It was the weirdest orchestral balance I'd ever heard. The gentle woodwind chords that begin Mendelssohn's incidental music to A Midsummer Night's Dream were as loud as the climactic "Wedding March" that ends the piece. The radio broadcast was obviously being compressed to hell. Yet, sitting at the wheel of the rented Vauxhall Vectra I was driving down to Cornwall for an old friend's surprise 50th birthday party, I was actually glad for the compression. Had Classic FM broadcast the Mendelssohn with its true dynamic range intact, the quiet passages would have been irretrievably buried in the road noise and the loud passages would have had me lunging for the volume control, to the possible danger of those sharing England's congested A303 trunk road with me.
After a particularly tough year, Carver Corporation announced last week that it has executed an agreement with founder Bob Carver, who had sold his interest in the company and then started up privately held Sunfire Corporation (see previous story). The new agreement places Sunfire in charge of the development, manufacturing, marketing, and distribution, under the Carver brand name, of a new line of home and car products that will incorporate "new" technologies. The agreement also establishes a new manufacturer's representative and independent dealer network to rebuild Carver Corporation, and for Bob Carver to assume full operational control of the company.
Last week, the Analog Option Coalition, a loose-knit umbrella group that sponsored forums on analog recording during the 1997 and 1998 AES conventions, annouced that it has restructured as Analog Options Consulting, a division of Wavelength Communications.
Online readers rejoice: Stereophile is posting the first of what we hope will be many equipment reviews in our Archives database. First up is the Linn Sondek CD12 CD player (recently reviewed in Stereophile), along with a review of the Linn AV 51 System (from the February 1999 issue of Stereophile Guide to Home Theater).
Music lovers within driving distance of San Francisco and those planning a visit for later this month should set aside Sunday, February 28, for a feast of black vinyl. That's the day the San Francisco Conservatory of Music holds its Giant LP Sale.
The West Coast's Good Guys aren't feeling so well. The 79-store chain reported a 31% drop in net earnings for the quarter ending December 31. Gross margins dropped to 23.4% of sales, as compared to 24.7% in the same period the previous year.