February 2018
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Craft Recordings do it again

By | February 9th, 2018|Categories: Audiomatters|

This label is pushing them out quickly at the moment. I know,  what jazz fan does not have Rollins’ Way Out West but how about a new vinyl edition, with a second disk of bonus material from a late-night session in the studio? I know, it’s the 60th anniversary, how many editions can you have of the same recording (don’t answer that Kind of Blue collectors!) but this looks gorgeous. Sadly it’s a less than gorgeous price (north of $70 on Amazon as I write) but I am sure some will grab it gladly.… Read the full article

Best Buy giving up on CDs

By | February 6th, 2018|Categories: Audiomatters|

Well, I suppose it had to happen at some point but chain store Best Buy announced it would no longer stock CDs from June 1st. With sales of CDs now about 10% of what they sold 15 years ago, the company considers them unworthy of floor space in their stores.  More here at Consequence of Sound

Ironically, Best Buy will continue to stock vinyl where they sell turntables, at least for the next two years. Bet you would never have predicted this when Queen took out ads in the UK music press back in the 1980s to explain why they would release albums only on CD from then on as vinyl was no longer relevant. 

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Craft Recordings releasing new vinyl sets

By | February 2nd, 2018|Categories: Audiomatters|

New one to me but worthy of a mention for those who love their vinyl. Craft Recordings have been sending out announcements of new releases, and here’s the latest one: Country Joe and the Fish. $80 on Amazon, delivered free for Prime members.

Paying tribute to the band’s prolific output, Craft Recordings is issuing a limited-edition, deluxe vinyl box set, The Wave of Electrical Sound, as well as standalone, 180-gram LP reissues – all hitting store shelves today! A remastered digital collection, offering both stereo and mono formats of each album, as well as two exclusive bonus tracks, is also available on digital retailers and streaming services.
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CES coverage suggests that maybe the end is nigh?

By | January 20th, 2018|Categories: Audiomatters|

As usual, Stereophile’s John Atkinson and Michael Fremer are providing some of the best coverage of audio at CES. The general tenor of reports indicates traffic is high but audio is relegated further and further, to the point that some wonder on camera if it’s time for the audio industry to give up on this gathering. Time will tell.

Here’s a link to one of  MF’s detailed videos, the next best thing to being there as you get a sort of warts and all sense of the rooms, the sounds and the human traffic.

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What’s happening with Thiel?

By | January 19th, 2018|Categories: Audiomatters|

Rumors of Thiel Audio’s demise are surfacing online, from a usually reliable source, but their website shows the company still in business. The trouble is, the business they are now in seems to be quite different than the one the late Jim Thiel bequeathed.

I don’t object to lifestyle speakers, but I sure do miss the old look and feel of Thiel products.  You decide….

A quick examination of the company’s current site seems to suggest they have done away with all the old lines, and the official history of the company makes no mention of the Thiel most audiophiles know. 

A friend once visited the old Thiel company when considering speakers.

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Price increases again

By | January 10th, 2018|Categories: Audiomatters|

I imagined, foolishly no doubt, that the price of ultrasonic vinyl cleaners would come down over time, perhaps forced by the need to capture new markets once the well-heeled had made their purchases. Apparently not, it seems, based on the latest word from Ultra Systems — they sent me a note today that the Audio Desk  Pro vinyl cleaner would cost $4499 from Feb 1st.  Better get in there quickly if you’re in the market….

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CES PR in overdrive

By | January 9th, 2018|Categories: Audiomatters|

I don’t go to CES, I wish I did sometimes but life gets in the way. Still, my inbox gets the PR outpouring from companies hoping to catch someone’s attention. Today alone I got more updates on more digital developments than I can shake a stick at, never mind understand.  ‘Studio sound’ quality from headphones via a new Sonarworks thingamajig?  A veritable magic wand to link your wired components into a streaming ‘ecosystem’ from Riva? Am sure these make sense for some….hard for me to judge.… Read the full article

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And you thought you took hi-fi seriously

By | January 2nd, 2018|Categories: Audiomatters|

Forget the utility pole mod, it’s the poor guy who can’t open his fridge that I feel sorry for…and yes, I bet you too end up thinking…”he HAS a girlfriend?”

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JWM Alyson review now live

By | December 28th, 2017|Categories: Audiomatters|

I enjoyed several months with JWM Acoustics Alyson AMLII speakers this summer, the very same pair that was in use at RMAF, so if you heard them there you can compare your impressions with mine. Full review now in HiFi’Zine.

Some speakers strike me as the product of science, others seem the application of art. Josh Miles’ designs seem like a balance of the two, and with a very heavy helping of art in the enclosure designs.  Worth checking out for sure, see more at http://www.jwmacoustics.com/

Happy new year folks.

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Cleaning those LPs on the cheap

By | December 26th, 2017|Categories: Audiomatters|

So, you never got that ultrasonic machine for Christmas? Fear not, there’s plenty of helpful videos online for would-be LP collectors and cleaners, it must be something about audiophiles. Here’s my new favorite, you know it helps to dress properly when cleaning vinyl too – consider it a gift:

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