Yesterday, we talked with Microsoft about the high-resolution audio capabilities of Windows Media. Today, we met with one of their key competitors, Real, who also promised that, as the market matures, we will be seeing more options for audiophiles.
The format battle over what goes into your audio player's disc drawer could soon be rendered moot. Forget SACD and DVD-Audio: it's the format war taking place on your desktop that may determine the real future of audio. And, believe it or not, audiophiles might win, too.
The show started slowly at the Alexis Park Hotel, since many exhibitors were still setting up and tuning systems as the gates opened at 10am. We ducked into the Gryphon room and discovered the company's new flagship speaker making its first public appearance. Called the "Project 30" until a more formal name is selected, the imposing four-way system consists of two mid/high-range towers and two powered woofer towers. Each woofer tower sports a built-in 600W amplifier and is reported to reach down to 16Hz. The system is claimed to have a 94dB efficiency rating and will be available before the summer at a projected price of around $120,000 in the US.
Although the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) officially runs from Thursday, January 8 through Sunday, January 11, the day before the show has traditionally been reserved for press conferences by the major electronics companies. In recent years, audio news has been overshadowed by home-theater and video announcements, since that is where the big boys have decided the mass market has gone. This year was no different, but that's not to say there was no audio news.
As Paul Messenger states in his 2000 review of the Linn Arkiv B phono cartridge, "This Stereophile review is long overdue. Furthermore, this review addresses a complaint often directed against reviews and reviewers: that we rarely spend enough time with a component to gain a properly balanced, long-term perspective."
British loudspeaker manufacturer Mission has announced a major marketing push into North America with the launch of its new distribution arm, Mission U.S.A. The company, founded in 1977 and noted for using one of the first polypropylene-cone drivers in 1978, had been distributing its products in the US through Denon Canada.
Maybe Dan D'Agostino was destined to develop and build a line of products distinguished by their sheer might. After all, he grew up just blocks from a natural phenomenon synonymous with power: Niagara Falls. Even today, when the 56-year-old D'Agostino returns to his boyhood home to visit his parents, he enjoys pulling on a pair of shorts and going for a long run in the adjacent park, which resounds with the Falls' unrelenting thunder.