Opening Salvo

Balancing Act

This issue’s cover: Judy Garland (1922 – 1969). One of the most iconic actresses, recording artists and performers of all time. Though haunted by personal struggles, she attained greatness that few ever achieved. Somewhere over the rainbow, skies are blue.

Like everyone else, we at Copper have been impacted by the coronavirus, whether by disruption in our work and home lives to financial impact, stress, anxiety and writer’s block. And yes, one of us contracted the virus – thankfully, he’s doing OK.

So, over the next few issues you might see some changes – temporary absence of some writers, a different balance of articles and other differences from the usual. We trust you’ll understand, and we look forward to when these pages, and our lives, reach a new equilibrium.

It is with great sadness that we note the passing of Stereophile deputy editor Art Dudley. He was one of the finest men ever to grace the audio industry. My tribute to him is in these pages.

Also in this issue: Rich Isaacs begins a series on Italian progressive rock with a look at the great PFM (Premiata Forneria Marconi). Ken Sander takes us on a wild rock and roll ride with Eric Burdon and War. Professor Larry Schenbeck continues his series on immersive sound. WL Woodward gets jazzed about bass. John Seetoo concludes his series on legendary Yellow Magic Orchestra/film composer/techno-pop pioneer Ryuichi Sakamoto. In a special report we ask audio companies how they’re responding to the COVID-19 crisis.

Measurements don’t lie – or do they? J.I. Agnew offers a revealing look. Dan Schwartz is obsessed with stereo. Anne E. Johnson rides with Grand Funk Railroad. Jay Jay French talks about two of the most astounding audio systems he’s ever heard. We conclude the issue with cartoonist James Whitworth seeking variety, Realistic sound, and contemplation in the land of walnut trees.