Ariel Bitran

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Ariel Bitran Posted: May 08, 2012 0 comments
Photo by Terrell Clark

Friday, May 11, at 5pm: Sight + Sound (Studioplex, G8, 659 Auburn Avenue, Old Fourth Ward, Atlanta, GA) hosts its grand opening as both a contemporary art gallery and high-end audio equipment retailer. The gallery will showcase artwork from local artists while exhibiting gear from T+A, Nordost, and Elipson.

Ariel Bitran Posted: Apr 15, 2013 0 comments
Simplifi Audio room would be a priority on my first day since I missed them entirely last year where they apparently kicked much booty. Hosted by the amicable duo of Daniel Weiss of Weiss Audio and Tim Ryan of Simplifi Audio, a San Diego-based distributor, their large room was devoted to three different systems that were demoed throughout the weekend. The one I heard and pictured above is the Klangwerk Ella 2-way active speaker system ($7,495) fed by the Weiss DAC202 ($6966) and Weiss MAN301 Network Player ($9083; $12,262 with internal DAC), and Integrita Audiophile Music Server (approximately $6000).
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Ariel Bitran Posted: Mar 20, 2013 2 comments
Advertising Manager Ed DiBenedetto models the Viper Head.

JA tapped my shoulder: “Do you like headphones?”

“You know I do!” I enthused.

“OK. Give me just a second.”

John Atkinson is never this mysterious. It must be something awesome.

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Ariel Bitran Posted: Feb 01, 2013 18 comments
Today, Sony announced an end to production on all MiniDisc players. In a few years, MiniDisc production will cease as well. I know what you're asking yourself: "They still make those things?". But the MiniDisc was cool, if slightly deficient, and like many extinct formats, to some music lovers, it meant a lot.
Ariel Bitran Posted: Apr 18, 2013 2 comments
There it was again, that damned canned jazz. This time it poured out in buckets from the tremendous Spendor Classic SP100R2 loudspeaker ($11,500/pair) pumped by the 160 Watt JA 200 Monoblocks from Jadis ($25,995/pair). This had to be stopped.
Ariel Bitran Posted: Apr 17, 2013 1 comments
This year, the surprising lack of SRV (and overabundance of easy listening) made me glad to hear his perennial cover of “Little Wing” through Sony’s new and more “affordable” SS-NA2ES floorstanding loudspeakers ($10,000/pair) through Pass Labs amplification. Last year’s system impressed me thoroughly, striking a balance between romance and detail. This year’s system favored speed and attack accenting flourishes I had never heard before in SRV’s Hendrix cover but sounding a bit cool on “Breaking Silence” by Janice Ian.
Ariel Bitran Posted: Apr 17, 2013 1 comments
JPS Labs leaps into the world of headphones with the Abyss: a highly customizable head-gripping $5495 listening device. More info on these intense cans be found on their website.
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Ariel Bitran Posted: Feb 15, 2013 0 comments
It opens in a field or maybe an orchestra house. Pastoral and slow-moving strings set the stage. Written as a musical accompaniment to Sebastian Hartmann’s theater adaptation of Tolstoy’s War and Peace, Apparat’s Krieg Und Frieden is desolate yet tinged with reflection and hope, like Wyeth’s Christina’s World or the ending to a Kurosawa film. Harmonies in continuous ascent intersect with subdued blasts of air and dirt. The occasional soulful vocal provides a lyrical back-story to the desolation: “Deserted hopes / Deserted eyes / Deserted souls / Deserted lies,” and then an alternative, “Turn a light on, Turn a light on.” Like Tolstoy’s work, the listener is never sure if the music is about suffering or the triumph within the pain.
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Ariel Bitran Posted: Dec 12, 2012 2 comments
Photos by Ariel Bitran

With its asphalt black casework, divine symmetry, and two front-facing gold-capped passive radiators, the gently-curved TDK Life on Record Wireless boombox screams thick gold chains and Adidas track-suits, but its elegant layout and sleek lines keep the design from being retro. At Pepcom, three whisky-sodas deep, the pulsing passive radiators beckoned me. I know this is Stereophile, a magazine committed to stereo listening, but how could I say no to a boombox I could hold on my shoulder at a basketball game at the Parade Grounds and actually look like I fit in. Well, maybe not me, but the boombox for sure.

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Ariel Bitran Posted: Nov 25, 2013 0 comments
The Light of Love Children's Home in Tuni, Andhra Pradesh, India is a refuge for orphaned children—children of parents with HIV, parents who committed suicide, or who were murdered for their property, amongst other calamities. In The Everything is New Project, Scotland-based arts collective Transgressive North and charity organization Scottish Love in Action have developed three albums of music around recordings of these children as the Light of Love Children's Choir.
Ariel Bitran Posted: Apr 18, 2013 0 comments
Photo by Alberto Bitran

On the wild and wacky social news and entertainment website reddit, there exists a subforum of curious, experienced, less-than experienced, and mostly kindly audiophiles who share pictures, experiences, and knowledge about their hi-fi adventures. Reddit meetups are a part of reddit culture, and prior to the show, we had big plans for this Saturday get together to take place at the Palace hotel lobby: a meet and greet, an epic photograph, and fried chicken! Apparently, not showing up for reddit meetups is also part of reddit culture.

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Ariel Bitran Posted: Nov 27, 2013 5 comments
Jay Rein of Bluebird Music, the North American distributor for Spendor loudspeakers, has a cool, new idea. Collaborating with designers at Spendor, Rein developed retro-inspired grill for speakers in their Classic line up as well as for the Spendor S3/5R2. Rein visited In Living Stereo in NYC last week for an evening of music and brie to show off the grills.
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Ariel Bitran Posted: Jun 13, 2013 Published: Jun 14, 2013 1 comments
Mike Browning and his new Skullcandy Navigators were totally meant for each other. With his sick, short mohawk and the Navigator's acid-blue tinted and sunglasses-shaped earcups, it just doesn’t get any cooler than these two.
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Ariel Bitran Posted: Apr 11, 2012 1 comments

Saturday–Sunday, April 14–15, 10am–5pm: Lyric HiFi (1221 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY) invites audiophiles to listen to an assortment of systems, interact with representatives from brands such as McIntosh, Focal, and Audio Research, and qualify to purchase demo units at 20% off, all part of The Show at Lyric HiFi.

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Ariel Bitran Posted: Apr 05, 2012 14 comments

Friday–Sunday, April 13–15, 10am–8pm: Stereo Exchange (627 Broadway, New York, NY) will host a weekend-long series of demonstrations from key players in the hi-fi industry including but not limited to an Einstein-haired speaker designer, young gun salesman, and the king of kables.

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