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Wot, no Bristols?

spiny norman

New member
Jan 14, 2009
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Couldn't make it to Bristol this year for family reasons (grrrr!), but noticed there's a marked lack of feedback from this show: thought as it was sponsored by WHF people would be talking about nothing else.

Did no-one go? Are you all so overawed by what you saw/heard you still can't type for excitement? Or was it all a bit 'meh' and not worth commenting on?

I was looking forward to vicarious enjoyment of all the highlights, but so far all I can see is a mention of what Tannoy was or wasn't showing.

I know, I know, I should've gone, but as I couldn't, any impressions beyond the official 'ev'rything is awesome' reports?
 

simonlewis

New member
Apr 15, 2008
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I know, shamefull. https://www.avforums.com/tradeshow/bristol-sound-vision-2016-show-report.12406
 

spiny norman

New member
Jan 14, 2009
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simonlewis said:
I know, shamefull. https://www.avforums.com/tradeshow/bristol-sound-vision-2016-show-report.12406
Wasn't thinking so much of the professional show reports (though when I read a sentence like "Their Atmos demonstration featured their flagship AVR 850 doing the processing but handing over decoding duties to a full compliment of P49 power amps" I may have to rethink that description).

I was more interested in what ordinary visitors saw and liked (or didn't), not the views of a swanning reporter.
 

CarlDW

New member
Dec 29, 2011
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I went on Saturday. Overall it was a good day - a couple of rooms stood out for me;

Elac - Their new Debut B5 speaker sounded amazing for £250, although that was on the end of £3000 Moon amplification. Still, brilliant sound from a little box.

Elipsion - They had Tangent speakers on show, in particular the tiny X4's on the end of the Ampster BT amplifier sounded very good indeed, I couldn't believe for the quality that the amp retails for £150 and the speakers £170.

Rega put on a good demo, the Saturn-R, Elex-R and the new RX3 speakers which sounded nice.

I also thought the Spendor D20/R and PMC Twenty.26 were also very impressive speakers. There were a lot of rooms using Moon amplification, which I haven't heard much about, but they sounded pretty good in all of the rooms they were used in.

Overall I would say that I was most impressed by the budget gear over the higher end stuff, which surprised me, but means all the more affordable for me!
 

jonathanRD

Well-known member
Jan 27, 2011
55
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18,540
So I headed straight to the 4th floor to see the new Leema Quasar. Asked some questions about the streaming module, it will have it's own app for tablets, and should have Spotify added in June this year. The Leema guys were very helpful, offering to help if I get any problems arranging a demo in South Wales.

Listened to the Epos K3's in the Creek room, and thought they sounded much better than the K2's which I heard last year. Asked about the active versions - sounds like they weren't happy about something so they are making improvements and still intend to release them at some point, although I didn't ask when. Had a chat about the Evolution 100A amp and Mike Creek spoke briefly about it's design and that I won't find a better designed amplifier at that price. Again very helpful regarding arranging a demo, another brand that is not stocked in South Wales.

Exposure are another brand not in South Wales. I do like the look of them, and the 3010S2D amp has had some good reviews. Aparently there is a new hifi dealer opeing in April in Caerphilly (north of Cardiff) who will stock Exposure products - http://www.southwaleshifi.co.uk/contact/

Also had a chat with Paul Darwin (I think) in the Rega room about how much improvement I might get by adding a Rega Dac-R to my Apollo CD player. He said a little, but that if I want a big improvement to go for the Saturn.

Finally, was again entertained by the Rel subwoofer demo. They had two 212/SE's each with a Harbeth HL5 placed on top of them. They were appealing to all those people who already have £4000 standmounts, who want to go to £10k plus floorstanders, basically saying that instead just add two of their subwoofers. It was impressive until they turned them up playing Michael Jackson and it felt like I was being kicked in the chest - you would need a detached house for this setup *shok*
 

CnoEvil

New member
Aug 21, 2009
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nopiano said:
Unsure why I cannot insert paragraphs above. I'm not that illiterate!
...the content was worth reading, all the same.

Hope you hang around for a while.
 

CnoEvil

New member
Aug 21, 2009
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nopiano said:
Cheers, Cno!  I've been busy with other stuff, that's all!  Finding this retirement hard work!  How's you?
I'm good...and missing some of the old guard.
 

nopiano

Well-known member
Feb 15, 2009
99
11
18,545
I went on the last day, something I've not done before. A few people said it was a bit quieter due a football match, but several rooms were still in great demand, such as KEF, Monitor Audio and Devialet, amongst others.
After a browse around the racks, headphones and accessories on the ground floor, I went early on to PMC, whose twenty:26 sounded wonderful in one of the larger rooms. Their Bryston source and amps are always squeaky clean, but the sound was not clinical, just very detailed. Delightful. Quad's new amp and speakers looked neat, but weren't playing when I looked in. One for another day. An interesting diversion from panels, with their new ribbon speakers. Origin live were teasing with a poster that read "how good can vinyl be with £169 speakers" or words to that effect. They were using modest Q acoustic speakers on stands and with cables that doubtless cost more than the speakers. Superb vinyl sound. One of many using turntables this year. Technics' relaunched SL1200 was playing, but with a fuzzy sound I recall but had long forgotten. Yes, a fluffy stylus! The guys seemed unsure about cleaning it, but when they did, good sound ensued. Not three grands worth, though, so they need to get realistic with their price when eventually it is released. 20:20 hindsight, perhaps, but perhaps they should have kept it in production. Not persuaded by all the reengineering waffle. Naim were blasting out their muso models in a tiny room, but I cannot say how good they were. Nicely built though, and the cuboid one looks more room compatible to me than the original. Their amps and streamers appeared widely elsewhere, to good effect. 
 The Hegel amps and dacs sounded wonderful through KEF reference stand mounters - the model one? They had bothered to treat the walls, with duvets!, while others had sound absorbing panels. Huge sound from relatively modest speakers. Elac's new Debut speakers were terrific at £250 a pair, albeit using extravagant cables, power conditioners and amps - which they readily acknowledged. It was like returning to the old 'source first' days of Linns with budget speakers! Mission's new LX were similarly excellent for £200 a pair. As someone noted above, the more modest systems often perform better at shows. Harbeth's dem seemed very restrained at first, but after a few minutes, their winning accuracy and excellence on speech won me over. They played Gilbert and Sullivan, and an episode of Sherlock Holmes, from Radio 4, I presume. Not so much room- filling, as transporting us to the venue. Hegel amps again. Neat have a new, bigger brother for the Iota, sounding much bigger that it had any right to, and beautifully balanced. Going to be around £1300 a pair, and no name as yet. Oldies like me might recall Sonab speakers. They were reincarnated in a brand whose name escapes me, but were deigned by the original Stigg Carlsson, unless I'm confusing his name with a rally driver! They are omnidirectional, if you never knew the originals. A fine sound, firing across the room, not along it as most opted for. Michell's dems are always modest and fine sounding affairs. By modest I mean no fancy wires, room treatments, or gimmicks. Just a big Sugden amp and effortless ProAc speakers. Near the end, I found the Devialet room, confusingly containing Spendor (A7, I think) alongside their silver Phantoms. Shame we didn't hear the same track on each, but the Spendors sounded more like PMCs than usual, and the Phantoms - in a stereo configuration (and therefore about £3,600) - were superb. Cannot really say they outperform a conventional setup at that price, but given they contain everything (amplifiers, DACs, speakers, etc) they are pretty amazing. A very coherent sound. I'm not a fan of sub-woofers, but RELs monster cabinets were moving lots of air, and look immaculate. Thankfully, far more audio caught my eye than AV, but I did enjoy a few movie snippets, on Oppo players amongst others. No claim that this is representative survey, but more a reflection of those that I remember. Would most like to own the Hegel amps (160?), and PMC twenty:26 speakers!
 

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