***Official NYC HT Expo 2000 Thread*** Still happy with what I have and other notes.

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Larry B, May 31, 2002.

  1. Larry B

    Larry B Screenwriter

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    Administrator's NOTE: As people return from the NYC Home Entertainment Expo 2000 show there are lots of pertinent things to discuss. In order to keep things in order I have taken two threads, one started by Larry B and another one by Ricky T (our NJ connections) and merged them into a single "Official Thread." The original messages appear in chronological order of posting. Please try to keep all Expo related discussions here to avoid multiple threads.

    Thank you.

    We now return you to Larry B's original posting....
    (Note: Ricky T's original message appears in position #10 here)

    ---------------------------------------------------------


    [I also posted this at HTT]

    I spend most of yesterday at the Home Entertainment Expo at the Hilton Hotel in NYC. In addition to an almost unimaginable amount of fantastic gear, I also met a number of "dignitaries" in the audio world, inluding (among others) Chip Stern and Kalman Rubinson of Stereophile (BTW, Kal and I taught a class together many, many moons ago); David Chesky (who has just released a set of speakers. When asked why he decided to go into the speaker business, he explained that it was because everyone was stealing his recordings, via Napster and CD-R); Richard van Dersteen; and Victor Khomenko of Balanced Audio Technology. But I digress.

    While wandering from room to room, I finally reached the end of the 6th floor and there it was: The Outlaw room. As many of you know, I am primarily a 2-channel guy but after all that has transpired on this and other forums, it was not possible for me to resist. So, with all the excitement and trepidation of a pimply-faced teenager
    on his first date, I entered.

    I had a chance to look at all their wares, and I took a seat for a very nice HT demonstration. (About 10 minutes of "Vertical Limits," using Atlantic technology speakers. I'll let you guess as to the electronics.) More importantly, when the demo ended I introduced myself to Peter, the Outlaw running the demonstration. He was courteous, level-headed, and (like this writer) somewhat flabergasted by the passions his products have evoked. If (as has been suggested countless times) he is part of a major conspiracy, it was not apparent, even to my jaded, mistrusting, New Yawker eyes.

    So there you have it. The Outlaws are human, nice, and apparently just a bunch of hard-working guys who, like the rest of us, are trying to make a living. All-in-all pretty normal, if you ask me.

    Larry

    P.S. The demo sounded pretty good but keep in mind that I don't know squat about HT.
     
  2. Jed M

    Jed M Cinematographer

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    Hey Larry, how much did you get knocked off your 950 for writing this? [​IMG] Sorry, but I just felt weird having an outlaw thread without somebody assuming the worst.
    Glad to hear from you that they are such nice folks up there, have fun at the rest of the show. [​IMG]
     
  3. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    For Larry, his cost was $666 [​IMG]
     
  4. Larry B

    Larry B Screenwriter

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    Je and Patrick:
    LOL. Actually, it didn't even occur to me to ask for a bribe. (Honesty may be the best policy, but it sure won't make you rich! [​IMG] )
    Larry
     
  5. Doug_B

    Doug_B Screenwriter

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    I was at the show today and wandered into the Outlaw room. Peter had an interesting opening discussion with the crowd before starting the demo. It included asking folks about whether they liked or disliked the power button and the Outlaw emblem, and some comments on their internet business model and related items. Also of note, he asked if there were any Home Theater Forum members in attendance; I believe I was the only one there. He then went into a brief discussion of the 950 delays. He never asked me if I owned any Outlaw equipment, but he poked fun at me with respect to the lively 950 discussions on this forum.

    Doug
     
  6. ling_w

    ling_w Second Unit

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    I was at the show Thur and Friday, but didn't go into the Outlaw room. There is just too many other 2ch systems to listen too, plus there were alot of time wasted in the 2nd/4th flr waiting in line for those big room demonstrations.

    But I went to the Outlaw room last year, learned nothing new then.
     
  7. Michael Mohrmann

    Michael Mohrmann Screenwriter

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    "But I went to the Outlaw room last year, learned nothing new then."

    "I was at the show Thur and Friday, but didn't go into the Outlaw room. There is just too many other 2ch systems to listen too..."

    I am a little baffled by that last comment. Besides the need to trash any prepro thread that does not proclaim that the Meridian can't be beat (hence the first quote), why would you even care about 2 channel systems? Why even waste the time in those rooms when music done the "Meridian" way is a no-brainer in your book?

    Michael
     
  8. ling_w

    ling_w Second Unit

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  9. Craig F

    Craig F Second Unit

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    Real Name:
    Craig
     
  10. Ricky T

    Ricky T Supporting Actor

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    I just got back from the Expo in NYC. First time I've been to one of these shows. Nice stuff, lots of room, so many people, but I did run into Steven Simon and LarryB. Mentioned my name to Peter in the Outlaw room and got some chuckles [​IMG] I wasn't able to hear the Outlaw 7.1 demo because Peter couldn't get the Yamaha dvd player to output 5.1, and my friend was calling me on my cell phone.
    Listened to some nice music setups...got home, listened to my 2 channel system and still very happy. I have the sound I want, and realize that I'd have to spend thousands more to make the upgrade worthwhile. Do you guys feel the same way after these shows?
    My 2 channel path is:
    Parasound cdc1500 cd changer >> Parasound DAC1600 >> Rogue 66 Tube preamp >> Parasound 2200II dual-mono 250x2 >> NHT 3.3s
    Cables are audioquest midnight biwire and ruby rca interconnects. The sound is lush, smooth, and big. The parasound changer/dac combo has a noticeably deeper, more holographic, and wider soundstage than the Panasonic RP91. The bass is deep and powerful, feels like I have bass shakers [​IMG] Everything including cables retailed at ~ $11k, I bought everything used except for the Rogue....paid about $4500 total...can you beat this full range sytem for under $5k out of pocket [​IMG]
    The hardware is done for a long time (even in Ricky years). My next couple of tweaks are: replacing the coaxial digital connection between the changer and dac with an AES/EBU cable, and perhaps upgrading the cheap stock tubes in my Rogue. Along with the sound that I want, I have the convenience of HT bypass unity gain, remote volume control, and a changer [​IMG]
     
  11. BruceD

    BruceD Screenwriter

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    Ricky,

    What is the difference between the Parasound CDC changer DACs and the Parasound DAC1600? What do you hear?

    I'm currently running the same CDC1500 changer through a Parasound 1100D preamp and Parasound 1205a amp to my Dynaudios. Really good sound.
     
  12. Ricky T

    Ricky T Supporting Actor

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    The changer uses two 18bit burr-brown 67p dacs, and retailed $650 (before Adam upgrade).
    http://www.parasound.com/service_inf...d/cdc1500.html
    The dac1600 has True balanced digital dual differential configuration, Low jitter Crystal CS8412 digital receiver, Four premium Burr-Brown PCM 63P-K DACs, Three separate power transformers, and retailed at $1600.
    http://www.parasound.com/service_inf...d/dac1600.html
    I haven't connected the parasound changer via analog out yet to my rogue preamp, but would bet that the DAC1600 is adding value to my sound. You should try one, there are 3-4 1600HD dacs on audiogon, each asking only $350-400 dollars. Here's one with a nice pic:
    http://cgi.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/cl.p...onv&1027228248
     
  13. BeatCrazy

    BeatCrazy Stunt Coordinator

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    Interesting observations, Ricky.
    I've always thought a good system properly set up will smack a "high-dollar" system that's just been thrown together. That's usually what you find at these shows. I'll bet your system is really enjoyable now with all your recent upgrades.
    Are you sure you don't wanna try SACD again? [​IMG]
     
  14. Justin Doring

    Justin Doring Screenwriter

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    "Listened to some nice music setups...got home, listened to my 2 channel system and still very happy. I have the sound I want, and realize that I'd have to spend thousands more to make the upgrade worthwhile. Do you guys feel the same way after these shows?"

    Absolutely! Whenever I listen to my NHT/Classe'/Sony system after a show, dealer demo, or visit to a fellow audiophile's house, I realize that I have one of the best sounding systems I've ever heard. I've heard systems many times the price of mine that don't even come close. I don't know if it's my room or system synergy or a combination of things, but I do love my system, which is probably a rare feeling among audiophiles. My system has its weaknesses, of course, but I've come to realize that to get significantly better sound I'd have to spend a minimum of $75,000.
     
  15. Ricky T

    Ricky T Supporting Actor

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    Sam,
    Perhaps these manufacturers do have/bring the same system hardware from their sound rooms. However, the speakers may not be matched to the various sizes of Hilton hotel rooms. Some of them did significant room treatment, others did not.
    I am not ready to make substantial redbook to sacd upgrades in my cd collection, plus the sacd selection is not great yet. I felt, for ~ $600 used, the parasound changer/dac combo fit my needs better, and better than the DACs in stock Sony ES SACD players. And the recently released and future DACs under $1500 retail are supposed to bring redbook to near SACD performance (ie, Music Fidelity, Bel Canto).
    Justin,
    I don't know about $75k, I think a $30k retail system could be noticeably better. Whether the extra expense is worth it is another matter. What about this $30k system:
    Von Schweikert VR5HSE speakers (special edition improvements, 12k retail)
    Sonic Frontiers Line3 tube preamp (5k)
    Spectron Musician II 500x2 digital amp (4k)
    Sony SCD-1 SACD player (5k)
    some super redbook DAC and decent cables (4k)
    Have you thought about expanding your 2 channel setup to 5.1? I know someone selling used 2.9/AC2 for ~ $1600 (Mr. Sam [​IMG]), my local highend dealer has a Classe SSP30 prepro for $2k demo. Add 3 amp channels like a Classe cav75 bridged to 150x3. Or get two CA100 amps, use the 4th channel to drive a $350 SVS sub for the LFE. 2.9s would rock as rears. You would have great 5.1 without sacrificing your 2 channel.
     
  16. RAF

    RAF Lead Actor

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    Ricky T,
    I echo your sentiments regarding the real value of these Expos to me. I'm not about to spend $100,000+ on a set of speakers, but I always love to sit back and listen to some of the boutique stuff to compare it with what I have. And I always walk away feeling much better with my purchasing decisions.
    My system is, by no means, cheap, but my whole home theater setup cost substantially less than some of these speaker systems. I spent many, many hours on Friday doing some serious listening to all the great sound systems being presented and watching the video products. Audio stuff like the Wilsons, and the Dynaudios and the fantastic set-up that Sony was using to showcase SACD (5 EggletonWorks Andra II speakers coupled to 5 mono block Manley 250 tub amps with Transparent cables, all professionally calibrated before demonstrating) as well as stopping by innumerable rooms on the upper floors with all types of speaker and electronics presentations.
    Much of the material being played was music I was familiar with, so I had some basis of comparison with what I hear at home. And you know something? To borrow a thought from Ricky T, I'm happier than ever with my choice of M&K 150 Speakers and Outlaw electronics. And on the Video front, my 2 year old Sony VW10HT still hangs with the big boys in terms of picture quality.
    And this is not to say that my choices are the only ones. It is obvious that many people would reach exactly the same conclusion that Ricky T. and I did. The big ticket items are great sounding and looking, but we are not that far off in terms of a similar experience at home and when you factor costs into the equation the gap disappears unless you have infinite resources.
    Ricky T,
    With your permission I would like to make this the official NYC Home Entertainment Expo thread so that people can share their impressions of the show and related matters. That way we can keep things consolidated. I like your original premise, so I'll keep the gist of the title intact. (within the character count limit of the title) O.K.?
     
  17. Joe Mollura

    Joe Mollura Stunt Coordinator

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    I visited Outlaws booth and listened to the Vertical Limit demo as well. I would have loved to hear it some more but with lines of people waiting they obviously had to limit the demo. Peter seemed like a very nice guy, and even made a joke about all the press the 950 gets on this forum. He even joked about users being able to hear a hiss when "putting there ears up to there speakers". I asked if a "higher end" preamp was still in the works, he said "yes, but it's certainly not going to cost $900." I know this has nothing to do with this thread but yesterday was the first time I heard the Anthem AV 20 and the Krell Showcase. Man I wish I could spend $3000-$4000 on a preamp. Both of theses units are beautifully made and from what I heard sound very impressive.
    PS-A little birdie also told me that you will see a review in a major publicaton of the 950 very soon! [​IMG]
    Sorry guys this was obviously suppose to be on a different thread.
     
  18. RAF

    RAF Lead Actor

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    Joe,
    My apologies. Your posting occurred just as I was merging the NYC Expo threads into one thread. (Ironically, your comment in an "Outlaw" thread that you would like to mention other equipment from the show is one of the reasons I decided to act on this merger before the rest of our community returns from the show today.)
    Now that everything is in place people should be able to find their way around. Anything related to the Expo and HTF members' experiences is fair game.
     
  19. RAF

    RAF Lead Actor

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    Regarding AIX and their "Stage" modes versus "Audience" modes - Last year, like lots of you I was able to get a copy of the free AIX demo DVD-A/V disc. I liked some of the music so much that I tried, unsuccessfully, over the past year to buy some of actual recordings.
    The titles were delayed again and again so I was pleasantly surprised when at least a few titles were made available for the show. In talking to the AIX personnel I found out that the reason for the delay was because people had insisted that a 2 channel stereo mix also be on the final products and this was the major reason for the delay.
    Last night I had a chance to listen to a couple of my purchases ("Zephyr Singers" and "Nitty Gritty Surround") and I have to admit that these titles have a little bit of something for everyone, thanks to DVD technology.
    The 96/24 presentations are available as a DVD-A "stage" mix using MLP, DD5.1 "Audience" mix, DTS 5.1 "Stage" mix and even in 96kHz/24bits STEREO for those who don't like any of the surround gimmickry. In addition the DVD-V side has videos of all tracks.
    A most interesting, great sounding package and something that should satisfy a wide variety of listeners from "2 Channel Purists" to "Surround Fans." The only thing missing from the AIX product was SACD, but that's another matter entirely.
    If you want to hear some great sound, and have something that is compatible with everything from Redbook CD players to DVD-A, the AIX titles are very, very nice.
    If and when you want to "show off" your surround systems you can't beat these discs for source material, and if you just want to lay back and listen to some very good 2 channel sound they will provide you with that option as well.
     
  20. RAF

    RAF Lead Actor

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    P.S.
    The latest Jacintha SACD, Lush Life was available from The Elusive Disc booth. This time she's back with a hybrid Multichannel SACD disc that is compatible with everything from redbook through 2 channel SACD to multi-channel SACD.
    That should satisfy your SACD jones.
    [​IMG]
     

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