The old-style HRS rack, the Audio Aero Prestige monoblock amplifiers, the prototype Audio Note transport… all have gone to the show – and we are following.

We will update our show report as often as possible during the show, and of course the full report will follow the show by a few days.

This year we are flying, using an airplane, because last year a blizzard kept us from driving, which is what we usually do. Of course, this year it is in the 50s and 60s all the way…

The LAMM ML2 monoblocks are now on the Marten Coltranes, where the Prestige amps (and later the EDGE Signature One amps) were until recently. First impression was Wow. The solidity of the images with the Lamm is just astounding – and entertaining. I feel like a kid with some of this music as it wafts back and forth between channels. Yeah, I guess I am easily amused – but not to death (seriously, I have not tried that CD yet, although it is infamous for such playful aural tennis court activities).

The pair of Valhalla interconnects you see streaking across the floor in the forground are the cables that connect the output of our phono-stage, the Lamm LP2 Deluxe, in the other equipment rack in this room to the Coltrane system.

Sometimes we like to play vinyl, either the Brinkmann Balance or the Walker, on the Coltrane system. Kind of have to avoid stepping on (or worse, tripping on) the cables, but what else can one do? You gotta get the music to where you gotta hear it – and we can’t let the SoundLabs have ALL the fun!

Anyway, packing for Las Vegas… Camera? Check. Camera accessories? All dozen of them, check. Laptop? Check. Laptop accessories? All dozen of them, I hope they work in the hotel and we don’t get too many viruses from the hotel network, ….check. Demo CDs? Ooops. Almost forgot those.

I hope something sounds good there. I know a lot of people are thinking they are just going to exhibit at the RMAF show now.

And a lot of exhibitors do not care if their rooms sound good or not – counting on their sales and marketing team to woo the dealers to carry their equipment. Kind of sucks for those of us who go there to hear things. But I guess a lot of these equipment manufacturers have dealers who take the same approach as well – wowing with jargon and sales instead of presenting their customers with a good sound. It may be a nasty thing to point out – but it seems like that is just the way it is – our industry is no different than any other in this respect.

In contrast, here, we wow people with music and smiles – Boulder does not have much use for salespeople, anyway, and we aren’t good, and don’t want to be good, at the lie-till-they-buy shtick…. Our approach works for most folks, but, amazingly enough, I think some people actually prefer the hype and confrontational hostility of your typical dealership – it is what they have come to expect. We just confuse them.

Lately though, people are starting to learn to expect something different, something new: to just click and buy…and this sea change seems to have no end in sight. So then CES, whose very existence is for manufacturers to display their products to dealers, signing up the dealers to carry these products, will have what purpose when there are no more ‘dealers’?