03 / 15 / 02
The 44th annual Grammy Awards shows achieved reaching approximately 20 million American television viewers while also enhancing sales of Grammy Award winner's
music. SoundScan, who tracks the sales of music titles in retail stores, found that Album Of The Year Grammy
Award winner O Brother, Where Art Thou? was number one in sales within the United States pop album charts (selling nearly 210,000 copies compared to 58,000 sold the previous week). Sales of Grammy Award winner Alicia Keys saw
album sales boost from 48,000 the week before the show to 103,000 the week afterwards. U2 sales jumped from 36,000 to 81,000 while the legendary Bob Dylan's album sales
Love and Theft went from 7,300 to 18,000 (see album review
here). See our exclusive 44th Annual Grammy Award show coverage by
Power Modules by David Belles has introduced the Belles 20A vacuum tube
pre-amplifier. Using four 5814A/12AU7s in a single-ended input, differential circuit with cathode followers and buffered balanced outputs, the 20A also offers remote control over power, volume and mute and features a toroidal power transformer to eliminate stray magnetic fields. Five pairs of RCA inputs are mated to XLR and RCA main outputs and one RCA record out. Controls include listen, record, volume, balance, power and mute.
A wireless remote control is included as standard. Frequency response is given as 0.5Hz to
200kHz (+/-3dB). Dimensions are 17" x 3.5" x 14" (WxHxD) while shipping weight is 19 lbs.
03 / 14 / 02
The fight against audio CDs using copy protection is gaining more support as Virginia Democratic
Representative Rick Boucher and CEA (Consumer Electronics Association) President and CEO Gary Shapiro have made public statements concerning the recent
recording labels efforts. "The RIAA's response... does little to relieve my concern that consumer fair-use protections are being threatened by what we now see is the intended widespread introduction into the United States of copy-protected CDs," Boucher said yesterday. Of course the
RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) who
represents the major recording labels feels that music CDs should be copy protected. In fact the RIAA
recently gave $25,000 to the AFIM (Association for Independent Music) so they can together fight off the possible legalities of copy protected audio CDs released here in America (see
our 3/13/02 news story for more on this subject). Meanwhile a bill sponsored by Senator Ernest "Fritz" Hollings contains legislation that would require virtually all digital electronic devices (audio CD/DVD-A/SACD players, PC, digital
camcorders, etc.) to restricts the copying of music or movies. This bill could be introduced within a few
weeks and force manufactures to include this type of copy protection device in
all effected electronics within a few years.
Gary Shapiro said in a prepared statement "We commend Representative Boucher for his attention to this important consumer issue. The ability to use a lawfully purchased CD to make compilations or transfer music to other devices is a time-honored consumer right and must be preserved as technology advances. The deployment of copy-protected CD's threatens to unilaterally eliminate Americans' fair use right to noncommercial audio home recording. The fact that these copy protected CD's will not play on many legacy players already in the home and on CD players today on the retail shelf, combined with the lack of adequate labeling, will inevitably lead to confused, frustrated and no doubt angry consumers. Manufacturers also are concerned about possible audio quality degradation in these copy protected CD's that will result in sub par sound that consumers pay for and have a right to expect when they purchase a CD. We urge Rep. Boucher and other members of Congress to move forward in ensuring that America's non-commercial home recording rights are protected."
While only two titles with copy protection are available in
America at this time, the major labels are releasing many more of these titles in Europe. We here at
Enjoy the Music.com officially stand against the possible illegal actions being taken by the major recording labels who may be going against the
fair use laws that allow consumers the ability to make personal copies of their music.
Furthermore, Enjoy the Music.com does not support
Napster/KaZaa/Morpheus/Grokster or other services that are illegally allowing music to be distributed. This not only robs
musical artists of their earned income, it also lowers the overall perception of music's value.
To help fight the major recording labels efforts please see the Enjoy the
Music.com Review Magazine editorial Fight The Power! Or Do You Enjoy Losing Your Rights?
by clicking here.
The Swiss Stellavox
ST2 D/A converter is designed for "extreme quality work or laboratory measurements" and "may thus be used in any studio as a Reference D/A
converter". Based on 24-bit/96kHz technology, the Stellavox is said to provide exceptional time alignment for accurate transient reproduction. Its ultra-low distortion is said to be exclusively composed of even-order harmonics. Front-panel selectable inputs include one XLR AES-EBU and two RCA S/PDIF. Paralleled XLR and RCA outputs can be used simultaneously. The front panel is silver-anodized and the chassis is available in full- or half-rack panels.
03 / 13 / 02
The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), who generally represent the major recording labels and their members create, manufacture and/or distribute approximately 90% of all legitimate sound recordings produced and sold in the United States, has given a grant of $25,000 to the
Association for Independent Music (AFIM) "to support AFIM's mission as well as to foster joint programs of mutual
concern, the two organizations will work together on issues they hold in common, such as combating the challenge of CD Recordable piracy, international intellectual property protection and the parental advisory program." AFIM's
"is the professional trade organization dedicated to insuring the vitality of the independent music industry. AFIM provides business opportunities for its members through an annual convention, ongoing information services and educational resource materials. AFIM is also an advocacy group addressing the issues most relevant to the independent music industry...." This includes education, networking and enhancing the visibility of smaller labels and their concerns.
"On behalf of both our major label and independent label members alike, we believe this is a natural relationship that we hope will vitalize the voice of the independent music community,” said Hilary Rosen, President and CEO of the RIAA. "At this critical time in the industry we hope this alliance will strengthen the mutual goal of building the vitality of the industry and addressing items of common concern between independent and major labels."
Jeanne Oberstar, Executive Director of AFIM, said "We are pleased that the independent voice will be strengthened as a result of our new relationship with the RIAA. This relationship will provide a direct line of communication with our members and enlighten them on issues that may significantly affect the industry and their business activities."
Electronics has announced their new 47A DVD/DVD-Audio/SACD player ($1,200) that, unlike their DV-AX10 DVD-Audio/SACD unit, does not downconvert the digital SACD to digital PCM and, in turn, converting the signal to analog. The Elite 47A employs the Cirrus Logic chipset that is capable of digitally decoding both DVD-Audio and SACD signals. Meanwhile the very inexpensive APEX AD-7701 priced at $279 as reviewed by
Enjoy the Music.com offers the same type of decoding feature for
1/4th the price (see review
here). Features of the new Pioneer Elite 47A DVD-Audio, multi-channel SACD, DVD-Video
Video Performance Features:
PureCinema Progressive Scan (2-3 Pulldown)
108MHz/12bit Video DAC for high-quality DVD pictures
Super-Fine Focus Filter with 4:4:4 Video up-sampling
16 Video Parameter Adjustments w/3 User Memories
3 Factory Video Settings (CRT/PDP/Professional)
Parallel S-Video/Composite/Component Video Outputs
Pioneer Exclusive Viterbi Error Correction with Accurate Digital Servo for Superior Reading Accuracy
Still Step Play Forward and Reverse
Slow Motion Playback
Audio Performance Features:
SACD multi-channel playback (1 bit)
MP3 Playback Capability
Twin-Wave Laser Pickup for CD/Video CD/CD-R/CD-RW playback
Triple 192KHz/24-bit (3x2) Audio DACs
Legato Pro Conversion
Dolby Digital and dts Digital Outputs
Jog and Joystick Remote
Output Terminals Include:
One Component Video (Y, Cr, Cb) Output
Two S-Video (S2 Compatible)
Two Composite Video Output
One Dolby Digital/dts/LPCM Coaxial Output
One Dolby Digital/dts/LPCM Optical Output
Two Analog Output (2ch)
One Analog Output (6ch)
SR System IN & OUT
Double-Layered Chassis for chassis stability
Removable Power Cord
Two Years parts and labor
03 / 12 / 02
Critically acclaimed professional audio company Genelec
has introduced a completely new line of active subwoofers. The Genelec LSE Series Active Subwoofers is designed to produce highly accurate recording studio quality lower frequency support. Their top-of-the-range 7071A boasts dual 12-inch drivers and a 500 watt amplifier that produce a
frequency response of 19Hz to 85Hz (±3dB), the 7070A (pictured) has a single 12-inch driver with 250 watt amplifier that provides the same frequency
response as the 7071A. With a 10-inch woofer, the 7060A produces frequencies from 29Hz to 85Hz (±3dB) and includes a 120 watt amplifier. Lastly, Genelec's 7050A has an 8-inch woofer mated to a 70 watt amplifier to produce frequencies from 38Hz to 85Hz (±3dB).
All models provide a built-in 85Hz calibration tone generator allowing a more convenient
way of setting phase correctly utilizing only a standard SPL meter. A multi-purpose RJ11 connector enables the user to perform four different functions: remote overload LED status indicator; serve as a bypass function; remote the selectability of the +10dB gain of the LFE channel; and serve as an LED indicator for the +10dB gain selection. In addition, Link Out, Input Sensitivity, LF response control, driver protection and a 1/4" bypass function round out the features in this newest of Genelec's subwoofer designs.
MultiChannel site introduces the Symbol subwoofer that will contain two proprietary 12-inch woofers in a cabinet of 40" x 20" x 20" (WxDxH) and with an approximate weight of 145 lbs. The included amplifier provides both XLR and RCA inputs and a user interface will consist of a large digital display for level matching and selectable room contouring (shown with Symbol center channel).
03 / 11 / 02
Highly respected audiophile/recording engineer
Steve Hoffman has added WAVAC Audio
Lab's HE-833 100 watt monoblock single-ended triode amplifiers as reference during
mastering. Steve Hoffman, who is the mastering guru behind the audiophile label DCC
that produces both gold CDs and vinyl reissues, chose the WAVAC amplifiers to augment the WAVAC MD-300B amplifier Mr. Hoffman recently used in mastering the soon to be released Judy Garland double album of
Alone and Judy in Love (S&P Records SPR-703).
"tmh audio, the North American distributor of WAVAC Audio products, is honored to be associated with Steve and the upcoming releases using these exceptional WAVAC Audio SET amplifiers to obtain even higher levels of sonic purity and his amazing "breath of life" signature
today's press release. Reviews of WAVAC gear by Enjoy the Music.com™ include their
EC-300B amplifier (review by Wayne Donnelly) and the
MD-811 (review by Dick
With more and more mergers and partnerships forming within the industry,
loudspeaker manufacture NHT and digital signal processing specialist
ClarityEQ will join forces for a future NHT reference loudspeaker
system. Expected release in fall of 2002, this new NHT reference loudspeaker will feature
a proprietary DSP engine by ClarityEQ to form a product with outstanding accuracy and
flexibility. Chris Byrne, vice president and general manager of NHT said "While I am certainly prejudiced, believe we are the best at what we do. However, looking to the future, we see that loudspeakers will grow in numbers in the home and will necessarily need to be smaller. DSP is one important
technology that will offer substantial improvements in loudspeaker performance going forward. As our core competency is loudspeaker design, we turned to
ClarityEQ for the right expertise in the digital arena."
03 / 08 / 02
As big companies are looking to streamline operations to enhance
profitability, Denon and Marantz will soon merge their operations, thus forming the new D&M Holdings
company. Each company will still offer and maintain their own branded products, yet share some resources to reduce overall costs due to overlapping business practices. Meanwhile
Matsushita Electric Industrial Co.,
Ltd. and Thomson Multimedia have agreed to an understanding concerning
Technicolor. Technicolor is a Thomson-owned software manufacturing division
(CD/DVD/VHS) and is said to be acquiring the Panasonic Disc Services Corp. (PDSC) software replication, packaging and distribution operations. According to the Thomson press
release, "The combination of PDSC within Technicolor Home Entertainment Services presents substantial business synergies and represents another step toward Thomson's strategic vision to advance, enable and manage the digital media transition for entertainment, media and content industries."
Ron Welborne's site
Moondog Audio has gone live. This division of Welborne Labs will focus on the sales of finished rather than kit products through an international dealer
network. One of Moondog Audio's first products is the crossover-less two-way Maya Horn System (starting at $14,000/pr) which combines the Lowther PM4A-based BD Design Oris horn with a Moondog bass cabinet around an 18" McCauley woofer for 106dB sensitivity and a claimed frequency response of 40Hz to 18kHz
(-6dB). The molded ABS horn can be finished in a variety of designer colors while the bass cabinet's veneer of Baltic Birch plywood construction allows for more custom options. Standard finish is a copper patina horn mated to a Honduran Fiddleback mahogany base. The Maya System weighs 152 lbs per channel and measures 25"
x 30" x 60" (WxDxH). Further finish options include Honduran standard or Fiddleback Mahogany, Sapele, Blood Wood, standard and Bird's Eye Maple, Cherry and Walnut for the bass cabinet and Burgundy, Hunter Green, Marine Blue, Off White, Silver Gray and Copper Patina for the horn, with any combination of either palette possible.
Moondog Audio Yote 2A3 SET monos ($3,900/pr) are crafted with a solid hardwood Mahogany base and feature a variety of patina'd metal
finishes. A 6N1P tube drives the 2A3 direct-heated output triode for 3.5 watts RMS, using zero feedback and auto biasing. Frequency response is given as 10Hz to 38kHz
(-3dB), and the standard output impedance of 8 ohms can be wired for 4 or 16
ohms instead. Input sensitivity is 1.2 Volts, weight 21 lbs and dimension 10.5"
x 15" x 10" (WxDxH). The La Paz remote-controlled passive line stage and Needles 300B amplified Jordan line-array speakers are announced as upcoming for this new audio company soon.
03 / 07 / 02
Hitachi Ltd., LG Electronics Inc., Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd., Pioneer Corp., Royal Philips Electronics, Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., Sharp Corp., Sony Corp. and Thomson have all agreed to support the new recordable Blu-ray Disc optical 12cm disc format that holds 27GB
of data (almost six times current DVD's capacity). A newly developed 405nm blue-violet laser (unlike current DVD-Video's 650nm red laser) allows the player to read
smaller pits and lands, thereby yielding more data for the same-sized disc. This new Blu-ray system has a reported data transfer rate of 36Mbps, thereby giving it the ability to record two hours of digital high-definition broadcasts, or more than thirteen hours of standard NTSC TV broadcast. Of course the 27GB of storage can also be used for high resolution audio or for standard data storage/backup as well.
Jeff Roland Design Group announced a new lower-powered integrated amplifier based on the success of its Concentra, which has since been updated to
Mk.II status. The Concentra II combines the Synergy pre-amplifier and Model 112 stereo amplifier in a single chassis and ups power output over its predecessor to 150 watts.
Pre-amplifier gain is 14dB, amplifier gain 26dB, volume control range 99.5dB and damping factor >60 from 20Hz to 20kHz.
Three XLR and RCA inputs each combine with XLR pre-outs and RCA record outs for connectivity options . The Concentra II measures 17.5" x 14.35" x 5.75"
(WxDxH) and weighs 57 lbs.
03 / 06 / 02
Ltd. has been awarded The Royal Warrant of Appointment as a Tradesman to His Royal Highness, The Prince of Wales, as a provider of Entertainment Systems. Linn has also been chosen by Aston Martin in a joint venture that will result in a unique audio system being offered on Aston Martin's V12
Vanquish. Ivor Tiefenbrun, the Managing Director of Linn Products Ltd, said " As a provider of high
performance entertainment systems to His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales since 1994, Linn is proud to be a recipient of this accolade. I would like to thank to His Royal Highness, The Prince of Wales for this recognition, and all those at Linn whose
endeavors have made this achievement possible." As for the newly developed deal with Aston Martin, Dr. Ulrich Bez, Aston Martin's CEO, said "We spent some considerable time trying to find the correct audio partner for Aston Martin. Linn audio systems are regarded as the finest available today. Furthermore, Linn has a similar approach towards its customers, wanting to provide the best quality product available." The system for their new V12 Vanquish will consist of Linn's 12.1 amplification and loudspeaker combination. Twelve 75 watt amplifiers wil power this unique 12.1 loudspeaker system with four sealed enclosures, each housing midrange, high frequency and super high frequency drive units. One enclosure in each door and two in the back shelf assembly. Midrange drivers are Linn's 130mm (100Hz to 2.4kHz) while the high frequency drivers are 25mm (2.4kHz to 12kHz). For super high frequency duties, Linn's 13mm driver is employed (12kHz to 50kHz). The Linn Bass Reinforcement System includes the 250mm drive unit with integrated accelerometer/servo system (15Hz to 100Hz).
Acarian's new Capri ($1,995/pr) is a sleek floor-standing tower loudspeaker that utilizes two 6.5" bass/midrange drivers in conjunction with a
1" silk soft dome tweeter in a front-firing vertical 2.5-way array with 3" diameter rear port. Claimed frequency response is 35Hz to 20,000HZ, with 88dB sensitivity and a 8/5-ohm nominal/minimum impedance. Dimensions are 38.5" x 8.25" x 13"
(HxWxD) and weight is 80 lbs. The Capri features a weighted and spiked plinth and is available in Curly Maple, Light or Dark Cherry and Black Ash veneers.
03 / 05 / 02
The Recording Industry Association of America
(RIAA) has released their 2001 sales of units shipped domestically from record companies (as compiled quarterly by the accounting firm of PricewaterhouseCoopers
LLP). According to this report sales declined 10.3 percent in 2001 dropping to 968.58 million as compared to 1.08 billion units shipped in 2000. Total
dollar value decreased from $13.7 billion in 2001 as compared to $14.3 billion in 2000. Of course Virgin Records recent foible with buying out Mariah Carey's $80 million contract in 2001 for an extra $28 million last month does not help music labels financial stability. Adding to this, is has been reported that two out of five music consumers own a CD-R drive and therefore have the ability to copy music CD discs.
"This past year was a difficult year in the recording industry, and there is no simple explanation for the decrease in sales. The economy was slow, and 9/11 interrupted the fourth-quarter plans, but a large factor contributing to the decrease in overall shipments last year is online piracy and CD-burning," reported Hilary Rosen, President and CEO of the RIAA. "When 23 percent of surveyed music consumers say they are not buying more music because they are downloading or copying their music for free, we cannot ignore the impact on the marketplace... Global piracy on the physical side costs the recording industry over $4 billion* a year," concluded Rosen. "That doesn't even include losses online. While the physical piracy problem is not new, our markets continued to expand. Now that consumer purchasing is threatened as well, the impact of all piracy is greater."
(*Source: IFPI, the international association representing the recording industry worldwide.)
The Volksamp project by noted designer Nelson Pass
has been closed. Building on the success of the discontinued Aleph 3 by introducing further circuit refinements and a higher output rating but eschewing the former's cubed chassis bristling with heat sinks, the more conventionally styled Volksamp was a single-ended solid state amplifier reputedly superior to the Aleph 3. Also, as Nelson Pass was fond of pointing out, it was less expensive. Reasons for why he has withdrawn continued support for the Volksamp
are not clear at this time. Considering the current Pass Labs lineup of high-powered X amplifiers, perhaps the low power rating and single-ended topology of the Volksamp no longer fit into the firm's new design philosophy.
03 / 04 / 02
has begun their internet streaming video interview series called
Chesky TV. This "TV" show series features interviews conducted by Steve Guttenberg who interviews various high-end audio authorities including Vladimir
Lamm, Jeff Joseph, Roy Hall, or David Chesky interviews. These interviews were recorded live and are unedited.
Chesky Records are planning to provide more interviews with other high-end audio
Electronics' CDR-W1500 ($599) is a dual drive CD-R & CD-RW recorder with HDCD playback on drive 1 and CD-R/CD-RW record/playback on drive
2, 24-bit Analog Devices D/A converters (and A/D converters on drive 2), a digital sample rate converter for 32kHz and 48kHz input signals, 44.1kHz direct digital dubbing that bypasses the
SRC, optimum power calibration and dual as well as relay playback modes. Connectivity includes
two sets of analog outputs, one coaxial digital input, two coaxial digital outputs, one TOSlink digital input and
two TOSlink digital outputs. The CDR-W1500 also offers 2x dubbing speed, CD text and titling and synchronized recording. Dimensions are 17.1" x 4" x 13"
03 / 01 / 02
Audio's Sine New Century Edition ($5000) is a transformer-coupled, dual 6GM8 tube-based
pre-amplifier with RF/antenna-based remote control. It uses a string of batteries for low impedance and noise and features
three inputs and one tape loop controlled by relays. A remote power supply can supply power to two additional units like the Tangent v2 and Cosine V3.5. Also new from Gordon Rankin is the Venus parallel-feed, all silver 45-based SET ($12,500 - $15,000) with dual-choke filtered power supply and Black Gate WKZ capacitors. A 5842/417A input tube is capacitor-coupled to the 45 triode operated in self-bias mode that eschews all solid-state or DC filament supplies. A rear-mounted 20-turn potentiometer adjusts hum that is spec'd at a very low 0.25mv. A 100% silver-wired output transformer in parallel feed generates 3 watts of power using the VV45 tube for 8Hz to 50kHz
(-3dB) claimed frequency response. The $15,000 version upgrades the transformer's standard iron core for cobalt iron for ultimate performance.
has appointed Mr. Oliver Solomon of DelveAudio
as its exclusive representative for the North American and Canadian markets and is proud to introduce the Series 100 components to the US, starting with the Model 600 push-pull KT-88 tube amplifier (shown right). New for the firm also is the Model 5100 24-bit/96kHz D/A converter, to be introduced later this month.