Stereophile Staff  |  Jul 11, 1999  |  0 comments
The Jeff Rowland Design Group is alive and well and in no danger of going out of business. The company was the victim of hackers who recently broke into the company's website and posted a notice to the contrary.
Stereophile Staff  |  Jul 11, 1999  |  0 comments
According to a recent report released by Information Technology researchers Frost & Sullivan, the world Internet audio market generated revenues totaling $42 million in 1998, which dwarfs the 1997 revenues by 1516%. The report predicts that this market will continue growing at a healthy rate, achieving an increase into the triple percentage digits by the end of 1999.
Jon Iverson  |  Jul 11, 1999  |  0 comments
One would think that the Internet was growing crowded with online music retailers such as CDnow/N2K,, EveryCD, and Tower Records, just to name a few, all hustling CDs. But the lure of gold in them e-commerce hills is hard to resist. Last week, jumped into the fray and announced the launch of its own Music Store, featuring what the company describes as the first "online classical music superstore." Notably late to market with its online bookselling franchise, hopes to gain ground against arch-rival by expanding beyond books and better focusing on niche markets.
Barry Willis  |  Jul 11, 1999  |  0 comments
Last week, the Secure Digital Music Initiative announced that it would allow free MP3 downloads to co-exist with new encrypted forms of digital music transmission. Despite this, widespread concern in corporate legal departments about copyright-violation liability has prompted software developers to come up with blocking techniques to prevent pirated music from entering company "Intranets."
Stereophile Staff  |  Jul 11, 1999  |  0 comments
Wes Phillips writes, "I catch John's eye and wonder if he's pondering the same question I am: What were we thinking?" In addition to trying to push forward the limits of getting great sound onto tape, Stereophile's release of Rhapsody In Blue would offer the public a groundbreaking arrangement of George Gershwin's most popular orchestral work. In "The Rhapsody Project," Hyperion Knight and John Atkinson join Wes in chronicling their perspectives on the processes leading to this landmark recording.
Jonathan Scull  |  Jul 08, 1999  |  0 comments
One room at the 1999 CES in Las Vegas that knocked me for a loop was the Avalon/Classé installation mentioned in my April show report. Classé had just debuted the Omega preamp, the companion piece to the Omega amplifier I reviewed in March. It proved a very suave, musical, and high-performance marriage.
Larry Greenhill  |  Jul 08, 1999  |  0 comments
The patter of the snare drum began softly and I leaned forward in my seat. Avery Fisher Hall fell silent as Riccardo Muti led the New York Philharmonic in Ravel's Boléro. Ravel once described this masterpiece as "lasting 17 minutes and consisting wholly of orchestral texture without music—of one long, very gradual crescendo." Though the hall was silent and expectant, the stage was packed with musicians waiting for...what? To gradually join in, one by one and layer by layer, to drive that gentle but relentlessly mounting crescendo. Ravel accomplished this by "having solo instruments play the melody...[then progressing] to groups" and finally "arranging the scoring so that the dynamics are self-regulating" (footnote 1). When the final, thunderous E-major chord stopped the piece by locking "all its harmonic gears," the hall erupted in ecstatic applause, and we all leapt to our feet.
Stereophile  |  Jul 05, 1999  |  97 comments

As a follow-up to last week's question, we'd like to know what audio gear gets your vote for best-looking product of all time.

What's the best-looking audio product you've ever seen? Why?
Here it is:
86% (86 votes)
Don't have one
7% (7 votes)
Looks don't matter at all!
7% (7 votes)
Total votes: 100
Barry Willis  |  Jul 04, 1999  |  0 comments
Folk wisdom has it that it's wiser not to lock the gate after the horses have escaped. The Secure Digital Music Initiative, a consortium of 140 music, software, and hardware companies, has taken that adage to heart. In a significant departure from its original intent to block the distribution of free music on the Internet, the Secure Digital Music Initiative announced in the last week of June that its forthcoming specification for music software and hardware will accommodate the "legacy content" already in existence. There are reportedly as many as 500,000 songs available in the MP3 format, and they will continue to be available even as new, robustly encrypted music comes onto the market.
Stereophile Staff  |  Jul 04, 1999  |  0 comments
Want to start an argument on one of the audio newsgroups? Just mention ABX. Doesn't matter if you're for it, against it, or just curious about what it is---you'll start a fire that might take weeks to burn out. But before audio newsgroups even existed, J. Gordon Holt was probing the usefulness of the ABX Comparator in an "As We See It" column from 1982, "The Truth Should Out." His thoughts might surprise you.