T.H.E. Show Newport: June 2 - June 5, 2016

Discussion in 'The Meeting Place' started by Out Of Your Head, May 20, 2016.

  1. Serious

    Serious Inquisitive Frequency Response Plot

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    Makes sense. Tonal balance in between SR-Lambda/SR-009 and SR-007. That's also what I expected. This is of course assuming that we both heard the same prototype. Many people should like this tonal balance.
    Going from memory I think it was still slightly too bright for me, but the main issues that I had weren't tonal balance, just general lack of "HD800ness". I didn't know any part of the MalValve chain that I listened to it with, so could also be that. I don't really know. As I said, all I really know is that I preferred the SR007mk2.5 overall. I don't really remember much about it, which I guess also tells me something ...
    That's what I meant. Using steep filter slopes to prevent resonances from coming through. Apart from the tweeter, I don't think one should hear resonances. I really don't know shit about their drivers, so that's just my half assed speculation. Maybe their drivers are magical and have no resonances at the top of their frequency band, or maybe they just aren't severe at all. I don't know.

    Good, big rooms are almost a necessity for Omnis to sound decent, as is absorption on the sides.
    Yes, also a problem with smaller PC desktop type speakers. Because they are listened to near-field with less reflections and room gain, the response should slope downwards a bit.
    I also think that Omnis should slope downwards a bit, but some people may like the "look at that flat line" frequency response. I'm a fan of the B&K and similar in-room speaker targets. It's also possible that this MBL room wasn't as bright as the ones at the Munich show. Did they have the same room as the last few years?
     
  2. ultrabike

    ultrabike Measurbator - Admin

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    It is possible that they DSPed out the MBL place. I've seen that before @ T.H.E. Show.
     
  3. SoupRKnowva

    SoupRKnowva Official SBAF South Korean Ambassador

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    Anyone hear the Schiit room with the Salk speakers? Figured people would have commented on that one already
     
  4. Wfojas

    Wfojas Friend

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    There were a few posts on it. It sounded really nice with the Salk Song3s, despite minimal room treatment.
     
  5. Audio Zenith

    Audio Zenith Custom Title KGB

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    Was there for three days and this time had a goal to listen to every set-up. Thought I pretty much did until seeing a few systems mentioned in the posts above that I had no idea existed (how and where you guys found them is a real mystery to me).

    As always the best part of the show was seeing all the Super Best Audio FRIENDS and meeting new people. A big surprize was to see Anaxilus in a friendliest mood evar. The One Who Must Be Named with a cool beard and what seemed like a slimmer profile must be ripping all the benefits of being off the grid. I believe many members here are against head-fi blocking every mention of SBAF and feel this forum should not employ similar practices.

    Another big surprize was meeting with Will and his father Mark, owner of Linear Tube Audio. My impression from all the willsw posts was that he is just too nice and I thought this must be fake. Boy was I wrong, both him and his father are genuinely great people, who are genuinely willing to listen, learn and improve their products based on all the good or bad feedback they receive.

    Since I worked next to Robert Lee of Acoustic Zen for many years please allow me to answer some questions addressed to shaizada; Robert is a violinist who had been involved with high end audio all his life. Started some 40 years ago with one very popular at the time tube amp of his own design which he sold as a kit. He used to set-up and record classical concerts back in Taiwan and has the best ears I know of. He can tune each speaker set for weeks before releasing it to the customer, taking it in and out of listening room, measuring and remeasuring, endlessly replacing drivers and crossover parts until he is fully satisfied. Any show they join he is always among first ones to unload and set-up. He would then utilize every available option to remove room signature from the equation.

    One very famous pianist who has Acoustic Zen loudspeakers was shocked to hear the difference in sound after Robert visited his place and recalibrated set-up the best he could. Have to say the hotel room Acoustic Zen ended up with this THE show was absolutely awful. Being a corner room in a highrise building I think it had different thickness and stiffness walls all around (I once measured and DSPd my own system in a similar room and can say that difference between left and right loudspeakers in a lower mid and low frequency departments was just unbelievable). Therefore no matter how hard Robert tried this time, his system didn't show it's best though in comparison with others sound was still VERY VERY GOOD.

    First shocker of the show;
    I ALWAYS listen ONLY to my own reference tracks and believe this is the only way to properly judge qualities and sound of a given audio system. This time I found THREE systems with messed up left and right channels and One Amp that was actually miswired the same way, two of those systems contained loudspeakers costing over One Hundred Thousand dollars!!! One of those exhibitors have actually argued with me regarding left and right and played back one of his own tracks stating that close miked guitar always plays from the right on his speakers. I guess he never listened to any classical concert, doesn't know violins are placed on the left and orchestra recordings are the easiest way to check for left/right.

    People make mistakes and some can keep on making same ones throughout their entire lives and I am ok with that, but how can literally thousands of visitors and many members of press miss such an obvious flaw in a half a million dollar systems from some of the most respected manufacturers three days into the show is beyond me!!!


    Agree with @sfoclt on the below set-up by Sunny's HT and Music Systems. This was the first time I heard Wilson speakers and subwoofers sounding so good. I had to repeat couple of my tracks to make sure I am not hallucinating ;-). Then I started looking around and noticed EQUALIZATION written on the display of one of the preamps from Meridian, I guess. Got up and talked to the owner and yep, they spent quite a bit of time dialing up the equalization. Sunny said it was no software tricks but his own and few other people's ears that did the trick, impressive!!! Don't know the guy personally but he definitely has ears. The only complaint I had was a tiny lack of liveliness.

    From @sfoclt
    "The Wilson/Audio Research room was my favorite though. That was dialed in and perfect. A real joy to listen to. Whoever runs that room knows what they're doing. I even thought the Wilson/Peachtree set-up sounded very appealing".

    [​IMG]



    Another shocker for me was RYAN loudspeakers (see sfoclt image below) as they at least equalled or even bettered the impressive Willson's from above at $5000 retail and NO EQUALIZATION and/or ROOM TREATMENT of any kind!!! I could not believe my ears and even took a picture of a speaker which I have never done before in my life. Auralic guys in the room told me there was another, more expensive model on the second floor and a cheaper bookshelf somewhere else.

    I went down to check out them both and found bookshelf ones already disconnected (show was almost over). Thankfully another room with their bigger and more expensive at over 15K floorstander was still functioning and I met mr.Ryan himself doing presentation (all listening chairs were taken despite the show ending). I came prepared with my test tracks on CD, flash drive and Tidal but there was no CD player, no internet and his server wouldn't accept my drive! Bummer I thought and started asking questions, if mr.Ryan had set-up both systems himself and which one he honestly thinks sounds better. He answered; probably this one.

    I did not want to have to go to his listening room (even though they are located here, in Riverside) wanting to check if two of his designs with such different topologies could fare well in the toughest conditions imaginable (hotel room). He continued the demo for other guys and I stood there thinking what could be done, finally came back to him and asked to try with my drive again. Thankfully guys had no problem with me cutting them off again and this time it worked! I listened to a few cuts and ...... well, not as good as previous one but this room also sounded pretty good. A bit lower sound quality than Wilson room from above.

    I told mr. Ryan my opinion on the sound and he said that the other room had weaker bass (very true) and that having no windows in this bunker made it very difficult to manage the sound of his more expensive system. I agreed but nevertheless was impressed with sound of both and how his designs managed to adapt to existing room issues so well.

    From @sfoclt
    "I also oddly thought the Aurilac Altair/Ryan set-up sounded like something within my wheelhouse but they sure weren't trying to work that room at all."

    Unassuming:
    [​IMG]



    Listened to it many times at other shows and wasn't impressed but this time I actually liked Vandersteen model 5 carbon and thought it sounded pretty good. Their big room though....ouch!
    Liked the sound of Stirling LS 3/5a V2. There was some issues with lower frequencies but the rest sounded very much live-like.
    Micro Zotl room sounded pretty good, especially considering they had to find new loudspeakers for the show in one day (apparently the original party backed out at the very last moment).

    Sorry but have to disagree with others on the sound of MBL (though heard this model sounding better at one other show), Acapella (first time heard this particular model), Legacy V (their DSP is.... no comment) and Marten (to me it sounded just like @shaizada had described it sounding the first couple of days, I hope it sounds better in your own room man but have a feeling your current ones would still be better).

    Listened to the electrostatic Ethers out of BHSE and found their sound to be quite a bit of an improvement over previous iterations heard at Can-jam out of the same amp.
    Listened to Andromeda's out of my Note 5 and am glad I didn't jump on the bandwagon for purchase.
    Listened to 1More IEMs and their $19 offering (apparently the same thing as original pistons, which they OEMed for Xiaomi). Kind of blew me away, great build quality, accessories and pretty good sound !!! No wonder they sold millions of those, good job.

    That's about it. Hope I didn't waste too much of your time and read was worthwhile ;-).
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2016
  6. YtseJammer

    YtseJammer Almost "Made"

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    Did someone had the chance to hear the new ELAC Uni-Fi UF5 speakers ?
     
  7. Audio Zenith

    Audio Zenith Custom Title KGB

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    Yep, not impressed..... .
     
  8. Wfojas

    Wfojas Friend

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    That room was treated to the max. They had foam in the recessed ceilings, synergistic dots and devices all over, my friend and I couldn't count how many they had in there.
     
  9. Ash1412

    Ash1412 Friend

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    Impressions?
     
  10. purr1n

    purr1n Desire for betterer is endless.

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    In prior years, the MBL rooms were nasty bright. Glad they figured it out. After four years.
     
  11. Audio Zenith

    Audio Zenith Custom Title KGB

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    Forgot about my good friend Darin ;-). ALL of his $25 loudspeakers sounded terrific, despite enormous difficulties presented by the hotel conditions. I was told Brooks-Berdan guys were shocked by how Out of Your Head sounds so realistic.
     
  12. Audio Zenith

    Audio Zenith Custom Title KGB

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    Sorry, wasn't impressed is all I can say. Maybe balanced armatures just isn't my thing ;-).
     
  13. schiit

    schiit SchiitHead

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    Yep, I'm hoping to have the same setup at RMAF, but with much more cost-appropriate electronics.* I'm always uncomfortable when the electronics cost more than the speakers.

    But then again, I'm pretty old-skool. The guy down the way saying their new $20K preamp was "a bargain" and "a stunning value" made me ill. I stood up and walked out. In my opinion, nothing that's $20K is "a stunning value," unless maybe you're talking about a car. So take that into account when reading my comments.

    (And, by the way, we used Blue Jeans cables at the show.)

    *Yes, that's a hint. Here's another: hopefully over 2X the power, plus remote control, plus tube, with multibit DAC, three total components, at less than 1/2 the price of a Rag/Yggdrasil stack. It's time we ended the over-done, over-neurotic, over-priced high-end.
     
  14. Wfojas

    Wfojas Friend

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    Uhoh, there go the rumor mills. Way to drop a meme, JS.
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2016
  15. Audio Zenith

    Audio Zenith Custom Title KGB

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    Cudos to you Jason. Sorry I couldn't listen to your room. It was end of the show and room was packed. Talked to Daniel for a bit, room was still packed, reviewers came so I had to go. Next time with better/cheaper gear then!
     
  16. Audio Zenith

    Audio Zenith Custom Title KGB

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    By the way, I heard both Crescendo and Maestro! driven by Ragnarok in Acoustic Zen listening room. Both sounded splendid!
     
  17. schiit

    schiit SchiitHead

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    Cool to hear someone else is using our stuff!
     
  18. ultrabike

    ultrabike Measurbator - Admin

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    Yes. Actually I dunno if I have my notes on the MBL rooms in the past, but it may be that I also wrote them down given brightness issues.

    This time they did something. And yes, they treated that room like a mother Porker. I know the pic I took doesn't capture all they did. Again, on top of that, I wouldn't be surprised if they equalized the crap out of things.

    One thing about Omni's though is that equalizing (or treating) the sweet spot works nicely, cuz the sweet spot is huge.
     
  19. shaizada

    shaizada Friend

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    Before I reply to some of the posts, another room that I remember being very nice was the Pranafidelity room. On the warm/fuller side but great impact and decent imaging. The tape machine brought me to my knees. The vinyl was close, but not close enough! Tape is really king.

    Speaking as an amateur and not an expert by any means, I know that the only way to deal with the rooms is by listening. More than any RTA or room analysis, the best way I found is to tune by ear. In fact the only way that matters. More specifically, depending on the room, things like absence or presence furniture, bass traps, first reflection points, ratio of open curtain to window (I experimented with this in the Marten room and got rid of some brightness/shrillness that was driving me crazy, with permission from the distributor to try things). Others revert to DSP and Room EQ, but I feel that does take away from the naturalness of beautiful sounding gear! Hope that might answer SOME things. Its a try and see approach with lots of active listening.

    Man, wish you would have introduced yourself. I would loved to chat with you! Totally agree about the cost of some of these things. Problem is when you get hooked to a certain type of sound, it is hard to unhook. I've always enjoyed the Alma rooms, though never felt motivated to open the wallet per se. Horns when done well are amazing...even larger than life really. Depends on what you're looking for I guess. Saturday in the Marten room was much better! You won't believe this, but Sunday was rather great! Tim de Paravicini actually came up with the solution to the boom that the excited room frequency was creating....he stuffed the ports with tissue that exit the bottom of the speaker. That boom was totally eradicated. Genius!

    "Mighty"? LOL are you SERIOUS? (PUN INTENDED!) I'm just another guy pursuing the holy grail :)
    You made a very interesting comment and I'd love to chat with you about your thoughts on the Coltrane 3. This new first order crossover business with the new Cell concept Accuton drivers are throwing me for a spin so far. I haven't gotten a handle on the sound yet (it will all clear up once I get them in my room and listen!). The Coltrane 3 keeps a 7" midrange which I think is almost needed to give more midrange/midbass presence. The Coltrane 3 are a no go for me due to room limitations, but I had my eye on them!

    However, hearing the Mingus Quintet in the Marten room showed me that there is SOMETHING to the presence and transparency with the new drivers, but I seem to not hear the midrange fullness that are in the 2nd generation Marten crossover and drivers that I have in the Bird 2. Now, the Mingus has a 5" midrange that will get it closer in mounting distance towards the tweeter...this gives the speaker even more precision and transparency, but I heard a somewhat lack of midrange warmth! This is all very confusing so I hope to sort it out! I don't know WHY, but my gut is telling me that there is a new direction that the newest Marten speakers are going to be taking with the Cell Concept drivers and it might not be what I look for in sound! Fullness, warmth, accuracy, precision, detail, resolution, liveliness when the music calls for it, dullness if the music is dull. I have somehow gotten these qualities in my current Bird 2 speakers!!

    Also, diamond and ceramic drivers work beautifully together when in hands of a gifted designer like Leif from Marten. He struck gold with the second generation of crossover design capturing the warmth and fullness I felt LACKING in the first generation crossovers (like the Bird 1). Bird 2 have dual 9" ceramic woofers that transition beautifully to 7" midrange and then a 0.75" diamond. Physically, it works! I guess having three 7" Aluminum woofers works well to move enough air quickly with the Mingus as well. But having all ceramic all the way through is just more natural I think. Sorry for rambling on...but I am very intrigued as from what I have heard (in the whole Marten lineup all the way to the top), the Bird 2 is the sweet heart and the sweet spot! All wood / mdf cabinet and just a unified beautiful sound. No carbon fiber like the Coltrane series, which bring their own sound to the mix. Ok ramble off!

    I guess, please share your thoughts on your 1st order crossover experience with the Coltrane 3 listening time u had! :) Thanks!!!

    @Audio Zenith , I fear you might be right about the Mingus vs. the Bird 2...I will find out very soon. I love the cherry burlwood finish AND sound and total package of my speakers. My wife and I picked them together so they mean a lot to me. We shall see! It was fantastic seeing you...I was very happy we met there more than once!

    More later!
     
  20. EraserXIV

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