I only had a day and a half to listen as I had to work Friday. That just limited me to staying at the Marriott and not even venturing out to Hyatt. As it was, I didn't get to all the rooms I wanted. I particularly wanted to get to Odyssey, AVA, Salk Audio and Emerald physics but couldn't. Next time, I am going to arrange to have Friday off as well.
Audio Kinesis: Duke is every bit as nice in person as he is on line. Planetarium with Swarm was an easy room to like. It had big relaxed sound that invite you to plop down and listen for a long time. Duke has the honor of being my very first room at an audio show ever....
Laufer Teknik/Podium Speakers/Teres: I waked into the best Billie Holiday ever. The planar speakers did not go very low but the midrange was gorgeous. The highs were very good too -- not piercing. I really felt like Billie was singing in the room and that's a great achievement because I usually hear Billie like a she was singing in another room. The combination of Teres TT and the Podium planars really brought vibrancy to Billy that I had not heard before. When he switched to CD, the magic disappeared.
Classic Audio/Galibier TT (Triplanar and Dynavector xv1s): Very Dynamic with T-3 speakers. Thom was very busy but he was a gracious host. I like these horns -- very intimate but yet fast and dynamic. BTW, he recommends The Best Tractor from http://www.mintlp.com/best.htm
I think I am going to order one.
ACI/Korato/Bolder SB: I met Mike and he save me a notepad and entered me in the drawing like I asked. What a nice guy! XL's were pretty impressive speakers that throw a wide sound stage. Dynamics were excellent.
Divergent Tech (ASL Hurricane 2/Reference 3A Grand Veeder: What presence! The room was filled with music in every which way. It was just about perfect.
Modwright: What can you say except Dan is a gentleman and a scholar. The new SS amps were not at all brittle. Music had a lot of warmth and intimacy. I really would like to audition the Transporter.
Maxhorn Lumination: Surprisingly good music from a single driver horn. Jennifer Warne's The Well sounded so natural from a "modest" Technics SP10 fitted onto a custom wood plinth/base. I wanted to stay and listen to the whole album -- I was invited to come back after hours to do that but just couldn't find the time. Nice folks.
Bolder/VMPS: I finally met Wayne. I accidentally locked the door behind and had his attention for a while. 626jr sounded way better than it had the right to at the price Big B. is selling them. I am sure Wayne's SB rebox and Mike G. modded crossover has a lot to do with it. I definitely want to audition the tubed rebox in my room.
Tweekgeek/SP Tech/Spectron: I had met these guys the night before. By the time I got there, the Mini's were gone and the Revelation was just put in. BIG SOUND! Unfortunately, it was going through set up pains and I left before things were sorted out. I met the SP Tech crew in the elevator later and I was told that new speaker cables were brought in and the whole set up was much improved. Bob was in the room next to me.
I went back and they certainly lived up to all the praises from AC crowd. I heard just a little hint of brittleness on top that I would like to try my big tubed Response Audio Bella Extreme/Hurricanes on them. I say this because I have tried Response Audio modded AV1s on my amps and they really sounded clean without any hint of metallic tinge. It may also have had something to do with the Exemplar (SA)CD player that they used.
Analysis Audio: I met Mike Galusha. It was nice to finally meet him. AC folks are just the nicest people. These panels put out a lot of bass. I just like planars and these were no exception.
Balanced Power: I met the infamous Turbo. He is actually cool dude who dresses well. He had an interesting monitor design that sounded very good. Nothing extraordinary but well balance sound throughout.
Focal/Aesthetix/Clearaudio: Very impressive looking set up. The speakers reminded me of a T-Rex fossil wired together in a natural history museum. The Grand Master TT with magnetically coupled belt drive is quite a sight. The room was big and I couldn't really get engaged in the music. I would love to try the Aesthetix IO Eclipse though....
McIntosh: Blue. Nice sound too.
Acapella: WOW. BIG. Giantic images smack you in the face and you feel the music with your whole body. I would like them if I had a cavernous audio room.
Avantgarde: I never heard these with SS amp before. The in-house amp actually worked quite well. They let me listen to the whole second side of Bax 6th Symphony. Big goose bumps. They have a lot of variations at each level now. The Uno I heard did really well with micro-dynamics. They conveyed every nuances of Bax' orchestral music to really get you emotional with the music.
Time out: I have to run now -- I will get more later.