ONLINE - ISSUE 25
HE 2006 - Part 1
Finally... like a long wait for that cool drink of water, Stereophile returns to LA for an HE show. What took so long!? Nice for us as we live a relatively easy 20 minute drive away in the way cooler city of Long Beach. Hey, have the show here next time, now that would be even better. Better restaurants, better hotels, better parking, etc.
Anyhow I would like to thank John Atkinson and Lucette Nicoll for putting on such a great show. Easy to navigate, nice press room, and true hospitality. Kudos.
So on to the show.
The very cool looking and very nice sounding Vivid K-1 ($12k) loudspeakers in the Musical Surrounding room.
Just about anything you would want in a turntable was offered by Clearaudio in the Musical Surrounding room. Nice stuff.
The new-ish Pathos Endorphin CD player... tubes and all ($8K).
The Aesthetic Calypso and Rhea tube line and phono stages... in black! Go Jim and Garth. This room also featured Running Springs AC conditioning, Kubala-Sosna Emotion cables, Harmonic Resolution racks and stands, and Pathos electronics. All of which contributed to a very nice sounding room...
Tyll Hertsens of HeadRoom showing off the statement balanced Max preamp-amp. A truly nice guy. His enthusiasm is second to none. Just what the industry needs more of by the way...
This sounded very good playing the him cut "Sea Level" form the CD new frontiers.
HeadRoom offered a series of set-ups based on various head-amp units and phones allowing the attendee to get a real taste of what they have to offer.
The other side of the room offered about the same gear and phones PLUS people from HeadRoom to explain the nuts-n-bolts of what is best for what. Great use of the show to maximize what they are all about.
Joe Wojcieohowski, the HeadRoom head honcho-engineer with the Max unit...
and the guts of the Max ($4k)... can be used as a preamp as well... cooooool he says. Send one our way.
Ivy Scull of HeadRoom explaining just about everything one needs to know about everything HeadRoom can offer you. Another great person in audio... and a woman too! Now that is refreshing!
Not a woman, but still a great person in audio, we found Elliot Midwood of Acoustic Image (another nice guy) showing off Messenger, Lector, and more...
...like the big LeGrange Brinkmann table.
Steve Hoffman taking it all in... oh and Carol in the foreground enjoying the Nat King Cole LP spinning its magic.
The Wavestream V-8 amplifiers (coolest looking stuff around)...
...powering the ESP Concert Grand loudspeakers. Very rich and analog-ishly smooth. Listening position was crucial as anywhere other that center rows one and two resulted in too much bass making the sound overly rich and euphonic.
The Usher room showing off the extremely affordable speakers and electronics. Nice fit and finish for reasonable cash... sound to match as well.
Pioneer showed off their new S-1EX loudspeaker with Bel Canto electronics and Nordost cabling. At $9k these are a serious entry product into the high-end. Designed around a concentric tweeter-midrange with two ported woofers, these guys rocked. No, this system rocked.
A close-up of the 1-3/8 in. beryllium tweeter and 5-1/2 in. magnesium midrange CST driver used in the Pioneer S-1EX loudspeaker.
Lamm, Wilson, Kubala-Sosna, and Metronome (tmh Audio - Jim Ricketts) showed together.
The Gaia turntable from Metronome...
The Metronome Kalista CD transport...
...more Metronome and Lamm electronics. Very good stuff and it sounded very nice too.
Richard Rives showing us the plans for PFO writer Mike Lavignes' room...
Kimber's static display had it all...
...in the same room with Sennheiser. Lots to try out so one can hear what is what...
The Totem room showed that making a room into a fantasy world is rather easy... which looked like something out of the deep frontier. Totem offered the attendee BIG sound from small speakers. Make that BIG and VERY NICE sound from small speakers. Steve Lefkowicz hanging out with Vince.
Sim Audio and Dynaudio showed together. Nice stuff. Big and bold.
And look what the cat drug in... Danny Kaey (crowding out Steve Lefkowicz) hanging out with Marchisottos of Nola in the Elite Audio room. Great people of audio!
The Pegasus loudspeakers from Nola... really good stuff.
The mbl room sounded a bit too big this time. Always impressed us at CES with their sheer brute force... here.. a bit too much for the room.
Still some of the coolest looking stuff around. Assuming you go for that sci-fi glam look. And black on black... so easy to shoot with digital!