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Stereophile Oct 2011

Stereophile October 2011

Rocky Mountain Audio Fest 2011 Show Report
The 2011 Rocky Mountain Audio Fest, which runs October 14–16 at the Denver Marriott Tech Center, promises more exhibits than ever before. Stereophile will be providing comprehensive coverage. (Coverage starts soon) Launched For Computer Audio Enthusiasts is a new website edited by Michael Lavorgna dedicated to making sense of the evolving world of computer audio and getting the best sound from your computer-based audio system.

Vivid Audio B1 loudspeaker
When John Marks wrote about the Vivid B1 in his column, "The Fifth Element," in February 2011, he was so excited about the sound he was getting that he asked me to drive up to Rhode Island to give a listen for myself. Not only was I impressed by what I heard at John's, I decided to do a full review of the speaker.

Wavelength Audio Proton USB D/A converter
I don't remember where I was when the Berlin Wall came down, and I already don't remember what I was doing when Liz Taylor died. (I suppose I was busy not thinking about Liz Taylor.) But I do remember when USB-based computer audio became a serious medium: That was when Gordon Rankin, of Wavelength Audio, introduced asynchronous data streaming, with his proprietary Streamlength software. After that, things picked up speed.

Are You Goin' to (an) Audio Fair?
When I was a young music lover, I'd often listen to Simon and Garfunkel's Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme LP, specifically the song "Scarborough Fair/Canticle." That memory came back during the e-mail exchanges I had with John Atkinson and Stephen Mejias about the positives and negatives of the proliferation of regional audio shows. (JA's reflections on these shows were the subject of last month's "As We See It.")

Recording of October 2011: The Time of the Sun
Trumpeters use their horns to search for truth. At least that's the folk tale. Somehow, that pure, ringing tone that most strive for at some point in their career--think Louis Armstrong, Clifford Brown, Miles Davis--suggests a quest for deeper knowledge, something closer to the heart. In effect, trumpeters play a knife--a blade that can cut through nerve, bone, and sinew to that heart; to realizations, we'd like to think, that force them to be honest.

Mark Hollis: The More You Love
In our December issue, I review Emotiva’s ERC-2 CD player and use Mark Hollis’s eponymous solo album as a reference. It’s a gorgeous disc, both sonically and musically--full of emotion, power, urgency, and lifelike detail. It was only earlier this year that I discovered Mark Hollis and his band, Talk Talk, through the kindness of Steve Cohen, salesman at In Living Stereo and friend of Other Music.

KEF: 50 Years of Innovation in Sound
On the evening of Tuesday, September 27, KEF dealers, friends, and associates celebrated the British loudspeaker company’s 50th anniversary. The event was held in the impressive penthouse residence of British Consul-General, Danny Lopez, where guests were treated to tall glasses of Pimm’s, delicious hors d’oeuvres, and electric views of Midtown Manhattan and Long Island City.

A Cup of Tea, a Light, and Your Stereo
Several weeks ago, a dear friend reminded me of the Commencement address delivered by Steve Jobs on June 12, 2005, at Stanford University. The entire speech heaves with wisdom, hope, and love, and I tend to come back to it every now and then, just as I do Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass--for comfort, compassion, direction, perspective. I meant to write something about it then, but things got in the way.

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