Kegworth Show Information

The information for this year's show is now live at www.thehifishow.com or by clicking on the show banner below.

NON EXHIBITOR ROOMS NOW OPEN - Special Offer....Stay Saturday, join in all the build up excitement on Sat night and then gain FREE access to the show on Sunday

LAST MINUTE WAM HIFI SHOW AVAILABILITY - ONLY A FEW EXHIBITOR ROOMS LEFT - ONLY 5 SLEEP ONLY ROOMS LEFT - ONLY 3 BIG SYSTEM SPACES LEFT

josh

Thoughts from a hifi show virgin/my mini review

Recommended Posts

Hi all,

After being a member here for ten years now, I finally made it to Scalford and my first real audio show (well I went to the National Audio Show in Sept but didn't have much time to spend listening properly). Firstly it was absolutely fantastic and I'm deeply impressed by the efforts made by the organisers and exhibitors. Thanks everyone.

I was a bit of a man-on-a-mission and managed to see pretty much every room twice, some three to four times. I won't comment on them all but here are my general takeaways from the event (which won't be news to any of you, likely, so feel free to skip on) and then some specific mentions.

General learnings:

- Firstly, I now have a real appreciation for when people say that the biggest factor in hifi sound is the interaction between the speakers and the room. I heard some systems that probably should have been great sound merely 'ok' (dare I say, 'adequate') and it was clear that room acoustics played a part in that. I won't be buying speakers blind in future.

- Vinyl - I finally get it! I have heard one or two b2b comparisons between a CD and a record but found the differences very minor. This is the first time I've really understood why people prefer vinyl. It was bought home early on in the show in James' room where someone played a Kraftwerk track on CD and then James put on a vinyl track of theirs and it sounded significantly better. Maybe it was the particular recording, I don't know, but I found I preferred the sound in several other rooms when a record was playing vs a CD on the same system. That said, I don't have the money to invest in it, but it was good to finally hear.

- So much comes down to recording quality - I played a track that I find quite bright in my system in a few rooms and it was somewhat gratifying to hear that although these more expensive systems did a bit of a better job of it, it still didn't sound brilliant through them, compared to other tracks they played. It's good to know it isn't just my hifi but at the same time a shame that most of my collection seems to consist of not very well recorded stuff. At least I know I can learn to accept it rather than feel I need to spend lots to try and make them sound right.

- I think one does need a bit of guidance as to how to listen too. Just one example but there was one room I loved and on mentioning it to someone, they said, 'Yes but you can really hear the different drivers working' and when I went back, I realised they were right. Some may argue, 'So what?' if the sound is one you like, but once I was aware of it, it did bug me.

Specific rooms I enjoyed greatly:

Firstly my three favourite rooms of the show: ijrussell (Meitner DAC, Aleph clone, Harbeth P3ESRs) - yes Ian that was me visiting your room about 3-4 times - just lovely and I was deeply impressed by the big sound those small speakers gave. I enjoyed them also in Nagraboy & Soupchooser's room with the Rega Apollo/Chord Hugo source. I may well audition these now.

The second room was Oldius and It Cost How Much!?! with the JBL L96s. JBLs were the other big discovery of the show for me (and I wasn't the only one from conversations I overheard). It was just fantastic. I heard a number of different tracks played and they all sounded great (nice record collection). I also enjoyed Audioflyer's room with the L40s and if I were to look at a pair of JBLs, these would probably fit better in my lounge than the larger L96s.

I'm keen to hear both the Harbeths and JBLs in my lounge now, though I'm aware both setups had well chosen source equipment that I'd need to find also.

The third was df_genius' FrugalHorn XLs - I loved the sound of these and they played my difficult test track pretty well. I asked him how much they were and he told me they were DIY! I was deeply impressed and this drove home the point to me that one really doesn't need to spend huge sums on a system. I'm a huge fan of these.

Otherwise, it was good to finally hear some Audio Note speakers. I now understand why they are such a popular choice on here. I feel they need to have careful equipment partnering though or they can sound a bit harsh.

Harv and Navi's room with the Focal 927be - Focals seem to get slagged off frequently on here but I really enjoyed them. I have to say a lot of systems often sound bright to me (I think I have treble sensitive hearing) but I didn't notice it that much with these speakers, that are often accused of being far too bright.

Gromit's room with the Q Acoustics 3010s was also impressive for the scale of sound one can get from small speakers.

Loo and Bandit Pilot's room - both the AE Ref 2s and Rehdekos were clear and lively without being fatiguing and I liked the sound from the CD player too. I might investigate that as a replacement for my Planet.

Brumjam's Impulse H2s - They were lovely and smooth but unfortunately I only ever heard them being played with noodly jazz so it was hard to tell how they'd sound with rock/drum'n'bass - I had the feeling they'd be great and it's a shame I didn't get to hear them with more genres.

Lastly but not leastly, Testure and meninblack's room - great choice of music and I enjoyed the sound from this system too.

Having singled these out, I don't think there were any bad rooms at all and I had an enjoyable time everywhere. It was also great to discover so much new music, in particular, Tel's Urban Species album, that I ended hearing on different systems and I heard appreciative comments from others too.

Many thanks to all involved once again!

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest

Thanks for the kind words Josh. I'm glad that you enjoyed your first experience of Scalford.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Glad you enjoyed the Harbeths and the overall show. I think with your Rega CD and Naim amp, you're just right for some P3ESRs now! :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Super Wammer

Harv and Navi's room with the Focal 927be - Focals seem to get slagged off frequently on here but I really enjoyed them. I have to say a lot of systems often sound bright to me (I think I have treble sensitive hearing) but I didn't notice it that much with these speakers, that are often accused of being far too bright.

Haha, anything to do with the late substitution my Icon Audio 845 amps and MFA preamp by any chance? I think Harv and Navi were a bit non plussed by my valves but beggers can't be choosers eh boys if you blow up one of your amps the night before a show!

Nick

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Haha' date=' anything to do with the late substitution my Icon Audio 845 amps and MFA preamp by any chance? I think Harv and Navi were a bit non plussed by my valves but beggers can't be choosers eh boys if you blow up one of your amps the night before a show!

Nick[/quote']

Stunning wamming there ☺

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This was my first Scalford event and it wont be my last!

Very impressed at how well the Hotel catered for everyone laying out chairs and tables for the exhibitors.

It was a pleasure helping my friend (Phil) represent Lodgesound (unfortunately Stuart couldn't make it, due to emergency surgery) in the Lounge area, first of all the area was amazing! Couldn't of asked for a better room to spend most of my Sunday in! It was really nice to talk to some of you on Sat night and Sunday, your all such a friendly bunch :D just drawn to the event for the love of your and other exhibitors equipment/music which is fantastic.

I spent most of my day in the lounge with the reel-2-reels and it was wonderful to hear the LS5/8's in such a large room, l have heard them before in a pretty big room bit no where near the size of the lounge they filled it with little to no effort and when the levels were pushed up a bit sounded sublime, plus with the Quad 405 MKII's it was effortless to listen to them for hours.

Personally out of the three reel-2-reels I think the Sony APR-5003 was the best sounding with the Studer A80 and Nagra T not far behind.

The highlight for me was listing to The Dark Side of the Moon album Phil and I mastered on the Thursday before coming up on the Saturday, never heard the album sound like that before a truly memorable/audio experience!

I did get a change to have a wander around some of the rooms and was amazed at the diversity of equipment from smaller setups to some insane setups!

Looking forward to 2017!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Moderator

Thanks for your kind words Josh and for your repeat visits. If I can be of any help in a jbl hunt then just let me know.

Sent from my SM-G920F using Tapatalk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Josh, it was nice to meet you, I liked your test track :) David.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Haha, anything to do with the late substitution my Icon Audio 845 amps and MFA preamp by any chance? I think Harv and Navi were a bit non plussed by my valves but beggers can't be choosers eh boys if you blow up one of your amps the night before a show!

Nick

Stunning wamming there ☺

Most definitely... answering a distress call at 6.30am on morning of the show... Thanks Nick! :^

I wouldn't say non plussed... needed a little getting used too and with a lot of things they sounded fab (especially when it wasn't my erm 'music' :zip:), enjoyed my time with them and your preamp is a definite step up over mine. The focals made some very nice sounds through out the day. Not sure its converted me into a toob-head just yet but has opened the possibility that they might be investigated again in the future. Can fully understand that your amp setup is a bit special and why you love them :)

I mean anything that can get me to appreciate texture and naturalness must be pretty good :D

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.