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Old 17th March 2012, 04:17 AM   #1
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Default Let's have a planar speaker only show!

Hello everyone,

It's been about a week since my attendance of AXPONA in Jacksonville Florida and an idea keeps nagging me.

Why can't the industry, enthusiasts, and a few movers and shakers put together a planar speaker ONLY audio show? Imagine an audio show where we could see and hear a large assortment of planar only speakers. Imagine if we could go to a show (for once) and actually be able to audition almost every planar speaker made in the world.

I, for one, am a little disappointed in audio shows having very few electrostatic speakers to listen to. Can we start making some noise and generate some interest in those that could actually make this happen? I hope so....
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Old 17th March 2012, 09:22 AM   #2
markusA is offline markusA  Sweden
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Sounds like a fun place to be.
The U.S. is supposed to be the land of opportunities.
It should be doable in any of your larger cities, my only regret is that I won't be able to attend being from across the pond and all...
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Old 18th March 2012, 10:07 AM   #3
Calvin is offline Calvin  Germany
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Hi,

generating noise probabely wont help, but maybe You could think of fund raising?
Not entirely kidding, but the costs of a show and the required effort are usually so high, that any manufacturer need to concentrate on just a few shows. Then there are the distribution channels who may have planars in their portfolio as a top-of-the-line niche product. They hardly will pay for planar-specialized shows apart from maybe dealer workshops and similar small events. On the other hand the number of people who actually have a clue what a planar speaker is is small. The number of those who already know the difference between ESL and Magnetos or NXPs is even smaller.
So, even when the idea sounds appealing for the interested customer, Im afraid that the chance to see a Planar-exclusive-fair is close to nil.

jauu
Calvin
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Old 18th March 2012, 11:55 AM   #4
markusA is offline markusA  Sweden
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I'll agree to what Calvin is saying but I'd still keep some hope.
You people have more people living in one of your large cities than I have in my entire country.
One might not be able to attract every manufacturer from around the globe but it should be possible to work something out if you want it bad enough.

Maybe a ESL meet for enthusiasts would be a place to start? If there's interest you might get a company to be a guest speaker and demo some products? Just to get the ball rolling?
I'm just spitballing here...
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Old 18th March 2012, 12:58 PM   #5
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I was likewise disappointed to see so few planars at the Jacksonville event. I saw and heard the 5-channel ML CLX setup, which was pretty impressive. I also noted a pair of King Sound full range ESL panels in the conference room where Bob Carver gave his talk on Saturday, but they weren't playing.

I'll admit that I'm partial to two-channel, but I really thought the ML's would have sounded better had the setup just been a stereo pair with a couple of subs in a smaller room-- for me, there was just too many sounds coming from too many directions and it seemed to confuse the imaging.
.
Although not planars, I thought Bob Carver's radical skinny 8ft line source towers, driven by a quad of big tube amps, had the biggest sound stage I've ever heard and awesome dynamics as well. Most impressive is that they sounded great from practically anywhere in the room and yet still retained pretty good imaging. After listening to my ultra-directional flat panels, I really appreciated and marveled at the wide imaging projected by the Carver towers. Their spidery legs and dark appearance looks like something you'd see in Klingon starship. I heard the Carver towers on Saturday but I'm told they didn't sound as good on Friday because the analog tube crossovers didn't arrive until late Friday evening and the speakers had to be jerry rigged to play them on Friday.

I'm amazed at how some of those hi-end systems can fill a huge room with sound-- but then, a big stack of Krell amps doesn't hurt, yeah?

One last thought: After hearing the most expensive and finest systems in the world at the Jacksonville event, it's encouraging to me that my el-cheapo homebuilt electrostats still sound pretty damn good by comparison, and I'm sure the same could be said about other members' homebuilts I've seen here on this forum.

Charlie

Last edited by CharlieM; 18th March 2012 at 01:14 PM.
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Old 18th March 2012, 01:28 PM   #6
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I think you would be in for a long wait.
Exhibitors have to justify the significant cost, this requires decent footfall and follow up sales.
Punters come to Hi-Fi shows to hear a good variety of products, if they wanted to hear just electrostatics or maggies they would go to a store.

Even if the panel speakers were completely indistinguishable from real life sound (impossible as we know) most would be owners could not or would not accommodate them in their homes, especially if the powers that be saw the size of them first.

Face it (as great as they may all sound) room after room of panel speakers would be pretty monotonous and irrelevant to most music enthusiasts.

The flagship box speakers are mostly just there to promote brands and shift the regular, domestically friendly, small box speakers.

A show made up of just panel speakers would be an exhibitors nightmare, even for the planar guys, how would their product truly stand out without great contrast to a sea of very different sounding thumping reflex boxes?

Lots of similarly accurate sounding, relatively expensive, similar looking product and little to no punters.
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Old 20th March 2012, 01:39 AM   #7
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Default How to move forward?

First I would like to admit that I am certainly no business wizz. And therefore my ideas and opinions might be considered unworkable at best by the majority of people sharp enough to make shows happen. So having said this, I'll continue with my amateur rambling.

The problem, as I see it, is an industry faltering, falling, and failing anyway. Doing nothing is a friend of death my friends....

Will this industry (and specifically the planar speaker industry segment) tolerate a slow, painful, and inevitable decent into a dark situation where only a few are left standing (a bleak and boring future scenario indeed), or will cooperative consensus emerge to creatively, pro-actively, and progressively move the situation into a more respectable condition?

I do not agree with one point Rob G has made. That point being that a show comprised of all planar speakers would have a sound boringly similar, yet technically accurate (I admit those are not Rob G's exact words). I don't think many would confuse the sounds of a Beveridge, Sound Lab, and a Wisdom Audio speaker for example. I do think a show like this would have sound sufficiently diverse to appease most people.

As to planar speakers being too large and obsolete by today's standards, I say why did the average audiophile once passionately desire and embrace these speakers only to now turn their back on them? Have rooms gotten smaller? Has spousal acceptance factor changed in a direction hostile to large planar transducers? What really happened?

I suspect the real explanation is the overall decline of the industry and planar speakers are simply a part of that decline. We need a solution desperately and quickly to adjust show costs realistically downward to match the current decline in sales. This is like trying to keep up with rigid real estate rents and taxes while struggling through an economic environment that is not bringing in the money like it used to. Something has to give...

We don't have to define planars extremely rigidly. By consensus we could find definitions that would attract a diverse group of products, yet still maintain the purity of the term. We could also structure the show so that amateur DIY displays are encouraged, but distinctly seperate from regular production offerings. Perhaps I'm a dreamer, but I really don't see this vision as unobtainable.

Best wishes, Professor Bizzt
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Old 21st March 2012, 06:07 AM   #8
beun is offline beun  United States
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Getting all the big manufacturers together is not going to be easy, but what about a DIY planer only speaker show. Kinda like the Lone Star Audio Fest but then only for planars.
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Old 27th March 2012, 11:31 AM   #9
Calvin is offline Calvin  Germany
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Hi,

Quote:
...all the big manufacturers....


BIG

Loooolllll..thats a really good one......

jauu
Calvin
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Old 27th March 2012, 01:15 PM   #10
tyu is offline tyu  United States
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CharlieM

Although not planars, I thought Bob Carver's radical skinny 8ft line source towers, driven by a quad of big tube amps, had the biggest sound stage I've ever heard and awesome dynamics as well. Most impressive is that they sounded great from practically anywhere in the room and yet still retained pretty good imaging. After listening to my ultra-directional flat panels, I really appreciated and marveled at the wide imaging projected by the Carver towers. Their spidery legs and dark appearance looks like something you'd see in Klingon starship. I heard the Carver towers on Saturday but I'm told they didn't sound as good on Friday because the analog tube crossovers didn't arrive until late Friday evening and the speakers had to be jerry rigged to play them on Friday.

thanks for posting you thinking on Bob setup ....if there was just one more like Bob ...there would be a lot more going on with Speaker, amps, tubes...his SunFire amps are the best sand yet..
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