President's Message
June - July 1999

I recently watched a program on the History Channel called "Modern Marvels: The History of Stereo". It chronicled the development of audio recording and reproduction over the years with talking heads such as Tom Holman, Ioan Allen, Ivan Berger, Henry Kloss, Julian Hirsch, Wilma Cozart-Fine, Michael Fremer, Michael Riggs, and Bob Anokosko. No audio consultant was listed and it had a number of technical errors.

It was entertaining but rather sloppily edited. A discussion of Stokowski and the Philadelphia Orchestra was accompanied by a clip of Munch conducting the Boston Symphony. It said that LPs were introduced in the late 50s (actually the late 40s).

Other errors: it was stated that the two channels in a stereo record are recorded at 45 degrees to each other (they meant 45 degrees from the lateral mono signal, or 90 degrees from each other) and THX was called Tom Holman's Crossover (really Tom Holman's eXperiment and from the movie THX 1138). For trivia buffs, in the opening scenes of the 1951 comedy The Lavender Hill Mob, Alec Guiness says to the driver "there's a car following us, license THX1138."

It said that German scientists working with the wire recorder laid the foundation for stereo magnetic tape recorders. In fact they developed the tape recorder in 1934.

Left out was a mention of Helmut Krueger's recordings on magnetic tape for German radio. Some 250 stereo recordings were made in 1943 with three omni mikes; only 5 recordings survive today. Apparently the rest were taken as war booty to Moscow by the Russians and used for blank tape. The program is available for $20 from (800)708-1776.


The Boston Audio Society
PO BOX 260211
Boston MA 02126

problems? email Barry:

updated 11/11/04