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Weekly AUDIO NEWS for March 28, 2001
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New Grove Dictionary Out - Taking up 29 separate volumes, the new printed edition of the New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians boasts nearly 30,000 articles and includes some jazz, pop and world music - previously was banned from its pages. It provides a wide-ranging impression of musical life at the present time. Scriabin shares a volume with the heavy-metal band Slayer, for example. For $4,850 The Grove can be part of your own library, or you can pay $295 a year to have access to every bit of it on the web site. Students can subscribe for $30 a month.

Win a $10K Pair of Speakers! -  Chesky Records is having a drawing on their site for a par of Martin Logan Prodigy Speakers. These $10,000 speakers mate electrostatic panels with 10-inch woofers and have rated exceptional praise from reviewers. All that's needed is to fill out the simple form fields on the site at www.chesky.com to be automatically entered in the drawing for the free speakers - which is scheduled for May 15.

Blaupunkt Car DVD Player Also Plays MP3 CD-Rs - The front-loading DVD ME1 is one of the smallest car DVD players made. Besides playing standard DVD videos and conventional CDs it also will play MP3-encoded files burned onto CDs. Thus a single CD can hold as much music as a 10-CD Changer. The unit is internally suspended with springs to reduce jarring from the road and in case of major bump-caused skips it also has a ten second buffer memory built in. SRP for the player, just introduced this week, is $449.

Flat Tube TV Advances - While front and rear projection for home theater still dominates the video high end, smaller direct-view screens are the most popular with the majority of consumers. The major improvement here, now that 16:9 ratio screens are becoming widely available, is the flat tube set. The major TV manufacturers all now have them. Sony gets much attention for their WEGA flat screens and even Samsung has a Dynaflat picture tube. The advantages of the flat tube are not just cosmetic either: Reflections and glare off the screen are reduced, there is less image distortion near the edges of the screen vs. rounded screens, and they have a wider viewing angle. Some of the higher-end flat tube sets are either HD-ready or fully operation HDTVs. They can't be as large as the expensive Plasma or projection systems (36 inches seems to be tops) but some now come in the 16:9 ratio as well as the standard 4:3.

- John Sunier

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