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September 2012
Enjoy the Music.com Review Magazine
In This Issue....
Best Of 2012 Blue Note Awards
Plus special mentions of the CA Electronics Ceramic Cones, the Enacom Audio Noise Eliminators and Rotel's The Ultimate Guide To High Performance Home Theater book.
Article By Steven R. Rochlin

 

Enjoy the Musuc.com Best Of 2012 Awards Logo  Looking over the past year, including my writings from last year's Blue Note Awards, if i felt that 2011 was "Hectic!" then 2012 could be considered "Insane busy!!!" In 2011 we had eight press releases plus the Android and Windows Phone 7 apps launched. And yes V11 of the Enjoy the Music.com Internet web browser too. So here we are in 2012 and what have we got to show for it? What can be said to you that we've accomplished in the past 12 months?

I got nothin'. Nope. Nothing to see here. These are not the droids you are looking for. Move along. Move along.

ROFL!!!!

Ok, seriously, so in the past 12 months only four press releases. That may seem lazy until you realize that one of those press releases is worth over $89,750 in prizes to you our readers! Don't ask about the logistics that single press release entails... and on an ongoing basis! Suffice to say 'all work and no play make Steven a dull boy' rings true. Ok, besides the contest thing there was eleven show reports added in the past year. Eleven! For god sakes please don't make me list them all here with hyperlinks. Damn, guess i have-to huh as this is a kind of 'round up' of the past year so.... Ok, fine, be that way! :) Here they are in all their splendor for you to enjoy:

California Audio Show by daGoGo 2012 California Audio Show by daGoGo 2012

Capital Audiofest 2012 High-End Audio Show Capital Audiofest 2012 High-End Audio Show Report

The Home Entertainment Show/Expo 2012 T.H.E. Show Newport Beach 2012 and The Home Entertainment Show/Expo Las Vegas 2012

Munich High End Society Germany High End Show Germany High End Society 2012

Lone Star Audio Fest 2012 Lone Star Audio Fest 2012

New York Audio & AV Show 2012 New York Audio & AV Show 2012

Salon Son & Image Report 2012 Salon Son & Image Report 2012

AXPONA -- Audio Expo North America 2012 AXPONA -- Audio Expo North America Report 2012

CES (Consumer Electronics Show) 2012 CES (Consumer Electronics Show) 2012

RMAF 2011 (Rocky Mountain Audio Fest) Rocky Mountain Audio Fest (RMAF) 2011

Toronto Audio Video Entertainment Show (TAVES 2011) Toronto Audio Video Entertainment Show TAVES 2011

 

Wow, that ate up quite a bit of screen space and bandwidth. Was it good for you too? Notice how Enjoy the Music.com has so many show reports yet virtually no show awards? Think of the great marketing possibilities we simply let go. Figure 10 awards per show multiply by 11 show equals 110 awards. And this 110 awards is just for shows alone! Then add in all our equipment and music reviews and we could have (mumbling to myself) 12 times 8 plus 110 carry the ?3? and multiply by Pi (R2) = a kabillion awards annually. Um, wait, think i added that wrong. Keep on trying the math Steven, yet that darn Pi (R2) has me running around in circles! Anyway, the great staff have chosen a mere 8, yes EIGHT products to receive an Enjoy the Music.com Best Of 2012 Blue Note Award. Those stingy bastards!!! Let us applaud each and every one of them! 

But then here i come along with a few special mentions and throw out the entire equation! Hey, being the creative director, and if you insist the editor too, means at times one can take certain liberties. And as such, here are my three personal picks. Just as it was last year, whilst the below products have never been officially reviewed by Yours Truly they deserve to be mentioned yet technically do not officially qualify for the Blue Note Awards due to no official full review... which is due to my own personal lack of time to do so. So if anyone is to blame for failure of reviewing a product, can only place the blame on me. In this world where there seems to be zero accountability and honesty in admitting causing problems within the financial, banking, government, etc sectors, it may be a breath of fresh air for you to hear the editor of Enjoy the Music.com outright admits his shortcomings. And with that said here are the three product in 2012 i feel deserve special attention:

 


CA-Electronics Ceramic Cones
Over the years have tried many different pods, Blu-tac, dampers, balls, platforms, etc and just got turned on to the CA-Electronics Ceramic Cones (34.95) and love 'em! Like all the other types of such devices, they are designed to absorb unwanted vibrations from adversely affecting the pristine sound produced from audiophile equipment. CA Cones are sold per set of three pieces, are 37 mm high, and 37 mm wide at the bottom. The company feels that placing two Cones at the front of your equipment, and one at the back, is best. In my gear i found the opposite to be true, yet this just shows you that even the best tweaks can benefit from experimentation. The result? A touch more detail, especially in the upper mids and highs. The imaging was maybe a touch more defined, yet still debating that. The soundstage did indeed get deeper and don't we all just back in the glory of a nice deep front soundstage. Love the CA-Electronics Ceramic Cones and they have earned my Award Of Excellence. Try 'em and let me know your results!

 

Harmonix ENACOM AC Line Noise Eliminator
Sure i have top-end power filters here, including the use of two(!) 60 lbs each big arse APC S15 UPS units that can handle 1500 VA each. Still, the great guys at Harmonix handed me two Harmonix ENACOM AC Line Noise Eliminator ($110 each) and said to just try them. Being the skeptical type, plus already having dedicated uprated AC lines, multiple power filtration units, etc it seemed like a very small time suck and easy to install. Face it, this is 'plug and play' so pretty much zero effort on my part. Wish more products like the Harmonix ENACOM AC Line Noise Eliminator weighed less than a pound and was literally plug and go. Next time i move the 400+ lbs of speakers in the reference system am sure you'll gladly volunteer to help, right? Anywho, so i plugged them in, didn't really hear much change but left them in.

Harmonix ENACOM AC Line Noise EliminatorSo about a week later was noticing things. Little things mind you, yet together making a good improvement. Hmmm, the wall Air Con unit isn't causing any little click sound like it had in the past. Other little things improved, but hard to fully quantify. Another week passed and all was going well. Of course this is worthless unless i remove them and see what happens. So unplugged them and not immediately, but within a few hours something had changed. The music was not quite as dynamic in the sense of the buildup. It was like the medium to loud crescendos were a bit muted now as compared to the way they were with the Harmonix ENACOM AC Line Noise Eliminator in place. Plugged back in the units and sure enough a day or so and things seemed 'normal' again. There were other small gains, yes small, yet together it all adds up! The ENACOM AC Line Noise Eliminator is so easy to try and could subtly help your system too. So of course the obligatory "It should be on your short list of tweaks to try" applies here and they have earned my Award Of Excellence.

 

The Ultimate Insider's Guide To High Performance Home Theater
Remember the days way back when you'd get an owner's manual and it would be written in an interesting 'form' of English. Perhaps it was translation software gone bad or who knows why, yet thankfully those days are indeed in the past. Many audiophiles don't know this, yet odds are you may have already read something written by Len Schneider of TechniCom Corporation. Not only has he written many (modern) owner's manuals, Len Schneider has also conducted various training sessions and now his new book has emerged for sale!

Len Schneider wrote the original Rotel book and has recently released a completely updated version titled The Ultimate Insider's Guide To High Performance Home Theater ($19.95 in downloadable pdf). Now before you snobby audiophiles think you have read it all, know it all, and have no interest in home theater so could care less, think again! Len Schneider's formative 30 years of experience in the consumer electronics industry truly shows here and he is a member of the Audio Engineering Society (AES) and the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE). Of course this is not counting the other books he wrote on consumer electronics technology, contributions in numerous articles and reviews to most of the major publications in the field, etc.

It would take nearly a book to write a review about this book. Sounds confusing, no? Thankfully The Ultimate Insider's Guide To High Performance Home Theater is concise, detailed and easy to comprehend even for those of 'less than audiophile' status. Still, there is deep theory and knowledge even the most seasoned audiophile will find of great value. Here we have a whopper of 386 pages filled with everything from basic setup to technical details concerning digital technologies and more! This book is a must-have for every audiophile imho. By the way, Len Schneider still writes owner's manuals for various companies, so he plays with all the latest and greatest gear before us lowly reviewers know about it!

 

Well, that just about wraps it all up. Summer is soon in the rearview mirror and here comes the glorious days of Fall in the Northern hemisphere. Of course in the end what really matters is that you...

Enjoy the Music,

Steven R. Rochlin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

     
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