Mike Quinn

Mike’s Contributions


September 2008    Audio Files

Gearing Up, Getting Down: New Toys for the Changing Seasons

Fall is the time for regrouping, for preparing to hunker down during the more sedate winter season. It’s a good time to see what’s on the market that may be new to us, maybe something worth stashing in our nests for the winter. So, with fall on the way soon...


August 2008    Audio Files

How Great Speakers Work: Why We Hear What We Hear

Speakers are boxes or panels, among other things, designed to transmit music to our ears. They are never amusing or funny, always serious and straight to the point, or should be—effectively neutral, like a good news story. Via whatever technology they employ...


June 2008    Audio Files

Perfect Sound for the Time Being: Behind the Compact Disc’s Sonic Ascent

Sony and Philips painted themselves into a digital corner when, back in the early ’80s, upon the introduction of the compact disc, they declared that their shiny silver invention was capable of “perfect sound forever.” Shame on them: the dismal sound produced...


May 2008    Audio Files

Watch the Changes

Big-screen television sets were once almost exclusively the property of the very affluent or the bad guys in apocalyptic sci-fi thrillers; now everyone has to have one of these bigger-is-better screens. But not all flat panels are created equal, at least...


April 2008    Audio Files

Viva Las Vegas

Among the 1.85 million square feet of exhibit space at the 2008 International Consumer Electronics Show, held in Las Vegas, Nev., Jan. 7-10, hundreds of audio equipment manufacturers proffered thousands of different solutions for extracting music from a...


March 2008    Audio Files

All Systems Go

Bird and Diz. Metheny and Mehldau. Bix and Tram. Miles and his million partners. What do these teams connote? Well, at least on the stand, they connote synergy: a magical musical melding that always produces more energy, more excitement than the sum of the...


January/February 2008    Audio Files

Rocky Mountain High: (Low and Midrange, too!)

One of the recurring questions we get from readers of this column is, “Where can I hear speaker X? Or amplifier Y? Turntable Z?” I was surprised when one such reader living in Chicago was having trouble finding a number of products we’ve recently discussed...


January/February 2008    Audio Files

DeVore Fidelity: The Nines Loudspeaker

Remember those old TV ads for Remington electric razors, the ones where the guy proclaimed he liked the razor so much, he bought the company? Well, I heard some speakers a few years ago I liked so much that I shelled out my own money—no, not for the whole...


December 2007    Audio Files

Stocking Sonics: Holiday-Season Gizmos for your Favorite Jazzbo

Were JazzTimes about four times as thick and totally devoted to audio and home theater topics, we would still not have enough room to cover all the new gear that comes out each year. For such a “niche” industry, the world of high-performance audio is an...


November 2007    Audio Files

Let’s Get Physical: Why Analog Always Trumps Digital

Music is a physical experience, the result of a column of air rushing through a reed, a larynx or a hammer, a stick striking a string or a membrane. So it only seems logical that a storage medium that preserves a physical analog of that physical phenomenon...


October 2007    Audio Files

Speaker Up!: Upgraded Speakers Give Music Lovers Fresh Ears

I have a friend, a true connoisseur of great jazz, who owns a pair of 35-year-old speakers which no amount of teasing, deriding or ridicule can convince him to chuck out the window. He recently had them reconditioned, and I’m sure they sound better now after...

October 2007    Audio Files

Uptown Conversation: Talking Speakers with the Legendary Ron Carter

Last year, bass legend Ron Carter admitted in this column to having become a new convert to audiophilia. He had just purchased a new pair of speakers that allowed him to hear his own playing as never before. Recently, the night after celebrating his 70th...


September 2007    Audio Files

The Current State of Solid State

Back in second grade, I was hopelessly seduced by a magazine ad for what seemed to be a miracle: a fully functional radio in a package not much larger than two packs of my dad’s filterless Camels. Before then, a radio was a large thing, possibly in a wooden...


July/August 2007    Audio Files

Are CD Players Finally Delivering What They Promised All Along?

The death knell for the relatively short-lived compact disc has been tolling for a few years now. Pundits, even within these very pages, have been predicting the end of traditional music software at every opportunity, saying that all of us, not just dorm...


June 2007    Audio Files

Around the World: DIY Systems from the Other Side of the Globe

Globalization. How many times a day do we hear that term bandied about in the news, in advertising, in political rhetoric? As a concept, it may be valid and worth considering, but the word itself is worn out. Too bad, because globalization (read: the world...


May 2007    Audio Files

Casting a Net on the Net

I get several e-mails each month from readers seeking help with selecting just the right gear, some assembling a full system and others simply wanting to replace an old component or two. (Please feel free to send in your questions to the email address at...

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About Mike Quinn

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