LATEST ADDITIONS

Herb Reichert Posted: Jul 26, 2014 2 comments
Stalking the halls to experience 38 rooms at Capital AudioFest in three days feels like trying to see the whole Smithsonian in one day. When I got back to my room tonight my ears were ringing from the rock-concert volume levels played in most rooms. My eyes were spinning from trying to read upside down name tags scribbled with Sharpies. But because I have been an exhibitor so many times, I remember that the most important thing I can do is recognize and respect the hope and effort (and money) all these exhibitors and organizers have invested.
Michael Fremer Posted: Jul 25, 2014 2 comments
A preamplifier is the port of entry through which you gain access to the sources you've so carefully assembled. It's also the gate through which all of your music passes. So while its sonic performance is obviously critical, you'd also better assess how it feels, how it looks, and how it operates—you're going to be in an intimate relationship with it for a long time. Before choosing a preamplifier, therefore, take some time to drive it around the block, or at least shake hands with it. Use your imagination as much as your ears.
Art Dudley Posted: Jul 25, 2014 4 comments
They spoiled all my fun.

When I receive a product sample for review, I look forward to taking photos while I unpack the thing, as a guide to repacking for later on. This company provided an illustrated packing list—it was the first thing I saw on slitting open the carton. I look forward to crafting amusing remarks about poorly written or whimsically translated owner's manuals; this company provided the clearest, most comprehensive manual I've ever seen. I look forward to having some sort of anomalous event—smoke, noise, or smoke and noise—to write about. This product offered nothing of the sort.

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Robert Baird Posted: Jul 25, 2014 0 comments
Herb Reichert Posted: Jul 25, 2014 7 comments
It is really funny how a simple thing like what hat I am wearing can affect everything I see and hear. When I used to wear my audio show "visitor" hat—only a few rooms had good sound and the equipment all seemed overpriced. When I wore my "exhibitor" hat my room always had the best music and the best sound. Now, I am wearing my "reporter" hat and a little tag that says Stereophile at the Capital Audio Fest, which runs Friday through Sunday at the Silver Spring, Maryland, Sheraton and the first three rooms I visit have amazing sound. How can this be?
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Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Jul 25, 2014 1 comments
Inspired by Watch Mr. Wizard, a children's science show that aired on American TV 1951–1965, loudspeaker designer Albert Von Schweikert brought his updated, all-ages loudspeaker installment to Orinda, CA last weekend. Presenting to members of the newly constituted San Francisco Audio Society, Von Schweikert and his grandson, Devon Von Schweikert, enabled attendees to compare the sound of various midrange drivers and enclosure materials.
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Art Dudley Posted: Jul 25, 2014 6 comments
In Living Stereo's Steven Mishoe holds an EMT OFD25 pickup head.

On the evening of July 24, the passing of EMT's classic OFD series of pickup heads was noted in singular style: In Living Stereo, the hi-fi and record store that represents EMT in New York City, invited their customers to drop by for drinks, snacks, and the opportunity to hear their favorite mono LPs played with OFD 15 and OFD 25 pickups on an otherwise all-Shindo system.

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Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Jul 22, 2014 6 comments
On July 17, industry veterans Richard Schram, founder of Parasound, and John Curl, the company's legendary circuit designer (above), made a rare joint appearance at Century Stereo in San Jose, CA. Surviving unexpectedly horrendous freeway traffic, which made for a late start—perfect for this writer, who made the same commute—the two men's great spirits contributed to an evening as entertaining as it was informative.
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Herb Reichert Posted: Jul 21, 2014 7 comments
Playing recorded music in the home is a complex, coded, cultural experience: We sit, we listen, we think and dream—and, when it feels just right, we admire. We admire who we are and how we arrived at this beautiful moment. This simple act of admiration is usually a happy sort of self-congratulatory expression of our basic desire to have meaningful as well as enjoyable experiences. We are proud of our good taste and love of music. But this type of listening can also provoke anxiety and self-recrimination. We ask ourselves why we like this music and not some other kind. What would my friends think if they knew I was listening to "truckin' wit' th' doo-dah man"—or Deodato?
Robert Baird Posted: Jul 21, 2014 0 comments
The Black Keys: Turn Blue
Nonesuch 7559795555 (LP/CD/HDtracks download). 2014. Black Keys, Danger Mouse, prods.; Kennie Takahashi, eng.; Collin Dupuis, Geoff Neal, Bill Skibbe, asst. engs.; Tchad Blake, mix. TT: 45:09
Performance ****
Sonics ****

There was a time when calling the Black Keys "sexy" would have been thought perversely stunted, given that they were a two-man, raw-as-hell, blow-me-down, frat-rock grinder that jammed and pounded and convinced everyone that their version of Tony Joe White's groove was something new and revolutionary.

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