Florida Audio Expo 2023

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Florida Audio Expo 2023
« on: 19 Feb 2023, 06:58 pm »
I couldn't find a more relevant place I could post this, so if a moderator wants to move it, just let me know where you put it.

Just came back from the Florida Audio Expo. The two best sounding rooms IMO had Diptyque DP107 speakers and prototype Eminent Technology speakers.

The Diptyque DP107s sounded good, but because of their size height wise, you needed to be sitting to get the full frequency response. Otherwise they were great sounding speakers. The bass was impressive for their size and being a panel speaker.

In looking online at their larger models, I question whether they would provide the room filling full range sound of the larger Maggies (I have the 2.7s). I say this because they appear to use a short ribbon tweeter and my understanding is that the height of a speaker has a direct correlation to the frequency they start "beaming" at.

But overall when sitting in the sweet spot they are impressive speakers.

The Eminent Technology prototypes have built in amplifiers and a vertical array of woofers which stand next to what looks similar to the LFT 8b mid tweeter panels. The entire assembly is powered so all that is needed is a line level source. In the completely untreated hotel room we were in the sound was quite impressive. There was good sound stage when seated in a reasonable location and the speakers didn't seem to lose their full range sound when standing up & moving around the room. The bass was full without boominess.

One other positive mention about the show. I heard the best soundstage/disappearing act for a system I have ever heard.

While I do not believe it truly matters that much, the speakers were Acora Aoustics Granite speakers and the amplifiers were VAC. What I believe was most important was the room was a medium/large "ballroom" with the speakers centered in the room. They were at least 20' from any wall and about 15' apart. The listening position was centered about 15 feet from the plane of the speakers. When sitting there, there were no speakers no wall of sound just individual people & instruments arrayed before me. It was realistic imaging in height, width, depth  and scale.

A rather surprising disappointment from the show were Clarisys speakers. I like planar/open baffle designs, but the bass in both of the rooms they were displayed in was bloated, buzzy and boomy. My comment to one of the Suncoast folks who were there was "I felt I had been strapped into a 1962 Chevy lowrider with DIY subs in the trunk." Somehow he took exception to that characterization. One of the systems was in a hotel room, so I figured it was the room. The other system (Clarisys Auditorium speakers I believe) was set up in a medium size ball room and the bass sounded poor there as well. Now it is possible the music they were playing had exceptionally boomy distorted bass or they did not take the time to set up the systems well. Unfortunately I could not get past the bass to evaluate the rest of the sound.

I entertained myself for a little while resting my feet in the Synergistic Research rooms listening to their patter to the "marks" and watched a demo of some mysterious little dots they put on Von Schweikert (good sounding system) speakers. The guy doing the demo was rather brusque when asked questions as though he was put off at having to do the demo. His dress was interesting, he was wearing pink dress slacks, white shoes and a royal blue sports coat. He looked like a used car salesperson straight out of central casting. All he needed was a cigar and a tweed hat. Needless to say I didn't hear any difference with the dots & without the dots.

One funny exchange was when the presenter removed the dots, he put them all on top of one of the speakers. An audience member asked "Does it matter that the dots are all on top of one of the speakers?" The response was "No, I have them upside down."

Another interesting experience I had was in the M101 cable room. I am a cable agnostic. By that I mean I have never heard a difference cables have made in any system I have listened to, but I am open to the possibility that I have limited listening abilities or I just haven't heard the right demo.

So in the M101 room, I mentioned to the folks there I was a cable skeptic (agnostic takes too long to explain). Their cables are rather interesting and certainly look impressive. They decided to do a demo of their ethernet cables so that I could hear the difference.

I digress, I am an IT person having worked in the field for 40+ years. While I am not an engineer I am fairly grounded in the technology behind ethernet & the cables used. I asked "What type of generic cable they were using?" They said "CAT 8." OK, CAT 8 cable should provide rather good anti-reflection and decent emi/rfi rejection.

They played a piece of music with the generic cable. They swapped the cable (not exactly a blind test) and then played the same piece of music. It sounded 100% the same to me. Behind me there were a couple of guys saying they heard the difference. I got up & politely said I am still a cable skeptic and left.

Had they chosen to demo any analog cable, I may have been more receptive to the possibility of a difference. But I am sorry, one of the features of digital electronics is the on/off nature of the signal. Digital processing looks for either an on or an off in any bit it sees and does something based on that.

Good digital circuits compensate for any form of anomalies in a variety of ways so by the time it is converted to analog most issues in the transmission have been ironed out. As long as the wire is transmitting ones & zeroes in a somewhat reasonable fashion the output is going to sound the same. If this were not the case, your bank statement would be hosed, planes would be falling out of the sky and this commentary might look like sanskrit.

Overall I had a great time and will try to get to other audio shows.