1. Our special ABX (double blind) listening session, hosted by E. Brad Meyer on 30 Oct, went well. We were comparing
the sound of the SACD player with the same signal passed through a 16 bit, 44.1 kHz "bottleneck". There was some concern that the noise difference
would "give away" the identity of the DAT sidechain (since 24 bit audio is capable of 48 dB lower noise), but on program material this turned
out not to be a problem. (We had considered using shaped-noise dither which would improve the 16 bit channel by 6 dB, but we didn't). Those that did
not wish to participate in close listening could enjoy excerpts from the best SACD recordings (albeit continually interrupted by 50 msec gaps as the
relays switched). Detailed results will be reported in the BASS; suffice it to say all present agreed that the difference, if it existed, was exceedingly
difficult to hear. Especially pleasing recordings included the Telarc album of Jerry Goldsmith film scores, the Telarc Berlioz Requiem from Atlanta,
The Antiphonal Music of Gabrielli etc.
2. Brilliant Classics is issuing 10 boxed sets, The Masterworks, devoted to "great composers", each containing
40 cds, packed in sleeves to take up minimum space. The usual suspects--Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, Haydn, Dvorak, etc. Alas, not Mahler, Bruckner or Strauss.
Retail is around $60. For information see the Qualiton website www.qualiton.com.
3. "To installers of car stereos, auto systems sound fishy" leads an article in the Boston Globe. It seems
car manufacturers are tightly integrating the sound systems into the car's electronics, making life difficult for the aftermarket installer. In one
case the installer discovered that pulling out the original stereo would mean the car's air conditioning, alarm, and computer diagnostics systems would
stop working. In the end the old radio ended up in the trunk just to keep the car running properly. Some believe the writing is already on the wall
for traditional car electronics and aftermarket installers. For example, some newer models don't have a physical radio at all (which could be replaced),
instead there's just a screen on the dashboard; the components of the actual stereo are wired into the car elsewhere. 13Au04
4. As you may know, the vulnerable side of a CD or DVD is the label side. A new product, called the d-skin,
developed by a Hoffman Estates, IL company of the same name, protects from scratches which can render them unplayable. Made of transparent plastic,
it is tough and thin enough to play in CD and DVD players and game consoles. It can also be used when burning CDs and DVDs. It is sold in packs of 5
President, Boston Audio Society