John Atkinson's and my collective response was "Good grief!" on hearing that the UK's Haymarket Magazines had purchased Gramophone Publications. Minds boggled at the very idea of the venerable old lady of classical-music criticism getting into bed with the much younger, altogether brasher, and unashamedly populist What Hi-Fi?, market leader among UK hi-fi mags. As Haymarket enigmatically put it, "With its emphasis on in-depth reviewing, Gramophone itself has great synergy with other titles in the Haymarket portfolio, such as What Hi-Fi? magazine."
A fabulous and fascinating exhibition of classic historic hi-fi equipment made a visit to the ballroom of the Hi-Fi News Show a must. The complete history of Lowther-Voigt seemed to be on display, and a Voigt Corner Horn was actually playing music, from a "vintage" (first-generation) CD player via a compact Pye tube amplifier.
Angus McKenzie was a wholly remarkable individual. One of British hi-fi’s legends, he was the country's leading equipment reviewer for more than a decade, but that was only one of several careers and passions he pursued with repeated and conspicuous success, despite losing his sight completely at the age of 26.
Apogee fans will be delighted to hear that the legendary full-range ribbon is back—only it's now manufactured in Queensland, Australia by English immigrant Graeme Keet. Universally known as Graz, he's been in Oz for 18 years, and started offering a repair service for Apogee owners when the company went out of business. He then introduced the Perigee hybrid ribbon models, has now worked out a way of mechanising ribbon production and is putting the Synergy model (shown here at the Roy Bird Show) into production, with a UK pricetag of £13,000/pair ($24,500). The sound in the undamped dem room did seem rather bright, but Graz claims to have achieved dramatic improvements in efficiency over the original Apogees. He can also make replicas of the original models if requested.
The first part of a six-part BBC documentary narrated by the late John Peel
Born in January 1941, Don van Vliet, aka Captain Beefheart, died Friday, December 17, 2010, of complications related to multiple sclerosis.
Even though he gave up music in 1982 (beginning a successful career as a reclusive artist until hampered by the onset of multiple sclerosis), Captain Beefheart left an important and influential musical legacy.
Dieter Burmester founded Burmester Audiosysteme GmbH in 1977 and ran it for 38 years. For me, he was the friendly face of an unusually friendly and outgoing German high-end hi-fi company. He died on August 15, and his company will badly miss him.
Exceptionally tall speaker engineer Karl-Heinz Fink, and his more diminutive partner Lampos Ferekedis, stand each side of their remarkable prototype BMR technology demonstrator (balanced-mode radiator; see the December 2005 Stereophile). These two, forming a "gang of four" with original inventor Dr Graham Bank and marketing man John Vizor, have licensed the BMR technology from NXT, and the prototype, using a 3.4" BMR unit upwards from 400Hz, via an active crossover, clearly showed the considerable potential of this radical driver, which in effect automatically reduces the radiating diameter as frequency rises.
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.