LATEST ADDITIONS

Jason Victor Serinus Sasha Matson Thomas J. Norton Posted: Jun 03, 2015 3 comments
One of the most delightful annual surprises of the now departed Las Vegas installment of THE Show was stumbling upon the NFS (Not For Sale) room. Assembled by the distinguished personage known as Buddha, it allowed visitors to become submerged in a combination of post-psychedelic revelry, good sound, lots of free booze, and a total absence of hawking...
Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Jun 03, 2015 0 comments
Resolving to get an early start, I skipped breakfast and hit the show floor at 10:30am on Sunday. Will Kline of Fine Sounds (left) and Sunil Merchant (right) of Covina, CA's Sunny's Components were justifiably proud of the simply beautiful midrange created by the marriage of Wilson Audio Alexia loudspeakers ($52,000/pair) and Audio Research components. This wasn't the most transparent of systems I auditioned, but it was unquestionably among the most musical.
Herb Reichert Posted: Jun 03, 2015 4 comments
Photo: Jason Victor Serinus

During THE Show, the Woo Audio/M•A Recordings room became my restful oasis. I am an extreme fan of M•A Recordings and its most worldly proprietor, Todd Garfinkle (right above in Jason's photo). Todd makes perfect-sounding recordings of real in-the-world music. Not audiophile recordings of some faux chanteuse in clown makeup singing songs she doesn't understand for an audience that cares more about sonics than poetic expression. In contrast, Todd Garfinkle picks up gypsies in the Paris Metro and brings them home. He shares his best food and wine with them—and finally, when they are properly "prepared," he turns on his recorder and gets them to chant, shout and play wedding songs—with tubas, clarinets, trumpets, trombones, accordions, drums and fierce stomping boots!

Sasha Matson Posted: Jun 03, 2015 7 comments
Sunday morning may be a time of rest for some people, but not at THE Show Newport 2015. I felt a bit like an earnest medic making my room rounds: "Morning, I'm Doctor Matson. And how is our stereo feeling today?" My first patient was doing just fine, and ready to be discharged. PBN Audio, out of San Diego, led by designer/owner Peter Bichel Noerbaek (above)...
Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Jun 02, 2015 12 comments
If I were forced to spend a week alone on a desert island, with my only companions a small, battery-powered player and one person's music collection, I'd have a tough time setting between the libraries of Jeffrey Catalano (High Water Sound, in the room above), Philip O'Hanlon (On a Higher Note), and John DeVore (Devore Fidelity). While their musical predilections certainly vary, all have impeccable taste when it comes to repertoire and artistry...
Thomas J. Norton Posted: Jun 02, 2015 0 comments
Headphonium, Earphonium, Canjam. Every audio show has its own name for a section set aside to serve headphone enthusiasts, an increasingly active audiophile sub-segment. The one at this year's Newport show was smaller than the one I recall at the Rocky Mountain Audio Fest show last fall. But among the newcomers were headphones from Mr. Speakers (like the $1499 planar designs shown here)...
Sasha Matson Posted: Jun 01, 2015 21 comments
In the AudioQuest room I found my good friend and audio guru Joe Harley (Had to take a selfie of myself, left, and Joe—my original high-end guru—right.) Along with Garth Powell, brilliant current designer of recent AudioQuest hardware, I listened to another really fine system. Debuting at the show was the new AudioQuest Niagra 7000 Conditioner ($7000), which Joe Harley told me has changed his life. And when Joe tells me things about audio, I pay attention...
Sasha Matson Posted: Jun 01, 2015 2 comments
My very full second day at THE Show Newport continued with some wonderful quality time and listening. Had a good visit with designer/owner Keith Herron (left), of appropriately named Herron Audio. This company is based in St. Louis, and Mr. Herron is particularly interested in the musical aspects of his gear, and stated to me that he felt musicians respond particularly well to it. Being a composer myself, I think he is spot-on.
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...

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