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Bristol show - my thoughts

bigboss

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Mar 25, 2009
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The show was very good. Met Andy, Simon, Ketan & Jonathan at WHF stand. Joe was busy so couldn't talk to him. Couldn't find Clare. Oh yes, also saw Mr. AE with his missus on the 4th floor corridor! They were busy talking, so didn't disturb him.

Disappointed about TV manufacturers staying away. But the WHF demo made up for it, where they compared a 4K LCD with 1080p OLED. I was astounded at the brilliant scaling of DVD to 4K! Despite being LED lit LCD, it held on its own against OLED, including blacks. I've decided on 4K this year.

Nobody showed 3D, except Epson.

Chord Company : They wanted to show the difference between interconnects at different price points, same headphones (KEF) and same amplifier (Naim, I think). I couldn't hear a difference, although I didn't listen for long enough (there were people waiting behind me).

B&W headphones & AirPlay speakers: P7 & A7 were very impressive. P3 was a bit tiny to my liking.

Pioneer: They had LX87 on demo with Kef R700 for fronts and R500 rears. Seriously impressive! They were offering LX87 + LX55 player for £1499!

Yamaha: I can't remember what was on demo, but RXA-3030 wasn't.

Dynaudio: They had the Confidence on demo. Beautiful!

Splendor: They had A6r on demo. Very good.

Anthem / SIM2: They paired MRX-710 with Paradigm signature I think. This was the best home cinema setup I heard, with Pioneer being second best. The exhibitor explained how wattage doesn't reveal the full story, and that the 510 will easily drive the KEF R500 5.1. He said that the 710 is 20% better due to the torroidal transformer (no idea how he measured it!).

SIM2 projector was easily the best on the show.

Monitor Audio: They had their soundbar on demo in 1 room (quite good, but bass heavy), and Silver 6 on demo in the other. Very impressive, although a tad bright.

Neat Acoustics: SX1 surprised me with its diminutive size but huge and clean performance!

Focal: They had Aria 926 on demo. Beautiful speakers but the 906 as rears is a bit big. They said 905 is coming in a couple of months, which is smaller.

Tannoy: Their Prestige GR speakers were the most gorgeous ones in the show, you'll need a massive room for them.

REL: Superb serie S subwoofer on demo. They're wireless as standard, and are replacing the outgoing serie R, a d priced between £1000 for 250W & £1600. Coming in April.

Dali: They had Fazon Mikro on demo, run by Anthem MRX710! Couldn't help thinking that the 710 was a bit if an overkill. It was good for its size.

Epson: They had TW9200 on demo. Extremely good for the price. 3D was superb, and active 3D glasses were comfortable.

Optoma: They demoed the HD91 LED projector. It was good, but struggled with blacks.

JVC: They demoed the X500 with 1080p content and 4K. Going straight after SIM2 was a mistake, but it was good. 4K was superb.

Sony : Only had their HD audio products on demo. Sounded very nice, but had to rush due to lack of time.

Couldn't attend B&W and KEF demos due to lack of time.

All in all, I enjoyed the day. I'm now enjoying my AKG K451 I got free with the magazine subscription!
 

NHL

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Nov 12, 2009
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bigboss said:
B&W headphones & AirPlay speakers: P7 & A7 were very impressive. P3 was a bit tiny to my liking.

Splendor: They had A6r on demo. Very good.

Neat Acoustics: SX1 surprised me with its diminutive size but huge and clean performance!
Yes! Got the A7!

Was the Spendor a class cleader?

Is SX1 upgraded recently?
 

bigboss

Moderator
Mar 25, 2009
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Hi-FiOutlaw said:
Nice tour BB, thanks for sharing!

So, did you make your mind on the AV receiver and speakers...?
If anything, I'm even more confused!

I was set on Kef R500 with Pioneer LX87 prior to this. But, I didn't like the Kef 's looks with grille on. With a small boy in the house, I will most likely keep the grille on (although I need to check how sturdy it is with grille off).

Anthem MRX710 or 510 is probably better (although heard on different speakers), so they're on my audition list, along with Yamaha RX-A3030 and of course the Pioneer.

Monitor Audio Silver series is an option. It didn't look like a grille would be needed as it looked kid proof. This is top on my.list.

B&W CM series is on my list as well. The new 600 series would have been considered, but it's only available in black ash & white (I want oak or cherry or walnut). Black ash looks smart though. It's a shame I didn't get a chance to check its demo.

Focal Arias are beautiful, but the 906 is too big to be considered for rears. Let's see how 905 is.

Neat SX1 & Splendor A6r as fronts with matching centre and rears are probably going to be expensive. Depends on what budget I decide on finally.
 

bigboss

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Mar 25, 2009
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NHL said:
bigboss said:
B&W headphones & AirPlay speakers: P7 & A7 were very impressive. P3 was a bit tiny to my liking.

Splendor: They had A6r on demo. Very good.

Neat Acoustics: SX1 surprised me with its diminutive size but huge and clean performance!
Yes! Got the A7!

Was the Spendor a class cleader?

Is SX1 upgraded recently?
I don't know whether Splendor is a class leader or not. It sounded very clear and open with vocals and instruments.

Yes, I think the SX1 was recently launched.
 

bigboss

Moderator
Mar 25, 2009
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Q acoustics had 7000 series on demo, in stereo mode for music! I was surprised at this choice as movies is their strength, not music. For the size, it sounded good, obviously nowhere near the floorstanders I heard elsewhere.
 

Hi-FiOutlaw

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Apr 20, 2011
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You have a lot going on your mind...

You'll have the fronts for stereo duties as well? If yes consider Dynaudio Focus as well, a bit expensive but very neutral sounding!
 

bigboss

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Mar 25, 2009
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Hi-FiOutlaw said:
You have a lot going on your mind...

You'll have the fronts for stereo duties as well? If yes consider Dynaudio Focus as well, a bit expensive but very neutral sounding!
I'm not too fussed about stereo duties to be honest. I watch movies 90% of the time, and music 10%.

At the forefront is Monitor Audio, as I'm well aware of its signature sound. I'm going to check B&W and Kef as well. Don't want to get confused with others now.
 

chn68b

New member
Feb 23, 2015
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I think its about time they start limiting the length of time some of the closed auditions last. Walking up to a queue of 50 people only to see that they're waiting for the next audition, which starts in 45 minutes time is quite frankly a joke.

I'm sure most things can be condensed into 15-20 minute slots if they planned them well, giving 3 auditions an hour. Questions can be answered outside whilst others show goers filter in. I know you're not going to get the same depth of audition but at least more people would get to experience it. I walked from 2 auditions this weekend, you're there for what 5 or 6 hours, and potentially using the best part of a third of that time waiting for 2 auditions.
 

Clare Newsome

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Speaking to quite a few companies doing demos, they'd planned longer sessions as they didn't expect the show to be as busy as it was. I can't remember when the show was so bustling with people! We didn't do closed-room dems for our brands, but still had people backed up waiting for a listen. Superb show from both an exhibitor perspective and in terms of personal interest (latter being I think i've ruled out going Atmos at home: failed to have a demo that convinced me it was worth it.)
 

celsius

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Oct 21, 2008
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should have been called the cable and speaker show, i found it disappointing a dire lack of affordable equipment, isn't £1k plus a bit ott for a portable player.would have like to have seen some of this years new tv models
 

Frank Harvey

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Jun 27, 2008
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chn68b said:
I'm sure most things can be condensed into 15-20 minute slots if they planned them well, giving 3 auditions an hour.
Staff need breaks! Some of those rooms were very warm, so you need a break to cool down every now and again, and you need to stay hydrated as well, not only for your body's sake but also to stop your mouth/throat drying out from all the talking. I'm not sure how many members of staff would be needed for three shows an hour, as it you wouldn't be able to rely on one member of staff - several of you would need to know the whole thing in order to present it correctly, and the same every time. Most rooms, you'll have one doing the presentations, and a few more staff helping out changing equipment (if needed), while others were outside ansewring questions/helping with queues etc. With three shows per hour, there would also be no time for anyone to request any particular material they might want to hear.
 

chn68b

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Feb 23, 2015
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David@FrankHarvey said:
chn68b said:
I'm sure most things can be condensed into 15-20 minute slots if they planned them well, giving 3 auditions an hour.
Staff need breaks! Some of those rooms were very warm, so you need a break to cool down every now and again, and you need to stay hydrated as well, not only for your body's sake but also to stop your mouth/throat drying out from all the talking. I'm not sure how many members of staff would be needed for three shows an hour, as it you wouldn't be able to rely on one member of staff - several of you would need to know the whole thing in order to present it correctly, and the same every time. Most rooms, you'll have one doing the presentations, and a few more staff helping out changing equipment (if needed), while others were outside ansewring questions/helping with queues etc. With three shows per hour, there would also be no time for anyone to request any particular material they might want to hear.
I work 12 hour shifts and regularly have just a 15 minute break all day, 4 days a week, every week. If people aren't capable of doing these shows with just a couple of short breaks a day then they need more staff to help out maybe? One things for sure, its really not acceptable to be expected to wait almost an hour for one audition. Even just 2 20 minute shows an hour would be an improvement and allow plenty of time to hydrate etc. I also wouldn't allow anyone to request specific music for a closed audition, sorry, but we've all paid good money to get inside, have just 6 hours or so to get around the exhibition, which is huge, and there are lots of other open demo's where personal requests can be made.
 

relocated

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Jan 20, 2012
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The_Lhc said:
chn68b said:
I work 12 hour shifts and regularly have just a 15 minute break all day,
You know that's illegal right?
And particularly, well stupid actually. Your actual effectiveness is substantialy reduced, others will be taking up your slack or being put at risk; not to mention the long term health implications.

Have you actually worked a seriously busy show? It is absolutely exhausting and something I tried as an experiment some years ago. You'd never ever get me to do one again.
 

bigmcc

New member
Feb 25, 2015
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chn68b said:
David@FrankHarvey said:
chn68b said:
I'm sure most things can be condensed into 15-20 minute slots if they planned them well, giving 3 auditions an hour. 
Staff need breaks! Some of those rooms were very warm, so you need a break to cool down every now and again, and you need to stay hydrated as well, not only for your body's sake but also to stop your mouth/throat drying out from all the talking. I'm not sure how many members of staff would be needed for three shows an hour, as it you wouldn't be able to rely on one member of staff - several of you would need to know the whole thing in order to present it correctly, and the same every time. Most rooms, you'll have one doing the presentations, and a few more staff helping out changing equipment (if needed), while others were outside ansewring questions/helping with queues etc. With three shows per hour, there would also be no time for anyone to request any particular material they might want to hear.
?

I work 12 hour shifts and regularly have just a 15 minute break all day, 4 days a week, every week. If people aren't capable of doing these shows with just a couple of short breaks a day then they need more staff to help out maybe? One things for sure, its really not acceptable to be expected to wait almost an hour for one audition. Even just 2 20 minute shows an hour would be an improvement and allow plenty of time to hydrate etc. I also wouldn't allow anyone to request specific music for a closed audition, sorry, but we've all paid good money to get inside, have just 6 hours or so to get around the exhibition, which is huge, and there are lots of other open demo's where personal requests can be made.
Please don't forget that most of us reps had also been working through the week as well, so 7 days working full days. Sunday is also break down day, so after you all leave we have to break the stands down as well, so for example I started working at 9am sunday, and didn't get back home until 12pm. Most of us reps are then back on the road on the Monday as well and won't be back home until Friday night, again like myself
So yes I am afraid we do need a small break every now and then otherwise we just burn out.
 

jerryapril@msn.com

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Jan 15, 2014
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I really liked:

1/ Monitor Audio Gold 300 on Moon 700i and CDP - best sound I've ever heard. Room full.

2/ Hegel: Best informative and frank presentation. NO timed audition. Mr. *Hegel* started from basic integrated amp over to Hegel 160 then would add seperate DACs and then thru power amp. Simple, freindly presentation. By the way, KEF LS50 sounded amazing, buy they do must be driven quite hard. Hegel 160 sounds good and is not expensive + you get a DAC and net / air stream.

I did not like:

KEF and B&W timed auditions. Their rooms being oposite each other, it was - well unworkable. I did not attempt even though I wanted to listen to KEFs.

Nice exhibition as always.
 

Frank Harvey

Well-known member
Jun 27, 2008
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bigmcc said:
Please don't forget that most of us reps had also been working through the week as well, so 7 days working full days. Sunday is also break down day, so after you all leave we have to break the stands down as well, so for example I started working at 9am sunday, and didn't get back home until 12pm. Most of us reps are then back on the road on the Monday as well and won't be back home until Friday night, again like myself So yes I am afraid we do need a small break every now and then otherwise we just burn out.
And don't forget most drive to the venue first thing Thursday morning (some on the Wednesday night as they're travelling from as far as 300 miles away), and setting up the room on the Thursday - so for reps it is a 4 day stint.
 

Frank Harvey

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Jun 27, 2008
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chn68b said:
I work 12 hour shifts and regularly have just a 15 minute break all day, 4 days a week, every week. If people aren't capable of doing these shows with just a couple of short breaks a day then they need more staff to help out maybe?
When you do something day in, day out, it is much easier as your body is used to it. When you're asked to do something out of the ordinary, that's when your body starts suffering. My back was starting to ache early Sunday afternoon.

One things for sure, its really not acceptable to be expected to wait almost an hour for one audition. Even just 2 20 minute shows an hour would be an improvement and allow plenty of time to hydrate etc.
Most shows were every half an hour. I don't know how frequent WHF's shows were. I walked past, and saw a relatively short queue and a 15 minute wait for a Sunday and took it!
 

Frank Harvey

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Jun 27, 2008
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jerryapril@msn.com said:
I did not like:

KEF and B&W timed auditions. Their rooms being oposite each other, it was - well unworkable. I did not attempt even though I wanted to listen to KEFs.

Nice exhibition as always.
Thats a shame, as B&W took you through the CM Series, and explained what made the next model up better than the last, in a very simple manner. Very informative for those with lesser knowledge. And the KEF room was one of the better Atmos demos, even though they didn't actually play a film clip...
 

Diamond Joe

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Mar 1, 2008
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I didn't want to queue too long either, so I didn't manage to get into the Kef demo which was a real shame as I'd love to hear their Blades. I'll try to get there a bit earlier next year.
 

relocated

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Jan 20, 2012
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David@FrankHarvey said:
chn68b said:
I work 12 hour shifts and regularly have just a 15 minute break all day, 4 days a week, every week. If people aren't capable of doing these shows with just a couple of short breaks a day then they need more staff to help out maybe?
When you do something day in, day out, it is much easier as your body is used to it. When you're asked to do something out of the ordinary, that's when your body starts suffering. My back was starting to ache early Sunday afternoon.

One things for sure, its really not acceptable to be expected to wait almost an hour for one audition. Even just 2 20 minute shows an hour would be an improvement and allow plenty of time to hydrate etc.
Most shows were every half an hour. I don't know how frequent WHF's shows were. I walked past, and saw a relatively short queue and a 15 minute wait for a Sunday and took it!
Despite having back problems, the thing that killed me were my feet and lower leg AND that much pain/discomfort doing just one day.
 

Frank Harvey

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Jun 27, 2008
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relocated said:
Despite having back problems, the thing that killed me were my feet and lower leg AND that much pain/discomfort doing just one day.
My feet were suffering a bit too, although wasn't as bad as last year. I think I averaged about 40,000 steps over the three days. One day, I'll learn not to wear flat soled Vans/DCs during the show! My legs are usually fine as I do a bit of cycling and are one of my better/stronger features!
 

spiny norman

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Jan 14, 2009
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David@FrankHarvey said:
chn68b said:
One things for sure, its really not acceptable to be expected to wait almost an hour for one audition. Even just 2 20 minute shows an hour would be an improvement and allow plenty of time to hydrate etc.
Most shows were every half an hour. I don't know how frequent WHF's shows were. I walked past, and saw a relatively short queue and a 15 minute wait for a Sunday and took it!
Surely it's not beyond the wit of man or beast to work out a ticketing system, so that people pick up a ticket for a timed dem, then can wander off around the show and see some more exhibitors, safe in the knowledge that there'll be a seat for them at the appointed time?

Spending half of your time at a show standing in lines seems a real waste of time, and the current system probably only appeals to those exhibitors who want to show how popular/busy they are.
 

Frank Harvey

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Jun 27, 2008
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Take that up with everyone but Pioneer, who were doing just that. The problem there is that you all then get people who lose track of time or don't turn up, so you'll end up with empty seats, and you can't fill them as there's no one outside waiting!
 

spiny norman

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David@FrankHarvey said:
Take that up with everyone but Pioneer, who were doing just that. The problem there is that you all then get people who lose track of time or don't turn up, so you'll end up with empty seats, and you can't fill them as there's no one outside waiting!
I'm sure there'll always be people waiting for any no-shows or just turning up to fill any empty seats if you have a demonstration that's compelling enough
 

iQ Speakers

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Feb 24, 2013
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I'm with you on this Spiney, I didn't bother too much else to see. Should of had a seperate room so at least you could see the product, they have enough money. Smacks me as they think they dont need to its called a show surley you want to show as many people as possible your product? Yes it annoyed me.
 

Frank Harvey

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Jun 27, 2008
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spiny norman said:
I'm sure there'll always be people waiting for any no-shows or just turning up to fill any empty seats if you have a demonstration that's compelling enough
So just as the show is about to start, there's a couple of empty seats so you let a few in without tickets. Then, a minute later, those with tickets turn up because they got held up in the hallway, and they're not happy. At least with a queue, if you're at the front, you get in, and there's no questions about who should or shouldn't be there. I would do the ticket system but not let in anyone without a ticket, and if there's spaces, there's spaces. Although, if the amount of spaces were more than two/three, it questions whether it is worth demonstrating to empty seats. With a queue, there are no spaces.

Slides and seesaws.
 

spiny norman

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Jan 14, 2009
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David@FrankHarvey said:
So just as the show is about to start, there's a couple of empty seats so you let a few in without tickets. Then, a minute later, those with tickets turn up because they got held up in the hallway, and they're not happy. At least with a queue, if you're at the front, you get in, and there's no questions about who should or shouldn't be there. I would do the ticket system but not let in anyone without a ticket, and if there's spaces, there's spaces. Although, if the amount of spaces were more than two/three, it questions whether it is worth demonstrating to empty seats. With a queue, there are no spaces.
Can't help feeling we're getting close to overthinking this, but surely it's incumbent on those with tickets for a particular session to turn up in good time for their 'appointment', and if they don't, then tough. Perhaps you'd need a note on the ticket to that effect.

Or just forget about the idea of closed-door demonstrations altogether: personally I find them really off-putting when going round a show, and am unlikely to return to a room I can't enter when I want to.
 

Frank Harvey

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Jun 27, 2008
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Not overthinking, it's just that there's too many variables. At least with a closed demo, you are in a controlled environment - most people walk through the open door of a hotel roo, have a peak over the shoulder of the people standing in the way, shrug their shoulders after hearing boomy bass (as you would do in that space in the room), then walk off.
 

MUSICRAFT

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Mar 23, 2009
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jerryapril@msn.com said:
I really liked:

1/ Monitor Audio Gold 300 on Moon 700i and CDP - best sound I've ever heard. Room full.

2/ Hegel: Best informative and frank presentation. NO timed audition. Mr. *Hegel* started from basic integrated amp over to Hegel 160 then would add seperate DACs and then thru power amp. Simple, freindly presentation. By the way, KEF LS50 sounded amazing, buy they do must be driven quite hard. Hegel 160 sounds good and is not expensive + you get a DAC and net / air stream.
Hi ja

Good rooms and both also full on Friday and Saturday.

All the best

Rick @ Musicraft
 

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