John Atkinson

John Atkinson  |  Jul 21, 2021  |  28 comments
I was aware that Canadian company Verity Audio, founded in 1995, made loudspeakers, like the Sarastro II that Fred Kaplan reviewed in May 2009. But when Jason Victor Serinus and I attended the 2018 Rocky Mountain Audio Fest, we were both impressed by the sound of an all-Verity system that featured Verity's Monsalvat AMP-60 power amplifier. Jason Victor Serinus favorably reviewed the AMP-60 in May 2019; I didn't have to be asked twice, therefore, if I wanted to review Verity's Montsalvat DAC/PRE (see later).
John Atkinson  |  Jul 16, 2021  |  12 comments
In October 1962, the first issue of what was then called The Stereophile was published and edited by J. Gordon Holt out of Wallingford, Pennsylvania. The issue you hold in your hands, published by AVTech Media out of New York, New York, and edited by Jim Austin, is #500. Jim is the magazine's third editor, having occupied that seat since the July 2019 issue. Gordon Holt put together the first 82 issues, through the June 1986 issue; I was the editor from issue #83, cover-dated August 1986, through issue #473, June 2019.
John Atkinson  |  Jun 17, 2021  |  0 comments
Chairman at the Board: Recording the Soundtrack of a Generation, by Bill Schnee. Backbeat Books, 2021. 219pp. $24.49, hard cover; $21.49, Kindle e-book.

It was September 2012, and Sasha Matson and I were in Los Angeles to record the singers for his jazz opera, Cooperstown. We had already recorded the instrumental backing with engineer Mike Marciano at Brooklyn's Systems Two studio, and the venue for the vocal tracking sessions was Bill Schnee's studio in North Hollywood.

John Atkinson  |  May 24, 2021  |  First Published: Jun 01, 2021  |  1 comments
The June 2021 issue of Stereophile included followup reviews of two recommended components, both which deserved further investigation of what they had to offer: the dCS Bartók D/A processor and the Schiit Audio Sol turntable.
John Atkinson  |  May 19, 2021  |  16 comments
2020 may not have been a year to celebrate, but there were some housebound highlights. For example, after I had finished with the measurements to accompany Michael Fremer's review of the Marten Oscar Duo in the November 2020 issue, I set up these Swedish two-way standmounts in my own listening room. Yes, the measured performance was excellent, but I was not expecting how much I would enjoy the sound of the Oscar Duos.
John Atkinson  |  Apr 19, 2021  |  First Published: May 01, 2021  |  27 comments
Stereophile has reviewed two somewhat controversial products in recent issues. The Italian Grandinote Shinai integrated amplifier, which Robert Schryer wrote about in November 2020 is a solid-state design but with an output stage that resembles that of a typical push-pull tube amplifier. Falcon's "Gold Badge" edition of the BBC-designed LS3/5a minimonitor, which Herb Reichert reviewed in April 2021, is a re-engineered version of a design that will soon be celebrating its 50th birthday.
John Atkinson  |  Mar 26, 2021  |  37 comments
Time for some towers. In recent months, a succession of standmount speakers has passed through my listening room: GoldenEar BRXes, Bowers & Wilkins 705 Signatures, Marten Oscar Duos, original KEF LS50s, and the new LS50 Metas. All these loudspeakers sounded excellent, though different from one another. I felt that a floorstanding loudspeaker would make for an interesting change.
John Atkinson  |  Mar 13, 2021  |  31 comments
Back in 2013, I took the train to Stamford to give a presentation to the Connecticut Audio Society to help celebrate their 30th anniversary. On March 6 I returned to the CAS, but this time via Zoom. I talked about a subject close to my heart: measurements and their connections with accuracy and/or musical enjoyment. The video is now posted to the CAS YouTube channel—it runs for 2+ hours but I think Stereophile readers will find what I had to say stimulating, perhaps even sometimes controversial.

My presentation takes up the first 21 minutes and is followed by a Q&A with the CAS members. (Great questions, guys!) At 1:18:00 I give a tour of my listening room, where two of my cats decide to make a cameo appearance.

John Atkinson  |  Feb 24, 2021  |  11 comments
In 1979, I visited Philips Electronics' renowned Research Center in Eindhoven, Holland, to examine a prototype of what would eventually be called a compact disc player. In 1989, I returned to the Eindhoven lab to witness the birth of the first sigma-delta DACs, which eliminated the problem of large linearity errors at low recorded levels in resistor-ladder DACs.
John Atkinson  |  Feb 17, 2021  |  22 comments
When I studied physics at university too many years ago to admit, I learned about Occam's razor. Many, many more years ago than that, Franciscan friar William of Occam stated that a hypothesis should provide the simplest possible explanation for a phenomenon.

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