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.
The tides of the digital audio industry are turning as hi-rez audio downloads are pushed further into the mainstream. On March 2, 2011, HDTracks welcome ABCKO's Remastered Series of the Rolling Stones to their catalog, available at 176kHz/24bit and 88kHz/24bit.
On March 17, 2011, Norway’s Hegel Music Systems announced the release of the HD2 and HD20 DACs. The HD2 and HD20 feature what the company claims "may be the world’s most advanced jitter reduction circuitry.”
McIntosh VP of Sales and Marketing Linda Passaro poses with producer Tony Visconti (middle) and fashion designer John Varvatos (left)
Iconic hi-fi manufacturer McIntosh and fashion designer John Varvatos are joining forces in hopes to spread the love of great sound to customers at Varvatos stores across the country. Both brands hope to bring customers closer to the rock’n’roll experience by bringing them closer to the music through a high-fidelity audio system. Varvatos’s relationship with McIntosh began at age 17, when he heard his first Mac system. Varvatos, an audio enthusiast, described how he felt listening to a hi-fi for the first time: “I thought it was the future then, and it’s the future now.”
The HiFiMAN RE-400s come with four sets of eartips, flanged and unflanged, and a rubber dongle for wrapping your headphones up safely.
The HiFiMAN RE-400s Waterline cost $99. By definition, waterline is the point where a boat meets the water. According to HiFiMAN representative Peter Hoagland, “waterline” implies these headphones are “reference for its class”. Is HiFiMAN trying to say these headphones float above the rest? Maybe.
Stereophile's Assistant Editor Stephen Mejias models the fresh produce
Are you curious to hear J. Gordon Holt's lecture on "Why Hi-Fi Experts Disagree"? Maybe you are yearning for Sam Tellig, the "Audio Anarchist" as identified in the liner notes, to whisper sweet nothings into your ear with his radio-friendly baritone while checking a 1kHz reference tone at 20dB. Or how would you like a dog named Ralph to howl at you while configuring your left and right speakers? All this and more can be found on Stereophile's Test CD 1, now available in the Stereophile eCommerce Store.
In April of 2011, after watching one of the many iterations of The Due Diligence perform at Silent Barn, the soundman made an announcement: “We have a bunch of old music gear for sale in the venue’s basement.” I jumped from my seat.
Dusty guitar amps, dirt-speckled stage light fixtures, and busted drivers piled atop each other on a series of shelves. I inspected each piece of gear carefully. Atop the highest shelf, I found them. Though covered in scratch marks and gum, the logo was clear: Polk Audio. The “i" was dotted with a little heart. I fell in love.
The open and relaxed feel of the orchestral music immediately impressed me upon entry to the Wes Bender Studio room. One showgoer played his demo track of Thus Spoke Zarathustra by Richard Strauss, and immediately again, I was overwhelmed by the size these speakers could create yet how relaxed the remained. Music flowed from their pores (and drivers).