At every dinner I attended with industry members during RMAF 2012, someone invariably asked, “How was the Magnepan demo?” As I soon learned, it seems that Wendell Diller’s decision to forego exhibiting at consumer showssince the last Stereophile show in San Francisco, in 2003, he has displayed product only at the annual CES trade event (not open to consumers)has only heightened buzz around the Minnesotan company’s fabled planar-magnetic loudspeakers.
After building ModWright Instruments' reputation as a quality source for equipment mods, Dan Wright has expanded his business to include manufacturing his own components. Perhaps because his gear was called into play in a number of rooms, his own room was mobbed until Sunday, when crowds traditionally lighten up.
Universal Classics, owners of the great Deutsche Grammophon, London/Decca, and Philips catalogues, has made its entire treasure trove of Mahler recordings available for free, full-track, online streaming. Whether you are a babe in the Vienna woods or a seasoned Mahlerite, this is a rare opportunity to audition and compare a good 180 Mahler symphony recordings, including over 60 out-of-print Mahler titles.
The tracks, first posted to Mahler150.com last year in honor of the 150th anniversary of Gustav Mahler's birth, remain available in 2011, the 100th anniversary of Mahler's death. While you can no longer vote on the contents of DG's 13-CD box set, Mahler: The People's Choiceit has already been issuedyou can still compile playlists of favorite movements and complete symphonies, and create your near-ideal mix-and-match performance of all Mahler symphonies and song cycles.
Roy Bird's UK-based Chester Group, which currently produces the New York Audio Show, has announced the acquisition of Montreal's Salon Son et Image. While the show will continue to take place in Montreal's Hilton Bonaventure in late MarchMarch 2830 in 2014Sarah Tremblay, former co-producer of Montreal show with her husband, Michel Plante, will join the Chester Group team and assume overall management of both North American shows.
In addition, to avoid 2013's industry-taxing situation of the Montreal, Chicago, and New York shows taking place with only two or three weeks between each, the Chester Group has decided to move the New York show from April to September.
Product debuts galore were only one of the reasons that March 3's Music Matters 11, the latest installment of Definitive Audio Seattle's annual four-hour evening marathon, was a model event of its kind. Another, articulated by Definitive's president Craig Abplanalp to exhibitors less than an hour before the doors opened at 5pm, was that, at this Definitive Audio 40th Anniversary celebration, music rather than long-winded product spiels was the focus of each 20-minute listening session.
Certainly audiophiles heard the call. Music Matters 11 drew over 500 people...
Attendance was light at the Alexis Park on Wednesday, with the rooms closest to the front getting the most attention. That was certainly the case for Evolution Acoustics, whose imposing MM3 modular speaker commands respect. After seven years of development, this huge baby, designed by Kevin Malmgren (left, formerly of Von Schweikert) made its initial debut at RMAF 2006. Then, the company went low-key while Malmgren and his wife were busy raising their first child (who, after almost one year of development, has just made a most auspicious debut in his stroller at T.H.E. Show 2008). Well, not really. The speaker was back-ordered even before it was launched, and has kept Malmgren and its distributor so busy that they haven’t had the time or need to yet establish a dealer network.
Lou Hinkley's Daedalus Audio teamed up with an old friend, Art Audio/Gill Audio, and a new friend, Manley Labs. Showcasing the Daedalus Audio Ulysses loudspeaker ($10,950/pair), now boasting new improved internal wire, the system's dark presentation was very well delineated, with impressively three-dimensional sound. The midrange was especially mellow and inviting.
Norbert Lindemann tells me that his musicbook:20 ($5000) and musicbook:25 ($5500) will be available in six weeks. The musicbook:25 is a remotely controlled network player/CD player that includes a TEAC CD drive and USB-A port. It also contains a fully balanced analog preamp with analog volume control as well as class-A headphone amplifiers. The musicbook:20 lacks the 25’s CD drive.