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Sydney Audio Club Meeting - Sunday 19th June 2016 - GoldenEar, Hegel and Nordost

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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…







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.â€

Refer to…






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.â€

Refer to…





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.â€

Refer to…





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.â€

Refer to…






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




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


Sydney Audio Club



Edited by TomW

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Hi all,


I thought I’d pass on some feedback from our club meeting.  The inclement weather no doubt kept some people away, but still we had nearly 40 people in the first half of the meeting.  All round, the comments of the system were very positive (see below), both verbal and on the feedback forms. 


We experimented with the mains treatment product from Quantum by Nordost.  Most people preferred the sound with the QK1 and QV2 enhancers plugged in, but a few thought the sound was better without.  We also tried switching the QX2 power purifier in and out.  Again, most people seemed to think the system sounded better with the QX2 switched on.


The MQA vs FLAC comparison proved a little more elusive.  Many people appeared undecided about which they preferred… FLAC or MQA.  It was a tough call – on some tracks I thought the MQA was better, but on other tracks it was too close to call.  This was of course, on a system that people were not familiar with.  I daresay that you really need to experiment with MQA in the context of your own system over the course of a few days – then you stand a better chance of understanding the merits that MQA has to offer.  (Our thanks again to the member that brought in the Meridian Explorer 2 DAC and the MQA and comparable FLAC files).


The following are a few comments lifted from the feedback forms…


 â€œSpeakers were well balanced, good resolution and soundstaging.  Nice tonality - no significant resonances.â€


“The speakers were very good.  Attack excellent.  Melody discernable in bass.â€


“Impressive speakers.  Good value for the price.  Great tweeters, elegant design, most welcomed to my home!  Cabling was good but pricey, guess you get what you pay for.â€


“Very satisfying meeting.  First time in memory that the room worked almost well with the speakers.â€


“The smoothing/mains experiment was interesting.  I did feel a little like the system "freed up" a bit without them [ie. the QRT products -TomW].â€


“Very good system, especially as the afternoon progressed.  The speakers were especially good.  I feel they would be very versatile - musically, placement-wise, room size-wise & bass down to low HZ, plus ribbon highs.  Impressive.â€


“Great reproduction.  Excellent performance, especially at the price.  The Hegel worked well with the speakers.â€


“Brilliant speakers!  Very impressive mids & top end. “


“Good price-performance ratio and WAF!â€


“Enjoyed the Hegel/GoldenEar/Oppo combo - had clarity, body, detail.  MQA/FLAC comparison was interesting but the differences between them were subtle.â€


“Excellent overall sound.â€


Photos to follow soon…

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GoldenEar Triton 1 speakers / Hegel H360 Integrated Amplifier / Oppo BDP-105D Universal player / Nordost Heimdall 2 power cords / Nordost Heimdall 2 speaker cables / Nordost Quantum QX2 power purifier
QB8 Mk2 power board, plus QK1 AC Enhancer / QV2 AC Line Harmonizers/ Oppo BDP-105D Universal player



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