Kalman Rubinson  |  Mar 14, 2024  |  5 comments
One thing that interested me about the StormAudio ISP Evo is that, despite its obvious hi-fi function, it's more like a computer than a typical "prepro." While it does offer a few "legacy" analog inputs, it is for the most part all-digital, input to output, including network connections on both ends. Consequently, it is less likely to leave sonic fingerprints on the music than devices that convert digital to/from analog or modulate their signals with active amplification or attenuation. It is notable that, despite its audio function, the Storm completely lacks traditional audio specifications—distortion, dynamic range, and so on.

Yes, that aspect of the product was appealing, but the real trigger for me was that when I began this review, the StormAudio ISP Evo was the only consumer device to fully incorporate the latest version of Dirac Live Active Room Treatment (ART).

Stephen Francis Vasta  |  Mar 13, 2024  |  0 comments
Wagner: Famous Opera Scenes
Nikolai Lugansky (piano)
Harmonia Mundi HMM 902393 (CD). Nicolas Bartholomée, prod.; Bartholomée, Ambroise Helmlinger, engs.
Performance ****
Sonics *****

Concert arrangements of operatic themes for piano, like Liszt's famous concert paraphrases, obviously provide an opportunity to display one's virtuosic keyboard technique. As Denis Morrier's program note for Harmonia Mundi indicates, however, transcriptions of Wagner served a second important purpose: spreading awareness of the composer's operas when they only played in a limited number of venues. There was no Spotify or Idagio back then!

Jim Austin  |  Mar 12, 2024  |  18 comments
Recently, I found myself in an email conversation with two colleagues on the nature of reproduced audio. How should we think about it? The conversation was provoked by a "hybrid" (live and online) presentation of the Pacific Northwest section of the Audio Engineering Society called "What Does 'Accurate' Even Mean?" The presenter was James D. "JJ" Johnston, a distinguished researcher in the field of perceptual audio coding and a co-inventor of MP3.

Among many other honors, Johnston was selected to present the Richard Heyser Memorial Lecture at the 2012 AES convention—an honor shared by our own John Atkinson, who had given that lecture the previous year and was one of the participants in this email conversation. The other was Tom Fine—so, it was me and two sound engineers.

Robert Baird, Thomas Conrad  |  Mar 07, 2024  |  0 comments
Rufus Reid: It's the Nights I Like; Frank Sinatra: Sinatra Platinum; Bill Anschell: Improbable Solutions; Nitai Hershkovits: Call on the Old Wise.
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.