One Big Month Followed by Another and . . .
Theres never a slow time around here at the
SoundStage! Network. Even in summer, when some businesses virtually shut down,
theres always work to do -- usually something to do with setting up, listening to,
and writing about a product, or traveling to visit a manufacturer. No matter the time of
year, people always want to read about audio gear, and our job is to write about that.
Of course, some times are busier than others, and when
September comes around and things really kick into high gear, the amount of content we
produce nearly doubles. We have all the work we usually do, plus all the other things that
start happening at this time of year.
If youre reading this at the beginning of September,
its when Jeff Fritz will be in the middle of the "The Worlds Best Audio
System: The Great North American Loudspeaker Tour," a journey in which he visits six
speaker companies in Canada and the US, all in ten days, and reports on his adventures in Ultra Audio, a SoundStage!
Network sister site.
Given the Ultra Audio slogan of "Sound to the
Extreme," its no surprise that the companies Jeff is visiting and the speakers
hes seeing, hearing, and writing about tend to be at the extremes of design,
performance, and price. Its the stuff that only a few people can actually own, but
that nearly all of us like to read about. If you want to follow Jeff on his travels, you
can do so in the "TWBAS"
section of that site. His "TWBAS: TGNALT" updates will be going online
throughout the tour. And dont be surprised if, in the spring of 2010, you see
"The Great European Loudspeaker Tour."
If youre reading this toward the middle of September,
it could be while Im in Atlanta, Georgia, for CEDIA Expo 09. CEDIA stands for
Custom Electronics Design and Installation Association, so this show is largely about
custom-install products: multichannel, multiroom, whole-house stuff. But its also a
showcase for two-channel audio and home theater. Along with the annual Consumer
Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Nevada, many companies use the CEDIA Expo to
introduce their new products -- and thats why we attend.
Ill probably be writing about some of my Expo
experiences here on SoundStage! next month, but the main coverage of CEDIA will
appear on SoundStage!
Network A/V Tour 2009, our dedicated show site, which has not only coverage of the
CEDIA Expo, but also of High End 2009, held in May in Munich, Germany, as well as the
Rocky Mountain Audio Fest (RMAF), to be held in Denver, Colorado, in October -- Ill
be there, too, along with Jeff, who I hope will have recovered by then from his
RMAF isnt as big as the CEDIA Expo or the Munich High
End events, but its still significant -- its just about the only US-based
two-channel audio show left of any size and scope. Mostly US firms exhibit at RMAF, as
youd expect, but in the past many Canadian manufacturers, and even some from
overseas, have displayed their wares there. RMAF is held October 2-4; as with the CEDIA
Expo, daily reports will be filed on the A/V Tour 2009 site.
Right now, I dont know what November holds, let alone
December, but if past experience tells me anything, those months, too, will be big.
The SoundStage! Network is a dynamic, fast-moving
organization, and our focus right now is to build the best group of publications in the
world covering audio, home theater, and music. We tend to make decisions thoughtfully but
quickly, so that we can act fast enough to keep ourselves at the fore of audio and
home-theater publishing. Thats how I ended up on a last-minute flight to the
Netherlands last November, to get a sneak preview of Crystal Cables Arabesque
loudspeaker, then write about it so
that the world could get its first glimpse here. Its more likely than not that
this November and December will bring more surprises like that.
These big months at the end of the year can be a little
overwhelming -- even daunting, given the work involved. But its all part of the
business. Since 1995, weve been leaders in online publishing about audio, and more
recently weve challenged ourselves to improve what we do even more. So it cant
be any other way. Its one big month followed by another, and then by many more to
. . . Doug Schneider