For technophiles, DVD is the current hot ticket. The compact disc is far from dead, however. The 20-year-old format has been given a new lease on life by Sony Corporation, which in early July announced the development of a new technique that will double the data-storage capacity of recordable CDs.
Editor's Note: Richard Hess has recently spent time remastering several CDs and wrote about the experience for an engineering newsgroup. We think Stereophile's online readers will find his comments about the process interesting.
Information released last week by NPD Intelect reveals eye-opening statistics about digital audio recorder formats. The numbers show that, from January to May 2000, unit shares of digital recording sales in retail stores were 30.8% for CD recorders (not including computer-based systems), 40.9% for MiniDisc recorders, and 28.3% for MP3 recording devices (also not including computer-based systems).
Kalman Rubinson had tried to get his hands on the Revel Performa F30 loudspeakers back in January 1999, but was thwarted until later in the year, when J-10 decided to send them his way. Kal was clearly excited about these speakers, and explains in detail exactly why.
When I learned that Madrigal Audio Labs was marketing their first integrated amplifier, the Mark Levinson No.383, I felt this was a big change for the Connecticut company. Mark Levinson literally started the high-end marketing revolution back in the early 1970s by manufacturing cost-no-object separate amplifiers and preamplifiers. The purist designs had one overriding rule: employ the simplest circuit path possible. Each amplifier or preamplifier used only individual circuit-board components (no integrated circuits) and had a minimal number of controls, eschewing elaborate switches and tone controls. Mark Levinson Audio Systems and its successor, Madrigal Audio Laboratories, has continued this philosophy of separate components for the past 25 years.
Why would a sharp mind offer a $15,000 integrated digital amplifier to a reviewer who has been characterized in the audio press as the "self-proclaimed Analog Messiah" and a "hyper-Luddite"? That's the first question a self-centered reviewer asks himself. Yours might be: "A $15,000 integrated amplifier from...Sharp?"
With new high-end audio formats hitting the shelves and MP3 and Napster dominating the online music news, developments in the world of radio have taken a back seat lately. But two announcements this week offer a peek at where the broadcast business might be headed.
The bad news for the music industry: Teenagers bought less music last year, according to a recently released survey commissioned by the Recording Industry Association of America. The good news: Middle-aged folks bought more, according to the same survey.
DVD-Audio will soon bring high-resolution multichannel sound to music lovers, but they may be dismayed by the format's several varieties and the semi-compatible hardware that will be needed to play them. That was the impression left by a lecture the last week of June at Dolby Laboratories' Presentation Studio in San Francisco.