A nice summary once again this year. Thanks, Joe!
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Have to agree with most of your thoughts.Gingko was there however,down in the software area.They had all their platforms on static display ttS and cd players in a booth selling Sacds and Xrcds.I agree the Hyperion line is a no brainer and in m my opinion did some serious hurt to some expensive gear.I personaly though the DK design did a diservice to the VR 4 jrs as I found them much better teamed with a Spectron amp.THe fact that the rep really doies not know his equipment that he is seling is a total turn off.The room just lacked punch and transparency and I know it is not the speakers.I thought most of the rooms had bass control issues,which in 80% of cases could be blamed on the rooms which were even smaller than last year due to the fact the Hilton moved the show from the 5th and 6th floor due to the Jewelry expo here on Sunday.The lamm room was not as good as I have heard it,but as usual the Hilton had them originalky in the partitioned section where the Dolby demo was(god awful) and they had to scurry into the suite they were in and probably ran out of time to dial it in.The Merlin Joule room ,as always very musical and just plain good.The Kharma room.just has lost all it's luster.Used to love that setup,and the magic is just gone.Seems to get worse every year.The VSA rooms with the VR 4 Sr,was very good(better be with the great electronics.The VR 9s are wonderful speakers,but in my opinion need to be in a big room for them to shine.I am not a fan of EMM labs gear nor upsampling.The Reimyo room was terrific,first time I heard this room and I did like it very much.The Music Hall room always fun and the the price point is a no brainer for good quality gear.I still do not see what people see in the Joseph audio rooms.I have seen them for 5 years and just does nothing for me.The Devore room was a dissapointment.These speaker have recieved universal praise yet to me they just sounded dead.Maybe the Electronics,just lifeless.The JM labs(small ones) were to bright for my taste,the flagship models with BAT DCS ect. sounded good,but damm well better for 300k plus.The AA imports room sounded excellent.The Accapela speakers sounded extremely rich and musical.I went through very room and just mentioned the ones that left an impression either negatively or positively.Nice to see there was a good deal of vinyl again.
Best in show budget.Hperion no question
Best in show hi priced;Reimyo
Overall the show was ho hum,nothing earth shatering in sound,was much better this year as I did not have to show,and could walk around with friends which made it much more pleasant.
Thanks for all of the feeback. Always an interesting thread, mostly because of the submissions of our fellow Audiogoners.
SatToTheStars, I think our opinions agree 99%+. Yes, I did see Gingko on the 3rd floor, but from the e - mail Vinh sent me a week or two ago, despite his windsurfing vacation, he'd be well represented. I was hoping to see his platforms in some of the listening rooms.
We diverge on the VR-4JR/DK room, however. I am not the biggest fan of either component, and as Will (Tubegroover) says, I do not mince words. I have heard both of them sound shockingly bad in the past, and am not afraid to say so. This time, however, I was impressed. It sounded good to me.
We do, however, agree on the owner, Daniel Khesin. It's important for one to be careful how they conduct themselves, as you never know who is watching. In this case, me. Let's just say his behavior did not come across as professional as I overheard his conversation with a show attendee. Suffice it to say that sonics aside, I wouldn't deal with the guy (which is why Blue Circle will NEVER get a recommdation on purchase from me). That's probably as much as I need to say for now. I am not sure if your opinion on the sound is a reflection of his personality, but if it is (and I don't expect you to admit to such), I can almost understand.
Bigkidz, yes, the Gingkos use ordinary racquet balls inside them, and despite not owning a platform, as the costs of fabrication, distribution, and dealer markup factor in, I feel they represent a real bargain. People that I trust that own one have derived tangible benefit, and I have heard so myself. I also believe that simply using racquet balls as isolation devices will not yield the improvement Vinh's platforms do.
Hoping to see you next year, Kevziek! I also hope Rogue realizes how well they did and repeats it.
Actualy it is not.I am dealer for DK designs and also for VSA so I have a pretty good idea what I like with both of them.To be quite honest after what I say about the DK designs marketing strategy I doudt I will be one for much longer.This is a show where the general public has an oportunity to listen to a good deal of equipment that rarely will people get a chance to hear all at once in one menu.When you have guy who ONLY interest is to sell,has 3 new upgrade comming out for the the same piece in less than a year, you really must wonder what the hell is going on.I heard people asking question regarding the integrated and heard different answers for essentialy the the same questions.This essentialy tells me the guy has absolutely no idea about his product.It is one thing to market a product,and to their credit they have done that very well,but to blatenly use pressure sales tactics at a show is pathetic..It is show for God's sake where people are suppose to enjoy themselves and learn,not have a product shoved down their throat.Though I have not verified it ,there was a rumour around within the dealer network that the exact same integrated was being sold under a different name for 1200.00.If true ,you know what the scenario with DK Designs will be. The bottom line is hopefully those who attended had a good time a got a chance to see some of the products being offered.As for Gilbert of BC,Gilbert is Gilbert and always will be.To me he is hilarious,but I could see why some people would have some serious reservations.
Thank you Joe!
Very nice job. Sorry you and I couldn't prowl the halls together this year like we did last year.
Maybe I am jaded, but Hyperion did not trip my trigger the way they did last year. I still believe they were giving tremendous bang for the buck, but a couple of other systems bowled me over this year the way they did last year.
I liked the look and sound of the new Gershman Black Swan, driven by the Linar amps. I was underwhelmed by the large Kharma/Lamm room but liked the Kharma 3.2/sub combo a lot. Maybe it was the new, tiny class D amp Kharma was driving them with.
Anyway- thanks again for your thorough, thoughtful observations. I always enjoy reading your posts.
Boy, I wish I could have joined you guys! Nice writeup.
The only topic near and dear to my heart not discussed much was the analog source components. Any comments on the tables that moved you? What tables were prevelant?
Did you hear the Continuum Caliburn/Wavac setup that caught my attention in Las Vegas this year? Best,
Vinh Vu of Gingko Audio here. Back from a much-needed vacation windsurfing in the Outer Banks, I did manage to come to the show today. We had our Cloud platforms at the Elusive Disc booth downstairs on the 3rd floor, and in the GTT Audio Rooms on the 9th floor. Also on display was the brand new DanaSwing suspended platform, under a Shanling CD player at Elusive Disc and under the DCS Elgar stack in the second GTT room with Kharma speakers and amps. Joe, you probably missed it totally because it is designed to be un-obstrusive but it was there. Maybe that's why Slipknot1 liked the sound in that room :-)
By the way, our balls are NOT racquetballs. We found that racquetballs are too big, too soft, and do not perform, both vibration-wise and sonically, as well as our balls. But you can use racquetballs with the Cloud platform if you so choose.
Joe- it was great to meet you (and Albert, too, are you out there?). Since you are laying it on the line, I will tell you that as a former long time Vandy owner and someone interested in the Aesthetix line, the Callisto/5A room was a huge disappointment. A big room for a big speaker, with totally uninvolving sound. And as you know, I second your comments on the Hyperion amp/speaker combo. This was my first high end show, so I can't compare, but I was very much impressed with the Joseph Audio/Manley room, as well as the VAC/VSA 4 sr. combo. And the Hornings sounded fabulous. Totally toe-tapping.
For those who missed the live show Friday night, all I can say is too bad for you. Medeski Martin and Wood were outstanding. A great aural reminder of what real, tuneful, chest compressing musical bass can sound like. Holly Palmer was a real gas, too. Very tight band (Mojo Maniacs), kind of sweet, a bit punky, and very much rocking presence. Music very difficult to classify- anyone out there that can put a label on it, I would appreciate it. THought her take on "Gotta save somebody" (sorry, Dylanophiles, if I got the name wrong) was a real show-stopper.
Thanks for complimenting the sound in our room (Sonic Spirits/Blue Circle/Focus Audio/Dodson)...glad you enjoyed it! Although I'm not sure of what issues you've had with Blue Circle in the past...of all the manufacturers I work with, they are the ones that have gone the extra mile when customers have had particular demands. Of course, I've not yet sold any BC gear that has had any kind of problem with reliability.
Spencer, you really should get up to NYC next year! Anyway, hope you'll be there in two weeks. It should be a most interesting meeting, with my Lowther PM6Cs in Geoff's cabinets.
On the other hand, you may have been a bit disappointed with the volume of vinyl being spun this year. It seemed over the past years, vinyl had been building momentum, but that this year, with a slew of new faces, things backed off a bit. Not that there was not vinyl, there was. And, it was fun seeing the ELP, but as I said before, I am not sure it is going to appeal to the most devout turntable lover. One positive is that I heard scuttlebutt that the player was able to do well with some really awfully scratched up records. That alone would be a selling point to some.
Again, overall, a lot of the stalwarts did not make it this year.
Great to meet you as well, Michael (Swampwalker). I would have really loved the Modeski, Martin, and Wood concert, and had I no plans for Friday evening, would have surely been in attendance.
Philnyc, congratulations on putting together such a fabulous sounding room! You did a more than commendable job. It was definitely one of the best without a doubt in my mind.
I don't want to pollute this thread with things not show related, but suffice it to say that Blue Circle not only did not go the extra mile in resolving a problem I had with a BC2 amp (one which had already been repaired by them twice before - reliability?!?), but they refused to move an inch. As someone who owned a BC3 preamp and was about to upgrade it to a BC3000 MKII, along with buying the 1200 balanced power thingie, and a steadfast trumpeter of the brand's sonics here on Audiogon, AudioAsylum, AudioReview, etc., I have vowed to NEVER buy anything else from them. Needless to say I did not buy the power conditioner, or upgrade my preamp. I dumped the preamp as fast as I could at an unheard of price just to make a statement. In fact, two people have already written to me offline as a result of this thread, and via rehashing my experiences, have steered them away from a brand they were strongly considering a purchase of. And, I have the names of several other audiophiles who aren't bashful in letting the world know the poor experiences they've lived through. Let's just say that I hope they are happy with the long term value they are getting from that piddling $140 it cost me to make things right.
Thanks again for the compliment on our room!
It's unfortunate (and quite surprising) to hear of your situation with BC. I agree not to turn this thread into something ugly...I'll just say that there are always two sides to every story, and I'll be curiuos to hear what BC's side at some point...
Anyways, glad you enjoyed the show! I was actually so busy that I didn't really get to hear much else, so I appreciate your thorough and enjoyable writeup!
My demo room actually has the opposite problem of the hotel rooms...it has some openings that cause some bass suckout at around 60hz. I've got some ideas of how to address, tho, and hope to have them solved soon.
Things are still a little dismantled because of the show, but give me a shout in 2-3 weeks and we'll set something up!
Hi. Thanks for the review. While I'm generally in agreement with everything you heard, I will say that you should have heard the Lamm's in the Peak/Continuum Room. It really sounded much better than the Kharma room, and would have given you a better representation of what the Lamm's sound like. Also, I asked the lady from April what happened? No question the April room sounded a million times better last time around. She told me this year was a surround sound presentation, with, I think NHT speakers. I asked her why she didn't use the WEG III speakers which made the electronics sound so awesome last time around and she answered that the designer works very slowly and that piece was sort of a one-off. It was sold right from the show and that was that.
Loved your show report - very concise asnd descriptive. Will read your next one for sure! Cannot however, disagree more with your assessment of service from Blue Circle. They have bent over backwards to help me and I would not hesitate to recommend the product or the factory support. I cannot imagine them failing to help in any reasonable situation.