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I don't think it is ever "unfair" for a non-professional reviewer to share their experiences/opinions without regard to anything/anyone:1. Manufacturers/Distributors roll the dice when they participate in events such as this, so they'd better work to get their systems sounding as they think they should, or pull the plug and display a static setup.2. When reading reports such as this, from a non-pro reviewer/consumer, I appreciate reading what they experienced when they walked in the door and plopped down in the sweet spot, without filtration or excuses as to what they heard. If I want to read about how a specific gear is SUPPOSED to sound or WHY it sounds the way it does, I'll refer to a brochure or pro-review.3. Regardless of the cost or scientific effort spent in designing/manufacturing gear, if the listener dislikes like how it sounds then the efforts to produce the gear are meaningless to the listener.
Same with price - very low correlation between price and performance.
"very low correlation between price and performance."
Is it fair or even realistic to expect great sound at a trade show? It takes me several weeks just to get a pair speakers optimized in a room. So brief impression based on a quick and dirty haphazard setup isn't something I'd put a lot of stock in. However, I still appreciate the time and effort taken to report on this event for those of us who could not, or did not attend.
Here is a pic of the Daedalus, ModWright, WyWires roomand the Daedalus, ModWright, Skogrand room.Both rooms sounded very good. The rebuilt Technics R to R by J-Corder is a spectacular source.On Saturday in the big room, we compared the hi res digital with QRP's 45 RPM reissue of Stevie Ray Vaughan's Tin Pan Alley. WOW! the vinyl was jaw dropping good and clearly better than the digital. Lots of fun and great seeing and spending time with so many great audio friends.
That's a good point. The counter point that I'd make is that there are plenty of people that get very good and even great sound at shows. And many of those people get good/great sound consistently, year after year. I've noticed that the mediocre/bad rooms also tend to be consistently mediocre/bad year over year, too. Sometimes the quality will bounce around a bit, but for the most part it seems pretty consistent. I will say this though - vendors do learn and get better after a few years. There are fewer and fewer really terrible sounding rooms each year.
Thanks Laura - another 2 rooms I stupidly forgot to take pictures in. Guess I was enjoying the tunes too much I will say this, the Apollo speakers have replaced the Athenas as my favorite Daedalus speakers. Loved those things.
Tyson, you and me both loving the Apollo speakers. Looking forward to giving them a long listen at CAF.NB
Salk/Lampizator room. Flat out the BEST I have ever heard the Salk speakers. Great, great room.
Oh yeah... the first years of RMAF were incredibly bad. Not just setup, there was some really poorly designed gear that would never sound good. Both gear and setup has gotten so much better! I still agree with WC though, and imo the really good sounding expensive rooms completely destroy the idea that lower priced gear is just as good. Like the MSB DAC room, sorry but that's just not achievable without a big wallet, same with Verity Audio... you're never getting results like that on a budget. And a lot more gear is capable of similarly amazing performance but for whatever reason it's just not achieved at the show with hours to setup. Of course you can say the same with less expensive gear but comparing the best $$$$ rooms to the best $ rooms leaves a pretty wide gap imo. OTOH, it is amazing how good the "value" segment is getting, which is definitely something to celebrate.
Your comments about expensive gear reveal the weakness of 2 channel stereo, it costs too damn much to achieve SOA results, period. If you want a GREAT value setup I recommend two things:1) An immersive sound system designed for music first and movies second (auro 3D or sennheiser ambeo.)2) Active speakers.When you have more than 9 speakers in your setup running extra amps and speaker wire is expensive and a PIA. Active speakers are easier to setup, and have the benefits of an active crossover.IMO a properly setup $10,000 immersive system would produce results that are impossible to achieve with a two channel setup regardless of $$$$ spent. Check out Pink Floyd and Abbey Road. You don't need 8 subwoofers but you get the idea. Active speakers all around and immersive setup:https://youtu.be/yMlFN8V4qW4
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