I drove to the Hilton Hotel yesterday to check out my space and get a first view of the setup. As I entered the hotel, there were lots of fancy exotic cars parked under canopies. I had a hard time imaging how high-end audio plays any role when you’re racing around in an open wheel machine designed for speed and maximum “engine whine”. My studio happens to be across the street from the Ferrari repair shop and I hear a lot of very impressive engine revs all day. Is it really important to have a great sound system in one of these vehicles?
It’s a guy’s thing…I get it. The Newport Show is much more than a high-end audio show. They’ll be cigars, wine, live music, expensive cars, food trucks and of course, high-end audio systems too. But I have to wonder whether the focus on music reproduction is lost with all of the other distractions happening. I hope the traffic is good and people find us in the Marketplace II room in the Hilton…and bring that they bring lots of cash.
At 11:30 in the morning, I’m giving the first seminar of the event called “2014: Is This the Year of High Resolution Audio?” I’ve given this presentation at a number of shows this past year and it goes over very well. Readers of this site can pretty imagine what I’ll talk about…Pono, content vs. hardware, defining HD-Audio and provenance etc. It’s fun and most attendees will have their eyes opened a little…or they’ll walk out and wait for a seminar of panel more to their liking.
There are bunch of other presentations that I hope to be able to attend. Of course, Michael Fremer is going to explain (again) how to set up a turntable and get the most fidelity out of your vinyl LPs.
Cookie Marenco is moderating a panel called, “Understanding Recording Provenance: From first recording to the listener’s home playback system” with Bruce Brown of Puget Sound Studios (a mastering facility) and Andreas Koch of Playback Designs (a maker of high-end DSD equipment). I would like to attend her seminar as well. As the person who first used the word “provenance” in the context of audio recording and an engineer of the largest catalog of real high-resolution audio, it might seem she would want to involve me. However, since I’m not a fan of DSD…I was not included in the two person panel.
In the description of her session, Cookie writes, “When you buy a download or disc, do you wonder how the audio was originally recorded? There several places a conversion or transfer can occur in the recording to delivery process. We’ve called these “The Six Degrees of Degradation”. I find it ironic that the only audio engineer involved in this session is Cookie…and she records her “super high-resolution audio productions” on analog tape, mixes through an analog mixing desk with PCM reverberation and then transfers them to DSD.
There are other seminars on headphones, room tuning, amplifier design and computer audio. There will be a session for every taste and format devotee. I’m looking forward to it.
If you’re lucky enough to be in Southern California this weekend, please stop by the show and say hello. Although, I get stuck behind my table, I’ll try to give daily reports for the next three days.