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June 2009
Enjoy the Music.com Review Magazine
More World Premiere Reviews
Plus the state of the economy and drum set update.
Article By Steven R. Rochlin
Click here to e-mail reviewer

 

  Another month, another late night of Yours Truly writing out his last minute editorial. It is right now May 28th at 11:27pm and have decided to tackle the state of the economy, which many magazines appear to be avoiding. Ok, so i have to do the usual touting of how within this month's Review Magazine and Superior Audio combined there are six World Premiere reviews. Many of these reviews are of very high quality longstanding companies, as anyone can get a World Premiere of hole-in-the-wall manufacturers. No need to say much more on that topic really, it is something you may in fact get bored of as Enjoy the Music.com will be doing this virtually every month in 2009 and perhaps for... well, forever. So let us move on to the state of the economy shall we.

Religion and politics are very bad things imho to be written about in an audiophile magazine. Americans can turn on any TV and they can find mainstream media running around like headless chickens saying "the bottom is in" or use a Washington DC approved phrase like 'green shoots'. Perhaps the recent South Park episode called Margaritaville got it right <big grin>. The great thing is that many of my friends are much smarter than to believe American TV. In fact many of my friends live overseas where proper reporting can be found (at times) and of course we all have access to independent journalists via the Internet. Fact is i gave up on TV... what my grandmother called the 'Idiot Box'. And as such, am sure American audiophiles are also smarter than the average American consumer and so probably can even teach me a thing or two. Well, here it goes...

 

The Economy And High-End Audio
A funny thing happened to me while at the recent Munich High End show. Germans are buying high-end audio gear at a good clip. So are Asians and many others. Had some very good conversations with various manufacturers while in Germany. Sad to see few American companies showcasing their products at this very important European show, as it is the CES of Europe and a lot of business is done.

Coming home i spoke with a few longstanding American companies and they appear to be doing quite well too. While the average Joe The Plumber may be clueless, it looks as though the American audiophile is much smarter and, as such, has been better positioned to avoid the recent economic downturn in the United States of America. Add to that, Europeans, other than those still doomed to using the Pound Sterling, are savers and as such they have money to spend. Add to that one again, the same Europeans have (smartly) generally isolated themselves from the infectious actions of U.S.A. and British 'investment' banksters.

Sure some high-end audio companies may have felt a small decline, yet word from those within the industry has been that businesses that operate wisely are doing well. Sure some of the small players who did little work and lived off the cream may be shaken out. This shake out is a good thing as even high-end audio magazines are always leery to review products from small-time manufacturers with little history and/or questionable customer service.

During one of my discussions with a retailer he said business was up. He said it was due to families staying home more and, as a by-product of such actions, they want to enjoy music and movies to a higher level within their home. Ya know, i never thought about that angle and it makes perfect sense. People who stay home more tend to desire being surrounded by nice things and enhance their enjoyment of music. Perhaps this is the single best explanation of why high-end audio is not being affected much by the doom and gloom that may be heard daily on the American Idiot Box.

Phew, ok, enough on that topic except that Enjoy the Music.com hired about eight new writers in 2008 and are still seeking to hire qualified and top-notch writers who do not play politics. If you are a small-time guy i might consider you, yet quite frankly (and humbly said) this site has become too important to the many hundreds of thousands of readers we get each month to hire a big name guy who plays hard-n-fast-n-loose or a newbie who is still on the low end of the learning scale. We also publish original reviews from our very broad, highly qualified and well-rounded staff, as there is no need to rely on other magazines' reviews found elsewhere due to lackluster and diminishing in-house resources as found elsewhere online. Hip and cool sounds good in writing, yet tin ears (C.G anyone?) and love-of-the-month reviews get really boring for me to edit (and i am sure it bores you to read them).

 

The Drum Set Evolution
Within the November 2008 editorial i first wrote about the new set of drums that reside within my humble abode. Am happy to report the set is now virtually complete. As a classically-trained and true percussionist (and drummer) the main percussion bits finally arrived. While it took the kind folks in Switzerland approximately two months to get it all to me, as you will see below it is quite extensive. Besides the drum set, there is a very closely matched pair of Earthworks lab-grade mics personally hand delivered to me by the owner of the company plus a 24-bit/192kHz recording machine. As it stands today, the drum set consists of:

Tama Stewart Copeland Signature Set
    5" x 14" Copeland Signature SD
    22" x 18" Bass drum 
    10" x 8" Rack tom
    12" x 8" Rack tom
    13" x 9" Rack tom
    16" x 16" Floor tom
    18" x 16" Floor tom
    Octoban 5, 6, 7, and 8
    20" x 14" Gong Bass 
    8" x 4" Tymp-Tom 
    10" x 4.5" Tymp-Tom
Treeworks Tre44 Studio chimes 
Sabian full lower octave of Crotales
Sabian Cymbals:
    HHX Groove Hats 13-inch
    Radia Cup Chime 7-inch
    HHX Evolution Splash 7-inch
    HHX Evolution Splash 10-inch
    HHX Evolution Splash 12-inch
    AA Extra Thin Crash 14-inch
    AA Extra Thin Crash 16-inch
    AA Bright Crash 16-inch
    AA Chinese 16-inch 
    AA Crash Ride 18-inch
    AA Dry Ride 21-inch
Paiste Percussion and Cymbals:
    Finger Cymbal Pair (suspended) 
    Finger Cymbal Row (15 pieces) 
    Sound Disk Set 1, 3 and 5 (suspended)
    9" Rotosound, number 1
    11", 12", 13", 14" and 15" extra thin percussion cymbals 
    5", 5.5", 6.5", 7.5" and 8" five piece Cup Chime set
    4", 6", 8" Accent cymbals (two each) 
    9.25" X 13.25", number 2 Sound Plate
    7", 10", 13" and 20" Accent Gongs
LP Percussion
    Aspire LP 190 tambourine
    Black Beauty Sr. cow bell
    Rock Ridge Ride cow bell
    LP450 bell tree (personally 'customized')
    Granite Blocks (five, tuned) 

So as you drummers out there have surmised, i love my tuned percussion instruments. As for why the set has stacked cymbals, same percussion theory plus it opens up the ability to play them melodically or sweep the stick downward for multiple strikes. The set is basically in quadrants and from drummer's left we have the Latin percussion section, center in the 'usual' drum set, and to the rear is the majority of percussion bits. Enough typing, below are some photos, which you can click on to see larger images.

 

 

 

 

Of course in the end what really matters is that you...

 

Enjoy the Music,

Steven R. Rochlin

A classic rock anthem!

 

 

And an interesting 'mashup' of a popular commercial.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

     
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