SURVEY OF THE AUDIO & HOME
THEATER PRINT PRESS
Updated 8/19/03


HI-FI NEWS (August) = The stack of five components on the front cover are the cost-no-object 20th-anniversary expression of Musical Fidelity’s skills in building amps. The stack consists of the two-channel Tri-Vista kWP preamp, its separate power supply, the kW 1000-watt-per-channel amp power supply, and the pair of separate monoblock amps. The huge wattage is combined with an incredibly high input impedance at the preamp. Total cost: £22,500. The survey of set-top boxes, which might at first sight intrigue U.S. readers, surveys UK-system digital terrestrial receivers for both TV and DAB radio broadcast. (By the way, whatever happened to DAB in the U.S.?) “Jitter Revisited” is an interesting investigation into the artifact that became a huge issue in audio about a decade ago. Author Keith Howard concludes that the best CD players today generate so little jitter as for it to be a non-issue. Barry Fox grouses about Toshiba and Warner Bros. having rushed the DVD system to market without designing it to accept hybrid discs (with a standard CD layer).

HI-FI NEWS (September) = Displays the Denon DVD-2900 on the cover in a feature titled "One For All" (also reviewed in this issue of AUDIOPHILE AUDITION). Other cover items are an exclusive on Wilson Audio's Alexandria speakers and products from Edge (Signature One battery preamp), Brinkmann (La Grange turntable), Mark Levinson (No.383 integrated amp), Omen Ra (18:12 digitally-EQ'd speakers), Nordost (Valkyrja Reference cables), Revel (Performa M20 affordable high end speakers), ATC (2-way active speakers) and Mirage (Omnisat Micro satellites and LF100 sub). There's a piece on the first company to come up with a system for transmitting true CD-quality PCM stereo over Bluetooth wireless networks. Barry Fox explains why the compact cassette lives on and Ken Kessler remembers the late David Hafler. Other components: Primare AV processor, Feet of Silence, NAD phono stage, Altmann UPCI jitter-buster.

SOUND & VISION (September) = So much gear on the cover it's impossible to identify what's what. "Find Your Perfect Speaker" is the big feature story. Also 10 Ways to Bigger, Better Bass!, Sleek Speakers for Your Plasma TV, and "Aural Oddities" - the World's Weirdest Speakers. Cover reviews listed are Yamaha's Wi-Fi Music System, Six different home theater speaker systems, B&O's cutting-edge speaker, Sony's 400-DVD changer, JVC's THX receiver, and Zenith's affordable HDTV. "Sonic Signatures" evaluates three speaker systems using dynamic, horn and electrostatic approaches to see if they really do sound entirely different from one another. Also reviewed: Toshiba SD-P2500 portable DVD player and Go-Video D2730 networked DVD player.

STEREOPHILE (August) = "Tubes for Everyman" is the main cover feature, depicting Audio Research's VS110 & SP16L preamp and amp. Esoteric's DV-50 universal disc player and amps from Mark Levinson, Cary, Naim & Musical Fidelity are reviewed in this special amplifier issue, plus a survey of phono stages. Roseanne Cash is interviewed. There are five follow-Ups on the Classe Omega SACD player, Grace 901 headphone amp, Meridian 800 DVD-A player and Meridian 861 surround sound controller, and PBN Montana SP3 loudspeaker. Art Dudley reviews the Musical Fidelity A3.2 and Naim Nait 5 integrateds. Recording of the Month is Led Zeppelin's How the West Was Won.

STEREOPHILE (July) = Classe’s giant Omega amp graces the front cover and is dubbed “Ultimate Amplification from Canada.” Other cover items are another cost-no-object preamp - the NAC 552 from Naim, affordable amps from NAD and Rotel, Spendor’s S3/5se speakers (called high-value), and highly advanced European turntables from Clearaudio and V.Y.G.E.R. CDs from violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter are the focus in the music review section and there is a new Stereophile Test and Sampler CD, “Editor’s Choice,” along with a technical run-down by John Atkinson on all the Stereophile CDs issued over the last decade or so. Vivaldi’s La Stravaganza (which we also reviewed in our Hi-Res section this month) is the pub’s ‘Recording of the Month.” Other components reviewed: Benz Micro L2 MC phono cartridge, Rives Audio PARC equalizer.

STEREOPHILE GUIDE TO HOME THEATER (July) = has the Mark Levinson/Madrigal Audio No. 40 AV Preamp-Processor on the cover, calling it State of the Art. An exclusive feature on a new plasma screen from V Inc. shares with an article titled “Stereo Home Theater: Will It Work for You?” which is basically another two-channel vs. surround debate between Steve Guttenberg and Thomas Norton, only this time based in the HT world. In his article, Russ Herschelmann says corner subs are a bad idea. Other reviewed equipment: Polk LSi9 surround speaker system, NEC HT1000 DLP projector, Audio Refinement Pre-2DSP & Multi-5 preamp processor & multichannel power amp, Outlaw 950 & 770 preamp-processor & 7-channel power amp, Meridian 568.2MM & 598DP preamp-processor & DVD-Audio player.

THE ABSOLUTE SOUND = For August/September the word is "Fantastico!" as Italian Sound & Beauty from Sonus Faber speakers are displayed on the front cover. "A Classic Redefined" is the title of a review of Wilson's new WATT/Puppy 7 speaker system, Tubed electronics from BAT and Air Tight are featured and more than 50 new discs are reviewed. This is the Super Components List issue, and 34 recommended speakers under $2500 are also listed. The Industry News covers the new Sony hybrid SACD plant in Terre Haute, Indiana; Robert Harley writes on Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Turntables; and several SACDs are reviewed in the New Formats section, along with a list of the 22 best SACDs TAS has selected.

THE ABSOLUTE SOUND = The June/July issue has Musical Fidelity’s Tri Vista 300 integrated amp with separate power supply (so how is it integrated?) on the front cover, along with a feature on Audio Research’s Affordable Tube Electronics, Tuner Survey & Tips, Over 50 new music reviews, HP on the Dark Side of the Moon SACD, and this is also the bi monthly’s annual Recommended Systems issue. Another 30th Anniversary feature is a 1978 reprint of HP’s review of the QRS-1D speaker, which used mid/tweeter panels from Infinity and bass unit from Magnepan. Other components covered: Well-Tempered Lab arm & turntable, Philips DVD 962A DVD/SACD player, Genelec S30D Active Loudspeaker, Parasound Halo JC1 mono amp, Plinius SA-102 power amp.

WIDESCREEN REVIEW (September) = Faces from Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers grace the cover. Sony's Michael Fidler holds forth on the Blu-ray laser High-Def DVD, there's a feature on DVE Video Test Patterns, a review of the Odeon Amp from Plinius Audio, Outlaw's models 950 & 7100, the Goldmund Eidos 38D DVD player, and V's Bravo D1 DVI DVD player. The issue carries over 40 DVD and D-VHS (high-def) video reviews. Paul Sweeting asks Can a Business Be Built on Early Adopters? Other equipment reviews: MAZZ 1400 D-ILA projector, Parasound Halo A51 multichannel amp and matching C 1 Surround Processor.

WIDESCREEN REVIEW (August) = Superhero Daredevil is on the cover because that flick just came out on D-VHS (and if it's an example of typical fare in the hi-def tape format, I think I'll pass on that format). Blu-ray HD-DVD appears to be the emerging standard for hi-def DVD, and there's a feature on that, plus an interview with Avantgarde's Matthias Ruff and an article asking Will Cable Embrace HD? There are over 40 DVD & D-VHS reviews and the cover component reviews are the Avantgarde Solo Powered Hornspeaker and JVC's HM-DH40000U HD Digital VCR. The "Coming Soon To a Retailer Near You" section is filled with the latest home theater introductions.

WIDESCREEN REVIEW (July) = A scene from the new DVD release of 007 adventures, Die Another Day, is on the cover. The main story is on the Pixonics pHD DVD, which is a new technology for backward-compatible HDTV DVDs that will play back normally on standard DVD players. A side benefit is that the technology compensates for artifacts of SD compression during DVD authoring and makes standard DVDs look even better. The absurd proposal for Self-Destructive DVDs is also discussed, and there is an extensive list of Essential FAQs on Digital Video in general. Among the components reviewed are Runco’s VX-5000ciDLP projector and controller, and Meridian’s 598 DVD-Audio/Video Player. Perry Sun writes on the Denon Link hi-res audio interface, and Samsung’s HLM617W DLP Tabletop HD-Ready TV is reviewed.

THE SENSIBLE SOUND (June/July) = A jolly lineup of 16 vacuum bottles atop a long black box graces the issue, promising “silky smooth with unparalleled transparency” of reproduction. It’s Atma-Sphere’s S-30 MK II Power Amp. Feature articles: “Fear and Listening in Minnesota;” “CES Recap.” Other components reviewed this issue: ELAC 205-Jet speakers, Infinity Kappa 600 speakers, Music Reference RM-10 amp, Panamax 5510 AC Conditioner, Velodyne Deco Series Package, and Van Schweikert LCR 35.

SOUND & VISION (July/August) = sports a Trinity-looking model holding the world’s first HDTV camcorder, from JVC. Also Philips 60-inch RP HDTV monitor, Definitive Technology BP7001sc speakers, TiVo Series2PVR, Panasonic MR-E50 DVD recorder, and Denon AVR-2803 receiver. Hitachi’s VCR combo and a universal player from Integra share with articles on Moving Your Music Outdoors and 3 Critics Rating Satellite Radio Programming (for the most part they love it). Other reviews: Pioneer Elite ES-DV1000 home theater system, Harmony SST-768 Web-savy remote control, DCM 16S home theater speaker system.

DVD ETC. = is a new publication proclaiming itself a guide to all things DVD. The initial June issue rates the 100 Top DVDs of All Time and the cover displays Toshiba’s portable DVD player and the Sunfire Ultimate Receiver. The Art of the DVD is a special feature on a studio creating the extras found on many DVDs, and Director’s Cut focuses on director Robert Wise (original Body Snatchers). There is a buyer’s guide to Universal DVD players, DVD-A and SACD. Hardware reviews also include players from Philips, Thule and NAD; Toshiba’s 20-inch TV/DVD console, Canton Movie MXII speakers, Anthem’s Pre/Pro, Panamax AC Regenerator, Denon Receiver, Outlaw Pre-Pro & matching Amp, and Salamander AV cabinets.

AUDIO XPRESS (July) = Cover features: How to Shrink the Room Acoustically, Is This the World’s Smallest Folded Horn? Four Intriguing Amp Designs You Can Use, Construction Project Tips, Relive ‘20s Music with This Early Amp, High-End Tube Amp Designs from Japan and Finland, and Improving Computer Sound with the Marchand PM48.

AUDIO XPRESS (August) = Cover features: Test Amp Behavior with a Reactive Load Box, Quality AM Sound with a Tube Receiver, Building a Better Horn, A Sure Fix for Dynaco Tuners, Restoring Classic Tweeters, An Italian Version of Thor, Design Your Own Transmission Line Speaker, Time-Delay Circuit for System Control.

BBC MUSIC (August) = "Proms 2003" is the cover feature of the world's best-selling classical music magazine, with stories on the rising stars performing this season in the UK. "Global Exploitation" shows why there is no such thing as 'world music;' "Oops!" is about even great musicians making mistakes; and "Viva Rossini" describes the composer's life of indulgence. There's a piece on composer George Crumb, 125 CDs are reviewed and the supplied CD of the month is Ravel's "L'heure espagnole."

BBC MUSIC (July) = Lovely mezzo-soprano Magdalena Kozena really does grace the front cover; there’s an article titled “A Lark Ascending.” A feature on a competition for young singers at Cardiff discusses the different needs of singers for lieder vs. opera. “How to Sell Classics to Ageing Rockers” is another article. The Verbier Festival in Switzerland is profiled, and a feature on Vivaldi discusses his asthma problems. “Format of the Future” is a shoot-out between SACD and DVD-A, as their reviewers sample several classical titles in both formats. They really didn’t like the one-musician-per speaker orientation of Tacet’s DVD-As, but in the end neither format came out the winner. [Oddly, they seemed unaware of the ability to compare the same recording in both formats (as we have done), as with the Telarc 1812 Overture and Chesky’s Bucky Pizzarelli!]

THE BAS SPEAKER (Vol. 25, Issue 2)
= The no-frills publication of the most active audio society in the U.S. always has lots of fascinating information that one doesn’t find in the slick audio publications. This one has summary reports of three of their recent meetings in Boston, and articles include “The Theremin - Electronic Music’s Soviet Roots,” “Amping Up the Hi-Fi,” “Good HDTV: More Than a Numbers Game,” A Projectionist’s Training Manual,” “A Headphone Amp That Shoots the Moon,” and “The Worst- and Best-Restored Recordings.”

THE INNER EAR REPORT = is #2 of 2003. One cover story is XLO’s thick Limited Edition Speaker Cable. Other cover features are: CD players - Audio Aero Capitole, Copland CDA822 and Musical Fidelity A3.2; Speakers - Living Voice Avatar OBX, Coincident Technology Total Victory; Also the Orpheus DAC ONE from Switzerland, Interconnects from Maple Audio Works, Pioneer Elite’s Lifestyle Home Theater System, and again the Naim Audio NAC 552 Preamp.

AUDIO IDEAS GUIDE = Vol. 21 of the Canadian high end AV quarterly is just out and it's their annual Directory Issue. The detailed specs and prices of over 4000 components is similar to the annual directory that AUDIO magazine formerly did, but better organized. In-depth reviews of Aragon's Stage One 8-channel AV Processor and 3005 power amp, Anthem's TLP 1 tuner/preamp and PVA 2 power amp, NAD's T752 home theater receiver, and TEAC's Legacy DR-L700 tuner/processor and AL700P three-channel amp are fitted in around the massive Directory.

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