California Audio Show 2013

Sonus

New Member
Jul 8, 2012
117
0
0
SF Bay Area, CA
#2
077A1638.jpg 077A1634.jpg 077A1589.jpg 077A1660.jpg 077A1849.jpg
 

cjfrbw

Well-Known Member
Apr 20, 2010
2,219
50
48
Pleasanton, CA
#3
Looks like some nice installations. I'll be going tomorrow to the show. Hope parking is easy.
 

Nyal Mellor

Industry Expert
Jul 14, 2010
591
2
0
SF Bay Area, CA, USA
#5
Was at the audio show thurs and fri. Helped Loggie Audio setup the ground floor YG room with the Sonya's. I thought there were some decent sounding rooms (for an audio show).
 

caesar

Well-Known Member
May 31, 2010
3,051
38
48
#6
Was at the audio show thurs and fri. Helped Loggie Audio setup the ground floor YG room with the Sonya's. I thought there were some decent sounding rooms (for an audio show).
Nyal, you strike me as a solid pro. Why in your opinion is the sound at shows so bad? Is the construction of the rooms inferior to that of residential housing, adversely impacting sound, or is this a myth?

If you had a truck full of absorbers and diffusors, like they did at Axpona, can you fix the room in a short period of time? Or is there a whole lot more to it?
 

Peter Breuninger

[Industry Expert] Member Sponsor
Jul 20, 2010
1,231
0
0
#7
Nyal, you strike me as a solid pro. Why in your opinion is the sound at shows so bad? Is the construction of the rooms inferior to that of residential housing, adversely impacting sound, or is this a myth?

If you had a truck full of absorbers and diffusors, like they did at Axpona, can you fix the room in a short period of time? Or is there a whole lot more to it?
Let's see... umm hmmm...try moving into a new house with an unknown listening room with a new system and numerous components and unknown acoustic treatments that are not broken in and then invite me or JA or JV or MF over and have us write about it and video it with your reputation ( and livelihood) on the line and all your personal info on the internet the next day.

I want everyone who thinks that shows have bad sound to wear the shoes of a presenter, just once.

It took Steve Williams months to get his system set in. He is an expert (and hired world experts) and would not even post pictures of it until he was semi satisfied with the visual/sonic results.
 
May 7, 2012
1,325
0
0
Seattle area
#8
Let's see... umm hmmm...try moving into a new house with an unknown listening room with a new system and numerous components and unknown acoustic treatments that are not broken in and then invite me or JA or JV or MF over and have us write about it and video it with your reputation ( and livelihood) on the line and all your personal info on the internet the next day.

I want everyone who thinks that shows have bad sound to wear the shoes of a presenter, just once.

It took Steve Williams months to get his system set in. He is an expert (and hired world experts) and would not even post pictures of it until he was semi satisfied with the visual/sonic results.
Yep. The smart exhibitors book the same room year after year so they know what to expect when they get there. Another reason the sound can be bad is some exhibitors try to save money by sharing expenses with another manufacture that may or may not have synergy with their gear. So depending on several factors it can be a crap shoot. Personally I would try to book the same room every year and use a proven system that I know will sound good in that environment.
 

cjfrbw

Well-Known Member
Apr 20, 2010
2,219
50
48
Pleasanton, CA
#9
Just got back. I guess my crown title goes to the YG Acoustics room this time with the Ypsilon stack. It is kind of "audiophile skeleton" sound, but done so well, I had to concede the title anyway at least with what I heard. I tend to like a little more fleshed out presentation.

With different size rooms and the show acoustics and everything, it's probably not fair to elect a crown winner, but everybody wants one, so there's mine. That gets that out of the way for a broader discussion later. Gives me an opportunity to be a petty bitch.

Anyway, I thought there were numerous excellent sounding rooms, and many of the top contenders that were very close, so it must not have been a typical show.

More later and maybe some bad photography.
 

Peter Breuninger

[Industry Expert] Member Sponsor
Jul 20, 2010
1,231
0
0
#10
Just got back. I guess my crown title goes to the YG Acoustics room this time with the Ypsilon stack. It is kind of "audiophile skeleton" sound, but done so well, I had to concede the title anyway at least with what I heard. I tend to like a little more fleshed out presentation.

With different size rooms and the show acoustics and everything, it's probably not fair to elect a crown winner, but everybody wants one, so there's mine. That gets that out of the way for a broader discussion later. Gives me an opportunity to be a petty bitch.

Anyway, I thought there were numerous excellent sounding rooms, and many of the top contenders that were very close, so it must not have been a typical show.

More later and maybe some bad photography.
I have that (well similar, with 1.3 Sonjas) system right in front of me and I have it fleshed out. It takes time to get it right. We can see what the video has to say thanks to Cor Dekker's great video skills.
 

Sonus

New Member
Jul 8, 2012
117
0
0
SF Bay Area, CA
#12
Just got back. I guess my crown title goes to the YG Acoustics room this time with the Ypsilon stack.
Mine goes to Von Schweikert easily, the YG couldn't get the low end like mr S.
What about the Alexia? i enjoyed the room.
 

cjfrbw

Well-Known Member
Apr 20, 2010
2,219
50
48
Pleasanton, CA
#13
Two years ago the Audio Specialties Wilson Maxx/Spectral was the easy title winner for me. This time, I found the Aesthetix/Spectral stack and Alexia system a bit hectored by a lower midrange bump and not much in the true deep bass. However, I find that a lot of the systems at shows tend to have poor foundation and a kind of upper midrange intensity that is like TVs turned up in blue torch mode to attract attention and emphasize detail.

I did gather that the silk dome tweeter (which seems to be the rage in a lot of speakers, no pointy ceramic bullets and fewer metallic shields, ah, how the fashions turn back on themselves)
was a good thing, and that the Spectral/Wilson combo are a desirable pairing, especially for solid state. I still like the Lamm/Wilson pairings better, but that is within the smeary and adulterated boundaries of taste (or lack thereof). Overall I thought the Alexia setup was amongst the better ones, though I liked some others more overall. Maybe with the Maxx again it would have prevailed.

Overall, I thought Philip O'Hanlons VTL/Vincent room was really nice and I preferred it to the Alexia. The Vincent room would get my vote for the best balance of flesh and blood combined with definition.
 
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cjfrbw

Well-Known Member
Apr 20, 2010
2,219
50
48
Pleasanton, CA
#15
Didn't have a chance to parse that out too much, some attendees as well as myself were using vinyl needle drop CD's/digital. What I heard with Alexias was exclusively vinyl. Rickie Lee Jones Chuckee cut on Alexias sounds much better to me on my home system with my old thrift record. The Vincent room was vinyl/vinyl digital/ and digital, all sounded quite good to me.

Two rooms that to me were an auditory puzzle were the Von Shweikert and Audio Note rooms. I fully expected to dig these but didn't when I went to each twice. The Von Shweikert room just sounded muddled. I must have negative karma with Audio Note, never hear them well at shows even though the Audio Note room had some of their most impressive tubed gear, there must be something wrong with my hearing with those two OR they take some time to sink in to appreciate them and shows are their enemies.
 

JackD201

[WBF Founding Member]
Apr 21, 2010
11,192
156
63
Manila, Philippines
#16
When I saw the picture of the VS room I said to myself "Oh No. Underpowered again with only the 100wpc Ravens in such a large room. Should have used the Shaman and not the Silhouette."

What was playing when you guys were in there? Was it simple acoustic stuff when Sonus was there and more demanding stuff when it was Carl?
 

cjfrbw

Well-Known Member
Apr 20, 2010
2,219
50
48
Pleasanton, CA
#17
I really hate to poison the press on some of these rooms, but all I have is my limited and vulnerable impressions with people milling about, talking, sound from other rooms etc. I don't remember the music in the VS room, it wasn't demanding orchestral, more dynamic pop. The Audio Note room had some deep hound dog blues singers, which usually are pretty good demos because they are close miked with some very sonorous Afro American voices.
 

JackD201

[WBF Founding Member]
Apr 21, 2010
11,192
156
63
Manila, Philippines
#18
Thanks Carl.
 

cjfrbw

Well-Known Member
Apr 20, 2010
2,219
50
48
Pleasanton, CA
#19
Anyway, before offering any further commentary, i will seriously qualify myself.

I have planars so I am very sensitive to box emanations. These seem to be divided into three general types: Massive attack control of box colorations to give audiophile skeleton sound such as YG and Magico, box colorations that are sonorous and beautiful such as Sony, and the inbetweeners where there is some box coloration, but doesn't seem either aimed or unaimed to enhance the presentation. I would generally put Wilson and maybe Vincent in that category.

Shows must be hell on wheels for the manufacturers and representatives, because they encourage pontification and resolved judgement in contexts where that is not possible.

At home, in the familiar surroundings of my own system, I can convince myself that my hearing is a tame and malleable instrument. At the shows, though, it is more like a wild weasel on meth, an instrument but a rather unconrolled one that isn't tame.

If my hearing concentrates Asperger-like on a trait, I may not be able to get past that trait to get a balanced viewpoint.

Anyway, within the context of this short attention span wild weasel qualification, take my impressions with a grain of salt. I do know that when Steve and some others have gone to shows we have tended to sync fairly closely in our overall impressions.

There's also the problem that as a long listening day goes on, my listeners get shot, and I am afraid that I am going to get irritable and misjudge things. However, the YG was one of the last ones I heard.
 

Odysseus

New Member
Jun 3, 2012
24
0
0
San Antonio, TX
#20
Insider's knowledge: the Raven Audio - Von Schweikert system had a loose cable between the music server and the DAC (both belong to a third party, not Raven or VS). The problem was fixed Saturday afternoon. Tomorrow they'll use a $30,000 CD Player instead of or in addition to the music server. Go check it out Sunday! Stop by and say Hi to Dave Thomson, owner of Raven Audio and super nice guy from Texas.
 

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