Feb. & Mar. 2002
SURVEY OF THE AUDIO & HOME
THEATER PRINT PRESS (updated Mar. 15)
[Presented in cooperation with L.A. AUDIO FILE. If you can't find any of these magazines at your local audio salon or newsstand, complete details will be found here in our Audio Bibliography.]
WIDESCREEN REVIEW = The March issue of "The Essential Home Theatre Resource" features a report on the CES 2002 Show with an emphasis on HT gear. The focus of HDTV on Widescreen and reviews of the Proceed DVD player and Monitor Audio HT speakers are other cover features, plus over 50 DVD reviews. Articles are on Loudspeaker Accuracy and The Search for New Channels. A new video game device from Microsoft, the Zbox, is reviewed; also Toshiba's 57HX81 HDTV.
The February issue of WSR covered the new Superbit DVDs from Columbia TriStar, Theta Digital's Philosophy, SMART's GC-120 power line conditioner, Sony's KDP-65XBR2 65-inch HDTV, Sony's SAT-T160 DirecTV receiver, plus over 50 DVD reviews. Articles were on Maximizing the Bit Budget and The Future of Movies.
LISTENER = The March/April 2002 issue of this steadfastly guide-sized hi-fi & music review (the only one still in this format, bless them) has a bit of Magrittish cover art with a blossoming speaker driver as a man's head. Cover features are on record producer Elliot Mazer's work on DVD-A releases, The Lamhorns, Passive preamps, and Art Audio's PX25 amp. Other components reviewed: Spica Angelus speakers, Antique Sound Lab TI DT, Passion Ultimate and DH Audio 500 Silver passive preamps, speakers from Kriux Esoterix, Neat Elite, Reynaud Evolution 3, VMPS RM 2 neo, Von Schweikert VR-3.5.
BOUND FOR SOUND = Issue #141 just received is The Show Issue, and covers CES 2002 from quite a different vantage point than the slick audio publications. For one thing it concentrates on the displays at the alternate T.H. E. Audio Expo in the just-built Tuscany Hotel. An unusual for-BFS proliferation of equipment photos graces this issue. In addition to coverage of CES, there is a think piece titled The Audio Review: Nuisance or Necessity, and a separate article on the Million Dollar Audio System shown at the Clark County Library in Las Vegas during the show. Components came from Wisdom speakers, Accuphase, Rowland and Synergistic cables. Publisher Martin DeWulf found it big and redundant (12 power amps) but not breaking any new ground.
AUDIO XPRESS = The busy cover of the March 2002 issue has: Nelson Pass Builds a Lightbulb Amp, A Top Quality Microphone Preamplifier, Constructing a Stereo FM Generator, Doug Self Fights Off More Amp Distortions, Jean Hiraga Sleuths Music's Distortion Ills, Building This Big Authoritative Horn System, Amp Acrobatics in Full Color, Rid Your System of Soggy Fuzzy Bass, and Upgrading a Quality Turntable (the Linn LP12).
The February issue of AUDIO XPRESS featured: Boston Acoustics Home Theater Speakers, Everything Important About Box Panels, How to Track Vacuum Tube Traces, A New Affordable Speaker Testing System, Build This Super Cool Mike Preamp, Cleaning Up Power Line Garbage, Finding Music's Harmonic Sources for Distortion, Building & Testing Openback Speakers.
AUDIO IDEAS GUIDE = Vol. 20 #4 is the Canadian publication's annual AV Director Issue similar to what AUDIO magazine did yearly: Thousands of audio and HT products are profiled with complete specs and prices. The issue also has room for reviews of the Pioneer Elite DVD Recorder, Sony CE-775 6-Channel SACD Player, and Klipsch RFB-3 Speakers. Other components are: Arcam FMJ DV27 DVD Player, TEAC Reference 550 DVD Player & Receiver, AND T531 DVD Player, SpeakerLAB Reference 1 Towers, Reel Acoustics RSW-12 Subwoofer & PSB Stratus Gold 1. The record reviews cover some of the new JVC xrcd Living Stereo releases (we covered in January issue).
THE INNER EAR REPORT = Vol. 14 #2 sports the Kadet tower speakers from Kinima. Other speakers reviewed this issue are the Quatuor Mycrons, PMC FB1 Monitors, Angstrom Modular System, Kranis 1, and Coincident Technology Victory. Features are on Manley Neoclassic Monoblocks, Cary Audio's Integrated amp, the Accustic Arts CD transport, Loewe Aconda TV and an interview with Robert Woods and Michael Bishop of Telarc. Part 1 of an interesting series on Turntables...The Second Coming explains why turntables haven't gone away and many younger 'philes are buying their first analog front end. - JS
In the February issue, the following were given the equivalent of four stars (four notes): Tannoy Universal Super Tweeter Model ST-100, Gershman Acoustics Opera Sauvage loudspeaker system, Coincident Technology Total Eclipse loudspeaker system, Topaz Model 572B power amplifier, Audio Aero Capitole CD player, Amazon 2 turntable/Morch UP-4 tone arm combination, and Valhalla Reference Speaker cables and interconnects. Three-and-a-half notes are given to the Onkyo TX-DS989 A/V receiver, the JPS Labs Kaptovator AC cord, and Gutwire Chime interconnect. - Roy Nakano
THE SENSIBLE SOUND = for January/February has on the its cover the Atlantic Technology System 170, which they found exciting, dynamic and affordable. This is their Recommended Recordings Issue, which with a wink at Stereophile they dub "Recordings To Live For!" Several of their disc reviewers include SACD and DVD-A titles in their recommendations. Other components evaluated: AudioSource Amp Three, Onkyo TX-DS989 Receiver, PSB Image 2B speaker, RBH 12-SE subwoofer.
SURROUND PROFESSIONAL = has shrunk to a standard-sized magazine for the February issue. The DVD-A of Queen's A Night at the Opera is the cover story for the month, saying it is the disc that puts DVD-A in the spotlight. Other cover features are a Technology Report on SACD Production, First Look at Yamaha's DM2000 digital mixing console, and a profile on Dolby Labs' new screening room in Burbank. Bobby Owsinski writes on surround mixing for DVD of musical highlights from 25 years of Saturday Night Live, and John Sunier's second column on the consumer side of surround is titled Both Sides Now.
BBC MUSIC MAGAZINE = Mezzo Susan Graham adorns the cover of the March issue and the article concerns her bringing a breath of fresh air to the stuffy opera world. In a major special section on William Walton, Humphrey Burton writes about the man and his music, Laurence Olivier remember Henry V, and his darker side is revealed by Lady Susana Walton. Cavalli is the Composer of the Month and there is a tribute to pianist John Ogdon. Walton's music for Henry V is on the included BBC CD this month, and more than 200 CDs are reviewed.
The February BBC MAGAZINE has conductor Valery Gergiev and his ideas of making the TV presentation of such classics as La Mer and The Rite of Spring more visually compelling. He also speaks out on Shostakovich. Igor the Greedy explains how Stravinsky exploited the BBC, and an article on Mendelssohn says it is time to forgive the boy his easy genius. "Box Your Ears" asks if classical music can ever make good TV, and Philip Brett asks Can We Talk About Gay Music? Mendelssohn is composer of the month, the Legends section discusses the late Isaac Stern, and a pairing of Berg's Violin Concerto and Schoenberg's Transfigured Night (both in superb performances, I might add) is the CD provided with the issue.
INTERNATIONAL RECORD REVIEW = More Walton in the March issue, since this is a centenary celebration of his birth. Recordings of Walton conducting his own works are evaluated. DGG's Pollini Edition is profiled, along with classic Callas from EMI Classics. A very useful feature of each issue is a listing of the web sites of nearly all the classical labels. In the February issue The ravishing voice of Renée Fleming is featured, as well as her ravishing face on the front cover. A recorded history of Don Giovanni is the other cover-touted feature.
JOURNAL OF THE AUDIO ENGINEERING SOCIETY = The just-received January/February issue (Vol. 50 No. 1/2) with the exciting blue cover prints papers on Band-Pass Speakers, Loudspeaker Port Design, Inharmonic Tone Wavetables, and Virtual Sound Localization as a Function of Head-Related Impulse Response Duration. One of the features is on Audible Alarms for Smoke-Detectors.
Vol. 49 No. 12 dated Dec. 2001 was recently received. The papers include Subsonic Audio Generation, Loudspeaker Enclosure Element-Based Model, Synthesized Audio Extrapolation and Multitone Testing. There's a report on the recent 111th convention in NYC and announcement of new AES officers, plus a call for papers for the 113th convention scheduled for Los Angeles.
CONSUMER REPORTS = Projection TVs, both standard and HD compatible, are evaluated. Also reviewed: 27, 32, and 36-inch direct-view TV sets. Sony and Hitachi dominate the top spots. VCR/DVD-player combo units are assessed. CR says they deliver little for the price: "You'll get more features for less by buying an $80 VCR and a $150 DVD player. And if either device in the a combo breaks, you may lose both, since they share some common circuitry." Also, updates on component DVD players and VCRs are in this issue. Sony are still the top rated units for both. - Roy Nakano
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