Herb Arrives in Las Vegas

Delta flight 2820: At 497mph the ambient noise in the cabin averaged 94dB and registered 101dB peaks. That is at least 40dB louder than a candlelit night in my listening room. Artur Schnabel brings it up to (at most) 90dB and the loudest I have ever played Led Zep on the Magnepan .7s is 102dB. Now, I can't wait to rinse that crazy engine noise from my ears and hear some clean clear beautifully toned hi-fidelity music at maybe 103dB—or more! But these clear-sounding components must be moderately priced—because I am a cub reporter and new products that cost less than $5k is the assignment I volunteered for.

If you could have a great adventure (like the one I am about to have)—and it took place alone in private—it would be a top-secret adventure and you could never tell anyone what happened—would it still be an adventure?

Of course it would, but the everlasting need and desire to share your excitement and tell someone about it—to strut and brag—would be so overwhelming—you would undoubtedly wake up one morning and just blurt it out to the first person you saw. Listen! I did this! And this! Listen to me! This really happened! Before you even finish the story, men with wires in their ears are carrying you away to some dark institutional-looking building. When you look up from the gurney you are strapped to, a man in a white coat with a clipboard is scolding you sternly; "What happens in Vegas—stays in Vegas!"

Fearful of this, I have decided to transmit my stories about budget audio in the Venetian Towers at thee 2015 Consumer Electronics Show (CES)—in code—direct from the inner sanctum of my room—at Treasure Island, where the only view from my lonely desk is the gleaming specter of the Trump Hotel.

Always, when I arrive in Las Vegas, the first thing I notice is the slot machines in the airport. They remind me of young children selling matches on the streets of Venice, Italy. The second thing I always I notice are the legions of workers required to facilitate the massive, 24/7 cash exchange, that defines Sin City. The woman who helped me find the baggage claim was from Poland. The Uber driver that took me to Treasure Island was from Ethiopia; but he was schooled in Europe and was highly literate. He told me that in 2015 Las Vegas entertained over 43 million tourists and that CES was the biggest event of the year and that all the drivers, waitresses, and casino workers looked forward to it. I told him, that I looked forward to it too and that for me, it was a very great adventure. On to Venezia!

volvic's picture

Looking forward to your reports. Betcha raced to the SL-1200 unveiling.