HE 2006

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Wes Phillips  |  Jun 04, 2006  |  1 comments
Information travels by jungle telegram at these shows, so by Sunday, I'd heard that I had to hear Nagra's set-up about 50 times. As a result, when I walked into the Nagra/Verity Audio/Silversmith/Audion/Sonic Euphoria room, I was startled to see, not one, but two systems—and the pricier of the two was off in the room's corner with its back to a curved bank of windows, leaving the $35,000/pair Verity Sarastros firing into the room at a more acute angle than I'd ever attempt. It sounded good, though. In fact, it sounded fantastic!
Jon Iverson  |  Jun 03, 2006  |  First Published: Jun 04, 2006  |  1 comments
Sonneteer/Bardaudio's Haider Bahrani holds the $425 Bardone TX wireless audio transmitter. This device can broadcast an uncompressed CD stream wirelessly up to 50 meters (164 feet).
Wes Phillips  |  Jun 04, 2006  |  2 comments
Just got back from the John Atkinson/Bob Reina/Allen Perkins jazz trio concert and it was great! Especially when you consider that these guys only play together once a year at the HE shows.
Robert Deutsch  |  Jun 04, 2006  |  0 comments
Can a show report have too many pictures of oil-cooled tube amplifiers? I don't think so.
Robert Deutsch  |  Jun 04, 2006  |  0 comments
Flying Mole Electronics is the whimsical name of a company that makes some compact, relatively inexpensive, and, from what I heard in their room, very good-sounding audio electronics. How compact? Well, just look at the picture of their CA-S3 integrated amp, with a CD box next to it for scale. The amplifier is described as "proprietary bi-phase PWM," with an output of 20Wpc, and sells for $850. The larger—but still compact—CA-S10 ($1500) puts out 100Wpc. Both are claimed to have a tube-like sound. The little CA-S3 did a good job driving both a custom system based on JBL components and a more conventional bookshelf-sized speaker from Von Schweikert.
Robert Deutsch  |  Jun 04, 2006  |  3 comments
Horns’n’triodes go together like...well, horses and carriages—and those who view both horn loudspeakers and tube electronics as antiquated technology might say that the simile is particularly apt. Although I would not want to argue that the way to sonic bliss is obtainable only by pairing horn loudspeakers with triode tube amplifiers, the combination can be magical, as was the case with the Acapella Audio Arts speakers and Wavac Audio Lab electronics on demo at HE 2006.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jun 04, 2006  |  1 comments
Saturday’s first taste of the real thing for this writer came in the form of midrange truth. The location was the third floor Santa Cruz room put together by Optimal Enchantment, a Santa Monica-based high-end retailer whose 25 plus-year history in the business perhaps grants it the right to so audacious a name. The amps were Audio Research REF 610 monoblocks, each of whose twenty glowing 6550 output tubes help account for their 600W output and $40,000/pair price tag. Speakers were an industry given, the Vandersteen 5As, the cable Audioquest, and the turntable a Basis Debut Signature ($10,900) outfitted with a Transfiguration Orpheus cartridge ($5,000) and Basis Vector Model 3 tonearm ($3750).
John Atkinson  |  Jun 04, 2006  |  0 comments
HE2006 had DJs Ming & FS, the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet and jazz from the Anthony Wilson Nonet, alto saxophonist, Zane Musa, John Heard and Company on Friday; jazz from guitarist Chris Standring and singer Melora Hardin, along with the incomparable Dr. John doing his Dr. John thing on Saturday; and my own trio doing jazz on Sunday. But classical music enthusiasts were not forgotten at the Show: Sunday saw the Arroyo String Quartet, joined by soprano Kathleen Winters for Mozart's sublime Exultate Jubilate, perform a fine set. A treat for the ears!
Jon Iverson  |  Jun 03, 2006  |  First Published: Jun 04, 2006  |  0 comments
Sonneteer/Bardaudio also makes a wireless receiver that houses a 25Wpc stereo amplifier. The Bardthree amp/receiver comes in several varieties, priced $1,225-1,350, and can be used to stream full-bandwidth tunes to another room, or to a set of rear channels in a hard-to-wire spot.
Wes Phillips  |  Jun 04, 2006  |  1 comments
I walked into Music Direct's room and asked Bes Nievera, "What's new?"
Jon Iverson  |  Jun 04, 2006  |  2 comments
The beautiful Ascendo loudspeaker, imported by airline pilot and audio enthusiast Darren Censullo of Avatar Acoustics
Robert Deutsch  |  Jun 04, 2006  |  4 comments
Canadian Totem Acoustic specializes in manufacturing loudspeakers that are small is size and price but big in sound. Perhaps no speaker of theirs exemplifies this better than the cheapest model in the line: the $450/pair Dreamcatcher. Here’s designer Vince Bruzzese with the Dreamcatcher.
Wes Phillips  |  Jun 04, 2006  |  2 comments
John Atkinson and I were musing yesterday about modern tribes, riffing off the concept writer Corey Doctorow proposed in Eastern Standard Tribe, that you choose your tribe these days based upon shared passions and shared goals. In that sense, the HE shows are a gathering of our tribe and the high point of all of them is meeting (and recognizing) fellow tribe members.
Jon Iverson  |  Jun 04, 2006  |  5 comments
Sporting a great music collection spread around the room, Zu Audio had two models of speakers up and running. Shown here is the company's $9k/pair Definition speaker, which Sean Casey assures me can be coated in any color the buyer can imagine including "matte, iridescent frost, high gloss, flames, stripes . . . anything." Of course the company chose the understated RED speaker for display at the show.
Wes Phillips  |  Jun 04, 2006  |  1 comments
Over at the other end of the Nagra/Verity Audio/Silversmith/Sonic Euphoria room, there was a far more modest system set up: Ayre C-5xe universal player, Sonic Euphoria PLC ($1295), Audio Silver Night Mk.III monoblocks ($9300/pair, 18Wpc), and Verity Fidelity Encore loudspeakers ($11,994/pair), all connected by Silversmith's silver cables.