Stereophile Staff  |  Jun 14, 2004  |  0 comments
"No company has done more to vigorously fly the audio tricolor as has Focal-JMlab," declares Paul Bolin, who visits the Focal factory and then reviews the Focal-JMlab Nova Utopia Be loudspeaker. PB adds, "One thing about the Utopia line has not changed: the exquisite level of finish." But what about the sound?
Barry Willis  |  Jun 14, 2004  |  0 comments
All of us at Stereophile were saddened by the death of Ray Charles. The giant of music passed away Thursday, June 10 at his home in Beverly Hills, surrounded by friends and family. He was 73.
Barry Willis  |  Jun 14, 2004  |  0 comments
Artists' audit rights: The California Assembly is scheduled to vote Tuesday, June 15 on a revised bill that would give recording artists the right to audit companies to ensure proper royalty payments. The bill would also give them the right to hire auditors on a contingency fee basis, and to initiate group audits, a provision that could make audits a class action issue. The proposed legislation is the result of talks between the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA), and several state legislators, in particular State Senator Kevin Murray (D-Culver City), a longtime advocate for accounting reform in the recording industry.
David Patrick Stearns  |  Jun 13, 2004  |  First Published: Jun 01, 2004  |  0 comments
J.S. BACH: The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book I
Till Fellner, piano
ECM 1853/54 (2 CDs). 2004. Manfred Eicher, prod.; Markus Heiland, eng. DDD. TT: 116:58
Performance *****
Sonics *****
Michael Fremer  |  Jun 13, 2004  |  First Published: Jun 01, 2004  |  0 comments
Thirty-one flavors may work for an ice-cream chain, but a speaker manufacturer who sets out to please every sonic palate ends up with a serious identity crisis, pleasing no-one. From its inception in 1985, Audio Physic, based in Brilon, Germany, has been an event-oriented speaker company. Founder and original chief designer Joachim Gerhard focused much of his attention on providing listeners with the sensation of "live" by emphasizing coherent three-dimensional imaging and soundstaging—though not to the exclusion of timbral accuracy. Except for the Medea, based on a Manger driver (a fascinating design nonetheless), every Audio Physic speaker I've heard has fulfilled the company's mission statement.
Robert J. Reina  |  Jun 13, 2004  |  First Published: Jun 01, 2004  |  0 comments
I love dealing with the colorful characters of high-end audio. One such individual is Victor (Veekh-tor) Goldstein, who has distributed high-quality European audio gear from his New York City headquarters, Fanfare International, for 23 years. A nuclear engineer by training, Goldstein transitioned into audio when the Three Mile Island incident reduced the demand for his services. (I guess he felt his skills were transferable to single-ended triode amplifiers.) Most of all, Goldstein is a passionate lover of music with a vinyl collection that numbers well into five figures, and a fixture at many of the significant classical performances at New York's major concert halls.
Paul Bolin  |  Jun 13, 2004  |  First Published: Jun 01, 2004  |  0 comments
Symphony orchestras once had definable national characters. When high-end audio came along, those characters became the national sounds of the gear. While most audio manufacturers, like most symphony orchestras, have tended in recent decades to homogenize into an "international" sound, most French audio gear has remained distinct.
Barry Willis  |  Jun 07, 2004  |  0 comments
Circuit City turnaround: After a long slump, the Richmond, VA–based retail chain is finally on an upswing. The company reported a 7% increase in sales for the first fiscal quarter, ended May 31—a total of $2.1 billion. Same-store sales rose 6.4%. The total included $21.5 million in revenue from InterTan, a group of Canadian stores acquired by Circuit City on May 12. Circuit City's strongest product categories were flat-panel TVs, digital cameras, computer gear, and portable audio players.
Jon Iverson  |  Jun 07, 2004  |  0 comments
As a result of the RIAA's aggressive attempts at legislation and lawsuits, it is widely understood that government control is an integral component of the music industry's plans to limit the ways in which copyrighted music can be used. But how far will the industry go to control the technology used to play back your favorite tune?
Stereophile Staff  |  Jun 07, 2004  |  0 comments
From the June 1999 issue, Jonathan Scull surveys the Pass Labs X1000 monoblock power amplifier. JS notes, "Pass Laboratories' X amplifier series represents the efforts of designer Nelson Pass to prove that simple linear amplifier topologies can be scaled to provide high-quality audio performance at very high power levels."