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StereophileStereophile

Stereophile May 2018

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.

Country:
United States
Language:
English
Publisher:
AVTech Media Americas, Inc.
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12 Issues

IN THIS ISSUE

access_time4 min.
as we see it

The Internet of Things, or IOT, is an extremely hackable network that connects everything from household appliances to cars. To me, it’s the ultimate example of technology that, once created, just doesn’t need us—and I fear that the more tasks that are routinely, magically performed for us puny humans at the touch of a button by “smart” devices, the less capable we become.There is, admittedly, a logical schism here: those magical devices are designed by humans—the big-brained folk who figured out how to create them. But far more people use those devices than design them. Few have any real understanding of how smartphones, Nest, or even Amazon buttons work—I sure as heck don’t. As I suppose there always has been, there is a highly specialized class of worker-bee intelligentsia who…

access_time5 min.
letters

Music to EatEditor:It was great to read John Swenson’s rave on the Hampton Grease Band CD Music to Eat (“Records to Die For,” February 2018, p.68). As a longtime admirer of the late Col. Bruce Hampton’s music, I never dreamed I would ever see him praised in the pages of Stereophile. Unfortunately, that album is not exactly easily available. The CD version is going for $40 on Amazon, well over $100 on eBay, and even more for the vinyl, if it can even be found.—Martin Taylormartint1448@yahoo.comMusical freedomEditor:Jim Austin, thanks for your “MQA Contextualized” article (March, p.51), but please keep your vision of a “revivified music industry.” Living in Southern California, I may be spoiled by all the record stores that are still open. But I wouldn’t trade our world of…

access_time5 min.
industry update

UK: LONDONPaul MessengerThis year’s Clarity Alliance Hi-Fi Conference, held as usual in the excellent screening room of Dolby’s London headquarters, in Soho Square, seemed to have a somewhat wider scope than in previous years. As ever, the most interesting event was the presentation of statistics gathered and interpreted by market-research organization GfK SE, comparing year-on-year figures across numerous product categories.2017 was characterized by uncertainty, as inflation began to creep ahead of earnings. Happily, unemployment in the UK is relatively low, and continues to slowly decline. However, general consumer confidence was negative throughout the year, though recently it’s shown a welcome increase.Overall, consumer electronics showed a largely stable year-on result, down 4.5% by volume but –0.5% by value, with the more positive figures late in 2017, in December. Voice activation was…

access_time5 min.
calendar of industry events

ATTENTION ALL AUDIO SOCIETIES: We have a page on the Stereophile website dedicated solely 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@XLinkAudio.com.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.CALIFORNIA Thursday, April 19, 4–7pm: Audio Video Integration (647 Francisco Boulevard E., San Rafael 94901) is hosting an event with representatives from Dan D’Agostino Master Audio Systems, Grand Prix Audio, Nordost, and Wilson Audio Specialties in attendance, to provide demonstrations of some of their latest products. Special-event pricing will be offered on featured products. Seating will be limited, so RSVP to secure a spot by calling (415) 526-0070, or e-mailing julianj@avimarin.com.…

access_time17 min.
analog corner

The Hyperion’s top end seemed to extend to the upper limit of vinyl—and of music, and of my hearing.Peter Ledermann, founder and chief designer of Soundsmith, Inc., began his adventures in phono cartridges by reverse-engineering Bang & Olufsen’s Moving Micro-Cross moving-iron cartridges for customers B&O had abandoned when it got out of the LP player business, and putting them into production. The B&O cartridges were of the direct plug-in variety; once they were no longer made, a worn or broken B&O cartridge would render a B&O turntable unusable.For those unfamiliar with them, in a moving-iron (MI) cartridge a tiny piece of iron—not a coil or a magnet—is attached to the end of the cantilever. An MI’s coils and magnets remain stationary within the cartridge body. B&O’s patented Moving Micro-Cross (MMC)…

access_time17 min.
listening

In an oft-viewed clip on YouTube, recorded at the 2009 Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival, three world-class guitarists pause during a music workshop to talk about their instruments: Danny Knicely describes his 1939 Martin D-18, Chris Eldridge talks briefly about his own 1937 Martin D-28, and Josh Williams notes that his guitar was made in 2002, by the Kentucky-based luthier Neil Kendrick. Then, with fine comic timing, Knicely remarks, “One of these days, me and Chris will be able to afford a new guitar, too!”The joke, of course, is that the vintage Martins cost considerably more than the Kendrick—and more than almost any other comparable guitar made today, including most new Martins. That’s because the older instruments not only sound appreciably better than today’s, they endure in sounding better than even…

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