The word on Bel Canto's upsampling DAC was already out when I visited their room at the 2000 Consumer Electronics Show looking to get one of the first samples. But despite my protestations, all Bel Canto's Mike McCormick wanted to talk about was their company's new digital amp, the eVo 200.2. Sure, there's a future out there in which all sources will be digital and D/A conversion will occur in the speaker (or later?). But today, I see no practical advantage in a digital amplifier with only an analog input. It may be more efficient and it may be new technology, but the amplifier has got to stand on the same footing as any analog design and justify its existence by the way it sounds. The eVo did make a good case for itself at the demo, so I signed up to get one for review.
Keith Herron plopped himself down in my listening chair and smiled, clearly pleased with the sound of my system now that his M150 monoblock power amplifiers had been substituted for my Musical Fidelity Nu-Vista 300. He began to tell me why.
I've been attending the annual Consumer Electronics Show for years, and usually come away with the impression that there are too many "me-too" products. I see a numbing similarity of approach of manufacturers within a chosen discipline: solid-state power amps in black and silver bristling with heatsinks, single-ended triode amps with their glow reflecting from bronze or wood panels, MCPU/DSP-centered devices with sleek, flat cases and intimidating remote controls, etc.
For the first time in five years, New York City will play host to the largest hi-fi and home theater show in the US. Home Entertainment 2001 promises to be the largest and most comprehensive such event to date when it takes place this spring at the Hilton New York & Towers Hotel on May 11-13, 2001.
Guitarist John Fahey died February 22 at Salem Hospital in Salem, OR, two days after undergoing multiple coronary bypass surgery. The enigmatic musician had been suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome and diabetes for years. Fahey was 61.
Barry Willis remembers well the British invasion: "Really Big Hi-Fi came to live with me for a couple of months this past spring in the form of a pair of Tannoy Churchill loudspeakers." After a challenging delivery, Willis wrestles the Tannoys into place and files his report. Victory at last?
Although it sounds like a disease resulting from poor dental hygiene, Bluetooth is a recently established wireless standard aimed at small-form–factor, low-cost, short-range radio links between mobile PCs, mobile phones, and other electronic devices such as speaker systems. Although there were a few bumps in the road as the standard became established, Cahners In-Stat Group predicts that 1.4 billion Bluetooth-based devices will be shipping annually by 2005.
The Consumer Electronics Association has at last quantified common knowledge: An overwhelming majority of Internet users download news stories, product information, pictures, graphics, audio files, and video clips—all for free. Furthermore, Internet users want and expect to continue getting all this content at no cost, and they are opposed to any kind of governmental regulation or interference that will prevent their doing so.
Will music fans willingly pay for what they've been getting free? With the shuttering of free music site Napster a strong probability, two giants of the music industry are moving forward with plans to roll out a subscriber-based online music distribution plan.