I'm proud to announce that I am soon to be a member of the Wilson family. I've decided to sell my 802Ds and purchase Wilson Watt Puppy 8s. This is very exciting for me, as I have pined for the Watt Puppy 7s for over a year and a half now since I initially heard them while demoing my Ayre equipment.
I also had the opportunity to hear them again, along with a lot of other fine equipment (including Balanced Audio Technology and Lamm Industries equipment) at the Home Entertainment Show in my old neighborhood, New York City. I used to live in Tudor City (41st btwn 1st and 2nd) among other NYC locales.
The Wilson room hosted a most gracious presentation. I brought a friend with me who immediately got on his cell phone as we drove home to tell another friend of ours how one of the demo songs (a Frank Sinatra tune) sounded so real he thought he was in the room with us. Considering Frank's current residence, perhaps he was...
I actually signed up for the show because I saw that Stereophile was going to hold some workshops that I was interested in attending. A funny thing happened on the way to the forum. My friend and I parked on 44th and 3rd and made a b-line towards Duane Reade; my breakfast didn't settle well and we both were having problems with allergies. I couldn't find the Tums downstairs so I wandered upstairs and asked if they had any at the upstairs counter. They told me they kept them downstairs.
Slightly annoyed I walked back downstairs and noticed a gentlemen with a badge on his shirt. I didn't see what the badge said, but I assumed that he worked there, likely in management because he was nicely dressed. I asked him where I might find Tums or Rolaids. He ignored me completely.
"How Rude," I thought. Just because he is in management, doesn't mean he should ignore a customer... I followed him and asked him again, as he himself started talking to some Duane Reade employees in the traditional attire. He turned to me and said something to the effect of, "Sorry, I don't work here."
One of the employees guided me to the Rolaids. As I was about to walk upstairs I ran into the nicely dressed gentlemen again and said, "Your badge threw me off, I thought you worked here."
To make a long story short, he told me that he was there for the Home Entertainment Show and was an exhibitor. I asked him which exhibit, and it turned out that he was there as part of the Stereophile workshops... What a small world I thought, and told him that I was there particularly to check the workshops out. It turns out that he blew one of the drivers (tweeter I think) on a speaker the day before and was at Duane Reade to pick something up that they needed (I think?!). These guys must be the MacGyver's of the audio world!
Anyway, I thought it was one of those interesting coincidences. I very much enjoyed the Stereophile workshops that I was able to attend, especially the A/B switching between the tube and solid state amps. The difference was very noticable IMO, with everyone who raised their hands mentioning similar differences (I didn't raise my hand, I'm shy).
I guess I have Stereophile to curse now every night before I go to bed, since I will likely need to get tube equipment now (grrrrr!!!). I can add BAT to that list as well, as the sound of their tube equipment and the WP8s was mesmerizing. As they pointed out, this was in a small hotel room as well, not in a fully treated room dedicated to two channel listening. All I can say is, I can hardly wait... My cup runneth over.
The two Rives rooms were also well done. It was nice to meet the person who designed my HT/Listening room in person. Their rooms were a before and after demontration of how a poorly treated room sounds compared to a well treated room. If you didn't notice the difference, it may be time to have your ears and head checked. I have the advantage of having had that experience in my own home via my own listening/HT room transformation, but for anyone who has not heard what a difference acoustical design can do for your listening experience, I don't think you would have any doubts after visiting these two rooms. The nice part about the demonstration is that they are playing the songs at exactly the same time in both rooms, complete synchronization. So when you leave one room, perhaps earlier than the full demonstration time, and enter the other room, the other room is playing the same song the first room was playing when you left. This made the differences very easy to identify.
With the runaway expense of my HT/Listening room already completely out of control, and with my wallet not yet empty, I am not frightened of the fine tuning stage requiring any extra investments. In fact, I will do whatever it takes at this point to get the most out of my HT/Listening room, even if I have to spend ridiculous amounts of extra money to get it "right" (Rives, I hope you are reading this!
I was hoping Ayre would be there, but I couldn't find them listed. I had fun, I just wish I had more time so I could have visited all the rooms instead of just the big names (and I didn't even get to see all of them either!). I did sort of spoil myself by going to the Wilson room almost right away. Other impressive sounds IMO, of the rooms I got to see were MBL, Dynaudio/Simaudio, Joseph Audio/Bel Canto, Lamm Industries/Wilson, and Scaena, among others. There was so much I didn't get to see, so just because I didn't mention something doesn't mean I necessarily saw it. Next time I go to one of these events I will have to set aside more time.
LOL I don't know why I bother posting this stuff. I don't think anyone is reading it anyway. I guess I just like to listen to myself type.