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National Audio Show - Whittlebury Hall

Gazzip

New member
Jan 15, 2011
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Anybody been there today? If yes then did you find a chance to listen to the Eminent Technology LFT-8b loudspeakers? They are a planar magnetic hybrid ribbon design, which take care of the mid and high frequencies, with a standard conical driver taking care of the LF down to 25Hz.

They sounded fantastic using a couple of Class D amps for power and a cheapo Beresford DAC and Squeezebox for a source. I was expecting them to be very, very expensive so my jaw hit the floor when I saw they were £2500 a pair. I thought they sounded as if another zero would be present on the end of that price tag.

I have no previous experience of planar, panel or electrostatics, but this has seriously pricked my interest. If you are going tomorrow do make sure you pay that room a visit. Also worth popping your head in to the Arundel Sound room and checking out their 1723 series loudspeakers. Once again a great deal of kit for the money is to be had here from this Norwegian manufacturer...

The most disappointing experience there was the Devialet 1000Pro. They were being used to drive Vivid Audio Giya4 loudspeakers, as were a few other exhibitors which I thought sounded woefully poor. The room didn't do their setup any justice either.
 

Andrewjvt

New member
Jun 18, 2014
99
1
0
Gazzip said:
Anybody been there today? If yes then did you find a chance to listen to the Eminent Technology LFT-8b loudspeakers? They are a planar magnetic hybrid ribbon design, which take care of the mid and high frequencies, with a standard conical driver taking care of the LF down to 25Hz.

They sounded fantastic using a couple of Class D amps for power and a cheapo Beresford DAC and Squeezebox for a source. I was expecting them to be very, very expensive so my jaw hit the floor when I saw they were £2500 a pair. I thought they sounded as if another zero would be present on the end of that price tag.

I have no previous experience of planar, panel or electrostatics, but this has seriously pricked my interest. If you are going tomorrow do make sure you pay that room a visit. Also worth popping your head in to the Arundel Sound room and checking out their 1723 series loudspeakers. Once again a great deal of kit for the money is to be had here from this Norwegian manufacturer...

The most disappointing experience there was the Devialet 1000Pro. They were being used to drive Vivid Audio Giya4 loudspeakers, as were a few other exhibitors which I thought sounded woefully poor. The room didn't do their setup any justice either.

 
Thanks for the speaker heads up.

Btw i thought devialet was supposed to sort out all the room problems with the sam.
 

Gazzip

New member
Jan 15, 2011
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0
Andrewjvt said:
Gazzip said:
Anybody been there today? If yes then did you find a chance to listen to the Eminent Technology LFT-8b loudspeakers? They are a planar magnetic hybrid ribbon design, which take care of the mid and high frequencies, with a standard conical driver taking care of the LF down to 25Hz.

They sounded fantastic using a couple of Class D amps for power and a cheapo Beresford DAC and Squeezebox for a source. I was expecting them to be very, very expensive so my jaw hit the floor when I saw they were £2500 a pair. I thought they sounded as if another zero would be present on the end of that price tag.

I have no previous experience of planar, panel or electrostatics, but this has seriously pricked my interest. If you are going tomorrow do make sure you pay that room a visit. Also worth popping your head in to the Arundel Sound room and checking out their 1723 series loudspeakers. Once again a great deal of kit for the money is to be had here from this Norwegian manufacturer...

The most disappointing experience there was the Devialet 1000Pro. They were being used to drive Vivid Audio Giya4 loudspeakers, as were a few other exhibitors which I thought sounded woefully poor. The room didn't do their setup any justice either.
Thanks for the speaker heads up.

Btw i thought devialet was supposed to sort out all the room problems with the sam.
Do you know that didn't even cross my mind, but you are right!
 

matthewpiano

Well-known member
Nov 23, 2007
228
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18,795
I attended the show yesterday and enjoyed the variety of systems. I agree, the Eminent Technology speakers were excellent.

I was also very disappointed with the Devialet/Vivid combination. Playing the Ravel orchestration of 'Pictures At An Exhibition' it sounded terribly smeared and lacking in focus, and the instrumental timbres weren't convincing. Neither did it do a particularly good job of Pink Floyd. The thing is, the same Vivid Audio speakers were being used in the onkk room, and they sounded fabulous in there. Conclusion? The Devialet, and not the speakers, was at fault. As you say, the room set-up will also have contributed.

The Zouch Audio room was stunning, with a complete Luxman system and Dali Epicon floorstanders. Music just poured out of the Dalis and I could haave happily sat there listening all day. The same applied with the Audio Note room - their CD transport and NOS DAC feeding 18 wpc of valve amplification into extremely sensitive speakers. They played the Kings Singers recording of American Pie, and it really was like the singers were in the room. Very natural and involving sound.

The other highlight for me was the Pro-ject system, headed by the lovely Classic Anniversary turntable, with DS-series amplification and phono stage, and a beautiful pair of Opera's £4,000 Callas standmounts.
 

nopiano

Well-known member
Feb 15, 2009
163
49
18,620
I had been hoping to go today, but had a long drive to airport yesterday so will be having to pass. It's over two hours each way, in any case.

I don't think the SAM system is about the room at all, but the speakers - in contrast to Linn's space optimisation, for example.

Not surprised you liked the Audio Note, Matthew. I've heard them sounding great at the Bristol Show, and they conform to my General Rule of Show Sound Quality - namely that the simpler the system the better it will sound!
 

Gazzip

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Jan 15, 2011
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steve_1979 said:
Gazzip said:
Eminent Technology LFT-8b loudspeakers
I've just been reading up on these and they look very interesting indeed. I'd love to hear them.
I am known for slipping in to hyperbole on occasion so please forgive me, but they left me wondering why I have spent £13K on a pair of cabinet loudspeakers. They really are that good.
 

lindsayt

New member
Apr 8, 2011
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For anyone attending, how did you find the interaction with the exhibitors?

I've seen the following comments made about this week-ends show:

"She was amazed how little interaction the exhibitors give their audience. Most stand quietly in a corner nodding their heads to the music and let the audience make their own assumptions."

"I was arm twisted to go into one room by a rep standing in the corridor. Sat down and tried to listen...... but, could barely hear anything over the conversation coming from behind me.... and the conversation was between all the other reps and it was about the football. We didn't stay very long, but when we got outside on to the corridor again, the rep in the corridor queried why we hadn't stayed very long..... when I told him about not being able to hear and his colleagues conversation, he just grinned inanely at me like it wasn't a problem."
 

Q5

New member
Oct 2, 2015
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0
Gazzip said:
Anybody been there today? If yes then did you find a chance to listen to the Eminent Technology LFT-8b loudspeakers? They are a planar magnetic hybrid ribbon design, which take care of the mid and high frequencies, with a standard conical driver taking care of the LF down to 25Hz.

They sounded fantastic using a couple of Class D amps for power and a cheapo Beresford DAC and Squeezebox for a source. I was expecting them to be very, very expensive so my jaw hit the floor when I saw they were £2500 a pair. I thought they sounded as if another zero would be present on the end of that price tag.

I have no previous experience of planar, panel or electrostatics, but this has seriously pricked my interest. If you are going tomorrow do make sure you pay that room a visit.
I went down yesterday and stayed overnight, visiting the show today.

Hsve to agree these speakers were excellent.

Also enjoyed the Dali's.

I had no problem with the exhibitors once I had engaged with them, but some were not always coming forward themselves.
 

Leeps

New member
Dec 10, 2012
219
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0
Gazzip said:
steve_1979 said:
Gazzip said:
Eminent Technology LFT-8b loudspeakers
I've just been reading up on these and they look very interesting indeed. I'd love to hear them.
I am known for slipping in to hyperbole on occasion so please forgive me, but they left me wondering why I have spent £13K on a pair of cabinet loudspeakers. They really are that good.
Heard them myself a few weeks ago at Hifi Wigwam in Hampshire. Nice couple of genuine enthusiasts who enjoy music, enjoy the kit they sell and want to share it.

The Eminents are wonderful, but need LOTS of current and may not be domestically suitable to most homes. Significant others may baulk at their visual impact on the room they inhabit. They're the opposite end of the scale to Neat Iotas. You walk into a room and they WILL be the first thing people will notice, whether they're hifi aficionados or not. Non hifi buffs will no doubt wonder what on earth they are - Japanese room dividers? Exceedingly smart clothes horse? They really deserve a dedicated listening room.

They do create a very natural tonal balance that I liked, but the wall of sound was so large it almost felt like you were sat inside a giant set of headphones. When people play an instrument or sing in a room live, you do actually hear their sound coming from the specific places they're located in, but the Eminents create a wall of sound that's almost unrealistically too large - although that could simply be because my brain has been trained to accept sounds make from conventional speaker cones. But in terms of naturalness and sheer entertainment value, they're actually remarkable value for money compared to traditional cabinet speakers at a similar price point. Not for everyone, but perfect for some.

I must admit not to feeling at all cheated walking out the shop with my used Ruark Talisman III's after listening to the Eminents, so no harm done to my wallet thankfully! But I'm certainly glad I'd heard them.
 

Gazzip

New member
Jan 15, 2011
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lindsayt said:
For anyone attending, how did you find the interaction with the exhibitors?

I've seen the following comments made about this week-ends show:

"She was amazed how little interaction the exhibitors give their audience. Most stand quietly in a corner nodding their heads to the music and let the audience make their own assumptions."

"I was arm twisted to go into one room by a rep standing in the corridor. Sat down and tried to listen...... but, could barely hear anything over the conversation coming from behind me.... and the conversation was between all the other reps and it was about the football. We didn't stay very long, but when we got outside on to the corridor again, the rep in the corridor queried why we hadn't stayed very long..... when I told him about not being able to hear and his colleagues conversation, he just grinned inanely at me like it wasn't a problem."
I can understand the first comment because some of the rooms are small and any conversation can kill the experience. I think a good exhibitor should behave like this. I spoke to a couple of dealers who politely shushed me and beckoned me out of the room to chat. Good on them IMHO.
 

Philim

New member
Jan 16, 2013
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0
lindsayt said:
For anyone attending, how did you find the interaction with the exhibitors?

I've seen the following comments made about this week-ends show:

"She was amazed how little interaction the exhibitors give their audience. Most stand quietly in a corner nodding their heads to the music and let the audience make their own assumptions."

"I was arm twisted to go into one room by a rep standing in the corridor.  Sat down and tried to listen...... but, could barely hear anything over the conversation coming from behind me.... and the conversation was between all the other reps and it was about the football. We didn't stay very long, but when we got outside on to the corridor again, the rep in the corridor queried why we hadn't stayed very long..... when I told him about not being able to hear and his colleagues conversation, he just grinned inanely at me like it wasn't a problem."
That first comment was from my wife.

What she meant was that she was expecting a mixture of demo and pitch explaining their products and why you should buy them, questions etc. I have been to a few shows so knew what to expect but think her point was valid. We walk in a room listen to 5 mins of music and form an opinion. The fact that there are 4 or 5 other components in that chain that have an impact is often overlooked.
 

steve_1979

Well-known member
Jul 14, 2010
231
7
18,795
Gazzip said:
steve_1979 said:
Gazzip said:
Eminent Technology LFT-8b loudspeakers
I've just been reading up on these and they look very interesting indeed. I'd love to hear them.
I am known for slipping in to hyperbole on occasion so please forgive me, but they left me wondering why I have spent £13K on a pair of cabinet loudspeakers. They really are that good.
I've always been facinated by the various panel type speakers and would love to hear some. The vast majority of my listening is done in the near field while sitting at a computer so they're totally inappropriate for my requirements which is why I never made much effort to listen to a pair despite my curiosity.
 

nopiano

Well-known member
Feb 15, 2009
163
49
18,620
I can understand the misgivings stated above. Equally, I can't imagine how trying it must be as an exhibitor. Most visitors dont have a pressing need to buy, and meanwhile they'll happily take your brochures and never be seen again. And what on earth to play, to please the majority?

The best dems I've been to are usually the ticketed variety where you are "locked in" for about 30 mins. If it's good the time flies. If not, you want to leave after the first track! The ones where you drift in and out at random are OK for a quick sample, but you really need to return later - or get lucky - if you want a decent session. The best presenters/sales people are great, but some are just embarrassing.
 

matthewpiano

Well-known member
Nov 23, 2007
228
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18,795
Engagement was another thing I felt Zouch Audio got right. They maintained a good environment for listening but also took opportunities to open conversation. Audio Note also struck a good balance, leaving us to listen but happily answering questions.

Many rooms were indeed blighted by reps chatting away quite loudly to each other. I sometimes run show stands where we present some of our pianos and it's imperative to put the focus on the visitors or you don't get enough out of the show and they aren't cheap exercises.
 

gowiththeflow

Well-known member
Jan 10, 2009
41
5
18,545
I couldn't get to Whittlebury this time round, due to being abroad on holiday.

I saw the Eminent panels there last year and although mildly impressed early on, when I returned to the same room later in the day, having heard lots of other systems in the meantime, I thought them to be rather artificial sounding and a bit overpowering. It was very disappointing as they were one of the products I was most keen to hear at the 2015 show. They'd pig ugly too, IMHO.

I'm surprise people here are only just picking up on these speakers, as they've been available here in the UK for several years now.
 

Al ears

Moderator
gowiththeflow said:
I couldn't get to Whittlebury this time round, due to being abroad on holiday.

I saw the Eminent panels there last year and although mildly impressed early on, when I returned to the same room later in the day, having heard lots of other systems in the meantime, I thought them to be rather artificial sounding and a bit overpowering. It was very disappointing as they were one of the products I was most keen to hear at the 2015 show. They'd pig ugly too, IMHO.

I'm surprise people here are only just picking up on these speakers, as they've been available here in the UK for several years now.
Quite so but probably new to the OP and he wasn't just commenting on these speakers. I'd love to have a listen to them myself but as I don't have American sized listening rooms then I think I 'll pass. Limited sales for people with modern houses I would imagine.
 

Gazzip

New member
Jan 15, 2011
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Al ears said:
gowiththeflow said:
I couldn't get to Whittlebury this time round, due to being abroad on holiday.

I saw the Eminent panels there last year and although mildly impressed early on, when I returned to the same room later in the day, having heard lots of other systems in the meantime, I thought them to be rather artificial sounding and a bit overpowering. It was very disappointing as they were one of the products I was most keen to hear at the 2015 show. They'd pig ugly too, IMHO.

I'm surprise people here are only just picking up on these speakers, as they've been available here in the UK for several years now.
Quite so but probably new to the OP and he wasn't just commenting on these speakers. I'd love to have a listen to them myself but as I don't have American sized listening rooms then I think I 'll pass. Limited sales for people with modern houses I would imagine.
They were being demoed in a room which was about 4mx5m, so not massive by any stretch of the imagination...
 

Gazzip

New member
Jan 15, 2011
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gowiththeflow said:
I couldn't get to Whittlebury this time round, due to being abroad on holiday.

I saw the Eminent panels there last year and although mildly impressed early on, when I returned to the same room later in the day, having heard lots of other systems in the meantime, I thought them to be rather artificial sounding and a bit overpowering. It was very disappointing as they were one of the products I was most keen to hear at the 2015 show. They'd pig ugly too, IMHO.

I'm surprise people here are only just picking up on these speakers, as they've been available here in the UK for several years now.
Horses for courses when it comes to hifi and the perception of what sounds great and what doesn't. One of the very popular rooms this year appeared to be the Graham Audio room, where I thought the music emanating from their system sounded like it was being played through a duvet!

A show is a living example of why a demonstration, and if possible at home in your own environment, is so important when procuring hifi...
 

Al ears

Moderator
Gazzip said:
Al ears said:
gowiththeflow said:
I couldn't get to Whittlebury this time round, due to being abroad on holiday.

I saw the Eminent panels there last year and although mildly impressed early on, when I returned to the same room later in the day, having heard lots of other systems in the meantime, I thought them to be rather artificial sounding and a bit overpowering. It was very disappointing as they were one of the products I was most keen to hear at the 2015 show. They'd pig ugly too, IMHO.

I'm surprise people here are only just picking up on these speakers, as they've been available here in the UK for several years now.
Quite so but probably new to the OP and he wasn't just commenting on these speakers. I'd love to have a listen to them myself but as I don't have American sized listening rooms then I think I 'll pass. Limited sales for people with modern houses I would imagine.
They were being demoed in a room which was about 4mx5m, so not massive by any stretch of the imagination...
Still a pretty big room by modern home standards and even then not ideal. Most reviews of these speakers suggest that they are at their optimal best when at least four feet out from a rear wall.

I am not saying they will not work closer to a wall but obviously they will not be working at their best, and who wants to buy a speaker where you cannot get the best out of it?
 

Al ears

Moderator
Gazzip said:
gowiththeflow said:
I couldn't get to Whittlebury this time round, due to being abroad on holiday.

I saw the Eminent panels there last year and although mildly impressed early on, when I returned to the same room later in the day, having heard lots of other systems in the meantime, I thought them to be rather artificial sounding and a bit overpowering. It was very disappointing as they were one of the products I was most keen to hear at the 2015 show. They'd pig ugly too, IMHO.

I'm surprise people here are only just picking up on these speakers, as they've been available here in the UK for several years now.
Horses for courses when it comes to hifi and the perception of what sounds great and what doesn't. One of the very popular rooms this year appeared to be the Graham Audio room, where I thought the music emanating from their system sounded like it was being played through a duvet!

A show is a living example of why a demonstration, and if possible at home in your own environment, is so important when procuring hifi...
True. A show in a place such as this rather than a special sound-treated demo room is a good pointer towards the performance of kit in a more 'real world' environment. That's not to say that the best, obviously, is a home demo that said they are very good for weeding out kit that is obviuously not worth a home demo.
 

ID.

New member
Feb 22, 2010
207
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0
Gazzip said:
Andrewjvt said:
Gazzip said:
Anybody been there today? If yes then did you find a chance to listen to the Eminent Technology LFT-8b loudspeakers? They are a planar magnetic hybrid ribbon design, which take care of the mid and high frequencies, with a standard conical driver taking care of the LF down to 25Hz.

They sounded fantastic using a couple of Class D amps for power and a cheapo Beresford DAC and Squeezebox for a source. I was expecting them to be very, very expensive so my jaw hit the floor when I saw they were £2500 a pair. I thought they sounded as if another zero would be present on the end of that price tag.

I have no previous experience of planar, panel or electrostatics, but this has seriously pricked my interest. If you are going tomorrow do make sure you pay that room a visit. Also worth popping your head in to the Arundel Sound room and checking out their 1723 series loudspeakers. Once again a great deal of kit for the money is to be had here from this Norwegian manufacturer...

The most disappointing experience there was the Devialet 1000Pro. They were being used to drive Vivid Audio Giya4 loudspeakers, as were a few other exhibitors which I thought sounded woefully poor. The room didn't do their setup any justice either.
Thanks for the speaker heads up.

Btw i thought devialet was supposed to sort out all the room problems with the sam.
Do you know that didn't even cross my mind, but you are right!
As mentioned, Devialet's SAM is not about resolving room issues.

Genelec's uses a mic to measure and equalize room issues, kind of like what has been available for AV amps for years.
 

Infiniteloop

Well-known member
Jul 23, 2010
48
4
18,545
Gazzip said:
Andrewjvt said:
Gazzip said:
Anybody been there today? If yes then did you find a chance to listen to the Eminent Technology LFT-8b loudspeakers? They are a planar magnetic hybrid ribbon design, which take care of the mid and high frequencies, with a standard conical driver taking care of the LF down to 25Hz.

They sounded fantastic using a couple of Class D amps for power and a cheapo Beresford DAC and Squeezebox for a source. I was expecting them to be very, very expensive so my jaw hit the floor when I saw they were £2500 a pair. I thought they sounded as if another zero would be present on the end of that price tag.

I have no previous experience of planar, panel or electrostatics, but this has seriously pricked my interest. If you are going tomorrow do make sure you pay that room a visit. Also worth popping your head in to the Arundel Sound room and checking out their 1723 series loudspeakers. Once again a great deal of kit for the money is to be had here from this Norwegian manufacturer...

The most disappointing experience there was the Devialet 1000Pro. They were being used to drive Vivid Audio Giya4 loudspeakers, as were a few other exhibitors which I thought sounded woefully poor. The room didn't do their setup any justice either.
Thanks for the speaker heads up.

Btw i thought devialet was supposed to sort out all the room problems with the sam.
Do you know that didn't even cross my mind, but you are right!
SAM doesn't do anything to sort out room problems. What it does is allow a loudspeaker to perform at its utmost.
 

Infiniteloop

Well-known member
Jul 23, 2010
48
4
18,545
Gazzip said:
Anybody been there today? If yes then did you find a chance to listen to the Eminent Technology LFT-8b loudspeakers? They are a planar magnetic hybrid ribbon design, which take care of the mid and high frequencies, with a standard conical driver taking care of the LF down to 25Hz.

They sounded fantastic using a couple of Class D amps for power and a cheapo Beresford DAC and Squeezebox for a source. I was expecting them to be very, very expensive so my jaw hit the floor when I saw they were £2500 a pair. I thought they sounded as if another zero would be present on the end of that price tag.

I have no previous experience of planar, panel or electrostatics, but this has seriously pricked my interest. If you are going tomorrow do make sure you pay that room a visit. Also worth popping your head in to the Arundel Sound room and checking out their 1723 series loudspeakers. Once again a great deal of kit for the money is to be had here from this Norwegian manufacturer...

The most disappointing experience there was the Devialet 1000Pro. They were being used to drive Vivid Audio Giya4 loudspeakers, as were a few other exhibitors which I thought sounded woefully poor. The room didn't do their setup any justice either.
Haven't heard these, but had a pair of Martin Logans a few years back. Great transparency and neutrality, but in my listening room they had the weird effect of projecting the sound right into your face to a point that was very uncomfortable. They were very directional too and sounded phasey off-axis.

I didn't keep them long.
 

lindsayt

New member
Apr 8, 2011
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0
Infiniteloop said:
SAM doesn't do anything to sort out room problems. What it does is allow a loudspeaker to perform at its utmost.
I'd really like to hear SAM at the andrewjvt mini hi-fi show on Friday 23rd September.

Is there any chance that you could make that happen please, Infiniteloop?
 

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