One area where DVD-Audio so far has an advantage over SACD is on the computer. To date there are no SACD-compatible personal computers on the consumer market, allowing the playback of a single-layer stereo or multichannel DSD format disc. One can, however, play a DVD-Audio disc on a PC using, for example, a Sound Blaster Audigy 2 sound card.
"What? What??? No Smiths?" asks reader Steven J. Wilder in this issue's "Letters" (p.9), regarding my interjection in the "Honorable Mentions" sidebar of last November's "40 Essential Albums." Hey, I think The Smiths suck—okay, Mr. Wilder? Morrissey's self-absorbed adolescent whining had no place on a list that included music from such grownups as Morrison, Mitchell, and Mingus. I'm not alone in this sentiment. Jon Iverson, www.stereophile.com's webmaster, almost stapled together the pages of Mojo magazine's April 2001 retrospective of Morrissey's and Marr's music so he could skip over it without running the risk of the veins on his forehead exploding.
Having a great product at a fair price is mandatory practice in the ever-competitive audio business. But getting the word out and placing those products in front of the customer is just as critical—some might argue, even more important. If this is true, then Canadian speaker company Athena has just made the score of a lifetime.
Heads up RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America): those music dollars skittering away in all directions probably have very little to do with online file trading. That was the message last week as members of two important trade organizations challenged the conventional RIAA view that blames peer-to-peer networks for the record industry's third dismal year in a row.
"How much power do you really need? How much power can you actually use? What's necessary, and what's icing on the cake? And does anyone really need 1000Wpc?" Jonathan Scull takes the Boulder 2050 monoblock amplifier into the listening chamber to confront these and other pressing audio dilemmas.
In Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan, the evil overlord's favorite torture was to introduce carnivorous worms into the ear canals of his prisoners. No one who saw the film can forget the agony of the victims, who gradually went insane as the worms ate through their brains.