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Stereophile Oct 2020

Stereophile-October-2020

2nd Edition

Analog Corner #303: Accessorize Your RideIn place of my usual Wilson Alexxes, a pair of small (though very fine) two-way speakers has been in my system this past month: the Marten Oscar Duos I review elsewhere in this issue. Without my usual reference speakers in the system, I didn't feel comfortable covering anything that affects sound quality for this column, so, with the exception of one item--the first--this column covers accessories that don't require sonic evaluation.

Audio Research Reference 6SE line preamplifier
As long as you're happy." That's the line long uttered by the most dreaded members of my family, and their friends, whenever they tried to pry into my personal affairs. Often the last word, "happy," was uttered with a downward cadence and accompanied by a shrug.

Revinylization #11: James Booker, Louis Armstrong, Oscar Peterson, Joan Armatrading
Last month, I received so few vinyl reissues that I had to invite a guest writer--jazz critic and political commentator Fred Kaplan--to fill in. Fred had managed to grab an early copy of the excellent Analogue Productions 45rpm reissue of Bill Evans at the Montreux Jazz Festival. I didn't get mine until a week or so after his review was submitted.

Alta Audio Alyssa loudspeaker
It was a "Wow!" audio moment I'll never forget. It happened just after Ladies Who Lunch, our regular Friday afternoon lunch-n-chat for audio poobahs at the Grand Sichuan restaurant in Chelsea. It was dark at 4 o'clock, and the first snow of winter looked enchanting under the 24th Street streetlamps.

Grandinote Shinai integrated amplifier
I was doing my press beat for Stereophile in the hallway of Montreal's 2019 Audiofest when I glimpsed something that stopped me in my tracks. It was a marketing slogan, across the room on importer/exhibitor Goerner Audio's floorstanding banner: "Tubes or semiconductors? Magneto-solid technology amplifies emotions."

You, too, can listen like a pro!
I've written before in this space that to me the most wondrous aspect of our avocation (apart from the music) is the way it exists at the intersection of logic and emotion, of science and art. The equipment we use is made by engineers applying scientific principles, yet its goal is to deliver sensual pleasure. Both viewpoints are valid.

1st Edition

Marten Oscar Duo loudspeaker
At High End Massan 2015--Stockholm, Sweden's big audio show--Marten planned to show off its finest loudspeaker to the hometown crowd. Marten took the hotel's largest demo room, located at the prime location at the top of the stairs, at the entry point to the 2nd floor exhibition space.

T+A Presents a Discussion of Their HA 200 Headphone Amp, HV Series Technology, and Solitaire P Headphones!
LIVE: Tuesday, October 20, 2020 - 12:00PM ET - Join us when T+A discusses their strategy, history and future, along with an in-depth look at their HA 200 headphone amp, HV Series technology, and Solitaire P headphones.

Recording of November 2020: What's Next Vivaldi?
Forget almost everything you know about Vivaldi performance practice, authentic and otherwise, and shush all "shoulds." Banish from your mind any thoughts that all Vivaldi sounds the same. Prepare your ears to hear Vivaldi as you've never heard him before.

Musical Fidelity M8xi integrated amplifier
Once upon a time, reviews of Musical Fidelity components frequently filled pages in Stereophile. But in all my years covering audio shows, I can't recall blogging about any of the company's products, not even once.

Maria Schneider: Is There Anybody Out There?
"The data lords are gathering data and giving it to organizations that then manipulate us with the things they know about us, things that we don't even know about ourselves," says five-time Grammy Award-winning composer, conductor, producer, and band leader Maria Schneider.

Analog Corner #294: TechDAS Air Force One Premium turntable & Graham Engineering Elite tonearm
In 2013, when I first wrote about it, the TechDAS Air Force One ($105,000) was that company's best and most expensive turntable; it joined the handful of products that have earned an A+ in our semiannual Recommended Components feature--a rating that remained in place for six years.

Polk Legend L100 loudspeaker
Summer! COVID-19 notwithstanding, summer--warmth, flowers, leaves on trees--has descended on Greenwich Village, my New York City home for the past 30 years. What hasn't descended are tourists, belching motorcycles, behemoth sports cars, beer drinkers, and the usual summer hell-raisers, the sort that would've sent legendary Village bohemians Kerouac, Ginsberg, and Burroughs running back to their cold-water flats.

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