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Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Feb 01, 2012 12 comments
As one of the Top Five KEF dealers in the United States, AudioVision San Francisco was chosen as the site for the country's first in-store demo of KEF's Blade ($30,000/pair) on January 19. Given that the Blade's previous three quasi-public demos were either at shows—CEDIA 2011, where the environment was reportedly too noisy for anyone to get a good listen, and RMAF 2011, where the room was too small—or KEF's 50th Anniversary Party in the British Embassy in New York City, this was actually the first time that anyone on the West Coast, or any bloke who happened to wander in off the street, had a chance to hear KEF's long-awaited speaker in more supportive surroundings.

Doing the honors for KEF was April Sanders, the company's Western Regional Manager (top photo). Sanders' 30 years experience in the speaker industry makes her one of the longest-surviving women in the high-end—a feat that, IMHO, deserves at the least a medal of honor and epaulettes covered with brass stars and other emblems of bravery on the front lines.

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Stephen Mejias Posted: Jan 05, 2012 5 comments
Gibson Guitar Corp., makers of some of the world’s most iconic electric guitars—the Flying V, SG, and, of course, the Les Paul come to mind—yesterday announced a strategic partnership with Onkyo Corporation, perhaps best known for their versatile multichannel A/V receivers and 2-channel power amplifiers. If approved, Gibson will purchase a stake in Onkyo Japan and acquire a majority interest in Onkyo USA, becoming the second largest shareholder in Onkyo Corporation. The agreements are subject to Japanese regulatory clearance, further negotiations, and financial considerations.
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John Atkinson Posted: Dec 17, 2011 3 comments
We were saddened to hear of the passing, on December 10,of Audio Research founder William "Bill" Zane Johnson. Bill, who founded Audio Research in 1970 and became its Chairman Emeritus in 2008, is survived by his wife Nancy (left in photo) and family. We are preparing a tribute to Bill, to be published in the March 2012 issue of Stereophile, but meanwhile, we are reprinting here an interview Paul Messenger and I conducted with Bill that was originally published in the June 1983 issue of Hi-Fi News. (My thanks to HFN editor Paul Miller for permission. Stereophile's 1994 interview with Bill can be found here.)—John Atkinson
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Stereophile Staff Posted: Dec 13, 2011 2 comments
Photo: Andy Henriques, CAS

The same weekend John Atkinson was serenading the Los Angeles/Orange County Audio Society, John Marks was showing the flag in Southern New England at the annual Holiday Meeting of the Connecticut Audio Society. JM brought with him to Connecticut not only Sooloos' Control:15 music server, into which he had loaded the playlist for his presentation, but also a Bricasti M1 DAC and Nordost Silver Shadow S/PDIF cable and Bricasti's Brian Zolner to answer questions about his M1 DAC. (JA's full review of the Bricasti will appear in the February 2012 issue of Stereophile, with a Follow-Up by JM in the March issue.)

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Stephen Mejias Posted: Dec 09, 2011 7 comments
Sonus Faber is celebrating the launch of their Aida loudspeaker ($120,000/pair) with a series of dealer events beginning this weekend.
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Stephen Mejias Posted: Dec 07, 2011 5 comments
Photo: DeVore Fidelity

Sunday, January 15, 5–9pm and Monday, January 16, 6–9pm: As a way to recuperate from the madness of the Consumer Electronics Show and with a hat tip to Devore Fidelity's popular Monkeyhaus listening parties, Pitch Perfect Audio (300 Brannan Street, Suite 209, San Francisco) will host their first “Greenhaus” events.

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Stephen Mejias Posted: Nov 28, 2011 10 comments
On Thursday, November 17, Sound By Singer celebrated the grand opening of their new showroom with an evening of music and product demonstrations.
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Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Nov 28, 2011 3 comments
One of the most important sopranos of the early music movement—truly one of the great singers of our time—has died. Montserrat Figueras, who together with her husband, viola da gamba master Jordi Savall (left in photo), revivified vast amounts of Medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque repertoire, succumbed to cancer at age 69.

Diagnosed over a year ago, Figueras continued to record and perform through August. She died at her home in Bellaterra, Spain, with her husband and children Arianna and Ferran at her side.

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Stephen Mejias Posted: Nov 15, 2011 1 comments
The massive Clearaudio Statement (seen here: just the topmost 567 pixels) will be on display at Hi-Fi Expo Sophia in Bulgaria.

Thursday–Sunday, December 1–4: The second Hi-Fi Expo Sophia will take place at the Grand Hotel Sophia in Sophia, Bulgaria.

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Stephen Mejias Posted: Nov 15, 2011 4 comments
Look eye! Always look eye!

Friday, December 2, 6–9pm: Whetstone Audio (2401 East 6th Street, #1001, Austin, Texas) will host an evening of music with Bob Clarke of Profundo (Heed, Transfiguration, VivA, Trenner & Freidl, Silent Source) and Colleen Cardas of Colleen Cardas Imports (Unison Research, Opera Loudspeakers).

Brian Di Frank of Whetstone Audio says this is just “the first of many hootenannies” and he offers a warm invitation:

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Ariel Bitran Posted: Nov 14, 2011 1 comments

John Johnsen, NHT’s Owner and Director of Marketing, shows off his new SuperPowers.

On an early Thursday morning on November 10th, 2011, NHT’s John Johnsen presented his new SuperPower powered desktop loudspeaker ($398/pair) to members of the hi-fi and consumer electronics press.

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Stephen Mejias Posted: Nov 10, 2011 0 comments
On Tuesday, November 22, at 6pm, Stereo Exchange (627 Broadway, Manhattan) will host a demonstration of Wisdom Audio’s Reference LS4 planar magnetic line-source loudspeaker system, STS subwoofers, and SC-1 system controller.
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Stephen Mejias Posted: Nov 03, 2011 4 comments
On Friday, October 21, Stereophile editor John Atkinson presented the Richard Heyser Memorial Lecture at the 131st Audio Engineering Society Convention, held at the Jacob Javits Center in Manhattan. A couple of days later, JA spoke with Home Theater’s Scott Wilkinson about some of the points he made during the event.

From the safety of your own home or office (without the threat of JA throwing a baseball at you or pouring a glass of water on your laptop), you can tune in to Scott’s podcast and enjoy much of what JA covered in his fascinating lecture, titled “Where Did the Negative Frequencies Go?”

Listen here.

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Stereophile Staff Posted: Nov 02, 2011 14 comments
Revised for 2012, the Stereophile Buyer’s Guide is now on newsstands. In its 188 pages, you’ll find the complete specs and prices for over 4500 audio components—everything from turntables, tonearms, and cartridges to amplification, digital components, loudspeakers, headphones, and cables. The Guide also includes an index to manufacturers on the Web to help you locate the products you’re most interested in.
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Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Oct 28, 2011 8 comments
Spectral Audio , the northern California company whose director of engineering is Prof. Keith O. Johnson, gave the first public preview of its SDR-4000SL Master CD Processor on September 24, at Music Lovers Audio, in Berkeley. Introduced by Johnson and Spectral founder Richard (Rick) Fryer, the $19,000 Spectral Digital Resolution (SDR) model sounded sensational playing 16-bit/44.1kHz, HDCD-encoded files Johnson had made for Reference Recordings, through a system that included Spectral's DMC-30SS preamplifier and monoblock amplifiers, Wilson Audio MAXX 3 speakers, Spectral Ultralink II speaker cables, the MIT Z Duplex conditioner, Synergistic Research's controversial ART system, and other room treatments.

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