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  • T.H.E. Show Newport Beach: 30 May 2014 - 1 Jun 2014

T.H.E. Show Newport Beach

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SoCalWJS

Re: T.H.E. Show Newport Beach
« Reply #40 on: 31 May 2014, 01:48 pm »



Agree with you on this one. The Hegel room sounded surprisingly good. I got the sweet spot and could have sat there for a long time. My wife was towards the back of the room though and afterwards when we talked, I was surprised by her comments. She said she could not hear the more distant speaker (she was off center), so I'll definitely go back and wander around the room and see if it's an issue, but in the meantime, definitely the surprise highlight of the day.

capwkidd

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Re: T.H.E. Show Newport Beach
« Reply #41 on: 31 May 2014, 03:29 pm »

The Nordost presentation was impressive.  The system had good synergy to begin with, but when they started swapping out cables it got interesting.  I'm sorry I couldn't keep track of each of the cable models.  Basically I was there while they demonstrated each tier of interconnects just from the DAC to the integrated amp.  None of them sounded bad.  Starting with the least expensive and working their way up, the sound got better and better and it wasn't subtle.  Particularly the third cable they put in the system - the red one - this was a dual monofilament copper coated with silver and an air dialectic.  It seems this air dialectic really made the difference.  Hey, and at just under $800 SHOW PRICE!.... stone cold bargain?  Only you and your accountant can determine that.  If you have any doubts cabling makes a difference, don't miss this demo. - - Oh, and they were playing an artist I hadn't heard before and she was really great - Kat Edmonson.  She sounds a lot like Blossom Dearie.


Whew! Hard to edit on an iPad! Since I am not a big believer is cable differences, I guess I better check out the demo....

Give some love to the Pietra Audio room 903..... Nice guys with some good sounding speakers... And first time at the show!




capwkidd

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Re: T.H.E. Show Newport Beach
« Reply #42 on: 31 May 2014, 04:50 pm »
Here is the Vapor Audio room 1001 (for you binary fans ;))...



Still figuring out how to import photos from camera and phone into Light Room mobile on the iPad, then post them here!

abernardi

Re: T.H.E. Show Newport Beach
« Reply #43 on: 1 Jun 2014, 07:08 am »
Day 2






Indeed, the Vapor Audio/Empirical Audio room.  It wasn't sounding so great yesterday when I first dropped by, but today it totally turned around.  This is a sweet setup.  Empirical has come up with a new DAC and passive transformer.  The DAC has already received great feedback and Steve said the latest iteration is even better.  Great sound




Woo Audio makes amps that not only sound great but look great.  They had a whole room dedicated to headphone amps.  I believe this is the top of the line - Monoblocks driving the Abyss!  Right out of Metropolis.  Oh, and it sounded great too!






The Devialet from France.  I hadn't seen these before and they're a pretty impressive lifestyle statement.  Maybe even more than that, I'm not 100% sure.  I thought at first it was another version of a Synergistic Research Tranquility Base.  It's actually a Streamer, DAC and integrated amp in this super thin mirror finished square form.  I've never seen anything like it.  They were demoing the monoblock versions, which is two of their 120 wpc amps bridged for mono.  They have something like 4 variations differing mosty in power output from 120 wpc to 800(!)wpc.  Apparently it has two amps, one class A amp that controls the output voltage and a class D for current.  It also has profiles for specific speakers and does some DSP voodoo to feed the speaker the perfect signal for that specific speaker.  Right now it's only doing this for 150Hz on down I believe.  The remote is gorgeous, Apple - eat your heart out!  It's got all kinds of connectivity, wired and wireless.  I found it hard to judge the sound.  They were feeding Focal speakers and they had that Focal sound.  Nothing popped out at me as wrong, but nothing popped out as extraordinary either.  I need to listen again - It's very cool and worth a look.








This was one of my favorite rooms.  This is the Ginko room with equipment I've not seen or heard of before - except of course for that awesome Lampi.  The sound was the most 3D I've heard at the show, it was like you were looking through a window into Billy Holiday's vocal chords.  Well, maybe not a great image, but I hope you get the idea.  Incredible depth and layers.  The only bad thing I found was a little brightness, but nothing that hurt.










This is another favorite room for me.  This is Sal Zambrano's Audio Summa room.  His analogue front end was nearly perfect.  The new Kuzma cartridge was a lot of bang for the buck.  He was driving a pair of Silverline's $13,000 speakers (can't remember the model!!!!) with a BEL 1001 MkV amp, one of my favorite amps.  BTW, he is now able to upgrade previous versions of the BEL amps to the MkV which is great news for BEL owners.  The other cool thing he had in the room was this little system from HRT.  That weird looking black thing is the DAC/Int.Amp.  The sound was very impressive.  Those little speakers threw out a huge soundstage.




The Sanders room was really good.  Talk about big soundstage - these were huge, MBL huge.  The low end was strong, maybe a little fat, but pleasant.  Lots and lots of detail in the midrange and highs.






The Zesto room driving TAD speakers was another great room.  Coincidentally they were playing Billy Holiday as well and it was really interesting how two different systems were reproducing her voice, which I think is a hard voice to reproduce without being harsh.  This system had a little more body, while the Ginko room had more depth.  Both were excellent.






The Napa room was showing off a sound system for one - a VERY near field monitor experience.  True, it's decadent and certainly anti-social, but it's also pretty cool.  They even had a home theater and video game setup with steering wheel & pedal controllers!  The sound was - - good.  High end?  No.  Seductive?  Yes




These Silverline monsters win the prize for most dynamic, in the SLAM - POW sense of the word.  If you like that, this is your speaker. 








The Reite Audio room was super low key and unassuming.  At first I was not particularly impressed.  But the more I listened, the more it grew on me in a big way.  I realized after a while it had it all.  It wasn't a "LOOK AT ME" system.  I'd describe it as organic and cohesive.  I then realized it was the first time I really liked the YG speakers.  There were at least two other rooms with these speakers and I just did not like them, they were flat and held back.  But with the Reite electronics they really sang.  Great room!

Some last notes for the day:

I got to listen to the ADL (Furtech) H-118 headphones and their $500 portable DAC/Amp and they sounded really really good!  They have a new model headphone coming out at almost twice the price - not to my taste.  Their IEMs were really good too.  I was frankly surprised because I thought I had heard some negative feedback on these.  But they're really good, I'd buy them.

I sat in on a Synergistic Research demo of their Tranquility base and they definitely made a difference.  However this year, even though they were in the same room running top of the line gear, the sound was pretty harsh.  But I'm convinced that was just a matter of not being able to set up the room properly and doesn't detract from the fact that this stuff really works.

And finally, I listened to a bunch of cuts recorded on the IsoMike.  If you don't know about this, check it out at isomike.com.  I ended up buying 3 discs, it's some of the best recorded sound I've ever heard.

SoCalWJS

Re: T.H.E. Show Newport Beach
« Reply #44 on: 1 Jun 2014, 02:42 pm »
If you are at the Show and have the opportunity for something a little different, stop by the Seaton Sound room for a multi channel/HT Demo that is absolutely insane. 5 Catalyst 8c's and 4 Submersives in a standard sized hotel room. Incredible regular demo where the impact was unbelievable, yet with a sense of ease and headroom.

.... but the 6PM demo where he turned it up?  :o :icon_twisted:

The line from The Italian Job comes to mind - "What are you gonna do with your share?". "I'm going to buy Speakers that can blow the clothes off of a woman"

If I were in the market for a dedicated HT and had the budget, an absolute no-brainer. Sounded pretty good on multi channel music too!

 :icon_twisted: :icon_twisted:

Crossoverless

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Re: T.H.E. Show Newport Beach
« Reply #45 on: 1 Jun 2014, 03:21 pm »
 Can you please give us a report on the Wavetouch Audio speakers at the Atrium Hotel, room 231  :thumb: THANK YOU

mgalusha

Re: T.H.E. Show Newport Beach
« Reply #46 on: 2 Jun 2014, 02:48 am »
Unlike most folks, I didn't snap a lot of photos but did have a chance to visit a lot of the rooms. I'm not a good note taker, so what I remember are the ones I liked. For me this is a sound that is extended, clean, dynamic, lacking bass boom and non fatiguing. I'm not good at long dissertations on each systems strengths and weaknesses.  :roll:

I really liked the big horns in the USA Tube Audio room, that system made me happy and I visited three times. They had a couple of outboard subs in a finish matching the horns, the bass was extended but smooth. Like all horns they were effortless in the realm of dynamics and I didn't find any obnoxious horn coloration. Probably my favorite room of the show, not something I believe I've ever said about a horn based system before. I think they were called Tineo but that isn't certain.



I enjoyed the LampizatOr room quite a bit, more-so on Sunday that Saturday, the presentation was just a little more relaxed on Sunday. I think it was S/PDIF input to the DAC on Saturday and USB today.

The Brinkman/BAT/Nordost/Rockport system in the Cake Audio room was very nice, at least when I was there. They were playing vinyl and I stayed until the record was over, just loving it.

Friday I was able to visit the Border Patrol/Triode Labs/Volti room and snag the center seat, very nice indeed. Just a touch of horn coloration but of course the dynamics were off the chart. Talking with Gary Dews and Greg Roberts was a pleasure and they were playing some excellent, non audio show approved Jazz.  :thumb:

The Sony DSD room was quite nice and I had serious amp lust for the one of a kind Pass Labs VFET amps Nelson Pass built for Sony.

I visited the dc10 room on Friday, while it was OK the sound was a bit too forward. I really liked their setup in 2013 at RMAF, one of my favorites of that show so I made sure to visit in Newport. OK but also kind of meh.

Of course a visit to the AudioKinesis room was in order. I was quite disappointed on Friday as the top end was decidedly rolled off. I wasn't sure what the problem was but an idea suggested itself to me this morning prior to leaving for the show. Sitting down for a listen was pleasantly surprising, all of the highs that were MIA on Friday was present, not bright or forward, just complete. i told James and the other gentlemen who's name escapes me at the moment that I found it sorely lacking on Friday and they said nothing had changed. I asked if they had been using 32 or 8 ohm mode on Friday and if it was different today, indeed it was in 32 ohm mode on Friday and 8 ohm mode today, with the 300B amp they were using, the impedance change may have caused the shift but it may well have been something else. I can say that what I heard today was very nice, well balanced, dynamic and had the great spatial presentation their LCS system provides.

I was able to hear the new speakers from Fritz Speakers, very nice but I have kind of a "thing" for larger speakers, so I wanted more. :)

If anything else comes to mind I'll post more but like all audio shows I've been to, meeting old friends, online only buddies and making new friends was the best part. I had the pleasure of meeting Fred A (gopher), Rob R (berto) and Russ S (Russtafarian) and spent more than my share of time talking with these guys. Wish they lived closer, good dudes to hang out with.

mike

James Romeyn

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Re: T.H.E. Show Newport Beach
« Reply #47 on: 2 Jun 2014, 04:35 am »
Re. Duke LeJeune's AudioKinesis 46 loudspeaker I helped represent in the Electra-Fidelity room 920.  First, my great thanks to Tony Chipelo of Electra-Fidelity for his wonderful hospitality and professional help in making our room a success.   

The last block from my hotel room to the Hilton this morning I walked with Tim de Paravicini, one of the nicest people you'll every meet.  He is frank and generous in his conversation about audio and the history of same regarding the people who invented it such as Blumlein and others.  Of course I encouraged him to visit and he was ever so kind to sit down for a brief listen later in the day.  His description as he left was, "Brilliant!"  Hey, I'll take a half syllable from this gentleman! 

Robert E. Greene awarded Duke/AudioKinesis his Golden Ear Award back in 2008 at TAS magazine.  He visited yesterday briefly, then  sat down for almost an hour today.  He kept looking at his watch saying he should leave, but couldn't tear himself away.  On the one hand I felt bad...OTOH I'm not kicking REG out of our room even if pays me!  Robert is concert violinist in case you didn't know.  We listened to music on which Robert performed, which was a great and rare treat. 

Robert tutored Russel Crowe for Russel's violin scenes in Master And Commander (Russel actually learned to play), and besides being math PhD. at USC, Robert also was Russel's dialect coach for A Beautiful Mind.  (Robert also works to solve world hunger in his free time.../sarc off)  Robert said Russel is not the bad boy which some take him to be, but is rather one of the hardest working persons Robert has met.  Robert made at least a dozen or more favorable comments about Zephrin 46.  We hope for a review later.   

Thanks for all who made time to visit our room, especially members here.  Again, it was a great privilege to work with Tony and also the Electra-Fidelity designer/builder Jack Elliano, an "old school" guy who reminds me of the interesting guys I used to work with in the 70s and early-mid 80s in San Francisco. 

abernardi

Re: T.H.E. Show Newport Beach
« Reply #48 on: 2 Jun 2014, 05:30 am »
Day 3

Kind of baked today and spent most of my time at the Headphonium's.  And sorry, pics just didn't seem to happen. 

Hifiman's new HE-560, the upgrade to the 500 is really really good.

ADL (Furtech) had some really nice inexpensive headphones and a gorgeous portable DAC/Amp that sounded great.

For closed cans, I was loving the Audeze LCD-XC and Mr. Speaker's Alpha Dogs

For custom IEM's, the JHAudio Roxanne's were excellent and the Noble Audio Kaiser 10 was outstanding. 

For universal IEM's, you can get the Roxanne's as a universal.  At the Noble table he had a couple of interesting universals, the FR and the PR.  They're switchable so you can get two different sounds depending on your mood or the material.  The R is for reference and it's very neutral and actually fairly lacking in bass to my ears, but very good none the less.  The F is a little like loudness, adding in some bass.  But it was a little muddy to me.  The P was very exciting.  While the F and R are single armature drivers, the P has two balanced armature drivers and and the impedance is increased from 30Ohms to 240Ohms.  So you need some more juice for this setting but it really pays off with a much tighter, detailed and more fleshed out sound.  I loved everything about it except the high end was a little bright for my taste.  However, it wasn't painfully bright.  It smacked of the Sennheiser 800's.

I won't go into specifics on the electronics only to say that Cavelli is my next headphone amp when I'm rich, Centrance had some seriously useful gear and Jason Stoddard keeps making better and better Schiit, awesome bang for the buck!


Later in the day I got to hear CIA's new entry level amp on some Von Schweikert bookshelf speakers and it sounded great.  The vocals were very forward and full.  It was great gabbing amplifier and speaker design with Dusty over some excellent home brewed beer - He's a brewmaster in his spare time BTW!

I then dropped into the Walker/Raidho room.  Wow!  I'm not sure what to say about this room.  The image was huge.  Actually everything was huge, physically and aurally.  Those two piece Pass amps were bigger than I'd imagined.  There was an unfortunate low end standing wave that threw me off.  I think there was just too much speaker for that little room, the low end energy it was pushing out was massive.  Like the little Raidho's I heard on Friday, these too had a unique sound that I've not come across before.  Had a real pleasant conversation with Frank Dickens about the sound and he seemed to understand exactly what I was talking about.  He said it took a while to get used to the sound of this speaker, but he quickly became a true believer.  I'd like to hear these in a bigger room.  I couldn't fairly judge the Walker turntable ($105,000!), but Lloyd Walker himself was very impressive.

Kind of stumbling out of the room I crossed the hall and found myself in the Larsen Speakers room.  Here were these wild looking, beautifully finished short floorstanders pushed up against a wall with a midrange driver angled kind of sideways and pointing up over my head and a tweeter crammed into the crease near the top of the cabinet pointing about 45 degrees sideways playing some (God forbid!!!!) Dianna Krall, no room treatment whatsoever and I was immediately entranced!  Almost the antithesis of the huge image from the Raidho room, these were intimate and beautiful.  Maybe it was the beer, but I really think these are special.

And then as I was leaving I stumbled onto the Seaton room that SoCalWJS mentioned and I think that was the most powerful - raw powerful - system I've ever heard.  And like him, it was after 6pm and the volume went WAY UP - Stadium concert levels - Billy Cobham wailing on the drums - OMFG!  That was a great way to end the weekend.

It was a great weekend meeting new people and catching up with others, great friendly conversations and so much fun to geek out on audio tech talk that I don't get to do in my real life!  Thanks to ALL who made it possible!

SoCalWJS

Re: T.H.E. Show Newport Beach
« Reply #49 on: 2 Jun 2014, 02:42 pm »
Can you please give us a report on the Wavetouch Audio speakers at the Atrium Hotel, room 231  :thumb: THANK YOU

These?




I don't really like saying this, but they were not my cup of tea.....

They were very much on the lean side, lacking body on vocals for my taste in music. This was very evident when they played Simon & Garfunkel's Canticle. The other two members of my group that listened to them had the same opinion. We all came to the conclusion that we would have liked to play around with the setup a bit and seen if different positioning could have helped, but you have to trust the vendor to get them into the best possible location. We went through fairly late in the day on Sunday, so we'll have to assume that they were as happy as they could be and it was something that just couldn't be overcome in that particular room.

There were no room treatments that I saw (or photographed) and this may have contributed to the issue. (This was a bad trend - last year we noticed an increase in the number of rooms with good treatment - it looked like fewer this year  :( )

santacore

Re: T.H.E. Show Newport Beach
« Reply #50 on: 2 Jun 2014, 05:01 pm »
I also heard the Wavetouch Sunday afternoon. Although not my cup of tea, I thought they did a lot of things right for such a small speaker. Dynamics and detail seemed to be their strong suit. Bass was good for a speaker of that size, but not memorable. Imaging seemed good, but it was a little hard to tell being off to the side. Overall it seemed like a fun little speaker.

Russtafarian

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Re: T.H.E. Show Newport Beach
« Reply #51 on: 2 Jun 2014, 06:16 pm »
Wow! What a great weekend.  I'll post more comments later, but one of the highlights for me was hearing the Benchmark amp in my own system.  Rory Rall graciously allowed me to take his back-up amp home Friday night.  Paired with my DAC2 HGC, I was pretty stunned by what I heard.  I expected quiet, resolution & transparency.  What I didn't expect was the way the system relaxed and allowed the music to just flow. Playing the new Beck LP, the amp revealed a whole new layer of chorused vocals, reverb trails and swirling ambient space.  Pretty impressive. 

The other Benchmark moment I'll share was at Mark Waldrep's AIX table.  Mark had an Oppo player sending identical feeds to a Benchmark DAC2 HGC and an Oppo HA-1 DAC/ headphone amp with Oppo PM-1 headphones plugged into each.  Once levels were set, comparing the two DACS was as easy as swapping phones.  After listening back and forth for a few minutes, I looked at Mark and asked "am I hearing what I think I'm hearing?" He just nodded and smiled.  The DAC2 was doing a much better job of driving the PM-1's than the HA-1.  Ouch!

Call me a fan boy, but the more time I spend with Benchmark products, the more I'm impressed.  Thanks to Mal Kenney of Part-Time Audiophile for snapping this shot of Rory & I.





simoon

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Re: T.H.E. Show Newport Beach
« Reply #52 on: 3 Jun 2014, 02:30 am »
Another great show!

Made better because I won a Magules Magenta FZ47 phono stage in one of the drawings.

Some of the standout rooms -

The Katli Audio showing the new Usher X Towers, driven by Pas Labs amps. Very detailed, dynamic and great image.

The Vapor room. Very impressive this year, again.

The active Grimm Audio speakers were, beguiling. Very 3d image.

Pietra's 700 pound granite speakers seemed very neutral and detailed.

I'll post more of my impressions later.
 

Duke

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Re: T.H.E. Show Newport Beach
« Reply #53 on: 3 Jun 2014, 03:29 am »
Of course a visit to the AudioKinesis room was in order. I was quite disappointed on Friday as the top end was decidedly rolled off. I wasn't sure what the problem was but an idea suggested itself to me this morning prior to leaving for the show. Sitting down for a listen was pleasantly surprising, all of the highs that were MIA on Friday was present, not bright or forward, just complete. i told James and the other gentlemen who's name escapes me at the moment that I found it sorely lacking on Friday and they said nothing had changed. I asked if they had been using 32 or 8 ohm mode on Friday and if it was different today, indeed it was in 32 ohm mode on Friday and 8 ohm mode today, with the 300B amp they were using, the impedance change may have caused the shift but it may well have been something else. I can say that what I heard today was very nice, well balanced, dynamic and had the great spatial presentation their LCS system provides.

Thanks for stopping by twice Mike, and thanks for posting your impressions.

I agree with your observation about the lack of highs in the 32 ohm configuration.  That can be addressed by changing the resistors in cups on the back of the cabinet, but unfortunately I didn't come up with suggested resistor values for the 32 ohm configuration before sending the speakers off to the show.   My bad.   But glad to hear the 8 ohm configuration used the next day was working well.   

bdp24

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Re: T.H.E. Show Newport Beach
« Reply #54 on: 3 Jun 2014, 06:49 am »
   I'll just add my two cents worth on the two rooms I found most noteworthy, and in completely different ways. First, Dan Meinwald in his Ear U.S.A. room had what I thought was the best sound I heard all weekend in one particular way. The instruments and voices in the recordings Dan played on the Ear system had more body, more flesh and blood presence of the musicians and their instruments, standing in front, between, around, and behind the speakers, than in any other room I visited. One could "see" the drumset, the stand-up bass, and the saxophone, fully fleshed-out, each instrument reproduced in 3D. In fact, I heard the buzzing reed in the mouthpiece of the sax, and the bell of the sax below, with the full tone of the instrument coming out of it. VERY lifelike. The sound of those same instruments sounded wispy, thin, and insubstantial in other rooms.
   Then there was the Seaton room. I've played through a lot of P.A. sound systems in my life, and heard a lot of music from the other side of the stage, and the Seaton speakers/subs struck me as being nothing more than a really good, clean sound reinforcement system. Great for Home Theater perhaps, but for music reproduction? I don't think so.
« Last Edit: 3 Jun 2014, 04:24 pm by bdp24 »

Cheeseboy

Re: T.H.E. Show Newport Beach
« Reply #55 on: 3 Jun 2014, 04:30 pm »
That was fun.  Thank you John ( SoCalWJS) and Anne for hosting again.  Anne you have become quite the audiophile.  John, your insights and keen ear are a great compass when attending this event.



James Romeyn

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Re: T.H.E. Show Newport Beach
« Reply #56 on: 3 Jun 2014, 05:07 pm »
It's late Saturday, maybe 5:30pm.  Tony had just returned with a nice drink of whiskey in the requisite clear plastic cup employed for free drinks at shows such as this (a big thank you to that vendor).  I quickly confirm the room number for this kind and generous vendor, and stop in our bathroom to wash my hands and head in that vendor's direction.   

When I exit the bathroom, a new visitor sits in our sweet spot chair named Ira.  Ira expresses high interest in Zephrin 46 to Tony Chipelo, who kindly points Ira in my direction.  Ira has my full attention, telling me he has patent on a speaker like "this," and in this case, "this" happens to be a speaker shaped like a "cobra."  Ira makes very clear he talks only about the external cosmetic architecture.  I'm as happily relieved Ira describes nothing related to our LCS architecture as I am utterly baffled that he says Zephrin 46 replicates the shape of a cobra in it's pre-strike position.  I ask Ira if he noticed the Z shape and the name Zephrin, to which Ira replies, "Well, people can say whatever they want."

It took only seconds for my experience with Ira to change from a desire to please to that desire for the pain to stop while the dentist injects his needle.  So I did what anyone would do.  I put it all on Duke, and directed him to the company called AudioKinesis.  Ira holds up his hand as if he's holding an imaginary writing instrument in the air, and requests me to write down the name.  My eyes role while I wonder if someone stuck a huge "WALK HERE!" sign on my back.  I think to myself I'd as soon gouge my eye out as perform such favor, but I did point Ira toward the show system list on a piece of paper near the entrance.  I stand up and leave to get my drink and never see him again.

Tony later told me that Ira asked Tony what happened to the gentleman (me), and Tony replied that he thought I left to get a drink.

I remember about forty years ago, when the Japanese started in earnest to make and sell V-twin cruisers, Harley Davidson tried to patent or trademark the look and sound of their bikes.   

   

Cheeseboy

Re: T.H.E. Show Newport Beach
« Reply #57 on: 3 Jun 2014, 06:59 pm »
Along the Same lines.  Thanks to Cliff (Shotoons) for helping me to understand the term "Peaty" as it relates to good scotch.  I learned alot about scotch and headphones on this trip.  So many to choose from. 



I hope these are in my future




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Audiotool

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Re: T.H.E. Show Newport Beach
« Reply #58 on: 3 Jun 2014, 07:54 pm »
Hello all!

This is my first post here and thought I would share a couple of thoughts on my time at the Newport Show this year.

I live the LA area and was able to attend each day.


It seemed to me that with exception of the large event room systems almost every room had too much unbalanced bass energy and sometimes well into the upper bass/low mid. The Vapor room was sweet and expansive but still boomy. The horn speakers in the room directly across the hall (I could not find the name in my notes) were about as spot on balanced as you could hope for. I saw room treatment in most rooms that mostly altered how the room was 'unbalanced' (deadening) some frequencies. While trying to reduce standing waves they absorbed some of the life of the music. I didn't see enough high quality real diffusers, mostly just absorption, and not used properly which created other issues. Without room correction you're better off working with room boundaries more creatively and using less correction tools which can suck the life out of the music. The MSB room in the Atrium was tremendously natural sounding (when I was there) clear as a bell, expansive and completely not irritating. It had a lot of the relaxation qualities associated with good vinyl. The glass super8 was tremendous (again when I was there) maybe the best all around this year. But the price tag! Youch. Napa for a small inexpensive speaker was a price point leader. A friend bought a pair on the spot. Back at the Atrium just down the hall from the MSB room was the biggest surprise of the show for us. We visited this room several times throughout the day on Sunday because it was sound staging and creating palpable harmonic richness and depth with purity that (when we were there) was among the best I have ever heard ...in my life! This was a noticeably humble set up. The bass was more than satisfying and articulate, although the speakers were a bit small for the room. It may sound strange but perhaps having ten to twelve full grown adults in the room actually helped to load the room better for these diminutive speakers. But all things being equal, (With the better recordings) these small speakers were as convincingly realistic/ natural, articulate, dimensional/ palpable and non fatiguing as anything I ever heard from (any) small speaker. In fact my friend who bought the little Napa's also is ordering a pair these to ship back to St. Louis, MO. On the last visit to the room at the completion of one of the best new tracks I've heard so far this year (A high powered Spanish percussive, melodic work of art) as two gentlemen were leaving one turned around and told the proprietors there they had just heard that same track in a room that had $300,000 worth of gear "and this blew it away." We all were pretty impressed with what we heard. Back in the Hilton I was hoping to hear the big TAD's but too many people wanted the same thing. I will say that many rooms I wanted to get into were just too busy which is partly why we ended up at the Atrium more. Although it was just as busy most of the time it seemed to be more congenial and relaxed. If we had not gone back we wouldn't have spent as much time in the Wavetouch room. As a completion to my first post and brief show commentary I have to say that the other big surprise for me was the great food at the Hokkaido Seafood Buffet just down the street from the hotels, wonderful!!

Thanks for reading!



jhm731

Re: T.H.E. Show Newport Beach
« Reply #59 on: 3 Jun 2014, 08:17 pm »

Robert made at least a dozen or more favorable comments about Zephrin 46.  We hope for a review later.   

Other than the Harbeth M40s, what speakers that REG has given a favorable review have been a commercial success?

Just in case you haven't seen it, here's his listening room: