L.A. Show, likes, loves, 2 cents

Mike Lavigne

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 25, 2010
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#1
here are a random collection of pictures and thoughts after 2 days at the show. I did likely at least look inside every room, but only really listened closely to a few that got my attention. I will be here tomorrow until 2 or so and will be doing more exploring.

my general impressions of the show are luke warm at this point; but we will see how I feel after tomorrow to be fair. did I have fun?.....you bet. but......wish I could have seen more people I know by this time.....in that way quite disappointing. and there was a lack of many really high end rooms, although plenty of specific high level gear.

--Room 459---Wilson Audio, T + A Elektroakustik, Brinkman, HRS, Audioquest----great MQA data point with Peter McGrath doing the switching. files were played in standard form and then processed with MQA on a Meridian Dac. so it was still a dog and pony show since who knows what the Meridian dac was actually doing. but no doubt the files represented to be MQA were easily better. so a data point to consider.

I would say that I liked, but did not love the way the room sounded.

Wilson-MQA-1.jpg Wilson-MQA-2.jpg
 

Mike Lavigne

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 25, 2010
7,228
160
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#2
room 320--Zesto Audio, Marten speakers, Merrill-Williams tt, Cardas.

I always enjoy the Zesto gear (and their owners) and their rooms. and I used to own a pair of Marten Dukes which I used for rear speaker when I was doing surround, and liked their use of the ceramic mid-range and general neutral and cohesive sound. good, inviting sound, and did nothing wrong. one could not go too far wrong just owning this system as is.

zesto.jpg
 

Mike Lavigne

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 25, 2010
7,228
160
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#3
room 359---Emerald Physics, Core Power Tech, Exogal, Underwood HiFi----can't recall anything special......

emrald_.jpg
 

Mike Lavigne

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 25, 2010
7,228
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#4
room 312---High Water Sound---TW-Acustic, Art Forma Audio, Horning Hybrid Systems-----Jeff's rooms and music are typical highlights of any show for me. I need to go back tomorrow and listen some more. what I heard was good, but did not stay long.

jeff.jpg
 

Mike Lavigne

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 25, 2010
7,228
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#5
ROOM 475---MSB Technology, Analysis Plus Cables, YG speakers----was very impressed.....again.....with the MSB Select II dac, the new prototype of the Reference dac is there sitting below the Select II.

MSB-1.jpg
 

Mike Lavigne

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 25, 2010
7,228
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#6
Room 203---Evolution Acoustics, darTZeel, Wave Kinetics TT, Blue Light Audio, Durand Tonearms, the Audio Association.----full disclosure, this system is similar to mine at home.....which I love.....so I have heavy personal bias toward it. and I have to say that overall so far it is my favorite room. the new prototype (completed last Friday) speaker was quite amazing to hear. small and thin in stature, but with an amazing to look at separate crossover, it seems to sound so much more capable than it's size would hint. EA is still not sure how to price it and was asking listeners their opinions. the sound was full bodied, dynamically alive, and it imaged wonderfully. a very involving sound. the supporting gear was more than up to the task including some excellent 15ips 1/4" tapes. more later about this room.

EA-1.jpg
 

Mike Lavigne

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 25, 2010
7,228
160
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#7
I'm tired and will post more tomorrow (or when I get around to it).
 

XV-1

Well-Known Member
May 24, 2010
1,629
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48
Sydney
#8
Nice Mike. Good to see all your photo's are the correct way up and in focus ;) Sorry Steve - LOL
 

Mike Lavigne

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 25, 2010
7,228
160
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#10
thank you Sean and Sam.

room 523---EINSTEIN Audio Components, TechDAS Airforce.---liked the room, it used Einstein speakers which seemed up to the task. Chad Kassem was there playing some of his new stuff, I was only there for one cut but it was a 45rpm test pressing of Steppenwolf played on the AF One and it was stunning. maybe my top TechDAS experience yet, formerly at shows and such they have not measured up to my expectations......but maybe it was the media trumping all?

techdas-1.jpg techdas-2.jpg techdas-3.jpg
 

Mike Lavigne

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 25, 2010
7,228
160
63
#11
a couple more from Room 523----audio porn for sure.....

techdas-4.jpg techdas-5.jpg
 

Mike Lavigne

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 25, 2010
7,228
160
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#12
room 530---On a Higher Note--Joseph Cali Systems Design, Artesania, Merging Technology, Eclipse TD, Vivid Audio---I always enjoy Philip O'Hanlon's room, the Vivid's always deliver, and the overall sound was very good. When I was there Philip played a tape ampler including Muddy Waters, which was superb. I really like the Artesania rack systems and were I to go 'passive' with my racks it would be my first choice.

higher-1.jpg higher-2.jpg
 

Mike Lavigne

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 25, 2010
7,228
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#13
room 545---MoFi, TAD Labs, Isotek, Spiral Groove----enjoyed the room, they played some digital and vinyl.

TAD-1.jpg
 

Mike Lavigne

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 25, 2010
7,228
160
63
#14
room-404---Esoteric, Canton---not bad.

eso.jpg
 

Mike Lavigne

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 25, 2010
7,228
160
63
#15

Mike Lavigne

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 25, 2010
7,228
160
63
#16
Room 509---The Voice That Is, Tidal Audio---high expectations....love Tidal speakers........but this room was not working when I was there. very boomy bass.

Tidal.jpg
 

Mike Lavigne

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 25, 2010
7,228
160
63
#17
ROOM 572---Elite Audio Systems, CH Precision, Manger Audio, Spiral Groove---I have a 'man-crush' on CH Precision gear it terms of it's aesthetics, and the whole concept of the brand. but I've not experienced it's best yet, and while this was ok, it was not compelling. OTOH this integrated 'everything' CH model did what it was supposed to do. I wish that the 'good stuff' was there to hear......so hopefully at another time i'll be able to scratch my 'CH' itch.

CH.jpg
 

Mike Lavigne

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 25, 2010
7,228
160
63
#18
room 462---Meridian Audio, HRS racks, Audioquest cables---a bit more MQA exposure, through a $1k dac (the diminutive blue front box). honestly I dislike Meridian speakers on many levels (they seem to strangle the sound and are best confined to HT systems where they don't harm real music), but the Merdian lady was nice, and the sound was ok. nothing like the Peter McGrath experience across the hall.

Mer.jpg
 

Mike Lavigne

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 25, 2010
7,228
160
63
#19
Salon 212--Kubala Sosna, GTT Audio, YG Acoustics, AudioNet---good sounding room, fine gear, but was only there briefly.

par-1.jpg par-2.jpg
 

Mike Lavigne

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 25, 2010
7,228
160
63
#20
Salon 214---Von Schweikert Audio, VAC, Masterbuilt Audio, ASC----lots of WBF posting relative to this gear and previous shows made this room significant, and so far I've been in it 4 times to get a feel for it. really good sound in this room and very authoritative and full frequency. very, very dynamic and excellent extension and articulation in the bass. but.......it's not perfect, the soundstage it quite diffuse. one could make a case that it's more like 'live'....and I would agree.....to a degree. my opinion, living with similarly capable speakers in a similarly large room is that the room is the issue in the lack of precision in the soundstage. it's impossible in a show to assign cause and effect for things. but I heard nothing in this room that would limit the performance of the speakers in a properly mature and sorted out system. the big VS's are the real deal. can't really comment on the Masterbuilt cables; I've heard them now in Steve's room and now in this system and they seem to do a wonderful job to the degree one can determine.

VS-1.jpg VS-2.jpg
 

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