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  1. The June 2016 meeting of the Sydney Audio Club sees us meet once again for an afternoon of fine music, great sound and amicable company. Each month the Sydney Audio Club presents an excellent high end audio system for our members and guests. Feel free to bring along your own music to test the capabilities of the system or to just share with like-minded music lovers in a friendly and relaxed atmosphere. For June, we are very pleased to have a system from Audio Connection (http://audioconnection.com.au/) courtesy of Josef Riediger and Janson Lau. This system’s speakers and amplification are components with excellent performance that punches well above their respective price points. As part of our meeting, we will also have a short comparison of FLAC vs. MQA. For this presentation we will be using a Meridian Explorer 2, which is capable of decoding MQA. As many of you know, MQA is in the news these days. It holds much promise but has yet to really go main stream - that said, Warner has very recently committed to adopting MQA, and Tidal is ramping up its streaming service for MQA. If you’d like to read more about the technology, this is a good starting point… http://www.computeraudiophile.com/content/694-comprehensive-q-mqa-s-bob-stuart/. See also http://www.theabsolutesound.com/articles/master-quality-authenticated-mqa-the-view-from-30000-feet/ and http://www.theabsolutesound.com/articles/beyond-high-resolution/ Details of the system…. GoldenEar Triton 1 speakers. Anthony Cordesman of TAS reviewed them in the October 2014 issue, and had this to say about them... “…What is particularly striking about these design choices, however, is their focus on reproducing acoustic music with a natural mix of midrange and treble energy, and deep bass extension. This focus should be the standard for all loudspeaker designs, but too many competing speakers exaggerate the upper midrange to get apparent detail at the expense of natural midrange warmth and treble air, emphasizing a “forward†sound at the expense of the soundstage perspective of live music. Others exaggerate deep bass energy at the cost of bass detail, as well as added room interaction. In contrast, the Triton Ones are striking to the extent they never emphasize one type of music or approach to recording over musical realism. The end result is long-term listening pleasureâ€. As well, the Triton 1 speakers won The Absolute Sound Product of the Year 2014 and also the Stereophile Product of the Year 2015. Refer to… http://audioconnection.com.au/portfolio/goldenear/ http://www.goldenear.com/products/triton-series http://www.theabsolutesound.com/articles/goldenear-triton-one-loudspeaker/ http://www.stereophile.com/content/goldenear-technology-triton-one-loudspeaker#ta7bVcHBBSzWkKYU.97 Hegel H360 Integrated Amplifier. Kirk Midtskog of TAS reviewed the H360 in the March 2016 issue, and concluded by saying this… â€The Hegel H360 is simply a marvelous piece of audio kit. Its neutral tonal balance, articulate and lovely rendering of details, commanding power reserves, spacious soundstaging, and natural imaging are laudable. At $5700 [uSD], as solely a linestage integrated amp of its quality and power output, it is a bargain; the included nice-sounding and versatile DAC makes it a real winner. I absolutely loved listening to the H360. I never tired of its low noise, dynamic liveliness, and winning musicality. A very easy recommendation.†Refer to… http://audioconnection.com.au/portfolio/hegel/ http://www.hegel.com/products/integrated/h360 http://www.theabsolutesound.com/articles/hegel-h360-integrated-amplifier/ Nordost Heimdall 2 power cords. Excerpted from the Nordost web site… “Nordost’s proprietary Micro Mono-Filament construction creates a virtual air dielectric complete with an elegantly engineered suspension system. When combined with silver-plated OFC solid core conductors and FEP insulation throughout, the result is the ideal electrically and mechanically controlled construction for ultra-fast, low-impedance current and voltage transfer.†Refer to… http://www.nordost.com/norse2/heimdall2/heimdall2-powercord.php http://www.nordost.com/images/review-images/review-pdf/HIFI%20106_EqRev_Nordost%20HR.pdf Nordost Heimdall 2 speaker cables. Excerpted from the Nordost web site… “The Heimdall 2 Speaker Cable offers superb detail, dynamic range and weight, recreating the natural beauty and impact of any musical performance. The use of consistent technology and materials across the Norse 2 Series allows you to easily build a coherent cable solution, maximizing system performance.†Refer to… http://www.nordost.com/norse2/heimdall2/heimdall2-speaker-cable.php http://www.canadahifi.com/upgrading-an-audio-system-with-nordost-norse-2-heimdall-2-cables/ Nordost Quantum QX2 power purifier, QB8 Mk2 power board, plus QK1 AC Enhancer, QV2 AC Line Harmonizers. Excerpted from the Nordost web site… “Nordost’s QRT power products are designed to alleviate the impact of poor quality AC power on your sensitive electronics. By limiting RFI and timing errors associated with the AC line, QRT products bring AC power closer to the desired “distortion-less condition†without limiting the peak current of your electronics.†Refer to… http://www.nordost.com/qrt-power-products.php http://www.nordost.com/images/review-images/review-pdf/3-HF+%20QB8%20and%20Sort%20Kone%20Review%207_2010.pdf http://www.dagogo.com/nordost-qrt-system-review Oppo BDP-105D Universal player. We will use the coax digital output of the Oppo (into the Hegel) primarily for our Members Music Session and our BYO session. Refer to… https://www.oppodigital.com/blu-ray-bdp-105/blu-ray-BDP-105D-Overview.aspx and http://www.whathifi.com/oppo/bdp-105d/review. 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 flash/USB 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 always 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 June 2016 Doors open 1pm Meeting starts at 2pm Best regards, Tom Waters President Sydney Audio Club www.sydneyaudioclub.org.au tomwaters@sydneyaudioclub.org.au
  2. My audio system has undergone some significant changes over the past year, with several major additions and subtractions. I have been aiming for a capable 2ch and multi-channel setup, but for the last 6 months or so my focus has been very much more on the 2ch side. Even more so since I sold my Integra DHC 80.3 a few months ago which has just left me 2ch capable only. With my surround sound system down I relocated my ceiling mounted rear surround speakers (Definitive Technology UIW BP/A) to a stereo setup in another room. But now with the replacement for the Integra pre-pro due very soon (tomorrow!) I needed to fill the hole in the ceiling vacated by the BP/A's. I have been following the Golden Ear product line and they have been getting rave reviews for just about all of their products. By way of background, Golden Ear is a Sandy Goss company - as was Definitive Technology - and (as I understand the story) Goss left DT to start up Golden Ear as an "audiophile" speaker manufacturer. So without demo, and relying only on gut feeling and internet sources, I bought a pair of Invisia MPX ($500 USD RRP) to fill the hole in my ceiling. I also bought their Super Center X ($600 RRP) to replace my Definitive Technology CLR 2000 center speaker, for no particular reason...actually there was a reason, I intend selling my surplus Definitive Technolgy speakers and whilst the CLR2000 wasn't surplus I want to sell what I have as a viable 5.1 system. Which means the CLR2000 needed to be replaced as well. The new speakers promptly landed on my doorstep, I opened the Super Center X speaker first and my initial impression was surprise...it was a flimsy looking toy speaker with plastic sides that fell off. Particularly in comparison to the CLR2000 which is a prominently sized beast with a fair bit of weight in it. But my review isn't about that speaker...and it can't be because I haven't even connected it up yet! The Invisa MPX are remarkably similar to the UIW BP/A, probably no surprise there as Sandy Goss (I suspect) had a lot to do with the design of both speakers. Fortunately the cutout required for the Invisa was slightly larger than that required for the BP/A so it was straight forward to enlarge the hole vacated by the BP/A. Both speakers have an ingenious mounting system, and they look very WAF, particularly the Invisa as they fit absolutely flush with the ceiling. You don't even notice them, as I say, very WAF.... So my installation now consists of Wilson Audio Sophia v3 (main speakers), Definitive Technology IUW BP/A (side surround), Golden Ear Invisa MPX (rear surround), Golden Ear Super Center X (center channel), and SVS SB13 Ultra (subwoofer). Except for the UIW BP/A, all purchased over the past year (as I mentioned earlier, I've had some significant additions and subtractions in my setup over the past year). Anyway, I hooked the Invisa MPX up to my Halcro MC70 power amp and have given them some herbs this evening with my pre-amp set to reference level to break them in...and the verdict, actually they sound pretty good! Now after an hour or so they sound even better. Quite an enjoyable evening listening to my ceiling mounted rear surround speakers in an unusual 2ch setup! Vocals are articulate, the bass is there, very coherent sound and a joy to listen to. They would never crack it as a serious stereo main speaker, but given they sound pretty good with stereo content it's easy to conclude they'll be excellent for surround sound duties. Which is what they were designed for. This is what Golden Ear say about the speaker: The Invisa MPX MultiPolar™ In-Wall/In-Ceiling Loudspeaker combines the advantages of a direct-radiating loudspeaker with the enhanced spaciousness and dispersion of a bipolar speaker. This makes them the perfect choice for the rear or side surround channels of a multi-channel installation, as well as for front main speakers or for distributed audio multi-room installations. It can be easily mounted in walls or ceilings and is very flexible in terms of orientation. Like the other Invisa Series speakers, it has a flat magnetically attached micro-perf grille that covers the flange for an attractive, nearly invisible look. It combines two precisely angled spiderleg cast-basket 5" bass/midrange drivers, a High-Velocity Folded Ribbon Tweeter (HVFR™) and a complex precision crossover network with a high-frequency equalization switch. Like the Invisa HTR 7000, it features GoldenEar’s unique Non-Periodic Diffraction Control and Wave-Launch technology for enhanced clarity and source-less sound radiation into the room. If I still had the Integra I'd run the Audyssey Pro calibration to check the in-room response plot, particularly how it compares to the UIW BP/A, but to my ears they do sound good. If you're considering buying new surround speakers, for $500 USD (RRP) each I think the Golden Ear Invisa MPX represent outstanding value for performance. Guaranteed no WAF issues, she wouldn't even see them and she might even say they sound pretty good
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