RMAF 2011 Part 7
Just thought you should know, Stereophile was there, too.
We went by this table in the lobby at least 50 times and never saw anyone there.
Times are tough at Stereophile we guess.
And now it's time for a Stereomojo
We've been known for letting our readers in some industry dirty little secrets in our reviews.
Here's something else we thought you might like to know.
A friend of ours in the industry recently had one of his products on the cover
of one of the US Stereo print magazines. What nobody knows is that products don't
make it on the cover of most magazines, audio or not, for free.
So our Publisher asked how much it cost him to get his product on the cover
of this certain Stereo magazine - off the record of course, so we can't use his name or the product.
But guess what his answer was?
What did you guess?
The correct answer is:
None of the above.
The real amount was;
This is not news to us, we've heard it many times. That includes a year's worth of advertising though, so it's not all for the cover, but you know that every product on the cover is accompanied
by phrases shouting things like:
"THE BEST (product) EVER!" "SETS A NEW STANDARD!" and so on.
Every month there's a new standard. Yet these magazines tell us repeatedly
that advertising has no bearing on reviews. Yet their income, what puts food on their tables, depends on this advertising. If someone gave you $70,000, expecting a great review, what would you do?
Does advertising effect reviews in other publications? You decide.
MAKE THIS SPEAKER
This is the CBT36 by Don Keele that looks little alien and futuristic. From his website, the "CBT" stands for Constant Beamwidth Transducer whose theory is based on un-classified military under-water transducer research done in the late 1970s and early 80s. This research describes a curved-surface transducer in the form of a spherical cap with frequency-independent Legendre shading that provides wide-band extremely constant beamwidth and directivity behavior with virtually no side lobes.
The theory was applied to loudspeaker arrays by Keele in 2000 where he extended the concept to arrays based on circular-arc line arrays and toroidal-shaped curved surface arrays. Keele also extended the concept to straight-line and flat-panel CBT arrays with the use of signal delays.. The 3D sound-field of CBT circular-arc line arrays was analyzed by Keele in 2000. In 2003 Keele also described the practical implementation of CBT circular-arc line arrays. In 2005, he described a design variation of the CBT loudspeaker line array, called a ground-plane CBT array, which is intended to operate very close to a planar reflecting surface.
Provides broadband constant-directivity, beamwidth and coverage.
Pattern is independent of frequency and distance!
Requires no DSP, frequency-independent level shading only!
No nearfield! Simple to implement!
In this design, Keele uses 72 3/4" tweeters and 18 31/2" midrange units arranged in an arc.
What's even more interesting is that you can get this kit from Parts Express for as little as $1980 per pair, including all those drivers. Obviously, one of the advantages of this design is that you don't have to use ultra-expensive drivers to achieve this remarkable sound.
JBL NOW USES BT
Daedalus Ulysses loudspeaker on the DA-RMa stand with Serious Stereo 2A3 amplifiers ($11,000 pair) and Galibier Design Stelvio-II turntable (32,500).
The Marten Form floorstanding speaker was very pretty and suited the room very well. The diamond shaped cabinet tapering back to a point was striking and very nice looking. Dan Meinwald of Marten/E.A.R. always assembles a very musical system based around EAR electronics by Tim de Paravicini.
Yep, a cool half-million.
Just the amps, Soulution 700 monoblocks ($130,000/pair) and the speakers, Focal's Stella Utopia EM speakers ($90,000/pair)
accounted for $220,000. Was the sound really good? Yep. Was it worth a half million bucks?
No freakin' way.
We had to stand at the back of the room ON AXIS to hear what this system really sounded like.
No thanks. We prefer to sit.
We've heard systems costing a full million bucks. This system sounded better at half the price.
But we think there was other systems that sounded just as good if not better for MUCH less.
For us, this was not the "Best Sound at Show".
Jeff Rowland Design
Jeff was showing the Thiel CS3.7 with Nordost Odin cables. Very simple room but tremendously engaging sounds.
A real taste of ultra-high resolution sound without a half million dollars leaving your pocket.
A close up shot of the Jeff Rowland new Aeris DAC ($9,800) and Model 625 stereo amplifier ($13,500).
The ModWright KWI 200 integrated amplifier ($5,000) with Daedalus Audio Athena loudspeaker. Simple and cost effective set-up that just simply worked and drew you into the music. Good value for both the electronics and speakers. Beautiful metal and wood work for both products.
Vaughn was showing their new Triode speakers at $9995 a pair. The Triode is 99 DB efficient with a 16 Ohm impedance that should be very easy to drive. The combination was very effective and showcased what modern high efficiency speakers and tube electronics can accomplish.
One of the better sounds at the show.
Audio Research CD8 Reference CD Player ($9,995) and Reference DAC8 converter ($4,995). A really nice combination of tubes and high technology design. Nice combination of tubes and technology in the service of music. We're not sure why anyone would want to buy at $10,000 CD player these days.
You notice the player says, "no disk". That's because the music was coming from the laptop. Point made?
This was the debut of MBL's new MBL 116 F in spectacular high-gloss white. Spectacular price, too.
My wife liked the combination with the MBL white electronics, the Corona series (below). The sound was excellent. The 360 degree mid band and tweeter was stunning. Atypical for MBL, they were playing them at listenable levels with nice music. I usually leave an MBL room with my ears ringing. The speaker is capable of throwing the most realistic soundstage with huge air. Really sweet sounding speaker.
Cool looking amps and players in the Corona series.
Prices start at around $9,500 per piece. And this is their (cough) entry level.
One wonders if they come with a wedge of lemon...
The Levinson Nº 531H Monaural Amplifier ($13,000 a pair) being used with both the JBL Synthesis 1400 Array
and the Revel Studio2 speakers. The amplifiers drove both with no sense of strain or even breaking a sweat.
JBL Synthesis 1400 Array ($11,500), the top of the line loudspeaker in JBL’s high-end Project Array lineup. What a unique arrangement of the horn. Vertical arrangement versus horizontal. The tweeter sits at the top of the midrange horn. These were pretty amazing. Not the typical (at least to my ear) horn coloration but very real, open, and controlled.
I've never seen this much info from an audio show.
There can't be more, can there?
Yes - our trolls are still working away. Check back!
BACK TO STEREOMOJO HOME