Graham Nash CES 2016

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Jon Iverson Posted: Jan 16, 2016 7 comments
Many of you have seen the posts about Graham Nash touring the high end audio exhibits at CES earlier this month. The experience taught me this: it isn't how good you hear, but how well you listen.

I'm not sure what readers expected from this, and I certainly wasn't sure what to expect, which is why it was an attractive idea. Yes Nash ended up liking what he heard, but for those cynical enough to think he was just being polite, I'm here to tell you first hand that he was excited by the experience, and his enthusiasm was genuine.

Jon Iverson Posted: Jan 15, 2016 1 comments
The day was getting long at this point and we'd already listened to a couple hour's worth of music, but we wanted a little variety from the floor-standing speakers we had heard to far. So we popped into the Crystal Cable/Siltech room to hear This Path Tonight on a dimensionally smaller system.
Jon Iverson Posted: Jan 15, 2016 1 comments
We had spent the morning and early afternoon listening to systems in the big suites, and now it was time to downscale the room size and budget just a bit. I promised Graham Nash that we would try to mix up the types of products he heard, so we headed down to Devore Fidelity on the 30th floor of the Venetian.
Jon Iverson Posted: Jan 14, 2016 4 comments
Chord Electronics had their suite divided into two rooms at CES, the main room as shown in the photo above and the smaller back room where all the headphone listening was taking place. Chord had their Mojo and Hugo TT DACs set up with a variety of Audeze headphones as reported earlier.

But in the main room was their latest DAVE DAC (which I'll be profiling in a later post) as well as some of their best electronics. The system was topped off with one of my personal favorites, the Vienna Acoustics The Music loudspeakers.

Jon Iverson Posted: Jan 14, 2016 0 comments
Though not a listening stop, we had to say hello to the guys from Mobile Fidelity including (L-R in the photo above) Rob Loverde, Shawn Britton and Jonathan Derda. Turns out Shawn has mastered some of Graham's work, so they immediately set to talking about the new album and the possibility of MoFi getting their hands on it.
Jon Iverson Posted: Jan 13, 2016 9 comments
Graham Nash seemed to know right away that these were the guys that provided the guts for his buddy Neil Young's Pono player and wanted to know all about it. After all, there is a version with Nash's signature on it.
Jon Iverson Posted: Jan 13, 2016 10 comments
I'm grouping these two rooms together since we didn't listen to Graham Nash's album in either one, but rather had each host pick something out. We were getting behind schedule, so the idea was to expose Nash to some completely different speaker technologies back to back and see what he thought.
Jon Iverson Posted: Jan 12, 2016 1 comments
We were clearly off to a good start, so I was wondering what Graham Nash's reaction would be to an all out audiophile assault.

I explained to Nash that the Vivid speakers and Luxman system we just heard were relatively compact, by audiophile standards (though by no means modest), and that the next room would be more typical of the cost-no-object approach. Judged by Graham's "impact of the music" criteria, would bigger necessarily be better, or might it detract from the musical intent he was looking for?

Jon Iverson Posted: Jan 11, 2016 10 comments
After a quick mid-morning breakfast with Graham Nash that included AudioStream.com's Michael Lavorgna, we headed up to the top floor of the Mirage hotel to start our day at Philip O'Hanlon's On a Higher Note suite.

Before we walked into the room, Nash gave me a serious look and explained "What I'm looking for is that the intent of my message, the impact of the song, is communicated intact. This is the first time I've heard these songs outside of the studio, so this should be very interesting. I'm looking forward to this."

Jon Iverson Posted: Jan 11, 2016 4 comments
Before starting in on the room reports, here is a little background on how we set things up.

We wanted the best possible sound, so I asked the record label, Blue Castle (formed by Graham Nash and David Crosby), if I could have an HD copy of Nash's new album This Path Tonight straight from the mastering studio. The album was mastered in 24/96 PCM by Bob Ludwig, and the label agreed to supply the first digital copy to be played in the wild on the condition that it never leave Graham's laptop where they would place it themselves. I agreed.

Jon Iverson Posted: Jan 09, 2016 5 comments
We'll be detailing all of the rooms that Graham Nash visited at CES in the next week, but before we get started, here's a small detour that took place about halfway through the day.
Jon Iverson Posted: Jan 04, 2016 16 comments
The premise is simple: how would a seasoned musician react to the sound of their new album on a variety of audiophile systems at CES?

I tossed the idea to Graham Nash, and he agreed to participate in the experiment, more than a little curious about this thing called high-end audio. Graham is always full of energy and very articulate, so should provide some very interesting perspective for Stereophile readers.