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Jason Davis  |  Jun 16, 2020  |  14 comments
Photo: Sasha Matson

I met Art Dudley twice, and in both instances, he was exceedingly humble and gracious with his time. The first time, I thanked him for hosting the Virtues of Vintage panel at DC's Capital Audiofest, just moments after he was verbally accosted by an unwell man seated in front of me—something about audio-journalism lingo and abstract phrases like "midrange bloom."

John Swenson  |  May 26, 2020  |  7 comments
I loved New Orleans music before I even knew what it was.

In the mid-1960s, I went to high school in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, which back then was a bleak, On the Waterfront landscape of dock workers and drifters hanging out in the pool halls along Bedford Avenue. We were warned to watch out on our way to track practice at nearby McCarren Park, because the pool halls were violent and confrontations often spilled out onto the street.

Julie Mullins  |  Apr 28, 2020  |  18 comments
When I was growing up, calling Dad to dinner required a trip down carpeted stairs to the basement, an audiophile man cave in a time before the term had been invented. I'd open the door from the kitchen, and a great wall of sound would emerge—and nearly blow me back before I descended the stairs.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Mar 27, 2020  |  4 comments
When I was 11, my father brought home the voice of tenor Enrico Caruso (1873–1921) in a three-LP box set whose faux leather cover and sepia-tinted photos I admired over and over. When he put on the Sextet from Lucia di Lammermoor, I exclaimed, "Daddy, I've heard that before!"

"Yeah, you broke it when you were 2," he replied.

Robert Schryer  |  Feb 04, 2020  |  12 comments
As per our ritual, Karim and Dan arrived at my door in late afternoon, bearing our ritual's customary offerings: dark beer, wine, cold pork sandwiches, fruit and chocolate tarts, good music on well-recorded CDs, and audio hardware to try out on the host's hi-fi—on this particular Friday, my hi-fi. It's what we did: break bread while gabbing like regular folk about regular things, then bolt for the listening room for an evening of hi-fi fun.
Carl Thomas Hriczak  |  Jan 02, 2020  |  6 comments
It's 9:45 on a mid-September weeknight in Greater Toronto. Having spent the evening reveling in the glory of her 9th birthday—candles blown out, presents open, pleasantly full of Wegmans' Ultimate Chocolate Cake—Our Birthday Girl has one additional request:

"Can we please play 'Happy Birthday Polka'?!"

Herb Reichert  |  Oct 29, 2019  |  17 comments
"The crying rain like a trumpet sang
And asked for no applause.
"—Bob Dylan, "Lay Down Your Weary Tune"

I remember as a toddler sitting in the kitchen on a highchair, watching my mother smoke a cigarette, apply red lipstick, and tune a turquoise table radio from one news station to another. Between the strange, nattering voices, the radio emitted a sharp hissing sound. That's my first memory of human voices coming from a little box.

Sasha Matson  |  Sep 17, 2019  |  7 comments
In Alfred Hitchcock's great film Vertigo, filmed in San Francisco in 1957, the protagonist, Scottie, played by James Stewart, becomes obsessed with Madeleine, played by Kim Novak. Scottie, a retired detective, suffers from a disabling case of acrophobia, which becomes a critical if tenuous plot point.
Ken Micallef  |  Sep 05, 2019  |  21 comments
Like most older teens growing up in the South in the late 1970s, I had two poles of rock and roll heroes: The Allman Brothers Band and ZZ Top on one side, Yes and King Crimson on the other.
Robert Schryer  |  Jul 23, 2019  |  32 comments
Dear Newbie: Welcome to the wonderful world of hi-fi! If you're besotted with a desire for audio gear that can make your recorded music sound better than you've ever heard it, you've come to the right place.

And at just the right time: Not only is there an unprecedented amount of sanely priced, excellent-sounding audio gear on the market; there's this thing happening between us right here and now—the fact that you're reading a letter I wrote especially for you.

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