LATEST ADDITIONS

John Swenson  |  May 26, 2020  |  7 comments
I loved New Orleans music before I even knew what it was.

In the mid-1960s, I went to high school in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, which back then was a bleak, On the Waterfront landscape of dock workers and drifters hanging out in the pool halls along Bedford Avenue. We were warned to watch out on our way to track practice at nearby McCarren Park, because the pool halls were violent and confrontations often spilled out onto the street.

John Atkinson  |  May 22, 2020  |  57 comments
Soon after I took over preparing Stereophile's biannual Recommended Components listing from the magazine's founder, J. Gordon Holt, in 1986, I ran into a problem. With so many products listed, the magazine was running out of the necessary pages to include them all. To solve this problem, I looked at how long a typical product remained on the market before being updated or replaced. The answer was 3–4 years. I therefore implemented a policy that unless one of the magazine's editors or reviewers had continued experience with a product, it would be dropped from Recommended Components after three years.
Robert Schryer  |  May 21, 2020  |  115 comments
Reviewing a new loudspeaker from Totem feels like destiny—as if a formative moment 30 years ago has come full circle. That's because the first genuine audiophile speaker I ever owned was Totem's now-iconic Model 1, a product whose arrival altered many audiophiles' expectations of how much great—and wide-range—sound a small speaker can deliver. It's still being made today, at least in spirit.
Art Dudley  |  May 20, 2020  |  8 comments
I'm not in perfect agreement with my colleagues and friends who believe that RCA's Living Stereo LPs from the late 1950s and '60s are the best-sounding commercial classical recordings ever made. To me, the Decca SXL catalog outshines them sonically, in addition to showcasing the talents of an even greater roster of artists. But that's not to say I'm immune to their charms.

The RCA catalog contains some real gems.

Jason Victor Serinus  |  May 19, 2020  |  104 comments
Finally—a way to get a handle on the sound of Aavik Acoustics electronics. I'd heard the Danish-made components many times at shows, but always in the context of Ansuz Acoustics cables and Børresen Acoustics loudspeakers. As much as the threesome was inevitable—all three companies are owned by Michael Børresen, Lars Kristensen, and a third shareholder—there was no way to determine the unique sound of each component in the mix.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  May 19, 2020  |  14 comments
Denver’s Rocky Mountain Audio Fest (RMAF) has canceled its 2020 show.
Jim Austin  |  May 15, 2020  |  28 comments
At the 2019 AXPONA, I took part in one of my first official meetings, as editor of Stereophile, with members of the manufacturing community: the German company T+A. They were presenting in the room of Texas dealer Lone Star Audio, which was owned by the late Jim Hench. They had a corner hallway to themselves: two rooms and, at the time when I arrived, a hallway table brimming with coffee and pastries. Fortuitous timing.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  May 14, 2020  |  8 comments
The Home Entertainment Show—aka T.H.E. Show—which was originally scheduled for June 12–14 in the Long Beach Hilton, has canceled for 2020. According to a May 13 announcement, T.H.E. Show team of President Maurice Jung and Director of Marketing Emiko Carlin had hoped to postpone the event until December 2020. Not happening.
Tom Gibbs  |  May 14, 2020  |  25 comments
I own and enjoy loudspeakers from seemingly opposite ends of the audiophile spectrum: I'm a huge fan of minimally efficient yet otherwise overachieving flat-panel designs, such as my Magnepan LRS speakers. Yet I'm just as smitten with another, equally outside-the-norm alternative: high-sensitivity full-range loudspeakers, such as my Zu Omens—especially when driven by tube electronics. It's an ongoing yin and yang that keeps my home system in a constant state of flux: Alternating between loudspeakers that use such different technologies, while maintaining relatively optimal positioning for each, is a bit daunting.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  May 13, 2020  |  24 comments
Eriks Ešenvalds: Translations
Portland State Chamber Choir, Ethan Sperry, cond.
Naxos 8.574124 (CD, auditioned as 24/96 WAV). 2020. Erick Lichte, prod.; John Atkinson, Doug Tourtelot, engs.
Performance *****
Sonics ****½

I'll admit to a conflict of interest in choosing as Recording of the Month a work co-engineered by our very own John Atkinson. We—I, who nominated the piece, and Editor Jim Austin, who ultimately chose the winner—have both worked with John for years. And I'd never deny it was moving to sit next to him during his recent visit to Port Townsend following the release party for this new album, Translations, watching him shed tears as we listened together to the heavenly voices of the Portland State Chamber Choir singing "In paradisum" (2012), which Latvian composer Eriks Ešenvalds dedicated to his grandmother, who died the morning of the premiere.

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