Record 10 CDs worth of music in one weekend? John Atkinson writes: "I blanched. This was an enormous task: 32 sonatas; 103 individual movements; more than 11 hours of music—11 hours, 26 minutes, and 25 seconds, as it turned out." How to record Canadian pianist Robert Silverman performing Ludwig van Beethoven's 32 Piano Sonatas in such a short time? JA explains the revolutionary process in detail.
Many audiophiles—especially owners of Hales loudspeakers—have wondered whether or not the brand will be revived, in view of a recent announcement by Audio Video Research of Ann Arbor, Michigan that it has acquired the assets of Wadia Digital and plans to resume production and product development of the revered name. Wadia acquired Hales (two of whose products were still Stereophile "Recommended Components" as of October 2000) last year, just a few months before financial difficulties put Wadia into a nosedive from which it could not recover.
English manufacturer Monitor Audio has been around for just about as long as people have been putting "high-end" and "audio" together—they opened their doors in 1972. Back in the mid '80s, when I was a young and carefree (and impoverished) consumer of hi-fi reviews, I'd read about the gold-deposited metal tweeters that Mo Iqbal was concocting and think, "Man, that's some exotic, far-out stuff!"
One of the industry's nastier legal disputes is over. Boulder, CO-based Avalon Acoustics, Inc. has withdrawn a threatened "trade dress infringement" lawsuit against competitor Silverline Audio Technology, Inc. of Concord, CA, according to an Avalon press release circulated December 7. "Trade dress infringement" is a legalism referring to a competitor's use of a design that has become so closely associated in the public mind with a particular brand that it amounts to a virtual trademark.
According to a recent report released by the International Recording Media Association (IRMA), with the gradual introduction of players for the developing DVD-Audio format finally taking place, the software replication industry can expect an "accelerated growth rate" for DVD-A titles around the world in the next two years.
Briefly gone but not forgotten, Wadia Digital will return as a division of Audio Video Research, Inc. (AVR) of Ann Arbor, Michigan, a new company formed in December, 2000 by combining the assets of Wadia and Digital Imaging Corporation. Wadia products, including the 861 and 831 CD players and 27ix processor, will be shown at CES in January, 2001.
The economy may be slowing down in some parts of the country, but not, apparently, in Minneapolis, where national electronics retailer Best Buy Co., Inc. announced December 7 its acquisition of both Musicland Stores Corporation (also of Minneapolis) and Seattle-based Magnolia Hi-Fi, Inc. The buyouts will give Best Buy increased exposure in rural malls and in the Pacific Northwest. The company also announced a plan to open several stores in Canada over the next three years, beginning with eight locations for which leases have already been signed.
Thirteen months after announcing its return to manufacturing, Memphis-based speaker maker EgglestonWorks is back in a big way, with plans to debut a "radical" and "visually provocative" reference loudspeaker at the Consumer Electronics Show in January.
Robert Deutsch asks, "How can you tell an audiophile from a normal person?" RD's answer involves the name of the Vienna Acoustics Mahler loudspeaker, which Deutsch reviewed for the April 2000 issue of Stereophile. Deutsch writes, "I find Gustav Mahler's music to be on the ponderous side, but when I heard the Vienna Acoustics Mahlers at HI-FI '99, I was sufficiently impressed that I began the process of getting a pair for review." The results of his careful listening are not ponderous at all.
Charles Hansen said it best, in a recent e-mail: "People have been holding back from criticizing this technology because they weren't certain that some new discovery hadn't been made." Ayre Acoustics' main man was talking about "upsampling," whereby conventional "Red Book" CD data, sampled at 44.1kHz, are converted to a datastream with a higher sample rate. (Because of its association with DVD-Audio, 96kHz is often chosen as the new rate.)