Editorial for December 2006

by | Dec 1, 2006 | Editorial | 0 comments

Welcome to Adobe GoLive 6

Our monthly drawing for December is Brilliant Classics’ 170-CD anthology of Mozart’s Complete Works. The independent Dutch label put the set together from their own catalog and also licensed works from other labels. The New York Times raved about the collection and over 200,000 copies have been sold in France alone. The quality of performances and recordings is high. On December 31st we will draw the name of one winning Audiophile Audition reader who Registered Here on our site, the collection will be shipped to that person. 
The winner whose name we drew for the ZVOX 325 one-box surround sound system for November is Rita Singleton, Reno, NV.  Congratulations!

Undernourished Ears – Guest Editorial

Chuck Hansen was almost shivering with obvious delight as he wrote the following to the editor in a recent e-mail.

My lovely niece, a newly-minted nurse of 1 year and member of the iPod generation, stopped by to see us while I was checking out the Parasound Zamp. I sat her down to listen to my system. Once I explained what to listen for, she could easily pick out the difference in soundstaging, imaging, and frequency response between the Zamp, the Parasound HCA-100A, and my modified Scott 222C. She was quite fascinated with the Scott, since she had never seen or heard tube amplifiers before.
She went out to her car and got her Pearl Jam and Springsteen CDs and happily spent time listening to “her” music. I also played some vinyl for her—she had never really seen that up close before either, having been born about when the CD format came out. Her audio “systems” are her car and her iPod.

It’s a real treat when watching as someone of her generation gets her first exposure to high-end audio.

We audiophiles tend to keep the great secret of splendid sound to ourselves. The same tendency seems to pervade the audio industry as well. It is, I believe, an ill-founded form of false modesty – – – or laziness, or whatever. In audio’s earliest days when we talked about high fidelity, there were a few who believed that “hearing is believing” and took the examples to the public.

G.A. Briggs, who started his career as a cloth salesman, delighted in live demonstrations of good sound. He manufactured some fine drivers which were elegant examples of British craftsmanship. He wrote extensively and entertainingly about hearing, audio, music, and sound systems. He brought salesmanship to his passion for good sound.

Peter Walker provided public demonstrations of good sound to the early audio shows of Britain. Significantly, Walker played saxophone in a local band while building Acoustical Manufacturing and a series of components from amplifiers to electrostatic speakers which have rarely been equaled. Like Briggs, his craft grew out of his enthusiasm for sound, without the benefit of an engineering degree.
The people at Acoustic Research were the first to offer the public an accessible (if you happened to be in New York City) audition booth for your own choice of recorded music. It was surprising how well known that relatively small center became. I suppose the folks at AR had some idea of the traffic to the room over time. It took advantage of the acuity of the human ear to hear the difference in what they were hearing, compared to what was available at home.

These days the whole industry is lying awake nights with the MP3 specter roiling their imaginations. All except the people at Apple, of course. But I believe the time is long past for the audio industry to stir itself to make the obvious benefits of excellent sound available to the generality of the citizenry. Would ten well-managed audition rooms in selected cities of North America be beyond the means of the industry? The magic works.

My nephew visited me the other day. He manages a wire manufacturing facility nearby for a big multinational. He grinned rather sheepishly as he stepped into my listening room. “I have to admit,” he said, “that almost all my listening these days is MP3.” He was intrigued by my Thor speakers and the Pass amplifiers driving them. Then he sat listening intently for a few minutes. Finally he said, “Those are the best speakers I have ever heard in my life. I thought mine were pretty good, but these are much better.”
I hope we will keep in mind that Apple’s iPod sets a benchmark for people’s ears that can be shellacked by five minutes of auditioning the real McCoy. Convenience is great, but not entirely nourishing, after all. 

— Edward T.Dell, Publisher of AudioXpress   [Reprinted with permission]

General Editorial 

Welcome to the web publication for audio, music and home theater, emphasizing hi-res and surround sound for music! AUDIOPHILE AUDITION began as a weekly national radio series hosted by John Sunier, which aired for 13 1/2 years on up to 200 public radio and commercial stations coast to coast.
December 06 is our 94th issue and we’re in our eighth year! All reviews – about 100 a month – are now added throughout the month as they are written and received. This ensures you get the latest reviews, without having to wait a month for new content.  We have reorganized the web site to make it easier to navigate and find content. The most recent reviews appear at the top of each Section Index. To read the full review, click on the headline and you will be taken directly to that review. The Home Page lists the five latest published reviews, the Section Index lists the past two months of reviews, the Archive goes back to June 1, 2005, and for all reviews by month prior to that you need to click on the Old Archive, which goes back to 2001. The Disc Index also lists past reviews in every section.
You probably have some friends who would like to know about Audiophile Audition.  Please pass our URL on to them and help expand our elite group of readers and collectors.  It’s easy to do at the bottom of every review, by just clicking on the “Email this page to a friend” link. Thanks in advance for your help in getting the word out!

We welcome your feedback, and we have a “Reader Feedback” section. Please send us your comments, and we will review and possibly post them to that section. Check back with us frequently for more reviews and news, and be sure to register for our monthly giveaway! When you do, please give us the few requested facts, including a working email and street address – otherwise we can’t send you your winning item!  We don’t share your information with anyone else.


We have an affiliation with an exciting AV online forum for those who would like to share with others your views, news, questions and answers about music, audio and home theater. Currently well over 4000 register members participate; it’s like having your own AV club online. And it’s free! Have fun interconnecting!


Geffen, Donna Dorsett, Patricia Rimmer, Ann Stahmer, Laurence Vittes, Tom Gibbs,
Lemco, Brian Bloom, Clay Swartz, John Henry, Peter Bates, Ron
Legum, Paul Pelon IV, Jeff Dorgay, James A. Fasulo, Calvin Harding Jr.,
Birney Brown, Jeff Krow, Dan Krow,  Hermon Joyner, William Sommerwerck, Bob Moon, Steven Ritter, Randy Haldeman, Max Dudious, John Sunier.

  © John Sunier 2006 

you appreciate the unique audio reviews and information we bring you
free of charge, please patronize our sponsors. Simply click on their
banners, find their Contact Us link, and leave a short message
your thanks for their continued support of AUDIOPHILE AUDITION.

Related Reviews
Logo Pure Pleasure