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Bristol Show Favourites - hi-fi

Just back from the Bristol show.  I know this thread is probably meant to be posted up somewhere else on the forum, but no one has posted there since August 2012!

Anyway i am wondering what everyone was impressed by?

For me it was probably as follows:

1. The Quad electrostatics - beautiful, natural and big (literally!)

2.  The new Tannoy precisions - listening to jeff Buckley was spine tingling

3. The primare/golden ear setup would work fantastically well in my house.  Very smooth indeed.

 

Good show, lots of bargains and very happy with my new Grado sr80i's which I treated myself to!

 

two things which did bug me though...

1. Getting in and out of the demo rooms - sit on the chairs everyone!

2. The musical taste of hi-fi makers.  I have suffered some awful tunes today...more slap bass and Muzak I cannot take until next year!

 

Seriously though, Many thanks to everyone at what hi-fi though for a very enjoyable few hours.

 

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RE: Bristol Show Favourites - hi-fi

I went on Friday, and have been reflecting on my experiences before offering anything much here.  I did like KEF LS50s and PMC twenty:21s, which I noted in the thread about speakers for a Unitilite.

Snap re headphones - but I preferred the cheaper 60i model as they fitted my bonce better.  Now I've tried the new ones I realise the demo pair were probably quite loose.  They mention this in the box.  

 

As a sneak preview, my award for The Best Speakers I'd Never Heard Of goes to:-   

The Guru Junior, a fabulous little Swedish box (and it is boxy to look at).  Unusually, they were being played across the room, where 99% of setups were along the length of the rooms (mostly bedrooms with beds removed).  £750 a pair, nicely finished, and sounding just wonderful with a nice ordinary system - a Naim Unitilite and Unitiserve.  Standmounting, and angled very sharply inwards (crossing at about 90 degrees) they sound great almost everywhere in the room.  Close to the wall was fine too, so domestically ideal for many.  Would give the LS50s a run I think, though definitely less monitor-ish and more from the 'designed by listening' camp I'd guess.  I selected some diverse tracks off their iPad, and even an opera aria didn't empty the room, which got busier (out of sheer curiosty, maybe?)  Even their brochure was unique, with tips on a coffee table to put your feet on!  Definitly a memorable 20 minutes or so.

They seem to be just starting out over here, and one of the guys on the stand was ex-Acoustic Energy, maybe AEJim knows him?      

 

 

Krell CD and amp, Michell/Rega/Grado record player, Hitachi and Sony tuners, Nakamichi cassette, SBT streamer, Sonus faber spkrs.  Sony and Samsung BDP & TVs. Qobuz > iPad > AudioPro Allroom Air One

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RE: Bristol Show Favourites - hi-fi

The Bristol show sponsored by KEF this year, at least it seemed that way from the ground and lower floors!  I did love the LS50's though - but Dido in the Leema Acoustics rooms was...mmm...retro.

To echo the point posted above, the worst part of the show is trying to get in and out of rooms. If there are spare chairs then sit down, stand out of the way or leave. Too many people just stopping, chatting or standing in the way - most of whom are wearing show passes. Paying £10 I want to get in rooms and hear the demos, not stand behind trade people having a good old catch up.

Please ban rucksacks from inside the venue. There's a cloakroom - please use it!

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RE: Bristol Show Favourites - hi-fi

Best headphone setup - Evo 2 ( sl-1210 , Timestep T-01mc phonostage , Luxman P-200 headphone amp , Denon AH-7000 headphones ) waaaw absolutely perfect  

HiFi -  in conservatory Wilson Benesch , dSc , Clearer audio  best sound I've ever heard , if you will be there tomorrow just visit conservatory you will not be disappointed 

Ava media Maestro 50 , B&W 685 surprisingly good 

Dali room very good , Dali kubik free big sound  small speakers 

PMC se , perfect ....... And more more  one day is not enough

disappointed with Naim unitis range  :?     

 


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RE: Bristol Show Favourites - hi-fi

pompeygreg wrote:

The Bristol show sponsored by KEF this year, at least it seemed that way from the ground and lower floors!  I did love the LS50's though - but Dido in the Leema Acoustics rooms was...mmm...retro.

Which Leema did you hear and what speakers?

Amp; CDP; Turntable; Tuner; Speakers

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RE: Bristol Show Favourites - hi-fi

1. Pmc speakers were very good

2. Audio t had some very good bargains

3. Enjoyed the Naim demo in that it told me to avoid them for a few good years- and i am a Naim fan, but i think the technology evolves too fast and spnding thousands at his stage doesn't make sense

4. Guru speakers were very good

5. Mass surround soubd speakers were amazing and beautiful looking. Loved them

6. Incredible dull music being played, a bug bear of mine. Either the punters love it or the reps have no taste. Spend £30k n a music system and listen to lift music

7. Bristol is a very nice town centre, never been there before

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RE: Bristol Show Favourites - hi-fi

I was there yesterday with mixed views on the event from what I heard point of view

Firstly the standout products for me - Kef LS50 very very good speakers they image amazingly well and the Leema gear it was running off was good as well.  Not quite as good as the Leema gear on the Kef blades that were also one of the best demos there.

Monitor Audio Gx300 put most others there to shame running off Moon as did the Proac in the Nordost Room again off Moon gear - again proper imaging rather than a wall of mess like in most other rooms.  Really like those Proac.

i didn't get to listen to every system I wanted to as it was so busy and took ages to get into a room and get a listen.

i am also gutted I didn't get into the WHF demo room as the cue was full every time I went to it - 4 times between 10 and 4pm - I blame the pretty blonde on the desk there Wink

 

A few negatives - a lot of manufacturers paid little to no attention to their environment - the Quads sounded pants as did the Chord Electronics kit, the rooms were murdering the systems and there was terrible sibilance in every song - put some acoustic panels up and the Wilson Benesch even though I could hear huge potential pointing those speakers at glass windows is just stupid.  Surely they could have done what the few sensible companies did put some decent curtains up or some panels on the rear glass wall.  Still sounded very good but not £100ks worth in that environment.

Kef on the other hand did pay some attention and their demo was excellent 

I did really enjoy the show thanks very much - where else can you hear all those different systems in one day - excellent 

 

 

 

Meridian 861 V4 LPSU, HD621, Bryston 9BSST

Monitor Audio PL100, GXC 150, GXFX, SVS SB13 ULTRA

Custom Audio PC LPSU + Batts, JPLAY, JCAT and PPA Studio

Panny 65VT65, Marantz UD7007, Graham Slee Analogue and Digital Cables, Isotek

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RE: Bristol Show Favourites - hi-fi

Excellent. Please keep your impressions coming as I can't go this year.

Especially pleased about the Guru standmount. Shows that there's life left in the old wide front baffle speaker which goes against most things lifestyle these days. Also seems to use aperiodic loading.

regards

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RE: Bristol Show Favourites - hi-fi

Ok, who prices their loudspeakers in dB?

Answer: Audio Note.

My award for the 'Demo Most Like A Fun Listen In Your Mate's Front Room', goes to Audio Note.

I speak as a rather unconvinced AN listener.  Have always admired their sheer pluck in ploughing a unique furrow, but never quite 'got' the results.  Always liked the hand written notices and prices stickers with a felt-tip, rather than flashy glossies.  This time, I definitely heard why they have such passionate followers.   :clap:

First, a wallet alert.  Each item is in the GBP thousands.  Every item is their brand.  The turntable was a TT Two c £1300 with arm c £600, cartridge unknown,  CDP was CDT One/II  plus DAC 2.1x/II about £2500 each.  Princess Monoblok amps, £4500, with six watts (yes, 6 watts) per channel.  Lots of valves, no idea what type (not a tube nerd, sorry).  AN Type E speakers, 94dB £4260, or for 98dB £5480.  Not sure which were playing.

The nice man alternately played LP and CD with minimum fuss, no wisecracks, and with obvious familiarity with the kit and the discs. [You'd be amazed in how many demos the rep can't even use the remote or find a particular track]  Huge flight cases of LPs is always a good sign in my book!  I heard last mov't of Berlioz Symphonie Fantastique on CD, Lou Reed 'Walk on the Wild Side' on LP, a Sinatra track on CD, a familiar Female vocalist on LP (maybe Celine Dion?), a Beatles cover of 'Come Together' by female on CD.  Felt I had better leave after 5 tracks, but what an enchanting system.  So alive and vibrant.  Maybe a little bit papery and ocassionally a hint of a hollow sound - though the Rega RS7 speakers got my hollow sound award, ugh, how disappointing they were!  But the wonderful AN system gave such a clear acoustic setting, real orchestral colour, and effortless dynamics.  Nothing harsh or grainy, but nothing smoothed off either.  Just 'live' sounding, which is about the best compliment you can pay.    

Speakers were almost touching the outer walls, and near the rear wall, unlike 90% of set ups which were mostly feet into the room.  No horrible bass boom, never too loud.  Brilliant demo, expertly done.   

Very taken with the TT quality, for (in the scheme of things) a reasonable price.  All the electronics have fabulous finish.  Speakers plug ugly, but all part of the unconventional charm.  No wonder so much of it gets exported to the mega-rich. 

 

Krell CD and amp, Michell/Rega/Grado record player, Hitachi and Sony tuners, Nakamichi cassette, SBT streamer, Sonus faber spkrs.  Sony and Samsung BDP & TVs. Qobuz > iPad > AudioPro Allroom Air One

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RE: Bristol Show Favourites - hi-fi

nopiano wrote:

Ok, who prices their loudspeakers in dB?

Answer: Audio Note.

My award for the 'Demo Most Like A Fun Listen In Your Mate's Front Room', goes to Audio Note.

I speak as a rather unconvinced AN listener.  Have always admired their sheer pluck in ploughing a unique furrow, but never quite 'got' the results.  Always liked the hand written notices and prices stickers with a felt-tip, rather than flashy glossies.  This time, I definitely heard why they have such passionate followers.   :clap:

First, a wallet alert.  Each item is in the GBP thousands.  Every item is their brand.  The turntable was a TT Two c £1300 with arm c £600, cartridge unknown,  CDP was CDT One/II  plus DAC 2.1x/II about £2500 each.  Princess Monoblok amps, £4500, with six watts (yes, 6 watts) per channel.  Lots of valves, no idea what type (not a tube nerd, sorry).  AN Type E speakers, 94dB £4260, or for 98dB £5480.  Not sure which were playing.

The nice man alternately played LP and CD with minimum fuss, no wisecracks, and with obvious familiarity with the kit and the discs. [You'd be amazed in how many demos the rep can't even use the remote or find a particular track]  Huge flight cases of LPs is always a good sign in my book!  I heard last mov't of Berlioz Symphonie Fantastique on CD, Lou Reed 'Walk on the Wild Side' on LP, a Sinatra track on CD, a familiar Female vocalist on LP (maybe Celine Dion?), a Beatles cover of 'Come Together' by female on CD.  Felt I had better leave after 5 tracks, but what an enchanting system.  So alive and vibrant.  Maybe a little bit papery and ocassionally a hint of a hollow sound - though the Rega RS7 speakers got my hollow sound award, ugh, how disappointing they were!  But the wonderful AN system gave such a clear acoustic setting, real orchestral colour, and effortless dynamics.  Nothing harsh or grainy, but nothing smoothed off either.  Just 'live' sounding, which is about the best compliment you can pay.    

Speakers were almost touching the outer walls, and near the rear wall, unlike 90% of set ups which were mostly feet into the room.  No horrible bass boom, never too loud.  Brilliant demo, expertly done.   

Very taken with the TT quality, for (in the scheme of things) a reasonable price.  All the electronics have fabulous finish.  Speakers plug ugly, but all part of the unconventional charm.  No wonder so much of it gets exported to the mega-rich. 

Well my friend, you have nicely captured the flavour of an AN system. It seems to be able to be plonked down anywhere (and on anything) and sound great. One quickly forgets the system, as the music just takes over........which is just as well, as bits of it are far from aesthetic.

When I heard it, there was no hint of a papery or hollow sound; but they were using £25k Ankoru Monos producing 45W. The guy doing the demo was almost certainly Martin Grennall, who is much as you described.......knowledgeable, approachable, helpful, BS free and a gentleman.

Glad you liked it.

Cno

"We should no more let numbers define audio quality than we should let chemical analysis be the arbiter of fine wines."  Nelson Pass

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RE: Bristol Show Favourites - hi-fi

nopiano wrote:

Ok, who prices their loudspeakers in dB?

Answer: Audio Note.

My award for the 'Demo Most Like A Fun Listen In Your Mate's Front Room', goes to Audio Note.

I speak as a rather unconvinced AN listener.  Have always admired their sheer pluck in ploughing a unique furrow, but never quite 'got' the results.  Always liked the hand written notices and prices stickers with a felt-tip, rather than flashy glossies.  This time, I definitely heard why they have such passionate followers.   :clap:

First, a wallet alert.  Each item is in the GBP thousands.  Every item is their brand.  The turntable was a TT Two c £1300 with arm c £600, cartridge unknown,  CDP was CDT One/II  plus DAC 2.1x/II about £2500 each.  Princess Monoblok amps, £4500, with six watts (yes, 6 watts) per channel.  Lots of valves, no idea what type (not a tube nerd, sorry).  AN Type E speakers, 94dB £4260, or for 98dB £5480.  Not sure which were playing.

The nice man alternately played LP and CD with minimum fuss, no wisecracks, and with obvious familiarity with the kit and the discs. [You'd be amazed in how many demos the rep can't even use the remote or find a particular track]  Huge flight cases of LPs is always a good sign in my book!  I heard last mov't of Berlioz Symphonie Fantastique on CD, Lou Reed 'Walk on the Wild Side' on LP, a Sinatra track on CD, a familiar Female vocalist on LP (maybe Celine Dion?), a Beatles cover of 'Come Together' by female on CD.  Felt I had better leave after 5 tracks, but what an enchanting system.  So alive and vibrant.  Maybe a little bit papery and ocassionally a hint of a hollow sound - though the Rega RS7 speakers got my hollow sound award, ugh, how disappointing they were!  But the wonderful AN system gave such a clear acoustic setting, real orchestral colour, and effortless dynamics.  Nothing harsh or grainy, but nothing smoothed off either.  Just 'live' sounding, which is about the best compliment you can pay.    

Speakers were almost touching the outer walls, and near the rear wall, unlike 90% of set ups which were mostly feet into the room.  No horrible bass boom, never too loud.  Brilliant demo, expertly done.   

Very taken with the TT quality, for (in the scheme of things) a reasonable price.  All the electronics have fabulous finish.  Speakers plug ugly, but all part of the unconventional charm.  No wonder so much of it gets exported to the mega-rich. 

 

Good article. I've enjoyed AN systems very much on the few occasions I've had a rare chance listening to one but the cost ... .

What was wrong with the Rega room and what were they used with? - I remember criticising the older R3's for their internal reflections audible through the front port, a rather serious flaw in an otherwise enjoyable speaker. - Hearing your comment, I am starting to wonder whether Rega's speakers also reflect a lot through their paper cones as the RS7 has a 'port' to the sides ...

regards

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RE: Bristol Show Favourites - hi-fi

drummerman wrote:
Good article. I've enjoyed AN systems very much on the few occasions I've had a rare chance listening to one but the cost ... .

What was wrong with the Rega room and what were they used with? - I remember criticising the older R3's for their internal reflections audible through the front port, a rather serious flaw in an otherwise enjoyable speaker. - Hearing your comment, I am starting to wonder whether Rega's speakers also reflect a lot through their paper cones as the RS7 has a 'port' to the sides ...

Not really sure of the reasons.  They were using their new RP8 turntable, and a Brio amp (I don't think it was the full-width Elicit, but didn't write it down at the time, so may be wrong).  It was so bad I almost left at once, but it often takes a few minutes to tune into a room.  A few tracks on and it was bearable.  But that's all.  Everything sounded like it was coming down a cardboard tube - imagine a giant toilet roll tube!    

There was no natural sparkle or transparancy, a massive contrast, say, to the ProAc and PMC demos (where I shouldn't say so, but often think they are similar - studio turned domestic sounding).  Actually this time, for the money, I'd have the ProAc D2 which sounded spot-on.  I'd have to get them without the hideous grille badge though.  Traditional British audio done to perfection.  But anyway, I have no idea where the Rega setup was adrift - it wasn't something obvious like a fluffy stylus! 

Just to seal their fate, I asked a youngish guy wearing a Rega badge which model the speakers were, and he had no idea!  I think he said he was only here because of his Dad, so maybe Gandy junior?  Anyway, another chap confirmed them as the RS7.  I can't believe what I heard was what was intended.  Maybe someone else will read this and comment?  

Krell CD and amp, Michell/Rega/Grado record player, Hitachi and Sony tuners, Nakamichi cassette, SBT streamer, Sonus faber spkrs.  Sony and Samsung BDP & TVs. Qobuz > iPad > AudioPro Allroom Air One

Anonymous
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RE: Bristol Show Favourites - hi-fi

I went to this show to listen to the B&W A7 and ARCAM AirDAC, and was somewhat disappointed:

The A7 was unable to be demonstrated under the right enviroment, in one of the hotel's room.

The airDAC was another story.  I saw one, but the ARCAM team refuses to demonstrate it.   It was demonstrated at the CES show and it release date is in six weeks time.  I would expect them to be on the production line by now.  The ARCAM team have conflict of views on this product performance and seem to concentrate on their existing r-DAC technology.   I expected better from such an excellant company.

I was impressed the the GURU Junior speakers, which I found was really good when Pink Floyd "Money" was played.  I found the bulk of the manufactures tend to play safe jazz type music,  which could sound good even on an old  "music center".  The KEF LS50 I consider a close second to these GURU speakers.     A fair number of the demonstators have a mix mach of components which are either too over or underspec for thier products.

I believe the best sound is got be the PMC/Bryson. The new Q Acoustic speaker sounded really good for their money.

A good show.  Using the rooms gives a good ideal on what they wound like in a rather largish living room.

 

 

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RE: Bristol Show Favourites - hi-fi

For eye candy - Macintosh & for sound: probably Leema through Blades.  Bought some Atlas speaker cable - 2x 5m of their bottom range copper OCC. Could have bought a 2nd hand car for the same price. Unusually impulsive for me. Am still in Bristol taking pics  - great views from the top of the Brandon Hill folly. Didn't visit today, 2 days quite enough.

regards

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RE:

Been there yesterday with my 13 yr old daughter. I was'nt very impressed to majority of the exhibit maybe due to poor room acoustics. However, there were some which IMO and even my daughter agrees. As usual whenever there are ProAc's speakers in the room(D2's) I always used to sit and spend a couple of mins. The Dali's suite is also impressive with some Linn components. But there's on thing that grab my attention..the Oriton speakers connected to some Audiolab etc..Those big PMC's did'nt impressed maybe due to a limited space and the staff keep sets the volume too high as if they're PA speakers

Main system: MF AMS 35i / Focal 1028be / Electrocompaniet EMC 1UP / MIT cables

Bedroom: Laptop(Qobuz) / Chord gem / Rega Brio-r / KEF ls50 / TQ black / Sennheiser momentum

 

 

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RE: Bristol Show Favourites - hi-fi

I thought the Cyrus demo of the 30th anerverary system was the best of it. The system sounded great but what was better was the insight into the product development. 

Chord electronics was awful mainly down to poor room acoustics and bad music but was left feeling the only premium thing about chord electronics is the price tag. 

The kef blades on the leema kit was really good but the room was to small for the speakers.

Both of my brothers ended up buying arcam r-blink which is a really neat unit for streaming from a mobile phone. We tested it when we got home on my Cyrus kit and it really is a capable little unit. 

I agree with one of the other posts here that people should go all the way into the room and sit on the seats not block the small door. 

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