LATEST ADDITIONS

Herb Reichert  |  Jan 03, 2019  |  50 comments
On the first page of the owner's manual for iFi Audio's Pro iDSD tubed/solid-state multibit DAC and headphone amplifier, the British company unabashedly describes it as "a 'state of the art' reference digital to analog converter" and "a wireless hi-res network player or the central DAC in an expensive high-end home system." As if in an afterthought, it continues: "The on-board balanced headphone section means high-end headphones can also be directly connected to it." The manual doesn't describe the headphone "section" as "state of the art," so I'm deducing that the Pro iDSD is really more a fancy-pants DAC than a high-tone headphone amp.
Stereophile Staff  |  Jan 02, 2019  |  0 comments
Saturday,January 5, 1:30–4:30pm, the Pacific Northwest Audio Society (Congregational Church, 4545 Island Crest Way, Mercer Island, WA 98040) is holding a J-Corder Technics event. The free analog source workshop will showcase the Reference Series 2018 products from Technics, including the SL-1000R Reference Class turntable and modified RS-1500 legacy open-reel tape recorder.
Art Dudley  |  Dec 31, 2018  |  45 comments
Among the many bits of audio lore that never have and probably never will be aired in public is the story of the amp that ignited the reviewer's curtains. (I assume that at least some of you hoped I was going to say "pants.") I can't tell it in any great detail, partly because the reviewer in question is a friend (though not a Stereophile colleague), and I'm not sure how much of the story he wants out there. In any event, my object here is to offer a long-overdue apology, to all concerned, for having laughed at that story over the years, because it has now happened to me—not the part about the curtains, but definitely the part about the burning amp.
James W. Keeler  |  Dec 31, 2018  |  First Published: Dec 01, 1962  |  8 comments
Britten: Noye's Fludde
Owen Brannigan, Sheila Rex, Trevor Anthony, Children's Chorus, and East Suffolk Children's Orchestra, Members of the English Chamber Orchestra, Norman Del Mar, conductor
London OS-25331 (LP). Colin Graham, prod. Recording date, 1961-07-03. Recording venue, Orford Church, Suffolk. TT: 48:00

This musical setting of the Chester miracle play about Noah, his ark, and the problems attendant thereof, if one of the most movingly beautiful recorded works I have ever heard. Its simplicity and sincerity are a stinging rebuke to those contemporary composers who have forgotten that music is basically an expression of emotion, without which its appeal can be only to the logic-oriented "mind" of a computing machine.

J. Gordon Holt  |  Dec 31, 2018  |  First Published: Mar 01, 1963  |  1 comments
Mahler: Symphony No.1 in D ("The Titan")
Columbia Symphony Orchestra, Bruno Walter, conductor
Columbia MS-6394 (LP). John McClure, prod. TT: 52:15

This is one of those rare combinations of a superb recording and a stunning performance. As far as I'm concerned, it is the best Mahler First that Bruno Walter committed to discs during his lifetime, including the last one that he made with the New York Philharmonic. And the fact that this recording is far superior to that accorded Walter when he conducted the New York Philharmonic does not detract one bit from my feeling about this new release.

Jason Victor Serinus  |  Dec 31, 2018  |  3 comments
Many of us enter the New Year with a mixture of sorrow for our losses and hope for what lies ahead. While there's no right way to celebrate 2019's symbolic new start, one approach to creating space for the new is to pause long enough to acknowledge our lives and environment for exactly what they are at the present moment.

Cue David Chesky's Rap Symphony 2.0, a reworking of Chesky's original release currently available in download and video form.

John Atkinson  |  Dec 29, 2018  |  4 comments
It's been reported on the Strata-gee consumer electronics news website that Björn Erik Edvardsen (known as BEE), who was the creator of the historic NAD 3020 integrated amplifier, passed away on December 16 from Myeloma/bone cancer. BEE had worked continuously with the company from 1976 until just a few months ago, when he left his position as NAD's Director of Advanced Research to focus on his battle with cancer.
John Atkinson  |  Dec 27, 2018  |  46 comments
Back in the mid-1990s, I believed that the design of D/A processors was fundamentally a solved problem. The resistor-ladder, multi-bit DAC chips of the 1980s, with their linearity errors, had been replaced by sigma-delta types that had minimal linearity error down to the lowest signal levels. All that remained for the designers of PCM D/A chips was to increase resolution and dynamic range to the theoretical limits, and to improve the mathematical precision of oversampling digital filters to match the performance of the 20- and 24-bit recordings that had just begun to be released.
Sasha Matson  |  Dec 27, 2018  |  3 comments
Autumn in New York—watching Central Park change colors. Also time to catch the Bill Charlap Trio during their annual residency at the Village Vanguard: Charlap at the piano, Peter Washington on bass, and Kenny Washington at the drums in the Church of Jazz, the room the Bill Evans Trio called home in the 1960s and '70s. Exploring the great traditions of jazz and American song has become a Charlap trademark.
James W. Keeler  |  Dec 24, 2018  |  First Published: Jun 01, 1963  |  1 comments
Music for Strings
Couperin: Concert Pieces for Cello and Orchestra; Mozart: Divertimento in D, K.136; Corelli: Concerto Grosso No.4, Op.6; Britten: A Simple Symphony
Solisti de Zagreb, Antonio Janigro, cello and director
RCA Victor LSC 2653 (2 LPs). Richard Mohr, prod., Lewis W. Layton, eng, TT: 47:56

From the standpoint of content and musicianship this is a superb collection of delightful music performed with the consummate authority and artistry for which Mr. Janigro and I Solisti de Zagreb are justly famous. The recording, too, while by no means perfect, is at least pre-Dynagroove, which as far as I'm concerned is now a compliment to any RCA Victor release.

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