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Welcome to Issue #78, our annual recordings issue. For this special issue of the magazine, I have asked our contributors to pick the best recordings they have encountered since our last recordings issue (#72), and they have responded with some really interesting lists and comments. Not only will you get some good recommendations for some really good recordings -- old and new -- but you will also gain some insights into our contributors, insights that may be handy later on down the line when you are reading equipment reviews and wondering what kind of music the reviewer tends to favor (or, you might wonder why that reviewer did not list any favorite recordings in this issue). This has certainly been a fun issue to put together; I hope you find it fun to read.

By the way, those perusing the Staff Picks articles will note an unfamiliar name. With this issue we welcome a new contributor to our staff, David Milford, who previously wrote for another audio publication under the pseudonym "Muse Kastanovich." We're pleased to have David writing for us, and under his own name. We've already got him at work on some equipment reviews.

On the equipment side of the ledger, we also have a couple of loudspeaker reviews that should generate some interest among audiophiles; indeed, it seems fatefully appropriate that this issue consists almost entirely of loudspeaker and recording reviews, because loudspeakers and recordings are the two most important elements of the sound chain over which most of us have any meaningful choice.

It looks as though two-channel stereo is pretty well obsolete at the engineering/developmental level, and it will not be long until multichannel/surround audio becomes the standard. Home theater, awful as it is, helped pave the way for this development. Over the coming years, it will be interesting to see how the audiophile community reacts. Actually, I can pretty well predict how it will react: the same bunch who still go on and on about LPs and wires and "fast woofers" will go on and on about how the new formats will never equal two-channel stereo, while the rest of us will experiment with the new formats until we feel comfortable with them. No doubt we will make some mistakes, but we will eventually iron them out and come up with some really nice-sounding installations, and we'll then wonder how we put up with the limitations of traditional two-channel stereo for so long. We'll comb through our collections of two-channel recordings to see which sound the best on our new systems, with their various processing options, and we will seek to find better-sounding recordings in the new formats. It will be fun!

And yes, I am still listening to music through a traditional two-channel system, and really enjoying it; however, I believe the time has just about come to start assembling a multichannel rig. Already, I have CDs that are designed to be played back on multichannel systems (e.g., some of the new releases from Delos), and I am eager to hear them as they were intended by their producers and engineers to be heard. I've never had the slightest interest in home theater, and still don't. There will be no video in my setup.

Speaking of things that are in the process of changing, at the time I write this (mid-October) we've just begun to receive some initial feedback from subscribers and manufacturers on our switch to a larger physical format. Most folks seem to be pleased with the change; however, a few folks are disappointed. We know we can't please everybody, and in some ways we miss the old format ourselves, but the larger size opens up new possibilities for us in several directions. Although there is little doubt that one of the most tiresome, overused cliches being bandied about today is "the new millennium" (which does not start until 2001, by the way, making the cliche all the more loathsome), but in the particular case of The $ensible Sound, we really are looking forward to some exciting changes as we begin the year 2000. Perhaps -- if we can stay out of our own way -- some of them will even be improvements! We shall see ...

How to Communicate with Us -- To order a new subscription, change an address on an existing subscription, order our back issue set, or take care of some other subscription-related matter, our business telephone is (800) 695-8439, our business fax is (716) 833-0929, our business address is 403 Darwin Drive, Snyder, NY 14226, and our business e-mail address is To correspond about any editorial matters, submit equipment for review, pass along hot audio gossip, put us on your mailing list, or just blow off steam, write KWN directly at 9775 Mills Road, Ostrander, OH 43061. To submit a classified ad or inquire about display advertising, please give Don Nowak a call at (800) 695-8439 or send him an e-mail at

Previews of Coming Attractions -- Among the equipment we have in or have been promised for review are speakers/subwoofers from Acoustic Research, Coincident Speaker Technology, Hsu Research, Infinity, Legacy Audio, Mach One Acoustics, NHTPro, Polk Audio, and Velodyne; components from Lexicon, Marantz, NAD, Onkyo; and much more, including our usual music reviews, and a few surprises -- other than that, it's the same old same old. -- KWN

One Last Thought: "There is no music in Hell, for all good music belongs to Heaven." -- Brigham Young
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Copyright 1999, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

Article Details
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Author:Nehring, Karl W.
Publication:Sensible Sound
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Dec 1, 1999
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