If you search for "DVD-A" on this website, you can get the whole confusing story of the format, which has been the subject of one of the strangest format launches of recent years: First it's on, then it's off. The watermark is audible. No, it's not. Oops, it is—back to square one. There's software, there's no software. (There's not—only one demo disc officially available in September 2000, when I wrote this review!)
Not too long ago, the word "convergence" had everyone in the High End ready to duck'n'cover. Asia was on the ropes, and a shakeout was thinning the ranks of high-end audio manufacturers. Some US companies were marketing and selling most of their output to the Pacific Rim. The writing was on the wall: High-end was dead, and we'd all just better get used to listening to music on our computers.
The subject of audiophile-grade AC outlets, which I have been discussing in previous Fine Tunes" columns is more contentious than I'd ever imagined. In August's episode of "Fine Tunes," I forwarded you an e-mail from audio worthy Glen Bartholomew, who waxed poetic about the inexpensive and therefore (he felt) oft-overlooked hospital-grade devices from Leviton. He found the Levitons to be the equals of, if not better than, the Hubbell, Bryant, and Eagle units I'd previously recommended.
Last month I delved into avoiding reflective, parallel-wall slap echoes from ruining your audiophile day. But I've since learned of a perfectly useful workaround that's much less costly and involved than horsing around the Sheetrock. Much to my chagrin, the info came from the same source, George Cardas. When he told me about it, I slapped my forehead so hard I'm sure they heard it in Brooklyn. One caveat: This tweak works best with big, juicy collections of LPs. It could work with CDs...but we'll come to that.
With its latest series of FPB (Full Power Balanced) amplifiers, Krell is taking careful aim at the seam between classic high-power two-channel systems and quality multi-channel installations where sound is yet paramount. Nevertheless, Krell founder Dan D'Agostino was adamant: Krell's Class A components were designed for music playback. "I'm a purist, like you, Jonathan!" he told me.
I had a fascinating conversation the other day with George Cardas about slap-echo. (See Fine Tunes #1 and #2 for other Cardasian room treatment and speaker placement tips.) I know, it is amazing what audiophiles get excited about.