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My first big audio show

At the LA Audio Show this past weekend I heard a few beautiful things - and a lot of awful sound, the kind that made me cry "don't you people have ears?" (silently, to myself).

The big thrust of the show seemed to center around new streaming technologies; "Roon" was a big item. When dealing so deeply with the bits-and-bytes, the actual sound in the room seemed to have be given short-shrift. I heard some demonstrations of advanced streaming things where I couldn't resolve any meaningful aspects of audio quality because of unfortunate amp/speaker combinations and god-awful room matching issues. So it boiled down to a lot of talk - disappointing, and made me aware of how little I care for new streaming technology, although it's obviously coming to replace digital media of all types.

There were some interesting aspects to the show. There was a massive headphone display area. Who'd have thought $2000 headphones were to establish a benchmark of some sort? Seems crazy reflecting back on the days of my Koss Pro4-AA's. Matching $2k phones with a $2k bespoke headphone amplifier made for awesome sound, at the price of my first new car.

My jaw did drop once- the smaller Sonus Faber floorstanding speakers in the McIntosh suite played with the timeless 275 tube amp and a Mc CD player were GLORIOUS, like *real-musicians-in-the-room* kind of glorious! The turntable in the Mc suite was a bit of a weird feint- they digitized the phono preamp output and ran it through some sort of high-zoot digital preamp. It sounded pretty good, but a little *off* the notion of how vinyl sounds to my ears, or I should say more aptly "to my heart." Good digital stuff sounds good, why deliberately add all that unnecessary processing? To make a point I suppose, but a sort of silly one at that.

The Wyred For Sound room was quite excellent- their amps sound just about right. The small KEF's they were using were a delightful surprise. I was also pleased to hear the Audio Research VT80 tube amp sounding so nice. Also, everyone using Wilson speakers had pretty darn good sound, regardless! That and it was great to see Madisound there too.

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  Kimber Kable  

Topic - My first big audio show - mr.bear 18:07:45 06/05/17 (22)


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