Jason Victor Serinus, Stephen Francis Vasta  |  Dec 08, 2023  |  0 comments
Richard Rodgers & Oscar Hammerstein: Oklahoma!; Postcards From Italy: Italian Music for Film; British Piano Concertos: Works by Jacob, Addison, and Rubbra; Bruckner: Symphony 7; Tan Dun: Buddha Passion.
Robert Baird, Phil Brett, Ray Chelstowski, Tom Fine  |  Dec 08, 2023  |  0 comments
The Beatles: Now & Then (single); Teenage Fanclub: Nothing Lasts Forever; Devendra Banhart: Flying Wig; Ariel Posen: Reasons Why.
Thomas Conrad  |  Dec 08, 2023  |  0 comments
Johnathan Blake: Passage; Mark Turner Quartet: Live at the Village Vanguard; Darcy James Argue's Secret Society: Dynamic Maximum Tension.
John Atkinson  |  Dec 07, 2023  |  1 comments
I first met Musical Fidelity's founder, Antony Michaelson, in 1978, when he was running tube amplifier manufacturer Michaelson & Austin. I still have an M&A TVA-10 amplifier, which was designed by the late, great Tim de Paravicini. Soon after Antony founded Musical Fidelity in 1982, he employed de Paravicini to design the A1 integrated amplifier.

The A1 was a slim solid state design with a class-A output stage that output 20Wpc into 8 ohms. By contrast, the massive, dual-mono Musical Fidelity Nu-Vista 800 integrated amplifier, which Michael Fremer reviewed for Stereophile in November 2015, featured nuvistor tubes for its small-signal circuitry, coupled with a solid state, class-AB output stage that could deliver 330Wpc into 8 ohms.

Michael Trei  |  Dec 06, 2023  |  1 comments
About four years ago, the stand-alone tonearm market went through a bit of a crisis. First, in December 2019, SME announced that it would stop selling tonearms separately, effective immediately. From that point on, SME tonearms would be available only in combination with SME turntables. . .

Five months later, in May 2020, we received the second blow in this double whammy of bad tonearm news. That's when the Ichikawa Jewel Company of Japan, maker of Jelco tonearms, announced without warning that they were shutting down operations, closing their doors for good. They blamed a combination of an aging workforce, worn-out tooling that needed to be replaced, and the coronavirus pandemic. . .

We lost two key players all at once, but it's not as if we suddenly had nowhere to turn for tonearms. Turntable manufacturers like Acoustic Signature, Clearaudio, Origin Live, Pro-Ject, Rega, and VPI all sell their tonearms separately . . . A number of smaller tonearm specialists have popped up in recent decades: Acoustical Systems, Graham, GrooveMaster, Kuzma, Reed, Schick, Schröder, and at the ultrahigh end, Swedish Analog Technologies. Now we can add Korf Audio to the list.

Herb Reichert  |  Dec 05, 2023  |  9 comments
My adoptive mother, Lily Mae, was a retired businesswoman and former fashion model turned stay-at-home mom and artist-painter with famously good taste in everything. She raised me to have good manners, an "active awareness of color and texture," and "an eye for form." She expected me to critique her paintings, her decorating, and her wardrobe, urging me constantly to develop "good taste in everything."

In Lil's world, a perfect day was for me to skip school and go with her clothes shopping at Marshall Field's, where it was my job to sit in a plush chair offering comments about which outfits had the best fabrics and best "complimented her form." She always said "form is bones" and fashion is about "how fabrics hang on people's bones."

Tom Fine  |  Dec 01, 2023  |  2 comments
Saturday, August 18, 1962, was quite a day in music. In England, Ringo Starr made his first appearance as a full member of the Beatles, at a Horticultural Society dance at Port Sunlight, Merseyside. In Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, two jazz giants met in a recording studio for the first time. Duke Ellington showed up with a streamlined, potent ensemble: Johnny Hodges, Harry Carney, Ray Nance, Lawrence Brown, Aaron Bell, and Sam Woodyard. Then tenor sax legend Coleman Hawkins arrived.

Ellington and Hawkins had never recorded together, so there was an atmosphere of energy and something grand and long overdue. Producer Bob Thiele and engineer Rudy Van Gelder stayed out of the way and let the music unfold while making sure not to miss anything. The result was a spectacular, loose, joyous, perfectly played album: Duke Ellington Meets Coleman Hawkins (Impulse! Records, AS-26, A-26 in mono).

Stereophile Staff  |  Dec 01, 2023  |  0 comments
Register to win an AudioQuest Cobalt portable USB DAC (retail value $349.95; limited-time $199.95) we are giving away.

"In the December 2019 issue of Stereophile, John Atkinson pondered: 'Is AudioQuest’s DragonFly Cobalt worth the extra $100 compared with the DragonFly Red? Yes. That sense of ease it offers with long-term listening is something I don’t want to do without.'"

Click on the picture above for details on how to enter.

Robert Baird  |  Nov 30, 2023  |  0 comments
A vital member of the second wave of Texas singer-songwriters that emerged in the 1970s and included Lucinda Williams, Butch Hancock, and Lyle Lovett, Nanci Griffith was a product of a time when, to paraphrase a once-ubiquitous bumper sticker, Austin was still weird. Gifted with a delicate, sweet voice and fierce determination, she started playing out at the age of 12 and getting paid at 14. While never having the ability to project Joan Baez–like volume, she could certainly fill a room. And while her voice could at times take on a flat, almost-nasal resonance, her tight vibrato was strong and evocatory the more you listened.
Ken Micallef  |  Nov 29, 2023  |  73 comments
In the mid-2000s, I worked at a "white-shoe" law firm on Wall Street, ran with renegades, and fancied myself a writer. Fast-forward some 18 years. The firm, like many cash-flush NYC firms, has moved to midtown and I've moved on. Those renegades are now respected members and players in the hi-fi community. I still fancy myself a writer.

Back then, I made friends with a big-eared clique that would influence my future in hi-fi: audio writer Michael Lavorgna (currently editor at; NYU law professor Jules Coleman; former Stereophile deputy editor and current AudioQuest director of communications Stephen Mejias; record-industry veteran Andrew Klein; composer Dan Cooper; illustrator Jeff Wong; vacuum-coffee–machine collector and audiophile Margery Budoff, who regrettably passed in 2015; Tone Imports' Jonathan Halpern; and DeVore Fidelity proprietor-designer John DeVore.