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Stereophile June 2011, 1st Edition

Stereophile June 2011

T.H.E. Newport Beach Show 2011 Show Report
I spoke to Richard Beers, T.H.E. Show’s President about attendance at the first ever T.H.E. Show Newport Beach and he scientifically deduced over 4000. This estimate was based on the fact that he’d ordered over 4000 lanyards, the thing every attendee uses to hang their badge around their neck, and they were nearly gone on Saturday afternoon. I heard people talking even higher numbers but I’ve got no way to verify their enthusiasm.

Munich High End 2011 Show Report
The M.O.C. proved to be an outstanding venue for presenting hi-fi in the best possible light, creating an atmosphere that invited attendees to linger, relax, enjoy. Though the weekend’s weather was absolutely glorious, people from all over the world decided to spend it indoors, with music and sound and gear.

Steve Earle: Hardcore Troubador
To write about music, you must first come to terms with your fanboy urges. You must brush off the fairy dust and see your heroes for who they really are---a picture that in many cases is all too human. Yet that first blush of idolatry is an experience you never quite forget, no matter how many times you interview a person.

Book Review: Pops: A Life of Louis Armstrong
If you plan to read just one book about Louis Armstrong, whose virtuosic cornet solos pushed jazz past rudimentary ensemble playing and launched his phenomenal career as an instrumentalist and singer, make it Pops. Teachout built it on brickwork laid by authors who preceded him, so you'll benefit from their research, as well as from narrative on 650 previously private reels of tape that Armstrong recorded and archived. Moreover, Teachout is a musician and music critic who offers opinions on his subject's discography.

Klipsch Icon Series
Klipsch recently launched their new Icon series, a family of relatively affordable loudspeakers to be sold exclusively in Best Buy stores throughout the US. The five models include two floorstanders (KF-28, $900/pair; KF-26, $700/pair), one bookshelf (KB-15, $249/pair), one center channel (KC-25, $249 each), and one surround (KS-14, $279 each). Matching SW-350 ($350) and SW-450 ($450) subwoofers are also available at Best Buy.

The Eye in the MMJ Sky
If you measure success as confusing people, provoking discussions, evoking strong feelings, keeping listeners off balance, creating opposing camps, having the same record hated and loved by equal minorities, then Circuital by My Morning Jacket is already a big hit. In fact Jim James and his mates in MMJ now seem to be solidly defining success as rattling their listeners, making them uneasy; challenging their definition of what MMJ is with every record. And they seem to have mastered gaining and losing new audiences with each succeeding recording project. Those who came to love Z (2005) hated Evil Urges (2008) which itself drew a whole new audience which now hates Circuital which again has drawn yet another new audience. It’s quite an impressive cycle.

The Meatloaf Recipe
In our May issue (see “The Entry Level,” page 47, or just click right here), I discussed the Music Hall USB-1 turntable ($249), Audioengine 5 powered loudspeakers ($349/pair), HiFiMan HM-602 portable music player ($439), and meatloaf (probably around $30 for all the ingredients).

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