LATEST ADDITIONS

Michael Fremer  |  Sep 14, 2020  |  20 comments
I was planning to ignore the big three oh oh—my 300th Analog Corner column—and go about my normal business of covering an assortment of new analog gear and accessories. There's an abundance of those today, 25 years after the publication of my first column. Back then, there was far less to write about: Vinyl was on life support and headed for the obsolete-music-format trash heap atop a pile of Elcasets and 8-track tapes.
John Atkinson  |  Sep 14, 2020  |  5 comments
When Stereophile publishes followup reviews of various kinds in the print magazine, we add the followup as a "child page" to the full review. That means that they don't appear on the website's home page and might get missed. The October 2020 issue included three followups: of the Boulder 2108 phono preamplifier, the Weiss DAC502 D/A processor, and the IsoAcoustics Gaia loudspeaker isolation feet.
John Atkinson, Wes Phillips  |  Sep 11, 2020  |  First Published: Dec 01, 1998  |  4 comments
For the seventh consecutive year, Stereophile has named a select few audio components the "Products of the Year." In doing so, we recognize those components that have proved capable of giving musical pleasure beyond the formal review period.
Michael Fremer  |  Sep 10, 2020  |  First Published: Aug 01, 1998  |  18 comments
"Something's coming, I don't know what it is, but it is gonna be great!"—Tony, West Side Story

While the Sharks and the Jets rumble in the consumer electronics playground, knife-fighting for supremacy in the next software go-round, in 1998 we're still living in the 16-bit/44.1kHz audio world, and will be doing so for the foreseeable future. Maybe your idea of audio bliss is listening to the equivalent of computing with a Commodore 64, but it's not mine.

Ben Duncan  |  Sep 09, 2020  |  First Published: Jun 01, 2001  |  28 comments
In high-end circles, the sonic repute of integrated-circuit op-amps (from "operational amplifier") is, at best, checkered. Of course, the expertise with which they are used and the parts they're used with can make all the difference. For example, my DIY preamplifier design, "AMP-02," published in Hi-Fi News & Record Review in 1989–90, and my earlier (1983–84) AMP-01 (footnote 1), I used the better IC op-amps of the time throughout. Both units were thought to outperform cost-no-object commercial units of the time that employed discrete transistors and even tubes, and only indicate what's possible.
Guy Lemcoe  |  Sep 08, 2020  |  First Published: Feb 01, 1991  |  2 comments
The $1200 D-105u, the top of Luxman's CD-player line, is novel in its twin-triode vacuum-tube amplification in the analog output stage. This configuration is said to provide high linearity with low distortion and that hard-to-quantify musicality found in tubed products. In addition, the D-105u incorporates an anti-vibration laser pick-up mechanism and a high-mass magnetic disc clamper, the latter feature said to mass-load the disc center to minimize spindle-motor microvibration, thus improving tracking accuracy for lowest error rate.
Michael Fremer  |  Sep 07, 2020  |  First Published: Apr 01, 2020  |  3 comments
We're 30 years into a cartridge design revolution, particularly at the top end of the market, where manufacturers charge upward of $10,000 for their best efforts: prices that well-off consumers have amply proved they are willing to pay. There doesn't seem to be an innovation end in sight.
Thomas Conrad  |  Sep 04, 2020  |  2 comments
An outburst of saxophone flurries sits you straight up in your chair. The tone is rich but with a cutting edge.

It has to be Rudresh Mahanthappa. The riveting cry of his alto saxophone is one of the most recognizable sounds in jazz.

But those darting runs coalesce into Charlie Parker's "Red Cross." So it can't be Mahanthappa, can it? He has made 15 straight albums of original music. He doesn't do covers, right?

Thomas J. Norton  |  Sep 03, 2020  |  First Published: Mar 01, 1995  |  0 comments
In February 1994, when I reviewed the pricey ($12,900 with amplifier) Sennheiser Orpheus headphone system—HE 90 headphones and HEV 90 D/A processor/amplifier—I commented that the company had a similar, but less expensive, alternative available: the HE 60 headphones combined with the HEV 70 amplifier. At the headphone end, the HE 60s aren't so different from the HE 90s furnished with the Orpheus system. Both are extremely lightweight and supremely comfortable—even for long listening sessions (I logged up to four hours without a break on the HE 60s). In fact, the less-expensive HE 60s are about 100gm—4 ounces—lighter than the HE 90s.
Julie Mullins  |  Sep 02, 2020  |  10 comments
Apart from the Beatles and Hendrix I heard in my audiophile father's basement, one of my earliest rock'n'roll memories involved a multipurpose record player at school. In third grade, six of us were moved as a separate group to a round table to watch a filmstrip in a darker part of a large, open-plan classroom. A clunky old record player in a self-contained carrying case with a half-dozen headphone jacks sat on the table.

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