliver the first PMD580s on time.”

The PMD570 and PMD580 are professional 1U rackmount Compact Flash™ memory card recorder / players, providing non-linear recording, playback and editing, and USB file transfer using the highly convenient and secure CF media. Operation is selectable between linear PCM and MP3 formats – providing .WAV and MP3 file types. Bit rates are selectable between 32 and 320 kbps for MP3 recording. Record start and stop times can be scheduled, and a pre-record memory buffer enables recording to be activated at the start of an event. The integrated time and date generator automatically stamps all sessions. Both models feature and RS232 control.

The PMD580 additionally provides fully fledged network capabilities, with Ethernet LAN and USB connectivity. Drag and drop file transfer and network remote control, via the PC and Mac compatible web-based GUI, allows users to set menu parameters, schedule recording events, and transfer and archive audio files. Also included are balanced analogue and digital AES/EBU I/Os, and selectable 24-bit recording.

The PMD570 and PMD580 architecture was chosen by the Council of Europe to provide robust non linear digital acquisition, playback and storage capabilities, network functionality, ease of operation, and a wide range of audio compression settings.

The PMD570 and PMD580s are deployed throughout the Council of Europe to provide recording of Council of Europe meetings, Parliamentary Assembly sessions, European Court of Human Rights hearings, congress meetings, and meetings conducted either in dedicated meeting and conference rooms or in the hemicycle. The council hosts approximately 3,000 meetings a year among 60 meeting rooms and the hemicycle. Recordings are multilingual, often trilingual, comprising the speaker’s native language plus French and English. Once recorded, the information is transmitted via the network to the transcription department, after which recordings are archived and preserved as part of the Council of Europe’s ‘Audio Heritage’. Audio is recorded in MP3 format for conferences and transcriptions, and as PCM / .WAV for press release and archival purposes.



07.01.2009
Creek Audio, made revisions on Evolution series : Evolution 2

Both the amplifier and the CD player have been given a new lease of life. Creek designers are confident these changes will provide the users with greater reliability and improved performance.

CD player modifications are stated as below :


Plastic drawer-loader changed to an improved version which provides better reliability.


Philips type VAM1202 laser mechanism changed to a Sanyo SF?HD850.
Has soft rubber suspension on transport for improved mechanical isolation.


The NXP CD10 decoder chip-set upgraded to the latest version (based on SAA7824), which is all now located under the drawer-loader mechanism together with all support circuitry.
All CD transport functions housed under mechanism are connected to the main board via an IDC (insulation displacement connector) for improved reliability.
The connection from the main PCB to the display PCB is via an IDC cable for improved reliability.


Improved filtering and output buffering.


Burr-Brown DAC is upgraded to latest PCM 1796 which has 6dB better dynamic range, reduced distortion and noise performance.
Improved Master/Clock oscillator with SPDIF and DAC re-clocking circuitry.
Improved clock distribution with drive and micro clocks buffered to prevent any interference appearing on the audio master clock lines.
RCA sockets for ones similar to those used in the amplifier.


Separate TOSLINK SPDIF socket. RCA sockets for audio and digital output.
Added PCB’s for mounting RCA output sockets
Replaced solid metal feet for plastic moulded versions, which look identical to the original feet.
Optimised thickness of steel chassis.

And the amplifier improvements are as follows:


External changes are limited to altering the front panel model designator to EVOLUTION 2


Functionally, the preamplifier now provides a separate AV input, which switches the signal direct to the power amplifier. It is also controlled from the remote handset for convenience. Internally, the amplifier has been upgraded to provide better sonic and measured performance.
This means the power amp level can be adjusted by a separate 5.1 receiver and can be used to optimally drive a 2 channel system or 5.1 system, without having to rewire it each time. It is also controlled from the remote handset for convenience.
Internally, the amplifier has been upgraded to provide better sonic and measured performance.


The power amplifier has been modified to increase its open loop gain by more than x2. This has been achieved by altering the current through its input and voltage gain stages to improve the high frequency gain.
The negative feedback has been reduced, to allow the amplifier to have a higher closed loop gain. The effect is lower distortion and noise. The voltage amplifier stages are now decoupled from the main power supply for reduced noise and distortion.
A higher grade sealed relay switch has been used for the speaker switching, resulting in better short and long-term sound performance and reliability.
The preamplifier has been modified to remove a gain stage after the volume control. This has significantly reduced unwanted noise, improved signal handling, lowered distortion and improved the distribution of gain to be similar to Creek’s higher-end Destiny model.
The preamplifier input buffer architecture has been modified to improve phase linearity, noise performance and provide higher input impedance.
Connections between the main PCB and the front panel PCB have been changed to IDC type, similar to the new CD player, for improved reliability
The power supply decoupling on the input buffers and volume control circuitry has been improved.
The ground distribution has been reviewed and improved.


Unwanted or unnecessary capacitors have been removed from the signal path, in keeping with standard Creek practice.
Signal paths have been shortened or rationalised to make improvements to crosstalk and interference suppression.


Power supply optimised to improve speed and timing.
Mains transformer size and regulation improved to optimise performance.


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