September 2019
M T W T F S S
« Aug    
 1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
30  
>> Breadcrumb ://Stereophile

Recommended Components: 2019 Fall Edition

By | September 19th, 2019|Categories: Stereophile|

Products listed here have been formally reviewed in Stereophile, and we have determined them to be among the finest available in each of four or five quality classes. Whether a component is listed in Class A or Class D (or E), we consider it to be a genuinely recommendable product.

Each listing, in alphabetical order within classes, is followed by a brief description of its performance characteristics and a note indicating the issue of Stereophile in which its review, and in some cases its Follow-Up reports, have appeared—ie, “Vol.41 No.6” indicates our June 2018 issue.… Read the full article

Recommended Components: 2019 Fall Edition

By | September 19th, 2019|Categories: Stereophile|

Products listed here have been formally reviewed in Stereophile, and we have determined them to be among the finest available in each of four or five quality classes. Whether a component is listed in Class A or Class D (or E), we consider it to be a genuinely recommendable product.

Each listing, in alphabetical order within classes, is followed by a brief description of its performance characteristics and a note indicating the issue of Stereophile in which its review, and in some cases its Follow-Up reports, have appeared—ie, “Vol.41 No.6” indicates our June 2018 issue.… Read the full article

Amazon Music Goes High-Rez

By | September 18th, 2019|Categories: Stereophile|

The era of streaming in CD-quality and hi-rez music has arrived at one of the world’s major subscription streaming services, complete with a free 90-day trial.

Amazon Music has introduced a CD-quality (confusingly called “HD” by Amazon)-plus-hi-rez (which Amazon calls “Ultra HD” so as (not) to confuse the masses) music tier at $14.99/month ($12.99 for Prime members). That price undercuts Tidal and Qobuz the two subscription streaming services most popular among audiophiles: Tidal charges $19.99/month for the tier that includes MQA, and Qobuz costs $24.99 for its Studio tier, the cheapest plan offering high-definition streaming.… Read the full article

Spirited Away by Music

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

Yup, you’re in a strange position, all right. You’re in love with a girl who is no more.—Haruki Murakami

The quote above, from Haruki Murakami’s novel Kafka on the Shore, is addressed to Kafka, a 15-year-old boy who has fallen in love with the teenage ghost of an older woman. The woman is still alive, but ever since the death of her lover many years before, she has existed separate from her spirit. Falling in love with ghosts is something I’ve done often, starting at about Kafka’s age.… Read the full article

Vertigo

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

In Alfred Hitchcock’s great film Vertigo, filmed in San Francisco in 1957, the protagonist, Scottie, played by James Stewart, becomes obsessed with Madeleine, played by Kim Novak. Scottie, a retired detective, suffers from a disabling case of acrophobia, which becomes a critical if tenuous plot point.

Bernard Herrmann’s brilliant score depicts both the passion of the lovers and the powerful, destructive effects of Scottie’s infatuation, which grows as he tails Madeleine around San Francisco; in time it veers into something darker and domineering, with even an allusion to necrophilia: Scottie attempts to turn a living woman into one he believes has died in order to make love to her.… Read the full article

Four 3rd-Generation CD players: Adcom, Magnavox, Onkyo, Yamaha

By | September 12th, 2019|Categories: Stereophile|

I once told Stereophile publisher Larry Archibald it might be worth, say, a 10% loss in sound quality with CD not to have to jump up and turn over the damned record. Sometimes a CD saves you from popping up twice—Mahler’s Fifth or Bruckner’s Seventh on a single disc instead of three LP sides—or three times—Mozart’s Magic Flute on three CDs instead of 6 LP sides. That might be worth a 15% sacrifice.

I don’t know that you will need to lose even 10%.… Read the full article

Sumo Theorem D/A processor

By | September 12th, 2019|Categories: Stereophile|

The $799 Theorem was originally shown at the 1992 WCES in a very small chassis that prohibited adding features or upgrades. Sumo has since become more ambitious, putting the Theorem in a full-sized chassis and offering several upgrade options that would have been impossible in the truncated version.

There’s not much to say about the Theorem’s features; the front panel has a power “On” LED and nothing else. Selection between the unit’s single coaxial input and Toslink optical input is automatic.… Read the full article

Theta Digital Cobalt 307 digital processor

By | September 12th, 2019|Categories: Stereophile|

One measure of a high-end product designer’s talent is the musical success of his top-of-the-line product. This is his statement to the world of what he can accomplish—a kind of “personal best” that defines the upper limits of his talent. Because he knows of no way to make the product better, the component stands as the ultimate testimonial to his skill.

Another, perhaps more interesting, way of assessing a high-end designer’s talent is to examine what he can do with the lowest budget.… Read the full article

The Mod Squad Prism CD player

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

While it can’t exactly be said that the folks from The Mod Squad invented the game of audiophile modifications of existing, current-production hardware, they certainly have grown to be one of the major leaguers. Their mods have a reputation for being well-thought-out, nearly always offering improvements over the originals. And while they weren’t the originators of the concept (footnote 1), any company which brought the world Tiptoes (probably their most famous product) will probably have a niche in the 21st-Century Museum of High-End Audio.… Read the full article

RMAF’s Bold Move Pays Off

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

After talking with a number of exhibitors and attendees, I’d have to call the Rocky Mountain Audio Fest’s daring move to a new and very different venue—a controversial if also inevitable move—a success. Everyone I spoke to was happy with attendance, and the sound in the hotel rooms was generally excellent.

For people who stayed at the hotel, food in the two restaurants I visited was quite good, if pricey. The Marketplace had some excellent salads and enough goodies and caffeinated beverages to keep everyone happy.… Read the full article