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Who is planning to go to the Bristol show?

Page 4 - Seeking answers? Join the What HiFi community: the world's leading independent guide to buying and owning hi-fi and home entertainment products.

ellisdj

New member
Dec 11, 2008
377
1
0
Diamond Joe said:
*biggrin* One of my colleagues has a GH5, and I've got a G80, I can spot 'em at 20 paces! I don't know if you noticed but one of the WHF photographers was also using a GH5.
I bumped into Simon Lucas about 5 times today he had a photographer with him.
Nice guy we spoke nothing other than tech which was odd for me. I am a hifi guy speaking cameras was new ground for me ... :)

although I am now hooked on photography bandwagon I can't deny it. very interesting hobby just like hifi
 

jonathanRD

Well-known member
Jan 27, 2011
173
46
18,620
Things that caught my interest.

Hidden away on the 3rd floor Primare were using JBL 4312SE speakers - they look like my old Wharefdale speakers from 30 years ago, but granted do sound rather good.

Spendor's new A7 sounded good, as did the PMC Twenty5 23 and the Ophidian P2 driven by an Exposure 3010S2D amp.

But the speakers I would like to take home are the ATC SCM40A - need I say more?
 

drummerman

New member
Jan 18, 2008
540
1
0
Diamond Joe said:
ellisdj said:
Had to google Peaky Blinders Hair Cut.... :)
Yeah, me too, still didn't spot drummerman though. I think I might have seen you, did you have a Lumix GH5 on a stabilised hand held mount? If so, apologies for not saying hello, I was speaking with an Arcam guy and you'd vanished by the time we finished.
Nop that wasn't me :)

I had my girlfriend in toe. - We got there early today.

Despite having a cold we had a great day. In the end though I was glad I left the venue behind and to be honest, couldn't face another day so we headed back to Bournemouth. I honestly can't imagine how busy it will be tomorrow!

We managed to see most rooms, some we stayed in longer, some we quickly popped our heads in and moved on and three or four we went back for seconds. All in all, very interesting and some real surprises. There were some let downs too but I kept reminding myself a hotel room was never going to work for everyone.

I am knackered but will post my unimportant impressions once I get a couple of hours this weekend. Took some shots too.

Nice to meet you Rick :)
 

Infiniteloop

Well-known member
Jul 23, 2010
48
4
18,545
Unfortunately, I haven't got much time today to post much but I wanted to get a few things out before I forgot what I'd heard!

To add to JonathanRD's view of the new Spendor's, I too thought these sounded great.

Unison Research's small Simply Italy amp was doing a beguiling job into a pair of Klipsch Forté's.

In the Harbeth room, the sound was superb and uncannily realsitic. The illusion continued until Alan cranked the volume a bit. I could then clearly hear the cabinet. I think Alan could too and he turned the volume down again....

In the Cyrus room, the Blades sounded great. It's obviously a nice combination. When I was present, the streamer stopped working. This technology is still not really stable enough for me. I don't want to be sitting there waiting for the music to be interrupted.

In all, and to my ears, the best sounds came from systems using either a vinyl source or valves in the amplification.

But best of all was the sound in the Quad room. I'd never been interested in Quad before and was just passing the open door to their room. The sound coming through the door made me stop and go in. - What a revelation! I've had electrostatics before (Martin Logan) and whilst impressive, hated the unnatural beaming effect they displayed.

This was different. The whole room was awash with lush, sweet, velvety sound that surrounded you. Nothing harsh, nothing edgy, bright or wrong. Just natural, satisfying, beautiful mids, sparkilng treble and deep, deep bass. All this powered from a one box solution, the Artera Solus into a pair of ESL 2912's.

I think I may have found my next speakers.
 

drummerman

New member
Jan 18, 2008
540
1
0
A few thoughts about yesterday but I would like to emphasise that I am aware that a show is not the ideal place to assess ultimate SQ and that creating a level playing field is impossible. Too many varying factors so I won't go into these.

Still, I would like to think that most exhibitors put effort into making theirs sound as good as humanly possible. On that note I must say some succeeded whereas others failed.

I also think the format of the show is good. It must be because it seems to have been unchanged from the last time I went, some 11 or 12 or so years ago. - I was glad I went on the Friday. I didn't feel to good and my girlfriend went for the first time to a Hifi Show. It was plenty of busy for us but we did manage to get into most rooms without too much waiting. - I can't imagine how it will be like today ... .

Some shots I've taken. I apologise for the lack of quality. Lighting was challenging on occasions. https://www.flickr.com/photos/147127884@N06/albums/72157692065119911

So here are a few thought/impressions. I am still full of cold so probably forget to mention one or two things. I will update this post as and when;

The first room/dem we attended was Dynaudio/Naim. Nice enough sound with good rythm, no surprise with Naim but lower treble seemed harsh and it did take away the enjoyment for me. I have noticed that with Dynaudio speakers before and can only assume this was due to the speakers. - I left after a couple of songs. My other half stayed for another song, she must have liked it better than me.

Next was the Arcam/Revel room. Now I must I was genuinely surpised. It sounded really good and that was without me knowing what was actually playing. There were big floor standers and the assortment of Arcam's electronics. When told that it was a lowly HAD S20 amplifier with the smallest Revel standmounts my appreciation of the powerful and coherent sound grew further. Still not exactly budget stuff for many but very nice. I would have had this over the previous room for sound if not for looks. I can't honestly say I dig Arcams new desing with the shiney volume know, cheap looking LCD display and 'Tuner' style buttons. - Nevertheless, it feels nicely made.

On to the Chord/B&W room. I wasn't familiar with their show music but my first visit left me somewhat dissappointed. It sounded a bit plodding and bass wasn't integrated nicely. We listened to a couple of tracks and left. - We then came back later in the day. They played something more upbeat and I found it better but neither of us thought it was special. It should have been considering the amount of money that was stacked up in front of us. Amazing build quality I have to say though.

On to QAcoustics. They played the big Concept 500. Unfortunately SQ really dissappointed. I can't really say much more. We left after a couple of tracks. The reps talking in room to punters and to each other didnt help.

Next was the Quad/IAG room. One of two visits. The first time round they played the Artera Solus with the small ribbon equipped S1's. This was nice enough but the room was clearly to large for the S1's. It seemed a strange choice. S2's would have been more fitting. It sounded coherent and treble and other hifi niceties were good. Bass was clearly lacking and it sounded to lightweight. - On our second visit the played the large Electrostatics, again using the Solus. It sounded good but again felt a fraction to lightweight for my taste. The ususal amazing midrange of a well designed ES but its not where my money would go (if I had the funds).

We tried twice to get into the B&W room but the doors were closed and there were folks waiting and we didnt want to hang around.

We got into the Kef dem the second time round. It was worth the wait. The wireless convinced on all levels other than perhaps looks. Very impressive dynamics, tonality and coherence. It filled the room with ease with very good sound. Impressive. Most comments from visitors seemed entirely positive.

On to the Cyrus dem. I am a little biased here as a long term cyrus user but it wasn't entirely positive. - Cyrus's new ONE, whilst looking somewhat snazzy, lacked in build quality. The volume and selector knobs seem poorly made and egg/feel a little loose. Not good for a crucial interface even though most folks will use the remote more often. I also don't like the choice of LED's but thats subjective.

Using the main system consisting of streamer, pre and mono's (there might have been some PSX'R's in there too) it sounded powerful with Kef Blades. The usual cyrus detail came to the fore and it was all there. Bass was tight and it sounded coherent but to these ears (and where I sat) it was simply to loud. - Unfortunately I didn't hear the ONE.

To be continued ...

... The ACT/Prism room sounded good using actives. Coherent, driving, clear but not cold. We liked this one. Expensive but good.

The two Spendor Rooms; One using top D9's, the other A7's. I think they both used Auralic hardware. - Unfortunately the over riding impression in both rooms was one of a slightly too dominating upper treble. With both speakers there was some harshness I couldn't dial out. Whilst my other half couldn't point out exactly what it was, she did not like either room. Go figure.

The PMC/Bryston Room was typical neutral whilst not having any dominant or distracting traits. One for 'active sound' fans not wanting to give up boxes. I found it sounding powerful and involving. Expensive but good.

On to the Neat room. What can I say? - It was superb. No other way to put it. - The sound eminating from the small Xplorer was astonishing. Using Heed amplification it just oozed into the room. Rythmical, punchy with a lovely full sound. It drove the room perfectly with just the right amount of elastic and bouncy but delineated bass. At the end of the day we both thought this was the best room of the show. That this was achieved with diminutive components just added to the attraction. Lovely. - Unfortunately I didnt hear the Iota Alpha. I was bowled over at just how SMALL they were. - If they sound half as good as the Xplorers I would be happy to own them.

For some reason we missed the Leema rooms. Shame as I would have liked to hear that.

Falcon Acoustics had another good sounding room with the big Sugden Monos powering some Studio 30's. Sound seemed tightly focused and fairly neutral but involving. One for long term listening in your mansion ... which you no doubt would have if you can stump up for this stuff and which you need to accommodate the Sugdens. Unfortunately I did not hear the LS3/5a's with the Sugden integrated but I can imagine it would sound good on a smaller scale.

The Exposure Room; I was lucky Tony Brady was there. A very nice and humble person. However, the system assembled sounded somewhat mechanical and cold, it didn't really involve. Again, my Spanish girlfriend thought the same. - However, in a different room, the brand of which me unfortunately escapes (I took a pic, they used some small what seemed like omnidirectional floorstanders) an Exposure integrated which looked like a 3010 sounded better to my ears.

Proac; This sounded a little harsh with the larger floorstanders. I also heard the smaller Tablette 10 (Signature?) and they sounded nice and open but with little weight, unsurprisingly. Probably best for the smallest of rooms.

Musical Fidelity; The big all-in-one together with a Nu-Vista Phono stage and Rega deck through B&W floorstander made good noises even if the choice of music gave me the runs.

Acoustic Energy; Big disappointment. - Not because of the sound generated with an AVI integrated and their new passive entry floorstanders ... it was entirely ok even good for a speaker that cheap. No, AE, in their infinite wisdom chose to bring one (1!) Speaker only of an AE1 Active pair. I mean what ... ?! - Apparently its because they showed the Actives last year and want to concentrate on the new entry models. Ok I get this but considering their actives are featuring dominantly in their current line-up ... and why bothering bringing one speaker. Never Mind, their loss as ...

... Canton also featured a superb powered floorstander in their room. It sounded great, costs 1400 quid and has niceties such as r/c, digital tone controls, adjustable cut off for subwoofer connection. It sounded fun. Active operation will soon be extended to their more upper market floorstander. If they sound even better some of the more familiar manufacturers here may have something to worry about. Great sound imho.

To be continued ...

... Quadral also had a fantastic sounding room. Powered by a Belles Aria Integrated one of their floorstanders made very involving, punchy and rich sounding music. Unfortunately German brands still seem to have a stigma attached to it within british audiophile circles. Probably partly explained as a lot of good stuff is made (or at least designed) here.

Rega. They played some RX3's powered by a mostly Brio 2018 system when we visited. A brave move as they could have aimed higher. - Unfortunately it didn't quite pay off, the system sounding somewhat edgy. There was a little bit to much treble and bit metallic with it. Sound was also a little lightweight and lacking in solidity and bass. It was not all bad though as it had a good measure of snapp. - Some may say 'but look at the price ... '. Correct, it was cheaper than many, even one of the cheaper ones but a roughly price comparative system would be Kef 's LS50 wireless. Unfortunately there is no comparison. Nada. To add insult to injury, even slightly better sound can be had for much less ...

... Jamo and Project teamed up in the Henley room with some microscopic Components by the latter and some truly handsome, small floorstanders by former, courtesy of their Studio line. It will never win best show sound but I thought it was better than some systems twenty or thirty times the price, it was musical and it looks great. On a budget? Me thinks one could do much worse.

To be continued ...
 

Blacksabbath25

Well-known member
Sep 20, 2015
252
51
10,970
drummerman said:
A few thoughts about yesterday but I would like to emphasise that I am aware that a show is not the ideal place to assess ultimate SQ and that creating a level playing field is impossible. Too many varying factors so I won't go into these.

Still, I would like to think that most exhibitors put effort into making theirs sound as good as humanly possible. On that note I must say some succeeded whereas others failed.

I also think the format of the show is good. It must be because it seems to have been unchanged from the last time I went, some 11 or 12 or so years ago. - I was glad I went on the Friday. I didn't feel to good and my girlfriend went for the first time to a Hifi Show. It was plenty of busy for us but we did manage to get into most rooms without too much waiting. - I can't imagine how it will be like today ... .

Some shots I've taken. I apologise for the lack of quality. Lighting was challenging on occasions. https://www.flickr.com/photos/147127884@N06/albums/72157692065119911

So here are a few thought/impressions. I am still full of cold so probably forget to mention one or two things. I will update this post as and when;

The first room/dem we attended was Dynaudio/Naim. Nice enough sound with good rythm, no surprise with Naim but lower treble seemed harsh and it did take away the enjoyment for me. I have noticed that with Dynaudio speakers before and can only assume this was due to the speakers. - I left after a couple of songs. My other half stayed for another song, she must have liked it better than me.

Next was the Arcam/Revel room. Now I must I was genuinely surpised. It sounded really good and that was without me knowing what was actually playing. There were big floor standers and the assortment of Arcam's electronics. When told that it was a lowly HAD S20 amplifier with the smallest Revel standmounts my appreciation of the powerful and coherent sound grew further. Still not exactly budget stuff for many but very nice. I would have had this over the previous room for sound if not for looks. I can't honestly say I dig Arcams new desing with the shiney volume know, cheap looking LCD display and 'Tuner' style buttons. - Nevertheless, it feels nicely made.

On to the Chord/B&W room. I wasn't familiar with their show music but my first visit left me somewhat dissappointed. It sounded a bit plodding and bass wasn't integrated nicely. We listened to a couple of tracks and left. - We then came back later in the day. They played something more upbeat and I found it better but neither of us thought it was special. It should have been considering the amount of money that was stacked up in front of us. Amazing build quality I have to say though.

On to QAcoustics. They played the big Concept 500. Unfortunately SQ really dissappointed. I can't really say much more. We left after a couple of tracks. The reps talking in room to punters and to each other didnt help.

Next was the Quad/IAG room. One of two visits. The first time round they played the Artera Solus with the small ribbon equipped S1's. This was nice enough but the room was clearly to large for the S1's. It seemed a strange choice. S2's would have been more fitting. It sounded coherent and treble and other hifi niceties were good. Bass was clearly lacking and it sounded to lightweight. - On our second visit the played the large Electrostatics, again using the Solus. It sounded good but again felt a fraction to lightweight for my taste. The ususal amazing midrange of a well designed ES but its not where my money would go (if I had the funds).

We tried twice to get into the B&W room but the doors were closed and there were folks waiting and we didnt want to hang around.

We got into the Kef dem the second time round. It was worth the wait. The wireless convinced on all levels other than perhaps looks. Very impressive dynamics, tonality and coherence. It filled the room with ease with very good sound. Impressive. Most comments from visitors seemed entirely positive.

On to the Cyrus dem. I am a little biased here as a long term cyrus user but it wasn't entirely positive. - Cyrus's new ONE, whilst looking somewhat snazzy, lacked in build quality. The volume and selector knobs seem poorly made and egg/feel a little loose. Not good for a crucial interface even though most folks will use the remote more often. I also don't like the choice of LED's but thats subjective.

Using the main system consisting of streamer, pre and mono's (there might have been some PSX'R's in there too) it sounded powerful with Kef Blades. The usual cyrus detail came to the fore and it was all there. Bass was tight and it sounded coherent but to these ears (and where I sat) it was simply to loud. - Unfortunately I didn't hear the ONE.

To be continued ...

... The ACT/Prism room sounded good using actives. Coherent, driving, clear but not cold. We liked this one. Expensive but good.

The two Spendor Rooms; One using top D9's, the other A7's. I think they both used Auralic hardware. - Unfortunately the over riding impression in both rooms was one of a slightly too dominating upper treble. With both speakers there was some harshness I couldn't dial out. Whilst my other half couldn't point out exactly what it was, she did not like either room. Go figure.

The PMC/Bryston Room was typical neutral whilst not having any dominant or distracting traits. One for 'active sound' fans not wanting to give up boxes. I found it sounding powerful and involving. Expensive but good.

On to the Neat room. What can I say? - It was superb. No other way to put it. - The sound eminating from the small Xplorer was astonishing. Using Heed amplification it just oozed into the room. Rythmical, punchy with a lovely full sound. It drove the room perfectly with just the right amount of elastic and bouncy but delineated bass. At the end of the day we both thought this was the best room of the show. That this was achieved with diminutive components just added to the attraction. Lovely. - Unfortunately I didnt hear the Iota Alpha. I was bowled over at just how SMALL they were. - If they sound half as good as the Xplorers I would be happy to own them.

For some reason we missed the Leema rooms. Shame as I would have liked to hear that.

Falcon Acoustics had another good sounding room with the big Sugden Monos powering some Studio 30's. Sound seemed tightly focused and fairly neutral but involving. One for long term listening in your mansion ... which you no doubt would have if you can stump up for this stuff and which you need to accommodate the Sugdens. Unfortunately I did not hear the LS3/5a's with the Sugden integrated but I can imagine it would sound good on a smaller scale.

The Exposure Room; I was lucky Tony Brady was there. A very nice and humble person. However, the system assembled sounded somewhat mechanical and cold, it didn't really involve. Again, my Spanish girlfriend thought the same. - However, in a different room, the brand of which me unfortunately escapes (I took a pic, they used some small what seemed like omnidirectional floorstanders) an Exposure integrated which looked like a 3010 sounded better to my ears.

Proac; This sounded a little harsh with the larger floorstanders. I also heard the smaller Tablette 10 (Signature?) and they sounded nice and open but with little weight, unsurprisingly. Probably best for the smallest of rooms.

Musical Fidelity; The big all-in-one together with a Nu-Vista Phono stage and Rega deck through B&W floorstander made good noises even if the choice of music gave me the runs.

Acoustic Energy; Big disappointment. - Not because of the sound generated with an AVI integrated and their new passive entry floorstanders ... it was entirely ok even good for a speaker that cheap. No, AE, in their infinite wisdom chose to bring one (1!) Speaker only of an AE1 Active pair. I mean what ... ?! - Apparently its because they showed the Actives last year and want to concentrate on the new entry models. Ok I get this but considering their actives are featuring dominantly in their current line-up ... and why bothering bringing one speaker. Never Mind, their loss as ...

... Canton also featured a superb powered floorstander in their room. It sounded great, costs 1400 quid and has niceties such as r/c, digital tone controls, adjustable cut off for subwoofer connection. It sounded fun. Active operation will soon be extended to their more upper market floorstander. If they sound even better some of the more familiar manufacturers here may have something to worry about. Great sound imho.

To be continued ...

... Quadral also had a fantastic sounding room. Powered by a Belles Aria Integrated one of their floorstanders made very involving, punchy and rich sounding music. Unfortunately German brands still seem to have a stigma attached to it within british audiophile circles. Probably partly explained as a lot of good stuff is made (or at least designed) here.

Rega. They played some RX3's powered by a mostly Brio 2018 system when we visited. A brave move as they could have aimed higher. - Unfortunately it didn't quite pay off, the system sounding somewhat edgy. There was a little bit to much treble and bit metallic with it. Sound was also a little lightweight and lacking in solidity and bass. It was not all bad though as it had a good measure of snapp. - Some may say 'but look at the price ... '. Correct, it was cheaper than many, even one of the cheaper ones but a roughly price comparative system would be Kef 's LS50 wireless. Unfortunately there is no comparison. Nada. To add insult to injury, even slightly better sound can be had for much less ...

... Jamo and Project teamed up in the Henley room with some microscopic Components by the latter and some truly handsome, small floorstanders by former, courtesy of their Studio line. It will never win best show sound but I thought it was better than some systems twenty or thirty times the price, it was musical and it looks great. On a budget? Me thinks one could do much worse.

To be continued ...
well done ! In your photo’s I noticed new Dali floor standing speakers are they new range ? And did they sound any good
 

drummerman

New member
Jan 18, 2008
540
1
0
Sorry, seem to have problems posting ...

Continued ...

. Canton also featured a superb powered floorstander in their room. It sounded great, costs 1400 quid and has niceties such as r/c, digital tone controls, adjustable cut off for subwoofer connection. It sounded fun. Active operation will soon be extended to their more upper market floorstander. If they sound even better some of the more familiar manufacturers here may have something to worry about. Great sound imho.

To be continued ...

... Quadral also had a fantastic sounding room. Powered by a Belles Aria Integrated one of their floorstanders made very involving, punchy and rich sounding music. Unfortunately German brands still seem to have a stigma attached to it within british audiophile circles. Probably partly explained as a lot of good stuff is made (or at least designed) here.

Rega. They played some RX3's powered by a mostly Brio 2018 system when we visited. A brave move as they could have aimed higher. - Unfortunately it didn't quite pay off, the system sounding somewhat edgy. There was a little bit to much treble and bit metallic with it. Sound was also a little lightweight and lacking in solidity and bass. It was not all bad though as it had a good measure of snapp and build quality of the integrated seemed very good. - Some may say 'but look at the price ... '. Correct, it was cheaper than many, even one of the cheapest ones but a roughly price comparative system would be Kef 's LS50 wireless. Unfortunately there is no comparison. Nada. To add insult to injury, even slightly better sound can be had for much less ...

... Jamo and Project teamed up in the Henley room with some microscopic Components by the latter and some truly handsome, small floorstanders by former, courtesy of their Studio line. It will never win best show sound but I thought it was better than some systems twenty or thirty times the price, it was musical and it looks great. On a budget? Me thinks one could do much worse.

I thought the Totem room sounded superb. Powered by Rega Electronics we very much enjoyed the result. Looked stylish too.

Harbeth played a Sherlock Holmes play. Voices sounded good. That's all I can say really.

Mission showed off their new QS range. Unfortunately sound was boomy even with the standmount. Not the prettiest speakers but I have no doubt they will do well.

Astin Trew was another stand out. Their new integrated sounding powerful, warm and clear. Very nice. Wished I could say the same about the looks. Reminds me a little about certain cheap Chinese made 'pro' power amplifiers.

I was also impressed by Dali's Callisto active floorstander. Powerful, rich and musical. Not the prettiest speakers but they sounded better than many vastly more expensive systems/speakers.

Audio Note; They made one of the best systems I can remember hearing. This was'nt one of them. I appreciate that the electronics chosen was one of the more cost effective lines (I think) but the speakers cost nearly 5 grand unless I read incorrectly. Sorry but that is a little steep for something that looks like it was knocked up in shed. Worse, they sounded somewhat boxy when they played a single voice recording. I wasn't familiar with the record but ... choose your show music wisely if you want to exhibit your products at their best ... . - In any case, a lot of uhhhh and aaahh'ing by gentlemen with beards. It was liked by the ones in the know it seems. - What do I know? :) One for the single, die hard, hair shirt enthusiast.

I think I've covered enough. There was some more but I bored you guys enough :)

I stayed away from cable/accessory stuff as we had some time constraints and I did not visit Technics' or a couple of other TT focused dems as vinyl is (unfortunately) not on my agenda at present for practical reasons.

Highlights ... Neat's Xplorers/Heed, KEF LS50 wireless, Arcam/Revel.

Best budget system ... Project/Jamo

Best value for money high end ... KEF LS50 wireless.

Best sound of show ... Neat Room.

All in my humble opinion only and hampered by a cold. Your mileage may vary, different music may change the outcome and its worth taking in to consideratio what I said at the beginning ofvthe post.

Cheers

Ps. Forgot Hegel. A few rooms using the manufacturer. In one they had a Roest with small Amphion speakers. It was played quietly as the Rep was talking to someone ... A bit too quietly. It sounded like a small system. Looked good mind.

In the main room they had a number of configurations. When we listened they did a comparison between a ripped 16 bit file and the recording played through the Mohican CD Player and H360. It was vocal based and slow so it was difficult to make a judgement. Sounded powerful. The rep fancied himself as a bit of a comedian and was quite funny to listen to. Nuff said.
 

ellisdj

New member
Dec 11, 2008
377
1
0
the new Dali wireless actives sounded excellent and they have the coolest feature wait until I post up the video.

I spent all day in the Isotek Sound Foundations room.
I know a some of you are sceptical of such products but the demos they are running are very good and you can have a listen for yourself
 

alchemist 1

Well-known member
Mar 28, 2012
78
2
18,545
drummerman said:
A few thoughts about yesterday but I would like to emphasise that I am aware that a show is not the ideal place to assess ultimate SQ and that creating a level playing field is impossible. Too many varying factors so I won't go into these.

Still, I would like to think that most exhibitors put effort into making theirs sound as good as humanly possible. On that note I must say some succeeded whereas others failed.

I also think the format of the show is good. It must be because it seems to have been unchanged from the last time I went, some 11 or 12 or so years ago. - I was glad I went on the Friday. I didn't feel to good and my girlfriend went for the first time to a Hifi Show. It was plenty of busy for us but we did manage to get into most rooms without too much waiting. - I can't imagine how it will be like today ... .

Some shots I've taken. I apologise for the lack of quality. Lighting was challenging on occasions. https://www.flickr.com/photos/147127884@N06/albums/72157692065119911

So here are a few thought/impressions. I am still full of cold so probably forget to mention one or two things. I will update this post as and when;

The first room/dem we attended was Dynaudio/Naim. Nice enough sound with good rythm, no surprise with Naim but lower treble seemed harsh and it did take away the enjoyment for me. I have noticed that with Dynaudio speakers before and can only assume this was due to the speakers. - I left after a couple of songs. My other half stayed for another song, she must have liked it better than me.

Next was the Arcam/Revel room. Now I must I was genuinely surpised. It sounded really good and that was without me knowing what was actually playing. There were big floor standers and the assortment of Arcam's electronics. When told that it was a lowly HAD S20 amplifier with the smallest Revel standmounts my appreciation of the powerful and coherent sound grew further. Still not exactly budget stuff for many but very nice. I would have had this over the previous room for sound if not for looks. I can't honestly say I dig Arcams new desing with the shiney volume know, cheap looking LCD display and 'Tuner' style buttons. - Nevertheless, it feels nicely made.

On to the Chord/B&W room. I wasn't familiar with their show music but my first visit left me somewhat dissappointed. It sounded a bit plodding and bass wasn't integrated nicely. We listened to a couple of tracks and left. - We then came back later in the day. They played something more upbeat and I found it better but neither of us thought it was special. It should have been considering the amount of money that was stacked up in front of us. Amazing build quality I have to say though.

On to QAcoustics. They played the big Concept 500. Unfortunately SQ really dissappointed. I can't really say much more. We left after a couple of tracks. The reps talking in room to punters and to each other didnt help.

Next was the Quad/IAG room. One of two visits. The first time round they played the Artera Solus with the small ribbon equipped S1's. This was nice enough but the room was clearly to large for the S1's. It seemed a strange choice. S2's would have been more fitting. It sounded coherent and treble and other hifi niceties were good. Bass was clearly lacking and it sounded to lightweight. - On our second visit the played the large Electrostatics, again using the Solus. It sounded good but again felt a fraction to lightweight for my taste. The ususal amazing midrange of a well designed ES but its not where my money would go (if I had the funds).

We tried twice to get into the B&W room but the doors were closed and there were folks waiting and we didnt want to hang around.

We got into the Kef dem the second time round. It was worth the wait. The wireless convinced on all levels other than perhaps looks. Very impressive dynamics, tonality and coherence. It filled the room with ease with very good sound. Impressive. Most comments from visitors seemed entirely positive.

On to the Cyrus dem. I am a little biased here as a long term cyrus user but it wasn't entirely positive. - Cyrus's new ONE, whilst looking somewhat snazzy, lacked in build quality. The volume and selector knobs seem poorly made and egg/feel a little loose. Not good for a crucial interface even though most folks will use the remote more often. I also don't like the choice of LED's but thats subjective.

Using the main system consisting of streamer, pre and mono's (there might have been some PSX'R's in there too) it sounded powerful with Kef Blades. The usual cyrus detail came to the fore and it was all there. Bass was tight and it sounded coherent but to these ears (and where I sat) it was simply to loud. - Unfortunately I didn't hear the ONE.

To be continued ...

... The ACT/Prism room sounded good using actives. Coherent, driving, clear but not cold. We liked this one. Expensive but good.

The two Spendor Rooms; One using top D9's, the other A7's. I think they both used Auralic hardware. - Unfortunately the over riding impression in both rooms was one of a slightly too dominating upper treble. With both speakers there was some harshness I couldn't dial out. Whilst my other half couldn't point out exactly what it was, she did not like either room. Go figure.

The PMC/Bryston Room was typical neutral whilst not having any dominant or distracting traits. One for 'active sound' fans not wanting to give up boxes. I found it sounding powerful and involving. Expensive but good.

On to the Neat room. What can I say? - It was superb. No other way to put it. - The sound eminating from the small Xplorer was astonishing. Using Heed amplification it just oozed into the room. Rythmical, punchy with a lovely full sound. It drove the room perfectly with just the right amount of elastic and bouncy but delineated bass. At the end of the day we both thought this was the best room of the show. That this was achieved with diminutive components just added to the attraction. Lovely. - Unfortunately I didnt hear the Iota Alpha. I was bowled over at just how SMALL they were. - If they sound half as good as the Xplorers I would be happy to own them.

For some reason we missed the Leema rooms. Shame as I would have liked to hear that.

Falcon Acoustics had another good sounding room with the big Sugden Monos powering some Studio 30's. Sound seemed tightly focused and fairly neutral but involving. One for long term listening in your mansion ... which you no doubt would have if you can stump up for this stuff and which you need to accommodate the Sugdens. Unfortunately I did not hear the LS3/5a's with the Sugden integrated but I can imagine it would sound good on a smaller scale.

The Exposure Room; I was lucky Tony Brady was there. A very nice and humble person. However, the system assembled sounded somewhat mechanical and cold, it didn't really involve. Again, my Spanish girlfriend thought the same. - However, in a different room, the brand of which me unfortunately escapes (I took a pic, they used some small what seemed like omnidirectional floorstanders) an Exposure integrated which looked like a 3010 sounded better to my ears.

Proac; This sounded a little harsh with the larger floorstanders. I also heard the smaller Tablette 10 (Signature?) and they sounded nice and open but with little weight, unsurprisingly. Probably best for the smallest of rooms.

Musical Fidelity; The big all-in-one together with a Nu-Vista Phono stage and Rega deck through B&W floorstander made good noises even if the choice of music gave me the runs.

Acoustic Energy; Big disappointment. - Not because of the sound generated with an AVI integrated and their new passive entry floorstanders ... it was entirely ok even good for a speaker that cheap. No, AE, in their infinite wisdom chose to bring one (1!) Speaker only of an AE1 Active pair. I mean what ... ?! - Apparently its because they showed the Actives last year and want to concentrate on the new entry models. Ok I get this but considering their actives are featuring dominantly in their current line-up ... and why bothering bringing one speaker. Never Mind, their loss as ...

... Canton also featured a superb powered floorstander in their room. It sounded great, costs 1400 quid and has niceties such as r/c, digital tone controls, adjustable cut off for subwoofer connection. It sounded fun. Active operation will soon be extended to their more upper market floorstander. If they sound even better some of the more familiar manufacturers here may have something to worry about. Great sound imho.

To be continued ...

... Quadral also had a fantastic sounding room. Powered by a Belles Aria Integrated one of their floorstanders made very involving, punchy and rich sounding music. Unfortunately German brands still seem to have a stigma attached to it within british audiophile circles. Probably partly explained as a lot of good stuff is made (or at least designed) here.

Rega. They played some RX3's powered by a mostly Brio 2018 system when we visited. A brave move as they could have aimed higher. - Unfortunately it didn't quite pay off, the system sounding somewhat edgy. There was a little bit to much treble and bit metallic with it. Sound was also a little lightweight and lacking in solidity and bass. It was not all bad though as it had a good measure of snapp. - Some may say 'but look at the price ... '. Correct, it was cheaper than many, even one of the cheaper ones but a roughly price comparative system would be Kef 's LS50 wireless. Unfortunately there is no comparison. Nada. To add insult to injury, even slightly better sound can be had for much less ...

... Jamo and Project teamed up in the Henley room with some microscopic Components by the latter and some truly handsome, small floorstanders by former, courtesy of their Studio line. It will never win best show sound but I thought it was better than some systems twenty or thirty times the price, it was musical and it looks great. On a budget? Me thinks one could do much worse.

To be continued ...
Did you come across the Klipsch Forte 111 speakers ?
 

AEJim

Well-known member
Nov 17, 2008
68
2
18,545
Sorry to hear that Drummerman (I can't quote your post because the forum logs me out on the last page of the thread for some reason).

It's difficult with a small hotel room to take pairs of all current models and doesn't help the sound (or space) in an already difficult environment if you pack it full of speakers. There's also constant disruption as people will always want to listen to whatever you don't have playing, so you end up spending more of the day moving and wiring things up than you do actually playing music - we've done this in the past and it's the very reason we only take single speakers of models we're not highlighting.

We played the AE1 Actives for the duration last year and many people visit every year so want to hear something new, the 300's are the latest range and aren't yet in the shops while the Actives are already in dealers for people to have a proper listen to them. We're happy to send demo sets to dealers who don't stock them and they can arrange a loan demo for people who really want to try them out where in matters, in their home! We're quite chilled about that sort of thing and would rather someone buy something they're fully happy with like that.

I'm glad you enjoyed much of the rest of the show though, there are a lot of great products out there!
 

drummerman

New member
Jan 18, 2008
540
1
0
@Sabbath

Sorry, only just saw your post.

I assume you mean the white Dali Callista Active Floorstanders?

Yes, I thought they sounded very good.
 
May 28, 2013
33
0
0
ellisdj said:
the new Dali wireless actives sounded excellent and they have the coolest feature wait until I post up the video.

I spent all day in the Isotek Sound Foundations room. I know a some of you are sceptical of such products but the demos they are running are very good and you can have a listen for yourself
Thanks for the reviews and to Drummerman and others.

Agree, sadly too many doubters and cynics who post without the benefit of experience. I don't care whether due to sound engineering principles or witchcraft, the GAIAS are worth every penny, IMHO.

Just smile at the continuation of threads appearing that express opinion as fact. eg:

Wow ripping CDs into flac files is a upgrade of your music

BS indeed
 

drummerman

New member
Jan 18, 2008
540
1
0
I'd like to add that for looks (if not entirely for sound but there are a multitude of reasons on what may have caused this) the new Brio components are rather nicely made. - Creek's slimline components also look classy, especially the amps and internal build is nice. - AVM's electronics seemed superbly made, in and out as shown in PMC's room. Fyne Audio's speakers looked stunning.
 

ellisdj

New member
Dec 11, 2008
377
1
0
not long been back from another full day at the show.

I missed a whole section of the show out I couldn't get round it all not even with 2 full days filming. It was a great show with a lot of effort put in and some really great sound.

Some very standout stuff today for me.
I met Mr AJ Van Den Hul very nice man.
I heard one the most holographic sounds of my life to date in one of the Divine Audio rooms - their Eclipse room. I was lucky to get a closed room demo and was humbled by the imaging and relaxed natural sound from that system. Great Demo - Amazingly impressive in so many ways really grateful for the experience.
KEF wireless LS50 demo was really well done and impressive
Quad entry level system speakers and all in one for £2k total was a surprise. Really punching above that price point.

IsoAcoustics did another great demo for their GAIA.

Heard my first reel to reel tape that was interesting and a treat.

Met some really lovely people today it was very relaxed overall today - maybe due to it being Sunday

One chap I was speaking to was an electronics engineer who I think builds power substations. We had a little chat about cameras and his job and out of the blue he mentioned the Isotek demo as being really interesting to him.
That was a great as we got to have a chat about that as well.

Fyne Audio Speakers are very unique with their look finish and adjustability.

Musical Fidelity was showing off the NuVista Phono and their Encore 500 which seems a great all in one with some serious amp welly inside.

Monitor Audio Studio speakers like a mini platinum monitor with a different finish.

The new Focal Kanta are much nicer in the flesh than in photos.

Overall even though it was a lot of work all weekend I really enjoyed it.
3 days solid filiming 2 hotel moves a full light setup and pack down and more. Still really enjoyed it Great Show

Forgot to mention the Audioquest room which was Really well done - they even had their own carpet and chairs with cushions in the company colours. Good sound in there too. Couldn't even get in the door on friday was in there early today (first) to make sure :)
 

Hawkwind16

Well-known member
May 22, 2016
43
9
4,545
My first hi fi show.

Parking was £12.50 ! Never seen so many middle aged guys in scruffy clothes !

I discovered that i don't like a lot of top end hi fi ! I hate aggressive trebles and can't be bothered with floor shaking bass, I think like a detailed warm sound. I certainly won't be spending £40k on a top range Naim set up !

I tended to spend little time in each room and I'm currently looking at speakers so that was my focus. Like others hear I was very impressed with the ATC active speakers and will definately check out ATC scm11 / 19 speakers at some point. Also the large panel (electrostatic speakers?) in another room and the Spendors impressed.

I wanted to listen to Harbeth, but wasn't impressed - strangely fuzzy and vague (where they using a Marantz cd 6006 as a source?)

Listened to the Chord Qutest - quite nice.

Next time I'll take more time.
 
drummerman said:
Ps. Forgot Hegel. A few rooms using the manufacturer. In one they had a Roest with small Amphion speakers. It was played quietly as the Rep was talking to someone ... A bit too quietly. It sounded like a small system. Looked good mind.
You need to give small speakers a bit of oomph to sound big, you can’t expect them to sound like 100dB sensitivity wardrobes at low volumes. What they were though was nicely balanced, and producing dynamic leading edges of notes from instruments like drums, cymbals, acoustic guitars, and trumpets, to name but a few. Not many speakers under £1k can manage what the Amphion do in that respect, and there’s a reason for it. A couple of people asked if they were active, over the course of the weekend - it actually crossed my mind at one point that this characteristic made them sound more like an active speaker.

It was very rare we had the volume low in that room. Occasionally a conversation is started by a visitor to the room and it’s hard to hear them over the music, so now and again you have to turn it down to hear them. If conversations go on too long, or conversations are going on behind listeners, I will usually take it to the hallway in order for others to listen to the system. If “the rep” (actually me) was talking to someone with a camera, it might’ve been when EllisDJ was in there, as I remember turning it down a bit, but can’t remember how low off the top of my head.

In fact, the positive feedback we had over all three days was overwhelming, with quite a few people asking where the subwoofer was hidden - all that depth from a speaker about half the size of the smallest made by the mainstream speaker manufacturers.

Unfortunately I didn’t get to visit many rooms, but Karma AV’s SVS/Emotiva room sounded fantastic for the short time I was in there, and the Technics room, which I had the pleasure of sitting on on Friday evening after the show, was stunning - the SL-1000R turntable with Audio Technica ART-1000 might not be cheap, just like the accompanying phono stage and Technics pre-power, but at the end of that chain was a pair of £1700 Technics loudspeakers, which I can’t believe did what they did. Random, oddball room vibrations aside, if you were listening to the system blind, you’d swear the speakers would’ve been far more expensive...
 

Macspur

Well-known member
May 3, 2010
77
0
18,540
Hawkwind16 said:
My first hi fi show.

Parking was £12.50 ! Never seen so many middle aged guys in scruffy clothes !

I discovered that i don't like a lot of top end hi fi ! I hate aggressive trebles and can't be bothered with floor shaking bass, I think like a detailed warm sound. I certainly won't be spending £40k on a top range Naim set up !

I tended to spend little time in each room and I'm currently looking at speakers so that was my focus. Like others hear I was very impressed with the ATC active speakers and will definately check out ATC scm11 / 19 speakers at some point. Also the large panel (electrostatic speakers?) in another room and the Spendors impressed.

I wanted to listen to Harbeth, but wasn't impressed - strangely fuzzy and vague (where they using a Marantz cd 6006 as a source?)

Listened to the Chord Qutest - quite nice.

Next time I'll take more time.
Strange about the Harbeth! never been called fuzzy before.

Mac

www.realmusicnet.wordpress.com
 

drummerman

New member
Jan 18, 2008
540
1
0
davidf said:
drummerman said:
Ps. Forgot Hegel. A few rooms using the manufacturer. In one they had a Roest with small Amphion speakers. It was played quietly as the Rep was talking to someone ... A bit too quietly. It sounded like a small system. Looked good mind.
You need to give small speakers a bit of oomph to sound big, you can’t expect them to sound like 100dB sensitivity wardrobes at low volumes. What they were though was nicely balanced, and producing dynamic leading edges of notes from instruments like drums, cymbals, acoustic guitars, and trumpets, to name but a few. Not many speakers under £1k can manage what the Amphion do in that respect, and there’s a reason for it. A couple of people asked if they were active, over the course of the weekend - it actually crossed my mind at one point that this characteristic made them sound more like an active speaker.

It was very rare we had the volume low in that room. Occasionally a conversation is started by a visitor to the room and it’s hard to hear them over the music, so now and again you have to turn it down to hear them. If conversations go on too long, or conversations are going on behind listeners, I will usually take it to the hallway in order for others to listen to the system. If “the rep” (actually me) was talking to someone with a camera, it might’ve been when EllisDJ was in there, as I remember turning it down a bit, but can’t remember how low off the top of my head.

In fact, the positive feedback we had over all three days was overwhelming, with quite a few people asking where the subwoofer was hidden - all that depth from a speaker about half the size of the smallest made by the mainstream speaker manufacturers.

Unfortunately I didn’t get to visit many rooms, but Karma AV’s SVS/Emotiva room sounded fantastic for the short time I was in there, and the Technics room, which I had the pleasure of sitting on on Friday evening after the show, was stunning - the SL-1000R turntable with Audio Technica ART-1000 might not be cheap, just like the accompanying phono stage and Technics pre-power, but at the end of that chain was a pair of £1700 Technics loudspeakers, which I can’t believe did what they did. Random, oddball room vibrations aside, if you were listening to the system blind, you’d swear the speakers would’ve been far more expensive...
Ah, my apologies. I wasn't aware that was you otherwise I would have said hello ... :-(

I obviously picked the wrong moment to visit your room. I knew what the Hegel sounds like but am unfamiliar with the Amphions. However I know they are highly regarded by some Pro's too.

The combination looked very stylish.
 

Hawkwind16

Well-known member
May 22, 2016
43
9
4,545
Macspur said:
Hawkwind16 said:
My first hi fi show.

Parking was £12.50 ! Never seen so many middle aged guys in scruffy clothes !

I discovered that i don't like a lot of top end hi fi ! I hate aggressive trebles and can't be bothered with floor shaking bass, I think like a detailed warm sound. I certainly won't be spending £40k on a top range Naim set up !

I tended to spend little time in each room and I'm currently looking at speakers so that was my focus. Like others hear I was very impressed with the ATC active speakers and will definately check out ATC scm11 / 19 speakers at some point. Also the large panel (electrostatic speakers?) in another room and the Spendors impressed.

I wanted to listen to Harbeth, but wasn't impressed - strangely fuzzy and vague (where they using a Marantz cd 6006 as a source?)

Listened to the Chord Qutest - quite nice.

Next time I'll take more time.
Strange about the Harbeth! never been called fuzzy before.

Mac

www.realmusicnet.wordpress.com
Yes surprised me given their reputation, but i didn't stay long and wouldn't mind listening again
 

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