Friday Oct 24

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About // tSs

Tom Krehbiel 
This site is the result of Tom Krehbiel's switch from print media to on-line publishing under his own aegis. It started out as the exclusive location for Tom's articles, both those that first appeared on paper and newer ones created for the web.  He operates theSoundscapeBlog as another online outlet.

Noise // Notes

Audio, ETC.

In the introductory days of audio componentry and the search for quality in reproduced music at home, Edward Tatnall Canby wrote a series of columns on the topic for The Saturday Review.  Those columns, along with related commentary by C.G. Burke and Irving Kolodin, appeared in book form in 1952 as The Saturday Review Home Book of Recorded Music and Sound Reproduction. I recently spotted a copy on eBay and placed a winning bid.

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I'm hearing this amazing piece over my Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart channel on Pandora. It's a small string group, kind of like a quartet, but not quite. The music is transporting, ethereal yet easy, relaxed yet gripping. I checked the screen and found that I was being transported by Mozart's String Quintet in g minor K. 516, a piece I don't recall ever having heard before. Since I didn't know when Pandora's rotation might bring it up again, I decided to find it on CD and make it my own permanently. I was smart enough to take note of the cover illustration showing a portrait of an 18th century lady.


Mozart Quintets


The first two sentences of the following (slightly edited) press release from B&W is a perfectly clear statement of the basic issue of abysmal sound quality from most flat panel televison sets.  Given how horrible out-of-the-box TV sound is, a soundbar solution doesn't have to hit a high audio standard to improve a viewer-listener's experience.  But that doesn't mean that you should settle for any old soundbar.  Bowers & Wilkins has out a new Panorama soundbar, appropriately dubbed the Panorama 2.  They say it is "a true one-box, surround sound home cinema solution."  I have no doubt that it is.  Here's what they have to say about it.

Let's have a permanent moratorium on the phrase "Limited Edition." After all, practically anything you buy--a CD, a pair of shoes, an amplifier, a bicycle--is a limited edition by the nature of commerce. Only so many of any non-commodity item will ever be made and offered for sale.

This is a very special Duke Ellington CD.

Ellington was a man of many parts. He regularly introduced himself as "the piano player" and he was pleased with his role as "the world's greatest listener." (I have no doubt that many of the "We've had a request to play" announcements were self-referential.) On this CD we get to hear Ellington in both those roles along with Ellington the composer. And it offers an extra treat in the form of Ellington the producer.

Personally, I like silver finishes but I know black is appealing to other eyes.  What's really nice is having a choice and that's what Parasound is offering buyers of its top end HALO line.

Tannoy's Precision group of speakers seems to be a solid anchor in the company's extensive lineup of residential hi-fi speaker offerings. Here's a slightly edited version of their press release (I omitted the matching center channel speaker) along with some photos. At this writing, I don't have pricing information. I'll add it as soon as it's available. You can find additional personal observations at theSoundscapeBlog.

SoulSonic, a high-end speaker manufacturer headquartered in Slovenia, bowled me over with amazingly musical sound from an impossible-looking speaker.  That was about two years ago during Las Vegas electronics show time. SoulSonic was holding forth at the audio-oriented T.H.E. Show.

I recently heard from Miro Krajnc, SoulSonic's top man, with news of changes in the speaker line, pricing, and sales policies.

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Music // Overviews

Favorite listening from 2000

As a rule, my favorite recording is the one I'm listening to at any given moment. But here are a few that entered my collection in the past year [2000] no matter when they might have been issued and spent a lot of time on my turntable or in my CD player. They're listed in no particular order.

Father Knickerbopper

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The Soundscape Blog