Ariel Bitran
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Ariel Bitran
Ariel Bitran Aug 03, 2012 20 comments
Bvvvzzzssst.

(Ugh.)

Bvvvzzzssst.

(Where am I? Oh. Bed.)

BVVVZZZSST!

“Alright, alright! I’ll get up!” I yelled at my phone. Slowly, I pulled myself out of bed on an early Saturday morning after a long night out. How did I get home? Something was needed in order to wake me up. Zeppelin’s Presence was on the Rega P1. Perfect.

Ariel Bitran
Ariel Bitran Aug 10, 2012 5 comments
Kyle studied Film and TV at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. He had a freakish obsession with penguins and spent hours at a time glued to his Macbook watching downloads of Aaron Sorkin’s The West Wing. I studied marketing at NYU’s Stern School of Business, counted down the days till the release of Guitar Hero I for Playstation Two, and once paid $20 for a broken drummer monkey known as Trick Star because I wanted to feel free and alive. In the summer of 2006, Kyle and I decided to start listening to vinyl. Why? Because vinyl was cool, and we were not.
Ariel Bitran
Ariel Bitran Aug 13, 2012 7 comments
“Hi, Ariel? This is Steve Cohen at In Living Stereo. I just opened up your turntable box. There are some sweatpants in here. Oh, and the tonearm cable is missing.”

“MISSING?”

“Yes.”

Ariel Bitran
Ariel Bitran Dec 14, 2012 0 comments
I've already admitted I have a live music problem, OK? I don't need something awesome like GigFi making my addiction worse. Much much worse.
Ariel Bitran
Ariel Bitran Jun 19, 2013 15 comments
I threw away all of the original jewel cases to my CDs. The CDs themselves are in a Case Logic CD Binder. Before throwing the cases away, I adored each title’s artwork and reminisced on each album’s place in my personal history.

It was hard to say goodbye, but the cases were taking up too much space.

Ariel Bitran, News
Ariel Bitran Apr 23, 2014 0 comments
Many music lovers share a moment in common. On a cloudy evening, you put on a record. Hopefully, it was Rush’s Hemispheres. Most likely, it was Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon. The LP sleeve rested in your lap. The receiver’s meters bobbed gently, and the lights were dimmed just enough so your eyes could transfix on the junction of prism and light that refracts into a rainbow wrapped in black. As those guitars and synthesizers roared, the artwork and its melding with the music allowed you to transcend conceptual planes by uniting abstract visuals with word, rhythm, and melody. For just a moment, the world wasn’t so bland.

The Gralbum Collective are trying to recapture this enlightening experience with the Gralbum, or graphic album, a packaged release of image, word, and song for iPad and iPhone.

Ariel Bitran
Ariel Bitran Aug 22, 2007 2 comments

Happy Birthday to me
Found some speakers for free
In the trash
Sonic cash
Happy Birthday to me

Ariel Bitran
Ariel Bitran Aug 09, 2007 4 comments

As I venture further into the hi-fi universe, I can start to understand what I like and what to listen for in my equipment: natural musical delivery, groove, and clarity. I'm excited.

Ariel Bitran
Ariel Bitran Apr 25, 2013 0 comments
The HiFiMAN RE-400s come with four sets of eartips, flanged and unflanged, and a rubber dongle for wrapping your headphones up safely.

The HiFiMAN RE-400s Waterline cost $99. By definition, waterline is the point where a boat meets the water. According to HiFiMAN representative Peter Hoagland, “waterline” implies these headphones are “reference for its class”. Is HiFiMAN trying to say these headphones float above the rest? Maybe.

Ariel Bitran
Ariel Bitran Feb 07, 2013 13 comments
Stereophile's Assistant Editor Stephen Mejias models the fresh produce

Are you curious to hear J. Gordon Holt's lecture on "Why Hi-Fi Experts Disagree"? Maybe you are yearning for Sam Tellig, the "Audio Anarchist" as identified in the liner notes, to whisper sweet nothings into your ear with his radio-friendly baritone while checking a 1kHz reference tone at –20dB. Or how would you like a dog named Ralph to howl at you while configuring your left and right speakers? All this and more can be found on Stereophile's Test CD 1, now available in the Stereophile eCommerce Store.

Ariel Bitran
Ariel Bitran May 24, 2013 4 comments
In April of 2011, after watching one of the many iterations of The Due Diligence perform at Silent Barn, the soundman made an announcement: “We have a bunch of old music gear for sale in the venue’s basement.” I jumped from my seat.

Dusty guitar amps, dirt-speckled stage light fixtures, and busted drivers piled atop each other on a series of shelves. I inspected each piece of gear carefully. Atop the highest shelf, I found them. Though covered in scratch marks and gum, the logo was clear: Polk Audio. The “i" was dotted with a little heart. I fell in love.

Ariel Bitran Apr 17, 2013 0 comments
Mat Weisfield was ultra-stoked to tell me about VPI's new 3D-printed tonearm. I'll let Art do the explaining, but when I heard the VPI room, images were rock solid and full-bodied through the 3D printed tonearm and nascent VPI Classic Direct. A turntable created out of happenstance, when the chassis for the planned direct-drive Vanquish was not ready for the show, they stuck the Vanquish parts into a Classic chassis and the VPI Classic Direct (approximately $20-25k) was born. Resourceful, those VPI fellas.
Ariel Bitran, News
Ariel Bitran Jan 31, 2013 1 comments
Vladmir Lamm flips the record. The LP1 is on the top of the shelf to his left.

On Wednesday January 29th, 2013, Innovative Audio Video Showrooms hosted the NYC premier of the Lamm LP1 Signature phono preamplifier ($32,790).

Ariel Bitran
Ariel Bitran May 07, 2013 0 comments
Simon Hewitt, Cambridge Audio’s Director of Marketing, visited Stereophile HQ to demonstrate the Cambridge Audio Minx Air one-box Bluetooth system. Hewitt says Cambridge Audio’s business is exploding thanks to the Minx Air. It makes up 15% of Cambridge’s current profits. Meanwhile, Cambridge is busy building more speaker lines as their fathering company, Audio Partnership, fades out mass distribution of Mourdant-Short.

Minx Air is currently available in two sizes, the Minx Air 100 ($449) and the larger Minx Air 200 ($599). It features Airplay, on-board Internet radio, and bass EQ that can be controlled via app. I played three synced Spotify playlist selections transmitted via Bluetooth from my iPhone. At the end, Hewitt asked, “What was that first track you demoed?”

Ariel Bitran
Ariel Bitran Apr 01, 2013 4 comments

In a recent Stereophile.com news item, John Marks informed readers about free online music production classes now offered from the esteemed Berklee College of Music. Seems like JM himself is taking up this opportunity. In this video assigment, JM shares his explanation of the ORTF microphone placement technique for stereo recording.

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