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Jon Iverson  |  Sep 26, 1999  |  0 comments
When it comes to power, VTL's Luke Manley is definitely in the "more is better" camp. But when Lonnie Brownell sat down to listen to the VTL ST-85 tube power amplifier, he elected to start with a single amp and go for more power later. Lonnie writes: "How's about I go with just one amplifier for a while? After all, that's what most people would buy, at least at first. Then I can drop in another one and see what that does." But in the end, was one enough? Brownell tells all.
Jon Iverson  |  Sep 26, 1999  |  0 comments
Last week, Cirrus Logic unveiled two new Crystal digital-to-analog converters that the company says will support both dueling high-definition audio standards: DVD-Audio and Super Audio CD (SACD). As a result, the new DACs should enable the creation of universal DVD players for both the mass and high-end audio markets. The new DACs are the CS4397 "SuperDAC," which the company describes as a "high-performance audio DAC on a single chip" with 120dB dynamic range performance; and the CS4391, a lower-cost DAC also supporting DVD-Audio and SACD and sporting a 108dB dynamic range.
Barry Willis  |  Sep 26, 1999  |  0 comments
The Walkman is 20 years old. As part of its celebration of one of the most successful audio products in history, Sony has introduced its first personal music player with the capability of downloading music from the Internet. The new Walkman employs Sony's "memory stick" technology to store audio files as large as 32 megabytes. The latest Walkman, which was unveiled last week in Japan and New York, is expected to retail at approximately $400 and should appear in stores in January.
Barry Willis  |  Sep 26, 1999  |  0 comments
Sudden awareness of free digital downloadable music on the Internet sent the music industry into a panic last year. The Secure Digital Music Initiative, a coalition of record labels, software companies, and electronics manufacturers, worked overtime developing standards for encrypting music in an attempt to thwart piracy. Preliminary guidelines for copyright protection were issued in June. Most recently, the SDMI completed a series of listening tests intended to find the least intrusive form of encryption. The organization seemed to present a united front in the anti-piracy war.
Jon Iverson  |  Sep 26, 1999  |  0 comments
Last week at the Audio Engineering Society Convention in New York City, Sonic Solutions announced that it plans to introduce what it says is the world's first digital audio workstation based on Sony's new Direct Stream Digital (DSD) technology. Sonic says that the new system, SonicStudio HD-DSD, is being developed in cooperation with Sony Corporation and will provide the recording industry with a mastering tool for the new Super Audio CD (SACD) format.
Jon Iverson  |  Sep 19, 1999  |  0 comments
Imagine yourself a recording artist just signed to a contract with one of Sony Music's record labels. You put out a couple of albums and start a website using your own name (say, for example, But the music wind starts blowing in a different direction, your contract comes up for renewal, and, either through your manager's insistence or that of one of Sony's big cheeses, you decide to leave the label and sign with someone else.
Wes Phillips  |  Sep 19, 1999  |  0 comments
Troy Kosovich, Dynaudio's director of marketing, died Tuesday, September 14 in a single-car accident near Bozeman, Montana. According to a newspaper report, he apparently lost control of his Isuzu Rodeo while returning to his hotel after an evening with a client. Troy was 37 years old and is survived by his wife, Angel, and his three-year-old son, Killian.
Jon Iverson  |  Sep 19, 1999  |  0 comments
Citing large crowds of design engineers and consumers at its World PC Expo Pavilion in Japan last week, Texas Instruments' James Snider, chairman of the 1394 Trade Association, predicted a surge in product design based on the 1394/FireWire/i.Link standard in the coming year. Snider says that the demand for 1394 PC and consumer products is accelerating worldwide "as users become aware of the quality of video and audio that can be easily and efficiently transported in home, office, and theater environments."
Stereophile Staff  |  Sep 19, 1999  |  0 comments
Nationwide electronics retailer Best Buy has reported a record $59 million in profits for the second quarter of its fiscal year. Profits were up 34% from the previous year, according to a September 15 report in the Wall Street Journal. The Eden Prairie, Minnesota-based chain is one of the largest outlets for consumer electronics, and is Circuit City's only serious rival.
Stereophile Staff  |  Sep 19, 1999  |  0 comments
Want to know how Michael Fremer is able to tie a story about his baffled plumber into an equipment review? Find out in his report on the Audio Physic Virgo loudspeaker. About the speakers, Mikey writes: "Clearly, the Virgos disappeared, leaving one of the most credible three-dimensional soundstages I've ever experienced in any of my listening rooms over the years."
Barry Willis  |  Sep 19, 1999  |  0 comments
A company unknown outside the broadcast industry is poised to become the next big player in radio. Entercom Communications Corp, based in Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania, has moved to the head of the pack in the race to buy 31 FM and 15 AM stations from Sinclair Broadcasting Corporation. The $824.5 million purchase is being financed in part by a public stock offering that Entercom floated last January.
John Atkinson  |  Sep 12, 1999  |  0 comments
J. Gordon Holt founded Stereophile in the fall of 1962 in order to promote the idea that the optimal way to judge audio components was to do what end users did: listen to them. Since then, Gordon has had an unbroken relationship with Stereophile, through its sale to Larry Archibald in 1982, my coming on board as editor in 1986, the sale of the magazine to Petersen Publishing in 1998, and the subsequent sale of Petersen to Emap in 1999. Through all this time he has been listed on the magazine's masthead as "Founder & Chief Tester." (A fascinating interview with Gordon, conducted by his associate and friend Steven Stone, can be found in this website's "Archives.")
Jon Iverson  |  Sep 12, 1999  |  0 comments
Earlier this month, at the Internationale Funkausstellung 1999 in Berlin, Germany, Syrinx music & media announced that, together with Panasonic/Technics and their new DVD-Audio players (see previous story), they successfully presented the world's first DVD-Audio disc. The Internationale Funkausstellung 1999 ran from August 28 until September 5 under the theme of "Your World of Consumer Electronics."
Barry Willis  |  Sep 12, 1999  |  0 comments
CD recorders are the hottest ticket in audio at the moment. Philips and Marantz once dominated the category, but other manufacturers have recently jumped on board with their own versions, among them Pioneer and Harman/Kardon. Onkyo will introduce its DX-RD511 dubber later this month at the 1999 CEDIA Expo in Indianapolis. The machine is expected to arrive in stores in October—just in time for the holiday season.
Stereophile Staff  |  Sep 12, 1999  |  0 comments
Back in 1985, J. Gordon Holt wrote: "It seems, these days, that many of us audiophiles have become so preoccupied with the minutiae of sound reproduction that we haven't even noticed that it doesn't sound like music any more." He was talking about the obsession with soundstaging and detail at the expense of musical accuracy. In "Getting the Notes Right (Midrange Madness)," he renders his lesson in classic JGH style, observing that "I have played on this old saw in these pages for so many years that it has turned into a dead sawhorse, but somehow the message never seems to get through. There should be no harm done by beating it into the ground a little farther."