Logitech, which has acquired Slim Devices, was showing its $499 Harmony 1000 remote. The H 1000 has a 3.5" touch screen that allows you to configure a control pad that features only those functions you need regularly. That means that Squeezebox and Transporter owners like me can say goodbye to scrolling into menus three or four command lines deep. That means heavy users like me might actually find a remote worth $499.
Omaha was showing this nifty little 10Wpc No.OD-300B integrated amplifier ($1400), which was driving Omaha's Omaha Speaker (price tbd). Do I need to say that the No.OD300B uses a pair of 300B tubes? The system sounded warm and spacious. 10Wpc may not sound like much, but the Omaha speaker seemed comfortably driven. Fit'n'finish were impressive.
Lars Goller proudly rests on the GamuT Phi7 (price tbd), which couples five-midrange woofers in what he calls "perfect unison," thanks to GamuT's proprietary DC Coupled Midrange technology and Acoustic Coupled Driver technology. He says the tall, thin baffle, which arrays the woofers along almost its entire height, delivers excellent acoustic coupling to the listening room.
VAS Audio's Sze Leung is one pleased papa when it comes to Cayin's new iDAC-1 USB-input DAC ("under $800!"). It has a Burr-Brown DAC, built-in remote controllable analog preamp that uses two 6DJ8s, sports an optical S/DIF digital input as well as the USB port, and even has a headphone jack.
If a long line at registration is an indication of a show’s success—and it’s certainly one indication—then Home Entertainment 2007, held this weekend at the Grand Hyatt in Manhattan, could be pronounced a success by an hour after it was open to the public. The line was long enough that some people were grumbling—but their complaining stopped when they got in and had a chance see and hear all the neat stuff at the show. Exhibitors John Atkinson talked to at the end of the day seemed very happy with the turnout.
For Stereophile writers, a show like HE 2007 is not just an opportunity to find out about new audio equipment, but also to meet their colleagues and catch up on the latest industry gossip. Here, by the booth selling Stereophile CDs (including the new Attention Screen Live at Merkin Hall) we have (from left to right) Stereophileassistant editor and primary blogger Stephen Mejias, Home Theater techical editor Geoffrey Morrison, illustrator Jeff Wong (known to readers for his cartoons in the www.stereophile.com forums), editor John Atkinson, and senior contributing editor Wes Phillips. Jeff subsequently took my picture; I wonder if it’s to help him work on a cartoon...
Outlaw Audio had a press conference, at which Peter Tribeman talked about all their new products in a way that effectively combined modesty with a not-inappropriate touch of blowing your own horn. He freely admitted that there are a number of companies making excellent speakers—naming several that he admired—but suggested that Outlaw Audio’s new speakers stand comparison with these industry standards. He said their aim was not to sell a boatload of speakers, but to use the best components and designs, tweaking the crossover of each speaker to produce true audiophile results. The speaker he’s holding up here is the prototype of their LCR ($700), which can function as a center-channel speaker in vertical or horizontal orientation, with switch-selected modification of the crossover, hence lobing pattern, to take into account orientation. All of Outlaw's speakers will be made in the USA.
The press conference that I personally found the most exciting on the Show's first day was by Ralph Glasgal (left) on his Ambiophonics system. I knew about Ambiophonics (a signal-processing system
designed to cancel out interference between a pair of loudspeakers,
creating something akin to binaural listening but from speakers instead of headphones), but somehow I’ve never heard a demonstration, or at least not a convincing one. The demo setup at HE2007 was rather unusual, with a pair of giant Sound-Lab electrostatics at one end of the room, and another pair of floor-standing TacT speakers at the other end, the setup intended to demonstrate how the system works with these two types of speakers. I only heard the demo with the Sound-Labs, but I must say I was quite blown away with the huge soundstage, precision of imaging, and sheer ease of the sound. The Ambiophonic processing was performed by the latest TacT RCS 2.2 XP ($6000) which also functions as a full-feature preamp, a digital room correction device, and a D/A converter. Tact’s President and Designer, Radomir Bozovic (right), was also on hand to answer questions about the Tact system.
Free jazz quartet Attention Screen, which I recorded live at Manhattan's Merkin Hall in February, are performing a 60-minute set Saturday May 12 at 12:30pm, to celebrate the release at HE2007 of the resultant CD.