Tech & Gaming

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…

6 min.
calendar of industry events

ATTENTION ALL AUDIO SOCIETIES—we have a page on the Stereophile website devoted to you: stereophile.com/audiophile-societies. If you’d like to have your audio-society information posted on the site, email Chris Vogel at vgl@cfl.rr.com. (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,…

18 min.
the new garrard 301

Some loss of innocence is expected with both age and experience. Because I tick both boxes, and in spite of my best efforts to the contrary, I’m often a bit blasé in the face of new review samples. I wasn’t with this one. A brief recap: At the 2018 High End show in Munich, UK-based SME announced that they had taken steps to reintroduce the classic Garrard 301, a transcription turntable that’s been out of production for more than half a century. At the time of its introduction—production began in 1953—success for the British-built 301 was instant. It was also enduring; it stayed in production through 1965. Its high-torque AC motor and idler-wheel drive ensured the fast startups required by broadcasters, and its timeless styling and obviously high-quality construction earned it…

15 min.
herb reichert’s lust for power leads to sonic euforia

My current romance with audiophile-quality headphones began in earnest with the appearance, about 10 years ago, of Audeze’s LCD-2 planar-magnetic headphones—these predated the company’s patented Fazor elements, said to guide the sound around the transducers’ magnet structures—and Schiit Audio’s original Asgard headphone amplifier. Together, these groundbreaking products rekindled my interest by making headphone listening into something new and exciting—something less distorted, more dynamic, denser, and more intensely lifelike than what I was getting from my speakers on the floor. Best of all, I could listen while lying in bed with my eyes closed. My first headphone romance was back in the 1990s, when I realized that headphone drivers were high-sensitivity, high-impedance devices. That’s when I started cutting off phone plugs and connecting Grado headphones to my 300B amps. My brain hit the…