Best of Home Entertainment 2004 NY ?

Who rocked your world? And what stood out within the demo that really drew you into the music?
I think overall the show was a success. To me, the best room (with $200,000 worth of equipment) was the JMlabs/BAT/dCS room. The demo with James Taylor on SACD gave me goose bumps. Anybody know which JT song was used?

My only complaint was the small and cramped rooms on the 6th and 7th floors. It was a little frustrating to open up the door and be met by 15 other people in a small room trying to listen to stuff.
First, let me say that you can't really seriously evaluate equipment at the show because your listening in a tiny hotel room or a large meeting room. In addition, people are walking around and talking while your trying to listen. I love the people who just have to walk up and take the grills of the speakers while their doing a demo. Anyway, I'll only mention the stuff that sounded really good because it's not fair to fault somebody for a poor setup at the show.

Lets start with video. The sony true HD projector (1080P), with blue-ray dvd, was really nice. Almost makes me want to get a second mortgage to buy one. The only thing I'm going to say about the Sony audio demo is "why would somebody want to hook up NINE Wilson watt/puppies, a wilson center and sub, to a receiver?" Also, Sony's video without wires demo was impressive. A 15" wireless LCD TV($1500) that will let you watch dvd's and tivo from your home while traveling around the world. And, Sony had a new 60" rear projection LCD TV ($4400!!!)that was really impressive.

Anthem was showing a new processor and two new amps. They have new astetics and they are moving up-market - $5000 for the processor and $5000 for a 5 channel amp. Devore fidelity gibbon speakers, Focus Audio speakers, Bohlender-Graebener ribbon speakers and Almarro Speakers were sounding quit nice. I enjoyed the Wisdom Audio speakers, but the room was too small for such a large speaker.

On the low end, Epos (after they let me move the speakers), and spender were sounding good for the budget crowd. Also, Niam had a speaker that retails for about $2400 that was sounding real good. The Outlaw Audio sub was nice; A Hsu design.

Now, lets get to my opinion of best sound at the show. The way I feel, if you can get your stuff to sound incredible in a crappy room, then it should blow your socks off in a properly setup room. They Roque Audio, Clearaudio, Vanderstein 5A and Wadia demo was very impressive. They were switching back and forth between the Wadia $35000 CD player and the BIG clearaudio reference TT with two armboards. They sound was so good that you were hard pressed to tell the difference between the CD and the vinyl. Finally, vinyl done right! I think the retail on the Clearaudio was north of $75000. The Hyperion HPS-938 speakers ($4000) threw a big soundstage. Really easy to listen to. They look like the Wilson Watt/Puppy and sound damn close it it. Also, the were using their own amp and preamp which are beautifully built. The preamp uses two toroidial transformers and retails for $1300! The amp, again with two Toroidials, was also impressive and it retails for $1500! Both Innersound rooms rooms just blew me away. They were so good, my buddy wants me to get him a pair. And finally, the WHT Signiture speakers, driven by Thor tube equipment, was incredible; great bass, very smooth mids, and that oh so wonderful ribbon tweeter. You don't need a sub with this small floorstander.

Now, if I didn't mention your favorite manufacturer, it does not mean that they were not at the show. Like I said in the beginning, I'm only mentioning the demos that impressed me.

So, there's my take on the show. I got sick from a bad lunch, so that took away some enjoyment. Also, I had to ride the bus up and back which reminded me why I don't ride buses. It was a long day, and I only got to take three naps so I will be recovering today. And finally, the Crestron Breath Mints were good; I just had them for Breakfast. I'm going back to bed now.
Just a note. I didn't get to all the rooms. I missed about 6 including JMlabs and Von Schweikert. Some rooms had lines down the hallway and I just didn't have time.