SURVEY OF THE AUDIO & HOME
THEATER PRINT PRESS Updated 9/16/03
HDTV ETC. (Summer 2003) = The premiere issue of this quarterly is from the also-recent publication DVD ETC. Editor Clint Walker feels 2003 is "The Year of HDTV" - with program offerings increasing daily, displays coming down to more modest budget levels, and high-def DVD on the way. The first issue even includes an exclusive High Def Product Directory with hundreds of products. There are High Def features on: Recording, Programming, Antennas, History, Listening, a special on the all-HD Discovery Channel, and something called "HDTV 101" which brings the neophyte reader quickly up to speed. Components reviewed include the Runco CL-700 projector, Mitsobishi RP HDTV, speakers from B&W and Niles, Parasound's HALO prepro/amp, and Sunfire's Ultimate Receiver.
HI-FI NEWS (August) = The stack of five components on the front cover are the cost-no-object 20th-anniversary expression of Musical Fidelitys skills in building amps. The stack consists of the two-channel Tri-Vista kWP preamp, its separate power supply, the kW 1000-watt-per-channel amp power supply, and the pair of separate monoblock amps. The huge wattage is combined with an incredibly high input impedance at the preamp. Total cost: £22,500. The survey of set-top boxes, which might at first sight intrigue U.S. readers, surveys UK-system digital terrestrial receivers for both TV and DAB radio broadcast. (By the way, whatever happened to DAB in the U.S.?) Jitter Revisited is an interesting investigation into the artifact that became a huge issue in audio about a decade ago. Author Keith Howard concludes that the best CD players today generate so little jitter as for it to be a non-issue. Barry Fox grouses about Toshiba and Warner Bros. having rushed the DVD system to market without designing it to accept hybrid discs (with a standard CD layer).
HI-FI NEWS (September) = Displays the Denon DVD-2900 on the cover in a feature titled "One For All" (also reviewed in this issue of AUDIOPHILE AUDITION). Other cover items are an exclusive on Wilson Audio's Alexandria speakers and products from Edge (Signature One battery preamp), Brinkmann (La Grange turntable), Mark Levinson (No.383 integrated amp), Omen Ra (18:12 digitally-EQ'd speakers), Nordost (Valkyrja Reference cables), Revel (Performa M20 affordable high end speakers), ATC (2-way active speakers) and Mirage (Omnisat Micro satellites and LF100 sub). There's a piece on the first company to come up with a system for transmitting true CD-quality PCM stereo over Bluetooth wireless networks. Barry Fox explains why the compact cassette lives on and Ken Kessler remembers the late David Hafler. Other components: Primare AV processor, Feet of Silence, NAD phono stage, Altmann UPCI jitter-buster.
SOUND & VISION (October ) = is an HDTV Buying Guide with over 150 models, a program guide including "Finding HDTV in Your Area," and HDTV shopping tips. HDTVs from Sony, RCA, Toshiba & Philips are reviewed. The Philips set is the cover shot. The move of both satellite radio providers into units for home and portable listening is discussed, and there are also reviews of Rotel's Surround Preamp, Denon's Universal Disc Player, and Niles' 6-Room Receiver. Three DVD burners are tested: Sony, Panasonic & Philips - pegged to "send your VCR packing."
SOUND & VISION (September) = So much gear on the cover it's impossible to identify what's what. "Find Your Perfect Speaker" is the big feature story. Also 10 Ways to Bigger, Better Bass!, Sleek Speakers for Your Plasma TV, and "Aural Oddities" - the World's Weirdest Speakers. Cover reviews listed are Yamaha's Wi-Fi Music System, Six different home theater speaker systems, B&O's cutting-edge speaker, Sony's 400-DVD changer, JVC's THX receiver, and Zenith's affordable HDTV. "Sonic Signatures" evaluates three speaker systems using dynamic, horn and electrostatic approaches to see if they really do sound entirely different from one another. Also reviewed: Toshiba SD-P2500 portable DVD player and Go-Video D2730 networked DVD player.
STEREOPHILE (August) = "Tubes for Everyman" is the main cover feature, depicting Audio Research's VS110 & SP16L preamp and amp. Esoteric's DV-50 universal disc player and amps from Mark Levinson, Cary, Naim & Musical Fidelity are reviewed in this special amplifier issue, plus a survey of phono stages. Roseanne Cash is interviewed. There are five follow-Ups on the Classe Omega SACD player, Grace 901 headphone amp, Meridian 800 DVD-A player and Meridian 861 surround sound controller, and PBN Montana SP3 loudspeaker. Art Dudley reviews the Musical Fidelity A3.2 and Naim Nait 5 integrateds. Recording of the Month is Led Zeppelin's How the West Was Won.
STEREOPHILE (September) = The tower speakers on the front cover are Audio Physic's Virgo III, and the cover article refers to their "velvet sound." State-of-the-Art speakers from Wilson (WATT/Puppy 7) and JMlab (Grande Utopia Be) are also reviewed. Other cover features are for Multichannel amps and preamps from Bel Canto and McCormack, a high-performance CD player from Classe, the band Gov't Mule on CD, and the winners selected for Best Sound at the recent HE2003 Show in San Francisco. Other equipment reports inside: Aesthetix Rhea phono preamp, Echo Busters Decorative Room Treatments, Blue Circle BC21.1 preamp, JMlab Cobalt 806S and 816S speakers, darTzeel NHB-108 power amp and Peak Consult InCognito speakers. The Industry Update covers the dropping of the Madrigal name, a report on watermarking deficiencies, and a new crop of digital amps.
STEREOPHILE GUIDE TO HOME THEATER (July) = has the Mark Levinson/Madrigal Audio No. 40 AV Preamp-Processor on the cover, calling it State of the Art. An exclusive feature on a new plasma screen from V Inc. shares with an article titled Stereo Home Theater: Will It Work for You? which is basically another two-channel vs. surround debate between Steve Guttenberg and Thomas Norton, only this time based in the HT world. In his article, Russ Herschelmann says corner subs are a bad idea. Other reviewed equipment: Polk LSi9 surround speaker system, NEC HT1000 DLP projector, Audio Refinement Pre-2DSP & Multi-5 preamp processor & multichannel power amp, Outlaw 950 & 770 preamp-processor & 7-channel power amp, Meridian 568.2MM & 598DP preamp-processor & DVD-Audio player.
THE ABSOLUTE SOUND = For August/September the word is "Fantastico!" as Italian Sound & Beauty from Sonus Faber speakers are displayed on the front cover. "A Classic Redefined" is the title of a review of Wilson's new WATT/Puppy 7 speaker system, Tubed electronics from BAT and Air Tight are featured and more than 50 new discs are reviewed. This is the Super Components List issue, and 34 recommended speakers under $2500 are also listed. The Industry News covers the new Sony hybrid SACD plant in Terre Haute, Indiana; Robert Harley writes on Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Turntables; and several SACDs are reviewed in the New Formats section, along with a list of the 22 best SACDs TAS has selected.
DVD ETC. (October) = Batman is on the cover, not Michael Keaton, but the actor in an under-nine-minute Batman dubbed "The Coolest DVD You'll Never Own." Special features of the month are an interview with Morgan Freeman, DVI DVD Players Explained, and a DVD Glossary. The Lion King's Roger Allers is interviewed in Director's Cut, and reviews include Philips' DVD793c five-disc changer, the Apex Recorder, V Inc.'s Bravo D1, Toshiba Theater WideHD 57-inch set with their DST-3100 set top box, speakers from Wharfedale - Diamond 8 Series, Denon's AVR-2803 AV Receiver, EluminX back-lit computer keyboard, Soundmatters' MAINstage, and cables from Transparent, Better Cables, CWS & DH Labs.
DVD ETC. (September) = Front cover features include World's First Hi-Def PVR, Should You Choose DVD-Audio or SACD for Music?, Top 20 Multichannel Audio Discs, Elliot Mazer: A Musical Journey, Daredevil - Behind the Magic, xXx Fast and Furious, and reviews of DVD players and recorders from Sharp and Panasonic, V Inc.'s Vizio P4 46-inch plasma screen ("only $3800"), Tannoy Eyris & KEF Reference speakers, Zenith HD PVR, McIntosh MX134 Processor and AV Control Center, Yamaha V440 Receiver, and DVDs including Chicago, Sleeping Beauty, Lord of the Rings, Alias, and How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days. There is also a buyer's guide to over 200 DVD players.
WIDESCREEN REVIEW (September) = Faces from Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers grace the cover. Sony's Michael Fidler holds forth on the Blu-ray laser High-Def DVD, there's a feature on DVE Video Test Patterns, a review of the Odeon Amp from Plinius Audio, Outlaw's models 950 & 7100, the Goldmund Eidos 38D DVD player, and V's Bravo D1 DVI DVD player. The issue carries over 40 DVD and D-VHS (high-def) video reviews. Paul Sweeting asks Can a Business Be Built on Early Adopters? Other equipment reviews: MAZZ 1400 D-ILA projector, Parasound Halo A51 multichannel amp and matching C 1 Surround Processor.
WIDESCREEN REVIEW (October) = Adam Sandler and Jack Nicholson as butting foreheads on the cover to promote Anger Management on DVD, one of over 40 DVD & D-VHS reviews this issue. Cover features are: DVI for Better Video Performance; HD-DVD Digital Entertainment Group; Dolby Pro Logic IIx - An Exclusive First Look; Reviews of McCormack DNA-HT5 Amp and Samsung DVD-HD931 DVI DVD Player. Other components reviewed inside are the Sunfire Ultimate Receiver, Phase Technology PC Series speaker system and McCormack MAP-1 six-channel preamp. Editor Gary Reber discusses the new CEA DENi Standard and Minimum Transmission Power Levels for DTV.
SOUND & VISION (July/August) = sports a Trinity-looking model holding the worlds first HDTV camcorder, from JVC. Also Philips 60-inch RP HDTV monitor, Definitive Technology BP7001sc speakers, TiVo Series2PVR, Panasonic MR-E50 DVD recorder, and Denon AVR-2803 receiver. Hitachis VCR combo and a universal player from Integra share with articles on Moving Your Music Outdoors and 3 Critics Rating Satellite Radio Programming (for the most part they love it). Other reviews: Pioneer Elite ES-DV1000 home theater system, Harmony SST-768 Web-savy remote control, DCM 16S home theater speaker system.
AUDIO XPRESS (September) = Cover features: Why Not Try Tube Crossovers?, Build a High Quality Class A Amp, A Killer Center Channel Speaker, An East-to-Construct 8-imch Two-Way, Refining the Split-Load Phase Inverter, DC Sensor and Timer for Your Loudspeaker, Basic Facts About Filters, Rebuilding Rosenblit's 80watt OTL amp.
AUDIO XPRESS (October) = Cover features: What's Your True Power Amp Output?; Restoring the TKO 80 Bass Guitar Amp; Building a Proven Phono Preamp with Tubes; Design Details for an 8-inch Two-Way; ZEN Approach to Push-Pull Design; Filter Fundamentals; DacT Power Supply Review.
BBC MUSIC (September) = Violinist Viktoria Mullova graces the cover and there is a discussion of how she adapted her modern style to meet the needs of period specialist John Eliot Gardiner. Baritone Matthias Goerne has a piece on his playing a lunatic in Wozzeck and a fairytale prince in an opera by Hans Werner Henze. "Never Too Late" is a guide on music education for adults.CPE Bach - pioneer of the Classical style - is the composer of the month, 125 Cds are reviewed, and the exclusive CD is an all-Mozart concerto with Violinist Andrew Manze the English Consort, including Eine kleine nachtmusik.
BBC MUSIC (August) = "Proms 2003" is the cover feature of the world's best-selling classical music magazine, with stories on the rising stars performing this season in the UK. "Global Exploitation" shows why there is no such thing as 'world music;' "Oops!" is about even great musicians making mistakes; and "Viva Rossini" describes the composer's life of indulgence. There's a piece on composer George Crumb, 125 CDs are reviewed and the supplied CD of the month is Ravel's "L'heure espagnole."
THE BAS SPEAKER (Vol. 25, Issue 2) = The no-frills publication of the most active audio society in the U.S. always has lots of fascinating information that one doesnt find in the slick audio publications. This one has summary reports of three of their recent meetings in Boston, and articles include The Theremin - Electronic Musics Soviet Roots, Amping Up the Hi-Fi, Good HDTV: More Than a Numbers Game, A Projectionists Training Manual, A Headphone Amp That Shoots the Moon, and The Worst- and Best-Restored Recordings.
AUDIO IDEAS GUIDE = Vol. 21 of the Canadian high end AV quarterly is just out and it's their annual Directory Issue. The detailed specs and prices of over 4000 components is similar to the annual directory that AUDIO magazine formerly did, but better organized. In-depth reviews of Aragon's Stage One 8-channel AV Processor and 3005 power amp, Anthem's TLP 1 tuner/preamp and PVA 2 power amp, NAD's T752 home theater receiver, and TEAC's Legacy DR-L700 tuner/processor and AL700P three-channel amp are fitted in around the massive Directory.
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