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Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Apr 18, 2017 9 comments
The biggest audio show in the United States, AXPONA (Audio Expo North America), takes place April 21–23 at the Westin O'Hare in Rosemont, close to Chicago O'Hare International airport. Since planting its roots in America's heartland just a few years back, the show has grown to offer, in 2017, at least 142 active exhibit rooms, 453 unique brands and exhibitors, an Ear Gear Expo so large that it has spilled over into surrounding hallways, and a full schedule of seminars and entertainment.
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Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Apr 15, 2017 6 comments
In honor of the Lou Harrison Centennial, Naxos has just released a CD of three of Harrison's great pieces: the Violin Concerto (aka Concerto for the Violin with Percussion Orchestra), Grand Duo, and Double Music (with John Cage). Every piece on the recording, which is also available as a 24/48 download from multiple sites, is so unique and engaging, and the percussion so resounding, that tracks from the recording are guaranteed to open ears and turn heads in rooms I visit at the forthcoming AXPONA and LAAS audio shows.
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Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Apr 08, 2017 19 comments
Ah, Carolyn Sampson. Ah, Mozart. Put both of you, along with the Great Mass in c and the marvelously tuneful early motet, Exsultate, jubilate, in the hands of Masaaki Suzuki and the period-instrument Bach Collegium Japan. Then, record it all in 24/96 for a BIS SACD, which you can download in its original format from multiple sites, and the results are pure pleasure.
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Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Apr 06, 2017 77 comments
New York-based Chesky Records has just announced its first two MQA-encoded CDs. On May 19, both Camille Thurman's new Inside the Moment and Rebecca Pidgeon's classic The Raven will hit the streets, as it were, with a list price of $18.98. Music lovers with MQA-enabled DACs will be able to experience the full benefits of MQA-encoding/unfolding, while others will enjoy Red Book quality sound.
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Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Apr 01, 2017 15 comments
Hankering for recorded music that is witty, engaging, and filled with surprises—music written with a twinkle in the eye? Check out the Spencer Myer's new Steinway & Sons recording of the Piano Rags of William Bolcom (b. 1938). Also available as a hi-rez download, Myer's delightful takes on Bolcom's rags dispel any notion that the rag is a predictable but ultimately limited art form.
Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Mar 30, 2017 2 comments
I've known Peder Bäckman, international sales director for the German firm Audio Video Manufaktur GmbH (AVM), for many years, ever since he worked with Electrocompaniet. When I told him that I was looking for products to review in the reference system in my new 20' by 16' by 9' music room, he invited me to browse AVM's large catalog and see what tickled my fancy. In consultation with John Atkinson, it became clear that AVM's largest, most powerful monoblock amplifier, the Ovation MA8.2 ($29,990/pair), seemed a good fit.
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Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Mar 20, 2017 1 comments
Beautiful sound was the order of the day at Tone of Music Audio (1303 Castro Street, Suite D, San Francisco, CA 94114), as the small retailer, headquartered in the heart of San Francisco's Noe Valley, held the first of two spring open houses. Judging from what the 30 or so visitors heard at the first open house, on March 18, those who show up for the second listening session on Saturday, April 1, between noon and 5 pm (RSVP to info@toneofmusic.com), are in for a treat.
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Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Mar 16, 2017 17 comments
On March 17, Japanese label Ottava will release the first MQA recording on compact disc, A. Piazzolla by Strings and Oboe. Recorded by the UNAMAS Piazzolla Septet, whose videos you can view online, the short disc was mastered by the Tokyo-based label's CEO, Mick Sawaguchi. The recording is also available for download.
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Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Mar 15, 2017 4 comments
The recently-released Audirvana Plus 3 has become the first desktop music player for MacOS to include an integrated MQA Core decoder. To quote the press release, issued jointly by London-based MQA and Paris-based Audirvana, Audirvana's MQA Core decoder "enables the first origami 'unfold' and also authenticates the file using a blue or green light to confirm that the sound is identical to that of the source material."
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Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Mar 12, 2017 12 comments
The 12th annual Music Matters event, held at Definitive Audio's Seattle location on March 9, featured six complete systems plus an Auralic-driven headphone display and static Rega turntable corner. All but the silent display showcased recorded music in its finest light. By the end of the evening, it was clear why Music Matters has earned a reputation as the top retailer-sponsored audio event in the USA.

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