Good point about exhibitors demonstrating very, very expensive gear, most of which didn't seem to justify the cost in performance terms.Well had a nice day out enjoyed being in and around the show . Yet another show with tragic intertnet connections for the exhibitors with almost all of them having no access for streaming and while they would play a CD they would not play any digital files of usb sticks for perfectly reasonable reasons. What this resulted in was then a limited range of music and often it was hard to get them to play something you really knew and could relate to . Too often the rooms had plinky plonky music playing by no one i had ever heard and no one I was even remotely impressed with to even ask who it was . Or it was all simple vocal and acoustic instrument numbers to ensure that the system was never stressed .
I then had my own hang up which is I can now no longer listen to Vinyl for more than one or two minutes before all the issues I had with it start to surface again and I stop listening to the music and listen to the medium . In any room with Vinyl as the source I just left as soon as i saw it as no real point for . Lots as always were probably feeling the same about any of the rooms with digital sources . I know it is my issue but it would have been nice if most had alternative sources and split them through the day .
Right best sound for of the show was the Auralic room with one of their streamers / servers and a pair of ATC Active A40 nothing else just those two . Sound was very good indeed and was one I could have lived with quite happily . Listened to Black Sabbath by Black Sabbath and enjoyed the drift in to the past not the very best recording but a grin inducing tune with nodding of the heads at the right points . They played straight after that Country Road by Olivia Newton John which was a very different segway but the system still sounded good and I listened on two vists to at least five or six pieces and enjoyed them the best.
Best music of the show by for me at least a very large margin was Moor Amplifiers
The reason for this was the lack of any internet and they had to use a personal collection on a thumb drive which was about 2/5 hours of the amp designers personal music choice . So we got some Dire Straits , XTC , Bob Marley , Ian Dury and Blockheads , London Grammar , Level 42 and well you get the idea music that many of us might well play and the result was fun and relaxing and I fully enjoyed my time there chatting and poking a little fun at the largest Angel 6 Amp (as I explained me moaning about the size was a bit rich as I own a Croft OTL 3 and a Krell KSA50 neither of which is bijou) . All taken in good part and did not even throw me out when I started singing which is more than can be said for my wife Linda .
So while the show was fun and enjoyed seeing all the equipment I did notice a huge trend for everything seeming to cost huge amounts and in many cases to not deliver anything like the quality of sound that i would expect for that outlay . Lots of people were there but not a great standard of music on show . I will own up and say the child in me was delighted and entranced to see many power amps with lovely coloured light meters on them for this never gets old and I would love to meet someone who could just make a clip on set for any amp , not bothered about them being accurate ust want to see the needle quiver in time to the music .
Great report, Karl. I've picked out two of your comments for response:I was there today. Never been to a hifi show before and may be a bit biased as a result, but I thought there were some great systems on show.
- The big room not far from the main entrance with lots of seating, a huge turntable (not sure what it was) and a pair of ATC SCM150ASL's. Hard to imagine there are many better speaker/amp combos out there in terms of taking you close to the recording. Unlikely to fit in most domestic living spaces, but perhaps the most transparent and realistic system I have ever heard in terms of top to bottom ability. Incredible really.
I did enjoy almost everything in some way, but there was one that really stood out for being terrible. I'm sure I'm going to get lynched on this website when I say this, but following so much love on here for Audio Note gear, I couldn't have been more disappointed with their room. It may have been the track being played when we walked in, but the whole room was like a big boomy bass mess. Literally the worst sound I heard all day. I'm sure there must be more to Audio Note than what I experienced. Very surprised by it as I'd really been looking forward to hearing some of their kit as they seem to have a strong following on here.
All in all though, a great day and great to hear the variety of systems on offer, all enjoyable in their own way.
Top audio fun.
ok plus IMHOHow were the Ophidian speakers? I’d like to hear them as all the other models from the company I’ve heard have been superb.
I thought they were very average with bloat bass and poor imaging, 14k seems a lot for 87db 1m 4 ohms and a box.How were the Ophidian speakers? I’d like to hear them as all the other models from the company I’ve heard have been superb.
I have the old Cubes driven by NVA amps and think they are great. I was an instant convert to the semi omnidirectional presentation. They integrate very very well with my listening room which is a lot different to a hotel room.Just remembered another stand-out system that I should have mentioned above, the NVA room. NVA integrated (which uses a passive pre section of course) driving their new 'Cube' speakers.
Really distinctive and smart-looking little stand-mount speakers (should have taken a photo). Upward-firing bass units and really impressive 'speaker disappearing' trick going on. A lovely natural presentation and one definitely worth checking out for those looking for something a bit different to the usual '2 drivers on the front of a box' stand-mount design. Think they will be on general sale soon at £4.5k. not cheap, but worth looking into if you're in the market for something at that price.