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.
It might stand to reason that the first market for DVD-Audio discs will likely be consumers who already own DVD-Video machines. It also stands to reason that a large number of consumers who have set up a DVD-Video player in their systems have also added surround-sound speakers in their audio/video rooms, and are looking for new software to take advantage of the extra channels.
As Michael Fremer reports, critics have universally hailed Infinity's $8k flagship Prelude MTS. But can the success of the MTS trickle down to the lower price points? For his review of the $2000/pr Infinity Intermezzo 2.6 loudspeaker, Fremer set out to determine if the more modest sibling is a "worthwhile chip off the old block or just a marketing divot."
You can bet Infinity plans on selling a respectable number of $8000/pair Prelude MTS speakers (reviewed in the May 2000 Stereophile) over this ambitious, full-range design's anticipated lifespan. But will the company make enough money to recoup the megabucks spent on researching, designing, and developing the all-new CMMD (Ceramic Metal Matrix Diaphragm) drivers, BASH (Bridge Amplifier Switching Hybrid) powered subwoofer, and RABOS (Room Adaptive Bass Optimization System) bass-equalization system? NOWAY (Never Over-Estimate What Acronyms Yield).
Paul Kelly (firstname.lastname@example.org) recently sent me a most interesting e-mail titled "Cones, Stones, & Groans." I'll share it with you now, as I gave "Sean" (email@example.com) a chance to expound on cones and how they work under equipment in the February "Fine Tunes." After reading through all the "Fine Tunes" archived on the Stereophile website (I thank him for his positive remarks), Paul wrote:
The European Commission isn't especially fond of joint ventures by international media conglomerates. Last year, the EC successfully squashed a proposed merger of EMI and Warner Music Group on the grounds that WMG's parent company, AOL Time Warner (then simply Time Warner), combined with the UK's biggest name in music, would create "a virtual monopoly" of the European music market. A few months later, merger discussions between EMI and Bertelsmann Music Group (BMG) similarly went nowhere. EC investigators also looked into price-fixing in the European CD market early this year.
They've been around for years, under a variety of guises and from an evolving list of manufacturers and distributors. But the BBC LS3/5a loudspeakers still cling to their legendary status. We provide not only J. Gordon Holt's original 1977 review for Stereophile, but also follow-ups from 1984, 1989, and 1993. Read about the little speaker that could.