Home Entertainment Show in Los Angeles

Has anyone ever been to this event?

I'll try to get some time to check it out this weekend.

I listened to the mBL's, Acapella's and the Dynaudio's.
Again, IMHO the Lamm room was extraordinary with better integration etc. The Mbl's and the Acapella's were impressive, however, I felt that the Mbl room was too loud and the speakers were very bright. The Acapella's seemed to be in too small a room; they sounded a little boomy ( possibly due to the room) and again the room was too loud.
The Dynaudio room was poor, the speakers sounded veiled and closed in.
The combo of the Lamm amps and the metronome and the Sophia's have put the Sophia's and the Lamm's on my short list.
I was there all day Friday and Saturday.

Thought the MBLs were amazing - very tizzy on the pop recording but an amazing sense of being right there at a live event on the orch tracks.

Since I'm a Joseph Audio owner I spent a lot of time in that room - great sounding room and Jeff Joseph is a great guy to talk to. Personally I like the style of demo that has the designer/owner right there answering questions, telling you what he's playing, what's new, etc. So many rooms were just salesman standing there looking bored with no insight to offer.

The surprise of the show for me was Dr Hsu of Hsu Research/subwoofer fame. He was showing a new 2 way bookshelf with horned tweeter. Very nice midrange, stable deep vocal image. They sell for $250/pair and he was running home depot speaker cable and a cheapo sony CD player - that was kinda depressing... will be available soon.
I also speant Sat. at the show. Reading some of the above comments just shows why we need so many different brands. We all have a different idea of what sounds good. I thought, in regards to high end speakers, that the Peak Empress were so bad to be unlistenable, while others thought it was the best room. I thought the Optimal Enchanment Room, The Brooks Berdan Room, and The Lamm Room were the three best sounding. Each was different so, it would be hard to give "best" to any of the above three.
There were some bargains with good sound there. When asked, the Usher room was willing to hook up their newest model, retail $700. A audiophile's dream speaker, no of course not but, very pleasant sound and more truthful to the music than some of the multi-thousand dollar speakers I heard. Excellent buy for a starter system, vation rental, second system, etc.
I also thought that the speakers in the Acoustic Zen room were quite good for the price. They were to heavy on the low end but, I bet that with a little foam rubber to tune the ports that could be overcome.
In the Rethim Room was a fascinating turntable. I would be willing to bet that few asked about it because it simply looked over the top expensive. Thick, 3 or 4 inch Ebony platter and Ebony plinth. Very impressive machined stainless steel (I believe, should have asked) for the rest. Two arm capibility, Maxon motor with controller designed by Tom Evans on the way. I think the builder said it weighed 160lbs. It rested on a very beautiful matching stand with cable suspension. I knocked on it while it played and the arm was unaffected. Total cost $8000. Not cheap but, if you bothered to take a look at it and then considered the cost of other TTs at the show it seemed a bargain. Of course, the most important part is how did it sound. I have no idea, never heard the speakers before, or the rest of the equipment so can't say anything except that in show conditions I couldn't say that the Coliburn sounded any better.

That table was from Sound Engineering out of Nashville Tennessee, and I must have returned to that room 6-7 times. That quality of precision machining and design was breathtaking. $7,900 is a lot of money, but if ClearAudio, SME, or any of the other big names were selling it, the price would have been $20-30k easily.

It is an entirely new version of their SE-1 with a new plinth design and in black ebony wood with brushed stainless metal instead of Cocobolo and gold. The wood platter is made up of a constrained layers of differing thinkness plies(?). Bob Benn, the owner of Sound Engineering, told me that the ply combination was actually designed by the experts at Gibson Guitars, which happens to be just down the street from his shop.

The tonearm was the $6k Swiss made DaVinci Audio Labs (pic1, pic2). The designer/builder is actually a fine Swiss watch and clock maker by trade. And it shows in the workmanship.

In fact, it is the arm that Brinkman sold with their top tables until they decided to copy it on their own. Theirs does not even come close even though the appearances are nearly identical.
Agaffer, I was one of those who didn't ask because I didn't want to hear a number starting with 20, 30, 40. It's astonishing that, in this market, he's asking $7900. Maybe $7900 can never constitute a bargain for a 'table, but it's hard to believe that his economics aren't completely out of whack relative to the competition. BTW, I concur: Bob is a real gentleman and engaging tour guide.