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Stereophile Nov 2020

Stereophile-November-2020

3rd Edition

Bowers & Wilkins 705 Signature loudspeaker
Back in June 1994, I reviewed the Bowers & Wilkins John Bowers Silver Signature standmounted loudspeaker. This speaker cost a breathtaking $8000/pair at that time, and I subsequently bought the review samples and their matching slate stands.

Something's Coming
So, what's "this thing of ours"? I'm only half-kidding. High-end audio is deadly serious for many passionate audiophiles. Some measurement types defend their turf without thought--without mercy--and often deride subjectivists, like me, who believe if you like what you hear, then that's what counts, enjoy.

Stereophile's Products of 2020
This is Stereophile's 29th Product of the Year issue; the first appeared in 1992. That was the year I finished grad school. It seems like a long time ago.

Recording of December 2020: Christmas Vibes
Only 12 albums a year get to be Recordings of the Month in Stereophile, and only a few are jazz. Typically, they are "big" records by major jazz artists.

An argument for measurements
In my early years of writing about audio (footnote 1), I was known--to the extent that I was known at all--as something of an objectivist. I was, after all, working as an editor at a leading science journal at the time, just a few years out from a brief career as an actual scientist, still in recovery from the physics PhD I'd earned a decade or so before.

Analog Corner #304: SAT XD1 record player
Let's begin by discussing what SAT's XD1 Record Player System is not: It is not a Technics SP-10R in a sci-fi-inspired plinth--although the XD1's engine does begin life as the SP-10R's basic drive system, which is stripped down to a handful of essential components, reimagined, reengineered, and rebuilt to much higher mechanical standards.

2nd Edition

Beer & Measurements with Ayre & Atkinson
"Pints With Ayre," the series of videos produced by Colorado manufacturer Ayre Acoustics, has been regular viewing chez Atkinson during these pandemic times.

From the JGH Archives: Grado Model A phono cartridge
One of the best pickups we've heard to date, the Grado A was introduced with some fanfare in the fall of 1964 (footnote 1) and then, for no apparent reason, was withdrawn just one year later. It is probably still available, though, either used or, discounted, as new stock at some dealers.

VPI HW-40 40th Anniversary Edition turntable & FatBoy tonearm
Judging by VPI's new HW-40 direct-drive turntable (footnote 1), middle age well suits the company that Harry and Sheila Weisfeld started 40 years ago in their Howard Beach, Long Island, basement.

From the JGH Archives: Electro-Voice Model Two & Model Six loudspeakers
These are two of Electro-Voice's "middle-ground" speaker systems, filling the quality (and price) range between the huge Patrician 800 and the diminutive Coronet system.

Celestion SL6S loudspeaker
Let me tell you how I spent the month of May 1987: I had been musing about a comment made by J. Gordon Holt following the 1986 Summer CES that it seemed that the loudspeaker High End was populated exclusively by planar models: Apogees, Acoustats, MartinLogans, Magneplanars of various kinds, the Quad ESL-63, and an assorted Infinity or two.

Grado GT220 True Wireless Earbuds Sweepstakes
Register to win a set of Grado GT220 True Wireless Earbuds (Value $259) we are giving away.

1st Edition

Grado GT220 True Wireless Earbuds Sweepstakes
Register to win a set of Grado GT220 True Wireless Earbuds (Value $259) we are giving away.

Analog Corner #292: AVM R 2.3 turntable, Miyajima Destiny phono cartridge, Sutherland Phono Loco phono preamplifier
AVM Audio, which has been in business since 1986 (footnote 1), chose last year to enter the turntable market with two models that reflect the company's brushed-aluminum/blue LED visual aesthetics.

Avantgarde Acoustic Duo loudspeaker
Few designers are drawn to create horn loudspeakers. Most people's experience of horns is based on the resonating, overdriven, often overloaded PA installations heard at rock concerts and similar events. These commonly heard unmusical noises and colorations are ever-present in designers' minds.

The Wind Cries Marty (Krystall)
Marty Krystall is a musician's musician, highly regarded and known to his peers in the LA music world as a triple-threat wind player equally adept at jazz, classical, and in the studio. He is also an audiophile, a recording engineer, and a record company owner, having created the K2B2 label with bassist and colleague Buell Neidlinger in 1979.

Gramophone Dreams #42: Sunvalley Audio SV-EQ1616D phono equalizer
The 1980s was a decade when I needed three jobs to support my wife, infant daughter, and octogenarian dad. My primary job was to make and sell art, and I'm sure you know how that can go. Between exhibitions, I was forced to do construction work and to find, repair, and resell old tube amplifiers.

Rotel Michi P5 preamplifier
Before starting this review of Rotel's Michi P5, the 60-year-old, Japan-based audio company's recent preamplifier design, I thought it appropriate to consider "What is an audio preamplifier? What should it do?" There are plenty of opinions to be found at stereophile.com:

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