Kalman Rubinson fires up the Sonic Frontiers Line 2 line preamplifier, commenting, "I began this review grudgingly because I'd made a decision a while back to no longer pursue vacuum-tube electronics." But it's where KR ends up after months of listening that counts.
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.
The Swedes have found a new way to kill time on those long, cold Scandinavian winter nights. On February 7, Swedish Radio (SR) announced that it had begun multichannel test transmissions from the Sirius 2 satellite, utilizing DTS's Coherent Acoustics compression/ decompression algorithm. The tests are intended to run until the end of April 2003.
"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.
"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.