Congratulations to @Marc (and team) on another superbly ran Show. Number of exhibitors and people through the doors is just one measure of how successful this year's event was.
Exhibitor and spectator enjoyment another - now you would, after reading some of the replies here, think there were a lot of disappointed spectators, but we all know they're just a minority of grumpy old men needing something to whinge about... 😛
Myself, and all the exhibitors I had a chance to talk to, had a great time. I was there Saturday and Sunday and completely ran out of time Sunday to get a good listen in all of the rooms, not to mention some were simply too busy/crowded each time I walked past.
Standouts for me were the ATC SCM100ASLT in Warwick's PMG room. I was stunned by these and ended up spending a good 45 minutes in there over two visits. The Kiis, while good, paled in comparison for me.
The Magnepans in Bill's room demonstrated fantastic value for money. I was very surprised there were no subs at play either, considering they were only the baby 1.7i model.
The Osborn room was much the same as previous years, though sounding slightly different with the Scanspeak drivers compared to the previous Focal speakers. The lower models, I think, give great vfm, providing a big, full sound. but this at times can also sound a bit too full, fat, loose in the bottom end. I'd be interested to know how much design goes into the crossovers, and to a lesser degree, the cabinets.
The Wyndham Audio BR1s were as nice as I remembered them. Worked very well in that small room. Sadly I didn't get a chance to be there for the Contrast speakers or bigger BR2s that were hiding in the back corners.
There were a few others that sounded great too, oh, Fyne were another set of speakers I really enjoyed listening to. Also chatting with the gent there representing the brand. Got a good history of the brand and then a nice walk-around of the speakers explaining pretty much every part of the design. Really enjoyable with not a hint of sales 'push'.
Some of the disappointments included the Yamaha room (way too bright and shouty), Linn/Kef (I think it was the Kef R11?...Just didn't sound very nice in that room at all) and the Kef LSx/LS wireless. Very underwhelming for the design premise and money.
I was also sad to miss any sort of Vaf demo - the Kharma and skype presentations were happening whenever I went to check out the room.
All in all, another great show and I look forward to hopefully another in 2021.
Kharma, Avantgarde, B&W....$40k - $180k speakers not high-end enough for you?
Like you, I love seeing all this gear that's leagues out of my budget. One can dream.
Whoever replied in jest to the whingers about wanting more and suggesting popcorn. Funnily, there was actually popcorn at one of the previous shows!! A sad omission this year...but that would have just been "more of the same" and result in further complaints. Maybe a bag of licorice all-sorts or Werthers Originals next time, to keep the codgers happy....