When Pioneer commissioned Allen Boothroyd, a British industrial designer best known for his work with Meridian Audio, to come up with a unique appearance for its new surround-sound speaker system, they apparently knew what they didn't want: another boring set of square boxes. Nor did they want a speaker system that would blend into Ethan Allen surroundings.
Adcom is one of those companies that's just too consistent for its own good. Year after year, they put out well-engineered, fairly priced gear, while we audiophiles become jaded and almost forget they're there... You want a good-sounding CD player that doesn't cost an arm and a leg? [Yawn.] Well, you could try Adcom. Need a power amplifier with some sock that won't make your tweeters crawl down your ear? There's always Adcom.
The world is mourning the passing of Yehudi Menuhin. The 82-year-old violinist, conductor, author, educator, and humanitarian died of heart failure at Berlin's Martin Luther Hospital on Friday, March 7. He was in Berlin to conduct performances of Brahms and Mendelssohn by the Warsaw Symphony Orchestra.
The musical road less traveled leads to places like New York's Downtown Music Gallery. If your taste in music lies somewhere outside the marketing-demographic bell curve, DTMG has tunes for you: live tunes, recorded tunes, strange tunes, bargain tunes. There's something for almost everyone at recently launched www.dtmgallery.com---from Classical to Klezmer to Progressive Jazz to World Music to Absolutely Uncategorizable.
Classical music fans will be happy to hear that Image Entertainment has announced the signing of an exclusive license agreement with England's Reiner Moritz Associates (RMA) that will see the company releasing 50 classical-music programs on DVD in the coming year. In addition to the classical performance programming, Image will also release some of RMA's special-interest fare, featuring such luminaries as Marilyn Horne, Maria Callas, David Hockney, Jackson Pollock, and Margot Fonteyn.
Stereophile readers tend to exhibit above-average interest in the art and science of reproducing music in the home. Those whose interest extends back up the recording chain and into the recording studio may want to take a look at the Prestige Studios of the World website, developed by an Internet company looking to show off its digital wares.
In the race for technological superiority, audio electronics companies in the United Kingdom, with a few notable exceptions, haven't often been first out of the gate. Arcam, however, may have already lapped the field with its Alpha 10 DRT (Digital Radio Tuner).
The genesis of this project goes back nearly 17 years, when my wife, Joan, and I moved into a brownstone floorthrough in Brooklyn. As we were about to sign the lease, our soon-to-be landlord said, "Oh, one more thing: your upstairs neighbor is a musician." This did not exactly discourage us from signing the lease, however, and soon I began to see a steady stream of musicians trudging up the stairs outside our apartment: Oliver Lake, Sonny Rollins, Pheeroan akLaff, Bob Moses, Marty Ehrlich, and a whole bunch of other people I was reading about in the jazz press. Just who was this guy?
Last week, Philips Electronics and Sony Corporation announced the completion of Version 1.0 of the Super Audio Compact Disc (SACD) format specification. According to a statement, the format specification will be released to licensees early this month to allow hardware manufacturers and software providers to begin preparing products for launch in the coming months.
Fans of Macintosh computers and Betamax videotape are fond of pointing out that in the free market, the best technologies don't necessarily win. That scenario may be playing out again in the case of VQF, a digital audio transfer and storage technology originally developed several years ago by Nippon Telegraph and Telephone.