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AUDIOPHILE AUDITION - web magazine for music, audio & home theater
 




SURVEY OF THE AUDIO & HT

PRINT PRESS   
Updated 4/16/04

SOUND & VISION (May) = Features an updated reference to HD programming and how to get it, tips on improving the sound of your new HDTV, on finding HDTVs for less, and nine super gadgets for the HT. Readers write in for help on fixing their ailing HT systems, and the Entertainment section covers movies, music and games. Test Reports on: Mitsubishi 55-inch HDTV, Sharp DV-HR300 DVD/hard-disk recorder, Yamaha RX-29 digital surround receiver, Pioneer 43-inch plasma TV, plus QuickTakes on both the Niro 1.1 Pro surround speaker system and the Roku HD1000 photo/art/music player. David Ranada’s “2:3 or not 2:3” column is all about why you can’t point a video camera at a movie and have it come out right.

SOUND & VISION (April) = The cover features concern the new satellite TV service Voom with its 40 HD channels and the new hi-recorder offering by Dish Network. The pair of stories are dubbed Heavenly HDTV. Showstoppers from CES include the World’s Largest Plasma TV (Samsung’s 80-incher), DVD Goes HD, Wi-Fi Wonders and others. An All-In-One home theater for under $1000 is featured, and Tech Myths Exposed is another cover story. Component reviews include mid-priced speakers from JBL, Phase Technology, and Sapphire; an HDTV front projector from Panasonic, Hitachi’s DV-RX5000U DVD Recorder, Onkyo’s TX-NR901 digital surround receiver, Marantz’ DV6400 universal disc player, Escient’s FireBall DVDM-100 DVD and music manager, a Sirius satellite receiver from Antex, and quality table radios from Boston Acoustics, Cambridge SoundWorks and Teac.

WIDESCREEN REVIEW (May) = Battling Raymond Crowe adorns the cover in his role as Master and Commander. The cover article HDMI- One Year Later discusses the new video standard in depth. “FCC To Rule on Down Resolution” is another feature, plus Part II of a rundown on video products at CES. Cover component reviews are the Marantz VP-12S3L HD2+ DLP front projector and Equi=Tech’s Son of Q & Son of Q Jr. balanced power conditioners. The mag’s Release Schedule for DVDs and D-VHS is extensive and goes from April to the end of June, but in keeping with the focus of WSR, it lists only widescreen-format films.

WIDESCREEN REVIEW (April) = A scene from The Missing is on the cover and the main story if “Competing HD DVD & BD Optical Discs - HD Format War Saga.” “Meaures to Frustrate Fair Use” is the Insider’s Industry View page, and it discusses recent movie industry efforts to use technologies to frustrate consumer copying even if some of that copying is considered fair use. Part I of the mag’s CES audio products is here, and the one component in-depth review is of Focus Enhancements’ CenterStage CS-2 Video Processor. As in most issues, over 40 DVD & D-VHS software reviews are featured.

STEREOPHILE (May) = 21st Century Tube Sound is emblazoned on the cover, for T+A’s V10 Amp from Germany (which probably explains the laughable name), which is also pictured. A full report of the 2004 CES show is a feature. High-value amps from Musical Fidelity, DNM, Unison and Vincent are reviewed, plus high-performance digital components from Cary (CD-303/200 CD player), Benchmark (DAC1 D/A headphone amp) & Nagra (DAC D/A processor). Music-oriented cover items are on Bruce Springsteen, the best CDs of the over 60 extant of Holst’s The Planets, and on Grant-Lee Phillips going solo.

STEREOPHILE (April) = Aerial’s 20T speaker is on the cover and described as setting new sonic standards. “New Media Metrics” is a tech report on what really on some SACDs and DVD-As in measured parameters. It’s the Recommended Components issue, with 500 audio products listed and briefly described. Reviews include amps from Halco and EAR, speakers from Isophon and Infinity, and a survey of analog products at the January CES - there was more than at any show since the late 80s. Follow-Ups on previously-reviewed items cover BAT’s VK-51SE preamp, VTL’s TL-7.5 preamp and MB-450 Signature monoblock amp, and Mark Levinson’s No. 32 Reference preamp. In the As We See It section Jason Serinus muses on the effects different audio systems have on a treasured favorite recording.

THE ABSOLUTE SOUND (April/May) = B&W’s 704 speakers grace the cover, described as Trickle-Down Technology. Part 2 of their Cables Survey continues, Five budget cartridges are highlighted in the analog section, and the tubes vs. transistors debate is entered with a discussion among TAS writers and editors. The Best at the CES is a cover feature, as well as a roundup of SACD & DVD-Audio players. Other components are Krell’s KAV-400XI integrated amp and TAD’s Model-1 Reference Monitor. Four SACDs and three DVD-As are reviewed. McIntosh Then and Now is the subject of the TAS Retrospective.

DVD ETC. (May/June) = Many DVDs adorn the cover to point up a story on The Top 100 DVDs of All Time. There is also a bonus feature on the Top 20 Multichannel Audio Discs. The monthly Buyer’s Guide deals with universal DVD players, the Mobile section has JL Audio’s XR650-Csi speakers and a face off between the two satellite systems: XM Radio and Sirius. Special features: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly; What’s Cooking?: Lions Gate Home Entertainment; and a suite of five professional video editing software apps from Adobe. Equipment tests: Infinity’s TSS-750 speaker ensemble, and cables from AudioQuest, Aural Symphonics, Wasatch and Zu.

HDTV ETC. (Spring 2004) = This is the new quarterly’s Buyer’s Guide, with over 1000 HD products listed. On the cover are 50-inch plasma displays from Philips and ReVox plus Def Tech’s Mythos speakers. Inside is a new section titled High Definition Home Theater. In it speakers from Dali and Phase Tech (in-wall units) join the Def Tech in reviews; also the 50-inch plasma from Crystal View and Focus Enhancements’ CS-HD Video Processor. Video components covered (along with the Philips and ReVox) are Epson’s PowerLite Home 10 Projector, LG’s LST-3510A HD receiver/DVD Player, and Sanus Systems’ VMPL Plasma mount. The current state of HD technology is described, there’s a focus on CBS HD programming as well as the major networks in general, Direct John Landis is interviewed, and a Glossary of Terms is offered.

STEREOPHILE GUIDE TO HOME THEATER (May) = The premier review of Sony’s breakthrough Qualia SXRD front projector is featured inside and on the cover. Also an article on Mastering Color in Video, a survey of the January CES, What’s in Store for 2004, and reviews of Sharp’s DLP projector, speakers from Aerial and Atlantic and the latest Pioneer Elite line HD RPTV. The Big Pictures discusses various digital schemes for displays which have revolutionized the way we think about TV in general, and Home Theater Architect lists Seven Steps to Home Theater. The end-paper piece on a special DVD each month calls the nine and a half hours long Shoah the best documentary or drama ever made on the Holocaust.

STEREOPHILE GUIDE TO HOME THEATER (March/April) = This is the 2004 Recommended Components issue, with over 140 products rated. Genesis’ new 6.1 HT speaker system is an exclusive and called electrifying. Tag McLaren may have scaled back their high end biz, but their AV192 surround preamp-processor is given a rave by Tom Norton. Other cover features are an article on Great-Sounding HT on a Budget, and Six Essentials to Planning the Perfect Room. (Everything on this cover has an exclamation mark after it, so just pretend there's one after all of those...) Articles on the Future of Copy Protection and another on Lawrence of Arabia look interesting. Other components are: Aragon Stage One & 3005 preamp-processor & 5-channel amp, Linn Unidisk 1.1 universal player, Theta Dreadnaught II amp.

THE SENSIBLE SOUND (April/May) = Their annual Recommended Recordings Issue is different from most in allowing their reviewers to select any recordings new or old that they want to recommend, even some which are out of print. Cary Audio’s Cinema 6 DVD Player is on the cover and called an outstanding CD player that just happens to also be a very good DVD player. Other components reviewed: Innersound Eros Mk.III speaker, Mirage Omnistat Micro HT speakers, Onkyo TX-SR800 Receiver. The Skeptimania column concerns speaker/room suckout and other tidbits. In Surveying the Soundscape, the interesting point is made that many music lovers in the late 1940s decried the loss of fidelity when their treasured 78s were transferred to the new LP format; sound familiar?

THE PERFECT VISION (March/April) = Pioneer’s highly Elite 50-inch plasma races towards the finish line on the cover, and the fine print you can’t read here is: Mega DVD Player Survey!, HD DVD is Coming!, Speakers from B&W and Revel, New Rotel DVD/Receiver, Bargain 50-inch Plasma from Samsung, Adcom’s New Controller/Tuner, InFocus DLP Projector, HD Leeza Scaler from Key Digital, and The Best and Worst in Home Theater. (The worst and dumbest HT selections are interesting; they’ll have readers looking in the back to see if any of those are current advertisers. Wagers on that?) Jonathan Valin selects the best DVD transfers of 2003, as well as highly recommending Ozu’s “Tokyo Story.” Also covered: Harmony SST-659 Internet-Programmable Remote, and a tour of a Korean plasma and flat-panel display factory.

DVD ETC. (April) = Their DVD Buyer’s Guide covers over 65 different DVD Portables. On the cover is the 37-inch Aquos LCD panel from Sharp which is said to outshine plasma. Features include DVDs We’re Still Waiting For, Behind the Magic of Spielberg’s Taken, Interviews with Pianist/ Screenwriter Ronald Harwood and with director Mark Hamil. Reviews in the Test Center section include: Crystal View DLP Projector, LG LST-3510A HD receiver/DVD player combo, Mintek’s 8-inch portable DVD player, SAVV’s 10-disc changer and headrest monitor for mobile use, and speakers from JM Lab, Phase Technology and RBH. And don’t miss their last page review of the new Super XVHS Interpellator V 1.1 DL Pro 2 1/2!!

HDTV ETC. (Winter 2003/04) = The companion publication to DVD ETC. Also features a special buyer’s guide to over 200 high-def products and an article on the Future of Television. Helpful feature subjects in this issue include Buying a HDTV, HDTV 101, HD Programming, Windows HD, HD-DVDs & PVRs, HDTV Integrated Tuners, and Maximizing your HT Experience. Equipment reviews cover video projectors and displays from Vidikron, RCA, Samsung & Toshiba; players and recorders from Orion and Roku; speakers from NHT, Monitor Audio, Klipsch & RBH and various accessories from Zenith, Bell’O & Harmony. The world’s largest LCD flat screen is the Samsung review - their 40-inch 16:9 panel. The HDTV Glossary of Terms could be the main stimulus for many novices to pick up this issue.

HI-FI NEWS (May) = Sony’s top SACD player and accompanying digital amp grace the cover and are titled “Super-duper SACD. “ (SCD-XA9000ES & TA-DA9000ES) Other cover articles are a review of Blue Pearl’s turntable, Audio Physic’s top Virgo III speaker, and the Cambridge digital broadcast tuner. The Bristol, UK audio show is covered, and Sweetspot displays an exotic audio system in a cozy domestic setting. Other reviews: Transfiguration Aria cartridge, Shanling CDT-200 SACD player, Manley Steelhead phono stage, Castle Acoustics CC3 speakers, Opera Mini MKII speaker, M-Audio Transit USB device, Zingali Colosseum speaker, Focal-JMlab Chorus 726S speaker, Sennheiser NoiseGard PXC 250 headphones, Plinius 9200 amp.

HI-FI NEWS (April) = Against a simple white background, a pair of Sonus Faber’s Stradivari speakers are on the front cover and covered inside in two articles - one an analysis with measurements by Martin Colloms and the other a review by Ken Kessler. Steve Harris’ editorial opines “Hardly anyone these days even knows what an Ambisonic decoder is, let alone has one,” (we have one) and mentions the complaints the Nimbus label used to get for their Ambisonic UHJ recordings which sounded overly “wet” if only played back in two channels. (Many of them will be issued soon on multichannel DVD-A discs.) Other cover items are ATC’s active SCM35 speaker, Huxley’s 12-watt tube amp (which weights 65kg and sells for 5000 English pounds!), and Meridian’s GO8 modular series CD player. Inside, Recording Engineer Tony Faulkner returns to mastering on open reel tape in Back to Analogue. Other reviews: Eclipse TD508 & 316SW speakers, Goldring GR-1 turntable, Alner Hambliin MF101 AC conditioner, Reference 3A MM de Capo-i (these model designations are getting absurd!) speakers, Lyra Argo MC cartridge, Halcro dm10 preamp.

AV TECH (May) = This new Av technology guide which comes with Hi-Fi News has the Arcam CD79 DVD player on the cover over a Union Jack. It is says it sets the digital video standard. There are exclusive reviews of the EAD 8800 surround processor and the Naim Audio DVD5 player. The Master Class section deals with Digital Light Processing and The Best of Bass. Home cinema projectors from InFocus, NEC, Sharp and SIM2 are reviewed in the 48-page publication.

BOUND FOR SOUND (Issue #156) = Where Does Advancement Come From? is the title of Martin DeWulf’s thought-piece. His stance on the two new audio formats is (we’ve heard this before, haven’t we?) that they are not about better sound but about convenience or copyright protection. He’s a fan of the few 96K DADs and clearly a staunch two-channel/anti-HT audiophile. He also mentions the phenomenon of getting enhanced sound from a burned CD-R vs. the original commercial CD. Reviews: Red Rose Audio Rose Petal MC cartridge, DeHavilland UltraVerve Octal tube preamp, Origin Live Aurora turntable. Remember the cone-shaped omnidirectional Ohm Walsh speakers? Well, they’re still around and get a glowing review from Rich Weiner.

AUDIO XPRESS (May) = On the cover of their 35th year issue: Speaker cables: Your Lifeline to Good Sound; Customize Your PC with an Internal Amp; Super Symmetry: Try this Zen Feedback Technique; How to Beat the High Cost of Tube Sockets; Subs and the City: Designing with 8” Drivers. Other articles: A Bottom Octave Compensator; Minimal Reactance Power Supply, BNC Jack Positioner.

AUDIO XPRESS (April) = Covers stories this month: How to Design a Better Concrete Horn; Easy-to-Build Low-Cost SE Amp; Why You Need This Bridge Adapter for Accurate Measurements; A Horn That Breaks All the Rules; Handy Hints for Beginning Tube Fans. Inside: Borbely-Clow Super Buffer; The Tuba 24 Horn; Review of a Dutch tube amp and of the Alesis ML-9600 Mastering Recorder.

BBC MUSIC (April) = Early music conductor Emmanuelle Haim graces the cover of the world’s best-selling classical music magazine this month. Baroque Family Tree charts the world of period performers, and Fiddling With a Masterpiece? asks if some restorers might not be ruining Stradivarius violins. The free included CD is of Gesualdo’s music for Easter with the BBC Singers. Henri Dutilleux is the composer of the month and John Lill writes the final page article on Music That Changed Me - he’s the pianist on the new LP engineered by Tony Faulkner with entirely analog equipment.

THE BAS SPEAKER (4th & Final Issue of Vol. 25) = There are five features in this issue from the Boston Audio Society, plus letters to the editor and an open forum: Lexicon’s Subwoofer Logic, A report on CEDIA 2003, reports on a meeting featuring a Headphone Test Clinic, another featuring a visit to Al Southwick’s home studio, and an in-depth technical analysis by Stereophile’s John Atkinson of both the SACD and CD layers of Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon reissue. Just a few of the interesting discussions involve the overly-high levels on many CDs, the musician’s perspective on recordings, the worsening problem of broadcast audio/video sync, and ADC Distortion. There is a good diagram on p. 15 of how true and complete bass management should be set up - allowing for all the possibilities of no sub, one sub, two subs, a separate LFE sub, and no LFE signal at all, and switching between some of these options depending on the source. (I would just like to add an option to feed any one channel of the six to any one of the speakers - that would accommodate the alternatives to THX 5.1.)

JOURNAL OF THE AUDIO ENGINEERING SOCIETY (March) = A special issue on High-Resolution Audio features papers on: High-Quality Audio as a System, Audio Conversion in Larger Context, Fabrication Issues with Converters, Overview of One-Bit Coding, Lossless One-Bit Compression, Overview of Pulse-Code Modulation, Time vs. Frequency Tradeoffs, Lossless Compression Audio Encoding. Features: Semantic Audio Analysis, Audio for Games, Preview of 116th Convention in Berlin

THE INNER EAR REPORT (Vol. 15, #4, 2003-04) = A giant retro green tuning eye adorns the new issue of the Canadian publication and above it is the designation “Analog FM Tuner.” This is the new Magnum Dynalab MD 106-T Tuner, from a firm that specializes in that music source ignored by most audiophiles. Audio newcomer Audiophile APS gets a story on their AC treatment equipment. The Affordable Hi-End section discusses Bryston’s BP-25 DA preamp/DAC and Focal.JMlabs’ 726-S speakers. Other cover review stories: Accustic Arts AMP II-AC amp, Exposure’s preamp and amp, Musical Fidelity’s A308 system (CD player/preamp/amp), TAG McLaren Aphrodite speakers, Calliop AvantGarde speakers, PMC OB1 speakers, Pioneer DVR-510H Recorder. The editor discusses a number of tweak accessories, including Harmonic Resolution Systems, Symposium, Ethera Vitae, Nordost anti-static spray, various power line conditioners and Shun Mook pucks.

STEREOPHILE BUYER’S GUIDE - 2004 = Touted as the complete directory of high-end audio gear, this annual goes way beyond the monthly publication by listing over 5000 audio components, a complete web listing of manufacturers and how to choose various components. The introductory articles to each component category are from various Stereophile writers.



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