Slated to open in March 2016 in Nashville, TN, Thiel Audio's Aurora "Ultra-HD Streaming Studio" is positioned to merge the legacy of Thiel loudspeakers with the vibrancy and "wow factor" of Music City. Thiel's plan is to create a state-of-the-art venue where fans, specifically younger-generation fans, can unite with name musicians and emerging artists via live, interactive performances that are streamed in Ultra-HD video and lossless audio.
In a four-room, every-seat-filled extravaganza that rivaled some of the Music Matters events in the number of high-quality components simultaneously on active display, the Berkeley, CA wing of Music Lovers Audio devoted the afternoon of December 5 to showcasing components from Vivid, dCS, Wilson, Luxman, Spectral, and other companies. With Philip O'Hanlon of On A Higher Note (distributor of Vivid, Luxman, and other brands), John R. Quick (dCS), Peter McGrath (Wilson Audio), and yours truly (above) on hand to give introductions and offer guidelines on how to listen and evaluate, a large store filled with audiophiles auditioned four fine-sounding systems at four different price points.
"I'm still in shock," Reference Recordings recording engineer Sean Martin blurted out during a conference call with his recording engineer stepfather, Keith O. Johnson. "When Jan Mancuso woke me up at 5:30 or 6 to tell me the news, I couldn't imagine who would be calling so early," was Johnson's follow up.
In its latest new location, the Hilton Westchester in Rye Brook, NY, the 2015 edition of the three-day New York Audio Show kicks off on Friday, November 6. The hotel, which is located on 37 acres of woodlands, comes complete with what are reported to be "panoramic view of lush gardens," two swimming pools, tennis courts, whirlpool, sauna, spa, fitness room, walking and jogging trails. While that may be of interest only to out-of-towners staying for the weekend, local guests will want to learn that the venue is a five-minute cab ride from the nearest Metro North train station (think Madmen), and offers free parking.
Canada's biggest three-day consumer audio and lots more show, TAVES, is poised to break its former attendance record when it opens in Toronto, Ontario on October 30. Newly reframed as "Canada's Ultimate Consumer Electronics Show," it opens less than a month after Denver's Rocky Mountain Audio Fest, and a mere week before the start of the Westchester County version of the New York Audio Show.
Exciting news greeted the posse of press who headed to the Marriott Denver Tech Center's Atrium Saturday October 3 for a press conference entitled "MQA and Mytek Present: From Studio to Home." Both Bob Stuart of MQA, Ltd. (above right) and Michal Jurewicz of Mytek Digital (above center) were present, as well as Pål Bråtelund, Strategic Partnership Manager for Tidal (above left), and, for MQA partner AudioQuest, AQ VP Steve Silberman.
Burning Amp is back. Perhaps the world's largest DIY festivalonly the European Triode Festival begins to rival it in sizethe mostly annual festival returns to the San Francisco Bay Area on Saturday, October 17, after a year's break to regroup and scout out a new venue. Now ensconced in a far more comfy 16+ room office venue in the South BayInterana Headquarters at 305 Walnut Street in Redwood CityBurning Amp promises at least 15 DIY systems plus an exciting group of presentations.
As the Stereophile Contributing Editor who has attended more Rocky Mountain Audio Fests than anyone except John Atkinson and Michael Fremerthat's me in the centerI've been entrusted with writing the show wrap. (John, it should be noted, deeply regrets that the magazine's production schedule made his attendance impossible.) But this time around, rather than simply relying on my own impressions, I posed questions to and gathered impressions from both my fellow bloggers, Sasha Matson (left above) and Herb Reichert (right above), and no fewer than 25 exhibitors.
Wilson seems to not only have a lot of dealersShadi’s Santa Monica-based Audio Salon is onebut also possesses a most intelligent marketing strategy that leads it to honor requests for loaner loudspeakers when it feels the products they’ll be paired with at shows are up to snuff. In this case, were they ever! Alongside the Wilson Sabrina loudspeakers ($15,900/pair) in the Audio Salon room were singing components of very different price points. . .
Oh my, what a difference a few feet can make. I am talking, in this case, about the 6'7.8"-tall, 573.2-lb Focal Grande Utopia EM loudspeakers ($195,000/pair), each of which houses a 16" woofer, an 11" midbass driver, two 6.5" midrange drivers, and a 1" pure-beryllium, inverted-dome tweeter. This loudspeaker throws one of the largest and most realistically proportioned soundstages I have ever heard. When playing my SACD of Iván Fischer and the Budapest Festival Orchestra performing Mahler's Symphony 9 (Channel Classics), the Grand Utopia EMs were actually capable of suggesting the huge scale, dynamic extremes, and sheer volume that a full Mahler orchestra can produce. Which is no mean feat.