Today was the final day of the Newport show and I heard some great sound. I didn’t make it to nearly as many rooms today as I did on previous days because I got caught up talking to people about industry trends and neat products that are forthcoming. I also ran into CA reader joelha with his good friend and radio personality Dennis Prager. Dennis and I briefly reminisced about the time he came over to my house to hear my audio system. The whole thing is a story for another time, but I will say Dennis arrived at 11:00 PM, my wife and daughter were upstairs sleeping, and as Dennis puts it, “Turn up the volume because [he] likes to bath in it.” Needless to say there was a mini symphony gong on in my basement at ~100 db and Dennis was conducting from my listening chair (he used to be a conductor). Anyway, back to the topic at hand. I saw many rooms today using Aurender music servers, so I asked Aurender’s John-Paul Lizars for the details. He said there was a mix of N100H, N10, X100, and W20 servers throughout the show in use by both dealers and manufacturers. Sunny Components of Covina, CA featured Aurender in three rooms, Alma Music and Audio of La Jolla, CA used Aurender in two rooms, and Sweet Spot High End Audio featured an Aurender music server in its room. Manufacturers using Aurender included Goldmund, Dan D’Agostino Master Audio Systems, and Dynaudio. If that’s not enough Aurender for you, I also had a couple manufacturers ask me about my experience with the servers because they wanted to start using them in their own systems and at audio shows. I’d say Aurender has come a long way since I first saw the company and its single product, the S10, at the California Audio Show in 2011. [PRBREAK][/PRBREAK]
As far as listening to good HiFi goes, the winner today was clearly Philip O’Hanlon’s On A Higher Note room. Very few people put on demonstrations like Philip with both great sound and great music. As this was the last day of the show, I was a little burned out of the traditional audiophile show music. I entered Philip’s room and was fortunate enough to sit right in the sweet spot. Sitting next to me was Merging Technologies’ Dominique Brulhart. We briefly chatted and as Dom got up to leave Philip put on a killer Led Zeppelin vinyl rip. Dom immediately sat back down, started tapping his foot, and enjoyed the sound every bit as much as I did. The Zeppelin cut played throug Luxman electronics and Vivid Audio loudspeakers refilled my audio tank. The sound was good for my soul. Philip then asked for requests. I asked him to play Lou Reed’s Walk on the Wild Side because I knew he had a version that sounded spectacular. Without fail and as expected, Philip delivered. Not only was the electric and acoustic bass in this track terrific, the backing vocalists gave me the chills. As they enter the track their voices are at a low level singing “Do dado dado dododo do dado dado dododo dooooo…” In a good system like this one, it’s possible to notice the vocalists walking closer to the microphones as the volume level increases. This recording was done the old fashioned way, by having the singers move forward and backward to and from the mics to adjust the level. Listening to Philip’s system was a great note on which to end the show.
Overall I really enjoyed THE Show Newport. It was wonderful seeing so many members of the Computer Audiophile Community at the show. I’m honestly looking forward to next year already.