John Atkinson

John Atkinson  |  Jul 29, 2022  |  0 comments
Given how crowded the loudspeaker manufacturing space has always been, I am always surprised when a new brand not only springs into being but does so with new speakers that sound and measure well. Take the UK's Q Acoustics, for example. The company didn't exist before 2006 and didn't have a presence in the US until 2018.
John Atkinson  |  Jul 22, 2022  |  4 comments
Characteristically, the email from Kal Rubinson got straight to the point: "I have a WiiM Mini that I have played with, but I am not the right one to review this as I am not sufficiently interested in or knowledgeable about wireless streaming. It ... can handle uncompressed PCM via its DACs." "I'll review it," I replied, intrigued by a $99 D/A processor that can stream hi-rez audio via Wi-Fi and that also has an analog input so it can act as a preamplifier.
John Atkinson  |  Jun 20, 2022  |  0 comments
Three high-performance products were subjected to second opinions and/or measurements in recent issues: Channel D's Lino C 3.3 phono preamplifier, Mola Mola's Tambaqui D/A processor, and Pass Labs' XP-32 line preamplifier.
John Atkinson  |  May 27, 2022  |  6 comments
Although I retired as Stereophile's editor-in-chief at the end of March 2019, I still have an ongoing connection with the magazine. As well as contributing reviews and measuring the audio products that are being reviewed, I prepare the magazine's content for republishing on its website. So when JansZen Audio's David Janszen contacted me about reviewing his Valentina P8 loudspeaker, I looked through my back issues to find reviews of JansZen speakers that could be posted.
John Atkinson  |  Apr 22, 2022  |  9 comments
As I started to write this review, the news broke that Sound United, the owner of Boston Acoustics, Bowers & Wilkins, Classé, Definitive Technology, Denon, Marantz, and Polk, was going to be purchased by a corporation that makes medical instruments. Such consolidation is not new. China- and UK-based International Audio Group (IAG) was one of the first organizations to acquire iconic audio brands. IAG owns Audiolab, Castle, Quad, Leak, Mission, and Wharfedale. In 2009, they purchased Luxman.
John Atkinson  |  Apr 11, 2022  |  0 comments
Michael Fremer wrote about the Paradox phono preamplifier in the March 2022 Analog Corner, Jim Austin reviewed the CH Precision D1.5 CD/SACD player/transport in March 2022, and Herb Reichert included the EJ Jordan Marlow standmount speaker in his April 2022 Gramophone Dreams column. All three products get further coverage in Stereophile's May 2022 issue.
John Atkinson  |  Mar 23, 2022  |  10 comments
I start this review with a confession. I have consistently found that when I play CDs on a transport and feed the digital data via AES3 (AES/EBU) to a D/A processor, the music has more drive, particularly at low frequencies, than it does when I send the same 16/44.1 data to the same D/A processor via my network.
John Atkinson  |  Feb 21, 2022  |  0 comments
One reason Stereophile publishes a FollowUp is when the original review leaves an issue unresolved or where further thoughts would be useful. Such was the case with the magazine's March 2022 issue, which had followup reviews on the iFi ZEN CAN headphone amplifier and ZEN DAC Signature V2 D/A processor ($599/pair). the Pro-Ject Phono Box RS2 phono preamplifier ($1999), and the Canton Reference 7K loudspeaker ($6995/pair).
John Atkinson  |  Feb 04, 2022  |  19 comments
There are words that, for reasons I can't fathom, I cannot stand. One such is "dongle." So when Bluebird Music's PR rep emailed me to ask if I would be interested in reviewing a new dongle from Chinese company Questyle Audio, I shuddered. But I must admit that "dongle" rolls off the tongue a lot more readily than "portable USB D/A headphone amplifier." I put aside my grammatical quibble and agreed to a review.
John Atkinson  |  Jan 14, 2022  |  First Published: Jun 01, 1988  |  2 comments
So far, as part of my quest to find good affordable box loudspeakers, I have reviewed 20 models, in the August, October, and November 1987, and January and February 1988 issues of Stereophile (Vol.10 Nos.5, 7, & 8, Vol.11 Nos.1 & 2). Nearly all affordable loudspeakers have to be used with a pair of stands: as these have an important influence on the integrity of the sound and tend to cost upward of $100 a pair for good models, this makes such speakers less of a bargain. This month, therefore, I review loudspeakers designed from the outset to be floor-standing: three from the USA—DCM's Time Frame TF1000, the planar-magnetic Magnepan MG2.5/R, and the Orpheus 808—and one from Sweden, the Rauna Balder. The prices are pretty closely grouped, with the DCM being the least expensive, at a hair under $1100/pair.

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