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For our May club meeting we are very pleased to have Nick Hulgich of HulgichAudio present his new flagship speakers, the Duke. As well, Nick is bringing lots of new gear like the AudioGD Master 1 Class A preamplifier and AudioGD Master 2H monoblocks.
After the club meeting, you’ll have the opportunity to hear Nick’s new Duke speakers in a dedicated and optimised music room. If you are interested, see here for full detail.
Details of the system…
Speakers: HulgichAudio Duke (new flagship speakers)
Source: Mac mini using JRiver. Music in 2TB Solid State Disc (SSD).
DAC: AudioGD R8 resistor ladder DAC
Preamp: AudiogGD Master 1 Class A preamplifier
Both preamp and DAC are connected with ACSS cables. ACSS is a non-feedback technology made with discrete amplifiers. Most people know that global feedback design can offer better specs in test measurements, and non-feedback can't do well in test measurements but can offer better sound for the human's ears. Here is a conflict of the classic circuits. But ACSS opens new opportunities - it can offer a less colored sound which is more neutral with very low distortion and high linearity. So it can retain the dynamics, detail and neutral sound but not sound bright or harsh. [Copy from Audio GD website].
Amplifier option 1: Nord Acoustics Revision D monoblocks (latest upgrade) using Sonic Imagery op amps. Connected to preamplifier via XLR cables. Nord Acoustics amps are Class D amplifiers based on Hypex NCore Technology.
Amplifier option 2: AudioGD Master 2H monoblocks. Connected to preamplifier via ACSS cables. Krell amplifiers uses the same technology which they call CAST technology.
· This is a real balanced ACSS Non Negative Feedback Power Amp.
· Supports XLR and ACSS inputs.
· The Master 2H applies "Linear Fidelity" technology on the output drive stages. The output drive stages have no negative feedback but can keep the distortion low and steady, and have ultra-excellent linear performance [copy from Audio GD website].
· Soft Start Power Design.
· 80 wpc output transistors.
All Power cables done by HULGICHAUDIO based on shielded copper cables and copper connectors.
Speaker cables: HULGICHAUDIO “FTM” cables. These cables use the same silver plated copper cables used inside the speakers to guarantee the same sound quality from the amplifiers to the speaker drivers. They are terminated with Rhodium locking banana connectors to ensure a proper and safe connection to the audio system.
Oppo BDP-105D – additional source for BYO session.
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 USB thumb/flash 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 May 2019
Doors open 1pm
Meeting starts at 2pm
Sydney Audio Club
I should preface the following by saying - I've got no particular motivation or agenda apart from, being a loudspeaker DIY'er for some years, a genuine interest in the story of a local manufacturer who seems to share many of my own ideals of what a loudspeaker should be and do! Thank you Nick for indulging me!
I was fortunate to catch up with Nick on a recent trip to Adelaide and we spent a great afternoon chatting about his journey as a designer/constructor and listening to the Maestros, as well as the Serenade and Mikro bookshelf models. I had heard the Astors at the recent GTG hosted by @Marc, and knew the others would be worth a listen if I got a chance.
What struck me after a few hours with some familiar program material was just how pleasantly non-fatiguing and consistent in virtues of imaging and spatial presentation all of these designs are. Nick's painstaking choice of drivers, crossover design/components and optimisation of cabinet structure/volume has yielded a really defined synergy across the range. Strange, because I would have thought this should be the basic stuff for any loudspeaker manufacturer, yet so many seem to miss the mark in trying to be all things to all people.
To me, the most important characteristic about any good loudspeaker design is neutrality and accuracy across the human vocal range, and the ability to convey the depth and breadth of the recorded soundscape and pinpoint performers within it. While the latter especially is hugely subjective and reliant on the system and room as a whole, I believe the former is really down to the priorities of the designer and the lengths they will go to in order to get the basics right.
Plainly, no loudspeaker driver is without it's quirks and flaws, and while technology in driver design has come so far, the fundamental game of loudspeaker design is still won or lost in careful driver matching and crossover/enclosure design. Seems almost ridiculous that it needs to be said, but I think it's here especially that Nick's dedication to nailing the fundamentals have really paid off. Looking at the drivers, in all models (apart from mid range in the Astor @HA_Nick, correct me if I'm wrong?) SB Acoustics with natural cone materials and powerful, highly optimised motor/voice coils are used. I think this, along with careful crossover development plays a big part in why they image, and handle particularly vocals, so consistently well across the range, and are immensely engaging without being fatiguing.
So, nothing particularly revolutionary or unique there, but all the Hulgich products present a convincing argument for the value in a traditional approach to loudspeaker design. I was very pleasantly surprised by the Mikro's ability to fill a moderate sized room, and the sonic virtues of the larger models were there in spades. Bass extension of course improved substantially with the stand mounted Serenade, and the new floorstanding Maestro came to the party with added authority and weight in the lowest octaves, with two drivers and dedicated internal volumes acting as one.
I am hugely impressed with Nick's work, and it's so refreshing to meet a designer who is prepared to talk with genuine passion and humility about his priorities and goals and how they've evolved, and how keen he is to use both international design expertise and local talent in cabinet making and finishing to weave together the promising threads of Hulgich. Thanks again and kudos, Nick!