The internet has been a boon to music lovers, who now can research almost any piece of music or artist, or shop for obscure discs and memorabilia from a plethora of sources. In an interesting twist on the additional material idea, Sony Music has been making supplemental content for selected CD releases available on a special website.
Rumors began surfacing last month that McCormack Audio might be on the ropes. Long known for their value-oriented high-end products such as amps and preamps, the company had been struggling for the last couple of years (for reasons not connected with the quality of its products). But a savior has appeared that looks to put the company on a sure footing.
The audio business has been claiming its share of victims lately, with few companies able to reanimate once economic problems set in. Working hard to break this cycle, Carver Corp. became one of the first manufacturers to switch from a dealer-based operation to both dealers and internet sales.
June, 1998---"It's time to stop wasting the talents of brilliant American musicians because of their gender." And with that, an anonymous donor has given one million dollars to establish The National Women Conductors Initiative.
A key benefit of working with Stereophile is enjoying the expertise of fellow audio nerds. After the HI-FI Show just held in Los Angeles, Jonathan Scull and Kathleen Benveniste spent a week riding up the California Coast and paid us each a visit.
For the last few months, random postings kept appearing on internet newsgroups and in my e-mail box: "Anybody know what happened to Counterpoint?" At last count there were 10,000 Counterpoint preamps, power amps, and loudspeakers fanned out across the planet, some dating back to 1977, when the company launched its first product: the SA-1 tube preamp, designed by Ed Semanko.
It's no secret that Dolby Laboratories doesn't aim its audio compression technologies at the high-end consumer audio market. After all, Dolby excels at finding ways to get maximum performance out of limited-bandwidth environments such as the audio cassette, or the space alloted for 5.1-channel soundtracks on DVDs.
With the plethora of CD and DVD formats out there, it can be confusing figuring out what will work with what. Standards can help define specifications for a particular format, but often do little to guarantee compatibility between them.