Anything you liked at the Newport Show?

I’m surprised no one has reported back yet. I spent most of Sunday perusing the rooms and still managed to miss some. The ones I liked, in no particular order were:

The Quail Hill room with the Evolution Acoustic speakers (their biggest) fronted by daTZeel preamps and amps.
Quite large and yet relaxed, with all the trimmings one could ask for. Really. Even if I had the wallet, I wouldn’t have the room: those speaker are yuuge.

The Analysis Audio Omega speakers fronted by the Arion Audio gear (class D and tube hybrid).
Simply beguiling sound. Simply the best panels I’ve heard.

Avantgarde Uno XDS speakers fronted by Audiopax gear.
Very convincing and natural. No honk or tizziness. Just "where’s the sound coming from?"

Tonian Labs. I never got around to get Tony’s newest speaker’s model number but I stayed there for quite awhile.
Fronted by a simple Denon integrated and a mid level CD player it put out the most convincing percussion work.
Drums, cymbals, etc. had the impact, shimmer and air of the real thing. Oud, bass and bass clarinet never sounded so real. I see why Tony was absent from the audio scene for the last 4 years as he’s been very busy designing and building his new driver. What it has over the PHY drivers he used to use has to be heard to be believed. I still need to hear more complex music through them but I think it would pass the muster, easily.

Spatial Audio Hologram speakers had me at first listen. Open, clear and very realistic from on high to down low enough for me. I can see why they are now selling more of these than any other speaker under $5K.

Purist Audio Design speakers and I can’t remember what they were fronted with.
Remarkable sound without any grandstanding, like the Evoultion Acoustics.

Legacy V speakers fronted by Raven tube gear.
As big as the room was, it still needed more room but for as large as they were, they only played what was called for without bombast. There was one track with multiple drums playing and I could hear each and every one. Seriously good sound. Seriously priced as well.

Ryan speakers fronted by Auralic gear.
Although "mid level", I could easily live with this set up, and I’m talking about the R630 speaker, not their top of the line model. Some of the easiest listening I’ve done. Also, the wireless streaming bettered the TT by more than a fair margin. Auralic is really onto something. They now offer up to 2TB in their streamer and buffers it with the volume being done in the analog domain so there’s no decimating the signal.

The PBN Liberty speakers (again, forgot the gear) made for the most convincing live jazz club sound I’ve heard.
I’ve never heard a TT sound so alive with so much air. Mostly, they convey oddles of midrange warmth and seduce but this set up rang my bell. When seated in front, the band was directly behind the speakers.

Last but not least, was the Audionote UK room on the 14th floor. From the hallway with the door ajar (they all had towels wrapped around the arm locks so to muffle the noise of closing) I thought it was one of the most "live" sounds I heard. As I backed my way in, slowly closing the door so as to not disturb, it just sounded all the more real. When I turned around, there was cellist Vincent Belander playing counter point to whatever was playing on the Audionote system. Easily worth the price of admission and the drive.

There’s more but I can’t remember all of them right now and I’ll forgo the ones that left me scratching my head as I don’t want to offend anyone here but it really both amazes and dismays what I read about certain gear and what I hear for myself. To thine own ears be true.

All the best,

The show was wonderful the people were wonderful as well as the speakers and great live music.The best!!Oh yes the hotel was great as well.
ebm ...

The staff at the Hotel Irvine is top notch. Both last year and this year, they knocked themselves out to give the best, most friendly service imaginable. 

Did anyone try the food from the food trucks?  There was a truck that served Hawaiian style food. The brisket with rice dish was fantastic. I had it twice and was stuffed each time. Yum!

Sorry I didn't get back to you sooner.

I confess I was more interested in what the Peachtree electronics and the Elac speakers could do than in evaluating the Sabrinas.  Like danzspkrman, I was impressed by how good the Peachtree/Elac combination was.  In addition, I wasn't in a position to fairly evaluate the Sabrinas when they were used. The room was crowded when I was there and I ended up standing, and then sitting, well to the left of the left hand speaker (my recollection is that the Elacs were set up on the adjacent wall to the right, providing me with a better orientation).  When the Sabrinas were used, I was listening for whether they would reveal any weaknesses in the Peachtree unit .  If they did, it was not obvious to me.

Sorry I can't be of more help.


Thanks. I have been to an Elac demo before and I think that their speakers sound great. Very amazing for the price. I heard the towers and several of the bookshelf variants and they were all impressive. I also heard them from the doorway for a few moments at Newport and what I heard was also good. They do need quality electronics but the result is pretty nice.

I couldn't make the show this year and am happy to read your show reports.  I just got a new Dennis Had IFA-1 EL84 amp this week to pair with my Spatial Audio Hologram M4 Turbo S OB speakers (a match made in heaven!) and am happy to hear that at least one attendee enjoyed the sound of these wonderful speakers.  If you have MBL sort of dough to spend, the world is your oyster, but the price the Spatial Audio speakers allows the rest of us income-constrained folks to hear true music reproduction.  Cheers.