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Sydney Audio Club Meeting - Sunday 9th April 2017 - Zensati Australia presents Prism Sound Callia DAC/Preamp, Technical Brain, PMC

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For our April club meeting … George Fracchia of Zensati Australia (http://www.zensatiaustralia.com/) will present a superb system based around the Prism Sound Callia DAC/Preamp, along with the Technical Brain Integrated Amplifier TB-ZERO INT and the PMC MB2 SE Speakers.  The PMC speakers have been kindly supplied by Vinod and John at the LifeStyle Store in North Parramatta (visit http://www.lifestylestore.com.au/).  


The official representative of Prism Sound in Australia, Peter Orehov, will also be present.  Peter will give a presentation highlighting the relevance of the Professional Recording (studio) to the Audiophile and Hi-Fi community. 

ZenSati Australia sells the Prism Sound Callia DAC/Preamp to the Hi-Fi and Audiophile community.  Technical Brain products are also available through Zensati Australia.   PMC products are available through the Lifestyle Store.

The system will be as follows: 


Prism Sound Callia DAC/Preamp.  Jason Kennedy at the the-ear.net said… “Prism Sound’s reputation preceded it when it finally entered the domestic hi-fi business earlier in the year [2016]. The Cambridge based company has been making converters for the studio market since 1987 and its top pro DAC is a cult product amongst those in the know. PMC founder Peter Thomas has one in his main system for instance, and he’s tried more than most in his quest for digital audio ecstasy.”  Refer to http://www.prismsound.com/hifi/products_subs/dac1/dac1_home.php and http://www.the-ear.net/review-hardware/prism-sound-callia-dacpreamplifier.


Technical Brain Integrated Amplifier TB-ZERO INT.  Highly respected, ultra-high performance products from Japan.  Refer to http://www.zensatiaustralia.com/2013/01/technical-brain-tb-zero-integrated-stereo-amplifier-now-available/, http://www.technicalbrain.co.jp/stereosound-2015spring-194.pdf and http://www.technicalbrain.co.jp/index_e.html


PMC MB2 SE Speakers.  From the Lifestyle Store website “…Meticulous attention has been applied to hone the designs to new standards, adding new internal bracing, computer-modelled driver dispersion surrounds, and custom-designed, specially tuned stands.  All these elements contribute to the production of a purer musical signal, allowing the listener to come as close as possible to the original performance.”   Refer to http://www.lifestylestore.com.au/pmc-mb2-se-three-way-high-resolution-reference-monitors.html, http://pmc-speakers.com/products/consumer/se-series/mb2-se.  Our thanks again to the Lifestyle Store for graciously providing these speakers for the day.

Cabling will be from the products distributed by Zensati Australia which includes Vertere, Black Cat, Trinity, Dalby and of course ZenSati.

Gryphon Mikado Signature CD player.  We will use the Mikado as the transport into the Callia DAC/Preamp.  Note that Gryphon Audio Designs is not distributed by Zensati Australia (this player belongs to a club member).  The Mikado is an excellent player with remarkable resolution, transparency and warmth.  Refer to http://www.gryphon-audio.dk/m/product-information/heritage-products/mikado-signature/reviews for reviews. 

Note:  We will also have an Oppo BDP-105D Universal player on hand to allow the playing of USB flash drives during our BYO session.  We will be using the Oppo only as a transport into the Callia DAC.

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 flash drives (sorry no 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 fine music and sound.


Venue:  Epping Creative Centre, Dence Park
Address:  26 Stanley Road, Epping 

When:  Sunday 9th April 2017


Doors open 1pm
Meeting starts at 2pm
Best regards,

Tom Waters
Sydney Audio Club

Edited by TomW
Fix spacing between lines

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Edited by TomW

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Our April meeting attracted another sizable crowd.   After I introduced George and Peter, we got the show underway without delay.  George Fracchia of Zensati Australia provided a bit of information about the system and Zensati Australia.   Peter Orehov (of CDA Audio) is the official Prism Sound Australia representative.  Peter gave an introduction of the Prism Sound Callia DAC as well as a presentation about Prism Sound and the prevalence of its products in studios around the world.  Prism Sound has been the provider of choice for many studios since 1987.  The Callia DAC is its first venture into the home/audiophile market.   (See the banner in the photos below for some of the studios that use Prism Sound.)   


Attendees were quite impressed that the Callia DAC could sound so good, yet cost so little ($2695 RRP).   It’s smaller than you think when you look at photos of it… but it has everything you need.  It handles PCM up to 384Kz, and DSD up to double-DSD (128).  It does not handle MQA as yet, but should this be implemented it’ll be just a firmware upgrade.   Peter didn’t elaborate on the actual DAC chips used inside the Callia – instead he stressed that the clocking methods and analogue output stages should be considered more important than the DAC chips themselves. 


Many studios use PMC speakers with Prism Sound gear, so we had good synergy on the day.  They are certainly punchy and big sounding speakers.  They’re reasonably easy to drive, but do respond well to lots of power.   


As usual, we started our setup of the gear as early as we could.   We experimented a bit with speaker placement, but found that the PMC speakers didn’t seem to be as fussy with placement as some other speakers.   A few people were wondering how well the smallish Technical Brain integrated amp would cope when powering the PMC’s.  Yes, its small but it packs quite a punch (100 wpc into 8 Ohms).   A few people thought it must be Class D – no, it is Class A-B.  (You realize that when you try to lift it!)  And if you are interested in purchasing a TB-Zero INT, George has stock at a reduced price (contact Zensati Australia for details). 


Due to the length of Peter’s presentation and George’s music presentation, we didn’t have time for our usual Members Music session.   This will likely be on again for next month.


Here are some comments lifted from the Feedback forms…


"Impressive DAC. Huge speakers."


"Excellent system."


"Nicely detailed system."


"Very fine speakers."


"PMCs made a difficult room sound great."


"Speakers among the best I've heard."


"Very neat and pleasing system."


"Great speakers.  Loved the presentation."


"Great meeting.  Thanks to Prism and Lifestyle."


"Big $$ system DAC sounded good for money."


"Good soundstage.  Overblown hifi sound - not musical."


"Best overall sound."


Our thanks again to George and Peter, and of course John and Vinod at the Lifestyle Store for the use of their PMC MB2-SE speakers.  


See photos below...







Edited by TomW

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