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The 30th Sound & Vision Show, Bristol 2017, by Audio T

I first went to a HiFi show as production manager for Acoustic Energy. We had loudspeaker products created with this mad pistonic metal-cone transducer. Based upon the hardness of the dual face layers of anodising on a spun aluminium cone, the driven piston weighed nothing, was absurdly rigid and yet, being metal, conducted heat away from the voice coil as rapidly as tinfoil cools down when you take it out of the oven. That means all but nil ‘power compression’. Power Compression is when the ‘shove’ of the coil in the magnetic gap in the motor system, has the big edges dulled when the coil gets REALLY hot, suddenly. Like when a big wavefront hits from an amplifier.

This resulted in a loudspeaker - as long as you added a seriously high quality tweeter, and we did - that was compact, faster than heck and sounded literally amazing. Truth be told, it was AE that caused a resurgence in metal cones and Monitor Audio were using metal cones, very fast on the tail of AE. I recall being in the corridor at the hotel and seeing my boss, Jones The Speaker, having a heated debate with a tweeter designer from Monitor Audio named Mo Iqbal. A serious member of the crew I call Golden Geese. They lay eggs of gold. In this case, technical kaizen that add up to step-change improvements in loudspeakers, often based on advances in materials sciences and adhesives. One big secret of the AE1, was the foam surround being finally able to be secured on the anodised ‘non-stick’ surface of the metal cones.

Sorry, I geeked RIGHT out, there. Anyway, Jones and Mo were having a barney about the AE1’s astonishing success. It was raved about by everybody that mattered. Mo maintained it was his wonderful Ferrofluid Neo tweeter with edge-wound voice coil that was making it sound good and Jones was saying it was his driver…

I later went to work in car audio..it was years before I joined the family scam and sold words I had made-up, in rows, for money.

And for an entire lifetime, a career with a ‘lifetime achievement award’, marriage and a strapping son raised to six foot plus, I kept car and home audio compartmentalised. As car audio people would tend to view me as a flat-earther who hated EQ and time-alignment and HiFi people would think I was a thug.

But one hugely unexpected side-effect of staying power as a niche writer, is the demise and change in your contacts as folks retire, move on and sadly even die. (HCC lost tech genius Bob Tomalski, Anglers Mail lost someone who used to be the explorer for my region.) But the Circle Of Life means that newer executives appear..

And they have. Now, here’s the funny thing, unforseen. A side effect of the changes in car audio. After market has shrunk and car buyers are increasingly thus ready to buy into hifi brands in their car. So the whole home/car pejorative evaporated. With Rolls Royce having Lexicon, Mark Levinson kit in Lexus, British hifi brand Naim in Bentley and of course B&W in Volvos these days. And now, where WILL those thrusting young executives have come from? What were they doing in their youth to be working in hifi now?

Yes, they were arsing around in every field of audio, including car and so I got recognised with slightly awestruck tones by at least four people, and a lot less awestruck by another ten or more! It was lovely, but what was far better and made me feel a lot happier about sacking Home Cinema Choice, was the looks of utter horror on the faces of people from KEF, B&W, PMC, AE, HiFI Critic magazine’s boss the legendary Martin Colloms and others, as I happily told them why. Interfering in set up and process in a reviewer’s home not good. And all thought it slightly gently amusing that it came from my reviewer’s stiff-necked-British pomposity, as that bespeaks of editorial veracity, innit? That and my Marty McFly character flaw, wherein since getting to the size and general impact of ‘Workie’ the character who depicts The Workplace Pension on the TV infomercials, I cannot bear being ignored. I will wait patiently, as long as I have been acknowledged. And yet KNOW you are ignoring me on purpose if you seem not to spot me at the bar in turn! (Way too huge to ignore!) And editor ignored my genuine apology for causing him grief.

So much for looking back. But the point is, this was the Audio T Sound & Vision Show’s 30th year. It was also the 30th year of the AE1, now launched at the show in active form. Below is my first TATV effort with the new 4K cam. I offer up a public apology to JVC for this one, I was in a hectic spot with no experience. I will improve, this is NOT any indication of image quality. I can present 4K files to YouTube and want to get this right so that the 4K symbol comes up on my fire breathing Retina 5K Apple Mac.

As you can see, I do love and know my stuff and my people. Lots of reminders on camera of how OLD we are all getting together, which was just me showing off, to be nakedly honest! However, expect to see some theatre installs and speakers, as well, soon, right here.

And a major thanks offered to my mate https://twitter.com/SteveMay_UK for the still I stole…