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UK HiFi Show - Daventry 9th - 10th October


bencat

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First stop Art Audio to drop off my Pre Amp for a service by Tom Fletcher, after carrying it from the overflow car park, Tom doesnt make his valve amps lightweight. He wasnt a happy man as his muscular kit was crammed into a small  room. Pre C-19 I've heard his system in his living room & it is glorious. All hand built in his shed the old fashioned way with no compromise on quality/workmanship/materials.

Next off to see Mark at Vinyl Passion/Alan Clark speakers. Managed to get in & have a quick chat with Mark. Their small square room sounded wonderful. No doubt due to Mark's no compromise system & TT. But the stars (of the hifi show)were Alan's rosewood floor standing speakers (bottom centre)

At £3200 (which is a chunk of change) they are incredible value. We know his story and its been good to watch him build these on Facebook. (6) Alan Clark | Facebook But to hear them knock it out the park in a small square room was a pleasure I had to repeat later, when I could finally get a seat in the room.  As Paul (Maverick) said... there was a queue to get in all day.

May be an image of speaker and text that says 'UK AUDIO SHOW Since 1997 VERE STAVERTON STAE HANTS UK OCT '21 HESTERGROU'

Over a lunchtime beer in the sun (what a glorious day it was, hence many golfists taking up parking spaces) Robin recommended the Audio Note room. Suitably refreshed we headed in its direction.

After some compulsory plinky plonky crap, on came Talk Talk, Happiness is Easy on CD, followed by Frank Zappa, Peaches en Regalia. Expressing my appreciation to the young AN chap it turned out he was a huge Zappa fan, so it wasnt too difficult to talk him into playing some Captain Beefheart: Big Eyed Beans From Venus. Great music (unless you're Robin) but sadly lacking in bass thro the CD player. He did switch to vinyl and played some excellent female soul (sadly her name was covered by a lrg sticker on the album sleeve) which had lovely depth where you could tell there was actually a bass guitarist on the recording session.

After the Vinyl Passion room everything else was a bit underwhelming, so I picked up my newly fettled with new caps Art Audio Power amp from Tom Willis and headed home for a 50 mile drive with the roof off. What a great day it had been.

Thanks to Roy & Chester Group and the exhibitors  for putting on an excellent show . No easy decision in these times, but it did feel a lot like the good ol days.

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Super Wammer
On 09/10/2021 at 07:57, Lurch said:

So Danny can be recognised by the eggy T shirt and pot belly. 

Well I got the pot belly bit right. :sofa:

Good to catch up again Danny. Like others have said it was good to catch up with faces old and new, and have a day out to discover new music.

Edited by Lurch
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Super Wammer

In the rooms I wanted to stay in (most were to loud and producing shouty sounds) as I was able to hear past the room problems to what the kit was doing I mentally compared the system to mine, and realised I'd climbed further up the hifi tree than I'd thought I had, at least from a sonic perspective. I also got to discover some new too me music which I will look to order today.

The systems I enjoyed the most were the Node speaker room (funky egg shaped speakers fed by YBA amps) Bayz & Chord, in particular the big Corantes visually stunning & superb sounding, the only thing offensive about them was the price (£100k). I also liked the sound in the Emilen room but once again offensive prices £46k for phono, pre, monos & speakers + ££s for Luxman tt & cart (pair of class D monos £10k). 

Can't wait to drag my main rig to a wam show next year. 

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Super Wammer

I had a really nice day out at this show, meet up face to face with old mates i haven't seen for far two long, just enough people there to make it easy to get round all the rooms, nice weather for a pint outside and some good banter , lets have more of this please .

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Super Wammer
12 minutes ago, Lurch said:

In the rooms I wanted to stay in (most were to loud and producing shouty sounds) as I was able to hear past the room problems to what the kit was doing I mentally compared the system to mine, and realised I'd climbed further up the hifi tree than I'd thought I had, at least from a sonic perspective. I also got to discover some new too me music which I will look to order today.

The systems I enjoyed the most were the Node speaker room (funky egg shaped speakers fed by YBA amps) Bayz & Chord, in particular the big Corantes visually stunning & superb sounding, the only thing offensive about them was the price (£100k). I also liked the sound in the Emilen room but once again offensive prices £46k for phono, pre, monos & speakers + ££s for Luxman tt & cart (pair of class D monos £10k). 

Can't wait to drag my main rig to a wam show next year. 

I enjoyed the Node (egg-shaped) speakers last show but couldn’t get in the room this time. Definitely not a case of form over function.

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Super Wammer

Andrew @bencat mentioned a gift he gave me. What a big heart the man has! Not sure its tenure in the lounge will last more than the afternoon but the backlighting is what makes it magical.

 Thanks Andrew!

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Super Wammer

I could not make this show, a bit too far for me this time. But I was lucky enough to have a small, local show put on by Woolacotts, at the Wadebridge showground. There was only about 15 rooms, but it was free, along with a nice free buffet too. 

Like most have said here, the sound was a bit bright in most rooms, bar the Klipsch room where it was a bit bass heavy, The star of the show for me was a little system shown by Mian distributers which consisted of a Leema amp/ streamer and some small Elac Carina speakers. Unfortunately I did not take a photo of this system 9_9 But did get a couple of others Klipsch and Monitor Audio.

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Super Wammer
2 hours ago, Fourlegs said:

So, a great day out but for me a rather disappointing day in terms of finding any room with a really great sound. Or was it me hoping for more after so long without being able to go to a show?

Actually this comment of mine is not totally accurate.

There was one room that I had not intended to go into but there were such nice sounds coming out through the open door that I was tempted to go in and listen.

That was such a good decision.

An earlier room was playing some piano and the host jokingly said that although we might think there was a piano in the room there was no piano. He was absolutely right. There was no piano in the room. Nor did his system sound like a piano.

I do remember which room that was.

Anyway, this other room was a totally accidental find. It was a room at a HiFi show actually sounding like live piano with all the realism of the brute force and power of a piano and with all the subtle detail as well. I could have stayed in this room all day. 

Those who went to the show will have guessed that this room did indeed have a real piano in it.

It was my stand out room of the show.

Edited by Fourlegs
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2 minutes ago, Fourlegs said:

Actually this comment of mine is not totally accurate.

There was one room that I had not intended to go into but there were such nice sounds coming out through the open door that I was tempted to go in and listen.

That was such a good decision.

An earlier room was playing some piano and the host jokingly said that although we might think there was a piano in the room there was no piano. He was absolutely right. There was no piano in the room. Nor did his system sound like a piano.

I do remember which room that was.

Anyway, this other room was a totally accidental find. It was a room at a HiFi show actually sounding like live piano with all the realism of the brute force and power of a piano wit with the subtle detail as well. I could have stayed in this room all day. 

Those who went to the show will have guessed that this room did indeed have a real piano in it.

It was my stand out room of the show.

Hear Hear !! , I sat in there for a bit too , absolutely best sound of the day 

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Super Wammer

Bit of a straight forward camera dump from me, but photos speak a thousand words... and thanks to Ian/Baggawire for the lift... :) 

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Super Wammer

I was there with two of my South Coast buddies John (Lurch) & Robin (wizmax), & had a great day. So good to meet new & old wammers, we do seem to be a band of brothers & says an awful lot about our community.

I have to echo what Andrew (bencat) said upstream about the choice of music in a lot of the rooms. With the first rooms we visited, Emilen? &  Auden Audio (Amphion), we thought our luck was in as the music was right up our street for a change, & the big Amphions sounded lovely, but sadly that wasn't to last. In one room we had a endure a live recording of Jimi Hendrix which consisted of him telling his drummer how to drum over & over playing the first few bars & stopping & starting again! Having said that I enjoyed a few rooms a bit, a couple of rooms a lot, & most not much at all.

I really liked the Node speakers until I found out how much they were, but for me personally I enjoyed the V'audio room with Electrocompaniet electronics & Nola speakers the most. I found the sound captivating & very exciting, the closest to being live music, helped by enthusiastic use of the volume knob. Possibly not an every day speaker, but a special one to my ears.

Well worth the visit, & many thanks to our driver (Lurch) for not scaring us too much.

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On 09/10/2021 at 08:02, Lurch said:

For identification purposes, I'm wearing plain black T shirt, Olive green jeans & jesus creepers (without socks) other identifying features = 6'3" and no teeth, (I suck the jam out of doughnuts). 

If only I had this post handy when actually at the venue. All I remembered from it was “6’3 and no teeth”. And so on seeing a tall guy with a stick I thought aha that’s why he must call himself ‘Lurch’. So I approach the guy but he has a mask on and I can’t see his teeth. Anyway I say “excuse me are you Lurch?” And clearly offended the man says in a very cross manner “what did you say?” And I quickly reply is your name John?” to which he says no and I quickly move on. So that’s twice now that I almost got to see you John! 

Anyway I did have a chat with @Jessica_k who I recognised from her photo but had to leave at 12:00 to get back for lunch at my sisters. 
 

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A lot of the rooms were boomy with piercing treble although many listeners seemed to be enjoying it. 

I was seriously impressed with the small Amphion room. A Rega RP8 and Hegel £3k amp (both not really my thing) made great sounds through the Amphion 1 speakers. Not boomy despite being rear ported and placed close to the wall and no piercing treble. They were playing some Yello tracks and it sounded great. At about £1000 those Amphions are a bargain.

Audio Note kit that I know the sound of didn’t sound good at all; my first show where I didn’t like themI had a quick listen to the new Cobra amp using the turntable but the balance was too bright. The guy doing the demo thought that the brightness might have been more down to the specific valves than the cartridge. The larger AN room was a bit better but still off the pace given the price of the kit in that room.

Didnt like the majority of rooms and there were a few that I could never get into in the short time that I was there. Jessica recommended the Vinyl Passion room but I couldn’t get in. 

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Super Wammer
2 hours ago, orbscure said:

Bit of a straight forward camera dump from me, but photos speak a thousand words

Thanks for the pics!  What are the speakers with the top like a jigsaw piece? (Next to the baby Boenickes)

Edited by Nopiano
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4 hours ago, aejoker said:

 . Another nice moment for me was sitting with Danny listening to some tiny Jordan speakers & Nagra reel to reels , I reckon I could own one of those Nagras & just sit & look at it ,what a beautiful piece of engineering & don't get me started on the tiny "Spy Edition" one he showed us !! One thing the show has done for me is make me really look forward to doing a Wam Show again !! 

To me room of the show . Spoke to Jonathon Billingnton  . Such lovely man . If you have a small 10x 10 room its all you need . The Jordan speakers gave scale and depth they had no right to but I guess you have to play to the strength of the room and not the what you perceive to be the strength of the system. What I mean by that is some trade just had speakers too big for the space. So John's set up of a stereo Nagra reel to reel accompanied by a mono while the stereo was in rewind mode ( thoughtful) with an MFA pre and mono's was stunning . The battery powered portable spy reel  with manual rewind may become my precious.   Another knockout room for me was the Aretai Contra 100 speakers http://www.aretai.com. The soundstage vast with depth but not affected by any room refection. I am not going to criticise any rooms because it was just nice to be at a show  after a long time and this is a new venue so I expect a big improvement next year. Roy Bird  and I had a chat and we hope to form closer ties as a forum and Chester group by helping and promoting each other where we can . I did succumb to buying the new Bluesounf Node 2021 with remote at a show deal of  £500 . I need  an interim solution but as an all in one Roon endpoint its very impressive for the money . I may just need an external dac at some point but no rush . 

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