Monthly Archives: June 2012


Pioneer has just announced three new SMA series wireless music speaker systems.  The XW-SMA1 ($329), XW-SMA3 ($429) and XW-SMA4 ($429) will be available in Canada in August.  They are equipped with the latest wireless technologies including Apple’s AirPlay, DLNA 1.5 and Wireless Direct. 

In support of HTC Corporation’s new exclusive HTC Connect program, the three new SMA Wi-Fi speaker systems will also allow wireless streaming of audio files from HTC One smartphones directly to the speakers. Pioneer is the first consumer electronics manufacturer to receive HTC Connect certification; it will be incorporated into a number of its home entertainment products, including many of the latest 2012 Pioneer and Elite branded audio video receivers. 

The SMA speaker systems offer consumers a choice of connections via Wi-Fi based on the type of device, laptop or home network. Users of iPhone, iPad, iPod touch and computers running iTunes can connect via AirPlay for playback of music in a single room or multi speakers/multi-room setup. The speakers also offer DLNA 1.5 connectivity, enabling users to listen to music content pushed from their compatible networked devices, including a Mac computer, PC or handheld smart device via their existing home network. 

A first in the industry, all three-speaker models offer Pioneer’s Wireless Direct technology, which allows the speaker to act as its own Wi-Fi wireless access point. Through Wireless Direct, no home network is required, giving users the freedom to use the speakers in rooms where a Wi-Fi network might not be available. Additionally, with the XW-SMA3 model, the included rechargeable battery provides added convenience and portability allowing users to enjoy music from the speakers anywhere inside or even outside the home. 

Pioneer’s Chief Speaker Engineer Andrew Jones was deeply involved with the design and engineering of each XW-SMA speaker model, with the goal of outperforming the sound quality of similar products in the industry. Key components used in the speakers were carefully selected by Jones, including the drivers and crossovers, to achieve optimum sound. And, because the wireless audio transmission uses the high bandwidth of Wi-Fi, users hear the highest sound quality without the need for any additional compression. 

XW-SMA1 — Features dual 3-inch speakers and a 3/4-inch soft dome tweeter, and uses a tuned bass reflex port to enhance bass response. 

 XW-SMA3 — Using identical audio components as the XW-SMA1-K, the XW-SMA3-K model adds a rechargeable Lithium Ion battery and a tough exterior for added convenience and portability. When battery power is used, music playback lasts up to 4 hours at maximum volume and up to 6 hours at 50 percent volume. 

XW-SMA4 — Features five speakers, including dual 3-inch speakers, a dedicated 4-inch subwoofer and dual 3/4-inch soft dome tweeters. 

 For more info, please visit


Swiss manufacturer DaVinciAudio has just released a new NIFTY Mono Power Amplifier, a component designed for connoisseurs and music-lovers who are looking for the highest standards of accuracy in music reproduction.  This amplifier uses a special single ended class A design (20 watts) and an internal active regulated power supply.

Features of the NIFTY Mono Power Amplifier include: 
Inputs: 1 x RCA (on request XLR available) with 22kOhm input impedance
Outputs: 1 x loudspeaker
Dimensions: 190x240x400mm (LxHxD)
Weight : each approx. 30kg
Price: EURO 17’720 TAX and shipping not included

The whole NIFTY line consists of:
-Mono PowerAmplifier
-A fantastic MC PhonoStage would be available soon (the prototype sounds great, the mechanical production will starts in a few days) stay tuned

All chassis of DaVinciAudio amplifiers are milled on a full aluminum block. All DaVinciAudio amplifiers are built to order in their creative atelier in Allmendingen b. Bern, Switzerland.

DaVinciAudio is currently looking for a Canadian distributor and/or dealers.  For more info, please visit


Onkyo, has just announced the release of three new top-of-the-line A/V receivers for 2012.  These three new models include the world’s first full 11.4-channel implementation of DTS Neo:X, and the first use of Cisco Linksys’ SimpleTap technology in an audio/video component.  This release includes a new lavishly outfitted nine-channel flagship, the stunning TX-NR5010 Network A/V Receiver; a more moderately priced nine-channel alternative, the TX-NR3010 Network A/V Receiver; and lastly, a high-power seven-channel solution, the value-packed TX-NR1010 Network A/V Receiver.

Key Features Include:
– THX Ultra2 Plus certification to recreate the cinematic experience with dynamic Reference Level sound to larger home theaters
– 11.4-channel pre-outs with DTS Neo:X 11-channel upmixing support for both the TX-NR5010 and TX-NR3010, another world first for Onkyo
– First consumer electronics partner to incorporate Cisco Linksys’ SimpleTap technology
– Audyssey MultEQ XT32 room equalization with multi-channel upmixing from DTS Neo:X, Audyssey DSX, and Dolby Pro Logic IIz
– An additional HDMI output to enable 1080p playback in a second zone
– InstaPrevue picture-in-picture video input preview and selection technology
– Front-panel Mobile High-Definition Link HDMI port for phone/camcorder
– Extra HDMI inputs to support 3D Video plus Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio (8+1 inputs on all three models)
-Bluetooth 3.0 and aptX wireless audio streaming via optional adapter

The receivers all provide for seamless integration into lifestyle systems with Ethernet for access to preloaded audio streaming channels such as Spotify, and connectivity for smart phones, tablets, and PC via DLNA or Bluetooth.

Onkyo is working with Cisco to incorporate SimpleTap, becoming the first company to integrate SimpleTap technology into CE products. Firmware updates will be available to enable all 2012 Onkyo Network enabled receivers to take advantage of this new technology.

SimpleTap simplifies how AV receivers connected to the Network, so people can instantly enjoy their favorite tunes from music streaming services such as Pandora, Spotify, SiriusXM Internet Radio and many other services.

HDMI connectivity has also been enhanced by adding Zone2 HDMI connectivity that removes the need for a secondary analog connection in order to access audio in a second zone. Powered audio is available in up to three zones simultaneously—with multi-zone playback and setting controls managed by remote app.

The receiver’s primary role, however, is always at the heart of the home theater system, as well as providing transcendent stereo playback for music. As audio and video processors, these three receivers are unrivalled in their respective categories.

To conjure up the signature Onkyo sound, audio signals are passed through a sophisticated digital-to-analog conversion stage, with PLL jitter-cleaning, VLSC noise-mitigation, and top-quality TI Burr-Brown DAC modules working to create a pristine analog waveform.

Signals are then amplified through discrete Three-Stage Inverted Darlington Circuitry, with a triple transistor array that cuts distortion and boosts current flow to the speakers. This innovative amplifier design capitalizes on the unique benefits offered by a low negative feedback topology, preserving the life, vitality, and realism of the audio as it was originally recorded. Outputted through discrete transistors, the resulting sound further burnishes Onkyo’s reputation as the masters of high fidelity audio.

For optimum video performance, all three models feature Onkyo’s Dual Core Video Engine—hailed as the best video processing system currently available. This system pairs the mighty HQV Vida VHD1900 module with Marvell’s Qdeo technology for seamless upscaling to 4K. ISF video calibration further enhances smooth and vivid picture quality.

The flagship TX-NR5010 is aimed squarely at the avid home theater enthusiast. As part of the THX certification promise, this receiver is designed to deliver the highest audio and video quality for an unsurpassed home cinema experience right out of the box. Housed in a rigid chassis with separate anti-resonant aluminum top and side panels, the unit has a massive toroidal transformer supported by two discrete transformers for audio and video processing. With gold-plated audio terminals and speaker posts, this unit is fastidiously outfitted to audiophile-grade specifications.

Like its slightly more powerful sibling, TX-NR3010 also boasts multiple transformers for A/V processing, but features a heavy-duty EI transformer in place of toroidal power. All models feature isolated power and preamp blocks to reduce interference with super-rigid chassis to prevent vibration.

A new Differential DAC Mode and Digital Crossover Processing Network are also included on all three models to optimize performance when bi-wiring and bi-amping the front channels—further demonstrating Onkyo’s commitment to audiophile-level sound.

All three models boast an exhaustive the list of A/V connections.  In addition to the capacity to link with an iPhone, iPod, or flash memory device, these models include two USB ports in the front and rear to accommodate the UWF-1 Wireless LAN Adapter and UBT-1 Bluetooth USB Adapter (sold separately).

Onkyo made these heavyweights not only the best-looking, best-finished A/V receivers on the market, but also the easiest to set up and use.  The 1080p overlaid display with Quick Set-Up function enables fast mid-program adjustment, while remote control apps for Android-powered phones and iPhone offer access to system settings, as well as playback control from anywhere in the home.

The descendents of a long line of award-winning A/V products, these three unique receivers are a triumph of imagination and engineering, and demonstrate Onkyo’s commitment to keeping pace with dynamic and evolving technology while faithfully maintaining its traditional insistence on build quality and complete audio integrity.

The Onkyo TX-NR5010, TX-NR3010 and TX-NR1010 receivers will be available in July 2012 with MSRP of $3599.99, C$2699.99 and C$2099.99, respectively.  Look for more details at:


As suggested by rumors a few weeks ago, Sony and Panasonic have officially signed an agreement to join forces on the development of next-generation OLED (organic light-emitting diode) panels and modules for TVs and large-sized displays.

?Sony and Panasonic plan to jointly develop next-generation OLED panels and modules by each utilizing their core and printing technologies. They plan to jointly develop printing method-based next-generation OLED technology, which will be suitable for low-cost mass production of large, high resolution OLED panels and modules. Sony and Panasonic aim to establish mass-production technology during 2013, by integrating their unique technologies to improve the overall efficiency of development.

?Sony launched the world’s first OLED TV in 2007 with its 11-inch model. Sony also released a 25-inch professional OLED monitor in 2011, and continued to develop products and mass-produce OLED displays utilizing deposition technologies. Further, Sony has actively promoted the research and development of next-generation OLED technologies such as hybrid OLED element devices and processing (manufacturing) technologies that combine deposition and printing methods, thin film transistor (TFT) drivers such as oxide TFTs, and flexible organic TFTs, and has presented its development results at academic conferences.

?Panasonic is a leader in the technology development of large-sized screen, high-resolution OLED panels and utilizes the cutting-edge “all printing method”, among other printing methods which have the advantage of being competitive for producing large-sized screens at a lower cost. Panasonic owns the unique production and equipment technologies which enable the production of OLED panels through this method. Panasonic is also pursuing the future possibility of OLED panels, and is carrying out research and development of advancements in flexible OLED panels and aiming to develop large-sized, high quality sheet-type displays.

?In parallel with the joint development of the next-generation technologies of the OLED panels and modules, Sony and Panasonic plan to continue to study collaboration in the mass production of OLED panels and modules. Also, each company plans to utilize its own strengths to develop and commercialize its own competitive, high-performance, next-generation OLED televisions and large-sized displays.


Kiko is the latest music system from Linn. The Kiko has been designed to offer great sound in a sleek and stylish package that meets the needs of modern music enthusiasts.

Kiko is a network music player that plays digital content and allows for control through the use of a smartphone, tablet or laptop. The Kiko System consists of the Kiko DSM Internet-ready integrated amplifier and the Kiko two-way speakers.

With a broadband home network, Kiko can be added, allowing for wireless control of your entire music collection. Supported file types include FLAC, Apple Lossless, WAV, MP3, WMA, AIFF, AAC and OGG plus is UPnP Media compatible.

Linn’s Kiko has a back panel filled with inputs including analog via RCA, three HDMI, S/PDIF and optical TosLink. Outputs include HDMI on the rear panel with an auxiliary input and headphone output jack on the front panel.

The Kiko speakers are a two-way Aktiv, with each channel receiving its amplification from the Kiko main unit.

The Linn Kiko has a modern and stylish design and comes in six different colors including White, Light Blue, Silver, Champagne, Dark Blue and Black.

The unit can be positioned horizontally or vertically, with the option of wall-mounting the speakers. Kiko dimensions are 2.95″ x 11.02″ x 10.63 ” (HxWxD) and it weighs 5.3 lbs. The Kiko speaker dimensions are 10.23″ x 5.75″ x 7.35″ (WxHxD) and weigh 6.8 lbs.

Linn’s new Kiko is currently available and priced at $3,990 U.S. or £2500 U.K. Look for more details at:


Canalis has just announced the launch of its new website,  The new Canalis website provides both details and images as well as news about Canalis Audio products and the company, which is a new division of high-end audio manufacturer Spiral Groove.  Spiral Groove is a audio products design and manufacturing firm that has been building turntables and tonearms since 2005.

Canalis is the latest endeavor from Allen Perkins, founder of Spinal Groove, working in conjunction with renowned loudspeaker designer Joachim Gerhard.  Canalis offers four ultimate-performance loudspeakers including the Anima and Anima CS two-way compact monitors, the convention-breaking Cambria and the flagship floorstanding Allegra 2.0, along with the Anima Stand and Strange Attractors loudspeaker feet. Canalis loudspeakers are manufactured entirely in the US.

Canalis speakers incorporate Perkins’ concept of Balance Force Design, aimed at achieving the most elegant equilibrium of materials, performance, function, manufacturability and aesthetics. To this end, Canalis loudspeakers incorporate a number of novel engineering and materials concepts – including the use of multi-ply bamboo as a cabinet material.

Canalis loudspeakers are available in Honey, Licorice and Cinnamon finishes at prices ranging from $3,250 U.S. to $17,500 U.S. per pair.  Look for more details on Canalis products at their new website:


Ladies and gentlemen – start your engines and crank up the volume!  In a ground breaking move for a consumer electronics show, the 2012 Toronto Audio Video Entertainment Show will be presented by Porsche, one of the finest car manufacturers in the world.  In addition to being the headline sponsor of this year’s event, Porsche will give TAVES visitors an unprecedented opportunity to jump inside the 2012 Porsche 911 Carrera S and experience the new top-of-the-range Burmester High-End Surround Sound System.  But sorry… no laps around the hotel lobby.

The 2012 Porsche 911 Carrera S represents one of the biggest developments in the long history of this classic sports car. Almost 90 per cent of all components have been redesigned or redeveloped for this latest Carrera generation. With its all-new lightweight body, further drive train efficiencies and new suspension systems, the Coupé offers the driver improved Porsche Intelligent Performance. This manifests itself in yet further enhanced driving dynamics, up to 16 per cent lower fuel consumption and emissions combined with even greater everyday practicality.  The 2012 Porsche 911 Carrera S combines a 3.8-litre boxer engine with 400 horsepower with a rear-wheel drive and a seven-speed manual transmission or an optional seven-speed Porsche-Doppelkupplungsgetriebe (PDK) transmission.  It can accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in 4.5 seconds (4.3 seconds with PDK and 4.1 seconds with Sport Chrono Package) and offers a top speed of 304 km/h (302 km/h with PDK).

The optional Burmester High-End Surround Sound System offers an unprecedented level of audio performance in the sports car market.  Highlights of the system include a total output power of more than 800 watts, twelve individually controllable loudspeakers and a 140 millimeter (5.5-inch) subwoofer built into the bodyshell.  The system offers a frequency range of 35 Hz to 20 kHz in all seat positions and a maximum undistorted sustainable sound pressure level for music in excess of 120 dB.  When combined with the Porsche Communication Management (PCM), the system is capable of 5.1 channel playback of music and video discs.  The Burmester loudspeakers utilize light-weight fibreglass membranes while the Air Motion Transformer (AMT) ribbon tweeter features a pleated foil diaphragm. The optimal acoustic integration of the loudspeakers into the vehicle environment ensures a uniquely balanced, realistic music playback.  A careful choice of class A/B and class D output stages provide amplification for optimum sound reproduction.  Despite its high level of audio performance, the Burmester system weights a mere 6.5 kilograms.

For more information about Porsche and the Burmester High-End Surround Sound System please visit


Sony Electronics has announced the availability of their NSZ-GS7 Internet Player with Google TV. In addition, Sony’s newest Internet Blu-ray Disc player with Google TV, the NSZ-GP9 is set to be released in 2012.

Sony’s NSZ-GS7 and NSZ-GP9 bring the best of Google to your TV, with new experiences arriving every day through the Google Chrome browser; thousands of supported mobile apps in the Google Play Store, including hundreds optimized for TV; YouTube with 72 hours of video being added every minute; and a global community of developers from around the world. Google TV’s cross search functionality shows viewers all content sources available from broadcast providers and the Internet to deliver customized video results on demand.

Both new products come complete with a redesigned remote control equipped with a backlit QWERTY keyboard, a touch pad for easy operation and a three-axis motion sensor to enjoy games. Additionally, the Bluetooth remote control can also be utilized as a universal remote to control connected devices such as TV, set- top-box and A/V receivers – the NSZ-GP9 Blu-ray Disc player even incorporates voice search capabilities.

The NSZ-GS7 Internet Player will be available at retailers beginning July 22, priced at $199 U.S. The new NSZ-GP9 Blu-ray Disc Player with Google TV will be available before year-end, in time for the holiday season and priced at $299 U.S.

Look for more details on these products at:


Could your entertainment space use an interior designer’s touch?  TAVES is very proud to announce that top designer and television personality Yanic Simard of the Toronto Interior Design Group has joined the growing number of seminar presenters to be featured at the 2012 Toronto Audio Video Entertainment Show. Yanic has been featured in many Canadian and international publications, and you might recognize him from his regular design guest expert appearances on the Canadian acclaimed #1 Citytv show Cityline.  In his seminars, Yanic will share ideas and tips on how to create a visually appealing designer look for your space, while seamlessly integrating a music or home theatre system.  If you’re thinking of a setting up a new entertainment room or would like to breathe new life into an existing one – you won’t want to miss this exciting seminar!  Attendees will have the chance to participate in a draw to win a one-on-one Design Consultation with Yanic immediately following each presentation, specific to their media room.  More details, along with the schedule of this seminar, will be posted on the TAVES SEMINARS page a little closer to the show date.

In the meantime, for more information about Yanic Simard and the Toronto Interior Design Group please visit

For more information about TAVES, please visit


Definitive Technology, has announced the release of their new SoloCinema XTR sound-bar solution. The SoloCinema XTR system consists of the main soundbar, paired with a wireless subwoofer, and a convenient remote control. The self-powered main sound bar has a built-in processor (Dolby Surround, Dolby TrueHD, Dolby PLII, DTS, DTS-HD, Dolby Volume, Definitive Spatial Array, SRS TruSurround are supported) and uses six aluminum-dome midrange drivers in company with three aluminum-dome tweeters, to produce a simulated surround sound experience. The matched subwoofer utilizes an 8” bass driver matched to its integrated 250W amplifier.

The new soundbar is 43-inches wide and just 2-3/8-inches deep, which makes it an attractive alternative to those who want improved sound from their TV, without taking up space. The wireless subwoofer is also very discrete in size, at only 6 inches deep.

The SoloCinema XTR has a suggested retail price of $1999 U.S. and will be available in stores in August 2012. Look for more details at: