LATEST ADDITIONS

Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jun 24, 2017  |  9 comments
For his fourth Schumann disc since the 1998 Dichterliebe; Liederkreis collaboration with Vladimir Ashkenazy, the great German baritone Matthias Goerne joins pianist Markus Hinterhäuser in a 19-gem collection of heart-touching songs by Robert Schumann entitled Einsamkeit (Solitude). The singing on the Harmonia Mundi recital is gorgeous throughout, and the repertoire deeply communicative. This is especially the case in hi-rez from HDtracks, where the duo's artistic brilliance shines strongest.
Jana Dagdagan  |  Jun 22, 2017  |  15 comments
At the Los Angeles Audio Show, held June 2–4, John Atkinson spoke with Zu Audio's founder, owner, and chief engineer Sean Casey about the Zu Audio Druid (pictured), Sean's background and his "unconventional" approach, and historic speaker designs. And toward the end of the video, Sean Casey turns the tables on JA by interviewing him about the role of the audio reviewer!
Larry Greenhill  |  Jun 22, 2017  |  15 comments
Dinesh Paliwal, CEO of Harman International Industries, was addressing engineers and the audio press in a crowded conference room at the opening of Harman Luxury Audio's new Engineering Center of Excellence (ECOE), in Shelton, Connecticut. Paliwal singled out as the ECOE's first beneficiary the Mark Levinson brand, with the goal of revitalizing it as Harman's flagship marque. (Other brands in the HII stable include Harman Kardon, Infinity, JBL, Crown, AKG, Lexicon, and Revel.) To achieve this, he gave the ECOE team access to Harman's R&D budget of $400 million; brought on Todd Eichenbaum, formerly of Krell, to be its Director; and hired 11 more engineers.
Herb Reichert  |  Jun 22, 2017  |  1 comments
My main task is to describe an audio component's basic character. How was it made? How did it fit into my system? How effectively did it deliver musical performances? My goal is to create stories that generate sounds and images in your mind—stories that will allow you to imagine how the component might perform in your system.

I can hear the moans from all you objectivist guys: Please, Herb, spare us your purple prose.

Art Dudley  |  Jun 20, 2017  |  3 comments
"As the original L2 circuitry was virtually flawless, it was the emergence of new electronic components that opened up a possibility of [even better performance] . . ."

So begins one of two booklets—one a collection of specifications and interior photos, the other a distinctly thorough user's manual—included with the new L2.1 Reference line-level preamplifier from Brooklyn's Lamm Industries, earlier products from which have impressed me as among the best available. Indeed, coming from almost anyone else, the above quote would strike me as trivial boasting—but I know from experience that there's nothing trivial about designer and company head Vladimir Lamm.

John Atkinson  |  Jun 20, 2017  |  14 comments
For digital playback, in recent months I've been breathing some rarefied air, pricewise. In December 2016, I reviewed dCS's Rossini Player and Clock, followed in May 2017 by Meridian's Ultra DAC, and in June by Chord's DAVE DAC. The Rossini Player costs $28,499 without the Clock, the Meridian $23,000, and though the DAVE is less expensive than either at $10,588, that's still a fair chunk of change. Even PS Audio's PerfectWave DirectStream DAC, which I bought following Art Dudley's review in September 2014, costs $6899 with the Network Bridge II, which hardly counts as "affordable."
Stereophile Staff  |  Jun 20, 2017  |  0 comments
Thursday evening, June 22, 5–9pm, F1 Audio (311 E Dundee Road, Palatine, IL 60074) is holding an event featuring Evolution series loudspeakers and electronics from TAD Labs and Isotek power conditioners. Attendees will also be able to audition rare, out-of-print Mobile Fidelity albums and test pressings from MoFi's UltraDisc One-Step series and take a test drive in the new Porsche 718 Boxster S and Macan Turbo, courtesy of The Porsche Exchange of Highland Park.
Jana Dagdagan  |  Jun 18, 2017  |  8 comments
At the Los Angeles Audio Show, held June 2–4, John Atkinson spoke with Elac's Andrew Jones about speaker design, building affordable loudspeakers, and Elac's Adante AF-61 speaker, which made its debut at the show, driven by Audio Alchemy amplification.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jun 17, 2017  |  0 comments
Want to go from yang to ying by the simple switch of a silver disc? Try seguing from the two supremely energetic, densely populated chamber symphonies of Pulitzer Prize-winning composer John Adams (b. 1947), which we explored last week, to the far milder and less complicated choral work, Canticles of the Holy Wind (Cantaloupe) from the other Pulitzer Prize in Music-winning Adams, John Luther Adams (b. 1953).
Fred Kaplan  |  Jun 17, 2017  |  4 comments
In 2014, Chad Kassem, proprietor of Acoustic Sounds and Analogue Productions, released a 200-gram QRP vinyl pressing of Masterpieces by Ellington, one of the Duke's least-known but possibly finest and finest-sounding albums, to wild acclaim and (by audiophile standards) brisk sales. Now he's put it out at 45rpm, and while the 33 was a startler, the new version—spread out on two LPs, to accommodate the wider grooves—will leave you breathless.

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