The final piece of the TGI/Mordaunt-Short/Epos jigsaw puzzle (see previous story) seems to have fallen into place, with the news that Mike Creek (of the UK's Creek Audio) is purchasing the Epos loudspeaker brand, effective March 1.
The standalone digital/analog converter emerged as a product category in 1987 with the appearance of the Arcam Black Box and the Marantz CDA-94, closely followed by the PS Audio Link. The idea was that putting the sensitive D/A-conversion and analog stages in a separate enclosure with its own power supply would maximize the sound quality when compared with packing these circuits in the same box as the transport. However, it turned out that the routing of the digital data between transport and processor in the form of an S/PDIF- or AES/EBU-encoded bitstream could introduce word-clock jitterwhich undid much of the sonic advantages. (See "Bits is Bits" by Malcolm Hawksford and Chris Dunn, Stereophile, March 1996.)
Bill Gates would have you believe we live in a plug'n'play world. Apple has proselytized same since day one. But I'm here to tell you it just isn't so for high-end audio. The orientation of a component's AC plug—even the quality of the wall receptacle itself—affects the sound! Oh no, Mr. Bill, not something else to futz with! Will it never end?
You think we've got format problems these days? Take a peek back to 1963, when J. Gordon Holt ripped apart the then-new record technology from RCA in "Down with Dynagroove". Next, Wes Phillips writes an ode to his own Mr. Holland in "A Passion for Music".
The official website of the 41st Annual Grammy Awards was launched earlier this month with the help of a media team from the Atlanta division of International Business Machines. The Java-based site provides background information on the artists and events of the music-awards extravaganza, taking place Wednesday evening, February 24, at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles.
Two elements that keep the audio business interesting are the new companies and technologies arriving almost every week (see also BW's story). Some stick around for years, while others fade away between hi-fi shows. But amid the incessant change are a handful of characters who stay with it, continually evolving with the industry and reinventing themselves with each twist and turn.
In the classic textbook example, the Doppler effect is demonstrated by an increase in both pitch and volume (or amplitude) of a train's whistle as it approaches a station, followed by a decrease in pitch and volume as it moves away. This effect---the shift of a frequency emitted by a moving object---leads to a fundamental flaw in audio technology. A midrange driver behaves like the approaching-and-departing train when it attempts to reproduce varying frequencies. When the driver is fed simultaneous 400Hz and 2kHz tones, the forward movement of the cone at the lower rate modulates the 2kHz tone upward in pitch and amplitude; when it moves backward it modulates the higher tone downward. (The human eardrum also behaves this way, but the brain's audio-analysis circuitry knows how to deal with it.)
A study released earlier this month by The Arbitron Company and Edison Media Research shows that Internet radio broadcasting continues to be a fast-growing medium. The survey of Arbitron diarykeepers also brings to light both the challenges and opportunities that the Internet presents to radio broadcasters, particularly in the much-talked-about arena of e-commerce.