Saturday is usually the busiest day at an audio trade show…but it wasn’t for the AIX Records sales table at CAS6. A few people that I talked to seemed to think it the 65th Annual Pebble Beach Concours D’Elegance drew the crowds away from the audio show. One of my customers visited the table on Friday, because he had to take his 1984 Alfa Romeo Spider to the show…he’s completely restored the car, which originally cost him $4000 and now goes for much more. Maybe the local audiophile community…or at least the well-heeled San Francisco crowd…opted for the car show on Saturday, all I can tell you is the traffic was light and sales were lower than Friday. A couple of the vendors I spoke to told me that they wouldn’t be returning next year.
Looking at the list of exhibitors shows less than 100 different companies. And many of those are small time operators like me that only took a couple of tables on the main floor. There couldn’t have been more than 40 demo rooms…but the ones that I visited sounded pretty good. I happened to be walking by a corner suite on the third floor and heard an early Fleetwood Mac tune drifting into the hall…before Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks were members. This was the time of Peter Green. I had to stop in the room and see what was going on. The gentleman hosting the room was playing vinyl LPs and analog tape (a Tape Project 1/2″ machine was in the room!). However, there was a computer hooked up to a Bottlehead amplifier. The speakers are very elegant and represent a throw back to the speakers of yesteryer.
From their website:
“Burwell And Sons Loudspeakers searches out vintage speaker components from the 50’s, 60’, and 70’s to use in our Homage Series loudspeakers. We made the decision to use vintage components for a number of reasons. The nostalgia factor is certainly a consideration, but it’s more than that. The fact there is a finite supply making them rare and more costly was not our first consideration. We choose to use them because we believe nothing has been produced that outperforms them. The technology perfected during that era is regarded by many as the pinnacle in sound reproduction.
Figure 1 – The Burwell & Sons Homage Speakers
Burwell And Sons is dedicated to our mission of preserving these legendary symbols of American exceptionalism and greatness. To own a set a vintage speakers from that era is to own a piece of American history, not unlike owning a classic American muscle car. An expression of innovation and performance still viable today.”
The sound was smooth and familiar but I seriously doubt their claim “nothing has been produced that outperforms them” and that they are “the pinnacle in sound reproduction”. I’ve heard plenty of speakers that sound as good if not better…the JBL M2 Studio Reference monitors and Revel Salon 2s blow their horns away. I have to say they were certainly attractive…the woodworking was exquisite. And the price of $80,000 pushes them well beyond what I would ever consider. Still they were a trip down memory lane…remember Altec Lansing Voice of the Theater speakers?