Robert Baird  |  Oct 31, 2023  |  1 comments
A cultural steamroller that's sold more than 20 million copies so far, Frampton Comes Alive! is also the most celebrated example of an artist who broke through to worldwide fame thanks to a live record. In the wake of this monster success, fans went back and listened to Peter Frampton's four solo studio records that predated the live behemoth. Sales and respect grew.

Three of those four releases, Wind of Change (1972), Frampton's Camel (1973), and Frampton (1975), have been remastered and reissued in a limited edition, 180gm vinyl-LP box set, Frampton@50, In the Studio 1972–1975, by Intervention Records.

Stereophile Staff  |  Oct 27, 2023  |  23 comments

Saturday November 4th, 10am–4pm. Listening sessions and open house at Audio Element's Carlsbad location: 5235 Avenida Encinas Suite A, Carlsbad, California. In attendance will be representatives of Cardas Audio, Dan D’Agostino, dCS Audio, Musical Surroundings, Transparent Audio, VTL Amplifiers, and Wilson Audio Specialties.

Michael Trei  |  Oct 27, 2023  |  6 comments
When I think about landmark years in the history of British hi-fi, 1973 sticks out. Three companies got their start in the first half of that year that went on to become cornerstones of the British audio scene: Linn Products, Naim Audio, and Rega Research. That means they're all celebrating their 50th anniversaries in 2023.
Tom Fine  |  Oct 26, 2023  |  12 comments
The news zipped across the interwebs like lightning just after 9AM Eastern Time today (it went live here first). "Now & Then," a new-old song by The Beatles made with modern technology, bringing the band back together once more across time and space, will be released November 2. The evening prior, at 7PM London time, the BBC will broadcast "Now And Then – The Last Beatles Song," a short documentary directed by Oliver Murray, describing how the song was made. It will appear on the Beatles' YouTube channel at 8:30PM London time November 1, 3:30PM Eastern US time. There will also be a radio documentary about the song, produced by Beatles historian Kevin Howlett. The BBC today released the first 5 episodes of "Eras - The Beatles," a podcast hosted by actor Martin Freeman; episode 6 will drop November 2 (see

There's more: New 50th Anniversary expanded versions of 1962-1966 ("The Red Album") and 1967-1970 ("The Blue Album") will be released November 10.

Julie Mullins  |  Oct 25, 2023  |  1 comments
Often it seems we're living at a time of hi-fi–industry contraction—that expansion in retail, if it exists at all, is online, and the number of real-world dealerships is shrinking. But at least two California dealerships, San Diego's Alma Audio (top photo) and Pasadena's Audio Element (bottom photo), are expanding in the actual, offline world.

Why expand? For the reasons you'd expect. The two dealerships want to expand their reach and capitalize better on the advantages that brick-and-mortar retail affords, especially when it comes to selling more expensive goods. They are aiming to reach more people in new locations with a more personal, experiential approach—much different than reading specifications, looking at pictures, and clicking the "buy" button online. Both dealerships are aiming to sell higher-end stuff at their new locations—the kind of sales that don't work as well online—to new customers in new places.

Alex Halberstadt  |  Oct 24, 2023  |  8 comments
In a scene from The Silence of the Lambs—a film that for all of its camp happens to be nearly perfect—FBI cadet Clarice Starling asks caged psychopath Hannibal Lecter for help in figuring out a serial killer's motives. "Do we seek out things to covet?" Lecter responds, following Starling with his eyes as though she were his next meal. "No," he continues, "we begin by coveting what we see every day." Lecter's astute observation applies equally well to audiophilia. Much of this hobby consists of coveting: before we own a component, we usually spend a long while imagining all the ways it will improve our lives.
Sasha Matson  |  Oct 23, 2023  |  5 comments
When I read the news that songwriter and guitarist Jaime Royal "Robbie" Robertson had passed, I forwarded a link to the obituary in the New York Times to my friends Doug and Jon. They were with me in the balcony of the Berkeley Community Theater on the evening of January 31, 1970, to hear a performance by The Band. We were juniors at Berkeley High School that year and lived and breathed that music every day. I recall sitting around with them outdoors, singing songs from The Band's first two albums.
Sasha Matson  |  Oct 20, 2023  |  17 comments
As I was talking with an audio-retailer friend recently, he reached for a Rolls-Royce metaphor to describe the McIntosh brand. Expensive? Sure, but not as expensive as some boutique high-end products. Fast? Sure, but there are faster things—also bigger things, smaller things, wackier things, and cheaper things.

But when you look at a Rolls or a Bentley, you immediately recognize it for what it is, and you want to sit down in it. And so it is with McIntosh, except you don't want to sit down in it; you want to sit down in front of it, between the speakers of the hi-fi system it occupies.

The C12000 is McIntosh's current flagship preamplifier. It's part of McIntosh's Hybrid Drive series of products that combine tubes and transistors in interesting ways.

John Atkinson  |  Oct 19, 2023  |  14 comments
Loudspeakers from British manufacturer Monitor Audio have consistently received favorable reviews in Stereophile over the past decades. From the R952MD I reviewed in January 1988 to the Silver 500 7G reviewed by Rob Schryer in February 2022, Monitor Audio speakers have offered excellent sound quality and high-quality engineering. So when I was offered the company's Platinum 300 3G for review, I readily agreed. Having lived with standmounts and minimonitors for the past year, I felt it would be good to spend some time with a pair of large, full-range, three-way floorstanders.
Herb Reichert  |  Oct 18, 2023  |  4 comments
If you've read any of my previous Dreams, you no doubt realize that I am an empiricist by trade—that I believe in the value of relaxed, mindful observation, especially if my solitary observances are independently corroborated by others. Whenever possible, I test my observations by getting either the Spin Doctor, the Audiophiliac, or my Russian neighbor to listen and tell me what they notice. If they notice the same things I noticed, independently, I relax. Corroboration is important because when I submit a review, I have an obligation to get it right. I need to be confident that readers, when they listen, will likely hear the same thing I heard, for themselves.