Art Dudley  |  Mar 23, 2018  |  3 comments
Things change. Montreal's annual hi-fi show used to be called Salon Son et Image, but now it's called Salon Audio Montreal—or, for non-Quebecois, the Montreal Audio Fest. It takes place in a Hotel that used to be called the Hilton Bonaventure, but is now called the Bonaventure Hotel. It's a consumer-oriented show that used to charge admission, but is now open to the public, free of charge. You can bring the whole family for all three days of the show and still have money left over for smoked-meat sandwiches and poutine: think of it!

The Montreal Audio Fest runs from 11am to 8pm today, from 10am till 6pm on Saturday, and 10am to 4pm on Sunday.

Michael Fremer  |  Mar 22, 2018  |  4 comments
Designers of hybrid amplifiers can use solid-state devices in an amp's input stage and tubes in its driver and output stages, as Music Reference's Roger Modjeski did in his RM-200 Mk.II—or they can use tubes in the input and transistors in the output, as Ypsilon Electronics' Demetris Baklavas prefers.

The advantage of solid-state at the input stage can be lower noise. In the RM-200 Mk.II's fully balanced design, carefully matched input devices result in high common-mode rejection and low-noise operation close to the levels achieved with the best input transformers. The RM-200 Mk.II's signal/noise ratio measured a healthy 95.4dB.

Jason Victor Serinus  |  Mar 22, 2018  |  3 comments
When Michael McCormick, president of Bel Canto Design, suggested that I review their Black ACI 600 integrated amplifier, I accepted without hesitation. As wonderful as my reference system may sound, its dCS digital front end alone comprises four boxes and a web of cables complex enough to send many a spider spinning. Given the choice between connecting that front end to a pair of expensive, enormous monoblocks—with their similarly expensive AC cords and equipment racks/isolation platforms—or to a single, visually elegant, 45-lb box that costs $25,000, produces 300Wpc into 8 ohms, and requires only a single power cord and shelf, I think many an audiophile, even those with lots of money, might gravitate toward the latter.
Stereophile Staff  |  Mar 22, 2018  |  19 comments
AVTech Media Ltd (UK) has purchased the Home Tech Network from TEN: The Enthusiast Network, it was announced today. The Home Tech Network's six brands including Stereophile, Sound & Vision, Shutterbug, AnalogPlanet, Audiostream, and Innerfidelity will join with AVTech Media's Hi-Fi News, Hi-Fi Choice, Home Cinema Choice and the Hi-Fi Show Live. The new company creates a global powerhouse delivering the largest single specialized AV group on the planet, reaching more than three million enthusiasts/CE consumers through print, digital, social, video and events.
Herb Reichert  |  Mar 20, 2018  |  9 comments
Everything sounds like what it's made of.

I'm known for saying that, and to me, it's obvious: box speakers with dome tweeters sound like box speakers with dome tweeters. I can hear their tweeters calling to me when I'm in the next room, making a phone call. I can hear their boxes hissing and groaning even after I turn off the stereo. Many a day, I think Edgar Villchur, inventor of the acoustic-suspension loudspeaker and the dome tweeter, ruined audio, and that audiophiles will never stop denying how artificially colored the sounds of domes and cones in boxes really are.

John Atkinson  |  Mar 20, 2018  |  11 comments
Radka Toneff & Steve Dobrogosz: Fairytales: Original Master Edition (MQA)
Odin LP03 (original LP, 1982); Odin CD9561 (24-bit/48kHz MQA-encoded FLAC file; Tidal Masters stream; hybrid MQA-CD; original sample rate 192kHz; 2017). Arild Andersen, prod. (1982, 2017); Andreas Risanger Meland, exec. prod. (2017); Tore Skille, Tom Sætre, original engs.; Svein Vatshaug, Rune Sund Nordmark, recorder restoration; Thomas Baårdsen, Geir Iversen, digital transfer of original tapes; Morten Lindberg, Peter Craven, Bob Stuart, digital restoration; Erik Gard Amundsen, technical advisor. DAA (original LP); DDD (MQA). Except: "My Funny Valentine," ADA (LP), ADD (MQA). TT: 40:11
Performance ******
Sonics ******

"See her how she flies . . ." When I first heard that lyric, from Jim Webb's "The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress," sung by a hauntingly fragile woman's voice and supported by a sparse yet lyrical piano accompaniment, at an audio show in 1983, I got chills. Who was this empathetic singer? Back in my cabaret-musician days, more than four decades ago, I backed so many singers with beautiful-sounding pipes but who didn't seem to comprehend the meaning of the words—yet this unknown woman directly communicated the song's emotion.

Stereophile Staff  |  Mar 20, 2018  |  3 comments
Audio Vision S.F. 1628 California Street, San Francisco, CA 94109—at the end of our historical cable car line) are holding a free event Thursday March 22, from 7:30–10pm.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Mar 18, 2018  |  25 comments
Back in October 2016, I was called to the table by Kal Rubinson when I heaped copious praise on Ivan Fischer's Channel Classics SACD of Tchaikovsky's Symphony No.6 in b, Op.74, "Pathétique." Now, after hearing Teodor Currentzis' devastating account for Sony of the Pathétique with Russia's MusicAeterna Orchestra, I understand the folly of my ways.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Mar 16, 2018  |  17 comments
Having fun at Music Matters 13: Peter McGrath (Wilson), Josh Clark (Transparent Cable), and Stereophile's Jason Victor Serinus (photo, Peter McGrath).

Hailed as the finest public audio retailer event in the United States, Definitive Audio's 13th annual Music Matters event on March 8 drew a huge crowd to the store's Seattle location. Having now covered four Music Matters, I can state with certainty that the sound at MM13 surpassed that heard on previous occasions, and showcased equipment in the best possible light.

Robert Baird  |  Mar 16, 2018  |  6 comments
Paris '65 in stunning sound, the Resonance Reissue...