Air Studios, Hampstead, 10 February 2017, including direct cut mastering, for Chasing The Dragon Productions
Mike Valentine’s enthusiasm for making audiophile recordings is undiminished and brought the press, including Mike Fremer of Stereophile, and myself amongst others,, to the legendary Air Studios for yet another session, each more ambitious than the last.
The refreshed Clarity board has Tom Barron (PMC) chairman; Andy Clough (Haymarket); Geoff Coleman (Acoustica); Phil Hansen (Red Sheep Communications); Geoff Mathews (Soundcraft Hi-Fi); Ian Sutton (B&W); Simon Talbot (Bartletts HiFi); Richard Trotter (Arcam) and Trevor Wilson (Naim). Retiring chairman, Laurence Armstrong (Henley Designs), remains on the board in an ex-officio capacity. The board also agreed to co-opt Elizabeth Gould (Martins Hi-Fi). Roger Batchelor and Alan Sircom have both retired from the board and thanks were expressed to them for their hard work and contributions to the running of Clarity over the past few years. Following the board meeting /AGM , with the election of new officers and the admission of new industry members including NAIM and Focal, the Clarity conference kicked off in the Dolby Theatre with an opening presentation by Venkat Venkateshwaran of Dolby with a couple of movie excerpts including the Revenant, showing off their double laser projector with full dynamic range Dolby Vision together with an upgraded and still more powerful full surround object based ATMOS sound. This is only complete UK installation of its kind, one of only four in Europe. Forewarned, I knew this system could blow a massive racket and wore 10dB attenuating defenders just in case.
Interestingly it has been reported that 65 percent of Harman’s $7 billion in sales during the 12 months ended September 30, 2016 concerned cars, this including licensing brands such as Bowers & Wilkins and Bang & Olufsen for vehicle use. Samsung will also gain access to some 8,000 Harman software engineers and designers who have developed advanced automotive software that can monitor driver tiredness. They have developed intelligent control systems incorporating 3D navigation aids and versatile personal entertainment facilities this becoming increasingly important.
Harman has grown considerably in recent years with many acquisitions and the massive portfolio now controls audio and Hi Fi brands including the original Harman Kardon, the 1953 founding brand, AKG, BSS, JBL Professional, Studer, dbx, Soundcraft, Lexicon, DigiTech, Crown, Mark Levinson Audio Systems, Infinity and Revel. There is also a professional solutions division, which includes video switching and control device manufacturer AMX and stage lighting specialist Martin.
The 30th Anniversary For The Bristol Audio Show
24th - 26th February 2017 10:00am - 5:00pm
Now in its 30th year there are already over 170 brands to be exhibited at the Sound and Vision show which occupies multiple floors of the Marriott Hotel, Castle Street, Bristol. This includes HIFICRITIC who will be at their usual Mezzanine location, stocked with lots of discounted back numbers, and with both the current issue and annual subscription both available at a special show price for visitors. Editors Martin Colloms and Paul Messenger will be on hand to answer queries while many of our reviewers and contributors will also drop in to enliven the usual technical and philosophical discussions. Contributors will be roaming the show seeking out key products to consider for future assessment in HIFICRITIC audio magazine.
Brands already slated to exhibit at the show include:
November 24, 2016, Armour Group, Woking HQ
A good sprinkling of Europe’s audio press assembled to meet audio design guru Karl Heinz Fink and industrial designer Keiron Dunk, each of whom contributed much to this ambitious new loudspeaker. Keiron wanted to design a floor stander of uncomplicated and modern elegance, finding a way to marry this with team Karl Heinz’ skills in advanced sound and engineering.
14-16 October 2016, Hammersmith, LONDON
On the Friday it was a bit quiet in the morning, but it began to pickup later, while there was a good Press and Dealer turnout as there were several new product and new range launches allocated to this show. And not to forget that this Hi Fi show was allied to the well supported Headroom show, while on the second floor ‘Champagne Suite’ there were literally hundreds of headphones and earphones to try out. There were live music events throughout, plus a whole series of seminars, presentations and demonstrations. There was also a gallery of famous rock star and rock band photographs by top rated photographer Ross Halfin .
Novotel London West, London, UK. 14-16 Oct, 2016
Just a few of the new product launches and events.
Premiered At London Audio Specialist, KJ West One, April 15-16 2016
Audiophile products distributor Absolute Sounds ran a two day series of presentations at the prestigious West End audio store KJ West One, both for press and public. Absolute Sounds audio technology chief Pedro Jorge Luis has been keeping an eye on the more recent developments at ML now that ML Chief Audio Technologist Joe Voijko, a 20 year veteran of the company, has really got his teeth into high end hybrid moving coil /electrostatic loudspeaker design. Two important developments were brought to our attention, the recently introduced, part active Renaissance Series and new to the UK, the massive and purely passive Neolith flagship weighing nearly 400lb each, where most of this mass is down to the bass section!
Martin Colloms has a passion for audio and music and has written for many of the key hi-fi magazines worldwide.