Now on Newsstands: Stereophile, Vol.37 No.4

The April 2014 issue of Stereophile is now on newsstands. Inside, you’ll find 35 pages of “Recommended Components,” our handy guide to today’s best audio products, covering categories including: Turntables, Tonearms, Phono Cartridges, Phono Preamplifiers, Media Players, Digital Processors, Loudspeakers, Amplifiers, Preamplifiers, Integrated Amplifiers, and Headphones.

Our cover model is the extraordinary Vivid Audio Giya G3 loudspeaker. Is there room in John Atkinson’s heart for another loudspeaker? My guess is yes, but where exactly does the Giya G3 rank among the countless other contenders that have spent time in JA’s listening room? Other products reviewed in this month’s issue include: MSB’s sweet-sounding Analog DAC and Universal Media Transport, Parasound’s exceedingly versatile Halo P 5 D/A preamplifier, and Zesto’s striking Leto line preamplifier.

In “Sam’s Space,” Sam Tellig has a blast with Musical Fidelity’s truly affordable V-Series products; while, in “Analog Corner,” Mikey Fremer (again) celebrates the continued growth of LP sales in the US; and, up in Cherry Valley, Art Dudley cleans his many LPs with the fun, new discOveryOne record-cleaning machine from Keith Monks Audio Works. In “The Entry Level,” I listen to Audioengine’s D3 and Cambridge Audio’s DacMagic XS—two more contenders in what is possibly the coolest and most exciting type of audio component currently available, and truly a bridge between the formerly disparate worlds of mass-market and high-end audio: the USB DAC–headphone amp. Meanwhile, John Marks enjoys PCM and DSD formats, and is blown away by the Grace Design m905 function-packed DAC.

There’s little point in discussing audio components without also discussing music. Music editor Robert Baird reflects on Nirvana’s last record, In Utero, and becomes acquainted with the English chamber pop band, Lanterns on the Lake. Our “Recording of the Month” is the new Beethoven cycle, The Symphonies and Reflections, with conductor Mariss Jansons and the Bavarian Radio Symphony. Our music reviewers get down with an exciting collection of new releases and reissues.

Perhaps my favorite part of our April issue is Art Dudley’s “As We See It,” in which he fights against bullying and reminds us to trust our own ears.

Thank you for reading Stereophile. We hope you enjoy the issue.

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COMMENTS
John Atkinson's picture

I promised on p.15 of this issue that the complete "Recommended Components" will be available on this website. I have been delayed preparing the HTMl coding, but the listing should be accessible on Friday March 21, God willin' and the creek don't rise.

John Atkinson

Editor, Stereophile

Bill B's picture

I knew you were from Mississippi, Mr. Ay-atkinson. 

Glotz's picture

Kudos to Stephen, Art and Mikey in standing up for the truth, and cutting through the bullshit!  

Bully for you all! 

One question though... 

Did Sam really feel that Musical Fidelity V90 DAC is a Class A+ product?  

I've had my eye on it for months, but this 'lil puppy seems to be a bit better than the higher priced M1 DAC! 

John Atkinson's picture

Glotz wrote:
Did Sam really feel that Musical Fidelity V90 DAC is a Class A+ product?

Yes, but his rating must be regarded as provisional until the October 2014 listing is compiled. I have received a second sample so I can perform a Measurements followup and listen to it myself.

John Atkinson

Editor, Stereophile

 

soliver40's picture

I have a digital subscription and once again the new issue is out on newsstands but not available online yet on Zinio...

I don't know who's fault It is, Source Interlink Media, Stereophile or Zinio, nor do I really care but It is really REALLY annoying that It happens about half the time that I get my digital copy about a week later than I see It on newsstands (which I pass by everyday for work).

I can live with mp3's, 3D movies and Justin Bieber but damn It, I can't wait a week for my Stereophile!

There, I said It.

Steve Eddy's picture

I recently signed up with Zinio and decided to grab a Stereophile subscription. How are new issues delivered? Do they automatically show up in your library?

Oh, and if anyone's interested, Zinio also carries Japan's Stereo Sound.

se

John Atkinson's picture

Steve Eddy wrote:
I recently signed up with Zinio and decided to grab a Stereophile subscription. How are new issues delivered? Do they automatically show up in your library?

Yes, that's how it works. You should also receive an email announcing availability.

Regarding complaints that the Zinio edition arrives later than the paper edition, we have addressed this issue many times on this site. Basically, the Zinio and Apple Newsstand editions are released on the official on-sale date of the print magazine. Very often, however, the "legacy" edition is available ahead of that date. Unfortunately, there is nothing that can be done about that. Warehousing the print issue once it has been printed to delay publication is out of the question, I am afraid.

The Apple Newsstand April issue was published yesterday; the Zinio edition should follow shortly.

John Atkinson

Editor, Stereophile

Steve Eddy's picture

Thanks, John.

Wasn't much of a fan of digital publishing as I like being able to curl up in a comfy chair to read, which is awkward even with a laptop. But a nice Retina display iPad (or equivalent) is perfect. Reading Stereophile on my iPad in portrait orientation reminds me of reading it in the old digest size format. cool

se

John Atkinson's picture

Quote:
The Apple Newsstand April issue was published yesterday; the Zinio edition should follow shortly.

Unfortunately, it appears that publication of the April Zinio edition was delayed, due to reasons that have not been disclosed to us, Stephen Mejias signed off on ther Zinio edition yesterday (3/18) and it should be available imminently.

Our apologies for this poor customer service.

John Atkinson

Editor, Stereophile

Steve Eddy's picture

And still no Zinio issue. frown

se

jimtavegia's picture

Talk about hitting the nail on the head. This is exactly when snobbery become vicious.  

I do like that SM is covering all the new USB DACS and I would not find it odd these days to find any affordable DAC to be Class A. You look at these tiny devices and wonder why everyone else has huge casework. Musicality reigns and why Art is still using his Proton and Halide DACs. 

John Marks' heads up about the Grace M905 was great reading and  further outlining that many design schemes can make digital listening most enjoyable. 

Great issue. 

 

tmsorosk's picture

I think jim was talking about the ( As We See It ) column .

Art was spot on when he quoted an ex manufacturer as saying  " if you don't agree with my claims , you don't no how to listen " . Thats much like saying , if you don't agree with me your an idiot . Call it bullying or bull headed it amounts to the same .

 When I cruise the forums ( I'm down to two now ) I look forward to reading most reviewers posts , there usually thought out and informed , but when I see a manufacturer I no the unsolicited and heavily biased B.S. is about to commence . There are of coarse the exceptions . 

 Humbug ?

jimtavegia's picture

The only gear that I own that was on the Stereophile recommend list are my Triangle Cometes (Originals) with the Sextan center channel for my 5.0 rig and SACDs and movies. The rest is just hi-fi with my old, trusty Large Advents and my AR-58's.  It sounds just fine to me as it does to many who stop by. My hope is to get them to see that you don't have to spend large sums of money to enjoy our hobby or the music. As with the nearly 40 year old AR's and Advents....buy right....buy once. 

Spyro Gyra In Modern Times SACD in 5.0 right now and it sounds great through my Triangles. All through my old Sony DVP-NS 755 DVD/SACD player. I have loved this player since it first came out (decade ago?) and bought a second on off EBay for $40 in mint condition 3 weeks ago. I've tried more expensive dacs with it and it sounded different with CDs, but not necesarily better.  Will audition some others later this year. 

I never criticize anyone gear or their taste in music. It is just rude and pointless. 

soliver40's picture

Thank you John for your reply. 

Because of your "adressed many times" comment, I did a Zinio search here and indeed, I am not the only one with this problem. I read complains from 2006 so... Perhaps I should have done my homework before complaining.

It is what It is I suppose. Now I know at least. 

Thanks again for taking the time to adress this yet again.

John Atkinson's picture

soliver40 wrote:
Thanks again for taking the time to adress this yet again.

No problem, I wish there were something that could be done about this matter.

John Atkinson

Editor, Stereophile

quadlover's picture

I've been one in the past who has been vocal about Stereophile/Zinio's inconsistent publication releases.  As of tonight, I still have neither my hard or digital copy.  Hopefully by the end of the week.

 

I blame you, John Atkinson, for these problems.  If you and your staff didn't put out a product that I love to read cover to cover the minute it arrives, I could excuse these delays.  But knowing the product is on the news stands before I receive either the print or digital copy (yes I get both) drives me nuts.  Subscribers should get priority.

But most of all, keep up the great product.

Steve Eddy's picture

Why? We subscribers are only paying $1 per issue. Those picking it up at the newsstand are paying $7 an issue. If I'm paying $7 for something, I would damn well want it before someone who's only paying $1. wink

se

quadlover's picture

Time for business advertising 101:

Subscribers should be considered priority as they read the product monthly.  People who buy over the counter usually are occasional  readers. Let's face it, anyone who reads more than 2-3 issues a year is foolish not to subscribe.   Since advertising rates are based on monthly readership, the more subscribers a publication get, guarantees a higher ad rate a publication can get for advertising in its magazine.  And without advertising there is no magazine.  Page 135 of Nov. 2013 issue shows publication info.  In round numbers 45000+ subscribers vs 30000 single copy, free copy, and spoilage copies.  It is simple business math.  Don't forget the place that sells single copies gets a cut of the retail cost per issue as well.  Same reason why digital subscription should be cheaper...no paper costs and cheaper costs to send product vs. snail mail.

Don't misunderstand me, every reader is important to this and any other magazine.  Just like everyone who walks into an audio or music store is important to the survival of this hobby.  But just like the customer who frequently goes into the same resteraunt gets preferential seating on Friday/Saturday nights, so should subscribers get the product before the masses.  

Steve Eddy's picture

...the smiley at the end of my post.

se

volvic's picture

I probably sound like a spoiled child but asked Zinio to cancel my subscription, see no point in paying for a digital edition and then have to wait while Google play and ITunes already have the April edition already posted.  Going to go through one of those avenues.  

I too blame you JA for putting out such a great product, I enjoy all the contributors and reviews hence my impatience.   

SolidState's picture

Is that true ? That this edition is out on Google Play and Itunes ? I haven't yet been able to access it on Zinio. Seems bizzare that we would we get shafted for subscribing via Stereophiles own website vs buying from 3p sellers such as Google or Itunes. I get (well not quite) the issue with print vs online subs but getting hosed for buying direct is plain silly.

WishTree's picture

I love Vivid Audio and the current issue that covers G3 is still awaited.. thanks to Zinio.. grrr!

Just raised a ticket and cancelled the subscription with Zinio.

SolidState's picture

Ok so let's review this. 

I. Newsstand buyers who have no commitments to stereophile: they had their copies first. 

2. Anyone else who bought stereophile on any platform anywhere other than on sterophile : yup you got your copies too,

3. Folks who click on the banner when they visit this website and then pony up the cash for a subscription; 

yeah... Welll... Um .. Stop being so difficult 

Axiom05's picture

OK, so it is now Friday, March 21 and I am still waiting for my Zinio addition. 

John Atkinson's picture

Axiom5 wrote:
OK, so it is now Friday, March 21 and I am still waiting for my Zinio edition.

My apologies for this poor customer service. It should have been available by now. I will post again when I have more information.

John Atkinson

Editor, Stereophile

John Atkinson's picture

John Atkinson wrote:
I will post again when I have more information.

The Zinio edition of the April 2014 Stereophile was published today (3/21) and I am downloading it as I write.

However, I have been delayed preparing the complete "Recomended Components' listing to be posted on www.stereophile.com and it won't now appear until Sunday. Apologies.

John Atkinson

Editor, Stereophile

 

soliver40's picture

... or reality? 

As previously stated in my first comment a week ago, I just got my april 2014 Digital issue exactly one week after newsstands availability...

Even though M. Atkinson comment about a "special" unknow delay this month (per Zinio excuses), It actually mirror my experience most of the time with Zinio.

I won't be renewing with Zinio for a third year when my subsciption comes to an end this time around.

Columbia's picture

Hi.

I get the print issue, which I am now reading. smiley   In JA's Measurements on the MSB Analog DAC, I can't understand Fig. 3 on page 135. 

JA says that there is *a steep rolloff just below the Nyquist frequency.*  But clearly the cliff for the 44.1 data is at about 13 kHz in Fig 3, rather than the expected 22.05 kHz.  For comparison, the expected cliff is properly seen in the Measurements for the Parasound D/A behavior in Fig 13 on page 155 of the same issue.

Why is there this 13 kHz cliff with no comment in the Measurements narrative ???

This post should probably be in the forum for the April 2014 issue, but you have not started that forum at this time. 

Thanks, Mike.

John Atkinson's picture

Columbia wrote:
Why is there this 13 kHz cliff with no comment in the Measurements narrative ???

Yes, there is something very wrong with this graph. I will check the original Audio Precision test files and report on what I find. - Okay, I have examined the files and on the surface all looks okay. However, it is possible that the sample rate of the 44.1k file had been corrupted and the actual sample rate was 32kHz, which would explain the discrepancy. Fig.2 in the review correctly shows the response with 44.1k data. Unfortunately, the MSB Analog DAC has long since been returned so I can't rerun the frequency response test.

Columbia wrote:
This post should probably be in the forum for the April 2014 issue, but you have not started that forum at this time.

Apologies. As Ariel Bitran, who used to manage these things but who left at the end of January, has not yet been replaced, I am falling behind. I have now created the April 2014 forum.

John Atkinson

Editor, Stereophile

quadlover's picture

With the issue of digital subscriibers being treated as 2nd class citizens compared to everyone else who reads Stereophile on this post,  I find it ironic that I received a satisfaction survey from Zinio yesterday.

Coincidence?

I truly hope service improves as I take 4 years of Stereophile with me on the road, and hope to continue this in the future.

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