Chord Electronics DAVE D/A processor

Fifteen years? Has it really been 15 years since I reviewed what was then the flagship D/A processor from English company Chord Electronics? In the July 2002 issue, here's how I summed up my review of the Chord DAC64: "While the Chord Electronics DAC64 is undoubtedly expensive, it is eye-poppingly gorgeous. . . . many listeners should find its silky-smooth highs seductive, as well as its slightly larger-than-life lows." How times and prices change—the "undoubtedly expensive" DAC64 cost only $3040! I did make a couple of criticisms of the DAC64 in my review, but according to Wes Phillips, in his August 2007 review of Chord's revised DAC64, "the Choral Blu [CD transport] and Choral DAC64 are, together, the CD player we music lovers have long prayed for"—even if, five years after my own review, the DAC64's price had risen to $5000.
Thu, 05/18/2017

Bill Frisell and Thomas Morgan's Small Town on ECM

On Small Town, Bill Frisell's latest album, a program of duets with bassist Thomas Morgan recorded live at the Village Vanguard in NYC and produced by the founder, owner, and visionary behind ECM Records, Manfred Eicher, Frisell again shows his affinity for American roots music.
Tue, 05/16/2017

Balance

Balance is certainly a lovely concept, as well as a lofty ideal. But achieving an optimal sonic balance in a high-end audio system—whose final sound is determined, in part, by interactions among any number of components and that great bugaboo, the listening room—while maintaining some semblance of psychic equilibrium can be the hardest goal of all.
Tue, 05/16/2017

Recording of June 2017: Silent Light

Dominic Miller: Silent Light
Dominic Miller, guitar; Miles Bould, percussion
ECM 2518 (CD). 2017. Manfred Eicher, prod.; Jan Erik Kongshaug, eng. DDD? TT: 41:06
Performance *****
Sonics *****

It was a pairing that seemed right from the very start: ECM's founder, Manfred Eicher, a man renowned for having an unmatched ear for talent and exacting sound-engineering skills; and guitarist Dominic Miller, an internationalist who was born in Argentina, raised in Racine, Wisconsin, and now lives in Provence, France, and who's spent more than 20 years playing and writing with Sting. Along the way, Miller has been a hired guitar slinger with everyone from the Pretenders and Chris Botti to Rod Stewart and Plácido Domingo. He's made 13 solo records, has recorded the music of J.S. Bach on guitar, and says his favorite album is Deep Purple's Made in Japan.

Tue, 05/16/2017

Hot Damn, it's the June Issue

Chord's extraordinary DAVE—"Digital [to] Analog Veritas [in] Extremis (Truth in Extreme)"—D/A processor takes pride of place on its cover, but the June Stereophile is packed full of good stuff. Art Dudley reports on Peachtree's "Made in America" nova300 integrated amplifier; Herb Reichert and Jim Austin live with high-performance preamplifiers from PrimaLuna and PS Audio; Kal Rubinson checks out a two-channel AV integrated amplifier from Arcam; Ken Micallef reviews a truly loud speaker, the horn-loaded Rival from Volti; and Robert Baird listens to great-sounding vinyl reissues of recordings of the legendary pianist Bill Evans.
Mon, 05/15/2017

Hi-Rez Bach Trios from Ma, Thile, and Meyer

Given the pedigree of its three artists—cellist Yo-Yo Ma, mandolin virtuoso Chris Thile, and bassist Edgar Meyer—this new recording of Bach Trios is destined to become a best-seller. That the hour-long recording is available in multiple formats, including as a Nonesuch CD, 24/96 hi-rez download, LP, and MQA stream via Tidal Masters, and is filled with glorious music graand MQA stream via Tidal Masters, and is filled with glorious music grants it potential appeal to all music lovers, including audiophiles eager to compare formats.
Sun, 05/14/2017

darTZeel NHB-18NS preamplifier Mk.2 June 2017

Sat, 05/13/2017

Bash & Pop on Vinyl

The final utterance of a great band dissolving has completely stood the test of time.
Sat, 05/13/2017

Munich Milestones for MQA

In anticipation of this week's Munich High End, which takes place May 18–21, MQA has announced several breakthroughs. The first involves its hardware partners, who have expanded to include AudioQuest, CanEver Audio, dCS, Esoteric, IAG, Krell, Lumin, Mark Levinson, Moon by Simaudio, Pro-Ject Audio Systems, TEAC, and Wadax. These are in addition to its existing partners, who include Aurender, Bel Canto, Bluesound, Cary, NAD, Brinkmann, Meridian, MSB, Mytek, Onkyo, Pioneer and Technics. All of the latter are expected to demonstrate MQA at the Munich show, with yet others showing at the Los Angeles Audio Show June 2–4.
Fri, 05/12/2017

Meet the Manufacturers in Maryland Saturday

Saturday, May 13, starting at 1pm and running late into the evening, JS Audio (4919 St. Elmo Avenue, Bethesda, MD 20814) is holding an Open House. Special guests will include Peter McGrath and Bill Peugh of Wilson Audio; John Quick and Trent Suggs of dCS; Bill McKiegan of Dan D'Agostino Master Audio Systems; Michael Taylor of Nordost; Michael Manousselis of Dynaudio North America; and a representative from Audio Research.
Thu, 05/11/2017

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