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Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Aug 15, 2015 2 comments
On paper, the 6th annual California Audio Show, taking place this weekend at the Westin SFO in Millbrae, CA just south of San Francisco, qualifies as the smallest consumer audio show in the United States. But you wouldn't have known it from the lines at the registration table at 10:30am on opening day. The place looked packed. And the reality was, given 29 active exhibit rooms, some with multiple systems, plus other active exhibits in the lobby, Friday's turnout felt perfect.
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Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Aug 11, 2015 2 comments
There's a new audiophile-quality vinyl reissue endeavor on the scene: Intervention Records (IR). Dedicated to reissuing recordings that are "entirely new to the vinyl reissue market, particularly titles that never saw a vinyl release at all or only saw very limited release," Intervention Records' titles are sourced from the best available sources, primarily analog master tapes, and are mastered in the analog domain by Kevin Gray at Cohearent Audio.
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Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Aug 10, 2015 2 comments
The sixth annual California Audio Show kicks off this Friday, August 14, 10am, at the Westin Hotel in Millbrae. In a lovely location facing the water and within walking distance of several restaurants, audiophiles and the equally curious will enjoy sound in 29 active exhibit rooms, a "Headmasters" room with 7 exhibits, and 5 more exhibits in the hallway...
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Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Aug 09, 2015 60 comments
Alon Wolf with the Magico M Project speakers. All photos: Jason Victor Serinus

Ever since 2013, when Alon Wolf's California-based Magico loudspeaker company consolidated its original 5000 sq. ft. Berkeley headquarters and 5000 sq. ft. San Jose warehouse into a single 20,000 ft. facility in Hayward, people have been telling me that I had to experience the company's "incredible" listening room. Ironically, it was only after I had relocated from the Bay Area to Port Townsend, WA, that the opportunity arose to take Alon Wolf up on his long-standing invitation to visit.

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Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Jul 24, 2015 5 comments
The most refreshing music I encountered at the huge 2015 Munich High End Show was an excerpt from David Chesky's children's ballet, The Zephyrtine, which Paul McGowan played in the PS Audio room. Hence it comes as no surprise that another of Chesky's recordings, his Rap Symphony, has just won the Independent Music Award (IMA) for Best Contemporary Classical Album.
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Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Jul 21, 2015 32 comments
Most of us have experienced the proverbial curveball that comes out of nowhere to smack us right in the head. My most recent such encounter was pitched by Stereophile contributor Steve Guttenberg.

Steve's whammy arrived amid an e-mail exchange among Stereophile writers concerning a rather clueless column in another publication on the dearth of women audiophiles. After asking how many female audiophiles each of us knew, Steve G. defined what he meant by audiophile: "a person who frets over their system, agonizes over choices, loves gear, and sometimes music. You know, the kind of person who reads Stereophile or The Abso!ute Sound. Merely owning a nice stereo doesn't make you an audiophile. Owning a Leica doesn't make you a photographer. You have to be at least a little obsessed."

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Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Jul 11, 2015 3 comments
In a major plus for the accessibility of classical music on the web, Google Play Music recently launched its Classical Live initiative. Through an exclusive contract with five major symphony orchestras—Boston Symphony Orchestra and new Music Director Andris Nelsons, The Cleveland Orchestra and Music Director Franz Welser-Möst, London Symphony Orchestra and Sir John Eliot Gardiner, New York Philharmonic and Music Director Alan Gilbert, and Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam and Music Director Mariss Jansons—the organizations will offer live recordings for download and streaming exclusively on Google Play for the first six months they are made public.
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Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Jun 21, 2015 14 comments
Just three months after buying 13 vintage record presses, Chad Kassem of Acoustic Sounds (above) has purchased The Mastering Lab (TML), the legendary facility of Grammy Award-winning mastering engineer, Doug Sax, who died of cancer on April 2 at the age of 78...
Jason Victor Serinus Sasha Matson Thomas J. Norton Posted: Jun 03, 2015 3 comments
One of the most delightful annual surprises of the now departed Las Vegas installment of THE Show was stumbling upon the NFS (Not For Sale) room. Assembled by the distinguished personage known as Buddha, it allowed visitors to become submerged in a combination of post-psychedelic revelry, good sound, lots of free booze, and a total absence of hawking...
Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Jun 03, 2015 0 comments
Resolving to get an early start, I skipped breakfast and hit the show floor at 10:30am on Sunday. Will Kline of Fine Sounds (left) and Sunil Merchant (right) of Covina, CA's Sunny's Components were justifiably proud of the simply beautiful midrange created by the marriage of Wilson Audio Alexia loudspeakers ($52,000/pair) and Audio Research components. This wasn't the most transparent of systems I auditioned, but it was unquestionably among the most musical.

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