Hegel Music Systems H160 integrated amplifier Page 2
Hegel Music Systems H160 integrated amplifier
For decades, I read all the British and American audio magazines, and I pretty much believed everything written thereinwith one exception. The equipment reviews published in Stereo Review had an off-puttingly disingenuous quality. I learned a lot from the magazine's reviews of recordings and loudspeakers, but every time senior editor Julian Hirsch wrote that any amp with sufficiently high power, low measured distortion, and high damping factor would sound the same as any other with similar qualifications, I felt estranged from my favorite hobby. Stereo Review's arrogance came off as duplicitous and self-serving. The magazine seemed committed to stamping out all forms of individualized audio connoisseurship.
The Fifth Element #91 Contacts
"I don't know what I think on that one. I haven't written about it yet."Walter Lippmann (attributed)
As sometimes happens, this started out to be a very different column. But by the time I was a thousand words into it, I found that my point of view had changed.
A number of months ago, I received from a Canadian company called BIS Audio a review sample of their Expression interconnect: a shielded, unbalanced interconnect terminated with Eichmann BulletPlugs (RCA). Priced at $480 Canadian per 1m pair, the Expression falls squarely in the middle of BIS's interconnect line: a lowish range for high-end audio, and suggestive of a manufacturer that values value.
The Fifth Element #91 Page 2
The Fifth Element #91
The business of high-end audio can fascinate me almost as much as does high-end audio itself. Designers and entrepreneurs such as Frank McIntosh, Avery Fisher, Saul Marantz, Edgar Villchur
(AR), David Hafler
(Dynaco), and Henry Kloss
(AR, KLH, Advent, Advent Video, Cambridge Soundworks, Tivoli Audio) combined technical brilliance and varying levels of business skill with flairs for publicity and marketing. Many of their products became objects of desire, and some became household names in the post-WWII era. Of that list, only McIntosh and Marantz are still in business as high-end audio companiesthe latter relatively affordable, the former exclusive.
Maria Schneider Orchestra, The Thompson Fields
As readers of this space know, I'm a huge admirer of Maria Schneider's music, but her latest, The Thompson Fields
(on the ArtistShare label), breaks through to a new level. It's her most ambitious recording, and her most accomplished; it places her in the pantheon of big-band composer-leaders, just below Ellington, Strayhorn, and Gil Evans at his very best; it's a masterpiece...The Maria Schneider Orchestra is playing at Birdland, in Midtown Manhattan, through June 6.
THE Show Newport 2015: That's A Wrap
One of the most delightful annual surprises of the now departed Las Vegas installment of THE Show was stumbling upon the NFS (Not For Sale) room. Assembled by the distinguished personage known as Buddha, it allowed visitors to become submerged in a combination of post-psychedelic revelry, good sound, lots of free booze, and a total absence of hawking...
Jason's Day 3 at THE Show
Resolving to get an early start, I skipped breakfast and hit the show floor at 10:30am on Sunday. Will Kline of Fine Sounds (left) and Sunil Merchant (right) of Covina, CA's Sunny's Components were justifiably proud of the simply beautiful midrange created by the marriage of Wilson Audio Alexia loudspeakers ($52,000/pair) and Audio Research components. This wasn't the most transparent of systems I auditioned, but it was unquestionably among the most musical.