When I dropped by the Oswalds Mill Audio (OMA) showroom/loft space, I wasn't really sure what to expect. I'd heard OMA speakers at hi-fi shows and was always impressed by the sound, but the full immersion OMA experience was a very different trip. The wildly retro-futuristic designs looked more extreme than I remembered them. Jonathan Weiss, OMA's founder and CEO and also my tour guide put on quite a show, but not by hammering my ears with a high-decibel attack. I have no doubt Weiss' huge Imperia four-way horn speakers and 21-inch subwoofer could easily reproduce … Read more
The Wilson Alexia speakers and Dan D'Agostino electronics in the Innovative Audio room at the New York Audio Show stopped me in my tracks. I heard a lot of great gear at the show, but the sound in that room was closer -- a lot closer -- to the sound of the real thing than anything else. The system had a "this is happening now" quality that takes you back to the recording session, proof that cutting edge high-end gear is getting better all the time. Yes, ubergear prices are in the stratosphere, but there were plenty … Read more
If you have a state-of-the-art high-end system, or a tricked out iPod speaker, we'd love to see it. Take an interesting picture of your headphones, Bluetooth speaker, turntable, home theater, or whatever you have. If you built your own speakers or amp, that's right up my alley!
Send JPEGs (not huge files) to theaudiophiliac (at) hotmail (dot) com. Of course, anyone submitting should be comfortable with the photos being publicly posted online "forever after." Please include your name (first name and first initial of your last name). And if you're up for it, tell us … Read more
Have you heard? Vinyl is making a comeback. No, really -- a growing number of artists are releasing (or rereleasing) albums on honest-to-goodness LP platters.
So maybe you're into that, or maybe you've got a milk crate full of your old records and want to enjoy them again. Either way, this deal is groovy, man. (Groovy. Get it?!)
For a limited time, Shoptronics.com has the Electrohome Archer Turntable Stereo System for $79.96 shipped. That's after applying coupon code ELEBRIEF at checkout. Regular price: $99.99. (And I've seen it elsewhere for as much as $… Read more
The first disc jockeys discovered that using side-by-side turntables is the best way to cue up tunes for broadcast or dancing. DJing has gone from a skill to a performance under the hands of today's turntablists, but you don't need to invest in a pair of analog decks to mix beats like the pros with VirtualDek 2.2. This digital music suite uses two virtual turntables with realistic action to make playing and mixing MP3s, WMAs, and WAVs nearly as easy as cueing up vinyl tracks with a stylus. With a central mixing panel, syncing, direct monitoring, scratching, … Read more
I've heard the naysayers for years, the ones that say vinyl is a fad, or that kids buy records just because they think LPs are cool. But the fact is vinyl sales keep going up year after year. I'd be the first to admit that playing an LP is more of a hassle than listening to Spotify, so why do people who grew up listening to CDs and files invest in a turntable, and search out their favorite music on LP? Why do they do it?
Recently, I talked with a few music lovers who grew up in … Read more
You don't have to be the Audiophiliac (CNET's resident hi-fi guru Steve Guttenberg) to know that vinyl is cool again, but one band has taken this idea to its extreme.
Swedish indie band Shout Out Louds has announced that the first 10 copies of its new single "Blue Ice" will be made out of, appropriately, ice.
The band, with the help of the TBWA ad agency, created a silicone mold from which the listener could freeze their own 7-inch single. Apparently normal tap water resulted in air bubbles and other contaminants that could make the needle skip out of the groove, so the band includes a bottle of distilled water in the package.… Read more
Great audio can be expensive, but Ben Carter's ambitious Kickstarter project aims to make a serious dent in the price of quality turntables. A $150 pledge secures an Orbit belt-drive turntable, fitted with an Ortofon phono cartridge. As I write this blog, and just a few days after the Kickstarter project was launched, Carter has already passed the halfway mark to reaching his $60,000 goal!
I spoke with Carter on Thursday; he has a background in marketing and consulting, and Bob Hertig is handling the engineering for the project. Orbits will be manufactured by U-Turn Audio in the … Read more
Traktor Pro for Mac is a popular and highly regarded DJ mixing app for Mac OS X. It is available from many sources, and after the 30-day trial you have to pay $229 USD to buy a license. Traktor Pro for Mac installs easily.
While the price may seem high for a DJ mixing app, Traktor Pro has long been a standard for serious professionals and amateurs alike. Traktor Pro for Mac offers a two-deck interface that lets you cue up audio from two different sources and manipulate a virtual mixer to keep a constant stream of music playing. You … Read more
I've covered a lot of great sounding budget gear this year, but the very best audio is far from cheap. That's hardly unique to high-end audio; the best cars, cameras, and clothes are always pricey, so it shouldn't surprise anyone that cutting-edge audio can be crazy expensive. What follows is a list of most astonishing gear I listened to this year. I love my job!