Stereophile's 1999 Products of the Year
There are five individual categories: Loudspeakers (including subwoofers), Amplification Components (preamplifiers, power amplifiers, etc.), Digital Sources (CD players, transports, processors), Analog Sources (phono cartridges, turntables, tonearms, FM tuners, etc.), and Accessories (everything else).
The two most important categories, however, are the "Product of the Year" itself—the best of the best—and the "Budget Component of the Year"—the best sound for the buck. There's also an "Editor's Choice" award, which John Atkinson reserves to himself to single out the superb-sounding product that impressed him the most in the past 12 months.
The formal voting procedure consists of two steps: First, Stereophile's hardware reviewers are asked to nominate up to six components in each of the seven categories. To be a contender, a product had to have been reported on in Stereophile between the November 1998 and October 1999 issues, either in a full Equipment Report, in a Follow-Up review, or in Sam Tellig's or Michael Fremer's regular columns. We then put together a ballot form that included all components that had been nominated by three or more writers and/or editors. This process ensured that most of the nominees in most of the categories would have been auditioned by most of the reviewers. The prices listed are those that were current at the end of August 1999.
Twenty of the magazine's editors and reviewers gave three votes for their first choice in each category, two votes for their second choice, and one vote for their third choice (if they had a third choice). JA tallied the votes; address your compliments and complaints to him.
And the winners are . . .