I knew nothing of Ypsilon when I first saw its products in a room at an overseas audio show. Even though the speakers in this system were complete unknowns, I was convinced that it was the electronics that were responsible for the magical balance of what I was hearing. That was confirmed when I reviewed the VPS-100 phono preamplifier in August 2009 and PST-100 Mk.II preamplifier in July 2011.
Cole Porter: An All-Star Tribute (DVD, VAI) includes outtakes of the great Ethel Merman filming for TV, in 1960, a performance of Irving Berlin's "Alexander's Ragtime Band." In take after take, something goes wrong. Each time the director shouts "Cut!," Merman stops in her tracks, almost as if deflating; when the director yells "Action!" she starts from the top, fresh as new, the model showbiz professional.
Around the last decade of the previous century, something significant happened in jazz. Suddenly, many of the best players were no longer Americans. Actually, it was not sudden. It was a gradual flowering that achieved critical mass and could no longer be overlooked.
At the end of April, it will be time to renew the lease on my quaint Kensington duplex. Over the past three years, a cast of typical New Yorkers rotated residency within these plaster walls: stand-up comedians, chefs, and real-estate agents; art handlers and opera singers; venue managers and musicians. Claiming residential seniority over this home of interchanging misfits, it was time to stake claim on the room my system most deserved.
There has been a lot of buzz lately generated by show demonstrations of DSD recordings played directly from files and as the opportunity to download DSD files is expanding. The reactions of our writers have ranged from "impressive," to an "epiphany," to my own delight reported in the upcoming May issue of Stereophile. The hardware used has been mostly professional (Sonoma workstation) or semi-professional (Mytek Stereo 192-DSD) or, at the very least, costly enough for the unconvinced to hesitate. Now, in one fell swoop, Oppo has made this possible at no cost at all for those of us who own an Oppo BDP-103 or BDP-105.
The strange trembling vocals, warm synth sounds, and chamber pop movements of Konkylie, When Saints Go Machine’s full-length debut, appealed to me in unusual fashion: slowly at first, confounding my senses for a time, before finally winning me over. With time and repeated listening, the album became one of my very favorites of 2011.