Stereophile’s HE 2006 Show Report – Los Angeles

Bluebird was out to prove something in Los Angeles, in the main room:

With our larger system, below, we were out to prove that Chord Electronics makes some of the best sound and offers some of best value in the world.  This system was comprised of Chord’s Blu transport, DAC 64, CPA 4000 per-amp, SPM 1400 480 watt mono-blocks and Neat Ultimatum MF7 loudspeakers.

HE 2006 Show Reports from main room:

“You like ultra exotic toys. Check out Chord! The Blu transport and DAC, CPA 4000 preamp and SPM 1400 amp are the ultimate in industrial design. Powering a pair of British speakers, the sound was room filling beautiful”. – Robert Levi, Positive Feedback

“Neat speakers paired with Chord for a Brit invasion. System was really musical and nice. The bass was tight, tight, tight and little of that ‘digital haze’ I mentioned before. Seriously, why haven’t we heard more of these guys? They don’t do the Wilson hi-fi sound, so there will be a whole group of people who will really like these chaps.” – Josh Ray, Sonic Flare

“NEAT speakers were being demo’ed with Chord equipment and that proved to be a fine combination. NEAT are from the good ol’ UK and have a very pleasing sound quality… their sound signature was bold, dynamic, and open. Particularly the big top of the line model retailing for $15k was well, er… neat! The Chord stuff always looks stunning; I can totally see how they would be selling these systems like hot potatoes.” – Danny Kaey, Positive Feedback

What are those colorful banners on the LA curtain above?

The colorful banners in the photo above, were decorations at the 2006 Toronto Children’s Chorus (TCC) annual fund-raising dinner. These beautiful hand painted banners, signed by the children in the TCC’s five choirs, were auctioned off at the end of the evening. We love to support the TCC, we knew they would be perfect for our shows, so we just had to have them, and now we do, (sound familiar?).

For 27 years the TCC has been dedicated to providing life enhancing experiences for children through the study and performance of the choral art. The TCC regularly performs on the world’s grandest stages including: Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, Royal Albert Hall and Toronto’s Roy Thompson Hall. The TCC  performed on EMI’s recording of Mahler 8th Symphony, released in 2005 and voted one of the top three recordings of the year by Grammophone Magazine. To learn more about this wonderful opportunity for children visit

In the smaller room:

At Bluebird Music we love the very best sound but we also believe everyone should be able to enjoy the experience of making an emotional connection to music. That’s why we’ve spent the past six years searching for a system that truly every music lover could afford but that was also good enough to deliver that real “I’m-in-the-music” feeling.

Finally, we have it, and in our smaller room, below, was another showing of our “Ultimate Budget System”, featuring the Exposure 2010S CD player and integrated amplifier and a pair of small British loudspeakers. This sweet little system, which retails for $5,000, (including cables), had visitors’ jaws dropping and toes tapping. With surprising musicality and rich in emotional nuances it was ear-to-ear smiles all around in this room. This system had visitors stunned with the performance for the dollar and proved great sound can be affordable.

HE 2006 Show Reports from smaller room:

“Bluebird’s sweet, neat little package breezes in under $5,000 and offered a truly enjoyable and musical experience.” – Stephen Mejias, Stereophile.

“Rein then proceeded to blow my mind with budget magic… the system’s evenly balanced, full-range sound blew me away. Now I understand why Stereophile has heaped praise on Exposure Electronics.”  – Jason Victor Serinus, Stereophile.

“This system sounded simply wonderful. And people think I only like mega-size, mega-buck equipment.”  – Paul Bolin, Stereophile.

“…this one was KILLER for what it was… small and affordable and it made music… big music too!” – Dave Clark, Positive Feedback

“…played music with a level of realism and authority totally out of line with the low price of the system. If I gave out show awards, this would easily have won for ‘Best Sound Relative to Price.’  It actually sounded much better than many of the way more expensive systems on display in other rooms. That they were playing AC/DC’s Back in Black when we walked in their room said something about their confidence in the system’s ability to play music!”  – Steve Lefkowicz, Positive Feedback