Kalman Rubinson  |  Dec 20, 2023  |  45 comments
I've been running a 5.1 system for years. Recently, I expanded it to 5.3 with the addition of two more subwoofers. This system is manageable with one of my eight-channel DACs.

Even more recently, I dipped my toe into Dolby Atmos, which made it necessary to lash up at least four more channels. That was a big problem, since neither JRiver nor Roon can support and sync more than one output device at a time, and the multichannel DACs I already owned tap out at eight channels.

I turned to the Arvus H2-4D Renderer, which offers 16 channels of digital output over AES3 and 16 channels of balanced-analog output. This worked, but piping everything through the Arvus meant forswearing DSP, including DiracLive. I really needed a DAC with at least 12 channels.

The Merging+Hapi has been around for years...

Sasha Matson  |  Dec 19, 2023  |  8 comments

In my house, I have a little stack of CDs that I bring out once a year—for Christmas Eve and Christmas day. I then put them away on the shelf until the following year. This annual Festival of Christmas Albums is met with varying degrees of pleasure and resignation by the family members present; listening is non-negotiable, though we may not make it through all of them. Once in a while a new Christmas album will make the cut and be added to the stack, but not every year.

Jason Victor Serinus  |  Dec 18, 2023  |  2 comments
The Warsaw show's biggest site really is a stadium. (Photos by Jason Victor Serinus.)

At the risk of writing hyperbole, I will state that Audio Video 2023, held October 27–29, 2023, was unlike any other audio show I've attended. At no other audio show have I encountered so many young people, so many women, and so many brands unknown in the United States. Not even in Munich have I encountered crowds as dense as those that mobbed the show's biggest site, the National Stadium of Poland, PGE Narodowy, on Saturday. A press badge counts for nothing when you're 11" short of 6'3", attempting to see far enough into a huge room to spy a seat. Any seat.

Happily, the majority of attendees at the Warsaw Show did not come to yap away about the stock market or the speaker they built three decades ago. People came to listen, and they respected others who came to listen. Even in the largest rooms, with crowds of some 150 people, it was possible to hear music and learn from presenters' unamplified raps.

Tom Fine  |  Dec 18, 2023  |  1 comments
The first Beatles music is more than 60 years old, and the group broke up 53 years ago. Yet they and their music remain relevant. So when Apple Corps announced "The Last Beatles Song," on October 26, the world's media ran with the story.

Beatles fans span at least four generations, and the group's promotion machine is looking to hook today's youth, and perhaps rekindle old flames, with 50th Anniversary deluxe reissues of the "Red" (1962-1966) and "Blue" (1967-1970) compilations. These expanded editions—12 new tracks on Red and nine on Blue, including the new-old single "Now & Then"—sport remixes performed since 2015.

Jim Austin  |  Dec 15, 2023  |  16 comments
When I was offered the opportunity to review a Burmester product—the 216 stereo power amplifier—I accepted immediately, mainly out of curiosity. Berlin-based Burmester is an important hi-fi brand, but I knew very little about the company and their products. What better way to learn more than to review one of their products?
Stereophile Staff  |  Dec 14, 2023  |  0 comments
Register to win a pair of MoFi Electronics SourcePoint 8 Loudspeakers (retail value $2,999.00 ) we are giving away.

"In a recent Stereophile review, the MoFi Electronics SourcePoint 8 Loudspeakers, masterfully designed by Andrew Jones, have captured the attention of audiophiles with their exceptional sound quality. Hailed as 'a revelation in audio fidelity,' these speakers showcase Jones' expertise in a compact yet powerful design. A reviewer observed, 'The SourcePoint 8 doesn't just play music; it breathes life into every track.'"

Click on the picture above for details on how to enter.

Martin Colloms  |  Dec 14, 2023  |  1 comments
Naim has comprehensively reimagined its Classic Series, which has been around for some 20 years with improvements along the way. Included in the new range of products is the 200 series, comprised of two products: the NAP 250 power amplifier, which I reviewed in the November 2023 issue of Stereophile, and the NSC 222 streaming preamplifier ($8999), which is reviewed here. A third component in the New Classic series, the NPX 300 power supply (also $8999), which is intended to be paired with the NSC 222 and other Naim components, is also considered in this review.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Dec 13, 2023  |  0 comments
Shostakovich: Symphonies Nos.2, 3, 12 & 13
Boston Symphony Orchestra, Andris Nelsons, cond.
Deutsche Grammophon 4864965 (3 CDs) (reviewed as 24/96). 2023. Shawn Murphy, Nick Squire, prods.; Murphy and Squire, engs.
Performance *****
Sonics *****

Auditioned with the bloody conflicts in Ukraine and the Middle East as a backdrop, these riveting, superbly recorded performances confront listeners with the inescapable ravages of war. They also open a window on the shifting political convictions of one of the greatest composers to emerge during the early years of the Soviet Republic, Dmitri Dmitriyevich Shostakovich.

Jim Austin  |  Dec 12, 2023  |  39 comments
In the midst of his December 2023 Gramophone Dreams column, Herb Reichert presented the results of an experiment. He was listening to the most recent version of Zu Audio's Denon DL-103, installed on his new-old Lenco. He hooked it up to the moving coil input of his SunValley SV-EQ1616D phono preamp, which apparently is intended for use with low-output MC cartridges since it loads them down with a 50 ohm shunt resistor—a heavy load for all but the lowest-impedance MCs. The rough rule of thumb for loading an MC cartridge, as many readers are aware, is that the load resistance should exceed the cartridge's internal impedance by about a factor of 10.
Jason Victor Serinus, Stephen Francis Vasta  |  Dec 08, 2023  |  5 comments
Richard Rodgers & Oscar Hammerstein: Oklahoma!; Postcards From Italy: Italian Music for Film; British Piano Concertos: Works by Jacob, Addison, and Rubbra; Bruckner: Symphony 7; Tan Dun: Buddha Passion.