T.H.E. Show Newport 2012

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Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Jun 06, 2012 0 comments
Everyone who knows Dan Meinwald of EAR USA looks forward to his exhibits, as much for their wonderful sound as for the opportunity to discover sometimes unusual, musically engrossing vinyl titles. This year was no exception. Once an attendee who was dominating the proceedings finally settled down, and Dan played a master tape-sourced file of Heifetz and Smith playing Beethoven's Kreutzer Sonata and a hi-rez copy of the Concierto de Aranjuez (I think), the room transformed from a showcase for a loudmouth into an island of warm sanity. It was luscious.
Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Jun 06, 2012 0 comments
This was the first time I've encountered ESS Labs at a show. Rico Caudillo, CEO, explained that after an eight-year cessation, the company returned to the scene maybe four years ago. Pictured here, left to right, are the imposing, all-dipole Transar ($19,000/pair) and smaller AMT Limited ($4495/pair).
Stephen Mejias Posted: Jun 06, 2012 2 comments
Audio Note’s Dave Cope was unusually glum: The E/SPe HE loudspeakers ($9650/pair; seen in a lovely Russian birch plywood) are designed to be positioned in the corners of a room, but doing so here, in the small Atrium suite, meant that they’d be tucked beneath a strange overhang that seemed to rob the speakers of their charm. The effect, however, was largely music-dependent and I nevertheless heard glimpses of Audio Note’s characteristic drama, tone color, and texture, albeit on a smaller scale. I have no reason to believe that this impressive system wouldn’t sound wonderful under better conditions.
Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Jun 06, 2012 0 comments
The title may have veiled what this seminar was about, but there were some light moments during the two-hour Friday afternoon session that discussed "what to listen to and for in music." Pictured (left to right) are Tony Weber, 40-year industry veteran and Regional Sales Manager for Cary Audio; Tim Brisson, formerly of MIT cables; Bruce Brisson, who engineered the first purposefully built audio cable in 1981, which was marketed by Monster Cable; Paul Stubblebine, for 34 years a mastering engineer; and Cookie Marenco, a five-time Grammy nominee who is founder and producer/engineer for audiophile label Blue Coast Records.
Stephen Mejias Posted: Jun 06, 2012 3 comments
I sat in the Hi-Fi Company’s Hi-Fi Chair ($1500) and, while I immediately felt ridiculous, I also kinda sorta liked it. A lot.
Stephen Mejias Posted: Jun 05, 2012 3 comments
First of all, I loved the way On A Higher Note’s Philip O’Hanlon coordinated his outfit with both his demo room and the Vivid B1 loudspeakers—the dude can rock a Hawaiian shirt, khaki shorts, and slippers like nobody’s business. Second, it was awesome to hear O’Hanlon say, “Up next is a song by Destiny’s Child, with Beyonce, called ‘Bills, Bills, Bills.’
Stephen Mejias Posted: Jun 05, 2012 2 comments
Zach Galarza is a 20-year-old audiophile and music lover. I’ve met Zach a few times at different shows across the country, and I was happy to learn that he’s now working with AV Showrooms.

When people ask me about the future of the high-end audio hobby, I always become at least slightly annoyed. I’m tired of the question. To be honest, I was tired of the question from the very start.

Stephen Mejias Posted: Jun 05, 2012 0 comments
Carlsbad dealer Audio Revelation put together a beautiful little system: Vivid Audio V1.5 loudspeakers ($7650), Luxman SQ-38u integrated amp ($5990), Wavelength Cosecant DAC ($3500), and Well Tempered Versalex turntable ($4400) with a Dynavector XX2 phono cartridge ($1950)—all you need to make music.
Stephen Mejias Posted: Jun 05, 2012 2 comments
Pay no attention to the gentleman snoozing in the front row. The crowd at JA's seminar on loudspeakers measurements was riveted, captivated, enthralled.
Stephen Mejias Posted: Jun 05, 2012 0 comments
My very favorite gear of T.H.E. Show Newport was presented by Ross Blomgren of RJB Electronic Services. Blomgren specializes in the repair and restoration of antique jukeboxes, radios, and hi-fi, and the products he had on display were, in my opinion, some of the most beautiful to be found at the show.
Stephen Mejias Posted: Jun 05, 2012 5 comments
Several excellent seminars were held throughout the course of T.H.E. Show Newport, including Friday afternoon’s seminar, “What Speaker Measurements Mean,” hosted by John Atkinson.
Stephen Mejias Posted: Jun 05, 2012 2 comments
In a second Brooks Berdan room, we heard Aesthetix Atlas monoblocks driving a pair of Sonus Faber’s beautiful Amati Futura loudspeakers.
Stephen Mejias Posted: Jun 03, 2012 0 comments
Making good sound: VTL's Luke Manley, Jennifer Berdan and Brian Berdan of Brooks Berdan LTD, and Tempo High Fidelity's John Quick.
John Atkinson Posted: Jun 03, 2012 5 comments
Stereophile's Stephen Mejias (left) is given the hard sell by the youngest audiophile at the Show, Shane Censullo. Shane was tireless throughout the weekend, handing out flyers on behalf of his father's company, Avatar Acoustics.
Stephen Mejias Posted: Jun 03, 2012 0 comments
Time and time again, I’ve had the good fortune of running into VTL’s Luke Manley just as I arrive at a show. It’s always a pleasure to chat with Luke and just as fun to listen to music with him. While his room often represents my very first chance to listen at any show, the sound he and his partners create is one that stays with me for the duration. That was the case again here at T.H.E. Show Newport Beach.

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