Stereophile December 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.
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12 Issues

in this issue

5 min
as we see it

On genre There are simply two kinds of music, good music and the other kind… the only yardstick by which the result should be judged is simply that of how it sounds. —Duke Ellington Before I became Stereophile’s editor—when I still had time for such things—I would occasionally pack up a camera and some lenses, get in my truck, and drive, usually south, in pursuit of good images and sounds. I’d spend a couple of weeks on the road, stopping to take pictures whenever I came across a picturesque town or valley or an abandoned drive-in theater. I’d try to end the day in some city or town that was likely to have live music. A couple of times on every trip, I’d find myself approaching an especially musical place: Clarksdale. Memphis. New…

1 min
everything matters

Since he was a young child, Daryl has been immersed in the perfectionist culture created by his father. In the world within which he was raised, everything mattered. From the binding posts to the metallurgy of the bolts attaching the drivers; from the tolerances in the crossover to the precise alignment of each driver in the time domain; from the best, handpicked, Wilson-made capacitors to the quality and geometry of the connecting wire. Just as was true for his father, for Daryl, everything matters. Here, Daryl Wilson is surrounded by unmilled sheets of various types and thicknesses of Wilson-developed, composite enclosure material. In Daryl’s latest creation, the Chronosonic XVX (pictured in its raw form to the left), he utilized three separate and unique composites, each chosen for its exceptional ability within…

8 min

B is for Bart Editor: I always enjoy your list of recommended components. I didn’t see the “B” category for digital processors. Did it get omitted or are there no processors worthy of this classification? —Bart Carpenter, Centennial, CO Our Class B components are still there! Only the header is missing. The header should have followed the entry for the Schiit Audio Yggdrasil. My apologies to you and all our readers for the error.—Jim Austin Class-conscious I think it time to have a Class-D listing in the solid state poweramp section. —George Stancheff Sydney, Australia Interesting suggestion, but, as technologies blur—consider the Devialet amplifier reviewed in this issue—I think we’re more likely to merge categories than to create new ones.—Jim Austin Affordable gear Editor: I’ll come right out and say it’s my fault for not reading one of your magazines before…

9 min
industry update

US: NEW YORK, NY Jim Austin Due to an editing error, the dCS Rossini SACD/CD Transport ($23,500) was left off our list of Recommended Components in our October issue. Here is the entry in full, which has now been added to the online version of Recommended Components in Class A+: DCS ROSSINI TRANSPORT SACD/CD TRANSPORT: $23,500 Unlike the earlier Rossini Player, which only played CDs, the Rossini Transport uses a new mechanism from Denon that plays both SACDs and CDs. The Transport outputs audio data on twin AES/EBU links, to allow it to send native DSD data and CD data upsampled to DXD, DSD, or double DSD (these both encrypted) to a dCS DAC. JA used the Transport with a Rossini DAC and was mightily impressed by what he heard. He consistently preferred the…

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, 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. CALIFORNIA ▪ Saturday and Sunday, November 9–10: The Burning Amp Festival returns to San Francisco, at the Firehouse and Building C of historic Fort Mason Center. Saturday, November 9: Seminars and a workshop where participants can build an audio component of their own! Sunday, November 10: DIY audio projects on display and for audition. Keynote speakers are Sean Casey, founder of Zu Audio, and audio industry and DIY…

15 min
going loco on a larger scale

AVM Audio, which has been in business since 1986, chose last year to enter the turntable market with two models that reflect the company’s brushed-aluminum/blue LED visual aesthetics. It doesn’t take a forensic turntable scientist to figure out who manufactures both of those turntable models. Clearly, Pro-Ject1 does—although some audiophiles might recognize only a few key parts. Other elements, especially the two different tonearm models, may appear unique to AVM, having been built to their specs. For me, the first hints that the AVM Rotation R 2.3 came from Pro-Ject’s Czech Republic factory were its carton and packaging. The second was its dustcover (even though this was a little more “deluxe” than the Pro-Ject norm and sported an angled top). The third was the phono cables. Beyond that, on the surface at least,…