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  »  New  My trip to the Stereophile’s HE 2004 Show ..  Re: My trip to the Stereophile’s HE 2004 Show...  Audio Discussions  Forum     2  30595  05-27-2004
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01-10-2005 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


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

Post #: 1
Post ID: 484
Reply to: 484
The CES 2005

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To my huge surprise the CES 20005 turned out to be very educational and very beneficial, to me. I actually ‘m glad that I went. I absolutely inspected end up in Vegas with some quite valuable to me observations, conclusions and experiences. Over the course of the next week or two I will post within this thread some of the things that I feel worth public attention, so keep visiting and this thread will be keep updating.

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
01-10-2005 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


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

Post #: 2
Post ID: 485
Reply to: 484
Music at CES 2005

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Music presented at CES 2005 was a disastrer. No one single room that I visited (and I foolishly visited all of them, I think) played any content-loaded music. I’m not talking about the tastes but about value of musical content and the intention of the exhibitioners to demonstrate that content via thier installations.

I’m not even talking that 95% of professionals who ran the show in thier rooms are essentially not familiar with a Content-Loaded Audio (I will be talking bout it a lot later on) but rather that all  exhibitioners used music an a cheap commodity targeting the lowest possible tastes and objectives. The only one interesting musical material that I heard during the entire two days was brought by Clark Johnson - it was an inaugural performance of James Levine and Boston, really phenomenal experience, but Clark is not a CES and therefore his Musuc is not the music of the show.

There was also no interesting music for sale. I went with two friends of mine to the "software" section (actually one was a friend and another was just an atached fool) and was walking in there like in a minefield: it was huge concentration of an audiophile crap in one narrow space. Some re-releases of Mercury on SACD looked promising but I did not heard yet any capably performing SACD and therefore those CDs are worthless.

Only 2 CDs I brought home from CES. The Kimber-guy kindly gave me his new CD-demo of his IsoMike recording techniques. I do not anticipate it to be “music” but rather test cuts. The second CD, that I bought, was Chesky’s Area 31. David Chesky release a CD with his own Violin Concerto and he stressed me to buy it. So I did, and I’ve written in the airplane (on my way back) my impressions aboutr this Violin Concerto. When I decipher what my airplane’s doodle meant I post my feedback it in the Musical Section

Also, I have to mention that there were very few rooms where it was interesting to play music, no mater what audio-wide thier rooms did. Brian Cheney (the owner of the VMPS speakers) year after year is a pleasant oasis where is not only possible to play CLM (Content Loaded Music) but hugely pleasant to do so. Brian and his wife along some others guys that hanged around of his room (sorry I do not know thier names) were the people with whom there was very enjoyable (and even educational) to be in a room while “interesting” material were played. Another room similar to Brian’s was Peter Qvotrup’s room (AN, UK), not as much his room but Peter himself. Peter is a “peculiar” figure at audio world but as far as music understanding he was one of the most interesting listener at CES. I intentionally played some very kinky material that he did not know and it took for Peter no more 2 seconds to recognize that it was playing something very special that not only deserves instantaneous attention but deserves a “special attention”. It would be so nice if Peter would be able to convert his musical sensitivity and his evolved musical appreciation into audio accomplishments. Anyhow I will write about audio later. There were one or two other rooms where to play CLM was not revolting but it was pretty much it...  Everywhere else there was no opportunity, no interest or no background to listen anything other then a “female noise with a double bass”.

In other words: there is nothing to talk about music at CES – it just really did not exist. At least I did not hear any interesting music there and the most important I did not see any even remote attempts (from the demonstrators) to play any more or less serious, interesting or even not-boring material A friend of my proposed that people intentionally run “proved and secure music” that hides the possible imprecations of playbacks but I have many reasons do not subscribe to his assumptions.

So, the musical experiences at CES were very sad, or juts did not exist.

Rgs,
Romy


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
01-10-2005 Post mapped to one branch of Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


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

Post #: 3
Post ID: 486
Reply to: 484
CES: Meitner’s unexplained disaster.
There was a big room in there with big Schweikert speakers (with thier grainy and insultingly confident Sound), some king of not particularly good electronics and the entire EMM Labs’ front-end. Many rooms at the show used EMM Labs so-call preamplifiers and in one of another degree the effect that will mention was presented in any single room that used this preamp but in the big Schweikert’s room it was the most distinctive.

Recently the many audio people got captivated at the new EMM Labs production. I would not comment on the sonic quality of the newest EMM Labs DAC converters (I juts do not know and as many times I heard this DAC it was in context of general digital ignorance of the system owners and they where not able to facilitate any more or less presentable demonstration) but I may with a full authority to state that the EMM Labs unit is absolutely disastrous preamplifier (living aside it’s DAC capacity)

I completely did not recognize music that was placing in that room (it was switched to two channels). It was like hearing a totally alien music looking is a kaleidoscope of sound and turning the kaleidoscope in a random directions and with a random speed. In the middle of playing I begun to complain to the guy who run the room that the right and left channels where switched but he assured me that they were not. The most insulting part was that imagery of the sound sources where not fixed and were running between the right and left channels like injured in ass antelopes! No mater where the images where they always were in a wrong place. The soft passages of the cello section of the Saito Kinen orchestra by some masteries reasons EMM Labs placed behind the first violins but then the cellos volume grew up then they moved to right with violins moved further out. The clarinets that should be placed in the middle and more or less should unite strings and winds were sitting…. at the roof of the listening room and I even feel that that clarinets where out of phase to the rest of orchestra (if it is possible) Even more then just positioning of the instruments: the entire orchestra was completely “inverted”, destroyed and the musicians played completely unrelated to each other. The total experience was just so freakish that it was almost laughable.

When the room played some audiophile-loved primitive crap with a “girl on the center, bass on the left and the drams on the right” then it was OK but as soon any more serious and demanding music was presented than just a typical “audiophiles country-stule” than the room were not able to handle it. I tend to attribute the failure to the Meitner’s electronics but not to the Schweikert speakers because the Schweikert speaker, no mater how bad or good there where will not able to produce the abovementioned dynamically changing effect. What it failing was the job of a preamp (read about the real duty of the preamps) and here was where EMM Labs catastrophically failed.

I have a lot of respect to Ed Meitner, use his Bidat in my own system and I was very much surprised with what I heard. I stopped 5 or 6 more times after this trying to catch Ed and ask him if he aware about the problem and what might be a reason for it but he was not there or was busy with the business meetings.

Anyhow, I do not know if the failure of the Schweikert/Meitner room was intrinsic for Meitner components of it juts “happened at the show” (that is also possible), however the few other rooms that used the EMM’s preamps has similar problems. The other rooms were way smaller and the Antelope-effect had to be searched instead the very large Schweikert room where the effect was screaming to me.

Rgs,
Romy the Cat

To be continue…


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
01-10-2005 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


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

Post #: 4
Post ID: 488
Reply to: 484
CES: The Best Sound at Show

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I begun to receive those emails asking where was the best sound and which room sounded the best at the show. Those kind of bogus questions are absolutely irrelevant and have no purpose of meaning. All together: there was no valuable or even interesting sound at any single room at nither CES nor The Show. There were some interesting results: from positive or negative point of view (that I probably will mention further on) but they were interesting  only from a standpoint of being educational and didactic. Anyhow, none of the rooms reach a level of Sound what seriously could be considered satisfying.

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
01-10-2005 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


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

Post #: 5
Post ID: 489
Reply to: 484
CES: Edgarhorns-almost there

Bruce Edgar room was probably the only rooms at the entire show where form my prospective it was possible to begin to talk about "pure audio", so I will.

Bruce picked and smartly holds at "The Show" a wondefull room, the small room, but free form the typical bass problems and he loaded into it a lot of bass. This room can actually absorb bass and if you even dump into this room even extra 3-6dB at LF it still sound very nice.

Bruce Edgar brought up his big 3 ways horns (I believe he call them Titans) and a mono folded EQed LF section (I do not know the trade name). The LF was powered by some SS amps from ToyUSA and the horns were powered by Cy Brenneman small SET, built around KT-88, that looked larger to me then they should be. The non-interesting digital front-end was use. There was also a TT in there but I did not listen it.

The system was kind of major overkill for a room of that size but not for this room. The room was loaded very nice and responded very well. Furthermore, the room satisfactorily responded at any singly location where I was. I had no problems to listen the playback staying next to the speakers: it did all, necessary tonal deviation but still responded qute ambianic and musical, without too much losing of tonal and contrast discrimination. In other words: it was very-very lucky room.

I have listened the same setup last year and in the very same room.  Last year Cy used his bigger amp,  (I think Bruce should still to work on an amp selection) this year amp has a lot of upper bass problems but it was unspeakably better at the higher octaves. In fact I was very-very positively surprised how good HF Cy and Bruce managed to get out of thier system.  Ironically Bruce uses the Fane tweeters that I never considered interesting but they did perfectly fine in Edgar's system. Last year with the Cy’s 845 amp the HF had some nervousness and has some problems to be handled by the room. This year it was flawless. The HF is usual problem at the shows: unknown components, electricity, cables, mostly crappy industry standard tweeters and so on. The Bruce’s room was from a stand point of HF as good as it might be. It would be interesting to learn how Bruce used those Fanes.

Anyhow...

All together the system sound OK, yeas there were some problems, but still it sounded OK. Bruce kindly allowed me and some of people that I pulled into the room to play some our music and despite that we played some very demanding material the system swallowed it very effortless and quite "musical" (in the most loaded definition of this word)

About the problems of that installation. The room size – it was too small and had too short decay time. That is why Bruce was able to go away with obviously higher then necessary level of subwoofer and a very cheesy LF amplifier. If you place the same system in a larger room and add a second LF module (outside of the soundstage as it should be) then the miserable quality of that little SS fart machine will be well audible. Also, I feel that the bass amp use too sharp filter. In the small room it was OK but in a larger room it will be amusical. Bruce used very inexpensive MF drivers but to my surprise they do not sound so bad. I sincerely feel that the very proper and "smart" use of that tweeter made a good contribution to a way in which the MF performed. The biggest problem of the entire system was the upper mid bass – form my point of view the most important element of audio reproduction.  Last year, with 845 amps it was better then this year but still “not there”. This year the upper bass was even worth. Bruce, I do not knowingly of not, masked-out his upper bass by adding too much lower bass (and the room very nicely spread it around). I meant to ask Bruce to shut down the subwoofer for a second and to hear the horns "as is" but we played too good musik to make those experiments.

(To describe how the Edgar’s upper bass sounded I would give you an association: pretend that you have a collection of different colors and you are about to paint something on a canvas. For whatever reason you decided to reduce the intensity of the colors. You may add some water to the colors and make the more “pastel” but you added to all of them some white paint and instead of reducing the color’s intensity you reduced thier effectiveness. So, the Bruce upper bass sounded to me as a poly-colored picture with a severe deduction of distinctive differentiation between the colors by the “white-anisarion” of each color, and with a sever domination of purple and darkish-gray tones.)

There were some other problems but altogether it was quite illustrative that Bruce Edgar knew what he was doing and that he was in a fruitful direction. Considering that the system cost very inexpensive (a fraction of what many of other speakers cost) it still produced qute acceptable result. Put in that system a properly built none-forded upper bass horn with a good driver, add another sub, introduce a better bass amp (preferably the same amp the drives the horn), naturally EQ everything in the room and you might get very-very fine result out of those Titans or whatever thier name is. However, even “as is” the playback in that room presented a very nice “Audio Shows Survival Kit” that allows for little money, little efforts and with irrelevant associated component to get a quite satisfactory Sound.

Anyhow, the Edgar’s room was probably the room at the Show where might use some complementary language and non-insulting adjectives. Was it “The Best Room at the Show”. Nope, I do not know what it means. However, the Edgar’s room was a wonderful educational playground what people do out there… There was the only one other room at the Vegas that made me to think more about sound then the Bruce Edgar’s room and that “impressed and moved me”… I am sure I will mention about it sometime later on

So long for now,
Romy the Cat

To be continue…




"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
01-10-2005 Post mapped to one branch of Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


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

Post #: 6
Post ID: 492
Reply to: 484
CES: New horn guy in town.

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Someone stopped me at the Alexis Park and told me: “Romy, there is a new Israeli guy in town with  his amassing horn. He has a room at the St. Tropes and you should go”. I was almost offended! There was a new horn guy and I never insulted him?!!! My ego was hurt and I decided to pay a visit to this “new guy” room.

:-)

The guy was in his room (I do not remember nether the name of the company nor his name but the company name sounded like “Magic” or “Magical”) and I asked if he is anew horn guy that I was told about. Parallel to this I noted the in the room was juts a small mini-monitors that played at absolutely barbarian volume leve as CD-copy of Burmester II disk and that this CD copy has a dynamic range of 50dB, no more.

The guy replied that he is the horn guy, “Welcome to the club” – I replied – “so do I”…

He replied : “It is you think that you are”.

-What do you mean?
-I mean that you Americans believe that you know something about horns or ever heard them but in fact you do not.

I thought: “This should be great! This guy or a genius of a complete idiot, now, I just have to fugue out what he is”

-OK, I admit that there is a lot of foolishness and ignorance going on in Horn World but do you think that it is not wise to make such statement to people who you do not know. If you wish I might explain to you what is doing on in US with horns and why you see mostly not impressive results

The conversation was flowing in this way; we contested our freaking egos and dancing our little hi-fi ballet. The guy was very reasonable, sounded quite intelligently but we did not talk about the horns.

Then I asked his if he has any actual material about his horns. He showed me at his computer a few pictures. Now my mischievous spirit inside my body was singing a victorious circus march. I instantly resigned the horns (I have seen the pictures of his very much foolish horns a year ago or so) but I did not let him know and begin to ask questions about the pictures he was showing. He was continuing showing to me the images of his speakers. The speaker reminded me the “back-man’s rims”with all his "high-grade aircraft aluminum surfaces" and while we were talking he kept demonstrating a complete ignorance not only about the basic of speaker building, but also about the history of the horns not to mention the elemental technical ignorance and very challenged taste.  I am not kidding. Looks at this dialog:

- What is it?
- Oh, this is the super-drivers by ALE, made in Japan.
- So, and how do you deal with the titanium diaphragms of your super-drivers?
- Do they have titanium diaphragms? Really? And what difference it makes?
- I can tell you but then I will send you and invoice for consulting
- OK, here is a picture of a super system: the 5 ways horn loaded
(I did not tell him that I know this faulty system very well but was continuing…)
- Hm, this is very nice, may I ask you: the driver you use looks like located quite randomly related to the baffle depth, so how do you keep them time-aligned?
- I do not know. Probably somehow in a crossover. I never thought about it.

Well, I decided, he is the idiot and he has all rights to consider that people around him are clueless about horns. With his whonnabe intelligence he can only make speakers that might be suitable in a homes of a typical American white trashes: all those Eds Sawyer, Bills Fitzmaurice, Rod Morrises, Magnetars, Waynes Parham, Edps, Robs Doorack and the rest infamies near-audio dirt...

I was really ready to leave but he told me that I should to talk with another guy in his room. I asked who he was and then a revelation came to me: he new born “American horn guru” used Convergent Audio Technology preamp. I shadow of a guess run in my head and then he confirmed that he do share the room with estimable Mr. Stevens – the designer and manufacture of Convergent. The CES events of 3 years ago (click here to lern about it)  came to my memories and I decided that THIS match between the “new horn guy in town” and Mr. Stevens was the match made in haven!

I did not tell this story to anyone in Vegas but later on, when I was meeting at the alleys and corridors of CES some guys who I feel knew something about horns I asked them if the meet the “new horn guy in town”. All of them replied to me “Come on, he is not serious.” "Why", I asked and then we looked at each other and begun to laugh.

Anyway, the moral of this story is the following:

The only things that distinct the stupidity of this “new horn guy in town” and many of well-know and “reputed” audio manufactures is 2-3 reviews of some king of retard-reviewer (there is a huge pool of them out there) published in some kind of foolish audio publication. I have to testify that I have met in Vegas a very large amount of manufactures, dealers and distributor who have the very same level of understanding what they deal with as the “new horn guy in town” has about horns. Today, those idiots run the show in the industrya and this is very-very sad….

Rgs,
Romy the Cat

To be continue...




"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
01-10-2005 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


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

Post #: 7
Post ID: 494
Reply to: 484
CES: the biggest joke at the show

Unquestionably it was Clark Johnson with his ultimate cure for CD misery. Clark is balanced mentally and psychologically (as far as a person who professionally spent tens years in the audio industry could be balanced) but when he showed me his new discovery I was kind of afraid.

Clark took form his pocket a small piece (.5 sq inch) of metal imbedded into plastic and told the if you place this gismo for a second atop of a CD player/transport then it permanently change sound (of course improves it) of a currently played disc. The most interesting part the this .5 sq inch of metal that cost ~$15 is active only for 20 applications and if I want the same gismo that would be available for 35 application the it will cost two or tree times more. (I do not remember the exact numbers). Of course that all was accompanied by some king of explanation that this piece of metal consist form the particles that existed at the first nanoseconds of the Big Bang and those particles are capable to convert the Second Law of Thermodynamics directly onto the Newton's Second Law. (It was not exactly what he told but I came up with something equally ridicules)

After seeing this gismo and Clark treating it very seriously I did not know if to cry or to laugh. Clark is perfectly fine but he constantly brings some absolutely absurd things on the table with absolutely ridicules proclamations. I sincerely feel that in his ultimate wisdom he very much know what he is doing and he deeply under his hood treats all his “improvement” as the ultimate mentality test of Audio Moronit. What scares me is that he plays his role of “believer” too naturally.

Anyhow, the Clark’s “CD charger” was the funniest joke at CES. His joke even suppressed the former biggest joke that a friend of my just invented a few days before CES: “Lamm Industries sent to all their customers the holyday congratulation cards and next day they sent invoices for the post stamps”.

Rgs,
The Cat

To be continue…


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
01-10-2005 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


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

Post #: 8
Post ID: 495
Reply to: 484
CES: the strongest sensation

The most interesting sensation was ironically the very best sound at the show.

Friday night around 2AM I found myself completely lost in the Nevada desert approximately 40-50 mines from Vegas. To understand how it was it should be explained that the CES days were rainy days with very low and very dark clouds. So, I was driving, following the wrong mapquest direction, smoking my Cohibas, and thinking about something completely unrelated to the road… Any signs of civilization ended many miles back but for whatever reasons it did not alarmed me. I was driving throughout some kind of mountains because there was snow on the ground and I the road was waving up and down very aggressively. It was dark, very dark and I was not able to see anything inches away from my window….

Eventually after 1 more hour of driving the road ended. I mean I saw cactuses when asphalt should be not to mention that the road long time ago lost any sighn of an urbane asphalt. Here I started to pay attention that I am not exactly where I intended to be….

I stopped the car and stepped out. It was not just wonderful out there but it was unspeakably magnificent. It was cold, dark so much that I did not see my hands and it was a compete absent of any sounds. That silence was shocking! A friend of mine told me that he experience the similar driving in Arizona, I know this feeling from my boat trips in Black See when I was young, but here it was very different. The complete silence was accompanied by a spectacular “space” and a complete absents of any visual sensationss...

In few minutes when the sensitively on the inner-ear amplifier boost itself up I begin to hear how the engine of my car was cooling down. I stepped far enough from my car in order do not hear it. After spending I guess 10-15 minuts in there, being submersed in that stunning sensory depravation chamber I decided that it was too cold and it was time to go back. Here I realized that I have no idea where is my car was.

A biblical fear attacked me. I was so frighten, as I never was before. It was so dark that I did  see absolutely anything and I was in total sensory vacuum. I begin to walk to a direction where I thought the car should be but it was not there. I knew that I was ~50-60 steps from my car but I had no idea in which direction. Also I understood that if I make a move to a wrong direction then I might never find my car and might never leave this desert. The opportunities to be eaten by those desert coyotes or to die from the cold were not exactly in my itinerary of my Vegas trip....  It was scared, very scared but there was something in that fear prehistorically beautiful. I can’t explain it – but it was some kind of nature fear that did not derive from any actions of consciousness. I experienced something similar only when I found myself at within very large earthquakes…

I lower myself to my knee and begging to search ground “by touch”. To my pleasure I found some stones there. I collected them and begin to throw them in all direction listening how they lend. After a few minutes and a few dozen of stones I herd a stone hit something that was not belong the desert - it was my car. I walk there is here it was…

I prayed the engine start and it did. I turn it off then, looked up and once again heard the sound of the Original Silence. I knew that it was the best sound at the CES 2005 and I'll never experience anything similar again. I U-turned my car and in 5-10 minutes I found something resembling a road. It was my way back, the road to the sounds of the man-made ceramic tweeters and titanium woofers…. The next day was a next day at the CES…

The Cat

To be continue


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
01-11-2005 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


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

Post #: 9
Post ID: 496
Reply to: 484
CES: the most interesting room

My prize to the most interesting and educational room at the show goes to a room with WAVAC 833 power SETs. Visiting this room made me to think a lot and made me to draw a lot of very valuable to me conclusions.

I heard a lot about those amps. Recently some reviewers drooled about them stressing some typical mental propaganda: the 833 tubes, the unique 3 stages circuitry, unique PS, absents of any capacitors in the signal pass and the similar sort of things. I kind of was looking forward to hear it …

The amps were presented by presumably the US distributor of WAVAC or perhaps he was just a dealer, I do not know. He used them with small floor stranding speakers from Belgium’s Venture Audio. I know nothing about them. They sounded like ported speakers with low sensitively and very contemporary-like drivers but all together they still sounded OK…. for the goals of a salesperson. As I understand THM Audio hosted the room, which is Ohio-based international audio-pimping establishment.

The guy who ran the show in the room was certainly not in his plate. I do not know what he does for living: sells Nissans in his Ohio or sells real estate for mobile homes but he was as far from real audio as it theoretically possible. Perhaps he is a professional audio sale-person but then it puts him way behind the car-sale personnel of the marketing managers of the Vegas “Chicken Ranch”.

Anyhow, he made his verbal presentation about the playback and eventually shut up and started his CD player. The music that he played (hi-fi duet between the tweeter and subwoofer) was very affinity with his job description: to buy a box of something Japan and sell the box to the Ohio’s Magnetars of the similar white trash. I was tolerantly sitting and waiting when his sonic torture will be over and asked it he can play any more civilized music then a screaming teenager with destroyed soprano trying to over-scream a badly played upper bass. He replied that this is the music that he is playing and he refused to play any of my CDs.

After listing a few more cuts that sounded to me as Hollywood sound effects I asked a few more time if he wiling to play other music, giving that there was no one in the room who listened his playback. He was very annoyed and eventually agreed to play my CD. I pulled one of quite complex and demanding opera peaces that I had with me (the closing of the first act of “Cosi Fan Titte”) and gave it to him. He played it for 2 minutes (during which I heard some VERY unique things) and when the six singers where ready to introduce the main thyme of the closing  (that I actually expected) he stopped the CD player. I asked what happened and he said that he thought that it was the end of the song. .. :-(

After this he put in CD played more of his “female vocal”. I asked another 25 times to play any classical music or his choosing. He said that he does not carry any classical music. I suggested that I might look along with him and perhaps we could accidentally find any. He searched among his CDs and to his surprise he found the Stravinsky/Stravinsky “Firebird”. He played if for another 2 minutes and I mange to listen the amps and to collect another set of unique observations. 

After this I decided that it would be better to leave the room because he was becoming more and more annoyed and I knew that I would not keep myself shat up for any longer and was about to inform his that he behaves in the best tradition of audio sales-idiot and his behavior is very indicative to what type of customers he accustomed to deal with. I left and then I stopped by in his room 3 or 4 more times for a few seconds just to check out some things that I was interested to confirm. I never played anything in his room or made any attempts. However, knowing myself and knowing my ability to know “what” and “how” to listen while I am listening I get quite clear picture what the WAVAC 833 dose with sound. In fact it was necessary almost 30 seconds to “get” this amplifier. This is quite a compliment to WAVAC as usually it take for me 5-10 seconds to make a conclusion. (The people who personally know me know that I am not kidding with this estimate)

So, how the WAVAC sound? In short: it was the best worst amplifier I even heard in my life. Also, the WAVAC sound opened a Pandora box for a lot of conclusions and I full of appreciation to WAVAC that it helps me to do it. If you want further explanations then read on. The next post will elaborate on the WAVAC sonic advantages and misery.

The Cat
To be continue….




"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
01-11-2005 Post mapped to one branch of Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


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

Post #: 10
Post ID: 497
Reply to: 484
CES: the best worst amplifier-WAVAC

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Actually it was not only the best worst amplifier at CES but it was the best worst amplifier I even heard in my life.

So what happen between the WAVAC 833 and Sound? A lot of quite unique things…

A spoke at the show with a friend of my who presumably experienced WAVAC 833 and he complained to me about a load of coloration in this amp. I did not hear any what he called “coloration”, neither tonal not dynamic. The WAVAC 833 sound very sterile, very hygienic and I would say very-very precise. It has a phenomenal transient response and it renders all frequencies very cleanly. I rarely use phrase “resolution” but WAVAC 833 has it in all glory of the word  “resolution” (and I’m not talking about the Spectral-type of resolution but about the very positive and very beneficial resolution). WAVAC 833 has also a fantastic and absolutely non-matched by any other amps resolution and articulation at the lowest volumes. I never experienced this stunning ability of an amp to dig into the very minute details way hidden into noise and ambiances, retrieve from there musical signal that has value and purpose and then present it with a very high level of discrimination of tone and contrast. It was quite a ride to hear how WAVAC 833 did it! In particularly it was surprising to hear how WAVAC 833 did it considering that it appeared that it not make sound sharper – the fashionable illness of most OLTs and many other so-called “high-quality” amplifiers. However, I have to say that I might be mistaken in my estimate of the WAVAC’s sharpening neutrality, as I would need more time and more familiar system to make this conclusion with a higher degree of accuracy. Prematurely: I did not detect any problems at the “# - quality” of this amp

So, if everything was so wonderful then why do I call the WAVAC 833 “the best worst amplifier”? Well, because whatever the WAVAC did, it did it wonderfully, but with completely wrong intentions. Musically WAVAC 833 was not just disasters but it was apocalypsicly catastrophic. It was obviously that the people who design, manufacture and sell the WAVAC targeted their 833 as much to music repudiation as mush the people who design the gas-mask care about the sex-appeal of their products.

When music was playing via WAVAC 833, and am talking about music but not the “soprano-contrabass audio rap”, then I clearly did not recognize the music. It was like the musicians and singers all were singing being conducted by different conductors and like they all did not hear each other. Furthermore, each instrument and each singer suddenly did something absolutely unrelated to what they did. I mean the Ludwig singing Mozart suddenly begun to add the absurd accents in the end each 2th   and 4th line of her libretto and sound almost like a rock-&-roll singer. The string section suddenly begin o act like stop-moment from movie “Matrix” (and the did this “hanging” at completely unexplained moments) or suddenly the strings begum to accelerate without any reasons in the very middle of the phrases.  Another example: those mind-boogieing merging of the voices between Bohm orchestra, Kraus, Ludwig and Schwarzkopf were not only out of any harmonization but all they did totally different things with one being completely irrelevant to other: each of them had own bogus punctuation and infliction. The entire sextet instead of sounding like “We sing a Mozart’s opera” sounded like “wEEEE sINg a mOOotttzzAAaRt’s op-Op-OPERa”. It was so absurd and so unspeakably violent that I had a hard time to imagine that something like this could be even accomplished by the means of electronics.

Was this musical barbarianism auditable with those Hollywood soundtracks that the dealer played all time? I do not think so. I am least I have no references or understanding how that music should sound. I do not think that there are any references and that “audio-rap” music does not necessary based upon the rules of humane harmonies or musical culture. At least when I evaluate audio sound I do not pay attention to the sound itself but the validity of the delivered content. Considering that the music that the dealer played was not the content loaded music it was imposable to detect with that music the horrible things that WAVAC 833 dose to sound.

So, for whom the WAVAC 833 was made? The answer is simple - to satisfy the demands of the brainless and senseless idiots, that luckily for the distributor are well-presented within the audio.

Romy the Cat

To be continue…




"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
01-11-2005 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


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

Post #: 11
Post ID: 498
Reply to: 484
CES: the conclusion.

For whatever reasons the trip to that WAVAC room and listing that WAVAC 833 made me think a lot about a needs of music understanding for audio professional. This is an old subject but after me getting my WAVAC 833 experience I got a deferent sweeping prospective to this thing. I suddenly begin to feel that my minimalism demanding from audio manufacturer in-depth understanding of the nature of musicality was not as strong as it should be. My experience with WAVAC 833 brought my intolerance to the subject to the highs where it never was before. I spent a lot of very useful time after the WAVAC room visiting some famous manufacturers, listening some specific aspects of thier products and correlating it with the manufacturers specific ignorance of sometime barbarianism in the subjects of understanding musical culture and appreciation of the expressive methods of musicality. Doing this I was staying at the very extreme position of disregarding any audio justifiable BS if it did not have any references to what I would consider was musically permissible…. The new would and the new level of audio despair was opening for me…. I had many conversations after this with quite popular audio manufactures and practically all of them sounded to me so idiotic that it was even insulating to me that I was taking with them.

In the end I was feeling very bad about myself. I was feeling bad because I kind of had "fun" despite of the fact that clearly understood that it was not fan. I was feeling bad about myself and could not believe that I could be such an idiot who would consider that the socializing with the CES crowd was something that I could actually call “fan”. I was asking myself if am I so freaking miserable that dealing with those CES's audio-Morons become a fun-spent time for me?

Anyhow, no mater what kind decisions about myself I would make I can tell defiantly that this my visit to the WAVAC 833 room at CES 2005 and my consequential experiments with audio people at the show did make some permanent changes within my relationship with audio. I released that I was wrong. My apologies to all with whom I dealt for years and with whom I shared my observations about audio - now I feel that I was mistaken in many instances. My major problem was that I never was radical enough in my audio judgments.  Now it is gone and I’m cured. Thanks for this shocking lesson that WAVAC 833 did to me at CES and it was really “eyes opening experience”.

Rgs,
Romy the Cat

It might be continue if I feel so...


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
01-11-2005 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


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

Post #: 12
Post ID: 499
Reply to: 484
Re: the biggest joke at the show

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The reply posted on behave of Clark Johnsen and with his permission: (Received by email on 1-1-05)

My attention was riveted: And I shall add a few comments:

 Romy the Cat wrote:
Unquestionably it was Clark Johnson
-- Johnsen
 Romy the Cat wrote:
with his ultimate cure for CD misery.
-- Who said that? No one.
 Romy the Cat wrote:
Clark is balanced mentally and psychologically (as far as a person who professionally spent tens years in the audio industry could be balanced) but when he showed me his new discovery I was kind of afraid.
-- No need to be... unless you're neo-phobic.
 Romy the Cat wrote:
Clark took form his pocket a small piece (.5 sq inch)
-- 1.5, off by a factor of three.
 
 Romy the Cat wrote:
of metal imbedded into plastic
-- I don't know where you get this stuff. You are not a capable reporter.
 Romy the Cat wrote:
and told the if you place this gismo for a second atop of a CD player/transport then it permanently change sound (of course improves it) of a currently played disc.
-- At last you got something right!
 Romy the Cat wrote:
The most interesting part the this .5 sq inch of metal that cost ~$15 is active only for 20 applications
--- Wrong, wrong, and wrong again. We're beginning to doubt anything you say...
 
 Romy the Cat wrote:
and if I want the same gismo that would be available for 35 application the it will cost two or tree times more. (I do not remember the exact numbers). Of course that all was accompanied by some king of explanation that this piece of metal consist form the particles that existed at the first nanoseconds of the Big Bang and those particles are capable to convert the Second Law of Thermodynamics directly onto the Newton's Second Law. (It was not exactly what he told but I came up with something equally ridicules)
-- Regrettably or not, Romy is no physicist and therefore feels free to sneer at those who are. The technology on which the chip is based, exists in "the literature" but of course if some self-absorbed MORON hasn't heard about it, then it may as well not exist and therefore become a topic for lampooning.
 Romy the Cat wrote:
After seeing this gismo and Clark treating it very seriously I did not know if to cry or to laugh. Clark is perfectly fine but he constantly brings some absolutely absurd things on the table with absolutely ridicules proclamations.
-- Yeah, like ERS sheets and fibreglass cables. "Constantly".
 Romy the Cat wrote:
I sincerely feel that in his ultimate wisdom he very much know what he is doing and he deeply under his hood treats all his “improvement” as the ultimate mentality test of Audio Moronit. What scares me is that he plays his role of “believer” too naturally.
-- Be scared. Be VERY scared.
 Romy the Cat wrote:
Anyhow, the Clark’s “CD charger” was the funniest joke at CES.
-- Nothing compared to what I heard about Romy!
 Romy the Cat wrote:
His joke even suppressed the former biggest joke that a friend of my just invented a few days before CES: “Lamm Industries sent to all their customers the holyday congratulation cards and next day they sent invoices for the post stamps”.
-- One would gather from the post that Romy hasn't heard the phenomenon that sent dozens of astute listeners scurrying to buy the things. That's as it should be: We all know that Romy fires blanks.




"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
01-11-2005 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


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

Post #: 13
Post ID: 500
Reply to: 484
Reply to the 'biggest joke'

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Well, I realized that it is not good idea to revoke a reply option and particularly when I ridicule people. Therefore, I opened up this thread for replies. My initial idea was not to interfere with disagreements but rather to keep the initial posts connected. Now, since I’m mostly done, there is not need anymore to retract the reply options within this thread.

Anyhow, Clark:

1) You had a number of those items different sizes, and one of them, that I saw, was approximately .5 sq inch. Dose it make any difference if the thing was 1 sq feet instead of 1 sq inch? I did not mock your gismo or it “reported” sonic contribution (that do not necessary believe in or care) but rather I mock the fact of the limited applicability of this gismos and the fact that this gismo could permanently affect the disk (not the player or a sonic result be permanently change the disc).  Also, I did say that “I do not remember the exact numbers” because since you begin to tell that different amount of money would allow to use those gismos different amount of times I pretty much stopped to listen about it seriously…

2) So, if it was a “chip” as you said then why my comment that it looked like “metal imbedded into plastic” was not correct? It is exactly how it looked like.

3) I did hear the “phenomenon” when you applied it in the Edgarhorn’s room. I did not detect any result beside the rain instantaneously stopped and two Rochlin's reviewers in the cafeteria suddenly choked with hotdogs. Probably your “phenomenon” did not affect sound because you miscalculated the amount of times you ‘ve already used it. Probably it should be recharged with a credit card. If you want, I can write a nice add-in service for this “phenomenon” that would mange the amount of times it was used with a real-time CC proceeding…

4) “We all know that Romy fires blanks” – not necessarily. If you “all know” then can you bring one single other example when I did it? Considering that I did head the result of this gismo (and the fact that I did not hear anything do not necessary means anything) and the most important: considering that I laugh on the idea of limited use then I do not think that my perception of your “phenomenon” as a joke was very far from none-blank fire.

5) Clark, if that gismo “sent dozens of astute listeners scurrying to buy the things” then it means absolutely nothing to me. I have seen those CES listeners running from the show rooms directly to the public computers and in hurry buying the audio things at Audiogon. Come on, Clark, the Vegas crowd would swallow everything and you know it well, and it was the reason why you brought that gismo  in there.  You can bring in there solidified camel defecations and those Morons will buy it as a Hope Diamond. This is not just a Las Vegas – this is the most lunatic audio people gathered in desert in their search for a …. wonder. So, what you whant to proof me? You know all those answers.

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
01-13-2005 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
guy sergeant
United Kingdom
Posts 258
Joined on 08-03-2004

Post #: 14
Post ID: 505
Reply to: 484
the sound of silence

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Hi Romy,

When you visited our room, you played 3 pieces of music on our 1000 dollar speakers.
All were nice recordings, one was Saint Saens 3, one was a very contemporary sounding piece of 17C Harpsichord? and I can't remember the third although I did enjoy it. Can you tell me what they were?

I was playing some of the Barenboim Beethoven Piano Sonata's when you came in. I find CES very depressing musically. People just want to hear Norah Jones or disgusting 70's 80's soft rock.
By sunday, as a protest, I was cycling through Radu Lupu playing Brahms, Indian Classical music and a couple of Rostropovic discs.

At least you heard a couple of decent sounding things at the show. I thought it was all, without exception, overpriced, willy waving, garbage. To be fair, Bruce Edgar's room wasn't playing when I went past.

I had a similar 'cut off from the world' experience in the closed (to cars) Red Rock canyon loop when I cycled out there on the monday. Extreme quiet. It wasn't dark though. That must make it far more intense.

best regards,

Guy
01-14-2005 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


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

Post #: 15
Post ID: 507
Reply to: 484
The music at the show.

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Guy,

I do not remember what I played in your room. The harpsichord piece was Rafael Puyana playing Antonio Soler.

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
01-25-2005 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
guy sergeant
United Kingdom
Posts 258
Joined on 08-03-2004

Post #: 16
Post ID: 587
Reply to: 484
Re: conclusions you can draw
If you happen to walk into a room at a show and it sounds good then at least one component in there is good. Maybe they all are.

If the sound is bad it is always useful to ask the person conducting the demonstration what they really think of it. If they like it, then it's probably wise to move on. If they are honest enough to say that they don't like it and can give good reasons why, then that equipment may be worth considering again in the future.

As a general rule I wouldn't recommend that you draw any solid conclusions from what you hear at a show. The mains supply is generally a mess and the rooms are not usually ideal either.
02-09-2005 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


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

Post #: 17
Post ID: 643
Reply to: 492
Follow-up: New horn guy in town.
 Romy the Cat wrote:

Someone stopped me at the Alexis Park and told me: “Romy, there is a new Israeli guy in town with  his amassing horn. He has a room at the St. Tropes and you should go”. I was almost offended! There was a new horn guy and I never insulted him?!!! My ego was hurt and I decided to pay a visit to this “new guy” room.

:-)

The guy was in his room (I do not remember nether the name of the company nor his name but the company name sounded like “Magic” or “Magical”) and I asked if he is anew horn guy that I was told about. Parallel to this I noted the in the room was juts a small mini-monitors that played at absolutely barbarian volume leve as CD-copy of Burmester II disk and that this CD copy has a dynamic range of 50dB, no more.

The guy replied that he is the horn guy, “Welcome to the club” – I replied – “so do I”…

He replied : “It is you think that you are”.

-What do you mean?
-I mean that you Americans believe that you know something about horns or ever heard them but in fact you do not.

I thought: “This should be great! This guy or a genius of a complete idiot, now, I just have to fugue out what he is”

-OK, I admit that there is a lot of foolishness and ignorance going on in Horn World but do you think that it is not wise to make such statement to people who you do not know. If you wish I might explain to you what is doing on in US with horns and why you see mostly not impressive results

The conversation was flowing in this way; we contested our freaking egos and dancing our little hi-fi ballet. The guy was very reasonable, sounded quite intelligently but we did not talk about the horns.

Then I asked his if he has any actual material about his horns. He showed me at his computer a few pictures. Now my mischievous spirit inside my body was singing a victorious circus march. I instantly resigned the horns (I have seen the pictures of his very much foolish horns a year ago or so) but I did not let him know and begin to ask questions about the pictures he was showing. He was continuing showing to me the images of his speakers. The speaker reminded me the “back-man’s rims”with all his "high-grade aircraft aluminum surfaces" and while we were talking he kept demonstrating a complete ignorance not only about the basic of speaker building, but also about the history of the horns not to mention the elemental technical ignorance and very challenged taste.  I am not kidding. Looks at this dialog:

- What is it?
- Oh, this is the super-drivers by ALE, made in Japan.
- So, and how do you deal with the titanium diaphragms of your super-drivers?
- Do they have titanium diaphragms? Really? And what difference it makes?
- I can tell you but then I will send you and invoice for consulting
- OK, here is a picture of a super system: the 5 ways horn loaded
(I did not tell him that I know this faulty system very well but was continuing…)
- Hm, this is very nice, may I ask you: the driver you use looks like located quite randomly related to the baffle depth, so how do you keep them time-aligned?
- I do not know. Probably somehow in a crossover. I never thought about it.

Well, I decided, he is the idiot and he has all rights to consider that people around him are clueless about horns. With his whonnabe intelligence he can only make speakers that might be suitable in a homes of a typical American white trashes: all those Eds Sawyer, Bills Fitzmaurice, Rod Morrises, Magnetars, Waynes Parham, Edps, Robs Doorack and the rest infamies near-audio dirt...

I was really ready to leave but he told me that I should to talk with another guy in his room. I asked who he was and then a revelation came to me: he new born “American horn guru” used Convergent Audio Technology preamp. I shadow of a guess run in my head and then he confirmed that he do share the room with estimable Mr. Stevens – the designer and manufacture of Convergent. The CES events of 3 years ago (click here to lern about it)  came to my memories and I decided that THIS match between the “new horn guy in town” and Mr. Stevens was the match made in haven!

I did not tell this story to anyone in Vegas but later on, when I was meeting at the alleys and corridors of CES some guys who I feel knew something about horns I asked them if the meet the “new horn guy in town”. All of them replied to me “Come on, he is not serious.” "Why", I asked and then we looked at each other and begun to laugh.

Anyway, the moral of this story is the following:

The only things that distinct the stupidity of this “new horn guy in town” and many of well-know and “reputed” audio manufactures is 2-3 reviews of some king of retard-reviewer (there is a huge pool of them out there) published in some kind of foolish audio publication. I have to testify that I have met in Vegas a very large amount of manufactures, dealers and distributor who have the very same level of understanding what they deal with as the “new horn guy in town” has about horns. Today, those idiots run the show in the industrya and this is very-very sad….

Now I can put a face behind the story. Here we go: I was talking about this guy.

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
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