SURVEY OF THE AUDIO & HOME
THEATER PRINT PRESS
[Presented in cooperation with L.A. AUDIO FILE. If you can't find any of these magazines at your local audio salon or newsstand, complete details will be found here in our Audio Bibliography.]
HI-FI NEWS = The cover of the December issue is graced by the massive 70-lb 100 watt Class A MOSFET monoblock amp from Tim De Paravicini, which sells for £20,000 a channel. Modest small mini-monitor speakers from B&W, JM Lab, Mission, Monitor Audio, Tannoy and Wharfedale are tests and all are found wanting. The Weighting Game discuss the importance of applying the correct weighting scheme to traditional distortion measurements in order to get a more accurate picture of how a component actually sounds. The magazine's contributors pick their Hot 100 component best buys and Sony's latest entry-level multichannel SACD player is surveyed (SCD-XE670). Reviewer Andrew Harrison opines: "the next generation of SACD players from Sony scores above every DVD-A player we've seen." Other components reviewed: Primare D30.2 CD player and A30.1 and !30.2 amps, Shearne Phase 7 CD Player, Spendor S3 speaker, Elac Imago S80/60 panel speaker, Theta Digital Intrepid amp, Musical Fidelity A3 integrated, Infinity Alpha 30 speaker, Conrad-Johnson MV60 amp.
THE ABSOLUTE SOUND = Their Golden Ear 2001 Awards covers the best components and recordings as selected by their writers. Nine of them are pictured on the cover of the December-January issue. Included are: Accusonic MB400 amp, Alon Exotica Grand Reference Speaker System, Basis Debut MKV turntable with Graham 2.2 tonearm, BAT VK-755E amp, Bryston 14B Amp & BP-25 preamp, Coincident Speaker Technology Total Eclipse, Dynaudio Temptation speaker & DV XV1 MC cartridge, Energy Veritas 2.3 speaker, Harberth Monitor 40 speaker, Hovland HP-100 preamp, Kimber Cable Select KS-1010 & 1021, Krell 25sc Line Stage/KPE Reference phonostage preamp system, Krell LAT-1 speaker, Lamm ML1 monoblock amps, Linn CD-12 CD player, M&K subwoofer, Mark Levinson 360s DAC, Meridian 861 AV preamp, Perpetual Tech P-1A speaker correction device, Quad ESL-988 speaker, 99 Preamp & 909 amp, Revel F30 Performa speaker & B15 subwoofer, Rotel RB-1090 amp, Silverline Sonata speaker, Sony SCD-XA777ES multichannel SACD player, Theta Dreadnought, VTL ST-150 amp, VPI SDS speed controller, Z Systems rdp-1 digital preamp/equalizer. There is an obit on audio designer Sid Smith and two think pieces on SACD: one titled "SACD vs. DVD-A: Is It Over?" (Which concludes it was when Universal announced they were supporting SACD) and a second article (by Meridian's Robert Stuart) titled "It's Not All Over!"
HOME THEATER = The recently-received November issue's busy cover promotes The Best Home Theater for Your $$$, Loudspeaker Mania (reviews of models from B&W, Definitive, Haybrook, Klipsch, Mark Levinson, Mirage, M&K, NHT, Paradigm, Polk, Revel, Snell & Whise), a first look at Lexicon's new MC-12 amazingly versatile preamp/processor, and Tom Holman Unleashes 10.2-Channel Sound. They go nuts for the Lexicon, praising its unbeatable performance and futureproofing (depending on options the SRP runs from $9000 to $12,000). Feature articles cover coming copyright litigation, the PC audio explosion, and where to find budget gear. Other components: Meridian 596 DVD player, RCA 38-inch CRT HDTV.
THE SENSIBLE SOUND= In their November/December issue, celebrating their 25th year of publication, Recommended Components from their writers are the order of the day. There are also reviews of subwoofers from PSB, HSU and SV, as well as a complete Linn system and the Neosonik Z1 speaker. Just a few of their staff picks: PSB Alpha speakersk, Velodyne HGS-10 and -12 subs, Rane ME-60 equalizer, Technics DVD-A120 player, Bryston 2B-ST amp, AudioSource Amp One, Phase Technology Teatro 7.5s speaker, Audible Illusions Modulus 3A preamp, Rega Planar 3 Turntable, Paradigm Atom speaker, Sony MDR-IF5000 headphones. Also four pages plus of DVD-Audio disc reviews.
BOUND FOR SOUND = Issue #139, published October, has a feature think piece, "Where Has the Excitement Gone?" Publisher Martin DeWulf finds that audio manufacturers are producing fewer and fewer exciting products year after year and the "flagship" products are reaching absurd price points. He claims many companies prefer not to sell affordable components because they make more selling just a few top-of-the-line products with a huge markup. News items this issue of the non advertising newsletter include a preliminary rave about a new $400 digital upsampler from GW Labs. Components reviewed: ACI Jaguar speaker, Titan II subwoofer, PBM Montana KAS speaker, the "m" amp from Andy Bartha Audio.
STEREOPHILE = The November issue just received has Classé's new Omega SACD player on the cover, billed as the First North American SACD player. Digital Active speakers from Meridian arecalled the ultimate, Cable Theory is explored and the pop disc reviews feature David Byrne and Duane Allman. Reflections, Echoes & Music examines whether impedance matching is as important as some engineers would have it. In his editorial Barry Willis comments on the difficult the outside world has in recognizing the merits of the audiophile quest. Other components this issue: Westlake Audio Lc5.75F speaker, Mirage OM-7 speaker, Nordost Valhalla interconnect and speaker cable, also cables from Synergistic Research, Designers' Reference, Alpha Quad; Ayre K-3x preamp, Bel Canto eVo 200.2 amp, Herron Audio M150 monoblock amp.
STEREOPHILE GUIDE TO HOME THEATER = The Editors' Gift Guide to Tech Toys is the cover feature for December. Lexicon's MC-12 processor is on the cover and reviewed in depth, the first new Superbit DVDs are reviewed, and among the cover-promoted holiday gear reviewed are Monitor's Gold Reference Speakers, Pioneer's Elite DV-37 DVD Player, Marantz' Plasma monitor, the Plus Piano DLP projector, Panasonic HDTV and Rotel amp. PC Cinema and PVRs Come to the PC are two articles on the convergence of computers and video, and Michael Fremer writes about the loss of most of the HDTV transmissions in New York City due to the 9/11 attack. Five movie DVDs are reviewed.
AUDIO IDEAS GUIDE = The Fall 2001 issue pictures an active two-way speaker system from PMC using AND & PSB HT components. Other cover mentions are the return of Dahlquist speakers, a Pioneer Elite PRO710 64 inch RPTV, Pioneer Elite DV-38A DVD-A player, Roksan Kandy amp, and Upsamling plus 96K DACs from Perceptual Technologies, Assemblage and MSB. Car MP3, Cables & Accessories, and an interview with the CEO of Cirrus Logic are other features. Publisher Andrew Marshall asks whether both SACD and DVD-A can survive separately.
AUDIO XPRESS = The November issue sports cover features on Building Better Bass for Your Computer's Sound, How to Choose Electronic Parts, A Bi-Amped Monitor Speaker System, Building a Sijple 3-Way Speaker, Constructing a Unique Planar-Triode Preamp, Building High-Quality Switchmode Power, and reviews of the PSB Stratus Silver speakers and Onkyo's Home Theater Receiver.
The December issue covers: A Simple Excellent Amp for First-Timers, Doing Passive LP Equalizers Right, A Pro Monitor You Can Build, Speaker Building Methods That Work, A Unhique Very High Quality SE amp, Superior Sound for Your Computer, and reviews of Rane's Super-Active Crossover and A Great Training Regimen for Your Ears. Publisher Ed Dell writes on Audio Evangelism in his editorial.
CONSUMER REPORTS (Dec.) = The December issue of Consumer Reports reviews DVD players, VCRs, DVRs, and TV sets of 27-inch, 32-inch, and 36-inch sizes. Sony does particularly well, scoring top ratings in the 27-inch (the $600 KV-27FS13 and $800 KV 27FV17), 32-inch (the $1,300 KV-32FV27), 36-inch (the $1,300 KV-36FS13), and HD ready categories of TV monitors (the $2,000 KV-32BR450), as well as in the VCR category (the $130 SLV-N71) and standard multi-disc DVD player (the$250n DVP-NC600) and progressive-scan single-disc DVD player categories (the $300 DVP-NS700P). Toshiba tops the standard single-disc DVD player list (the $250 SD-2300) and JVC tops the S-VHS VCR category (the $200 HR-S3800). - RN
LISTENER (Nov/Dec) = Herb Reichert reviews the $895/pair Spendor S3/5 loudspeaker system: "Eversince the S3/5s entered my system, I've been obsessed with the art and craft of songwriting. I feel that when I have these little speakers hooked up instead of my reference Spender SP1/2s, I am understanding not just the words, but also the music better...The S3/5s are short on bass and beef, butthey got all the tomatoes and spices and rich flavor. They win because they don't do hi-fi posting. They win because they understand artists. Instead of hi-fi, they play attitude and charisma. We listeners all win because whoever designed the Spendor S3/5s knew what he or she was looking for."
Also in this issue: Subway Survey No. 2. "The subwoofer survey of your dreams," says the publication. Subwoofers from Linn, Hsu, REL, and Spendor are included in the survey. Also reviewed: The Beauhordn Virtuoso loudspeaker system, the Croft Vitale preamplifier, and the Incognito arm cable kit. - RN
INTERNATIONAL RECORD REVIEW = for November has Richard Hickox on the cover and discusses his new recording of the music of Bridge, and a feature article on the Eighth String Quartet of Shostakovich on recordings. Sinopoli's recording of the opera Ariadne auf Naxos is featured. Several pages of music DVD reviews and new books on music round out the issue.
The December issue has Angela Gheorghiu and Roberto Alagna on the cover due to their new film version of Puccini's Tosca along with its EMI soundtrack CD. A Celebration on Record of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Isaac Stern Remembered are two other features for the month.
BBC MUSIC MAGAZINE = for November reviews 150 CDs and the cover feature article is on Benjamin Britten, asking if his reputation stands up to scrutiny 25 years after his death. Other articles are on Cecilia Bartoli's recording of undiscovered Gluck and How Hitler's passion for the arts shaped his politics. The included CD for the month is the Grieg Piano Concerto paired with the Dvorak Cello Concerto.
The December 2001 issue lists their Top 60 CDs of the year. 200 CDs are reviewed this month and cover stories include How Composers Conjure Up Winter, Brilliant Gadgets and Gifts for Audio-Lovers, and Christmas with Bing and Carol. The included CD of the month is Haydn's The Creation.
JOURNAL OF THE AUDIO ENGINEERING SOCIETY = The October journal, just received, has a report on the 10th Tokyo Regional Convention, Standards sections on both Disk Formats for File Exchange and Loudspeaker Patch Panels, and papers on Synthesis and Compendium of Reverberation Issues, and Localization Accuracy in Auditory Displays.
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