Here are the 12 winners of last month’s drawing/giveaway for a pair of Mapleshade audiophile CDs – one jazz and one classical. Congrats to all!
I have the greatest respect for one of the top British writers on audio, Barry Fox, whose Media Report column appears in both Hi-Fi News and Multi Media Manufacturer print publications. I find strong agreement with him on some of the subjects he has tackled recently, included the widespread confusion and problems with HDMI and the many problems connected with making a computer the heart of a home entertainment system.
However, I feel I need to counter a couple statements in his latest column regarding SACD. One is that the DualDisc format has flopped, “along with SACD and DVD-Audio.” Also that “Linn is one of the few companies promoting SACD music.” Obviously, AUDIOPHILE AUDITION readers know differently! Well, nearly 5300 SACDs have been issued worldwide – does that sound like it has flopped, I ask you? There are new labels appearing all the time with their first SACD issues and we’re making every effort to let you know about them, even if they are not distributed in the U.S. It is unfortunate that more jazz and pop SACDs are not being issued, and that some international SACD releases have been issued only as standard CDs in the U.S. due to DRM concerns of major labels. However, let’s all squash this absurd idea being quoted by many publications that the format is dead!
True, DualDisc (in the original format of a single disc with one side CD and the other either DVD-A or DVD-V) and DVD-Audio seem to be winding down. However, both AIX and Classic Records continue to issue audiophile DVD-A discs that are excellent. (We just published a review of one.) And the general idea of providing hi-res two-channel audio on DVD-V has been picked up by HDTT and some others in 96K/24-bit DVD-R releases which play on most standard DVD players. (Why more record labels are not offering this option I don’t know.)
SACD offers the best already standard hi-res surround sound option. Many users lack the playback/decoding setup to properly play the new hi-res audio codecs from Dolby and DTS. Therefore it is disturbing that plans are afoot by the BD Group – now that Blu-ray has finally come out the winner in the absurd hi-def format war – to create two new “profile” standards for Blu-ray, replacing the original v.1.0. Many users are already unable to access some features of new Blu-ray releases because their players are first generation and/or they haven’t installed the latest firmware update required. Now even more people will be at a loss when Profile 2.0 – adding Live Internet interactivity – comes out later this year. Then the BD Group plans Profile 3.0, which is for an audio-only Blu-ray disc with uncompressed multichannel sound (which we have already and is wonderful with video Blu-ray concerts!) at a 36 Mbps transfer rate. Perhaps it will allow more immediate playing of music discs without a video display, but there is no need for yet another audio format – we already have multichannel SACD!
— John Sunier
May 08 is our 111th issue and last year we observed our Ninth Anniversary! All reviews – about 100 per month – are added throughout the month as they are written and received. 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 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.
— The AUDIOPHILE AUDITION staff
STAFF WRITERS: Dalia
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Lemco, Brian Bloom, Clay Swartz, John Henry, Peter Bates, Ron
Legum, Paul Pelon IV, Calvin Harding Jr.,
Birney Brown, Jeff Krow, Daniel Krow, Hermon Joyner, Bob Moon, Steven Ritter, Randy Haldeman, Max Dudious, Howard Herrnstadt, John Nemaric, John Sunier.
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