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Old 5th October 2009, 06:13 PM   #21
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It was fun, Andy, and I am one of those 'snake oil' believers. In fact, we were swapping cables, etc. long into the night, before the show, in order to get the best sound that we could. We wound up with marginal loudspeakers and we transfered the whole amp to another room in a different part of the building for Sunday listening. It actually sounded better in the other room, because of the different speakers, even though our original efforts were lost. Word to the wise, NEVER, NEVER use non-broken-in speakers for a show like this, AND always bring lots of damping material in the form of light blankets or sound absorbers.
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Old 5th October 2009, 07:17 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by andy_c View Post
Jan asked about the show over in the Blowtorch thread, so I'll give a small update.

I live about an hour drive from the show, but I'm not a big fan of it. I did show up on Saturday, and this was mostly because I heard that Bob and John would be there, and I thought Jan mentioned he would be there as well.

To be honest, I get pretty claustrophobic in those small hotel rooms with lots of people crammed into them, so I tend to just visit the large rooms. My favorite of these was the Legacy Audio room, where they were playing the big monster speakers. You can see pics of these in the Stereophile blog here.

Bob apparently spent the whole weekend there. He tends to visit as many rooms as possible, since he isn't bothered by the close quarters in the rooms as I am. He didn't get back home until 1AM this morning, so I don't expect to hear from him until he's rested up.

By far the best aspect of the show for me was at 4PM on Saturday, I met up with Bob and we walked over to the bar for a beer. John was sitting there, so we all sat down and quaffed a couple of brews and talked audio. It's not every day I get to sit at the bar with Bob Cordell and John Curl! It was a hoot.

To really enjoy the show though, you must be a lot less cynical than I am about the high-end audio industry (I'm tempted to put those in scare quotes). When buying tickets online, one can specify a company name to put on one's badge. Mine said "Snake Oil Specialists, Inc.". I got a few comments about that from people on the elevator who looked at my badge .
Hi Andy,

It was great to see you and John at RMAF.

RMAF was terrific this year. Attendance was good and there were plenty of exhibtors. I was barely able to visit all the rooms. There was no gloom in spite of the rough economic times. I guess there are still a lot of people walking around with too much money on their hands.

There were lots and lots of turntables and tubes, some of which I must admit sounded very good. I heard a setup with 100-watt SET monoblocks that sounded very good. Used really big transmitter tubes. I bet the filament alone burned more than 100 watts.

I heard many more rooms this year than in the past that had really good sound. I sense that many speakers have gotten quite a bit better. I think the exhibitors are also playing better demo material. Quite a bit of equipment involving playback of WAV files and things like USB DACs.

There was the usual presence of some $30k speaker cables and a 180k pair of mono block tube amps.

There were also a couple of rooms that sounded like cr@p and their owners seemed clueless that they sounded so bad. One of them was a room with single-driver speakers. However, another room with a quasi single driver speaker from India sounded quite good. It was essentially a two-way speaker where the "single driver" was properly crossed to a woofer at about 100 Hz.

One attention-getting seminar in the Nordost room claimed to have measured differences caused by speaker cables, vibration isolators, and the inclusion of a "Quantum Box". The latter is powered from the mains, but has no inputs or outputs. Supposedly emits some kind of a field. They showed oscillograms that they asserted showed time offsets on the order of a Red Book sampling interval (22 us) that were reduced when one or more of the above-mentioned measures was taken. I wish I could explain the demo better, but I had many questions that there was no time to answer. It was a subtraction-based test, but it was a bit unclear where in the chain the two things being subtracted were and what effect digital filtering in the playback would have had. The key, however, is that the application of the improvement measures appeared to make a change.

John Atkinson gave a couple of very good, well-attended seminars. Harry Pearson also gave one.

Anyway, it was a great show and I recommend it to everyone.

Cheers,
Bob
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Old 5th October 2009, 07:44 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by andy_c View Post
Jan asked about the show over in the Blowtorch thread, so I'll give a small update.

[snip]I thought Jan mentioned he would be there as well.
[snip]
I was there last year and enjoyed it. This year I'll be at AES next weekend and at BAF weekend after; adding the RMAF to my itinerary would have made it too costly for me. But had I known that all you guys would be there I might have bitten the bullet

jd
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Old 5th October 2009, 08:52 PM   #24
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You didn't miss much, Jan. You have be a 'believer' like me, to get much out of the show. Just like Bob Cordell just parsed his words about the Nordost seminar, you probably would too. I missed the seminar, but I believe what they say, even about the 'quantum box' because I trust my ears, and heard it demoed at CES. Even I would not touch it with a 10 ft pole, however.
I must say that it was refreshing to be with people who heard differences without qualification. We experimented with cables, set-up, break-in (or lack of it) stability platforms, exotic playback of CD, etc. with gusto!
I even heard the difference between two connectors, a WBT and a Chinese 'knockoff' along with some reviewers. I is shocking what can make a difference if you just listen and not think that everybody is a 'crook' who shows it to you.
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Old 5th October 2009, 11:47 PM   #25
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You didn't miss much, Jan. You have be a 'believer' like me, to get much out of the show.
Complete baloney. John, I like you better when you are half drunk :-).

Cheers,
Bob
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Old 6th October 2009, 01:36 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by john curl View Post
Just like Bob Cordell just parsed his words about the Nordost seminar, you probably would too. I missed the seminar, but I believe what they say, even about the 'quantum box' because I trust my ears, and heard it demoed at CES. Even I would not touch it with a 10 ft pole, however.
Check out Demian Martin's comments about the Nordost seminar in the Stereophile blog about it. Ouch.
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Old 6th October 2009, 01:45 AM   #27
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I trust Demian, and I accept his input. I did not attend the seminar, so I can't say. Please remember that Demain works for a competing major cable company. I don't think that he would be biased, but he might be competitive about his own products and knowledge of how wire works, just like I might be about a competitive solid state design presentation.
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Old 6th October 2009, 01:54 AM   #28
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Ha ha. What a bunch of retards. $100m cable and what look like $11.50 Tandy speakers. Some mob make a clock that does the same thing as da quantum purifier, which at least displays the time.
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Old 6th October 2009, 02:10 AM   #29
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I don't know why anyone here wants to display their ignorance, what is the point?
Wires count for me, that's for sure, and we heard differences in connecting wire, when we were setting up. I had not heard either cable before, but there was a difference, and everybody heard it. We were not trying to impress customers, we were just trying to get the sound 'right' in the room, before the doors opened.
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Old 6th October 2009, 02:10 AM   #30
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$100/meter? That's budget stuff! Have a look at the prices here, keeping in mind that the pound is about 1.6 U.S. dollars.

What amazes me about this is Stereophile's coverage of it. They used to be completely uncritical of the industry, but now they have become outright toadies.

Another amusing touch - here's a quote from Jason Victor Serinus' web site about the stuff he does:

Quote:
Jason frequently uses his whistling for healing purposes. He regularly performs in pioneer dancer/choreographer Anna Halprin's annual Planetary Healing Dance atop Northern California's Mount Tamalpais. He has also performed in many Peace the 21st Meditations, in Robert and Alyssa Hall's meditation/labyrinth workshop at Spirit Rock Meditation Center, and in the closing ritual of the International Somatics Conference in San Francisco.

Jason has led group guided meditations/visualizations which promote healing via the use of whistled tones. He has co-led these meditations and/or supplied healing tones in workshops led by Louise Hay, Kevin Ryerson, Gabriel Cousens, Marleen Muldaur and Randall Churchill. Jason has also conducted individual healing sessions which have combined bodywork, hypnotherapeutic induction, visualization and whistled healing tones

Jason edited the book Psychoimmunity and the Healing Process: A Holistic Approach to Immunity & AIDS (Celestial Arts, Third Edition 1990, out of print) and led workshops around the country on the subject. He has also authored numerous articles on healing for Bay Area and national publications. He is currently at work on other books. For more information on his writing, click here

Last edited by andy_c; 6th October 2009 at 02:12 AM.
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