J. Gordon Holt Posted: Jul 14, 2015 Published: Mar 01, 1982 5 comments
82award.250pr.jpgElgar: Orchestral Works
Falstaff, The Sanguine Fan, Fantasia and Fugue in c (transcribed from J.S. Bach), excerpt from The Starlight Express
London Philharmonic Orchestra, Sir Adrian Boult
Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab 2-501 (half-speed–mastered LP, pressed in Japan, 1981). Originally released as HMV ASD 2970 (LP, 1974). Reissued as EMI CDM 7 63133 2 (CD, 1989). Christopher Bishop, prod.; Christopher Parker, Stuart Eltham, engs.

We have never before bestowed an award on anyone for anything. We felt obliged to do it on Mobile Fidelity for their remastering of the EMI Elgar Falstaff recording because it is the first time to our knowledge that a single classical release has combined a performance and a recording which are both good enough that neither need be done again. Our congratulations to Mobile Fidelity's Gary Giorgi. Now, let's have some more, from Mobile Fidelity or any other source. We have more awards to hand out when and if.—J. Gordon Holt

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Stereophile Staff Posted: Jul 13, 2015 1 comments
Ayre's 20th-Anniversary edition of its MX-R monoblock stands proud on this 132-page issue's cover. Inside, John Atkinson finds it to be one of the best-sounding amplifiers he's auditioned, while Fred Kaplan enthuses over the sound of Simaudio's Moon Evolution 860A amplifier and Jon Iverson finds much to enjoy with Rega's affordable DAC-R. Loudspeakers from Wilson Benesch, Falcon, and Magnepan are reviewed, with the littlest, cheapest Maggie earning the highest praise from Herb Reichert.
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Stereophile Staff Posted: Jul 13, 2015 0 comments
Alma Music and Audio (5759 La Jolla Blvd., La Jolla, CA 92037) will host a very special event on Saturday, July 18 and Sunday, July 19 at their retail showroom just north of San Diego. A host of audio luminaries will be there to demonstrate their products and answer questions including Dan D'Agostino of D'Agostino Master Audio Systems, Yoav Geva of YG Acoustics, Joe Kubala of Kubala-Sosna cables, Vince Galbo of MSB Technology, and Harry Lee and Sally Jeung of Aurender.
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Robert Deutsch Posted: Jul 12, 2015 0 comments
I ran across the poster above in Canada HiFi magazine: an announcement of the launch of a new audio store with an evening of vinyl playback. Located in the town of Orangeville, Ontario (population 30,000, about an hour's drive from Toronto), the store, with the intriguing name of Aardvark Boutique Audio, hadn't opened yet, but the event, taking place in the Orangeville Opera House, promised "Canadian Musicians On Vinyl—In Amazing Hi Fi Sound." I had to go and check it out.
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Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Jul 11, 2015 3 comments
In a major plus for the accessibility of classical music on the web, Google Play Music recently launched its Classical Live initiative. Through an exclusive contract with five major symphony orchestras—Boston Symphony Orchestra and new Music Director Andris Nelsons, The Cleveland Orchestra and Music Director Franz Welser-Möst, London Symphony Orchestra and Sir John Eliot Gardiner, New York Philharmonic and Music Director Alan Gilbert, and Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam and Music Director Mariss Jansons—the organizations will offer live recordings for download and streaming exclusively on Google Play for the first six months they are made public.
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Robert Baird Posted: Jul 10, 2015 7 comments
Bitterweet is easily the most lyrically confused record that Chambers, or any other pop music artist at her level, has released in recent memory.
Michael Fremer Posted: Jul 09, 2015 Published: Jan 01, 2015 1 comments
Pear Audio Analogue's Peter Mezek can keep you up all night spinning fascinating turntable tales. Had my mind not been numbed by Sunday evening, October 12, the last day of the 2014 Rocky Mountain Audio Fest, I might have insisted that he do just that.

Over dinner that evening he regaled Pear Audio's North American importer, Michael Vamos of Audio Skies, and me with turntable stories dating back to the late 1970s and the Linn Sondek LP12, which, until the early '80s, he distributed in Czechoslovakia. In the mid-'80s, Mezek was involved in the development and distribution of the Rational Audio turntable, designed for Mezek by Jirí Janda (pronounced Yeerzhee Yahnda), who died in 2000. For those of you old enough to remember, Janda, a founder of NAD, designed that company's 5120 turntable; among other features, it had a flat, flexible, plug-in tonearm that you could easily swap out, much as you can with VPI's current models.

Michael Fremer Posted: Jul 09, 2015 24 comments
Late in the fall of 1982, Los Angeles turned ugly for me. I'd finished my work on Tron and despite the Academy Award nomination for Best Sound (which went to the mixing team, not the sound supervisor), it was obvious that nothing else was coming my way anytime soon. To earn a living, I had to reinvent myself.

So there I was in Las Vegas, at the 1983 Consumer Electronics Show, schlepping heavy bags filled with press kits, each containing an audio cassette of a dozen radio commercials for a car-stereo store that I'd voiced and produced, along with a résumé-bio and endorsements from clients.

J. Gordon Holt Posted: Jul 08, 2015 Published: Oct 01, 1974 5 comments
Some years ago, we attended a hi-fi show in New York City where one of the exhibitors was RCA Victor. Their presence there would have been forgotten were it not for the fact that their exhibit, featuring their own discs played on their own line of phonographs, was producing some of the filthiest sound at the entire show. And that, in the proverbial nutshell, is why you never see reports in Stereophile on equipment made by RCA, Philco or General Electric.
J. Gordon Holt Posted: Jul 08, 2015 Published: Apr 01, 1982 1 comments
482rotm.promo250.jpgWilliams: Suites from Star Wars and Close Encounters of the Third Kind
Los Angeles Philharmonic orchestra, Zubin Mehta.
Mobile Fidelity MFSL-C.008 (cassette).

Originally released on London Records, then re-released with better sound on a Mobile Fidelity disc (now a cutout), these are stunning performances of these popular film scores, rivaling the composer's own performances of them. (Composers aren't always the best conductors of their own music, but John Williams is one who is.)

Sonically, this is simply a tour de force: Without a doubt the best commercially made cassette I've ever heard (and I've heard a lot of them). Last month, I expressed some doubt that the high end on any cassette could rival that of a half-speed LP and, indeed, there is a softening at the top on this cassette, when compared with the Mobile Fidelity disc. But the truth of the matter is that the cassette's high end is substantially more natural than that from the disc, which was one of Mobile Fidelity's first and had a slightly steely edge to it.


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