Here were my favorites:
1) Vandersteen 7 - very clean and brought the music to life
2) Audio Note AN-E/SPe HE - very musical and addictive
3) Studio Electic T3 - very dynamic and fun, blew many, more expensive speakers away
4) YG Acoustics Kipod - breathtaking dynamics and soundstage, wish I could afford them.
5) All of the Gershman models being used. The Sonograms have to be the best bargain out there
The Duds (IMHO)
1) Magico Q5 - Big sound but I got bored after 2 minutes
2) Magnapan 1.7 - Huh?, don't get the hype...
3) Laufer Teknik - too polite and kind of muddy
4) Teresonic - went to show thinking I would buy these.. too laid back and one-dimensional
5) Reference 3A Grand Veena - very disappointing.. sound dominated room and was slow and boring
I don't pretend to be a reviewer or have a practiced ear, I just know what I like and dislike. Take it for what it's worth
I agree with Magico and Magnepan response. I thought Silverline had a good, although small demo set-up. The Paradigm demo set-up nearly gave me cancer it was so freakishly harsh to listen to. It was not good at all. Hmmm....Vandersteen was good, I'll agree with that. Over at the T.H.E. Show. Jaton USA had one of the better sounding rooms at either show. PBN had a new model that sounded pretty impressive in a massively large room. Tyler Acoustics had some very big, very nice sounding speakers. All in all it was a good show, but nothing that is going to re-write the audio industry. On a VIDEO note...........3-D TV is incredibly lame. how does this old, used up concept keep finding life?
My champs are
1) Aerial 10t that I believe has many positives from many best speakers: Bass has a deepness of Thiels and Dynaudios and speed of Klipsch; Mids and highs have clarity and details of B&W Nautilus series; Imaging and sound stage of Totem monitors; Sound superior in any size of room at any listening distance at virtually all volume levels with right amplification...
2) Avalon Opus has an extraordinary ability to imitate a headphone experience with superior light-speed presentation
3) I'm happy owner of Totem Forrest which I still believe the best floor standing speaker created by Vince. For the same sound qualities and value I love and respect Sonus Faber Grand Piano.
My dislikes are:
1) Martin Logan SL6, a truly unique speaker that never sounds right with any components; absence of sound depth making them 'flat panels with flat sound'.
2) Vandy 5 leaned back and slow with any components completely sucks for rock or instrumental music that I listen to.
3) Audio Physics Virgo never lets sound go out of its cabinets anywhere. Same bench would occupy Joseph RM7.
Wow. Thanks for the great notes so far. Surprised about the Magico, if only by reputation, but really surprised about the maggie 1.7, as that has already been hailed as a breakthrough by TAS (granted, they love panels over there). The Aerial 10t sounds amazing. Can't wait to hear more impressions. Also, anyone hear NOLA or VSA?
The Aerial 10t's? really? sure you weren't talking about the 20t's?
I liked both the Magico Q5 and the Maggies, though the Maggies were, uh, magical during only one of my three visits to that room.
Others I enjoyed: Evolution Acoustics, Electrocompaniet Nordic Tone, Gershman Black Swan with VAC and Gershman Sonographe with Manley, the smaller Tidals.
Over at the CES show I thought that the Burmester room sounded great and as funny as it sounds the B30s at 16k seemed like a deal. The Solution room playing through Magico M5s sounded great. Joseph Audio was showing Pearl through Bel Canto electronics that sounded good to me. I also appreciated showings from Vienna Acoustics, Volent, and Nordic Tone.
Maggies are planars. If you don't appreciate planar characteristics you won't like Maggies.
Great stuff. Keep it coming.
Marakanetz: 605hifi asked if it was the 10t or 20t? Can you confirm which (r u sure it was 10t)?
Surferjoe, which Vienna model(s)?
To all: please identify which model speaker you are commenting on, if you can remember. Thanks.
I confirm 10t since I didn't listen to 20t
In no particular order, I liked the:
Vitus/Marten(Coltrane Momento)room - great sound
Tidal Contriva/Ypsilon room
Scaena/Mac/DCS room (best imaging - went to 115db with no distortion - pretty impressive)
Oceanway Audio room
Don't feel its very constructive to go through the rooms I didn't care for, but at least most of the manufacturers were very nice, with one glaring exception. Once again, Magico's attitude was very poor - I will never again try to listen to his speakers, in fact you couldn't PAY me enough to listen to them, much less try them in my system. Way to burn another bridge.....
If I may ask who was using 10T's to demo at teh show this year? I am not saying it didnt happent but it seems kind of strange.
Fplanner2010, I agree with you 110%. they have a very poor attitude no question about it. Last year at CES Alon himself actually put his hand on my chest as I came the room and told me I "had to leave" as he was giving a magazine reviewer a private listneing session. No susprise that after that most of the mag reveiwers practically came out of their shorts in praising the M5's. I pushed his hand off and knocked over his brouchers as I walked out. what a punk and arrogant company.
Only attended Flamingo THE show... so very limited view here...
Absolutely loved two speakers.
PBN Montana ESP 2 & Sanders (former Innersound) model 10.
Roger Sanders speaker's pure & clear sonic sound blew my mind away. The image was so clear, my ear had hard time adjusting to it.
Peter's Montana ESP 2 gave me a goose bump...
Oh, it was heavenly.
(It's a $10K speaker but pushed by Edge's much more expensive amp though)
John Devore's new speaker the Orangatang, Gershman/Vac, Venture, Kings Sound Prince II, Rockports (over at the Mirage), Sanders Sound.
They where showing off the The Klimt Serries "The Music" They sound and look amazing.
Surferjoe, it was the Music and not the new smaller klimt? I've heard the Music at Stereo Exchange in NY, and although a flawed room that robbed them of bass, they seem to have something special going on. I like the single driver over 7-8 octave approach I think. As a maggie fan that can't fit them, I think this single driver plus woofer concept and the open baffle like NOLA and Legacy capture some of the maggie magic. Was Legacy there?
Legacy Whisper and Bill Duddleston were in the Ayon room
I thought the worst sound at CES was the Magico (too bright) and the Soundlabs (dull,dull,dull) Vandersteens (just so so), YG Acoustics (way too rich) I liked the Mag. 1.7 but would like to have heard them without the center speaker. My favorite was the Revolver Cygnis speaker in the May Audio Room with Reimyo. I also liked the Trenner and Friedl RA box speaker which was with the Basis turntable (ugly speaker but great sound). I also liked the Wilson Speakers in the Lamm room. First time I ever liked those speakers. Teresonic Ingenium Silver (Lowther DX4 Driver) sounded great. Sanders speaker sounded good. Kings Sound King II sounded good. Tad room just so so, much better last year.
fplanner, did you hear the Legacys, and if so which ones and what did you think? I've skimmed the last two TAS CES reports and no mention of the Legacy brand, at least as a best-in-show candidate. BTW, the Von Schweikert Unifield 3 is getting great reviews and has a similar "top 7 octaves" single driver approach like the Vienna Klimt series.
Getting back to Legacy, I'm starting to get very interested in their new Whisper XD. Anyone hear them?
Best for me were the FAL speakers with Artemis electronics and a schroeder tonearm.
I also liked the Coltrane and Classic Audio.
Jeffkad- The Whispers sounded good, but not great, at least to my ears. I used to own the non-XD Whispers before my current VSA 7se's, which give me better bass slam and imaging in my room, as well as a sweeter midrange. In all fairness, the VSA's also cost considerably more than the Whispers.
I would make sure you demo the Whispers in your room if you can before making a purchase.
Anyone listened to the Rockport Alya's?
*boulder+jm lab maestro
*yg acoustics anat ref.+krell.
did anyone actually hear those new ugly, huge and expensive Hansens?
Bob, The uber-Hansens were spectacular with Tenor amps. However, their looks necessitate having a wife very large on top and of small bottom to achieve balance.
Those ugly Hansens were one of the worst sounds at the show.
While I didn't dislike the big Hansens' sound, the cosmetics are debatable. Their lack of mirror imaging (woofers) is troubling. The imaging was dramatically better in the sweet spot (single chair up front). For $239,000?
The Rockport Alyas showed potential, but they weren't broken in and the room was too large for them, hence they were rather thin and bright. Andy Payor is a gifted designer, and his speakers start and stop on a dime.
I would say that three stood out. The Eficions at THE Show, the Tidal Contrivas, and the YGs in the Synergistic Research suite. I think the Tidal pushed ahead of the others once the Ypsilon amps broken in on Sunday. The Sunrays got promising by Sunday although I think the Bridge Audio electronics were not really not suited for these speakers. They would have been my fourth best. I was also impressed by the Perfect8s, but they are just unconscionably expensive. I neglected to hear the Vandersteens. The Vienana Audio speakers were also acceptable. Nothing else tooted my horn.
Ptmconsulting, I heard them and thought they were okay but certainly nothing I would ever have in my house.
Changster, I would have listened to the Rockports but they were too far away.
My listening to the Magicos was immediately after the bass overloaded Sumiko suite with six Rail subwoofers. They think shaking the building is fidelity. By comparison the Magico suite was tipped upward. As usual the YGs were in an awful room, but Synergistic Research showed what they could do.
What I really would have love to hear would have been broken in Tidal Sunrays with Tidal electronics. I would not have been able to afford them, but I think they would have told me what was possible in audio today.
heard the new hansens-- ouch! not only an eye sour, but also an ear ache....
i was only at CES (the Venetian) for about 4 hours on Saturday afternoon, and then only early Saturday am and early Sunday am at T.H.E. Show at the Flamingo. So my perceptions are not in any way complete. my understanding is that by Saturday most rooms had attained a bit of synergy (if they had the potential to).
a friend did ask me to hear the Magico Q5. i spent maybe 20 minutes there; they were playing a 'Tape Project' tape; Exotic Dances, on their big Sony RTR tape deck. i know this tape very well but not the Sony player. i was sitting in the sweet spot and it was quiet in the room. something was not working for me, and really i cannot say whether it was the RTR deck or the room set-up or the speakers....but it was kinda rough on top and not involving, no mid-range magic or musical nuance. to be fair, i learned nothing useful about the Q5. if i had more time i might have been able to hear something that worked or have a better insight into the speaker. Alon was sitting over the corner. i've spoken with him in the past and consider him a good guy and would still assume the Q5 to be a very good speaker.
i liked the MAXX3/Lamm ML3 room. what's not to like? really world class imaging and very involving. terrific tonality. i think Bose speakers would sound world class thru those amps.
big Tidal's with BAlabbo electronics, Blue Smoke server. Fred is a great guy and the room had a swagger and refinement that was like a refuge. i could have stayed there all night. totally non-hifi and musical. smooth and luscious.
i agree with the big Hansens and the Tenor. butt ugly speaker sounded good, but not good enough to overcome the combination of the 'look' and price. maybe Guido would like them if the price was right. and i'm a Tenor lover from way back.
i did go into the Continuum/ARC/Wilson room to listen to the Caliburn tt for awhile. frankly i was really trying to listen to the tt thru the system. but i can say that the system sounded pretty damn good and was up to revealing the tt. nuff said.
Sunday morning i did walk over to the Mirage and visit the Rockport/Gryphon/Blue Smoke room. my ulterior motive was to see Andy Payor and ask him about the mythical proposed Sirius V tt. alas; no bolts of lighting or concrete info on the tt, but i did enjoy 45 minutes speaking to Andy, always a pleasure. and, i heard his new speaker which did sound wonderful.
my overall favorite system was at T.H.E. Show and was made up of components that are essentially what is in my home system. Evolution speakers/datTZeel amp & pre/Playback Designs digital/Dobbins Technics SP-10 Mk3 tt w/Reed arm and A90 cartridge. the room was very small and many times people would poke their head into the room and see there was no room and move on. i'm not sure how many people heard the room. i have to admit that parts of the sound were better than what i hear in my room. the mid-range and sense of air was as good as i've ever heard from any system ever. i admit to being a total fan-boy of the gear so factor that into my comments. i did hear a number of people i respect say the same things about this room that i just wrote. it was very special. here's a comment from Stereophile about that room.
my decision to attend CES was very last minute and so i was onlt there from 9am Saturday thru noon Sunday, but i'm glad i went.
Mike, I agree with you on the Evolution suite. It is clearly the best I have heard them. I had a long conversation with Mr. Dobbins about the table and arm.
When I heard the Tidal Sunrays they were using the Bergman tt which I covet.
@Jeffkad Yes they were "The Music" I believe Legacy was there but I did not catch a listen to report back.
The Aerial 20T V2 and 9 in CES Las Vegas? If Yes please email the link pictures.
Greai sound, the Trenner-Friefl RA Box speaker with Viva amplifiers. Just superb natural,dynamic and real live music reproduction(however a very plain jane square box appearance). The Revolver Cygnis was nearly as good sounding but cheaper and more attractive.
Goodsound were the Wilson Maxx3 with the Lamm amps (Lamms 130k price, wow). Other good sounds were Tidal and the teresonic speakers.
Bad sounding, the large Hansen with ceramic drivers and the Magico Q5 speakers(why all the fuss? terrible sounding room). Oh by the way the two King electrostics produced good sound.
"My champs are
1) Aerial 10t that I believe has many positives from many best speakers:"
Is this right? You mean someone was showing with an old pair of 10Ts? Or is Aerial bringing them back?
The only other rude jerk I ran into was Jason Bloom of Apogee fame. What a flaming ass. His speakers were too good for him to play any of my cd's that I wanted to listen too. The point is if the retailer coming in the room likes the speakers with his music, he probably would think about caring the line. Never with that company. I'm sure you have to kiss Magico's butt to become a dealer, maybe that is why the speakers are so butt ugly.
I have to agree the new Hansen reference speaker is THE MOST UGLY speaker I have ever seen. If it was brown, it would look like King Kong just made a doo doo. Sorry Hansen, you really dropped the big one this time.
Did any one hear the new Rockport Alya?
No they were in a hotel that was not part of CES.
the Rockport Alya's were over at the Mirage. i went over on Sunday morning to see Andy Payor and ask him about the Sirius V tt. i mostly talked to Andy but i did listen to a few cuts. i was impressed by the sound, as i always am by Andy's speakers. it's a small speaker and beautifully built. Andy showed us the solid metal front baffle where the tweeter and mid-woofer are mounted. cool.
the speaker had a nice warmth and listenability, no upper end glare, and seemed balanced and involving.
there was a window with drapery over it a foot or so behind the speakers; considering that it sounded pretty good overall. but this was me only listening to a couple of cuts from the Blue Smoke music server.
I heard the Rockports on Saturday afternoon. They were not broken in, as Andy readily admitted, and as such weren't as full sounding as he would have liked and were a bit bright. The imaging and speed were excellent, and build quality was as good as ever. The room was too big for them, which Andy also acknowledged. A class act and a speaker with potential.