It used to be on my commute that I’d see my fellow subway riders listening to music on their iPods with headphones from Beats, Bose, Sennheiser, Sony—and even, occasionally, from Grado. These days, however, iPhones and Android smartphones are ubiquitous, and while I still sometimes see a pair of Beats, many travelers now wear Bluetooth-connected Apple AirPods. I haven’t bought a pair of AirPods, so I don’t know how they sound, but at $159, I suspect they don’t compete with “legitimate” headphones.… Read the full article
Cecilia Bartoli, mezzo-soprano; Jean-Christophe Spinosi, Matheus Ensemble
Decca 002932502 (24/96 download, CD). 2018. Arend Prohmann, prod., ed.; Philip Siney, eng.; Claudio Becker-Foss, asst. eng. DDD. TT: 58:27
Stereophile occasionally awards a Joint Recording of the Month, and Cecilia Bartoli’s second recording of Vivaldi arias deserves no less.
Though we don’t know over how long a period Bartoli recorded this album’s 10 tracks, she finished the project with Jean-Christophe Spinosi’s Ensemble Matheus, a baroque group, in 2018, when she turned 52.… Read the full article
It’s hard to imagine Stereophile magazine without John Atkinson at the helm, but according to a post on Stereophile’s site today after the June Issue (April 1) a changing of the guard will take place. John will still work with the publication, but in a new role as Technical Editor. Is the announcement an epic April fools joke on Stereophile’s part? Highly unlikely.
Another JA was announced as editor, Jim Austin. Jim has worked as a writer for Stereophile for 15 years and was previously an Editor at Science magazine.… Read the full article
Today, Stereophile announces its first major Editorial changes in decades, with an expansion of the Editorial team and a change in leadership.
Since 1986, through many generations of corporate ownership, John Atkinson (right, above) has been the Editor and bedrock of the magazine. After nearly 331/3 years, JA has decided to relinquish daily responsibility for producing the magazine and as of April 1 will take on a new (and newly established) position: Technical Editor. Stepping into his shoes as Editor will be long-time Stereophile contributor Jim Austin (left, above).… Read the full article
Jim Austin appointed Stereophile Editor as John Atkinson transitions to new role as Technical Editor
NEW YORK, NY— AVTech Media Americas announces key editorial changes at its premier hi-fi title, Stereophile. John Atkinson, Stereophile’s Editor and guiding light for 33 years, will step down from this position following the publication of the June (coverdate) issue, while Jim Austin will formally assume the mantle of Stereophile’s Editor from the July issue. John will remain a key member of the Stereophile team in his capacity as Technical Editor, contributing reviews and in-depth lab tests.… Read the full article
For years, I’ve attended audio shows at which the Canadian company EMM Labs, either on its own or in conjunction with Kimber Kable and IsoMike, has displayed some of the grandest, most impressive-sounding multichannel systems I’ve ever heard. When everything was aligned properly, as it was at the 2018 Rocky Mountain Audio Fest, the sound was breathtaking.
When Shahin Al Rashid, EMM Labs’ extremely knowledgeable and longtime director of sales, offered for review the just-released DV2 digital-to-analog converter ($30,000), the dogs and I eagerly welcomed him to our home in Port Townsend, Washington.… Read the full article
Imagine my surprise while I was preparing my review of the EMM Labs DV2 D/A processor in this issue, EMM Labs’ manager of production and social media, Amadeus Meitner, informed me that what I’d thought would be a one-on-one chat with his father, EMM Labs founder and CEO Ed Meitner, would also involve himself and EMM’s managing engineer of the past 15 years, Mariusz Pawlicki. Once all three had come to the phone, however, information flowed more or less smoothly.… Read the full article
One of the recurring themes of this column has been my search for servers that will support the playback of high-resolution multichannel files with DSP for speaker/room equalization (EQ), as well as the format conversion and downsampling that are often part of those processes. Because most EQ software is PCM-based, format comversion is needed to convert DSD files to PCM. In addition, because most EQ products work within a limited range of sampling rates, PCM files sampled at high rates may have to be downsampled before being subjected to EQ.… Read the full article
In November 2016, I reviewed Shure’s KSE1500 electrostatic in-ear headphone system, which featured a D/A amplifier with both analog and USB inputs that drove in-ear headphones with unique electrostatic diaphragms. At $2999, the KSE1500 was and is pricey, and recently Shure introduced a less-expensive electrostatic headphone system, the KSE1200SYS ($1999), with the same amplifier and earpieces but just an analog input.
Like the KSE1500s’, the KS1200SYSes’ drive-units feature a virtually massless diaphragm suspended between two back plates, with a 200V polarizing voltage across the plates.… Read the full article
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