Two Items of Note from HE2005NY

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Was able to spend the day Friday at the HE2005NY show and thought I'd pass
along two observations that were for me the highlights of the show.

First let me observe that the sound quality at the show was of reasonably
high quality. There were only a couple of rooms I considered "poor", fewer
than my recollection of the past (although I haven't been for a few years).
A fellow audiophile friend, whom I met for the first time in eight years,
and has attended more recently, had the same observation.
But while the sound quality overall was quite good, very little stood out.
I use the "boy, wouldn't I like to have that sound" wow factor as a gauge,
and frankly, only one room created that for me. Otherwise, my current
system is at least "in there" with the best of the rest.

The surprise is.... the room that impressed was by today's standards a
pretty modest system....probably not costing much more than $10,000 or
12,000 dollars. It was the most modest of the three Van Schweikert rooms.
It featured an Oracle CD transport (CD2500) feeding an Oracle upsampling
preamp/DAC (DAC1000 used as DAC) which upsampled the transport to 192khz/24,
in turn feeding the modest DK Design Group's Integrated Amplifier (VS-1
Reference MKII feeding Van Schweikert VR-4jr Speakers. The sound was
incredibly transparent and dimensional, with equisit tonality from deepest
upright bass to most delicate treble..cymbal brushwork and such. The Van
Schweikert speakers for $4000 the pair strike me as exceptional
values...kind of like Thiel 2.4's only more so. The Oracle stuff is
gourgeous to look at, mimicing the look of the turntable. And the DK amp (a
hybrid tube preamp/transistor power amp design) has got to be the bargain of
the decade at only $2000. It is built like the proverbial brick .....house
but eschews fancy faceplates, etc. Since the Oracle transport was used in
the next roomm as well, and the speakers were simply bigger versions of the
4jr, the main difference had to be either/or/both the Oracle upsampler or
the DK integrated. The person attending the room seemed to feel it was the
DK. Somewhere in the last two weeks I saw a rave review of this unit (was
it IAR online?) and it may be justified. In any case, this was a system
that had it all. Thought you'd like to know.

The other really impressive thing at the show was Mark Levinson's demo of a
software-DAC package designed by Dick Burwein, and which Levinson is helping
bring to commercial fruition. It is called the "Burwein Bobcat" and in its
current guise, is a software package running on Windows XP in conjunction
with Media Player 10 and the dedicated DAC, which is connected via USB. The
unit is designed to decode 128k mp3 files and yet make them sound like a
master tape. The demo appeared to fulfill the promise, although we could
not a-b against the original which seemed a little strange. Levinson is the
consumate salesman, so I will wait and see. But what we heard (opera,
classical piano, and a pop piece chosen at random by the audience) was
smooth, emotionally engaging, and sounded exceptionally good in an analog
sort of way...very much like a master tape in fact. My guess is their is
some addition of second harmonic distortion among other things...but what
those other things are we will have to wait and see. I can only say that
these 128k excerpt were a far cry from the 192k samples that made my ears
bleed a few weeks ago on my own main system. If the technology is real and
patentable, my guess is the bigger market will be built into portable
devices, music servers, etc. rather than just being restricted to pc
software. But an interesting technology to keep an eye on.
BTW, Levinson demoed using his own small Red Rose integrated amp and some of
his larger speakers...but sitting on unfinished student bookcases. The
system sounded fine, and better than it should for it's size and price. All
I could think of is "where were these when *I* was in college?
 
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The name is Dick Burwen, btw, just in case someone wants to do a
search on what he has accomplished in audio.

Kal

On 4 May 2005 00:02:11 GMT, "Harry Lavo" <hlavo@comcast.net> wrote:

>Was able to spend the day Friday at the HE2005NY show and thought I'd pass
>along two observations that were for me the highlights of the show.
>
>First let me observe that the sound quality at the show was of reasonably
>high quality. There were only a couple of rooms I considered "poor", fewer
>than my recollection of the past (although I haven't been for a few years).
>A fellow audiophile friend, whom I met for the first time in eight years,
>and has attended more recently, had the same observation.
>But while the sound quality overall was quite good, very little stood out.
>I use the "boy, wouldn't I like to have that sound" wow factor as a gauge,
>and frankly, only one room created that for me. Otherwise, my current
>system is at least "in there" with the best of the rest.
>
>The surprise is.... the room that impressed was by today's standards a
>pretty modest system....probably not costing much more than $10,000 or
>12,000 dollars. It was the most modest of the three Van Schweikert rooms.
>It featured an Oracle CD transport (CD2500) feeding an Oracle upsampling
>preamp/DAC (DAC1000 used as DAC) which upsampled the transport to 192khz/24,
>in turn feeding the modest DK Design Group's Integrated Amplifier (VS-1
>Reference MKII feeding Van Schweikert VR-4jr Speakers. The sound was
>incredibly transparent and dimensional, with equisit tonality from deepest
>upright bass to most delicate treble..cymbal brushwork and such. The Van
>Schweikert speakers for $4000 the pair strike me as exceptional
>values...kind of like Thiel 2.4's only more so. The Oracle stuff is
>gourgeous to look at, mimicing the look of the turntable. And the DK amp (a
>hybrid tube preamp/transistor power amp design) has got to be the bargain of
>the decade at only $2000. It is built like the proverbial brick .....house
>but eschews fancy faceplates, etc. Since the Oracle transport was used in
>the next roomm as well, and the speakers were simply bigger versions of the
>4jr, the main difference had to be either/or/both the Oracle upsampler or
>the DK integrated. The person attending the room seemed to feel it was the
>DK. Somewhere in the last two weeks I saw a rave review of this unit (was
>it IAR online?) and it may be justified. In any case, this was a system
>that had it all. Thought you'd like to know.
>
>The other really impressive thing at the show was Mark Levinson's demo of a
>software-DAC package designed by Dick Burwein, and which Levinson is helping
>bring to commercial fruition. It is called the "Burwein Bobcat" and in its
>current guise, is a software package running on Windows XP in conjunction
>with Media Player 10 and the dedicated DAC, which is connected via USB. The
>unit is designed to decode 128k mp3 files and yet make them sound like a
>master tape. The demo appeared to fulfill the promise, although we could
>not a-b against the original which seemed a little strange. Levinson is the
>consumate salesman, so I will wait and see. But what we heard (opera,
>classical piano, and a pop piece chosen at random by the audience) was
>smooth, emotionally engaging, and sounded exceptionally good in an analog
>sort of way...very much like a master tape in fact. My guess is their is
>some addition of second harmonic distortion among other things...but what
>those other things are we will have to wait and see. I can only say that
>these 128k excerpt were a far cry from the 192k samples that made my ears
>bleed a few weeks ago on my own main system. If the technology is real and
>patentable, my guess is the bigger market will be built into portable
>devices, music servers, etc. rather than just being restricted to pc
>software. But an interesting technology to keep an eye on.
>BTW, Levinson demoed using his own small Red Rose integrated amp and some of
>his larger speakers...but sitting on unfinished student bookcases. The
>system sounded fine, and better than it should for it's size and price. All
>I could think of is "where were these when *I* was in college?
 
G

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Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

"Kalman Rubinson" <kr4@nyu.edu> wrote in message
news:d59f8a02ad4@news3.newsguy.com...

> The name is Dick Burwen, btw, just in case someone wants to do a
> search on what he has accomplished in audio.
>
> Kal
>

Thanks, Kal. And it is worth looking up....he has been an innovator for the
last forty years.

Harry
 
G

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I was there on Friday; it was my first audio show.
My main impression of hte 10-15 rooms I visited was
'How the HELL can anyone be expected to reliably
evaluate sound under such conditions?" Intrusive ambient
noise, systems that seemed almost uniformly too loud in
rooms that were way too small, subobtimal seating and
room treatment, demonstrators fiddling with the settings
*during* the demo.... I take it all of this not
atypical of such shows?

I take issue too with the (to me) unexciting demo material..
usually small-ensemble vocal jazz. Yawn. I did find one room that
was using those up and comers The Beatles as demo
material...alas during my visit, the demo track was
'Octopus' Garden'.

FWIW, the best impression I received was from a rather modest
set of speakers -- bookshelf-size jobbies. But I wouldn't
swear on it.

I was there mainly for the Kruger/Atkinson debate anyway...
the transcript of which should be up soon (if not already).
I was the the guy who challenged JA's anecdote about his
conversion from opbjectivist to subjectivist; pretty much
everyone else fired their shots directly at Arny; Harry managed to
ask Arny a question about monadic evaluation that was every bit as
lengthy as his RAHE posts.


--

-S
It's not my business to do intelligent work. -- D. Rumsfeld, testifying
before the House Armed Services Committee
 
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"Steven Sullivan" <ssully@panix.com> wrote in message
news:d5blgv02bhd@news1.newsguy.com...
> I was there on Friday; it was my first audio show.
> My main impression of hte 10-15 rooms I visited was
> 'How the HELL can anyone be expected to reliably
> evaluate sound under such conditions?" Intrusive ambient
> noise, systems that seemed almost uniformly too loud in
> rooms that were way too small, subobtimal seating and
> room treatment, demonstrators fiddling with the settings
> *during* the demo.... I take it all of this not
> atypical of such shows?
>
> I take issue too with the (to me) unexciting demo material..
> usually small-ensemble vocal jazz. Yawn. I did find one room that
> was using those up and comers The Beatles as demo
> material...alas during my visit, the demo track was
> 'Octopus' Garden'.
>
> FWIW, the best impression I received was from a rather modest
> set of speakers -- bookshelf-size jobbies. But I wouldn't
> swear on it.
>
> I was there mainly for the Kruger/Atkinson debate anyway...
> the transcript of which should be up soon (if not already).
> I was the the guy who challenged JA's anecdote about his
> conversion from opbjectivist to subjectivist; pretty much
> everyone else fired their shots directly at Arny; Harry managed to
> ask Arny a question about monadic evaluation that was every bit as
> lengthy as his RAHE posts.
>

Yeah, I got carried away. Sorry about that.... :-/
 
G

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Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

Steven Sullivan wrote:
> I was there on Friday; it was my first audio show.
> My main impression of hte 10-15 rooms I visited was
> 'How the HELL can anyone be expected to reliably
> evaluate sound under such conditions?"



Oh yes, this definitely was your first audio show!

Par for the course. Absolutely.
 

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