The Home Entertainment 2005 Show is coming to New York City April 28 to May 1, at the New York Hilton hotel. A ticket to the Show not only gives attendees entrée to previews of the latest in home audio, home theater, and convergence products—it also includes free educational seminars on a variety of subjects, moderated by top industry editors.
Some say it dates back 50 years, to when the late David Hafler introduced a tube amplifier with a "better-sounding" ultralinear output stage. Others claim it goes back to the introduction of electrical recording and playback in 1927, when Gramophone magazine's founder and editor, author Sir Compton McKenzie, thundered that electrical reproduction was a step backward in sound quality. But whenever it started, the "Great Debate" between "subjectivists," who hear differences between audio components, and "objectivists," who tend to ascribe such differences to the listeners' over-heated imaginations, rages just as strongly in the 21st century as it did in the 20th.
It used to be that, when I sat down to write the introduction to Stereophile's ever-popular annual "Records To Die For" feature, it quickly became an exercise in racking my meager brain for jokes about "dying for" records. But being funny, in print or otherwise, is tremendously difficult. I'm sure Groucho had a much more apropos, not to mention funny, quip about the trials of being humorous—but, as with the aforementioned jokes, I can't seem to think of it right now.
For the 13th consecutive year, Stereophile has recognized the components that have proved capable of giving maximal musical pleasure with its "Products of the Year." Based on a vote by the magazine's reviewers and editors, the 2004 winners were announced in the December 2004 issue and the awards were presented by Stereophile editor John Atkinson at last week's 2005 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.
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