Sam on the Show

You know the trouble with show reports? You read them after the show. So let me give you a brief report on Home Entertainment 2001 before the Show.

For starters, HE2001 is shaping up as a big event. There will be over 200 exhibits and listening rooms. Dozens of new products will premiere. New technologies will be demonstrated to the public. More than ever, the Show will make news. In fact, we expect that Home Entertainment 2001 will be featured on network TV.

The Show's name may have changed, but high-quality audio continues to play a starring role. You'll find plenty of tube amps, including single-ended triodes. Turntables, tonearms, and cartridges. I love it when old technology refuses to fade way. You'll get a good idea of what's what with the new technologies, too. Exhibits and seminars will bring you up to speed on SACD, DVD-Audio, PC Home Cinema, and HDTV.

How soon before we see more SACD software? Multichannel SACD players and discs? How will DVD evolve? Will the next generation of players offer high-resolution digital outputs, so you can connect directly to digital audio amplifiers and television sets? Will recordable DVD replace your VCR? Should you consider a dedicated home-cinema PC with recording, storage, and playback capabilities? (The price of such PCs is expected to drop soon to below $1000.) Is now the time to buy a projection TV, and if so, what type of projection TV? You'll be able to see all types at HE2001. CRT. LCD. DLP. D-ILA. Projection TVs are becoming very affordable. There will be lots of exciting stuff at the Show. And there's no pressure to buy.

But HE2001 is as much about people as it is about the equipment. It's OUR Show. It's the one place where you and I can mix and mingle with thousands of others, from all over the world, who share our interests—whether it's a lust for tubes or a love of vinyl or a passion for state-of-the-art home theater. You'll meet audiophiles and videophiles from all over the world. If you've attended our previous Shows, you'll meet people you've met before. Renew acquaintances. You'll meet the editors of Stereophile, Stereophile Guide to Home Theater, Home Theater, and Home Theater Interiors magazines. You'll have a chance to ask questions at four "Ask the Editors" sessions.

The big names in hi-fi are exhibiting. There will be hi-fi equipment of all types, at all price levels. From Creek to Krell, Adcom to Atma-Sphere. Something for everyone. Look at the names. Conrad Johnson—their new MV-60 tube amp (60wpc) looks like a honey. Balanced Audio Technology (aka BAT). Vacuum Tube Logic. Wilson Audio Specialties. Dynaudio. Hovland. Linn. Perpetual Technologies.

Dennis Had, of Cary Audio Design, will bring his new V-12 amplifier—with the red chassis and six EL34 output tubes per channel. And his new line of Cary home-theater gear. McIntosh will show their new MC2102 tube amp which I wrote about in the May issue. Dan D'Agostino will be demoing the new Krell loudspeakers.

You can meet industry legends. Like Jeff Rowland, of Jeff Rowland Design Group. Mr. Mark Levinson, of Red Rose Music. Victor Khomenko, of BAT. Vladimir Shushurin, of Lamm, who's coming to the Show all the way from—Brooklyn.

Looking over the list of exhibitors, I see Axiss Distribution. Aha! Air Tight and Accuphase. (Air Tight is said to have a brand-new SET tube amp.) Immedia—distributors of Audio Physic loudspeakers and the RPM-1 turntable. SET fanciers will note the presence of Ron Wellborne, of Wellborne Laboratories. Ron is exhibiting for the first time at our Show, to the best of my knowledge. I believe he's bringing his Moondog amps (2A3s!) and the Osiris horn speakers from Germany. Headphone enthusiasts will want to check out the latest from Stax, Grado Labs, Sennheiser, Beyer Dynamic, HeadRoom, Wheatfield Audio.

Vinyl and CD collectors alike will welcome the presence of Telarc, Acoustic Sounds, Classic Records, Chesky Records, Cisco Music, The Elusive Disc, May Audio Marketing, Reference Recordings, and Audio Advancements. There will be a giant CD and record fair on site, with plenty of accessories, too—Audio Advisor will bring a bevy of their best goodies. Kimber Kable will be exhibiting. Nordost. Monster Cable. Power Snakes. Alpha-Core. Straight Wire. Discovery Cable. If you're coming from out of town, pack light, because you'll leave loaded with stuff!

Meanwhile, your weekend's entertainment will be on us. There will be 12 free concerts, starting at 2:30 on Friday afternoon with pianist Hyperion Knight playing Gershwin, and ending on Sunday afternoon with pianist Robert Silverman performing three Beethoven piano sonatas (recital starts at 2:30pm.)

Sunday is Mother's Day. We didn't forget. Violinist Arturo Delmoni will perform selections from his best-selling album, Songs My Mother Taught Me. That's Sunday morning at 11:30. If you really want to be nice to your special Mother's Day person, buy her a copy of the CD after the concert! On Saturday morning at 11:30, Arturo will play a program of Bach solo violin works. Arturo is the recipient of both a "Recording of the Month" and an "R2D4" recommendation from Stereophile.

Blues great Jimmie Lee Robinson will perform at 5:30pm on Friday and 4:00pm on Saturday—acoustic, front-porch blues. Robinson has worked with such legendary blues giants as Little Walter and Howlin' Wolf. Hear him perform classics like Muddy Waters' "Forty Days and Forty Nights."

On Friday night at 8:00, David Johansen and the Harry Smiths will be jammin' with their eclectic mix of jazz, blues, folk, country, and rock.

On Saturday night, Grammy Award winner Keb' Mo' will perform at our Grand Concert. Hear Keb' Mo' classics like "I Was Wrong" and "Better Man," and the exuberant "Everything I Need." All you need is a three-day ticket to get in . . . free. I love that word!

J-10 (aka Jonathan Scull) will host a "Fine Tunes" clinic on Sunday morning at 10:45. Victor Tiscareno, of Audio Prism and Red Rose Music, will provide "technical stiffening," as J-10 told me. I may join the panel, just to tweak Jonathan and provide some additional—ahem—stiffening. Mikey (aka Michael Fremer) will lead an Analog Clinic on Saturday at noon. I didn't know my turntables were sick—but I am sure they could use a dose of whatever Mikey has to offer.

These events are fun. By all means, ask tough questions. Challenge what's being said. Help make the sparks fly.

For movie buffs and videophiles, there will be a special 90-minute presentation by Sony Pictures on the restoration of Lawrence of Arabia and the film's transfer to DVD. Colors had faded, footage was lost—yet on DVD, David Lean's classic film looks absolutely pristine. How did they do it? Aren't you curious? I am. Saturday and Sunday at 1:00pm. The DVD will be available at a special Show price.

So do the Show. We're all waiting for you. And when you read the Show reports in Stereophile later this summer, you'll be able to say, "Yes, I was there. I was part of it all, when and where it happened."

By the way, this is our first New York City Show in five years. Don't miss it!

Click here to order tickets. Or go to the show web site for more information.