Audio News for May 17, 2013

by | May 17, 2013 | Audio News

The CD vs. Vinyl Controversy – There are online discussions for those who have yet to give up on physical media for their music, about the relative pros and cons of CDs vs. LPs. We could summarize as follows: CD Pros – Hold twice as much music, all very similar in size and play most anywhere, not subject to damage as is vinyl, generally problem-free, cheaper than vinyl, with exceptional mastering effort can surpass the frequency response of vinyl, no surface noise, don’t need to be cleaned before playing, SACDs can provide discrete hi-res surround. Vinyl Pros – Richer, more “warm” sonics, the ultimate in fidelity in stereo 45 rpm pressings, nostalgia for LPs of the past, more space for cover art and notes, variety of packagings, more pleasure in handling them. CD Cons – Some had “CD rot,” only recently has the fidelity improved to not grate on the ears of many audiophiles, many so-called audiophile pressings (such as gold CDs) are ineffective, really effective super-audiophile standard CDs are very expensive, the 44.1K/16-bit standard CD sampling rate is simply too low for the best fidelity.  Vinyl Cons – Quality all-analog turntable systems to derive the best sound from vinyl are much more expensive than CD players, the discs are extremely delicate and require much care in playing and storage, more expensive than CDs, distortion as stylus approaches label, having to get up frequently to change—especially with 45 rpm vinyls, surface noise and static problems, show wear rather quickly, can’t find in most standard record shops, classical and jazz titles must usually be ordered online with the possibilities of damage in shipment.

Classical News – British early music specialist Harry Bicket will be the newchief conductor of the Santa Fe Opera starting in October. A former employee of Atlanta’s Woodruff Arts Center has pleaded guilty to embezzling more than $1.1 million from the organization. The Boston Symphony Orchestra will tour China in May 2014 under Lorin Maazel—its first appearance in that country since 1979. Tenor Jonas Kaufmann of the Oper Frankfurt won a “male singer” award from the U.K.’s Opera magazine. Another of the 23 categories of awards went to the Met Opera for their HD telecasts. Christian Thielemann is one of Germany’s most sought-after conductors. 20 years ago he had a major U.S. career, running over five seasons with the New York Philharmonic, and also the Met. He was connected with the Philadelphia Orchestra in the mid-1990s.

LG Google TVs Update – LG Electronics says all its Google TVs will be updated with the latest version of the Android 4.2.2 operation system.  It will be available in the third quarter and will open the platform to more applications, interactivity and advanced graphics. Smartphone apps using the Android-based Native Development Kit (NDK) will run on Google TVs with little or no modifications.  The latest OS provides developers with new opportunities in the smart-TV arena. The Magic Remote QWERTY allows intuitive functionality and a free remote control app will turn any Android smartphone or tablet into a two-handed touch-sensitive game controller. The update will be made available over-the-air (OTA) as a download for existing LG Google TVs in the U.S.

B&O Debuts Its First Surround System – The new BeoLab 14 system will be available next month in 4.1 or 5.1 configurations. The 4.1 system is used with B&O TVs, which feature an onboard speaker acting as the center channel speaker, while the 5.1 system is meant for use with other TV brands. Both systems connect to an AV receiver. Pricing is $4000 & $4400 respectively.

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