Three-dimensional modeling, 4-pi anechoic chambers, and laser inteferometry were but a few of the industrial marvels revealed in early March to a group of Stereophile and Stereophile Guide to Home Theater scribes. The group convened Tuesday, March 7, at Revel headquarters in the massive Harman International complex in Northridge, California, for an inside view of the company's research, development, and manufacturing operations, organized and led by Madrigal president Mark Glazier. Madrigal is Harman's Middletown, Connecticut-based high-end operation, with the Proceed, Mark Levinson, and Revel lines under its jurisdiction.
Does high-end audio have a future? High-end audio most definitely does have a future. So do the Latin mass, chess, leather-bound books, and wooden boats. But the future will not be like the past, and I think we must face the fact that high-end audio's future, both for hardware and software, will be as a minority enthusiasm. We should plan and act accordingly.
Because they now realize that downloading music from the Internet is here to stay, it would seem the major record companies would love to see a world in which Web consumers no longer own a copy of a song or album, but simply pay each time they listen to it.
It happens to most of us. You're tooling down the road, listening to the radio, and you hear some music that captures your interest. Wouldn't it be nice to be able to easily find out who the artist is and what label they record for without waiting for the announcer, so you can head to your favorite music outlet and buy the disc? But how about pushing a button and ordering the item right there on the spot—from the driver's seat?
Houston's InterWeb Design has signed a joint venture agreement to bring MP3 audio to China. The three-way agreement, finalized in late February with a Chinese investment company and the Chinese government, will establish the first government-approved MP3 site in China.
One of the music industry's "big five" will soon begin offering its wares as digital downloads. Seagram, Ltd. chief executive Edgar Bronfman, speaking on Friday, March 3 at the Jupiter Consumer Online forum in New York, said his Universal Music Group will start selling music online this spring.
Wes Phillips writes: "If, as some would have it, Audiophilia nervosa is like the dark night of reason, then certain audio epiphanies must necessarily stand out from a distance, like a grove of trees 20 miles away thrown into stark relief by prairie lightning." In his review of the B&W Nautilus 801 loudspeaker, WP recounts that "the B&W Nautilus 801 has the stuff to keep me in fireplace fantasies throughout my dotage, and probably well into my (hyper)active middle age to boot."
High-resolution digital audio got a big boost on March 2, when Yamaha Electronics Corporation announced the release of its new RX-V1, a multichannel receiver featuring Burr-Brown PCM 1704 24-bit/96kHz DACs for all 10 channels, including two subwoofer outputs. Six of the channels are full-range with amplifier power of 110W each, with claimed frequency response beyond 100kHz.
How many of you out there know what a Nuvistor is? Michael Fremer takes a look at this unique device and its application in the Musical Fidelity Nu-Vista 300 power amplifier. "Enclosing its vacuum in metal rather than glass, the Nuvistor was designed as a long-lived, highly linear device with low heat, low microphony, and low noise—all of which it needed to have any hope of competing in the brave new solid-state world emerging when RCA introduced it in the 1960s." Musical Fidelity decided to use the Nuvistor in a limited-run amplifier, and therein lies an interesting tale, which Michael skillfully uncovers.
An Internet startup being organized by Fleetwood Mac drummer Mick Fleetwood and auctioneer Ted Owen will offer John Lennon's 30-year-old Steinway piano for auction some time in July. The piano is now on display in The Beatles Story museum in Liverpool and will remain there until October 9, which would have been Lennon's 60th birthday.