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Stereophile Staff  |  Dec 15, 2003  |  0 comments
Now that 2003 is almost a memory, it's time for The 2003 Products of the Year. Once again Stereophile's writers cast their votes on the year's audio worthies.
Jon Iverson  |  Dec 15, 2003  |  0 comments
And then there were four: Sony's music division and German media company Bertelsmann, parent of the BMG record label, have decided that they've got a better chance under one roof. Last week, the two companies revealed that they will merge their music divisions into a new company called Sony BMG.
Wes Phillips  |  Dec 15, 2003  |  0 comments
Few audio products have proved as enduringly fascinating to audiophiles as William Firebaugh's Well-Tempered Turntable design. At once elegantly simple and technically sophisticated, it was an immediate hit with music lovers and critics alike—and was long a staple of Stereophile's "Recommended Components" list. For the greater part of the product's 20-year lifespan, the Well-Tempered 'table has been distributed and manufactured under the direction of Transparent Audio, Inc. However, Carl Smith, the Transparent partner who supervised the manufacture of the Well-Tempered line, decided to retire this year, and Transparent determined that it should concentrate on its cable business.
John Atkinson, Stephen Mejias  |  Dec 15, 2003  |  First Published: Dec 01, 2003  |  0 comments
Since 1992, Stereophile has recognized components that have proved capable of giving musical pleasure beyond the formal review period by naming its "Products of the Year." These are the components that can be recommended without any ifs or buts, that will grace any system in which they used.
Brian Damkroger  |  Dec 15, 2003  |  First Published: Dec 01, 2003  |  0 comments
At what point does a high price become exorbitant? When do you start doing double takes, to make sure you haven't mentally moved a decimal point? When do you look at something and think, "No matter how good it may be, it's just not worth that much money"?
Wes Phillips  |  Dec 15, 2003  |  First Published: Dec 01, 2003  |  0 comments
It's only a CD-R with a self-adhesive label and computer-generated inserts, but it's what the major record labels are really scared of.
Robert Baird  |  Dec 15, 2003  |  First Published: Dec 01, 2003  |  0 comments
RANDY NEWMAN: The Randy Newman Songbook Vol.1
Nonesuch 79689-2 (CD). 2003. Mitchell Froom, prod.; David C. Boucher, eng.; Steven Rhodes, asst. eng. AAD.? TT: 47:22
Performance *****
Sonics ****½
John Atkinson  |  Dec 15, 2003  |  0 comments
I am saddened to report that Peter James Walker, the founder of quintessential English audio company Quad, passed away on December 10, after a long illness. He was 87. Peter Walker had been married twice; both his wives had died before him. He is survived by a daughter, Victoria, and a son, Ross, the latter having played a major role in managing Quad through the 1970s and '80s.
Wes Phillips  |  Dec 08, 2003  |  0 comments
Julian Hirsch, the man who personified the state of audio criticism for nearly half a century, died on November 24 after a long illness.
Barry Willis  |  Dec 08, 2003  |  0 comments
Retail may be bouncing back. Best Buy, North America's number one electronics chain, reported an 18% gain in total sales for its third quarter ended November 29. The Richfield, MN–based operation posted $6.03 billion in total sales, with same-store sales up 8.6%.

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