Northern Sound and Vision 2008


Well-known Member
Still undecided as to whether I'll be going this year, looking at the list of exhibitors it seems that the show is going back towards two channel.

Really wanted to check out some new projectors as that'll hopefully be by next upgrade.


Well-known Member
I'm a big concerned about this too - although I seem to remember a similar situation last year, but at the show there were quite a few projectors being used (Epson, PD, Optoma, etc). I'll probably go anyway, but it would be nice to have 3 or 4 projector frontrunners on display as they are one of the hardest pieces of equipment to get a good demo of.


Well-known Member
Just noticed on here...
That Chris Frost is showing differences between calibrated and non-calibrated Optoma HD80 projectors. Could be good. I remember Chris from various shows and events.
I'd quite like to hear the Onkyo Amp too.

He also mentions the Epson TW2000, but I don't really know whether that's a confirmation that it will be there to see.


Well-known Member
I was quite dissapointed with the show actually. Think I'll just stick to the Manchester city centre one in the future.

ProjectionDesign weren't there either. So that left just Optoma HD80s and the Epson TW2000.

I didn't spend much time with the Epson, but the HD80 did look great, just a shame I can't accommodate the offset. Good to see a DLP that doesn't have RBE for me, as I've been quite susceptible to it before.

Looks like I'll be taking a trip over to Roy Jowetts in the coming months to get a demo of the competition.


Active Member
I was very disappointed with the show as a there was'nt much with regards to vision. It seemed to be aimed more at the hifi purist.

I was impressed with the difference between the 2 HD80's, the calibrated one was so much better.

The Monitor Audio Platinums were amazing but the Quad electrostatics were better.


Standard Member
Hi All. Went across to the show at the Radisson today, my first time at a proper show, and I thought it was very impressive. I could`nt believe the excitement for Vinyl!! I used to use all my Dads LP`s as frisbee`s and some 60`s stuff were going at £70 an album...bugger!!! Had a good walk around the show, and it was very busy (Saturday was too I heard). The MacIntosh room was very busy, and although not having a tuned ear, thought the sound was excellent, what do you guys think of Mac stuff?

I will certainly consider future shows, thinks its great to be able to see and hear the latest products.....just need to sell some copiers now and earn enough commission to get myself some gear!



Well-known Member
I had a good time, but I had to work hard to find the enjoyable bits. I spent quite a bit of time with the Epson projector. It's a great machine and the package deal at the show (with screen, cable, mount, etc) went quite a long way to removing the daftness of the UK RRP.
I can see that most people would be overjoyed with this PJ - good colour in its best mode and ample brightness. Really bright in the Dynamic mode, and I understand you can tame the colours slightly and still retain most of that brightness.
I'm not sure it's a big enough leap over my CRT to spend just yet, but many would prefer it.

I'm not a big fan of budget DLP machines and I didn't think the HD80 was for me - I found the sharpness to be artificial-looking. Chris had definitely worked wonders with flesh tones and detail in the bright scenes though.

I was really gutted not to see the projection designs M25. It should be a real contender.

2-channel wise, I was staggered to hear high-end systems sounding really poor. I didn't hear all the rooms by any means, but I absolutely hated 3 or 4 of the big players (and found it hard to believe that anyone could like them regardless of tastes). Some rooms did what they do very well, but just don't do anything for me (McIntosh being one of those).

Audio highlights for me were the Audio Note and The Audio Works rooms. For such a modestly priced system the Audio Note stuff really excelled at drums and strings. I found it fascinating.

All-in-all, I don't think I'll go next year unless there's a product which I absolutely must see.

One of the highlights of these shows is hearing wonderful music, which I wouldn't have considered before. Now I've got the challenge of trying to remember what they all were!


Well-known Member
I'm not a big fan of budget DLP machines and I didn't think the HD80 was for me - I found the sharpness to be artificial-looking. Chris had definitely worked wonders with flesh tones and detail in the bright scenes though.

I thought Chris had done a great job with the HD80, and have his card in a safe place.

I'm not sure it's a big enough leap over my CRT to spend just yet, but many would prefer it.

You don't by chance own an Ellie do you?


Well-known Member
No, it's a Barco BG808 - a bit soft now, but still great at so many things.
It's probably bettered by a few projectors now, but enough to justify the outlay? Not for me at the moment from what I've seen of the budget projectors. Maybe this time next year unless I get swept away by the projection design M25 when I see it at Bristol.


Active Member
I was beginning to think I had wasted my time and the money I had been ripped off for parking. Lots of exotic equipment that was way out of my price range. Like tryingtimes I didn't really enjoy a lot of the systems but given the price tags I though I just had sub-standard ears. Maybe I am just spoiled by constantly listening to "compromised" AV stuff. Maybe the esoterica is too revealing for me ("You can't handle the truth!" as Jack once said). I did quite like the B&W Nautiluses (Nautili?) and was impressed with the Dali Megalines but it is hard not to impressed with a speaker that towers over you to that extent. I also liked the Tannoy Revolution Signatures which I thought would be easy to get along with.

It wasn't until I got up to the top floor that I found much directly relevant to my requirements. I didn't see the before and after demo in the Lucid room but I did spend a good deal of time in there chatting. The Themescene is a nice little unit but what impressed me more was the Epson TW2000 in the Sapphire Screens room. Not a great deal of demo material on hand but the picture on their new tab-tensioned screen looked good to me. The Epson suffers because of its pricing in the UK but as part of the show package it was competitive with things like the AE2000 if you are in the market for a screen too. Everyone else seemed to be using plasmas. There was one room where they were demoing the Arcam Muso's and they were quite impressive for their size.

Chris Frost

Well-known Member
My thanks to TryingTimes (Alex), MiniHolic, Jagr, and Endeavour for the positive comments.

It is regrettable that I didn't have time to set up and run the Epsom TW2000 along side the two HD80's. Those of us exhibiting in bedrooms only had access from lunchtime on Friday for setting up. That didn't leave much time to get the gear in and build our displays for Saturday. Still, we managed to install a pair of projectors and calibrate one, show Sonos, Pronto, Nevo, a Planar 37” LCD, Onkyo 875, Focal 5.1 speaker package, Bluray & HD DVD, build a false wall to hang a screen on and install some acoustic panels; so we didn't do too bad. It was a very big build in a very short time.

This might be the last time I'm able take a room of my own. It is becoming increasingly difficult to recoup the costs.

A small exhibitor like me can easily write off £2500 for a two day show and see very little return. It's vital that we sell at these shows, and to do so we pull out all the stops to get some great show deals. I had some stonking offers: 20% off Themescene/Onkyo/Focal cinema packages, deals on Sonos & speaker packages, Pronto deals that beat internet prices by 15% and 25%, and yet despite seeing hundreds of people over two days not one person made a serious enquiry or has followed up with a phone call.

What is perhaps just as frustrating is that there seems to be a real strong demand for a shootout event; and I could quite easily arrange Epsom, Themescene, Sim2, JVC, Videkron, Cineversum, Infocus, PD and Planar, but unless there was some prospect of making sales on the day it just wouldn't be worth the effort. This market really has got itself in to a right old mess. Can anyone see a way forward?

Back to this weekends show, thanks to everyone who turned up. I hope your visit to the Lucid AV room proved useful and I'll be happy to discuss any work with you when you are ready.

All the very best,

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