The VK-150SE stands tall at the top of Balanced Audio Technology's range. It and its smaller brother, the identical-looking VK-75SE stereo amplifier (or, sans the Special Edition mods, the plain VK-75, footnote 1), are related to BAT's first amplifier design, the VK-60. The company's partners, Victor Khomenko and Steve Bednarski, eventually realized that they'd made enough upgrades to the VK-60 to warrant a new model designation, and in 2000 they discontinued the VK-60. Bednarski explained that while the VK-60 accepted the upgrades with good results, the BATboys felt that, in order to fully realize the full potential of the 6H30 SuperTube, a new platform would be required. Enter the VK-75SE and VK-150SE.
During copyright protection hearings in Washington the last week of February, South Carolina Senator Ernest "Fritz" Hollings labored mightily to please patrons Michael Eisner, CEO of Walt Disney Company, and Jack Valenti, president of the Motion Pictures Association of America (MPAA). Hollings' questioning of panelists from concerned industries was generally even-handed, according to several reports, except for his treatment of Intel executive vice president Leslie Vadasz, whose opposition to government-mandated copy control provoked an especially vindictive outpouring of vitriol from the 80-year-old Senator.
If you find yourself spending more time in a car seat than in your audio system's sweet spot each day, the trend pairing high-end audio companies with car manufacturers may offer a little relief. Lexus made a big splash last year by incorporating Mark Levinson technology into its latest cars, joining collaborations between Dynaudio and Volvo among others.
According to a recent report from Arbitron and Edison Media Research (EMR), approximately nine million consumers who have ever listened to Internet audio said they would be willing to pay a small fee to listen to the one audio channel they listen to most online.
John Atkinson gets high with the HeadRoom Supreme headphone amplifier and reports on the results. "The quest to make the headphone listening experience more equivalent to normal speaker listening is not new," writes JA. Has the Supreme made the cut?
The most entertaining part of the 44th Annual Grammy Awards wasn't the "Lady Marmalade" production number that opened the show or Alicia Keys' awkward tango later. It was Recording Academy President Michael Greene's rant about the criminal enterprise of electronic music swapping, a phenomenon that, he warned, threatens the music industry's very existence.
An intriguing loudspeaker technology which generates believable surround effects from only two small enclosures will be arriving at stores later this year, according to a February 24 announcement from Nirotek America Corporation.