September 2002
SURVEY OF THE AUDIO & HOME
THEATER PRINT PRESS

STEREOPHILE = The September issue has Thiel's CS1.6 speakers on the cover and articles on speakers from Paradigm, Meadowlark and Opera, Manley monoblock tube amp, the Accuphase SACD player and father and son guitarists the Piazzarellis. There is an 18-page report on the Home Entertainment 2002 Show, including the Best Sound at Show. Jon Ierson's editorial answers some accusations of the DVD-Audio camp that the high end audio press hasn't been fair to their format. Singer Allison Moorer gets a special feature and Aural Robert talks about the Rolling Stones SACD remastering project. The Recording of the Month is Joshua Bell's version of the Beethoven and Mendelssohn violin concertos.

SOUND & VISION = for September is a special issue focusing on speakers. Six complete systems from Infinity, Energy, NHT, Magnepan, Atlantic Technology and Wharfdale. Five small subwoofers from Cambridge Soundworks, JBL, M&K, PSB and Velodyne. Bose' ADAPTiQ System calibrates your speakers, and Magnepan/s on-wall planar speakers. A new Zenith HDTV and Philips R985 DVD Recorder are reviewed. The worthwhile opening feature article is on the same subject as several of our recent Audio News items - How Hollywood Wants to Control Your TV. DVDs reviewed include Amelie, Black Hawk Down, Gosford Park and A Beautiful Mind.

AUDIO XPRESS = A feature-laden cover for September promises the following: Build This Easy Subwoofer Kit in One Hour, Build a Pair of Thor Transmission Lines, Where Should You Put the Sub in an Odd Room?, Pair Up 6L6 Tubes for Single-ended Performance, Building a Super Tractrix Horn, With the Woods Afire, Does the Stereo Go Too?, plus reviews of the tubed Earmax headphone amp (they recommend it) and the new Paul Klipsch biography.

THE AUDIO CRITIC = What a surprise! The last issue of the crotchety Critic was so long ago that most of the industry thought it was defunct. But here it is again, sporting Harman International's Floyd E. Toole on the cover as SuperSpeakerMan. The feature is actually a reworking of his keynote speech at the opening of last year's AES Convention in NYC, and proves a must-read for most of us, and especially for speaker manufacturers. Rather than the usual keynote fluff/nonsense it concerns the realities of loudspeaker performance with a focus on the wide discrepancies between the sound of professional monitor speakers and consumer speakers, and is illustrated with copious graphs. Several speaker reviews are featured, including Infinity's Intermezzo 4.1t - which is dubbed "near-state-of the- art" at $3500. David Rich presents an interesting survey on classical music on the Internet. Other components covered: Hsu Research VTR-2 sub, JBL Ti10K 4-way speaker, B&K phono preamp & DAC, HeadRoom Total AirHead headphone amp, QSC Audio DCA 1222 power amp, Sharp SM-SX1 & DX-SX-1 SACD player & 1-Bit amp, Sony SCD-C555ES SACD changer, TAG McLaren Audio T32R tuner, Mitsubishi SW-55907 55-inch RPTV, Studio Experience Boxlight Cinema 13HD.

HOME THEATER = The September issue has a child watching Monsters Inc. on a 30-inch Sharp LCD direct-view flat-panel TV. There is review of Zenith's $160 progressive-scan DVD player and exclusives on speakers from NHT and Velodyne as well as Linn's Classik System. Over 50 pages of reviews are promised. The main subject area powering the HDTV movement - sports - is covered in articles on Where We've Been, Where We're Going, and What You May Be Missing. Other components reviewed: Genelec HT210 speaker system, Rotel RSX-1065 Receiver, Audio Control Pantages 5-channel amp.

STEREOPHILE GUIDE TO HOME THEATER = Not to be confused with the above - even though from the same publisher. The July/August issue looks more like a photography magazine, but it's Marantz's new DLP projector, which - as expected - knocks CRT and LDC approaches for a loop. In "Doubling Up on D-VHS," the competing HDTV-recording videotape units from Mitsubishi and JVC are reviewed and compared. Tame Those Black Bars is a special feature, and over 60 movie DVDs are reviewed. Michael Fremer reports on the home theater scene in Japan and Tom Norton capsules the past five years since DVD was introduced. Other components: Energy Take 5.2 surround speaker system, Sony Grand Wega KF60DX100 & VPL-VW11HT RPTV & LCD Projector (whew!), Marantz SA-1251 SACD/DVD-V player, Phase Technology Premiere Collection speaker system, Camelot Round Table Mk.2 24/192 DVD player.

THE ABSOLUTE SOUND = Halcro's startling new amplifier makes the cover of the new August/September  issue (its price is also startling). Five cutting-edge preamps are compared, 25 speakers under $2500 are evaluated and the best selected, the new Image speaker line from PSB impresses TAS and more than 50 classical, jazz and pop discs are reviewed. Shane Buettner presents the first of an excellent two-part article titled High Resolution Digital, and subtitled What Can We Expect from DVD-A & SACD? In Part II, next issue, he will deal with one of our strong interests here at AUDIOPHILE AUDITION - alternative surround sound setups for music. Five budget phono cartridges are reviewed and an interview with conductor Paavo Jarvi is featured. Other equipment reports: Dahlquist QX6 speaker, B&W 602.5 speaker, Pioneer Elite DV-47A Universal player, preamps from Plinius, Rogue Audio and Marsh Sound, Burmeister Rondo 991 integrated amp, Denon DVD-9000 DVD-Audio player, Audio Physics Minos subwoofer, Isophon Europa speaker, Tenor 75w OTL amp.

LISTENER = The new September/October issue of this steadfastly Readers' Digest-size hi-fi and music review has a cover shot of a new small horn speaker from Carfrae positioned against a fountain and city skyline. It's the first U.S. review of this high sensitivity British full-range rear wave horn-loaded speaker using a standard 7-inch Lowther driver but augmented by a pair of powered subwoofers. As the cover placement indicates, the reviewer felt their $17.5K price worth it. Other cover stories are Ken Kessler on the new biography of the late Paul Klipsch, Michael Fremer on The Stones and reviews of phono preamps from Conrad Johnson, Art Audio, Linn, Camelot, and Coph Nia. There is coverage of the 2002 Home Entertainment Show in New York, and a piece on the new-found popularity of The Turtles. Other equipment reviewed: SOTA Sapphire turntable (recommended) and Audio Magic ExcaliburII cables. [This is/was the final issue from this fine audio publication, and we are extremely sorry to see it go.]

WIDESCREEN REVIEW = for September has the two monsters on the cover from the Disney/Pixar movie which is now on DVD. The cover features include another exclusive report on new movie releases in D-VHS D-Theater, the hi-res format using videotape. Ten Critical Characteristics of HDTV Display Quality are discussed, and a feature on loudspeaker accuracy asks how to know you bought an accurate loudspeaker. Schwarzinegger's End of Days is one of the hi-res movies reviewed and the Philips DVDR985 DVD Recorder receives a major evaluation. Joe Kane writes on Component Video As An Afterthought. Equipment reviews of: Bryston 6B SST amp, Aperion Audio speaker system and Pioneer DV-47A Player - the latter receiving a recommendation without reservations about the SACD playback expressed in other reviews.

WIDESCREEN REVIEW = A shot from The Time Machine is on the cover of the August  issue with another exclusive report on D-VHS and D-Theater components and software. A story on Loudspeaker Accuracy is subtitled Room Acoustics and Speaker Positioning, and the two components to make the front cover are the Pioneer Elite DV-47A Universal DVD-A/SACD player and Hitachi's 53-inch HDTV rear-projection unit. This is the first of two sections on the Pioneer player and reviews only the video performance, which WSR finds to be unexcelled; the audio playback will be covered in the next issue. There are 40 DVD-V reviews plus 3 D-VHS reviews.

HI-FI NEWS = B&W's Nautilus N800 flagship speaker is tested in the August  issue and is on the cover. The review asks "B&W still supreme?" The Pioneer VSA-AX10A monster cinema amp also makes the cover and is described as an AV amp that's good enough for hi-fi. Krell's 400CX new generation muscle amp and ATC's new Active 10 speakers are other cover features, and there are tests of components from Sony, Mission, Pro-Ject, JM lab, Pure, Townshend, Primare, Harman/Kardon, Denon, NAD, Nordost and REL. Other hardware includes a DAB radio from Videologic Pure, a 192K sampling rate sound card for PCs, and the Isotek SubStation AC isolator. Keith Howard concludes his useful feature on More Bad Vibes, dealing this time with the effects of external vibrations on speakers and their stands (solid heavy stands and cones may not be the best way to go...). Hi-res releases from Olivia Newton-John, The Persuasions and Monty Alexander are reviewed.

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.

BBC MUSIC MAGAZINE = Violinist Maxim Vengerov kicks off the Proms as well as the August issue cover. Composer of the month is Zoltan Kodaly, Building a Library discusses Beethoven's Sixth, Sarah Connolly speaks on Music That Changed Me, world music presentation is changed by the WOMAD organization, "Braveheart" explores the trials of Clara Schumann, and various composers salute the bicycle in The Wheel Thing.

INTERNATIONAL RECORD REVIEW = Ian Bostridge is the cover artist, also profiled in an article "From Idomeneo to Peter Quint via Schubert." A survey of Schoenberg's Gurrelieder on records from yesteryear to yesterday is of interest (see our review of the latest version this month in Classical). Anarchic Harmonies and Frescobaldi Meets John Cage are other feature articles, trying to maintain an even balance between the mainstream and less familiar musical territory.

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.

AES JOURNAL = Number 7/8 of Volume 50, dated July/August 2002, has papers on Amplifier Output Stages, Low-Frequency Sound Reproduction, and Reconstructing Missing Audio. The is a preview of the 113th Convention coming up in Los Angeles and a call for papers for the 23rdConference, scheduled for Copenhagen.

THE BAS SPEAKER = The 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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