Parting the colorful wooden beads makes a sound like brushes against snare. I'm enveloped in soft green glow and the sweetest scents of liquor and jazz. I stand in the corner, trying to figure it all out. Two of the tallest speakers I've ever seen vintage Acoustat 2+2s climb all the way up to the ceiling. There's a glowing palm tree dancing between them. Along the walls are concert posters and all sorts of album art. To my right is a mirrored alcove, a bar area, holding many varieties of absinthe and other liquors I've never seen. The room is filled with smiles and everyone seems very comfortable, intoxicated. The space isn't set up for optimal listening. There are no rows of neatly arranged metal conference chairs. Instead there are couches and armchairs. In one, sits a man with his daughter in his lap. He taps his hand to the jazz, while the young girl nods her head in time to the snare hits. Together, they move from one seat to the next, and the girl immediately reacts to the difference in sound. The father I learn his name is Marty explains to his daughter, Briana, that they have just moved into a better listening position. "It sounds so different," she says.
I don't enjoy feeling like an ignoranus, but that's exactly how I feel after spending a day at the Convention Center during CES. The word "hate" keeps coming to mind. As in: "I hate it." But I don't think I really hate it. As I told JI, during one of my many pouts, I'm sure the experience is good for something. I just don't know what it's good for.
We were on a mission, of sorts. A mission to find a pair of small loudspeakers, which, as it turns out, is not the easiest thing in the world to do. Especially around these parts, where, it seems, size and volume are set to impress.
To be honest, I didn't give it much of a chance. I mean, especially after Jim Thiel's captivating presentation on the new CS3.7, the Philips press conference seemed like so much noise and swirling lights and fake boobs.