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Stereophile June 2011, 2nd Edition

Stereophile June 2011 2nd

Stereophile Galleries Open
As photographer Lewis Hine once said, "If I could tell the story in words, I wouldn't need to lug around a camera." Which is why, though it took longer than expected, the Stereophile Galleries are back online. You can once again check out reader's listening rooms, live music shots, photos from Stereophile's past and present, and more.

Linn Majik 140 loudspeaker
In the May 2009 issue, I gushed over the performance of Linn Products' remarkable little bookshelf speaker, the Majik 109 ($1590/pair). In particular, I was struck by how I'd never heard any speaker at any price whose high frequencies sounded more natural, detailed, or pure than the 109's. Then I asked Linn which was their most expensive model that also incorporates the 2K tweeter-supertweeter array used in the Majik 109.

Bel Canto e.One DAC3.5VB D/A converter
Minnesota pride is a funny thing. As Garrison Keillor points out weekly on A Prairie Home Companion, to be a Minnesotan, the first and crucial step to be taken is that of self-effacement. It is unclear to me whether this is the cause or symptom of Minnesotans ability to endure brutal winters, excel at the creation and consumption of hot dish (which the rest of the God-fearing world knows as casseroles), or their miraculous lineage from generations of Norwegian bachelor farmers.

Famous People with LPs
David Gilbert from Italy sends this link to images of famous people (and beasts), from Bill Clinton to Chewbacca, spending quality time with their LPs. And Wes Phillips shares a wonderful Calvin and Hobbes comic strip, in which Calvin’s dad teaches his son a lesson about RPMs.

Mahler For the Asking & Future Hi-Res Downloads
Universal Classics, owners of the great Deutsche Grammophon, London/Decca, and Philips catalogues, has made its entire treasure trove of Mahler recordings available for free, full-track, online streaming. Whether you are a babe in the Vienna woods or a seasoned Mahlerite, this is a rare opportunity to audition and compare a good 180 Mahler symphony recordings, including over 60 out-of-print Mahler titles.

Musical Fidelity M1 DAC
In 1989, Musical Fidelity introduced the Digilog, one of the world's first outboard digital-to-audio converters, or DACs. It was a bold move by a small company. Far larger companies, with more resources, were slower to do something about digital—specifically about the mediocre sound then available from the Compact Disc.

LFD Phonostage LE phono preamplifier
Far be it from me to surrender these column inches to the whims of a manufacturer. That said, there's ample reason to break with tradition and offer the thoughts of an obscure English company called LFD, whose products may already have tripped your surveillance wires.

Ayre K-5xeMP line preamplifier
The name Ayre Acoustics is always associated in my mind with preamplifiers; the Colorado company's second product was the K-1 preamplifier, which was reviewed for Stereophile by Wes Phillips in March 1997, and it followed the Ayre pattern in being fully balanced and using no overall loop negative feedback. Ayre's cofounder and chief engineer, Charlie Hansen, hates feedback with a passion.

Bryston BDP-1 digital audio player
James Tanner, VP of marketing at Bryston Ltd., was frustrated. He'd borrowed a Music Vault 4000 music server to play high-resolution digital music files at Bryston's exhibit at the 2009 Consumer Electronics Show. Most of the time, the server delivered some of the best sound at that event. The rest of the time, there were dropouts and crashes.

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.

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