By several common measures, the American economy appears to be emerging from its first recession in a decade. On Friday, April 26, the US Commerce Department reported economic growth of 5.8% (annual rate) for the first quarter. Gross domestic product (GDP), generally considered the broadest indicator of the economy's health, was the strongest since the final quarter of 1999. The 5.8% rate is especially encouraging in view of the 1.7% rate during the fourth quarter of 2001. The US Labor Department also reported a decline in first-time applications for unemployment benefits during the last week of April.
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.
National Association of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS) president C. Michael Greene has abruptly resigned in the wake of sexual harassment allegations by female executives at the nonprofit organization, which produces the annual Grammy Music Awards show.
In addition to fostering the exchange of audio files, peer-to-peer websites may be sharing the problems of increased legal liabilities and bandwidth drains for businesses which allow employees to access file-sharing sites from corporate networks.
XM Radio held a press conference in New York City Thursday, April 18. The event was heralded with great secrecy—attendees were enticed with promises of "major news," but no one leaked details beforehand, and the press arrived expecting something juicy indeed.
In his review of the Music Reference RM-200 power amplifier, Michael Fremer claims, "Reviewing a vacuum-tube power amplifier is like having your pants pulled down in front of a large crowd of people." MF explains why he reviewed the RM-200 despite the inevitable public humiliation.
What's a home-entertainment show without an assortment of state-of-the-art audio demonstrations? EgglestonWorks has announced that its next generation Andra II speaker will be featured as part of what it calls an "unprecedented" demonstration of multichannel Super Audio CD (SACD) to be conducted during the upcoming Home Entertainment 2002 Show May 30 through June 2 at the New York Hilton.
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.