The TAS Golden Ear Club recently held its first major event for members, an editors’ briefing and reception at the Rocky Mountain Audio Fest 2009. The event took place before a standing room only group of members and manufacturers in one of the best sounding rooms at the show—an Audio Unlimited suite featuring a host of audio products to delight both the ears and eyes. Components on demonstration included Focal’s Grande Utopia EM and Maestro Utopia loudspeakers; a complete Clearaudio turntable system consisting of its Innovation ‘table, Da Vinci cartridge, and TT-2 tangential tonearm all mounted on an Everest stand; the Aesthetix IO Eclipse phono preamp, MBL’s stellar electronics, transport, and new USB DAC; Finite Element racks; Running Springs conditioners; and TARA Labs Zero Gold, Omega Gold, and Cobalt XL cables.
Robert Harley, Jonathan Valin, Neil Gader, Jacob Heilbrunn, Steven Stone, Chris Martens (editor of AVguide/Playback), as well as the Alan Sircom (editor of our sister publication, HiFi-Plus) previewed their RMAF Show Reports to members, offering their overall reactions to the show and mentioning the rooms that they thought produced the best sound. Editors also offered comments on products that they felt represented the greatest technological breakthroughs or values.
While it was still mid-show, loudspeakers alone that were mentioned included the new Electrocompanient Nordic Tone, Vandersteen Model 7, Focal Grande Utopia EM and Maestro Utopias, Hansen EMPEROR and PRINCE V.2, and Wilson Sasha W/P, among others. Members were able to ask the TAS editorial staff questions and socialize with them at a reception, hosted by Audio Unlimited, Musical Surroundings, RMAF, and On a Higher Note following the briefing.
TARA Labs kindly supplied one pair of its RSC interconnect, which was the grand prize in a GEC raffle, but each member received a Golden Ear Club tote bag filled with a variety of cool audio gifts, including a beautifully machined Clearaudio Gold Bubble Level (courtesy of Musical Surroundings, Clearaudio, and TAS), Reference Recordings' wonderful Dallas Wind Symphony Sampler (courtesy of Reference Recordings), The Absolute Sound’s SACD Sampler disc, a signed copy of Robert Harley’s Home Theater for Everyone, and a Golden Ear member’s pin (members who were unable to attend will be shipped some of those items, as supplies permit, as a thank you for joining, as well as a CD from XLO/Ultralink).
(ABOVE: Audio Unlimited's John Barnes and Christine Jerritts raffle off a pair of TARA Labs RPC interconnects)
The GEC is developing momentum with a growing core group of audio and music enthusiasts, support from manufacturers, and interest from dealers (and members) in local events. And, yes, there will be more cool promotional goodies for club members. We’d love to have more of our readers participate. To find out more, go to: www.golden-ear-club.com
(On the left, Jim Hannon displays some of the promotional goodies given to all Golden Ear Club members attending the event)