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GR Research - Room 2024





The system configuration included:

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Background / Specifications

GR Research is a Texas-based company that began in 1995. The Mockingbird Audio speakers are designed by Danny Richie from GR Research and manufactured by Mockingbird Audio - you can check out the build of the RMAF set here.

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

Treatment of the room included panels on the front and rear walls as well as at the first reflection points.


Joe's Impressions

This is one imposing set of speakers - it is always shocking to see a set of speakers that is taller than I am! :) They have 12 midrange woofers and 9 planar tweeters in each cabinet with a separate woofer cabinet that contains 3 woofers in an open-baffle sub design. One of the tubes amps that were originally supposed to be in the system had an issue so the 34W tubes were used. They did pretty well handling the job, but of course we could not drive certain tracks at higher SPL levels.

They had a very open sound that was just effortless - male and female vocal dynamics were handled very well considering the power limitations. Vocal imaging was spot on - dead center with a deep soundstage. The Melody Gardot track sounded smooth as butter and the detail was excellent - at one point you could hear a tap on the microphone. Instrument separation was very easy as well - you could discern each individual instrument.

Instruments were very detailed - the strike of the cymbols and resulting splash were crystal clear as was the piano. The midrange woofers are custom designed by Danny Richie - one track had a bass (string) solo that really showed the midrange off - it had excellent depth and punch and you could hear the pluck of the strings and the resulting vibrations.

In conclusion, even with the power limits, this was a fantastic overall system. It had a smooth and effortless sound and they disappeared and allowed you to focus on the music which given the size of the speakers is really saying something. This was easily one of my top five systems for the weekend.


Wayne's Impressions

To be fair, I walked into the GR Research room after just being knocked out by one of the best sounding systems I have heard in my life. But the Mockingbird Audio speakers were not to be outdone that easily.

Their imposing size and line-array design are attention grabbers. The soundstage was not as wide as I had hoped for, but the Mockingbirds were in a constricted space that had to be holding them back in this regard. The soundstage was very deep and independent of the tall towers on either side. The line array design makes the listener's ear height relative to the speakers a non-issue, not always the case with "normal" sized speakers where I often find the best soundstage in line with the midrange driver.

Equipment malfunction - a stand-in power amp was in use - prevented us from pushing the volume. All that driver surface area should be able to push impressive SPLs with easy clarity. You have to remain open-minded at these shows, few systems are able to perform at their very best in the odd spaces the vendors have to work with, and when equipment dies you make do. The Mockingbirds showed even at lower volumes that they had real potential, and I was left hoping for a chance to hear what they can do under ideal conditions some time soon.


Dennis' Impressions

The Mockingbird Audio LSX line arrays had that signature Danny Richie sound. Laid back, warm, with an easy to listen to all day and night sound. I would liked to have heard them in a bigger room, with more power, and for a longer amount of time than I had available at the moment. But even with the small room and limited amp power and audition time, the potential was obvious. I've heard the LS6, and CLS9 line arrays, the LS-X line arrays sounded much like those, with an airier presentation. That BG Neo 8 is one of my favorite transducers, and Danny knows how to blend it well with the woofers, for a cumulative effect that keeps you coming back for more music.
 

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Those LSX just make me drool!! I really wish I could've heard those things in action...
 

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Hey I appreciate you guys stopping by for pics and a listen. The feedback is really appreciated as well.

With the intermittent problem we were having with an input connection on the big blue amp on the left, we decided to just go with the little amps and not have to worry about it.

Funny thing is that with those $50,000 tube amps out of the system the rest of the gear we were using might have been some of the least expensive gear in the show.

db Audio labs provided the Evolution 192/32 DAC ($2395.) and dB Audio Revolution media server ($1995.)

Diffusers, Uber Buss, and battery buss power conditioning was from P.I Audio.

And power cables were from Triode Wire.

Steven Stone from the Absolute Sound gave us top honors.

http://www.theabsolutesound.com/articles/rmaf-2013-digital-products-show-report/

Scroll down to the section that starts with Best Sound (cost no object). :thumb:
 

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Oh my Danny those look amazing! Given what I've heard from your OB speakers I can only imagine what these guys sound like. IE: AWESOME!

Scott
 

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The big blue amps worked, but I had an intermittent grounding issue with the left amp and it was getting worse the more we messed with it. So we decided to just go with the little battery powered amps.

The the power of the big blue tube amps we were in another league. But even with the little amps we were at an impressive level.
 

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Ok makes sense. I would imagine the Big Blue's would be a wee bit better :D I've seen them in pics of your RMAF setups numerous times. One of these days I'd love to take a gander at them in person at one of the events.

Scott
 

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"a separate woofer cabinet that contains 3 woofers in an open-baffle sub design"

Was that the servo controlled woofer amp used with IB woofers?
 

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I would love to have heard these speakers even if I will never be able to have anything like them in my house. Even if I could afford them they failed the WAF. My wife took one look at the pictures and said if I ever tried to bring any speaker that size into the house she'd kick me out. Now that's just downright unfair, after all, her refrigerator is that big :huh:

Mike
 

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Hey Dannie,

That Line Array is just stunning. I would love to hear those one day! Have you ever considered a DIY kit for array's that are a bit more modest? Do you think making the frames out of non-woods would work? Say like a nice piece of granite (so many gorgeous patters/colors now days).
 

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Hey Dannie,

That Line Array is just stunning. I would love to hear those one day! Have you ever considered a DIY kit for array's that are a bit more modest? Do you think making the frames out of non-woods would work? Say like a nice piece of granite (so many gorgeous patters/colors now days).
I believe Danny has kits for two smaller line arrays, the LS-6 and LS-9. They don't show up on the GR-Research web site but, if I remember correctly, he recently posted on his Audio Circle forum that he had kits for both of these models available. Shoot him a PM or email.

Mike
 
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