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2018-01-21T16:31:50.908Z
0
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Given that David Chesky has just followed the digital release of his Second and Third Piano Concertos with a January 13 performance of his Violin Concerto No.3 by Rachel Barton Pine and the Lancaster Symphony Orchestra, some might say he's on a roll. Others, listening to the pace of two new piano concertos inspired what liner notes writer Harold Lester calls "the chaos of [Chesky's] adopted New York City," might instead think "roller coaster."Sat, 01/20/2018
Photo by John Atkinson The question, "What if they Gave a CES and Nobody Came?," which headlined my As We See It from mid-2016, was echoed by a similar title on Jon Iverson's opening blog for our coverage of CES 2018. Yet hopes and fears that our industry's increasingly limited presence in the Venetian would sound the death knell for "high performance audio" at CES do not reflect the experience of those who this year chose to either exhibit or wander hallways and eateries in search of dealers and distributors.Tue, 01/16/2018
When Jason Victor Serinus visited the Bluebird Audio room on the Venetian's 35th floor, he mentioned that Chord was demonstrating its Blu Mk.2 CD transport ($11,788) along with the Dave DAC that I reviewed and was impressed by last June. I chatted with Chord's digital guru Robert Watts (above in photo) about the new transport and he mentioned that it incorporated his latest WTA (Watts Transient Aligned) digital filter with a million taps! (The more taps there are, the closer a DAC can reproduce the timing information in the reconstructed analog signal—see my DAVE review for why Robert feels why this should be so.) I was puzzled, as a digital reconstruction filter belongs in a DAC, not a transport.Tue, 01/16/2018
I was working on our video coverage of the 2018 CES with our resident videographer Jana Dagdagan, and as video is such a time sink, I wasn't able to visit as many rooms as I usually do. But one room I managed to visit and that stood out when it came to sound quality was Constellation's.Tue, 01/16/2018
"This is the evolution of our Sonja series," Explains YG Acoustics senior account executive Kerry St. James. "This follows the Sonja 1 series and the 'dot' indicates how many modules there are in the model. So this is a Sonja 2.2 (he points to the demo in the room) meaning it is the second series and has two modules. The 2 series is available as one module or expanded into three modules, the Sonja 2.3." Mon, 01/15/2018
HiFiMan had two new products on display this year: one for the budget-minded, and one not. First, for the entry level, is the new Sundara planar headphone which will retail for $499. Josselin Marvie from HiFiMan explains that "We spent some time designing this headphone to be more reliable and comfortable, so we have a new headband design which is more lightweight as well. We also have new cups, and everything has been redesigned to make the headphone last longer."Mon, 01/15/2018
For our video coverage of the 2018 Consumer Electronics show in Las Vegas, we purchased Sennheiser's "Ambeo" binaural system, which mounts microphones on the outer surfaces of a pair of earbuds, thus allowing the ears' pinnae to influence each mike's pick-up pattern. The Ambeo connects to an iPhone. In this report, John Atkinson visits the Lamm, Vandersteen, and VTL rooms, talks to exhibitors about their systems and their thoughts on the show, listens to some of his recordings, as well as some chosen by the exhibitors, and offers his thoughts on what he had just heard. But first, Michael Fremer shows off his Karaoke skills!Fri, 01/19/2018
A jazz singer's breakthrough album reissued by Analogue Productions.Fri, 01/19/2018
MBL's Corona C15 monoblock has been one of my amplification references since I reviewed it in 2014, and as I've been reviewing DACs the past year or so, it was high time I spent time with one of the German company's digital products. "Black shiny products are tough to photograph at shows, so trust me when I say the new N31 is dripping with gorgeousness not reflected in this photo," wrote Jon Iverson in his report from the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show. And when I unpacked my review sample of the Noble Line N31 ($15,400), I was indeed taken with its looks. Thu, 01/18/2018
Chopin's Last Waltz Chopin: Ballade 4 in f, Op.52; Fantasie in f, Op.49; Mazurka in c-sharp, Op.63 No.3; Mazurka in f, Op.68 No.4; Nocturne in E-flat, Op.62 No.2; Prelude in c-sharp, Op.45; Valse in A-flat, Op.64 No.3 Robert Silverman, piano IsoMike 5606 (LP). 2017. Available from Acoustic Sounds and other on-line retailers; DSD files available from NativeDSD, www.nativedsd.com. Ellen Silverman, prod.; Ray Kimber, Aaron Hubbard, engs. DDA TT: 50:05 Performance ***** Sonics ***** At the 2017 Rocky Mountain Audio Fest, Ray Kimber was beginning to feel a little antsy. He'd just released his first LP, Chopin's Last Waltz, an all-Chopin program performed by pianist Robert Silverman, and while being part of the rush to re-embrace vinyl sounds great, pressing your first-ever long player can be a bit nerve-racking.Thu, 01/18/2018
Friday, January 19, from 5–8pm, Alma Music and Audio (7847 Convoy Ct. #101, San Diego, CA 92111) are hosting an event with guests Peter McGrath of Wilson Audio Specialties and Vince Galbo of MSB. McGrath will be talking about the differences between Wilson's entry-level Sabrina loudspeaker and the more elaborate models, like the Alexia 2, as well as playing his own live recordings. Galbo will be demonstrating MSB's amplifiers and DACs.Thu, 01/18/2018
Earlier this year Anthem launched the STR Integrated Amplifier in a return to 2-channel, and representative Devin Zell explained that they have expanded that line this year with a 2-channel preamp and dedicated amplifier. The STR preamp goes for $4,000 and the STR amplifier goes for $6,000 and are available now. Wed, 01/10/2018
Largish one-box streaming systems have taken off it seems, and I guess we shouldn't be surprised. First the Sonos and inexpensive Bluetooth systems took hold and then inevitably high-end audio saw an opportunity. Naim and Bluesound (among others) come to mind and we can now add Technics to the list. Wed, 01/10/2018
Michael Fremer over at AnalogPlanet.com will eventually have more including video on this beauty, but here are some brief facts for Stereophile readers.Wed, 01/10/2018
Hailing from the Champagne region of France, Davis Acoustics has been making speakers for over 30 years. The company produces OEM drive units that they sell to other manufacturers (including Goldmund and Avant Garde), but also sells their own extensive line of products. Wed, 01/10/2018
Sharing the room with Davis Acoustics and also from France, Esprit has been in business for 20 years and produces a complete line of handmade audio cables. The company has only been at CES for two years however and until now has not had much distribution outside its home region. Wed, 01/10/2018
The new $18,000 Pictor preamp is part of Constellation Audio's new Revelation Series, which is one step up from the company's entry-level Inspiration Series. Constellation's Irv Gross explained that the Pictor uses the same basic chassis as the Inspiration version, but has a separate power supply. Wed, 01/10/2018
For John Atkinson and me, CES began with a trip to the Hi-Res Pavilion in the Las Vegas Convention Center's enormous Central Hall. John must have been a dog in a past lifetime, because his ability to find the booth in the middle of that huge glittering morass, which could be euphemistically characterized as high tech on steroids, smacked of a sixth sense. Wed, 01/10/2018
It may look like any other smartphone, but LG's V30, shown by Vanessa Marrero, is smart enough to incorporate ESS's Sabre 32-bit Quad DAC…Wed, 01/10/2018
Elac, which has been around for many more years than Andrew Jones has been designing speakers for them, has now released their Roon-friendly Discovery DS-S101-G music server ($1100), which allows you to play your own music files via an external HD or NAS…Wed, 01/10/2018