One of the hottest audio technologies at the recent CES, as far as the general public was concerned, wasn't SACD, or DVD-Audio, or even new MP3 players. Seemingly coming out of nowhere, digital satellite radio jumped into the limelight by announcing its impending rollout this year. Two companies are poised to compete for the top spot, lining up car manufacturers and CE companies in a classic format battle that is sure to heat up by summer.
Writer Chip Stern has regarded the form-over-function products from "lifestyle" companies, such as Bose and B&O, for years now with great amusement. But can audiophiles find a product that looks as good as it sounds? Stern calls the Linn Classik CD receiver a "sleek, unobtrusive, uncomplicated design that does double duty as a lifestyle system and—for those who don't want the hassle of separate components—a true high-end performer." Too good to be true? Stern expounds.
At massive gatherings like the Consumer Electronics Show, some truly newsworthy developments by small companies go unnoticed, overshadowed by splashy launches put on by bigger firms. One such is Be, Inc.'s "Home Audio Reference Platform" (BeIA HARP), an all-purpose computer audio system. HARP will let computers access and broadcast Internet-based audio and services, and will also let them play CDs, tapes, and LPs.
The Internet has become an integral part of Philips Electronics' global sales strategy. The Dutch technology conglomerate has announced a plan for online marketing that will link customers to more than 60,000 Philips dealers worldwide.
Hundreds, if not thousands, of new products are unveiled to the consumer electronics industry each year at the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. But there would be no new products without the efforts of the scientists, engineers, journalists, inventors, company founders, and retailers who bring a product from concept to market.
Even though she calls her new band, 4x4, a "small" group, it's a big band—almost too big for the stage of the Knitting Factory on the night of October 11, 2000, as it makes its first American appearance. Bley's piano is so far to stage left, she has to lean against the wall and stoop under a hanging monitor speaker to address the audience. Four music stands dominate the rest of the apron—her front line of tenor saxophone, alto saxophone, trumpet, and trombone stand shoulder to shoulder, blocking the audience's view of Larry Goldings and his Hammond B3, drummer Billy Drummond, and bassist Steve Swallow, who stands 15' back and on a riser. If she'd showed up with her 17-piece band, they'd have had to have hung the horn sections from the rafters, like the sound system.
Writer Brian Damkroger had always wanted "a really good, big solid-state amp" to match his Magnepan loudspeakers. So when the Classé CAM 350 monoblock power amplifiers arrived, it seemed like at least one of his dreams had finally come true. But was it a match made in heaven? Damkroger lays out the details in his January, 2001 review.
Several rooms at the Alexis Park featured SACD front ends, but as we moved around the floor of the main LV Convention Center, we heard and saw a lot more about DVD-Audio than SACD. Denon showed their DVD-3300 DVD-A/V player, which began shipping a few months back for $1199. No new models were on the floor, but the Denon rep suggested that something new will be appearing later this year. Pioneer was promising a universal DVD-A/V/SACD/CD machine in the future, and Yamaha was also showing a new DVD-Audio machine, the DVDS1200, in their booth.