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TheOverboard
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Hi Fi Show observations

I was unfortunate to only spend a short time at Thursday's opening of the "Stereophile" show. In my humble opinion, MBL stole the show. Transparency, depth, width, natural; and all this from different seating locations. Virtually all hi end audio demonstrations are based on one seat and damn everyone else. With the MBL system, you can actually invite a friend over. Very impressive.

Even though Dave Wilson put on a wonderful demonstration with his new Watt/Puppy speakers, I felt Brooks Berdan Sophia demonstration was better. Excellent attention to details. Bigger soundstage.

Several of the demonstrations had the instruments all on top of each other in the center of the room. I won't pick on anyone, because it was more likely the software. Speaking of software, I didn't have time to write down the selections Wilson used, so if someone could post them, I would be very greatful. Also, in the MBL room, they played an a cappella group recorded on RCA with the name Four as part of the groups name. Please find out what group it was and post it. The bass singer was so low, he could do some serious stimulous to the bowel section (in a good way).

Finally, Thiel showed a new speaker system with excellent results, but the tubed amplification sent out an uncomfortable heatwave; this with the A/C blasting away.

I was surprisingly not that impressed with Joseph Audio and Vandersteen products; two of which I hold in the highest regards. Show conditions; who knows.

Still makes me realize, I own crap compared to the best heard.

Lamont Sanford
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Re: Hi Fi Show observations

I would like a blow-by-blow description of Melora Hardin's, aka, Jane Levinson-Gould, performance. I think she is super hot! http://www.melora.com/

rmilewsk
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Re: Hi Fi Show observations

I agree. I think that the mbl booth had the best sound. Everything I heard was stunning. I was also very impressed with the von gaylord audio legend speakers. They were very musical. I could have listened all day. They also had the coolest looking amps with the liquid cooled tubes. I think they mesmerized me with the viscous action of the heat in the oil and then sent messages about how good their gear sounded into my brain. It was almost as good as watching a lava lamp.

TheOverboard
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Re: Hi Fi Show observations

Some more thoughts and observations: Bryston had an interesting presentation. When seated in the center chair, the soundstage was perfect (at least with the material they were playing at the time). How does one know such a thing. They had a monitor off to the side with the equipment showing the performance. The players were dead on in relationship to the stage. Also, there wasn't the video distraction by placing the monitor in the middle of the speakers. After moving one seat to the right, the illusion was completely lost (as it was it virtually every demonstration; except MBL).

Back to Wilson Audio: When I asked, Dave Wilson put on a simple, yet extremely effective, demonstration as to speaker placement. This was probably more impressive than their unveiling of the Watt's (although that was quite wonderful too). I also suggested that this would make a wonderful DVD. I'm going on record that this was my idea

gkc
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Re: Hi Fi Show observations

I'm still trying to sort out memories of my impressions. Believe it or not, I was actually sober while making the rounds to the various listening rooms.

For now, my most positive memories are of the less ambitious systems. The Epos/Music Hall room was the most pleasant. Roy Hall was a gracious host and played just about anything any visitor wanted to hear. I was surprised to hear such low cost gear sound so natural, coherent, and still detailed. The soundstage had good depth and width (which I need) and transparency was excellent. This was true high-end sound that, for me, outplayed most of the 6-figure systems I heard. All for less than $10,000 for the entire system. Bravo. To be fair, the room was small, and I suspect some of the larger systems might fill larger rooms more adequately, but, let's face it, most of us live in small-to-moderately sized rooms. Also, in the Usher room, I felt the $700 monitors actually sounded more balanced and transparent than the $8,000 floor standers that were being highlighted.

The KEF room offered the best "expensive" sound I heard. This was a larger room and the $15,000 KEF flagship models filled it beautifully. On full orchestral recordings, the sound was natural, expansive, and VERY close to what I remember from the concert hall. I will definitely consider buying these speakers for my second system, a much larger room than I have here in my apartment. Of course, the KEF reps were more than willing to play the large-scale symphonic works that I primarily use to evaluate home music systems.

I was disappointed in the Wilson demonstration. Having to wait 30 minutes for the next show put me on edge, and they should know better than to cross the line into irritation territory. The Watt's sounded excellent, of course, but on what I consider to be undemanding material (small ensembles, some a capella voices, etc.). At the end, when I asked Wilson the younger to play some demanding, symphonic material with loud dynamic contrasts, he put on the slow movement from the Chopin 2nd piano concerto. Pianissimo. Again, the sound was fine, but no better on this type of material than any 20 other rooms. Further, I had to endure a 10 minute lecture by some suit to somehow "prepare" me for the blessed event. Bah. I hate that kind of arrogance. Speaker placement? Wilson the elder stood flush against the back wall and directed our attention to the sound of his voice. He then stepped out a couple of yards into the room and profoundly noted that "some of the bass is now gone." As he pointed out the exact distance of his speakers from the rear and side walls, he noted with great solemnity that moving the speakers 3/4 of an inch would greatly affect the sound. Sorry, but anyone who has wrestled speakers around his own room already knew that. A great deal of pomp and circumstance celebrating a boring and condescending experience. No sale. I can afford anything he makes, and I'll probably never hear a Wilson speaker again. Too much structure kills the sale, Mr. Wilson. I am not in your target audience. I'm sure you'll survive.

The ultra-humongous McIntosh speakers also disappointed, at 90 large the pair. To me, they were splashy and hashy in the upper mids and highs. The bass was terrific, though. Too bad a symphony orchestra has a range upwards of 100 Hz, because these monsters sure looked impressive.

The MBL room was populated by zoomies both times I visited. I could tell this was a superb system, but had to work too hard mentally to survive lift-off of those rockets. Disco. Yup, Disco. 200 large playing Disco. Bang, whoosh, zoom, and we're off! A NASA engineer would have loved it. I would have paid admission to have heard these beauties play something by Mahler or Stravinsky, but everything they played gets done equally well by Cerwin-Vega. Grunt and shriek. Ugh. Sorry to sound like a snob (I'm really not...), but each of us to his own muse.

I enjoyed the Joseph room, with the Moscode. Different strokes for different folks. Some nice jazz. An island of sanity in a sea of chaos.

Everything I heard with the word "Ayre" stuck on a faceplate sounded superb. I must look into this.

The Edgarhorn/triode system sounded dull and uninvolving to me. The two subs, boxes the size of large condos, went impressively deep, but never connected with the rest of the sound. Imaging was confusing. Another black mark against the big-bucks systems.

If this sounds cranky, I must say I had a GREAT time wandering around and hearing so many different presentations under the same roof. And, for me, the show was an absolute triumph for dealers and manufacturers offering low-to-medium price range products. I would pay ten times the admission and do it again tomorrow. And it was great fun meeting and talking to Wes, J-10, and Stephen. And, yes, being led through blotto Nirvana by Mike and Bacchus (er, Buddha). Many thanks to the Stereophile staff who made it possible. I could see they worked very hard for little compensation other than the love. Thank you so much! Cheers, Clifton.

RGibran
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Re: Hi Fi Show observations

For those of you who didn't get enough of the fine coverage from our Stereophile writers and staff, you may wish to check out the coverage at Stereophiles' sister publication Ultimate AV Magazine

RG

TheOverboard
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Re: Hi Fi Show observations

I agree that it's much easier for a smaller, dollar wise, system to impress than a money-be-damned system. In virtually everyone's home, the reality of this kind of stereo is more practical and smart than the $100M+ rigs. Even Dave Wilson commented that his Alexandria's are in a 30' x 40'+ room. Very few have that kind of real estate.

I would not hold it against Wilson, and their long lines, when it is a chance for people to actually hear what the critics talk about. They are not exactly a Circuit City loudspeaker. In show conditions, I think it is easier for vendors to show their wares with smaller ensembles, than large scale orchestras. If they can't get the small stuff correct, what chance is there on the big stuff? I do agree that Wilson wouldn't be my first choice either, but I just can't rag on them. I am sure most everyone would agree that the impact of the room has far more importance than, for example, changing cables, but Wilson's simple demonstration was far more effective than all the rhetoric that has been given on said example. I viewed the demonstration deeper than what was on the surface.

Even though I felt MBL offered the most user friendly system for more than "one" person, I can't imagine anyone wanting to have those Robbie-the-Robot's in their living room.

I had an equally enjoyable (short) time at the show, but was disappointed in who wasn't there. Where were the mfg's and distributors/retailers representing such lines as Revel, Martin Logan, Magnepan, Focal, NHT, Levinson, Red Rose, Krell, etc? The hotel had enough floors to accommodate all of them. Shame.

Buddha
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Re: Hi Fi Show observations

Man,

I was too tired to try and post last night. Definitely the best show experience, ever. The highlights:

1) Tuning into the true value, as an audiophile, of the show

jazzfan
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Re: Hi Fi Show observations

Hi Buddha, et al

Sounds like you folks out west had yourselves a real good time at HE 2006. Set the bar (pun intended) kind of high (again, pun intended) for us east coast forum members should HE 2007 be held back in NYC. However, I'm quite sure that Roy, Jeff, myself and the other east coasters will be up to the task and that we will get plenty assistance from the NYC based Sterephile staff.

Anyway, thanks for for those "amateur" show reports, they are at least as entertaining and useful as the "professional" ones we're used to reading in the all the magazines but with a heck of a lot more flair and lots of personal touches.

Great work, or should I say fun, guys.

mmole
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Re: Hi Fi Show observations

Darn right. Count me in.

Jeff Wong
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Re: Hi Fi Show observations

Fun, envy inducing stuff... but, where are the pics of you guys?!?

TheOverboard
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Re: Hi Fi Show observations

There is no question that hanging around with fellow nerds, all interested in the same thing, is the ultimate rush. I wish I had thought about posting a comment in this forum where we might have met. This is a pretty limited "club" and my personal friends all think I'm insane; well at least concerning audio equipment. It's too bad that this show has to switch locations yearly. I, for one, would go every year if it was in the L.A. area.

In case you missed it, Positive-Feedback.com also has several reports on the show. It is very interesting how we all hear differently, but not glaringly so. Most of our impressions are pretty close to one another. One thing is common; we all love this stuff!

smejias
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Re: Hi Fi Show observations


Quote:
Someone was talking about Stephen when Stephen wasn
gkc
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Re: Hi Fi Show observations

Amen to your comment about who wasn't there. I wanted to hear the Triangle Magellan and JM Labs Utopia, as well as those you mentioned. Since I am in the market to fill the void left when I sold the Dynaudio Evidence, I was hoping to hear brands I am interested in checking out.

My point about Wilson wasn't very clearly stated. This is a marketing strategy, clearly, and my main point is simply that it doesn't work with me. I get the feeling (from last weekend's experience and their advertisements) that they want to create a mystique for their products, not too unlike the strategy of, say, a Rolex or Jaguar. They don't want to risk having their crown jewels tarnished by less-than-perfect software. I understand. But the truth is that very few (how many of YOU out there?) of us own master tapes, and we must listen to a majority of program sources that are ordinary at best. The mistake I made in buying the Dynaudios was simply one of forgetting that less than 10% of my (more than 5000 total) recordings would sound acceptable on such equipment. Yet, I remain stubbornly convinced that there ARE super-expensive, state-of-the-art speakers out there that will play a majority of my music at least acceptably. The Triangle Volantes keep these hopes alive -- if THEY sound good on everything I play, perhaps the Magellan or Utopia models can improve a bit on what I already have. I needed to hear an ordinarily-recorded (but superbly crafted, in the musical sense) Mahler 9th, or "Resurrection," or a 1960's Berlioz Requiem, and deem the experience worth the extra bucks. As things stand now, the KEF's and ESP's are the only speakers I could walk away from the show remembering as candidates. That was my main point. As I said, I am sure Mr. Wilson will continue to prosper without my patronage. You can't please everyone, I guess, and the folks from Ogden didn't appear to me even half-willing to make the effort.

I am glad you started this post. As the weeks roll by, I am sure we will get many different opinions about the show. Cheers, Clifton.

Buddha
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Re: Hi Fi Show observations

Starting to get over my show lag.

In the show blog, there is a picture of some Onkyo speakers that were only about 6 inches high. After some liquid inducemnt, the Onkyo guy let on that these would be about 1,300.00 per pair.

They imaged big and filled the room nicely, but they had a lower mid hump that takes the place of some other larger small speakers' bass hump.

I think, with a properly integrated sub, they'd make a nice computer speaker set.

The "larger" Onkyo's were going to be priced around 2K, but they had the more typical small speaker upper bass hump.

To steal Wes's thunder, the 700 dollar Onkyo hundred-and-something-watts-per-channel integrated came with a phono pre and a beautiful level of fit and finish.

I was joking a little that as I get older, the idea of more integrated components like this and CD players (not transports connected to jitter-ma-bobs connected to DA converters) gets more appealing!

This integrated plus an all in one disc player and turntable (of course) feeding a set of something like the Totem or Mo-Fi speakers could get someone a singing system for not much green.

That oil cooled amp got me thinking...

It was not as "fast" as I had expected. It took twenty minutes to get my french fries golden brown.

Ba-dump-bump.

In all seriousness, I don't quite get it.

A) If tubes are designed to work as specified in an air environment at a certain temperature range, would cooling them prevent them them from reaching their optimal temperature range?

Does anybody else remember waiting for their tubes to "warm up" after turning on their system?

I don't see the advantage here.

B) Changing tubes seemed like it would have been a beeyatch! Imagine wanting to do some tube switching. Also, after you try a tube, it ain't gonna be something that's too fun to keep from gumming up the business end of the tube.

C) On the plus side, it opens up whole new vistas of aftermarket audiophile grade oils at 300 dollars per deciliter.

The sound in that room, and I apologize for not sharing the general enthusiasm, seemed to exhibit tube glare. Kind of a steely or glassy or ringy sound in the mid treble that was a bit distracting.

The Legend speakers are in a new version, and they've been fabulous before, so I'm not sure if it was a speaker problem or the amp, actually.

___________________________
___________________________

There was a demo room that was in one of the meeting rooms on floor three that used some tall German sourced speakers that did the best job of "moving air" that I heard at the show. Effortless dynamics, but I only heard some techno music there - which is OK, it's alot like test tones put forth in a rhythmically interesting manner.

The giant speakers were being driven by Bel Canto electronics and VTL amps with 16 tubes per amp. I don't think I could afford the tubes, let alone the cool amp!

All in all, the system was tight, fast (they were planar fast!)and quite easy on the ears.

They also had some static demos of the Final Tool turntables. I'm not sure if they are meant to have you put your vinyl right on the metal platter, but I tapped the platters with my finger and they produced a sensational "Ting!" that lasted for quite a while.

The Final Tool with the lead inserts didn't ring when tapped.

________________________________
________________________________

The audiophile to audiophile company was so fine that even as it came time to head into the Dr. John show, if the people I was chatting with hadn't also been going, I would have chosen the pleasure of their continued company over going to the concert.

___________________________

Oh! The logistics! let me tell ya 'bout those!

I waited in line exactly zero minutes the whole time.

The registration lady was outgoing and cheerful and I think she had my name pulled up on her computer before I finished saying it!

The lapel buttons as show badges were very convenient, too.

The Stereophile staff was either a) on ecstacy the whole time, or b) were the nicest bunch of people you could ever wanna meet. Being around them was being with kindred spirits. Honestly, they put people at ease and were at the ready to chat. It was good for the hobby.

The manufacturers, for the most part, actually spent time asking attendees if they had brought any discs to demo with. I can't count the number of times I heard people in a demo room saying, "That's nice, who is it?" with a subsequent music loving chat coming close behind.

The effort that manufacturers put into their sound was blazingly evident, too.

Usually, show sound isn't that great. This time, "not so great" was the rare exception!

TheOverboard
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Re: Hi Fi Show observations

As much as I love hi end audio, my biggest complaint is the marketing of it. If Wilson Audio simply marketed their wares, and the critics who review them, as a "Rolex" type product, I could live with that. Just as Rolex doesn't tell any better time than Casio, as we observed this past weekend Wilson doesn't sound demonstrably superior to some of the less expensive brands. Now, fit and finish are another subject. Rolex is built far superior to Casio, and Wilson definitely puts money in its product. On the other hand, my brother (who was with me at the show; and is not an audiophile) made a comment when looking at the Wilson finish: "this is as good as NHT." I actually laughed out loud. You get the point though.

RGibran
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Re: Hi Fi Show observations

Jeff,

Did you catch the pic of "Our Gang" in the show report HERE

I'm not sure who is who, except for JA and HiFiTommy. Maybe Buddha will clarify for us. I was hoping to see Cliftons' mug as well, and maybe some babes! But, like Sin City, I'm sure there are things that happen in LA that need to Stay in LA!

RG

Jeff Wong
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Re: Hi Fi Show observations

RG - Yup, I did, thanks. I checked the show blog often to live vicariously. But, I was hoping for some smiling mug shots of Our Gang.

gkc
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Re: Hi Fi Show observations

That is NOT me in the red dress! Hmph. The cameras were out, and I was flossed 'n ready with my best smile...but they took one look at my face and pointed 'em in another direction. Can't figure it. Hey, it's the nice personality that counts, right?

Jeff Wong
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Re: Hi Fi Show observations

Someone has been demoting us in stars, Clifton. Will this affect the Presidential campaign?

gkc
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Re: Hi Fi Show observations

Damn Neocons. And I heard a funny 'click' on my telephone today when I was ordering a new bra from the catalog. No. They'll never stop us with this flimsy "rating" tactic. Heads will roll when we ascend to power. I am keeping a list.

TheOverboard
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Re: Hi Fi Show observations

When I was listening to the Avid Acutus turntable with Legacy speakers (front row center), someone walked up to the components for viewing. I thought to myself, move out of the way so I can see the performer, who was still playing behind him. Of course, this was all imagined in my vivid mind, as I was listening intently. Yes, the soundstage image is quite an amazing thing when done correctly.

Another thing I noticed was how little vibrations triggered the suspension of this turntable. A person who walked by it noticably made the suspension move. He wasn't bouncing, stomping or acting clumsy. The rack was top notch as well. It made me realize how easily turntables, in particular, are subject to such vibrations. No wonder there are so many after market products to handle such. By the way, the Avid never missed a beat.

At Sony, when asked about SACD's future, I could never get an answer. They were possessed about their hi def monitors. As good as they looked, I'm beginning to distrust anything Sony does. The rep did mention there were several inquiries regarding SACD. O.K?

JasonVSerinus
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Re: Hi Fi Show observations

I'm sorry that I didn't meet any of the forum regulars at the show. I was hardly in hiding, going from room to room with occasional breaks to write. Hopefully next time.

Gracias,
jason

Pjay
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Re: Hi Fi Show observations

Well, Wes handed me his camera to take that shot. I had no idea is was the AA gang and that JA was buying drinks. I was p-a-y-i-n-g m-y o-w-n w-a-y. What a loss! I figured it was JA and some important business (like the MF guys setting up the payoff for another positive review:) and I should give some room.

P

Pjay
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Re: Hi Fi Show observations


Quote:
As much as I love hi end audio, my biggest complaint is the marketing of it. If Wilson Audio simply marketed their wares, and the critics who review them, as a "Rolex" type product, I could live with that. Just as Rolex doesn't tell any better time than Casio, as we observed this past weekend Wilson doesn't sound demonstrably superior to some of the less expensive brands. Now, fit and finish are another subject. Rolex is built far superior to Casio, and Wilson definitely puts money in its product. On the other hand, my brother (who was with me at the show; and is not an audiophile) made a comment when looking at the Wilson finish: "this is as good as NHT." I actually laughed out loud. You get the point though.

I say I have to disagree. The Wilsons were probably one of (or *the*) best rooms at the show. I did not care for the black-tie effect either, but they are selling $50k speakers and I ain't affordin' dem. But I have to give credit where credit is due, they sounded great, they supplied speakers to other mfgs which also sounded great, they played decent music, the people were available and knowledgeable. This is how to sell a product.

I wrote up my show review over at AA "General".

p

TheOverboard
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Re: Hi Fi Show observations

Please read my previous posts in this section, as I also agree that the Wilson's had a great showing. I thought Brooks Berdan's Wilson Sophia room was 2nd best overall. What I was taking issue with was hi end's marketing aspect; not their product. I was using Wilson as an example, as there are many that fall into this realm. I feel Dave Wilson genuinely wants to give his customer's the absolute best product he can no matter what it costs. I also feel the "black tie" effect goes well with his company.

gkc
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Re: Hi Fi Show observations

Hi, Pjay --

I can afford them. And the Wilsons' sanitized presentation turned me off. It went down like a Mormon prayer meeting. The software was proudly announced as "Mr. Wilson's master tapes." This is a speaker that reminds me a great deal of my old Dynaudio Evidence models: they sounded superb on 10% of my collection, and mid-fi on the rest. Welcome to the real world. There is no point in my owning a system that won't play average-quality, everyday recordings by the likes of Szell, Reiner, Ormandy, Munch, Klemperer, Walter and the other great musicians that dot our past, and play them better than my $7,000 Triangles. I have learned and re-learned that lesson many times. With my own money. I, too, thought the Sophia sounded superb in the B-B room, because they played a real variety of music well, not just a few master tapes. Still, when I got home, my Triangles sufficed at least as well. I realize I may well have to give up on the quest for state-of-the-art speakers that won't shine a spotlight on all the studio-induced warts on the otherwise beautiful faces of Szell's Schubert 9th and Walter's "Resurrection." There are infinite paths to revivifying the memory of a live symphonic concert, and Wilson's is no truer than any number of others I have heard. The best I heard at the show were from real-world systems. Joseph got me just as close to Mahler as Wilson, as did KEF, ESP, and Hyperion. And those folks let me play what I wanted to hear. Over too many years, my memories clogged stubbornly with mistakes, I have learned the folly of buying mere cachet. That's all I meant. For my dollar, Wilson's is an inefficient marketing approach. And, since it IS my money, I'm the only one who counts. Bring on the Magellans and the Utopias, if I can ever figure out where to find 'em. Clifton

Pjay
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Re: Hi Fi Show observations

Yes, no, maybe. OK, the presentation turned you off, no argument there. I would also agree some speakers do well on wider variety of music than others. In theory, a good system should do well on all areas, but it is a theory. Yes, other systems also sounded great. Also yes that a lot of these special tapes are very suspect. Same thing happend in the Singer room last year to me. I went through thrice and on the second listen, I realized this was a great tape occupying a narrow range of music. I like the odd tapes sometimes, like last year's raw tape of "Fever". It was rough but interesting. Otherwise, we should only be testing with music we are familiar with (or for the English majors, "with which we are familiar").

No, not Utopias. Never cared for them.

P

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Re: Hi Fi Show observations

Hi Clifton:
Some time ago my "favorite distributor" of all things audio was carrying Dynaudio, Eben and Sonus Faber.
I had the chance to listen to the same material, with the same electronics, on similarly priced models from the three brands.
If you think Dynaudio speakers are unforgiving with lesser quality recordings, try Eben to get the full meaning of "unforgiving".
OTOH, Sonus Fabers would forgive even a war criminal
Niiice and boooring...

gkc
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Re: Hi Fi Show observations

Yo, Costin -- I agree about the Sonus Faber models, at least the ones I've heard. I think it may be a dynamics issue, because the timbres are certainly natural enough. I don't know about Eben, because I haven't heard that manufacturer's products. The big Dynaudios I had simply exaggerated the 4 kHz region on mediocre recordings. All full-range speakers that are even moderately flat will do the same thing, but there are some (the newer Triangles, for example) that have such a nice presence around middle-C that this recording fault doesn't get highlighted -- it's just there in the mix and thus tolerable. And the Triangles are extremely fast and dynamic, and image spectacularly, so there are plenty of virtues to focus on without having the flaws shoved into your face. For anyone who loves many different types of music, software quality is a stubborn problem, since such a miniscule percentage of real-world recordings are truly neutral. Clifton

ear2200
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Re: Hi Fi Show observations

What's "inefficient" about Wilson's marketing approach?

gkc
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Re: Hi Fi Show observations

I am a potential buyer. I have the money, the willingness to spend it, and the itch. They turn me off. Now, THAT's inefficient, considering how much their prices, alone, limit the target audience. Clifton

Lamont Sanford
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Re: Hi Fi Show observations


Quote:
I am a potential buyer. I have the money, the willingness to spend it, and the itch. They turn me off. Now, THAT's inefficient, considering how much their prices, alone, limit the target audience. Clifton

Yeah, and you got the credentials to back it up as well, "BA, University of Utah (English); MA, University of Utah (Lit, Philosophy); PhD, University of California at Irvine (Literary Theory). Viet Nam vet (USMC, Captain), commodities trader, teacher. Varsity baseball, HS and college." Go get 'em big boy! Now, before you go and get your panties in a ruffle again please keep in mind that I'm just kidding. I would never intentionally insult an officer and a gentleman. Did you happen to catch the Melora Hardin performance, a.k.a. Jane Levinson-Gould?

ear2200
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Re: Hi Fi Show observations


Quote:
I am a potential buyer. I have the money, the
willingness to spend it, and the itch. They turn me off. Now, THAT's inefficient, considering how much their prices, alone, limit the target audience. Clifton

Wow, and the whole audio world revolves around what turns Clifton on......LOL.

Have you reviewed their marketing costs and compared them to other speaker manufacturers? Are their dealers unhappy with the support they get from Wilson? Is the quality of their ads, product literature or website lacking?

I don't have to like Wilson's products, to recognize their
marketing efforts are very successful.

Their products continue to get rave reviews. I'll bet their new speaker the Duette will get a rave review from JA, and will out sell the speakers you own by a factor of at least 10 to 1.

gkc
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Re: Hi Fi Show observations

LOL or not, the "whole audio world" most definitely does not "revolve around what turns Clifton on." But Clifton's audio world certainly does. I don't buy the rave reviews of others unless I can confirm them with my own experience, as formed by my own memories of 30 or so years of live concerts, tempered by the imperfections and compromises inherent in the process of creating software and designing home systems to play it on. If you buy rave reviews, that's your problem, not mine. After throwing away a few months worth of paychecks and re-examining your own personal priorities, you'll learn better over time, as I have. Wilson's marketing costs? That's their problem, their approach to doing business. As I have said more than once on this thread (and you seem determined to ignore), I am sure Wilson will survive splendidly without my business. Their strategy for recognizing and appealing to new customers just doesn't fit my strategy for selecting new components for my personal use. I don't run their business and they don't dictate my selection process. And that's all there is to it. If Wilson's message turns you on, YOU buy their products. The new Duette? Two words. Static display. Cheers, Clifton

ear2200
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Re: Hi Fi Show observations

Dude, you called Wilson's marketing inefficient, when their long time success indicates it's been very efficient.

I don't and have never owned Wilsons, but I respect their
success and commitment to high performance/quality.

I wasn't at the show, so I didn't see the Duette static display, but I've read JA's comments in the newsletter and I'm still betting a rave review is on the way. If I was a Wilson dealer, I'd be licking my chops.

gkc
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Re: Hi Fi Show observations

Yo, Dude --

You, apparently, are not in Wilson's target audience. Correct me if I am wrong, but your comments suggest that you have been priced out of it. Yet, they "hit" you. I AM in their target audience. Yet, they "missed" me. When you hit what you're not aiming at, and you miss what you are...well, to me, that fits the definition of "inefficient." If you ARE in the target audience, and you buy their speakers, then that simply makes them less inefficient than I had assumed. When your target audience, given the broad universe of shoppers for all things audio, is as small as Wilson's (folks willing to pay 5 and 6 figures for speakers), misses of ANY sort are inefficiencies. In my opinion. And "efficiency" (at least, outside the realm of empirical science) is relative and a matter of opinion. I don't think this is worth arguing over. It's not like I insulted your favorite aunt, eh? It's a slow Saturday, but not slow enough to waste any more time on this topic. Unless you want the last word. Be my guest. Cheers, Clifton

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Re: Hi Fi Show observations

Well, go away for a few days and lookie what happens...a discussion!

I think the Wilsons are nice and all, and forgive this amateur critic, but whenever I've listened to Wislon speakers I've always felt like I was listening to the speaker and not the performance, if that makes any sense.

They seem to have a certain sonic signature that represents a certain sound, which is an OK sound, but it homogenizes things.

After a demo, it's the kind of sound where I would expect someone to talk about "how the speaker sounded" at the expense of how the performance sounded.

Like a proficient musician, they get all the notes right, but that inner spark that elevates the maestro is missing.

Did you ever see the Highlander episode where a piano virtuoso became "immortal" (I don't think that word means what those characters think it means) and said that she could still play, but lacked that last drop of feeling? That's how Wilsons hit me.

Put that with an off putting demo where we are made to feel that "listening to Wilsons" is what it's really all about, and I can dig Clifton's take.

Also...

Quote )E(...:

"Have you reviewed their marketing costs and compared them to other speaker manufacturers? Are their dealers unhappy with the support they get from Wilson? Is the quality of their ads, product literature or website lacking?

I don't have to like Wilson's products, to recognize their marketing efforts are very successful."

I look forward to you applying that logic to people's opinions on Bose speakers.

I don't have to compare those things you mention to make up my mind, neither does Clifton. Otherwise, he WOULD own Bose!

"...and will out sell the speakers you own by a factor of at least 10 to 1."

Yikes! I guess Brittany Spears is better 'cause she outsells Joni Mitchell by more than 10 to 1.

This is another Bose-type endorsement.

If we used your criteria, then we'd all have BSR turntables (the best selling turntable in the world... ...) with a Best Buy receiver and Sam's Club CD player.

No thanks.

Do you buy music and gear that way?

Monty
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Re: Hi Fi Show observations

You can file this in the 'for what it's worth' column. I had a chance to listen to the Duette a month or so ago. The Duette was easily the most engaging speaker I have ever heard at any price (exception for the Alexandria). While I didn't spend enough time with them to offer anything more than a general impression, the Duette did a couple of things amazingly well.

I thought the Duettes were ultra dynamic and forward, aggressive even, but without any hint of etch or fatigue. Smooth as a baby's bottom. I've never heard a speaker that could project the soundfield as far forward without being annoyingly overbearing. I'm used to the soundstage developing from behind the speaker plane and working its way forward when called to do so. The Duetts seem to project everything forward and work its way toward the rear when called for. I think this is intentional to compensate for the design of allowing these speakers to be placed right up against the wall and still maintain a sense of stage. Wilson certainly achieved his objective.

The other thing that struck me about these speakers was the immediate impression that I need not bother trying to find shortcomings in their presentation. Everything just sounded right and very lifelike. Huge presense and dynamics and that 'you are there' impression. Needless to say, I was very much impressed. So much so, that the Alexandria was a bit disappointing to the extent that they didn't do enough things better for me to be able to get the Duettes out of my head.

I could easily live with the Duette as the last speaker I would ever own or want to own. Now, if I could just figure out a way to buy them and sneak them in the house.

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Re: Hi Fi Show observations

Hey, Buddha -- I wanted to thank you again for the great hospitality you and Mike showed me at the show...and you guys were the VISITORS. Please say hello to Mike, eh? I can't wait 'til CES. As for this thread...looks like I incurred the wrath of the Wilson worshippers. Hell, I was just being honest. But, yeah, everything just seemed too sanitized, so I'll pass. Like Yeats, I prefer a few tadpoles in my H20. And, yes, the 30-minute wait pissed me off, as did the pre-performance lecture and the restriction of the material to master tapes. Hey, this is the SHOW, where people play MUSIC. If I want to wait in line for a lecture, I'll go back to campus (at least there, they got coeds to gander if the rountine is a bore). They wouldn't even play the last movement of my grubby ol' redbook Szell Tchaikovsky 5th. Now, is THAT too much to ask? If I wanted to sell something, the last thing I'd do is irritate a potential customer before showing some product. I liked Roy Hall and the guys in the ESP room: "Sure, stick 'er in the slot." Say hello to Heitz, too -- have one on me. Next January I'm gonna introduce you guys to M. Petreus, if I can get my grubby paws on him. Cheers, Clifton

gkc
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Re: Hi Fi Show observations

Hey, Monty. What you describe sounds just like my Triangles. Except mine start with the plane of the mikes and go out and back from there. Just as I like it. I am sure the Duette is wonderful. I'll never know, because the only way I'm goin' to Provo is to snag a few trout from the Provo River, not to endure another lecture on what the speakers are made of, how sound changes when you move the source away from room boundaries, and how Mr. Wilson's collection of master tapes is progressing. Love ya, Monty, but chacun a son gout , as they say across the channel. Cheers and happy tunes, Clifton.

Monty
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Re: Hi Fi Show observations

I had to look that expression up. This is America, speak Spanish dammit!

I'm not taking exception to your impressions of the Wilsons or your experiences seeing them at the show. I was simply commenting on my brief encounter with the speakers. If I would have had to wait in line for 30 minutes to hear them...I would not have heard them because I'm not a waiting in line type of person. No sooner does a line form than I immediately get out of the line and find something else to do.

My tastes run a bit toward the left of neutral in the voicing of audio gear and so I am probably more attracted to a cerain type of sound than many other people would be. Wilson puts a high priority in voicing his speakers with the piano. That just happens to be my instrument of priority and would likely explain why I enjoyed them so much.

When you can't reproduce sound to the exact and you start making compromises that result in personal preferences taking priority, well, you are going to have those that agree and disagree. Toss in preferences for certain types of music and it's wonder we audio guys can agree on anything.

Isssallgood

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Re: Hi Fi Show observations


Quote:
Yikes! I guess Brittany Spears is better 'cause she outsells Joni Mitchell by more than 10 to 1.

If we used your criteria, then we'd all have BSR turntables (the best selling turntable in the world... ...) with a Best Buy receiver and Sam's Club CD player.

No thanks.

Do you buy music and gear that way?

Don't know anything about Brittany Spears and never been in a Sam's Club, but if you old guys like that stuff, go for it.

Lamont Sanford
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Re: Hi Fi Show observations


Quote:

Quote:
Yikes! I guess Brittany Spears is better 'cause she outsells Joni Mitchell by more than 10 to 1.

If we used your criteria, then we'd all have BSR turntables (the best selling turntable in the world... ...) with a Best Buy receiver and Sam's Club CD player.

No thanks.

Do you buy music and gear that way?

Don't know anything about Brittany Spears and never been in a Sam's Club, but if you old guys like that stuff, go for it.

Now that was totally uncalled for. Buddha and Clifton only shop where Michael Jackson shops. And they don't really listen to Britney Spears. But I bet she buys some pretty descent audio equipment. I guess that would sort of make her an audiophile just like Buddha and Clifton. Damn, that is so ironic. Britney, Buddha, Clifton...audiophiles. If there first born is a girl, Buddha and Clifton can name her Britney B. Clifton.

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