LATEST ADDITIONS

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Stereophile Staff Posted: Feb 22, 2017 0 comments
Thursday, February 23, 4:30–8:30pm, F1 Audio (311 E Dundee Road, Palatine IL 60074) will be hosting an event featuring the new Dynaudio Contour 60 loudspeakers (above), Nordost cables, Octave tube electronics, and music from MoFi. Factory representatives will be on hand performing demonstrations and answering questions.
John Atkinson Posted: Feb 21, 2017 4 comments
Long-lived loudspeaker models are rare. So it's surprising that the two-way, stand-mounted Model 5, the smallest speaker made by Massachusetts-based Aerial Acoustics, was revised just once between 2015 and April 1997, when Robert Harley favorably reviewed it and it cost $1800/pair. The revised 5B was equally favorably reviewed by John Marks in July 2009. This kept the original's 1" titanium-dome tweeter and sealed-box woofer loading but replaced the 7" polypropylene-cone woofer with a 7.1" laminated-fiber–cone woofer. Despite more than a decade's worth of inflation, the price rose only slightly, to $2400/pair.
Art Dudley Posted: Feb 21, 2017 1 comments
In contrast with such line-level source components as DACs and CD players, record players generate a lower-voltage signal that requires extra gain from either a standalone phono preamplifier or the phono stage of another, more comprehensive component in one's system—typically, a full-function preamplifier or an integrated amp.

But when the phono cartridge of choice is a moving-coil (MC) type, which generates even less voltage than its moving-magnet (MM) and moving-iron (MI) friends, even more gain is required. This presents the user with an additional choice: he or she can select from among the many standalone phono preamps that offer sufficient gain, or augment an existing phono or full-function preamp or integrated amplifier with a phono step-up transformer, which boosts gain passively, without using tubes or transistors.

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Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Feb 20, 2017 23 comments
For the first time in a decade, Grammy Award-winning audiophile label Reference Recordings (RR) has updated its website. Filled with new features, including new blog posts and an "Audiophile Corner," the website offers physical media and hi-rez downloads of a host of Reference Recordings made by legendary, Grammy-feted recording engineer/digital pioneer Keith O. Johnson, along with Sean Royce Martin, and other recordings on the RR Fresh! label recorded by the SoundMirror team.
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Robert Baird Posted: Feb 20, 2017 0 comments
On Moon Saloon, Rhode Island's Arc Iris, led by singer Jocie Adams, has discarded any traces of the Americana that was present on the band’s self-titled debut. The sheer amount of textures present on Moon Saloon is wonderful, an attribute abetted by an atmospheric digital recording and a decent LP pressing.
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Jana Dagdagan Posted: Feb 17, 2017 8 comments
This past weekend, John Atkinson and I attended the debut of Vivid Audio's new flagship speaker, the G1 Spirit, at a private home in Itasca, IL (to the west of Chicago.) The event was hosted by concert pianist and audio retailer George Vatchnadze of Kyomi Audio. Prior to the event's start, JA and Vivid speaker designer Laurence Dickie had a stimulating conversation about speaker design, focusing on the G1 Spirit loudspeaker.
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Robert Baird Posted: Feb 17, 2017 6 comments
Does having commercial leanings make you a traitor to the purity of your art? Can you make money in music and still have integrity? These eternal questions came to mind upon the death of singer Al Jarreau. Often savaged by critics and fans for his success, Jarreau cut his own path and by the time he died, at the age of 76, of respiratory failure on Sunday, February 12, he'd had more than a few last laughs on his detractors.
John Atkinson Posted: Feb 16, 2017 20 comments
I have had a long relationship with Bowers & Wilkins. The first B&W speaker I spent serious time with was the DM-6, the infamous "pregnant kangaroo," which was reviewed by Allen Edelstein in December 1977 and which I borrowed for a while after interviewing the company's founder, John Bowers. Ten years later, when I met the woman who was to become my third wife, she already owned a pair of B&W Matrix 801s, a speaker reviewed by Lewis Lipnick in December 1987.
Jon Iverson Posted: Feb 16, 2017 3 comments
Now that we've entered a world of post-disc audio (sorry, AnalogPlanet.com), audiophile streaming and file-playback products have appeared by the hundreds, and many companies are on their second, third, or even fourth-generation models.

The Chinese company Auralic Limited has been pushing bits around for seven years, releasing a half-dozen streaming and network devices. Their newest, the Altair, combines in a single package the functions of a DAC, streamer, and headphone amplifier with volume control, allowing it also to operate as an all-digital-system preamplifier. Just add power amp and speakers.

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Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Feb 16, 2017 16 comments
On February 16, Universal Music Group and MQA announced a multi-year agreement that will encode UMG's huge catalog of master recordings in MQA. In the language of the press release, the agreement promises "to make some of the world's most celebrated recordings available for the first time in Hi-Res Audio streaming." UMG's labels include ECM, Interscope, Geffen, A&M, Capitol, Island, Def Jam, Decca, Verve, Blue Note, Virgin, and EMI.

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