Grace Notes

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Leslie Shapiro  |  Oct 09, 2012  |  0 comments

For fans of good adult alternative rock in the Atlanta market, September 29th was a very sad day. Somewhat ironically for 9/29, 92.9 DaveFM ceased live broadcasts. For the next few weeks, it will be on autopilot as CBS gets ready to transition it to all-sports-talk radio.

Leslie Shapiro  |  Dec 03, 2012  |  0 comments

Audiences around the world are already purchasing tickets for the premiere of Peter Jackson’s vision of the predecessor to J.R.R. Tolkien’ the Lord of the Rings trilogy. In a departure from the single-volume original, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey will also be a trilogy, but perhaps more noteworthy is Jackson’s decision to shoot these films in 48 fps HFR (High Frame Rate) 3D. Specifically, Jackson is using high-resolution RED Epic cameras running at 48 frames per second with 5120-by-2700-pixel resolution. While Peter Jackson defends the format, critics worry that that instead of being a cinematic visual treat, the films will have the familiar look of a TV soap opera.

Leslie Shapiro  |  Jul 16, 2018  |  0 comments
And then there was one. Once as ubiquitous as McDonalds, with seemingly one on every block, the once-mighty Blockbuster has been reduced to a solitary store. Our heart goes out to the millions of high-school kids who lost their jobs. If only we had done as they asked, and rewound our tapes.

Leslie Shapiro  |  Sep 25, 2017  |  4 comments
Picture your dream living room. We close our eyes and listen to the subtle nuances of our favorite recording. Luxurious speakers line the walls, a subwoofer discretely positioned in the sonically perfect corner. There’s nothing better than leaning back in a comfortable chair, spending hours listening to music. But the sad reality is that we don’t.

Leslie Shapiro  |  May 09, 2013  |  0 comments

Dust off your recently-obsoleted 30-pin Apple docks – Pyle Audio has come to the rescue. Just when you thought you were reduced to connecting to your collection of Apple-ready speaker docks by a lowly audio cable, Pyle has released the BlueReach PBTR70, an adapter plugs into any 30-pin speaker dock to receive Bluetooth from any Bluetooth-enabled audio device.

Leslie Shapiro  |  Aug 28, 2017  |  5 comments
It seems clear that phones have become the end-all/be-all product for most people. It’s a phone, computer, GPS, camera and music player — an essential part of everyday life. However, one group remained somewhat disconnected, until, perhaps, now. The new Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+ both have features that many serious music listeners are getting excited about.

Leslie Shapiro  |  Dec 12, 2016  |  0 comments
Amid the glitz and glamour of the 2016 Art Basel show in Miami, Florida, Sennheiser, the historic headphone and microphone manufacturer was showcasing for the glitterati in attendance a display of their AMBEO technology with a concert recording utilizing over 120 microphones in a 3D array played back over a 9.1 system featuring Neumann speakers. They were also auditioning the stunning $55,000 HE 1 headphone and amplifier, with a solid Carrerra marble chassis and vacuum tubes that dramatically rise up out of the unit as they warm up. Sound & Vision sat down with the delightful co-CEO’s of Sennheiser, Daniel and Andreas Sennheiser to talk about where they see the company founded by their grandfather 75 years ago heading into the future.

Leslie Shapiro  |  Feb 16, 2015  |  3 comments
I was recently working in an anechoic chamber for a few days and the ambience in there (actually, the lack of any) really got me thinking about ambient sounds. Anechoic chambers aren't just silent—it's the absence of any return energy that makes them so unnatural, and after a few hours, downright uncomfortable. You become aware of sounds your own body makes, especially your heart beat in your ears. It’s such an unusual space because it doesn’t really occur in the natural world. Standing on the sandy plain of a desert comes close, but even there, one would hear the movement of air over the ground, and distant ambience. A true anechoic experience almost never happens in our daily lives.

Leslie Shapiro  |  Feb 11, 2019  |  0 comments
It’s quite tragic; a Stradivarius violin creates arguably the most beautiful musical sounds created by man, but it’s only a limited time before the instrument goes to sleep, to be silenced forever. After producing brilliant sounds and melodies for centuries, the tone of the violin changes and it becomes too fragile and delicate to play; effectively the instrument is silenced in deep slumber. Fortunately, phase one of an ambitious project has just wrapped up in an attempt to save the sound of a precious few of these string instruments for generations to come.

Leslie Shapiro  |  Aug 05, 2019  |  0 comments
They say you get what you pay for. With budget audio products, that’s rarely a good thing. Finding a pair of true wireless earphones for under $50 is a rare thing, and finding ones with acceptable sound quality is even rarer. I had a chance to check out the TaoTronics SoundLiberty 53 earphones that retail for $45. Let’s see what just under fifty bucks gets you these days.

Leslie Shapiro  |  Oct 05, 2015  |  0 comments
Pop quiz: What image first comes to your mind when you hear Bluetooth speaker system? Is it a small, portable, single-cabinet pseudo-stereo box with meager amplification? Would it blow your mind to imagine a Bluetooth system that’s actually a 2.1 desktop system, complete with two stand-alone two-way speakers, a separate amplifier/control box and yes, a separate subwoofer? Take a look at the Thonet & Vander Rätsel BT 2.1 Bluetooth system with a 75-watt. Sadly, I’ve gotten so accustomed to tiny little Bluetooth speakers that my mind was suitably blown.

Leslie Shapiro  |  Mar 11, 2019  |  0 comments
Get ready Detroit. Dust off your guitar, warm up those vocal chords. No, American Idol isn’t holding auditions. The music streaming service TIDAL is now accepting applications for a $1 million grant program designed to discover and develop new musical talent in Detroit.

Leslie Shapiro  |  Oct 24, 2016  |  0 comments
It’s that time of year. Nope, not Halloween, and even though Christmas decorations showed up in stores weeks ago, it’s not that either. It’s election time! No, no, not that election. It’s time to vote in the first round for the 59th Grammy Awards. Voting members of the Recording Academy just received their ballots for the first round of voting—the nomination phase.

Leslie Shapiro  |  Feb 15, 2012  |  0 comments

Tristan and Isolde, Romeo and Juliet, Rachel and Ross, Brad and Angelina, Mac and Cheese. All great couples. Each individual may be fine on their own, but together - well, they're magic. Okay, so a few end up dead, but if it's written in the stars, then so be it.

Leslie Shapiro  |  Apr 20, 2015  |  0 comments
Good news for audiophiles who like to take control of their music. A while back we reviewed a rather unique pair of in-ear monitors, the Torque t103z (MSRP $180). While they were a really good-sounding earphone, what made them stand out were the interchangeable passive filter valves—patented by Torque as PAVT, Passive Acoustic Valve Technology. When Sound&Vision initially reviewed the t103z, there were only three filter options. Now, we get a chance to listen to three new offerings from Torque Audio. For choosy music lovers (and who here isn’t?) this is great news.

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