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01-19-2015 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,540
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 1
Post ID: 21496
Reply to: 21496
The ultimate worst best things in audio.
fiogf49gjkf0d
Different “audio journalists” here and there with awe noted the Lamm, Kubala-Sosna, Emm, TechDAS, Verity room at CES 2015  that reportedly mark one million dollars of equipment in the room.
 
http://audiofederation.com/blog/page/5 
 
I am sure that as CES 2015 demo room it was a wonderful exhibit but for sake of audio common sense it would be better to be just on non-operational display. The reason is that the installation like this, would it be assemble in a home listening room, in my view, demonstrates absolutely worse that contemporary high-end audio able to deliver. Here is a home work for you, the site readers: why despite I do not extend any criticism to the individual components I find the whole installation is beyond of being ridicules.


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
01-19-2015 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
rowuk


Germany
Posts 227
Joined on 07-05-2012

Post #: 2
Post ID: 21497
Reply to: 21496
1+1+1+1+1+1+1=0?
fiogf49gjkf0d
Well, I may be one of the dummies here, but there are several things that could be viewed as "wrong" if sound was the primary goal:
1) 95dB speakers and SET amps2) SET amps instead of DSET3) components assembled without a sonic goal - rather only commercial4) lack of time alignment (as a matter of fact "anti time alignment" with the backward slant of those tall speakers........5) no serious power treatment6) amps on the rug

Of course bass reflex, plastic cone drivers, largest possible interconnect diameter could be added to the list. I have not had any experience with LAMM, but that would be product specific - which was not asked for.....


Whenever I feel blue, I start breathing again.
01-19-2015 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
JJ Triode
Posts 75
Joined on 09-12-2007

Post #: 3
Post ID: 21499
Reply to: 21497
Shag carpet and not even any cable elevators!
fiogf49gjkf0d
Seriously, those rear firing woofers (with bass reflex, driven by SET and only internal passive speaker covers) could be one point worth ridicule.  The length of the cables, and size and probable acoustic deadness of the room, might be others.  There might be issues with static electricity in trying to actually use the fancy turntable.

Still, it may not have been the worst-sounding room at the show.
01-20-2015 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,540
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 4
Post ID: 21501
Reply to: 21496
The hostages taking or the collapse of SET idea.
fiogf49gjkf0d
What I hate usually and in audio in particularly is the situation when a professional know that s/he is able to deliver a satisfactory resale and s/he subordinate and enslave everything to this believe. Pretend you are have a house with a single restroom and suddenly you have the toilet is broken and not operational. Now your plumber comes and he insists you to pay $19.000 to fix the toilet.  You know that it is ripping off but you do need to use facility and you sign the reaper contract. Instead of taking your money to fix the toilet and go away your plumber inform you that now you need to listen his lecture about relationship between water and gravity, to sigh 5-years serve agreement for him to maintain your satellite dish and to committing your family to eat sushi for 11 years from the plumber hands. The point is that because you have money and eagerness to spend them it does not mean that your plumber shall load you with a bunch of misrepresentation of own intelligence, or namely to take you’re as a hostage of own need to make you a victim.

One would ask, what all above philosophical associative masturbation has to do with Lamm/Verity room at CES 2015? Well, in my mind the setup of the room is exactly that: in a desperate desire to obtain under psychological distress as much as possible money from a perspective buyer the organizers of the installation went over denying any common sense and reason building actually not a sensible playback installation but rather offering to publish a toilet plunger with a dozen of Faberge Eggs attached to it.

Before I explain what I means I need to make a very important note. The installation in Vegas as the CES 2015 hotel room is perfectly fine. In there different manufactures show off own dear, sell the demo unit, feed media frenzy…. They pay a lot of money for those rooms and it is perfectly sensible that they would like to capitalize on investment and pile up as much commodities in the rooms as they can. My critical comments are not regarding the room but, as I mention in my initial post, it is regarding the similar systems that designed in private listening room around the world. There are plenty of them out there and my fundamental architectural disagreement with this type of installations is the purpose of my post. 

I degree with "rowuk" with his characterization of Verity as bad bass reflex with plastic cone driver. The larger Verity are very fine speaker. Sure Verity  is restricted by many factors where very contemporary (but good) drivers and leaky enclosure not the last factors but altogether they are fine acoustic system. The use of is Verity is a choose, not a foolishness but foolishness is something that I am trying to strike.

Now, we have Verity Lohengrin with 95dB sensitivity that dives to 4R by bass driver. The  95dB sensitivity isn't is an average sensitivity of all of those box loudspeakers, all of those Wilsons, GM Labs and the rest of them? Would it sensible to presume that something like Lamm ML3 for $150K should have enough power able to drive an average sensitivity acoustic system in average size room and particularly if a preamp is used and gain is not an issue? Apparently not. The show after show you see the ML3 used in multi-amping configuration with top handled by ML2. The presumption is that even if one heavy load ML3 and use the min tab (max power) the upper region presumably is too heavy loaded particularly for dry and defused upper range of high voltage tubes. Here is where a pair of $40K ML2 comes to save the Lohengrin upper range.  Well, do you know how much of ML2's design capacity is use to drive Lohengrin upper range? I would estimate that is it 5%. Do you know how much ML3 design capacity used to drive Lohengrin's bass? I would estimate 15%. Moreover, if the ML3 was designed specifically to deal ONLY with Lohengrin's bass then it would sound 500% better and cost 85% less. The very same is with upper range. The whole ML2 might be $3K-$5K amp if it needs to drive only Lohengrin's upper range and it will sound drastically more interesting, even forgetting the double transformation in the Lohengrin's tweeter.

So, in the configuration as it offered we have $200K amplification that delivers by design a compromised result. Essentially we have a toilet plunger with Faberge Eggs attached but the plunger not truly blow the toilet and you need occasionally stick your hands in the toilet ball to do what plunger can't. To me it is reticules and in a way too cynical. The people who smart and who make a lot of money to be able to afford those sorts of toys are not idiots and they might be severed with more respectful system design solutions. Well, from a different perspective might be it is not the case and many wanna to appear wealthy audio people that I know ARE idiots and to have Faberge toilet plunger is exactly what they deserve? 

Well, I do not know how you but what I seen the picture of Lohengrin bi-amps with ML3 and ML2 I made a faced like my toilet would need that plunger very soon…. It is know that most of the "audio journalists" have very under-developed listening intelligence. The admiration that they expressed looking at the picture of above of that CES room does saddest that they do not have an understating of a difference between looking and seeing.

Rgs,
Romy the Cat


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
01-21-2015 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Stitch


Behind The Sun
Posts 226
Joined on 01-15-2009

Post #: 5
Post ID: 21504
Reply to: 21501
It all depends ...
fiogf49gjkf0d
... on the (or your) kind of view. Some time ago I had a nice conversation with the marketing manager of a very exclusive and high priced Japanese Brand in a Exhibition Show. Of course, all talk about Sound, a bit more from this here, a bit less from that there, the awful room, the inferior mains and so on and on... BUT: At the end of day he told me, they aren't really interested in a super sonic presentation when it is too much work...no one cares about. Those with the "golden ears" can not afford it anyway and those who can afford it want something which fits in their "picture", whatever it will be.
At the end of the day they want some signed contracts when they go out for Dinner...these shows are expensive, a lot of people have to be paid ...

Those who are able to spend big bucks, want to spend big bucks. I never met even one in my life (and I met many) who owned a 10k cartridge, compared it with a 3k cartridge, discovered that the cheaper one is better, stayed with it and sold the 10k unit. 
And all that is the explanation for the price increase in the last 3 years. a high price automatically lifts a product in the "That is something serious" area. It is much more comfortable to sell 5 units per year for 200k than 30 cheaper ones... those buyers don't go on your nerves, they want good service and the confirmation that they bought something "well respected" for their money. And for this we have our "reviewers". And they do the "job".
High End is luxury. Even when the economy rises, that part will profit from that only at the top, when the economy goes down, High End will go down first. There are markets which grow and that's the target. And to close the circle, the normal audiophile who owns a cheaper Speaker from Verity Audio will dream secretly from the Lohengrin... and that's what's all about (today).




Kind Regards
Stitch
01-21-2015 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,540
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 6
Post ID: 21505
Reply to: 21504
One more illustration that DSET rules
fiogf49gjkf0d
Stitch, even though you are not wrong what you say but I do not think it has a direct relation to what I call the "worse". My angle was different: the demise of SET concept if the amp increases some rational cost level. The cost of LAMM electronics is not truly a subject, it cost what it cost. Lamm just multiplies self-cost (and he dose to run too cost- efficient production I have to say) to 10 and the rest is just a presence of people out there who agree to pay the price.  The problem that I see is with systemic designing thinking. Making an expensive SET amp is not different then to attach those Faberges to toilet plunger and I think it was no where better presented then this demo at CES.  
 
BTW, another aspect is kind of interesting that worthy to consider, particularly if you are a conspiracy theorist. The upper range of Verity was driven not by another ML3 but by ML2.2. I never heard the ML2.2. The ML2 was great, the ML2.1 was crap. I do not what ML2.2 is. What I know that Lamm decided to use it to drive upper range. Would it be because the upper range of ML2.2 is better then ML3? That is highly possible as ML3 uses GM70 at high voltage that demands much more capacitive OPT and consequentially more dehydrated HF. It might be also because Lamm decided to bring more divert amps in case he get a demo buyer at CES.
   
Anyhow, it is not so important. The important past is that a guy invest a lot of effort to built a great and expensive SET… and he can't use if to drive a conventional acoustic system to get a good result. To me it feels as rational as to spend year to design a super-duper snow blower but as snow falls to use a shovel to clean the driveway….

The Cat


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
01-21-2015 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Mike
Posts 4
Joined on 06-15-2006

Post #: 7
Post ID: 21506
Reply to: 21505
FederatedMike here :-)
fiogf49gjkf0d
The permanent link to this particular Lamm room is:  Lamm at CES 2015

The  show report is indexed  and you can find links to this room and 176  others here: CES 2015 Show Report index

About this particular Lamm exhibit room:

Originally the  speakers were  to be the Verity Audio – Montsalvat speakers. These are expensive and brought the total system price up to a million dollars. The Monsalvat require 3 pairs of  amps.  So Lamm sent ahead 3 pairs of ML2.2 amps to CES.  

In mid-December, Lamm was informed that the Montsalvat speakers were not going to make it to the show - and so sent a pair of ML3 amps to drive the Verity Lohengrin speakers, which were going  to be used instead of the Montsalvat.

The ML3 amplifiers do not need any help driving the Lohengrin. But, when Lamm got to the show, with 3 extra pairs of ML2.2 amps just sitting around, they said 'what  the heck' [I paraphrase :-)] and played with putting both ML3 and ML2.2 amps on the Lohengrin speakers. 

I am sure there were trade-offs, but the higher powered, higher resolution ML3 amps on the big bass drivers of the speakers was at least equal to, if not better, than the  high resolution, high-powered amps on the top end of the speakers.

We have a customer with ML3 amps on the Lohengrins. He likes the very musical and forgiving nature of the speakers very much. But they do not reveal the differences between amps as much as other speakers do; for example between the ML2.2 and ML3  amps in this  particular exhibition room.

Its disappointing that we didn't get to hear the Monsalvat. Hopefully next year...

-Mike
01-21-2015 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,540
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 8
Post ID: 21507
Reply to: 21506
From DSET perspective it is a foolishness.
fiogf49gjkf0d
 Mike wrote:
Originally the  speakers were  to be the Verity Audio – Montsalvat speakers.…The Monsalvat require 3 pairs of  amps.  So Lamm sent ahead 3 pairs of ML2.2 amps to CES.  
   
Ok, Mike. From DSET perspective it is a foolishness to drive narrow bandwidth Montsalvat’s channels with 2 different ML2.2. I am sure it let people like Vladimir and you to pay mortgages but it also represents the idea of contra-intelligent playback design. If you go to forest hunting then you take your raffle and shot your rabbits and foxes. You do not drop a nuclear bomb or carpet bomb the forest just because you would like to eat some rabbit ragu….


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
01-22-2015 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
decoud
United Kingdom
Posts 241
Joined on 03-01-2008

Post #: 9
Post ID: 21508
Reply to: 21507
The real barrier to DSET...
fiogf49gjkf0d
...seems to me finacio-emotional not technical. The Macondo and 9 channel Melquiades are really one device, essentially an active speaker. If a maker did not feel obliged to put the amp and the speaker in different boxes he would obviously optimise the amplification of each channel as you have done. 
But by halving the number of functionally discrete boxes one halves the potential for price mark up, so even if the whole point of playback is to ensure a seamless unity that can only be achieved by conceiving the entire system as one, no-one is going to do it. The market stimulus is for fractionation, not unity. 
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