North West Audio Show

I visited the North West Audio Show at Cranage Hall on Sunday 24th June, with my old schoolmate, Chris. These are my memories of a full and enjoyable day. We dawdled wherever the music sounded good, so we missed a few of the bedrooms. Overall, the sounds were good, and those that weren’t were mainly due to the sound being turned up too loud. Refreshingly, most visitors were asking exhibitors to turn the volume down, not up. But do you want the good news or the bad news first? Yes, you’re right. It’s better to end on a high note. 🙂
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I’m a big fan of PMC speakers, so I was disappointed to hear awful sounds from them. We arrived at the end of the show, and heard the last half of the last track they played before packing up. Heavy rock was jack-hammering out from Luxman-driven PMC IB2s. I choose to believe it was just a poor recording, played too loud. Someone who hadn’t heard PMCs before might not be so kind.
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Earlier on, we heard some sweet sounds over Amphion Krypton3s, driven by Caas electronics. They’re quite large (tall), and feature ports made of lots of little holes, up beside the mid-range drivers. Nice music, and interesting looks. Those who visited the room stayed for a good while, enjoying the music. We did too.
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Next, a novelty. In the audiopro room, a small pair of active speakers were sitting on a table, sounding quite good, if not exceptional. As hifi speakers, that is. Then I realised they were computer-desk bookshelf monitors, which is the novelty. As such, they were Very Good. They will surely exceed the quality of what you feed them, unless you’ve already got a Chord Mojo. More details here.
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Vox 3 mini monitors awaited us in the Sound Kaos room. As ever, the sound was open, airy, and entrancing. This seems to be their family sound. Although we were running out of time to see all the rooms, we stayed and listened to the music for a while. We did last year too.
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In the Neat Acoustics room, we auditioned their new Xplorers. I had especially looked forward to these, and I wasn’t disappointed. Great highs from the AMT driver, and well-rounded isobaric bass. They have been added to my list. You know, the one I’ll return to when I win the lottery….
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And finally, a treat from Puresound, in the form of Heco Direkt speakers. They have drawbacks, admittedly (see this review), but I haven’t had so much fun in years! A pre-recorded reel-to-reel tape of the Ramsey Lewis Trio offered superb percussion, such as I have rarely heard. You should consider these speakers to be like old-fashioned horns. A bit lacking in the extremes, but always lively and exuberant. A bit of light classical sounded nice too. Probably not for all music, or all music-lovers. Hear them if you can.
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I came with a particular interest in hearing speakers, so I’m afraid I neglected many other worthwhile things. These were my personal highlights. If you didn’t make it to the Show, come next year? See you there.

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[Dots between paragraphs to ensure paragraph spacing. It looks awkward: sorry! 😉 ]

North West Audio Show

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