Interviews

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Jana Dagdagan  |  Feb 17, 2017  |  8 comments
This past weekend, John Atkinson and I attended the debut of Vivid Audio's new flagship speaker, the G1 Spirit, at a private home in Itasca, IL (to the west of Chicago.) The event was hosted by concert pianist and audio retailer George Vatchnadze of Kyomi Audio. Prior to the event's start, JA and Vivid speaker designer Laurence Dickie had a stimulating conversation about speaker design, focusing on the G1 Spirit loudspeaker.
Ken Micallef  |  Feb 05, 2017  |  8 comments
New York City upright bassist Chris Lightcap is an excellent musician with an eye towards vintage environments. He lives with his family in a gorgeous Art Deco building, covets his wife's collection of 1950s and '60s-era cameras, has his own amazing collection of classic electric basses and guitars, and his comfortable apartment was once home to a Mafia hit-man. . . Lightcap's hi-fi consists of a Thorens TD-160 turntable, an early '60s era Fisher KX-100 Stereo Master Control Amplifier, Dynaco FM-3 Stereo Tuner, TCC TC-754 Black RIAA Phono Preamp, and KLH 17 loudspeakers.
Jana Dagdagan  |  Jan 30, 2017  |  1 comments
Last week, we posted a video on AudioStream of a conversation between Juergen Reis (MBL's Chief Designer), Michael Lavorgna (AudioStream), and John Atkinson, which we filmed during CES 2017. During that same session, we also filmed a conversation between JA and Juergen that focuses more specifically on MBL's new N31 DAC, which JA will be reviewing in a future issue of Stereophile.

In this video, Juergen and JA discuss digital filters, aliasing, Nyquist ringing, USB inputs, inter-sample "overs," and many of the other arcane issues involved in DAC design.

Jana Dagdagan  |  Jan 03, 2017  |  8 comments
This week's Industry Profile features Jim Hagerman of Hagerman Audio Labs. In essence, Jim is Hagerman Audio Labs all-in-one, as he impressively functions as owner/designer/engineer/tester/builder/shipper/customer service, and so on. Hagerman Audio Labs first caught my eye a couple years back when I started getting into DIY projects. Though he has since eliminated DIY from his offerings (you can read why below), Jim continued to interest me because: 1) his website lists an address in Honolulu (a rarity in high-end audio), 2) he publishes his schematics, and 3) his candid approach to social media is refreshing—all hopeful indicators that he'd make a very interesting Industry Profile subject.
Jana Dagdagan  |  Dec 19, 2016  |  11 comments
This week's industry profile tells a story about beginnings and changing times, in a conversation with Steve Cohen, a longtime employee (he doesn't have a formal job title) of the New York based hi-fi shop In Living Stereo. I started our conversation by asking Steve how he got into hi-fi. What was his background?
Sasha Matson  |  Dec 15, 2016  |  0 comments
Recordings and playback gear are two different sides of the hi-fi coin, and while many people have made careers creating one or the other, far fewer have made significant contributions to both. Joe Harley is one of those few. A longtime principal with the influential high-end audio manufacturer AudioQuest, he also continues to expand the discography of highly regarded recordings he has produced or helped to remaster, of both new and historically significant music.
Jana Dagdagan  |  Dec 12, 2016  |  5 comments
At the end of November, I spent a couple days in Eindhoven, The Netherlands, getting a first look at Marantz's New Reference series audio components. During my brief visit to D+M's European HQ, I was fortunate enough to spend 40 minutes of one-on-one chat time with Ken Ishiwata, Marantz's famed Brand Ambassador, and a key component to Marantz's success for nearly 40 years. I was originally only scheduled to have 10 minutes with him, but thankfully, due to a last-minute adjustment, we were able to talk for longer.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Dec 05, 2016  |  9 comments
"Our production line was stepping on its own toes," said Boulder Amplifiers' Rich Maez, Director of Sales and Marketing, as he welcomed me into the company's new, massive 23,000 sq. ft. manufacturing and testing plant in Louisville, CO. The move to a huge, brand-new building on 3 acres of land outside Boulder, in an area devoted to light industry, was greeted with sighs of relief by a team that had formerly found itself squeezed into an increasingly over-packed 10,000 sq. ft. facility.
Jana Dagdagan  |  Nov 28, 2016  |  5 comments
For the past eight months, my headphone of choice at Stereophile's New York office has been a pair of AudioQuest Nighthawks. That's eight hours a day, five days a week, for approximately 32 weeks. Not eternity, but we've spent a good chunk of quality time together. The overall setup is comprised of an Apple MacBook Pro (usually streaming Tidal, Spotify, or Amarra for Tidal), an AudioQuest Jitterbug, an AudioQuest DragonFly Red, and said NightHawks. I suppose it's safe to say that my ears tend to jibe well with AudioQuest products.
Ken Micallef  |  Nov 20, 2016  |  9 comments
Drummer/composer Dan Weiss has wide-ranging musical tastes, superb skills, and a rocking little Rega-based system in his cozy Brooklyn, New York apartment. Dan has drummed with many jazz greats, but it's his own projects that have generated the greatest interest. He's a thinking musician's musician, one who astutely assesses the pros and cons of every situation. Dan doesn't enter musical projects or hi-fi scenarios lightly. When considering his first major stereo purchase Dan listened to many combinations of turntable/CD player/amplifier/speaker(s).
Jana Dagdagan  |  Nov 14, 2016  |  6 comments
Dear Reader: This is my first of a series of industry profiles. The hi-fi publication sector largely consists of equipment reviews and music features. My hope for this series is to focus instead on the great people who keep this industry alive from the ground up, behind the scenes—designers, engineers, listeners, salespeople, and all music lovers alike. It should be interesting.

As the winter months inevitably approach, it feels only appropriate to delay the forthcoming cold with one last bit of summer. Summer Yin and I have known each other for nearly a year and a half, during which she has played integral roles at both HiFiMAN and AURALiC. I started our conversation by asking her about her experience and background in the audio industry.

Jason Victor Serinus  |  Nov 13, 2016  |  3 comments
On November 11, 2016, Veterans' Day, Wilson Audio Specialties announced that Daryl C. Wilson, 38, son of David Wilson and Sheryl Lee Wilson, has just succeeded his father as CEO and President of one of the world's leading high-end loudspeaker companies. Daryl, along with COO Korbin Vaughn, will now actively manage all aspects of Wilson Audio.
Ken Micallef  |  Sep 10, 2016  |  17 comments
Ronald Levin "Ron" Carter is arguably the greatest upright jazz bassist to have ever walked four strings, and he's literally the most recorded bassist of all time. "With 2,221 individual recording credits, as verified on 15 September 2015," notes Carter's website. As I've interviewed musicians for Musicians as Audiophiles, to a man they've whispered, "You've got to hear Ron Carter's rig. He's deeeep into it."
Jim Austin  |  Aug 16, 2016  |  33 comments
Most people who have heard music recordings encoded with Master Quality Authenticated agree that it sounds really goood (footnote 1)—but even they recognize that at least one major challenge remains: ensuring that listeners can actually get, in MQA format, the music they most love. I spoke with Spencer Chrislu, MQA's director of content services, about the company's efforts to meet this challenge.
Robert Baird  |  Aug 02, 2016  |  1 comments
In writing for magazines, there's a basic rule: Don't become the subject. And in writing about the arts, it's best to remember that you aren't in the music business or the film business: you're in the publishing business. Despite this, there are arts writers who fancy they're a part of the world they write about. All famous musicians are their "friends." The music business values their opinions. They're caught up in the delusion that the Rolling Stones sang about so deliciously in "Star Star," the closing number on Goats Head Soup.

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