March 2019
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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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Spendor A7 loudspeaker

By | February 21st, 2019|Categories: Stereophile|

As Stereophile‘s lone New York City bachelor, I sometimes search for amore on Internet dating sites. One such encounter led me to Park Slope, Brooklyn, where I met a woman who, I soon learned, was at the top of the food chain of Manhattan’s gold-encrusted arts community.

The single child of an upper-Westchester family, Jane So (not her real name) assists her employer in curating fine art for the city’s premier galleries and museums. Her job also includes gifting her employer’s millions to charitable organizations and the like.… Read the full article

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Rogue Audio RP-7 line preamplifier

By | February 21st, 2019|Categories: Stereophile|

You know I’m a lucky guy. I maintain two separate audio reviewing systems.

The core component of my beloved, daily-driver desktop system is a Mytek Brooklyn DAC-preamp-headphone amp. Through this system I play high-resolution files and Internet sources (Tidal, Qobuz, Netflix, and YouTube). One of the Brooklyn’s two line-level inputs delivers NPR news and baseball from my Kenwood KT-990D FM/AM tuner. I mostly use this system with headphones, but currently, the Brooklyn’s line-out feeds a pair of Bel Canto Design’s compact e.One REF600M monoblocks driving the shelf-mounted Dynaudio Excite X14 speakers I use to play movies and videos.… 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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Listening #195: Ortofon SPU Century & Grandinote Celio

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

Easy pickup: Art’s Dog, Chatter, cozies up to Leif Johannsen of Ortofon A/S and Dee Hustinova of Ortofon USA. (Photo: Art Dudley)

According to the 2018 edition of the UN’s World Happiness Report, Denmark is the third-happiest nation on Earth, trailing only its neighbors Finland and Norway.

I heard that yesterday afternoon, on NPR. The reporter even spelled out the word used by Danes to describe their feelings of happiness: hygge. Apparently, at present, Denmark is positively rotten with hygge.… Read the full article

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Recording of March 2019: Hespèrion XXI & Jordi Savall Ibn Battuta: The Traveler of Islam 1304–1377

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

Hespèrion XXI & Jordi Savall: Ibn Battuta: The Traveler of Islam 1304–1377
Music of Afghanistan, Bagdad, China, Granada, India, Mali, Morocco, more
Alia Vox AVSA9930 (24/88.2, 2 SACDs). 2018. S.L. Sonjade, prod.; Harry Charlier, Manuel Mohino, engs. DDD. TT: 2:27:04
Performance *****
Sonics ****

Sixty years after Italian explorer and merchant Marco Polo chronicled his journey to Asia, Tangier-born Abu Abdallah Ibn Battuta (b. 1304, d. 1368–1377) spent close to 30 remarkable years traveling to what were then the four corners of the earth.… Read the full article

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[email protected] 2018's Creative Capitals

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

One of my great musical regrets in leaving the Bay Area for the Pacific Northwest is our far greater distance from [email protected]’s extraordinary summer chamber music festival. One of the finest chamber music festivals in the United States, some of whose concerts are held in the extraordinary acoustic of the Menlo School’s Stent Family Hall in Menlo Park, CA, [email protected] is guided by America’s “Power Couple of Chamber Music,” ex-Emerson String Quartet cellist David Finckel and his wife, pianist Wu Han.… Read the full article

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What a Great Show!

By | February 15th, 2019|Categories: Stereophile|

I’ve attended a lot of audio shows since I started writing for the high-end press close to two decades ago. Yet rarely have I experienced one with a vibe as upbeat and optimistic as the inaugural Florida Audio Expo’s. Despite the fact that the majority of exhibitors know me from previous shows and feel comfortable sharing their bitches and peeves with me, I received nothing but positive feedback from everyone I spoke with.

Certainly no one complained about the attendance. Some were surprised by Friday’s considerable turnout, which included far more than retirees, or by Sunday’s smaller but still noteworthy showing.… Read the full article

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The Big Systems of Tampa Day Three

By | February 15th, 2019|Categories: Stereophile|

As I began Day Three of the FAE, I was surprised to discover that I only had four rooms plus the sole hallway exhibit left to cover. With the realization that I could actually spend some time in the sun before flying home during the Pacific Northwest’s most paralyzing Snowmaggedon episode in many a decade, I allowed myself to take more time in each room.

It certainly wasn’t hard to linger in the mbl room on the second floor. Thanks to Jeremy Bryan’s set-up acumen, Nat King Cole’s impeccably enunciated “Stardust” and Blue Tofu’s “A Battle Between” both sounded warm and spacious, with fast, near-ideal bass.… Read the full article

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Q Acoustics Concept 500 loudspeaker

By | February 14th, 2019|Categories: Stereophile|

Q Acoustics was founded in the UK in 2006, but has appeared on the radar of US buyers only in the last few years. Until recently, Q has aimed its efforts at the budget sector, earning enthusiastic reviews and commercial success.

But during that time the company also been quietly working on a product considerably more upscale, though still affordable in a marketplace now glutted with products at if-you-have-to-ask prices. The result is the Concept 500 ($5999.99/pair), first seen in the UK in 2017 and recently made available here.… Read the full article

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