It was 20 years ago today that Sgt. Michaelson taught the band to play. I was living in London when Antony Michaelson launched Musical Fidelity in an attempt to make a major statement in the area of affordable, high-quality, high-value electronics. Other Brits at the time were doing the same—companies such as Creek, A&R Cambridge (now Arcam), and DNM began to compete for the destitute audiophile's dollar.
We were having trouble with the power in our home—the wall current, I mean, not the dynamics of our marriage—so I called the local utility. While the technician was here, he let me watch what he was doing. I had a chance to look inside our meter box, which is the junction between the utility's power lines and the circuit-breaker box in the cellar.
"Rarely, if ever, can this densely written sonata have been presented so lucidly with each note precisely in place...the dramatic and lyrical aspects were never slighted or taken for granted." —Peter G. Davis, writing in the New York Times about Robert Silverman's New York debut in 1978, when he performed the Liszt B-Minor Piano Sonata in Alice Tully Hall.
The DVD-Audio format's been around for a couple of years, but simultaneous DVD-A and CD releases of new music have been few and far between. Warner Brothers is hoping to improve on that record with the upcoming album from Fleetwood Mac, Say You Will.
Back in 1996, Martin Colloms reviewed the Krell KAV-300i integrated amplifier, asking, "Is Krell risking its reputation?" He needn't have worried, as the 300i has gone on to become a popular audiophile classic.
At the 2003 Consumer Electronics Show in January—see the report in this issue—Sony and Philips held an SACD Event at the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas. There were trippy lights. There were the Grand Pooh-Bahs of Sony, Philips, and the record labels. There was loud multichannel Big Brother and the Holding Company. And there was Sony's main SACD man in the US, David Kawakami, supplying the pep talk.
It's no secret that the music industry has added watermarking to its arsenal in an effort to restrict how audio content is used. With SACD, DVD-Audio, and now CD, audio watermarking has been used mainly for digitally stored content. But the music business also has problems with live concert bootlegs as well as bootlegs surfacing after special broadcast events.
Job cutbacks are one inevitable result of sustained sales declines. In late March, the ailing music industry began to shed excess workers in an effort to reach profitability, with Sony Music and Bertelsmann Music Group announcing significant reductions in their workforces.