Purported financial difficulties haven't prevented Tower Records from developing a massive new flagship store in Los Angeles. Occupying more than 33,000 square feet, the new store in the renovated Sherman Oaks Galleria features a "state-of-the-art" performance stage and a Super Audio CD demonstration room.
Record label attempts at restricting the potential uses of their CDs have hit another bump in the antipiracy road. Music label BMG had announced earlier this year that it would try to find ways to restrict its CDs, in an effort to stem piracy and the trading of MP3 files. But those plans appear to have backfired, so far.
Citing poor sales in North and South America, EMI reported that it lost $77.6 million during the first six months of its business year, ended September 30, compared to a loss of $44.3 million for the same period last year.
Classé's Mike Viglas watched the audiophile skies, scratched his chin, and thought about his business. As he gazed, it occurred to him that if everyone in audio was moving downmarket to invade his territory, why not take his company and head upmarket? Thus was born Classé's much-lauded Omega series.
Nestled south of the North Downs in England's southeast, the Kentish dormitory town of Sevenoaks is about as sleepy a place as you can imagine. Yet 20 years ago, in the unlikely circumstances of the back room of a Sevenoaks pub, I witnessed the world of consumer loudspeakers changing. Meridian's Steve Hopkins was showing a pair of the company's active M2 loudspeakers connected directly to a 101 preamplifier.
In the race to get satellite radio to market, XM Satellite Radio was the first to hit the air this past September. But competitor Sirius says they were saving the best for last, and has now announced that its official launch date will be as early next year as February 14, with initial broadcasts reaching Denver, Phoenix, and Houston.
They don't turn over quite as fast as computer equipment, but mass-market audio component product cycles typically last about a year, until the next Consumer Electronics Show comes around. High-end audio products, however, enjoy much longer life spans—sometimes stretching to several years.
Sad news this week: We heard from Ken Kessler of the passing of legendary UK engineer Stanley Kelly, who died in his sleep on November 13, after suffering a stroke the previous week. Stan would have been 89 next month. While he was, of course, the "Kelly" of the classic Kelly Ribbon Tweeter, he was also one of the founders of Hi-Fi News and was the only person to have been listed on the English magazine's masthead since Vol.1 No.1, the June 1956 issue. In recent years, Stan had developed a series of high-sensitivity speakers for UK manufacturer Musical Fidelity.