Stereophile September 2018

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.
Offre spéciale : Get 40% OFF with code: START40
10,65 $ CA(TVA Incluse)
13,31 $ CA(TVA Incluse)
12 Numéros

dans ce numéro

5 min
“you love your audio more than you love me!”

The blowout happened as I climbed the stairs from the basement, where I’d just spent two hours listening to music on my hi-fi. Standing rigidly in the archway, a wet sheen of hurt trembling in her eyes, my wife shouted: “You love your audio more than you love me!” It erupted with such raw emotional force that I knew exactly what she meant, and that she was right: I spent more quality time with my audio than I did with her—or, for that matter, with either of my two homebound teenagers. It was nothing personal; my listening room is my private safe place, conceived and realized in my own image. It’s where I regularly go to escape everything—my routine away from my routine. It may not seem like much to the…

11 min

Jorma Salmi Editor: In case you had not heard, Jorma Salmi, the designer of Gradient Labs speakers, passed away suddenly on May 27, at the age of 70. His obituary is on the Gradient Facebook page. He recently helped me repair my original Gradient Revolutions. —Norm Relich Lansing, IL William H. (Bill) Watkins Editor: William H. (Bill) Watkins (1929–2018), developer of the famous Watkins Dual-Drive Woofer, the renowned WE-1 large floorstanding speaker system, the recently introduced compact Generation 4, and numerous other high-performance speakers, passed away on February 1, 2018, at his home in Kingsport, Tennessee. He was a veteran of the US Army in the Korean War era, and served in active duty overseas. In his youth he became an accomplished musician, especially on the mandolin, guitar, and violin. He was also a longtime…

3 min
calendar of industry events

ATTENTION ALL AUDIO SOCIETIES: We have a page on the Stereophile website dedicated solely 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 this is associated with a seminar or similar event. CALIFORNIA ▪ Sunday, August 19, 2–5pm: The Los Angeles & Orange County Audio Society will hold its monthly meeting at The Source AV, in Torrance (3035 Kashiwa Street). Our hosts, Steven and Jason Lord, will demonstrate top-of-the-line equipment in spaces custom-designed to showcase the sonic and visual arts. This meeting will highlight Raidho Acoustics speakers and Chord Electronics amplifiers, both firsts for our Society and a huge hit at High End, in…

8 min
industry update

UK: WEMBLEY Paul Messenger Last May, during the High End show in Munich, news broke that Antony Michaelson had sold Musical Fidelity to Pro-Ject owner Heinz Lichtenegger. I first met Michaelson in the mid-1970s, years before he founded Musical Fidelity, when he and partner Kevin Austin, through their company Michaelson & Austin, headquartered on London’s Bond Street, were selling an all-valve power amplifier based on KT88 tubes and rumored to have been designed by Tim de Paravicini. I reviewed it in my “Subjective Sounds” column in Hi-Fi News & Record Review and found the sound very much to my taste, though I was a bit nervous about its stability. Michaelson founded Musical Fidelity at the beginning of the 1980s, and early products such as The Preamp and the A1 integrated amplifier, the latter…

15 min
remembering and replaying

As I begin writing this column, I’m on an airplane on my way back from the funeral of David A. Wilson, founder of Wilson Audio Specialties. Two days before I left for Provo, Utah, came the news that my friend and analog mentor, Wally Malewicz, had died the previous day in Minneapolis, after suffering a massive heart attack. Immutable Music’s Seiji Yoshioka, designer of the Transfiguration phono cartridges, passed away February 17, after a lengthy hospital stay. (I hadn’t written anything about this before because his family, which plans to keep the brand alive, wasn’t then ready to make an announcement.) And a few weeks ago, while in California to speak to the San Francisco Audiophile Society, I was asked to interview Siegfried Linkwitz, co-inventor of the innovative Linkwitz-Reilly crossover…

15 min
open-eared ignorance

For this month’s column, I did something I’ve occasionally set out to do but never quite managed: I lived with a new power amplifier for nearly two months, used it to enjoy a variety of records, made scads of listening notes, and wrote most of the subjective portion of my review—all without knowing what was inside it. From the time the Luxman MQ-88uSE arrived at my house until I sat down to write these opening paragraphs, I knew only the following: It uses tubes for voltage and current gain—the latter accomplished with two KT88 pentodes per channel—but not for power-supply rectification; it’s built on a spartan and decidedly old-school chassis, its vitals protected from people, and vice versa, by a removable tube cage; it was made in a limited edition of…