SURVEY OF THE AUDIO & HOME
THEATER PRINT PRESS
Updated 3/21/03


WIDESCREEN REVIEW = The March issue features a post-CES update on DVI and HDMI Interfaces - the next AV connection standard. Joe Kane writes on HDTV Display Specs and the Inside Industry View page is High Definition Recording Coming Fast. In the latter it is revealed that FCC Chairman Michael Powell is a self-confessed TV addict and loves time-shifting programming with his TiVo hard drive recorder. He’s skeptical whether the FCC has the legal authority to dictate copyright questions, and thus may not be agreement with Hollywood’s push to issue a “broadcast flag” mandate. New D-VHS tapes are listed and reviewed and 45 videos including standard DVD-Vs are reviewed. Equipment reviews: JM lab Electra Series speakers, Yamaha LPX-500 Home Cinema Projector, InFocus ScreenPlay 7200 DLP Projector, Krell Home Theater Standard 7.1 Processor, Krell Theater Amplifier Standard (5 channels) & KAV-2250 two-channel amp.

WIDESCREEN REVIEW = The April issue sports actors from Maid in Manhattan on the cover and the red-titled articles listed are on HD-DVD Prospects (Competing Red & Blue Lasers) and on HDTV Display Specs, Part II. Both are profusely illustrated with diagrams and technical details not normally found in other HT publications. Runco's New Measurement System is another feature, and both Sharp's XV-Z10000U DLP projector and Sony's Grand WEGA KF-60XBR800 60-inch LCD RPTV. There is a video report on CES 2003, the usual Coming Soon... column, and over 40 DVD reviews.

STEREOPHILE GUIDE TO HOME THEATER = For March/April is their Recommended Components issue. MartinLogan's multi-adjustable powered subwoofer graces the cover. Cover stories are on hi-definition DTV tuners from both Sony and Zenith, the Evolution T6 Tower speakers from NHT, Sony's LCD projector, and Vienna Acoustics' speakers. Back to the Future is the highlighted DVD-V and there is an update on the D-VHS high-def format. It reports that the DVD Forum has still not chosen the particular format for high-def DVD, but Toshiba and NEC are forging ahead with their Advanced Optical Disc, using a blue laser and offering more than four times the capacity of current DVDs on one side. The issue's "Cinessential" DVD is Georges Cluzot gritty and gripping 1953 The Wages of Fear.

STEREOPHILE = For March the Confidence speaker from Dynaudio is the cover model, described as “trickle-down technology.” They find the new SME Model 30/2 the World’s Best LP Player, and other cover stories are Polk’s high-value Lsi7 speaker and CD players from MSB and 47 Lab. A Linn sound system is an Aston Martin is profiled, and Ry Cooder and his latest Cuban recording project are the subjects of a feature music article. Art Dudley (late of Listener magazine) shares his Five Warnings of Musical Bankruptcy, or more specifically, “Records To Die From.” They are: The Casino Royale Soundtrack, Leroy Anderson on Mercury Living Presence, The Sheffield Track Record, Dick Schory’s Music for Bang Baa-Room and Harp, and Mark Wetch’s Ragtime Razzmatazz.

HI-FI NEWS = Chord’s Audiophile Lifestyle System is shown on the front of the March issue with the appellation “Choral Music.” There is an AV amp shootout with tests of units from JVC, Onkyo, Pioneer, Rotel, Sony & Yamaha. The Totem Hawk from Canada is described as a stunning slim speaker, and the T+AK6 Player/Receiver from Germany is said to do everything in style. Other cover-featured reviews are for Michell’s Orbe SE turntable, Valves from Audio Research, the Townshend supertweeter, Monitor Audio S8 speakers, Classe SACD player, and Karan pre-power amp. Plus a tour of the Pavek Museum of Broadcasting in Minnesota. More components reviewed: Tivoli PAL Radio, three interconnects: Atlas Navigator, Ecosse Classic & Neotech NA-12260. Don Cherry and Fathead Newman are among the jazz reissues reviewed, and Ken Kessler says DAB (digital audio broadcasting) sucks.

HI-FI NEWS = The April issue proclaims "Naim Attraction - Salisbury's best yet?" and is a cover story on that firm's new NAC 252 preamp and NAP 300 amp - just a step down from Naim's cost-no-object amps. Other cover items are Yamaha's "Universal" player (which they rate somewhat below Onkyo's), The T+A Criterion electrostatic hybrid speaker with tubes (guess T+A translates differently in the UK...), the Pro-ject Debut turntable, a new AV combination from Krell, and an Aston Martin fitted with a Linn autosound system. Ken Kessler reports on the January CES and his closing column has good words about the attractions of both open reel tapes and headphones. Other components: Mark Levinson 390S Upsampling CD Player, KEF ZQ5 speaker, JMlab Cobalt 806S speaker, Roksan Caspian Phono Stage, Rotel 02 budget system, Perstel Adapt DR101 DAB Radio, Quicksilver stepup transformer, Tallis LS3/5A stand, B&W 604 S3 speaker. The Ganelin Trio are raved about in the Jazz section.

THE ABSOLUTE SOUND = for February/March is their Recommended Sources Issue, with their writers' picks of the best in both digital and analog front ends. The magazine's Product of the Year Awards are announced and the disc review section seems expanded, with the Recording of the Issue being Perahia's Chopin Etudes, some Miles and Bill Evans on 45 rpm vinyl, and the New Formats section beginning with a feature titled SACD Gets Its Groove On. The column from the new editor, Robert Harley, deals with the impact of home theater. He feels that with true high-end companies now into it, HT has become a boon to high-end audio. He lists three ways: the increased market for HT has kept many two-channel companies in business and allowed them to offer both surround and two-channel gear. HT has caused many who had their two-channel stereo speakers placed completely wrong to set up their 5.1 system correctly and for the first time consider music's spatial aspects. Lastly, a well-set-up HT surround system "can become a vehicle for rediscovering the joys of music."

Components reviewed: Adcom GFP-710 preamp, Behringer Ultracurve Pro DSP8034 EQ Device, Sony DVP-NS999ES SACD/DVD/CD Player, Focal-JNLab Electra 906 speaker, Simaudio Moon Nova CD Player, Avantgarde Acoustic Solo speaker system, Kharma Ceramique Reference Monitor 3.2, Meridian 800 DVD player & 861-III Reference Surround Controller, Antique Sound Lab amp, Miyabi/47 MC cartridge.

SOUND & VISION = The February/March issue has Mel Gibson seeing Signs on the flat screen of a large Toshiba HDTV set with Jamo speakers floating here and there. High-Tech Invasion! Is the main theme and includes space-age speakers, amazing video recorders, price-busting plasma TVs, and a unit allowing satellite radio reception anywhere. There are reviews of JVC’s widescreen HDTV, Sunfire’s Ultimate Receiver, and combo SACD/DVD players from both Philips and Yamaha. Another cover teaser is for a guide to the coolest DVD players - 16 of ‘em - ranging from $130 (Apex) to $20K (Meridian). “HDTV, The Year in Review” is a feature, and there’s an interview with one of the several companies who edit down “sanitized” versions of movies on tape and DVD.

SOUND & VISION = The April issue (are they monthly now or bi-monthly?) features plasma flat TVs from Panasonic, Sony and Philips. Wireless music systems are reviewed, as well as HDTV Recorders, and there are reports from CES. In-depth reviews of Onkyo's SP800 universal player, Yamaha's AV Receiver, Samsung's $250 combo DVD/VCR, and a B&W speaker system. How to Soundproof Your Home Theater is another cover feature. Multichannel Report Card opines that this could be the semester than SACD & DVD-A make the grade. Another article explores the growing number of cable companies offering movies to be watched any time you desire.

THE SENSIBLE SOUND = Their February/March issue has some unusual-looking small speakers from Mirage on the cover - the Omnisat Micros - called "a revolutionary new omnipolar design." It's also their Annual Recommended Components Issue; different from that in TAS in that their staff each writes a running commentary going thru their personal choices - no illustrations. But their choices tend toward the more sensible price points. Other reviewed equipment this issue: Soliloquy Model 6.3 speaker, Sunfire Super Junior Subwoofer, Sunfire Theater Grand III, SVS 25-31Pci Sub, Tivoli Model Two & Model Sub.

AUDIO XPRESS = All sorts of fascinating gear grace the cover of the March mag. The featured articles: You Can Have Low Bass in Small Rooms, A Unique Way to Build a TL, A Digital Upgrade for Your HP Meter, Line Stage Odyssey Continued, How to Achieve Well-Designed Passive Preamps, DIY Hints and Tips. Plus Reviews of DUMAX and Klippel Systems for Driver Modeling (I have no idea what they’re talking about but I’m sure some of you do...) and Building a Pair of SEAS Vented Boxes.

BOUND FOR SOUND = The latest newsletter, #147, has 4 1/2 pages of photos from the January CES in Las Vegas. This is a departure for the basically few-illustrations, no-advertising publication devoted to “True Audio Underground.” Martin DeWulf decries the closing of Duntech speakers, tests some AC power cords, highly recommends the PS Audio Ultimate Outlet and the Daruma footers, and roasts the editorial in the last print issue of POSITIVE FEEDBACK. In-Depth Reviews: the darTZeel NHB-108 model one (you’ve got to be kidding, monsieur...) two-channel super-high-end amp from Geneva, Switzerland; The Platinum Reference CD Player from MSB Technology; plus two CD reviews.

THE INNER EAR REPORT = This is Vol. 15 of the Canadian quarterly, just arrived but without any other time identification. A sunlit home theater system with the Electra Series 964 speakers from Focal.JMlab graces the cover. Other cover reviews promised are a tube amp from Tenor Audio and the solid state 7B SST from Bryston. Manley’s Steelhead phono preamp, a Pioneer Elite AV receiver, Chord’s DAC64, Gutwire Audio Basic cables, and the Goldmund Eidos 38D DVD/CD transport are reviewed. Other speakers covered are Monitor Audio’s Silver S6 and Jaguar Musicspeakers. Products from two new audio names are presented: Orpheus preamp and amp, and Harmonic Resolution Systems’ M3 Isolation Base and Damping Plates. The issue editorial involves actual discussion of the behavior and function of the human ear - must be a first for audio magazines.

THE BAS SPEAKER = This is the fourth issue of Vol. 24 of the bare-bones but full of useful information publication from the hoary but very active Boston Audio Society. There are the usual Open Forum, Commentary and News sections, and special features this issue include Producing Digital Video Essentials (by Joe Kane), Genesis of Human Speakers, About the So- Called ‘floor bounce’ (fascinating!), and reviews of three speakers: the MartinLogan CLS-11 electrostatic, KEF ThreeTwo, and Quad ESL-989 electrostatic. Complete reports of three of the group’s more interesting meetings during the past year round out the issue.

INTERNATIONAL RECORD REVIEW = The Dec./Jan. Issue of this UK publication has The Art of Cecilia Bartoli on the cover, plus Recent Releases of Early Music and an overview of Messiaen’s “Vingt Regards” on disc. If you’re in North America, don’t get overly excited about the many music DVDs reviewed each issue because many are not distributed in North America, although they may be later on.

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