It always takes a longer to unpack, place, cable up, and test a demonstration room and yesterday was no exception. The AIX Records room is located adjacent to the Marketplace in a large ballroom. Once again we’ve partnered with Oppo Digital, Benchmark, DH Labs, and JVC to bring a true high-resolution, surround music experience to show attendees. However, this year Revel was unable to supply us with the Salon II towers that we’ve used in the past. Their top end speakers proved a perfect match to the true audiophile system that we’ve assembled and I was concerned about finding a replacement partner. I started contacting other “megabuck” speaker makers and was disappointed at every turn. I understand it’s a serious commitment to supply high end equipment — especially when our room requires 5 identical speakers.
Then I had a flash of inspiration. What if instead of trying to get the most expensive speakers, I reached out to my good friend Dan Laufman, CEO and founder of Franklin, Tennessee-based Emotiva and asked him about acquiring a cost effective set of speakers and a couple of subwoofers. If you don’t know, Emotiva builds very high quality modular electronics AND affordable speakers. Dan was happy to load up his truck with 5 Airmotiv T1 mini towers and a couple of BASX 12 subs. His guys helped stack the boxes up yesterday from his room at the Westin and Dan and I pushed them down the hall to my room.
After unboxing the Airmotiv T1s (which retail for $699 a pair!) and getting the system arranged and hooked up, I finally applied power to the system and started the first track of my latest sampler. It sounded amazing! Really. I have to admit to be a little skeptical about these inexpensive speakes meeting my very demanding requirements for fidelity, balance, detail, and frequency response, the T1s more than met my needs and the sound filled the room every bit as well as the Revel Salon IIs. The only thing that you don’t get with the Emotiva units is a fancy piano gloss finish — and I think cost conscious audiophiles will be more than happy to trade the appeal of a beautiful piece of furniture for terrific sound and $19K in their pockets.
And believe it or not, we all sat listening to the system without the two subs contributing to the sound. The cables to go from balanced XLR to unbalanced RCA connectors are coming this morning from DH Labs. I messed up and didn’t inform them of the exact requirements. But the T1 go down to 37 Hz and extend to 28 kHz. Check out the product page at Emtoiva’s website. And please come by the Lakeshore B ballroom to experience the new AIX Records demo room with state-of-the-art equipment from all of our partners.
Oppo is supplying one of their new UDP-205 ultra high-definition Blu-ray players, Benchmark brought the new DAC 3 with the latest ESS chips, JVC has their latest 4K projector, DH Labs supplied cables to hook it all up.
Thanks for everyone who stopped by the jmksonics.com site yesterday to check out the new AIX Records release “JMK”, My phone was pinging me all day with orders from interested readers. Bravo. I’ll get these sent out when I get back on Monday, so please be patient. I’ll be playing lots of examples of this amazing surround electro-acoustic project for attendees of the show.
Finally, I’ve got a Yarr3DX beamforming array setup at the sales table. I’ll be talking more about this very innovative technology over the next few days and weeks. Imagine being able to replace the best headphones and even a high end set of speakers with a small 20″ array of 33 mm drivers and small sub. Yep, it’s possible to deliver discrete “beams” of sound in a binaural configruation to your ears without headphones. It’s the perfect technology for a variety of applications. You can visit www.yarra3dx.com for some preliminary information (I’m still adding to the website) and to sign up for VIP status for our upcoming crowdsourcing campaign. Unlike many other campaigns, we actually have the product that we’re pitching.