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2004 Issues
2003 Issues


AUDIOPHILE AUDITION - web magazine for music, audio & home theater


Updated 5/22/04

STEREOPHILE ULTIMATE AV (June) = The former Stereophile Guide to Home Theater has a new name, new large-format design and more pages, plus a stronger focus on the high end in home theater gear. Russell Crowe is on the cover on Mitsubishi’s new PD-5030 plasma flat screen display and Part 1 of a series on world class subwoofers reviews the Revel B15, Kleiss S15A, Genelec HTS6 and Dave Wilson’s new $11K Watch Dog. The Great Channel Debate of 5.1 vs. 7.1 is a cover feature, and front projectors from Panasonic, NEC & Beno are reviewed. A feature on a Superbowl HD sports party setup shows how one fan crowded ten HDTVs into his 8 room house, including a 15” flat screen in a bathroom. Watching the Bytes explains the fine details of how bit rates and bandwidth affect HD image quality, and Evolution of a Hero looks back on the film career of Gregory Peck and some of his best efforts on DVD. Other component reviews: Teac Esoteric DV-50, Mitsubishi HD 5000 HDTV receiver-controller, Camelot Tech Dragon 5.1 Pulse jitter-reduction device.

STEREOPHILE GUIDE TO HOME THEATER (May) = The premier review of Sony’s breakthrough Qualia SXRD front projector is featured inside and on the cover. Also an article on Mastering Color in Video, a survey of the January CES, What’s in Store for 2004, and reviews of Sharp’s DLP projector, speakers from Aerial and Atlantic and the latest Pioneer Elite line HD RPTV. The Big Pictures discusses various digital schemes for displays which have revolutionized the way we think about TV in general, and Home Theater Architect lists Seven Steps to Home Theater. The end-paper piece on a special DVD each month calls the nine and a half hours long Shoah the best documentary or drama ever made on the Holocaust.

= is a special issue on The Connected Home. Cover stories: Movies & Music Anywhere, Anytime; Create Your Own AV Network; High-Tech Living in 3 Showcase Homes; Wireless TV Is Here! (Sharp’s Aquos wireless). The first test of an HDTV Recorder from LG shares with reviews of three HDTV projectors, Pioneer’s DVD/TiVo Recorder, On-wall speakers from NHT and Gateway’s Family Media Center. Media receivers from Apex, Netgear and Pinnacle are reviewed. Director Shawn Levy is interviewed, The DVD section covers Kill Bill Vol. 1, School of Rock, Master and Commander and others, and the music section reviews Eric Clapton, Aerosmith, Diana Krall, Velvet Revolver and others.

SOUND & VISION (May) = Features an updated reference to HD programming and how to get it, tips on improving the sound of your new HDTV, on finding HDTVs for less, and nine super gadgets for the HT. Readers write in for help on fixing their ailing HT systems, and the Entertainment section covers movies, music and games. Test Reports on: Mitsubishi 55-inch HDTV, Sharp DV-HR300 DVD/hard-disk recorder, Yamaha RX-29 digital surround receiver, Pioneer 43-inch plasma TV, plus QuickTakes on both the Niro 1.1 Pro surround speaker system and the Roku HD1000 photo/art/music player. David Ranada’s “2:3 or not 2:3” column is all about why you can’t point a video camera at a movie and have it come out right.

THE PERFECT VISION (May/June) = Thin HDTV displays from Epson and SIM2 are cover features, with Sony’s new Qualia 004 SXRD-Based front HDTV projector called a Breakthrough and hot new video products from the 2004 Consumer Electronics Show. What’s Hot! covers recommended speakers and subwoofers, and editor Robert Harley announces that the spinoff of The Absolute Sound will now be publishing seven issue a year instead of its former quarterly schedule. Other component reviews: Denon AVR-1804 AV Receiver, NAD T163 AV Tuner/Controller and T973 7-channel amp, B&W 700 Series HT speaker system, 3 flat-panel LCD TVs: Sharp Aquos, Samsung Tantus and JVC LT26WX84. The Film and Movies section compiles the views of three different writers on the classic Jean Renoir film The Rules of the Game, just issued on DVD by Criterion.

WIDESCREEN REVIEW (June) = Artwork of various characters from The Lord of the Rings graces the June cover, and the feature story is BD & HD DVD Camps Dug In for War - I think that war is over not the ring but the disc. “A New Surround Sound Standard (The Time Has Come)” caught my interest because I briefly believed perhaps the WSR crew had come to recommend Ambisonic surround. Not so; their concept is basically for film playback - not music - and extends from the studio recording situation to final home playback. It involves five (six for 6.1) identical speakers at identical heights and all spaced exactly the same distances from one another and from the sweet spot, in a perfect circle around the listener/viewer, and without bass management. (Of course that would put the left and right frontal speakers too far apart for most music playback - whether multichannel or stereo.) Reviews of equipment: BenQ PE8700 DLP HD2 front projector, Marantz DV8400 Universal Disc Player, Manley Labs Neo-Classic Vacuum Tube Amps, Pioneer DVR-810H TiVo DVD Recorder. The over 40 DVD reviews are sectioned into Fantasy/Adventure, Drama, Comedy, Family, Musical, Thriller, Stage Performance, Animation, Sci-Fi, Documentary & Foreign.

WIDESCREEN REVIEW (May) = Battling Raymond Crowe adorns the cover in his role as Master and Commander. The cover article HDMI- One Year Later discusses the new video standard in depth. “FCC To Rule on Down Resolution” is another feature, plus Part II of a rundown on video products at CES. Cover component reviews are the Marantz VP-12S3L HD2+ DLP front projector and Equi=Tech’s Son of Q & Son of Q Jr. balanced power conditioners. The mag’s Release Schedule for DVDs and D-VHS is extensive and goes from April to the end of June, but in keeping with the focus of WSR, it lists only widescreen-format films.

HI-FI NEWS (June) = The spare cover shows the new universal disc player from Linn (the world’s most expensive such) and is titled All Linn One. The review finds it a notable achievement but facing some stiff competition at more modest price levels. Audio guru Peter Craven is interviewed, Barry Fox opines that the death knell of DVD-A may be tolling, and Ken Kessler writes on the frustrating language of DVD navigation. Component reviews: LS3/5 Wannabees considers entries from AVI, Blue Note, Harbeth, Spendor and Penaudio; Chord Electronics Blu CD transport, Pro-Ject 1 Xpression turntable, EAR 509 Mk II power amp, KEF Q4 speaker, Krell 400xi integrated amp, ART Skibo speakers, Trichord clock mods, Musical Fidelity X-150 amp, Wireworld Equinox/Atlantis interconnect & speaker cables, Elgato EyeTV 400 DVD-T box, Grado RS-2 headphones, Isotek Mini Sub GII, Halcro dm38 amp.

HI-FI NEWS (May) = Sony’s top SACD player and accompanying digital amp grace the cover and are titled “Super-duper SACD. “ (SCD-XA9000ES & TA-DA9000ES) Other cover articles are a review of Blue Pearl’s turntable, Audio Physic’s top Virgo III speaker, and the Cambridge digital broadcast tuner. The Bristol, UK audio show is covered, and Sweetspot displays an exotic audio system in a cozy domestic setting. Other reviews: Transfiguration Aria cartridge, Shanling CDT-200 SACD player, Manley Steelhead phono stage, Castle Acoustics CC3 speakers, Opera Mini MKII speaker, M-Audio Transit USB device, Zingali Colosseum speaker, Focal-JMlab Chorus 726S speaker, Sennheiser NoiseGard PXC 250 headphones, Plinius 9200 amp.

AUDIO IDEAS GUIDE (Winter/Spring 2004) = Pioneer’s Pro-91OHD plasma display is on the wall of the cover photo of the Canadian High End Audio & Video quarterly. There’s a look at the details of calibration carried out on a HD display by an ISF professional, a feature on the video processing offered by Runco, Faroudja and others to improve non-HD video sources, and reviews both both DVDs and what Editor Andrew Marshall calls SuperSound discs. Component reviews are: Rega Planar 3 turntable, Pioneer Elite PRO-R04U Media Receiver/Processor, Niro Two6.1 Receive/Speaker HT system, Menttor Dolby Digital/DTS headphone system, speakers from PMC, PSB, Sunfire, Paradigm, D-Box & Energy; Moon Equinox upsampling CD player, Bluenote Villa Boboli MC phono cartridge, XP Sound XP201 phono preamp/headphone amp.

STEREOPHILE (May) = 21st Century Tube Sound is emblazoned on the cover, for T+A’s V10 Amp from Germany (which probably explains the laughable name), which is also pictured. A full report of the 2004 CES show is a feature. High-value amps from Musical Fidelity, DNM, Unison and Vincent are reviewed, plus high-performance digital components from Cary (CD-303/200 CD player), Benchmark (DAC1 D/A headphone amp) & Nagra (DAC D/A processor). Music-oriented cover items are on Bruce Springsteen, the best CDs of the over 60 extant of Holst’s The Planets, and on Grant-Lee Phillips going solo.

THE ABSOLUTE SOUND (April/May) = B&W’s 704 speakers grace the cover, described as Trickle-Down Technology. Part 2 of their Cables Survey continues, Five budget cartridges are highlighted in the analog section, and the tubes vs. transistors debate is entered with a discussion among TAS writers and editors. The Best at the CES is a cover feature, as well as a roundup of SACD & DVD-Audio players. Other components are Krell’s KAV-400XI integrated amp and TAD’s Model-1 Reference Monitor. Four SACDs and three DVD-As are reviewed. McIntosh Then and Now is the subject of the TAS Retrospective.

DVD ETC. (May/June) = Many DVDs adorn the cover to point up a story on The Top 100 DVDs of All Time. There is also a bonus feature on the Top 20 Multichannel Audio Discs. The monthly Buyer’s Guide deals with universal DVD players, the Mobile section has JL Audio’s XR650-Csi speakers and a face off between the two satellite systems: XM Radio and Sirius. Special features: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly; What’s Cooking?: Lions Gate Home Entertainment; and a suite of five professional video editing software apps from Adobe. Equipment tests: Infinity’s TSS-750 speaker ensemble, and cables from AudioQuest, Aural Symphonics, Wasatch and Zu.

SURROUND PROFESSIONAL (March/April) = Features for this issue are on how one PBS affiliate is handling the migration to surround sound, on the latest surround sound mixing boards for broadcast, and on the Grammy Awards surround sound broadcast - only the second time this has been done. The Radio column deals with Surround From Above - the offering of surround sound on some of the channels of both digital radio satellite services. There are reviews of an SRS Circle Surround VST Pro plug-in, a monitor controller from Grace Design, Mackie’s powered monitor speaker and sub, and Dolby’s DM100 Bitstream Analyzer.

BBC MUSIC (May) = Versatile violinist Joshua Bell is on the front cover and inside. Other cover stories are The Final Score? (Why a composer’s last draft isn’t the whole story), Celebrating Dvorak, and No More Nerves! (Children freed from the tyranny of grade exams). The CD of the Month is the BBC Philharmonic in Beethoven’s 2nd & 4th symphonies. Building a Library concerns the Elgar Cello Concerto - of course the first choice is Jacqueline du Pré on EMI. Christopher Hogwood talks about his new series of recordings exploring the secret world of the clavichord, and The Trials of Getting Bigger is about the problems and opportunities of new members of the European Economic Union in expanding their musical life. There are 160 reviews, including DVDs and books on music.

AUDIO EXPRESS (June) = Cover stories: Tips for Making a Better Chassis, Construct a Midbass Dipole, Zen Circuit Insights Revealed, Build Your Own: Low-cost control amp with tubes, high-output power amp, small super-subs; Product review of DacT RIAA phono preamp board.

MULTI MEDIA MANUFACTURER (May/June) = The third issue of the new AV Industry pro magazine continues Larry Klein’s tales with part 2 of A Funny thing Happened on the Way to The Fidelity. There is a spotlight on Chinese manufacturer Tonewinner Electronics, Barry Fox’s Media Report, a Tribute to Julian Hirsch, and an explanation of the Poka-Yoke Technique of mistake-proofing the manufacturing process. Other features are a book review, trade show news, list of new products, and Who’s Hot and Who’s Not in Publicly-Traded Companies.

THE BAS SPEAKER (Vol. 26, No. 1) = The always-interesting newsletter of one of the oldest audio societies in the U.S. opens this time with a long list of tributes to various audio mavens who have departed in the last year. Some of the longer articles are: Rethinking Surround, The Pipes Are Calling (on the Wanamaker pipe organ - largest in the world), Exploring Internet Radio, A Beethoven 9th For the Ages, Announcing a Cure for Reflectophobia. Some of the entries from members are only a paragraph or two, but any audiophile will find a few of utmost interest. The general tone is one of a fresh, no-bull approach to audio that’s a welcome antidote from some of the slick print publications. Their web site is

HDTV ETC. (Spring 2004) = This is the new quarterly’s Buyer’s Guide, with over 1000 HD products listed. On the cover are 50-inch plasma displays from Philips and ReVox plus Def Tech’s Mythos speakers. Inside is a new section titled High Definition Home Theater. In it speakers from Dali and Phase Tech (in-wall units) join the Def Tech in reviews; also the 50-inch plasma from Crystal View and Focus Enhancements’ CS-HD Video Processor. Video components covered (along with the Philips and ReVox) are Epson’s PowerLite Home 10 Projector, LG’s LST-3510A HD receiver/DVD Player, and Sanus Systems’ VMPL Plasma mount. The current state of HD technology is described, there’s a focus on CBS HD programming as well as the major networks in general, Direct John Landis is interviewed, and a Glossary of Terms is offered.

THE SENSIBLE SOUND (April/May) = Their annual Recommended Recordings Issue is different from most in allowing their reviewers to select any recordings new or old that they want to recommend, even some which are out of print. Cary Audio’s Cinema 6 DVD Player is on the cover and called an outstanding CD player that just happens to also be a very good DVD player. Other components reviewed: Innersound Eros Mk.III speaker, Mirage Omnistat Micro HT speakers, Onkyo TX-SR800 Receiver. The Skeptimania column concerns speaker/room suckout and other tidbits. In Surveying the Soundscape, the interesting point is made that many music lovers in the late 1940s decried the loss of fidelity when their treasured 78s were transferred to the new LP format; sound familiar?

DVD ETC. (April) = Their DVD Buyer’s Guide covers over 65 different DVD Portables. On the cover is the 37-inch Aquos LCD panel from Sharp which is said to outshine plasma. Features include DVDs We’re Still Waiting For, Behind the Magic of Spielberg’s Taken, Interviews with Pianist/ Screenwriter Ronald Harwood and with director Mark Hamil. Reviews in the Test Center section include: Crystal View DLP Projector, LG LST-3510A HD receiver/DVD player combo, Mintek’s 8-inch portable DVD player, SAVV’s 10-disc changer and headrest monitor for mobile use, and speakers from JM Lab, Phase Technology and RBH. And don’t miss their last page review of the new Super XVHS Interpellator V 1.1 DL Pro 2 1/2!!

AV TECH (May) = This new Av technology guide which comes with Hi-Fi News has the Arcam CD79 DVD player on the cover over a Union Jack. It is says it sets the digital video standard. There are exclusive reviews of the EAD 8800 surround processor and the Naim Audio DVD5 player. The Master Class section deals with Digital Light Processing and The Best of Bass. Home cinema projectors from InFocus, NEC, Sharp and SIM2 are reviewed in the 48-page publication.

BOUND FOR SOUND (Issue #156) = Where Does Advancement Come From? is the title of Martin DeWulf’s thought-piece. His stance on the two new audio formats is (we’ve heard this before, haven’t we?) that they are not about better sound but about convenience or copyright protection. He’s a fan of the few 96K DADs and clearly a staunch two-channel/anti-HT audiophile. He also mentions the phenomenon of getting enhanced sound from a burned CD-R vs. the original commercial CD. Reviews: Red Rose Audio Rose Petal MC cartridge, DeHavilland UltraVerve Octal tube preamp, Origin Live Aurora turntable. Remember the cone-shaped omnidirectional Ohm Walsh speakers? Well, they’re still around and get a glowing review from Rich Weiner.

AUDIO XPRESS (May) = On the cover of their 35th year issue: Speaker cables: Your Lifeline to Good Sound; Customize Your PC with an Internal Amp; Super Symmetry: Try this Zen Feedback Technique; How to Beat the High Cost of Tube Sockets; Subs and the City: Designing with 8” Drivers. Other articles: A Bottom Octave Compensator; Minimal Reactance Power Supply, BNC Jack Positioner.

AUDIO ENGINEER SOCIETY JOURNAL (April) = The current issue (both online and printed) reprints the following four technical papers: Interpreting Multitone Distortion Spectrum, Compensating for Lossy Voice Coils, Database searching to Identify Audio, & Pitch Detection with Percussive Background. Among the special features is a Surround Live Summary.

THE INNER EAR REPORT (Vol. 15, #4, 2003-04) = A giant retro green tuning eye adorns the new issue of the Canadian publication and above it is the designation “Analog FM Tuner.” This is the new Magnum Dynalab MD 106-T Tuner, from a firm that specializes in that music source ignored by most audiophiles. Audio newcomer Audiophile APS gets a story on their AC treatment equipment. The Affordable Hi-End section discusses Bryston’s BP-25 DA preamp/DAC and Focal.JMlabs’ 726-S speakers. Other cover review stories: Accustic Arts AMP II-AC amp, Exposure’s preamp and amp, Musical Fidelity’s A308 system (CD player/preamp/amp), TAG McLaren Aphrodite speakers, Calliop AvantGarde speakers, PMC OB1 speakers, Pioneer DVR-510H Recorder. The editor discusses a number of tweak accessories, including Harmonic Resolution Systems, Symposium, Ethera Vitae, Nordost anti-static spray, various power line conditioners and Shun Mook pucks.

STEREOPHILE BUYER’S GUIDE - 2004 = Touted as the complete directory of high-end audio gear, this annual goes way beyond the monthly publication by listing over 5000 audio components, a complete web listing of manufacturers and how to choose various components. The introductory articles to each component category are from various Stereophile writers.

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