I was single at the time. I had two cats, both male, and the Siamese had started to lose its mind. Goddamn thing started pissing in my basement listening room and ended up soaking the carpet. Fortunately, it was old and already in poor condition. Have you ever smelled male cat piss? It’s a horrific ammonia stench that catches in your throat and makes your eyes water.
Back in the 1970s, I lived in Japan for a year, ostensibly to study Buddhism and the Japanese language; in reality, I was knocking around Kyoto as much as I pleased. I was living with my girlfriend in a small eight-mat room, watching kabuki plays at the Minami-za theater, reading poetry in coffee shops, and hanging out at a blues club on weekends.
The email came to me courtesy of Brent Butterworth, who until recently was our go-to guy for headphones. “I can’t do anything with this, but it’s super-cool and I figured you might want to write about it.” The pitch Brent forwarded was a press release describing how Vinyl Moon, a company that each month releases a unique LP of mixed new music along with nifty original artwork, is now providing an augmented reality (AR) visualization of their experience.
Jazz Is Dead 17
Musical Performance: ****
Sound Quality: ***
Overall Enjoyment: ***½
Adrian Younge and Ali Shaheed Muhammad have helmed 16 previous recordings for the Jazz Is Dead series. They’ve worked with well-known jazz musicians, such as Roy Ayers, Brian Jackson, and Gary Bartz, as well as more obscure players. For Jazz Is Dead 17, they’ve developed nine tracks with jazz keyboard player Lonnie Liston Smith, whose discography includes 16 titles as a leader, and many other outings as a sideman. He contributed keys to albums by Miles Davis, Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Gato Barbieri, and many other musicians over a career that began in the late 1960s.
Rightly or wrongly, Germans have a reputation for being an exacting bunch—often concerned more with function than form. For this car-loving reviewer, automobiles are a prime example of what fuels this stereotype. If you want a high-end sports car that you can run ragged day in and day out, buy a Porsche 911 GT3. This car’s beauty has been honed through decades of refinement of the underlying 911 body shape. If, on the Freudian continuum, you tilt less towards the ego and more towards the id, and tend to forego Teutonic pragmatism in favor of more primal urges, then the sensual lines of a new Ferrari F8 Tributo would be a better choice. While significant engineering resources have been poured into each of these automobiles, the German model is the dedicated workhorse compared to the Italian show pony.
My first audio review, which detailed my experience with the Wisdom Audio Adrenaline Dipole 75 loudspeaker system, was published in October of 1998 on SoundStage.com—at the time, the equivalent of SoundStage! Hi-Fi. I’ve written hundreds of product reviews since then, along with a bazillion opinion articles, show reports, and features of all sorts. SoundStage!—the network that now includes ten sites, a YouTube channel, busy social media platforms, and measurement and photography labs—has been my professional home for about 25 years. Since this is the last article I’ll be writing for SoundStage!, I thought it fitting to share some of my favorite memories from my career as a SoundStager.
I used to be a large-speaker kind of guy. Early in my audiophile life, I figured going bigger would be more satisfying in the long term, not necessarily because size on its own makes a difference, but because speakers tended to get larger as you progressed from the bottom to the top model of any given company’s lineup. Come to think of it, I can’t come up with a single example of a company whose speakers actually get smaller as you move up the line. As a result, I equated bigger with better because, well, that’s what I was told was the case by almost everyone who made speakers.
Heavenly Recordings HVNLP198
Musical Performance: ****½
Sound Quality: ***½
Overall Enjoyment: ****
H. Hawkline is the pseudonym of Welsh singer-songwriter Huw Evans. In 2010, Evans released his first album as H. Hawkline, A Cup of Salt, and followed it a year later with The Strange Uses of Ox Gall. Both albums were slightly eccentric and DIY in feel and showed a wide range of songwriting interests and instrumental skills. Evans’s guitar playing had hints of country blues and Welsh folk music, and his songwriting embraced everything from ’60s folk rock to psychedelia.
Sears and Realistic
I got hooked on audio gear at an early age. The first stereo system I owned—I was about 12 years old at the time—was an AM/FM receiver with a built-in cassette deck and record player, purchased from Sears, Roebuck and Co. The set came with a pair of lightweight bookshelf speakers that were wafer thin with nonremovable brown grilles. I hooked up the system on Christmas morning and was absolutely thrilled with what I’d received.
I can recall every stereo system I’ve owned over almost four decades of being in the hobby. The first few decades were spent on the seemingly endless ascent to what I thought was audio nirvana. As many have come to learn, it’s not necessary, or in some cases even wise, to attempt the climb. I’ve made some of the mistakes that audiophiles often make. I’ve fitted the wrong speakers to the wrong rooms. I’ve underpowered my system. I’ve shortchanged the source component. I’ve also paired products that I’ve liked on their own that had little sonic synergy when used together. That’s just to name a few.
All contents available on this website are copyrighted by SoundStage!® and Schneider Publishing Inc., unless otherwise noted. All rights reserved.
This site was designed by Rocket Theme, Karen Fanas, and The SoundStage! Network.
To contact us, please e-mail email@example.com