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High-End Audio Industry News

 

06 / 30 / 03

Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab (MFSL) Ravel's Bolero and Assorted Orchestral Works (UDSACD 4002)  Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab (MFSL) has announced the August 26 release of Ravel's Bolero and Assorted Orchestral Works (UDSACD 4002) on multi-channel Ultradisc UHR SACD. This historic Vox recording of Stanislaw Skrowaczewski conducting the Minnesota Orchestra is considered a stellar recording by audiophiles all over the world. The full sonic spectrum of this recording masterpiece is finally unveiled as four channels that enables listeners to experience the producer's original sonic intention for the first time! This Ultradisc UHR SACD will also feature a special, full length bonus track of "Daphnis et Chloe" featuring a female choir placed in the rear channels in accordance with the producer’s original intention available in both 4.0 and 5.0 surround sound. The packaging also includes both the original liner notes and newly commissioned technical liner notes by the recording's Grammy winning producer and recording engineer Marc Aubort. To learn more about this, see the Enjoy the Music.com™ special bonus section within our PRIMEDIA Home Entertainment show report.

 

06 / 27 / 03

Recording Industry Associaion of America (RIAA)  The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) is on the warpath as they have begun collecting evidence in preparation for various lawsuits. Specifically targeting those who use peer-to-peer software, yesterday the RIAA began seeking those who "illegally offering to "share" substantial amounts of copyrighted music over peer-to-peer networks. In making the announcement, the music industry cited its multi-year effort to educate the public about the illegality of unauthorized downloading, and underscored the fact that major music companies have made vast catalogues of music available to dozens of services to help create legitimate, high quality and inexpensive alternatives to online piracy." RIAA president Cary Sherman said "The law is clear and the message to those who are distributing substantial quantities of music online should be equally clear --- this activity is illegal, you are not anonymous when you do it, and engaging in it can have real consequences. We'd much rather spend time making music then dealing with legal issues in courtrooms. But we cannot stand by while piracy takes a devastating toll on artists, musicians, songwriters, retailers and everyone in the music industry." Sherman continues by saying "Once we begin our evidence-gathering process, any individual computer user who continues to offer music illegally to millions of others will run the very real risk of facing legal action in the form of civil lawsuits that will cost violators thousands of dollars and potentially subject them to criminal prosecution."

Peter Gabriel, Grammy award winning multi-Platinum artist: "In some ways we are the canary down the mine, the first battle ground, but behind us goes anyone who creates anything that can be turned into data whether its software, films pictures or music. Do people who create material have entitlement to get royalties? That's a bigger question for society. I would argue that you would get better range, better quality and better choice if you do pay the creator something. We live in the luxury of the in between world at the moment where some people pay for the records while others get it for free. It is the part of it that is the market stall, and at a certain point there will be less fruit on the stall if there's no money coming in."

The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI), that represents the recording industry worldwide including 1,500 independent and major record companies in 70 countries, has supported the RIAA's actions. Commenting on the announcement IFPI Chairman and CEO Jay Berman said "This action is not taken lightly and it is critically important to protect the livelihoods of many thousands of people who make music and who work in the music industry. The industry is now offering a vast catalogue of music for consumers to buy or access legitimately on the internet - but unauthorized file sharing and uploading is spreading so rapidly that it is stifling the development of this new legitimate business."

 

06 / 26 / 03

Classic Records Led Zeppelin In Through The Out Door 200 gram Quiex SV-P vinyl  Classic Records is now shipping Led Zeppelin's In Through The Out Door on 200 gram Quiex SV-P vinyl (SS-16002, $33). While being the band's studio effort swan song with hits like "In the Evening", "Hot Dog", and "All My Love", In Through The Out Door is a must have for all Zeppelin fans and classic rock lovers alike. Transferred from the original analog masters and cut on the Grundman all tube cutting system, the Classic Records reissue is claimed to "reveal an inner essence that has never before come through. The packaging is also unique in that it will feature one of the six different covers originally used on this release inside the now famous paper outer bag along with a twelve page booklet that features the front and back of all six covers that were originally issued in 1979!" Song titles on this release include:

In the Evening
South Bound Saurez
Fool in the Rain
Hot Dog
Carouselambra
All My Love
I'm Gonna Crawl

 

06 / 25 / 03

Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA)  Jumping on the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) bandwagon with the legal case against Verizon are various artists, commissioner of baseball, directors, film studios, musicians and various organizations. As reported on the Enjoy the Music.com's June 6th Industry News page, "The RIAA is rejoicing as the U.S. Court of Appeals rejected the request of Verizon to stay an earlier court ruling ordering the ISP to turn over the identifying information of two subscribers." This effort is to enforce subpoenas issued to Verizon under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 (DMCA) to identifying subscribers who are allegedly allowing the illegal sharing of copyrighted music. According to the RIAA "This enforcement matter began when Verizon refused to comply with a subpoena issued pursuant to Section 512(h) of the DMCA, which requires that Internet Service Providers (ISPs) identify subscribers alleged to have infringed copyrights. Verizon had always honored such subpoenas, but recently revised its policy of identifying subscribers on peer-to-peer networks, a group that represents a fast-growing segment of Verizon's business." Now there is an amici curiae brief that points out, when the DMCA was enacted, the Internet Service Provider (ISP) industry "acknowledged that the task of combating Internet copyright piracy would have to be one of 'joint responsibility between copyright owners and ISPs'" and that such cooperation would allow ISPs to "sensibly act" when faced with allegations of subscriber infringement. That led to the final compromise reached by the parties negotiating the DMCA: namely, "liability protections for service providers."

The following 20 organizations are signatories to the brief:

AFMA (f.k.a the American Film Marketing Association)
American Federation of Musicians (AFM)
American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA)
American Society of Media Photographers, Inc. (ASMP)
Association for Independent Music (AFIM)
Association of American Publishers (AAP)
Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI)
Business Software Alliance (BSA)
Directors Guild of America, Inc. (DGA)
Graphic Artists Guild, Inc. (GAG)
Interactive Digital Software Association (IDSA)
Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA)
NFL Ventures, L.P.
Office of the Commissioner of Baseball
Producers Guild of America, Inc. (PGA)
Professional Photographers of America (PPA)
Recording Artists Coalition (RAC)
Screen Actors Guild, Inc. (SAG)
Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA)
Writers Guild of America, Inc. (WGA)

 

06 / 24 / 03

Günter Bialas String Quartets No. 3, 4, 5 Harp Quintet  German music label Tacet has released their Ludwig van Beethoven String Trio Op. 9 No. 2 D Major (Tacet 1030) and Günter Bialas String Quartets No. 3, 4, 5 Harp Quintet (Tacet 01210, pictured here). The Ludwig van Beethoven String Trio Op. 9 No. 2 D Major also has Parvula corona musicalis op. 122, W. A. Mozart/J. S. Bach Prelude and Fugue E minor, and many others. "Daniel Gaede, Thomas Selditz and Andreas Greger know how to grip the listener not only with new discoveries but also with well-known pieces. If you think you know the string trio Op. 9/2 very well, you will be surprised about this recording. The Geade Trio, also jokingly called "chameleon trio", fascinates by experimenting as much as possible: There is nothing the three musicians won't try. It's unbelievable how many different "sordinos" they have in their equipment to play the con-sordino-beginning of the Francaix Trio. The result is correspondingly - surprising...". According to Tacet, concerning the Günter Bialas String Quartets No. 3, 4, 5 Harp Quintet, "I have become more sensitive to superfluous notes. I wish to convey my subjects, which can only be of a musical nature, as directly as possible, not dressed up, not encoded or covered by too much artistry..." Günter Bialas explained in 1990 about his style of composing. Numerous works of contemporary composers were dedicated to the Auryn Quartet which played all - some of them even for the first time. This CD, the 12th of "The Auryn Series" by TACET, is devoted to Günter Bialas who died in 1995.

 

06 / 23 / 03

Revolver Audio R33 Monitor R45 Loudspeakers  Revolver Audio's new R33 monitor ($895/pair) and R45 loudspeaker ($1,595/pair) are both feature sturdy MDF cabinets with radiuses edges to improve dispersion and are magnetically shielded to permit use for both two-channel and home theater applications. The R33 is a rear ported design that is tuned to 50Hz to insure the custom 6.5-inch vented metal chassis, glass fibre diaphragm midrange/woofer produces frequencies down to 45Hz. A 1-inch metal dome tweeter fills in the upper frequencies up to 28kHz. The R45 adds two more 6.5-inch drivers and has a frequency response from 38Hz to 28kHz. Both units have a hard wired crossover utilizing air cored inductors, metal film resistors and ICW polypropylene capacitors. Visual styling features pearlized maple wood and pale grey cloth.

 

06 / 20 / 03

Warner Music Vision Donald Fagen 1993 second solo album Kamakiriad DVD-Audio  Warner Music Vision has announced the release of both Donald Fagen's 1993 second solo album Kamakiriad and Chicago's second album Chicago II on DVD-Audio. Donald Fagen's Sci-Fi themed Kamakiriad is encoded in Dolby and DTS 5.1 Surround Sound soundtracks, and Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo. The eight-song album includes supplementary material including an exclusive behind-the-scenes interview with Fagen and album producer Walter Becker, plus a Photo Gallery featuring 15 photographs, DVD-Rom web link, Song Lyrics and Production Credits. The album also includes the pop videos for the singles "Tomorrow's Girls" (starring comedy actor Rick Moranis) and the futuristic "Snowbound".

Chicago's classic 1970 album Chicago II was produced for DVD-Audio in Dolby Digital 5.1 by by John Kellog and Paul Klingberg (the same production/engineering team responsible for the DVD-Audio 5.1 mixes for Deep Purple's Machine Head, Emerson, Lake & Palmer's Brain Salad Surgery, and Foreigner's eponymous album Foreigner 4). Chicago II was meticulously produced for DVD-A under the supervision of Lee Loughnane (Chicago's founding trumpet player and backing vocalist). The album includes the hit singles "Make Me Smile", "Colour My World", and "25 or 6 To 4". The album is presented in two new Advanced Resolution versions: a 5.1 Surround/Stereo 24-bit/96kHz version for DVD-Audio compatible players. A Dolby Digital Surround track is included for playback on any DVD-Video player plus Photo Gallery and Liner Notes.

 

06 / 19 / 03

International Audio Group (IAG) ECCSR99 SRPP Pre-Amplifier  The International Audio Group (IAG) ECCSR99 SRPP pre-amplifier ($499 fully assembled, $399 in kit form) appears to be a great value for the dollar. While they provide this in both kit and finished product, overall IAG focuses on solid engineering at down to earth pricing. With an ECC99 in SRPP and 6CA4 rectifier, this pre-amplifier provides three line inputs and two stereo p[airs of outputs. Upgrades include transformer attenuators for those who desire a attenuation adjustment via transformers . Fused IEC connector, LED tipped power switch, gold plated RCA connectors, and polished, painted, or raw (kit only) aluminum finishes highlight this design.

 

 

Transparent Cable PowerBank 8 Electrical Filter/Surge ProtectorTransparent Cable now offers their Reference MM cables and PowerBank 8 electrical filter/surge protector (pictured here). The Reference MM interconnects and loudspeaker cables is an entirely new product category resulting from several years of research. Completely new approaches to network components, damping and suspension are employed within these designs. The new PowerBank 8 features the security of surge protection, high current delivery capability, and grounded outlets. All Transparent power products effectively isolate components, remove line noise and modulation distortion, and suppress spikes and surges without the use of transformers, chokes or other series filtering devices which Transparent Cable claims to limit current capability and add distortions.

 

06 / 18 / 03

Vacuum State of the Art Conference and Show (VASC)  The Vacuum State of the Art Conference and Show (VASC) provides an excellent platform for artisans within the DIY, vacuum tube, and high sensitivity loudspeaker community to showcase their talents. Beginning on October 3rd and ending on the 5th at the Red Lion Silverdale Hotel in Silverdale, Washington, this year will feature many conferences, a vintage audio room, craftsmen room, live music, and much more. Saturday will be entirely devoted to the exhibitors, with no competing seminars or other events scheduled during the day. Exhibitors include Adire Audio, Cain & Cain, DIYcable, electronluv, Jena Labs, Teres Audio, Wright Sound and many others.

 

 

Presentations featuring MBL, Perpetual Technologies, and Onix products will take place from June 27th through the 30th at the Dallas Doubletree Hotel in Lincoln Center, Texas. Both stereo and home theater systems can be enjoyed. For more details e-mail Mark L. Schifter. Scheduled systems will include:

MBL Showcase
MBL-300-E Tower Loudspeakers 
MBL-321 Bookshelf Loudspeakers (or MBL-311D Monitors) 
MBL-8011s Amplifier 
MBL-8006a Amplifier 
MBL-4004a Pre-Amplifier 
MBL-CDP-2 CD Player 
Perpetual Technologies P-1A 
Perpetual Technologies P-3A 

Onix Reference Showcase
2 channel & 5.1 (inter-changeable set-ups) 
Onix Reference 1 Loudspeakers 
Onix Reference 2 Loudspeakers 
Onix Reference 100 Center Channel 
Perpetual Technologies P-1A 
Perpetual Technologies P-3A 

Rocket Loudspeakers by Onix
Full Plasma Home Theater Showcase
7.1 Channel System 
Rockets RS750 
Rockets RS550 or RS250 
Rockets RSC200 
Rockets RSS300 
Rocket UFW-10 Subs
Panasonic Plasma TV 
Denon 2900 
Panasonic RP56

 

06 / 17 / 03

Genesis Advanced Technologies 6.1 Multi-Channel System  Genesis Advanced Technologies has launched their multi-channel music and movie loudspeaker system. The Genesis 6.1 Multi-Channel System is claimed to satisfy both the audiophile and videophile alike with new center channel, surround (pictured here), and two new subwoofers. The G6.1 System features a frequency response from 16Hz to 36kHz. The G6.1c Center Channel has the same driver complement as the top half of the G6.1 with two Genesis Ribbon Tweeters (front firing and switchable rear firing), a 5-inch titanium midrange, and two 6.5-inch mid-bass couplers in a sealed enclosure. The Genesis Servo-Sub 4/8 is a subwoofer with four 8-inch ribbed-aluminum cone woofers powered by an integral 500 watt amplifier. These drivers are the same ones used in the high-end G201, G350SE and G501. The Genesis 6.1sr Surround Channel can be remotely switched between monopole and dipole modes. Each unit has a front-facing tweeter and midrange mounted on an inert baffle and two angled woofers that are LC-tuned for optimal bass response. The result is that the G6.1sr in monopole mode has an identical response to the center channel, and also matches the response of the main left and right loudspeakers. Partnering the G6.1sr with the S2/12t subwoofer turns the surround loudspeaker into a full frequency speaker system. "We placed a requirement for full frequency range on all channels, not only to meet modern multi-channel playback system specifications, but also to provide multiple sources for the bass, thereby reducing room bass mode problems. Additionally, five channels of servo-controlled bass, with 500W each, distributed around the room gives the system a huge impact capability," stated Mr. Dave Firestone, Vice President, Sales and Marketing.

 

 

Dezorel has introduced their military specification version of their Brick, the Mil Spec Brick filter unit. It differs from the previous versions by a tighter matching specification (0.08% or better), greater physical robustness (shock resistant to 20G or better) and greater temperature operating range (instead of standard 15 to 55, mil spec version operates -40 to +85 deg. centigrade). Because of its construction techniques, this version is far less susceptible to vibration-induced disturbances than the previous unit. Lastly, the power rating has been uprated from 2.4 to 3.0 kVA.

 

 

Ecosse Reference CableEcosse Reference Cable new The Legend SE Mk11 interconnect is available in fully balanced and pseudo balanced versions. This new design employs their recently patented Vibrakil RFI/Microphony-rejection technology. Ecosse also offers their Soundman Pro-Digital Interconnect (£240) claimed to outperforms all other digital cables under £300. Ecosse's Baton Interconnect (£80.00) and entry level 'Best Boy' Interconnect are budget priced at £24.99 per pair inclusive of gold plated plugs and has double screened UHP-OFC.

 

06 / 16 / 03

DVD-Audio Marketing Council  5.1 Entertainment Group, BMG, Dolby Laboratories, EMI Recorded Music, Meridian Audio, Panasonic, Silverline Records, and Warner Music Group have all come together to form the DVD-Audio Marketing Council to further promote the DVD-Audio format. Their goal is to educate both consumers and retails about the only WG-4/DVD-Form approved high resolution audio format (as Sony's SACD is not an official DVD format, therefore operates on a proprietary, non-standards approved basis). The WG-4 defines DVD Format specifications, provides technical details, oversees licensing, provides conferences for discussing the format, etc. Sony's Super Audio Compact Disc format was denied as a standard format long ago, yet Sony decided to continue their manufacturing and marketing on their own format without approval of the WG-4. The DVD-Audio Marketing Council hopes to further the public's awareness of the format to increase the benefits DVD-Audio offers. This includes 24-bit/192kHz stereo and 96kHz/24-bit surround sound audio plus compatibility with DVD players due to multiple formats appearing on DVD-Audio discs. There are over 500 DVD-Audio titles now available with many more reaching stores before the 2003 holiday season.

Speaking of new DVD-Audio titles, Steely Dan's Everything Must Go has just been released by Warner Music Vision/Reprise Records. Following the footsteps of the simultaneous CD and DVD-A release of Fleetwood Mac's new studio album Say You Will, Steely Dan's highly anticipated new studio album Everything Must Go is now available at many retailers and marks Walter Becker and Donald Fagen's first release since 2000's critically-acclaimed album Two Against Nature.

 

 

Ambiance Acoustics Multimedia Control Center (MCC) Ambiance Acoustics has just released its new Multimedia Control Center (MCC, $2,399). The MCC is a high-end PC that tightly integrates with a home theater/home audio system. It includes a wide range of functionality including (but not limited to) watching and recording video, play and record CDs/DVDs, you can rip, burn and play MP3s, plus capture, edit and burn your personal videos. "As an audio manufacturer, we believe we have a better feel for reliability and usability than OEM PC builders, such as Dell, Gateway and HP," explains Robert Salvi, president of Ambiance Acoustics. "Consumers expect problems with PCs, but not with their TVs, receivers or loudspeakers. A major problem facing most OEM PC builders today is one of software/hardware compatibilities. In that vein, we've decided to design and manufacture a competing product that addresses those challenges."

 

 

www.mfaudio.co.uk passive pre-amplifierwww.mfaudio.co.uk now offers their high performance transformer based magnetic volume control. Features include two Swiss made ELMA switches, point-to-point hand wiring, and custom made hand wound transformers. According to mfaudio "The fundamental problem with (passive pre-amplifiers) is substantial mismatches of impedance either at the source or the load, coupled with a perceived loss of dynamics." Therefore they have placed a transformer in the signal's path to virtually solve this perceived problem. This transformer features the largest commercially available 80% nickel Permalloy core for maximum level handling, low distortion and superior sound quality and a heavy duty Mumetal shielding can for protection from external magnetic fields according to mfaudio. A 300 kHz bandwidth is achieved regardless of the selected attenuation (50 Ohm source/ 47kOhm load). Overall frequency response ois from 10Hz to 300kHz (+/- 0.5dB). The unit has six inputs (four unbalanced and two balanced). All internal connections use 0.6mm silver coated solid core copper wire with PTFE insulation while three-way grounding switch allows any grounding issues to be addressed easily.

 

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