This issue of Enjoy the Music.com is indeed a special one. Not only is it my first as Senior Editor, but more importantly, a special one for the reader. I'll get to the contents of this issue and why it is indeed outstanding in a moment, but first I want to thank our illustrious editor and creative director Steven R. Rochlin for having the faith (and sense!) to promote me to this new position. For those who don't know who I am other than through my reviews that have appeared within Enjoy the Music.com for the past ten years or so, I suggest reading my (mostly true) bio posted here. Briefly, have been writing high-end equipment reviews for more than twenty-five years, been involved within the high-end audio scene since a teenager, and I believe my love of music was established in utero. I'm lucky that I spend my days doing what I love, and therefore have trouble calling it "work". It should be pointed out that the gentleman who held my position previously is the esteemed Dick Olsher. When leaving the previous high-end audio review magazine I wrote for before Enjoy the Music.com, I was looking for a new publication to call home and saw Dick Olsher's name listed. This convinced me to send an e-mail to Enjoy the Music.com to introduce myself. The rest, as they say, is history. And the future, I hope.
Those who know me are aware that not only am I a "vinyl junkie", but the analog front-end of my system gets lots of use. There is no doubt that digital playback is progressing at the speed of light (no pun intended), yet with about 10,000 LPs including 45s and at least a few dozen 10" records lining the walls of my listening room my analog front-end isn't going anywhere. With that in mind, when I read a review of a turntable as accomplished as those made by Germany's Acoustic Signature, their Thunder model reviewed in this issue by Wojcich Pacula, the part of my brain that is receptive to all that is analog lights up. I get more than a little upset when people refer to vinyl and turntable set-ups "retro", yet there is no doubt that the veteran high-end manufacturer McIntosh Laboratory will strike a nerve with those who are so inclined to use that term with their re-introduction of the MC75 tube amplifier and C22 tube preamplifier, reviewed by Anthony Nicosia. I'm jealous.
Speaking of time-honored products, the re-introduction of Ampzilla products, originally brought to us by the late James Bongiorno are available for our consideration and enjoyment. So it is interesting to see within this month's edition a review of their new SST Son Of Ampzilla power amp and Thoebe II preamp reviewed by Ron Nagle. Since James Bongiormo's passing, SST has been purchased outright by wyred4 sound and is responsible for bringing to market the updated versions of these two classics.
There is no doubt that Enjoy the Music.com is, hands down, the high-end magazine with the most show reports per issue. In these show reports not only will one find plenty of high-resolution photos (audio porn, as I like to call it), but the observations of Enjoy the Music.com's intrepid show correspondents. Rick LaFaver found lots to like at 2015's Rocky Mountain Audio Fest (RAMF 2015) that took place in Denver during the early days of October. One can lament the dwindling number of brick and mortar audio salons, yet the increase in the number of audio shows seems to be growing logarithmically. Am lucky that I live close enough to a metropolitan area that practically any time I want to I can visit a store that displays, demonstrates, and sells high-end audio equipment. But even the largest of these businesses have nowhere near the number of brands on active display of even the smallest of audio shows. I will never be one to say that there is no need for actual high-end stores and will not go into details as to why I love to step into one of these stores. It is strongly suggested to everyone I know that lives near a high-end audio store(s) to support these businesses. Still, even though the Rocky Mountain Audio Fest 2015 is not the largest show on planet Earth, it had more brands on active display than even the largest of high-end shops. Rick LaFaver did an outstanding job of visiting every room he could at RMAF 2015, and there are plenty of photos and descriptions of these rooms in his report. If he slept at any time between October 2nd and the 4th 2015 I'd be surprised.
Somehow Rick LaFaver did manage to see and hear more displays at RMAF than seems humanly possible! Besides bestowing awards upon those who deserved special recognition for their products and displays at RMAF, somehow he had time to visit the CanJam 2015, which is the "show within a show" that was organized by Head-Fi.org that focuses on headphones and portable audio. Unless one lives in a cave (not a man-cave, as I have no problem with that) it is quite obvious that portable audio and headphone have not only become even more popular among the general public than one would have ever expected, but more popular among audiophiles as well. Rick writes about what he had the pleasure of seeing and hearing at that event, and I'm quite envious of all the cool products he was able check out. He not only does an excellent job of not only writing about his findings, but post even more high resolutions photos for us to take in.
A preview of the Toronto's TAVES consumer electronics show taking place in Toronto October 30 through November 1 is featured in this issue. Rick Becker and Steven R. Rochlin will have their full reports a bit later in the month. When I read these show reports, and especially when viewing the photos that are posted, it feels as if I'm especially thankful that someone has taken the trouble of reporting on these events. It's one thing to attend one of these shows, visiting the rooms of our favorite brands and making new discoveries along the way. It's quite another thing to report on these shows, covering as much ground as humanly possible, balancing that with not spending too much time in each room or area, listening, taking photos, talking to manufactures and distributors, schmoozing – all for the purpose of letting us know what went down at this particular audio show.
Thank you, kind reader, for being an important part of what makes this industry so wonderful. Am sure you'll agree this is another great issue of Enjoy he Music.com's Review Magazine and as always, in the end what matters most is that you...
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