December 2018
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Wayne Shorter: How the Future Would Be

By | December 11th, 2018|Categories: Stereophile|

Wayne Shorter is 85. His mind moves at warp speed, a million miles from Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers, who rescued him from Newark, New Jersey—or the Miles Davis’s second great quintet, for which the saxophonist wrote the compositions that would establish his genius. Shorter’s constellation of classic Blue Note recordings from 1964–67—Night Dreamer, JuJu, The All Seeing Eye, ETC, The Soothsayer, Adam’s Apple, Speak No Evil, Schizophrenia—is now but a dim cluster of stars in his ever-expanding musical galaxy.… Read the full article

Bonus Recording of December 2018: La Fenice

By | December 11th, 2018|Categories: Stereophile|

Keith Jarrett: La Fenice
Keith Jarrett, piano
ECM 2601/02 (2 CDs). 2018. Keith Jarrett, prod.; Martin Pearson, eng.; Christoph Stickel, Manfred Eicher, mastering, exec. prod. DDD. TT: 97:47
Performance *****
Sonics *****

This July 2006 concert, performed in Venice’s Gran Teatro La Fenice, is Keith Jarrett’s seventh recording of the shorter solo-piano improvisations he’s explored since the early 2000s, after chronic fatigue syndrome robbed him of the stamina needed to improvise for unbroken stretches of nearly an hour. Despite their many high points, none of its six predecessors—Tokyo Solo, Radiance, Carnegie Hall, Testament, Rio, Creation—matched the cumulative power and depth of his best long-form improvisations: Köln, Sun Bear, Bregenz München, Paris.… Read the full article

Astell&Kern Adds MQA Support to Latest Line of High-Resolution Portable Players

By | December 11th, 2018|Categories: Absolute Sound|Tags: , |

Astell&Kern Adds MQA Support to Latest Line of High-Resolution Portable Players

The following is a press release issued by Astell&Kern. Irvine, CA | December 11, 2018 – Astell&Kern, a global leader in portable high-resolution audio players, announces new firmware updates that will add MQA support for the A&ultima SP1000M, A&futura SE100 and A&norma SR15 on December 12, 2018. MQA support was added to the A&ultima SP1000 in November 2018. MQA’s award-winning technology captures and reproduces the sound of the original studio master in a file that’s small enough to stream and download easily.… Read the full article

Bass Cows from Hell!

By | December 11th, 2018|Categories: Sound + Vision|

Well, actually, that title should be Bass Cows from Mars! But in any case, in the long tradition of weird ways to show off your system’s bass response, NASA has kindly obliged us with an especially weird way.
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Nielsen Tallies Americans Love Affair with Streaming

By | December 11th, 2018|Categories: Sound + Vision|

Take a moment to tally up how much time you spend watching TV every day/week/month. A lot, right? Now consider much of that time is spent watching movies and TV shows on Netflix, Amazon, and other streaming services.
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An Environmentally Friendly Speaker You Can’t Buy

By | December 11th, 2018|Categories: Sound + Vision|

Stockholm-based Teenage Engineering has teamed up with RISE Research Institutes of Sweden to create an environment-friendly cabinet for its OD-11 wireless speaker, itself a modern update of the innovative “Carlsson Cube” introduced by Swedish speaker designer Stig Carlsson in 1974.
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Joan Baez’s Debut Album Still A Wonder

By | December 11th, 2018|Categories: Analog planet|

Joan Baez recorded this Vanguard debut in 1960 at age 19. With her impossibly high and pure quavering voice and matching pristine finger picking guitar, she and this album created a sensation that helped shift the “folk-revival” back to authenticity from the commerciality into which it had drifted. Though while she sounded like a barefoot waif recently arrived from the Appalachian mountains, she was born on Staten Island. Her Mexico-born father who grew up in Brooklyn, the son of a minister, was a Stanford PhD credited with co-inventing the X-ray microscope.
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Review: Lark Studio LSX – Undisputed

By | December 10th, 2018|Categories: Headfonia|Tags: , , , , , , |

The Lark Studio LSX is a 10BA Driver flagship monitor from Lark Studio. Let’s find out how it performs in the field of flagship monitors with this review.

Disclaimer: The Lark Studio LSX is a demo sample from the company and I shall return it once my work is finished. It goes for 1700$ from Lark Studio’s website. I tested the monitor with the Lotoo Paw Gold, Sony WM1A and the Sony ZX2.


Stereo systems are outstanding, flagship headphones are marvelous, but flagship In Ear Monitors are really something else.… Read the full article

Impressions:  The LAOC Audio Society 25th Anniversary Gala Weekend

By | December 10th, 2018|Categories: Positive Feedback|Tags: , |

Last weekend I traveled to Buena Park, CA, to attend the 25th Anniversary Gala Weekend for the Los Angeles and Orange County (LAOC) Audio Society. Some background:  The LAOC was founded originally with the help of two of my partners at Positive Feedback, Carol and Dave Clark. They recently told the story of that development earlier this year, right HERE. They themselves are winners of an LAOC Founders Award and a President’s Award, and were named Lifetime Members of the Society very early on.… Read the full article

KEF, Parasound, Straight Wire, The Vinyl Revivers, The Audio Hunters – CAF 2018

By | December 10th, 2018|Categories: Audiohead|Tags: , , , , , |

I’m a fan of the KEF Uni-Q driver. I own pair of KEF Q100’s that I keep on hand for road warrior duties. I take them to vinyl parties (the records, not the sex), the occasional record store day event, and sometimes I have even brought them along on a third date. Trust me, the KEF Uni-Q sound is seductive, and thoroughly cooperative with my varied social agendas.

Arriving to the KEF room on Sunday, much later than I expected, I ran into Johan Coorg (KEF’s global brand manager).… Read the full article