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Jim Anderson  |  Aug 03, 2022  |  3 comments
"Why do you need all of those microphones?"

I've been asked this question more than once, by musicians you may have heard of. I'm not going to name names, but if you press me I might. Let's see where this goes.

It's a reasonable question, sometimes. Still.

Rogier van Bakel  |  Jul 07, 2022  |  124 comments
Gullibility is a disadvantage in any business, but it's a cardinal sin in journalism. During my J-school years, I acquired the occupational deformity that afflicts most reporters: a degree of skepticism bordering on the cynical. In my professional circles, an adage holds that "if your mother says she loves you, check it out."
Brian Richardson  |  May 31, 2022  |  22 comments
In audio reviewing, there's a tension between scientific explanations for the qualities of the sound we hear and how the music, as conveyed through our equipment, makes us feel. Insights from the new field of interpersonal neurobiology can help us understand this conflict.
Tony Scherman  |  Apr 27, 2022  |  2 comments
In the spring of 1969, as an aspiring jazz drummer of 15 pretentiously and largely uncomprehendingly drawn to the music's difficult avant-garde, I learned that Don Cherry, Ornette Coleman's alter ego during Ornette's starvation years and an icon of free jazz himself, had recently moved to the village of Congers in my native Rockland County, New York, just north of New York City. Ornette was putting together a group drawn mostly from his early cohorts, and the call went out to Stockholm, where Don had settled—to the extent that he settled anywhere—with his Swedish wife, Moki. Hence his arrival practically on my doorstep.
Herb Reichert  |  Apr 06, 2022  |  33 comments
Axiomatically, audiophile audio is about quality of reproduced sound. Experientially though—for me at least—it's about visions in the mind's eye. The older I get, the more attentively I listen to recordings, the more importance I assign to the myriad moving pictures I see between my speakers.
Rogier van Bakel  |  Mar 03, 2022  |  17 comments
The advantage of a highly resolving music system is that you can hear deeper into recordings. The disadvantage is that you can hear deeper into recordings.
Jim Anderson  |  Feb 10, 2022  |  16 comments
Hello, and Happy New Year! I'm greeting you in October 2021—just before Halloween, in anticipation of Stereophile's publication deadline—but by the time this magazine arrives in your mailbox, it'll be after the holidays.
Tony Scherman  |  Jan 04, 2022  |  4 comments
Back in the mid-1960s, I was the unusual white, suburban preteen who, for reasons I've long pondered and never fully understood, was drawn much less powerfully to the Beatles than to blues and R&B. I was a bit of a jazz snob, too. Given these leanings, it's no surprise that one of the half-dozen or so albums that fried my impressionable young brain was that seamless blend of blues, R&B, and jazz, Ray Charles at Newport.
Larry Birnbaum  |  Dec 01, 2021  |  0 comments
In the early 1970s, my hometown—Chicago—was a hotbed of blues. I discovered the blues in high school via the Rolling Stones, and I began to frequent the city's blues clubs as a college student, at first while still underage. From Theresa's, the South Side tavern where Junior Wells performed, I progressed to the West Side, where on weekends I would head down Madison Street to see Howlin' Wolf at Big Duke's Blue Flame Lounge.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Nov 02, 2021  |  44 comments
Take a walk at night. Walk so silently that the bottoms of your feet become ears.—Pauline Oliveros, Sonic Meditations

The one activity that distinguishes audiophiles from other music lovers is our practice of sitting in solitude and listening closely to music reproduced on a finely tuned playback system.

Kurt Gottschalk  |  Oct 05, 2021  |  1 comments
New York City is a dream you can't have—glitz, glamor, grime, too much to take in from within, too much to understand from afar. It's a metropolitan manifestation of the Heisenberg principle, its nature changing with how you look at it. No matter how you try, you can't see the forest for the skyscrapers.
Rogier van Bakel  |  Sep 08, 2021  |  11 comments
Step 1. When I was in my mid-20s, an older editor at the Dutch current-affairs magazine I worked for told me he wanted to write a piece about audiophiles: He had been bitten by the audio bug himself. Because I often wrote about rock and pop music, he asked if I had a quality hi-fi system, and if so, would I be willing to be interviewed for his article
Jeff Weiner  |  Jul 27, 2021  |  3 comments
I grew up in a household that didn't have a record player and was pretty much devoid of music. In high school, I got a little stereo and began collecting records. By the time I entered Brooklyn College, in 1963, my "main man" was Trini Lopez; I also had a couple of Jack Jones albums. In New York, I discovered the Cafe Au Go Go.
John Swenson  |  Jun 29, 2021  |  1 comments
Last week, I had a puzzling dream. When I woke, the vision remaining from the dreamscape was of a single thread of conversation, almost oracular, with no context. Ringo was telling me, "That was actually John singing on that one, mate."

I searched for a hidden message. Maybe it was one of those naked-in-public dreams, the Beatles drummer chastising me for misidentifying the singer in some review I wrote. I soon forgot about it.

Jonathan Scull  |  May 26, 2021  |  11 comments
'Cause it's hard to say what's real / When you know the way you feel—Flaming Lips, "One More Robot/Sympathy 3000-21," from Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots

In a recent Zoom meeting, some friends got into a dust-up about how "real"-sounding high-performance audio systems can be. The consensus was that there was no chance at all of real, live sound. A label owner waved it off as impossible: "Fuhgeddaboudit," he said. He's from New York, like me.

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