RMAF 2015 Pez and Tyson Coverage Day 3

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RMAF 2015 Pez and Tyson Coverage Day 3
« on: 4 Oct 2015, 05:36 pm »
Tyson’s Notes AudioKinesis Audio Room

General Room Notes – We are back in this room today because there were some technical difficulties during our last visit, which are now resolve.  If you noticed our comments during the last visit were a little less than enthusiastic, and that was due to only half the subs being not connected.  All better now and we are back.

Sibelius – Oh, much better focus and intensity on this track.  Still has the redonculously good soundstage, of course.

Mahler – Just room filling sound, with way more tonal density today.  Oh yeah, the subs kick on big time with that massed orchestra.  Massive, massive sound.

Tom Waits – Upper bass hump mostly gone today, much better than yesterday.  Having multiple subs really helps with room modes.  I have no idea why more people don’t do it, it gives real world, substantive improvements, much better bang for the buck than changing something stupid like cables or a DAC :P 

Natalie Merchant – Again, bigger sound, great focus, excellent tonal density.  Not the most incisive sound at the show, but most systems that are incisive are also fatiguing to listen to over more than half an hour.  You can listen to Duke’s system all day and all night.

Jason's Notes
We are back at the AudioKinesis room. We were told that they were having minor technical difficulties yesterday and since we were in the neighborhood we decided to stop by and give it another go.

Sibelius just like yesterday the violin is sweet and sultry. Imaging is spot on.

Mahler nice room ambience is recreated here with better dynamics and bass fortitude than yesterday.

Waits like most rooms this track is really really overloading with one noted bass pretty common at this show and I know it's the rooms. That said I really love the way this setup emotes with this track!

Merchant really gorgeous soundstage way better imaging as well than yesterday. I still feel like the soundstage could be wider but I think the speaker placement is the limiting factor here more than anything. This setup sort of reminds me of an open box system. Very cool.


Re: RMAF 2015 Pez and Tyson Coverage Day 3
« Reply #1 on: 4 Oct 2015, 06:02 pm »
Tyson, Pez,   
I know it's been said many times before but again,  you guys do a stellar job of bringing the show to all of us who can't attend. great stuff :beer:



Re: RMAF 2015 Pez and Tyson Coverage Day 3
« Reply #2 on: 4 Oct 2015, 06:09 pm »

Tyson’s Notes Vapor Audio Room

General Room Notes –  Only one word can describe the visual impact of these speakers and that word is ‘HOLYFUCKINGSHIT!”  We’ve been to the Vapor room several years now and nothing really prepared us for the absolute over the top insanity of these guys.  Massive giant towers of awesomeness.  Love the rack too, the shelves just seem to float in the air, simple and elegant (very hard to do in a sea of audio furniture kitsch). 

Sibelius – Best soundstage separation at the show.  Most systems present the clarinet and violin as right on top of each other with this track, where here they occupy clearly different spaces.  Huge soundstage.  Of course there’s a huge soundstage, it’s Vapor!

Mahler – Almost overwhelming in it’s power.  Sound matches the scale of the speaker itself.  What else is there to say, really?

Tom Waits – Hey, just about the only room at the show that does the bass correctly on this track.  No massive bass hump at all on the acoustic bass, unlike pretty much every other room we’ve been to this show.

Natalie Merchant – This track really highlights the open-window high-def clarity and transparency that Vapor ALWAYS brings.  And these speakers set a new bar for that, even for Vapor.  The think I like best about these speakers is that they are not life size in their presentation.  They are LARGER THAN LIFE.  And I freaking love it.  Remember when you got started in audio as a young pup how blown away you were by everything?  This is like that.  Only better.

Final note – We love the Vapor room every year, Ryan and co are one of the very few vendors we see that really and truly try to push the envelope for their products.  Separate bass cabinets, stacked ply construction, huge roundovers to avoid diffraction, acoustically asymmetric and optimized interiors, and clearly some of the best drivers in the world all add up to THE most consistent and best room at every show.  I’m giving Vapor my lifetime achievement award.  Yes, I just made that award up right now on the spot.  But dammit, they deserve it.

Jason’s Notes

Note: we visited this room over two days and they made significant equipment changes FYI.

Sibelius wow HUGE sound. Wow micro dynamics nice to finally meet you at this show! Seriously the shading is incredible.

Mahler from my seat great dynamics but surprisingly not a ton of bass punch. I'm siting outside of the sweet spot though. In the sweet spot it is definitely way better (we switched seats and started out tracks again.

Tom waits great bass control!!! Wow voice is absolutely gorgeous on this setup. Gritty yet soft and soulful. This system has done the best so far of translating the emotive dynamics in Waits voice.

Merchant huge imagining GRAND soundstage. Really in love with the big presentation and bass control beyond what any other room has accomplished this year. The room treatments are undoubtedly the reason for that.

Overall this room is easily in the top 5 I've heard.


Re: RMAF 2015 Pez and Tyson Coverage Day 3
« Reply #3 on: 4 Oct 2015, 06:26 pm »
Another review said the Vapor room was easily one of the best five, but the report also said Vapor was using over $42k worth of room treatments in their room. :o


Re: RMAF 2015 Pez and Tyson Coverage Day 3
« Reply #4 on: 4 Oct 2015, 06:36 pm »

Tyson’s Notes  JTR Audio Room

General Room Notes –  We were here after hours on Saturday night and had Tool CRANKED and it was absolutely better than being at the concert.  Just incredible dynamics, punch, and power.  This room also has the DAC Cherry amps that impressed me so much last year.  Hearing them again this year I’ll say flat out that they have the best control, slam, dynamics and clarity, without being sterile or cold.

Looking around a bit today – they have room treatments!  One of the few vendors that cares enough about the sound of their room to bring them.  Kudos.

Sibelius Violin Concerto – Excellent separation of the violin and clarinet, with the massed strings doing their mysterious bit in the background.

Mahler Symphony 6 – Nice forward attention grabbing horn presentation and cymbal crash.  And with the whole orchestra comes in at full cry the result is power and fury, yet fully controlled.

Tom Waits  - Good, large presentation of this larger than life personality. 

Natalie Merchant (Peppery Man) – Soundstage is between the speakers, with nice depth.  This is not a laid back “oh, the music is happening somewhere over there, that’s pretty” it’s a grab you by the balls, slap you around and get your ass on the dance floor.  I suggest never, ever trying to read (or type) while this system plays – it demands your attention :P

Side note – one of the few rooms set up for multichannel, we spent WAY too long in this room just jamming out to some outstanding surround sound.  I always have poo-pooh’d surround sound, being a 2 channel guy at heart, but this is phenomenal and might make me have to change my mind.

Jason's notes

Ok JTR room we had a chance to pop in yesterday because we heard Tools 'Sober' from about five rooms down and thought DAMN!!!! What room is that. I was absolutely stunned at the sound quality and volume coming from this setup. Holy shit!!!!!

Sibelius wow wow won the dynamics and emotion are damn near miraculous.

Mahler are you kidding me????? Easily and by a wide margin the best I have heard this track at the show. Possibly EVER! No joke, this is next level I'm talking about.

Waits huge soundstage incredible control. A bit dry sounding in vocals. Tyson and I traded seats and I think the bass control is better from the seat I was in. In this position it's a bit overblown.

Merchant good holy god the soundstage is incredible! I can't believe I'm hearing this from behind a screen! Seriously great soundstage.  Wowy wow wow wow.

The aside from the dryness in Waits vocals the only other issue I have with this setup is the soundstage presents a bit two dimensionally and lacking a it in nuance. I'm sure that if these speakers were set up in a great room and pulled out they would blow my mind. And that wouldn't be a problem.

We're now demoing the surround sound capability of this system. This system is top notch in every way. Staggering stuff here. I am certain that all of their neighbors HATE these guys. We are listening at at least 120 db right now and it sounds fucking amazing not shitty loud like JBL but beautiful loud that is hard to describe.

Pulling out a calibrated mic and the level is at 118db with 129.8db peaks. In a 13X19 foot room. This room frightens me. There is just no other way of describing it.


Re: RMAF 2015 Pez and Tyson Coverage Day 3
« Reply #5 on: 4 Oct 2015, 07:21 pm »

Tyson’s Notes  Odyssey Audio Room

General Room Notes –  We are back!  Klaus took our feedback from yesterday, made some changes overnight to tame the bass beast in this room.  Adjusted speaker placement, ports, and bases.

Sibelius Violin Concerto – Mournful cry of the violin beautifully captured.  I always love the pure emotion of the music the Odyssey room captures every year. 

Mahler Symphony 6 – Huge soundstage, wide and DEEP.  You can hear the physical space those giant double basses and kettle drums are resonating within. 

Tom Waits  - Bass is better today, still a bit strong if you arenot in the sweet spot.  Overall much better snap and punch to the sound today.  Love the gravely world weary aspects of his voice on this system.

Natalie Merchant (Peppery Man) – Nice, Natalie’s voice does not overload the treble when she leans into her vocals on this track.  Pretty rare, especially at this year’s show.  And as always the Odyssey room just rocks and a groovy funky dirty killer way. 

Jason’s Notes

Back at Odyssey room for a second spin. We wanted to give the system a second shot. Yesterday there was a big problem with bass control. Klaus insisted we come back and you don't say no to Klaus.  :nono:

Sibelius nice dynamic control and shading as before. With really gorgeous nuance.

Mahler wow the bass issue is MUCH improved from yesterday on this one. Dynamics are pretty astounding

Waits still overhang but improvement from yesterday for sure. All other notes still apply.

Merchant better control in male vocals. Again all other notes from yesterday apply.


Re: RMAF 2015 Pez and Tyson Coverage Day 3
« Reply #6 on: 4 Oct 2015, 07:31 pm »
Does anyone know what model JTR Speakers those are??

Found it JTR 210RT


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Re: RMAF 2015 Pez and Tyson Coverage Day 3
« Reply #7 on: 4 Oct 2015, 07:35 pm »
Does anyone know what model JTR Speakers those are??
Five JTR Noesis 210RT
Two JTR Captivator 1400 subwoofers


Re: RMAF 2015 Pez and Tyson Coverage Day 3
« Reply #8 on: 4 Oct 2015, 07:48 pm »

Tyson’s Notes  ELAC Audio Room

General Room Notes –  What the hell are we doing in an audio room with small towers and cone dome drivers?  You know we generally are bored by this type of stuff, especially with so much other audio candy to drool over at the show.  But many people we respect (and some we don’t) said we had to make it to this room.  So here we are.  On the other hand, Andrew Jones is a genius speaker designer and his TAD speakers have historically been among the best at show, year after year. 

Music – No option to listen to our CD, so listening to the stock music from their playlist.  OK, so they are very clean and clear.  And not at all irritating.  Very surprising for such a modest looking speaker.  Bass is full and has good kick to it.  The MOST surprising thing is that they sound BIG.  Large soundstage and just energize the whole side of the room they occupy. 

This room has no boom/tizzle sound that you hear so often, even on very expensive gear.  Smooth refinement with a really good level of detail and transparency is what you get.  Only criticism – they are short.  So you look down on the performers a bit.  But if you put them on some pedestals or raise them up a bit you have a speaker without any real weaknesses, at least none that I can hear.  Compared to the very best systems at this show, the bass is a little bit less clean and the highs are a little bit rolled off.  Otherwise I can’t really detect a flaw.

These are only $279 each!  OK, now Andrew is just showing off :O

Jason’s Notes

We went to the Elac room and the speakers were very disappointing at $279,000 each. -Andrew Jones comedian/owner of Elac.

Andrew Jones is at it again and let me just say right now, this setup is substantially better than any 'budget setup' and much better than most high end system. And at ignoring Andrew's tongue in cheek comment actually cost a mere $279 each, are you serious? Is this real?

Let me tell you what I hear, incredible detail, nuance, pace, microdynamics, control, air, attack, and a ton of other audio nerd words that I hate using. And at this price level I'm not used to using. Astounding stuff here.  Let me just say this, this system is way better than most I've heard price be damned.

The bass is incredible! We're listening to a down and dirty bass guitar track and wow. And the imaging / soundstage never lost its coherence.

Rage against the machine time. Killing the the name of. And they killed
« Last Edit: 5 Oct 2015, 07:29 pm by Pez »


Re: RMAF 2015 Pez and Tyson Coverage Day 3
« Reply #9 on: 4 Oct 2015, 08:28 pm »

Tyson’s Notes  Daedalus and Modwright Audio Room

General Room Notes –  By far the prettiest, classic looking room at the show.  Amps and speakers woodwork is flat out beautiful.  New tube amps from Modwright this year and a new speaker model from Daedalus.   

Sibelius – Sweet sweet beautiful emotion on this track. 

Mahler – Man, this room sounds soooooo different than any other room we’ve been in this year.  Less focus on the boom and crash and more just presenting real instruments in real space, radiating their sound in real space. 

Tom Waits – Organic.  Real.  Just no other words for it.  A real man with a hard life, all laid bare for you to hear in his naked vocals. 

Natalie Merchant – This is a downright nasty groovy song and the Daedalus present it in a human, real, fragile, angry, sorrowful beauty.  Just such a different sound than anything else at RMAF.  I think most vendors go after “hi-fi-accuracy” and end up sounding relatively sterile and cold.  Lou always goes after the soul of the music, and between the new speakers and the new amps, he achieves it far better than I’ve ever heard.

Jason’s Notes
So Tyson and I broke into the Daedalus room last night and had our own private listening session last night. Lots of fun and it let us hear things in a way we don't normally get to.

Let me just say this right off the bat. This room sounds better than any other year I've heard it.  I think a big reason is the 845 amps. Daedalus speakers LOVE tubes. I had the Poseidons in my house for three weeks.  These exact ones. My 8 watt SET can drive them but them but the new amp does better.

Sibelius wow sweeeeeet and incredible presentation. I am astonished with the level of micro dynamics and more detail than I've ever heard from Daedalus.

Mahler not bone crushing bass and dynamics but supremely in control and unafraid to really belt out.

Waits grit but not harsh. Emotionally the best I've heard from any system at the show on this track. That's no small feat. Believe me.

Merchant more of the same as with Waits. Really great emotional performance and a heavy emphasis on what is being conveyed rather than getting every detail just perfect as many systems try (and fail) to accomplish and end up sounding analytic and harsh. Very enjoyable to listen to and definitely the best I've ever heard from the Daedalus Modwright room.
« Last Edit: 6 Oct 2015, 12:24 am by Pez »


Re: RMAF 2015 Pez and Tyson Coverage Day 3
« Reply #10 on: 4 Oct 2015, 08:37 pm »
ELAC ROOM - were they using a sub with the F5?


Re: RMAF 2015 Pez and Tyson Coverage Day 3
« Reply #11 on: 4 Oct 2015, 08:38 pm »
ELAC ROOM - were they using a sub with the F5?

No sub, just the towers.


Re: RMAF 2015 Pez and Tyson Coverage Day 3
« Reply #12 on: 4 Oct 2015, 09:07 pm »
Sorry folks. I blew it on the room info. Someone who knows please fill in the blanks and I'll edit this post.

Not sure what I did with the info on this room!!!! My review and Tyson's appear to be missing!!!!

On a short note- This room was really well done! Better than the main Daedalus room IMO.
« Last Edit: 5 Oct 2015, 07:35 pm by Pez »


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Re: RMAF 2015 Pez and Tyson Coverage Day 3
« Reply #13 on: 4 Oct 2015, 09:26 pm »
Any idea of the black box beside the ELAC speaker?


Re: RMAF 2015 Pez and Tyson Coverage Day 3
« Reply #14 on: 4 Oct 2015, 09:27 pm »
Any idea of the black box beside the ELAC speaker?

Just the computer with all the music on it.


Re: RMAF 2015 Pez and Tyson Coverage Day 3
« Reply #15 on: 4 Oct 2015, 09:31 pm »
Another review said the Vapor room was easily one of the best five, but the report also said Vapor was using over $42k worth of room treatments in their room. :o

Well the number of room treatments they have is about normal for a room of the size they have.  Just IMHO are using rather "marked up" room treatments.


Re: RMAF 2015 Pez and Tyson Coverage Day 3
« Reply #16 on: 4 Oct 2015, 09:41 pm »

Tyson’s Notes Mojo Audio Room

General Room Notes –  Another room using Vapor Audio speakers.  We already know these speakers are stellar performers, so the main thing to discern is how well do they sound in THIS system. 

Very cool silent audio/video server driving everything here, with a dedicated isolated output, plugging into a direct coupled NOS ladder DAC.  I’m personally a fan of NOS DAC’s having run one for years and years in my own system. 

Oh, ZOTL amps, I’ve been wanting to hear these guys for a while.  These are really cool looking and compact amps.  40 watts in a nice easy to place chassis.  What’s really crazy is that they are about to get those watts in an OTL amp with no output transformers and only a few tubes.  Most OTL amps have like 20 tubes per channel or some shit like that, and those ‘regular’ OTL amps sound like crap anyway.  ZOTL, at least on what I hear today is a massive step up over that outdated technology.

Sibelius – This track is an acid test for tweeter/highs presentation and very often ceramic drivers cause me problems.  Even with Vapor speakers I’m sensitive, so the attendant equipment has to be first rate to keep it from hurting my wimpy eardrums.  And the ZOTL works beautifully.

Mahler – Keeps a very coherent presentation and I can’t believe it’s only 40 watt producing this huge sound.  Very impressive.  Only criticism is that the room is probably too small for these very large speakers.

Tom Waits – clear, clean, perfect. 

Natalie Merchant – just love the swagger of the presentation of this track.  Grooves and jumps with authority and power, and most importantly SOUL.  Great room.

Jason’s Notes

Sibelius yep this one seems to be the gentlest on systems easiest to get right, but the great systems really bring out the nuance. This room is an example of a setup that takes the overall sound quality to the next level.

Mahler great soundstage even from outside the listening position. Amazingly good base control for such a small room!

Tom waits great tonality great bass control again. This one has been a room bloater at this show. Really heavy handed on most systems. This one handles it incredibly well. Imaging and everything else is gorgeous. I've heard the vapors with SET and they projected big. In this setup it more focused as well as deep surprisingly

Merchant great soundstage awesome control on both male and female vocals. Awesome dynamic shifts etc. overall this system is exactly what I've come to expect from any room with Vapor Audio speakers at the helm. Obviously the front end equipment is equally excellent. 


Re: RMAF 2015 Pez and Tyson Coverage Day 3
« Reply #17 on: 4 Oct 2015, 09:42 pm »
Any idea of the black box beside the ELAC speaker?

A server. Not a product that is being sold. Not a lot of info was given about it.


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Re: RMAF 2015 Pez and Tyson Coverage Day 3
« Reply #19 on: 4 Oct 2015, 10:22 pm »

It seemed like an unfamiliar component  :lol: -thank you Ozarktom for the sleuthing :thumb:

I see some new vendors/products I was not familiar with- thank you folks for the  pics/reports.