Art Dudley

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Art Dudley Posted: Dec 16, 2014 4 comments
No one spells it out anymore: Ours is a culture of BTW, TIA, AFAIK, and other letter-lumps, some of which have taken on meanings beyond their original intent. (Only recently did I discover that LOL stands for "I'm certain you find my attempts at humor as riotously funny as I do.") I am scarcely young enough to adapt.

Our interoffice communications are no different. Once a year I am jarred to find in my inbox a message from John Atkinson with the curious subject line "POTY." I am scarcely old enough to be perturbed: Every 12 months, I have to be re-reminded that POTY stands for Product of the Year.

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Art Dudley Posted: Dec 05, 2014 3 comments
No doubt every model in the current Jaguar lineup is at least good, if not great. Their specs speak of high power, nimble handling, blinky acceleration, and no shortage of creature comforts. Yet for all that, modern Jags don't interest me in the least, partly because I know I'll never have the money to buy one, and partly because the Jaguars of the 21st century lack the character of their mid-20th century forebears. It seems to me that Jaguars have, over the years, gone from being in a class of their own to being scarcely more than upmarket versions of everydamnthing else.
Art Dudley Posted: Nov 12, 2014 13 comments
It's no secret, especially to those who've been following Stereophile for more than a short time: In the first half of 2007, I took the plunge and bought a Shindo preamplifier and monoblock amplifiers—handmade products characterized by low output power, generous numbers of vintage parts, steel casework finished in a signature shade of green, and richly textured, impactful sound with lots of sheer musical drive. And while we tend not to alert the major newspapers whenever someone on staff buys new electronics, the change was notable for two reasons: The compatibility of Shindo's amplifiers is limited to loudspeakers of higher-than-average sensitivity and impedance; and, throughout the seven years that followed my switch to Shindo (footnote 1) both my system and my point of view regarding domestic audio in general have evolved in the direction of the artisanal and the vintage.
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Art Dudley Posted: Nov 06, 2014 37 comments
Let's say you want a reliable means of distinguishing between original works of art and forgeries of same. One thing you wouldn't do—assuming you know anything about art, human perception, or the subtle differences between car wax and excrement—is apply to the problem a blind test: You wouldn't waste your time bringing people in off the streets, showing them pairs of similar but nonidentical images for 15 seconds each, and expecting your test participants to provide answers of any worth. You wouldn't do that because it's stupid.
Art Dudley Posted: Oct 02, 2014 0 comments
". . . with faithfully replicated artwork."

That's how a press release, dated June 16 of this year, described the manner in which the next wave of Beatles LPs—mono releases claimed to be mastered direct from the original analog mixdown tapes, and not the 44.1kHz digital files that Apple Records and Universal Music Enterprises (which now owns EMI) considered good enough for their last wave of Beatles LPs—are being packaged for sale. Hope, as Emily Dickinson once observed, is that thing with the feathers. Which, as we all know, evolved from the dinosaurs.

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Art Dudley Posted: Sep 30, 2014 0 comments
Reliable readers of show reports will remember Robert Lighton as a successful designer and manufacturer of furniture who, a few years ago, turned his enthusiasm for domestic audio in general and Audio Note gear in particular into a side career by putting his own imprint on the basic Audio Note loudspeaker formula. Robert Lighton Audio of New York City has now progressed to designing and manufacturing its own high-efficiency loudspeakers, including the two-way RL5 ($10,000/pair)—the solid sapele mahogany enclosure of which is seen here in Robert's hands. . .
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Art Dudley Posted: Sep 29, 2014 11 comments
Halfway through the show I called home, and my wife informed me that the plumbing in the downstairs bathroom was clogged, and the dog had gone outside and rolled around in something dead. And she wondered: Was I having a nice time? It was time for me to pick up the pace.
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Art Dudley Posted: Sep 28, 2014 5 comments
Saturday dawned hot and bright—unnaturally so for the end of September—and showgoers showed up well before the 10:00am starting time: So much for my hopes of getting a jump on the crowds. Still I went for an early listen at the room shared by Volti Audio, Raven Audio, and Triode Wire Labs. The price of the three-way, fully-horn-loaded Volti Vittora loudspeaker ($21,500/pair without optional ELF subwoofer) has risen slightly since I wrote about it a year or so ago—yet it still endures as perhaps the best bargain in US-made hi-fi.
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Art Dudley Posted: Sep 27, 2014 8 comments
The Marriott Brooklyn Bridge—site of this year's edition of Chester Group's New York Audio Show—turned out to be a short, pleasant walk from the Jay Street station. Show registration was just around the corner from the Marriott's main desk, and the show continues through tomorrow (Sunday).
Art Dudley Posted: Aug 26, 2014 14 comments
Johnny Town-Mouse was born in a cupboard, and Timmie Willie was born in a garden—this according to Beatrix Potter, who modeled both of her hantavirus-carrying protagonists after people of her acquaintance. Transposed to the city, Timmie Willie was chased by a maid and a housecat, while Johnny Town-Mouse's visit to the countryside was spoiled by cows, lawn mowers, and boredom. Both characters enjoyed good mental and physical health only in the settings to which they were accustomed, although Potter made it clear that her far greater sympathies lay with Timmie Willie.

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