I made it for Saturday and Sunday. Great traffic at Alexis Park, but CES seemed to be boycotting THE Show. There were lots of good displays @ THE Show that people missed because the CES literature did not contain information about the show right next door at the San Tropez. The light drizzle certainly didn't dampen the show for me.
I had a chance to talk to Rick from Virtual Dynamics about his design and philosophy. It was great to hear someone put an explanation behind cable design. We discussed his snake-oil formula, but I agreed not to reveal his recipe! Seriously, he was very informative, and in an age of patents and industrial secrets, Rick was very open about what he is building. I can't help but respect that.
I spent a lot of money buying LPs and even a few CDs from the ballroom(?) at Alexis Park.
Best sound? These were my three favorites, not in a specific order, but if I had to rate a number one from what I heard it would be the first one.
1) VTL with Wilson speakers. I have never been a fan, or detractor of VTL, but I had to stop and sit for a while because it sounded soo good!
2) Star Sound Technologies, in spite of the fact that they used a midpriced monitor! They used dcs front end and pre-amp, with their own mono-blocks. A lot of the quality had to be attributed to the cones and stands that they make. TWL auditioned the system for me. Thanks for letting me waste your time Tom.
3) Purist Audio Design. They were using Eben speakers with a Nagra pre-amp and a Swedish company I never heard of for amp and CDP. All of it was cabled with Venustus, as opposed to Dominus which most people will admit is phenominal. The system still sounded great, but with a supposedly lesser quality cable (3rd from the top in the line) used throughout.
I also got to meet some interesting people. I tried to catch up with Albert, but he was either still in bed, napping, or already gone to bed. At least that's the story I got. I saw Stehno's equipment racks!!! I've never seen a more beautiful series of racks. If they sound as good as they look (which he claims they do) they will cause some changes in this industry. He was a very personable guy, though obviously not as handsome as I!
I had a pleasant, brief discussion with Arnie. He seems like a very good person to have in his position, and a good understanding of what's really taking place on AudiogoN! Sound like a suck-up don't I??? I really like this site though.
People who are content to buy chinese knock-offs of Cary and many others would be happy to see the direct ripoffs at a lower price. Not having to do R&D must save them a lot of money!
I had fun!