Being somewhat crowd adverse, I paid a visit on the first day of ISSE, which would be less crowded, being a Friday.
First visit was to High End Research's room.
|The Wilson Audio Alexia standing guard over the Pass Lab monoblocks|
The system was being played a bit too loud for my liking, with the usual hi-fi demonstration type of tracks. It was very dynamic and incisive, perhaps a bit too much so for my taste.
As it was close to a scheduled live performance, I made a detour for Z Yan's live performance.
She has a lovely rich voice that belies her petite frame. Her bossa nova style of singing in Chinese is quite unique. I truly enjoyed the experience, and picked up a copy of her CD on the way out.
Back to the lobby rooms for a quick look-see.
|Voxativ speakers with an analogue front end|
The TAD speakers were playing some choral music when I walked in, and the purity of tone and effortless reproduction was breath taking. Some other tracks were not so convincing, and the simpler types of music fared better in my short time there.
Going off to the 7th floor, where the smaller exhibition rooms were, I was impressed by the more consistent quality of the systems compared to past shows, where exhibitors persistently showcased large speakers that overwhelmed the acoustic space of the tight hotel rooms.
|Poon of Horizon Acoustics gamely posing for a photo|
|Amplification duties handled by Modwright|
|Source duties handled by an Ayon CD player fed into an Antelope DAC. The Resonessence Labs Invicta DAC on the right was not playing when I was in the room.|
|Sky Audio - ALR Jordan speakers, D & T electronics and a Macbook playing computer audio|
ASI electronics and Entreq power distributor and ground conditioner. Speakers are aliens from a far away planet standing very still and hoping to blend into the environment.
|Sound Decisions - Da Vinci DAC, Electrocompaniet amplification and Thiel CS 2.7 speakers|
|X Audio - Brodmann speakers matched with MSB DAC and Octave amplification.|
|X Audio's second room - Accustic Arts electronics with Brodmann speakers.|
|Audio Basic - Aurelia speakers with the Calyx Femto DAC paired with Trigon electronics.|
|Steven Cheah of Audio Basic posing with the Aurelia Cerica. Perched behind, on the shelf is the Telos Alpha Wave generator.|
Some other very good sounding setups were also heard, with the Verity Audio speakers impressing with its excellent level of detail and naturalness.
Unfortunately, a scheduled appointment meant that I could not spend time listening to all the systems in detail, and I wrapped things up after 2 and a half hours at ISSE.