- Written by Chris Groppi and Rick Schmidt
- Published on 13 October 2008
Day 3: Rick Schmidt
When I walked into the Oracle room they were playing the Beatles mash-up 'Love' on vinyl. Several folks were sitting in rapt attention, afterwords we exchanged stories about kids these days who don't even know who the Beatles were. I was interested in the CD player - CD 1500 Mk II which is carved out of a solid billet of Aluminum. I could barely lift it. I was able to listen to it with no problem though. We played my favorite Juliana Hatfield live cut 'Hotels' which ends in some spectacular guitar. That was the case in this room as well, the relaxed presentation of the Usher 716-Be's was distinct from most other speakers at the show.
I was drawn into the Esoteric room while passing by. Both the sound and the look of these MG20 Magnesium driver loudspeakers. The drivers are Magnesium coated with ceramic. The finished look is a lustrous white. The sound was detailed but not fatiguing or metallic.
I read in the catalog about the worlds only glass speakers so I had to see them. Waterfall Audio makes them from tempered glass and there are many other inovations including a tunable downward firing passive radiator. I put my hands on the sides for the vibration test. The were more inert than many wood speakers I've put a paw to. The sound was lean and clear when driven with the NuForce amps.
My favorite room at the show was the Modwright room. Dan Wright was using the same Studio Electric speakers that Chris raved about but all with his own electronics. The soundÂ through a Slimaudio Transporter fooled me as there was a turntable spinning at the same time. That's pretty good. We put on a record though and it was better. The room was bass heavy but you take what you can get in these rooms. The sound otherwise was completely enchanting. This was one of the rooms where people tended to sit for long periods. There was better sound to be had for mega bucks in other places but as I wrote above about the Focal Grand Utopia's, that is really a different experience than what we are normally talking about when we say 'put some music on'. The fun of these shows is that you can get a first hand experience of all manner of hifi. Bring your own music though.