LATEST ADDITIONS

Brian Damkroger Posted: Jun 23, 2016 37 comments
It would be an understatement to say that in 2001, when Nordost introduced their original Valhalla cables, they were a revelation for me. Their focus and resolution of detail were like nothing I'd ever heard, and revealed in recorded performances a startling energy and realism. Throw in their seemingly absolute transparency, and similarly unique levels of spatial and temporal precision, and the Valhallas established a new standard of sound quality in audio cables. Although their tonal balance was cool, as I reported in my first review of them in the November 2001 issue, they were the only game in town in terms of reproducing the feel of a live performance. I immediately adopted them as a reference cable, and they remain a reference for me today.
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Stereophile Staff Posted: Jun 22, 2016 1 comments
Today, Wednesday, June 22, 11am–7:30pm: Stereo Exchange (627 Broadway, Manhattan) will host an open house and personal-audio listening event featuring special guests, giveaways, and more, and tomorrow, Thursday, June 23, 5–8pm: HiFi Sales (1732 Route 70 East, Cherry Hill) will host a personal-audio listening party, featuring products from Amarra, Amps and Sound, AudioQuest, and more.
John Atkinson Posted: Jun 21, 2016 4 comments
Life is too short to put up with poor-sounding headphones, I mused the other morning, during my 60-minute commute on the NYC subway. All around me, straphangers gripped smartphones and listened to multicolored Beats, noise-canceling Boses, white Apple earbuds, and, only rarely, Sennheisers and Grados.
Jim Austin Posted: Jun 21, 2016 5 comments
Stereophile hasn't reviewed a PS Audio power regenerator since February 2009, when Robert Deutsch tried the company's then-flagship, the Power Plant Premier ($2195). But earlier this year, as I prepared to write my review of PS Audio's NuWave DSD DAC (published in the May 2016 issue), a perfect opportunity to revisit the line came about: I read, in the owner's manual for the PSA DAC, that "power conditioners and the quality of the AC power can make a significant difference in sound quality." Eager to help the NuWave DSD put its best foot forward, I asked PS Audio to assist me in dealing with my AC power, which is marginal here in crowded New York City. They sent me their PerfectWave P10 Power Plant AC Regenerator ($4999)—and John Atkinson asked me to spill some ink on this most recent of the company's clean-power flagships.
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Jana Dagdagan Posted: Jun 20, 2016 4 comments
I'm sitting on a dark leather sofa, legs crossed, lips pursed, brow furrowed.

Glenn Gould playing Bach's Goldberg Variations can be faintly heard through a tape recorder in another room. To be more specific, a Realistic CTR-68 Model 14-808B.

"Jana, you're such a strong woman. I don't understand why you so desperately rely on Elton John for emotional support and inspiration."

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Ken Micallef Posted: Jun 20, 2016 14 comments
Billy Drummond is a world-class jazz musician who listens to music on what he describes as "high-performance playback equipment." Drummond has not one, but three, working systems in his cozy New Jersey home, each one lovingly tweaked, carefully positioned and closely maintained to reach optimal playback efficiency.
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Fred Kaplan Posted: Jun 18, 2016 0 comments
Checkpoint, the new CD from David Krakauer's latest band, Krakauer's Ancestral Groove, a jazz quartet occasionally expanded into a septet, digs deep in the rock-jazz-klezmer-hip-hop sediment.
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Robert Baird Posted: Jun 17, 2016 4 comments
They’re arguably the best recordings Elvis ever made.
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Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Jun 17, 2016 2 comments
It would only be fair to expect that in the new historic box set, Decca Sound 55 Great Vocal Recitals, there would be a fair number of clunkers amongst the gold. But that is anything but the case. For just a bit more than $2 per CD, you will end up with so many superb performances, recorded by singers in their prime, that unless you already possess almost everything in the box—I do—or you require English translations for most of its contents, purchase is a no-brainer.
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John Atkinson Posted: Jun 16, 2016 2 comments
When Pass Labs is mentioned, it's natural to think of its founder, iconic engineer Nelson Pass. But Nelson heads a team of engineers at the California company: Their XP-30 preamplifier, which I enthusiastically reviewed in April 2013, was designed by Wayne Colburn; and the subject of this review, the HPA-1 headphone amplifier, is the first Pass Labs product designed by Jam Somasundram, former director of engineering for Cary Audio. Somasundram joined Pass Labs in July 2013; he spent a year working on the HPA-1, which was shown at the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show, in Las Vegas, but not formally launched until the 2016 CES, at a hefty $3500.

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