Jason Victor Serinus

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Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jul 09, 2017  |  15 comments
Conductor Osmo Vänskä, whose Minnesota Orchestra has previously distinguished itself in multiple recordings of Sibelius and Beethoven, is now turning to the symphonies of Gustav Mahler. Newly arrived is his hybrid SACD, for BIS, of Mahler's Symphony 5. The first issue in a projected series that will next offer Mahler's Sixth and Second Symphonies at dates unspecified, it may not win over those whose allegiance adamantly rests with Bernstein, Chailly, Rattle, Abbado, Tilson-Thomas, Fischer, and/or other distinguished Mahler interpreters. Nonetheless, the strength of the recording's first movement alone, and its hi-rez provenance as DSD derived from 24/96 file, make its epic journey from darkness to light essential listening.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jul 02, 2017  |  16 comments
Imagine almost 86 minutes of superbly recorded percussion in which the traditional notions of steady beat, driving rhythms, and attention-catching melody rarely take center stage. Welcome to Beyond, a mind-bending /time-distorting three-disc percussion tour de force from Sono Luminus on which the Los Angeles Percussion Quartet plays a dazzling array of percussion as it explores the eloquence and beauty of color, texture, sustain and decay. Recorded in DXD (24/352.8k), Beyond is available as either a hi-rez download in multiple formats, including DSD, or as a three-disc album that includes two Red Book CDs and a Pure Audio Blu-ray disc.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jun 24, 2017  |  9 comments
For his fourth Schumann disc since the 1998 Dichterliebe; Liederkreis collaboration with Vladimir Ashkenazy, the great German baritone Matthias Goerne joins pianist Markus Hinterhäuser in a 19-gem collection of heart-touching songs by Robert Schumann entitled Einsamkeit (Solitude). The singing on the Harmonia Mundi recital is gorgeous throughout, and the repertoire deeply communicative. This is especially the case in hi-rez from HDtracks, where the duo's artistic brilliance shines strongest.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jun 17, 2017  |  0 comments
Want to go from yang to ying by the simple switch of a silver disc? Try seguing from the two supremely energetic, densely populated chamber symphonies of Pulitzer Prize-winning composer John Adams (b. 1947), which we explored last week, to the far milder and less complicated choral work, Canticles of the Holy Wind (Cantaloupe) from the other Pulitzer Prize in Music-winning Adams, John Luther Adams (b. 1953).
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jun 15, 2017  |  12 comments
Three years ago, when I first heard Audionet's Max monoblock power amplifiers, I described their pairing with YG Acoustics Hailey loudspeakers "an absolute winner" and "definitely one of the finer systems at T.H.E. Show Newport Beach." At subsequent audio shows, no fewer than four other Stereophile Contributing Editors enthused about different pairings of YG loudspeakers with Audionet amplification. Herb Reichert, at the 2014 Rocky Mountain Audio Fest: "Everything had a kind of just right quality. Totally impressive!" Sasha Matson, at RMAF 2015: "Marvelous" on vocals, "rockin' and tight" on bass and drums. John Atkinson, at T.H.E. Show 2016: "Duke Ellington's classic Jazz Party in Stereo . . . was reproduced with terrific dynamics." Larry Greenhill at the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show on the sound in the YG Acoustics room, which included Audionet's Max monoblocks: "the sound on playback of Jake Shimabukuro's ukulele wizardry came closer to matching his live performance than in most rooms."
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jun 13, 2017  |  4 comments
Stick with me through this introduction, girls and boys, because the wild and wacky music I'm about to discuss is worth it! Scan any "A" list of living American composers, and the names of two Pulitzer Prize in Music recipients with the last name of Adams inevitably appears: John Adams (b. 1947, Worcester, MA), and John Luther Adams (b. 1953, Meridian, MS). Although a third Adams, John Adams' son Samuel Adams (b. 1985, San Francisco, CA) is fast emerging as a major composer, we'll spend the next two weeks exploring new recordings of music by the two elder Johns.
John Atkinson, Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jun 11, 2017  |  28 comments
MQA's Bob Stuart comparing PCM and MQA recordings in the Sunny Components room

Despite there now having been many opportunities for audiophiles to compare MQA-encoded recordings with the PCM originals—as well as comparisons at shows and dealer events, the Norwegian 2L record label has offered downloads of MQA/PCM files for quite a long time—there are still members of the press who insist that no-one, other than some reviewers, has been able to perform such comparisons. At the 2017 LAAS, not only were some exhibitors demonstrating MQA—Aurender, Meridian—Covina, CA retailer Sunny Components devoted the show's Saturday afternoon to specific comparisons hosted by MQA's Bob Stuart and Wilson Audio's Peter McGrath.

Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jun 11, 2017  |  21 comments
Michael Fremer interviews Acoustic Sounds' Chad Kassem at LAAS. (Photo: John Atkinson)

The first Los Angeles Audio Show, the audio show that may very well supplant the transplanted-to-Anaheim, September-scheduled T.H.E. Show as the Southern California audio show of choice, has just come and gone. Even as exhibitors unpack their wares and begin the multi-month process of assessing the show's impact on sales and brand recognition, some observations on the show's success and otherwise are in order.

Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jun 10, 2017  |  1 comments
In the first of two floor rooms from Elite Audio Systems of San Francisco, Viola Audio Labs' Paul Jayson partnered with Elite's Michael Woods to pair the Viola Bravo 2 amplifier ($58,000) and Viola Sonata preamplifier ($35,000) with Kharma DB9 loudspeakers ($37,500/pair), Linn Klimax LP12 turntable ($25,000), Viola cabling (produced by ZenSati), and an Isotek Titan power purifier ($4999) with matching power strip ($1500). Paul's choice of the Speaker Corner reissue of Michelangeli's live 1979 performance of Beethoven Piano Concerto 1, with Giulini and the Vienna Symphony, enabled me to hear the system's lovely shine and ability to convey extremely rapid timpani rolls with minimal smudging and utmost credibility.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jun 09, 2017  |  7 comments
First stop on the show's final day, a return to the High End Zone/Perfect8 Technologies room on the 2nd floor. I couldn't cover this exhibit on opening day because the visually striking Perfect8 Technologies Point Mk.III loudspeakers ($125,000/pair), a point-source dipole design with Symmetrical Radiation house in propriety "super silent glass," got trashed—badly trashed—in transit, and their replacements did not arrive in time.

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