LATEST ADDITIONS

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Fred Kaplan Posted: Mar 31, 2015 1 comments
I'm usually not a fan of male baritone jazz singers, not even Johnny Hartman (except, of course, on his album with Coltrane): they tend too much toward the operatic, and they're usually too smooth, too eyebrow-arched suave, for my taste anyway. But Jose James is something else, and his new album, Yesterday I Had the Blues (Blue Note), goes down like a rare vintage port on a chilly night.
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Art Dudley Posted: Mar 31, 2015 1 comments
Montreal dealer Audioville drew crowds to the St. Pierre ballroom with an impressive system built around B&W 800-series loudspeakers, Conrad-Johnson electronics, and an AudioQuest Dragonfly-equipped Apple MacBook Pro, cloud-streaming CD-quality files from Tidal. Adding to the SRO factor were the workshops conducted by AudioQuest's Steve Silberman, under the title of Computer Audio Explained. (Actually, it was Audio Informatique Appliquée.)
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Robert Deutsch Posted: Mar 31, 2015 2 comments
Montreal dealer Coup de Foudre's exhibit featured the 2012 Stereophile Loudspeaker of the Year Vivid Audio Oval K1 (USD$26,000/pair), in a system featuring Luxman electronics. I've never heard these speakers sound anything less than great, and their sound at SSI 2015 did nothing to change my previous impression. I really liked the red of the demo pair, and asked importer Philip O'Hanlon if it was a popular choice. He said that although the red is much admired, most people end up choosing a different, more conservative, color. I guess I'm not like most people. My Avantgarde Uno Nanos are red, and so is the last car I bought.
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Art Dudley Posted: Mar 30, 2015 2 comments
As mentioned in my earlier report, Sony came to town with more than just a system's worth of ES-series components. As I discovered on Saturday morning, they also brought the new NW-ZX2 ($CAD1199), which is the new big brother—forgive the fraternal illogic of the metaphor—to last year's well-received ZX1. The new Sony, which will be reviewed by Michael Lavorgna in the May issue of Stereophile, offers the same Dynamic Sound Enhancing System as the company's HAP-Z1ES file player, and its amplifier is more powerful than that of the ZX1; perhaps best of all, the ZX2 provides 128GB of built-in storage. . .
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Stereophile Staff Posted: Mar 30, 2015 74 comments
Register to win an Audio Engine USA B2 Bluetooth Speaker (MSRP $299) we are giving away.

According to the company:

"The audio quality of most Bluetooth products isn't usually very inspiring and their limited range can be frustrating. The B2 solves these problems by implementing the aptX codec, which is a high-quality audio converter designed specifically for audio. The B2 also has special circuitry and a precision-tuned antenna to extend the wireless range, providing much more versatility than other Bluetooth speakers."

All you have to do to enter is leave a comment on this post. Click on the picture above for details on how to enter.

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Art Dudley Posted: Mar 29, 2015 1 comments
The psychology of shows: Upon exiting an especially pleasant, successful demonstration, one almost expects to be disappointed by the next one down the line. Yet after leaving behind the excellent playback quality and (literally) rare music in the PS Audio room, I was surprised and delighted by the fine sound in the room of Gershman Acoustics—a brand that, for whatever reason, has seldom if ever been a part of my beat.
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Robert Deutsch Posted: Mar 29, 2015 0 comments
One of the characteristics of shows like SSI, where many of the exhibitors are dealers rather than manufacturers or distributors, is that you may get a chance to hear equipment combinations you would never encounter at CES. At SSI 2015, the Totem Earth speakers were combined with McIntosh electronics, to good effect. Another thing that distinguisher these dealer-exhibitors is that you can buy the products on display—something that's strictly forbidden at CES. The Totem Earth has a list price of CAD$9000/pair, but you could have it a "show special" price of CAD$6000/pair...
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Robert Deutsch Posted: Mar 29, 2015 11 comments
The first room I visited at SSI 2015 was the one devoted to the Soltanus Acoustics ESL Virtuoso loudspeaker (CAD$10,995/pair). Why did I choose this room? First, their room was right next door to mine, so it was a matter of convenience. And when I saw the sign that said that they were showing a full-range electrostatic loudspeaker—well, given my history with the original Quad and KLH Nine, I was most intrigued.

And this speaker turned out to be one of my "finds" at the show...

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Art Dudley Posted: Mar 28, 2015 4 comments
When it comes to designing and building loudspeakers, I confess immunity to the DIY bug, mostly because I wasn't drawn to woodworking until age 50. (At age 10, my Pinewood Derby car was a simple wedge, requiring only a single saw-cut on a rectangular block of wood—although I felt vindicated when the Triumph TR7 came along.) Had things turned out otherwise, I would be spending all of my time in the room of Solen Acoustics: Salon Son et Image stalwarts who make available nearly every sort of drive-unit known to humankind . . .
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John Atkinson Posted: Mar 28, 2015 19 comments
All of us Stereophile were deeply saddened this morning to learn of the death of Bob Reina, after a brief battle with cancer. Bob was 61. After a stint at The Absolute Sound and cofounding a high-end audio magazine, Sounds Like..., Bob joined Stereophile in 1995 and his first review was of a Creek amplifier. . .

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