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Article: The Show Newport, Day 2


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The SQ of the songs was pretty amazing. The interesting note is that they certainly mentioned that it was playing through $80K worth of audio equipment (the speakers alone cost $46K, so, I was glad that the SQ was pretty good)! I downloaded the 88/24 track of the BB King song to hear how it sounds through my every day system - Three O'Clock Blues with Eric Clapton from the album "Riding with the King".

 

Meridian played Frank Sinatra, Roberta Flack (from TIDAL), and Eric Clapton & BB King. No word on anything else.

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Anybody have any feedback on the Bricasti and/or Perla Audio rooms?

 

The Bricasti room, featuring their DAC and monoblocks with the excellent and unusual Pietra loudspeakers, was one of my absolute favorites. Similar to what I heard from those same electronics with Tidal Piano Cera speakers at AXPONA in 2014: tons of detail, terrific imaging and layered depth, dynamic, and very natural, with not a bit of edge or glare. Great sound.

 

The Bricasti DAC was also being used on the 14th floor with the Antipodes server, Merrill Audio Thor monoblocks and Alta Audio standmounts. The Alta speakers were overpowering the room with a bit too much bass, but the sound was otherwise good. My main takeaway was a very low noise floor and great tonality, for which I give credit to the Antipodes server and Merrill amps, which are excellent. Also, Mark Jenkins (Antipodes) and Merrill Wettasinghe are delightful to talk to. I'd sure like to hear a head-to-head between servers from Antipodes and Aurender.

 

Perla had two rooms, I believe. The one I visited on Thursday featured a full Perla system and I liked it a lot. Never made it to their other room.

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So, Chris, like my demo comments from CES, how the heck does the listener know what MQA is bringing to the party? Yes, the system sounded good...so what! Lower bandwidth uploading (for the site) and downloading (for the consumer) is not exactly an audible benefit, so we need audible benefits. I find it absurd, frankly, that here we are 5 months later (than CES) and they still can't muster an a/b.

 

Great coverage so far...thanks.

 

That's especially true since getting properly decoded MQA means paying to upgrade or replace your DAC to get the Meridian MQA decoding circuitry. A big commitment on the part of the listener.

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The Bricasti room, featuring their DAC and monoblocks with the excellent and unusual Pietra loudspeakers, was one of my absolute favorites. Similar to what I heard from those same electronics with Tidal Piano Cera speakers at AXPONA in 2014: tons of detail, terrific imaging and layered depth, dynamic, and very natural, with not a bit of edge or glare. Great sound.

 

 

I went to the Bricasti room as well. Fine sound as always.

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How vinyl sounds on a Kronos tt is certainly irrelevant in my world, and in fact this points up the fallacy inherent in the so-called resurgence of vinyl. The new adopters cannot be setting up new vinyl rigs for the sake of quality of sound, unless they have more $ than good sense. Not to criticize someone else's preferences, but if one must spend the price of a house on a table, I'll stick with my meager little DAC and amp thank you very much. Cost-benefit analysis does not favor vinyl, IMNSHO. Once you consider convenience and/or portability, it seems like a no-brainer to me.

Vinyl is a hugely overpriced way to get flawed sound. Digital is an inexpensive way to get less flawed (though flawed nonetheless) sound.

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Thanks for posting about the sound quality from the Vi DAC system. I have a Vi DAC on order so I am glad to read positive comments, although I appreciate the other components in the system were contributing to the overall sound as well.

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Chris,

 

Is there any comparison you could provide related to the Vi DAC as compared to other DAC's you heard at the show or to others in your experience?

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1) Last year at Newport someone did a blind test of the same material recorded in quad DSD and analogue. I could not hear a difference.

 

2). How awesome were those stand mounted Sonus Faber limited edition speakers pictured above with Macintosh hear. Wow.

- Mark

 

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So far Meridian has been saying A/B demonstrations aren't possible because they are using newly mastered material. To A/B this stuff we'd need the master tape. Or, they could have just made non-MQA versions at the same time the MQA versions were made but elected not to.

 

A/B demonstrations aren't possible?! Seems like a big cop out from Meridian. If someone wants to A/B an iTunes mp3 with a Meridian MQA it could be a press of a button. Meridian is being totally evasive. I fear that MQA is going to be kind of a done deal in the end and foisted on the public whether they want it or not. I am open to the potential of MQA but I don't think Meridian is handling this very well.

Jim

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Those people posting negative comments about vinyl without actually having a turntable in their system should be ignored. The fact is a lot of classic records like Hotel California sound fundamentally better than the CD version even on a 300 dollar deck versus a mega bucks digital player. As for the younger generation buying vinyl , some should be a little less condescending and give them credit for recognising good sound.

How vinyl sounds on a Kronos tt is certainly irrelevant in my world, and in fact this points up the fallacy inherent in the so-called resurgence of vinyl. The new adopters cannot be setting up new vinyl rigs for the sake of quality of sound, unless they have more $ than good sense. Not to criticize someone else's preferences, but if one must spend the price of a house on a table, I'll stick with my meager little DAC and amp thank you very much. Cost-benefit analysis does not favor vinyl, IMNSHO. Once you consider convenience and/or portability, it seems like a no-brainer to me.
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Anybody have any feedback on the Bricasti and/or Perla Audio rooms?

 

I am a big fan of sweet sounding systems that create a big sound stage with extremely tight bass. The perla system was one of my favorites. Mind you they had two rooms. One with turntabl and other with Perla DAC. Even though i am big fan of both (analog generally better for sound and digital for convenience) i was not impressed by analog source system. I was only impressed with the 'B' version with the subwoofers that was playing the Perla DAC.

Music after life

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Those people posting negative comments about vinyl without actually having a turntable in their system should be ignored. The fact is a lot of classic records like Hotel California sound fundamentally better than the CD version even on a 300 dollar deck versus a mega bucks digital player. As for the younger generation buying vinyl , some should be a little less condescending and give them credit for recognising good sound.

 

I am like both vinyl and digital. But here is were the debate ends. Every room that had master tapes sounded far superior.

 

Yes i have both formats of Dean martin 192/24 and 45 vinyl. Yes the vinyl is far better. All music made in analog format probably going to sound better in analog domain. And music recorded in digital will probably sound better in digital.

Music after life

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I am like both vinyl and digital. But here is were the debate ends. Every room that had master tapes sounded far superior.

 

Yes i have both formats of Dean martin 192/24 and 45 vinyl. Yes the vinyl is far better. All music made in analog format probably going to sound better in analog domain. And music recorded in digital will probably sound better in digital.

 

Hi ajay- Nobody had master tapes. Those don't leave the studio or secure storage facility. The tapes at shows are several generations from a master of some kind.

 

I can see the allure of analog tape but to me the best digital better. Fortunately we all have many options when it comes to enjoying our music.

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Totally agree, the recording/mastering is key and secondly having a player (digital or analog) that is capable of revealing what was recorded.

I am like both vinyl and digital. But here is were the debate ends. Every room that had master tapes sounded far superior.

 

Yes i have both formats of Dean martin 192/24 and 45 vinyl. Yes the vinyl is far better. All music made in analog format probably going to sound better in analog domain. And music recorded in digital will probably sound better in digital.

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Hi ajay- Nobody had master tapes. Those don't leave the studio or secure storage facility. The tapes at shows are several generations from a master of some kind.

 

I can see the allure of analog tape but to me the best digital better. Fortunately we all have many options when it comes to enjoying our music.

 

Sorry i did not mean master tape but simple meant reel to reel tape format. Additionally, i have the original vinyl Frank Sinatra Close to you. The MQS format of close to you was just beautiful and very musical even on a meridian system. I would prefer the MQS format over the vinyl. I think MQS sounds very promising.

Music after life

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On contrary, I have all digital stuff at home including DCS and I like it ,but as I stated before,the sound from Kronos turntable was clearly superior:everybody agreed :so it was not only my preference but 15? more listeners.

Mr Fremer knows the source of his music ! I do not.

 

To clarify I am not in vinyl now but may be I should

 

I could not find John Quick and his Roon presentation.

Hi Pawel8 - In another thread you mentioned being semi-reprimanded for liking vinyl in this thread. Can you please let me know what language of mine came off as being reprimanding? I'm honestly trying to figure out if I've offended you somehow.

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"should not consider the sample rate as an indicator of sound quality and that the people involved in making the recording are what really matter. In most cases and in my experience sound quality is a human factor and not a matter of technology. This seemed to fall on deaf ears among some panelists."

Ridiculous your point didn't cause panelists to think for few minutes. Industry seems to be chasing bit rates when the creation chain and DACs are the quality markers.

 

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I’ve attended all of the Newport Shows except last year and always enjoyed the panel discussions. I was encouraged to see you as part of the panel and wanted to hear your thoughts and opinions on digital trends. Unfortunately and as it has happened so many times in the past, Michael Fremer (who thinks the world of himself) drowns out the other panelists. I had the unfortunate experience of having to share an elevator ride with him, while he loudly talked on his cell phone, “F-this and F-that”. I guess he thought he was being cute.

 

Hopefully, next year you’ll have a larger part in the discussion or perhaps your own seminar.

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Hi Pawel8 - In another thread you mentioned being semi-reprimanded for liking vinyl in this thread. Can you please let me know what language of mine came off as being reprimanding? I'm honestly trying to figure out if I've offended you somehow.

 

1.Great to hear you like the vinyl. I've never had an issue with people's sound quality preferences.

 

2.I wonder if the two versions were from the same master or as Joel asked, if the digital was a vinyl rip. Either way, your preference is your preference :~)

 

it was clear cut and was not preference.

Why you responded to my post :because you disagreed with my impression?

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1.Great to hear you like the vinyl. I've never had an issue with people's sound quality preferences.

 

2.I wonder if the two versions were from the same master or as Joel asked, if the digital was a vinyl rip. Either way, your preference is your preference :~)

 

it was clear cut and was not preference.

Why you responded to my post :because you disagreed with my impression?

If you felt reprimanded by my words in 1 and 2 there's nothing I can do to help the situation. Perhaps there is a language barrier at work?

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If you felt reprimanded by my words in 1 and 2 there's nothing I can do to help the situation. Perhaps there is a language barrier at work?

Just admit that you did not like my post.

Thank you

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