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Stereophile April 2012

Stereophile April 2012

New York Show & Coverage Starts Friday 4/13
"New York, New York, It's an Audio Town!" After far too many years without a large-scale audio show, New York City is about to get a taste of what regularly enriches the lives of audiophiles in other major centers around the world. The first, hopefully annual New York Audio and AV Show takes place in Park Avenue's grand Waldorf=Astoria Hotel at 301 Park Avenue on Friday April 13–Sunday, April 15. CheckStereophile.com for live our show report.

Stenheim Alumine loudspeaker
The sound of the Stenheim Alumine loudspeaker--its openness, transparency, and freedom from temporal distortions, not to mention its good bass extension for such a small enclosure--reminded me at once of my favorite small loudspeaker from the late 1980s, the Acoustic Energy AE1.

Cayin SP-10A Integrated amplifier
Stereophile has reviewed two integrated amplifiers from Chinese manufacturer Cayin in the past: the A-50T, which I wrote about very positively in March 2008, and the A-300B, which Art Dudley reviewed in February 2007. So when I read about Cayin's $2195 SP-10A integrated amplifier, which has a wood-covered sleeve, just like the old Marantz and McIntosh gear and offers 38 watts of push-pull power, in our coverage of the 2008 CES, I put in on my must-write-about list.

Emotiva ERC-2 CD player
Because I am an audiophile, I want to hear that music through the best possible source component. Lately, I've been enjoying CDs through the Emotiva ERC-2 CD player ($449).

MBL Radialstrahler 101E Mk.II loudspeaker
Take a casual look at the Mk.II edition of MBL's Reference 101E Radialstrahler loudspeaker, and you won't immediately see what's new compared with the original version, which I reviewed in October 2004. But the Mk.II has a shorter, sleeker bass cabinet, designed to, among other things, slightly lower the stack of omnidirectional drivers it supports.

Lamm M1.2 Reference monoblock power amplifier
There is always a conflict between the needs of reviewers and the realities of the marketplace. Once a reviewer has invested his time and energy in a review, he would like that product to remain in production for all time, which would allow it to be used as a reliable recommendation forever.

2L's Final Frontier: Vinyl
2L, the Norwegian label that made audiophile history in 2006 when one their early high-resolution SACDs, Immortal NYSTEDT, received Grammy Award nominations for "Best Surround Sound Album" and "Best Choral Performance," has taken a big step back to the future.

The 2012 Consumer Electronics Show: A Better Way?
Every time I stepped from the slow elevator onto the casino floor at Harrah's, where Stereophile's editors spent their sleepless nights, my hatred for Las Vegas was revitalized. It felt like some kind of bad joke: Oh god, I'm still here.

J. Gordon Holt: Acoustat 2+2 loudspeaker
While I refuse to admit publicly how long I have been sitting on these loudspeakers before doing the report on them, I must say that it is probably a good thing I wasn't in all that of a hurry to get around to it. They did not sound very good in the room where I had initially installed them, and had I written the report on that basis, it would have been lukewarm, to say the least.

SSI 2012 Show Report
Robert Deutsch and Art Dudley provide complete and colorful coverage from the Salon Son et Image show in Montreal Canada.

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