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Audio News for April 3, 2015

Doug Sax of Sheffield Labs & The Mastering Lab Dies – One of the top names in audio discs is no longer with us. Doug Sax was a pioneer of direct-to-disc, co-founder of Sheffield Labs with Lincoln Mayorga, and founder of The Mastering Lab, where he mastered on his Scully lathes some of the finest vinyls in audiophile history. He supported tube electronics and didn’t care for CDs, especially at their introduction. He was one of the giants in the audiophile world. Vinyl maven Michael Fremer has written a fine obit of Sax here.

Harman Acquires Bang & Olufsen Automotive Audio Business – B&O sound systems are currently available in a wide range of high-end autos such as Audi, Aston Martin, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz. This will make Harman International Industries, already a leader in home audio, a worldwide market leader in car audio.

PS Audio Upgrade to Their DirectStream DAC – The already revolutionary DAC ($6000) up-samples and converts all inputs to DSD, reducing the signal processing and shortening the signal path. It differs from all other DACs both structurally and operationally, using a Field-Programmable Gate Array for processing and avoiding issues of overheating and limited processing capability often encountered in other designs. The upgraded OS is called “Pikes Peak” and is free to owners of the DAC at the PS Audio web site. It provides broader compatibility of sources, further reduction of jitter sensitivity and added proprietary resource management within the FPGA. Future upgrades will also be made available. Their slogan is “obsolescence really is obsolete.”

Classical Music News – The New York Times has appointed Zachary Woolfe for its new classical music editor. Julian Lloyd Webber was forced to give up playing the cello last year due to a herniated disc in his neck, but the celebrated performer is now principal of the Birmingham Conservatoire in the UKk which enrolls about 500 students. Mark Wilkinson, president of DGG since 2012, is now VP of international strategy and artistic development. His goal is to “extend the global reach and success of classical artists and classical music.”  The LA Philharmonic has appointed two new chiefs to work with Music Director Gustavo Dudamel on artistic matters, education, orchestra operations, concert production, recorded media and planning for the centennial celebration. They are executive director Gail Samuel and VP of artist planning Chad Smith.

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