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Steve M

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  1. Hi Johnno, I have replied to you via PM. Cheers, Steve.
  2. Item: Squeezebox Touch Music Server & Kingrex UD-384 DAC, RRP $800 Location: Perth WA Price: $320 inc Free Postage within Oz. Item Condition: Very Good 8/10 Reason for selling: surplus Payment Method: Pickup - Cash, Paypal, COD Only Extra Info: *Can sell separately if required. For sale is my Logitech Squeezebox Touch music server in excellent condition with factory remote control, wall wart power supply and original packaging. Not much needs to be said about this device which has an excellent user interface and good sound quality to provide computer music and internet radio to your main sound system or to use in other rooms in the house. The Kingrex UD-384 is a very nice sounding portable USB-DAConvertor that retailed for RRP $420. It was bought from reviewer John Darko and is a compact unit about the size of a small wallet, but not too small to be lacking the electronics. I would say that it is likely to sound better than some of the smaller in-line DAC units like the Audioquest Dragonfly. If you want to play computer music and have small form factor, then this unit is a good option. It takes the USB data 'in' and spits out hirez 32bit/384kHz music via a pair of L-R analogue RCA outputs or via a single digital coaxial out. Local pick-up or happy to post Australia wide, both units have original boxes for safe transport. Pictures:
  3. Osborne speakers are very good based on the big ones that I heard at the Melbourne HiFi Show a few years ago. High quality Focal drivers are used and the crossover and boxes are superbly built. Greg Osborne is a pretty straight shooter too and prices his products well. The big Osborne’s will outdo the NS1000 for low bass, scale and musicality. Unless you are stuck on the special qualities of the beryllium drivers that I mentioned earlier in this thread, the Osborne’s are a good alternative. If your budget stretches to $20K though, you MUST have a listen to the new Yamaha NS-5000. It may not scale hugely and punch as hard like some of the really big speaker constructs, but qualitatively the NS-5000 competes in the $100K arena and then some! Steve.
  4. You are not imagining things Twaino, the NS1000 used with a strongish push-pull valve amp (30w/ch and above), is a match made in heaven. Especially if you like to listen to acoustic instruments and vocals, jazz and the like ...a valve amp will give you lots of sweet treble, lushness, better decay and realistic vocals. If you listen to more dynamic music that needs to be played louder, rock and blues, then like yamaha_man says, a competent solid state amp will do a better job. Personally, I prefer the Yammies on the end of a strong valve amp. Steve.
  5. Item: Kingrex UD384 USB DAC, $420 RRP Location: Perth Price: $195 includes delivery within Australia Item Condition: Excellent Reason for selling: surplus Payment Method: Pickup - Cash, Paypal, COD Only Extra Info: This is a very nice sounding portable USB-DAC that I purchased from reviewer John Darko, it retailed for RRP $420. It is neat and compact about the size of a small wallet, but not too small to be lacking the electronics. As such, I would say that it is likely to sound better than some of the smaller in-line units like the AQ Dragonfly. If you want to play computer music and have small form factor, then this unit is a good option. It takes the USB data 'in' and spits out hirez 32bit/384kHz music via a pair of L-R analogue RCA outputs or via a single digital coaxial out. See the good reviews on line for the Kingrex UD-384 DAC and you will need to install a driver for it from the Kingrex website. Pictures:
  6. Lenard Opal Speakers

    Hi Paul, Thanks for contributing to the thread. I am aware that you and John have jointly designed and built the Opal speakers, wondering what your relative skill sets are, just as a matter of interest? It is interesting how you say that a competent amp is all you need with a sorted active system. In my own adventures with active DIY speakers I have also found this to be the case. It is more important how I set the parameters on the DBX Driverack crossover unit, rather than be overly concerned with the amps attached to it. I have a room full of Krell, powerful digital and valve monobloc amps to trial. I have come to the conclusion over many years that amplifier cost and perceived quality is a moot point with active systems and you need to move on from that. Steve.
  7. Lenard Opal Speakers

    The price for the Opals is not too bad either Mondie, in that you do not need to buy preamps, amps, cables or even a fancy front end as the speaker sounds amazing just with any streamed music. I guess the speaker is exciting/accurate enough on its own without any accoutrements. Steve.
  8. 6C3CC tube driven SET amplifiers

    The 6C33C is perhaps a more accurate tube with the appropriate circuit and under ideal load conditions. Though perhaps less of the beautiful character that the 300B valve is famous for, or I could be completely wrong? The valve amp gurus will need to comment on this ...
  9. 6C3CC tube driven SET amplifiers

    Just look at all the valves being used in the Supratek Merlot SET amps ...you will never see anything like it, I reckon. The brainchild of Mick Maloney's eclectic and evolved mind. From memory, there was one Russian 6C33C-B driving the other 6C33C-B valve, only one output valve used to maintain purity of sound. The other valves are drivers, Mullard GZ37 rectifer, a pair of OA-5 Regulator tubes that lit up the skyline bright as a nuclear reactor and reflected off the chrome transformer covers for visual effect and some interstage 6SN7+6SL7 valves. The amps worked flawlessly too in the 3-4yrs that I owned them. Sounded amazingly clear, transparent, tonally perfect ...liquid sounding. Should never have sold them, other than more than 10w/ch was needed at the time. Steve.
  10. 6C3CC tube driven SET amplifiers

    That's a very nice pair of 6C33C valve amps you have there, Balk. Steve
  11. 6C3CC tube driven SET amplifiers

    Not sure what your price range is, but amplifiers using the 6C33C tube are quite rare and can be expensive. The Almarro 318B from Japan is a very nice sounding valve amp, have heard it on a few occasions and it is very clear and explicit, but still has a nice tone to it. Not your typical mushy sounding valve amp and it punches quite well too. I owned a pair of Supratek Merlot SET monoblocs using the 6C33CB tube, super excellent and the best amplifier I have had in my system. Low power output of 10w/ch made them mainly usable with efficient speakers and reasonably expensive too at $9K, but you get a lot of construction for your money. Mick Maloney might still build the Merlot amps for you if you can twist his arm via email or in conversation at the Supratek website? Other than that the only other 6C33C valve amps of repute that I am aware of, are Lamm and VAC in the USA, big bucks though starting at $20K+. Btw, the sound of the 6C33C valve is worth pursuing, imho. It is a valve that seems to have high levels of accuracy and clarity aligned with the niceness that we have come to associate with the sound of valve circuits. Cheers, Steve.
  12. Lenard Opal Speakers

    I had the pleasure of listening to the Lenard Audio Opal speakers at Krugersmooth/David's place last week, in the company of Thomo/Jon. I thought the Opals were one of the best loudspeakers I have ever heard. To be honest, I was expecting some horn coloration and perhaps a speaker that is dynamic, but maybe lacking some micro-detail and finesse. Well that was not to be, as the Opals had everything from top-to-bottom and just sounded 'live' and realistic ...as close to a live band playing in your home. They sounded clean and punchy at medium to loud levels and could whisper and still produce good sound quality at lower levels, always a good sign of a well sorted speaker. The 18" Acoustic Elegance sealed bass was magnificent and not woofy at all, it was tight and controlled, fast and still plumbed the depths (as heard on a couple of electronica tracks played) The bass was not the ever present kind, it came and went as the music demanded it, with very little overhang to bass notes. There is nothing quite like the acoustic force of a pair of LARGE 18" bass drivers, they produce a 'band playing in the room' realism, a percussive whack to drum strikes, that smaller drivers just cannot replicate. This bass signature is matched very well in the Opals, to the horn dynamics of the speaker. You would expect the horn part to exceed the bass signature in terms of dynamics, but I felt in this case, each spectrum was keeping up with the other. One surprising aspect of all of this is that the Opals are driven by their own active amplification. The amplifier unit is a small black box with four volume knobs for each of the drivers in this fourway speaker system. The box is about the size of a long slender toaster, supposedly only about 40 watts into each of the channels, the black box I hazard a guess contains a multiple of small purpose built Class AB solid state amplifiers. It was ridiculous the amount of sheer volume level produced by 40w/ch on this obviously highly efficient speaker system - it scaled to 100+dB output easily with zero compression. One other thing of note is the sound of David's room ...it was very clean sounding, with very little to none slap echo. He has achieved this by simply constructing a beautiful ceiling out of slotted natural timbers with some sort of 250 mm air gapped and constrained layer absorption material behind the wood. Sonically very effective and visually harmonious with the room. Bravo David ...but quite costly as it was $16K for the ceiling alone, ouch! Btw, the cost of the Opal speakers is in the vicinity of $30-40K depending on the custom order with Lenard Audio. So any criticisms you might ask? Thomo felt the system didn't quite do the piano to the nth degree (like the new Yamaha NS-5000 which excels at this), and while this may be the case, I have a feeling that a simple tweak of the active controls on the Opal's amplifier to adjust treble and midrange to give some additional presence to match his liking of piano tone, will have fixed it. That's the thing you see, with an active speaker system you have inbuilt tone controls and the world is your oyster. For me, the Opals perhaps did't quite have the midrange development, feathery treble and transient attack and decay of my Orange Direct Drive Electrostatic speakers or the Quads, Martin Logan, ER Audio and other panels. However, these types of speakers can sound a little weak on some music whereas the Opals will play everything. We are also talking about maybe a 2% improvement factor and nor am I sure that this issue is manifest at all in the Opals? When you consider there are plenty of things that the Lenard Opals can do, that the stats/panels cannot, it is not a whinge at all, but rather consideration of a different approach to the norm. One other 'potential' niggle is that the source equipment could (maybe/perhaps) be improved upon, who knows??The only source connected on the day to this amazing system was a Sonos device streaming Tidal music. There was no uber DAC, no fancy-pants disc player, no valves to sweeten things, no preamp or behemoth power amp to energize the room etc, that's it, nada nothing else. And, while it all sounded fantastic I couldn't help but wonder what a more serious source component could do, to up the ante? David strikes me as an intelligent person and a realist, so I am sure he has tried or contemplated such moves and has decided to just to play the music, which is how we (audiophiles) should all be. By the way, he is also an accomplished hobbyist winemaker, the bottle of 2017 Cabernet he gifted to us was a very nice drop (as confirmed by my good wife and Thomo), it was smooth and tasted clean on the palate, much like a good Margaret River red ...thanks David. In concluding, a big congrats to Lenard Audio and the designer/builder John Burnett and his crew on this wonderful loudspeaker that in my humble opinion, competes with the best out there. The dynamics, accuracy and upfront sound of the Lenard Opals may be a bit confronting to some on first audition, but there is no doubting that this is a superb loudspeaker from a knowledgeable and skilled designer. Cheers, Steve. Phone photos shown below ...
  13. Squeezebox Touch Music Server

    *Price reduction, as above.
  14. G’day Mike, Agree with the statement about not going back once you hear something better, and only restrained by budget consideration I guess, for most people. Have heard your ML1, ML2 and ML3 on quite a few occasions and I am totally convinced that you make a very good speaker and your efforts in controlling cabinet resonances, building fantastic crossovers and sorting out phase and timing in a speaker, is to be applauded. The result is that Lenehan speakers will always sound coherent and proper, imho. In this context, I look forward to day the Lenehan factory comes out with an Uber threeway. Cheers, Steve.
  15. All this talk of baffle step problems damning a larger speaker are a moot point when you hear a well sorted threeway speaker like the new Yamaha NS-5000 or the Magico S5 & S7. From what I have heard on numerous occasions with these (albeit expensive) propositions, there is very little smearing or timing issues with them. Perhaps due their superlative crossovers and high quality parts used. Steve.