Now on Newsstands: Stereophile, Vol.34 No.7
The July 2011 issue of Stereophile is now on newsstands. A quick look at the cover should tell you a lot about what the issue has to offer: New speakers from Sony, Thiel, Rethm, Audience, and Harbeth; integrated amplifiers from NAD, Micromega, and JoLida; digital file players from Decibel, Pure Music, and Amarra; a state-of-the-art preamplifier from Ypsilon; a new set of Robert Johnson 45rpm discs.
In order to put together an interesting and competitive issue, John Atkinson strives to create a magazine that he would want to read. Taking a look at this issue’s cover, I feel fairly certain that were I to come across it on some newsstand, I would pick it up, flip through its 140 pages, take it over to the cash register, plop down the $6.99, take the lovely thing home with me, and devour it.
Inside the magazine, John Marks argues that the ranking of music is a personal thing. This seems obvious, but so many seem to think otherwise, seem to think that their opinions should be held by all. Silliness. While life would certainly be simpler if we all agreed on the greatest composers or greatest bands or greatest loudspeakers, life would also be less worthwhile. If Stereophile could remind you to appreciate differencesin opinion, as much as in soundto remind you to enjoy life, to live a full and open life, to surround yourself with beautiful and meaningful things, to share your enthusiasms, to reevaluate your prejudices, to be surprised, to wonder, then I think we’d be doing an okay job.
This is music we’re talking about, after all. Music: the most wonderful, most mysterious of all forms of art, humankind’s greatest achievement, the sound of our days and nights. Why shouldn’t we indulge in it?