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March 2006
Enjoy the Music.com Review Magazine
Audiophile Evolution

Article By Steven R. Rochlin
Click here to e-mail reviewer

Audiophile Evolution At Work

 

  First, i never expected the huge amount of interest from last month's editorial concerning the ability for manufacturers and distributors to save thousands of dollars showing their products in Los Angeles. It stirred quite an interesting mix to say the least! The great news is that many people also realized the Germany High End Society Munich show was really where they were best served. This way they could reach a worldwide market with European retailers and distributors. Shows are a very big investment and such funds must be carefully considered, without feeling political pressures or being coerced into making hasty decisions.

 

More Show Evolution
Of interesting news is that us high-enders can kiss the lackluster Alexis Park goodbye for the 2007 CES! This aging, and horrific venue for those who can not climb countless flights of stairs, will be glad to know we will be at the Venetian Hotel. This is also near the Sands Expo and Convention Center, with the Sands drawing what CES claims was more than three times as many shuttle bus riders as did the Alexis Park. Home theater exhibitors will also be offered space, moving away from the LVCC south hall, for the more upscale venue at the Venetian.

 

Reviews And Music Evolution
It is great to see high-end audio evolving while vinyl is still alive and well. High resolution digital music is now downloadable, or at least better than CD <cough> quality. Once you desire going digital, there is no need for physical formats. The same can be said for reviews, as there is virtually no need to receive physical formats as many magazines are available online. If i was a betting man, i'd place my money that as the print guys are now offering pure online formats they have extended their reach to many more countries and subscribers. Their reviews truly reach enthusiasts worldwide.

Speaking of reviews, Enjoy the Music.com's March edition is a glorious mix of the Axiom EP500 subwoofer and various tube amplifiers. Add to the mix Rick Becker's Decorating For Music Part II (coming mid-month) and it is interesting to note how many tube amplifiers, once pushed away by that new technology called solid-state, is very much desirable by audiophiles. Also of note is the interest in moving away from esthetically-challenged listening rooms to a visually pleasing environment. Color me guilt, as many years ago i flirted with having a Live-End Dead-End (LEDE) room. This included having less than pretty acoustic panels were on virtually every surface, including the ceiling! Today we have the ability to control the room's acoustics using devices that are more visually pleasing. My point? We no longer need to alienate people when they se our listening room. In fact it can be quite attractive and inviting!

 

Online Music Evolution Continues
As many audiophiles have advanced in age, one may wonder if we have somehow left the younger generation behind. In many ways the opposite is true as our glorious all-digital world progresses and makes for more opportunity for new products and services. Who would have imagined ten years ago that we would be enjoying good quality music streamed online, or having the ability to learn so much about our hobby via the Internet!

Many of us post on discussion board, visit chat rooms, etc. We find common ground and there are times when the hot product, like the Slimdevices unit, is making its way into many audiophile systems. The ease of managing our digital content is getting easier with various programs combined with online music services. While vinyl will probably be around for many decades to come, we no longer need to bother going to the store to buy physical formats that contain digital data. Amazon.com is beginning to see the light as they are said to soon offer music downloads. i have a feeling their physical format digital disc sales have somewhat declined as iTunes and the like have flourished.

Of course one can only wonder... is digital good or bad? At what point will we realize a digital format that truly is capable of equaling what is on a master tape. And when will that format be downloadable, or at least join a subscription service where we can seamlessly access our music at home, on our mobile phone or other portable devices, and into our automobiles. Sure much of this is now available at various sound quality levels, yet i am referring to true advances that yield very high resolution, lossless data transfer from master tape to the end user. As we always say, in the end what really matters to me is that we all....

 

Enjoy the Music (Rush "Natural Science" right now),

Steven R. Rochlin

 ..."Science like Nature must also be tamed
With a view towards its preservation
Given the same state of integrity
It will surely serve us well.

Art as expression not as market campaigns
Will still capture our imaginations
Given the same state of integrity
It will surely help us along.

The most endangered species
The honest man will still survive annihilation
Forming a world stated of integrity
Sensitive, open and strong.

Wave after wave
Will flow with the tide
And bury the world as it does
Tide after tide
Will flow and recede
Leaving life to go on as it was"

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

     
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