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Stereophile August 2011, 1st Edition

Stereophile Aug 2011

I Am an Audiophile: Henry Rollins
I was fortunate enough to be raised in an environment where music of many kinds was played often. I lived with my mother in small apartments in Washington, DC, in the 1960s and '70, and most of the time, music was playing. Chopin, Wagner, Beethoven, Coltrane, Miles, Sonny Rollins, Streisand, Baez, Dylan, Miriam Makeba—even the Doors, Hendrix, and Janis Joplin.

Voxativ Ampeggio loudspeaker
It wasn't so much a vow as a prediction: After selling my last pair of Ticonal-magnet drivers and the homemade horns I'd carted around to three different houses, I supposed I would never again have a Lowther loudspeaker in my humble house.

JH Audio JH16 Pro in-ear monitors
"Good grief, has he lost his hearing?" It was the distant past, a time so long ago that the M in MTV stood for Music, and I was watching a David Bowie concert on TV. The svelte singer was wearing what I took to be hearing aids.

Life's Rich Pageant
Talk about the R.E.M. catalog with most music people and the conversation usually comes down to albums released during the years the band spent on its original label, the late, great I.R.S. Records. Although R.E.M. remains the label’s biggest claim to fame, Miles Copeland’s I.R.S. also had The Go–Go’s, Fine Young Cannibals, Concrete Blonde, The Alarm, Timbuk 3 and a number of other interesting if marginally successful acts on the label during its active years (1979-88), which not coincidentally are the years preceding R.E.M. being signed away by Warner Brothers in 1988.

Recording of August 2011: Bon Iver
Many, though certainly not all, musicians of most genres dream of composing, crafting, birthing a hit record—one they will forever be known for, and that will make them enough money that they'll never have to sleep on another hard floor or friend's stained couch as long as they live. Very few fulfill this dream, and those who do often don't know why or just how it happened.

The Cable Company's 16th Summer Against Hunger
The Cable Company's 16th annual Summer Against Hunger is anything but a feel-good gimmick. Thanks to ingenious leveraging by Robert Stein, company founder, every dollar spent on purchases from The Cable Company in the month of August results in almost $2 donated to a specific project of C.A.R.E., a leading humanitarian organization fighting global poverty. Given that C.A.R.E. is one of the more efficient charities around—over 90% of donations go directly to programs and recipients, rather than to administration—this means that for every $100 purchase you make during the month of August, a donation of over $180 will go directly to people and communities in need.

Micromega AS-400 D/A integrated amplifier
Blind though I am to the allure of blind testing, I can appreciate some degree of review-sample anonymity: Distinctive products elicit distinctive responses, but a plain black box encourages us to leave our prejudices at the door. It asks of us a certain . . . objectivity.

Music in the Round #49
Things move fast in multichannel. No, I'm not referring to the speed of sound effects as they whip around a room—let's leave that for the home-theater mags. I'm talking about audio technology. Since I began writing this column in June 2003, we've seen serious technological changes almost annually, some driven by real needs, some imposed by marketing considerations. To me, the rate of change seems strikingly rapid, compared to that of the products I review for the main portion of Stereophile, based, as they are, in the two-channel world.

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