Posts Tagged 'Audiophile'

Grado Mahogany Headphones!

Grado Labs has been producing high-quality phonograph styluses since the 1950s, but today I just learned that Grado also makes these gorgeous mahogany headphones. Since they come from Grado, I expect them to conform to their usual high standards of audio quality, even if I'm not so sure that a ring of hardwood provides much difference in sound from a three-inch transducer. I suspect they reduce weight, which would be nice. I speak of this in the theoretical, because I'm going to have to work my ass off to ever afford a pair. Maybe someday, kids.


The Whole Beats Story!

I became vaguely aware of Beats Audio when Jimmy Iovine showed up on American Idol with the Beats logo plastered all over everything he owned, and then Dr Dre showed up pimping Hewlett-Packard laptops with Beats inside. I didn't know much of it beyond a branding gimmick, but I learned a lot from this article. Beats were started by Monster? That explains a lot. My old 1980s Koss cans are still working nicely, but all you can find in stores these days are fashion headphones like Beats and Skullcandy for 2x the price of an entry-level set of audiophile headphones that sound twice as good. It's no wonder Monster wanted a part of that market - it's their bread and butter.

More from this gallery >>

La Boite!

Computer audio has always felt behind the audiophile curve, probably largely because MP3s are generally crappy compared to analog or (shudder) CDs, but with FLAC and improved processors, quality is impressing even the pickiest of listeners. To compliment the higher quality audio we expect from your computers, Hunting and Collecting has "La Boite", a concept audio station for docking your laptop. Rather than relying on the crappy chip in the laptop, La Boite has a USB connection and its own audio chipset, along with audiophile-grade parts, to make it a competitor for space in your listening room. Plus, if you get totally high listening to Pink Floyd while lying on the floor, it totally looks like a giant spider is standing right over you:


Listening to Re-Mastered Reel-To-Reel Masters

The Tape Project is going retro by releasing music on 1/4" reel-to-reel tapes, taken from the original tape masters from the studio sessions. The theory is almost even more over-the-top than the lovers of vinyl's obsession: because the original recordings were done on tape, it's one less change in media, thus it should be much more true to the original. I dare you to call up this place and ask if they can just copy the tape to MP3 and upload it to you. The profanity will be epic.

I did work in a studio for a time, and from the outside this looks like all the reels we used for stereo mixes of stuff (wider tape was used for the original multichannel recordings; they can't just copy the original tape). I'm surprised they can still find a good supplier of audiophile-quality 1/4" audio tape, but it must still be around. The recordings are distributed under a very-spendy subscription service, so it's not like they need that much tape to fulfill orders. While the reel they ship it on will fit on most studio-grade players, they recommend something even a bit higher quality than that; the studio recorders (largely) don't mess with the sound by equalizing for playback, and depending on how old it is it might not be calibrated for modern tape bias; you need a special player to truly get awesome quality from these tapes. (via)