On, Dancer! On, Prancer! On, Credit Card Blitzen!

SoundStage! Australia is nigh on half a year old – #believe? Yes, over the last six months we’ve featured dozens of articles covering product reviews, news items and manufacturer factory tours. We have also introduced a Videos page featuring insights into the workings of some of the best manufacturers in the world via skilfully-produced video shorts. As it now stands, our site is stuffed with exciting content like a bulging Christmas stocking… with something for everyone. And that brings us to the subject of the Festive Season. Here at SoundStage! Australia (SSA) HQ, we’re taking a short break over the Holidays. We’re off today and back on January 15, 2018 but of course, diligent members of our SoundStage! Network will be at the frontline in Las Vegas for the CES 2018. Watch out for the comprehensive coverage.

At this juncture, a massive thank you must go to the SoundStage! Network’s founder Doug Schneider, the network’s great team and the dedicated SoundStage! Australia writers, Scott Campbell, Joshua Givorshner and Peter Katsoolis (in alphabetical order), without whom this site, in its short ether time, would not be the success it is today.

Equal appreciation goes to SSA’s industry supporters, whose key personnel I’ve known for many, many years. Thank you for embracing the concept of SoundStage! Australia and wholeheartedly supporting this blooming publication. I’m truly overwhelmed.

And of course, last but not least you, the readers. Thank you for your support with this new endeavour and for widely spreading the word throughout our music- and audio-loving community.

Great things are to be unpacked at SoundStage! Australia in 2018. We will expand our reviews to encompass a wider product representation while we will continue our reportage on audio shows from around the world. You can expect further video productions and insights into the machinations of manufacturers are also in the works via factory tours and designer interviews. We will also continue to keep you abreast of the latest product and industry news from this Great Southern Land and also the entire globe.

Season’s Greetings from us all at SoundStage! Australia. Here’s to wonderful music discoveries and exciting and challenging sonic explorations in 2018. Oh and jolly old St. Nick better be good to you all. Under my tree is…

How the Tables Turn

… Something rather special. Yes, I have joined the growing ranks of the “Dark Side” army. I stumbled across a terrific buy at our Nation’s capital, Canberra, a leisurely 300-odd kilometres drive careering along the Great Dividing Range. What was so fortuitously picked-up? A mint condition Michell Engineering Orbe SE with the full Level 3 upgrade from Gert Petersen – which elevates the SE, by all reports, way beyond even the superior non-SE Orbe – with a gem-of-an-arm in the industrial… nay, almost agricultural-looking Trans-Fi air bearing tangential tonearm fitted with a Grado Reference cartridge. Further upgrades included an Origin Live Ultra controller with ‘Fully Balanced’ Transformer, a bespoke acrylic dust cover, a Michell Engineering dedicated clamp and a host of spare parts. What superb engineering in this ‘table and arm are. The Orbe is a stunning piece of industrial… art. Kubrick would be proud.

So a new journey is embarked upon. A phono stage is now required. My good friends and gifted engineers, Ian Robinson from REDGUM Audio and Mick Maloney from Supratek, have offered to build their take on the RIAA for me – no doubt two very differing roads also traveling along the Great Divide of solid state and vacuum tube. So for now, I’m smiling and the beauty just sits in waiting…

Edgar Kramer
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