Stereophile

Stereophile April 2021

Every month Stereophile magazine offers authoritative reviews, informed recommendations, helpful advice, and controversial opinions, all stemming from the revolutionary idea that audio components should be judged on how they reproduce music.

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País:
United States
Língua:
English
Editora:
AVTech Media Americas, Inc.
Periodicidade:
Monthly
US$ 7,99
US$ 9,99
12 Edições

nesta edição

4 minutos
george russell’s new york, n.y.

George Russell was a major innovator in modern jazz: a pianist-composer-theoretician who profoundly influenced Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Gil Evans, and the “modal revolution” that propelled so much music of the 1960s and beyond. But he’s largely been forgotten. He was also the leader of ensembles, big and small, on more than two dozen albums. A few of those albums are acknowledged masterpieces, but they too have been overshadowed by some of his acolytes’ classics. The most ambitious of Russell’s masterworks is New York, N.Y., which was recorded in the fall of 1958 and released on Decca in 1959—the same year as Miles’s Kind of Blue and Trane’s Giant Steps. So it is good to see it come back to life in this gorgeous gatefold-packaged reissue, mastered from the original analog…

11 minutos
measurements

The VAC Sigma 170i iQ uses two pairs of Gold Lion KT88 tubes for its output stages and eight small-signal tubes. The tubes are identified with a number, this between the pins of the smallsignal tubes. The tube locations are clearly indicated in the manual and the top panel has each tube socket marked with the appropriate tube number. I carefully followed the numbering when installing the tubes before connecting the amplifier first to my Audio Precision SYS2722 (see the January 2008 “As We See It”1), then to the magazine’s higher-performance APx555 analyzer in order to repeat some of the tests. The condition-monitoring LEDs for the four KT88s remained dark throughout the testing, indicating that these tubes were operating correctly. The output transformer taps are marked “8–16,” “4–8,” and “2–4.”…

14 minutos
waiting for a bypass

My heart did not attack me. My arteries aren’t clogged. I’m awaiting an electrical bypass to save my audio system’s life. As I reported last month, my audio system started choking on the house juice immediately upon power up after an emergency power generator was installed in my house. The system isn’t running on generator power, but the generator’s installation required installing some other hardware in the AC signal path: a switch that automatically transfers the house’s power system to the generator when the power goes out. It’s that new hardware that seems to be causing the problem. Before the generator was installed, the sound had been better—more intense and emotionally elevating—than any that I’ve heard in the almost 22 years I’ve been in this room. I’d leave the room late every…

6 minutos
measurements

I measured the exaSound s88 with my Audio Precision SYS2722 system (see the January 2008 “As We See It”1) and the magazine’s top-of-the-line APx555 system. I used the exaSound’s single external power supply and followed the instructions in the manual to make sure that the optional external DAC power supply was deselected. I connected the exaSound to my network and opened the product’s “dashboard” by entering the address “s88.local” into my browser. The dashboard webpage allowed me to select inputs, check settings, view the manual, and access tutorials. The Roon app on my iPad recognized the s88, and by enabling the processor as a Roon endpoint, I could send audio data to it, sampled at rates up to 384kHz. (I don’t have files with higher sample rates in my library.) Before connecting…

10 minutos
the harry smith b-sides

Few music anthologies have been as influential as Harry Everett Smith’s Anthology of American Folk Music (Smithsonian Folkways SFW 40090), which was first released in 1952 as an 84-track, 6-LP set. Without it, it is possible that many of the musicians represented would have languished in obscurity—including such artists as Mississippi John Hurt. The anthology’s impact, though, goes beyond the individual careers of the musicians whose work was collected. Whole genres of American music were discovered or rediscovered via the anthology, some heard by most listeners for the first time: Cajun, Appalachian string, Delta blues, jug band, cowboy songs, Sacred Harp hymns, sanctified gospel, and the deep-well waters of old English and Celtic folk song. Anthology was a many-layered parfait of music most Americans were unaware of or had forgotten about.…

5 minutos
a lifelong passion

This gig has many perks—but the best one without a doubt is the cool, interesting people I get to “meet.” I should explain the quotation marks. Since starting this job, in April 2019, I haven’t gotten out much. Even before the pandemic, I was too busy to do much of anything except edit the magazine. So, many of the interesting people I’ve “met,” I’ve still never seen in person. One of those is John Swenson, who has written music reviews for Stereophile since his first contribution, a 1996 review of REM’s New Adventures in Hi-Fi. In 1999, he wrote our Recording of the Month review of Taj Mahal’s Kulanjan. Two months later, he wrote Recording of the Month again, splitting his attention between an MFSL Gold CD of Who’s Next and The…