Blogging LIVE from CAS 5!
The Hotel Room Sound Mystery
Our day setting up at the California audio show was a doozy. Hotel rooms are notoriously poor environments for high end sound, and although room #358 at the Westin SFO put up a good fight trying to uphold this reputation,
our tactical team emerged, well, let’s call it, “semi-triumphant.”
We had to make some executive decisions about the set up, scrapping plans and getting singularly focused on getting good sound from a system we were building from components on loan from a half dozen SFAS members– which is daunting enough in a sound-friendly room, let alone one that fights back!
That partial victory I mentioned took most of our 10 hour day in the room. Whereas the vintage analog sounded good, as did the CDs and SACDs, one thing we could not resolve for some inexplicable reason is that all the computer-based music servers we tried seemed cursed. Nothing sounded right, nothing. It was weird. We went home tired and not exactly celebrating.
First day of the show, Friday… I arrived early to swap out my decent phono cartridge (the one I was willing to risk at a show) with my reference cartridge the Ortofon Cadenza Bronze (the one I adamantly refused to risk but did it anyway). I also brought a pair of REL sub-woofers, which augmented Dan’s KEF LS50 bookshelf speakers. So now the vinyl front end with the Cadenza and Merrill Jens Phono Stage, as well as the physical media we fed into Gary’s Oppo 105, all driven by David’s Veritas mono-blocks were sounding very good, just in time for the 10:00am start… but, alas, when Leslie, our Goddess of Events arrived to save our file-server butts, even her great Ayre DAC and server didn’t sound right. If any of you can think of why this is happening, please write a comment here!
Well, it’s now the end of day one of the show, and although Fridays are considered slow for events like these, our room was packed. Our 30-second sign up station was very busy, and all told, we welcomed 51 new members to SFAS. Not so bad for one day. Many of them told us that they really liked our system’s sound… and often came back just to listen again. That made us smile.
And now, it’s time to get some sleep so we can do this again. It was a great day… Maybe you should join us tomorrow? Yes, it would be great to see you.