Tech & Gaming

Stereophile Feb-14

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

THIS ISSUE: Are people becoming isolated by their love for music? You don’t need me to tell you that listening habits are changing. Although those who predict that the end of our beloved home stereo systems is near have more than a little in common with those who predict the imminent destruction of humankind, there’s no question that listening via computers, iPods, and headphones has become the order of the day among a large segment of younger Americans. We’re all familiar with this shift in listening habits. While there’s certainly a plus side—more people than ever are listening to music at all hours of day and night—there’s also a huge public minus. Between cell phones and iWhatevers, it’s no longer easy to pass a slow walker on the street, or even speak…

5 min.

FEEDBACK TO THE EDITOR TAKE HEED! Unless marked otherwise, all letters to the magazine and its writers are assumed to be for possible publication. In the spirit of vigorous debate implied by the First Amendment, and unless we are requested not to, we publish correspondents’ e-mail addresses. Bringing High End to the young Editor: This one deserves its own news item on the website: www.thedailymash.co.uk/news/society/audiophilesluring-youngsters-into-boring-conversations-2013110180809. —Alain Rogister alain.rogister@gmail.com Biased reviews? Editor: I enjoyed Robert Deutsch’s review of the PSB Imagine T2 speaker in the November 2013 issue of Stereophile. I honestly did. But two things caught my attention: Mr. Deutsch states that he, like most of us, forms opinions of speaker sound quality based on his impressions formed at the Consumer Electronics Show and regional audio shows. We do? I don’t. No one I know does. CES is a…

3 min.
calendar of industry events

ATTENTION ALL AUDIO SOCIETIES: We have a page on the Stereophile website devoted to you: www.stereophile.com/audiophile-societies. If you’d like to have your audio-society information posted on the site, e-mail Chris Vogel at info@vcable.us. 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. ▪Arizona Wednesday, January 29, 7pm: The Arizona Audio-Video Club will hold its monthly meeting (location TBA) with guest speaker Kavi Alexander, of Water Lily Acoustics. For more info, visit www.azavclub.org, or contact Adam Goldfine at (602) 524-3974 or goldfineam@aol.com. CALIFORNIA ▪Saturday, January 25, 5–8pm: The Los Angeles & Orange County Audio Society will hold its monthly meeting at Southern California’s newest audio dealership, Brian Berdan’s Audio Element (117 E. Union Street, Pasadena). VTL’s Luke Manley…

12 min.
sam’s space

THIS ISSUE: Sam reviews the Stirling Broadcast SB-88 loudspeaker and finds a $24.88 surprise at Walmart. Speakers & Surprises Ifeel for my fat-cat audio friends as they try to choose between Stereophile’s joint loudspeakers of 2013: Wilson Audio Specialties’ Alexandria XLF at $200,000/pair, or the YG Acoustics Sonja 1.3 at $106,800/pair? They have to agonize over making a choice. I’m happy with the DeVore Fidelity Orangutan O/93 ($12,000/pair). The Harbeth 30.1 monitor ($5990–$6790/pair, depending on finish). Or the KEF LS50 50th Anniversary Model ($1499.99). The KEF is our 2013 Product of the Year, after all. I ran out and bought a pair. The KEFs are ideally suited to nearfield listening in my squarish listening room. The Orangutan O/93s are fine for our living room, where I listen from about 12’ away. There are so many…

15 min.
analog corner

Phono Tools & Phono Preamps THIS ISSUE: Acoustical Systems’ SMARTractor and Hagerman Audio Lab’s Trumpet Reference phono stage spend some time in Mikey’s system. On analogplanet.com you’ll find coverage of my visit last November to the 10th annual Manila Hi-Fi Show, which took place the weekend of the devastating typhoon Haiyan (Filipinos call it Yolanda). Because the people I met there are such big Stereophile fans, I wanted to be sure to give them a shout-out in this column, too. Despite the weather, which prevented audiophiles living on other islands of the archipelago from flying in for the event, at least 2000 managed to attend. These are passionate, enthusiastic audiophiles—and the high proportion of young people, particularly among the vinyl buyers, was encouraging. The greeting I received throughout the show was beyond my most…

16 min.

Écoute la lumière THIS ISSUE: Artie listens to the light, sips some sauternes, and recommends some recordings. Domestic audio is based on two simple processes: transforming movement into electricity and electricity back into movement. Easy peasy. Audio engineers have been doing those things for ages. Have they improved their craft to the same extent as the people who, over the same period of time, earned their livings making, say, automobiles and pharmaceuticals? I don’t know. But if it were possible to spend an entire day driving a new car from 50 years ago, treating diabetes and erectile dysfunction with the treatments that were available 50 years ago, and listening to 50-year-old records on 50-year-old playback gear, the answer might seem more clear. Actually, I was just kidding about the answer not being clear in…