Editor's Note: Stephen Mejias has never attended CES before, and does not claim to be an audiophile. But he's distinquished himself enough around the Stereophile office that it seemed a good idea to register his first-time impressions of audio's greatest show on earth.
Stereophile's "Products of the Year," now in its 13th year, recognizes those rare components that prove capable of giving musical pleasure beyond the formal review period. These are the components that can be recommended with no ifs or buts, that will grace any system in which they are used.
Since 1992, Stereophile has recognized components that have proved capable of giving musical pleasure beyond the formal review period by naming its "Products of the Year." These are the components that can be recommended without any ifs or buts, that will grace any system in which they used.
In a sense, DJ Shadow and Cut Chemist are music historians and preservationists. In "The Hard Sell," they take us on a scratching, mixing, looping journey through musical genres and fads, from the wildly obscure to the completely commercial, while employing not one, not two, but eight turntables and a collection of original 45rpm seven-inch singles that would make Mikey Fremer's hair go straight.
It’s been an unusually stressful couple of months here at Stereophile, thanks in large part to a succession of unusually demanding endeavors. Preparing our October issue was difficult for the usual reason (“Recommended Components”) and our November issue was particularly exciting for me, as it includes my first full-length review (VPI Traveler turntable), but nothing could prepare us for the intensity that came with producing, in a single month, both our December issue and our annual special issue.
Really, one issue per month is enough fun; two is cruel and unusual. In previous years, we created a Buyer’s Guide, but this year, we opted for something a bit more extravagant: 10 Years of “Recommended Components.”
First of all, I’d like to point out that, though I probably should have, I did not take this picture. This picture was taken by VPI’s young Mathew Weisfeld, who is way cooler than me.
Now, the turntable is VPI’s Traveler, which I review in our November issue. What turntable, you ask? That turntable therethe one behind the girl in the red glasses. (The red glasses, she told me, weren’t hers, but instead belonged to Music Hall’s Leland Leard. But that’s another story.)
It’s difficult to tell from my poorly shot photograph, but Audio Electronics’ range of affordable products seem to offer the same high level of fit and finish one would expect from their more ambitious parent, Cary Audio.