Jon Iverson  |  Nov 22, 2004  |  0 comments
First, a prediction: some day we'll buy the nearly complete music library and the player will be free. Imagine getting a player pre-loaded with most songs in your favorite genre already installed, with room left over to add more and a subscription service for instant updates. Imagine even being able to buy the high-resolution library.
Barry Willis  |  Nov 22, 2004  |  0 comments
DualDisc has apparently stumbled hard right out of the gate. Earlier this year, test marketing of the DualDisc in Boston and Seattle indicated that music fans would eagerly accept the new format, one that combines standard Compact Disc audio content on one side with DVD (audio and video) on the other.
Stereophile Staff  |  Nov 22, 2004  |  0 comments
The surging popularity of portable music players has been a boon to makers of accessories for them, especially earphones. Many music fans travel for business, requiring long hours in noisy airplanes and other forms of mass transit, and earphones that offer the added benefit of blocking or reducing noise are always desirable.
Barry Willis  |  Nov 22, 2004  |  0 comments
Grokster, Ltd. plans to expand its Internet file-sharing services to include leveraging users' computers as sources for music streaming, according to news reports from Silicon Valley on Monday, November 15.
Kalman Rubinson  |  Nov 22, 2004  |  0 comments
At nearly simultaneous press receptions in London and New York on November 17, B&W unveiled its new 800 series loudspeakers, the first complete redesign of this respected and venerable line in more than six years. Wisely, the presentation began with cocktails and a surprisingly entertaining technical description of the innovations. The latter offered many reassurances that, although all aspects of the 800 line were examined, no changes were made simply for the sake of change, and the basic design principles withstood this re-examination. Thus, when we were, at last, treated to the displayed speakers themselves, we were not surprised that they greatly resembled their predecessors, and we focused, instead, on the new features.
Barry Willis  |  Nov 21, 2004  |  First Published: Nov 22, 2004  |  0 comments
Karmazin joins Sirius: The satellite radio service gained some serious traction in its recent acquisition of former Viacom, Inc. president Mel Karmazin. Just one month after signing "shock jock" Howard Stern to a multimillion-dollar contract, Sirius signed Karmazin to a five-year contract, bringing him in as its new chief executive officer. Joseph Clayton will relinquish the CEO title but remain chairman of the board. Karmazin departed Viacom in June and began discussions in earnest with Sirius after the satellite service landed Stern, in a move Karmazin described as "brilliant." Karmazin had previously dismissed the potential of satellite radio, but now believes it could be huge—larger, perhaps, than the growth he helped nurture at Infinity Broadcasting, which he took from a few stations to more than 200. Sirius stock rose more than 10% on the day Karmazin's contract was announced.
Keith Howard  |  Nov 21, 2004  |  0 comments
In the world of digital audio, jitter has been a focus of audiophile attention for well over a decade. It is blamed for many of the sonic ills of which CD and other digital media have been accused. But here's a puzzle: The major source of frequency intermodulation distortion in audio systems—the loudspeaker—has largely escaped such withering inquiry. Why?
Kalman Rubinson  |  Nov 21, 2004  |  0 comments
Non-audiophile friends and relatives raised their eyebrows when they saw the Classé Omega Omicron monoblocks. Not only is the Omicron more expensive than any other amp I've used; at 108 lbs, it's heavier than some of the speakers I've used. The Omicron is Classé's next-to-top-of-the-line amp in its Omega series, but is still definitely a "statement" product. Brian Damkroger reviewed the Omicron's big brother, the Omega Mono, in the July 2003 Stereophile. I refer you to that review for a more detailed description of the Omicron's basic circuitry.
Michael Fremer  |  Nov 21, 2004  |  0 comments
Sometimes you have to make peace with a loudspeaker. You have to accept it on its own terms rather than ask it to bend to your sonic wishes, or to be something it's not. This is especially true when you're auditioning a seemingly endless succession of them, as I have this year. Like beauty-pageant contestants parading across the stage, all different-looking yet all enticing in one way or another, each speaker I've listened to of late has sounded different from the rest, and each has had a unique combination of strengths and weaknesses—yet each has been sufficiently "in the pocket" to paint a credible musical picture. Nonetheless, some required more bending on my part than did others, in order for me to believe the musical portraits they were attempting to create.