Electronics retailers typically depend on the winter holiday shopping season to boost their year-end bottom lines. The hoped-for buying surge apparently hasn't happened in 2002, since Best Buy and Circuit City are both projecting slow sales.
Recording artists can reinvent themselves by crossing over into another style of music. Gloria Estefan, who started with Latin music, crossed over into mainstream pop with great success. Doug Sax, who reinvented the direct-to-vinyl disc and produced outstanding LPs for Sheffield Lab, eventually transferred all of his music to compact discs. Ivor Tiefenbrun, designer of the Linn Sondek turntable, now makes CD players.
There is no better time than now to invest in audiophile-quality vinyl playback gear. I'll bet even Mikey Fremer would be surprised at the amount of new vinyl releases and reissues and used vinyl available to music-lovers today. And the choices available to audiophiles seeking turntables, tonearms, phono cartridges, and phono preamps is greater than it's been in a decade.
I'm a big believer in the notion that if you can't hear a difference, why pay for it? I also believe that the ultimate goal of any high-end system should be to simply disappear and leave the listener immersed in the presence of the music. System synergy is paramount, and how you spread your compromises around and make your tradeoffs work for you is generally more significant than how expensive the final tab is. Thank God there are still plenty of companies out there dedicated to the proposition that ultimate resolution and build quality are anything but antithetical to real-world value.
The Consumer Electronic Association's (CEA) Gary Shapiro is known for maintaining an ever-optimistic stance on the progress of home entertainment, and a recent keynote at the Semiconductor Market Outlook Conference earlier this month provided an opportunity for him to reveal his top predictions for the future.
Want your kids to grow up smarter? Have them study music. Want to hold off the mental ravages of old age? Listen to music. Want to get high (legally), feel ecstatic, make your pain disappear? Music is the cure for what ails you.
Sam Tellig and Kalman Rubinson each take a run at the unique PS Audio HCA-2 power amplifier to see what it's made of. Will Tellig and Rubinson agree on the HCA-2's worth? Furthermore, what do the odd results of John Atkinson's measurements mean?
Visit any major metropolitan city, and chances are you'll eventually stumble upon vendors selling pirate CDs from outdoor tables, often for as little as $5 each. But for the suburban resident in the US, flea markets are where the pirate action is.
Wireless local audio/video networks and surround sound systems have long been one of the electronics industry's holy grails, given the fact that a major cost in installing home theaters or whole-house audio systems is the wiring. The market potential is so great that major chipmakers have invested enormous amounts of research in developing products that would enable easy placement of audio and video systems anywhere in a home without the need for dedicated wiring.