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 componentseverything 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.
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.
Late last month, New York City's In Living Stereo underwent two major changes: They made a short move, from a modestly sized storefront to a much larger one2 Great Jones Street in the East Villageand they went from being a hi-fi shop to being a hi-fi and record shop. On a recent visit to their new digs I was impressed with the latter: While some hi-fi shops limit their music commitment to just a few racks of 200-gram LPscommendable in and of itself, of courseIn Living Stereo has built an entire record loft and filled it with hundreds of well-chosen new and used LPs. (I took it upon myself to lighten their inventory while I was there.)
AudioStream.com is a new website edited by Michael Lavorgna dedicated to making sense of the evolving world of computer audio and getting the best sound from your computer-based audio system.
The site's motto is "Computer Audio For Everyone" and will focus on the world of computer audio hardware, software and music resources. Topics will include hardware reviews from the mass-market right up to the bleeding-edge of what’s possible as well as in-depth analysis of music management software and an exploration of our newest music resources including HD download sites, streaming media and cloud services.
The 2011 Rocky Mountain Audio Fest, which runs October 1416 at the Denver Marriott Tech Center, promises more exhibits than ever before. With 480 exhibitors spread over 176 hotel rooms and three vendor areas, and advance attendance figures indicating at least 3500 attendees, the show continues to attract even more of the industry and public despite the economic slowdown. While the proportion of East and West Coast attendees remains stable, you'll see more international attendees, including folks from Thailand, India, Japan, Australia, Argentina, Singapore, Brazil, Canada, Finland, New Zealand, Mexico, and the UK.
"The big news is that we've scheduled a special exhibit at the Hyatt down the block," show organizer Marjorie Baumert told Stereophile. "We've expanded because Chad Kassem of Acoustic Sounds and Analogue Productions has put together a preview presentation of the new 5.1 surround sound SACD of Pink Floyd's Wish You Were Here, running all three days, and played through the same Acoustic Transducer Company (ATC) loudspeakers that were used to mix the project.
On the evening of Tuesday, September 27, KEF dealers, friends, and associates celebrated the British loudspeaker company’s 50th anniversary. The event was held in the impressive penthouse residence of British Consul-General, Danny Lopez, where guests were treated to tall glasses of Pimm’s, delicious hors d’oeuvres, and electric views of Midtown Manhattan and Long Island City.
McIntosh VP of Sales and Marketing Linda Passaro poses with producer Tony Visconti (middle) and fashion designer John Varvatos (left)
Iconic hi-fi manufacturer McIntosh and fashion designer John Varvatos are joining forces in hopes to spread the love of great sound to customers at Varvatos stores across the country. Both brands hope to bring customers closer to the rock’n’roll experience by bringing them closer to the music through a high-fidelity audio system. Varvatos’s relationship with McIntosh began at age 17, when he heard his first Mac system. Varvatos, an audio enthusiast, described how he felt listening to a hi-fi for the first time: “I thought it was the future then, and it’s the future now.”
Stereophile editor John Atkinson has been honored by being invited to give the Richard C. Heyser Memorial Lecture at the 131st Audio Engineering Society Convention, held at the Jacob Javits Center in Manhattan. The Memorial Lecture was established in May 1999 to honor the memory of the famed audio theorist, engineer, reviewer, scientist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, inventor of Time Delay Spectrometry, and AES Silver Medal recipient. The Memorial Lecture has previously honored Ray Dolby, recording engineer Phil Ramone, futurist Ray Kurzweil, mathematicians Manfred Schroeder and Stanley Lipshitz, film sound pioneer and editor Walter Murch, Andy Moorer of Sonic Solutions and Adobe, Roger Lagadec, Kees Schouhamer Imminck, who developed the optical data-reading technology used in the CD, and acoustician Leo Beranek. The lecture will be at 7pm on Friday, October 21. The Convention program and details can be found here.
While August 29 was officially the day the State of Connecticut honored Sennheiser Electronic Corporation, the celebrations the US subsidiary of the German headphone and microphone manufacturer had planned were postponed, thanks to Hurricane Irene. But Tuesday, September 20 saw journalists converging on the company's headquarters in shoreline town of Old Lyme"conveniently located midway between New York and Boston," according to company president John Falcone, pictured aboveto take part in the delayed event. "This recognition celebrates Sennheiser's vital role in the business community, as well as the talented and passionate employees who are essential to its success," stated Governor Dannel P. Malloy in an official document that proclaimed August 29, 2011 as Sennheiser Electronic Corporation Day.
Kurt Sanderling died on September 17 in Berlin, just two days shy of his 99th birthdayof "old age," according to his eldest son Stefan. Sanderling was the last of a generation of conductors displaced by Hitleran exodus that included Otto Klemperer, Josef Krips, Sir George Solti, Erich Leinsdorf, Bruno Walter, who all went West. (Never mind that Klemperer had converted to Catholicism and that Krips was half-Jewish.) Sanderling fled East, to the Soviet Union.
As we announced last month, this past weekend saw the grand opening of EarsNova's new store at 3 East 28th Street, in Manhattan. Founded in 1979 by Joshua Cohn (right in photo), the store's new location is on the second floor of a solidly constructed 1920s building, with high ceilings and the space to present high-end audio products and systems under ideal circumstances. The listening rooms, for example, have floors and walls that are isolated from the building's structure. Not only does this prevent sound from the audio systems being demmed leaking into the other floors, it makes the rooms extremely quiet. When I was auditioning the new Magico Q1s during last Friday's evening rush hour, there was no clue that just half a block away there was the usual torrent of 5th Avenue traffic.
Today, Peachtree Audio announced their new flagship asynchronous preamp/DAC, the Grand Pre, the first in a series of “Grand” products (a power amplifier and an all-in-one integrated amplifier will come later) and the first Peachtree component to have its design, final assembly, and final QC all take place in the US. For audiophiles hoping to "buy American," this should come as interesting news.
Today's New York Times carries a brief obituary notice of the passing of audio innovator, Peter Pritchard, on August 23 in Austin, Texas at the age of 83. Peter founded Audio Dynamics Corporation in New Milford, CT in the early 1960's. His original ADC-1 ("Tip mass: 0.6 mg. Compliance. 20x106cm/dyne, all directions. Playing weight: 1 gram or less in top quality arms") was a breakthrough product. Indeed, all ADC pickups were notable for their extremely high compliance and low tracking forces and he pursued this approach through a series of successful designs including the well-known ADC-10, ADC-25 and XLM cartridges. They were all based on his "induced magnet" principle, which derived from the older GE variable-reluctance cartridges that had been game-changers for affordable magnetic phono pick-ups in the 1950s.
A look inside the impressive Emotiva ERC-2 CD player.
Audiophiles have been buzzing about Emotiva for a few years now. The attraction is no mystery: Emotiva’s products are solidly built and modestly priced, and the company takes pride in its strong relationships with customers. Yet, other than in the usual show report, Emotiva’s products have been absent from Stereophile’s pages.