SURVEY OF THE AUDIO & HOME THEATER PRINT PRESS (17 publications summarized)
[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.]
THE INNER EAR REPORT = The Canadian audio quarterly is looking more high end with each issue. Editor/Publisher Ernie Fisher mentions in his Publisher's Statement that most of his component reviews rate his top four stars lately, and he says that is because of a tremendous improvement in most quality audio components in just the past couple years. High-End Hobbies and Common Sense is one article this issue, and there is also the clearest explanation we have seen of the facts about DTV, EDTV, SCTV and HDTV. The 2001 CES is covered. Components reviewed: Pioneer Elite VSX-39TX AV receiver, Manley Labs 300B preamp, JM lab Micro Utopia speakers, B&W CDM 9NT speakers, Feb Audio HMT 1 speakers, Redgum Monoblocks & Passive Preamp, Audio Aero Capitole amp, Kinma Model HiG1 speakers.
STEREOPHILE = The June issue has Harman International's Infinity and JBL speakers on the cover and inside. "Spectral Contamination" is an article on the cons of Op-Amps. "History Repeats Itself" explores surround sound then and now. Sam makes space for the Musical Fidelity A300CR amp, and "Tube Amp Peak Power" explains why tube amps tend to sound louder than their sold state equivalents. Other components reviewed: Cary CAD-280SA V12 amp, Myryad MDP 500 preamp-surround processor, Toshiba SD-9200 DVD-Audio player, plus follow-ups on Clearaudio Aurum Beta cartridge, Mondial MAGIC ground isolator and Philips SACD 1000 multichannel player.
THE ABSO!UTE SOUND = for June/July brings cover stores on Entry-level to Dream System Recommended Systems, 100 Recommended Recordings, SACD & DVD-Audio: An In-Depth Look (one of the more complete coverages of the subject we've seen, and including a list of all SACD releases as of three months ago), Quad's 988 speaker, Herron M150 amp, Systems of Four Audio Pros, and HP's Super System Part III. In his surround sound section, Gordon Holt holds forth on the same tack as David Chesky's remarks in this issue of AUDIOPHILE AUDITION - the self-defeating ploy of both high-rez formats in withholding six-channel digital outputs due to copyright piracy fears. In addition to the 100 best of the bunch discs, the music reviews cover chamber and choral music. Other components: Sim Audio Moon W5 amp, Sumiko Celebration cartridge, Mapleshade/inSound Cables, Tact RCS 2.0 and SigTech Timefield 2000 digital room correction systems, notes on earlier review of Rega Planar 2000.
THE AUDIO CRITIC = Issue No. 27 is a surprise again because it's been so long since the last issue; turns out the new arrangement with a new publisher is still in transition. There's a guinea pig on the cover, with the following title on a feature on DVD-Audio: "The mountain labored and gave birth to, not exactly a mouse, but a guinea pig." Peter Aczel comes out on the side of DVD-A in the SACD/DVD-A battle but has plenty of misgivings about his chosen side too. Tied in with the multichannel DVD-A discussions are reviews of Amplifier Technologies, Sunfire, Denon and TAG McLaren components as well as multichannel DVD-A players from Onkyo and Technics. The Sunfire processor is felt by David Rich to be a nice design that uses cheap op-amps and is overpriced. An editorial titled "Has Tom Holman gone off the deep end?" grouses about the CES 10.2 channel THX demonstration keeping auditioners in total darkness for a half hour with no escape. Also reviewed: F.A A. Sound Technologies Okwaho, Infinity Interlude IL40 and Monitor ?Audio Silver 9I speakers, Fanfare FT 1A FM tuner, Blaupunkt Alaska RDM 168 4-channel car radio head end.
AUDIO IDEAS GUIDE = The Spring 2001 issue has both Bryston's 500-watt amp and Chord's 220-watt integrated amp on the cover. Aaron Marshall opines whether or not MP3 is the Death Knell of End digital while pop Andrew reviews new DVDs and CDs. Components reviewed: Audio Request ARQ1 MP3 storage device, RCA Lyra MP3 portable player, TASCAM CA-98HR 96K+ multichannel 8mm recorder, Anthem Pre 2L preamp, Musical Fidelity A3CR preamp and amp, Seleco HT200 DLP projector, Bryston SP 1 Surround Processor, Arcam Diva AVR100 HT receiver, Arcam DV88 DVD player, Pioneer DV-F727 Jukebox player, RCA Video Sender, B&W CDM9NT/Monitor Audio Silver 8I, Oskar Aulos AMT, Paradigm Monitor 7 V2, Kinima HiG2, KC 2 & RFX 1HT speakers, Zerostat 3, Boosteroo headphone amp.
ULTIMATE AUDIO = Gripping Realism! is their front-cover description of the Talon Audio Khorus speaker and ROC subwoofer featured on the Spring 2001 issue. Super Audio CD Dee-Luxe covers the $18K Accuphase DP-100 SACD transport and separate DC-101 SACD processor. A review of the Audio Research LS25 Mark II preamp becomes "A Tale of Two Tubes," and a special visit with Doug Sax - who did Sheffield's original Direct-to-Disc recordings - of interest again now with Analogue Productions offering some brand new direct discs. How to Wire Your Room is another feature. Other ultimate components: Air Tight ATM-300 SE tube amp, Tenor Audio Classic 75 amp, Nottingham Audio Hyperspace Turntable and Anna Arm, Analysis Plus Silver Oval-In interconnects, and Sumiko Home Theater Suite.
HI-FI NEWS = "Seventh Heaven" is the main cover story of the June issue, referring to the seven-channel Integra Research DVD-Audio player, preamp/processor, and seven-channel power amp combination. Philips' multichannel SACD-1000 player is reviewed. A shootout of British CD players vs. Asian-import DVD-Audio players confines itself to under £1000 models. Barry Fox asks if the music industry is drowning itself in watermark issues. The extensive record reviews cover Uchida's Schoenberg piano concerto, Dvorak from Suwanai and Fischer, the European Tuba Quartet, Hugh Ragin, the Bee Gees and The Kinks. The Surrounded section seems to be have been dropped - perhaps with an eye toward that soon becoming a major part of most audio magazines. Other reviews: Electrocompaniet CD player, preamp and monoblock power amps, Ortofon Kontrapunkt cartridges, Vienna Acoustics Beethoven speakers, Lamm ML2 mono power amps, B&W CDM 9NU speakers, variants of the original BBC LS3/5 mini-monitor.
STEREOPHILE GUIDE TO HOME THEATER = for June sports Rotel's new mid priced preamp-processor, the RSP-976, on the cover. It's found to offer quite a lot at a reasonable price. Also listed here are in-depth reviews of Panasonic's DLP rear-projection HDTV, Princeton Graphics' 29-inch HDTV, Marantz' SR-14EX AV receivers and Acoustic Research' Phantom speaker system. The director of Austin Powers and Meet the Parents is interviewed. "Location, Location, Location!" offers help in placing both speakers and listeners. Other components: Martin Logan Prodigy speaker system.
WIDESCREEN REVIEW = Arnold gets his eyes flashed on the cover of the June issue to tie into a half-page review of the DVD release of The 6th Day. Cover featured articles include Room Acoustics, Dolby vs. DTS - Round Two, Cleopatra Digitally Remastered, B&K's Reference Home Theatre System, and Theta's Casablanca II Music & Cinema Controller. The issue has 69 DVD reviews, and other components reviewed are: Ayre D-1 DVD player, Owens Corning QuietZone Noise Control System, IAC Noise Lock doors.
SURROUND PROFESSIONAL = features Broadcast Surround Sound on the cover of their March/April issue, just received. It explores the technology that has changed the way many viewers listen to TV from ABC, HBO and others. Another technology article is on Dealing with MLP and Metadata, and Founding Editor Tom Holman has advice on mixing with surround. The Consumer Section discusses State-of-the-Art Home Theater and Mackie HR824 monitor speakers are reviewed in the review section.
JOURNAL OF THE AUDIO ENGINEERING SOCIETY = The April issue, recently received, has tech papers on: Speech-Based Room Reverberation, 5.1 Surround Sound Imaging, HRTF Tutorial, and Multiple Wavetable Synthesis, plus a preview of the upcoming 19th Conference in Bavaria.
SCHWANN INSIDE (MAY) = Jazz singer Patricia Barber is on the cover, with an article on her allure. Christa Ludwig is featured in another article, and Branford at the Crossroads concerns the saxophonist Marsalis. There's a review of The New Grove II music encyclopedia. Jazz in Italy is another feature, and the Building a Library section waxes poetically on "Loving Elizabethan Lute Song," pointing out that your high school choir director didn't mention that for Elizabethans death was a euphemism for sexual climax. Each issue also reprints all the recent classical Billboard sales charts and lists all the new CDs released since the last issue.
SCHWANN INSIDE (JUNE) = Russian opera conductor Valery Gergiev is on the cover and in a feature article inside, "Starting Over in St. Petersburg." Other articles are on jazz pianist Jason Moran, Bossa Nova's New Trend, the Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra in Bach's Goldberg Variations, and reviews of jazz fiction. 22 new classical and jazz CDs are reviewed, plus the usual new CD releases and Billboard charts (best not to even look at the classical top-sellers: Baby's First Classics, Relaxing Classics, Bocelli, Sarah Brightman...yechh.)
INTERNATIONAL RECORD REVIEW (APRIL) = The April issue only just arrived from the UK. Jose Carreras is on the cover and in a new recorded role. Jonathan Carr survey's the many recordings of Wagner's Die Meistersinger, and Harmonia Mundi launches its super-budget line. The "Too Many Records" end-page is always interesting, with the various reviewers musing on the joys and frustrations of collecting. It appears the former Audio equipment review section has been dropped from the publication.
INTERNATIONAL RECORD REVIEW (MAY) = Pianist Murray Perahia's dazzling smile graces the cover, which describes him as dazzling in Bach. Composer Edmund Rubbra is remembered in a centenary tribute by Robert Layton, and the British composer's discography list runs to three pages. "Sviatoslav Richter in his own words" is another special feature. "A Hostage to Music" is the final-page article by a vocalist who worked on the New Grove Dictionary.
BBC MUSIC (MAY) = Pianist Leif Ove Andsnes is on the cover and an article titled Turning Over a New Leif. The Truth About Brahms and Cats is another eye-catching title. Edmund Rubbra is the composer of the month, the Building a Library section is on Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata. Discovering Music analyzes Britten's Serenade. Heroes and villains of the 1951 concert scene in Britain parade in Festive Fifties, and 150 CDs are reviewed and rated. The free CD is a BBC broadcast of Nielsen's Fourth Symphony.
BBC MUSIC (JUNE) = Handsome young violinist Joshua Bell graces the cover this month, and with a feature about his voyage from Beethoven to bluegrass and back. The free CD has excerpts from a celebration of the Centenary of London's Wigmore Hall. Another hall that is explored is Vienna's new Haus der Musik, a wild tourist attraction. "Telemann: Baroque workaholic," "How the stars cure stage fright" and comments on the dire effects of the foot-and-mouth epidemic on summer music festivals in the UK are other articles.
SURFACE NOISE = This is the Spring issue, and the last issue prior to it was in the Spring of l998. So as Editor Leslie Gerber states, that makes this issue a mere three years late... This newsletter is primarily a listing of mono RCA classical LPs and their relative prices on the used LP market. There is also a 1911 interview from Etude magazine with quirky concert pianist Vladimir de Pachmann, and some comments about the "bronzed" faulty CDs from certain UK pressing plants.
- John Sunier
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