Well, Polk Audio wasn't' there this year. No Macintosh to be seen anywhere either. Shanling?...nope. Emotiva?...nada. No Goldmund either.
Totem had a vastly different room than that of last year....very plain and simple, actually boring compared to last year.
But overall a good show with lots of cool gear from a host of other players. I went alone this time so I could take things in at my own pace.
I brought my own music and listened to the same piece on about 6 different systems ranging from small bookshelf speakers to 100G + Grand Utopia and other mega buck speakers. Now, I assume that all the dealers had their displays tweaked for optimum sound, and had their best stuff all "burned in" and ready to show, so I should have been hearing the best of what they have to offer.
So I sat smack in the middle, the coveted sweet spot, closed my eyes and listened. And you know what?....there isn't a whole lot of difference between them.
So what have I learned today? Well for one thing, I have confirmed that I don't have "Golden Ears", so I may just as well remain happy with my Polk SRS and stop dreaming of winning the lottery so I can get speakers that cost as much as a luxury car. Oh don't get me wrong, there was "some" differences, albeit hard for me to describe, but I was just as happy listening to $2,000 speakers as I was with $70,000 speakers...with my eyes closed. Opening the eyes just adds the "visual candy" and hence an improvement in perceived sound.
I had to ask myself... how much improvement can one possibly hear by going from a $2,000 amplifier to a $20,000 amplifier. How much better does a modern "high end" system sound from a high end system from 1985?
I think that the circuitry and electronics that produce sound can only be taken to a certain level. The exotica, as in 'what' these electronics are housed in, is where the difference lies....chassis machined from billet aluminum, sophisticated machining processes, exotic materials from another planet or star system, all this is what accounts for the astronomical prices because there wasn't an astronomical difference in actual sound from one to another.
I know this has all been discussed on the forum already over and over. But its fresh in my mind today and I just wanted to talk about it.
Obviously, the big advances are "how" music is listened to now. Wireless technology, home automation, listening effortlessly from every corner in the house with music piped in from the internet, hard drives, i-pods etc etc.. Fast food music, just twist the little dial on the cell-phone sized thingy in your hand....no need to get up and change the cd or vinyl....oh, and there were some GORGEOUS turntables to be seen btw.
So I took a few dozen pictures, and I'd post some but for some reason my card reader isn't reading the SD card. Looks like I may have to reboot the computer or something.....you know, it's a technology thing.