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The Music Direct 2022 Catalog Is Here
By Bes Nievera

After months of development, the 2022 edition of Music Direct's iconic catalog is finally complete, and it's now being shipped to customers. We couldn't be more excited!

Our catalog cover photo this year is an amazing shot of legendary guitarist Eddie Van Halen, captured by photographer Ross Halfin. As you flip through the catalog's 300+ full-color pages, you'll find exciting new gear, revised layouts, and the return of many of our top-selling and best-reviewed products, as well as special deals. And, of course, we've got a gigantic inventory of music pressed on vinyl to spin to your heart's delight.

As always, there is an enormous array of products to peruse, so here's a small taste of what you'll discover when the catalog arrives in your mailbox:

VPI's superb turntables are perpetually among our best-selling products, and the U.S.-based company extends its heritage with upgrades to its Scout 21 and Prime Signature 21 models. While the Scout gets a simple update with the addition of new isolation feet to further enhance its sonic performance, the Prime Signature 21 now sports a gimbaled, VTA-adjustable tonearm. With higher quality components and bearings, the new arm design is a significant update, replacing the well-regarded 3D-printed Unipivot arm. And, like the Prime 21, it can be shipped with a cartridge pre-installed to ensure easy setup at home.

Fans of Music Hall Audio will want to take a close look at the company's latest rig, the precisely engineered Stealth Turntable. This direct-drive 'table comes with a bounty of beguiling features, including Ortofon's popular 2M Blue cartridge, mounted to a well-built, nine-inch, S-shaped tonearm with on-the-fly adjustable VTA. At 24 pounds, isolation is key, but so too are the deck's 4-pound platter and dampened feet. It's a far cry from the company's multi-plinth designs, and it marks a new level of engineering that could only come from the mind of Roy Hall.

Elsewhere in the catalog, we've rolled out the red carpet for new phono stages from Balanced Audio Technology. Featuring dual-mono architecture, BAT's VK-P90 offers an all-tube, zero-feedback design that combines the benefits of balanced operation with complementary vacuum-tube current sources. It also features BAT's innovative, third-generation SuperPak in its power-supply design. Featuring a hybrid construction that incorporates two capacitors built and potted into each individual shell, SuperPak delivers super-silent performance, with low-level detail conveyed in a crystal-clear manner, revealing previously unheard nuances. Also new from BAT is the VK-P80, which uses a similar gain stage configuration, and along with dual-mono construction, employs 6C45 vacuum tubes to achieve wide-open transparency. Both phono preamplifiers deliver engaging sonic sweetness and naturalness, from top to bottom.

Transimpedance takes center stage with the latest arrival from Ron Sutherland's namesake company, Sutherland Audio. The elegantly compact, musically impressive TZ Vibe really swings hard among modestly priced phono stages. The excellent TZ Vibe allows you to enjoy Sutherland's sonic innovations at a more accessible price, as it utilizes technology from the KC Vibe as a foundation, adding a second gain stage, and circuitry borrowed from the Little Loco Mk2 for the transimpedance (TZ) input gain stage.

Cambridge Audio has certainly elevated the status of the streamer/amp category, thanks to its Evo 75 and Evo 150 integrated amplifiers. The launch of those two products has been remarkable, to say the least. With an all-new amplifier design and a user-friendly app, the Evo products have added to the explosive growth of this category.

Similarly, the upstart HiFi Rose RS201E Integrated Amplifier & Network Streamer not only offers impressive power and easy operation, but it offers an innovative touch screen to access audio content as well as stream music-centric video up to 4K. For the die-hard pure streamer/server user, the Aurender N30SA Music Server represents the manufacturer's most state-of-the-art design — the culmination of years of research in digital audio playback. On the flipside, iFi's revised Zen DAC Signature V2 represents the best in budget-focused gear, and its popularity has not waned one bit. This variant of their popular compact DAC has been improved to offer a purer listening experience.

Rotel gets two gorgeous pages devoted to 11 models of gear, including the last models Ken Ishiwata designed for the Japanese brand — the A11 and CD11 Tribute components — while Parasound rocks out with 14 products spread over three pages, including its powerful and feature-packed HINT 6 Integrated Amplifier.

NAD Electronics has unveiled its all-new C 700 BluOS Streaming Amplifier, a convenient, robust box that can be combined with a pair of speakers (or even wireless headphones) to deliver endless hours of musical enjoyment. The Roon-Ready C 700's intuitive BluOS app, as well as TIDAL and Qobuz-worthy operation, puts stunning, high-res audio at your fingertips.

Rega's dominance in all things analog continues with its all-new Aethos Integrated Amplifier, an impressive dual-mono powerhouse with 125Wpc plus Class A discrete circuitry throughout its front end. Other remarkable engineering aspects include a fully discrete FET-based line amplifier, polypropylene capacitors, K-Power reservoir capacitors, and a high-current output stage comprising four 160-watt Sanken output transistors per channel.

JBL has entered the category with its limited-edition SA-750 Integrated Amplifier, which graces our new catalog. Inspired by its incredible amplifier designs of the '60s and '70s, the SA-750 blends old-school aesthetics with modem circuit design. This teak wood-paneled jewel was developed to celebrate JBL's 75th anniversary. It strikes a balance by nodding to its storied past while simultaneously featuring cutting-edge technology, with onboard Ethernet and WiFi connectivity to a home network. The built-in phono stage is adjustable for MM or MC cartridges, and its internal DAC is Roon-Ready and can process full MQA decoding.

In our assortment of loudspeakers, JBL comes out of the gate again with two new models that evoke the heritage of its iconic L100. Starting with the all-new L52, this unusually compact two-way bookshelf speaker is similar to its "big brother" in performance, right down to its 5¼" paper-cone woofer and titanium tweeter.

If you want to really see something that catches your eye (and your ear), check out the JBL L75ms Music System, which represents the ultimate merger of style, size, and performance. This brilliant re-imagining of the hi-fi system features an integrated streaming engine that provides both wired and wireless network audio capabilities via Ethernet, Google Chromecast built-in, Apple AirPlay 2, and Bluetooth. A 32-bit/192kHz high-res DAC, an MM phono stage, an HDMI ARC input, and more features round out this brilliantly executed gem.

Equally impressive is the arrival of JBL's Studio Series 6 speaker models, each espousing the "engineered in California" feel, yet surprisingly affordable via the entry-level model, the Studio 620. With its critically acclaimed HDI Waveguide, the 620's complementary compression driver aids the 5 1/4" Polyplas woofer for a room-filling soundscape.

Celebrated around the world for its turntables, Technics has introduced a pair of speakers, each featuring the company's advanced Phase Precision Driver technology. The SB-C600 Bookshelf Speaker is a smart two-way bass reflex design with a unique 5.9" coaxial drive unit, while the SB-G90 M2 Tower Speaker offers a more dynamic sound with the inclusion of two 6.3" woofers to aid a large 6.3" coaxial driver.

Mind you, this is only a hint of what's between the pages of one of the most beautiful catalogs we've ever published. But just don't take our word for it: Check your mailbox, and let our team know that you have received your copy. If you're not on our mailing list, call our team at 800-449-8333 to request a copy of the 2022 catalog.

November 29, 2021

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