LATEST ADDITIONS

Larry Greenhill  |  May 01, 2018  |  13 comments
When I reviewed the Mark Levinson No.536 monoblock, I said that its sound quality was second to none. However, its stratospheric price of $30,000/pair unnerved me—only seven of the 35 top-rated solid-state power amplifiers listed in the April 2017 edition of Stereophile's "Recommended Components" cost more, and a similar number (not the same models) deliver more power into 8 ohms. "But don't despair," I wrote—"Mark Levinson has just released a less expensive version of the No.536: the dual-mono, 350Wpc No.534 stereo amp ($20,000)." I requested a review sample of the No.534, to see if it matched the No.536's outstanding qualities of build and sound.
Kalman Rubinson  |  May 01, 2018  |  4 comments
For some years now, I've tried to free myself from playing physical media and get all my music organized on a server. It's not that I don't enjoy handling and playing discs, but it's almost impossible to keep track of them. When my collection was only a thousand or two LPs, I felt I could remember each one individually. But now I have several times that many silver discs, and I know I can't.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Apr 30, 2018  |  0 comments
Cellist Antonio Lysy, whose Yarlung Records recording Antonio Lysy at the Broad won a Latin Grammy for its inclusion of Lalo Schifrin's song "Pampas," has returned with a unique recording of South American-connected compositions and arrangements. Aptly titled South America (YAR80167DSD), the nine compositions honor Astor Piazzolla, Heitor Villa-Lobos, Carlos Gardel, Antonio's violinist father Alberto Lysy, and Argentine bandoneon master Coco Trivisonno. There's even some Brazilian-tinged J.S. Bach and a work by Spanish cellist Pablo Casals.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Apr 28, 2018  |  34 comments
In a definite sign of the times, Sony Classical is poised to bring the 60-year old classic RCA Victor Living Stereo series to streaming, hi-rez download, and social media platforms. Beginning on Friday April 27, and lasting for two months, Living Stereo playlists—Living Stereo Spectaculars, Living Stereo Top 50, and Living Stereo Deep Cuts among them—will stream on Apple Music, Spotify, and Deezer.
Jana Dagdagan  |  Apr 27, 2018  |  4 comments
Constellation’s Irv Gross (right) welcomes Jason to the Precision Audio room.

On Saturday April 14, I followed Jason Victor Serinus around AXPONA with my video camera while he played recordings from M•A and John Atkinson.

John Atkinson  |  Apr 26, 2018  |  2 comments
When I asked NAD for a sample of their Masters Series M50.2 digital music player, which I reviewed in the December 2017 issue, they also sent me a Masters Series M32 DirectDigital integrated amplifier, which had also been introduced at the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show. Costing $3999, the M32 offers a continuous power output of >150W into 8 or 4 ohms. The M32 is the same size as the M50.2, and its smart-looking combination of matte black and gray-anodized aluminum panels make it look identical to the player, except for the black volume-control knob to the right of the front panel's four-color touchscreen, and the ¼" headphone jack at bottom left. It even has the same eight ventilation grilles inset in the black top panel.
Kalman Rubinson  |  Apr 26, 2018  |  23 comments
Late in the summer of 2015, I was one of the press representatives invited by Bowers & Wilkins to visit their R&D center in Steyning, West Sussex, England, and be given a detailed preview of the upcoming revision of their entire 800 series of loudspeaker models. Both the technical presentation and the tours impressively demonstrated the comprehensive redesign process that resulted in speakers that were superficially similar but entirely different from their predecessors. Of the new series, I reviewed the 802 D3 Diamond, a pair of which now sit in my listening room as my current reference speakers.
Art Dudley  |  Apr 24, 2018  |  2 comments
In an oft-viewed clip on YouTube, recorded at the 2009 Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival, three world-class guitarists pause during a music workshop to talk about their instruments: Danny Knicely describes his 1939 Martin D-18, Chris Eldridge talks briefly about his own 1937 Martin D-28, and Josh Williams notes that his guitar was made in 2002, by the Kentucky-based luthier Neil Kendrick. Then, with fine comic timing, Knicely remarks, "One of these days, me and Chris will be able to afford a new guitar, too!"
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Apr 24, 2018  |  44 comments
"Phones are the gateway device," proclaimed Marc Finer, executive producer of the Hi-Res Pavilion, at the start of the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show. When he pointed to LG Electronics' V30 Hi-Res+MQA smartphone, which includes streaming apps for Qobuz, Tidal, and YouTube, I sensed the truth in his words. The latest stats from survey company MusicWatch confirm that at least 87% of smartphone owners use a music-streaming service, including the largest, YouTube. Twenty percent of owners said that they stream music/music-related content daily, and 39% stream five or more days per week.
Jana Dagdagan  |  Apr 23, 2018  |  7 comments
After visiting the Expo Hall with Herb Reichert, we move on to the Schaumburg Renaissance Hotel's upper levels to visit a few rooms, capturing binaural sound so, on headphones, you can hear what Herb heard.

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