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  • T.H.E. Show Newport...

    So, I cut out of office early yesterday i had little excuse to miss the show this year as I did last year. heck its only 1.5 miles from the office to Hotel Irvine. I didn't try to hear every room but I know I walked every floor. If it was digital only or at the very least didn't have tubes in the system I didn't waste precious time.

    I'l cut to the chase, for me the single demo which had the greatest impact was the Parana Fidelity room. This was an honest system, not vying for SOTA or best of show in particular, what made this demo transformative was the R2R vs Vinyl demo. ORG provided an advance 15 ips copy of the latest Vanessa Fernandez recording of Zep covers. For direct comparisons Steve Norber had the 45 rpm vinyl cued up on the Basis/My Sonic labs vinyl front end, an ATR-102 modded by Grundman Mastering was used to roll tape. If there was any doubt about the gap between the best vinyl playback vs R2R they were swiftly and unanimously put to bed - and if you didn't already guess, tape killed vinyl today. I don't think there was a single attendee present that wasn't as gobsmacked as I was. I must have uttered "f**k me" at the least three times to myself. The realism and moreover tonal density of musicians/performers was like being a fly in the wall, present and live in studio. One's mind didn't have time to fill the gaps between live and memorex...it was all 'just there' the sensation was like that of hearing a live mic feed, not something you're used to if you haven't experienced R2R at this level. When the vinyl was played, suddenly the magic was less so, in some way much less. The sound became 'hollow' for lack of a better descriptor, the shortcomings of even a really good vinyl playback were laid bare in sharp contrast. There are of course other variables that may give R2R the upper hand, but it wasn't close enough to have changed the result.

    I devised a new rating system after today...the Prana Fidelity demo gets the coveted three F-word room award based on the above.

    to be continued...
    TURNTABLE TechDAS Airforce III | TONEARMS Graham Phantom III + Ikeda IT-345 CR-1 | CARTRIDGES ZYX Omega X SB2 + Ikeda 9TP + Koetsu Black Goldline Mono + Decca London Jubilee | PHONO STAGE Boulder 1008 | DIGITAL Innuos MiniZen II + M2Tech Young + Palmer PS | LINE STAGE Boulder 810 | AMPLIFIERS Boulder 850 Monos | SPEAKERS Magico A5 | RACK Adona Eris 6DW | CABLES Mogami + Canare

  • #2
    Wondered if you got a chance to go in the EAR room (Dan Meinwald). I think he was debuting the tube EAR Acute Classic CD/DAC that I'm anxious to hear about. It is tubes, but not sure if it made your short list of demo rooms.

    Comment


    • Rob
      Rob commented
      Editing a comment
      I heard Dan's room, I've heard that system before at his house and its wonderful. I couldn't tell you anything about the EAR dac, viny;l was spinning. We listened to some vinyl of deep ambient music with very low synth bass and the Martens with EAR power rocked.

  • #3
    Originally posted by Rob View Post
    So, I cut out of office early yesterday i had little excuse to miss the show this year as I did last year. heck its only 1.5 miles from the office to Hotel Irvine. I didn't try to hear every room but I know I walked every floor. If it was digital only or at the very least didn't have tubes in the system I didn't waste precious time.

    I'l cut to the chase, for me the single demo which had the greatest impact was the Parana Fidelity room. This was an honest system, not vying for SOTA or best of show in particular, what made this demo transformative was the R2R vs Vinyl demo. ORG provided an advance 15 ips copy of the latest Vanessa Fernandez recording of Zep covers. For direct comparisons Steve Norber had the 45 rpm vinyl cued up on the Basis/My Sonic labs vinyl front end, an ATR-102 modded by Grundman Mastering was used to roll tape. If there was any doubt about the gap between the best vinyl playback vs R2R they were swiftly and unanimously put to bed - and if you didn't already guess, tape killed vinyl today. I don't think there was a single attendee present that wasn't as gobsmacked as I was. I must have uttered "f**k me" at the least three times to myself. The realism and moreover tonal density of musicians/performers was like being a fly in the wall, present and live in studio. One's mind didn't have time to fill the gaps between live and memorex...it was all 'just there' the sensation was like that of hearing a live mic feed, not something you're used to if you haven't experienced R2R at this level. When the vinyl was played, suddenly the magic was less so, in some way much less. The sound became 'hollow' for lack of a better descriptor, the shortcomings of even a really good vinyl playback were laid bare in sharp contrast. There are of course other variables that may give R2R the upper hand, but it wasn't close enough to have changed the result.

    I devised a new rating system after today...the Prana Fidelity demo gets the coveted three F-word room award based on the above.

    to be continued...
    "In Living Color" has nothing on you, Rob!
    Vbr,

    Sam

    Comment


    • Rob
      Rob commented
      Editing a comment
      Sam, your Studer does 30 ips. Party at at Sam's house! I'll bring the libations, Sam will provide the tunes!

    • c1ferrari
      c1ferrari commented
      Editing a comment
      You know, I'd love to take you up on that!

  • #4
    Any comments on THE Show from you, Sam?
    Tascam BR-20
    Modwright Oppo 205 full tube mod w/LPS
    Euphony Summus server, EtherRegen, HDPLEX LPS
    MSB Discrete DAC (dual PS, ISLPro, balanced out)
    Pass Labs INT60
    Daedalus Audio Apollo 11’s
    REL S3 (Kimber Kable connection)
    Daedalus/Wywires, Audioquest, Acoustic Zen, DH cables
    Torus IS5
    Stillpoints and IsoPods, Tube Traps, GIK

    Comment


    • c1ferrari
      c1ferrari commented
      Editing a comment
      Hey Rob,

      This is the first Show that Sonny and I have missed since its inception...tied-up with work...ugh!

  • #5
    Be sure to listen to the Mahler 3 in Multichannel DSD 256 at the Pelican Hill room.
    Excellent!

    Comment


    • Rob
      Rob commented
      Editing a comment
      that was Philip's room, usually excellent. It was a controlled demo with 30+ minute intervals and you had stand in line, etc. The last time I did this at another exhibit i wasted 30 mins of my life I ll never get back. I passed on Scott Walker audio and Magnepan for the same reason.

  • #6
    So, the question is, will that recording be available in tape form if one had the requisite playback equipment?

    Comment


    • #7
      Okay, I thought the take up reels looked over-sized for 15 ips and my suspicions were confirmed we were listening to a 30 ips dupe not 15 ips, I stand corrected...no wonder it was that awesome.

      Got this email from Steve Norber this morning:

      "Hello Rob, and thank you for your email. We are playing a 30 ips copy of the master tape. A small number of identical (30 ips) copies will be made available, along with a larger number of 15 ips reels in the coming months. Sincerely, Steven Norber pranafidelity.com"
      TURNTABLE TechDAS Airforce III | TONEARMS Graham Phantom III + Ikeda IT-345 CR-1 | CARTRIDGES ZYX Omega X SB2 + Ikeda 9TP + Koetsu Black Goldline Mono + Decca London Jubilee | PHONO STAGE Boulder 1008 | DIGITAL Innuos MiniZen II + M2Tech Young + Palmer PS | LINE STAGE Boulder 810 | AMPLIFIERS Boulder 850 Monos | SPEAKERS Magico A5 | RACK Adona Eris 6DW | CABLES Mogami + Canare

      Comment


      • c1ferrari
        c1ferrari commented
        Editing a comment
        Was it 1/2 inch tape?

    • #8
      Originally posted by Bill Hart View Post
      So, the question is, will that recording be available in tape form if one had the requisite playback equipment?
      VF singing Led Zep?
      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


      • #9
        Originally posted by mep View Post

        VF singing Led Zep?
        Yes, that was the question. In other words, I accept Rob's report- the question is whether what he heard is available to mere mortals....

        Comment


        • Rob
          Rob commented
          Editing a comment
          yes! see post #7 I think what Mark is saying is that he's not a fan of Zep covers by VF. I wasn't either and have yet to pick up the vinyl. but the tape, oh my.

        • Bill Hart
          Bill Hart commented
          Editing a comment
          I have the record, I also have a hard time getting around the massive footprint of the original band, but bought it largely b/c I liked VF's interpretation of that great Curtis Mayfield song on her first album, and was also curious about the mastering process. I've listened to most of the sides. Not my usual thing- I don't buy stuff just for sonics- she has an interesting voice and phrasing--so it was enough for me to buy, rather than another reissue of an album for which I already own multiple copies. Perhaps that sounds like lukewarm praise- it's not intended to be- I just think doing Zep is tough.

      • #10
        anyone else at the show yesterday catch Rick Rubin (producer extrodinaire) and his entourage making the rounds? they sat in front of me and when Rick gets up, they all get up. trailing behind was Fremer. It was comical to observe, you got the impression that if Rick snapped his fingers Mikey would fetch him a bottled water
        TURNTABLE TechDAS Airforce III | TONEARMS Graham Phantom III + Ikeda IT-345 CR-1 | CARTRIDGES ZYX Omega X SB2 + Ikeda 9TP + Koetsu Black Goldline Mono + Decca London Jubilee | PHONO STAGE Boulder 1008 | DIGITAL Innuos MiniZen II + M2Tech Young + Palmer PS | LINE STAGE Boulder 810 | AMPLIFIERS Boulder 850 Monos | SPEAKERS Magico A5 | RACK Adona Eris 6DW | CABLES Mogami + Canare

        Comment


        • MylesBAstor
          MylesBAstor commented
          Editing a comment
          Rick goes to a lot of shows. He's always at CES.

        • Bill Hart
          Bill Hart commented
          Editing a comment
          Kind of ironic, wasn't he always being blamed for the loudness wars?

        • c1ferrari
          c1ferrari commented
          Editing a comment
          Witnessing that might have been worth the price of admission! :-)

      • #11
        Originally posted by bmoura View Post
        Be sure to listen to the Mahler 3 in Multichannel DSD 256 at the Pelican Hill room.
        Excellent!
        yep - definitely good.
        Also, for video fans... they showed some 4K video clips that were pretty amazing.

        Here's their rig:

        Comment


        • #12
          Originally posted by Bill Hart View Post
          So, the question is, will that recording be available in tape form if one had the requisite playback equipment?
          what they used:

          Comment


          • c1ferrari
            c1ferrari commented
            Editing a comment
            Looks to be either 12 inch or 14 inch reels...likely 1/2 inch format.

        • #13
          Unfortunately both times I visited the Prana room they were in some type of theatrical pretentious spill about world premier of a 30ips tape release. Got impatient after 5 or 10 minutes and left. Sounds like I missed something really special.
          Marty

          Comment


          • MylesBAstor
            MylesBAstor commented
            Editing a comment
            Hopefully he got the EQ right this time. Steve screwed up the Lyn Stanley at RMAF. Jonathan had duped it from the 30 ips tape and Steven kept saying, despite the IEC marking on the box, that it was NAB. He couldn't understand that 30 ips comes with its own, AES, EQ curve.

          • Rob
            Rob commented
            Editing a comment
            I'm pretty sure the ATR was Ying's personal deck, with correct eq etc. I'm not advocating that all tape heads rush out and buy this title, its an acquired taste. The point I'm trying to make and I think everyone got was the stark contrast in SQ between a 1:1 30ips copy and a 45rpm mastered vinyl of the same.

        • #14
          David Robinson of PF had an entourage of his own trailing the rooms Sunday. From the few rooms we crossed paths he seems like a nice guy.
          Marty

          Comment


          • #15
            Originally posted by Andy View Post

            yep - definitely good.
            Also, for video fans... they showed some 4K video clips that were pretty amazing.

            Here's their rig:
            I asked Channel Classics to consider making this edition of the Mahler 3 available when they release the official version on their label later this year.
            The one at the show was recorded by Tom Caulfield, Mastering Engineer at Native DSD Music.

            Comment

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