David Lander  |  Feb 27, 2018  |  0 comments
Queen of Bebop: The Musical Lives of Sarah Vaughan
By Elaine M. Hayes. 419 pp. Ecco/HarperCollins, 2017. Hardbound: $27.99. Available in eBook and digital audiobook formats.

This is the second biography of Sarah Vaughan (1924–1990), whose towering vocal talents took her to the top rung of the jazz ladder, beside Billie Holiday and Ella Fitzgerald. The author, trained as a classical musician, puts far more emphasis on the singer's recordings than Leslie Gourse did in Sassy, her 1993 Vaughan biography. Hayes's grasp of music, and her definitions of the musical terms she uses, make this the better account.

Stereophile Staff  |  Feb 27, 2018  |  0 comments
Thursday March 1, 6pm–8pm, Suncoast Audio (7353 International Place, Unit 309, Sarasota FL, 34240), is hosting an event featuring presentations by Walter Swanbon, the US Harbeth distributor, Vince Galbo from MSB Technologies, Kevin Hayes from VAC, and Jett Logan from AudioQuest. Suncoast will be raffling off a free pair of Harbeth speakers—must be present to win—and products being demmed and discussed will include the MSB Select II DAC and new MSB Reference Transport, the new AudioQuest Storm Series Power Cables, and the 40th Anniversary Edition Harbeth Monitor 40.2 speakers driven by VAC Signature 200iQ monoblock amplifiers.
John Atkinson  |  Feb 25, 2018  |  12 comments
Immediately following the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show, our resident videographer Jana Dagdagan and I visited PS Audio in Boulder Colorado. The company's founder, Paul McGowan, gave up his Saturday to give us a tour of the factory.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Feb 25, 2018  |  5 comments
New, well-recorded albums of Verdi arias from two of the Metropolitan Opera's biggest and most heralded stars - Bulgarian soprano Sonya Yoncheva, 36, and Maltese tenor Joseph Calleja, 40, give as much cause for excitement as they do for pause. As fine as the singing may be on Sonya Yoncheva: The Verdi Album (Sony) and Calleja: Verdi (Decca), the ways in which these artists push their voices to encompass heavier repertoire raises questions as to how long they can sustain such pressure on their instruments without serious sacrifice.
Robert Baird  |  Feb 24, 2018  |  12 comments
Hi-Rez and Surround-Sound mixes included in Deluxe Edition boxed set.
Kalman Rubinson  |  Feb 22, 2018  |  8 comments
It seems to me that my review of Monitor Audio's Silver 8 loudspeaker was published only a few months ago. Actually, it's been three years. The Silver 8 so impressed me that I bought three of them, along with two Silver 2 bookshelf speakers, for my multichannel system in Connecticut—and still greet them as the newcomers to my system. So installing and reviewing their successors, the 300, from the sixth generation of Monitor's Silver line, seemed very familiar.
Art Dudley  |  Feb 22, 2018  |  9 comments
The hoary question of tubes vs transistors, once certain and clear, is made ambiguous by recent products from a few solid-state specialists, not the least being Ayre Acoustics—the company that endures in the wake of the passing of its founder, the widely admired Charley Hansen. In their solid-state preamplifiers and amplifiers of the past decade in particular, Ayre has enshrined a number of technologies that are more than just variations on the audio-engineering status quo, and that appear to pay real sonic dividends.
John Atkinson  |  Feb 20, 2018  |  5 comments
I got an e-mail last summer from my colleague Tyll Hertsens, editor of our InnerFidelity website. "Recently reviewed and really liked the new MrSpeakers Æon," he wrote. "They're a little rough-sounding as sealed headphones tend to be, but the tonal balance is superb. I got three in for review to make sure they're consistent. After measurements I asked [MrSpeakers'] Dan Clark if I could forward them to you because I like them so much and thought you should hear them. . . . I really think you may enjoy them."
Herb Reichert  |  Feb 20, 2018  |  29 comments
During the hour preceding my removal of the KEF LS50 loudspeakers from their spiked, rough-iron stands, I was lost in the recurring still moments, reverberating tones, and contemplative spirit of Sir John Tavener's Eis Thanaton and Theophany, in the recording by soprano Patricia Rozario, bass Stephen Richardson, and Richard Hickox conducting the City of London Sinfonia (CD, Chandos CHAN 9440).
Stereophile Staff  |  Feb 19, 2018  |  2 comments
Sunday, February 25 at 2pm, audiophile-fave-rave pianist Hyperion Knight will perform a program of Bach, Beethoven, and Gershwin at the First Baptist Church in America (75 North Main Street Providence, RI 02903). The church is a short (seven minutes) walk from the Providence Amtrak (train) station. The starting time of the recital was chosen to make it possible for music lovers from New York City to Boston to arrive and depart with the least fuss possible. The recital will be open to the public, and free of charge.