HE 2006

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Wes Phillips Posted: Jun 06, 2006 0 comments
I wandered into the ModWright/Red Dragon/Acoustic Zen/Golden Sounds room expecting good sound because Dan Wright's stuff always delivers, but I was wowed by the system's synergy.
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John Atkinson Posted: Jun 06, 2006 2 comments
...use a unique drive-unit concept that provides breathtakingly realistic, silky-smooth treble reproduction. I always try to visit the German manufacturer's room at the end of the Show, to savor the sound of their 101E speakers. Driven by MBL's own amps and digital front-end, with Tara Labs "Zero" vacuum-dielectric cables, these lived up to my expectation, though the Show room was not completely sympatico with the bandpass-loaded woofers, which need a relatively well-damped acoustic to work at their best.
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Robert Deutsch Posted: Jun 06, 2006 0 comments
I heard some truly excellent-sounding systems at HE 2006, but if I had to pick one listening experience at the show that transcended all others, it would have to be Kimber’s IsoMike demonstration. The system itself is described by Wes Phillips in another blog entry, and I’m sure it would have sounded very good playing back normal CDs, but what made the sound more closely approach reality was that the source material consisted of four-channel recordings made by Ray Kimber using his IsoMike setup. (Ray is shown here holding a scale model of his IsoMike baffle.) I’ve been often disappointed with multichannel music playback, but this was completely convincing. The voices and instruments present in the room in a way that was at times spooky. Wes was right: Ray Kimber should be King of the Universe.
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Wes Phillips Posted: Jun 06, 2006 3 comments
I joke sometimes at Home Entertainment Shows, as I regard the crowds jostling one another to enter rooms, paw through bins of records, or get the good seats at the musical events, that "these are my people." The thing is, it's true. I do the same things.
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Stephen Mejias Posted: Jun 06, 2006 0 comments
Leland Leard of Music Hall is a pair of spectacles the color of Jenny Lewis' dress. My eyes grew large and happy when I saw the Watson Twins vinyl propped up beside White Stripes and Gnarls Barkley discs.
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Wes Phillips Posted: Jun 06, 2006 1 comments
Jon Iverson wrote about Bard's wireless system, but I think it worth emphasizing that, although Bard has a USB dongle that will transfer music from your computer to other systems, many audiophiles might be even more thrilled by the Bard One ($850), which inserts between your preamp and power amp and broadcasts to a nearby system, where it plugs into that preamp's line inputs. It's small and unobtrusive and sounded very good at HE2006, I hope to get my mitts on a sample and write about it further.
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Robert Deutsch Posted: Jun 04, 2006 Published: Jun 05, 2006 0 comments
Immedia's Allen Perkins, the third member of the John Atkinson Trio at their Sunday afternoon concert, is studying with jazz drummer Peter Erskine (Diana Krall, Joni Mitchell).
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Wes Phillips Posted: Jun 04, 2006 Published: Jun 05, 2006 1 comments
The Moscode 401HR driving the Joseph Audio RM25si loudspeakers were sounding mighty fine. I actually thought they had more moxy than most really expensive systems I heard at the Show, particularly with acoustic music, such as Alison Krauss and Union Station. The top end really sparkled in a most believable way.
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Jon Iverson Posted: Jun 05, 2006 3 comments
While the focus of HE2006 was clearly on consumer equipment, two recording engineers stopped me in the halls to show off a hot professional recording device from Sound Devices. Todd Garfinkle from M•A Recordings first alerted me to the two channel version of the portable recorder, which retails for around $2,400. About the size of a small book, it sports pro inputs and the ability to save to a flash card or host computer.
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Robert Deutsch Posted: Jun 04, 2006 Published: Jun 05, 2006 1 comments
Speaker reviewer Bob Reina is actually a classically trained pianist. He's seen here tickling the ivories in a most satisfying manner during the John Atkinson Trio concert at HE2006.
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Wes Phillips Posted: Jun 04, 2006 2 comments
John Atkinson and I were musing yesterday about modern tribes, riffing off the concept writer Corey Doctorow proposed in Eastern Standard Tribe, that you choose your tribe these days based upon shared passions and shared goals. In that sense, the HE shows are a gathering of our tribe and the high point of all of them is meeting (and recognizing) fellow tribe members.
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Jon Iverson Posted: Jun 04, 2006 5 comments
Sporting a great music collection spread around the room, Zu Audio had two models of speakers up and running. Shown here is the company's $9k/pair Definition speaker, which Sean Casey assures me can be coated in any color the buyer can imagine including "matte, iridescent frost, high gloss, flames, stripes . . . anything." Of course the company chose the understated RED speaker for display at the show.
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Wes Phillips Posted: Jun 04, 2006 1 comments
Over at the other end of the Nagra/Verity Audio/Silversmith/Sonic Euphoria room, there was a far more modest system set up: Ayre C-5xe universal player, Sonic Euphoria PLC ($1295), Audio Silver Night Mk.III monoblocks ($9300/pair, 18Wpc), and Verity Fidelity Encore loudspeakers ($11,994/pair), all connected by Silversmith's silver cables.
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Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Jun 04, 2006 2 comments
The Immedia room proved an isle of sanity amidst the clamor. As I entered, the folks were playing Analogue Productions’ HQ-180 pressing of Chet. Heard through Joachim Gerhard’s somewhat diminutive, 90 lb Sonics Allegria speakers ($15,000/pair, shown above with Immedia’s Allen Perkins), the trumpet sounded far bigger and lifelike than speakers this size “should” make it sound. Equally impressive were the amazing depth, height, and width of the soundstage. No small part of the credit is due Perkins’ Spiral Groove SGI turntable ($20,000), Immedia RPM tonearm ($2995), Lyra Skala cartridge ($2500, a replacement for Lyra’s Helicon), the Lyra Connoisseur 4-2LSE preamp ($25,000), and Ayre V5XE 150 Wpc amp ($4500).
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John Atkinson Posted: Jun 04, 2006 0 comments
For the fourth year in a row, the Home Entertainment Show was the venue for a raffle organized by analog specialty distributor Musical Surroundings. Shown here with the grand prize, a Pathos Classic One integrated amplifier is winner Stanley Moore (center), with Musical Surroundings' Garth Leerer (left) and Stereophile's Michael Fremer, who pulled the winning entries from a box in the time-honored, double-blind manner. Our congratulations to all the winners.

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