I'm headed down Saturday.
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me to. I saw Wes Bender will have a display at room 903.
I hope he brings the Hansen speakers. I want to hear those speakers.
The top of the line YG Acoustics speakers will be in rooms 1021 and 1022
Here's a list of all the exhibitors at the show.
Dropped in on Saturday. Coincident room was excellent. Wilson Alexia with D'Agostino amps were the best I've ever heard Wilsons sound. Very bad sound from Joseph Pulsars. It had to be the room or setup, because they can't be that bad. Audio Note room also sounded poor. Their speakers just wouldn't work in that room, but the Robert Leighton speakers with Audio Note electronics sounded wonderful. All in all, it was pretty nice and I had a good time. Oh, the Sanders electrostats were quite nice.
I went, heard a lot, and best of show for me was the Joseph Audio Pearl (Version 3) in the VPI room. The sound was compelling and had none of the flaws I usually hear:
(mushy upper bass, lack of low end, too much bass, ringing upper mids especially on piano, too smoothed over or mechanical vocals, too sharp/snappy highs that are fatiguing).
Everything was right, imaging was great, and everything fell into place.
It was great balanced sound and I was thinking I could easily live with these speakers permanently, and maybe
I'll buy a pair someday.
Some other speakers excelled in some audiophile "wow" way,
like Wilson imaging/venue creation (Maxx3 and Sashas),
Audio Note SP AN-e ethereal vocals and mids,
Sanders you-are-there uncanny presence.
Very honorable mention to the Venture audio sound (but I think the sub-woofer integration I *think* they had activated was little off, and also the
Sony (SSAR2?) little floorstanders that were very natural,
and the YG 2-piece model that had great bass and a nice live sound.
Strangely, the Wilson Maxx3s in the Classic Album room with a Vinyl Elvis greatest hits sounded too warm and undefined and foggy to me.
I also heard the Raidho speakers and the Vivid speakers with high hopes (I never heard them before) but both seemed too sharp in the upper ranges and fatiguing to me.
I was surprised at my reaction to these, as they seem very popular.
OK, that's my de-briefing from yesterday.
I went on Friday and again on Sunday. I thought the best room was the LessLoss room, where a prototype digital setup and Pass Labs monoblocs were driving Kaiser Kawero speakers. I thought they were very musical with great tone and a deep soundstage. I thought they surpassed everything else I heard significantly, although all the power conditioning and the larger room may have played a big role.
The Joseph Audio Pulsars sounded bright to me on Friday, but a lot better on Sunday. The Joseph Pearls in the VPI room sounded quite good, I thought, but didn't seem to extend very low for such a large speaker.
I liked the Coincident room quite a bit and the smaller GamuT speakers in the Woodbridge Audio room. (The larger GamuT speakers were in use on Sunday and completely overloaded the room with bass.) The Vivid Giyas driven by Mola Mola amps also sounded good. The best monitors I heard were Raidho driven by the Merill Veritas monos. For monitors, they packed quite a wallop.
I was at the show from 10 AM all the way to 6 PM on Saturday, and, as this was the first time I ever attended a high end audio show, I truly enjoyed every single minute of my experience. It was great to see and hear so much stuff that I've only been able to read about all these years.
I was especially impressed by the Brodmann speakers driven by Electrocompaniet electronics, the Vivid Giyas driven by the Mola Mola class D amplifiers, the beautiful sounding Harbeth 30.1's, the Zellaton speakers in the exquisite wood paneled "former office" of Leona Helmsley, the Raidho speakers and VAC electronics combination in the Sound by Singer room (Welcome back to New York Mr. Singer !), and the wonderful music in the Robert Lighton Audio rooms.
It was a great experience speaking with Steve Guttenberg and Kalman Rubinson, two fine gentlemen whose writings I have admired for many years. And it was a lot of fun listening to the big KEF Reference speakers with Cary amplification and sharing in the joy of hearing the Beach Boys Pet Sounds album with a roomful of folks in the "Classic Album Sundays" room.
But perhaps the most memorable experience for me was sitting with Mr. Dan D'Agostino listening to his new Momentum amplifiers and the Wilson Audio Alexia speakers in the Innovative Audio room. Bravo !!
My compliments to everyone who worked so hard to put this NY Audio Show together. It was fantastic !
Some quick thoughts-
-Loved the live music. Lori Lieberman was really special but the frequent short sets in that Foyer on the 5th floor were great.
-I think I'm getting to be a tube snob. I only heard one solid state system that I liked at all, the Raidho/Merrill Class D system.
-It's amazing how many $100K systems can be put together in one place. OK, maybe not. What's truly amazing is how many $100K-$200K (and up) systems can be put together that have great soundstaging, deep bass, pin-point imaging, amazing HF extension, and that do not sound anything like music!!!
-Did VPI have an exclusive right to exhibit 'tables? Not exactly correct, but I bet they had 90% of the 'tables. And how come Merrill was using a VPI instead of their own?
-Best sound- Singer room w VAC and Raidho.
-Other impressive rooms
Joseph Pearls/VPI/"new" Citations- but what was up w
the 3 channel set up?
TRL dude/Allnic/MAD Barons/Care audio
-Best affordable speaker- the stacked Sjofen "clues"...for $2K they are a relative bargain, esp. for uptempo music.
Did anyone get a chance to listen to the Mytek 192/DSD dac?
I assume you are Joseph and I just want to say that I've always thought your speakers were very good at their price points. I don't recall the music being played, but they sounded like somebody eliminated the frequencies below 250hz. Just shrill and unbalanced. It's possible I was just standing in some part of the room that cancelled out the lower frequencies or something like that. The Pulsars have an excellent reputation, so, as I stated in my post above, it must have been the room or the recording.
I have to agree with alot of people, the best sounding speakers were the Coincident Pure Reference Extreme Loudspeakers. I'm not even a fan of Ceramic drivers, but these Coincident speakers sound great.
I'v heard speakers that used Ceramic drivers that sounded dry.
These Coincident speakers sounded very smooth and sweet and the bass was upbeat and tight. I'm pretty sure those 12 inch woofers on the side of the Coincident speakers are either Scanspeak or Peerless woofers.
I also heard the Wilson Maxx 3 speakers with top of the line VTL tube amps and VTL preamp and something was wrong with the Maxx 3 speakers. There was no bass and the mids sounded messed up.
The Wilson Sasha's sounded nice on the Lamm 1.2 amps and VTL preamp. I liked the Sasha's better then the Wilson Alexia's.
The Alexia's seemed to have a very detailed type sound.
While i felt the Sasha's were smoother sounding.
On the other hand, i heard the 100,000 Gammut S9 speakers on an all Gamut system and these speakers just weren't that good.
They were way to boomy and the midrange wasn't that accurate.
I was really impressed by the Woo audio headphone amps.
They had like 6 or 7 headphone amps you can listen to with sennheiser, Beyerdynamic and Stax headphones.
I loved the WA5 300B tube headphone amp with the tube power supply. They used 300B tubes in the headphone amp
They had that tube sound and could play loud without breaking up. I also liked the Woo Audio WA22 tube headphone amp, but this didn't use a separate tube power supply. It still sounded great.
I also like that pure vinyl program from Channel D for getting vinyl onto a computer. Channel D also showed their pure music program which talked how to get the best sound from Itunes to your computer. ($129 for Pure Music and Pure Vinyl is $279).
There were alot of good tube preamps there.
The TRL Dude, Manley 300B tube preamp, Coincident Statement Line Stage.
There were so amazing looking turntables there from the Kronos, to the Triangle Reference Turntable to the Audio Note Kondo Turntable and the Redpoint Audio Designs Model D Turntable.
I was in the rooms that played the Vivid Giya G3 speakers, TAD Reference 1 speakers and Zellaton speakers. But everytime i went into either of these rooms, they seemed to be playing piano or chamber music, so their was no way i could judge the sound of the speakers.
I went on Friday and really enjoyed the show experience. However, what impressed me most was how LOW the performance to price ratio was in just about every room. I heard very few systems that really sounded good to my ears and many VERY expensive systems that sounded pretty darn lousy. I kept asking myself why this might be the case. Even the Harbeth Monitor 30.1's sounded just OK and that is a speaker line that I am very familiar with and have heard sound exceptional either in my own home or in a dealer demo. I suppose the rooms may have been at issue but the room sizes and configurations varied considerably and many of them seemed, at least from what I could tell, to be pretty good spaces. I walked away wondering how many new converts would be created when price tags were so high and performance so lacking. It also made me sad that these shows have become the primary way that audio firms are marketing their wares. I've had some transformative experiences in dealer demos but was largely unmoved by what I heard on Friday. I may be running against the grain here, but I've heard properly set up systems in decent rooms that were a fraction of the cost of most of what was out there on Friday that sounded way better.
Yes, I'm Jeff Joseph. It's too bad you weren't able to get a seat, judging the sound balance from a standing position is unpredictable. Perhaps you were stuck in a bass null. The bass in the seats was excellent, I had many ask me if we were using a subwoofer ! We weren't.
I have the Charlie Daniels album too, I bought it on Harry Weisfeld's recommendation, along with Frankie Laine and the Zubin Mehta interpretation of The Planets.
what impressed me most was how LOW the performance to price ratio was in just about every room. I heard very few systems that really sounded good to my ears and many VERY expensive systems that sounded pretty darn lousy.Agree, Dodgealum, but I was trying to accentuate the positive. I've not heard much of the gear that was there before and I'm prone to say that my preference for all tube gear didn't fit in very well w most of the systems there. The VAC Statement/VAC signature/Raidho system was probably the "best", IMO, and one of the more expensive, but the again, the Wilson Maxx and the big Genesis systems were also at the far end of the price curve and were astonishingly mediocre. As far as high performance/price ratio, I would have to say there were two- the stacked "clue" monitors and the Coincident room. It is quite astonishing that one guy can produce speakers, pre-amps and power amps that all sound "right". They are not cheap, but in the fantasy world that high end has become, I think that they provided the best value at the show. I overheard Israel Blume tell a potential customer that while they could not compete in overall dynamics and roomfilling ability, that his mid-price speaker ($10K, one third the most of his top line speaker_was the value sweet spot, Now that's a guy I can really admire! And yeah, there are more than a few well chosen and well set up systems at a fraction of the cost of some of the ones I heard, that outperformed them in every way. But then again, most people don't listen the way I do, either.
I went for a total of 14 hours listening to every room in contention for my
personal best of show at least 3x over 2 days:
Top tier in alphabetical order:
D'agostino/Alexia/MBL (and with no room treatments!)
TAD with Viola electronics and Feickert turntable
Joseph Audio Pulsars
VPI room with VPI table, Joseph Audio Pearls and VAC Citation amps
Rooms that I expected to sound good but did not:
KEF Blades in Audio Doctor room (although the Kronos table looked great and
I bet would sound better with the proper set up)
Room that I could not get to and therefore cannot pass judgment:
KEF LS50 ----tremendous value @$1,500
In short, disappointed. Being an enthusiast, I love to look at components and admire craftsmanship, but sound-wise, not much "wowed" me. 80-85% of what I heard left me saying, "I want to go home and listen to my system".
Best sounds, in no particular order:
Harbeth, Red Wine, Bricasti
Martin Logan CLX
KEF Blade, Chord, some 'table that had counter-rotating platters. (considering the $, worst sound at show).
Many others as escaping me at this time. I'll chime in
if I remember.
Also, one major disappointment that MANY rooms were guilty of: LOUSY MUSIC PLAYED TOO LOUDLY. Nothing chases me out of a room faster than anything electronic. This includes guitar, bass guitar or anything synthesized (i.e. "club" music). This is not how to determine if a system can accurately reproduce recorded acoustic sounds. IMO.
I agree that the vast majority of rooms were very expensive yet mediocre. The only room that really stood out for me was the LessLoss room, where I felt I was listening to and really enjoying music.
I also felt the Coincident room was creating music, although it did not sound on par with the Kaiser Kaweros in the LessLoss room. (Nor should it have -- the Coincident equipment is substantially less expensive and was stuffed into a smaller room.)
In most other rooms, I felt like I was hearing audio systems being put through their paces. This applied to the Wilson rooms, the Audio Doctor/KEF Blade room, and the Woodbridge Audio/GamuT room. By the way, I did not like the Sound by Singer room. I used to own VAC gear and love it. Maybe the Raidho speakers were the issue, but the VAC/Raidho system Singer had on display sounded very artificial and "plasticky" to me both times I heard it.
That said, I assume that room acoustics were partly to blame in some rooms. There were quite a few rooms with speakers that were clearly too big for the space. Those massive GamuT speakers in the small Woodbridge Audio room looked and sounded ridiculous in that space. The Vivids also seemed way too big for the room they were in.
I've already replied up above, but after reading more of this thread, I have a question. Like I said, this was my first "audio show" and I really enjoyed my day there. But all you guys are complaining. Is this a normal response to all the tremendously hard work and sincere efforts that the dealers/distributors/stereo companies/etc. obviously devoted to putting this whole thing together ? Shouldn't we all be a little more grateful that all these folks are doing the best they can to keep this "audio industry" afloat and vital ? I'm somewhat bothered by all this negativity.
Agreed - let's see some more love. But I do agree with the Zellaton and Kaiser comments above as to best of show. My personal preference leans towards the Zellaton CH Precision room - very very unforced and natural and made everything else sound hifi and artificial. Never heard of CH Precision but serious looking and sounding gear. The Kaiser was very pretty sounding with more of a hifi sound than Zellaton but still very enjoyable. Cheers
Thanks for reminding me guys. The Kaiser/LessLoss room was fantastic. Last year it was on of the best sounds at the show for me as well. Also, the Zellaton/CH Precision room was remarkable playing Sonny's "Way Out West".
Well, as for all the "negativity"...yes, the ridiculously overpriced world of audio leaves me a bit jaded. Look, I'm an enthusiast. I love to get up close and admire the craftsmanship and skill required to make beautiful looking turntables, gorgeous speaker cabinetry and the "bling" of a shinny tube amp, but at the end of the day it's about the sound, and if I don't like it I will say so. Just because I publicly voice my dislike of a manufacturer doesn't mean I don't appreciate their attendance. It's simply not my cup of tea...to each his own.
Let's not forget this is what we do in our spare time because it's a fun hobby and we love music reproduced through a stereo system. If you go to a car show, must you leave it praising every single car? Must you like every wine at a wine tasting? And if you don't, does that mean your not thankful for the event? People who are enthusiasts, regardless of hobby, are entitled and encouraged IMO, to critique what they experience, the good and the bad.
Devilboy, I get your point, and I tend to agree with you. In fact, besides my love of music, my (and my wife's) appreciation of fine wine is one of my other favorite avocations. And when I'm at a tasting and may not like a particular wine, I still thank the vintner for coming to the show and allowing me to taste samples of their stuff. Of course we won't always like every audio system we hear, but let's at least appreciate the fact that these guys worked their butts off to allow us to hear and critique their systems. If we don't show some gratitude, these audio shows, just like our beloved local audio shops, will soon disappear.
Was my first time at an audio show. As you might expect, I experienced some great things while I was there. I experienced some radical version of "settling in" as the system adjusts and warms up. I also gained a deeper appreciation for the strength of the effect the room has on the audio. I was amazed, as well, at how changes in speaker position of merely 1-2mm can potentially create a dramatic improvement or degradation in perceived sound quality (from multiple positions in the room).
Great to compare a lot of high end systems at the show. Also great to just sit in and listen, without comparing, and just take in the musical performances. Sadly, there was a fair amount of music that was just over-the-top loud. Oh well.
Strange how the show seems to get a lot of traction by way of what speakers are playing. It's like lots of folks came in to see and hear the speakers, but forget about all the rest of the equipment that was essential in producing that sound to begin with.
I'd love to go again sometime. Great experience.
Aaronknock- Agree w most of what you say; my comments were directed at the total set-up which was why I tried to focus on which rooms I liked. But...as long as there is no gross mis-match somewhere along the line, the speakers
TYPICALLY (not always) tend have the most impact on the subjective character of the sound of a system. IMO/IME/YMMV/LSMFT/SQ3R ;-)