LATEST ADDITIONS

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Keith Howard Posted: Nov 21, 2004 0 comments
In the world of digital audio, jitter has been a focus of audiophile attention for well over a decade. It is blamed for many of the sonic ills of which CD and other digital media have been accused. But here's a puzzle: The major source of frequency intermodulation distortion in audio systems—the loudspeaker—has largely escaped such withering inquiry. Why?
Robert J. Reina Posted: Nov 21, 2004 0 comments
I have concluded that I am blessed.
Kalman Rubinson Posted: Nov 21, 2004 0 comments
Non-audiophile friends and relatives raised their eyebrows when they saw the Classé Omega Omicron monoblocks. Not only is the Omicron more expensive than any other amp I've used; at 108 lbs, it's heavier than some of the speakers I've used. The Omicron is Classé's next-to-top-of-the-line amp in its Omega series, but is still definitely a "statement" product. Brian Damkroger reviewed the Omicron's big brother, the Omega Mono, in the July 2003 Stereophile. I refer you to that review for a more detailed description of the Omicron's basic circuitry.
Michael Fremer Posted: Nov 21, 2004 0 comments
Sometimes you have to make peace with a loudspeaker. You have to accept it on its own terms rather than ask it to bend to your sonic wishes, or to be something it's not. This is especially true when you're auditioning a seemingly endless succession of them, as I have this year. Like beauty-pageant contestants parading across the stage, all different-looking yet all enticing in one way or another, each speaker I've listened to of late has sounded different from the rest, and each has had a unique combination of strengths and weaknesses—yet each has been sufficiently "in the pocket" to paint a credible musical picture. Nonetheless, some required more bending on my part than did others, in order for me to believe the musical portraits they were attempting to create.
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Erick Lichte Posted: Nov 21, 2004 0 comments
John Atkinson and Cantus are at it again. Last June, John and Cantus, the Minnesota-based male vocal ensemble, traveled to Goshen College in Goshen, Indiana, to record an adventurous two-volume Christmas CD. Comfort and Joy: Volume One is being released this week.
Robert Baird Posted: Nov 08, 2004 Published: Nov 01, 2004 0 comments
NRBQ: Dummy
Edisun ED-17 (CD). 2004. NRBQ, prods.; Billy Shaw, prod., eng.; Alan Stockwell, Joey Interlande, Chris Anderson, engs. AAD? TT: 37:11
Performance ****½
Sonics ****
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John Atkinson Posted: Nov 08, 2004 Published: Nov 01, 2004 0 comments
"Bugger!" A Pennsylvania state trooper had stepped out from behind the overpass on the Turnpike and was aiming his radar gun straight at me. I reflexively jammed on the anchors, which was a) pointless and b) downright dangerous, considering I was in the middle of a phalanx of cars and trucks all cruising 5-10mph over the speed limit. But what can you do?
Art Dudley Posted: Nov 08, 2004 Published: Nov 01, 2004 0 comments
Naim Audio has a reputation for making products that are truer than most to music's temporal content: rhythm, pacing, the beat almighty. Beginning with their classic solid-state amps of the mid-1970s, Naim's designers have stressed, above all else, the reduction of distortions that puff up and pad the attack and decay components of musical sounds: Getting rid of those additives seems to clarify the timing relationship between different notes in a line, making music more compelling and easier to enjoy. That their gear has historically favored musical content over sonic attributes is no shock to the Naim faithful.
John Atkinson Posted: Nov 08, 2004 Published: Nov 01, 2004 0 comments
The integration of computers into high-end audio is contentious. A reader poll last spring on our website indicated that a significant proportion of audiophiles—a quarter—is dead set against the idea, yet both Microsoft, with Windows Media Player 9, and Apple, with iTunes, seem convinced that the future of domestic music reproduction involves computers. To support that idea, both Apple- and Windows-based computers (the latter with Intel's about-to-be-launched HD Audio technology) are promoting hi-rez audio playback.
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Barry Willis Posted: Nov 08, 2004 0 comments
Credit-card amps: Miniaturization could change the look and feel of many audio products. On October 29, Austin, TX–based D2Audio announced its new line of MXS amplifiers, each only 1.5" tall with a footprint no bigger than a credit card. Intended for use with in-wall or on-wall loudspeakers, MXS amps can deliver up to 125Wpc into 8-ohm speakers or up to 250Wpc into 4-ohm speakers, with THD+N of <0.1% at full-rated power from 20Hz to 20kHz. Dynamic range is specified at "up to 145dB." The tiny digital amplifiers have programmable DSP features and 93% power efficiency, thereby eliminating the need for large heatsinks, and are said to sound as good or better than many traditional designs. Two-channel modules can also be used for bi-amping, according to the manufacturer.

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