John Atkinson

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John Atkinson  |  Sep 16, 2007  |  0 comments
J.S. BACH: The Goldberg Variations, BWV 988
Glenn Gould, piano (1955); Yamaha Disklavier Pro piano, "Re-Performance" by Zenph Studios Sony Classical 8697-03350-2 (SACD/CD). 2007. Howard H. Scott, prod. (1955 mono sessions); Steven Epstein, prod. (2007 stereo, multichannel, and binaural sessions); Peter Cook, Richard King, eng. (2007); Dennis Patterson, asst. eng. (2007); Marc Wienert, piano voicer (worked with Gould); Ron Giesbrecht, calibration. Zenph project team: Mikhail Krishtal, Anatoly Larkin, Peter J. Schwaller, John Q. Walker. DDD. TT: 77:02.
Performance *****
Sonics ****
John Atkinson  |  May 11, 2003  |  0 comments
THE POLICE: Every Breath You Take: The Classics
A&M Chronicles 069 493 607-2 (hybrid SACD/CD). 2003. The Police, Hugh Padgham, Laurie Latham, orig. prods.; Nigel Gray, Chris Gray, Hugh Padgham, Phil Nicolo, orig. engs.; David Tickle, Martin Pradler, 5.1 remixes (tracks 1-12); Bob Ludwig, 5.1 remixes (tracks 13-14) and SACD mastering; Bill Levenson, reissue supervision. A?D. TT: 59:43
Performance *****
Sonics ** to *****
John Atkinson  |  Jun 10, 2013  |  0 comments
It was a treat to visit the Red Wine Audio room, which featured Harbeth Super HL5 monitors ($5690/pair) driven by Red Wine’s battery-powered Liliana Renaissance Edition monoblocks ($5995/pair) and Isabella Renaissance Edition 6H30 preamplifier ($3995), and hear Grammy-winning engineer David Reitzas mixing songs from Madonna and Barbra Streisand from his MacBook Pro running Pro Tools.
John Atkinson  |  Apr 07, 2008  |  0 comments
Something I found fascinating about the Reference 3a Veena loudspeaker that Robert Deutsch writes about below is that it (almost) dispenses with a conventional crossover. The Murata supertweeter at the top is driven directly, as is the 8" woven–carbon-fiber-coned unit beneath the tweeter, which covers the range from 94Hz upward. The soft-dome tweeter is fed via a single capacitor, and the twin woofers have a simple 2nd-order low-pass filter. Tash Goka explained to me that saving money on the crossover allowed the designer to use high-quality internal components such as Bybee Quantum Purifiers, Mundorf silver capacitors, and van den Hul wiring. I agree with Robert that the sound of the Divergent system was surprisingly good.
John Atkinson  |  Jan 17, 2015  |  1 comments
Rega introduced its first low-output moving-coil cartridge, the Apheta, in 2006, but it got mixed reviews, due to a high-frequency peak at the top of the audioband. Rega showed the Apheta 2 ($1895) at CES, mounted on the vestigial RP10 turntable. The Apheta 2 has benefited from some serious production engineering and has a lower moving mass, the latter moving the treble peak higher, to 18kHz or so.
John Atkinson  |  Mar 31, 2010  |  4 comments
I had been impressed by Micromega's Airstream, the WiFi-connected DAC ($1595), when Jason Serinus and I heard it at Axpona at the beginning of March. But it was the French company's new owner, Didier Hamid, who caught showgoers' attention with the Airstream at SSI. Holding his MacBook Pro in his hand and playing songs from iTunes, Hamid dramatically demonstrated the benefits of doing away with wires. (The rest of the system included Focal 1038Be speakers driven by Micromega amplification; control of volume was provided by the iTunes level control on the laptop.)
John Atkinson  |  Oct 15, 2004  |  First Published: Oct 01, 2004  |  0 comments
"Let's face it, we recommend way too many components."
John Atkinson  |  Oct 22, 2010  |  5 comments
One of my two best sounds at RMAF was from Revel's Ultima Salon2 speakers ($22,000/pair), which have been favorites of mine since Larry Greenhill's review appeared in the June 2008 issue of Stereophile. At RMAF, the Revels were being driven by Mark Levinson No.53 monoblocks ($25,000/pair), which in turn were being fed straight from the variable output of a Mark Levinson No.512 SACD player ($15,000). Cabling was all-Transparent. The superbly stable soundstaging extended beyond the physical positions of the speakers, the tonal balance was one of the most neutral I heard at the Show, and the bass was both extended and defined. I would have stayed listening for longer, but the Show only had 30 minutes more to run and I had two more rooms to visit.
John Atkinson  |  Jan 13, 2002  |  0 comments
Loudspeaker lore has it that a "good big'un will always beat a good small'un." But my experience has been that the traditional wisdom is often wrong. Price for price, large speakers often have larger errors compared with minimonitors, the smaller speakers offering more rigid cabinets, better-defined stereo imaging, and, because the owner can experiment with stand height, a better chance of being optimally sited in a room. So while I was as impressed as Stereophile reviewer Kalman Rubinson with what I heard from the floorstanding, $3500/pair Revel Performa F30 (footnote 1) when we visited the Revel facility in California's San Fernando Valley in spring 2000 (footnote 2), it was the big speaker's smaller sibling, the $2000/pair Performa M20, that caught my eye—and ear.
John Atkinson  |  Oct 12, 1998  |  0 comments
A dream I have had since I discovered the pleasures of music is to possess a time machine. Not a fancy one, just a small device that would allow me to escape modern music-making and drop in to hear what must have been some of the greatest musical experiences of all time. Classical music presents no problems: Off to 18th-century Leipzig on Sunday, of course, to hear J.S. Bach play the organ in church, after an early 19th-century Saturday evening spent in Vienna listening to Beethoven improvising at the pianoforte. During the week it would still be Vienna, but forward 80 years or so to hear Brahms premiere one of his chamber works after afternoon cocktails at the Wittgensteins', with perhaps a trip to England's Three Choirs Festival just before the Great War to hear the first performance of Elgar's Dream of Gerontius. And the time machine would have to have transatlantic range—I couldn't miss Mahler conducting the New York Philharmonic around the same time. But with jazz and rock—music that is reborn every time in performance to a greater extent than in classical—there is a bewildering choice of live events from which to choose.

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