Acoustic Sounds
Britten “War Requiem” DECCA reissue

In Part 2 of this special Memorial Day weekend celebration of Benjamin Britten's timeless anti-war statement, we tell the story of the Decca sessions - led by producer John Culshaw and engineer Kenneth Wilkinson - which created one of the acknowledged classics of the gramophone.

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Acoustica Systems ASTELLAR turntable

By Sunday most everyone is beat to a pulp and ready for the show to be over but go on it must! For those covering it there's never enough time. As I began assembling day four's videos I realized I'd missed some key ones that should have been posted on days one, two and three, so in addition to what I managed to get on day four, you'll find some earlier coverage. This one begins on the show floor with Audio Research's Dave Gordon who runs us... Read More

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From the moment it was released in 1963, Decca's recording of the War Requiem with the composer conducting was hailed as a supreme achievement of the gramophone. It sold over 200,000 copies in a few months, and is universally acknowledged as a classic. Marking Memorial Day weekend, we tell the story of its composition, recording, and assess the new vinyl and CD/SACD remasterings.

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The Lemon Twigs

One would think The Lemon Twigs were captured in a time capsule from the ‘60s and brought into the 21st century. Consisting of brothers Brian and Michael D’Addario, the duo craft retro-sounding rock with influences derivative of baroque, indie, glam, and power pop. It is ludicrous for any modern artist with an obvious trace of influence from decades past to be dubbed as “passé.” The Lemon Twigs manage to take every cliche of the genres they explore into one giant... Read More

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Seminar participants Leif Johannsen, J.R. Boisclair, Mark Dohmann, Craig Milnes and panel moderator Michael Fremer

Day Three included two breaks in the normal convention coverage flow: first in the A.M. I moderated a seminar titled "Has Vinyl Playback Technology Gone About As Far As It Can Go?" with participants Mark Dohmann (Dohmann Audio), Craig Milnes (Wilson-Benesch), Leif Johannsen (Ortofon) and J.R. Boisclair (WallyTools/WAM Engineering). All over the past decade have advance the art and science of vinyl playback, so their take on the question was interesting and... Read More

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Thorens super table

Day two's coverage begins and ends with visits to the main floor mayhem where you can find newly minted dreamers as well as veterans who do well selling accessories, records, inner and outer sleeves, etc.I stopped by Rega, Thorens, where the finished edition of its big turntable was on both static and active display, Acoustic Signature, which showed a new Tango Apex NEO phono preamp and a new €50,000 TA 10000 NEO tonearm. The 50K tonearm price point has become a... Read More

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Rhino High Fidelity "Black Sabbath" and "Freedom of Choice"

LOS ANGELES — Rhino High Fidelity (Rhino Hi-Fi) returns with the latest additions to its acclaimed limited-edition, high-end vinyl reissues. Black Sabbath’s Self-Titled (1970) debut and Devo’s Freedom Of Choice (1980) are available today exclusively at and internationally at select WMG stores. Each release is limited to 5,000 individually numbered copies priced at $39.98.

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Gryphon Apollo Turntable

New product debuts abounded at High End Munich. I was trying to cover products in the analog domain—turntables, cartridges and phono preamps—and found many each day, but while I was at it I came upon many other new and exciting products you'll see in this day one coverage. All prices are approximate. The day started with a curious coupling of Technics and Lamborghini. It seemed that Lamborghini wants some vinyl playback caché and Technics wants some luxury to rub... Read More

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Vertere SG-II PTA tonearm

"Vertere's new high-end tonearm is designated the SG-II PTA, as it looks—at a brief glance—similar to the SG-1 PTA tonearms. However, looks can be deceiving, as the SG-II only shares three parts with its junior siblings: the fine tracking force weight, the lift lower mechanism, and the silicon nitride triple bearing assembly. The SG-II-PTA HB will sell for £13500, €16998, and $16995. It will be available from July.

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After spending my previous article gushing over Barenboim’s sonically thrilling Bruckner 4, we’re left with the three remaining Original Source titles for this month, which are some of the most “meat and potatoes” repertoire we’ve seen so far. Any decent classical record collection is going have a copy of these three works: Beethoven’s Symphony No. 6, Brahms Symphony No. 1, and Bartók’s Concerto for Orchestra. They are frequently recorded and performed cornerstones of... Read More

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Pro-Ject T2 turntable

Pro-Ject always has a big presence at High End Munich, but this year the company had its biggest display, taking up a large section of Hall 3's center space. The Pro-Ject "booth" (the word hardly suffices) includes Pro-Ject, E.A.T. and Musical Fidelity. Though there were many new products launched by all 3 companies within the Pro-Ject umbrella, and some were fairly costly, the most significant may well have been the launch of the new T2 entry level... Read More

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The Doors Live in Stockholm

In September 1968, The Doors embarked on a European tour, performing two sets per night (twelve shows total) over fourteen days across five countries. Things were off to a solid start with two consecutive nights at London’s legendary Roundhouse, followed by a stop in Frankfurt. Matters got hairy in Amsterdam when Jim Morrison went on a drug binge and was hospitalized, leaving the group to carry the shows out as a trio. Morrison recouped well enough for Copenhagen two... Read More

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Sonny Rolling a night at the "village vanguard"

In October 1957, Sonny Rollins was booked for a two month gig at New York City jazz club, The Village Vanguard. Though widely regarded as the most innovative and important saxophonist in jazz, Rollins was, in his own words, "so disillusioned with myself that I was afraid to hear myself." At the Vanguard, he was leading his own band for the first time and searching for a way to play jazz that was freer and more expressive than the bebop style of harmonic... Read More

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Gardena, CA—May 9, 2024—Analog2Fidelity, LLC proudly announces the launch of a groundbreaking service: the comprehensive rebuild of all Koetsu cartridges ever manufactured. Spearheaded by Arturo A. Manzano, Director of Analog2Fidelity, this initiative marks a significant milestone in the preservation of Koetsu's unparalleled legacy.With over three decades of high-end audio experience, Arturo A. Manzano has cultivated an extensive network within the industry.... Read More

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Steve Albini

(I conducted this interview with the great Steve Albini way back in 1993, before MP3, before the iPod, back when all but a few outspoken critics like Albini, Neil Young and a few others had anything negative to say about the digital recording revolution. Albini died today at age 61 from a heart attack at his Electrical Audio studio in Chicago. It's fascinating to read Albini's thoughts from back then today. He was right on target then and now, but of course... Read More

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Gryphon Apollo Turntable System

Munich, Germany, 9 May 2024:  Gryphon Audio Designs ApS, designer and manufacturer of Ultra-Luxe Audio Systems, introduces the finest analog offerings in their 40-year history. The Siren Phono Preamplifier and Apollo Turntable System will be unveiled today at HIGH END Munich, Atrium 4.1, Room E120. Gryphon’s Commander Preamp, Apex Mono Amplifiers, recently introduced PowerZone AC Optimizer and EOS 5 Loudspeakers, wired with Gryphon Vanta Cable and mounted on our StandArt Equipment Racks, complete the demonstration system.

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