Belfast Show

CnoEvil

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Aug 21, 2009
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This is at the Stormont Hotel on 7th and 8th September, and will have rooms featuring Naim, Focal, Rega and Chord Cables.

Further details here: http://www.lyrichifi.com/blog/read-blogs.html
 

CnoEvil

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Aug 21, 2009
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I am just back from spending the morning at the Focal / Naim sponsered demo (second of a two day promo). There were four rooms: Focal Room; Naim Room, Rega Room (by Lyric Hi-Fi) and a Chord Cable Room.

1. Chord Cable Demo

The system here was a "relatively" modest Naim system (CDXS / (New) Dac / XS2 Amp / Power Supplies (X2) / Focal Aria) at a cost of around £10k.

I don't like Naim or Focal or Chord Cables, so the combination didn't disappoint. I thought it sounded bright, forward and gritty with a boxy sounding bass.....not my cup of tea.

The very personable chap from Chord went through their cable range. At the bottom of the range, I heard (possibly) small differences with their better screening and new plugs, but I certainly wouldn't like to pass a blind test on it.

The first worthwhile jump in performance I heard was with their new Anthem Reference, but still didn't really like it...though that could well be the system.

The only cable I actually liked was the Sarum Tuned Aray, which sounded much more natural, but was big money (£1600 per 1m)

2. Focal Room

This was £35k of Black Boxes (with a Streamer / Pre & Power / Power Supplys etc etc) all being fed into some £20k Focal Scala Utopias (new updated version).

Again, it was better than the previous room, but again, not my cup of tea for £55k.

3. Naim Room

Another rack of Black Boxes feeding some Ovator S400s, that is yours for about £20k.

I think I dislike Ovators even more than Focals.....I'm sorry to sound so negative, but once again, this system did nothing for me - so it's best to leave it at that.

4. Rega Room

IMO. This was a little Oasis of music in a desert of hifi mediocrity.

There were three levels of TTs - RP3 / RP6 / RP8 (I think) with Aria Phono Stage.

Amps: Brio R and Elicit R

CDP: Apollo R and Isis

Speakers: RS3 and RS7

It was good to come in here and give ears a break. Even the cheapest option of RP3 + Brio R + RS3 was preferable to anything that I' heard. There is no doubt, that for my taste, Rega is more about the music and less about the hifi. I could easily live with this system, though would prefer Kef R Series as speakers.

The better two TTs were played through the Elicit R and RS7s. This was a good step up.....what a good amp the Elicit R is, and for the money, is setting the benchmark very high.

If I'd bought the RP6, I'd be sick as a parrot on hearing the RP8 (through Aria), as it was quite a step up (performance and price).

I could be wrong, but cartridge wise, I think the Elys 2 was on the RP3; the Exact was on the RP6 and the Apheta was on the RP8.

All in all, I enjoyed my time in this room listening to an eclectic mix of Vinyl, with the odd CD thrown in for good measure (from the Apollo R).

5. Foyer

All manner of Naim Unitis - 2s / Lites / Qutes, connected to Focal Standmounts and Headphones.

If there are any other members out there who were at the show, it would be good to get their feedback, if for no other reason, than to give balance to my experience......and correct any mistakes on equipment that I've made. I'm not up to speed with Naim's Black Boxes, or Regas TTs.

I took some pics, which I hope to download when I get my technical adviser by my side.

Many thanks to all who took the trouble to bring this to my neck of the woods.

Cno
 

matt49

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Apr 7, 2013
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Cno,

Sorry to hear that wasn't up to snuff. TBH it looks like a very small show and dominated by the Naim/Focal conglomerate, which ain't great.

Maybe next year ...

Matt
 

CnoEvil

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Aug 21, 2009
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matt49 said:
Cno,

Sorry to hear that wasn't up to snuff. TBH it looks like a very small show and dominated by the Naim/Focal conglomerate, which ain't great.

Maybe next year ...

Matt
It was funded by Focal, who have sold almost nothing in NI over the last year (or so I'm led to believe), in order to raise their profile. The show was organized by Audio Space (part of Living Space), who are the distributor in NI for Focal, Naim and Chord Cables, and entry was free.

I have heard each brand sound better with other brands, than they did with each other..
 

his dudeness

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Apr 1, 2010
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didnt realize it was on,or i would have taken a scoot up,used to go years ago when it was much bigger,always enjoyed it.
 

CnoEvil

New member
Aug 21, 2009
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his dudeness said:
didnt realize it was on,or i would have taken a scoot up,used to go years ago when it was much bigger,always enjoyed it.
It was really a mini promo weekend and nothing like the Audio Show from a couple of years back.
 

his dudeness

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Apr 1, 2010
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pity used to be a great weekend,lots of rooms with systems that blew me away,won a prize once from lyric at the show,received the letter.mad excited 100 mile round trip to the prize giving,got a 5 pin din cable,gutted :?
 

Macspur

Well-known member
May 3, 2010
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Hi Cno,
Thanks for the report, all be it a bit disappointing,not surprised by your impressions... I do find it strange that Focal and Naim have got together, both having a rather forward presentation.
Did you hear anything played on the Rega Isis?
Mac
 

CnoEvil

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Aug 21, 2009
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Macspur said:
Hi Cno, Thanks for the report, all be it a bit disappointing,not surprised by your impressions... I do find it strange that Focal and Naim have got together, both having a rather forward presentation. Did you hear anything played on the Rega Isis? Mac
I have heard the Isis (along with Osiris), but not on that day......and I felt it was good, but not up there with the best eg EMC 1UP
 

CnoEvil

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Aug 21, 2009
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In case it's of interest, here is a more professional write-up of this show, with better and more comprehensive photos than I took (and have never downloaded)....though his views differ from mine a bit, it gives another perspective: http://www.adventuresinhifiaudio.com/12/09/2013/the-audiospace-autumn-audiofest-mini-audio-show-stormont-hotel-belfast-7th8th-september-2013/

Chord even did their own review: http://www.chord.co.uk/blog/event-review-the-belfast-manufacturer-show-7-8-sept-2013/
 

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