The Academy Advancing High Performance Audio & Video (formerly the Academy for the Advancement of High End Audio) kicked off CES '98 with a pre-Show meeting. Meridian's Bob Stuart addressed the thorny issue of competing and (as yet) not fully defined standards for DVD-Audio.
A continuing proliferation of formats is as likely in the audio realm as it is in video. The analog cassette was one of the most successful formats in history, and the industry has yet to find a replacement for it. MiniDisc, a Sony-originated format, required several attempts to introduce it to the American market.
On Monday, January 5th, Go-Video, Inc. announced that it has reached an agreement to acquire California Audio Labs LLC. Under the California Audio Labs and Cinevision brand names, Cal Audio designs, develops, manufactures, and distributes digital audio and video products marketed to the high-end home entertainment systems market.
For years, there has been concern in the high-end audio press about the effects of jitter on digital audio. Manufacturers spend countless design hours measuring jitter and trying to minimize its influence on the sound of their products.
Operating at the fringes of the audio world, binaural recordings have continued to maintain a hardcore group of advocates. Creating a convincing three-dimensional surround effect using only a two-channel source, binaural technology is especially impressive with headphones.
Loudspeaker manufacturer Polk Audio announced on December 31 that it had acquired an interest in Genesis Technologies, manufacturer of both loudspeakers and digital products. Not only did Polk invest $500,000 in Genesis convertible preferred securities, it also obtained a three-year option to purchase the Colorado-based high-end audio company, which is led by three industry veterans: Arnie Nudell (co-founder of Infinity), Paul McGowan (co-founder of PS Audio), and Mark S. Schifter (co-founder of Audio Alchemy).
The one-two punch known as the Holiday Season is only half finished; Christmas is simply the warmup for the biggest blowout of the year. For a successful New Year's party, the only ingredient more essential than a well-stocked liquor cabinet is an ample supple of party tunes. (Recommended accessory: a reliable CD changer. It's hard to play host and DJ at the same time.)
Phil Jones, the loudspeaker designer who pioneered the resurgence of metal-cone woofers with first Acoustic Energy in the UK, then Boston Acoustics' Lynnfield series, and finally his own company, Platinum Audio, is no longer with Platinum.
In the first set of prophecies, we foresaw the effects of DVD-Audio, high-end sales around the world, and tweak multidisc CD. For the second installment, we look into our crystal interconnects and foresee new audio data-distribution methods for the coming year.
Martin Colloms argues persuasively in the January 1998 Stereophile that negative feedback is not the panacea that amplifier designers believe it to be. His experience of an amplifier (the Cary CAD-805C) and a preamplifier (the Conrad-Johnson ART) that use no negative feedback other than local degeneration, yet have sound quality better than he has previously experienced, convinces him that even when a design's closed-loop distortion appears to be acceptably low, the listener is still aware of an amplifier's very distorted open-loop behavior.
Digital Versatile Disc (DVD)---the well-publicized successor to VHS tapes, compact discs (CDs), and CD-ROMs---will struggle in the video and music industries, but be a major success for the personal computer industry, according to a recent report from Forrester Research. The report concludes that PC manufacturers will rapidly embrace DVD, resulting in an installed base of 53 million DVD-equipped PCs by 2002.
Only a few days remain until Christmas. Trees, tinsel, twinkling lights, and . . . tunes. It's the audiofool's most dreaded time of the year, when he once again suffers through his nine-thousandth experience of Bing Crosby crooning "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer." Sheer torture.
Rolling Stone is going head-to-head with MTV. Last week, Wenner Media, Inc, announced a partnership with JamTV to create a music site on the Web. Wenner is the parent company of Rolling Stone magazine. JamTV is an eight-month-old Internet start-up that broadcasts live concerts.
More high-end audio company musical chairs: Howard Schilling, co-founder and Vice President of Sales and Marketing of Camelot Technology, will now also join Genesis Technologies as National Sales Manager after having "quietly" worked with them in the past.
UK electronics specialty manufacturer Audiolab has been taken over by leading Grand Prix car-racing company TAG McLaren---or, more precisely, by the TAG McLaren Group. A newly formed company, TAG Electronics Holdings Ltd., will be the parent of both Cambridge Systems Technology Ltd. (which trades as Audiolab) and TAG Electronic Systems Ltd. (which supplies specialist, low-volume electronic engine-management systems to exclusive high-end automobile brands).