Opinions - Best Sound at T.H.E. Newport 2013 Show?

So far I haven't seen a lot of commentary posted about last weekend's Newport show. I am interested in what anyone else thought was the best sounding room or most interesting product.

I was not impressed by most of the sound or products at this years show. I know that I'm generalizing, but I found the sound in most rooms to be mediocre at best. The rooms that were using room correction seemed to sound better, for the most part.

In my opinion, the best sound by far was in the EARO room. They had a rather simple setup, using Dirac room correction software. I thought that the sound from the 5" driver "Ulf" speakers was nothing short of amazing. I am seriously considering ordering a pair of these for my living room - if the sound as good as they did at the show I will be a happy camper.

I also enjoyed the sound in the SimpliFi room with the Klangwerk speakers. They were using their own DSPeaker correction hardware device.

Finally, I thought that the dc10Audio Berlin speakers were very interesting. I would like to hear them again, since the setup was less than optimal and the largish room was noisy, but the warm, lush horn sound was very different from the audio pablum produced in most of the other rooms.

Any other opinions?
It was a great show for me. Not so sure about all of the exhibitors, but
hopefully good for them too.

There were a lot of rooms I liked. Of course we all like different things
and rooms can sound different on different days and at different times.
Some standouts for me, in no particular order:

YG Acoustics and Tenor
YG Acoustics and MSB
Sonus Faber and Ayre
High Water Sound
Gene Rubin Audio (Harbeth and LFD)
Venice Audio (Harbeth and Leben)
Red Wine Audio, Bricasti, Harbeth
Vivid and Mola Mola
Silverline Sonatina w/ CJ and BEL
AudioMachina w/ Coffman Labs and Manley
The Source AV $48K HT system with Wolf 4k projector - fabulous
Brian Ackerman's large room with BMC electronics and I-don't-
remember speakers, playing hard rock
My favorite this year was the Wilson room with the Alexia's and the ARC Ref 250's/Ref10 preamp along with an AMG TT. Great sound .
Close second was Greg Baron's room with the UHA tape deck and Gauder Akusitk speakers. The UHA RtoR is something else, IMO.
I thought the 400k Magico setup was a joke. I did like the Magico S-1 with Constellation electronics. I like the guy at Highwater sound. He really loves music and plays great stuff.
You won't hear Diana Krall in his room. Plus his system is vary musical. I think he runs Tron gear from England with a Tw-Turntable from Germany. I can't remember the speakers.

I thought for the money the Kef Ls-50's were the best bargain at the show. At 1500.00 you can't beat it. And they sound great. I also liked the Source Av room. It was a 50k home theater system that kicked ass. (I'm not usually a fan of home theater systems)

In the parking lot Billy Kim formally of L.A. audio was showing a room for home theater. He said it took 2 days to build it in the parking lot. I guess for 20k It's a good deal.
NOLA Micro Grand Gold
Vapor Audio Nimbus
Zesto/Vac/Tad- and by a mile
Last year I thought the Sanders electrostatics sounded best but they would not play any music other than their own so my opinion is not fully formed yet.
I thought the show was crowded and most rooms would not allow a proper listen.

Rooms I liked:

Ayon, dc10audio, Gauder Acoustic (Grand Ball Room Hilton)

I thought the dc10audio Berlin was the most dynamic speaker at the show they played very loud with 18 watt LAMM mono blocks 40K and had some of the best most real tone simply amazing BASS and very, very, pretty. Ayon's big mono set up was very, very good too. The Gauder Acoustik solid state set up sounded both really awful with classic rock and also good with classical cd?

Sony room (Grand Ballroom Hilton)

Not very dynamic but peaceful room, good sound, nice people.

EARO room (3rd floor Hilton?)

Pure sound, nice set up, great people!

Magico (Grand Ballroom Hilton)

I came many miles to hear the Q7 and all I can say is the experience was totally boring and I'm tired of hearing that Magico is the world's best speakers they're not they might be the heaviest but they sound contrived not musical and not dynamic could have been the multi-million dollar set-up


I much prefer RMAF better space better pace but no ocean!
Prana fifty90 speaker. I've mentioned on another post that if I had the money, they'd be my next speaker. Two MA Recording CDs that I got from that room sounded great on my system. The difference with the Pranas was that the immediacy of the presentation made it seem like I was in the venue. I could have stayed there for hours. I don't know how the electronics played a part with all of this so I'd need another listen under different circumstances to be sure but there was something going on in that room that no other room had going for it.

All the best,
I agree with Bodotes about the DSPeaker correction hardware device. I could hear a big improvement in sound. I just order one.
I agree with the OP - I thought that the Earo room was simply marvelous and sublime. The Ulf speakers sounded great, and the new "Wally" wall-mount units sounded much better than I was expecting. The Dirac room correction made a huge difference, so much that I wonder why we aren't all using room correction software or devices?

The little Vanatoo speakers were cute, and sunded much better than their size and price point would suggest, IMO.

*Disclaimer - I have worked with Earo in the past.
MBL room playing sgt pepper on reel to reel was revelatory
Did anyone catch the Pioneer room?
If I had those when I began this hobby.....

All the best,
Thanks Wcheng. It is a pleasure being cited by you as a best of show.

Steve Nugent of Empirical Audio had some really nice things to say as well.



The Magico room was proof of how important system synergy is they basically did it all wrong yet all of the components could sound really good if re-configured I have got to believe the Q-7 is able to produce great sound..otherwise what is the point.
My wife and I spent a day at the show, and hit every room, listening to loudspeakers. The one that hands down blew us away was the NIMBUS loudspeaker in the Vapor Audio room. It threw a mesmerizing presentation, top to bottom, truly magical. These guys at Vapor Audio should be proud of their achievement.
Thanks Don!

Looks like John Atkinson over at Stereophile agrees!!!

MBL and reel to reel combo and dc10audio's Berlin with Lamm monoblocks where my favorite rooms by a mile! I was very disappointed with Vivid's room as they were on my hit list too but the sound was lifeless and even muffled.
I think David (dc10audio) did O.K. considering he had a quacky CD player no DAC, poor room placement, and cheap power strip.. he did have good S.E.T mono blocks from LAMM industries though I would have wanted a little extra power for the size of that big Ayon room.

The LAMM amps with the Berlin's produced nice deep powerful bass which was very impressive considering the amplifiers produce only 18 watts per channel and the Berlin is a stand mount speaker frankly in my opinion the bass was better deeper and more open than the big floor standing Ayon or Gauder speakers sharing the ball room.

Note: the HiDiamond cables were very, very, good!
The room with the UHA tape deck and Gauder Akusitk speakers and Electronics (SS) The UHA RtoR is sure something else. For SS the sound was outstanding.

So was the Ayon's monoblock and Lamm+dc10 on the rear left of the same room

Nola Micro impressed me a lot

Ayon's speakers has some promise.

I also liked the Soundlab speakers. wish it had better front source and amps driving them
UHA RTR decks were the most interesting component I thought...
I visited only Hilton 1st, 2nd, 3rd floors and Atrium 2nd and 3rd floors.
The best sounding (to me) was from Produndo System(Atrium #241) – Viva Audio Aurora & Trenner & Friedl Isis Loudspeakers. The sound was very transparent, musical, no ear hurting, perfectly balanced, deep 3D stage, refined, and real life like images. It was ear opening event! For 2nd place, Janszen speaker (H.#302), WaveTouch Audio (Atrium #214), and Channel Island Audio (H.#306). They had enjoyable music. Dynaudio (Atrium Ballroom) was OK for 3rd place.
Among rests, only few are good for easy listening (not audiophile sound system). Rest many are not even making sound right. They were unbalanced, confused, and veiled with clouds. I felt their pain. Probably, the condition of hotel were too bad such as dirty electricity, room acoustics, or no skill for good sound, etc.
Loudest room was Audio Machina/Einstein audio room (Atrium #213). They were playing country rock or 60th rock very loud for whole time. Those are their best genre for their equipments.

***Does anyone remember Audio Machina/Einstein Audio were very loud at different show or last year?
Other than playing loud, how would you rate the sound quality of the Audio Machina/Einstein? What models were they? Thanks.
I only heard Audio Machina/Einstein Audio from hallway. I don't want to talk about their sound unless it's good.
Any thoughts on the venture room? I thought this years smaller model sounded better than biggest model last year. I also liked the small Rockports , and rooms playing DSD downloads. Small evolution acoustics sounded good to me too.
I heard M/E too! Too loud and poor quality! Why?
Michael Fremer:"Best Sound at T.H.E Show in Newport for AVM and Gauder Akustik

What's with these guys..Is this a joke??

I was there at T.H.E show and AVM and Gauder was some of the poorest sound at the show. closed, lifeless, poor imaging, and small narrow soundstage. I walked out of the room with a small group of people shaking our heads saying it was quote awful! Fleetwood Mac never sounded worse on reel to reel.

I went to the room 5 or 6 times trying to hear the Berlin / Lamm set up which was shoved into a tiny corner in the big room!

The Gauder Guys had a sort of monopoly for playing time...it was a sort of zeitgeist of bad sound!

I did finally hear the dc10 / Lamm set up and was very impressed as posted earlier. The Ayon set-up was very, very good playing the ubiquitous Hugh Masekela's coal train why didn't M Fremer review the Ayon system and on my last visit I finally did hear the Gauder / AVM set up sound pretty good with a CD again the ubiquitous coal trains tap-tap-tap-tap-boom-boom-boom not as good as the Ayon rendition nor nearly as real as the dc10 / Lamm set up and it was truly not the best at the show unless one is deaf.
I was not there for the whole show David (dc) was there for the full 3 days.

What I did notice in my short and hurried visit was that the Gauder AVM system sounded plugged up and dead with poor resolution on the reel to reel which was playing classic rock and when I returned to the room they were playing a CD with jazz and more acoustic tracks and the system sounded much, much, better.

Although the AVM amplifiers produced 500? watts per side the system never produced the kind of bass I like which is open, fast, seamless, and deep. Both the Berlin and Ayon speakers did a much better job of this in my opinion.

So, as for the reviewers??
This my first Newport show. Several things are memorable. One can walk from the airport to the hotel. The live music shows were great. The music was poor. About the only really good sounding room in my opinion was the room with the Coffman G1A full preamp. We wandered in frankly to get a free beer and stayed an hour and a half. The sound was wonderful. Looking at the Coffman was like going back twenty years; listening to the Coffman was just totally involving.

Flying to California from Texas to hear two great singers, Nnenna Freelon and Tierney Sutton, live and to hear one good sounding room is just too expensive.
The best sounding room for me at the Newport show was Perfect 8 Technologies - I thought it was head and shoulders above everything else. Also outstanding was the Dynaudio room (as with Perfect 8, given the the cost of the components it was a system I could only dream about owning). The best sounding room at a more affordable price I thought was the Acoustic Zen room (especially the 2nd and 3rd days). For $16k retail, the Crescendo speakers competed with speakers costing 2x as much and more.
I would like to hear Q7 again with a totally different system and with speakers that have been fully burned-in.

Perhaps I will at RMAF.
Holy Crap! Just checked these out on their W-Site.
Talk about a flat response test!!!
Was the Mistral Bow-A2 speakers from Napa Acoustic at the Newport show ?
Very, very flat indeed; perfect on paper. Are they dynamic? What about tone, timber, and musicality?

Come to RMAF next time ..more fun!

EARO is that not a very small speaker much like high end computer speaker system?

Thank you for your post! This helped me with my purchase!
Quad Man, maybe it was the Q7 and not the lack of "burn-in" and the associated system htat made the Q7 lousy. Why would you assume that a "totally different system" would make them sound great. Maybe the Q7 was making that system sound bad!

When the Q7 is replaced in the lineup everyone will be saying "yeay, it was not that great, had problems with the upper mids and highs, and the bass was heavy and sluggish".

Watch and you'll see.

I think you make a very good point the system used to play the Q7 was totally over-the-top and totally cracking good.
I am not a true believer in the sealed vault loudspeaker in general but I got to believe the Q7 could have sounded better than what it did at last years show.


Recently (very recently) joined and ALL OF YOUR POSTS have been about these speakers/this manufacturer.


The EARO (or Earo) units are not a small computer speakers. They are excellent floor standing active speakers featuring single driver, rear-loaded horns. There are two models: the Eight (8" driver) and the Ulf (5" driver). Seriously good speakers, IMO