LATEST ADDITIONS

Dan Ouellette  |  Aug 13, 2020  |  0 comments
Norah Jones: Pick Me Up Off the Floor
Blue Note B003179402 (CD). 2020. Also available on LP as Blue Note B003179801 and as high-rez download. Norah Jones, Jeff Tweedy, prods.; Patrick Dillett, Brandon Bost, Andy Taub, Matt Marinelli, Jake Owens, Tom Schick, engs.; Greg Calbi, Steve Fallone, mastering
Performance ****½
Sonics ****

It has been almost two decades since Norah Jones emerged shyly from obscurity into astonishing pop/jazz stardom, first with 2001's First Sessions EP, her Blue Note launchpad, then with 2002's Come Away With Me, which wowed the world. It has been surmised that Jones's self-described "mellow piano music" salved the pain of 9/11—whatever the reason, the album won five Grammy Awards and is reported to have sold some 27 million copies: more than Eric Clapton's Unplugged and slightly fewer than The Eminem Show.

Jim Austin  |  Aug 12, 2020  |  17 comments
Listening rooms are real, imperfect places. Their character arises from their defects. I like real, imperfect things (footnote 1).

Not that there's such a thing as a perfect listening room. Every domestic listening room shares the same basic problem: Its most fundamental nature—its size and shape, the amount of space it carves out—results in resonances that can profoundly alter the sound of reproduced music, especially in the bass.

Michael Fremer  |  Aug 11, 2020  |  First Published: Jun 01, 2020  |  3 comments
At the 2017 Hong Kong High End Audio/Video Show, I found myself sitting next to a turntable manufacturer who shall remain anonymous. A Reed Muse 3C turntable ($20,000) with 3P tonearm sat on a display table across from us.
John Atkinson  |  Aug 10, 2020  |  20 comments
Mother, mother
There's too many of you crying
Brother, brother, brother
There's far too many of you dying

I watched the TV with horror. George Floyd, an African-American man in Minneapolis, Minnesota, was being killed in front of the camera. I retreated to the listening room. In what couldn't have been a coincidence, the Roon app's "Discover" function had recommended I play What's Going On, Marvin Gaye's groundbreaking album, released in 1971 by Motown subsidiary Tamla.

John Atkinson, Wes Phillips  |  Aug 07, 2020  |  First Published: Dec 01, 1997  |  12 comments
For the sixth consecutive year, Stereophile has named a select few components as "Products of the Year." By doing so, we intend to give recognition to those components that have proved capable of giving musical pleasure beyond the formal review period.
Thomas J. Norton  |  Aug 06, 2020  |  First Published: Nov 01, 1995  |  16 comments
To echo Audio Cheapskate Sam Tellig, who was in turn paraphrasing Thomas R. Marshall, what the world needs is a great $299 CD player. Certainly there's no shortage of expensive units vying for your attention—most of them consisting of separate transports and D/A converters.
Stereophile Staff  |  Aug 05, 2020  |  14 comments
The organizers of the 2021 Florida Audio Expo have announced the show's cancellation. All deposits, the organizers say, have already been refunded.
Ken Micallef  |  Aug 05, 2020  |  16 comments
On iconic singer-songwriter James Taylor's 20th album, American Standard, the lanky crooner adapts the classic American songbook to his easy-rolling musical ways. The result is an American mixture of timeless songcraft.

Where some popular singers use the songbook canon to increase record and ticket sales, Taylor has no need to change himself or increase his audience. He's as comfortable as any man can be, having sold many millions of records the world over for almost 50 years.

Michael Fremer  |  Aug 04, 2020  |  First Published: Jul 01, 2020  |  6 comments
Lately, current amplification–based moving-coil phono preamplifiers have gotten a great deal of well-deserved press. For years, Haniwa's Dr. Kubo has been designing and selling super–low-internal-impedance cartridges because such cartridges work best with such devices. He has also been designing and selling his own current-amplification phono preamplifier.
Peter W. Mitchell  |  Aug 03, 2020  |  First Published: Feb 01, 1991  |  7 comments
I want to talk about the acoustics of live music and recordings. As I write this I'm back in Boston for a week, re-calibrating my ears with (excuse the expression) the "absolute sound" of live music in various concert halls. On Friday the Boston Symphony played symphonies by Mozart and Shostakovich, producing (as always) magnificent sound with the aid of Symphony Hall's near-legendary acoustics.

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