LATEST ADDITIONS

Anne E. Johnson  |  Oct 07, 2021  |  10 comments
As the title of a fan blog puts it, indie is not a genre. It is potentially every genre. It's an attitude, an approach, a commitment to self-expression without regard to, or in spite of, mainstream demands. It's the blend that nobody can label, the outré, the ahead-of-its-time, the defiantly retro.
Herb Reichert  |  Oct 06, 2021  |  5 comments
Today is Monday. Since Saturday, I have changed the amplifier driving my Falcon Gold Badge LS3/5a speakers three times—from the Parasound Halo A21+ (250Wpc into 8 ohms) to the Pass Labs XA25 (>25Wpc into 8 ohms) to the Elekit TU-8600S (9Wpc into 8 ohms). Now I am listening to the Falcons via the just-arrived RAAL-requisite HSA-1b headphone and speaker amplifier. This unusual, made-in-Serbia amp is priced at $4500. It's specified to produce 10Wpc into 8 ohms, 20Wpc into 4 ohms, 40Wpc into 2 ohms, and 55Wpc into 1 ohm, these values from the loudspeaker output
Kurt Gottschalk  |  Oct 05, 2021  |  0 comments
New York City is a dream you can't have—glitz, glamor, grime, too much to take in from within, too much to understand from afar. It's a metropolitan manifestation of the Heisenberg principle, its nature changing with how you look at it. No matter how you try, you can't see the forest for the skyscrapers.
Stereophile Staff  |  Oct 04, 2021  |  228 comments
Register to win one of two Rhino Déjà vu 50th Anniversary Deluxe D2C Vinyl Editions (value $250.00 each), or a limited edition 16"x20" Henry Diltz photo signed by all four members of CSNY (value: $1,500/priceless) we are giving away.

According to Rhino:

"Presented as a 5 LP set in a beautiful box with a 12 x 12 softcover book, the collection comes illustrated with rarely seen photos from the era and annotated by writer/filmmaker Cameron Crowe, whose revealing liner notes recount the making of the album through stories told by the people who were there, including David Crosby, Stephen Stills, Graham Nash, and Neil Young."

[This Sweepstakes is now Closed.]

Herb Reichert  |  Oct 01, 2021  |  34 comments
The made-in-Switzerland Stenheim Alumine Three floorstanding loudspeaker sells for $32,900/pair. It is not only the most expensive component I've reviewed for Stereophile; it costs more than 10 times (!) as much as my $3000/pair reference Falcon Acoustics Gold Badge LS3/5a speaker. So naturally I wondered: Will it sound 10 times better? And if it does sound 10 times better, what might the nature of the improvements be?
Julie Mullins  |  Sep 30, 2021  |  44 comments
Lately I've been hearing stories about people getting back into hi-fi, often from the people themselves. Some are buying new gear, but others have dug out and dusted off older equipment. Demand for electronics repair services was surging even before the pandemic. Once it struck, once and future audiophiles stuck at home plumbed their basements, attics, and storage units and pulled out old hi-fi components, hoping to resurrect them, only to find they weren't working, or not well.

Should they get 'em fixed?

Jason Victor Serinus  |  Sep 29, 2021  |  21 comments
On the face of it, playing and streaming digital music files is a straightforward process. You direct data from various sources—some local, some "in the cloud"—perhaps via a reclocker/signal conditioner to a digital-to-analog converter (DAC). "And the music comes out here."

Not so simple. Bits, it seems, aren't bits, or not only. A digital datastream is also an analog signal. Noise and other signal errors endemic to multi-function computers not designed primarily for music playback can affect how music sounds. And then there are the practical issues of setting up and connecting everything optimally, and then organizing music files correctly, which can be especially difficult when ripping files from multidisc sets.

Michael Fremer  |  Sep 28, 2021  |  42 comments
If you're going to spend a year-plus in COVID lockdown, it doesn't hurt to have a million dollars' worth of turntables keeping you company, right? That's been my good fortune. Sounds like a roomful, but it's only three: the SAT XD1, the TechDAS Air Force Zero, and the OMA K3 ($360,000, footnote 1).

You'll find this issue's cover girl either strikingly beautiful or homely. Visitor reactions fall strongly into one of those two camps, with nothing in between. I love the looks. Whatever your opinion, the K3's visual distinctiveness cannot be denied. The innards are equally unique.

Ken Micallef  |  Sep 24, 2021  |  16 comments
In May of 2019, I heard about a promising jazz vinyl and hi-fi estate sale happening on New York's Upper East Side. Little did I know then what treasures the dig would yield.

Jazz Record Center's Fred Cohen had called from the UES apartment, the former residence of late CBS Records and Sony Entertainment mastering engineer Harry N. Fein. Fred said, "The records are kind of beat, but the apartment is jammed with tape decks, turntables, cartridges, tubes, midcentury modern furniture—get up here."

Fred Kaplan  |  Sep 23, 2021  |  3 comments
Various Artists: Kimbrough
Fred Hersch, Helen Sung, Craig Taborn, Dan Tepfer, Gary Versace, piano; Ben Allison, Jay Anderson, Rufus Reid, bass; Steve Cardenas, Ben Monder, guitar; Ted Nash, Joe Lovano, Danny McCaslin, Scott Robinson, Alexa Tarantino, Immanuel Wilkins, reeds; Dave Douglas, Kirk Knuffke, trumpets; Ryan Keberle, trombone; Olivia Chindamo, vocals; Billy Drummond, Clarence Penn, Matt Wilson, drums; 44 others.
Newvelle/Bandcamp. Elan Mehler, prod.; Marc Urselli, eng.
Performance ****½
Sonics ****

Frank Kimbrough was one of the most beloved figures in jazz and the most puzzlingly unsung among the great jazz musicians of our time. When he died on December 30, 2020, at the age of 64, there was much mourning among his colleagues—which explains why, over a three-day period this past May, it was possible to corral 67 of them to cover 58 of his compositions, without pay, for this download-only album. The proceeds will fund a scholarship in his name at Juilliard, where he taught. The good cause aside, the $20 download charge is crazy cheap for five and a half hours of music from some of New York's finest jazz musicians.

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