LATEST ADDITIONS

Michael Fremer  |  Jul 25, 2017  |  0 comments
What? Johnny-come-lately turntable manufacturer Brinkmann Audio now makes a DAC? Are they desperate? What sampling rates does it support—162/3, 331/3, 45, and 78? I guess the vinyl resurgence is over! Why else would Brinkmann make a DAC?

If that's what you're thinking, consider that Helmut Brinkmann began designing, manufacturing, and marketing electronics well before he made the first of the turntables for which his company is best known in the US.

Robert Baird  |  Jul 25, 2017  |  0 comments
The Beatles: Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band: Anniversary Edition
Parlophone/EMI PCS 7027 0602557455328 (4 CDs, 1 BD, 1 DVD). 1967/1987/2009/2017. Giles Martin, prod.; Sam Okell, mix; Jeff Jones, exec. prod.; Jonathan Clyde, Guy Hayden, project prods.; Matt Mysko, Greg McAllister, mix assts.; Miles Showell, Sean Magee, mastering; Matthew Cocker, transfer eng.; James Clarke, audio restoration. ADD? TT: 3:23:11 (CDs only)
Performance *****
Sonics *****

Even VIP visitors to Abbey Road studios are allowed to only peer down a dimly lit hallway to the vault where the Beatles tapes, arguably the UK's most valuable crown jewels, are meticulously stored. Given the value of the band's recorded legacy, it was only a matter of time before even Macca, who over the years has made cryptic and patently false statements about scraping the bottom of the barrel, would get behind new stereo mixes and the long-awaited official release of alternates and outtakes. While the three double-CD volumes of Anthology contained some of this material—and bootlegs had the rest—the release of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band: Anniversary Edition is a welcome and wonderful conglomeration of music and information, old and new, about this landmark recording.

Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jul 22, 2017  |  3 comments
The latest installment in Ivan Fischer's near-complete Mahler cycle for Channel Classics, the Symphony No.3 (CCS SA 38817), renders the myriad beauties of this most wondrous of symphonies into an unforgettable experience. No matter what layer you audition on the two-disc hybrid SACD set, or whichever resolution DSD files you download—I listened in DSD128—you will discover the Budapest Festival Orchestra, Cantemus Children's Choir, Chor des Bayerischen Rundfunks, and alto Gerhild Romberger portrayed in stunning sound, with pounding percussion, cutting brass, tinkly triangles, and celestial children's voices laid out before you in a seamless soundstage.
Robert Baird  |  Jul 21, 2017  |  0 comments
Better left in the cut-out bins? Rock from the era of one-album wonders.
Art Dudley  |  Jul 20, 2017  |  7 comments
The English saying "putting the cat among the pigeons" has an obvious meaning in a general sense, but when applied to commerce it conveys something more specific: bringing to market a product that will make mincemeat of the competition, presumed complacent by comparison.

The phrase winked at me from the margins of an e-mail I received last year from Gary Dayton, Bryston Audio's VP of sales and marketing, whom I know from my visits to the Montreal Audio Fest. Referring to my ongoing series of reviews of ca-$10,000 CD players—the best of which one might consider for the title The Last CD Player You'll Ever Buy—Dayton suggested I have a listen to his company's new BCD-3, which retails for the comparatively low price of $3495. I accepted almost at once, and set about adjusting an English saying for a Canadian product: With the BCD-3, has Bryston succeeded in putting the wolverine among the loons?

Herb Reichert  |  Jul 20, 2017  |  31 comments
Have I told you about my objectivist friend—the left-brain audiophile who puts a lot of trust in measurements? He has a high natural intelligence and is an extremely experienced listener, but once he knows a component doesn't measure well, he can never again experience it impartially.

I don't want to embarrass my friend, so in this story I will call him O., for Mr. Objectivity.

John Atkinson  |  Jul 18, 2017  |  1 comments
Following my review of the floorstanding Magico S5 Mk.II last February, I spent some time with two-way stand-mounted speakers from Aerial Acoustics, Bowers & Wilkins, and Dynaudio. As much as I appreciated the small speakers' virtues, I found myself missing the big Magico's bass extension and ability to play loud; my next loudspeaker review, therefore, would be of another floorstander.

It's been a while since we published a review of a Rockport Technologies loudspeaker.

Herb Reichert  |  Jul 18, 2017  |  15 comments
Recently, a friend played me a masterpiece: Ike & Tina Turner's River Deep—Mountain High, arranged by Jack Nitzsche and produced by Phil Spector (LP, A&M SP 4178). It sounded terrible: murky, distant, with badly booming bass. Even before the first track was over, we both laughed and called it a night.

Nevertheless, I went home obsessed with Tina's inspired singing and Spector's infamous Wall of Sound production.

Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jul 16, 2017  |  5 comments
It is undoubtedly far more romantic for us to imagine young Giovanni Battista Pergolesi (1710–1736) spending his last weeks on earth writing four chamber cantatas in a Franciscan monastery on the Bay of Naples than it was for him to write feverishly while dying of tuberculosis. Had he experienced a miracle cure, he would have lived to discover that his Stabat Mater was fast becoming one of the most widely disseminated and frequently printed musical manuscripts of the 18th century.
Robert Baird  |  Jul 15, 2017  |  2 comments
One of my favorite South by Southwest moments over the 28 years I have attended was the early-1990s performance of Arthur Alexander who was literally sobbing before his set was done. In 1993, after many years out of the music game, Alexander, with the help of a lot of talented friends, made Lonely Just Like Me for Elektra Records, a swansong he never thought possible. Convinced he'd been forgotten, his triumphant performance in Austin just after the record was released, in front of a wildly enthusiastic crowd, moved him to tears. A few weeks later he was gone.

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