As Jonathan Scull reports in his review of the Classé Omega Super Audio CD player, "Classé has guts. These are uncertain times, but here they are with an audiophile classic: an expensive two-channel Super Audio CD player." Read how one of the first SACD machines from a high-end audio company stacks up.
Well known in the European audiophile community, British hi-fi manufacturer Cyrus Electronics is preparing for the introduction of its brand in America. The company says it plans to use the upcoming 2002 Consumer Electronics Show next month to scout out US dealers and introduce several new products.
My friend Ed (not necessarily his name) used to be an audiophile. Ed had a great-sounding pair of floorstanding Joseph speakers, optimally placed so as to create a magic soundstage when he sat in the sweet spot. His component rack featured such famous high-end names as Mark Levinson, Meridian, and Z-Systems. But then Ed went DSL and discovered MP3s. Pretty soon, he was hanging as many hard drives on his PC as he could manage. His Josephs and his Levinson CD player gathered dust. Ed was enjoying his music sitting in front of his high-end Dell, with an active NHT Pro mini on either side of the monitor.
I'm a tinkerer. From homemade audio isolation and room-treatment products to a local area network (LAN) connecting my Macintosh laptops, I'm always building or modifying something. One of my latest projects is a combination of parts swaps and custom-machined bits to better adapt the ergonomics of my exotic Italian Bimota motorcycle to my distinctly un-Italian 6'3" frame. But regardless of what I'm into, I can't resist the urge to tinker.
As Larry Greenhill reports in his review of the Sony SCD-C555ES SACD changer, "I didn't know what to expect from multichannel SACD. Would a multichannel music-only disc give me high-energy dramatics? Would there be any room for meditative, closed-eyed, total progressive muscular relaxation?" As Greenhill says, "The best was yet to come."
It seems that all of the forces in the music industry have lately been conspiring against the music lover and audiophile. The record labels and their hired gun, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), have so far blocked digital outputs on high-resolution audio players, insisted that watermarks be inserted into both high- and low-resolution audio data, and have even started to restrict consumer's fair use of compact discs and digital downloads.
Over-the-air classical music broadcasting is becoming increasingly rare, but classical has got a huge listenership on the Internet, according to a survey by rating service Arbitron, Inc., which early this month announced that three classical music stations were among the five most listened to on the Internet.
XM Satellite Radio Holdings is now in a position to operate well into the fourth quarter of 2002, thanks to a $129 million stock offering underwritten by Morgan Stanley Company. XM made the announcement in a press release dated December 10.