Recent news from Universal Music Group should bode well for the SACD format. It's not exactly a flood, but the world's largest music company finally made good on the promise it made at the 2002 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and announced last week its first Super Audio CD (SACD) titles to be released in the United States.
In August, the future looked cloudy for Sirius Satellite Radio, Inc. Despite the eventual commercial promise of satellite radio, the startup suffered from massive debt accrued during its development and from a slow initial subscription rate. Company officials had discussed a possible bankruptcy filing if additional financing couldn't be found.
The release of our 2001 Recommended Components online last month was such a success, we now offer readers the opportunity to buy the 2002 "Recommended Components" from both the April and October issues as .pdf files.
To date, record label attempts at adding copy-control systems to CDs to restrict their use have been less than totally succesful. We've had Sony discs that get stuck in computers, discs that don't reliably play in all CD players, trademark violations, and CDs that generate lawsuits and consumer frustration from not being able to create a "fair-use" personal copy of a disc to throw in the car.
Robert Deutsch says, "There is something special about SETs: a kind of midrange magic, a harmonic rightness that tends to elude other amplifier designs." But how to get more power from a single-ended triode design? In his review of the Air Tight ATM-211 monoblock power amplifier RD discovers one answer.
Making good on a promise made several months back, Avantgarde Acoustic is moving into the retail realm. The company's German-made horn loudspeakers are the featured products at Avantgarde Music & Cinema, a new showroom at 27 West 24th Street, Suite 502 in Manhattan. The store is privately owned and operated by Bob Visintainer, who emphasized that his business is "definitely Avantgarde focused" but also carries other brands of electronics and accessories.
Single-ended triode amplifiers (SETs) have a considerable following, but even their most devoted fans admit that its maximum power output is not among an SET's strengths. You'd be lucky to get an SET that puts out 7Wpc, and some (like those using the 45 tube) are closer to 2Wpc. Highly sensitive speakers (eg, horns) will tend to offset the power limitation, and SETs usually sound more powerful than their measurements indicate, but the laws of physics still apply: 2W is 2W, regardless of the kind of amplifier that produces it, and an amplifier's manner of clipping and recovery from overload take us only part of the way toward achieving greater volume.