Last January, the Stereophile website conducted a poll asking readers what they thought was their audio system's weakest link . The results indicated that 24% thought that their room was the most problematic component. What this says is that, though often accused of being obsessed with hardware, we audiophiles are aware of what a potent effect the speaker-room setup has.
In my column for Stereophile's March issue, I criticized a handful of records for combining very good sound with very bad music. A few readers expressed dismay, wondering what gave me the right to call music good or bad, especially since virtually all music is loved by someone (its mother?). But as far as I know, the magazine received a total of zero letters wondering what gave me the right to call sound good or bad. Hmmm.
The owners of Spanish website Puretunes.com are the latest to feel the wrath of the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) in its campaign to rid the world of unauthorized music. The site's parent company, Sakfield Holding, will defend itself against a lawsuit filed July 3 in the US District Court for the District of Columbia. The accusation: providing illegal downloads.
Vinyl junkies who missed the first official Vinyl Record Day celebration last summer should mark their calendars for Saturday, August 16. On that date, the faithful will again converge in San Luis Obispo, CA's Mission Plaza to gawk at LPs, memorabilia, vintage gear, and to meet classic album cover notables.
IPOs are jumping and the Nasdaq is up—some mid-summer economic indicators point toward a recovery, but you wouldn't know it from retail reports. Circuit City, Good Guys, and Harvey Electronics are singing the blues, while discounter Costco is whistling all the way to the bank.
Brian Damkroger ponders the Classé Omega monoblock power amplifier. "The Classé Omega is expensive, costing $25,000/pair," notes BD. But he also finds the amp a "drop-dead-gorgeous, massive, industrial-art chunk of aluminum and steel set off with a subtle mix of curves, contours, finishes, and textures." And then there is that Classé sound.
There's nothing groundbreaking about the technology included in Naim's new $22,400, two-box, remote-controllable, top-of-the-line NAC 552 preamplifier. Still, the inclusion of two sets of RCA input jacks is a departure from Naim's tradition of DIN jacks, and the NAC 552's programmability is unusual for a high-end two-channel audio product. And you can order RCA output jacks at no extra cost, which is how my review sample was configured.