LATEST ADDITIONS

Paul Messenger  |  Aug 28, 2015  |  1 comments
Photo: Paul Messenger

Dieter Burmester founded Burmester Audiosysteme GmbH in 1977 and ran it for 38 years. For me, he was the friendly face of an unusually friendly and outgoing German high-end hi-fi company. He died on August 15, and his company will badly miss him.

Robert Baird  |  Aug 28, 2015  |  3 comments
For Grace Potter it seemed inevitable that the clock was going to strike Midnight.
John Atkinson  |  Aug 28, 2015  |  8 comments
Photo: Stephen Mejias

We were saddened to hear of the death of loudspeaker designer Bobby Palkovic, apparently by his own hand. We had published positive reviews of Bobby's Merlin speakers, including one of his VSM Millennium design and the VSM-MX at www.stereophile.com/floorloudspeakers/439/index.html. Following is the news posted to Facebook by Bobby's friend, Rich Brkich of audio retailer Signature Sound...

Kalman Rubinson  |  Aug 27, 2015  |  24 comments
For some time now I've wanted to upgrade my weekend system in Connecticut, and have been surveying three-way floorstanding speakers priced below about $2500/pair. I've focused on the stereo performance of each pair with music because, despite my interest in surround sound, the great majority of recordings are available only in two-channel stereo. Not wanting to look like a Bowers & Wilkins fanboy—my main system has long included their 800-series speakers—I put off auditioning B&W's 683 S2. But my goal was to get the best bang for my buck and with the 683 S2 costing $1650/pair, it would foolish to be influenced by such extraneous considerations. Besides, the 683 S2's three-way design and physical proportions were precisely what I was looking for.
John Atkinson  |  Aug 27, 2015  |  2 comments
Danish manufacturer GamuT Audio's patchy history in the US includes a succession of distributors that failed to establish the brand here. But in 2014 GamuT tapped Michael Vamos to spearhead their own US-based distribution company, which is now energetically promoting the company's products. That change coincided with my auditioning, at the 2014 Rocky Mountain Audio Fest, of GamuT's two-and-a-half-way RS5 tower loudspeaker ($31,900/pair). I was sufficiently impressed that I asked to review it—but then, at the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show, I experienced the RS7. This was the GamuT speaker I wanted to spend some time with, and at the end of March, GamuT's R&D manager, Benno Meldgaard, joined Michael Vamos in setting up a pair of RS7s in my listening room.
Herb Reichert  |  Aug 26, 2015  |  2 comments
My friend and renowned tube polymath J.C Morrison says, "Blackie Pagano is sweet, smart, and has a devious sense of humor . . ." And now Blackie has just posted an original hand-built "bass guitar preamp" project called the "The Perfect Storm" on Kickstarter.
Ken Micallef  |  Aug 25, 2015  |  First Published: Sep 01, 2015  |  59 comments
Photo © Kipnis Studios 2015

Are you on Facebook? Twitter? Instagram? Reddit? Social media has done much to bring together people of every interest imaginable to share their fascinations, desires, and, occasionally, delusions. From fans of frogs (FrogStomp) and proponents of clean public toilets (Benjyo Soujer) to a group that challenged an Iranian cleric's statement that women's flimsy attire causes earthquakes (Boobquake), social media is a global town square in which anyone with a keyboard and an attitude has an equal voice.

Thomas Conrad  |  Aug 25, 2015  |  First Published: Sep 01, 2015  |  19 comments
Maria Schneider Orchestra: The Thompson Fields
Maria Schneider, composer, arranger, conductor; 18-piece orchestra
ArtistShare AS0137 (CD). 2015. Maria Schneider, Ryan Truesdell, prods.; Brian Montgomery, eng. DDD. TT: 77:25
Performance *****
Sonics ****

The world's leading figure in orchestral jazz has not released a jazz recording in eight years. In her liner notes, Maria Schneider says, "This album was funded by my ArtistShare fan base. Making a recording like this is becoming increasingly difficult and would now be impossible without the generous support of my many participants."

Today, big jazz bands rarely tour. Some are stable entities, but on a part-time basis. Most, like Schneider's, come together for projects, then go their separate ways. Yet against all odds, large-ensemble jazz survives because no other format offers its range of expression and its power.

Bob Katz  |  Aug 25, 2015  |  0 comments
This story originally appeared at InnerFidelity.com

Something had to give: Tyll has given me the assignment of evaluating a bunch of midprice phones. But I feel that the amps I have to drive them are not completely up to the task. The Burson Soloist is fun, punchy and “tubey”. The O2 sounds comparatively transparent and is a great bargain, but how would it compare to the big guys? So I knew I needed to include a transparent high class amp to drive and test these phones. But Mary would divorce me if I proposed buying yet another expensive headphone amp. Instead I found a solution: Build one instead. The process has proved to be very rewarding in all respects. Let me tell you about it here.

J. Gordon Holt  |  Aug 24, 2015  |  First Published: Dec 01, 1977  |  1 comments
Not the easiest tonearm to set up (let your dealer do it if you aren't overly skilled at such things), this English-designed and Japanese-made device is the best pivoted tonearm we have tested to date, and at a very reasonable price at that. Polk Audio is importing them and distributing to dealers, most of whom sell them for around $130 to $140, and some buyers have managed to purchase them directly from stores in England for as little as $80. We received two samples of this for testing, one directly from the US distributor, Polk Audio, the other from Natural Sound, a Nebraska dealer and (naturally) one of our advertisers. Suffice it to say that both samples were identical in every perceptible manner.

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