Naim Mu-so, Bristol HiFi Show
The 2015 Knob Feel Awards. We need more contestants… manufacturers, you need to send this guy your gear if you got good knob feel.
The winner? The Naim Mu-so wireless music system. Yep, that is one heck of a knob. Good choice.
Stereophile has an article on the perennial topic about whether exhibitors should or should not play music brought by attendees.
First, there is a lot of music snobbery at shows. Maybe snobbery is not always the right word. Some attendees will only listen to classical music and will leave a room and never come back if anything else is played. Some attendees only listen to 3 or 4 piece jazz. Some only to ‘audiophile quality’ music. Most exhibitors will only play audiophile music, in fact 90% or so will not accept requests anymore (CES especially, but also trending at RMAF).
The reference to “… ask to hear a bootleg recording of ear-splitting heavy metal…” is a joke. No one plays heavy metal during a show [except Audio note]. No one plays modern pop music [modern being after 1990 or so]. Established, old fashioned, very well-recorded Radiohead is OMG are you sure you want to play that? No one plays techno. No one plays country or bluegrass [with a few exceptions].
When we exhibit we play all requests. If the music is recorded badly, so be it. Let the attendee hear how badly it is recorded. There is a real problem with burned CDs, however, where well-recorded songs sound terrible. They say “We heard Hotel California in this room with $2 speakers, sounded great THERE”. But they played the real CD, not the burned mockery.
We also have people come to the store with these, and we just wait, wincing, hoping and wishing for one of their songs to be from a CD we also own – so we can replay the darn thing and show them how it is supposed to sound. Otherwise we have to have the ‘talk’ about how to not burn a CD – and that all of their auditions to this point, perhaps years worth, have been with material that is harmonically flawed and dynamically flat.
The real story in the Stereophile article is that the guy got to hear his recording for a few minutes before the exhibitor wanted to play a different genre of music. He should consider himself lucky and do not assume that exhibitors can hear the flaws being revealed in their play systems anymore that we can assume musicians can hear them. Or reviewers. This ‘being able to hear things’ ability is only found on a case by case, individual basis, and has little to do with the listener’s profession. In fact, I bet one would find it to be inversely proportional to what you would expect based on their profession [few plumbers listen with their mind’s preconceptions rather than their ears].
Personally, I think they should ban classical, jazz and audiophile music from shows. Not that I don;t love these genres, but I AM SO BORED with hearing the same old every show. I bet sales would triple for most, while some manufacturers would go right out of business
Hi-Fi Pig has a .
Bristol High-end Audio Show report
It is a PDF file, takes awhile to download, and there are a lot of ads, but still fun to peruse I think.