Tony Scherman  |  Mar 29, 2023  |  0 comments
I considered it an exciting discovery. It was an exciting discovery, in the rarefied world of rock'n'roll historiography: namely, that the great New Orleans, later Los Angeles, drummer Earl Palmer was responsible for one of the major paradigm shifts in 20th century American culture: the rock'n'roll beat. The aha moment came when Earl and I were preparing his 1999 oral autobiography, Backbeat: Earl Palmer's Story. Long before my cantankerous interlocutor (Earl ran hot) unspooled his amazing life story for me, a running interview that swallowed the better part of my 1990s, I had come to believe that Earl played a major role, perhaps the major role, in the development of rock's rhythmic underpinnings, hence of the music itself.
Robert Schryer  |  Mar 29, 2023  |  0 comments

The second demo I heard in Focal Naim's spacious, hall-sized room was centered around the brand new Naim NSC 222 streaming preamplifier ($12,000) from the company's New Classic Series. This is big news in the realm of Naim, though it doesn't entirely replace Naim's last Classic Series, which was launched … 50 years ago!

Robert Schryer  |  Mar 29, 2023  |  0 comments

Although it may seem like it sometimes, not all the exhibitors at an audio show play the same typical audiophile fare, which sounds great but rarely challenges the power and dynamic reserves of their systems. Mark Jones, of Ontario-based retailer Audio by Mark Jones, is one of those exceptions to the rule. The first track he played for me was Led Zeppelin's chord-crunching, drum-whacking "Moby Dick," at high volume.

Robert Schryer  |  Mar 28, 2023  |  10 comments

Quebec-based Lemay Audio was one of my best sounds of the show. At its dizzying price, it should be. If its price makes your eyes glaze over at first glance, all is not lost. I'll get to that.

Robert Schryer  |  Mar 27, 2023  |  3 comments

My friend ran up to me in the Mezzanine hallway. "You have to check out the Klipsch Jubilees", he said, breathlessly. "They're so big!" He leans his head back like he's looking up a skyscraper.

Robert Schryer  |  Mar 27, 2023  |  0 comments

Bryston launched two new products at this year's show that will hit the market in a week or two, according to Bryston CEO James Tanner, who was sitting in the chair next to me in the Bryston room. If what I heard in that room are any indication, Bryston is on to something big.

Robert Schryer  |  Mar 27, 2023  |  10 comments

I found the sound of the rooms at this show almost universally good, but some stood out, including the Bowers & Wilkins / Classé room, which sounded fantastic with the Tidal-streamed 16/44.1 FLAC files played for us.

Robert Schryer  |  Mar 26, 2023  |  0 comments

As is typical of their show setups, Focal Naim occupied a large, banquet-style room divvied up into different exhibits and active setups. How can you realistically gauge the sound of a demo while other demoes are playing in the background? The trick Focal Naim used, which worked like a charm, was to move our group among alternating demoes so that only one played at a time.

Robert Schryer  |  Mar 26, 2023  |  0 comments

Another room that stood out from the pack for its sonic excellence belonged to Canadian speaker manufacturer Acora Acoustics, which was showcasing its floorstanding SRC-2 model ($62,000/pair) on Quartz stands ($11,000).