Ariel Bitran
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Ariel Bitran
Ariel Bitran Jul 03, 2008 9 comments

I plugged in the little guy, and his little tube started to smile a low, warm orange. While he heated up, I walked over to my record collection. I needed a reference: Where Have I Known You Before by Return to Forever, one of my favorite albums of all time. I plugged my Grado SR60s into the VP129's headphone jack.

Ariel Bitran
Ariel Bitran Jun 27, 2008 6 comments

The Sony Radio Cassette-Corder CFM-10 is an unassuming little piece of electronics. I remember back in 1995, while the devastating Hurricane Opal tore across the state of Alabama, my family crouched on the laundry room floor with a cheap green lantern giving us light. My little sister and I were wrapped up in oversized, itchy wool blankets, laughing and joking, while Opal wreaked havoc and destroyed lives. We listened to the wind howling against the house, huge tree branches cracking and crashing to the ground, as we awaited word from weather-god James Spann who spoke from a little black cassette-corder like the one I had just found.

Ariel Bitran
Ariel Bitran Jun 10, 2008 6 comments

Similarly, hi-end audio is a selfless act. We are workers for the world of music and its performers. The thousands of dollars that audiophiles spend on monstrous loudspeakers and thick, slick cables are not shameless self-indulgences, but expressions of grand devotion to the recreation of an expression, an emotion, a feeling! To truly take someone's words to heart. To find yourself in someone else's soundstage. To give yourself away and believe in somebody else's dreams instead of your own.

Ariel Bitran
Ariel Bitran Oct 10, 2007 9 comments

My congregation! Ladies and Gentlemen! I tell you, there is a Pod! Some heathens choose to ignore him and burn for all eternity in the depths of hell, while Air Supply plays a continual concert of doom. Others have seen the light, and they opt instead for superior listening experiences.

I say, for the hi-fi community, there is hope. When I came to Stereophile, the first assignment Mr. Mejias gave me was to assess how I, as a young person, felt about the world of hi-fi. When my official term of Summer Intern was over, I had nothing. Well, I had a lot of stuff in my head, but nothing that I was ready to post on the blog. There was so much pressure. What had I learned here at Stereophile?!?!

So much.

Ariel Bitran
Ariel Bitran Sep 18, 2007 5 comments

Stephen has challenged me to build a system with just $1000.

I need to think fast. My requirements for the system are loudspeakers, preamp/power amp, phono stage, turntable, CD player... Shit. $1000! That's it? I'll use the 2008 Buyer's Guide data and see what I can do...

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 Jul 20, 2007 1 comments

Bill: This is Bill.
Ariel: Hi Bill, this is Ariel from Stereophile magazine. How are you?
B: Why are you calling?

Ariel Bitran
Ariel Bitran Jul 17, 2007 0 comments
Invisible airwaves
crackle with life
bright antennae bristle
with the energy
Ariel Bitran
Ariel Bitran Jul 13, 2007 0 comments

Madonna wakes me up at 9:30 A.M. Her little paws tap my cheeks. My eyes slowly open. The queen of pop's little furry face smiles down at me, whiskers tickling my cheek.

Ariel Bitran
Ariel Bitran Jul 09, 2007 7 comments

So I've been banned from avidlistener.com.

I exceeded the 644-click limit.

Ariel Bitran
Ariel Bitran Jun 22, 2007 3 comments

But after careful deliberation, I realized that my dream was actually telling me to get some new speakers.

Ariel Bitran
Ariel Bitran Nov 19, 2012 8 comments
Three weeks ago, I published my top five guitar solos, a subjective list based entirely on the guitarists’ ability to move my soul through their combination of note selection and technical wizardry. These self-imposed standards led to many obvious guitarists being left off the list in favor of some less-spoken for guitar heroes with a penchant for inspiration and resourcefulness. Now I’m putting the power in your hands. Using my original list plus your suggestions in the comments section, I created a collaborative Spotify playlist titled “Stereophile - Greatest Guitar Solos Ever”. You are all invited to add songs to this list and share what you feel are the most important leads of all time. It’s a guitar solo potluck where you can hear what other playlist subscribers have to offer as well as showcase your own tastes. Open the playlist in Spotify via this link or in your web browser here. Drag songs from different artists and albums to the playlist on the left-panel of the Spotify interface to add your choices to the list. Have fun!
Ariel Bitran, News
Ariel Bitran 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
Ariel Bitran Mar 21, 2013 9 comments
Photo by Lalupa, Wikimedia Commons

There sat the hi-fi. Untouched. Unplayed. Unlistenable. Bass resonances continued to torment my sound. Geddy Lee, Paul McCartney, and Sting all produced loose and exaggerated bass energies in unnatural ways. I was constantly perplexed with the unevenness in my bass response. Despite hours of tinkering with speaker placement hindered by random obstructions, namely a queen-size bed, a poorly positioned radiator, and stacks of guitar amps, the bass resonances remained.

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