November 20th: CEA gets a new namectalogo
     Not everyone is familiar with the name of the CEA, which is the Consumer Electronics Association. CEA is best known as the organizer of International CES, which used to be known as the Consumer Electronics Show (but isn't supposed to be called that anymore).
     Why the change of name? Is there any part of modern Consumer Technology that isn't electronic?
     But we are aware that the CEA's name has long engendered confusion. In our reports on CES (the show), we would make references to CEA (the organization), and it always looked as though we had forgotten to run spell-checking on our texts. We suspect that the change was done in haste, because the logo, at right, looks as though it was done in two minutes using the simplest of Photoshop functions. The text hasn't been kerned properly.
     But perhaps CEA...sorry, CTA was in a rush to print up the thousands of signs to be used at CES, which begins in early January. We already have our badges, our hotel room, our flight, and the rental on the official UHF limo. You'll be hearing more about it shortly.

November 7th: Focus Audio amp at our Audiophile Boutiquefocusampopen
     You may recognize the picture at left, because that amplifier was on the cover of UHF No. 95. It's the Focus Audio Liszt Prelude, a very high-end integrated tube amplifier, made in Canada, from the well-known maker of loudspeakers. We liked it, and we've added it to our
Audiophile Boutique's hardware page. The amps are new, with full warranty, shipped to you directly from the factory. Our price is way below list, and it gets startlingly better if you bundle it with the interconnect cable you'll be needing.
     That page includes a number of other interesting products, including the Moon CD3.3 (a player with accessible 24/192 DAC), a lovely Thorens turntable, and a number of other products, all at special prices.
     As is usual with products in the Audiophile Boutique, the amplifier is available in limited quantities, which means we can't offer rain checks. When they're gone, they're gone.
     As usual, we don't stock anything we wouldn't recommend to our friends. Which many of you are.


November 6th: 6,500 attendees at TAVESsuave
     That's what it says on the news release by the organisers of the Toronto show. That number does include industry people and us, the pixel-stained wretches of the fourth estate, but the total number of consumers comes to 5,800. Impressive, considering that, for the first time, the show was way north in Richmond Hill rather than downtown.
     Are those figures inflated? Well, TAVES offered free entry to anyone with a room key from the hotel.
     Exhibitors? TAVES says there more than 100. How impressive that is can be difficult to gauge. An "exhibitor" can be a company like Plurison, with a mind-boggling variety of products over a huge space, or it can be someone selling surplus CDs from a table.
     But we don't want to exaggerate the skepticism. We wish the Toronto show well, and we always have. Of course, there's a consensus that there now too many shows in North America, and there are some we would like to see put out of their misery, but the Toronto show is not one of them. Nor is the Montreal show, despite our dismay at the way the last edition was run.
     Will the 2016 TAVES be in the same venue? Some exhibitors, especially the ones in the basement of the Best Western hotel, were less than happy.

BY THE WAY: This weekend's
Flash Sale is now on, and there are a number of one-off products you'll want to see. Did we mention there's only one of each?

November 5th: Winding up TAVES
     We've now
completed our blog on this, the new Toronto show...which was not actually in Toronto.
     It was in fact way north in Richmond Hill, on Highway 7. If you're not sure where Highway 7 is, let us simply say that it was useful to have a GPS.
     Two us spent two days at TAVES. Drop by and see what we saw. And heard.

October 28: The TAVES blog preview is on linesheratonparkway
     Yes, we're packing our suitcase and heading for Toronto (well, actually Richmond Hill) for the 2015 edition of TAVES, the Toronto show.
     It's way out of town this year, at the Sheraton Parkway on Richmond Hill. Is moving out of Toronto wise or foolish? There can be arguments on both sides, in fact.
     Last year, with the decline in the Montreal show, TAVES became the larger one, though it didn't do that entirely with high-end audio. There was video, of course, but also 3D printing. This year it's Virtual Reality. You can visit
the TAVES Web site for more info.
     We'll be blogging about the show, of course. And the blog is already on line. We'll add to it as we can. But if you see us, be sure to say hello.

BY THE WAY: We're doing an extended version of our usual weekend Flash Sale. It starts today at 3 pm.

October 23: The Montreal show will return
     We're about to pack up for TAVES, the Toronto show...actually in Richmond Hill this year, nowhere close to downtown. In the meantime, we hear that, despite our fears, the Montreal Salon Son & Image will be back in 2016, at the usual venue.sonimage
     Why did we think it might be otherwise? This past year, this once successful show had shrunk dramatically, and showed signs of problems under its new owners, The Chester Group. Indeed, show manager Sarah Tremblay resigned before the show was over. The Chester Group then spread itself even thinner with a show in the Vancouver area that was, we hear, not an overwhelming success.
     So here we are on the eve of TAVES, and the Montreal Salon announces its next show, still at the downtown Hotel Bonaventure. It will be held slightly earlier than in recent years, March 18th to 20th. There's a new sales director, Robert Mathieu, and he says that Sarah Tremblay is back in the organization. (Update: Sarah is at TAVES in Toronto, and no, she isn't back. The Salon's press release is a lie. Yes, a lie).
     But first things first. A week from now, October 30th, TAVES opens at the Sheraton Parkway in Richmond Hill. We'll be there.

Can an optical cable give you a true high-fidelity link
between a digital source and your DAC?
Yes, it if it's made of glass, not plastic.
See the Mavros glass TOSLINK cable on the Cable page
of our Audiophile Store.

October 16: Getting ready for the Toronto show

taveslogo15     But not ecactly in Toronto. The first few editions of TAVES (Toronto Audio Visual Entertainment Show) were right downtown, first at the King Edward, then at the Sheraton. This year? It's in Richmond Hill. Yes, that's north of highway 401, from which it has to be a clear day if you want a glimpse of the CN Tower.
     Why? We would expect that cost is a factor. If you've travelled to Toronto lately, you'll be aware that accommodations anywhere close to downtown run into a lot of money. There might be another factor too. Luxury hotels (and in downtown Toronto they mostly are) don't want their premises damaged, and they're not sure they can trust those scruffy audiophiles.
     TAVES runs from October 30th, through Hallowe'en and to November 1st at the Sheraton Parkway in Richmond Hill. You can visit the TAVES Web site here. At least two of us will be at the show, and we'll be blogging as usual.

October 9: Print time reservedInterglobe
     Gone are the days when we could just send the magazine to the printer at the last moment. The printing plants have been consolidating, and then closing. Blame the Internet, but it's irreversible. So we got our dibs in, and the paper has been ordered.
     Getting the right paper is a big deal, by the way. We waited too long with issue 95, and the magazine was printed on a heavy paper that was fine for the cover, but much too thick for the interior. Result: our mailing costs soared. Pixels cost a lot less to send.
     Although we're providing this image of Interglobe-Beauce, we can no longer be sure where the actual work will take place. It will be wherever there is free space. Between Hallowe'en, Black Friday and Christmas, there will be a lot of flyers printed, and a lot of printing plants tied up.
     We'll give you a peek, very soon, on what will be in the new issue. We do predict you'll like it.

BY THE WAY: This being a long weekend, we're stretching our usual
Flash Sale an extra day. We have more brand new and demo cables at silly prices, and some electronic gear too. But only until Tuesday morning.

October 2: The big money in vinylpurpledisc
     The action in music sales these days is streaming, right? We mean, Spotify, Apple Music...isn't that where the smart money is? Perhaps you should invest in a vinyl mine instead.
     Because here are some figures. Sales of those "obsolete" vinyl discs generate more money for the music industry than YouTube, ad-based Spotify, (that's the free version) and VEVO (whatever that is) combined. Granted, those figures are from the RIAA, whose word we take with a pinch of salt bigger than Lot's wife. Still, why would they lie about it?
     Mind you,
the on-demand, ad-based, music services are generating more money than ever — $163 million in the first half of this year as opposed to $128 million last — vinyl sales, at $222 million, look a lot better.

BY THE WAY: This weekend's Flash Sale, on until Monday morning, includes a great phono preamp and some high-end single-crystal cables you may never have seen before.

September 18: Laser TV returns
     We get calls about this all the time: our readers know we use a Samsung plasma TV as a reference, but they're finding it more and more difficult to find stores carrying them. They're also looking at 4K: the new UHD (Ultra High Definition) standard. How many UHD plasma TVs are there. Uh...none!
     But remember laser TV? Mitsubishi, a few years back, was showing a 3D laser TV that was just stunning. But it never reached the market, it was expensive ($7000 up...way up) and it was not 4K, because there was no 4K yet. A Chinese company, Hisense, intends to make 4K affordable by using laser projection.



    That's the Vidraa projection TV, which Hisense was showing at CES 2015 in Vegas. It's a very short throw projector that sits right in front of the screen (which can be the brand of your choice, or even a painted wall). Hisense isn't alone here. At the Montreal show, Sony showed a $52,000 projector, backed up by real 4K material. Wow!
     But Hisense is aiming at a lower price range, and in fact wants to use lasers to lower the cost, not raise it. The company claims that in modern TV sets, the LEDs account for most of the cost. Who knew? And are lasers cheaper than LEDs?
     Coming before the holidays, supposedly: a new 4K Blu-ray format. And we can buy our favorite movies all over again.

August 28: Got your electronic issue?MicrologoMaggie
     Maggie sent out e-mails mid-July to tell subscribers to her electronic edition of UHF that issue 96 was ready. But not everyone got the message.
     She says some of her e-mails bounced back, apparently because some subscribers had changed e-mail addresses without letting her know. And some others...well, who knows? The Internet moves in mysterious ways.
     If you're a subscriber and you didn't get the e-mail,
let us know. Maggie will make it right for you.

BY THE WAY: This weekend's Flash Sale includes special prices on some new LPs. That's not something we do often. It runs through Monday morning.


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