Ariel Bitran

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Ariel Bitran Posted: Apr 23, 2014 0 comments
Many music lovers share a moment in common. On a cloudy evening, you put on a record. Hopefully, it was Rush’s Hemispheres. Most likely, it was Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon. The LP sleeve rested in your lap. The receiver’s meters bobbed gently, and the lights were dimmed just enough so your eyes could transfix on the junction of prism and light that refracts into a rainbow wrapped in black. As those guitars and synthesizers roared, the artwork and its melding with the music allowed you to transcend conceptual planes by uniting abstract visuals with word, rhythm, and melody. For just a moment, the world wasn’t so bland.

The Gralbum Collective are trying to recapture this enlightening experience with the Gralbum, or graphic album, a packaged release of image, word, and song for iPad and iPhone.

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Ariel Bitran Posted: Jan 02, 2014 4 comments
The Ultimate Headphone Guide is now available for purchase in our online store. Over five hundred headphones and headphone amps are listed alongside big, beautiful pictures and essential specifications. Click here for more details!
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Ariel Bitran Posted: Dec 19, 2013 5 comments
Earlier this month, our all-analog coverage counterpart AnalogPlanet announced the release of the Nomad, a brand new entry-level turntable from American hi-fi manufacturer VPI Industries. For $995, The VPI Industries Nomad turntable includes a built-in phono preamplifier, unbalanced output, a set of Grado Labs iGrado around-the-neck headphones, headphone output, and an Ortofon 2M Red cartridge. This instant listening package was the brainchild of Mat Weisfeld, son of company founder Harry Weisfeld. Mat Weisfeld is now the President of VPI Industries. I had the opportunity to visit the factory and ask Weisfeld a few questions just before the official announcement of the Nomad.
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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: 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.
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Ariel Bitran Posted: Nov 25, 2013 2 comments
In this recent couch gag, the creators of The Simpsons transform their characters into a world of anthropomorphic instruments. Not a detail was missed in creating this music wonderland with piano-toothed dogs, slide-armed Simpsons, and traffic lights shaped like notes on the staff. Mr. Burns threatens tyranny through censorship of all music forms except classical, but the Simpson family and friends soon figure out the music within them cannot be contained.
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Ariel Bitran Posted: Nov 21, 2013 4 comments
Starting December 20, 2013, Winamp will no longer be available for download. A warning was posted on the Winamp website yesterday. Winamp served an instrumental role in the proliferation of downloaded music giving music fans an easy way to play music on their computer.
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Ariel Bitran Posted: Nov 14, 2013 2 comments
This is Carter B. of Austin, Texas, one of the winners of our CAD MH510 over-ear headphone sweepstakes. After I sent Carter and our second winner, Jesus C. of Plainsboro, New Jersey, their prizes, I realized the Stereophile office had one extra set of these headphones. Hmm…

I was in the market for some monitoring headphones, and CAD traditionally makes microphones for recording. Could the CAD MH510 ($159.00) be the headphone I was looking for?

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Ariel Bitran Posted: Nov 12, 2013 2 comments
Tel Aviv’s Vaadat Charigim debut album The World is Well Lost is understated. Simple guitar strums emerge from a low-lying cloud of noise. Drums are pushed to the background while singer/guitarist Juval Haring’s steady stream of baritone strides then tumbles. His syllables topple across the band’s constant pulse. Haring sounds tired, but the never-ending push of The World is Well Lost won’t let him give up.
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Ariel Bitran Posted: Sep 23, 2013 10 comments
On Sunday, I took a walk through Inwood Hill Park—the last existing glimpse to the natural wonder that Manhattan once was. Tulip trees and red-backed salamanders populate these woods. Along the paved trail, a playful soul chalked in instructions for hikers:

"Listen to the sounds."

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Ariel Bitran Posted: Aug 26, 2013 42 comments
It was hot—the kind of hot where the second you get out of the shower, you start sweating. My ceiling fan could’ve provided relief, but the repeated clink of its pull-chain added an offbeat to the music. My goal was to analyze my system’s current strengths and weaknesses and define my “reference sound”. The fan had to go. It was time to listen.
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Ariel Bitran Posted: Jul 03, 2013 8 comments
A billboard from a wireless speaker company that will not be covered.

Before leaving for CE Week, a trade event showcasing a general representation of the consumer electronics market, JA cautioned, “I’m worried you may not find many things applicable to our readers.” I love a challenge.

Within these table-lined alleys littered with business cards and quesadillas, I aimed to uncover as much two-channel audio as possible. This would include headphones. This would also include an attempt to avoid Bluetooth, as Bluetooth is lossy and has been an unreliable connection for long-term listening in my experiences so far. Would this general representation of the consumer electronics market have products an audiophile could enjoy?

Yes.

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Ariel Bitran Posted: Jun 24, 2013 0 comments
Pepcom is an event organizer that brings together a smattering of technology companies, members of the press, and various forms of the grilled chicken sandwich. Here are the products from the world of audio and its extended fingers that intrigued and appalled.
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Ariel Bitran Posted: Jun 19, 2013 15 comments
I threw away all of the original jewel cases to my CDs. The CDs themselves are in a Case Logic CD Binder. Before throwing the cases away, I adored each title’s artwork and reminisced on each album’s place in my personal history.

It was hard to say goodbye, but the cases were taking up too much space.

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Ariel Bitran Posted: Jun 18, 2013 11 comments
Photo by Bowers & Wilkins

On Thursday, June 13th, British hi-fi mainstay Bowers & Wilkins and Italian luxury car manufacturer Maserati brought their Seven Notes World Tour to the Industria Superstudio in New York City’s Meatpacking District. The event presented the B&W-designed in-car audio system, the new B&W 805 Maserati Edition loudspeaker, and a performance from Howie B.

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