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  1. Last week
  2. At a recent dealer event in Seattle, after being impressed by the musical rightness of an Audio Research Corp. LS28 preamplifier and VT80SE power amplifier driving a pair of Sonus Faber Guarneri loudspeakers, I spoke with ARC's Dave Gordon about reviewing one of the company's new amplifiers. Less than a month later, two ARC Reference 160M tubed monoblock amplifiers ($30,000/pair) were headed my way. Thu, 09/20/2018 View the full article
  3. Since its founding in 1982, Paradigm has developed and sold high-value loudspeakers. When my wife and I acquired our weekend house in 1992, I selected a pair of Paradigm Esprit/BP speakers for our audio system there. Shortly thereafter, however, I wanted to take my big step into multichannel, and it seemed that the Esprits' bipolar radiation would present problems for multichannel sound in my relatively small room. Back then, Manhattan still had many audio salons; after shopping around, I replaced the Esprit/BPs with Paradigm's Reference Studio/60 v.2s, and in 2004 stepped up to the Studio/60 v.3s. Thu, 09/20/2018 View the full article
  4. Saturday, September 22: Alma Music and Audio (7847 Convoy Ct. #101, San Diego, CA 92111) is hosting an Audio Research event; the Pacific Northwest Audio Society and J-Corder custom Reel to Reels are holding a Technics turntable event at the Congregational Church (4545 Island Crest Way, Mercer Island, WA 98040); and Excel Audio (4678 Campus Drive, Newport Beach, CA 92660) is holding its first Annual Open House and Customer Appreciation Night. Wed, 09/19/2018 View the full article
  5. In 1959, in their musical revue At the Drop of a Hat, the British musical-comedy team of Flanders and Swann sang their "Song of Reproduction." It's not about sex. The song mocks audiophiles (you thought this was something recent?) for how we spend "all of that money to get the exact effect of an orchestra actually playing in their sitting room." Before launching into the song, Flanders quips, "Personally, I can't think of anything I should hate more than having an orchestra playing in my sitting room!" Tue, 09/18/2018 View the full article
  6. I attend at least a couple of dozen classical-music performances each year. I also read reviews of recordings and live performances, and have even dabbled in writing them. Why, then, do I find classical music reviews so frequently annoying? It's the vocabulary. In these reviews I often see words that I rarely see used elsewhere: scintillating, irresistible, delightful. One venerable reviewer for Gramophone magazine has used the word "beguiling" 100 times in some 900 reviews. When I read such words, I envision the poor music critic writhing in his (occasionally her) listening chair, approaching an involuntary state of aesthetic ecstasy. It isn't a pretty image. Tue, 09/18/2018 View the full article
  7. After umpteen serious reviews, penned in serious and somber times, it's high time to lighten up. Hence to Leonard Bernstein's Wonderful Town we go, and to Sir Simon Rattle's new SACD of the musical, recorded with the London Symphony Orchestra and a stellar cast that includes Danielle de Niese (Eileen), Alysha Umphress (Ruth), and Nathan Gunn (Bob). Mon, 09/17/2018 View the full article
  8. Earlier
  9. In late August, I attended the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion and Car Week at Weathertech Laguna Seca Raceway in Monterey, California. Porsche sponsored its own "Porsche Werks Reunion" at the nearby Corral De Tierra Country Club. Walking around the golf course, I stumbled on a pair of KEF Blade Two speakers in the middle of a field of rare Porsche 911s! Fri, 09/14/2018 View the full article
  10. Components listed here have been formally reviewed in Stereophile and have been found to be among the best available in each of four or five quality classes. Whether a component is listed in Class A or Class E, we highly recommend its purchase. Each listing-in alphabetical order within classes-is followed by a brief description of the product's sonic characteristics and a code indicating the Stereophile Volume and Issue in which that product's report appeared. Thus the May 2017 issue is indicated as "Vol.40 No.5." Thu, 09/13/2018 View the full article
  11. We have received the sad news that loudspeaker maven Siegfried Linkwitz, co-inventor of the innovative Linkwitz-Riley crossover network, has died. He had been suffering from prostate cancer for some years and had been receiving hospice care at his home. Wed, 09/12/2018 View the full article
  12. One of the most important international competitions for young (ages 16–29) violinists takes place in the United States every four years. (The other top-tier classical-music competitions that include violinists, Moscow's International Tchaikovsky and Belgium's Queen Elizabeth, also run on four-year cycles.) While one might expect the US entry on that list to be hosted in California or New York, the venue is: Indianapolis, of 500-mile auto-race fame—land for excellent reasons. Wed, 09/12/2018 View the full article
  13. I am a newbie and looking to get my first 5.1 surround in a 12x16 living room with vaulted ceilings and hardwood floors. TV over fireplace. I am looking at Polk 65RT in Wall speakers for surround and left + right speaker. Center speaker may be Klipsch RP-250c REF premiere 5”. Sub is Jamo J10SUBBA 10”. Is the center speaker okay with the Polks, have similar sound profiles? Anyone have the sub and what are your thoughts on the sub? Thank you! View the full article
  14. Record players and the average consumer enjoy an on-again/off-again relationship—happily, at this moment in time, it is very much on—but to high-end audio enthusiasts, the turntable has endured as an object of near-talismanic importance. I think that's not only because the turntable continues to give us so much pleasure, but also because it seems so understandable—at its simplest, it's just a motor and a rotatable platter, attached to a board that also has some provisions for fastening a tonearm. End of story. Who among us has not, at one time or another, considered the lot of the turntable designer and thought, I could do that? Thu, 07/19/2018 View the full article
  15. "It was not subtle. The [$2000/pair] Tekton Impact Monitors were doing it all: singing, drumming, shaking the air, drawing me in, and making every CD or LP pure pleasure to listen to. A little soft . . . but not too soft. Imagine a gentle but guiding touch with a most perfect sparkle—and then firm and impactful when necessary." I wrote that last October, after hearing Tekton Design's new Impact Monitor speakers at the 2017 Rocky Mountain Audio Fest. I repeat it here because, as I listened to the Impact Monitors, I thought, Yeah, these speakers sound pretty damn good, but those seven tweeters are a gimmick if ever there was one. Thu, 07/19/2018 View the full article
  16. It's after 5pm on Wednesday, and I'm finishing up the listening part of my review of Apple's wireless speaker, the HomePod ($349). On a whim, I've just asked Siri to play me some drinking songs. I mention this because the HomePod's "smart" features—its integration with Siri and the Apple Music streaming service—is a big part of its appeal. In its natural element, the HomePod provides a way of accessing music that, although as old as our century, to me is still new and unfamiliar: Forget your hoary music collection, your Rolling Stones and Beethoven. Decide what kind of music you want to hear—a genre or a mood—then leave the choice to Siri and her algorithmic minions. Tue, 07/17/2018 View the full article
  17. Sssssshhhhhh—I forget what music was playing, but as the sound faded away, I could hear a loud hissing coming from the 2011 i7 Mac mini I was operating headless with Roon 1.3 to play files over my network. Checking the mini's shared screen on my MacBook Pro revealed that it was completely unresponsive, so I yanked its AC cord, after which it wouldn't boot up. This was the second time the Mac mini had died. The first time, in 2015, the local Apple Genius Bar had repaired it. This time, the hipster at the Genius Bar turned me away: "We don't offer repair work on vintage computers." Tue, 07/17/2018 View the full article
  18. Given how much fuller and more natural I find hi-rez audio sounds, I rarely review recordings that are only available in Red Book quality in the US. But when the soprano is Sandrine Piau, whose voice conveyed the essence of springtime when I heard her live at UC Berkeley a little over six years go, and she sings as marvelously as she does on Chimère, her latest song recital with pianist Susan Manoff, I throw such self-imposed strictures out the window. Sun, 07/15/2018 View the full article
  19. Do you have a break out of the features?
  20. Check it out here: https://www.parts-express.com/dayton-audio-dsp-408-4x8-dsp-digital-signal-processor-for-home-and-car-audio--230-500
  21. I remember the Tuesday night that music broke free of my hi-fi. The sound stirred my soul—everything was so right that I was tempted to call over my audiophile pals to earwitness its magnificence. But I didn't, fearing that sharing the sound might break the spell cast first by the Allman Brothers Band's At Fillmore East (2 LPs, Capricorn ST-CAP 712223 VSRP), then by Jimi Hendrix's Live at the Fillmore East (CD, MCA MCAD2 11931). By the time Hendrix got to "Machine Gun," I could almost smell the pot wafting up to the Fillmore's top balconies. Thu, 07/12/2018 View the full article
  22. Gershwin: Rhapsody in Blue (1924 jazz-band version, orch. Grofé). 1 Piano Concerto in F. 2 "Summertime." 3 Gershwin-Wild: "Somebody Loves Me," "I Got Rhythm," "Embraceable You."4 Oscar Levant: "Blame It On My Youth." 5 Kirill Gerstein, piano; 1–5 Storm Large, vocal; 3 Gary Burton, vibraphone; 5 David Robertson, St. Louis Symphony Orchestra1, 2 Myrios Classics MYR022 (CD, 24/192 FLAC). 2018. Kirill Gerstein, prod.; Stephan Cahen, prod.,1-5 eng.; 1, 2, 4, 5 Paul Hennerich, 1, 2, 4 Doug Decker, 3 engs. DDD. TT: 73:45 Performance ***** Sonics *** (CD), **** (24/192 FLAC) I grew up with Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue. I was the youngest in a family not particularly interested in music, and whose record collection consisted of pop music and three oddly assorted classical recordings, all on 78rpm discs: Enrico Caruso singing "Vesti la giubba," Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring (on four 12" 78s), and the 1927 recording of Rhapsody in Blue with the Paul Whiteman Concert Orchestra and Gershwin at the keyboard. Thu, 07/12/2018 View the full article
  23. Thursday July 19, 12–8pm, Manhattan specialty audio retailer NoHo Sound (62 Cooper Square, New York, NY 10003) will be having an open house. Special guests Jonathan Derda and Ben Newhall from MoFi Distribution will be on hand to demonstrate the TAD Micro-Evolution One loudspeaker (above), which received a rave review earlier this year, the TAD Compact-Evolution One loudspeaker, and TAD D1000 Mk.II DAC/SACD player, which was a "Greatest Bits" Award winner on our sister site AudioStream.com. Wed, 07/11/2018 View the full article
  24. The men behind HDCD (L–R: Pflash Pflaumer, Michael Ritter, Keith Johnson High Definition Compatible Digital® (HDCD®), the proprietary process for improving the sound of 16-bit digital audio, has finally arrived. More than a dozen digital processors using the technology are on the market, and the professional encoder used to master HDCD discs is following closely behind. Mon, 05/01/1995 View the full article
  25. Tchaikovsky: Swan Lake & Sleeping Beauty Selections New Philharmonia Orchestra, Stokowsky London Phase-4 SPC 21008 (LP); Ampex LCL-75008 (open-reel tape). Tony D'Amato, Marty Wargo, prods.; Arthur Lilley, eng. TT: 46:50. These are exciting, lilting, concert-style (as opposed to ballet-style) performances of the best-known excerpts from Tchaikovsky's second- and third-most-popular ballets. (First, of course, is the Nutcracker.) The recording is a surprise, after the excesses we've heard on earlier Phase-4 recordings. Thu, 12/01/1966 View the full article
  26. Okay, we know that Humphrey Bogart didn't utter that immortal instruction in Casablanca, but we couldn't resist, given that this issue includes Jim Austin's adventures with Apple's HomePod, the first smart speaker with hi-fi pretensions, which is featured on our August issue's cover. Mon, 07/09/2018 View the full article
  27. For a major, decidedly American change of pace from our usual fare of Prokofiev, Debussy, Xenakis, Berg, and Beethoven (for starters), let's lighten up with Reference Recordings' latest hybrid SACD, John Williams at the Movies? Also available as a 176.4/24 download—the format in which it was recorded and which I auditioned for this review—the performances by the Dallas Wind Band under Jerry Junkin are so vivid and color-saturated that RR has chosen them for their first hybrid high-resolution wind-band SACD. Sat, 07/07/2018 View the full article
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