Herb Reichert  |  Feb 03, 2023  |  15 comments
Before this month, I'd never experienced Rotel amplification in one of my own systems, but I have memories of how their amplifiers sounded back in the early 1990s. In those days, at audio shows, I would audition every Rotel amp I could find; I was especially interested in their $369, 60Wpc RB-960BX. I was curious about that model because it was the number-one competitor to the 60Wpc darling of the audiophile proletariat: Adcom's GFA 535 II. My friend Corey Greenberg compared these two popular amps in Stereophile and concluded, "The Rotel is for the budget-minded music lover who wants a good, solid little amplifier that's not going to make listening to music a trying experience."
Robert Baird  |  Feb 02, 2023  |  1 comments
To be a poet is to be tormented. And singer/songwriter Townes Van Zandt's demons were relentless: mental illness, addiction, willful recklessness. He constantly complicated his life and the lives of those around him. Even fans who felt lucky just to have him play their town were unwittingly drawn in, often exhilarated but occasionally aghast. Yet judged by his recordings, he was indisputably a songwriting genius—often sad and confused but gifted nonetheless. The scion of a storied and wealthy Texas clan, he was that rare artist who was compelled to create art.
Julie Mullins  |  Feb 01, 2023  |  14 comments
In last month's Re-Tales column, I discussed the impact the current economy is having on the hi-fi industry. Some hi-fi companies said sales have "normalized" after widespread, dramatic increases during the COVID years—which is to say, sales are down relative to their peak but still strong. Others have noticed customers biding time before making expensive purchases or opting to buy less-expensive equipment than originally planned. Yet, even in this risky economic climate, a few people are taking the risk and opening new brick-and-mortar retail stores.
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.]