More than 70 producers, engineers, and representatives from consumer and professional equipment manufacturers, record companies, and recording studios recently came together in Europe to discuss new ways to promote and establish Super Audio CD. After a two-day conference in London, the attendees say they have agreed to establish the Super Audio Forum to foster a "supportive environment for the exchange of knowledge and marketing information, as well as providing a platform for industry-wide collaboration."
Will the threat of lawsuits have any effect on the file-sharing phenomenon? The music industry hopes and prays that it will. As of July 19, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) had sought and obtained "at least 871 federal subpoenas against computer users . . . with 75 new subpoenas being approved each day," according to an Associated Press report.
While the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) is working overtime to jail file traders, members of the US Congress are introducing bill after bill targeting with criminal prosecution the 60 million Americans engaged in Internet file sharing.
In my column for Stereophile's March issue, I criticized a handful of records for combining very good sound with very bad music. A few readers expressed dismay, wondering what gave me the right to call music good or bad, especially since virtually all music is loved by someone (its mother?). But as far as I know, the magazine received a total of zero letters wondering what gave me the right to call sound good or bad. Hmmm.
Last January, the Stereophile website conducted a poll asking readers what they thought was their audio system's weakest link . The results indicated that 24% thought that their room was the most problematic component. What this says is that, though often accused of being obsessed with hardware, we audiophiles are aware of what a potent effect the speaker-room setup has.
Vinyl junkies who missed the first official Vinyl Record Day celebration last summer should mark their calendars for Saturday, August 16. On that date, the faithful will again converge in San Luis Obispo, CA's Mission Plaza to gawk at LPs, memorabilia, vintage gear, and to meet classic album cover notables.
Brian Damkroger ponders the Classé Omega monoblock power amplifier. "The Classé Omega is expensive, costing $25,000/pair," notes BD. But he also finds the amp a "drop-dead-gorgeous, massive, industrial-art chunk of aluminum and steel set off with a subtle mix of curves, contours, finishes, and textures." And then there is that Classé sound.
IPOs are jumping and the Nasdaq is up—some mid-summer economic indicators point toward a recovery, but you wouldn't know it from retail reports. Circuit City, Good Guys, and Harvey Electronics are singing the blues, while discounter Costco is whistling all the way to the bank.