LATEST ADDITIONS

Stereophile Staff  |  Jun 06, 2018  |  14 comments
Following the last-minute cancellation of the 2018 Los Angeles Audio Show, scheduled to be held this coming weekend in Irvine, two Southern California audio retailers have stepped into the breach with AudioCon-June. Jason Lord of The Source A/V Design Group (3035 Kashiwa Street, Suite 101, Torrance, CA 90505. Tel: (310) 534-9900) and Sunil Merchant of Sunny's Components (1370 E. Cypress St, Covina, CA 91724. Tel: (626) 966-6259) are holding weekend-long free events. The events run 10am–6pm on Saturday June 9 and Sunday June 10 and you can find full information here and here.
Steven W. Watkinson  |  Jun 05, 2018  |  First Published: Oct 01, 1984  |  1 comments
In appearance Conrad-Johnson's PV4 is distinctly plain: a basic black and silver box with a few simple knobs and buttons. The controls are logically laid out, clearly labeled, and work properly. The two channels track well through the volume control, maintaining balance; pushbuttons and control knobs have a smooth, solid feel (except for the noises audible through the system when switching inputs). Don't forget the turn-on and turn-off thumps mentioned above; the PV4 is the only one of the preamps I review in this issue—the others are the Audible Illusions Modulus ($450) and the Counterpoint SA-7 ($595)—that lacks a mute switch.
Margaret Graham  |  Jun 05, 2018  |  First Published: Jul 01, 1968  |  17 comments
Stravinsky: Petrouchka, Circus Polka
Los Angeles Philharmonic, Zubin Mehta, cond.
London CS 6554 (LP/tape).

This is all the proof one could want that London's big, fat sound is more the result of their recording philosophy than of the halls they record in. One of the first London recordings ever made in the US, this has the now-familiar London sound all down the line: The big, fat low end, the richness, the superb balance, and the razor-sharp detail without zizz or zip. As usual, the result is not terribly real, but it certainly is exciting as well as being musically satisfying.

Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jun 02, 2018  |  8 comments
There is music so unique, so colorful, and so potentially challenging for the casual listener that words like "pretty" or "entertaining" go flying out the window. Such is the case with pianist Pierre-Laurent Aimard's mind-boggling recording of Olivier Messiaen's (1908–1992) Catalogue d'Oiseaux. Anything but background music for a relaxed evening by the fire or in the hot tub, the Catalogue consists of 13 extended odes for solo piano, each of which was inspired by a different bird species. Recorded by Pentatone in 24/96 hi-rez stereo and surround in the famous Saal 1, Funkhaus, Nalepastrasse, Berlin, and issued as a three-disc SACD set (PTC 5186 670), the box includes a bonus DVD on which Aimard, a professor at the Hochschule Köln, discusses the pieces at length and offers insights into Messiaen the man and composer.
Herb Reichert  |  May 31, 2018  |  35 comments
"Okay, all you high-rolling audiophile know-it-alls—what is the argument against amplifiers that operate in high-bias, class-A, single-ended mode, with the lowest possible parts count? Is there a better strategy for beauty, rhythm, color, texture, and easy-flowing musical verity? I think not. And please explain: Why has mainstream audio gone to such ridiculous and expensive lengths to avoid building and selling precisely these sorts of amps?"
Herb Reichert  |  May 31, 2018  |  9 comments
Brooklyn, 1979: Fridays were fierce. After a week of doing construction, I would gobble Wild Turkey at the Spring Lounge, then fall asleep on the F train with a fold of cash and a Sony Walkman stuffed in a chest pocket of my paint-spattered Belstaff Trialmaster jacket. Usually I missed my York Street stop by only a few stations, but occasionally I'd wake up at sunrise on Saturday at the last stop: Coney Island. I didn't mind. It was restorative to shuffle the deserted boardwalk, listening to the Ramones' Road to Ruin or Television's Marquee Moon.
Stereophile Staff  |  May 31, 2018  |  0 comments
Saturday June 2, 11am–5 pm, Command Performance (115 Park Avenue, Suite 2, Falls Church, VA 22046) welcomes Nick Doshi of Doshi Audio and Anthony Chiarella of Brinkmann Audio for a special analog event.
Jim Austin  |  May 29, 2018  |  14 comments
In the March 2018 issue, Art Dudley admired the sound quality of Ayre Acoustics' KX-5 Twenty preamplifier, but didn't love some of its operational aspects. I've staged this Follow-Up as a putative face-off between the Ayre and my current reference preamplifier, the PS Audio BHK Signature, which I reviewed in the June 2017 issue.
Robert Baird  |  May 29, 2018  |  10 comments
Notoriously opinionated and obstinate Steve Albini, a guy ever vigilant and vocal about the wicked ways of the music business, showing up in Austin, Texas, at the annual South by Southwest festival? This I had to see. After a near-miss at his Austin hotel, we spoke the next morning on the phone.

"It was unspeakable on all levels, as bad as I imagined, and in some ways worse."

Any notion that he'd somehow softened, somehow accepted the music biz as it—

Wait. What the hell am I thinking?

Jason Victor Serinus  |  May 28, 2018  |  7 comments
Dave Wilson stands with his final design, the WAMM Master Chronosonic speaker system from 2016. (Photo: John Giolas)

Wilson Audio founder, Dave Wilson, 73, died of metastatic bone cancer on Saturday evening, May 26. Dave was receiving hospice care at his Utah home, and took his leave with his beloved wife and partner, Sheryl Lee Wilson, and other family members at his side.

Dave's exit came after he had overseen the 2006 expansion of Wilson Audio's factory in Provo, Utah by over 60%; announced, in November 2016, the succession of his son, Daryl Wilson (then 38) as CEO and President of Wilson Audio; and completed his magnum opus/ultimate statement, the limited edition WAMM Master Chronosonic loudspeaker ($685,000/pair). Secure in the knowledge that Daryl, who had already contributed to or taken over the design of at least 32 successful loudspeaker models, he was able to depart with a sense that his legacy as one of the great innovators in loudspeaker design will live on.

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