LATEST ADDITIONS

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Stereophile Staff Posted: Oct 20, 2014 0 comments
"Is it wrong to love it for its physical beauty?" asks Michael Lavorgna of Astell&Kern's extraordinary (and expensive) AK240 portable file player, which gets the star treatment on the November 2014 issue's cover. But as he also found it a joy to listen to, the question becomes moot . . .
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Robert Baird Posted: Oct 19, 2014 1 comments
The story is familiar. The British Invasion caused a deadly tsunami in the American music scene. Established stars, from Elvis to John Lee Hooker to Tony Bennett, saw their careers swept away in a matter of months in 1964. Few groups were impacted quite like the Beach Boys, whose resident genius, Brian Wilson, went into an emotional tailspin trying to compete with the Beatles . . .
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Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Oct 18, 2014 3 comments
Stereophile editor John Atkinson claims the best seat in the house to listen to the system put together by Luke Manley and Bea Lam (top right). Photo: Peter McGrath.

Despite having covered more audio shows than there are angels dancing on the head of a pin, I always look forward to the moment when all preconceptions vanish, the rug is pulled out from under, and I can do is marvel at the mystery of music reproduction at its finest. The time doesn't always come, but when it does, it feels as if childlike wonder has been born anew. Such was my experience in the VTL and Wilson Audio Room . . . this $548,483 system [breathe] was so mesmerizingly musical that it really cannot be discussed in the same space as the other systems I encountered at RMAF 2014.

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John Atkinson Posted: Oct 18, 2014 15 comments
When I entered the On A Higher Note room on the Marriott's mezzanine, Synergistic Research's Ted Denney was talking about the sonic benefits of his new Atmosphere ($1995, the vertical black tower between the equipment racks in the photograph). "RF pollution affects how we perceive sound," Ted said," explaining that that is why our systems unpredictably sound good or bad. The Atmosphere, he said, creates a binaural RF field that swamps external RF pollution, allowing our perception to operate correctly. It affects the listener, not the system . . . "Yeah, right," I was thinking.
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Herb Reichert Posted: Oct 18, 2014 2 comments
I have been reading and reading—all about the new Sony loudspeakers. John Atkinson rave-reviewed the Sony SS-AR2 (October 2012) and the SS-NA2ESs (September 2013)! Have I ever heard them? No. Well, finally on the last RMAF day I got to sit up close in a dem hosted by Sony's Motoyuki "Yuki" Sugiura (above) and see if I, too, thought the Sony SS-AR2s ($20,000/pair) were as neutral, lively, well-balanced, detailed, and transparent as JA said. Hmmmmm?
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John Atkinson Posted: Oct 18, 2014 2 comments
Nola's Carl Marchisotto was demonstrating the Studio Grand Reference Gold floorstanders ($19,800/pair) when I entered his second-floor room. This new speakers is similar in concept to the Metro Grand Reference Gold ($33,000/pair) that I review in our November issue but has just one of the reflex-loaded SEAS magnesium-com/alnico-motor woofers rather than two. But Carl wanted me to hear the new Nola Brio desktop ($995/pair), which he is holding in the photo and describes as a one-and-a-half-way design. The Brio has two 3.5" cone drivers, one of which is reflex-loaded, the other open-baffle.
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Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Oct 17, 2014 3 comments
In one of their many rooms, the Audio Alternative of Fort Collins showcased a luscious system that paired an AMG Viella 12 turntable and 9W2 tonearm ($21,500 total) and a Linn LP12 table with Lingo Mk.III power supply ($6000), both outfitted with Lyra Kleos MC cartridges ($2995 each), with D'Agostino Master Audio Systems' integrated amplifier ($43,000), Audio Research Corporation's Reference 2SE phono preamp ($13,000), and Wilson Duette Series 2 loudspeakers with dedicated stands ($22,500/pair).
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John Atkinson Posted: Oct 17, 2014 1 comments
Danish manufacturer Gamut has had a patchy history in the US, with a succession of distributors, none of who could establish the brand here. But Gamut has now set up a US-based distributor, who will likely have more success. Gamut's head of engineering, Benno Meldgaard, premiered the new RS5 two-and-a half-way speakers ($31,900/pair) at RMAF.
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Herb Reichert Posted: Oct 16, 2014 0 comments
Sometimes now, when I am walking room to room wearing my Stereophile badge, I feel a lot like "Babe in BoyToy Land"—that felt especially true in the DEQX room. I am listening to a pair of Magnepan MG1.7 loudspeakers powered by a Plinius amp (I am friendly and experienced with both of those products and can imagine what they should sound like together in a normal room), together with JL subs below 160Hz. But wait, what I am really experiencing is the result of the DEQX PreMate+ and HDP-5's digital "witches' brew" of loudspeaker/room calibrations and corrections. DEQX's latest preamp/speaker calibration technology linearizes the speaker and system in-room frequency response. And yes, this technology can and did provide the satisfying effects that flat in-room frequency response always provides. Namely, more wholeness, continuity, and increased naturalness of tone.
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Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Oct 16, 2014 0 comments
GoldenEar's Sandy Gross may be an audio legend of sorts, but it was not until the last day of RMAF 2014 that I finally met the man and discovered two things: 1) His Triton One loudspeakers ($4998/pair) are amazing-sounding, especially given their price, and 2) He is an absolutely delightful individual.

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