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Stereophile Staff  |  Jan 02, 2000  |  0 comments
Now that the big odometer has finally turned over, John Atkinson takes a moment to look back at the last 50 years of music reproduction—the era of high-end audio. Writing in "Happy New Audio Millennium," JA offers a little perspective on where audiophiles have traveled this last half century, and where we haven't.
Jon Iverson  |  Jan 02, 2000  |  0 comments
It's been a tough year for some of the audiophile record labels, as witnessed by the demise in late November of Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab (see previous story). The shock of MoFi's sudden departure even prompted Kimber Kable's Ray Kimber to fire off an e-mail to everyone within virtual reading range, urging them to buy a few audiophile CDs and LPs right now, before it's too late.
Barry Willis  |  Jan 02, 2000  |  0 comments
Owners of Threshold electronics will soon have an expert service organization available for their amplifiers and preamps. Threshold Corporation national sales manager Chris English reports that he has assumed the presidency of a new company to be devoted solely to servicing Threshold equipment. Based in Texas, Threshold Service Company will employ factory-trained technicians and engineers, and will offer warranties on all their work.
Stereophile Staff  |  Dec 26, 1999  |  0 comments
FireWire's prospects got a little hotter last week, as equipment manufacturers Denon Electronics and Onkyo announced new license agreements with Digital Harmony Technologies. The companies say that they have selected Digital Harmony to add standards-based IEEE-1394 (aka FireWire or iLink) interfaces to their product lines, and both companies expect to release Digital Harmony-powered products in 2000, each certified for compatibility with a number of 1394-based products made by other Digital Harmony partners in the US and Europe.
Jon Iverson  |  Dec 26, 1999  |  0 comments
In a move that is sure to enrage users of blank digital media, Canada's Copyright Board has finalized plans to add a levy of 5.2 Canadian cents on CD-Rs and CD-RWs, 23.3 cents on audio cassettes over 40 minutes in length, and 60.8 cents on MiniDiscs and recordable audio CDs. In a market in which blank CD-Rs used for computer backup typically cost less than C$1 each, this represents an increase of at least 5% per disc. Interestingly, DAT tapes are excluded from the tax, as they are not seen as a threat to the music business.
Barry Willis  |  Dec 26, 1999  |  0 comments
Do high-end cables make an audible difference? Or are they cosmetic enhancements, like fancy wheels on high-performance cars? The New York Times, the nation's foremost newspaper, took up the issue in a December 23 piece in "Circuits," its weekly technology section.
Barry Willis  |  Dec 26, 1999  |  0 comments
Despite the recent defeat of DVD-Audio's copy-protection scheme (see previous story), Pioneer Electronics has decided to move forward with its plan to release two models of its high-resolution players in Japan. The announcement was made December 14 by company executives in Tokyo, who said that delaying the format's launch at this late stage could do irreparable damage to its acceptance by music fans. Super Audio Compact Disc, a competing format developed by the Sony/Philips alliance, is already beginning to win converts.
Stereophile Staff  |  Dec 19, 1999  |  0 comments
Last week, Cello Technologies (formerly Cello Music & Film Systems) announced that it had acquired San Francisco Bay area custom installer and retailer The Audible Difference. According to a statement issued by Cello, The Audible Difference was founded in Palo Alto in 1976 and serves over 10,000 clients in the Silicon Valley area, and has 30 employees, "all focusing on audio design and home-systems design engineering, integration, and automation technologies."
Jon Iverson  |  Dec 19, 1999  |  0 comments
The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) is reporting that factory-to-dealer sales of audio equipment posted strong gains in October, rising by 8% over last October's sales figures and eclipsing the $1 billion mark for the first time since 1995. The CEA says that growth occurred in all segments of the audio market except portable audio, sales of which remained consistent with last year's levels.
Barry Willis  |  Dec 19, 1999  |  0 comments
We've all heard of the entrepreneur who liked a product so much that he bought the company. Such bold steps are sometimes wildly successful. Case in point: Mark Levinson and his high-end startup, Red Rose Music.
Jon Iverson  |  Dec 19, 1999  |  0 comments
We're still waiting to see even one official US release of DVD-Audio software, but reports are trickling in that the recording industry is nonetheless planning for the multichannel high-resolution audio landscape. The latest bit of news comes from mastering facility Future Disc Systems, which announced last week that it is now mastering DVD-Audio projects, and will soon be ready for high-resolution surround sound.
Barry Willis  |  Dec 19, 1999  |  0 comments
Almost beaten to death in the past couple of years by salesfolk, pundits, and journalists, "convergence" has been applied to the coming-together of audio and video, analog and digital, hardware and software, information and entertainment, and Democrats and Republicans. Among all these merging trends, the audiophile community rarely hears about the convergence of pro audio with the High End.
Stereophile Staff  |  Dec 19, 1999  |  0 comments
A common question in the audio newsgroups these days is, "Have you tried the new PS Audio Power Plant, and what did you think?" Stereophile's Robert Deutsch takes a seasoned look at the new product in his review of the PS Audio P300 Power Plant. Does it live up to all of the hype, and is it true that the P300 is "audaciously original in concept, yet makes so much sense that you wonder why no one ever thought of it before?" Mr. Deutsch explains.
Jon Iverson  |  Dec 12, 1999  |  0 comments
Any FM-radio DJ who was on the air in the US through the late '70s and early '80s will tell you that the song most often requested was easily Led Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven." Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Free Bird" popped up regularly, but it was never a contest. So it comes as no surprise that Zep's epic hit would make the list of the 10 songs included in the "Millennium Mix" being presented this month by Dick Clark. (Never mind that the millennium actually ends December 31, 2000.)
Stereophile Staff  |  Dec 12, 1999  |  0 comments
There's nothing like a new high-resolution format to get an audiophile's interest, and this year saw two major announcements. But with DVD-Audio stalling, attention is sure to focus on Sony and Philips' new SACD format. Jonathan Scull jumps right in with his review of the Sony SCD-1 Super Audio CD/CD player. As J-10 notes: "Rarely have I anticipated the arrival of a review component as I did the Sony SCD-1 Super Audio CD player." But does it live up to the hype?