San Francisco---Vacuum Tube Valley's tube and antique audio show here last week drew dozens of exhibitors and hundreds of attendees to the Airport Clarion Hotel over the Feb. 6-7 weekend. The heavy rains that caused mudslides in some Northern California communities, combined with high tides that flooded some freeways, kept attendance down. The show's turnout was "about half of what we expected," said VTV publisher/editor Charlie Kittleson.
Sony has recently revealed that they will be broadcasting digital audio via satellite as early as summer 1998. The planned service is the result of a deal made between Sony, Perfect TV, and Japan Sky Broadcasting Corporation (JSkyB) that is expected to close in April.
A good part of each day around here is spent perusing the internet for all things audio: manufacturer sites, audio news, newsgroups, equipment reviews, etc. What's found ranges from the good-intentioned to the well-financed, and much of what's out there also represents the labors of love many audiophiles lavish on their favorite hobby.
Threshold Corporation, long known as one of the original high-end audio equipment pioneers, is discussing plans to restructure the company to meet new market conditions. Threshold, based in Camarillo, California, manufactures high-end audio amplifiers, preamplifiers, and digital products under the Threshold, FortT, and PS Audio product lines. (PS Audio, of which Threshold Corp. is the majority owner, is currently a separate corporation.)
Judging from the e-mail Wes Phillips has received since announcing Classic Records' 24-bit/96kHz "DADs" (DVD-Videos utilizing the two channels of 24/96 written into the video standard), audiophiles appear to be intensely curious about the new music format.
The largest advertising and promotional campaign for an audio product in Sony Electronics' (and possibly anyone's) history debuted during NBC's Thursday-night prime-time television lineup last week. The campaign, titled "Make it with MD," featured various celebrities as they moved through a Hollywood party sporting a small MiniDisc personal stereo unit playing their own personalized music mixes. Sony also plans major cable, billboard, print ad, and promotional tie-ins.
The 2nd Annual Southern California Hi-Fi Swap takes place on Sunday, February 22, 9am-1pm, at the Sequoia Athletic Club and Conference Center, 7530 Orangethorpe Avenue in Buena Park, one block north of Knotts Berry Farm and the 91 freeway on the corner of Beach and Orangethorpe.
As part of the reorganization process at Counterpoint, repair and updating of all Counterpoint products will be handled under designer Michael Elliott's direct supervision at a new facility separate from the manufacturing plant.
Success begets success. Canton, Massachusetts-based Tweeter Home Entertainment Group, Inc. announced February 2 that it has acquired Home Entertainment of Texas, Inc. The acquisition gives Tweeter a solid foothold in the Southwest, and is the latest in a takeover campaign that has enveloped two successful regional chains in each of the past two years.
The Consumer Electronics Manufacturers Association (CEMA) announced on January 23 that total November audio sales bounced back modestly from an anemic October, but were still off by 1% for both the month and year to date. Total dollars for the first 11 months of 1997 stand at $7.2 billion, compared to $7.3 billion at this time in 1996. Nevertheless, spectacular sales of audio systems are singlehandedly offsetting the lackluster sales in all other areas.
On January 28, Carver Corporation announced the resignations, effective January 21, 1998, of Mr. Thomas C. Graham and Mr. John F. Vynne as directors of the company so each can devote more time to his respective business. Carver Corp. also announced the resignation of Mr. Stephen M. Williams as a director of the company effective January 27, 1998. Mr. Williams is pursuing other business opportunities that preclude his continued service as a director of Carver Corp.
Attention all you amateur speaker designers furiously creating the world's next revolutionary crossover or cabinet design in your garage: Meniscus Audio, a manufacturer of loudspeakers that sells directly to consumers through mail-order marketing programs, has announced a loudspeaker design contest that offers the winner the opportunity to have his or her design developed for distribution as a kit. First- and second-place prizes will also be awarded.