When I checked in late last night, I noticed the cribs lined up along the halls of my corridor, but all I thought was, "What a child friendly country." Nor did I think much about all the Caucasian couples I saw carrying Asian infants amidst all the audiophiles thronging the halls.
"Tannoy is updating its line without abandoning its strengths," the suave Tannoy rep explained to me. "Listen to this recording of Salvatore Accardo. It's an old analog recording and it may be a tad too warm, but you could listen to it for hours."
The $2000 (USD) Prestige ST-200 super-tweeter has a vapor-deposited gold 25mm dome driver that has a -6dB downpoint at 54kHz (and only -18dB@100kHz). The two drop-in connectors on top establish crossover (14kHz, 16kHz, abd 18kHz) and sensitivity (89.5dB, 90.5dB, 92dB, 93.5dB, and 95dB). It integrated so seamlessly with the Glenair that I was initially convinced I was hearing only the concentric driver.
I walked into Usher's room, where the $8000 (USD) Dancer II Beryllium held pride of place. I thought the sound was a little small and every so slightly forced, but I loved the rhythmic tautness and drive. "Not the best sound I've heard today," I thought, "but not too shabby."
I'm a lummox of an American and I have to admit I get confused when dealing with multiple currencies. On this trip, I've been juggling USD, HK dollars, and RMB—and that really makes the going rough. So when I asked Peter Chang how much this Audio Art Jasmine Model 3A integrated amplifier (9Wpc) would cost in the US, I was sure he'd gotten confused too, when he said $42,000.
K. E. Lee's $8000/pair Calix Academy Jr. Phoenix loudspeakers are far smaller than the Phoenix Grand Signatures Paul Bolin reviewed, but tiny they ain't. Still, they looked a lot more manageable than those behemoths, which I helped JA wrestle into their shipping crates.
This is Ping Gong, one of my hosts and my fellow traveler. At breakfast this morning, he explained to me how he became an audiophile. "It was the Cultural Revolution," he said. "We weren't allowed to study, so we played music and talked. I had a big Russian turntable—mono! And one speaker, of course.