New Products at World Wide Stereo: November Edition
A mix of wow, whoa, and wonderful
A small yet powerful amp ahead of its time. A turntable well suited to either the Smithsonian or MOMA – as beautiful to look at as it is to listen to. The latest noise-cancelling headphones from the industry’s undisputed noise-cancelling champions. A boombox that could survive even the wildest dorm party, and two speakers from true music legend (and Isle of Wright producer) Nikki Farr.
Just a few of the newest new products now hitting the bay doors at World Wide Stereo, the world’s single best online repository of great audio, stunning video, rock solid connectivity - and FUN.
Get your gift list ready, pencils up… let’s take a look at the new and notable on our shelves this month:
Behold: the Decco125 SKY from Peachtree.
Versatile, powerful and smart.
The industry’s paradigm shift towards all-things streaming is getting interesting — and Peachtree Audio’s newest integrated amp, the Decco125 SKY, takes full advantage. And though it’s not going to win any beauty contests, the Decco125 SKY is extremely versatile, powerful, and a great starting place if you’re setting up your own wireless, room-to-room music system. (Btw, “SKY” is what Peachtree calls their own wireless ecosystem, in which the Decco125 is the centerpiece.)
120 watts per channel. Go ahead, turn this puppy up.
With that kind of power, the Decco125 SKY delivers on all fronts in spite of its unassuming appearance. And as for multi-tasking, Peachtree Audio covered every base, even future-proofing the Decco125 SKY so it will play nice with new Peachtree products still in R&D. In fact, according to the company, the Decco 125SKY is the first in a series of streaming products slated to follow soon.
So many possibilities.
It would be quicker to list what the Decco125SKY can’t do, but suffice it to say “just add speakers” and just about anything is possible. Highlights include:
- The Decco125SKY creates its own wireless network easily accessible via your phone, so you control everything, wherever you are. (Though it does ship with a small remote.)
- Peachtree includes an excellent built-in DAC for your other digital devices – CD, TV, computer, whatever. So your music sounds like it should, no matter where it’s coming from.
- Separate power supplies drive both the phono section and the axillary inputs with full analog circuitry. (No shortcuts + no compromising = better sound.)
- Inputs set aside just for your TV, CD player, turntable and music server. Who doesn’t love inputs?
- A separate, dedicated amp just for headphones. (Thank you!)
- Access your music on your phone even if there’s no WiFi available in SKY Direct mode.
- Stream directly from TIDAL Spotify, TuneIn and all your go-to music sources.
- A little something for old-schoolers: a small but smart remote control that lets you navigate just like you would on a CD player.
Setting up is as easy as 1, 2, done.
Simply connect your speakers (or better yet, upgrade your speakers right here) and then download the app. The Decco125 SKY will see your phone and present you with every music streaming option under the sun. Life is good. (Or in this case, peachy.)
Think this would fit in a stocking? (We do.) As of writing this, Peachtree’s own inventory is sold out,* but we still have stock. Get your own Decco125 SKY in time for the holidays right here.
CAPTION: Get the perfect pair of speakers for your new Decco125 SKY, whatever your budget, right here. ( * The above is true according to Peachtree’s site on 10/30/17.)
The ELAC Miracord 90th Anniversary Turntable.
Equal parts record-turner / head-turner.
We’ve been all about audio for almost 40 years now, so, yeah, we’ve seen our share of great-looking turntables… but holy mackerel: this thing is gorgeous. The kind of gorgeous you stare at even when it’s off.
The ELAC Miracord 90 was designed and built to pay homage to the original Miracord and the invention of stereo, which came by way of British engineer and inventor Alan Bower Blumlein in 1931. The art deco / Chrysler Building / vintage 1930s look on the outside comes in 4 different color options, but it’s what’s inside the Miracord 90th Anniversary Turntable that makes it really sing. For the complete list of specs, check our product page here. In the meantime, check these highlights:
Advanced tech plinth. Inside the Miracord 90’s plinth, the intricate series of sensors and bearings that gives the Miracord 90 it’s incredibly smooth rotation. The aluminum platter alone weighs in at 13 pounds 4 of 9 and sits atop a steel axis, which in turn rotates atop a ruby ball. The end result: a turntable as friction-free and perfect as it gets, not to mention totally spellbinding to watch.
Advanced cartridge and stylus. For the cartridge, ELAC made the very smart move of consulting AudioTechnia, who then designed and built an exclusive cartridge and stylus just for the Miracord 90. The cartridge features its own MicroLine diamond stylus and was contoured to better fill the record groove. The result is distinct: high resolution-like sound, freaky good reproduction and absolute pristine channel separation.
Advanced tone arm and controls. The Miracord 90 comes with a lightweight carbon fiber tonearm that aligns perfectly with the record. An oil-dampened mechanism lowers the tonearm in a way that’s butter smooth and pinpoint accurate, while a small weight balances skating / anti-skating. Both rotational consistency and wow & flutter are monitored and tweaked automatically, though you still control all via the Miracord 90’s manual controls through both a +/- 5% pitch control and 33 vs. 45 RPMs selector.
Did we mention it’s gorgeous? No question: the Miracord 90 makes for a very, very special holiday gift for the very, very good boys or girls in your life, and we expect it to sell out fast. Pick your color and reserve your very own, right here, right now.
QuietComfort Wireless Headphones II.
Now on talking terms.
You probably know: it was Bose who perfected noise-cancelling headphones in the first place some 31 years ago. What you may not know: while everyone else is still playing catch-up, Bose keeps raising the ante, not only fine-tuning its proprietary technology but also adding every feature under the sun - including Google Assistant, built-in.
The best just got better. Way better.
There’s a lot to talk about with the Bose QuietComfort 35 II, but let’s hit the three biggies here:
1) They’re wireless. And they set-up with ease, thanks to voice prompts that walk you through pairing to your phone, tablet, or computer. Voice prompts will also let you access your phone’s own virtual assistant, a la Siri or Alexa, which leads us to the big news:
2) Thanks to Google Assistant built-in, you can tell your Bose QuietComfort headphones what to do by simply pressing the action button — and talking. (Google Assistant is like Apple’s Siri, or Android’s Alexa.) You can control your music, send and receive text, check appointments, check scores, whatever, by just talking to your new Bose QuietComfort headphones. No interaction with your phone needed.
3) The Bose QuietComfort 35s give you up to 20 hours of brilliant performance per charge. (Hallelujah.) And they’re comfortable, too – covered in Alcantara®, that really soft/plush material often used in yachts and high-end cars. Overall fit and finish is pure Bose, they feel as good as they look.
Give Bose a standing-O.
Bottom line: Bose noise cancellation technology is so sublimely good, it’s no wonder so many frequent flyers won’t fly without them. And now, with Google Assistant onboard ready to help and no wires in the way, the world’s most beloved headphones have taken a radical change for the better – and it’s a sure bet the world will take notice.
Spoil someone you love this holiday, and drop a pair of Bose QuietComfort headphones in their lap. Bose is a best-seller, so get yours before the rush – right here.
Riva WAND Series Multi-room Wireless Speakers
The Riva Arena and The Riva Festival, from Rikki Farr.
Riva’s founder, Rikki Farr, is a legend in the rock world… a man who produced concerts with Jimi Hendrix, Miles Davis, RUSH, The Who, Guns n’ Roses, Led Zeppelin and everyone who was anyone back in the day. Years later, Rikki starts RIVA Audio, a company dedicated to, in Rikki’s words, “recreating that same authentic, amazing, dynamic and powerful music to a generation that is currently listening to a diluted, over-processed, unkind reproduction of what was supreme in its writing.” (Rikki does not mince words.)
Riva's WAND (Wireless Audio Network Design) series offers one of the most extensive feature sets we've seen in multi-room wireless speakers - or even in portable Bluetooth speakers for that matter: open architecture, hi-res audio, built-in Chromecast, single-source stereo, away mode, charge out, Bluetooth, AirPlay, DLNA, splash resistant, and 20+ hours of optional battery life. That's right, you don't have to plug these in - they're portable. So you can listen to whatever you want, wherever you want and you don't even need Wi-Fi. The WAND series lets you create your own network of one or more WAND speakers even without a Wi-Fi connection.
The Riva Festival.
The Festival is all about recreating big, authentic, lose-yourself-in-the-moment, concert sound. If dad was a Zeppelin freak, or loved Jethro Tull, give him the Riva Festival for the holidays and watch him light up when he hears the past come to life. If mom lived for Joni Mitchell, same thing.
The Festival is a wireless compact speaker that offers Stereophonic sound and 200 watts of power for a 106+db punch. Three woofers, three tweeters, four passive radiators and Riva’s patented Trillium Audio Technology – a way to enlarge audio images without inordinate compression – work together to achieve that unique, “live” Riva sound. Put a Festival in a large room, turn it up, and you’ve got front row tickets to thousands of the best concerts of all time.
The Festival comes with lots of connectivity options (Wi-Fi, AirPlay, Bluetooth, DLNA, DDMS) ands setting up via the Google Home app is easy. Stream audio via Chromecast built-in and Spotify Connect. The Festival also supports high-res audio, up to 24-bit/192kHz for amazing detail.
For a complete list of specs, check our Riva Festival product page right here.
The Riva Arena.
The Riva Arena is the Riva Festival’s little brother. The Arena offers all the same connectivity options, but comes with 50 Watts of power instead of 200. (50 watts is still more than enough to muss up your hair.) And, according to Riva, Arena’s three ADX drivers and three passive radiators reproduce more of the musical spectrum than any comparable product. For a more complete list of specs, check our Riva Arena product page right here.
Our opinion: both the Arena and the Festival are very impressive wireless speakers, and would still be worthy of consideration at twice the price. Surprise the music lover in your life – put a Riva Festival or Riva Arena under the tree. We’ll ship it totally free, right here.
The Riva Festival and The Riva Wand are both part of Riva’s WAND Series. At this year’s CEDIA awards in San Diego, Riva’s WAND Series won “best wireless audio speaker.”