New music and technology releases in December 2018

By: Gary Steel

Deals on Wheels brings the latest in music and technology for December 2018

Syzygy SLF870 Subwoofer

Syzygy’s big 12-inch bottom end

High-fi nuts are mostly about tweeters and mid-range drivers, and they tend to sneer at us common folk who like a bit of grunt in our sound. While it’s true that most of what we hear clearly is at the top end of the hearing spectrum, it’s also true that a big, firm, deep bottom can really up the ante.

A good subwoofer will only fire up when its needed and never sound rubbery or overpowering unless the music or film soundtrack calls for it, and the award-winning Syzygy SLF870 12-inch goes one step further—like most of the specialist company’s products—by calling on SoundSculpt Technology to make a unique sonic map of your room and adjust the sound to perfection, all with the help of your smartphone. And all this for just $1999.

Mag-Lev Audio ML1 Magnetic Levitation Turntable


Those of us who like big boys’ toys in general, think practically and even scientifically, but there’s something just a bit spooky and magical about a record player that levitates.

You heard it here first, folks: the Mag-Lev ML1 ($4500) out of Slovenia (where else?) features the world’s first levitating turntable platter! Imagine the surprise and delight when you get the mates around, slap a favourite record on, and watch the platter feet retract to reveal a surreal floating musical experience.


With zero gravity to deal with, there’s no unwanted friction and perfectly fluid sound, and if there’s an unexpected power cut, the feet will automatically catch the platter before any damage is done.

The Mag-Lev ML1: a turntable that levitates

This semi-automatic turntable comes fitted with a ready-to-use ProJect tonearm and Ortofon cartridge. Check it out at the Audio Reference showroom on Auckland’s North Shore, and tell ‘em where you read about it!

Norton Core Router


There’s nothing more boring than an internet router, right? Well, you can probably think of a few things. But routers are just boxes that we hope like hell will keep on doing their job, wirelessly, efficiently, and without glitches because when they fail, it’s like the whole world is collapsing.

Known colloquially as the ‘geodesic dome’, Norton’s Core Router ($449.95) breaks the mould by doing something incredibly simple but also incredibly clever: it actually looks really cool! There is, of course, much more to it than that.

Norton’s geodesic dome is safe as houses

Where standard routers have been exposed as being vulnerable to cyber-attacks, the Core Router is especially configured to protect you from all manner of cyber-threats.

On top of that, it’s really fast, with speeds up to 2.5 Gbps using 802.11ac Wave 2 and MU-MIMO technology, and its multiple built-in antennas make sure that its signal reaches little Johnny’s tablet on the top bunk just as it travels to Mum and Dad’s streaming TV on the other side of the house.


Yes, routers are boring, but what this little sucker can do for your entertainment options while keeping you safe from harm is nothing short of a wee miracle.


Groovesome jazz-funk-fusion from Yoko-Zuna

The Auckland band’s second album is both funky and slick as anything, and relentlessly groove-some over its hour of playing time, yet diverse enough to make it a journey you never get tired of.


Combining canny jazz fusion moves with dance-oriented electronica, Voyager features star guest shots by the likes of SWIDT, Ladi6, and P-Money but never gets bogged down in the endless blah-blah-blah of so many hip-hop records. In fact, the second side is entirely instrumental, and it cooks!

These guys have got musical chops, techno-know-how, and know how to rock the house. A must-have for summer.

Black Eyed Peas—Masters Of The Sun Vol. 1

Overt politics from hip-hop heroes Black Eyed Peas

One of rap’s biggest-ever acts, Black Eyed Peas are refreshingly at odds with the mad conservatism expounded by the Kanye Wests of the hip-hop world.

Masters Of The Sun, their first album since 2010, goes straight for the jugular by being overtly political, passing comment on an America saturated with gun violence and civil unrest, and world issues such as terrorism and the developing refugee crisis.


Doesn’t sound like much fun, right? They certainly rap about serious stuff, but the music is soulful and there’s a lot more quality boom-bap to enjoy than anyone could ever get out of the pallid likes of Drake.

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