Robert Baird  |  Mar 06, 2018  |  2 comments
In her wild ride of a memoir, A Woman Like Me (2012), eclectic soul and R&B singer Bettye LaVette spoke of being hung over a 20th-floor balcony of a Manhattan skyscraper by her pimp boyfriend. She revealed that she'd slept with Ben E. King and Otis Redding, and had even spent a minute dabbling in prostitution. She had dropped acid with George Clinton. Finally, she had her moment of satisfaction when she delivered a knockout performance of the Who's "Love, Reign O'er Me" at the 2008 Kennedy Center Honors. In the audience, all agog, were Beyoncé, Barbra Streisand, and Aretha Franklin, all more successful than she.
William Marsh  |  Mar 06, 2018  |  First Published: May 01, 1974  |  2 comments
Chopin: Preludes, Op.28
Carol Rosenberger, piano. DED-15311.

Handel: Harpsichord Suites Nos.3 in d & 7 in g; Chaconne No.1 in G
Malcolm Hamilton, harpsichord. DEL-15322.

Scarlatti: sonatas, Vol.1.
Malcolm Hamilton, harpsichord. DEl-15321.

Szymanowski: Masques, Op.34; Etudes, Op.33; Four Etudes, Op.4
Carol Rosenberger, piano. DEL-15312.

Common to all: Amelia S. Haygood, executive producer; John Wright, Katja Andy, producers; Carson C. Taylor, engineer.

It is certainly cause for rejoicing when a new label appears that is dedicated to presenting fine artists not generally known, with recorded sound to enhance the performance. John Wright, producer for Delos records, has this philosophy and has kindly sent us four of their first five releases. The fifth will be a Schubert program played by Miss Rosenberger. The records we received were all well-produced, with fine pressings, good jacket photos, and excellent sleeve notes. Complete credits are given to the production staff on each jacket.

John Atkinson  |  Mar 05, 2018  |  46 comments
In the first two parts of our video coverage of Jana Dagdagan's and my visit to PS Audio in Boulder, Colorado, we toured the factory and I interviewed the company's founder Paul McGowan. In this final video, I listen to three of my own recordings played on the legendary IRS V loudspeaker system, driven by PS Audio's BHK 300 monoblocks. I recorded the sound with Sennheiser's "Ambeo" binaural system, which mounts microphones on the outer surfaces of a pair of earbuds, and if you listen along on headphones, you will hear what I heard!
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Mar 02, 2018  |  15 comments
Devastating in power and impact, Laurie Anderson's sonically all-encompassing, three-dimensional Landfall takes, as its ostensible start, the ravaging impact of Superstorm Sandy. But, given that this evening-long melding of string quartet, text, and electronically-manipulated soundscape, created for and with the Kronos Quartet, is by one of America's most prescient, larger-visioned multi-media performance artists, Landfall ultimately addresses the cataclysmic nature of life in modern times in ways that drive the sense of loss deep into one's being.
John Atkinson  |  Mar 01, 2018  |  10 comments
Stereophile writers have reviewed three versions of Sonus Faber's stand-mounted, two-way loudspeaker, the Guarneri: Martin Colloms on the original Guarneri Homage, in 1994; Michael Fremer on the Memento edition, in 2007; and Art Dudley on the Evolution, in 2012. The Guarneri has always been an expensive speaker—$9400/pair with matching stands in 1995, $15,000 with stands in 2007, $20,000/pair plus $2000 for the stands in 2012—but its prices have been related to its build quality and appearance, both of which have always been superb. Now we have the Guarneri Tradition, for $15,900/pair, including stands.
Kal Rubinson  |  Mar 01, 2018  |  5 comments
Merging Technologies' original NADAC Multichannel-8 ($11,500) is an impressive device. (NADAC is an acronym for network-attached digital-to-analog converter.) It has eight channels of high-resolution D/A conversion, and two more for its front-panel headphone jack; a cutting-edge Ravenna Ethernet input (based on the AES67 Audio over Internet Protocol, or AoIP); and, to my delight, a real volume-control knob on the front.
John Atkinson  |  Feb 28, 2018  |  13 comments
Earlier this week, we posted a video blog with PS Audio's founder and CEO Paul McGowan giving Jana Dagdagan and me a post-CES tour around the Boulder, Colorado company's factory. Following the tour, I sat down with Paul in Music Room One and in a wide-ranging conversation, we talked about amplifiers and loudspeakers, DACs and audio systems, and the state of high-end audio.
Art Dudley  |  Feb 27, 2018  |  12 comments
Five years ago, I reviewed the Alumine loudspeaker from Stenheim, a Swiss company founded by four former employees of Goldmund SA. I noted the Alumine's surprisingly "high sensitivity and easy drivability," praised its performance for being "clean but neither sterile nor colorless," and admired, in my geeky way, the coated cellulose-fiber cone of its 5" midbass driver, which is made in Chartrettes, France—just southeast of Paris—by a company called PHL.
David Lander  |  Feb 27, 2018  |  0 comments
Queen of Bebop: The Musical Lives of Sarah Vaughan
By Elaine M. Hayes. 419 pp. Ecco/HarperCollins, 2017. Hardbound: $27.99. Available in eBook and digital audiobook formats.

This is the second biography of Sarah Vaughan (1924–1990), whose towering vocal talents took her to the top rung of the jazz ladder, beside Billie Holiday and Ella Fitzgerald. The author, trained as a classical musician, puts far more emphasis on the singer's recordings than Leslie Gourse did in Sassy, her 1993 Vaughan biography. Hayes's grasp of music, and her definitions of the musical terms she uses, make this the better account.

Stereophile Staff  |  Feb 27, 2018  |  0 comments
Thursday March 1, 6pm–8pm, Suncoast Audio (7353 International Place, Unit 309, Sarasota FL, 34240), is hosting an event featuring presentations by Walter Swanbon, the US Harbeth distributor, Vince Galbo from MSB Technologies, Kevin Hayes from VAC, and Jett Logan from AudioQuest. Suncoast will be raffling off a free pair of Harbeth speakers—must be present to win—and products being demmed and discussed will include the MSB Select II DAC and new MSB Reference Transport, the new AudioQuest Storm Series Power Cables, and the 40th Anniversary Edition Harbeth Monitor 40.2 speakers driven by VAC Signature 200iQ monoblock amplifiers.