Music at the Bristol Show

Lost Angeles

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Apr 24, 2008
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Am I alone in thinking there was a lot of weird music played at the Bristol Show on Friday. I know I’m sixty but average age on Friday must have been 40+ and yet I only heard 3 pieces of music that I’d heard before in 7 hours. They were playing a Supertramp track in the Magnaplan room (I think) when I walked in and which they soon took off, probably because it didn’t sound very good, a Joe Bonammassa BD was being shown in the Arcam room, Wilson B were playing off CD a Jackson Browne song (don’t have any JB) and the guy in the Clearaudio room was asked to play a track from Razorlight which amazingly I’d heard before but only on the radio. This confirmed my previous thoughts that the system sounded a bit clinical or perhaps CLEAR is the word. The guys in front of me then asked him to play some more rock so he put something on and they immediately walked out unimpressed with his choice and I soon followed.

The Naim Statement choice was bizarre but as someone said to me when we walked into the room he’d been coming to the show for years and hardly heard anything he knew.

I know this is not a music show but it would have been nice occasionally to have had a datum point to work from and I did hear a few things I liked but mainly no idea what they were. I was surprised there was no classical played. Was I just unlucky and ended in in the wrong place all the time or should I just concentrate on AV and pictures next year
 

SACripps

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Oct 25, 2008
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I broadly agree with you. For my liking too many of the rooms were playing music that I don't think represents what people would listen to at home. It was actually quite refreshing to walk into one of the smaller demo rooms and hear Rage Against The Machine and while it might be something of a hi-fi cliche it was also great to Pink Floyd's Time as part of the Kef demo.
 

Clare Newsome

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Jun 4, 2007
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I enjoy playing Hi-fi Show Demo Track Bingo at shows: the choices of some exhibitors are that predictable.

At Bristol, I had already ticked off Pink Floyd, Eric Clapton (Unplugged), Norah Jones, endless unknown 'audiophile' nonsense etc, but finally got to shout 'House!' when passing a room playing Hotel California :)

Mind you, I did enjoy KEF demoing with Motown disco and Focal giving Kraftwerk a blast.
 

Andy Clough

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Apr 27, 2004
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Driving down to Bristol last Friday decided to switch on the CD player in my car (I usually listen to the radio) and discovered I had an 'audiophile' demo disc in there from last year's show. Aaaargh!
 

chebby

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Jun 2, 2008
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Says a lot about 'audiophiles'. Let's hope they use a wider variety of music when developing and testing their products.

I recently came across the Naim CD that came in the packaging with my old CD5i. (I'd forgotten to inflict it on the buyer when I sold the system a few years ago.)

It went in the bin.
 

Frank Harvey

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Jun 27, 2008
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I really don't see the issue. We use the tracks we know very well to assess the abilities of systems we hear. As much as I'm not a fan, that might be a Hotel California for some people, and Brothers In Arms for others. I once hosted a demo where the regulars who were interested in the outcome used a track I wasn't keen on, and would never listen to, but the outcome revealed blatantly why speakers were capable of reproducing (albeit electronic) snare drums.

In some ways, music we have heard to death (and therefore hate), does actually give us some sort of reference point.

Ask yourself this question - would you rather the demonstrator play you Hotel California, Brothers In Arms, Layla (live), Time, etc, or something totally different we have never heard before?
 

Clare Newsome

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Jun 4, 2007
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Couldn't agree more that reference tracks are useful, but it'd be great if they were taken from a playlist of longer than 10 songs, and reflected a range of tastes - not just soft or prog rock!

The Motown tracks that KEF were using were incredibly well known, for example, and a refreshing change.
 

Lost Angeles

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Apr 24, 2008
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I should have stayed in The PMC room a bit longer as I’ve never heard any Motown on a quality system, the room was always too packed when I got there. I actually played Hotel California on the AK120 or whichever one I listened to as it was the only album I knew but most of the stuff was in Korean. Decent Audio were playing some Mim Grey? whom I’d not heard before, I was happy to sit and listen to that.

If I’d have been organising a 30 minute demo for a room full of people I would have had an extract from something classical, a small piece of opera, then some choral, female vocal, acoustic, heavy rock, pop, electronic, jazz, classic rock or a list something similar so at least everyone in the room could relate to something.
 

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