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Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Oct 12, 2016 5 comments
Before me, the name Auralic. Inside the room, that company's new Polaris wireless streaming amplifier ($3800), paired with Ryan R630 loudspeakers ($5000/pair)…
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Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Oct 12, 2016 7 comments
Peachtree's David Solomon, operating an iPad while jacked up on enough caffeine to enable a mouse to fly to the moon on its own steam, seemed caught by surprise as non-industry showgoers appeared in his room during the time reportedly reserved for the press.
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Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Oct 11, 2016 23 comments
On Friday morning at 9am, the blogging team of (left to right) yours truly, John Atkinson, Herb Reichert, and Jana Dagdagan gathered for a strategy meeting…
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Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Oct 07, 2016 16 comments
Not having listened to Tchaikovsky's Symphony No.6, aka the "Pathétique," in quite some time, I had forgotten how heart-tugging beautiful it is. While there are many recordings of the work, few can possibly sound as good and feel as right as the new hybrid SACD from Channel Classics with Iván Fischer conducting the Budapest Festival Orchestra. Due out October 7, when it will also be available for download in high-resolution format from, the recording also enlists the fine Brno Czech Philharmonic Choir for its atmospheric pairing, Borodin's Polovtsian Dances.
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Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Oct 02, 2016 3 comments
The Rocky Mountain Audio Fest is set to begin this Friday, October 7, from noon to 7 pm, in the mostly remodeled Denver Marriott Tech Center. The three-day audio show, which ends on October 9 at 4pm, promises 128 exhibit rooms, 32 vendor displays, plus three more in the parking lot (including the fabled Sony Magic Bus), 332 exhibit companies, and, at 62 exhibits, the largest CanJam ever.
Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Sep 27, 2016 19 comments
The second I encountered Dynaudio's Focus 200 XD powered loudspeaker at the High End 2015 show in Munich, Germany, it called to me. I wasn't so much drawn to its unique functions—which I describe below—as by the fact that it could help fill the black hole left by the dismantling of my reference system for my move from big, badass Oakland, California to the small, magical town of Port Townsend, Washington.
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Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Sep 26, 2016 5 comments
One of America's most vital living composers—New Yorker Steve Reich—turns 80 on October 3. In celebration, Deutsche Grammophon and ECM, two companies that greatly helped build Reich's reputation by recording his initially uncategorizable forays into minimalism, have reissued their seminal efforts. From DG comes the 3-LP set, Steve Reich: Drumming, a reissue of its 1974 vinyl box that included Drumming (1970–71), Six Pianos, and Music for Mallet Instrument, Voices and Organ (both from 1973). From ECM, in turn, comes a 3-CD set, Steve Reich: The ECM Recordings.
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Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Sep 23, 2016 24 comments
You read that correctly. 2017 will see the advent of two, potentially competing high-end audio shows, located just 35 miles and several congested freeways apart in Southern California. The first, the new Los Angeles Audio Show (LAAS), will take place June 2–4 in the Sheraton Gateway LAX, and is produced "in collaboration with the Los Angeles & Orange County Audio Society" (LAOCAS). The second, a continuation of T.H.E. Show Newport that was founded by the late Richard Beers and formerly supported by LAOCAS, will be held September 21–24 (September 21 reserved for press) in the Hilton Anaheim, near Disneyland.
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Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Sep 20, 2016 17 comments
What do Prince, David Bowie, Merle Haggard, Gato Barbieri, Phife Dawg, Frank Sinatra Jr., Keith Emerson (Emerson Lake & Palmer), Dan Hicks (Dan Hicks and His Hot Licks), Maurice White (Earth, Wind & Fire), Paul Kantner and Signe Toly Anderson (Jefferson Airplane), Glenn Frey (Eagles), Dale Griffin (Mott the Hoople), pianist Paul Bley, bassist Rob Wasserman, sopranos Susan Chilcott, Phyllis Curtin, and Denise Duval, countertenor Brian Asawa, composers Steven Edward Stucky and Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, and conductors Pierre Boulez, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Gilbert Kaplan, Gregg Smith, and Royston Nash have in common? Besides the fact that all were musicians who made multiple recordings and who died in 2016, their recorded legacies rarely, if ever, get airplay at dealerships or audio shows.
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Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Sep 02, 2016 3 comments
It's shocking to go from the sound of soprano Anna Netrebko's voice on her first DG recital of Opera Arias to that on her latest disc, Verismo. The earlier disc, recorded in March, 2003 when Netrebko was 32, showcases a true, shining lyric soprano whose vocal production is absolutely smooth. Over 12 years later, when Netrebko recorded Verismo between July 2015 and June 2016, her weightier low range lacks shine, and her stronger and sometimes wider vibrato occasionally shows signs of a beat.