Monday, January 11, 2010

CES: That's a wrap

I'm pleasantly waiting patiently in the gate for my flight from LV that doesn't leave for another hour and a half. I'm pleasantly surprised by the breeze that was the security line and Google's generously provided free wifi in the airport. Yea team!

Once again, THIEL showed in a large Venetian room with Bryston and Wireworld. New to our collective this year was Olive from whom we procured a new 4HD music server. We also introduced our new project with them called (creatively) Olive+THIEL ( Both of our music rooms were sounding quite good. The big room featured a lovely walnut pair of our CS3.7s and a black pair of our SS2s each with a PXO5. These were driven by a pair of flagship Bryston 28BSST amps. Upstream were a BP26 pre and BDA-1 DAC which parsed the bits from the servers. Everything got hooked up using Wireworld's Platinum Eclipse. Torus kept the hotel AC mains under control.

I brought the speakers a little more forward this year than years past and it paid off bigtime. James Tanner from Bryston played DJ for most of the show and he brought cuts that had some unbelievably wide and deep sound staging and had images that came out of nowhere. I joked with Craig Bell (Bryston) that I thought the castanets in one cut sounded like they were coming from the Sands. We got really good tone this year too and detail was all there.

Our Olive+THIEL arrangement had a couple of beta-version hiccups, but otherwise sounded remarkably good - as good or better than you would expect. After all, at it's heart, it's a high end stereo based on SCS4s and a high-res media server. It just happens to be multi-room capable and unusually stylish.

Denise and Ken put together a totally beautiful celebration of the life and work of Jim. That was a major source of nerves and hard work over the last few weeks for us. It was a beautiful evening. Thanks so much to all who were in attendance and shared their stories with us, and especially those who spoke.

THIEL had a booked week of meetings with dealers, partners, engineers, and more, so the usual office crew didn't get to spend as much time out in the open as usual which was a drag, But, the meetings were outstanding and helped us set plans in motion that should keep us happily occupied and you dear readers sufficiently excited about what's to come.

Special thanks to Lana (aka bosslady) Rob Gillum, and Jeremy Kling for making the trip this year. Lana kept our heads screwed on and Rob and Jeremy sure made the rest of us think that setup and tear down were a breeze this year. Pics are coming soon so watch for updates! Happy listening!

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