Updated 4/15/03

THE ABSOLUTE SOUND - For April/May has Marantz’ new universal player sitting directly on top of a pair of NHT’s ST4 Speakers - which seems contrary to good audiophile practice but never mind. The speakers are described as “sweet sound & sweet value.” Hot stuff from CES 2003 is displayed and described, and HP tells us we can now all enjoy multichannel reproduction because it’s a very worthwhile improvement. (AUDIOPHILE AUDITION has been saying that for years now.) HP also now has an SACD Super List. The SACDs by The Police are reviewed, plus over 50 new discs of various sorts. Saxist David Murray is profiled. This 30th Anniversary Issue of TAS also reprints an early HP review of the Beveridge electrostatic speakers and lists 24 recommended speakers of today. Other component reviews: EAR 864 tube preamp, Audio Research Reference phono preamp, clearaudio HarmonyMg cartridge, Ayre Acoustics CX-7 CD Player.

THE ABSOLUTE SOUND = for February/March is their Recommended Sources Issue, with their writers' picks of the best in both digital and analog front ends. The magazine's Product of the Year Awards are announced and the disc review section seems expanded, with the Recording of the Issue being Perahia's Chopin Etudes, some Miles and Bill Evans on 45 rpm vinyl, and the New Formats section beginning with a feature titled SACD Gets Its Groove On. The column from the new editor, Robert Harley, deals with the impact of home theater. He feels that with true high-end companies now into it, HT has become a boon to high-end audio. He lists three ways: the increased market for HT has kept many two-channel companies in business and allowed them to offer both surround and two-channel gear. HT has caused many who had their two-channel stereo speakers placed completely wrong to set up their 5.1 system correctly and for the first time consider music's spatial aspects. Lastly, a well-set-up HT surround system "can become a vehicle for rediscovering the joys of music."

Components reviewed: Adcom GFP-710 preamp, Behringer Ultracurve Pro DSP8034 EQ Device, Sony DVP-NS999ES SACD/DVD/CD Player, Focal-JNLab Electra 906 speaker, Simaudio Moon Nova CD Player, Avantgarde Acoustic Solo speaker system, Kharma Ceramique Reference Monitor 3.2, Meridian 800 DVD player & 861-III Reference Surround Controller, Antique Sound Lab amp, Miyabi/47 MC cartridge.

SOUND &VISION - The new May issue frontal features: Home Theater Speaker Guide - 36 Complete Systems; Buyer Beware! - Getting Gear Online; Cutting-Edge TVs Explained; AM and FM Go Digital; Reviewed: Sexy Speakers from Klipsch, Mirage, Mission and Morel; Yamaha LCD Projector; NAD DVD/Receiver; TDK CD Recorder; HDTV Bargain! Mitsubishi 42” Widescreen. Editor Bob Ankosko writes on plasma video creeping into the public consciousness and David Ranada talks about Mis-managed Bass. There’s a photo of Jim Fosgate’s new $13,000 retro all-tube surround processor. Other gear reviewed: M&K Sound Designer Series speakers with column surrounds, Bravo D1 DVD Player with DVI output, from V Inc.

STEREOPHILE - for April 2003 proclaims It Doesn’t Get Any Better Than This! - and what they are referring to is the ultimate-high-end dCS SACD combo of their Verdi, Purcell and Elgar composer-named components. Other cover stories are a $20 interconnect, jazz pianist Kenny Barron on CD, Sweden Rocks!, And reviews of amps from Lamm, Atoll and Musical Fidelity; the InnerSound Eros Mk III electrostatic speaker, Simaudio’s Moon Eclipse CD player, and the Graham tonearm. This is also the Recommended Components Issue, with hundreds of items picked by their writers, along with the Product of the Year Awards. Followups on: Harmonic Tech Magic Woofer speaker cable, Pro-Silway II interconnects, Halcro dm58 monoblocks, Totem Acoustic Model 1 Signature speaker and Bryston 7B SST amp.

THE SENSIBLE SOUND - On the April/May cover: CES Show Report and Recommended Recordings Issue, Polk LSi25 speakers, Panasonic DVD AV32 DVD player. The Skeptimania column asks: Are Speaker Response Curves Misleading?

SURROUND PROFESSIONAL - The most recent issue (February) has a wrap up of the Surround 2002 Workshop and Masterclass, with quotes from surround sound pros plus a list of the winners of the Surround Music Awards and why they won. There’s a CES 2003 Report, an article on two nightclubs employing discrete surround sound in their PA systems, and reviews of Waves’ 360-degree Toolkit software, Yamaha’s DM2000 Digital Console, and Creative Technology’s Audigy 2 Platinum EX software for home-computer-generated surround sound. In The Other Side John Sunier looks at consumer options for hi-res surround.

AUDIOXPRESS - for April is again packed with DIY projects and reviews: Testing the Updated Froy Speaker Kit, Discover the Sound of Plasma Tweeters (hopefully without killing yourself...), Sleuthing Faulty Capacitors, Build a Multifeatured Stereo Control, A High Quality Low Cost Tube Amp, Which Budget Phono Preamp is Right for You?, Box Construction Made Easy, book review of Master Handbook of Acoustics.

BOUND FOR SOUND - Issue #148 of the “True Audio Underground” newsletter sans advertising (but with an increasing number of photos) begins with an essay from publisher Martin DeWulf on what it is that can make sound from a stereo system sound “real.” He has some disagreements with Stereophile’s review of the MSB Platinum Plus Digital Processor, and writes up and photographs both the T.H.E. Show at Las Vegas and the 2003 CES. Role Audio’s Windjammer speakers are also reviewed.

WIDESCREEN REVIEW = The March issue features a post-CES update on DVI and HDMI Interfaces - the next AV connection standard. Joe Kane writes on HDTV Display Specs and the Inside Industry View page is High Definition Recording Coming Fast. In the latter it is revealed that FCC Chairman Michael Powell is a self-confessed TV addict and loves time-shifting programming with his TiVo hard drive recorder. He’s skeptical whether the FCC has the legal authority to dictate copyright questions, and thus may not be agreement with Hollywood’s push to issue a “broadcast flag” mandate. New D-VHS tapes are listed and reviewed and 45 videos including standard DVD-Vs are reviewed. Equipment reviews: JM lab Electra Series speakers, Yamaha LPX-500 Home Cinema Projector, InFocus ScreenPlay 7200 DLP Projector, Krell Home Theater Standard 7.1 Processor, Krell Theater Amplifier Standard (5 channels) & KAV-2250 two-channel amp.

STEREOPHILE = For March the Confidence speaker from Dynaudio is the cover model, described as “trickle-down technology.” They find the new SME Model 30/2 the World’s Best LP Player, and other cover stories are Polk’s high-value Lsi7 speaker and CD players from MSB and 47 Lab. A Linn sound system is an Aston Martin is profiled, and Ry Cooder and his latest Cuban recording project are the subjects of a feature music article. Art Dudley (late of Listener magazine) shares his Five Warnings of Musical Bankruptcy, or more specifically, “Records To Die From.” They are: The Casino Royale Soundtrack, Leroy Anderson on Mercury Living Presence, The Sheffield Track Record, Dick Schory’s Music for Bang Baa-Room and Harp, and Mark Wetch’s Ragtime Razzmatazz.

HI-FI NEWS = Chord’s Audiophile Lifestyle System is shown on the front of the March issue with the appellation “Choral Music.” There is an AV amp shootout with tests of units from JVC, Onkyo, Pioneer, Rotel, Sony & Yamaha. The Totem Hawk from Canada is described as a stunning slim speaker, and the T+AK6 Player/Receiver from Germany is said to do everything in style. Other cover-featured reviews are for Michell’s Orbe SE turntable, Valves from Audio Research, the Townshend supertweeter, Monitor Audio S8 speakers, Classe SACD player, and Karan pre-power amp. Plus a tour of the Pavek Museum of Broadcasting in Minnesota. More components reviewed: Tivoli PAL Radio, three interconnects: Atlas Navigator, Ecosse Classic & Neotech NA-12260. Don Cherry and Fathead Newman are among the jazz reissues reviewed, and Ken Kessler says DAB (digital audio broadcasting) sucks.

THE INNER EAR REPORT = This is Vol. 15 of the Canadian quarterly, just arrived but without any other time identification. A sunlit home theater system with the Electra Series 964 speakers from Focal.JMlab graces the cover. Other cover reviews promised are a tube amp from Tenor Audio and the solid state 7B SST from Bryston. Manley’s Steelhead phono preamp, a Pioneer Elite AV receiver, Chord’s DAC64, Gutwire Audio Basic cables, and the Goldmund Eidos 38D DVD/CD transport are reviewed. Other speakers covered are Monitor Audio’s Silver S6 and Jaguar Musicspeakers. Products from two new audio names are presented: Orpheus preamp and amp, and Harmonic Resolution Systems’ M3 Isolation Base and Damping Plates. The issue editorial involves actual discussion of the behavior and function of the human ear - must be a first for audio magazines.

THE BAS SPEAKER = This is the fourth issue of Vol. 24 of the bare-bones but full of useful information publication from the hoary but very active Boston Audio Society. There are the usual Open Forum, Commentary and News sections, and special features this issue include Producing Digital Video Essentials (by Joe Kane), Genesis of Human Speakers, About the So- Called ‘floor bounce’ (fascinating!), and reviews of three speakers: the MartinLogan CLS-11 electrostatic, KEF ThreeTwo, and Quad ESL-989 electrostatic. Complete reports of three of the group’s more interesting meetings during the past year round out the issue.

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