Almost every audiophile, whether hobbyist or professional, has taken a stab at building loudspeakers. Combine the fundamentals of cabinetmaking with some basic electronic theory, connect a few good drivers to a well-designed crossover network, and you're on your way to pretty good sound. And now, with widely available resources like crossover design software and high-quality prefabricated cabinets, the task is easier than it's ever been.
The MP3 audio format has been rapidly gaining a solid reputation in the last several months. Portable products such as Diamond Multimedia's Rio have hit the market, and websites (typified by MP3.com) have gained financial success. (See related story.) But one area that has so far lagged is MP3-based playback and recording equipment for using the files at home without moving a computer next to the stereo.
Last week it was revealed that David Manley has resigned as president of Manley Laboratories and has assigned his total shares in the company to EveAnna Manley as part of an agreement signed June 10, 1999. EveAnna Manley has officially assumed the duties of president, CEO, and sole owner of Manley Laboratories, Inc. A press release states that David Manley is no longer associated or affiliated with Manley Laboratories, Inc., and that EveAnna Manley has been de facto operating CEO of the company since David Manley's departure in 1996.
Is there a computer in your audio future? Meridian thinks so. An expensive new flagship disc player hints at things to come at more affordable prices. Working at the far edge of the digital playback frontier, the UK company has just announced its 800 Reference, a new combination CD/DVD player, built like a computer, that takes digital audio and video playback to a new level. The player "sets the bar for DVD and CD reproduction," according to a June 16 press release.
Now that we've gained a basic understanding of speaker setup, cable dressing and hygiene, and electrical theory, it's time to consider where and how to site your equipment. I've seen all sorts of weird, jerry-rigged shelves and poor component placement, some of the worst in pricey systems whose owners really should have known better. But you can achieve a stunning level of improvement from a haphazardly set-up system---even an entry-level one---when it's rearranged so as to let the components breathe.
John Wright was one of the most important figures on the British hi-fi scene since the mid-1960s. His natural modesty and reticence made it easy to underestimate a working life that encompassed an unusually wide range of different roles: from inventor to speaker engineer to reviewer to businessman.
Writer Robert Deutsch takes an in-depth look at the Hales Design Group Revelation Three loudspeaker in an attempt to determine whether the product lives up to its name. He also checks into the manufacturer's claim that "what we made will forever change the world of dynamic loudspeakers . . . an instant classic, a benchmark against which others of its type are measured."
Last Thursday, Virgin Entertainment Group announced an agreement with RedDotNet, a Digital on Demand company, that Virgin says will allow its customers to download music and create custom CDs, DVDs, and MiniDiscs in-store. Virgin describes the deal as "a revolutionary development heralding a new wave of music retailing." As part of the agreement, Virgin will become a shareholder in Digital on Demand, RedDotNet's parent company.
The world's third largest music company has thrown its massive weight behind Internet audio. On June 10, EMI Recorded Music, a division of EMI Group Plc, announced a five-year licensing agreement with Reston, Virginia-based Musicmaker.com, a major custom CD compilation service and digital download site. EMI has not simply made its enormous catalog available to the service---it has also bought into Musicmaker.com with a 50% equity stake.