Stephen Mejias
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RMAF 2013
Stephen Mejias Oct 11, 2013 1 comments
I've been kicking myself for not making it out to Brooklyn to hear YG Acoustics' flagship Sonja 1.3 loudspeakers while they were in John Atkinson's system.
The Entry Level
Stephen Mejias Oct 08, 2013 20 comments
Last month, I'd intended to compare the overachieving Pioneer SP-BS22-LR stand-mounted loudspeaker ($129.99/pair) with the Wharfedale Diamond 10.1 ($349/pair). In fact, I was deep into the process—surrounded by pages and pages of scribbled notes, thumbs swollen and sticky with Blu-Tack—when it occurred to me that something was wrong with the Wharfedales.

Stephen Mejias
Stephen Mejias Oct 02, 2013 2 comments
Last night, AudioStream.com's Michael Lavorgna and I attended Jenny Hval's performance at the Mercury Lounge on Houston Street in Manhattan's Lower East Side. Because we first made stops to: browse LPs and chat with Daniel at Other Music, enjoy cask-conditioned ales at dba, and devour some incredibly delicious pies at Rizzo's, we were primed for a memorable evening of music.

Jenny Hval did not disappoint.

Stephen Mejias
Stephen Mejias Sep 30, 2013 15 comments
In the last 15 minutes, about 25 people have sent me a link to this article, so now I'll share it with you. For better or worse, whether we're discussing velour suits or Compact Discs, any discussion regarding death is most likely premature. I call for a death to the discussion of death.

Yet, here we go again, this time discussing "the death of the home stereo system." CNN reporter Todd Leopold paints it as the classic struggle between quality and convenience, and seems to think that convenience has finally delivered the knock-out punch.

Integrated Amp Reviews
Art Dudley, Stephen Mejias Sep 27, 2013 13 comments
The name sounds perfect. It fits neatly next to those of Messrs. Leak, Sugden, Walker, Grant, Lumley, and others of Britain's most rightly revered amplifier builders. In fact, when their distributor called and asked if I'd like to review the latest amplifier from Croft Acoustics, I accepted without actually knowing who they are, simply because they sounded like someone I was supposed to know—someone who's been around for 60 years or so, shellacking bell wire in an old mill with a thatched roof.
Stephen Mejias
Stephen Mejias Sep 27, 2013 2 comments
Photo by Karl Edwin Scullin.

Released back in May, Jenny Hval's Innocence is Kinky, endures as one of my favorite records of 2013. I've played it countless times, and, in a few days, when Hval takes the stage at NYC's Mercury Lounge, I'll finally have the chance to see and hear the songs performed live.

News
Stephen Mejias Sep 24, 2013 0 comments
Saturday–Sunday, October 5–6, 10am–6pm: The annual High End Prague hi-fi show will be held at the Corinthia Towers Hotel. The admission price per day is about $5 US and includes automatic entry into a "hi-fi lottery," with a chance to win Monitor Audio loudspeakers, Focal and Grado headphones, IsoTek electronics, and more. A percentage of the money earned from High End Prague goes to the Czech UNICEF. For a complete exhibitor list and more info, visit www.high-end-praha.cz.
Interviews, Stephen Mejias
Stephen Mejias Sep 16, 2013 10 comments
In our September issue, I wrote about Pioneer’s excellent SP-BS22-LR loudspeaker. At just $129.99/pair (and often discounted), the SP-BS22-LR represents extraordinary value and may very well attract a wider and younger audience to true high-fidelity sound. The only thing I don’t really like about the speaker is its tongue-twister of a name. (But that’s easy to forgive. Most people can’t pronounce my name, either.)

While preparing the review, I took the opportunity to ask Andrew Jones, Pioneer’s chief engineer, a few questions about hi-fi, music, and loudspeaker design. As always, Jones was forthright and charming; his answers to my questions were often enlightening.

Stephen Mejias
Stephen Mejias Sep 13, 2013 3 comments
Julianna Barwick has released a live video for “The Harbinger,” from her new album, Nepenthe.

Curiously, the album version always—always—reminds me of the opening chorus to The Rolling Stones’ 1969 hit, “You Can’t Always Get What You Want.” Here, though, whatever hint of triumphant rock’n’roll that may exist in “The Harbinger” is replaced by the impressionistic strokes of cold, windblown colors and sheer textures. We hear the crunch of gravel beneath footsteps, the lapping of waves, sniffles, the chimes of an iPhone—all of these elements are captured, looped, and folded into the piece.

Stephen Mejias Sep 13, 2013 7 comments
Two of the five loudspeakers reviewed in our July issue were designed by Andrew Jones: the $29,800/pair TAD Evolution One and the $129.99/pair Pioneer SP-BS22-LR (footnote 1). I did the math. You can buy 229 pairs of the Pioneer for the price of a single pair of the TAD. Which is the better deal? Which would result in more happiness? Imagine keeping one pair of the Pioneers, and delivering the other 228 pairs to friends and family. Or donating them to schools. The possibilities are great. How much fun can you have with just a single pair of speakers, anyway?
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