Art Dudley

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Art Dudley  |  Nov 20, 2017  |  16 comments
Everything you know is wrong.—The Firesign Theatre

The Swissonor TA10, a contemporary tonearm designed for the Thorens TD 124 turntable (1959–1970), challenged me to set aside some of the things I thought I knew about phonography. On at least one of those counts, it succeeded.

Handmade in Switzerland and modeled on the Thorens TP 14 tonearm of the 1960s, the TA10 ($3990) improves on its predecessor with an effective length of 240mm, which Swissonor says is the longest that can be achieved with a stock TD 124 armboard (the TP 14's effective length was only 210mm), and replaces the non-universal plug and socket of the TP 14's removable headshell with the more common SME standard found on most contemporary headshells, pickup heads, and tonearms.

Art Dudley  |  Nov 16, 2017  |  9 comments
The mice in the walls call summer to close while nets come down and leaves turn dead red, but by the time you see this there'll be holiday music in the air . . . and some generous soul might, just might, sneak a few looks through this issue of Stereophile to see what gifts to buy before the tree goes up and presents are opened—and all will be nice!

And what better way to serve those possible givers of audio gifts—and, at the same time, honor our hobby's most deserving designers and manufacturers—than with our annual Product of the Year awards?

Art Dudley  |  Nov 08, 2017  |  0 comments
After the Capital Audio fest vintage seminar and my visit to Vinyl Revivers, I looked at my phone and saw that time was running out: I had just over three hours left to cover seven or eight more rooms. Time to get cracking!
Art Dudley  |  Nov 07, 2017  |  8 comments
On Sunday morning, my Capital Audiofest 2017 experience began in the Hilton's Washington Auditorium, as my friend and colleague Herb Reichert (above) and I hosted a seminar titled "The Virtues of Vintage."
Art Dudley  |  Nov 07, 2017  |  21 comments
Because I'm ill-disposed to flying—when you get right down to it, I'm not wild about traveling in general—I usually go by train. That's where I'm working on this portion of my CAF 2017 coverage. (We're near Trenton, New Jersey as I write this.)
Art Dudley  |  Nov 06, 2017  |  3 comments
Pros: Tactile, clear, colorful, and remarkably spacious sound; beautifully made gear
Cons: Audiophile music, audiophile demonstration protocol.

The sound in the room that featured the Daedalus Apollo 11 speaker ($22,800/pair), a selection of tubed electronics from ModWright, and cabling by WyWires was superb: detailed without sounding etched, and pleasantly liquid and warm, with good texture and a really great, spacious sense of scale. On top of all that, the gear from both brands is gorgeous: as rich and colorful in appearance as in sound.

Art Dudley  |  Nov 05, 2017  |  53 comments
I began the second half of my Friday in the room sponsored by Tone Imports and Connecticut dealer Old Forge Studio, enjoying a mix of the familiar and the unfamiliar. In the former category was the enduringly recommendable PTP Solid 12 turntable (2950 Euros, available direct) from the Netherlands—a cleverly refurbished idler-drive Lenco with a smart Corian plinth...
Art Dudley  |  Nov 04, 2017  |  46 comments
Perhaps you've heard this before, but it bears repeating: Veteran exhibitors and attendees alike have a great deal of loyalty and affection for this seven-year-old show and its busy founder, Gary Gill. I was reminded of that during my very first stop on day one of Capital AudioFest 2017, when Kevin Hayes of VAC described the reasoning behind the decision to assemble such a large, expensive, and distinctly ambitious playback system: "In light of the move to this time of year, we wanted to help Gary and the show by doing something exceptional." The result: a system built around the mighty Von Schweikert Audio Ultra 11 loudspeaker ($295,000/pair), powered by two pairs of VAC's Statement 450 iQ monoblock power amplifiers ($120,000/pair).
Art Dudley  |  Nov 02, 2017  |  10 comments
By no means could I undertake a survey of candidates for Your Last Perfectionist-Quality CD player—so far, my ongoing series of reviews has focused on models from Audio Note, Bryston, EAR, Luxman, and Metronome—without including Naim Audio. After all, it was Naim that brought to market the first really good-sounding CD player of my experience: the two-box CDS, introduced in 1991 at a then-staggering price of $6999. In doing so, they convinced me that a digital future might not be so bad after all.
Art Dudley  |  Oct 24, 2017  |  28 comments
Dear Reader,

Not long ago, I lost patience with coffee.

Before that, I'd never quite made it to coffee-nerd status, but I had all four wheels on the onramp. A few years ago I got rid of my cheap coffeemaker and switched to a French press, because it was more hands-on. I started buying whole beans instead of ground coffee, and grinding them in the store's grinder, on its coarsest setting. When that wouldn't do, I bought an inexpensive electric coffee grinder. When that wouldn't do, I bought a manual grinder.

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