President's Message
January 2002
Hello Members:

0. The latest BAS Speaker (Vol. 24 No. 1) has been mailed. It features 4 (count 'em 4) meeting summaries: Scott Billington of Rounder Records, Bruce Van Allen of Boulder Amplifiers, the 2001 CES and ALMA (Loudspeaker) conventions and John Emerson's extensive presentation (9 pages) on antennas for digital television reception. Articles about resurrecting the AR3A, comparative tests of phono stages and a user's report on ReplayTV combine with the usual news to fill out the 36 pages.

00. A recent problem with BAS email meeting notices shows the value of redundancy. The first December meeting notice was mailed by Alvin Foster Wednesday before the meeting on Sunday, then he left town. When he returned late Sunday he learned that the notices had been blocked by his ISP as spam. I had mailed the #2 notice routinely on Friday, so most people were informed about the meeting.

000. The Melbourne Audio Club has decided to keep its name, paralleling the decision of the BAS a couple years ago. Actually I would like to change "Boston" to "Universal" or "World" but that is not likely to happen.

1. 40,000 original negatives of the Kennedy family, stored in a vault in the basement of the World Trade Center, have been deemed a complete loss (newscast).

2. Arguably the most controversial audio tape in history has not been treated well. That tape with the 18 1/2 minute gap from the Watergate conversation with former President Nixon in June 1972 was stored at the National Archives "in a closet across from the cafeteria." One replay wrinkled the tape 4 inches before the gap. It's been passed around and from 1982 to 1993 was parked in a Virginia warehouse, where it was exposed to 90-degree temps and 90 percent humidity. Maybe the government really didn't want to know what was there. (USN&WR 10Se01)

3. Steve Metcalf writes about the evolution of recorded sound: in the early days of the 20th century the Edison Recording Co. devised the slogan: "Comparision with the Living Artist Reveals No Difference!" That was the goal, to faithfully replicate the experience of a live performance. Now as a listener he finds the goal steadily fuzzier. The new SACD and DVD Audio allow multichannel reproduction, which makes stereo sound pale and flat, and "as listeners become accustomed to these stunning multichannel sound-worlds [won't] a string quartet or even a whole orchestra heard from 30 rows back in the hall also going to sound a little pale and flat?" In pop music things started to get a little confused with the album "Revolver" by the Beatles, where they were less interested in whether they could perform their music live and instead offered the LP as their ultimate musical product. Nowadays in live performance, prerecorded tracks are a commonplace part of making the sonic product like the CD. [That's basically why I have little interest in multichannel sound][Union Leader 10De01].

David Hadaway

President, Boston Audio Society



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updated 11/11/04