Added to the Archives This Week

In his review of the Music Reference RM-200 power amplifier, Michael Fremer claims, "Reviewing a vacuum-tube power amplifier is like having your pants pulled down in front of a large crowd of people." MF explains why he reviewed the RM-200 despite the inevitable public humiliation.

Where to jump next when it comes to a digital source component? SACD? DVD-Audio? CD? Nothing? Sam Tellig runs down the options and offers advice in his review of the new Musical Fidelity A324 D/A processor. "In my October 1989 report on the Digilog, I questioned the wisdom of sinking much dough into digital. Better to buy a good turntable, I thought. Drop too little money on digital, though, and you had to live with crappy sound. Same digital dilemma as now."

Thomas J. Norton points out that a great amp doesn't always need to weigh a ton or cost an arm and a leg. But does the Aragon 8008 power amplifier, circa 1996, fulfill his desire for a "superb-sounding super-amp" in a modest package? TJN spends the time and spins a few discs to find out.

More from Stereophile Guide to Home Theater editor Tom Norton: He fired up his audio crystal ball back in 1996 to reveal "Future Shock, High-End Style. " Six years later we can now measure how close to the mark his pointed pen actually pointed.

Finally, the most recent installment in our "Recording of the Month" series for the online archives, Recording of October 1998: Orchestre National de Barbès. Larry Birnbaum profiles a disc that "critics here and abroad have lambasted for its pop-fusion impurity. But it's hard to quibble when your head starts to bob and your feet begin to twitch."