In his first e-mail to "Fine Tunes," Rafael Teodoro (RBT@wolfenet.com) addressed a subject that Mark Gdovin, that faithful frequenter of the Stereophile soapbox, had already brought up. Mark had gone so far as to give readers sage advice from his brother, a materials engineer, regarding the dangers of applying Armor All to speaker cones and surrounds.
It's the grain elevators that break the monotony of driving across the Texas and Oklahoma Panhandle. As you pass one, another one appears on the horizon. Thus you know you're making progress, despite the fact that the landscape remains unchanged.
Brian Damkroger finds that the Magnepan Magneplanar MG1.6/QR loudspeaker and a 1973 Porsche 911 have much in common: "Each has grown out of the vision of a single, brilliant designer. Each reflects the long, steady evolution of a basic design, and the consistent focus on a core set of engineering criteria." BD then listens for the fruits of this approach to speaker design and writes up the results.
Chip manufacturer ESS Technology is no stranger to audiophiles interested in new formats. It was responsible for one of the first "universal" SACD/DVD-Audio decoding chips and more recently was the supplier of a special-purpose chip for Linn's SACD "Silver Disk Engine" designs.
Joe Abrams has an impressive audio resume. "I've been on the manufacturer's side of the desk since 1979," he says. That's when he started as national sales manager for Monster Cable. A few years later found Abrams as director of sales at Sumiko, and then in 1987 he started as VP of sales at Threshold. In 1991 Abrams joined cable start-up Tara Labs and quickly helped them establish a dealer network before moving on to MIT.
Beginning next year, XM Satellite Radio won't merely offer 100 channels of news, sports, talk shows, and the entire spectrum of music nationwide. Thanks to a partnership announced May 30 with Command Audio Corporation, XM will allow listeners to personalize their radio programming.
In his review of the Meridian 508.24 CD player, Wes Phillips finds the machine "a beautiful design with impeccable technical credentials—a CD player that belongs, with only a few others, at the very sharpest portion of the leading edge, and that joins them in producing sound that is highly musical and hard to criticize."