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TomW

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  1. Our May meeting was well attended. We arrived early, and spent a fair bit of time measuring to ensure the speakers were positioned equidistant from the side walls and the back wall. The Dukes are engineered to work best with a 15% toe-in. So we measured that as well before listening. When we finally did listen, we were a bit surprised that the sound was excellent right away! There was very little adjusting required after. It pays to do your homework! The sound staging was pretty good considering the room. Tonality across the frequencies was very good, even the bass wasn’t too lumpy (a known issue in our room at the Epping Community Centre). Dynamics were good as well. We now have Nick’s Dukes setup for listening at my place, and they do indeed sound much better. I can now say with confidence that they are excellent speakers and considering the retail price, I dare say they’re a real bargain. If you wish to come for a listen, contact either Nick on 0401 419 342 or email at nicolas@hulgichaudio.com.au, or me (via email or mobile) after Thursday the 23rd. Nick will be here until Thursday the 23rd. However, the Dukes will be here and setup until about the end of May. So you’ll be able to hear them at any time during that period, even after Nick has returned to Adelaide. However, If you have questions after Nick has gone home, then it would be best if you emailed or called him. Here are some comments from the feedback forms… “Great speakers.” “Lovely speakers.” “Impressive sound.” “Some segments played too loudly. Some of the demo music Nick was using towards the end detracted from the equipment.” “Excellent speakers.” “Audio GD amps sound a lot better”. [TomW - than the Nord monoblocks] “Best speakers so far. Equal to PMCs.” “Much better clarity with second set of amps.” “Nice to see new Aussie manufacturers.” “Most enjoyable listen.” “One of the best meetings and systems this year.” “Top speakers and sound.” “Quite good speakers. Suggest better quality recordings for speakers demos.” Photos to follow…
  2. For our May club meeting we are very pleased to have Nick Hulgich of HulgichAudio present his new flagship speakers, the Duke. As well, Nick is bringing lots of new gear like the AudioGD Master 1 Class A preamplifier and AudioGD Master 2H monoblocks. After the club meeting, you’ll have the opportunity to hear Nick’s new Duke speakers in a dedicated and optimised music room. If you are interested, see here for full detail. Details of the system… Speakers: HulgichAudio Duke (new flagship speakers) http://www.hulgichaudio.com.au/duke.html Source: Mac mini using JRiver. Music in 2TB Solid State Disc (SSD). DAC: AudioGD R8 resistor ladder DAC http://www.audio-gd.com/R2R/R8/R8EN.htm Preamp: AudiogGD Master 1 Class A preamplifier http://www.audio-gd.com/Master/M1_2017/Master-12017EN.htm Both preamp and DAC are connected with ACSS cables. ACSS is a non-feedback technology made with discrete amplifiers. Most people know that global feedback design can offer better specs in test measurements, and non-feedback can't do well in test measurements but can offer better sound for the human's ears. Here is a conflict of the classic circuits. But ACSS opens new opportunities - it can offer a less colored sound which is more neutral with very low distortion and high linearity. So it can retain the dynamics, detail and neutral sound but not sound bright or harsh. [Copy from Audio GD website]. Amplifier option 1: Nord Acoustics Revision D monoblocks (latest upgrade) using Sonic Imagery op amps. Connected to preamplifier via XLR cables. Nord Acoustics amps are Class D amplifiers based on Hypex NCore Technology. Amplifier option 2: AudioGD Master 2H monoblocks. Connected to preamplifier via ACSS cables. Krell amplifiers uses the same technology which they call CAST technology. http://www.audio-gd.com/Master/Master-2H/Master-2HEN.htm Features: · This is a real balanced ACSS Non Negative Feedback Power Amp. · Supports XLR and ACSS inputs. · The Master 2H applies "Linear Fidelity" technology on the output drive stages. The output drive stages have no negative feedback but can keep the distortion low and steady, and have ultra-excellent linear performance [copy from Audio GD website]. · Soft Start Power Design. · 80 wpc output transistors. All Power cables done by HULGICHAUDIO based on shielded copper cables and copper connectors. Speaker cables: HULGICHAUDIO “FTM” cables. These cables use the same silver plated copper cables used inside the speakers to guarantee the same sound quality from the amplifiers to the speaker drivers. They are terminated with Rhodium locking banana connectors to ensure a proper and safe connection to the audio system. Oppo BDP-105D – additional source for BYO session. The second half of the music sessions will be our popular BYO. Members and guests are welcome to offer music to share with us all. So bring along your favourite music on CD/SACD or USB thumb/flash drives (sorry, no vinyl this month). All we ask is that the music and recordings be interesting. We'll ask you to tell us a little about the artist/recording before it is played. Tracks over 6 minutes will be faded out, to give everyone a fair go. Whether you are a novice or a seasoned veteran, you will have the opportunity to listen, learn and share your experiences with others. Feel free to come and hear the capabilities of the system, or to just share the experience with like-minded music lovers in a friendly and relaxed atmosphere. Guests are welcome – we are a very friendly club so you don't need to know anyone to join us for an afternoon of fine music and sound. Venue: Epping Creative Centre, Dence Park Address: 26 Stanley Road, Epping When: Sunday 19th May 2019 Doors open 1pm Meeting starts at 2pm Tom Waters President Sydney Audio Club W: http://www.sydneyaudioclub.org/ FB: https://www.facebook.com/sydneyaudioclub E: tomwaters@sydneyaudioclub.org.au
  3. Nick Hulgich will be in Sydney for the 19th May club meeting. Guests are welcome to attend our club meeting of course. Afterwards, hear Nick's new flagship speakers in an acoustically friendly room in off-site GTGs. Guests are welcome to attend a GTG too of course. Nick will be in town for 4 days. Refer to the Sydney Audio Club News page for full detail.
  4. Our April club meeting drew a large sized crowd of members and guests. Our presenter was Robert Campbell of Purasound in Brisbane. He brought a large SUV full of gear down with him. The MACH2P speakers were large stand mount speakers solidly built out of braced thick aluminum. Each one was quite heavy, but not as heavy as the incredible speakers stands - I don't recall ever coming across speaker stands so heavy and well-built. Once the stands were spiked, there was absolutely no floor vibration getting into the MACH2P's! The Pink Faun streamer was equally impressive - also very heavy in weight with clean and transparent sound, very dynamic and tonally spot-on. Apparently people have bought one after just a short listen - they're that good. The Grandinote Supremo and Grandinote Volta were also stellar in their contribution. Everything was tied together with cabling by Luna (from Canada) and Skogrand (from Norway). And the local distributor for Vertere (George Fracchia) brought a new Vertere Phase Distribution Centre to the meeting to pass on to Rob. Rob is the dealer for Vertere in QLD. The Vertere Phase Distribution Centre is, simplistically speaking, a sophisticated power board on steroids. It's quite unique in that it can allow you to change the phase and lift the ground (if required) for each power outlet, all the while ensuring that all outlets are isolated from each other. It also tells you the voltage on the input - in our room it varied between 235 and 239. The room was treated behind the speakers. We also had some treatment to the outside of each speaker to help a bit with focus. All in all, it was a great sounding system that just kept improving as the afternoon progressed. We owe huge thanks to Rob for his effort and time to come to present to us. Here are some comments from the Feedback forms: "Top Gear at a price though. Bass restricted by room acoustics." "Certainly delivered the goods. I wonder how much making the system into a room with the panels was responsible for the sound quality." "Little speakers but with good performance." "Very well balanced and pleasant system." "Very nice detail and soundstage." "Lovely meeting. Many thanks to Rob for the huge effort for coming all the way from QLD." "Very good. Eye opener to low output Class A amps combination with high efficiency speakers and 1st order crossover." "Good but lacking extreme bass." "One of the best systems this year." "1st meeting. Thanks. I enjoyed and will be back." "Excellent system but up against stiff competition at the price." "Too loud! Sounded a bit harsh but very crisp." “Excellent. Wonderful. Pin point focus and musicality. Great soundstage.” Photos to follow....
  5. For our April club meeting we are very pleased to have Rob Campbell of Purasound return after his superb presentation last April. Details of the system… Grandinote MACH2P - speakers monitor. Refer to https://www.purasound.com/grandinote-1 and http://www.grandinote.it/mach2p%20-%20en.html Grandinote Supremo - integrated amp. Refer to http://www.grandinote.it/supremo%20-%20en.html Grandinote Volta - DAC/streamer. Refer to http://www.grandinote.it/volta%20-%20en.html Pink Faun 2.16 server/streamer. Refer to https://www.pinkfaun.com/index.php/products/streaming-audio/pink-faun-streamer-2-16.html and https://6moons.com/audioreviews2/pinkfaun/1.html Stacore Isolation. Refer to https://www.purasound.com/stacore and http://stacore.pl/en/ Skogrand Cables. Refer to https://www.purasound.com/skogrand-cables and https://www.skograndcables.com/ Luna Cables. Refer to https://www.purasound.com/luna-cables and https://www.lunacables.com/ Vertere Phase Distribution. Refer to https://www.purasound.com/vertere-acoustics and http://www.monoandstereo.com/2018/11/new-vertere-acoustics-hb-ac.html Keces Power Supplies. Refer to https://www.purasound.com/keces and http://www.kecesaudio.com/ Oppo BDP-105D – additional source for BYO session. The second half of the music sessions will be our popular BYO. Members and guests are welcome to offer music to share with us all. So bring along your favourite music on CD/SACD or USB thumb/flash drives (sorry, no vinyl this month). All we ask is that the music and recordings be interesting. We'll ask you to tell us a little about the artist/recording before it is played. Tracks over 6 minutes will be faded out, to give everyone a fair go. Whether you are a novice or a seasoned veteran, you will have the opportunity to listen, learn and share your experiences with others. Feel free to come and hear the capabilities of the system, or to just share the experience with like-minded music lovers in a friendly and relaxed atmosphere. Guests are welcome – we are a very friendly club so you don't need to know anyone to join us for an afternoon of fine music and sound. Venue: Epping Creative Centre, Dence Park Address: 26 Stanley Road, Epping When: Sunday 14th April 2019 Doors open 1pm Meeting starts at 2pm Tom Waters President Sydney Audio Club W: www.sydneyaudioclub.org FB: https://www.facebook.com/sydneyaudioclub E: tomwaters@sydneyaudioclub.org.au
  6. Images of the brochure Edgar brought on the day.... and more photos courtesy of David...
  7. Our March meeting was attended by David Gibbons of the Hunter Audio Enthusiasts (HAE) club (based in the Hunter Valley). David took copious notes during the meeting and immediately wrote a meeting report for the HAE magazine. He sent me a draft, and I immediately thought that, hey, this is much more complete than what I could have written up! So I asked David if we could publish it as well, giving full credit to David and the HAE of course. Fortunately for you, he said yes. So here it is below. Below David's report are some comments from the Feedback forms. THE HIGH END IN REVIEW AT SYDNEY AUDIO CLUB How would you like to meet a real and respected Audio Reviewer? David had the chance when he was able to attend Sydney Audio Club's Sunday afternoon meeting on 10 March as a guest. The real live reviewer was even Australian ... Edgar Kramer, Editor in Chief, SoundStage! Australia. In the invite that we Hunter Audio Enthusiasts received via our Secretary from Sydney Audio Club's Tom Waters stated: "Edgar Kramer of Soundstage! Australia will be explaining audiophile terminology and playing specific tracks to demonstrate. Edgar is an accomplished listener and has many years’ experience as a reviewer. There are few people here in Australia that are as qualified as Edgar for this presentation." I found Edgar's presentation revealed someone who loved music, with a systematic and rigorous approach, honestly reporting what he heard and felt. Edgar's humour popped out too - for example when he said (truly) he likes chocolate ice cream, some of us like strawberry, some prefer vanilla, some mango ... but ... we ALL like ice-cream! A great analogy I thought. All of us like music, and all of us like it reproduced at the high end, but all of us have different tastes - so before you commit to something a reviewer writes - listen to it yourself and make up your own mind! Edgar's details and info about SoundStage! Australia are given at the end of this article. Edgar is shown presenting further below. But first about the Venue and the "Gear-phile" guff The Venue is a "large-ish" hall in a community centre (Epping Creative Centre, 26 Stanley Rd Epping) - because Sydney Audio Club is large. Over 40 were in attendance - and I noted all male with a "high-end median age" it could be said. The venue is shown below. Of course I immediately commented to Tom about my pleasure at seeing the room treatments as a acknowledgement that "the room is part of instrument" - as my Uni Physics lecturer would say. Tom said they go some way towards treating the room, and the ceiling shape would help with some sort of diffusion. A great room audio test is (NOT to clap hands) but to listen to the spoken voice. When humans spoke both from the front and the floor, I didn't notice any excessive exaggerations. The voices if anything sounded a bit dull and muted to me. I certainly didn't hear any flutter echoes or the like. In a word I thought the room was reasonably "tame". Of course the room is not a normal home listening environment! The kit was supplied by two Sydney Audio Club members. Full details and links are given in Tom's meeting notice email that Barrie circulated to all of us. A sense of the kit can be garnered from the few photos below. Avery Fisher - a pioneer audio developer, music lover and philanthropist to music and musicians (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Avery_Fisher) once said to never linger when listening to evaluate sound quality - just listen quickly and go with your first impression. When I walked in before the meeting, a drum recording was playing ... and my instant impression was "fantastic"! Edgar's Presentation This is necessarily a summary of highlights to me. Edgar's "Biases". How refreshing for a professional reviewer to be right up-front saying that (like all of us!) he has "biases". Perhaps Edgar was being more humble than accurate because he then structured his presentation on what I thought were a logical set of review criteria rather than "biases". Edgar's prime evaluation targets are: · Tone / Timbre · Dynamics · Detail Other evaluation markers for Edgar include: · Scale · Clarity / Presence · Stage width and depth · Bass Depth · Bass punch · Image focus and placement · Resolution / separation / Micro dynamics Demonstrating the Criteria Tone / Timbre CD: "Duet" / Sylvain Luc, Biréli Lagrène / Dreyfus Jazz ‎– FDM 36 604-2 / Track 9 "Stompin' At The Savoy". As a guitarist, Edgar said he finds this a great reference for timbre. The piece includes some guitar body tapping ("thumping"). CD: "BOYS FOR PELE" / Tori Amos / EastWest ‎– 7567-80696-2 Dynamics CD: Dave Brubeck's drummer - Joe Morello - Take Five CD: Jackson Browne, "Sergio Leone" from "The Naked Ride Home" / Elektra ‎– 7559-62793-2 Scale CD: "On Earth as it is in Heaven" from the movie soundtrack The Mission on the CD titled Great Movie Soundtracks. Clarity/Presence CD: "Ten Songs from Live at Carnegie Hall" / Ryan Adams / the track was “Gimme Something Good” Pax Americana Record Company ‎– PAX-AM 053, Blue Note ‎– B002263402 Comment by David: Definitely "present", but also distractingly reverberant and scratchy in my opinion. Stage width and depth CD: "BELAFONTE at Carnegie Hall - The Complete Concert" / RCA ‎– 6006-2-R. Track was “Jamaica Farewell”. CD: "Living in Clip" Ani Di Franco ‎/ Righteous Babe Records RBR011-D - Amazing Grace Bass Depth "Poems of Thunder" by Yim Hok-Man. Chinese Drums / Naxos World Bass punch CD: Rage Against the Machine (1992) - Track 3, Take the Power Back Image focus and placement CD: "Tangents" / Track 3 "December Wings" / Gary Peacock Trio / ECM 2533 Resolution / separation / Micro dynamics CD: "Curandero ‎– Arás" / Featuring Béla Fleck / Silver Wave Records ‎– SD911. The track was “Seque”. The absolute standouts for me were: CD: Dave Brubeck's drummer - Joe Morello - Take Five; CD: "On Earth as it is in Heaven"; CD: "BELAFONTE at Carnegie Hall - The Complete Concert"; CD: "Poems of Thunder" by Yim Hok-Man - Chinese Drums; Curiously for me, the reproduced sound had a significantly different timbre to the natural spoken human voices - a tilt for higher frequencies and more clarity. Speculation: Maybe this could be due to the speakers being more forward facing (directional) than the human voice. Maybe if dipolar speakers were used this would be less pronounced???? COMMENT from David - Perhaps Hunter Audio Enthusiasts could consider adding some of these sources to their reference collection. Questions After his presentation, Edgar invited questions and got a lot! Edgar was able to confirm a complete independence in his review process - and confirmed this is the case for all "high end" reviewers known to him. He said that his set up is definitely "high end" (eg. speakers about $100,000) in a great listening environment as it happens (a room the right proportions with a vertical slot to a higher level giving bass control). He indicated his trepidation now as he is in the process of moving houses. I asked a question - thinking about Dr. Floyd E. Toole and consistency and repeatability - if Edgar had had opportunity for separate listening by other reviewers in the same environment, and then comparing conclusions. He replied that no, this was not really practical - eg. the distance Greg Borrowman was away - but he regularly invited reliable friends to give their opinions and these very often confirm his own conclusions. They are audio enthusiasts, most of them with decades under their belt in terms of listening experience and hobby involvement. The Break During the break three club members came up to me and heartily endorsed my mention Dr. Floyd E. Toole and the essential need to have firm scientific foundations for our reproduction of the sonic musical arts. After the break Just like Hunter Audio Enthusiasts, this second segment is for folk to bring what they wanted played. This showed a healthy diversity on musical tastes which I mostly enjoyed. More About Edgar Kramer and SoundStage! Australia "In charge of SoundStage! Australia is well-respected hi-fi journalist Edgar Kramer. Prior to leading SoundStage! Australia, Edgar contributed to the following print and online publications: Audio Esoterica as editor, and Australian Hi-Fi and Sound+Image as a reviews editor, and 6moons.com as a senior reviewer." "From his headquarters in the beautiful Blue Mountains in Sydney, Australia, Edgar’s responsibilities include writing feature articles and reviews, in addition to leading the site’s team of reviewers, who are all Australians. SoundStage! Australia was created as a platform for the Australian hi-fi scene, so it’s natural that all the content originates there." (www.soundstageaustralia.com) Thanks My sincere thanks to the Sydney Audio Club, to Tom Waters and other members for making me feel most welcome - and to Edgar for a simply presented - yet profound and insightful presentation - openly sharing his knowledge and expertise accumulated over many years. Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect any policy or position of Sydney Audio Club, or SoundStage! Australia, or Hunter Audio Enthusiasts. Author: The author is David Gibbins (President Hunter Audio Enthusiasts) \ davidrgibbins@gmail.com \ 0404 999 623. Yours David Here are some comments from the Feedback forms.... "Superb." "Great." "Interesting meeting. Very enjoyable. System sounded great." "Well conducted meeting. Excellent choice of presenter." "Very interesting meeting." "Very coherent system. Very good slew rate." "System gelled well. Not enough classical or Jazz." "The system held my attention well and had me closing my eyes and no longer listening to the equipment but the music." "Well informed presentation. Interesting." "Very dynamic speakers. Enjoyed this meeting tremendously." "Ed Kramer Preso Great!" "Excellent meeting. First rate presentation from Edgar." "Very interesting. Excellent CD player. Meeting format was excellent." "Very enjoyable meeting. Great sounding system." "Great presentation and suitable music to demo the points made. Excellent equipment synergy." "Thanks Edgar. Very informative."
  8. For our March club meeting we’ve got something quite different arranged. What does it mean when we say the sound is ‘bright’, ‘hard’ or ‘compressed’… ? Edgar Kramer of Soundstage! Australia will be explaining audiophile terminology and playing specific tracks to demonstrate. Edgar is an accomplished listener and has many years’ experience as a reviewer. There are few people here in Australia that are as qualified as Edgar for this presentation. So get ready, prepare yourself so you can ask about those audiophile terms that puzzle you… Detail of the system… Hulgich Audio Ella MkII speakers with Gaia II feet on basalt blocks. Refer to links below… http://www.hulgichaudio.com.au/ella.html https://www.soundstageaustralia.com/index.php/news/90-hulgich-audio-ella-mkii-speakers https://www.stereo.net.au/news/hulgich-audio-releases-ella-mk2-loudspeakers https://www.stereo.net.au/reviews/review-hulgich-audio-serenade-loudspeakers https://www.stereo.net.au/reviews/review-hulgich-audio-astor-loudspeakers Plinius Reference amplifier. Refer to https://www.stereophile.com/solidpoweramps/506plinius/index.html. Classe CP-800 (or valve preamp). https://classeaudio.com/cp-800/ https://www.stereophile.com/content/class233-cp-800-da-preamplifier Gryphon Mikado Reference CDP – source for Edgar’s presentation. Oppo BDP-105D – additional source for BYO session. ZenSati #1 & #2 Interconnects and ZenSati #2 Speaker cables. Refer to links below… https://www.zensati.com/shop.html http://www.zensatiaustralia.com/ The second half of the music sessions will be our popular BYO. Members and guests are welcome to offer music to share with us all. So bring along your favourite music on CD or USB thumb/flash drives (sorry, no vinyl this month). All we ask is that the music and recordings be interesting. We'll ask you to tell us a little about the artist/recording before it is played. Tracks over 6 minutes will be faded out, to give everyone a fair go. Whether you are a novice or a seasoned veteran, you will have the opportunity to listen, learn and share your experiences with others. Feel free to come and hear the capabilities of the system, or to just share the experience with like-minded music lovers in a friendly and relaxed atmosphere. Guests are welcome – we are a very friendly club so you don't need to know anyone to join us for an afternoon of fine music and sound. Venue: Epping Creative Centre, Dence Park Address: 26 Stanley Road, Epping When: Sunday 10th March 2019 Doors open 1pm Meeting starts at 2pm Best regards, Tom Waters President Sydney Audio Club W: www.sydneyaudioclub.org FB: https://www.facebook.com/sydneyaudioclub E: tomwaters@sydneyaudioclub.org.au
  9. Our February meeting was well attended – these comparison meetings definitely attract the interest of people. We started our setup a couple of hours in advance – we tested all the gear and did an SPL check to ensure all three DACs output at the same level. We then used the volume on the integrated amp whenever we wished to change the volume. We had a late improvement in the DAC line up … we were able to source a Benchmark DAC3 rather than the DAC2. The other two DACs were as previously stated, the Mytek Brooklyn and the HoloAudio Spring Kitsune Level 3. We determined in advance that the HoloAudio DAC setting of oversampling sounded best with the gear and in the room. People say that the first component to be listened to is usually handicapped – that the second one is typically perceived to be better. So we choose the listening sequence at random. The drawn order was the HoloAudio first, then the BenckMark, then the Mytek. We had two rounds. The first round was a comparison of all three DACs (with no volume changes of course). We played 3 tracks from 3 separate albums on each DAC. Upon completion, we voted. The ratings were: HoloAudio 15 votes, Benchmark DAC3 9 votes and the Mytek 4 votes. Unfortunately the Mytek developed a locking issue when playing the 3rd track, this undoubtedly hurt its chances in the voting. With the least number of votes, the Mytek dropped out. We then had our final round with the Benchmark DAC3 and the HoloAudio. We increased the volume on the integrated amp by a few db beforehand. We played one final track on each DAC. It was acoustic rock guitar, very dynamic and well recorded. We choose the order again at random, the Benchmark went first. We then counted the votes: the HoloAudio took 16 votes, the Benchmark took 13 votes. So the HoloAudio Spring Kitsune Level 3 took first place with the Benchmark DAC3 fairly close in second place. People asked about the pricing of the DACs. All DACs were within $400 of each other, the HoloAudio being the most expensive, but there wasn’t a huge price difference. And of course, there were a few people that didn’t like the music chosen for the comparisons, but that was inevitable. All in all, it appeared that people quite enjoyed the afternoon. Our feedback forms indicated a strong interest in even more comparison type meetings. We’ll see what we can do. Here’s some feedback lifted from the Feedback forms: “Very interesting comparison. KEF speakers performed very well. Good music selection.” “Very enjoyable meeting and interesting comparison. Loved the LS50s.” “Holo very natural sounding. Preferred Benchmark.” “Impressive small speakers.” “Very good DACs. Hard to pick the best. Usual problem with small speakers…?? .. bass” “Thanks for arranging another equipment comparison. System gelled together well. Holo smoother. Benchmark too detailed.” “Good to hear various DACs” “Interesting and enjoyable meeting. All DACs sounded quite good.” “Benchmark very detailed. Holo sounded more natural.” Photos to follow…
  10. We’re often asked to have more club meetings where we compare equipment, music player software and even music file formats. So for our February club meeting, we will be comparing three popular and well-respected DACs. We will have the Mytek Brooklyn, the HoloAudio Spring Kitsune Level 3 and the Benchmark DAC2. The winner of the comparison will be the DAC of choice for our second half BYO session. Mytek Brooklyn DAC – refer to https://mytekdigital.com/hifi/products/brooklyn/. Uses the Sabre 9018 Pro delta-sigma chipset. It converts up to 384k, 32bit PCM, native DSD up to DSD256, DXD with 130dB dynamic range. HoloAudio Spring Kitsune Level 3 DAC – refer to https://www.stereophile.com/content/holoaudio-spring-kitsuné-tuned-edition-level-3-da-processor. The Spring DAC is a R-2R DAC, also known as a ladder DAC. Ladder DACs use cascaded voltage dividers consisting of resistors (valued R and 2R) to passively convert a bitstream to continuous analog voltages. Benchmark DAC2 – refer to https://benchmarkmedia.com/products/benchmark-dac2-hgc-digital-to-analog-audio-converter. Uses four 32-bit ESS Sabre DACs run in balanced configuration. Like the Mytek, these are delta-sigma DAC chipsets. Our transport will be the ubiquitous Oppo 105D universal player. It will feed each DAC via SPDIF. The amplification will be the AudioGD Integrated amplifier. Refer to http://www.audio-gd.com/Master/Master10/Master-10EN.htm The speakers will be the lovely and musical KEF LS50s. The second half of the music sessions will be our popular BYO. Members and guests are welcome to offer music to share with us all. Please bring along your favourite music on CD or USB thumb/flash drives (sorry, no vinyl this month). All we ask is that the music and recordings be interesting. We'll ask you to tell us a little about the artist/recording before it is played. Tracks over 6 minutes will be faded out, to give everyone a fair go. Whether you are a novice or a seasoned veteran, you will have the opportunity to listen, learn and share your experiences with others. Feel free to come and hear the capabilities of the system, or to just share the experience with like-minded music lovers in a friendly and relaxed atmosphere. Guests are welcome – we are a very friendly club so you don't need to know anyone to join us for an afternoon of fine music and sound. Venue: Epping Creative Centre, Dence Park Address: 26 Stanley Road, Epping When: Sunday 10th February 2019 Doors open 1pm Meeting starts at 2pm Best regards, Tom Waters President Sydney Audio Club W: www.sydneyaudioclub.org FB: https://www.facebook.com/sydneyaudioclub E: tomwaters@sydneyaudioclub.org.au
  11. Our January club meeting didn’t go to plan… at all..! Due to the Christmas break, it’s difficult to get a distributor/dealer/manufacturer in to present (they need holidays too!), so we typically always have a system comprised of member’s gear. This January we organised to have a Revox reel-to-reel deck and two cassette decks brought in, plus of course the B&W 801 S2 speakers with the North Creek cross-overs. Well, it turned out we forgot to bring the proper power cord for the Revox (it’s an older style plug and not at all compatible with today’s plugs), so we couldn’t use it. And then we discovered that neither of the cassette decks worked! One had loud hum in the right channel – the other had virtually no volume. Fortunately, we were able to get the B&W speakers with the new cross-overs working properly without blowing anything up! So we had a system, just not the one we expected or hoped for. The sound of the rebooted B&W (with the new cross-overs) was quite different – bass was tighter, midrange opened up and the treble had more sparkle. It was a remarkable improvement which brought the aging B&W’s into the modern age. That said, that can mean that some people won’t like it because it is no longer original – but equally remarkably no one wrote on their feedback form that they didn’t like the sound! So our entire meeting was spent listening to member’s and guest’s music. We listened to quite a variety of music, reflecting the eclectic and varied tastes of the members. All was good. And of course, we had fun. Here’s a few comments from the feedback forms… “Good overall selection of music. Speakers were awesome.” “Overall the system was very good.” “Excellent meeting considering the circumstances. B&W vintage speakers very good to excellent.” “B&W speakers still hold their own.” “A nice adhoc effort. Interesting discussions.” “Loved the speakers - great oldies.” “Always good! Music was variable. Able to listen through the wall of sound and focus on a particular instrument, you could hear the detail clearly. Also liked the "attack" of the sound and syncopation.” “Loved the old B&W speakers, interesting cross-overs. Tape decks not working was a big letdown.” “North Creek cross-overs were excellent.” Photos to follow…
  12. Our January club meeting will be our usual January meeting where we have a system comprised of club member components. We’ll be featuring reel-to-reel and cassette as well as CD. Come along to enjoy some great music and great company. And if you like, feel free to bring your favourite music on R2R or cassette. Of course, you’re always free to bring the usual CD/SACD and flash drives for our BYO session. Detail of the system… Revox A77 Mark IV reel-to-reel (with Dolby B). We will also have several reels of music (all genres), presented by club member John Way. Refer to http://www.reeltoreel.de/worldwide/A77DolbyE1.htm and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Revox. Nakamichi 700 Cassette deck plus music cassettes (all genres), also presented by club member John Way. Refer to https://www.hifiengine.com/manual_library/nakamichi/700.shtml B&W 801 S2 speakers with Ultimate External North Creek X-overs. Refer to http://www.northcreekmusic.com/B-W_Crossovers/b-w_crossovers.html and http://www.stereophile.com/floorloudspeakers/506/index.html. Speakers provided by club member Steve Polley. Classe CP800 preamp – connected to the power amp via Vertere XLR. Refer to http://www.classeaudio.com/products/cp-800.php and http://www.stereophile.com/content/class233-cp-800-da-preamplifier. Preamp provided by club member Steve Polley. Nord ONE NC500 Mono amps. Refer to https://www.nordacoustics.co.uk/product-page/nord-one-se-up-nc500mb-mono-block-black-single. Amps provided by club member Steve Polley. Our shiny disc source for our BYO session will be an Oppo BDP-105D multi-format player. Oppo provided by club member Steve Polley. The second half of the music sessions will be our popular BYO. Members and guests are welcome to offer music to share with us all. So bring along your favourite music on R2R or cassette if you have some tapes, alternatively CD or USB thumb/flash drives. Sorry, no vinyl this month. All we ask is that the music and recordings be interesting. We'll ask you to tell us a little about the artist/recording before it is played. Tracks over 6 minutes will be faded out, to give everyone a fair go. Whether you are a novice or a seasoned veteran, you will have the opportunity to listen, learn and share your experiences with others. Feel free to come and hear the capabilities of the system, or to just share the experience with like-minded music lovers in a friendly and relaxed atmosphere. Guests are welcome – we are a very friendly club so you don't need to know anyone to join us for an afternoon of fine music and sound. Venue: Epping Creative Centre, Dence Park Address: 26 Stanley Road, Epping When: Sunday 20th January 2019 Doors open 1pm Meeting starts at 2pm Best regards, Tom Waters President Sydney Audio Club W: www.sydneyaudioclub.org FB: https://www.facebook.com/sydneyaudioclub E: tomwaters@sydneyaudioclub.org.au
  13. Our November meeting was well attended. It was a fun day with lots of good food, good music, a superb system and great company. We had lots of people indulging in the BBQ (as did I!), and things were really humming by around 1:30. At 2:00 we managed to get most people into the room for our AGM. Again, this was a short affair whereby George dissolved the committee and then read out all the nominations for the Committee roles. All were voted in collectively. Our bank financial statement for the year ending June 30th 2018 was also approved. For the record, the Committee has Andrew Baldwin (no official title), David Minarik as our Public Officer, George Davidson as Vice- President, Keith Morris as Treasurer, Stephanos Eliades as Secretary, Steven Polley as Events Coordinator, Paul Bryant as Technical Advisor (and Facebook support) and Tom Waters as President. We are also ably supported by Ray Eade who looks after our website. I then introduced our main presenter for the day. Mike Lenehan really needs little introduction – he’s well known and respected in the industry, and well known to members and guests alike. Mike brought in his ML2 Reference speakers. His speakers weighed in at 32Kgs each, and each stand was 54Kgs. The speakers were a gorgeous burnt orange colour (well, I liked them if no one else did!) in an automotive paint finish. The ML2 Reference are not huge stand mount speakers, but were quite capable of driving considerable volume into the room. Their power handling is very high, and the Heschl Audio integrated amplifier was happy to oblige with loads of power and current. It delivered 350 wpc into 8ohms, 600 wpc into 4ohms. The amp was 45Kgs or so in weight – heavy but not overly so, nevertheless it certainly delivered in sound quality. We were fortunate to have the designer, Rod Harris, attend the meeting. Both Mike and Rod gave talks about their products, and there were heaps of questions for both. Mike also conducted some A-B-A comparisons where he played music with his Macbook sitting on the table top, and then sitting on the 3Hz Isolation platform. From the back of the room, I thought Dean Martin’s voice sounded better on the isolation platform. It didn’t hit you in the face, but I thought the midrange became more clear and open and the spittle on Dean’s lips seemed more apparent when he sang. Many noted that the bass seemed a bit tighter. Mike said that these devices are considerably more effective under the speakers (he’s tried it). The problem is that they are too unstable with the weight and height of speakers on them. He’s working on a version for speakers that can be safely marketed (read ... less tipsy!). I thought the ML2 Reference speakers driven by Rod’s amp sounded very good in our tricky room. Unfortunately though, when we had our BYO session we couldn’t get the built-in DAC in the integrated amp to lock onto the Oppo. We weren’t sure where to level the blame for that because we didn’t have the time to pursue it further. So instead of using the Oppo as just a transport, we had to use it with its analog outputs into the integrated amp – the sound quality suffered as a consequence. The sound was much better through Mike's Macbook running Audirvana with a Curious USB cable link (also sold by Mike) into the DAC section of the integrated amp. Mike’s music presentation was universally considered better. Here is some feedback lifted from our Feedback forms…. “Great discussion and presentation. Very interesting. Great food!” “Speakers and amplification excellent - let down by Oppo. Speakers can be very critical of poor recordings.” “Most of what was said was a foreign language, but I'm sure those who knew the language enjoyed it immensely!” “Very interesting discussion re: the resonance platform, copper screws and design parameters behind the amplifier.” “Very interesting - particularly the discussions. Technical expertise helped. The A-B-A comparison was good.” “Great meeting to finish the year. Lenehan speakers were impressive. Amplifier is another great Aussie product.” “Very good mix of product design and demonstration. Very good prototype of the amplifier. Cabling was an excellent locally designed and made product.” “Great festive atmosphere, great BBQ - thanks George! Streaming audio sounded much better. Very impressive amplifier although not cheap. Speakers looked and sounded great, huge soundstage.” “Always enjoyable EOY BBQ and GTG. Pleased to see and hear Aussie HiFi builders. Once again high quality sound from bookshelf/stand mount speakers. Don't need multi-driver and/or large floorstanders for good sound.” “Great first half chat/info session.” “Great BBQ and salads. Lovely speakers and amp.” “Good design principals in amplifier.” “Talk was very interesting in relation to resonances and vibration. Speakers and amp sounded great with good recordings.” Photos to follow…
  14. Our November club meeting is the last Sydney Audio Club for this calendar year. (We’ll be back January 20th 2019.) For our November club meeting we are very pleased to have Mike Lenehan of Lenehan Audio return after quite a few years. Mike last presented to the club back in March 2012…!! He’s been keen to come back but he was just too busy to return earlier! Busy is good – his business is thriving. Anyone that knows Mike will know he is meticulous in his designs and build – he won’t release a product until the design is perfect and the product is of very high quality. And yet somehow he still finds the time to be very active and helpful in forums. He is a great Aussie talent and we’re happy to have him back. Detail of the system… Lenehan ML2 Reference speakers with dedicated stands. Refer to http://www.lenehanaudio.com.au/ml2-ref.html. “The ML2 is the next generation of high-end two way monitors from Lenehan Audio. Designed for absolute no compromise music systems.” Uses Dueland caps and resistors in cross-over (also sold separately through his website). 35 - 25Khz +/- 1.5db response in room. Heschl Audio Labs integrated amp. Don’t bother Googling this one… it’s so new that there’s nothing to be found! The good news is that it’s Aussie, well designed and built … and 300wpc. Designed and built by Ron Harris. FoilFlex interconnects and loudspeaker cables. These are new cables designed by Lenehan Audio. Isolation platforms for the electronics. Also designed by Lenehan Audio. 3Hz Isolation platforms for the speakers. Also designed by Lenehan Audio. Curious USB cable. Famous giant-killer USB cable sold by Lenehan Audio. Made by Rob Woodland in Queensland. Mike’s source for his presentation will be his laptop with the Audirvana Plus music player. Our source for our BYO session will be an Oppo BDP-105D multi-format player. The second half of the music sessions will be our popular BYO. Members and guests are welcome to offer music to share with us all. So bring along your favourite music on CD or USB thumb/flash drives (sorry, no vinyl this month). All we ask is that the music and recordings be interesting. We'll ask you to tell us a little about the artist/recording before it is played. Tracks over 6 minutes will be faded out, to give everyone a fair go. Whether you are a novice or a seasoned veteran, you will have the opportunity to listen, learn and share your experiences with others. Feel free to come and hear the capabilities of the system, or to just share the experience with like-minded music lovers in a friendly and relaxed atmosphere. Guests are welcome – we are a very friendly club so you don't need to know anyone to join us for an afternoon of fine music and sound. Venue: Epping Creative Centre, Dence Park Address: 26 Stanley Road, Epping When: Sunday 18th November 2018 Doors open 1pm Meeting starts at 2pm Best regards, Tom Waters President Sydney Audio Club W: www.sydneyaudioclub.org FB: https://www.facebook.com/sydneyaudioclub E: tomwaters@sydneyaudioclub.org.au
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