DVD ETC. (May/June) - The busy front cover covers the latest on hi-def DVDs from CES 2005, has special features on the special effects of car crashes, on Anime, a feature on the director of the anime Ghost In The Shell, and the Test Center evaluates the NEC ND-3500A DVD recorder & Nero 6 Ulta Edition software; SimAudio Orbiter Universal disc player ("an audiophile's delight," at $7100), RBH MC Series Mark II 6.1 speaker system, Yamaha MusicCAST digital audio system, and Monster PowerCenter HTS 5100. There is a DVD Recorder Buyer's Guide, and a survey of the top ten DVDs having to do with Food.
DVD ETC. (March/April) - Hot New Theater Products for Any Budget is the major cover story. The Test Center evaluates the Yamaha 7.1 channel AV receiver, MBL 7.1 Surround Cinema speakers, V Inc. Vizio 42-inch HD Plasma display, Thiel Viewpoint speakers, sub and passive crossover, DVDOs iScan video scaling engine, and outdoor speakers from JBL, Infinity and Polk. Other cover reviews are JVCs 26-inch LCD display, Energys act6 sub/satellite system, Onkyos THX Universal disc player and BENQs 23-inch LCD widescreen PC monitor. There is a look at Adobes Encore software for production of 5.1 DVDs.
WIDESCREEN REVIEW (May) - Seems to be leaning toward the Blu-ray format in the HD DVD battle, since these two cover stories are side by side: "Blue-ray Attracts Support;" "The Need for One HD Format." (Have to agree with WSR.) Other cover stories: Analog TV Cutoff for 2006?, Reviews of Sony Qualia 006 SXRD 70-inch RP HDTV; Myrad MXD7000 & MXA7150 Pream/Processor/Power Amp; Over 40 DVD Reviews. Sword-wielding Elektra graces the cover. Inside articles: Sharp XV-Z2000 DLP Projector; Eggleston Works Fontaine II tower speaker system, The future of 3D movies, DVDs under $3.
WIDESCREEN REVIEW (April) - A feature story on the Broadcast Flag questions FCC decisions allowing unprecedented control by Hollywood forces over the final viewing or time-shifting of broadcast programming. The product reviews for the month include Yamaha's DPX-1200 Digital Cinema Projector, Arcam's AVR300 Surround Sound Home Theatre Receiver, Belkin's PF30, PF60 Power Conditioner, Console & HT cabling, and the various AV systems using in the publication's hardware and software reviews are listed. Awards given by the American Society of Cinematographers are featured, and a story on the CEA's support for a hard cut-off date for analog TV-casting.
WIDESCREEN REVIEW (March) - The incredible superhero family The Incredibles graces the very red front cover of the issue, and there's a story on the animation feature inside (which just was released on DVD). Other cover stories: HD DVD & Blu-ray Disc - a CES Progress Report, and What Makes a Display HDTV? Product reviews of Samsung's HLP-P5063W HD Monitor and PSB's Platinum Series Speaker System. There are over 45 DVD reviews inside. Other component reviews: Toshiba 42HP84 42-inch Plasma TV, Hsu Research Ventiloquist Speaker System, Morel Supra Speaker System. Paul Sweeting writes on "Is a Single Unified HD Format in the Cards?"
THE ABSOLUTE SOUND (April/May) - The Gilmore Model 2 speakers are on the cover and described as "radical reinvention." New electronics from Conrad-Johnson (PV14L2 Linestage) and BAT (VK-3ix preamp & VK-55 amp) are reviewed, the "Hidden Treasures" explores best-sounding LPs not on HP's SuperDisc list. Fittingly, the TAS Roundtable discusses The Resurgence of Vinyl. Twenty pages are devoted to CES 2005 plus 18 of music reviews. Other cover reviews are the Thorens TD2010A turntable and speakers from Calix, Wharfedale and Verity Audio. The Emerson Quartet's overdubbed Mendelssohn Octet is explored.
THE ABSOLUTE SOUND (February/March) - The 20th Anniversary Victoria LE speakers and 12.2 subwoofer are on the cover and this is the 200 Product of the Year Awards issue. The editors pick their top hi-res digital disc players and there are five in-depth reviews of players: Meridian G08, Marantz SA-11S1, Denon, Simaudio and Esoteric. The control unit and amplifier in Meridians G series are also reviewed, as are a new Magnum-Dynalab FM tuner, Goldring Turntable, Manley phono preamp, integrated amps from Chord, Edge and Musical Fidelity and speakers from PSB and McIntosh. HP has assembled a new Super Disc List, discovered some exceptional SACDs, and there is a feature on the best boxed sets of 2004.
THE PERFECT VISION (March/April) - A scene from Spiderman 2 is on the screen of a 7-inch-deep RPTV from InFocus, called An On-Wall HDTV Breakthrough. Other big stories are a Mega-DVD Player Survey, HD On DVD Is Coming!, World's Best AV Receiver? (Lexicon RV-8 Review), Best-Looking DVDs of the Year and more than 25 DVDs reviewed. Five HDTVs are reviewed: LG's DU-42LZ30 42-inch LCD Integrated HDTV, Hitachi's 42HDX61 UltraVision 42-inch HD Plasma Display, SMI2 HT300 E DLP Front Projector, Samsung SP-H700 DLP Projector (+ InFocus). The Ayre DX-7 DVD Player, Mordaunt-Short Genie 5.1 speaker system and Stewart Filmscreen GrayHawk RS Screen are also reviewed. Sony's Mike Fidler and Toshiba's Joie Sally are interviewed about the two possible HD DVD formats. The Insider News discusses the huge number of 1920x1080 res HDTV sets to be introduced later this year.
HDTV ETC. (April/May) - "Format War?" is the biggest type on the cover; the issue also features a new buyer's guide with over 300 LCD and Plasma Displays detailed. There are features on the Current State of HDTV Technology, Highlights of CES 2005, and an HDTV programming guide. Under test & review are: Boston Acoustic speakers and sub, Sharp's AQUOS 32-inch LCD, Sharp's LCD Projector, Polk's Flat Panel speaker ensemble, and Hitachi's 42-inch plasma in their Director's Series. Editor Clint Walker's piece on High Definition Living assails the consumer electronics industry for failing to make hi-def understandable and accessible to the general public.
HDTV ETC. (February/March) - Stacked on the front cover are two plasma tabletop displays - that of V Inc., which comes with Thiel speakers, and a Toshiba 42-inch. Under them is the DVDO iScan HD video scaler also reviewed by The Perfect Vision. Special features include Is HDTV Complex Enough?, HD-DVD Coming Soon. The Buyers Guide is on Hi-def receivers and the Test Center tests the Video ReQuest System, which is a special controller for a DVD Changer. The Hi-def Home Theater section looks at Philips 42-inch Ambilight Plasma, NECs HT1100 budget projector (but still $4000!), and KEFs Instant Theater for under $1,500 (thats the HTiB speaker set with the two speakers that look like Super 8 movie cameras with very large lenses). A Programming Guide to new HD for 2005 is also provided.
SOUND & VISION (April) - Three of the Blue Men Group peer out of the front cover, but inside they remove their masks and gloves to make an impassioned plea for Music in Surround! Who knew these blue guys shared AUDIOPHILE AUDITION's vision! They in fact decry musicians who can't be bothered to give music in surround a try. This issue has more of what was hot at CES 2005, including "Pimped-Out iPods, Monstrous Plasmas, Wireless Music and Palm-size Video." The first photo printer built into a HDTV set comes from Epson and is reviewed. There are also video projector specials on both new LCD units and under-$1500 front projectors: Panasonic, Epson, Sony and Hitachi in the first grouping and InFocus, HP and NEC in the second. Other reviews: Paradigm Cinema 110 Compact Theater speaker system, Sony DVP-NS975V SACD/DVD Player, GoVideo VR2940 DVD/VHS Recorder.
SOUND & VISION (February/March) - Plasma vs. LCD is the title of a cover feature. 3 Bargain HDTVs, Feature-packed DVD Recorders (from Sony, Philips and JVC), Satellite Radio in Your Pocket, and How to Avoid Setup Screwups are some of the article features, and there is a special report on the high-def DVD. Cover components reviewed are Sonys high-def DVD player, a Hitachi Plasma HDTV and Mini speakers from Mirage. The Sonos multizone digital music system is reviewed and there is a quick take on Polks XRt12 XM Radio tuner. Ken Pohlmann writes on DVD-A & SACD M.I.A. [See our "SACD Dying?" article this issue!]
HI-FI NEWS (May) - Classé's curvy amp with a touch-screen display is on the cover and it's called Curves. Cover-promoted reviews are of a new generation plasma display from Pioneer - the PDP-505, Krell's HTS7.1 AV processor, Denon's high-end DVD-A1XV universal player, and the SME 3009 tonearm. Also the Turntable 2 Xperience from Pro-Ject and Tim de Paravicini's 899 Ear integrated amp using tubes. Other reviews on the inside: Bosendorfer's VC7 speakers, Musical Fidelity kW Phono Preamp, Wilborne Labs 300B DRD valve amp kit, Dynaudio's Special 25 speaker, Marantz/ SA-11S1 stereo-only SACD player, Ruark Talisman III speaker, Avalong Acoustics Eidolon Diamond speaker. In an interview electronic whiz Jean Michel Jarre speaks out for 96K/24-bit as the future of recorded music.
HI-FI NEWS (April) - The first review of B&W's new 800D flagship speaker - which has a diamond tweeter dome - is in the issue and on the cover. The issue boasts 16 more pages than usual, and in the Home Entertainment section covers the Naim DVD5 disc player, Denon A1XV monster AV Receiver and DPL Mercury HD video projector. There's a report from CES 2005 of course, and Barry Fox discusses the advantages of the HD video format war. Other reviews: Elac 207.2 speakers, Etymotic ER-4P earphones, Exposure 2010s, Hot Tubes JD1, IsoTek Titan, Meridian 808i, Nottingham Analogue, Theta Compli universal player and Wilson Benesch Curve speakers. Windows software dubbed DVD2one Remaster allows re-authoring CDs as sonically-enhanced DVD+Audio thru upsampling and resolution tweaking.
HI-FI NEWS (March) - The cover photo looks like a scene from Star Gate, with a futuristic pyramid sitting in a desert environment. Turns out it is Nagra's "mysterious" new amp - the PMA Pyramid 100w Monoblock - evaluated along with its matching PL-L preamp. (They loved the preamp but found the amp too lean-sounding.) Other cover stories: The Story of Surround Sound, Arcam DV29 DVD-A player, Wilson MAXX 2 speaker, Townshend universal disc player, PrimaLuna tube integrated amp, Hovland HP200 tube power amp and matching Sapphire preamp (called "a piece of electronic sculpture"), Final 400i electrostatic panel speakers with S100 woofer, and the Transfiguration Temper V MC cartridge. Other reviews inside: Monopulse 3 speaker, Whest dap-10 CD analogue processor (admitted to be a difficult-to-categorize unit; working on the harmonics of signals only over 35K!), NHT SB2 speaker, Supra cables.
BOUND For SOUND (Issue #163) - This is Part I of Components of Merit issue, which BfS had not done for seven years. Sections are on what they persist in calling "Needle Disc Equipment," Digital Playback Equipment, Preamps and Passive Line Controls, Power Amps and Integrateds. It appears Speakers will be among the sections next issue. Don't expect to see the Krells, Boulders, Marantzs in these lists, but do expect to learn of some brands you never heard of because they don't advertise (the newletter accepts no advertising). BfS is nuts about the Sonic Euphoria PLC passive transformer line controller (about $1200), which they feel to be the last word in a two-channel linestage preamp.
JOURNAL OF THE AUDIO ENGINEERING SOCIETY (AES) (March) - Tech papers on Vertical Localization of Loudspeakers, Surround Audio Fidelity Considerations, Intercomparison Measurements of Acoustical Parameters, & Wavetalbe Synthesis for Mobile Devices. There is a feature on low bit-rate coding and a preview of the upcoming convention in Barcelona.
AUDIO XPRESS (April) - On the cover: Groove Mechanic 2.5c Software Cleans LPs/Tapes, Is This the Ideal Tube Amp? (It's an SE "E-Linear" approach to feedback), Hybrid Headphone Amp, Quick & Cheap DMM Fix, Line Array Subs Deliver BIG Horn Sound, Pooge Improves Video. Inside: A Simple Audio System, Pt. 3; Rescuing Fluke's Top Digital Meter Cheaply.
AUDIO XPRESS (March) - On the cover this issue: Crossover Tips from a Pro, Affordable High-Quality Starter Kits (EB604/410 All-JFET Line Amp), Small French Speakers Are Perfect Fit; Kit-Building MTM Units from Vifa/Dayton, A Minimalist Look at Tube Amp Design, A Simple Music Library Preamp. Also inside: Nelson Pass on Current Source Crossover Filters, High End Preamp Part 2, Classifieds & Yard Sale.
MULTI MEDIA MANUFACTURER (March/April) - Is the Manager's Guide to AV Design and Development. Barry Fox writes on an Audio/Video Split in his articles which are reprinted from HI-FI NEWS. High performance chips from Analog Devices are explored, Bogus Electronic Parts is another article, the 8-D Process is a better method for fixing faults, New Chips on the Block reviews the AD Melody 32 and Nelson Pass writes on trade secrets to building better amps.
SURROUND PROFESSIONAL (Vol. 7, Issue 3) - This is the official show program for the recent 6th Annual International Surround Conference & Showcase in Hollywood. "Musicians for Surround" has Herbie Hancock, Peter Frampton and others speaking on how multichannel music has changed the way they create. There is a directory of the exhibitors at the show and a listing of all the Surround Music Awards made at the event. "I Will Never Do Another Record in Stereo" is a resolve by producer Steve Harvey to work in multichannel forever. He also writes on The Practical Web Codec. Gear reviews include the DTS Pro Series Surround Encoder and Yamaha DM1000 digital production.
THE BAS SPEAKER (Vol. 26 No. 3) - The latest unadorned issue of the newsletter of the Boston Audio Society is chock full of interesting stuff you won't find in any of the other audio publications. Four past meetings are reported and discussed: one on the RPG Diffusor Systems, one on Earthworks speakers - who have some interesting observations on bandwidth and mics as well as on speakers, one on venue acoustics with David Griesinger and Leo Beranek, and one with a detailed story of the development and design of the new BeoLab 5 speaker system. The VC-9 Controversy is about whether SMPTE will approve MicroSoft's Windows Media Video codec for possible professional video useage. Titles of some of the Open Forum items: Mo' Better Surrounder Surrounder, Novel Simulcasts, Hi-Rez Overcomes - Doesn't Solve, Web Radio Free for All, Double-Resolution DLP, Greedy Studios Make DVDs Not So Special, Gasketed Klipschorns Unleashed, Time for a New Surround-Sound Standard.