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Barry Willis Posted: Jul 26, 2004 0 comments
Like most Americans, US audiophiles have little idea how difficult life can be for people in other countries. Imagine facing official censure for possessing some innocuous pop music, or taking 12 years to accumulate the complete works of one of your favorite rock groups. That was life in the old Soviet Union for Stereophile colleague Leonid Korostyshevski, who flew to Istanbul from Moscow on short notice, so we could spend a few days together prior to my embarking on a sailing trip in the eastern Mediterranean. The visit cemented a long-distance friendship established through numberless emails. It was also an in-depth education.
George Reisch Posted: Jul 25, 2004 Published: Jul 01, 2000 0 comments
Art and commerce are butting heads once again, now that England's popular Brit Awards include a category for classical music. Last month's inaugural nominees included some highbrow names (Rachmaninoff, Bryn Terfel), but leaned heavily on such "crossover" artists as Paul McCartney for his orchestral forays, and classical violinist Kennedy (formerly known as Nigel Kennedy) for The Kennedy Experience, his CD inspired by Jimi Hendrix. Classical sales are still down, and record companies, one suspects, are latching onto quasi-classical popular works to boost the sector's profile. For traditionalists, of course, this shows that classical music is falling further into the cultural black hole of all things Madonna, Spice Girls, and McDonald's. They're pissed—in the American sense, that is.
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John Marks Posted: Jul 25, 2004 Published: Jul 01, 2004 0 comments
The other night I heard The Tallis Scholars—the world's foremost exponents of Renaissance polyphony—sing in the Chorus of Westerly's performance hall, in Rhode Island: an 1886-vintage former Roman Catholic church with nearly all of its original horsehair plaster intact (footnote 1). Even sitting back in the cheap seats, the sound was glorious. I have never heard a vocal ensemble sing with more finesse, pitch security, or blend of tone.
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Keith Howard Posted: Jul 25, 2004 Published: Jul 01, 2004 0 comments
If anyone ever thinks to compile a list of the 100 seminal audio papers that should be found in every tech-aware audiophile's filing cabinet, Harry Olson's "Direct Radiator Loudspeaker Enclosures" deserves to feature in it. Originally presented at the second Audio Engineering Society Convention, in October 1950, it was published in Audio Engineering in 1951. In 1969—in a rare and certain acknowledgement of its classic status—the AES republished it in its Journal (footnote 1).
John Atkinson Posted: Jul 25, 2004 Published: Jul 01, 2004 0 comments
At last January's Consumer Electronics Show, one of the more musically satisfying rooms I visited in Las Vegas' Alexis Park Hotel was hosted by Canadian magazine Inner Ear Report. I had visited the room ostensibly to take a look at the Audiophile APS AC regeneration system, but I also wanted to give a listen to the Gershman Acoustics Opera Sauvage speakers that I had agreed to review for Stereophile—not just the speakers in the abstract, but the very samples that, after CES, were going to make the trek to my Brooklyn listening room.
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Wes Phillips Posted: Jul 19, 2004 0 comments
The oldest verified surviving recording is an 1878 tin cylinder of a talking clock (you can hear it at There's just one problem, however; the recording's surface noise is so pronounced that you can barely hear the featured attraction. Chalk it up to age, imperfect recording media, poor storage, or even to the ravages of mold, but the facts remain the same—we're in danger of losing our audio patrimony: the hundreds of thousands of historical recordings from the dawn of recording.
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Wes Phillips Posted: Jul 19, 2004 0 comments
On July 11, Kevin Britten of Hays, Kansas downloaded the 100 millionth song purchased from Apple's iTunes music store. Britten spent 99¢ for "Somersault (Dangermouse remix)" by Zero 7 and, in exchange, won a 17" PowerBook, a 40GB iPod, and a gift certificate entitling him to 10,000 iTunes songs (the approximate capacity of a 40Gb iPod). As Apple counted down to 100 million, it also gave "special 20GB iPods" to the consumers who downloaded each 100,000th song between 95 million and 100 million.
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Jon Iverson Posted: Jul 19, 2004 Published: Aug 01, 2004 0 comments
Since it has been five years since the debut of SACD, one might think that the debate as to where it fits within the audiophile food chain would have been put to rest. But as with most things audio, reality conspires to make rational comparisons between formats tough. One is never sure if two releases on different formats have been rendered from the same source, or, as we discovered with the recent Dark Side of the Moon hybrid SACD, from completely different masters.
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Stereophile Staff Posted: Jul 19, 2004 0 comments
Stereophile's John Atkinson teams up with world-renowned recording engineer Tony Faulkner to create a landmark Mozart recording that has just been released simultaneously on hybrid SACD/CD, and LP. In Project K622, JA recounts the entire process, noting, "The upbeat is the most magic moment in classical music making."
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Jon Iverson Posted: Jul 19, 2004 0 comments
Tube fans might want to get their passports in order. We've received word that the European Triode Festival 2004 (ETF.04) will take place in Langenargen, Germany in December. The festival, which describes itself as "a gathering of tube audio hobbyists and professionals," says it will host participants from all over the world.


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