It starts quietly enough, with a simple falling-fifth motif, but the first movement of Sergei Rachmaninoff's neglected Piano Sonata 1 develops into a work of epic proportions nearly 40 minutes in length, with haunting melodies, massive dynamic contrasts, and lush, sensual harmonies.
Time to yank out the old oxygen-free crystal interconnects and gaze into audio's future for 1999. Now that www.stereophile.com has a year under its online belt, we should be able to read the sonic omens with greater resolution, or at least confine our mistakes to minor stumbles. First, we'll see how our prognostications for 1998 panned out, and spin them a little to tune in 1999. We'll add reader predictions at the bottom. Got your own predictions? Send 'em in!
You thought it was crowded last year? The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) announced last week that, as of the beginning of December, it looks like the 2003 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) will feature a record-breaking amount of exhibit space, surpassing 1.2 million square feet.
It is with regret that we announce to Stereophile's readers the closing of Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab, on November 19, 1999. Known to audiophiles since its inception in 1977, the company provided serious listeners with hundreds of remastered LPs, cassettes, and CDs.
"You'd be hard-pressed to find a company more protective of its reputation than Krell," says Wes Phillips, as he heads off to evaluate the Krell KAV-300cd CD player. WP ponders whether that reputation is still intact as the company tries to save its customers some money.
We kick off our anniversary collection with 40 Years of Stereophile: What Happened When. Editor John Atkinson recounts the complete history of Stereophile, starting in 1930 when J. Gordon Holt heard his first sound in North Carolina.
How many of you out there know what a Nuvistor is? Michael Fremer takes a look at this unique device and its application in the Musical Fidelity Nu-Vista 300 power amplifier. "Enclosing its vacuum in metal rather than glass, the Nuvistor was designed as a long-lived, highly linear device with low heat, low microphony, and low noise—all of which it needed to have any hope of competing in the brave new solid-state world emerging when RCA introduced it in the 1960s." Musical Fidelity decided to use the Nuvistor in a limited-run amplifier, and therein lies an interesting tale, which Michael skillfully uncovers.
Jonathan Scull takes a gander at the dCS Purcell D/D converter, and tries to make sonic sense out of the merits of upsampling. Scull writes, "So while the true differences between upsampling and oversampling remain murky, my pleasant mission is to report on the sound of the Purcell and compare it to the latest version of the pro-audio version, the 972."