Newest Updates - Quick View
- "Rumble Fish"
- Does Love of Physical Media Have Anything to Do With Love of Music?
- Endless Field: "Endless Field"
- Libratone Q Adapt On-Ear Headphones
- Music Everywhere: G-Project G-Boom Bluetooth Speaker
- Santana: "Lotus"
- Brainwavz B200 Earphones
- Music Everywhere: Grace Digital EcoXGear EcoBoulder Bluetooth Outdoor Speaker
- What Does Samsung's Purchase of Harman Portend?
- Paradigm Reference Signature S6 v.3 / C3 v.3 / ADP3 v.3 / Sub 1 / PBK Home-Theater Speaker System
- Monitor Audio Silver RX6 / RX Centre / RXFX / RXW-12 Home-Theater Speaker System
- Anthony Gallo Acoustics Nucleus Reference 3.5 Loudspeakers
- Explaining HDMI while Solving the Cause of Blue-Screen Nightmares
- Paradigm Reference Signature S6 v.3 Loudspeakers
- Jienat: “Mira”
- Paradigm Reference MilleniaOne / Seismic 110 Home-Theater Speaker System
- Peter Gabriel: "Scratch My Back"
- Back Cover
- Beat Kaestli: “Invitation”
A Much Better Film Than I Thought in 1983
The Criterion Collection 869
Director Francis Ford Coppola has usually alternated his big blockbuster movies, such as The Godfather (1972), with more personal, insightful, lower-budget offerings such as The Conversation (1974). After Apocalypse Now (1979) and before The Cotton Club (1984), he directed two small films based on novels by S.E. Hinton, The Outsiders and Rumble Fish (both 1983). Sharing many cast members, the films are quite different. The Outsiders is a color, stylized-by-Hollywood effort; Rumble Fish is more personal, moody, and was shot mostly in black-and-white.
I’ve just reached a milestone: the first time in my life I can recall passing an independent record store without going in. I did give the shop -- in downtown Ljubljana, Slovenia -- a good once-over. But faced with the prospect of missing one of Ljubljana’s other attractions because of the 30 to 60 minutes I’d spend browsing the store’s racks, all to acquire more records that I wouldn’t be able to play except in my listening room, I kept moving.
After reviewing the mammoth EcoBoulder speaker from Grace Digital last month, I was a little reluctant to return to the smaller, bass-shy Bluetooth models that are the norm. Strolling Walmart, I spotted G-Project’s G-Boom, which has been around a while and gotten a few top ratings. Another incentive was that I’d covered G-Project’s G-Go waterproof speaker four years ago and found it rather good. I took the plunge.
Libratone Q Adapt On-Ear headphones measurements can be found by clicking this link.
My acquaintances in the headphone business often blame the mediocre performance of most noise-canceling (NC) headphones on Bose, which I’m told holds patents on most of the best technologies and techniques. But as digital signal processing (DSP) chips keep shrinking and getting more powerful, we’re starting to see some headphones that approach the awesome noise-canceling powers of the Bose QC25s and QC35s while providing better sound quality, more features, and alternative form factors. Libratone’s Q Adapt on-ear headphones ($249 USD) are one of this new NC generation.
Format: 16-bit/44.1kHz WAV download
In June 2009, I was speaking backstage at a jazz festival with trumpeter Dave Douglas about how musicians were addressing the changing nature of the music industry. At the time, he was four years into running his own distribution company -- Greenleaf Music -- and was still experimenting with new ways to reach audience members.
Antonioni’s Homage to Photography and an Iconic Era
The Criterion Collection 865
How interesting that one of the most iconic movies representing London’s Swinging ’60s should be filmed by an Italian. Michelangelo Antonioni (1912-2007) was already famous for having directed his trilogy L’Avventura (1960), La Notte (1961), and L’Eclisse (1962) when producer Carlo Ponti signed him to direct three films in English. These turned out to be Blow-Up (1966), Zabriskie Point (1970), and The Passenger (1975). Zabriskie Point failed on almost every count, and The Passenger was a critical if not a commercial success -- of the three, Blow-Up was the cinematic masterpiece.
Last November, Samsung announced it had purchased Harman International, parent company of AKG, Infinity, JBL, Mark Levinson, Revel, and other audio brands. Most observers speculated that Samsung made the move to get into the automotive electronics business, where Harman is a powerhouse. But a recent report from A/V industry insider website Strata-gee.com speculates that much of Samsung’s motivation springs from the desire to use Harman’s audio technology to improve its smartphones.
When the Grace EcoBoulder arrived, I was afraid it was broken -- its single carton (no double boxing) had been greatly damaged in shipping. But inside, sturdy pieces of Styrofoam top and bottom still held the EcoBoulder in position, safe and unharmed. When I’d removed these, I stared in admiration.
Brainwavz B200 earphones measurements can be found by clicking this link.
Reviewers should beware the influence of manufacturers’ marketing copy, but we’re human and fallible. So a press release promising that a new set of earphones is “tuned to produce a balanced and accurate sound signature, with little to no coloring in the sound” still piques my interest, even when I know manufacturers’ statements aren’t reliable indicators of their products’ performance. But the Brainwavz B200s ($199 USD) have a couple of things going for them that lend credence to the company’s claims.
Sony Music / Audio Fidelity AFZ2 247
Format: SACD (2)
Released only in Japan as a three-LP set in 1974, as an import Lotus became a popular staple on campus FM radio stations -- for its exclusivity, its superior quadraphonic CBS SQ matrix sound, and its long, jazz-based jams. It was Santana’s equivalent to the Allman Brothers Band’s At Fillmore East and the Grateful Dead’s Europe ’72. Recorded live in Osaka on July 3 and 4, 1973, Lotus included extended versions of compositions from Santana’s four studio albums to that point, as well as numbers that would appear on Welcome, the 1973 album that would announce firmly that the band was now more jazz- than rock-oriented.