AUDIOPHILE AUDITION logo  May-June-July 2002
SURVEY OF THE AUDIO & HOME
THEATER PRINT PRESS
rainbow line

THE ABSOLUTE SOUND = June-July is the Recommended Systems issue, with Energy's Veritas speaker on the cover. 47 models of amplifiers are recommended and Jonathan Valin says the Rockport Speakers/Tenor Amps combination may be the world's best audio system. Sony's CE-775 SACD changer (which AUDIOPHILE AUDITION reviewed some months back) is touted as letting you sample the SACD format for practically nothing (they list it at $250 but the price has since dropped to $200). They also liked the new Sony combination SACD/DVD player at $300. J. Gordon Holt discusses imaging in multichannel and the first of a new series of columns on affordable high end audio equipment appears. The music section has a feature on Elvis Costello and nine SACD reviews. Other components reviewed: Magnepan speakers, Arcam Full Metal Jacket CD player, Athena Technologies S2 speakers and P2 sub, Pass Labs X350 power amp, MIT Oracle cables, Sony SCD-DVP-NS500V SACD/DVD player, Gamut CD-a CD player.

STEREOPHILE = Burmester's B99 speaker graces the cover of the June issue, suggesting that German-made speakers may be beginning to get some attention west of the Rhine. (If you happen to have $48K on you.) Entries from B&W, Impact and JMlab are also evaluated. Preamps from Conrad-Johnson and Ayre as well as a survey of phono preamps are featured. The Alesis Hard Disk CD Recorder is called state-of-the-art digital. The music section delves into Bjork and Wilco, and Editor John Atkinson describes the making of the 'Phile's latest CD of Clarinet Quintets by Mozart and Brahms. Other component reviews: Grado SR125 headphones, Revel Ultima Studio speaker, YBA DT Delta integrated amp.

LISTENER = The July-August issue has the ASL Tulip tube amp on the cover and asks if it is the sweetest amp for less than a grand. Bluegrass guitar legend Tony Rice is profiled and Denmark's Ortofon Jubilee phono cartridge (called amazing) also make the front cover but are not pictured. Reviewed are Naim's now-discontinued but great-value NAC 32-5 preamp, Loricraft's expensive PRC3 record cleaner, Wasatch RCA-104-U interconnects and LC-540 speaker cables, Audio Note Kit 1.2 DAC, and the Rega P3 upgrade kit. And plenty of bunny pictures.

THE SENSIBLE SOUND = The July/August issue has on the cover the tall and thin EOSS Musiko speakers with their accompanying subs ($5000 - is the mag getting less sensible than it once was?)Other cover stories are Legacy's Signature III Step One Processor and U-vola speakers (Italian for "flying egg" and they look like that). Publisher John Horan explains the deep social ramifications of the recent vacuum tube revival in "Tu.be Or Not Tu.be?" Howard Ferstler talks about his adventures with DVD-Audio, and there are about 30 pages of disc reviews.

SOUND & VISION = The June issue has a special report on HDTV's Big Year. Home Theater Magic is the cover graphic theme, with images of Harry Potter and a black cat atop a new Runco DLP video projector. Projectors from Sharp and Selecol are also reviewed, plus DVD players from Philips & Harman Kardon. How to Find the Perfect System is one article topic, and three Do-It-All Remotes are reviewed. Panasonic's "e-wear" (whatever that is) is described as Small & Sexy. Facing the Codec Challenge discusses the pros and cons of the most popular computer compressed audio formats and finds the latest version of Windows Media Audio best at 128K sampling rate, with Real Audio next best at 132K rate. Their advice is that the pay-per-download music services ought to give up on the now aging MP3 format and use these two which not only have better sonic quality but also rights management and copyright protection. S&V didn't include "the Cadillac of Codecs" - AAC - because only Liquid Audio is using it thus far.

SOUND & VISION = for July-August has four DVD-V players on the front cover, all for $200 or less - from Hitachi, Panasonic, Samsung and Zenith. Upscale surround receivers from Yamaha, Denon and Integra are reviewed, plus Sony's Web-Savy MicroMV Camcorder. Hidden DVD Treasures Revealed is another feature article, and there's a section on Home Recording Tips. Also reviewed are Pioneer's latest 58-inch widescreen HDTV, speakers from M&K and Athena, and a $400 receiver from Panasonic. Satellite Radio: Riding High is a complete guide to the new Sirius and XM services, including a test drive. Connecting your computer and home entertainment gear together with wireless technology is explained in No Strings Attached. Other reviews: Outlaw Audio Model 950 surround preamp, Niles ZR-4630 multizone stereo receiver.

WIDESCREEN REVIEW = More Harry Potter on the cover. An exclusive report on D-VHS D-Theater shares with a detailed discussion of the new DVI HDMI Interface in the Inside HDTV section. The Mitsubishi 65-inch HDTV is reviewed and there are 50 DVD software reviews. John Dunlavy continues his series on Loudspeaker Accuracy and other components covered are the Furman Model IT-Reference Balanced Power AC Filter and the Panamorph Anamorphic Display Adapter.

AUDIO IDEAS GUIDE = for Spring 2002 sports the Anthem 7-Channel Surround Preamp on the cover - reviewed with its matching 7-channel amp, together with a long list of just about everything in the issue. The home theater section covers the very high end Simaudio Moon Stellar DVD player, EAC DVDMaster DVD-A player, Marantz DV-12S1 DVD-A player & SR8200 AV receiver, Bryston 6B ST 3-channel amp, Sony Wega KV32XBR450 HD-ready TV, Panasonic DVD-RP91 DVD-A Player, Sunfire Theatre Grand II followup, and TEAC PLD2000 Full Dolby Digital/DTS System. Also: Sony SCD-777ES multichannel SACD player, Ortofon Kontrapunkt b MC cartridge, Aperion Audio 7.1 DiAural HT speaker system, Arcam FMJ CD23 CD player & FMJ A32 integrated amp, Musical Fidelity NuVista 3D CD player, Amphion Athena/Dahlquist/Athena Technologies speakers, Mosaic URC-9950 Universal remote control and Kimber Palladian AC cables. A new audiophile cartoon strip rounds out the quarterly issue.

AUDIO XPRESS = for June the DIY publication has on its cover two little black boxes, a bare circuit board with caps on it, and a really ugly speaker on big casters. The cover features are: A Super Performance Horn Speaker (it better be; it's so ugly), Build This 5-Channel Home Theater Tube Amp, A Preamp for Mag Cartridges, Taking the Mystery Out of Surface Mount, Exploring Passive Radiator Action and Reviews of FM Tuners from NAD & Parasound.

BBC MUSIC MAGAZINE = Violeta Urmana is on the cover for June, and described as A Voice to Make History. Fit for a Queen explores their monarchy's musical legacy, Composer of the Month is Donizetti, Building a Library explores Faure's La bonne chanson, Legends remembers conductor Günter Wand, and there is a special section on BBC Young Musicians. Some fascinating articles include one on whether musical genius is in the genes or not, and another on Object Lessons in Music History - dealing with the original edition cover of Debussy's La Mer. The issue comes with the IMZ Music in the Media, a booklet which details the many fine classical music videos produced and telecast in Europe - few of which we get to see in the U.S.

INTERNATIONAL RECORD REVIEW = The Takács Quartet are on the June issue's cover, tied in with their launch of the Beethoven Quartet cycle. Verdi's opera Nabucco on record and a retrospective on Christoph von Dohnányi's Cleveland years are the other cover feature stories. Roger Thomas continues a series on contemporary music on CD. The editorial concerns the highly desirable medium of DVDs - especially classical music DVDs -4 but grouses that they lack the cornucopia of extras included with many movie DVDs today. This magazine covers classical releases really seriously, with a complete index to reviews and individual sections for Orchestral, Chamber, Instrumental, Vocal, Opera and DVD.

THE INNER EAR REPORT = The "magazine worth listening to" was just received but is only designated as Vol. 14, #3. The Integra DTR 8.2 AV Receiver, YBA Integre Passion integrated amp, both Halo MG SPM 8 and Scarlet Audio Pearl monoblock amps, Polk Audio Lsi 15 speakers, Audio Aero Prima 24/192 DAC and Opera Audio Consonance Reference 6.6 integrated amp are reviewed this issue. "Deciphering the Software Format" is Part 1 of a discussion of SACD and DVD-Audio by Paul DiComo. A report on CES 2002 and Part 2 of a series on turntables are other features.

STEREOPHILE GUIDE TO HOME THEATER = for May reports on the all the hottest new gear seen and heard at CES 2002. A Dynamic Duo is what they dub Anthem's new AVM 20 & PVA 7 surround preamp-processor /tuner plus seven-channel power amp. Other equipment reports are on Zenith's DTV 1080 HD/DirecTV receiver, Sony's DVP-MS900V multichannel SACD/DVD Video player, Pass X3 3-channel amp, Toshiba 50H81 HD-ready 16:9 RPTV and Sonus Faber Grand Piano HT speaker system. Michael Fremer reports on The FCC Press Conference That Never Happened, and while we covered Ken Burn's "Jazz" DVD boxed set long ago here in AUDIOPHILE AUDITION, Wes Phillips' well-researched and lengthy article on this massive survey of the history of jazz provides great reading.

HI-FI NEWS = The June cover proclaims "World beater" and that's referring to the Musical Fidelity CD-Pre24 player/preamp that graces the cover at an akimbo angle. Naim's launch in the high end home cinema arena is covered in their AV2 processor. The Philips DVD 962A player, which handles both DVD-V and SACD but not DVD-A, is another cover story and the mags' UK bias is upfront on the cover with the title "British and Best" covering reviews of the PMC MB2 speaker, Exposure 2010 Series CD player, integrated and power amp, the Meridian 588 CD player, and the Tannoy Eyris 3 speaker. Audiophile Vinyl covers a roundup of new vinyl releases, and globe trotting Ken Kessler reports on Korea's passion for vintage audio gear as well as NXT cardboard speakers. The publication's Hot 100 components are listed with a short paragraph on each. Other components are: Audio Note's Level Five System, Arcaydis AKS monitor speaker, Benz Micro Ace phono cartridge.

THE BAS SPEAKER = The recently-received second part of Vol. 24 from the Boston Audio Society boasts many interesting news bits and discussion in addition to detailed reports on three of their meetings in 2001. The newsletter has no illustrations or advertising. Speaking to the most active audiophile organization in the U.S. were Joel Rosenblatt of Atlantic Technology , Christopher Field of EOSS speakers and Robert Berkovitz of Sensimetrics. Among the many commentaries are items on antennas, rubber belts for open reel decks, HDTV, pianist Leon Fleisher's return to two-handed performing, artifacts created by digital codecs, and web links for tinnitus sufferers.


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