Andrey Henkin  |  Jan 31, 2023  |  4 comments
I never collected baseball cards, played Cops & Robbers, or was a Boy Scout. From the moment I heard the opening guitar riff of Blondie's "One Way or Another," at age 6, it was clear that music would be central to everything I was going to do. It was my first important big thing, and my last.
Jim Austin  |  Jan 27, 2023  |  29 comments
If you're reasonably handy, you can probably build your own digital-to-analog converter. It won't cost much, and if you're careful, and knowledgeable enough to understand and follow some rather technical instructions, or if you have patience enough to follow advice from a few different online discussion forums—and the judgment to distinguish the good advice from the bad—then the DAC you make may end up sounding very good.
Ken Micallef  |  Jan 26, 2023  |  23 comments
My first high-end component was an Audio Note M2 preamplifier, which I bought from former Audio Note distributor/current Stereophile contributor Michael Trei. (Senior Contributing Editor Herb Reichert was Michael's partner in that 1990s-era Audio Note venture.) Herb can regale you with tales of motoring across the Soviet Union in an unheated Mercedes, trunk full of Audio Note components and American dollars, but that's a story for another review (most likely to be written by Herb).
Tony Scherman  |  Jan 25, 2023  |  8 comments
Three or four years ago, coming back from hip surgery, I put in a stint of physical therapy. The assistant trainer, a 24-year-old named Caitlin, was a big pop music fan, as am I, although, to borrow from one of Hank Williams Jr.'s songs about his daddy, Caitlin's kind of pop and mine ain't exactly the same.
Herb Reichert  |  Jan 24, 2023  |  7 comments
Everyone knows I'm a lucky guy. I was born in Chicago in nineteen-hundred and forty-nine, and as far as I can tell, that was the perfect year to be born. I missed the war, plague, and Depression horrors of the first half of the 20th century, and I witnessed the art, music, and cinema inventions of the second half.
Stereophile Staff  |  Jan 20, 2023  |  24 comments
Once each year, since 1991, we've asked our writers, both hi-fi and music, to name two of their favorite albums of all time—albums that are, to them, "to die for." It has long been one of our most popular features.

Originally a light-hearted conceit based on a phrase that was popular at the time, there never was a real implication that anyone would give up their life for this music. Yet, for many of us, it has always carried that baggage. So, while this has long been my favorite Stereophile feature, I've never cared for the name.

Stereophile Staff  |  Jan 20, 2023  |  125 comments
Register to win a Dire Straits Money For Nothing Vinyl LP (Total value $37.49 ea) we are giving away.

About the prize:

On June 17, Rhino will reissue Money For Nothing, the first Dire Straits greatest hits collection (featuring songs from the band's first five albums), which was originally released in October 1988. Newly remastered by Bob Ludwig, Money For Nothing will be made available in digital and double vinyl formats in early 2023.

All you have to do to enter is leave a comment about your favorite record shop on this post (feel free to tell us the name of your favorite record store/vinyl shop, where it is located, and why you love shopping for vinyl there!). Click on the picture above for details on how to enter.

[This Sweepstakes is now closed.]

John Atkinson  |  Jan 19, 2023  |  20 comments
"A 10" two-way?!?!" I couldn't help gasping in surprise when I unboxed the MoFi Electronics SourcePoint 10 standmounted loudspeakers, which cost $3699/pair.

Some background is in order. Using a large-diameter woofer endows a conventional two-way speaker with potentially high sensitivity and extended low frequencies. However, the large woofer's radiation pattern narrows at the top of its passband, whereas that of a tweeter mounted on a flat baffle is at its widest at the bottom of its passband. Even if the drive units' outputs are well-matched in the speaker's on-axis response, this discontinuity in the speaker's off-axis behavior results in an in-room balance that will sound bright. This is why favorably reviewed two-way designs tend to use a woofer with a 6.5" or even smaller diameter.

Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jan 18, 2023  |  3 comments
Caroline Shaw: The Wheel
I Giardini: Shuichi Okada, violin; Léa Hennino, viola; Pauline Buet, cello; Eriko Minami, percussion; David Violi, piano
Alpha 881 (24/192 WAV download). 2022. Olivier Rosset, prod., edit., mastering.
Performance *****
Sonics *****

Prolific composer, vocalist, and violinist Caroline Shaw, who turned 40 just last year, possesses a unique gift—one that earned her the 2013 Pulitzer Prize in Music. Shaw has translated the old performer edict "Don't let them see you sweat" into her compositional craft and mastered the art of expressing complex thoughts economically through the simplest of means. Using minimal gestures, spare instrumentation, and unpredictable shifts in rhythm, pitch, and texture, she manages to create one masterful, all-engrossing composition after the other.

Jim Austin  |  Jan 17, 2023  |  9 comments
Since writing about Manhattan's renovated Geffen Hall in this space in our January issue, I've attended two concerts there. I thought I'd report back. The first of the two performances—the hall's "Grand Gala" concert, though they didn't invite me to the fancy dinner afterward—included works by young Puerto Rico–born composer Angélica Negrón (You Are the Prelude) and Ludwig van Beethoven (Symphony No.9). The second included works by Stravinsky (Symphonies of Wind Instruments), Bartók (Concerto for Two Pianos, Percussion and Orchestra, with Daniil Trifonov and Sergei Babayan), and Sibelius (Symphony No.7).