Got a day pass to go this on Saturday and wasn't expecting much, as the exhibitor list was not that extensive. However, I was pleasantly surprised to find that I enjoyed this more than
Whittlebury last year. There didn't appear to be that many people attending, which made it easier to hang around in rooms and have a good listen. Most rooms were also a decent size. The hotel layout also made it a breeze to find your way around.
I was initially impressed with the Voxativ black 'squares on wheels'. Really stonkingly good with uncluttered recordings but sounded really awful when someone put on a Bowie live CD.... maybe it was that CD.
Another single driver speaker that really impressed was the Bodnar Audio speakers.They were playing AC/DC when I walked in the room and that sounded just right to my ears and I was amazed at the price...I was expecting them to cost so much more.
Audion/Revolver was disappointing, as was the Cary Audio room with speakers that must have been about 9feet tall!! The Hart bronze speakers produced an enormous amount of bass for their size, but they didn't sound right...the treble sounded very muted (and the speakers easily took the 'ugliest hifi of the year' award).
The DCS/VTL/Focal room was better than a similar setup I heard at Whittlesbury, but considering the cost, I was not bowled over. Even less impressive was some new wooden equipment support the DCS stuff was sitting on. According to the brochure, it utilizes stealth radar-absorbing material...hmmmm, ok dokey then.
The High End Cable room were demo'ing Raidho speakers that had really impressive treble quality and mid-range, but then disappointed with a rather one-note bass...
Zen Sati was entertaining...both for the music, pleasant banter and hosepipe sized cables. Rammstein never sounded so controlled and aggressive through Gamut speakers driven by Viola electronics..not that you could see the amps through the jungle of cables facing you.
Audio Note had impressive sound as always at these shows but best sounds of the day though had to be the Music First Audio room with a setup that included their new baby reference preamp and a Quad 405 amp driving rogers ls3/5as. I've never heard these speakers sound so impressive before. The system sound was one that i could listen to for ages.
Unless I missed it completely, which s always a possibility after too many G&Ts...
I guess what I am hinting at is that these shows are a great opportunity for loads of people to experience around 20 odd systems in fairly realistic environment (no bass traps etc...) without having to book x amount of listening sessions at dealers around the country..
So seeing in a commercial show a MFA and Quad driving LS3/5A was very refreshing...
It certainly got me thinking about my system, and I hope to be able soon enough to afford a piece of MFA...
Last edited by frankyc2003; 25-03-2012 at 07:39 PM.
The Bronze Toads weren't playing when I was in the Hart room. They seem to have Tannoy DC drivers (cheapo plastic ones from the lower end of the range) AND soft-dome tweeters - odd! Whatever was playing - big square things - was sounding mushy and vague.
I had a feeling those Voxativs were one trick ponies, as every time I went in they were playing smooth jazz - nice! I wanted to play my Stranglers track, but the guy with the controls seemed to speak no English.
All downhill with a bullet
Got back from this show today also - really enjoyed the venue and music. Anyway, my views:
Hart audio: big soundstage but muddled image - just not coherent at all
Jo sound: ok but image had no height. Bass a little flabby for me.
Burmester: quite enjoyable although room felt too small for me. Same with the other 15 audio room. That Boulder gear looked gorgeous though. The boulder was playing through triangle speakers and sounded really good. Room was too small to really enjoy the system for me.
Inspire: got to see the Monarch - lovely tt - sounded extremely dynamic and very stable image indeed. I think they could do with better speakers but overall I enjoyed this room a lot. The Monarch is on my shopping list I think ;)
Voxativ: I enjoyed the sounds in this room although I died the image depth a little shallow for my liking. The reproduction of some jazz pieces was awesome in tone though - I remember hearing a muted trumpet with extreme realism - very cool. I quite like the design of those big black slabs.
Analogue alchemy: I just can't get ,y head around how much tt you get for your money with this company. They win the bling kit award. Sound from the room was okay but not great.
Townshend: enjoyed spending 30 mins in here on my own at the end with the man himself. We were blasting organ music at some monster volumes and it put a large smile on my face. The wall of sound pounding down the room was pretty awesome.
Focal / vtl: I enjoyed this room - listened to classical violin concerto and some jazz. Big, deep image with ferocious dynamic swings.
Focal / vitus: good sounds again from this room. Smooth and great imaging.
Even better, at least four people told me this was the best sound they'd heard at the show....
Confirmed fan of noise, distortion and faff.
Totally off topic:
My Dad had an SD1 3.5 V8 manual while I was a teenager/learning to drive. I used to volunteer to wash it because that gave me the opportunity to drive it in and out of the garage. At 17 I was dead set on a motorbike but he persuaded me not to and bought me a Fiat 600. When I passed my test we traded it in against my first Beetle. He said "drive it (the 600) to the dealer and I'll follow you in the Rover". I hesitated and he then said "I'll drive it and......" He got no further because I was already in the Rover starting it up! I adored that car!
Let me get this straight. You take a perfectly good CD and put it in a DVD player??!!
Townshend room was great. Sat there for about an hour of Bach which sounded brill. No flicking from track to track he just let people sit and enjoy the music.
Focal/dCS/VTL sounded good too in smallish room. Had a demo track which was an acapella version of 'the boxer' which was great. The usual 'Right Note' talk about Vertex was a bit boring though!
MFA with the LS3/5a's sounded great, rally nice.
Looks far more interesting than bristol.
Been to lots of shows and I cant remember any other rooms where the components faced the wrong way round! The cables looked great though!