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January 21, 2004

Naxos To Release Multichannel SACDs - The world’s leading classical label, Naxos, has announced that they will broaden the release of recordings in the SACD format from their Asian market to worldwide release. They feel they are entering the market for this format at exactly the right time. They will begin in Europe with the release of two SACDs per month, and later in the year expand to North America. All the SACDs will be multichannel hybrid discs. This series will balance the Naxos DVD-Audio series, which has been releasing about one disc per month recently, and which will continue. Naxos has been recording everything in five channels the last several years so they have enough to select from for both new series.

Vanguard and Omega Titles Scheduled for DVD-A - Silverline Records has announced an agreement with Artemis Classics to release on DVD-A 39 titles which Artemis has licensed from the extensive catalogs of the Vanguard Classics and Omega labels. The performances from the acclaimed label founded by Maynard and Seymour Solomon includes many by the Utah Symphony and conductor Maurice Abravanel, and also by the Baltimore Symphony, among others. Vanguard was one of the pioneers in quadraphonic recording, and many of the analog masters are four channel. Special care will be exercised in the transfer to multichannel digital, and bonus features such as conductors’ notes, interviews with performers and artist correspondence will be included - which is only possible with DVD A. Some of the best-known Vanguard symphonic quad masters were issued as multichannel SACDs last year, but they lacked the bonus features, and at least one (the Berlioz Requiem) suffered from serious distortion. The first DVD-As will be released this quarter on the Silverline Classics label.

Mobile Fidelity Introduces Gold Ultradisc CD-R Blanks - Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab, who originally introduced gold CDs to the audiophile market, has announced a new gold-plated Ultradisc CD-R blank designed for critical professional, music and graphic archival use and data storage in which there is no margin for error or losses. The new blanks have superior reflectivity and longevity and feature a patented reinforcing black coating for extra scratch protection. The discs are slower speed CD-Rs and Mobile Fidelity’s engineers strongly advise recording them in real time (1X) rather than high speed to ensure proper pit formation and freedom from data errors. Discs are required to pass many levels of QC before shipping and come with a lifetime money-back guarantee.

Another New SACD Label - Jazz Stream Records introduced at CES the label’s first multichannel SACD release - Greta Matassa - Live at Tula’s. The label’s CEO, Dave Keefer, has released only stereo CDs previously, but after hearing a comparison in the mixing studio of the stereo and multichannel recordings of the jazz vocalist, stated he was sold on surround and decided to release it and other up coming titles in SACD.

For a complete illustrated report on last week's Las Vegas Consumer Electronics Show, visit the Enjoy The Music site.

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