President's Message
July 2000

1. Would you like a prestigious job with no pay or responsibilities? Consider joining the BAS Executive Committee. Members receive occasional e-mailings on matters of BAS policy and plans for BAS projects and anything else of interest. They are welcome to contribute their ideas on such matters or they may remain silent. If interested send your e-mail address to Thank you.

2. The latest issue of the Speaker is at the printers. It features an entertaining visit to Clark Johnsen's Listening Studio and High Definition Video at Hi-Rez.

3. Now posted on the BAS website: a list of BAS monthly meetings for the last 13 years and their printed summaries. It's a long and rich tradition. (Click on the MEETINGS button to your left)

4. For small orders of electronic parts I use Mouser Electronics and Digikey Once you get on their mailing lists, the ample catalogs arrive with alarming frequency--at least the non-glossy paper burns well in my woodstove. Mouser has no minimum order and a shipping charge. Digikey has a $25 minimum order and free shipping if the order is prepaid by check. I like the 2% polypropylene capacitors from Digikey for building crossovers.

5. I watched the laserdisc of the 'restored' "My Fair Lady" with Audrey Hepburn. It won an Academy Award for Sound in 1964. I would like to give it an award for Most Sloppy Sound Editing in a Major Motion Picture. Unbelieveable. An example out of dozens: Rex Harrison is talking and in the middle of his speech the level jumps and a background hum appears. I haven't seen the original, but suspect the audio was botched in the restoration job. Audrey Hepburn's singing voice is dubbed by veteran Marni Nixon, causing a cognitive disconnect as we switch between the shy street waif and the high power professional singer. It is a shame since Hepburn is said to have had a pleasant singing voice.

6. Dr. William A. Penn, an adjunct professor of electrical and computer engineering at Syracuse University, is building a laser-based player for cylinder recordings. The helium-neon laser beam bounces off the hills and dales in the grooves of the cylinder, which alters the frequency. The machine detects these small changes in frequency to reproduce the sound. The recordings date back to 1885 and some have not been played for fear of damaging their delicate surfaces. The project is being funded by a $158,000 grant from the Institute of Museum and library Services. Syracuse University has 22,000 of the cylinders in its collection. [There was no mention of the Finial turntable, which, at least 10 years ago, used a laser to play 33s]. [NYT Jan 20, 2000].


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updated 11/11/04