Ariel Bitran

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Ariel Bitran Posted: Aug 26, 2013 42 comments
It was hot—the kind of hot where the second you get out of the shower, you start sweating. My ceiling fan could’ve provided relief, but the repeated clink of its pull-chain added an offbeat to the music. My goal was to analyze my system’s current strengths and weaknesses and define my “reference sound”. The fan had to go. It was time to listen.
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Ariel Bitran Posted: Jun 12, 2013 8 comments
I spent about sixteen hours last weekend studying a rainbow of frequency anomalies and the subdivisions in which they lie. Why? Because I am an audiophile, and it is fun. Also, it’s my job.

After reading the all-encompassing Audio Glossary at Stereophile.com from front-to-back, I rewrote the glossary as a bulleted list reflecting an organized critical listening process to utilize in the future.

Sections include ‘Midrange: 160—1300Hz,’ ‘Soundstaging and Imaging,’ and the seductive ‘Pleasurable Excess’. In the process, I got to know words I thought I understood a little better, learned about sonic situations like a chocolaty sound, comb filtering, and the venetian blind effect, and drew out differences between words that seemed similar but are not quite, such as “accuracy”, a qualifier to describe how truthful a system is to recreating the incoming signal but not necessarily how much the system sounds like the real thing, versus “realism”, a term used to describe a system’s sound only if the recording being evaluated is truthful to the acoustic event. So if you have an accurate system and put on a recording that captures an excellent live performance and true timbres of the instruments in a pleasant-sounding acoustical space, you’ll be just as happy as a pig in… well, you know what.

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Ariel Bitran Posted: Nov 03, 2012 35 comments
In this list, I give you my top five guitar solos of all time. Various characteristics were considered for placement on this list: technical skill, melodic composition and framework, pop sensibility, harmonization, but no value was considered more important than ‘does it move me?’

There are no numbers indicating whether one is first or fifth. If the solo is listed here, it is simply one of the best.

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Ariel Bitran Posted: Jul 17, 2007 0 comments
Invisible airwaves
crackle with life
bright antennae bristle
with the energy
Ariel Bitran Posted: Apr 18, 2013 15 comments
In an effort to control crowds, build anticipation, and give each listener a comfortable chance at the MBL experience, MBL and partnering dealer Sensorium AV provided twenty tickets to each of their hourly shows. MBL upped the ante this year with a multi-channel demonstration.

There was certainly a lot of hype surrounding the room: the long lines waiting to get in the demo, the even longer lines waiting for tickets, and the crushing riffs of Rush’s “YYZ” emanating out into the hallway. Attendees strolled out of the room giggling and carrying gift bags. While all the other rooms at this hi-fi show were the same walk-in, knock on the speakers, and walk-out ordeal, MBL and Sensorium AV wanted to make this an experience to remember.

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Ariel Bitran Posted: Apr 23, 2012 5 comments
Stereophile is not all about reviewing hi-fi, and thanks to our all-knowing and thrill-seeking Music Editor, Robert Baird, we cover exciting new releases in each monthly issue for you to consider on your hi-fi escapades. In this post, I listen to all records we reviewed available on streaming services MOG and Spotify from our April 2012 issue, provide my own two-cents, and link to the playlists from the two services. With a premium account, one can stream at 320kbps Ogg Vorbis files from Spotify, and MOG users can stream 320kbps MP3s for free!

******

Links:
The MOG April 2012 Playlist: A Pensive Month

The Spotify April 2012 Playlist: Pure Fun

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Ariel Bitran Posted: Nov 27, 2012 Published: Nov 28, 2012 3 comments
Amidst the concrete bodegas and basketball court fences of Bushwick, there rests a blue-lit doorway hiding strange and warm sounds. A sustained piano, tinkling cymbals, and alien coos float across a colorful hall of books and busted boomboxes. A trumpet blasts and whizzes downwards as the bass plods on. What you hear is Attention Screen, a free-jazz-something super-group featuring budget loudspeaker specialist and all-around nice guy Bob Reina on the piano and special guest Stereophile Editor John “Entwistle” Atkinson on the electric bass. The show takes place at 8pm this Friday, November 30th at Goodbye Blue Monday (1087 Broadway) in Brooklyn, NY.
Ariel Bitran Posted: Apr 18, 2013 0 comments
After listening to multi-thousand buck systems in nearly every room during the NYAS, the Audioengine room was a friendly reminder that great sound can be had without spending huge sums of money. In my first time hearing the powered Audioengine A2s ($199/pair), I fell for their appreciative sense of space and tone-full textures. Whether it was Andrea Bocelli or No Doubt, the Audioengines pumped the music with power and yet treated it with respect.
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Ariel Bitran Posted: Oct 04, 2012 4 comments
Last night at top floor of the Trump Soho Hotel (New York, NY), the design-oriented firm B&O announced the release of the BeoPlay A9 as part of their new B&O PLAY lineup of products. The BeoPlay A9 is a single active speaker system designed for seamless integration into home environments. The A9 streams music wirelessly from the customers iPhone, iPad or Android device using AirPlay or your DLNA network.

During their presentation to the press, B&O suggested that this product was not necessarily made for the audiophile but instead those interested in design and feeling enriched by one’s surroundings. Apparently, this message did not sink through to the other geeky writers. During the Q&A, reporters continued to prod whether the BeoPlay A9 could be used in stereo mode with two BeoPlays, to which B&O representatives affirmed that it could, but it was not designed for that intent. While the BeoPlay A9 was designed to sound good, more importantly it was designed to look good.

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Ariel Bitran Posted: May 08, 2013 2 comments
On Wednesday May 8th, 2013, B&O announced the release of the H6 over-ear headphone ($399) and H3 in-ear monitor ($249). Long known as a lifestyle brand that embraces both excellent sound and excellent design, B&O’s H6 and H3s promise no different.

Nicolaj Shabtai, Category Manager for B&O Play, explained the products’ three priorities: "outstanding sound, design for life & style, and quality materials."

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Ariel Bitran Posted: Feb 08, 2013 12 comments
Photo created by reddit user will_evans10199

This morning, I revisited Stereophile's office sample of Beats Studio headphones ($299.95).

At one point, my naive ears loved these headphones.

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Ariel Bitran Posted: Nov 06, 2012 0 comments
The Palo Alto Main Library

Saturday, November 10, 11am–3pm: Audio High (165 Moffett Boulevard, Mountain View, CA) hosts another vinyl sale to benefit the Friends of Palo Alto Library. Last year’s sale generated more than $1700 to benefit the Palo Alto Library, a cultural pillar to Santa Clara County community.

Some LPs that will be hallmarked for this sale include a Zappa collection, an assortment of French pop and avant-garde LPs, and as the “usual selection of hard-to-find rock and jazz titles.” Musical Surroundings and Clearaudio representatives will be at the benefit to answer turntable related questions and showcase their products.

Ariel Bitran Posted: Apr 19, 2013 0 comments

At the end of each day of the New York Audio Show, I asked attendees, "What's the best sound you've heard today?"

Ariel Bitran Posted: Apr 15, 2013 2 comments
My first stop on Day One was just around the corner from the pressroom: Ciamara’s big-time system with the massive TAD Reference One loudspeakers ($80,000/pair). Ciamara’s young and passionate Chairman and CEO Sanjay Patel welcomed me with a smile. Patel established his New York City shop five years ago by hiring a team of engineers to focus their efforts on the craft of high-end audio home installations.
Ariel Bitran Posted: Apr 18, 2013 0 comments
Although their designer Hanz Deutsch has spent the past ten years making pianos, he’s spent the past forty building loudspeakers. As trained opera singer and sound engineer, Brodmann brings the philosophies of instrument design to his loudspeakers. The speakers had a lively quality rich in harmonics. As the bow bounced off the strings of a violin, the Brodmanns recreated the reverberations as if next to the violin’s chamber. At the show, the company displayed their Jospeh Brodmann Concert Series ($39,900/pair), the Vienna Class Series ($24,900/pair), and Festival Series ($4500/pair), as pictured above from right to left.

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