California Audio Show - July 27-29th - Oakland, CA

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  • mlistens03mlistens03 Posts: 2,148
    After reading you reviews of all of these rooms, I want to go to the show in Florida even more! Great job writing the reviews, I enjoyed reading them!
    Not Tom, or Trey, or Jim
    NAD C352
    Monitor Audio Radius R90’s/Mission Freedom 770 IV
    BJC speaker cables, generic RCA’s, one homemade power cable, because that’s going to do any good with the rest of the generic ones.
    Technics SL3200 turntable and a Shure M97xE phono cartridge
    Velodyne VA-907 subwoofer
    Lafayette LR-1100 acting as a tuner and phono.
    I've always thought the goal of high end audio was not to have your neighbors bang on the wall and say, 'Turn that darn music down' but to have your neighbors bang on the wall and say, 'Tell your friends to go home and you can practice later this week'.
  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 19,075
    Clipdat wrote: »
    Hey Joe. The Zu speakers were some of my favorite speakers at the show! They're FAST! Music sounds quite quick and zippy, and they sound great with vocals. I also think they had great stereo imaging!

    I will say that I strongly believe you would need to audition them first before buying, they might not be for everyone. I liked them, and my wife hated them! She literally couldn't stand them and left after one track. So I just mean that they may not appeal to everyone's tastes.
    joecoulson wrote: »
    I’m sorry. The pics of the KEF’s threw me.
    Thank You very much. Always loved their style. Good to hear they sound as good as they look.

    The Zu loudspeakers seem to have that effect on folks. Tekton, too, albeit to a lesser extent.
  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 19,075
    "vulgar price tags... I like that observation! :)
  • ClipdatClipdat Posts: 4,729
    I think the DA (boardroom 2) and Margules (boardroom 4) rooms were the same size, at least if this floor plan graphic is to scale:

    CAS8_Building_V_1st-Floor_Sign.jpg

    I wouldn't say that the smaller rooms sounded the worst as a blanket statement. Some of the smaller rooms sounded damn good, and some just didn't.
    Hermitism wrote: »
    I noticed the last pic is of a much larger room. Do you think room size played a part in the Margules room sounding the best? I noticed a lot of room treatments in the pics, but did the smaller rooms sound the worst?

    Got Dayens?
  • ClipdatClipdat Posts: 4,729
    So do you guys think I have a future in reviewing rooms at audio shows? Time for a career change?

    I told my wife I want to go to an audio show every day. :lol:
    Got Dayens?
  • txcoastal1txcoastal1 Posts: 9,902
    You did good

    Turning a hobby into a business makes it no longer a hobby

    Any leads on a new job?
    2-channel: Modwright KWI-200 Integrated, Dynaudio C1-II Signatures
    Desktop rig: LSi7, Polk 110sub, Dayens Ampino amp, W4S DAC/pre, Sonos, JRiver
    Gear on standby: Melody 101 tube pre, Unison Research Simply Italy Integrated
    Gone to new homes: (Matt Polk's)Threshold Stasis SA12e monoblocks, Pass XA30.5 amp, Usher MD2 speakers, Dynaudio C4 platinum speakers, Modwright LS100 (voltz), Simaudio 780D DAC
  • arthursarthurs Posts: 9
    edited July 31
    Drew, what a great show report! Rookie? Hmmmm, maybe ringer... :-)

    Seriously, It was really great to meet and spend time with both you and your wife, and thanks so much for all your kind words about our setup, they are truly appreciated, and inspire more than you know. I’m super proud of my buddy Sam and what he’s done with our setup.

    As much as we’d love to be your best of show, hard to argue the Margules room, genuinely nice people with a truly righteous and deserving setup. I think like you (at least one takeaway I get from your notes, hopefully not wrong) I found myself more drawn into the rooms where you interacted directly with the designers and builders. Hard to match their passion and attention to every detail of the sound and setup.

    Enjoyed the time and sharing tunes buddy, hope to see you again next year!
    All the best,
    Art
  • ClipdatClipdat Posts: 4,729
    Thanks man. And good point regarding job/business vs. hobby. Perhaps if it was something you had to do all the time as a job, it would suck the fun out of it. Hard to say.

    No solid leads yet. I did have a solid one but found out it's a three month temp-to-hire but that they don't actually have the funding to make it a FTE at the end of the 90 days. So unless they get their stuff together, I'll be passing on it.

    I haven't been looking seriously since I've just been working out these next 60 days to collect that "retention bonus" thing. But I will ramp up my efforts as I get closer to my last day of September 15th.
    txcoastal1 wrote: »
    You did good

    Turning a hobby into a business makes it no longer a hobby

    Any leads on a new job?

    Got Dayens?
  • txcoastal1txcoastal1 Posts: 9,902
    Well good luck to you sir.

    Keep in mind that between Nov-Feb hiring slows down due to ending budgets and ramp up of new budgets for the following year.

    Holidays don't help either as big wigs take elongated breaks around Xmas
    2-channel: Modwright KWI-200 Integrated, Dynaudio C1-II Signatures
    Desktop rig: LSi7, Polk 110sub, Dayens Ampino amp, W4S DAC/pre, Sonos, JRiver
    Gear on standby: Melody 101 tube pre, Unison Research Simply Italy Integrated
    Gone to new homes: (Matt Polk's)Threshold Stasis SA12e monoblocks, Pass XA30.5 amp, Usher MD2 speakers, Dynaudio C4 platinum speakers, Modwright LS100 (voltz), Simaudio 780D DAC
  • arthursarthurs Posts: 9
    Drew,
    Drop me a note and let me know what kind of role you’re looking for. May be able to help.
    Art
  • ClipdatClipdat Posts: 4,729
    edited July 31
    Hey Art, thanks for taking the time to stop by and leave a comment! I'm glad that you enjoyed reading my reviews.

    I think us voting the Margules room as best of show has a lot to do with the instant gratification factor. Their room had a unique and stunning sound that was unlike any other room at the show. In this format, that really served to "wow" us.

    In terms of longevity, who knows if I would feel that same way living with the system day to day. It's impossible to say. I do feel like hearing the Destination Audio setup at a show probably isn't the best environment for it to really strut it's stuff. Like I mentioned to you, I would like to spend several weeks listening to those horns in order to really learn what they are capable of. The Destination Audio system seems like one that you buy for life, and then you get to finally stop searching. Hence the company name I suppose.

    I did vote for the horns as the "Ultimate Component" regardless of price! :sunglasses:

    Thank you for the offer to help me in my job search. I'll shoot you an email at your sbcglobal address. :)

    Edit: Something else that I forgot to mention in my comments about the DA room! After the last two tracks that Art played to close out the show, Sam mentioned that we had just been playing them at 95db! I definitely would not have guessed that. Although the sound was "loud", it was in no way fatiguing to me like other rooms were when they played at/around this volume. My ears seemed to get along well with the horn's method of audio reproduction! For someone like me with extremely sensitive hearing, it was nice to be able to listen at higher levels without any hint of ear pain or fatigue. Very cool! :)
    arthurs wrote: »
    Drew, what a great show report! Rookie? Hmmmm, maybe ringer... :-)

    Seriously, It was really great to meet and spend time with both you and your wife, and thanks so much for all your kind words about our setup, they are truly appreciated, and inspire more than you know. I’m super proud of my buddy Sam and what he’s done with our setup.

    As much as we’d love to be your best of show, hard to argue the Margules room, genuinely nice people with a truly righteous and deserving setup. I think like you (at least one takeaway I get from your notes, hopefully not wrong) I found myself more drawn into the rooms where you interacted directly with the designers and builders. Hard to match their passion and attention to every detail of the sound and setup.

    Enjoyed the time and sharing tunes buddy, hope to see you again next year!
    All the best,
    Art
    arthurs wrote: »
    Drew,
    Drop me a note and let me know what kind of role you’re looking for. May be able to help.
    Art

    Got Dayens?
  • shadowlightshadowlight Posts: 304
    Clipdat wrote: »
    Zu Audio & Pass Labs

    Zu Audio Druid Mk.VI loudspeakers: $10k
    Zu Cables ($?)
    Luxman PD444 turntable ($?) with Zu/DL-103 cartridge ($500)
    Pass Laboratories XA25 stereo power amplifier ($4,900)
    Pass Labs XP17 phono stage ($4,300)
    Pass Labs XP12 line level preamplifier ($5,800)

    Total excluding cables and TT: $25,500

    It's kindof amusing to think that at $25,500+, this system might be considered "cheap" compared to some of the other rooms at the show!

    The Zu team are also known to leverage Peachtree Audio gear as part of the so, along with Pass/FirstWatt gear.
    Clipdat wrote: »
    I really liked what I was hearing coming out of these Zu Audio speakers. If these are a good representation of the Zu house sound, then I'm a fan. This is the system that I keep thinking about, it's still lingering in my head. I could see myself chasing this level of performance and not being satisfied until I reach it.

    Specifically what struck me the most was the extraordinarily palpable and cohesive stereo imaging that they presented. Quite possibly the most pleasurable stereo imaging effect out of the entire show.

    As well as the "live" quality that the sound had to it. Obviously we were only listening to recordings on vinyl, but the sound had a quick and fast "live performance" type of characteristic to it. This attribute made the sound exciting, and kept your interest locked on what that next note was going to sound like. I did not experience this "live sound" sensation in any of the other rooms I heard. I really liked it!

    The Zu sound is an acquired taste. Some folks like it while other hate the sound :smiley: . I am with you about the sound. I have previously owned 3 different set of Zu's and all of them were excellent. I wish I had not sold the Druid V but the agreement with the better half is that if I get something I have to get rid of something. Wanted to try out the Spatial M3 Turbo S so the Druid V had to go :(.

    Clipdat wrote: »
    Also, special recognition to Sean Casey from Zu Audio who was running the room. He was doing a great job of engaging the attendees, striking up conversations, and in general keeping things light and fun. He seemed like less of an audiophile and more of just a plain old music lover. He also was happy to play the record I brought and honestly I was blown away with how amazing it sounded on this system. Definitely the best I've ever heard this song sound!

    I have to agree. Sean is very easy to get along and when he came over to my place for a house party he did not go into any sales pitch but if an attendee asked for information he provided the information without any of the high pressure sales push. I am hoping to see him when Zu comes to the east coast for Capital Audio Fest.

  • txcoastal1txcoastal1 Posts: 9,902
    The Zu sound is an acquired taste. Some folks like it while other hate the sound :smiley: . I am with you about the sound. I have previously owned 3 different set of Zu's and all of them were excellent. I wish I had not sold the Druid V but the agreement with the better half is that if I get something I have to get rid of something. Wanted to try out the Spatial M3 Turbo S so the Druid V had to go :(

    Not to derail but I'm in the market for efficient speakers to use with my Unison Simply Italy int, did you prefer the Zu's over the Spatial's?
    2-channel: Modwright KWI-200 Integrated, Dynaudio C1-II Signatures
    Desktop rig: LSi7, Polk 110sub, Dayens Ampino amp, W4S DAC/pre, Sonos, JRiver
    Gear on standby: Melody 101 tube pre, Unison Research Simply Italy Integrated
    Gone to new homes: (Matt Polk's)Threshold Stasis SA12e monoblocks, Pass XA30.5 amp, Usher MD2 speakers, Dynaudio C4 platinum speakers, Modwright LS100 (voltz), Simaudio 780D DAC
  • shadowlightshadowlight Posts: 304
    txcoastal1 wrote: »

    Not to derail but I'm in the market for efficient speakers to use with my Unison Simply Italy int, did you prefer the Zu's over the Spatial's?

    Both have their pluses and minus. I my mind the Zu's have a slight edge but that edge might decrease based on your room dimension. If you have the space both in height/depth/width the Spatial's would be wonderful option and would definitely narrow the edge. About 18+ months ago I had hosted a GTG at my house where we had the Spatial's M4 turbo in our family room (vaulted slanted ceiling (10' to 18'), 21' wide and 18' deep the sound was excellent. I just wish that I could leverage that room as my 2-channel room but the room is general purpose which makes it difficult.

    If you go the Spatial route look at the Triode Master version, which are more tube / low watt amp friendly compared to the normal Spatial.

    Both Zu and Spatial have in house trial period. Zu's is 60 days and I believe Spatial's is also 60 days.

    @Clipdat excellent reviews and comments and hopefully I did not derail your review thread.



  • joecoulsonjoecoulson Posts: 635
    Clipdat wrote: »
    Hey Joe. The Zu speakers were some of my favorite speakers at the show! They're FAST! Music sounds quite quick and zippy, and they sound great with vocals. I also think they had great stereo imaging!

    I will say that I strongly believe you would need to audition them first before buying, they might not be for everyone. I liked them, and my wife hated them! She literally couldn't stand them and left after one track. So I just mean that they may not appeal to everyone's tastes.
    joecoulson wrote: »
    I’m sorry. The pics of the KEF’s threw me.
    Thank You very much. Always loved their style. Good to hear they sound as good as they look.

    Thank You for such great feedback and coverage for us here.
  • ClipdatClipdat Posts: 4,729
    My pleasure! I really had a fantastic time, like a kid in a candy shop.
    joecoulson wrote: »
    Thank You for such great feedback and coverage for us here.

    Got Dayens?
  • halohalo Posts: 4,380
    Outstanding job covering the show Drew. Your wife’s writing is also excellent. Maybe a husband and wife team for covering future audio shows?

    Really, Drew, fantastic!
  • ManticoreManticore Posts: 286
    [quote="shadowlight;but the agreement with the better half is that if I get something I have to get rid of something.

    Oh boy o boy, I should not let my wife read this, I will not let my wife read this,
    I cant let my wife read this! Doh o:)
    Denon AVR X4200W
    Parasound HCA 1500A amplifier
    Adcom GFA 555 amplifier
    LG 65" Ultra HD4k
    LG 4kBR - UP970
    Denon DVM 4800
    Denon DP 3000 turntable
    Saec 308sx tonearm w/
    Dynavector 10x5 cart
    NAD pp 4 Phono Preamp
    MIT Avt3 Speaker c's
    Audio Quest Big Sur ic's
    Polk RTiA 7's
    Polk CSi A6
    Polk RTiA 3's
    Polk SDA 1C's modded
    Polk DSW PRO 440wi sub
    Infinity bu2 sub
    "The early Klingon gets the Gagh"
  • txcoastal1txcoastal1 Posts: 9,902
    Manticore wrote: »
    [quote="shadowlight;but the agreement with the better half is that if I get something I have to get rid of something.

    Oh boy o boy, I should not let my wife read this, I will not let my wife read this,
    I cant let my wife read this! Doh o:)
    Manticore wrote: »
    [quote="shadowlight;but the agreement with the better half is that if I get something I have to get rid of something.

    Oh boy o boy, I should not let my wife read this, I will not let my wife read this,
    I cant let my wife read this! Doh o:)
    Manticore wrote: »
    [quote="shadowlight;but the agreement with the better half is that if I get something I have to get rid of something.

    Oh boy o boy, I should not let my wife read this, I will not let my wife read this,
    I cant let my wife read this! Doh o:)
    Manticore wrote: »
    [quote="shadowlight;but the agreement with the better half is that if I get something I have to get rid of something.

    Oh boy o boy, I should not let my wife read this, I will not let my wife read this,
    I cant let my wife read this! Doh o:)

    You should never let the wife catch you looking at an audi0p0rn site ;) B) Capiche?!!
    2-channel: Modwright KWI-200 Integrated, Dynaudio C1-II Signatures
    Desktop rig: LSi7, Polk 110sub, Dayens Ampino amp, W4S DAC/pre, Sonos, JRiver
    Gear on standby: Melody 101 tube pre, Unison Research Simply Italy Integrated
    Gone to new homes: (Matt Polk's)Threshold Stasis SA12e monoblocks, Pass XA30.5 amp, Usher MD2 speakers, Dynaudio C4 platinum speakers, Modwright LS100 (voltz), Simaudio 780D DAC
  • ClipdatClipdat Posts: 4,729
    Don't end up like this guy!

    PINE BLUFF, Ark.

    A 69-year-old Arkansas woman has been accused of fatally shooting her 65-year-old husband in a disagreement over pornography.

    Jefferson County Jail records indicate Patricia Hill was booked for murder Saturday and is being held without bond. The records don’t indicate if she is represented by an attorney who could speak on her behalf.

    Sheriff’s Maj. Lafayette Woods Jr. says Patricia Hill is accused of fatally shooting her husband, Frank Hill, shortly before 3 p.m. Saturday.

    Patricia Hill waived her rights and agreed to speak with investigators, Woods said in the news release. She said she and her husband had never had any "physical altercations," but that they had a disagreement over pornography.

    "Mrs. Hill stated that she disagreed with her husband’s purchase of video pornography via the television guide, which she canceled upon discovering the purchase, but Mr. Hill managed to place a subsequent order," Maj. Lafayette Woods, Jr. wrote in a statement. "Mrs. Hill stated that she entered the shed and asked her husband to leave but he refused."

    That's when Patricia Hill allegedly retrieved a .22-caliber pistol and shot her husband in the leg and head.

    Authorities say Frank Hill was pronounced dead at the scene.

    "She's the last person I'd thought would've ever done something like this," neighbor James Pierce told KATV. "I'm really quite shocked this happened because she was a really wonderful lady. "

    Pierce called Patricia Hill a spiritual woman who taught Sunday school and was always willing to help out.

    "When people were gone, she'd go and pickup their mail for them and stuff like that. She was a very trustworthy person," he said.
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  • ClipdatClipdat Posts: 4,729
    edited July 31
    Schiit Audio got back to me and let me know that the headphones that I heard were the Beyerdynamic DT 880, and I'm pretty sure they were the 600ohm versions. @msg take note.
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  • ClipdatClipdat Posts: 4,729
  • pitdogg2pitdogg2 Posts: 10,865
    edited August 1
    maxward wrote: »
    I’m planning to make RMAF my first show.

    It's a good one!!
  • pitdogg2pitdogg2 Posts: 10,865
    Clipdat wrote: »
    0w3nyej7t2ey.jpg

    This room was crazy because the sound did not seem to be coming from the speakers at all. I kept looking behind/around them because of the crazy sensation. It was just like the sound was floating/hanging in the air and originating out of nowhere. Absolutely wild.

    That is what we all want speakers that get out of the way and disappear. So now you know what to listen for.
  • ClipdatClipdat Posts: 4,729
    edited August 1
    https://theaudiobeatnik.com/california-audio-show-2018-show-report-2-the-3-best-rooms-on-the-second-floor/

    Interesting how he seemed to really like the Joseph Audio and Zesto Audio rooms, whereas I thought those rooms were nothing special and didn't impress me.
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  • txcoastal1txcoastal1 Posts: 9,902
    I went to RMAF in 2013 with Russman, and later seen written and youtube reviews and laughed.

    It was like they slid the reviewer a hundy under the table ;)

    Some these rooms we beat up badly with our own music, we were wanting them to sound good, but never happened
    2-channel: Modwright KWI-200 Integrated, Dynaudio C1-II Signatures
    Desktop rig: LSi7, Polk 110sub, Dayens Ampino amp, W4S DAC/pre, Sonos, JRiver
    Gear on standby: Melody 101 tube pre, Unison Research Simply Italy Integrated
    Gone to new homes: (Matt Polk's)Threshold Stasis SA12e monoblocks, Pass XA30.5 amp, Usher MD2 speakers, Dynaudio C4 platinum speakers, Modwright LS100 (voltz), Simaudio 780D DAC
  • ClipdatClipdat Posts: 4,729
    edited August 2
    can3mvx3cjn4.jpg

    I was looking through some of the paperwork/flyers I got from the show, and I found this page of information from Whammerdyne (I can't get over that company name! I keep wanting to read it as "Warhammer" for some reason) that I thought was interesting. Thought you guys (@DSkip @mhardy6647 @F1nut @heiney9) might like reading it too so I'll type it out here. This was the system where I've heard the most realistic recording of classical music I've ever experienced. All of the detail and emotion was there - I closed my eyes and I was transported to the hall. It was great.

    "Whammerdyne "The World's Finest 2A3 Amplifiers"

    Introducing our newest member to the expanding Whammerdyne family of single ended amplifiers. The model DAA3+ RAM (Damn Awesome Amplifier + Remote Advanced Magnetics). The world's first remoted audio output transformers with three available transformer options.

    Benefits of remote output transformers?

    Moving the transformers away from the main amplifier chassis has many technical benefits. No magnetic coupling interactions with power supply transformers and other sources of magnetic fields and noise. Even in the best of conditions with careful spacing and orientations the output transformers are part of the amplifiers chassis and assembly this presents many unfavorable limitations, resulting in induced magnetic coupling and an increase in the levels of measured hum and noise. This results in a higher noise floor. For example, our "Truth" model and flagship of the Whammerdyne offerings has a world renowned low hum and noise level at under 33 micro volts. (That's millionth of a volt!) While the DAA3+ RAM with the remote transformers is below 3 microvolts wideband, that is over 150db down!

    What is achieved by this even lower wideband hum and noise? The lowest levels of the delicate music signal are revealed and reproduced without loss. In many cases (well most all) of other designs having higher noise floors, fine details, harmonics, spatial information, and phase information is burned and masked/lost in the high noise floor. Most manufacturers of amplifiers will not give you a noise floor or hum and noise measurement. Even if they do, it's usually a weighted or narrow band of measurement that hides the fact that their designs lose low level information or alter it with the interactions of the noise floor and the signal.

    While benefits are many with our topology including the ability to offer three options of output transformers, a smaller footprint size and weight of the amplifier chassis and power supply. Another benefit of remoted transformers, your speaker cables become very short, minimizing DC series resistance losses and this low impedance and low reactance connection eliminates these loses, and you do not have to buy expensive/exotic speaker cables, you can put your money into what really counts: the amplifier's quality and transformer quality.

    Hear the "Truth", the world's finest 2A3 single ended family of amplifiers all DC coupled and no capacitors in the signal path. Saving the audio world one amplifier at a time.

    www.whammerdyne.com Proudly hand crafted in the USA right here in the beautiful NW rainforest. Wilsonville, Oregon"
    Got Dayens?
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