Stereophile Show -- Home Entertainment 2007 Hi-Fi and Home
By Bill Gaw
here to e-mail reporter.
As usual I'm wiped out after having spent two days in New York walking around both the
Stereophile Show and running between the Grand Hyatt and Times Square to see a couple of Broadway productions.
The show itself was pretty good compared to others I've attended, with the vast majority of rooms
demonstrating primarily high-end audio equipment, mostly as two channel displays. Unlike other years there were very few surround setups, and only three or four rooms even had any video at all. It certainly wasn't a home theater production.
Also, there weren't any mega Japanese corporations in
attendance and there were absolutely no new developments presented. On the other hand, the demonstrations of high-end audio equipment were set up for listening for the crowds that were to arrive after the press time on Thursday. Unhappily, most of the rooms on the first day, as with most shows, were either not completely set up or were still being tuned. If they really want the press to hear them at their best, they should schedule the press day for the last day of the shows.
Anyway, the Grand Hyatt was certainly a better place than the Hilton which was used the last time this show was in
New York City. The only criticism I would have is how they set up the registration area, which was placed directly in front of the elevators in a narrow corridor which couldn't even hold the number of people who showed up on
Friday. As one can never tell at a show how a particular piece of equipment will sound when used to its maximum in a home setting, I'll just make comments on the equipment presented unless something really stood out.
This is the TAD Reference 1 speaker system that
cost $40,000 and was used to show off master tapes.
Haniwa horn speakers from Japan which use my favorite technology, i.e., old fashioned horns with a twist. The crossover is actually a DSP unit doing both crossover and time alignment of the horns in the digital domain. A fine example of combining the best of old and new technology. Cost is $40,000 and up.
This is the BEHOLD 300 watt per channel digital amplifier being fed by their two channel digital preamp. The amplifiers were used in a least
three other rooms including the one picked for best sounding of the show. More later.
BAT, Wilson Audio, and Shunyata Research Room. One of the best sounding of the show early on. Setup was very good for early on the first day. Of course part of that 'm sure was that Peter McGrath was playing some of his superb masters of the
Florida Philharmonic. One that really blew my socks off was of the Copland Third symphony, one of my favorites, and in this case a superb recording of a fine orchestra. In addition the original tape was surround sound. Unhappily, they are unobtainable and probably
will never be as the orchestra has no plans on selling them. Maybe if we all write to Peter, he may be able to talk the orchestra into selling them for a fund raiser.
DCM Loudspeakers driven by Jolida Electronics. They weren't completely set up yet and I forgot to return.
Cabasse's newest sphere shaped loudspeaker also using DSP processing for crossover and time alignment.
Lominchay Room with their Mandarin Supreme Horn Loudspeakers built from solid hollowed out wood and again using digital signal processing for time alignment and crossover. Prices from $80,000 to
$114,000. Unhappily they were playing the Dvorak
Cello Concerto with Rostropovich out of absolute polarity so I couldn't tell anything about the speaker's sound.
Gamut Room full system of speaker, amplifier, CD player, etc. Again not set up yet for listening.
Meridian room with their complete digital system with digital amplifiers built into the speakers. They were out finding a long HDMI cord so the system was silent.
Weiss Engineering room sounded very good! The system was developed by Weiss and the speakers used some of my
favorite ceramic drivers.
Studio Electric Room. Dave McPherson, a recording engineer by trade, decided to build his own monitors and electronics fore his home in Utah, and has now started to produce them for sale. Speakers and amplifiers are $6500 each, and sounded pretty good for show conditions playing some of his master recording.
Found this ironic as the
last thing I played before going to the show was a four track recording of Abravanel and Utah doing the Saint
Saens Third symphony.
Silverline Audio. This was a show stopper for me. Using the smaller speakers in the picture, he filled the room with superb sound that was both accurate and almost holographic, and at least went down to the low
40Hz range. Truly amazing for $600 a pair. They sounded better than many of the mega-bucks setups using only a 25
wpc. I actually went up to the speakers and touched the cones to make sure they were producing the sound, then went around to find if there was a hidden woofer. Think
I'll get a pair of these for my second system.
Click here for next page.