LATEST ADDITIONS

John Atkinson  |  Feb 20, 2018  |  2 comments
I got an e-mail last summer from my colleague Tyll Hertsens, editor of our InnerFidelity website. "Recently reviewed and really liked the new MrSpeakers Æon," he wrote. "They're a little rough-sounding as sealed headphones tend to be, but the tonal balance is superb. I got three in for review to make sure they're consistent. After measurements I asked [MrSpeakers'] Dan Clark if I could forward them to you because I like them so much and thought you should hear them. . . . I really think you may enjoy them."
Herb Reichert  |  Feb 20, 2018  |  3 comments
During the hour preceding my removal of the KEF LS50 loudspeakers from their spiked, rough-iron stands, I was lost in the recurring still moments, reverberating tones, and contemplative spirit of Sir John Tavener's Eis Thanaton and Theophany, in the recording by soprano Patricia Rozario, bass Stephen Richardson, and Richard Hickox conducting the City of London Sinfonia (CD, Chandos CHAN 9440).
Stereophile Staff  |  Feb 19, 2018  |  2 comments
Sunday, February 25 at 2pm, audiophile-fave-rave pianist Hyperion Knight will perform a program of Bach, Beethoven, and Gershwin at the First Baptist Church in America (75 North Main Street Providence, RI 02903). The church is a short (seven minutes) walk from the Providence Amtrak (train) station. The starting time of the recital was chosen to make it possible for music lovers from New York City to Boston to arrive and depart with the least fuss possible. The recital will be open to the public, and free of charge.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Feb 19, 2018  |  41 comments
The Nonesuch Records CD Steve Reich: Pulse / Quartet arrived with its sonic bonus unheralded. With no MQA designation on the album cover or disc, few would have known of its MQA provenance had not posts appeared on Facebook that, when inserted in a player capable of decoding MQA, it can deliver high-resolution MQA.
Ken Micallef  |  Feb 15, 2018  |  15 comments
Audiophiles are oblivious to the low-end music-reproduction medium that's currently staging a comeback: the cassette tape (footnote 1). I've adopted the cassette craze in my own small way. I glory in the trusted mixtape, which I play in the stereo cassette deck of my 1990s Toyota. An automobile is a dearly cherished possession in New York City; when I cruise the outer boroughs on Sunday, I want tunes galore. So I retrieved my 1996 Aiwa cassette deck, and, attic-bound as it had been for 20 years, it was in need of repair. Via Yelp, I came across Hi-Tech Electronics, a small repair-everything-electronic shop at the east end of Canal Street, in New York's Chinatown, and a mother lode of classic audio gear and audiophile nostalgia.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Feb 15, 2018  |  22 comments
The 2018 audio show season is about to start and it's not just Stereophile's coverage of high-end audio shows—which has taken a leap forward with the inclusion of Jana Dagdagan's binaural videos—that's changing. The shows themselves are on the move.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Feb 14, 2018  |  3 comments
There's good news for owners of Thiel loudspeakers manufactured between 1977 and 2012. Coherent Source Service of Lexington, Kentucky, will provide Thiel warranty and non-warranty service for customers worldwide. The company has been founded by Rob Gillum, who worked with Thiel for over 30 years and eventually became Director of Manufacturing.
Jim Austin  |  Feb 13, 2018  |  119 comments
When you come to a fork in the road, take it.—Yogi Berra

Over one busy week in 1986, Karlheinz Brandenburg laid the foundation of a technology that a few years later would upend the record business. Brandenburg, a PhD student in electrical engineering at the Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg, was figuring out how to code digital music efficiently enough that it could be delivered over digital telephone lines. A patent examiner had concluded that what the application proposed was impossible, so over a week of late nights, Brandenburg produced the proof of concept and more. It was another decade before the technology—MPEG-2 level III, more commonly known as MP3—would find its true home, the Internet.

Robert Baird  |  Feb 13, 2018  |  8 comments
Willie Nelson: Stardust
Columbia/Analogue Productions AAPP 116-45 (2 45rpm LPs). 1978/2017. Booker T. Jones, prod.; Donivan Cowart, Bradley Hartman, engs.; Bernie Grundman, mastering. AAA. TT: 43:28
Performance *****
Sonics *****

In Nashville in the early 1960s, Willie Nelson hit his low point. He'd failed at singing and writing country music, and one snowy night, after a liberal drowning of his troubles at Tootsie's Orchid Lounge, he decided to totter outside and lie down in the middle of Lower Broadway. In subsequent retellings of the tale, he's always maintained that he wasn't trying to kill himself. For that, he had a pistol.

Jason Victor Serinus  |  Feb 11, 2018  |  2 comments
Did you know that in May 1913, even before Diaghilev's ballet of Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring caused fist-fights among Parisian concertgoers, Stravinsky and Debussy together played the newly printed four-hand reduction of the score? You can feel a hefty helping of the excitement created by the crashing keyboards of two geniuses in the percussive thrill that Marc-André Hamelin and Leif Ove Andsnes bring to the score on this new Hyperion recording of Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring, Concerto for Two Pianos, and three other short works for two piano and four hands.

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