The wrong speaker for the room ?

I have been reading some comments about the most recent North American audio show,Taves,and with RMAF fast approaching I thought I would add some comments to the comments of the Taves show and audio shows in general.

First of all,I wasn't at Taves,prior musical committments prevented me from attending.
My first prioroty is to play live music ,followed by listening to live performances and then listening to reproduced music via a hifi system.
Sorry HP,but the absolute sound just can't be replicated,it was only real once.
But I do believe that the illusion of that moment can be captured,as in a photograph or moving picture is but an illussion of reality.
And I believe that some gear pull off the illusion better than others.

So why do some manufacturers or dealers try to dispell their best efforts at rerieving the illusion by showcasing the wrong sized speakers at audio shows?
From what I've just read, all the mega buck systems got slammed again(as usually is the case)and the small mini set ups were the crowd pleasers.

But some folks come to these shows just for that very reason and bad sounding mega buck systems is just more fuel for the fire and further proof that high end audio is all hype and no substance, and anything built after 1970 outside of Japan is a ripp off.

My belief is that if you attend an audio show with a closed mind, it most likely will stay that way.
So why do some people continue to throw caution to the wind, damage future sales, and further discredit the hobby by playing the wrong speaker?
Why cram components that cost the equivalent of a new home into a room that is only the size of a bedroom?

I think it would be better to have them on static display with a nice written disclaimer stating that "this level of equipment is on static display, due to the fact that the size of the venue will severely compromise it's performance.For demonstration,please consult with the dealer."Or something like that.

I know that's part of what going to a high end show is all about, hearing the high end gear, but what good is it if it's not sounding the way it should?
It does more harm than good.

Like I've mentioned, if your mind was made up that everything about this hobby is over priced nonsense and poor sound quality, then surely this type of demo will do nothing but reinforce those beliefs.

I've always attended audio shows with the mind set to be one of learning.
What was he using to get that sound I so liked? Was the gear plugged straight into the wall with stock cords, or was there a conditioner or aftermarket power cords?

I've seen only one such comment about a power product in the comments on Taves, and it was for a discontinued $60.00 product you plugged into a vacant wall socket.
The poster was quite pleased with the demo and purchased the product and it appears to work as intended in hos own system.
But what would it be if that product's price was $600.00 or even $6000.00?
Probably dismissed again as over priced hype.

And that's what audio shows and this hobby is up against it seems even more so in the new economic times we are in.

People are value conscious.Some are cheap.

But some folks still can and will buy the big ticket items, but only if they are displayed in environemnts that compliment not compromise them.
I contend that most shows effectively display for all the wrong room for the speaker. Efforts are made to deal with cables, power, source, electronics, every detial. Lost somehow is the biggest detail, the room.

Come hear the Pink Floyd Wish you were hear demo on Saturday in the Acoustic Sound room. All ATC actives, with intense room treatment to try and reduce the effects of the room. I doubt they will succeed at making the room disappear but you will you will be able to hear the effects of the treatment.


If I were doing a demo at RMAF I would choose some terrific small speakers and powerful tube amp so it could play loud (if necessary) and still be ultra clean and musical.

A great combo would be Dynaudio C1 and VAC, CAT or VTL tube amps and a computer based digital system plus mid to high line turntable.

I've been listening in these hotel rooms for nearly 30 years, I agree that very large speakers have a difficult time, especially if the listener is not able to separate the acoustic problems from what the speaker is doing.
I went to my very first show a couple months ago, up in NewPort Beach Ca.
THE Show was my first listen of so much I'd read about, heard about, but never heard inperson.
The systems more in scale with the room did sound better. The Focal Grand Utopia (beyond a merely optimistic name!) was only OK in a large hotel room. Not something that made my jaw drop.
OTOH, Some of the fullrange single driver stuff was astonishing, driven, as is the custom, by smaller tube amps. Even the Vinyl demos were killer. But than again, so were the R2R rooms and even the computer based. My IPod hooked up in a few systems was a pleasant surprise.

That being said, some larger speakers also made a favorable impression. The large panels from Sanders sounded good. Some other large scale speakers were OK, but I never did hear the MBL line, which was in 2 rooms. How DID they get those amps in there?

I missed Magnepan, of which I'm a big fan and at least 1 complete floor of goods.

The small speakers of note? Audio Engine. RSL, a Southern California Boutique brand speaker from the 70's back again with the original owner and Audience, made up the road in San Marcos.

The format used, 2 and sometimes 3 rows of 3 or 4 chairs doesn't help.

Still and all, I'll try another show. I enjoy people watching and on that level, is quite entertaining. I'll know better next time what to look and listen for. It was, at the end of the day, an EDUCATIONAL experience.
Good point!
If you go to an audio, go with friends. Have a beer or two. visit some brand/distributors talk to people in the business but DO NOT expect a great sound. Audio shows are more of a social gathering then it is about the audio itself.