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Stereophile October 2015


2nd Edition

Chord Electronics Hugo TT D/A headphone amplifier
The British company Chord Electronics has always seemed to me to be audio's crazy uncle: Crazy like a fox, maybe, but definitely marching to their own tune. Their casework design often borders on the gratuitously provocative, challenging audiophiles' ideas about good taste.

Starting Over Again for the First Time
There are two kinds of music. Good music, and the other kind," Duke Ellington is famously supposed to have said. But that doesn't tell us how to recognize "good music," and it doesn't define good. Nor will this essay.

Recording of November 2015: Hommage a Eberhard Weber
There once was a joke about how technology would someday replace troublesome musicians: Instead of putting up with drummers being late to gigs, keeping irregular time, and stealing everyone else's girlfriends, a trouble-free robot could take over.

Mozart and Salieri
So maybe I did I love it most for Elizabeth Berridge’s portrayal of Constanze Mozart, which was enhanced enormously, so to speak, in the director’s cut. C’mon, we’ve all heard the stories and suddenly we had a physical presence.

Scenes From Internet LP Buying
It’s a question I am asked all the time by people who buy vintage and new vinyl from both places: What’s the difference between the two? I have one full-blown, unrepentant-as-heck, vinyl addict who swears by

Charlie Haden & Gonzalo Rubalcalba, Tokyo Adagios
Charlie Haden, the most inventive bassist of his generation, died at the age of 76 a little more than a year ago, but his widow (and producer-manager), Ruth Cameron-Haden, says he left behind many unreleased tapes of live concerts. So it's likely, thankfully, that we haven't heard the last of him.

Gramophone Dreams #6
I used to get invited to these highly secret audio soirées, held in a basement workshop at the end of a dark, garbage-filled alley in Manhattan's Chinatown. There was no street address--only a wire-glass window in a metal door.

The Fifth Element #93
A mastering engineer's job is both to act as the final quality control before a recording goes out for manufacturing and, just as important, to apply to that recording the requisite technical finishing touches.

Gary Clark Jr.: Up From The Blues
Playing the blues gets old fast. Since this most fundamental American popular music, stopped being the African-American party music of choice, and became a traditional music, celebrated as the precursor of rock'n'roll, blues players face a stark choice: change, or be content with playing small clubs and bars.

RMAF 2015 Show Report!
Herb Reichert, Jason Victor Sernius, and Sasha Matson report live from Denver Colorado on audio's biggest public show of the year. Note: we are adding to this report every few hours.

1st Edition

The Morrow Audio High-end Speaker Cables with SSI Technology Sweepstakes
Register to win a pair of Morrow Audio High-end Speaker Cables with SSI Technology (MSRP $139.00) we are giving away.

Just Another Night in New York City
Thursday night, I took the F train to Manhattan's Blue Note, the 8pm set, to see Trio 3--the longstanding improv band, consisting of Oliver Lake on alto sax, Reggie Workman on bass, and Andrew Cyrille on drums--joined by Jason Moran on piano.

Northampton Saturday Night
The term “music town” has its obvious examples. Nashville, Austin and the place the term was coined for, New Orleans, all come to mind. Truth be told though, New Your City is the world’s greatest music town.

Listening #154
To paraphrase the playwright Alan Bennett: When I started Listener magazine, my idea was to create a small, anarchist journal. But people wouldn't obey the rules.

Leema Acoustics Essentials phono preamplifier
"The way that young people will get into high-end audio is not through streaming: It's through the LP." When that observation was offered during a recent phone conversation, I wrote it down word for word.

Krell Solo 575 monoblock power amplifier
Class-A amplifiers have a well-deserved reputation for being power guzzlers that run hot enough to burn fingers. They're inherently inefficient because their output devices conduct full current at all times, and much of that current is dissipated as heat--requiring, in the case of class-A solid-state amplifiers, massive heatsinks.

Antipodes DX Reference music server
Perhaps because I grew up in post-WWII England, with austerity and food rationing the norm, I learned at an early age the value of frugality. It was a financial stretch for me to buy, in the late 1960s, my first real audio system: Garrard SP25 turntable with Audio-Technica cartridge, Kenwood integrated amplifier, Wharfedale Super Linton speakers.

Line Magnetic Audio LM-518IA integrated amplifier
When I began writing for Stereophile, I heard people whispering: "Herb is one of those triode-horn guys." Wrong. Most of my life, I've favored solid-state integrated amplifiers driving small, British-made speakers.

Roon Labs Roon v.1.0 music-playback app
There are dozens of music-playback programs for computers, touchpads, and smartphones, ranging from Amarra, Audirvana, JRiver, Pure Music, and VLC, which manage libraries or work with library software, to programs that are integrated with a specific distribution service: Pandora, Spotify, Tidal, and, of course, iTunes. Still others, such as Sonos, are integrated with a dedicated hardware product.

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