Friday, the first public day of HE2004, was entirely different from the press-only day that preceded it. Friday, the audiophiles arrived and the excitement was palpable. Rooms filled with music lovers; halls thronged with excited gear-heads. Now that's entertainment.
Today marked the opening of Home Entertainment 2004 East, held at Manhattan's Hilton Hotel on 6th Avenue in Midtown. By long tradition, the first press conference in The Home Entertainment Show's busy press day has always been occupied by Sony and this year was no different. As we entered the Sony Suite, we were greeted by a wall display of over 2000 SACD titles—surely enough to be considered a down-payment on the critical mass that will be necessary for any high-rez format to survive. But any hopes that Sony would address SACD were quickly dashed in the press conference itself, which was primarily devoted to news of Sony's new broadband "location free" video systems, which allow consumers to carry 12.1" or 7" LCD video tablets anywhere they might wish to access their home-entertainment options. The data transfer is accomplished through the dual-band IEEE 802.11a/11g protocol. The 12" LF-X1 will retail for $1500 and the 7" widescreen LF-X5 will go for $1000.
We were startled to receive an email announcement recently informing us that Scot Markwell, long-time set-up and equipment maven for The Abso!ute Sound's erstwhile editor Harry Pearson, had joined the staff at www.themusic.com to manage its Gear Shop division.
Considering that not that long ago there wasn't even a product category for balanced AC line conditioners, we seem to now enjoy a plethora of the critters. Cinepro offers the PowerPRO 20 (reviewed in Stereophile, November 1998, Vol.21 No.11). And Equi=Tech, which caters more toward the pro end of the field, offers one that I have yet to hear. Now Audio Power Industries weighs in with their own approach to the genre.
Few audio products have proved as enduringly fascinating to audiophiles as William Firebaugh's Well-Tempered Turntable design. At once elegantly simple and technically sophisticated, it was an immediate hit with music lovers and critics alike—and was long a staple of Stereophile's "Recommended Components" list. For the greater part of the product's 20-year lifespan, the Well-Tempered 'table has been distributed and manufactured under the direction of Transparent Audio, Inc. However, Carl Smith, the Transparent partner who supervised the manufacture of the Well-Tempered line, decided to retire this year, and Transparent determined that it should concentrate on its cable business.
From The Audio Catechism: Q: What is a subwoofer? A: A large, ugly device that must be placed in the most inconvenient location in the listening room—for instance, in front of the only door. Q: What is the purpose of the subwoofer? A: To produce prodigious amounts of low-frequency sound and to glorify its owner, who can rest safe in the knowledge that his is the biggest.
Johnny Cash, the 71-year-old American icon, died September 12 of respiratory failure caused by complications from diabetes. The singer/songwriter had been released from the hospital the preceding day after a two-week struggle with an unspecified stomach ailment.