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

PeterA

Well-Known Member
Dec 7, 2011
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North Shore of Boston
#21
Thank you Mike for posting these photos and for your quick impressions. It seems that there were some good sounding rooms/systems. I love to see all the turntables. Almost every room in your report has one. Great stuff.
 

LL21

Well-Known Member
Dec 26, 2010
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#22
great reading and great photography. A lot of work...thanks!
 

Mike Lavigne

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 25, 2010
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#24
Thank you Mike for posting these photos and for your quick impressions. It seems that there were some good sounding rooms/systems. I love to see all the turntables. Almost every room in your report has one. Great stuff.
thank you Peter.

I'm trying to do this while my impressions are fresh. agree on the tt's.

great reading and great photography. A lot of work...thanks!
thanks Lloyd.

I deleted my shots from the 1st day as I was not happy with them. many/most of the rooms are very dark (I'm not a fan of flash or phone pics) and I'm using a Leica M body with a 35mm FLE 1.4 lens, and to get decent results in the darker rooms I used a mono pod yesterday......which while a PITA seemed to work in the darker rooms and funky (colored) light conditions.

Great report Mike. I like the explanation you give to your room shots rather than a big gaggle of pics with no explanation(s). Thanks for that.
thanks Christian.
 

Mike Lavigne

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 25, 2010
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#25
room 463---Audio Research, Wilson Audio, Technics, HRS, Audioquest--'meh'

w-a.jpg
 

Mike Lavigne

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Apr 25, 2010
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#26
Santa Barbara--(3rd floor)--Cardas, AMG, VTL, Wilson Audio, Audio Element---for whatever reason this one was 'an icepick to the ear' and I ran out. why? don't know. none of the gear is that way inherently. '*hit happens at shows'. if I would have had more personal interest maybe I would have stayed to discover why.

UP-1.jpg UP-2.jpg
 

Mike Lavigne

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Apr 25, 2010
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#27
room 301--Magico. not bad, but they only played 'electronic' music in the 2 cuts while I was there so while that was nice and clean and dynamic I had limited chance to judge it. nothing edgy or off-putting at all.

mag-1.jpg mag-2.jpg
 

Mike Lavigne

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Apr 25, 2010
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#28
ROOM 374---PBN Audio, Liberty Audio, Porterhouse Audio, Purist Audio---'Texas Style'......my friend Albert Porter was in this room. the sound was 'ok'.......the speakers are very inexpensive. Great to see Albert!!!

AP-1.jpg AP-2.jpg AP-3.jpg
 

Mike Lavigne

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 25, 2010
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#29
room 203---Evolution Acoustics, darTZeel, Durand Tonearms and Telos dac.----more comments----I have to say I'm really impressed with the speakers Kevin Malmgren of Evolution Acoustics has built. I spent a lot of time in this room and listened to lots of different types of music. at first your eyes tell you this speaker before you simply cannot be putting out the sound you are hearing. but after watching these speakers take over 1100 watts from the big bad dart 458 mono blocks Friday night (Herve Deleatraz, Mr. darTZeel, kept pushing them) playing 'You Shook Me All Night Long' at warp 11+ I stopped questioning and just believed my ears. they do scale, they do tone, they do lots of texture and never get compressed or flustered, with super low distortion up and down the FR scale. and it just has this involving, sexy sound. Wow!

dart-2.jpg dart-1.jpg
 

LL21

Well-Known Member
Dec 26, 2010
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#31
Mike,

Interesting about the new speakers from evolution audio...are those gigantic partly-uncovered cubes the passive crossover network of the speakers? Huge! Presumably, they come with their own connections/cables, etc? so plug/play?
 

Mike Lavigne

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 25, 2010
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#32
Mike,

Interesting about the new speakers from evolution audio...are those gigantic partly-uncovered cubes the passive crossover network of the speakers? Huge! Presumably, they come with their own connections/cables, etc? so plug/play?
yes. i'll try and get some pictures of the outboard crossover boxes (likely others might have already posted pics of those as there was lots of interest in those crossovers). and there is a built in umbilical that is included with the speaker. this crossover is not much different from the 'Exact' crossover you can get with the MM3's and that comes with my MM7's. it's a beast and takes this speaker to another level.
 

Mike Lavigne

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 25, 2010
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#33
Mike, the new EA is very intriguing. Would the say that it may need a sub-woofer in a large room?
the room it was in was quite large and it never seemed lost despite some very 'large' music being played. so it does not 'need' a sub. OTOH I would guess a sub would go lower, but I don't really know. if I get a chance to ask Kevin (the designer) I will and post his opinion.

listening to the speaker do large scale music you are not thinking 'this speaker needs more'.
 

audioguy

WBF Founding Member
Apr 21, 2010
2,766
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Near Atlanta, GA but not too near!
#34
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.
Of important note: excellent use of passive room treatment in this room. So many others you have shown have between 0 and very little.
 

audioguy

WBF Founding Member
Apr 21, 2010
2,766
40
48
Near Atlanta, GA but not too near!
#35
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.
Limited room treatment visible which would confirm your comments about it being "the room". Having shown at CES and other high end audio shows for over 10 years in a prior life, I was always taken by folks bringing great systems into the room and then placing a few lights and some green plants thinking, apparently, that was a better idea than using some appropriately placed room treatment. And as I look at the photos you have posted (excellent work and well done, by the way), I am still taken by this. If ANY room needs treatment, it is the small and crappy rooms at audio shows.
 

Steve Williams

Site Founder, Site Owner, Administrator
#36
Great report Mike. I like the explanation you give to your room shots rather than a big gaggle of pics with no explanation(s). Thanks for that.
Hang in there Christian. I still have over 250 pictures to post. I have plenty of comments about rooms which I plan on doing at the end. Mine is an overview of every room. It's easier to comment on one picture than on several 100 otherwise I would be posting these for several days
 

DaveyF

Well-Known Member
Aug 1, 2010
6,135
141
63
La Jolla, Calif USA
#37
Limited room treatment visible which would confirm your comments about it being "the room". Having shown at CES and other high end audio shows for over 10 years in a prior life, I was always taken by folks bringing great systems into the room and then placing a few lights and some green plants thinking, apparently, that was a better idea than using some appropriately placed room treatment. And as I look at the photos you have posted (excellent work and well done, by the way), I am still taken by this. If ANY room needs treatment, it is the small and crappy rooms at audio shows.
I have to agree with Mike, the VS room seemed to display a diffuse soundstage. Whether that could have been tamed by room treatments, I don't know, but it would strike me that this would have helped...a lot!
It has always seemed odd to me that exhibitors carry tons of gear to shows and yet see no reason to include room acoustic treatments, or if they do, many times they are minimal at best! Since IMO most of the rooms at this show are a poor acoustic space, i think anyone who considered room acoustic treatments and placed them with some logic, garnered a far better sound than those who did not. Like you said, a few lights and some green plants just don't do it, IMHO.
Mike, nice to see you again at the show.
 

bonzo75

Member Sponsor
Feb 26, 2014
12,970
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London
#38
Hi Mike, great pics. As you know I too have been totally impressed by Meridian MQA demos (and agree about the Meridian speakers too lol).

In Philip's room don't forget the Luxman amps.

Zesto - it did beat the twice priced Allnic 3000 with the Acoustical System Palladian and Soundsmith Poua on Kronos Sparta

The Techdas Einstein room sounded awful at Muich, surprising that Techdas sounds good usually at Munich in other rooms

Would like to know what you think of the TTs and carts playing.
 

Mike Lavigne

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 25, 2010
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#39
Mike,

Interesting about the new speakers from evolution audio...are those gigantic partly-uncovered cubes the passive crossover network of the speakers? Huge! Presumably, they come with their own connections/cables, etc? so plug/play?
here are some pics of the crossover;

cr-1.jpg cr-2.jpg cr-3.jpg
 

KeithR

VIP/Donor
May 7, 2010
4,052
1,116
328
Marina del Rey, CA
#40
Nice seeing you Mike - the EAs sounded very good indeed and Kevin gave me a 20 minute explanation of the external crossover :) He's certainly a "mad scientist" in some respects!

My other favorite rooms:

Hearing first cut lacquers in the Einstein room with Shane Buettner - that was special and unique.
Vandersteen/ARC - the subs and bigger room really did the 7s well and it was dynamic and natural
Vivid/Luxman - always a great pairing and the G2s worked with the room better than the big Spirits according to Philip.
Best YG room - Carmels/ARC. Walk in soundstage and disappeared with excellent punchy bass
Best Magico room - S3s/Jadis. The tonal color of the Jadis matched better than Vac imo
Best small $ sounds - Pranafidelity monitor and Zu Audio's new Druid VI. Sean has really taken a giant leap forward with his design. The FirstWatt F7 is a great, inexpensive amp. Jeff Catalano's importing some sweet new value SET gear from Taiwan as well.
Cool TTs- the new Thorens and the big Kuzma w/ 14" arm. Many were talking about the Spiral Groove, but I didn't have a chance to see it.

I did not get to hear the Wilson or Harman rooms.
I also heard the Volti and Spatial Audio horns, but felt they had some horn coloration. In the 10k range, the Zu was better.
The Magnepan demo was my least favorite - why they didn't put 20.7s w/ great amps in that huge room was disappointing. That's what we all want to hear.
The sense of scale in the VSA room was pretty awesome as was the bass (no doubt the 50 tube traps helped that component). The Vac gear toned down the ceramic driver characteristics that typically bother me. I would agree with others the imaging was diffuse.

Music I brought that was a hit:

Max Richter- Three Worlds...
Jarvis Cocker and Chilly Gonzalez- Room 29

It was great touring rooms with Ron, Mike, Amir, and others. Turns out Ron and I share similar taste in audio components. I also chatted with Jonathan Tinn, Alex and Fabio, Kevin Hayes, Jim White, JC from Jadis, Volker from Einstein, etc. We have a wonderful WBF contingency and that needs to be pointed out more often :)

And a big shout out to Jeff Tyo (Jeffrey_T) for lugging my records around all day!
 
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