LATEST ADDITIONS

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Jana Dagdagan Posted: Aug 01, 2016 6 comments
Guitarist Nels Cline will make his Blue Note debut on August 5—this coming Friday as a download, with CD following on August 19 and LP on September 2—with his album Lovers. It's a beautiful, wide-ranging, 18-track, 23-person-ensemble look inside Nels's soul, and a project that's been in the making for 25 years. It contains a mix of Cline's originals as well as songs by Sonic Youth, Arto Lindsay, Jimmy Giuffre, and Great American Songbook Standards.
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Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Jul 30, 2016 6 comments
Virtually every new recording of Mozart's great opera, Le nozze di Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro), is eagerly anticipated. The opera is, after all, an indisputable masterpiece, and frequently described as the most perfect opera ever written. Not only does it contain an irresistible flood of melody, with one hummable, ear worm-like tune after the other, but its music also unfailingly serves da Ponte's libretto. This recording, of concert performances that took place in the Festspielhaus Baden-Baden in July 2015, is especially important for two reasons. The first is its star-studded cast of younger and veteran singers, among whom are four extremely well knowns: bass-baritone Luca Pisaroni (Figaro), baritone Thomas Hampson (Count Almaviva), mezzo-soprano Anne Sofie Von Otter (Marcellina), and tenor Rolando Villazón (Basilio).
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Herb Reichert Posted: Jul 28, 2016 1 comments
Pulitzer Prize–winning poet Mary Oliver famously remarked, "attention without feeling . . . is only a report."

After nearly two years of prattling for Stereophile, I am finally grasping the full veracity of that statement. When I read reviews that jabber on about highs, mediums, and lows, and that rely exclusively on nonmusical vocabulary, I come away with feelings of acute cognitive dissonance. Not to mention: if a review has a lot of initialisms—ADD, S/PDIF, DXD, HDMI, etc.—my ADHD kicks in and I stop reading by the third paragraph.

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Fred Kaplan Posted: Jul 28, 2016 2 comments
When I first met Luke Manley, proprietor of VTL, he and his father, David, with whom he ran the company at the time, had recently emigrated from the UK to California. I asked Luke how he liked the West Coast. "Great," he replied. "Much better parts availability." This was about 30 years ago, when I was just immersing myself in high-end audio at a high-toned level. Our exchange gave me a taste of the obsessions ahead, though Luke Manley's single-mindedness through the decades since has been more dogged than many—and, at the same time, less dogmatic.
Art Dudley Posted: Jul 26, 2016 128 comments
I should have seen this coming: Less than a year after the last time I railed against the darkness of cable reviewing—the indignity of crawling around behind my equipment rack, the tedium of comparing one wire to another, the frustration of trying to wring from the experience some fresh and hopefully entertaining observations, the horror of dealing with manufacturers whose hunger for good publicity borders on the vampiric—I have once again invited into my home a cable manufacturer and his wares.
Herb Reichert Posted: Jul 26, 2016 14 comments
Which record player has achieved international acclaim as a musical instrument in its own right?

Which turntable is revered for its near-indestructible build quality?

Which disc spinner has played more records—and made more people drink, drug, dance, and make out—than any other?

Which turntable has sold over three million units?

Hint: It is not made in the US, the UK, China, or Switzerland.

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Jana Dagdagan Posted: Jul 25, 2016 11 comments
A fleeting memory:

Hazy.
Early morning.
I'm sitting outside Penn Station.
Next to me sits Jim Hall.
A boy with an upright bass walks past us.
"Is that a walking bass?" Jim chuckles.
The boy, in passing, raises an eyebrow, glances over.
Keeps walking, doesn't think twice.
Oh, the irony.

If you are a lover or a maker of jazz (or any music at all) you must be a fan of the legendary guitarist Jim Hall. At least, that is the hope I have seared into my mind, as to not completely lose all faith in humanity.

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Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Jul 24, 2016 4 comments
One of the great joys of reviewing is discovering music with ideas so fresh, and harmonic progressions so inventive, that the simple act of listening without distraction inspires unique emotional and intellectual journeys. Such is the case every time I listen to the recent ECM New Series release, Danish String Quartet: Thomas Adès Per Nørgård Hans Abrahamsen.
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Stereophile Staff Posted: Jul 22, 2016 1 comments
Sunday, July 24, from 2-5pm, The Source A/V Design Group (3035 Kashiwa Street, Torrance CA 90505) will host an open house with the LA&OC Audio Society, MBL North America, and Kimber Kable. Ray Kimber, President of Kimber Kable, will talk about his new Axios headphone cables plus the properties and advantages in braided-wire technology while Jeremy Bryant, CEO of MBL North America, will present products from MBL's new Noble Line of electronics, including the N51 integrated amplifier, the N21 stereo amplifier, and the N31 DAC/CD player, using the unique, omnidirectional, MBL Radialstrahler loudspeakers.
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Stereophile Staff Posted: Jul 21, 2016 2 comments
Saturday, July 23, 10am–12pm: Constellation Home Electronics (215 North Guadalupe Street, Santa Fe) will host a digital-audio seminar and listening event designed to equip music enthusiasts with the tools needed to understand, embrace, and optimize digital-audio playback systems.

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