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Sydney Audio Club Meeting - Sunday 19th August 2018 - Lucie Audio

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For our August club meeting, we are very pleased to have Rick Bond of Lucie Audio present.  Rick doesn’t yet have a website.  The main source of information about his company is on Instagram and also from Rick’s posts within the Melbourne Audio Club area on StereoNET (see here).  The following from Rick best describes what Lucie Audio is all about... 


“Lucie Audio is a boutique audio [manufacturer] based in Northcote, Melbourne. I established the name last year out of a desire to bring my own interpretation of what I value in a sound system to market, and so far we produce seven products - a pre and power amp combo featuring DSP and room correction, and a range of five loudspeakers including a powered subwoofer.”


“From the outset, what I'm hoping to do with the brand is revitalise an interest in good sound reproduction at home, without making the equipment the focus more than necessary - both from a visual and auditory angle. Though we use some cutting edge technology, once it is working on our side, it can become transparent and hopefully it's just about the music and a new level of enjoyment - first and foremost good sound reproduction should forge a deeper connection to music. Ironically technology is at a point where this is as feasible as it has ever been, yet that's often not the case.”


“The technical foundations of Lucie lie in room correction and efficient amplification, and their liberation in getting the best out of some fairly unconventional loudspeaker designs. Central to this is the premise that most commercially available speaker designs are based on a series of assumptions relative to the end user's room acoustics and tonal preferences, which are only by occasional chance completely accurate. The uncomfortable fact in sound reproduction is that the listening environment is so often the deciding factor in overall enjoyment of the system, and it is a topic that is seldom addressed when choosing one piece of equipment over another.”  And … “The use of DSP allows …. us to achieve the best possible result in terms of tonal balance, soundstage and accurate presentation of instruments and voices.”


Details of the system…. 


The DSP pre-amplifier“Our pre-amp is built around the capabilities and feature set of the MiniDSP 2x4HD processor board. This gives us the power to process the stereo audio stream in real time to perform room correction and digital crossover functions. Room correction function is powered by Dirac, world leaders in this technology. The Dirac Live platform combines powerful and flexible capabilities with an easy to follow measurement process.”

Power amplification“Our power amps are built on modular designs from Hypex in the Netherlands. Hypex are at the forefront of a new era of ultra high performance Class D amplification.  Amplifiers based on their Ncore technology developed by Bruno Putzeys are now appearing in the highest echelon of products.” … “Specifications of Ncore amp modules are superb across the board, and their characteristics focus on neutrality and resolving power.”

Loudspeakers“Our philosophy with loudspeakers is to stray somewhat from established design norms, made possible by harnessing the power of DSP and active crossovers available in the pre-amp, and multiple channels of amplification in our power amp. Central to this is the goal of eliminating phase issues across the midrange, where our auditory system is most sensitive.”  


Lucie Model One loudspeaker“The simplest expression of the Lucie loudspeaker philosophy -  a single point source driver delivers the full audio signal. Zero crossover distortion or phase errors. A large, light and strong paper composite diaphragm with powerful neodymium motor give neutral and transparent vocal rendition and a precise and vivid soundstage. Excelling at delivering accurate and nuanced midrange, this design is highly recommended where primarily acoustic music is appreciated in a small to medium, focused listening environment.”


Lucie Model Two loudspeaker “A traditional two-way compact loudspeaker with state of the art low distortion drivers from SB Acoustics and Scan-Speak. Extending linear frequency response above and below the Model One, the design physically time-aligns the acoustic energy from the low and high frequency drivers to maintain neutrality and phase coherence through the crossover range.” 


Lucie Subwoofer“Built to extend the frequency response of the bookshelf cabinets to the very lowest octaves. The sealed construction and large, low distortion driver give extremely linear bass performance, and the use of a Linkwitz Transform equalisation in the DSP system extends response well below the resonant frequency of the cabinet, giving exceptional performance for a fairly compact enclosure.” 

“Material options available for loudspeakers: Baltic birch ply or narrow grain carbonised bamboo, solid laminated construction (no veneers used).  Finishes: Natural oiled or Black Japan, others possible via consultation.”

Rick has just finished up another two-way loudspeaker prototype and he likes it a lot, so he may well bring that too. The design is pretty unconventional with a small full-range mated to a Scan-Speak mid-woofer with an active crossover at 500hz.


Source – Oppo BDP-105D multi-format player.

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 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 August 2018

Doors open 1pm
Meeting starts at 2pm
Best regards,
Tom Waters
Sydney Audio Club
W: www.sydneyaudioclub.org
FB: https://www.facebook.com/sydneyaudioclub
E: tomwaters@sydneyaudioclub.org.au

Edited by TomW
Fix lost spacing, bolding, etc.

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Our August club meeting was very well received by members and guests alike. We had a good turn-out for both the first and second half sessions.  Rick Bond of Lucie Audio gave an excellent introductory talk of his custom-made speakers, his preamp and power amp, and mostly importantly, his ambitions and direction for his relatively new venture, Lucie Audio.  His products use Dirac Live to assist with room correction – to get the best sound possible from each room.  Rick spent upwards of 2 hours calibrating for 3 different sets of speakers (yes, he brought 3 pairs!).  He was so intent on the calibrations that he wound up eating cold pizza rather than warm pizza like Steve and me.  His attention to detail was excellent, as was evidenced by the great sound in the room.  His second pair of speakers were almost unanimously considered best, so we stayed with them throughout the entire second half when we had our BYO session.


Here are some comments from the feedback forms…


"Lovely system. "


"Good attendance, good sound for the price point, good variety of music. "


"Excellent explanation of package.  Good combination for an inexpensive system.  Good local product with local engineering. "


"Excellent meeting, very interesting equipment.  Nice combination of technical capability and practicality. "


"Very informative presentation.  The second pair of speakers were very involving, a pleasure to listen to."


"Good bang for the buck.  Speakers were well designed. "


"Well organized meeting - my first visit.  Flawless for a DSP / Class D combo. "


"A bit of room correction and this room isn't all that bad!  Great speakers and system. "

"Another great day of listening to music."


"Very good and informative meeting.  The second set of speakers were really impressive for their size.  Good design. "


"Another enjoyable meeting.  Great Aussie speakers. "


"Quite possibly the best sounding speakers for the money I've yet heard.  The second pair at $2800 were superb.[passive pair - TW]


"Best stand mounted speakers presented in many meetings.  The second pair were very good indeed.  Preamp and power amp worked well together. "


Photos to follow...


Edited by TomW
To fix quotes and spacing.

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Top bloke, @coffeemachinist - it's early days for what looks to be a promising up and coming Aussie brand!

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Well, firstly a big thank you to @TomW and @chefscuba70 for facilitating a time slot at short notice, and to the Sydney Audio Club cohort for welcoming us so warmly on the day. 


It's been a fun if short trip for us seeing some existing and potential customers in Sydney, and Sunday's presentation was a great way to cap it all off. It's really fulfilling as a new manufacturer to get to this stage in the process and see that many find value in what we're doing for the reasons we hoped you would, and that there is a growing acceptance and understanding of some of the technology we use in a discerning audience such as yourselves! 


So just thought I'd provide a few more details on the ancillary components used on the day - 


Source used for the first half was a Bluesound Node2 streamer in fixed output mode (connected via toslink optical to the Lucie DSP pre-amp), pulling music from Tidal via a 4G modem. The Tidal playlist can be viewed here.


Cabling - nothing special at all for power, interconnects between the pre and power combo were Belden with Canare terminals, and speaker cable was Canare 4s11 with run of the mill banana plugs. 


Internal speaker cabling is teflon insulated silver plated stranded copper in a twisted pair between the binding post and driver terminals. No passive components at all in the full range and 2-way loudspeakers.


So thanks again to all attendees, I really enjoyed the afternoon, and thought the BYO music selection through the Oppo sounded fantastic - especially the Gluck piece and the DSD track - anyone have the title of that one? 


Of course if there are any follow up questions, please don't hesitate to ask, and I'll be passing back through Sydney really briefly on Sunday if anyone wants to lighten my load and grab a pre-amp on the way home to Melbourne... 🙂


Cheers, Rick 











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