Hello, and Happy New Year! I’m greeting you in October 2021—just before Halloween, in anticipation of Stereophile’s publication deadline—but by the time this magazine arrives in your mailbox, it’ll be after the holidays.If I hadn’t told you, you wouldn’t have known when I wrote this essay— and you still don’t know where I was when I wrote it: my office? In an airplane 36,000 feet up? Similarly, I don’t know where you’ll be when you read it, or when: Maybe in early 2022 in your listening chair; maybe you’ll find it in a box in an attic many years hence and read it then.
I should take a moment to introduce myself. I’m Jim Anderson, recording engineer and producer. I’ve been involved in audio, on the “pro” side, for many years. I say “audio” and not “music” because in addition to music of many genres, I’ve also recorded radio documentaries, film scores— even, I’m proud to say, the Muppets.
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Round Trip: Ornette Coleman’s Blue Note sides
CH Precision D1.5 SACD/CD/MQA-CD Player/Transport
There’s a school of thought that maintains that among all hi-fi components, the D/A converter is easiest to perfect or come close to perfecting. Just make sure that every sample is converted accurately, that there’s little rolloff in the audioband, that aliased images are suppressed almost completely, and that background noise is extremely low, and you have a top-quality D/A processor. Use of a high-quality DAC chip is assumed.
Paradox’s remarkable Phono 70 Signature MC phono preamplifier
Stax, EAR, and Bob’s Devices
SINGING TO THE SOUL
THE MAGIC OF ART SONG ON RECORD
MayFly Audio Systems MF-201A LOUDSPEAKER
If you’ve ever read Homer’s Iliad, you probably remember the Cata-log of Ships at the beginning. It’s an exhaustive record of the contingents the Achean army deployed against Troy, naming the commanders, their hometowns, the number of ships in each contingent, and more. Not to put too fine a point on it, it’s a snoozefest. It makes you dread what’s next. But of course, if you come to this point only to abandon the Iliad in frustration, you’ll miss the fabulous war epic that follows, chockablock with action, drama, and romance.
Gold Note PH-1000 PHONO PREAMPLIFIER
Gold Note’s $11,999 PH-1000 is by a con-siderable margin the most sophisticated, most configurable phono preamplifier that any audio manufacturer has ever produced, at least that I know of. Remarkably, considering all that flexibility and sophistication, using and adjusting the PH-1000 is straightforward.
“Music Was Mine to Experience.”
For all its ghastliness and heartbreak, the COVID-19 pandemic has been good to Keb’ Mo’. When the virus hit the US, it forced the cancelation of a string of his concerts. “I was getting a little burned out on touring,” he confesses.
The Secret History of Washington, DC, R&B
Forget about the sound of the recording.
MY BACK PAGES
Washington’s top red variety shines in recent vintages
NASA CLIMATE RESEARCH SCIENTIST WINS WORLD FOOD PRIZE
A NASA climate research scientist who has spent much of her career explaining how global food production must adapt to a changing climate was awarded the World Food Prize on Thursday.
Do the Math
BREW PUBS WITH A VIEW
Some beers are made in giant factories. These are crafted in places you wished you lived.
VIBRANT LIVING It's Your Move!
The region is rich in upscale downsizing options.
Coming Out Of The Chemical Closet
Neuropsychopharmacologist Carl Hart says most of what the public knows about drugs is both scary and wrong.
Varied Thrush: Making a bold statement
Globally, the thrush family contains 169 viable species; three other thrush species are now extinct.
American Dipper: a swimming and singing songbird
If you walk along a mountain stream almost anywhere in the western United States, you may see a uniformly gray bird standing on a rock near a riffle or rapid in the middle of the river.
GOLDMINE WRITER TIM NEELY TAKES YOU THROUGH THE STEPS OF BUILDING A CHRISTMAS ALBUM COLLECTION IN A COST-EFFECTIVE WAY.
No Average Joe
As he pushes past his own personal pain, Dr. Joseph Cofrancesco continues to dedicate his life’s work to helping others.