LATEST ADDITIONS

John Atkinson  |  Sep 17, 2020  |  24 comments
Although it was founded by ex-Siemens loudspeaker engineer Oliver Göbel in 2003, I am embarrassed to admit that I had never heard of Göbel High End until I visited the room hosted by Florida retailer Bending Wave at the 2019 AXPONA. There, I listened to the German manufacturer's ginormous $220,000/pair Divin Noblesse loudspeakers, which were making their US debut. I was impressed by what I heard. I was interested, therefore, to learn that Göbel was introducing a smaller Divin model, the Marquis, which would not be too large for my listening room and would be priced at $80,000/pair.
Sasha Matson  |  Sep 16, 2020  |  2 comments
Bob Dylan: Rough and Rowdy Ways
Columbia C-250652 194397980991 (2LP; also available on CD and as 24/96 FLAC download) Chris Shaw, eng.; Greg Calbi, mastering.
Performance *****
Sonics ****

The stats alone are impressive—or, as we at Stereophile like to say, the measurements. 79-year-old Bob Dylan's 39th studio album is his first album of original material since 2012. Rough and Rowdy Ways times out at more than 70 minutes of music, due in part to the inclusion of Dylan's lengthiest studio song to date, "Murder Most Foul," which runs 16 minutes, 54 seconds. The LP version requires 2 discs. His tour was supposed to be Never Ending—but it did end, temporarily, because of COVID-19, just as Dylan and the band were set to play Japan.

John Atkinson  |  Sep 15, 2020  |  2 comments
Issue 54 of The Absolute Sound, cover-dated July/August 1988, had arrived in my mailbox. I had been warned that this issue contained a report from Stereophile's third hi-fi show, which had been held in Santa Monica the previous April. Although it wasn't listed in the issue's table of contents, I found the show report on page 186, written by Michael Fremer, who was listed on the magazine's masthead as "Senior Editor: Pop Mix."
Michael Fremer  |  Sep 14, 2020  |  15 comments
I was planning to ignore the big three oh oh—my 300th Analog Corner column—and go about my normal business of covering an assortment of new analog gear and accessories. There's an abundance of those today, 25 years after the publication of my first column. Back then, there was far less to write about: Vinyl was on life support and headed for the obsolete-music-format trash heap atop a pile of Elcasets and 8-track tapes.
John Atkinson  |  Sep 14, 2020  |  3 comments
When Stereophile publishes followup reviews of various kinds in the print magazine, we add the followup as a "child page" to the full review. That means that they don't appear on the website's home page and might get missed. The October 2020 issue included three followups: of the Boulder 2108 phono preamplifier, the Weiss DAC502 D/A processor, and the IsoAcoustics Gaia loudspeaker isolation feet.
John Atkinson, Wes Phillips  |  Sep 11, 2020  |  First Published: Dec 01, 1998  |  4 comments
For the seventh consecutive year, Stereophile has named a select few audio components the "Products of the Year." In doing so, we recognize those components that have proved capable of giving musical pleasure beyond the formal review period.
Michael Fremer  |  Sep 10, 2020  |  First Published: Aug 01, 1998  |  18 comments
"Something's coming, I don't know what it is, but it is gonna be great!"—Tony, West Side Story

While the Sharks and the Jets rumble in the consumer electronics playground, knife-fighting for supremacy in the next software go-round, in 1998 we're still living in the 16-bit/44.1kHz audio world, and will be doing so for the foreseeable future. Maybe your idea of audio bliss is listening to the equivalent of computing with a Commodore 64, but it's not mine.

Ben Duncan  |  Sep 09, 2020  |  First Published: Jun 01, 2001  |  28 comments
In high-end circles, the sonic repute of integrated-circuit op-amps (from "operational amplifier") is, at best, checkered. Of course, the expertise with which they are used and the parts they're used with can make all the difference. For example, my DIY preamplifier design, "AMP-02," published in Hi-Fi News & Record Review in 1989–90, and my earlier (1983–84) AMP-01 (footnote 1), I used the better IC op-amps of the time throughout. Both units were thought to outperform cost-no-object commercial units of the time that employed discrete transistors and even tubes, and only indicate what's possible.
Guy Lemcoe  |  Sep 08, 2020  |  First Published: Feb 01, 1991  |  2 comments
The $1200 D-105u, the top of Luxman's CD-player line, is novel in its twin-triode vacuum-tube amplification in the analog output stage. This configuration is said to provide high linearity with low distortion and that hard-to-quantify musicality found in tubed products. In addition, the D-105u incorporates an anti-vibration laser pick-up mechanism and a high-mass magnetic disc clamper, the latter feature said to mass-load the disc center to minimize spindle-motor microvibration, thus improving tracking accuracy for lowest error rate.
Michael Fremer  |  Sep 07, 2020  |  First Published: Apr 01, 2020  |  3 comments
We're 30 years into a cartridge design revolution, particularly at the top end of the market, where manufacturers charge upward of $10,000 for their best efforts: prices that well-off consumers have amply proved they are willing to pay. There doesn't seem to be an innovation end in sight.

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