The last months of 2002 were uneven ones for electronics retailers. American consumers, apparently trying to stretch their home entertainment dollars as far as possible, patronized discount stores while bypassing more upscale competitors.
Arizona-based Rockford Corporation announced last week that it has acquired loudspeaker designer Now Hear This (NHT) from Recoton Corporation. Previous Rockford acquisitions include Fosgate, Hafler, Acoustat, and MB Quart. The company says that specific terms of the new agreement are confidential.
J. Gordon Holt and various other Stereophile writers are brought together to create the definitive review archive of the Audio Research SP9 preamplifier. The SP9 review was controversial in its day, and the complete review archives include manufacturer and reader comments.
We all know that audiophile products are dangerous to the pocketbook, but one high-end audio manufacturer is notifying its customers that one of its subwoofers may be dangerous to the listener's health as well.
Price fixing rumors squashed: On Tuesday, December 23, the US Department of Justice officially ended a two-year investigation of price fixing by major record labels, with a report that it had found no evidence to support any of the allegations. The investigation began in summer 2001 and concentrated primarily on online music service MusicNet, a joint venture by Warner Music Group, EMI Group, BMG Entertainment, and RealNetworks; and Pressplay, a joint venture by Sony Music Entertainment and Universal Music Group. The majors had been accused of conspiring to keep startups out of the online music distribution business.
Incorporating the company's new "black box" crossover design, the Acarian Alón Li'l Rascal Mk.II loudspeaker captured Robert J. Reina's attention. "I fired up the Li'l Rascals, wondering if I'd catch a glimpse of the dynamic performance I'd heard from the Exotica Grand References at HE2001," explains BJR.
FAIRFIELD FOUR: Standing in the Safety Zone
The Fairfield Four: Isaac Freeman, bass, musical director; James Hill, baritone, group manager; W. L. Richardson, lead, chaplain; Walter Settler, utility lead; Wilson Waters, tenor, treasurer Warner Bros. 26945-2 (CD only). Lee Olsen, prod. ADD. TT: 38:13
I didn't care how the stuff measured, and I wasn't terribly worried about the sound. When the single-ended triode movement crossed my attention eight or nine years ago, I simply thought: That's for me.