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  1. The March 2016 meeting of the Sydney Audio Club sees us once again gather for an afternoon of fine music, great sound and amicable company. Each month, the Sydney Audio Club presents the finest in high end audio systems for our members and guests. It's a bit like a private audio show once a month where you can hear and discuss equipment that you might not otherwise have the chance to audition. And you can 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 March, we are very pleased to say we will have Cameron Keating of MAXMEDIA (refer to http://www.maxmedia.com.au/) back for an encore presentation of the excellent Avantgarde Acoustics Zero 1 speakers. You might recall that Cameron presented the original Avantgarde Zero 1 speakers to us in September 2014. Since then, Avantgarde has made considerable improvements to the Zero 1, the result being the new Zero 1 XD. Refer to http://www.maxmedia.com.au/www.maxmedia.com.au/High_End_News.html. Cameron will be presenting the new Zero 1 XD speakers to us on the day! They very recently won another Editors’ Choice Award (refer to page 62 of the March 2016 issue of The Absolute Sound), plus the prestigious German Design Award for 2016. As well, the Zero 1 XD’s will be parameterized for our room. And we will also be trialling some room treatment (RealTraps Mondo and Vicoustics) to hopefully improve the room acoustics a bit more. Details of the system…. Avantgarde Acoustic Zero 1 XD speakers. These are radically different speakers. They are a combination of digital processors, digital-to-analogue converters, power amps and speakers – all in one package. All you need is a source and you have a complete system. Jonathan Valin’s extensive review of the original version of these speakers is in the September 2014 issue of The Absolute Sound (refer to http://www.theabsolutesound.com/articles/avantgarde-acoustic-zero-1-pro-loudspeaker/). He quite loved them – it was a long review in which he raved about their speed, vitality, accuracy, timbre rightness and resolution. And he went so far as to say are likely the very first horn loaded speakers he’s heard that don’t sound like horns. Also refer to http://www.maxmedia.com.au/www.maxmedia.com.au/High_End_News.html and http://www.avantgarde-acoustic.de/en/home-zero1.html. Olive One HD music player – Refer to http://www.myoliveone.com/Ones Mac Mini with Roon Oppo BDP-105D Universal player – 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 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 of a similar mind. 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. We will welcome you at the door. Venue: Epping Creative Centre, Dence Park Address: 26 Stanley Road, Epping When: Sunday 13th March 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. Now that my system is pretty much finished for now, I thought I'd post a bit about it. There's some stunning looking systems on Stereonet! My system is at the lower end of the scale but it's been coming together for the past 3 years or so and I'm pretty content with how it sounds. Starting pretty much from scratch, I had an idea of the sound I was looking for and found it in a pair of Vaf i91s MKII, it was a close call between these and a pair of B&W PM1s which I also would have been very happy with. As a bonus I love the look of the i91s in Tasmanian Blackwood veneer! As you can see, the i91s sit on Primacoustic Recoil Stabilizers to isolate them from the entertainment unit. The i91s lost some fullness in the bottom end however the soundstage increased massively and the bass ultimately became clearer. The slabs of granite beneath the stabilizers act as a solid mass and help raise the tweeters to ear level. They were also cut over-sized so the speakers could be moved out of reach when nieces and nephews come for a visit! Amp duties are handled by a Roksan Kandy K2 integrated; together the Roksan and i91s have an engaging, balanced sound, nicely detailed but not overly analytical. We have a young child who loves to roll so the 12" sealed Emotiva Sub has been relegated to a corner and now only comes out occasionally. I do miss that extra dose of fullness at times! My next purchase was a Beresford Bushmaster DAC which was an improvement over outputs from the generic Blu-ray player and Topfield PVR, but as a DAC I prefer the sound of the Fostex CR200 CD recorder I posted about a few weeks ago (http://www.stereo.net.au/forums/index.php?/topic/79982-fostex-cr200-recorder-wow/). Other digital duties are taken care of by an Olive One with an internal HDD. I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with it at the moment - it looks great, sounds fine and my lovely other half can operate it with ease. However it's had quite a few software bugs and odd behaviour along the way, so quite a few emails to tech support, some of which are ongoing. As an early adopter I bought it for a fair price and it's great for convenience, however I'm not sure I'd purchase it if I had my time again, instead look at a NUC or similar. It's currently run via digital coax to an Audio-GD DI-V1, from which a line is sent to both the Fostex CD200 and the Bushmaster. The Olive and the Bushmaster sound similar but the Fostex is a noticeable step-up. I've been experimenting with a few different analog interconnects but primarily use digital coax cables from Blue Jeans Cable. I posted a while ago about the difference I found in power cables and a Isotek Polaris board (http://www.stereo.net.au/forums/index.php?/topic/72273-power-cables-curiosity-wins/) so I won't rave about them again, needless to say they aren't going anywhere in a hurry! I had 2 dedicated 20A power lines installed when I had some other electrical work done, for me they made a positive difference. What else? Room dimensions: 5.5m wide x 4m deep x 3.7m high - it's a tall room! The wall behind the speakers only goes halfway up and is then open plan to the next level. Unfortunately proper room treatments aren't an option, just a single 1200 x 900mm panel for absorption on one wall about halfway up. But the room is carpeted, we have 2 large fabric lounges and an ottoman so it's ok. Where to next? I'd love to hear a good headphone amplifier with my Sennheiser HD580s. I've also been extremely curious about Audio-GD DACs, especially of the PCM1704UK flavour. Lastly, I'd be keen to add a turntable that wasn't just on the TV - maybe one day! This post got much longer than I thought it would, if you made it to the end, that's about it, thanks for reading!
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