Music industry veteran Rudi Gassner died Saturday, December 23 at his vacation home in the Bavarian town of Samerberg. Recently appointed as president and chief executive of BMG Entertainment, Gassner had yet to assume the helm at the record label. The cause of death was a heart attack, according to a statement issued by his family. Gassner was 58.
It would be easy to blame the popularity of home computers for a recent slowdown in audio component sales, except for the fact that PCs are having a tough season themselves. Maybe all of those audio dollars are being spent to cover losses in the stock market or to buy new PlayStation 2s. Regardless, sales of audio products suffered a bit of a slump this past October compared to last year.
We've just posted something new for sale on Stereophile's Recordings page. But this is not just any new CD release—it's a comprehensive 10-CD boxed set of Robert Silverman performing the 32 Beethoven Piano Sonatas, recorded by our very own John Atkinson. Cheapskates rejoice: the complete 10-disc set retails for a very reasonable $65, bringing the price of each CD in the box to a mere $6.50.
After three years in limbo, Threshold will make an official return to the audio market at the upcoming Consumer Electronics Show. The new company's initial emphasis will be on professional equipment with crossover appeal for audiophiles, according to Threshold's former national sales manager Chris English, a principal in the new venture. A name for the new company has yet to be decided.
Teresa Sterne, a pioneer in the production of classical music recordings and a visionary marketer of classical and ethnomusicological recordings, died December 10, 2000 of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gerhrig's disease). She was 73.
Although it first appeared as an infant technology more than 20 years ago, digital audio amplification may finally be coming of age. Recent months have seen announcements from several companies, including news of Apogee's DDX technology (see previous report) and Cirrus Logic who recently purchased their Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) digital amplification technology from B&W Loudspeakers (see previous report).
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!"