For Deep River, his third recording of Minnesotan male-voice choir Cantus, Stereophile editor John Atkinson traveled to Sioux Falls, SD, where the city has spent millions of dollars to transform the downtown high school into a gloriously warm-sounding, state-of-the-art performing arts center.
Kalman Rubinson looks past the odd knobs to discover what's at the heart of the Blue Circle BC21 preamplifier & BC22 power amplifier. KR reveals, "In the past, I've found components with small drawbacks that made them unacceptable, but the Blue Circle BC21 and BC22 triumphed over their flaws."
Let's start with some music—three discs I recently have been using to evaluate equipment as well as listen to for enjoyment. They are as contrasting in style as one could hope for, but all on an enviably high musical plane. (Space considerations compel brevity approaching that necessary to sell screenplays to producers at cocktail parties, footnote 1)
One of the biggest challenges in setting up any new listening room is getting the room to work with your equipment rather than against it. I faced this challenge in spades when Trish and I moved into our dream house in the California hills. What would serve as my listening room was a wonderful, open space with panoramic views of the surrounding hills—a space that bore no resemblance at all to a traditional, rectangular, dedicated listening room. Instead, there was a wall of glass, a huge marble-and-glass fireplace, a 20' ceiling—and did I mention that it isn't actually a "room," but one arm of a continuous flowing space?
The major record labels and the RIAA have invested much time and effort in sabotaging the MP3 file-trading revolution and its supporters. But the appeal of the compressed music format for a large segment of music fans is undeniable, and many critics of the RIAA have suggested that the petite and portable audio files should be embraced, not resisted.
With two new high-rez audio formats on deck, is a CD-only player still relevant? John Atkinson listens to, and then measures, the Classé CDP-10 CD player to discover why it sometimes takes 20 years to perfect a format.
Trickle-down technology is a grand thing. It's comparatively easy to build an exceptional audio component when there are no constraints on technology, cost, user-friendliness, or lack thereof, but top designers are now packing more and more of the excellence of damn-the-torpedoes components into more affordable and accessible packages. Which brings us to the Aesthetix Rhea, a tubed phono preamplifier of exceptionally distinguished lineage.