Electronic equipment worth millions of dollars is damaged every year by lightning strikes and power outages caused by summer storms. These seasonal threats have been amplified by the possibility of rotating blackouts, as well as resulting recent policy changes by major utility companies.
As John Atkinson puts it, Meridian usually does things "their way," putting amps and DACs inside of speakers in an all-out attempt at "re-creating the original soundfield, no matter how many speakers and channels it takes to do it right." But as Atkinson finds, the Meridian 518 Digital Audio Processor might be the company's most perverse product: "The $1650 518 offers digital inputs and outputs only. It can digitally perform gain and source selection; it can change data with one digital word length to data with another; and it does all these things with 72-bit internal precision." So JA asks, "How does the 518 fit within a conventional high-end audio system?" Read along as he figures it all out.
In 1991, British loudspeaker manufacturer B&W celebrated its 25th birthday with the introduction of the John Bowers Silver Signature loudspeaker (see review). Not the largest or most expensive speaker on the company chart, the John Bowers Silver Signature, named after the company's late founder, still prompted John Atkinson to write that its performance was the best he'd heard for its modest size in his listening room.
Chet Atkins, the good-natured guitarist and successful record producer who established Nashville as the capitol of country music, in the process of transforming the music itself, died on Saturday, June 30. He had battled cancer for several years. He was 77.
TONY BENNETT/BILL EVANS: The Tony Bennett/Bill Evans Album Tony Bennett, vocals; Bill Evans, piano JVC JVCXR-0208-2 (CD). 1975/2001. Helen Keane, prod.; Don Cody, eng.; Akira Taguchi, XRCD2 prod., Alan Yoshida, XRCD2 mastering eng. AAD?. TT: 35:09 Performance ***** Sonics ****
Listening to multichannel music with the new SACD and DVD-Audio players has produced equal parts contentment and consternation. The contentment is easy to understand: Here are media that can reproduce music with better-than-CD resolution and, for the first time, re-create a believable illusion of the entire acoustic space in which the performance was recorded. The consternation is related to those same two issues: 1) maintaining the resolution and tonal balance relished with high-quality stereo, and 2) making the psychological transition from two-channel to multichannel listening. Both of these are barriers to audiophile acceptance of multichannel music.
Attendees at the Custom Electronics Design and Installation Association Expo 2001 will be the first to see new Aragon products, parent company Klipsch announced in late June. The Indianapolis-based audio manufacturer will unveil new Aragon/Klipsch home theater systems at the annual show held in its hometown the first week of September. The show's stature has grown to such an extent that many companies now choose to debut new products there rather than at the January Consumer Electronics Show.
The compact disc has given rise to all sorts of questionable accessories: magic pens with green ink, reflective stickers, rim dampers, absorbent mats, spindle weights, cleaners, buffers, polishers, and demagnetizers. It's amazing how many products are needed to make perfect sound perfect.
Times are obviously tough for personal computer manufacturers, who, in the quest for new sources of revenue, are increasingly dipping their toes into consumer electronics waters. The latest firm to join IBM, Intel, and Compaq (see previous) in the rushing stream is Hewlett-Packard which announced last week the expansion of the company's drive into the living room. HP says that its new initiative is intended to "blend interactive product innovations with easy-to-use services and offer consumers new ways to enjoy digital music, streaming video, and Internet information in the living room."
The fate of Tower Records has been the subject of music industry speculation for months. The company's financial difficulties have been no secret; several stories recently appeared alluding to a new Tower policy of making some suppliers share the burden—especially distributors of small specialty classical labels.