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  1. #1
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    First impressions at California audio Show

    Well, not too good at most rooms. I expected much more from the Lotus speakers. On my Adgio d'Albinoni vinyl (Gary Karr on Double-bass). the sound was not emotionally involving, with no feeling that the double-bass was in the room. The sound was a little better through the Teresonic Speakers, but still far short of what I am used to (through 30+ year old Fulton J Speakers, Audio Research SP-8, Audio Research D-70, Counterpoint SA-2 pre-pre amp). Still better at Magico, but I never thought Gary was in the room, as I do at home.

    The best sound I heard was at the Audio Note room with E/Lexus Signature speakers, but, unfortunately, no vinyl. Still, using an Audio Note SET amp (22 big SET watts!), and CDs, I consistently felt that the music was in the room (way too small to do the system justice). Micro and Macro dynamics were perfect; ditto for male and female singers. No problem with low or high notes.

    Tomorrow I'll check out some more systems.

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    The Audio Note mirrors what RGA says so either the AN is pretty good or they just know how to set up at shows. My only experience was with one of AN's DAC and it had a very natural sound, not at all like digital.

  3. #3
    Suspended atomicAdam's Avatar
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    I'm going to jump in with a thread soon - with photos and details.

    So far the show is going well. Some rooms are having some issues with setting up - but I heard by about 2pm or so most had dealt with the issues. I think there were like 650ppl on a Friday. I think the Bay Area is happy to have a show.

    So far I've enjoyed the AN and the Sonist/deHavlland/WireWorld room (it had tape!) Duke Ellington was like shooting heroin. (wait, I haven't actually done that, but I had emotional reaction to that sound that made me almost cry)

    Anyways, more to come - time for breakfast now.

  4. #4
    M.P.S.E /AES/SMPTE member Sir Terrence the Terrible's Avatar
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    I am going to be there today to check things out since I am in town. I will also give my impressions of what I have seen.
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  5. #5
    RGA
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    Quote Originally Posted by atomicAdam
    I'm going to jump in with a thread soon - with photos and details.

    So far the show is going well. Some rooms are having some issues with setting up - but I heard by about 2pm or so most had dealt with the issues. I think there were like 650ppl on a Friday. I think the Bay Area is happy to have a show.

    So far I've enjoyed the AN and the Sonist/deHavlland/WireWorld room (it had tape!) Duke Ellington was like shooting heroin. (wait, I haven't actually done that, but I had emotional reaction to that sound that made me almost cry)

    Anyways, more to come - time for breakfast now.
    Is Peter Qvortrup there in the AN Room? If not bring your own hard rock/metal/trance music.

    Crank the damn room up - WAY WAY up.

    If Peter ain't there all they play is classical soft stuff and frankly most of what most rooms play is easy and doesn't flesh out the dynamics or drive of a system.

  6. #6
    Suspended atomicAdam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RGA
    Is Peter Qvortrup there in the AN Room? If not bring your own hard rock/metal/trance music.

    Crank the damn room up - WAY WAY up.

    If Peter ain't there all they play is classical soft stuff and frankly most of what most rooms play is easy and doesn't flesh out the dynamics or drive of a system.
    Mario (i believe) is here - we played some Nationals and Skinny Puppy yesterday.. not much soft stuff from that room actually. A good variety I'd say. But I was stuck in there for about 3hrs yesterday.

  7. #7
    RGA
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    Quote Originally Posted by atomicAdam
    Mario (i believe) is here - we played some Nationals and Skinny Puppy yesterday.. not much soft stuff from that room actually. A good variety I'd say. But I was stuck in there for about 3hrs yesterday.
    Mario is their turntable engineer - I met him up here at Soundhounds. He is big in the design and engineering of the tables and he brought a good diverse CD collection.

    The Jinro is the amp I want - in silver not black. It's basically a copper wired Ongaku (for considerably less money). We played Nightwish and Evil 9 and that type of stuff. If they have an Evil 9 disc on them I recommend track 9 and turn the volume to around the 3 position LOL.

    Wish I could be there.

  8. #8
    RGA
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    Quote Originally Posted by tube fan
    Well, not too good at most rooms. I expected much more from the Lotus speakers. On my Adgio d'Albinoni vinyl (Gary Karr on Double-bass). the sound was not emotionally involving, with no feeling that the double-bass was in the room. The sound was a little better through the Teresonic Speakers, but still far short of what I am used to (through 30+ year old Fulton J Speakers, Audio Research SP-8, Audio Research D-70, Counterpoint SA-2 pre-pre amp). Still better at Magico, but I never thought Gary was in the room, as I do at home.

    The best sound I heard was at the Audio Note room with E/Lexus Signature speakers, but, unfortunately, no vinyl. Still, using an Audio Note SET amp (22 big SET watts!), and CDs, I consistently felt that the music was in the room (way too small to do the system justice). Micro and Macro dynamics were perfect; ditto for male and female singers. No problem with low or high notes.

    Tomorrow I'll check out some more systems.
    I have found that it takes them a couple of days to get the bass right. Every room is a bit different and trying to get the bottom end right seems to be an issue. Fred noted that the first day at CES it wasn't right, and a reviewer at 6 moons said the same. They usually figure it out by the last day of the show but usually if there is an issue it's with the bass. Perhaps they have gotten there faster this show. Usually, they don't get them far enough in the corners and if they are a few inches too far out they yield some bass boom. Closer to the wall usually gets rid of that problem which runs counter to established theory. Which says more about established theory being wrong IMO.

  9. #9
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    Thanks for the feedback on the show...

    I'm looking forward to more impressions.

    LeRoy

  10. #10
    Vinyl Fundamentalist Forums Moderator poppachubby's Avatar
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    Adam are Marantz there? Check em out.

  11. #11
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    Just curious if Conrad Johnson is there?

  12. #12
    M.P.S.E /AES/SMPTE member Sir Terrence the Terrible's Avatar
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    I just got back from the show, and it was really quite an ear opening event for both my buddy and I. First, no one except for myself brought music that truly challenged any system there. It was all low key, almost zero dynamic range vocal stuff that while revealing in the midrange, had too stark and empty of a mix to really give us a chance to hear the speakers stretch their legs. Secondly, I have to give a major props to my friend who designed my mini monitors I am currently using in my small home theater in Oakland. There were no small speakers that came close to sounding as good as these speakers - and this is something that both my friend and I agreed with. Just about every room had tube amps and solid state together, but I didn't get a chance to hear both on the same speaker system. There were also alot of beautiful turntables there, but only one demo really blew me away. Another observation - there are a shocking amount of bad systems out there that cost a arm and a leg, and left me less than impressed.

    I brought two recordings with me. The first was High Altitude Drums which is a Ray Kimber Isomike recording on DSD. It features the Denver Blue Knights Drum and Bugle corps recorded at Weber University in Colorado. If your system survives the dynamics of this recording, it are truly worth their salt. While this is a multichannel mix, there is a separate and quite capable two channel DSD mix as well.

    The second recording is called A Gospel Celebration, a recording I did in multichannel and two channel DXD, transferred to SACD. It features my church's 150 voice gospel choir, some of the best soloists in the Gospel music field, my church's five piece band, and the 100 person strong Oakland Symphony Orchestra. It has everything from a full bore dynamic, to a single soloist with a piano. If you can hear the air conditioning system during the quietest passages, then the system has excellent noise floor. If your system can play this recording back while keeping things layered and uncongested when everything is going, it has excellent overall resolution and dynamics.

    Starting off with the bad:

    The JBL Room by Design Interaction.

    JBL's Everest II systems quite frankly costs a fortune. However, the sound of those speakers (and the entire system) was just so underwhelming I was speechless. It sounded like a JBL speaker system for sure, nice clear mids, but airless highs, and bass with absolutely no impact or depth, indistinct, and just not right. The speaker has a super tweeter, but it revealed no air, and no space between the instruments and vocalist. With my recordings, the system did not image well, was not tonally correct, but it certainly was dynamic. The demo left us both dry as a bone. One of the worst of show for sure.

    Clair Audient 2+2 Room

    First, the guy didn't want to play my recordings for fear he would blow his system up. That was one tick on the presentation just for his lack of confidence in his product. What he did put on showed me nothing, and did not impress me at all. First the speakers had a deep a toe in, which meant no clear sound stage, but you got stereo everywhere in the room. It had no bottom end to speaker of, and the whole presentation was full of lacks. No air around vocals or instruments, and no dynamic punch whatsoever. They only played music that would not challenge the system in any way.


    The Earthquake Room.

    Featuring their Cinenova amp driving the Tigris speakers, the sound mirrored just what the review I read in Stereophile described. The speaker was too bass heavy, and too tweeter heavy, leaving a recessed midrange with no sense of presence to anything. It reminded me of the smiley face setting on a 1/3 octave equalizer. While the bass went deep, it was ill defined and just too fat sounding for my taste. It made my recordings sound like they were in another room, and they are not supposed to sound that way at all. This was another big let down, but not totally unexpected.

    The Audio Note Room.

    This was clearly a step up from everything we had heard so far. I understand why Richard likes these speakers, they had a lot going for them. Everything sounded clear, and clean, and quite surprising being pushed by a 21 watt amp. It was not a perfect demo however. The fact that the audio note speakers have to be pushed into corners really revealed the rooms modes and nodes, which caused a chestiness with male vocals. It also flattened the sound stage depth to the point that it was really a flat sound stage, but with excellent lateral imaging. All the vocals I heard from the various demo's material had a wolly character - not fully revealing the true tonality of the voice. The entire system has excellent resolution, but it sounded a bit "washed" with timbres and overtones. Bass was also a bit wolly, and the mids had just a hair of forward bite that almost approached shouty when pushed during the demo (this could have been the recordings fault). I was impressed otherwise with the sound of this system, and can clearly see it having some very vocal fans. It certainly did more things right than wrong, but some of the wrong things were pretty audible.

    The Acoustic Zen Room

    I am going to be honest, I loved the sound of these speakers, and so did my best friend. Tt played back my recordings with all the power, nuance, imaging, dynamics, timbre and tonality that I heard in my recording studio. This was the first room we came across where the bass was tight, deep, and sounded realistic. It was also the first room we came across that projected sound in a way that was very realistic - at times I felt like the Blue Knights were in the room.

    Teresonic Room.

    I really liked the sound of this system. Very natural and easy, with excellent coherence. The speakers are a single driver design, and as such should have excellent uniformity in dispersion in both the vertical and horizontal plane. This one had it in the horizontal, but clearly when you stood up, you got a very different tonal characteristic than from sitting down. As long as you stayed seated, the presentation was excellent. The moment you stood up, everything got tilted towards the treble. The sound was smooth, but in the presence of any deep bass, the whole system just broke down to my ears. That is the drawback of using one driver to carry 10 octaves worth of music.

    The YG Acoustics Room

    Oh what a sound from this room, and I know that the electronics behind the speakers played a big role in that. Featuring an all DCS system of which I am totally familiar with, the sound was present, pure, sweet, relaxing when it should be, dynamically powerful and big sounding when it needed to be, and just plain mind blowing overall. We stayed in the room a while listening to everyones recordings. This system could do no wrong to these ears. Whether it was Drum corps, or Opera, this system excelled in creating the appropriate space, timbre and tonality of the recording. When I put on my recordings, the room got very crowded very quickly; to the point it got hot as hell in the room. My recordings (and everyone else's) sounded totally right on the spot with this system.

    The Best of Show (at least so far) to me came from:

    The Lotus Group Room.

    Featuring the absolutely gorgeous sounding Granada speaker, this demo was totally stunning and perfect in every way. No matter what was played, this system was dynamic, clean, and at times extremely spooky real. The speakers have a totally seducing open quality that really drew me in to the music, no matter what was played. I almost missed this room, but standing at the elevator I heard this excellent Jazz recording featuring a three piece group highlighted by Jimmy Smith on the Hammond B-3 organ. Since I own this organ, and have played it my entire life, I am very familiar with its tube like sweet tonal quality. The bass pedals sounded just like they should, deep, full and powerful, with no overhang between notes. The organ sounded like it was in the room, and I thought it really was before entering the room. When I asked the gentleman to put on my recordings, he had no reservation in playing them at realistic levels. The sound was enveloping, extraordinarily powerful and effortless with VERY accurate timbre and tonality. From the bottom up, nothing stuck out in the mix, which had a very wide and deep sound stage(again as they should) which allowed you to hear the air mix with the horns and drums in a way that sounded like I was at a drum corps show. The inner voices of the horns were clearly rendered, highs wide open and clear, and bass that was tight and impactful without being overwhelming and wolly. I was in this room for 30 minutes and didn't want to leave. This system was addictive to the hilt, and I wanted to take it home.

    I am going back tomorrow and will have other observations to reveal. I have yet to hear the Legacy Whispers, Magico speakers, the Emerald Physics speakers, Acoustic Technology speakers, Sonist speakers, and several other systems.
    Last edited by Sir Terrence the Terrible; 08-01-2010 at 11:35 AM.
    Sir Terrence

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  13. #13
    M.P.S.E /AES/SMPTE member Sir Terrence the Terrible's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by poppachubby
    Adam are Marantz there? Check em out.
    I didn't see anything by Marantz there Poppa.
    Sir Terrence

    Titan Reference 3D 1080p projector
    200" SI Black Diamond II screen
    Oppo BDP-103D
    Datastat RS20I audio/video processor 12.4 audio setup
    9 Onkyo M-5099 power amp
    9 Onkyo M-510 power amp
    9 Onkyo M-508 power amp
    6 custom CAL amps for subs
    3 custom 3 way horn DSP hybrid monitors
    18 custom 3 way horn DSP hybrid surround/ceiling speakers
    2 custom 15" sealed FFEC servo subs
    4 custom 15" H-PAS FFEC servo subs
    THX Style Baffle wall

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Terrence the Terrible
    I just got back from the show, and it was really quite an ear opening event for both my buddy and I. First, no one except for myself brought music that truly challenged any system there. It was all low key, almost zero dynamic range vocal stuff that while revealing in the midrange, had too stark and empty of a mix to really give us a chance to hear the speakers stretch their legs. Secondly, I have to give a major props to my friend who designed my mini monitors I am currently using in my small home theater in Oakland. There were no small speakers that came close to sounding as good as these speakers - and this is something that both my friend and I agreed with. Just about every room had tube amps and solid state together, but I didn't get a chance to hear both on the same speaker system. There were also alot of beautiful turntables there, but only one demo really blew me away. Another observation - there are a shocking amount of bad systems out there that cost a arm and a leg, and left me less than impressed.

    I brought two recordings with me. The first was High Altitude Drums which is a Ray Kimber Isomike recording on DSD. It features the Denver Blue Knights Drum and Bugle corps recorded at Weber University in Colorado. If your system survives the dynamics of this recording, it are truly worth their salt. While this is a multichannel mix, there is a separate and quite capable two channel DSD mix as well.

    The second recording is called A Gospel Celebration, a recording I did in multichannel and two channel DXD, transferred to SACD. It features my church's 150 voice gospel choir, some of the best soloist in the Gospel field, my church's five piece band, and the 100 person strong Oakland Symphony Orchestra. It has everything from a full bore dynamic, to a single soloist with a piano. If you can hear the air conditioning system during the quietest passages, then the system has excellent noise floor. If your system can play this recording back while keeping things layered and uncongested when everything is going, it has excellent overall resolution and dynamics.

    Starting off with the bad:

    The JBL Room by Design Interaction.

    JBL's Everest II systems quite frankly costs a fortune. However, the sound of those speakers (and the entire system) was just so underwhelming I was speechless. It sounded like a JBL speaker system for sure, nice clear mids, but airless highs, and bass with absolutely no impact or depth, indistinct, and just not right. The speaker has a super tweeter, but it revealed no air, and no space between the instruments and vocalist. With my recordings, the system did not image well, was not tonally correct, but it certainly was dynamic. The demo left us both dry as a bone. One of the worst of show for sure.

    Clair Audient 2+2 Room

    First, the guy didn't want to play my recordings for fear he would blow his system up. That was one tick on the presentation just for his lack of confidence in his product. What he did put on showed me nothing, and did not impress me at all. First the speakers had to deep a toe in, which meant no clear sound stage, but you got stereo everywhere in the room. It had no bottom end to speaker of, and the whole presentation was full of lacks. No air around vocals or instruments, and no dynamic punch whatsoever. They only played music that would not challenge the system in any way.


    The Earthquake Room.

    Featuring their Cinenova amp driving the Tigris speakers, the sound mirrored just what the review I read in Stereophile described. The speaker was too bass heavy, and too tweeter heavy, leaving a recessed midrange with no sense of presence to anything. It reminded me of the smiley face setting on a 1/3 octave equalizer. While the bass went deep, it was ill defined and just too fat sounding for my taste. It made my recordings sound like they were in another room, and they are not supposed to sound that way at all. This was another big let down, but not totally unexpected.

    The Audio Note Room.

    This was clearly a step up from everything we had heard so far. I understand why Richard likes these speakers, they had a lot going for them. Everything sounded clear, and clean, and quite surprising being pushed by a 21 watt amp. It was not a perfect demo however. The fact that the audio note speakers have to be pushed into corners really revealed the rooms modes and nodes, which caused a chestiness with male vocals. It also flattened the sound stage depth to the point that it was really a flat sound stage, but with excellent lateral imaging. All the vocals I heard from the various demo's material had a wolly character - not fully revealing the true tonality of the voice. The entire system has excellent resolution, but it sounded a bit "washed" with timbres and overtones. Bass was also a bit wolly, and the mids had just a hair of forward bite that almost approached shouty during the demo. I was impressed otherwise with the sound of this system, and can clearing see it having some very vocal fans.

    The Acoustic Zen Room

    I am going to be honest, I loved the sound of these speakers, and so did my best friend. Oh it played back my recordings with all the power, nuance, imaging, dynamics, timbre and tonality that I heard in my recording studio. This was the first room we came across where the bass was tight, deep, and sounded realistic. It was also the first room we came across that projected sound in a way that was very realistic - at times I felt like the Blue Knights were in the room.

    Teresonic Room.

    I really liked the sound of this system. Very natural and easy, with excellent coherence. The speakers are a single driver design, and as such should have excellent uniformity in dispersion in both the vertical and horizontal plane. This one had it in the horizontal, but clearly when you stood up, you got a very different tonal characteristic than from sitting down. As long as you stayed seated, the presentation was excellent. The moment you stood up, everything got tilted towards the treble. The sound was smooth, but in the presence of any deep bass, the whole system just broke down to my ears. That is the drawback of using one driver to carry 10 octaves worth of music.

    The YG Acoustics Room

    Oh what a sound from this room, and I know that the electronics behind the speakers played a big role in that. Featuring an all DCS system of which I am totally familiar with, the sound was present, pure, sweet, relaxing when it should be, dynamically powerful and big sounding when it needed to be, and just plain mind blowing overall. We stayed in the room a while listening to everyones recordings. This system could do no wrong to these ears. Whether it was Drum corps, or Opera, this system excelled in creating the appropriate space, timbre and tonality of the recording. When I put on my recordings, the room got very crowded very quickly; to the point it got hot as hell in the room. My recordings (and everyone else's) sounded totally right on the spot with this system.

    The Best of Show to me came from:

    The Lotus Group Room.

    Featuring the absolutely gorgeous sounding Granada speaker, this demo was totally stunning and perfect in every way. No matter what was played, this system was dynamic, clean, and at times extremely spooky real. The speakers have a totally seducing open quality that really drew me in to the music, no matter what was played. I almost missed this room, but standing at the elevator I heard this excellent Jazz recording featuring a three piece group highlighted by Jimmy Smith on the Hammond B-3 organ. Since I own this organ, and have played it my entire life, I am very familiar with its tube like sweet tonal quality. The bass pedals sounded just like they should, deep, full and powerful, with no overhang between notes. The organ sounded like it was in the room, and I thought it really was before entering the room. When I asked the gentleman to put on my recordings, he had no reservation in playing them at realistic levels. The sound was enveloping, extraordinarily powerful and effortless with VERY accurate timbre and tonality. From the bottom up, nothing stuck out in the mix, which had a very wide and deep sound stage(again as they should) which allowed you to hear the air mix with the horns and drums in a way that sounded like I was at a drum corps show. The inner voices of the horns were clearly rendered, highs wide open and clear, and bass that was tight and impactful without being overwhelming and wolly. I was in this room for 30 minutes and didn't want to leave. This system was addictive to the hilt, and I wanted to take it home.

    I am going back tomorrow and will have other observations to reveal.

    I have an opposite view of the Lotus system: I was NOT allowed to play my vinyl at anything approaching realistic levels. My Gary Karr double bass and Mudy Waters (folk singer vinyl) at background levels? I was told that some objected to louder levels! Whatever the "real" sound is from this system , what I was allowed to hear was boring. And those albums are anything but boring!

    Audio Note was really turning up the sound. I jumped right out of my seat on a drum CD! Tight, loud, with no boom. Both male and female vocals were great, and this was only on CDs. IMO, no other speakers sounded good on CDs. Their 22 watt SET amp rocked! I would love to hear some of their pre-amps/amps on my system.

    The best sound I have heard so far: in the Evolution Acoustics room, but ONLY through the Studer Reel to Reel Vintage Tape Machine. All types of music were stupendous!
    Totally effortless, with limitless dynamic range. The same speakers via CDs were nothing in comparison to the tape (and much less realistic than the Audio Note system via CDs). I love vinyl, but, I have never heard vinyl sound close to tape. Progress: tape to vinyl to CD to MP3???

    The best sound, ignoring tape, was in the Teresonic and Music Surrounds room. All types of music at realistic (in my case this means loud) levels. Speakers were Teresonic Ingenium Silver ($15,000). Totally beautiful. No crossover, 104 dB efficiency.
    Driven by a big 2 1/2 watts!!! A Teresonic Reference 2A3 integrated amp and a Fosgate Signature phono amp (a HUGE steal at $2,500). The tube amp has NO feedback and NO capacitors. However, if you buy the 2A3 integrated, you MUST match it to high efficiency speakers.

    I would LOVE to hear several of the Audio Note speakers via analogue. But then, it might cost me big $.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by tube fan
    The best sound, ignoring tape, was in the Teresonic and Music Surrounds room. All types of music at realistic (in my case this means loud) levels. Speakers were Teresonic Ingenium Silver ($15,000). Totally beautiful. No crossover, 104 dB efficiency.
    Driven by a big 2 1/2 watts!!! A Teresonic Reference 2A3 integrated amp and a Fosgate Signature phono amp (a HUGE steal at $2,500). The tube amp has NO feedback and NO capacitors. However, if you buy the 2A3 integrated, you MUST match it to high efficiency speakers.

    I would LOVE to hear several of the Audio Note speakers via analogue. But then, it might cost me big $.
    I am not surprised that Teresonic and Audio Note do well in hotel rooms because neither has much output below 100Hz, so there will no boom and certainly no need for bass traps! And it has to be said there is absolutely no way the Teresonic Ingenium has a measured sensitivity of 104dB/1m, it's simply too small to reach such lofty heights across most of its operating bandwidth.
    It's a listening test, you do not need to see it to listen to it!

  16. #16
    M.P.S.E /AES/SMPTE member Sir Terrence the Terrible's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by theaudiohobby
    I am not surprised that Teresonic and Audio Note do well in hotel rooms because neither has much output below 100Hz, so there will no boom and certainly no need for bass traps! And it has to be said there is absolutely no way the Teresonic Ingenium has a measured sensitivity of 104dB/1m, it's simply too small to reach such lofty heights across most of its operating bandwidth.
    The Teresonic sounded very good until the mix got really complex(which means it had to clearly sort things out like other speakers did), or when the bass got really deep and powerful for which the High Altitude recording had a plenty, and then things just fell apart. Once the percussion came in, that was it with this speaker. It began to compress, and when the full horn line of 70 popped in with the percussion section of 25 all played together, it was nothing more than a compressed mush. The guy running the system took my recording off right away, and I don't blame him.

    The Audio Note speakers had a lot to like from the mids up, but because the speaker engaged the room nodes and modes being corner loaded, it sounded a little too wolly and heavy chested on male voices, and you are right, the bass was not all that deep, though some was definitely there. It could not reproduce the fundamentals of the pedals on the organ in the opening prelude to A Gospel Celebration. It produced the octave above the fundamental pretty good, but that is when the bass got uneven from note to note. If a speaker cannot reproduce the fundamentals on the pedals, it could not do anything from 40hz downward.

    I had not heard vinyl records in a long time, though I often listen to my 4 track studer tape machine. Aside from sounding a bit warmer in the mids than most of the CD's I heard, there was nothing really spectacular about its presentation that would get me to invest in it. My buddy agreed with that observation, and also noted that it was probably because the digital gear we heard was so good.

    I finally got a chance to hear the benchmark DAC that I heard folks around here talk about. I hated it's sound, and I mean hated it! While things were clean and clear, every digital recording I heard through the thing had an over prominent midrange that just shouted at you. If was piercing to the hilt, and both my buddy and I felt the same way. It could have been the speakers, or the amp, or the recordings themselves, but four recordings in a row with the same effect?? I don't know......

    Leaving now to finish listening to the remainder of what I didn't hear yesterday.
    Sir Terrence

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  17. #17
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    Well, Sir TTT, we totally disagree, and I suspect we always will. If you cannot hear the difference between the best CDs and tapes, copies played only a very few times, I give up! Via tape, you could hear every detail in full tonal saturation, with NO compression; everything was effortless. Via CDS, the sound was HIGHLY compressed, harsh, with little real tonal saturation. EVERYONE in the room at the time I was there agreed (including the salesmen, who were NOT selling the tape machine). BTW, they were using a Playback Designs MPS-5-Reference SCAD/CD Player with 24/192 input, $15,000.

    You favor solid state, I'm a tube lover. I suspect I would hate your Onkyo amps, and you would hate my Audio Research amp. From the looks of your system, you probably play music at loud levels, and thus I'm very surprised that you liked the Lotus room (unless, of course, they allowed you to crank up the sound). I do hear live music 3 or more times a week, and I think tubes and analogue come much closer to real music, especially in micro/macro dynamics and tonal saturation. You would have to pay me to listen to CDs for more than a few minutes straight.

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    BTW, I'm off to the show. You can't miss me as I'll be the only one with several vinyl records.

  19. #19
    M.P.S.E /AES/SMPTE member Sir Terrence the Terrible's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RGA
    I have found that it takes them a couple of days to get the bass right. Every room is a bit different and trying to get the bottom end right seems to be an issue. Fred noted that the first day at CES it wasn't right, and a reviewer at 6 moons said the same. They usually figure it out by the last day of the show but usually if there is an issue it's with the bass. Perhaps they have gotten there faster this show. Usually, they don't get them far enough in the corners and if they are a few inches too far out they yield some bass boom. Closer to the wall usually gets rid of that problem which runs counter to established theory. Which says more about established theory being wrong IMO.
    No,the theory is not wrong, not by any stretch of the imagination. I completely understand why you like audio note speakers, at least from the mids upward. From the mid bass down, the audio note speaker truly engaged with the room modes and nodes, and you could plainly hear it in male voices, with drums and percussion, and at least through the mid bass frequencies in the form of chestiness on male vocals, and mushiness with bass drums and percussion with loud transients. The soundstage also have zero layering, but excellent lateral imaging. Everything seemed to bunch up depth wise to the same plane.

    No box speaker can defy the modes and nodes theory when it is pushed into a corner. The corner is a high pressure zone, and any speaker in that zone whether it is a main speaker, or a subwoofer with fully excite all of the rooms modes and nodes when in that space.
    Sir Terrence

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  20. #20
    RGA
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    It's really strange that Art got ruler flat bass at 25hz and Hi Fi Choice in their buyers guide puts the AN E at 22hz-3db. Not getting any much bass under 100hz as The Audio Hobby suggests seems curious to me. Perhaps you are not used to hearing bass with such low distortion.

    Incidentally I have the High Altitude Drums and auditioned it with Ray Kimber himself doing the demonstration along with the Recording Engineer who lives about 10 minutes from my house. It sounded better on the AN E than it did with the equipment (Sony/Pass Labs.EMM Labs/Kimber cables). Though I would not really rank it up with the most engaging of music. It's a bit more of a "stunt" disc which will play to certain strengths. The Joe McQueen 10 at 86 from the same RE and ISO Mike isn't a "stunt" and sounds quite excellent.

    Though I do find people's listening experiences fascinating - people who actually listened and found issue with certain aspects is completely acceptable.

  21. #21
    M.P.S.E /AES/SMPTE member Sir Terrence the Terrible's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tube fan
    Well, Sir TTT, we totally disagree, and I suspect we always will. If you cannot hear the difference between the best CDs and tapes, copies played only a very few times, I give up! Via tape, you could hear every detail in full tonal saturation, with NO compression; everything was effortless. Via CDS, the sound was HIGHLY compressed, harsh, with little real tonal saturation. EVERYONE in the room at the time I was there agreed (including the salesmen, who were NOT selling the tape machine). BTW, they were using a Playback Designs MPS-5-Reference SCAD/CD Player with 24/192 input, $15,000.
    Ummmm, I don't think we disagree about tape, as that is my favorite analog medium. You cannot make blanket statements though, because there was zero compression in the material I brought to the show(both SACD's one of which I recorded myself), and only a few speakers were capable of handling it.

    You favor solid state, I'm a tube lover. I suspect I would hate your Onkyo amps, and you would hate my Audio Research amp.
    I do not 'hate" anything I have not listen to, and you should follow the same practice if you listen to stuff with your ears, and not your mouth.

    From the looks of your system, you probably play music at loud levels, and thus I'm very surprised that you liked the Lotus room (unless, of course, they allowed you to crank up the sound).
    I play music at all levels - from soft subtle stuff to loud dynamic stuff. That is why I picked and purchased the equipment I do. I do not like stuff that is dynamically constrained. The Granada speaker system performed my demo disc to perfection, and since the stuff I brought is dynamically challenging for any system, it earned my respect.

    I do hear live music 3 or more times a week, and I think tubes and analogue come much closer to real music, especially in micro/macro dynamics and tonal saturation.
    This is of course your opinion, but Bernie Grundmann says that both tubes and vinyl stray far away from the masters tapes they are cut from, and that tubes do change the sound to a degree that it becomes far from transparent to the master tapes. I am an audio engineer, and have been one for 22 years. I have not heard one of my masters played through a tube amplifier that sounded anywhere close to what was heard on some of the master tapes I have recorded. This is especially true with the DXD format I have been using for the last three or so years.

    You would have to pay me to listen to CDs for more than a few minutes straight.
    Redbook CD does have its drawbacks, but even those engineers that worked on the Mercury Presence transfers to CD said the CD sounded more true to the tapes than the vinyl did. Euphoric abilities may be pleasing to the ear, but it is not exactly a faithful effect when you are considering accuracy and faithfulness to the master tapes.
    Sir Terrence

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  22. #22
    RGA
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Terrence the Terrible
    No,the theory is not wrong, not by any stretch of the imagination. I completely understand why you like audio note speakers, at least from the mids upward. From the mid bass down, the audio note speaker truly engaged with the room modes and nodes, and you could plainly hear it in male voices, with drums and percussion, and at least through the mid bass frequencies in the form of chestiness on male vocals, and mushiness with bass drums and percussion with loud transients. The soundstage also have zero layering, but excellent lateral imaging. Everything seemed to bunch up depth wise to the same plane.

    No box speaker can defy the modes and nodes theory when it is pushed into a corner. The corner is a high pressure zone, and any speaker in that zone whether it is a main speaker, or a subwoofer with fully excite all of the rooms modes and nodes when in that space.
    And that is why they still need to find the hot spot in that room where the depth comes back. I have the speakers (well the J which is mostly the same speaker) and there should be significant depth to the soundstage. If it is just left and right (lateral) imaging and staging then there is a problem. From the picture of the room I would toe the speaker in such that the center of the rear port is in line directly with the corner. The listener should "see" the outside of the boxes prominantly. And the toe in should go further if the results still don't get there to the point where both the speakers are literally facing eachother.

    The Stage should have a multitude of layers extending far beyond the back wall. I have a Loreena McKennit album with pipers and drummers coming seemingly 20 feet from behind the wall as the procession drums move into the room - there should be greater front to back depth of stage than free standers (at least all of the free stander systems I have had here and have heard in the last 20 years). Nevertheless, it is the job of the people setting up to do it right so there you go.

    I still say you guys should play Lady Gaga's at high level - or Madonna. Get some trance in there (ask them to play the "Evil Nine" Seriously - get some of the Cerwin Vega "FUN" back into the show. Not the High Altitude boring drum stunt discs that don't really have a true frame of reference. It's like playing a disc with a car explosion - that's great but there's no real reference for that and the music is uninteresting - great stunt but who cares.

  23. #23
    RGA
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    It is frustrating that rooms won't play your discs - if you go again try again. The Lotus room is close to half a million dollars. That I suspect would be a serious system. I have heard the Technical Brain amplifiers with magico and the sound was outstanding. I think the Lotus room would be seriously good.

    I think we all need to not let the preference get in the way - I was very impressed with a lot of systems at CES that were not tube based. I decided to go back and look.

    Take the AudioFederation - they sell uber accurate speakers in the $300,000 Marten Supreme's top of the line Sound Labs (which some will argue are also accurate) and they note that Audio Note speakers are not "accurate" in the same terms.

    Just as Tubes and SET are not accurate in the same terms - let's just accept the fact that they clearly are NOT the same sounding and present material differently and in terms of measurements less accurate. Though it is interesting that they can still offer high IMO higher resolution.

    There is a "kind of" control and ability to hit hard that a big SS system with geared for SS speaker systems have that a SET system doesn't possess.

    I think though that Sir T was pretty fair in his assessment and I bet despite the bass issues in the room he was surprised that adding SET, and a Zero times no error checking, no digitial or analog filters would produce a rather clear presentation and that when looking at the technology of the system it does a terrific job of conveying the even. Even if it is not accurate in the sense of a YG Acoustics kind of way.

    What I find interesting is that most people hear this the same way - it's when we then associate a perception to it "our brain" which is the ultimate filter. I took numerous psychology courses and the brain hemispheres work differently. The simplistic one is that one hemisphere controls logic mathematics, reasoning while the other is responsible for music, art, creativity.

    I hear high impact slam, grip, tight, impact the same as anyone else but the part of the brain that responds is different just as it is different in me hating rap music but likeing Beethoven another person will react oppositely even though they are hearing the exact same piece of music. Music that may draw you to tears may bore another person to death.

    Tubes have a second order harmonic distortion and Single Ended topology have a certain something there that for those that respond to that then really there is nothing else.

    Take the big Boulder/Focal or YG Acoustics or the big hard hitting system. I can never get away from the word Hard. They have a brute force kind of sound to everything and it sounds clear enough it is more "accurate" in the established sense. The AN E system with the warts in and the softer clipping and the radiated bass pattern instead of the high excursion impact vairiety will seem softer and comparatively polite.

    On the other hand for my ear the systems like the Focal/YG Acoustics can do better at shows and shorter auditions with the "stunt or show off discs" that reveal the high impact slam and spectacle material. The better tube systems sound more inviting and perhaps play to people who are controlled more by the creative artisitc hemisphere of the brain.

    I suspect if one were to do a study that engineers, and math majors would gravitate more to a YG acoustics big slam system then Ennglish majors artisits creative writers where I suspect many of whom are more controlled by the creative hemisphere.

    I never really thought about this much until now and it would be an interesting research study.

  24. #24
    M.P.S.E /AES/SMPTE member Sir Terrence the Terrible's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RGA
    And that is why they still need to find the hot spot in that room where the depth comes back. I have the speakers (well the J which is mostly the same speaker) and there should be significant depth to the soundstage. If it is just left and right (lateral) imaging and staging then there is a problem. From the picture of the room I would toe the speaker in such that the center of the rear port is in line directly with the corner. The listener should "see" the outside of the boxes prominantly. And the toe in should go further if the results still don't get there to the point where both the speakers are literally facing eachother.

    The Stage should have a multitude of layers extending far beyond the back wall. I have a Loreena McKennit album with pipers and drummers coming seemingly 20 feet from behind the wall as the procession drums move into the room - there should be greater front to back depth of stage than free standers (at least all of the free stander systems I have had here and have heard in the last 20 years). Nevertheless, it is the job of the people setting up to do it right so there you go.

    I still say you guys should play Lady Gaga's at high level - or Madonna. Get some trance in there (ask them to play the "Evil Nine" Seriously - get some of the Cerwin Vega "FUN" back into the show. Not the High Altitude boring drum stunt discs that don't really have a true frame of reference. It's like playing a disc with a car explosion - that's great but there's no real reference for that and the music is uninteresting - great stunt but who cares.
    RGA, I hate to bring this to ya, but the High Altitude recordings are acoustical recordings taken from a live event. Lady Gaga or Madonna's stuff is studio manufactured, and not live at all. If the speakers and associated equipment is up to snuff, you will hear a very wide image of horns in one layer, the pit(bells, xylophones, tympani and chimes) in another layer, and the percussion section (7 snares, 5 quad toms, 5 bass drums, and 5 cymbals) in another layer. There is no compression in the recording, at its contents covered almost the entire 10 octaves of musical signals. They are playing symphonic music with acoustical instruments, so there is nothing "stuntish" about this type of recording. If the system has the dynamic power to reproduce all of this accurately, and can lay it out naturally as it was live recorded, it is a good system. If it cannot do this, the system is compromised in some way. The AN system got it half right in this case, and this recording would definitely be more revealing of any acoustical attribute than both Lady Gaga and Madonna recordings. At least there is a frame of reference to it, of which there is not to any manufactured studio recording. Ray Kimber has said these recordings almost cover the entire dynamic range of SACD and are unaltered from the live recording session. I was there, I know he is right. He recorded this drum corps in the right environment for the instruments themselves. Outside, in a stadium where the air can mix with the output of the horns to create a perfect mix of fundamentals and harmonic overtones. It sounds like a real live recording, of which neither Lady Gaga or Madonna's stuff does. It is certainly more dynamically challenging for sure.

    From where I was sitting in the front row I could see the outside of the boxes quite clearly.
    Sir Terrence

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  25. #25
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RGA
    It's really strange that Art got ruler flat bass at 25hz and Hi Fi Choice in their buyers guide puts the AN E at 22hz-3db. Not getting any much bass under 100hz as The Audio Hobby suggests seems curious to me. Perhaps you are not used to hearing bass with such low distortion.

    ...
    According to Audio Note, (here), the spec for the AN E is 18 Hz to 23 kHz at -6 dB; in a basic vented box this implies a -3 dB in the low 20's. This is extraordinary performance from an 8" driver assuming maximal fidelity parameters. That is, with corner placement we canimagine say, 23 Hz at -3 dB easily enough, but not without distortion.

    Is the any information about what woofer AN uses? (I'd like to get one one day!) I'm wondering about the manufacturer. Of course AN will say that it is "custom build to our requirements" -- which is the usual assertion of OEM users.

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