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Jonathan Scull Posted: Feb 01, 2001 0 comments
What's it take to compete on the bleeding edge of digital? Foresight, commitment of resources, and lots of money. Of course, it's all fundamentally about money, so we shouldn't be surprised that the audiophile's emotional needs aren't paid much respect by the large international manufacturing and marketing concerns stalking the earth today. Megaglom vs Cockroachacus. [Sigh] Where are those pesky miniature princess twins when you need 'em?
Chip Stern Posted: Feb 01, 2001 0 comments
Having evaluated any number of integrated amplifiers in the past year or so, I've repeatedly been impressed by the ways in which designers build versatility and sonic distinction into their single-box designs. In matching those that sounded and measured the best—such as the tubed E.A.R. V20 (October 1999) and the solid-state Magnum Dynalab MD 208 receiver (January 2001)—with appropriate speakers and source components, I was able to attain high-resolution musicality with a minimum of fuss. Crave high-end sound but require even less complexity? You could dispense with interconnects altogether by integrating a high-quality CD player into a remote-controlled receiver, as Linn has with the diminutive Classik that I reviewed last November.
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Stereophile Staff Posted: Jan 28, 2001 0 comments
As Michael Fremer puts it, "In analog, it's the little things that count, and Rega's upgrade of the basic Planar 3 design to the Planar 25 can only be described as visibly 'small.' But the sonic improvements I heard during my first encounter with the $1275 arm/'table combo were audibly big." Fremer takes a close look at and listen to the Rega Planar 25 turntable for Stereophile readers and attempts to reveal all of its secrets. Sam Tellig adds his two cents' worth.
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Jon Iverson Posted: Jan 28, 2001 0 comments
According to the latest statistics from the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), overall consumer electronics sales for 2000 posted gains of 7% over 1999, reaching $8 billion. However, overall audio sales at the end of 2000 dropped as compared with November 1999, declining 5%, with $854 million in revenues for the month. The CEA says that sales to dealers of separate audio components also declined in November dipping around 4% as compared to the same period in 1999, but overall, sales of separate audio components have had a positive year rising 7% to $1.4 billion in revenue thus far.
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Wes Phillips Posted: Jan 28, 2001 0 comments
Drummer Billy Higgins started his remarkable career backing up R&B musicians such as Amos Milburn and Bo Diddley around the LA area before embarking on his jazz path with the Jazz Messengers (led by Don Cherry and saxophonist James Clay) and Dexter Gordon. But it was his association with Ornette Coleman, starting in the mid 1950s, that electrified the jazz world and made him a force to reckon with. His first recordings, with Coleman and Red Mitchell, were released in 1958. In 1959, he performed with both Coleman in New York and Thelonious Monk in San Francisco, and from that point on, he never stopped recording or touring.
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Barry Willis Posted: Jan 28, 2001 0 comments
Price-fixing by major record labels isn't confined to the United States. The music industry's "Big Five" (Universal Music, Sony Music Entertainment, Warner Music Group, EMI Group PLC, and the Bertelsmann Music Group) are now under the scrutiny of European Union antitrust investigators, who are looking into the possibility that the companies may have colluded to keep CD prices artificially high in Europe. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and music industry agreed to settle the American version of the issue in May 2000.
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Barry Willis Posted: Jan 28, 2001 0 comments
In a move that some cynics are calling "the beginning of the end" for the Secure Digital Music Initiative, the group's director has abruptly resigned. Leonard Chiariglione, who has headed the cross-industry anti-piracy organization since its inception more than two years ago, made the announcement Wednesday, January 24 at the first SDMI meeting of 2001.
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Jon Iverson Posted: Jan 28, 2001 0 comments
Citing the desire to take advantage of the power of sharing audio files over the Internet, one of the larger independent record labels, TVT Records, announced last week that it has withdrawn its copyright claims against the file-sharing company Napster. TVT said that the basis for its decision to end the lawsuit and provide its support to Napster is "the new service Napster is evolving under the strategic alliance it recently announced with Bertelsmann AG." TVT points out that, since Bertelsmann is still technically a party to litigation with Napster, it becomes the first record label to fully settle with the beleagured Web company.
Chip Stern Posted: Jan 25, 2001 0 comments
Musical arguments in favor of separate components are compelling and well-documented. But there's also something musical to be said about reducing the number of power sources, keeping signal paths short and direct, and hard-wiring connections between components rather than employing multiple sets of interconnects. So while a designer must inevitably confront certain tradeoffs, the explosive growth and popularity of single-box products in the past few years contradicts the received wisdom passed down by some of the more sniffy audiophiles: that such unduly proletarian products are terminally compromised in terms of absolute levels of music reproduction.
Robert Deutsch Posted: Jan 25, 2001 1 comments
At the Consumer Electronics show in Las Vegas in January 1999, Mark Schifter, erstwhile president of Audio Alchemy, was handing out a press release announcing what seemed like a groundbreaking product from his new company, Perpetual Technologies. The product was the P-1A, a digital-to-digital processor that would do resolution enhancement, loudspeaker correction (amplitude and phase), and room correction—all for less than $1k. It sounded too good to be true.

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