Art Dudley

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Art Dudley Posted: May 22, 2014 5 comments
The man pictured above is Joe Roberts, who does consulting work for Silbatone—in whose deservedly, lavishly praised exhibition room I took this photo. Joe published the deservedly, lavishly lamented magazine Sound Practices, which was one of my influences when I started Listener Magazine 20 years ago. In his public speaking as in his writing, Joe is all about passion, honesty, style, and fun. (You can't see it in this photo, but Joe was holding in his left hand the largest spanner I've ever seen. I think it was yellow.) To paraphrase Stephen Stills: It made sense that he was there.
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Art Dudley Posted: May 21, 2014 2 comments
Pressed to guess which manufacturer had the greatest number of products on display at High End 2014, I'd name Pro-Ject Audio Systems, who apparently brought with them a different record player for every day of the month: different styles, different prices, different colors, different (apparent) points of view.
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Art Dudley Posted: May 20, 2014 1 comments
I had the opportunity to review, in our June 2012 issue, the sweet-sounding Allnic A-5000 DHT amplifier. Yet it wasn't until the Munich show that I had the chance to meet its very genial designer, Kang Su Park, seen here with David Beetles, the international distributor for Allnic Audio Arts.
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Art Dudley Posted: May 20, 2014 5 comments
I began my Friday with a direct assault upon one of the MOC's three atria: expansive, beautifully lit spaces, each resembling a boulevard of swanky shops, with café seating at the center and rows of glass-fronted listening rooms on the farthest side. Again, the effect is not unlike an audio-centric Champs Elysée on an especially pleasant day. Times three.

First stop was Dali Acoustics, where the sound of a mandolin—it was Steve Strauss's "Jennie Mae"—led me toward Dali's floorstanding Rubicon 8 (€2399/pair, seen on the far left in the photo above).

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Art Dudley Posted: May 17, 2014 14 comments
How good does it get? I think I’m closer to having an answer to that one.
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Art Dudley Posted: May 16, 2014 5 comments
The first bit of music I heard at the Munich show—officially known High End 2014—was utterly lacking in soundstage depth, imaging precision, and transparency: It was actual music, courtesy of the Bavarian brass/accordion ensemble Unterbiberger Hofmusik, who performed just inside the main entranceway of the Munich MOC. (To the surprise of everyone, the morning dawned too cold for an outdoors performance.) It was a big, colorful beginning to this uniquely big, colorful show.
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Art Dudley Posted: May 10, 2014 6 comments
Bill Parrish of GTT Audio calls it "the best." Jonathan Halpern of Tone Imports describes it as "the most well-organized, well-attended show, with the greatest number of products I've never heard or seen before." Peter McGrath of Wilson Audio says "It has risen to be the most significant showcase of high-end technologies: a major, major show." And our own Michael Fremer says it's "where you go to confirm that audio is a serious, healthy, and growing business."

The object of their praise is the Munich High End show, which runs from May 15 through May 18. . .

Art Dudley Posted: May 02, 2014 1 comments
No one can say precisely how or when the ancient 300B triode tube made its cross-kingdom leap to the modern world of consumer audio, but we've got the where pretty much nailed down: It all began in Asia, where the best of the West is sometimes held in reverence rather than left to drown in consumerism's wake. Asia is the final resting place for the great Western Electric cinema systems of the 1940s—and that's where the 300B earned its un-American second act. By the mid-1990s, the tube had captured the hearts of hobbyists who, consciously or not, sensed that the audio refineries of the day had lost the plot, not to mention the body.
Art Dudley Posted: Apr 24, 2014 Published: May 01, 2014 0 comments
Except for a few titles I've combined with the ones in my listening room, and a few others that I intend to sell, the record collection I bought last year remains in three rows of boxes on the floor of our guest room. Because that room is spacious and comfortable, and equipped with a small refrigerator and a flat-screen TV, it is also the place where my 16-year-old daughter and her friends have their slumber parties and Dr. Who marathons. Thus, as you can imagine, I must sometimes explain to our young guests the Tao of collecting records.
Art Dudley Posted: Apr 07, 2014 8 comments
Asked how to make a guitar, the celebrated luthier Wayne Henderson offered a straight-up answer: "Just get a pile of really nice wood and a whittling knife. Then you just carve away everything that isn't a guitar." (footnote 1)

The making of a preamplifier seems more or less the opposite. You start with a simple volume control and a couple of jacks, then add whatever you think constitutes a preamplifier. Choices might include electronic source switching, line-level gain, phono-level gain and equalization, tone controls, tone-defeat switches, a balance control, a headphone jack, an iPod input, and maybe even a digital-to-analog converter with a USB receiver. The sky is pretty much the limit.

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