The Boulder 1012's is a line-level preamplifier and DAC in one box. Its design and build qualities are icons to elegant engineering know-how. No screws show on the rectangular box of large but not massive proportions, for example, which is all done up in matte aluminum and set off with a few highly polished stainless-steel buttons. The chassis construction uses tongue-and-groove techniques. The sides of the 1012 benefit from styling cues found on Boulder's newer amplifiers. As you can see from the photograph, the look is both elegant and hi-tech in a way very few other manufacturers manage.
Dolby Laboratories was demonstrating its new Advanced Audio Coding (AAC) consumer encoder, which the company says complements its professional AAC encoder, at this year's New York AES Convention. Dolby says it will license the encoder to enable "high-quality AAC encoding" for CD-rippers, hard disk–based jukebox products, Internet-based music distribution systems, portable players, and other digital audio products aimed at the consumer market.
Sam Tellig loves 'em and consistently sings their high-quality/low-buck praises as a cheapskate favorite ($6.99 per CD!). And now, classical music label Naxos of America is blazing new paths with its announcement last week that it and Liquid Audio have inked an agreement to digitally distribute downloads of selected Naxos recordings to leading retail and music web sites in the Liquid Music Network.
In his review of the Soliloquy 5.3 loudspeaker, Kalman Rubinson says that when he heard a pair, his first thoughts were, "Gotta get my hands on these!" After careful listening, did the speaker live up to Rubinson's first impressions? KR tells the whole story.
George Harrison, the youngest Beatle, and the least comfortable with the band's renown, died November 29 at 58, following a battle with cancer. Harrison, one of rock's most distinctive guitarists, was also a songwriter and singer of the first water. It could be said that it was his misfortune to be the third songwriter in a band that featured the two most significant tunesmiths of his era. On the other hand, without Harrison's unique, exquisitely tasteful, musically wide-ranging guitar playing—which, in its consistent submission to the requirements of the individual songs, rarely drew attention to itself—Lennon and McCartney might have just been another band.
PS Audio's Power Plant AC-regeneration devices have taken the audio and home-theater worlds by storm. The P300 was voted 2000 Accessory of the Year in Stereophile (December 2000), and the P600 won the Editors' Choice Platinum Award in Stereophile Guide to Home Theater (January 2001). The Power Plant differs from conventional power-line conditioners (PLCs) in that it doesn't just "clean up" AC but actually synthesizes (or regenerates) it. Each Power Plant is essentially a special-purpose amplifier, producing AC to run the equipment plugged into it, the maximum output wattage indicated by the model number. (The most powerful Power Plant available is the P1200, which produces 1200W.)
Jonathan Scull takes a gander at the dCS Purcell D/D converter, and tries to make sonic sense out of the merits of upsampling. Scull writes, "So while the true differences between upsampling and oversampling remain murky, my pleasant mission is to report on the sound of the Purcell and compare it to the latest version of the pro-audio version, the 972."