SURVEY OF THE AUDIO & HT
PRINT PRESS Updated 11/7/04
SOUND & VISION (November) - The new issue boasts that it is the Ultimate Guide to HDTV. Sections cover Free OTA HDTV, Pay TV, Local Broadcasts of HDTV and Cable Providers of HDTV. There are features on ESPN, Discovery Channel, and on Creating the Video Future. Three multichannel preamps are reviewed: Anthem, Krell and Parasound. The Test Reports cover eight other components: Mitsubishi 52-inch DLP HDTV RPTV, Sharp 30-inch flat panel LCD HDTV, Philips 42-inch Ambilight plasma HDTV, Panasonic DMR-E95H DVD recorder with hard disk, Harman Kardon AVR 7300 digital surround receiver, Canton CD 300 home theater speaker system, Bose Lifestyle 38 home entertainment system, Hitachi DZ-MV550A DVD camcorder. There are reviews of music such as Green Day, Björk and ECMs 35th Birthday;and of movies on DVD such as Aladdin, The Star Wars Trilogy and Martin Scorsese Collection. Editor Bob Ankosko reports on his personal trials and tribulations trying to get a CableCARD (replacement for the set-top box) to work with his Comcast cable.
SOUND & VISION (October) - This is a Budget Gear Special issue, covering HDTVs from $700 up, multichannel speaker systems from $500 up and a $200 Instant Theater (good luck with that last...). The breakthru Samsung 50-inch DLP HDTV is also reviewed here - described as an Exclusive!. Spruce Up Your Home Theater is a cover feature, and an unusual interviewer asks the questions about Star Wars of its creator George Lucas - Carrie Fisher. Dubber's Delight reviews three different DVD/VCR combos, from JVC, Toshiba and LG. Other equipment: HP Media Center PC with personal Media Drive, speakers from Energy, Hsu Research and JBL, Zvox Model 315 Sound Console. Ken Pohlmann's column argues against the mistaken idea that anything digital is good. He asks for more debate and education on the various audio bit rates and codecs since some can sound amazingly good and others suck. He urges those who buy bad-sounding downloads to complain.
HI-FI NEWS (November) - Audiopax REF100 tower speakers are on the cover; they are handmade in Brazil. Other cover items: Digital Amplifiers Explained, the Inside Story on the BBC's famed LS3/5A minimonitors, Review of Spendor's S6e speaker, Affordable integrated amps from Cyrus, NAD and Roksan, Tour of vintage treasures at NYC's Classic Audio, Moore Medio Server - a hard disk with audiophile pretensions. Three of their columnists are nay sayers on three much debated audio subjects: Bi-wiring of speakers, purchasing special AC cables, and tests of two decades ago supposedly showing that CDs 44.1K/16bit was indeed perfect and there's no need for hi-res. Other reviews inside: Ayre Acoustics AX-7 amp, Musical Fidelity X-DAC v3, Russ Andrews SJA1/SJA2 pre & power amps, Opera Audio Consonance 2.2 CD player, PMC DB1+ speaker, GSP Audio Era Gold/Elevator phono stage, Headroom Total Bithead headphone amp, Audio One Stylus Balance, Resolution Opus 21 CD player.
AV TECH (November) is a 48-page publication which comes with HI-FI NEWS and is described as the definitive audiovisual technology guide. The one coming with the November issue has a 3-chip DLP front projector from Marantz on the front - the article is titled Future Vision and cover three such projectors from Marantz and InFocus. Cover stories are also on Harman's new 8-channel digital receiver, the DPR2005, Arcam's C30 and P1 amps, the MS909W sub from Mordaunt Short and a high-end multimedia PC from UVEM. Ken Kessler reviews rock on DVDs and Jon Thompson talks about the new video compression standard for theatrical exhibition - JPEG 2000.
HI-FI NEWS (October) - In addition to the big cover features listed on the left, this issue deals with (small type at top of cover): Arcam's new CD player, Audio Valve's Baby Baldur 80-watt tube monoblock amp, Pinsh ribbon-using bookshelf speaker, and The London -a new Decca phono cartridge. The Primare DVD30 universal player (£2000) is found to provide not only good hi-res playback but also shown on standard CDs. It plays everything optical except jpeg file discs. Other components inside: Myryad MXP2000 & MXA2150 Pre/power amps, Emotive Excellence System One speaker, and the fascinating Music First Audio no-frills passive magnetic preamp. The Products of the Year awarded by the European Imaging and Sound Association are listed and profiled. In spite of its name, many Japanese-made products are included.
DVD ETC. (November-December) - One of the big cover features is on TV Classics on DVD. [Who would have thought a few years back that that many people wanted to actually purchase DVDs of old TV series that have been re-run to death on regular TV? OK, maybe a Twilight Zone or two, but The Munsters? In Living Color? Sheesh...] Direct TV now offers a HDTV TiVo DVR, and it is reviewed. Speakers from JL Audio and subwoofers from Gotham and Fathom are covered, also Sign Video's Color Processor Amp, a Universal remote, and cables from AudioQuest, Magnan, Twisted Pair Designs and Cable Research Lab. Special articles: Pride Producer/Director John Downer, Interviews with Ellen Burstyn, Ray Liotta and Paul Sorvino in connection with The Martin Scorsese DVD Collection. The directors of both The Alamo and The Punisher are interviewed.
DVD ETC. (September-October) - Installation of the Sonance In-Ceiling Speakers is the biggest thing on the cover this issue. There is a Buyers Guide to HDD/DVD Recorders, Cable reviews of Harmonic Technology, Monster, Tara Labs and Synergistic Research, interviews with the directors of Aladdin and The Butterfly Effect, and Behind the Magic is an article by iconoclastic animator Ralph Bakshi on The Art of Rotoscoping, or Animation With Heart. The Test Center tests HDD/DVD Players from Toshiba and Sharp, home theater speakers from JBL and SVSs PC-Ultra subwoofer . The Yamaha RX-V1400 AV Receiver and the Antex Triple Play Satellite Radio Receiver are reviewed. Among the DVD reviews are Miracle, Smallville Season 2, Blazing Saddles, Predator and the Passion of the Christ.
THE PERFECT VISION (November-December) - The major cover story is HDTV Revolution! - a review of JVC's HD-52Z575 HIgh-Definition D-ILA rear-projection TV. It shares space with Sharp's 37-inch flat-panel Aquos LC-37GD4U LCD HDTV, described as thin, bright and beautiful. Another feature explains what D-ILA is and how it works. Other cover items are the 2004 Golden Eye Awards for the best gear, affordable HDTVs from Toshiba, Philips and Mitsubishi, speakers from Thiel, Paradigm and Outlaw, and other new components from Sony, Denon and Anthem. 30 DVDs are reviewed. There is a visit to the Italian factory making the SIM2 video projectors and a pices on the Kaleidescape System for home theater. Other reviews: Terk Technologies HDTVi indoor antenna, SIM2 HT500 Link Three-Chip DLP projector, VOOM satellite service for HDTV.
STEREOPHILE (October) - An impressive Halco amp is again on the cover, with a feature story Halcro Does It Again with the dm38 Amp. This is the Recommended Components, with 500 entries. Other cover reviews: Speakers from Polk, mbl & Mobile Fidelity; Tube amp from Lamm, Preamps from Ayre, McIntosh, Conrad-Johnson, Parasound & NAD, a new Linn phono cartridge, cables from Siltech and a REL Subwoofer. Music feature stories are on jazz trumpeter Tomasz Stanko and bluesman R. LO. Burnside. Industry Update discusses the Sony/BMG merger, the iPod/Real Network dispute, and digital rights management.
STEREOPHILE ULTIMATE AV (November) - "Sony's Shining Star" is the cover reference to the STR-DA9000ES Receiver, which hooks to the XA9000ES SACD player (reviewed here a few months ago) via a digital hi-res connection. Speakers from M&K, PSB, Revel, Tannoy and Velodyne are reviewed, plus JVC's HD-ILA HD-Ready rear projection set and Sherwood's Newcastle R-965 Receiver. Other cover features are an annual Holiday Gift Guide and a look inside the 2004 CEDIA Expo. Michael Fremer discusses The Making of a Soundtrack and Tom Norton's editorial is about home theater installers' task and bemoaning the fact that most HT buyers prefer their speakers hidden in the walls even though free-standing speakers usually sound better.
STEREOPHILE ULTIMATE AV (October) - "B&W Stands Tall" is the cover story on the 700 series speaker system. "Way Down Deep" is a survey of great subwoofers. Other cover stories: Video projecvtors from Hitachi and Benq, Yamaha's RX-Z9 Receiver, Dynaudio's Special 25 speaker system & Sub500 (not 25 speakers), DVDO's iScan video scaler, and a report on the NYC Home Entertainment Show. There's HDTV in Them Thar Hills is about how Tom Norton got great HDTV off-air reception where he had thought it impossible. It had to do with antennas, and Michael Fremer also writes on how Antennas Rule.
HDTV (October-November) - The father and son featured on the new HDTV reality show American Chopper grace the cover. VOOM is described as The Future of Television. There are stories on the TV Guide On Screen, the director of Mona Lisa Smile, and an update on HDTV programming. A buyer's guide lists details on over 300 LCD and Plasma displays. The Test Center tests a 42-inch plasma from Hisense, a 57-inch RP HDTV from Toshiba and the Ergo speaker ensemble from Canton. The High Definition Home Theater department covers a 30-inch LCD display from Syntax Olevia, Simaudio's Moon series Stargate surround processor and Aurora-5 amp, B&W's 700 series speakers, and the Arcam FMJ AV9 surround processor.
WIDESCREEN REVIEW (November) - An Apocolyptic image from The Day After Tomorrow graces the cover and the main article is "HD DVD In 2005 - A Progress Report." Part III of a Display Technology Shoot-Out continues comparisons of DLP, LCD, Plasma and all the rest. Surround Sound Production Recommendations from the Recording Academy is another feature, and over 45 DVDs are reviewed. Among the products reviewed are the Bravo D2 DVD Player from V Inc., RT800 EMF Stabilizer & AC Source from Quantum, a Tactile Effects Sytems from Crowson Technology, and Edge Electronics' G4.5 multichannel amp. News includes the Sony/MGM deal, problems with the DualDisc, and a report on the 2004 Surround Music Awards.
WIDESCREEN REVIEW (October) - The vampire hunters from Van Helsing are on the cover and "Prerecorded HD DVD in 2005" is the main cover story. Part II of a Shoot-Out on various display technologies is another feature, and an article on regional DVD coding asks, "Is It Necessary?" Cover review products are the Algolith Mosquito 3D MPEG noise reducer and the Verity Tamino X2 Speakers & Rocco Subwoofer. Over 50 DVDs are reviewed in this issue. Other inside features: Flying Mole Digital Amp (seriously!), Prerecorded HD DVD Roll Out for 2005, Editor's Couch on Samsung Technology, Regional Coding, DTS Streaming. One Installer's Opinion concerns the greediness of both cable and satellite services - they have turned the MPEG compression way up in order to provide more channels instead of quality video images.
AUDIO PERFECTIONIST JOURNAL No. 12 - The expensive, no advertising, quarterly journal from Richard Hardesty and Shane Buettner is this time a 44-page highly readable treatise on speakers. It explains how drivers, crossovers and so on really work, and dispells common myths about speaker design and useage. There are also reviews of the Wadia 861se CD player, Vandersteen 5A speaker, and Solid Tech racks. Among other things, the editors come out in favor of dynamic speakers with certain qualities and against horn and planar speakers. but they also say one should buy the type of sound they enjoy, regardless.
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.
BOUND FOR SOUND (Issue #159) - This issue's audio news covers the TARA Labs raid, Changes at Atmos-Sphere, the RIAA's response to a New York District Court judge's decision that it was OK for a record shop owner to sell bootleg recordings of live music events, and observations on contact enhancers. MGD reviews he Edge G6 amp, the Velocitor power line conditioner from Walker Audio and the Dodson DAC-263 digital processor. There are also some new reviews of outstanding rock CDs of the past few years.
BBC MUSIC (November) - Vladimir Juorwski is on the cover and described as possibly the next Gergiev in a story on ten young conductors. "Can't Cope With Copland" concerns the fear of classical music prominent among much of the general public. A profile on top liturgical composer John Tavener has him surprisingly calling organized relgion senile. Bach swinger Jacques Loussier's 80th birthday is celebrated in a feature, and a comparison of recordings of Haydn's Farewell Symphony finds Trevor Pinnock tops. The CD provided with each issue is this month three Stravinsky scores: The Song of the Nightingale, Symphony in C and Symphony in Three Movements. The Composer of the Month is Vincent d'Indy.
BBC MUSIC (October) - Soprano Anna Netrbko is on the cover, described as a Russian doll. Did Women Write Symphonies? and Classical Promoters - Stop Playing Safe! are two other intriguing articles. Out of the Depths concerns music's power to help us deal with grief. The included BBC CD features two of Beethoven's greatest string quartets, and there are 155 reviews of CDs, DVDs & books on music.
THE INNER EAR REPORT (Vol. 16, No. 2) = The TeslAudio tower speakers are on the cover of the latest issue (VSX-59TXi) plus a 300B tube amp from Wyetech Labs. The Chord Blu CD transport is reviewed. Audio Observer has five pages of news about offerings of the various manufacturers. "Nomenclature" discusses two of the most important concepts concerning sound and the relationship between them - lots of good basic audio facts to keep in mind here.
AUDIO XPRESS (November) - High-End Tube Preamp Design is the subject of the main front-cover article. Build a Digital Signal Processor, Testing Pioneer's Universal Audio Player, How to Produce Bass in a Small Box (using the MaxxBass processor), and "Try This Open-Baffle Corner Sub" are the other cover-promoted features. Other helpful stuff inside includes mods on a line stage preamp, Part 4 of a series on Room Correction, and Why Power Tubes Arc.
AUDIO XPRESS (October) - Cover features: A 70W McIntosh Amp Rebuild, Adventures with Full-Range Efficient Drivers, Build a Unique Tube Control Unit, 3 Internationally-Known Experts Explore THD Effects and Subjective Sound Reproduction (most interesting!), Preview: Speaker Building 201. Inside there is also a look at commercial speaker and room correction systems, and a circuit for a computer audio system free of ground loops and annoying hum.
MULTI MEDIA MANUFACTURER (November/December) - The AV Industry news magazine has five articles this issue of interest to industry insiders: Digital and Analog: TI and Burr-Brown concerns the purchase of the audio chipset maker by the larger Texas Instruments. The future of Home Theater Displays has the non-nonsense dope on sales, design work and reliability of the various next generation displays (hint: that expensive plasma display may not last you very long...). Barry Fox asked Whither DVD-Audio? and also rails against the effort of MicroSoft and others to make a PC the heart of one's home entertainment system. Benchmarking is about improving performance by moving outward, and there is a spotlight on two trade shows coming up: AES and PALA.
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