Audio News for December 2, 2011

by | Dec 2, 2011 | Audio News

Jason Moran Named to Kennedy Center Post – Jazz pianist Jason Moran has been named as the Artistic Advisor for Jazz at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, replacing Dr. Billy Taylor in that position, who died last year. He will assist staff operating one of the largest jazz programs in the U.S. and will work with the Center’s other programming departments coordinating programming for multidisciplinary festivals and events at the Kennedy Center. From his solo projects to recordings with his group The Bandwagon, Moran has challenged the status quo and earned the reputation as “the future of jazz.” His early inspiration was Thelonious Monk, and in 2007 he created In My Mind: Monk at Town Hall, which led to a feature documentary film titled In My Mind. He also scored a ballet for Alonzo King’s ballet troupe.
Clear Wireless Mono Speaker – Trying to offer something different in the over-saturated loudspeaker market, an unnamed company has come up with a prototype wireless speaker in a fairly large but not deep glass enclosure. It can be fed in wired fashion by a smartphone or MP3 player, but also has a wireless receiver and comes with a small WiFi transmitter which can be plugged into any device with a headphone jack.  The trick is that the speaker parts ship, Ikea style, without the glass enclosure.  The user has to order the glass from a local glassmaker and have them cut the two round holes and the eight or ten small holes for bolts to hold the parts to the glass front.  The DIY element makes the product stand out, but may not be attractive to many people. The clear speaker is not yet in production. (Since the developers are not named, it is possible this whole item is a hoax, since most audiophiles are aware that plate glass is one of the worst possible materials for use in audio.)
Top Pop Music Blu-rays – CNET has listed their top ten list of Blu-ray music discs, and it includes several we have reviewed: Lindsey Buckingham: Songs from the Small Machine, Procol Harum: Live at the Union Chapell, and Yes: Symphonic Live. Also on their list are Stevie Wonder: Live at Last, Peter Gabriel: New Blood: Live in London, and  The Rolling Stones: Some Girls: Live in Texas ’78. 
New Vampire Power Control Gadget – Belkin has a small $7 Conserve Power Switch, which cuts the flow of power to any device plugged into it. When you want to use the device, you just flick it on and small green light goes on. A typical microwave uses 3 watts of power when it is off but still plugged in, so you could save about $3 a year with the power switch. However, the best solution is a power strip surge protector, with which you turn off all the wall warts and power supplies to all your home entertainment or computer gear when you are not using them.
Consider Personal Electronic Equipment Insurance – If you own expensive AV equipment, you might want to consider Personal Electronic Equipment Insurance. It has broader coverage than a standard home policy for damage or loss, including what might take place during installation of AV components. Some such policies even cover the repair and replacement of the items. There is also Scheduled Personal Property Insurance— a “floater” to your home insurance policy, which assigns specific values to prized items such as expensive electronics, artworks, jewelry, fur coats, etc. You might need a professional appraiser to assign an item’s value. Replacement limits under a standard policy are generally much lower than the value of the property lost or damaged. The SPP policy will even cover valuables lost during travel, are accidentally misplaced, and even wedding rings that go down the drain.

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