Make the wussy-wussy sound: Merely because of the way it looks, I didn't think I'd like the Simaudio Moon i-3 integrated amplifier ($1750). But the Moon prevailed (I resisted writing rose) over whatever prejudice I had against it, and so far it's been the biggest and best surprise in my ongoing and casual survey of affordable integrateds.
I first became familiar with Israeli speaker manufacturer Morel, founded in 1975, back in the late 1970s, when they had a drive-unit plant in the UK. Their drivers have always been well-respected—I was mightily impressed with a sample of their T33 1" soft-dome tweeter when I had the opportunity to measure it a decade or so ago—so when I heard their Octwin 5.2 dual-speaker system at the 2002 CEDIA conference, I asked for a pair for review.
In other news this week, the music business is in a tailspin, and searching for ways to save itself. The National Association of Record Merchandisers (NARM) has just published its chairman's message, with several clues about what consumers may see from the industry in the coming months.
From the October issue, John Atkinson gets acquainted with the Morel Octwin 5.2M loudspeaker, noting, "Once you become accustomed to its admittedly weird looks, it is actually visually appealing and has a small footprint in the listening room." But there's something about the Morel's sound that causes JA to raise an eyebrow.
Only a few short years ago, Napster quickly took root to show the world how Internet-based audio file-trading was where music distribution's future growth might run wild. But the record labels would have none of it and just as swiftly took a legal chainsaw to Napster's trunk, laying it waste and leaving plenty of room for Kazaa and other unsanctioned services to sprout like weeds.
The last few weeks have been a roller-coaster ride for CD copy-restriction developer SunnComm. The company was riding high in early September when it was announced that BMG and Arista had chosen its MediaMax CD-3 Technology to restrict how discs are used.