I left the house at 6 am, wrote the day’s blog, packed up the car, filled the tank with gas, and drove to Irvine in rush hour traffic. The Hotel Irvine is hosting the Newport event this year and it’s a major set up from the two hotels that were used in the past. I swung around to the front of the hotel and parked. The valet told me I could unload my stuff and return within 5-10 minutes and continue to the parking lot. I found the marketplace and my tables before taking my car to the visitor parking area around back.
The AIX Records tables are located immediately inside the Marketplace Ballroom. I did a little rearranging but have much more space than usual. Richard Beers was very kind to lock down a prime location for me. Thanks.
The Newport Show officially opened at 10 am, although there were a few people drifting around earlier. I was there when the “cutting of the ribbon” ceremony happens. The group of VIPs included Richard, Bob Levi of the LA & OC Audio Society, Steve Rochlin, Michael Fremer, Robert Harley, Dr. David Robinson, and Dave Clark. They had a couple of trumpet players playing triumphant brass music to cap the festivities. Someday maybe I’ll be a VIP.
Figure 1 – The cutting of the ribbon for the Newport Show 2015.
Just after 10 o’clock I made my way to the Audio University section of the large ballroom to check in and see how the tech was coming along. Being the keynote speaker means that no one has gone before and the likelihood that something wasn’t completely ready is quite high. Sure enough, the projector was so close to the screen that the image it was projecting occupied about a quarter of the screen. So I grabbed the cardboard trash container at the back of the hall, turned it upside down, and planted the projector on it. Problem solved. I also needed to make a quick tweak to the audio system.
I made a quick trip back to the entry area of the show to pick up my badge (which still wasn’t ready…I think I forgot to register online) and saw two long, twisting lines of attendees working their way through registration. It was doubtful that they would make it into the show in time to attend my presentation. I did take advantage of the captive audience and handed out postcards for this site to everyone that would accept one.
Figure 2 – The HRA Demystified keynote address
The keynote address started promptly at 10:30. Douglas, the producer of my session, introduced me and I launched into my High-Resolution Audio Demystified presentation. There were a few notable individuals in the audience. I noticed my friend Ray Kimber enter just after I got started. There was a prominent member of the DEG off to the left side and a new friend…the President and CEO…of a large audio manufacturer. The rest of hall was pretty much full of show attendees and some board members of the LA & OC Audio Society.
As you might expect, I laid out my case for properly identifying high-resolution audio. I went through each of the various definitions including the misguided DEG, CEA, NARAS and labels definition, the JAS dual track requirements and my own “meet the fidelity of human hearing”. I shared some reflections on the new Pono device I have and my disappointment that 1.9 million CDs rips are being labeled “high-res”, I talked about which formats are high-res and which aren’t, and I concluded with a quick discussion of MQA and the future of high-resolution audio in the world of streaming.
I think it went very well. A large number of attendees came up to me following the presentation and expressed thanks for the compelling information. I think I opened some eyes and I shut others.
Then it was back to the table where AIX Records had a very robust sales day. In fact, I’m at the studio this morning stocking up on copies of Laurence Juber and Carl Verheyen. Got to head south once again. See you tomorrow.