Audio Industry News
10 / 29 / 99
Electronic Concept just announced their very first hybrid integrated
amplifier. The new Explorer 90SE produces 60 wpc @ 8 Ohms (90 wpc on 4 ohms).
It uses tubes for the voltage amplification and Mosfet transistors for current
amplification. Five inputs, a monitor loop plus a direct input for the power amplifier.
The preamplifier uses a ECC8. Frequency response is claimed as 7Hz - 40kHz (-3dB)
and signal to noise ratio @ 100dB.
Longstanding cable manufacture Music
Interface Technology (MIT) is now offering a new line of audio/video
cabling. Based on the simple coax cable design, MIT uses various interfaces to
allow their special coax cable to be used as anything from video cable to
speaker or interconnect wire. This new wire, called MIT OneWire is RG-6
or RG-59 in nature and the special termination devices are called Tmax
Terminator Modules. There is also a special OneWire CMR which is CL-2/CL-3
rated double shielded cable which helps reduce outside RFI/EMI interference.
The folks at InnerSound claim conventional amplifiers have serious problems when forced to drive electrostatic loudspeakers. Since InnerSound
manufacturers electrostatic speakers they have decided to make the world's first amplifier specifically for electrostatics.
According to their website "A capacitor stores an amplifier's electrical energy instead of dissipating it as heat, therefore, an ESL doesn't actually use power like magnetic speakers. ESLs are sometimes called "wattless" speakers because of this. But their behavior is highly reactive, which means that they send the electrical current back to the amplifier when the musical signal reverses polarity. Amplifiers tend to be unstable with reactive loads.... In a capacitor, the impedance is inversely proportional to frequency. So an ESL will have a high impedance at low frequencies, and a very low impedance at high frequencies typically 2 ohms or lower."
By using a large output stage of capable of delivering a claimed 135 amps of current with a combined power rating of 4500 watts per channel, their new unit should easily drive the needs of most ESL speakers. The amplifier itself uses precision metal film with 1% tolerance, the
connectors are gold plated while both balanced and unbalanced connectors are standard. The suggested retail price is set at $2995.
10 / 19 / 99
Recent advertising by Dolby Labs
in an industry magazine shows Dolby's new logos which will most probably be
appearing on DVD discs. The logos to the right will show if a movie sound is
mono, stereo, Dolby Surround, or 5.1-channel Dolby Digital surround. This will
aid in consumer awareness to the audio output they can expect from the DVD
software they are renting or purchasing.
Akio Morita, the co-founder and honorary chairmen of Sony,
passed away October 3rd leaving behind a wonderful legacy of his
great ideas, hopes and dreams. He was survived by his wife, two sons and a
Heading off others first, Thomson Consumer Corporation
now offers their new online retail store selling their RCA-branded products
directly to consumers from their main website at www.rca.com.
Although RCA is downplaying the idea saying it's website will only "enhance" the
sales of their products and also offers consumers directions to normal brick-and-mortar
dealers if the consumer chooses to buy from a local dealer rather than over
the internet. Approximately 100 products are available foe sale now with plans
to ad substantially more in the near future. This could also help consumers
knowing they are buying from an authorized dealer over the internet and help thwart
off the vast amount of grey market good now available from various e-commerce
10 / 15 / 99
Those super Formula 1 high
precision dude at Sound Alignment
Systems by Checkpoint just introduced their LG-120 adjustable laser line
generator. To give a truly professional system/speaker setup to high
precision, the new the LG-120 creates a laser line angle from 15° to 120° giving the exact dispersion angle of the speaker for visual
reference in acoustical and sonic work. The LG-120 can be used in concert with
their point laser alignment system to give the most highly precise equipment
positioning available today. "The LG-120 provides sound contractors with a single laser alignment source
designed to allow the accurate positioning of speakers relative to their own unique sonic
dispersion characteristic", said Jim Webb, founder and designer of Sound Alignment Systems. "For the first time a technician can visualize for the
client where a speaker's sonic signature will be". Webb continues, " for example,
if a speaker's dispersion specification is 40°, simply adjust the Line Generator to
the 40° mark and that exact angle line will be visualized enabling the speaker to
be placed precisely where its optimum coverage and performance will be realized. In addition any acoustical treatments that may be seen or created for
any condition are now visible. It's that simple." Enjoy The Music.com's Steven
R. Rochlin proudly uses the SA-S system to insure precise system alignment.
SA-S offers contractor certification, layout plot sheets and angle guides to facilitate
accurate and repeatable installations.
10 / 14 / 99
Following the lead of
another Stereophile personality after the fairly recent purchase of
Stereophile by Peterson (who in turn was bought by EMAP), Wes Phillips now
works for an e-commerce internet company. Specifically, Wes now works for
CoolAudio.com while the ex-owner of Stereophile, Larry Archibald, is employed
by KnowledgeLINK who owns GetPlugged.com. To quote the Wes' Corner #1 -
Friday, Oct 1, 1999 e-mail recently sent out "CoolAudio.com is dedicated to bringing you the finest audio/video products
currently available... We'll also tell you what you need to know before the purchase-and long after
it." In the end the public will vote with their dollars as to
which, if any, service may obtain market share. This is happening amidst
recent discussions frowning upon the practice of product reviews appearing on
the same website e-commerce is being conducted as many consider this practice
a very serious conflict of interest and ethics issue.
10 / 12 / 99
The internet had another
record broken as Saturday's
webcast of the NetAid concerts streamed
audio/video to 2,385,455 people! The concert was partially sponsored by Cisco
Systems, makers of hardware that build the internet infrastructure. "Cisco is always looking for ways to showcase the power of the Internet," explained company spokesperson Mojan Khalili. "In this case, we harnessed that power for a social cause -- ending world poverty."
NetAid consisted of three overlapping concerts held in Giants Stadium in New Jersey, Wembley Stadium in London and the Palais des Nations in Geneva,
Switzerland. These concerts were streamed live over the internet to raise
money to curb hunger and poverty around the world. With all the modern
technology and riches around the world, it is still estimated that one billion
people exist on less than one dollar a day.
10 / 11 / 99
Larry Archibald (long time
owner of Stereophile) no longer works for
EMAP's Stereophile publications. This news joins the recent event of J. Gordon Holt (founder of Stereophile)
Stereophile publications as well. Of course the rumors will be spreading like wildfire
about the above news. Many will find it very interesting that
the previous founder J. Gordon Holt now writes for a competing
publication. Regardless, Larry Archibald joined
KnowledgeLINK who owns GetPlugged.com. They are attempting the join
high-end retailing and the internet via e-commerce like ETown, CoolAudio
and other are doing today.
folks from TARA Labs have announced their new Prism series. The prism is a
"fraternal twin to the popular Prism Bi-Wire". The Prism Nexa ($2.95/foot
msrp and shown right) is a single wire speaker cable instead of an internal
bi-wire and uses Tara Labs' Trio-Design which groups three solid core conductors in a triangular orientation.
Tara Labs claim this offers "sound is clear and liquid throughout the frequency spectrum, with solid bass and clear,
extended highs. And, because of its center space, the Nexa is also more flexible than typical solid-core cables."
10 / 8 / 99
The Proceed PMDT ($5995) is a modular DVD
transport and claimed by Proceed to be the first DVD machine to address audio, video and user interface with equal emphasis on high performance
in all areas.
For example, the power supply consist of a torroidal transformer with not two,
but four separate secondary windings for its main power supply. This gives
many different stages within the unit more than ample power for high precision
The PMDT is a digital audio transport
and therefore has no analog audio outputs. Instead, it reads DVD video discs (including
the Chesky and Classic
Records 24-bit/96 kHz music recordings) plus the usual 16-bit/44.1kHz CD. The transport is
also compatible with Dolby Digital and DTS. With hardware and software changes, the PMDT can be reconfigured to read future DVD Audio discs.
The unit also includes a wireless remote control for all those comfy chair
cowboys out there. The operating software is dealer upgradeable through the
built in RS-232 port. The chassis is constructed of a seven-slot card-cage
which allows for reconfiguration of the rear panel to address the user's changing needs.
beauty to your home with the new B&W
LM 1 series speakers ($350 pr.). These small minimonitors include color-matching stands
to add visual flair and style. Coming on two-tone colors like black, pearl white,
silver, burgundy red and turquoise (seen right), these speakers are very easy
on the eyes. As for easy on the ears, the LM 1 benefits from B&W's long
history of speaker manufacturing. A special polystyrene 1" tweeter
delivers the upper frequencies while the 5" mid/bass driver is a
reinforced polypropylene design. Sensitivity is clamed at 91 db/w/m @ 8 ohm
impedance which is very high for such a small design. Frequency response is
claimed as 75Hz to 20 kHz (+-3db on reference axis).
10 / 4 / 99
the company that makes the web's most popular streaming audio player (the
RealPlayer G2) is claiming to now offer "CD-quality" digital
downloading using their MP3 compression software. According to the
audio engineer John Seymour "The tests confirm in my mind that the 192Kbs
and higher MP3 music files that are created with RealJukebox Plus are
effective indistinguishable from the original CD." RealNetworks has
released both the RealJukebox Beta 2 and RealJukebox Plus in late September in
hopes of gaining more market share. As last reported, the RealPlayer already
has a market share of about 80% saturation as the de facto standard
plug-in residing in most consumer's internet website browsers.
The fastest growing computer peripheral, CD-RW, may be
getting cheaper and thus more popular with the advent of news chips which now
allow 8x write speed and 32x read while keeping manufacturing costs down. Oak
Technology's new OTI-9790 chip provides manufactures with a cost-effective,
high performance solution while also claimed to add support for MP3 audio
files! Oak Technology is one of the industry leaders in the CD-Rom/CD-RW
technology with already over 125 million of their controllers sold worldwide.
DVD-Audio delayed! That's right, the long awaiting by
"audiophiles" DVD-Audio seems to be possibly delayed until the first
quarter of 2000. While hardware may be available before the holiday season,
three of the five leading recording companies are reported to delay the
release of software for the new format until late first quarter 2000.
BMG, EMI, and WEA are said to not be releasing titles this fall while
Universal Group Music Group may have a small amount of titles available.
Meanwhile Sony had no comment on the matter.
International Industries Mark Levinson
brand name is now offering their new No383 integrated
amplifier which is priced at $5,995. The unit features dual-mono power
supplies, balanced gain stages, software-based operating system that can
communicate with other Levinson gear and wireless remote control. Power output
is claimed as 100 wpc @ 8 ohms.
9 / 02 / 99 (note: no
other updates for September 1999)
In an all new venture, BootlegTV.com
is being launched by Discipline Global, Inc (DGI). DGI is home to such
great bands as King Crimson, California Guitar trio, and Bill Bruford's
Earthworks. To help launch this new venture you can hear King Crimson's
concert as it was recorded during live concerts held in Mexico City from August
2nd through the 4th in 1996. This includes the band
members Robert Fripp, Bill Bruford, Adrian Belew, Tony Levin, Trey Gunn and Pat Mastelotto.
As an Enjoy the Music.com added feature, we have preview
audio clips and even the entire concert for you! BootlegTV.com will have many
concerts from bands such as King Crimson available for streaming within 24
hours of the actual live event! The concerts will be available for a fee.
Various fees will be available for a viewing the music for a specific time
period of viewing or unlimited viewing. And now Enjoy the Music.com
proudly give you a free song from King Crimson's 1996 tour.
July/August 1999 News
June 1999 News
April/May 1999 News