When it comes to show coverage, the worst ordeal isn’t the airline travel. It isn’t the lumpy hotel bed, or the long hours, the lack of sleep, or the series of crippling hangovers. The biggest single problem facing someone who goes to too many shows is trying to figure out where to start writing.
Fortunately, we have Madisound, the home brewing maven’s supply depot, to help us out. If you’re looking for inspiration, Madisound’s room is the place to run to see the wackiest ideas in the joint. Take their demo system: a pair of assembled Linwitz LXMini kits with the optional MiniDSP 4×10 crossover ($895 total cost) was fed by Madisound’s usual Benchmark DAC1 HDR ($1295) and an Emotiva XPA-5 five-channel poweramp ($999) for one of the lowest total system prices at the show. Despite the lousy setup and indifferent musical selection, the sound was surprisingly tolerable. The soundstaging experience alone rivaled anything else at the show, and brought home my motto: those who won’t DIY deserve to pay through the nose.
But that’s hardly the reason to go to the Madisound room. As always, the tables filled with drivers and parts are the real draw. Just a few minutes’ gawping at the candyland buffet is enough to send any approximate carpenter into at least a weekend’s frenzy of daydreaming up their summertime plans — a pastime that Madisound’s Adam Johnson and Brian Kane are always happy to encourage.