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  • Music Played at Audio Shows

    I was going to start this topic upon return from Axpona but was beaten to the subject!
    Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
    Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
    ________________________________________

    -Zellaton Plural Evo speakers
    -Goldmund Telos 300 stereo amp
    -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
    -Doshi EVO and Goldmund PH3.8 phonostage
    -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
    -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
    -Lyra Atlas SL Lambda, Fuuga Mk. 2, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MutechHayabusa, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
    -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
    -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 6, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies and Ensemble Power Cords
    -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz 3 racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA OHIO Class 2.1+ platforms.

  • #2
    I do think the whole issue around what music is played at these exhibits is a fascinating one. I went into one room yesterday where they were playing something that was flute and cymbal. That's it. For like 5 minutes. It was ridiculously lame. Also had a room Friday where even though they had a CD player, and my 3 buddies and I were the only ones in the room, we were told they would not play our request.

    On the other hand, there were several rooms where the hosts were more than happy to either play music I had brought or at the very least hand me their tablet with the music library and let me choose. Again, I never even ASKED for this unless my party were the only ones in the room, or in one case where the hosts actually solicited requests (which was very cool!!!).
    TAPE: Studer A807, A810; Revox B77 MkII; Technics RS-1700; Pioneer RT-707, RT-909
    VINYL: Denon DP59-L/Hana ML/ModWright PH 9.0; Pioneer PL-50LII/Dynavector 20xH
    DIGITAL: Bryston SP-3, Marantz NA6006/Pioneer N-50, Schiit Bifrost
    SPEAKERS: B&W Nautilus 800, Pioneer DSS-9, Velodyne FSR-15
    AMPS: Cary SLP-05/Sunfire Signature 600, Pioneer SX-1980

    Comment


    • mep
      mep commented
      Editing a comment
      I have often been amazed at the music selections being played at shows over the years. One time at RMAF some guy was playing the intro songs from TV shows. I went into the Magnepan room to hear the 3.7 speakers on Friday and the guy had the sound turned down so low it was crazy. It wasn't even at background music level. I had to tell him to turn it up.

    • dminches
      dminches commented
      Editing a comment
      When Skylab and I were at RMAF several years ago I joked that in one room they were playing something which was effectively 1 note per minute. That was their idea of what music is. But it sounded so "good."

  • #3
    I always enjoy the music played by - Andrew Jones, George at Zesto, Bricasti room, Tidal Room, Gamut, Peter McGrath, Nick Doshi to name a few. And, of course, if one happens to run into Myles or Mike F, prepare for a treat!

    Actually, I decided to get the Alexias after an afternoon with Myles listening to vinyl at suite sponsored by Paragon at RMAF in 2013.

    Comment


    • mep
      mep commented
      Editing a comment
      I was there and I was highly impressed with that system as well. I kept coming back to the Paragon room as a retreat from all of the noise.

  • #4
    This is precisely why I go back several times over a 3 day long show to Jeff Catalano's room. Jeff is known to bring a few dozen records from his collection. Some of them aren't reissue pristine but they are recordings of real interest instead. Unless you just bought your first turntable 5 or 10 years ago probably most of your collection is made up of less than perfect original commercial albums. Jeff is just about the only exhibitor with the courage to play that kind of material. In spite of getting special mention in show recaps few seem to "get it" and follow suit.

    Another problem is the ongoing fear of disturbing your neighbor. That's real and unless you have rented a very big room tough to avoid.
    TW Acustic TT with Ref motor & controller; Tri-Planar Arm; Ortofon Windfeld-Ti Cartridge, Harmonix-Combak platter mat & weight; PS Audio Stellar Phono Preamp; KLAudio Ultrasonic Record Cleaner.

    Bluesound Vault-2 Music Server & Streamer

    VTL 6.5 preamp Series II
    Pass Labs 150.8 Amp

    Piega C711 Loudspeakers

    Symposium Osiris Rack; Symposium Platforms and Roller Blocks plus grade 2.5 Balls

    Acoustic Revive RR-888 Low Frequency Pulse Generator, Synergistic Research 12 UEF SE Line Conditioner, Level 3 HC AC Cord and Level 3 power cords, Synergistic Carbon fiber wall plates, Synergistic Research Orange Outlet, Furutech NCF Booster Braces, Audio Art Ref IC, MIT Oracle IC, synergistic Research Atmosphere X Euphoria Level 3 Balanced ICs, Synergistic Research Euphoria Level 3 Speaker Cables, Synergistic Research Cable Risers.

    Sennheiser HDV 650 Headphone Amp; Sennheiser HD800s Headphones.

    Comment


    • MylesBAstor
      MylesBAstor commented
      Editing a comment
      Yes, I bring albums into Jeff's room but always check to see if he already has the LP.

    • Steve Lefkowicz
      Steve Lefkowicz commented
      Editing a comment
      Jeff's room is always an oasis for letting your ears relax and refreshing your state-of-mind. One of the few rooms where I don't feel a need to bring my own music. Colleen Cardas Imports, Dan Meinwald's room, and Ryan Speakers are three others that come to mind. MBL, too, if you catch them a the right time.
      The rooms with limited fixed playlists (like Sanders electrostatics) I simply avoid.

  • #5
    Originally posted by Ritmo View Post
    I always enjoy the music played by - Andrew Jones, George at Zesto, Bricasti room, Tidal Room, Gamut, Peter McGrath, Nick Doshi to name a few. And, of course, if one happens to run into Myles or Mike F, prepare for a treat!

    Actually, I decided to get the Alexias after an afternoon with Myles listening to vinyl at suite sponsored by Paragon at RMAF in 2013.
    Was that the year that Nick had a Studer A80 in the room? That system rocked.
    Micro Seiki SX-8000 table with flywheel, SME 3012R arm, SME 312S arm, Lyra Etna SL and Dynavector XV-1S cartridges, ARC Ref 3 phono stage, Otari MX-55 tape deck, Ampex 350 repros, Roon Nucleus Plus server, PS Audio DSJ DAC, ARC Ref 6 pre, ARC Ref 75 amp, JBL 4345 speakers, and Def Tech Ref subs.

    Comment


    • Ritmo
      Ritmo commented
      Editing a comment
      Mark - This room was in the lobby level of the Marriott. He did have R2R but can't remember which one.

    • MylesBAstor
      MylesBAstor commented
      Editing a comment
      That was the year Bruce brought his A80 and they used the earlier version of Nick's tapestage. Think pretty much everyone liked the room that year!

    • mep
      mep commented
      Editing a comment
      Yes, indeed. I just commented above on the Paragon room at that show. It was one of the best at the show for me.

  • #6
    This is kind of a meta-level discussion thus far. No actual cuts or albums mentioned.

    if you were at a show wanting to hear a piece of gear you were thinking about buying, what would you want played? ...maybe some more Diana Krall...heh?

    if you were presenting a piece of gear at a show, what music would best tell your customers about it?

    Comment


    • #7
      TAVES (Toronto Audio Video Entertainment Show). Some years I'm an exhibitor, others I'm an attendee.

      Album 1: Keb' Mo'- Keb Mo. Great album. Reportedly, some of the songs where recorded in his living room, 15 ips recorder, minor engineering, put to vinyl. Whether played in my listening room, or at the show, this album sounds amazing. Insert your own favorite well recorded albums.

      The opposite end of the spectrum.
      Album 2: Pink Floyd, Wish You Were Here. This is a sound effect album. After the death of a band mate, Roger Waters sequestered himself in the recording studio. He put down thousands of sound effects, and then started mixing them together. This mixing went on for months. At various times, he would give sheet music to a band mate, and they would record. They never played together. Once the album came out, the entire band spent 6 months 'learning' the album. The tour then started. Question; can you play a reel to reel tape hundreds of times?. What about mixing and transferring hundreds of times?. What happens to the sound?.


      Finally to my point. One year someone asked about WYWH. They came back on Sunday, I brought the album, and we conducted an experiment. First we listened to Keb' Mo', and then we listened to WYWH. Everyone in the room agreed, it was the best Keb' Mo' had ever sounded, and it was the worst Pink Floyd had ever sounded. I explained a simple truth about High End Audio; The better your system, the better great recordings sound. Unfortunately, over engineered albums, well, don't sound great. After WYWH I played Dead Can Dance, Into The Labrynth, side 1. Sold speakers. I love Lisa. She shakes my barley.

      In my home, one of the most played albums? Pink Floyd Wish You Were Here.
      An album I will never take to a show? Pink Floyd Wish You Were Here.

      My show conclusions? you have 10-20 seconds to grab their attention. Play audiophile recordings, and you keep their attention. Bring your CD player, and let them give you a first generation North American CD, and you clear the room. This does not include JVC XRCD's, Stockfish etc. etc. etc., which sound great, but few people bring. The better the system, the greater the disparity between fabulous and awful recordings. It's not easy being a speaker builder.

      Comment


      • MylesBAstor
        MylesBAstor commented
        Editing a comment
        Actually the making and recording of WYWH is an interesting story. Or course following DSOTM. The engineer for WYWH wasn't particularly experienced and was on the edge of being fired during the making of the album. But it seems PF transcended the engineer here. The sound is very different than DSOTM but good in its right.

      • Greg Beron
        Greg Beron commented
        Editing a comment
        I have WYWH from 3 different sources on 15ips tape.

        One is not so hot, one is OK, but one is fantastic!

        The fantastic one has the most awesome "Welcome To The Machine" I have ever heard period.
        The deep bass will shake your entire house, very compelling.

      • lasercd
        lasercd commented
        Editing a comment
        What member of Pink Floyd died before the recording of WYWH? Syd Barrett famously stopped in to visit during the recording of the album.

    • #8
      Originally posted by 1morerecord2clean View Post
      This is precisely why I go back several times over a 3 day long show to Jeff Catalano's room. Jeff is known to bring a few dozen records from his collection. Some of them aren't reissue pristine but they are recordings of real interest instead. Unless you just bought your first turntable 5 or 10 years ago probably most of your collection is made up of less than perfect original commercial albums. Jeff is just about the only exhibitor with the courage to play that kind of material. In spite of getting special mention in show recaps few seem to "get it" and follow suit.

      Another problem is the ongoing fear of disturbing your neighbor. That's real and unless you have rented a very big room tough to avoid.
      From this years' Axpona Show courtesy of Sherrell Morris!

      Click image for larger version

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      Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
      Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
      ________________________________________

      -Zellaton Plural Evo speakers
      -Goldmund Telos 300 stereo amp
      -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
      -Doshi EVO and Goldmund PH3.8 phonostage
      -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
      -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
      -Lyra Atlas SL Lambda, Fuuga Mk. 2, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MutechHayabusa, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
      -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
      -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 6, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies and Ensemble Power Cords
      -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz 3 racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA OHIO Class 2.1+ platforms.

      Comment


      • 1morerecord2clean
        1morerecord2clean commented
        Editing a comment
        That's the man!

      • Rob
        Rob commented
        Editing a comment
        I always stop into Jeff's rooms. some shows are better than others for him but he's always affable with nary a trace of snobby-ness, he's got great taste in music too.

    • #9
      I think the issue with shows is exhibitors have to serve two masters: sound and music. And we know the adage when you try to be something to everyone. Truth be told, more people are there to hear the sound than the music. Or at least it's the sound will draw them in.

      One of my pet peeves are people who rate the sound of a room based on recordings they have never heard before. Or even based on hearing one cut from an album. I understand that not all exhibitors let attendees play their choice of music but I find nowadays more will than won't at shows. But how do you know if what you are hearing is the recording or the system?
      Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
      Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
      ________________________________________

      -Zellaton Plural Evo speakers
      -Goldmund Telos 300 stereo amp
      -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
      -Doshi EVO and Goldmund PH3.8 phonostage
      -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
      -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
      -Lyra Atlas SL Lambda, Fuuga Mk. 2, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MutechHayabusa, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
      -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
      -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 6, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies and Ensemble Power Cords
      -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz 3 racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA OHIO Class 2.1+ platforms.

      Comment


      • 1morerecord2clean
        1morerecord2clean commented
        Editing a comment
        All so true Myles. Based on changes made in my own system over the last 12 months i have come to the conclusion that it is next to impossible to tell where distortions come from because they emanate from places in the system you might not expect. Throw the room in on top of it all and it becomes a conundrum. So show rooms are difficult to evaluate for sure. This is why I don't drag my own source material to them. I just sit back, listen, and whatever I can get from it I remember and consider for the future of my own system.

    • #10
      Every manufacturer who does audio shows has their own philosophy of what will best show off their gear and of course what music will be best for that system and room.
      Some only play music that won't stress the system or let the sound get out of bounds in any way, nice polite audiophile music, no muss no fuss.

      Personally I hate that philosophy and I believe it is as Myles states above it is all about the "sounds" that can be politely generated not the "music".

      Music is gritty slamming guitars, Ozzy screaming like a demon as he spits out the head of a bat, and Keith Moon beating the hell outta that drum kit.
      Polite audiophile music may sell gear but it ain't why I buy audio gear or why I would go to an audio show.

      Precisely why I do the After Hours Analog Tape events, you can hear real music and almost anything, from the Weavers to Snoop Dog.....
      Ha!

      Comment


      • nc42acc
        nc42acc commented
        Editing a comment
        Greg you got Snoop Dog on tape? Your holding out on me brother.

      • Greg Beron
        Greg Beron commented
        Editing a comment
        That was a Jeremy formulated mix tape he had made, next time you are out this way you can hear it.
        He has a few good tunes like that on some mix tapes. He has Rappers Delight too, fun.

      • nc42acc
        nc42acc commented
        Editing a comment
        Awesome. I can't wait to get back up for some wine and great music.

    • #11
      Some rooms do play loud and nice rock but it's a rarity
      last year st the sad NYC audio show Pink Floyd was slamming on vinyl in the focal room. Too bad it sounded way to bassy and lacked clarity too. If you guys claim WYWH is good ill play my sacd and commnet. Great music done very poorly. I also neon digital bring a thumb drive with dsd and pcm to play its part of how I can judge if I like it or not. But a bad room can be heard with a head in the door playing almost anything. For me as I am not claiming to be anything more then a owner of the stuff. I do know what I like at shows.
      analog stuff.
      otari mtr 10 2 track 1/4 made new by soren
      otari mtr 10 2 track 1/4 1/2 combo made new by soren
      sota sapphire used eminent tech ver 2 arm
      new sota nova table has magnetic levitation platter and full speed control and latest motor same arm as above
      thorens td124 sme ver 2 arm
      thorens td125 sme ver 2 arm
      kenwood direct drive sme ver 2 arm
      phono preamp Ml no 25 all re capped
      speakers cust infinity IRS V , new caps and LPS , magnets etc.
      mark levivson pre no 26 amps no 33
      digital three cust servers , win ser 2016 , AO
      Dacs lampi various

      Comment


      • Greg Beron
        Greg Beron commented
        Editing a comment
        Probably will depend on where they got the original recording from they used to make your SACD copy.
        I had to acquire 3 different tapes from 3 different sources before I got a great copy.

    • #12
      Oh boy let's see what I got lol. I have it on sacd and cd as well.
      analog stuff.
      otari mtr 10 2 track 1/4 made new by soren
      otari mtr 10 2 track 1/4 1/2 combo made new by soren
      sota sapphire used eminent tech ver 2 arm
      new sota nova table has magnetic levitation platter and full speed control and latest motor same arm as above
      thorens td124 sme ver 2 arm
      thorens td125 sme ver 2 arm
      kenwood direct drive sme ver 2 arm
      phono preamp Ml no 25 all re capped
      speakers cust infinity IRS V , new caps and LPS , magnets etc.
      mark levivson pre no 26 amps no 33
      digital three cust servers , win ser 2016 , AO
      Dacs lampi various

      Comment


      • #13
        Same answer I always give. You can only demonstrate gear with music that the person you are demonstrating to already knows and likes. I will see how this works in real show conditions, as at the LA Audio Show my plan is to mostly play whatever people bring in. If they want to sit and listen I'll play their music. Whether it sounds great from an audiophile/demonstration perspective will be irrelevant. All I want is for that person to hear the tunes they want sound better than they have before.
        For my own sanity, I will bring a USB drive with about a TB of FLAC, 24 bit and DSD files from my server, and a handful of LPs.

        I will not play Hotel California, Keith Don't Go or anything by Diana Krall, unless it is in a privately scheduled demo for a member of the press.
        Steve Lefkowicz
        Senior Associate Editor at Positive Feedback
        -
        Analog 1: Linn LP12 (MOSE/Hercules II), Ittok, Dynavector 10X5 MK.II Low, iPhono2/iPowerX; Analog 2: Pro-Ject RPM-1 Carbon, Talisman S, iFi iPhono.
        Digital: Samsung 300E5C notebook, JRiver Media Center 28, Tidal HiFi, Qobuz Studio), iFi NEO iDSD, iFi iUSB3, iPurifier2, Audioquest Jitterbug.
        Electronics: DIY passive line-stage, Antique Sound Labs MG-SI15DT-S, Burson Timekeeper Virtuoso
        Speakers: Tekton Lore, Magneplaner .7
        Interconnects: Morrow Audio MA1, Vermouth Audio Black Pearl, Audioquest Evergreen
        Speaker cables: Morrow Audio SP4, Vermouth Audio Red Velvet, Audioquest Type 5
        Digital cables: Aural Symphonics USB, iFi Gemini twin-head USB.
        Accessories: Sound Organization turntable shelf, Mondo racks, Pangea Audio Vulcan rack, Pi Audio Group Über BUSS, Monster HTS2000 power conditioner, Kinetronics anti-static brush, Pro-Ject VC-S record cleaner, Spin Clean record cleaner.
        Headphones: Schiit Valhalla amp, Burson Conductor Virtuoso Amp, Meze Audio 99 Classic and 99 Neo, Beyerdynamic DT770Pro 600 ohm, DT770 Studio 80 ohm, 1More Triple Driver Over Ear, 1More Triple Driver IEM

        Comment


        • Guest's Avatar
          Guest commented
          Editing a comment
          "I will not play Hotel California, Keith Don't Go or anything by Diana Krall, unless it is in a privately scheduled demo for a member of the press. "

          ... and then you won't admit to it? :-)

      • #14
        My sacd of WYWH is pretty good I played it loud in its entirety. It's not what I would call ref but very good for Pink Floyd.

        As for show music to play I have a few thoughts as a user only view.
        The music you play should be clean and dynamic and should show off the system. It should have some deep complex dynamic sounds as well as good low end and crisp highs. I don't know how big your speakers are and I think this matters as big speakers playing a simple violin I always found bordering sleepy. Vocals should be of great quality as if they are in the room. Like the Ella and LOIUE SHM is.
        Some great Elton songs every one knows him.
        Spacial performences to me make a great presitaion so music that has plenty of air for ambience is good for me.
        SHM digital choices in general are good pics. The other night I played some Stevie wonder and did hear sounds I never heard before.
        For what it's worth I never claim to be an audiophile nor do I feel I think like one. I have no clue how each instrument should sound only my own recall.
        If ok may I ask you what devices to you use in your setup for shows. Do come to the Tri state ever ?
        analog stuff.
        otari mtr 10 2 track 1/4 made new by soren
        otari mtr 10 2 track 1/4 1/2 combo made new by soren
        sota sapphire used eminent tech ver 2 arm
        new sota nova table has magnetic levitation platter and full speed control and latest motor same arm as above
        thorens td124 sme ver 2 arm
        thorens td125 sme ver 2 arm
        kenwood direct drive sme ver 2 arm
        phono preamp Ml no 25 all re capped
        speakers cust infinity IRS V , new caps and LPS , magnets etc.
        mark levivson pre no 26 amps no 33
        digital three cust servers , win ser 2016 , AO
        Dacs lampi various

        Comment


        • #15
          Ok let me throw this out. Some attendees complain that all some exhibitors play is small scale music (ok NAIM just plays downright weird, small scale music at shows.) Truth is, large scale music just overload these small rooms and the systems would sound like crap. And no amount of room Rx would help these rooms either, especially those square rooms.

          Rightly or wrongly, magazines give attention and awards to rooms based on sound or new gear, not their choice of music. And part of the reason exhibitors go to shows is to get large scale exposure.
          Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
          Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
          ________________________________________

          -Zellaton Plural Evo speakers
          -Goldmund Telos 300 stereo amp
          -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
          -Doshi EVO and Goldmund PH3.8 phonostage
          -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
          -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
          -Lyra Atlas SL Lambda, Fuuga Mk. 2, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MutechHayabusa, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
          -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
          -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 6, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies and Ensemble Power Cords
          -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz 3 racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA OHIO Class 2.1+ platforms.

          Comment

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