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Report: The Bristol Sound and Vision Show 2018

Phil Hinton

Editor
Staff member

pj

Well-known Member
Any reports on the demo clips being used this time please? I can't make it this year but seeing/hearing the demos is always a highlight for me [emoji851]
But nothing beats the THX masterclass that one year
 

mossym

Distinguished Member
Quick notes, will add more later

Dynaudio 40 year anniversary speakers were superb, a real treat
Fyne audio flagships the pick of the show
Pmc sounded superb as always.
Acoustic energy the pick of the budget concious
Thela or whatever they were called were both the most expensive and the worst sounding. Truly awful.

Overall really enjoyed it
 

dollag

Well-known Member
Great day. A few things that got my attention

Kudos 505's were stunning. spent a good half hour in here just listening to different tracks. a great speaker indeed

Technics new TT and pre-power was absolutely stunning.

Kef's LS50 wireless continue to blow me away. for such a small speaker, they are amazing. hard to top at the £2000 range imo

xtZ's demo was a bit hit and miss for me. not sq wise but just didn't sound balanced, could be down to the amount of bodies in the room and where i was positioned but their subs sounded immense.

PMC room sounded great and really tempted to dabble in some pmc goodness in the future:D

The new missions sounded harsh and flat; however they were playing an ed sheeran track that i know from experience is poorly recorded so might explain the issue.

All in all some new bits but a lot of same old.
 

Paddyfin

Active Member
Last time i went to Bristol sound & vision i blew the demo speakers of moduart short..... whoops, bit too much base
But i found the lack of home cinema disappointing, i doubt i will go again as ive got the set up I want.......
Its only taken me 20 years
 

Toon Army

Well-known Member
Glad I have not made the journey this year, albeit I would have been intrigued by the Jamo and Mission speakers highlighted by Ed.
 

mossym

Distinguished Member
It was well worth the trip, and I got up at 3am to fly over from Ireland .

One complaint, I've been to 8+ ces's, a bunch of other shows, cedia, other audio shows, this one 4 or 5 times (this the only one I've done off my own bat), and I have never seen such a trend of every room using the same material to demo. Almost like they were handed the same 1 disc to use. Never seen/heard it this bad. Even when the first Dolby hddvd/Blu-ray demo clip discs were the only real hd source there was more variety than this
 

Jokerr

Well-known Member
I could not attend, but am looking forward to reviews of any [Bookshelf, Wireless, Powered Speakers] at £2000 which can compete with the KEF LS50 WIRELESS. If not, then I can start saving up for the KEF’s.
 

pj

Well-known Member
It was well worth the trip, and I got up at 3am to fly over from Ireland .

One complaint, I've been to 8+ ces's, a bunch of other shows, cedia, other audio shows, this one 4 or 5 times (this the only one I've done off my own bat), and I have never seen such a trend of every room using the same material to demo. Almost like they were handed the same 1 disc to use. Never seen/heard it this bad. Even when the first Dolby hddvd/Blu-ray demo clip discs were the only real hd source there was more variety than this
what was the clip of the day?
 

mossym

Distinguished Member
Maybe I just hit the rooms at the wrong time but summertime and hallelujah seemed to be everywhere. Something else was on everywhere as well but for the life of me I cannot remember , which may means it wasn't that bad.

In fact I only heard someone the usual suspects like dire straits and Yello in one room each
 

ian34g

Active Member
The Emotiva / SVS system in the Karma room was my highlight, sounded stunning.
The rest of it was fairly uninteresting ( to me ).
At one visit every 3 years it'll be 2021 before I'm back, hopefully the vision side will have picked up by then.
 

Elephant Man

Active Member
A great day for me, but not many Home Cinema demos. I am really tempted in replacing my Kef TDMs with the XTZ M8's, those M8 Towers Bad boys look HardCore!

Sony claims they well will send me a discount code which I may use to purchase their 65" A1 for less than £2700.
 

matthewricha

Active Member
I went last year and then again this year yesterday (Saturday). I think the event was smaller than last year. Sony only had the demo room on floor three and this time didn't have a hifi stand on the ground floor with their Hi-Res Walkmans which is a shame, was looking forward to that. i-Fi was interesting, they had a neat portable amplifier / DAC that's coming out in April and sounded fantastic.

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Most of the demos inc Quad sounded brash and over trebly for me. The stand out favourites were Spendor D9's, they sounded epic! balanced sound with fantastic bass! The new Optoma Laser Projector was great too, although found moving my eye caused me to see RGB separation.. apparently this is due to the RGB spinning filter, as the laser is a white/blue source only.

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The Sony demo on Floor three at about 1pm or so was cringeworthy. So unprofessional. The Young lad presenting had a few issues playing some UHD blu-rays where a foreign language audio was accidentally selected and the older Sony employee, rather than helping him quietly, pretty much publicly humiliated him in front of everyone several times throughout the demo, even tutting during the clips. What an idiot. Another audience member asked if the 77 inch OLED was calibrated because the PQ didn't look that great and the older guy said, "no"... then after some back and forth, said, "oh yes of course it is all TV's are".. didn't inspire confidence in anything they said. I asked when the Sony Dolby Vision was coming, but TBH I doubt they know much about their own demo let alone details like that..When the demo was over they basically rather rudely said, "please get out now as we have lots more people waiting"... Extremely rude and very poor.

Myself and a mate said we probably won't go next year has the event seems to have contracted quite a bit. Last year there was a huge push for MQA and Tidal, but that seemed to have disappeared this year. We had a great day out though and listened to some impressing bits of kit!

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Jokerr

Well-known Member
I went last year and then again this year yesterday (Saturday). I think the event was smaller than last year. Sony only had the demo room on floor three and this time didn't have a hifi stand on the ground floor with their Hi-Res Walkmans which is a shame, was looking forward to that. i-Fi was interesting, they had a neat portable amplifier / DAC that's coming out in April and sounded fantastic.

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Most of the demos inc Quad sounded brash and over trebly for me. The stand out favourites were Spendor D9's, they sounded epic! balanced sound with fantastic bass! The new Optoma Laser Projector was great too, although found moving my eye caused me to see RGB separation.. apparently this is due to the RGB spinning filter, as the laser is a white/blue source only.

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The Sony demo on Floor three at about 1pm or so was cringeworthy. So unprofessional. The Young lad presenting had a few issues playing some UHD blu-rays where a foreign language audio was accidentally selected and the older Sony employee, rather than helping him quietly, pretty much publicly humiliated him in front of everyone several times throughout the demo, even tutting during the clips. What an idiot. Another audience member asked if the 77 inch OLED was calibrated because the PQ didn't look that great and the older guy said, "no"... then after some back and forth, said, "oh yes of course it is all TV's are".. didn't inspire confidence in anything they said. I asked when the Sony Dolby Vision was coming, but TBH I doubt they know much about their own demo let alone details like that..When the demo was over they basically rather rudely said, "please get out now as we have lots more people waiting"... Extremely rude and very poor.

Myself and a mate said we probably won't go next year has the event seems to have contracted quite a bit. Last year there was a huge push for MQA and Tidal, but that seemed to have disappeared this year. We had a great day out though and listened to some impressing bits of kit!

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Not surprised about the way Sony now treats Customers. The Phone based Customer Service is just as bad. For some time Sony Electronics divsion has been failing to make profit and they are cutting corners on staff training as well as outsourcing support.
 

AVRAG

Active Member
Glad I went to see what it was in the flesh. I dont think Ill go again in a hurry. Not enough home cinema for me. As an amateur, this event really made me feel EXTREMELY amateur... I of course knew what to expect but I was hoping for a few realistic home living options to listen to, not a "In Your Dreams" catalogue in every room.

I too sat through a very cringe Sony demo. Quite awkward when the lad asked if anyone wanted the offer and we all sat in silence waiting to leave... watching the A1 too made me feel like my KS9000 does a bloody good job. And how 5.1.2 really does fall flat in front of you. So know to invest in a 5.1.4.

Did anyone catch the WhatHiFi demo? Was it any good?
 

Sveinwb

Standard Member
The Emotiva / SVS system in the Karma room was my highlight, sounded stunning.
The rest of it was fairly uninteresting ( to me ).
At one visit every 3 years it'll be 2021 before I'm back, hopefully the vision side will have picked up by then.
What Emotiva was in use?
Rmc-1?
 

rigman

Well-known Member
According to the RMC thread on here the RMC was not working correctly so they used the XMC 1.
I am confused as whatever was used was supposed to be 16 channel but as far as I know the XMC is only a 7.2.
 

ian34g

Active Member
According to the RMC thread on here the RMC was not working correctly so they used the XMC 1.
I am confused as whatever was used was supposed to be 16 channel but as far as I know the XMC is only a 7.2.
I think the 16 channel quote from this show report is wrong and they too have been caught out by the issues that forced emotiva to not use the rmc.
 
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Sveinwb

Standard Member
Yes, so far the Xmc-1 are just 7.2. Waiting for the release of the Rmc-1 and hopefully it will sound even better than the Xmc-1.
 

ideal av

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
AV Tech Solutions were showing for the first time in the UK the JL Audio Gotham G213 V2 subwoofer, did anyone get a chance to hear it i wonder. I attended early on the friday morning before the doors were opened to the public so had a bit of a preview of the subwoofer and my god was i treated.

its a shame these shows are in hotels as quite a lot of companies cannot show their equipment off to the max, but at least everyone is in the same i suppose

i'm going out on a limb here to say this had to be worth a mention, being the UK launch of the probably one of the best subwoofers in the world and yet no mention of it in the AVF show report



 

drillo

Active Member
I think the 16 channel quote from this show report is wrong and they too have been caught out by the issues that forced emotiva to not use the rmc.
I asked and was told on the Friday that a board failed in transit on the RMC so they were using the XMC as a substitute. RMC was sat idle.
But you have 4 overheads speakers I said....aaah but apparently only on the expectation of showing the RMC and thus not functioning. Still the single SB4000 and emo combo sounded pretty mega.
 

drillo

Active Member
AV Tech Solutions were showing for the first time in the UK the JL Audio Gotham G213 V2 subwoofer, did anyone get a chance to hear it i wonder. I attended early on the friday morning before the doors were opened to the public so had a bit of a preview of the subwoofer and my god was i treated.

its a shame these shows are in hotels as quite a lot of companies cannot show their equipment off to the max, but at least everyone is in the same i suppose

i'm going out on a limb here to say this had to be worth a mention, being the UK launch of the probably one of the best subwoofers in the world and yet no mention of it in the AVF show report
It is a stunning stunning looking piece of kit.
It sounded great but frankly no better than the SVS SB4000 to my 'ears' and at 16k or whatever I expected to be flabbergasted - although it is the first time at that show that I experienced trouser 'flapping' for want of a better expression. I suspect, as you say, it didn't have the room to flex its muscles and decidedly more lies in reserve.
 

matthewricha

Active Member
I too sat through a very cringe Sony demo. Quite awkward when the lad asked if anyone wanted the offer and we all sat in silence waiting to leave... watching the A1 too made me feel like my KS9000 does a bloody good job. And how 5.1.2 really does fall flat in front of you. So know to invest in a 5.1.4.

Did anyone catch the WhatHiFi demo? Was it any good?
Yeah I think that 77 inch A1 wasn't setup correctly. My 55 inch one showed a better picture at home. I also noticed a lot of image interpolation during the demo, so they must have set smoothing to the max or near it! But no doubt your ks9000 probably has better brightness and HDR. Yeah I've yet to hear a good ATMOS demo. At the moment I haven't heard what all the fuss is about. I missed the what hifi demo too. We went to queue up and there was no queue at 20 mins to go and the 5 mins later a big queue and wouldn't let us join it, so we left and went home. Intrigued by the rollup oled panel.
 

Steve Stifler

Well-known Member
PMC Twenty25 was the best 2 channel for me. Really spacious sound in a large area. The Leema and seriously pricy ATC room was way too loud and overly bright sounding made me wince and I had to come out. Hegel H360 was excellent but thenI own one so know it well.

Epic Home Cinem’s XTZ demo room was easily the pic and then some of the Cinema stuff. High end system with the new flagship M8 floorstanders in the Cinema series with a 5.2.2 immersive audio system. Not high end priced for sound an amount of hardware. Noticed that the room sounded better in the afternoon, probably all those people in there holding it back. Found the SVS / Emotiva disappointing, they butchered Baby Driver with way off lip sync and their display wasn’t as good as I’ve seen it elsewhere. Those bright blue displays (info screen and button light) would put me off unless the unit is hidden in a cupboard or you can turn them off. Hey used to a dark room!

Sony Atmos was disappointing and the 77” OLED wasn’t sharp looking and seen much better on LG’s take on OLED.
 

kgulls

Active Member
Had a couple of days to wander around the show. I tend to avoid the rooms displaying the expensive and forever out of reach equipment. I'm more inclined to return to my favoured brands and those surprises that I may just be tempted by.
Enjoyed the sound of the Proac Tablette signature and had a long and interesting chat with the Proac team. Also thoroughly enjoyed Totems Skytower floorstander. Very nice sounding speaker.
Most impressive though,for me,was the Jamo S805 demo. Amazing sound for very little outlay and a HCS available as part of a package to boot. Will definitely be demoing a full Atmos set up when all the speakers are available.
 

30CenturyMan

Active Member
Spent a good few hours there yesterday, here's my take, for what it's worth...

SVS room sounded good at first, but after a while it became apparent it was very overblown in the bass dept.

XTZ room was dreadful. Sound was flat and lifeless and couldn't even tell the Atmos speakers were on - had to ask!

Handily, the exact same scene from Baby Driver was used in both the SVS & XTZ demos, which made differences in the two systems very apparent.

I didn't see the Sony or What HiFi demos, but all the demos using a display looked awful - far too much image processing going on.

Kef LS50 sounded very decent for their size and price.

A huge pair of Fyne looked absolutely sublime, but sounded very ordinary.

Chord Qutest demo using a £12k amplifier and £13k B&W 802 didn't impress, especially when you consider the combined price of the kit!

REL subwoofer demo sounded OK, but there was a standing wave right where I was sitting. Not sure if any of the rooms were using EQ?

Most impressive things I heard all day were a Canton soundbar (DM75 I think?), soundstage was huge and very dynamic considering it was £300 and not backed up by a subwoofer. And Ophidian Minimo bookshelf speakers, tiny little things that really packed a punch especially in the bass dept.

All in all, I'm glad I went as it made me appreciate just how good my system sounds, especially when you consider the price of the components I have compared with what I heard at the show.
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ian-500

Active Member
Well, I loved it. My mate and I stayed over Sat in to Sun at the Future Inn and went to the show both days. Met some very interesting and knowledgeable/helpful people. The guy with glasses in the Technics room. Great guy.
Ok, some highlights from saturday were:

Ground floor
; I think it was the second room that we went in to, we saw the line-up from Fine Audio (ex-Tannoy bods). The mid range and in particular the hi end (F1-10) looked incredible. Tested some headphones in the next room, with Audio-Technica winning for me. The MSR7's are amazing for the price, but their BT models were also very good. Hi-fi Racks beat Atacama on looks for me. As for the rest of the floor, Dynaudio had a great demo playing, I think it was The Special Forty(?) stand mounts. Sounded wonderful, but we later found out (on Sunday) that the hardware behind it was £40k's worth of Naim kit! No wonder it sounded good. Q Acoustics had their top of the range playing and yes, not to bad :)

Lower Ground Floor
; Quad was meh(except their proto headphone - wonderful sound), as was B&W which surprised me. KEF had their wireless LS50's playing which were very good until we went next door in to the Naim/Focal room. Very impressed with this combo. Looked and sounded like a perfect match. I think the speakers were the Focal Kanta No.2. Didn't like the look and sound of the Technics gear, even though it was around £50k!

Terrace and Conservatory
;
Now I love the design of Wilson Benesch speakers (far end on this floor), they were playing some bizarre music, no idea what it was. Anyway, the highlight was that we had a free desert with our lunch in the restaurant. Result! Lots of smaller sellers/magazines on this floor so not much interest for us.

Some highlights from Saturday were:
10th Floor; Leema Acoustics playing their new streaming products hooked up to ATC speakers. Very good, especially as they were receiving their stream from a few rooms away. No drop in strength that I noticed.

4th Floor
; Even though I liked the sound of these next speakers, the look and name just killed it. There would be no way I'd have a pair of Von Gaylord's standmounts in my living room......Ophidian Audio were amazing for their size, but in the next Room, Canton just blew us away with their active bluetooth floorstanders. Just hook them up to your TV and off you go, virtual surround sound heaven with plenty of bass. Great demo. Apparently there'll be a standmount available by the end of the year.
Didn't like the look or sound of Mission. Elipson looked cool. I wasn't blown away with XTZ and their Cinema series, which is a shame as I was really looking forward to their demo. Admittedly it was a loop demo disc and not an actual film.

3rd Floor
; AKG probably had the best closed back headphones at the show. You had to put the head phones on, press and hold a button for 5 or so seconds when it then beeped and this then meant that the headphones had auto calibrated the drivers to your ears or something. Did the test of before and after and we both could tell the difference for the better.....shame I didn't have £1399 burning a hole in my sky rocket. Fyne Audio demoed their flagship. I had brought along a couple of cd's, and Opeth - Windowpane has never sounded so good. Headroom and clarity like I've never heard before. REL looked nice but can't remember if they had a demo running. AE sounded good. I nearly ordered a pair of their stands. Big subwoofer fight out coming up, JL Audio vs SVS. Now then, SVS had an ATC speaker package compared to SVS having Ultras all round, but they both had their top end subs turned up to 11. For sound quality I'd give the nod to JL/ATC. Superb sound steering. But, for impact I'd go with SVS. They had a better film that was more suited to test the lower frequencies.

2nd Floor; Audioquest had one of the best demos. For some reason I get a little skeptical about the difference cables and noise conditioners can make, but that always changes when I go to the shows, and this was no different. Heard every change (subtle) that was made regarding power cables. Audioquest's problem was that their system on demo was REALLY good to start with. Kudos speakers but I can't remember the electronics. I think they played a track by Daft Punk and even though it's not my type of music it just sounded fantastic. Biggest change in the sound was from basic kettle leads to their NRG-2. Very impressed and will be buying 1 or 2......

1st Floor; ATC, again my cd that I'd brought along sounded stunning. Their speakers are worth the money imho, but......we moved along in to Spendor and WOW. Now I've never really given Spender the time of day for no other reason than I think they look, er, boring, but jeez arse the D9's are fantastic speakers. Headroom, Soundstage, clarity, bass, mids, highs. Lovely stuff. Another dance track but I didn't mind as the sound was.....music to my ears ;) Loved the high gloss slate grey finish too. £7500.....
PMC was...ok. Smaller floorstands on demo than previous years, and it didn't help coming from the Spender demo. Jeez that was good. The Bryston and AVM gear looked great though.
Another cable demo in Chord Company's room, and yet again I could hear every change that was made. Biggest difference was from Rumour to Shawline speaker cable and then the non-Teflon interconnect plugs to the Teflon versions. Great demo.
Dali was just ok, and I own Dali speakers myself. The wireless speakers they had on demo didn't compete with Canton for us.

So there we go, great show and will more than likely be back there next year., which will be 3 in a row, and I haven't done that for about 10 years now! It certainly helped staying overnight, which I'd never done before.

I'll add some pics tomorrow.

Ian.
 

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