Stereophile January 2022

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

My As We See It column in the November 2021 issue of Stereophile was a sincere expression of regret over my inability to connect with current rock music. It ended with a request for recommendations. I got ’em. What’s more, most (but not quite all) of those who responded found themselves in the same situation: They too found most current rock’n’roll difficult to relate to. So, it seems appropriate to share some of the responses, right here on this page. But first, I’ll note a few bands and albums from the last couple of decades that I like very much but failed to mention in that column: Spoon, especially the Transference; Wilco, especially Yankee Hotel Foxtrot; TV on the Radio, especially Return to Cookie Mountain. Those albums, though, are a little bit…

2 min
voice? whose voice? where does voice come from?

If an audio product were perfect, it would have no sound of its own. It would be invisible. It would have no “voice.” In the real world, DACs, amplifiers, turntables, and especially the transducers—microphones, phono cartridges, and loudspeakers—all have distinct sonic characters. Imperfections are inherent to every audio product and design. “Voice” is the result of crucially acknowledging the sonic effect of every decision and every part, and then purposefully coordinating the combined effect of all those many little imperfections into a whole, creating a voice with as little overt character as possible. At least, that’s the objective for all GoldenEar loudspeakers. Many speaker designers have different ideas about how a speaker should be voiced. Some voice their speakers to be more like studio monitors, which intentionally heighten the listeners’ awareness of…

5 min

Hyperbole Love the magazine and have for a number of years. If my wife gets the mail and the latest issue is there, she snarkily tells me, “Your porn arrived.” It immediately makes me happy. Here’s one other thing that makes me happy: I don’t have to fret over whether my speakers are toed in to that last quarter of an inch or if my wires are run so as to remove any chance of stray radio-frequency interference. My system is modest, especially compared to those of your reviewers and many of your readers, costing in the range of $15,000, give or take. Does mine sound as good as theirs? Of course not. I’m surprised, actually, that I have a couple of things that are in the last Recommended Components list. But I…

2 min
calendar of industry events

CALIFORNIA Friday–Sunday, January 14–16, 2022: The inaugural AudioConLA, an international high-end audio show sponsored by the Los Angeles and Orange County Audio Society, will be held at the Hyatt Regency Newport Beach (1107 Jamboree Rd., Newport Beach). This event is organized under the direction of Sarah Tremblay and Michel Plante, the duo behind the Montreal Audiofest and the Toronto Audiofest. AudioConLA will endeavor to offer the public a safe and fun environment conducive to listening to music and shopping for audio and audio-related accessories. AudioConLA 2022 will also present two music concerts to be held at the hotel’s 1200-seat, tree-lined outdoor amphitheater, home of the Newport Beach Jazz Festival. Performers will include jazz pianist/singer Anne Bisson on Friday evening and pop sensation Charlotte Cardin on Saturday evening. Hotel rooms at…

12 min
industry update

US: CLEVELAND, OHIO Jason Victor Serinus Thom Moore, the Grammy Award–winning producer and oboist who cut his teeth at Telarc Records before co-founding Five/Four Productions, died in Cleveland, on October 16, of a fast-moving brain cancer. He was 56. Moore’s passing came at virtually the same time that Stereophile named his most recently released project, cellist Zuill Bailey’s DSD recording of Bach’s Six Suites for Unaccompanied Cello (Octave Records), our Recording of the Month. Moore’s first two Grammy Awards, for Best Classical and Best Choral, came in 2002 for Robert Spano and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra’s fabled SACD of Vaughan Williams’s Sea Symphony. Two others followed, both for Best Crossover, with the Turtle Island String Quartet. A graduate of the Cleveland Institute of Music, Moore made his mark as a crack oboist in the Cleveland…

17 min
analog corner

Ortofon had hoped to introduce its new MC Verismo “in person” at one of last fall’s North American shows, but those shows never took place. COVID necessitated instead an October 30 live Facebook introduction, the company’s first such premier. The next day, AnalogPlanet posted an exclusive interview with Leif Johannsen, the cartridge’s designer and Ortofon’s chief officer of acoustics and technology.1 Those familiar with Ortofon’s MC A95 (reviewed here in May and June 2015) will recognize the new cartridge’s “platform shoe” shape, which was created using Selective Laser Melting (SLM) technology to produce a titanium body that’s impossible to produce in the same shape and density using standard CNC machining. The Verismo has a very similar shape, but it’s bigger than the A95. The new shape also has visual elements reminiscent…