RMAF 2015 Day 2 Show Report
I'm a sucker for dick shaped speakers, and the Audiomachina guys were there to provide in spades. These things were very tall and about 7 inches thin. The speakers sounded pretty good from what I could tell.
Hoards of top of the line Scanspeak drivers coupled with some peerless 10 inch woofers for the bottom cabinet which have a dsp controlled amp powering them to extend the bass response in the tiny cabinet. I asked the price and it was a cool $80K for the pair.
Bowers & Wilkins
Spent a few minutes with a big B&W rig.
They were played very low, and sounded alright, but seemed a little bright in the upper midrange.
Found this pair later which I think this is a newer model. These sounded extremely similar to the larger speakers above, as expected.
Ceramics Art Speaker
Raal ribbons and ceramic pottery, a match made in Japan. The sides of the tower speakers were all wobbly and when I gave a knuckle wrap it made a sound I would associate with pottery.
The tweeter sounded great in these speakers and was well integrated with the woofer, but the speakers were limited in bass response.
These guys were not on the list, but they saw me in the hotel bar with press credentials and asked me to stop by for a listen. Really nice guys.
This was the worst sound of the show. If you imagine a cardboard tube glued to the front of a tweeter that is similar to what these sounded like.
Dynaudio's fully active digital tri-amp Focus 600XD was added to the list after discussing the sounds of the show with industry people. These sounded pretty good, although the bass response was limited at volume.
This is the hub for the dynaudio active speakers, I asked if they are making software for this and I was told that they are and there are apps available for mobile devices and it will even do streaming from the usual suspects.
Here is the back of the unit, looks like it takes all kinds.
These speakers sounded pretty good and they were crossed over to the subs hiding in the corners at 70Hz. Sorry of the photo's look a little strange here, this was one of the darkest rooms in the show and the speakers were super glossy.
The top driver is a coaxial unit, I think it's a prosound driver from eminence with a little compression driver. The bottom two drivers are using the baffle as a mechanical filter to cut down the response above 300Hz to avoid combing. This is a home brew cola finish that they can do for an extra price, if not they can just ship you unfinished wood. I thought it looked pretty good.
The back of the speaker shows the double magnet from the coaxial unit, and the bottom woofers just hanging out. The prices from Emerald were some of the most resonable at the show, and seem like a pretty good bargain. I'm going to see about getting a pair to review.
Made my way up to the budget rooms, this one was closest to the elevator so I hit it first. First thing I said when I sat down was "these need stands." The slack jawed lackey running the room said that they didn't have any and had a tough enough time trying to get stands for the Vanatoo's in the $1500 room.
This is the Emotiva B3, it sounded like something was wrong with it. I could not put my finger on it in one track, but I heard enough to know I would not recommend these speakers.
This room sounded bad, it also looked like they were preparing a voodoo sacrifice with all of the tweaks.
Listened to these for a few minutes, and they sounded very similar to the KEF Reference Ones.
It was obvious near field that the side woofers were crossed too high because male vocals were coming out of the side of the speaker. Bass response did seem more refined than many of the other big speakers at the show.
Holy shit, a home theater! Not only that it's one that looks like it could have come from Best Buy.
These towers were acting as surrounds for the 7.2 channel system.
Found a Mundorf kit speaker. I have not check the price, but the driver selection is great with the Mundorf AMT tweeter and an Accuton woofer.
I don't recall anything that stood out with these guys, it's an interesting design with the woofer poking out to time align it with the tweeter.
How about some omnidirectional Electrostats?
The bottom cabinet is a triangular shape with three woofers on it. These were the best omnidirectional sounds that I heard at the show so far.
Got to talk a little bit with Eric from Tekton and he seemed open to the idea of sending me a demo unit. While I was there I got a half decent shot of the Pendragon.
Stumbled upon this Usher system while gallivanting through the halls. I dropped in and heard somewhat good sound, but I couldn't really tell what was doing what because of the vinyl rig.
The tweaks are out in full force at the show. This little thing is supposed to center the universe to your stereo or some such nonsense.
I asked if this was an active system after seeing the metal plates on the front of the speaker, but I was told that they are just for decoration.
First line array of the show, and not only that, it's an open baffle mid one as well.
The back of the speakers looked a little unfinished in comparison the flawless gloss black everywhere else. I've guessing there are grills to cover this up in the retail model.
These sounded very nice. In the huge room there were no side wall reflections, but they still have a nice airy quality to them. One thing that I did notice is that you really needed to be in the sweet spot with these speakers. Not like horns where you are missing the sound, more that the sound got sloppy unless you sat in the best seat.
Look at Sir Andrew Jones taking everyone to school on how to make cheap speaker sound good.
Here we have the two bookshelf speakers, the integrated amp, and the subwoofer. The sub was pretty damn big and has some goofy calibration stuff that uses blutooth from your mobile device to run sweeps and equalize the sound for the room if it is needed. The idea is that you run one sweep holding your tablet microphone up to the woofer cone, and another at the listening position and it will do the rest.
The drivers looked alright, but here we are with a goofy grill similar to the BS-21's smothering the tweeter.
The quality of the cabinets looked pretty nice, although the edges are a little sharp for my taste.
The star of the line up in my opinion is the integrated amp, it supposed to be priced at $500 when it comes out. The amps is rated for 100wpc powered by BASH instead of Class D. The amp also will include the calibration tools that the subwoofer has built in, so you can use whatever sub you would like and still integrate well with the speakers.
I took the chance while Sir. Jones was busy talking to pop the top on the little prototype amp, as the screws were already undone. Looks like a working unit, but I'm guessing the software is what is holding this up from moving into production.
The towers that were playing sounded pretty good, and Sir. Jones told me he would see about getting some of this gear for me to review.
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