Ouroboros, thy name is me.

I've been back for awhile from the Newport Beach Audio Show and letting it all sink in.

It's a really deep sink.

No matter what PC system I listened to, they all sounded pretty darn good. Too many problems with room acoustics and system matching but I could glean potential from all. It's just that there were so many differing approaches.

The best digital I heard, by far, was in the MSB demo room. All it took was two notes and Harry Connick starting to sing and I knew what I was in for. Smooth, open, expansive, expressive, detailed, full bodied and natural. I think my jaw is still laying there so don't trip over it should you go there tomorrow. And it was a CDP! No streaming. No high rez. Just glorious sound from those YG Acoustics Speakers. The DAC is separate but that's not the point: there's no way in hell I can afford it.

But that's not all. My story has to come full circle to make sense.

The best sound, by far, was in the Brooks Berdan room and it was a turntable setup that took me back decades, to where it all began. Clearwater turntable, Aesthetix pre and amp, and Sonus Faber Amati speakers.

What I heard upon opening the door caught my attention. The kick in the ass came from hearing a 1958 Blue Note mono jazz recording (I forget the artist) and it was hands down, the finest thing I've ever heard. Ever. Next up, 'Saint James Infirmary' made my eyes water. I could have stayed there until closing. They were kind enough to play a few tracks from different LPs and pat me on the back to reassure me all was well but I knew it wasn't. My hands and feet were never still the entire time.

Sometimes it's fun to go back but to get slapped in the face so wonderfully was icing on the cake. I'll never go back to LPs (expensive, inconvenient) but to have it as a reference (and a refreshing one at that) was a wonderful reminder of what is out there.

All the best,
Hi Nonoise - I went to The Show at Newport Beach too. I didn't hear the the MSB room with YG speakers, but I heard two impressive demo's with YG's at the last RMAF. That's a reversal from my previous experiences with YG's, which were lackluster.

I didn't get a chance to hear the Brooks Berdan room either, but I've been to his shop a number of times and heard some good demo's, and they are nice people.

Notables for me... Evolution Acoustics, Daedalus, Marten, Rockport. Two of them - Daedalus and Marten - were being driven by Modwright amps.

Disappointments for me... TAD and Magico. Over the past several years, I've heard demo's of all 3 TAD models and 5 different Magico models, with varying equipment in varying rooms, and I've never left excited. I don't mean to bash. I really wanted to like the Magico demo's in particular, but it has never worked out that way. Maybe I just haven't heard them under the right conditions.

Although I could only attend on Sunday, I had a lot of fun. But I'm worried that The Show isn't catching on - it was practically a ghost town on Sunday. How was attendance on the day you went?

I agree about the MSB/YG room. also, to be polite, many rooms had mis-matched cabling with no obvious attempt to get the 117VAC over to the equiptment in a logical fashion. I was/am looking for an OK 5 channel amp and of course peeked into the Emotiva room, another example of set-up problems? Did you get chance to audition the Hi-Fi chairs? Possibly best sound of the show due to near-field speakers and amps used for demo purposes. I thought Friday was busier than Saturday, did not go Sunday. All chime in here, Mike.

I went on Saturday and it wasn't too crowded but steady all through the day. I got there at 10:30am and didn't leave until 5:30pm. Good enough to get around but some rooms were impossible to get into. Timing, I suppose.

I, too, didn't find the TADs that I heard anything special but it was a show in a hotel, after all. As for the Magicos, same thing. I just wasn't prepared for the Sonus Faber Amatis.

Daedalus driven by Modwright was nice. Nice enough for me to wish I could afford the Modwright. I also found the Davones in the MA room really nice. I still can't figure out how they do it. Just a Bel Canto integrated and Todd Garfunkles KORG made for some lovely sound. And it was good to see Todd again. Every time I see him I end up taking home a few more CDs.


No, I didn't get a chance to try the chair. I've read on some site where they really liked it. What got my attention re: nearfield listening were the Centrance desktop speakers. They sounded really nice once you sat right down in front of them. Totally different perspective than standing right in front of them. I was told their best location is right up front on the corners of your desk, in front of everything. This goes contrary to what reviewers have said. They preferred them up off the desk behind everything.

On another note, I kind of fell in love with the Luxman SQ-N100. It is now made in China but I was assured that the quality is still there and the price is now $2K instead of $3K. It's like a little jewel box and it sounded wonderful with the Audeze headphones. So much better than any of the solid state stuff but not in the same league as the Eddie Current offerings but hey, it can power my Tonians easily so now I'm vacillating over going back to tubes.

I just hope it's not going to be full year to hear something like this again. It was a great way to kill a day. A lot of my doubts were put to rest on some matters which helps to narrow things down some and put things in perspective.

All the best,
Nonoise - Glad to hear it was more crowded on Saturday. Being an LA local (but not native), I was very excited when we finally got our own bona fide audio show.

I didn't get a chance to spend time with Todd at MA Recordings, but I've bought several of his recordings, and we've emailed back and forth a few times discussing music, recording techniques, and equipment. He is quite a nice guy and a very talented recording engineer.

Here's to a successful The Show Newport 2013...