Standing Room Only

By John Strohbeen • Ohm Speakers • Tuesday, November 14, 2017


Standing Room Only, or maybe SRO at the NY Audio Show.

The 2017 New York Audio Show was this weekend and Ohm had a demonstration room. Hear the music – not the speakers was our theme. We made our point with a $4000 system. The show was a success.

This year we took a larger room located right in the center of the show. We were right outside the elevator on the middle of the three floors of audio. This location brought more traffic, but also more background noise from our neighbors. We were happy for the traffic and learned to keep the door closed to demonstrate dynamic range without damaging people’s eardrums. (We want both to be able to hear the quietest passages, and to be comfortable with the loudest peaks.)

Our System

We presented the Walsh 2000s this year as they were a fine match for the 2600 cu.ft. room. When they played the cannons on Telarc’s 1812 Overture, you could feel the impact in your chest without the speakers complaining. Outlaw was kind enough to lend us their new receiver – the RR 2160. At less than $800, it is a great bargain in sound-per-dollar. It was featured on the cover of this month’s Stereophile so it was easy to refer any questions to the review. Although we had an old Oppo CD player for audiophiles bringing in their own CDs, most of the time we used a Bluesound Node 2 with a memory stick as the source going into the Outlaw’s DAC. With our own mini-LAN, our iPhones could queue up the next song from anywhere in the room. This system allowed much more time for music and required much less time fiddling with equipment.

Hear the Music

I feel we had 50-100% more listeners this year. With the brief pauses between cuts, most listeners stayed and listened longer than last year. This gave us the ability to demonstrate a broader range of music. Several people even went home and came back with stacks of their own CDs or memory sticks. People really got to hear the system on the music they were familiar with – not just exotic demo sounds with no reference to reality. We used all-time favorites like Fleetwood Mac and Nora Jones as well as classic war horses like Berlioz’s Symphony Fantastique and Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite. We even made sure to have some well-recorded music by local NYC musicians and some new music that was released this year. We were reproducing music of all genres, not just pushing hardware.

Positive Feedback

Listeners were very positive with many Best Value in the Show’ and several ‘Best Sound in the Show’ comments! When I asked a Best Value commenter what won Best Sound, he said a $28,000 pair driven by $60,000 in other gear without naming names. I’m happy to be competing with the $100 Grand range system with our $4000 system. We introduced or reintroduced our speakers to a number of reviewers and hope you will be reading about us from them in the coming months.

Thanks

My thanks go out to vendors for providing the equipment:

And special thanks to the Ohm crew that worked so diligently to make the show a great success:

Thanks everyone for coming and enjoying some –

—Good Listening!

John

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