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My wife and I are going on Friday. We are on vacation and will be arriving in Boulder,CO tomorrow afternoon. We started last week from our home in New England and drove to Rapid City where we are now. Looking forward to meeting some people that share my passion. We are leaving for home on Saturday which is a 4 day drive. I miss my 2 sound systems!!!
Well the show starts early on Friday so you will have lots of time to look at rooms. With one day I would start on the first floor. These are large rooms. There is a large atrium with a restaurant and bar. As you look at the bar face on to the right of it there is a hallway with about 5 large rooms. Those are fun. Then the are all the headphone and portable music gear in the Can jam room. Then you can take the hallway on the opposite side of the restaurant and visit some more large rooms. The map on the website is a little confusing, but you can work you way towards the tower elevator. Take that all the way to the top. From there you can visit lots of rooms. I recommend using the stairs to work you way down to the lower floors. The elevator gets very busy, so for just one floor better to take the stairs.
I do. Of course you want to check out the large rooms down stairs and on the mezzanine. Actually you could save those for later when you get hungry and come down for lunch. They are pretty mellow. Second you might want to look through the program either on line or the program when you get your badge. Mark the gear you want to listen to by the floor they are on.
Always fun to go to the rooms with expensive gear, the gear you read about but could never afford. You might surprise yourself by how many of those rooms you think sound bad. Trust your ears not the price tag. No it isn't the room it is the equipment.
Again in the tower, with the two elevators, might be three, go all the way to the top walk the rooms then take the stairs down to the next floor. Slow elevator.
When you get to the 7th. floor please stop in and introduce yourself. My name is Jim and will be in the Bricasti room number 7013. Should be a good sounding room
Sadly, I can't make it this year, and I found out that neither can my main dealer. I love to spend a good portion of my time talking through stuff with him and and listening to the music and sound that does it for me.
it's a great show, and I've found that by Saturday afternoon and early Sunday, the exhibitors have their gear all in order and tweaked out to sound best in their rooms. There can be distractions on Friday and especially Sunday afternoon, as there's a mass exodus of packing it all up and getting out of there.
The show can be overwhelming and difficult to navigate. Multiple elevator banks and areas that do not connect to one-another. Rooms can get crowded, making you want to slip into the more empty ones just to chill out and listen. My recommendation, is to plan out in advance the rooms you may want to visit, and figure out the most efficient order to maximize your time.
If you're coming in from out of state, think about going up to Rocky Mountain National Park to see if you can catch the Elk bugling. It's about a 40 minute drive from Boulder.
I think you can avoid sensory over load if you don't spend to much time in any one room at first. I like to treat it like wine tasting. You taste as many as you can and then leave time to go back to your 3 or 4 favorites and see if they still sound as good to you.
Lots of times you can walk into a room and you will know immediately that it doesn't sound right. I remember the first time I was at the CES 2002 or so and I did so many U turns couldn't count them.
My wife and I were there today. I felt the rooms were too spread out and after being there 5 hours, my sciatica was killing me and we left. I got to meet quite a few of the industry professionals. Bob Carver was extremely gracious as was Sandy Gross. I thought most of the rooms sounded very good but the choice of music was terrible (IMHO).
We we went into the Lampizator room and when the person demoing saw I was wearing a Pink Floyd T shirt, he put on Welcome To The Machine. It sounded good but he played it so low that I couldn’t really enjoy it. We went into the Raidho room and heard the D5.1 speakers. No offense to anyone but they were playing Opera quite loud and my wife and I quickly left. John DeVore was extremely gracious and his room sounded fantastic.
I liked the show quite a bit and I wi she my legs weren’t killing me so we could have seen more. One disappointment was The Marketplace. There wasn’t a whole lot for sale there and all the vinyl was at full list. I thought they would be giving even a 10% discount. I had a wad of cash burning a hole in my pocket but all I bought was some stylus tip cleaner for 35.00. I was looking for the new David Gilmore “Live At Pompei” but it was already sold out. That was at 12:05 and the Show opened at 12. They must have sold them to the industry insiders.
Tomorrow, we start the 4 day trek for home. I can’t wait as after 2 weeks on the road I miss my bed, pillow and audio systems.
Great feedback from stereo5.
Day 1 - So far, the Maroon Peak Room with VAC / Tannoy blew me away. The VAC featuring their Renaissance/Signature - 39K and Tannoy Kingdom Royal MKII - 96K. Effortless sound, super detailed, the room was well equipped with room treatments.
The Esoteric room with Canton speakers ($15k) was also very good, Esoteric stack was around $120K 😳
Aurender room with Magnapan’s, REL sub, Hegel Stereo amp with A10 was simply amazing. MQA is in its full glory.....
Bluesound Vault 2 demo was very disappointing....$500 PSB monitors with NAD classic series components.
Enjoyed the usual Nordost demo with Jeff Rowland and DCS DAC. I believe Nordost Tyr2 cables sits at the sweet spot and probably the best value compared to Valhalla and Odin.
Look out for MERGING NADAC stereo and multichannel player. I was totally surprised, both by sound and reasonable retail ($10k) from a Swiss brand.
Moon Audio stack with 780D DAC was also amazing, price of admission - $19K for DAC alone with MQA capability...ouch!
More to come.
Two left ears
On Friday I was there. I saw and heard new speakers built in Kentucky designed and spec'd by Ryan of Vapor Audio. There sounded very good with Exogal amps.
Duke Lajune of Audio Kensis had some excellent speakers driven by just a modified pioneer receiver. It had amazing dynamics with regular listenin levels and good lack of distortions that make listening to some pro speakers hard for me.
I got to go now but will mention some more thoughts later if you want.
Well I did have time to get out of our room at the show. Walked up to the 11th. floor stuck my head some rooms. I walked the floor then walked down a flight to the 10th. then all the way back to our room. My ears are ringing still. Seems to me there are two kinds of speakers. Bright and forward and then and then the layer back put you to sleep.
The two rooms I liked were the Gryphon Room which is in the mezzanine and the AAudio import room which is in the Larkspur room down stairs on the first floor.
Here is a tip. On the mezzanine there is a little table set up with coffee so you don't have to wait in the long Starbuck line.
I would love some feed back from you about our room 7013. Bricasti and Wilson Beseech. I think even Erics's ears would appreciate the music.
I am in the room most of the time and would love to hear from you.
I spent yesterday there and agree with imgoodwithtools, "Best sound by a decent margin was the Nagra suite. All Nagra electronics driving a pair of Wilson Alexia 2s". Owner did a good job of setup and room treatment to allow for a nice soundstage for many. Also the music choice was very interesting, lots of live shows on tape.
although I only spent a few minutes in your room, I found it to be one of the better sounding rooms at the show. My favorite was the Nagra room although I could never afford that equipment. The reason I only spent a few minutes in each room was because they were all very warm and my wife and I were dripping with sweat
Favorite rooms (by speaker):
Avantgarde UnoXD- Very natural sounding
Tannoy Kingdom Royal- Very dynamic
Magico (Nordost room)- Hi rez sound
Piega Master Line Source- Amazing transparency
Wilson (Nagra room)- Nice, but a bit boring
Conclusion: You get what you pay for.
Great sound for the money: Paradigm and ELAC floorstanders
I have friends that live in Castle Rock, Colorado and he is an audiophile also.
We attended on Saturday and I have to say that I absolutely had a blast.
Most of the rooms were nice, and most of the demonstrators were very nice and cordial.
I loved the Martin Logan room with Dan De Augustino (spelling?) amplification.
The Vandersteen/VTL room was my favorite and Vandersteen the person was very open and personable.
The Audio Research room with the Martin Logan Neolith speakers was excellent. Same for Wavelength room. I think those were Wilson Benesch speakers with the Wavelength 8 WPC amps and it was absolutely wonderful.
Lots of rooms with Focal Speakers. The one with Krell electronics was a bit too bright for me. Great music tho.
Mark Levinson/Revel room was excellent.
Many rooms with Magico speakers and they were very nice.
Same for Roger Sanders equipment was outstanding and roger Sanders himself was quite nice to speak with.
I met Ralph of Atmosphere and he was very friendly.
Constellation makes some very nice equipment.
Bob Carver was friendly and his speaker system and electronics were quite nice.
Didn't get to hear the Legacy systems because they were talking and explaining their system for so long that we couldn't wait any longer. I was disappointed.
Lots of small manufacturers that knew their stuff and had some nice equipment. I really liked the Rogers electronics.
My one complaint was that there were entirely too many rooms where reviewers or people were talking entirely too loudly with the representatives and others could not enjoy listening to the music and equipment. Why they wouldn't take that crap outside was beyond me and was very rude.
I tried to visit each room and took the time to do each floor and have lunch and return for more.
We took our time and had an absolute blast.
There were more "high end" manufacturers represented than what I expected and the names (people) were there to meet the public also.
The Headphone/earphone floor was mind blowing. I didn't realize how many were out there. The competition is rough.
The staff was very friendly and helpful.
I am so glad I attended. I would do this again.
Some equipment I really wanted to hear was there and I was fortunate to hear some.
Some rooms played music that left me wondering, what were they thinking? some didn't complement the systems at all.
Many rooms had sound absorption equipment, but many more did not and suffered for it.
But, you could hear through the problems with rooms and set up and still could discern quality in most equipment.
It was nicely done, in my opinion.
I remember one of my first visits to the CES. I was looking mostly for speakers. I found " spectacular " sounding room. I was smitten. I ordered the demo speakers they were using for my show room in Colorado. All wood thick face plate 1.5" thick. Horn 12" horn speakers with a carved face for the drivers. I was in " wow " heaven.
After two months of listening in my demo room with some fine tube amplifiers, Art Audio, Juele Electra, Atmas-sphere, I came to despise them. What had sounded spectacular in the demo room was killing my ears. Bright and forward.
The moral to this anecdote, My opinion is that when a room sounds spectacular or fabulous, that may mean it is way to much in your face.