LATEST ADDITIONS

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Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Apr 26, 2014 4 comments
The big joy of visiting the United Home Audio room, manufacturer of the Phase 11S tape deck with outboard power supply ($23,000 as configured), was reuniting with Michael Allen of Jolida. The good news is that Michael, who was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, has made a full recovery.
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Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Apr 26, 2014 1 comments
Aren't they just beautiful? What's more, they sounded just as good as they look. Absolutely gorgeous tonality on Jonathan Horwich's International Phonograph recording of Jeremy Kahn's "The Shadow of Your Smile" distinguished this pairing of Merrill Audio's made-in-New-Jersey Veritas class-D monoblock amplifiers ($12,000/pair) and made-in-Mexico Sadurni horn loudspeakers, which are sold with their hard-to-see companion subwoofers ($40,000/pair for all three).
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Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Apr 26, 2014 1 comments
One way that Steve Davis and his wife Carmen share their multi-decade embrace of Transcendental Meditation with show attendees is by making the experience available to anyone who cares to sit and listen, within as well as without. This table on the lower level, as well as hour-long Introduction to Transcendental Meditation seminars on both Friday and Saturday, helped spread the word.
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Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Apr 26, 2014 1 comments
Don't be deceived by this photo. Despite the short registration line on Friday morning, the line-up continued without let-up through most of the day. Virtually every room I visited on the first day of AXPONA, from the large suites on the basement and lobby levels to the standard and large hotel rooms on the twelfth floor, was filled with people. Registration figures are not yet available, but the JD Events folks are certain that attendance at the first day of the show has well outstripped last year's sterling attendance figures.
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Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Apr 24, 2014 11 comments
On Thursday April 24, Sony announced a new round of reasonably priced products, all of which are capable of high-resolution audio playback. Sony's unequivocal embrace of high-resolution audio—the acronym HRA seems to have become the mutually accepted, industry-wide term—was the main order of business. Defining HRA as everything greater than Red Book CD (16/44.1k) Jeff Hiatt, the company's Director of Home Audio (above), began by stating, "We have sacrificed quality in order to get convenience. MP3 has been degrading the quality of music, and was a quantum leap backwards. The young generation doesn't even realize that they're not listening to music as the artist intended it be heard."
Stephen Mejias Posted: Apr 24, 2014 0 comments
What I failed to make absolutely clear in my April column is that I really, truly, thoroughly enjoyed all three USB DAC–headphone amps that I auditioned: the Audioengine D3 ($189), the AudioQuest DragonFly v1.2 ($149), and the Cambridge Audio DacMagic XS ($199). Each offered a slightly different perspective on the music, but none could be accused of closing lanes on the George Washington Bridge, dumping several feet of snow on top of our car, or doing anything especially wrong.
Art Dudley Posted: Apr 24, 2014 Published: May 01, 2014 0 comments
Except for a few titles I've combined with the ones in my listening room, and a few others that I intend to sell, the record collection I bought last year remains in three rows of boxes on the floor of our guest room. Because that room is spacious and comfortable, and equipped with a small refrigerator and a flat-screen TV, it is also the place where my 16-year-old daughter and her friends have their slumber parties and Dr. Who marathons. Thus, as you can imagine, I must sometimes explain to our young guests the Tao of collecting records.
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Ariel Bitran Posted: Apr 23, 2014 0 comments
Many music lovers share a moment in common. On a cloudy evening, you put on a record. Hopefully, it was Rush’s Hemispheres. Most likely, it was Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon. The LP sleeve rested in your lap. The receiver’s meters bobbed gently, and the lights were dimmed just enough so your eyes could transfix on the junction of prism and light that refracts into a rainbow wrapped in black. As those guitars and synthesizers roared, the artwork and its melding with the music allowed you to transcend conceptual planes by uniting abstract visuals with word, rhythm, and melody. For just a moment, the world wasn’t so bland.

The Gralbum Collective are trying to recapture this enlightening experience with the Gralbum, or graphic album, a packaged release of image, word, and song for iPad and iPhone.

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Steve Guttenberg Posted: Apr 22, 2014 Published: May 01, 2014 17 comments
Here's what I've learned in my 35 years in the High End, first as a hi-fi salesman and then as a full-time reviewer and blogger: No hi-fi, no matter how expensive or exalted, will ever deliver the holy grail. While there have been considerable advances over the years, I can cite two 50+-year-old loudspeakers—Quad ESL electrostatics and Klipsch's big horns—whose transparency and dynamic range, respectively, blow away those of many contemporary high-end speakers. The very best of today's speakers, electronics, and source components don't zero in on a single perfected sound indistinguishable from the experience of being in the same room as the musicians—no, every one of them sounds different from all the rest. I want to experience as many of those flavors as I can.
Robert Baird Posted: Apr 22, 2014 Published: May 01, 2014 1 comments
WANTED: Jazz Hero. Must be willing and able to bring stunning new creative energies to a musical genre in danger of becoming stale and repetitive. Must be comfortable with a Marsalis level of celebrity. Saxophone or trumpet players preferred. Old men need not apply.

In 2011, jazz prayers were answered with the release of When the Heart Emerges Glistening, a brilliantly inventive mainstream jazz album led by Ambrose Akinmusire, a photogenic, 28-year-old trumpeter from Oakland, California. The young man had lots of fresh ideas, speed and dexterity to burn, and a unique tone, the combination of which brought back a flood of memories: Miles Davis, Clifford Brown, Pops.

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