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Stereophile Staff Posted: Dec 26, 1999 0 comments
FireWire's prospects got a little hotter last week, as equipment manufacturers Denon Electronics and Onkyo announced new license agreements with Digital Harmony Technologies. The companies say that they have selected Digital Harmony to add standards-based IEEE-1394 (aka FireWire or iLink) interfaces to their product lines, and both companies expect to release Digital Harmony-powered products in 2000, each certified for compatibility with a number of 1394-based products made by other Digital Harmony partners in the US and Europe.
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Barry Willis Posted: Dec 26, 1999 0 comments
Do high-end cables make an audible difference? Or are they cosmetic enhancements, like fancy wheels on high-performance cars? The New York Times, the nation's foremost newspaper, took up the issue in a December 23 piece in "Circuits," its weekly technology section.
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Barry Willis Posted: Dec 26, 1999 0 comments
Despite the recent defeat of DVD-Audio's copy-protection scheme (see previous story), Pioneer Electronics has decided to move forward with its plan to release two models of its high-resolution players in Japan. The announcement was made December 14 by company executives in Tokyo, who said that delaying the format's launch at this late stage could do irreparable damage to its acceptance by music fans. Super Audio Compact Disc, a competing format developed by the Sony/Philips alliance, is already beginning to win converts.
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Stereophile Staff Posted: Dec 19, 1999 0 comments
A common question in the audio newsgroups these days is, "Have you tried the new PS Audio Power Plant, and what did you think?" Stereophile's Robert Deutsch takes a seasoned look at the new product in his review of the PS Audio P300 Power Plant. Does it live up to all of the hype, and is it true that the P300 is "audaciously original in concept, yet makes so much sense that you wonder why no one ever thought of it before?" Mr. Deutsch explains.
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Stereophile Staff Posted: Dec 19, 1999 0 comments
Last week, Cello Technologies (formerly Cello Music & Film Systems) announced that it had acquired San Francisco Bay area custom installer and retailer The Audible Difference. According to a statement issued by Cello, The Audible Difference was founded in Palo Alto in 1976 and serves over 10,000 clients in the Silicon Valley area, and has 30 employees, "all focusing on audio design and home-systems design engineering, integration, and automation technologies."
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Jon Iverson Posted: Dec 19, 1999 0 comments
The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) is reporting that factory-to-dealer sales of audio equipment posted strong gains in October, rising by 8% over last October's sales figures and eclipsing the $1 billion mark for the first time since 1995. The CEA says that growth occurred in all segments of the audio market except portable audio, sales of which remained consistent with last year's levels.
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Jon Iverson Posted: Dec 19, 1999 0 comments
We're still waiting to see even one official US release of DVD-Audio software, but reports are trickling in that the recording industry is nonetheless planning for the multichannel high-resolution audio landscape. The latest bit of news comes from mastering facility Future Disc Systems, which announced last week that it is now mastering DVD-Audio projects, and will soon be ready for high-resolution surround sound.
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Barry Willis Posted: Dec 19, 1999 0 comments
We've all heard of the entrepreneur who liked a product so much that he bought the company. Such bold steps are sometimes wildly successful. Case in point: Mark Levinson and his high-end startup, Red Rose Music.
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Barry Willis Posted: Dec 19, 1999 0 comments
Almost beaten to death in the past couple of years by salesfolk, pundits, and journalists, "convergence" has been applied to the coming-together of audio and video, analog and digital, hardware and software, information and entertainment, and Democrats and Republicans. Among all these merging trends, the audiophile community rarely hears about the convergence of pro audio with the High End.
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Stereophile Staff Posted: Dec 12, 1999 0 comments
There's nothing like a new high-resolution format to get an audiophile's interest, and this year saw two major announcements. But with DVD-Audio stalling, attention is sure to focus on Sony and Philips' new SACD format. Jonathan Scull jumps right in with his review of the Sony SCD-1 Super Audio CD/CD player. As J-10 notes: "Rarely have I anticipated the arrival of a review component as I did the Sony SCD-1 Super Audio CD player." But does it live up to the hype?
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Jon Iverson Posted: Dec 12, 1999 0 comments
Audiophiles have been hit hard lately, as DVD-Audio's release schedule has succumbed to piracy concerns and Sony has so far refused to allow digital outputs on SACD decks. (Only digital outs for CD playback are allowed.) You can listen, but don't touch. But at least there are still no such restrictions on CD players that would inhibit the use of their digital datastreams . . . for now.
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Barry Willis Posted: Dec 12, 1999 0 comments
The band that built a cult following on good vibes is feeling a trifle dysfunctional of late. Grateful Dead bassist Phil Lesh is at odds with fellow bandmembers over how best to put the group’s 35-year musical archive on the Internet. Grateful Dead Productions has been consulting about the prospect of making their vault available for computer download with several Silicon Valley companies, many of whose executives are Deadheads eager to affiliate themselves with the legendary rockers by sponsoring the venture.
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Jon Iverson Posted: Dec 12, 1999 0 comments
Any FM-radio DJ who was on the air in the US through the late '70s and early '80s will tell you that the song most often requested was easily Led Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven." Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Free Bird" popped up regularly, but it was never a contest. So it comes as no surprise that Zep's epic hit would make the list of the 10 songs included in the "Millennium Mix" being presented this month by Dick Clark. (Never mind that the millennium actually ends December 31, 2000.)
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Stereophile Staff Posted: Dec 12, 1999 0 comments
Phase One of the Secure Digital Music Initiative (SDMI) will incorporate watermarking technology for DVD-Audio from Verance Corporation. The agreement was announced at a meeting of the SDMI in Hawaii early in December. Verance Corp. was formed recently by the merger of ARIS Technologies Corporation and Solana Technology Development Corp. ARIS's technology was announced a few months ago as the SDMI's choice for watermarking.
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Barry Willis Posted: Dec 12, 1999 0 comments
Loudspeaker manufacturer B&W has been extremely aggressive in the past two years in reining in abuses of its dealer agreements. Last year, the company cut off many dealers and stocking distributors in an attempt to tighten control over its distribution. Now, as a result of a program announced November 22 by KnowledgeLINK, many B&W dealers will be able to take sales online in complete compliance with their dealer agreements. Rotel dealers are also participating.

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