LATEST ADDITIONS

Jason Victor Serinus  |  Feb 19, 2018  |  0 comments
The Nonesuch Records CD Steve Reich: Pulse / Quartet arrived with its sonic bonus unheralded. With no MQA designation on the album cover or disc, few would have known of its MQA provenance had not posts appeared on Facebook that, when inserted in a player capable of decoding MQA, it can deliver high-resolution MQA.
Ken Micallef  |  Feb 15, 2018  |  14 comments
Audiophiles are oblivious to the low-end music-reproduction medium that's currently staging a comeback: the cassette tape (footnote 1). I've adopted the cassette craze in my own small way. I glory in the trusted mixtape, which I play in the stereo cassette deck of my 1990s Toyota. An automobile is a dearly cherished possession in New York City; when I cruise the outer boroughs on Sunday, I want tunes galore. So I retrieved my 1996 Aiwa cassette deck, and, attic-bound as it had been for 20 years, it was in need of repair. Via Yelp, I came across Hi-Tech Electronics, a small repair-everything-electronic shop at the east end of Canal Street, in New York's Chinatown, and a mother lode of classic audio gear and audiophile nostalgia.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Feb 15, 2018  |  15 comments
The 2018 audio show season is about to start and it's not just Stereophile's coverage of high-end audio shows—which has taken a leap forward with the inclusion of Jana Dagdagan's binaural videos—that's changing. The shows themselves are on the move.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Feb 14, 2018  |  3 comments
There's good news for owners of Thiel loudspeakers manufactured between 1977 and 2012. Coherent Source Service of Lexington, Kentucky, will provide Thiel warranty and non-warranty service for customers worldwide. The company has been founded by Rob Gillum, who worked with Thiel for over 30 years and eventually became Director of Manufacturing.
Jim Austin  |  Feb 13, 2018  |  116 comments
When you come to a fork in the road, take it.—Yogi Berra

Over one busy week in 1986, Karlheinz Brandenburg laid the foundation of a technology that a few years later would upend the record business. Brandenburg, a PhD student in electrical engineering at the Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg, was figuring out how to code digital music efficiently enough that it could be delivered over digital telephone lines. A patent examiner had concluded that what the application proposed was impossible, so over a week of late nights, Brandenburg produced the proof of concept and more. It was another decade before the technology—MPEG-2 level III, more commonly known as MP3—would find its true home, the Internet.

Robert Baird  |  Feb 13, 2018  |  8 comments
Willie Nelson: Stardust
Columbia/Analogue Productions AAPP 116-45 (2 45rpm LPs). 1978/2017. Booker T. Jones, prod.; Donivan Cowart, Bradley Hartman, engs.; Bernie Grundman, mastering. AAA. TT: 43:28
Performance *****
Sonics *****

In Nashville in the early 1960s, Willie Nelson hit his low point. He'd failed at singing and writing country music, and one snowy night, after a liberal drowning of his troubles at Tootsie's Orchid Lounge, he decided to totter outside and lie down in the middle of Lower Broadway. In subsequent retellings of the tale, he's always maintained that he wasn't trying to kill himself. For that, he had a pistol.

Jason Victor Serinus  |  Feb 11, 2018  |  2 comments
Did you know that in May 1913, even before Diaghilev's ballet of Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring caused fist-fights among Parisian concertgoers, Stravinsky and Debussy together played the newly printed four-hand reduction of the score? You can feel a hefty helping of the excitement created by the crashing keyboards of two geniuses in the percussive thrill that Marc-André Hamelin and Leif Ove Andsnes bring to the score on this new Hyperion recording of Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring, Concerto for Two Pianos, and three other short works for two piano and four hands.
Jana Dagdagan  |  Feb 09, 2018  |  2 comments
Back in the early summer of 2017, Jack Oclee-Brown, KEF's Head of Acoustics, visited John Atkinson to set up the KEF Reference 5 loudspeakers in his listening room. JA's review of the Ref 5 was published in October 2017, and during Jack's visit JA talked to him about the design of that speaker. But they also discussed KEF's affordable "Q" line of speakers and the challenges a manufacturer faces in bringing an inexpensive loudspeaker to market, the subject of this interview.
Stereophile Staff  |  Feb 09, 2018  |  16 comments
Forgive us for the French but our March issue is about to hit newsstands, tablets, and mailboxes. With Naim's Uniti Nova amplifier and media player on its cover and reviewed inside by Ken Micallef, this issue will provide hours of reading pleasure. It has reviews of speakers ranging from the affordable to the high-priced, from KEF, Monitor Audio, Sonus Faber, Stenheim, and TAD. John Atkinson reviews closed-back headphones from MrSpeakers; Art Dudley reviews Ayre's KX-5 Twenty preamplifier; Michael Fremer auditions moving-coil cartridges from Kuzma and Koetsu; and Jim Austin offers further thoughts on that most controversial of topics, MQA.
Herb Reichert  |  Feb 08, 2018  |  3 comments
In my October 2017 column I reported on two turntables, the Palmer 2.5 and AMG Giro G9, each costing $10,000 and up, depending on ancillaries. It wasn't that I wanted to get all Mikey Fremer Uptown on you; I wanted to refine my listening skills and familiarize my senses with what my own humble system would sound like with a pair of world-class record players.

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