It was late May 2002 and I was about to leave the Free Republic of Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, for the high-class hallways of the New York Hilton and Home Entertainment 2002, so I could file daily reports for www.stereophile.com. As he was giving me last-minute instructions, webmaster Jon Iverson said, "I don't know whether or not you followed Hervé Delétraz's articles on building his amplifier, but he's going to have a sample at the Show. You should drop in and check it out. It sounds kind of interesting."
On April 14, Krell Industries invited the New York–based audio press to its first-ever American demonstration of its Evolution electronics separates, at Sound By Singer. In a surprise move, the company also debuted a complete "re-imagining" of its flagship loudspeaker, the LAT-1: the $55,000/pair LAT-1000. "We set out to improve the LAT-1," Krell CEO Dan D’Agostino said, "and in the end, probably the only parts we retained from the original design were the top and bottom panels. The LAT-1000 is essentially a completely new design—although it does retain the same footprint as the LAT-1, since that proved so popular in Japan that we didn't want to mess with it." And, he said, patting the aluminum top-plate, "Let me tell you, it was hard to pack all of this new technology into a package this size."
Lights out in Gloversville: Universal Music Group's record-pressing plant in Gloversville, NY will shut its doors on May 6, 2005. Founded in 1953 as part of the Brunswick Radio Corporation of America, the plant (and the parent corporation) were acquired in 1962 by Decca, which was itself merged into MCA—and later, UMG, now part of Vivendi Universal.
These days, too many audio stores are like hushed mausoleums. Audio gear is displayed like dead art, and the sales staff, unless you're known as a regular customer, either greets you with a predatory gleam or, certain that you've wandered in by mistake, ignores you.
T+A adds tubes and analog to SACD: German high-end manufacturer T+A has announced its new, tubed, $9500 D10 SACD/CD player. The D10 incorporates many of the same components found in the company's SACD 1245R, including the disc mechanism and DAC However, the D10 contains two more powerful power supply sections, a toroidal transformer with a secondary switching section for its digital parts, and a high-voltage mains section with 100,000µF of reservoir capacity for its analog tube stage.
On Tuesday, March 29, 2005, the US Supreme Court heard the oral arguments for the case of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios, Inc. v. Grokster, Ltd. This was widely covered in the mainstream news media, as well as all over the Web, but none of the synopses of the case did true justice to the give-and-take of the arguments, as I discovered this week when I stumbled upon a .pdf transcription of the complete oral arguments.
As Jon Iverson points out in another posting this week, a surprising number of readers expect downloads to be a viable music acquisition option in the very near future. Perhaps it's closer than we think.
You can read all about an automobile, check its gear ratios, and ponder the engine's horsepower all you want—but until you put yourself in the driver's seat and take that baby out for a spin, you have no idea whether or not it's going to be fun to drive.
Just look at the dates and you'll see a legacy that essentially spans the entire history of electrical music reproduction. That's fitting. In his career—or more properly, many careers—Irving M. ("Bud") Fried all but embodied that era.