Stereophile Staff  |  Oct 17, 2023  |  0 comments

On Monday, 23 October from 9–5, representatives of Lenbrook will be presenting the new DALI KORE loudspeakers at Safe and Sound, 675 Fuller Rd. in Chicopee, Massachusetts. Lenbrook's Brian Farley and David Dunn will be in attendance. For more information, call (413) 594-6460. No RSVP required—just stop by!

Robert Baird  |  Oct 17, 2023  |  2 comments
Why is John Coltrane's A Love Supreme still so resonant nearly 60 years after it was recorded? Much to its credit, it's short (just over 30 minutes) and to the point. If you're going to raise a prayer of gratitude to a higher power and layer spiritual meaning onto music, best not belabor the point. In the case of A Love Supreme, that kind of brevity also extended to the recording process. The album was tracked in one day—December 9, 1964—by Rudy Van Gelder in his studio in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey; Van Gelder also mixed the album. A composed (rather than purely improvised) four-part suite ("Acknowledgement," "Resolution," "Pursuance/Part 4," and "Psalm"), it exudes a certain hypnotic aura. It draws the listener in with an entrancing spirituality, its fealty to love and a higher power. Finally, the incisive, same-page playing of bassist Jimmy Garrison, drummer Elvin Jones, and pianist McCoy Tyner is almost supernatural.
Rogier van Bakel  |  Oct 13, 2023  |  28 comments
How do you know you're beyond help as a card-carrying audiophile? For me, it happened during a recent trip to Italy. Several times a day, my thoughts drifted to the Focal Maestro Utopia Evo speakers that had been delivered two days before I left for Europe. At one point, I considered FaceTiming the housesitter to request a live view of the listening room, where the Maestros were playing music, breaking in.

Chrissakes! Couldn't I just enjoy la dolce vita? Savor the belly-busting meals in Treviso and Civitavecchia, surrender to Tuscany's soul-soothing landscapes, thrill to Rome's old-world charms? Ninety-nine percent of the time, I did. The trip was a delight, and I wouldn't have missed it. But yes, I thought of those Maestros several times a day. The heart wants what the heart wants.

Martin Colloms  |  Oct 12, 2023  |  10 comments
For this modular audio component set—a review of the matching NSC 222 streamer preamp with a matching NPX 300 power supply is forthcoming—we first cover the standalone NAP 250 100Wpc stereo power amplifier, a new version of Naim's 200-series amplifier, now so extensively revised that it must be regarded as a new model.

Naim Audio's enduring, compact 200-series stereo power amplifier has been relaunched as the NAP 250, a key component of their new 200 Series. It has been updated massively in its technology and the compatibility of its connections, yet the primary circuit concept, which dates to the mid-1970s, is essentially unchanged. Recent development work has focused on helping the amplifier match up well with the new NSC 222 streamer-preamp, the NAP 250's intended companion. The new 200-series power amplifier is now called, simply, NAP 250, dropping the "DR" of the previous model. But while the suffix is now omitted, the ultralow-noise DR technology has been retained in the active, fully regulated power supplies; indeed, it has been improved.

Sasha Matson  |  Oct 11, 2023  |  1 comments
Wynton Marsalis: Wynton Marsalis Plays Louis Armstrong's Hot Fives Hot Sevens
Wynton Marsalis, trumpet; eight band members
Blue Engine Records (auditioned as 24/48 FLAC). 2023. Marsalis, exec. prod.; Saundra Palmer-Grassi, Todd Whitelock, engs.
Performance *****
Sonics ****

Recorded in 2006 but not released until now, Wynton Marsalis Plays Louis Armstrong's Hot Fives Hot Sevens was recorded live at the Rose Theater, the largest of three performance rooms at the Jazz at Lincoln Center facility. House label Blue Engine Records has now released this concert for streaming.

Jim Austin  |  Oct 10, 2023  |  9 comments
Martin Colloms, pictured on HiFiCritic magazine's website.

A few months ago, the hi-fi world learned that Audio Research, perhaps the most storied hi-fi brand in US history (McIntosh would be the other choice), had a new owner. The company had overextended itself, then filed for "Assignment for the Benefit of Creditors"—somewhat like Chapter 11 bankruptcy but different. The company was then acquired by a group led by a Canadian, Valerio Cora of Acora Acoustics. In the September issue's Industry Update, I wrote, "Audio Research, that great American hi-fi company, is now Canadian."

Not long after the issue came out, I received a note from Dave Gordon of Audio Research Corporation. With typical good humor, Dave suggested that my characterization was not correct—that ARC is not in fact Canadian. Why? Because Audio Research's parent company is based in ... Delaware?

Thomas Conrad, Andrey Henkin  |  Oct 06, 2023  |  1 comments
Diskonife: Audible Spirits; John Coltrane With Eric Dolphy: Evenings at the Village Gate; Joe Henderson: The Complete "An Evening with Joe Henderson"; Matt Otto: Kansas City Trio.
Jason Victor Serinus, Stephen Francis Vasta  |  Oct 06, 2023  |  2 comments
Dvořák: Takács Quartet; Johan Dalene/Christian Ihle Hadland: Stained Glass; Herrmann: Wuthering Heights Suite & Echoes for Strings
Phil Brett, Ray Chelstowski  |  Oct 06, 2023  |  1 comments
Pet Shop Boys: Smash: The Singles 1985–2020; R.E.M.: Around the Sun and Collapse Into Now; Hot Tuna: Live at Sweetwater 1, Live at Sweetwater 2, Live in Japan.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Oct 05, 2023  |  50 comments
The finest soup I ever tasted was served in Kamakura City, Japan, in 1992. After climbing a mountain to a shrine that held a lock of Buddha's hair, I descended to Kamakura and walked to its Great Bronze Buddha. By the time I had taken my fill of the image's 730-year-old wonders and the countless picture-taking tourists at its base—a mild precursor to "the world is a backdrop for my ego" snappers of the smartphone age—I noticed that my stomach was growling.

Exhausted, I walked back into town and descended stairs into a conveniently located corner restaurant. I had to eat fast because my train back was departing soon. Looking for something quick, I ordered miso soup and eel over rice. Imagine my surprise when I found myself gazing into the most wondrous bowl of soup I'd ever seen. Floating on top of its clear, brown broth were various vegetables and herbs, each perfectly positioned in relationship to the other, as in a handcrafted textile. I felt as though I'd been granted private access to a great work of art.

What does this have to do with the Electrocompaniet AW 800 M Reference power amplifier ($22,500/each) that is the subject of this review? You'll have to read on to find out.