Interviews

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Robert Baird  |  Oct 05, 2017  |  0 comments
Seeing your album in a record store's cutout bin meant one thing. Despite the label execs' wide smiles, warm handshakes, and earnest promises to the contrary, once the record jacket had a hole punched in it, or its corner clipped, it meant your record label had lost faith and moved on.

Record collectors felt differently. The prices of cutouts were right—usually, from 99õ to a penny under two bucks. And cutouts were better than digging through crates because the records were still sealed . . . even if the jackets were a bit mangled. The beauty of cutouts was that they were so cheap, you could afford to be lavish, and go home with anything that caught your fancy.

Ken Micallef  |  Oct 01, 2017  |  11 comments
Starting with Musicians As Audiophiles subject #1, jazz drummer extraordinaire Billy Drummond, one thing soon became clear: New York City and its environs are a veritable smorgasbord of musicians who value high-end audio authenticity as much as any longtime reader of Stereophile.

"A fellow drummer and friend, Aaron Kimmel, got me into audio via Billy Drummond," notes MAA #7, drummer Paul Wells. "We call Billy 'the Pusherman.' He's got a lot of musicians in New York into high-end audio.

Jason Victor Serinus  |  Sep 28, 2017  |  0 comments
To accompany my review of the Dan D'Agostino Master Audio Systems Progression monoblock amplifier elsewhere in this issue, I talked to Dan D'Agostino about the amplifier's design. I started by asking him what were some of the major differences between the Momentum and the Progression monoblocks?

Dan D'Agostino: I took the best parts of the Momentum's more sophisticated and complex circuitry and put them in the Progression, without using the same high parts count. Each stage of the Momentum's gain amplifier is separate, with input stage and driver stages on separate rails. All of the Momentum's devices are designed for maximum performance in a small package, which requires a lot more of them, and a significantly bigger input card than the Progression's. These differences create subtleties, because I'm able to run much higher current in the Momentum's front end.

Jana Dagdagan  |  Sep 06, 2017  |  13 comments
Last May, Jack Oclee-Brown, KEF's Head of Acoustics, visited John Atkinson's listening room to drop off and set up the KEF Reference 5 loudspeakers ($19,000/pair). (JA's review appears in the October Stereophile, which will hit newsstands and mailboxes later this week.) In this video, they discuss Jack's origins and the challenges of speaker design, as well as the genesis of the Reference 5.
Jim Austin  |  Aug 29, 2017  |  65 comments
Nelson Pass is a consummate engineer, but he got his start in physics, earning a bachelor's degree from UC Davis. As he worked on his degree, he was already an audio designer, focusing on loudspeakers—great training for a designer of audio amplifiers. Soon, in 1974, he cofounded Threshold Audio with René Besne, of audio and folk-dancing fame; their goal was to build electronics, partly because the field is less competitive—it's harder than building speakers.
Jana Dagdagan  |  Jul 26, 2017  |  10 comments
Last month, our sister site AnalogPlanet.com published a brief post about one of Koeppel Design's recent releases: the LP Block ($76; engraved or stenciled, above). The majority of the comments on the blog criticized the LP Block and few of Kate Koeppel's other products purely for being too expensive. When I read these comments, I felt that the value of her products weren't being appropriately considered. I believe it's because there isn't currently a huge market for record dividers, record stands, and casual record-carrying totes. Consumers have little to compare and therefore lack perspective.
Robert Baird  |  Jun 27, 2017  |  2 comments
New Age. Most of it was acoustic. While there were vocals here and there, much of it featured instrumentalists playing solo or in groups. Some of it was meant to alleviate stress. Some of it was marginally connected to a similarly named movement in spirituality. Environmentalism and respect for nature were constant themes. Some New Age artists created moody, ambient sounds that were intended as background music, to promote healing and relaxation.
Jana Dagdagan  |  Jun 26, 2017  |  30 comments
This video is about Jeffrey Catalano and his shop High Water Sound, located in Manhattan's South Street Seaport, right under the Brooklyn Bridge. Though it was my first time meeting Jeffrey, I had long been familiar with his name—often associated with good sound at audio shows and a true appreciation for music.
Jana Dagdagan  |  Jun 22, 2017  |  16 comments
At the Los Angeles Audio Show, held June 2–4, John Atkinson spoke with Zu Audio's founder, owner, and chief engineer Sean Casey about the Zu Audio Druid (pictured), Sean's background and his "unconventional" approach, and historic speaker designs. And toward the end of the video, Sean Casey turns the tables on JA by interviewing him about the role of the audio reviewer!
Jana Dagdagan  |  Jun 18, 2017  |  8 comments
At the Los Angeles Audio Show, held June 2–4, John Atkinson spoke with Elac's Andrew Jones about speaker design, building affordable loudspeakers, and Elac's Adante AF-61 speaker, which made its debut at the show, driven by Audio Alchemy amplification.
Jana Dagdagan  |  Apr 03, 2017  |  9 comments
Last week, we shared a conversation between John Atkinson and Philadelphia-area audio retailer Doug White (of The Voice That Is) that centered around audio retailing. Here's the second, and final conversation from our Philly trip. In this video, JA and Doug are joined by Stereophile writer Herb Reichert as they discuss the new Akira loudspeaker from German manufacturer Tidal Audio. Doug has been a fixture at regional audio shows the past few years, demonstrating Tidal speakers. (It is important to note that the high-end manufacturer Tidal Audio has no relation to Tidal the streaming service.)
Ken Micallef  |  Apr 02, 2017  |  5 comments
"For years, I had a terrible listening situation," guitarist Adam Rogers recalls. "I had a Vector Research amplifier that the guys at the hi-fi store called 'Victim Research.' I'd fallen into the contemporary trap of listening to music on computer speakers or headphones, all the while feeling that at some point I would like to invest in a great listening scenario."

Adam Rogers is one of most astute and industrious players in the world of jazz, a native New Yorker who has seen every era of the Big Apple music scene, and risen to become one of the best guitar players in the world...

Jana Dagdagan  |  Mar 29, 2017  |  10 comments
This past weekend, John Atkinson, Herb Reichert, and I drove down to Philadelphia to visit audio retailer Doug White of The Voice That Is. In this video, Doug and JA discuss the challenges of a rapidly changing internet based market, the differences between buying online versus buying from your local dealer, and much more.
Jana Dagdagan  |  Mar 09, 2017  |  34 comments
When we released the "Thoughts on CES 2017" video, we received an overwhelming amount of feedback from readers who were pleased to finally be able to associate faces to the writers they had long read and revered on paper.

This video attempts to capture the essence of Stereophile writer and audio industry veteran Herb Reichert—at least as much as is possible in a 10-minute, streamed video.

Jana Dagdagan  |  Feb 27, 2017  |  2 comments
Booker T. & the M.G.'s, Sam & Dave, Otis Redding—few studios have ever achieved the kind of distinct sound that once poured out of Stax Studios in Memphis, TN. A bit of that gritty, funky mojo lives again in the music of Southern Avenue, a new R&B act from Memphis that's named after the street that runs by the old Stax Studio.

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