Jason Victor Serinus  |  Apr 12, 2024  |  First Published: Apr 11, 2024  |  2 comments
Distributor Aldo Filippeli of the Luxury Audio Group sure knows how to get the press’s attention. Schedule a room in the Convention Center that he can set up beforehand, invite the press to hour-long sessions before the show begins, and ensure that we come away fulfilled. When Alexander Vitus Mogensen, CEO of Vitus Audio, quipped, “This is the best sounding room at the show right now!” he was telling the truth. In all honesty, if it doesn’t turn out to be one of the top five best sounding rooms at AXPONA 2024, if not the best, I’ll be surprised.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Apr 12, 2024  |  First Published: Apr 11, 2024  |  0 comments
Thomas Conrad, Andrey Henkin  |  Apr 10, 2024  |  0 comments
Jim Snidero: For All We Know; Noah Haidu: Standards II; Adam Schroeder & Mark Masters: CT!; Dino Betti van der Noot: Let Us Recount Our Dreams.
Ray Chelstowski  |  Apr 10, 2024  |  1 comments
The Allman Brothers Band: Manley Field House, Syracuse University, April 7, 1972; The Babys: Live at the Bottom Line, 1979.
Jason Victor Serinus, Stephen Francis Vasta  |  Apr 10, 2024  |  0 comments
Neave Trio: A Room of Her Own; Gidon Kremer: Songs of Fate; Trio Zimbalist: Piano Trios of Weinberg, Auerbach, & Dvořák.
Herb Reichert  |  Apr 09, 2024  |  7 comments
I've been to a few bowling parties and passed a bottle around a few fire pits, but I've never watched an audiophile unboxing video. Lately though, I have been paying closer attention to my first impressions of each new audio product as it enters my realm.

I'm finding it interesting to notice how a device previously unseen and unheard declares itself one small step at a time as I open its box, feel its heft, observe its form, study its manual, and, finally, wire it into my system. Those start-up experiences, plus my gut feelings during my first moments of music listening, establish a tone of innocent discovery I wish would last the whole month. It never does.

I mention this because my first impressions for my first-ever review of an ARCAM product, the Radia A25 integrated amplifier, were in that "innocent and receptive" mode from the instant I saw the box sitting outside my door.

Jim Austin  |  Apr 08, 2024  |  13 comments
Photo: Jason Victor Serinus

Though I'm writing this in early March, this As We See It column will be published in the May issue, which is the issue that will go to AXPONA, America's largest audio show, held each non-pandemic year at the Renaissance Schaumburg Hotel & Convention Center near Chicago. This year's show takes place Friday–Sunday, April 12–14. The show opens each day at 10am and closes at 6pm Friday and Saturday; Sunday's closing time is 4pm. If you're going to the show, don't forget to stop by the Stereophile booth, Location 9213 in the exhibit hall.

Herb Reichert  |  Apr 05, 2024  |  5 comments
It was almost Christmas, a perfect, chilly, blue-sky day to visit the Met Museum and see the Manet/Degas show before it ended. On my way, walking north on Madison Avenue, I passed the uptown branch of Gagosian Gallery and noticed a brightly lit poster behind thick glass announcing their exhibition of American artist Brice Marden's last paintings. The title of the show was "Let the painting make you," which sounded like an invite and a challenge, so of course I had to go in. I was in the perfect mood to ride in Gagosian's swanky private elevator and see how a famously serious painter with a six-decade career chose to communicate his last thoughts.
Rogier van Bakel  |  Apr 04, 2024  |  62 comments
All photos by Rogier van Bakel. Compositing by David Evett.

For Christmas in 2020, a friend sent me a gift: a coffee mug decorated with a one-out-of-five-stars rating for the annus horribilis the world had just been through. The caption on the ceramic read, "VERY BAD WOULD NOT RECOMMEND."

True, the pandemic year and the lockdowns had been no fun, to put it mildly, but that doesn't mean there were no positives. Every day, rain or shine, my 10-year-old daughter and I played soccer on the field behind our house. We—pointlessly, I concede—trained our shepherd to walk backward on command. I savored having more time to read, watch movies, and take naps when the urge struck. Finally, I used the long stretch of weeks, then months, to rekindle my lifelong infatuation with music. Thousands of old and new recordings kept me balanced and tethered me to the rest of humanity during the dark days of social distancing. Rarely had music soothed and comforted me more than during the 10 months before the vaccines arrived.

My musical appreciation—reverence at times—was due in part to the new Tekton Moab floorstanders . . .

Julie Mullins  |  Apr 03, 2024  |  7 comments
Many audiophiles and serious music lovers are passionate about vintage. Vintage has become a popular "way in" to the hobby, especially popular among younger folks. Reasons vary. Many—perhaps most—are seeking more bang for the buck than you can get buying new. Others prefer classic sound and aesthetics: that special vintage vibe. At least a few inherit or receive vintage pieces from audiophile parents; others come across a beautiful bargain they can't resist. An important niche in our hobby thinks vintage equipment simply sounds better than the new stuff.

Not every vintage piece sounds good, however, and not every piece is a bargain. Some can be quite expensive. And most that aren't are in need of expensive refurbishment to look and sound their best. Even once restored, they usually require more care, maintenance, and patience than a new piece would require. It's a lot to take in for those new to the hobby.

Jeremy Irwin, owner and "stereo archaeologist" at the vintage-focused dealer Aural HiFi in Denver, has been there himself.