The Hot Shade of July

But maybe not so hot in the listening room, where you can get absorbed reading the latest issue of Stereophile. The expensive but superb-sounding Wilson Alexia 2 speaker is featured on the cover and reviewed inside, but also inside this issue is a review of the least expensive amplifier we have reviewed in decades, AkitikA's GT-102, which costs just $314 as a kit and $488 assembled and tested.

Other amplifiers reviewed in this issue come from Anthem, Border Patrol, and Bricasti, Mikey Fremer lives with the Bergmann Galder turntable and Odin tonearm, while our review team offers second opinions on Joseph Audio's Pulsar speaker, Lamm's L2.1 Reference preamp, LG's V30 hi-rez smartphone, and HoloAudio's Spring D/A processor. Jim Austin bookends the issue with an "As We See it" comparing high-end audio with high-end photography and a report from Clarksdale, Mississippi, home of the Blues and the infamous crossroads.

COMMENTS
Bogolu Haranath's picture

Red, white and blue ........... July cover ..........

dalethorn's picture

I remember I had an audiophile LP of Arthur Fiedler and the Boston Pops in the mid-70s, performing the Stars and Stripes Forever and some other less memorable songs. With July 4 coming up, one hopes the only thing exploding will be fireworks. Official fireworks only, please.

Bogolu Haranath's picture

Listening to music improves higher intellectual functions .......... There is sciencetific evidence to support that ............. So, let us enjoy the music .............

rschryer's picture

..who may be concerned as to why Jim Austin would booend anything, let alone Stereophile's July issue, the word booend, according to an online dictionary I'd never heard of until now, is defined as: An object designed to keep a row of books upright. So there it is: Jim's new As We See It is helping to prop up Stereophile's July issue. Or something like that.

Addendum: the text now says "bookends", but I swear I wasn't being a smart-ass; I looked up booend and found it here (turns out I also misread the entry):

www.greengonzo.com/dictionary/Bookind.html

I just assumed Stereophile was using obscure terminology. Cross my heart.

JimAustin's picture

Apparently Boo End is a Final Fantasy character, a level-45 alchemist. I have no idea what that means.

https://na.finalfantasyxiv.com/lodestone/character/6605286/

Hope all is well.

Jim

tonykaz's picture

Of course, Stereophile reports Obscure stuff.

Have a quick World Tour, visit all 250+ Countries and then report if you discovered anyone ( Anyone !!! ) playing records. If you make it to Scotland you'll discover the "All Time King of Vinyl" ( LINN ) doing demo's using Digital while Modeling a stiff Highland'c Pride.

East Coast USA Collector Audiophiles ( and a tiny few others ) still cling to Obscure and some even spend Full House Prices on Record Playing stuff.

But...

It's a Trend that's trending. The Charming Old Geezers are Breathing Life into it but it's on Life Support, everytime they turn their back it stops breathing.

Financially it's a Gold Mine.

Silly little constructs like Phono Carts are being offered for the price of a new Chevy Sedan, for gods sake!!

A nice, Fresh, Boxed Vinyl from Chad can cost $50. ( probably the only reliable source of lovely Vinyl )

A useful RIAA Pre-Amp is mandatory and pricy.

Cabling from Transparent is Thousands of Dollars ( for the good ones )

So, lets bring a Hundred new folks into our Vinyl Hobby?, while the Billions are taking to Digital like Babys to Mother's Milk & Milky-Way Chocolates.

Booend is a closer approximation to the Useful intent but leaves generous room for honest disagreements.

I like Booend, you get my vote.

Tony in Michigan

dalethorn's picture

Why vinyl sounds different - scroll down to "....But here's the big one: Considered against literally every music-playback medium ever conceived and created, the analog disc is the only one that generates its own electrical signal. Every other medium in existence—even analog tape—depends on an external power supply to create a source signal."

https://www.stereophile.com/content/listening-138-page-2#jwQvZG7w1MCRWlA...

tonykaz's picture

or more.

In the case of 78s the energy came from garden veggies and Chicken Broilers which get their dynamic Life from the Sun that the Roman's Worshiped until Constantine Converted everybody to Catholic in 400 AD ( do or die ). Still, many chose Death and still do to this day.

Vinyl guys need a nice Banner Slogan : " Give me Vinyl or give me Death" !!!

I can even see those Analog Planet folks brandishing Tats say'n "Vinyl or Die" ( or at least T-Shirts ).

Oh well, vinyl playback is so deeply obsolete that it became a outrageous nonsense to easily dismantle and expose for the pricy fraud it's Sellers are trying to perpetuate.

I accept and embrace my "Roll and Calling" to point-out ( with caution ) the Sirens seducing our youth onto a Rocky destruction.

Tony in Michigan

dalethorn's picture

I had a friend in 1970 who was known for a certain substance abuse habit, and his slogan was "Give me librium or give me meth." Of course at that time there was no consumer digital music, and frankly we didn't miss it. On the other hand, if you're into Quantum Retrocausality, you could say we did miss digital but didn't know it at the time (whatever that is).

tonykaz's picture

now that we have a glimpse of the Future.

Dabbling with Electricity in 1750 could've been done in the 1500s. Imagine where Music reproduction would be today if it was Ben Franklin invented the iPhone along with the Lightning Rod.

What I've seen thru the Eyes and writing of the Europeans working on Sound is akin to giving sight to Blind people.

I'm anticipating JA arranging a Phonak Audio System Review because it can interface all things Audio with all things Human.

Tony in Michigan

RH's picture

I believe I have learned to recognize tonykaz's posts within one or two sentences at this point, with no need to look at the username.

;-)

RH's picture

I thought this post meant the July issue was now available (I know that often issues for one month of a magazine can be available some time during the month before - especially for subscribers).

I just signed up for a digital subscription but it turns out it's not available yet. Sigh.

Your evil trick worked!

Could someone tell us when the digital version of the July issue becomes available for subscribers?

Peterm100's picture

I’ve been a subscriber for some time and also cannot access the digital version of the July issue, please fix!

julianstorey@yahoo.co.nz's picture

I see I'm not the only one that can't download the July edition. Downloading the latest app does not help.

Gonna have withdrawals soon.

John Atkinson's picture
julianstorey@ya... wrote:
I see I'm not the only one that can't download the July edition. Downloading the latest app does not help.

We post these announcements when publication of the new issue is imminent. The Zinio and Apple Newsstand editions should be available for download this coming week.

John Atkinson
Editor, Stereophile

RH's picture

Thanks for the clarification! I'm looking forward to this issue.

RH's picture

BTW, for John A. or any other digital subscriber here:

How do we find out when a new issues is available for download? Do we receive an email notice, or something? Or is it up to us to keep checking on Zinio until the issue shows up?

Thanks.

John Atkinson's picture
RH wrote:
How do we find out when a new issues is available for download? Do we receive an email notice, or something?

You get an email from Zinio letting you know that the new issue is available. I just got mine this morning.

And on another note, the Apple HomePod will be reviewed in the August issue of Stereophile, with a followup on the performance in stereo in a following issue.

John Atkinson
Editor, Stereophile

RH's picture

Great, thanks again!

Bogolu Haranath's picture

Boo-hoo ..........

volvic's picture

Glad to see I’m not alone, first time ever I’ve received the email but zinio is not ready. Been going back and forth with them since Wednesday.

Bogolu Haranath's picture

........... or, one could buy the new Apple Home Pod for under $400, and live (listen) happily forever ........ See the review in the latest Sound & Vision magazine ...........

dalethorn's picture

I've been testing it at the Apple store on my evening visits there when it's relatively quiet. With 2 units connected for stereo it's only $700 - dirt cheap for the hardware. The problem for me is the auto loudness compensation, which doesn't sound natural enough on many recordings.

Bogolu Haranath's picture

Home Pod is driven by AI (Siri) .......... What else can we expect? ............

dalethorn's picture

Homepod at Apple is one of those opportunities for erstwhile mature adults to have fun at others' expense. Walk over to the speaker and say "Hey Siri", and when Siri answers, tell it to play something fun - use your imagination.

Bogolu Haranath's picture

May be we should ask Siri whether she likes digital or analog? ............... Also, what she thinks about MQA? ............

dalethorn's picture

If Siri could even *find* an MQA track that would be a start. But don't blame it on Siri - Apple's dedication to their streaming service is very questionable, even though it's supposed to be the future. I'm glad I don't have a job in that department at Apple.

tonykaz's picture

HOooooooly Cowsers.

JA made one of the most Profound statements I've ever encountered in any Audio Journal. It's about transducers and his vast history of experience.

More Later, I have appointments.

Tony in Michigan

tonykaz's picture

Convenience vs. SQ

We're getting to the point where we can have both.

Tony in Michigan

ps. I like your Crayon Shirt, betcha it's as Vintage as those Vinyls you like so much.

ps. you are on my daily rotation along with Paul McGowan. My Wife just came into my Office, saw you and asked : "Who's that?"
I told her that you are Steve Gutenberg, she asked me to say "hi"!

ps.3 it's probably about time for you to take over Jana's duties as Videographer or do you think that JA might have someone lined up for that fun job?

Bogolu Haranath's picture

Anybody has any opinions about what JA said about transducers? ..........

dalethorn's picture

I looked for it in the print magazine but couldn't find it.

RH's picture

I've now read Herb Reichert's follow up review of the Joseph Audio Pulsar speakers and he captures very well what I heard from those speakers. Thanks Herb for the fun read (and Stereophile)!

In the end Herb seemed to prefer the richer fuller sound of his Harbeth speakers over the more transparent sound of the JA speakers.

That had me wondering: In a recent show report, Herb commented on listening to the floor standing Joseph Audio Perspective speakers where he wrote the Perspectives: "sounded fuller, deeper, bigger, and richer, than the stand-mounted Pulsars I reviewed."

I'd love to ask Herb if the richer, fuller sound of the Perspectives would make the decision between Harbeths and the Perspectives a tougher decision for him, or maybe even tip the balance to the Perspectives?

TechOne's picture

looks like great sounding Stereophile superb-sounding speaker.
https://www.avantadigital.com

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