Ariel Bitran
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Ariel Bitran
Ariel Bitran Jan 26, 2012 6 comments

When we first started posting, the Stereophile team was unsure of what would be the result. Would more people buy Attention Screen CDs? Would we get more members to our forums? Or would we just be totally ignored?

Ariel Bitran
Ariel Bitran Dec 01, 2011 12 comments
A Spotify advertisement interrupts my listening. The ad is invisible, embedded in between the lines of my play queue. As it begins, a modern crooner soars over a twinkling piano. This is not the 311 I was just listening to. A voice very politely interrupts: “Hi, this is Bruno Mars.”

I need my riffage! Not ads!

Seconds later, a reminder pops up in my Microsoft Outlook program: “Rdio”

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 Oct 26, 2011 8 comments
The iconic "McIntosh-blue" meter

Lifestyle brand. Let me say it again: Lifestyle brand. Did you just shudder a little? This term terrifies many audiophiles, because for many audiophiles, calling a hi-fi brand a “lifestyle brand” equals a focus on marketing rather than sound. Yet, on the eve of Thursday, October 6th, in a presentation to members of the hi-fi press at the Savant House in the SOHO district of New York City, McIntosh President Charlie Randall comforted us with the news that this would not be the path for McIntosh.

Ariel Bitran
Ariel Bitran Oct 12, 2011 0 comments
Valle del Elqui, Chile. Photo: Alberto Bitran.

For the past few months, my system has been in a serious playback rut. The disc tray on my Oppo DV-980H does not pop out, and my Rega P1 is in unmistakably poor shape: the tonearm cable to connect the tonearm to the cartridge ripped off from the tonearm, one of the tonearm pins ripped off the tonearm cable and is firmly pinned onto the cartridge I never installed (an Audio Technica AT95E), and the needle on my old Ortofon cartridge is bent backwards, which is the reason why I needed to change my cartridge to begin with. I promise, I have reasons for all of this. Not good reasons. Thus, most of my music listening for the past seven months, has been done at work in my cubicle via different digital music streaming services, in the hopes of finding a service that would be fun and functional.

Ariel Bitran
Ariel Bitran Dec 05, 2008 13 comments
"So what are you doing this Friday?" my father asked, trying to elicit information I could tell he already knew.
Ariel Bitran
Ariel Bitran Nov 25, 2008 0 comments

Following that record, I tuned in to Luciano by Luciano Pavarotti, also found in the trash. Pavarotti sang with impact and the timpani were a joy.

Ariel Bitran
Ariel Bitran Nov 18, 2008 0 comments

"Ain't it strange how sounds can let you down / When you're waiting for the one you love."

Ariel Bitran
Ariel Bitran Nov 12, 2008 12 comments

Secondly, we listened to Bobby Womack's The Facts of Life. Actually, I didn't even listen to it. I had to get some guitar stuff prepared for band practice later that evening, but Alex chilled on my couch, listening to the LP.

After Side 1 was over, he screamed, "This guy is AMAZING."

Ariel Bitran
Ariel Bitran Nov 05, 2008 2 comments

We played Scrabble and listened to Brian Eno's Another Green World. The synthesizers were raw, saw-toothed, and gripping, and Eno's volume swells had never been truly appreciated till that night.

Even though he's heard me play the record about a million times, Kyle kept asking, "Who is this playing?"

I think it caught him by surprise this time around.

Ariel Bitran
Ariel Bitran Aug 26, 2008 10 comments

“Good news!” Stephen exclaimed, the second I walked into his office. I saw my Usher S-520s plopped lovingly in my cubicle. “Check your email,” he instructed.

An email from JA read:

I couldn't find anything wrong, Ariel. I measured both speakers and also listened to them…they match very closely—as well as the individual responses of the tweeter and woofer of the sample that didn't have the biwiring jumpers connected.*

Could that have been the problem?

Could this have been the problem…

Could this have been the problem?

COULD THIS HAVE BEEN THE PROBLEM?!

Ariel Bitran
Ariel Bitran Aug 20, 2008 3 comments
Inside were three sets of fat-ass cables. Thick like slabs of bacon, protective like coronary arteries, chunky like the cholesterol in those arteries after the bacon.

Holding them felt safe. Maybe they lacked that luxurious lifestyle appeal of the fancier cables with their shiny colors and intricate woven designs, but that's not what I was looking for. I wanted quality, I wanted sturdiness, I wanted comfort. Only to encourage these feelings of security were the locking banana plugs.

Ariel Bitran
Ariel Bitran Aug 19, 2008 5 comments

Silently, unbeknownst to many out there (not that you should know—but the thoughts are on constant repeat in my head—thus I think the world knows):

I've been building a hi-fi system.

Ariel Bitran
Ariel Bitran Aug 15, 2008 7 comments

But before heading over, Kimmy and I just wanted to sit down and watch a couple episodes of our favorite show, Curb Your Enthusiasm. We got distracted though, as is always the case with my blog entries, where plans change due to interest in more exciting forms of clarity, a better understanding of the world. By this, I'm talking about the new Vizio television my roommate Jason bought. (Hold your horses now! Don't get so riled up. I know this isn't a Home Theater blog, but I'm getting somewhere, kinda.)

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.

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