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TomW

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  1. The sunny warm weather was apparently just too enticing on the day… likely why attendance was a bit down, but the interest and enthusiasm was high. Jean-Marie first presented a vintage pair of original SAT speakers on separate stands without subs – the original Mk1 wasn’t available with subs. In November 2016 Microphase Audio Design (MAD) introduced the SAT Mk2 Signature speakers and the accompanying Signature sub woofers - they were launched at the Salon de la Haute Fidelite in Paris. The SAT Mk2 Signatures and subs are identical in width so they look “as a piece” once setup. The SAT Mk2 speakers and subs we had on the day were the Signature version. The amplification was vintage NAD and an integrated amp designed by someone in HP! Jean-Marie explained all the gear and answered the many questions. He played us quite a few tracks to highlight how the system sounded. Our room is large, but the smaller speakers with the sub managed to fill the room with sound so long as it wasn’t too demanding of bass extension and volume. People asked about the pricing. To clarify, the SAT Mk2 Signatures and the SWS Mk2 Signature subwoofers came in at approximately $4500 USD. Jean-Marie revised the shipping costs for local shipping which helped lower the costs a bit. Here is some feedback from the feedback forms: “Speakers were innovative design, great potential. Not suited to the room. Vintage amplifiers were excellent.” “Very enjoyable. Quite surprized how well the monitors filled the room.” “Speakers very good for their size.” “Pleasant meeting. With a good recording, the small speakers were surprizingly good.” “Great jovial atmosphere, friendly presenter, good music. Big sound from such tiny system. Speakers somewhat expensive, but these are handmade unique speakers so price is justified. Thanks to Jean-Marie for allowing us an audition, good luck with sales.” “Very pleasurable event.” “Struggled in the room. Speakers pretty good for their size.” Thanks Jean-Marie for sharing your day with us! Photos to follow …
  2. Bonjour… bienvenue..!! For our September club meeting, we will be entertained by Frenchman Jean-Marie Liere and equipment from his two ventures, Microphase Audio Design and French Vintage HiFi. Jean-Marie and I spoke for a while recently – he’s a very engaging fellow with over 40 years of experience in electronics, speaker design, lighting, lighting controls and home automation. His lifelong passion for design, architecture, music and its reproduction is well documented. He is also a keen photographer and cook. So there is never a dull moment chatting with Jean-Marie. Much of the detail in the following has been taken directly from the Microphase Audio Design (M.A.D. / MAD) website. The speakers will be vintage Microphase SATs as well as their new MAD SATs MK2 and stereo subs SWS MK2. The vintage Microphase SATs are minuscule monitors (SAT) that were first introduced in the mid-80s. They had quite a following in France, Belgium, Germany and Scandinavia. They were designed to be not only very high quality speakers, but also to capture the interest of interior designers and female clients. They were objects of beauty as well as a “melomane” dream (an enthusiast for, or lover of, music) come true in a tiny package (200x200x150mm). 30 years later, Microphase Audio Design introduced a modernised version of these monitors, aptly named MAD SAT MK2, with vastly improved performance, but still retaining the spirit and the look of the original concept. This is a limited edition of a beautiful object reproducing music in all its splendour. These speakers are designed for the melomane and the “aesthetician” [the branch of philosophy which deals with questions of beauty and artistic taste] who don't want their hi-fi system to dominate their living room. They also appeal to the pro market as perfect recording studio monitors, as they are very revealing of all the details and nuances of the music. The new passive SWS MK2 subwoofers also act as stands for the SAT MK2 and SAT MK2 Signature. They come as standard SWS MK2 or as SWS MK2 Signature with the upgraded crossover components found in the SAT MK2 Signature. The SATs are not filtered at the lower frequencies to retain their transparency. The crossover is a 12dB/octave at 150 Hz feeding a proprietary 21cm driver from Audax France. The plinth ensures stability to the whole unit and creates a stable and consistent surface to the bottom mounted driver. The proximity of the plinth surface and the driver have other benefits and contributes to the linearity of the response from 40 Hz to 150 HZ +/- 3dB. Jean-Marie will bring his own amplification (unspecified) with possibly a vintage surprise, if it arrives on time. He will also bring his Arcam Bluetooth receiver so we can use Tidal/Idagio, etc. for streaming. Our source for our BYO session will be the ubiquitous 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 9th September 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
  3. Our August club meeting was very well received by members and guests alike. We had a good turn-out for both the first and second half sessions. Rick Bond of Lucie Audio gave an excellent introductory talk of his custom-made speakers, his preamp and power amp, and mostly importantly, his ambitions and direction for his relatively new venture, Lucie Audio. His products use Dirac Live to assist with room correction – to get the best sound possible from each room. Rick spent upwards of 2 hours calibrating for 3 different sets of speakers (yes, he brought 3 pairs!). He was so intent on the calibrations that he wound up eating cold pizza rather than warm pizza like Steve and me. His attention to detail was excellent, as was evidenced by the great sound in the room. His second pair of speakers were almost unanimously considered best, so we stayed with them throughout the entire second half when we had our BYO session. Here are some comments from the feedback forms… "Lovely system. " "Good attendance, good sound for the price point, good variety of music. " "Excellent explanation of package. Good combination for an inexpensive system. Good local product with local engineering. " "Excellent meeting, very interesting equipment. Nice combination of technical capability and practicality. " "Very informative presentation. The second pair of speakers were very involving, a pleasure to listen to." "Good bang for the buck. Speakers were well designed. " "Well organized meeting - my first visit. Flawless for a DSP / Class D combo. " "A bit of room correction and this room isn't all that bad! Great speakers and system. " "Another great day of listening to music." "Very good and informative meeting. The second set of speakers were really impressive for their size. Good design. " "Another enjoyable meeting. Great Aussie speakers. " "Quite possibly the best sounding speakers for the money I've yet heard. The second pair at $2800 were superb." [passive pair - TW] "Best stand mounted speakers presented in many meetings. The second pair were very good indeed. Preamp and power amp worked well together. " Photos to follow...
  4. @44maloo Hi 44maloo, These photos appear to be Nordost promotional photos, is that correct? Has this cable been factory terminated? And will you provide photos of the terminations of your actual cable please? Regards Tom
  5. For our August club meeting, we are very pleased to have Rick Bond of Lucie Audio present. Rick doesn’t yet have a website. The main source of information about his company is on Instagram and also from Rick’s posts within the Melbourne Audio Club area on StereoNET (see here). The following from Rick best describes what Lucie Audio is all about... “Lucie Audio is a boutique audio [manufacturer] based in Northcote, Melbourne. I established the name last year out of a desire to bring my own interpretation of what I value in a sound system to market, and so far we produce seven products - a pre and power amp combo featuring DSP and room correction, and a range of five loudspeakers including a powered subwoofer.” “From the outset, what I'm hoping to do with the brand is revitalise an interest in good sound reproduction at home, without making the equipment the focus more than necessary - both from a visual and auditory angle. Though we use some cutting edge technology, once it is working on our side, it can become transparent and hopefully it's just about the music and a new level of enjoyment - first and foremost good sound reproduction should forge a deeper connection to music. Ironically technology is at a point where this is as feasible as it has ever been, yet that's often not the case.” “The technical foundations of Lucie lie in room correction and efficient amplification, and their liberation in getting the best out of some fairly unconventional loudspeaker designs. Central to this is the premise that most commercially available speaker designs are based on a series of assumptions relative to the end user's room acoustics and tonal preferences, which are only by occasional chance completely accurate. The uncomfortable fact in sound reproduction is that the listening environment is so often the deciding factor in overall enjoyment of the system, and it is a topic that is seldom addressed when choosing one piece of equipment over another.” And … “The use of DSP allows …. us to achieve the best possible result in terms of tonal balance, soundstage and accurate presentation of instruments and voices.” Details of the system…. The DSP pre-amplifier – “Our pre-amp is built around the capabilities and feature set of the MiniDSP 2x4HD processor board. This gives us the power to process the stereo audio stream in real time to perform room correction and digital crossover functions. Room correction function is powered by Dirac, world leaders in this technology. The Dirac Live platform combines powerful and flexible capabilities with an easy to follow measurement process.” Power amplification – “Our power amps are built on modular designs from Hypex in the Netherlands. Hypex are at the forefront of a new era of ultra high performance Class D amplification. Amplifiers based on their Ncore technology developed by Bruno Putzeys are now appearing in the highest echelon of products.” … “Specifications of Ncore amp modules are superb across the board, and their characteristics focus on neutrality and resolving power.” Loudspeakers – “Our philosophy with loudspeakers is to stray somewhat from established design norms, made possible by harnessing the power of DSP and active crossovers available in the pre-amp, and multiple channels of amplification in our power amp. Central to this is the goal of eliminating phase issues across the midrange, where our auditory system is most sensitive.” Lucie Model One loudspeaker – “The simplest expression of the Lucie loudspeaker philosophy - a single point source driver delivers the full audio signal. Zero crossover distortion or phase errors. A large, light and strong paper composite diaphragm with powerful neodymium motor give neutral and transparent vocal rendition and a precise and vivid soundstage. Excelling at delivering accurate and nuanced midrange, this design is highly recommended where primarily acoustic music is appreciated in a small to medium, focused listening environment.” Lucie Model Two loudspeaker – “A traditional two-way compact loudspeaker with state of the art low distortion drivers from SB Acoustics and Scan-Speak. Extending linear frequency response above and below the Model One, the design physically time-aligns the acoustic energy from the low and high frequency drivers to maintain neutrality and phase coherence through the crossover range.” Lucie Subwoofer – “Built to extend the frequency response of the bookshelf cabinets to the very lowest octaves. The sealed construction and large, low distortion driver give extremely linear bass performance, and the use of a Linkwitz Transform equalisation in the DSP system extends response well below the resonant frequency of the cabinet, giving exceptional performance for a fairly compact enclosure.” “Material options available for loudspeakers: Baltic birch ply or narrow grain carbonised bamboo, solid laminated construction (no veneers used). Finishes: Natural oiled or Black Japan, others possible via consultation.” Rick has just finished up another two-way loudspeaker prototype and he likes it a lot, so he may well bring that too. The design is pretty unconventional with a small full-range mated to a Scan-Speak mid-woofer with an active crossover at 500hz. Source – 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 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 August 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
  6. TomW

    Lucie Audio

    Hi Rick @coffeemachinist, The Sydney Audio Club would be interested in a presentation of your speakers with active crossovers, room equalisation and DSP preamplifier, Hypex amps, Dirac Research. And we have the perfect imperfect room to test it all out in. Steve @chefscuba70and/or I will get back to you. Thanks for your interest and kind offer, and our thanks to @marten for the heads-up. Cheers Tom
  7. Our July meeting was a fairly quiet affair – it seemed the cold weather made people want to stay at home. Nonetheless, we had over 30 people in the first half. Alex Wilson from Lifestyle brought in more gear than anticipated (see, you should have come!). As well as the Dynaudio Special Forty speakers and McIntosh integrated amp, he also brought the PMC Twenty 5 speakers and a Moon 340i integrated amp. The CD player was the Moon 260D - a lovely player. All cabling was Chord Epic series. Alex ensured we had enough identical cabling such that both amps were driving the speakers with the same cabling. Our first half of the meeting involved some comparisons between different cable, amp and speaker combinations to see what people thought worked the best. We also had a club member present some viewpoints on digital formats, digital cabling options and music sources. Our second half was our usual BYO session where members and guests bring music to hear on the systems. For our second half we listened to the McIntosh to Dynaudio speakers for 30 minutes, and then the McIntosh to the PMCs. Here are some comments from the feedback forms… "Very interesting meeting. Comparisons are always engaging." "Great! Alex was most accommodating to requests. Gear is very good for the price. The McIntosh sounded great with both speakers. The Dynaudios were a bit bright for my taste - also with some recordings the sound was a bit unnatural. The PMCs were much more forgiving and a much more pleasant speaker to listen to over time." "Thought the PMCs were more balanced than the Dynaudios." "I enjoyed the meeting. Thank you. Liked the PMC speakers more than the Dynaudios." "A wonderful musical afternoon. All the gear sounded superb. CD player was excellent." "Very enjoyable. Liked the PMCs and Moon equipment. McIntosh sounded great too." "Both are great speakers. Loved the McIntosh amp." "Interesting meeting. The talk on digital was good. Liked the PMCs and McIntosh amp combo most." Photos to follow...
  8. For our July club meeting, we are very pleased to have Alex Wilson from the Lifestyle Store present the Dynaudio Special Forty anniversary speakers. All the equipment is being kindly provided by Vinod, John and Alex at the Lifestyle Store in North Parramatta. (Refer to https://www.lifestylestore.com.au/.) Details of the system…. Dynaudio Special Forty anniversary speakers. “The new Special Forty anniversary speaker draws on 40 years of cutting-edge research – and brings it totally up to date with Dynaudio’s most celebrated techniques and technologies.” – Dynaudio website Refer to: https://www.dynaudio.com/home-audio/special-forty/special-forty and https://www.lifestylestore.com.au/dynaudio-special-forty-bookshelf-speakers.html and https://www.avhub.com.au/product-reviews/sound-image/dynaudio-special-forty-stereo-loudspeakers-review-481429 and https://www.whathifi.com/dynaudio/special-forty/review McIntosh MA252 Integrated amplifier. “The MA252 Integrated Amplifier is the first hybrid integrated amplifier from McIntosh. Taking retro design cues from the legendary McIntosh MC275 Vacuum Tube Amplifier, the MA252 combines the best of vacuum tube and solid state circuit design to create an amplifier that’s both visually and sonically stunning.” – McIntosh website. 100 Watts into 8 Ohms, 160 Watts into 4 Ohms. Refer to: https://www.mcintoshlabs.com/products/integrated-amplifiers/MA252 and https://www.lifestylestore.com.au/mcintosh-ma252-2-x-100-watt-hybrid-integrated-amplifier.html and https://parttimeaudiophile.com/2018/03/30/review-mcintosh-ma252-tube-solid-state-integrated-amplifier/ and https://www.stereo.net.au/news/mcintosh-ma252-hybrid-integrated-amplifier Front-end player. As yet to be decided. Cabling. Chord Epic series. 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 (sorry, no vinyl or flash drives 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 8th July 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
  9. Our June meeting garnered many favourable comments regarding Mark Thomsen’s speakers and his presentation. We had two separate amplification systems for the Sweet Maxwell speakers – one based on Classe and Plinius, the other on Technical Brain. Judging from the Feedback forms, it was clear that some people preferred one amplification system over the other. I was impressed with Mark's acute wonderful ears and his attitude – he could hear and describe the differences in the sound from both amplification systems, but to his credit he always enjoyed the music and allowed it to shine through, first and foremost. I too thought the Sweet Maxwells are lovely speakers. And they definitely "punch above their weight" and size - they filled our large room quite comfortably. If you have a small to moderate sized room at home, they should be perfect. But if your preference is for an even larger sound stage with deeper bass than small stand-mounts can typically muster, note that Mark is planning on two floor standers models. Coming soon... Here are a few comments from the feedback form: “Good meeting. I liked the presentation.” “Good sound in a difficult room. Great mix of music.” “Great speakers.” “Great. Dynamic. Informative.” “Very good small two-way speaker. Very musical.” “Speakers worked well with Jazz, Vocal and Small ensembles. Great detail and soundstaging.” “Very jovial as usual and in great spirits! Equipment very impressive, both sonically and visually. A good balance of music.” “The first power amp (Technical Brain) sounded slightly better.” “Digital player was great as usual. DAC was superb.. Preferred the Plinius - more musical. Speakers gave wonderful sound at the price. I loved the tweeters.” “Very enjoyable meeting. Interesting mix of explanation and listening. Speakers were very impressive. Technical Brain amplifier also impressive.” “Classe/Plinius was less resolving than Technical Brain. Wonderful speakers - value, size, performance.” “Very enjoyable. The speakers were great - I particularly liked the sound stage.” “Quite enjoyable meeting.: Sweet and detailed sounding speakers. Always musical.” “Great speakers, very enjoyable. Well balanced, engaging.” “Very good presentation on speakers technical data.” “Very good speakers, especially syncopated music.” “Very informative presentation from Mark. Best sounding speakers in many meetings.” “Sweet and detailed sounding speakers. Always musical.” Photos to follow...
  10. For our June club meeting, we are very pleased to have Mark Thomsen of M8Audio present his applauded ‘Sweet Maxwell’ speakers. These are speakers with exceptional musicality, life-like detail and low distortion. Mark garnered much attention with these speakers when he presented at the Munich High End 2018 Show just last month. Details of the system…. M8Audio ‘Sweet Maxwell’ speakers. Low frequency driver with Egyptian papyrus diaphragm and neodymium motor driver… pure beryllium tweeter diaphragm with neodymium motor driver… cross-over with edge wound baked air core coils of exceptional quality and superior polypropylene capacitors… 100% hand finished cabinet made from cross laminated European birch veneer utilizing precision CNC machines to effect the curvatures… polymer viscoelastic feet… there is a lot of technology and craftsmanship in these speakers. You really have to check-out their design and specification on the M8Audio website to get the full picture. Refer to https://m8audio.com/product/sweet-maxwell/ and http://www.6moons.com/audioreviews2/m8audio/1.html Plinius Reference power amp. Refer to http://www.pliniusaudio.com/Plinius_Range/Power_Amplifiers/SA_Reference.html and https://www.stereophile.com/solidpoweramps/506plinius/index.html Classe CP-800 preamp/processor. Refer to http://www.classeaudio.com/products/cp-800.php and http://www.stereophile.com/content/class233-cp-800-da-preamplifier. Technical Brain Integrated Amplifier TB-ZERO EX INT. Highly respected, ultra-high performance products from Japan. Refer to http://www.technicalbrain.co.jp/stereosound-2015spring-194.pdf and http://www.technicalbrain.co.jp/index_e.html (We will have a choice of amplification – Plinius & Classe or Technical Brain – we will see what sounds best with the speakers in our room.) Bricasti Design M1 DAC. Refer to http://www.audiostream.com/content/bricasti-design-m1-dac and http://i.nextmedia.com.au/avhub/australian-hifi_reviews_2014_2014-07_bricasti_design_m1_dac_review_test_lores.pdf Oppo BDP-105D multi-format player. Note that we will be using the Oppo only as transport into the DAC. Refer to http://www.theabsolutesound.com/articles/oppo-bdp-105d-audiophile-blu-ray-disc-player/ Cabling. Synergistic Research, ZenSati, Wireworld – we will see what sounds best with the speakers and amps in our room. 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 flash drive (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 17th June 2018 Doors open 1pm Meeting starts at 2pm Best regards, Tom Waters President Sydney Audio Club W: www.sydneyaudioclub.org.au FB: https://www.facebook.com/sydneyaudioclub E: tomwaters@sydneyaudioclub.org.au
  11. Advance notice… don’t miss this event! Mark and his Sweet Maxwell speakers are just back from the Munich Hi-End show where they both impressed everyone..! Click here for detail.
  12. Our vintage/classic meeting proved to be very popular again. We had nearly 50 people for the first half-session. And we had heaps of gear. George asked each exhibitor to talk briefly about their gear and ensured that everything got a bit of air time. The best system on the day was a toss-up between Joseph’s EAR amps and Klipsch Forte II speakers and Graham’s A400 Boston Acoustic speakers – both were worthy winners of the title. The second half-session proved successful as well. And to boot, we had a raffle where the 4 prizes were an older Connoisseur turntable, 2 gift vouchers for JB HiFi and the choice of 10 vintage Stereophile and/or Absolute Sound magazines (pre-2000). Here are some comments from the feedback forms… "Very interesting equipment. Good selection of vintage speakers." "Turntable was very good. Excellent power amps (Esoteric)" "Great variety of equipment. The Technics turntable sounded terrific!" "Vintage shows today's new gear isn't necessarily better. 15 ips open reel tape the best!" "Good all round selection of kit and music. 15 ips tape - can we have more of it!?" "My first meeting, very impressed with sound quality and friendly members. Especially liked the Klipsch Forte II speakers." "First time at vintage meeting. Enjoyed variety and most comparisons." "A great meeting. Highlights how little progress has taken place over 50 years. Awesome, thanks to all exhibitors especially Joseph, Graham and Robert." "A nice change from time to time. The turntables were remarkably good, as were the Boston speakers - an interesting comparison to digital." "Thanks to all involved for their efforts." "First time at vintage meeting. Good to see classics like A400. Liked the SL1200." "Friendly club! Look forward to more variety of equipment." Thanks to all the members for their mammoth effort! There was a huge amount of gear brought in and organized. Kudos to George for keeping on top of it all! Photos to follow…
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