While August 29 was officially the day the State of Connecticut honored Sennheiser Electronic Corporation, the celebrations the US subsidiary of the German headphone and microphone manufacturer had planned were postponed, thanks to Hurricane Irene. But Tuesday, September 20 saw journalists converging on the company's headquarters in shoreline town of Old Lyme"conveniently located midway between New York and Boston," according to company president John Falcone, pictured aboveto take part in the delayed event. "This recognition celebrates Sennheiser's vital role in the business community, as well as the talented and passionate employees who are essential to its success," stated Governor Dannel P. Malloy in an official document that proclaimed August 29, 2011 as Sennheiser Electronic Corporation Day.
Stereophile editor John Atkinson has been honored by being invited to give the Richard C. Heyser Memorial Lecture at the 131st Audio Engineering Society Convention, held at the Jacob Javits Center in Manhattan. The Memorial Lecture was established in May 1999 to honor the memory of the famed audio theorist, engineer, reviewer, scientist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, inventor of Time Delay Spectrometry, and AES Silver Medal recipient. The Memorial Lecture has previously honored Ray Dolby, recording engineer Phil Ramone, futurist Ray Kurzweil, mathematicians Manfred Schroeder and Stanley Lipshitz, film sound pioneer and editor Walter Murch, Andy Moorer of Sonic Solutions and Adobe, Roger Lagadec, Kees Schouhamer Imminck, who developed the optical data-reading technology used in the CD, and acoustician Leo Beranek. The lecture will be at 7pm on Friday, October 21. The Convention program and details can be found here.
Kurt Sanderling died on September 17 in Berlin, just two days shy of his 99th birthdayof "old age," according to his eldest son Stefan. Sanderling was the last of a generation of conductors displaced by Hitleran exodus that included Otto Klemperer, Josef Krips, Sir George Solti, Erich Leinsdorf, Bruno Walter, who all went West. (Never mind that Klemperer had converted to Catholicism and that Krips was half-Jewish.) Sanderling fled East, to the Soviet Union.
As we announced last month, this past weekend saw the grand opening of EarsNova's new store at 3 East 28th Street, in Manhattan. Founded in 1979 by Joshua Cohn (right in photo), the store's new location is on the second floor of a solidly constructed 1920s building, with high ceilings and the space to present high-end audio products and systems under ideal circumstances. The listening rooms, for example, have floors and walls that are isolated from the building's structure. Not only does this prevent sound from the audio systems being demmed leaking into the other floors, it makes the rooms extremely quiet. When I was auditioning the new Magico Q1s during last Friday's evening rush hour, there was no clue that just half a block away there was the usual torrent of 5th Avenue traffic.
Today, Peachtree Audio announced their new flagship asynchronous preamp/DAC, the Grand Pre, the first in a series of “Grand” products (a power amplifier and an all-in-one integrated amplifier will come later) and the first Peachtree component to have its design, final assembly, and final QC all take place in the US. For audiophiles hoping to "buy American," this should come as interesting news.
Today's New York Times carries a brief obituary notice of the passing of audio innovator, Peter Pritchard, on August 23 in Austin, Texas at the age of 83. Peter founded Audio Dynamics Corporation in New Milford, CT in the early 1960's. His original ADC-1 ("Tip mass: 0.6 mg. Compliance. 20x106cm/dyne, all directions. Playing weight: 1 gram or less in top quality arms") was a breakthrough product. Indeed, all ADC pickups were notable for their extremely high compliance and low tracking forces and he pursued this approach through a series of successful designs including the well-known ADC-10, ADC-25 and XLM cartridges. They were all based on his "induced magnet" principle, which derived from the older GE variable-reluctance cartridges that had been game-changers for affordable magnetic phono pick-ups in the 1950s.
A look inside the impressive Emotiva ERC-2 CD player.
Audiophiles have been buzzing about Emotiva for a few years now. The attraction is no mystery: Emotiva’s products are solidly built and modestly priced, and the company takes pride in its strong relationships with customers. Yet, other than in the usual show report, Emotiva’s products have been absent from Stereophile’s pages.
In response to demand from its international customer base, Reference Recordings will release its first two LPs in 200-gram deluxe pressings on September 2. With disc mastering done at half-speed to insure cleaner reproduction and extended high frequency response, RR begins its new vinyl series with two highly prized analogue recordings from its extensive catalog. Dick Hyman From the Age of Swing arrives as a two-LP, 45rpm set, and Stravinsky: The Firebird Suite coupled with The Song of the Nightingale as a single 331/3rpm LP. The Stravinsky, performed by Eiji Oue and the Minnesota Orchestra, received a 1997 Grammy® nomination for "Best Engineered, Classical" recording.
Already flooded with contenders offering innumerable models in various shapes, sizes, and colors, the headphone market grows even larger today with the launch of SOL Republic, a “music lifestyle company” dedicated to “delivering innovation in sound, style, and durability.” Four SOL Republic models will initially be offered: Amps ($59.99) and Amps HD ($99.99) in-ear models, and Tracks ($99.99) and Tracks HD ($149.99) on-ear models.
The company, whose initials stand for “Soundtrack of Life,” is led by three music lovers with impressive backgrounds in business development and marketing:
While change follows Stateside change for Naim Audio, enthusiasts for the venerable British brand on this side of the pond recently got a bit of good news: Chris West, the tech-savvy Englishman who managed Naim Audio North America for over 20 years, is back in the business of servicing Naim gear.
Summer's end is traditionally known as "the silly season" in European newsrooms, but there was nothing silly about the bombshell of a press release that arrived on the desks of hi-fi journalists on August 19. Two of Europe's most successful and best-established high-end audio brands, Focal and Naim Audio, announced that they are joining forces to create a new company, Focal & Co., under the chairmanship of Focal founder Jacques Mahul. With a combined annual earnings of nearly £50 million ($82 million), ca £31 million for Focal and ca £18 million for Naim) and more than 300 employees, Focal & Co. will automatically become a European hi-fi leader in terms of sales and resources.
The Magico Q1 two-way monitor, first seen at the California Audio Show earlier this year, will make its New York debut during the Grand Opening of the new EarsNova showroom at 3 East 28th Street, in Manhattan.
The Cable Company's 16th annual Summer Against Hunger is anything but a feel-good gimmick. Thanks to ingenious leveraging by Robert Stein, company founder, every dollar spent on purchases from The Cable Company in the month of August results in almost $2 donated to a specific project of C.A.R.E., a leading humanitarian organization fighting global poverty. Given that C.A.R.E. is one of the more efficient charities aroundover 90% of donations go directly to programs and recipients, rather than to administrationthis means that for every $100 purchase you make during the month of August, a donation of over $180 will go directly to people and communities in need.
Cedille Records, the label of The Chicago Classical Recording Foundation, has just released its first three high-resolution FLAC downloads. Available in 24-bit/44.1kHz sampling rate format (as well as 16/44.1 and 256 kbps MP3), complete with accessible liner notes and cover art, the titles are a treasure-trove for classical aficionados and collectors.
First up is Winging It: Piano Music of John Corigliano. Performed by Ursula Oppens, who has achieved legendary status as a new music virtuoso, the CD includes the world premiere recording of Winging It (2008), which the Pulitzer Prize-winning Corigliano wrote for Oppens.
Even newer are Capricho Latino, a disc from violinist Rachel Barton Pine of rare Spanish and Latin American music written solely for the unaccompanied violin; and The Pulitzer Project, performed by the Grant Park Orchestra and Chorus under Carlos Kalmar and Chorus Director Christopher Bell. Pine's disc includes Alan Ridout's Ferdinand the Bull with narrator Héctor Elizondo, and 13 other works by composers familiar and obscure. You can sample a few of the tracks before purchasing.