LATEST ADDITIONS

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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Jan 21, 2015 15 comments
Everything these days has a computer inside it, but you wouldn't call a car a computer. Same goes for music streamers—what we at AudioStream.com also call network players. While a network player has a computer inside, I don't consider it a computer because it's designed to do just one thing: play music.

A network player connects to your home network via Ethernet or WiFi, searches for network-attached storage (NAS), looks for the Internet to connect to streaming services, and serves up all of this music through an app that typically resides on a smartphone or tablet. The theory goes that, being purpose built, a dedicated network player should sound better than a full-blown computer, the latter's multitasking abilities degrading its ability to get us to dance, literally or figuratively.

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David Lander Posted: Jan 21, 2015 1 comments
Aerial Acoustics, the speaker firm that Michael Kelly conceived a quarter-century ago with David Marshall, is headquartered north of Boston, not far from the Merrimack River Valley region that once produced textiles and shoes by the trainload. Kelly, though, is quick to equate Aerial with far more distant firms. His industrial models are in Germany, where he lived for a while when his father, a US Army officer, was based there, and where he later spent time as a vice-president of a/d/s/, which had been founded by a German-born and -educated scientist, Godehard Günther, who died last October. They're small-to-midsize specialty firms that together constitute a category called Mittelstanden, and they're as accomplished as they are narrowly focused. They're artisan enterprises, and it's only natural that someone as dedicated as Kelly is to building state-of-the-art loudspeakers would embrace them as examples.
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Stereophile Staff Posted: Jan 18, 2015 0 comments
Canadian manufacturer Bryston is known for its amplifiers but it is a loudspeaker that gets the cover treatment this month. Kalman Rubinson likes what he heard from this mid-priced tower, while John Atkinson spends some of his valuable listening time with a speaker that costs less than $60/pair. “Affordable” is also the name of the game both with VPI’s Nomad record player and GoldenEar’s awesome Triton One speaker reviewed in this issue. But it is our annual “Records to Die For” that headlines this issue: our editors and writers review 54 albums, ranging from chamber music to psychedelia, that are essential listens. Check this 156-page issue out.
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Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Jan 17, 2015 8 comments
Photo: John Atkinson

On one level, this was just "another CES." The barrage of humanity, traffic, flashing lights, cigarette smoke, hawkers, gawkers, noise masquerading as music, and the ever-present Las Vegas Strip above was such that, as I entered the Venetian on the last day, all I could think of was the promise that, before the night was over I would be back amongst the trees, silence, and rejuvenating peace of our home...The Age of the Audiophile is far from over. As CES 2015 has made abundantly clear, the show may be over, but the fun has just begun.

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Robert Deutsch Posted: Jan 17, 2015 2 comments
For this year's CES show blog, in addition to reporting on new/interesting products, our plan was to ask manufacturers for tips on the installation and optimization of their products, echoing the how-to theme of the articles in Stereophile's 2015 Special "Recommended Components" issue, the cover of which is pictured above with John Atkinson. (This special issue will be available on newsstands and in bookstores next week.)
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Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Jan 17, 2015 0 comments
With its forthcoming BHK Signature 250 amplifier ($7500), PS Audio's Paul McGowan (above) has stepped outside his own self-imposed price point box. By inviting his longtime friend and colleague, Bascom H. King (Constellation, Infinity, Infinity class-A, Conrad-Johnson, and Marantz), to create his magnum opus without regard to price, his goal was to make, in his own words, "one of the top five amplifiers in the world."
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John Atkinson Posted: Jan 17, 2015 3 comments
Richard Vandersteen points to the detailed improvements to his flagship Model Seven speaker, which produced one of my best sounds at the 2015 CES.
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Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Jan 17, 2015 1 comments
What better way to end a day than to move from Magico/Soulution/Baetis/BAD/Vovox to a system in which dCS's digital statement, the ne plus ultra Vivaldi four-stack marvel (something like $108,496 plus all those cables to power and connect it), Dan D'Agostino Momentum monoblock amplifiers ($55,000/pair), Transparent MM2 cabling, and the new Rockport Cygnus loudspeakers ($62,500/pair). The sound was very different than Magico's on the next floor of the Mirage, and equally extraordinary.
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Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Jan 17, 2015 0 comments
In the first system to which I took a serious listen at CES, Alon Wolf could have made no more major a statement than by pairing his Magico Q7 loudspeakers ($185,000/pair) and new active QSub-18 ($36,000) with Soulution 701 monoblock amplifiers ($150,000/pair), Soulution 720 preamp (discontinued—the current 725 line stage is $50,000), Berkeley Audio Design Reference DAC ($16,000), Baetis Audio music server, Vovox cabling from Switzerland, Magico MRack ($50,000), and superb Magico QPOD equipment supports.
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Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Jan 17, 2015 0 comments
"What kills me is that in my own showroom I have the same Wilson Alexia loudspeakers that Nagra is using, but they sound better in their set-up, and they aren't even using room treatment," lamented a retailer whose identity shall forever remain unspoken. What better compliment can one pay to Nagra's forthcoming HD amplifiers?

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