Stereophile September 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.

United States
AVTech Media Americas, Inc.
SPECIAL: Get 40% OFF with code: START40
$10.65(Incl. tax)
$13.31(Incl. tax)
12 Issues

in this issue

5 min
the day the music died

THIS ISSUE: 11 years ago, a fire on a movie studio backlot claimed a large chunk of America’s cultural heritage. If you’re a music fan—and if you’re reading this, you probably are—you’ve heard this already: On 11 June, the New York Times Magazine published an investigative report about a 2008 fire that destroyed a vault at Universal Studios in Los Angeles. Workers were repairing a roof on an oft-reused movie set, heating asphalt tiles with a blowtorch. Protocol required the repairmen to stick around for one hour until the asphalt had cooled, to guard against fire. But shortly after they left, a fire broke out. Hundreds of firefighters fought it, pulling water from the lake once inhabited by The Creature from the Black Lagoon. But before the fire was extinguished, it reached…

10 min

TAKE HEED! Unless marked otherwise, 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. It was Jim’s idea! Editor: Herb Reichert’s June 2019 column comparing PS Audio’s 1989 Digital Link to their current statement DAC (Gramophone Dreams, p.39) brought back some fond memories. I had moved from Long Island to San Diego in 1988 and a short while later ordered a Digital Link. My friend Jim from New York was visiting the day the Digital Link arrived. He and my wife did some sightseeing that day while I was at work. When I arrived home in the early evening, they awaited me, my wife holding a sealed shipping box. I was so…

8 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 December 2019 issue is September 20, 2019. UK: LONDON Jason Victor Serinus A new study titled The Classical Music Market: Streaming’s Next Genre?,1 commissioned by classical streaming service, claims that 35% of the global adult population in eight major countries listens to classical music. Of 8000 people surveyed in those eight music markets—the US, UK, Germany, Austria, Denmark, Sweden, Mexico, and South Korea—30% of listeners under the age of 35 and 31% aged 25-34 indicated that they listen to classical music. Forty-one percent of study-identified “classical music fans” were age 55+, 15% were 45-54, 15% were 35-44, and 18% were 25-34. Equally…

6 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, August 24, 11am-3pm: The Arizona Audio Video Club will be holding its first annual DAC-It-Out to showcase the latest in D/A technology. The event will be held at Acoustic Designs in Scottsdale (16074 N 78th St, #B104). DACs from Benchmark, Schiit, Holo Audio, NuPrime, Chord, iFi Audio, LKS, PS Audio, Jolida, and Line Magnetic will be demoed on a reference system consisting of Focal Utopia Evos driven by SAE and…

12 min
a diamond on the sole of her shoe

THIS ISSUE: Mikey reviews the new MC Anna Diamond, a 10-carat star in Ortofon’s moving-coil cartridge line. As I was doing a final edit on this column, I received very sad news from Leif Johannsen, the chief officer of acoustics and technology for cartridge manufacturer Ortofon A/S: Kim Petersen, described by Johannsen as his “right hand and new cartridge design and listening partner” and the company’s “top cartridge expert,” passed away suddenly at age 52. Mr. Petersen had worked all of his adult life at Ortofon (30 years), and, according to Johannsen, “knew everything about our cartridges, how they are/were produced, and all of the equipment used” in their manufacture. Johannsen added, “He was a dedicated music lover and, according to his partner, had just finished listening to a batch of…

17 min
a noble bearing

THIS ISSUE: Art Dudley tries a new platter bearing for his Garrard 301, loosens some screws, and contemplates 21st-century shopping. This is a story about a $1375 commercial turntable accessory and a free tweak—the latter discovered while installing the former, although the two things exist quite independently of one another. Here’s how it all went down: Earlier this year, I was sent a review sample of a perfectionist-quality platter bearing called the Buddha Bearing, intended for Garrard 301 and 401 turntables. I was happy to receive such an interesting product but slow in trying it, partly because my record player sounded so good at the time that I didn’t want to go tearing it all apart, and partly because there were other review samples in line ahead of the Buddha Bearing. But…