Like the companies in most high-tech industries, audio businesses are a volatile lot, with startups, mergers, acquisitions—and the occasional bankruptcy or flame-out—not uncommon. In that ongoing tradition, at the 2002 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Ultralink Products announced on January 7 its intention to purchase the assets of cable manufacturer XLO Electric.
Reviewing a vacuum-tube power amplifier is like having your pants pulled down in front of a large crowd of people. I don't know how else to describe the feeling of spending a month or two luxuriating in fabulous sound, then writing a glowing review, then receiving a copy of the review as it will appear in the magazine, complete with John Atkinson's assessment of the amp's test-bench performance, which is usually miserable.
As normally conceived, loudspeakers use electrodynamic forces to control the movements of their diaphragms, which in turn move air. Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. has come up with an interesting twist on this principle, one in which air pressure itself ("aerodynamic-drive technology") is used to control the diaphragm. The result is a transparent panel speaker called the "Sound Window," announced by the Japanese industrial giant March 27.
"No doubt about it—Linn's top-of-the-line Komri loudspeaker is a queer-lookin' duck," says Jonathan Scull as he set up a pair in his listening lair. The claimed frequency response for the Komri extends out to 40kHz. "Why even bother going out that high, where even the most beautiful of women cannot hear?" J-10 explains why.
There are probably only a handful of recorded works which could successfully survive the transition from the original two-channel release to a 5.1 surround remix. Queen's 1975 release A Night At The Opera is certainly one of them, and, in fact, the recording was originally scheduled to hit the streets last November as a 5.1 DVD-Audio disc from DTS Entertainment.
Following the tragic events of September 11 last year, Audio Asylum and Audiogon co-sponsored a charity auction of audio equipment to benefit the NY Firefighters' Fund and other related charities. Manufacturers, dealers, magazine writers and editors, and audiophiles donated equipment, recordings, and memorabilia for sale, and as reported on this website, the auction ultimately raised almost $175,000 for 9/11-related charities.
John Robinson Pierce, a wide-ranging engineer, inventor, writer, and psychoacoustics researcher, died April 2 at El Camino Hospital in Mountain View, CA. The cause of death was complications from pneumonia. Pierce was 92.
"Hi, Jonathan," Bob Matthews began his e-mail to "Fine Tunes" (firstname.lastname@example.org). "I enjoy reading your column every month, and enjoy hearing from other people about some of their cheap tweaks!"
TRIO MEDIAEVAL: Words of The Angel Anonymous: Messe de Tournai. Moody: Words of The Angel. Misc. 13th-century monophonic and 14th-century polyphonic works. Trio Mediaeval: Anna Maria Friman, Linn Andrea Fuglseth, Torunn Østrem Ossum, sopranos ECM 1753 (CD). 2001. John Potter, prod.; Peter Laenger, eng. DDD. TT: 65:45 Performance ***** Sonics *****