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.
We begin with a January 1993 article from Robert Harley called The Jitter Game. RH explains, "Clock jitter is a serious and underestimated source of sonic degradation in digital audio. Only recently has jitter begun to get the attention it deserves, both by high-end designers and audio academics."
Will surround sound rejuvenate the music industry? That's the position many record label execs took when adding the capability to DVD-Audio and SACD years ago. But while they wait for the high-rez formats to catch on, SRS Labs has decided to add multichannel audio to the conventional compact disc.
Brian Damkroger listens long and hard to the Primare D30.2 CD player noting, "Primare is reluctant to provide much technical detail about their designs, preferring to let their products do the talking." So after a little chatting, BD files his report.
TrueSound Lounge: Headphone giant Sennheiser has opened an online music destination, the Sennheiser "TrueSound
Lounge", providing web-surfers an entertaining selection of new music from
company-supported emerging artists like Sugarcult and Jody Whitesides. The site also provides "fun, quick-witted web-video shorts from top commercial filmmakers and producers, fruits of the Sennheiser Invitational Film Project," and "concise info on Sennheiser's unequalled selection of personal listening products," according to a recent announcement.
In his review of the Velodyne Digital Drive DD-18 powered subwoofer, Larry Greenhill comments, "When I've tested other 'breakthrough' subwoofers, I've been disappointed. All the convenient fine-tuning in the world won't matter if I end up with the same nasty old room modes and woofer bloat." But as LG discovers, the DD-18 is indeed different.
"No company has done more to vigorously fly the audio tricolor as has Focal-JMlab," declares Paul Bolin, who visits the Focal factory and then reviews the Focal-JMlab Nova Utopia Be loudspeaker. PB adds, "One thing about the Utopia line has not changed: the exquisite level of finish." But what about the sound?
From the June 1999 issue, Jonathan Scull surveys the Pass Labs X1000 monoblock power amplifier. JS notes, "Pass Laboratories' X amplifier series represents the efforts of designer Nelson Pass to prove that simple linear amplifier topologies can be scaled to provide high-quality audio performance at very high power levels."