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President's Message
February 2005

1. V26n4 of the BAS Speaker has been published. It contains 0 meeting summaries, but many interesting articles including The Amazing Randi's one million dollar challenge to the Golden Ears, a report on CEDIA by David Weinberg, selecting audio converter chips for digital audio, a review of the Stanton 500E Mk II cartridge, and early reports on James Levine and the BSO in rehearsal and concert. 32pp

2. The standard twin 4' 40 watt fluorescent fixtures provide the most economical and efficient means of area lighting. However the ballast, which is essential for their operation, usually generates a slight hum. Many years ago I tried a "Class A sound Rated" ballast, only to find the hum level was about the same. Then I came across an electronic ballast which would be inherently noiseless since it switches at a frequency of 50 kHz. I bought several, but had a couple failures. I gave up on that unit, but two remained functioning to this day. However that type of ballast seemed to have disappeared from the market. Recently I spotted new units on sale for less than $13 from Tek Supply, (800)835-7877, part #10432, and ordered a couple.

3. Quantegy, perhaps the last remaining manufacturer of high quality audiotape, abruptly shut down its Opelika, Alabama plant on Dec. 31, leaving audiophiles in the lurch. Quantegy filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and hopes a restructuring will eventually revive its operations. But its future is uncertain, inasmuch as demand also is dwindling for its videotape as well.

It was founded shortly after World War II by John Orr, a former Army major who called the company Orradio Industries. Ampex Corp. bought Orradio in 1959 and renamed it Ampex Magnetic Tape. As the market fell off, in 1995 Ampex decided to get out of the tape business and spun off Quantegy. The purists have a romantic attachment to the taping process. "It's a much more musical medium than digital could ever dream of being," says Joe Gastwirt, a mastering engineer who has worked with the Grateful Dead and others. "It actually does something to the music." Wall Street Journal 12Ja05

4. DB Systems now has a website,

David Hadaway

President, Boston Audio Society



The Boston Audio Society
PO BOX 260211
Boston MA 02126

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updated 3/3/05