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Stereophile Sept 2011, 1st Edition

Stereophile September 2011

Peter Pritchard
Today's New York Times carries a brief obituary notice of the passing of audio innovator, Peter Pritchard, on August 23 in Austin, Texas at the age of 83. Peter founded Audio Dynamics Corporation in New Milford, CT in the early 1960's. His original ADC-1 ("Tip mass: 0.6 mg. Compliance. 20x10–6cm/dyne, all directions. Playing weight: 1 gram or less in top quality arms") was a breakthrough product. Indeed, all ADC pickups were notable for their extremely high compliance and low tracking forces and he pursued this approach through a series of successful designs including the well-known ADC-10, ADC-25 and XLM cartridges.

Musical Fidelity AMS100 power amplifier
"That's just silly on so many counts, Antony." I was talking last winter to Musical Fidelity's Antony Michaelson, who had been enthusing about his forthcoming stereo amplifier, the AMS100. It would be physically enormous--almost a yard deep--and commensurately heavy at 220 lbs. Despite its bulk, its maximum rated output would be just 100Wpc into 8 ohms. It would also be expensive, at $19,999.

Random Thoughts: On Not Saying Hello to Nori Komuro
This morning, I walked right by electrician and idiosyncratic amplifier designer, Nori Komuro, and I didn’t say a word. Not even hello. Why didn’t I say anything? I don’t know. I had just emerged from the subway, and was walking up 32nd Street, toward Herald Square, and I wasn’t expecting to see an idiosyncratic amplifier designer. I was looking, instead and as usual, at the ground, at the sky, at high-heels and at skirts. I saw plenty of those. I was pulling a small handcart carrying a box of loudspeakers. Nori Komuro and I would have had something to talk about.

High-End Audio & the Invisible Hand
A recent e-mail from a reader asked why we list the recordings and systems used by Stereophile writers in their reviews. I responded that we do so in order that readers can place our value judgments in context, and predict how those products might sound with different ancillaries and recordings when they audition the products reviewed at their local high-end audio retailer.

Recording of September 2011: Son of Chamber Symphony
When John Adams was working on his Chamber Symphony (1992), he became aware that his son Sam was in the next room watching old American cartoons, presumably those by Warner Bros. that used music by the great Raymond Scott. Hyperkinetic borrowings from Scott's witty scores made their way into that earlier work, and now into its successor, a fact hinted at by its humorous title: Son of Chamber Symphony. There's even a moment early on in this new work when the distinctive rhythmic rumble of Scott's masterpiece, "Powerhouse," can be fleetingly heard in what is, overall, a short but very sweet triumph.

Sonny Clark: Sonny's Crib at 45
Sonny's Crib, by Sonny Clark, one of the most tragic and still-underrated pianists in jazz, is one of the greatest blowing sessions on a label--Blue Note--that specialized in blowing sessions, especially in the mid-to-late '50s, when this was laid down.

Third Annual Emofest
Audiophiles have been buzzing about Emotiva for a few years now. The attraction is no mystery: Emotiva’s products are solidly built and modestly priced, and the company takes pride in its strong relationships with customers. Yet, other than in the usual show report, Emotiva’s products have been absent from Stereophile’s pages.

Reference Recordings Returns to LPs
In response to demand from its international customer base, Reference Recordings will release its first two LPs in 200-gram deluxe pressings on September 2. With disc mastering done at half-speed to insure cleaner reproduction and extended high frequency response, RR begins its new vinyl series with two highly prized analogue recordings from its extensive catalog. Dick Hyman From the Age of Swing arrives as a two-LP, 45rpm set, and Stravinsky: The Firebird Suite coupled with The Song of the Nightingale as a single 331/3rpm LP.

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