CES 2007 – Day FOUR

Today it was time to complete the photography of THE SHOW at the St. Tropez.

Although there were quite a few rooms at the THE SHOW show, it was still only about 50 – 60% of the CES show in the Venetian. It would be even less, but many exhibitors had two room suites, which I count as two rooms, whereas all rooms at the Venetian were single rooms.

A few conclusions:

* There was less traffic at THE SHOW than last year when it was next door to CES at the Alexis Park. More of the exhibitors at THE SHOW might consider showing next year at the Venetian if there were not a steady stream of horror stories coming out of the Venetian.

* There was more traffic for exhibitors who were near other exhibitors. There is a big advantage to the dense clustering of rooms – for exhbitors who want traffic and attendees who want their feet to be less flat [show organizers are you listening?].

* The sound at the THE SHOW at the St. Tropez was about the same as last year: Cogent wasn’t there, unfortunately, but this year there was us in the Audio Note room :-), Kondo sounded better than last year, and Kharma transitioned from CES to the show as well. That said, given if one had the same exact systems at THE SHOW and RMAF – I think they would sound better at RMAF. *Why* that appears to be, I do not know.

* The sound at CES was… well, it has always been mixed, as well, with a few nuggets amongst the average and ‘trying hards’. I guess it was about the same, given the steady increase in quality we see year after year at most shows. For me, the rooms I thought were the most tempting were the Lamm, Hanson, and Audiomachina. Neli’s faves were the EAR room (featuring the new Marten ‘Bird’ speaker) and the Lamm room.

* There were a number of rooms I did not get to hear – Rockport for example, Rives is another, who were not playing music when I was there – and my visits were fleeting in rooms where it did not appear to be a reason to stay longer.

* Lamm did play their one working ML3 on one of the Wilsons and Neli got to hear it for quite some time. Hopefully I will be able to *extract* the juicy details 🙂 But, to summarize, she liked it – it appears to be SIGNIFICANTLY better than the ML2.1 in ALL audiophile attributes, especially control of the speaker, dynamics, and transparency.

* The Venetian really, really doesn’t want exhibitors in their hotel rooms [in the tower] – presumably thinking that they all should be in the regular exhibit rooms [levels 2, 3 and 4] – and they make this obvious by seemingly treating the exhibitors very poorly. The regular exhibit rooms are decent sized rooms but with movable walls – that are hard to the touch but hollow and so not as substantial as the rooms in the tower. Given the opportunity variety of systems in those rooms – I did NOT hear any significant universal problems with the sound in these fabricated rooms.

I am not sure why there are any exhibitors in the tower except that someone must have thought that the systems would sound better up there. They might – but it would be a more level playing field if everybody was in one place or another. The Munich show each Spring is in an environment similar to the regular exhibit rooms – and they seem to manage it. Anyway, my point is that perhaps everybody should show just on the lower levels.

* Next year we, Audio Federation, will likely have our own room, with most probably a 100% Audio Note system fronted by different speakers [what is that, a 99% Audio Note system? :-)]. It will be an upscale system – with kind of system and setup and optimizations that people have come to expect from us who have attended RMAF or visited our website – a demonstration of the kind of sound we have been getting by pairing Audio Note with other brands of equipment [Audio Note equipment really does work well with others]. This year the rooms sounded darn good – but it was a collaborative effort and none of the collaborators really got to optimize the system the way they really wanted it – we certainly didn’t.

* About 2500 photos were taken. About the same as HE 2006 [which was about 2700 – I mistakenly used Windows to count the photos and counted the RAW images as well as the ordinary images] but about 1/2 the number of closeup photos. Getting a shot of every component was just looking to be too much work for 4 days – and so I tried to just photograph components that we have not photographed before or were somehow different from previous years. Each system of every room that I was able to find I photographed – although some have people standing in front of the system acting as kind of semi-intelligent, interactive, wandering room treatment components.

* The show report…. *sigh* … will be forthcoming. Really. But first we have to find a way to get home, and right now we are tempted to just wait for Spring.

CES 2007 – Day FOUR dailies

CES 2007: Day THREE

Day three was busy. Finished photos of the Venetian and of the Central Conference Hall at the main conference. Also checked out the CES halls at the Sands / Expo but not the simultaneously running AVN conference in the same building… But some of the exhibtors were going by every so often as we presumably well-adjusted male bots tried not to run into walls…

Today it is just the St. Tropez, which is good because all the Las Vegas traffic congestion between the Alexis Park and the Venetian and LVCC gets to a person after while.

CES 2007 photo dailies: day THREE

CES 2007 – Day TWO


Forgot to charge my camera battery last night so Mike as Photographer was down a few hours and wasted then time to get to and from the show [which is significant: the bus arrived a few minutes after I got to the front of the hotel, but took 25-30 minutes to get to the show. Getting back… the busses had stopped running, so it was a taxi, which took 15 minutes or so. Then there was the time in-between that it took to really acknowledge that I was indeed [somehat dull-wittedly aka stupid 🙁 ] SOL with a drained battery and even if the Canon exhibit at the show did have one of these batteries, and had them for sale, and I could find their exibhit – it too would likely need to be charged]. First time a battery died with only one day’s use. But it was 1000 photos or so…

So this meant that I did not get a lot of pictures of the main conference today. Mostly got pictures of the 3rd and 4th floors at the Venetian and did the dealer knowledge aquisition thing (hey, we were sober and it was during business hours… 🙂 this feels so much like it is NOT work that I can only stand to do it a short while… Brain keeps saying : Get back to work! You should be out there taking more pictures and listening to more systems).

So far, nothing has stood out. You can look at a system, and think ‘this system with speakers designed like X and driven by Y might have associated problems A, B, and C’. And it does and they do.

CES 2007 – Day TWO