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High-End Audio Industry News

 

07 / 31 / 03

Jupiter Media  The recent threat of legal action against peer to peer (P2P) users for song swapping by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) has apparently fallen on deaf ears. Jupiter Media's recent survey at their annual Plug.IN conference in New York City cites only a 17 percent decline in P2P users. Jupiter Media's survey also showed that 43 percent of them felt it was ok to continue their activates while only 15 percent felt it was wrong. Making copyrighted material available for anyone to download from the Internet is illegal and takes away the rights of legal owner. Furthermore, it also does not allow for proper financial compensation for said material.

 

07 / 30 / 03

  In July of 2001 AOL Time Warner was accused of price fixing both audio and video concerts of the Three Tenors (opera singers Luciano Pavarotti, Jose Carreras and Placido Domingo). Naturally this case was delayed as much as possible and yesterday the accusation was upheld by the United States' Federal Trade Commission. There appears to be enough proof that record companies illegally fixed the prices in a grand alliance. It is said that Warner Communications Inc. and PolyGram Music Group (now owned by Vivendi Universal) ensured that the album's price was not overly discounted. While federal regulators said this alliance violated antitrust laws, the recent ruling only concerns Vivendi's Warner subsidiary. Back in 2001 Joseph Simons, director of the FTC's bureau of competition, said "Naked price fixing agreements such as this are bad for consumers."

 

 

International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI)The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI), an organization representing the recording industry worldwide with more than 1,500 members in over 70 countries, now has its sights on Pakistan due to software piracy. According to the IFPI "Senior representatives of the international recording and business software industries met with Pakistani government ministers and senior officials at the end of last week to discuss the need for urgent action to tackle the country's rampant levels of CD piracy. Pakistan now exports tens of millions of pirate CDs across the world. It is one of the largest sources of pirate discs and is in danger of becoming the next Russia. Pirate discs manufactured in Pakistan have been found in more than 20 countries worldwide. Illegal CD production has doubled in the last two years and is now estimated at 140 million discs per year -- over ten times legitimate demand in the country. The problem arises largely from weak laws, poor enforcement, inadequate penalties and the growing sophistication of Pakistan's organized criminal gangs." For several years Pakistan has been placed on the Watchlist in the United States Government's Special 301 Review that monitors standards of intellectual property protection internationally.

 

07 / 29 / 03

JBL Encounter 2.1 5.1  JBL's Encounter system is directly aimed at those seeking upgraded sound from their personal computer's standard system. Available in 2.1 ($300) or 5.1 ($400) channel configuration, the self-powered satellites are augmented with a self-powered 200 watt subwoofer. The subwoofer design features Harman Multimedia's own APG Slipstream port design and their Emperor transducer. For those who choose the 5.1 system, a specially designed four-driver unit includes a 50-watt amplifier. Satellite volume control is easy with just a quick turn on the base while a unique interconnect system makes installation and hookup extremely simple. Variable-mount center channel completes the JBL Encounter 5.1 surround sound experience as it mounts on laptops, flat panels or CRT monitors.

 

 

After a nearly five year trial, TAG McLaren Audio Ltd. will soon disappear from the audiophile landscape. Consulting with a major British reviewer, Tag McLaren purchased Audiolab and began offering products at higher price points. Their products were featured in many European shows including having one of the McLaren Formula 1 cars at the 2002 Top Audio & Video Show (see show report by clicking here). While TAG's main benefit was in the ability to upgrade their gear, this naturally assumes they would be in business to offer such things. It has also been said that TAG McLaren has refused to offer schematics and service manuals for both their equipment and that of Audiolab. This means current owners will soon have little chance of having their equipment repaired properly. For the time being, upgrades and Tag McLaren's repair services and a helpdesk facility will continue to be available. The below is an excerpt from TAG McLaren as sent to their UK dealers:

"From its inception in 1998, TAG McLaren Audio Ltd. has dedicated itself to producing the finest quality audio and audio visual equipment available. The standard and quality of our products have been evident through the numerous awards of excellence and countless exceptional product reviews.

However, the present world economy has had a significant impact on the market for high quality audio and audio visual products and this has made it increasingly difficult to operate on commercially acceptable margins consistent with the levels of development investment required.

It is for these reasons that TAG McLaren Audio Ltd. will cease development of new products and will forthwith commence a full strategic review of its continued participation in the audio and audio visual markets.

Dr. Udo Zucker, Chief Executive Office, TAG McLaren Audio Ltd."

 

07 / 28 / 03

Seventh Veil Loudspeaker Nonsuch 4 Slim Floorstanding Loudspeakers and Little Awesome Subwoofer  The new Nonsuch range from Seventh Veil Loudspeakers feature their Nonsuch 4 slim floorstanding monitors (£4,495) and the matching Little Awesome subwoofer (£2,890 per pair). Seventh Veil Loudspeaker's Nonsuch 4 contains no crossover and is said to provide excellent detail retrieval with a fast and coherence frequency range. It's unique enclosure construction virtually eliminates internal standing waves and smoothes baffle diffraction. The drive units (four per side) were designed especially for Seventh Veil by Bandor. These loudspeaker are said to be best accompanied by two Little Awesome subwoofers. The Nonsuch 4 measures 8 x 5 x 34.5 (WxDxH in inches) while the Little Awesome measures 16 x 13 x 16 (WxDxH). These units are available in either walnut or black piano-lacquer finishes.

 

07 / 25 / 03

  Hoping to help cash in as Apple's iTunes has done with their recent online music efforts, BuyMusic.com now has licensed over 300,000 songs from the five major music labels. With lower generally lower costs and using the Windows Media Player 9 compatible codecs, BuyMusic.com sells single song downloads for only 79 cents with complete albums at only $7.95. To assist in the big push, approximately $40 million in advertising campaigns have been planned with over 2,000 television commercials to reach consumers shortly. "We have the BuyMusic store, which will have all kinds of devices for playing music, including digital music players, and CD-Rs as well," said Scott Blum, founder and CEO of BuyMusic.com.

 

07 / 24 / 03

KEF KHT1005 Home Theater Package  KEF Audio has announced details of their new, affordable KHT1005 home theater package ($800). The KEF KHT2005 (now in version 2) has a sleek silver or black finish and includes four satellites (HTS1001), a center channel speaker (HTC1001), and matched powered sub-woofer (PSW 1150). In die-cast aluminum enclosures, the satellites and center speaker incorporate the smallest ever (3-inch) KEF UNI-Q array for excellent sound dispersion. The 3-inch driver is mated with KEF's new 0.6-inch aluminum tweeter. The PSW1150 powered sub-woofer features a 150 Watt amplifier and 8-inch long-throw front firing driver. Other features include utilizing a new slot port design, ground lift switch, 12dB/24dB slope switch, and a cinema/music switch. Add to this, the PSW1150 has an adjustable crossover, phase, and level adjustment. Optional wall mounting brackets are available, as well as optional stands with cable management facility for the smaller units.

 

07 / 23 / 03

Grammy Awatds  The Recording Academy is now asking their members to enter recordings that will be voted on for the 46th Grammy Awards. We at  Enjoy the Music.com are naturally part of the process and are the only audiophile magazine who are longstanding members of The Recording Academy. These awards are voted on by members within the industry, and not simply by recording sales. Each qualified member of the Recording Academy has a say in who wins a prestigious Grammy Award. Of course we have once again been asked to enter our recording choices. Please see our exclusive coverage of the 45th Annual Grammy Awards by clicking here.

 

 

The Cable Company, in concert with many of their vendors, have organized the 8th year of their Summer Against Hunger fundraiser. Monies collected within this event go towards supporting the relief and development efforts of the International Rescue Committee and CARE. The Cable Company dedicate each August by getting matching funds from their vendors for sales of their products. Last year with the assistance of CARE, the governments of Lichtenstein and Ireland matched contributions on a 10:1 basis. CARE reached out to over 25 million people in 63 countries last year. 91 percent of CARE's total funds raised are at work on the ground providing nourishment, training, health, sanitation, and other support in developing countries around the world.

 

07 / 22 / 03

Cadence Audio Arista Electrostatic Hybrid Loudspeaker  Cadence Audio's new Arista electrostatic hybrid loudspeaker employs an ES panel to produce phase coherent upper frequencies to 30kHz. The 8-inch Eton Hexacomb midrange-woofer has dual membranes stiffened with intra-laminar honeycomb elements to reproduces frequencies down to 30Hz. These two drivers allow an overall frequency response from 30Hz to 30kHz for the Cadence Audio Arista. Linkwitz filters are used for crossover duties while the cabinets are formed from a proprietary composite material to reduce cabinet resonances with solid front baffles formed from solid billets of certified plantation grown cherry, teak, mahogany, and other quality hardwoods. Sensitivity is rated at 88.5dB and a nominal 8 ohm impedance. Four WBT loudspeaker terminals allow for bi-wireable/bi-amplification and overall dimensions are 41.3 x 15.35 x 13 (HxWxD in inches) as each unit weighs 70 lbs.

 

07 / 21 / 03

Alan Lomax The Land Where the Blues Began  Fans of legendary folklorist Alan Lomax will soon be able to enjoy the new Rounder Records' SACD release Popular Songbook. This collection of recordings will show how his music greatly affected music for years to come. Quite a few of Alan Lomax's music were later hits for such mainstream groups as The Beach Boys, The Byrds, Jimi Hendrix and Led Zeppelin. This disc will also include a never released recording of "House of the Rising Sun". The SACD title was supervised by Steve Rosenthal who also assisted with the recent Sam Cooke and Rolling Stones titles. Mastering duties were taken care of by Adam Ayan and Bob Ludwig at their prestigious Gateway Mastering facility. Feel free to see our music and book review of The Land Where the Blues Began by clicking here.

 

07 / 18 / 03

Ferguson Hill FH 001 hornspeaker  Ferguson Hill's FH 001 hornspeaker is now available (£6,950 including vat). Needing as little as 3 Watts, the FH 001 hornspeaker produces frequencies from 150Hz to 20kHz with no crossover in the signal's path. Using toughened cast acrylic precision molded at 8mm thick, the large unit is visually less opposing than less opaque colors and may therefore mate better in ones decor. The stands are a welded stainless steel construction and satin polished. They also feature internal damping and integral spikes (supplied with wood floor protector discs). The drive unit is a modified Lowther DX3 while a separate subwoofer is highly recommended. Loudspeaker dimensions are 1.65m x 0.92m x 0.72m (HxWxD) and an overall sensitivity of 100dB/W/m at 8 ohm.

 

07 / 17 / 03

Rhino Vinyl  Rhino Records has launched their new Rhino Vinyl with releases from legendary musical artists such as the Grateful Dead, Yes, and T.Rex. Plan are to have 10 titles available in 2003 with 30 more to follow in 2004. Each release will be remastered from the original master tapes and pressed on 180 gram vinyl at WEA's Dunmore, PA facility. The deluxe packaging will take full advantage of the larger vinyl format according to Rhino. Titles will include Grateful Dead's Live/Dead, Workingman's Dead, and American Beauty. Add to that Yes' The Yes Album and T. Rex's Electric Warrior show that Rhino is very serious about releasing true musical masterpieces on vinyl. Double albums should retail at $24.98 while singles LP titles will be $17.98. Mark Pinkus, Warner's Strategic Marketing Vice President, said "As the 1980s turned into the 1990s, Rhino was at the forefront of both the CD revolution and the Save The Vinyl campaign. While we could not save vinyl in 1993, I'm very excited about having the opportunity to resurrect it in 2003."

 

07 / 16 / 03

 Enjoy the Music.com has released the midmonth July edition of their Review Magazine. Articles within this update include:

* Follow-Up- Atma-Sphere M-60 Mk.II.2 With Speltz ZERO Autoformers by Wayne Donnelly

* Best Of The Portables For The Music Lover On The Go! by Steven R. Rochlin

We have also updated our Letters page. Please see complete details of all the above by clicking here.

 

 

Stereovox HDVXStereovox has announced their new Studio line HDVX HDTV precision 75 Ohm coaxial cable ($100 for 1 meter). Derived from Stereovox's world-renowned Reference line, their Studio products are a price-to-performance ratio cable for both home theater and multi-channel music enthusiasts. As the first product being introduced in the Studio line, the HDXV is a wideband 75 Ohm coaxial cable designed by Stereovox President Chris Sommovigo, the designer who created the legendary Illuminati cables. Embodying lessons learned from over 10 years of reference digital audio and video cable design, Stereovox's HDXV is claimed to employ the world's only 4GHz HDTV-Grade true 75 Ohm BNC connector, yet also includes two precision BNC to RCA inter-series adapters. As an introductory price, the 1 meter single HDXV cable will be sold for $75 until December 31, 2003. Mr. Sommovigo, head designer of Stereovox, said "As the home theater and multi-channel music segments evolve and embrace truly high-performance philosophies, we’re recognizing the emergence of a new class of Hi-Fi enthusiast. The Studio line will afford this new consumer an entry-level experience of Stereovox precision cable products and will act as a gateway to our higher-performance products. The Reference line has proven our competencies in the ‘cost-no-object’ category -- the Studio line aims to demonstrate our high-performance ability when designing for more restricted economic targets."

 

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