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Final Day’s Impressions, 3D Video, Sensibly Priced Speakers and Second Thoughts

A lot of people were disappointed with CEDIA Expo in Atlanta last year and voiced their opinions about it loudly. I was one of them. But after this year’s CEDIA Expo, which I enjoyed tremendously and seemed quite a bit better than last year’s, I’ve had some second thoughts and I can’t help but think we jumped the gun a bit. I can’t put my finger on what accounted for this change in attitude this year -- beautiful weather, a slightly improved economy, and more familiarity with the city and venue are a few things that come to mind -- but from what I could see I wasn’t the only one who left impressed. The exhibitors and attendees here seemed quite happy with CEDIA Expo 2011. That’s not to say it was perfect, but if last year’s event was a C, or perhaps even a D, I’d give this one a B. And if someone told me CEDIA Expo 2011 is back here again next year instead of Indianapolis, I wouldn’t complain like I did last year. Walking around and taking pictures like I did on Saturday morning made be appreciate Atlanta quite a bit more than I did last year. Atlanta wasn’t a problem this year. 

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The Next Loudspeaker Superpower?

The dismal economy has hurt the specialty-audio business. Bringing any new product to market these days is risky, even for established brands, and most would agree that starting a new company at this time is next to impossible. But don’t tell that to Sandy Gross, one of the driving forces behind GoldenEar Technology, a brand-new company that made its debut at CEDIA Expo 2010 with several new products.

Sandy Gross isn’t new to the audio business, nor is he naïve. Gross helped to cofound Polk Audio in the 1970s, and then he and Don Givogue went on to cofound Definitive Technology in 1990. Both companies became speaker-making powerhouses. Gross and Givogue are the founders of GoldenEar Technology.

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Meeting the Loudspeaker King

Few people have made as big of a contribution to the loudspeaker industry as Dr. Floyd Toole. Toole is the well-known researcher whose work at Canada’s National Research Council (NRC) in the ‘70s and ‘80s established a clear correlation between objective measurements and subjective listening impressions that, in turn, gave many of the Canadian loudspeaker designers who worked with him a leg up in the industry and helped to make their companies into world-class leaders in loudspeaker design. Toole left NRC in the ‘90s to work for Harman International where he continued his research on loudspeakers and their interactions with rooms. Ultimately, his decades of research culminated with the release of his outstanding book, Sound Reproduction: Loudspeakers and Rooms, which was released in 2009, the same year he retired. He is seen in the picture below with Kevin Voecks (right), who he worked with at Harman for many years and was also at CEDIA Expo.

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First Day's Impressions

By most accounts, CEDIA Expo 2009 was a disaster. Exhibitors were fewer and farther between and overall attendance was way down. Part of it had to do with the economy, which was in the worst part of its tailspin. The other had to do with its location: Atlanta, Georgia, USA. For a variety of reasons, attendees and exhibitors hated the place, so much so that it was rumoured that CEDIA declared an emergency and would move it the following year to another place instead of waiting until 2012 as they originally planned. Obviously, that was somewhat true because in 2011 CEDIA Expo will be back in Indianapolis, where it was held several years ago. For 2010, though, we’re back in Atlanta

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