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Jon Iverson  |  Jun 27, 1999  |  0 comments
The National Association of Recording Merchandisers (NARM) has released its Annual Survey Results for the 1998 business year, indicating that gross dollar volume for all music products grew by 10%, to $9.69 billion, with the CD market (83.3%, or $8.1 billion) continuing to build on its dominance. The report reveals that DVD sales "literally exploded in 1998," up a staggering 400% to $259 million.
Jon Iverson  |  Jun 20, 1999  |  0 comments
Earlier this month, DirecTV announced that it is investing $50 million in XM Satellite Radio in an effort to capitalize on direct satellite-to-receiver broadcasting technology, which is intended to provide listeners in the car and at home with up to 100 channels of music, news, and entertainment available in North America. Additional XM investors include General Motors, Clear Channel Communications, and a private investment group.
Barry Willis  |  Jun 20, 1999  |  0 comments
Is there a computer in your audio future? Meridian thinks so. An expensive new flagship disc player hints at things to come at more affordable prices. Working at the far edge of the digital playback frontier, the UK company has just announced its 800 Reference, a new combination CD/DVD player, built like a computer, that takes digital audio and video playback to a new level. The player "sets the bar for DVD and CD reproduction," according to a June 16 press release.
Barry Willis  |  Jun 20, 1999  |  0 comments
Almost every audiophile, whether hobbyist or professional, has taken a stab at building loudspeakers. Combine the fundamentals of cabinetmaking with some basic electronic theory, connect a few good drivers to a well-designed crossover network, and you're on your way to pretty good sound. And now, with widely available resources like crossover design software and high-quality prefabricated cabinets, the task is easier than it's ever been.
Stereophile Staff  |  Jun 20, 1999  |  0 comments
Last week it was revealed that David Manley has resigned as president of Manley Laboratories and has assigned his total shares in the company to EveAnna Manley as part of an agreement signed June 10, 1999. EveAnna Manley has officially assumed the duties of president, CEO, and sole owner of Manley Laboratories, Inc. A press release states that David Manley is no longer associated or affiliated with Manley Laboratories, Inc., and that EveAnna Manley has been de facto operating CEO of the company since David Manley's departure in 1996.
Jon Iverson  |  Jun 20, 1999  |  0 comments
The MP3 audio format has been rapidly gaining a solid reputation in the last several months. Portable products such as Diamond Multimedia's Rio have hit the market, and websites (typified by have gained financial success. (See related story.) But one area that has so far lagged is MP3-based playback and recording equipment for using the files at home without moving a computer next to the stereo.
Paul Messenger  |  Jun 13, 1999  |  0 comments
John Wright was one of the most important figures on the British hi-fi scene since the mid-1960s. His natural modesty and reticence made it easy to underestimate a working life that encompassed an unusually wide range of different roles: from inventor to speaker engineer to reviewer to businessman.
Barry Willis  |  Jun 13, 1999  |  0 comments
The world's third largest music company has thrown its massive weight behind Internet audio. On June 10, EMI Recorded Music, a division of EMI Group Plc, announced a five-year licensing agreement with Reston, Virginia-based, a major custom CD compilation service and digital download site. EMI has not simply made its enormous catalog available to the service---it has also bought into with a 50% equity stake.
Jens P. Pedersen  |  Jun 13, 1999  |  0 comments
Steve Portocarrero passed away Monday, June 7 from Lou Gehrig's Disease, or ALS (Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), which he was diagnosed with two years ago.
Jon Iverson  |  Jun 13, 1999  |  0 comments
Danish audio-video manufacturer Bang & Olufsen has long been known for its unusual product designs. Eschewing the normal tendency of consumer electronics manufacturers to design their circuits and transports into stackable black boxes, the company's current home-audio line includes colorful vertical CD stacks with sliding clear-glass doors and brushed-aluminum cylindrical speakers.
Stereophile Staff  |  Jun 13, 1999  |  0 comments
Writer Robert Deutsch takes an in-depth look at the Hales Design Group Revelation Three loudspeaker in an attempt to determine whether the product lives up to its name. He also checks into the manufacturer's claim that "what we made will forever change the world of dynamic loudspeakers . . . an instant classic, a benchmark against which others of its type are measured."
Stereophile Staff  |  Jun 13, 1999  |  0 comments
Last Thursday, Virgin Entertainment Group announced an agreement with RedDotNet, a Digital on Demand company, that Virgin says will allow its customers to download music and create custom CDs, DVDs, and MiniDiscs in-store. Virgin describes the deal as "a revolutionary development heralding a new wave of music retailing." As part of the agreement, Virgin will become a shareholder in Digital on Demand, RedDotNet's parent company.
Stereophile Staff  |  Jun 06, 1999  |  0 comments
Last week, TDK announced that it is introducing extended-capacity, 80-minute/700MB multimedia and music CD-R discs this July. The new discs add 50MB, or 6 minutes of stereo music capacity, to the conventional 74-minute/650MB CD-R disc. TDK says it is the first manufacturer to offer extended-capacity CD-Rs, and points out that it has been supplying recording studios with 80-minute CD-Rs for music-mastering applications since 1996.(Stereophile's new 77+ minute Bravo! CD, featuring chamber music by Elgar and Mozart, for example, was mastered on a 700MB TDK CD-R.)
Stereophile Staff  |  Jun 06, 1999  |  0 comments
Conrad-Johnson has been on a roll with their Anniversary Reference Triode preamplifier, aka the ART, which garnered the Stereophile Product of the Year award in 1998. (See previous article.) According to Lew Johnson, "We realized that Conrad-Johnson is coming up on its 20th anniversary, so we thought we might produce something special to celebrate. This is a version of the preamplifier we use in our listening room at the factory---we never even thought about producing it because it would be god-awful expensive. But it really is our last thought on what a preamp should be, so we figured we'd produce a limited edition, say 250 total, as a way of commemorating our 20 years in the business."
Barry Willis  |  Jun 06, 1999  |  0 comments
The mid-20th century was a time of tremendous political and social upheaval, technological advancement, and artistic innovation. Jazz---an American invention---is arguably the greatest single development in the history of modern music. Most of its pioneers are gone now, but their legacy lives on in their recordings---and in photographs.