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

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 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...