Debating whether to make the 2 hour drive.
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My friend Robert and I will be driving down that torture road known as the I-5 to spend Saturday at the show.
We’ll be bringing some of our own music to hear in an attempt to accurately determine what the equipment is doing without all of the artificial digital reverb that infects most of the recordings played at these shows.
Sorry to say ... the cleaning lady snagged the ART-9 and broke the cantilever. I had an AT OC9 MK III with just a few hours on it as a spare. The ART-9 gave a little more detail and was better in some ways, but the OC9 has its charms too. Overall, I think the OC9 is more true to the music from a tonal standpoint. It is half the price of the ART-9 too, plus it is a real killer on mono records.
@steakster The Pacific Surfliner is nice.I have taken it down to San Diego.
@tablejockey Last month I made it down to Newport area to hear the Luxman 509x. I had about 10 minutes time window to listen to the Luxman m900u+c900u combo to escape out of Newport and avoid the DREADED 405 gridlock. Well I could not help myself and decided to listen to the m900u and it was 1 hour later when I left the store for a 3 hour crawl back home.
I have 8-10 hours to kill in Los Angeles this Wed and will go and listen to some gear somewhere.
I went today, Friday. No doubt, many vendors were still fine tuning their rooms. It seems that my old ears just can’t handle detailed, analytical speakers anymore. Plenty of those.
For the budget minded, I was very impressed with PranaFidelity and Odyssey Audio. Both owners build and design their own electronics as well as their own speakers. Kind of impressive. Both offered presentations that were warm, engaging, and dynamic at affordable prices. Detailed without being overly analytical. In other words, very musical. Also, kudos to Audio Kinesis’s latest speaker. Duke said this is his best ever.
For those with deeper pockets, the MBL room never disappoints. Also, the Wilson Audio DAW’s were very impressive. The DAW’s were driven by the new budget D’Agostino integrated - only $22K. 😎
Scott Walker Audio had two identical rooms side by side with the duplicate systems. Neither room had any acoustical treatments. The only difference was that one room was filled with Synergistic Research’s tweaks such as HFT’s, ECT’s, Grounding Block, etc. The one without the tweaks sounded raw and thin. The other one with the tweaks sounded considerably fuller and quieter. Very interesting.
There were other good sounding rooms. My notes are sparse.
"Scott Walker Audio had two identical rooms side by side with the duplicate systems. Neither room had any acoustical treatments. The only difference was that one room was filled with Synergistic Research’s tweaks such as HFT’s, ECT’s, Grounding Block, etc. The one without the tweaks sounded raw and thin. The other one with the tweaks sounded considerably fuller and quieter. Very interesting."
When I was there, I listened to one room, then they had server malfunctions. No chance to compare the two.
All in all, I didn’t hear "bad" sounding rooms. There were however, a couple that stood out. I was hoping to hear the Magnepan LRS, but no luck.
Jeff Catalano of Highwater Audio-New York, and a few others had great sounding table based rigs. A test pressing of Queen’s "Bohemian Rhapsody"(which I hated when it was released,)in the Berdan room was stellar. My personal "stampers" on some tables reminded me an what extra $ 50k does wonders!
Good time-especially since I didn’t have to drive.
erik_squires I caution everyone about these demos. You can equalize tracks digitally before hand, and then play different versions in different rooms.
Scott Walker is a class act. He didn’t build his very successful business by fooling people. He’s 100% customer oriented. The difference I heard between the two rooms had nothing to do with EQ’ing. You should not be making accusations that are unfounded. Get off your high horse.
I witnessed the server problems in the Scott Walker room as well. Ted Denney was doing the demo. Just when it came time to demo the changes made, the server went down. Bummer.
Did any of you hear the big Altecs? I took one of my CD compilations and asked them to play it. Best Altecs I’ve ever heard, and I’m not a big fan of horns. What they do is build their own cabinets. Then the horn is powder coated and bolted to the top of the speaker cabinets, instead of just laying on top of the cabinets in the usual fashion. The reduced vibrations of the horns really made these speakers sing.
I was disappointed that more local dealers weren’t there. Maybe next year will be better in that regards.
The E.A.R. room sounded really good as usual. Dan Meinwald, the distributor, played excellent music as usual. You can always count on an excellent listening session in Dan’s room.
The Legacy speaker people had a nice sounding room too. They demonstrated their large speakers that are above the Focus line. Excellent sound for big rooms at 20k per pair.
Tons of good records for sale at Bob Donnelly’s booth. He just acquired over 100,000 records from a collector. Lots of rare jazz and classical on really rare labels that are never seen on the resale market at $20 to $60 a pop. He also had a terrific collection of dead-mint original Contemporary label jazz records.
Overall, there were four rooms that my friend Robert and I had a hard time prying ourselves away from. All four were playing non-audiophile music instead of the usual audiophile recordings that everyone seems to play at these shows.
How many rooms would play Dean Martin’s very first recording, original pressing, in mono ... and have it sound like Dean Martin was in the room? The only one that I know of, and to my ears, the most entertaining room at the show. This is a music lovers room where those in the know bring their own records to play. The person running the room has stacks of records too. He had a turntable with two arms, one with a stereo cartridge and the other strictly for mono. The mono records played in that room, including the Dean Martin record, produced some of the best sounds at the show. But then, I’m partial to that stuff. :-)
You should not be making accusations that are unfounded. Get off your high horse.
I made no accusation. I said it is possible to do a demo set up like this and be fooled. I never said it was certain this particular vendor did this on this particular day.
So, my horse and i ride proud below a flag that reads "Truth."
I found it interesting that the Los Angeles Audio Society had an event the same weekend as this show. Seemed a little classless in my opinion and left a bad perception of the society on me.