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Robert Deutsch Posted: Jul 05, 2001 0 comments
Few topics will get audiophiles into an argument more readily than a discussion of the relative merits of tubed and solid-state equipment. A poll on the Stereophile website showed 53% of respondents choosing solid-state as their preferred amplifier design, while 38% indicated a preference for tubes—the remainder choosing "other," which presumably means digital amplifiers. (There has been no corresponding survey regarding preamplifier designs.) Opinions tend toward the dogmatic, with one respondent declaring "solid-state is more accurate," another stating unequivocally that "tubes sound closer to the real thing."
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Jonathan Scull Posted: Jul 03, 2001 0 comments
"Preaching to the converted," I sighed to myself as I read the manual for the Stax Omega II Earspeaker headphone system. I fondly recalled my headphone reference for all time—the Most Fabulous and Seductive Sennheiser Orpheus tubed electrostatics, which Thomas J. Norton reviewed for Stereophile in 1994. I recalled the Orpheus's heady, open, fast, and colorfully wideband sound, and clutched my palpitating heart.
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Barry Willis Posted: Jul 01, 2001 0 comments
Making good on a promise reported back in December of last year, Threshold Audio has returned the Threshold brand to the market with a new stereo power amplifier.
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Stereophile Staff Posted: Jul 01, 2001 0 comments
Last week, Asahi Kasei Microsystems Semiconductor (AKM), which supplies audio ICs for professional and consumer products, announced its line of Direct Stream Digital (DSD) Digital-to-Analog converters capable of supporting both Super Audio CD (SACD) Direct-Stream Bigital and 24-bit/192kHz LPCM DVD-Audio formats.
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Barry Willis Posted: Jul 01, 2001 0 comments
Electronic equipment worth millions of dollars is damaged every year by lightning strikes and power outages caused by summer storms. These seasonal threats have been amplified by the possibility of rotating blackouts, as well as resulting recent policy changes by major utility companies.
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Stereophile Staff Posted: Jul 01, 2001 0 comments
As John Atkinson puts it, Meridian usually does things "their way," putting amps and DACs inside of speakers in an all-out attempt at "re-creating the original soundfield, no matter how many speakers and channels it takes to do it right." But as Atkinson finds, the Meridian 518 Digital Audio Processor might be the company's most perverse product: "The $1650 518 offers digital inputs and outputs only. It can digitally perform gain and source selection; it can change data with one digital word length to data with another; and it does all these things with 72-bit internal precision." So JA asks, "How does the 518 fit within a conventional high-end audio system?" Read along as he figures it all out.
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Jon Iverson Posted: Jul 01, 2001 0 comments
In 1991, British loudspeaker manufacturer B&W celebrated its 25th birthday with the introduction of the John Bowers Silver Signature loudspeaker (see review). Not the largest or most expensive speaker on the company chart, the John Bowers Silver Signature, named after the company's late founder, still prompted John Atkinson to write that its performance was the best he'd heard for its modest size in his listening room.
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Wes Phillips Posted: Jul 01, 2001 0 comments
Chet Atkins, the good-natured guitarist and successful record producer who established Nashville as the capitol of country music, in the process of transforming the music itself, died on Saturday, June 30. He had battled cancer for several years. He was 77.
Chip Stern Posted: Jul 01, 2001 0 comments
TONY BENNETT/BILL EVANS: The Tony Bennett/Bill Evans Album
Tony Bennett, vocals; Bill Evans, piano
JVC JVCXR-0208-2 (CD). 1975/2001. Helen Keane, prod.; Don Cody, eng.; Akira Taguchi, XRCD2 prod., Alan Yoshida, XRCD2 mastering eng. AAD?. TT: 35:09
Performance *****
Sonics ****
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Kalman Rubinson Posted: Jun 26, 2001 0 comments
Listening to multichannel music with the new SACD and DVD-Audio players has produced equal parts contentment and consternation. The contentment is easy to understand: Here are media that can reproduce music with better-than-CD resolution and, for the first time, re-create a believable illusion of the entire acoustic space in which the performance was recorded. The consternation is related to those same two issues: 1) maintaining the resolution and tonal balance relished with high-quality stereo, and 2) making the psychological transition from two-channel to multichannel listening. Both of these are barriers to audiophile acceptance of multichannel music.

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