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John Atkinson Stephen Mejias Posted: Dec 12, 2004 0 comments
Stereophile's "Products of the Year," now in its 13th year, recognizes those rare components that prove capable of giving musical pleasure beyond the formal review period. These are the components that can be recommended with no ifs or buts, that will grace any system in which they are used.
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Ken Kessler Posted: Dec 06, 2004 0 comments
All but forgotten in the field of surround sound are the efforts of UK classical music label Nimbus Records. More than 25 years ago, Nimbus recorded with Peter Fellgett and Michael Gerzon's two-channel–compatible, matrixed UHJ Ambisonic Surround system, using multi-capsule Calrec Soundfield microphones. Other labels, including Unicorn-Kanchana, also supported Ambisonic, releasing such rarities as a UHJ Ambisonic recording of the soundtrack to North By Northwest on LP. Playback decoders were available from the UK's National Research and Development Council (NRDC) and speaker manufacturer IMF. As timing would have it, the Ambisonic releases appeared when users could still recall the unfortunate experience of 1970s quadraphony, and Dolby Digital was still some years off. However, those who have heard proper demonstrations maintain that the UHJ Ambisonic technique remains the most convincing surround-sound format ever.
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Stereophile Staff Posted: Dec 06, 2004 0 comments
Stereophile is proud to present the first edition of its new free monthly eNewsletter. The first Monday of each month, Stereophile will publish exclusive content for readers who either opt in with a subscription or sign up using the online form.
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Barry Willis Posted: Dec 05, 2004 Published: Dec 06, 2004 0 comments
With its new Walkman music player, Sony has broken with its tradition of promoting its own proprietary formats. The NW-HD3 will let users import and export tracks in the MP3 format, a concession to the format's near-universal popularity and an admission of the failed appeal of Atrac, Sony's own music-playing software. MP3 compatibility should give the player appeal to a wider audience than a Sony-only machine.
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Barry Willis Posted: Dec 05, 2004 Published: Dec 06, 2004 0 comments
Concord and Fantasy: Berkeley, CA–based Fantasy Records has been sold to Concord Records of Beverly Hills in a deal valued at $83 million, according to a December 4 report from Billboard. The music enterprise of film producer Saul Zaentz and partners, Fantasy is well known for its huge catalog of works by jazz greats Count Basie, John Coltrane, the Modern Jazz Quartet, Miles Davis, Bill Evans, Ella Fitzgerald, Thelonious Monk, Joe Pass, Oscar Peterson, and Sarah Vaughan, as well as soul and blues stars the Dramatics, Isaac Hayes, Albert King, the Staple Singers, and Johnnie Taylor.
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Barry Willis Posted: Dec 05, 2004 Published: Jan 05, 2001 0 comments
Mastering engineer Denny Purcell let out a long sigh. "Does anyone in this room believe that any of this is going to do any good?" he asked. Of the eight or nine people—each with decades of experience in the music and/or audio industries—hanging out at Georgetown Masters Studios for SDMI's Phase II listening tests this past October, not one said "Yes." The consensus: the watermarking issue will probably be dead and forgotten within a year.
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John Atkinson Posted: Dec 05, 2004 Published: Feb 05, 2000 0 comments
I've recently been rereading Mark Lane's and Donald Freed's 1970s screenplay cum novel, Executive Action, which develops the theory that John F. Kennedy was assassinated by a conspiracy between organized crime, expatriate Cuban Batistists, and Eisenhower's "military-industrial complex." Long predating Oliver Stone's JFK, the book is fascinating, convincing stuff, from authors who had done considerable research into what really happened in November 1963. But, like all conspiracy theories, it falls down on the hard rock of reality: the more people and organizations are involved in a conspiracy, the less likelihood there is of anything happening at all, let alone going according to plan.
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John Atkinson Posted: Dec 05, 2004 Published: Oct 05, 1999 0 comments
Someone once said that if you build a better mousetrap, the world will beat a path to your door. Well, this month, we will see not one but two better mousetraps, in the form of Sony's and Philips' Super Audio CD and the DVD Forum's DVD-Audio. Both are intended to replace the humble CD, now in its seventeenth year; both offer higher-resolution digital audio; and both offer multiple channels. To accompany SACD, Sony's $5000 SCD-1 two-channel player is now on sale (and will be reviewed in the November Stereophile), while Panasonic has announced October sale dates for two DVD-A players, the $1000 Panasonic DVD-A7 and the $1200 Technics DVD-A10.
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Jon Iverson Posted: Dec 05, 2004 Published: Aug 05, 1999 0 comments
Audiophiles have a mess on their hands. In a somewhat surreal press conference in May, a half dozen audio luminaries—representing Sony, Philips, and several titans of the high-end recording business—stood on a HI-FI '99 stage looking awkwardly at the audience.
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John Atkinson Posted: Dec 05, 2004 Published: Feb 05, 1998 0 comments
"Do you have another DVD player?" asked Classic Records' Michael Hobson. As is usual in important demonstrations, Murphy's Law had struck with a vengeance. The prototype Muse DVD player Kevin Halverson had worked on most of the previous night was refusing to play the DVD Mike had placed in its tray.

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