Stereophile July 2019

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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12 Numéros

dans ce numéro

5 min
how does the music make you feel?

THIS ISSUE: Stereophile’s editors renew their vows without flying to Las Vegas or the Bahamas. Stereophile’s first change in editorial leadership in 33 years1 calls for a restatement of the magazine’s core principles. Stereophile was founded in 1962 by J. Gordon Holt, on the premise that the best way to review an audio component is to listen to it. Following Holt as editor, John Atkinson turned that premise into a viable concern—a real magazine—and, in 1989, added a regular suite of measurements to Stereophile’s otherwise subjective mix. With his commitment to listening first, JGH created a new genre of audio publications; many others followed in its wake, of which only a handful survive. For Holt, it was a question of expediency—measurements weren’t telling the whole story. JGH was not against science. On the…

7 min

Due to a production error, the wrong photo appeared in the Follow-Up Review of the Revel Ultima2 Salon2 on page 117 in the digital edition in the May issue of Stereophile. The loudspeaker shown is the Revel Performa F228Be. The correct photo appears in the print edition. We regret the error.—Jim Austin Audiophiles diversifying? Editor: There will be many headlines coming from AXPONA 2019, but none more important than the diversification of audiophiles. When I attended my first Axpona, circa 2015, my cousin and I were amongst the few African Americans I noticed experiencing the show. Last year, I noted a marked jump in people of color and women at the show. That trend continued this year. We went from rare to, well, everywhere. This is great news for our passion: music…

6 min
industry update

US: SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA, CA Brian Damkroger Earlier this year, I had the opportunity to spend a couple of afternoons listening to a system built around the late David Wilson’s magnum opus, the Wilson Audio WAMM Master Chronosonic loudspeaker ($685,000/pair), which Jason Victor Serinus reported on in December 2016.1 In addition to the joy of simply listening to music on such exotic speakers, the experience provided insight into just how well the Master Chronosonics would work in a relatively normal-sized listening room—in this case, one measuring 21.5 feet long by a little over 18 feet wide, with a ceiling height of a little over 9.5 feet: not small in an absolute sense, but a lot smaller than the sort of space usually associated with speakers this large. When I say the room…

5 min
calendar of industry events

ATTENTION ALL AUDIO SOCIETIES: We have a page on the Stereophile website devoted to you: If you’d like to have your audio-society information posted on the site, e-mail Chris Vogel at Please note that it is inappropriate for a retailer to promote a new product line in “Calendar” unless it is associated with a seminar or similar event. ARIZONA Saturday, June 29, 9am-4pm: The Arizona Audio Video Club welcomes everyone to the 1st Annual SpeakerFest, at Venue8600, 8600 E Anderson Drive, Scottsdale. The club’s goal is to have 10 brands that are not represented/stocked in our area available to listen to. Participating companies include Spatial Audio, Sanders Sound, Tekton Designs, Zu Audio, Markaudio, Salk Sound, Joseph Audio, LSA/Underwood Audio, and others TBD. McGary Audio is graciously providing us with his…

16 min
the seven “m”s of the charles kirmuss vinyl restoration system

Back in the 1990s, my friend Nick Despotopoulos and I published an article in The Tracking Angle titled “Zen and the Art of Record Cleaning Made Difficult,” describing author Michael Wayne’s record-cleaning methodology.1 That regimen, like the article itself, was the most comprehensive one I knew of at the time. Though complicated and time-consuming, Wayne’s methodology produced outstanding results. His goal was not just to clean a record but to restore it to as-new condition by removing from it every contaminant found on and, in some cases, in the vinyl—impurities baked into the groove owing to heat generated during playback. With Wayne’s system, you’d know if the record’s original owner was a smoker (or a toker)—yet removing nicotine or THC deposits was but the beginning of an involved and intensive process. Though…

18 min
the twelfth ls3/5a

It all started when I moved my playback system from my 11' by 16' living room to my 12' by 17' family room: The latter has proven the better-sounding setting, and it’s also sunnier and more accessible—and the floor is more level and stable. (The family room is a circa-2005 addition on a 1936 house.) And now that my speakers and my racks of gear have been removed from the living room, there’s room for bookcases, books, and people who aren’t me. On the down side, when my system was in my living room, guests in the dining room—the next room over—could enjoy music more easily than they can in my present arrangement. Then again, conversation has since taken the place of companionable silence, so I’m happy enough. On a recent…