LATEST ADDITIONS

Kalman Rubinson  |  May 21, 2021  |  21 comments
Power amplifiers should be boring. They have a single, well-defined function: Make the input signal large enough to run a loudspeaker so that it makes sound at levels suitable for listening to music. Generally, controls and features are few or none. Peter Walker of Quad famously defined the ideal amplifier as a "straight wire with gain." That's just one feature: gain.
Julie Mullins  |  May 20, 2021  |  16 comments
To borrow Lyric Hi-Fi owner Leonard Bellezza's words from last month's Re-Tales, the traditional audiophile customer base "is graying."

That doesn't mean the future is bleak—not necessarily. Many in the industry have hope for hi-fi's future. For that potential future to be realized, however, audio dealers must adapt. Interest in better sound seems to be rising. Consider vinyl's resurgence; regardless of your views on vinyl's ultimate fidelity, it's a big step up from the earlier fashion for MP3s and cheap earbuds. (There's good news on that front, too: Those earbuds morphed into Beats headphones, then Beats into good-quality headphones.

John Atkinson  |  May 19, 2021  |  16 comments
2020 may not have been a year to celebrate, but there were some housebound highlights. For example, after I had finished with the measurements to accompany Michael Fremer's review of the Marten Oscar Duo in the November 2020 issue, I set up these Swedish two-way standmounts in my own listening room. Yes, the measured performance was excellent, but I was not expecting how much I would enjoy the sound of the Oscar Duos.
Herb Reichert  |  May 18, 2021  |  14 comments
We have inherited an infinitely vast library of recorded musical art, the majority of which is well-recorded but has yet to be fully and completely reproduced. Countless times, I've played an album and thought, am I the first person ever to hear this recording sound this clear and microscopically detailed? Audiophiles understand that in order to be fully enjoyed, great recordings need the finest possible audio reproduction. Reciprocally, the finest audio systems are best enjoyed when playing great recordings. It's a horse and carriage thing.
Stereophile Staff  |  May 14, 2021  |  11 comments

LIVE: Friday, May 21, 2021 - 12:00PM ET

Join Bill Voss, Technics Business Development Manager in the US and Frank Balzuweit, Business Development Manager for Technics in Europe in celebration of Technics 55th anniversary introduction of the new Reference Class SU-R1000 Digital Integrated Amplifier as they present a live webinar discussion with demos of the key features and technology in this incredible new model.

UPDATE: This webinar is now available for replay!

Robert Schryer  |  May 14, 2021  |  14 comments
The first image that pops into my mind when I think of Focal is of the iconic Grande Utopias and how at one Montreal audio show I couldn't believe that the gentlest, sweetest music I'd heard all day was coming out of those massive speakers. I saw it as a paradox of sorts.

Founded in the City of Lights, Focal has been around since 1979, the year Francis Ford Coppola's Apocalypse Now received the Palme d'Or at Cannes and when the average annual income in America was $17,500. Focal started as a twinkle in the eye of engineer and technology journalist Jacques Mahul, who believed he'd built a speaker that would appeal to hi-fi enthusiasts: the DB13. Fast-forward half a century, and Focal, designated "entreprise du patrimoine vivant" (living heritage company) by the French government, employs some 230 people at its large, stylish, multilevel digs.

Jim Austin  |  May 13, 2021  |  10 comments
Jukeboxes were probably the first music servers to take a form we would recognize: a music-playing device that allows you to choose from several, or many, songs. The first commercial jukebox, Wikipedia says, was introduced in 1927 by the Automatic Musical Instrument Company, which came to be known as AMI.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  May 12, 2021  |  7 comments
Once upon a time, in the early days of class-D amplification, the very notion that the ELAC (ELectroACoustic) Alchemy DPA-2 Stereo/Mono Power Amplifier ($1495 each) uses a class-D output stage would cause some readers to turn the page (footnote 1). But as class-D amplifiers established their pedigree as bona fide hi-fi components, audiophiles have begun to embrace the notion of a lightweight, cool-running amplifier that will not dramatically increase the electric bill and that, when properly executed, can be quite musical.
Kurt Gottschalk  |  May 11, 2021  |  1 comments
Damon Locks & Black Monument Ensemble: NOW
International Anthem Recording Company IARC0039 (LP, download). 2021. Damon Locks and Black Monument Ensemble, prods.; Alex Inglizian, eng.
Performance *****
Sonics ****

In its sixth year, International Anthem seriously stepped up production. 2020 saw the Chicago label releasing a fast succession of rewarding albums, including a standout disc by Tortoise guitarist Jeff Parker and adventurous jazz by Rob Mazurek and the collective Irreversible Entanglements.

Stereophile Staff  |  May 07, 2021  |  190 comments
Register to win a London Maroon Cartridge (Value $950.00 ea) and a StylusTimer (value $19.95) we are giving away.

According to the company:

"The legendary London (Decca) cartridge is known for its extraordinary and unmatched musicality, delivered by its unique transducer design. With a StylusTimer (2021 Stereophile Recommended Component) you can track cartridge break in-time, total stylus time, and the time you spend enjoying music, while preserving your system’s sound quality and protecting your records from damage from a worn stylus."

[This Sweepstakes is now closed.]

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