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I only made it to a few rooms because I was showing in two rooms and in one of those rooms the people from the amplifier company didn't show up so I was pretty much flying solo. I'm pretty much a speaker junkie so that's mostly what I focused on. Here are my comments on a few that I did make it to:Selah: I loved the dipole midrange speakers Rick Craig was showing. They sounded effortless and natural with excellent inner detail, and best of all they didn't do anything wrong to distract you from the magic. They were just lovely. I don't see how he can sell these for five grand a pair. The "waterfall Bubinga" front baffles alone make them look like two or three times that price. If I had been speaker shopping, these are what I most likely would have bought.ACI: Apparently I'm one of roughly 25 former customers who are now competitors of Mike Dzurko. Well, I couldn't begin to compete with him in the area his SapphireXL dominates. The first thing I said to him was, "You got the power response right!" He confirmed that he had indeed paid attention to the power response. That's quite rare, but in my opinion it's something that matters. It is very hard to get the power response right without doing something exotic (and expensive). Nice job, Mike! I have now officially abandoned any plans of building a speaker in the same price range as the SapphireXL, as there's really no point. I'll go do something else. Pioneer/TAD: Andrew Jones (of KEF Uni-Q and Infinity Prelude fame) designed the megabucks TAD Model 1 speakers, and he was showing their more affordable spin-offs. I heard the 9 grand a pair model, and they did a superb job of disappearing as the apparent sound source. Pioneer is in my opinion now a very competitive high-end loudspeaker manufacturer. If I wasn't building my own speakers, this is a line that I'd want to carry.Acoustic Zen: I had to hear these, as they're priced right in the same ballpark as a speaker I was showing. I was hoping the Acoustic Zen Adagios would suck, but I was sorely disappointed. They were rich, warm, smooth, relaxing, and much as I wanted to find something wrong with them I couldn't. Okay, maybe the red paint was too bright. Cogent/Welbourne Labs: Though I'll never be able to afford a pair (unless my little speakers become the next Adagios!), this is always one of my favorite rooms. The Cogent field coil drivers have a combination of ease and liveliness that just sounds real to me. Yeah the sweet spot is a bit small, but I could live with it.Next year I'm only doing one room because I want to get out more. I missed out on many interesting rooms.One thing I didn't miss out on though was meeting quite a few people from AudioCircle - LoneWolf, Captain Humble, mgalusha, paul, pete, FredT, and others. Thanks so much for stopping by! LoneWolf, thanks for the CD! I'll try to make the Happy Hour next year, but had prior commitments this go-round.Special thanks to Frank Van Alstine who, when he came by on Friday, heard that I had something out of phase, and a great big THANK YOU to Mike Galusha for poking around and finding that I had indeed hooked one of my speakers up with the leads reversed. A few minutes before showtime on Friday my system went dead, and in the course of frantically trying to figure out what component was at fault (preamp) I obviously went temporarily color-blind. After Frank's comments I assumed I had internally wired one of the speakers wrong in the wee hours before leaving for the show, and was much relieved when Mike found the problem was a simple (albeit bone-headed) one.Duke
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