Jason Victor Serinus  |  Apr 01, 2018  |  7 comments
It is doubtful that pianist Alexander Melnikov had audiophiles in mind when he decided to record great works by Schubert, Chopin, Liszt, and Stravinsky on pianos the composers were accustomed to hearing and playing at the time of composition. Melnikov is, after all, an early music specialist who, like András Schiff, has a number of impeccably restored historic instruments in his personal collection. Nonetheless, given that Harmonia Mundi has recorded him in high resolution (24/96), seemingly without compression, in the fine acoustic of Teldex Studio Berlin, and that each instrument has a sound and dynamic range distinctly its own, the recording is an audiophile must-have.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Mar 30, 2018  |  3 comments
Why review another recording of Stravinsky's great ballet score for the 1913 season of Diaghilev's Ballet Russes, Le Sacre du Printemps (The Rite of Spring)? Besides the fact that it's a fabulous performance, it's part of a disc that: 1) showcases one of our most renowned conductors, Riccardo Chailly, leading the superb Lucerne Festival Orchestra; 2) includes the world premiere recording of Stravinsky's long-lost 11-minute Chant Funèbre, Op.5 (1908), a tribute to his late teacher, Rimsky-Korsakov, which disappeared after its first performance at a memorial concert in St. Petersburg in 1909 and was only re-discovered in 2015; and 3) places Rite in the context of that early work and three that preceded it, thereby affording a long view of Stravinsky's path to first bloom artistic maturity.
Stereophile Staff  |  Mar 30, 2018  |  0 comments
Saturday March 31, from 12pm to 5pm Hi Fi Sales (1732 Route 70 East, Cherry Hill, NJ 08003) are holding a listening event featuring Technics' top direct-drive turntables: the SP-10R and the SL-1000R. As always light and adult beverages will be available and and catering will be by the Kibitz Room.
John Atkinson  |  Mar 29, 2018  |  0 comments
I have long been aware of English audio company Prism Sound, both from my use at the turn of the century of their excellent PCI card–based DScope2 measurement system (footnote 1), and from some of my friends' enthusiasm for Prism's SADiE digital audio workstation. Prism Sound was founded in 1987 by two DSP engineers, Graham Boswell and Ian Dennis, who had first met when working at mixing-console manufacturer Rupert Neve, in Cambridge, England. From the beginning, Prism Sound operated exclusively in the world of professional audio, but a year or so ago I began seeing their first domestic audio product, the Callia, at audio shows.
Art Dudley  |  Mar 29, 2018  |  6 comments
On at least one occasion that I can recall—in 1996, in the early days of Listener magazine—a US publicist for the Japanese manufacturing company Denon told me that they planned to discontinue their DL-103 moving-coil phono cartridge, an enduringly popular model that had been in production since 1962 (footnote 1). At the time, neither the DL-103 nor any of their other cartridge models appeared on Denon's US price lists, and neither English-language promotional materials nor even a basic spec sheet was available to American consumers or press.
Robert Baird  |  Mar 29, 2018  |  8 comments
Something/Anything? reissued on SACD.
Herb Reichert  |  Mar 28, 2018  |  23 comments
In this video you will sit with me in the Bed Stuy bunker as I work on a Follow Up review of the shiny Joseph Audio Pulsar loudspeakers. You will hear what I hear. You will see how small my 13' x 11' x 9.5' listening room really is. You might notice it is not a sealed box but opens stage right and left to halls and other rooms. You will see my sturdy (and mechanically enhanced) Home Depot equipment rack and the Mytek HiFi Manhattan II DAC . . .
Art Dudley  |  Mar 28, 2018  |  5 comments
Quebec-based Solen—which distributes parts from a number of different manufacturers, as well as manufacturing their own well-regarded capacitors and other components—has a talent for filling their exhibit rooms with scores of items, including finished products made from the parts they sell. Among the latter at this year's Montreal show was a single-ended triode amp that will soon be available as the Coffin Audio 2A3 SE. Using new-old stock 6SL7 tubes to drive its nominal 2A3 directly heated output tubes, the nicely made Coffin amp uses Solen Teflon coupling caps, and the stereo amp's retail price is estimate to be $CAD6000.
Robert Schryer  |  Mar 28, 2018  |  4 comments
Along with those other nerdy qualities I love about sound reproduction, I love a good soundstage. That's because a good soundstage, like a clever Hollywood movie effect, can provide the push needed to make me believe that someone who can't possibly be there in front of me singing or playing an instrument actually is and that I've missed nothing.

I bring up the soundstage thing not because I think hearing a good soundstage during playback is essential to one's enjoyment of a recording, but because the soundstage thing is the aspect of playback I was most wowed by of the system I heard in the Verity Audio room.

Art Dudley  |  Mar 27, 2018  |  4 comments
I started my Sunday by visiting Plurison, the Canadian distributor for Focal, Naim, Rega, Musical Fidelity, Devialet, Music Hall, Wharfedale, Cambridge, Astell&Kern, and others (and, under the name Audio Plus Services, the US distributor for some of those same brands). As they did last year, Plurison set up shop in the Ville-Marie room—one of the Bonaventure's largest, having been carved out of what used to be the hotel's main restaurant—and presented their products in a mix of active and static displays, with a degree of visual refinement that few other exhibitors matched, and none exceeded.