I’m only half-kidding. High-end audio is deadly serious for many passionate audiophiles. Some measurement types defend their turf without thought—without mercy—and often deride subjectivists, like me, who believe if you like what you hear, then that’s what counts, enjoy. Objectivists say if you can’t measure it, then it doesn’t exist. Well, goes the retort, you don’t know what to measure, your instruments aren’t refined enough, and on and on.
The struggle continues to this day for some reason, and boy-howdy is it ferocious, especially regarding cables.
People, please, you want to grow our industry? This isn’t productive. It drives music lovers away from a potential joy of a lifetime. Which, given the circumstances, is a crying shame, as now you can buy so much quality for so little money. Check out Herb Reichert’s Gramophone Dreams column, or Steve Guttenberg’s Audiophiliac YouTube channel, for reviews of affordable systems that make music the high-end way. Dealers, retailers, please realize that these people are out there and need their music, especially as we’re all still suffering from the pandemic. Be imaginative and find ways to reach them in this new environment.
Continue reading your story on the app
Continue reading your story in the magazine
The magnificent eight
The Story of the Grateful Dead, a 14-LP, 8-album collection of Grateful Dead recordings with booklet and deluxe packaging, from Vinyl Me, Please (VMP-A006, 2020), is intended as a curated sampling of the high points in the Dead’s extensive catalog. The first seven albums were cut from analog tape, while Without a Net comes from the original digital master. The sound is breathtaking.
T+A Solitaire P headphones and HA 200 DACheadphone amplifier
What I categorize as mainstream, dealer-based, fancy-pants stream-ers and big-speakers audio is actually only the gold-plated tip of a gigantic asteroid-like monolith that extends (underground) from New York to Hong Kong, from the Arctic Circle to Antarctica. This immense audio-social mass is mostly invisible to the Madison Avenue mainstream, but simple Google searches expose millions of proletarian audio-gear constructers (DIY’ers) working in shops, basements, and garages, scratch-building everything from turntables to tonearms to phono cartridges, to capacitors and vacuum tubes, to amplifiers, headphones, ribbon and electrostatic speakers.
MAKE MORE NOISE!
The title of this set—4 CDs and a book—comes from British suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst’s call to arms for women to fight for their rights: “You have to make more noise than anybody else,” said Pankhurst, who died in 1928.
EDITOR’S PICK - RECORDING OF THE MONTH
Landscape into music
It says something about the power of music that some individuals fading into dementia can still recognize the music they knew earlier in their lives. Not to denigrate new music, or music one hasn’t heard before, but our mental jukeboxes award top chart numbers to music that we have lived with over time. Those DJs making their playlists in our brain are the toughest of critics. They don’t care what anyone else might think, “Close to You” is staying in the rotation. Music and memory are linked.
Some great new reissues
For jazz fans, a new batch of releases in Blue Note’s Tone Poet series—vinyl reissues remastered with care and cut from the original analog tapes—is the reason for celebration.
PS Audio Stellar M1200
MONOBLOCK POWER AMPLIFIER
Marantz Model 30
KEF LS50 Meta LOUDSPEAKER
Woodworker, content creator; a lesson in contradictions
how to hit the reset button
When emotions are spiraling out of control, it’s time to go within and meditate.
2021 : A GUITAR ODYSSEY
SIX SUCCESSFUL GUITARISTS FROM COMPLETELY DIFFERENT BACKGROUNDS TACKLE THE STATE OF GUITAR IN 2021, THE REPERCUSSIONS OF THE DIGITAL UNIVERSE, THE FUTURE OF GUITAR HEROES, HOW TO MAINTAIN ONE’S PASSION AND UNIQUE VOICE AMID THE CACOPHONY, LIVING IN THE PAST, MAGIC KNOBS AND MORE
GMAIL, YOUTUBE DOWN BRIEFLY AS GOOGLE SUFFERS BRIEF OUTAGE
Google users in the U.S., Europe, India and other parts of the world were briefly unable to access their Gmail accounts, watch YouTube videos or get to their online documents during an outage this Monday.
Charity Builds for The Gambia
Stream From a Birdbox With a Pi
YOU’LL NEED THIS - A RASPBERRY PI & A COMPATIBLE IR CAMERA
More Skill Adds Up To More Muskies
Just like a golfer must practice often with a variety of clubs performing a wide range of shots on a vast array of terrains, so must the musky angler cast with a wide selection of lures at various spots.
An interview with furniture maker Peter Griffin
DID SOCIAL MEDIA ACTUALLY COUNTER ELECTION MISINFORMATION?
Ahead of the election, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube promised to clamp down on election misinformation, including unsubstantiated charges of fraud and premature declarations of victory by candidates. And they mostly did just that — though not without a few hiccups.
There's a big change in store for Ultimate Adventure 2020!
Ultimate Adventure is here...