LATEST ADDITIONS

Jason Victor Serinus  |  Mar 05, 2019  |  2 comments
Vivaldi: Arias
Cecilia Bartoli, mezzo-soprano; Jean-Christophe Spinosi, Matheus Ensemble
Decca 002932502 (24/96 download, CD). 2018. Arend Prohmann, prod., ed.; Philip Siney, eng.; Claudio Becker-Foss, asst. eng. DDD. TT: 58:27
Performance *****
Sonics ****

Stereophile occasionally awards a Joint Recording of the Month, and Cecilia Bartoli's second recording of Vivaldi arias deserves no less.

Though we don't know over how long a period Bartoli recorded this album's 10 tracks, she finished the project with Jean-Christophe Spinosi's Ensemble Matheus, a baroque group, in 2018, when she turned 52. I defy you to hear any trace of age in her voice. The singing is limpid and seamless, with rapid, wide-spanning coloratura runs flawlessly dispensed, and the longest of long-breathed lines produced with little to no apparent effort.

Stereophile Staff  |  Mar 01, 2019  |  107 comments
Today, Stereophile announces its first major Editorial changes in decades, with an expansion of the Editorial team and a change in leadership.

Since 1986, through many generations of corporate ownership, John Atkinson (right, above) has been the Editor and bedrock of the magazine. After nearly 331/3 years, JA has decided to relinquish daily responsibility for producing the magazine and as of April 1 will take on a new (and newly established) position: Technical Editor. Stepping into his shoes as Editor will be long-time Stereophile contributor Jim Austin (left above).

AVTech Media Management  |  Mar 01, 2019  |  9 comments
Jim Austin appointed Stereophile Editor as John Atkinson transitions to new role as Technical Editor

NEW YORK, NY— AVTech Media Americas announces key editorial changes at its premier hi-fi title, Stereophile. John Atkinson, Stereophile's Editor and guiding light for 33 years, will step down from this position following the publication of the June (coverdate) issue, while Jim Austin will formally assume the mantle of Stereophile's Editor from the July issue. John will remain a key member of the Stereophile team in his capacity as Technical Editor, contributing reviews and in-depth lab tests.

Jason Victor Serinus  |  Feb 28, 2019  |  13 comments
For years, I've attended audio shows at which the Canadian company EMM Labs, either on its own or in conjunction with Kimber Kable and IsoMike, has displayed some of the grandest, most impressive-sounding multichannel systems I've ever heard. When everything was aligned properly, as it was at the 2018 Rocky Mountain Audio Fest, the sound was breathtaking.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Feb 28, 2019  |  7 comments
Imagine my surprise while I was preparing my review of the EMM Labs DV2 D/A processor in this issue, EMM Labs' manager of production and social media, Amadeus Meitner, informed me that what I'd thought would be a one-on-one chat with his father, EMM Labs founder and CEO Ed Meitner, would also involve himself and EMM's managing engineer of the past 15 years, Mariusz Pawlicki. Once all three had come to the phone, however, information flowed more or less smoothly. My first question was what makes the DV2 special?
Kalman Rubinson  |  Feb 26, 2019  |  14 comments
One of the recurring themes of this column has been my search for servers that will support the playback of high-resolution multichannel files with DSP for speaker/room equalization (EQ), as well as the format conversion and downsampling that are often part of those processes. Because most EQ software is PCM-based, format comversion is needed to convert DSD files to PCM. In addition, because most EQ products work within a limited range of sampling rates, PCM files sampled at high rates may have to be downsampled before being subjected to EQ. Those of us who use home-theater preamplifier-processors and audio/video receivers (AVRs) should be familiar with such constraints.
John Atkinson  |  Feb 26, 2019  |  4 comments
In November 2016, I reviewed Shure's KSE1500 electrostatic in-ear headphone system, which featured a D/A amplifier with both analog and USB inputs that drove in-ear headphones with unique electrostatic diaphragms. At $2999, the KSE1500 was and is pricey, and recently Shure introduced a less-expensive electrostatic headphone system, the KSE1200SYS ($1999), with the same amplifier and earpieces but just an analog input.
John Atkinson  |  Feb 26, 2019  |  4 comments
The news broke on Facebook yesterday that Mark Hollis had died, aged just 64. I was late to appreciate Hollis's work, including his extraordinary solo album from 1998 (above). But since Stephen Mejias turned me on to him, Mark Hollis's music, both solo and with the band Talk Talk, has been in heavy rotation. (You can find my review of Talk Talk's final album, Laughing Stock, here—scroll down the page.) Fellow fan, Michael Vamos of distributor Audio Skies, asked if he could share some thoughts.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Feb 25, 2019  |  10 comments
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.
Ken Micallef  |  Feb 21, 2019  |  39 comments
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. But in her off hours, when the boss isn't watching, Jane enjoys a bit of kink. As she told me over dinner, "Ken, I'm not looking for anything serious. I have several men who visit me during the week."

It dawned on me: I had stumbled into New York's subterranean sex world.

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