Brought to you by The Absolute Sound
My adventure began on a crisp October evening in Denver, Colorado, where many music lovers and audiophiles were attending the Rocky Mountain Audio Fest. The RMAF is one of the newest high-end audio shows to feature audio-based products of nearly every genre. I attended the 2013 RMAF not only to see what was new in high- end loudspeaker but also to peruse the area of the show called Can Jam, which includes almost every imaginable product even remotely connected to headphones, an area of audio in which I had only recently taken an interest.
Another of the reasons for my attendance was an outgrowth of my recent participation in The Absolute Sound’s great new major volume, the Illustrated History of High-End Audio, Volume One: Loudspeakers—an invitation to dinner with friends and colleagues that I hadn’t seen in a number of years. The dinner was to be hosted by Jim Hannon, the vice president/group publisher of The Absolute Sound, and would take place on the Saturday night of the show. Robert Harley and Jonathan Valin and his wife, Kathy, were also to attend. The dinner was a very festive occasion, with great conversation, food, and wine. We discussed everything from our favorite recorded music, to how the harmonics of a violin were so difficult to reproduce by audio systems, and finally, to what we thought were the best-sounding exhibits at the show. Obviously, all of us were having a wonderful time and suddenly near the end of our get together, I was asked by Jonathan Valin, “Why don’t you review for The Absolute Sound?” To say that I was taken by surprise is an understatement. My answer was that I would have to think about that since I’d never written a review of any product in my long years of working in audio. Undeterred, he then asked if I did accept the review challenge, what would be the first thing I’d like to review? Without a second of hesitation my reply was a state-of-the-art headphone. Needless to say he was astonished since everyone at the table knew that in my long career in audio I was mostly involved in designing high- end loudspeakers. Their next question was simply, “Arnie, why headphones?”...Continue reading here
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