THE ABSOLUTE SOUND (February/March) - The 20th Anniversary Victoria LE speakers and 12.2 subwoofer are on the cover and this is the 200 Product of the Year Awards issue. The editors pick their top hi-res digital disc players and there are five in-depth reviews of players: Meridian G08, Marantz SA-11S1, Denon, Simaudio and Esoteric. The control unit and amplifier in Meridians G series are also reviewed, as are a new Magnum-Dynalab FM tuner, Goldring Turntable, Manley phono preamp, integrated amps from Chord, Edge and Musical Fidelity and speakers from PSB and McIntosh. HP has assembled a new Super Disc List, discovered some exceptional SACDs, and there is a feature on the best boxed sets of 2004.
THE ABSOLUTE SOUND (December/January) - This is the 2004 Golden Ear Awards issue, listing the editors' choices of great gear and music. Two preamps are on the cover - the Aesthetix Calypso and Conrad-Johnson's Premier 18LS. The latter shows a Theater setting on the front panel, but since the C-J basic amp it is paired with in the review inside is only two-channel, I gather so is the preamp. An article on Apple's iPod is subtitled The Travails of Downloading Music, but actually it describes that process as going rather smoothly. The travails occur when comparing downloads or data-reducing CDs to 44.1K PCM; the writer describes it as losing all the flesh and insides of a body and ending up with only a skeleton. Speakers from Kharma, Krell, Totem, Von Schweikert and Gershman are reviewed, plus the Prima Luna integrated tube amp and VPI TNT XR-X turntable (for which no price is listed so it must very dear). In a special feature several experts weigh in on What Components Matter Most? There are 20 pages of music reviews.
THE PERFECT VISION (January/February) - Uma is engaged in killing Bill on the new Mitsubishi DLP HDTV on the cover and reviewed inside. This is the Best of the Year Awards issue. There is a feature on new HDTV displays (above $5000) from Sony, RCA, Toshiba, Sharp & Optoma. Mirages revolutionary Omnisat speaker is covered, as well as AV receivers from Pioneer and Arcam. In the software section 25 DVDs are reviewed. Other reviews inside: Genesis 6.1 speaker system, Focal Chorus S multichannel speaker system, Gefen Ex-Tend-It HDTV switcher and DVI repeater, PSB Image T55 speaker system, DVDO iScan HD hi-res video processor.
THE PERFECT VISION (Winter 2005) - The TAS spin-off devoted to home theater news and reviews provides its 2005 Buyer's Guide in this issue. There are 24 pages of Editors' Choice awards for best AV gear. No in-depth reviews appear, but most of the components listed have short reviews. Confused About HDTV? is a useful feature for beginners, and a big DVD list of over 300 recommended movies is here. Other articles get readers started on selecting a suitable video display and calibrating it, finding a proper subwoofer and other basics. Another section profiles hot new products coming in 2005.
DVD ETC. (March/April) - Hot New Theater Products for Any Budget is the major cover story. The Test Center evaluates the Yamaha 7.1 channel AV receiver, MBL 7.1 Surround Cinema speakers, V Inc. Vizio 42-inch HD Plasma display, Thiel Viewpoint speakers, sub and passive crossover, DVDOs iScan video scaling engine, and outdoor speakers from JBL, Infinity and Polk. Other cover reviews are JVCs 26-inch LCD display, Energys act6 sub/satellite system, Onkyos THX Universal disc player and BENQs 23-inch LCD widescreen PC monitor. There is a look at Adobes Encore software for production of 5.1 DVDs.
HDTV ETC. (February/March) - Stacked on the front cover are two plasma tabletop displays - that of V Inc., which comes with Thiel speakers, and a Toshiba 42-inch. Under them is the DVDO iScan HD video scaler also reviewed by The Perfect Vision. Special features include Is HDTV Complex Enough?, HD-DVD Coming Soon. The Buyers Guide is on Hi-def receivers and the Test Center tests the Video ReQuest System, which is a special controller for a DVD Changer. The Hi-def Home Theater section looks at Philips 42-inch Ambilight Plasma, NECs HT1100 budget projector (but still $4000!), and KEFs Instant Theater for under $1,500 (thats the HTiB speaker set with the two speakers that look like Super 8 movie cameras with very large lenses). A Programming Guide to new HD for 2005 is also provided.
WIDESCREEN REVIEW (February) - Julianne Moore races toward us on the cover, tied in with the DVD release of The Forgotten. Studios Split Support for HD Formats is the feature story and a sad situation it is. There is an overview of DTS-HD and Anatomy of a Digital Projector is another feature. Among the products in review is again the DVDO iScan HD video processor - that unit is certainly getting around! Also Toshibas 52HM84 DLP RPTV. There are over 40 DVD reviews this issue. Affordable Home Theatre has some good suggestions in setting up a HT room for the rest of us. Not counting the display, investment totaled under $4000 for all the audio equipment and installation. This was for a third HT area in the same clients home - this time for his bedroom.
WIDESCREEN REVIEW (January) - The Products in Review on this cover are Sony's DVP-N975V DVD/SACD Player - which at $299 was found to be a bargain, producing excellent video and with built-in DTS and Dolby decoders. (However neither SACD nor CD playback was ever listened to.) The other cover review is another Sony product - the KD-34 XBR960 HDTV. The Asian launch of HD DVDs spells problems for U.S. studios who were hoping for one worldwide format. All are red laser systems - three developed in China plus one called HVD and another called EVD. One Chinese company said it has an agreement with a European distributor to sell a million HDV players there.
SOUND & VISION (February/March) - Plasma vs. LCD is the title of a cover feature. 3 Bargain HDTVs, Feature-packed DVD Recorders (from Sony, Philips and JVC), Satellite Radio in Your Pocket, and How to Avoid Setup Screwups are some of the article features, and there is a special report on the high-def DVD. Cover components reviewed are Sonys high-def DVD player, a Hitachi Plasma HDTV and Mini speakers from Mirage. The Sonos multizone digital music system is reviewed and there is a quick take on Polks XRt12 XM Radio tuner. Ken Pohlmann writes on DVD-A & SACD M.I.A.
SOUND & VISION (January) - Has Spidey on the cover, and a feature on the web-slinger's director Sam Raimi inside. Finding the Perfect HDTV, DVD Player and Home Theater Speakers is the subject of the cover story. Music Everywhere is about four different whole-house audio systems, and Get HDTV for Free! is on OTA (Over the Air) reception of HDTV using an outdoor antenna (remember those?). Cover reviews listed are LG's 60-inch plasma HDTV, Samsung's DVD Bargain (DVD-HD841), Denon's latest Universal DVD player (DVD-3910), and JVC's 52-inch RP HDTV. The editorial is on Two Many Choices, and that's a mouthful. Two softwares for putting your home movies on DVD are reviewed, and there's a story on Telarc's recording of their Berlioz Requiem in surround. Other gear: Mordaunt-Short genie home theater speaker system, RCA MSN TV 2 Net media player.
STEREOPHILE ULTIMATE AV (January) - The InFocus 777 ScreenPlay 3-chip DLP projector is on the cover and reviewed in depth. Over 50 recommended video components are rated and reviewed, and Sharp's Aquos LC-45GX6U integrated 1920 x 1080 LCD HDTV is reviewed. Special feature articles are Sci-Fi on DVD, and Test Your Home Theater IQ - the latter by Stereophile's founder J. Gordon Holt. Other reviews: Mitsubishi HC2000 front DLP projector, V Inc Vizio RP56 DLP RP HDTV, Projectiondesign USA Action MK II front DLP projector. Michael Fremer writes an homage to a 20-year-old NAD 20-inch TV.
HI-FI NEWS (February) - Described as egg-shaped excellence, the Eclipse Time Domain speakers grace the cover of this issue - just the thing for the audiophile who wants something that looks completely different. Flying Moles bargain digital amp is another review, plus a system matched components from Accuphase and Spectral. The Story of Stereo is Barry Foxs summary of early audio history, including binaural. (He obviously didnt know my first book had exactly the same title.) Other cover reviews are Krells affordable? KAV preamp/power amp combo, Audio Physics Tempo speakers from Germany, and a moving coil pickup from South Africa - The Blue Angel. The separate AVTech publication included has reviews of AV gear from Philips, Pioneer, Denon, InFocus, Mordaunt Short and Sky+.
HI-FI NEWS (January) - This is the Awards 2004 Issue - the best of hi-fi for the year. Three reviews are highlighted on the cover: Musical Fidelitys A5 CD player and amp, Michells Orbe turntable, and a surround system using all Martin Logan speakers. Some of the component reviews inside: Marantz SA-8400 SACD player, Precide Syrinx speaker, Boulder 1010/1060 preamp/power amp, Leema Acoustics Xavier speaker, Audio Lo Sfizio integrate tube amp, Monster HTS 100 AC filer, Isotek system enhancing CD. Barry Fox writes on a developing altercation between the MLP lossless codec and the new DTS lossless codec for HDTV.
DVD ETC. (January/February) - This is the 2004 Top Choice Awards issue and the Seinfeld crew is on the cover to promote a review of their DVD sets. Unlike the other pubs' awards, there are no mini-reviews of the components - just a reference to which past issue they were reviewed in. New video games for 2005 is another special feature. The directors interviews are with Danny DeVito and Chris Carter. A buyers' guide focuses on DVD/VHS Combo and single-disc players. The Test Center tests: Humax DRT800 Tivo/DVD Recorder, V Inc. Bravo D2 DVD Player, speakers from MB Quart (Vera Ensemble) and PSB (Image Series), an NAD AV receiver, a portable DVD player with a 10-inch screen from CyberHome, and many different cables.
HDTV ETC. (December-January) - Four DLP projectors are reviewed and compared in the main cover story: from Infocus, Sharp, SIM2 and BenQ. The Marantz P5040D 50-inch plasma display is another cover feature. Big Screen Alternatives, New HDTV Products, and an HDTV Programming Update and Guide are special features. The buyers' guide lists more than 150 front video projectors. First Look cover Monster's home theater speakers, the M*Design Eleganza. Directors interviewed this issue are Amanda Tapping of Stargate SG-1 and Roland Emmerich of The Day After Tomorrow. In the Hi-Def Home Theater Section Paradigm's Signature speaker ensemble, Anthem's processor and amp, Krell's Resolution speaker system, and four new cables are reviewed.
AUDIO IDEAS GUIDE (Fall 2004) - Clearaudios Emotion turntable is on the cover, called affordable, excellent and elegant. DVD recorders from Panasonic, Pioneer and Sony are reviewed, also the SIM2 Domino 30 HD video projector, some desktop nearfield monitor speakers, XLOs best balanced audio interconnects, Dahlquists QX home theater speaker system, The Omni 250 speakers and subs from Mirage and speakers from Energy and Paradigm Reference. Andrew Marshall waxes poetically about Zanders Mahler Third on Telarc SACD, and other gear includes BenQ PE8700 front projector, Rotel RSP-1098 preamp processor, Yamaha RX-V1400 7-channel receiver, Dynavector DV-20X H MC cartridge, Aurum Acoustics Integris audio system. Theres also an essay on the restoration of tango music.
BOUND For SOUND (Issue #161) - Opens with commentary by editor Martin DeWulf on the art of reviewing and the old question of Subjective or Objective approach, plus some other audio news. Reviews are of the Resolution Audio Opus 21 CD Player and the Fried Studio 7 loudspeaker.
AES JOURNAL (December) - The journals of the Audio Engineering Society are always a bit behind. They are available to members online at www.aes.org/journal/online/ In this issue: Papers on Comparison of Subtractive and Nonsubtractive Dither, Predicting Perception of Distortion, Redesign of the Carrie Chang Music Hall, and Zero-Impedance Loudspeaker Surface. There is feature on Real-World Applications of AES47, on Digital Radio, a Call for Papers for the 12th regional convention, and News of the local AES sections.
MULTI MEDIA MANUFACTURER (January/February) - This professional journal has articles on chip manufacturer Wolfson, Smart Offshore Sourcing, Component Specs and Product Economics, and The SA 8000 Standard of working conditions. Larry Klein writes fondly about kits and Barry Fox touches on DCC, Cell Fi and Uploaders. New Chips on the Block reviews a headphone driver from TI.
AUDIO XPRESS (February) - Cover-featured articles: Transformer Myths Debunked, Driver Specs Made Easy, A High End Preamp for Todays Audiophile, Build a Complete Audio Setup Starting with a Tube Amp, Tweeter Fix for Vintage Horns, Protect Yourself from Shock Hazards, Standard for Testing Tubes, D.H. Labs New Cables.
AUDIO XPRESS (January) - Vintage Dutch Tube Amps Uncovered, Build This Mini Sub for Home/Car Use, Low-Cost Low-Noise Detector, Secrets Behind a Super BIG Horn, Makeover for a Classic Amp, Tricks With Transformers, plus Audio CD Reviews.
SURROUND PROFESSIONAL (Vol. 7, Issue 3) - This is the official show program for the recent 6th Annual International Surround Conference & Showcase in Hollywood. "Musicians for Surround" has Herbie Hancock, Peter Frampton and others speaking on how multichannel music has changed the way they create. There is a directory of the exhibitors at the show and a listing of all the Surround Music Awards made at the event. "I Will Never Do Another Record in Stereo" is a resolve by producer Steve Harvey to work in multichannel forever. He also writes on The Practical Web Codec. Gear reviews include the DTS Pro Series Surround Encoder and Yamaha DM1000 digital production.
THE BAS SPEAKER (Vol. 26 No. 3) - The latest unadorned issue of the newsletter of the Boston Audio Society is chock full of interesting stuff you won't find in any of the other audio publications. Four past meetings are reported and discussed: one on the RPG Diffusor Systems, one on Earthworks speakers - who have some interesting observations on bandwidth and mics as well as on speakers, one on venue acoustics with David Griesinger and Leo Beranek, and one with a detailed story of the development and design of the new BeoLab 5 speaker system. The VC-9 Controversy is about whether SMPTE will approve MicroSoft's Windows Media Video codec for possible professional video useage. Titles of some of the Open Forum items: Mo' Better Surrounder Surrounder, Novel Simulcasts, Hi-Rez Overcomes - Doesn't Solve, Web Radio Free for All, Double-Resolution DLP, Greedy Studios Make DVDs Not So Special, Gasketed Klipschorns Unleashed, Time for a New Surround-Sound Standard.
BBC MUSIC (December ) - Kings of Christmas is the title of the cover story showing two young choristers. It asks Is there a future for the chorister in the 21st century? I Saw Three Ships unlocks the strange world of traditional Christmas carols, Cheap Thrills reveals why our symphony orchestras are paid so little, and Hollywood Great is the last interview with composer Elmer Bernstein. The greatest recordings of Madam Butterfly are listed and discussed, and the CD of the month is a lovely BBC recording titled Russian Christmas - All Tchaikovsky works including The Snow Main Suite and the Winter Dreams Symphony (No. 1). 160 CDs, books and DVDs are reviewed.
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