RMAF 2017 Show Coverage Thread

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Vinnie R.

RMAF 2017 Show Coverage Thread
« on: 10 Oct 2017, 02:40 am »
All,

I have returned from RMAF 2017, and it was another excellent show this year!  :)

Being that I was exhibiting in two different rooms at RMAF, I will mix show coverage of both rooms in this thread.

Room 3018:  LIO Integrated Amp with Spatial Audio and ANTIcables

- Clayton Shaw's personal LIO (with AVC/Tubestage and DAC 2.0 module), with direct connection to his
Macbook via Anticables USB Level 3.1 cable.

- Spatial's new X2 prototype loudspeakers, wired with Anticables Level 5 Signature speaker cables.




Room 3021:  LIO with Harbeth Loudspeakers and Acoustic Signature turntables.

- LIO DHT Integrated Amp (PX-4 tubes, DAC 2.0 with direct USB connect to Macbook, LIO Phonostage)
- Harbeth's new M30.2 "40th Anniversary" loudspeakers on Ton Trager stands, wired with Triode Wire Lab's speaker cable.
- Acoustic Signature Manfred Mk2 turntable, TA-1000 arm, and MM3 cartridge



I'll be sure to post more soon... right now I need to catch up on many emails, and precious sleep!  :sleep:

Many thanks to everyone who visited our rooms, and to everyone for posting your listening impressions in this thread and elsewhere!

 :notworthy: :beer:

Vinnie

Vinnie R.

Re: RMAF 2017 Show Coverage Thread
« Reply #1 on: 10 Oct 2017, 03:05 am »
Well, I am not surprised to see the first coverage coming from our very own Audiocircle member, Tyson:

http://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=153128.0

Quote from: tyson
Actual Best in Show, IMO.  The Vinnie Rossi / Spatial Audio room.  Vinnie of course always knocks it out of the park.  And I've always like Spatial speakers in the past.  But the combo of these 2 was something special.  True synergy and easily the best sound at RMAF this year, IMO

Considering that this room was mostly closed  all day on Friday (I think Clayton ate some aweful gas station sushi or burrito on his long drive down to Denver and was incredibly sick when I saw him Friday AM  :icon_frown:), I was just so thankful that around 11pm on Friday night, Clayton called me and he was up and walking again and wanted to fine tune the room with me.  I knew if he got rest all day on Friday, he'd have a better chance of being 'ok' for the rest of the show to demo the room.   It looks like that sure did the trick and he had a dynamite show on Saturday and Sunday!  8)


And just when you think Tyson couldn't have delivered more coverage, I found this post in Triode Wire Labs's forum:

http://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=153114.0

Quote from: Tyson
Your room sounded awesome.   I would have put it in my half-assed show coverage in the RMAF circle, but for 3 reasons - first I stupidly did not take a pic while I was there.  Second, Jason and I had already posted ecstatically about the Rossi/Harbeth room last year.  Third, the Rossi/Spatial room kind of took the spotlight for us this year.

But I'll say this - when we were there it was so packed that we had to take the crappy seats all the way on the left side of the room.  Up against the wall, actually.  And from the shittiest seat in the room it STILL sounded amazing.  I actually turned to Jason in amazement and said something along the lines of "How they hell do they DO this?  Every year it's amazing.  Vinnie should get some kind of lifetime achievement award for best rooms at RMAF."  So yeah, we liked the room :thumb:


A tremendous thanks to Tyson and Pez for visiting both of my rooms this year!  I'm sorry I couldn't get to talk more.  It was very packed in the smaller room that I was in with the Harbeth speakers (room 3021) most of the day on Saturday, but I'm lad you guys still were able to stop by and visit as I know you cover a lot in a little amount of time and it is grueling.

Vinnie

pankon

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Re: RMAF 2017 Show Coverage Thread
« Reply #2 on: 10 Oct 2017, 03:23 am »
I’m very intrigued by the fact that nobody posts lukewarm impressions about Vinnie’s products. All comments range from ‘very positive’ to ‘ecstatic’.  Congratulations, Vinnie!

Now, about the two rooms, all other things being more or less equal (i.e. referring to amplification), I wonder how would the sound of the two speaker see sets compare: Spatial vs Harbeth...?

Thanks in advance for any feedback.

Vinnie R.

Re: RMAF 2017 Show Coverage Thread
« Reply #3 on: 10 Oct 2017, 04:02 am »
I’m very intrigued by the fact that nobody posts lukewarm impressions about Vinnie’s products. All comments range from ‘very positive’ to ‘ecstatic’.  Congratulations, Vinnie!


Hi pankon,

Thank you!

Lol - I've received my fair share of lukewarm demo room impressions during my Red Wine Audio days.  :duh: :oops:

I started exhibiting at trade shows in 2005, and have been doing a handful of them each and every year.  Some of you might be tired of seeing me by now.   :P   I have received lots of feedback from show attendees and members of the press over the years.  I've made my mistakes.  I tried my best to learn from them.

The same goes with the design of my products and getting them to sonically perform better and better with each and every iteration - even in challenging rooms such as hotel rooms (for example, why you will see some of my rooms set up on the diagonal.  I try setting up each way I can in a room, listening to the trade-offs, and deciding what works best with the room and show conditions).

When somebody has a CD, LP or USB stick with music that they are familiar with, I play it.  Even it is not well recorded, sometimes an
attendee wants to hear how the system handles the imperfections in the recording.  Play it!  If it is not my type of music, it's no problem.  I come to these shows to meet people, let them have a good listen to my current designs, and to have a fun time being a small part of this industry.  If my passion comes through by the way the music is presented at these hotel shows and it makes a strong connection with the ears of (hopefully many) show attendees, then to me the show was well worth my time, effort, and expense and I cannot ask for more. 

Quote
Now, about the two rooms, all other things being more or less equal (i.e. referring to amplification), I wonder how would the sound of the two speaker see sets compare: Spatial vs Harbeth...?

Thanks in advance for any feedback.

The Spatial room this year was about 2x the size of the room I was demoing the Harbeths in, as it was a suite with built-in kitchen.  The room acoustics were quite different.  IMO, at least 50% of what you are hearing is the room that the system is placed in.  And I did not get nearly as much time in listening to the X2s in the LIO/Spatial room as I did being 3 days in the LIO/Harbeth room.  So I'm not sure I'm in a good position to compare how the X2 prototype speakers sound vs the Harbeth M30.2's.  :wink:

Let's first see if others who have listened to both rooms will chime in on this thread regarding your question.  I can later share with you some my personal impressions of how the Spatials that I am very familiar with (X1, and M3TM) compare to Harbeths of similar MSRP.   

Thanks again,

Vinnie

pankon

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Re: RMAF 2017 Show Coverage Thread
« Reply #4 on: 10 Oct 2017, 05:31 am »
...I started exhibiting at trade shows in 2005... I've made my mistakes.  I tried my best to learn from them.

If my passion comes through by the way the music is presented at these hotel shows and it makes a strong connection with the ears of (hopefully many) show attendees, then to me the show was well worth my time, effort, and expense and I cannot ask for more.

Vinnie,

IMHO, being able to make a profession out of your personal interest is a unique present, that few people are lucky enough to have. Furthermore, seeing one's efforts eventually pay off, especially after hard work and when things have not come easily, then that's one of the most rewarding things in life. So, well done! You are definitely on the right track and I am pretty confident that you will continue in that direction  :thumb:


...IMO, at least 50% of what you are hearing is the room that the system is placed in...

Oh, yes, the contribution of any room is immense. That's why I prefer to listen to music in a nearfield setup, having the speakers not more than 1.2-1.5m from my listening position. In this way I eliminate the sonic influence of the room. I understand that not all people have the freedom to place their speakers so close, but if they try it, many will be positively impressed (or even negatively sometimes). In any case, nearfield listening requires very, very good integration between the speaker drivers and not all speakers have that important trait.
 
...  I can later share with you some my personal impressions of how the Spatials that I am very familiar with (X1, and M3TM) compare to Harbeths of similar MSRP...

Vinnie

Looking forward to your views about the Spatial / Harbeth comparison, especially with LIO's DHT component.

Vinnie R.

Re: RMAF 2017 Show Coverage Thread
« Reply #5 on: 11 Oct 2017, 06:11 pm »
DaveC's "Best of RMAF 2017" thread:

http://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=153186.0


Quote from: DaveC113
Vinnie Rossi and Harbeth

Vinnie Rossi showing off his Lio and Harbeth speakers. I liked the sound a lot, it was much more like the system he showed in 2015 with the 40.2s... I did not like the Harbeths shown last year, too dark for me, but I can see the appeal. So these are 30.2s, the same as the 40.2s just without the 12" woofers. The performance from these small 2-way monitors is extraordinary, I don't know how they can do it... it does a great job of imaging, they portray clearly and separately every instrument or voice in the soundstage in a way very few speakers can regardless of price, and they can do this with recordings most systems make into a muddy mess. I've heard TAD pull of something similar in a $300k system... this is <$20k for the Lio and 30.2s. If I was looking for a monitor type speaker this would be at the top of my list and a complete integrated like the Lio is perfect for a speaker system like this too. It's like a "lifestyle" system that's far better than any other I've heard including Diavalet Phantom and Kii 3s that cost a lot more.

For those looking for a smaller system... you can even call it a lifestyle system with the Lio doing just about everything... this blows away the Diavalet Phantom, Kii 3, and pretty much every other system of the type I've heard. It does some things as well as cost-no-object systems. Seriously impressive. I remember Vinnie getting a lot of accolades and awards for RMAF 2015 with the Harbeth 40.2s, this is basically the same without the 12" woofers and it probably works even better for show conditions vs the 40.2s.


Photo Credit:  DaveC113


Photo Credit:  DaveC113


Photo Credit:  DaveC113


Photo Credit:  DaveC113


Like Tyson and Pez, I want to thank DaveC113 for visiting at RMAF and taking the time to carefully listen, year after year, and post his
show impressions and stunning photography here on Audiocircle - it is deeply appreciated!  :notworthy:

Most importantly, I'm glad you enjoyed it! 

Thanks again!

Vinnie

LesterSleepsIn

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Re: RMAF 2017 Show Coverage Thread
« Reply #6 on: 11 Oct 2017, 06:36 pm »
Lovely rooms, Vinnie, congrats.
The Harbeth's are on Ton Trager stands and the stands seem to be on a raised base. Is the base part of the stands? What other stands have you used in shows and which do you prefer?
Cheers,
Lester

Vinnie R.

Re: RMAF 2017 Show Coverage Thread
« Reply #7 on: 11 Oct 2017, 06:54 pm »
Lovely rooms, Vinnie, congrats.
The Harbeth's are on Ton Trager stands and the stands seem to be on a raised base. Is the base part of the stands? What other stands have you used in shows and which do you prefer?
Cheers,
Lester

Hi Lester,

Thank you!

I have the Ton Trager stands on Ton Trager slate bases.  But under the bases, I used some wood blocks / spikes with the sole purpose of raising the height of the speakers.  I wish I could have raised them another 3 inches or so, but didn't have anything else available to do so.  :duh:

With Harbeth, I have used Resonant Woods stands in the past and they are also excellent.  If any of these stand companies can offer adjustable stands, they would probably become my favorite.  IMO, getting the proper speaker height is essential to getting the best results. 

Some will joke with me about how I had the Harbeth SHL5plus on marble top hotel end tables at AXPONA 2017.  I'm sorry, but the stands that I was provided were way too low and the hotel end tables were solid and the perfect height.... and the soundstage height, width, and depth completely locked into focus when the height was set correctly:
http://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=149939.0

Vinnie

mr_bill

Re: RMAF 2017 Show Coverage Thread
« Reply #8 on: 11 Oct 2017, 07:00 pm »
Vinnie - congrats on the LIO!  It consistently gets stellar reviews and comments!

A question for you: since you have used both the Super HL5 Plus and the 30.2 in your demos this year and they are both newer speakers (30.2 is brand new to market), which did you like better or what were the differences sound wise?

Vinnie R.

Re: RMAF 2017 Show Coverage Thread
« Reply #9 on: 11 Oct 2017, 07:06 pm »
http://hometheaterhifi.com/features/show-reports-film-festivals-concerts/rocky-mountain-audio-fest-2017-day-3/

Quote from: Piero Gabucci / HomeTheaterHiFi

Vinnie Rossi / Harbeth / Acoustic Signature

I did like the sound of this room hosted by Vinnie Rossi playing his LIO “Super Integrated” MOSFET amplifier with a 32-bit / 768kHz DAC section and phono stage at $13,995. The British made 40th Anniversary Edition Harbeth M30.2 at $6,495 for the pair, (stands by Ton Troger at $1,395/pair) and finally the German-made Acoustic Signature Manfred Mk2 turntable with tonearm, $4,999.

Not a surprise to note how nice this sounded. Just enough bottom end and a rich middle and upper range.



Photo Credit: Piero Gabucci / HomeTheaterHiFi

and:

Quote from: Jim Clements / HomeTheaterHiFi

Spatial Audio has been getting quite a bit of buzz in the audio world lately. And for good reason. We had a member of our local audio club play his Spatial M3’s at one of our meetings and I didn’t hear one negative comment from the group and in actual fact everybody loved what they heard of them.

Well these are Spatial’s new top line X2 Modular Speakers ($9,620). These speakers were being driven by a gorgeous sounding 25 wpc integrated, the Vinnie Rossi LiO “Super Integrated” ($12,995 as configured, DAC 2.0 installed).

The sound was eminently coherent, providing superior musicality with extreme ease. This would be the type of simple system I could live with for a long, long time. A job well done!



Photo Credit: Jim Clements / HomeTheaterHiFi

Many thanks to both Piero and Jim for your coverage and listening impressions of both rooms that LIO was featured in!  8)

Vinnie

Vinnie R.

Re: RMAF 2017 Show Coverage Thread
« Reply #10 on: 11 Oct 2017, 07:09 pm »
Vinnie - congrats on the LIO!  It consistently gets stellar reviews and comments!

A question for you: since you have used both the Super HL5 Plus and the 30.2 in your demos this year and they are both newer speakers (30.2 is brand new to market), which did you like better or what were the differences sound wise?

Hi mr_bill,

Thank you!

I am very familiar with ALL of the Harbeth speakers and how they sound with LIO.  In order to not divert this show coverage thread, feel free to email me and I'll be happy to help answer your questions.

Vinnie

Triode Pete

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Re: RMAF 2017 Show Coverage Thread
« Reply #11 on: 11 Oct 2017, 08:29 pm »
Congrats, Vinnie!!!

Well deserved (as always)!

Cheers,
Pete

pankon

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  • Posts: 27
Re: RMAF 2017 Show Coverage Thread
« Reply #12 on: 12 Oct 2017, 05:45 am »
Hi mr_bill,

Thank you!

I am very familiar with ALL of the Harbeth speakers and how they sound with LIO.  In order to not divert this show coverage thread, feel free to email me and I'll be happy to help answer your questions.

Vinnie

Vinnie,

based on your experience, what is the optimal distance of the Spatials from the listening position? And similarly, what is the optimal distance for the Harbeths?

Do you find either of the speakers easier to drive with the LIO? And I am not referring of course to driving the speakers to very loud volumes.

Thanks,

Panos

Vinnie R.

Re: RMAF 2017 Show Coverage Thread
« Reply #13 on: 12 Oct 2017, 03:27 pm »
Congrats, Vinnie!!!  Well deserved (as always)! Cheers, Pete

Thanks, Pete! 

Quote
Vinnie,

based on your experience, what is the optimal distance of the Spatials from the listening position? And similarly, what is the optimal distance for the Harbeths?

Do you find either of the speakers easier to drive with the LIO? And I am not referring of course to driving the speakers to very loud volumes.

Hi Pankon,

I received your email and will respond to the questions above in my email...

---

More show coverage, from Michael Lavorgna of Audiostream.com:

https://www.audiostream.com/content/rmaf-2017-vinnie-rossi


Photo Credit: Michael Lavorgna / Audiostream.com

Quote from: Michael Lavorgna / Audiostream.com
A number of people told me "You have to go to Vinnie's room!", so I did (I would have anyway). My notes read (without the edits), "Sounds fu*@ing amazing!"1

1. I was born and raised in NJ where fu*@ can be used as a Noun, Verb, Adjective, Adverb, Pronoun, Preposition, Conjunction, Determiner, or Exclamation, among others.

:thumb:

Thanks for visiting, Michael... and for bringing some tracks to share:

https://www.audiostream.com/content/rmaf-2017-stick

Vinnie

Vinnie R.

Re: RMAF 2017 Show Coverage Thread
« Reply #14 on: 12 Oct 2017, 04:54 pm »
https://www.stereophile.com/content/herbs-denver-day-two

Streophile's Herb Reichert visits Room 3021:

Quote from: Herb Reichert / Stereophile
...exactly the kind of sound I prefer when I'm home alone with my records. Rich and easy flowing, with superb tone character. Recordings via the Rossi/Harbeth system sounded exceptionally natural.

The Harbeths were set up perfectly: splayed diagonally between the room's long and short walls. This "askew" arrangement positioned listeners in the extreme nearfield, with the speakers at radically different distances from room boundaries. Tonal balance and vocal-instrumental impact seemed just right.


Thank you, Herb!  LIO has certainly come a long way since you first reviewed it in 2015... and "you ain't seen nothin' yet!"  8)

Vinnie

PS:  As someone who has admired the AKG K1000 approach to headphones, your report about the Mysphere3.1s caught my attention!

Vinnie R.

Re: RMAF 2017 Show Coverage Thread
« Reply #15 on: 13 Oct 2017, 04:01 pm »
Just posted:

Rafe Arnott of Part-Time Audiophile snapped some gorgeous pics of our room, here:

https://parttimeaudiophile.com/2017/10/13/rmaf-2017-vinnie-rossi-brings-the-magic-of-his-amplification-design-to-denver/

Quote from: Rafe Arnott / Part-Time Audiophile
The LIO ($13,995 USD as configured in Denver) is truly one of the most compact, supremely musical all-in-one audiophile solutions for a two-channel system I have ever come across.

...careful amp/source matching is key for best results, and the sound in this room was utterly captivating. This is listening to forget about hifi, and just lose yourself in the music.


Photo Credit: Rafe Arnott, Part-Time Audiophile

Many thanks for visiting, Rafe!

Vinnie

JackD

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Re: RMAF 2017 Show Coverage Thread
« Reply #16 on: 14 Oct 2017, 12:57 am »
Vinnie

If you are looking for adjustable speaker stands look at Reference 3A and also the ones Diapason makes for the Adamante and their other monitors.

http://www.reference3a.com/stands.html

Vinnie R.

Re: RMAF 2017 Show Coverage Thread
« Reply #17 on: 20 Oct 2017, 06:13 pm »
Vinnie

If you are looking for adjustable speaker stands look at Reference 3A and also the ones Diapason makes for the Adamante and their other monitors.

http://www.reference3a.com/stands.html

Thanks, JackD!