You've probably seen the ad in Stereophile: a very personal account by Avantgarde-USA president Jim Smith, describing how, during a 30-year career in high-end audio, he had become increasingly disappointed with conventional loudspeakers' ability to communicate the emotional impact of live music, and how he found the answer with the Avantgarde horn loudspeakers. It's advertising copy in the best I-liked-it-so-much-I-bought-the-company tradition—with the exception that Smith did not actually buy Avantgarde Acoustic, but did become their North American distributor.
The global market for music could reach $42.8 billion within five years—more than $7.5 billion higher than the present level, according to a recent study by PriceWaterhouseCoopers and Wilkofsky Gruen Associates. In the about-to-be-released study, The Global Entertainment & Media Outlook: 2000–2004, the firms make their prediction based on buying patterns and other economic factors in several regions of the world.
Audio manufacturers who know what's good for them avoid stepping on the toes of Bose, Inc. The Framingham, Massachusetts–based corporation is renowned for it ruthless marketing and zealous protection of its patents.
Editor's Note: This is Part Three of a six-part series from reader Hervé Delétraz of Switzerland, who is chronicling the development of his DIY (do-it-yourself) audio amplifier. Part One is here, and Part Two is here.
Jonathan Scull writes that "with its latest series of FPB (Full Power Balanced) amplifiers, Krell is taking careful aim at the seam between classic high-power two-channel systems and quality multichannel installations where sound is yet paramount. Nevertheless, Krell founder Dan D'Agostino was adamant: Krell's Class A components were designed for music playback. 'I'm a purist, like you, Jonathan!' he told me." In his review of the Krell Full Power Balanced 350mc monoblock amplifier, Scull determines whether or not Krell has struck its musical target.
The enduring audiophile dilemma about whether to optimize a home-entertainment system for music or movies may no longer be relevant, thanks to new disc players from Sony Corporation and Philips Electronics NV. The machines were introduced at CEDIA Expo 2000, the annual home-theater and custom-installation trade show held in Indianapolis.
Home Entertainment 2001 (formerly The HI-FI Show) is heading back to the heart of New York for the first time in five years. Described as "a unique hands-on event where attendees will see and hear the newest and the best in home audio and home theater," HE 2001 will take place May 11–13 at the Hilton New York.
Last month I delved into avoiding reflective, parallel-wall slap echoes from ruining your audiophile day. But I've since learned of a perfectly useful workaround that's much less costly and involved than horsing around the Sheetrock. Much to my chagrin, the info came from the same source, George Cardas. When he told me about it, I slapped my forehead so hard I'm sure they heard it in Brooklyn. One caveat: This tweak works best with big, juicy collections of LPs. It could work with CDs...but we'll come to that.
Prelude I fell in love with the original Link DAC, as was obvious from my review in the January 1999 Stereophile. I said that "the Link redefines entry into high-quality digital sound," as it provided excellent sound and 24-bit/96kHz conversion for the remarkably low price of $349. It is as firmly ensconced in Class C of "Recommended Components" as it is in my weekend system, where it tames the digital signals from my DMX receiver and my trusty old Pioneer PD-7100 CD player.
An improved digital-audio compression standard has been adopted by the Bertelsmann Music Group (BMG) and the Universal Music Group for commercial music downloads. "Advanced Audio Coding" (AAC) is said to offer higher audio quality while occupying 30% less bandwidth and storage space than the popular MP3 format, according to an announcement from San Francisco–based Dolby Laboratories.