Matthew Guerrieri (aka Soho the Dog) has a new installation of his ongoing series Strauss and Mahler Re-Enact Your Favorite Movie Moments. Today's episode is The Ten Commandments. Read 'em all—they're hilarious.
When I first learned that Meridian had co-badged, with Ferrari, a $3000 table radio, I was tempted to cynically dismiss it as a marketing gimmick—an attempt by the audio manufacturer to leverage the brand loyalty of the Italian automaker to its own highly developed industrial designs. The problem was, that required that I dismiss everything I knew about Meridian and its singular head designer, Bob Stuart.
D&M Holdings, Inc., the Japanese consortium that owns Denon, Snell, Boston Acoustics, McIntosh, Escient, and Marantz, is apparently on the marketing block. Rumors to that effect have been circulating since mid-March, although the company's website, in a press release dated 04/15/08, coyly says only: "D&M Holdings, Inc. notes that recent press reports concerning the potential sale of D&M shares is not based on any information provided by the company."
Both examples of the Verity Sarastro IIs ($40,000/pair) that I heard at FSI sounded amazing. I say this with some surprise, since I was never entirely comfortable with the original Sarastro. Go figure, new and improved.
Emanuel Lafleur had a pair of his $8000/pair (estimated final price) stand-mounted two-way X1 monitors set up in the press room. Great for reaching the press, not so great for good sound, since the press room was dominated by a huge roundtable right where the sweet spot would have been. Nevertheless, the X2s sounded impressive enough that both John Marks and I were captivated.
FSI has a very high percentage of good-sounding rooms, compared to most audio shows. True, the smaller hotel-roomed sized rooms above the concourse levels, all had a hooty 150Hz coloration, but that just meant that, when an exhibitor successfully dealt with it—as did Ken Rasmussen of Neeper—those rooms really stood out.
Wadia was showing its almost ready-to-ship CD/SACD player, the $15,000 781. (A 781i with digital inputs and outputs is also in the works.) The 781 uses two signal processors feeding a programmable gate array and the company's proprietary DigiMaster 2.5 upsampling software. This, Wadia claims, results in a data rate of 1.4112 million samples per second. The 781 also sports Clocklink jitter reduction for both CD and SACD.