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High-End Audio Industry News

 

02 / 28 / 03

  Enjoy the Music.com has released the March 2003 edition of their Review Magazine. Equipment reviews include:

* CES Show Report Part II by Chris Boylan

* Music, Sound and Personalities: The 2003 CES and T.H.E.
Show by Dave Glackin

* CES and T.H.E. Show 2003 by Gigi Krop

* CES and T.H.E. Show 2003 Report by Dick Olsher

* CES and T.H.E. Show 2003 Report Part II by Bill Gaw

* Atma-Sphere M-60 Mk.II.2 OTL Monoblock Amplifiers by Wayne Donnelly

* BV Audio's PA300 Amplifier- A Mighty Engine That Does by Jim Merod

* Ecosse Reference Cable Ltd. Baton Interconnects, Conductor MK11 Interconnects, and ES 2.3 Loudspeaker Cables by Karl Lozier

The March 2003 edition also offers many music reviews including Beethoven Symphony No. 5, Mendelssohn Symphony No. 4, Reinhold Gliere Symphony No. 3, Op. 42, Sonny Rollins Plus 4 and many more. Please see the Review Magazine by clicking here

 

 

The world's largest Internet provider, AOL has signed an agreement with Sonic Solutions so AOL users can burn their own CD and DVD discs from AOL's MusicNet online music service. This marks an interesting change for a online music providers to allow ease of repeatedly burning music to disc format. "As part of our ongoing effort to make online music mainstream, it is important for us to be able to give members a wide range of options for discovering, experiencing and owning music," said Kevin Conroy, SVP and General Manager, AOL Entertainment. "We heard from members that CD burning was an important part of their desired digital music experience and we wanted to be sure that it was seamlessly integrated into our first digital music subscription service. We chose Sonic's technology for our CD and DVD burn engine to enable CD burning in our new MusicNet on AOL service because they offer a proven solution that supports a range of recording and playback devices."

"With the explosive growth of CD and DVD recording, consumers have an almost insatiable appetite for burning their own audio and data discs," said Mary Sauer, Senior VP of Business Development at Sonic. "AOL is the world's premier online media company, and with Sonic's AuthorScript SDK, AOL has the ability to integrate and deliver the most robust CD and DVD burning capabilities, as they have with the new MusicNet on AOL music subscription service."

 

02 / 27 / 03

FIDEK Model FBC-28E Equipment Stand  Hong Kong based FIDEK [First Audio Manufacturing (Hong Kong) Limited] is now offering equipment stands for both home audio, audio/video, and loudspeaker applications. Seen here is their model FBC-28E three-shelf unit. Employing very sturdy 25mm medium density fiberboard (MDF), this unit can easily hold heavy audio amplifiers and assorted bits. Overall dimensions are 85 x 50 x 56.5 ( WxDxH in cm) and weighs 19.5 kg. Fidek produces many other stands and special loudspeaker wall mounts.

 

02 / 26 / 03

Rotel RDV-1060 DVD-Audio player  Rotel has launched their new reference single-disc RDV-1060 DVD-Audio player ($799) and RSP-1098  flagship pre-amplifier/processor($2,999). The RDV-1060 provides for high-precision 24-bit/192kHz audio for all channels and progressive-output component video, ensuring its success as a reference-quality AV source in even the most demanding home-theater systems. The new disc-player begins with a strong foundation common to all Rotel "Balanced Design" components: a high-current, fully isolated linear power supply to ensure superbly stable voltage and current supplies for each circuit "family" -- digital, video, and analog. Also included is an advanced optical transport/laser-pickup sub-system that reduces error rates and time-domain "jitter" for enhanced data purity that contributes directly to enhanced sound quality. Rotel's employs 24-bit/192kHz digital-analog devices from Cirrus Logic for playback of stereo CD, DVD-Video, or DVD-Audio sources. The RDV-1060 features high-current analog output stages using Analog Devices amplification for all six audio channels. For total convenience in system setup and input-assignment, the RDV-1060 provides both optical and coaxial-electrical digital PCM/bitstream outputs. On the video side, ultra-high-speed, 12-bit video DAC and progressive-scan feed component-video outputs plus S-video and composite-video outputs.

Rotel RSP-1098 preamp/processorRotel's new RSP-1098, a stunning new flagship pre-amplifier/processor. The RSP-1098 features a full-color LCD display integrated into its front panel for system-control and on-screen menu navigation, for monitoring a video source, as a remote entryway, or for integration with security camera systems. A full array of digital-surround capabilities for audio/video needs including various special surround modes. An "over-engineered" power-supply design and generous current reserves courtesy of a bank of specially made low-ESR capacitors provide steady, clean power. Crystal Semiconductors 24-bit/192kHz digital-to-analog converters for all channels, and the latest-generation, ultra-high-speed Cirrus Logic 32-bit signal processing (DSP) engine combine to deliver the complete range of current-day surround modes, including Dolby Digital EX and Pro Logic II, DTS ES-Matrix/Discrete, and DTS Neo:6 processing. There's also Rotel's proprietary, 7.1-channel Extra Surround mode. A grand total of eight channels of analog outputs and uniquely flexible, individual-channel crossover setup control are just two of the features that permit the RSP-1098 to adapt to virtually any home-theater system layout, while eight assignable digital inputs and five analog A-V inputs handle any combination of source components. Independent main/remote IR inputs, a full-functional RS-232 computer-style interface, discrete on/off command structure, and four individually assignable 12-volt triggers contribute to make the Rotel pre-amplifier/processor a full-system media controller.

 

02 / 25 / 03

Channel Island Audio (CIAUDIO) VPP-1 MM/MC phono pre-amplifier  Channel Island Audio (CIAUDIO) has announced their new VPP-1 MM/MC adjustable phono pre-amplifier ($299). This value-priced unit features two "Class A" amplifiers for top-notch performance. Adjustments for gain and load can easily be made via rear-mounted DIP switches. The passive passive RIAA filter employs good quality parts while those seeking to upgrade the unit can choose CIAUDIO's VAC-1 ($159). Specifications of the VPP-1 are as follows:

Gain (@ 1kHz): Selectable 40dB/50dB 
Resistive Load: Selectable 100 ohms/47kohms 
Capacitive Load: Selectable 0pf/100pf 
Subsonic Filter: Selectable on/off 
Subsonic Filter Frequency: -2.5dB @ 20Hz 
Dimensions: 4.4 x 2.65 x 4.4 (WxHxD in inches)
Warranty: 1 Year Parts & Labor

 

02 / 24 / 03

45th Annual Grammy Awards  Enjoy the Music.com's is proud to be the only audiophile publication that truly cares about music first by offering a virtually live 45th Annual Grammy Awards show coverage. Our 2003 report marks our third consecutive year covering the prestigious ceremony. Enjoy the Music.com's also actively support the MusiCares Foundation who are the Recording Academy's non-profit organization that assist struggling musicians with addiction recovery, emergency financial assistance, health treatment and other quality of life issues. Please see our 45th Annual Grammy Awards show coverage by clicking here.

 

02 / 21 / 03

  Canada's Festival Son et Image (FSI) is celebrating their 16th year with a show at the Delta and Four Points Hotels in Montreal, Quebec. The show begins March 28th and ends on March 30th with the main focus being on audio and video equipment. There will be quite a few home theater rooms as stereo music reproduction begins to dwindle. Furthermore, there will also be a focus on, to quote their press release "ambiance with automated lighting, physical sensation mechanisms (sic), interactive televisions and PC's". Show hours and other details are as follows:

1pm to 9pm, Friday March 28th
10am to 7pm, Saturday March 29th
10am to 5pm, Sunday March 30th

Delta Hotel Four Points
475 President Kennedy 475 Sherbrooke W.
Montreal, Qc Montreal, Qc

Admission: $10
2 day passport: $15
3 day passport: $20

 

02 / 20 / 03

Mobile Fidelity Sound Labs MoFi  Back in action Mobile Fidelity Sound Labs has announced the releasing of many dual layer SACD discs including the albums Issac Hayes Hot Buttered Soul, Sonny Rollins Plus 4 (mono), Dave Alvin Blackjack David and three titles from Patricia Barber. Soul singer and songwriter Isaac Hayes was catapulted to fame with a musical style like no other that combined soul, jazz, and rock.† With only four songs, this expansive disc was both an R&B smash and FM rock radio staple that yielded the two-sided Top 40 hit of "Walk On By" and "By The Time I Get To Phoenix".

Saxophonist Sonny Rollins is one of the most important jazz instrumentalists of the past 50 years.†This 1955 monaural recording is considered one of his finest sessions and was essentially his first as a leader.†Plus 4 is essentially Clifford Brown and his group at the time consisting of pianist Richie Powell, bassist George Morrow, and the father of modern drumming Max Roach. Song selections include then-new originals "Valse Hotquote" and "Pent-Up House" plus such standards as†"I Feel A Song Coming On" and "Count Your Blessings". As for Patricia Barber, new re-issue releases include Nightclub, Cafe Blue, and the ever-popular album Modern Cool.

 

02 / 19 / 03

SunnComm Technologies, Inc  In a battle to successfully keep others from copying audio CDs, the new Ike and Tina Turner CD will be employing the SunnComm and Microsoft Copy Controls system. This new system controls how legal owners of the disc copy, transfer and file share. Sterling Entertainment will release The Early Sessions album in March 2003 that incorporates Microsoft's Data Session Toolkit (part of Windows Media 9) and also SunnComm Technologies' MediaMax sytem. As part of the MediaMax system, SunnComm's PromoPlay will enable the music CD owners to share tracks with friends, but with a limited number of playbacks.

 

02 / 18 / 03

International Federation of Phonographic Industry (IFPI)  In a move to take privacy advocates unhappy and into action, the International Federation of Phonographic Industry (IFPI) and Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) have announced that they may employ electronic identity tags Global Release Identifier (GRid) for tracking music sales on the Internet. This will be done, claims the industry, to insure both musicians and song writers are properly paid for their work. Online music websites would be assessed an annual fee of approximately $250 for employing the GRid system to millions of songs. Paul Jessop, chief technology officer of the IFPI, said "If this is done properly, the artists and authors of music will be paid adequately for the sale of their works online." Gavin Robertson, general manager of MusicIndie.com, said "The industry is really in need of interoperable identification tags, and this technology appears to really fill a gap."

 

02 / 17 / 03

ACI Audio Concepts 25th Anniversary Edition Sapphire Monitor  Audio Concepts, Inc. has announced two new loudspeaker offerings. Specifically, their Force ($799) self-powered subwoofer and the 25th Anniversary Edition of their classic Sapphire monitor ($1,299, pictured here). The Force is a compact yet potent subwoofer from ACI based on the subwoofer technology of ACIís legendary Titan series. A high-excursion 10-inch driver is powered by ACI's "proprietary amplification using special circuitry to essentially cut the required box volume in half!" according to ACI's press release. Solid construction with internal bracing make this 16.75 x 13.5 x 12.5 (WxHxD in inches) package quite hefty. Frequency response is from 20Hz to 250Hz while the built-in crossover is adjustable from 35Hz to 250Hz. The 25th Anniversary Edition of ACI's classic Sapphire monitor is claimed to add a serious dose of dynamic authority, increased resolution, and bass power. "Every effort was made to make sure that the Sapphire... brought the listener even closer to being there" according to their press release.

 

Click here for our news from
02/01   to   02/15

 


 

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