Last week's online poll indicates that many Stereophile readers have an ongoing affinity for the retro design style of older audio gear. Several respondents say they find the warm glow of tubes and backlit displays seductively attractive in a darkened room, while others pine for the days of analog dials and softly lit meters with gently bouncing needles.
For Vivendi Universal SA, when it rains, it pours. Just two weeks after chief executive Jean-Marie Messier ousted Pierre Lescure, the president of France's Canal Plus television company—an event that caused demonstrations in the streets of Paris and paroxysms of nationalistic fervor among France's 18 presidential candidates—a complicated stock deal got vastly more complicated, resulting in a $250 million payment due to A&M Records founders Herb Alpert and Jerry Moss.
Where Pogs and Pokemon once ruled, HitClips have taken over. HitClips are hot. So hot, in fact, that Hasbro Incorporated's Tiger Electronics division has sold more than 20 million of them at $3.99 each. That's $80 million gross on a single product, a figure that probably no high-end audio company has ever reached.
At the start of his review of the Balanced Audio Technology VK-D5 CD player, Jonathan Scull observes, "Man, has Balanced Audio Technology come a long way in a short time." Scull goes in-depth with the VK-D5 to explain just what he's found.
The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) has requested increased federal funding for the ongoing struggle against the pirating of recorded music. On Tuesday, April 23, the organization's executives asked the US House of Representatives' Appropriations Committee for more money to pursue pirates. Such allocations come directly from tax revenues, according to reports from Washington.
It is with regret that we belatedly note the passing of Joanna Nickrenz, one of the most respected American producers of classical recordings, on February 9. Within the small world of those who passionately care about the sound of recorded music, Ms. Nickrenz, along with her partner Marc J. Aubort, was a legend. Many audiophiles—including Stereophile's editors—considered the names Nickrenz and Aubort on a project a guarantee of natural, dynamic, accurate sound.
Jonathan Scull says he likes "stories with happy endings." Will his time spent with the Conrad-Johnson Premier 16LS preamplifier leave a smile on his face or a frown? J-10 comments, "As always, after a period of time, I began tweaking until I got the sound just so, then whipped out the laptop and . . . " filed this report.