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Wes Phillips Posted: Jan 28, 2001 0 comments
Drummer Billy Higgins started his remarkable career backing up R&B musicians such as Amos Milburn and Bo Diddley around the LA area before embarking on his jazz path with the Jazz Messengers (led by Don Cherry and saxophonist James Clay) and Dexter Gordon. But it was his association with Ornette Coleman, starting in the mid 1950s, that electrified the jazz world and made him a force to reckon with. His first recordings, with Coleman and Red Mitchell, were released in 1958. In 1959, he performed with both Coleman in New York and Thelonious Monk in San Francisco, and from that point on, he never stopped recording or touring.
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Barry Willis Posted: Jan 28, 2001 0 comments
Price-fixing by major record labels isn't confined to the United States. The music industry's "Big Five" (Universal Music, Sony Music Entertainment, Warner Music Group, EMI Group PLC, and the Bertelsmann Music Group) are now under the scrutiny of European Union antitrust investigators, who are looking into the possibility that the companies may have colluded to keep CD prices artificially high in Europe. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and music industry agreed to settle the American version of the issue in May 2000.
Chip Stern Posted: Jan 25, 2001 0 comments
Musical arguments in favor of separate components are compelling and well-documented. But there's also something musical to be said about reducing the number of power sources, keeping signal paths short and direct, and hard-wiring connections between components rather than employing multiple sets of interconnects. So while a designer must inevitably confront certain tradeoffs, the explosive growth and popularity of single-box products in the past few years contradicts the received wisdom passed down by some of the more sniffy audiophiles: that such unduly proletarian products are terminally compromised in terms of absolute levels of music reproduction.
Robert Deutsch Posted: Jan 25, 2001 1 comments
At the Consumer Electronics show in Las Vegas in January 1999, Mark Schifter, erstwhile president of Audio Alchemy, was handing out a press release announcing what seemed like a groundbreaking product from his new company, Perpetual Technologies. The product was the P-1A, a digital-to-digital processor that would do resolution enhancement, loudspeaker correction (amplitude and phase), and room correction—all for less than $1k. It sounded too good to be true.
Jonathan Scull Posted: Jan 25, 2001 0 comments
The dCS Purcell is named after Henry Purcell, the English composer, organist, bass, countertenor who was born in 1659 and died in, alas, 1695. It's a digital/digital converter intended for consumer use, as opposed to the less elegantly packaged pro-audio version, the dCS 972, that I reviewed in February 1999. Both devices increase the sample rate and/or word length of the output from linear PCM digital audio sources like CD or DVD up to a maximum sample rate of 192kHz and a word length of 24 bits. According to the extensive documentation, this is achieved by "using extremely powerful and accurate digital interpolation filters, which yield an output signal having negligible levels of distortion."
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Stereophile Staff Posted: Jan 21, 2001 0 comments
February's the month when Stereophile publishes its coveted "Records To Die For" feature, wherein everybody working for the magazine gets to make like a music critic and add their two cents' worth about what gets them excited (musically speaking). R2D4 2001 is on newsstands right now, in the February issue of Stereophile; to commemorate its publication, we add the 2000 "Records To Die For" to the online archives.
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Stereophile Staff Posted: Jan 21, 2001 0 comments
Analog and digital audio technologies should complement rather than oppose each other. That's Rotel's philosophy with its new RDV-1080 DVD-Audio player. Combining the best of Rotel's expertise in both realms, the RDV-1080 offers "stunning audio quality," according to Rotel general manager Michael Bartlett. "The RDV-1080 is Rotel's answer to those who have asked for a DVD-A player that focuses our Balanced Design engineering approach on the unique challenges of this exciting new format," Bartlett said. "Even though it handles the most advanced format today, DVD-A, the RDV-1080 is nonetheless a direct descendant of our world-class CD players." Bartlett says his company is "using everything we've learned to identify and solve problems unique to digital technologies."
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Barry Willis Posted: Jan 21, 2001 0 comments
On January 19, Bertelsmann Music Group Entertainment announced changes in senior management that include a new chief financial officer and new directors for its American and European divisions. A major division of the German media conglomerate Bertelsmann AG, BMG suffered the loss of music industry veteran Rudi Gassner shortly before Christmas. Gassner, who had been slated to become CEO of BMG, died of a heart attack while vacationing in Bavaria.
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Jon Iverson Posted: Jan 21, 2001 0 comments
Treading the fine line between authorized retailers and the used equipment market, New Jersey online retailer WorldExchange.com announced last week that it has launched a consumer electronics shopping Web site that offers "deep discounts" on a broad array of mid to high-end audio/video components whose manufacturers, the company says, normally adhere to "restricted distribution and price-maintenance policies."
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Jon Iverson Posted: Jan 21, 2001 0 comments
We always keep an ear out for new and interesting audio developments each time we attend the annual CES show in Las Vegas. This year, one company that garnered repeated buzz around the Alexis Park, and even at the main convention center was Australia's Halcro. As we reported from the show, Halcro builds gorgeous-looking power amplifers shaped in the form of an "H" that range in price from $10,000 for its dm 33 three-channel amplifer up to $30,000 for a pair of the dm 68 225W monoblocks.

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