Old-school two-channel hi-fi may be in the doldrums—a phenomenon of concern only to those manufacturers still solely mining that niche. Those who have caught the home-theater wave are working overtime developing and producing great-sounding new equipment for use with surround-sound systems, flat-panel televisions, and custom installation, according to reports from the CEDIA Expo held earlier this month in Indianapolis.
From the September 2004 issue, Larry Greenhill sets up the James Loudspeaker EMB-1200 subwoofer, remarking, "Powerful deep-bass response means more than just pure tones. Rather, it requires raw power, tactile surges of air pressure, and a mix of the senses of hearing and touch." LG reports on whether or not the EMB-1200 meets those standards.
From the September 2004 issue, Art Dudley gets his mitts on the Spendor S5e loudspeaker, remarking, "I'm never more conservative than when the subject turns to home audio . . . . Give me thin-walled hardwood cabinets, obsolete tweeters, and handmade polypropylene woofers . . . ."
From the September 2004 issue, John Atkinson revs up the Simaudio Moon Equinox CD player, explaining, "When Simaudio's Lionel Goodfield offered me their $2000 Moon Equinox player for inclusion in my irregular series of CD-player reviews, I didn't need to be asked twice."
Twenty years ago, the introduction of the compact disc put the music world on a new path. Not long after its debut, Meridian Audio Ltd. launched the world's first audiophile CD player, the MCD. That player and others that followed drew audiophiles into the digital age.
From the September 1992 issue, Corey Greenberg checks in with a review of the Dynaco Stereo 70 II power amplifier. According to CG, "Panor's Stereo 70 II reissue looks similar to a vintage Dyna, but contains several circuit additions claimed to improve the original design's performance."
"Whole-house entertainment systems" and "ease of use" may be anathema for many audiophiles, but they bring joy to the lives of many music lovers—as they seem to do for manufacturers with a keen eye on the bottom line.
In a landmark special feature, Chris Dunn & Malcolm Omar Hawksford thoroughly dissect the vicissitudes of the digital interface and jitter in Bits is Bits? The authors note, "The theoretical performance obtainable from the 16-bit linear PCM format sampled at 44.1kHz is superior to any analog sources available to the consumer."