Ray Kimber For King of the Universe!
I always enjoy Ray Kimber's IsoMike demos more than almost any other HE Show demo. It's not the room full of pedigreed high-end gear, although he always has that. This time he demoed with four B&W 800d loudspeakers, two pairs of Pass Labs X350.5 power amplifiers, Genex Audio GX9000/DSD-BNC interface, and four channels of EMM Labs DAC8 MkIV DSD feeding EMM Labs Switchman (four channels worth, natch), not to mention a whole bunch of Kimber KableD-60, Kimber Select KS-3038, and Word Clock D-60 cables. Nor is it the meticulously recorded music that Ray has captured with his IsoMike process.
Well, actually, it is, but it's not just the music.
Kimber's room literally transported me into the hall at Weber State University in a way that no other multichannel presentation has ever done. The music existed in the hall and I was in the hall, but it was a very subtle effect. Except that when the tenor sax and drums backing up Joe McQueen hit certain resonances, the whole hall energized—not the hall I was in, here in LA, but the one Ray recorded it in in Ogden, UT. It was U-R-There audio at its finest.
Yes, Ray demonstrates that surround can be done right and I wish that not only could every audiophile hear Kimber's four-channel demoes, but that every record executive could hear them and finally get what surround truly could be, rather than the gimmicky crap they so frequently try to foist on us.
Jon Iverson and I am convinced that Ray Kimber could change the hi-fi world, if we could only get the studios and labels to hear what he's done in a college in the Utah mountains.
And that's why I nominate Kimber for King of the Universe: If Ray were king, the universe would work right and recorded music would come from where it's supposed to—in front of you, but enveloping you at the same time.
In the meantime, check out IsoMike's webpage.