Miscellaneous

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Julie Mullins  |  Oct 01, 2020  |  7 comments
The fog hung ominously thick as I climbed the 194 steps leading up to Red Rocks Amphitheatre. I'd been in Denver for the 2018 Rocky Mountain Audio Fest, and the weather had suddenly turned damp and cold—unusually so for early October. Due to dense fog and possible ice, my drive in from another Colorado city had been slowed. Though I'm in good shape, I was unaccustomed to the altitude, which also slowed my pace. So, I was arriving shortly after the opening act had started.
John Atkinson  |  Sep 14, 2020  |  5 comments
When Stereophile publishes followup reviews of various kinds in the print magazine, we add the followup as a "child page" to the full review. That means that they don't appear on the website's home page and might get missed. The October 2020 issue included three followups: of the Boulder 2108 phono preamplifier, the Weiss DAC502 D/A processor, and the IsoAcoustics Gaia loudspeaker isolation feet.
Julie Mullins  |  Sep 02, 2020  |  10 comments
Apart from the Beatles and Hendrix I heard in my audiophile father's basement, one of my earliest rock'n'roll memories involved a multipurpose record player at school. In third grade, six of us were moved as a separate group to a round table to watch a filmstrip in a darker part of a large, open-plan classroom. A clunky old record player in a self-contained carrying case with a half-dozen headphone jacks sat on the table.
Allen Edelstein  |  Jun 10, 2020  |  First Published: May 01, 1982  |  38 comments
The VPI Magic Brick is an 8lb block of steel laminations, about 5" by 3" by 2", encased in a nicely-finished oak box for aesthetic appeal and for protecting whatever the brick is sitting on from scratches. Placing the Brick over the power transformer of a piece of electronic gear is supposed to improve the sound of your stereo system.
Jim Austin  |  Jan 30, 2020  |  7 comments
Hi-Fi: The History of High-End Audio Design, by Gideon Schwartz, Phaidon Press, 2019. 272pp. $84.97, hard cover.

The ongoing evolution of hi-fi can be measured in any number of ways. Most obviously, we see that evolution in the technologies associated with our industry: in big breakthroughs—mono to stereo, tubes to transistors, analog to digital—as well as incremental improvements in materials and manufacturing techniques.

J. Gordon Holt  |  Dec 12, 2019  |  First Published: Aug 01, 1998  |  4 comments
Editor's Note: Published in 1998, this was the final review written by Stereophile's founder, the late J. Gordon Holt in the 37 years he was associated with the magazine. In it he expounds on his passion for experiencing recorded music in surround sound. Our continuing focus on two-channel products and recordings was one of the reasons Gordon eventually resigned, in August 1999.—John Atkinson
J. Gordon Holt  |  Nov 06, 2019  |  First Published: Jun 01, 1970  |  1 comments
The Revox A-77 has extremely good speed regulation, vanishingly low wow and flutter, very low noise, superb tape handling, and the smoothest, widest-range frequency response of any recorder we have ever tested.

The portable version, with built-in monitor amps and speakers, is very compact for a machine with 10½ reel capacity, and is easily carried by one person. Now that the later version is equipped with a flutter-filtering tension arm, our only criticism of the A-77 is its use of three-circuit jacks for the micro phone inputs instead of the XLR-type receptacles that are considered to be "standard" in the US for on-location audio recording.

John Atkinson  |  Oct 08, 2019  |  18 comments
1019psbbok.promo99% True: Almost a National Bestseller, by Paul McGowan. Lioncrest Publishing, 2019. 364pp. $25.00, hard cover; $15.99, paperback; $9.99, Kindle e-book.

To many audiophiles, high-end audio manufacturers must seem like monolithic entities, enduring for what seems like forever, like cliffs beside a familiar path. But as Paul McGowan explains in this unputdownable autobiography (footnote 1), behind the facade of stability things can be in financial turmoil, with success equally as risky as failure.

Art Dudley  |  May 21, 2019  |  34 comments
It's a toss-up: The house where my family and I lived for 15 years was bigger than the one we have now, and had a much nicer view. On the other hand, we now live in a less economically depressed region, as suggested by the relative scarcity of inflatable lawn decorations. During the last year I saw in my neighborhood far fewer leprechauns, reindeer, Easter Bunnies, purple-and-green Draculas, and turkeys wearing pilgrim hats (which makes about as much sense as Russian soldiers wearing lederhosen). I find those things unspeakably sad, because they're horrible, cheap, gaudy wastes of money.
John Atkinson  |  Mar 19, 2019  |  9 comments
High Performance Loudspeakers: Optimising High Fidelity Loudspeaker Systems, Seventh Edition, by Martin Colloms. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2018. Paperback, 696 pp., $95. Available as an eBook, $79.99.

"Listen to that—that's what I mean by 'cone cry!'"

It was 1979. I'd been taking part in a blind listening test of loudspeakers organized by Martin Colloms (footnote 1) for the British magazine Hi-Fi Choice and, after the formal sessions had ended, had asked Martin to explain something I'd heard. A drive-unit's diaphragm produces cone cry when it resonates at a frequency unconnected with the musical signal it is being asked to produce; we had been using an anechoic recording of a xylophone, and one of the loudspeakers we'd been listening to was blurring the pitches of some of the instrument's notes.

Jason Victor Serinus  |  Apr 24, 2018  |  53 comments
"Phones are the gateway device," proclaimed Marc Finer, executive producer of the Hi-Res Pavilion, at the start of the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show. When he pointed to LG Electronics' V30 Hi-Res+MQA smartphone, which includes streaming apps for Qobuz, Tidal, and YouTube, I sensed the truth in his words. The latest stats from survey company MusicWatch confirm that at least 87% of smartphone owners use a music-streaming service, including the largest, YouTube. Twenty percent of owners said that they stream music/music-related content daily, and 39% stream five or more days per week.
Robert Deutsch  |  Jan 30, 2018  |  7 comments
After I'd concluded my critical listening sessions with the PS Audio Stellar M700s that I review elsewhere in this issue, I got a call from Dave Morrison of IsoAcoustics, in Markham, Ontario, makers of the Gaia loudspeaker isolation feet. He told me that they had a new product, the Orea, that applies to audio electronics—preamps, power amps, DACs—the isolation technology used in the Gaia.
Robert Deutsch  |  Sep 14, 2017  |  20 comments
IsoAcoustics Inc. has its head office in Ontario and its manufacturing facilities in China, and is headed by Dave Morrison, who for 20 years has been involved in designing radio and television studios for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. The IsoAcoustics products are the result of this experience. Although relatively new on the consumer-audio market, IsoAcoustics' speaker-isolation products have gained wide acceptance in pro audio; their client list of recording and mastering studios includes Blackbird (Nashville), Mastering Palace (NYC), Flux (NYC), United Recording (LA), the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Skywalker Ranch, and Abbey Road.
J. Gordon Holt  |  Oct 06, 2016  |  First Published: Jul 01, 1968  |  4 comments
The Swiss-made G-36 recorder had earned an enviable reputation among perfectionists during the few years that it has been available in the US, and our inability to test one (because of a backlog of other components for testing) became increasingly frustrating to us with each glowing report we heard from subscribers who owned them. Now that we have finally obtained one through the courtesy of ELPA (footnote 1), we can see what all the shouting was about, but we also have some reservations about it.
Michael Fremer, Robert Deutsch  |  Sep 13, 2016  |  26 comments
Synergistic's PHT ($199/set of two) is a very tiny, tweezer-ready HFT designed to placed atop a phono cartridge, and is marketed with a nod and wink: "grown in California, legal in all 50 states" (PHT is pronounced pot). Analog vets might remember Apature's line of moving-coil cartridges from the 1980s, which included the models Panama Red, Maui Blue, and Koce (which was white). Think I'm handing you a line? I've got a Koce here.

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