HE 2006

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Robert Deutsch Posted: Jun 03, 2006 2 comments
Ask the Editors: the view from the stage. The questions this year did not include the usual ones about which exhibits people liked the most, recommendations about tweaks, and why Stereophile doesn’t do blind testing in all reviews. Instead, there were questions about things like intellectual property rights, the future of various audio formats, and whether multichannel represents a worthwhile enhancement of the music-listening experience. Very polite and friendly.
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Stephen Mejias Posted: Jun 03, 2006 0 comments
Bluebird Music's Jay Rein, with the very cute Neat Motive loudspeaker ($1995/pair) in the foreground.
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Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Jun 03, 2006 4 comments
My final visit of the Show's first public day was to Jay Rein's Bluebird Music, Ltd. room. Tucked into a small niche in a space otherwise dominated by Chord electronics and Neat loudspeakers (which Jay considers an ideal match for Chord) sat an unobtrusive Exposure system consisting of the Exposure 2010S CD player and integrated amp ($1250 each) connected to diminutive NEAT Acoustics Motive 2 loudspeakers ($1995/pair) by entry-level Kubala-Sosna speaker cables. Rein and CA dealer Michael Silver of Audio High then proceeded to blow my mind with budget magic. As was the case with the new, even lower-priced Denon system I described yesterday, the system's evenly balanced, full-range sound blew me away. Now I understand why Stereophile has heaped praise on Exposure Electronics. I'd love to hear this stuff powered by after-market power cables and a power conditioner of some sort. Stuff that sounds this good can only sound better when given the opportunity to demonstrate its full potential.
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Wes Phillips Posted: Jun 03, 2006 1 comments
Direct-marketer Aperion Audio was demonstrating its new $750/pair 533-T tower loudspeaker, built around two 5.25" mid/bass drivers and a 1" silk-dome tweeter. Aperion's cabinets employ 1" MDF and internal bracing, so they're extremely rigid. Aperion not only offers 30-day in-home auditions, but they pay return shipping if you choose not to buy—and they even offer a one year trade-up policy that refunds 100% of the cost of a speaker if you buy a better speaker from them.
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Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Jun 03, 2006 1 comments
After lunch, I wandered into the Joseph Audio room. I had initially encountered Jeff Joseph on Wednesday afternoon as he was attempting to cart four huge boxes of equipment into the hotel by stacking them one atop the other on a flimsy two-wheel luggage cart. Needless to say, upon encountering a small hump at the hotel threshold, the poor thing began to bend under the weight, unceremoniously depositing Jeff's boxes on the floor. Like someone kicking a mule whose hind legs have collapsed under it, Jeff attempted to wrestle with the beast, trying to convince it to perform its intended duty. The man may have the wherewithal to produce uncommon speakers that have received three "Best Sound at the Show" honors, but he seems to share a common human failing with yours truly—an occasional refusal to acknowledge the obvious.
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Wes Phillips Posted: Jun 03, 2006 1 comments
Bob Reina stopped me in the halls and asked, "Have you heard the water-cooled triodes?" Huh? Turns out the $59,000/pair Von Gaylord Audio Uni Signature Editions monoblock power amplifiers use exterior transmission-grade tubes submerged in an oil coolant, I presume and you can really see the thermal motion of the coolant, so I'm guessing the tubes run hot.
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Jon Iverson Posted: Jun 03, 2006 0 comments
McIntosh kept the lights low in their room to show off the new C220 vacuum tube preamp. Who can resist the alluring glow of green tubes? Retail is $3,300 for the C220 which also features an ingenious headphone mute feature and electronic level adjustment for each of eight source inputs.
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Jon Iverson Posted: Jun 03, 2006 0 comments
Music Hall's Roy Hall and Leland Leard flank the new Shanling integrated amp that Robert Deutsch describes below.
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Robert Deutsch Posted: Jun 03, 2006 0 comments
In the Show's ongoing HE Luminaries series, Jim Thiel, founder of Thiel Audio, talked to John Atkinson about his ideas on speaker design, and the evolution of his speakers through the years, including the new CS3.7, which made its debut at HE2006.
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Stephen Mejias Posted: Jun 03, 2006 0 comments
I could barely make my way into the Totem room. The crowd stretched out into the hall. When I finally found some space, I made sure to have some fun.
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Robert Deutsch Posted: Jun 03, 2006 0 comments
A gaggle of Clearaudio turntables. "They’re only a fraction of the ones that are available," said Garth Leerer of US importer Musical Surroundings.
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Stephen Mejias Posted: Jun 03, 2006 0 comments
Jenna Russo, Lucette Nicoll, and Erika Pearson (L to R) keep the press room stocked with coffee and cookies so that we can keep working hard.
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Robert Deutsch Posted: Jun 03, 2006 0 comments
"Joseph and Cardas must be stopped! Don’t let them win best sound again! Give someone else a chance!" That was the bit of tongue-in-cheek "reverse psychology" stated on buttons handed out by Jeff Joseph. The upgraded speakers at the show were the RM7XL ($2299/pair) and the RM22XL ($3199/pair).
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Wes Phillips Posted: Jun 03, 2006 1 comments
For me, the highlight of HE2006 so far was sitting on the podium next to the Electronic Frontier Foundation's senior intellectual property attorney Fred Von Lohmann as he analyzed the threat restrictive digital rights management (DRM) poses to innovation of precisely the sort so beloved by us audiophiles.
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John Atkinson Posted: Jun 02, 2006 Published: Jun 03, 2006 0 comments
Wes Phillips went gaga over the Moscode HR410 amplifier in the current (June) issue of Stereophile and at HE2006, I was equally impressed by the amplifier driving Joseph RM25XL Special Edition speakers ($4199/pair). Source was a Yamaha SACD player and a Placette Active Line Stage. I listened to SACDs of a Mahler symphony (from the Michael Tilson-Thomas cycle with the SFSO) and "Swing Live" on Chesky (for which I had been present at the sessions) and the sound was vivid without being over-hyped. Moscode's Gage Rommel showed me a mockup of the forthcoming Moscode preamplifier. This is still having its feature set argued over, including whether it should have a Bluetooth link with the remote so an LCD screen on the latter could mirror the preamp's front-panel display.

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