Ariel Bitran

Ariel Bitran  |  Jun 19, 2013  |  15 comments
I threw away all of the original jewel cases to my CDs. The CDs themselves are in a Case Logic CD Binder. Before throwing the cases away, I adored each title’s artwork and reminisced on each album’s place in my personal history.

It was hard to say goodbye, but the cases were taking up too much space.

Ariel Bitran  |  Jun 18, 2013  |  11 comments
Photo by Bowers & Wilkins

On Thursday, June 13th, British hi-fi mainstay Bowers & Wilkins and Italian luxury car manufacturer Maserati brought their Seven Notes World Tour to the Industria Superstudio in New York City’s Meatpacking District. The event presented the B&W-designed in-car audio system, the new B&W 805 Maserati Edition loudspeaker, and a performance from Howie B.

Ariel Bitran  |  Jun 13, 2013  |  First Published: Jun 14, 2013  |  1 comments
Mike Browning and his new Skullcandy Navigators were totally meant for each other. With his sick, short mohawk and the Navigator's acid-blue tinted and sunglasses-shaped earcups, it just doesn’t get any cooler than these two.
Ariel Bitran  |  Jun 12, 2013  |  8 comments
I spent about sixteen hours last weekend studying a rainbow of frequency anomalies and the subdivisions in which they lie. Why? Because I am an audiophile, and it is fun. Also, it’s my job.

After reading the all-encompassing Audio Glossary at from front-to-back, I rewrote the glossary as a bulleted list reflecting an organized critical listening process to utilize in the future.

Sections include ‘Midrange: 160—1300Hz,’ ‘Soundstaging and Imaging,’ and the seductive ‘Pleasurable Excess’. In the process, I got to know words I thought I understood a little better, learned about sonic situations like a chocolaty sound, comb filtering, and the venetian blind effect, and drew out differences between words that seemed similar but are not quite, such as “accuracy”, a qualifier to describe how truthful a system is to recreating the incoming signal but not necessarily how much the system sounds like the real thing, versus “realism”, a term used to describe a system’s sound only if the recording being evaluated is truthful to the acoustic event. So if you have an accurate system and put on a recording that captures an excellent live performance and true timbres of the instruments in a pleasant-sounding acoustical space, you’ll be just as happy as a pig in… well, you know what.

Ariel Bitran  |  Jun 12, 2013  |  1 comments
After each sweepstakes winner confirms receiving their prize, I request a photo of the lucky recipient posing with their reward. Ken Olen’s photo had me mystified. The grainy image of a mustachioed man with a mischievous smile seemed darkened and distant. Where did this picture come from?

Though Olen claims to be from Bedford, New Hampshire, using our fancy photograph-decoding software from partnering magazine Shutterbug and some of John Atkinson's equipment measurement tools, I unveiled Olen’s actual location. He’s in outer space galaxies away! No wonder his transmission came through so hazy. The sound of those Logic3 Scuderia R300 Headphones must really be something special.

Thanks for participating Ken and safe travels!

Ariel Bitran  |  May 30, 2013  |  9 comments
This guy cares a lot about his headphones. Though ludicrous, the Beats tattoo is admirable. He's saying, “Music runs through my veins and the Beats pumps that blood.” Would you tattoo “Vandersteen” in cholo lettering in an arch across your back? Would you inscribe “S-O-U-N-D” and “S-T-A-G-E” on each of your knuckles so that if someone insulted your system, your beat-down would arrive in stereo?

How much do you care about your hi-fi?

Ariel Bitran  |  May 29, 2013  |  0 comments

Listen, I rarely recommend some hazy, over-saturated indie rock played by a Crayola-hair colored, geometric-patterned-vinyl-jacket wearing, wide-eyed goon drinking a glass of red kool-aid to wash away his reverb and irony soaked introspection, but I think there's something special here. Something magical. Trevor Powers of Youth Lagoon might even be a wizard.

Ariel Bitran  |  May 28, 2013  |  133 comments
Rune Skov shows off the new Nordost Valhalla 2 interconnect ($9799/2m pair) next to his sweet Nordost tattoo.

On Tuesday May 28th, 2013, Nordost premiered the Valhalla 2 cable lineup at Lyric Hi-Fi in New York City. Rune Skov, International Product Training & Sales Support Manager for Nordost, gave a demonstration to a garrulous group of audiophiles who joyfully suggested what differences they heard as Skov switched out each old Valhalla cable for the new one.

Ariel Bitran  |  May 24, 2013  |  4 comments
In April of 2011, after watching one of the many iterations of The Due Diligence perform at Silent Barn, the soundman made an announcement: “We have a bunch of old music gear for sale in the venue’s basement.” I jumped from my seat.

Dusty guitar amps, dirt-speckled stage light fixtures, and busted drivers piled atop each other on a series of shelves. I inspected each piece of gear carefully. Atop the highest shelf, I found them. Though covered in scratch marks and gum, the logo was clear: Polk Audio. The “i" was dotted with a little heart. I fell in love.

Ariel Bitran  |  May 21, 2013  |  0 comments
Despite a recurring and subtly bothersome perirectal abscess, I was committed to making this a good weekend. My life had been devoid of concerts and bars due to my renewed vow to frugality, but an endless stream of incredible live music in NYC this weekend could not and would not be ignored.