As almost any Stereophile reader could tell you, if the record labels want to stem the rushing tide of big-time music piracy, they should consider starting with lower CD prices at retail. In other words, lessen the incentives that drive the illicit music market, and eliminate a sizable percentage of the problem overnight.
Visit any major metropolitan city, and chances are you'll eventually stumble upon vendors selling pirate CDs from outdoor tables, often for as little as $5 each. But for the suburban resident in the US, flea markets are where the pirate action is.
Last week, the US Secret Service reported that, assisted by the Recording Industry Association of America's (RIAA) New York Anti-Piracy Unit, it had executed two search and seizure warrants in Queens and Manhattan, resulting in what the agency called "the break-up of a massive counterfeit music operation." The Secret Service reported that approximately 20,000 recorded CD-Rs and 1200 masters were seized from the Queens and Manhattan locations.
I hadn't seen this almost two-year-old company before, but was familiar with founders Andreas Koch, formerly with Studer ReVox and EMM labs, and Jonathan Tinn through his relationship with darTZeel. Sharing a room with darTZeel, Playback's MPS-5 was sitting in the center equipment rack spinning discs.
Although the deal was announced by both companies only weeks ago, it appears that Audio Advisor will in fact not be distributing Musical Fidelity products in the US after September 1. In AA's place, Musical Fidelity has chosen Kevro International as the exclusive US distributor for its complete line of electronic products. According to Kevro International spokesperson Kathy Ginn, "Musical Fidelity [has] chosen to market [its] products through independent specialists rather than [continue] their previous approach [of distributing the line] through mail order and the Internet. And, unfortunately, AA will no longer be a dealer."
Last week, the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) announced that it is working to establish a single standard for high-data-rate home networking using the powerlines already installed in consumers' homes. Stating that it is "recognizing the need for a baseline technology standard," the CEA says it has invited integrated-home-systems industry stakeholders to participate in the creation of a standard for residential powerline networks, to be completed by year's end.
Many of you have seen the posts about Graham Nash touring the high end audio exhibits at CES earlier this month. The experience taught me this: it isn't how good you hear, but how well you listen.
I'm not sure what readers expected from this, and I certainly wasn't sure what to expect, which is why it was an attractive idea. Yes Nash ended up liking what he heard, but for those cynical enough to think he was just being polite, I'm here to tell you first hand that he was excited by the experience, and his enthusiasm was genuine.
PrimaLuna is adding a new CD player/DAC to the Prologue Premium line available sometime in May at $3,999. In addition to playing discs, there is a 24/192 USB input with circuit design by M2Tech and two super tube clocks.
Based on the popular Oppo 93, Primare was displaying their universal player that will retail for $5495. It plays all the typical Oppo disc formats including 3D Blu-ray and has custom audio, video and power supply circuitry. The BD32 is a gorgeous-looking product and the photo does not do it justice.