Group Therapy => NC Triangulation => Topic started by: richidoo on October 25, 2010, 07:50:53 PM

Title: Audio Advice presents "Music Matters"
Post by: richidoo on October 25, 2010, 07:50:53 PM
Music Matters!  
November 18 in Raleigh and November 19 in Charlotte. 6-10pm

More information:

I'm going to the Raleigh event. Post here if you are attending, and post your comments after the event.  

Details from Audio Advice announcement:
"Audio Advice will host Music Matters 2010 in our Raleigh showplace at 8621 Glenwood Avenue on Thursday Nov. 18th, and Friday Nov. 19th at the Pineville showplace at 11409 Carolina Place Parkway. Both evenings will last from 6 pm to 10 pm.

Wine and food will be provided by Bella Monica in Raleigh, and by Born to Cook in Pineville, and a prize drawing will be held for attendees.


Michael Fremer, Senior Contributing Editor of Stereophile (pictured above) and author of their Analog Corner column will be a featured presenter at each of these two evenings devoted to the celebration of music.

The latest in speakers and components will be demonstrated by representatives from several of our favorite companies, and one new to Music Matters, GoldenEar Technologies. Here are the confirmed attendees:

Audio Research / Dave Gordon
AudioQuest / Steve Silberman
Ayre / Alex Brinkman
B&W / Eric Joy
Classé / Dave Nauber
GoldenEar Technologies / Sandy Gross
GoldenEar Technologies / John Miller
Mark Levinson / Mike Pyle (Raleigh)
Mark Levinson / Keith Parke (Raleigh)
Peachtree Audio / Jim Spainhour
Transparent Cable / Brad O’Toole
Wilson Audio / Peter McGrath (Raleigh)

Also in both Raleigh and Charlotte, John Q. Walker of Zenph Technologies will be on hand to demonstrate Zenph’s amazing re-performance technology that enables them to recreate legendary performances of the past with modern recording techniques."
Title: Re: Audio Advice presents "Music Matters"
Post by: tmazz on October 25, 2010, 09:39:41 PM
Sounds like a real nice event. I'm jealous.   :mrgreen:
Title: Re: Audio Advice presents "Music Matters"
Post by: etcarroll on October 26, 2010, 05:24:12 AM
Any chance this show is going on the road?
Title: Re: Audio Advice presents "Music Matters"
Post by: Bigfish8 on October 26, 2010, 05:55:53 AM
I received the e-mail notice about this presentation last week but I have not seen the invitation in the mail.  If Vera saw it she would probably trash it! :rofl:

Title: Re: Audio Advice presents "Music Matters"
Post by: tmazz on October 26, 2010, 07:46:53 AM
I received the e-mail notice about this presentation last week but I have not seen the invitation in the mail.  If Vera saw it she would probably trash it! :rofl:


Does that come under the heading of "An once of prevention......."  :lol:
Title: Re: Audio Advice presents "Music Matters"
Post by: richidoo on November 02, 2010, 01:34:25 PM
Mike Fremer has cancelled, John Atkinson will come instead.

Is anyone else planning to go?  I want to hear Wilson (probably Sasha or Sophia3) and also the new Golden Ear products from the new company formed by Sandy Gross of Definitive Technologies fame. They are supposed to be good enough for high end music listening as well as inexpensive enough for family home theater.

The last one I went to a couple years ago featured JA, and his choir recordings. It was not too thrilling. I think Mikey would have been more entertaining. I remember JA asking the crowded room which they liked better after playing one vs the other. The one he convinced everyone to like better was dead lifeless claustrophobic infinite feedback, which is is his infamous preference. YUK!  It was everything I could do to bite my tongue and not ruin the hired gun's sales pitch. 

Hopefully it will sound better this time.
Title: Re: Audio Advice presents "Music Matters"
Post by: Carlman on November 02, 2010, 01:48:45 PM
If I'm not sworn to other plans, I'd like to go... but I won't know until a day or 2 before.
Title: Re: Audio Advice presents "Music Matters"
Post by: SteveB on November 02, 2010, 04:10:48 PM
I may be there. Wont know until last min.
Title: Re: Audio Advice presents "Music Matters"
Post by: richidoo on November 18, 2010, 07:56:38 PM
The show was fun, I'm glad I went. As usual the catering was the best part.

I was able to see most of the rooms. The first was Golden Ear, where Sandy Gross, legendary audio marketer demonstrated his new Tower Two speakers. They list for 2500 and they sounded double that, at least. Built in bass amp with DSP, then the top MTM was powered by all McIntosh electronics. The MC402 drove them very well, of course. They were very dynamic, clear, open and musical. The uppers were a little edgy, probably from the McIntosh preamp. The bass should have been much tighter being two small oval drivers sealed with 2 passive radiators. But the room was way too small for these speakers. They play very big! All of the rooms were too small. Overall I would say the Golden Ear room was the most impressive, when the price of the system was taken into account. Sandy said 60 good watts will get you there since the bass is self powered. The build quality seems very good, and with good electronics match, I can see how these could satisfy music AND HT needs.  The pleated ribbon sounded excellent, the mids also excellent. I look forward to hearing them again in a better room where the bass can really shine.

Next was the crown jewel of the store, the Wilson room. Sasha with ARC stack. The new DAC was playing from a Macbook/Amarra source. Ref 5 pre into Ref 110 with transparent wires. The Sashas were placed very wide, they can handle it, but with so many people jammed in there the width made imaging difficult to perceive. This was the best sound in the place due to the tube magic. The ARC pre and amp make everything sound good, no matter what speakers. I was a little disappointed that the Sasha was still somewhat juvenile presentation, highs and lows exaggerated somewhat, but it is an exciting bigger than life sound. Timbre is excellent. Just a little too confident. I think some of that is the amp too. But these are voiced together so it is a house sound for both companies. I will go back up to hear it again later inthe month when nobody else is there. Peter McGrath from Wilson is a trip. I'm glad it was only 30 minutes. But I did take 2 doses.

Then into the Harmon room. Revel Salon2, JBL Pro speakers, Levinson electronics. Much more buttoned down than the Wilson/ARC room. More accurate, more grown up, more controlled. The Revels with 532 amp were too tightly buckled for me, although they were technically excellent. 5 titanium drivers need a lot of crossover tweeks to keep them on the reservation and it showed. They were also placed too close to the sidewall in order to make room for the other bigger speakers, and you should never have unused speakers in the same room. Plus I was sitting in the back row. But the music still came through. It will be fun to hear those again when the big demo truck comes on Dec 10th. The JBL speakers were the Project K2 S9900. Horn tweet and mid with a big bass driver. The efficiency was much higher, they sounded more open and less twisted in the midrange. I assume being Harmon they are still steep complicated crossovers, but the JBLs sounded more alive and natural. The Revels were more bench test perfect sounding. I enjoyed both, but I got pulled into the music with the JBLs. I was surprised how well the ML electronics did. Last time I heard them was with WATTpoopy7 which was a disaster. Some brand synergy going on here.

I walked into another room with the bookshelf Wilsons and a Ayre, it had no vibe so I split. Then I went next door to see John Atkinsons show. I sat down in a perfect seat in the middle, looked at the system. Vandersteen Quattro with Ayre pre and Bryston 4B sitting on the floor. I got up and left. Last time I was stuck in that room with JA playing his choir music for an hour making everyone agree how excellent the system sounded when it was suffocating and flat. I wasn't about to get stuck there again listening to a Bryston pillow held over my face for 30 minutes. I had a flashback and panicked. \

Another room had Sophia3 with Ayre. He was playing the same tracks over and over to demonstrate swapping speaker cables. Once I realized that I split. Sophia's sounded pretty good on what I heard.

Behind that room was a huge theater where the store founder Leon Shaw was playing rock concert videos with super dolby mastersound BlueRay 192/24 DolbyHD whatever. Who Teenage Wasteland 1977, Talking heads live concert, Elton John concert. It was fun to watch the music visually. The sound was loud and clear, but nothing special. B&W inwalls and rack mounted Classe were all hidden. But they were very proud of them. I would love to see that whole Talking Heads concert.

Another room had Classe electronics with B&W 802D. That sounded very good for the little of it that I heard. I walked in at the end while it was playing a nice CD, great sound. I always love that combo BW and Classe. The 802D has a spherical midrange enclosure which had that same diffraction free openness that I remember from other spherical speakers. These were the best speakers of the night for my taste. Then he wanted to show off how the Classe preamp could play tunes from iPhone via USB connector on the front panel. He promised the Classe electronics would sort out the stream and sound better than any CD player at any price. Clint Black never sounded worse. Edgy, thin and compressed. I would not be surprised if that's how the track really sounds, but it was not a good choice for demo. Now I wish I saw that whole demo from the beginning.

I was happy to see RichardS and Roger there. If anyone is contemplating the Charlotte show give it a shot!
Title: Re: Audio Advice presents "Music Matters"
Post by: RichardS on November 19, 2010, 07:02:42 AM
As is usual with these kinds of events, or at shows, most rooms are too small for the speakers, which are jammed into the corners with extreme toe in, and only a few get to sit in anything resembling a sweet spot. Still, it was fun going from room to room and hearing different systems back to back.

I probably enjoyed the Revel/ ML ‘performance’ the most, though the opening PR hype by the rep was practically nausea-inducing. It was also nice in this room to hear the same cuts played on the Revels followed immediately by the JBLs. From my seat at the far right, I liked the Revels better. Nice tight bass, open mids and very smooth and delicate but with decent dynamics when called for. Hi-fi, well OK, maybe, but I was moved. They’re smaller than I imagined they’d be, and pretty ugly with the grills off. The JBLs were also good but somewhat incoherent and not as smooth or involving for me (at my seat to the right of the right speaker).

The Sasha room had a very nice sound, set up on the long wall with the speakers further into the room than most. I was sitting center and the imaging was first rate (except for one thing) and they did an amazing job of creating a cohesive sound from which individual instruments could easily be extracted. Peter McGrath demonstrated how two 8” woofs could produce prodigious and tight bass, which they did, and then played some mesmerizing vocals. Very lifelike. I had a better seat here. Probably liked these better than the Revels, except for one thing that I can’t get past. Both these, and the Duettes in another room, had a vertically shrunken stage, which I’ve heard in several other Wilson demos I’ve attended. Sounds like I’m listening from the balcony, which I don’t like. Maybe these need to be on stands, or you need a lower seat.

The Golden Ear speakers / room had too much bass boom, which is my other peeve I can’t get past. Maybe aggravated by my seat at the back wall, but this ruined an otherwise nice presentation for me, though I don’t doubt these speakers may be a good buy with the bass tamed.

The B & W/ Classe room was better than I was expecting, and the piano pieces were great, clean and dynamic with nice weight. I was off to the left in front of the left speaker and still perceived a quite decent soundstage. If had a room where several people listened, these might fit the bill. I had owned B & W 802s about 22 years ago. They’ve certainly gotten better and the diamond tweeters were nicely detailed without being in-your-face. The Classe digital preamp seemed really nice too, feature-wise, and looked great.

John Atkinson’s presentation of how rock recordings are compressing the sh** out of music was interesting but nothing ground-breaking. Glad I’m not interested in much rock, though I do listen to it sometimes in the car. Maybe that’s why it’s all so compressed, eh? He used his computer into the DAC, as did the Wilson room. Wouldn’t want to be manufacturing expensive transports these days. The Vandys sounded pretty good here too, less dark than other Vandys I’ve auditioned in the distant past (of course he was playing bright, harsh recordings).

All-in-all, I can’t be too critical due to the compromised rooms and setup. Most sounded pretty good, though nothing was great, at least from where I was sitting. The components were mostly very expensive and though fit and finish is generally excellent, I think more sound for the dollar is often available from smaller lesser-known vendors. Can’t really think of anything here I’d actually be interested in buying with real money. I had fun and it was fun bumping into friends in the halls, though there wasn’t much opportunity to talk.
Title: Re: Audio Advice presents "Music Matters"
Post by: richidoo on October 25, 2011, 07:09:13 AM
Music Matters 2011 is coming up:

I want to hear the Magnepans.
Title: Re: Audio Advice presents "Music Matters"
Post by: bpape on October 25, 2011, 07:23:49 AM
Just FYI - I hit that link and Avast flagged it as malicious and blocked some script from running.