Articles

Men’s Obsession with the Lack of Women in the High-End

December 10, 2014
Men’s Obsession with the Lack of Women in the High-End

I guess I am too old to be politically correct, but I am not concerned in the least about there not being more women “audiophiles”. It’s a red herring. All you have to do is go to a music event – of any genre – and look out at the audience. Women are more...
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PonoMusic Store Is Now Up and Running – and Irrelevant

November 9, 2014
PonoMusic Store Is Now Up and Running – and Irrelevant

    “Since the advent of the CD, listeners have been deprived of the full experience of listening.” – Neil Young     PonoPlayers for early Kickstarter participants are now shipping. The PonoMusic store website is up in beta; however, until you receive your PonoPlayer, you will not be able to purchase and download...
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The New High Resolution Audio Standard

June 13, 2014
The New High Resolution Audio Standard

Well, I guess everyone knows by now that the Digital Entertainment Group (“DEG”), in cooperation with the Consumer Electronics Association (“CEA”) and The Recording Academy, and in partnership with the big three record labels (Sony Music Entertainment, Universal Music Group, and Warner Music Group), have officially defined high resolution audio (“HRA”) as “lossless audio...
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Audio Shows. At Hotels?

June 12, 2014
Audio Shows. At Hotels?

Having just come back from what I think is my twenty-second audio show in five years (each time swearing I’ll never attend another one), and spurred on by an editorial by Jeff Fritz, who posed questions but offered few answers, I too pondered whether hotels are really the best venue for evaluating audio equipment....
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Progress Update on PonoMusic

May 28, 2014
Progress Update on PonoMusic

I received the following e-mail as a backer of the PonoMusic campaign, and wanted to share it with you as I know backers and non-backers alike are interested in where PonoMusic is headed: “First we want to thank all of you, again, for your tremendous support in our hugely successful Kickstarter campaign. We’ve been...
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A Small Hi-Fi Set

May 19, 2014
A Small Hi-Fi Set

I was re-reading Arthur C. Clarke’s classic science fiction novel 2001: A Space Odyssey for the umpteenth time Saturday night, and was struck by the description of the contents of the standard six foot by ten foot by eight foot living module for personnel at Clavius Base on the moon: “Each room was attractively...
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Enthusiasm for Pono Player Fades Quickly

March 18, 2014
Enthusiasm for Pono Player Fades Quickly

Neil Young and his fellow investors raked in $4,000,000 during the first week of their Kickstarter campaign, which more than anything resembled passing the plate at a fundamentalist evangelical tent revivial among Neil Young and his fawning fans. The problem is that the amount of pledges and number of daily backers fell off quickly...
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Pono and “High Resolution” Audio

March 13, 2014
Pono and “High Resolution” Audio

First, this is not about the Pono player. Aside from the size and limited storage, it is well spec’ed and well priced, and the involvement of Ayre is certainly reassuring. The size is what it is. Love it or leave it. I feel strongly that the internal memory should be at least 128GB and...
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Lies, Damn Lies, and High Resolution Downloads

March 5, 2014
Lies, Damn Lies, and High Resolution Downloads

Stephen Meijas recently reviewed Beck’s Morning Phase on the Capitol label here. Here’s what John Atkinson had to say about the 96/24 download from HDTracks: “I bought this album from HDTracks last night but haven’t listened to it yet. However, I looked at a spectrogram of one of these 24/96 tracks – see www.stereophile.com/content/beck-track-11...
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The Price of DSD Downloads

December 1, 2013
The Price of DSD Downloads

I don’t know about you, but I am unwilling to pay the $50 Cookie Marenco is asking for DSD downloads at her Blue Coast Records website. Although I have enjoyed some of the selections on her samplers, and they are well recorded, the selections are scant and the artists unknown. Channel Classics now has...
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DSD Downloads: What Exactly Are You Getting?

November 21, 2013
DSD Downloads: What Exactly Are You Getting?

My hat’s off to Chad Kassum. He has negotiated a deal with Sony Music to release albums from their vault in DSD format on his SuperHiRez.com website. The first one is Santana’ Abraxas. So the question is whether it is worth $25 to repurchase this classic album, since most likely you already have it...
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The Regionalization of Audio Shows

October 18, 2013

Having just returned from RMAF 2013, where attendance was seemingly down significantly from the year before (at least that is how it felt), I was struck by just how fast the number of audio shows has expanded in such a short period of time. By my count, in addition to the industry-only CES in...
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United Record Vinyl Pressing Plant Tour

September 20, 2013
United Record Vinyl Pressing Plant Tour

I spent the morning touring the United Record Pressing vinyl pressing plant here in Nashville. I can’t believe I haven’t been down there before. It’s less than seven miles from my house! United Record Pressing is the largest of only seven remaining vinyl pressing plants in the U.S., running 39 presses 24 hours a...
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Nine Inch Nails – Audiophile Master? Are You Kidding Me?

September 6, 2013
Nine Inch Nails – Audiophile Master? Are You Kidding Me?

It has been all over the internet. Nine Inch Nails has released a new album – Hesitation Marks – in two versions: “Audiophile Mastered” and standard. Here is what Tom Baker, the mastering engineer had to say: I believe it was Trent’s idea to master the album two different ways, and to my knowledge...
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Sounds Like? An Audio Glossary

May 28, 2013
Sounds Like? An Audio Glossary

Stereophile has again posted a link to J. Gordon Holt’s comprehensive audio glossary containing over 300 terms used by audio reviewers (and audiophiles) to described the sounds they hear. I wish I could say all audio reviewers hewed to the glossary, but I have a suspicion that they don’t, leaving audiophiles reading reviews a...
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Wilson Audio – A Culture of Craftsmanship

February 21, 2013
Wilson Audio – A Culture of Craftsmanship

I recently had the pleasure of spending the day at the 50,000 square foot Wilson Audio facility in Provo, Utah, about an hour south of Salt Lake City. The modern building is located in a quiet neighborhood not far from the center of town, set back from the road and partially hidden by large...
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Migrating from Wilson Audio Alexandria X-2s to Alexandria XLFs

September 27, 2012
Migrating from Wilson Audio Alexandria X-2s to Alexandria XLFs

I wrote at length about the William Ralston Listening Library and Archive at the University of the South in my review of the VPI Scout turntable. If you have not yet read my review, I encourage you to do so. For those in a hurry, the Ralston facility is comprised of a state of...
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YG Acoustics – A Passion for Precision

July 28, 2012
YG Acoustics – A Passion for Precision

Twenty years ago I owned Thiel speakers. Being a typical obsessive-compulsive audiophile, I thought I heard something wrong with one of the speakers. Thiel’s manufacturing’s facility is located in Lexington, Kentucky, about 200 miles from my home in Nashville, so I called them and asked if I could bring my speakers up to have...
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The Sound of One Hand Clapping

June 15, 2012
The Sound of One Hand Clapping

Jonathan Valin articulates that there are three types of audiophiles: 1) those who are interested in the absolute sound, 2) those who are interested in fidelity to the master tapes, and 3) those who are interested in what sounds best to them, regardless of its fidelity to the absolute sound or the master tapes....
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Magnepan – Thinking Outside the Box

June 3, 2012
Magnepan – Thinking Outside the Box

Other than Kimber, Magnepan was the only manufacturer at T.H.E. Show offering music demonstrations with more than two speakers. Kimber was streaming native four-channel DSD ISO-Mike recordings from a Sonoma workstation, through an EMM Labs converter and multi-channel preamp, and monstrous Pass Labs amplifiers, to a quad of Sony SS-AR1 loudspeakers in a huge...
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