Last week, Reference Recordings of San Francisco announced that it is planning five new symphonic projects to be recorded by "Prof." Keith Johnson in 88.2kHz, HDCDr 5-channel discrete surround sound. These will be released on standard two-channel compact disc in the coming year, and eventually on DVD audio disc. According to RR, with these ambitious plans, the company hopes to reverse the industry-wide decline in new recordings of classical orchestral music
Our first article this week is Illusions, Riddles, & Toys, in which Barry Willis explains what Zeno's paradox has to do with audio nirvana. "We audiofools face just such a riddle in our relentless pursuit of musical realism. I can hear you now: No, say it isn't so. Surely our technology is equal to the task. I'm sorry to tell you that it isn't, and probably never will be."
Our first article this week is Space . . . the Final Frontier, in which J. Gordon Holt explains both why he feels the High End should abandon two-channel stereo, and why it is misguided in its choice of loudspeakers for stereo reproduction.
This will be a huge year for the electronics industry, insiders are saying in the wake of the just-finished 1999 Consumer Electronics Show. This one "surpassed anything we've seen before," said Gary Shapiro, the president of the Consumer Electronics Manufacturers Association, in a post-Show statement. "Our industry is driving the technologies that will define the digital age."
There is practically nothing that has set high-end audio on its collective ear like the article Jonathan Scull wrote back in 1994 on room-tuning devices from Shun Mook. Not only did some readers dog-pile J-10, but two other Stereophile writers, Barry Willis and Sam Tellig, decided to take on the challenge. Required reading for anyone who wants to know more about The Shun Mook Affair.
Time to yank out the old oxygen-free crystal interconnects and gaze into audio's future for 1999. Now that www.stereophile.com has a year under its online belt, we should be able to read the sonic omens with greater resolution, or at least confine our mistakes to minor stumbles. First, we'll see how our prognostications for 1998 panned out, and spin them a little to tune in 1999. We'll add reader predictions at the bottom. Got your own predictions? Send 'em in!
J. Gordon Holt, founder not only of Stereophile but also of high-end audio journalism as we know it, reveals all in a comprehensive interview with writer Steven Stone: 35 Years and Just Getting Started.
It helps to know the technical basics when building the ultimate audio system. J. Gordon Holt, pointing out that "knowledge is power," would like to see thousands of knowledgeable audiophiles girdling the planet, and so has created an excellent primer on audio basics called A is for Ampere.
Getting a jump on the RIAA's move to create a new music-download standard (see related article), Tower Records announced last week that it will feature a new song-download service, created by Atlanta-based amplified.com, on the Towerrecords.com website.