LATEST ADDITIONS

Fred Kaplan  |  Apr 07, 2018  |  3 comments
Sound Prints, the quintet co-led by trumpeter Dave Douglas and tenor saxophonist Joe Lovano, is one of the most exciting small jazz bands around. You wouldn't know it, necessarily, from their first, eponymously titled album, recorded live at the 2013 Monterey Jazz Festival and released on Blue Note, which has long been Lovano's label. Mediocre sound doesn't always suck the life out of a recording if the music is good, but that's what happened here. However, the group's second album, Scandal (just out on Greenleaf Music, Douglas' self-owned label), tells a different tale entirely.
Herb Reichert  |  Apr 05, 2018  |  8 comments
I spent a snowy New York City evening at Rhapsody Music & Cinema, talking with the proprietor, Bob Visintainer, and watching my friend Michael Trei install a Lyra Etna SL moving-coil cartridge in a Graham Engineering Phantom III tonearm mounted on a TechDAS Air Force 3 turntable tethered to a Zesto Tessera phono stage. Every wall was lined with big, floorstanding speakers, all of them expensive. On the main stage that day were Alta Audio's Hestia Titaniums ($32,000/pair).
Steven Stone  |  Apr 05, 2018  |  First Published: Feb 01, 1995  |  9 comments
The Greek myth of Odysseus has always been a favorite of mine. For an audiophile looking for a CD transcription system under $2500, it seems to be an especially appropriate metaphor. Almost all the units I've heard since CD's inception fall into one of two camps: the Sirens or the Rocks.

For those of you not up on your Greek mythology, the Sirens were the archetypal seductresses whose sweet songs lured sailors to drive their ships upon the rocks. Siren CD players are those that soften and sweeten the sound. Their primary purpose is to seduce, to give a false sense of comfort to their victims; their fidelity to the truth is secondary to their desire to elicit a positive emotional reaction.

J. Gordon Holt  |  Apr 03, 2018  |  First Published: Oct 01, 1972  |  5 comments
Lincoln Mayorga: Lincoln Mayorga & Distinguished Colleagues Vol.II
Lincoln Mayorga, arranger, harpsichord, piano.
Lincoln Mayorga, Doug Sax, prods.; Bill Schnee, eng.; Sherwood Sax, design engineer.
Sheffield Lab S-10 (LP).

Ever wonder just how much sound quality is lost by recording stuff on tape before making a disc? Here's your answer. This program of soft rock and cool jazz arrangements was recorded straight from studio to disc, and the sound is incredible! Suddenly, a veil that we never realized was there has been lifted, and we had the feeling we were listening to a direct-wire transmission rather than to a recording. We're not at all sure we will ever feel quite the same again about any. other recording, such is the dramatic difference in transparency and cleanness.

Dick Olsher  |  Apr 03, 2018  |  First Published: Jun 01, 1993  |  0 comments
I find quite appealing the image invoked by Museatex to describe its Real Time Ripple Effect (RTRE) loudspeaker line: a stone rippling the surface of a "still pond on a warm summer afternoon." Replace the stone with a voice-coil attached to the center of a stretched Mylar diaphragm and you begin to get a glimpse of the RTRE technology's conceptual beauty and promise. The idea of cohesively covering at least the midrange and treble with a single driver, without crossover filters, quickens my audio pulse.
Jana Dagdagan  |  Apr 02, 2018  |  15 comments
There is a particular art that many Americans have mastered, involving the collective lamentation of the unwelcoming nature of the French towards American tourists—whether this has been experienced firsthand or not is irrelevant—coupled with inexplicable, unwavering desire for all that the French stand for. The art, the wine, the cheese, the architecture, the haute couture—it is all of these, yes, but it is (I believe) the all-encompassing French vibe that we are drawn to.

It was all this that summoned me to France for a personal getaway last November, during which I snuck in a brief day trip to the factory of renowned audio giant Focal. Located in Saint-Étienne, a city in east-central France, Focal's headquarters—or self-described "undercover facility, production site"—is no more than a couple hours from Paris by train.

Jason Victor Serinus  |  Apr 01, 2018  |  7 comments
It is doubtful that pianist Alexander Melnikov had audiophiles in mind when he decided to record great works by Schubert, Chopin, Liszt, and Stravinsky on pianos the composers were accustomed to hearing and playing at the time of composition. Melnikov is, after all, an early music specialist who, like András Schiff, has a number of impeccably restored historic instruments in his personal collection. Nonetheless, given that Harmonia Mundi has recorded him in high resolution (24/96), seemingly without compression, in the fine acoustic of Teldex Studio Berlin, and that each instrument has a sound and dynamic range distinctly its own, the recording is an audiophile must-have.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Mar 30, 2018  |  3 comments
Why review another recording of Stravinsky's great ballet score for the 1913 season of Diaghilev's Ballet Russes, Le Sacre du Printemps (The Rite of Spring)? Besides the fact that it's a fabulous performance, it's part of a disc that: 1) showcases one of our most renowned conductors, Riccardo Chailly, leading the superb Lucerne Festival Orchestra; 2) includes the world premiere recording of Stravinsky's long-lost 11-minute Chant Funèbre, Op.5 (1908), a tribute to his late teacher, Rimsky-Korsakov, which disappeared after its first performance at a memorial concert in St. Petersburg in 1909 and was only re-discovered in 2015; and 3) places Rite in the context of that early work and three that preceded it, thereby affording a long view of Stravinsky's path to first bloom artistic maturity.
Stereophile Staff  |  Mar 30, 2018  |  0 comments
Saturday March 31, from 12pm to 5pm Hi Fi Sales (1732 Route 70 East, Cherry Hill, NJ 08003) are holding a listening event featuring Technics' top direct-drive turntables: the SP-10R and the SL-1000R. As always light and adult beverages will be available and and catering will be by the Kibitz Room.
John Atkinson  |  Mar 29, 2018  |  0 comments
I have long been aware of English audio company Prism Sound, both from my use at the turn of the century of their excellent PCI card–based DScope2 measurement system (footnote 1), and from some of my friends' enthusiasm for Prism's SADiE digital audio workstation. Prism Sound was founded in 1987 by two DSP engineers, Graham Boswell and Ian Dennis, who had first met when working at mixing-console manufacturer Rupert Neve, in Cambridge, England. From the beginning, Prism Sound operated exclusively in the world of professional audio, but a year or so ago I began seeing their first domestic audio product, the Callia, at audio shows.

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