The Spectral 40th Loudspeaker

Since 1979, the Focal team in France has been designing stylish speakers with impeccable performance. To commemorate 40 years of acoustic research and evolution, Focal has unveiled their Spectral 40th Loudspeaker

The Spectral 40th is a paragon of design and material selection, with a “neo-retro” look: Walnut finish panels, high gloss lacquered body, and a matte Graphite base (spec sheet.)

As Focal dealers for many years, we are honored to be New York City’s exclusive displaying dealer of Focal’s 40th Anniversary Spectral Loudspeaker. 

Congratulations to Focal for 40 years in business!

If you would like to demo the Spectral 40th, or another pair of Focal speakers, please call us to schedule an appointment. 

Power Distributors Explained

Power distributors manage how the electricity delivered to your outlet is doled out to your audio components. High-current components such as amplifiers can suffer in performance when powered by a current that fluctuates in strength. 
The two central functions of a quality power distributor are:

  1. To deliver a full, consistent current the components it powers.
  2. To block noise coming in on the AC line, which can infiltrate the performance of the entire system.

Shunyata’s Denali power distributors hold a reserve of energy, which fills in the gaps when the power distributed through the walls fluctuates. They accomplish this with their patented QR/BB device. To block incoming AC noise, the construction of their power distributors are carefully engineered. From their steel feet and aluminum chassis to the gaskets inside, every part is designed to dampen vibration. 

This combination of maintaining peak electrical flow while eliminating all electrical noise results in a dramatic difference in sound. Systems with clean power distribution sound more alive, more dynamic. By gaining more precision from each component, the soundstage can become wider and deeper, separating each instrument in time and space for a more immersive presentation.

Part of this enhanced soundstage is attributable to the optimal performance of the components used, and part to a dramatically lower noise floor. With the removal of electrical noise, the more silent stage allows the subtleties of each instrument to shine through with greater detail. 

Shunyata is currently running a rare deep discount on their Denali D2000/T. Supplies are limited.

NY Topliner Camp

This year we are pleased to announce that we are sponsoring NY Topliner Camp. This burgeoning new program emulates the process of a record label songwriting camp, pairing songwriters and producers for a two-week creative experience. Their ultimate goal is to stimulate development of new and emerging talent, while building a community of passionate musicians and industry professionals.

When the folks at Topliner reached out to us we were inspired by the concept, and energized by the excited response they’ve received during their first few years in existence. Much like their community of creatives, our community of audiophiles is, at its heart, born from a love and great respect for music. It’s exciting to see an organization fostering musicians and building a program for them to thrive. We’re thrilled to be able to support NY Topliner Camp, and look forward to watching them continue to grow.

The Topliner process consists of three main events: A kickoff, a halfway point built around industry feedback, and a final showcase. The final showcase will take place this Thursday, 3/14, and you can secure your spot here

A High-End Stereo Store in Union Square

Why have a brick-and-mortar location for stereo equipment in New York City? Many consider the age of Amazon to be the twilight of the physical store, especially when most items can easily be sold online, and shipped from anywhere in the world.

Despite the cost-shaving trend of online retail, Stereo Exchange has committed to the brick-and-mortar approach to high end audio equipment for a few important reasons:

  1. Demos: Customers trying to compare components for their dream audio setup need more than online reviews and YouTube unboxings. Audio is such a personal experience. To arrive at a confident investment decision really requires a hands-on, live demo of a system’s capabilities. We will sometimes spend hours swapping different sets of speakers in with different amps, pre-amplifiers and DACs for a discerning customer. Nothing makes us happier than the confidence with which a customer makes their eventual buying decision.
  2. Service: Knowing you can look the person in the eye who sold you your stereo system gives a certain level of confidence through the buying process. It also adds a healthy level of pressure to us at Stereo Exchange to vet the brands we represent. As our showroom is limited and we handle ongoing support for the end user, we need to ensure the manufacturers we carry back up their brands with a same high level of service we provide to our customers. It’s a healthy kind of pressure, and one we feel is often lost during online transactions
  3. Culture: Even before Stereo Exchange was started in 1984, David Wasserman was running around New York City with the audiophile community. Technology evolves, new brands pop onto the scene, and a new generation of passionate people is being ushered into the world of audiophilia as we speak. We like having a place where those people can come together – whether to discuss audio one-on-one, or to enjoy one of our happy hour events.

While we enjoyed the high-profile store front downtown for the years that made sense, we’re equally happy to have evolved into our new Union Square audio showroom. By making the new Stereo Exchange by-appointment, customers are able to receive a focused, uninterrupted demo of the best in high-end audio from McIntosh Labs, Audio Research, Bowers & Wilkins, Rockport Technologies, Moon, and more.

If you’re looking for an audio equipment store in Manhattan, we hope you’ll come check us out. You can contact us to set up an appointment, or schedule your own.

McIntosh Announcement

We are thrilled to be McIntosh Labs‘ number one dealer in New York City again for 2018. As a staple of American audiophilia, McIntosh is one of our longest-standing partners (for more than 25 years!) While we’ve often been their top NYC dealer, to do so in our new boutique space is an exciting honor.  Thank you, McIntosh Labs, for continuing to build beautiful components of uncompromising quality, right here in New York State.

When we launched Stereo Exchange in 1984, a central part of our ethos was around building relationships with manufacturers that would support their products as reliably as we needed to support our customers. While we’ve seen a lot of flashy brands come and go, McIntosh has stood the test of time in a number of important ways. By avoiding the financial temptations to export their operations overseas, they have been able to maintain a level of quality control rarely reached in audio manufacturing. We’ve toured their New York factory several times, and have always been impressed with the obsessive level of detail on every tube, every circuit, and the rigorous testing every unit goes through. Their integral involvement in live performances from Woodstock to LCD Soundsystem further cements their passion for music.

They also stand by their work with a fabulous trade-in / trade-up program. The market for used McIntosh Labs gear has always remained strong, even with McIntosh themselves. They take an already strong warranty and make it better with the ability to trade in your existing McIntosh equipment for credit toward a newer model. As dealers, we feel more confident selling McIntosh as it’s an investment that often increases in value over time. We also pay top dollar for used McIntosh gear from 1960’s tube to recent solid state.

We provide private demos of a wide range of McIntosh products. Whether you’re interested in experiencing the MC611 mono blocks paired with the C1100 C&T pure analogue preamp, or the more affordable MC462 / C2600 combination, we can deliver the focused experience you need to make an informed decision.

Call Glenn or Evan at 212-505-1111 (press 2) and schedule your uninterrupted demo.

Introducing Rockport Cygnus

We’ve always loved Rockport. Built by Andy Payor, an engineering genius, Rockport delivers increasingly impressive dynamics in every iteration, while further eliminating noise.

Due to the popular reception of the Atria II and Avior II at our showroom, we have decided to up the ante with the Cygnus. At first glance, the Cygnus is assumed to be a minor improvement of the familiar Rockport form. Upon testing, however, the Cygnus proves to bring significantly improved resolution, markedly deeper bass, and a quieter cabinet than ever (thanks to an aluminum sub vac.)

All Rockport speakers can be ordered in any automotive finish. Make an appointment today to hear the undeniable clarity and quality of Rockport.

CNET Interview

We had the pleasure of sitting down with Steve Guttenberg, the Audiophiliac from CNET, to talk about our history in the industry.

David talks about discovering the high-end audio business, remaining agnostic about brands, and interpreting the audiophile language.

A True Collector’s Item

For McIntosh Labs‘ 70th Anniversary, their Binghamton, NY team designed this striking 2-Channel Vacuum Tube Amp. They ran 70 of these with sequential serial numbers and packaged them with the C70 Tube Preamp and McIntosh book. These 70 have become rare finds in the audiophile world.

We’re thrilled to have obtained #53 in this exclusive run, and all factory sealed.

McIntosh has been a special part of American music since its beginning, and a reliable partner of Stereo Exchange for the last 30 years. The uncompromising quality of the McIntosh MC 2152 is a testament to their engineering and craftsmanship. It’s a true joy to have obtained one of the official 70.

The best $100,000 Hi-Fi on the Planet

The best $100,000 Hi-Fi on the Planet

On Thursday December 13th, join us after work for a listening experience that will change the way you think about sound reproduction…

With a stack from Audio Research‘s Reference Series, Avior II speakers from Rockport Technologies, a Brinkman Spyder turntable, and Transparent Cables, we will be spinning records for a high-fidelity happy hour at our Union Square showroom.

Thursday, 12/13 from 5pm to 8pm

857 Broadway, 3rd Floor (at the corner of 17th Street), 10003

RSVP today…

Click here if you would like to attend.

Note: As space is limited, we may not be able to host everyone who responds. Please look out for an email confirmation from us after you RSVP.

We visited the Audio Research factory recently and were amazed at the obsessive attention to detail. After rigorous tube and parts testing and matching throughout the entire production process, every single unit is auditioned in a reference audio system by specific Audio Research personnel to assure proper performance prior to shipping.

The Audio Research Reference 160M Launch

Thursday Evening October 11th, Stereo Exchange welcomes Audio Research for the…

Reference 160M Launch

After two years of development, Audio Research, the leaders in tube amplification have unveiled a power amplifier that looks, sounds, and is built like no other.

As New York City’s only displaying dealer we are thrilled to welcome David Gordon, Audio Research Brand Ambassador, to introduce the 160M and showcase its performance abilities.

  • 5:00 pm – Drinks and hors d’oeuvres
  • 6:00 pm – 160M Showcase
  • 8:30 pm – End

Features Rockport, Transparent and McIntosh Labs

As this event has limited seating, please RSVP to reserve your seat.

We visited the Audio Research factory recently and were amazed at the obsessive attention to detail. After rigorous tube and parts testing and matching throughout the entire production process, every single unit is auditioned in a reference audio system by specific Audio Research personnel to assure proper performance prior to shipping.

I'd like to attend:

13 + 7 =