1-Where did you hear the best ...

"Theory is when you know everything but nothing works. Practice is when everything works but no one knows why. In our lab, theory and practice are combined: nothing works and no one knows why."

1-Where did you hear the very best sound(s) system(s)?  

 i- In a show  ii- In a store  iii- In a private place               Please elaborate.

2-Where do you believe we can mostly find the best sound systems between the three aforementioned places?

i- In shows
( maybe because they can take the time to put together cost no object components synergistically ... )

ii- In stores
( maybe because they have the expertise and time to build excellent systems and have plenty of time to implement it in a decent acoustic environment ... )

iii-In private places
( maybe because some people are wealthy enough, competent enough, passionate enough and have time enough ...  And, of course, being wealthy, competent and passionate means they do benefit of an excellent dedicated room ... )

3- Do you think that most of the very serious audiophiles are doing better than the stores where they bought their equipment ? ( I know, most of the time we ended up buying our components from various places but, let's compare our systems with comparable ( pricewise ) offerings we can find in stores ... )

Do you think you are personally doing better than stores?

In theory, we might have an idea of the answer of question number 2, while question number 1 refers to practice ... Question number 3 being in fact a logical consequence of the two previous ones ...

4- Which best sound system would you like to hear? 

Gentlemen, you start first!

All right, quickly

1- ii & iii
4- I'm still thinking !!!

It is my first thread which I am starting, please don't be too rude with me!
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well, people always complain about the sound at shows...
Sometimes, complaining is their first raison d'être ...

This could be an entire thread by itself: Sound quality at shows ... 

One of the best system I have heard was in a store ( in Montréal ). I do not recall exactly every component but it mainly consisted of Audio Research preamp and amp with Sonus Faber speakers and the Kronos turntable.

It was exquisite.  I only heard a couple of pieces of chamber music and jazz but it was very very good ... 

There was another store downtown with the KEF Blades and Chord electronics in a huge dedicated room ... I would have liked to hear that system ... 
1. Many years ago (30?) I heard the original Apogee speaker at a HiFi show in London, monster Krell amps playing Steely Dan's Gaucho "Hey Nineteen". I can still remember the sound today, as good as it gets, I thought.

2. Fast forward to December 2014 and I heard this system (Magico Q7 speakers and Solution electronics) at a HiFi store in The Netherlands:


Now, that was a revelation, definitely as good as I am ever going to hear!

3. A step down from the above, at about 1/25 of the cost, is a TT system I assembled this year. Turntable is a Michell Engineering GyroDec (full plinth, not the SE version) with an SME IV tonearm and Clear Audio Maestro V2 Ebony cartridge. Preamp is a McIntosh C50 with a McIntosh MC275-MK VI tube power amp. The whole system sits on a custom made Core Audio plyKraft 3L stand. And now for the really interesting bit; speakers are a pair of fully refurbished  Gale GS401A's. For those of you not familiar with Gale speakers here is a link:


See my previous post on this system:


I could not be happier with this system and certainly have no plans to change it. So overall, at a sensible budget, this is the best system I have ever heard and it looks stunningly beautiful IMHO. Best of all, it is mine!

Often in High end (commercial ) movie theaters.  Saw a movie last night...and was in awe of how good the soundtrack. ..sounded. 

I know that part of it is the room design and sheer power involved.... but if my system sounded like that...I'd never leave the house.

Seem to be the best of the headphone and speaker experience, combined.

P.S. Trolls and insecure freaks need not reply to my post...as this is MY experience. ...and yes I have had very very nice equipment. 
ok, I will bet that Tomlinson Holman designed the movie theatre system you heard...
May have been ...it was a former Sundance theatre.  Wow!
In a private house,  I have heard, in a big room, measuring something around 15' x easily 25'-30',  Magnepan Tympanis 1 modded ( he added ribbon tweeters ) +  subwoofer + 2 Classé Audio DR-2 in monoblock configuration.

The panels where easily 7 to 10 feet away from the back wall ...

Even though the owner was the type of listener who enjoys to play his music at low to moderate volume, the sound was immersive, very natural and lifelike ... Nothing was aggressive.

I remember when he played Tchaikovsky 1812 Overture ... 

This is why, later, I ended up with a very similar system ...


you meant the Apogee Full Range?

Without any doubt magnificent speakers ...

Yes, they probably were the Apogee full range. I just know they looked big, beautiful  and sounded magnificent.
Visited a friend years ago, he has a modified old Jadis amped-system and wanted me to make up some speakers for him. Brought mine as a referense+my heavily modified Electrocompaniet AW DMB-250. (moore a DMB450 now)
He also had a Oracle Delphi (MkIII?) turntable with a "direct from Japan" expensive Koetsu on it. A big open livingroom where walls where removed, thick wooden floors stiffed up by some railway tracks. (Yeah, really)

Well, when we combined his Oracle Delphi/Jadis JD80MC with my modified Electrocompaniet & 4-way (1.order asymetric/no absorbers, heavy solid core from wall to drivers) speakers we were in audioheaven. What a soundstage, totally open and with full lifelike dynamics. (my speakers/system makes folks start talking about "linear dynamics", no track of compression anywhere)

His homemade current wine from his cold cellar didn`t hold us back either. we played through some really good sounding LP`s and ended up with some opera-pieces.
This combo sounded breathtaking perfect in his room, wonder if I will ever get my system to reach that level again.
I heard the best in my home everyday.Thanks for asking though.
Great for you ebm.

Are we worthy enough to know what is your system and more about your listening room?
My system Magico,Q3 speaker, CJ ET5  preamp,Audia Flight Stremento #4 MK2 amp,TW ACUSTIC AC3 turntable with all BN upgrades feet,3motor unit with copper cover etc,TW arm,Transfiguration Proteus S cartridge.Furtech and Purist cables,Lindermen CD player may be upgrading to Audia Flight top preamp.Wonderful 13wX20 room with Stillpoint acustic panels with everything on Symposium stands even the speakers sounds great.Thanks enjoy!!

Your speakers must certainly disappear and let only the music flow in the room ...

Do they easily go down to 25 Hz in your room?

How would you rate the synergy of your system on 100? At a certain level, it becomes difficult to improve ...

I am a panel afficionado, but I would like very much to hear these Magico ... 


Hearing no compression is ... addictive when everything else is first rate ... 

Little anecdote: When it was released, I bought an Oracle Delphi MkIII. I was still studying at the university ... It was a big purchase! It completed my first system with a pair of MG I, Quad 405-2 and Quad 33.  I had so much pleasure with it ...
1 - I heard it many many years ago in an audio show. I don't remember the electronics, but the speakers were the mighty B&W 800. The sound was so naturally powerful that I truly believed, before entering the room, that a real orchestra was playing in there. I was shocked to see a pair of speakers instead of musicians...

2 - I think that a good store has the best conditions to present the best sound. A good store combines expert people, the best gear possible and a proper room. Usually I get better experiences in stores - the real good ones.

3 - I really don't know. I have no idea. My case alone is deceptive: After many changes I ended up with the very same combination that I heard in one of my regular stores. Same turntable (Nottingham Analogue), same amplifier (Line Magnetic 219ia) and the same speakers (Zu Audio Omen Def). But the sound was far better in the store and the reason is the room. I have my system assembled in a very bad room, and for now I can't change that. Maybe in the future...

4 - I'm not sure about what system I would like to try, but there are some pieces of gear that I never heard and I'm curious about. Like Magico speakers, Pass amplifiers and VPI tables. But one system that really impressed me as "ultra high end - go rob a bank" was a pair of Marten Coltrane Supreme driven by KR Kronzilla amplifiers. That was WoW! (in a store in Hong Kong last year)

I have had Magnapan Tympani 1D and Maggie with the ribbon tweeters also Quads when i was big into tube amps such as CJ Premier 5s.Great hobby. Magico has much better detail,stage and definition than Magnapans but you must match them with the best  equipment. 
About Q3, especially part ii ( Are you doing better than stores ... )

I ask because last year I had the chance to meet a lot of people selling interesting equipment ( because I wanted to build a third system in the place I stay when I am working in a remote place ... ) and I noticed that even though these gentlemen had good system, it was far from being optimally set. Most of the time, speakers were too close to the back wall and too distant one to another resulting in a soundstage with almost no depth ... I looked like people were placing theirs speakers primarily for the look as it was a simple furniture ... 

In my case, I consider that the speakers tell you where you place them, if you want the best results, sound wise ...

So it is sad to see a lot of good equipment not giving their best performance ...