President's Message
January 2001

0. We are currently operating at a deficit mainly because we are publishing a volume in 18 months and charging as if in 12 (fixed monthly expenses are eating us up). At the Exec meeting we voted to make the BASS quarterly starting immediately, and will cut back the fixed expenses by stopping all printed meeting notices unless the recipient notifies us that they wish to continue.

1. Now on the BAS website: The first notices and BASS from 1972, including Peter Mitchell's handwritten notes on the first gathering.

2. Michael Fremer reviewed the $73,750 Rockport Technologies turntable and tonearm in the August 2000 Stereophile. It features an air suspended isolation stand (with a 1 Hz resonance in both horizontal and vertical planes), and an air suspended platter and arm and a direct drive brushless motor. The plinth weighs 185 lbs and the 5-piece platter, machined from solid stainless steel bar stock, weighs 62 lb. The motor control unit holds the rotational speed to within 10 parts per million. He liked it.

3. The Finial turntable, which used a laser to play LPs, has resurfaced as the ELP. According to a review by Ralph Glasgal ( it works very well, and will play 78s as well. It comes with a record cleaning machine (a necessity) and has response to 25 kHz (the Finial was criticized for limited HF response). Prices start at $13,500.

4. I just received issue 26 of Audio Critic on Nov 10, '00. (The last issue was Mar '99)). True to the muckraking format, the cover screams "The 10 Biggest Lies in Audio." Peter Aczel has found a Canadian publisher which he claims will release the mag regularly, but not interfere with the autonomy of the editorial content.

5. Joe Pompei, a researcher at MIT, has come up with an "Audio Spotlight"--a way of transmitting sound of any frequency with extreme directionality. For example each person in a pickup truck could be listening to different music without the other person hearing it. The audio is transformed into an ultrasonic beam which then reacts nonlinearly with air to make audible sound. The problem in the past with this technique has been high distortion, but he claims to have reduced it to 5 percent. "I had to develop mathematical algorithms and then a physical system of reproducing those ultrasound waves accurately," said Pompei, who grew up in Wayland [MA] and was, at 16, the youngest engineer at Bose. "The combination allowed me to [create a] high-performance loudspeaker. To create a narrow beam like the one from the Audio Spotlight, a conventional loudspeaker would have to be 150 feet wide. [Boston Globe Oct24, '00]

6. Records ( is an on-line business that specializes in collectible classical, jazz, and pop vinyl recordings. They are offering a 15% discount for BAS members through January 31. Offer code 4GK.


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updated 11/11/04