The most exciting development in audio today isn't multichannel surround, single-ended triodes, or $10,000 phono cartridges. It's "trickle down." I get buzzed when an audio designer known for cutting-edge multikilobuck designs claims to have a product that can produce 80% of the sonic realism of his flagship design at 50% of the cost. I get even more excited when he does it again—that is, produces a product that produces 64% of his flagship's performance at 25% of the cost. Designers who have successfully trickled-down their flagship technologies abound in all quarters of audiophilia, from electronics (eg, Audio Research, Conrad-Johnson) to speakers (Alón, ProAc) to cables (MIT).
Vivendi Universal's Universal Music Group will establish a settlement fund of approximately $4.75 million to pay royalties to as many as 300 artists and their heirs. The fund is the result of a lawsuit brought by torch singer Peggy Lee, who had accused the music giant of accounting improprieties reaching back as far as the 1940s.
Thousands upon thousands of new discs are released each year, yet only a select few made it to the top of the heap for Records to Die For, 2001, number 11 of the annual rite of passage for the Stereophile staff. Find out what music made the cut and why.
Klein Technology Group and Adcom have announced an agreement for the sale of Adcom's consumer electronics business to Klein, according to a press release issued January 8, during the Consumer Electronics Show. The effective date of the merger will be February 15.
In the crush of new products and technologies scrambling for attention at every Consumer Electronics Show, some intriguing announcements can get buried in the noise and require a closer look than is afforded by a quick listen and chat in a demo room. One such technology on display at the 2002 CES was MaGIC, a new high-resolution audio connectivity standard.
The major record labels may put out most of the world's music, but they're doing so on a format first created by Philips and then further developed by Sony: the Compact Disc. In addition to the underlying technology, Philips and Sony established a strict standard for the format, insuring compatibility with all players around the world, which came to be known as the Red Book standard.
Kalman Rubinson admits to having plenty of Sony trinkets, including clocks, VCRs, and TVs. But until the Sony SCD-XA777ES multichannel SACD/CD player, he's always preferred other brands when it came to audio. Rubinson reveals whether this latest expression of SACD engineering from Sony has changed his perception of the company as a serious audiophile contender.
Checked my e-mail and a message from one Thomas J. Zukowski (firstname.lastname@example.org) caught my eye. I sensed something...friendly. The subject line was "Re: August & September Fine Tunes." A reader, great, and on my birthday no less.
Loudspeaker lore has it that a "good big'un will always beat a good small'un." But my experience has been that the traditional wisdom is often wrong. Price for price, large speakers often have larger errors compared with minimonitors, the smaller speakers offering more rigid cabinets, better-defined stereo imaging, and, because the owner can experiment with stand height, a better chance of being optimally sited in a room. So while I was as impressed as Stereophile reviewer Kalman Rubinson with what I heard from the floorstanding, $3500/pair Revel Performa F30 (footnote 1) when we visited the Revel facility in California's San Fernando Valley in spring 2000 (footnote 2), it was the big speaker's smaller sibling, the $2000/pair Performa M20, that caught my eye—and ear.