At the 15th Floor, we started of with the Rivera International Room, who though had 2 rooms, we could only cover 1 as the home theatre one was filled with visitors, hence we decided to pop in their other room which had McIntosh Electronics with German Physiks Speakers. Though the effort was taken to set up the pairing to the best of their abilities, sadly the sound was not having any wow factor as one would expect with such odd looking speakers. That does not mean that the sound was bad, just that the 'X' factor was clearly missing.
The next room was Absolute Sound, who were showcasing the Kii Audio Model 3 Active Speakers which were in an eye catching bright red color. A Bel Canto Pre and CD Player along with a Mac Book were hooked up to the Model 3's. As is customary for an Absolute Sound Room, attention to detail was evident and they also took the efforts to control the room as much as they could by means of using certain props as sound treatment to good effect. The sound was very good indeed, just that we felt that the low's could have been better. Maybe the Absolute Sound Team thought that limiting the bass would help them control the room to a large extent.
Sun Group had 2 rooms, one with a lot of multimedia products including speakers and radio's mainly on static display whilst the other had the Devialet Phantom Gold Speakers and a B&W 803 D3's with a Devialet Amp. Sadly, at both the rooms there wasn't any real interest shown to play the equipment at hand for visitors walking in, so we quickly had a look and walked out to the next rooms.
BenQ had a room which was to showcase their new flagship home projector the W11000, which hadn't arrived yet and so we quickly moved onto the next room, which had Philips showcasing a couple of their sound bars. One of these models was their new atmos enabled sound bar that is yet to be launched in our market. A couple of demo's were going on so we just had a quick look and moved onto the next rooms. Nedis & Avaaa had a couple of Thonet & Vander Active Speakers and some Radio's on demo. A short demo taken of both, from which we liked their radio, that was having an old world charm about it and was also very reasonably priced, to encourage radio enthusiasts to look at it seriously.
Nexus Audio were showcasing a Home Theatre Setup yet again, this time with a Mix of Stage Accompany LCR Speakers with OEM Surrounds and Subwoofer. The speakers were hooked up to a Yamaha AVR and Oppo BluRay Player. A couple of live concerts on bluray were played with intermittent movie clips. A pair of small and very interesting looking speakers(Jern14) were also showcased for the first time in India. What was interesting to know was that the sealed cabinets were made of cast iron and were in a industrial looking grey finish. By themselves they had a very clean, dynamic and coherent sound, but keeping their form factor in mind they definitely needed the support of a subwoofer which was connected in tandem to augment the low frequencies. Overall, we did not enjoy the home theatre showcased as much as we did the JERN14's as we found the home theatre experience a bit too smooth and unappealing as far as surround sound being showcased. We give the benefit of doubt to the Nexus Audio personnel as they were probably aiming to make the live music concerts sound more musical, to which they may have succeeded to a large extent. Maybe we are more critical on Nexus Audio as each year they raise the bar but this year probably were found being complacent.
Sonodyne had a suite as well, 1 room had a couple of static displays and some new speakers with their processor. The other room had a home theatre set-up.
Leviathan Systems Pvt. Ltd. had a Burmester Set and Audiovector Speakers on static display. The gent running the room was playing music from his laptop, which mostly consisted of MP3 files!
Finally the last 2 rooms to cover, those of MZ Audio Distributions, one having a home theatre set up whilst the other being a stereo set up, which we helped to set up. The home theatre setup consisted of Morel Octave Signature Speakers with 2 Morel Subwoofers with Marantz AV7702 Processor, MM8077 Power Amplifier and UD7007 BluRay Player. On static display were sets of Mission LX Series and Boston Acoustics A360 Speakers. There also was a Marantz TT5005 Turntable that was played on request.
The Stereo room consisted of the following:
Marantz TT15S1 Reference Turntable, SA14S1SE SACD Player, PM14S1SE Integrated Amplifier, NA11S1SE Network Player and Taga Harmony Diamond F200 Speakers. Entire cabling was by Nordost, consisting of Heimdall2 Speaker Cables and Interconnects, Red Dawn Power Cords, along with QX Power Purifier and Q Base AC Distribution Box. All the electronics were fresh out of the box, having cleared from customs the day before the show started and the speakers were also not played for more than an hour. Inspite of the lack of break in of the collective setup, the visitors appreciated the setup. The last day of the show actually showed a glimpse of what the setup was capable of but sadly for us it was a little too late. For the reasons as stated above, we felt the setup could have sounded much better than it actually did.