Unique New KEF Mini-Monitor – KEF’s LS50 speaker has a single rose-colored dual driver with radial fins inspired by the design of the drivers on their highest-end line. The MDF cabinet is about 12 x 8 x 11 inches and the ribbed 5.25-inch aluminum/magnesium woofer has a one-inch aluminum dome tweeter in the center. While a bit large for computer desk speakers, they go on 25-inch tall stands for home listening, and sound most accurate. SRP is $1500 a pair.
Walmart and Amazon Tops in Studies – Walmart had the highest level of customer retention over the holidays, while Barnes & Noble had the worst, according to a new retail survey. Walmart retained 93% of its customer base, and its sister chain—Sam’s Club— retained at least 80%. Others with serious customer defections included The Gap, Lowe’s and Costco. The top-scoring retaileds encompassed the discount, warehouse club, closeout, online and dollar store channels, showing the frugality of U.S. customers. Amazon was the most visited and searched for e-tail site of the year, a title it also had in 2011. It was also tops in customer satisfaction. Walmart was No. 2 and Target No. 3. Amazon’s Kindle Fire was the second most-searched-for product of the holiday selling season.
Polk Presenting Five Musical Performances at CES – Polk Audio will present five different, mostly Baltimore-based, musical acts in a special soundproofed area during the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas January 8 – 10. Attendees will also be able to listen to the acts thru Polk’s active noise-canceling on-air and in-ear headphones. They are bringing some of their city’s best musicians to a national forum in observance of their over 40 years in audio.
The Road to Analog-Sounding Digital – is the title of a new Stereophile article. Michael Lavorgna says one format shouldn’t have to sound like another, but states that hi-res digital finally joins vinyl in offering a truly musically-engaging experience. But Steven Stone says that the limited dynamic range and resolution of LPs makes them less useful as a reference than hi-res digital files.