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Barry Willis Posted: Oct 17, 1999 0 comments
It's five years from now. Wide bandwidth has made audio-on-demand as commonplace as ATM machines and cellular phones were in 1999. Music lovers can plug into the Internet from almost anywhere and download any tunes they wish to hear anytime they wish to hear them for only pennies per song. Portable devices the size of wristwatches contain entire libraries of music. Picture frames, computer screens, and ceiling tiles all double as loudspeakers. Intuitive programs suggest personal playlists based on databases of prior requests. People are awash in a sea of music.
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Stereophile Staff Posted: Oct 17, 1999 0 comments
Madrigal Audio Labs designed the original Mark Levinson No.30 nearly 10 years ago with the idea that, as a Reference Series product, it would never be made obsolete. John Atkinson reviews the No.30's latest upgrade, the Mark Levinson No.30.6 Reference D/A processor, after sending his personal unit from 1992 back to the factory for the required work. What he got back included new D/A converters in the unit's twin towers. Was it worth the effort, and does this processor still define the state of the art? You'll want to read his report to find out.
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Jon Iverson Posted: Oct 17, 1999 0 comments
One by one, the name brands of audio are confronting the difficult issue of whether or not to take their products online. Recent brands to join the club include Roksan, Chord Electronics, Harman/Kardon, and PS Audio. Now it's time to add one of audio's deeply rooted loudspeaker marques, Celestion, to the list.
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Jon Iverson Posted: Oct 10, 1999 0 comments
Last week, IBM announced a new device that it says will allow mobile users to add an extra 10 gigabytes (GB) of hard-drive capacity to their notebook PCs. Why is this important to audio fans? IBM is intending the new drive, called the Travelstar E, to primarily appeal to those wanting to take extended music libraries with them on the road.
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Stereophile Staff Posted: Oct 10, 1999 0 comments
The ultra-High End may be stagnant in some areas, but the rebound in mainstream consumer electronics is visible everywhere. Canton, Massachusetts-based Tweeter Home Entertainment Group has announced record results for the quarter ended September 30, 1999: an increase of 39.5%, or $74.6 million compared to $53.5 million in the same period last year. The results are similar to those posted recently by nationwide electronics chain Best Buy, which also had a record quarter. Tweeter's comparable store sales increased 5.2%, not counting results from the recently acquired Home Entertainment and DOW Stereo/Video chains.
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Stereophile Staff Posted: Oct 10, 1999 0 comments
Hoping to "forever alter the way people shop for medium to high-end home entertainment products," KnowledgeLINK has launched its e-commerce website, GetPlugged.com, which it claims will "educate and entertain consumers, and seamlessly link them with the nation's best A/V specialty retailers and custom installers." The site offers what it calls "a highly informative, fun, uniquely interactive shopping experience for the audio-video consumer."
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Barry Willis Posted: Oct 10, 1999 0 comments
High-end digital audio's rapid advancements are pushing integrated circuit designers to exceed their previous limits. San Diego-based AKM Semiconductor has joined the chip elite with two new digital-to-analog devices that further push the performance envelope. The AK4394 is a 24-bit/192kHz stereo DAC based on Asahi Kasei Microsystems' advanced multi-bit delta-sigma technology. Its sibling, the AK4356, is a 24-bit/192kHz, six-channel DAC based on the same technology, but boasting a useful and fascinating array of features.
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Jon Iverson Posted: Oct 10, 1999 0 comments
This may come as no surprise to Stereophile's website audience, but a report released last week finds that the heaviest users of the World Wide Web are also avid consumers of traditional media, listening to CDs and radio and watching television as they point their browsers to e-commerce, informational, and recreational sites.
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Stereophile Staff Posted: Oct 10, 1999 0 comments
In his review of the Wadia 830 CD player, Brian Damkroger states: "My take on the Wadia was that: a) it probably wasn't going to sound that much better than the best of the $1000-ish players I had around, and b) even if it did, the differences wouldn't matter enough to me to justify its cost. My audio path took a dramatic turn one weekend, however, when a pair of cable manufacturers stopped by to demo their new products." Read about his journey and the ultimate audio destination will be revealed.
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Barry Willis Posted: Oct 03, 1999 0 comments
Nearly six years after suffering a debilitating stroke, Sony Corporation co-founder Akio Morita has died. One of the world's most charismatic business executives, Morita succumbed to pneumonia on Sunday, October 3, in Tokyo. He was 78.
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Stereophile Staff Posted: Oct 03, 1999 0 comments
In his review of the VTL MB750 monoblock power amplifier, Brian Damkroger asks: "How much power do you really need? What does it do for you, anyway?" His answer may surprise you. Also added to the Archives this week is Damkroger's in-depth history lesson and interview with the man behind the company, "Making Tubes User-Friendly: Luke Manley of VTL."
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Stereophile Staff Posted: Oct 03, 1999 0 comments
Last week, Peavey Electronics and Digital Harmony announced a licensing agreement that they say aims to revolutionize audio production, music publishing, and distribution. By licensing Digital Harmony Pro technology, Peavey says it plans to create the pro-audio industry's first non-proprietary 1394-equipped digital audio products and systems.
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Barry Willis Posted: Oct 03, 1999 0 comments
How would you like to make a full 650Mb compilation CD of your favorite music in less than 10 minutes? That's what TDK is promising with its new veloCD ReWriter drive, to be shipped to dealers later this fall.
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Stereophile Staff Posted: Oct 03, 1999 0 comments
MP3 players are going to hit the market in waves this fall, and manufacturers will be trying hard to make their products stand out from the pack. Several companies are bringing out combi MP3/CD portables, including consumer-electronics newcomer Pine Technology USA, of Fremont, California. Pine has long experience in the manufacture of motherboards, modems, and other computer components. The company is now shipping its $189 D'Music SM-320V MP3 portable. Its $219 model SM-320 includes an FM tuner. Both players have 32Mb of embedded solid-state memory and will accept a 32Mb SmartMedia card. Pine's players operate on two AAA batteries, and can double as voice recorders with up to 4.5 hours of recording capacity. Retailers include Fry's Electronics and Office Depot.
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Jon Iverson Posted: Oct 03, 1999 0 comments
One of the challenges facing audio equipment manufacturers as we enter the Internet age is how to handle online retailing of products to consumers. A manufacturer that has so far shunned mail-order in favor of bricks-and-mortar retailing runs the risk of alienating its established distribution base by jumping online ("mail order with a web address"), where traditional territorial sales boundaries are often rendered meaningless.

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