Big rooms first :-
High End Research
|The all-new Wilson Audio DAW|
|Streaming was carried out by an Aurender streamer hooked up to an Orpheus Lab SACD player / DAC and integrated amplifier|
|Drool-worthy McIntosh gear|
|The Mac equipment paired with Opera Grand Callas speakers|
|Full Grandinote system. Playback was switched by a Totaldac D1-Seven / streamer and a Grandinote digital source|
|Close-up of the Mach 4 speakers|
When I dropped in, the Grandinote Demone monoblock amplifiers were in play. Cabling was a mixture of Luna Cables and Verastarr. Great system - One of my favourites of the show !
|Live demonstration of different CD pressings. How about a $2,000 glass disc or a much cheaper Ultimate HQCD press ? Very nice demonstration which really showcased how much difference a pressing could make.|
The biggest surprise had to come from these cute speakers. Take a plastic sphere and mount a full range driver with accompanying electronics and battery pack, and you get the Eupho E3 speaker. Connection can be done via Bluetooth, USB, 3.5mm minijack or Toslink optical.
Weighing just 1.6 kg, these speakers sounded remarkably good for their price tag. At $399 for a single speaker (including tripod stand, leather carrying strap and table-top mount), there is no excuse not to get one. Who said lifestyle speakers had to sound bad or break the bank ? And yes, two of these can communicate wirelessly to form a stereo pair.
On to the 7th floor rooms :-
Advanced Audio Acoustics
The second surprise of the day had to come from these LS3/5A inspired speakers (the JM 3/5A SE. At $750, they sounded really good. Some mention was made of a special deal for the show, and I ran as fast I could before I succumbed to temptation.
I sat at front row and predicted a bass boom and poor driver integration given the near-field position and small room. Guess what ? They sounded great - very precise, transparent and dynamic. Makes me wonder why Legacy speakers aren't more popular locally. They certainly deserve to be. I had to check with Mervyn Loh, MD of Tritone to ensure that they were not running any form of room correction software. This gets my vote for best sound of the 7th floor.
Telos Asia Pacific
Ray Ng of Raindrop has always assembled good sounding setups, and this year is no different. The setup was a mix of SoTM and Ayon equipment and sounded very good. I liked this setup very much.
To be continued ...