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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.
Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Jun 02, 2015 12 comments
If I were forced to spend a week alone on a desert island, with my only companions a small, battery-powered player and one person's music collection, I'd have a tough time setting between the libraries of Jeffrey Catalano (High Water Sound, in the room above), Philip O'Hanlon (On a Higher Note), and John DeVore (Devore Fidelity). While their musical predilections certainly vary, all have impeccable taste when it comes to repertoire and artistry...
Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Jun 01, 2015 3 comments
In the lobby of the Hotel Irvine, Meryl Jane was not only showing her paintings of famous audiophile-approved artists, but also extremely eager to have her picture snapped in their midst. By all laws known to God, human, and those strange outlaw beings known as Texans, opening day at an audio show is when systems, usually not fully dialed in, often sound sub par. Yet in Hotel Irvine, the most consistently fine sound I encountered was on Day One, in the extremely hard-to-tame cubic conference rooms on the lobby level...
Jason Victor Serinus Posted: May 30, 2015 5 comments
The ribbon had been cut and the trumpets sounded. THE Show Newport Beach, whose 2015 installment had moved a mile or two up the road into Irvine, was underway. Doing the honors at the ribbon-cutting ceremony were, from left to right, a gold chain-bedecked Steve Rochlin of Enjoy the Music, accompanied by his wife, Heather to his left, and an unidentified woman to his right; Michael Fremer of Stereophile and AnalogPlanet.com; David Robinson of Positive Feedback, Robert Harley of The Absolute Sound.
Jason Victor Serinus Posted: May 29, 2015 10 comments
Six weeks before the start of THE Show Newport Beach, word got out that the show organizers were poised to add a last-minute "Trade and Press Day" for Thursday May 28. As it turned out, the actual announcement came later, less than a month before the show. The idea, if instituted correctly, could have been a good one. But done so last minute, it seemed, at best, half-cocked...Be that as it may, I was able to register with the lovely Lucette Nicoll (above center) and take in just a few rooms before dinnertime.

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