Making Fine Music

Lou Hinkley's Daedalus Audio teamed up with an old friend, Art Audio/Gill Audio, and a new friend, Manley Labs. Showcasing the Daedalus Audio Ulysses loudspeaker ($10,950/pair), now boasting new improved internal wire, the system's dark presentation was very well delineated, with impressively three-dimensional sound. The midrange was especially mellow and inviting.

Cables were Dynamic Design interconnect ($650), speaker cables ($800), digital cable ($500), and power cords ($750). A Denon 3910 transport was used for people like me who brought their own CDs. Preamp was Art Audio/Gill Audio Designs Alana ($5000), who also supplied the Elise DAC ($6000) powered by a Squeezebox Duet. Manley Labs Model 250 power amps ($9000 each) and Furman Ref 20i power conditioning ($3500) completed the picture.

Bill Artope's picture

Jason,Thanks for taking the time to identify all parties involved in our room. It is extremely frustrating to go to all the trouble involved in participating in a show room only to have your contribution marginalized or disregarded in the show report. Your sensitivity is appreciated.Bill ArtopeMarketing & SalesDynamic Design Corp.

Frank Goldfarb's picture

Due to a recent job change, I was unable to attend RMAF this year. Blogs such as these are very interesting as it really keeps us aware of the developments in high end audio.That being said, so much of what is reported in blogs such as these tell a certain story, certainly what a reporter hears, but usually this does not tell the whole story.After having a couple friends over this past weekend to listen to my Ulysses speakers, driven by Pass XA100.5's, Modwright LS36.5 with 36.5 Power supply, Marantz SA7-S1 SACD player, Furman balanced line conditioning and all Dynamic Design cables, the sound was anything but dark. In fact it was just plain stupendous. Open, clear, transparent, dynamic and downright beautiful to listen through.Every audio system is only as strong as it's weakest link and I suspect that if the sound in Lou's room was dark, it was something other than the speakers!!

Stephen Mejias's picture

I was in the Vandersteen/Ayre suite and had a chance to listen in on a conversation between Richard Vandersteen and a couple of show attendees. The gentlemen were making the point that several rooms had "bad" sound, and that such bad sound should be deemed completely unacceptable at an event as important as RMAF, or any audio show. Richard countered by saying there are far too many factors involved during an audio show for any manufacturer to ensure that his components are performing ideally. Richard admitted that, under show circumstances, even he can be careless in setup. Therefore, no mere show coverage should be mistaken for an authoritative review on any product. In my view, these audio shows are opportunities to introduce products, create awareness and enthusiasm, and allow press, consumers, and manufacturers to mingle&#151all very worthwhile endeavors in themselves.

Jason Victor Serinus's picture

I also had the Ulysses in my listening room, albeit for a short time. It was anything but dark. In fact, it was not a good match for my system and room. Then again, internal wiring has changed since the audition. As Stephen says, who knows what causes what, and how much room and set-up affect what you hear. You have to audition a piece of equipment in your own system before you can know if it's right for you.

Jason Victor Serinus's picture

In terms of a reviewer's opinion, it is always important to know what music they tend to listen to, and have a sense of what they're looking for. It is also important to know a reviewer's personal approach to blogging a show. Since I'm well aware of how many variables are at play, and how much of a crap shoot a night-before set-up of a system whose components are often determined by either what the local dealer stocks, or whom a manufacturer can get to share the room, I tend to emphasize the positive and leave out the rest. There are some rooms I spent time in that I found so disappointing that I did not report on them.Having said that, it is also important to note the unanimity of praise that certain speakers and systems have received on this blog from both reviewers and attendees.

Frank Goldfarb's picture

I agree with both Jason and Stephen and I believe that Jason's way of reporting is a good one. My momma always said if you don't have something good to say about something or somebody, keep it to yourself.At last years show, I didn't particularily like the way most of the rooms sounded, including the Daedalus room. On the other hand, I didn't hear many rooms that were awful sounding, but I did hear a lot of stuff that I thought was way overpriced for the sound quality you got. Maybe worth it for the build quality, attention to detail in manufacturing and name recognition, but for pure sound quality, not all that great.Last year when I heard the Ulysses speakers in Lou's room, I was dubious and that was after plunking down some hard earned cash as a deposit. None the less, I trusted what I knew about his speakers and have been rewarded for that trust.Thanks to Jason, Stephen and John Atkinson for their comments. For those of us who were not able to attend, you made me feel like

Frank Goldfarb's picture made me feel like I was there. (ran out of room on last blog)

suits_me's picture

>There are some rooms I spent time in that I found so disappointing that I did not report on them. -- Well, nobody ever accused the bulk of you of being journalists.

Lou Hinkley's picture

thanks Jason for listening and also for mentioning all the components. every component plays an important part in creating the sound of the system. it was very clear that in this case that the Manley's had a warming effect in this room where the same speakers were in the Clayton room and those amps showed off the dynamics. i found the Dynamic Design cables were integral to getting a three dimensional sound, and Bill Artope ( of DD) was a joy to work with. as for the comment about journalism, a fair reviewer and a journalist are two very different jobs. my take is that the reporting on these shows is and should be about fair and valued opinions, not cold objective journalism, each has it's place. thank you Jason for being a fair reviewer and doing a good job.

blame air jordan's picture

good post. Thanks, very helpful!