LATEST ADDITIONS

Stereophile Staff  |  May 21, 2018  |  0 comments
Thursday May 24, Soundings Fine Audio Video (8101 E. Belleview Avenue Suite X-1, Denver, CO 80237) and Lavish Hi-Fi (1044 4th Street, Santa Rosa, CA 95404) are holding special events.
Art Dudley  |  May 21, 2018  |  12 comments
Six weeks ago, Jana Dagdagan and I visited the Peekskill, New York factory of Soundsmith—her first time there, my second. Although I didn't mention this to the company's President and Chief Engineer, Peter Ledermann, the thing that most impressed me during my second visit was how little had changed since my first, in April of 2015. In particular, all but two of the employees I saw at Soundsmith this year had been there during my first visit; that suggests an experienced workforce—no small advantage in the manufacturing of phono cartridges, where the requisite skills are specialized, to say the least—a setting where people feel sufficiently challenged and appreciated that they stick around for years rather than mere months.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  May 20, 2018  |  8 comments
Less than a minute into this rare realization of the Leçons de Ténèbres des Mercredi, Jeudi et Vendredi saints by Michel Lambert (ca 1610–1696), I knew I had to review it. Recorded for Harmonia Mundi in 24/88.2 hi-rez by Alban Moraud, who did a wonderful job capturing the resonant acoustic of La Courroie, Entraigues-sur-la-Sorgue, the 2-CD/51-track set showcases the extraordinarily agile, virtually vibrato-less and intentionally nasal bari-tenor of Marc Mauillon.
Robert Schryer  |  May 18, 2018  |  24 comments
"No one thing turned more people into audiophiles than the '60s counterculture," said Bruno, arm flung over his cash register. "It opened up the doors of sonic perception. Even the great audio designers of the day were countercultural mavericks!"

Bruno is the lanky, braided-beard, thirtysomething owner of a small, well-stocked record shop in Montreal, and we stood facing each other on either side of a glass case filled with vinyl paraphernalia. Bruno has made the most of his limited space. Every foot of each wall supports a shelf crammed with music-related merchandise: rock and jazz memorabilia, album covers, refurbished turntables. There's even a rack in the back for music and audio magazines, including Stereophile.

Robert Baird  |  May 18, 2018  |  2 comments
Brad Mehldau: After Bach
Brad Mehldau, piano
Nonesuch 7559-79318-0 (CD). 2018. Robert Hurwitz, exec. prod.; Tom Korkidis, prod. coord.; Tom Lazarus, eng., mix, mastering; Brad Montgomery, mix. ADD? TT: 69:24
Performance *****
Sonics *****

That American jazz pianist Brad Mehldau has made a recording of J.S. Bach's music should come as no great surprise to anyone who's followed his extraordinarily varied career. In many ways, it seems a natural progression.

Having become one of the most important jazz pianists of this century, and dabbled in classical-flavored music, film scores, and even performances of popular music (by Oasis Soundgarden and Nick Drake, to name just a few of the artists he's covered), Mehldau has finally gotten around to recording this album of five pieces by one of the greatest keyboard improvisers in history. Mehldau's method here is to play a more or less straight version of a Bach prelude or fugue from The Well-Tempered Clavier, BWV 846–893, followed by his own "After Bach" reimagining of the same piece.

Jim Austin  |  May 17, 2018  |  104 comments
The right thing at the wrong time is the wrong thing.—Joshua Harris

The sampling theory formulated by Claude Shannon in the late 1940s had a key requirement: The signal to be sampled must be band-limited—that is, it must have an absolute upper-frequency limit. With that single constraint, Shannon's work yields a remarkable result: If you sample at twice that rate—two samples per period for the highest frequency the signal contains—you can reproduce that signal perfectly. Perfectly. That result set the foundation for digital audio, right up to the present. Cue the music.

Art Dudley  |  May 17, 2018  |  3 comments
I've been looking at this all wrong.

My recent informal survey of ca $10,000 CD players has been based on two assumptions: that the people reading those reviews would be looking for their last-ever CD player, and that such a purchase would require Serious Money.

In addition to such things as the best available design and parts, the most luxurious enclosure, and the utmost in reliability, Serious Money is presumed to buy durability of value: Any appliance that costs $10,000 today had damn well better be worth more than nothing in five or ten years.

Herb Reichert  |  May 17, 2018  |  6 comments
I am getting near the end of my Munich High End 2018 report and I am already feeling sad for all the rooms with hornspeakers I did not get to experience. What if I missed all the best ones?
Herb Reichert  |  May 16, 2018  |  11 comments
The July Stereophile will include my Follow-Up report on the Joseph Audio Pulsar loudspeakers; the same Pulsars Michael Fremer raved about in his full review. Before I submitted the review, Jana Dagdagan and I made a live binaural recording/video to accompany my written report so you, the reader at home, could experience the exact same recordings in the exact same system in the same room I used to evaluate the Pulsars. Today, therefore, I will only tell you that Jeff Joseph's floor-standing, gloss-white Perspective loudspeakers (15,990 Euros/pair) sounded fuller, deeper, bigger, and richer, than the stand-mounted Pulsars I reviewed.
Herb Reichert  |  May 16, 2018  |  7 comments
Look at this photo of Cessaro Horn Acoustics' beautiful-in-color 5-way "Zeta" lautsprecher. Can you imagine it sitting in your listening room? I could, and I'd be proud to own it—if only I didn't live in a one-bedroom Brooklyn apartment and write reviews for a living. The Zetas are new, and cost between 320,00 and 460,000 Euros/pair, which—don't laugh—I think seems like a bargain for all the hardware and good sound a buyer would receive.

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