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LSAF 2013 Official Show Report by Joe Alexander of HTS


May 4th - Hello from Dallas / Fort Worth!

A few rooms were setting up and playing yesterday, but the big day is today. Sonnie and I met up and visited three rooms last night, and we will be going full tilt today! Later in the evening yesterday, we met up with Dennis (tesseract) and then went out to dinner with several of the people showing equipment this weekend - what a great way to start the show.

The hotel is laid out very well for this type of event, and the banners were already starting to go up yesterday:







Start looking for posts / impressions later tonight!


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

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What a great time - Sonnie, Dennis (tesseract), and I got a chance to hear some really fantastic setups. I will be posting impressions of individual rooms throught the next few days.

To start, here are a few pictures of attendees:








They held a raffle and gave away some great prizes - a few pictures of the winners!

Wayne Parham (who organizes LSAF) is the person right behind the chair:






A DIYer is born!:













A few thoughts about the show:

  • There was not one setup that I did not enjoy - each one had something that really drew you in.
  • The room makes a huge difference in how a speaker sounds - one of the speakers I had heard just the prior weekend in a different room and the sound was vastly different.
  • LSAF is a great show. I had a chance to spend some real time talking with many of the exhibitors. It has a real laid back feel to it - just like a bunch of enthusiasts getting together to listen to music.
  • Friday night, we got together with a bunch of exhibitors and went out for dinner - it was so much fun just sitting and getting to know people outside of the show.

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

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The first room I visited was the GR Research and Dodd Audio room.

The system configuration included:

No code has to be inserted here.


A few photos:


The front wall:





Some closer views of the speakers:



Smile Danny! :bigsmile:








Some closer views of the Dodd Audio equipment:














Background / Specifications

GR Research is a Texas-based company that began in 1995. The Serenity Acoustics Super-7 is a speaker designed by Danny Richie from GR Research and manufactured by Serenity Acoustics who is beginning production of a new line of speakers that will use their patented planar magnetic drivers and servo-controlled woofers. The Super-7s each have four planar magnetic midrange panels and one planar magnetic tweeter in a open-baffle design and two 12" servo-controlled woofers. They have a stated sensitivity of 96db which makes it very easy to drive them with a tube amplifier as you only need to drive the planars.

Dodd Audio is also a Texas-based company that produces many different amps and pre-amps including some which are battery powered.


Impressions

The Super-7s are a nice looking speaker in an open-baffle design. The finish has some flexibility as many shades of automotive finish can be requested. I especially liked the contouring on the sides of the cabinets. They imaged beautifully with a very deep soundstage. Instruments separated extremely well with the vocalist locked in the center. Off axis, there was no noticeable sound degradation with just a slight shift of the vocalist's imaging position. This system had no issue filling a room this size.

Vocals were excellent - there was one track with a male / female duet that really showed off the dynamic range of these speakers while maintaining excellent clarity. Sibilants were not pronounced at all - they just blended really well with the rest of the vocals. The Kelly Sweet "Dream On" track portrayed the high end capability of these speakers really well - it was really smooth with no shrillness at all.

Instruments were very detailed - the strike of the cymbols and resulting splash were crystal clear as was the piano. When the "Keith Don't Go" track came on, you could hear the pick of the guitar - heady stuff! Midranges were spot on - very nice punch and so clean. Perhaps one of the most impressive things about these was the low end - you could feel the impact in the floor which is amazing considering the amount of concrete that is likely there. It was clean too - you could hear the strike of the kick drum.

In conclusion, if I owned these I would indeed be a happy man - they do everything well and really shine in the areas most important to me.

Diffusers were used around the room.

An added bonus for me personally - I spent a couple hours just sitting and listening to music with Danny on Friday night and came away with a number of artists which I will be adding to my own library. Thanks Danny! :clap:


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

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One of the neat things about LSAF is the ability of anyone to display their system - including the enthusiast that just wants to show his own personal system. Brad's House of Tunes room was exactly that - he had brought a cooler and was just hanging out playing some music.

The system configuration included:

No code has to be inserted here.


The front wall:



Background / Specifications

The Golden Ear Aon 3 monitors have a stated FR of 38 Hz - 35 kHz with a sensitivity of 90 db and nominal impedance of 8 ohms. They weigh in at about 15 lbs each. The Scott tube amp was originally built in 1961 and delivers 18 WPC pentode.

Impressions

It was really awesome just sitting and chatting with Brad for a bit about music - we both wish Bon Scott had stuck around a bit longer! :bigsmile: - and I picked up a couple new artists for my collection here as well.

The Golden Ear Aon 3s are one of those monitors I enjoy - a monitor with big sound. Aesthetically, they are average in appearance - the only thing that stuck out for me was the shape as they slightly reminded me of one of the builds I have seen in our DIY forum which I believe are termed the "Monkey Coffins". As far as the sound, they were a solid monitor but nothing really stuck out for me.


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OddWatt Audio was the first visit on Saturday morning. They had a set of Martin Logan Prefaces set up, but (teaser incoming! :)) that was not the intriguing part.

The system setup includes:

No code has to be inserted here.

First, a few photos:

The front wall:



Some closer shots of the various equipment:










Background / Specifications:

OddWatt is a company run by a couple of guys - Bruce and Rodney - who are just a couple of DIYers at heart. Their product line features several kits for building your own tube amps. The OddWatt monoblocks which were in use are Class A and provide an astounding 45W. They use tubes made by Sylvania in 1944.


Impressions / Thoughts:

The OddWatt monoblocks have a very industrial appearance which I think allows them to blend in really well with your system. However, the best thing about all the OddWatt products are that they provide the kit for you to build it yourself! For the individual looking to build a two channel system, I think the OddWatt monoblocks provide a great start. As a matter of fact. Wayne Parham was using them to drive his room.


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Saturday morning took us into the Departure Audio room.

The system setup included:

No code has to be inserted here.

A few photos:

The front wall:




If you look closely, you can see Sonnie's reflection in the picture on the wall! :bigsmile:



Background / Specifications:

Departure Audio is a Texas-based company that provides expert advice for procuring and configuring individual components and full systems for music lovers. The loudspeakers shown are the Chromas from Green Mountain Audio which appear to be a new offering so there were no specifications available although Julian did state that the monitors do go down to 47 Hz (+- 3db).

Impressions / Thoughts:

For those that have been reading my reviews for shows, you know how much I appreciate monitors with big sound. The Chromas fit that criteria well - if I closed my eyes to listen, I would have guessed these were towers. As far as aesthetics, this monitor caused me to think again of the "Monkey Coffins" built by one of our DIYers. The finish was OK, a deep black that would disappear easily in my opinion.

The first track we listened to was an instrumental track. It sounded bright to me - the best way for me to explain it is to think what your car stereo would sound like if you turned the treble up - and I tend to prefer a more mellow sound. On a Tom Jones track, they showed good dynamic range and imaged well - Tom was locked dead center. However, the sweet spot was small as when I shifted one seat over, you could localize the speakers easily. Low end was very impressive for a monitor - great thwump and pretty clean.

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

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Both Friday and Saturday night we visited the Soundfield Audio room. I had met AJ at Axpona and thoroughly enjoyed chatting with him again as we sat and talked about speaker design. AJ had two systems set up, but I only had an opportunity to hear one.

The system setup for the one I heard included:

No code has to be inserted here.


The other system included:


No code has to be inserted here.

Some pictures of the room / equipment:

The front wall:






Some closer photos of the equipment:







Background / Specifications:

The 1812s are packaged as a system using a 12" ring radiator compression driver, 6" rear wideband driver with shaped bipolar response in the top unit. The base is an 18" active dipole subwoofer. The tentative MSRP for this system is $7,500.

The VSFT2 uses a planar ribbon horn mid / tweeter, dome supertweeter, and two 10" woofers in an active cardioid bass enclosure. The MSRP for these (with the finish pictured above) is $3,000.

There are currently no listed specifications.

Thoughts / Impressions:

The 1812s are a prototype and the cabinet / finish design is not quite complete; however, AJ stated that the finish would be very flexible with potentially veneers, wood, and paint finish available. There is an outside chance these will be shown at the Capital AudioFest at the end of July.

No room treatments were used in the room, and that was by design. The speakers are designed to work in an average furnished room by using dipole-designed speakers and subs. As this is the second time I have heard a set of Soundfield Audio speakers, I must say I like how AJ's speakers always have big sound. The 1812s had no issues at all filling the room.

The 1812s image incredibly well - they had a very deep soundstage with good separation of instruments while vocals were locked dead center. Then, AJ suggested we move around the room. And, it did not matter where you stood in the room; vocals were still locked DEAD CENTER. This is the first system I have encountered that has shown that capability - simply amazing.

Low end had excellent impact and was clean. The midrange punch I covet was prevalent as well - and very crisp. Instruments were very detailed - I especially noticed the high hats on a couple tracks which gave goosebumps with a clean "ping" and splash. Vocals showed excellent dynamic range as well. All in all, a great listening experience.

I am really looking forward to seeing and hearing the finished 1812s!


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

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Next up - the Manzanita Audio Solutions, Inc. room which we visited Saturday.

The system setup included:

No code has to be inserted here.

First, a few photos:

The front wall:



The Ultras which were not hooked up:



The back side of the Ultra Plus!:



The Music Angel amp with EL34 tubes:




Background / Specifications:

Manzanita Audio Solutions, Inc is a Texas-based company that offers several different open-baffle designs. The Ultra Plus! uses an 8" SEAS composite dual paper cone mid / tweeter driver and two 15" woofers with treated and ribbed paper cones. It has a stated FR of 27 Hz - 20 kHz with a sensitivity of 89 db (8 ohms nominal) and weighs in at 65 lbs. The mid / tweeter driver is crossed over at 350 Hz.

The Ultra uses a 3.5" composite paper cone mid / tweeter driver and one 15" woofer with a treated and ribbed paper cone. It has a stated FR of 27 Hz - 19 kHz (+- 4db) with a sensitivity of 85 db (8 ohms nominal) and weighs in at 52 lbs.

Thoughts / Impressions:

The shape of the speaker was pretty standard for an open-baffle design - a flat panel with the drivers showing in the back. As far as the finish, they are really flexible and can finish them to suit the customer's request. I thought the finish on the Ultra was very well done, and the finish on the Ultra Plus! showed nice contrast.

They image well - instrument separation was noticeable and vocals were locked in the middle. Once I moved from the sweet spot (one seat over), I did notice it was easier to localize the speakers. They do have a very open, airy sound as I would expect from an open-baffle design. The Ultra Plus! speakers were very detailed - piano and cymbols sounded very good - and vocalist's breath intakes were readily apparent. They also showed good dynamic range on female vocal tracks. Midrange was OK, but lacked the crisp punch I enjoy.

A solid speaker - but probably one I would not choose due to my impressions of the midrange. No treatment was used in this room.


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On to The Black Hole Audio / Video room which we also visited on Saturday.

The system setup included:

No code has to be inserted here.

A few photos:

The front wall:



The Audes Soul Speaker:




Background / Specifications:

The Black Hole Audio / Video is owned and operated by two gentleman - Tony and Anis - who are members of the Houston Audio Society and provide HiFi and Home Theater consultancy. We sat and chatted with Tony and Anis for quite a while - as well as listened to some music! :) - and they are firm believers in putting together systems in which the components work together seamlessly - even if those components are not what "audiophiles" would consider high end. To them, it is all about the music.

The Cayin A-50T integrated amp has a MSRP of $1,699 and uses EL34 tubes.

The Audes Soul Loudspeaker has a stated FR of 38 Hz - 20 kHz (+- 2db) with a sensitivity of 88 db (8 ohm nominal) and weighs in at 88 lbs.

Thoughts / Impressions:

The Audes Soul has the standard rectangle shape and came with a very clean veneer finish - other veneers as well as paint finishes are available.

The first thing that struck me was how warm the sound was - just a smooth, mellow feel. They imaged really well with great instrument separation - horns and piano track showed excellent detail. I was also really impressed with the low end for this system give only one 8" woofer - decent impact and pretty clean. Overall, it was such a deep, wide soundstage - very impressed with the system these guys put together. Well done!

There was no room treatment in use.


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Next up - the Pi Speakers room. Pi speakers are made by Wayne Parham, who also organizes LSAF.

The system setup included:

No code has to be inserted here.


A few photos:


Lights were off when we came in:



The front wall:



A closer view of the Four Pi:



A closer view of the equipment:



A closer view of the Three Pi sub:




Background / Specifications:

Pi Speakers is based in Oklahoma and offers various speakers and subs that can be sold in kit form or pre-built. The Four Pi speakers are $1,000 each in pre-built form (as pictured above) and $400 each in kit form. The Three Pi subs are $400 each in pre-built form (as pictured above) and $135 each in kit form.

Thoughts / Impressions:

An interesting design as it looks like a cube - and having a 15" woofer staring you in the face is very imposing! :) I also liked the finish - it really set off the drivers well. They have a deep soundstage and image very well - they completely disappear which is shocking considering the size of the cabinets.

One thing I did notice - they had a more laid-back sound than what I have heard from other horn speakers. We were listening to a Chris Botti live concert on blu-ray, and the sound just seemed a little subdued to me. However, once a CD was tossed in and the volume turned up a bit, these really started to shine. Strings had an open, airy sound and horns were very smooth - no top-end shrillness at all. Vocals were also much more dynamic.

We spent a fair amount of time discussing what Wayne calls "flanking". This is where the subs are positioned next to the speakers to smooth the crossover point as well as tame room modes. It worked really well - I never really noticed the subs at all.

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

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Next up - the Brines Acoustics room.

The system setup includes:

No code has to be inserted here.


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.


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Stereo Clarity was one of our Saturday visits.

The system setup included:

No code has to be inserted here.

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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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:

No code has to be inserted here.


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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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:

No code has to be inserted here.

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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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:

No code has to be inserted here.


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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Discussion Starter #16
Last - but certainly not least - is the Raven Audio / Music Vault room.

The system setup included:

No code has to be inserted here.


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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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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