Thomas J. Norton Posted: Aug 23, 2016 19 comments
Thiel Audio's CS3.7 loudspeaker was launched, to much fanfare, in 2006. Like most of Jim Thiel's designs, the CS3.7 received universal praise, but it was Jim's swan song. No one could predict that he would pass away in 2009, undoubtedly leaving on his desk many future designs.

But more was in the cards for—and from—Thiel Audio. The company was sold in 2012 to a private equity company based in Nashville; soon thereafter Thiel Audio moved to that city from Lexington, Kentucky, where Jim had co-founded it in 1977. Thiel's longtime president, Kathy Gornik, left, and for a while the company's directors came and went as if through a revolving door.

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Jana Dagdagan Posted: Aug 22, 2016 20 comments
The graphic above was created with data provided to me by the CTA (Consumer Technology Association). I understand that this data cannot possibly account for every single turntable sold in any given year, but I believe that this is the most accurate account of data currently available to us.
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Robert Baird Posted: Aug 20, 2016 1 comments
Eric "Roscoe" Ambel has even owned a much beloved but now sadly shuttered bar in the East Village called Lakeside Lounge, from which he salvaged the name for his record label.
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Robert Baird Posted: Aug 19, 2016 1 comments
The entire seven-track session slides into a groove after a few songs and stays comfortably there.
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John Atkinson Posted: Aug 18, 2016 67 comments
Last June, Jim Austin briefly discussed the operation of MQA in his review of the Meridian Explorer2 USB DAC, but you can find a more detailed explanation on Stereophile's website here and here. MQA involves two fundamental concepts, discussed in a paper presented to the Audio Engineering Society in October 2014. The first is responsible for a large reduction in the bandwidth required to store and stream high-resolution files, the second for a potential improvement in sound quality. . .
Robert Baird Posted: Aug 18, 2016 3 comments
Van Morrison: . . It's Too Late to Stop Now . . . Volumes II, III, IV & DVD
Exile/Columbia/Legacy 88875134742 (2 LPs, 3 CDs, 1 DVD). 2016. Van Morrison, Ted Templeton, orig. prods.; Donn Landee, orig. eng.; Myles Wiener, Biff Dawes, Jack Crymes, Gabby Garcia, asst. engs.; Guy Massey, new remix; Andrew Sandoval, compilation prod.; Vic Anesini, remastering. ADA/ADD? TT: 3:33:58
Performance *****
Sonics ****

In the otherwise silly 2002 film The Banger Sisters, one line has always stood out. When the children of a groupie turned suburban Phoenix housewife (Susan Sarandon) question Suzette (Goldie Hawn), who's still living the groupie lifestyle, about their mom's hidden past and how she knows about the Doors, there's this exchange:

Daughter: "How would she know about Van Morrison . . . all of a sudden?"

Hawn: "Jim Morrison, not Van Morrison. Jeez."

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Jim Austin Posted: Aug 16, 2016 28 comments
Most people who have heard music recordings encoded with Master Quality Authenticated agree that it sounds really goood (footnote 1)—but even they recognize that at least one major challenge remains: ensuring that listeners can actually get, in MQA format, the music they most love. I spoke with Spencer Chrislu, MQA's director of content services, about the company's efforts to meet this challenge.
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Steve Guttenberg Posted: Aug 16, 2016 11 comments
A recording engineer's choices of microphones to record singers, guitars, horns, bass, drums—or an entire orchestra—are absolutely crucial. Those very subjective choices are, in large part, what separate the best recordings from the also-rans. When I contacted some of the best engineers in the business to talk about mikes, I got an earful. I was told that mikes have a more profound impact on reproduced sound than does any other link in the recording chain. Yes, the acoustic of the recording venue also plays a huge role, and post-session mixing and mastering can of course improve or ruin the sound—but the choice of mikes is absolutely crucial.
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Jana Dagdagan Posted: Aug 15, 2016 49 comments
It's a Sunday in suburbia. Sunny, 95°—"sweltering," some would say. The kind of heat where, you grab that cold can of Guinness, and the moment it leaves the cold comforts of the fridge, it's dead on impact.

You invite your good ole non-audiophile pal Stan over. You use a ruse you know Stan will fall for, like "Let's flip some burgers and listen to the cool commercials on Spotify's free tier," or "I just mastered the piña colada and torrented David Bowie's entire discography" (as if the piña colada alone wouldn't be enough to lure that sucker Stan), or "You left your phone at my place, want to come pick it up?" (In this last scenario, you would have to steal his phone first.)

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Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Aug 14, 2016 7 comments
It is more than fair to say that In C (1964), a repetitive composition of unpredictable length by California native Terry Riley (b. 1935), forever changed the course of modern music. If you want to have a fabulous time learning why, listen to In C on Four Four Three: The Music of Terry Riley. The new DSD-native recording from Channel Classics by the Ragazze String Quartet, percussion quartet Slagwerk Den Haag, and genre-redefining drumkit/French horn/guitar trio Kapok, can be purchased in either CD format or as a stereo or multichannel download in resolutions up to Quad DSD. This collective achievement is so superbly recorded by Jared Sacks, and so colorful, that it will likely send your head spinning into another dimension.