Kalman Rubinson  |  Jan 28, 1999  |  0 comments
Recently, we've seen the digital "horsepower" race accelerate with the arrival of digital sources and devices with 24-bit and 96kHz sampling capability. Much of this has been spurred by the 24/96 labels emblazoned on the newer DVD players—and, within the purer confines of the audio community, by high-end DACs with this same ability. Indeed, it's possible that the dCS Elgar DAC, near and dear to John Atkinson's heart and a perennial Class A selection in Stereophile's "Recommended Components," performs so well with standard 16-bit/44.1kHz sources because its wider digital bandwidth permits greater linearity within the more restricted range of regular CDs.
Jon Iverson  |  Jan 24, 1999  |  0 comments
MP3 audio files have quickly become the dominant format for downloading music over the Internet, and have just as quickly raised the ire of music labels and artists looking to protect their musical assets. For example, a petition signed by nearly 400 European recording artists (including Mstislav Rostropovich and Barbara Hendricks) was handed to the European Parliament last Tuesday by French composer Jean-Michel Jarre to protest lax copyright protections exacerbated by digital technology. The petition states, in part, "We want to use new digital technologies like the Internet to create and to deliver our music, but we will only feel confident doing so if we know that the laws are there to stop our works falling victim to pirates."
Stereophile Staff  |  Jan 24, 1999  |  0 comments
Our first article this week is Illusions, Riddles, & Toys, in which Barry Willis explains what Zeno's paradox has to do with audio nirvana. "We audiofools face just such a riddle in our relentless pursuit of musical realism. I can hear you now: No, say it isn't so. Surely our technology is equal to the task. I'm sorry to tell you that it isn't, and probably never will be."
Barry Willis  |  Jan 24, 1999  |  0 comments
High-end audio legend Mark Levinson has departed Cello Film and Music Systems, the company he founded 15 years ago, and has formed a new business, Red Rose Music. The new company will break all performance barriers with both affordable and cost-no-object audio equipment, Levinson stated last week, and is already registered as a new business with the state of New York.
Leonid Korostyshevski  |  Jan 24, 1999  |  0 comments
Editor's note: For months now, we've been reporting about the the problems and dilemmas created by audio formats such as MP3, which are often used to pirate and illegally distribute music over the Internet. Correspondent Leonid Korostyshevski offers a decidedly unique Russian spin on the situation. His previous stories are here and here. Photos were taken last week by Leonid Korostyshevski
Wes Phillips  |  Jan 24, 1999  |  0 comments
Paul O'Dette, Pat O'Brien, Steve Player, baroque guitars; Andrew Lawrence-King, harp, psaltery; Pedro Estevan, percussion
Harmonia Mundi 907212 (CD). 1998. Robina G. Young, exec. prod.; John Hadden, prod., eng. DDD. TT: 78:21
Performance *****
Sonics *****
Barry Willis  |  Jan 23, 1999  |  0 comments
The axeman cometh, and cometh again. Seagram Company's Universal Music Group, now the world's largest music conglomerate after last year's $10+ billion acquisition of PolyGram NV, is decimating its ranks. The company has closed the doors of several formerly independent record labels, fired hundreds of employees, and plans to unload thousands more in the next few months. Employees and artists alike will soon find themselves without labels.
Stereophile  |  Jan 17, 1999  |  0 comments

Some form of high-resolution digital audio is right around the corner. Whether it's SACD, DVD-Audio, or both, will you be an early adopter, or will you wait until the dust settles?

Will you jump right in with the new high-resolution audio formats when they're finally released, or will you wait? In either case, why?
I'll jump right in
8% (23 votes)
I'll wait a month or so
3% (7 votes)
I'll wait 6 months
9% (26 votes)
I'll wait a year
30% (83 votes)
I'll wait for a couple of years
27% (75 votes)
I <I>have</I> a high-resolution format: LP
14% (38 votes)
I don't really care
9% (26 votes)
Total votes: 278
Stereophile Staff  |  Jan 17, 1999  |  0 comments
Our first article this week is Space . . . the Final Frontier, in which J. Gordon Holt explains both why he feels the High End should abandon two-channel stereo, and why it is misguided in its choice of loudspeakers for stereo reproduction.
Jon Iverson  |  Jan 17, 1999  |  0 comments
One of the classic problems with digital technology is what is known as the "cliff effect": when digital signals reach their limits, they don't fail gracefully like analog ones do---they go off a cliff and crash hard. Not only has the tendency for digital signals to exhibit their limitations noisily in the audio recording and playback environment been a problem for engineers and listeners, the effect on the digital broadcast industry has been tough to circumvent as well---until now.