2013 LSAF Official Show Report by Joe Alexander - Page 2 - Home Theater Forum and Systems - HomeTheaterShack.com

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post #11 of 17 Old 05-09-13, 02:22 PM Thread Starter
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2013 LSAF Official Show Report by Joe Alexander

Next up - the Brines Acoustics room.

The system setup includes:

Component MSRP
Brines Acoustics Speakers $1,500
Topping TP60 Class D amp $300
Foobar Audio Player for Windows  
M Audio Ultra DAC $150


The front wall:




Background / Specifications:

Brines Acoustics is located in Arkansas and offers a number of different single driver speakers. The Brines Acoustics speakers on display at the show have a stated FR of 35 Hz - 16 kHz with a sensitivity of 90 db (8 ohm nominal impedance) and weigh in at 36 lbs. They are a single driver speaker (no crossover) using the Mark Audio Alpair 12P driver.

Thoughts / Impressions:

The cabinets have a standard rectangle design. The finish is very customizable as the customer works directly with Bob when ordering speakers.

The speakers that were playing when we came into the room were the towers. There was a guitar track playing when we entered the room, and the track showed nice detail. However, when a more complex track (multiple instruments) came on, I felt that some of that detail was missing.

They imaged well from the sweet spot with a laid-back sound - if you drew a line between the speakers, it felt like the vocalist was standing behind the line. Instrument separation was good. They had good low end impact, but I felt the midrange was a bit loose and lacked the punch I look for. As far as vocals, they showed good dynamic range but by the end of a female vocal track, I could tell that I was experiencing some fatigue.

No treatment was in use for this room.


Please use the LSAF 2013 Discussion / Comments thread for questions and comments.
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post #12 of 17 Old 05-09-13, 04:38 PM Thread Starter
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2013 LSAF Official Show Report by Joe Alexander

Stereo Clarity was one of our Saturday visits.

The system setup included:

Component MSRP
Stereo Clarity LA-50 Speakers $6,000 (as pictured)
Stereo Clarity OneSource Home Media Solution $4,000 ($3,000 without the amplifier)

A couple of photos:

The front wall:






Background / Specifications:

The LA-50 is a line array speaker using 8 CSS WRT 125ST midrange drivers, 16 Dayton Soft Dome 5/8" tweeters, and one SDX 10" woofer that is side-firing. It uses an integrated 500W plate amp to drive the subwoofer. It has a sensitivity of 96 db (8 ohms nominal) and has less than 1% distortion at 120 db. There are several available finishes.

The OneSource is an all-encompassing home media solution. It uses Windows OS 7 for an operating system and Windows Media Player for content playback. There are two versions available - The Theater Junkie and The Audiophile. Both units come standard with an Intel processor, 16GB of RAM, and 3 TB of internal storage. The Theater Junkie offers up to 16TB of storage and an internal amp providing 125W into seven channels and a sub pre-out. The Audiophile has an internal two channel amp offering 250WPC and can scale up to 6 TB of storage. Note - it is not capable of playing SACDs.

Thoughts / Impressions:

The OneSource seemed to be a very easy unit to operate since it is Windows-based - most of us are familiar with Windows and its Media Player. I was impressed by its ability to not only control the system, but also the ability to drive the LA-50s without issue.

The LA-50s are very slim - 8" wide - which gives them a very unique feel and the finish on these was very well done. They imaged beautifully and showed a nice, wide soundstage (I moved to two different seats) with vocals locked in the middle and a nice separation of instruments. Horns were very clean with no shrillness at the top end and high hats presented a crisp "ping" and resulting splash.

Low end had great impact, but there was one track where I felt that the low end overpowered the vocals. It felt a bit boomy, but I believe this was an extension of the room and the lack of absorption. Mids were clean and had excellent punch - a must for me. Vocals showed off the dynamic range of the speakers as well as the detail - breaths were easily heard. Overall, a great experience - the OneSource especially caught my attention with its ease of use and ability to reduce the equipment needed to set up a two channel system.

Diffusers and a black curtain (behind the speakers) were used in this room.


Please use the LSAF 2013 Discussion / Comments thread for questions and comments.
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post #13 of 17 Old 05-09-13, 06:26 PM Thread Starter
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2013 LSAF Official Show Report by Joe Alexander

While the rest of the HTS crew went to lunch , I decided to skip and continue on to the Advanced Home Theater Systems room.

The system setup included:

Component MSRP
Evolution Acoustics MMMicroOne Monitors $2,500 (includes stands)
BMC CS2 amp $8,400
MPS Playback Designs SACD / CD player $17,000
MIT Matrix 23 Cables $750
Analysis Plus Oval 9 cables $500
Billy Bags Amp Stand $1,000


First off, a few pictures:


The front wall:



Closer views of the MMMicroOnes:





A closer view of the equipment:




Background / Specifications:

Advanced Home Theater Systems is a Texas-based company that offers consultation and installation services.

The MMMicroOne monitors from Evolution Acoustics use a 2" Pleated Diaphragm Air Velocity tweeter and two 4" Ceramic Matrix midrange drivers. They have a stated FR of 35 Hz - 30 kHz with a sensitivity of 87 db (6 ohms nominal) and weigh in at 30 lbs each.

The BMC CS2 is a two channel amp that delivers 200 WPC (8 ohms) and 350 WPC (4 ohms) with 2 balanced and 3 unbalanced inputs and weighs in at a solid 88 lbs.

Thoughts / Impressions:

The MMMicroOnes have a nice cabinet design - the tweeter is inset which adds some contouring to the front baffle - and they have a beautiful finish making them an excellent choice for those with WAF concerns. The stands are included in the cost, and they can be filled with lead shot to make them even more sturdy.

They are another monitor with big sound - always a plus for me. They image well with good depth and have good instrument separation, but they can be localized easily as you move away from the sweet spot. The MMMicroOnes show incredible detail - horns had no shrillness at the top end and you could hear the "buzz" of the trumpet player blowing into the mouthpiece. Also, the piano had a very airy sound and high hats had that beautiful "ping" and splash sound.

Low end was very impressive for a monitor - they had decent impact and were clean. Mids were also well done - there was good detail on the snare drum with a nice mid punch. Vocals also showed nice detail (breath intakes were easily heard) and good range. Overall, this was one of the speakers I most enjoyed over the weekend - were I in the market for a two channel system, I would definitely give these a longer audition.

There was no treatment in use in this room.


Please use the LSAF 2013 Discussion / Comments thread for questions and comments.
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post #14 of 17 Old 05-10-13, 11:16 AM Thread Starter
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Re: 2013 LSAF Official Show Report by Joe Alexander

Friday evening, we stopped into the Legacy Audio room.

There were two separate setups with 2 different speakers in each setup - this was the same as at Axpona in March. Here are those configurations:

Setup Components MSRP
Setup 1 Legacy Aeris in Sapele Pommele finish $17,750
 Legacy Signature SE in Rosewood finish $6,450
 CODA CSX Amplifier $6,000
 CODA CP Pre-Amplifier $3,500
 Ayon CD 2S $6,350
 Speaker Cables SP7 Grand Reference $1,499 / pair
 Interconnects MA6 Grand Reference $899 / pair
Setup 2 Legacy Whisper XD in Ribbon Mahogany finish $21,500
 Legacy Focus SE in Black Pearl finish $9,650
 CODA CSX Amplifier $6,000
 CODA CP Pre-Amplifier $3,500
 OPPO BDP-105 $1,199
 Speaker Cables SP7 Grand Reference $1,499 / pair
 Interconnects MA6 Grand Reference $899 / pair

All four of these speaker use the new dual Air Motion tweeter which allows them to extend bandwidth and dynamics due to the premium grade Neodymium magnetics and Kapton diaphragms which are stable to 750 degrees farenheit. To construct the tweeter, a 16" square piece of Kapton is folded into a 4" long, 1" wide chamber. This tweeter is mounted on the same faceplate as the complementary 1" AMT ribbon super-tweeter to give more uniform dispersion which gives the treble more weight and natural fullness.

There was a slight modification to the Aeris since Axpona - a passive 8" radiator was added to the bottom of the cabinet to help smooth out the low end. They had also brought the Classics (MSRP $4,100) to LSAF, but we did not get a chance to hear them.

First off, a few pictures:


The Aeris / Signature setup:



The Whisper / Focus setup:



Some closer views of the speakers / equipment:









The back side of the Aeris with the LED lighting on:



The Classics:




Background / Specifications:

Legacy Audio is located in Springfield, Illinois and offers several different speakers. The Whispers have a stated FR of 22 Hz - 30 kHz (+-2db) with a sensitivity of 95db (4 ohm nominal) and weigh in at 210 lbs each. The Signatures have a stated FR of 22 Hz - 30 kHz (+-2db) with a sensitivity of 92db (4 ohm nominal) and weigh in at 110 lbs each.

The Aeris speakers have a stated FR of 16 Hz - 30 kHz (+-2db) with a sensitivity of 95.4db (4 ohm nominal) and weigh in at 200 lbs each. The Focus speakers have a stated FR of 18 Hz - 30 kHz (+-2db) with a sensitivity of 95db (4 ohm nominal) and weigh in at 198 lbs each. The Classics have a stated FR of 32 Hz - 30 kHz (+-2db) with a sensitivity of 94db (4 ohm nominal) and weigh in at 110 lbs each.

There are several choices available for finishes.

Thoughts / Impressions:


The first speakers we listened to were the Aeris'. As at Axpona, they have an open, airy sound for vocals and piano which was shown well by the Mary Chapin Carpenter track. Each intake of breath was readily apparent. Cymbals also had an excellent "ping" and resulting splash. When we switched to the Whispers, we were treated to the same open, airy sound.

Imaging was a bit hit or miss. Both speakers had good instrument separation, but vocals were not locked in the center and it was hard to have them disappear. We moved seats (multiple times) and the speakers were adjusted slightly, but we continually noticed that the sweet spot was somewhat narrow. That said, this could have been an extension of the distance between each set as they were the outside pair in both cases. In both cases, midrange and low end were clean and had good impact.

One added benefit of choosing the Whisper XD or Helix models - they will come to your house and set them up!

No room treatment was used in this room.


Please use the LSAF 2013 Discussion / Comments thread for questions and comments.
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post #15 of 17 Old 05-10-13, 02:16 PM Thread Starter
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2013 LSAF Official Show Report by Joe Alexander

Next up - the Bamberg Audio room. I attended a GTG in Iowa the weekend prior to LSAF and Phil was there with the Series 5 Hybrids. I was looking forward to hearing how these sounded in a smaller room.

The system setup included:

Component MSRP
Bamberg Series 5 TMW Hybrid Full-Range 3-way Speakers $8,250
Emotiva USP-1 Preamp $450
Emotive UPA-200 amp $350
Sherbourn Disc Player 
MG Audio Design 8' speaker cable (2) $1,900
MG Audio Design 1-M Silver interconnect (2) $1,100
MG Audio Design 1-M Copper interconnect (2) $700


First off, a few pictures:


The front wall (and Phil moving the top unit back in place ):



A closer view of the speakers:





Phil had a set of Series 2 monitors there as well - I believe Dennis (tesseract) may have these for review!:



Background / Specifications:

Bamberg Audio is based in Indiana. The Series 5 TMW Hybrids have a stated FR of 18 Hz - 20 kHz with a sensitivity of 90db (8 ohm impedance) and weigh in at 120 lbs each. There are seven different finishes from which to choose.

Thoughts / Impressions:

I had an opportunity to hear the Series 5s one weekend prior to LSAF in a room that was quite a bit larger than the room at the hotel. Here are some thoughts I posted from that experience:

First up was the Bamberg Series 5 TMWs which were run full range. They have a very unique design - definitely a shift from the standard rectangle and the finish on them was very well done.

They had a very open, airy sound that I enjoyed very much - they image beautifully which was especially evident on one of the tracks which was a female duet - you really could visualize each person's position when the track was recorded. That said, I do believe that they were being run a bit too loudl as I felt that some female vocals just sounded shrill - as well as one specific track with a solo horn. When horns were mixed as part of an overall orchestra, they sounded much better. Male vocals sounded excellent with great dynamic range.

Midrange was spot on - the snap of a block being struck or the snare drum - it just did not matter, the Series 5s just played them so crisp and clean. The detail was excellent as well - from the audible breaths to the sound of the cymbols on Hells Bells.

There was a slight degradation in soundfield off-axis - just barely noticeable though. As far as the low end, they did pretty well here, but I felt that the cannons on the 1812 track lacked impact.

Where these really stood out for me was in the aesthetics, midrange, and dynamic range (especially male vocals). If I were in the market for a 2 channel system, I would definitely give these a second, longer audition.


We visited this room on Saturday, and again on Sunday after Phil had done some minor tweaking and asked if we could stop back in. First, again, these are beautiful speakers - the cabinet deviates from a standard design and the finish is very well done.

When we visited Saturday, the speakers imaged well for vocals, but instrument separation was missing - it felt like everything was coming right from the middle. However, the minor tweak completely changed this - on Sunday, I felt that if I closed my eyes, I could be sitting at a live performance. Instrument separation was fantastic and there was depth to the soundstage. Female vocals sounded so much better here than the previous weekend - no shrillness at the top end at all and we were probably somewhere in the neighborhood of 85db. Horns also sounded much better here and mids were also tighter with fantastic punch. Low end also had more impact at LSAF. They still had the open, airy sound with great detail that I noticed from the Iowa GTG.

Overall, it was just so much more lively and encompassing than it was in the larger room. If I were in the market for a two channel system, these would be on my short list.

There were panels used for treatment in this room.


Please use the LSAF 2013 Discussion / Comments thread for questions and comments.
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post #16 of 17 Old 05-10-13, 04:54 PM Thread Starter
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2013 LSAF Official Show Report by Joe Alexander

Last - but certainly not least - is the Raven Audio / Music Vault room.

The system setup included:

Component MSRP
CLS-9 Line Array Speakers $8,950 (used)
Hanss T20 Turntable with Black Widow arm and Denon 103R cartridge 
Music Vault Diamond Music Server $4,000
Raven Audio Silhouette Reference Monoblock (2) $13,000
Raven Audio Silhouette Reference Preamp with Phono stage built in $13,000
Zodiac Gold DAC $4,495
Voltikus Power Supply 
P.I. Audio Group UBERbuss Power Conditioner $1,095
Cable Pro Power Strip 


A few pictures of the room:


The front wall:





Some of the Raven Audio products on display:







A closer view of the CLS-9:



A closer view of the equipment:



The Reference monoblock:





Background / Specifications:

I chatted with Dave from Raven Audio for a bit, and also had a chance to "meet" the designer via Skype. He has been designer amps for over 30 years and lives in Korea. I really liked the look of the equipment - it has a very elegant appearance.

I also had a chance to talk with Neal about the Music Vault system - they offer several packages and have a two year warranty program with unlimited phone support. The unit can be configured wireless or hard-wired and can be troubleshot remotely. There is an individual volume control for headphones and the digital outputs are completely dejittered.

The CLS-9s are a design by Danny Richie from GR Research.

Thoughts / Impressions:

From an aesthetics point of view, the finish on these speakers was stunning - and still in amazing shape for being used. Also, at 7' tall, they are very imposing. The soundstage was incredibly balanced and they imaged perfectly - they completely disappeared which is simply unbelieveable considering the size. The crossovers are actually external - if you look at the picture of the equipment, you can see them on either side.

They have a very open, airy sound that was just so smooth - female vocals just produced goosebumps on top of goosebumps and both male and female vocals showed off the dynamic range of these beasts.

Horns, piano, and cymbals were exquisite - just so much detail . To bring that point home, I wrote "amazing detail" three different times in my notes. Mids were extremely clean and had excellent punch.

Overall, a very impressive room - well done gentlemen!


Please use the LSAF 2013 Discussion / Comments thread for questions and comments.
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post #17 of 17 Old 05-10-13, 05:01 PM Thread Starter
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2013 LSAF Official Show Report by Joe Alexander

And, with that, my fantastic weekend came to an end. It was great to meet Sonnie and Dennis and make our way around the show - as well as meeting all of the wonderful exhibitors that took their time to talk shop with us. One of my highlights from the weekend - Friday night dinner with several of the exhibitors at Babe's Chicken House. It was a great chance to talk non-shop stuff!

I look forward to doing it again next year.

I am going to post some final thoughts in the discussion thread - let's chat!


Please use the LSAF 2013 Discussion / Comments thread for questions and comments.
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