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High-End Audio Industry News

3 / 30 / 00

Hafler P1000  More innovations from Rockford Corporation's Hafler division. Their new P1000 Trans*ana compact amplifier produces 110 wpc with a full power bandwidth frequency response claimed at 0.1Hz to 100kHz (+0/-3dB). The damping factor is a very high 900 (to 1kHz), 400 (to 10kHz) and 40 (to 100kHz). Both balanced and unbalanced inputs are included. Hafler's unique circuitry of the unit is based on their TRANSconductance Active Nodal Amplifier topology, which operates the output stage with its full voltage gain, allowing the input stage to operate from a low voltage regulated supply. The signal is then shifted up in level to the high voltage section by the driver stage, which forms an active node at ultrasonic frequencies. This results is claimed to be a very stable, highly linear operation producing a natural and accurate soundstage with exceptional image focus. A five year warranty is also included. No price given at this time.

 

3 / 29 / 00

  Radio Stations fight back against the RIAA over additional financial charges related to beaming their content over the Internet. It is no secret that many radio stations also deliver their programming via internet streaming. The National Association of Broadcasters (N.A.B.) said Tuesday it is suing the RIAA within the U.S. District Court in New York to prevent them from asking for additional royalties due to also streaming their programming on the internet. Looks to be a long and bumpy ride for the RIAA as MP3.com and many others have been taking legal action again the RIAA's tight reign.

 

3 / 28 / 00

  China's government has decided to not allow the downloading of MP3 files over the internet within their country. While we are not sure how they are going to enforce this, it seems quite strange that one of the world's largest consumers and producers of pirated software have taken this stance.

 

Vinyl sales took a dive in 1999 as album sales fell 14.7% to 2.9 million units as compared to 1998. Meanwhile CD album sales rose 10.9% to 994.8 million units. Meanwhile there were 2.5 million DVD units sold in 1999. Source: RIAA

 

Make your own vinyl records? You betcha! Stratzoo Productions have come out with a DIY solution to making your very own vinyl records. No details nor pricing given, but we expect the demand to be very high as DJs all around the world will be able to cut their own mixes and one-off projects.

 

3 / 20 / 00

Daimond Multimedia Rio Gen. 3  Diamond Multimedia has just announced the third generation of their portable MP3 player. This newest unit is SDMI (Secure Digital Music Initiative) equipped so that copy-protected music files adhering to the SDMI standard are playable. Other formats which this third generation unit will play include the popular Windows Media and Lucent's AAC (Advanced Audio Codec). Pricing has not yet been announced and shipping is expected to begin within a few months.

 

From the folks that have brought us the legendary LP12 turntable and now the CD12 compact disc player, Linn now offers their new Silver Interconnects. These new 1.2 meter phono pair interconnects feature low resistance, low loss signal transfer which includes the use of a high specification phono RCA plug to "exploit more fully the advanced performance capabilities of the Linn Klimax Aktiv System and Linn Klimax 500 Solo Power Amplifiers." Linn claims these new Silver Interconnects to be "a very significant performance upgrade option for any source and amplification components." These new interconnects consist of a very fine strand, high copper content in an insulated tri-wire configuration inner signal conductor with twin outer screens which are then encased within a silver outer sheath. Pricing of these 1.2 meter interconnects is $300.

 

3 / 09 / 00

  TARA Labs just introduced the world's first vacuum cable called The Zero. This new cable is sealed while a vacuum is drawn within the hollow cores of the cable, thereby creating, in a company spokesman's words, "the perfect environment for ultimate signal transfer." In addition to the vacuum dielectric (insulation), The Zero also employs TARA Labs' exclusive Isolated Floating Shield, introduced with the company's flagship product, The One, in 1997. Due to this unique configuration, TARA Labs claims that the conductors suspended in an airless environment and protected from RF by the Isolated Floating Shield. The capacitance of a meter length is 4 pF/ft and an inductance of .021mH/ft. Lengths from one to three meters will retail for the same price, at $9800/pair. Included in the purchase price is a special Floating Ground Station, the outboard grounding unit for the Isolated Floating Shield.

 

CNN features none other than Chad Kassem's audiophile blues studio Blue Heaven. You can read the entire article by clicking here.

 

3 / 03 / 00

  Liquid Audio and AOL's Winamp all join together in internet streaming media. America Online's (AOL) Nuilsoft Winamp audio player for downloading MP3 files and Liquid Audio have signed a strategic multi-year alliance to integrate and cross-promote their music delivery systems. Liquid Audio will deliver music content as Liquid Tracks and MP3 files for digital download on the AOL Nuilsoft Winamp player. In this agreement Liquid Audio will develop a Liquid Plug-in for the Winamp player that will be designed to offer the millions of Winamo users access to
Liquid Audio's full catalog of more than 50,000 secure digital downloads.

 

DVD Player sales according to the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA):

1997 315,136
1998 1,089,261
1999 4,019,389



Liquid Audio has been making some very lucrative deals recently. This time with none other than Microsoft! Microsoft Corp. announced strategic alliances with broadband entertainment provider Liquid Audio. In this new agreement Liquid Audio will add support for Microsoft Windows Media Technologies to Liquid Audio's open, multi-format music distribution system. "This new agreement between Microsoft and Liquid Audio is extremely significant because it provides consumers with a much easier downloading, purchasing and listening experience, while enabling BMG to include our many retail partners," said Kevin Conroy, BMG Entertainment senior vice president, worldwide marketing & new technology. "BMG remains committed to providing music fans with the highest-quality digital downloads available on the Internet today, while ensuring that our artists' music is protected." Liquid Audio will deploy Windows Media-based servers over the next few months.

 

CDNow lost $119.2 million dollars in 1999. While their 4th quarter sales rose 154%, the online e-commerce Web site has yet to break even, let alone show any profits. Meanwhile MP3.com's 4th quarter revenue reached $15.7 million. Last year's 4th quarter revenue was only $4.05 million. The higher revenue achieved for 1999 is due to advertising revenue from their Web site.

 

The Grateful Dead are debating if they should digitize their over three decades of live and studio recordings. This debate is by the band's surviving members, reports online news service SonicNet. Bassist Phil Lesh is reportedly in disagreements with former band mates Bob Weir, Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann over an offer from an unnamed venture capital firm. The band has refused similar offers from the likes of Microsoft in the past.

 

3 / 01 / 00

  According to their records, the 2000 International CES broke all-time CES records with 2,205 exhibitors, the exhibit space was 1.125 million net square feet and attendees were up by 30% at a new record of 126,818.

 

2 / 9 / 00

  In what is becoming a back and forth battle, MP3.com has now filed a countersuit against the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for alleged unfair business practices. As many of you remember, the RIAA sued MP3.com for making available copyrighted music available to the public. MP3.com only allows such music to be available to known owners of the original software (hence, those who have paid for fair use of the music). This new countersuit by MP3.com filed in San Diego Superior Court late Monday singles out RIAA President and Chief Executive Officer Hilary Rosen. "Since inception, MP3.com (MPPP) has faced the increasingly aggressive tactics of the RIAA and its leadership," said Michael Robertson, chairman and chief executive officer of MP3.com. "We have recently learned that Hilary Rosen was speaking to equity analysts about the RIAA's New York lawsuit three days before it was filed. While she was doing this, her lawyers were at MP3.com learning about our My.MP3.com technology. The next day I met with her in Washington to engage in an open discussion about business models for bridging our respective interests. Little did I know that she was more concerned about talking to equity analysts about our stock price." RIAA spokespeople could not be reached for comment.

 

2 / 8 / 00

  The Judge's preliminary injunction memorandum explaining his ruling against DeCSS, the program which decrypts DVDs and has cased the delay of DVD-Audio, is now available online. To quote from the injunction "In this case, the considerations supporting an injunction barring the posting of DeCSS pending a trial on the merits are very substantial indeed. Copyright and, more broadly, intellectual property piracy are endemic, as Congress repeatedly has found.74 The interest served by prohibiting means that facilitate such piracy---the protection of the monopoly granted to copyright owners by the Copyright Act---is of constitutional dimension. There is little room for doubting that broad dissemination of DeCSS would seriously injure or destroy plaintiffs' ability to distribute their copyrighted products on DVDs and, for that matter, undermine their ability to sell their products to the "home video'' market in other forms. The potential damages probably are incalculable, and these defendants surely would be in no position to compensate plaintiffs for them if plaintiffs were remitted only to post hoc damage suits." To read the entire injunction, please click here.

 

2 / 4 / 00

  Critically acclaimed Italian loudspeaker manufacture Zingali has just announced the creation of their Web site. Enjoy the Music.com has been closely following this manufacture for years as their horn loudspeakers are very beautiful and seem to reproduce music brilliantly. Review coming soon!

 

2 / 3 / 00

This just received to us via e-mail:

The Home Entertainment 2000 show, originally planned to be held in Rye, New York this spring, has been canceled. Show staff has received feedback from manufacturers and dealers, who feel that the rooms at the Rye venue are too small, and that a suburban location is not optimal. EmapUSA VP Jaqueline Augustine states that "We want to hold a successful show, and this venue could not guarantee our success." Show management has decided that resources should be focused on a larger show with greater potential for success in both the specialty audio and home theater markets. Augustine adds, "We are currently looking into venues in Manhattan for spring 2001. We will share our exciting news as soon as the venue is established."

Enjoy the Music.com's own Steven R. Rochlin reported looking at their show's Web site at http://www.hifishow.com/he2000/exlist.html and witnessing only 23 participating manufactures. There seems to be a lack of interest in another Stereophile/Peterson/EMAP show. As Enjoy the Music.com has previously reported, last year's Chicago show had a very poor turnout. This also comes on the heels of the lack of a Stereophile party at the CES for the first time in many years.

 


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