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High-End Audio Industry News

1 / 26 / 00

  As Harman Corporation is trying to achieve a more prestigious positioning for themselves in the car audio industry, they just announced the development of a Mark Levinson OEM sound system which is currently under evaluation by Lexus. Lexus is the more luxury division of Toyota Motor Sales, USA. Currently in prototype form, the "Mark Levinson Premium Sound System" was first shown in a Lexus sports coupe concept car at the Tokyo Motor Show in October 1999. "We have an exciting opportunity to expand the appreciation and awareness of Mark Levinson to an important new group of highly qualified luxury buyers," said Phil Muzio, CEO of Madrigal. "No path could have existed without the two crucial ingredients: the right vehicle and the right partners - Lexus, Mark Levinson and Harman's OEM Group." Madrigal claims in their press release that "only Lexus could supply a passenger cabin quiet enough to showcase the spectacular sound which is the hallmark of Mark Levinson home products" (!). 


1 / 24 / 00

  An all new tube is now being offered by Alesa Vaic Vacuum Technology (AVVT). Their new AV 2A3M is a Mesh Version of their AV 2A3. These new mesh plates are not made of nickel wire. All electrical properties are claimed to be identical to normal 2A3 tubes and each AV 2A3M includes a 5 year warranty when ordered via official distributors. The new tube also features AVVT's parallel ribbon filaments with sixteen flat surfaces, "anti-microphonic suspension" in tube top, ceramic UX4 socket with gold plated pins and is only available in C37 shaped glass. No US pricing given.


1 / 22 / 00

  As first reported anywhere in the world by Enjoy the Music.com and now confirmed by a full press release, Ken Kessler has officially joined Ultimate Audio magazine. Ken's insightful writings have appeared in over 100 magazines worldwide. From the UK's leading audio equipment and music source Hi-Fi News & Record Review to the Robb Report. His writings concerning audio, home theater and music will grace each issue of Ultimate Audio.


1 / 20 / 00

  It has begun... Sirius Satellite Radio has announced their plans on spending $1 billion U.S. on their new digital radio system. David Margolese, chief executive of Sirius Satellite Radio, said they have already planned on financing implementing three satellites into orbit around earth to support their new wireless digital radio network. In fact they have already put aside $100 million for their advertising budget! Their plans are in offering digital wireless radio as a subscription base service just as America now pays for DSS and cable TV. "Our ability to entertain ourselves is getting more sophisticated," says Margolese, a key player in the rise of the 1980s cell phone industry. "Today, radio is fine because you don't know any better. With music, frankly, we can do a better job... It's about choice, control, flexibility and a higher standard. Once people experience this, they'll never go back to the old radio. It would be grating, jarring, intolerable." Availability of their service is projected to be in the third to fourth quarter of 2000.


1 / 19 / 00

  We have just been told from reliable sources that Audio Magazine (owned by Hachette Filipacchi) will cease publication with their February/March issue that has just come off the presses. The reason generally seems to stem around the lack of advertising funds. Our sources also seem to know that Michael Riggs and Corey Greenberg will go back to another magazine while Ken Kessler's world renown writings will now grace the pages of Ultimate Audio magazine. The remainder of the staff's future is unknown. The news about Audio Magazine was announced to the staff late yesterday afternoon.


Richard Gray's Power Company by Audio Line SourceRichard Gray's Power Company by Audio Line Source are claiming to have reinvented power filtering by delivering high-current-on-demand via a "reactive electronic interface device". They claim that unlike traditional power line conditioners, isolation transformers and sine wave regenerators, their device is wired in parallel to the source of power. Therefore it does not limit current necessary to satisfy power transients requirements. According the the press release their power device "serves as an electronic flywheel, which delivers instantaneous high-current-on-demand to increase dynamics and performance of analog and digital equipment. It also provides an invisible yet highly effective surge protection system, which quenches A/C line noise and cross talk, with no trade-off." Suggested retail is $700.


Cirrus Logic Inc. just announced a new chip which adds MP3 firmware support for its new multi-standard, multi-channel Crystal audio decoder (CS49326). "Market leadership means pioneering new directions," said Terry Ritchie, vice president of consumer marketing for Cirrus Logic's Crystal Audio Products Division. "Imagine listening to a live MP3-linked concert in your family room!" He confirmed that the technology to link a PC or set-top box to a digital audio/video receiver via a standard S/PDIF cable is here. "By providing MP3 firmware support in our new consumer audio DSP decoders, MP3 audio content can now be transferred by the PC or set-top box from the Internet to the audio/video receiver via SPDIF output where it is auto-detected and played back from the digital audio/video receiver, bringing the future of music, Internet audio, into the home theater market." What this means is that we may be seeing more new new home CD players and mainstream receivers (and probably "audiophile DACs as well) capable of decoding MP3 software. The Enjoy the Music.com Review Magazine was the first publication anywhere in the world to review the NetDrives Brujo which is the world's first home CD player capable of also playing CD-ROMs with MP3 files.


1 / 15 / 00

   With great sadness we report that Julian Vereker of Naim passed away yesterday morning after a short and difficult battle with cancer at the age of 54. Julian was best known in the audio industry for his work with Naim Audio products According to our audio friend Rob Doorack "I only met Mr. Vereker once, and remember him as a raconteur who could speak with authority and great humor on subjects ranging from DAC chipsets to sports cars." Julian shall be missed greatly.


For more news please see our exclusive CES / T.H.E. SHOW coverage. The largest report available on the internet!


12 / 31 / 99

Nautilus SCM1  B&W Loudspeakers will be offering their new Nautilus SCM1 on-wall mounting loudspeaker. Combining the same components as found in the award winning Nautilus 8O5, SCM1 is a small wall-mountable unit designed for both the music lover and also AV audiophiles. "The SCM1's design is unique in its ability to reproduce-fully-the demanding dynamic range of the best modem recordings. And at only 4 1/2 inches deep, the possible uses for the SCM1 are numerous. They're a natural for a complete 5.1 surround system (plus subwoofer) or just as rear-channel speakers." Says Chris Browder, B&W's Executive V.P. "They would also be an ideal match with wall-mounted plasma screens and we even envision them being used in a simple two channel system. Wherever a shallow profile is preferred or space constraints require it, the SCM1 is a perfect fit for those that don't want a compromise in performance." The Nautilus 800 Series tweeter is employed in the SCM1 while the bass/midrange driver is an "improved" version of the original 6 1/2" B&W woven-Kevlar unit. The bass/midrange enclosure employs a curved sides/rear surface geometry forming a broad U-shape; formed with heat and high pressure, the thick laminated panels yield significant anti-vibration advantages. B&W's Matrix internal bracing is also employed. Cabinet finishes include real wood veneers such as Black Ash, Natural Cherrywood and Red Cherrywood. MSRP $1,100 each with availability set for February 2000.


12 / 27 / 99

Curtis Mayfield  Superfly  Sadly, i must report that Curtis Mayfield has passed away at age 57. Born on June 3, 1942 in Chicago Illinois, his great voice brought much pleasure to many over the years. While his music did not really cross over into becoming a huge pop success, his legacy is vast and includes providing the ever cool voice for the movie Superfly. From funk to soul, his talents and versatility was awe inspiring as songs such as "Gypsy Woman," "It's All Right," "People Get Ready," "Freddie's Dead," and "Superfly" are merely the most famous of his many hit records. Curtis was also one of the first to bring to the forefront and discuss openly about African-American pride and community struggle in his compositions. Mayfield was paralyzed in a 1990 accident in which he was struck by a rig that toppled while he was on stage performing in Brooklyn. He has been wheelchair bound ever since. While the man himself will be missed greatly, like other great artists, he has left behind a wonderful collection of music for many generations to enjoy.

December 1999 News

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