Jana Dagdagan

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Jana Dagdagan  |  Dec 12, 2016  |  5 comments
At the end of November, I spent a couple days in Eindhoven, The Netherlands, getting a first look at Marantz's New Reference series audio components. During my brief visit to D+M's European HQ, I was fortunate enough to spend 40 minutes of one-on-one chat time with Ken Ishiwata, Marantz's famed Brand Ambassador, and a key component to Marantz's success for nearly 40 years. I was originally only scheduled to have 10 minutes with him, but thankfully, due to a last-minute adjustment, we were able to talk for longer.
Jana Dagdagan  |  Dec 06, 2016  |  4 comments
Last week, Paul Messenger and I represented Stereophile at a Marantz press conference announcing the New Reference Series: the SA-10 SACD player/DAC and the PM-10 amplifier. The conference was held at D+M's European Headquarters located in Eindhoven, The Netherlands. Josh Bizar of Music Direct, Andy Quint of The Absolute Sound, and I were the only Americans present at this session. (And naturally, the most severely jetlagged.) We were joined by nearly two-dozen international audio journalists from a handful of countries.
Jana Dagdagan  |  Nov 28, 2016  |  5 comments
For the past eight months, my headphone of choice at Stereophile's New York office has been a pair of AudioQuest Nighthawks. That's eight hours a day, five days a week, for approximately 32 weeks. Not eternity, but we've spent a good chunk of quality time together. The overall setup is comprised of an Apple MacBook Pro (usually streaming Tidal, Spotify, or Amarra for Tidal), an AudioQuest Jitterbug, an AudioQuest DragonFly Red, and said NightHawks. I suppose it's safe to say that my ears tend to jibe well with AudioQuest products.
Jana Dagdagan  |  Nov 21, 2016  |  28 comments
This past Friday, November 17, critically acclaimed French audio startup Devialet officially opened the doors to their first US standalone store right here in SoHo, NY. This store joins five other standalones globally (Paris, London, Berlin) and, as of yet, no future plans of additional US locations have been disclosed.
Jana Dagdagan  |  Nov 14, 2016  |  6 comments
Dear Reader: This is my first of a series of industry profiles. The hi-fi publication sector largely consists of equipment reviews and music features. My hope for this series is to focus instead on the great people who keep this industry alive from the ground up, behind the scenes—designers, engineers, listeners, salespeople, and all music lovers alike. It should be interesting.

As the winter months inevitably approach, it feels only appropriate to delay the forthcoming cold with one last bit of summer. Summer Yin and I have known each other for nearly a year and a half, during which she has played integral roles at both HiFiMAN and AURALiC. I started our conversation by asking her about her experience and background in the audio industry.

Jana Dagdagan  |  Nov 07, 2016  |  12 comments
Photo of Art Dudley, Robin Wyatt, and Michael Lavorgna: John Atkinson. All other photos: Jana Dagdagan.

NYAS 2015. Rye Brook, NY.—Then, a lone capsule filled with liquid anxiety, outfitted in wobbly heels and a blanket of sweat aimlessly wandered through the halls of hotel hi-fi. She had recently interviewed for her dream job at her dream publication, Stereophile, but had not heard back yet. She desperately hoped to meet Sirs Art Dudley and Michael Lavorgna for the first time, and luckily succeeded in doing so at the 'Zen and the Art of Audio Reviewing' seminar.

Jana Dagdagan  |  Oct 31, 2016  |  37 comments
When Rocky Mountain Audio Fest 2016 (RMAF)—the hot hi-fi rager of the Wild West—came to its close, I had one more official stop to make: YG Acoustics.

Located just 30 minutes from Denver in the city of Arvada, is the YG Acoustics facility—including the factory, showroom, and offices. Much like most factories, the exterior is an unassuming vanilla casing, with no evidence of the flavorful, no-compromise, high-tech, high-end speakers living (and being brought to life) inside.

Jana Dagdagan  |  Oct 24, 2016  |  25 comments
We all live with earwax. Some more than others, but none of us are immune.

A buildup of excess wax can potentially cause blockage, tinnitus, an infection, or worse: sudden or partial loss of hearing! (Whatever you do, do not Google image search "earwax buildup.") To the average human, a temporary reduction in hearing is an inconvenience. But to the average audiophile, a temporary reduction in hearing could very well mean fatality. (Said in Mortal Kombat fashion.)

Jana Dagdagan  |  Oct 17, 2016  |  18 comments
Photo: John Atkinson

The 2016 Rocky Mountain Audio Fest has come and gone, and here I find myself, back in the quiet comfort of Brooklyn.

Back with a glass of red wine in my hand, a table full of hot Indian takeout, and a dreamy Chet Baker serenading me through my modest system: a Technics SL 1200 Mk. II turntable with an Audio Technica AT440MLa cartridge (on a Technics headshell), a Fisher 800-C stereo receiver, and a pair of Rogers LS3/5a monitors sitting atop Skylan Speaker Stands.

What more is there to life?

. . . Or so I had thought . . .

Jana Dagdagan  |  Oct 03, 2016  |  27 comments
Last week, I experienced what may have been the greatest day of my life so far: the day I got to see Sir Elton John live in concert for the first time. This happened on September 27, 2016, in Allentown, PA.
Jana Dagdagan  |  Sep 28, 2016  |  5 comments
Picture your typical high-end audio manufacturer.

It can be a spontaneous, self-generated hybrid of black shapes, brushed metals, and varying wooden finishes. You need not limit yourself to a single component or a single manufacturer. Whatever comes to mind first, really.

Got it?

Now picture the exact opposite of that.

Jana Dagdagan  |  Sep 19, 2016  |  13 comments
Last week, John Atkinson and I attended "The Audeze Sensory Experience," Audeze's official launch party for the iSine10 ($399) and iSine20—the world's first in-ear planar magnetic headphones, which will be available in November.
Jana Dagdagan  |  Sep 12, 2016  |  11 comments
The graphic above was created with data provided to me by the CTA (Consumer Technology Association). I understand that this data cannot possibly account for every single pair of Bluetooth-enabled speakers sold in any given year, but I believe that this is the most accurate account of data currently available to us.
Jana Dagdagan  |  Sep 06, 2016  |  31 comments
Photo: Michael Lavorgna

Experience 1
On August 25, 2016, John Atkinson, Michael Lavorgna, and I attended an event at Battery Studios, Sony's Manhattan-based music production facility.

The event itself was very personal, as we three were the only non-Sony people present at this particular session. (There were multiple sessions held that day.) We were introduced to Sony's latest hi-res personal audio products—the "Signature Series," which consists of the MDR-Z1R headphones $2199.99), NW-WM1Z ($3199.99) and NW-WM1A Walkman players, and the TA-ZH1ES headphone amplifier ($2199.99).

Jana Dagdagan  |  Aug 29, 2016  |  17 comments
The graphic above was created with data provided to me by the CTA (Consumer Technology Association). I understand that this data cannot possibly account for every single pair of headphones sold in any given year, but I believe that this is the most accurate account of data currently available to us.

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