JV CES 2011 Show Report pg. 6
[This is all great fun, and I hope you all are enjoying this. It is somewhat unfair, to JV, in that we always get the last word here (always counterpoint to his point) but I do try and be as balanced and as fair as I can, while still fully communicating what I heard at the shows. So if you feel I am being overly polite, or more polite than I usually am , then this is the reason why].
I used to listen to these rooms carefully, but have not at the last several shows.
There was some confusion in the comments about which room this was, and I am still confused. I did hear the Bryston on the Maggies, and the sound sounded just like Bryston on Maggies, not like the very impressive [and Impressive] sound at the Alexis Park of this pair several years ago. I think this room was too big - it was one of THE Show suites at the Flamingo.
… skipping ….
* Talon Phoenix / VAC
JV: “smidge on the dark side”. As I remember, this was a hodgepodge of good and bad sounding components, a delicate balance of the aggressive and the laid back, and the overall result was Enjoyable [an accomplishment in my book], but not real or transparent or drug-like etc.
* Nola Baby Grand Reference / ARC
I did not pay particular attention to this room.
* Acapella High Violoncello II
Well, we are too forthright with our opinions for the distributor of these speakers - so we do not hear these rooms. But if I was to be annoying and make a correction to JV’s semantics so that “this was the best Acapella speaker I’ve heard” should be “this is the best I’ve heard from an Acapella speaker”. [which is too bad, because the general consensus from Acapella fans was that this was not the best THEY have heard from Acapella… so keep listening JV].
… skipping ….
* Lotus Group ‘Granadas’
OK. Well, JV’s diagnosis seems to be all over the place, so let me try and see if I do not get into the same predicament.
First, these speakers were driven by very large Musical Fidelity amps and several other components that I personally would not pair with $125K speakers.
Second, although I could hear what the musical fidelity was doing [massacring] to the notes, it was not overtly offensive. The sound is tonally very pure and has a nice natural roundness to the notes that was only partially affected by the sound of the amp. This suggests a very forgiving speaker - which can be a good thing and a bad thing.
Third, I was somewhat annoyed by one of the exhibitors [the speaker designer??? not Joe] saying that this speaker was all about the digital crossover, that this was the ‘magic sauce’ [or words very similar to this]. To me, this shows a lack of perspective, a minimalistic versus holistic view of speakers and makes me wonder about the overall performance of the speaker across multiple scenarios [think room correction fans, computer audio fans, etc. These are TOOLS people, not ideologies or sledge hammers].
Anyway, someday we will bring an Ongaku and XDS1 over to Joe’s and hear what these sound like. I do like the sound at this point, and they could be really great speakers.
Life is too short
Unfortunately did not listen carefully here.
* Lamm Industries / Verity Audio
First, JV, it is ML2.2 [add that ‘L’!].
JV says nice things about this room, and not that I did not like it, but I heard something quite different. The sound was sweet, rich, controlled but soft. I would call it warm but with control… i.e. the notes start and stop OK, but are a little too round on the attack and decay. As Neli and I talk it over [she spent more time there than me] Verity may indeed be the heir apparent to Sonus Faber [the current top-selling ’sweet’ sounding speaker].
* More about the Scaena and we are done….
JV: ‘Magico Q5s are consistently capable of this “fool-you-into-thinking-you-are-in-the-presence-of-real-singers-or-musicians” level of realism, of not hearing “where it comes from.”’
I assume that by “where it comes from.” he means the hall where the recording was recorded [he might also mean that the speakers disappear, but it seems less likely]
OK, well, hearing where it comes from means that the hall was mic’d and that your system is capable of reproducing the subtle details picked up by that mic. If it is on the recording you SHOULD hear “where it comes from”. Otherwise your system is not reproducing not only the subtle details of the hall, but not reproducing the subtle details of the music as well.
Which is, of course, my primary complaint with JV references.
It is not like this is against the law or anything, and if one really wants this sort of effect, this would be one [expensive] way of getting it. TEO cables are another [brings the melody into the foreground], and to some extent many systems and components and cables do this to a more or lesser degree.
It is just that, as we spend our time and money and effort [as do our fave manufacturers] to get the exact opposite effect, I had to comment
OK. That is about it. JV did not talk about the Perfect8 system [which I think he would have liked OK but it would not be on his BOS list], nor the Audio Note [which he may have liked a lot] nor Kondo [he would not have liked] systems. But he did catch most of them [and many I did not] and I love it that he spends the time to listen to and write intelligent opinions about the sound at these shows.