ONLINE - ISSUE 18
CES/T.H.E. Show 2005: A Photo Essay, Day Three,
All images and image processing by Robinson
All presentations were done now, so it was time to do the last thing on the list for this year's show: emcee the PFO Bash for CES/T.H.E. Show, 2005! And a real party it was, too… standing room only! Above are two of my dearest audio friends, PFO's Audio Minister Plenipotentiary Dave "Iron Man!" Glackin and Stan "The Man!" Ricker (standing). Any PFO gathering without these two is incomplete.
Here's a rare portrait of PFO's Senior Assistant Editor, Greg Weaver. This fine fellow brought in some exceptional 18 year old McCallan's single malt… wotta' pal!
Left to right: Albert Porter, Danny Kaey, Stan Ricker, and Dave Glackin enjoyin' the moment!
In the foreground, Lila talks with long-time PFO contributor Clay Swartz; in the far background, we see PFO audiobud Jonathan Tinn, doing his usual thing of being GLUED TO HIS CELL PHONE!
Dude! Hang up and finish that drink!
Did I say "standing room only"?
Yep, it was definitely SRO… with people spilling outside for fresh air.
Now here's an analog moment for you: two LP masters, Stan Ricker and Lloyd Walker, discuss turntables, record cutting, and generally shoot the shit…
…while PFO's senior essayist extraordinaire, Clark Johnsen, does the same with newer PFO reviewer, Karl Lozier.
‘Tain't just for guys! The women were present, as well: PFO partner and Business Manager Lila Ritsema (seated) with Suzanne Gordon (left) and Mrs. Lozier (right).
Good friend Lloyd Walker enjoys the moment with Lila!
Meanwhile, Fown-Ming Tien grabs some less used air outside.
Los tres amigos!PFO's Francisco Duran, Jim Grudzien, and John Beavers splash back the wine and beer, while telling audio lies to each other… .
Also partaking of the brewskies was PranaWire's Joe Cohen, a truly great guy.
Carol Clark and Alan Kafton digging the moment…
You know, every year I have to get at least one photograph of Carol tossin' ‘em back.
Mike Lavigne and Roger Gordon duke it out over turntables and LPs… fight! Fight!
Another turntable-lovers moment: Proscenium owner and PFO contributor Albert Porter enjoys a beer with Lloyd Walker.
Lila Ritsema and Fred Law had a real hoot during the party… can you tell?!
AudioMachina's Karl Schuemann had a few Heineken's moments with us at the Bash… Pacific Northwestern folks are always welcome!
Now here's a cool sight: Tim de Paravicini and Stan Ricker got a chance to chat during the Bash. What these two guys don't know about audio ain't worth knowin'….
Lila Ritsema and Dave Glackin.
Two more very good friends of PFO: Alan Kafton of audioexcellenceaz and Dan Meinwald of E.A.R. USA.
Fred Law of Walker Audio has Clark Johnsen's attention riveted; Fred, you've got to quit playing with your fingers this way! (Note how carefully Stan Ricker avoids looking at Fred's topology…)
Finally, a goodly moment with two more friends: Tim de Paravicini of E.A.R., and Dan Meinwald of E.A.R. USA. Fine audio is—or ought to be—more about the people, the relationships, and the creative ideas as it is the gear.
It was a terrific party; everything after that was the anticlimax of packing up, and flying back to Portland the next day. Having missed CES 2004 due to weather, I was really glad to have made the trip this year. It was also really handy to have the CES high-end show and T.H.E. Show side by side once more.
Ye Olde Editor's "Really good rooms of CES/T.H.E. Show 2005" list
Everybody and his kid brother put together "best of the show" lists. I think that they're of only limited utility… they usually tell you more about the list maker than things listed… and as anyone who's been to CES/T.H.E. Show knows, the room acoustics range from "challenging" to "truly dreadful." There's also the fact that it usually takes 3-4 days for a given system in a room to get tweaked, warm up, go through further adjustments, so that it really starts to shine. By then, of course, the show is shutting down. (Kind of like hitting middle age: around the time you start to figure out what's worthwhile, your body isn't up to it any more!) Truth to tell, this is the really big irony of audio shows, and probably their biggest drawback. It doesn't mean that the shows are worthless… far from it… but it does mean that you need to take what you hear as nothing more than a contingent result. (On the other hand, if you hear something that really impresses you under those conditions, then you should definitely pay attention.)
Anyway, keeping in mind the limitations of show lists, I'll give the exercise a shot. Remember: I was not able to get into nearly every room, and not every room that I did visit was playing music at the time that I was there. So the fact that a given room is not listed here does not mean that room didn't float my boat. I may not have heard it at all, or may have been there during day one of the show. A lot of rooms were still warming up, eh? With all these caveats in mind, perhaps you'll find something here that will help you in your audio journey.
Contrary to what you might hear from some quarters, I thought that there were some good rooms this year. My personal list of really righteous rooms included the following:
Regrets: Neither the Musical Surroundings room (Clearaudio) nor the Axiss room (Transrotor) were running when I tried them. I've made arrangements with Garth Leerer of Musical Surroundings to do a review of one of the upper level Clearaudio configurations in tandem with the Aesthetix Rhea phono amp. I hope to be able to do the same with Art Manzano regarding the Transrotor and Airtight lines—we'll see. Also didn't get to see Charles Hansen in the Ayre room; I would have liked to talked with him. Perhaps at the Rocky Mountain Show…
Ye Olde Editor's "The best rooms of CES/T.H.E. Show 2005"
My personal top o' the heap was pretty clear this year:
210 photographs, days to write and edit, three major parts over two issues of PFO—call it make-up for being snowed out last year, and catch up for me this year. My next audio show will be the Rocky Mountain Audio Fest in Denver, September 30 – October 2, 2005. Hope to see you there.