Paul Bolin notes, "Bankers and doctors bought McIntosh, not 'serious' audiophiles. So ran the conventional wisdom." While reviewing the McIntosh MC501 monoblock power amplifier, PB discovers that conventional wisdom can be anything but wise.
From its origins as an obscure off-Broadway novelty act, Blue Man Group has grown to monster proportions, with authorized spinoffs performing in major cities throughout the world. The group is a permanent attraction in Las Vegas.
Back in June of 1992, Lewis Lipnick auditioned one of the era's benchmark products, the Cello Palette Preamplifier. LL comments, "The Palette Preamplifier gives the listener a glimpse of what performers experience every day on stage: total immersion in the music."
John Atkinson wires up a pair of Gershman Acoustics Opera Sauvage loudspeakers, noting, "'Mellow' was the word I used to describe my first impression of the Opera Sauvage's balance, and nothing I experienced throughout my auditioning persuaded me that that impression was mistaken."
Lexington, KY–based Thiel Audio has announced a new line of SmartSub subwoofers, "designed as the ultimate solution for bass management and reproduction in home theater and music sound systems." The line includes the SS1, SS2, SS3, and SS4 subwoofers, the SmartSub Integrator, and the PX02 and PX05 Passive Crossovers, a group of products said "to offer the most seamless and realistic low frequency reproduction possible." Company president Kathy Gornik describes the new line as "the world's first intelligent subwoofers."
Stereophile's John Atkinson teams up with world-renowned recording engineer Tony Faulkner to create a landmark Mozart recording that has just been released simultaneously on hybrid SACD/CD, and LP. In Project K622, JA recounts the entire process, noting, "The upbeat is the most magic moment in classical music making."
Pay $350,000 for an amplifier?!?!! Michael Fremer takes a deep breath and plugs in the Wavac SH-833 monoblock power amplifier in order to hear for himself what he might get if he traded in his house. "When tmh's Jim Ricketts asked me if I wanted to review this eight-box assemblage," says MF, "the first thing I did was laugh at the ludicrousness of the situation. Then I said, 'Why the hell not?'"
XM on a roll: Recent marketing efforts appear to be paying off for XM Satellite Radio. On July 2, the satellite radio startup announced that it had exceeded the 2.1-million subscriber mark during the second quarter. More than 418,000 new subscribers signed up during that period—over twice the number recruited in the same quarter last year. XM-compatible products are appearing at an ever-increasing number of retail outlets, leading some observers to believe that the company may have a fighting chance in the long run.