The ultra-High End may be stagnant in some areas, but the rebound in mainstream consumer electronics is visible everywhere. Canton, Massachusetts-based Tweeter Home Entertainment Group has announced record results for the quarter ended September 30, 1999: an increase of 39.5%, or $74.6 million compared to $53.5 million in the same period last year. The results are similar to those posted recently by nationwide electronics chain Best Buy, which also had a record quarter. Tweeter's comparable store sales increased 5.2%, not counting results from the recently acquired Home Entertainment and DOW Stereo/Video chains.
Last week, Tweeter Home Entertainment Group, Inc. announced that the company has reached an agreement in principle to acquire DOW Stereo/Video, Inc., located in San Diego, California. DOW is a nine-store specialty consumer-electronics retailer with sales of approximately $38 million, and has been in business in the San Diego market for over 30 years. The transaction is expected to be completed on or about July 1, 1999. Tweeter says it will pay approximately $5.5 million for the company excluding acquisition costs, and has the option of paying approximately $500,000 of the purchase price in Tweeter common stock.
Chicago's Maxwell Street district is considered by many to be the birthplace of Chicago blues. But the old neighborhood is in danger of permanently losing some of its historic buildings, thanks to expansion plans by the University of Illinois at Chicago. The potential loss of the neighborhood has sparked protests by a coalition of blues musicians, including a hunger strike by 69-year-old APO Records artist Jimmie Lee Robinson.
Last week, USA Digital Radio, a developer of In-Band On-Channel Digital Audio Broadcast (IBOC DAB) technology, announced an "aggressive" field-test campaign at 12 radio stations across the country. The company will be conducting the digital tests under experimental licenses issued by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). With most equipment already installed, according to USA Digital Radio, test efforts are currently underway at several stations.
Progress toward a working digital radio technology took a big step forward in April with the addition of Lowpass Prototype Inc. to the development team. According to an April 27 press release, USA Digital Radio, Inc., a privately held digital radio technology company owned by the nation's largest radio broadcasters, has added the manufacturer of radio-frequency systems for radio and television transmission to its coalition to develop and commercialize digital AM and FM radio.
The Silverdale by the Bay Resort Hotel in Silverdale, WA, will be the site of the second annual Vacuum State of the Art Conference, scheduled for August 21-24. The conference will feature new and vintage equipment, tube electronics seminars, a used-gear swap meet, and demonstrations of audio creations by both amateur and professional designers.
Did they capture the sound of her violin? Did the nuance of a 9' Steinway grand piano translate onto the disc with all of its dynamic range intact? Hear for yourself when Ida Levin and Delores Stevens mark the debut of Stereophile's latest recording, Duet, with two live performances at HI-FI '98.
Fans of Macintosh computers and Betamax videotape are fond of pointing out that in the free market, the best technologies don't necessarily win. That scenario may be playing out again in the case of VQF, a digital audio transfer and storage technology originally developed several years ago by Nippon Telegraph and Telephone.