Stereophile March 2020

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

4 min
as we see it

THIS ISSUE: You can lead a gift horse to water, but you can’t look him in the mouth. In the 1980s, the CD nearly pushed the LP to extinction. Nearly. For all the claims of “Perfect Sound Forever,” the main thing offered by the CD was convenience. Then, in the mid-1990s, the MP3 and the internet made it easy to extract and distribute the information encoded on a CD. Secret websites raced to be the first to distribute free MP3s of new recordings, sometimes even before they were released. This went on for years, undermining record-company profits, before Napster came along and gave the record industry a high-value lawsuit target: no more suing widows and small children. In 2001, Napster was shut down. A few years later, iTunes legitimized (and monetized) marginal-quality music…

8 min

TAKE HEED! All letters to the magazine and its writers are assumed to be for possible publication. Please include your name and physical address. We reserve the right to edit for length and content. A sensitive CAD review Editor: I would like to compliment Ken Micallef on his excellent review of the new Cary integrated amp in the September issue of Stereophile.1 Ken made some very perceptive observations about this amp that piqued my interest in it. After reading the review, I was able to hear one in an excellent system, and I share Ken’s views about the Cary. Particularly spot-on are his thoughts about the lack of tubey colorations, the robust build quality, and the logical simplicity of the features. He was also appropriately clear on the speaker-pairing considerations, given the power…

4 min
industry update

SUBMISSIONS: Those promoting audio-related seminars, shows, and meetings should email the when, where, and who to at least eight weeks before the month of the event. The deadline for the May 2020 issue is February 20, 2020. US: BOSTON, MA Jim Austin January’s Industry Update included a report on a scientific article presented at last year’s AES meeting, in which the authors used test tones and a modest audio system (albeit in an anechoic chamber) to prove that listeners can discriminate between high-rez and CD-rez audio. This is important because scientific evidence of an audible difference between high-rez and CDrez music is considered weak by some, even as anecdotal evidence grows stronger by the day. The response to my Update—in the article’s online comment thread and elsewhere on the web—was vigorous. Some accepted…

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, email Chris Vogel at (Please note the new email address.) 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 Wednesday, February 26, 5–9pm: The Arizona Audio Video Club ( presents a tour of Woolson’s Audio (3202 S. 40th Street, Phoenix), where Larry Woolson and his son AJ present an exhaustive, lifetime collection of vintage gear. Visit for more info. CALIFORNIA Thursday, February 20, 6–9pm: Los Angeles dealer The Source AV and Chord Electronics distributor Bluebird Music are pleased to introduce the new Chord Electronics Ultima…

15 min
rega planar 10 turntable aims for mass destruction

THIS ISSUE: Mikey listens to Rega’s new, ultralight—and very high-tech—P10 turntable, RB3000 tonearm, and Apheta 3 cartridge. Lately it seems that the more Rega charges for one of its turntables, the less you get—and from Rega’s performance perspective that’s a good thing. While some turntable designs pile on the mass, hoping to tame resonances and better isolate the record from the outside world, Rega has long advocated ultralow-mass designs. What’s up with that? Rega defines a turntable as a “vibration measuring machine.” Therefore, they contend—and this is putting it as simply as possible—the lower the mass, the less energy the system can store, only to be later released to confuse and muddy up the sound. Overdamp a turntable and it can sound dull, dead, and lifeless. I’ve reviewed a few of those. The only…

13 min
simple machines

THIS ISSUE: Just because Stereophile has many voices doesn’t mean it lacks a point of view. On the contrary. The stars are matter. We are matter. But it doesn’t matter.—Don Van VlietOnly sensibilities trained on poetry can wholly appreciate it. —T.S. Eliot (writing about Djuna Barnes’s Nightwood) In the 17th century, steam engines began appearing throughout Europe and Asia, ushered into existence by any number of different inventors. More recently, multiple inventors conceived and cooked up the atomic bomb, the jet engine, and the solid-body electric guitar. Virtually every race of Homo sapiens has invented the bow and arrow, and people on at least three different continents invented the crossbow, all by themselves. Every culture with dairy resources has come up with cheese of some sort; every culture with a written language…