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Stereophile Feb 2012

Stereophile Feb 2012

Van den Hul The Valley Interconnect Cable Sweepstakes
Register to win a pair of Van den Hul The Valley Interconnect Cables (MSRP $395) we are giving away. These cables are distributed in North America by Bluebird Music and according to Van den Hul, The Valley interconnect cables are a twisted pair balanced cable with two 21 strand conductors and a double braided shield.

2011 Records To Die For
Each year when I sit down to write this introduction, I get stuck on the whole dying-for-music thing. I get visions of the Lincoln assassination conspirators, swinging from ropes with sacks over their heads. Like '80s hair bands do ya? Pull the trap door! Or Mary Queen of Scots kneeling before the block: A fan of smooth jazz? Let the blade fall! Yes, it's silly on some level, but what exactly is the feeling that would make one martyr oneself for music?

Bricasti Design M1 D/A converter
I had been alerted to the existence of the M1 by the August 2011 installment of John Marks's column, "The Fifth Element." "Fast, detailed, effortlessly powerful, musically revealing. Fatigue-free listening," he wrote, concluding that the M1 offered "The best digital playback I have heard." John offered to send me the M1 for measurement and some listening. Well, he didn't so much offer as order.

GoldenEar Technology Triton Two loudspeaker
Gross is about to play an excerpt from a recording of John Rutter's Requiem. It's a piece that challenges just about every aspect of sound reproduction: there's an orchestra, a soprano soloist, a chorus, a pipe organ, and the acoustics of a large concert hall. Wimpy speakers need not apply. I listen, expecting to be underwhelmed. Whoa! The low bass of the organ so fills the room that I look for subwoofers in the corners. The orchestra and chorus have great presence. There's a believable sense of space. These are some speakers! How much?

A Brief History of the Lost
Children, for the most part, are normal human beings who like to make believe that they're extraordinary, just for fun. Adults, on the other hand, are delusional creatures who enjoy pretending that they're normal, simply for their own peace of mind.

Recording of February 2012: Dusty in Memphis
Coaxing a singer to "stretch" always sounds like a good idea--that is, until the singer is standing in the same recording booth used by Aretha Franklin and Wilson Pickett, and suddenly her confidence, never brimming to start with, drops through the floor and she can't or won't sing a note.

All Tape Guide
I’ve discussed my (apparently controversial) attraction to cassettes. Besides being affordable, fun, pretty, and filled with interesting sounds and art, cassettes provide a direct and meaningful connection between artist and audience: The person releasing cassettes in 2012 is likely doing so out of passion, with a spirit for adventure, perhaps even a with a distaste for modern technologies and conveniences; the person purchasing cassettes in 2012 probably has similar motivations and interests.

World's Largest Collection of Vintage Audio?
Wow, look at all the pretty boxes. Maybe I'll finally find that Nakamichi CD-1 cassette deck I've been waiting for.

CES 2012: Complete Coverage
Stereophile provides complete coverage of the audiophile exhibits at the Venetian, T.H.E. Show and elsewhere.

Source Stereophile

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