I went to the audio show today and had a great time, but I must give kudos to Resolution Acoustics on the forth floor. A must listen set of rooms and my vote for best sounding rooms.
I agree... to be able to walk from one room... that had no acoustical treatments... to an adjoining room that had acoustical treatments... and hear the exact same music being played on the same source components through identical speakers was pretty cool.
The best sound at the show for me was the Accoustic Zen Cresendo
speakers paired with Triode of Japan 845 mono amps. This room is
spectacular sounding.... so musical and engaging. Nothing to my ears was
as emotionally arresting. Maybe the Audionote room got 80% there.

The mega dollar rooms were a tad underwhelming for me. This was my first
show in 28 years and very educational. I could not sit for more than 5
minutes in the Magico room.

However the Triode Corporation of Japan 845 amps paired with their $3200
preamp and $3200 CD player feeding the Cresendo speakers was a
complete joy. My wife and I could not get enough of this room.

Mr. Robert Lee of Accoustic Zen is a gracious room host and humble
Anyone hear the Magico room how was it??
+1 your observations of the Acoustic Zen/Triode Corp amps. I have had the
pleasure of hearing this combination on three separate occasions and each
time it was a thrilling experience. Just plain beautiful sounding music
reproduction. I also share your feeling regarding the Magicos, I know what
you mean. It seems we both must hear things in a very similar fashion.
I like the Raidho/Scan Sonic room largely because Lars Kristensen's demonstrations, and his contradictions of some basic playback philosophies of other manufactures/presenters I just heard. Right or wrong, here or there, it was an engaging room.

Sad to say, but I never heard digital sound so smooth as Bricasti/Tidal room. YG Carmel 2 (aggravating price increase), Sanders Sound, and surprisingly the Harbeth HL5 plus/Rossi were the most enjoyable to me. Volti was as good as I have heard from horn speakers.

The 12th floor megabuck rooms were all boring, which is a little depressing. Sonus Faber and dynaudio based systems never did that much for me. First time hearing magico.
The Scan Sonic room was very good and that line of speakers a great value! Yes, the 12th floor with the big dollar systems was boring and disappointing.

Charles, I would like that exact Triode & Accoustic Zen system transported to my room.

Ebm, that was funny. I meant the sound made me want to leave the room quickly as it was nervous and irritating sounding.
What were they playing in the magico room that was so irritating I wonder?

I've heard a few Magico demos and though I am not sure or not if they would be my cup of tea over the long, especially for the cost, I don't recall thinking there was anything bad going on necessarily. The mini's in particular I thought were just too undersized to deliver all the goods like a true fullrange but used in teh right way in the right room I found nothing offensive about them.

Still waiting to hear about the one sound that everyone agrees is even good much less the best. Choice in sound is much like most other things life, a highly personal choice. So nothing surprises me much anymore.
I am referring to the room where Magico paired with Audio Research. Not sure of the Magico model, but they were huge! No matter the type of music played they simply sounded sterile and boring.

The larger MBL room was specatular and I would think all agree. At least that was the sense at the show.
What Magico speaker were there??ARC no big deal.
ARC/Magico both tend towards high resolution/detail so might not be my preferred pairing unless one wants very high-res with a tube amp and all that goes with that. Some might, others not so much.

Many larger, more expensive setups I see at shows shoot to raise the bar in all areas including detail/resolution. That's not always my cup of tea but I can appreciate it when done well.
I agree with Ohlala that the Bricasti room was impressive. For me the system I would taken home was in the room, Quad/BAT, though the MBL room was a close second.

My daughter ended up sitting next to a TAS rep in the Magico room (4th floor I think) and after the demo she said his notes were something to the effect of "dynamic but lacking emotion". I just thought it was an odd track for a demo, three piece jazz but all very closely mic'd so the while the instrumentation was lively the mix was somewhat unnatural.

The Esoteric room was awful, in my humble opinion. To the point that I wondered if the left La Sphere speaker had a blown tweeter or something. It shrieked at me most unpleasantly. And I like a forward high end.

The Sadurni horns were cool, but I didn't get an extremely satisfying answer from the rep about why they chose to pair them with Merrill mono blocks. Something to the effect of "while these are 108Db efficient and could run on flea watts we chose to run them with these 400W Veritas...". IDK, seemed odd.

In the Scaena room there was a Crown amp peeking out from under the curtain in the back of the room. The rep confirmed that it was running the subs. So put it out in the open! Don't be ashamed of your Crown amp!

Kudos to the guys in the Benchmark room for just being super cool and fun to talk to.
Magico had Q7 and the new M series. My assessment of them is right in line with the others. They check all of the audiophile boxes and are incredibly over built. They were also completely not involving. The sum was definitely way less than the parts. For 200k and 125k respectively, I expected a much more involving presentation.

The Acoustic Zen were excellent as they have been when ever I have heard them. For under 6k, the Odyssey Kismet and Audiokinesis Zephrin were both very, very good. I liked the Jantzen speakers were very good also. The HHR Exotics were very good as well.

My second favorite of the show were the Mosaic Audio Illuminations. I am a fan of Dale Pitchers speakers, having owned a couple and still having a pair in my possession. They take all of the things that his other speakers do so well and take it up another notch. They also had Scaena extenders there filling in the very lowest frequencies. Outstanding speakers that have every detail thought out to the nth degree.

I am surprised that no one has mentioned the Muraudio room. They have 360 degree, vertically curved electostatic panels atop a trio of woofers in a solid cabinet. Sunday afternoon I had about a half hour in that room essentially with the manufacturer and myself. I could walk anywhere around that room and the stage did not fall apart. To my ears, they had the best traits of electrostats and omnipolars all rolled into one. Great tone, scale, resolution, extension at both extremes, and completely believable 3d imaging. If I had the coin, my search might well start and stop there.
I enjoyed the MBL room (as I did 2 years ago) but the big surprise for me was the Lawrence Audio/Rowland room. Excellent speakers from Taiwan.

I spent too much time in the Ear Gear room and did not go to the 12th floor. Looks like I did not miss much based on the comments here. I was impressed with the MrSpeakers Ether headphones. A great way to test out all the latest headphones.
Muraudio room was probably the best of the show for me.
I was amazed by the Janszen dynamics. I requested to play the bookshelf model and was amazed by their sound stage and scale. Another good room was the Lahave audio with their new model that retailed for $11k. Single driver and highly efficient. I was amazed at how low they went down. I was told that it was flat to 30Hz, but I thought I was hearing lower than that.
I thought that the Signature SEs were playing in Legacy's big room. But it was the Studio HDs. Amazing. They then played the Signature SEs and it seems a very nice speaker. Easy on the ears and rhythmic.
Another speaker that simply amazed me were the Lawrence Audio's Double Bass speakers. The realism and transparency were second to none. These were playing with Jeff Rowland electronics and a custom preamp. They sounded fabulous. In the next room the Lawrence Violins were playing. But they did not sound anywhere close to the Double Bass.
Sony's speaker at the Hegel+Nordost demo room were another speakers that took me by surprise. I had read that the $27K were very nice. But these $10k speakers were very good indeed. They were playing Phoebe Killdeer He's Late song while demoing Nordost products. The system sounded awesome.
Another awesome and unaffordable system that I wanted to hear was Polymer system. And now I know why they are so nice.
Tidal speakers were used in various rooms and the one with Bricasti audio, sounded very good indeed.
Honestly the Vandersteen Treos were a bit of disappointment for me. I was so hoping to like them.
AudioKinesis was the first room I entered since I was looking up to hear them so much. An older Jazz was playing when I entered the room. It sounded pretty good with image and body. Then folks requested something digital and more modern. So Brian switched to Steely Dan Gaucho in DSD 64. For some reason that sounded rolled off. The gentleman next to me was looking at me to make sure that he was not having hearing issues. But I acknowledged the same. Maybe the system was not warmed up yet. I went back to the room later in the evening. And this time the highs seem to be in place with enough weight to the system.
I did visit the Scansonic room. But they said they would not be playing the speakers standing silently in the corners. The Raidhos were nice. But so are the Buggatis in the world.
Wanted to listen to Endeavor E-3, but the E-5 were paying. But the sound was good.
KEFs gave a very nice demo with Parasound electronics. I was impressed by the LS50. They were in a big square room and this speaker were pulled so far from the rear wall. But the bass was quite convincing. Of course when they switched to the Blade 2 it showed all the weakness of the LS50. The only weakness it had was the "life size" staging and bass response. And yes, the resolution of Blades was in a totally different territory.
I can go on and on. But let stop it here.
I find it hard to believe that nobody liked the Magico Q7 and M project.
I agree with much that has been said. I enjoyed speakers from Raidho, MBL, HHR Exotics, and Kaiser Acoustics as much as any others.

I liked the Magico M Project speakers in a small room more than the big room setup. The Q7's were highly detailed, but not moving me. I think part of it was the music selection I heard while there. I felt like I was almost listening to sound effects tracks at times.

My favorite speakers from the more budget-friendly priced options were from Odyssey, Emerald Physics, and Tyler Acoustics.
Merrill Wettasinghe was kind enough to respond to me and provide clarification on the pairing of the VERITAS amps and the horns. He graciously allowed me to post his reply, which is included in part below.

"The VERITAS was partnered with the Horns due to the sonic qualities of the horns that were dicovered accidently by the Sadurni during a city shutdown because of a snow storm. In the listening sessions, The VERITAS Monoblocks were toyingly and reluctantly replacing a high end Tube amp. Much to everyones surprise, and to the surprise of Sadurni also, it was better. I was not in that listening session and was called later to listen it them which I reluctantly did as I care much for the horn sound. I was surprised also at the sound from the horns which has no horn sound but all the dynamics and punch.
Here is the reviewer's write up."

I agree with DMS1. Unless you just had a heavy meal and were looking to nod off, you made the right move.

The Ear Expo was great, but a little gross if one bothered to think about it, which I tried not to do. Lots of amps and top end headphones to try. I really like the Ether, more than LCD-X. I never heard of Mr. Speakers before that day. They are more comfortable and lighter than the Audeze, but I think the LCD-3s have me because of their fuller sound. Stax SR-009 was also great to finally try; still preferred the LCD-3. Dana Cable proved themselves in an A/B setup with their cable versus stock headphone cable on the same headphone model. The difference was such I would be compelled to buy theirs over using stock cords. Fun.
Milpai. What was it about the Vandersteen Treos that you found disappointing?
I found them sounding "boxed in" and not as open as I heard the same song from other speakers. Not sure if it was the room or something else. Though the piano sounded good, the drums set did not sound natural at all. That bothered me during the demo.
I have heard the Magico speakers at many shows and with a lot of different electronics. They do all the audiophile stuff right but they are not involving. To me it's all about being Involved with the music. Without that what is the point.
Taters, every time I come home from my rich friends house I am reminded how much better my Gallo/Eastern Electric/AVA systems sounds than his Lamm/Magico one at about 60K less.
Magico is a wonderful musical speaker.
Schubert - Could it be that you prefer your own system to your friend's much more costly one, since you're used to it and you know what a good value it provides? From another perspective, does your friend agree with your assessment? From your statement that your system sounds much better than your friend's, it is given as an absolute fact. Is that really what you meant? I'm not trying to give you a hard time, just want to better understand your thoughts.
No, he used to have Acoustic Zen Crescendo's which were killer. He switched to Magico 7 something and system sounds
flat to me . Lamm pre is not as musical as my EE Avant IMO.
Last week he told me he's thinking about some German speaker
that cost 110K , I disremember which .
I'm a retired HS teacher Crescendos are a reach for me and are too big for my condo anyway. I set myself a 10K limit on my system for religious reasons though I've spent
much more over the years.
Would like to try/hear some Eastern gear somewhere/someday.
Schubert - thanks for the clarification, and enjoy the tunes!
(Magico is a wonderful musical speaker) I have heard them many times and not once were they musical. They do all the audiophile tricks but musical is not one of them.
Taters, I'm now crying.If you use the best they will sound that way.What speaker do you have??
First off I have heard many speakers out there and I have never been impressed with Magico. They have great advertising and build quality and that is about it. I guess everyone has an opinion what they like. I wish I could tell you I like Magico, but I don't.
Don't really care what you like sorry.
Ebm - you asked what speaker Taters has, and then you responded stating that you don't really care. Then why did you bother asking?
I was talking about his opinion on MAGICO not his speakers.Thanks
"They do all the audiophile tricks but musical is not one of them."

I guess its reasonable to call a speaker one does not care for not musical. If they were, then you would probably like them.

Meanwhile someone else things they are the most musical. Go figure.

Just talk it up to personal tastes. Some would think Kate Upton is not beautiful while to many she is the cat's meow.

Is there anything in this world everyone likes? Fresh air I suppose. Can't think of much else.

I've heard Magicos and thought them to sound quite good and very musical. Just too expensive for me mainly and I probably like other less expensive speakers better.
Ebm, you need to come to terms with the realization that not everyone shares your evangelical praise for Magico. The fact that you bring up the name unsolicited in many threads like some teenager shouting out a word in a crowd doesn't help your cause and credibility. You might just give it a rest. You sound as though you are looking for affirmation (Jack Handy?) that you're not going to get.
Where did Taters talk about his speakers? He was talking about Magico. What are you smoking dude?
I asked him what speakers he had DUDE!!!!!
05-04-15: Ebm
I was talking about his opinion on MAGICO not his speakers.Thanks

Time to move another direction.
Im not looking for anything Mr Essentialaudio certainly not from a DEALER!!
Thanks for the speech.
Ebm-Playing the villian is only cool in Hollyweird!
Ebm, what do you have against dealers? I work very hard to help my customers understand, select, and enjoy their systems. Any problem becomes my problem to solve. The word 'no' isn't in my vocabulary unless the demand is clearly out of line. Customers receive the same respect and treatment in kind. You might try that approach.
Sure is funny when the troll gets trolled. Now he's playing villain and victim at the same time. LOL
Troll youself JERK!!!
Nothing good luck.
Ebm I thought you were a dealer for Symposium. The 20 or so times you have come to these shores and planted that flag has made me think you were a sales rep for that company. Tom
I manufacture Symposium in my house.
Wow Ebm, you are a celebrity. Looks likes you are a well known personality on this forum.