Last week, Asahi Kasei Microsystems Semiconductor (AKM), which supplies audio ICs for professional and consumer products, announced its line of Direct Stream Digital (DSD) Digital-to-Analog converters capable of supporting both Super Audio CD (SACD) Direct-Stream Bigital and 24-bit/192kHz LPCM DVD-Audio formats.
As Michael Fremer reports, critics have universally hailed Infinity's $8k flagship Prelude MTS. But can the success of the MTS trickle down to the lower price points? For his review of the $2000/pr Infinity Intermezzo 2.6 loudspeaker, Fremer set out to determine if the more modest sibling is a "worthwhile chip off the old block or just a marketing divot."
The compact disc has given rise to all sorts of questionable accessories: magic pens with green ink, reflective stickers, rim dampers, absorbent mats, spindle weights, cleaners, buffers, polishers, and demagnetizers. It's amazing how many products are needed to make perfect sound perfect.
They've been around for years, under a variety of guises and from an evolving list of manufacturers and distributors. But the BBC LS3/5a loudspeakers still cling to their legendary status. We provide not only J. Gordon Holt's original 1977 review for Stereophile, but also follow-ups from 1984, 1989, and 1993. Read about the little speaker that could.
In his The Fifth Element #2, John Marks discusses in detail how to use common household items to render some audiophile magic. Marks explains, Aall you need is a very long piece of string, a tape measure, two bits of masking tape, a quantity of small self-adhesive removable note papers, and later, perhaps, a trip to the fabric store."
As John Atkinson points out in his "As We See It" from last month, Trumpets to the Back of Me?, there appears to be a long, hard road ahead for audiophiles as record labels struggle to make something out of the multi-channel future. As JA puts it, "The last thing I want is to have trumpets and drums attacking me from behind, yet almost without exception, that is what record producers seem to feel is an essential part of the DVD-Audio and SACD experiences."
On May 23, the Juilliard School of Music announced the selection of 18 instrumentalists who will form the core of the newly-created Juilliard Jazz Orchestra. As orchestra members, the musicians will benefit from tuition-free study at the school's recently established Juilliard Institute for Jazz. The creation of the institute—a collaboration of the Juilliard School and the "Jazz at Lincoln Center" program—is an indication that the prestigious institution is further acknowledging the importance of jazz, an indigenous American genre that many critics have called "the classical music of the 20th century."
It was 15 years ago this week that an enthusiastic John Atkinson was lured From London to Santa Fe to take the helm of Stereophile. As JA recounted back in 1986, "From London, England, to Santa Fe, New Mexico, is a pretty big jump, both geographically and culturally. From Hi-Fi News & Record Review to Stereophile, however, is a mere hop; the similarities overwhelm the differences."
Mark Levinson has traveled from Woodstock to the Whitney, and Michael Fremer lends an ear to his Red Rose Music R3 loudspeaker to determine if the journey was a fruitful one. As Fremer characterizes it, "If Levinson's Cello foray was haute monde, Red Rose is Dockers: loose-fitting and relaxed."
Cirrus Logic has initiated cutbacks in its workforce and other cost-reduction moves that are expected to save as much as $12 million annually. The Austin, TX–based semiconductor company stated May 15 that the measures are part of a general restructuring of its business model, in which its magnetic storage chip business will be de-emphasized in favor of its semiconductor business. Cirrus is the parent company of Crystal Semiconductor, maker of many high-performance digital audio chips.