Time flies. Besides being the title of one of my favorite latter-era Porcupine Tree songs, these were also the first two printable words that came to mind after I found the answer to the question, “Say, when was the last time I did a deep dive with Qobuz?” was exactly three years ago. (“Sacre bleu!” is the PG-13 equivalent to the other choice words I thought of in that moment.) Fact is, a full 36 months have passed since I first delved into the many hi-res offerings of this très magnifique French streaming service. With that in mind, I felt it was high time for a hi-res Qobuz re-evaluation to see if the ever-expanding service has been able to continue building upon our constantly changing audiophile streaming ways.
I’m happy to report the platform has only gotten stronger and deeper in terms of content and presentation in the interim. At press time, the Qobuz hi-res catalog has increased to house 185,000 albums—up 15,000 albums since my last eval—and the service boasts 70 million tracks overall, almost double from before. True, a good portion of this burgeoning track total is only available at 16-bit/44.1kHz (CD quality), but more is always better, imo.
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My listening room has seen components from three different South Korean audio manufacturers over the past year, and in each case the performance, build quality, and aesthetics of the product have been uniformly superb. But what really impressed me about them is the extent to which each used software and/or circuitry developed in-house rather than purchased off-the-shelf. Call me slow, but I think something special is going on south of the 38th parallel.
To Trinitron and Beyond
Man, oh, man. Can this really be happening? Over these many years, I have purchased all manner of excellent Sony products: radios, televisions, tape recorders, receivers, amplifiers, turntables, Betamax, CD, DVD, Blu-ray, Mini-disc, headphones, boomboxes, speakers, soundbars, videogame consoles, phones, camcorders, cameras—you name it. But will my next Sony purchase be...a car?
A Modern Classic
The loudspeaker landscape is dotted with so-called classics. Legends like the Klipschorn, the Quad ESL, and the JBL L100 have remained in production for decades or enjoyed successful reboots not just because they appeal to our nostalgia, but because they remain bonafide audiophile-grade products.
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THE ARRIVAL of yet another A/V receiver doesn't usually engender much excitement here at S&V's currently sub-arctic regional headquarters in New England. But Onkyo's new TX-NR7100 is not just another" receiver.
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TV Trends of CES 2022
After going fully online in 2021 due to the global pandemic, CES 2022 was an in-person event, with both manufacturers and attendees required to provide proof of vaccination and don masks prior to entering the show floor.