More from the August issue: Larry Greenhill updates his system with the Mark Levinson No.436 monoblock power amplifier. LG says, "I was concerned when [Mark Levinson] discontinued its entire 300 series of dual-mono amplifiers, but the company reassured me that they had a suitable replacement in the No. 436." Greenhill decides for himself.
Responding to scrutiny by federal legislators, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) is backing away from the pursuit of small-scale copyright violators. After issuing more than 1000 subpoenas against alleged music pirates, the trade group announced on August 18 that it would go after only big fish in its efforts to contain the file-sharing epidemic.
Ever since the introduction of high-resolution digital formats, audiophiles have been waiting for the smoke from the format wars to settle. What would the winning software be? DVD-Audio? DVD-Video? SACD? 24 bits at 96kHz or 192kHz? As new formats struggled to establish themselves, upconverting technology became commonplace for the playback of the familiar 16-bit/44.1kHz "Red Book" CD format. What to do? Invest large amounts of cash in a system that played "Red Book" (maybe with upconverting, but if so, by how much?) and one other format, and hope that you've bet right? And what about movies on them new-fangled DVDs, Tex?
While audio writers find the siren song of cost-no-object components an ever-present temptation, I do ask Stereophile's reviewers to be on the lookout for affordable products that sound better than they have any right to. So when I listened to an inexpensive system based on Monitor Audio's Silver S2 loudspeaker and Musical Fidelity amplification at Home Entertainment 2002, held at the Manhattan Hilton in May 2002, I followed my own instruction and asked the US distributor of this English model to send me review samples.
All high-end audio companies turn over their product lines periodically. Even those amplifiers I have depended on as references go out of production. Although my reference amplifier can remain a part of the reviewing sequence, readers won't be able to purchase a discontinued model and get the results I describe. Thus I am compelled to get a review sample of a new amplifier or speaker, and hope for the best.
Vinyl junkies again converged on San Luis Obispo, California on Saturday, August 16 for the second annual Vinyl Record Day celebration. Vinyl is clearly red hot among audiophiles and music collectors, and VRD organizer Gary Freiberg commented that momentum for the event continues to grow, with this year's turnout easily bigger than last year's.
Internet service providers (ISPs) have begun fighting back against the blitzkrieg of lawsuits launched by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) in its struggle to contain the file-sharing phenomenon.