Recommended Components

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Stereophile Staff Posted: Mar 24, 2014 29 comments
Components listed here have been formally reviewed in Stereophile and have been found to be among the best available in each of four or five quality classes. Whether a component is listed in Class A or Class E, we highly recommend its purchase.

Each listing-in alphabetical order within classes-is followed by a brief description of the product's sonic characteristics and a code indicating the Stereophile Volume and Issue in which that product's report appeared. Thus the September 2013 issue is indicated as "Vol.36 No.9."

Stereophile Staff Posted: Jul 18, 2013 14 comments

Components listed here have been formally reviewed in Stereophile and have been found to be among the best available in each of four or five quality classes. Whether a component is listed in Class A or Class E, we highly recommend its purchase.

Each listing—in alphabetical order within classes—is followed by a brief description of the product's sonic characteristics and a code indicating the Stereophile Volume and Issue in which that product's report appeared. Thus the September 2012 issue is indicated as "Vol.35 No.9."

Jon Iverson Posted: Jun 12, 2013 10 comments
Stereophile is pleased to announce the availability of the free 2013 Recommended Components iPad app.

This is not an update of our previous app but a completely new app. Products listed in Recommended Components change from year to year, so we are creating a new app annually so readers can collect both new and past rankings.

Available Now
The app is available right now for free download to your iPad in the iTunes store. In iTunes, search for "Stereophile Recommended Components" or follow this link to the iTunes store from your web browser.

Stereophile Staff Posted: Jul 03, 2012 18 comments
Components listed here have been formally reviewed in Stereophile and have been found to be among the best available in each of four or five quality classes. Whether a component is listed in Class A or Class E, we highly recommend its purchase.

Each listing—in alphabetical order within classes—is followed by a brief description of the product’s sonic characteristics and a code indicating the Stereophile Volume and Issue in which that product’s report appeared. Thus the September 2010 issue is indicated as “Vol.33 No.9.”

Stereophile Staff Posted: Sep 07, 2007 Published: Oct 01, 2007 0 comments
Phono Accessories & Record Cleaners
Stereophile Staff Posted: Mar 17, 2007 Published: Apr 17, 2007 0 comments
Recommended Components Addendum
Stereophile Staff Posted: Apr 01, 2006 Published: Apr 12, 2006 0 comments
Loudspeaker Cables & Interconnects
Editor's Note: Rather than place cables in the usual "Recommended Components" classes, we've just listed those cables that members of the magazine's review team either have chosen to use on a long-term basis or have found to offer good value for money. They are therefore implicitly recommended. Where a cable has been found to have specific matching requirements or an identifiable sonic signature, it is noted in the text. "Try before you buy" is mandatory with cables; many dealers have a loaner stock to make this easier.
Stereophile Staff Posted: Mar 16, 2005 Published: Apr 16, 2005 0 comments
FM Antennae
John Atkinson Posted: Mar 14, 2004 Published: Oct 01, 1998 0 comments
"There, that's where you should put the microphone, 5' from the end of my bow."
George Reisch Posted: Jul 01, 1998 0 comments
In a dark, smoky office, a desk lamp beams a cone of light onto papers, books, pipes, and notepads. A theoretical physicist hunches over his desk, half-illuminated, visualizing the world inside his equations.
John Atkinson Posted: Mar 14, 2004 Published: Apr 01, 1998 0 comments
It's a beautiful drive, considering you're on a freeway. You take I-25 north out of Albuquerque, Sandia Peak to your right and the Jemez Caldera and Mount Taylor dimly visible in the distance to your left. As you broach La Bajada hill south of Santa Fe, the Sangre de Cristo range—the "Blood of Christ Mountains" described by Paul Simon in "Hearts & Bones"—appears before your windshield. You take the Old Pecos Trail exit to the City Different, but before you reach town you bear to the left, then take another left opposite St. Vincent Hospital. There, in a cul-de-sac, you peer up at the street sign: "Stereophile Way," it says (footnote 1). "Not just a street, but a philosophy," I kidded Larry Archibald when the city told him that he could name the road where the magazine's headquarters would one day be situated.
John Atkinson Posted: Dec 10, 2007 Published: Apr 01, 1994 0 comments
The very first "Recommended Components" listing appeared in Vol.1 No.5; this is the 16th time I've put the listing together since I took over the task from J. Gordon Holt in the November 1986 'phile. No other Stereophile feature seems to be as popular, or as misunderstood. While it might inform, it never fails to offend, particularly when it involves the dropping, or—horrors!—the not listing at all, of components that the magazine's readers own.
Larry Archibald Posted: Jun 17, 2014 Published: Oct 01, 1989 5 comments
Though it's Stereophile's most popular single feature, "Recommended Components" has many problems. The biggest is that you readers use it—but then, if I didn't want that, why would we publish it? More accurately, problems come from uncritical use, as if only products that "make" "Recommended Components" are worth buying. Alternatively, it's concluded that products which drop out have somehow been consigned to an outer darkness.
J. Gordon Holt Posted: Dec 17, 2012 5 comments
[Note - this article is from the May, 1963 issue of Stereophile]

Many readers have asked why we don't maintain a permanent listing in each issue of The Stereophile of those components that we feel to be the best available, with or without qualification.

So, we are following our readers' suggestion, and will list in each issue groups of components which, at publication time, we feel are ones from which our readers would be well advised to assemble their systems. The list will change from time to time, as new products appear, old ones are obsoleted, or manufacturers change their quality control standards. Components will be added to or dropped from the list without advance notice if we see adequate reason for doing so, but each change in the list will be explained in the magazine at the time the change is made.

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