SURVEY OF THE AUDIO & HOME THEATER
[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.]
WIDESCREEN REVIEW - The March issue features on the left that may not be readable are a cover story review of the Toshiba SD-9200 Progressive Scan DVD Player, Reviews of three multichannel amplifiers, and a story on the DVD release of the animated feature Dinosaur. The three amps are from Outlaw Audio, Earthquake and Sherbourn. The Dolby vs. DTS story concerns the paper recently issued by the former which announced the results of tests showing that differences heard between the two 5.1 compression codecs were usually due to differences upstream and not in the encode/decode process. Dolby's conclusion was that DD was not only the equal of but sounded better than DTS. The latter (as you can imagine) felt differently. So the debate we thought was over - with most processors and receivers including both options - is on again.
Other feature articles for the month are: The Future of Movies, AV Receivers and the Path to Separates, a CEDIA Response to the magazine's criticisms, and details on WSR's new headquarters now under construction. Other component reviews: ReVox E-5421 flat plasma display monitor, Yamaha RX-VI and Marantz SR-14EX surround receivers, EchoStar DISHplayer 500.
STEREOPHILE GUIDE TO HOME THEATER - The March/April issue runs their Recommended Components 2001 feature - 24 pages of it, has Sony's new 57-inch widescreen HDTV/RPTV on the cover, and in-depth reviews of the Denon AVR-5800 AV receiver, Marantz VP8100 DLP projector, Bob Carver's Sunfire Cinema Grand Signature multichannel power amp, Theta's Digital David II DVD/CD transport and Toshiba's SD-6200 progressive scan DVD player. Articles include: First Look at New Products, Taking Home Theater With You, Home Theater Architect, Cinessentials, and reviews of several new movie DVDs.
THE ABSOLUTE SOUND - sports on the February/March issue the KEF Reference Maidstone speaker, plus features on: Three Amps with Attitude, the Halcro DM58 400-watt monoblocks, Beyond Napster, and The New York Philharmonic Collection. The three attitudinal amps are from Rotel, B&K and Odyssey. Robert Harley writes on the Role of Critical Listening in Evaluation of Audio Equipment Quality and J. Gordon Holt holds forth on surround sound. Other components covered: CAT VK-30SE preamp, MBL 1511 CD transport and 1521 D/A converter, Pass X1 & Xono preamps, SE gear from Antique Sound Labs, Air Tight and VAIC, Sehring 603/603A speakers, InnerSound ESL amp, Quad's 99 Series CD player, preamp and stereo amp, phono preamps from Lehmann, Plinius and Monolithic Sound, and the Rotel 991 CD player.
LISTENER - for March/April illustrates their feature on Wire Men with little wire men - it's their equipment reviewers each discussing their favorite audio cables. They also pass on instructions in how to make your own inexpensive interconnects. Other front cover feature articles are on quirky composer Harry Partch and the many recordings available of his unique musical world, Classic Record's Crosby, Stills & Nash LP, Tube amps from Rogue and VTL, and Four Phono Cartridges (Dynavector Karat 17D2 & DV10x4, Rega Super Elys & Empire 10PE).
INTERNATIONAL RECORD REVIEW - for February (just arrived here) has the Angeles Quartet sitting on a convertible BMW in LA for a feature on their brand new 21-CD complete Haydn String Quartets on Philips. The Glory of Dame Clara Butt is the other cover feature (our reviewer begs to differ - see Reissues this month). The Audio section of the British classical music publication writes about Digital Audio Broadcasting with a review of the Sony ST-D777ES DAB/FM/AM Tuner . A fascinating piece on the Music of Estonia includes a discography, and Poul Ruders' new opera based on the sci-fi novel The Handmaid's Tale has been recorded by Dacapo and is reviewed. Audio equipment reviewed includes the Primare DVD/CD player, Ruark CL loudspeakers, Samsung MP3 units, Mission 783 speakers, and the NAD C350 integrated amp.
BBC MUSIC MAGAZINE - The February and March issues arrived close together. FEB: Violinist Viktoria Mullova is on the cover and in a special feature inside, the publication begins DVD music reviews this month with over 30 DVDs covered, also tests of new DVD players, articles on James MacMillan and Arnold Bax and something about the sex appeal of onstage musicians titled I Love a Man in Uniform. 150 classical CDs are reviewed and rated this issue. MAR: Conductor Marin Alsop makes the cover, and the article is on making it as a conductor in a man's world. Every Child Deserves Music, How Naxos Conquered the World, and Opera's Anti-Hero (Peter Sellars) are the cover stories. The composer of the month is Gluck, Mendelssohn's Elijah is discussed on Building a Library, and the free CD included with each issue brings this month recording premieres of works by Sir Arthur Sullivan: his Te Deum and Cello Concerto (It's also a CD-ROM but only for PCs).
SURROUND PROFESSIONAL - The December issue (don't laugh, it's their standard operating procedure) has noted audio engineer Humberto Galtica on the cover and discusses his work with Celine Dion's surround sound mixes. How Rocky Horror Went to Surround for their DVD is the second cover story. Other stories report on the Surround 2001 Conference in LA, visit Sonic Arts studio in Cincinnati, Sony Music Studios in NYC where shows for VH-1 are mixed in surround, Minimizing Acoustical Distortion in Critical Listening Rooms, Pt. 4, and Soundbytes - which looks into some of the best surround sound available on DVD today. The Soundtracs DPC-II mixed console is put through its paces at 5.1 Entertainment in LA, and new products are presented that will change how producers surround their audience.
SURROUND PROFESSIONAL - The January/February issue (just arrived) has a cover story on the newly-remixed 5.1 surround track for the reissue of the classical horror film The Exorcist for both theatrical and DVD release. Tom Holman talks about how art films have started to use digital sound, the relationships between sound level and distance is explored, Disney's Orlando audio studio is visited as well as Manhattan's Sound On Sound Recording which emphasizes 5.1 releases. High-Resolution Realities explains how the audio pros are handling the new SACD and DVD-A formats and how they are delivered to consumer's homes. The Tascam DA-98HR recorder and Dynatron 255 Digital Reverb are reviewed.
JOURNAL OF THE AUDIO ENGINEERING SOCIETY - The January/February issue (just arrived) has papers on Improved 3D Sound Reproduction (a simple speaker array and associated crosstalk-canceler enlarges the sweet spot for spatial sound), Localization Studies, an Algorithm for Music Comparison, and High-Resolution Digital Filters. There's a preview of the upcoming 18th Conference in San Francisco and a call for papers and participants in the 110th Convention to be held in Amsterdam.
- John Sunier
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