Jim Austin  |  May 16, 2023  |  6 comments
This, Stereophile's June 2023 issue, is the 50th I've produced as editor. That seems like a lot—yet the four-plus years it took have flown by; it seems impossible that I've done this 50 times already. Still, the main thing it makes me think is how inexperienced I remain: It will take another 28 years to match JA1's record. That's unlikely to happen: I'm not sure when I'll retire, but I hope it will be before I turn 87. What have I learned? I've learned a lot about producing this magazine, and I've gained a lot of detailed knowledge, especially about specific hi-fi components. I've gained some broader knowledge, too, including a deeper appreciation for the crucial importance of the time domain in hi-fi—of the fact that music happens in the time domain and we experience it there. In the very best systems, that fact is respected and exploited.
Michael Trei  |  May 15, 2023  |  4 comments
Over the last 40 years, I have set up or serviced literally thousands of turntables, and during that time I have seen a lot of increasingly sophisticated tools become available to help in getting your turntable optimized. I've had my eye on the Shaknspin speed analyzer since it was launched a couple of years ago, and now there's a new Shaknspin2, which promises more accurate results.
Michael Fremer  |  May 12, 2023  |  First Published: Jan 01, 2017  |  2 comments
As I began writing this column, the terrible news arrived that Armando "AJ" Conti, founder of Basis Audio, had died of a heart attack at 59. A talented designer of turntables and tonearms, AJ was one of the warmest and more thoughtful people in the High End. Whenever I entered the Basis room at a Consumer Electronics Show, I had to be prepared to spend the next hour or more talking with AJ—not only about audio, but about coffee, motorcycling, metallurgy, or any other of his many passions . . .
Thomas Conrad, Sasha Matson  |  May 11, 2023  |  0 comments
Bobo Stenson Trio: Sphere; Kirsten Edkins: Shapes and Sound; Franco Ambrosetti: Nora; Walter Smith III: return to casual.
Jason Victor Serinus, Stephen Francis Vasta  |  May 11, 2023  |  4 comments
Alexander Melnikov: Fantasie: 7 Composers, 7 Keyboards; Nielsen: Symphonies 2 (The Four Temperaments) & 6 (Sinfonia semplice); Beethoven: Violin Concerto in D Major (cadenzas by Jörg Widmann); Fragment from Violin Concerto in C Major; R. Strauss: Also sprach Zarathustra & Debussy: Jeux.
Robert Baird, Phil Brett, Anne E. Johnson  |  May 11, 2023  |  0 comments
John Lee Hooker: Burnin'; Paramore: This Is Why; New Order: Low-Life (Definitive Edition); Yo La Tengo: This Stupid World
Mike Mettler  |  May 10, 2023  |  2 comments
Few people make albums about isolation and loneliness sound as appealing as John Doe does. That's what Doe has achieved with his latest solo release, Fables in a Foreign Land (LP, Fat Possum FP 18001). Set as a song cycle in the 1890s, the album's 13 songs reflect Doe's penchant for dust-and-diesel storytelling, within an acoustic-trio format. It's "telling stories and playing music around the modern campfire," Doe said in an interview.
Kalman Rubinson  |  May 09, 2023  |  21 comments
It has taken almost three years, but Dolby Atmos is now permeating the music-streaming sites; note that most of the recent Grammy winners are available in Atmos.

Up to now, access to Atmos has been largely restricted to HT hardware; its success for music will depend on wide availability and non-HT options for audiophile music lovers to stream and to play discs or files in Atmos, especially in lossless versions. Enter the Arvus H2-4D.

Tom Fine  |  May 08, 2023  |  1 comments
Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis, also known as Jaws, was a self-taught originator of soul jazz. He recorded the first records that blend Hammond organ and tenor sax, with Bill Doggett at the B3, for Roost Records in May 1952. He continued to develop his blues-based, jukebox-friendly style of jazz and, in 1955, joined forces with a young organ player from Philadelphia named Shirley Scott. They recorded together for King and Prestige Records and formed a gigging band with drums and bass.

In three 1958 sessions at Rudy Van Gelder's Hackensack, New Jersey, "living room" studio, Davis and Scott recorded four seminal soul-jazz albums, the "Cookbooks." Themed around bluesy originals and spirited takes on comfortable standards, the albums featured liner notes and song titles that relate to an imagined soul kitchen, with a generous helping of kitschy references to the "simmerin'" music on the platters. Craft Recordings, the reissue label for the Concord Music Group, has collected the four "Cookbook" albums into a box set of vinyl cut from the two-track master tapes by Bernie Grundman and plated and pressed at RTI in California.

Ken Micallef  |  May 06, 2023  |  17 comments
Back in the 1950s, Cesare Sanavio, then a new electronics graduate with a specialty in output transformers for tube amplifiers, began his career in radio and television, traveling to various locations outside his native Italy to apply his expertise. Eventually he settled in Paraguay and started designing tubed sound systems for public installations, teaching his son Luciano the art. A few years later, Sanavio and his family returned to Italy. There, he worked as a consultant to several hi-fi companies. Finally, in 1994, drawing on decades of accumulated knowledge of tube-amplifier design and manufacturing, and a particular focus on output transformers of the highest quality, Cesare Sanavio and his two sons, Luciano and Lorenzo, formed Mastersound.

When Cesare Sanavio died, Lorenzo and Luciano continued operations. In 2015, the company re-formed, with some new international business connections and a new CEO, Antonio Ferro.