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Anthony Cordesman

I've been reviewing audio components since some long talks with HP back in the early 1980s. My first experiences with the high end came in the 1950s at the University of Chicago, where I earned part of my tuition selling gear for Allied Radio and a local high-end audio dealer, and worked on sound systems for local night clubs, the Court Theater, and the university radio station. My professional life has been in national security, but I've never lost touch with the high end and have lived as a student and diplomat in Britain, Belgium, France, Germany, NATO, Asia, Iran and the Middle East and Asia. I've been lucky enough to live in places where opera, orchestras, and live chamber and jazz performances were common and cheap, and to encounter a wide range of different venues, approaches to performing, and national variations in high-end audio gear. I currently hold the Burke Chair in Strategy at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, and my open source analyses are available at that web site. What I look for in reviewing is the ability to provide a musically real experience at a given price point in a real-world listening room, and the ability to reveal the overall balance of musical sound qualities that I know are on a given recording. Where possible, I try to listen on a variety of systems as well as my own reference system.

2022 Golden Ear: PS Audio FR30 Loudspeaker
REVIEW

2022 Golden Ear: PS Audio FR30 Loudspeaker

PS Audio FR30 Loudspeaker $28,500 I’d quietly sworn to myself […]

Audio by Van Alstine DVA M225 Monoblock Power Amplifier
REVIEW

Audio by Van Alstine DVA M225 Monoblock Power Amplifier

Sometimes reviewers need to pay close attention to all the […]

Legacy Audio Valor Loudspeaker and Wavelet 2 DSP Processor
REVIEW

Legacy Audio Valor Loudspeaker and Wavelet 2 DSP Processor

One of the pleasures of being an audio reviewer is […]

Mark Levinson No 5101 Network Streaming SACD Player and DAC, No 5206 Preamplifier, and No 5302 Power Amplifier
REVIEW

Mark Levinson No 5101 Network Streaming SACD Player and DAC, No 5206 Preamplifier, and No 5302 Power Amplifier

It’s a bit unusual to review three highly sophisticated components […]

Thrax Enyo
REVIEW

Thrax Enyo Modular Integrated Amplifier

It’s all too easy for Americans to forget just how […]

Technics SU-R1000 Integrated Amplifier
REVIEW

Technics SU-R1000 Integrated Amplifier

Let me begin this review with my conclusion: The new […]

2020 Golden Ear Awards: Anthony H. Cordesman
NEWS

2020 Golden Ear Awards: Anthony H. Cordesman

Avantgarde Acoustic Loudspeakers I have not been a fan of […]

Using Your  “Second System”  For Surround Music
BLOG

Using Your “Second System” For Surround Music

The years have not been kind to high-end surround sound. […]

Dan D’Agostino Master Audio Systems Progression Stereo Amplifier and Preamplifier
REVIEW

Dan D’Agostino Master Audio Systems Progression Stereo Amplifier and Preamplifier

I know somewhere, deep in my heart, that the physical appearance […]

2019 Golden Ear Awards: Anthony H. Cordesman
REVIEW

2019 Golden Ear Awards: Anthony H. Cordesman

Magico S7 Loudspeaker $58,000 I’ve been using the Magico S7 […]

AVM R5.3 Turntable
REVIEW

AVM R5.3 Turntable

The AVM R5.3 is a really good turntable in many […]

VPI Avenger Reference Turntable
REVIEW

VPI Avenger Reference Turntable

Let me begin this review by noting that the VPI […]

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