On this weekend at Cranage Hotel, anyone going, would be good to have any reports,. Naim will be heard as Acoustica from Chester have a room, seems a good turn out companies and Hi Fi stotes.
All being well, heading there tomorrow
Worth checking the longer discussion below. Just got back from there
Missed this thread - thanks Gadget
Just back from the show. There were a couple of people I wanted to meet so decided to drive the 280 miles round trip.
Well it was the first day of the show and frankly, that’s how most of the gear sounded. In general, with a couple of exceptions the standard of replay was fairly low. Most installations, including the very expensive ones and even the very expensive vinyl sourced ones sounded like hi-fi. If I were to judge based on what I heard today I would conclude that there’s been very limited progress over the past 30 years, which I know isn’t correct.
But to be fair, it was the morning of the first day, exhibitors were of course using what must have been grossly overloaded hotel mains and with so many SMPSs plugged in it must have been as noisy as hell. No one managed to get an internet feed and with so many systems running over 3 floors it must have have been EMI soup. Background noise levels were quite high
Most systems just weren’t worth hanging around for more that a track or two. In general they all seemed to share similar problems….lack of midrange transparency and top end extension, very little proper imaging or sound stage depth……and on the whole, bass was problematic in that any system with extended bass had too much, with timbral detail mainly masked by the boominess, which in all likelihood was both room and mains related.
A couple of systems did actually sound good….mainly the relatively simple systems with 2 way speakers.
Innuos gave a very nice, musically entertaining demo of their new Pulse Streamer, playing files stored on a Zen MkIII. I listened to a few tracks that I know well and would say that the system shows a lot of promise for excellent sound quality at very reasonable cost. The Innuos trademarks of detail, clarity and PR&T were certainly present.
Kudos loudspeakers sounded rather sonorous, as did a system by Computer Audio Design, playing through a small pair of MBL Radialstrahler 126s. Probably very nice speakers for a small, dedicated room. Lots of exhibitors were playing records but even vinyl couldn’t overcome the very obvious shortcomings of a show environment.
The show was well organised, well attended and the venue was nice with plenty of free parking. Admission was free, I was offered a welcome glass of bubbly, there were lots of friendly staff to guide you around, plenty of rooms to visit over 3 floors and nice gear to look at. Oh and the music exhibitors chose to play was on the whole very nice. All together a nice day, just too big a challenge to get great sound in what was almost certainly an extremely challenging environment.