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Bristol Show Review

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Speakers' started by fred123go, Feb 22, 2004.

  1. fred123go

    fred123go
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    WOW, had a listen to these and i have decided these are the speakers for my room. The soundstage they create is simply staggering for their size, they were using a AX5i to power them, and they simply amazed me. I will be getting a demo at a store within the next few months, as i doubt they have them anywhere as these are pretty new, and make my final decision.
    What did everyone else think of these?
    Shame they didn't play any film material with them, but with a SACD or dvd audio the sound was breath taking.
    Also i didn't get to ask the reps many questions but do you think these lil beauties could handle power from a rotel 1075 and a rotel 1070?!
    I am hesitent to upgrade my speakers as i think they are fab, but would sound much better in a bigger room. The kefs are also definately more aesthetically pleasing :p
    The other Kefs are great, i think it is the 9000's. definately better but i can't afford them at the minute.
    Nothing else i heard there in my price range, and beyond made me want to change my speakers, i went into and hear every single room in the hotel at bristol.
    But there was one exception, for those of you who have 100k to spend, GET THE MERIDIAN set up. Just get it, or have a listen then get it. Better than anything i have heard, any cinema. stunning.
    fred
     
  2. buns

    buns
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    does they have thx logos? :p

    ad
     
  3. Ian J

    Ian J
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    Spent the day at Bristol doing the rounds with Nobber22 and Stevegreen and good company they were too. Started off with Tons of Fun demoing the Mordaunt Short THX setup with two floorstanders each with an integral subwoofer plus matching centre and surrounds. At £1,500 this was probably one of the cheapest setups in the whole place yet sounded great with Fast & Furious and The Animatrix. The system had a little help from an extra sub as the room was very large with 15 ' high ceilings but this system had no trouble filling the room with a splendid sound that I would be very happy to have in my living room. Many manufacturers cheat by hiding someone else's huge, expensive sub behind a curtain but the extra sub that was providing bags of low down grunt here was a £500 Mordaunt Short jobbie that should have more recognition than it does.

    Denon as usual provided the most professional demo of the day but the CRT projector was gone this year to be replaced by a Marantz jobbie. SACD of Pink Floyd was good, DVDA of Tubular Bells 2003 was better but the real sonic stars were the film clips of Once Upon a Time in Mexico, Peter Gabriel Live and Lord of The Rings. The Denon boys were using PMC speakers but the real star was the huge centre speaker through which the Lord of The Rings sounded the most cinematic of anything I've ever heard.

    Considering that the demos took place either in huge boardrooms or tiny bedrooms, there isn't any worse way to demonstrate speakers but many tried their best to damp down the rooms by hanging curtains or other fabric round the room which helped a lot. I won't go into great depth on the speakers that we listened to but suffice it to say that we heard some good stuff from Dynaudio, PMC, Ruark and Wilson Benesch plus some truly great stuff from Pro-Ac and Totem, the latter in the form of £900 per pair standmounters that will hit the shops shortly.

    The stand out moment for me was the M&K room where they had the top of the range passive speakers at the front, 150's at the sides and the column rears all helped along with a 350 sub. They had found a DVD that I have never heard of called Drumline and the scene that they were playing was 100 or so college students marching along playing drums. This scene showed the M&K's to their best advantage as they captured not only the crisp snap of each and every drum beat but also the thunderous power of the bass drums. At the end of each drumming session the drummers dropped their drumsticks to the floor and you could hear the sound of each and every drumstick hitting the concrete. A truly remarkable demo that played to the strengths of the speakers and made me re-affirm my faith in M&K.

    As a lover of all things bassy I was disappointed with the subwoofery on offer. It was very good of the organizers to put three sub manufacturers next to each other but REL didn't have theirs playing and the room was too hot, MJ Acoustics are normally good but not this year and Vibe were trying to shake the hotel to bits with the huge volume of distorted bass that their offering was putting out.

    The two standout subwoofers at opposite ends of the price spectrum were the immensely powerful and expensive M&K 350 plus the £500 Mordaunt Short offering.

    We didn't have time for the lower ground floor as we were still trying to listen to more speakers as they were packing up. Never mind, there's always next year.
     
  4. darrens

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    Interesting read - particularly the MS stuff because I've just installed that system (hopefully finishing tonight) in my lounge.

    I don't think the bass will be letting me down but, just in case, was the extra sub installed instead of the integral subs or as well as?
     
  5. Nobber22

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    Both the integral subs and a larger seperate sub were playing together, but only because it was a large room with very high ceiling and about 40 people crammed into it.

    You should have no bass worries at home. :)
     
  6. stevegreen

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    This is a point that I was making yesterday, a lot of the stuff demoed was in either a big room or a very small one making it very difficult to guage what would sound good in your room without the £5k amplification and the £8k worth of speaker cables which, simply put, is way out of range for me and possibly a lot of people who were there.

    Take for instance the MS room, the demo speakers were toed in enormously, to an extent that you probably wouldn't consider at home, but there, in that siutation, it sounded good.
     
  7. Ian J

    Ian J
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    That was the £300 stereo pair and it seems that they were toed in to that extent to try and drown out the noise from next door's subwoofer.
     
  8. fred123go

    fred123go
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    Ok i dunno if you want to hear it but here are my views anyway :p
    first of all this show was fantastic and had pretty much every make out there with a wide selection of their kit.
    Me and my mate were mainly looking at projectors and home cinema systems, i went with my uncle and mum (who were auditioning high end stereo kit for my mum)
    will start with the system that stood out. Meridian all digital active kit, featuring their newest dvd player and processor (can't remember the models) and their flagship front three and a following 4 active speakers. WOW. i said this in my other thread but it was fantastic with a scene from sea biscuit. The meridian lads also gave a fab presentation. They put on some dvd audio stuff that sounded superb as well. i know it is 100k worth of kit but listening to it justify's spending that dosh.
    Next was the KEF demo-displaying the new KEF KHT 9000's and the KEF KHT 5005's. Both superb speakers, particularly the 5005's which i will get to replace my M&K's when they come out.
    Moving on...heard the Naim system. This on the other hand did not impress me and i thought it rather 'bright'. Probably goign to stir up some trouble with naim lovers but hey it is my opinion.
    M&K's...this was what i was looking forward the most. I couldn't wait to hear the S-150's across the front, possibly the actives which i dissapointingly found out were not on show, but was still pleased to hear the 150 passives. I was annoyed with the material used, robby williams in concert. I wasn't impressed. Not only did it have the slightly bright sound, might have been the soundtrack...probably was..but i just didn't feel it a worthwhile improvement over my present M&K's. And tbh i have decided that the M&K sound is not for me.
    Went to the M-S presentation partenered with the marantz flagship equipment. I was impressed, especially with the bass and they declared the lil sub at the back helped a bit, but also the clarity the speakers had, i had them partenered with my old pioneer 2011...and the demo shows how much an improvement the amplification has over their performance as they are hard to driive.
    One question tho-why don't sony ever make an effort?!
    i can't be bothered to type everythign from the show but there are my thoughts
    fred
     
  9. gazzerr

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    Ian

    What ProAc's did you listen to?
     
  10. Ian J

    Ian J
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    Response 25 stereo pair and they were sublime. Didn't have time for an extended listen as it was 4.30 and we had three more rooms to see
     
  11. stevegreen

    stevegreen
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    If i had £100k I think I'd rather buy a small house to rent out :D
     
  12. ukaudiophile

    ukaudiophile
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    Hello,

    If high end stereo speaker were your thing then you really should have heard the TACT system. They had a brand new pair of Dali Helios floor standing speakers with a pair of passive subs. The subs were in the corner with the Helios speakers (3 ways with a ribbon tweeter) well clear of side and rear walls. The whole thing was driven by a pair of digital stereo amps. The pre amp was a TACT RCS 2.2X (RCS being Room Correction System). The system run without RCS was good but not outstanding, when the RCS was activated the difference was phenomenal.

    I'd go as far as saying the TACT room was the most impressive room there with the exception of the Townshend Audio room, with the Glastonbury III speakers and a new pre / power combo from Townshend audio using a 380W / ch stereo digital amp and a Townshend 565 universal player (a heavily modified Pioneer 565 with all new power supplies and filtering circuits). The speakers were £12,000 with amplification running another £6,000, but the end result was outstanding, even given the lousy acoustics of the room.

    I could go on, but for stereo these two systems really blew me away, though if more reasonably priced systema are your thing, the PMC GB1 speakers (£995) with Bryston B60 DAC equipped integrated and £250 TASCAM CD recorder was hard to beat and would be my third place choice for best stereo sound of the show.

    Best wishes,

    Dave
     
  13. Ian J

    Ian J
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    I wanted to but it seemed to be locked up on the Sunday afternoon when we looked in.
     
  14. Sly

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    gotta say it was the PMC demo's for me!
    those tiny floor standers (GB1's@£995) put on a gobsmacking display , that much bass in a 4'' drive unit had me looking round the room for a sub!
    has to be said i think you would want to buy the bigger models (FB1's and OB1's) if you have a large room or like to give it some stick , they were the stand out speaker for me at the show simply because of the clarity of sound vs price point.
    just hope i win that competion to win 'em now!!

    p.s. anyone else see that high def demo on the sim2 stand.....:eek:
     
  15. Sly

    Sly
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    when i went to the runco room on sunday they were closing up too.....wanted to see what they were like vs the sim2 stuff.......maybe next year......
     
  16. MuFu

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    Those GB1s look great. I have only ever heard the DB1 and FB1 (and the DB1 has freaky bass for it's size). How does it compare? I notice it uses a fabric tweeter instead.
     
  17. Sly

    Sly
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    not heard the dinkybox1's i'm afraid , nor the old tweeters....all i can say is what i heard at the show was cracking!but the bass on the GB1's was crazy for the size of the boxes and the guy said their new tweeter is a vast improvement over the old one.

    p.s. i am sure the guy said the old tweeter was made for them buy a third party but this one they make themselves.
     
  18. ukaudiophile

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    Hello,

    Make no mistake about it, the FB1 and DB1 are great speakers, and for me still represent excellent value for money, but the GB1 uses the tweeter off the £2,400 OB1, and they stick it in a speaker selling for under £1K. The bass unit is out of the DB1, but it's the tuning of the transmission line which is where the real magic is. As has been mentioned, the DB1 put's out crazy bass for it's size (it is still the World's smallest transmission line speaker) but now the transmission line is much larger and uses more sophiticated materials, the bass output increases in proportion to the increased size of the transmission line (though there are a LOT of variables governing the behaviour of a transmission line). If you have the money and the space then you would, naturally, buy the OB1, which for me is one of the finest sub £2,500 speakers available today, but at under £1K, right now, I think the GB1 is going to be incredibly tough to beat.

    Best wishes,

    Dave
     
  19. ukaudiophile

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    Hi Sly,
    You weren't the only one, the guys running the PMC room were asked over 30 times by Saturday night "Where's the sub?", so by the end of Sunday it was probably over 50 times.

    I didn't see the hi-def on the SIM 2 stand, but I did see a JVC D-Theater demo in the Pioneer room running into a rather nice 50" or so plasma screen. Now I'm no fan of plasma screens, I prefer front projection, but even my long suffering wife admitted she really liked the image on the plasma, and she felt the D-Theater deck was an excellent source. I was also interested to learn that you can now buy a Euro 1080 receiver and dish for about £500 and have broadcast Hi-Def TV in your home now without needing a PC to view it. If the JVC deck can record this at full resolution then this may be on the shopping list by the summer.

    Best wishes,

    Dave
     
  20. Gordon @ Convergent AV

    Gordon @ Convergent AV
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    The JVC deck can't record it as far as I know. It's a 60Hz device and Euro1080 is a 50Hz source signal

    Gordon
     
  21. Ed Selley

    Ed Selley
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    Firstly, thanks for those that came to visit us :) and I'm thrilled to see some of the comments that have appeared here. As ever we aim to please and I'm glad that we seemed to hit the target more times than we missed it.

    My favourite speaker is a subjective one in that as Fred pointed out, most of them are nothing without proper sources (ours included) but I would say that my best stereo pair were the JM labs in the Chord room and best multichannel was the M&K rig. My favourite system however was the Exposure units- they sounded 95% as good as the Chord gear at a quarter of the price and through their "second choice" speakers!
     

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