HI-FI NEWS (August)Krell’s entry into
speaker-making, the Resolution 1, gets a rave review this month (if you
have enought cash and enough power).  The AV Tech portion of the
magazine covers the Marantz VP-12S4 projector, the NAD DVD player,
Harmon Kardon seven-channel AV receiver, and a report on how far Bill
Gate’s promise of convergence has gotten to date. Other reviews: Roksan
Xerxes.20 turntable, KEF Reference 205 speaker, Consonance Cyber 10
Amp, Onix Rocket 550 Mk II speaker, iPod Essentials, Benz Micro LP
Ebony cartridge, B&W spherical PV1 subwoofer, JBL Encounter, Oracle
CD2500 & DAC1000, Tivoli iPal. In recorded music, there are reviews
of the LPO’s new record label, Mravinsky performances on DVD, a Wayne
Shorter retrospective, Charles Llyod on ECM, the return on Brian Eno,
Kraftwerk live, Bela Fleck and Barb Jungr.
 
HI-FI NEWS (July) – The shiny Chord One top-loading CD player is
on the cover and described as Cool. Ken Kessler says it bring joy back
to hi-fi. Audio Research’s VM220 power amp, Tannoy’s Arena dual
concentric lifestyle speaker and Quad’s affordable 33/303 pre/power amp
from the 1960s is in the Classic Kit section. The Home Entertainment
section explains details of LCD technology, has a receiver shootout
between Harman and Marantz, and reviews Fujitsu’s finest projector, the
LPF-D711. Other gear: Windows Media PCs, Naim Audio DVD5 and AV2,
Pro-Ject Debut III turntable, Jolida JD-100 CD Player modified by Parts
Connexion, Waterfall Victoria speaker, EAT KT-88 Diamond tubes, Chario
Silhouette 200 speaker, PMC FB1+ speaker 
 
SOUND & VISION (June) – In the second comparison of
big-screen technologies, A Samsung 50-inch DLP HDTV is up against a
Hitachi 50-inch LCD HDTV.  The conclusion found a slight advantage
to the DLP, but not as major a difference as when their first
comparison matched a plasma display to an LCD. Daniel Kumin compares
three tiny killer subwoofers. The five articles under The Connect House
discuss among other things whole-house AV, different approaches to
multiroom entertainment, and ways to turn one’s iPod into a music
server. Starter-model DVD recorders from Panasonic, Philips and Pioneer
are reviewed, and Toshiba’s 52-inch DLP HDTV passes muster. Surround
speaker systems from MartinLogan and Definitive Technology are
reviewed, and Onkyo’s TX-NR1000 super surround receiver is evaluated.
The Entertainment section is divided into Movies, Games and Music. The
DVD reviews include Sideways, Kinsey, Finding Neverland & Closer.
In an interview actor Woody Harrelson gives his take on movies and
music.
 
WIDESCREEN REVIEW (August) – Promotional
artwork from the current flick on DVD State of the Union graces the
cover.  Cover stories include DLP from A to Z, Blue-Laser Camps
Still Dithering, Toshiba’s HD DVD Launch Is On Target, Over 40 DVD
Reviews, and reviews of Triad’s InRoom and Gold LCR speakers, also
Pioneer’s PRO-920HD Elite Plasma HDTV. Inside are reviews of the
Meridian G68 Preamp & Processor and details of DTS Connect. The
Blue Laser article reports that since the backers of Blu-ray and HD DVD
seem determined to mess up hi-def home entertainment with two
incompatible format introductions, industry attention is turning toward
giving up on the blue laser and using advanced data compression
techniques to fit the five to six times greater data required for
hi-def onto one DVD. Microsoft’s WMV/HD is already available on several
releases and gaining group in Europe, and a spin-off of Bell Labs is
working on holographic discs using red lasers which could hold as much
as 300 GB of data and be available in a year or two.

WIDESCREEN REVIEW (July) – The celebrity most men would like to
be, according to a recent survey, graces the cover of “The Essential
Home Theatre Resource.”  Will Smith’s “Hitch” is the DVD of the
month, and an update on the format war now reports that no end is in
sight after all. “Toshiba’s Ace in the Hole” refers to the HD-DVD camp
coming up with a 45 GB capacity disc to fight Blu-ray’s 50 GB
capacity.  But at the same time TDK has announced they have
developed a 100 GB Blue-ray disc!  (This is beginning to be a deja
vu of the Beta/VHS format war when each side was increasing their
recording time by slowing speed and therefore image quality even
further than it was already was; Beta lost by 1 1/2 hours as I recall.)
The Editor’s Couch covers four CEA stories concerning such things as
the Broadcast Flag and the FCC’s 100% DTV tuner requirement. Component
reviews: Sharp LC-45GX6U Aquos LCD HDTV, Genesis 6.1 speaker system,
Cary Audio Cinema 5 amp and Cinema 6 surround processor.

THE SENSIBLE SOUND (July/August) –
The Yamaha DVD-S1500
universal disc/DVD player ($450) is on the cover, and reviewed in depth
by Yamaha-booster Howard Ferstler inside. The review includes many
comments about playback of hi-res surround discs and use of ProLogic II
on standard stereo discs. Other reviews are the Toshiba SD-4960 DVD
player and the Son of Ampzilla 2000 basic amp.  The theory and
design of the highly unique Rotary-Vane Woofer invented by Bruce
Thigpen of Eminent Technology is discussed. There’s a rather late
report on CES 2005, which occurred in early January.

HDTV ETC. (June/July) – The overly-busy cover promotes primarily
an HDTV Buyer’s Guide (seems to be a buyer’s guide in almost every
issue of the slick magazine lately) and “over 5000 HD products inside!”
The ones identified on the cover are: SIM2 front projector, Ultravision
direct view display, Panasonic HD receiver, LG LCD display, Hitachi
rear projection set, and Samsung HD receiver. Feature articles are
“Movies, Piracy and You,” “HDTV Programming,” and a HDTV Glossary.

THE INNER EAR REPORT (Vol. 16 #3) – The front cover illustrates
the Wiener Lautsprecher Manufaktur Gran Viola & Duo 18 Sub (I kid
you not and no typos there either). Other products listed on the cover:
StudioLab Protege speakers, Wilson Benesch A.C.T. speakers, Neat
Acoustics speakers; Benchmark DAC, Meridian G07 CD Player, Chord 2600
Integrated Amp, ExctPower Regulator, Straight Wire speaker cables,
Pioneer Elite DVD player, Hitachi video projector, NAD HT amp &
tuner/processor, Sharp AQUOS LCD monitor & system with DVD player,
AirPort Express, and Six Synergistic Systems – by which TIER means
groupings of different components they have reviewed and then hooked
together at various price levels and found worked well together.
Categories are Budget System, Budget High End System, Uncomplicated
High End, and The Complex System.

AUSTRALIAN HI-FI AND HOME THEATRE TECHNOLOGY (April-May) –
This
slick publication is a sort of Down-Under counterpart of Hi-Fi
News.  Well-designed and written reviews cover the audio and HT
worlds with an occasional bow to local products – such as the Aussie
turntable from Continuum on the front cover – described as Best at the
Las Vegas CES. The April-May cover also features an article on Dolby
5.1 and bass management failures. There is an Audio News section, a CES
Report, Meet the Designer – which this issue features PSB’s Paul
Barton, and even a humor feature on how a collector searched high and
low for the disc of his dreams. Equipment reviews include: NAC C320BEE
stereo integrated amp, Whatmough (Aussie firm) Opus 30 speakers, Stello
DP200 DAC/Preamp & S200 power amp, Sangean WR-1 two-band radio
receiver, Ivie IE-33 Audio Analysis System, Kenwood KRF-X9080D AV
surround receiver.  Their music review section is divided into
Back Stage, Rock, Jazz, World Music, Classic, and DVD Reviews.
[Subscription Info: 1800 227 236 (labeled freecall but perhaps that’s
only in Australia); hifi@horwitz.com.au]

BOUND For SOUND (Issue #164) – The audio news section discusses
a Chinese amp which can be purchased direct for about $900 but looks
very similar to an amp imported by a U.S. high end company which sells
it for $7000. BfS also weighs in on the critical side re: DualDisc.
Martin DeWulf even says, “How much longer until we put DualDisc up
there on the shelf with the rest of Sony’s impressive list of failed
formats?” Well, DualDisc wasn’t entirely thought up by Sony, and Martin
considers SACD to be part of that “impressive list!” Part II of
Components of Merit appears this issue and it covers Speakers &
Accessories. Among their Most Meritorious: Merlin, VMPS & Gallo.
The Silverline Sonatina III speaker is reviewed, and Resolution Audio
responds to a BfS review of their Opus 21 CD player. A new contributor,
Brandt Kwiram, writes concering how sensible Audio-only people are vs.
the crazy Audio-Video nuts (his terminology, not mine). 

 

AUDIO XPRESS  (August) –
Cover
features: Speaker Damping: How Much Is Enough?; Easy Way to Filter
Pesky Noise Problems (Budget EMI filter); Modern Makeover for a Dynaco
Classic (the SCA 80 Integrated); Busted: 5 Speaker Myths; Build This
Tube Amp With Full-Bridge Output; Reviews of Three Audio Editing
Softwares: Sound Forge Audio Studio/AudioSurgeon v.6/DC Six 6.14.
 

AUDIO XPRESS (July) –
Cover
features this issue: Constructing a low-noise phono preamp, Spotlight
on Horn Speakers, More on Electrostatic Speaker Design, How to Build an
Internal Amp for Your Computer, Make Your Own Coil Winder, Audio Great
Protection. Also inside: Isolator tube interface to computers, Tube
audio construction tips Pt. 5.

AUDIO XPRESS (June)
– Cover articles this month are on How to
Control Diffraction, A Phono Preamp Starter Kit, ABCs of Building
Electrostatic Speakers, Try This Small Powerful (Pentode) Tube Amp,
Tips on Recycling Tube Parts, Making Accurate Attenuators, and a review
of Smart Home Hacks (a book on tips and tools for automating your
house). Inside is also Part 1 of an All-JFET phono preamp article and
Part 5 of a series on Tube Audio Construction Tips. There’s been an
increase in color photos lately in Audio Xpress.

MULTI MEDIA MANUFACTURER (May/June) – David J. Weinberg writes
the most critical and courageous review of a Consumer Electronics Show
I have ever enjoyed. To quote, “Never in the course of human events has
the nature of consumer electronics been so computer-centric, never
before has our freedom to control use of purchased software been so
threatened.” He describes the craziness of CES in general, then visits
some of the 2500 exhibits and names names when he observes expensive
plasma displays way too blue-green, or sound from trés-dear speakers
way too shrill and harsh. Another qoute on equipment reviewing: “I
recognize the need for a publication to make money to stay in business,
but I also believe there is an implied obligation for AV magazines to
try to assist and guide their readers, to help them make more informed
decisions as they approach purchasing new electronic toys.” In other
articles Barry Fox writes on The Bitter Blu-Ray Battle, Nelson Pass on
Practical MOSFET Testing for Audio, and ON Semiconductor is featured in
“New Chips on the Block.”

THE BAS SPEAKER (Vol. 27 No. 1) – Packed with text and few
illustrations, the Boston Audio Society’s publication is full of
reports on past meetings of the very active group, reprints of various
pertinent articles, news about audio and video, and contributions from
members. Not afraid to voice controversial opinions you would never see
in the slick magazines, the BAS even raises our hackles as one member
claims in this issue that it is a demonstrable fact “that hi-res offers
absolutely no audible sonic advantages over the 20+-year-old 16/44 CD
format…” (!) That comes from a report on a club meeting back in 2003
(why so long ago?) with Paul Reynolds, formerly of Philips, as guest,
talking about SACD.  All thru the report various members check in
with various derogatory comments on Reynolds’ statements to the group.
There is a fascinating piece on the late Norman Pickering of phono
cartridge fame. Frank Beecham writes on Can We Restore Media Diversity?
and “We Don’t Care About HDTV” counters some of the CEA propaganda with
survey results showing that HDTV isn’t exactly instantly replacing NTSC
TV in the minds and purchasing decisions of most Americans. A visit to
Brad Meyer’s Point One Audio studio and a talk by David Kaye on sound
reinforcement and on his brother Richard Kaye of WCRB is a nostalgia
trip for former Bostonians but should be of interest to most readers.
Talk about not fearing controversy, check out the article “DVD CCA Is
an Innovation-Stifling Cartel” – “The DVD Copyright Control Association
is a bunch of bullies” it starts out, and seems to back up its
allegations.