A Clear Window into Music

PMC is one of the very few loudspeaker companies with wide acclaim and significant market penetration in both the professional and domestic arenas. While the company’s top-end SE products have been universally revered, it could be said that their utilitarian, plain purposefulness is PMC’s pure expression of function over form. Perfect examples of sonic performance over aesthetic beauty. Now, PMC has launched its most ambitious project and, this time, both the spheres of engineering and design have been thoroughly and forcefully tackled in the visually arresting Fenestria loudspeaker system.

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The Australian Hi-Fi & AV Show – Melbourne 2018: Part 2

We open Part 2 with an über system which provided both enjoyment and was a strong aspirational symbol…

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The Australian Hi-Fi & AV Show – Melbourne 2018: Part 1

Having exited the Groundhog Day loop and as I sift through the notes and dozens of images I’ve taken, I realise that this second reportage will provide consumers with the opportunity to delight in yet another select representation of the wealth of audio products available in this country. As far as the local industry – and even the small body of audio journalists – the recent circumstances motivate an introspective look at our situation in terms of the audio show landscape in this country.

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International Hi-Fi Show Melbourne 2018: Part 2

In the photo above, Little Wise is performing live in the 'Welcome' area.

Here in Part 2, I continue the reportage as I meander along the Pullman Mercure Hotel's differing exhibit spaces, from the standard hotel room-sized, to small conference rooms, to the larger open spaces such as the Record Fair's.  

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International Hi-Fi Show Melbourne 2018: Part 1

After a product conference in Bangkok, I landed directly in Melbourne for the first of October’s dual-audio-event marathon (which coincided with the actual Melbourne Marathon international event) and promptly dove head first into ‘show mode’ for the latest SoundStage! Australia reporting assignment. Hitting the Pullman Mercure Hotel’s show floor in the late afternoon after a long red eye flight was… an interesting acclimatisation exercise. Once in modus operandi however, it was re-energising to sample the audio fare on offer and invigorating to catch up with interstate industry colleagues I don’t get to see that often.

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Dutch & Dutch Event at Studios 301, Sydney

It wasn’t pro audio vs home audio so much as new school meets the old, as I pushed through the throng enjoying a live performance at the entrance to the legendary Studios 301 with my silver hair (thanks Brad Serhan) and my work suit. “It’s not a bust, where’s Studio 7?” I asked around until a young sound engineer who’d popped out for beer overheard me and escorted me down a winding corridor to the six figure, 16.27 m² production suite where, on 27 September last, Bill McLean from McLean’s Smarter Home Entertainment was demonstrating the Dutch & Dutch 8c studio monitors to a hard core bunch of pro sound engineers. “You just gotta hear these speakers” the young engineer said as he handed me a Young Henrys and ushered me into the crowded room.

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A3D Emergence AS8 Holographic Loudspeaker System

Introduction

Australian sound engineer and inventor Joe Hayes has been at the forefront of cutting-edge sonic technology for more than 30 years. He continues to impress engineers and musicians around the world with his A3D acoustic technology and its application in the low-cost, high quality Emergence AS8 speaker system. It is a system which advances the diffusion technology used in many concert auditoriums around the world by producing that diffusion at source in the speakers, rather than through expensive panels and room treatments. Here, Hayes explains the development of that system and recording engineers and experts Dr Toby Gifford, Ted Orr and Shane Fahey reveal how effective it is in the studio and in the field.

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Nordost Cables Event at Audio Solutions, Sydney

If you drove in a north-easterly direction from Australia’s busiest airport, Sydney International, you’ll most appropriately arrive at the outstanding Audio Solutions Hi-Fi specialist store.

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Factory Tour – AMG Analog Manufaktur Germany

While for the most part, a reviewer’s lot is an almost sedentary one, an occupation tied to looming deadlines, the seemingly incessant pounding on the keyboards and square-eyed goggling at a computer screen, the Ying to the Yang is that here at SoundStage! Australia we also get to play with some of the most exotic audio gear on the planet. But aside from playing with awesome kit – sometimes all too briefly – another aspect of the gig that I really enjoy is the travelling. Product launches aside, once or twice a year, I see myself at audio shows where my priority has been towards the industry’s flagship event: the momentous High End Munich. It’s that show’s location that presents some tasty side dishes to the main course. By that, I mean that while in Europe, which is half a planet away from Australia, I usually make efforts to tandem a visit to a manufacturer. Heck, time-permitting, I may even squeeze-in a non-audio-related sightseeing trip. Post High End Munich 2018, I had the opportunity of visiting high-end turntable specialist Analog Manufaktur Germany, more commonly known as AMG.

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Len Wallis Audio – Forty Years of Excellence

Len Wallis Audio is an audio retail institution in Sydney. Period. In Australia’s largest city, the store’s reputation and sheer gravitas when it comes to ‘brand recognition’ is the envy of its competitors. But this has not been achieved overnight. The business has been trading successfully for decades and, in fact, has recently reached a milestone that places it among the top three longest-running audio retailers in Sydney. Very recently, Len Wallis Audio celebrated its 40th Anniversary.

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SoundStage! Australia’s High End Munich 2018 10 Favourite Exhibits… And Special Mentions

Now that the dust has settled on the largest high-end audio show, it’s time for SoundStage! Australia to ponder in retrospect on some of the best displays at this year’s audio fest. The SoundStage! Network team presented an industry-leading report with excellent images and comprehensive information here. Our game plan strategy was for me to focus on covering Australian products (see Feature article here) and then author a ‘Favourite 10’ piece post-HEM. So, without further ado, here are a few of my favourite rooms…

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The Australian Audio Contingent at High End Munich 2018

While the gathering of the world’s audio community sees companies from around the world congregating at the MOC Munich I, while of course shuffling to see as much as is possible under the almost overwhelming audio fare, had a particular interest in home-grown exhibitors. Our SoundStage! Network’s multiple part report (link here) covers nigh on the entirety of High End 2018’s smorgasbord of quality audio offerings, so here I concentrate on some scrumptious savourings from Down Under. By the way, although Döhmann Audio is not part of the story because the company did not exhibit, I came across several rooms where the Helix turntables were used as the analogue source. Kudos Herr Döhmann!

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