News from Evolution Audio

Looking Forward: New Year, New Stuff…    
Hope everyone enjoyed their end of year festivities with your family and friends!  Even though we took our Holiday Hiatus, we were still hard at work (or hardly working) to bring you new and exciting audio and video items for the 2019.
First, as we’ve been touting for the past few weeks, is our new line of High End Audio gear from a formidable British standard known as Naim Audio.  Not that we’re “Naim dropping”, but we’re pretty darn proud to have them in our product mix.  Specifically their Uniti Series of streaming devices, which also give you the ability to take your “old school” CD’s and rips them into their system for  instant high resolution access, playback and gratification.  In fact I was so taken with the beautiful build quality, features and extraordinary sound, that I became a true believer of this company.  To the point I purchased a system for myself…
The most AMAZING surround sound preamp is about to be unleashed into the world!  The new Acurus MUSE 12 ($5,500).  It takes their already amazing Acurus ACT4 ($10,000) and shrinks it down in size and price. All the sound quality of the ACT4, minus some inputs and outputs. Compare this to similar units that sell for 10k and up. If you ever wanted to know what true “Cinema Quality” Dolby Atmos was all about, the MUSE 12 is your unit. Full spectrum 4k, HDR and up to 12 channels of Dolby Atmos!
Next, we received the brand new GoldenEar Reference Triton One.R ($6,000/pr) series of speakers.  If you haven’t heard the Triton References ($9,000/pr) yet, then you must immediately listen to their “Son of Reference” Triton One.R’s!  I’m going to make my first bold 2019 prediction and state that the new One.R’s are destined be their top selling floor standing speakers of the year! They have the DNA of their bigger sibling, but in a smaller, less expensive package. I dare you to find another speaker selling in the 6k/pr. realm that even comes close to these puppies.  Ain’t goin’ to happen!
Another Homerun is the new Martin Logan Dynamo 1100X  ($1,100) Subwoofer System with their App-Based
Anthem Room Correction (ARC)! You’ll be amazed at this compact sub’s energy levels… Plus, it has a built-in Wireless Sub Kit so you don’t have to worry about running a cable to places it doesn't want to go. Place it anywhere – “look ma, no cables!” Plus, the 1100X was just awarded the “Sound & Vision” Top Pick of the Year Award! Time to celebrate…

Lastly – at least for right now, we’ve inducted the Hisense LaserTV into our video line-up.  Their latest models are using dual lasers and offer incredible 4k, HDR and Smart TVfunctions on a really BIG screen. With their laser light engine you’ll see rich dynamic colors, wide contrast levels and 20 years – or more of great viewing.  You’re choice of 100in ($9,999) or their 120in ($12,999). The prices include the Smart TV, Screen, Sound System with a wireless subwoofer.

Showrooms...  Are they obsolete?

Years ago growing up in Woodland Hills (which was truly the ends of the earth back then) my friends and I would haunt the local audio salons (much to the owner’s dismay).  We were “audiophiles in the making” back then with little (to no) money in our pockets.  Video wasn't even on the horizon yet...  Back in the '70's there were plenty to choose from.  Woodland Stereo, Pacific Stereo, Federated, to name but a few. 

Fast forward (pun intended) to today.  You're lucky if you can find one audio/video showroom in your area that isn't located inside the "dealers" house.  Why? 

Simple answer...  A/V showrooms are not important to the masses these days.  Today’s "clients" aren't as passionate as we were in the past about sound or video quality.  Everyone is weaned on instant music, video, games, TV, downloads, streaming, etc. The ancient form of listening to an entire "album" is equivalent to driving a car with a stick shift (which coincidentally, I still do). 

That being said, you can't log onto Amazon and truly experience what a speaker, a receiver, an amplifier, etc. "sounds" like.  You can't really "see" what a TV or projector will reveal in picture quality.  You can't pick up a remote control system and feel how it reacts in your hands.  Yes, you can read endless online reviews from "real" customers (or are they???).  But as my grandfather once said... "Opinions are like A-Holes, everyone has one".  Translated, if you really want to know how a product looks, feels, sounds, etc., you have to take the time and experience it for yourself.  

That's why Evolution will always have demo rooms.  Yes, it's expensive to maintain.  No, as many of you have asked, the manufacturers DO NOT give us free equipment.  We still have to purchase it just like you.  Not only by investing big $$’s, but also years of experience in the hope to provide you with something exceptional.  That helps to make your purchasing decision a bit easier.  You fall in love with it (depending on your infatuation level) or not.  Unlike online shopping, you’ll know immediately if you like the product - saving you the unpleasant hassle of having to return it if you don’t.

Perhaps the most important reason to have a showroom is legitimacy.  For both dealer and manufacturer.  Most Hi-End manufacturers will only be represented through legitimate dealers with a showroom.  A showroom demonstrates that the dealer is totally committed to that product.  And not only by investing in the gear…  Dealers must be vetted by the manufacturers, trained on that product and most of all, be able to provide you with exceptional service.  Try getting that online!   Would you buy a car from reviews only?  I wouldn’t…  I’d want to see it, touch it and drive it.  I’d want a dealer that provides SERVICE.  For that reason, if you’re the least bit passionate about your audio and video gear you’d want to give it a “test drive”.  That’s the beauty of having a real demo room!

Evolution Audio & Video

Running To Save Lives – Run Into Evolution To Save Money!

December 11, 2014
Spend up to $100 & Get $200 Store Credit!  How?  Read on...

Many of you know that I enjoy running.  At least that’s what I tell myself…  For me, running is the great stress reliever and (for me) an easy way to stay somewhat healthy.  These past few years it’s been a tandem “trot” with my dog Tahoe.  He loves to get out early in the morning and go and go and go (and then stop/sniff, stop/sniff, stop/sniff/pee, well… you get it).  I’ve made many new friends on our outings.  Obviously, many are “dog” people.  I’m sure there’s a few that don’t think of us as friends – but those are people that usual don’t like dogs in general.

Over the 20 years that I’ve been running I’ve managed to squeeze in a few races in various distances and terrain.  From 5k’s to (almost) Ultra’s – 26.2 miles or longer, on pavement or dirt trails, in various States I have run over two hundred races and counting.  These days I look for trail runs and mostly ½ marathons (13.1 miles).  It’s easier on my body than a full marathon and I don’t feel like I’ve been run over by a flock(?) of Peterbilts as I wobble over the finish line.  Some people manage to look fresh and energized after running 26.2 miles – I look like I just auditioned for the “Walking Dead” and immediately got the role.

The last time I ran the LA Marathon Quick read more or view full article was back in 2010.  They had just changed the course (again).  The old courses ran through “lovely” downtown LA and all the places you would never dream of visiting - day or night.  So, to attract a more “boutique” running crowd, they decided to introduce the “Stadium to the Sea” route.  How exciting would it be to start your 26.2 mile journey at Dodger Stadium and end at the famous Santa Monica Pier?  With all the “Hollywood-Type” diversions along the way.  Sounded good to me!

But after experiencing the first run of the new course, I decided to lay-off the LA Marathon.  Not that the new course was bad.  Believe me, not having to go through gang infested areas, over the immensly beautiful - not to mention extremely scenic - LA River and other such course “highlights”, the Stadium to the Sea was a walk in the park (Ok… a long walk)!  The only negative was logistics…  Getting up at 4AM on Sunday, drive a full hour to find a designated parking garage in Santa Monica.  Traffic (yes - traffic at 5AM - on Sunday) getting off the freeway in Santa Monica.  Finding the “designated” shuttle that leaves Santa Monica and drops you at Dodger Stadium.  The unexpected freeway “vehicle marathon” traffic that brought everything to a dead stop.  The instant panic/fear/terror that spread throughout our shuttle that we wouldn’t get to the start line on time.  Etc., etc.

Then you run 26.2 miles.

After crossing the finish line the crowds of finishers and spectators were so packed that it took me at least half an hour to find where I parked.  The real kicker – the drive from the parking garage to the 405 fwy (maybe 1 to 2 miles away) took almost 2 full hours!
Fast forward almost 5 years.  I’m looking for a reason to even think about running the LA Marathon again.   (What can I say – I’m a glutton for punishment.)  So I check out their site and click on “charity runners”.  I scroll down the list and immediately am drawn to ACPB – Angel City Pit Bulls

Almost six years ago, two of my boys “rescued” our dog Tahoe from the Agoura Hills Animal Shelter.  The paper work said he was a “mixed Lab” – in reality he is a Pitbull mixed with Pointer and god-knows-what…  They brought him home over the Holidays.  For me, it wasn’t exactly love at first sight.  In fact, he looked as if he'd chew me up, spit me out and then bury my remains in the backyard.

After a couple of weeks passed, I realized this dog was anything but mean.  Over the years he’s been the absolute best, sweetest and loving dog I’ve ever owned.  So, why not give something back to this breed that has such a horrible and misunderstood reputation?  After all, it always comes back to the human element.  The dog is a reflection of the owner.  If a pit is trained to fight, he will.   Unfortunately, this breed  (think Michael Vick) is at the mercy of humans… 

There’s so many wonderful, gentle Pits needing a good home.  That’s where ACPB comes in.  And after reading about their organization, I committed to the LA Marathon once again.

Now down to the “Kibble” of the matter…  I need to raise money.  Not tons, but something respectable.  Here’s your chance to do good, feel good, and actually MAKE money on the back end!

Evolution (being the charitable organization that we are – or many people believe we are) will give you STORE CREDIT WHEN YOU DONATE to the cause. 

We’ll match up to $100 donation by giving you $200 back in store credit.  You can donate $25 and receive $50 in credit.  Donate $50 and receive $100 in store credit.  You get the drift… Up to $100 donation.  I’m sure you have a few items you’d love to own or better yet “give” that have something to do with audio and video.  Here’s your chance to HELP save hurt, abandoned, loving dogs - maybe even find them homes - and earn a good amount of money – all in one simple gesture.

Plus, you will get to see me cross the finish line looking like a deer in the headlights.  Or more like a guest zombie from “The Walking Dead”…  I promise to post the worst looking finish picture anyone has every seen!  Isn’t that worth the bucks?

Please use this link to make your donations... 

The dogs will love you for this and you'll love doubling your money!
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How High Is High-End?

June 7, 2014
"High-End Audio" is a term we've all encountered (especially if you've been "into" audio for awhile) over the years.  In today's world of compressed music, MP3's, wireless speakers, iPods, portable audio, what exactly does the term "high-end" refer to?  Do we think of it as uber-expensive audio components, or do we now measure it as a $300 MP3 player vs. a $50 MP3 player?  In my mind, "high-end" audio is tubes, solid state components, Godzilla sized speakers, cabling that Tarzan could swing on.  In other words, expensive, impressive audio or video gear.

People just entering the audio market might consider the Apple iPod (their most expensive piece of course) as "high-end".  And though you and I know its about as far away from "high-end" as the earth is from the moon, the neophytes have no clue to what really great music (or crappy music) can sound like on a decent system.  In some respect, you can't blame them.  Many have been brought up on computerized music, digitally compressed and played back through $10 earbuds.  You know what?  They're perfectly happy with it.  Music is everywhere on the internet.  You can store a massive amount of albums on your hard drive and then transfer thousands of tunes onto a portable playback device smaller than a deck of cards.  Convenience - plain and simple.  No concern over sound quality.  Why?  Because they've never been exposed to anything other than computer speakers and earbuds. 

So "high-end" is relative...

But Quick read more or view full article that really brings us back to the original question... In today's "hi-fi" world, does "high-end" still mean you have to be a Bill Gates to afford really good audio and video?  The answer is - not necessarily.  With the economy of today's world, the days of frivolent spending (even if you are "well-off") is over.  People from top to bottom of the economic scale are looking for "high-end" quality at real world pricing.

Even the many "high-end" manufacturers are looking hard at where the A/V dollars are being spent and re-adjusting their sites to hit today's sweet spot.

I've always been a big Krell fan.  Their gear just looks impressive and sounds incredible.  And, like most "high-end" components, they weigh in on the Jabba-the-Hutt scale.  Massively heavy!   But, also like all other high-end guys, their beautiful made in America gear is super expensive.  Until recently that is...  Krell being Krell and wanting to reach today's limited A/V wallet brought out their Foundation line.  You can now own Krell for a fraction of the cost you once had to pay.

Does it sound as good as their highest-end units?  Maybe not.  But I guarantee to most listeners ears it will be the best they've ever heard.  Yes, you can squeeze out a few more drops of audio nirvana by spending 2 or 3 times more, but other than bragging rights, most folks would never hear the difference.

Is their "budget" line that much better sounding then a good top-notch receiver line-up?  Let me just state for the record - yes.  We replaced our newly installed (won't mention the name, but if you've seen our demo rooms - you'll know) highly regarded, Japanese sourced preamp/processor and multichannel amp for the new Krell Foundation Preamp and Chorus 5200 multichannel amplifier.  Granted, swapping out a $5,000 electronics package for $14,000 rig is still not exactly a fair comparison.  But considering that not long ago, you would have had to drop more like $20,000 to $40,000 for Krell - this is a true audio/video bargain.   For less dinero you now have access to some of the best sounding gear on the market and it's just a hairs breadth away (at least to my ears) from their very best stuff.

For you die-hard audioholics that never blinked when it came to laying out the cash for the very best - but now might have second thoughts about spending mega bucks - again - here's your more than acceptable alternative.  For you up-and-comers new to the "high-end", here's a way to get your feet wet without robbing from your kids college funds.

If you want "the best" in audio and video - above the typical Japanese lines, but don't want to charge head-first into the high-end black hole - you now have a perfect solution.  Come in and listen.  I think you'll be duly impressed.

It's all a matter of exposure.  You and I know what true "high-end" audio is.  So, if you share a passion for really great sounding music and pristine picture quality, it's time to do some charitable work.

The next time you're strolling down the street and come across an "earbud dude/dudette", take out your stun-gun and give him/her a few mega volt jolts all in the name of higher "audio" education.  Once they're able to stagger on their own two feet, gently (but assuredly) guide them to the "temple of higher audio/video knowledge" (that would be Evolution of course) and drop them in a "aural recovery chair" in one of our many audio/visual therapy rooms.  Once they've fully recovered, and have found the "true" meaning of audio, they will be forever grateful for your intervention (maybe after taking you to court for assault - minor detail).  By doing this good deed, you'll have enriched everyone's life - including your own - by knowing that the true high-end has one new convert...

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Shining a Light on Front Screen Projection -

April 21, 2014
Confusion reigns when it comes to Front Screen Projection systems.  They're expensive.  They're cheap.  They're too big. They're too noisey.  They don't look as good as a flat panel TV.  You have to have a completely dark room to watch.  I don't have any place for a screen.  Can you watch TV through them?  Years ago my uncle was crushed by a falling projector - are they safer now?  What the hell is it?

These are a few of the questions I've heard over the years (okay, maybe not the uncle one - but it sounded good).  So why is it that for a format that has been around so many years, that most people don't know a thing about them?

First of all, today's projectors are light years (pun intended) beyond units from just 10 years ago.  They're smaller, brighter and as with everything consumer electronics-wise - cheaper.  They are still in two pieces.  You need the projector and a screen (unless you're wall is an acceptable substitution for a real screen).

Maybe those folks that have wanted to go FSP shrunk back from the remberence of how much these little guys used to cost - at least the ones you'd want to live with in your home.  Who remembers 3-gun CRT projectors?  Or Faroudja Line Doublers?  Yes? No?  We'll back in the day (before the Digital Age of DLP, LCD, etc.) you would have to spend upwards of $10,000 on a good projector and another Quick read more or view full article $15,000 to rid the picture of those nasty scan lines that our NTSC video system was overflowing with.  I won't get into the details, but the projectors from the late 80's and 90's were akin to hanging a 1966 Volkswagon from your ceiling.  And the picture quality could be anything from mediocre to decent depending on your gear and the source material of that day.  (Laserdisc was the Blu-ray of that era.  Better than VHS, but...)  If you desired anything larger than a 36in picture, your choices were limited and the price was extremely high.

Today's FSP's are lightyears ahead of CRT's and even units from just a few years ago. 

If you were to spend $3,500 on a top-notch 65in or 70in TV (and that's a diagonal measurment), you could easily double your viewing area spending the same amount on a new FSP.  Afterall, if a 65in - 90in TV is a cause for unbridled joy, wouldn't you be more ecstatic seeing a true "cinema quality" image from a 7ft, 10ft or 12ft wide screen?    Hell yes!  Who wouldn't be?  Plus, the image quality is sooo much better on a good FSP system.  Color fidelity, contrast, etc. - plus no glare or reflection coming off of the screen as there is with a typical LCD, Plasma, (your choice) panel TV.

So here's a list of FSP advantages:
1) Immersive entertainment experience.
2) Superior picture quality.
3) Like having your very own Hollywood screening room.
4) No reflection off of the screen.
5) Pricing that is in line with flat panel TV's.
6) See #1.

Now the downside:
1) Need a light controlled room for best picture quality.
2) Need a separate screen - either fixed or roll-up (unless you still like the wall idea).
3) A bit more labor intensive for initial set-up.
4) If you want the very best - just like anything else - be prepared to spend $'s.

Here's one more reason.  If you haven't yet seen them, the TV manufacturers are introducing curved screen TV's.  Just plain stupid!  Unless you're playing with Ken and Barby dolls - pretending you're sitting at the Cinerama Dome.  But, take that curved screen idea and stretch it into a 10ft, 12ft, 14ft wide screen (or larger) and now you have a true Cinema Experience in your home. 

For the price of that tiny 55-65in Curved TV you could be enjoying a HUGE picture from a FSP.

Check out an FSP for yourself.  Why go big screen TV when you can go REALLY BIG?

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Guidi's Gab - athon

May 22, 2013
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The Streak

July 10, 2012
A bit slow after the weird 4th of July, middle of the week Holiday.  Today is Saturday around 3pm.  We've dealt with a few clients today... nothing earthshaking.

I'm here 6 days a week, sometimes more.  Always in the "how can we bring in more business without having to kill ourselves mode".  Truthfully, I could commit suicide by hanging myself with an extremely expensive HDMI cable from one of our extremely expensive projectors.  That in itself might bring in a few "curious" onlookers.  Most likely, they'd just come in to see the actually place where it happened (maybe I could even use a "Walking Dead" zombie prop to really get the excitement in high gear) and nothing more.  It might be worth a few columns of print in the “Acorn” (the Conejo Valley's version of the “New York Times”) and a 2-minute segment on "Eye Witness News at 11pm".  But would it bring in the bucks?  Maybe, but then I wouldn't be there to seal the deal (my own deal would already be sealed - air tight and six feet under).

So what does all this have to do with a Streak?  Nothing really, it just sounded like a great way to get this blog flowing.  Actually, I started to think of the Streak through my running.  About 16 months ago I decided to run every day for a full year.  You see, I wanted to join the United States Running Streak Society.  To become a member Quick read more or view full article of this "elite" group one must run everyday (rain or shine, healthy or sick) for a minimum of 1 mile per day for a full calendar year.  Why would anyone even want to do this?  Why would I even think about doing this? I have no clue.  Almost 16 months later and over 2,000 miles I still have no clue.  The only thing I can think of (actually 2 things) is that 1) my legs and butt have become pretty damn solid and 2) Tahoe (my dog) now demands that we go every day.  So, for these past 16 months Tahoe has run into our bedroom between 5-6am and demanded that I get my ass out of bed and get our run on.  I hate to disappoint, so I have obliged - so far.  We usually take in a daily 4-6 miles during the week and 6-13 daily miles during the weekend.  So, I did make into the United States Running Streak Society at the end of last March.  Hallelujah!  You’d think I now could cut back and relax a few days a week.  And for some unknown reason, I haven't stopped.  I try not to think about it because I don't like to label myself as compulsive obsessive... or for that matter, an idiot.  So I just take it day by day.

Which brings me to another Streak.  My very own TV.  When client’s come into Evolution, many of you ask, "Wow, I bet you have the greatest, meanest, biggest, badest, bestest system in the world at your home?”  Truth be told - no.  I have a 10-year-old rear-screen TV and nothing that would remotely qualify in anyone’s wildest dream as an "audio system".  Ten years is a bit long in the tooth for TV technology these days.  So you know your watching a dinosaur when your wife asks you when are we getting a new TV?  Ouch!  That hurts.  I was proud of the fact that for the 10 years (Streak?) of owning this set, I never, ever had to change a lamp or have it serviced.  It has taken abuse from my children and me.  Especially when the kids were a bit younger plugging their games consoles into it not even knowing which inputs to use.  Friends plugging their systems into every input except the correct one.

Worse is the audio side.  I was using (until about 5 years ago) my old amp/preamp from 1976 (Streak?).  Hey, it wasn't surround sound, but it sounded good enough for TV viewing.  After that combo died, I resorted to listening through the incredibly inept TV speakers.

An incredible Streak of A/V longevity.  Again, I have to question my sanity.  I'm one of the owner's of a high-end A/V custom business with incredible video displays and sound throughout our facility, but drive the 10 minutes to my home and I'm below the A/V poverty level of 90% of the world.

Like running it was time to take action!  But maybe not right away.  After all, if I wanted to watch a movie on Blu-ray I have 3 projection systems at our facility to choose from.  All with incredible audio systems - and only a few minutes away from home.  But the issue is that I don't always want to go back to the office to watch "America's Got Talent" or "The News At 10".  So maybe my Streak needs to come to an end...

After my wife gave me the green light to purchase a new set, a weird thing happened.  I started acting like a client rather than the salesperson I am.  Do I need 3D?  Do I want a “smart” TV?  What size?  What brand?  How much?  All the normal advice I give to my clients didn’t seem to work on me.   Should I wait for the newer models?  What if some new technology comes out just as I’m about to plunk down the moola?  And even though I’m a dealer, why can’t I seem to get a deal for myself?  Enough!  As Nike once said – “Just Do It!”

Well, after another small Streak of indecision, and doing my own research (not to mention my wife growing tired of waiting), I finally broke down and purchased my new TV…

I went for the Gold.  I bought the new Elite TV knowing that it’s the very best on the market – and it ain’t cheap either!  But you see – I’m already planning for my next TV Streak – so I need something that’s going to last!  Most of today’s TV sets are all fairly good.  Some really good.  However, if you’re looking for performance, the “Porsche” of TV’s, the Elite is worth the price of admission.  Not only is the picture quality stunning, but also the build quality (something sorely lacking on many TV’s today) is beyond reproach.  If you happen to be considering a new set, come by our Agoura Showroom to check the Elite out.  It’s worth the money.

What about the audio side?  Give me another few years and I’ll have the nailed too!  In the meantime, I love my new TV.  My wife is extremely happy! Tahoe? Well he’s just looking forward to tomorrow morning… to continue his Streak. Read Less
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Let's Make A Deal - Not!

April 10, 2012
I know... It's been awhile since my last entry.  Not that I've heard anyone complain - "Hey, what the hell happened to Evolution's Blog?  I haven't seen a new entry in years!!!"  No, not even a yawn out there.

We'll like us or not, read us or not, buy from us or...  Never mind. 

Recently I received a phone call from a long time client - We'll call him "Mr. P".  I usually hear from Mr. P only when he's looking for a great deal on something.  And I'm talking "GREAT DEAL".  Well to make a long Blog even longer, Mr. P asked if I could (would) sell him an 80 inch TV for just about what I pay for it from my distributor.  Being that Mr. P and I have a long history together (and the fact that I usually make little to no profit on TV's) I agreed to sell Mr. P his "dream" TV at my cost plus a few bucks to cover our time and shipping.  The final price was right in his ballpark.  So I happily dialed Mr. P on the phone and told him the good news.  To my surprise, Mr. P told me he could buy the same set for $80 less over the Internet. 

I asked Mr. P if it was worth it to order such a large item over the Internet from a company (if it's actually a real company - more likely a kid operating out of Quick read more or view full article Mom and Dad's garage) he's never done business with.  To risk freight damage - to have to deal with contacting the company to let them know they'd have to replace the unit and Mr. P would somehow have to ship a 150lb box 3,000 miles back to the "dealer". 

Never mind that we are right in Mr. P's own backyard.  Never mind that we can service his set for calibration, set-up or trouble-shooting.

I asked Mr. P if the $80 he's saving is worth the gamble he's opening himself up for?

In my mind, if I'm going to buy an expensive item, I want to deal with a company directly.  If I have an alliance with that company (as Mr. P has with us) wouldn't it be worth the $80 to solidify the bond with that company?  Not to mention acting as insurance for Mr. P's peace of mind?  Of course it is!  After all, what's eighty bucks when you're spending thousands on a TV?  Especially when you know the company you're dealing with is legit and will be there to answer any questions and help with any problems.

Well I guess you know what Mr. P's answer was?  "Thanks Jay, but no thanks.  I'd rather save the eighty bucks - it's such a great DEAL!"

I know Mr. P has always been the "Monty Hall" of deals - but I was sure he'd buy the set from us.  Was I shocked?  Was I upset?  Was I ready to tell Mr. P where he could really stick his eighty bucks?  If this was "pre-Internet" I might have been.  But this is the new consumer Internet mentality.  Long-term relationships be damned.  Service - who cares!  The Internet is the new consumer-buying guide.  Embrace it or die.  So, was I upset?  Maybe for a few minutes... Read Less
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Dog, Death & TV’S

November 4, 2011
Sometimes thoughts just pop into your head at the strangest time.  The time to be precise was at 6:15am.  During our daily “runs” through the neighborhood Tahoe and I (more on the Tahoe side than mine) decided to stage our own version of a Disneyland classic – Mr. Toads Wild Ride.  Why not I stupidly thought (being this early in the morning is the excuse I later gave myself) hit a small mountain trail?  It’s dark and the stars are still fully awake.  This could be a “fun” run!
OK – besides the obvious – here’s why not…
This trail climbs up a short hill and then drops quickly into an extremely darkened ravine with barely usable wooden planks strewn over a dry (?) riverbed.  If you haven’t twisted something going through this area in the dark, then you’re moving toooo slooow.  But no problem, you get another chance right away.  After crossing over the streambed the trail climbs up a hill that would make the “Big Dipper” roller coaster envious.  Then – like a rollercoaster it dives at a precarious angle down into a field before flying up another hill.
What sent our comfortable run into warp speed was the following - Tahoe caught a coyote scent and shifted into 4-wheel drive pulling me, the 2-wheel drive human at lightning speed onto this rollercoaster course.  Now if you’re low to ground and extremely powerful this could be great fun.  If you’re attached to a leash (I’m talking about the Quick read more or view full article human side) standing on two feet with a dreadful feeling that at any moment you can take a face plant into dirt, rocks and scree, then it’s amazingly scary – just like a great rollercoaster ride.  In fact a few things actually flashed through my now fully awakening mind…
  1. I’m going to die.
  2. If I let go of the leash I’m going to die.
  3. If I do let go of the leash please don’t let me fall onto a) rattlesnake b) tarantula c) the jaws of a coyote and worst of all d) a big pile of poop.
  4. What the hell was I (not) thinking?
  5. TVs???
  6. I’m going to die.
“Did I read that correctly, you’re now asking yourself?  Did he just mention poops?  Or was it the TV choice I don’t get?”
Well for some unknown force of nature, TV’s flashed through my mind.  Why is it that only a few years ago TV’s all looked different?  TV’s were priced differently.  There was actually a difference in quality from one set to the next – especially the higher end sets.  Today, TVs all have about the same picture quality – great!  I don’t care if they’re from Sony, Toshiba, Samsung or Fooey Manchu.  All the sets have incredible picture quality.  You no longer have to steal from the kid’s college funds to afford one.  Like other appliances, TVs have become a commodity – just another toaster oven to sell on the sales floor.  Walk into Costco, Wal-Mart or even the .99 Stores and the first thing you see is a bank of big screen TVs the width of the Great Wall of China.  The bigger they are, the cheaper they get.  What’s up with that?  Why does a TV that cost $7,000 four years ago, now sell for under $1,200 and it has incredible picture quality?  What is going on here?
It’s simple – the economy.  Not too many people are willing to shell out the big bucks for TVs.  Hence, the mass exodus of Fujitsu, Pioneer, NuVision and a few others from the “high-end” TV business.  Fleeing like rats from a sinking ship.
So if no one’s willing to pay for quality TVs – what “quality” are we actually paying for?  Picture is definitely the first thing we notice.  But what really gets our attention these days is price.
Somehow all the manufacturers are churning out sets that all look good.  In fact if the brand name were covered over with tape you’d be hard pressed to tell a Sony from a Vizio – that’s how similar they are.  So picture quality has improved across the board.  Features are off the charts.  You can almost do everything from your TV that you can from your smartphone – other than make a phone call!  And that is probably going to be next…
So in a race to the bottom pricing structure the manufacturers have loading up the new sets with great picture quality, Internet features, appealing designs and prices that have hit rock bottom and still tunneling downward.  So you ask, “Where’s the downside”?
Not that I’m complaining but when I sell a $2,000 set and make $50 that’s pathetic.  But that’s me the dealer… For you the buyer it’s great.  A huge, crystal clear picture with all the bells and whistles and more!  However, just like that rollercoaster ride I mentioned earlier - for that big rush of excitement you feel going downhill there’s the extra effort it takes to climb back up.  In the TV world it’s this – Today’s sets have a 3-4 year lifespan – if you’re lucky – that’s their uphill issue.  Here’s how the manufacturer sums it up; Bigger sets, cheaper prices = cheaper parts (really cheap parts).
Remember when TV’s lasted 10, maybe 20 years?  No more.  So, the theory is instead of fixing them, it’s cheaper to just go out and buy a new one – every few years.  Planned obsolescence = a sustained industry. 
There are a couple of “Hi-End” TV manufacturers still lurking about – Runco has a few sets climbing well above $6,000.  Most recently the revered industry name “Elite” has been resurrected.  But it’s not the same Pioneer Elite you remember.  Pioneer licensed their technology to Sharp.  So now you can buy a very expensive (but I’m sure a very good) “almost” Pioneer Elite Plasma – that’s not plasma, but rather an LED LCD TV from Sharp!  Confusing?  Yes.  Worth paying an $8,500 for the same Sharp “Non-Elite” panel that you can get for $3,000?  Maybe – but that’s up to you…
So, as Tahoe and I end our rollercoaster run and pull back into the station (my house) and I’m thankful that I lived to see another day, I’m contemplating our next outing – stay tuned… Read Less
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The Evolution Future Fair - Fair to Everyone

October 12, 2011
Every morning between 5:30 and 6:30am, I venture out of my comfortably nice bedroom and into the wilderness that lies just outside my front door.  Well not always the wild type of wilderness - but wild enough.  I grab my running shoes, iPod, the leash, poop bags and Tahoe and I hit the road.  I'm fortunate enough to live one half mile away from a State Park.  So for the first half mile I'm flying through (the now dark) neighborhood streets and within a few minutes - onto a trail head at the park.

Our outings usually last between one to one and a half hours depending on route, time before I have to get back and local "friends" (and in some instances - foes) that we meet along the way.  We have about four routes that we normally follow with variations to keep things interesting.  Each day we travel between 4 to 7 miles - give or take...  Each day we see new things and even though many of our runs take us through the same territory, we encounter new adventures every time - 7 days a week.

Which brings me to the audio/video side of life.  In our industry we encounter new items and innovations that drive our industry - good and bad.  We try to sift through the myriad of new toys that hit the market all year long and find the best for our clients.  Most of the time we're dead on.  Occasionally we Quick read more or view full article make a faux pas...  But that's very rare...  As of now, we feel that Evolution reflects the best equipment no matter what price range you're looking in and the best in service as well.  All this leads up to a "mini" Consumer Electronics Show that we call the Evolution Future Fair.

As you know our event is a month away.  I can confirm that our friends at Anthony Gallo Acoustics will be here demonstrating their newest line on non-round speakers, the Classico's.  Also, some lucky participant will walk away with a brand new pair of Classico CL-1's retailing at $795.  Not too shabby! 

You'll also hear the exquisite sound from our newest line of high-end speakers - Wisdom Audio.  We have on permanent demo their floor standing L-75's, the C-38 center channel and the SCS Subwoofer.  These you have to hear!  Un-freaking-believable!

Even Tahoe the videophile dog has nothing but great things to say about them - even though his one bark sounds about the same as the next...  more updates to come.

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Posted by Jay
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The new one on the Block

October 11, 2011
Jay is the master of this Blog, but I have always put my two cents in.  He writes about what is happening with Evolution, I on the other hand like to write on what is going on inside the Company.  Do not know how many of our clients or blog friends know that Jay is a Marathon runner.  Yes he started in 1994 and is still running Marathons.  To day it is another story because Tahoe runs with Jay.  In fact Tahoe can out run Jay, first he runs with Jay and then Jay's middle son Adam takes Tahoe for a run.  Actually some days Tahoe will run twenty or thirty miles, and ready for more if the family can keep up with him.   SO THE BLOG FROM TODAY IS FROM TAHOE

                                                                        I'LL RUN AS LONG AS THERE IS SOME ONE TO RUN WITH
Posted by LEON
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The New (Furry) Face of Evolution

October 10, 2011
That's right, it's a dog.  His name is Tahoe - yup, just like the big lake that leaks into both sides of California and Nevada.  I could have put anyone of our delightful mugs up here, but why scare you (or a potential new client)?  Well, maybe scare is a bit harsh.  Let's just say dogs are usually cuter than most people.  Remember, it has nothing to do with our dashing good looks, we just prefer the anonymity.

So why not go for "cute"?  Cute is good - everyone likes cute.  And if you're one of the few that aren't touched by seeing a dog for a mascot, then I'll have Tahoe come to your home for a personal appearance.  You can tell him face-to-teeth that you're not crazy about him.  He's extremely friendly (when not chewing on a persons appendage) and does have a bit of Pitbull mixed in him...  He's also a great runner - more on that later.

Anyway, you will be seeing more of him in the future...

And speaking about the future, don't forget that November 11 & 12, Evolution will be hosting a Future Fair with all sorts of cool gear to play with and buy.  We'll have manufacturer's representatives here to show you the latest in everything audio & video.  To make the event even more special, we'll be giving away some really cool stuff.  Not to mention a lush array of food and beverage - depending upon how much Quick read more or view full article food we can make disappear from the continental breakfast area at the Holiday Inn Express.  Yum!

You'll see the best of the best in new speakers, electronics and accessories.  Maybe even something (gasp) you'll actually want to buy!  Stay tuned for more information.

Please don't flood us with phone calls and emails... Tahoe will be here! Read Less
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