Rolling Stone magazine discovers high-end audio

It's a "what if" scenario, what if Rolling Stone magazine's music reviewers got a chance to hear music over a bona-fide, all American high-end audio system?

Steve Guttenberg
Ex-movie theater projectionist Steve Guttenberg has also worked as a high-end audio salesman, and as a record producer. Steve currently reviews audio products for CNET and works as a freelance writer for Stereophile.
Steve Guttenberg
2 min read
Thiel's CS3.7 Thiel

Here's the concept: It's no secret young consumers don't get high-end audio. It just seems like either total BS or an extravagance for the rich. Yes, it can be both of those things, but there's a lot of great, affordable high-end audio that's available to anyone who's truly passionate about music. Here's one quick example, Usher Audio's staggeringly good S-520 speakers that go for $400 a pair (I'll review them in this space soon).

Anyway, a high-end publicist friend of mine proposed this reach out to the youth concept through Rolling Stone magazine. He wanted to blow the magazine's writers away with high-end sound and convinced two of his clients, Canadian electronics manufacturer Bryston, and Thiel, a speaker company from Kentucky, to loan Rolling Stone $40K worth of gear for their reviewers to enjoy for three months. Seems like a great "what if" idea to me. Obviously, the reviewers know music, and I can't wait to hear how they're affected by hearing music like never before.

It's a killer system, with a Bryston BCD-1 CD player, Bryston BP-26 preamp, and Bryston 28B-SST power amps mated with Thiel's astonishing CS3.7 speakers and SS2 subwoofer. For guys used to hearing music over $29 PC speakers it's the equivalent moving up from a skateboard to a Chevy Corvette. Now they'll actually get to hear the music they're critiquing at least as well as the people who recorded the tunes in the first place. Who knows, maybe they'll communicate that experience to their readers. Point is, sound matters, and hearing it with the best possible speakers and electronics is a good idea. We'll see.

The gear, installed at Rolling Stone's NYC office Bryston