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post #1 of 767 Old 10-05-2014, 02:39 PM - Thread Starter
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The New York Audio Show 2014: Reality Check



At this year's show, held at the Marriott in downtown Brooklyn, Mark Henninger pondered whether high-end audio gear is all about the bling.

-------

I struggled with what I should write about my trip to the New York Audio Show, which ran from September 26-28. Normally, I'd write about my visit to each room and my impressions of each system. However, during this visit, I found myself in a different frame of mind. While I enjoyed some of the demos, the show left me wondering what purpose the $100,000 audio anachronisms on display serve in a world where competent amplification and signal processing are commodities. Six months ago, I asked if high-end audio was obsolete; thanks to the NY show, I'm wondering the same thing all over again.


This KR Audio Kronzilla VA680 amplifier is an example of the sort of gear that had me wondering if audio bling is taking over.

This year's show came on the heels of CEDIA, unlike 2013 when the show preceded CEDIA by several months. My perspective shifted after attending ten Dolby Atmos demos at CEDIA 2014—exposure to so much immersive sound diminished the NY show experience for me. I know that surround sound is a niche format among audiophiles, but the 3D soundfield created by Atmos (and Auro, a competing immersive format) came closer to replicating the acoustics of a space than any 2-channel system I've ever heard. Furthermore, for contemporary recordings, the possibilities are nearly limitless—electronic and contemporary music sounds fantastic when played through an Atmos-based system, where anything goes as far as the mix is concerned.

At the New York show, 2-channel systems wired with pricey interconnects and speaker cables dominated the demos. Audiophiles on a restricted budget had little to choose from in a show where any gear that cost less than $10,000 started to look like a bargain. Salespeople betrayed no emotion as they listed four- and five-figure prices for individual components and six-figure prices for some speaker systems.


This system included $58,000/pair Muraudio Domain Omni PX1 omnidirectional electroststatic speakers.

Despite the 2-channel focus and the inherent acoustical compromises that come with hotel rooms, there were a number of impressive-looking and sounding systems at the show. The most notable was from Hsu Research, a value-oriented speaker and subwoofer company exhibiting at the New York Audio Show for the first time. Many AVS members are familiar with Hsu Research because the company winds up on the short list of many home-theater enthusiasts looking to upgrade at a reasonable price. At the show, I had the opportunity to compare the sound of a Hsu-based speaker system to pricey systems from a number of other brands; it was an ear-opening experience and a reality check.


Hsu Research demoed speakers and subs at the New York Audio Show. 2014 marks its first time as an exhibitor.

Before I found the Hsu Research room, I visited a handful of rooms that added up to millions of dollars worth of gear. The six-figure systems varied in quality; Sony R1 speakers powered by matched, two-of-a-kind monoblocks sounded quite profound. But a pair of $195,000 Focal Grande Utopia EM speakers powered by a pair of $115,000/pair VAC Statement 450 IQ monoblock tube amps had me running out of the room with my fingers in my ears. OK, I actually walked out... and the recording wasn't doing the system any favors. On the other hand, I know enough about speakers to know that I have to take what I hear at shows with a grain of salt and give poor performing systems the benefit of the doubt.


At $195,000/pair, these Focal Grande Utopia speakers were part of a half-million dollar system

Focal showed up in another system that approached a half-million dollars, with sci-fi looking, $240,000/pair Naim Statement amps powering a $95,000 pair of Focal Stella Utopia EM speaker. It was another system that failed to impress in terms of audio performance, especially for the asking price. There were a few systems that I enjoyed a great deal, such as a $70,000 2-channel stereo from a Danish company called Gamut, which managed to render music with as much fidelity as any 2-channel system I've heard at a high-end show. It came across as a bargain compared to a number of other systems that did not reach its level of quality. The company's $30,000/pair RS5 loudspeakers—featuring custom ScanSpeak drivers—produced highly tangible microdynamics that lent an air of realism to recorded performances that was missing from many other demos. Yet, when I listened to Gamut, it was before I visited the Hsu Research room.


This Focal/Naim system costs more than the average price of a house.


Gamut's $30,000/pair RS5 speaker sounded excellent.

Dr. Hsu let his extremely modest system speak for itself. With an Onkyo receiver and a Sony 5-disc CD changer—the stuff you will find on sale at Best Buy—Hsu managed to present a demo that was just as profound as the monster systems. I dare say that, during some classical orchestral music, the bass beat any of the 2-channel systems, price being no object! This came as no surprise to me; I've heard enough AVS members' systems to know that a powerful sub, a few high-efficiency 2-way speakers, a bit of acoustical room treatment, and a competent AVR can go a long way toward achieving audio nirvana.


Dr. Hsu and his wife Lang Hsu pose in front of their demo system at the NY Audio Show.

Hsu Research introduced two new subs at the NY show, the $800 VTF-3MK5HP and the $900 VTF-15HMK2. The $800 sub performed the bass duties for Hsu's demos; it's rated at 119 dB peak output from 20 to 31.5 Hz. Hsu mated it with a pair of HB-1 MK2 horn-loaded bookshelf speakers ($160 each). The result had me thinking long and hard about the AVS members who argue that all well-engineered solid-state amps and DACs sound essentially the same when operating within specs—I think there's something to that perspective. As for the performance of various speakers at the show, the Hsu subwoofer/bookshelf system I heard costs under $1200, considerably less than one percent of the price of a pair of Focal Grande Utopias. Check out Dr. Hsu's wiring, which cast serious doubt on the value of speaker cables that cost more than cars do—as long as you trust your ears instead of your eyes.


The wiring in the Hsu Research rig was a far cry from the five-figure cables found on other systems, yet the sound quality was superb.

Now, just because something is obsolete does not mean it isn't desirable. I've often used a wristwatch analogy to make a point about obsolescence: The existence of smart watches doesn't mean that Rolex is going out of business. It just means that a Rolex is an anachronism, a luxury. Nevertheless, a Rolex still has value, well beyond the price it would command if its value was based solely on its functionality. I view most 2-channel high-end audio gear the same way now—there is no clear correlation between price and performance; therefore, it is (more often than not) audio bling.

On a related note, at this year's show, I got the impression that high-resolution audio—as well as uncompressed CD-quality audio—was gaining some momentum versus resurgent vinyl albums. I heard surprisingly little analog audio at the show, and the examples I did hear failed to stand out in terms of quality. I brought my own vinyl record to the show—"In Decay" by Com Truise—but none of the systems that I wanted to test it out on had turntables hooked up.


I did not see as many turntables as I expected to.

I mention the resurgence of digital music—especially laptop-based playback—because when I left CEDIA last month, I had a thought firmly planted in my mind: The audiophile ideal, a perfect facsimile of the original performance at home, requires the re-creation of the original acoustical space using a 3D, or at least a controlled 2D soundfield. The verisimilitude of the Atmos experience, and even that of 2D ambience extraction, beats the experience of listening to the same music in a reverberant room with an expensive dedicated 2-channel system. I've heard more than enough demos to know that the future of truly transparent audio playback is a system that uses many speakers, not the further refinement of systems that only use two speakers.


This was a common sight at the New York Audio Show—a laptop serving files to a DAC.

The price points of today's elite-level audiophile 2-channel rigs are a clear sign that the law of diminishing returns is in full effect. The New York Audio Show and Dr. Hsu's demo served as a reality check; it's 2014, and I'd rather wear a smart watch than a Rolex. In other words, I'm happy to go home to my surround-sound system and dream about upgrading to Atmos. I no longer dream about owning a stereo that only a millionaire can afford, because such systems offer nothing that can't be had for a tiny fraction of the price.

One more watch analogy: AVRs are like Casio G-shock watches, and monoblock tube amps are like Rolexes. When Navy Seals go on a mission, guess which watch they choose: the G-Shock. Bling means nothing when it comes to performance, and the New York Audio Show had a lot of bling on display.


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Last edited by imagic; 12-01-2014 at 12:24 PM. Reason: frontpage, hifi, audio, 2-channel
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post #2 of 767 Old 10-05-2014, 02:49 PM
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Thanks for the great input about Dr. Hsu.
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post #3 of 767 Old 10-05-2014, 03:05 PM
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I think I'd rather have a yacht or an airplane.
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post #4 of 767 Old 10-05-2014, 03:25 PM
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When it comes to evaluating audio equipment which i have no intention of buying, my interest is strictly how good does it sound, not how much does it cost. And when Mark reports that Zillion dollar speakers sound abysmal, we shake our heads in agreement and then we shake our heads the other way, as in No Sale.
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post #5 of 767 Old 10-05-2014, 03:30 PM
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For $1million dollars I could have: a $100k sound system, a Lambo, and a 10 year vacation at any place on Earth of my choosing without having to work for it.
That sounds like a much better return on my money to me.

Which is probably what the CEO's and VP's of such audio companies are doing with your money at your expense!
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post #6 of 767 Old 10-05-2014, 03:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imagic View Post

Dr. Hsu and his wife Lang Hsu pose in front of their demo system at the NY Audio Show.
I don't know about the rest of you, but this guy looks like the local high school science teacher that always has something really cool cooking in his garage. Hats off to Dr. Hsu and his wife for bringing the rest of us outstanding audio at a realistic price. I'm sure his entire setup cost less then some of the individual cables that some of the other vendors used.
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Looky here!
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post #7 of 767 Old 10-05-2014, 03:54 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by robnix View Post
I don't know about the rest of you, but this guy looks like the local high school science teacher that always has something really cool cooking in his garage. Hats off to Dr. Hsu and his wife for bringing the rest of us outstanding audio at a realistic price. I'm sure his entire setup cost less then some of the individual cables that some of the other vendors used.


Actually, his entire system costs less than the sales tax on some of those high-end speaker cables.
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post #8 of 767 Old 10-05-2014, 04:00 PM
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Nice write up, btw I've never owned a tube amplifier, honestly some day I will just for the cool look of a glowing tube...though I will not shell out too much for it either.

In the early/mid 2000's I used to read all the "high end" magazines and got caught up in the mystique of "audiophine-ness", for the like of me though I thought my brain was lacking something because when I listened to music I never had all those colorful and flowery descriptive jargon hit me.

Then in the late 2000's when I get serious about HT I learned much and had my eyes opened.....glad the "S" in AVS still stands for "Science" and the scientific method.
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Hooray for Dr Hsu!

Took some big cajones to show up there
With that equipment.

Sony CD changer and an Onkyo AVR
And the wiring too!

LMAO...thanks for keeping it real Mark...great job!

Lordy, my sides hurt.
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post #10 of 767 Old 10-05-2014, 04:08 PM
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That's a great pic of Dr. Hsu with Lang Hsu. It has a kind of down-home vibe to it.
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post #11 of 767 Old 10-05-2014, 04:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imagic View Post
Check out Dr. Hsu's wiring, which cast serious doubt on the value of speaker cables that cost more than cars do—as long as you trust your ears instead of your eyes.


The wiring in the Hsu Research rig was a far cry from the five-figure cables found on other systems, yet the sound quality was superb.

Dr Hsu should be commended for being honest and not participating in the global conspiracy to con audio buyers with snake oil. What he unfortunately may not realize is the way the monopolistic liars deal with his kind, the whistle blowers and speakers of the truth, which is to:


A) Not get him invited to future shows or set the conditions for participation impossibly difficult to achieve for him in some way. "Oh sorry, your application for participation must have gotten lost in the mail and the deadline to enroll expired yesterday."


B) Stop getting favorable reviews, or reviews at all, in the various high-end magazines which are specifically funded by the ad dollars of these con artists.


I actually saw this second scenario happen to Allison, one of the most gifted speaker designers out there, designer of the IC-20 which Stereo Review said was the most accurate speaker they had ever measured. He used common hardware store lamp cord to wire his trade show speakers (many years after the IC-20), because it is sonically 100% indistinguishable to the "audiophile wires" for the distance he needed, and he never got any further high end magazine reviews ever again, which is financially devastating.

One magazine issue's favorable review is worth several years of monthly advertising, for a company's image and prestige.

In A/V reproduction accuracy, there IS no concept of "accounting for personal taste/preference". As art consumers we don't "pick" the level of bass, nor the tint/brightness of a scene's sky, any more than we pick the ending of a novel or Mona Lisa's type of smile. "High fidelity" means "high truthfulness", faithful to the original artist's intent: an unmodified, neutral, accurate copy of the original master, ideally being exact and with no discernable alterations, aka "transparency".

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Bling means nothing when it comes to performance...
Those who have a solid understanding of how sound reproduction gear actually works are well aware of this. Bling only impresses those who do not. The sad fact of the matter is that Dr. Hsu would probably sell a lot more gear if he priced it far higher.
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post #13 of 767 Old 10-05-2014, 05:10 PM
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I think some people just buy hi-en hi priced systems to show off. To say mine is better than yours! Or perhaps some buyers are looking for pieces of Art, something shiny and pretty first with sound quality second. I knew a friend that purchased all McIntosh amps with Martin Logan speakers and always wanted to brag and show off his system. However the music he listened to was not meant for Electostatic speakers. He was a person with expendable income and believed all the sales hype.
If your speakers are going to be seen I guess something visually pleasing may be required. But I still prefer sound quality first, looks second. I try not to look at the price tag until after my audition. I don't want the price to skew my judgment. Some people believe the more it costs the better it is....
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post #14 of 767 Old 10-05-2014, 05:19 PM
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Hey Mark, I wonder why you refer to yourself in the third person in the lead in sentence to your post and then immediately switch to the first person? I could understand if someone was summarizing what you wrote but there it is in the first line of your post.

So I will learn from the professional here. Let me rephrase my question.

Mark Haflich read the first post and wondered why the first sentence said Mark Henniger pondered and the second sentence and subsequent sentences were written with the first person I?

Then I found myself asking if I really cared and then I said to myself what the hell. I will just ask him.

I wonder if Mark Haflich will get an answer or an infraction point from a moderator instead?
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I remember reading that Hsu used lamp cord in past audio shows. While high priced speakers are inarguably a scam, I wouldn't think there is an organized conspiracy amongst these charlatans. I doubt audio show promoters will turn down potential exhibitor money, as high end audio isn't exactly a booming field. Anyway, it doesn't look like Hsu relies on audiophile publications as much for their business. I doubt Stereophile will ever be interested in reviewing something like a VTF15h for fear of their readership's monocles popping out.
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post #16 of 767 Old 10-05-2014, 05:23 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mark haflich View Post
Hey Mark, I wonder why you refer to yourself in the third person in the lead in sentence to your post and then immediately switch to the first person? I could understand if someone was summarizing what you wrote but there it is in the first line of your post.

So I will learn from the professional here. Let me rephrase my question.

Mark Haflich read the first post and wondered why the first sentence said Mark Henniger pondered and the second sentence and subsequent sentences were written with the first person I?

Then I found myself asking if I really cared and then I said to myself what the hell. I will just ask him.

I wonder if Mark Haflich will get an answer or an infraction point from a moderator instead?
It's that way because I posted the piece on the AVS homepage. When an article goes on the homepage, the site uses the blurb—that first sentence—as a subhead. I added a little separator, seven dashes, to help make the transition a little less jarring.

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I've never owned any Hsu products and don't know Dr. Hsu personally, but my cap is off to anybody with the guts to go to one of these silly dog-and-pony shows (bling shows) and use an AVR with generic cables.

Mark, nice write up. I'm glad you have the courage to call it like you see it and not to kowtow to the charlatans of high-end audio.

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When I purchased my Focal Grande Utopia's, I paid $175,000 for the pair. That, was a several years ago. My monoblocks, Parasound JC 1's were a relative bargain at $17k for the pair. All of my interconnects and speaker wire are Kimber, and for everything including power cables I might have spent $5 or $6k. So, in the scheme of things, I got away cheap. Yea me! While my system could be improved upon, to me, it sounds unbelievably fantastic. I have always said and continue to say, sound is completely subjective. What sounds good to me, sounds like crap to you. That's why people buy Bose speakers. I'm sorry you found the sound of the Focal's unappealing, system matching is important. Maybe the Focal's weren't the best match for the equipment being featured. I would hate to think that exhibitors would select equipment by looks alone, but I'm sure it happens. Getting great sound in too small a room is an issue along with poor power quality and numerous other issues. I wasn't there so I have no idea or opinion. Suffice it to say, you found the sound bad, blaming it on the speakers alone is short-sighted.
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post #19 of 767 Old 10-05-2014, 05:33 PM
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A 2 channel system simply can't convey the auditory cues that give the sense of physically being in a space, cues we're used to hearing in our daily lives.

The unfortunate reality is that the majority of music is recorded in two channel, and it will be for the forseeable future. We are stuck making the best of the situation with excellent speakers,ambience extraction, or both.
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post #20 of 767 Old 10-05-2014, 05:34 PM - Thread Starter
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When I purchased my Focal Grande Utopia's, I paid $175,000 for the pair. That, was a several years ago. My monoblocks, Parasound JC 1's were a relative bargain at $17k for the pair. All of my interconnects and speaker wire are Kimber, and for everything including power cables I might have spent $5 or $6k. So, in the scheme of things, I got away cheap. Yea me! While my system could be improved upon, to me, it sounds unbelievably fantastic. I have always said and continue to say, sound is completely subjective. What sounds good to me, sounds like crap to you. That's why people buy Bose speakers. I'm sorry you found the sound of the Focal's unappealing, system matching is important. Maybe the Focal's weren't the best match for the equipment being featured. I would hate to think that exhibitors would select equipment by looks alone, but I'm sure it happens. Getting great sound in too small a room is an issue along with poor power quality and numerous other issues. I wasn't there so I have no idea or opinion. Suffice it to say, you found the sound bad, blaming it on the speakers alone is short-sighted.
I know enough about speakers to know that I have to take what I hear at shows with a grain of salt, and give poor performing systems the benefit of the doubt. But some of the expensive systems really do sound great, even with the challenges of a show environment.

The Focal speaker systems at the NY show rated extremely highly among other reviewers who specialize in high end. Had you spent $150,000 extra on cables, I'd say you were insane. As it stands, you own a pair of speakers considered among the best in the world, but you resisted the temptation to spend just as much on cabling.

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post #21 of 767 Old 10-05-2014, 05:42 PM
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Ataboy, Mr Hsu gives it to these psedosophisticated triple divorcé serial boardsmen.

Grateful former Hsu Research sub owner, it was the opener to high end for me.

I just hope those vinegaroons don't boot him off the show or God forbid fix his brakes.
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post #22 of 767 Old 10-05-2014, 05:42 PM
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Nice write up M.

I used to love to go to these shows and wanted to hear the best of the best (maybe own some myself one day). Rather more often than not I was disappointed. Did that Euro 30.000 Burmester pre-amp really sound that bad? And those Euro 100.000 Loudspeakers too? Yes they did. Every time I went home I liked what I heard better than in 95% of the shows "wonder blings".
One thing I have to say and many might agree. It is a statement to use $ 1.50 connectors for your system, but in all honesty, to get a decent sound out of your system one should use some kind of better/very good cabling - at least to the loudspeakers - to be able to enjoy the system to its best. You don't have to spend $ 20.000 for a meter of LS cables, but a nice pair for $ 50 - 80 should be invested to give the amp and the LS a chance to shine.
Cheers
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post #23 of 767 Old 10-05-2014, 05:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Ron Gruber View Post
When I purchased my Focal Grande Utopia's, I paid $175,000 for the pair. That, was a several years ago. My monoblocks, Parasound JC 1's were a relative bargain at $17k for the pair. All of my interconnects and speaker wire are Kimber, and for everything including power cables I might have spent $5 or $6k. So, in the scheme of things, I got away cheap. Yea me! While my system could be improved upon, to me, it sounds unbelievably fantastic. I have always said and continue to say, sound is completely subjective. What sounds good to me, sounds like crap to you. That's why people buy Bose speakers. I'm sorry you found the sound of the Focal's unappealing, system matching is important. Maybe the Focal's weren't the best match for the equipment being featured. I would hate to think that exhibitors would select equipment by looks alone, but I'm sure it happens. Getting great sound in too small a room is an issue along with poor power quality and numerous other issues. I wasn't there so I have no idea or opinion. Suffice it to say, you found the sound bad, blaming it on the speakers alone is short-sighted.
System matching is important indeed, assuming that by "system matching" you mean the speakers and the room. You are right that those Focals need the "right" room to shine (whereas some speakers tend to sound good in a wide variety of rooms). But if you are including cables in this, or "poor power quality," then I don't agree so much. Any competently designed amplifier power supply should be able to handle a range of power quality; and any power available in a U.S. hotel should be sufficient.

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post #24 of 767 Old 10-05-2014, 05:46 PM
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Originally Posted by boguspomp View Post
Nice write up M.
...
One thing I have to say and many might agree. It is a statement to use $ 1.50 connectors for your system, but in all honesty, to get a decent sound out of your system one should use some kind of better/very good cabling - at least to the loudspeakers - to be able to enjoy the system to its best. You don't have to spend $ 20.000 for a meter of LS cables, but a nice pair for $ 50 - 80 should be invested to give the amp and the LS a chance to shine.
Cheers
I doubt you'll find many in this thread who agree with that.

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post #25 of 767 Old 10-05-2014, 05:50 PM
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It's that way because I posted the piece on the AVS homepage. When an article goes on the homepage, the site uses the blurb—that first sentence—as a subhead. A added a little separator, seven dashes, to help make the transition a little less jarring.
Thanks for the answer, I assumed it was something like that instead of self grandizing which I know you would do.

As far as adding dashes to make the transition less jarring, I have learned to fasten my seat belt and tie my hands behind my back when reading your posts. Keep up the great work.
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post #26 of 767 Old 10-05-2014, 06:43 PM
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Mark: looks like we took the same pictures. I played the "Price is Right" with my son.. After leaving each of the main room, we guessed on the prices. I also was amazed at all the laptops serving files to the DACs. I got used to seeing equipment that I know I could never afford. Met Dr. Hsu in his humble room, showing us Prometheus on the screen in your picture with an Epson PJ and switching between subs. FOCAL sounded ok for a $196k/pair of speakers driven by a $116k/pair VAC amps. Met a fellow member in the KEF room also. I noticed not too many turntables also.. Thought that Sony would bring some of its new 4k tvs but stayed with the Audio theme.




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post #27 of 767 Old 10-05-2014, 06:52 PM
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I again had the distinct pleasure of touring the rooms mentioned here with Mark and agree totally with his assessment of the show. I am a life long audiophile but consider myself much more of a music lover. I buy good equipment to more fully enjoy music, but enjoy music regardless of the type of equipment. My stuff is rather long in the tooth but still sounds great. Some, like my Spectal pre amp was purchased used quite a few years ago for $400 and still sounds fantastic. The only new equipment I have purchased in 15 years was a new DAC so I could move to a computer based system and even the DAC was well under $1,000. Most audiophiles I know would scoff at a DAC at that price point but it sounds superb. The truth of the matter is that amps and preamp sonic performance hasn't improved much if at all in quite some time. However, the companies have to sell new stuff to stay in business. Hence the resorting to bling and it's accompanying higher and higher prices. The price to performance ratio at this show was insane. Both Focal based systems were frankly terrible. The VAC with the most expensive Focals was run out of the room terrible being bright beyond belief with vinyl playback. I am along time Vandersteen owner and found his 7's with the $45k liquid cooled mono blocks to be totally uninvolving and unimpressive. The same was true of the Martin Logan room. The Hsu room sounded great, smooth and open, like real music. Perhaps real audio nirvana can be found with lamp cord! Having attended a few of these shows in the last couple of years, I am convinced that the high end industry has lost its way, focusing on ever and ever more expensive equipment with marginal, if any improvement in sound. There appear to be enough people with more money than brains that are willing to pay these prices to keep some of these companies in business. After all, you don't have to sell too many $250k sets of speakers to make plenty of cash. Don't get me wrong, Some of the high priced stuff sounded great. The Gamut room being one provided that the music was not played at ear bleeding levels like the Muddy Waters track. The Sony room with the AR-1's and the 2 of a kind amps was excellent as well as was the Vanatoo room with $500 powered speakers which sounded great as well, a ton of quality for the price. However, if you read the press reports on the show from mags and websites that depend on ad revenue from the high end,you will learn that everything at the show sounded great. One even gave the Focal room a best at the show award. Not on the Friday that I attended. I will continue to attend the shows to find gems like Vanatoo and to spend time with guys like Mark. I just wish that more of the audio press would report what s really going on in the industry rather than be shills for the companies. Rant now over!
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post #28 of 767 Old 10-05-2014, 07:06 PM
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This article, (and that photo of dr and mrs hsu ) have put a face on the Hsu research company for me. I will seriously consider them the next time i upgrade. Thanks Mark!
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post #29 of 767 Old 10-05-2014, 07:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boguspomp View Post
One thing I have to say and many might agree. It is a statement to use $ 1.50 connectors for your system, but in all honesty, to get a decent sound out of your system one should use some kind of better/very good cabling - at least to the loudspeakers - to be able to enjoy the system to its best. You don't have to spend $ 20.000 for a meter of LS cables, but a nice pair for $ 50 - 80 should be invested to give the amp and the LS a chance to shine.
Cheers
I certainly don't agree.


How do you explain why Dr. Hsu, who has a PhD in engineering from MIT and has been making well regarded (and reviewed) subs for over two decades, would knowingly "compromise" the sound of his demo systems by using very inexpensive interconnects and speaker wires then? How would that benefit him and his company's success?
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In A/V reproduction accuracy, there IS no concept of "accounting for personal taste/preference". As art consumers we don't "pick" the level of bass, nor the tint/brightness of a scene's sky, any more than we pick the ending of a novel or Mona Lisa's type of smile. "High fidelity" means "high truthfulness", faithful to the original artist's intent: an unmodified, neutral, accurate copy of the original master, ideally being exact and with no discernable alterations, aka "transparency".

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post #30 of 767 Old 10-05-2014, 07:46 PM
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Very relevant to this discussion: http://www.ultraaudio.com/index.php/...-end-conundrum

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