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  1. Last week
  2. Mother, mother There's too many of you crying Brother, brother, brother There's far too many of you dying I watched the TV with horror. George Floyd, an African-American man in Minneapolis, Minnesota, was being killed in front of the camera. I retreated to the listening room. In what couldn't have been a coincidence, the Roon app's "Discover" function had recommended I play What's Going On, Marvin Gaye's groundbreaking album, released in 1971 by Motown subsidiary Tamla. Mon, 08/10/2020 View the full article
  3. For the sixth consecutive year, Stereophile has named a select few components as "Products of the Year." By doing so, we intend to give recognition to those components that have proved capable of giving musical pleasure beyond the formal review period. Mon, 12/01/1997 View the full article
  4. To echo Audio Cheapskate Sam Tellig, who was in turn paraphrasing Thomas R. Marshall, what the world needs is a great $299 CD player. Certainly there's no shortage of expensive units vying for your attention—most of them consisting of separate transports and D/A converters. Wed, 11/01/1995 View the full article
  5. Earlier
  6. The organizers of the 2021 Florida Audio Expo have announced the show's cancellation. All deposits, the organizers say, have already been refunded. Wed, 08/05/2020 View the full article
  7. On iconic singer-songwriter James Taylor's 20th album, American Standard, the lanky crooner adapts the classic American songbook to his easy-rolling musical ways. The result is an American mixture of timeless songcraft. Where some popular singers use the songbook canon to increase record and ticket sales, Taylor has no need to change himself or increase his audience. He's as comfortable as any man can be, having sold many millions of records the world over for almost 50 years. Wed, 08/05/2020 View the full article
  8. He was one of the computing pioneers who “showed what a computer interface could — and should — look like,” a colleague said. View the full article
  9. Lately, current amplification–based moving-coil phono preamplifiers have gotten a great deal of well-deserved press. For years, Haniwa's Dr. Kubo has been designing and selling super–low-internal-impedance cartridges because such cartridges work best with such devices. He has also been designing and selling his own current-amplification phono preamplifier. Wed, 07/01/2020 View the full article
  10. I want to talk about the acoustics of live music and recordings. As I write this I'm back in Boston for a week, re-calibrating my ears with (excuse the expression) the "absolute sound" of live music in various concert halls. On Friday the Boston Symphony played symphonies by Mozart and Shostakovich, producing (as always) magnificent sound with the aid of Symphony Hall's near-legendary acoustics. Fri, 02/01/1991 View the full article
  11. I felt like I'd just been offered a choice of 31 flavors of Baskin-Robbins ice cream topped with up to 57 varieties of Heinz ketchup, 57 condiments, and 47 brands of coddled cream. My head began to spin, my stomach churned, and my mouth grew very dry as I read that Gold Note's DS-10 ($2995) was a "chameleon DAC" with 192 setup options that enable it to "completely blend in with different music genres, giving the listener the opportunity to adapt the behavior of the unit to the music playing, to one's stereo system and, most of all, to the listener's taste." Fri, 07/31/2020 View the full article
  12. In contrast to phono cartridges and analog tape recorders, digital audio converters distinguish themselves by the fact that they can be fashioned in an almost infinite number of ways. Therefore, the odds against two manufacturers' DACs or ADCs sounding exactly the same are extremely large. Thu, 07/30/2020 View the full article
  13. For two months, I'd been planning to attend Terry Riley's appearance at Seattle's 536-seat Illsley Ball Nordstrom Recital Hall. For two weeks, I'd been planning to watch a presidential-candidate debate on television. Only one problem: As it turned out, the two events were scheduled for the same night. Even after a decade of trying to master the muddle known as multitasking, it was impossible to do both. Wed, 07/29/2020 View the full article
  14. These gadgets will help you improve the production quality and create memorable experiences for you and your digital guests. View the full article
  15. Products that rely on artificial intelligence aim to make travel safer during the pandemic. But hefty prices and privacy concerns are issues. View the full article
  16. Hi-fi system resolution has long been the cause of heated arguments. But when it comes to converting digital data to an analog signal, there can be no argument. Data go in at one end of a DAC and an analog signal comes out of the other end, with a noise floor directly rated to the combination of the converter's digital and analog resolution. Ever since I started measuring digital products for Stereophile, I have been expressing a D/A processor's effective resolution in terms of the equivalent number of bits. Fri, 07/24/2020 View the full article
  17. I consider Charles Mingus one of the great American composers, at least on par with the most celebrated American classical dudes. With apologies to fans of that music, I'd much rather listen to this record, or any of several other Mingus recordings, than, say, Billy the Kid or Rhapsody in Blue. What makes Mingus great is precisely that, in contrast to Copland and Gershwin, when he explored the vernacular, it wasn't some pale imitation. Thu, 07/23/2020 View the full article
  18. I am proud of the fact that my first review for Stereophile was of a modestly priced integrated amplifier called the Rogue Audio Sphinx. Specified at 100Wpc into 8 ohms, 200Wpc into 4 ohms (footnote 1), it played the KEF LS50s like it was made for them. It was simple and handsome and cost only $1295, phono stage included. Wed, 07/22/2020 View the full article
  19. For the first time in the two years I've been living in this apartment building, I've received a noise complaint from a neighbor. Coincidence? As it happened, yes it was a coincidence. True, my music was pretty loud, and the bass from the Piega Premium Wireless 701 loudspeaker system ($7495/pair) was anything but reticent, especially considering the tower's sleek appearance. But I was not the source of the specific noise that caused the complaint. That was the sloppy bass from another neighbor's inferior sound system. (The bass from this Piega system isn't sloppy.) Tue, 07/21/2020 View the full article
  20. So long to overhyped innovations. Hello to tech that embeds accessibility into everyday devices. View the full article
  21. Alice Phoebe Lou: Live at Funkhaus Berlin Alice Phoebe Lou, no catalog number. Auditioned as 24/44.1 FLAC stream, also available for download at Qobuz and streaming at 16/44.1 on Tidal. Vinyl can be purchased at merchbar.com. 2020. Alice Phoebe Lou, prod.; Paul Scheffler, Noah Georgeson, Zino Mikorey, engs. Performance ****½ Sonics ***½ Nothing about Alice Phoebe Lou's musical career reflects industry norms. She maintains complete control over every aspect of her work, from creation to release. The result is always original and fascinating. Lou is at her best when she has an audience to connect with; this live performance is an ideal introduction to her powerful voice and courageous message. Fri, 07/17/2020 View the full article
  22. Volti Audio's room at the 2020 Florida Audio Expo showcased the company's newest offering, the $20k/pair Rival Special Edition hybrid horn loudspeaker. With a custom cabinet and exotic Bubinga wood veneer, it easily counted among the best-looking loudspeakers I saw at the show. I also found the Rival SE's sound, powered by Border Patrol amplification, intoxicating. I placed it near the top of my shortlist for Best Sound at Show. Thu, 07/16/2020 View the full article
  23. Most big car insurers offer apps that monitor your driving, and one start-up requires it. The trade-off in privacy is a premium that could be substantially cheaper for safe drivers. View the full article
  24. After completing a PhD in electrical engineering at Imperial College London, Floyd E. Toole joined Canada's National Research Council (NRC), where he would stay for more than 26 years doing audio-related research. He continued his research at Harman International after leaving the NRC in 1991. When Toole left Harman in 2007 (footnote 1), Harman kept the work up under NRC alum Sean Olive—which fact surely has much to do with the excellence of their current loudspeaker lineup. Wed, 07/15/2020 View the full article
  25. More than 6 million Americans have vision problems that cannot be corrected by glasses or contact lenses. Companies like IrisVision are creating headsets to help them see better. View the full article
  26. The two biggest sonic jolts I've experienced involving phono preamps were from two very different ones: the Petr Mares's Connoisseur 2.0 and Boulder's 2008, which was reviewed in the July 2002 Stereophile. The first was hand-built, single-ended, housed in a wooden case, limited to 100 units, and, when I got to hear it in the mid-1990s, cost around $6000, or about $10,000 in today's dollars. The other was a feature-laden, double-chassis monument to flexibility and surface-mount high technology. It featured beautifully finished, flush-mounted mirrored buttons your fingers just wanted to press. Tue, 07/14/2020 View the full article
  27. This is the fifth year Stereophile has named a select few components as "Products of the Year." By doing so, we intend to give recognition to those components that have proved capable of giving musical pleasure beyond the formal review period. Sun, 12/01/1996 View the full article
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