Ken Micallef  |  Apr 23, 2022  |  0 comments
Peter Mackay of Magico Loudspeakers (pictured above) and Jeffrey Sigmund and John Pravel of Luxman America brought a fantastic-sounding system to the Prosperity room. Exceptional scale, resolution, depth, dynamics, precision, and juicy tone could all be heard—audio prosperity of the highest order.
Rogier van Bakel  |  Apr 22, 2022  |  1 comments
The night before AXPONA's official kickoff, Krell's director of product development, Dave Goodman, was still assembling the latest offering from Connecticut's solid-state powerhouse: the yet-to-be-released KSA i400. (With that model name, no prizes for guessing the number of watts per channel.) The Krell and its associated components were set up in a large, cube-like room—on paper, far from ideal acoustically. But what resulted on Friday morning sounded powerful and impressive. I don't mean to say that anything was excessively muscular. Effortless, poised, and relaxed though? You'd best believe it.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Apr 22, 2022  |  4 comments
Nothing beats starting a show on a high note. Thanks to Musical Surroundings' Garth Leerer and the Quintessence Audio dealership of Chicago, that's what happened when Charlie Byrd played magnificently on a white vinyl direct-to-disc platter from the late 1970s.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Apr 22, 2022  |  1 comments
As early as 9AM on Friday, April 22, early registrants began wandering the halls of Chicago's Renaissance Schaumburg Hotel and Convention Center. By 9:30AM, the first semi-crazed rush for vinyl old and new had begun in The Record Fair. And by 10AM, music was resounding in all its glory in the 138 exhibit rooms and 10 floors that comprise AXPONA 2022.
John Atkinson  |  Apr 22, 2022  |  9 comments
As I started to write this review, the news broke that Sound United, the owner of Boston Acoustics, Bowers & Wilkins, Classé, Definitive Technology, Denon, Marantz, and Polk, was going to be purchased by a corporation that makes medical instruments. Such consolidation is not new. China- and UK-based International Audio Group (IAG) was one of the first organizations to acquire iconic audio brands. IAG owns Audiolab, Castle, Quad, Leak, Mission, and Wharfedale. In 2009, they purchased Luxman.
Ken Micallef  |  Apr 21, 2022  |  10 comments
Oswalds Mill Audio's products espouse a sort of steam-punk-meets-modern visual style, but the company's philosophies are straight from hi-fi's '50s and '60s glory days, an era when idler-drive turntables, low-power tube amps, and horn-loaded loudspeakers were the norm. That history and hi-fi's future fascinate and inspire Jonathan Weiss, OMA's proprietor.
Anne E. Johnson  |  Apr 20, 2022  |  4 comments
John Mellencamp: Strictly a One-Eyed Jack
Republic (16/44.1 stream, EMI/Qobuz). 2022. John Mellencamp, prod.; David Leonard, eng.
Performance ****
Sonics ****

You might think an artist with 22 Top-40 hits would identify his winning formula and stick with it. Instead, John Mellencamp's long career has been a tale of determined development and often improvement. On his latest album, the 70-year-old Indiana native has nestled deeper into his rural Midwestern roots, eschewing rock defiance for folk philosophy. The result is a powerful baring of the soul, which, to many Americans, will also be a glance in the mirror.

Michael Fremer  |  Apr 19, 2022  |  10 comments
In 2018, Micha Huber's HiFiction AG, manufacturer of Thales tonearms and turntables, assumed control of EMT Tontechnik, taking over EMT's cartridge business including development, production, repair, and international distribution—with the exception of the EMT broadcast cartridge line for the EU market, which is still distributed by EMT Studiotechnik out of the company's original Black Forest home in Mahlberg, Germany.
Kurt Gottschalk, Jason Victor Serinus, Stephen Francis Vasta  |  Apr 15, 2022  |  6 comments
Mendelssohn: Violin Sonatas, The Danish National Vocal Ensemble, Marcus Creed, Cond.: Lux Aeterna, Bruckner: Symphony No.2 and Marcel Zaes: Parallel Prints.
Larry Birnbaum, Thomas Conrad  |  Apr 15, 2022  |  0 comments
Harold Mabern: Mabern Plays Coltrane, Paul Jost Quartet: While We Were Gone and Various Artists: Buena Vista Social Club 25th Anniversary Edition.