BEST DEMO ROOM- -WORST DEMO ROOM = MANCHESTER 2010

grifz

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Jan 3, 2010
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Hi im no expert and very new to sound and vision. So here goes my BEST demo room was spendor. they were simply brilliant to my taste in sound . A big airy sound feild that sounded so realistic the band were playing in the room. My WORST demo room was the Onkyo demo room with Monitor audio RX range. They had some concert/band playing, the sound was a load of muffled bass banging away with no clarity no detail the combination was easily by far the worst room . I have the RX RANGE with a yamaha receiver and was really excited about what my speakers could do with a really good amp ,cable setup. It was a shambles . My living room any day over that @$%@. Short and sweet im am not good with reviews but this is my opinon P.S 3d tv was kack a load of flickering fuzzy-head nonsence which isnt ready.
 
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Anonymous

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out of interest did you get to see the jvc 3d demo at all and if so what was your opinion?

Al
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Spendor did sound pretty good. For me, Dynaudio was just amazing. They had these tiny little speakers putting out this huge rich sound... gorgeous.That was much more interesting to me personally than seeing a huge wall of speakers putting out a similar sound.

And yes, Monitor/Onkyo - I just didn't get that at all. Bass was all boomy and I couldn't pick out any details. The room was packed though, so maybe it was just too distracting in there or something. Didn't like Denon. Went in there twice but they never seemed to be playing anything. Not at a decent volume. Just loads of units whispering away so quietly they might as well have been switched off. Perhaps I missed something there.
 

Messiah

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Jan 13, 2008
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When I went to the Bristol Show they had an Onkyo/MA Platinum set up and I was not impressed with that. Maybe Onkyo/MA is not a good match...
 

grifz

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Jan 3, 2010
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No AL the jvc was the only demo i didnt see ,to big of a que by the time i got round to it. I left the jvc till last because projectors are out of my reach -price and room size although somone mentioned it was best 3d demo than the rest,
 

grifz

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Jan 3, 2010
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Igglebert im sorry i dont know although i went in 3 times to compare the spendor demo room with others on the same floor, The rooms are quite small and crowded at times so unless familier with all speakers i didnt get time to know half of the demo gear over the 3-floors. But they just sounded brill to my ears.
 

matthewpiano

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Nov 23, 2007
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The best rooms by far for me today were the Vienna Acoustics, Cyrus/Vienna Acoustics, Arcam, and Focal rooms. The Arcam CD37/A38 set-up with the Focal 806Vs was one of the very best and most musical sounds of the entire show. I also loved the Vienna Acoustics speakers - both the Mozart floorstanders driven by the T+A unit, and the Beethoven floorstanders in the Cyrus room. In Arcam's own room, John Dawson was a true gentleman and their AV set-up was superb.

I also enjoyed listening to the KEF Q100s and Q300s in the BDI and KEF displays respectively. Very impressive new models indeed.

The Dali room was excellent, with their new Ikon 6s beautifully driven by the new Quad electronics.

In the Roksan room I was disappointed with the Caspian CD player, but when they switched the source to the Pro-ject 6 the Caspian amplifier showed how good it is.

So, stand-out products of the whole show for me were:

Focal speakers
Vienna Acoustics speakers
Arcam
KEF Q100 and Q300
Quad electronics feeding the new Dali Ikon 6.
Denon DCD-1510AE feeding AD-H5000 headphones
Grado SR80 headphones

In terms of disappointments I thought the Naim room sounded awful. Cardboard bass and nothing that really made the elelctronics or the speakers stand out.

The Onkyo/MA rooms were, I agree, a complete disaster. A very average sounding AV system pumping out repetitive show-off music, followed by a demonstration of the BX2s which showed me all the reasons why I rejected them during auditions recently. They are incredibly thin sounding speakers.

The Rega room also sounded poor. I recently rejected the Brio 3 on the basis of it being too in-yer-face, and today it supported that. Just brash and lacking in control.

I was also disappointed by the PMC and ProAc speakers I heard.
 

Pistol Pete1

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Jan 27, 2008
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igglebert:Which Spendors were being used in their demo room?

They had the A9's on demo.......nice, but the PMC's were better. Think they were using the PMC GB1i's or FB1i's......and in my opinion were the best sounding speaker there today....

Another demo that surprised me was the Castle Knight 2 speakers.......wow, fantastic for the show's offer of £299 a pair.

Sat through the demo of the new KEF Q series speakers.....Q300...ok, Q500...better, Q700....very nice!!! Of course it would have been a better demo if the same piece of music was used for each speaker.....why do we have to listen to different types of music when hearing and comparing three different pairs of speakers??? Anyway...great soundstage on these speakers....

Tried to get into the 3D Sony demo....no ticket to get into the 2.20pm demo......next demo 4.20pm
Why the 2 hour gap between demo's?

Saw the new KEF T series...but didn't get into demo...they look great thou......

Next came What HIFI demo room.....but the 3D expereince didn't work in there for me......but they did have a 3D game running outside, which was amazing!!!

Which reminds me.....3D demo from Panasonic with Avatar playing was excellent.....
 

Pistol Pete1

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Jan 27, 2008
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Next we went to the demo rooms on the 3 floors......

Both I and my friend came out of most of the room wondering why the systems had not been set up correctly!!!!


The worst offender was the Onkyo/MA set up.....very little coming out of the rear speakers, and 'cinema' setting being used when playing a 'Pink' blu ray disc...did they forget the set up microphone/sound level indicator???


The other thing we didn't understand was that some rooms were using what seems like very old music/recording to demo the equipment.....was that to show up the poor quality recordings, or not highlight the equipment???

On a positive......the REL demo was very informative, and although I didn't attend any, at least Chord Cables were creating a demo of cables....shame heathpw didn't attend one....


Again....great show, but was it my imagination, or were the number of visitors less this year....it seemed much easier to get into the rooms than last year.....
 
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Anonymous

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sounds like some/everyone from the onkyo-monitor audio pair-up made a bit of a boo boo
 

DIB

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May 21, 2009
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Pistol Pete1:

Another demo that surprised me was the Castle Knight 2 speakers.......wow, fantastic for the show's offer of £299 a pair.

Me too. They sounded good didn't they? Just goes to show that price isn't everything.

.
 

Pistol Pete1

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Jan 27, 2008
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DIB:Pistol Pete1:

Another demo that surprised me was the Castle Knight 2 speakers.......wow, fantastic for the show's offer of £299 a pair.

Me too. They sounded good didn't they? Just goes to show that price isn't everything.

Absolutely amazing!!!!!!!! Love to test them against the B&W 685's......

One thing that made us laugh though....according to the banner they won Best speaker under £2000 with another magazine.....


Really!!!!!!!

Then why bother bringing the rest of the Castle range to sit on a table for the weekend?????


The Knight 2's are all we need........
 

DIB

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May 21, 2009
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albriscoe:
out of interest did you get to see the jvc 3d demo at all and if so what was your opinion?

Al


I did. We were there early doors and got into the first sitting.

First two minutes was an action fight scene from the Iron Man movie in HD, and then was a 2 minute 3D piece taken almost inevitably from an underwater sealife documentary. That was really good and I found myself reaching out to touch a fish at one point. Mind you the size of the screen was bigger than my front room, it felt like being in a cinema, but an interesting experience none the less.

.
 

Pistol Pete1

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Jan 27, 2008
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maxflinn:sounds like some/everyone from the onkyo-monitor audio pair-up made a bit of a boo boo


Major mistake!!! They were using the MA RX6's, and two subs too. The receiver was the newly crowned best receiver between £800-£1000......Onkyo 808!!!

Not a good advert for either, really.....
 

Pistol Pete1

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Jan 27, 2008
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Pistol Pete1:

The worst offender was the Onkyo/MA set up.....very little coming out of the rear speakers, and 'cinema' setting being used when playing a 'Pink' blu ray disc...did they forget the set up microphone/sound level indicator???


I have just put this blu ray concert on, and what makes the set up even worse today in the Onkyo/MA room was that it is recorded in TrueHD!!!!!


The 'cinema' setting doesn't even work in 'TrueHD' mode......

Do you think they put the disc in and forgot to change audio settings on the disc menu????

Rookie mistake, I guess, from these 'experts/professionals'.......


Poor....very poor......
 
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Anonymous

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Pistol Pete1:Pistol Pete1:
The worst offender was the Onkyo/MA set up.....very little coming out of the rear speakers, and 'cinema' setting being used when playing a 'Pink' blu ray disc...did they forget the set up microphone/sound level indicator???


I have just put this blu ray concert on, and what makes the set up even worse today in the Onkyo/MA room was that it is recorded in TrueHD!!!!!


The 'cinema' setting doesn't even work in 'TrueHD' mode......

Do you think they put the disc in and forgot to change audio settings on the disc menu????

Rookie mistake, I guess, from these 'experts/professionals'.......


Poor....very poor......

What sound mode do you use to get true HD? I have been playing my Blu-Rays on the THX Cinema Mode is this incorrect?
 

Pistol Pete1

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Jan 27, 2008
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I go to the audio settings on the disc (see menu) to send to receiver, and get the receiver to decode TrueHD or DTS Master if it's on the disc.

This in turn disengages the use of 'cinema' and 'music' settings on my Denon 2310.

Even when I'm not using the 'Pure Direct' mode, which i use most of the time......

This means I get the HD blue light on the front of the Denon lit up, and no display, as it switches it off in Pure Direct mode.....
 

TheHomeCinemaCentre

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Oct 1, 2008
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I heard several good rooms at Manchester - I thought the Wilson room had something special and the Proac's playing in the Michell room were totally on song. I dont think any room had a bad sound, I had expected more from the Proac Carbons ( cant remember the full name) but that may have been the room.

Of the AV that was on display I was very impressed with the Paradigm SE speakers on the end of the Anthem receiver. Just shows what good room eq can do in the less than perfect hotel rooms. I thought the What Hi-Fi demo was well put together although the sound track on the 3D demo disc was not really showing the KEF Reference set up in the best light. Also I dont get the fuss over the Sony HX screen but it was a slick presentation.

All in I thought the show was good, numbers seemed the same as last year and plenty of new stuff to keep it interesting.
 

matthewpiano

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Nov 23, 2007
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I found the Michell set-up clinical sounding - exactly the same complaint I had when I owned a TecnoDec. Very good as 'hi-fi' but not really musically involving. I found the Wilson room the same to be honest.

The other gear I was disappointed with was the Audio Research electronics playing in one of the rooms. That was a £32,000 system, but I didn't think there was anything special about it at all. I would rather have the T+A/Vienna Acoustics set-up, the Quad/Dali set-up, or the Arcam/Focal set-up personally.

Of the big money systems there was nothing there this year that came close to last year's UKD room with the Unison Research Unico CD, Unison Research valve amps and Opera floorstanders. There was a lot of brash and 'banging' sounding systems this year and going to hear the Quad/Dali, Arcam Focal and T+A/Vienna Acoustics systems several times bought a very welcome oasis of sheer musicality.

The Marantz 6003s didn't sound their best this year either. The slight lack of bass control that the PM6003 suffers from was exacerbated by poor set-up of the Aviano 2s, which were too close to the wall - its a combination of excess at the best of times without further reinforcement. The Pearl Lites with the Performance 2s sounded very good indeed, but not what I would call exceptional for the money.

I managed to get into the KEF T-series demo as well as the Q series one. Love the new Q series but was very impressed with the T as well, particularly the larger set which had more detail and openess than the smaller ones. Very clever technology and, as is usual with KEF, built to a very high standard.

I've said it before but I thought the Naim room sounded terrible. It could well be that those Ovator speakers are just too big for the room they were in but there was no subtlety, spaciousness or real quality to the sound. Arcam left Naim standing yesterday.

On the compact/ipod dock side of things I thought the Arcam rDock was superb and much more musical than the blaring Harman/Kardon one, which sounded very impressive at first but which woud soon get tiring to listen to.

In terms of my own system the day was very useful. I realised that the 686s probably aren't going to get the very best out of my electronics and, after hearing an Arcam/Focal combination and discussing it briefly with John Dawson, I think a nice pair of Focals would really get the best out of my A18. That A18 really is a superb little amplifier. I want to look at a better turntable as well and was very impressed by the Pro-ject 6 in the Henley room. I am also, however, tempted by something older like a good Thorens or a Linn Sondek. Then I will also look at an upgrade of CD player and will probably look for a good Arcam CD192 before adding a P38 power amp to my A18.
 

gbhsi1

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Mar 5, 2008
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I was impressed with the audio note room- speakers that were playing had lovely bass on them, close to the walls, toed in! speakers only cost the same as mine :) worst...well, there were a few! disappointed that most rooms play the music at really low volumes- come on guys, show off your systems so people can grin like a cheshire cat!
 
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Anonymous

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Matthew

Interesting to hear you mention the pro-ject - I heard an xpack demoed at home on my system and wasn't impressed, but I thought the pro-ject 6 at the show sounded pretty good (think it was paired with Roksan). As someone who appears to like slightly warmer sounding kit I think you would like the LP12 (although I suspect you have already heard one). The modified lp12 I bought was around £1000 including all the upgrades, tonearm and cartridge, similar to the price of a new pro-ject 6 and in a different class to my ears, although I suspect a lot of that is to do with the match up with my amp, which is very neutral and possibly better suited to warmer sources like the LP12. I also wasn't hugely impressed with the Michell demo on Saturday considering it was pretty heavily kitted up with an SME IV and a Benz cartridge.

More than anything at the show I realised how much I like what I already have and also how much depends on personal taste rather than budget - spending a fortune doesn't necessarily get you what you want. As you say, there were a lot of expensive and quite forward sounding combinations and they don't appeal to me even though they are well reviewed by the press and others who know a lot more about this than I do.

Ian
 

matthewpiano

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Nov 23, 2007
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Ian

I agree with you completely. Big budget doesn't necessarily mean superb sound.

I was impressed with the Pro-ject yesterday with the Roksan Caspian amp and Audiovector speakers. It sounded far better than the Caspian CD player in the same system (which sounded very thin to me). However, I still wouldn't buy a Pro-ject deck as I think there are so many other choices. I've heard a couple of LP12s and they really do appeal to me if I can find one in good shape. It is musicality that matters to me and I feel the Linn has that in spades - much more than the Michell decks which might be better technically but don't really deliver the emotion. I love the old Thorens decks for the same reasons - the TD150MkII and the TD160 both have that more involving vinyl sound that some popular decks seem to miss out completely.
 

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