Best sound at CEDIA 2018 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 30 Old 09-09-2018, 01:07 AM - Thread Starter
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Best sound at CEDIA 2018

It seems like the best sounding HT systems @ CEDIA were from Alcons, JBL Synthesis, Wisdom Audio and Steinway Lyngdorf.

It would be great if forum members that actually visited CEDIA (I couldn't go there myself, unfortunately) would be so kind to report here which system they liked (disliked) and for which reasons (like: great bass, dynamics, staging, absence of ear fatigue, and so on).

I'll try to add the description of the systems that were demoed underneath:

1-Wisdom Audio
Wisdom Audio will demonstrate the benefits of Line Source loudspeaker design and the ‘superior clarity and dynamics’ of the Sage Cinema series in a an 18-seat, three-row theater which will feature a 9.4.6 immersive audio presentation using a bi-amplified front stage of Wisdom Audio’s Sage Cinema Series Line 3, a Modular Line Source, in combination with six Sage Cinema Line 2 surround channels paired with six of the Point 2 height channel point source loudspeakers and four STS RTL (Regenerative Transmission Line) subwoofers.
The 19 Loudspeakers will be concealed in walls that are just over six inches deep, in a high-tech design by H.T.E which includes their proprietary acoustical treatment. All 28 channels of amplification, delivering 12 kilowatts of power, will be provided by four Amplitude8 eight-channel power amplifiers from Trinnov and partnered with their award winning Altitude32 high-end processor, decoding a pre-assembled script stored on a Kaleidescape server.
Rounding out the demonstration system is a 160-inch wide acoustically transparent video projection screen from Seymour Screen using their latest Neo fabric and a stunning VPL 5000 4K Video Projector from Sony.

2-JBL Synthesis
SCL-2s all around. SCL-4s up top.

3-Alcons
LCRs CRMS mkII cinema reference monitor system
8 - CRMSC SRHV compact horizontal/ vertical reference surrounds
2 front width channels of CRS8 medium format reference surrounds
4 of the company’s brand new CRMS LFE18 subwoofers

AMP were 6 Sentinel10 amplified loudspeaker controllers

SSP was the Storm Audio’s ISP 3D.32 Elite Reference Édition

4-Steinway Lyngdorf
'Uber tall front end freestanding point source transmission line speakers '

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post #2 of 30 Old 09-09-2018, 06:08 AM
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Alcons earned best sound. It was the best. New room and wow what a difference. Amazing dynamics and clean.

Wisdom, very, very good as well.

JBL. I’ve heard better from them. They used SCL-2s up front and unless I miss understood, used Auromatic for post processing. I did know that hey didn’t start calibrating until 1am night before. Bass was thin as well. Wisdom and Alcons has palpable bass. Still nice but not the best. I think they won last year..?
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post #3 of 30 Old 09-09-2018, 06:38 AM
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Originally Posted by thebland View Post
Alcons earned best sound. It was the best. New room and wow what a difference. Amazing dynamics and clean.

Wisdom, very, very good as well.

JBL. I’ve heard better from them. They used SCL-2s up front and unless I miss understood, used Auromatic for post processing. I did know that hey didn’t start calibrating until 1am night before. Bass was thin as well. Wisdom and Alcons has palpable bass. Still nice but not the best. I think they won last year..?
Pretty much encapsulates my sentiments, Jeff. Wisdom and Alcons a tossup, JBL handicapped by the strange upmixing - we were still trying to figure out exactly what they had done over dinner Friday. Before you had arrived, I think...

I didn't get to hear Steinway's demo.
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post #4 of 30 Old 09-09-2018, 07:49 AM
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Originally Posted by RUR View Post
Pretty much encapsulates my sentiments, Jeff. Wisdom and Alcons a tossup, JBL handicapped by the strange upmixing - we were still trying to figure out exactly what they had done over dinner Friday. Before you had arrived, I think...

I didn't get to hear Steinway's demo.
Yeah.. Auro upmixing - didn't get it. Enjoyed Curt's discussion of SFM. I didn't get to Steinway either...

Dinner was great. I enjoyed my New York strip... I think you had the ribeye - it looked monsterous. Good?

I have a Synthesis system on order but wanted a better demo to hear... but oh well (I'm going to use M2s up front).

I really enjoyed talking with Curt and Arnaud (Trinnov) and meeting you. Fun night! Young guy, eh? We went out for a beer after dinner with Ted, Tim and had great discussions.

Goodbye to a great audio and video genius and writer... JOHN GANNON. I enjoyed your friendship, wit and a nice long run we took around Indianapolis at CEDIA years back... and for buying my Runco 980 Ultra years back... you saved my ass! Rest in peace.
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post #5 of 30 Old 09-09-2018, 07:54 AM
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Originally Posted by thebland View Post
Alcons earned best sound. It was the best. New room and wow what a difference. Amazing dynamics and clean.

Wisdom, very, very good as well.

JBL. I’ve heard better from them. They used SCL-2s up front and unless I miss understood, used Auromatic for post processing. I did know that hey didn’t start calibrating until 1am night before. Bass was thin as well. Wisdom and Alcons has palpable bass. Still nice but not the best. I think they won last year..?
Quote:
Originally Posted by RUR View Post
Pretty much encapsulates my sentiments, Jeff. Wisdom and Alcons a tossup, JBL handicapped by the strange upmixing - we were still trying to figure out exactly what they had done over dinner Friday. Before you had arrived, I think...

I didn't get to hear Steinway's demo.
I've been following Alcons since its first U.S. demo and decided at this show it was time to give it the Best of CEDIA award because that room nailed all the aspects of great sound I'm looking for. I especially loved how the new sub rendered bass that had a solidity and physicality to it that's rarely experienced, even at a show like CEDIA that's decided not bass-shy.
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post #6 of 30 Old 09-09-2018, 08:33 AM
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DTS 4K demo disc - not the most impressive line up... but with multi-channel DTS-X coming soon for Trinnov users, could be good!


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Goodbye to a great audio and video genius and writer... JOHN GANNON. I enjoyed your friendship, wit and a nice long run we took around Indianapolis at CEDIA years back... and for buying my Runco 980 Ultra years back... you saved my ass! Rest in peace.
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post #7 of 30 Old 09-09-2018, 09:35 AM
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Fun night! Young guy, eh? We went out for a beer after dinner with Ted, Tim and had great discussions.
Definitely fun, but I had cleverly fallen down the concrete steps outside the CC earlier, banging my knee pretty good. By the time we finished dinner, it was stiff as a board and I had to limp home to the Omni. Ran into Peter and "Client x" aka Ernst Stavro Blofeld (per Peter) in the elevator and got an invitation to see the client's penthouse which I was too tired and too sore to accept - an opportunity sadly missed.
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post #8 of 30 Old 09-09-2018, 06:12 PM
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All of the Harman demo material was DTS MA 5.1 source material. Seems their primary choices were Auromatic or DTS Neural X...SJ
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post #9 of 30 Old 09-09-2018, 06:16 PM
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Definitely fun, but I had cleverly fallen down the concrete steps outside the CC earlier, banging my knee pretty good. By the time we finished dinner, it was stiff as a board and I had to limp home to the Omni. Ran into Peter and "Client x" aka Ernst Stavro Blofeld (per Peter) in the elevator and got an invitation to see the client's penthouse which I was too tired and too sore to accept - an opportunity sadly missed.
Drats... I imagine the ribeye helped...

Take it easy and perhaps, I'll see you next year in Denver.

Goodbye to a great audio and video genius and writer... JOHN GANNON. I enjoyed your friendship, wit and a nice long run we took around Indianapolis at CEDIA years back... and for buying my Runco 980 Ultra years back... you saved my ass! Rest in peace.
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post #10 of 30 Old 09-10-2018, 01:01 AM
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Pretty much what everyone said.

I did enjoy hearing the Parts Express CBT demo. I think I have Arrow's mind working overtime with this one.

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post #11 of 30 Old 09-10-2018, 05:35 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the input, everybody!

Does anyone knows which speakers/Amps Alcons used on the show?

Video: Panasonic UB9000 - Sony VPL-VW995ES/870ES - Paladin DCR - (Seymour) Screen Excellence 2.40:1 TAM2L
Audio Trinnov Altitude 32 - SVS PB-16 Ultra (x2)
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post #12 of 30 Old 09-10-2018, 06:29 AM
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Thanks for the input, everybody!

Does anyone knows which speakers/Amps Alcons used on the show?
Info here: https://www.alconsaudio.com/the-best...ce-cedia-2018/

LCRs CRMS mkII cinema reference monitor system
8 - CRMSC SRHV compact horizontal/ vertical reference surrounds
2 front width channels of CRS8 medium format reference surrounds
4 of the company’s brand new CRMS LFE18 subwoofers

AMP were 6 Sentinel10 amplified loudspeaker controllers

SSP was the Storm Audio’s ISP 3D.32 Elite Reference Édition
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post #13 of 30 Old 09-10-2018, 07:51 AM - Thread Starter
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If the Wisdom Audio demo was as good as the Alcons demo, the big question is: What is the price of the Alcons set versus the price of the Wisdom Audio set? Wisdom Audio has the reputation to be very expensive, but I cannot imagine that they want to price themselves out of the market, no?

Video: Panasonic UB9000 - Sony VPL-VW995ES/870ES - Paladin DCR - (Seymour) Screen Excellence 2.40:1 TAM2L
Audio Trinnov Altitude 32 - SVS PB-16 Ultra (x2)
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post #14 of 30 Old 09-10-2018, 08:06 AM
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Originally Posted by thxman View Post
Info here: https://www.alconsaudio.com/the-best...ce-cedia-2018/

LCRs CRMS mkII cinema reference monitor system
8 - CRMSC SRHV compact horizontal/ vertical reference surrounds
2 front width channels of CRS8 medium format reference surrounds
4 of the company’s brand new CRMS LFE18 subwoofers

AMP were 6 Sentinel10 amplified loudspeaker controllers

SSP was the Storm Audio’s ISP 3D.32 Elite Reference Édition
I am committed to JBl... but I might like those 4 subs.. excellent bass and extension..

Subs are $2700 each.

Sentinal amp price?

Goodbye to a great audio and video genius and writer... JOHN GANNON. I enjoyed your friendship, wit and a nice long run we took around Indianapolis at CEDIA years back... and for buying my Runco 980 Ultra years back... you saved my ass! Rest in peace.
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post #15 of 30 Old 09-10-2018, 08:30 AM
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I am committed to JBl... but I might like those 4 subs.. excellent bass and extension..

Subs are $2700 each.

Sentinal amp price?
The amps are the expensive items unless they finally release one with a higher ch count. I have not looked at the pricing for a few years now, but they were somewhere around $10k for the Sentinel3 and $12K for the Sentinel10.
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post #16 of 30 Old 09-10-2018, 09:18 AM
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DTS 4K demo disc - not the most impressive line up... but with multi-channel DTS-X coming soon for Trinnov users, could be good!


I got the DTS-X demo disc too! Dolby was out of demo discs but they are mailing me one!

Are you saying Trinnov doesn’t do DTS-X and DTS Neural X yet a. I find that hard to fathom!

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post #17 of 30 Old 09-10-2018, 10:39 AM
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I bought the DTS X disc off Flea Bay after Jeff posted it - I wish I could score a ATMOS disc.... I have all since 2015.
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Originally Posted by Holy Grail View Post
If the Wisdom Audio demo was as good as the Alcons demo, the big question is: What is the price of the Alcons set versus the price of the Wisdom Audio set? Wisdom Audio has the reputation to be very expensive, but I cannot imagine that they want to price themselves out of the market, no?
The Alcons system (power / speaker processing + speakers) showcased at CEDIA 2018 has an MSRP of 110K. However, there are several ways of downscaling the system, some being;

CRMS MKII LCR -> CRMS Compact LCR, saving you about 10k, plus not bi-amped, so saving you three channels of Sentinel amplification / processing, another 6k saved
Sentinel3 instead of Sentinel10 for subs, saving you about 3k
Two subs instead of four, plus saving you half a Sentinel, saving you 10k
4 ceiling speakers instead of 6, plus saving another half Sentinel, saving you about 10k

...So, a 9.x.4 system compromising of the following:

CRMS Compacts LCR, about 4K per speaker, totally 12K
CRMS SR-HV wides, surr and ceiling, about 2,5K per speaker, totally 22,5K
CRMS LFE-18", 2x, 2,7K per, totally 5,4K
Sentinel3 amps powering a total of 15 channels, requiring 4 amps, each 8K (not completely sure of the MSRP in the US, so correct me if I´m wrong....), totally 32K

System price: +/-72K

Add a Storm Audio AES enabled processor for maximum performance (the Sentinels supports AES digital inputs) adds another 20K, projector, screen(Acoustics??) and other components additional of course, but still, in MY book at least, this is really a suberb price / performance package!

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post #19 of 30 Old 09-10-2018, 10:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Holy Grail View Post
If the Wisdom Audio demo was as good as the Alcons demo, the big question is: What is the price of the Alcons set versus the price of the Wisdom Audio set? Wisdom Audio has the reputation to be very expensive, but I cannot imagine that they want to price themselves out of the market, no?
I was talking with one of the guys at the Wisdom booth and apparently some customers have wanted to buy the demo off the floor. He said a couple of years ago that someone sold their new speakers off the floor and they were the only ones available. I don't think they have any problems.

Alcons doesn't have the presence at least in the US that Wisdom does from what I can tell. The bigger competition to Wisdom is JBL or that may be vice versa. I am not bashing Alcon, but it does take time to climb the mountain.
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post #20 of 30 Old 09-10-2018, 11:52 AM
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I was talking with one of the guys at the Wisdom booth and apparently some customers have wanted to buy the demo off the floor. He said a couple of years ago that someone sold their new speakers off the floor and they were the only ones available. I don't think they have any problems.

Alcons doesn't have the presence at least in the US that Wisdom does from what I can tell. The bigger competition to Wisdom is JBL or that may be vice versa. I am not bashing Alcon, but it does take time to climb the mountain.
I think Alcon climbed a lot this year with their so much improved sonics! And "sounds" like their speaker setup is a lot less $$ than the Wisdoms. Heck, if I'm gonna buy the Wisdoms, then maybe I should fork over a bit more and get that Steinway system, the ultimate performer for both two channel and home theater!

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post #21 of 30 Old 09-10-2018, 12:03 PM
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I think Alcon climbed a lot this year with their so much improved sonics! And "sounds" like their speaker setup is a lot less $$ than the Wisdoms. Heck, if I'm gonna buy the Wisdoms, then maybe I should fork over a bit more and get that Steinway system, the ultimate performer for both two channel and home theater!
True, but unfortunately how many of these buyers are paying attention or attending Cedia instead of going to their local high end dealer? How many designers are like Keith Yates who will ask a customer like Rob Hahn to demo several speakers?

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post #22 of 30 Old 09-10-2018, 12:56 PM
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True, but unfortunately how many of these buyers are paying attention or attending Cedia instead of going to their local high end dealer? How many designers are like Keith Yates who will ask a customer like Rob Hahn to demo several speakers?
And me sitting in Rob's theater with demos of my choice allowed me to get to know JBL Synthesis in a way few will have the opportunity to enjoy. I always say if someone asks , come to my home bring what you want to listen to. At least it isn't just hand picked demos that will showcase the gear but perhaps also hide a soft underbelly.

I do wish I had an ear better than that by itself but I don't. When asked how I felt about my M2s I notice clean dialog as the most impressive thing but....
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And me sitting in Rob's theater with demos of my choice allowed me to get to know JBL Synthesis in a way few will have the opportunity to enjoy. I always say if someone asks , come to my home bring what you want to listen to. At least it isn't just hand picked demos that will showcase the gear but perhaps also hide a soft underbelly.
I think at some point earlier (or maybe at your house), you said that if Rob Hahn's audio is good enough for him (and and Keith Yates), it's good enough for you... (and me)!

The Synthesis system in your house FAR exceeded what we heard a the show.

Goodbye to a great audio and video genius and writer... JOHN GANNON. I enjoyed your friendship, wit and a nice long run we took around Indianapolis at CEDIA years back... and for buying my Runco 980 Ultra years back... you saved my ass! Rest in peace.
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post #24 of 30 Old 09-10-2018, 01:05 PM
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I think at some point earlier (or maybe at your house), you said that if Rob Hahn's audio is good enough for him (and and Keith Yates), it's good enough for you... (and me)!

The Synthesis system in your house FAR exceeded what we heard a the show.
Thanks ! I think I said it more than once. Jeff, you know so much more about audio than I do I was blessed when Rob invited me to allow me to cut to the chase that day.

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post #25 of 30 Old 09-10-2018, 05:59 PM
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A few years ago, can’t remember but it was not San Diego, Wisdom and James had huge ballrooms that where cut in 1/2 with 9-10 ft tall heavy black drapes and both were amazing considering room size and acoustics. Maybe it was Denver or Atlanta...

However let’s put some pricing based on 2 yr old data. Note I bet it has not come down.

This is 2016 MSRP.

Sage Cinema L3 - $30,000 each
Sage Cinema L2 - $20,000 each this is a WAG since it was not on the pricie list
Point 2. - $4,000 each There was not a “point 2” but references to P20 in wall and on wall
STS RTL sub - $11,000 each. + $2,000 for amp and DSP

Keep in mind you need Wisdom electronics.

System Controller - $6,000. Provides DSP, x-over and RC. I’m sure by now they might be using main stream high end like Trinnov.
3 ch amp - $6,000

You may not need wisdom to buy but you sure need some cash, dough, loocha, cake or a stack.

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post #26 of 30 Old 09-10-2018, 06:47 PM
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^^^^

In defense of the gang in Carson City NV the above is not correct with new model changes.

But I’d still guess $250K for the hole kit and caboodle.

Audio only...

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post #27 of 30 Old 09-10-2018, 06:52 PM
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Originally Posted by thebland View Post
I think at some point earlier (or maybe at your house), you said that if Rob Hahn's audio is good enough for him (and and Keith Yates), it's good enough for you... (and me)!

The Synthesis system in your house FAR exceeded what we heard a the show.
I believe you. It was so 2D at the show. I think the room was very "dead" acoustically, which is always a mistake! Back at CES early 2000s DTS always had the very best multi-channel demos - of course floorstanding speakers were used - and they always used JBL speakers. I remember last year's CEDIA JBL Synthesis sounding better!

https://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/show....php?t=1158431 No dealer is authorized to tell you I refer to them - any referrals I make will be done personally by me. Over the years I have found certain dealer(s) who I cannot recommend for good reason.
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post #28 of 30 Old 09-10-2018, 08:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Steve Bruzonsky View Post
I believe you. It was so 2D at the show. I think the room was very "dead" acoustically, which is always a mistake! Back at CES early 2000s DTS always had the very best multi-channel demos - of course floorstanding speakers were used - and they always used JBL speakers. I remember last year's CEDIA JBL Synthesis sounding better!
Wonder if they should have used Dolby Atmos or DTS:X native soundtracks vs. upmixing 5.1? The vocal of Never Enough was crazy good. Female vocals that good require great audio to deliver and it did in my view. SJ
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post #29 of 30 Old 09-10-2018, 08:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Ericglo View Post
Pretty much what everyone said.

I did enjoy hearing the Parts Express CBT demo. I think I have Arrow's mind working overtime with this one.
I think you were enjoying the Steinway Lyngdorf demo Eric. That might be my favorite.





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post #30 of 30 Old 09-10-2018, 09:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Art Sonneborn View Post
And me sitting in Rob's theater with demos of my choice allowed me to get to know JBL Synthesis in a way few will have the opportunity to enjoy. I always say if someone asks , come to my home bring what you want to listen to. At least it isn't just hand picked demos that will showcase the gear but perhaps also hide a soft underbelly.

I do wish I had an ear better than that by itself but I don't. When asked how I felt about my M2s I notice clean dialog as the most impressive thing but....
That is true. I am not sure how many will go to the lengths that you have to have a home theater. I thought the JBLs have been one of the top demos at Cedia for the past couple of years. When Rob chose them for his HT with advice from Keith, I knew they must be good. I can't remember if this was before or after I took heat from Peter for saying they were good.

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Originally Posted by Craig Peer View Post
I think you were enjoying the Steinway Lyngdorf demo Eric. That might be my favorite.

Holy crap I look like a zombie.


Regarding the PE CBTs, I was talking about them. I mentioned them to Arrow as a potential solution for wall displays. These PE speakers are obviously using a low end driver, but they show the potential of the design.
https://www.soundandvision.com/conte...iew-test-bench
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