Art Dudley

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Art Dudley  |  Feb 27, 2018  |  12 comments
Five years ago, I reviewed the Alumine loudspeaker from Stenheim, a Swiss company founded by four former employees of Goldmund SA. I noted the Alumine's surprisingly "high sensitivity and easy drivability," praised its performance for being "clean but neither sterile nor colorless," and admired, in my geeky way, the coated cellulose-fiber cone of its 5" midbass driver, which is made in Chartrettes, France—just southeast of Paris—by a company called PHL.
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.
Art Dudley  |  Jan 30, 2018  |  4 comments
In my youth, I unwittingly trained myself in the art of deferred pleasure. I did this by investing my allowance in every mail-order product that caught my eye—things I saw in the back pages of the magazines and comic books I loved—then settling in for a wait that always seemed interminable. This happened most often in summer months, when extra chores brought extra cash, and when school didn't interfere with keeping vigil at the mailbox.
Art Dudley  |  Jan 23, 2018  |  1 comments
For all its faults—complex grammar, inconsistent rules of pronunciation, burdensomely endless vocabulary—English has proven itself a commendably plastic language. This is good for audio enthusiasts, in the US and elsewhere, whose choices in playback gear continue to evolve not only in substance and function but in name: Unlike many of the people who speak it, English can keep pace with the changes.
Art Dudley  |  Dec 27, 2017  |  16 comments
The company appears to be long gone, but throughout the 1970s, virtually every Sunday, there was an ad in the New York Times Magazine for a manufacturer of whole-house music systems—I recollect the name as Bolton, but that gets no hits on Google, so perhaps I've misremembered—with a headline that went something like: "ENJOY MOZART IN THE DINING ROOM, BEETHOVEN IN THE LIVING ROOM, AND THE ROLLING STONES IN THE CHILDREN'S ROOM."
Art Dudley  |  Nov 20, 2017  |  16 comments
Everything you know is wrong.—The Firesign Theatre

The Swissonor TA10, a contemporary tonearm designed for the Thorens TD 124 turntable (1959–1970), challenged me to set aside some of the things I thought I knew about phonography. On at least one of those counts, it succeeded.

Handmade in Switzerland and modeled on the Thorens TP 14 tonearm of the 1960s, the TA10 ($3990) improves on its predecessor with an effective length of 240mm, which Swissonor says is the longest that can be achieved with a stock TD 124 armboard (the TP 14's effective length was only 210mm), and replaces the non-universal plug and socket of the TP 14's removable headshell with the more common SME standard found on most contemporary headshells, pickup heads, and tonearms.

Art Dudley  |  Nov 16, 2017  |  10 comments
The mice in the walls call summer to close while nets come down and leaves turn dead red, but by the time you see this there'll be holiday music in the air . . . and some generous soul might, just might, sneak a few looks through this issue of Stereophile to see what gifts to buy before the tree goes up and presents are opened—and all will be nice!

And what better way to serve those possible givers of audio gifts—and, at the same time, honor our hobby's most deserving designers and manufacturers—than with our annual Product of the Year awards?

Art Dudley  |  Nov 08, 2017  |  0 comments
After the Capital Audio fest vintage seminar and my visit to Vinyl Revivers, I looked at my phone and saw that time was running out: I had just over three hours left to cover seven or eight more rooms. Time to get cracking!
Art Dudley  |  Nov 07, 2017  |  8 comments
On Sunday morning, my Capital Audiofest 2017 experience began in the Hilton's Washington Auditorium, as my friend and colleague Herb Reichert (above) and I hosted a seminar titled "The Virtues of Vintage."
Art Dudley  |  Nov 07, 2017  |  21 comments
Because I'm ill-disposed to flying—when you get right down to it, I'm not wild about traveling in general—I usually go by train. That's where I'm working on this portion of my CAF 2017 coverage. (We're near Trenton, New Jersey as I write this.)

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