Last months editorial, "Going Beyond Borders, Expanding What We Do," described some of the
things were doing to make SoundStage! not only a broader, more diverse
publication, but a truly global one -- the first of its kind for high-end audio.
One of the key things we must do to make that happen is
travel even more than we do already -- to shows, events, and companies factories,
regardless of where they are on the planet. If were going to bring the world of
high-end audio to our readers, we cant wait for it to come to our door -- often, we
have to go and find it. And over the last month weve been doing just that.
In July, I made one of my regular trips to the Toronto area
to do two things. One was to visit companies based there -- Toronto has the highest
concentration of high-end audio companies in Canada -- and another was to drop by Ultra
Audio writer Jason Thorpes house to photograph the Crystal Cable Arabesques, for
a gallery that will accompany his September 1 review of the speakers. (Ultra Audio is a sister
website thats part of the SoundStage! Network.) Crystal Cable is based in the
Netherlands, and the Arabesque retails for $65,000 USD per pair. While in Toronto, I also
arranged for us to review two new speakers: Focus Audios high-value FC 9, which
Colin Smith will listen to; and Ill be reviewing Blue Circle Audios new Penny.
Jason Thorpes review of Crystal Cables
Arabesque, along with a complete photo gallery of the loudspeaker, will appear on Ultra
Audio, our sister high-end publication, on September 1.
More trips are planned for the fall, but they wont
involve just me. At the beginning of September, Jeff Fritz is taking Ultra Audios
"The Worlds Best Audio System" on the road, touring at least a half-dozen
of North Americas best-known high-end speaker builders. In this, "The Great
North American Loudspeaker Tour," hell stop at Verity Audio, YG Acoustics,
Rockport Technologies, Wilson Audio Specialties, and EgglestonWorks -- plus a bonus stop
that hes keeping secret until hes on the road. Visiting so many companies in
such a short time is unique -- to the best of my knowledge, no one has done this sort of
thing before. Furthermore, Jeff will report on his findings as they happen, just as
we do with our live show reports. Each night, Jeff will prepare his report and upload his
photos, and the next day theyll be published in the "TWBAS" section of Ultra
Audio for the world to see. (For 2010, Jeff has planned the "The Great European
Loudspeaker Tour"; more on that later.)
Immediately following Jeffs return, Ill set off
on another trip, this time to Atlanta, Georgia, home to Expo 2009 of the Custom Electronic
Design & Installation Association. CEDIAs annual show is a massive showcase
featuring the latest in custom-installation, home-theater, and two-channel-audio products,
and we cover this important event each year as part of our AV Tour series. The
CEDIA Expo, like the Consumer Electronics Show each January, helps keep us on the cutting
edge of whats new -- and reporting on such events as quickly as we do keeps our
worldwide readership informed about the latest.
In October, Jeff and I go to Denver, Colorado, for the
annual Rocky Mountain Audio Fest. RMAF isnt nearly as big as CES or the CEDIA Expo,
but its significant because so many new products from the smaller high-end companies
get their world premieres there -- companies that often cant afford to showcase
their wares at CEDIA or CES.
So well be on the road a lot over the next two
months, but its necessary if were to stay at the top. Traveling to so many
places is what gets us ahead and keeps us there -- and keeps us strong as a publication
with truly global coverage, reach and appeal.
. . . Doug Schneider