Ariel Bitran

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Ariel Bitran  |  Jun 13, 2012  |  4 comments
“Dude. Whatever,” jabbed my drummer.

“But I need new over-ears,” I pleaded.

“What do you want me to do about it?”

“Nothing, I guess. Maybe show some sympathy?”

“Fuck off.”

It was getting serious. I was getting my drummer involved, but he didn’t care.

He didn’t care that my Sony MDR-V150s distorted at high volumes and always pinched out a chunk of hair from my balding scalp after I took them off. He didn’t understand that my favorite Grado SR60s (More SR60 links: Corey Greenberg’s review and Jim Austin’s review) had a broken earpiece frame rendering themselves un-wearable in stereo. Even some Grado SR125s that JA brought in for me to borrow were dead in one channel, and the headband on Stereophile’s sample of Monster Beats Studio had a crack down the center. I did not want to break them with further use. Listening to music in my cubicle had become near-impossible. My in-ear headphones hurt after an extended periods of use (that includes 8 hours at a desk); plus, the right channel in my Etymoic ER6s is silent. I always feel awkward playing music lightly through my desktop speakers, barely interrupting everyone else around me. I need it loud, and I need it to myself.

Then the Sennheiser HD 428s came into to my life.

Ariel Bitran  |  Jan 28, 2013  |  0 comments
You would think that user MtnBeachBum created his username to gain a winning edge in the Beach Boys box set sweepstakes, but per my records, this guy registered on well before this contest was listed. So it just so happens that this randomly selected winner had the absolute perfect username. And it gets better...
Ariel Bitran, rlabarre  |  Mar 18, 2013  |  6 comments
On February 1st, Stereophile posted the Audience aR2p Adept Response Power Conditioner Sweepstakes that yielded a total of 213 entries. There was only one lucky winner. Here member rlabarre shares his thoughts on his fortuitous prize.
Ariel Bitran  |  Feb 28, 2012  |  4 comments

Wednesday, February 29, 5–9pm: Definitive Audio (6206 Roosevelt Way NE, Seattle, WA) will host an evening devoted to the reproduction of music and the joy of listening. Stereophile’s Editor John Atkinson and Assistant Editor/Entry Level columnist Stephen Mejias will be giving presentations in the Wilson/D’Agostino and Linn rooms, respectively.

Ariel Bitran  |  Aug 01, 2013  |  3 comments
We're always happy to spread the love of gear (and music) here at the good ole' STP. STP's one of our in office abbreviation for Stereophile. Occasionally, it's STRP. Sometimes it's, "We have to do another issue?", but seriously, we do enjoy making audiophiles happy. It's one of the best parts of the job.
Ariel Bitran  |  Feb 16, 2012  |  0 comments
Lou Reed and audience members immerse themselves in waves of sound.

Lou Reed’s Metal Machine Trio: The Creation of the Universe is an exhibition currently running from January 27 - April 15, 2012 at the University Art Museum, California State University, Long Beach (1250 Bellflower Boulevard, Long Beach, CA).

Ariel Bitran  |  Nov 25, 2013  |  2 comments
In this recent couch gag, the creators of The Simpsons transform their characters into a world of anthropomorphic instruments. Not a detail was missed in creating this music wonderland with piano-toothed dogs, slide-armed Simpsons, and traffic lights shaped like notes on the staff. Mr. Burns threatens tyranny through censorship of all music forms except classical, but the Simpson family and friends soon figure out the music within them cannot be contained.
Ariel Bitran  |  Jul 03, 2008  |  9 comments

I plugged in the little guy, and his little tube started to smile a low, warm orange. While he heated up, I walked over to my record collection. I needed a reference: Where Have I Known You Before by Return to Forever, one of my favorite albums of all time. I plugged my Grado SR60s into the VP129's headphone jack.

Ariel Bitran  |  Nov 19, 2012  |  First Published: Dec 31, 1969  |  9 comments
Three weeks ago, I published my top five guitar solos, a subjective list based entirely on the guitarists’ ability to move my soul through their combination of note selection and technical wizardry. These self-imposed standards led to many obvious guitarists being left off the list in favor of some less-spoken for guitar heroes with a penchant for inspiration and resourcefulness. Now I’m putting the power in your hands. Using my original list plus your suggestions in the comments section, I created a collaborative Spotify playlist titled “Stereophile - Greatest Guitar Solos Ever”. You are all invited to add songs to this list and share what you feel are the most important leads of all time. It’s a guitar solo potluck where you can hear what other playlist subscribers have to offer as well as showcase your own tastes. Open the playlist in Spotify via this link or in your web browser here. Drag songs from different artists and albums to the playlist on the left-panel of the Spotify interface to add your choices to the list. Have fun!
Ariel Bitran  |  Apr 16, 2012  |  First Published: Apr 18, 2012  |  0 comments
I got to know Steve, head of VAS Audio over in New Jersey, after he picked up the Cayin SP-10a that Bob Reina reviewed in our April 2012 issue from the Stereophile Manhattan office. Steve invited me to the back of the VPI/VAS Audio Room to share a cocktail and a cookie where we discussed the hi-fi show business and our audiophile neighbors in Brooklyn and New Jersey. Steve's original home, in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, places him in close proximity to some Stereophile staff, past and present, and his co-exhibitor VPI, led by the Weisfeld family, lives next door to him in Jersey. Hi-fi, like cookies, is more fun when shared with neighbors.