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High-End Audio Industry News

 

09 / 30 / 02

Dishwalla Opaline  Adding to the growth of the new format, popular band Dishwalla has released the world's first DVD-Audio single. As more and more consumers are purchasing DVD players, the DVD-Audio standard is virtually guaranteed with premium DVD players as it is approved by the WG4 (the group who approves of various formats that, in turn, make them industry standards). Dishwalla wanted to insure the success of their music by having both the CD and DVD-Audio disc os their album Opaline released simultaneously. Dishwalla's "Somewhere in the Middle" DVD Single is available at no additional cost and is banded directly to the compact disc version of Opaline at stores nationwide. It includes Dishwalla's music video for the single mixed in 5.1 surround sound, 3 different audio mixes, band member commentary and an Opaline DVD-Audio preview. The DVD Single plays in all DVD players and DVD-Rom drives, as well as in X Box and Play Station 2 devices. "This promotional DVD-Audio Single is intended to provide extra value for the consumer that purchases a CD copy of Opaline, while also giving the same consumer a taste of the exciting DVD-Audio format," said Jeff Dean, Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing for 5.1 Entertainment Group.

 

 

Aperion Audio Intimus 552DOnline retailer Aperion Audio has released their new Intimus series loudspeakers ($180 each for monitors, various subwoofers priced accordingly). Designed for both music and home theater applications, the Intimus 522D is the next-generation of Aperion's critically acclaimed 502 and 512D two-way bookshelf models. Customized drivers designed with DiAural crossover technology provide bass down to 60Hz while this new line also has upgraded gold-plated five-way binding posts. The internally braced cabinets are made from 1-inch thick HDF (high density fiberboard) and covered in real cherry wood or a high gloss black painted finish.

 

09 / 27 / 02

Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA)  Yahoo and Verizon Communication are going against the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) concerning releasing identities of alleged illegal peer-to-peer copyright content traders. With court papers filed days ago, there are accusations that the RIAA is employing illegal tactic to procure more information about KaZaA users. Naturally civil liberties groups have joined in to oppose the intrusion by the RIAA and the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA). In a 30-page brief that was endorsed by 12 groups, it says "What the RIAA is really seeking, at the end of the day, is to shift the burden of copyright enforcement from its own members--who apparently would prefer not to alienate potential customers by suing them outright--to an ISP that does nothing more than provide an Internet connection to the customer."

"What we hope to accomplish is to force the RIAA to follow established legal procedures and due process," said David McClure, president of the U.S. Internet Industry Association, which organized the brief. "The music industry pays the RIAA to investigate and prosecute copyright infractions. They don't pay us a penny to do that. They don't pay ISPs a penny to do that. Even if they did, it would be a violation of due process and subscriber privacy."

 

 

Flat Panel Speaker FPS-200 Desktop Audiophile SpeakerFlat Panel Speaker (FPS) has introduced their FPS-200 Desktop Audiophile Speaker System ($250). The FPS-200 is a thin profile flat-panel design with striking good looks. The loudspeaker itself is 0.5-inch thick, and offered in piano-gloss real mahogany, or in clear acrylic. The system includes a 5" subwoofer and integral amplifiers that power the sub and each loudspeaker. The FPS-200 incorporates MCMA driver element technology -- miniature voice coils etched onto a plastic film to create sound waves. This film is lighter than ordinary paper or plastic cone woofers, so it is capable of producing clarity and extremely fast transient response. The film is in turn attached to a frame with an inverse-roll butyl rubber surround to allow for high excursion necessary for realistic bass response.

"In this day and age of multimedia convergence, we are excited to introduce a product that will make so many music lovers look forward to listening to music on their computers," remarked FPS Marketing Manager James Johns. "Audiophiles familiar with electrostatic loudspeaker technology will instantly recognize the transparency, image depth and midrange palpability of such designs in the sound of the FPS-200," said Johns. "In fact, the best description of the FPS-200 is that it is like having an electrostatic loudspeaker that is scaled down for desktop use," he added.

 

09 / 11  to  09 / 26

  We here at Enjoy the Music.com will have extensive live coverage of London's Hi-Fi News show beginning on September 13th while our Milan's Top Audio & Video report commences on September 19th. As a very special segment to our Milan show report, Enjoy the Music.com™'s very own editor Steven R. Rochlin has been granted a very rare and extensive tour of the Ferrari facility in Maranello Italy! Naturally we here at Enjoy the Music.com™ are very proud to be the exclusive official Website for Hi-Fi News magazine and in also providing information concerning many other print publications. As a side note, look for Steven R. Rochlin's contributions within JAZZIZ magazine, the world's premiere publication concerning jazz music for over 20 years. Steven's writings commence within JAZZIZ's November 2002 edition.

 

09 / 10 / 02

Midwest Audio Classic 45 Stereo Tube Amplifier  Midwest Audio is now offering their new Classic 45 stereo tube amplifier ($1,890). This single-ended design features two NOS 45 tubes for output, a 5AR4/GZ34 rectifier tube, two 12B4A tubes, and two 6J5 WGTs. Manual 45 tube bias insures ease of maintenance while very high quality WBT gold plated binding posts, silver wiring and solder, and a detachable power cord round out the Midwest Audio Classic 45 design.

 

 

Microsoft Windows MediaLossless high-resolution audio is making its way to an Internet website near you. As Bill Gates has unveiled the new Microsoft Windows Media 9 Series, over 60 companies will be supporting this new format while audiophile may also support it and finally rejoice in the ability to enjoy true audiophile sound quality over the Internet. Videophiles are also considered as high-definition video at six times the resolution of DVD, the first 5.1-channel surround sound streaming audio, and a faster, more-television-like experience with media on the Web is also part of the Windows Media 9 Series format. A new Smart Jukebox features allows for ease of organizing one's media collection while stronger digital rights management insure those who sell media over the Internet have a secure way of delivering their product. Built-in enhanced CD-burning features and support on more than 170 devices, including DVD players, portable music devices, car stereos, Pocket PCs, next-generation wireless handsets and digital audio receivers. As a side note, Microsoft owns the Pacific Microsonics HDCD format.

International recording artist Peter Gabriel's upcoming album, UP, will be the first album to be made available on the Web offering a 5.1 channel digital surround sound audio experience. The album will be released September 25th using the new Windows Media Audio Professional (WMA Pro). "I remember very well the day when I first put on a pair of headphones and got a great sense of stereo for the first time, and I'm getting the same sense of excitement from 5.1," Peter Gabriel said. "With a lot of my work, which uses many textures to create pictures in sound, it's often hard to hear all the information; at last with 5.1 it's possible to put people right inside my music. Through this new technology, artists can deliver this experience directly and instantly anywhere around the world."

 

09 / 09 / 02

Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA)  Napster and Aimster (also called Madster) are in major trouble as one is virtually gone and the other in under a judge's injunction. Once the prize of the Internet with approximately 60 million registered users, many of who were illegally swapping copyrighted songs, Napster has laid off virtually all their staff. Worse still, a federal bankruptcy court has chosen to blocked the $9 million sale of Napster to Germany's media giant Bertelsmann. Napster's Chief Executive Konrad Hilbers said "As with most start-up technology businesses, Napster's technology is of little value without the talented team that created it, so it is an occasion of loss on many levels." Meanwhile Aimster/Madster, with approximately 440,000 users, has been recently strangled by a judges injunction due to allowing users to illegally access and trade copyrighted music. In a statement by Hilary Rosen, CEO and Chairman of the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) who represent many major recording labels, said "This unequivocal ruling today underscores that companies and individuals will not be permitted to build a business on music they do not own and will be held responsible for their actions. Chief Judge Aspen considered every argument presented by defendants and one by one rejected each argument. He wrote that Aimster is a service whose very raison d'etre appears to be the facilitation of and contribution to copyright infringement on a massive scale... This decision helps to support the continued development of the legitimate on-line music market for fans, which is, of course, our goal in all of our on-line enforcement activities."

 

09 / 06 / 02

Wireworld Atlantis Cable  Florida based cable manufacturer Wireworld has announced their improved Atlantis interconnects and loudspeaker cable. The upgraded cables will be the first to utilize Wireworld's new Silver Tube Connector technology. Designated Atlantis III++, the new cables include their Silver Tube RCA connectors whose design was realized after extensive research. "We have designed our own spade lugs and RCA plugs for years in order to insure a great electrical connection" says David Salz, Wireworld President. "A good cable can't perform well without an outstanding plug". The new RCA plug employs a hollow silver plated oxygen-free copper tube for the center pin, which is said to greatly improve electron flow, especially within the uppermost audible frequency range. The suggested U.S. Retail Price for Atlantis III++ is $112.50 for a 1 meter pair of Interconnects. Speaker cables are priced at $395 for a 2.5 meter pair.

 

 

Germany based Lehmann Audio has announced a new distributor for the United States and Canadian market. Audio Advancements, who has been very active in the distribution of high quality analog equipment, will now provide service and distribution of the Lehmann Audio products.

 

 

Parasound JC1 Monoblock AmplifierCalifornia based Parasound has introduced their JC 1 monoblock power amplifier ($3,000 each) as flagship to the new Halo line of premium audio components. Producing 400 watts into an 8 ohm load and doubling to 800 into 4 ohms, the JC1 was developed by Parasound in collaboration with legendary designer John Curl’s CTC Builders. The JC1 represents the culmination of 13 years of Curl's ongoing evolution of Parasound power amplifier topologies. The JC 1 was conceived as a signature product, growing out of CTC's modifications of the Parasound HCA 3500 amplifier which was sold between 1999 and 2001. With various changes to the design, including a much larger heatsink and double the power supply, as well as component and layout alterations, are some of the highlights within the new JC1. The JC 1 includes a large torroid transformer rated at 10 Amperes continuous, four substantial 33,000-microFarad Nichicon Gold Tune electrolytic filter capacitors, a specially designed relay-bypassed "soft start" circuit to prevent tripped circuit breakers, complementary JFET and MOSFET configuration for the input and driver stages respectively provide pure "Class A" operation in these parts of the circuitry. Nine pairs of high current bipolar transistors in the output stage provide up to 25 watts of pure "Class A". Specifications are as follows:

RMS Power, 20Hz to 20kHz:
400 watts continuous, 8 Ohms
800 watts continuous, 4 Ohms
1200 watts short term, 2 Ohms

Class A Power, 20Hz to 20kHz:
25 watts, bias set to high, 8 Ohms
10 watts, bias set to low, 8 Ohms

Current Capacity: 135 amperes peak

Slew Rate: >130 V/µsecond

Frequency Response: 2Hz to 120kHz (+0/-3dB)

Total Harmonic Distortion:
< 0.15 % at full power
< 0.018 % typical levels

IM Distortion: <0.03 %


Signal to Noise Ratio
> 122 dB, IHF A-weighted, bias set to low
> 120 dB, IHF A-weighted, bias set to high
Dimensions: 451 x 178 x 508 (WxHxD in mm)

Net Weight: 29.1 kg

 

09 / 05 / 02

  The Consumer Electronics Show (CES), world's largest show of its type, has begun accepting registration for their 2003 event. Giving stability to the industry by once again having their show at Las Vegas in January (9th through the 12th), over 2,000 international exhibitors in wireless communications, gaming, digital video, high-end or "extreme" audio, accessories, CE fashion, consumer technology networking, broadband, mobile electronics, content media, new business technology, delivery systems and the Internet can be seen. The International CES is sponsored, produced and managed by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA). "With more than one million square feet of space sold, we are excited about the improvements and international focus surrounding the 2003 show," exclaimed CEA Vice President of Events and Conferences Karen Chupka. "Our 2003 attendees will see a stronger focus on wireless technologies and electronic gaming, an increase in the number of technology pavilions, an exciting lineup of more than 100 CES conference sessions and thousands of consumer electronics products, technologies and services showering the show floor." Registration is now open online. More than 83% of attendees registered online for the 2002 International CES.

In related news, PRIMEDIA has chosen to move their show from New York City to San Francisco for their Home Entertainment 2003 show.  PRIMEDIA will hold their show from June 5th through the 8th at the Westin-St. Francis Hotel. "We're delighted to bring the Home Entertainment Show back to San Francisco," stated Jackie Augustine, Group Publisher of the PRIMEDIA High Technology Group and Executive Director of the Home Entertainment Show. Our exclusive 1997 San Francisco show report can be seen by clicking here.

 

09 / 04 / 02

  Enjoy the Music.com has published the world's first interview with former Listener magazine owner and editor Art Dudley since the magazine's demise. Listener magazine had a virtually cult-like following reaching readers that desired an alternative to super mega-buck products and perceived advertorials as found in other media. In December of 1999 Belvoir Publications bought Listener from Art Dudley, keeping him as editor and allowing the magazine's writers and its direction to remain intact. While virtually doubling their subscription base, Belvoir Publications (under a subsidiary name Englander Communications) decided only weeks ago that continuing to publish Listener magazine was not in their best interest. We here at Enjoy the Music.com™ were partners with Listener as we are with many other audiophile print publications. We are deeply saddened to see the once great Listener now become part of audiophile legend. To read our exclusive interview please click here.

 

09 / 03 / 02

Home Recording Rights Coalition (HRRC)  The Home Recording Rights Coalition (HRRC) has sent a clear message to the Department of Justice (DOJ), "hands off consumers". Founded in 1981 as an advocacy group for consumers' rights to use home electronics products for private, non-commercial purposes, the HRCC are very concerned about possible "criminal cases against ordinary consumers who engage in file "swapping" over the Internet. In a recent public statement a DOJ official indicated that such criminal copyright infringement cases may be filed against individual consumers under the "NET Act" (17 U.S.C. §§ 101, 506, 507; 18 U.S.C. § 2319), a law passed in 1997 to make "hacking" by individuals a criminal act, even when not done for profit." HRRC Chairman Gary Shapiro said, "Ever since the Betamax case was filed, it has been vital to maintain the distinction between consumers engaging in private, noncommercial use of copyrighted material, and large-scale pirates. Sharing over the Internet has encouraged some content owners to try to obliterate this distinction. But every time the entertainment industry or the government has accused average consumers of being copyright criminals, the accusers have had to back off, and with good reason." While the HRRC opposes piracy, there should be legal and fair use by consumers who legally acquire copyrighted audio/video material. According to the HRRC website:

"...Shapiro emphasized key points that should discourage any consideration of applying the NET Act to ordinary, non-hacker, consumers:

(1) Fair use rights are guaranteed to consumers by statute, and applied judicially on a case by case basis. This means that, while some consumer practices ultimately could be adjudicated as either fair use or infringement, there is scant basis for challenging them as criminal.

(2) Time after time, practices of individuals that were initially equated with "piracy" or "theft" have been shown to be neutral or beneficial to copyright owners, and have either been tolerated or accepted as fair use.

(3) The NET Act's requirement of a total retail value of $1,000 per infringement should be taken seriously as a barrier to bringing cases against ordinary consumers. This law should not be re-interpreted, after the fact, as a criminal enforcement vehicle against consumer-to-consumer recording and "swapping" practices."

 

09 / 02 / 02

Shindo Laboratory Latour  Shindo Laboratory has announced their new high efficiency loudspeaker design. Designed around the Altec 288 driver and Altec 515B woofer, the new Latour, standing for "London western type", has a custom designed and optimized crossover network. Overall frequency response is rated from 20Hz to 20kHz with a single-ended triode friendly nominal Impedance of 16 ohms. Power handling is 30 watts maximum that can easily achieve high acoustic output levels due to the 98dB/W/m sensitivity. Overall dimensions are 700 x 1,200 x 460 (WxHxD in mm). Overall weight is a very substantial 68Kg. The Latour can also be produced with the Altec 415 or 416 drivers.

 


 

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