Last week, Tweeter Home Entertainment Group, Inc. announced that the company has reached an agreement in principle to acquire DOW Stereo/Video, Inc., located in San Diego, California. DOW is a nine-store specialty consumer-electronics retailer with sales of approximately $38 million, and has been in business in the San Diego market for over 30 years. The transaction is expected to be completed on or about July 1, 1999. Tweeter says it will pay approximately $5.5 million for the company excluding acquisition costs, and has the option of paying approximately $500,000 of the purchase price in Tweeter common stock.
Strange but true: Stereophile editor John Atkinson once sold a tweak amplifier after being startled by not being able to identify it in a blind listening test. "Convinced by these results of the validity of the Consumer Reports philosophy, I consequently sold my exotic and expensive Lecson power amplifier, with which I had been very happy, and bought a much cheaper Quad 405---the biggest mistake of my audiophile career!" says JA of the experience.
The Rounder Records Group, one of the largest independent record labels in the US, has signed on with Liquid Audio for digital music distribution on the Internet. As of April 28, Rounder will offer a substantial portion of its catalog for sale by digital download.
Last week, CDDB announced a newly designed, more user-friendly website for its large database of audio CD information. The database resource now provides free information on more than 360,000 CDs, which the company describes as the world's largest online CD music database. There are over 40,000 entries in the classical CD database alone, with rock logging three times as many entries at 126,000. The database gains about 500 new entries every day. Users can search by artist, album, or song title, and then cross-reference titles to other artists or discs.
Reuters has reported that Sony Corporation is experiencing a 20% drop in profits this year, brought about by poor showings from audio and video product sales, slow markets, price wars, and a lack of hit records. The report also stated that the electronics sector, which normally generates the bulk of Sony sales, saw operating profits decline by more than half compared to the previous year.
In the latest article to appear in the Archives, Robert Harley comes right out and asks, "How many of you actually read the 'Measurements' sections of Stereophile's equipment reports and understand what's being measured, and why? I suspect that many readers skip over the technical assessment of the reviewed product and make a dash for the 'Conclusion.' "
Toronto-based Lenbrook Group announced earlier this month that it had acquired NAD Electronics from AudioNord International, a Scandinavian organization that has owned the brand for most of this decade. The deal is expected to close next week, on May 3. Lenbrook will take over NAD's worldwide marketing and distributorship, but AudioNord will continue to market the brand in Holland, Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, and Scandinavia. Other joint marketing ventures will follow, according to Lenbrook's public relations agent.
We posted an update on Peter Belt and his activities earlier in the month, but the saga began many moons ago. If you're curious about where it all began, or just need to know more, then J. Gordon Holt's "L'Affaire Belt" is for you. Stranger than fiction? Guaranteed.
In an aggressive move into the used audio equipment market, New York retailer Harvey Electronics announced last week that the company will begin to sell used audio products and special purchases of new merchandise on eBay, an online auction site, beginning June 1, 1999. The company also recently announced that it will sell merchandise through other website partnerships.
Step all the way back to issue number one of Stereophile, in which Lucius Wordburger proffers some sage advice on How to Write an Ad. Learn about The Endorsement (hint: don't use Fidel Castro), The Calculated Omission, and The Junk Product.