I anticipated the installation of the TacT Audio RCS 2.0 room-correction processor with mixed emotions—I already liked my system and room, and such a device threatened to make all my studied efforts trivial. What if one might use any decent amps and speakers, cables that were merely conductive, and no room treatment at all? And what if, on top of that, you could just put them wherever your significant other thought they looked right? What if all the magic you needed was contained in this box? Scary.
I have been a proponent of methodical modeling and room analysis as aids in setting up audio systems and rooms. They work hand in hand: Modeling predicts a feasible room arrangement, and analysis, along with careful listening, determines how close the outcome is to that predicted. Of course, there should always be another round of modeling to see if the current setup can be improved with more work. The spiral continues, toward, one hopes, perfection.
Record producer and Stereophile contributor John Marks has informed us that classical violinist Arturo Delmoni has agreed to throw his considerable talent behind the Audio Charity Auction, organized in the wake of the September 11 terrorist attack that destroyed the World Trade Center and killed more than 6000 people.
A comprehensive set of reviews awaits those interested in learning everything there is to know about the legendary Quad ESL-63 loudspeaker. Writers checking in with analysis, background, and opinion include J. Gordon Holt, Anthony H. Cordesman, Sam Tellig, Martin Colloms, Larry Greenhill, and John Atkinson.
The official launch of XM Satellite Radio was set for September 12. But within hours of the September 11 attack on New York and the Pentagon, XM announced that it would be postponing its debut, which was slated to take place in Washington DC at its headquarters and broadcast studio complex.
The terrorist attack of September 11 will likely worsen an already dark period for American retailers. The Dow Jones Industrial Average declined by more than 14% in the week after the attack, the largest slide since the week of July 21, 1933. In the present circumstances, Americans are generally reticent to spend money, according to many reports, a situation that will affect manufacturers and retailers for months or years to come.
Bringing old albums out of the vaults and onto the market as CDs is a pretty standard process these days. First you get the licensing straightened out, find the original cover art, and locate the first-generation master tapes. In a pinch, the safety copies of the masters can be used, but if these also can't be located, what next?
Last month I wrote about lasers of various pedigrees, so useful in marking walls to the sides and behind the listening position to ensure that your loudspeakers are toed-in, level, and equidistant from the sweet spot for best soundstage, imaging and focus. Using small Avery stick-'em labels makes this a snap. I've converged the tweeter axes of my JMlab Utopias somewhere about a foot into the wall behind the rearmost of our two listening chairs, and use two Studio Traps and a single Argent RoomLens between the speakers to cancel and damp the near-rear-wall reflections. With just a jiggle of the chair back or forward, suddenly I'm there.