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?
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.
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.
August is shaping up as a great month for audiophiles and good causes. The Cable Company's annual "Summer Against Hunger" campaign is in full swing, and Rockford Home Group has announced that the first production unit of the 50 limited-edition FAP V1 vacuum-tube surround processors (see previous) will be auctioned via eBay with proceeds donated to charity.
Perhaps it's the air in San Francisco, or more likely the fact that exhibitors and attendees were equally upbeat, but I came back from Home Entertainment 2003, held at the grand old Westin-St. Francis Hotel days before I write this month's column, jazzed. I was one of 15,123 consumer, international press, and trade attendees, according to the official stats, and we were treated to more than 100 exhibit rooms showing and demonstrating 225 brands of audio and home-theater gear. Stereophile's full report on what we saw and heard at the Show will appear in our September and October issues, while our web coverage can be found starting here(footnote 1).
LED ZEPPELIN: How the West Was Won Atlantic 83587-2 (3 CDs). 2003. Jimmy Page, prod.; Eddie Kramer, orig. eng.; Kevin Shirley, reissue eng.; Drew Griffith, asst. eng. AAD?. TT: 2:49:51 Performance ****½ Sonics ***