Added to the Archives This Week

With their simple circuits and low, even zero, levels of loop negative feedback, the sound quality of single-ended triode amplifiers is very dependent on the specific output tubes used. In "In Search of the Perfect 300B Tube," Peter van Willenswaard finds that not all tubes are created equal. Measured and auditioned in his survey of 300B power tubes are samples from Golden Dragon, JJ Electronics, KR Enterprise, Sovtek, Svetlana, Valve Art, and Western Electric. "If you want the best," sums up Mr. W, "there's only the . . . "—well, you'll have to read the article to find out!

"I want to buy Thiel loudspeakers over the Internet!" cried an insistent music lover from the back of the room.

"I'm sorry, but you are not our customer," replied Thiel Audio Products president Kathy Gornik.

This exchange—at a lively seminar that took place at the Y2K International Consumer Electronics Show last January—typifies one way the audio industry's High End is responding to the sales opportunities offered by the Internet. In "E-Commerce & Specialty Audio Retailing," Barry Willis offers his thoughts on the inevitable rise of e-tailing. "Specialty-audio manufacturers and retailers can choose to ignore the Internet's inevitability, or they can find a way to adapt and thrive. Consumers already are," he sums up.

Plus: Stereophile's readers—audiophiles and retailers alike—pile in with their own views on how the Internet is going to affect specialty audio retailing.