When my wife was the present of a large national association a few years back, they scrubbed an annual convention in NYC, as the exhibitors squawked at the costs involved in setting up and displaying in Javits. The unions controlled set up, maintenance and tear down. Just too expensive for the anticipated return on investment. (Exhibitors contribute to the total costs of such a convention)
As thankful as I feel about the resurrected NYC shows, they've proven among the worst I’ve attended. As I reported in many threads here, last year’s was particularly bad, with a incredibly small number of rooms and outside of a few outliers, poor sound. Even more scary is to find myself as one of the very few people under geriatric age, let alone 50. The overall lack of energy, excitement, and quality sent me home feeling sad about what’s come of this business.
The only other show in my overall worst is the Capital Audio Fest, which has improved to the point of becoming a decent enough venue
I went. I think the Park Lane is a horrible venue, tight rooms, tight hallways. More "new" brands trying to establish themselves. I personally was not that impressed by more than half the rooms. And, prices seem to have skyrocketed! One vendor wanted 15k for a piece of curved wood you put between your speakers for some sort of effect.
The Vinnie Rossi room with Harbeth speakers was by far the best room and you could do the whole room for under 50k
ps: yes, we have to find a way to get younger folks involved, although they think their iphones sound good..........
Agreed. Hate that hotel (and we stayed there.)
@robyatt Robin Wyatt’s room was fun with some great music and demos using mono recordings on a Technics SL10 Mk2 and Quad ESL57s. The highlight for me by far. Chad Nessem from Acoustic Sounds also demoed his reissues.
The half-million dollar horns sounded horrible to my perceived embarrassment of those involved with the Martin Logan’s next door trouncing them for 5% of the outlay. Vinnie Rossi room was good too managing to tame the big Harbeth monitors bass with some excellent sounds.
Almost universally, the rooms demoing their gear with vinyl sounded better.
Also enjoyable was when Mat W from VPI dropped in to demo their HW40.
I went 3 days
I missed Robert lighton audio .he is no longer a dealer for uk audionote whose systems gets very ragged ,very fast.
I missed alta audio.
I liked the pure audio panels. only way to get anything out of old beatles vinyl.(+direct drive vpi, which is great)
technics :smooth and clean with digital and vinyl.
avm(magico?) dry and uninvolving
muro speakers: relative bargins
quads and harbeths; tired of them
laufer tek: nonsensical prices. triangle,bache,golden ear speakers were better.
bache: bargin server and amp 100%<10K
linn went around the country to promote their new streamer box and yet neither linn nor naim bothered to subsidize innovative (or in living stereo ) for the show.
it's not the" cost of the room" or "the union" etc, etc, etc
also if the chinese thought the nyc chinese would drop zillions for that system....
It's so interesting how differently we all hear...
I went with two objectives in mind - first, hear the best of the best so I have a frame of reference, and second, hear affordable, small stuff that might actually work for my apartment and budget.
Best sounds of the show for me were the ridiculous/impressive horn system from ESD, which was uncolored and dynamic as hell on Sunday, and the rebuilt Quads. How much progress has really been made since 1957? The Martin Logans sounded great too.
Huge disappointments were the Harbeths, which were boomy and unfocused, and the Goldenears. Maybe the rooms were to blame.
I missed the esd demo on sunday. they were good. i have great respect for esd for spending the effort in assembling that line of electronics backup -speakers. it's a world class statement system. My music is not suited for it.
the harbeths got aurally pushed aside by the intense micro detailing of the other systems(muro, etc.) which is not the harbeth style and strength( or the other systems made people partially deaf......)
Having visited the NY audio show I can say it was a major disappointment. First, there were not enough name players there. Second, they crammed the exhibitors to close together and the hallways and rooms were cramped. It was hard to relax and just listen to music. The Newport Beach show of a couple of years ago was night and day better than this show. Thank God you could still enjoy Manhattan!
Robyatt Audio. Best of show again. I will never tire of Quads, this time with Butler Nomad monos which Robin says amplifies the character of the 300B tube. It was magical.
Also I thought Vitalis audio had one of the most interesting displays I’ve ever seen with excellent sound. Tal, the designer and manufacturer (by hand) was a blast to talk with. He voices every loudspeaker by ear and he has a great ear. Check out Vitalis audio’s website to see what I’m talking about. It may seem bizarre, but the room sounded great.
The Martin Logan room sounded very good as well.
However, the turnout for dealers was awful as were some of the rooms. I have to think this will be the last year of the NY audio show in Manhattan.
@noromance, you can store them at my place ;-) . I actually got a pair of the metal 57 grilles Jerry Crosby was making in the 90’s. Better than the stock, but naked is better still. I run mine with the rear grilles and acoustic padding also removed. Extremely high voltages back there, so you have to be very careful. A real cat killer!
@noromance, I've read that the back of the Quads were padded to make them useable closer to the wall (those small English parlours!). When they are far enough from the wall behind them (no less than 3' they say, 5' imo) that is no longer a concern. If you remove the rear burlap but leave the felt over the tweeter strip, the back wave is now different from that of the front, with less high frequency output. The Quad can use all the help in can get in that regard, so I say remove it. Or at least try it to see if you like it.
I've seen Quads with opaque (a very, very light gray) dust covers on the rear, but never the front. I don't know if they are opaque from paint, or if that is the color of the plastic itself. Perhaps because of the charge on the ESL panels, the covers can get quite a layer of dust on them. Careful with that feather duster!
@bdp24 From Stereophile:" Quad decided to paint them gray when it was discovered that the gleam of raw poly was visible through the grille. The treble panel's dustcover escaped that indignity owing to the fear that the weight of the paint would affect the high-frequency performance—and it probably would.)"
Read more at https://www.stereophile.com/content/listening-42-page-2#CEaByOuWpD38icWJ.99
You can see mine in Virtual Systems.
I may try removing the mid/treble pad some day. Thanks for replying.
@noromance, guess my memory is failing even more than I was aware of! I have a spare treble panel in front of me as I write, and it’s dustcover is clear. My Quads are actually still down in S. California, awaiting my next trip down. I put the stock grilles back on for storage safety, and not recalling the bass panels’ dust covers were gray, assumed they were the same as the treble ones. I ran them for years with the Crosby grilles installed on front, the stock on the rear (but with the burlap removed), due to the damn cat my better half refused to get rid of. It liked to jump up and hang onto the grilles, it’s nails protruding through the grille holes! It finally died, thank God.
@noromance Peter Walker said in an HiFi News interview that the felt on the back of the tweeter panel was to dampen a resonance problem around 2khz. And the burlap reduced back wave interference with the front radiation. HiFi News did a test with the 57's placed on 24 inch stands, with burlap removed. Sound quality was noted as more "open", particularly in bass/midrange. So I tried the same on my first pair, including removing the felt. Sounded quite good!
The dust covers, rear damping is there for a reason. Peter Walker knew what he was doing and I am guessing the man probably forgot more about electrostatic design, theory that most people will ever know.
The rear damping is to control panel resonances. Remove it you get a nice high Q whompy sound in the bass. The tweeter panel will have a nice resonance around middle C you might like it! I suppose aged way out of spec original Quads may sound 'better' with the damping removed. The speaker does take a step backwards in performance. But audiophiles can be prone to doing all kinds of things that are not a step in the right direction even though they think it is.
Removing the dust covers is a very bad idea and produces little improvement in performance. I listen to them both ways for testing purposes. I can assure anyone the extremely minimal increase in performance, if any, is not worth the long term reliability issues. One only needs to look at the filth on the dust covers after decades of use to know they are a good idea. I have seen plenty of 50 year old Quads that work nicely, not to spec any more but nicely, and the reason is those pesky dust covers!
The grey paint on the front of bass panels is to eliminate glare. Rarely when serviced are they painted again. If they don't have grey paint either the dust cover has been replaced or the panel has been replaced.