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Stereophile Mar 2018

Stereophile March 2018

1st Edition

MQA Benefits and Costs
Enough has been said by now about the technical details of how Master Quality Authenticated (MQA) works to fill several books. But the technical details are only part of the story, and probably not the most interesting part--and they're certainly not what provokes the extreme emotional responses of many to the format.

A Crazy Girl Crazy
Winner of the 2018 Grammy for "Best Classical Solo Album," "Recording of the Month" in BBC Music Magazine, nominated for a 2018 Juno Award (Canada's version of the Grammy, coming March 24), listed in "Best Classical Music Recordings 2017" of the New York Times, and recipient of multiple European honors, Crazy Girl Crazy must be heard.

A Nasty Gal!
The boom in high-end LP reissues has now reached the point where the canniest reissue labels have become acutely aware of what vintage vinyl sells for the most on eBay, Discogs, and other sites. If they can license a good-sounding source, astute labels like Mobile Fidelity, Analogue Productions, and Light in the Attic are now reissuing these artifacts on 180 and 200 gram vinyl LPs for much less than an original will cost.

Lindsay-Geyer Highly Magnetic Cables
Why cable again? Well, the obvious reason is that it has been a while since my last foray into Cableland (July 1988). Many new products have been introduced in the interim, so it appeared appropriate to once again open Pandora's Box.

From the JGH Archives: Sony CDP-X779ES CD player
Sony's first CD player, the much-maligned CDP-1 (reviewed in Vol.5 No.10), did all the things we'd been promised from CD except deliver perfect sound. It met CD's incredible claims for frequency range and linearity, harmonic and intermodulation distortion, and signal/noise ratio, yet--despite my own initial enthusiasm for it--it proved ultimately to be a disappointing-sounding player.

Tube Porn: Leeds Radio
Richard Matthews has sold upwards of 30,000 tubes in the last ten years and he still has 100,000 tubes to go! Working out of his Leeds Radio warehouse in the Bronx, Matthews has every tube imaginable in stock, as well as a vast variety of tube testers, classic radios, capacitors, beautiful vintage tube boxes and many, many collector's pieces.

Bettye LaVette: Things Will Change
In her wild ride of a memoir, A Woman Like Me (2012), eclectic soul and R&B singer Bettye LaVette spoke of being hung over a 20th-floor balcony of a Manhattan skyscraper by her pimp boyfriend. She revealed that she'd slept with Ben E. King and Otis Redding, and had even spent a minute dabbling in prostitution.

A Binaural Video Report: the Sound of PS Audio's IRS Vs
In the first two parts of our video coverage of Jana Dagdagan's and my visit to PS Audio in Boulder, Colorado, we toured the factory and I interviewed the company's founder Paul McGowan. In this final video, I listen to three of my own recordings played on the legendary IRS V loudspeaker system, driven by PS Audio's BHK 300 monoblocks.

Sonus Faber Guarneri Tradition loudspeaker
Stereophile writers have reviewed three versions of Sonus Faber's stand-mounted, two-way loudspeaker, the Guarneri: Martin Colloms on the original Guarneri Homage, in 1994; Michael Fremer on the Memento edition, in 2007; and Art Dudley on the Evolution, in 2012.

Music in the Round #90: Merging+Player PL8
Merging Technologies' original NADAC Multichannel-8 ($11,500) is an impressive device. (NADAC is an acronym for network-attached digital-to-analog converter.) It has eight channels of high-resolution D/A conversion, and two more for its front-panel headphone jack; a cutting-edge Ravenna Ethernet input; and, to my delight, a real volume-control knob on the front.

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