Audio News for January 6, 2012

by | Jan 6, 2012 | Audio News

New Study Claims Virtuosi Prefer Modern Violins Over Strads – A researcher at the University of Paris carried out an experiment at an international violin competition, as reported in The Guardian. She gave 21 violinists six different violins to play: three modern ones and three by Italian maestros of the 18th century, including Stradivari. Each had time to play all six instruments and rank them according to their playability, projection, response and tone color. The violinists mostly preferred the new violins, and the two Stradivaris were the least liked overall. (About 650 of various Stradivari stringed instruments are still in existence.)
The study has struck a discordant note in the music world. It was pointed out that many violinists today perform on modern instruments even when they own classic Italian ones and their audiences rarely notice. One expert focused on how important the proper set-up of a violin was; even a fraction of an inch difference in the placement of the bridge can alter the sound of the instrument drastically. These is also conjecture about the difficulty of a performer to judge how well his violin carries in a hall, and that a famous feature of Stradivaris is that their tone seems to actually increase with distance.  Perhaps a more exhaustive survey needs to be undertaken.
Gibson Guitar Corp. Buys Stake in Onkyo – The world’s top musical instrument maker, Gibson, has announced a strategic partnership with Onkyo Japan and a major interest in Onkyo USA. Onkyo’s leadership in high quality AV equipment will offer Gibson’s new Pro Audio Division substantial technology resources. The intent is to deliver a superior audio experience to the consumer who has become more used to hearing only inferior compressed music thru inexpensive ear buds. Gibson CEO Henry Juszkiewicz said, “While people may be listening to more music, they are listening to it primarily in a severely compressed format. The aural disparity between a real system and compressed sound is vast, and as a result, they are simply not hearing tremendously rich sounds…our goal is to bring the same exceptional experience artists demand in the studio to a larger consumer base.”
SiriusXM Launches Second 2.0 Radio – The second SiriusXM 2.0 radio, The Lynx, just became available. It receives the SiriusXM 2.0 lineup of channels, which expands the listings by 22, and eight more to come in the future. The Lynx and the earlier Edge tuner can be connected to car or home stereo systems, as well as used in any Wi-Fi area with their rechargeable batteries. The Lynx offers time shifting and can be upgraded with new features delivered via Wi-Fi. It has a multi-touch touchscreen that displays album art and artist bios, as well as stereo Bluetooth. When docked with the vehicle or home kit, the Lynx automatically starts playing the current song from the beginning so users can hear the whole song, store up to 200 hours of programming, pause/rewind/replay for up to 30 minutes of live content, and an electronic programming guide listing what’s on over the upcoming week.  The Lynx retails for $249 and the docking kits are $69.

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