I thought the Bache speakers sounded nice.
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I enjoyed Vinnie Rossi’s room with the Qln speakers, which I’d never heard before. Such a holographic sound from his L2 integrated. And a really cool playlist (He played savior from St. Vincent’s all-piano MassEducation).
Gorgeous, warm sound in the Luxman room with their tube gear. I believe it was the CL-38uC preamp and the MQ-88uC amp, which they daisy-chained into a mono setup to power some Triangle towers.
Regarding ESD, I agree it was neat to hear such a massive and expensive system. Those horns are huge. The tape playlist was a nice touch, too. But sound was a little brash for my taste.
I also liked the Harbeth 40.2s, but thought the room could have sounded better.
And, I have to say, those cheap-as-hell little speakers from Vanatoo were mindboggling for the price and size. Fully powered, preamp, DAC and DSP all built in. They’re like 10 inches tall and I think they said $550 for the big model. Smaller one was like $360.
re rooms: I usually ignore these things but if you sat in the back of the Blink room, you could hear a large hollow echo on the demonstrators(owners?) voice when he spoke :Also, the ONKK room was lively with some reverb. Triangle and one or two others had some vocal distortion on the first day. Also, problems in the sound by singer room. The music played in the Harbeth room was so good that I didn't notice problems.
ohm,vanatoo ,voxativ,Pure and orinda had no obvious problems.
Rooms with stein dots were Harbeth, TA and laufer tek.
this was a joke of an audio show...no idea why they have it in that tiny space...Bache sounded good, and also the big ML speakers...other than those 2, the sound in all the other rooms was not very 'hi-fi' level...the rooms were crowded, noisy, and small. No wonder many exhibitors weren't there...CAF was much, much better!