RMAF 2012 Day 2 - Tyson and Pez Coverage LIVE

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Pez

Re: RMAF 2012 Day 2 - Tyson and Pez Coverage LIVE
« Reply #20 on: 13 Oct 2012, 07:11 pm »
Alfred & Partners
ESTELON
Vitus Audio
Silver Circle Audio
Kubala•Sosna Research









On the Bach piece these speakers were every bit as sweet and sorrowful as the best of the heap. Honestly this seems every bit as amazing as last year. On the Mahler the dynamics are very nice in the softer passages and robust in the larger passages. Ani... Wow loving the guitar every complexity is present and beautiful raw emotion. Unafraid and far from polite which is a great thing. They do what they should do without demurring one bit.  Soundstage and imaging is among the best we hav eh ears, but not quite as good as the wide bands we heard. Thom Yorke is sounding gorgeous. Potent and great. A little room overhang, but the positive qualities of the speakers mask such issues. Warm! This is again among the very best of this show hands down.


Tyson Notes[/u]
Bach - Ah, ethereal bliss.  Living up to last year's performance already.  Lovely, just lovely.

Mahler - Cellos and basses are waaaaay back in the soundstage, awesome.  I'm not a soundstage guy, but I know Jason must be having a silent orgasm next to me right about now.  Brass has the right bite, and still sounds full and weighty.  Bass drum sounds HUGE.  Like, not loud, but BIG.  Physically big.  Only downside is the pace is sort of slow and stately.

Ani DiFranco - Ani, Ani, Ani, how I love thee.... damn that is some naked, raw emotion coming through.  These are not laid back speakers, there is definite sibilance but it's more of a glass-like clarity than nails on a chalkboard.  Very nice.

Thom Yorke - A touch bass heavy in this room.  Not boomy per se, just a bit too loud.  A touch slower sounding that I"m used to. 

General Room Notes - Last year was a shock because I generally really, really dislike ceramic driver based speakers.  But Estelon whippersnapped me and undercut my expectations.  They are very good again this year.  Bass I think it not as good as it was last year, and they are not as razor sharp dynamic, but the shocking thing to me how emotional they are compared to most ceramic based speakers.

Pez

Re: RMAF 2012 Day 2 - Tyson and Pez Coverage LIVE
« Reply #21 on: 13 Oct 2012, 07:18 pm »
GTT Audio & Video
YG Acoustics
Kubala•Sosna Research
Tenor Inc.









ROOOOXANNNEE!!!!! This system sounds ultra orthodox hi end. Just like you'd expect a hi end system to sound like. In cant find anything wrong with it, but I'm not enthused. From the sweet spot this system is definitely way better. More emotion more feeling more depth. This is the YG I remember from last year. Not brimming with detail or emotion, but it is pretty good overall.

Tyson Notes[/u]
General Room Notes - Same speakers, different room, WAY better sound overall.  Still a bit to much power in the presence region.  They do a lot right in this room, sounding very open and dynamic.  But that tweeter is just has a bit too much power response.  Not "bright" or "sibilant", but very, very present, and sort of "overloads" my ears when female vocals lean hard into the mic.  And if you can't enjoy women leaning into the mic, life really isn't worth living, is it?

audioengr

Re: RMAF 2012 Day 2 - Tyson and Pez Coverage LIVE
« Reply #22 on: 13 Oct 2012, 07:19 pm »
Quote
It's hard to believe that something can perform so badly after having just killed it previously.

That's because it's not just the speakers, it's the system, particularly the source.

This is the biggest problem at shows.  Everyone seems to believe that if a room sounds good, it's because of the speakers.  With modern high-end speakers, it's getting to be less the case and more a result of good electronics and cabling.  I have used a wide range of speakers at shows and achieved similar results.

There are of course bad speakers out there, but they tend to be the exception.

Steve N.

Pez

Re: RMAF 2012 Day 2 - Tyson and Pez Coverage LIVE
« Reply #23 on: 13 Oct 2012, 07:22 pm »
Tyson/Pez,
You two are doing a great job!  However, I personally wouldn't make those kinds of buyer priorities based on show sonics.  Those rooms suck (literally and figuratively).  And yes, it would be fun to know what your "best room so far" would cost, but then I'm sure some of the presentation plaudits go to the electronics too.  I miss being there (my streak ended/stopped at a mere five), but this helps.  :)

Tyson - Agreed.  As you understand, until you've actually been to a show and tried to make sense of the chaos, you can't really appreciate how insane this whole thing is.  All I (and Pez) can do is report what we hear as a snapshot on that day and report what we here.  If the room is bad, doesn't mean the gear is bad, but on the other hand, it doesn't exactly inspire tons of confidence.  One thing I really like about RMAF is that the playing field is absolutely level.  All the rooms are pretty poor.  Some vendors get good sound, others do not.  And that's on them. 

Pez

Re: RMAF 2012 Day 2 - Tyson and Pez Coverage LIVE
« Reply #24 on: 13 Oct 2012, 07:29 pm »
Von Schweikert Audio
Jolida, Inc.
UNITED HOME AUDIO









R2R in this room. The Von's image very well. Pretty deep, they try to be intimate, but are too thin sounding to completely accomplish it. Ip they do some things well but overall they just aren't quite ready for prime time. Lack refinement, edgy and not good enough for my tastes.

Tyson Notes[/u]
General Room Notes - Listening to Ella and Louis on Reel to Reel.  Last year I really like th VS room, after several years of meh.  Sounds great on Ella, but ssssssibilant on Louis.  And his horn is way too in-your-face.  Uh, I'm not sure how I feel about some dude's horn in my face.

Pez

Re: RMAF 2012 Day 2 - Tyson and Pez Coverage LIVE
« Reply #25 on: 13 Oct 2012, 07:36 pm »
JM Reynaud, dist. by Amherst Audio







Yuck... I am having issues right off the bat. First very spitty sound. Unrefined on the Beethoven piece they were playing... Lets hope our stuff fairs better. Bach is definitely sounding better, much simpler piece. Zero emotional connection whatsoever the dynamics seem to be either too soft or monotonous. There just doesn't seem to be a lot going on here. The big dynamic passage is about the middle of the pack. There's a certain honkyness to the sound on vocals. Sorry just not doing it from the sweet spot either. Way too many problems on Yorke too. Bass is boxy and unappealing. Vocals are hollow and sterilized. Whiny. Not so happy with this room.

Tyson Notes[/u]
General Room Notes - OK, our first straight up terrible room.  Beethoven (Kleiber with the Vienna Philharmonic, I believe) is sounding like it's out of a tin can.  Hyper detail freaks may love this room, but this tonal freak does not.  Listening to Bach, does not get better.  L8r....

Pez

Re: RMAF 2012 Day 2 - Tyson and Pez Coverage LIVE
« Reply #26 on: 13 Oct 2012, 07:53 pm »
Your Final System
Von Schweikert Audio







Listening. To some version of The Boxer. Sounds thin. Don't know if its the music or the system....  Either way unpleasant. Very tipped up. Lie lie lie lalalala lie never sounded more awkward.

Tyson Notes[/u]
General Room Notes - Another VS room, their first chance to make a 2nd impression!  I've built speakers using the dimpled SB Acoustics tweeter and they are a really good sounding tweeter, very easy to work with.  Hard to make sound bad.  But it's been managed here.  And in the other room too.  Man, I really WANT to like the VS rooms, they have such beautiful stuff and I like supporting people that are trying to push the envelope, but I've heard the exact same sound in 2 different rooms with different gear and so I must lay the blame at the feet of the speakers.  I think last year they were showing the active VR's and those were GREAT.  Wish they had them here this year.

Pez

Re: RMAF 2012 Day 2 - Tyson and Pez Coverage LIVE
« Reply #27 on: 13 Oct 2012, 08:04 pm »
MA Recordings











MA recordings is never afraid to do something different. They have surprised me for the previous 3 years and this year we walk in and it was completely different. Headphones galore. Just sit down shut up and enjoy the music, which is really what this room is really about. And hell yes they deliver again this year. I'm listening to the woo audio wa2 and it is stunning and wonderful. This is great.

Tyson Notes[/u]
General Room Notes - Every year our musical oasis, where the focus is truly (and literally) on the music.  This year is still great, but no speakers!  All headphones and dedicated tube amps all around.  I got a chance to hear the Beyer T5p and it sounds great through the Woo Audio 6SE.  Of course the recordings are all phenomenal, just like they are every year.  If you ever make it to RMAF, do yourself a favor and hit this room!!

ted_b

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Re: RMAF 2012 Day 2 - Tyson and Pez Coverage LIVE
« Reply #28 on: 13 Oct 2012, 08:06 pm »
MA Recordings


Tyson Notes[/u]
General Room Notes - Every year our musical oasis, where the focus is truly (and literally) on the music.  This year is still great, but no speakers!  All headphones and dedicated tube amps all around.  I got a chance to hear the Beyer T5p and it sounds great through the Woo Audio 6SE.  Of course the recordings are all phenomenal, just like they are every year.  If you ever make it to RMAF, do yourself a favor and hit this room!!

Todd is the man!!

Pez

Re: RMAF 2012 Day 2 - Tyson and Pez Coverage LIVE
« Reply #29 on: 13 Oct 2012, 10:15 pm »
B.M.C. Audio
Vapor Audio









Bach cello is superb. Very dense very rich very sweet. Mahler... Great great dynamics did everything very well! (Sorry for short notes. Had technical difficulties) Ani sounds so organic very concrete. The soundstage is incredible. Feels like she's standing behind the curtain.  Among the best. Thom Yorke very very strong just excellent. Inpmage and soundstage never waver. Makes me wish I had the entire track to listen to. Emotion conveyed very well. All the digitized effects are hopping around very nicely. Easily within the top 5 rooms period. Might even contend with the absolute top spot. Dynamically speaking this is the best I have heard. Imaging it is probably a very close tie with the zellaton room, with the zellaton probably edging them out slightly. Neutrality these win for me hands down. Tonality would probably be a tie, though I'm going to have to contemplate that aspect for a bit. But damn, great great room.

Tyson Notes[/u]
Bach - Very good but not great on the solo violin.  Not as full/emotive as on other systems we have heard.

Mahler - Oh yeah, diging deep on the opening cello's and basses.  NOT slow.  Things skip along very nicely.  Who know Mahler could swing?  Nice.  Damn, they are killing it on this track.  It is the best I've heard this particular track on any system at the show.  These speakers are MADE for large orchestra :)

Ani DiFranco - Great guitar, but sssssibilant on the top part of her vocals.  But makes up for it with the naked honesty of her voice, very direct emotional connection to the music.  Amazing soundstage.

Thom Yorke - Listening off axis a bit now, gave Jason the sweet spot.  I gotta give props that they used room treatment.  Very nice differentiation on the bass, that's new, I don't think I've actually heard that on any other speakers with this track. 

General Room Notes - Wow, thick looking muscular badass looking bookshelf speakers.  I don't think speakers this mean looking "Bookshelf" speakers.  We should call them "Pedestal" speakers.  As in you should worship them.  On a custom built alter.  They deserve it, both the alter and your worship.  Great room.

Pez

Re: RMAF 2012 Day 2 - Tyson and Pez Coverage LIVE
« Reply #30 on: 13 Oct 2012, 10:23 pm »
KUBOTEK CORPORATION






Ok for what these speakers are, small sorta ugly boxes they project a bigger sound than one would assume. They have some very good qualities, but also a tendency to sound shrill when larger musical passage are occurring. You don't hear the complete scale that you would expect from an orchestral piece, but you do hear quotes bit more than you expect. Not sure that justifies the $18k price point. Actually I'm positive it does not. In other words they punch above their weight division, but are not competitive price wise.


Tyson Notes[/u]
General Room Notes - PC only system, so no Bach or Mahler this time.  But listening to Brahms, so can't be that bad :)  I think it's a digital rip of vinyl…..Hmm, indeed it is.  Preserved with all the clicks and pops.  But I don't want to talk about that, I'd rather point out that there has popped up a "bose on steroids" niche lifestyle system market and this certainly fits with that.  Small cube speakers, integrated music server/amp/preamp, etc.  They sound as good as can be expected, I suppose.

Pez

Re: RMAF 2012 Day 2 - Tyson and Pez Coverage LIVE
« Reply #31 on: 13 Oct 2012, 10:37 pm »
Vapor Audio
Arte Forma INC.











On the Bach piece this room doesn't impress as much as the other vapor room. That said still very good sound. The Mahler sort of the same, good ,but to a lessor degree than the prior room. There is a bit of hum coming from the right speaker. To the teeth is the biggest difference I've heard between the two setups. Warmer, but way less detailed. Not quite as emotive despite the warmth. Good imaging but not as good again haha. Thom Yorke sounds too bloated and somewhat veiled. Overly tubey if you will. Tonal balance is just not there in this setup. Upper end of the middle of the pack.

Tyson Notes[/u]
Mahler - Nice, even more speedy on the Mahler, great see-through resolution.  In fact, the thing you get from these speakers that no other speakers at this show have captured is the physicality of bows on strings, that they are being pressed and lifted.  And the GR Research sub helps fill in the bass drum very well! 

Bach - Ceramic drivers usually just make solo violin unlistenable, but these have the bit of self damping on the inner sides of the drivers and it seems to help a lot.  Not my favorite rendition of Bach at the show, but very respectable.

Ani DiFranco - Only one other speaker at the show has sounded as good on Ani's guitar and that's the Best in Show Avatar Acoustics room.  Both rooms have speakers that go to heroic levels of effort to deal with cabinet resonances.  And it pays off, in spades.  Very clean sound.  OK, after switching places with Jason (giving up the sweet spot), the bass is a bit too boomy, but I think that's a result of having a separate sub.  Separate subs can never have perfect integration across multiple locations.  From the sweet spot I heard zero boominess.

Thom Yorke - Sounds very good.  But I'm starting to get tired of effete Mr. Yorke.  QUIT YOUR WHINING.  Stupid Jason putting this track in there is making me start to hate Yorke and Radiohead.  Regarding the sound, very nice and speedy sound, punchy percussive bass.

General Room Notes -
Don't know why but they kind of remind me of the Vorlons from an aestetic standpoint.  Props for doing room treatment.  I these are very good speakers but I think the 3 way Vapors on the other room take that small step from very good to excellent.

Pez

Re: RMAF 2012 Day 2 - Tyson and Pez Coverage LIVE
« Reply #32 on: 13 Oct 2012, 11:07 pm »
Jolida, Inc.
Von Schweikert Audio
Your Final System







Another Von room... We have not been kind to Von today, but this is already shaping up to be a positive experience. Bach is sounding very melodic and sweet great imaging and spectacular emotion. Refinement well beyond the other two rooms we were in. Mahler is deft and the dynamic shading lets every detail shine. So much dimensionally it's crazy. HUGE bass into the dynamic upswing! Ani is pretty damn 3D. Soooo nice. Nothing like the other two rooms. There is a certain degree of coloration that is obvious. Yorke has the same. Most likely due to lack of room treatment. Still better than the other two Von rooms!

Tyson Notes[/u]
Mahler - The crazy thing is that the soundstage is DEEP even with the speakers right against the freaking wall.  That is a pretty cool effect.  Major kudos on that.  Really good center fill, especially considering there is a giant @ss rack right between them. 

Bach - Nice to be able to relax into the Bach and no icepick in the ear even when she really digs into those notes.

Ani DiFranco - Less twang and more wood in the guitar sound.  Even though it's more laid back, you can hear the nuance in the playing.  Ani sounds less angry and more sorrowful, which is pretty dang cool.  A different type of presentation, but a good one.

Thom Yorke - OK, I'm relegated to the back of the room now (gee thanks, Jason).  Room boundary is increasing bass boom.  But from the sweet spot they are not boomy at all.  I tell you, these vendors have a difficult issue - when you put up several rows of seats, the fact is that most seats are going to sound bad in some way, with usually only the sweet spot sounding good.  Luckily we've been able to get a good amount of time in the sweet spot at this show.

General Room Notes - Hey, this room has the VR22 speakers we liked so much last year!  Don't hold the fact that they look like plant holders against them, they are excellent sounding speakers.  Liked them last year and liked them even a bit more this year.  Yay VS!

Pez

Re: RMAF 2012 Day 2 - Tyson and Pez Coverage LIVE
« Reply #33 on: 13 Oct 2012, 11:19 pm »
Burmester of North America







Short notes, this room is good not great. Tweeter seems a little bit hot. Sibilant a bit. Slight overloading and unpleasant sometimes. Not staying.

Tyson's NotesGeneral Room Notes - Good sound, not great.  A bit spitty up top.  Nothing to drive me out of the room, but nothing to really keep me either.  Nice dynamics and nice pace, but overall just not really inspiring.  It's too bad, they look cool and probably could sound a lot better if the room had been treated.  But it hadn't, and they don't.

Pez

Re: RMAF 2012 Day 2 - Tyson and Pez Coverage LIVE
« Reply #34 on: 13 Oct 2012, 11:33 pm »
GR Research
Dodd Audio
PI audio group, LLC
dB Audio Labs
Triode Wire Labs, Inc.







Ok I'm sure Tyson is raving about this system and he has relatively good reason to. I however am going to start with a bit of a negative. The system sounds a bit tipped up. Almost hot. Especially on female vocals. That said the bass is pretty damn amazing! I like the staging. On cymbals that hotness is hard to ignore for me. The overall tonality is pretty good, but not quite as refined as I like. Very good dimensionality in my opinion. Ethereal and inky black. Too much air in the too end. If toned down this system would be amazing. I tend to feel that open baffle speakers lack body and this is no exception to that. Again very good dimensionality. On some tracks you don't have as bad of an issue with the tipped up tonality but others its very obvious. Listening to a loungy bill withers cover right now and the balance is spot on. That mixed with the imaging create a very great experience. I thi this is probably the most mixed experience I have had today. Very bizarre. Overall I would have to say not quite my cup of tea, but something I could live with.

Tyson's Notes - OK, soundstage is off the hook!  I think it's the best soundstage of the entire show.  Crazy good.  Don't let the pics fool you, these are BIG speakers, bigger than the Super V's, and they sound bigger too.  I thought the super V's last year were pretty damn good, but these are clearly better.  Midrange transparency and high frequency integration and extension are on a whole 'nother level.  Bass is, as always, super insane off da hook!! 

OK, but really, how good was the sound?  So orgasmically good that I now have to cancel my (recurring) appointment at the asian massage parlor. 

Criticisms?  They are not warm sounding speakers.  They are crystal clear and incredibly dynamic.   They are definitely upward tilting in their tonal balance.  "Well lit" on some tracks, but a bit bright on other tracks.  They beat the Super V's in every area pretty soundly, but tonally they are about the same.  Anyway, phenomenal room and you should hear these speakers if you can.

We revisited this room and got much better results see day 3 coverage here: http://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=110610.msg1142335#msg1142335
« Last Edit: 14 Oct 2012, 07:40 pm by Pez »

Pez

Re: RMAF 2012 Day 2 - Tyson and Pez Coverage LIVE
« Reply #35 on: 13 Oct 2012, 11:59 pm »
VTL Amplifiers, Inc.
Wilson Audio
dCS North America








Get my pictures, sit down and suddenly the absolute worst sound I have ever heard explode out of these speakers. There was some sort of file corruption and it caused what I can only describe as white noise at 120 dB. Fuck me I thought I was going to die. Any way the tonality of this setup is very sterile and polite. Devoid of emotion.devoid of true refinement. There seems to be an overloading issue when the piano dynamics increase particularly obvious during a very loud trill. 

Tyson's Notes - Wilson speakers!  Prepare to exit quickly.  Luckily I got a seat really close to the door.  Haha, not kidding on that.  OK, I've moved to the center and toward the back.  Truthfully they sound pretty damn good, and I have to say the music selection is excellent - all classical so far.  I suppose if you are the type of person that can afford these speakers, you are the type of person that only listens to classical.  Hmmm, wait a minute, that doesn't seem to work the other way around, since I only listen to classical and no way I could afford anything in here.  Uh oh, they were sounding pretty great till that high trill on the piano caused some odd distortion out of the tweeter.  Might have been the recording though, I"ll keep an ear out for it happening again on another track.  But now it's happened 4 times on this track.  What else can I say....?  I have to say that they certainly look GREAT!

Pez

Re: RMAF 2012 Day 2 - Tyson and Pez Coverage LIVE
« Reply #36 on: 14 Oct 2012, 12:13 am »






What can I say about the tweekgeek that I haven't already said for three years. Great balance, amazing emotion delicacy that is pretty much the best you will get from an audio show. Mike Garner knows how to set up a room. Easily in the too five for me. Unlike some rooms where something's are good and something need work this room sans room treatment is very very good. Though I will post more later I am not thoroughly convinced this setup won't overload at louder levels...

Ok they are putting on our track now... Note, we are listening to a switching power supply amp of some sort Bach piece full bodied and .... I'm sorry a bunch of Audioircle assholes are talking too loudly to hear  :wink: :P  Mahler is... Damn it's just too loud, now someone is cranking tool in the next room over. Haha. Ani disfranchised sounds pretty damn nice but lacking image focus.

Caveat this is not a fair review! It's loud it's a amp that was plugged in from being off for god knows how long. Plea ignore these rantings.

Tyson Notes[/u]

Mahler - Where I am sitting, a bit tubby in the bass and lacking in resolution in the "bow on string" area.  On a positive note, there's good color and weight to the brass and wind instrruments.  Interesting, the track sort of comes alive at higher volumes, the lower levels make the sound become sort of meh.

Bach - Switching amp and metal drivers should be driving me out of the room.  But if anything, the sound is laid back (?!!???!!!)

Ani DiFranco - At least where we are sitting the bass it too strong and a bit overwhelming.  It's hard to appreciate what's going on in the mids because of this.  The good thing is that the highs are not sibilant.

Thom Yorke - Bass is too strong, mids and especially highs are too laid back. 

General Room Notes - I don't know how to say it accurately, but the whole thing just seems sort of muted.  Veiled, and emotionally unengaging.  It reminds me of that old Western line "Sure is quiet out there...", "Yeah, TOO quiet.".  Pretty consistent with the sound I heard from the 400's.  Better?  Yes.  Fundamentally different?  No.  I'll have to come back tomorrow when they have the Luxman hooked back up again.

Isaac.

Re: RMAF 2012 Day 2 - Tyson and Pez Coverage LIVE
« Reply #37 on: 14 Oct 2012, 12:13 am »

Get my pictures, sit down and suddenly the absolute worst sound I have ever heard explode out of these speakers. There was some sort of file corruption and it caused what I can only describe as white noise at 120 dB. Fuck me I thought I was going to die. Any way the tonality of this setup is very sterile and polite. Devoid of emotion.devoid of true refinement. There seems to be an overloading issue when the piano dynamics increase particularly obvious during a very loud trill. 

Best post of the RMAF report thus far!  ROTFLMAO.

Keep it going guys--really appreciate your doing this.  Just moved from Denver earlier this year and knew I would miss it right around this time of year!

cab

Re: RMAF 2012 Day 2 - Tyson and Pez Coverage LIVE
« Reply #38 on: 14 Oct 2012, 12:17 am »
Are those VTL amps really as big as they appear or are those mini-fridges?

Pez

Re: RMAF 2012 Day 2 - Tyson and Pez Coverage LIVE
« Reply #39 on: 14 Oct 2012, 12:24 am »
Yes they are massive.