Sirius Satellite Radio may be positioned to make the next great leap forward. In mid-May, Kenwood and Audiovox announced the first transportable receivers, which will let Sirius listeners enjoy the service wherever they go—home, office, boat, beach, etc—not only in the comfort of their cars.
Ah, Brazil...land of coffee, the samba, Pelé, Rio-by-the-sea-o, and tube amplifiers. All right, so perhaps the amplifier connection isn't quite as well-established. But one Brazilian amplifier designer, Eduardo de Lima, has published articles in Glass Audio magazine that are viewed by many as groundbreaking, and his evolving products have been seen at various specialist tube equipment shows. De Lima—president, founder, product designer, and principal owner of Audiopax Sistemas Eletroacusticos—is an electrical engineer who started out designing equipment for a telecommunications company, but since 1995 he's devoted his talents to designing a wide range of audio products, including speakers as well as preamps and power amps.
Several readers have been asking "What's with all of the Musical Fidelity reviews in Stereophile?" Michael Fremer fearlessly wires the Musical Fidelity Tri-Vista SACD player into his system, noting, "Overachievers tend to rankle people after a while."
The June issue of Stereophile, which hits newsstands this week, spills some ink on the 30th-anniversary reissue of Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon as a two-layer Super Audio CD (Capitol CDP 582136 2). Jon Iverson nominated the disc as June's "Recording of the Month," while I mentioned it in my "As We See It" column. This "fully loaded" SACD includes both multichannel and two-channel mixes encoded with the DSD system on a high-rez SACD layer and a two-channel "Red Book" transfer (16-bit word length, 44.1kHz sampling) on its CD layer.
Audiophiles will get a rare opportunity to discover the similarities and differences between SACD reproduction and the real thing at this year's Home Entertainment 2003 show in San Francisco. Diversity Records, Ltd. has announced it will record two performances by its artists at HE2003 on June 7 (1–4:30pm).
Retail sales of recorded music in the United Kingdom sagged by an unprecedented 13% in the first three months of 2003, according to figures released May 14 by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI). British music fans spent £216 million ($351 million) in the first quarter of this year, compared to £249 million ($404.6 million) in the same period a year ago. In unit sales, albums in the UK declined only 4.8% to 44 million, but prices dropped 9.4%. UK album sales totaled £200 million ($324.9 million); singles were off 42%, accounting for only £16.2 million ($26.3 million).
Overachievers tend to rankle people after a while. Musical Fidelity, a relatively small British company run by Antony Michaelson, has issued a stream of high-performance, high-value electronic products over the past few years, along with a limited-edition line of pricier designs based on the military-spec nuvistor vacuum tube. With few exceptions, Musical Fidelity products have garnered outstanding reviews worldwide, with consumer acceptance to match. Michaelson is also an accomplished clarinetist, recording and issuing classical-music CDs in his "spare" time.