• CES 2015: Speakers $20,000 and Under

    CES 2015: Speakers $20,000 and Under

    It’s just not fair. Designers of expensive speakers get to use diamond-studded drivers enshrouded in mu-metal, solid-aluminum, or molded-marble enclosures. But if you’re building a speaker that will retail at $20k or less, those headstarts ...
  • Magico S5 Loudspeaker

    Magico S5 Loudspeaker

    I’m going to tell you right up front that I am not someone who has loved every Magico to come down the pike. I fell hard for the original Mini and have admired its descendants. ...
  • 2014 New York Audio Show

    2014 New York Audio Show

    Plants. That’s what made the difference between heavenly and hellish-sounding rooms at this year’s New York Audio Show. It took me a while to clue into this. I was in one of the better-sounding spaces, ...
  • 2014 Golden Ear Awards: Alan Taffel

    2014 Golden Ear Awards: Alan Taffel

    CH Precision C1 Linestage/ DAC and A1 Power Amplifier$32,975; $37,475 These highly modular components from new-but-pedigreed CH Precision represent the latest Swiss thinking on high-bandwidth, low-noise amplification and digital circuitry. Technology aside, the CH gestalt ...
  • Download Roundup - Beck: Morning Phase

    Download Roundup - Beck: Morning Phase

    Morning Phase finds Beck, the ever-restless singer/songwriter/producer/ instrumentalist, in the same mellow, thoughtful mood he unveiled on 2002’s Sea Change. The songs unfold at unhurried tempos—there’s not an upbeat number in the batch—forcing you yourself ...
  • The Attention-Span Gap

    The Attention-Span Gap

    Every month, it seems, this magazine and other industry oracles lament the younger generation’s apathy toward high-end audio. The stated culprit is always the same: lack of exposure to good sound. I grant you that ...
  • The Clash in High-Res

    The Clash in High-Res

    In their heyday—roughly the late-70s to early 80s—the Clash, with typical insouciant bravado, dubbed themselves “The Most Important Rock Band in the World.” They may well have been right. No doubt the band staked that ...
  • Download Roundup - Janis Joplin: Pearl

    Download Roundup - Janis Joplin: Pearl

    The original CD of this superb blues-rock standard—sadly, Joplin’s last studio release—suffers from a surfeit of grunge and puts an artificial edge on Joplin’s voice—the last thing it needs. A later CD, The Pearl Sessions, ...
  • Download Roundup - Beach Boys: Pet Sounds

    Download Roundup - Beach Boys: Pet Sounds

    In 1990, this legendary work finally received the golden-gloved CD- remastering treatment. That disc is quite satisfying, with a clean, mostly relaxed sound that makes Brian Wilson’s handiwork easy to appreciate. In keeping with the ...

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