Ariel Bitran
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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
Ariel Bitran Jul 12, 2012 2 comments
On Monday, July 2, 2012, Beats Electronic LLC, the company most popular for their bass-bumping and market-dominating Beats™ by Dr. Dre™ headphones, announced their acquisition of on-demand music service MOG, a music streaming service that offers users access to over 16 million songs via wired or wireless connection.

MOG users can access their vast library of music and user-created playlists through an internet browser-based website platform, connection to a streaming device on a home network like the Logitech Squeezebox Touch, or by streaming to a mobile device. Speaking of mobile devices, guess who else is in cahoots with Beats? In August 2011, Taiwanese mobile device manufacturer HTC acquired a 51% stake in Beats, a purchase equal to about $300 million dollars. This partnership allowed for HTC to integrate Beats Sound Systems into their phones.

Ariel Bitran
Ariel Bitran Jun 13, 2012 4 comments
“Dude. Whatever,” jabbed my drummer.

“But I need new over-ears,” I pleaded.

“What do you want me to do about it?”

“Nothing, I guess. Maybe show some sympathy?”

“Fuck off.”

It was getting serious. I was getting my drummer involved, but he didn’t care.

He didn’t care that my Sony MDR-V150s distorted at high volumes and always pinched out a chunk of hair from my balding scalp after I took them off. He didn’t understand that my favorite Grado SR60s (More SR60 links: Corey Greenberg’s review and Jim Austin’s review) had a broken earpiece frame rendering themselves un-wearable in stereo. Even some Grado SR125s that JA brought in for me to borrow were dead in one channel, and the headband on Stereophile’s sample of Monster Beats Studio had a crack down the center. I did not want to break them with further use. Listening to music in my cubicle had become near-impossible. My in-ear headphones hurt after an extended periods of use (that includes 8 hours at a desk); plus, the right channel in my Etymoic ER6s is silent. I always feel awkward playing music lightly through my desktop speakers, barely interrupting everyone else around me. I need it loud, and I need it to myself.

Then the Sennheiser HD 428s came into to my life.

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!

******

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
Ariel Bitran May 09, 2012 30 comments
At the 2012 NYC hi-fi show, I was chastised by a random showgoer for using a “dynamic-less” recording as a reference in the Legacy room. Now with the help of the Unofficial Dynamic Range Database, I can find the dynamic range measurements of many of my favorite recordings, including the record ridiculed by one spiteful audiophile. Was he right about its dynamics?

Ariel Bitran, News
Ariel Bitran 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
Ariel Bitran Apr 26, 2012 0 comments

Wabaam! Another month, another Stereophile. My how time flies when you are reviewing hi-fi.

Compared to the enormous April issue that hosts our chunky Recommended Components listing, May is petite but still packs a powerful punch loaded with insights and audio enhancers. Enhancers you ask? What might those be? Well how about bell bronze gongs! And magic fuses! And audio to make you cream…I mean, P.W.B.’s Electret Cream, which according to AD, just might work if you rub it in the right place.

Ariel Bitran
Ariel Bitran 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

Ariel Bitran, News
Ariel Bitran 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.

Ariel Bitran, News
Ariel Bitran 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.

Ariel Bitran
Ariel Bitran Mar 22, 2012 4 comments

It has been a strange winter. Now approaching what is formally known as spring, I’m not sure if we ever even made it out of autumn! Forty-five degrees Fahrenheit in the middle of February in New York City? What in the hell is going on?

Similar to how the seasons from 2011 to 2012 have melded together into the longest autumn, the shipping out of each issue of Stereophile becomes a blur as well. As I discussed in my last on newsstands March article, we are never really sure what month we are living in here at the Stereophile office, much less the month of the issue we are working on, except for when we are compiling April Issue. We always know when we’re working on the April.

Why’s that?

Ariel Bitran
Ariel Bitran Mar 15, 2012 5 comments
Over @Stereophile, we received a tweet from follower Henry Gessau:

Henry Gessau. Henry Gessau! Who is this mysterious chap? He must be some time-travelling, sound-saving avenger! Color photography was not widely available until the 1950s, so based on his profile picture, Henry must have lived sometime between the years 1850 and 1950 and then tweeted into the future! But forget the man. What about his message?

Ariel Bitran
Ariel Bitran Mar 13, 2012 3 comments

From February 28 until March 04, 2012, the Kurt Rosenwinkel Quartet got cozy in the dark and welcoming Village Vanguard for six evenings and 12 evocative sets of guitar-work and authoritative musicianship. Rosenwinkel partnered with friends Eric Revis (bass), Aaron Parks (piano), and the band young’n Justin Faulkner (drums).

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.

Ariel Bitran
Ariel Bitran Feb 03, 2012 2 comments

Here at the Stereophile office, we listen to lots of different tunes ranging from Bach to Fucked Up to Sylvester, but in the Bitran/Mejias cubicle, there has been a recent resurgence in our passion for POPULAR music.

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