"A guy's gotta carry a cow across a river. He's not strong enough, of course, so the only way he can do it is to cut the cow into pieces, carry them across a few at a time, and re-assemble the beast on the other side. When he's finished, he's got a cow on the other side of the river, but it's not exactly the same cow."
Following my favorable experience with Epos Ltd.'s entry-level loudspeaker, the ELS-3 ($329/pair; see my January 2004 review), Roy Hall, of importer Music Hall, called me with some excitement about the new Epos M5 ($650/pair). In a crowded room at the Home Entertainment 2004 show in New York, I did a quick comparison of the M5 and ELS-3 under suboptimal conditions of multiple speakers in the room and Roy answering consumers' questions while pouring scotch for his dealers. Still, I was able to hear enough from the M5 to intrigue me, and with high expectations, I asked for a pair for review.
It was late May 2002 and I was about to leave the Free Republic of Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, for the high-class hallways of the New York Hilton and Home Entertainment 2002, so I could file daily reports for www.stereophile.com. As he was giving me last-minute instructions, webmaster Jon Iverson said, "I don't know whether or not you followed Hervé Delétraz's articles on building his amplifier, but he's going to have a sample at the Show. You should drop in and check it out. It sounds kind of interesting."
On April 14, Krell Industries invited the New York–based audio press to its first-ever American demonstration of its Evolution electronics separates, at Sound By Singer. In a surprise move, the company also debuted a complete "re-imagining" of its flagship loudspeaker, the LAT-1: the $55,000/pair LAT-1000. "We set out to improve the LAT-1," Krell CEO Dan D’Agostino said, "and in the end, probably the only parts we retained from the original design were the top and bottom panels. The LAT-1000 is essentially a completely new design—although it does retain the same footprint as the LAT-1, since that proved so popular in Japan that we didn't want to mess with it." And, he said, patting the aluminum top-plate, "Let me tell you, it was hard to pack all of this new technology into a package this size."
Lights out in Gloversville: Universal Music Group's record-pressing plant in Gloversville, NY will shut its doors on May 6, 2005. Founded in 1953 as part of the Brunswick Radio Corporation of America, the plant (and the parent corporation) were acquired in 1962 by Decca, which was itself merged into MCA—and later, UMG, now part of Vivendi Universal.
When I submitted my Records 2 Die 4 selections this past winter, it seemed inevitable that I include a web radio station. Not only had I enjoyed listening to www.techwebsound.com more than anything else last year, but it had exposed me to more new music and led to more music purchases than any other source—by a wide margin.
Mozart: Piano Music
Sonata in a, K.310; March in C, K.408; Courante in E-flat, K.399; Gigue in G, K.574; Rondo in a, K.511; Sonata in F, K.533/494
Richard Goode, piano
Nonesuch 79831-2 (CD). 2005. Max Wilcox, prod., eng. DDD. TT: 59:32
These days, too many audio stores are like hushed mausoleums. Audio gear is displayed like dead art, and the sales staff, unless you're known as a regular customer, either greets you with a predatory gleam or, certain that you've wandered in by mistake, ignores you.
In 1985 or so, a middle-aged audiophile who lived in New York City called to invite me to come listen to his stereo: It was, he assured me, the best in the world. All he wanted was the pleasure of my opinion, for which he offered the princely sum of $100. (As I learned in the months and years to come, this same audiophile called virtually every other audio writer in the metropolitan area whose phone number he could get hold of, making the same offer.)