Archives for September 1996

DCC Compact Classics Reports Decline in Profit Margins

Chatsworth, CA. Classical music, audiophile and audio-book software distributor DCC Compact Classics, Inc. has reported its financial results for the second quarter of its fiscal year, ending June 30, 1996. Sales were $1.22 million, as compared to $1.08 million for the quarter ended June 30, 1995. The increase in sales was largely due to broader distribution and a change in the company’s product mix.

Gross profit margins declined to 44% in the quarter, with a net loss of $8,000. DCC attributed the loss to increased work related to product returns and inefficiency caused by changing distributors.

“We believe we are through our transition period in having changed our distribution system from a group of independent distributors to a national distribution company,” said Marshall Blonstein, President and CEO. “We continue to expect 1996 third and fourth quarters to be profitable with increased sales.”

Kao Increases Northeast CD Manufacturing Capacity

Plymouth, MA. CD and magnetic media manufacturer Kao Infosystems marked the official opening of a new 65,000 sq. ft. state-of-the-art compact disc manufacturing plant today with a ribbon-cutting and open house.

The CD facility is now the largest such operation in the U.S. northeast. It employs 150, incorporates the most advanced CD production equipment, provides a full range of CD mastering services, and operates 16 production lines. The building was previously used as Kao’s east coast distribution center, which has now moved to Lakeville, MA.

“With the addition of this new CD plant, we will be able to further reduce our customers’ cycle-time-to-market, consolidate and lower our cost of operations, and strengthen our long-term position in the market place,” commented Peter McGuirk, President and CEO.

Kao now boasts over 336,000 sq. ft. of manufacturing space in Plymouth, situated on 86 acres of land. Kao Infosystems also operates CD production facilities in Fremont, CA and Arnprior, Ontario (Canada).

Graphic Speaker Design Tool Moves from Mac Platform to Windows

Escondido, CA. True Image Audio has announced the release of WinSpeakerz 95, an updated port to Windows ’95 of its well-known MacSpeakerz software from the MacOS environment. It’s a native 32-bit application that will run on any PC with Win’95, and it’s priced at $199 (U.S.), direct from True Image.

WinSpeakerz can show a speaker designer the precise audio performance that can be achieved by any driver in a number of different enclosure types. As well as enclosure analysis, the software offers an advanced array of calculators for designing passive crossovers, impedance compensation networks, and attenuators as well as rectangular, trapezoidal, and bandpass cabinets. Frequency scale end points are adjustable from 1 Hz to 100 kHz. The software can be operated in both metric and English units.

WinSpeakerz uses the metaphor of a workbench and projects to organize design work. Starting with a new project file, the designer opens the driver database and selects a driver to load to the workbench. At the workbench, the designer examines the performance of the driver in various enclosures. Promising designs are saved to memory locations within the project file.

Each project file holds 10 memory snapshots consisting of a complete driver file, full details on the enclosure, crossover, impedance compensator networks, and detailed notes on the system. System snapshots can be recalled to the workbench by clicking buttons on a toolbar, and compared directly with other stored configurations. This makes it easy for a designer to compare different drivers in a particular enclosure, or the same driver in various enclosures.

The program can print a number of different reports, including sorted lists of drivers you have selected from the database. Analysis reports and plots are printed by clicking a button on the toolbar. Most of the printed reports display an engineering title block with basic Project information.

The driver database has a full search-and-sort capability, as well as the ability to tag drivers with keywords. Each driver record can store over 90 different driver parameters, including details such as the driver’s bolt circle diameter, front and rear mount baffle cutout diameters and retail price. A comments field provides full text editing capability, so that the designer can keep detailed notes on each driver. Driver records can be added, edited and deleted. System snapshots are similarly deep in detail.

WinSpeakerz keeps track of the most recently-used project files, and offers immediate access to them under the File menu. When a project file is loaded, the workbench is restored just as the user left it. Other convenient features include the ability to have several project files open at once, tool tips, and print preview.

A demo of WinSpeakerz can be downloaded from the True Image Audio web site. Also at the web site, the True Image Speaker Design Forum, a message board with topics on vents, crossovers, and other speaker design topics. If you are on America OnLine, you can find the Forum at AOL Keyword: “TIA”

TCI Appoints Head of New Music Distribution Division

Englewood, CO. Cable TV giant TCI Communications, Inc. yesterday announced the appointment of John Reardon as Senior Vice President of TCI Communications, Inc. and President and CEO of its recently-announced TCI music subsidiary.

The music division of TCI is positioned to develop new channels of music and audio distribution via broadband networks and the Internet.

“Digital TV is a reality,” said Reardon. “This gives us unprecedented opportunities to deliver music entertainment in many exciting ways, whether its hundreds of channels of CD quality audio, targeted genres of digital music video, or instantaneous access to merchandise sales over the Internet.”

Reardon added, “It’s natural for TCI to focus on music. Music industry global revenues are approaching $36 billion. TCI will now be positioned to contribute to the significant growth the music industry anticipates before the end of the decade.”

Reardon is well known in the cable and music industries. He has held senior executive sales and marketing positions with Warner Amex Satellite Entertainment Company, and MTV Networks, where he was President of MTV: Music Television. Mr. Reardon was also President and CEO of Zing Systems, a pioneering interactive television company.

“As digital distribution technology emerges, we have the opportunity to help companies in the music business to expose their products as never before,” commented Brendan Clouston, President and CEO of TCI Communications. “John’s expertise in television and music will certainly help us realize our goals in this important new area.”

Inventor Claims Impressive Results from Demos of Speakerless Audio Diffusion

San Diego, CA. American Technology Corp. (ATC) is reporting progress in the development and enhancement of its innovative new speakerless sound reproduction technology.

ATC’s HyperSonic Soundâ„¢ (HSS) technology was invented by Elwood Norris. According to Norris, demonstrations at the company’s lab over the past few weeks have been getting rave reviews from industry insiders. “The most frequent reaction from the hundreds of people who have experienced HSS is one of astonishment,” says Norris.

“HSS is an entirely new method of sound reproduction,” he continues. “Sound is literally generated in air directly, without the need for loudspeakers, by inaudible ultrasonic waves that interact in space to produce audible sound. In the past, vaguely similar methods have been attempted, but always without success. we are demonstrating previously unknown techniques to industry experts who agree that what we have is fundamentally new.”

ATC’s proprietary patent-pending technology is compatible with existing audio recording and broadcasting techniques. It uses none of the elements of traditional loudspeakers, and the company claims that sound quality is no longer tied to speaker size. ATC also claims to have demonstrated the ability to manipulate the apparent point source of sound using HSS.

“We plan to take the HyperSonic Sound demonstration on the road during October to introduce the HSS experience as a compelling alternative to conventional loudspeakers,” commented Robert Putnam, President and CEO of ATC.

“In addition to home and mobile systems, we believe HSS has applications in multimedia, cinema, stadiums, concert halls, telephone headsets, answering machines, as well as a growing list of specialty niche applications. We have been overwhelmed by the initial industry response and are diligently proceeding with our exploitation strategy.”