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.]
SOUND & VISION = The DVD players reviewed in their May issue are the Pioneer DV-C603, Hitachi DVP305U, Marantz DV7100 and Kenwood DV 4900 and range from $200 to $1,200 in cost. The Hitachi got thumbs up for a basic player at only $200 and the Pioneer, at $500, added progressive scan output and a changer. Articles cover upgrading a "good enough" audio system into great home theater and on improving the video image via changing connections - for example from composite to component. The Setup: Speakers is a primer on getting the most from a 5.1 or 6.1 channel speaker system. The struggle to find DVD-Audio discs is detailed in the Random Play section, and the following components are also evaluated: Sony 65-inch 16:9 HDTV monitor, Denon AVR-3801 surround receiver, Boston Acoustics Lynnfield VR 6.1 speaker system, Philips DSR6000 DirecTV receiver combined with Tivo hard drive TV recorder, JVC dual-deck MiniDV/Super VHS, Parasound CSE 6.1 Center Surround Expander and Digisette Duo-Aria MP3 player.
LISTENER = for May/June headlines New Tubes with a survey by Editor Art Dudley on simple 4-pin 2A3 tubes from three different current sources. He finds them superior to the popular 300B in several ways though not as high powered. Lyra's new Helikon phono cartridge is praised, an interview with John McEuen observes the 30th anniversary of the album Will the Circle Be Unbroken, George Harrison on LP is surveyed, and there's a photo section on the 2001 CES in Las Vegas. Herb Reichert's column on why he listens to music so much is elucidating. Also reviewed this issue: Loth-X Ion1 speakers from Singapore, Marantz SA-1 SACD player, Audiomat Arpege integrated amp, Kirsaeter Silverline 60 speakers.
THE ABSOLUTE SOUND = for April/May has the hot new Martin-Logan Prodigy speaker on the cover, plus a review of course. Another feature is a sneak preview of the new Krell KPE Reference Phono Preamp at $2200 - interesting what vinyl fans are willing to pay to clear the hurdle of most preamps today lacking phono inputs. An unusual foray into car stereo is a report on the test drive of some new Lexus models installed with a Mark Levinson Audio System. One of the two writers loved it, the other had some beefs. No mention of cost involved. J. Gordon Holt talks about Near Field, Middle Field and Fair Field listening in his Surround Sound section, and editor HP encores an article he wrote 30 years ago on "How to Read The Absolute Sound." Other components: Accuphase DP-100 SACD transport and DC-101 SACD processor; Wyetech Labs Topaz 572B SET amp; BAT VK-30SE preamp; cartridges from Clearaudio, Benz, Sao Win and Van den Hul; REL Stadium III subwoofer; Danish Audio Connect CT100/101 preamp, VPI TNT-5 turntable & two JMW arms; Thule Audio Spirit IA 100 integrated amp, Audio Spirit CD 100 CD player; Meadowlark Kestrel & triangle Zephyr speakers; Soliloquy 5.0 speaker, Accusonic BM400 monoblock amps, CJ Anniversary Reference Triode Linestage preamp Series II.
WIDESCREEN REVIEW = April = Reviews Denon's AVR-3801 surround receiver, SIM2 Seleco CRT Projector ($20K), and 71 DVDs. A roundup of CES 2001 introduces hot new products, Digital Video Interfaces are described, and speaker maven John Dunlavy writes on Speaker Accuracy. Two top DVD players - Sony's DVP-S9000ES (SACD) and Toshiba's SD 9200 (DVD-Audio) are compared on video DVD sound, 44.1 music CDs, and their respective high-res formats.
WIDESCREEN REVIEW = May = Bedazzled is on the cover, also HDTV receivers from Mitsubishi and Toshiba, the Vidikron Epoch D-2200 LCD Video Projector, Part 1 of building the "dream" home theater system being installed in the publication's new facility, 70 DVD reviews, and an article titled The THX Approach - Is It For You? Other components: Aerial Acoustics speakers, James speakers.
HI-FI NEWS = April = The April issue, just received, has Tannoy on Top, referring to the coin-purse-sized supertweeter on the very top of that firm's new speakers, mated with a dual concentric driver on the front of the cabinet. Other tested items on the cover are Meridians "baby" digital speaker, Carfrae's horn speakers, and the London Super Gold MC cartridge. With the rubric "DVD-A or What?" DVD and CD player options from Kenwood, Linn, Naim, Onkyo, Primare and T+A are reviewed. This is also HFN's CES 2001 report issue. Ken Kessler's opinion page takes back some of the nasty things he said a year ago in HFN about those of us into SSfM - surround sound for music. He ends with this: "If 4-track [quad] open-reel had been the dominant format in l970, every damned one of us would now be a multichannel user by choice." CD reviews include Ian Bostridge sings Henze, Freddie Hubbard, and a survey of Hammond B3 CDs, pitting Jimmy McGriff against Jimmy Smith.
HI-FI NEWS = May = Another dramatic-looking speaker graces the cover this month - Martin-Logan's Ascent electrostatic. Other floorstanding speakers from Castle, JMlab, Mission, Monitor Audio, PMC and Ruark are tested. Sony's 9000ES DVD/SACD player gets another review, also Audio Note's latest SE amp and preamp and the Origin Live turntable system. Ray Dolby is interviewed and Into Thin Air discusses the undeniable effects temperature and humidity can affect your audio system - guess that's especially applicable in the UK! Other components: Veritas P400 digital amp, Arcam A85 integrated amp, Videologic DRX-601 digital tuner for DAB. In CDs, live Schubert from Alfred Brendel and live Berlioz from Colin Davis are covered, as well as Hyperion's new SACD of liturgical works by Boccherini and d'Astorga (I'll review it next month).
THE SENSIBLE SOUND = the April/May issue offers a big loudspeaker roundup with reviews and recommendations plus discussions of speaker design, rooms and sonic accuracy. Rippin' and Rockin' is about CD recording at home. CD reviews include several recent classical issues from both Reference Recordings and Naxos. Speakers tested: Athena Technologies S1/P1, Atlantic Technology System T70, EgglestonWorks Fontaine, Phase Technology Teatro 7.5 and Velodyne CT Series Classic home theater system.
BBC MUSIC MAGAZINE = The April issue just received has tenor Robert Alagna on its cover. Features are Mitsuko on Mozart's letters - including the wit and the dirty words, Bizet's unrealized genius, first-person reports on summer music schools, and Garrison Keillor on life with a musical wife. "Retail Therapy" is an article intended to take the strain out of choosing where to buy audio equipment. 150 CDs are reviewed and rated this issue.
SCHWANN INSIDE = April's cover is conducted James Conlon. Jazz reed man Don Byron and pianist Uri Caine in conversation discuss their path breaking musical concepts which combine classical, jazz and everything else in entirely new ways. There's a report on the Lucerne Festival and the Building a Library section focuses on Jazz Nutrition.
INTERNATIONAL RECORD REVIEW = observes their first anniversary with the March issue, recently received. They feel they have met their goal of offering in-depth reviewing dedicated to the classical record collector. Their editorial mentions the growing number of subscribers who have invested in DVD players and reports that some of them are disappointed that music videos usually lack the many "extras" furnished with many feature film DVDs. Articles include: Beethoven's Fidelio, Cold Blue Music, Verdi's Falstaff. A very handy feature for many will be a list of record company web site URLs.
JOURNAL OF THE AUDIO ENGINEERING SOCIETY = The March 2001 journal, also recently received, has papers on Enhance Nonlinear Speaker Analysis, Ported Loudspeaker Enclosure Limitations, Control Room Acoustic Criteria, and Electronic Music Pulsar Synthesis. There is also a preview of the upcoming 110th AES Convention in Amsterdam. April's cover is conducted James Conlon. Jazz reed man Don Byron and pianist Uri Caine in conversation discuss their path breaking musical concepts which combine classical, jazz and everything else in entirely new ways. There's a report on the Lucerne Festival and the Building a Library section focuses on Jazz Nutrition.
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