LATEST ADDITIONS

Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jul 16, 2017  |  5 comments
It is undoubtedly far more romantic for us to imagine young Giovanni Battista Pergolesi (1710–1736) spending his last weeks on earth writing four chamber cantatas in a Franciscan monastery on the Bay of Naples than it was for him to write feverishly while dying of tuberculosis. Had he experienced a miracle cure, he would have lived to discover that his Stabat Mater was fast becoming one of the most widely disseminated and frequently printed musical manuscripts of the 18th century.
Robert Baird  |  Jul 15, 2017  |  2 comments
One of my favorite South by Southwest moments over the 28 years I have attended was the early-1990s performance of Arthur Alexander who was literally sobbing before his set was done. In 1993, after many years out of the music game, Alexander, with the help of a lot of talented friends, made Lonely Just Like Me for Elektra Records, a swansong he never thought possible. Convinced he'd been forgotten, his triumphant performance in Austin just after the record was released, in front of a wildly enthusiastic crowd, moved him to tears. A few weeks later he was gone.
Jana Dagdagan  |  Jul 14, 2017  |  28 comments
In this video, we visit Stereophile's Deputy Editor, Art Dudley, in his home in Cherry Valley, NY.

Who is Art Dudley? A devout Listener, a friend to all bunnies—and some humans—John Atkinson's right-hand man, and an invaluable voice, not just within Stereophile, but within the industry as a whole.

Fred Kaplan  |  Jul 14, 2017  |  1 comments
Steve Coleman, 61, is one of the most creative alto saxophonists, conceptualists, composers, and bandleaders—and certainly the most influential of all those identities—in jazz today. His latest album, Morphogenesis (on the Pi Recordings label), doesn't quite equal his last two—his breakthrough, Functional Arrhythmia (2013), or his masterpiece, Synovial Joints (2015)—but it's a rouser by any measure: on close listening, a heady sweat-drencher.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jul 13, 2017  |  39 comments
For the longest time, I've found the label "hobby" inadequate to describe the audiophile goal of better sound reproduction. Yes, for some, the mechanics of the High End have become an end in themselves—a way to tinker and tweak, build and rebuild in classic hobby fashion. But for many others, specifically earbud listeners, folks with whole-house systems, and those who'd rather push a button on a remote and sit back or dance rather than roll tubes or tinker, the descriptor hobby falls woefully short.
Robert Levine  |  Jul 13, 2017  |  3 comments
Rachmaninoff: Piano Sonata 2, Variations on a Theme of Corelli, Six Moments Musicaux
Evelina Vorontsova, piano
STH Quality Classics CD1416092 (CD). 2017. Paul Steverink, Boudwijn Zwart, prods.; Jaco van Houselt, eng. DDD. TT: 74:42
Performance ****½
Sonics *****

This is Russian-Dutch pianist Evelina Vorontsova's second recording; the first was in 2002. Born in 1972, she took fourth prize in the Rachmaninoff Competition at 18, and second prize at the International Franz Liszt Piano Competition two years later; in 2006, she won second prize in the International Piano and Orchestra Competition in Cantù, Italy (at which there was no first prize awarded). Judging from this CD and its very challenging program, she is a remarkable talent; one wonders why she is not more famous and signed to a major label.

Robert Deutsch  |  Jul 11, 2017  |  12 comments
If Stereophile gave an award for Loudspeaker We've Most Frequently Reviewed, the hands-down winner would have to be the Quad ESL. The list of past and present Stereophile contributors who've written about the ESL's various incarnations includes John Atkinson, Martin Colloms, Anthony H. Cordesman, Art Dudley, Larry Greenhill, J. Gordon Holt, Ken Kessler, Dick Olsher, Herb Reichert, William Sommerwerck, Steven Stone, and Sam Tellig. The ESL-63 was John Atkinson's personal "Editor's Choice" in 1992, and the ESL-989, a successor to the ESL-63, was Stereophile's 2003 Loudspeaker of the Year and Product of the Year.
Stephen Mejias  |  Jul 11, 2017  |  20 comments
The New Analog: Listening and Reconnecting in a Digital World, by Damon Krukowski. The New Press, 2017. Hardcover, 240 pp., $24.95. Also available as an e-book.

Defining noise is tricky business.

In high-end audio, noise is often defined as the enemy—of music, beauty, truth. Engineers and enthusiasts alike spend significant amounts of time, energy, and money attempting to minimize or control noise so that it has the least possible impact on the source signal: music. In this way—if we are intelligent, careful, and fortunate—we can extract from our stereos cleaner, clearer, more naturally beautiful sound for listening experiences that are enriching, emotionally compelling, and, above all, fun. On the other hand, when noise is allowed to excessively modulate the signal, music can sound relatively abrasive, more mechanical, and, ultimately, less engaging.

Jana Dagdagan  |  Jul 10, 2017  |  6 comments
In this video I profile New York-based tube electronics technician Blackie Pagano, who fixes and upgrades "anything that makes or passes music and utilizes vacuum tubes." I first learned of Blackie when looking for a repairman to take my Fisher 800-C to. JA, Herb, and everyone I asked said—without hesitation—"You have to take it to Blackie. He's the best for the job."
Stereophile Staff  |  Jul 10, 2017  |  1 comments
With Quad's reworking of Peter Walker's "Wonder," the full-range ESL-2912 electrostatic, featured on its cover. Inside you'll find John Atkinson on Rockport's Avior II loudspeaker; Herb Reichert on an affordable amplifier from Emotiva and cost-no-object headphones from Abyss; Art Dudley on a Bryston's CD player; Michael Fremer on Brinkmann's MQA-capable Nyquist DAC and Ortofon's Windfeld Ti cartridge; and Jim Austin on PS Audio's ultimate monoblock.

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