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For our March club meeting we’ve got something quite different arranged. What does it mean when we say the sound is ‘bright’, ‘hard’ or ‘compressed’… ? Edgar Kramer of Soundstage! Australia will be explaining audiophile terminology and playing specific tracks to demonstrate. Edgar is an accomplished listener and has many years’ experience as a reviewer. There are few people here in Australia that are as qualified as Edgar for this presentation. So get ready, prepare yourself so you can ask about those audiophile terms that puzzle you…
Detail of the system…
Hulgich Audio Ella MkII speakers with Gaia II feet on basalt blocks. Refer to links below…
Plinius Reference amplifier. Refer to https://www.stereophile.com/solidpoweramps/506plinius/index.html.
Classe CP-800 (or valve preamp).
Gryphon Mikado Reference CDP – source for Edgar’s presentation.
Oppo BDP-105D – additional source for BYO session.
ZenSati #1 & #2 Interconnects and ZenSati #2 Speaker cables. Refer to links below…
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/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 10th March 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!