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Stereophile Staff Posted: May 30, 1999 0 comments
Believe it or not, there are reportedly several "audiophiles" out there who still refuse to accept that an extremely expensive amplifier can justify its price. "For them, the very idea of a $20,000 pair of monoblocks must seem absolutely ridiculous," writes Wes Phillips. "All I can say is that they should steer clear of the Mark Levinson No.33H, or else risk having their tidy little hypotheses shattered into tiny little pieces." For the complete review, take a look at the latest equipment report to hit the Archives: Mark Levinson No.33H monoblock power amplifier.
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Barry Willis Posted: May 23, 1999 0 comments
Houston, Texas-based AstroJams is back online with Grateful Dead MP3s. The site shut down its offerings of Grateful Dead and Jerry Garcia Band downloads after receiving a cease-and-desist order from attorneys for Grateful Dead Productions in April. At issue was the site's use of advertising to generate revenue. GDP claims the sole legal right to commercial benefits stemming from the use of the band's music and logos, but had "never objected" to the free sharing of music in the Dead tradition, according to Dennis McNally of GDP's publicity department.
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Stereophile Staff Posted: May 23, 1999 0 comments
Last week, Tweeter Home Entertainment Group, Inc. announced that the company has reached an agreement in principle to acquire DOW Stereo/Video, Inc., located in San Diego, California. DOW is a nine-store specialty consumer-electronics retailer with sales of approximately $38 million, and has been in business in the San Diego market for over 30 years. The transaction is expected to be completed on or about July 1, 1999. Tweeter says it will pay approximately $5.5 million for the company excluding acquisition costs, and has the option of paying approximately $500,000 of the purchase price in Tweeter common stock.
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Jon Iverson Posted: May 23, 1999 0 comments
Last week, the Consumer Electronics Manufacturers Association (CEMA) announced its forecast that Internet sales of traditional consumer technologies to online households should reach at least $14 billion by 2002, representing 13% of total industry volume. CEMA also revealed that consumer research shows interest in buying consumer technologies online should grow by at least 135% in the next two years. The study found that the vast majority of online shoppers opt to consummate the purchase online instead of at a retail store because of price.
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Barry Willis Posted: May 23, 1999 0 comments
Cello Music and Film Systems is not merely one of the world's most prestigious names in audio and video. This week, a plush restaurant is opening at the company's new headquarters at 53 East 77th Street (212 517-1200) on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. Cello, as the bar/restaurant/garden is appropriately named, will serve dinner by invitation only until mid-June, when it will be opened to the public, according to Florence Fabricant in the May 19 edition of the New York Times.
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Jon Iverson Posted: May 23, 1999 0 comments
In a tersely worded press release, Carver Corporation announced that on Wednesday, May 12, 1999 it filed a voluntary petition under Chapter 11 in United States Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Washington. The cause of the filing was "an accumulation of unpaid debt and resulting legal actions filed by creditors. These actions created the prospect of an inequitable distribution of payment to creditors and prevented the Company from being able to operate as a functioning business entity. In October of 1998, the Company ran out of working capital and laid off the remainder of its workforce. Subsequently, at the invitation of the Board of Directors, Robert W. Carver, the founder of the Company and former CEO, stepped in to take over."
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Jon Iverson Posted: May 13, 1999 0 comments
Plenty of noteworthy new audio products are making their debuts here at HI-FI '99. EveAnna Manley has unveiled her prototype DAC/preamp, the Wave, featuring an UltraAnalog-based 20-bit D/A converter and a tube line-stage. With four digital inputs, four analog inputs, a processor loop, and three variable outputs, the fully remote-controllable unit should appear at dealers in late summer at a suggested price of $7000. Manley says an optional 24/96 pop-in circuit board is in the works.
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Jon Iverson Posted: May 12, 1999 0 comments
Following the Sony/Philips jump from the starting line with Wednesday's SACD announcements, the DVD-Audio camp quickly came up to speed at the HI-FI '99 press luncheon with their plans for players and discs to appear this fall. First up at the podium was Jordan Rost from the Warner Music Group. Contrasts with the SACD position were established from the start when Rost made it obvious that, unlike SACD, DVD-Audio seeks to embrace not only high-end audio, but also various forms of video, and even Internet interactivity. Rost even went so far as to say that DVD-Audio discs could "play on CD players if a hybrid disc is feasible and desired," thus possibly deflating Sony's insistence that backward-compatibility is what sets SACD apart.
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Barry Willis Posted: May 09, 1999 0 comments
The MP3 digital music format continues to gain momentum. Only two weeks ago, Thomson S.A., the international electronics conglomerate (parent of RCA and ProScan), announced a 20% investment in MusicMatch, Inc., the San Diego, California-based maker of management software for the upstart format. Last week Thomson took a further radical stance by announcing RCA's own MP3 player, the Lyra, to a gathering of more than 400 dealers at the Mandalay Bay Resort in Las Vegas.
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Stereophile Staff Posted: May 09, 1999 0 comments
Strange but true: Stereophile editor John Atkinson once sold a tweak amplifier after being startled by not being able to identify it in a blind listening test. "Convinced by these results of the validity of the Consumer Reports philosophy, I consequently sold my exotic and expensive Lecson power amplifier, with which I had been very happy, and bought a much cheaper Quad 405---the biggest mistake of my audiophile career!" says JA of the experience.
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Jon Iverson Posted: May 09, 1999 0 comments
In an Internet world, the audiophile's quest for sound quality via high-resolution formats like DVD-Audio or SACD might be the last gasps of a dying generation. New media and technology companies like Liquid Audio, Diamond Multimedia, and RealNetworks are betting that the new generations of music lovers care more about how music is distributed, stored, and manipulated than about how it ultimately sounds. Les Garland, one of the founders of MTV and VH-1, has stated that "Technology fueled the growth of the market for music during the time when we pioneered music on cable. The Internet is having a similar effect, tenfold, driving artists and consumers to embrace digital media."
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Barry Willis Posted: May 09, 1999 0 comments
Our report two weeks ago on Grateful Dead Productions and its dispute with MP3 sites was tainted by some bits of misinformation. Dave Rosenberg, webmaster at OtherOnes.net, has pointed out that his site did not receive a cease and desist order, but was asked to remove any Grateful Dead logo. Rosenberg was appreciative of the publicity the issue has received. "Thank you for publishing and making known the problems Deadabase is currently facing from Grateful Dead Productions," he wrote.
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Stereophile Staff Posted: May 02, 1999 0 comments
The Rounder Records Group, one of the largest independent record labels in the US, has signed on with Liquid Audio for digital music distribution on the Internet. As of April 28, Rounder will offer a substantial portion of its catalog for sale by digital download.
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Stereophile Staff Posted: May 02, 1999 0 comments
In the latest article to appear in the Archives, Robert Harley comes right out and asks, "How many of you actually read the 'Measurements' sections of Stereophile's equipment reports and understand what's being measured, and why? I suspect that many readers skip over the technical assessment of the reviewed product and make a dash for the 'Conclusion.' "
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Stereophile Staff Posted: May 02, 1999 0 comments
Reuters has reported that Sony Corporation is experiencing a 20% drop in profits this year, brought about by poor showings from audio and video product sales, slow markets, price wars, and a lack of hit records. The report also stated that the electronics sector, which normally generates the bulk of Sony sales, saw operating profits decline by more than half compared to the previous year.

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