Analog Corner

Sort By: Post DateTitle Publish Date
Michael Fremer  |  Aug 05, 2018  |  First Published: Sep 01, 2015  |  4 comments
Using light to read data from a disc sounds a lot like the technology behind the Compact Disc—but you may be happy to hear there's nothing digital about DS Audio's optical phono cartridge. The DS-W1 uses the motions of a Shibata stylus and boron cantilever to modulate the output of its externally powered light-emitting diode (LED). More good news: The DS-W1 optical cartridge plus its associated electronics, which replace the phono preamp, cost only $8500—less than the price of many high-end cartridges alone.
Michael Fremer  |  Sep 03, 2019  |  First Published: May 01, 2005  |  3 comments
I’m driving around the outskirts of Salt Lake City, where any city’s used-record and bookstores and antique shops and Methadone clinics are usually found. Sure enough, around the corner and down the block from the biggest used-book store is Randy’s Record Shop, billed as having “Utah’s best and largest selection of vinyl—LPs/45s/78s.”

Michael Fremer  |  Jul 29, 2019  |  First Published: Apr 01, 2005  |  2 comments
What if they gave a CES seminar titled “Can You Hear Me Now? Where Has Audio Gone?” and almost no one showed up? That’s pretty much what happened in January, “they” being me.

Michael Fremer  |  Jun 03, 2019  |  First Published: Mar 03, 2005  |  4 comments
van den Hul Grasshopper Condor Gold (Photo: Michael Fremer)

On November 17, 2004, Shure Brothers announced the discontinuation of its legendary V15VxMR moving-magnet phono cartridge, bringing to a close 40 years of V15 cartridges, beginning with the original V15, introduced in 1964 at the then-outrageous price of $62.50.

Michael Fremer  |  Apr 29, 2019  |  First Published: Feb 01, 2005  |  0 comments
Shelter 90X
This was supposed to be my report on analog gear at Home Entertainment 2004 West. The San Francisco show was canceled because of a hotel-workers’ lockout, but my column wasn’t! Fortunately, I’d gotten an early start on what was to be next month’s column because I wanted to actually get ahead on the audio-reviewing assembly line. No such luck.

Michael Fremer  |  Apr 28, 2019  |  First Published: Jan 01, 2005  |  0 comments
Graham Phantom tonearm

The prospect of a four-day fall break at a rustic, dog-friendly ski lodge in Vermont had me scrambling for an audio system. My Apple iPod was an obvious choice, but what about an amplifier and speakers? I considered schlepping a vintage Scott tube amp and a pair of ADC 404 loudspeakers I got at a garage sale, but that seemed like too much of a hassle.

Michael Fremer  |  Mar 11, 2019  |  First Published: Dec 01, 2004  |  0 comments
Richard Vandersteen at the 2004 THE Show in Indianapolis, where Audio Research demmed their MP-1 six-channel preamplifier and 150M multichannel power amp with a Vandersteen speaker system. (Photo: John Atkinson)

CEDIA's annual late-summer Expo, held this year (as in most) in Indianapolis, came just in time for me this year. I hate the excruciating noise at the Custom Electronics Design and Installation Association's gathering, but I get the same charge from high-resolution video as I get from great audio, and the Expo is all about the highest-quality images. Audio? If it's loud, surrounds you, and goes deep enough to massages your innards, it seems to be good enough for most home theater aficionados—and if the source of it can be hidden in the walls or ceiling, so much the better.

Michael Fremer  |  Feb 25, 2019  |  First Published: Nov 01, 2004  |  2 comments
Reviewed this month: the T+A G 10 turntable from Germany

Manufacturers of audio accessories are an odd bunch: they show up at your door, pucks, cones, platforms, or balls in hand, eager to demonstrate the enormous sonic effects their products will have on your system. After inserting their isolators, energy drains, or what have you, they sit down for a listen.

But do they even hear the $40,000/pair loudspeakers you're reviewing? Your $15,000 turntable and $4500 cartridge? Your $7000 phono preamp or $30k worth of other electronics?

No.

Michael Fremer  |  Feb 17, 2019  |  First Published: Oct 01, 2004  |  7 comments
Phono preamps from Ayre, Krell, NAD, Parasound reviewed

There are more choices in outboard phono preamps today than there have ever been, and they're lining up here like planes waiting to take off from Newark/Liberty.

Michael Fremer  |  Feb 10, 2019  |  First Published: Sep 01, 2004  |  3 comments
Reviewed this month: Kuzma's Stabi Reference turntable

A young reader who's been a Stereophile subscriber since junior high, and an "Analog Corner" fan for nearly eight years, sent me a copy of "A Vinyl Farewell," by David Browne, which appeared in the October 4, 1991 issue of Entertainment Weekly. In the article, Browne kisses the LP goodbye, lovingly, nostalgically, and not at all dismissively. Accompanying the article is a photo, perhaps unintentionally suggestive, of an unusually large stylus floating above a record and about to make contact with a hairball of dust. The caption reads, "Playing an LP suddenly feels as foreign as a druidic ceremony."

Michael Fremer  |  Feb 03, 2019  |  First Published: Aug 01, 2004  |  0 comments
Not quite a meeting of the minds at Home Entertainment 2004: Michael Fremer (right) explains to Ken Kessler (left) why LPs sound better than CDs. (Photo: John Atkinson)

It wasn't exactly heroic or even particularly daring, but has anyone ever attempted to install a phono cartridge while facing a room full of audiophiles at a hi-fi show, as I did during my "Analog Clinic" at Home Entertainment 2004 in May? Not that I know of.

Despite the Clinic's being scheduled at 2:30 Sunday afternoon, the butt end of the Show, the seats were filled.

Michael Fremer  |  Jan 28, 2019  |  First Published: Jul 01, 2004  |  4 comments
Origin Live's Resolution Modern turntable and Encounter tonearm

Hand-wringing audiophiles' tales of equipment malfunctions regularly litter my e-mail box. "Why can't this stuff be more reliable?" It has been my experience that most gear is incredibly reliable—or that was my experience until April 2004.

Michael Fremer  |  Jan 21, 2019  |  First Published: Jun 01, 2004  |  2 comments
reviewed in this column: Clearaudio’s Emotion turntable and Satisfy tonearm.

A friend of one of my wife's high school friends e-mailed recently asking for help in setting up his turntable. The guy, in his early 40s, is not a hardcore audiophile and doesn't read the magazines. He just got it into his head one day not long ago that he'd like to start collecting vinyl. So he went to eBay, got himself a Thorens TD-165 for $150, and started buying LPs online. Now he's hooked.

Michael Fremer  |  Jan 08, 2019  |  First Published: May 01, 2004  |  2 comments
Sonus Faber's graceful-looking factory.

"Do you want to see how they build Pro-Ject turntables?" It was Sumiko's John Hunter, phoning me out of the blue.

"Sure!" I've reviewed a few Pro-Ject designs over the years, along with the Music Hall 'tables, which are built in the same factory, and I've long wondered how one small company in the Czech Republic can manufacture such a wide array of products while making almost every part in-house. When Hunter added that the visit to Pro-Ject would be bracketed by stops at Vicenza, Italy and Vienna, Austria to visit (respectively) Sonus Faber and Vienna Acoustics, I was ready to pack. Besides, between the lunacy of January's Consumer Electronics Show and the assembly line of products arriving at and departing from my listening room, I needed a break, hectic though the five-day trip would be.

Michael Fremer  |  Jan 01, 2019  |  First Published: Apr 01, 2004  |  1 comments
"Attention K-Mart shoppers! America is open for business." With the dollar sinking to record lows against foreign currencies and deficits rising to record highs, overseas buyers looking for bargains flocked to the 2004 Consumer Electronics Show in larger numbers than I've seen since I began attending the show in 1978. I have never seen the Alexis Park Hotel as crowded as it was on the show's first day. Usually, attendance is sparse the first two days as West Coast dealers stay away, preferring to tend to retail business. But this year Thursday was packed, and the following days even more so.

Pages

X