Herb Reichert Posted: Jun 01, 2015 4 comments
I am having my second morning coffee in the LAOCAS hospitality lounge and a man walks in and announces loudly, "I am officially blown away!" Everyone looks. Ok? So what did you hear? He stands there grinning. "Have you been to the Elac room?"
Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Jun 01, 2015 3 comments
In the lobby of the Hotel Irvine, Meryl Jane was not only showing her paintings of famous audiophile-approved artists, but also extremely eager to have her picture snapped in their midst. By all laws known to God, human, and those strange outlaw beings known as Texans, opening day at an audio show is when systems, usually not fully dialed in, often sound sub par. Yet in Hotel Irvine, the most consistently fine sound I encountered was on Day One, in the extremely hard-to-tame cubic conference rooms on the lobby level...
Jason Victor Serinus Posted: May 30, 2015 5 comments
The ribbon had been cut and the trumpets sounded. THE Show Newport Beach, whose 2015 installment had moved a mile or two up the road into Irvine, was underway. Doing the honors at the ribbon-cutting ceremony were, from left to right, a gold chain-bedecked Steve Rochlin of Enjoy the Music, accompanied by his wife, Heather to his left, and an unidentified woman to his right; Michael Fremer of Stereophile and; David Robinson of Positive Feedback, Robert Harley of The Absolute Sound.
Herb Reichert Posted: May 30, 2015 1 comments
First morning of the first day, jet-lagged, don't recognize anybody, forgot every name and, worse still: I broke every rule I made for myself on the way to Newport Beach. Mostly, I have attended these shows as a distributor-exhibitor so I never forget how much it costs in money and psychic energy to do any show—let alone the whole US-World circuit. Many of these exhibitors just finished a big, wallet-crushing, jet-lagging show in Munich, and now they are here in California (how many miles and time zones is that?), still staggering and punch drunk from dancing on that big stage—trying to smile and impress everybody. So my kind and gentle spirit tells me to understand and try to comfort them...
Sasha Matson Posted: May 30, 2015 1 comments
My beat for Stereophile—to attempt to share with you my brief take on equipment and systems that might be described as "Medium Budget"; not too cheap, not too pricey—just right! A daunting task, given the sheer amount of fine gear here that could fit into that budget ballpark. My first stop was late in the afternoon of the Thursday Press Day. I sought out familiar friendly faces in the Positive Feedback Online Hospitality Room. (Here is a photo of Positive Feedback editors David Robinson, right, and Dave Clark, left.) This is fast becoming sort of the audio equivalent of the Grateful Dead's long strange trip.
Thomas J. Norton Posted: May 30, 2015 3 comments
When longtime TAD/Pioneer speaker designer Andrew Jones moved on to design new speakers for German manufacturer ELAC, we expected big things, though not quite immediately. Speaker design takes time. But Jones and ELAC made a big splash at the Newport show with the new line of Debut speakers. The first model ready for demo was the baby of the Debut family, the B5. It's shown here with proud papa Andrew, with its 5.25" aramid-fiber woofer and 1" cloth-dome tweeter, and is expected to retail for $230/pair in early fall when the entire lineup should be available...
Jason Victor Serinus Posted: May 29, 2015 10 comments
Six weeks before the start of THE Show Newport Beach, word got out that the show organizers were poised to add a last-minute "Trade and Press Day" for Thursday May 28. As it turned out, the actual announcement came later, less than a month before the show. The idea, if instituted correctly, could have been a good one. But done so last minute, it seemed, at best, half-cocked...Be that as it may, I was able to register with the lovely Lucette Nicoll (above center) and take in just a few rooms before dinnertime.
Herb Reichert Posted: May 29, 2015 1 comments
High-end audio is mostly about songs blaring from boxes. Occasionally, you can be sitting near some of these wailing boxes and think: Wow, these songs are sounding pretty darn good! If you’re an audiophile that means you’ve found a home. Today, on my first day in Newport Beach, California I am sitting in the lobby of the Irvine Hotel (home of The Home Entertainment Show Newport) getting myself psyched for room after room of blaring boxes and stacks of brochures, sproutin’ like cotton from every horizontal surface...
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Fred Kaplan Posted: May 29, 2015 0 comments
Sometimes a good album passes me by, unnoticed (so much music, so little time), but few turn out, upon discovery, to be as very, very good as the Jaki Byard Project's Inch By Inch, Yard Byard (on the GM Recordings label)...
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Robert Baird Posted: May 29, 2015 0 comments
Perhaps the best attribute that older soul cats bring to a project like this is their knowledge of repertoire.


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