The December 2010 issue of Stereophile is now on newsstands. On the cover you’ll see the Ayre DX-5 “Universal A/V Engine.” This thing slices, it dices, it juliennes, and even Mikey likes it. Really: The DX-5 plays Blu-ray, DVD-V, DVD-A, SACD, CD, CD-R, and every other combination of “C,” “D,” and “V” you can think of, and, with its front-panel USB input, it becomes a music sever, too.
With the news that Rega had replaced their esteemed P1 record player with the $445 RP-1, many wondered what would come of the company’s P2 player. Wedged between the new RP-1 and the P3-24, the $545 P2 seemed like an unnecessary step in an otherwise logical product line.
The system: An Integra disc player, Pro-Ject Debut III turntable, Cambridge Audio Azur 540A integrated amplifier, and Bellari VP129 phono preamp.
I didn’t even know there was an Ottawa in Ohio. But there is. Turns out to be a village in the northwest section of the state, about 155 miles west of Cleveland. The Mayor is Kenneth A. Maag, and in 2009, the village celebrated its 175th anniversary. Can you believe that? The Village of Ottawa has a population of 4,367, and among them are at least two music lovers.
I hope you’ve had an opportunity to listen to our October 2010 “Recording of the Month,” the evil and often hilarious Grinderman 2. On Sunday, I got to see the band play at the Best Buy Theater in Times Square. (The strangeness of seeing Grinderman perform at a place called “Best Buy Theater” is surpassed, albeit slightly, by the fact that the show took place on a Sunday, the Day of Our Lord.)
DeVore Fidelity Gibbons, in cherry and bamboo and rosewood cabinets, in all shapes and sizes and states of life. Some of these little sweethearts may never see the light of day, while others may wind up in the home of some happy music lover.
The self-titled album by Guano Padano, released earlier this year by Important Records, is a joy. The band, an Italian three-piece (Alessandro Stefana, Zeno de Rossi, and Danilo Gallo), is joined by Alessandro Alessandroni (whistler, best known for his work in Ennio Morricone’s soundtracks), Gary Lucas (Captain Beefheart/Jeff Buckley guitarist), Chris Speed (clarinet player with Tim Berne, Uri Caine, and John Zorn), and Italian singer, Bobby Solo, who does a fine rendition of Hank Williams’ “Ramblin’ Man.” Awesome album; great sound, too.
On Saturday, November 6, John DeVore of DeVore Fidelity hosted a Monkeyhaus Listening Party at his Brooklyn Navy Yard factory. If not for the pictures, a selection of which I’ll post over the next three days, I might not remember the event at allnot because the party was forgettable, but because we had so much fun.
Puerto Rico was wonderful, as always. We stayed at a place called Bello Horizonte, a comfortable home away from home, hidden atop a palm-covered hill in the sandy town of Rincon, where every road leads to the ocean. (I highly recommend it. The house sleeps six in three bedrooms, has two bathrooms, a wide-open patio with two hammocks, a very fine grill, washer and dryer, and a pool that looks down the hill and onto the nearby beaches. Full disclosure: My aunt rents the house; so, yeah, I want you to go there and give my aunt your money.) Our days were spent by the pool or on the beach (or at the bar on the beach), relaxing and laughing. My favorite moment was walking into the glittering, blue-green sea, with a six-pack of Coronas in one hand and a coconut in the other.
I’ll be up by 3am tomorrow morning, on my way to JFK International Airport to board an early flight to Aguadilla, Puerto Rico. Once in Aguadilla, we will rent a small car and drive a few miles to my aunt’s guest house, which is situated atop a lovely little hill in the great beach town of Rincon. I will spend the next five days there, drinking rum and thinking about nothing in particular.