Grant Fidelity's Success

Last spring's Axpona show in Jacksonville gave me a first opportunity to audition some of Grant Fidelity's bargain-priced Chinese imports. I really liked what I heard. Despite cries of foul from a few of those posting comments to the blog who depicted Grant as the cause of the entire high-end slowdown in the US, and me as a conspirator in the eventual collapse of Western Civilization, the word is clearly out. Grant's room at RMAF was mobbed, so mobbed by attendees who were eager to chat away while the music played that nothing short of blowing a police whistle would have quieted them down. (A few systems at RMAF sounded like police whistles, but that's another story).

Needless to say, the system was playing loud, loud enough to incite some midrange resonance somewhere. (It was too noisy to figure out where it came from). Knowing that underneath it all, fine sound was possible, I asked for an equipment list and departed to foreign lands, where I could conspire in peace and quiet.

Rather than type a huge list without knowing what was actually playing when I entered—the Grant folks were mobbed, and basically unreachable—I followed the post-demo email trail here. I invite you to do the same.

Share | |
COMMENTS
Larry's picture

Here we go again, New show, same shit, different day. Major magazine looking for new revenue streams and advertisers fluffs another Chi-Fi schlepper. After years of preaching the high end uber alles, Stereophile is now soooooo excited about toy audio. Is Wine spectator reviewing 2-buck chuck from Trader Joe's Is Cigar Aficionado reviewing 5 cent cigars? Is WatchTime reviewing $19 quartz watches from Wal*Mart? I was in their room Saturday afternoon and it was indeed mobbed, and so was every other room on the same floor. A product of capacity as opposed to brand loyalty. I have been speaking to dozens of attendee's here, nobody's lusting after this stuff.

Jason Victor Serinus's picture

Hey Larry. No one tells me what to write. No one. I write what I feel and what I believe. So if you think my blogs are full of crap, the carrier is me, not the magazine.Later I will be writing a blog about the Jolida room. You may wish to repeat the same toy audio mantra. But what I heard in that room on Sunday was more satisfying that most of the far more expensively generated noise that pretended to be music that I heard on Saturday. BTW, I have no idea who advertises in Stereophile. It's not my concern. Period.I call 'em as I hear em.

Larry's picture

Hey Jason, try to keep it professional. Me, I don't have to as I am a member of the public, the unwashed consumer who's money and spending habits determine the success or downfall of your magazine and the products you pimp. Like yourself, I call 'em as I see 'em.

AlEf's picture

Who is the unprofessional in this exchange? Not Jason.

AlEf's picture

Who is the unprofessional in this exchange? Not Jason.

John Atkinson's picture

"New show, same shit, different day. Major magazine looking for new revenue streams and advertisers fluffs another Chi-Fi schlepper."What is it they say, "on the Internet nobody knows you're a dog"? Just a lot of barking heard from on, I guess! And for the record, no, I don't tell my writers whom to cover at Shows, nor what to say. They are free to call 'em as they see and hear 'em. You have a problem with that, go read another magazine, Larry.

Frank's picture

Jason: "Grant's room at RMAF was mobbed...."Larry: "I was in their room Saturday afternoon and it was indeed mobbed, and so was every other room on the same floor."No one can absolutely prove (or disprove) Mr. Serinus' (or any reviewer's) sincerity or lack of ulterior motives, Mr. Atkinson's statement notwithstanding.Did Mr. Serinus take a situation (the Grant room was mobbed) out of context (EVERY room on the floor was mobbed), therefore making Grant look better than they really are? Or does Larry have his own bias, expressed as animosity toward Stereophile and its staff? Easy enough to verify, no?What I would really like is for Mr. Serinus (or any writer), who has clearly expressed disappointment (maybe even disgust) at the number of awful demos, to actually name names. Not calling out the "bad" demos can just as easily be seen as protecting favored advertisers as writing about the "good" demos. Please reveal the targets of your criticism, in the same manner that you express praise.

Jason Victor Serinus's picture

Huh? I don't name names? Since when, in any of my blogs, have I not named names?Underlying premise. Stereophile protects its advertisers. No. I'm not playing this game. You will never find proof that Stereophile protects its advertisers, because it doesn't.Do you think I even know who advertises in the magazine? In all honesty, I don't read most of the ads. Nor do I live in New York City, where Stereophile is located. I live in East Oakland, where my biggest protection concern centers around the gang shooting we had right around the corner last Monday night.jason

Nick's picture

I really don't know what all the fuss is about, I have heard the Grant room at the Montreal Hi-Fi show and it sounds really nice, the room is always mobbed, staff is friendly and the prices are reasonable. The gear also looks good. I am glad that Mr. Serinus states "But what I heard in that room on Sunday was more satisfying that most of the far more expensively generated noise that pretended to be music that I heard on Saturday." I have to concur, from the many shows I have attended and I am glad to see Mr. Serinus state that. As an audiophile I gravitate towards writers who state what I feel while attending shows; some higer priced gear might not sound great whereas other higher priced gear does and that some budget equipment can best higher priced gear. The Grant gear has always impressed me with its price/performance ratio. Any other criticism is just noise.

Greg's picture

I don't claim to be an audiophile, but I have enjoyed Stereophile for many years.I also found Jason's live blog at the Cal Audio Show to be informative and appreciated his insight. I spent a couple of hours in the Grant room; listened to and bought some gear. I found the staff enthusiastic and actually interested in the music. A jumper needed replacement in the DAC I purchased. It was a pleasure receiving same day responses to e-mails and a prompt replacement.Jason: please keep up the good work.Greg.

Jason Victor Serinus's picture

Thank you for the encouragement and support. While I would never pretend that I enjoy ad hominem attacks, which IMHO say far more about the posters than those they criticize, I honor the passion that moves people to speak their minds. My biggest challenge is to keep my heart open through the criticism, so that systems that sing can touch me on the deepest levels. Although I'm strong enough at this point in my life to trust myself and speak my truth no matter what is hurled at me (short of the bullets that whiz around my neighborhood), words of support remind me that my determination ultimately serves Stereophile's readership. Thank you again.

Nick's picture

Well said!

Erick Lichte's picture

Jason,It sounds like you need to make sure your next pair of speakers have kevlar drivers so they can take the bullet and you don't. Stay safe, my friend!

Michael Trei's picture

"What I would really like is for Mr. Serinus (or any writer), who has clearly expressed disappointment (maybe even disgust) at the number of awful demos, to actually name names."Frank; If you were to take your system, pack it up and move it to another state, then be given less than 24 hours to install it in a hotel room you've never seen before, with lousy acoustics, several other systems playing loudly in adjoining rooms, and a questionable power feed, do you think you could make killer sound?"Show conditions" can be used as an excuse, but it is a real problem for exhibitors. As someone who has set up rooms at many a show, I've been there.As an attendee, my goal is always to find those exhibitors who do manage to deliver killer sound despite the hurdles set before them, rather than bitching about those rooms that have poor sound for whatever reason. Saying "product X sounded like crap", really isn't fair until you've had a chance to audition that product under more controlled circumstances.

Ian Grant's picture

Thanks Jason for the show reports, a great read and being stuck in the room most of the time gives me an idea of what other rooms looked like. It is simple for me to set up decent sound at a show, I don't try and stuff our expensive or flagship gear in a $5000 room. Our new bass traps and image stabilizers help a lot, I set up 'studio mid-field' reducing the room effects.For future shows we will be addressing the noise floor in the room by having the tubes, acoustic treatments and other tweaks in a separate room or in the lobby area so that our systems can be enjoyed in a quiet environment. Most of the noise is guys (and gals) yapping about our tubes and tweaks, with the occasional, how come this gear sounds so good, which is where I respond again with the not trying trying to stuff $50k+ worth of gear in a $5k room, get a room applies in audio too :)btw, it was the 2010 California show where we met for the first time. For the record we have never been contacted by Stereophile and vise-versa.Cheers, Ian

Jason's picture

Yet another self-serving post from Ian Grant.

X
Enter your Stereophile.com username.
Enter the password that accompanies your username.
Loading