LATEST ADDITIONS

Kalman Rubinson  |  Feb 26, 2019  |  14 comments
One of the recurring themes of this column has been my search for servers that will support the playback of high-resolution multichannel files with DSP for speaker/room equalization (EQ), as well as the format conversion and downsampling that are often part of those processes. Because most EQ software is PCM-based, format comversion is needed to convert DSD files to PCM. In addition, because most EQ products work within a limited range of sampling rates, PCM files sampled at high rates may have to be downsampled before being subjected to EQ. Those of us who use home-theater preamplifier-processors and audio/video receivers (AVRs) should be familiar with such constraints.
John Atkinson  |  Feb 26, 2019  |  4 comments
In November 2016, I reviewed Shure's KSE1500 electrostatic in-ear headphone system, which featured a D/A amplifier with both analog and USB inputs that drove in-ear headphones with unique electrostatic diaphragms. At $2999, the KSE1500 was and is pricey, and recently Shure introduced a less-expensive electrostatic headphone system, the KSE1200SYS ($1999), with the same amplifier and earpieces but just an analog input.
John Atkinson  |  Feb 26, 2019  |  4 comments
The news broke on Facebook yesterday that Mark Hollis had died, aged just 64. I was late to appreciate Hollis's work, including his extraordinary solo album from 1998 (above). But since Stephen Mejias turned me on to him, Mark Hollis's music, both solo and with the band Talk Talk, has been in heavy rotation. (You can find my review of Talk Talk's final album, Laughing Stock, here—scroll down the page.) Fellow fan, Michael Vamos of distributor Audio Skies, asked if he could share some thoughts.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Feb 25, 2019  |  10 comments
I'm not sure what possessed me to listen to young Edgar Moreau's Erato recording, Offenbach & Gulda: Cello Concertos, with Les Forces Majeures conducted by young Raphaël Merlin. Was the moon in that phase when it appears to be laughing at we earthlings? All that is certain is by the time I had heard but a minute of the first movement of cellist/composer Offenbach's concerto, it was clear that I'd be laughing through at least half of the notes that lay ahead.
Ken Micallef  |  Feb 21, 2019  |  39 comments
As Stereophile's lone New York City bachelor, I sometimes search for amore on Internet dating sites. One such encounter led me to Park Slope, Brooklyn, where I met a woman who, I soon learned, was at the top of the food chain of Manhattan's gold-encrusted arts community.

The single child of an upper-Westchester family, Jane So (not her real name) assists her employer in curating fine art for the city's premier galleries and museums. Her job also includes gifting her employer's millions to charitable organizations and the like. But in her off hours, when the boss isn't watching, Jane enjoys a bit of kink. As she told me over dinner, "Ken, I'm not looking for anything serious. I have several men who visit me during the week."

It dawned on me: I had stumbled into New York's subterranean sex world.

Herb Reichert  |  Feb 21, 2019  |  26 comments
You know I'm a lucky guy. I maintain two separate audio reviewing systems.

The core component of my beloved, daily-driver desktop system is a Mytek Brooklyn DAC-preamp-headphone amp. Through this system I play high-resolution files and Internet sources (Tidal, Qobuz, Netflix, and YouTube). One of the Brooklyn's two line-level inputs delivers NPR news and baseball from my Kenwood KT-990D FM/AM tuner. I mostly use this system with headphones, but currently, the Brooklyn's line-out feeds a pair of Bel Canto Design's compact e.One REF600M monoblocks driving the shelf-mounted Dynaudio Excite X14 speakers I use to play movies and videos.

Stereophile Staff  |  Feb 20, 2019  |  0 comments
Friday, February 22, from 5pm, Alma Music and Audio (7847 Convoy Ct. #101, San Diego, CA 92111) will host Wilson Audio's Peter McGrath for the introduction of the new Sasha DAW loudspeaker. We're told it will be a fun night of music, celebrating Wilson's ambitious recreation of the seminal WATT/Puppy loudspeaker, as well as the man who started it all, the late David A. Wilson. The system will also showcase Audio Research's Reference 160M and MSB's Reference DAC.
Art Dudley  |  Feb 19, 2019  |  9 comments
Easy pickup: Art’s Dog, Chatter, cozies up to Leif Johannsen of Ortofon A/S and Dee Hustinova of Ortofon USA. (Photo: Art Dudley)

According to the 2018 edition of the UN's World Happiness Report, Denmark is the third-happiest nation on Earth, trailing only its neighbors Finland and Norway.

I heard that yesterday afternoon, on NPR. The reporter even spelled out the word used by Danes to describe their feelings of happiness: hygge. Apparently, at present, Denmark is positively rotten with hygge.

Jason Victor Serinus  |  Feb 19, 2019  |  1 comments
Hespèrion XXI & Jordi Savall: Ibn Battuta: The Traveler of Islam 1304–1377
Music of Afghanistan, Bagdad, China, Granada, India, Mali, Morocco, more
Alia Vox AVSA9930 (24/88.2, 2 SACDs). 2018. S.L. Sonjade, prod.; Harry Charlier, Manuel Mohino, engs. DDD. TT: 2:27:04
Performance *****
Sonics ****

Sixty years after Italian explorer and merchant Marco Polo chronicled his journey to Asia, Tangier-born Abu Abdallah Ibn Battuta (b. 1304, d. 1368–1377) spent close to 30 remarkable years traveling to what were then the four corners of the earth. Following the words of Muhammad, Prophet of Islam, to whom is attributed the dictate "Seek knowledge even unto China," Ibn Battuta was only 21 when his desire for knowledge and learning propelled him on a quest far longer and wider-ranging than Polo's.

Jason Victor Serinus  |  Feb 18, 2019  |  0 comments
Last summer, Music@Menlo devoted its season to a series of Creative Capitals programs. Through concerts, lectures, and more, the festival surveyed the diversity of Western chamber music that was birthed in Europe's "most flourishing" historic creative capitals—London, Paris, St. Petersburg, Leipzig, Berlin, Budapest, and Vienna.

You can hear the sum of Music@Menlo's accomplishments in the multi-CD sets of the their annual festivals, most of which are also available for streaming in Red-Book quality on Tidal...

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