Among the ingredients needed for a successful online consumer-electronics business, having well-known, sought-after brands may be the most important. Just in time for the holiday season, Hifi.com announced last week that it has become one of a "select group" authorized to sell Sony Electronics products over the Internet. This announcement comes on the heels of Celestion and Marantz joining the mail-order retailer (see previous story).
It is with regret that we announce to Stereophile's readers the closing of Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab, on November 19, 1999. Known to audiophiles since its inception in 1977, the company provided serious listeners with hundreds of remastered LPs, cassettes, and CDs.
In his second installment of "Fine Tunes," Jonathan Scull writes: "I met a chap the other day whose wife said to me, 'Oh, you suffer from the same audiophile disease.' I hastened to inform her that I am the disease." But J-10 is also the cure, as he proves in this ode to building the perfect listening room.
One of the more popular monthly columns in Stereophile these days is Jonathan Scull's "Fine Tunes." To keep our online readers fit and tweaked, we are going to be adding Scull's columns to the online Archives section on a weekly basis, starting with the first column he wrote for the magazine, back in July 1998: "Fine Tunes #1." "I think I just got 2000 bucks' worth of difference," writes a reader about the value of the advice contained in J-10's first installment.
If all goes according to publicists' wishes, Web surfers will be able to access music previews beginning November 15 without the necessity of using a third-party software player, such as RealNetworks G2, to play downloaded audio files. Streaming-audio provider AudioBase.com has signed deals with several heavyweight corporate sponsors for the launch of its music previews. Participants include Sony Music, K-Tel, and Levi-Strauss. The deals are being announced in conjunction with Internet audio conference Webnoize.
In his review of the SimAudio Moon P-5 preamplifier and W-5 power amplifier, Kal Rubinson wrote, "something about their aesthetics appealed to me: Canadian ruggedness coupled with a decidedly French panache. I remember that those attributes also characterized the demo's sound, although I can't recall the speakers or the sources involved. At succeeding shows, it gradually dawned on me that the Moon components were the fixed elements in a succession of impressive demos."
Last week, Burr-Brown Corporation announced the PCM1737, a 24-bit, 192kHz-sampling delta-sigma digital-to-analog converter (DAC) that the company says is designed for consumer audio applications. According to a press release, Burr-Brown states that "the PCM1737's excellent price and performance is specifically targeted toward consumer audio applications such as DVD/CD players, A/V receivers, HDTV systems, and car audio applications."
In a move that it says is designed to position it for "continued growth and leadership in the consumer electronics field," the Consumer Electronics Manufacturers Association (CEMA) unveiled last week its new incarnation: the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA). The announcement comes on the heels of a decision, made earlier this week by the Board of Governors of the Electronic Industries Alliance (EIA), to allow separate incorporation for its sector associations.
More members of the Custom Electronic Design and Installation Association (CEDIA) are doing retail sales than ever before, although not necessarily out of traditional retail locations, according to new statistics released by the organization. In addition, an increasing number of referrals come from builders rather than from interior designers and architects, indicating that home buyers see home theater and distributed music systems as valuable features.
Robert Deutsch writes that "There's a well-known tradeoff in speaker design between sound quality for one listener vs. multiple listeners." But his review of the Dunlavy SC-IV/A loudspeaker reveals that, in the hands of a great designer, these limitations can sometimes be transcended. How did John Dunlavy do it? Deutsch gets to the bottom of this, and more.