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John Atkinson Posted: Jul 06, 2016 Published: May 01, 1991 3 comments
I do quite a bit of headphone listening during the day, making use of their convenience to shut out the office hubbub while I get down to serious copy editing. The system I use is modest—a pair of no-longer-available Sennheiser HD420SLs driven by an Advent 300 receiver I bought for $75, with CD source provided by a Denon DCD-1500 II—but I get quite a bit of musical satisfaction from it.
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Peter W. Mitchell Barry Fox Peter van Willenswaard Posted: Jul 05, 2016 Published: Apr 01, 1991 2 comments
Editor's Note: In the 21st Century, lossy audio data compression, in the form of MP3 and AAC files, Dolby Digital and DTS-encoded soundtracks, and YouTube and Spotify streaming, is ubiquitous. But audiophiles were first exposed to the subject a quarter-century ago, when Philips launched its ill-fated DCC cassette format. What follows is Stereophile's complete coverage on both DCC and its PASC lossy-compression encoding from our April 1991 issue.—John Atkinson
Bill Sommerwerck Sam Tellig Posted: Jul 05, 2016 Published: Aug 01, 1986 2 comments
There's a race on between Sony and Matsushita, to determine who can build the smallest battery-operated CD player with the most features. Sony currently holds the lead with its second-generation D-7 ($300), about 30% smaller than the first "pocket" CD, the D-5. Most of the reduction is in height; both players have a horizontal cross-section only slightly larger than the CD itself. The illusion of smallness is further enhanced by an angled front panel with beveled edges.
Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Jul 05, 2016 4 comments
The three-day Capital Audiofest runs July 8–10 at the Hilton Hotel at Twinbrook Metro in Rockville, MD. With new, noon–8 pm opening-day hours designed to accommodate 9-5ers eager to top off their Friday with great sound, and completely renovated rooms that should offer even better acoustics than before, the at-capacity show promises 38 exhibit rooms (including 14 large rooms and one two-room suite), and a combined Marketplace/CanMania with 20 exhibitors total. Put that all together, and you end up with 103 exhibitors and brands combined.
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Jana Dagdagan Posted: Jul 02, 2016 111 comments
Apple is reportedly in exploratory talks to acquire Tidal. Though it's possible that nothing could come of this, and much of the online chatter surrounding this news is processed, regurgitated press release—I'd like to contribute to the speculation by sharing my thoughts: I think it's exactly what the world needs. It would be an intelligent move on Apple's part that would simultaneously benefit listeners, musicians—and of course, boost the high-end audio industry.
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Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Jul 01, 2016 7 comments
Primephonic, a Netherlands-based site that prides itself on its superior classical music metadata, has launched in the United States. Currently devoted to hi-rez classical downloads in WAV (stereo), FLAC (stereo/surround), and DSD (stereo/surround), Primephonic also intends to launch the beta version of its high-quality streaming service later this year.
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Kalman Rubinson Posted: Jun 30, 2016 4 comments
The SOtM sMS-1000SQ Windows Edition with AudiophileOptimizer and Roon: Not only does that very long name require finger-twisting shifts between upper and lower case, it really doesn't tell you what the sMS-1000SQ WE is.

Korean manufacturer SOtM, Inc. describes it on their website as a "music server based on Windows Server OS besides the original Linux [Vortexbox] OS based sMS-1000SQ." I'd describe it as a Windows-based PC that's designed and optimized to manage a database of music files and stream the music to local or networked DACs, and that supports multiple options for file management, playback, and target devices. (Hmmm: that's not much better, is it?)

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Art Dudley Posted: Jun 30, 2016 3 comments
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Everything makes a difference. Everything. File that away.

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There are two kinds of good sound: good sound sound and good music sound. While I could describe the distinction in few words or many, it's easier to point to two recordings of Elgar's oratorio The Dream of Gerontius: by Sir Adrian Boult and the New Philharmonia Orchestra, with tenor Nicolai Gedda singing the title role (2 LPs, EMI SLS 987); and by Malcolm Sargent and the Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, with Heddle Nash in the lead (2 LPs, EMI RLS 709).

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Peter van Willenswaard John Atkinson Peter W. Mitchell Posted: Jun 28, 2016 Published: May 01, 1989 2 comments
Editor's Note: One-bit DAC chips in the 21st century, where the anlog output signal is reconstructed from a very high-rate stream of pulses, are ubiquitous. But a quarter-century ago, those chips were only just beginning to stream from the chip foundries. In this feature, we aggregate Stereophile's 1989 coverage of the then-new technology, starting with Peter van Willenswaard on the basics.—John Atkinson.

1989 may well become the year of the D/A converter (DAC). CD-player manufacturers have, almost without exception, launched research projects focusing on this problem area of digital audio; many of these projects are already a year old. This is, however, by no means the only imperfection keeping us away from the high-quality sound we have come to suspect is possible with digital audio media, and maybe not even the most important.

J. Gordon Holt Posted: Jun 28, 2016 Published: Sep 01, 1967 0 comments
By the time you read this, in the fall of 1967, the "Dolby system" will probably be old hat to you. Every other audio publication has been describing it, discussing it, and hailing it as the greatest invention since sex.

We've seen that kind of press ballyhoo before, about such significant advances as the Edsel, the 16-rpm LP and the "thin-profile" loudspeaker, so our first inclination was to be a wee bit skeptical of the Dolby. It seemed too good to be true.

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