Stereophile Buyer's Guide 2016

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.

United States
AVTech Media Americas, Inc.
10,71 $ CA(TVA Incluse)
13,40 $ CA(TVA Incluse)
12 Numéros

dans ce numéro

4 min
10 years of records 2 die 4

Audiophiles are regularly accused of being interested in the gear first, and in music a distant second. Yes, we all love our audio systems, but owning such a system would be pretty pointless if we didn’t have music to play on it. Something that Stereophile’s reviewers have in common is that, no matter how expensive their audio systems, their collections of recorded music are worth more. So at the beginning of each of the last 25 years, this magazine has celebrated its love of music by publishing “Records to Die For” (R2D4), a list of the two albums every reviewer, whether of hardware or of software, could not bear the thought of leaving behind.1 For this special edition we have collected the past 10 years’ worth of record reviews featured in “R2D4”—some…

4 min
rock, pop, r&b, alternative & country music on record

By the time rock’n’roll came around, mono recording was well established, the stereo revolution was just around the corner— and even in the very earliest rock’n’roll records, manipulation of the sound was evident. While some performers preferred to overload microphones and amplifiers to get a raw sound that might vaguely approximate what you’d hear if you caught the band live in some sweaty joint, others began to use the studio to create an entirely new art form. In Elvis Presley’s recordings for Sun Records, for example, a reverb effect, what Sam Phillips called, “slapback,” is liberally slathered on the sound. The recording studio itself, and all that could be done there, became a ghostly but essential member of the band. Sounds and performances could be manipulated by musicians, producers, and…

209 min
rock, pop, country, r&b & alternative record reviews

ROCK, POP, COUNTRY, & ALTERNATIVE JAZZ CLASSICAL ORCHESTRAL & FILM SOUNDTRACKS OPERA, CHORAL, & VOCAL CHAMBER & INSTRUMENTAL FOLK & WORLD 20/20: 20/20 & LOOK OUT! Oglio 81581 (CD). 1979–80/1995. Earle Mankey, Richard Podolor, prods.; Bill Cooper, eng. AAD. TT: 74:22 There was an explosion of great music in the late 1970s that included hundreds of New Wave and power-pop bands. These were not the goofy hair-wavers of the ‘80s, but more in line with early Elvis Costello, Paul Collins’ Beat, and XTC— punchy, noisy pop songs that mashed the recent punk uprising with early-Beatles sensibilities. One of the greatest but least celebrated of these groups was 20/20. Part of the reason for the latter may be that after the release of 20/20 they quickly fell apart musically, and then actually. If you…

3 min
jazz on record

Jazz has always been intimately connected to recording. In fact, the title of “first jazz band” was bestowed on The Original Dixieland Jass Band only after they’d recorded their version of “Livery Stable Blues” for Victor, in 1917. The record reportedly sold over a million copies, and served as a launching point for jazz as a new popular music. Jazz records became a chief American cultural export, and their proliferation created sudden demand for personal appearances by the musicians who’d recorded them. Despite this success, many jazz musicians shunned recording, fearing that other musicians would use them to steal their solos or emulate their styles. Others felt the opposite—that they could learn from each other via records, and no longer had to go on the road with someone to learn from…

90 min
jazz record reviews

ROCK, POP, COUNTRY, & ALTERNATIVE JAZZ CLASSICAL ORCHESTRAL & FILM SOUNDTRACKS OPERA, CHORAL, & VOCAL CHAMBER & INSTRUMENTAL FOLK & WORLD AMBROSE AKINMUSIRE: WHEN THE HEART EMERGES GLISTENING Ambrose Akinmusire, trumpet; Walter Smith III, tenor saxophone; Gerald Clayton, piano; Harish Raghavan, bass; Justin Brown, drums; with Jason Moran, Fender Rhodes Blue Note 70619 2 (CD). 2011. Ambrose Akinmusire, Jason Moran, prods.; Dave Darlington, eng. DDD? TT: 53:43 Ambrose Akinmusire is the most important artist to enter jazz in the new millennium. This is the record that started the buzz, recorded when he was 28. The opening track, “Confessions to My Unborn Daughter,” demonstrates trumpet chops in the general vicinity of Clifford Brown. But Akinmusire’s technique enables his wild imagination. His song forms and solos honor the jazz tradition by exploding it with shattering free…

4 min
classical orchestral & film scores on record

The story of recording orchestral classical music can rightly begin with Leopold Stokowski, who became a pop-culture icon in the 1930s and ’40s, and popularized both classical music and, later, stereo recording. At a time when music was still being recorded acoustically, Stokowski began to experiment with orchestral seating arrangements, doubling parts, and even using baffles to get better recorded sound. Although often thought of as a master of bad taste in terms of repertoire, Stokowski, leading the Philadelphia Orchestra, was also the first conductor to record electronically, in 1925. Not compelled to follow what he called “black marks on white paper,” he rearranged parts and reimagined what he believed were composers’ original intentions, to get better recorded sound. In 1940, he was one of the first to record on…