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Stereophile November 2021


2nd Edition

Stereophile's Products of 2021
Here's another Stereophile milestone, our second one this year. In August, we celebrated the magazine's 500th issue. This month, we celebrate a number that's smaller but almost as round: our 30th Annual Product of the Year Awards.

Bryston B1353 integrated amplifier
Out of the blue, a forever friend I hadn't spoken to in years called and asked me to join him at Riverside Church for a concert of William Basinski performing his renowned Disintegration Loops.

Re-Tales #15: The Beat Goes On
Finding fresh approaches to doing business isn't easy, especially in the current climate. But now it's becoming essential. Audio manufacturers, distributors, and dealers must figure out how to attract new customers while continuing to provide service for existing customers.

Wilson Audio Specialties Alexx V loudspeaker
The Wilson Audio Specialties Alexx V ($135,000-$151,000/pair) is the biggest, heaviest, most expensive loudspeaker I've had in my listening room. It replaces the original Alexx in Wilson's lineup; Michael Fremer reviewed the earlier Alexx, bought it, and owned it until replacing it recently with the Wilson Chronosonic XVX.

Even though I'm the editor of Stereophile, I sometimes struggle to get my audio system to play. It's a little bit embarrassing. Just last night, I put on a record and there was no sound. I figured out the problem immediately: I'd forgotten to turn on the amplifiers. But the reason isn't always so obvious.

Revinylization #23: Grant Green, Kenny Burrell, Oliver Nelson
Two new reissues in Blue Note's Classic Vinyl series--Grant Green's Idle Moments and Kenny Burrell's Midnight Blue--capture peaks of jazz guitar's possibilities at a juncture when modernism was primed for a shift to something else.

1st Edition

Capital Audiofest 2021: It's a Wrap
Capital Audiofest 2021 was a fantastic show. Everyone I spoke to--vendors, visitors, the helpful Hilton staff--was jazzed to be there. Everyone was in good spirits.

Sonnet Morpheus D/A processor
Playlists embody who we are. We use musical affinities to understand (or at least categorize) others, not only as evidence of their aesthetic discernment but also of their emotional and political affiliations, which amount to an entire worldview.

Gramophone Dreams #54: DS Audio DS003 optical cartridge & EMIA, Lundahl, Koetsu, Sculpture A step-up transformers
In the household I grew up in, telling a lie was a death-penalty offense--worse than murder or leaving crumbs on the kitchen counter.

Ayre Acoustics EX-8 2.0 Integrated Hub D/A integrated amplifier
In New York City, everything comes at a premium: Housing, groceries, transportation, walking space, living space, sanity space--consider our cubbyhole apartments and tenement buildings.

Listening Deeply
The one activity that distinguishes audiophiles from other music lovers is our practice of sitting in solitude and listening closely to music reproduced on a finely tuned playback system.

PSB Synchrony T600 loudspeaker
Exactly five years ago as I write these words, I reviewed an elegant-looking and elegant-sounding tower loudspeaker from Canadian manufacturer PSB: the Imagine T3.

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