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TomW

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  1. Follow-up Report The vibe, interest level and attendance was high at our July club meeting. Tom Jolly and Gabrielle Fifield from Interdyn made a great team, and a highly likeable and approachable team to boot. Tom proved to be a very good presenter with Gabrielle ably supporting Tom on questions and clarifications. Tom explained all the gear, and interspersed a track or two between talks, just to keep the interest level high. Tom also gave a brief talk on the benefits of Roon and offered a free 2 week trial of the Roon software (without a credit card transaction as is the norm with Roon). Unfortunately Tom and Gabrielle couldn’t bring a Roon Nucleus+ music server to demonstrate… they are such good sellers that they can’t get stock in quick enough! Tom and Gabrielle also brought brochures about the speakers, and some copies of a special “System De-tox disk” from Monitor Audio (which were scooped up quickly). The system was a mid-priced system – Tom quickly estimated the total cost at around 20K. It was a real-world system, something that most people can afford. And that was the intent – to illustrate that you can get exceptional sound without an uber high price tag. All the components were of very high quality. The system was quite capable of producing clean, transparent, good sound. Once the system warmed up and we got more people in the room (more damping!), the sound greatly improved. The Monitor Audio Gold 200 speakers are small floorstanders so of course you can’t expect earth shattering bass. But it was surprizing how much good tight bass they did actually produce. And low end bass was good considering our room is a bit difficult. Overall, I believe the speakers would sound great in a more friendly sized room. And as one person mentioned on their Feedback form – they do have a very high WAF. I also quite liked the clean look and sound of the Roksan Blak components. All the components offered very good value for money. From a value prospect, the stand-out was likely the Pro-Ject “Classic” turntable with the Ortofon MC cartridge at only $2600! Here are some comments from the Feedback forms…. “Very impressive sounding system.” “Good presenter - knows his stuff. Sensible system - not outrageous. Outstanding imaging, clean bass, a touch bright.” “Turntable sounded best in this system.” “Sound was very good, vinyl in particular. As expected, Bluetooth was flat in comparison. Interesting presentation. Nice system!” “Good meeting. Music was good too.” “Good all round system.” “Good to have Roon explained. System had great attack and lovely tight bass. Vinyl sounded amazing.” “Very enjoyable system. High WAF speakers and sound good too.” “A bit sucked out in the upper bass. Vinyl was best.” “Very impressive but would have been good to hear how it reproduces orchestral music.” [People brought very little classical unfortunately - TomW] “Great effort from the Sydney Audio team. Thank you to Interdyn.” “The equipment was technologically interesting and of high quality.” “Enjoyable as always.” “System was exceptional value for the money. Clean, articulate, transparent.” “Excellent presentation. Good equipment at price point. The turntable and cartridge particularly good.” “Good midrange and treble. Not enough bass for me.” “One of the better meetings. Open, smooth, detailed but not harsh. Lots of variety in the music.” “Great to see John Vandyke again. Great to meet the two new members. Very synergistic system, top sound for modest money. Speakers sounded as good as they look - wonderful. Very polite sound, plenty of detail and enough low end. Music not balanced - almost no classical.” Thanks again to Tom and Gabrielle…
  2. For our July club meeting we are very pleased to have the distributor Interdyn present (https://www.interdyn.com.au/brands/). Interdyn is the distributor for many great HiFi products including Artnovion, Isotek, Monitor Audio, Ortofon, PMC, Pro-Ject, Roksan, Roon, Rotel, SVS and others. On the day, Tom Jolly (Product Manager) and Gabrielle Fifield from Interdyn will present a reasonably priced system based on Monitor Audio, Roksan and Pro-Ject. Our thanks to Evgeny Vizelman (Director) and Leigh Fischer (Brand & Account Manager) for helping to organize this event. Details of the system… Monitor Audio Gold 200 floor standing speakers - $7769. “These are really exciting. They are the latest generation of MA's Gold series and they have seen a lot of trickle down technology from the MA flagship Platinum series, without the platinum price tag.”- Tom Jolly Refer to https://www.monitoraudio.com/en/product-ranges/gold-5g/gold-200/ Roksan Blak amplifier - $6999. The Roksan amp includes a PC-USB input. Refer to https://www.roksan.com/en/product-ranges/blak/blak-integrated-amplifier/ Roksan Blak CD player - $5999. Refer to https://www.roksan.com/en/product-ranges/blak/blak-cd-player/ “The Blak range is Roksan's top range of exquisite British made electronics. Understated but great looking units with a delightful sound.” – Tom Jolly Pro-Ject “The Classic” turntable with Ortofon Quintet Bronze Cartridge - $2600 combo. “This is a beautifully built midrange turntable from Pro-Ject with a stunning MC cartridge from Ortofon.” – Tom Jolly Refer to https://www.project-audio.com/en/product/the-classic/ Time permitting, Tom Jolly will also give a brief beginners presentation on the Roon music server. 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, USB thumb/flash drives or vinyl. 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 great music and sound. Venue: Epping Creative Centre, Dence Park Address: 26 Stanley Road, Epping When: Sunday 14th July 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. Our June club meeting attracted lots of Harbeth lovers, and quite a few English speaker lovers in general. They did indeed sound lovely. In our room, they projected a big warm soundstage with good detail and good bass. A few people thought they were over-priced, but designing and building great loudspeakers is not an inexpensive enterprise. Most people just loved the sound they made – the antithesis of some uber high-end HiFi speakers of today. More than a few people made comparisons to some PMCs we had in a couple of years ago. Here are some comments from the feedback forms… “Would love to hear the 40.2 with valve amplification.” “Another good meeting. System sounded good, great speakers.” “Entertaining.” “Excellent meeting. Arguably the best speakers since the PMCs.” “Excellent - very interesting to hear such an iconic speaker.” “Good speakers at reasonable price.” “Great speakers - did everything well.” “The speakers performed well but is the price warranted?” “As usual, friendly, cordial and very enjoyable. Although pricey, the Harbeths excelled. Very refined sound.” “Great variety of music. Absolute magic tweeters. Natural midrange and adequate bass.” Photos to follow…
  4. For our June club meeting we are very pleased to have the exceptionally musical Harbeth Monitor 40.2 speakers, courtesy of Cameron Pope of Krispy Audio (https://krispyaudio.com.au/). Unfortunately Cameron cannot attend on the day due to other commitments. For our first half, we will have two separate music sessions where two members will play up to 25 minutes of music of their choice. These “Member Music Sessions” (as we call them) prove to be very enjoyable, interesting and often surprizing. Details of the system… Speakers: Harbeth Monitor 40.2 speakers. Refer to: https://krispyaudio.com.au/products/harbeth-monitor-40-2-speakers.html Amplifier: AudioGD Master-10 Integrated. Refer to http://www.audio-gd.com/Master/Master10/Master-10EN.htm Sources: Gryphon Mikado Reference CDP (for CD playback) Oppo BDP-105D universal player (for USB flash drives) 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 16th June 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
  5. 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…
  6. 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
  7. 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.
  8. 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....
  9. 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
  10. Images of the brochure Edgar brought on the day.... and more photos courtesy of David...
  11. 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."
  12. 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
  13. 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…
  14. 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
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