The Bosh Report, such as it is.
Life's realities saw to it that I only attended on opening day. However, that single day was far more productive than any three at past shows. Attendance was, by most experienced estimates, light ("even for a press-only day", I heard someone remark). But your 6moons Action Force was there in spades and I wouldn't be surprised to learn that we took the door prize for near-perfect attendance by a media outlet. I luxuriated in the comparative ease of getting from floor to floor and the breezy access/egress of almost every uncrowded room. Between the hours of 11AM and 7PM, I managed to cover every floor twice; dragging a found friend or fellow moonie back to selected rooms on yet a third pass. This was a real improvement over previous years when, attending on general admittance days, I was lucky to cover two full floors out of four or five and would often find the same, usual-suspect rooms too full to enter day after frustrating day.

I certainly didn't miss past years' characteristic cheek-to-jowl compression of the upper floor hallways. Wedged among so many Japanese audiophiles, I felt like a shorter version of Bill Murray in "Lost in Translation". And what is it about this hobby that either attracts or creates such a pushy phalanx of people of predominantly portly proportions? If your amp is placed close enough to the floor, you should at least be able to work in a toe-touching tummy bend every once in a while. Keep your albums on a high enough shelf and you'll have a downright calisthenics program going and the rest of us won't be clotted behind you missing yet another elevator.

Pressing issues also kept me from attending Friday evening's party at Jules Coleman's pad. A bummer and lost chance to get my mug into the 6moons group photo. But I did manage to meet (I think) every moonie in attendance this year and, as loyal readers of the 'zine might suspect, a more civilized, more un-stuck-up group of genuinely friendly individuals has never before graced the hi end. Further proof, if anyone requires it, that you don't need the word "asshole" on your resume to plow in this field - probably the central reason the 6moons affiliation saw each of us welcomed with open arms by every exhibitor.

Most notable first time meeting:
Editor-in-Chief Srajan graciously smiles and shakes the hand extended by a stranger. Me. As I lift my press badge high enough for him to read, he thinks fast, "Oh! Jim! I didn't realize how, um, tall you were." "You mean how short?" I asked. "Either one," he said.

Most memorable commentary from a colleague:
The topic of Bosh's irrepressible loquaciousness somehow came up and moonie Paul Candy commented "When it comes to your stuff, I just print it all out, staple it together and read it in the john." Thanks, Paul. I'm touched. But all that sitting on plumbing could lead to future discomforts. With the health of a coworker in mind, I'll try to develop a terser style.

Biggest pool of audiodrool:
You're already sick of hearing about this, but in a huge basement meeting room were the Siemens/Klangfilm KL-L433 hornspeakers powered by Lamm electronics, with a likewise colossal EMT 927 turntable doing the lion's share of front- end duties. Together, the Klangfilms were bigger than my first three New York apartments. Or, as fellow moonie Jules Coleman remarked, "Everywhere in North America is nearfield listening".

Even though owning such a system would be only slightly less practical and considerably less mobile a proposition as owning your own NASA launch pad, I confess the sound was unlike any I had ever experienced. "There is no sound of speakers in this room" is how my notes read. It was the sort of sound that was not innate to mechanical transducers, so easy one could simply listen there all day. "And all of this technology was firmly established before most of the people in this hotel were even born," pointed out Jonathan Halpern of, among other things, NYC's In Living Stereo, putting the shame to most of the so-called advancements being spun that day. Jonathan is a close-on ringer for Jeff Goldblum; even his voice is similar. He's also an amazing fountain of knowledge on horn design (among many other things audio), so listening to his insights on the Klangs, it was easy to imagine that I was in the chopper on the way to Jurassic Park being tutored in

Chaos Theory. "Nature finds a way." It was great. The same room had a second big pair of vintage horneys, Tannoy Autographs that because of technical troubles had been relegated to static display by the time I arrived. Unfortunate - but being anything other than grateful for this wonderful museum-quality room would have been greedy and stupid.

Most Jazz for the Jump and My Best of Show contender?
Robyatt Audio, showing a compliment of Tektron electronics, specifically a Tektron 2A#/50SI integrated amp with "switch on the fly" power tubes and a sound profile so customizable it's unlikely any two in the field will sound much the same. Every time Robin Wyatt would reach for a tube in the middle of a song I'd yell "You can't do that!" and he'd yell back "I know!", establishing a vaudeville act rhythm, then doing it anyway. Plugging in various tubes over the course of a single piece of music was of course an unbeatable way to appreciate the unique qualities those tubes brought to the presentation. Subtle the differences were not. And apart from the downright fun, boardwalk-style showmanship displaying the unflappability of this attractive amplifier, the sound was outstanding. When Rob switched in a pair of way-vintage 50s manu-

factured in 1933, I realized a person could live to be 200 and not hear all there was to hear out there. Let's just say '33 was a very good year. Here was a full system consisting of the Tektron integrated, Omega Grande 8 speakers, Pioneer DV563A SACD/DVD-A/MP3 deck and a pair of Sophia Electric 300Bs for a total of $3,203! And this system gave up little to nothing compared to similar sized systems costing nearly $40,000 - and it easily bested the majority of them in aliveness, excitement and immediacy.

I just have got to get my hands on this integrated and Tektron's little phono stage too which, while not included in the showcased "basic system", also sounded implausibly excellent. Could real value be making high-end headway at long long last, no longer the almost soul responsibility of Joe Lau of Antique Sound Lab? Tektron seems ample reason to hope. [Exchanging e-mails with Robin Wyatt while formatting this very paragraph, he informs us that Art Dudley of Stereophile expressed a similar interest. Depending on schedules, Art may scoop you on this - but you're on the books as well and no matter what, Robin and Tektron will get their well-deserved 2-for-1 coverage. And while Candyman went ape over Tektron as well, Bosh is the man on this one - Ed.]

Grooviest name for a new product and the I Want Those Speakers room:
Well, new to me anyway. The Red Planet Labs STR201 is a solid state amplifier that sounds a lot more costly than its approximate retail price of $3000. And, apart from the ample headroom provided by its more than ample power rating, it didn't sound all that "solid state" either. Clean. That's how I might describe it. And before you decide that smacks of "sanitary" or "cold", let me explain that I mean it in terms of sheer clarity, energy and freshness. But this amp was driving a pair of speakers, after all. The Second Rethm in this room made me remember why I fell in love with this hobby in the first place. Maybe they'll fit in my room after all? Or maybe a pair of Rethm the Firsts? Or Micro Rethms? I'm waiting, guys. [I was equally impressed by this pairing and designer Daniel Marz promised a review sample.

There's more to his amp than meets the eye. His 26-point patent was awarded without denying a single one of the 26 claims. If you didn't think there was anything new under the transistor-amp sun, think again. I did and can't wait to get the details of Daniel's unique circuitry. It' got to do with a form of feedback that only operates when needed and otherwise removes itself from the signal path. Mating a high-power solid-state amp with 100dB speakers just isn't done - but here it sounded excellent indeed. Once I understand the hows and whys, we'll report on it, promise - Ed.] A little unusual to run horns with oceans of transistor power but I'll tell you one thing: With these amazing Lowthers being pushed by Red Planet's crisp muscle, you'd never even consider adding a sub. And I'm a bass ninny if ever there was one.