November 2002
SURVEY OF THE AUDIO & HOME
THEATER PRINT PRESS

STEREOPHILE GUIDE TO HOME THEATER = The November issue has Krell and EAD DVD components on the cover with in-depth reviews of both high-end players. "Watch This!" covers three new video displays from Zenith, Hitachi and Sony - the last a plasma display and the other two RPTV. Thiel's CS1.6 speaker is another cover feature. The HDTV Mandate is explored, Joel Silver writes on a common-sense approach to installing HT projectors, Michael Fremer writes on digital tuners, and DVD software reviews include Spider-Man, Lord of the Rings, In the Bedroom and Koyaanisqatsi.

SOUND & VISION = for November has Austin Powers and his mod gals on the cover again (aren't we rid of them yet?) and the main feature article is "Groovy Tubes!" - not the latest in SE amps but reviews of four widescreen HDTVs: Mitsubishi WS-65711, Toshiba 50H82, Sony KP-57WV600, Philips 34PW9818 - the latter a direct-view set with Philips' new Pixel Plus technology that greatly enhances apparent resolution of any video source. Other cover alerts concern three cutting-edge AV preamps, Home Theater Troubleshooters, a buying guide to surround receivers, and component reviews of the Sharp DVD player, Escient Fireball Hard Drive Music Server, and Definitive Technology Speakers. Other reviews: Kenwood VR-6070 surround receiver, and Mordaunt-Short Premiere System 300 speaker system.

WIDESCREEN REVIEW = Spider-man is on the cover of the November issue, with over 50 reviews of both standard DVD and the new DVHS releases. The HD-DVD format battles are discussed at length, and there is a report of viewer's reactions to the publication's own mini-movie festival of the new D-Theater videotapes. The Loewe Aconda HD-ready CRT monitors are reviewed, also Integra's DTR-6.3 entry-level AV/HT receiver, Richard Gray's Power Company 600S AC line treatment unit, and Sunfire's Theater Grand III AV Processor (which AA is also reviewing next month). Joe Kane & Gary Reber write on "Implementing HDTV."

AUDIO XPRESS = for November sports another long list of cover features for the DIY audio crowd: Nanotube Triodes on a Chip, Build Your Own 100w Amp, Speaker Rescue, Inexpensive and Easy Tube Headphone Amp, Yes You Can Connect Speakers in Series, Working with Today's High-G Tubes, Hitting the Sweet Spot on your AM Dial (How's that for an alternative high end audio viewpoint?), A Passive Crossover for Your Sound System, and reviews of the Vidsonix Crossover Box, S-5 Electronics' Low-cost amp, and a CD of early-recorded music (and I don't think they mean Guillaume Machaut).

THE SENSIBLE BOUND = for Sept./Oct. has the Mastersound 220-SE Integrated on its cover and covers over 60 products (including the disc reviews). Other stories include reviews of the Tivoli table radio, Legacy Focus 20/20, ELAC 209-Jet and Sherbourn Model 1 speakers. In his article Two-Channel Purity? Howard Ferstler surveys various micing approaches to standard stereo to capture more of the ambience in the hall and concludes that the era of absolutely pure two-channel recording techniques is all but over. He also is of the opinion that DVD-A is overkill in terms of what is required for the proper reproduction of most music on most home music systems. There's a report on the New York Home Entertainment show, and Bose' new system of electronic room compensation - ADAPTiQ - is discussed and evaluated.

THE ABSOLUTE SOUND = for Oct./Nov. has Balanced Audio Technology's VK 300X integrated amp on the cover, with cover stories on the Stones' 22 SACDs, Parasound's new Halo series amp and preamp, and over 24 pages of new music disc reviews. This is also TAS' Recommended Products Issue, with 200 components covered, and with photos of many of them.

THE INNER EAR REPORT = Issue No. 4 for 2002 sports the mighty Mirage OM-5 speaker on the cover, plus cover stories on the Chord SPM 4000 amp, Magnum Dynalab MD 90 Tuner, Gershman Acoustics Cameleon speakers and Pioneer Plasma 43-foot [they must mean 43 inches!] video display system. A section devoted to Audio Newcomers covers Maple Audio Works' cables and speakers from Okwaho. Editor Ernie Fisher's page is titled Authentic Audio, and in it he talks about home theater sales surpassing audio-only, hoping that eventually new HT owners will become aware of its shortcomings sound wise and begin to explore high end audio. He argues for separate HT and two-channel audio systems. [Couldn't disagree more - how many can afford that, and why eliminate the surround for music listening?]

BOUND FOR SOUND = Issue #145 begins with discussion of Martin DeWulf's review of the Sony 777ES SACD player. He talks about crossover selection and time coherence, the Belles power amp mod, and waxes enthusiastically about his new Clearaudio Champion Level 2 Turntable, which is marked his re-entry into vinyl after more than ten years of strictly CD. The Bruce Edgar Titan horn speakers are reviewed and other sections are titled Crow to John Atkinson, and Kudos to Harry Pearson.

THE BAS SPEAKER = This publication of the Boston Audio Society is described as "third issue of vol. 24" and couldn't be plainer - from a nearly-blank front cover to no illustrations whatsoever. However, it's full of fascinating audio stuff found nowhere else, making me wish we had an audio society half as active as this in my locale. There are appreciations of a number of audio pioneers who passed away this year, a bit on a big collector of RCA Living Stereo Lps who had many of them stamped "Promotional" when they weren't, a shoe-string record-cleaning system based on a used vacuum cleaner, an opinion against subwoofers and in favor of full range speakers, a look back at the AR Live-vs.-Recorded demos of a quarter-century ago, Philips' President speaking out against the movie industry's plans to control the distribution of digital programming, picking the correct white color temperature for HT displays (6500 degrees K), a piece on the new DVD Etc. print publication, a report on the ELP Laser Turntable (actually in production in the Orient and available for about $6000), and a meeting report on an audition of Richard Goldwater's home multichannel system - this avid proponent of surround "envelopment" boasts 17.3 channels of speakers spaced meticulously around his listening room.

INTERNATIONAL RECORD REVIEW = for November 2002 has busy pianist Marc-Andre Hamelin on the cover, and a piece on his penchant for performing "music diverse, rich and strange." The Carnegie Hall debut of the divine Leontyne Price is profiled; and opera, ballet, concertos and documentaries are featured in the section of DVD Video and Audio reviews. The interesting editorial concerns special moments in music - rather than entire works - that jump out and grab the listener.

AES JOURNAL = The just-received October Journal is Vol. 50, No. 10. The four papers published therein are: Delay-Compensated Speech Quality, Telephone-Quality Cognitive Model, Circular Microphone Arrays, and Digital Loudspeaker Crossover. There is a report of the 22nd Conference and a call for contributions for the 24th Conference scheduled for Banff, Alberta.

LISTENER = The new September/October issue of this steadfastly Readers' Digest-size hi-fi and music review has a cover shot of a new small horn speaker from Carfrae positioned against a fountain and city skyline. It's the first U.S. review of this high sensitivity British full-range rear wave horn-loaded speaker using a standard 7-inch Lowther driver but augmented by a pair of powered subwoofers. As the cover placement indicates, the reviewer felt their $17.5K price worth it. Other cover stories are Ken Kessler on the new biography of the late Paul Klipsch, Michael Fremer on The Stones and reviews of phono preamps from Conrad Johnson, Art Audio, Linn, Camelot, and Coph Nia. There is coverage of the 2002 Home Entertainment Show in New York, and a piece on the new-found popularity of The Turtles. Other equipment reviewed: SOTA Sapphire turntable (recommended) and Audio Magic Excalibur II cables. [This was the final issue from this fine audio publication, and we are extremely sorry to see it go.]


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