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Stereophile Dec 2017

Stereophile - December 2017

2nd Edition

GoldenEar Technology Triton Reference loudspeaker
Back in January 2010, in Las Vegas for the Consumer Electronics Show, I was prowling the corridors of the Venetian Hotel when I bumped into loudspeaker auteur Sandy Gross, cofounder first of Polk Audio and then of Definitive Technology. Knowing that Gross was no longer associated with Definitive, I asked him what he was getting up to in his retirement.

Vivid Audio Giya G1 Spirit loudspeaker
It's been more than seven years since the late Wes Phillips reviewed Vivid Audio's top-of-the-line loudspeaker, the Giya G1, for Stereophile, and since then the speaker has been seriously revised. At first glance you still notice the sui generis form; closer inspection reveals fundamental changes that make it, in most respects, an entirely new speaker.

Happy Christmas: The Beatles Fan Club Singles
Every year from 1963 to 1969 the Beatles recorded and released a Christmas single on flexi discs to be mailed free to members of their UK fan club. These singles have now been collected and reissued on vinyl in a singles boxed set by Universal Music, The Christmas Records.

ELO Vinyl Set Sweepstakes
Register to win a copy of ELO's 2LP collector's picture disc edition of Out of the Blue we are giving away.

Seattle and Dausgaard Welcome Us to Nielsen's World
For those unfamiliar with the symphonies of Danish composer Carl Nielsen (1865-1931)that includes methe startling opening of his Third Symphony, "Sinfonia espansiva," will undoubtedly come as a shock.

My Top 10 Jazz Albums of 2017
It's that time of the year when I shift away from the world's calamities to some of its finest achievements (for a minute anyway), which is to say, here is my list of the best jazz albums of 2017.

Recording of August 1975: The Complete Firesign Theater Recordings
You have probably read speaker reports that suggested that you audition with natural sounds like clanking chains, storms, animals and other things that give an easy reference to live experience. The problem is that most sound-effects albums are a real bore, dominated by reject Walt Disney announcers with adenoid problems.

MQA Tested, Part 1
I don't think I've ever seen an audio debate as nasty as the one over Master Quality Authenticated (MQA), the audio-encoding/decoding technology from industry veterans Bob Stuart, formerly of Meridian and now CEO of MQA Ltd., and Peter Craven.

_Some Claims Examined
Since its announcement at the end of 2014, Master Quality Authenticated, the MQA encoding/decoding system, has spawned outspoken criticism. Some of the more thoughtful negative reactions have come from engineers such as Dan Lavry, Bruno Putzeys, and Daniel Weiss.

Solo Sounds: The Power of One
While it hasn't always made money or hit records, the music business has never been short on ideas. Most are nonsense, but every once in a while--the gramophone, onstage monitors, Les Paul's overdubbing--the biz comes up with a winner.

1st Edition

Listening Tests and Absolute Phase
The problem confronting the magazine reviewer when organising the necessary listening tests to accompany/reinforce the measured behavior of a device under test is complex. There has never been a problem with the measurement aspect; as long as someone has access to the same test gear--and full knowledge of the test conditions--then he should be able to replicate the critic's findings exactly.

GoldenEar's Sandy Gross Talks Loudspeakers
When GoldenEar's co-founder and president Sandy Gross visited JA last July to set the speakers up in his Brooklyn listening room, John asked Sandy about his loudspeaker design goals, his preferences in sound quality, his tastes in audio, and the state of the high-end audio market.

Dreaming with Pretty Yende
At age 16, South African soprano Pretty Yende (b. 1985) encountered the now legendary British Airways TV commercial whose soundtrack included the gorgeous "Flower Duet" from Delibes's Lakme. Astounded, she immediately went to her high school teacher in the small town of Piet Retief, about 200 miles from Johannesburg, to ask what kind of music she had heard.

Charley Hansen 1956-2017
In 1990, when Stereophile was still headquartered in Santa Fe, New Mexico, I was reviewing the Eclipse loudspeaker from a new Coloradan company, Avalon. The company's principals, Neil Patel and Charley Hansen, visited to set up the speakers in my listening room, and during that visit Charley and I talked speakers.

dCS Network Bridge network player
John Atkinson asked me to review the dCS Network Bridge ($4250), which was designed to be paired not just with the dCS Vivaldi DAC ($35,999) running the current v.2.02 software, but with any DAC. This meant I was forced to endure several months with the state-of-the-art Vivaldi as a replacement for my reference dCS Rossini ($23,999). Oh, how I suffered.

SVS SB16-Ultra powered subwoofer
This review began when I ran into Gary Yacoubian, president of SVS, in a crowded hallway at Las Vegas's Venetian Hotel, during the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show. He smiled and introduced himself. "Larry, I enjoyed your review of our SB13-Ultra.

NAD Masters Series M50.2 digital music player
At the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show, NAD announced the M50.2, which is almost identical to the original M50 but now incorporates two 2TB hard disks, arranged as a 2TB RAID array, to ensure data integrity, and adds TosLink and coaxial digital inputs, Bluetooth with aptX for streaming music from a smartphone or tablet, and two single-ended analog inputs--all for $3999.

Gramophone Dreams #19: HiFi Man Susvara headphones
I spend my days comparing cartridges and speaker stands, arguing about imaging and microphone placement, speculating about DAC filters, and lately, sometimes, very secretly listening to headphones connected not to commercially available headphone amplifiers but directly to the outputs of basic tubed and solid-state power amplifiers.

Our Final Binaural Video Report from the NYAS
Here's our final report from the New York Audio Show. Thank you to everyone who watched our previous videos, all of which featured Herb Reichert (left above in JA's photo) and gave us feedback--positive and otherwise.

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