The Audio Gourmet Show. Beautiful is the word that springs to mind as I entered the ‘Radisson Blu’ hotel in Vilnius, Lithuania. Everything set up perfectly, and the atmosphere was ‘electric’. And, as I walked into the first room, I thought to myself, I believe, will find something special.
I had been looking forward to the Audiophile – Audio Gourmet show. I heard there would be some exciting exhibits. And always eager to have my feet knocked out from underneath me by advancement in technology!
I had attended the show last year but had been very disappointed in the sound that I heard from the rooms used for the displays. And so was hoping that things improved for this year’s show. There is nothing worse than to see a room full of expensive audio equipment, but due to either incorrect loudspeaker placement or lack of sound dampening material the sound suffers! I visited every display on the show twice. And I am going to start by telling you about something that impressed me. You can see the source used in this display is Vinyl, and as an Audiophile Vinyl still holds to me for so many reasons.
A tiny room and was the smallest at the show but the sound that was produced by the very humble-looking set up was very far from small. The room filled with warm, rich sound that was very pleasing to listen to and the volume was at a low listening level.
I was amazed by how the system was able to give this quality and fullness at such a low level. Never judge a book by looking at its cover is a very well known saying and indeed how true that saying is. When looking at this small set up but it was impressive and is something that I would certainly consider. And is something that reminded me of Darth Vader as it had the look and feel of an alien. Also, you could say it was tall, dark and handsome. Cold and clinical maybe without emotion or feelings just as Darth. But what would it sound like I wondered and because I had to wait for thirty minutes?
The amplifiers came on and warmed up. And then the music came from the speakers with an effortless sound that was pleasant and very transparent. But at the same time also had a hard edge to it.
The drivers, fed from a pair of Tube amplifiers. Which placed well away from the wall as they needed space to keep them operating correctly? Tube amplifiers generate a significant amount of heat when they are running, and so attention must always be given, to correct placement.
I love the sound from a good tube amplifier, and it can be a monoblock setup as it is here or it can be an integrated setup, but they both offer a beautiful sound, and I am happy with either. The sound that I heard was a very filling sound with much detail, and the set up was able to give a very energetic performance. But it tended to be a bit too much, and the balance was somewhat off-putting in places with the Mids a bit again laid back.
For me was like going back in time but with the beauty of using new technology. The 300b is a classic tube and has its special sound and is an excellent value for money. To see a 300b placed in a beautiful state of the art unit was a joy. The best 300b tube owned was made by a company in America, so you are welcome to visit their webpage and have a look at their Tubes.
A very inviting room. Well, let me expand just a bit on that. The sound was excellent indeed—warm, rich with a great sound-stage. I could have easily stayed to enjoy more.
But, time was not my friend this day as I had so much to cover. Would I be happy to have this in my home you may ask, and the reply is yes? I would be more than glad to have this beautifully sounding set up in my family. Everything looks so very impressive. I just could not wait to squeeze into the full room to hear what this exciting system would sound. The amplifiers and source are all very well know and trusted units which do have a sound of their own. I will say that their sound is one that I do not like myself. But that is just me, and so I was very interested to hear how these speakers would respond to the sound as they were indeed a style which was very new to me.
The music came on, and I listened but wondered what on earth could be wrong as the sound was simply choked and had no life. I was a bit taken back by this. The second piece of music played, and this was different. I know this system could sound so much better than I was hearing, and this was a great shame for the people who were showing the technique.
When I first came to Vilnius, one of the first things I did was to find the nearest Tannoy dealer. I made good contact with him, so I would be able to keep up with Tannoy products. But when I entered the room, my heart sank. I just could not believe the setup. It was only a few pictures on the wall and a pair of speakers driven by nothing special. How did they sound? Do you ask? Well, Tannoy is Tannoy, and they can say fantastic.
If you take the time to set the speakers up in the correct way. The room size was right for these speakers but the set up low, and the sound they produced was not as good as it could have been. It lacked bass, definition and sound-stage and so I left the room very upset as I know how much better it should have been. Audio Gourmet
It was late, and I had enjoyed my day at the Audiophile – Audio Gourmet show. I decided to head home. But, on the way out, popped in for a quick look at some history. And what a great way to finish my day!
I was a delighted person and walked home with a smile on my face!
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