LATEST ADDITIONS

John Atkinson  |  Dec 23, 2019  |  31 comments
High-quality playback of digital audio is evolving in two opposed directions. One is where a smart wireless loudspeaker, like the KEF LSX or DALI Callisto 6 C, needs to be connected to a simple source of data. The other is where a smart amplifier takes the data from wherever it needs and sends it to a pair of dumb loudspeakers. NAD's Masters Series M32 integrated amplifier ($4848 with its optional MDC DD-BluOS module), which I reviewed in May 2018, is a great-sounding example of the latter approach.

In the spring of 2019, NAD introduced the Masters Series M10 ($2749). At first I assumed that the M10 was a stripped-down, less-powerful version of the M32, but the new amplifier offers a unique set of features.

Sasha Matson  |  Dec 20, 2019  |  20 comments
There is change, and also continuity, at Wilson Audio Specialties, the company founded in 1974 by recordist and loudspeaker designer David A. Wilson. David's son Daryl Wilson was appointed president and CEO in 2016. David Wilson passed away in 2018. And in 2019, Wilson Audio Specialties released the Sasha DAW loudspeaker ($37,900/pair), designed by a team led by Daryl Wilson and named in honor of his father.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Dec 19, 2019  |  46 comments
What kind of creature is this? Gryphon Audio Designs' new Ethos ($39,000)—pronounced EE-toss by its Danish manufacturers—is marketed as a CD player and digital-to-analog converter. It's decidedly au courant in that it includes two 32-bit/768kHz ES9038PRO Sabre DAC chips—one for each channel—with each holding eight individual DAC chips; offers optional upsampling to either 24/384 PCM or DSD128; and decodes up to 32/384 PCM and quadruple DSD (DSD512) via its USB input, or up to 24/192 (and no DSD) via AES/EBU or S/PDIF.
Jim Austin  |  Dec 18, 2019  |  33 comments
Subjectivist audiophiles have long maintained that long-term listening is necessary to assess the quality and character of an audio component. Scientific testing methodologies such as ABX, which require quick and conscious evaluation of a change in the sound, have long struck many of us as insufficient, seeming to miss much that affects our enjoyment of music.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Dec 18, 2019  |  4 comments
Yup, it sounds weirder than hell, even if talk of hell is best tabled at Christmastime. But never mind: The New Orleans Jazz Band of Cologne’s Santa Claus is Coming to Town is the real swinging thing.
Robert Schryer  |  Dec 18, 2019  |  13 comments
Until about a week ago, I thought Classé Audio was out of business. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that Classé was not just alive but also kicking, with a new line of high-end electronics, which were being showcased, along with flagship products from Marantz and Polk Audio, at Montreal audio-video importer Sherpa Group's offices. What's more, it was happening tomorrow–that is, the day after I found out about Classé's resurgence.
Art Dudley  |  Dec 17, 2019  |  6 comments
Think of the greatest commercial LPs made during the past 72 years: the Solti-Culshaw recording of Wagner's Der Ring des Nibelungen, Magda Tagliaferro's D'ombre et de lumiere, Ornette Coleman's The Shape of Jazz to Come, John Lennon's John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band, and a thousand or so others.
Jim Austin  |  Dec 16, 2019  |  71 comments
Spectral analysis of a live blues band recording made by John Atkinson, showing content up to 40kHz, from "What's Going On Up There?"

At the October 2019 Audio Engineering Society convention in New York, Yuki Fukuda and Shunsuke Ishimitsu, both of Hiroshima City University, presented results that show quite clearly that listeners can distinguish sounds encoded and reproduced at different sampling frequencies. Their trials differed from the previous ones in one important way: Instead of exposing test subjects to music at different resolutions, they used test tones.

Robert Harley  |  Dec 13, 2019  |  First Published: Jun 01, 1995  |  7 comments
Making digital audio sound good appears to be a much more difficult job than its developers first realized. When digital audio was in its infancy, there was a tendency to think that digital either worked perfectly, or didn't work at all. This belief led the engineering community to devise ill-considered and flawed standards that affect the musical quality of digitally reproduced music today.
J. Gordon Holt  |  Dec 12, 2019  |  First Published: Aug 01, 1998  |  4 comments
Editor's Note: Published in 1998, this was the final review written by Stereophile's founder, the late J. Gordon Holt in the 37 years he was associated with the magazine. In it he expounds on his passion for experiencing recorded music in surround sound. Our continuing focus on two-channel products and recordings was one of the reasons Gordon eventually resigned, in August 1999.—John Atkinson

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