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Rock Revisited

Pop quiz: Who are Robert Zimmerman and Elliott Adnopoz and what links them together in rock and roll history?

Thats the kind of fun trivia that I learned (and will answer at the end of this column) when Boston Acoustics and Denon held their annual line show near the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum in Cleveland last month. But I also found out some cool stuff that the two companies have planned for CEDIA EXPO in September.

Denon revealed that its product focus this year is completely geared toward the custom installation channel after a Home Theater in a Box initiative in 2005. At CEDIA, Denon will be adding five new models to its DVD lineup, including both players and changers. The new models place a clear focus on enhanced image quality, connectivity, and maximum utility for custom installations. Additionally, Denons four new A/V receivers offer several new features, such as a dedicated port for connecting Denons new Apple iPod docking station (Model ASD-1R) and the ability to decode XM Radios new XM-HD 5.1 channels using Neural Surround Technology.

Boston Acoustics big introduction for the custom channel is its new flagship loudspeaker line, the E Series, which features a range of five different speaker sizes from compact bookshelf models to full-size, floor-standing units. Key to the audio reproduction capabilities of the E Series is an improved cabinet design that features Bostons StabiliTek, an aluminum construction that includes internal ribbing to enhance the speakers structural integrity, and eliminate the resonances and vibrations that degrade the sound of other speakers. Another element of the E Series sound is the inclusion of Boston Acoustics VR tweeters, which are specifically designed for use in each model and manufactured in-house. Important to the custom installation channel, each speakers output terminals are bi-wired, and each has multiple vertical or horizontal mounting options, along with the included wall-mounting brackets that have a recessed design the help dress the wires. The wooden side panels are removable, allowing users to customize the look of their speakers to match the interior decoration scheme of any room.

Now for the answer to that trivia question. Many of you probably know that Robert (Bobby) Zimmerman is the given name of music legend Bob Dylan. What you might not know is that Elliott Adnopoz is the given name of Ramblin Jack Elliott. Dont know him either? Neither did I until I attended a Hall of Fame exhibit titled, Bob Dylans American Journey: 1956-1966.

Apparently, while Dylan, a Jewish kid from Minnesota, was crafting a new name, speaking voice, and back story to match the style of musical hero Woody Guthrie, Elliott Adnopoz, a Jewish kid from Brooklyn, had already become a sort of student of Woody Guthrie, eventually remaking himself as Ramblin Jack Elliott.

By the time Dylan arrived in New York, however, he had learned about Elliott, acknowledging their shared style, and eventually learning the Guthrie songs directly from him. In fact, Dylans first NYC gig was billed as Son of Jack Elliott.

Dylan, of course, eventually rose to prominence through his poetic compositions, moving from acoustic folk music to electric rock and roll (literally overnight), while Elliott continued as an interpretive troubadour, bringing old songs to new audiences in an idiosyncratic manner.

Whats great about both of these legends is that theyre still around and still relevant. Dylan turned 65 in May and is still recording critically acclaimed music, and Jack Elliott, nearly 75 has his first new album in seven years, called I Stand Alone, which is also getting rave reviews.

You learn something new every day.