LATEST ADDITIONS

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Jana Dagdagan Posted: Sep 28, 2016 0 comments
Picture your typical high-end audio manufacturer.

It can be a spontaneous, self-generated hybrid of black shapes, brushed metals, and varying wooden finishes. You need not limit yourself to a single component or a single manufacturer. Whatever comes to mind first, really.

Got it?

Now picture the exact opposite of that.

Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Sep 27, 2016 9 comments
The second I encountered Dynaudio's Focus 200 XD powered loudspeaker at the High End 2015 show in Munich, Germany, it called to me. I wasn't so much drawn to its unique functions—which I describe below—as by the fact that it could help fill the black hole left by the dismantling of my reference system for my move from big, badass Oakland, California to the small, magical town of Port Townsend, Washington.
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Art Dudley Posted: Sep 27, 2016 1 comments
They don't make 'em like they used to.

That aphorism has few fans among people shopping for cancer drugs, contact lenses, GPS receivers, and laptop computers, all of which seem to get better with each passing year. Hell, even I know that.

It earns a more positive reply from anyone who's shopping for an oriental rug, or a fly rod, or a tweed jacket, or a musical instrument—people who will tell you that their fond response to the market for vintage examples of such goods is motivated by two things: older products were better made than their newer counterparts (better designs, better materials, better manufacturing techniques), and some, if not all, of those products, over time, actually improve with use.

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Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Sep 26, 2016 5 comments
One of America's most vital living composers—New Yorker Steve Reich—turns 80 on October 3. In celebration, Deutsche Grammophon and ECM, two companies that greatly helped build Reich's reputation by recording his initially uncategorizable forays into minimalism, have reissued their seminal efforts. From DG comes the 3-LP set, Steve Reich: Drumming, a reissue of its 1974 vinyl box that included Drumming (1970–71), Six Pianos, and Music for Mallet Instrument, Voices and Organ (both from 1973). From ECM, in turn, comes a 3-CD set, Steve Reich: The ECM Recordings.
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Stereophile Staff Posted: Sep 26, 2016 4 comments
Devialet Event in Cambridge MA Thursday, September 29, 6–8pm, Blink High End (129 Franklin Street, Cambridge, MA 02139) is holding a special event. Amaury Guillement, Regional Manager for the French Devialet brand, will be demonstrating the Devialet Expert 1000 Pro, a $35,000, dual-mono, 1000Wpc integrated amplifier. This flagship amplifier from Devialet combines preamplifier, amplifier, DAC, streamer, and phono stage in a single, extremely thin slab.
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Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Sep 23, 2016 24 comments
You read that correctly. 2017 will see the advent of two, potentially competing high-end audio shows, located just 35 miles and several congested freeways apart in Southern California. The first, the new Los Angeles Audio Show (LAAS), will take place June 2–4 in the Sheraton Gateway LAX, and is produced "in collaboration with the Los Angeles & Orange County Audio Society" (LAOCAS). The second, a continuation of T.H.E. Show Newport that was founded by the late Richard Beers and formerly supported by LAOCAS, will be held September 21–24 (September 21 reserved for press) in the Hilton Anaheim, near Disneyland.
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Robert Baird Posted: Sep 22, 2016 2 comments
The problem for true believers is that there’s never been a proper Beatles live album.
Michael Fremer Posted: Sep 22, 2016 2 comments
In 1967, in Los Angeles, Morris Kessler, with Ted and Beth Winchester, founded Scientific Audio Electronics (SAE), which enjoyed a successful run of 21 years. In addition to Kessler, Sherwood Electronics cofounder Ed Miller, as well as the legendary James Bongiorno, contributed designs. (If you don't know Bongiorno's résumé, please do a web search.) Some SAE products, particularly their big-metered power amplifiers, became objects of desire for audiophiles on the West Coast and, especially, in Japan.
Robert Baird Posted: Sep 22, 2016 1 comments
Nels Cline: Lovers
Nels Cline, electric & acoustic guitars, lap steel, effects; Charles Pillow, C & alto & bass flutes, oboe, English horn, B-flat clarinet, alto saxophone; Steven Bernstein, Taylor Haskins, others, trumpet, flugelhorn, trombone; Julian Lage, guitar; Yuka C. Honda, celeste, Juno 60; Devin Hoff, contrabass, bass guitar; Alex Cline, drums, percussion; Kenny Wolleson, vibraphone, marimba, percussion; Michael Leonhart, arr., conductor; many others.
Blue Note 8002505102 (2 CDs). 2016. David Breskin, prod.; Ron Saint Germain, eng. DDD? TT: 90:02
Performance ****½
Sonics ****½

There's an old saying about music written for films and the stage: It's so lush and tuneful that it's almost too schmaltzy to be heard without accompanying visuals. Add to that the suspicion that many so-called "out" jazz cats—guys with outsize reputations as loud, atonal shredders of the brainiac variety, blinding talents who prefer endless effects and generally play unhinged and far away from the melody—are really, under all the noise, big softies. There you have the story of Lovers.

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Fred Kaplan Posted: Sep 22, 2016 3 comments
Resonance Records has put out some of the most vital, previously unreleased (in some cases, unknown) historical jazz sessions in recent years, and the latest is one of the sweetest: Shirley Horn, Live at the 4 Queens, recorded at a now-defunct Las Vegas hotel-casino of that name in 1988. It's Horn's best live album, and one of her top few albums, period—which says a lot.

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