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Jim Austin  |  Aug 18, 2021  |  6 comments
Many loudspeaker designers are minimalists at heart. They embrace a design aesthetic that says that simpler is better. Based on the evidence of the company's R 8 Arreté, Ole Klifoth, of Danish loudspeaker maker Audiovector, is not one of those designers.

On its website, in the Specifications section for its "R"-model loudspeakers (footnote 1), Audiovector offers a long checklist of technologies, many of them optional, some of them, called "Concepts," assigned snappy names and acronyms: IUC for Individual Upgrade Concept; LCC for Low Compression Concept; SEC for Soundstage Enhancement Concept; NES for No Energy Storage; FGC for Freedom Grounding Concept; and NCS for Natural Crystal Structure.

Jim Austin  |  Aug 17, 2021  |  37 comments
In early May, some of in the music press got an advance look at what was coming soon from Apple Music. Apple announced that, following the example of Tidal, Qobuz, and Amazon Music HD, the company would no longer deal in AAC, their improved (but still lossy) MP3 equivalent.

Henceforth, all Apple stereo downloads and streams would be at at least CD resolution; many tracks would be offered in higher resolutions, up to 24/192. Apple estimated that by the end of 2021, 75 million songs would be available at resolutions of 16/44.1 or better.

Stereophile Staff  |  Aug 14, 2021  |  0 comments
EISA, or the Expert Imaging and Sound Association, is an organisation representing 60 of the most respected special interest publications and websites from 29 countries that cover Hi-Fi, Home Theatre Video, Home Theatre Audio, Photography, Mobile Devices, and In-Car Electronics. Every year EISA's Expert Group members, including editors from this publication, test a very wide range of new products from their field of expertise before comparing results and voting to decide the cream of every product category.
John Atkinson  |  Aug 13, 2021  |  First Published: Jun 01, 1988  |  1 comments
The Swedish Rauna company, which has been in existence for about five years—their little Mk.II Tyr two-way impressed J. Gordon Holt a couple of years back in Vol.9 No.2—appears to be dedicated to the use of concrete as an enclosure material. One of the problems with conventional wooden cabinets is that the walls flex and vibrate, adding a spurious and often time-delayed output at some frequencies. It has even been reported that in extreme cases, the contribution of the cabinet to the overall sound at some frequencies approaches that from the drive-units. In theory, concrete should give a rigid construction with any panel resonant frequencies moved up above the critical midrange.
Steven Stone  |  Aug 12, 2021  |  First Published: Dec 01, 1996  |  0 comments
Imagine an electronic magic wand you could wave at your listening room's acoustical problems to make them disappear. The Cambridge Signal Technologies SigTech TF 1120 may be just such an alchemical device. Its efficacy depends on the nature of the acoustical warts in your listening environment. Operating solely within the digital domain, the SigTech device can perform both drastic and subtle frequency-response and time-domain corrections that are beyond the scope of analog-based units. While the TF 1120 is expensive, in some situations it may still be the most cost-effective way of coping with acoustical gremlins. Is it the solution to your problems? Perhaps.
J. Gordon Holt  |  Aug 11, 2021  |  First Published: Jun 01, 1984  |  3 comments
The $1485 PV-5 is a "budget" version of C-J's $2850 Premier Three preamplifier, but according to the manufacturer it embodies much the same kind of circuitry.

Tubed preamplifiers have a well-earned reputation as system busters. Many of them during warmup produce horrendous bangs or plops so severe that every speaker fuse in the system blows. If fuses are absent, or rated too high to protect things, the amplifier, speakers, or both are likely to blow up (not literally; they just twitch once and lie down dead). The PV-5 contains one of the most effective pop suppressors I've encountered, and produces no noise whatsoever during warmups and turnoffs.

Julie Mullins  |  Aug 10, 2021  |  0 comments
Crossing borders and genre boundaries is never easy, but for Bryce Dessner, it's become a familiar experience.

Dessner, 45, a classically trained guitarist, multi-instrumentalist, and composer, has racked up multi-hyphenates over the last couple of decades of his musical career. Arguably best known for his work with indie rock band The National—where he shares lead guitar, piano, songwriting, and other duties with his identical-twin brother Aaron—he's also an accomplished arranger and producer and cofounder of two record labels.

Michael Fremer  |  Aug 09, 2021  |  First Published: Oct 01, 2018  |  7 comments
Despite one website's recent claim that "Vinyl's Revival Is Already Fading," Nielsen SoundScan recently announced that vinyl sales for the first half of 2018 were up 19.2% over 2017, led by Jack White's Boarding House Reach, with 37,000 copies sold so far (and we know that N/S misses a great deal of the action). While on the West Coast looking for business, a friend of mine who's about to open a major vinyl-pressing plant on the East Coast was told by everyone that they're experiencing "double-digit vinyl growth." No one was seeing a slowdown ahead.
Jim Austin, Jason Victor Serinus, Stephen Francis Vasta  |  Aug 06, 2021  |  2 comments
J.S. Bach: Cello Suites, Beethoven: Hope Amid Tears: Beethoven Cello Sonatas, Brahms: Symphony No.3, Serenade No.2, Nino Rota: Chamber Music and Vaughan Williams: Symphonies Nos.4 & 6.
Larry Birnbaum, Thomas Conrad, Fred Kaplan  |  Aug 06, 2021  |  2 comments
Gil Evans Orchestra: Out of the Cool, Harold Land: Westward Bound!, Hasaan Ibn Ali: Metaphysics: The Lost Atlantic Album and Chris Potter Circuits Trio: Sunrise Reprise.

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