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So far John Atkinson has created 588 blog entries.

Superb Sound at Definitive's Music Matters 14

By | March 17th, 2019|Categories: Stereophile|

Don’t be fooled by Definitive Audio of Seattle’s intentionally understated exterior. In my five years covering the annual four-hour Music Matters showcases, I have never heard such stellar sound from the store’s six showrooms and head-fi listening area. In fact, four of the exhibits at Music Matters 14, held on Thursday March 7, together offered the finest sound I have ever experienced at any show or store event. And I’ll swear by that statement.

Let’s start with the all-audio system, housed in a 23′ x 18′ x 10′ space, that featured Wilson Audio’s large Alexx speakers ($111,200/pair) driven by D’Agostino Master Audio Systems Relentless monoblocks ($250,000/pair), as well as two Wilson Subsonics ($37,500 each) driven by hidden D’Agostino Momentum M400 monoblocks ($65,000/pair).… Read the full article

Superb Sound at Definitive's Music Matters 14

By | March 17th, 2019|Categories: Stereophile|

Don’t be fooled by Definitive Audio of Seattle’s intentionally understated exterior. In my five years covering the annual four-hour Music Matters showcases, I have never heard such stellar sound from the store’s six showrooms and head-fi listening area. In fact, four of the exhibits at Music Matters 14, held on Thursday March 7, together offered the finest sound I have ever experienced at any show or store event. And I’ll swear by that statement.

Let’s start with the all-audio system, housed in a 23′ x 18′ x 10′ space, that featured Wilson Audio’s large Alexx speakers ($111,200/pair) driven by D’Agostino Master Audio Systems Relentless monoblocks ($250,000/pair), as well as two Wilson Subsonics ($37,500 each) driven by hidden D’Agostino Momentum M400 monoblocks ($65,000/pair).… Read the full article

It's April & Recommended Components

By | March 11th, 2019|Categories: Stereophile|

Our 180-page April issue is hitting newsstands, mailboxes, and tablets this week and, as always with Stereophile‘s April issues, it includes the revised and updated edition of our “Recommended Components” feature—capsule reviews of the best-sounding gear available. (The listing this year is longer than ever, so many of the categories will actually be included when the listing is posted to the site this week.)

And featured on the April issue’s cover is Klipsch’s RP-600M speaker, which features a horn-loaded tweeter.… Read the full article

Analog Corner #113

By | March 11th, 2019|Categories: Analog planet|

Richard Vandersteen at the 2004 THE Show in Indianapolis, where Audio Research demmed their MP-1 six-channel preamplifier and 150M multichannel power amp with a Vandersteen speaker system. (Photo: John Atkinson)


CEDIA’s annual late-summer Expo, held this year (as in most) in Indianapolis, came just in time for me this year. I hate the excruciating noise at the Custom Electronics Design and Installation Association’s gathering, but I get the same charge from high-resolution video as I get from great audio, and the Expo is all about the highest-quality images.

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The Opera that Deserves its Grammy

By | March 8th, 2019|Categories: Stereophile|

Given its engrossing, frequently radiant score, unflinching look at its timely subject matter, and superb cast of singing actors, Pentatone’s live hi-rez recording of the premiere of Mason Bates and Mark Campbell’s opera, The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs, fully deserves the Grammy recently bestowed upon it by the Recording Academy.

I auditioned the recording after first enthusiastically reviewing the 2017 Santa Fe Opera world premiere, then cheered the differently cast 2019 Seattle Opera production (whose second cast is completing its run as this review appears on-line).… Read the full article

Dealer Events in Pasadena, Virginia, Chicago Friday & Saturday

By | March 6th, 2019|Categories: Stereophile|

Friday March 8 at 6pm, Audio Element (117 E. Union St, Pasadena, CA 91103) is presenting the next in their 2019 Monthly Music Series—Ae LIVE! Each event takes place at Audio Element and will showcase a local musician/band, Audio Element brand, and local food vendor. Friday’s event will feature country blues guitar from Barry Big B Brenner and delicious BBQ from Gus’s BBQ. Space is limited so be sure to RSVP.

Friday and Saturday, March 8, 4–7pm, and March 9, 11am–4pm, Command Performance AV (115 Park Avenue, Suite 2, Falls Church, VA 22046) will host two Luxman events with special guest Jeff Sigmund, president of Luxman America.… Read the full article

Mark Hollis 1955–2019

By | February 26th, 2019|Categories: Stereophile|

The news broke on Facebook yesterday that Mark Hollis had died, aged just 64. I was late to appreciate Hollis’s work, including his extraordinary solo album from 1998 (above). But since Stephen Mejias turned me on to him, Mark Hollis’s music, both solo and with the band Talk Talk, has been in heavy rotation. (You can find my review of Talk Talk’s final album, Laughing Stock, here—scroll down the page.) Fellow fan, Michael Vamos of distributor Audio Skies, asked if he could share some thoughts.—John Atkinson

It’s a day of mourning for music lovers everywhere—ingenious lead singer, songwriter and musician of Talk Talk is dead!!!… Read the full article

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Analog Corner #112

By | February 25th, 2019|Categories: Analog planet|

Reviewed this month: the T+A G 10 turntable from Germany


Manufacturers of audio accessories are an odd bunch: they show up at your door, pucks, cones, platforms, or balls in hand, eager to demonstrate the enormous sonic effects their products will have on your system. After inserting their isolators, energy drains, or what have you, they sit down for a listen.


But do they even hear the $40,000/pair loudspeakers you’re reviewing? Your $15,000 turntable and $4500 cartridge? Your $7000 phono preamp or $30k worth of other electronics?

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Crazy Cello Shredding from Edgar Moreau

By | February 25th, 2019|Categories: Stereophile|

I’m not sure what possessed me to listen to young Edgar Moreau’s Erato recording, Offenbach & Gulda: Cello Concertos, with Les Forces Majeures conducted by young Raphaël Merlin. Was the moon in that phase when it appears to be laughing at we earthlings? All that is certain is by the time I had heard but a minute of the first movement of cellist/composer Offenbach’s concerto, it was clear that I’d be laughing through at least half of the notes that lay ahead.… Read the full article

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Dealer Event in San Diego Friday

By | February 20th, 2019|Categories: Stereophile|

Friday, February 22, from 5pm, Alma Music and Audio (7847 Convoy Ct. #101, San Diego, CA 92111) will host Wilson Audio’s Peter McGrath for the introduction of the new Sasha DAW loudspeaker. We’re told it will be a fun night of music, celebrating Wilson’s ambitious recreation of the seminal WATT/Puppy loudspeaker, as well as the man who started it all, the late David A. Wilson. The system will also showcase Audio Research’s Reference 160M and MSB’s Reference DAC.

To RSVP, email [email protected].… Read the full article

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