Ariel Bitran
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Ariel Bitran Apr 17, 2013 7 comments
I saw her first in the Clue room. She exited at the same time as random bald man #72. Were they together? I’m not sure, but the dangerously punchy sound was not helping my listening fatigue. I left. She walked into the Audio Doctor’s KEF Blade display. Should I follow her? That would be weird.

A gentleman from Music First Audio started talking to me and pointing at my camera: “We have a colorful preamp for you to take pictures of.”

“No thanks.”

Ariel Bitran
Ariel Bitran Jun 18, 2013 11 comments
Photo by Bowers & Wilkins

On Thursday, June 13th, British hi-fi mainstay Bowers & Wilkins and Italian luxury car manufacturer Maserati brought their Seven Notes World Tour to the Industria Superstudio in New York City’s Meatpacking District. The event presented the B&W-designed in-car audio system, the new B&W 805 Maserati Edition loudspeaker, and a performance from Howie B.

Ariel Bitran
Ariel Bitran May 21, 2012 7 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 May 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!

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Links:
The MOG May 2012 Playlist: Inflections

The Spotify May 2012 Playlist: What is a Song?

The May 2012 Playlists were a tough one to make at first. I was having technical difficulties with MOG. Whenever I paused Carolin Widmann and Alexander Longquich’s Schubert performances, the playback buffering would freeze and restart from the beginning of the album. MOG resolved this issue internally, as it was not happening the next day, but it was nevertheless frustrating. I could not get up to pee without having to restart the Rondo in B Minor, D. 895, Op. 70. First-world problems.

Ariel Bitran, Interviews
Ariel Bitran Dec 19, 2013 5 comments
Earlier this month, our all-analog coverage counterpart AnalogPlanet announced the release of the Nomad, a brand new entry-level turntable from American hi-fi manufacturer VPI Industries. For $995, The VPI Industries Nomad turntable includes a built-in phono preamplifier, unbalanced output, a set of Grado Labs iGrado around-the-neck headphones, headphone output, and an Ortofon 2M Red cartridge. This instant listening package was the brainchild of Mat Weisfeld, son of company founder Harry Weisfeld. Mat Weisfeld is now the President of VPI Industries. I had the opportunity to visit the factory and ask Weisfeld a few questions just before the official announcement of the Nomad.
Ariel Bitran Apr 13, 2013 0 comments
The audiophile press seemed a surprisingly patient bunch. After following the incredibly well indicated signs placed by the Chester Group to the Fourth Floor of the New York Palace, reporters and photographers waited subserviently in a four-person line to receive our press badges. At the counter, Art Dudley, columnist and Editor-at-Large for Stereophile, and Jeff Dorgay, publisher at Tone Audio, chummed it up.
Ariel Bitran Apr 16, 2013 0 comments
rrill Wettasingh of Merrill Audio says his class-D Veritas Monoblock amplifiers are "not for tube lovers." The crimson or black chassis is made of a solid 60lb billet of aluminum. Allowing only spade connection for the "best and biggest" sound, these 400 watt (8 ohms) power-houses seek "audio purity" rather than coloration, according to Wettasingh.
Ariel Bitran
Ariel Bitran Oct 03, 2012 1 comments

In this video, Stereophile columnist and Analog Planet Editor Michael Fremer and Gary Dell'Abate (aka Baba Booey), producer of the Howard Stern Show, compare the virtues of analog playback to MP3, discuss the release of Nirvana's Nevermind on the spinning black circle, and Mikey coins the phrase 'the viral spread of vinyl.'

Ariel Bitran
Ariel Bitran Jan 04, 2013 3 comments
“Dude, I have a huge stack of records you should probably take a look at, tons from Tía Viví, Dad, Mom, and Bobe. There’s probably some stuff in there you can take with you,” Alberto advised.

“It’s fine bro. We’re gonna go record shopping on Saturday.”

“Dude. Just look!”

“I’m good for now. Trust me.”

My brother should not have tickled the monster’s belly.

Ariel Bitran
Ariel Bitran Jul 17, 2012 2 comments
It had been many years since Stephen or I had been to Irving Plaza, but an invitation from Klipsch would grant us another encounter. Performances that evening included neo-punk new wave group the Tom Tom Club featuring Tina Weymouth (bass) and Chris Frantz (drums), both of the Talking Heads, opening for headliner the Psychedelic Furs, a band iconic for their soundtrack chart-topper “Pretty in Pink”.

In a partnership with Live Nation, Irving Plaza, a Live Nation-owned venue, redubbed itself “Irving Plaza Powered by Klipsch” as we discovered on the billboard under the marquee.

Ariel Bitran Apr 16, 2013 0 comments
Few hi-fi brands seem to have the omnipresence in the consumer electric goods market as MartinLogan, likely because of their affordable prices and non-invasive aesthetics. Yet, I’ve never gotten a chance to hear them, only see them inside a Best Buy. I found a Grateful Dead Dick’s Picks from 5/22/77 in Pembroke Pines, Florida in their stack of CDs.
Ariel Bitran
Ariel Bitran Jul 10, 2008 6 comments

There are some people in the industry who now know my name or at least know of me. Urs Wagner from Ensemble always chats me up. I should give him a ring. Hart Huschens from Audio Advancements is another sweet soul who treats me with respect. And I have spent a good amount of time talking to Creston Funk from Concert Sound.

Alas, there is some humanity behind the Buyer's Guide.

Ariel Bitran, News
Ariel Bitran Nov 14, 2011 1 comments

John Johnsen, NHT’s Owner and Director of Marketing, shows off his new SuperPowers.

On an early Thursday morning on November 10th, 2011, NHT’s John Johnsen presented his new SuperPower powered desktop loudspeaker ($398/pair) to members of the hi-fi and consumer electronics press.

Ariel Bitran
Ariel Bitran Feb 28, 2013 10 comments
I would be ashamed of myself if I did not share this with you.
Ariel Bitran
Ariel Bitran May 28, 2013 133 comments
Rune Skov shows off the new Nordost Valhalla 2 interconnect ($9799/2m pair) next to his sweet Nordost tattoo.

On Tuesday May 28th, 2013, Nordost premiered the Valhalla 2 cable lineup at Lyric Hi-Fi in New York City. Rune Skov, International Product Training & Sales Support Manager for Nordost, gave a demonstration to a garrulous group of audiophiles who joyfully suggested what differences they heard as Skov switched out each old Valhalla cable for the new one.

Ariel Bitran
Ariel Bitran Feb 14, 2012 0 comments

The March 2012 issue of Stereophile features the stunning Sonus Faber Amati Futura loudspeaker on the cover.

As we sent the March issue for delivery to the printing presses, the April issue sat in queue for multiple rounds of edits. At the same time, the editors, writers, and a lowly editorial assistant lay the building blocks for the May issue to be released two months away. With the constant influx of communication regarding dates present, future, and future’s future, it is hard to know what month we are ever really living in, and it is a time-bending wonder whenever the new issue of Stereophile shows up on our desks. So with great excitement, we announce to you Stereophile March 2012, Volume 35, Number 3.

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