LATEST ADDITIONS

Jason Victor Serinus  |  Aug 20, 2018  |  4 comments
How many of us, when asked to name great American symphonists, typically start and stop with Copland, Ives, Bernstein, Barber and, among living composers, Glass and Adams? In doing so, we often ignore a host of others from the mid-to-late 20th century, including Schumann, Piston, Diamond, Cowell, Hanson, Harris, and Hovhaness (to name but a few)...Perception could very well change with the release of Lance Friedel and the London Symphony Orchestra's recent SACD for BIS, American Symphonies (BIS-2118).
Art Dudley  |  Aug 16, 2018  |  52 comments
Some of my reviewer colleagues would have you believe that negative reviews are the most difficult of all to write, and that positive reviews fairly write themselves. What nonsense!

As I write this, my copy deadline is three days away, yet I've succeeded at crafting little more than my heading (easy enough: it's just the product's name, followed by my name) and my Associated Equipment sidebar (also easy), leaving a great expanse of nothing in between. That's mostly because the Kalista DreamPlay One, a two-box CD player whose $43,000 price might once have kept me from even considering it as a real-world product, has stunned me into a sort of paralysis: I feel that anything I write will be inadequate to the task.

Robert Levine  |  Aug 16, 2018  |  0 comments
Pärt: The Symphonies
Tõnu Kaljuste, NFM Wroclaw Philharmonic
ECM 2600 (CD). 2018. Manfred Eicher, prod.; Andrzej Sasin, Aleksandra Nagorko, engs. DDD. TT: 79:40
Performance *****
Sonics *****

Arvo Pärt is now so popular that it's no longer necessary to explain him. His piety is approachably beautiful and welcoming. He was not born composing his airy, contemplative, trademark "tintinnabular" (bell-like) music; up to the early 1970s, he cut his teeth on the 12-tone scale. His four symphonies, presented here on one CD for the first time, take us through that part of his career.

Stereophile Staff  |  Aug 14, 2018  |  9 comments
EISA is the biggest and, at nearly 40 years, the oldest general consumer-electronics awards association in the world; its members include 50 special-interest magazines in over 23 European countries and, now, the US, Canada, India, and Australia. Through its annual Awards program, EISA has been celebrating the very best consumer-electronics products for over 30 years. Each spring, the editors of the member magazines in the Hi-Fi Expert Group vote on products that have been nominated in up to 15 categories: turntable, floorstanding loudspeaker, amplifier, etc. The winners are announced at the EISA Awards Gala at the Internationale Funkausstellung (IFA), which takes place each September in Berlin, Germany.

Here are the 2018–2019 winners...

John Atkinson  |  Aug 14, 2018  |  41 comments
In a series of recent feature articles for Stereophile, Jim Austin has examined how the controversial MQA codec works: "MQA Tested, Part 1," "MQA Tested Part 2: Into the Fold," "MQA Contextualized," "MQA, DRM, and Other Four-Letter Words," and, most recently, "MQA: Aliasing, B-Splines, Centers of Gravity." I doubt there is a Stereophile reader who is unaware of the fracas associated with MQA, and I have been repeatedly criticized on web forums for describing its underlying concept as "elegant."

But elegant it is, I feel.

Robert Schryer  |  Aug 14, 2018  |  20 comments
The blowout happened as I climbed the stairs from the basement, where I'd just spent two hours listening to musi on my hi-fi. Standing rigidly in the archway, a wet sheen of hurt trembling in her eyes, my wife shouted: "You love your audio more than you love me!"

It erupted with such raw emotional force that I knew exactly what she meant, and that she was right: I spent more quality time with my audio than I did with her—or, for that matter, with either of my two homebound teenagers. It was nothing personal; my listening room is my private safe place, conceived and realized in my own image.

Jason Victor Serinus  |  Aug 12, 2018  |  21 comments
Inveterate news junkies of the world, your way out has come. For at least one good hour of your otherwise doom-laden day, you have a reason to turn off Fox or CNN and drift on feathery clouds to a far sweeter place. Your exit has been most graciously supplied by pianist Stephen Hough—he of Stephen Hough's Dream Album—whose latest recorded achievement may well be hailed as the most engaging, charming, and delightful recording of the year... or even the decade.
Stereophile Staff  |  Aug 10, 2018  |  45 comments
The outrageous-looking—and outrageously expensive—Kalista CD player from French manufacturer Métronome graces the cover of our September issue, which will hit mailboxes, newsstands, and tablets this weekend. Read Art Dudley's review to find out what he heard.
George Graves  |  Aug 09, 2018  |  First Published: Sep 01, 1986  |  6 comments
Basically, I have to admit that I am a Valvophobe. I would give you the dictionary definition of that word, but it has been sealed in a mayonnaise jar on Funk and Wagnall's porch since . . . Anyway, you get the idea. A Valvophobe is someone who doesn't like tubes in their 1986 stereo systems.
John Atkinson  |  Aug 09, 2018  |  First Published: Dec 01, 1988  |  4 comments
Introduced at the 1988 Summer CES, this preamplifier from San Francisco-based Parasound costs $395 and is manufactured in Taiwan. It does away with mechanical switching for source select and tape functions, replacing it with CMOS integrated-circuit switches similar to those used in the British Linn LK1 and Quad 34 and 44 models. Construction is to a good standard and the circuit is carried on two main pcbs and three small ones. Following a signal from the phono inputs, the MM-only RIAA amplifier is based on discrete FETs, its output joining the line-level signals at the switching ICs, these controlled by DC voltages controlled by front-panel pushbuttons.

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