Old-school two-channel hi-fi may be in the doldrums—a phenomenon of concern only to those manufacturers still solely mining that niche. Those who have caught the home-theater wave are working overtime developing and producing great-sounding new equipment for use with surround-sound systems, flat-panel televisions, and custom installation, according to reports from the CEDIA Expo held earlier this month in Indianapolis.
From the September 2004 issue, Art Dudley gets his mitts on the Spendor S5e loudspeaker, remarking, "I'm never more conservative than when the subject turns to home audio . . . . Give me thin-walled hardwood cabinets, obsolete tweeters, and handmade polypropylene woofers . . . ."
From the September 2004 issue, John Atkinson revs up the Simaudio Moon Equinox CD player, explaining, "When Simaudio's Lionel Goodfield offered me their $2000 Moon Equinox player for inclusion in my irregular series of CD-player reviews, I didn't need to be asked twice."
From the September 1992 issue, Corey Greenberg checks in with a review of the Dynaco Stereo 70 II power amplifier. According to CG, "Panor's Stereo 70 II reissue looks similar to a vintage Dyna, but contains several circuit additions claimed to improve the original design's performance."
"Whole-house entertainment systems" and "ease of use" may be anathema for many audiophiles, but they bring joy to the lives of many music lovers—as they seem to do for manufacturers with a keen eye on the bottom line.
Twenty years ago, the introduction of the compact disc put the music world on a new path. Not long after its debut, Meridian Audio Ltd. launched the world's first audiophile CD player, the MCD. That player and others that followed drew audiophiles into the digital age.
In a landmark special feature, Chris Dunn & Malcolm Omar Hawksford thoroughly dissect the vicissitudes of the digital interface and jitter in Bits is Bits? The authors note, "The theoretical performance obtainable from the 16-bit linear PCM format sampled at 44.1kHz is superior to any analog sources available to the consumer."
Warner Music Group rebounds: WMG announced Thursday August 19 that it was near completion of a major corporate restructuring, a move expected to save as much as $250 million annually. WMG had originally projected savings of $60 million per year. Earlier this year, the company was acquired by an investment consortium led by Edgar Bronfman, Jr., scion of the Seagram family of Montreal and former chief of Universal Music.
In his report on the MartinLogan Depth powered subwoofer, Larry Greenhill laments, "Reviewing subwoofers is a lonely job that brings no respect." But can the Depth upset one of LG's longstanding prejudices to earn his respect?