Tech & Gaming

Stereophile Nov-17

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.
Read More
SPECIAL: Subscribe and get 1 year of FREE back issues! Free issues will be served within 72 hours after purchase
12 Issues

in this issue

4 min.
as we see it

How many times have I asked myself what the purpose of music is? And what music really is, and what exactly I am trying to convey. What feelings? What ideas? How can I explain something that I myself cannot fathom? —Gabriel Fauré, letter to his wife, August 31, 1903 In writing reviews for Stereophile, I face a challenge. Whether I’m evaluating an audio component, a recording, or a live performance, I’m confronted by the fact that, when all is said and done, no one fully understands why or how the sound of a particular component, composition, or artist can affect us as powerfully as so many of them do. How and why music and sound move us remains, fundamentally, a mystery. What each of us values as sacred may differ from what others value…

5 min.

Gray boxes of knowledge Editor: In the 1960s, when it was demonstrated to me that there are vast differences in the ability to reproduce music by audio equipment, I, being an engineering student and music lover, began devouring the technical articles within the two then-best magazines, Audio and High Fidelity—until the rah-rah reviews usurped and, later, displaced the knowledge part. These days, there are two magazines for music-reproduction enthusiasts. One has not learned from the failures of its fathers, and then there is Stereophile, with its Gray Box of Knowledge. Thank you, John Atkinson, for your gray boxes of knowledge, which I study to bring me actual knowledge of what is high fidelity and what is high hype. —Craig Rutten craigrutten@juno.com What it’s all about Editor: I have long been an audiophile, and really look forward to your…

14 min.
industry update

UK: BRIDGEND, WALES Paul Messenger Although REL Acoustics has become virtually synonymous with subwoofers, few readers may know that the company’s name is formed from the initials of its founder, Richard Edmund Lord, who passed away on July 22. Born in 1939, Lord came to subwoofers in 1990 only after retiring from a lifetime career as a radio operator in the Merchant Navy. In REL’s history, timing has been of the essence. My first encounter with the brand was during the birth of home theater, in the early 1990s. Late one night toward the end of 1993, a cheerful Welshman appeared at my door with a subwoofer. Richard apologized for the lateness of the hour and explained that he’d lost his way—that day, he’d traveled the entire width of southern England. Although Lord…

12 min.
analog corner

The Reed 3P tonearm, which I reviewed in my April 2016 column, was an impressive piece of imaginative engineering and manufacturing prowess. I’m hoping that, by the time you read this, that review will be posted online at AnalogPlanet.com. I asked Reed’s importer, Axiss Audio, if I could hold on to the 3P—I was already planning to review Reed’s Muse 3C turntable. I’m glad I did—the 3P ($5000) and 3C ($15,000) make an outstanding combination. (When the only complaint you have about a turntable is that the cable from its power jack to the power supply isn’t long enough to reach the floor, you can be sure you’re going to write a very positive review.) Reed, based in Lithuania, has been designing and manufacturing analog products for almost a decade. The Muse…

11 min.

Dear Reader, Not long ago, I lost patience with coffee. Before that, I’d never quite made it to coffee-nerd status, but I had all four wheels on the onramp. A few years ago I got rid of my cheap coffeemaker and switched to a French press, because it was more hands-on. I started buying whole beans instead of ground coffee, and grinding them in the store’s grinder, on its coarsest setting. When that wouldn’t do, I bought an inexpensive electric coffee grinder. When that wouldn’t do, I bought a manual grinder. There was only one brand of bean I liked, and I had to drive 45 minutes to get to the store that sold it. I bought a scale for weighing the beans before I ground them (because measuring spoons are notoriously…

12 min.
music in the round

For some months now, I’ve lived mostly without music. To survive the dust and grit of the renovation of our Manhattan apartment, all electronics had to be covered with heavy plastic, the speakers encapsulated in large green lawn bags, and the listening room partitioned off with a temporary wall. We could listen to music with our little 3.1-channel TV system in the den (eh) or through headphones (not!), or we could decamp to our house in Connecticut, which we did as much as possible. I felt deprived. Now that it’s all over, I’m grateful to have it back—and grateful for the improvements in the main system, some of them direct byproducts of the renovation. First, we replaced the circuit-breaker box, to increase the current and add circuits. The main rack components…