RAE & CHRISTIAN: Sleepwalking GrandCentral/Studio K7 K7096CD (CD). 2001. Steve Christian, prod., eng.; Mark Rae, prod.; Rick Cowling, Graham Harwood, Howard Payne, Dejuana "DK" Richardson, Philippe Simonin, Eric Steinen, engs.; Mike Ball, Chris Owen, asst. engs. AAD? TT: 47:05 Performance ****? Sonics ****
Will audio dealers be interested in selling a product that's been available so far only via mail-order? Audio Advisor thinks so, and has created a new distribution company, WS Distributing, to begin selling the Musical Fidelity product line through "qualified" high-end audio dealers in the USA beginning May 21. Musical Fidelity has been available through retailers in Europe and Asia for years, but in the US, only from AA's catalog and website sales.
The packed house that was Home Entertainment Expo 2001 on Saturday thinned to a manageable level on Sunday the 13th, allowing most of the Stereophile crew ample opportunity to visit all the displays they had missed the previous two days. Toward the 6 o'clock closing time folks were still wandering the halls, and talking amicably and enthusiastically with friends they see once or twice a year. There is always a great deal of continuity in these shows, not only in the products, but also in the people.
In suite 949, Nashville, TN-based Nearfield Acoustics debuted an unnamed new model in its PipeDreams series of tower loudspeakers, one that sounds very promising. To sell for an estimated $10,000/pair, the speaker boasts a 98dB sensitivity rating and improved coherence over its predecessors, the result of using a horn-loading technique for the tweeters, according to company principal Craig Oxford. The new cabinet design is rounded in the back, allowing a single piece of veneer to be wrapped around it, yielding a literally seamless look. There are big bucks awaiting whoever comes up with a suitable name for the product, Oxford mentioned. "Opium" was my suggestion. Hey, it works for perfume.
Although Gary Shapiro emphasized digital television in his keynote address at Home Entertainment 2001, the Consumer Electronics Association president didn't ignore the importance of audio advancements. "SACD is a fantastic sensory experience," he told reporters at the May 11 press luncheon.
As part of my employer's never-ending attempts to transform me from an engineer into a manager, I am constantly being sent to seminars and courses, some of which are eminently practical—like "Managers and the Law," which taught us how to avoid getting ourselves and our company sued. Others are more esoteric, like a recent seminar on "paradigm shifts." A paradigm shift, we were told, is a fundamental change in the way we look at things, arising from a change in a belief so inherent that it's unconscious.
Out of action for more than a year, Mobile Fidelty should be returning soon. Online retailer Music Direct has purchased the remastering and re-release specialty company, according to an announcement made April 24.