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Positive Feedback ISSUE 5
february/march 2003


Good Times at CES 2003: A Photo Essay, Part 2
by David W. Robinson

(All photographs and image processing by Robinson)


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Well, who should I run into right after visiting with Jim Ricketts but some members of "dah t'oird (no, not "turd") estate"—Dan Sweeney of The Absolute Sound on the left, the inestimable Clark Johnsen of Positive Feedback Online—plus former PFer Rich Brkich of Signature Sound! Dan's another SACD enthusiast; he and I have chatted a time or two before via phone. Clark's a long-time friend and contributor to PF/PFO, and one of the best writers in fine audio in my humble opinion. Rich has been a bud for a long time... he shifted from engineering into fine audio years ago—now that's commitment.

We shoot the breeze for a while... when suddenly...


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…the plot thickens! Down the hallway comes none other than Marty DeWulf of Bound for Sound ! Marty's a great fellow, of long (virtual) acquaintance. After all these years, this is the first time that we finally got to meet face to face. Marty and Clark enjoy the moment…it isn't often that such a chunk of the "audio underground" gathers, even in passing. Well, except at the Vacuum State-of-the-Art Conference (VSAC) up in the Pacific NW, eh?


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Rich Brkich is a good friend of Lila's and mine. Audio friendships like this can last a lifetime. (If you have no idea of what I'm talking about, or why I have so many photos of people—"this is supposed to be an audio journal, dammit!!"—then you, my friend, need to get a life!


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Carol and Dave Clark with Lila Ritsema in an official mug shot. Suitable for the Post Office wall and everything! These are some of the key folks who put PF Online... well... online. See? Now you can recognize them!


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Dave Clark gets editorial all over yon PFO reviewer Roger S. Gordon. What technique!


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Audio art in the Axiss room! One of Arturo Manzano's Transrotors looking quite smashing, I must say...


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...and that wasn't the end of it! The Odeons paired with the new Air Tight reference 300W reference monoblocks were looking pretty choice. Now if we could just listen to such setups under something other than show conditions...


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Will Caesars never wonder? Here's the Townshend Rock Reference turntable and Helios arm, on display at Dan Meinwald's fine E.A.R. room. Max Townshend has been working on this turntable/tonearm for years, now; I certainly hope that he's eventually able to get it into production. Anyway, when I got there, Stereophile's Mike Fremer and Dan were crawling all over this setup. It's certainly unlike most other tables and tonearms that I've seen... complete with remote adjustable VTA, for the terminal perfectionists out there. (You know who you are!) Definitely a sort of "retro British look" to these eyes.


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Now you can see the Helios arm with the unique "trough" for absorbing and draining excess vibration from the cartridge.


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Our very good friend Dan Meinwald of E.A.R. USA, by the Townshend Rock Reference turntable, and surrounded by a gorgeous gaggle of gear by Maestro Tim de Paravicini... really luscious stuff, and great sounding too!


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And here we have it... Mike Fremer and Dan conferring about the de Paravicini kit and the Townshend table. The de Paravicini M100 A monoblock is to the left; 100 WPC into just about any load known to mankind.


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Speaking of de Paravicini... there he was, right outside. That ava raris—a true fine audio design genius... there aren't too many.


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Right around the corner... more of the phine ‘phile press! Ross and Arnis from The Audiophile Voice. I've known Arnis Balgalvis for years... a truly great person, and a good friend.