Robert Baird, Ray Chelstowski  |  Mar 07, 2024  |  1 comments
John Prine: John Prine; Bob Dylan: The Complete Budokan 1978; Jimi Hendrix Experience: Jimi Hendrix Experience: Hollywood Bowl August 18, 1967; The Johnny Winter Story (The GRT/Janus Recordings).
Jason Victor Serinus, Stephen Francis Vasta  |  Mar 07, 2024  |  5 comments
Stravinsky: Pulcinella Suite & Manuel De Falla: El retablo de maese Pedro; Harpsichord Concerto; Pierre Génisson: Mozart 1791; Tellefsen: Piano Concerti 1–2 & Kalkbrenner: Grande Marche interrompue par un orage et Suivie d'une Polonaise; Mahler: Symphony 8 (Symphony of a Thousand).
Mike Mettler  |  Mar 06, 2024  |  14 comments
Photo By Adam Taylor

Steven Wilson loves changing the minds of spatial audio skeptics. He's the go-to Dolby Atmos and 5.1 mixmaster for many heritage artists, new-wave bands, and alternative acts. Best known for leading the post-prog collective Porcupine Tree, releasing a score of genre-stretching solo albums, and serving as a key creative contributor to such experimental groups as No-Man and Blackfield, Wilson's approach is simple: bring them into his studio and let the music do the talking.

Phil Brett  |  Mar 05, 2024  |  4 comments
There's a famous quote by Lenin, that revolutions cannot stand still; they have to move forward. I'm guessing he wasn't talking about the British punk explosion, but it's applicable. There was a period of time around 1978—when that initial Sex Pistols thrill had subsided—when I thought it was stalling. The new bands started sounding dull, derivative. In all probability, I just had unreasonable demands: that a band should produce iconic albums weekly. I was 17, had just started work, and pretty much thought the world was there for my personal amusement.

Then from the pages of my holy book—New Musical Express—came news from Scotland. Shamefully, back then, my awareness of Scottish music began and ended with Nazareth and the Bay City Rollers. But the NME journos were excitedly talking about two new record labels recently set up north of Hadrian's Wall: Fast Product and Postcard.

Stereophile Staff  |  Mar 01, 2024  |  0 comments
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Jason Victor Serinus  |  Mar 01, 2024  |  17 comments
Ever since I raved about Krell's K-300i integrated amplifier after it was released in early 2019, I've wanted to review other Krell products. After spending more than a year and a half (since its prerelease announcement) awaiting the opportunity to review Krell's new flagship mono power amplifier, the KMA-i800 ($73,000/pair), the time has come. Both Krell models utilize the company's proprietary iBias technology, albeit in different iterations, and both were designed by longtime Krell engineer Dave Goodman.
Mark Henninger  |  Mar 01, 2024  |  First Published: Feb 29, 2024  |  2 comments

The French two-way Diptyque DP140 MKII loudspeaker ($17,000/pair) challenges the preconception that planar magnetic speakers struggle to put out deep bass: It's specified to reach down to 35Hz. Its 87dB/W/m sensitivity is merely average—it will benefit from some power—but its 6 ohm nominal impedance means it's not too heavy a load.

Herb Reichert  |  Feb 29, 2024  |  149 comments
Decades ago, when I was peddling million-dollar sound systems, an astute potential customer asked me: "If I buy your very expensive system, what will I get that I'm not getting with my less expensive system?" Smiling my best fatherly smile, I whispered to his ear, "Goosebumps, tears, and laughter."

With a slightly worried look, he asked, "How much did you say those silver cables cost?"

Thirty years later
Changing audio cables always changes the sound of my system, sometimes a lot but usually just a little. Typically, the sonic effects of cable changes are modest shifts in focus, tone, or transparency. But sometimes during blue moons I've seen a new set of cables turn a blah, dull, fuzzy system into a macrodynamic, microdetailed one. Or turn a cool, mechanical-sounding system into something fierce and mammalian.

Michael Trei  |  Feb 28, 2024  |  0 comments
Twice in the last month I have been at someone's house, servicing their turntable, when they asked whether they should be considering a new phono preamp that offers additional playback equalization curves besides the standard RIAA. My usual reaction is to thumb through their record collection, where, more often than not, I find that they don't own a single record that was cut using a curve other than RIAA.

Phono playback EQ is one of those audiophile topics that stokes some people's passions, with plenty of disagreements about how important it is. I have seen grown men get into heated discussions about the history of record EQ curves, but in truth, the subject is only likely to matter if you listen to a lot of 78s or original mono LPs pressed between the late 1940s and the mid-1950s.

Ken Micallef  |  Feb 28, 2024  |  0 comments

Just Audio's Lenny Florentine presented two rooms at the show, one jammed with components at all price points (including Luxman, inspiring that company's VP of Sales John Pravel and myself to reminisce about 1970s hi-fi sales), the second with more affordable but no less listenable alternatives. Room 806 offered two systems in one.