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.
One of the benefits of being music editor of Stereophile---after, of course, unimaginable wealth, unquestioned power, and hot and cold running editorial groupies---is that every year in February I get to write about death. That, and the rather odd personality traits of the Stereophile writing staff.
Conrad-Johnson is one of audio's "marquee" companies, and charges accordingly. The Premier Twelve tube monoblock power amplifier, rated at 140W, sells for a rather steep $3495 each, meaning that unless you listen in mono, be prepared to lay out almost $7000 just for the amplification link in your audio chain. Apparently, many audiophiles feel the money is well spent: according to Conrad-Johnson, the Twelve has been a consistently strong seller during its approximately five-year production history.
Our first new archive article this week is "Building a Library: The Grateful Dead," in which past AES chairperson Elizabeth Cohen reveals her thoughts about what the band has meant to a musical generation. Also included is a complete Dead discography, lots of lyrics, and a little history.
Last week, Reference Recordings, of San Francisco, announced that it is planning five new symphonic projects to be recorded by "Prof." Keith Johnson in 88.2kHz, HDCD, 5-channel discrete surround sound. These will be released on standard two-channel CD in the coming year, and eventually on DVD-Audio disc. According to RR, with these ambitious plans, the company hopes to reverse the industry-wide decline in new recordings of classical orchestral music.
Last week, Reference Recordings of San Francisco announced that it is planning five new symphonic projects to be recorded by "Prof." Keith Johnson in 88.2kHz, HDCDr 5-channel discrete surround sound. These will be released on standard two-channel compact disc in the coming year, and eventually on DVD audio disc. According to RR, with these ambitious plans, the company hopes to reverse the industry-wide decline in new recordings of classical orchestral music
Stereophile readers with a hunger for licorice pizza may wish to turn their attention to the Phonogram mailing list---an online, noncommercial discussion forum for those interested in vinyl and related topics. According to Phonogram's material, "the group is an open, informative, interesting, and just plain fun place for people to share their enthusiasm for, knowledge of, and opinions on music on shiny black discs. Although the focus is primarily on 33 1/3rpm vinyl LPs, comments and questions on 45s, 78s, open-reel tapes, or other media (even CeeDees) are welcome. Discussion of hardware supporting record playback (e.g., turntables, tonearms, cartridges, phono stages, and accessories) is fair game as well."
Musician, martial artist, and electronics whiz Ben Blish has loved audio since he was a little kid staring into the glowing tubes of his father's Scott hi-fi equipment. Thirty-four years after catching the bug, he still nurtures it daily.
Until the end of January, the Federal Communications Commission had opposed the proliferation of low-power FM radio stations. "Microradio," as it is sometimes called, has been an ongoing problem for the agency since inexpensive broadcasting gear became widely available several years ago. Primarily an urban phenomenon, microradio consists of individuals and small groups with a hodgepodge of equipment, who wedge themselves into unoccupied slots in the crowded FM band.