THE PROJECT – BECAUSE THERE IS NO FUTURE WITHOUT A PAST
Some products are not meant to be tied to a singular historical moment. Electa Amator III and Minima
Amator II were born with this concept in mind and together give life to the Heritage collection from
Sonus faber. Paying homage to its past through classic design, while strongly breaking through the
barrier of time with an electro-acoustic point of view, the Heritage collection transmits the tradition of
the brand and enhances its artistic relevance.
Because there is no future, without a past.
The natural evolution of today’s Sonus faber, is enclosed in this new creation. Minima Amator II is the
restatement of a fundamental product first introduced in 1992 when the company was establishing key
principles that would go on to guide future productions: accurate design and high-quality natural
materials, combined to obtain a sound reproduction as natural as possible.
Inspired by 36 years of worldwide experience in the Audio High-End sector, Minima Amator II merges
the brand’s iconic style with innovative technology bringing to life the fundamentals of high-end Italian
craftsmanship to create musical instruments.
The new Minima Amator II is a creation clearly dedicated to music reproduction with a lifestyle aesthetic
that effortlessly lends itself to any environment.
The compact, solid walnut wood of the cabinet adds to the speaker’s sound quality, resulting in a
harmonious, smooth and consistent listening experience. The cabinet is embellished by a thin brass
insert at the base, reminiscent of the elegant Electa Amator III design.
The front baffle shows the iconic shape of the Voice of Sonus faber and is covered in leather. The rear
panel, also covered in leather, houses the exit of the reflex duct and is embellished by the brass binding
The Minima Amator II was intended to be a bookshelf speaker but is designed to be paired with the Carrara Stand (natural completion of Electa Amator III) or with the Unicum stand.
ELECTRO-ACOUSTIC SOLUTIONS – TINY BUT MIGHTY
Minima Amator II is a 2-way bookshelf loudspeaker system; a simple project that features the patents
and technological solutions that characterize the latest Sonus faber creations:
• A 28 mm silk dome Tweeter, implemented with the DAD – Damped Apex DomeTM technology, for
a clear high frequency reproduction.
• The “Paracross topologyTM” crossover design, for the best dynamic range and highly defined
• A 6-inch midwoofer, developed in the Vicenza-based laboratory, features the well-known
cellulose pulp and natural fibers cone on a die-cast aluminum basket, able to reveal even the
smallest details during music reproduction
The suggested retail price for the pair of loudspeakers is 4.000€ (VAT included)
Minima Amator II will be available in European markets in June and in North American and Asian markets in July of 2019.
Binghamton, NY – May 21, 2019– McIntosh, the global leader in prestigious home entertainment and ultimate-quality audio for 70 years, is proud to announce the C49 Preamplifier.
Be prepared for future digital music technologies with the C49 Preamplifier. The C49 features our DA1 Digital Audio Module, which can be replaced by newer McIntosh digital audio modules that accommodate new digital technologies. This will allow the C49 to be kept up to date with digital music formats and viable well into the future.
The C49 comes with a multitude of inputs. For analog, it has 2 balanced, 3 unbalanced, 1 Moving Coil and 1 Moving Magnet. On the digital side, it has 6 inputs housed in the DA1 module: 2 coaxial, 2 optical, 1 USB and 1 proprietary MCT (for use with our MCT series of SACD/CD Transports). The DA1 is powered by an 8-channel, 32-bit Digital-to-Analog Converter (DAC) that is used in Quad Balanced mode; it supports up to DSD256 and DXD 384kHz for playback of high resolution audio. In total, the C49 has 13 inputs, and each can be given user-friendly names to simplify system setup and control.
For outputs, the C49 has 2 balanced variable outputs, 2 unbalanced variable outputs, and 1 unbalanced fixed output. The outputs are designed for easy use when bi-amping speakers so that neither the highs or lows are inadvertently turned off. Audio sources can be fine tuned via the bass and treble tone controls. The C49 can be seamlessly integrated into a home theater system via Home Theater Pass Through. Power Control ports allow for the easy turn on/turn off of other connected McIntosh components, while the Data Ports can send remote control commands to connected source components. Our High Drive headphone amplifier with Headphone Crossfeed Director (HXD®) is also included.
The C49 comes complete with classic McIntosh design staples such as a black glass front panel, knobs, an illuminated logo and aluminum end caps. Pair it with a variety of amplifiers, turntables, CD players, tuners, speakers, and room correction devices to make a complete home audio system.
Pricing and Availability Orders for the C49 can now be placed with Authorized McIntosh dealers with shipping expected to begin to the United States in May 2019 and the rest of the world shortly thereafter.
Suggested retail price (VAT, shipping and any customs duties related to current standards of individual countries are excluded): $5,000 USD
About McIntosh Founded in 1949, McIntosh Laboratory, Inc. is known for offering distinguished quality audio products, superior customer service and the ultimate experience in music and film. All McIntosh products are handcrafted at the Binghamton, NY factory by over 150 employees with a passion for music and the McIntosh heritage. McIntosh continues to define the ultimate home entertainment experience for discriminating consumers around the world, with the iconic “McIntosh Blue” Watt Meters globally recognized as a symbol of quality audio. Since its inception, McIntosh has been powering some of the most important moments in music history and pop culture. From President Lyndon Johnson’s inauguration speech to Woodstock to the famous Grateful Dead “Wall of Sound,” McIntosh has not only witnessed history, it has shaped it. With McIntosh, customers have the ability to create their own premium audio experience – and truly live their music. Visit www.mcintoshlabs.com to learn more.
Ever since The Den India, relocated to their new venue and opened for business last month, Pawan Sahjwani, the owner had been patiently calling me time and again to come over and experience his entire AV Showroom but for some reason or the other, it did not materialise until yesterday when I decided to go for an impromptu visit that too without him being aware of the same. To be honest, I was keen to do so only once his allocated hi end stereo set up was in place, up and running and to the satisfaction of Khushrau Jilla, the bossman of Nexus AV. To me that was the proverbial cherry on the cake, but to what extent it was going to bamboozle me was still unknown. More on that later….
I shall purposely not include an in depth review of each component of the room which from now onwards I shall refer to as the ‘Unit’ in this article, as I feel that the sum of the total parts is what makes the ‘unit’ perform the way it does. The break-up of the components installed were as follows:-
AVM MP3.2 CD Player with Streamer
Octave V70SE with Black Box (External Power Supply Booster)
PMC Twenty5.26 – 3 Way Floor Standing Loud Speakers
Kaiser Acoustics Diffuser and Absorber Panels
Music heard on CD’s –
Retrospective – The Best of Suzanne Vega
This is one album, I thought was simply at it’s best playing at really very high spl with immense bass control in songs like ‘Luka’, ‘Tom’s Diner’, ’99.9F’, ‘Blood Makes Noise’
Ms. Vega’s vocals were always in the spotlight but with the rest of the instruments in balance, making one wanting to hear the album in its entirety.
Meenaxi: Tale of 3 Cities – OST
The drum beats of ‘Yeh Rista’ were intoxicating, the composition of ‘Chinnamma Chilakamma’ sounded brilliant and the effervescent artifacts of the entire sum of the musical and non musical instruments used to create a vivid image of ‘Cyclist’s Rhythm’ were mesmerising to say the least. This song perfectly encapsulates AR Rahman’s creative genius and why this album needs to be in every music enthusiasts collection of CD’s.
Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow
This is one of my favourite albums that I thought was very poorly mastered and recorded until yesterday when I heard it. ‘Man on the silver mountain’, ‘Catch the rainbow’, ‘Snake Charmer’, ‘The temple of the king’. I was specifically listening to certain passages of each song twice or thrice, literally in disbelief as what was I hearing was truly possible or not? Most noteworthy in all the tracks was the presence of Cozy Powell’s insane melodic timing with his stick work and intense rhythmic pounding of the skins and cymbals that was never felt as deeply as it was today. Now I can live happily in the fact that this album is indeed recorded and mastered at a higher level than what I was lead to believe for all these years!
Stradivari Sampler – Volume 2
The control the ‘unit’ displayed whilst playing Bach’s ‘Toccata and Fugue in D Minor’ had to be heard to be believed. The bass was felt more than heard which was magnificent and really satisfying.
If You Wait – London Grammar
Hannah Reid’s seductive vocals in ‘Strong’ were simply a treat to my ears. The strong (pun intended) bass was also a revelation.
The Dark Knight OST – Hans Zimmer
The true depth and power of this extremely dark composition needs to be heard in it’s entirety of 16 odd minutes to truly comprehend what Hans Zimmer is all about. Incredibly powerful and deeply connects with you on an emotional level. ‘If you are a fan of the movie then you can simply visualise the scenes in front of you, such is the impact’. Khusrau said so and I concur.
Random Access Memories – Daft Punk
The tracks ‘Giorgio’ and ‘Contact’ just pull you into the music with an addictive bassline and intense contact (again pun intended) The frenzied pace of the beats kept me awake at night, whilst I tried to get some sleep but the experience had earlier in the day was not leaving my consciousness. Total knock out!
Love In The Modern Age – Josh Rouse
I heard this artist and album for the first time thanks to Khusrau. It has a very 1980’s music feel that instantly connects with a listener who grew up in the ‘80s. ‘Businessman’ is a track with so much of the ‘80s synth vibe that it instantly transports you into a happy space, emotional connect and nostalgia. I heard this track a couple of times and each time enjoyed it even more!
I literally had a ‘reset’ and my ears were re-calibrated by the ‘unit’ whilst listening to all the albums that I had carried along with me. The intensity of the music played at varying volumes was always on point. Infact, so seductive that it makes you listen to the album end to end, what with so many nuances in the recordings coming to the fore that you are bamboozled by how much information there has been in your favourite tracks that you are realising this only after listening to it in this environment. Ones ears also get re-calibrated with regard to the lower frequencies, their texture, quality and finesse that sadly most if not all of us have never truly experienced in our life to date. Another important aspect of the whole experience was that we could listen to music at a stretch for hours together, without any ear fatigue, irritation and also manage conversations without having to shout or strain to hear the other person speak. A side note and probably the irony of this being reiterated with authority was when an accompanying non audio video industry related person mutually known to me and others in the audio video industry had just come from an uber high end system set up listening session, where he was truly miffed at the level of sheer ear fatigue and irritation he experienced in that listening session vis a vis to what he experienced in this room. He was simply not able to comprehend how a uber hi end stereo music set up costing 6 times more than the ‘Unit’ was so terrible, painful to the ear and not able to have any musical connect with him at all?
The sharing of his experience simply reassured me and validated what I was experiencing was true and there was NO false sense of over appreciation that he or I was intentionally or unknowingly getting into.
One thing that impressed me most about the whole set up is that Pawan clearly states that he is selling you a tailor made solution that is guaranteed to make you happy as the entire gear on demo including the acoustic panels will be sold as a ‘unit’ or single entity only. Yes, you may want to buy selective components from the ‘unit’ but how will it perform by itself is not something that he is interested in getting into. As far as Pawan is concerned, there is clear focus and a plan of action in what the ‘unit’ does. Play the entire game or don’t play it at all! This ensures top level performance that is guaranteed to make a music enthusiast relish the opportunity of experiencing sheer bliss. At a price of 40 lakhs, our market may be very very small and insignificant in context to the one in matured markets worldwide, but the fact that there are buyers of hi end audio in our country and that their tribe is growing, is gratifying and ensures that the need of the hour is to correctly showcase hi end stereo in India. The hallmark of a great sounding and optimised room is how much one is able to just forget all the baggage of life and relax into a nice comfortable chair to not only listen but to get involved in the music. The ‘Unit’ achieves this so effortlessly that it became addictive for me to hang around inside its environment for a couple of hours than what was supposed to be just a few minutes.
Overall to sum things up, it takes courage of conviction & intestinal fortitude to go all out and walk the talk. Pawan & Khushrau have managed to showcase in our country, what high end stereo done at an international level is all about. It is a matter of great satisfaction that now there is yet another dealer who is ready to make the dream a reality as far as hi end stereo set up showcasing is concerned.
Chapeau time for both the gents mentioned above and look forward to them succeeding in their endeavour. I only hope that the others too in the audio industry take the cue from them and collectively take the leap of faith to replicate such environments pan India.
As always, my aim is to first and foremost be unbiased and share what I feel on a personal level than sugar coat or wax eloquently on something that isn’t true. Infact, I would appreciate the readers of this article to visit The Den India and experience first hand what I did yesterday. It would be best if you could get in touch with Pawan and his team to fix an appointment for experiencing the same. I also suggest to carry all your favorite music album CD’s to enjoy to the maximum.