Home Theater Forum and Systems banner

Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 20 of 20 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,209 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone from Silver Spring, Maryland! :wave:

After a fun car ride through some really beautiful neighborhoods and at least two college campuses, I have arrived! I am really looking forward to getting started tomorrow morning and seeing Sonnie and some of the HTS sponsors in the next couple days.

I will be trying to get impressions up while we are here (as much as I can anyway ;)) so stay tuned!


When we arrived, we were greeted by these fine folks:



Gary Gill, who heads up getting the show up and running and rolling along smoothly each year, is front and center in the picture just above. Thanks for bringing everyone together again this year Gary!


Click here for the 2013 Capital Audiofest Official Discussion Thread.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,209 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
There was a great turn-out for this event - it seemed over half the rooms we went into we needed to wait a bit to actually get into a position to listen. A fantastic job by the group led by Gary of coordinating the event - kudos!

At the end of the day Saturday, a drawing was held with quite a few shirts (some especially nice HTS polos and button down shirts!) as well as some cables and a couple of very interesting books. Yours truly came home with some very nice speaker cables from Luminous Audio - Sonnie got shut out. ;)

Here is our emcee at work:



Here is one of the lucky winners of an HTS shirt:



A few thoughts on the show:

1. There was a wide range of equipment at this show in reference to price range - as a matter of fact, there were quite a few speakers that would fit into my modest budget. :)

2. You do not need to spend loads of money to get a really good two channel system. Some of the best systems I heard this past weekend were very affordable.

3. One of the many things I enjoy about the priviledge of doing these shows is that I get to meet some really great people - as well as catch up with people I have met at previous shows. Also, hanging out with Sonnie and meeting other HTSers (we met Todd on Saturday night) is always a treat.

4. I had a very eye-opening discussion with one of the vendors that really changed my perception of the term "accuracy" and how it is applied to what we listen to.

On with the reports!


Click here for the 2013 Capital Audiofest Official Discussion Thread.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,209 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
First up - one of the rooms by The Voice That Is using amps from Audio Power Labs.

The system configuration included:

No code has to be inserted here.


A few photos:


The front wall:



Some closer views of the speakers:




Some closer views of the equipment:



Background / Specifications

The Voice That Is is a Pennsylvania-based dealer specializing in high-end audio. The TIDAL Audio Contriva Diacera SE speakers have a RMD-cabinet that are crafted in tounge and groove and made from 2"-3" MDF. There are two 9" Thiel & Partner woofers with white ceramic diaphragms, one 7" Thiel & Partner midrange with a white ceramic diaphragm, and one 1.2" Thiel & Partner tweeter with a black diamond diaphragm. They have a nominal impedance of 4-6 ohms and weigh in at 506 pounds packaged.

To see my initial thoughts on the Audio Power Labs 50TNT, check out the AXPONA review here. A couple of changes have been made since I last heard them - some capacitors were changed as they were experiencing small signal noise when paired with very high sensitivity speakers (originally found when paired with a set of Avantgarde Trios) and the top plate was changed to hang from rubber stops instead of being completely enclosed.


Impressions

The Contrivas are a beautiful speaker - the finish was stunning and the design of the cabinet gave it a very elegant appearance. The finish has some flexibility as many choices of veneers are available. I liked the contouring on the sides of the cabinets as well as the sloped front baffle.

They imaged beautifully with a very deep soundstage - the speakers completely disappeared and it felt like the artist was standing just behind the center point of the speakers. They are very detailed - breaths were readily audible and you could hear each strike of the snare and pluck of the bass. Vocals were very clean with fantastic dynamic range. The soundfield did break down as I shifted off-axis - once you moved from the PLP (primary listening position), you could really localize the speakers. The midrange was really impressive - for those that have followed me along on the show reports, you know how much I enjoy a midrange where you get a audible snap from a snare drum. The Contriva Diaceras definitely provided that experience in spades and were oh so clean. The low end really did not stand out for me - good or bad. Great overall speaker - it has the qualities I personally covet - detail and great midrange.

I really like the 50TNT amps - they are aesthetically very appealing and provide a very warm sound - with loads of power. :) Someday, I really hope to see / hear their big brother - the 833TNT!

Plants and front corner traps were used in the room.


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

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,209 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Friday morning I stopped into the Legacy Audio room.

There were two separate setups that were pretty much what was set up at AXPONA and LSAF. Here are those configurations:

No code has to be inserted here.

For thoughts on the Legacy setup from AXPONA 2013, click here. For thoughts on the Legacy setup from LSAF 2013, click here.

First off, a few pictures:


The Aeris setup:



The Whisper / Signature setup:




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.

There are several choices available for finishes.

Thoughts / Impressions:

The Aeris' were playing when we entered the room, and I still just love the finish and cabinet design of these speakers - the contouring just sets them off really well. At LSAF, they did not seem to image well - here, that was completely gone as they imaged perfectly. Horns were not fatiguing (or "screechy") at all and instruments separated very well. Piano also sounded incredible - every plunk of the keys was easily heard. Vocals showed great dynamic range. Overall, they had great detail - I really felt I was not "missing" anything.

The Aeris' had good low end thump - I could actually feel it from where I was sitting which was about 10-12 feet away. The best for last - I was floored by the midrange - the snare drum just SNAPPED! It was amazing - so much so that I just stopped taking notes and listened with my eyes closed - heady stuff. Another great all-around speaker - I actually like this one more than the Contrivas (which I liked very much) as I felt it had a bit better low end and was similar in the mid and highs.

No room treatment was used in this room.


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

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,209 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Next up - the Classic Audio Loudspeakers / Atma-Sphere / Tri-Planar / Purist Audio Design / Stahl-Tek room. I visited this room before Sonnie arrived on Friday, and then we went back after the show shut down on Saturday night where Todd joined us later.

The setup in this room was similar to the setup at Axpona 2013:

No code has to be inserted here.

For thoughts on this setup from AXPONA 2013, click here.

First off, a few pictures:


The front wall:




A closer view of the speakers:



A closer view of the gear:




Background / Specifications:

The T-1.4 Reference speaker uses a field coil to power its components. It employs a 15" low-bass woofer, a 15" mid-bass woofer and a 4" diameter beryllium diaphragm that is loaded into the 2" throat field coil compression driver to provide articulate vocals and music. Last, the super-tweeter is added to give a feel of air and openness without any fatigue. They have a nominal impedence of 16 ohms with a shipping weight of 450 lbs each.

The T-5.1 uses Alnico and Cobalt magnets, Carbon filter cones and Beryllium diaphragms with 8 and 16 ohm assemblies. They have a shipping weight of 275 lbs.

For more information on the Hartsfields and other equipment, check out the Axpona report here.

There are several choices available for finishes.

Thoughts / Impressions:

Again, for thoughts on my Axpona experience, click here.

First off, I just love the attention to detail John shows in the finish of each of these speakers - just beautiful!

The T-1.4 Reference speakers were playing when I came into the room. I was able to get right to the PLP, and noticed right off that they imaged perfectly on the male vocal track that was playing. After listening to that track for a bit, I was impressed with the T-1.4s ability to handle the range of the track. The low end on this setup was tight, clean, and impactful - definitely the best of the day. Midrange was good as well - not quite the snap I crave, but just short of it where telling the difference was difficult.

Horns were very engaging without making it to that "screechy" area, and the strike of the keys of the piano and organ were clear as a bell. The piano was just so smooth and soothing I closed my eyes and just drifted for a bit - great feeling. I also noticed good separation of instruments.

When I went back with Sonnie, I did not take any notes - I just sat back and enjoyed the sound. I was quite pleased to note that Sonnie and Todd appreciated the setup just as much as I had. :)

These were the best-sounding speakers of day one for me - it was the only one where I just sat and listened without "critically" listening and taking notes. Excellent setup gents!

No room treatment was used in this room.


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

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,209 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Sorry for the delay! On to the Surreal Sound Audio / Luminous Audio / Merrill Audio room.

The system setup included:

No code has to be inserted here.

First off, a few pictures:


The front wall:




A closer view of the speakers:




A closer view of the gear:



Background / Specifications:

Surreal Sound Audio is based in Richmond, Virginia and offers two different speakers - the "Fifth Row" and the "Encore" (MSRP $8,800). The "Fifth Row" speakers have a stated FR of 25 Hz - 20 kHz with a sensitivity of 95 db (8 ohm impedence) and weigh 125 lbs a piece. Each speaker uses six 10" woofers in a dipole configuration and a separate cabinet (transmission line design) that houses a full range driver which handles everything above 100 Hz. The finish can be custom done.

Luminous Audio's Arion Phono Preamp is newly created and demoed for the first time at this event. It uses a two stage design with an IC based JFET input stage followed by a discrete cascoded / JFET second stage using a JFET based servo. The first stage provides the phono interface as well as the gain and drive for the equalization network that follows it. The output of the first stage feeds into the second stage which provides additional gain needed for lower frequencies.

The Veritas Monoblocks are Class D amplifiers that are based around the Hypex NCORE NC1200 circuitry. They can deliver 400W at 8 ohms and 700W at 4 ohms with a THD of 0.004% at 200W and a gain of 26db. They weigh in at 33 lbs each.

Thoughts / Impressions:

I really liked the cabinet design of these speakers - they are very contoured and have a very classy look. I personally do not care for the lighter finish on the pair on display at CAF, but I did see pictures of the gloss black finish and it really makes them a showpiece that would satisfy any level of WAF. :)

The Muddy Waters track that was playing when I came in imaged really well and handled the vocal dynamics of the track easily. As I slid to the other side of the room to snap a couple photos, I did notice that I could lock in on the right speaker more readily. As I continued to the side, I was also able to notice a slight degradation in the soundfield.

Back in the PLP, the first thing that really stood out was the low end - the dig really deep and were really tight and clean - definitely those 12 woofers at work! There was a nickel sitting on top of the speaker on its end - and it never moved which really showed just how inert the cabinets were. The thinnest part of the cabinets is 1.5" thick with most of the cabinet being 3" thick - excellent design.

Cymbols pinged with the strike and had that nice following splash, the trumpet sounded good without making your shoulders want to cringe, and the piano sounded good, but I just did not get a real sense of clarity which could be attributed to the source - it was vinyl - but I was able to hear the crackle / pop I normally associate with vinyl. I was able to differentiate each instrument in the recording so the clarity is good, just not enough to push me to love the speaker.

Overall, I thought this was a good setup, but it just did not "grab" me as some of the other setups did.

No room treatment was used in this room.


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

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,209 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Late Friday morning took me into the High Water Sound room.

The system setup was very similar to the setup at AXPONA 2013 - you can check out my impressions here. The system at CAF included:

No code has to be inserted here.

First off, a few pictures:


The front wall:



A closer view of the speakers:




A closer view of the gear:



Background / Specifications:

High Water Sound is located in New York, New York and offers products from many different manufacturers. The Eufrodite loudspeaker on display at CAF uses an open Isopunkt modified cone tweeter, a Lowther DX55 midrange, and four 8" woofers. It has a stated FR of 28 Hz - 20,000 Hz with a sensitivity of 97 db and weighs in at 143 lbs each.

Thoughts / Impressions:

For thoughts / impressions on the High Water Sound setup at AXPONA, click here.

The finish is pretty nice on these speakers - not quite a work of art, but still very attractive. They are deeper than your standard rectangle speaker due to the rear firing woofers which gives them a more unique appearance.

They image really well - vocals are locked in the center from the PLP with just a slight degradation off axis. Once I moved from the PLP, I was able to localize the speaker. Instruments separated nicely - the maracas at one point actually sounded like they were outside the left speaker! The piano and maracas both showed great clarity - the rattle of the maracas was especially clear as was the crackle / pop of the vinyl. I also really liked the presentation of the triangle - the strike was very plainly heard.

The snare drum showed a good midrange - it was clean, but lacked that snap that I prefer. Low end was impactful - those rear firing woofers shined in this room. The Eufrodites did really well with male vocal dynamics - no signs of strain at all.

Plants were used as room treatment in this room.


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

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,209 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Later in the day on Friday, I visited the United Home Audio / MBL North America / Clearaudio room.

I had heard the MBLs before at AXPONA 2013 - check out that report here.

The CAF system setup included:

No code has to be inserted here.

First off, a few pictures:


The front wall:



A closer view of the gear:



Sadly, I was unable to get a good close-up of the speakers due to the lighting of the room.

Background / Specifications:

United Home Audio is based in the DC / Baltimore area and offers a vast array of products. The MBL 116F speakers on display at CAF use two 8.5" aluminum bass cones, two 5.5" midrange cones and a radialstrahler tweeter. They have a stated sensitivity of 83 db and a nominal impedence of 4 ohms.

Thoughts / Impressions:

For thoughts / impressions on the MBL speakers from the AXPONA 2013 show, click here.

The MBL speakers continue to make me gaze in wonder - they really have a very different look than any other speaker I have seen. The whole setup was quite a site to behold - it really has a new age look to it that sets it apart from most other systems I have seen.

The 116Fs image perfectly from the PLP - the vocalist seemed to be standing dead center just behind the speaker line. However, once you moved from the PLP, the soundfield degraded noticeably. Vocal dynamics were not an issue for the 116Fs at all - they handled each nuance with aplomb. Instrument separation was fantastic - I was able to clearly pick out each instrument in a rather busy big band track. As a matter of fact, if you closed your eyes, you really could picture the whole band sitting right there in front of you.

What really stood out for me about the 116Fs was the clarity - horns, piano, vocals, you name it, they delivered crystal clear sound where each little nuance could be heard. The midrange and low end did not stand out from the pack for me at all - but the clarity really helped to overshadow that feeling. All together, a very nice system - but if I was spending this kind of money for a 2 channel system, I would personally go a different route.

Plants and one panel were used as room treatment in this room.


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

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,209 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Friday afternoon, I found myself in the second Voice That Is room.

The system setup in this room included:

No code has to be inserted here.

First off, a few pictures:


The front wall:



A closer view of the speakers:



A closer view of the Stillpoints:



Background / Specifications:

The Voice That Is is a Pennsylvania-based dealer specializing in high-end audio. The TIDAL Audio Sunrays are constructed with three separate modules for high-midrange and bass. The cabinet walls are up to an astouding 5" thick with optimized internal aerodynamic conditions. As for the drivers, the Sunrays use four 9" mid-woofers with black ceramic-diaphragms, two 7" mid-woofers with black ceramic-diaphragm, and one 1.2" tweeter with a black diamond diaphragm. All these drivers are made exclusive for TIDAL.

I spent a fair bit of time talking to Bruce Jacobs from Stillpoints about the Stillpoints isolation pieces. There are currently 3 different models - one that can support up to 50 lbs priced at $125 each, and two other models priced at $250 and $700 each. They have a true isolation design with standard physics applied to remove all transferrence of vibrations and are built to last - there are no substances used that will break down over time. Bruce joked at one point that they were willable. :)


Thoughts / Impressions:

The Sunrays are an imposing speaker with a beautiful finish - definitely one of the more statuesque speakers of the weekend. They image beautifully - it is one of the very few setups that did not break down off axis which was very heady stuff.

The ever-popular "Keith Don't Go" track was playing when I sat down and it sounded amazing - you could hear every pluck of the guitar. The Sunrays ability to handle the vocal dynamics of the track really showed through as well. During the track, they were switching inputs on the DAC which kept making them clip which was really distracting and made it hard to focus on the clarity. Low end was very good as well as it was very clean and had good impact - probably the best low end I heard on day one.

All in all, this was an imposing setup that made for a great show; however, at 150K for the speakers alone I cannot say that this setup was between 5 to 10 times better than some of the other setups. I would likely save a bit of coin and go a different route. That said, I would love to hear what the Stillpoints would do for my home system.

Traps were placed in all corners, plants were used, and there were diffusers in place at the first reflection points for room treatment in this room.


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

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,209 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Saturday afternoon right before the show closed down for the day, Sonnie and I visited the Salk Sound / Van Alstine Audio room.

I have had a chance to hear Salk offerings many times - at Axpona as well as several GTGs and my own home (I currently have Songtower QWTs). You can search for Salk across the forum and will likely come across my impressions.

The system setup in this room included:

No code has to be inserted here.

First off, a few pictures:


The front wall:



A closer view of the speakers:



Background / Specifications:

Salk Sound is located in the Detroit, Michigan area and makes several different speakers. The Soundscape 8s use the RAAL tweeter, an Accuton midrange, two custom 8" long-throw woofers, and two 12" passive radiators. The stated FR is 25 Hz - 60,000 Hz with a sensitivity of 87 db. Next, the Supercharged Songtowers use a RAAL tweeter and two Seas Excel W15 mid-woofers. The stated FR is 34 Hz - 20,000 Hz with a sensitivity of 88 db.

Van Alstine Audio is located in Minnesota and makes many different electronics including amplifiers and DACs. The Fet Valve 600R amplifier which was used to power the Soundscape 8 at CAF delivers 300W per channel and is a hybrid amp.

Thoughts / Impressions:

Again, for thoughts and impressions from Axpona, click here.

For those unfamiliar with Salk speakers, upon first seeing them you are immeadiately struck by the exquisite finish - Salk speakers are simply and purely a work of art and these were no different.

The Soundscape 8s were playing when we came into the room. No one was in the PLP so I plopped down there right away and noted that they image vocally dead center with nice depth. I was also impressed with their handling of the vocal dynamics of the female track that was playing and from the male vocal track that played a bit later - there is just a natural, effortless feel to the sound from the RAAL tweeter.

The next couple of tracks showed the Soundscapes handling of piano and guitar tracks - the piano was just smooth as butter and the guitar just PLUCKED. The clarity of the speakers is astounding - every instrument is clearly heard with amazing detail. The low end and midrange punch is also a treat - mids especially have that snap that I adore. If I could get any speakers I wanted, the Soundscapes would definitely be very high on my list.

Traps were placed in the front corners and were the only room treatment in this room.


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

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,209 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
First thing Saturday morning, Sonnie and I visited the SVS room.

I have had a chance to hear the SVS Ultras before at the GTG in Iowa this past April - you can check out my thoughts here. Plus, I currently own two PB-13 Ultras. :)

The two channel system setup in this room included:

No code has to be inserted here.

The home theater setup in this room included:

No code has to be inserted here.

First off, a few pictures:


The front wall for the 2 channel setup:



The front wall for the home theater setup:



A closer view of the speakers:



The inside of the PB-13 Ultra:



Background / Specifications:

SV Sound builds all of their products in Ohio, but they have people based in many parts of the US. Many thanks to Dan Marks for taking extra time to chat with Sonnie and I - we both walked away with a better understanding of SVS as a whole.

The SVS Ultras use a 1" aluminum-dome tweeter, two 6.5" midrange drivers with composite glass-fiber cones, and two 8" side-firing horizontally opposed SVS woofers. They have a stated FR of 28 Hz - 32 kHz with a nominal impedance of 8 ohms, sensitivity of 88 dB , and weigh about 75 lbs a piece.


Thoughts / Impressions:

Again, for thoughts and impressions from a prior listening experience, click here.

I started out by listening to the 2 channel setup, and noticed right off that they image very well from the PLP, but as I moved from the PLP, I was able to localize the speakers and noticed a slight degradation of the soundfield off-axis. As for the low end, I came away from this experience with a better appreciation for the Ultras presentation - it was not boomy at all like it was the previous time I heard them - there was no room treatment at that listening session. The low end was definitely heard, but at no point during the session did I feel they overpowered the vocals or other instruments.

Instrument separation was very good - I was able to pick out each one clearly on the Flim and the BBs track. All the techno stuff on that track came across very crisp and clean - it was one of my toe-tapping moments over the weekend. Each pluck of the guitar was very apparent - I walked away from this experience feeling I got every ounce of detail on what we listened to. Vocal dynamics were handled extremely well - I thought they really shone on the female vocal track Sonnie brought along (Melody Gardot). Male vocal dynamics were handled good as well - I felt these speakers voiced really well.

We then went over to the home theater setup. There is nothing more for me to say on SVS subs that has not already been said before - great impact and clean to boot. What really stood out for me in this setup was the Tron sequence that was played - the surrounds presented information that I really do not think I had heard in any previous session.

All in all - a very impressive group of speakers made even more appealing due to their very affordable cost. Extremely well done SVS!!

Foam was placed at the first reflection points and behind the speakers on the wall.


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

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,209 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Next up, we strolled on over to the Monitor Audio / IQ Home Entertainment room.

The system setup in this room included:

No code has to be inserted here.


First off, a few pictures:


The front wall:



A closer view of the speakers:



A closer view of the gear:



Background / Specifications:

Monitor Audio is a British manufacturer of a vast array of speakers. The PL200 speaker uses two 6.5" woofers and a single 4" midrange which both employ Monitor Audio's patented RDT technology as well as Monitor Audio's proprietary C-CAM ribbon transducer. They have a stated FR of 35 Hz - 100 Khz with a nominal impedance of 4 ohms, a sensitivity of 90 db, and weigh in at 72 lbs. They are available in three finishes - Santos Rosewood, Ebony, and Piano Black Gloss.

IQ Home Entertainment is a premier provider in the Fairfax, Virginia area for audio/video, home automation and integration services since 2009. Their AV products include AVRs, power amplifiers, integrated amplifiers, speakers and sound bars, DVD players, blu-ray players, HDTV’s including LCD and LED, headphones and more.


Thoughts / Impressions:

I like the design of the cabinet - the front baffle has a curved face that gives it a very smooth feel - and the finish on the cabinet was extremely well done.

The Platinum series PL200s image perfectly from the PLP - as a matter of fact, there was one track where I would have sworn that the vocalist was standing to the left of the left speaker! A very broad, deep soundstage to be sure, but as I moved from the PLP, the speakers were easier to localize.

The PL200s have a very open, airy sound - the ribbon tweeter at work undoubtly - that I personally enjoy in a speaker. The voicing of both male and female tracks had a very natural sound and the detail on tracks that included cymbols, piano, and guitars was superb. After doing several listening sessions of different types of speakers, I have come to expect this from ribbon tweeters and I was not disappointed here. Vocal dynamics were also excellent.

On the Flim and the BBs track (thanks Sonnie for bringing that one along!), the stick strikes showed off the great midrange of the PL200 - it definitely had that crisp snap I crave. That same track also displayed the speaker's ability to handle a very busy track and not lose the nuances. Low end was clean, but seemed to lack impact. Instrument separation was a bit muddy - however, this could have been an extension of the room - we were only about 4-5 feet from the speakers.

Overall, a great speaker - I would put it slightly below the Salk Soundscape 8s in pure performance.

No treatment was used in this room.


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

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,209 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Early Saturday afternoon, we visited the Odyssey Audio / GIK Acoustics room.

The system setup in this room included:

No code has to be inserted here.


First off, a few pictures:


The front wall:



A closer view of the speakers:



A closer view of the GIK Acoustics Acoustics Panel:



A closer view of the gear:



Background / Specifications:

Odyssey Audio is based in Indianapolis, Indiana and makes all their products in house. The Lorelei towers use a Scanspeak 1" dome tweeter and a Scanspeak 6.8" carbonfiber / graphite composite midwoofer. They have a stated FR of 32 Hz - 22 kHz with a nominal impedance of 6 ohms, a sensitivity of 89 dB, and weigh 95 lbs each.

Thoughts / Impressions:

I like seeing a speaker that gets away from the standard rectangle shape, and the Loreleis accomplished this by using a slightly sloped front baffle - nice touch there. The finish was nice, but it was not striking like some of the other speakers we saw over the weekend.

The Loreleis image perfectly - the vocalist seemed to be dead center behind the speaker line and instrument separation was spot on as all instruments could be picked out. The soundstage was deep and did not noticeably shift off-axis. Vocal dynamics were quite amazing - at one point, Klaus put on a Johnny Cash track that was recorded 2 weeks prior to his death. You could clearly hear the subtleties and weakness in his voice.

Piano, cymbol, and guitar tracks were extremely detailed - key strokes, cymbol strikes, and string plucks were easily apparent. Horns were very smooth with no feeling of tension or fatigue. When the Johnny Cash track came on, I was again very pleased with the sound of the guitar. Low end was incredibly impactful - I found myself looking for a sub several times as did Sonnie. We were very taken by the impact from a 7" woofer... :)

I was very impressed with this system - it was priced lower that several other systems that it outperformed in my opinion. Plus, the rack was made by Odyssey as well and weighed a solid 250 lbs - and was priced less than $1,000! Very nice system at very affordable prices - well done Odyssey!

Plants and several GIK Acoustics products were used for treating this room.


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

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,209 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Sonnie and I continued our day stopping by the Sonic Hemisphere (now Black Moon Audio) / Clayton Audio / Anticables room.

Sonic Hemisphere was at Axpona 2013 where I had a chance to hear the Fidelity Ones - check that out here.

The system setup in this room included:

No code has to be inserted here.


First off, a few pictures:


The front wall:



A closer view of the speakers:




Background / Specifications:

Black Moon Audio is based very close to Chicago, IL. The Fidelity One uses a 1" Aluminum/Magnesium dome tweeter, a 7" Poly-weave composite midrange, and a 11" Nomex woofer. It has a stated FR of 29 Hz - 27,000 Hz with a sensitivity of 89 db. Black Moon also recently developed a custom power distribution center called the Synapse 180 that has 3 directional choices. These choices allow you to place the box against a wall, on the floor, or on your shelf which allows it to always keep stress off the cable connections. It can also act as a 90 degree adapter for those very stiff and difficult to route cables.

Clayton Audio is a St. Louis based company that produces reference quality Class A amplifiers. The M200 amp outputs 200W into 8 ohms and 400W into 4 ohms and weighs 45 lbs each.

Thoughts / Impressions:

Again, for thoughts / impressions on the Fidelity One speakers at Axpona, click here.

I still really like the design of the Fidelity Ones - the front baffle gives them a very artful appearance and the finish on this set is just beautiful. They image perfectly for vocals, but instruments seemed to emanate from the middle as well. As I moved from the PLP, I was able to localize the speakers a bit easier.

The low end was incredible - very clean and very impactful. The ping from the cymbols was good, and horns came across very well - no tension or fatigue experienced at all. There was a track that had a guitar / cymbol combo that displayed the Fidelity One's ability to handle a busier track - detail was still handled well. Male vocal dynamics were handled very well - I felt I got all the detail and nuances in the track. The midrange was good - but did not quite have the snap that I enjoy hearing.

Overall, I thought this was a good speaker - even more so if you are looking for a two channel setup that has the ability to emphasize the low end. I am intrigued by the Synapse 180 - and will likely touch base with BMA to check one out.

Plants and front / rear corner traps were used for treating this room.


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

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,209 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
One of the more unique visits of the weekend was to the Miracle Audio room.

The system setup in this room included:

No code has to be inserted here.


First off, a few pictures:


The front wall:



A view of one of the speakers - notice the size:



A closer view of the sub:



A closer view of the gear:



Background / Specifications:

Miracle Audio, which started in 1999, is located in College Point, New York. They manufacture electronics as well as in / on wall speakers. The DiAne speakers that were on display at CAF use four 8” Miracle Audio proprietary design low / mid woofers, eight 1/2” mid / high proprietary cone drivers, and two Planar super tweeters. They use a 4 way crossover and have a stated FR of 30 Hz - 22 kHz. The RoseAnn on wall sub uses two 10" drivers that have a nominal impedance of 4 ohms at 88 db and have a stated FR of 28 Hz - 300 Hz.


Thoughts / Impressions:

First off, you are struck by the uniqueness of these speakers - they are a true on wall speaker. The frame you see in the pictures above were only used since the hotel was a bit remiss to allow them to drill holes in the wall. The sub is on wall as well. I was awestruck by the size of these - by far the largest on wall I have ever seen. As far as the finish, they are made to be "WAF friendly" so the finish is made to blend in. With the lack of floor footprint and ability to blend into the decor, I would say these are a non-AV wife's dream. :)

We were able to get right to the PLP, and they image perfectly for vocals - right in the center. The first track had a series of cymbol crashes that was very crisp. As we sat and listened for a bit, I began to notice that imaging for instruments all seemed to fall right to the middle as well - there really was no separation. The Flim and the BBs track showed very nice midrange handling - stick strikes had that crisp thwack sound. As we continued to listen, I just did not get a sense of "energy" - there was no toe-tapping feeling at any point during the session. I just could not get a feeling of depth to the soundstage which I suppose should not come as a surprise as they are on walls.

In the end, I think they provided good sound and would really work well for a HT application, but in my opinion they just did not present enough depth and life to the music for a two channel system.

Corner traps were used for treating this room.


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

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,209 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Saturday in the mid-afternoon, Sonnie and I hit the Hifi Logic / Music First Audio room.

The system setup in this room included:

No code has to be inserted here.


First off, a few pictures:


The front wall:



Closer views of the speaker:



A closer view of the gear:



Background / Specifications:

Hifi Logic is a high end boutique audio retailer that is located in Mapleton, New Jersey. They have a room that has been designed to be very similar to your typical home listening room to give the potential customer the closest reproduction to their own room. The AudioSpace LS3/5A speaker has a stated FR of 70 Hz - 20 kHz with a nominal impedance of 11 ohms and a sensitivity of 82.5 db. The SW-1 subwoofer has a stated FR of 55 Hz - 120 Hz with a nominal impedance of 8 ohms and a sensitivity of 82.5 db.

Music First Audio is based in Hastings, UK and primarily hand builds preamp and phono stage amps.


Thoughts / Impressions:

The LS3/5A speakers have a very unassuming appearance - they have a smaller footprint so would work well for those with limited space. The finish was extremely well done, and my initial impression was much bigger sound than what I would have expected from them.

The first track we heard combined piano and cymbols - both were very clear and detailed and each was easily discernable. The sub is actually the lower portion of the speaker - it is two separate pieces. In the sub section, there is a 6" woofer that is angled 45 degrees toward the lower back portion of the cabinet. I was very pleased with the low end - clean with nice impact. The LS3/5As really had excellent detail - they had an open, natural sound that I normally associate with a ribbon tweeter - quite impressive.

They imaged perfectly for vocals and had a deep soundstage as well as very good instrument separation. Overall, I was very impressed with this setup - it was not one of my top three from the weekend, but it was at the top of my second "tier" of systems and outperformed several systems many times its cost.

No treatment was used in this room.


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

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,209 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Saturday, Sonnie and I both wanted to check out an electrostat setup, so we visited the JansZen Electrostatic Speakers room.

The system setup in this room included:

No code has to be inserted here.


First off, a few pictures:


The front wall:



Closer views of the speaker:




Background / Specifications:

JansZen Loudspeaker, Ltd. was founded in 2005 by David A. Janszen, Arthur A. Janszen's elsest son. Arthur invented the first practical electrostatic high fidelity loudspeaker based on his academic research work in the 1940's, and by 1954, had refined, patented and begun manufacturing it for home audio.

The zA2.1 has a stated FR of 40 Hz - 22 kHz with a nominal impedance of 6 ohms, sensitivity of 87 db, and use a 2.5 way, WTW configuration.

Thoughts / Impressions:

The zA2.1 has a sloped front baffle - that design is really starting to grow on me - that gives it a very regal appearance. I also thought the finish was very simple and clean.

They imaged very well - instrument separation was spot on and vocal imaging was dead center with the vocalist sounding as if they were right behind the speaker line. The depth was not quite what I thought it would be, but there was a bump out along the wall that I think threw off the depth of the soundstage.

Vocal dynamics - both male and female - were handled extremely well. They did not quite have that open, airy sound I expected, but they were very close. I loved the sound of the piano - it had a very soft, smooth sound that was a treat to hear. The detail was incredible - I really felt I heard every nuance. The zA2.1s were very lively - if I closed my eyes, I felt like I was at a live performance. There was one track that had multiple vocalists that imaged beautifully.

Midrange was where these especially shined for me - they had that great mid punch and just snapped off each strike of the snare drum. Low end was very tight as well.

Overall, I was really impressed with the zA2.1s. They played really big and loud without seeming like they were loud. If I was building a two channel system today, these would definitely be on my radar - great job David!

No treatment was used in this room.


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

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,209 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
One of the last stops of the day on Saturday was the Merrill Audio Advanced Technology Labs / Sanders Sound Systems room.

The system setup in this room included:

No code has to be inserted here.


First off, a few pictures:


The front wall:



Closer views of the speaker:



Closer views of the gear:



Background / Specifications:

Sander Sounds Systems is a Colorado-based company owned and operated by Roger Sanders who has been building equipment for almost 40 years. The Model 10cs have a stated FR of 20 Hz - 27 kHz with a sensitivity of 94 db and weigh in at 52 lbs each.

The Veritas Monoblocks from Merrill Audio are Class D amplifiers that are based around the Hypex NCORE NC1200 circuitry. They can deliver 400W at 8 ohms and 700W at 4 ohms with a THD of 0.004% at 200W and a gain of 26db. They weigh in at 33 lbs each.

Thoughts / Impressions:

The Model 10c speakers have a nice finish and a very imposing look - a nice looking speaker all around. They image dead center for vocals, and instruments were easily distinguishable. The soundstage felt slightly behind the speakers with a nice deep, wide sound. Vocal dynamics were handled extremely well - I was very impressed with their open sound.

Every instrument was treated the same - great detail and just smooth and effortless. I was especially impressed with how they handled string instruments and the audible pluck from each one. The Model 10cs handled the busier Flim and the BBs track effortlessly - every nuance of the track came through clearly. That smooth sound just made these big speakers completely disappear - quite amazing given their size. Midrange punch was very crisp as well.

Overall, this was one of those speakers that just did not seem loud until you tried talking to the person sitting next to you - really like that in a speaker. Both of the electrostats Sonnie and I listened to over the weekend really showcased the wide soundstage with a natural sound that I expect from an electrostat. The Model 10c really is a great speaker - if you have the space, it is well worth the price.

No treatment was used in this room.


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

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,209 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Last, but most certainly not least, was the Soundfield Audio / Kevin Kemp Audio room.

The system setup in this room included:

No code has to be inserted here.


First off, a few pictures:


The front wall:



Closer view of the speaker:




Background / Specifications:

Soundfield Audio is based in Tampa, Florida and is owned and operated by AJ, whom I have met previously at Axpona 2013 and LSAF 2013. AJ brought the VSF-T1 speakers to CAF - these are the production version of the prototype AJ brought to LSAF. The VSF-T1s use a ribbon supertweeter (>15kHz), a planar midtweeter (1kHz - 15 kHz), two 8" midwoofers (60 Hz - 1 kHz), and two 12" active dipole subs which have a 300W amp for each sub. The final production version will also have a rear-firing ambiance driver that produces a much deeper, wider soundstage. They have a stated FR of 22 Hz - 40 kHz with a nominal impedance of 8 ohms, sensitivity of 93 db, and weigh in at 90 lbs each. They are 46"H X 10"W X 14"D and can be custom finished.


Thoughts / Impressions:

The VSF-T1s have a slightly sloped front baffle that gives them a more unique feel and the dark cherry finish was very simple and elegant. They image perfectly - vocals were dead center with very nice depth. The Melody Gardot track really showed off the open, natural sound of the speakers as well as their ability to handle a female vocal track with a large dynamic range.

Instruments were very easy to distinguish - cymbols had that excellent ping / splash sound, horns were smooth and enticing, and the piano track completed the trifecta - just incredible detail. Not to be outdone, the midrange really showed the VSF-T1s ability to provide a crisp, clean snap of the snare drum and the low end was tight and clean as well.

I went back on Sunday just to listen for my own pleasure - and what a pleasure it was. AJ threw a slew of different genres at the speakers, and they delivered in spades. For me, this was my best experience of the weekend. I am really looking forward to hearing these in their final production version as I am still in the market for a front stage for my own personal HT / music room, and the VSF-T1s really captivated me. AJ said he plans to build a center channel for them as well! :)

No treatment was used in this room.


Please use the Capital AudioFest 2013 Discussion / Comments thread for questions and comments.
 
1 - 20 of 20 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top