LATEST ADDITIONS

Jana Dagdagan  |  May 22, 2017  |  6 comments
Last week, I embarked on a nearly three-hour public transportation trek from Queens to Cliffwood, NJ to take a tour of turntable and tonearm manufacturer VPI Industries, with Mat Weisfeld as my host. During the tour, I got to meet every member of the VPI family, learn about each step of the process, and get a firsthand look at a couple of unreleased products!
Jason Victor Serinus  |  May 21, 2017  |  2 comments
Twenty-four years after The Hilliard Ensemble and saxophonist Jan Garbarek recorded Officium, the first of their three haunting, century-crossing collaborations for ECM New Series, Trio Mediaeval has done something similar with trumpeter Arve Henriksen. On their latest ECM New Series album, Rímur, the vocal trio of Anna Maria Friman, Linn Andrea Fugiseth, and Berit Opheim teams up with Henriksen to produce timeless versions of chants, hymns, folk songs and improvisations based on Icelandic, Norwegian and Swedish sources from earlier times.
Robert Baird  |  May 19, 2017  |  1 comments
He's made a career out of being hard to describe, impossible to pigeonhole.
Ken Micallef  |  May 18, 2017  |  14 comments
If, like me, you're a dues-paying audiophile who's circumnavigated the upgrade block a few times, you've seen a lot of gear and set up many systems. I've carried 80-lb line conditioners up the six knee-crunching flights to my bachelor's penthouse, managed 50-lb loudspeakers downstairs to a waiting van, and made more trips to FedEx than I can count. I've owned dozens of audio products and reviewed dozens more.
Robert Baird  |  May 18, 2017  |  2 comments
Was just listening to the deluxe edition of Singles: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack, which is to be released tomorrow, May 19, when the news of Chris Cornell's unexpected death was announced. Very sad news and our sympathies go out to his family and all who loved his music in Soundgarden and Audioslave, and on the solo records.
John Atkinson  |  May 18, 2017  |  20 comments
Fifteen years? Has it really been 15 years since I reviewed what was then the flagship D/A processor from English company Chord Electronics? In the July 2002 issue, here's how I summed up my review of the Chord DAC64: "While the Chord Electronics DAC64 is undoubtedly expensive, it is eye-poppingly gorgeous. . . . many listeners should find its silky-smooth highs seductive, as well as its slightly larger-than-life lows." How times and prices change—the "undoubtedly expensive" DAC64 cost only $3040! I did make a couple of criticisms of the DAC64 in my review, but according to Wes Phillips, in his August 2007 review of Chord's revised DAC64, "the Choral Blu [CD transport] and Choral DAC64 are, together, the CD player we music lovers have long prayed for"—even if, five years after my own review, the DAC64's price had risen to $5000.
Robert Baird  |  May 16, 2017  |  3 comments
On Small Town, Bill Frisell's latest album, a program of duets with bassist Thomas Morgan recorded live at the Village Vanguard in NYC and produced by the founder, owner, and visionary behind ECM Records, Manfred Eicher, Frisell again shows his affinity for American roots music.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  May 16, 2017  |  16 comments
Balance is certainly a lovely concept, as well as a lofty ideal. But achieving an optimal sonic balance in a high-end audio system—whose final sound is determined, in part, by interactions among any number of components and that great bugaboo, the listening room—while maintaining some semblance of psychic equilibrium can be the hardest goal of all.
Robert Baird  |  May 16, 2017  |  2 comments
Dominic Miller: Silent Light
Dominic Miller, guitar; Miles Bould, percussion
ECM 2518 (CD). 2017. Manfred Eicher, prod.; Jan Erik Kongshaug, eng. DDD? TT: 41:06
Performance *****
Sonics *****

It was a pairing that seemed right from the very start: ECM's founder, Manfred Eicher, a man renowned for having an unmatched ear for talent and exacting sound-engineering skills; and guitarist Dominic Miller, an internationalist who was born in Argentina, raised in Racine, Wisconsin, and now lives in Provence, France, and who's spent more than 20 years playing and writing with Sting. Along the way, Miller has been a hired guitar slinger with everyone from the Pretenders and Chris Botti to Rod Stewart and Plácido Domingo. He's made 13 solo records, has recorded the music of J.S. Bach on guitar, and says his favorite album is Deep Purple's Made in Japan.

Stereophile Staff  |  May 15, 2017  |  5 comments
Chord's extraordinary DAVE—"Digital [to] Analog Veritas [in] Extremis (Truth in Extreme)"—D/A processor takes pride of place on its cover, but the June Stereophile is packed full of good stuff. Art Dudley reports on Peachtree's "Made in America" nova300 integrated amplifier; Herb Reichert and Jim Austin live with high-performance preamplifiers from PrimaLuna and PS Audio; Kal Rubinson checks out a two-channel AV integrated amplifier from Arcam; Ken Micallef reviews a truly loud speaker, the horn-loaded Rival from Volti; and Robert Baird listens to great-sounding vinyl reissues of recordings of the legendary pianist Bill Evans.

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