Jeff and the official 404 graphic designer Blake Stevenson have also partnered together for Crave's first weekly comic strip "Low Latency,"and a big congratulations goes out to our video voice mail contest winners! Check out the videos below:… Read more
High-end audio doesn't always mean the most ridiculously expensive gear, just gear designed with sound quality as the top priority.
Mainstream audio products aren't designed that way; they're sold mostly on the basis of features like Bluetooth or AirPlay that consume an ever larger part of the design engineer's focus and budget. No, high-end audio in its purest form is all about superlative sound. Jolida's JD-9 tube phono preamplifier is such a design.
Playing LPs usually requires a complete hi-fi system, but Music Hall's slick USB-1 turntable and AktiMate Mini speakers make beautiful music together.
I associate desktop speakers with computers and iPods, so when Ken, one of my audiophile pals, raved about this slick little Music Hall system, he had my full attention. It's just a pair of desktop speakers and a turntable--there's your system. The little rig dispenses with the usual receiver or preamplifier required to play LPs; you just hook up the USB-1 turntable via its stereo analog outputs directly to the AktiMate Mini speakers, and you'll be grooving to your tunes. You can also dock your iPod to the AktiMate Mini, and digitally dig your music.… Read more
Are you sitting on a stack of LP and/or 45 records? Or maybe you've gotten swept up in vinyl's resurgence, and you're looking for a way to convert some new platters to a more mobile format. Whatever the case, you need a USB turntable.
In other words, a record player that feeds audio not just to your stereo, but also to your PC. In the past (and, in some cases, the present), these gizmos sold for around $100, but Geeks.com has the Vibe Sound VS-2002-SPK USB turntable for $32.99. Shipping adds around $8.… Read more
By the late 1960s everyone assumed solid-state gear would soon replace tube electronics, but here we are in 2011 and tubes are still here. Rock and blues guitar players still crave the sound of tube guitar amplifiers, and a significant number of audiophiles are die-hard tube fans.
While tube amps don't measure as well as their solid-state counterparts, some people feel tubes more faithfully reproduce the sound of voices and real instruments. As always, opinions about sound quality don't necessarily correlate with by-the-numbers assessments. We like what we like.
I know a little about under-dash record players from the late 1960s, but I was totally clueless about 1950s car turntables, until I heard writer Paul Collins talking about them on WNYC's "Soundcheck" radio show a few weeks ago. I chatted with Collins to learn more about these groovy hi-fis.
Columbia Records developed the proprietary Highway Hi-Fi format: a thick 7-inch, 16 2/3rpm record that had up to one hour playing time per side. Chrysler executives jumped on the idea, and offered the turntable as an option in their 1956 models, and were hoping one out … Read more
A couple of smaller players in the digital music sector are maneuvering to keep pace in an increasingly crowded field.
Turntable.fm, a startup music service with an emphasis on sharing songs with friends, is in talks with the four major record companies about obtaining "unprecedented" streaming-license agreements, according to a report today from Bloomberg. Over at MOG, a scrappy music service that has struggled for years to build interest, announced that it would offer a limited number of songs for free--provided users are willing to work for the privilege.
With Apple expected to soon officially roll out … Read more
We told you about Turntable.fm's new approach to the music service scene back in June. The service is fun, interactive, and has really caught on since.
Today Turntable.fm released its first mobile app. It's built for the iPhone and is available in the App Store [iTunes link]. We are going to show you how to get started with the mobile app. Read on for more.
As any record buyer knows, LP quality varies a lot. I'm not just referring to the dusty old records sold at yard sales; some new records have noisy grooves, clicks and pops, or they're not flat. Those imperfections are common vinyl woes; making consistently quiet records has never been easy. That's why I was thrilled to hear that Quality Record Pressings (QRP), in Salina, Kansas, employs the most advanced technology ever used to manufacture LPs. The proof is in the listening, and the sound is spectacular.
I spoke with QRP's Chad Kassem about the undertaking, which … Read more
You'll never find a comparably equipped 1980 Corvette outperforming a 2011 'Vette, or a 1980 TV or computer blowing away a '11 model. Audio is a different matter; a lot of decades-old gear really does sound better than its 2011 equivalents. That's especially true when comparing 1970s and 1980s receivers with today's models. I covered why that is so in last weekend's "How can 30-year-old receivers sound better than new ones?" blog.