It began innocently enough. In June, Slate.com published a sampling from an exhibit by the photographer Kai Schaefer, in which classic LPs of different eras were partnered with the similarly classic record players on which they might have been played: Tea for the Tillerman on a Dual 1219, Kind of Blue on a Rek-O-Kut Rondine, Sgt. Pepper's on a Thorens TD 124you get the idea. The photos worked as cultural documents, as good-natured kitsch, as surprisingly beautiful and compelling industrial art.
Death to the Loudness Wars?
Over at The Quietus, Nick Southall speaks with mastering engineer Bob Katz about how iTunes Radio may soon put an end to The Loudness Wars.
The New Old Face of Spendor
Jay Rein of Bluebird Music, the North American distributor for Spendor loudspeakers, has a cool, new idea. Collaborating with designers at Spendor, Rein developed retro-inspired grill for speakers in their Classic line up as well as for the Spendor S3/5R2. Rein visited In Living Stereo in NYC last week for an evening of music and brie to show off the grills.
Rein sent his idea for the grills to Spendor one year ago. Designers sent him back swatches of fabric from which to make his choice.
French Fries from AudioVision San Francisco
The idea was as cute as the chapeaux that Antonio Long, Randy Johnson, and Marlen Kirby (from left to right in photo above) invariably sport at AudioVision SF. Schedule a public demo on November 14 with two French manufacturers, Triangle Loudspeakers and Devialet, and call it "French Fries." Then, however, reality intervened, and an evening that included debuts of two products, Triangle's Signature line Alpha loudspeakers and Nordost's Sort Füt Premium Kit, morphed into a Franco-American feast complete with Norwegian-American trimmings.
The Everything is New Project
The Light of Love Children's Home in Tuni, Andhra Pradesh, India is a refuge for orphaned childrenchildren of parents with HIV, parents who committed suicide, or who were murdered for their property, amongst other calamities.
Turkey & Jazz in NYC
Thanksgiving week is upon us, which means that two of the best bands in jazz are showcased at two of New York’sand possibly the world’sbest clubs. From Tuesday through Sunday, Maria Schneider’s Jazz Orchestra plays at the Jazz Standard (though not on Thanksgiving Day), while Jason Moran’s Bandwagon Trio plays at the Village Vanguard. These gigs have become annual traditions. They sell out fast. Get your tickets now.
The Simpsons Welcome You to MusicVille
In this recent couch gag, the creators of The Simpsons transform their characters into a world of anthropomorphic instruments. Not a detail was missed in creating this music wonderland with piano-toothed dogs, slide-armed Simpsons, and traffic lights shaped like notes on the staff. Mr. Burns threatens tyranny through censorship of all music forms except classical, but the Simpson family and friends soon figure out the music within them cannot be contained.
Swans Speaker Systems Baton Measurements
Sidebar 3: Measurements
Other than impedance, all acoustic measurements were made with the DRA Labs MLSSA system and a calibrated B&K 4006 microphone. To minimize reflections from the test setup, the measuring microphone is flush-mounted inside the end of a long tube.
Swans Speaker Systems Baton System
Sidebar 2: System
The CD player used for my debut Stereophile review was a Kinergetics KCD-20B that I've modified somewhat. (I promise not to modify anything while I'm reviewing it!) Recently, I've been using the best preamp in the world: no preamp at all. What? I don't listen to vinyl? I must not be a real audiophile. The power amplifiers currently in my system are Nelson Passdesigned 15W single-ended "Zen" monoblocks (footnote 1). They have just one large MOSFET in the signal path, and I have to tell you they sound wonderful because I built them.
Swans Speaker Systems Baton Specifications
Sidebar 1: Specifications
Description: Two-way, rear-ported, floorstanding loudspeaker. Drive-units: one 7" coated paper-cone woofer, one 1" soft-dome tweeter. Frequency response: 48Hz18.5kHz, ±3dB. Sensitivity: 90dB/W/m. Nominal impedance: 5 ohms. Maximum power handling: 200W.
Dimensions: 9" W by 11" D by 38" H. Weight: 50 lbs.
Finishes: black fabric with rosewood top, standard; all-rosewood option, $500.
Serial numbers of units reviewed: A4.159 & 160.