Stephen Mejias

Stephen Mejias  |  Feb 12, 2014  |  5 comments
Instagram is the first app I check each day. What does that say about me? I certainly like pictures. I also enjoy keeping up with friends and family through images, seeing what they see each day, glimpsing a day in their lives. But, beyond that, I’m not sure.

Interestingly, more and more audio manufacturers are showing up on Instagram. I follow several, including:

Stephen Mejias  |  Feb 11, 2014  |  0 comments
Sunday, February 23, 12–5:30pm: Essential Audio (715 Braeside Place, Barrington, Illinois) will host an audio demonstration with Brian Zolner, president of Bricasti Design, for the grand opening of its remodeled, expanded facilities.
Stephen Mejias  |  Feb 05, 2014  |  First Published: Dec 31, 1969  |  5 comments
Carla Bozulich’s new album, Boy, will be released by the great Constellation Records on March 4th. Though Bozulich may be best known for her work with The Geraldine Fibbers, or the darker, more experimental material of her Evangelista moniker, Boy will be the third full-length album released under her own name. As such, one might expect to hear a more personal, honest, and bare representation of the artist’s sound and vision; interestingly, Boy is being promoted as Bozulich’s “pop record.”
Stephen Mejias  |  Jan 28, 2014  |  First Published: Feb 01, 2014  |  7 comments
Last month, I wrote about Light Harmonic's use of Kickstarter to fund the final production and packaging of their Geek Out portable USB DAC–headphone amplifier. The campaign raised $303,061 from 2146 backers. That success led Light Harmonic to create a new division dedicated to mass-market products: LH Labs. The Geek Out would be its first product. (Pre-orders are still being accepted.) LHL's second product would be the Geek Pulse, a "pure class-A" desktop integrated amplifier–DAC capable of handling 32-bit/384kHz PCM files, as well as decoding native DSD64 and DSD128 files.
Stephen Mejias  |  Jan 22, 2014  |  0 comments
Friday–Saturday, January 24–25, 7–9pm: Coup de Foudre (1110 Rue de Bleury, Montréal, QC) will host an event with Philip O’Hanlon of On A Higher Note, US distributor for Luxman, Vivid, and Eclipse TD. O’Hanlon will discuss and demonstrate digital file formats, file conversion, and resolution.

Featured gear will include:

Stephen Mejias  |  Jan 03, 2014  |  6 comments
Thanks to Art Dudley, Norman Blake's Old and New was one of my three major musical discoveries of 2013. What will 2014 bring? It should be an interesting year, to say the least.

Happy New Year! I hope you’re somewhere warm, like Rincon or San Clemente, taking in a ton of golden sunshine and perhaps enjoying a rum punch. In New York, New Jersey, and much of the rest of the country, the New Year came with several of inches of cold, white snow that fell from the icy sky like the confetti we happily tossed about on New Year’s Eve. This is a perfect day to stay inside and listen to that pile of records you’ve so carefully propped up against the wall.

Over the last seven years, I’ve pretty much purchased any damn record that sparked my interest.

Stephen Mejias  |  Jan 02, 2014  |  2 comments
"J-10? What's an integrated amplifier?"

It was fall 2000. I'd just begun working at Stereophile, and I clearly remember sheepishly, innocently putting this question to former senior editor Jonathan Scull.

I think the question confused him—not because he didn't know the answer, but because the answer seemed so obvious, the question itself should have been unnecessary. How could anyone not know what an integrated amplifier is? I might as well have asked, "What's a song?"

Stephen Mejias  |  Dec 27, 2013  |  First Published: Jan 01, 2014  |  9 comments
As I discuss in this issue's "As We See It," a handful of audio companies have recently turned to the crowdfunding website Kickstarter to launch and promote new products. The most notable of these is Light Harmonic. The Sacramento, California–based electronics maker first caused a stir at the 2011 Axpona show with the release of its impressive Da Vinci DAC ($20,000), one of the few home audio converters capable of handling the 384kHz sampling rate.
Stephen Mejias  |  Dec 27, 2013  |  First Published: Jan 01, 2014  |  9 comments
It's no secret that the high-end audio industry has done a poor job of reestablishing the mainstream respect it enjoyed through the latter half of the 20th century, but its lack of reach has never been as painfully obvious as it is today. Teens are inextricably tied to smartphones, moms and dads are infatuated with Bluetooth streaming, and most people would rather pay too much for an MP3 than anything at all for a DSD download. In a world dominated by fancy gadgets and intriguing technologies, the pursuit of true high-fidelity sound remains an obscure pastime for a relatively small group of aging males. Everyone knows Apple, Beats, and Bose, but few have heard of Vivid, Wilson, or YG.
Stephen Mejias  |  Dec 13, 2013  |  16 comments
Here’s a list of my 50 favorite albums of 2013. This is by no means a definitive list. These aren’t “the best” or “the most important” records of the year. They’re simply the 50 records that, for one reason or another, managed to capture my attention, spark my imagination, excite and inspire me. They also often drove me into fits of loud song, wild dance, and happy laughter. I love these records, I’m grateful for them, and I want to share them with you. Many of these you will already know. Others will be new to you. I hope you enjoy them all as much as I do, but I will, of course, understand if you don’t. Please feel free to share your own favorites in the Comments section.