SHOW REPORT

Part 3

Floor 3

Home Entertainment Show

The Stereophile High-end Audio Show
Los Angeles, California

June 1st-4th, 2006

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The Verity, Nagra, Audion, Ayre, Silversmith Room
 

There were two systems in this very large room. I only spent time listening to the first.  The sound in this room was Enjoyable and Sophisticated. No negative ju-ju was noticed, i.e. when the system was over taxed it failed gracefully and in a musically tolerable manner - but there was some lack of dynamics, likely do to the size of the room. They only used the solid-state Nagra on the bottom shelf while we were there.

More Verity, Nagra, Audion, Ayre, Silversmith Room pictures.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Nagra hard-drive recorder/player, CD player and DAC.

 

 

 

 

 The Nagra CD player has a lighted tray. What you see is its red light.

 

 

 

 

 Verity Parsifal loudspeaker.

 

 

 

 

 Verity Parsifal loudspeaker.

 

 

 

 

 Verity Parsifal loudspeaker.

 

 

 

 

 

 Audion preamplifier (dual mono)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Static display of Nagra PL-P preamplifier

 

 

 

 

 Static display of Nagra PL-P preamplifier

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 The second system.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Audion Silver Night MkII tube amplifier

 

 

 

 

 Audion Silver Night MkII tube amplifier

 

 

 

 

Nagra PSA amplifier

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Ayre Evolution CD Player

 

 

 

 

 Verity loudspeaker.

 

 

 

 

 Readily available tweak to keep cables off floor. Uncertain if it has been fully treated with beer or not.

 

 

 

 

 Close-up of Verity loudspeaker.

 

 

 The PeaK Consult, Berning, Continuum, Eighth Nerve, Stillpoints Room
 

 This was probably the best room in my opinion because it was fairly well-balanced (though not as well-balanced as the Lamm, which was the best at this show with respect to this) and went farthest towards maxing out on the ingredients for a wholesome sonic meal (though unfortunately not in true conehead fashion :-).

The new to the market PeaK Consult 2-way Incognito X loudspeakers were about the right size for this room. And the smallness of the room, and speakers did make producing quality sound easier in comparison to the larger rooms at the show - of which there were many. The Berning amps seemed to drive the speakers OK (more on this later). There were a number of comments on the imbalance of this system with respect to cost: The Continuum turntable coming in at $90K (plus preamplifier and cartridge) easily dwarfing the cost of the amplifier and speakers. Hey, whatever works, right?

We heard a number of pieces in this room, though primarily blues. For example, early one morning - well, it certainly seemed early to me - Stevie Ray Vaughn was plopped on the LP spin machine and the volume was turned up. Very full, authoritative sound. Good presence and solidity. The only difficulty was during a few passages, more complex perhaps, where there was a reticence as if the speakers were closed in, too hard to drive for the amp, or not broken in. I only point at the speakers because this very behavior has been experienced with these speakers at numerous exhibits at numerous shows in the past.

Still do not have a feeling for the quality of the Continuum - expect more conformation of the belief we have that this table is not a 'detail vacuum', as JV described it once, I believe, anywhere near the way the Walker Proscenium Gold Signature turntable is - not that this should be the ultimate way to judge the quality of a turntable.

More PeaK Consult, Berning, Continuum, Eighth Nerve, Stillpoints pictures.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Peak Consult Incognito X loudspeaker

 

 

 

 

The Peak Consult Incognito X loudspeaker

 

 

 

 

 The Continuum turntable

 

 

 

 

 The Manley Steelhead phono preamplifier and Continuum motor controller.

 

 

 

 

 The Continuum turntable.

 

 

 

 

 The Continuum turntable power supply I imagine..

 

 

 

 

 The Continuum turntable with its Cobra tonearm and Koetsu Onyx cartridge

 

 

 

 

 The Continuum turntable with its Cobra tonearm and Koetsu Onyx cartridge

 

 

 

 

 Rear of the Peak Consult Incognito X loudspeaker.

 

 

 

 

 The Berning ZH270 amplifier.

 

 

 

 

 The Berning ZH270 amplifier.

 

 

 

 

 The Caliburn Continuum turntable.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  The Caliburn Continuum turntable.

 

 

 

 

 Through the looking glass of the Berning SH270 stereo amplifier.

 

 

 

 

 The Continuum turntable with its Cobra tonearm and Koetsu Onyx cartridge.

 

 

 

 

 The Continuum turntable with its Cobra tonearm and Koetsu Onyx cartridge.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 The Manley Steelhead phono preamplifier

 

 

 

 

 The Continuum turntable logo

 

 

 

 

Koetsu Onyx cartridge

 

 

 

 

 Underneath the Continuum turntable.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 The emblem on the side of the Continuum equipment rack.

 

 

 

 

 The logo on the front of the Peak Consult loudspeaker.

 

 

 

 

 The Berning ZH270 amplifier. Hey! Where did that 'special edition' sticker come from?

 

 

 

 

 Room treatment by Eighth Nerve.

 

 

 

 The Rethm, New Audio Frontiers, Tom Evans, Metronome, Sound Engineering Room
 

 The sound of this room...well, there was lots of midrange energy. Imagine a place, beyond time and space, where there was a Wilson Watt/Puppy V, no make that VI, and the bass unit was removed (yeah, the puppy) and the tweeter was removed, and then you hooked it up to, say, a Krell amplifier - an oooolllllldddd Krell amplifier. And the powerline was really poor and had lots of nasty spikes that drove the amplifier into crazy fits of solid-state hyper-activity like a teenager who has been drinking coffee all day. And, well....

No, I obviously do not understand what they are trying to achieve here.

A seemingly wonderful, hand-picked front end and amplifier. What can we say? Oh, and they play it LOUD here too.

More Rethm, New Audio Frontiers, Tom Evans, Metronome, Sound Engineering Room pictures.

 

 

 

 

 Rethm loudspeaker.

 

 

 

 

 Rethm loudspeaker.

 

 

 

 

 New Audio Frontier amplifier.

 

 

 

 

 New Audio Frontier amplifier.

 

 

 

 

 Sound Engineering's turntable.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Sound Engineering's turntable.

 

 

 

 

 Metronome CD player

 

 

 

 

 Tome Evan's The Groove phono preamplifier.

 

 

 

 

 Sound Engineering's turntable.

 

 

 

 

 Sound Engineering's turntable.

 

 

 

 

 Sound Engineering's turntable.

 

 

 

 

 Sound Engineering's turntable.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Battery for...?

 

 

 

 

 Another shot of the Rethm loudspeaker.

 

 

 

 

 Another shot of the Rethm loudspeaker.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 The JAS Audio, NuForce, Esoteric Room
 

 These speakers sounded intersting at CES so it was with great hope and attention this room was discovered [that is one of the fun things about shows, the discovery of each room and all the little - and large - goodies inside]. Decent front end. Check. Vibration control addressed in some manner. Check. Amplifiers. Uh.

Thin, dry, sound that was somewhat timbre challenged, dynamically constipated, and well, maybe they were trying to sell NuForce and displayed it with all these other, more 'esoteric' pieces, in the hope that some of their 'high-end' aura would rub off. Geez Louise, and I really wanted to hear the JAS loudspeakers. Maybe next time.

More JAS Audio, NuForce, Esoteric Room pictures.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Esoteric P-03 transport

 

 

 

 

 Esoteric D-03 DAC.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 JAS loudspeaker.

 

 

 

 

 JAS loudspeaker.

 

 

 

 

 JAS loudspeaker.

 

 

 

 

 

 Smaller JAS loudspeaker.

 

 

 

 

 Smaller JAS loudspeaker with cover off.

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All pictures in this report are freely copyable and distributable.
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