Added to the Archives This Week

Jonathan Scull says he likes "stories with happy endings." Will his time spent with the Conrad-Johnson Premier 16LS preamplifier leave a smile on his face or a frown? J-10 comments, "As always, after a period of time, I began tweaking until I got the sound just so, then whipped out the laptop and . . . " filed this report.

When Thomas J. Norton first penned his review of the Epos ES 14 loudspeaker, he noted that "Americans might be forgiven if they haven't heard of Epos, a small, British specialist loudspeaker manufacturer." Norton is joined by other Stereophile scribblers who provide readers with the definitive rundown on this classic design, which has since made quite a name for itself.

As a companion to the Epos review, we include John Atkinson's 1988 interview with the speaker's designer, Robin Marshall: A Modicum of Genius. JA notes that any short list of great designers surely includes Marshall, who "blossomed in the '80s, producing a number of sonically stunning speakers."

Back in 1991, Robert Harley said, "I got to thinking about why I should be surprised to see four fiftyish Taiwanese women enthusiastically prowling a high-end hi-fi show." Seeing the diverse mix of visitors to Stereophile's Taipei High-End Hi-Fi show that year prompted his "As We See It," The Tragedy of High End Audio. Harley concluded, "My surprise is symptomatic of the tragedy of the high-end audio industry: its failure to appeal to music lovers instead of just audiophile tweakos."

Finally, the most recent installment in our "Recording of the Month" series for the online archives: Recording of September 1998, Mermaid Avenue by Billy Bragg & Wilco. Robert Baird opines that "instead of a noble flop, which seemed the most likely outcome" of Bragg's and Wilco's attempt to resuscitate some of Woody Guthrie's lost songs, "Mermaid Avenue is one of the best things that Bragg, Wilco—and, yes, even Guthrie—has ever recorded."